That whirring sounds you hear faintly in the background are Henry Luce and Briton Hadden, both Y’1920, the founders of Time Magazine, spinning in their graves as Nancy Gibbs, Y’1982, Time’s current managing editor, celebrates a very special “tipping point” by identifying Transgender-ism as a Civil Rights Movement now officially recognized by the national bien pensant establishment as a worthy cause entitled to receive public celebration and state-enforced privileges and immunities.
Sexual deviance and perversity were racking up lots of victories this week. The National Park Service announced that it was going to make places and people of significance to the history of lesbian, gay, transgender and bisexual Americans part of the national narrative. (That bronze historic marker in the public lavatory where so-and-so was once arrested may look a little out of place, but there you are.)
The Spirit of Enlightenment leaped suddenly from California to Texas as Houston’s mayor and city council announced that that city’s bathrooms, showers, and dressing facilities will henceforward be unrestricted by gender.
And the Obama Administration’s Health and Human Services’ Departmental Appeals Board opened the door to tax-payer funded sexual reassignment surgery by eliminating a Medicare ban on consideration of such coverage dating back to the Dark Ages of 1981.
The self-congratulatory smugfest was, however, unkindly interrupted by National Review’s Kevin D. Williamson’s “nasty” and “offensive” “takedown” of Time’s munificent gesture. Williamson deliberately spoiled all the fun by noting that Time’s latest covergirl Laverne Cox is not actually a woman, and even the consensus of the community of fashion aided by the all powers of modern science cannot really make him into one.
Regardless of the question of whether he has had his genitals amputated, Cox is not a woman, but an effigy of a woman. Sex is a biological reality, and it is not subordinate to subjective impressions, no matter how intense those impressions are, how sincerely they are held, or how painful they make facing the biological facts of life. No hormone injection or surgical mutilation is sufficient to change that.
Genital amputation and mutilation is the extreme expression of the phenomenon, but it is hardly outside the mainstream of contemporary medical practice. The trans self-conception, if the autobiographical literature is any guide, is partly a feeling that one should be living oneâ€™s life as a member of the opposite sex and partly a delusion that one is in fact a member of the opposite sex at some level of reality that transcends the biological facts in question. There are many possible therapeutic responses to that condition, but the offer to amputate healthy organs in the service of a delusional tendency is the moral equivalent of meeting a man who believes he is Jesus and inquiring as to whether his insurance plan covers crucifixion.
The most amusing response to this unanswerable argument came from Mediate’s Matt Wilstein.
Williamson is right. Cox is not a â€œwomanâ€ in the narrow, traditional sense that he is capable of comprehending. But nor is she a â€œmanâ€ in the way he insists on describing her throughout his intentionally offensive screed. Cox proudly identifies as transgender. …
This passage demonstrates a fundamental lack of understanding about the difference between sex and gender. There is a reason the term â€œtransexualâ€ is no longer used while â€œtransgenderâ€ has become the accepted descriptor. While someoneâ€™s sex may be defined by biological characteristics, gender is essentially a psychological identification.
Ah, yes! The difference between sex and gender. Sex is an unalterable physical reality. “Gender” is a social construct, invented by academic sophisters, which is optionally chosen and modifiable at will. In other words, gender is BS.