Saturday, September 21, 2019

A New Children's Crusade

As I am sure you are aware, yesterday saw a worldwide outpouring of adolescent ignorance. Presumably, the cause was climate change but in truth the children were militating against the Industrial Revolution and free market capitalism. They might not have known what they were doing, but, alas, their handlers did. 

Now the Cold War is over; the radical left lost. It lost bigly. I would say. Worldwide Communism could only compete on one register: it killed more people and destroyed more lives than any human invention. So, the losing team of brain dead leftists, being sore losers, had nothing better to do than to seek ultimate vindication by teaching children that capitalism was going to destroy the entire planet, the human race… along with the elephants, the ferrets, the newts and all those healthy bacteria. Yikes. 

How could you not protest?

One notes, yet again, that the only victors in this climate change crusade are sitting happily in Beijing. They do not have to compete against the “woke” West. The “woke” West is on a kamikaze mission. It is destroying itself, beginning by rendering the younger generation dysfunctional. If you believe that our merry band of adolescent social justice warriors will ever be able to compete in the world economy, you have obviously not been reading this blog.

Anyway, Andrew Sullivan takes the measure of the West’s will to self-destroy and opens his New York Magazine column thusly:

Like any religion, wokeness understands the need to convert children. The old Jesuit motto (sometimes attributed to Voltaire) was, after all, “Give me the child for the first seven years and I will give you the man.”

Sullivan then evaluates George Packer’s excellent Atlantic essay on the New York public school system. I wrote about it last week on this blog. Link here.

He begins by exposing the rank idiocy of the New York public schools’ efforts to mandate unisex restrooms. The children hated the idea. The children fought back. And eventually reason won out. Sullivan describes the basis for today’s leftist thinking. For my part I do not believe that this is progressive. It is radical:

Authorities impose an ideology onto reality; reality slowly fights back. The question is simply how much damage is done by this kind of utopianism before it crumbles under its own weight. Simple solutions — like a separate, individual gender-neutral bathroom for the tiny minority with gender dysphoria or anyone else — are out of bounds. They are, after all, reinforcing the idea that girls and boys are different. And we cannot allow biology, evolution, reproductive strategy, hormones, chromosomes, and the customs of every single human culture since the beginning of time to interfere with “social justice.”

Some readers of this blog are not Sullivan readers. If so, they have missed this splendid put down of today’s social justice warriors.

And New York public schools are obsessing constantly about race, especially about white privilege and other forms of whiteness:

Children, in other words, are being taught to think constantly about race, and to feel guilty if they are the wrong one. And, of course, if they resist, that merely proves the point. A boy who doesn’t think he is personally responsible for racism is merely reflecting “white fragility” which is a function of “white supremacy.” QED. No one seems to have thought through the implications of telling white boys that their core identity is their “whiteness,” or worried that indoctrinating kids into white identity might lead quite a few to, yes, become “white identitarians” of the far right.

Yes, indeed, the best laid plans, etc. and etc. Making people hyperconscious of their race and making them feel guilty about being white-- you know the people who produced the Industrial Revolution-- has ended up producing more white supremacists.

He continues:

One of the key aspects about social-justice theory is that it’s completely unfalsifiable (as well as unreadable); it’s a closed circle that refers only to itself and its own categories. (For a searing take down of this huge academic con, check out Douglas Murray’s superb new book, The Madness of Crowds.) The forces involved — “white supremacy,” “patriarchy,” “heterosexism” — are all invisible to the naked eye, like the Holy Spirit. Their philosophical origins — an attempt by structuralist French philosophers to rescue what was left of Marxism in the 1960s and 1970s — are generally obscured in any practical context. Like religion, you cannot prove any of its doctrines empirically, but children are being forced into believing them anyway. This is hard, of course, as this teacher explains: “I’m trying. I am. But you know how the saying goes: You can lead a White male to anti-racism, but you can’t make him think.”

So, social justice warriorhood is a social construction. It functions like a religion, a pagan religion, at that. It requires people to become cult followers and true believers. It does not brook any dissent and cannot be tested empirically. 

But, Sullivan is not done. He sets out after transmania… questioning, as we have on this blog and as other people have, whether it is a social contagion, a function of brainwashing children:

Increasingly, girly boys and tomboys are being told that gender trumps sex, and if a boy is effeminate or bookish or freaked out by team sports, he may actually be a girl, and if a girl is rough and tumble, sporty, and plays with boys, she may actually be a boy.

In the last few years in Western societies, as these notions have spread, the number of children identifying as trans has skyrocketed. In Sweden, the number of kids diagnosed with gender dysphoria, a phenomenon stable and rare for decades, has, from 2013 to 2016, increased almost tenfold. In New Zealand, the rate of girls identifying as boys has quadrupled in the same period of time; in Britain, where one NHS clinic is dedicated to trans kids, there were around a hundred girls being treated in 2011; by 2017, there were 1,400.’

Possibly this sudden surge is a sign of pent-up demand, as trans kids emerge from the shadows, which, of course, is a great and overdue thing. The suffering of trans kids can be intense and has been ignored for far too long. But maybe it’s also some gender non-conforming kids falling prey to adult suggestions, or caused by social contagion. Almost certainly it’s both. But one reason to worry about the new explosion in gender dysphoria is that it seems recently to be driven by girls identifying as boys rather than the other way round. Female sexuality is more fluid and complex than male sexuality, so perhaps girls are more susceptible to ideological suggestion, especially when they are also taught that being a woman means being oppressed.

Sullivan will suggest that some transgenderism is really disguised homophobia. Again, the point has been made and ignored ... again and again.

Of course, if you declare war on biology and subject brainwashed children to mutilating treatments, bad things happen:

In the case of merely confused or less informed kids, the consequences of treatment can be permanent. Many of these prepubescent trans-identifying children are put on puberty blockers, drugs that suppress a child’s normal hormonal development, and were originally designed for prostate cancer and premature puberty. The use of these drugs for gender dysphoria is off-label, unapproved by the FDA; there have been no long-term trials to gauge the safety or effectiveness of them for gender dysphoria, and the evidence we have of the side effects of these drugs in FDA-approved treatment is horrifying. Among adults, the FDA has received 24,000 reports of adverse reactions, over half of which it deemed serious. Parents are pressured into giving these drugs to their kids on the grounds that the alternative could be their child’s suicide. Imagine the toll of making a decision about your child like that?

A society that finds it acceptable to mutilate children is in very serious trouble. 

Sullivan continues:

Eighty-five percent of gender-dysphoric children grow out of the condition — and most turn out to be gay. Yes, some are genuinely trans and can and should benefit from treatment. And social transition is fine. But children cannot know for certain who they are sexually or emotionally until they have matured past puberty. Fixing their “gender identity” when they’re 7 or 8, or even earlier, administering puberty blockers to kids as young as 12, is a huge leap in the dark in a short period of time. It cannot be transphobic to believe that no child’s body should be irreparably altered until they are of an age and a certainty to make that decision themselves.

I don’t have children, but I sure worry about gay kids in this context. I remember being taunted by some other kids when I was young — they suggested that because I was mildly gender-nonconforming, I must be a girl. If my teachers and parents and doctors had adopted this new ideology, I might never have found the happiness of being gay and comfort in being male. How many gay kids, I wonder, are now being led into permanent physical damage or surgery that may be life-saving for many, but catastrophic for others, who come to realize they made a mistake. And what are gay adults doing to protect them? Nothing. Only a few ornery feminists, God bless them, are querying this.

As for who is leading the world in gender reassignment surgery, you could guessed that it was Iran. The next time a politician or a commentator defends Iran, often by attacking our sometime ally Saudi Arabia and our staunch ally Israel, consider this:

In my view, this is not progressive; it’s deeply regressive. There’s a reason why Iran is a world leader in sex-reassignment surgery, and why the mullahs pay for it. Homosexuality in Iran is so anathema that gay boys must be turned into girls, and lesbian girls into boys, to conform to heterosexual norms. Sound a little too familiar?

True enough, the arguments have been made before. What matters here is that they are made by a respected journalist. It takes courage to take on the trans lobby. And it takes just as much courage to call out the environmental activists who are brainwashing children into believing that the world is about to end:

Adults are increasingly forced to obey the new norms of “social justice” or be fired, demoted, ostracized, or canceled. Many resist; many stay quiet; a few succumb and convert. Children have no such options.

Indoctrinate yourselves as much as you want to, guys. It’s a free country. But hey, teacher — leave those kids alone.


UbuMaccabee said...

Andy is a homosexual. His intersectionality gives him enough of a pass to dissent. Still, it takes courage and courage is as rare as unicorns.

If I had a choice between siding with authoritarian, mass murdering China and woke leftist America, I'll learn Mandarin.

Ignatius Acton Chesterton OCD said...

Ubu: Are they not one and the same, save proximity?