30 Jun 2014

And the Winner Is…

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Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres, Napoleon I on his Imperial Throne, 1806, Musée de l’Armée.

My personal nominee in the most-bat-shit-crazy-Progressive-editorial-of-all-times sweepstakes is Christin Scarlett Milloy’s “Don’t Let the Doctor Do This to Your Newborn” in the current Slate.

Imagine you are in recovery from labor, lying in bed, holding your infant. In your arms you cradle a stunningly beautiful, perfect little being. Completely innocent and totally vulnerable, your baby is entirely dependent on you to make all the choices that will define their life for many years to come. They are wholly unaware (at least, for now) that you would do anything and everything in your power to protect them from harm and keep them safe. You are calm, at peace.

Suddenly, the doctor comes in. He looks at you sternly, gloved hands reaching for your baby insistently. “It’s time for your child’s treatment,” he explains from beneath a white breathing mask, shattering your calm. Clutching your baby protectively, you eye the doctor with suspicion.

You ask him what it’s for.

“Oh, just standard practice. It will help him or her be recognized and get along more easily with others who’ve already received the same treatment. The chance of side effects is extremely small.” This raises the hairs on the back of your neck, and your protective instinct kicks your alarm response up a notch. …

t’s a strange hypothetical scenario to imagine. Pressure to accept a medical treatment, no tangible proof of its necessity, its only benefits conferred by the fact that everyone else already has it, and coming at a terrible expense to those 1 or 2 percent who have a bad reaction. It seems unlikely that doctors, hospitals, parents, or society in general would tolerate a standard practice like this.

Except they already do. The imaginary treatment I described above is real. Obstetricians, doctors, and midwives commit this procedure on infants every single day, in every single country. In reality, this treatment is performed almost universally without even asking for the parents’ consent, making this practice all the more insidious. It’s called infant gender assignment: When the doctor holds your child up to the harsh light of the delivery room, looks between its legs, and declares his opinion: It’s a boy or a girl, based on nothing more than a cursory assessment of your offspring’s genitals.

We tell our children, “You can be anything you want to be.” We say, “A girl can be a doctor, a boy can be a nurse,” but why in the first place must this person be a boy and that person be a girl? Your infant is an infant. Your baby knows nothing of dresses and ties, of makeup and aftershave, of the contemporary social implications of pink and blue. As a newborn, your child’s potential is limitless. The world is full of possibilities that every person deserves to be able to explore freely, receiving equal respect and human dignity while maximizing happiness through individual expression.

With infant gender assignment, in a single moment your baby’s life is instantly and brutally reduced from such infinite potentials down to one concrete set of expectations and stereotypes, and any behavioral deviation from that will be severely punished—both intentionally through bigotry, and unintentionally through ignorance. That doctor (and the power structure behind him) plays a pivotal role in imposing those limits on helpless infants, without their consent, and without your informed consent as a parent. This issue deserves serious consideration by every parent, because no matter what gender identity your child ultimately adopts, infant gender assignment has effects that will last through their whole life.

Read the whole thing.

In the post-Christian Left’s topsy-turvy philosophic world of inverted values, the madman-with-a-sob-story, the outcast traditionally looked upon with contempt and consequently filled with ressentiment must be treated as the representative of the worthiest of causes, and his ravings and absurdities taken seriously.

In the above piece, we are told that mere recognition of actual physical reality, identifying an infant as a boy or a girl, is really a species of traditional societal oppression, which assigns identity and limits possibility at “terrible expense” to some percentage of unwilling victims.

“You can be anything you want to be,” Mr. Milloy (who is a male pretending to be a female himself) contends is the way it ought to be. But why limit the human infant’s choices to boy or girl (or LGBTQ)? Isn’t the system also limiting possibility and potentially thwarting the happiness and self-realization of some small percentage by defining the infant as being the offspring of Mr. & Mrs. Jones and a mere ordinary citizen and member of the Jones family. What about the case of the minority individual whose inner being rejects such pedestrian mediocrity and feels, deep down inside, that he is really the Emperor Napoleon?

Can it possibly be fair or just to impose conventional stereotypes and concrete expectations and deny Jones Minor his desired Imperial titles and regiment of Guards Cavalry? If personal whim is sufficient to deny the physical reality of the sexual organs you are born with, if you can reject that kind of unchosen, externally-imposed role and select a different one at will, why shouldn’t you also be entitled to reject every other decree of fate as well?

If a boy is entitled to redefine himself as a girl (and vice versa), shouldn’t short people be able to demand to be treated as tall, and to have access to height-reassignment surgery? Shouldn’t unpleasant and unattractive people be permitted to demand popularity? And why should anyone be forced by the power structure to be born in poverty and obscurity? Surely, if everyone is entitled to be anything he wants to be, we are all going to demand to be made rich and famous, if Nature neglected to arrange our birth appropriately.

Why, one wonders, limit the protean possibilities to gender. If you can reject gender assignment at birth, why not species assignment? Some people would probably prefer to be lions or wolves or dolphins.

One Feedback on "And the Winner Is…"


Why even stop there? Why even declare the baby a “human being”? What if he/she/it decides it’s really a dog?


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