Happy Father’s Day from CNN:
Like many new dads, Sabastion Sparks knew parenting would come with serious challenges.
But most new dads didn’t give birth to their child. They didn’t breastfeed them. And they don’t endure glares from strangers when they go shopping with their wife and their toddler son.
Sabastion, 24, is a transgender man who lives with his wife Angel in suburban Atlanta. Assigned the female gender at birth, he began transitioning five years ago . It’s a process that felt more complete last month when he had surgery to remove his breasts.
Angel is actually a male living as a woman. More:
Angel puts Jaxen to bed some nights, while other times it’s Sabastion. They both can sense when Jaxen wants to be picked up or tossed playfully in the air.
But when it comes to lessons learned as a toddler, there are some things Sabastion wants to teach Jaxen, father to son. One of them is how to pee standing up — something Sabastion does with the help of a detachable prosthetic.
The couple are raising their son the best way they know how — with love. They also realize that for many observers, that won’t be enough.
“People think trans people can’t be good parents, and that’s not true,” Sabastion adds. “Trans parents are just like any other parents.”
Except for the part about how dad is a biological female who hacked off her breasts and uses a prosthesis to pee, and mom has a penis.
See, this is normal. THIS IS NORMAL. Say it often enough, and you may come to believe it. And if you don’t, well, you’d better pretend that you do, or you may lose your job, hater.
I agree with her:
Easy to wave-off to some; why make a big deal? Before answering that, perhaps we should inquire as to the significance of multi-billion dollar media outlets pouring out these stories day after day, and constantly ratcheting up the taboo-shattering. https://t.co/ASDUscj8wy
— Tara Ann Thieke (@TaraAnnThieke) June 15, 2018
Don’t dare think that this stuff doesn’t matter. This is how what was once unacceptable becomes acceptable: by constant favorable media attention. The media have the fervor and righteousness of evangelists. You will recall my telling you of my experiences in professional journalism circles regarding LGBT issues: journalists openly saying there is no legitimate “other side to the story.” It’s not even a matter of unconscious bias.
The greater story here is the commodification of children, lavender-washed by hitching it to the LGBT rights cause. Mind you, heterosexual society, through technology and surrogacy, has done a fine job of commodifying children, in the sense that the birth of children is removed from natural limits, and turned into an expression of radically disordered adult desires.
A surrogate mother who gave birth on an episode of Bravo’s “Flipping Out” sued the network on Tuesday, saying she never consented to having the birth filmed.
Alexandra Trent served as a surrogate for Jeff Lewis, the star of the home remodeling show, and his partner Gage Edward. She gave birth to the couple’s daughter in 2016, and the episode documenting the birth aired last August.
In the lawsuit, she alleges that the producers filmed her vagina without permission, and that Lewis and Edward humiliated her by making “disgusting” comments on the show.
“If I was a surrogate, and I had known there was going to be an audience, I probably would have waxed,” Lewis said on the broadcast. “And that was the shocking part for Gage. I don’t think Gage had ever seen a vagina, let alone one that big.”
Someday Monroe will see the episode of her father’s show in which she was born. After so many years in the custody of men who find women’s bodies by turns amusing and repulsive, maybe she will be disgusted, too. I wonder what they will tell Monroe about her own body when it begins to change. Maybe they’ll tell her to make sure she waxes.
Monroe will not have a mother to talk about her body with. The men never met Monroe’s mother; they picked her out of an egg catalogue. What will the men tell Monroe about the catalogue? Monroe will probably want to know what made her mother special. Do they remember?
And Monroe certainly will not have Alexandra Trent to talk with. “I guess we won’t be using her again,” the reality star tweeted. I wonder what woman they will use next time. Whoever it is, she had better read the contract closely.
Her name is Monroe Christine. She is a little girl who was paid for by two men. Her mother was picked out of a catalogue; the woman who gave birth to her was a contractually obligated guest star on a television show who was publicly humiliated by her father.
Remember Monroe Christine when you hear words like “equality,” “autonomy,” and “identity.” Who is equal, and who is a symbol of someone else’s equality? Who is autonomous, and who is an expression of someone else’s autonomy? Whose has an identity of his own, and who is an extension of someone else’s identity?
Who is a person, and who is an accessory?
Who is an end, and who is a means?
Who is a girl, and who is a pet?
That is the question.
It is very important for you to understand, reader, and to teach your children to understand, what is going on in these stories. Forget the “yuck” factor, if that’s an issue for you. Focus on the moral and psychological damage that these children will suffer. Note well that our propagandistic media treat these stories as glorious illustrations of progress.
Earlier this year, when I was in Prague, one of the adult children of the late Czech dissident Vaclav Benda told me that when he and his siblings were small, their father took them aside every day, and reminded them that the things they were hearing in school, and in the official media of their communist dictatorship — all these things were lies. Vaclav and Kamila Benda knew that they were raising their children in a total environment of lies, and that if their kids were going to make it through with their hearts and minds intact, they (the parents) would have to combat the propaganda machine daily.
It is the same way with us. Live not by lies, said Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn. Standing up for what is really human, what is really real, requires an enormous amount of vision and courage today. But what choice do we have? To bend our knee to the lies?
An Anglican priest e-mails today:
In response to your interesting piece on the state of French Catholicism, and its happening also to be “Pride Month,” there is the following from Josef Pieper’s (fantastic) book “In Tune with the World: A Theory of Festivity.” The fate of Jean Baptiste Godel (below) is a cautionary tale for religious leaders on both sides of today’s hot button political issues.
The second passage (also concerning revolutionary france) evokes corporate culture in America today, does it not?
In 1791 Mass was still celebrated at the July 14 [Bastille Day] festival, with “altars of the fatherland” erected everywhere. In Paris, incidentally, the celebrant was the newly appointed Bishop Jean Baptiste Gobel, whose life had the elements of tragedy. (In 1789, an ambitious suffragan bishop and member of the National Assembly, he approved all the anti-religious measures of the Revolution. Later, under pressure, he “voluntarily” renounced all his offices “as servant of the Catholic cult,” and six months later, in April 1794, under Robespierre, who officially introduced the cult of the Supreme Being, he was charged with atheism and executed. He died crying: “Long live Christ.”) The very next year, 1792, priests were no longer allowed to take part in such celebrations, not even the priests who had “fallen in line.” Shortly before the famous Festival of Reason in the Cathedral of Notre Dame (November 10, 1793) the Commune of Paris banned all acts of public worship of the traditional kind. When the Parisian artists celebrated the planting of one of the countless Trees of Liberty, they sang a parody, composed by Francois Joseph Gossec, of the hymn O Salutaris Hostia.
A characteristic trait of the new festivals was their coercive nature. Those who did not participate made themselves suspect. It is still so today. Several days beforehand, the citizen may read in the newspaper what is expected of him: “When the bells ring, all will leave their houses, which will be entrusted to the protection of the law and Republican virtues. The populace will fill the streets and public squares, aflame with joy and fraternity…” and so on. Naturally, that sort of thing is not a gentle appeal for the friendly cooperation of the public; it is an edict. And thenceforth the element of political coercion and propagandistic intimidation remained an essential part of the artificial festival. Acts which would be meaningful only as spontaneous gestures were organized and ordered; they became institutions intended to demonstrate political reliability. This led inevitably to a pervasive, constitutional dishonesty which ever since has been another of the characteristic signs of the artificial holiday. There is no way to tell whether participation in them is a measure of self-protection, because not to participate would be politically dangerous, or whether it is a conditioned response to the deafening blare of a propaganda machine that has taken over every agency of communication. Even the participant himself can scarcely say how he “really” feels about it — this may sound incredible, but not to those who know ideologically based despotisms from the inside.
Powerful stuff, totally applicable to this ideological despotism we live under as well.
(Reminder: I’m on a trip now, and for the next week. Posting will be light, and comments approval will be slow. Somehow, the world will continue to spin on its axis.)
UPDATE: Oh look, more media glamorization of adult self-indulgence at the expense of children. Arielle Greenberg tells New York magazine about how great it was when her boyfriend Mike moved in with her, her husband Rob, and their two little kids. Excerpts:
We were also primed for it by watching Big Love. It’s definitely melodramatic, but we loved the idea of sharing parents, and sitting down at a table with your partners with a calendar and making a schedule for the domestic labor. Scheduling is as much a part of non-monogamy as sex, though sex is what monogamous people tend to focus on when they hear about non-monogamy.
Yeah, so with Big Love, the entertainment media begins to normalize it. More:
We were very open about what we were doing with everyone, including our kids, who were 4 and 8 at the time. We sat down with them and explained that some people think when you’re married to someone you can only love that one person, but that we didn’t believe that; we thought you could love more than one person at the same time. Our oldest child thought about it for a moment then said, “Well, right, like I love you and I also love Dada.” And I said, right, and that was the end of the conversation. Children are naturally very tolerant about these things. We teach them our intolerance.
“We teach them our intolerance.” Arielle Greenberg is quite the rationalizer, isn’t she. Little kids have to be taught not to be okay with learning that mommy is going to be getting some love action with both daddy and some other dude. Right.
Alas, Daddy moved on:
Living together worked really well for us for four years. Recently, Rob decided that it was time for him to get his own apartment, mostly because he wants a little more autonomy, even though he lives right nearby and comes over for dinner most nights. So we decided to divorce. People might point to that and say, oh, so I guess non-monogamy didn’t work in the end, or I guess it ruined your marriage. Or they think, poor Rob, poor Rob. But Rob dates. He has a life he fully enjoys and chose. He’s about to turn 50 and he wanted to feel what it was like to steer his own ship for a while, to have a little more space, and that’s what he has.
Mike and I are going to get married soon, and I think people assume that now we’ll be monogamous, since our relationship is so romantic. But nope! We have no interest in a marriage that doesn’t provide us space to express and act on attractions to other people, and to continue to change and grow. In a funny way, and given the statistics around infidelity, I think we’re a lot more committed to non-monogamy than most monogamous people are to monogamy.
These three are horrible, selfish people who deserved to be judged.