I bring up the transgender issue a lot. It’s not because I am trans-phobic, or a trans-hater. My philosophy of individual freedom means that I recognize another person’s rights to direct their own life. The reason I bring it up so often because it seems the most forceful element is the one that isn’t satisfied with being able to direct their own life but wants to direct yours as well. Actually, it’s a bit deeper than that. It’s not your life so much as your mind that they want to direct and in that there is something deeply insidious. See, that philosophy goes both ways. I believe you can be a man who thinks he’s a woman but that means I can also think there’s something wrong with you and not acknowledge that you actually are a woman. That’s my right. If if that’s not the kind or polite thing for a person to do. There is no right not to be offended and there is no right to control how another person thinks. I submit that trying to do so is evil.
And if all others accepted the lie which the Party imposed – if all records told the same tale – then the lie passed into history and became truth. “Who controls the past,” ran the Party slogan, “controls the future: who controls the present controls the past.” And yet the past, though of its nature alterable, never had been altered. Whatever was true now was true from everlasting to everlasting. It was quite simple. All that was needed was an unending series of victories over your own memory. “Reality control,” they called it: in Newspeak, “doublethink.” – 1984, George Orwell
The child in the story linked below is called Joe, he’s an 8-year-old transgender boy. Putting “transgender” in front of boy, girl, man or woman is like the word equivalent of multiplying two negatives to make a positive – transgender boy = girl – the inverse is true. Taking away the fact that this is a child we’re talking about it doesn’t hurt my rights at all if she wants to dress and act like a boy. But that doesn’t mean she IS a boy. Intuitively perhaps, the child seems to know this when she says, “My identity is a boy.” Note she doesn’t say “I AM a boy”. Being something is objective. A tree either is or isn’t a tree, a cat either is or isn’t a cat. One cannot slap on floppy ears and a muzzle, call it a dog, and expect that what sits before them is actually a dog.
“Devotion to the truth is the hallmark of morality; there is no greater, nobler, more heroic form of devotion than the act of a man who assumes the responsibility of thinking.” ― Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged
I once read a comment online from someone who said they were transgender that read, “my body does not define my gender.” I’ve actually heard that a lot. Take the child in this article. Looking at the photos what seems to define gender for her? Short hair, traditionally male clothing, and traditionally male activities. In this instance cultural markers of gender. Engaging in these things doesn’t make her a boy she’s only acting like one. I’m trying to set aside the fact that this is a child but it’s difficult to do. As adults we have a broad latitude to decide our own behavior but children don’t have the mental capacity yet. It’s not their fault but literally a limitation of brain development that limits cognition. The brain is growing and developing. We know that behavior alters the brain. So it’s possible that this behavior is changing the wiring going on. It’s possible that allowing the child to run against gender norms is helpful now but perhaps harmful in the future, or harmful now and harmful in the future or anything running all between. The empirical data simply doesn’t exist for us to know.
Enter the Boy Scouts of America. An organization for boys. They define what a boy is using the traditional methods and so to them a transgender boy IS actually a girl in boy clothing. They don’t accept the “identity” as the actual sex of the individual. So that gets me to why I bring this issue up: I don’t think one person has the right to tell another person that they must accept another person’s chosen reality as actual reality. In that sense I’m an objectivist. I don’t think little Joe Maldonado is a boy and I reserve the right to think that way and I don’t think an organization meant for boys should have to accept that either anymore than an organization for girls should accept the inverse. In that sense I do think there is a bit of gender bias going on in this story after all. But not what they think. A girl infiltrating the Boy Scouts isn’t so bad. Girls are passive, not threatening. Boys, after all, are the sexually aggressive ones, the bullies, the ones to watch out for. I suspect if a teenage boy dressed up as a teenage girl and wanted to join the Girl Scouts or the YWCA people would be much less ready to accept and support it because they would suspect an ulterior motive. Subconsciously I suspect many still see Joe as a girl and are therefore not threatened by her.
Mark Twain said, “Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence on society.” and in this case he’s right. People like Joe in flannel, or Bruce Jenner glammed up like a woman use the clothes to make their statement and influence on society and expect others to see only the exterior but then at the same time tell people that we shouldn’t look at a persons skin color or gender. They tell us they dress that way because they feel like a member of the opposite sex. They use language to convince us that they were “meant” to the other gender, that they “knew” from a very early age that they were “supposed to be” a boy or a girl. But their feelings and inner dialogue are theirs alone and should not be forced on the world. If you want to share in it, by all means do. Some will because they think it’s polite, others will because they don’t want to hurt someone’s feelings. But some people won’t because they think it’s harmful to feed into what they see as someone’s disillusion.
On the one hand they decry gender as being unimportant, something we should just “get over” but for people in the transgender community it seems to be the defining characteristic of who they are. Others aren’t supposed to pay attention to it but if they don’t then they want to pass laws to make them.
From the moment he joined, 8-year-old Joe Maldonado eagerly looked forward to camping trips and science projects with his Secaucus Cub Scout pack.