Transgenderism Must Be Eradicated
They may indeed be coming for your kids. But in the end, they are coming for reality.
The world is unhappy with Michael Knowles.
From the mainstage at CPAC earlier this week, the Daily Wire commentator stated the obvious.
“There can be no middle way in dealing with transgenderism,” said Knowles.
It is all or nothing. If transgenderism is true—if men really can become women—then it is true for everybody of all ages. If transgenderism is false (as it is)—if men really can’t become women (as they cannot)—then it’s false for everybody too. And if it’s false, then we should not indulge it, especially since that indulgence requires taking away the rights and customs of so many people. If it is false, then for the good of society, and especially for the good of the poor people who have fallen prey to this confusion, transgenderism must be eradicated from public life entirely—the whole preposterous ideology, at every level.
A decade ago, Knowles’s position would have been uncontroversial. A decade earlier still and it would have been nearly unanimous across all but the fringiest sections of American society.
That rapid and dramatic change is proof as good as any that the man might have a point. The only direction for the ideologues is forward; they cannot even conceive of any other. In the uproar over these common-sense remarks, Knowles’s most strident critics have hurled his central premise violently back at him: There can be no middle way. It is all or nothing.
I made the same point in these pages about a year and a half ago, teed off by the sudden ubiquity of pronoun declarations. I noted then
that these ideas—of gender not circumscribed by biological reality—are not, and cannot be, limited to the physically hermaphroditic individuals on whose study they were developed, nor even to the minuscule minority of people who feel that they apply to them. Gender ideology is fundamentally imperial: Whenever and wherever abnormal claims are granted credence, they inevitably go on to colonize the cis. Either gender is tied to biology or it is not; it cannot be one way for some people and another for the rest. If we accept it as true that gender can be genuinely divorced from sex, we accept it as true that gender is divorced from sex. Transgender and other “genderqueer” individuals become not mere deviations from physical or mental norms, but evidence of the relativity of those very norms; statements of relativity are always statements of universal truth.
The first thing conservatives need to understand is that the other side holds no illusions of coexistence. They would laugh at the live-and-let-live mentality of Knowles’s more friendly critics, because they know that only one side can be right.
That’s why the response was so hysterical—why outlets like Rolling Stone miscast Knowles’s remarks as a call for genocide before fear of libel charges forced them to change course. That’s why Diana—ne Douglas—Goetsch felt compelled to write a rambling, delusional screed in the Los Angeles Times accusing Knowles of “fascism” for the comments. (Mr. Goetsch—who fancies himself, among other things, a wordsmith—defines “fascism” as “when a political party calls for the eradication of a group of people.”)
The partisans of transgenderism understand their cause as an all-or-nothing struggle against a mortal enemy. They know as well as Michael Knowles does that their claims are either true or false. Man is either one thing, or he is another. The natural law is either one thing, or it is another. An absolute moral imperative either pushes people one way, or it pushes them another.
The sudden urgency of their crusade, the nonsensical talk about “gender-affirming care for trans youth” and surgical mutilation as a matter of life and death—not to mention the drag queen story hours, the creepy insinuations of activists and teachers who profess the rainbow creed—only makes sense in this light. Their reality is simply not the same as ours, and their concept of the stakes makes social conservatives’ worst fears entirely plausible.
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They may indeed be coming for your kids. That is bad enough. But in the end, they are coming for reality. They are not just unhappy with Michael Knowles; they are unhappy with the world.
That is transgenderism’s gravest threat—further-reaching, if less striking, than the physical dangers it poses to the next unhappy generation. It is a rejection of human nature, the union of soul and body, and ultimately of nature on the whole. Its ultimate end is not just the mutilation of the body but the dislocation of the soul from its proper grounding—not just for the dysphoric and distressed, but for millions upon millions undone by the wholesale reinvention of man and his place in the world.
Anyone unprepared for that unraveling ought to speak the obvious truth: Transgenderism must be eradicated. It must be wiped out, scrubbed, banished from the mouths of civilized people, confined to the tiny moment in history for which it seemed ascendant, cast once and for all back to the fire from which it came.