In an interview with me published yesterday, Polish academic and European parliamentarian Ryszard Legutko compared Communist era to today’s atmosphere on many college campuses:
Each time the results are the same: certain authors are stigmatized, certain arguments cannot be raised, and certain questions must not be asked. Both then and now the ideological hooligans live in the illusion that they open new perspectives and tear down the existing barricades. In fact, they are doing the opposite: they help to legitimize intellectual vulgarity and intimidate all courageous and independent thinking. They reinforce this feature of all ideological regimes, which George Orwell called “thought crimes.”
The paradox is that in today’s liberal democracy there are more thought crimes than in communism: racism, sexism, xenophobia, homophobia, misogyny, ageism, binarism, Eurocentrism, white supremacy, and many others which a person like myself long ceased to keep up with. They give the latter-day Bolsheviks enormous power and countless instruments to silence all opponents. The only way to avoid any of these accusations is to capitulate, body and soul, to the prevailing ideologies and to participate in all ritualistic dances that express either absolute approval of the ideological gods or absolute condemnation of the enemies.
I thought of that when reading that a British Columbia judge has forcibly silenced the father of a biological female who identifies as male. This is horrifying (“Clark” and “Maxine” are pseudonyms):
Last week, Justice Francesca Marzari of the Supreme Court of British Columbia, Canada, declared a father guilty of “family violence” against his 14-year-old daughter on the sole basis that he had engaged in “expressions of rejection of [her] gender identity.” These “expressions” revolved entirely around his polite refusal to refer to his daughter as a boy in private, and his steady choice to affirm that she is a girl in public.
As previously reported, the BC Supreme Court ordered in February that 14-year-old Maxine receive testosterone injections without parental consent. Accordingly, Maxine began regular injections at British Columbia (BC) Children’s Hospital over the course of the last two months.
Her father, Clark, strongly objects to this treatment and immediately sought to reverse the decision in the BC Court of Appeal. Hoping to raise awareness of his case, Clark gave a number of interviews to media outlets, including The Federalist. In these interviews, he repeatedly referred to his daughter as a girl, stating to The Federalist that “she is a girl. Her DNA will not change through all these experiments that they do.”
While many might take this to be an honest statement of biological fact, Marzari quoted it as a prime example of Clark’s “family violence of a public denial of [Maxine’s] gender identity.” Marzari convicted Clark of this violence, and issued a “protection order” preventing him from speaking to journalists or the public about his case.
Unbelievable. A Canadian judge has forbidden a man to say aloud what is a scientific fact, on grounds that it hurts his daughter’s feelings. Note well that this is not about the father revealing the name of his daughter; he has not done that. This is entirely about the court forcing him to remain silent about the fact that his daughter is biologically female.
This is Canada, but if you think this isn’t ultimately going to be tried in the US, you’re dreaming. This is why it is vitally important to get sensible, non-SJW judges onto as many federal courts as possible.
On the other hand, next year the Supreme Court will make a monumental decision about SOGI (sexual orientation and gender identity) laws and civil rights. Whatever SCOTUS decides — and if I were betting, I would lay money that the Chief Justice is going to go left on this, and not be a traitor to his class — it is unlikely that the First Amendment would permit a judge to silence someone as the BC judge has silenced the trans kid’s father. But if the Court does rule that SOGI are protected classes under federal civil rights law, we really will be in a new world — in public schools, for example. Gender ideology will be mandatory. “Misgendering” someone will be the legal equivalent of saying the n-word.