The Heaven’s Gate folks donned black clothes and new Nikes and then killed themselves, dying to get to heaven

Jonathon van Maren begs the question by writing: Why ordinary people disregard the transgender movement as utterly insane. Presumably Mr. van Maren considers himself among the ordinary. If I write Jonathon van Maren has an ordinary wit, that is not flattering. He assumes the authority to speak for like-minded people. (By the way, he probably means “regard” rather than disregard.)

Allow me to substitute the word normal for ordinary. What on earth would possess Mr. van Maren to presuppose that he is normal? It is not normal to be so obsessed with LGBT people. Moreover it is not normal to be obsessed with a mythical, magical afterlife. Normal people live their lives and do their best for the life that they have while trying not to harm others.

Mr. van Maren perceives that transgender people pose a threat to him. We call that paranoia and it is unhealthy. It’s not normal. In the final analysis, Mr. van Maren speaks for van Maren (not others) when he writes:

Several times over the past year or two I’ve written columns noting that there is a growing backlash to the transgender movement. Much of their ideology is simply too radical for ordinary men and women to accept, and as such trans activists have relied on the institutions where they have accrued power—progressive political parties, academia, and the media—to push and enforce their agenda. But despite this, their ideas have not actually gained as much traction in the broader population as their cultural clout might suggest.

Jonathon needs to get a grip. Aside from believing that he speaks for others he is describing a conspiracy. There is no transgender movement. It is a medical condition. People with a medical condition do not have an ideology, radical or otherwise. Van Maren is projecting which psychologists describe as a form of self-defense against unconscious impulses or qualities by denying their existence in themselves while attributing them to others. Van Maren subscribes to a radical ideology while appealing to a deity for constant approval. Those appeals (as prayer) for approval garner approval in and of themselves.

Let’s make the conspiracy more pernicious:

Let’s do a thought experiment and go through a few questions so I can illustrate what I mean. Think about the people you know—the ordinary men and women you work with, for example (this does not apply if you happen to work at a university.) Consider how those people—that is to say, normal, average people—would answer these questions, or how many of them would pass muster in the eyes of trans activists currently engaged in a cultural revolution.

Now a group of people are involved in a cultural revolution because they have a common medical condition. Let’s misstate public policy in order to make a point:

In some places—New York State, for example—it is illegal to “misgender” someone or refuse to use their “preferred pronoun.” These pronouns include words like “co,” which becomes “coself,” “ey,” which becomes “emself,” and “xie,” which can be translated to “hirself.” There are now dozens of others, and lists of these invented pronouns continue to evolve.

Van Maren lacks the intellectual curiosity to do much more than regurgitate the BS of others. He is probably referring to New York City, not New York State. In 2015 the city’s human rights commission issued guidance on what constitutes transgender discrimination in housing, employment and public accommodations. For example, discrimination in employment:

Intentionally failing to use an individual’s preferred name, pronoun or title. For example, repeatedly calling a transgender woman “him” or “Mr.” when she has made it clear that she prefers female pronouns and a female title.

In polite society normal people address others as they prefer to be addressed. It is not normal to be so obsessed with religious dogma that one cannot cope with the scientific fact that there are transgender people and the premise that they have a reasonable expectation of being treated courteously. It is not normal to be so indoctrinated that one must demonstrate their unsolicited disapproval at every opportunity.

It is not “illegal” to misgender someone. However, doing so in employment, housing or public accommodations constitutes discrimination.

Now, the questions: Do you know a single person who can actually list off more than a few of these pronouns? …

It is irrelevant. People inform us how they want to be addressed. Transgender individuals constitute only 0.6% of the population and I would posit that the overwhelming majority of those people prefer either male or female pronouns. It is not such a terrible burden not to be a boor.

Trans activists now claim that there are many genders beyond simply male and female, and the elites are dutifully falling into line. One activist says there is more than 60 different genders, and Facebook offers over 70 gender options for its users.…

People inform others how they want to be addressed. It is not horrifically stressful.

Of course, there are many advocates of gender fluidity who have moved beyond gender entirely and claim that many people are “non-binary.”

Poor Mr. van Maren is laden with supremely unreasonable demands for civility that mythical activists have imposed on him. What he is describing has nothing to do with fluidity. Gender is a continuum with male and female at the extreme ends. There are people who experience ambiguous gender regardless of their natal sex. The separate construct of gender is a scientific fact. Van Maren seems to think that he is empowered to ridicule non-binary people. That ridicule is based on his own ignorance. He is attacking that which he is unable to understand or things that conflict with ancient chronicles.

Most normal people accept proven science over the ancient texts.

This treatise gets stupider by the paragraph. Van Maren really likes rhetorical questions:

Consider, for a moment, the things that trans activists now expect us to believe and accept: “Men can get pregnant,” “men can breastfeed,” “the phrase ‘expectant mother’ is trans-exclusionary,” and so on. How many people do you know who actually believe these things?

This has nothing to do with activists. It is a fact that some trans men can become pregnant. I will keep this simple. Genitalia and gender are unrelated. Were that not the case then there would be no such thing as gender dysphoria. Transgender people probably don’t give a rat’s ass what Mr. van Maren chooses to believe. Let’s examine some of the things that van Maren does believe (every religion has some nutty beliefs):

  • Most applicable to the preceding paragraph, a virgin woman got pregnant.
  • Every time he receives communion he is eating Christ.
  • Because someone ate an apple we are all born guilty.
  • His soul can be saved by a sprinkling of water.
  • You can to anything, no matter how awful, if you are really, really sorry.

I am not denigrating the religious beliefs. I am just contrasting faith with evidence based medical science. It is just my opinion of course but it is a medical and scientific fact that trans men can get pregnant. I don’t understand how van Maren uncritically accepts the notion that a virgin woman got pregnant.

Finally, van Maren has been victimized:

These ideas are being imposed on us, not demanded by us. Trans activists are demanding that the people accept their ideas. Trans activists claim that they are championing a new understanding of gender, but it is as of yet largely confined to the elites.

Mr. van Maren is again projecting. He wants to impose some of his religious beliefs on all of us by force of law. Gay marriage? Not a chance. Abortion? Outlawed. Contraceptives? Banned.

Van Maren refers to elites. Included are scientists who publish peer-reviewed research to respected academic journals. Those elites are people who read that research. Elites are even people who read about those studies in newspapers. Elites are people who have the curiosity to find out (or at least try to find out) how things work.

Aside from his disapproval of transgender and gender nonconforming people, Jonathon disapproves of people whose erudition exceeds his (so-called elites). Along with his paranoia and projections, Jonathon van Maren is proud of his illiteracy and bewilderment.

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By David Cary Hart

Retired CEO. Formerly a W.E. Deming-trained quality-management consultant. Now just a cranky Jewish queer. Gay cis. He/Him/His.