The billionaire retired U.S. Army colonel James Pritzker has announced he is a woman — Jennifer Natalya Pritzker.
According to Crain’s Chicago Business, a memo dated Aug. 16 and sent to the Pritzker Military Library and Tawani Enterprises announced Pritzker’s name officially had been changed.
“This change will reflect the beliefs of her true identity that she has held privately and will now share publicly,” the memo stated.
“Pritzker now identifies herself as a woman for all business and personal undertakings.”
Pritzker’s father was the late Robert Pritzker. Robert Pritzker founded Marmon Group, a manufacturing and industrial conglomerate.
Her uncles founded the Hyatt Hotel chain.
If gender is instantly and unquestionably malleable, how about race? Can I announce I now belong to the race of Pritzkers and therefore, despite any racist quibbles about my DNA that my new fellow Pritzkers might offer in objection, collect my fair share of the Pritzker inheritance?
He snarks, but it’s not a bad point. Why are we to believe that sexual orientation is firmly fixed, and is just like race in that way, but gender, well, it’s whatever you think it is, as long as it’s not your own gender, and nobody had better say otherwise on pain of being called a bigot?
Confusing! If you want to stay on the right side of what Sailer calls the coming World War T, best thing to do now is to ask a liberal which version of sociobiological reality they prefer, and then say you agree.
UPDATE: Pritzker is old enough to know what he’s doing, but what about teenagers? If you missed it the first time around Margaret Talbot’s New Yorker story about trans teens is quite thought-provoking. Here she is talking with the mother of a girl who is trying to transform herself into a boy:
Danielle, who was divorced, had younger children at home, too, and they readily accepted the proposition that their sister was trans. Anna was now using a male name—I’ll call him Aidan—and his siblings quickly adopted it. Danielle’s ex-husband, with whom she had a trying relationship, didn’t balk at Aidan’s switch, either. While Danielle was at her college reunion, on the East Coast, he took Aidan to a clinic that administered testosterone. But Danielle, a lawyer who had studied literary theory in graduate school, told me that she found herself puzzling over Aidan’s desire to transition: “I feel like a lot of these kids, including my daughter, might be going through identity struggles, a lot of them are trying on roles.” We were having coffee at a pie shop in the Mission, at a long communal table. (At one point, the college student who’d been studying across from us politely interrupted to say that she, too, was about to transition to male.) Talking about Aidan, Danielle slipped back and forth between “she” and “he,” saying, “I’m still not convinced that it’s a good idea to give hormones and assume that, in most cases, it will solve all their problems. I know the clinics giving them out think they’re doing something wonderful and saving lives. But a lot of these kids are sad for a variety of reasons. Maybe the gender feelings are the underlying cause, maybe not.”
Danielle said that she had met many teen-agers who seemed to regard their bodies as endlessly modifiable, through piercings, or tattoos, or even workout regimens. She wondered if sexual orientation was beginning to seem boring as a form of identity; gay people were getting married, and perhaps seemed too settled.
“The kids who are edgy and funky and drawn to artsy things—these are conversations that are taking place in dorm rooms,” Danielle said. “There are tides of history that wash in, and when they wash out they leave some people stranded. The drug culture of the sixties was like that and the sexual culture of the eighties, with aids. I think this could be the next wave like that, and I don’t want my daughter to be a casualty.”
There are people who are sympathetic to families with kids like Jazz but worry about the rush to adopt the trans identity. They point out that long-term studies of young children with gender dysphoria have found that only about fifteen per cent continue to have this feeling as adolescents and adults. (And these studies, which relied on data from Dutch and Canadian research teams, looked only at children who were referred to a clinic for gender issues—presumably, many more kids experience gender dysphoria in some measure.) The long-term studies have also found that, when such kids grow up, they are significantly more likely to be gay or bisexual. In other words, many young kids claiming to be stuck in the wrong body may simply be trying to process their emerging homosexual desires.
When people who went through a trans phase as a teenager come forward to say they really regret their surgeries, will we hear about it? The danger of a culture that says no to everything not within strict boundaries is well known; the danger of a culture like the one ours is becoming, where nobody says no to anything, is not well appreciated.