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Changing Your Birth Sex: The Emperor’s New Clothes

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Townhall.com.
AP Photo/Armando Franca

Danish fabulist Hans Christian Andersen wrote a wonderful story, The Emperor’s New Clothes, about a king who walked around in his underwear in the misguided belief that everyone could see his invisible suit of clothes. The con men who sold the king on this ridiculous idea told him that his suit of clothes would be visible to everyone except those who are stupid or incompetent. The townsfolk go along with the pretense, not wanting to appear inept or stupid. “Look at the king’s magnificent suit of clothes,” they proclaim. The same situation is happening today as a group of dysfunctional people allege thatthey can change their birth sex. Instead of calling them out, our society accepts it.


“Society has accepted a destructive lie that you can create your own reality and define your own identity,” says author Ben Shapiro. “Transgender isn’t real,” explains Kara Dansky, women’s advocate and author of The Abolition of Sex. “It was simply made up. Words like gender identity don’t have any meaning. Every single human being is either a male person or a female person.” Despite the obvious truth of Dansky’sstatement, we have reached a place where to state the obvious gets you attacked as “transphobic.”

Transgenderism does not describe a marginalized group of people who need civil rights protection, Dansky says. On the contrary, “The so-called transgender agenda is being fueled by a massive, vicious, and well-funded industry in the guise of a civil rights movement. It is all a lie,” Dansky argues. “The obliteration of the material reality of biological sex should scare everyone.”

There is no “right” that says you can demand whatever you want. If you decide tomorrow morning that you identify as something other than your biological sex, it doesn’t give you the right to demand that everyone should accept your decision. Simply because a man decides he is a woman does not require everyone to go along with it. We have the right to disagree.


If I identify as a rhinoceros, it is not reasonable for me to demand that everyone ought to agree with me. In fact, it would be ludicrous if anyone agreed with me. My mental state would rightly be open to question. Why then are we so quick to ignore reality by glorifying the delusions of people who think they can change their birth sex? 

The Left has confused tolerance with celebration. Tolerance for a minority should not imply that the majority must accept and celebrate minority viewpoints. We can be tolerant of transgender individuals while rejecting the biological integrity of their choice and challenging their mental competence.

The events of this past week have demonstrated that trans people may have serious mental issues, including a proclivity to violence. A trans woman in Nashville killed six people, including three children. Other trans people have physically assaulted those who expressed doubt. When anyone acknowledges the psychological foundation of transgenderism, that person is attacked for doing violence to trans people. A notable example occurred at a July 2022 US Senate hearing when Sen. Josh Hawley was accused of transphobia by KhiaraBridges, a professor at UC Berkeley School of Law. Bridges suggested that men have “a capacity for pregnancy.” For the simple act of questioning that possibility, Hawley was accusedby Bridges of “opening up trans people to violence by not recognizing them.”


The implication of Bridges’ accusation is that questioning a nonsensical viewpoint is no longer acceptable. Once we go down that road, we are susceptible to an avalanche of absurdity. The brilliance of Andersen’s tale lies in the recognition thathuman beings are inclined to accept nonsense. Economist Thomas Sowell explained why this is particularly true today. When asked why American voters used to be able to see through obvious nonsense, Sowell replied, “That was before nonsense became a large part of the curriculum of our educational institutions.”

Transgenderism is not the only nonsensical idea floating around. Consider these delusional notions that have made it past the screwball test: men can have babies; human beings can change the weather; math is racist; the Russians own Trump; we should disband the police; cow flatulence causes global warming; voter ID is racist; all white people have implicit bias.

As a life-long believer in common sense, I am appalled at the willingness of our society to cast it aside in favor of ideas that no rational person should embrace.

Ed Brodow is a conservative political commentator and author of nine books including his new #1 Amazon Best Seller, AMERICA ON ITS KNEES: The Cost of Replacing Trump with Biden. His website is www.edbrodowpolitics.com.


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