For the last few decades, cultural leaders have been waging a war on the weak. Their goal is to dismantle traditional norms and rules for family life. They push to dismantle gender roles and other foundational categories that ordinary people use to orient themselves and make sense out of their lives. They advocate for drug legalization and doctor-assisted suicide as well. The upshot: reliable guides toward a normal life are removed, and potentially destructive behaviors that rich people either avoid or discretely manage are normalized. The most vulnerable pay the cost.Share
On the same front page of the New York Times that reports the startling increased in death rates among poor whites, we read that the U.S. Department of Education has decreed that any refusal to allow transgender students to identity with whatever sex they choose, and to play on sports teams and use locker rooms accordingly, violates anti-discrimination laws. Federal officials will now compel an Illinois school district to conform. End result: a few troubled teens may find temporary relief, but the blatant denial of gender differences adds to the disorientation of America’s working class.
The male-female difference is a fundamental, orienting reality in every culture. Having a sense of oneself as a man or woman gives us a place to stand in the world. The transgender revolution represents that latest, most dramatic stage in today’s efforts to efface the social authority of the male-female difference. Well-educated adepts know how to use today’s multicultural patois to navigate in our brave new world of officially mandated gender blindness. They can affirm the progressive orthodoxies in words, while conveying to their children in their deeds a plastic but nevertheless gender-differentiated approach to life. Meanwhile, kids and young adults from poorly educated households are deprived of a functional language to talk about what it means to be a man or woman. Without such a language, they can’t see themselves as successfully being men or women. And so they are deprived of a baseline adult achievement that come-of-age rituals in traditional cultures have always celebrated. (Read more.)