Mike Adams

“No amount of contrarian zeal can make contradictions true.” – Douglas Groothuis.

In recent years, the rise of postmodernism in our culture and in our system of education has been undeniable. That it has been accompanied by an increase in the desire of some discontented souls to “redefine” themselves along the lines of certain variables has been equally undeniable. The most prominent of these variables is gender.

When your son or daughter takes “Sociology of Gender” classes it is likely that he or (more likely) she will encounter the works of Kate Bornstein, a transgender performance artist and writer. She (?) proclaims that she (?) doesn’t “personally identify as a man or a woman” although she (?) concedes that she (?) passes for a woman in the eyes of most.

But things are more complicated than that for Kate. She (?) says that when she (?) was growing up she (?) was a boy. If you’re wondering how a person can be two different genders in a lifetime – even without the surgery – here’s a revealing quote: “I would even go so far as to say Jewish men are a different gender than Christian men, and that’s the way I see it, but it’s not a bad thing! It’s just a fact.”

It’s hard to know where to begin to dissect this kind of stupidity, which passes for scholarship in sociology classes. I’m tempted to begin with her idea that there is a multiplicity of genders, which vary by race. But there is a much more basic flaw in evidence. Notice that Bornstein believes (or pretends to believe) that something can be “the way she sees it” and “just a fact” simultaneously.

Regrettably, this is not the only time Bornstein attempts (simultaneously) to be both a postmodernist and a proponent of absolute truth. She attempts to do no less than to discard the law of non-contradiction, which says that something cannot be both “A” and “not A” simultaneously. This is all just laying the groundwork for saying that one can be both man and woman simultaneously.

Of course, according to Bornstein, one can find some comfortable middle ground along an endlessly nuanced gender continuum: “What I’m thinking is that different kinds of men might as well be tagged as different genders, different ways of expressing oneself within some sort of male middle range, none of which measures up to the cultural ideal.”

What bothers Bornstein is that gender is “a hierarchical dynamic masquerading behind and playing itself out through each of only two socially privileged mono-gendered identities.” She goes on to say that “the power of this kind of gender perfection would be in direct proportion to the power of those who can stake legitimate claims to those identities.”


Mike Adams

Mike Adams is a criminology professor at the University of North Carolina Wilmington and author of Letters to a Young Progressive: How To Avoid Wasting Your Life Protesting Things You Don't Understand.