The Age of Advanced Incoherence 6: The Jenner Effect

[Note: The independent site Conatus News just published this piece, which I submitted some weeks back, as a short (3000 words) summation of this larger series (which has 8 parts and over 20,000 words). There is some overlap with the material in this latest blog installment.)

An Ideological Succession Drama

Just when you thought it couldn’t get any more complicated, it turns out that gender fluidity and trans-activism, while they seem like a natural extension of prior progressive social movements such as feminism and gay rights, in terms of social realities, are looking more and more like drastic steps backward for these now-“outdated” causes. The reason for this is simple to state, but difficult to fully grasp. As the latest strand of identity politics, gender fluidity negates—by hijacking—both womanhood and homosexuality as forms of social self-identification. For example, some Trans activists claim that being a woman is a matter of personal choice, not biology, and that it doesn’t even depend on the anatomy being surgically altered, but only on having the right state of mind. To state that “some women have penises” is akin to saying that some men have as much right to say what defines a woman as women (which itself becomes literally unsayable under the new definitions). So bang goes several decades of progress by the feminist movement.

This is admittedly a very general statement, and general statements tend to muddy the waters rather than clarify them, so let’s look at some specifics. In “The battle over gender has turned bloody,” Janice Turner described how

When white supremacists marched through US streets, the left concluded it was fine to counter-attack heavily armed racist militia who posed a physical threat to ethnic minorities. But certain trans activists have extrapolated: they believe debate itself makes them “unsafe,” so it is self-defence to attack those who are “systemically violent”, i.e., anyone with whom they disagree.

Nor is this a hypothetical point: Maria MacLachlan, a 60-year-old white woman who chairs the Commons Women and Equalities Committee, was punched in the face at a London Speakers’ Corner event in 2017 by “a tall, male-bodied, hooded figure wearing make-up [who] rushed over, hit her several times and as police arrived, ran away. [Turner] asked a young activist if she was OK with men smacking women: ‘It’s not a guy, you’re a piece of s*** and I’m happy they hit her,’ came the reply.”’

The controversy was around updates made to the 2004 Gender Recognition Act (GRA), which

lets adults officially register a change to the gender assigned at birth. They don’t necessarily have to undergo surgery, but must provide psychiatric assessments and proof of living for two years in the gender they wish to be officially recognised, a process activists see as intrusive and overly medicalised. Miller’s committee broadly agreed, recommending instead a system of self-identification where changing gender was as simple as signing a form. Similar arrangements now exist in Portugal, Ireland, Malta, Belgium, Norway and Denmark, and activists insist there is no evidence of anyone abusing them for sinister purposes, although the numbers involved are relatively small so far (it is estimated up to 1% of Britons may be trans, although there are no official statistics). (Ref.)

MacLachlan’s crime was that she was trying to protect women from further exploitation and abuse by predatory men who identify as women and thereby gain access to female victims (in refuges, prisons, and the like). This made MacLachlan a “TERF.”

TERF stands for Trans-Exclusionary Radical Feminist. But lately the definition has expanded to include any woman worried that permitting men who “self-identify” as female to enter women’s changing rooms or refuges unchallenged makes her less safe. . . .TERFs, according to trans activists, are evil. TERF is the new witch. Search on Twitter for “TERFs must die” or “burn in a fire, TERF” and behold a cauldron of violent vitriol. Before the meeting, a trans-woman posted: “Any idea where this is happening? I want to f*** some TERFs up, they are no better than fash [fascists].” Search “punch a TERF” and you will find crowing approval of what happened to Maria.

As for the evidence of “sinister purposes” which activists insist doesn’t exist, the example Tuner cites is Martin Ponting, who was jailed in 1995 for raping two girls, one of them disabled. “After cosmetic surgery, but still possessing male genitalia, Ponting, now called Jessica Winfield, was moved to Bronzefield women’s prison but after making unwanted sexual advances to inmates has been segregated.” (Ref.)

MacLachlan’s attacker, Tara Flik Wood (born Tanis Wolf), received a fine for the assault. He had posted on Facebook his intent to inflict violence on feminists before committing the attack, and his assault was captured on video by at least three people.

The transgender community widely supported Wolf/Wood’s violent actions, including many high profile trans activists such as Roz Kaveney, Ruth Pearce, Owen Jones, Shon Faye, Katelyn Burns, Bex Stinson, Zinnia Jones, among others, who considered the assault of Maria MacLachlan as a type of male “honor” crime against a woman they suspected of not adhering to their gender beliefs. No transgender rights organization, LGBT group, or transgender activist publicly condemned his assault. (Ref.)

For another casualty in the battle for supremacy between gender fluidity and feminism, once-celebrated proto-feminist Germaine Greer made the unpardonable blunder in 2016 of expressing her view that men who have sex changes do not become women.

Students at Cardiff University tried to get Greer’s lecture on women and power cancelled on the basis that she has “dangerous” views on trans issues. . . . There’s now a wide-ranging effort to have Greer branded unfit for all public life, not just Cardiff. Her ideas “have no place in a civilised society,” we are told. She’s been labelled a “ranter” and “hateful,” even by feminists and gay-rights activists who might once have been her allies. Kellie Maloney, boxing promoter turned trans spokesperson, caused much excitement in the Twittersphere when she ominously demanded Greer be ‘punished’ for her views. . . . “Germaine Greer is a hateful bigot,” says one headline. The New Statesman has a piece casually asserting that Greer has “bigoted views” and that we shouldn’t be surprised if people “protest and demonstrate when bigots speak.” The American feminist Roxane Gay says Greer is “bigoted and full of hate” and says “I honestly don’t know why she’s being included [in media discussion].” Paris Lees, Vice writer and self-styled representative of all trans people, accuses Greer of practicing “40 years of bigotry.” Lees says Greer is a “vile bigot,” and “exposing her bigotry” is more important than the discussion about freedom of speech. (Ref.)

The open war isn’t just news; it’s also art.

The San Francisco Public Library unveiled an exhibit this week featuring blood stained t-shirts encouraging patrons to “punch” feminists, along with several installations of deadly weapons painted pink: baseball bats covered in barbed wire, axes, among others, all designed by men to kill feminist women. The male creators of the exhibit also included a helpful manifesto, blaming lesbians, feminists and other uppity women for causing more deaths (by “harassing” men with their dastardly opinions!) than all the actual real murders committed by violent men. The display, launched mere days after the mass murder of women in Toronto by “incel” terrorist Alek Minassian and echoing his philosophy, was funded by the non-profit Friends of The San Francisco Public Library and created by The Degenderettes, led by Scout Tran Caffee, founder of Trans Dykes: the anti-lesbian Antifa.  The group specifically targets lesbians as “oppressors” of men -because they exclude males from their dating pools. The men in the group identify as transgender and consider themselves to be male lesbians. Materials include riot shields inscribed with the slogan “Die Cis Scum.” . . . From the exhibit manifesto: “The Degenderettes are a humble and practical club, fighting for gender rights within human reach rather than with legislation and slogans. Their agit-prop artwork has come to permeate internet trans culture, national television, and headlines as far as Germany.” . . . .  Explicitly states that acknowledging male violence against women is “anti-transgender.” Followed by bizarre claims that feminists “induce suicides” of men and threaten to kill them. (Ref.)

Imagine an art installation that encouraged people to kill trans-individuals. I bet you can’t. Now try and imagine an art installation that encouraged people to kill women—mounted by anything other than a trans group. You probably can’t.

The idea that a lesbian is a bigot if she refuses to sleep with a man who self-identifies as a woman isn’t restricted to this particular band of trans-agit-prop artists.

Shannon Keating of Buzzfeed suggests we eliminate the word lesbian altogether, arguing: “Against the increasingly colorful backdrop of gender diversity, a binary label like ‘gay’ or ‘lesbian’ starts to feel somewhat stale and stodgy. When there are so many genders out there, is it closed-minded—or worse, harmful and exclusionary—if you identify with a label that implies you’re only attracted to one?” . . . . Lesbians have undoubtedly gotten the worst of it. There is a disturbing trend of trans women telling lesbians they should sleep with men lest they be labelled as bigots or called “vagina fetishists” (really). (Ref.)

LBGTQ+++ eats itself?

And, of course, transracialism is coming.[1]

Social Contagion

“When there is a cultural atmosphere in which professionals, the media, schools, doctors, psychologists all recognize and endorse and talk about and publicize eating disorders, then people can be triggered to consciously or unconsciously pick eating-disorder pathology as a way to express that conflict.”
—Sing Lee a psychiatrist and researcher at the Chinese University of Hong Kong

In the US, gender fluid individuals (a.k.a. trans people) currently make up somewhere between 0.5 and 1% of the population (it is probably lower in Canada). This tiny percentage is seen as in such need of protection that it requires massive, long-term, far-reaching social engineering, specifically around how children are being raised (from kindergarten on), and how language is being reconfigured.

If a portion of this tiny percentage finds the word “mother” or “birth” obscene, isn’t it reasonable to wonder about the 90-plus % that finds the stigmatizing of these words equally offensive? The answer is that we “cisnormals” have had our time in the sun and our feelings are trivial compared to those of the endangered brave new species emerging, via the twin miracles of technology and drugs.

So what of the argument that the gender-fluid have always been among us and are simply becoming more visible and vocal as the social environment is reconfigured to accommodate them, creating safe spaces for them to emerge into? This reasoning implies that the demand has created the supply, and not vice versa. Based on what we know about corporate culture, however, such an assumption requires closer examination.

2014 was, according to Time magazine, the “transgender tipping point,” when media visibility of transgender people reached a level higher than ever seen before. Since then, the number of transgender portrayals across TV platforms has stayed disproportionately high. “Research has found that viewing multiple transgender TV characters and stories improves viewers’ attitudes toward transgender people and related policies.” (Ref.)

It would be naïve to suppose this doesn’t have a knock-on effect. Here’s a list (by Les Parrott, Ph.D., a professor of psychology) of the most common ways in which teens act out their struggles with identity:

Through status symbols. Adolescents try to establish themselves through prestige—wearing the right clothes, having the right possessions, from stereos to sunglasses. These symbols help form teen identities by expressing affiliation with specific groups.

Through forbidden behaviors. Teens often feel that appearing mature will bring recognition and acceptance. They begin engaging in practices they associate with adulthood—tabooed pleasures—such as smoking, drinking, drugs and sexual activity.

Through rebellion. Rebellion demonstrates separation. Teens can show that they differentiate themselves from parents and authority figures, while maintaining the acceptance of their peers.

Through idols. Celebrities may become “models” for teens who are looking for a way of experimenting with different roles. They may identify with a known figure, trying to become like that person, and in effect, losing hold of their own identities. This identification with a well-known personality gives teens a sense of belonging.

Through cliquish exclusion. Teens often can be intolerant in their exclusion of their peers. Since they are constantly trying to define and redefine themselves in relation to others, they do not want to be associated with anyone having unacceptable or unattractive characteristics. They try to strengthen their own identities by excluding those who are not like themselves.

All five of these correspond with gender fluidity and transgender-identification: it is fashion related, (somewhat) forbidden or taboo, rebellious, exclusive and cliquish, and at the same time, associated with celebrity or high-status, as in figures such as Bruce/Caitlyn Jenner, whose trans-career proceeded as follows:

  • June 2015 Cover of Vanity Fair
  • August 2015, Jenner won the Social Media Queen award at the Teen Choice Awards.
  • October 2015, Glamour magazine named her Woman of the Year, calling her a “Trans Champion.”
  • November 2015, Jenner was listed as one of Entertainment Weekly’s 2015 Entertainers of the Year.
  • December 2015, s/he was named Barbara Walters’ Most Fascinating Person of 2015.
  • December 2015, listed on Time magazine’s eight-person shortlist for the 2015 Person of the Year; the second most searched for person on Google in 2015.
  • April 2016, s/he was listed in the Time 100
  • In June 2016, Jenner became the first openly transgender person to be featured on the cover of Sports Illustrated.
  • Jenner’s announcement that s/he is transgender came at an unprecedented time for trans visibility, including legislative initiatives.
  • A 20/20 interview with Jenner had 20.7 million viewers, making it television’s “highest-ever rated newsmagazine telecast among adults 18–49 and adults 25–54.” (Ref.)

Glamour Woman of the Year 2015

Social contagion takes many forms, from the trivial (the hula-hoop, the Rubik’s cube) to the tragic. The Internet, social media, and smartphones have amplified the rate of transmissibility exponentially. It’s doubtful if any study could adequately map the rate at which behaviors are imitated, most especially when they subtly offer solutions, or at least relief, to only half-conscious problems. In “Media Contagion and Suicide Among the Young,” by Madelyn Gould, Patrick Jamieson, and Daniel Romer write:

There is ample evidence from the literature on suicide clusters and the impact of the media to support the contention that suicide is “contagious.” Suicide contagion can be viewed within the larger context of behavioral contagion, which has been described as a situation in which the same behavior spreads quickly and spontaneously through a group (Gould, 1990). Social learning theory is another paradigm through which suicide contagion may be understood. According to this theory, most human behavior is learned observationally through modeling (Bandura, 1977).

Gould et al. state that “the relative risk of suicide following exposure to another individual’s suicide was 2 to 4 times higher among 15- to 19-year-olds than among other age groups.” Teenagers with friends or family members who had attempted suicide were about “3 times more likely to attempt suicide than teens who did not know someone who had attempted suicide.” This ripple-down effect also includes mass media and second or third-hand accounts.

The occurrence of imitative suicides following media stories is largely known as the “Werther effect,” derived from the impression that Goethe’s novel The Sorrows of Young Werther in 1774 triggered an increase in suicides, leading to its ban in many European states. [R]esearch consistently found a strong relationship between reports of suicide in newspapers or on television and subsequent increases in the suicide rate.

And not only news stories.

Those who have tracked hospitalizations after a dramatic fictional portrayal have found effects. So, for example, after the airing of a TV movie that included an act of suicide, [there was] an increase in hospitalization of adolescents who had attempted suicide. All of those interviewed reported having seen the program.

The report offers a series of recommendations to reduce the danger of social contagion resulting from fictional depictions or factual reports of suicide. It encourages against “inadvertently romanticizing suicide or idealizing those who take their own lives by portraying suicide as a heroic or romantic act.” It warns that “the danger is even greater if there is a detailed description of the method. . . . Presenting suicide as the inexplicable act of an otherwise healthy or high-achieving person may encourage identification with the victim.” It recommends that “whenever possible stories [should] include the important role of mental disorders such as depression and substance abuse as precursors to the act.”

“The idea is to avoid emphasizing or glamorizing suicide, or to make it seem like a simple or inevitable solution for people who are at risk.” (Ref.)

The point here isn’t to compare “sexual reassignment” due to gender dysphoria to suicide (though both involve violence to the body), but only to illustrate the extent to which the mass media, peer pressure, and illegitimate authority figures can and do influence individuals’ decision-making, including life decisions. This seems to be especially so when overly glamorized images are presented, repeatedly and irresponsibly, as ways-out to individuals suffering from confusion, distress, and a scarily shifting sense of identity.

LGBTQ individuals are said to have a higher than normal susceptibility to psychological disorders such as depression, addiction, substance abuse, and self-harming behaviors.  The predominant belief seems to be that this is largely, even entirely, due to the social stigmatization, discrimination, and lack of tolerance or acceptance for their orientation or identification by ignorant people. Certainly, our culture is partially or even primarily responsible for such psychological wounding as evidenced by most gender dysphoric individuals; but this is not because of too many bigots or an overarching intolerance for social anomalies.

The reason I am confident in stating this is simple: The psychological damage evident in so many of these classes of individuals occurs long before any kind of sexual orientation or gender dysphoria has become sufficiently apparent to provoke social condemnation (this is not counting claims that gender dysphoria is identifiable in infants!). Based on this, it seems logical to suppose that the damage or the dis-orientation is due to psychic and physical toxins in the child’s environment, including (but not limited to) those stemming from close family members, quite possibly starting in the womb. These would also include general environmental toxins, the mother’s diet, and other maternal, paternal and family behaviors.

Simply stated (if increasingly inadmissible): certain sexual orientations and gender identifications might themselves be symptoms that co-exist with other forms of social maladaptation, i.e., they share a common etiology relating to early trauma, psychological fragmentation, and/or cultural contamination.

***

[1] “Dr. Tuvel’s cultural-left credentials are impeccable. Her research links race, feminism and justice for the oppressed (including animals). But she concluded that the strong philosophical arguments in favor of accepting transgender identities should also support the possibility of altering socially defined racial classifications to match people’s inner sense of racial identity.” “The Uproar Over ‘Transracialism’” by Rogers Brubaker https://www.nytimes.com/2017/05/18/opinion/the-uproar-over-transracialism.html

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s