Gender Ideology as Abuse

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By The Catholic Thing, Sept. 20, 2017

Matthew HanleyThe return of football and crisp autumn air is welcome, even if being a fan of some teams (such as my San Francisco 49ers) requires an act of supernatural faith again this year. But for Bennet Omalu, the “concussion doctor” (so dubbed for his role in casting a spotlight on the issue), it is a melancholy time of year. The Chief Medical Examiner in San Joaquin County, he recently speculated that letting youth play football will soon prompt a DA somewhere to prosecute, because football, as he put it, “is the definition of child abuse.”

With so much real abuse to contend with, such an over-the-top contention strikes a false note, even if there is something to be said for not allowing very young people to bang heads. But the curious crusade against football is being taken quite seriously. Almost as seriously as the crusade in favor of normalizing “gender fluidity.”

I recently came across the Summer 2017 edition of Stanford Medicine News. Its feature story was: “Young and Transgender: Caring for Kids Making the Transition.” In it, a pediatric endocrinologist is lionized for her efforts to “help” these kids – by means of puberty blockers and the like. Blocking puberty is now healthcare? “As you treat transgender teens with hormones,” she says, “you’re affirming who they are.” Going under the knife is but another means of affirming that their body is getting it wrong by maturing normally.

I don’t mean to single out Stanford. Kowtowing to the transgender agenda is now epidemic. The most recent DSM (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders) replaced the longstanding diagnosis of “gender identity disorder” with gender “dysphoria.” Since – voilà – there is no longer any “disorder” to treat psychiatrically, the proper course necessarily becomes mutilation (via hormones and surgery).

The American Psychiatric Association, taking leave of its senses, flatly asserts that transgender transitioning involves no real delusion or impairment in judgment – delusion being defined as “a false belief or wrong judgment held with conviction despite incontrovertible evidence to the contrary.”

In order to reach such a conclusion, you have to dismiss objective reality or else declare it subordinate to however patients want to define “their” reality. They are who they say they are, if they say so. But in going down that road, no one at all could ever be deemed delusional; you invalidate the entire concept of psychiatric disorder. Is the APA, unwittingly, trying to put itself out of business?

The acquiescence of highly trained, intelligent professionals to such an obvious lie is a sad, sad sight to behold. Some may believe the suddenly “official,” yet irrational, gender dogmas. My guess is most do not. Not really. But there is face to save and there are jobs to keep. So they comply.

Achieving such Soviet-like conformity without a politburo is quite a remarkable feat. You might call it a feather in postmodernism’s cap. Not that the California legislature (to take one example) isn’t trying to attain politburo status; they want to fine and even imprison people in some caregiving settings who don’t address patients by the pronoun of their choice, which is to say by the wrong pronoun.

This triumph of intellectual dishonesty is bad enough in and of itself; degrading others by making them agree to something they know is a lie is a hallmark of totalitarianism. Even worse, “helping kids transition,” unlike encouraging kids to play football or other sports, actually does constitute child abuse.

So maintains Dr. Michelle Cretella, the President of the American College of Pediatricians, who has the courage not to mince words. Many of her peers, it seems, do not; indeed, more numerous than those seeking to “transition” are the passel of “professionals” prepared to grant that absolute impossibility a veneer of medical legitimacy. With so many supposed champions of science out there, it should not require courage to say that “feelings” cannot negate the verdict rendered by the male or female chromosomes found in every single cell of the body.

Some will say that to say what’s real is “judgmental.” But the very effort to enforce transgender acceptance violates the creed of non-judgmentalism. So as long as judgments are being made, most people, even today, would agree that the enabling (i.e. abusive) professionals are far, far more culpable than the disoriented teens in need of compassion and steady guidance. The outcomes for those who undergo “trans” procedures are not good. The data show that. “Healers” – along with the schools, media, corporations, and so forth – who pretend abnormality is normality are by definition abusive.

Never mind the disturbing parallel between transgender assaults upon healthy anatomy and the roundly condemned practice of Female Genital Mutilation.

“Transitioning” is packaged as a triumph of science and progress, albeit with the understanding that some transitioning is not to be tolerated at all. I refer, of course, to the prospect of someone wanting to ditch homosexuality in favor of heterosexuality.

That this is forbidden – literally outlawed in some contexts – gives the game away: when personal choice is so strikingly rebuked, despite the typical rhetoric to the contrary, it’s a signal that what this is all really about is advancing a chosen end, not extolling “choice” itself.

The end that is actually being pursued is nothing other than obliterating the order and ethics imparted by the Judeo-Christian tradition. It’s all about having power to redefine the rules; to invert what is good for what is bad. Total disintegration is the name of the game.

Abuse is not just an occasional, incidental byproduct of the larger revolution, in which gender fluidity is but the latest salvo. It is the heart of the matter.


Matthew Hanley

Matthew Hanley is senior fellow with the National Catholic Bioethics Center. With Jokin de Irala, M.D., he is the author of Affirming Love, Avoiding AIDS: What Africa Can Teach the West, which recently won a best-book award from the Catholic Press Association. The opinions expressed here are Mr. Hanley’s and not those of the NCBC.