Monday, 02 March 2015

Gender Distender: Facebook's 58+Infinity “Gender” Options

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“Imagination is the only weapon in the war against reality,” wrote Lewis Carroll. And in recent times, reality has been losing that war. It used to be that you’d be asked what your “sex” was, and even flipping a coin yielded a 50 percent chance of being right. Now “sex” has been replaced with “gender,” and then the category expansion of “gender” became, well, a never-ender. And so it is at Facebook, where they’ve added to their 58 “gender” options the following:__________­­__.

That’s right, just fill in the blank.

What was insufficient about the original expanded selection? You can take a gander at the 58 options here and try to figure it out, but what follows is a small sampling:

  •  Agender
  •  Androgyne
  •  Cisgender Man
  •  Cisgender Woman
  •  Gender Variant
  •  MTF
  •  Trans Female
  •  Trans* Female
  •  Transfeminine
  •  Two-Spirit

At American Thinker, Pedro Gonzalez offers another sampling along with definitions and his own humorous take. In part he writes, citing a Slate article:

Female to Male — A woman in the process of becoming a male. She may still be working on that deep voice.

Male to Female — A man in the process of becoming female.  He may or may not have become six inches shorter, or may simply wear ladies' clothing and talk in a high-pitched voice.

Gender Fluid — Someone with male and female characteristics, though gender fluid sounds like someone who has a leak in his pants.  "Help, I'm leaking gender fluid!"

…Non-binary. People who feel they need a "three-dimensional chart" to describe their gender. I'm quoting from the article; I'm not making this up.

Interestingly, on the original list of 58 was the choice “Other”; this apparently didn’t suffice, however, so now you can specify what your other is. But some say even this isn’t enough. Gonzalez makes this case, once again striking a comedic note:

You should be able to enter a sound to describe your gender, like the clack-clack sound the tribes of New Guinea make. You should be able to upload a symbol to describe your gender, like the one for the artist formerly known as Prince. You should also be able to upload a song to describe your gender, or mail in an object, like a rock or a piece of glass, or an abstract art painting of diagonal stripes, to describe your gender.

While Gonzalez is illustrating absurdity by being absurd, he makes an important point. The reason why “genders” have metastasized and can be whatever you desire is that the category of “gender” (as applied to people) was never limited by objective reality in the first place. “Gender” is not synonymous with “sex.” While the latter is a biological classification, “gender” refers to a person’s perception of what he is, which today is known as an individual’s “gender identity.” Thus, “gender” is only limited by human imagination, which explains why “gender” theory and classifications have taken on an Alice in Wonderland quality.

Part of the problem is the language manipulation facilitating this social engineering. As I explained last year:

In older dictionaries, “gender” is always defined as it is in my seventh printing, 1975 American Heritage School Dictionary, which states, “In grammar, one of a number of categories, such as masculine, feminine, and neuter, into which words are divided.” The term had rarely been applied to people — and never to merely their self-perception.

That is, until the early 1960s. This is when a now-discredited psychologist named Dr. John Money originated “gender neutrality” theory, the notion that the sexes were the same except for superficial physical attributes and that a person could live happily as whatever sex society conditioned him to believe he was. This idea held sway for a few decades until research in the 1990s demonstrated that sex differences are more than just skin deep and that men and women are different from the womb to the tomb. So we’ve gone from “gender neutrality” to “gender identity” without any stopover at sanity.

Note here that just as this social engineering was advanced via language engineering, it can be combated via language reclamation; in other words, use the word “sex” only when referring to people.

Unfortunately, Facebook merely reflects the wider culture, with the “gender” agenda having already spread throughout our institutions. For example, middle-school training documents uncovered last year in Lincoln, Nebraska, warned teachers to avoid “gendered expressions” such as “boys” and “girls.” Instead, address students with alternative designations such as “campers” or “purple penguins,” instruct the guidelines. Entitled “12 easy steps on the way to gender inclusiveness...,” they state, in part:

Avoid asking kids to line up as boys or girls or separating them by gender. Instead, use things like "odd and even birth date," or "Which would you choose: skateboards or bikes/milk or juice/dogs or cats/summer or winter/talking or listening.”

… 3. Provide an opportunity for every student to identify a preferred name or pronoun.… Invite students and parents to let you know if they have a preferred name and/or pronoun by which they wish to be referred.

4. Have visual images reinforcing gender inclusion: pictures of people who don't fit gender norms, signs that “strike out” sayings like “All Boys ...” or “All Girls ...” or “All Genders Welcome” door hangers.

…6. Point out and inquire when you hear others referencing gender in a binary manner.… Provide counter-narratives that challenge students to think more expansively about their notions of gender.

The guidelines also advise, in step 8, “Be intolerant of openly hostile attitudes or references towards others EVERY TIME you hear or observe them,” and in Step 10, “Avoid using ‘normal’ to define any behaviors.”

And the last sentence says it all. There is a war on objective reality, on normalcy, being waged — successfully. It’s why a judge ruled last year that boys claiming girlhood were entitled to use the girls’ restrooms in schools. It’s why 55-year-old “Lana Lawless” (as assumed name), born a male and claiming to be female, was allowed to compete in the women’s division of the 2008 RE/MAX World Long Drive Championship (and won it). And then there was Caster Semenya in 2009, the then teenage South African runner whose dusting of “her” female competition and masculine physique and mannerisms raised questions about “her” sex. Semenya turned out to be a hermaphrodite with no womb or ovaries but internal testes. But the most surprising part of the story wasn’t this fact (the abnormal development was obvious enough that I’d predicted the problem), but the reality-denying reaction to the situation. For example, a commenter at the Daily Mail spoke for many when saying, “Why is everyone talking about genetics? What about Caster's own mind [sic] — if she believes within herself that she's female, then she is.”

Ayn Rand once said, “You can avoid reality, but you cannot avoid the consequences of avoiding reality.” One can only wonder if the delusional will be able to say in the future, “Why is everyone talking about civilization crumbling around us? What about our own minds? If we believe within ourselves that we’re succeeding, then we are.”

What about our own minds? We’re out of them.

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