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Bruce Jenner, Media, & Madmen

A reader sent in the above photo, taken at a Kroger in Dallas over the weekend. View From Your America 2015, seems to me.

At first glance, it’s comically absurd, these competing takes on the same story. But I think there is a grim truth buried beneath the tabloid fanfare. Hear me out.

While my reader was standing in line in the supermarket in Dallas, I was queueing up at the gate at the Boston airport, preparing to board a flight out. I caught CNN’s Fredricka Whitfield on the air introducing a segment with media reporter Brian Stelter, who was preparing to comment on Bruce Jenner’s interview. It was like watching a presenter for Russian state television fronting an interview with Vladimir Putin’s astrologer. Whitfield gassed on and on about Jenner’s courage. I half-expected her to ask Stelter if Jenner’s bravery was storm-the-beaches-at-Normandy courageous, or merely rush-into-a-burning-building-to-save-a-baby brave.

It was a mockery of journalism. It was sheer, unapologetic propaganda. But then, that’s exactly what you get from the mainstream media on just about any issue related to sexuality. Where is the line? Why the constant boosterism [1]? Why must we all be subjected to a campaign to convince us that transgenderism is the Best Thing Ever?

What concerns me most is what happens to a society that has been propagandized into accepting ever more bizarre forms of sexual expression. The barriers that have to be bulldozed to rubble so the public can be convinced that a very troubled elderly man deserves a Victoria Cross for going on national TV to discuss wanting to wear a frock and amputate his penis will eventually cause this society to careen off the cliff.

Consider this posted the other day on Reddit: [2]

I have a transgender 7 year old daughter. She has become a beautiful, happy, vibrant person since she started transitioning a year ago. I have no reason to think her identity will change and neither does her therapist.

Because she is so young, she will most likely go on puberty blockers before she ever creates sperm. If she then goes onto hormone treatments directly from the blockers, she will be sterile. She will never create sperm.

She’s too young to tell me whether she might someday want biological children, and I strongly suspect, knowing her personality as I do, that she will not want to give up hormone treatments for the length of time it would take to create sperm, because the effects on HER would be, well, significant.

I am in a “Parent of Trans kids” group online and several of the moms mentioned that they were freezing their own eggs for their transgender daughters, so that their daughters could someday have the option of having children who are at least partially related to them. On the one hand, it seems like a huge expense for my daughter to be able to have a child who is a genetic half-sibling… but on the other hand, I see the reasoning. I am also a chronic worrier and I wonder if doing this would cause the child to feel pressured to use the eggs even if they didn’t really want to. :-/

I’m curious what you older (than my 7 year old daughter) folks think about this. Is it a ridiculous idea? My daughter has two half siblings who could conceivably donate eggs or sperm later on in life, and that kind of seems like it might be a better option to me.

If I did this for her, I’d have to do it NOW before I get any older and my eggs deteriorate, but luckily I’m not out of the age window to have healthy eggs right now. I am, however, not in any financial position to do this, though I hear that there may be options to help with that and will look into them if it seems like a good idea.

So… basically I’m just curious to see what the reaction to the idea is, here in this community. I’m leaning towards “probably unnecessary and maybe even a bit weird” but… if someday my daughter wanted it, I’d hate to say I passed up the opportunity to help her.

EDIT: Secondary question, but related. I am in contact with a young transwoman who does have frozen sperm and wants to have biological children. She is not in a good financial place for in vitro, surrogate, all that. I am not comfortable being a surrogate but would be willing to donate eggs to her for free (no reimbursement for my time, and willing to travel to work within her free healthcare system) but I don’t know her that well and don’t know if it’s appropriate to offer or weird? I’ve donated eggs in the past to an anonymous couple, so I know how it works and what to expect. I just don’t know whether it’s something to offer or not. I don’t want to make someone feel weird or obligated… but it could eliminate a portion of the cost, and I have a good track record – I’ve successfully donated before, and have three healthy children. Just not sure how or whether to approach it, I guess…

Why not? As Justice Kennedy hath explained, “at the heart of liberty is the right to define one’s own concept of existence, of meaning, of the universe, and of the mystery of human life.” If sex and sexuality are not grounded in nature, and if matter is nothing more than inert stuff onto which we can impose our will, then why draw lines?

What happens, though, is you have to keep pretending that everything is just fine, and ramping up the propaganda to convince people that madness is sanity, and that utopia awaits us if we tear down just one more wall, or roll over only one more group of malcontents (e.g., from Frank Bruni’s infamous recent NYT column declaring that orthodox Christians must be compelled to abandon their beliefs, this quote by progressive theologian David Gushee: “Conservative Christian religion is the last bulwark against full acceptance of L.G.B.T. people”).

Walt Heyer lived for years as a transgender woman, and says it was a bad time. [3] Excerpts:

Under his guidance, I underwent gender reassignment surgery and lived for eight years as Laura Jensen, female [4]. Eventually, I gathered the courage to admit that the surgery had fixed nothing—it only masked and exacerbated deeper psychological problems.The deception and lack of transparency I experienced in the 1980s still surround gender change surgery today. For the sake of others who struggle with gender dysphoria, I cannot remain silent [4].

It is intellectually dishonest to ignore the facts that surgery never has been a medically necessary procedure for treating gender dysphoria and that taking cross-gender hormones can be harmful.  Modern transgender activists, the descendants of Kinsey, Benjamin, and John Money, keep alive the practice of medically unnecessary gender-change surgery by controlling the flow of published information and by squelching research and personal stories that tell of the regret, unhappiness, and suicide experienced by those who undergo such surgery. Negative outcomes are only acknowledged as a way to blame society for its transphobia.

Transgender clients who regret having taken this path are often full of shame and remorse. Those who regret their decision have few places to turn in a world of pro-transgender activism. For me, it took years to muster the courage to stand up and speak out about the regret.

Heyer’s website is SexChangeRegret. [5]

We are injecting hormones into seven year old children, causing permanent changes in their bodies, and we call it liberation, the realization of the progressive beatific vision. And anyone who doubts this is a heretic, a madman [6] whose raving must be deal with harshly: “What were we doing when we unchained this earth from its sun? Whither is it moving now? Whither are we moving? Away from all suns?”

UPDATE: Robbie George, on his Facebook page, speaks truth:

I pity people with body dysphorias of any type. By all accounts they are psychological torture, and those afflicted should be treated with kindness and compassion. But, honestly, in today’s culture what takes more courage, to go on TV and do what Bruce Jenner did, or to go on TV and do what Ryan Anderson does? The question, it seems to me, answers itself.

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141 Comments To "Bruce Jenner, Media, & Madmen"

#1 Comment By The Other Sands On April 27, 2015 @ 5:27 pm

Agathonika: “transgenderism is socially communicable. It can spread, and it is spreading, and the numbers of young people affected and influenced by it is increasing.”

Do you have any data to back that up? The internet makes all sorts of rare things seem like they’re suddenly prevalent when you are really just hearing more about the same number of cases there has always been. It’s why these types of “world is ending by anecdote” posts require many grains of salt.

Mr Hate Crime: I agree that physical or hormonal treatment of children is unwise, because we can’t say how they’ll feel after maturing. Such treatments may lead to irreversible changes they regret. Of course, if a boy or girl really is convinced they are the opposite gender, then having their parents “refuse to indulge” them can’t be good on the old mental health either.

It is actually an abnormality which seems destined to lead to mental anguish whatever choices one makes in youth or adulthood.

#2 Comment By Bazaka On April 27, 2015 @ 6:09 pm

“gay-friendly Churches are losing people at a much higher rate.”

Gay friendly Christian churches are, yes. But other. anti-Christian “religious” groups such as the Sunday Assembly and The Satanic Temple seem to be growing rapidly. The latter of the two is even being hailed as a potential savior of America by some mainstream commentators, believe it or not. The attraction of these groups is that (unlike the Episcopalians et al.) they don’t pretend to be Christian and make no bones of the fact that they think Christian morality is bad and should be overthrown. This “brutal honesty” is appealing to a lot of people. Many people who join TST do it precisely because its own sexual values are diametrically opposed to Christianity’s. TST worship services even have porn rooms! They seem to be growing fast enough to register on the next Census. John Waters is a fan, for one.

[7]

#3 Comment By Mary Russell On April 27, 2015 @ 6:11 pm

The sad thing is that Jenner is the sanest one of that whole Kardashian lot. Also, I wonder what influence the performance enhancing drugs he almost certainly took during his days as an elite decathlete had on his gender dysphoria.

#4 Comment By Mr “Hate Crime” On April 27, 2015 @ 6:12 pm

Anne says:

April 27, 2015 at 4:26 pm

@Mr.”Hate Crime”:

“Bearing false witness” refers to testifying falsely in court, or when asked questions about a crime, usually under oath.

————

Ah, I understand now.

I can’t tell you how relieved I am to find out that it’s OK to want things for myself that belong strangers.

It’s only court that counts for lying and it’s only my neighbor whose ox and donkey I can’t covet. Cool.

#5 Comment By JohnE_o On April 27, 2015 @ 6:28 pm

Carlo, you may, of course, ask me anything you wish.

I do not have children, but if I did, I would be worried about putting them in the local public school. I live in a town of 600. The bus the school uses for band trips and such have the ten commandments on the back. The protestant version, but one can’t have everything.

I live in Mayberry, figuratively speaking, so, yes, I can ignore the freak show.

#6 Comment By Erin Manning On April 27, 2015 @ 6:31 pm

I think the real tragedy here is that “trans” people want the accidents of gender identity without the substance–because, quite frankly, even by mutilating their bodies without surgery they can’t have the substance.

A person born biologically male cannot become a woman.

A person born biologically female cannot become a man.

(And, yes, people love to talk about the small number of those born with truly ambiguous gender identities, but in reality when we’re talking about transgendered individuals we’re talking overwhelmingly about people who are unambiguously male or female but are unhappy being so.)

So what do they want? One commenter here pointed out that Jenner wants nail polish and a little black dress. Never mind that for people growing up (on the average) smaller, weaker, slower etc. than certain other people, people who dealt with teachers assuming we’re no good at math, people who dealt with lesser pay and workplace sexism, people who started bleeding every month from our private regions at the age of around 12 and told we get to do this until we’re about 50 (except for the “respite” of pregnancy) the idea that “womanhood” equals “nail polish and little black dress” is deeply, deeply offensive: the real problem is that Jenner can *have* his nail polish and his dress without needing to pretend to become a woman.

One of my daughters has a college prof who is heterosexual, male, married, with children, and who loves nail polish and wears it every day (the latest color was metallic green, I think). This particular daughter personally dislikes nail polish and almost never wears it herself. So who decided that only women should wear nail polish (or any other makeup, for that matter)? Men in England wore rouge and lace in the 1700s–they even wore high heels with those powdered wigs. Yet the majority of them were not even bisexual, let alone transgendered. I think my daughter and her prof both have the right idea: wear what you like, and don’t stress about which gender it “belongs” to.

If a culture has become too fixated on certain symbols belonging “only” to men or “only” to women, it seems like there will usually be a correction sooner or later. Women went from wearing trousers only for horse-riding to wearing them almost exclusively in the space of just over a century; luckily, only the most reactionary of men today see anything “mannish” about a woman donning slacks. Perhaps it’s time to resurrect the kilt and the Chinese robe and other skirt/dress options for men (at which point, of course, women will beg to wear them again).

[In fact, Rod, I seem to recall a certain gown-like garment a gentleman of my acquaintance was fond of talking about as the most comfortable piece of clothing he owned, though naturally it wasn’t worn in public…]

My point (and, yes, I do have one) is simple: no boy of seven can actually *want* to be a girl, because he doesn’t even know what that means, not completely. He can prefer pink and frills and heels and jewelry, and I think if I had a son like that I would encourage him to be himself while insisting that he was being HIMSELF, not some pseudo-female child he cannot be no matter what sort of surgical or hormonal tortures someone declares will “fix” him.

In all likelihood, letting such a child be comfortable in his own skin (or hers, if she happens to be a girl who cries if she gets told to wear a dress) and play with any toys, accessories, etc. he or she actually likes will give him or her a decent grounding in self-esteem such that if the gender dysphoria is actual and long-lasting he or she will be able to seek treatment for the underlying psychological issue(s) without believing that living as a pretend-woman or pretend-man instead of continuing on in his or her birth gender will somehow solve the problems.

#7 Comment By Erin Manning On April 27, 2015 @ 6:37 pm

Sigh…first paragraph should be “…even by mutilating their bodies *with* surgery…”

Robots don’t make mistakes. 🙂

#8 Comment By MH – Secular Misanthropist On April 27, 2015 @ 6:44 pm

Also, don’t believe everything you read on reddit, people make stuff up to get to the front page for karma points. Why is beyond me because karma points are useless, but the reddit locals seem to like them.

#9 Comment By James Bradshaw On April 27, 2015 @ 6:46 pm

I’m really torn on this. What does it mean to say Bruce “feels like a woman”? Does it mean he feels nurturing, affectionate … all the things *traditionally* associated with femininity? Or, does it mean he sees his physique and feels alienated from it somehow? If the latter, could it be a symptom of depersonalization (which is a generalized feeling of being alienated from one’s own body, like you’re watching yourself on tv)?

Perhaps a “T” reader of Rod’s (assuming there are any) could shed some light on this for the rest of us, because I don’t get it either. When I see my own body, I can think of a thing or two here and there I’d tweak, but to say my chest “should” be breasts? “Should” because why?

How is this not the same as the man who wants to amputate his leg because he sees himself as having only one? How is encouraging someone to love themselves as they are a negative thing?

#10 Comment By Quiddity On April 27, 2015 @ 7:03 pm

Bruce Jenner is NOT an admirable character. He was driving in the left lane on PCH while towing a heavy vehicle (CA Driver’s Handbook says you should be in the right lane). That was why, when he hit the car ahead of him because of his own inattention, one person died and seven others were injured. There is a risk of fishtailing while towing and you don’t want that happening since your vehicle – or the one you might hit – is at higher risk for crossing the line and encounter oncoming traffic, which is what happened.

He’s a flake and a publicity hound.

#11 Comment By Will On April 27, 2015 @ 7:08 pm

Jenner chooses to be a woman, but is adamant is not attracted to men, but denies the term lesbian, the commonly regarded term for a woman attracted to a woman. But canon today is you do not choose what gender you are attracted to, so…

I don’t know. Whatever. Just keep your eyes on the road in front of you, so you don’t tie up traffic by gawking at the collisions on the shoulder.

#12 Comment By JohnE_o On April 27, 2015 @ 8:01 pm

MH:

“I view reality through a statistical lens that filters out low probability, low threat events as not worth thinking about. So from my point of view Bruce Jenner isn’t news.”

Yes. This. Exactly.

#13 Comment By JohnE_o On April 27, 2015 @ 8:10 pm

Sigh, alas for the lack of an edit feature.

“…but if I did, I would NOT be worried…”

#14 Comment By EliteCommInc. On April 27, 2015 @ 8:53 pm

“I’m not fretting for her or her soul. There are other things to worry about, you know?”

A appreciated your sentiments. And if not for the attept to make this matter an agenda for advocates determined to make social change as opposed to a orivate personal matter, I think your position makes perfect sense. But this is promotion of an agenda.
Your co-worker is not using her or her life choices are not being used for an agenda, as I understand it.

But Bruce Jenner is an icon. His status as an role model in every way has a purpose far removed from that which made him such a standard bearer of the consumate professional.

And for those of us who grew up in Mr. Jenner’s wake —- I gotta say,

I am sad.

#15 Comment By Raskolnik On April 27, 2015 @ 9:09 pm

People would be forgiven for thinking otherwise, but Jenner has no intention of amputating his genitalia, and in fact the vast majority of so-called “transwomen” have no intention of amputating their penises. This, like the fact that there are around 4x more “transwomen” than “transmen,” is one of the dirty little secrets of the trans movement: it is, in the majority, a movement of middle aged heterosexual men who want to wear frilly underwear before having “lesbian” sex with women despite the fact that they are still anatomically male.

Are there some children who, for whatever reason, desire to present themselves socially as members of the opposite sex? Anecdotally, sure, but there is no scientific evidence for the existence of anything like an immaterial “gender identity,” and no reason to believe that this is anything other than a reflection of social expectations (as opposed to e.g. something biological or neuroanatomical). Furthermore, if there were something neuroanatomical, that would entail that there is in fact no such thing as “transgenderism,” since the phenomenon in that case would be nothing more than a specific, neuroanatomical type of intersex condition.

#16 Comment By Carlo On April 27, 2015 @ 10:38 pm

JohnE_o:

well, not everybody is so lucky.

All of my children have gone through the humiliating experience of being lectured once or more than once about the fact that every decent human being should fight the great civil rights campaign in favor of SSM etc. Most recently, my 10 year old daughter was reprimanded for stating that, as far as she is concerned, people can do whatever they want with their lives, but not expect her to call normal what she regards as abnormal.

#17 Comment By cecelia On April 28, 2015 @ 1:13 am

well I’d say if you do really want to understand this – do look up autogynephilia. Now there is of course criticism of this but in essence – some men are sexually aroused by the idea of themselves as anatomically female. So Jennr can still be attracted to woman but want to be anatomically female.

I have actually tried to avoid the Interview – but it does seem that Jenner admits to being very unsure that this is the right thing to do for him (he is still apparently okay to refer to as a he for the PC among us).

I agree with Erin – I am assuredly a female and very much happy to be a female – but I do not like nail polish nor have I ever owned a little black dress. It seems to me that how can one know they are a female trapped in a male body if they have no experience of actually being female? So there is more to all of this than “trapped inside the wrong body”. Lots of girls do not like pink or frills – does that make them boys? Don’t think so. So why can’t some boys like pink and frills and still obviously be boys?

I do wonder about estrogen – we know that estrogen from a variety of products has made its way into the water supply and may be the causal factor in the failure of frogs and fish to now properly develop mature male genitalia. If the presence of estrogen in the water can do this to fish/frogs and since water purification does not screen out the estrogen – could it be having an effect on humans? Perhaps something to think about.

#18 Comment By Fran Macadam On April 28, 2015 @ 1:35 am

Last time I commented about John Hopkins’ gender changer Dr. John Money, it was censored. I hope now that you realize how truly evil this man was, and the dire and fatal consequences for the children he mutilated. The allegations against him include ones similar to those made against Catholic priests. But as a doctor, Money had the power to destroy body as well as soul.

#19 Comment By Jane On April 28, 2015 @ 6:10 am

“We are injecting hormones into seven year old children.”

Proof, please? I’ve never heard of such a thing. Even children who transition usually do nothing medical at that age.

#20 Comment By Eugene On April 28, 2015 @ 7:22 am

I am more socially liberal than socially conservative, and assume I am more open than most others here to the possibility that there is such a thing as having the brain chemistry of one gender and the biological sex of the other.

But the extent to which this “conversation” is being driven by agenda rather than by truth or logic is terrifying. We are told to accept — under pain of being labelled a bigot — not only that transgenderism is real and healthy, but that any particular claim that an individual, including a young child, is transgender is to be greeted with celebration rather than skepticism. Munchausen’s by proxy. Anorexia. These are real things. There are parents who live out their own fantasies through their childre (see – any youth sporting event). Children have fanciful imaginations and are open to suggestion (see – the McMartin trial). No one can deny these ugly truths, yet they are shut out of discussions about transgenderism.

I can certainly understand why transgender advocates would be fiercely resistant to equating being transgender with being mentally ill. But it seems to me that if we’re going to do right by ourselves and our children, we need to be open to the possibility that two things are true simultaneously: that there are healthy transgender people, and that transgenderism — particularly as it is being celebrated in the culture — can be a magnet for the mentally ill, a way for troubled people to validate or explain their struggles with the world.

While I know far more about him than I would ever care to, I don’t know nearly enough about Bruce Jenner to know which category he fits in. But I think it’s dangerous to deny that the second category could even exist. And it’s especially dangerous when we’re talking about children and parents seeking to irreversibly alter their make-up.

#21 Comment By JohnE_o On April 28, 2015 @ 7:30 am

Carlo, i hope your daughter will become a stronger person from the experience.

I suspect there are teaching opportunities at our nearby university, should you wish to relocate to an area that is likely to be more in line with your values.

It will likely entail a drastic change in lifestyle and probably a pay cut, but one can live on a lot less out here in the sticks. At least I’ve found this to be the case.

#22 Comment By Ben H On April 28, 2015 @ 9:29 am

Talking to someone to counsel them that their homosexuality/transgender feelings might be temporary or might be overcome by hard work, prayer, fixing shattered relationships or other reparative means = absolutely verboten, run by frauds, must be punished by the state.

Pumping first graders with opposite sex hormones. chopping off genitalia and crafting artificial junk, scheming so this transgender child can artificially have children far off in the future = a fundamental human right, must be paid for by insurance/government, must be specifically endorsed by the state and every other institution.

I mean if you went back in a time machine 10 years with this stuff they would think you were lying and would stone you for being an excitable bigot.

#23 Comment By John Spragge On April 28, 2015 @ 9:35 am

If anyone actually proposes to “transition” children before the normal age of puberty, I haven seen no evidence of it. The normal procedure, as I understand it, involves delaying puberty (entirely natural environmental variations have the same effect) until the child reaches 18, at which point the person can decide for themselves what sex to go through puberty as.

#24 Comment By Ben H On April 28, 2015 @ 9:46 am

The transgender thing really is a 1+1=3 moment. Who wins, the powerful who are telling you that 1+1=3 and making you repeat it or your lying eyes? Who is passing the test and who is failing it?

#25 Comment By Pedro On April 28, 2015 @ 10:46 am

Hi Sam M,

Sorry for the delay in response to your question. Please don’t take this the wrong way, but you’re completely missing my point. From what you wrote, I’d infer you think I’m saying “porn makes people gay” or “porn makes people want to change genders.” Obviously, that wasn’t my argument. You seem to be assuming an awful lot about the intelligence and thoughtfulness of those with whom you disagree.

Several other posters, including kgasmart, who wrote immediately beneath you, put it well and concisely. kgasmart wrote “The ubiquity of porn has normalized practices and fetishes once confined to darker corners.” In all seriousness, can you imagine watching “Family Ties” in 1983 (or even “Full House” in 1993), and then seeing an ad for a talk show featuring dildoes, sex robots and how to integrate BDSM into your relationship? How about a network puff piece on the throuple down the street or the 4-year old who has declared their trangenderism? Obviously not. I’m not sure I need much more than that to make my point.

Now you are as free to make the moral judgment that the moral norms of the public culture circa 1983 or 1993 were repressive and we are happily rid of them as I am to think we have lost something profound in our public moral culture. But my point was not really primarily normative, rather it is descriptive regarding the unacknowledged influence of the rapid mainstreaming of pornography. And I still hear very few commentators making much of it–which, again, I assume is due in part due to the fact that many of them are probably consuming porn themselves.

#26 Comment By Loic On April 28, 2015 @ 11:06 am

What is this, what has become of England?: [8]

[9]

Non compos mentis ‘representatives’ of the people, how democracy survive this?

#27 Comment By grumpy realist On April 28, 2015 @ 11:18 am

So you’ve got a very mixed up person, married into the Kardashians, who has fallen into the pit of Hollywood publicity hounds (who are of course slavering over this with glee because it’s a story that has everything–angst, sex, titillation, an ex-Olympic athlete, the Kardashians–and we’re supposed to find this dispositive of U.S. culture exactly HOW?

I bet I can go back to any period in history and find an equivalent “scandal” that everyone was talking about.

Meh. Ignore it. Those who want to find in this evidence for their belief that U.S. culture is swirling the drain will be happy, those who think there are far more important things in this world to worry about (like the earthquake in Nepal) will have the common sense to ignore it.

#28 Comment By Ben H On April 28, 2015 @ 11:31 am

Its kind of funny to base the ‘transgender’ argument even partially about Jenner because I am 99% sure that he is dissembling. The man is a Kardashian, a family that has managed to make about 20% of media consumption about itself. They have not failed to stoop even to the level of ‘leaking”intimate’ personal videos what would stop them here? The whole thing has been marvelously staged from the initial speculation (is he ‘transitioning’?) to the hints (including a hilarious reveal last week when Bruce was flouncing around in a great big gown outside his house) to the interview which itself sets the stage for more drama. I’m sure the next stage will be a public drama where a chosen family member will be the bad guy and will disagree with his ‘decision’ before learning that of course its not his decision at all, he just can’t help himself. They’ll reconcile on live TV!

#29 Comment By jamie On April 28, 2015 @ 2:49 pm

But, honestly, in today’s culture what takes more courage, to go on TV and do what Bruce Jenner did, or to go on TV and do what Ryan Anderson does? The question, it seems to me, answers itself.

I’m not sure how courage fits into either, I admit I think Jenner is sorta milking it, like Rosie O’Donnell.

Jenner goes on TV looking for understanding and acceptance, and some people attack him, but that’s a consequence. Doesn’t Ryan Anderson go on TV with the objective of being attacked?

#30 Comment By Siarlys Jenkins On April 28, 2015 @ 3:04 pm

Carlo… there are more varieties of decent human beings under heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in the philosophies of the chattering classes.

That doesn’t make the reprimand easy to take at age 12, but its worth remembering.

#31 Comment By Carlo On April 28, 2015 @ 4:12 pm

JohnE_o

she is fine, thanks, although she was so sick and tired of the stifling ideological uniformity of the public school that she asked to be moved to a Catolic school.

But the broader point is that what we are witnessing is not an attempt to do what is best for tiny minorities like gays, disphoric (?) people etc. If that were the case, it would not affect society at large. It is rather a broader ideological and political movement that tends to impose its values at every level of society.

#32 Comment By grumpy realist On April 28, 2015 @ 4:24 pm

For example:

[10]

#33 Comment By jamie On April 28, 2015 @ 5:12 pm

Carlo-

…I still pray to God that I would have the wisdom to respect my own body and not mutilate it in a vain search for happiness that lies somewhere else entirely.

Paging Dr. Origen.

#34 Comment By Siarlys Jenkins On April 28, 2015 @ 7:31 pm

I had the impression Ryan Anderson was looking for understanding and acceptance. I don’t know what Bruce Jenner wanted, but I’m not giving it to him.

#35 Comment By Loic On April 28, 2015 @ 8:02 pm

Apparently now a vagina by any other name…well is no longer a vagina (i.e. it is a “[trans]penis”): ‘Respect for diversity needn’t be limited to pronouns. Aydian Dowling is a trans man from Oregon, currently leading the polls to be Men’s Health magazine’s Ultimate Guy. In an interview with the magazine, he boldly broached a topic not many would publicly: “I identify as a male – I don’t have a vagina,” Dowling says. “People don’t have a problem when you call your penis ‘Mr Winky’, but when I call what I have a penis, some have a problem with that.”’

‘**Dowling had his breasts removed in a procedure called top surgery in 2012, but hasn’t yet changed his bottom—and may never.’

[11]

**http://www.menshealth.com/best-life/aydian-dowling-mens-health-guy

#36 Comment By Carlo On April 28, 2015 @ 9:40 pm

jamie:

Dr. O. was fine fellow, too bad he went off the rails.

#37 Comment By John On April 28, 2015 @ 10:00 pm

I don’t know what it is like to be transgendered (I am cisgendered and consider myself fortunate enough to be cisgendered). As a liberal I am willing to admit that some people may very well be trapped in the wrong body and if they are adults transgendered I have no problem letting them undergo sex-reassignment surgery. There may be no good option but if sex-reassignment helps that should be an option in the interest of letting them make the best out of two seemingly bad options.

I do not believe this option should be given to children since they lack the capacity to think this through. A child may be conflating gender identity with sexual orientation or sex stereotypes.

I’d probably feel better about sex-changes if but only each candidate was brought before the board of scientists, psychiatrists, psychologists and other doctors specifically charged with hearing such cases with the intention of approving or dismissing proposed surgeries candidate by candidate. But absent that I think these operations should only be performed on adults.

#38 Comment By Bazaka On April 29, 2015 @ 12:27 am

The Who were writing about gender-dysphoria-by-proxy long before you were, Rod.

#39 Comment By John Spragge On April 29, 2015 @ 7:52 am

As far as I know, nobody proposes gender-reassignment procedures for children too young to consent. What parents who support a child’s desire to transition and live as their non-physical sex propose it to delay puberty to the top of its natural age range (yes, puberty has been observed as late as 18 in some communities) so the child has the opportunity to give adult consent before their bodies undergo puberty.

Everyone, of course, has the right to argue that we shouldn’t tamper with our children’s biological clocks; I would only point out that we have put many substances into the world that already induced early puberty in a huge number of children.

I would also observe that the overall tone of distress here ignores the history of messed up human attitudes to sex and sexuality. Maybe the Dark Guardian has got hold of the key to time and loosed chaos on the universe, but he got it a long time ago. Consider the number of girl children infibulated in Africa, or the centuries of castrati, including those in papal choirs (the last one lived to be recorded mechancally). Say what you want about Bruce Jenner, but blaming him for the incoherence in the way we think about sexuality, ours and our childrens’, not only gives him credit for too much influence, it gives him credit for time travel.

#40 Comment By Siarlys Jenkins On April 29, 2015 @ 7:48 pm

If I had had the option to delay puberty until I was 18, I would never have grown any pubic hair at all, and would have remained a child all my life, like Peter Pan. Some things just aren’t up for individual choice… and frankly, I do wonder if that five year old who thinks he’s a girl in Colorado is going to reach 13 and say “I’m a boy! And man, those girls sure do look good!”

#41 Comment By Corinth On April 29, 2015 @ 8:39 pm

I’d probably feel better about sex-changes if but only each candidate was brought before the board of scientists, psychiatrists, psychologists and other doctors specifically charged with hearing such cases with the intention of approving or dismissing proposed surgeries candidate by candidate.

You understand that this is what happens currently, right?