Friday, December 8, 2017

Radical Gender Theory, and the Obsolete Truth

New reports show that the Canadian Elementary Teachers Federation of Ontario hosted a curious “inclusiveness training” last summer. 

Inclusiveness trainings are common in education, but what made this one curious is that on the event flyer’s banner was emblazoned the unintelligibly-long sequence of letters “LGGBDTTTIQQAAPP.”   

The words below this banner reveal that the sequence is an acronym, and the letters stand for “Lesbian, Gay, Genderqueer, Bisexual, Demisexual, Transgender, Transsexual, Twospirit, Intersex, Queer, Questioning, Asexual, Allies, Pansexual, and Polyamorous.”

Believe me, I thought this had to be "fake news," at first.  It's not.  Yes, it was purposefully exaggerated, and the point was to show teachers just how daunting the march toward "inclusiveness" can be in today's world.


But what's most curious is that elementary school teachers are being taught to understand and convey these invented distinctions as truth, all of which are entirely useless in the practical education of elementary school students.   

As such, an immediate and troubling question came to mind.  How long will it be before my child in elementary school comes home to ask me, “Daddy, what is the difference between a Demisexual and a Pansexual?” because his teacher attended a similar “inclusiveness training?”

And that’s when the much more troubling question hit me.  

When will the government find itself within its rights to punish me, or my children whom I’m teaching to become responsible citizens, for saying that studying gender and sexuality identifiers like Demisexual or Twospirits is nonsensical, and that such imagined identifications should not be discussed in elementary school?  Will it be illegal for me to one day tell my children that men are men and women are women, irrespective of how they choose to self-identify?  What if I tell them that a young boy who thinks he’s a girl is really just a confused boy, and that doctors and parents and teachers indulging in that young boy’s fantasies by pretending he’s a girl, or worse, prescribing puberty blockers and hormone treatment to potentially cripple him for life, is nothing more than child abuse?

After all, we all accept that a five-year old may not have the sense to avoid oncoming traffic, which is why a parent might instinctively hold a five-year old’s hand when walking on the sidewalk of a busy street.  Yet we are being led to believe that he can be positive of his own sexual identity, and that any suggestion otherwise amounts to ignorance and discrimination?

It’s like we’re in a Twilight Zone episode.  And in a way, that's not too far from the mark, particularly when it comes to gender theory fascists. 

Of course, the show never envisioned anything like the ridiculous acronym or farcical “education” training described above.  Richard Matheson and Rod Serling were good, but not even they could have imagined the illimitable distinctions being applied to human gender and sexuality by modern-day, militant gender theorists.

But it is that fear which exists -- the fear that my own reasonable thoughts and expression might be criminalized by a government bent upon indoctrination and enforcement of propaganda rather than truth -- that is something the show’s creators certainly recognized.      

In “The Obsolete Man,” Burgess Meredith plays a librarian, and is deemed obsolete for adhering to ideas contrary to those promoted by the fascist State presented in the episode. An excerpt of its monologue follows:

This is not a new world.  It is simply an extension of what began in the old one.  It has patterned itself after every dictator who has ever planted a ripping imprint of a boot on the pages of history since the beginning of time.  It has refinements, technological advances, and a more sophisticated approach to the destruction of human freedom.  But like every one of the super-states that preceded it, there’s one iron rule. 
Logic is an enemy, and truth is a menace.
Too hyperbolic, you say?  Listen to the audio (condensed version here) of graduate student and teaching assistant Lindsay Shepherd of Wilfrid Laurier University in Brantford, Ontario, as she recently appeared before a tribunal of two professors and a staff member who excoriated her for presenting to her students the possibility that gender does not exist on some invented spectrum, as radical gender theorists insist. 

Ms. Shepherd’s crime was that she showed a video to her class of the “infamous Jordan Peterson, the Toronto professor at the centre [sic] of the pronoun debate.”

Peterson became famous for his opposition to Bill C-16, a Canadian federal bill which added “gender identity” and “gender expression” to prohibited grounds of discrimination.  In one of his more famous videos, Peterson proclaims that he will only refer to his students as ““he” and “she,” and not “they” as some individuals in the transgender community prefer to be known.”

Is it wrong to suggest that singular beings be referred to as such, rather than society, “science,” and the educational infrastructure indulging the fantasy that he or she is some undefined plural entity?

It was Lindsey Shepherd’s choice to present such simple and reasonable ideas to her class that caused her to fall under grand inquisition by university administration.  You see, she didn’t present those ideas as sufficiently evil and contrary to the correct Canadian acceptance of gender pronoun usage under law.

As you may remember, Bill C-16 passed in Canada during the summer, spearheaded by Justin Trudeau and enjoying a 67-11 majority vote to secure its passage. 
Some saw the dangers.  Jack Fonseca, head of the Canada’s Campaign Life Coalition, immediately said:

Mark my words, this law will not be used as some sort of ‘shield’ to defend vulnerable transsexuals, but rather as a weapon with which to bludgeon people of faith and free-thinking Canadians who refuse to deny truth.
Which is where we return to the audio of a crying Lindsay Shepherd at Laurier University, who was merely seeking to present two sides of a cultural debate to her students.  “I was not taking sides,” she sobbed to the tribunal of inquisitors.  “I was presenting both arguments.”

Her inquisitor responded:

If you’re presenting something like this, you have to think about the kind of teaching climate that you’re creating… These arguments are counter to the Canadian Human Rights Code, ever since, and I know you talked about, C-16, ever since this passed, it is discriminatory to be targeting someone, um, due to their gender identity or gender expression. So, bringing something like that up in class, not critically… [Emphasis implied]
Lindsay Shepherd interjects at this point, saying that her introduction of Peterson’s video “was critical” and that it was “in the spirit of debate.”  But it’s pretty clear what the inquisitor meant.  He was saying that what she did was illegal.

Perhaps the most telling moment came in her defense against the allegation that she “legitimized” Peterson’s perspective by introducing it.  Shepherd said, “in a university, all perspectives are valid.”

Her inquisitor responded, “That’s not necessarily true…”

So, consider the following.  Representatives of a state-sponsored university set this poor, apparently reasonable woman before a tribunal in order to proclaim that truth is obsolete if the truth is contrary to the “truth” as it is seen by the State and its organ, the university.

It is not a leap for me to recall this image from my childhood in writing the previous paragraph or in hearing the audio of the interrogation:

Image result for obsolete man

Thinking this can’t happen here, are you?  A new state law passed in California last month may allow for jail time for using of the wrong gender pronoun in referring to a transgendered person who may be offended by it.  The young charges of American universities routinely become agitated by ideas which conflict with their own worldview, so much so that they riot when innocuous speeches are made by more conservative speakers on campus at the behest of some different-minded students.   

And American universities employ leftist professors, many of whom condone such fascist behavior, at a rate twelve times as high as their employment of more conservative professors.

It can happen here, and moreover, it is happening here.  Best that we recognize that, because the cultural battle against fascistic gender theorists is not to be taken lightly.  Some hills are worth dying on.  And as is becoming more and more evident, the war to preserve truth is one with many seemingly inconsequential hills that have already been conceded by those passively interested in truth.     

William Sullivan is a frequent contributor at American Thinker, and can be followed on Twitter.

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

The Recent “Women’s March,” and How the New Left Still Just Doesn’t Get It

Just ten years ago, there was a popular bumper sticker lampooning President George W. Bush which read, “Somewhere in Texas, a village is missing its idiot.” 

In 2017, somewhere in Texas, a distinguished leftist judge wears a pink “pussyhat” in a courtroom to show her support for “women’s rights.”
To say that the left has descended into the realm of self-parody is an understatement.  Rather than making jokes about American public policy, they have effectively, and unknowingly, become the joke.
Take the recent “Women’s March,” which resulted from a strong marketing campaign, ample funding by leftist support groups, and which enjoyed much media coverage and fanfare. 

Prior to the event, former Obama speechwriter Jon Favreau urged women to “put on [their] entire armor” to march on Washington the morning after Trump’s inauguration. 
Sure, putting on “armor” to peacefully protest a legitimate election sounds silly to most people.  But as Connie Wang at Refinery29 looks to remind all the privileged males out there (should they choose to be identified as males), “all women know how certain outfits can make us feel bigger and stronger and more warrior-like, which comes in handy in moments where we need to feel those things.  Like now.”

So, in their self-righteous fury, these mighty Valkyries donned their pink “pussyhats” and full-body vagina suits to fight the patriarchal status quo. 
But which women’s rights, exactly, were they so ridiculously fighting for?
Let’s examine the “Values and Principles” stated by the March’s organizers:

We believe that Gender Justice is Racial Justice is Economic Justice.  We must create a society in which women, in particular women – in particular Black women, Native women, poor women, immigrant women, Muslim women, and queer and trans women – are free and able to care for and nurture their families, however they are formed, in safe and healthy environments free from structural impediments.
When you create a statement for mass consumption like “Gender Justice is Racial Justice is Economic Justice,” it’s clear that your agenda is not truly about women’s rights and that you seek to co-opt other leftist grievance narratives to provide ballast to your cause.  But it’s also quite clear that the terms you cite are malleable beyond their having any meaning or value at all.

What is meant by this sentence?  Is it suggested that redistribution to provide benefits to women for abortions, contraceptives, and sex-changes is what they’re fighting for?  Are we to suppose that this is the same as demanding that white people pay the penance of their presumed racial “privilege” by providing reparations for slavery?  And all that is the same battle fought by those suggesting that the government should redistribute wealth from the affluent and middle class to provide for the poor?
The “Values and Principles” of the Women’s March continue:

We firmly declare that LGBTQIA Rights are Human Rights and that it is our obligation to uplift, expand, and protect the rights of our gay, lesbian, bi, queer, trans, or gender non-conforming brothers, sisters, and siblings.
If you ever wondered how Democrats lost middle-class, workaday Americans, look no further than that sentence and the evolution which led to it.  First of all, unless you’re incredibly attuned to the grievance narrative being peddled by the radical left, you likely notice that the acronym has added a few letters to the sequence since you’ve probably last seen it referenced.  The LGBT agenda has become the LGBT+ or LGBTQ agenda, which has now apparently become the LGBTQIA agenda to include “intersex” and “asexual” (or “ally”) individuals.  Honestly, I don’t know why I even bothered to look it up, as it’s likely that another letter or two will have been added by the time these thoughts have been shared.

Are these the most pressing matters facing America today?  Be truthful.  You, like most people, would probably roll your eyes and laugh at anyone who suggests that they are.
But returning to Connie Wang, it’s not important to agree with all the reasons for the Women’s March.  “[P]ick the issues that speak most personally to you,” Wang suggested, to ensure that “aspects of your identity… are represented too: Maybe you’re afraid to wear your hijab.”

A sensible person cannot help pausing for a moment to reflect upon the irony in this social justice warrior’s invocation of the hijab, an extremely clear symbol of the historic and religious subjugation of women, as a symbol of women’s empowerment and liberation in the neo-leftist’s incredibly disjointed formulation of thought.
It’s so easy to see that some lifelong feminists cannot help noticing.  Emma-Kate Symons notes in an op-ed at the New York Times, “And why is a woman seen wearing a heavy veil pulled tight to cover her neck – not even a headscarf – emerging as the symbol of the rally?  Yes, Trump is singling out Muslims, but must we play his reductionist game?” 

Incidentally, Symons’s beef with the march seems sensible enough: “It saddens me to see the inclusive feminism that I grew up with reduced to a grab-bag of competing victimhood narratives and rival community-based but essentially individualist identities jostling for the most-oppressed status.”              
It saddens her because the march was not about feminism, but about perpetuating the victim status of certain identity groups that have little, if anything, to do with women.  One has to wonder how she’s missed what most of America has not – the New Left, and the Democrats who have embraced them, have no other platform beyond the creation and perpetuation of victimhood narratives.  

The “Women’s March” was not about all women, of course.  After all, 42% of women voted for Donald Trump -- not exactly a fringe group, and certainly not represented in the political motivation for the march.  The marchers represented you only if you want, and are willing to demand, taxpayers to continue financing abortions via Planned Parenthood’s federal subsidies, whether one agrees with the practice or not.  They represented you only if you think that men can be women if they feel like it, in spite of all scientific facts which refute that position.  They represented you only if you believe that America is an evil, racist place where your having a job or wealth is due to white privilege, and justice means giving such a job to a poorer person of color simply because they happen to be poorer and/or a racial minority.  They represented you if you believe that the Keystone XL pipeline is an anathema to Mother Nature, rather than a conduit linking products to manufacturers and thereby creating jobs and more affordable energy resources. (Yes, among the “Values and Principles” of the March, “environmental justice” is cited.  How that pertains to women is an enigma to everyone but the organizers.)
In short, the “Women’s March” did not represent you unless you are a social and economic radical in the vein of leftist radicals.  And unless you espouse those same principles, you are alienated altogether.

It’s as if Democrats have learned precisely nothing from the thorough electoral flogging they’ve endured these last eight years, having lost over 900 seats in state legislatures nationwide, twelve state governorships, both chambers of Congress, and now the presidency within that timeframe.
Let’s be perfectly clear.  Democrats did not lose November’s election in spectacular fashion because Americans have shifted rightward to some insane degree, as they would have you believe.  They lost this election because Democrats have shifted radically leftward over the years, both economically and socially, and have thus abandoned the center-left constituency and the ideals that once bulwarked their seats of power.

This radical shift to the left is so pronounced that the left’s representation now appears as little more than caricatures, and their demonstrations are only taken seriously amongst themselves.  Americans, for the most part, have turned their thoughts to more practical things such as jobs, national security, our diminishing stature on the world stage, and our seemingly perpetual surrender of wealth and sovereignty to the political elite.
I, for one, hope that the New Left continues to be utterly oblivious to the realities which are making them politically obsolete.

So by all means, little snowflakes – keep marching.
William Sullivan