According to Joy Pullmann a massive sinister conspiracy is afoot to, well, as she put it: ‘Special’ LGBT-Edition Oreos Indoctrinate Kids About Trans Pronouns. Pullmann, who is best known for senseless opposition to Common Core, offers “oh, the horror of it all:”

Oreo cookies, a division of international foods giant Nabisco, announced yesterday a “special” LGBT edition that includes lectures about how to use transgender pronouns.


It all seems pretty benign to me. What I want to know is this: What is so terrible about encouraging folks to be kind to transgender people? They are a tiny percentage of the population and none of them signed up for gender incongruity. On Monday I wrote about HBO’s Euphoria. A prominent member of the cast is Hunter Schafer who happens to be a transgender woman. Just how obnoxiously stupid would you have to be to address her with male pronouns?

When the hell did civility and politeness become a political issue? An established tradition in polite society is to address people as they choose to be addressed.

Yes, I know that some Christians believe that it is a lie to address transgender people according to their presentation. They are entitled to their opinion. They are not entitled to be boorish. These same people are always complaining about being marginalized by me, by ever-present socialists, by Twitter or by a whole enemies list. The simple fact is that they marginalize themselves.

Pullmann cannot help herself. She returns to her Common Core fetish which, apparently, has something to do with appropriate pronouns for transgender people. That, in turn, leads to a digression. As long as she is going to bring up Common Core I might as  well detail some history.

Some of you might know how opposition to Common Core developed. It is an interesting story. Common Core is an educational initiative from 2010 that developed standards for what K–12 students should know in English, arts and mathematics at the conclusion of each school grade. Sponsors are the National Governors Association and the Council of Chief State School Officers.

It is always the same. The right can garner support in opposition to something by claiming that it is a far-left plot without ever having to argue the merits. Common Core is politically neutral but try telling that to the people who have  been misled to mislead others.

What happened is that the Home School Legal Defense Association perceived Common Core as a threat making it harder for home schooled children to gain admission to college. HSLDA president, Michael P. Farris (who is now president of the hate group Alliance Defending Freedom), enlisted the aid of Phyllis Schlafly. Schlafly concocted a bizarre conspiracy theory and people suddenly came up with crazy reasons to oppose a common sense approach to education.

Legitimate opposition would have been in the form of seeking revisions to certain standards. Anti Common Core warriors were Schlafly’s useful idiots. Once people embrace a conspiracy theory they almost never accept the reality.

Returning to Oreos, Nabisco is in partnership with the evil NCTE.

NCTE is the National Council of Teachers of English. While it sounds benign, this massive organization that affects millions of teachers all over the country—and helped write Common Core—has been politically far leftist for decades. For example, the organization came out against allowing trained teachers to defend themselves from active shooters using licensed guns. Its influence on actual English curriculum has been to degrade instruction with politicization and gobbledygook, according to the most rigorous research. Yet still they keep being treated as credible, just like all the other corrupt education institutions in this country.

Ms. Pullmann does not know what “rigorous research” means. Rigorous research is established through a paper published to a respected and relevant academic journal that submits articles to rigorous peer review. Pullmann’s link is to a blog post at a right wing pressure group.

There is more to Pullmann’s post including the reaction of other religious idiots to Oreos on Facebook. The simple fact is that this is a marketing ploy by Nabisco. If some kids learn to be kinder and more polite to people who are different that’s a good thing. If this campaign bolsters the confidence of a transgender child, that’s a very good thing.

If there is a downside to this, Joy Pullman has failed to adequately present it. My guess is that this represents the continuing disapproval of the religious right for transgender people in general. The medical science behind gender incongruity and the mitigating effect of gender affirmation has very few dissenters.

It all reminds me so much of the opprobrium directed at gay people a decade or two ago. Reparative therapy was the magic alchemy to make gay people straight. It never worked but religious people persist in promoting some convoluted and tortured logic that they have proven that sexual orientation is a choice. “Fuck medical science. What do those atheists know anyhow?”

They are at it again because the existence of transgender people is at odds with a passage in Genesis describing how their god made men and women. To tell you the truth, I do not understand the contradiction. The religious disapproval calls for some magic bullet to make transgender people cisgender. That would require changing their gender identity. Gender identity, like sexual orientation, is extremely resistant to change.

The science should prevail as common sense. It does not.

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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.