Guest post: They have the reified “gender identity”

Originally a comment by Papito on What kind of “experts”?

Experts said that in today’s world, children must fight against the devil for their souls even while they’re asleep.

Really, what’s the difference?

The difference is that the believers in gender ideology have so completely captured the media elite that, though a reporter may question whether children have “souls,” none may question whether children have “gender identity.”

A reporter who went on NPR or wrote in the Times about how today’s children had to guard their souls against the devil would be seen as religious, and the media organization would fence them in with a counterpoint. No counterpoint is allowed for the hundreds of times a week they assert that all children have a “gender identity.” Nobody comes on after to say “not everybody believes that people have gender identities.” It’s presented as revealed truth.

If a kid came home from a public school saying that their health teacher was telling them about their souls, few angry parents would hesitate to call the school. When kids come home from public school saying their health teachers are telling them about their gender identities, parents have to weigh whether they will be labeled a bigot for protesting.

What do young people really have, that’s different from yesteryear? Proselytized from every newspaper, radio, and school, they have the reified “gender identity.” At the top of the cultural menu of explanations for psychological distress, they have “gender dysphoria.” In previous generations, a different thing would have been at the top of that menu: the work of the Devil, multiple personalities, possession, repressed trauma. In this sense, “I’m really a boy” is the new “I saw Goody Osburn cavorting with the Devil.”

Most of the kids who identify that they are suffering from “gender dysphoria” have an interpersonal conflict with their same-sex parent. As did innumerable adolescents of generations past, they don’t want to grow up to be their dad, or to be their mom. The difference is that today, instead of being told they can grow up to be a different sort of man, or a different sort of woman, they are told right away that they can grow up not to be a man at all, or not to be a woman at all. That’s what a firmly implanted belief in gender identity promises them. That’s what teaching kids from Kindergarten that all people choose their genders and their pronouns teaches them.

Do we forget that second word exists? Gender… identity. There it is. A fundamental goal of the psyche during adolescence is defining the individual’s identity. That’s what an adolescent brain is meant to do, and it does it, first and foremost, by reaction to and against his or her parents. What am I? Not like my dad… and that is when gender ideology hijacks individuation. Did anybody in the Sixties imagine that someday “tuning in, turning on, and dropping out” would seem like a more mainstream choice? Did anybody imagine that someone could convince adolescent boys to sign up to become eunuchs? And convince their parents to go along with it?

I saved my son from the gender ghouls, and these days he thanks me for it. Now I have to lay the groundwork to save my daughter. I have nerdy, non-conforming, empathetic, quirky kids, and such kids are the prime targets of the gender cult. Kids aren’t ever going to believe everything their parents tell them, and nor should they. But whenever the topic of “gender identity” comes up, I remind my daughter that not everybody believes in “gender identity,” just like not everybody believes in “souls.” I don’t have a “gender identity,” I tell her. Her mother doesn’t have one, her brother doesn’t have one. We’re just who we are, and we live the way we want to. If the way we want to express ourself comports with what someone expects of a person of our sex, then cool. If it doesn’t, then, well, that’s also cool. It’s just not terribly important. What we have are identities. “Gender” is just one tiny little blind alley in the vast cities of our identities.

The gender cult wants to make that tiny little alley the main thoroughfare of kids’ identities. That is, ultimately, spiritually impoverishing. Not only do the sacrifices of body parts and functions the cult requests of children in service to subordinating identity to gender weaken and harm them, but so does the sacrifice of their own psychological wholeness. In my state it’s illegal to provide psychological therapy to children who suffer from gender dysphoria. There is only one legal remedy: affirmation. A therapist who doesn’t do that could lose his license, and so he will commonly refuse to see such patients, thus turning away a significant proportion of the adolescents needing therapy today.

Asking what’s really causing them trauma, what’s really behind their suffering, is impermissible. The answer is gender, and you will provide that answer. Send them down the path to mutilation. Only someday later, perhaps in another state, can they start to explore the reality of their suffering. Now, with more suffering. Perhaps infertile, perhaps sick, perhaps unable ever to experience a sexual relationship. But they’ve got “gender identity,” right?

Does the belief in “gender identity” harm all children? I can’t say whether it does, no more than I can say that the belief in “souls” does. I’m content to let people believe what they want in their churches. If we’re not taking kids away from Christian Scientists, who won’t give them aspirin, then we can’t take kids away from gender ideologues. What I can say with all certainty is that the mandated belief in “gender identity” harms more children than it helps. We must do our best to push back against the reification of this belief.

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