”Growing up” once meant learning to use your head, appreciating the common sense that seeing is believing. Now a boy can stand in front of a mirror and see a girl, and vice versa. But when the mind refuses to accept what the eyes see, the path ahead leads to self-delusion, which has become the national sport. The contemporary culture encourages the acceptance as real the notions that are demonstrably false, and “gender identity” has become a subject beyond the reach of common sense.
Joseph Backholm, executive director of the Family Policy Institute of Washington, recently posted a video of a “thought experiment” he conducted at the University of Washington, in which he pulls at the threads of the nation’s gender confusion (beginning with dispensing with “sex” for “gender,” which is important only if you’re a verb). He found widespread acceptance among the young of the idea that men and women should be allowed to visit whichever toilet they choose, regardless of how they’re made. They should be happy by the year 2020, when for the sake of the “transgendered,” who make up about one-tenth of 1 percent of the population of 320 million, all toilet facilities will be “gender-neutral.”
Mr. Backholm’s experiment reveals that the distance between the silly and the absurd can be short. He asks his subjects what their reaction would be if he, “a white guy of medium height,” claims to be a woman. They answered “sure, OK,” if he thinks he’s a she, that’s fine. “I feel like that’s not my place as another human to say someone is wrong, or to draw lines or boundaries,” explains one subject. What if he says he’s a Chinese woman? That’s OK, too; one co-ed says he/she could have had a Chinese ancestor. Now, what if he/she claims to be a 6-foot-five Chinese woman? Then what do they see? Students squirm a little, and one is curious enough to say that he/she should explain what that self-identification had to do with anything. In an attempt to avoid being judgmental, the students readily deny their lyin’ eyes. There’s no difference between the real and the unreal.
Of course, a “thought experiment” is not real life, and a campus quad is not the real world. But the widespread phenomenon of Americans refusing to see the differences in the restroom is real. So real is the determination to erect a judgment-free world that the governments of New York, Connecticut, Minnesota, Vermont and the District of Columbia have barred official travel to Mississippi and North Carolina, which have enacted laws protecting common sense and the privacy of boys and girls alike by requiring transgender students to use restrooms that match their biological sex.
Such laws may not last long. The 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled last week that a Virginia public school cannot bar a high school girl who thinks she’s a boy from using what used to be the boys’ restroom, citing a Title IX prohibition on sexual discrimination in public schools. A dissenting judge wrote that the decision “completely tramples on all universally accepted protections of privacy and safety that are based on the anatomical differences between the sexes.”
There’s no assurance that privacy-free restrooms will be confined to public schools. The retailer Target has decreed that shoppers can use the restroom that corresponds to the sexual identity of their choice. Since neither school nor store issues “gender” ID cards, the adventurous are free to choose. Desperados with an urge, to ogle or to do something else, can find their thrills in the toilet.