A Tyrannical Minority and Silent Majority

Signs at a protest against the Trump administration’s reported transgender proposals at City Hall in New York City, October 24, 2018. (Brendan McDermid/Reuters)
Transgender activists are enabled by those of us who know better.

As I noted Monday on the Corner, British journalist James Kirkup has done a great public service in sharing a document that helps explain how the transgender movement, which many privately admit has overreached and is unconvincing, has been so successful so quickly.

The document was produced by a major international law firm and is a “lobbying manual for people who want to change the law to prevent parents having the final say about significant changes in the status of their own children,” Kirkup explains.

The manual’s authors advise activists across the world to use “certain techniques,” including attempts to “get ahead of the government agenda.” For instance, using gay marriage (for which there is broad public support) as a “veil of protection,” as well as ensuring “the limitation of press coverage and exposure” related to transgender issues.

Is it surprising that activists rely on the ignorance of the media and general public to push their agenda? Not really, when you consider how obviously dangerous and wrong that agenda is. But there’s more to it. As is most often the case, the success of a tyrannical minority depends on the cowardice of the majority. Not on their action, but on our inaction.

Conversations with doctors, teachers, policymakers, and legislators can be discouraging, as some admit that they know what is going on and that they find it deeply troubling, but they vow to “stay out of it.” After all, it doesn’t affect them or their families. (Yet.) When I ask them to help with a story, even on background, they often say things such as, “This is not my fight,” or, “It’ll blow over eventually,” or, “I have my reputation to think about.”

A charitable interpretation is that such people are simply ignorant of the scale of the problem.

My recent cover story “The Tragedy of the ‘Trans’ Child” outlined that there are at least 40 youth clinics, and counting, in the United States. In 2006, there were none. The largest clinic, in Los Angeles, treated more than 1,000 children last year, the youngest patient being four years old. The director of this clinic has said on the record that she has referred “about 200” adolescent females for double mastectomies because they “identify” as boys. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, meanwhile, reports that 2 percent of American high-school students, about 300,000 teenagers, identify as transgender.

If America is anything like the U.K., the numbers of gender-confused children seeking clinical attention is likely skyrocketing. The main gender youth clinic in Britain saw fewer than 100 children in 2009 and around 2,500 last year. There also has been a 42-fold increase in the number of females seeking treatment. The British liberal press is reporting scandal after scandal at this clinic — whistleblower clinicians resigning, a parents’ lawsuit, the former governor of the trust that oversees the clinic being quoted in the Times of London that it is “not fit for purpose.” But the truth is that the scandals in Britain are nothing compared to the unreported gender experiment happening in America.

Here, children as young as twelve are going onto cross-sex hormones, which are sterilizing. Girls as young as 13 have had healthy breasts removed. Boys as young as 15 have been castrated and had their penises inverted. A surgeon who specializes in sex-change surgeries has warned of this “wild West” of surgery where “cowboy clinicians” set up shop and “suck people in.” How many children are having such drastic interventions? We don’t know because those in power are asleep at the wheel.

But is ignorance an excuse? Is it reasonable to think that the attempt to redefine sex in state and federal law and the blatant pursuit of eroding parental rights is some distant fringe issue?

When a child starts presenting as the opposite sex at school, and teachers try to “educate” parents on how to be “affirming,” aren’t we curious about what will happen to that child?

Aren’t we interested in the fact that when we tell a little boy that he is a girl — which, incidentally, is not the same as letting him dress or play-act in stereotypically feminine things — we are partaking in a medical experiment in which he is the subject?  Aren’t we aware that we are shaping his future? At the very least, we must be aware that small children are incapable of making rational decisions and cannot give consent to this.

To be clear: “Affirming” a child’s “social transition” is a form of social-psychological treatment, one with very little research behind it, and one on which no school counselor, teacher, or parent should embark lightly. Some medical experts and researchers worry that this treatment might make it harder for a child to accept his or her body later on and might also put them on a pathway to irreversible medicalization.

Throughout history, especially in psychiatry and psychology, there have always been superstitious and ideological people pushing dangerous agendas at a great cost to others. But at least they believed that what they were doing was right. Recently, a potentially important source told me that though she finds this agenda terrifying and wrong, she wants to “keep [her] mouth shut.” She offered, in all seriousness, to speak to me about it in “15 to 20 years.”

Recall the Reimer brothers: baby boys, twins, who were the subject of a famous “gender identity” medical experiment in the 1960s. Medical professionals waited decades to bother finding out what had happened to them and journalists in publicizing the truth. Our neglect of the evidence may well have contributed to their misery which, in the end, led to their suicides.

How many more people must be needlessly hurt before we decide to dismantle activist tricks and “techniques”? Before we decide to tell them “No way,” “There’s no evidence,” “This isn’t safe,” “This isn’t science,” and, frankly, “This isn’t even plausible.” How will this issue magically resolve itself — our statutes, science books, and dictionaries having all been rewritten?

As is often the case, the corruption of our social institutions does not occur solely on account of a tyrannical minority. Rather, this minority is aided and abetted by a silent majority who cling to comfort and distraction as others suffer in plain sight. But our excuses are wearing thin. This isn’t a fringe issue. This isn’t going away by itself. And people in positions of influence, having fallen asleep, risk waking up from this nightmare in a world they don’t recognize.

Madeleine Kearns is a staff writer at National Review and a visiting fellow at the Independent Women’s Forum.
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