Writing a column partially about the Nashville school shooting is going to be a bit like tightrope walking for me. Partly because most people feel like we’ve heard enough about that story, but mostly because of how sad it is.
My natural tendency is to mock and crack wise, and even though many of the political reactions to this story deserve mockery, and I do have some serious thoughts about transgenderism and how I think we should view it, I’d understand if many people aren’t in the mood for a discussion of this topic.
If that’s you, you might want to skip this one.
For the rest of you, I’ll start with the obvious: the tragic, violent deaths of those at the school are heartbreaking, somehow even moreso because three of the victims were children. Especially for those of us who don’t know those involved, offering thoughts and prayers really is the appropriate thing to do, even as hollow as that feels, and as often as that idea is mocked.
But I do feel some dark schadenfreude from watching the self-owning, hypocritical leftist media tie themselves into knots as they have been trying to force the round peg of this story into the square a-hole of their ideology.
Sorry, that should have been “square hole.”
Or should it?
Anyway, they are juggling so many internally contradictory ideas that they can’t help but beclown themselves in multiple ways.
For example, in their usual script, the gun itself is evil, and responsible for all gun deaths.
UNLESS the gun is wielded by a right-winger, or a straight white guy of indeterminate politics, in which case the gun is incidental, and the gunman is evil, and responsible for all gun deaths. (In this case, obviously, the gun is at fault.)
Also, all guns are assault weapons! Even if they’re pistols, or tiny little derringers from an Old West poker game, or flintlock muskets that take 22 minutes to reload.
But you put two AR-15s in the hands of a transgender shooting Christians at a Christian school, and leftist craniums are exploding and bouncing off ceilings from sea to shining sea. (If by “sea to shining sea” you mean from each coast to about 10 miles inland, and then skipping over all the icky flyover states in between.)
You know that there is a certain kind of malevolent leftist – hopefully not a huge percentage of the left! – who can’t think of a more satisfying daydream than a transgender Rambo shooting up a bunch of people in a red-state Christian school.
And yet they have to do their best to suppress the shooter’s “manifesto,” out of fear that it will likely express exactly that sort of Christophobic poison that they have been pushing for years.
The poor MSM reporters stuttered and stammered as they tried to report at least some facts while also avoiding the obvious truth that is the transgender elephant in the non-binary room.
Initial coverage made a big deal about how rare it was for a female to be a mass shooter like this. Which is true. Except that it can’t be true, because this shooter was “male,” like all the bad patriarchal shooters always are. Because of their toxic masculinity.
Which obviously arises from the ovaries “trans men” are born with, and is not the least bit affected by the functioning testicles that they absolutely never have, even if they do get genital mutilation/emulation surgery, in the worst metaphorical game of hide the pea under the shell ever known to mankind.
I mean, “personkind.”
And no, I’m not going to explain what is the metaphorical pea and which is the metaphorical shell in that horrific game. Because I don’t know, and you don’t know, and Dylan Mulvaney doesn’t know. Even though he’s been doing his best to hide the pea for quite some time now.
Or was it the shell?
Anyway, where was I?
Oh yeah. My favorite med-idiot (I’m trying to create a neologism from “media” and “idiot,” but I know that it’s not there yet. Maybe “meediot?” or “media-idiot?” I’ll keep working on it.) was “science” writer Benjamin Ryan, who stumbled through a pronoun minefield.
First he said that the shooter was killed “after she gunned down” her victims. Later, he called the shooter “he.” Finally, he solemnly intoned about how the shooter had been “assigned female at birth.”
That phrase is a ridiculous, moronic linguistic malformation; it easily belongs in my top 5 leftist-language pet peeves. It both gets my goat AND gets my dander up, until I’m left to just sputter in anger, as I watch a dander-covered goat gamboling about, just out of my reach.
Nobody is “assigned” anything at birth! The phrase suggests a doctor walking through a nursery full of newborns, trailed by a nurse who is writing down every infant’s assignment as the doc taps each crib and says, “Eenie, meenie, miney, Boy. Eenie, meenie, miney, Girl.”
Or possibly, “Duck, duck, Vagina.” Or “Black sheep, black sheep, have you any Penis?” Or however such phantom “assignments” would be given out.
These people are idiots, and I feel like they’re shaving several IQ points off of me just in the process of writing this column. (Re-read the last 250 words or so. Do they not indicate someone who is slowly losing his faculties? The whole family is worried about me, and Cassie the Wonder Dog is staring at me with her gorgeous dog head cocked at an extreme angle.)
Again: none of this is about the shooting. It’s about the way the ghoulish, bad-faith left is trying to make political hay out of it, which we should always push back on. Yes, that gets us talking politics in the wake of a tragedy, which we’d all rather not do.
But we don’t have that luxury, because that’s not the way politics and culture work: if the other side is constantly aggressing, and we either passively cede ground — or worse, try to fight by one-hand-tied-behind-our-back, Marquess of Queensberry rules – the aggressors are going to win.
In this specific debate, we need to go back to the most basic fact from which all other arguments, responses and policies flow: authentic transgenderism is a mental disorder.
I say that out of compassion for everyone it affects. I’ve known people with various mental issues. My mom has Alzheimer’s, as did her mother, and I struggled with a natural depression during the five months when my dad was dying. I can only imagine how awful it would be to feel alienated from your own body and gender, and I seriously empathize with anyone experiencing that, and wish only the best for them.
But if a condition is wrongly diagnosed, the prescribed treatment is bound to go horribly wrong.
A hallmark of nearly all mental disorders is that the patient mis-perceives reality. In various psychoses, the patient thinks voices are talking to her – from the radio, or fillings in her teeth, or from the empty air around her – when there are no voices. Or the patient thinks he’s Napoleon, or Christ. (Spoiler alert: he’s not. There has only ever been one of each.)
In the body dysmorphia subset of mental illnesses, the same holds true. An anorexic looks at her emaciated frame in a mirror and sees an obese person. Some rare illnesses have involved people who felt that they are alienated from one body part, that it is somehow not part of them; one such patient mangled his arm to force its amputation; another intentionally blinded himself.
Transgenderism seems logically related to that subset of mental illnesses, and in none of those other cases would we condone doctors or society indulging the sufferer’s delusion. Many Americans think it’s compassionate to agree and go along with traumatic surgeries and health-threatening drug interventions for those with one body dysmorphia, when they would NEVER agree with an anorexic that she is disgustingly fat.
There is clearly a strong element of social contagion with transgenderism, as the numbers have been exploding far beyond any biological or naturally occurring phenomena would. And it coincidentally affects far-left parents in blue states disproportionately; many high-profile parents have “discovered” that several of their kids are trans or non-binary, which is statistically unlikely, to say the least!
The one bit of truth in the leftist script is that there have always been people who are gender stereotype non-conforming, as with more masculine or “tom-boy” girls, or more effeminate boys. Those are so common as to be a familiar fixture in all cultures. In that sense, if not in the sense that the radical LGBTQ activists claim, gender expression is very commonly on a spectrum, from hyper-masculine to hyper-feminine, and encompassing everything in between.
I think most people in this group would fall into one of three common-sense categories:
1. In many cases, these are characteristics or tendencies that don’t dominate personalities, and can be very well accommodated into lifelong, well-functioning relationships. You all know couples in which the man is more stereotypically sensitive or “feminine” – eschewing sports, hunting, or activities more often associated with testosterone – and women who are the same in the opposite direction: hard-charging, aggressive, or confrontational in their careers and social relationships, etc.
Even though most women don’t go into traditionally male-dominated fields (engineering, construction, the military), some do. Even though most men don’t go into traditionally female-dominated fields (elementary school teacher, caregiver, housekeeping), some do. Even though most husbands don’t take a long paternity leave, and most mothers don’t willingly choose to go back to work a day or two after giving birth, some do.
These aren’t people who should pursue radical means to try to change their gender; they are part of the diverse kaleidoscope of preferences and tendencies that make up varied human nature.
2. In at least as many other cases, some gender-non-conforming behavior in childhood is a transient phase that a young person goes through during the process of coming into one’s self that marks all passages into adulthood. Every adult with a normally wide circle of acquaintances knows many, many women who went through a tomboy phase, before dating and settling into a satisfying traditional marriage, or becoming “earth-mother” types with many kids.
3. In many, many other cases, gender-non-conforming kids just turn out to be gay.
The comparatively tiny number of people who don’t fall into any of those groups and who are actually suffering from gender dysmorphia need therapy and treatment, not affirmation in their illness, and encouragement to pursue surgeries and drug regimens with life-long, severe consequences
Today we look back with disdain on many fads that were considered to be at the forefront of “science,” endorsed by some of the most influential medical and cultural groups of their time.
Some of these are tragic and dark – using lobotomies to treat mental illness, or eugenics to “compassionately” improve society – and some were ridiculous, as when phrenologists studied the shape of the skull to diagnose psychological attributes, or astrologers used horoscopes to make life decisions.
The current transgender mania is both ridiculous and darkly tragic, and history is not going to be kind to those pushing it now.
In the meantime, we should show compassion to the mentally ill, and politically defeat those who – knowingly or not – are fighting for a bad cause, and doing life-changing damage to too many children.
And thank the cops in Nashville, who bravely confronted a disturbed person, and used their guns to save many lives!
3 thoughts on “Writing About a Painful Subject (posted 3/31/23)”
Absolutely one of the finest columns you’ve ever written. And I say this while it infuriates me to the absolute flat end of the earth to realize you had to write it. Not only for the healing of rational minds, but that the leftist “do whatever the hell you want to” group needed to be slapped into reality. If this commentary won’t do it. Write another one. And another one. And another one. It’s stunning to me that “repressive” and “socially stunted” nations fully believe and understand the natural designation of genders while our progressive western society is hell bent on allowing minors to mutilate and destroy their lives. Further, them seem to not only want to be in the drivers seat as we pitch forward in destroying modern western society, but they also want to boost the octane of that 442 Olds and add a turbo to get us even faster to the brick wall of self-destruction.
God help us all. If He hasn’t turned away from us already.
Thanks so much, John. And I obviously share your concern. I really do think this is going to be a craze or mania that we look back on with horror and incomprehension in coming decades. Thanks for reading!