12. The knee-jerk sanctimony of the Left
If you are new to the Gender Wars, at this point you might be wondering how in the heck things got so bad. I mean, female penis is ludicrous, right? You can feel sympathy for transsexual people without pretending sex doesn't exist or matter, right?
My theory as to how we got here: a perfect storm of sanctimony, ideological totalism, misogyny and male supremacy (that's right, I said it, male supremacy) on the Left.
First, the sanctimony. In his book The Righteous Mind, Jonathan Haidt explores pride in a high “disgust tolerance” as a pillar of Leftist identity. Proponents of brainsex deftly exploit this. Leftists will reliably:
1) feel natural empathy for anyone with a painful psychiatric condition such as sex dysmorphia; yet conversely
2) feel an equally natural aversion to major surgery on healthy genitals, leading to an aversion to considering this issue too closely; which, when combined with their
3) pride in their high disgust tolerance will lead them to the:
A. knee-jerk projection that anyone questioning transgender identity politics is operating out of low disgust tolerance (labeled "transphobia"), and therefore
B. they will feel the need to publicly scold that questioner in order to prove (or rather perform) their (imperfect) righteousness.
All too often, this kind of sanctimony rules out critical thought on the Left. The possibility that people who object to transgender identity politics do so without any disgust or rancor towards actual transsexual people is unthinkable – the possibility that a Leftist has been duped is both worrying and embarrassing, while the alternative explanation that they are simply the better, more tolerant person is nearly irresistible.
Were the Leftist to pause and reflect, he or she would be confronted with the possibility that their own discomfort with "feminine" males - that mixture of disgust and pity that allows so-called activists to push made-up statistics about violence and suicide, the disgust and pity that allows white, heterosexual, middle aged, middle class, cross-dressing men to paint themselves as the most persecuted minority ever - is part and parcel of the gender-obsessed world that induces sex dysmorphia in genuine non-conformists.
After all, who is really "phobic" when you're yelling at the top of your lungs that any male person who rejects the proscriptions of masculinity must really be a woman? That the problem must be with them, and not with those proscriptions? That the problem is so big, so disruptive that we must all agree to play pretend? Personally, transwomen are some of the best male people I know. I'm offended on their behalves that so many Leftists expect them to lie to and about themselves.
Furthermore, were the Leftist to pause and reflect, he or she would be confronted with the possibility that in blaming women for violence against trans people they are operating out of fear, fear so overwhelming that they cannot even name the problem - male violence. Violence that will never be stopped by appeasement, by women giving up our words and spaces. Violence that will never stop until it is confronted and made to stop at the source: men.
In short, were the Leftist to pause and reflect, he or she would be confronted with the possibility that the disgust and fear they project onto the women they call TERFs is actually their own.
If you can push a Leftist past this point, they will still have to confront the idea of larger systems of power outside of individual identity, especially systems of power based on sex (what feminist theorists call "gender.") In other words, they will have to radicalize. This point of existential crisis - between liberal and radical - renders people vulnerable to ideological totalism - nevermind that difficult thinking stuff, our magical "truth" is all there is, it transcends mere science, all questioners can be renounced and declared sub-human, just relax and submit.
Next page: The ideological totalism of the Left.