December 20, 2019

From time to time, events provide a valuable glimpse into the utter irrationality of gender ideology, and its inherent intolerant impulses. Many people just shrug their shoulders about this, repeat nostrums about “tolerance”, and think “how does that affect me?”. But this attitude won’t work anymore. We’re seeing clearer and clearer evidence that gender ideology isn’t a “live and let live” project. It’s a “you must believe or else” movement that is taking on all the characteristics of a totalitarian regime.

Just to review, the basic argument of gender ideology is that gender is not determined by one’s biological sex, but is a separate matter that is defined according to the subjective feelings of an individual. One’s biological sex is an arbitrary classification that is “assigned” at birth. I’m not making this up. Here’s how New York City’s Commission on Human Rights defines “gender identity”:

“Gender identity” is the internal deeply-held sense of one’s gender which may be the same as or different from one’s sex assigned at birth. A person’s gender identity may be male, female, neither or both, i.e., non-binary. Gender identity is not the same as sexual orientation and is not visible to others.

In other words, it’s all based on feelings, with no intrinsic link to biological reality. You can’t even see it if you look. It’s a complete re-definition of what it is to be human. In fact, it is becoming clear that gender ideology has become a new official state pseudo-religion. There’s no evidence for it — you just have to accept it on faith. And if you don’t watch out, the government is there to enforce this new orthodoxy.

The most recent story from the UK shows where all this is leading. A woman was fired from her job because she refused to accept the idea that sex is changeable. She insisted that she would treat “transgender” people politely and even use their “preferred pronouns” out of politeness. But she also insisted on holding to a simple proposition that would have been axiomatic ten years ago: “My belief … is that sex is a biological fact, and is immutable. There are two sexes, male and female. Men and boys are male. Women and girls are female. It is impossible to change sex.”

That statement would never be viewed as offensive or problematic in a rational world. But we don’t live there anymore. In this modern post-rational world, she was fired, and she sued. A court rejected her lawsuit, and said this (among many other absurdities):

“I conclude from … the totality of the evidence, that [she] is absolutist in her view of sex and it is a core component of her belief that she will refer to a person by the sex she considered appropriate even if it violates their dignity and/or creates an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment. The approach is not worthy of respect in a democratic society.” (emphasis added)

Read that last sentence carefully. Read it again. This is the Orwellian world that is upon us, and woe to anyone who decides to trust their own eyes and the universal holding of every scientific field. Feelings rule and the most sensitive self-declared victim sets the standards — which becomes truly frightening when the power of the state becomes the stick to compel conformity.

This kind of totalitarianism is not unique to the UK. It’s here in the US as well. More and more, we’re seeing government agencies insisting that private organizations “affirm” gender ideology or risk losing access to programs and contracts. Teachers and schools are being required to get with the program and pretend that sex doesn’t matter when it comes to private facilities and sports programs. Health professionals are being told they risk their jobs and licenses if they don’t fall in line and refer patients for mutilating surgery or poisoning with hormones. Corporate HR departments are requiring all employees to attend “diversity” indoctrination sessions or face adverse consequences.

The appeal to power is inevitable when a culture of victimhood is fostered based on values that are purely subjective, and where the alleged offense is to have one’s feelings hurt. Those who disagree can’t be tolerated, especially those who appeal to universal, objective values. They must be forced to agree, in order to make the hurt go away. Where government power is insufficient to repress dissent, groupthink becomes the weapon of choice through shaming and shunning on social media.

The sad irony of gender totalitarianism is that in the service of diversity it compels uniformity, in celebrating individuality it represses free thought, and while claiming to redress injuries it inflicts them.

This ideology poses a fundamental threat to freedom, not just for religious people who hold to the teachings of our faith about man and woman. It endangers the freedom of all who hold to reason and science. It’s a threat that is not going away, and it must be resisted at every point.