Transsexuality affects around 0.6% or an estimated 1.4 million of the 327 million people in the U.S. and yet the media and the radical left has curiously made trans people’s experience central to our imaginations and regularly propose policy changes that purport to benefit them. I am skeptical.
From my (admittedly not very broad) experience of trans people they actually just want to be the other gender and are actually not interested in destroying gender itself. I sometimes wonder if trans people are being used by the left and that these proposals are actually less about helping a vulnerable minority and more about deconstructing the majority.
Nevertheless, I think we ought to take responsibility for the ways our own behavior may have contributed to the mess we are currently in. I have listed below eight ways in which mainstream behavior of the last hundred years might have influenced or even brought about this current public trend.
For nearly a century, feminists have spread the idea that men, just by virtue of their sex, are against women and keep them in servile roles. As women achieve more freedoms and rights, now beyond what men have, feminists have only become more insistent about that oppression. Instead of more rights making women happier, polls show an alarming downward slope since the 1970s, precisely when one would have expected women’s lot to have improved by their own estimation.
Any discussion of this fact insinuates that because men’s unhappiness has not fallen as steeply as women’s it must be men’s fault. In light of this, conscientious boys and men who love the women in their lives will undoubtedly begin to distrust themselves, and females may feel the need to avoid femininity and a future of being the inherently vulnerable sex.
Feminism has also forbidden any discussion of the vulnerabilities of men unless it is to make those entirely his own fault or the fault of “the patriarchy”. Feminism has also forbidden any discussion of the inherent strengths of women over men, other women and children. By presenting these parodies of male and female, feminism makes both sexes unattractive.
Society redefines female and male
For more than 50 years women themselves have regarded men’s bodies as normative, using long term hormonal treatments and surgical means to avoid menstruation, achieve non-fertility or to avoid or destroy pregnancies. In a relatively short time women went from being overwhelmed with the necessity of caring for children for nearly half of their lives – and probably helping other women with the necessities of caring for children and the sick and elderly for the other half (during their girlhood and post-menopausal years) – to a very new reality.
Since women now see themselves primarily as people who interact in the markets and pursue serial, non-fruitful encounters with men, should we be surprised when others begin to see us as not that complicated; indeed, easily imitated? Why wouldn’t biological males say to themselves, Well, I can do that!
Life today is generally less strenuous and less dangerous. The rare dangerous event is not likely to be fatal, but is likely to be met with plenty of infrastructure and technology, safety nets, police, first responders, power tools and labor-saving devices. Women contemplating these challenges are less likely than ever to be pregnant or saddled with several clinging young children; as a result they are quicker to look at the historical expectation that men will take care of the hard and dangerous situations and think, Well, I can do that!
The influence of porn
Pornography is enormously influential and those who make money out of it do so by the industry’s continual ramping up of graphic content to produce the next “high”. Porn suggests means of sexual arousal that might not otherwise have been pursued by an individual. Some porn actually suggests feminization to men as a means of sexual arousal, and some anecdotal reports are speculating this promotes and suggests male-to-female transition.
Single motherhood and divorce
Some 40% of all children are born on purpose into single mother households. A single mom is caught in a daily frustrating grind of trying to do the job of two people and likely to get impatient and even tyrannical in that frustration (I am a widow myself and know this situation first-hand). The children no longer have the chance to see a daily example of compromise between men and women and could easily begin to believe it’s not possible. Women and men like this are beginning to open up and tell the sad stories of the potential tyranny of female led households.
A deeply divisive and broken family of origin where mothers and fathers are locked in a perpetual fight and demonization of each other causes deep doubt in children’s understanding of their own gender as good.
Children cannot escape the fact that they are a physical manifestation of both their mother and their father. If one or both parents hate the other the children will internalize this hatred as a hatred of themselves in spite of the parents’ attempts to the contrary. Transsexuality might be a perceived way to personally and physically reconcile the disharmony experienced by the child of a violent and divisive couple. And so a boy could end up wanting to be anything but a male and a girl might seek to avoid being as vulnerable as she perceives her mother to be.
Lost mother-infant bonds
A mother’s love is essential to a person having a sense of themselves as a loveable person just in who they are. This is unique, relative to the father, because a mother is the child’s entire world in pregnancy but also in the first years of life.
If the infant experiences loss, either from a mother’s depressive withdrawal from the infant, or isolation through the mother’s attention being shifted to market production, or some other distraction such as care of another sick child or other worry, the child may not have a deep and abiding sense of their own worth and may not be able to convince themselves that they are loveable just as they are. They may seek a sex change as way of finding love and acceptance they never experienced.
Drawbacks of all-female nurturing
As children are being more and more raised entirely by women instead of both men and women, not just by single mothers but also by teachers, doctors, therapists, social workers, because all the helping professions are predominately female, it is possible that children will take on the knee jerk fears and concerns of unreflective females. According to the data collected in the The Boy Crisis, in a female-led environment children of both sexes may become more risk adverse, and be less likely to learn delayed gratification.
For these reasons they may have lower self-esteem from repeated failure and lack of accomplishment. Boys especially may see competent achievement as something to be avoided so as not to become oppressive. It may become more apparent to modern children that one must remain safe at all costs. If one sex is seen as safer than the other a change may be required.
The need to break the feminist monopoly
Extreme feminism, with its one-sided story that refuses to admit female evil and oppression as surely as it refuses to admit the many positive contributions of men to civilization, has reigned for too long. It leaves one asking: “What must I do to neither oppress or be oppressed if what causes the oppression or the victim status is my sex? To what lengths am I willing to go to avoid oppressing another person or being oppressed myself?”
The trans phenomenon is the ultimate challenge to extreme feminist claims. If women are completely and totally oppressed by men, why would a man choose to be a woman? If women have nothing but suffering under men’s oppression and men get all the breaks, why doesn’t a woman just become a man? Radical feminist insistence upon women’s perpetual oppression is being unmasked now that changing one’s sex is an actual option.
Loss of Christianity
Trans people are suffering people just like everyone. We are all plagued by self-hatred, though it can be expressed in different ways. We all have a great desire to start again, to find forgiveness and redemption. If we present Christianity to the world as a club for the self-righteous rather than a hospital for the broken, if Christians remain untransformed by their own faith, why should they be surprised when people seek transformation and personal integration in other ways?
We should all refrain from indulging in disgust toward human beings, be they other people or ourselves. To my trans friends I want to say:
Forgive me for the ways I created a world in which you feel you must mutilate yourself or hide yourself to be loveable. Forgive me for not being transformed as I should be. I am not sure how to love you best but I am unable to join you in your rejection of yourself. I hope you can also help me the same way. Perhaps not indulging in the self-hatred of another person is part of the definition of friend.
Katherine Baker is a freelance writer who lives in Western Pennsylvania.