A BIT OF CURRENT LUNACY
HAS SERIOUS IMPLICATIONS
There’s just no keeping up with the unfolding gender madness of our time.
Glamour, one of those magazines that pander to the self-absorbed by convincing them they’re fashionably sophisticated, recently named Bruce (excuse me, Caitlyn) Jenner “Woman of the Year” (per my last post).
Now the Department of Education has declared that female high school athletes of Palatine, Illinois School District 211 must change clothes and shower with a boy who thinks of himself as a girl.
As reported by The New York Times…
“the Office for Civil Rights of the Department of Education told the Palatine district that requiring a transgender student to use private changing and showering facilities was a violation of that student’s rights under Title IX, a federal law that bans sex discrimination. The student, who identifies as female but was born male, should be given unfettered access to girls’ facilities, the letter said.”
Catholic commenter and former Oklahoma state legislator Rebecca Hamilton captures the situation perfectly in an essay for the website Catholic Vote...
“We have a teen-aged boy who says that he is a girl. He wants to play sports on a girl’s team and shower and change with the girls. If he is sincere, he’s mentally ill. If he’s not sincere, it’s possible that he’s found a trendy way to gain access to the girl’s locker room for the ultimate peep show.”
Hamilton goes quickly to the heart of the matter, at least as regards the girls…
“Young female athletes are being forced to choose between playing their sport and being subjected to what amounts to a violation of their most basic rights to privacy and dignity as young women, all because of trendy, politically-correct nihilism.”
Where, she asks, are the Feminists in support of these girl athletes?…
“I find the idea that any woman would support this attack on the female incomprehensible. Yet, sadly, it does not surprise me. The Feminist Movement that worked so hard [by championing Title IX] to help female athletes win opportunities and respect is dead.”
Its corpse is on display in Palatine, Illinois.
Even the government, which has long embraced a virtually limitless mandate to protect women from sexual harassment, is choosing to ignore a clear infringement of the elemental right to female privacy.
Under pressure of the prevailing interpretation of civil rights law, the school district was already accommodating the boy in his gender delusion. I suppose the next step was inevitable.
To wit: our DOE functionaries see nothing wrong with forcing teenage girls to expose their bodies before a naked boy. Instead, the government has placed a protective priority on gender identity.
It’s doing a great deal of harm in that — not only to the girls, but also to the boy.
I would argue that the concept of gender identity is grossly misunderstood. It simply is not what people say it is.
Gender identity isn’t a matter of males believing themselves to be females or females believing themselves to be males. A man cannot have a female identity, nor can a woman have a male identity.
Your gender identity reflects the degree to which you embrace your own sexual nature. Thus a man can have a strong or a weak male identity, a woman can have a strong or a weak female identity. People begin to think of themselves as the opposite sex only if their gender identity is weak.
Let’s go into this a bit further. With all the current talk about transgenderism (à la Bruce/Caitlyn Jenner), we seem to have forgotten about a very common phenomenon called fetishism — that is to say, the attachment of sexual significance to (and the triggering of sexual stimulation by) certain objects or situations.
Consider a man’s response when he sees his wife wearing a sexy nightie. The erotic symbolism of lingerie is powerful. It’s designed to be.
Now consider the situation of an adolescent boy whose gender identity is weak but who is coming into his sexual awareness. Hormones are surging, and he’s feeling all kinds of compelling desires.
Depending on the circumstances of his life and the influence of his parents and other key people around him, it’s possible for the boy to become deeply confused about his emerging erotic impulses and take to acting out.
The most common form of adolescent sexual expression (regardless of gender identity conflict) is masturbation. But another form, one that’s not at all uncommon, is touching or wearing items of women’s clothing. If that erotic preoccupation becomes extensive enough, the fascination with female trappings can lead a boy whose gender identity is weak into full-blown cross-dressing (what’s referred to clinically as heterosexual transvestism). Frequently, someone absorbed in this practice leaps to the conclusion that, in his essence, he’s really female.
The online Encyclopedia of Mental Disorders explains it this way…
“In some cases, persons with a transvestic fetish discover that they are unhappy with their biological sex, a condition known as gender dysphoria [a term I addressed in my post of June 17]. They may elect to have hormonal and surgical procedures to change their bodies. Some may choose to have gender reassignment surgery.”
Might it be possible this is what’s happened to that boy who wants to shower with the girls? If so, he doesn’t need accommodation, he needs therapy.
Treatment of someone in such circumstances is not necessarily easy. Fetishistic preoccupations are often quite persistent. But there are clinical techniques that can yield positive results.
In any event, compassion demands that the boy be urged in the direction of seeking help. It’s a grave mistake to encourage him along paths that can only lead to further confusion and emotional distress.
Back in April of 2013, I posted a piece about a boy in Texas who wanted to attend his high school prom wearing a gown and all the related feminine trimmings. In that post I observed…
“There is a great danger in this current rush to accommodate the self-assumptions of everybody experiencing conflicts in sexuality or gender identity, especially young people. It may seem a good thing to want to make straight the path to someone’s true self. But it’s often the case that people don’t really know their true selves. It can even be that the struggles we wish to eliminate are the very encounters that help people come to terms with who they really are.”
And I cautioned that…
“rushing to affirm a young person’s assumed transgenderism may only serve to encourage that person toward a life of moral and psychological conflict they might otherwise have more fully examined (and possibly rejected) by dealing early with societal resistance. In which case, what is seen as help can really be profound harm. It may even be sin.”
I think such encouragement is indeed sinful. But that’s the approach we’ve enshrined in law, education, and popular culture.
The leaders of Palatine, Illinois School District 211 are considering court action to defend their female athletes’ privacy in the shower. I hope they press on with that — for the boy’s sake as well as the girls’.
It may help keep a young man’s psychological health from going down the drain.
Here’s a link to The New York Times’ report on the DOE’s shower ruling…
…and one to Rebecca Hamilton’s comments at Catholic Vote…
When you get a few minutes, read the entry on transvestic fetishism in the online Encyclopedia of Mental Disorders. See if you think that description might fit the situation in Palatine, Illinois…
If you assume that young men who believe they’re really young women struggle alone with their preoccupation, check out this piece on the Campus Reform website about a special program at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. It seems that UWM offers “voice feminization therapy” for male students claiming to be transgender women…
“As part of the university’s ‘Transitioning at UWM’ resource, the university encourages students to utilize ‘voice feminization therapy for male-to-female transgender clients’ offered by the UWM Speech and Language Clinic …. Elsewhere on the UWM website, the university claims voice feminization therapy is a ‘non-medical option’ that allows transgender students to ‘live their gender identities.’”