As usual, tyranny comes disguised as “civil rights.”
The latest exhibit of this general rule is President Obama’s directive that seeks to force a transgender bathroom, locker room and dorm policy on the entire nation, starting with schoolchildren. Many of us are taken aback by this news, but we really shouldn’t be. The order is merely the latest incarnation of a long line of social engineering. The goal, as is always the case with such movements, is to remake humanity. What the people behind this latest version won’t tell you is that their project requires each and every one of us to deny our own humanity.
Let me explain.
The transgender movement has never been about “gender.” It’s all about sex. Sex is the real target. “Gender” is merely the politicized linguistic vehicle that facilitates a legal ban on sex distinctions. There aren’t a whole lot of dots to connect to uncover the logic of where this leads: if you abolish sex distinctions in law, you can abolish state recognition of biological family ties, and the state can regulate personal relationships and consolidate power as never before.
Let’s Review Reality
Physical reality exists independent of “gender identity non-discrimination” law—or any man-made law. Laws have no power to make reality go away, but they can change how people behave in response to reality. They can enforce disregardfor reality through speech protocols, social and economic pressures, invasions of privacy, and thought policing. And that is what the effect of Obama’s executive order is all about.
It will serve to outlaw speech that identifies males as males and females as females. At the moment, it may not seem that way, since we see people striving to pass as one specific sex or the other. But, trust me, we’re all being forced to “transition” into conformity of thought. In New York, you can now be fined if you don’t re-engineer your speech (and thoughts) to align with new and ever-changing pronoun protocols.
We’re being pushed to “evolve” rapidly from laws that seem to allow male-female distinctions to laws that will categorically reject those distinctions in the not-too-distant future. Federal forms are already reflecting these changes by erasing sexed terms such as “mother” and “father.” And at every turn, we’re seeing the specific term “sex” replaced with the meaningless, ambiguous term “gender.”
This puts us on the path to banning recognition of the reality that every single human being exists through the union of one male and one female. There are no exceptions to this reality. You exist as the union of the two opposites through whom you were created.
So the administration’s action is an order for a somewhat suicidal type of behavior modification: it attempts to make us deny the reality of our humanity. In a real sense, this amounts to a denial of our very existence. All such denials of reality require heavy-handed censorship. We have already seen the governors of South Dakota and Georgia fold in the face of threats that federal funding would be withheld and big businesses would withdraw from the states if they attempted to enforce single-sex restrooms.
Without Sex, There Are No Families
What will happen when all of society is sexless in both language and law? If the law does not recognize your body as physically male or female—applying only the word “gender” to your internal, self-reported self-perception—does the law even recognize your body? Every single cell of you has either “male” or “female” written into its DNA, but the law refuses to recognize such categories. Such laws will only recognize an infinite, immeasurable “gender spectrum,” your place on which is determined only by your mind. So what exactly are you after the law has de-sexed you? In what sense is your body a legal entity?
And what happens to your familial relationships after the law has de-sexed you? Are they legally recognized? I don’t see how they could be. Certainly not by default, certainly not by the recognition that each child comes through the union of two opposite-sex parents.
In a society de-sexed by law, would the state recognize your relationship as a husband or a wife? Mother or father? Daughter or son? Those are all sexed terms. A system that does not recognize the existence of male and female would be free to ignore the parentage of any child. You might be recognized as your child’s “legal guardian,” but only if the state agrees to that. Anybody can be a guardian to your child if the state decides it’s in the child’s “best interest.” In this vision, there is nothing to prevent the state from severing the mother-child bond at will.
In such a scenario, the state controls all personal relationships right at their source: the biological family. The abolition of family autonomy would be complete, because the biological family would cease to be a default arrangement. The “family” would be whatever the state allows it to be. Again, in the de-sexed world of gender politics, all personal relationships end up controlled and regulated by the state.
Martha Fineman, a gender legal theorist, touched on this in her 2004 book The Autonomy Myth. In it, she argues for the abolition of state-recognized marriage because it allows for family privacy, writing that “Once the institutional protection [is] removed, behavior would be judged by standards established to regulate interactions among all members of society” (emphasis added).
Gender ideology is an effective statist tool. Cultural Marxists use it to corrupt language and sow confusion, especially among children. It paves the way for the removal of the institutional protections for freedom of association and family privacy that stand in the way of “regulating interactions among all members of society.”
How Could a Society Reject Its Own Freedom?
Getting free people to reject freedom may seem a tall order. How, you might ask, could people ever be convinced to let go of their families and consent to such a dystopian social structure? How do you get public opinion on board with an agenda that leads them to deny the reality of their own humanity?
There are lots of pieces to this puzzle, including the erosion of social trust, the breakdown of family, social polarization, and growing ignorance of history. But the groundwork has been laid over a long period of time.
First, virtually all outlets of communication had to be on board—Hollywood, academia, the media. Check. All medical personnel, particularly mental health personnel, had to be “educated” to comply with the transgender program or risk losing their licenses. Check. The educational establishment had to imbue schoolchildren with the ideology. Check. Large corporations had to get on board as stakeholders and enforcers. Check. And, of course, the push to legally de-sex society had to be embedded—Trojan Horse style—within a slightly less alien idea, with the slick slogan “marriage equality.” Check. Churches had to be brought on board so that even religion became a conduit for anti-truth. Check.Social, emotional, and economic pressures had to be established to censure anyone who dared to question the wisdom of it all. Check. Any such person had to be labeled a bigot, a hater, and a non-person. Checkmate.
At this point, the most primal and universal of human fears comes into play: the fear of being socially rejected. Self-censorship takes off. People start falsifying what they believe, until they eventually don’t even know what they believe anymore. Nobody can talk openly to one another. In the end, it’s as though we are each being marched into a separate solitary confinement cell. That’s what happens when free association takes a hit, when the state severs particular relationships in the name of a collective togetherness. Then, when we can’t verify reality with one another anymore—because we are so afraid of being ostracized—we end up living in an age of mass delusion.
The only way out is to affirm reality. We must reclaim our full humanity. Let’s start by reinjecting our language with one very good word that points to reality: sex. Yes, let’s revive the word “sex,” and use it generously whenever referring to the biological reality of our physical nature. (And spiritual nature too.) At the same time, let’s refuse—always—to use the word “gender” when we mean sex. It’s a poisoned and weaponized word that has been used to legally de-sex and thus dehumanize us all. We must work together to resist its deceptions.
Stella Morabito is a senior contributor to The Federalist and blogs about relationships, power, and freedom at stellamorabito.net.