Gender: A Word Worth Saving?

I have been largely skeptical about efforts to revive words or ideas that the left has either invented or eventually swamped. Take feminism, for instance. Even John Paul II talking about the New Feminism made some of us itchy. How can you make nectar out of something that was poison to begin with?

For the same reason, I have been highly critical of this word “gender.” We have fought over gender for three decades at the UN. At the Beijing women’s conference in 1995, pro-life lobbyist wore buttons that said, “Sex is Better than Gender.”

We have both won and lost on gender at the UN. Gender was defined pretty well in the document that came out of the Beijing women’s conference—“Gender is to be understood as it has traditionally been understood.” But Beijing was a resolution without any binding effect.

Gender is defined much more strongly in the hard-law Rome Statutes establishing the International Criminal Court where it is defined as “men and women in the context of society.” Of course, “in the context of society” is the left’s wiggle room. Still, it’s a pretty solid definition and ought to be the end of it. No chance.

No matter what the UN General Assembly does, no matter what the sovereign states decide in a treaty, the UN bureaucrats always go their own way. Even with two solid definitions in Beijing and the ICC, the UN bureaucrats still define gender as a “social construct.”

In recent years, UN pro-family lobbyists have been fighting a new gender term called “gender identity.” It is always paired with “sexual orientation” and therefore signals its own smelly provenance. The sexual left has had a remarkably difficult time getting either part of that phrase in any UN document no matter how inconsequential the document. UN delegates have caught on to the dishonest ways and dangerous legal theories of the sexual left.

Even though the good guys have largely won on gender at the UN, in the academy, certainly, but also in the general public, “gender ideology” metastasizes. A few months ago Facebook announced they were allowing a choice of 57 genders for their users. UN regulars were aware of such lunacy since they had observed efforts to promote merely seven genders during UN negotiations over the past few decades.

The sexual buccaneers inform us that “gender” is assigned at birth, usually by the doctor who delivers the baby, and that the doctor often gets it wrong. Gender is something chosen by the person and the choosing can be amazingly fluid, constantly changing, changing even between lunch and late afternoon tea time.

For these and many other reasons I have been very supportive of women like independent researcher Dale O’Leary, Marguerite Peeters, a scholar/journalist working out of Brussels, and Jane Adolph, a professor at Ave Maria School of Law now seconded to the Vatican Secretariat of State, who have been my colleagues in arms at the international level for many years and who say gender ought never to be used.

But, at the Vatican marriage conference a few weeks ago, I heard a presentation from philosopher and religious sister Prudence Allen who said something like “Hold on, we need to keep gender. It is ours and it is good, no matter what the ideologists have done to it.”

First, consider Sister Prudence Allen’s bona fides. She is not one of the Nuns on the Bus. Now living in London, Sister Prudence was recently appointed to the International Theological Commission, a move that Church conservatives cheered.

For years she lived and worked out of the great Chaput’s apparatus at the Archdiocese of Denver. She was a professor of philosophy at St. John Vianney Seminary in Denver and chair of the department. So, Sister Prudence is a solid citizen in the ecclesiastical city.

She spoke only briefly at the Vatican conference but directed us to a longer paper she published in Solidarity: The Journal of Catholic Social Thought and Secular Ethics.

Sister Allen traces the beginning of “sex ideology” and “gender ideology” and then maps how “gender ideology” went viral. In her reclaiming of the term, Allen identifies the conflict between “gender ideology” and what she calls “gender reality.” She writes,

Gender Reality holds that human beings are ‘always or for the most part’ women or men, female or male. Gender Ideology holds that human beings fall along a continuum of 3, 5, or even 15 different loose groups of genders. Gender Reality is rooted philosophically in a descriptive metaphysics (Aristotelian and Thomistic grounded) and Gender Ideology is philosophically rooted in a revisionary metaphysics (Neo Platonist or Cartesian founded). Finally, Gender Reality depends upon a hylomorphic (soul/body composite unity) understanding of a human person, woman or man; Gender Ideology leads to a deconstructionist approach to the human person as a loose collection of qualities, attributes, or parts.

She begins with Alfred Kinsey. Actually, she begins with Nicholas of Cusa, moves into 1620 Reformation England, then Bernardus Silvestris, and then C.S. Lewis. She said each had at least an inadvertent hand in the development of “gender ideology.” To see how, you should read the paper. I will begin with Alfred Kinsey.

Thanks to the work of Judith Reisman, the enormities of Alfred Kinsey are now well known. The essential Kinsey message, which the world has subsumed, was that we are constantly sexual, even from our first breaths, and that we—everyone of us—eventually do everything sexual—all permutations and combinations—and it is therefore normal so stop complaining. This view became wholly accepted and promoted by counselors, teachers, psychologists, writers, even newspaper reporters, all the better to become part of the air we breathe.

She shows how French philosopher Michael Foucault “thought that sexuality ought to displace sex identity in any analysis of this aspect of human life. In The History of Sexuality he claimed that ‘sex…[is] an imaginary point determined by the deployment of sexuality.’” Foucault argued that sex identity was a social construct and that the “anchorage points of ‘the body, anatomy, the biological, and the functional’ should be eliminated in favor of ‘sexuality.’” Foucault contracted HIV/AIDs and knowingly continued his sexual forays into the bathhouse culture of San Francisco.

Allen touches on Margaret Mead who wondered, “What a language could be like that had thirteen genders.” Allen says, “In her framing of this hypothetical question, Margaret Mead set the world stage, perhaps unknowingly, for a mutation of gender ideology to begin.”

Dr. John Money was a Harvard-educated psychologist whose specialty was hermaphrodites. Money joined a new “gender” unit at Johns Hopkins University. In 1955 Money published a paper based on the study of 131 intersexed people and concluded “gender is environmentally caused during the first two years of life.” He called this two-year period a “gender gate” and that this “gender window” applied to all human persons.

Money became renowned years later when he experimented on a toddler who had his penis burned off during circumcision. Money convinced the parents of this “gender window” and that the boy could be raised as a girl with no one the wiser. The treatment of the boy included showing him pornography and having him act out sexually with his twin brother.

The success of the case was celebrated in the scientific literature and in the mainstream press and became the rationale for the nascent sex-change industry. However, there was no success; the case was a fraud. The boy never acclimated as a girl. He hated it and when he was eventually told his true-life story, he became a regular blue-collar guy with a family. Sadly, he later committed suicide and his twin brother died of a drug overdose.

Even so, the false story helped the reprobate Money to create a sex change industry that flourishes to this day and has become a human rights cause celeb for dress-wearing men who want to use the girls’ restroom.

Allen lists several faulty arguments of the sexual and gender ideologues. They argue from the exception to the rule.

John Money argued from the fact of hermaphrodites to “the rule that gender development is fluid and able to be changed in all children for a period of up to two years.”

Michael Foucault analyzed the personal diary of a person identified as female at birth but who later developed male anatomy and physiology. Based on this case, Foucault concluded: “…no children should be male or female.”

They argued from the animal behavior to human behavior. Kinsey drew conclusions about humans from the study of insects. John Money “was fascinated with lower forms of animals and fish.” Some fish breed first as males then as females therefore humans can change their sex, too.

A reporter from BuzzFeed called me during the Extraordinary Synod and wanted to know about “gender ideology” because the phrase had been used in the controversial interim document. He said no one on the sexual left had ever heard of it and were amused that we thought they were promoting something called “gender ideology.” Of course, “gender ideology” is our descriptor of things like allowing a man, indeed giving this man a right, to use a girl’s restroom. Such things, laughable only a few years ago, are now the cause of state and local legislation and are the natural spooling out of “gender ideology.”

So, how can such a poisoned thing as gender be saved? And should it be saved? Prudence Allen says yes to both questions.

Sister Prudence ransoms “gender through scripture and philosophy.” She finds gender rooted in the Old Testament starting with, well, Genesis: “The root ‘gen’ from the beginning of Judaism establishes the significance of the history of people living in continuity generation after generation. It incorporates the act of sexual intercourse, of a male and a female, of a man and a woman who become father and mother through their synergetic union.” She says therefore, “sex is included within the concept of the root of generation, or ‘gen’.”

She finds gender in the ancient Greeks, specifically Aristotle’s Generation of Animals that describes the division of higher animals into male and female “distinguished by the functions of the respective sexual parts or genitals.”

She finds gender in the New Testament. In the beginning of the book of Matthew we find, “The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the Son of David, the son of Abraham. In verses 1:1-16 the Latin word ‘genuit’ with the root ‘gen’ (meaning ‘to beget,’ ‘to generate,’ ‘to father’) is repeated thirty-nine times. In verse 17, the root ‘gen’ is repeated in the word ‘generationes’ (meaning ‘generations’) four times.”

Allen argues from ordinary usage. She writes, “Aristotle, as a natural philosopher, recognized that claims about nature or science are directed towards what is ‘always or for the most part’ the case. He realized that in natural beings there is always some ‘grey’ area which allows for exceptions to be explained within the wider brackets of what is always or for the most part the case.” In ordinary usage gender means “male or female, man or woman.”

The longest part of her defense is the ransom of gender through Catholic philosophy, which is her specialty: Aquinas, von Hildebrand, Edith Stein, the Maritains, Gabriel Marcel, Lonergan, Wojtyla and others.

It does seem somehow incorrect to abandon the playing field of such giants to the midgets Money/Kinsey/Foucault and the largely unknown radical feminists and transvestites who have dominated the field for a mere thirty years or so.

The arguments are mostly above and beyond the likes of me, no more than a ham-and-egger. I fight the gender ideologists at the UN. Others will fight them in the Congress, in the academy, in your local parish perhaps. What I know is that we all have our part to play and it is a remarkable privilege for us to be here now during the time of an epoch-making debate.

There early Church saw monumental debates about the nature of Christ, later debates about the nature of the Church. This debate, the one that has barely begun, is about the nature of God’s most beloved creature, man. The argument over gender is an important skirmish in a battle that will likely last decades and even longer, certainly longer than our lives.

Thank God Dale O’Leary, Marguerite Peeters, Sister Prudence Allen and others like them are on our side.

Austin Ruse

By

Austin Ruse is president of C-FAM (Center for Family & Human Rights), a New York and Washington DC-based research institute focusing on international legal and social policy. The views expressed here are not necessarily those of C-FAM.

  • Simple & Plain

    Interesting article, and something I needed to read on the whole gender/sex/identity debate. I’m glad to see we have scholars such as Sr. Prudence publishing research about this. It’s interesting to note the great Catholic minds of the past…I don’t think people are giving them any credit today.

  • joebissonnette

    Interesting the Sister Prudence referred to something going “viral”, which strictly speaking, refers to the cascading multiplier effect of social media. Language is dynamic and cross-pollinating. Sometimes words have an essential and integral relationship to ideas and sometimes they are representational. Sister argues convincingly that gender is essentially linked to generation and this is a worthy academic point but in the boots on the ground struggle the word has been appropriated by the other side and it would be futile hair-splitting to belabour the etymology while the panzer division of sexual existentialism barrels down on us.

  • joebissonnette

    On second thought it is fine scholarship and the battle isn’t only fought with broadswords. It’s a point worth making.

  • JP

    The pollution of language is now a form of high art. The late philosopher and social thinker, Alan Bloom, wrote that people today use the word “value” inter-changeably with the words “good” and “evil”; he wrote that values in fact replaced both. This, he argued. was a revolution in social thought as important as the what occurred during Enlightenment. He said, you know the game is up when priests and prelates anymore speak of values and not good and evil.

    Unlike the word value, which has an intellectual pedigree reaching back to Nietzsche, the word gender is an artificial construct that holds no meaning in and of itself. It can mean whatever the ideologue wants it to be. The fact that the Church has taken up the game only illustrates how far our “intellectuals” have fallen. As I wrote earlier, this is a First World problem. Our society has decayed to such a degree that we can not even talk about who we are biologically.

    • Your point is very well taken, JP. One of the strong points Aberrosexualist* (aka “homosexualist”) extremists have going for them is that they understand well the impact of language in determining the outcome of a debate.

      If you control the words, you control the thoughts. If you control the thoughts, you control the actions. If you control the actions, then you control the future. That is the three-fold formula of the cunning Italian Communist ideologue Antonio Gramsci. It was he who wrote: “Communism will never win at the ballot box; it will never win in the battlefield. It will win in the classroom; it will win in the Media.”

      Check this out. It may help. http://aberrosexualism.blogspot.com/2014/03/our-language-should-reflect-reality.html

      • Jo Malik

        Nice of you to explain why you’re making up new pejorative terms.

    • R. K. Ich

      C.S. Lewis called this “verbicide” in his Study on Words. Propagandists of the virulent progressivist bent understand this is the key to domination: change the logoi and you can persuade those made in the image of the Logos.

      • tom

        The concept of “natural law” helps simply the reality and remove the cloudy thinking from our depraved Leftists.

    • fredx2

      Interesting. Remember, Obama once said that he defined sin as anything that went against his values.

      • The Truth

        Relativism

        • tom

          BEst exemplified by the chic-chic set at women’s colleges who become LUGs, Lesbians Until Graduation. Then, it’s off to corral a MAN!

  • Grammarian

    People have sex. Words have gender.

    • Austin Ruse

      But people are much more and more highly complex than “having sex.” Sex is a part of gender. Gender is men and women, masculine and feminine and all that goes with it.

      • Michael Paterson-Seymour

        Gender is a classification of nouns, according to the rules of agreement between nouns and adjectives and nouns and pronouns. In both Greek and Latin, this produces three classes (or four, if one includes “common gender”) and the ancent grammarians dubbed them masculine, feminine and neuter. There is no obvious reason why there should not have been four, or half-a-dozen, in which case they would probably have simply been numbered, like declensions and conjugations.

        The gender of nouns designating inanimate objects appears more or less random, both within and between languages. Why should the names of trees be feminine in Latin and masculine in French? – Fraxinus, le frêne, Pinus, le pin, Ulmus, un orme (curiously, rumbus, the briar, which is not really a tree, is feminine in both: la ronce).

        Even in the case of people, the nouns le juge and le professeur are masculine, even if the individual referred to is female; similarly, la personne, la recrue, la sentinelle are feminine nouns, even when they designate a male.

        The connection between sex and (grammatical) gender is tenuous at best.

        • redfish

          If you want to go back into historical linguistics, “gender” was once a much broader word than even used by academics today, it used to refer to a kind, sort or class, as seen in the word “engender”/”engender.” There’s a reference in Shakespeare to the “general gender”, which basically meant the common man, the general sort of person.

          The term only later became narrowly understood as talking about sexuality. Even then, aside from referring to grammar, it was also used to refer to masculine/feminine versus male/female. I can show you centuries old books that mention gender in language vs. “natural gender.” Though, unlike today, it was used often interchangeably with sex and treated as a synonym, because masculine was simply assumed to be the characteristics engendered to you for being male, and feminine for being female.

          So the difference today is that this old difference has been blown up into a sociological theory which reduces feminine and masculine to matters of semiotics rather than fact.

        • slainte

          MPS, as you have a background in philosophy, might you consider commenting in connection with gentlemind’s position on gender (see above). I do not fully grasp his/her position and would appreciate any insights you might provide. Thank you.

          • Michael Paterson-Seymour

            Slainté

            I am sure Gentlemind can answer for himself.

            As for the juridical question, we have the Yogyakarta Principles, drawn up by the International Commission of Jurists:-

            “Gender identity is understood to refer to each person’s deeply felt internal and individual experience of gender, which may or may not correspond with the sex assigned at birth, including the personal sense of the body (which may involve, if freely chosen, modification of bodily appearance or function by medical, surgical or other means) and other expressions of gender, including dress, speech and mannerisms.”

            This appears to embrace a sort of Cartesian mind-body dualism, which is very widespread, even amongst materialists. It is tied up with the notion of “the self,” which, as Miss Anscombe pointed out, “is not a Cartesian idea, but it, may be tacked on to Cartesian Ego theory and is a more consequent development of it.” In fact, it is simply a misconstrue of the reflexive pronoun.

            The nonsense is exposed, once we realise that “I am MPS” is not an identity proposition, although it is connected with one: “This thing here is MPS” and “I am this thing here.” “I am jumping up and down” is verified if this body here is jumping up and down – the one of which I have reflexive (non-observational) awareness (“I” is no more a referring expression than “it” is a referring expression in “it is raining”)

            A person is not a Cartesian Ego; even quite small children know what “the person over there” means and jurists know what “Offences against the Person” covers.

            • slainte

              Thank you for responding and for the clarification.

            • In order to know what ‘height identity’ means, I need to know what ‘height’ means. The Yogyakarta Principles do not define ‘Gender identity’, because they do not define ‘Gender’.

              Consider the nature of the relationship between body, mind and law. In order for somebody to be recognised in law, the law must recognise some body. Gender converts our legal status from recognition of some body to recognition of some body’s mind. Spot the problem?

              Since our mind can contradict our body, the State cannot simultaneously recognise sex and Gender; since the State is recognising Gender, it is not recognising sex (and therefore the body); since the State is not recognising my body, it cannot be recognising my mind – because it is unable to recognise who’s mind my mind is!

              We are not being governed. We just think we are.

          • See my reply to Michael, below.

            • slainte

              gentlemind, thank you for alerting me; I will observe your exchange. MPS is a gifted philosopher, lawyer, and author.

              You will no doubt experience a very fruitful exchange with a worthy interlocutor.

      • With all due respect, Mr. Ruse, your way of using words plays right into the hands of the enemies of Human Life and Sexuality. As Grammarian aptly writes: People have sex. Words have gender.

        People who speak truthfully would NEVER say “gender” when referring to a person’s sex. Why? Because “gender” is the category or class of nouns and pronouns in languages. Words have a “gender.” Human beings have a sex. The term “gender” is an ideological propaganda term used to conceal the unchangeable, non-fluid, biological reality of sex. This conveniently lets aberrosexualists (promoters of biologically aberrant sexual behavioral choices) and feminists to acknowledge the natural differences in the sexes, differences they simply cannot deny without appearing insane, while illogically attacking the so-called “gender inequalities” they claim need to be abolished.

        Words are important. Words are powerful weapons. Those who ignore this reality do their enemy’s bidding. Please understand this. Your organization is constantly playing into the hands of your enemies by using, and thereby legitimizing, their terminology.

        • Austin Ruse

          I find Sister Prudence’s arguments interesting.

        • TommyD6of11

          Dr. Judy,
          Good points but sometimes on the cultural battlefield, in the culture kampf, a great tactical advantage can be gained by recapturing terminology. And, surprisingly, this can often be accomplished with relative ease. The Left understands this far better than us and is far better at it. Indeed, they are brilliant at it.

          In battle, those who don’t learn from their enemy are destined to defeat.

  • Dick Prudlo

    A fine article, Austin. I find the argument presented by Sister Prudence to be compelling and rightly understood as reasonable, even if not fashionable. Three cheers.

    • PaulOfTarsus

      Another Crisis wise guy. I’ll end it before it gets started thanks to your stupidity as I Roll On the Floor Laughing My A*s Off (ROFLMAO) at you.

      • Dick Prudlo

        And what prompted your pathetic pride with this peculiar remark?

  • stpetric

    Sister Prudence’s article–all 36 pages of it–is at http://researchonline.nd.edu.au/solidarity/vol4/iss1/1/

  • Siwash

    Austin, I’m just surprised that the Responsible Adults in the world, particularly those who have authority in social matters, simply don’t laugh at all the crap and laugh it away.

    How did all the nonsense come to be taken seriously?

    I suppose I need to learn more about how academic ideas turn into propellers of social policy.

    • fredx2

      Nonsense began to be taken seriously after the invention of TV. Once TV became the dominant means of social information flow, what it said ruled. And, since it depends on a steady stream of viewers for it to “live”, it routinely says nonsensical things just to get people to watch. It presents nonsense as legitimate, serious ideas that might just change things. So people listen, and are not presented with facts which would immediately show that this nonsense was in fact nonsense. We start taking the nonsense as plausible, perhaps even preferable.

      More than we realize our society is molded by the half truths we are sold on TV. Look, advertisers spend millions to get their products presented in a certain way. In the same sense, Likewise, TV producers from New York and LA insert their political and moral beliefs in virtually every show on TV. We now have a series devoted to electing Hilary Clinton as the next president (Madame secretary) and no one blinks an eye at this obvious attempt at manipulating the public.

      Every day, millions of women watch Ellen and Oprah and the Kardashians and in the process, get their ideas about social issues of the day. They have their previous solid, experience based ideas shattered by a constant stream of nonsensicality, all presented as plausible. Millions of kids watch the Daily show and believe they are getting informed about politics.

      TV has made us stupider than you can imagine. Nonsense is King. .
      .

  • Siwash

    Here’s a suggestion for everybody who reads this: at least once a year, take out George Orwell’s remarkable essay, “Politics and the English Language” and give it a good read.

  • Do
    we say “gender” or “sex”?

    Why
    Does It Matter?

    Sex is the objective, scientific name for the biological and physiological reality of male and female. Sex is a precisely determinable genetic fact; a scientifically demonstrable biological reality referring to persons or animals. As such, like it or not, sex can never be altered or changed. While an individual’s physical appearance can be cosmetically changed or modified, or they can change their personal opinion as to their sex; their DNA, or chromosomes, can never be altered.

    By contrast, “gender” is the category or class of nouns and pronouns in languages. Words have a “gender,” human beings have a sex. However, aberrosexualist ideologues have cavalierly morphed the term into an ideological euphemism denoting an individual’s personal opinion or self-perception of their sex. So “gender” is now being pushed as a propaganda term to conceal the unchangeable, biological reality of sex. Even the Oxford English Dictionary admits that “gender” is an ideologically imposed “euphemism” for a human being’s sex, intended “to emphasize the social and cultural, as opposed to the biological distinctions between the sexes.”

    Truth can never be permanently suppressed. Sooner or later it’ll be known. History proves that suppressing truth is a losing proposition. Check it out:

    http://aberrosexualism.blogspot.com/2014/03/normal-0-21-false-false-false-en-us-x.html

    • Very good, but you have overlooked a major category. Gender is not cultural. Nor is it social. It is legal.

      Man-made law is not a neutral entity refereeing social disputes. It is an active force. The ideology named Gender cannot be understood without recognising this.

      • R. K. Ich

        But law is socio-political in nature. The norms it seeks to enshrine assumes a cultural context.

        • Yes, that is how it ought to be, but things are different where false laws are concerned. Law ought to take its cues from society, but law is a logical beast. Once the law says that 1+2=4, it has to change its understanding of ‘1+2+3’, from 6 to 7. That change is internally required.

          The redefinition of legal marriage is an internally required change arising from the law’s belief that something called ‘man’ can become something called ‘woman’. The change is not culturally/socially prompted, but the new law comes back out into society in the form of a legal imposition.

          • R. K. Ich

            I concur mostly, but would only say that “law” has no belief in itself except what lawmakers believe (their philosophy). What they believe colors what they think jurisprudence can accomplish. Their belief is culturally conditioned as well as ideologically driven.

            • That is quite a difficult philosophical area, in that you are talking about the nature of the relationship between law and lawmakers. Lawmakers are human , whereas (man-made) law/s exist in the form of a collective state of mind (belief). Gender does not physically exist, so it either came from within the minds of lawmakers, or from within law. According to your approach it would have to be the former. But it isn’t. Gender comes from within law itself.

              • R. K. Ich

                Very interesting, indeed. I will concede your point but admit my thoughts are half-baked at best on this matter. Any principle authors I should be reading?

                • tom

                  As for judges, read the late Hon. Robert Bork.

              • slainte

                “…whereas (man-made) law/s exist in the form of a collective state of mind (belief)…”

                Or man made laws may, at times, reflect the demands of the most powerful and influential among us.

          • tom

            Judges should NEVER make moral decisions because they’re usually wrong. Ask Dred Scott or Plessy for particulars. Leftist judges are always wrong about everything. It is their joy in life.

            (Why anyone would rest their case on academic cheats like Kinsey and Mead is anyone’s guess.)

            • slainte

              “…Judges should NEVER make moral decisions because they’re usually wrong…”

              Judges are human beings and human beings make errors. It’s a consequence of original sin and our fallen state; judges are not exempt.

              God’s law does not err.

              • tom

                Most are, indeed, fiendish Leftists with an agenda. If you want to change slavery, use the amendment process. If you want to change “marriage” after 5000 years, go to the legislature, not an executive decree or judge’s dictate. A referendum is great, too, but then the Leftists courts overrule those, too. We live under judicial tyranny.

          • slainte

            ” Law ought to take its cues from society, but law is a logical beast.”

            Positive law (man made law) ought to take its cues from God’s law…and in doing so it would be eminently logical.

            • You say that ‘A man can be a woman’ is a false premise. In a comment above, you said “Redefining words by abandoning truth”.

              “A man can be a woman” is a false premise only if we assume the words ‘man’ and ‘woman’ to take their ordinary meaning. This is what makes the ideology named Gender so deceptive: when the State says “a man can be a woman”, it is not even lying. Instead, Gender has stolen the language of the body, and is using it to denote states of mind. So, according to the legal meaning of the words, it is possible for a man to be a woman. When the State says “man”, it means “Gender” (mind) but we hear “sex” (body) – a familiar word is deliberately used in a new way, for the purpose of masking change. The laws sound crazy to us but make sense to the law. The State knows we cannot change sex (or marry somebody of the same sex).

              • slainte

                “..when the State says “a man can be a woman”, it is not even lying….”

                Deviating from objective truth constitutes a lie and horrific consequences usually follow.

                When those who governed the state held that a black man was not fully human and was thus eligible to be enslaved, they deviated from objective truth and lied.

                When those who ran the Nazi state held forth that a Jewish person was not fully human and was thus eligible to be killed, they deviated from objective truth and lied.

                When objective truth is suborned and mocked, we must speak out no matter how scary it is. To oppose such deviations is to live the Beatitudes and to be aligned with Our Lord.

                • This is a tricky one to explain over the internet, but I’ll give it a go!
                  The lie that you think you are being told (that a man can be a woman) is not the lie that you are being told. The State does not believe a member of the male sex can become a member of the female sex. Instead, it believes our fundamental identity is our Gender, not our sex. That is the lie.
                  Note that your examples (black/white, Nazi/Jew) are examples of injustice created through treating like things differently. Gender creates injustice through treating different things (male and female) alike. It is all about legal homogenisation – denying recognition of our differences.

                  • slainte

                    gentlemind, I understand you to say that gender is a person’s subjective understanding of his or her sexuality which may or may not be odds with his/her sexual organs.

                    Thus, a person with breasts and a vagina, subjectively (in the mind) thinks/believes/understands herself to be a male, then her “gender” is male even though her sexual organs are objectively female.

                    The law has accepted a subjective understanding of one’s sexual identity (gender) as more truthful than the external sexual organs which traditionally and objectively have determined one’s sex.

                    In effect, gender is mind over matter.

                    • It is more complicated than that. Gender is like a hole – it is defined in terms of an absence. We don’t really need to try to work out what is represented by the term ‘Gender identity’. All we need to know is that it does not represent sex (and therefore does not represent the body). If Gender is present within law (which it is), the body is not.

                      Getting back to the topic (!), we should try to use the word Gender in the same way as all other words – accurately. Dale O’Leary has said for years now, that we should not say sex when we mean Gender. I would gently suggest that Sister Allen currently misunderstands what Gender is. She is not alone.

                    • slainte

                      What reading materials would you recommend to better understand the points you make regarding this topic?

                    • Dale O’Leary and Gabriele Kuby are the best regarding Gender’s dangers/implications. As far as I am aware, I am the first to have worked out that Gender is a legal invention – a by-product of abortion law (see my blog).

                    • slainte

                      Thank you for your recommendations and your commentary gentlemind.

      • slainte

        What sort of future do the change agents seek? What is the end game?

        • Terry Mushroom

          Good question. Any idea of the answer? I don’t!

          • I have an idea. I believe no less than extinction of the species homo sapiens is the end game.

          • slainte

            First separate and divide the flock from the Good Shepherd, then destroy the flock which is so beloved by the Good Shepherd.

            By destroying humanity, the force smites Our Lord.

            Recall Matthew 10:21-22

            “22 And you will be hated by all for My name’s sake. But he who endures to the end will be saved. 23 When they persecute you in this city, flee to another. For assuredly, I say to you, you will not have gone through the cities of Israel before the Son of Man comes…”

            • Jo Malik

              So instead of asking them, you decided after two days that your question was rhetorical after all?

              They do speak the same language as you, it wouldn’t be hard to actually inquire.

              • slainte

                I asked the question. One person responded with an opinion.

                If you are “them”, you can post your position too.

                • Jo Malik

                  I was merely suggesting that if the question regards a particular group’s motivation, one might be well served by actually posing the question to the group in question–a step that seems to have been skipped here.

        • Jo Malik

          Why not ask them?

  • Adhemarde

    Sex is a biological construct, based on obvious physical phenotypes and genotypes easily identifiable by the sex chromosomes. Gender is a linguistic construct that is entirely arbitrary and varies between languages. There is no reason to use the term “gender” when you mean “sex”. Get rid of it, and the confusion will go with it.

    • TommyD6of11

      Libs are waging war on all of the above. Semantics do not impress them. They will relentlessly pursue their demented worldview.

      Far better to take them on full force and directly. They are not just a little bit wrong, they are profoundly wrong. Defeat them in the main, not just at the perferary.

  • JEC

    The use of “gender” to distinguish male and female is very new, I first became aware of it in 1986. The ’60s civil rights law refers to “sex discrimination” not “gender discrimination”. The years between 1986 and ca 1995 were confused about whether to use sex or gender. I read one book, its name escapes me, that used both terms in a seemingly random order to indicate the concept of being male or female. In the 90s other writers began to use gender for sex increasingly, until now official documents use only gender, as if sex is a dirty word, a total victory for substituting gender for sex merely as a synonym.
    Whie I agree with Grammarian that, “people have sex, words have gender” we can get away with using gender because English words no longer have gender; there’s only a remnant with the personal pronouns.
    There’s certainly an agenda for the substitution, ut the total victory of gender (it’s just a synonym for sex) renders the substitution useless for that agenda.

  • fredx2

    The sad part is that all of this ideology driven gender stuff may be killing people:

    “For 35 years serious questions have been raised about the overall long term success of changing genders.

    Today we look at a report from The Guardian (UK) from July 2004 that included a review of more than 100 international medical studies of post-operative transgenders by the University of Birmingham aggressive research intelligence facility. They found “no robust scientific evidence that gender reassignment surgery is clinically effective.” Seeing that they reviewed not just one study but 100 international studies makes this report alarming.

    In my view, this shows that failure comes all too often for transgenders and it is so unnecessary. The Guardian reports:

    After gender reassignment, there’s still a large number of people who had the surgery but remain traumatized – often to the point of committing suicide.

    Research from the US and Holland suggests that up to a fifth (20%) of patients regret changing sex. http://www.theguardian.com/society/2004/jul/30/health.mentalhealth

    Thirty-five years ago, in 1979, uncertainty about gender change success was surfacing. At Johns Hopkins Hospital concerns about the reported success rates of changing genders and whether Dr. Money had been falsifying the reports of sex change success prompted a review. Dr. Paul Mc Hugh commissioned Dr. Meyer to study post-operative transsexuals from the Johns Hopkins Gender Identity Clinic program. Dr. Meyer’s results were far different than Money’s reports of success a decade earlier and also validated the concerns regarding Dr. Money and his reports. Dr. Meyer said, “To say that this type of surgery cures psychiatric disturbance is incorrect.” As a result of studying the results of Hopkins patients, Hopkins closed its gender clinic and university-based gender clinics around the country began to close”

  • CadaveraVeroInnumero

    Read the article with great profit. Spent part of it acquainting myself with with writings – those I could Googlely locate – of those mentioned.

    First things, fist: Give the enemy no ground on either sex or language.

    But, what if . . .

    1) One refuses to accept Phenomenology, upon which with camps are basing their arguments. Basing, in the sense, that the philosophical grounding is not question, just its application (top this issue) and results (which demand a committal of sorts).

    2) One refuses to read Scripture, the Patristic Fathers, the Scholastic Fathers (let alone Roman and Common Law) through the media of Phenomenology which underlies both secular and much of contemporary Catholic thought. Without the lens of Phenomenology filtering these sources what are these sources truly saying to us?

    3) One resolutely shelves the writings of von Balthasar.

    4) One recognizes the Phenomenology (Personalism, if you will) from which St. John Paul II constructed his philosophical program, but cannot swallow it whole. Even before his Theology of the Body one hesitates.

    5) One takes his copies of Christopher West to the used bookstore around the corner.

    6) One finds the writings of Husserl interesting and useful in places, but cannot be discipled to him in that way that St. Edith Stein was. One questions the philosopher Husserl because onne had already stepped off the shoulders the good philosopher stood upon.

    7. One finds oneself, apparently, a wandering shopper in the methodological supermarket which is the grand feasting table of contemporary dialoguing. One finds oneself refusing to push his theological and socio-ethical cart down so many of the aisles. Better one – like a homeless bag woman (or man) trek his cart (supposedly now stolen) across town and over the tracks to the patristic and medievalist mom & pop stores – finding them more neighborly.

    ____________________________________________________

    The linked article has not a wit to do about the topic of gender, but it highlights the methodological crisis that has devolved on all our “hot button” topics.

    http://paraphasic.blogspot.com/2014/12/letter-to-friend-on-ressourcement-and.html

    So, again, can we have a conversation on the subject of sex & gender outside the methodological boundaries (strictures & distortions) of Phenomenology?

  • St JD George

    Austin, I am glad that you (and others) have the stomach to fight these battles with Satan’s disciples daily. I get so sick of these discussions I’m afraid I wouldn’t hold up very long before I’d have the urge to disengage like I feel now, which I know Christ doesn’t want, and I know the others would love to set the agenda for control over defining these social constructs. I think Slainte’s comments below are right on the mark.

  • Mark

    Gender is a grammatical term that has no place in discussions of sexuality.

    It boggles my mind how certain people feel a need to rescue gender ideology and feminism from their own standard-bearers and try to baptize them and insist that real feminism is the Catholic view of sexuality. When it isn’t, real feminism is the destruction of a genuine understanding of human sexuality.

    Sister Prudence is no doubt an intelligent woman and what she’s saying isn’t really wrong but why she associates with “Catholic feminism” (did she do that or did she get labeled?) is beyond me. Catholics don’t need feminism, feminists need Catholicism. This necessitates dumping feminism.

    • zoltan

      Catholic feminism is an oxymoron.

  • Paddy

    The Left’s confusion over sex is best delineated in the LGBT? descriptive, ending with a pathetic question mark. They just don’t have a clue. Yet, they demand we follow them in willingly relinquishing the dignity in each of us.

  • RECAPTURING TERMINOLOGY?

    Yes, we can indeed recapture terminology, but only to use it in its accurate, truthful way. For example, I always say I am gay, my whole family is gay, but we are not aberrosexual. I’ve recaptured the word gay, but only to use it in its correct definition: joyful, happy, fun-loving. I would never use the word gay to refer to an individual that engages in biologically aberrant sexual behavioral choices, or an aberrosexual.

    Our language should respect the truth; it should reflect reality! Check out:
    http://aberrosexualism.blogspot.com/2014/03/our-language-should-reflect-reality.html

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