Thursday, April 21, 2016

Gavin Grimm's Totalitarian Fairy Tale

Faith, we are reliably informed, is the “substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” The troubled 16-year-old girl from Gloucester, Virginia who calls herself Gavin Grimm, and insists on being treated as if she were a boy, is acting on something other than faith by denying substantive facts that are plain to be seen by fellow high school students who would share bathroom facilities with her. 

Those students, and the school faculty, have unwisely indulged Grimm in her delusion to the extent of providing her – and others who have qualified for the trendy and politically potent diagnosis of “gender dysphoria” – with unisex bathroom facilities. To avoid potentially unsettling encounters in locker rooms, Grimm was allowed to do P.E. at home.

Grimm registered as a female for her 9th grade year at Gloucester High School before deciding (perhaps as a result of prolonged immersion in Tumblr, I suspect) that she was actually a male, irrespective of her biological sex. Her parents, along with school administrators and counselors, were unfailingly supportive after Grimm announced a desire to “transition” in a “social” – but not anatomical – sense. An Orwellian revision of school records was made to reflect Grimm’s new “gender identity”; an official e-mail was dispatched ordering teachers to address her as if she were a biological male. 

As Grimm herself has acknowledged, “no teachers, administrators, or staff at Gloucester High School expressed any resistance to calling me by my legal [meaning male] name or referring to me using male pronouns.” Students were unfailingly supportive – and understandably confused when Grimm opted not to use any of the three “unisex” bathroom facilities that had been provided at substantial expense to local tax victims. Owing to their indoctrination, female students looked upon Grimm as a boy; owing to their residual allegiance to reality, many male students still saw her as a girl. 

Why was Grimm avoiding the unisex bathrooms in the first place? In the lawsuit inevitably filed by the pressure groups exploiting her, Grimm insisted that it was “stigmatizing” to use those facilities. In this fashion she imputed unspoken motives to people who had (by her own admission) said nothing offensive to her. She likewise complained that by being required to use the unisex bathrooms she was subjected to “different and unequal treatment.”

This much is incontestable: The treatment she received was manifestly unequal when compared to that given to students who were not recognized as “specially protected” specimens and thus did not share her entitlement to rearrange local reality according to the dictates of her whimsical self-image. 

While it is unwise to reinforce the delusions of an emotionally troubled adolescent girl – and criminal to use plundered wealth to that purpose -- nobody has the right to punish her for them, or to compel her to abandon them. On the same principle, neither she nor any of the ideologically deranged adults who are cheerfully exploiting her has the right to compel others to participate in her fantasy, which is the purpose of her lawsuit. 

The activist groups who have battened on Grimm’s lawsuit seek nothing less than federal intervention to compel people to take part in what amounts to an exercise in participatory solipsism: Because Grimm is an accredited member of the “specially protected” class, hers is the only mental state that matters, and those unworthy of that designation must defer to her. Mere material accommodation is insufficient; every thought must be taken captive in the service of “gender justice,” or whatever label is currently affixed to the bottle containing this bilge. 

In a ruling that should surprise nobody who is paying attention, the US Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals, in a 2-1 decision, has demanded that the Gloucester School District permit Grimm to use restroom facilities reserved for biological males. This is supposedly required by the infinitely expandable Title IX of the federal educational amendments of 1972, which forbids “sex discrimination” on the part of any educational institution that receives any amount of federal subsidies. 

This ruling, predictably, ignores the actual text of the law, relying instead on a letter composed by an appointed functionary in the Education Department’s Office for Civil Rights that elides the critical difference between sex – an innate physical characteristic – and “gender” – which is, apparently, a protean social artifact. The author of that letter has no legal or constitutional authority to revise the text of the statute at issue. Such matters are inconsequential to social justice warriors, whether in foundation-funded pressure groups or judicial robes. 

In a dissent that reflects the tautly controlled exasperation of a rational man surrounded by Bedlamites, Judge Paul Niemeyer writes that the US Department of Education’s interpretation of Title IX overturns “all universally accepted protections of privacy and safety that are based on the anatomical differences between the sexes.”

“This unprecedented holding overrules custom, culture, and the very demands inherent in human nature for privacy and safety, which the separation of such facilities is designed to protect,” Niemeyer continued. “More particularly, it also misconstrues the clear language of Title IX and its regulations. And finally, it reaches an unworkable and illogical result” – which is the ideal outcome for people driven by an insatiable appetite to reform what they see as defects in the way others live and think. 

Grimm professes that she feels psychological distress when using girl’s bathroom facilities in the presence of other biological females. The same would be true of male students compelled to share bathrooms with her. However, they belong to an unprivileged class and, therefore, their discomfort is not relevant – unless they should act on it by absenting themselves when Grimm materializes among them. This would be “stigmatizing” behavior and, thus, unacceptable. So what would be the appropriate remedy? Will school resource officers be on hand to enforce a regime of compelled bathroom integration? If not, why not?
No, you're cynically exploiting her.
Totalitarianism is a political system in which the State seeks to reconfigure society in harmony with an ideological abstraction. This makes it impossible for people to relate to each other without constant supervision by the Enlightened Ones, backed by the constant threat, and frequent imposition, of punitive sanctions. The Regime has been pursuing this design, through various means, since roughly 1865, as Professor George P. Fletcher documents in his book The Secret Constitution: How Lincoln Redefined American Democracy

Fletcher, a self-described Marxist who taught at Columbia University School of Law, insists that the true purpose of the War Between the States, and the Reconstruction of the South, was not to end chattel slavery, but rather to replace the original constitutional order with a unitary Regime in which the central government would have illimitable power to regulate the personal behavior of its subjects. 

“The heart of the new consensus is that the federal government, victorious in warfare, must continue its aggressive intervention in the lives of its citizens,” wrote Fletcher approvingly. The Founders' Constitution, according to the men who framed it, would supposedly protect liberty by prescribing a handful of limited powers to the central government, thereby proscribing the exercise of any others by it.  

That arrangement was changed as a result of the War and Reconstruction, according to Fletcher, since “the liberty that comes to the fore in the intended postbellum constitutional order and under the Secret Constitution requires the intervention of government. Liberty is born in the state's assertion of responsibility to oversee and prevent relationships of oppression.” (Emphasis added.) 

By this formula, the more aggressively the federal government intervenes in our private lives, the “freer” we become. In the case of Gavin Grimm, the Regime has arrogated to itself the power to redefine basic matters of biology, thereby giving itself a very broad license for aggressive intervention in the most intimate areas of life – in this case, the lives of minor children. 

Judge Niemeyer, striving with admirable but doomed determination to remind his colleagues that something called the law exists, observes: “An individual has a legitimate and important interest in bodily privacy such that his or her nude or partially nude body, genitalia, and other private parts are not exposed to persons of the opposite biological sex.”

This is an elemental property right. Gavin Grimm does not have a property right entitling her to require others to see her as a boy. The totalitarian scope of the Regime’s ambition is made clear by its determination to punish those unwilling to pretend otherwise.

 This week's Freedom Zealot Podcast examines the perverse persistence of Prohibition:

Dum spiro, pugno!


Kent McManigal said...

Once again we see that things like this are only an "issue" in government's kinderprisons or other theft-funded facilities.

Oscar said...

To me the matter comes down to what you refer to as "basic matters of biology." However, I think your thoughts reflect prejudice rather than what biology actually demonstrates about gender and sex.

Anonymous said...

In 1976 the great Michel Foucault wrote a revelatory book called 'The History of Sexuality'. It's one of the most enlightening books ever written. Foucault points out that the notion that sexual identity constitutes one's fundamental identity is of very recent origins. Foucault rejects psychiatry's claim that this 'sexuality' was repressed during the Victorian age reinterpreting such claim essentially as a power grab on the part of psychiatry in order to allow psychiatry to make itself appear indispensable in facilitating the exhumation and rehabilitation of this supposed long repressed sexuality. At the same time there has been in the West the steady advancement of the notion of individual rights. The political field has come to be dominated by rights based discourses such as religious rights, civil rights, ethnic rights, race rights and so on. The present situation is one of in which psychiatry's strategy of recentering sexuality as ones fundamental yet repressed identity has become tangled up with the political ideology of rights. Foucault suggests that the psychiatrized politicized sexuality of the modern West has been a kind of trap rather than a process of liberation. It has mandated the acceptance of sexual identity as fundamental identity. It has led down a militant blind alley inciting petty conflicts such as the present restroom controversies. In contrast to this can be found completely different discourses in which sex is understood to be no more than a type of and occasion for pleasure. The militancy of Western sexuality is not to be found in the historical discourses on sex of the East. Militancy is displaced by mysticism, and only because shrouding the subject of sex in mystery Eastern philosophers believed, served to make the individual more susceptible to sexual pleasure and at the same time to intensify his experience of such pleasure. Finally, this turning point in the West occurred late in the 19th Century. People up to that time viewed Oscar Wilde fundamentally as a great writer who happened to be gay. Today people view Wilde as a great gay who happened to be a writer.

Gil said...

What of the "good ol' days" of segregation? That Black folks had access to various amenities and services except that they couldn't share the same amenities White folks used. It be argued segregation didn't necessarily deprive them of anything basic per se hence desegregation was government totalitarianism.

William N. Grigg said...

Before addressing your studiously false analogy, it's useful to deal with the right of free association.

Jim Crow-era racial segregation was government intervention to prevent free association and commerce among people of different ethnic backgrounds. People who self-segregate without imposing that arrangement on others do no injury to anybody but themselves. Compelling people to segregate, or to integrate, is tyranny.

The attempted analogy between the "gender revolution" and the effort to end racial segregation involves an obvious category error: Forbidding a black woman to use a "whites only" women's lavatory is a different proposition than requiring her to use the facility appropriate to the biological identity she shares with women of other ethnic backgrounds. By adverting to racial segregation you're changing the subject.

From the civil rights perspective, the trait at issue -- ethnic background -- is not supposed to matter. You appear to believe, or are at least pretending to believe, that biological sex is a similarly inconsequential trait. You are entirely free to act on that assumption where your own property is concerned. It is not your privilege, or that of Gavin Grimm, to compel others who do not share that belief to act as if we did.

kirk said...

the state, as presently constructed, is of such immense power that it can change the biological determinant of an individual and punish those who refuse to accept the aberration as reality. while difficult to believe, much less accept, such is the reality of the modern amerikan state and the power accumulated to that state and its functionaries over decades of judicial activism and a supine, somnolent 'citizenry'. in essence, a coup against the American people is complete.

while the above is in play and very detrimental to we, the people, and our freedoms, history informs those of us who bother to inform ourselves that institutionalized evil, oppression and tyranny do not last, being ultimately exhausted by attempts to maintain that which is evil, oppressive and tyrannical. the current 'govt' under which we all find ourselves is no different, save possibly in the degree of arrogant ignorance exuded by 'leaders' and, in far too many cases, 'citizens'.

each day brings more debt, less people believing in 'the system', mounting numbers of self - inflicted enemies and a professional political class whose only interest is the continued division of all for the purposes of conquest by division and ruling according to whim, laws and common sense be damned. as such, our position as free citizens deteriorates daily while we are bombarded with the idea that this is the 'land of the free'.

history is revealing, informative and educational, unless rewritten, of course. true history reveals such an abomination that has sprung up among us will not last. oh, it may last for an individual's lifetime, but, in the end, all such abominations do fall, die and are relegated to the long list of 'experiments' by arrogant ignoramuses who knew they could do it differently than all before them.

what to do?

1) sit back and watch history unfold with respect to the death of empires and know the day of deliverance is much closer. and

2) understand that, should this abomination extend to the end of one's own life, the oppressive entity will never, ever last.

Anonymous said...

Additionally Foucault asserted that there is no 'science of sexuality'. There are not hidden secrets of sex patiently waiting to be exhumed and brought into the light of day by intrepid sex researchers. To the contrary sexuality is best understood as a political strategy which can only be deployed rather than a science in pursuit of sexual truths. Fifty years ago that deployment meant sexual 'deviants' [ as defined by government especially gays ] faced the constant threat of assault, kidnapping, and incarceration at the hands of governments armed agents and governments judiciary. But such deployment of political power is always being contested, always up for grabs. Competing groups plot to seize such political power, often the very groups against whom such political power is initially deployed, and often with the purpose of redeploying it against those initially wielding it. That is more or less the current state of things with the discourse of politico-denormative-sexuality. In sexuality's current deployment those most at risk appear to be the normative majority attempting to resist 'denormitization.'

Ronald Thomas West said...

Good point re:

"Grimm professes that she feels psychological distress when using girl’s bathroom facilities in the presence of other biological females. The same would be true of male students compelled to share bathrooms with her. However, they belong to an unprivileged class and, therefore, their discomfort is not relevant – unless they should act on it by absenting themselves when Grimm materializes among them"

A good satirist (I'm recently out of the business) would make a play on a 'Grim' Fairy Tale.

As well, the point of the North's overthrow of Jefferson's vision of severe checks on central government is buried under the legacy of slavery to a point where to suggest ultimately ALL Americans lost the the Civil War is heresy but in fact we are all slaves now.

Relevant to this is the present day smears on the anti-Federalist founders coming from the left are more than shameless, they are criminal and treasonous but the First Amendment has shielded political lies in such a way as to turn the intent of our founders on its head; little different to the 'no religious test' clause of our constitution protects those of the hyper-religious right, e.g. Doug Coe and his Senate disciples, includes Charles Grassly and Hillary Clinton (a closet neocon) who seek to overthrow the secular nature of our republic.

For more on how our republic is undermined by, and within, the left, to pervert that very same left in its understanding of our history, use google search "The Left's Anti-Federalist Urban Legend"

Ps, as a left of center libertarian, I do fine with some conservatives on some issues ;)

Genevieve Hawkins said...

I think if I was a teenage girl now I would opt for the gender neutral family bathrooms. My bet is they're private and lockable and nobody will be peeping in from below. I'd be thrilled for having those, personally, even if I had to claim to be gender confused to get access to them. Maybe I'll start a movement. ;-)

James said...

I don't know the details of this specific situation and I'm not going to spend the time to learn them but the problem is simple... manadatory attendance laws.

If you're against manadatory attendance laws (which I know Will is) then everything else (gender, sex, Title IX, etc.) is moot.

If you're for manadatory attendence laws then I don't feel bad for you when they work against your beliefs.

Now for some related links...

The idea of two sexes is simplistic and does not jive with our current knowledge of biology. See this article for a good summary.

Also see this summary of Science Made Easy's, "What can we learn from the Tree of Sex?".

Finally, binary gender roles tied to sex is really only a thing in Western society. Most cultures throughout history have recognized more than two genders. See examples here.

Anonymous said...

After seeing the "I Stand With Gavin" poster, I could not help but wonder; in the bathroom, does Gavin indeed stand?

Ed said...

Forced association has a tendency to cause problems such as this. Homeschool.

toejam said...

Perhaps to proper address one who is born of one sex but identifies as the other sex, instead of him or her, boy or girl, man or women, it would seem that them or they would be more proper.

Anonymous said...

When you have to go to the bathroom, especially in an emergency, does it really matter?