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‘Peak Trans’ Turned Her Rightward

A reader sent an extraordinary e-mail, and gave me permission to post it as long as I didn’t identify her. She signed her real name, and I can confirm that she is who she says she is in this letter:

Your recent post about leftists being pushed right by transgender activism and gender identity politics was laughed at by a lot of commenters who think a hyper-liberal woman is unlikely to turn conservative. Well, the joke is on them, because I am one and I am far, far from alone.

I was as far left as you can get without being a full-on Marxist. I thought prostitution was empowering, polyamory was fine, witchcraft was a positive spirituality, and that men who identify as transgender were my sisters. I voted Greens and Democrats all the way.

Transgender activism is usually what tips us over to the right. I faced persistent, public, sexually graphic harassment for not being a good enough trans ally, and that didn’t tip me over the edge. Which is really crazy, but that after long public discussions about the imagined deformities of my genitalia, and ridiculous libel aimed at ruining my career by the transgender community, I still supported them.

The tipping point is referred to as hitting “peak trans.” Usually this involves an illogical or dangerous statement you simply can’t force yourself to accept. For me, it was that we could no longer say “women’s health.” Because “men have uteruses.”

Now changing the terminology, which is very useful, does not mean you wouldn’t have to disclose to your doctor that you are on hormones, puberty blockers, or had reassignment surgery. Just like you have to disclose asthma, allergies, or heart conditions. It provides no useful function beyond enabling the delusion of less than 1% of the population that believe, despite all scientic evidence, that they can change their biological sex.

I started to see the tail wagging the dog, often violently. I began to research the issue quietly. I learned about the dangers of children transitioning and the very real difficulties they face as adults. The numbers of inmates, especially those convicted of violent sexual crimes, transitioning and being allowed to move to women’s prisons is alarming. Friends who had also hit peak trans were speaking up and receiving death threats against their families. Not just threats against themselves, but threats aimed specifically at their children.

Remember the flourishing of feminist bookstores in the 90’s? Those are gone. Remember Women’s Studies? It is now Gender Studies and lipstick-wearing men are leading feminist organizations. Lesbian and feminist events are being shut down by transgender activists. Last year a workshop on “The Disappearing Lesbian” was shut down because pointing out that transgender activists are silencing lesbians is transphobic.

change_me

The children are the worst part. I was one of the people applauding Jazz for being an openly transgender kid when the tv show launched. Now I am horrified that this young man will never experience puberty, is flooded with artificial hormones, and is going to have immature genitalia for the rest of his life. Studies show that gender dysphoria in children and teens goes away as they mature. No studies show that transitioning improves mental health. Parents are losing their parental rights because medical professionals are grooming their children to become transgender if they show any traits that do not for the gender stereotype of their sex (boys playing with dolls, or girls preferring trucks).

Women like Shannon Thrace [1] discuss the heartbreak of a husband’s transition, how they lose their spouses for narcissists aping some degrading stereotype of womanhood. Women, both liberal and conservative, have fought to be heard and treated with respect. To see men talk about how they are better than women simply because they wear heels and lipstick, and have a perverse need to be desired as a sex object, is so degrading. These men believe that a proper women is as aesthetically flawless, smiling, and submissive as a Playboy bunny, and in aiming for that ideal men and women will find them irresistibly desirable. The fact that most people do not find them attractive, especially straight males and lesbians, makes them angry. They feel they are owed your lust, and if you are not interested you are a bigot. So much for consent culture!

Women who care about the safety and well-being of women and children are discovering the left no longer cares about them. When they try to find a place where their values are respected, they are often surprised to find it among conservatives. More than surpised. Shocked.

My friends and I went from sharing articles by Olbermann and Maddow to following Ben Shapiro and Jordan Peterson. Our female role models became academics like Dr. Deborah Savage who actually acknowledge biological reality in their examination of gender.

Some of us are loud and proud in our views, risking threats. Others are quiet, fearful of losing our jobs if we make a comment online, which we never feared as liberals. I’m one of the quiet ones. As much harassment as I received from the transgender community as an ally, I simply don’t have the strength to deal with it as a critic and risk being doxxed.

But it isn’t just politics. We used to hang out with Reiki masters, witches, shamans, and a miscellany of hippies who advocate nudity, polyamory, moral relavitism, and postmodern deconstruction of everything. Now we go to Mass. We pray the rosary. Our lives are changing for the better as we re-examine our beliefs and find community that shares our values.

Just like you, Rod, we get messages from friends who are realizing the left does not have their best interests in mind, but don’t want to be ostracized and harassed by making any public comments. There is a sort of social media Underground Railroad supporting women moving from left to right, giving them both the information and privacy they need to process such a significant change.

I’m not merely an “anecdote.” I’m real. And you can publish this as long as you leave my name off of it. I need my job and I don’t deserve to be eaten alive by liberals who only value women who are conforming to their ideology.

[Name]

P.S. The Benedict Option [2] is a fabulous book!

Thank you, reader! And may God give you strength and community. It will be a good day when women like this no longer have to live in fear of these bullies. In the meantime, though, I hope readers like her can take comfort in knowing: you are not alone. 

It’s interesting to me that this reader was pushed into Catholic Christianity by all this, from paganism. I would like to know more about this (and reader, if you’d like to explain it, of course I will protect your identity). Could it be that she realized that within paganism (and liberal Christianity, and within American liberal culture more generally), there are insufficient resources to push back against the trans insanity? That’s just my guess, but it makes sense to me. If you have built a spirituality and a cultural politics around the absolute sovereignty of the Self, then how do you say no, we will not cross this line? What, exactly, is there to keep you from stepping off into the abyss?

(I invite my pagan friend Franklin Evans to weigh in on this question from his pagan perspective!)

I’m in transit now to Budapest, but I look forward to watching Shannon Thrace’s speech at TEDx in the Netherlands. See it below. From what I could gather about it in the short time I had before boarding the plane, she is a left-wing feminist who believes (correctly, I think) that transgenderism is a manifestation of capitalism unbound. I could be wrong about this; I’ll check out her talk when I can. One thing I saw on her blog: she was so grateful that she could give this talk in the Netherlands, where she doesn’t have to fear assault by transgender activists. To the very great shame of the United States!

117 Comments (Open | Close)

117 Comments To "‘Peak Trans’ Turned Her Rightward"

#1 Comment By Rob G On March 10, 2018 @ 9:28 am

“Anne, the problem with your neat self-satisfying syllogism is that many Americans concerned about redistribution of wealth and the dismantling of the safety net really don’t want their daughter sharing locker rooms with male bodies (complete with occasional erections) on the grounds that the mind inside that body is convinced it really should be a woman. But some highly placed influential people with endowments and advocacy groups at their disposal think the two are indissolubly linked.”

Precisely. Again, see Lasch (from the left) and Del Noce (from the right).

#2 Comment By Olga On March 10, 2018 @ 12:44 pm

I knew a few transgender individuals. Some actually have transitioned and other have not. The ones that decided to transition because identifying as the gender they felt more in line with was so important that they were willing to give up sex or lose a lot of sexual pleasure. They also knew that a lot of people would not want to date them after the transition. Many trans individuals are in relationships with each other. In the circles I have been in, while trans individuals want to attend events marked for their new gender identity, they don’t tend to take over the events. There are still very liberal events that specifically exclude trans individuals.

My life experience the opposite of the person that wrote the letter. I grew up in the Midwest with a Northern Baptist background. After graduate school, I converted to Orthodox Christianity and I spent well over a decade in the Orthodox Church. I liked the Orthodox Church not only because of its connection to history, but that it stayed out of politics. It prayed for the President regardless of who held the office. However, as more and more hard core right wingers started to attend, I felt people weren’t focusing enough on helping people in need.

On the personal side, my marriage collapsed. Due to problems in that marriage, I financially could not remarry. I did not want to be celibate because I could not remarry for financial reasons. I think some of the churches limits on sex, cut people off from having relationships just because they are poor or don’t won’t a new partner to be stuck with debts from an old relationship. Marriage is not just about love, but legal marriage is a business contract and if you can’t afford a merger, then marriage is not possible. Having churches basically say, if you can’t afford marriage you can’t have sex (even identifying the relationship as heterosexual, monogamous and committed). The church should separate the religious marriage from the legal. As many are wiling to commit, but don’t want to combine financially or legally for serious reasons. It puts a lot of older adults in a bind. Many widows and widowers live together without marrying because of issues with pensions, social security and inheritance.

#3 Comment By Clint Davis On March 11, 2018 @ 10:27 am

Hello Rod,

Longtime TAC reader, first time commenter. I feel compelled to post this comment as I am a pagan (Heathen to be exact) and a staunch traditionalist (I have qualms with calling myself a conservative, as there is much about American society that I have seen in my short 25 year life that I do not wish to conserve).

While I hate to admit it, paganism in general does tend to fall prey to political far-leftism. Or maybe the extremely spiritual far-leftists become pagan? Either way, this is a problem. I think there are a number of factors that lead to this pagan problem. I would agree that there are insufficient resources and moral theologies to cope with far-leftism. Paganism generally lacks moral theology because most pagan faiths tend to shun the idea of sin. Even I view the idea of sin as irrelevant to my faith and my politics. Part of the reason that I turned to paganism 4 years ago was because it was more compatible with my far-leftist mindset of the time than the Christianity I was raised with. However, as I have grown into adulthood and attended the school of hard knocks, I have found far-leftism to be utopian, foolishly unrealistic, and dangerous to human civilization. In other words, my traditionalism is more practical than spiritual, although I do believe that my traditionalism can and does fit into my spirituality.

I believe part of the solution to this pagan problem would be for pagans to create traditionalist moral philosophies that complement and mirror the tenets of their individual faith.

P.S. I hope that this comment is well-structured and easy to follow. I am typing this on my phone, as I do not own a computer, and I find proper flow and structure to be difficult to achieve on such a tiny screen. Also, there is so much I want to say without writing a book about the subject and my life.

#4 Comment By Judith Sylvester On March 11, 2018 @ 8:31 pm

Siarlys Jenkins

“Anne, the problem with your neat self-satisfying syllogism”…

If it was trite, it’s because this is a blog. It was not a syllogism. Nor was it one of your Lexus Nexus sounding monologues which imply that none of your readers know anything about history.

#5 Comment By Franklin Evans On March 12, 2018 @ 1:39 am

Clint: you are most welcome to the throng of commenters here.

I am well familiar with Heathens, particularly with a local group of Urglaawe kindred. Judging just from them, though I do know other Heathen traditions, I would say they have a strong moral theology. I’m wondering how you are comparing such things to the Abrahamic traditions, because I do not believe the concept of sin is a valid comparison point.

It is true that Pagans (I am one) don’t have a structured moral theology. It tends to be informative and suggestive rather than authoritative. Many Wiccans of my acquaintance consider the Wiccan Rede (the entire text, not just the oft quoted short sentence “An it harm none, do what you will”) as a starting or jumping off point.

If I read you correctly — I do sympathize strongly with the frustrations of posting on one’s phone — I suggest that the tendencies of Pagans towards a spectrum-left ideology cannot be generalized. In my experience, Pagans do tend to be social liberals, but they also tend to be all over the spectrum on other issues like economics, the military and even gender issues.

#6 Comment By sophistry On March 12, 2018 @ 3:35 am

Capitalism and transgenderism.

I remember watching a debate between Jordan Peterson and a Trans-Identifying Female. She (who did look very much like a he) asked him what was so hard about programming a student’s preferred pronoun into his phone and accommodating it that way.

And the crux of the absurdity is that phones are a new contrivance in human history. Human culture and society evolved over thousands of years without cell phones. And one concrete fact of the ages is gender, to the extent that it is baked into language itself. If Marxists dream about pre-civilizational human society, then one fact is gender which is like gravity or water or sunlight. Just a fact.

It is the height of derangement to question fundamental facts. It is flat-Earth levels of insanity.

#7 Comment By JonF On March 12, 2018 @ 12:16 pm

Re: The church should separate the religious marriage from the legal.

Olga,
I agree. That sort of situation existed in the late Roman Empire when people of different social classes were forbidden to marry. Hence St. Helena was never a wife under Roman– she was just Constantius’ concubine, yet there’s no hint of condemnation for this fact in her hagiography.

#8 Comment By Aaron On March 12, 2018 @ 2:14 pm

It strikes me as a bit incoherent. As a socialist opposed to transgender ideology, I fail to see why I should abandon my views on wealth redistribution, or collective ownership of productive property, much less embrace the the political ideology of the right, because of transgenderism.

What is the connection she is attempting to draw between these things? If anything, it seems to me that transgender is more closely connected with right-wing ideology, given that it originated in and seems limited to advanced capitalist societies.

She says was as “far left as you can get without being a full-on Marxist” and that she “thought prostitution was empowering, polyamory was fine, witchcraft was a positive spirituality, and that men who identify as transgender were [her] sister.”

Um, OK… what do prostitution, polyamory, witchcraft, and transgenderism have to do with Marxism or left-wing economic thought? Marxist countries are hardly renowned for their tolerant attitude toward gender-bending.

#9 Comment By JonF On March 12, 2018 @ 4:42 pm

Re: I gather from the following that the meaning of the original Hebrew word is uncertain.

Well, the learned Jewish scholars who translated the Hebrew text into the Greek Septuagint did decide to use “pharmakon”, potion maker, and obvious root to our word “pharmacist”.
Franklin is right that the KJV translators went with their own prejudices here: they labored at a time when witch panics were common and old King James himself had written a learned treatise in the dangers posed by witchcraft.

#10 Comment By Franklin Evans On March 13, 2018 @ 10:11 am

My thanks to JonF for clarifying my poorly phrased reference to the KJV.

Aaron: there’s no such thing as transgender ideology.

#11 Comment By Siarlys Jenkins On March 13, 2018 @ 12:26 pm

What Aaron said. +100,000

She (who did look very much like a he) asked him what was so hard about programming a student’s preferred pronoun into his phone and accommodating it that way.

I am entirely unfamiliar with the process of programming prounouns into cell phones for any reason whatsoever.

If Marxists dream about pre-civilizational human society

Heck no! Marxist don’t EVER want to go back to pre-civilizational human society. That would mean going through slavery, feudalism and capitalism all over again before we’d have a chance at socialism. Marxist theory is about what an educated proletariat created by capitalism can build on the vast productive capacities developed by capitalism in order to achieve a sustainable, prosperous, egalitarian future. A peasants’ revolt just couldn’t do that. (One reason history in the USSR was so tragic is that the entire industrial base was destroyed in the civil war, and had to be rebuilt.)

If it was trite, it’s because this is a blog. It was not a syllogism.

Some of us expect blogs to foster discussion at a higher level than trite. Why don’t you? And please explain how “this is not a syllogism.” Your axiomatic assumption is not self-evident.

#12 Comment By Siarlys Jenkins On March 13, 2018 @ 7:19 pm

there’s no such thing as transgender ideology.

I suppose it depends on the technical details of what you understand to be the meaning of the word “ideology.” In a sane world, there would be no such ideology, but at present, it appears there is, no matter how artificial.

#13 Comment By Chris Ray On March 14, 2018 @ 8:25 am

I left Quakerism because my Quaker group decided that “white supremacy” was the true Original Sin. They literally passed a resolution saying that.

#14 Comment By Clint Davis On March 15, 2018 @ 12:36 pm

Hi Franklin Evans

It is lovely to speak to you. If I may ask, I would like to know what pagan faith you belong to (not for arguments sake, I just enjoy hearing about the beliefs of others).

When comparing paganism as I observe it, I mean that the moral theology is not as thorough or as important as the Abrahamic concept of sin, generally speaking. I would agree with your characterization that it is not lacking as much as unauthoritative. I certainly do understand that the comparison between pagan moral theology and the Abrahamic concept of sin is definitely inadequate, but I believe that it is relevant due to the article. The article would seem to suggest that part of the reason this person left paganism to embrace Christianity is because of the less authoritative moral theology of paganism. From my perspective, this is understandable though unfortunate.

When I speak of paganism, generally, as lacking in moral theology, to be more precise, it tends to focus less on lifestyle than the Abrahamic faiths. For example, many pagan faiths, even Heathenism, have many believers who claim that there is nothing wrong with being LGBT+.

As your argument that pagan moral theology is not lacking but less authoritative is much more sound than my argument, I will revise my complaint. I would love to see more authoritative institutions and moral theologies within paganism.

#15 Comment By Franklin Evans On March 17, 2018 @ 9:28 am

Clint, it would be nice to be on a first-name basis. Again, welcome and well met.

There’s no valid way — well, at least not adequate way — to summarize the differences we observe. I do agree with your observations, even if I disagree with your choice of descriptions. Your modified complaint has a sound basis in the history of our (Pagans et al) spiritual predecessors, and one need look no further than imperial Pagan Rome for an example. I won’t go into those details, but there’s a very good survey of that history in A History of Pagan Europe, Jones and Pennick, Barnes and Noble. I have extra copies of it myself for this very purpose, to offer an objective description of that history that comes with an academic discipline I lack and can’t use here anyway. 😉

My personal faith is rather “fringe” in a set of traditions that are very much off the mainstream. It is representative of the general case, in that I can sling their lingo, and they mine, because we have a basic commonality which I will suggest to you as a point of argument you may not have considered.

That common point is experience. Modern Paganisms are experiential at their core. We have no holy texts, no hierarchy of authority to teach the next generation. We all started out as seekers. Some, it should be emphasized, came to a Pagan tradition by way of reaction — and this, it should also be emphasized, is rife with negative emotions as well.

Heathens stand in the middle of this spectrum. They harken to existing traditions and belief systems at their start, and will organically fit them to our modern contexts. Polytheists are very close to your desired “model”, being reconstructionists trying to fit ancient belief systems to the modern context. They are, if you’ll forgive a mild distinction, very close to the authoritative mode. Hellenismos (Greek) and Kemetics (Egyptian) are the primary examples.

All three of our sub-groups remain firmly in that experiential core. More in a separate post.

#16 Comment By Franklin Evans On March 17, 2018 @ 9:39 am

My personal faith is an excellent example of the syncretic foundations of modern Paganisms. I base my practices on shamanic traditions — it’s critically important to note that a shaman is by definition in personal service to an immanent community, and thus I am not a shaman per se — and the rational explorations I’ve made of my experiences lead me to look to both Carl Jung and Joseph Campbell. An inadequate label could be universalism. My beliefs reject the notion of anthropomorphic deities, while accepting them as symbolically important to me as they are to their believers. I believe much of what is contained in the Gaia concept. I am at my core a curmudgeon, and the positive slant I’ve adopted on that is to take the Greek god Momus as my patron… well, “positive” is an advisory term, since being a curmudgeon is often superceded by my warped sense of humor. 😉

Rod posted this almost exactly five years ago: [3].

It has 183 posts in the comments, a bit intimidating, but it contains an extensive dialogue to which I was an equal partner in the discussion. For the very reason that it has juxtapositions of my views with others, their views challenging mine in very constructive ways, I defer to that discussion for your further reading.

#17 Comment By Clint Davis On March 19, 2018 @ 11:41 pm

Hi, Franklin

Love the discussion. I also have the Pagan History of Europe by Jones and Pennick. Wonderful read. I find your pagan faith intriguing, I am now going to research Momus.