Bench Memos

Law & the Courts

Enforced Gender Conformity

Look who’s trying to enforce gender conformity.

As I observed when I first wrote about the Fourth Circuit’s badly confused ruling in G.G. v. Gloucester County School Board:

The foundational premise of the transgender agenda is that the objective fact of biological sex is some sort of arbitrary fiction “assigned at birth” and that the subjective conception of gender identity is the genuine reality that demands recognition and respect — including the use of wrong pronouns, thus yielding such absurdities as, from The New Republic, “She . . . tried to castrate herself by tying off her testicles.” That premise, with its disjunction between reality and perception, is a stark illustration of what everyone used to recognize as lunacy. But the Obama administration now claims that federal statutes adopted decades ago embrace and compel that lunacy.

I see that Supreme Court reporters discussing the Court’s decision to review the Fourth Circuit’s decision are fully embracing the transgender dogma. In particular, they are refusing even to acknowledge the simple fact that G.G. is, if you’ll pardon the unnecessary adverb, biologically a female.

In the New York Times, Adam Liptak tells us that the case “concerns Gavin Grimm, who was designated female at birth but identifies as male.”

The National Law Journal’s Marcia Coyle similarly states that Grimm “was assigned the identity of a girl at birth but now identifies as a boy.”

In the Washington Post, Robert Barnes does a tad better, stating that Grimm “was born female but identifies as male.” (I suspect that he’s gotten a lot of “corrections” from the transgender activists.)

And, yes, all three use masculine pronouns for Grimm (and Liptak refers repeatedly to “Mr. Grimm”).

Coyle and Barnes both refer to Grimm as a “transgender boy.” In ordinary English usage, one might think that adjective-noun pairing means a boy who is transgender—i.e., who identifies as a girl. But the transgender dogma insists on using that term to refer to a girl who identifies as a boy.

I would have thought that the most neutral description of Grimm is indeed “a girl who identifies as a boy.” It turns out, though, that to make that simple description is, according to BuzzFeed’s Chris Geidner (and many other trans activists on Twitter), somehow to “deny people’s existence” and to be “anti-trans.”

For the record: I don’t deny [the] existence”​ of individuals who identify as transgender. I don’t wish them any ill. I condemn violence against them. I believe that they should be treated civilly. And I’m very open to figuring out ways to accommodate them that are also respectful of the rights of others.

But that doesn’t mean that I can or should deny the biological reality that a girl who identifies as a guy is still a girl or that I should use pronouns that deny that reality. And it certainly doesn’t mean that I should pretend that their incoherent legal claims under Title IX and other federal laws have any merit.

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