What’s that T.S. Eliot line about the world ending without a bang but a whimper?
Since conservatives excel at Chicken Little-ism over social matters, let me be the one to say that American society is succumbing to the post-modern forces that believe gender is a mutable trait. There is nothing traditionalists, also known as plain, moderate people, can do to stop this inexorable finality. We’re doomed; doomed I tells ya! Labeling children boys and girls will soon be an anachronism, the equivalent of putting “colored only” signs over public water fountains.
The tipping point is occurring right in my neck of the woods: Fairfax County, Virginia.
Now, I wasn’t raised in Fairfax County. I can’t be blamed for its yuppie, liberal, high-income residents who use public schools as a crucible for a genderless society. I was lucky enough to snag an affordable apartment when I moved to the D.C. metropolitan area just over two years ago. So here I am, living amidst the next great battle in American culture wars.
Here’s the battleground: the Fairfax County School Board just voted to add “gender identity” to its nondiscrimination policy. According to the Washington Times, this policy was enacted “despite overwhelming opposition from the audience.” Democracy, who needs it, am I right?
Apparently the school board went ahead with the changes quickly, without consulting parents in the community prior to the vote. I live in the area and try to keep up with local news, but I only heard of the impending vote the morning before it took place. Of course, none of this was an accident. Great leaps in social progress don’t happen without premeditation. They also don’t happen without reflexive opposition, hence the school board’s surreptitious approach.
Under the new policy, transgendered students and teachers will have free reign to use whatever bathroom they wish. The very idea of a boys-only restroom is gone. Parents now lack the legal right to object to males using the little girl’s room. For all they know, a burly, sweaty phys ed coach can pinch a loaf right next to a 14-year-old girl just by calling himself a woman. That’s the logical result of the de-gendering bathrooms movement.
If the vote had gone the other way, it wouldn’t have mattered. It would only delay the inevitable. The Fairfax school board vote was a microcosm of what’s happening across the country. The tide is going out on the broadly Protestant culture that once defined America. We’re entering a post-Christian Age, where temperance and tradition are code words for oppressive bigotry. If you attempt to defend perfectly normal things like objecting to girls and boys sharing a locker room, then you risk becoming an outcast.
The media has firmly made up its mind about whose side it’s taking. Take the Washington Post’s coverage of the vote. Here’s the lede from an article by reporter T. Rees Shapiro the morning before the school board’s decision:
“For some transgender high school students in the Virginia suburbs, a school board decision Thursday could mean an end to death threats and the beginning of freedom to live openly as who they truly are.”
Well, who can argue with letting kids live openly as “they truly are?” Hateful miscreants, that’s who! Shapiro doesn’t have to write it, but the sentiment is obvious. The issue of unlimited access to the john is framed as one of freedom – not sensible limits on gender-based useage.
If the residents of Fairfax want to beguile their children with having boys and girls piss next to each other, then that’s their prerogative. I am, if anything, a proponent of local governance. Some school board officials note that compliance with Title IX – the civil rights bill outlawing discrimination nationwide, including gender identity – guarantees federal dollars for schools. If they don’t comply, they don’t get the dinero. Yet the $42 million the Fairfax school system receives from D.C. is only 1.7% of its annual budget. Fiscal arguments matter, but not this one.
The real reason behind the push to de-gender bathrooms is deeper than nickels and dimes. This is about changing cultural perceptions. The aim isn’t ending bullying of gay or transgendered students. That would be a respectable goal. Instead, the warriors for LGBTTQ…whatever….are interested in changing our very conception of truth in existence. This really is a war for our minds (paging Alex Jones!).
Orwell, intentionally or unintentionally, taught us that language and history matter when it comes to shaping the future. That’s why transgender supporters put so much focus on pronouns. If our liberal gender-defiers can vanquish sexual distinctions from our vocabulary, then we can kiss the traditional binary goodbye. Everything about the human person will be malleable. And when everything is alterable and fluid, then there is no grounding for understanding our place in the world.
I have a few questions, à la Ross Douthat, for our transgender pioneers. If little Johnny must have the right to pee next to Susie, these should be easy to answer:
Under this new paradigm, should middle-aged men be allowed to share bathrooms with female students? If not, isn’t that both sexism and ageism?
What’s the deal with locker rooms? Should they be de-genderized? Can male wrestlers change next to female cheerleaders? Is it bigoted to answer “no”?
Have you given a modicum of thought about the mental stress this will put on the 99.7% of children who aren’t transgendered and who may be freaked out by the very idea of she-males?
The abnormally high suicide rate among transgendered people is well-known. Is it really prudent to encourage children to embrace identifying with the opposite sex, especially when nearly three-quarters of young people lose feelings of gender confusion over time? Being young is hard enough in 21st-century America. Helicopter parenting, obsession over school lunches, merit-based love, masculinity shaming, hormone changes, toilet humor passing for entertainment – the list goes on. Is it wise to celebrate gender dysphoria while children are in their formative years?
I don’t expect to get an honest answer to any of my questions. At best, I’ll be ignored. At worst, I’ll be doxxed and lose my livelihood. Such is the risk of speaking out for good sense in an era of hysteric egalitarianism. The enlightened minds in academia and the media have settled their opinions. Transgenderism is extraordinary and brave. If you disagree, you’re scum of the earth and deserve a good purging.
Trust me when I say Fairfax is just the beginning.