I never had a chance to read Gavin McInnes’ article “Transphobia is Perfectly Natural,” since Thought Catalog has taken it down. (But we can read outraged reactions from around the web.) McInnes has apparently been hounded out of his job as chief creative officer of something called Rooster, which I am too unhip to have heard of.
I am sure McInnes’ article is somewhere out there on the web, and I am sure someone will send it to me eventually. But I don’t want to read it until I have written my own take on the subject matter. Frankly, I am jealous that McInnes wrote on this first, since I have been kicking a similar idea around for years. I did not write it out, because up until May of this year, I was living in San Francisco, and the trannies there are far scarier than the antifa. Like the lesbians of Berkeley, they can reduce a man to a skeleton in under 30 seconds.
“Transphobia,” like “homophobia,” is an inherently dishonest term. “Phobia” derives from the Greek “phobos” or fear, and phobias are by definition irrational fears. But transphobia is neither irrational nor a fear. It is an emotion, of course. But it is a completely natural, normal, and healthy emotion. Which is as rational as any emotion gets.
Specifically, transphobia is a perfectly natural feeling of revulsion at men who have their dicks chopped off and women who have their tits chopped off — among many, many other things — in order to “change their sex.” Of course, one’s sex is determined by one’s chromosomes, so “sex changes” do not change anyone’s sex. They merely transform a man into a butchered simulacrum of a woman, or a woman into a butchered simulacrum of a man.
Again: sex-changes are futile, because one cannot change one’s chromosomes. One can only butcher and drug one’s body to look like someone of the opposite sex. And when many transsexuals finally awaken to the horror and futility of what they have done, they kill themselves.
The revulsion I feel toward transsexuals is not based on “meanness” or “ignorance” as liberals would have it, but on sympathy. When a healthy person sees another in pain, he recoils in horror because he feels the pain of others (which is the literal meaning of sympathy — suffering with others). I love my penis, and the thought of losing it fills me with horror. And when one sees self-inflicted suffering, it is natural to feel loathing and anger as well, because it didn’t have to happen. And by hurting themselves, self-mutilators hurt the rest of us as well. I am a bit overly sensitive, perhaps, but I even cringe at the sight of tattoos, partly in pity, partly in revulsion.
The kind of people who don’t feel sympathy and horror at radical forms of self-mutilation are, frankly, sick. They lack elementary sympathy for the pain of others. They may even take pleasure in the pain of others. Or, like most liberals who champion trannies as the next great minority crusade, they take pleasure in the discomfort that sexual mutilation causes “those people” — conservatives, Christians, rednecks, hicks, etc. — the hated others of the liberal loveys. Trannies and other freaks are just tools in the culture war. But in this case, the enemy is not the Right side of the culture, but nature herself — mental and moral health, which apparently drives today’s Left to paroxysms of sadistic rage. Because they’re evil, of course.
After a healthy person feels sympathy-based revulsion at sexual self-mutilation, the first thought that pops into his mind is, “These people must be crazy.” But let’s just withhold judgment for a bit and ask the transsexuals themselves what they think. Interestingly enough, they too claim to suffer from mental illness, namely the feeling of being a man trapped in a woman’s body, or vice versa. So the real issue here is not whether these poor people suffer from a mental illness — they admit it themselves — but rather what sort of treatment they should seek. Self-mutilation is not the cure for mental illness, but just another symptom.
If a man thinks he is Jesus, we do not crucify him. If a man thinks he is Napoleon, we do not crown him emperor. If a man thinks he is a woman, why then should we go along with it? Shouldn’t we try to help him get over his desire to mutilate himself, just as we help anorexics to stop starving themselves, and cutters to stop carving themselves?
And since when is it consistent with the Hippocratic oath — the “First, Do No Harm” part — for doctors to mutilate healthy bodies and turn them into parodies of the opposite sex?
What would I do with transsexuals? First of all, let me say that I have actually known two people who have embarked upon this path. To all appearances they were good-looking heterosexual men who dropped out of sight and then re-emerged as not-so-good-looking women. But all their likable traits and shared interests were disconcertingly intact. So transsexuals are not some abstract other. They are very real to me. This is me being real: having a real reaction to real people undergoing real, drastic transformations. I feel compassion and revulsion toward the transsexuals themselves, and righteous indignation toward the people who enable and exploit them.
So what would my policy be?
First, I would simply say “No.” Every decent society should provide healthcare for the mentally and physically ill. When people are mentally ill, they cannot make responsible decisions for themselves. Thus a decent society needs to exercise paternalism in the interests of the mentally ill. And the primary interest of the mentally ill is to get better, to triumph over their delusions, not to be humored in them, much less aided in radical and futile forms of self-mutilation. Again, self-mutilation is a symptom of mental illness, not a cure. Compassion and responsibility require that we simply say “no.”
Second, the mutilation of healthy bodies is contrary to the proper aim of the medical profession. Thus every doctor who performs sex change operations should be stripped of his license and drummed out of the profession. Sex changes should be outlawed, and any doctor who performs them should be jailed. Indeed, the same treatment should be meted out to doctors who perform any and all forms of genital mutilation.
Third, we must keep a sense of perspective. I don’t hate transsexuals. (I am rather proud of my book Confessions of a Reluctant Hater, so if I did hate them, I would have no problem admitting it.) Transsexuals aren’t evil or threatening. They are not “sinners.” They are simply sick people who should be cared for, not hated or harmed.
The truly evil people are those who exploit these unfortunates for gain: the doctors who mutilate them for money and the Leftists who use them as the latest totems of diversity, progress, and enlightenment — thereby revealing that their true enemy is not injustice or inequality but nature, health, and sanity. Craziest of all, though, is a society that consents to be ruled by such monsters.
Remembering Jonathan Bowden (April 12, 1962–March 29, 2012)
The Oslo Incident
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Remembering Gabriele D’Annunzio (March 12, 1863–March 1, 1938)