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The Eunuch Horn

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of

“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.”

It is not at all surprising that Bornstein employs Marxist terminology in her (?) “scholarly” analysis of gender. Her (?) assertion that there is a gender pyramid, the height of which “measures the amount of power a person wields in the world,” is old hat. Nor is there anything novel in her enumeration of the factors that help one climb to the top of the hierarchy. Among those factors are:

Being white, being a citizen of the USA, being a Protestant-defined Christian, being heterosexual, being monogamous, being politically conservative, being a capitalist, being physically healthy with access to health care, possessing all rights available under the law, being logical, possessing a well-formed, above-average-length penis, a pair of reasonably-matched testicles, and at least an average sperm count …

Bornstein concludes that all of these factors, which make for a “perfect identity,” are an oppressive force against which there must be some sort of rebellion. Feminists must rebel against “man” as a perfect classification. African-Americans must rebel against “white” as a perfect classification. Jews must rebel against “gentile” as a perfect classification. Bisexuals, lesbians, and gays must rebel against “straight” as a perfect classification.

Finally, transgendered folks must rebel against “gendered” as a perfect classification. In a world without classifications, there can be no contradictions.

Sociology students who read Kate Bornstein are urged to resist moving selfishly upward in the so-called gender pyramid. Instead, they are asked to simply dismantle the pyramid altogether. But before they are asked to rebel against the gender pyramid, Bornstein asks students this pointed question: “What does simply being the gender you were assigned at birth give you?”

It’s not at all surprising that Bornstein’s readers are asked to contemplate what their God-given gender assignment does for them. In higher education, the focus is always on them. It is certainly never on God.

In the past, I have offended some transgendered persons by asking these two questions: 1) Does the act of removing a man’s penis make him into a woman? 2) If your answer to #1 is “yes,” does re-attaching it to his forehead make him a unicorn?

Those two questions are my little way of asking the transgendered community whether there is any limit to their delusional belief that they can simply be whatever they perceive themselves to be. Their “reassignment” of mental illness – saying that others who oppose them suffer from “trans-phobia” – supplies the answer.

Clearly, today’s “intellectual” is unwilling to admit that a man who thinks he is a woman is mentally ill. But what about the man who thinks he is God?

Before long, “intellectuals” will side-step the issue. There will be no contradiction between being human and not-human. We will have rebelled against “God” as a perfect classification.

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