SocietyWatch

From the April 2016 Trumpet Print Edition

When feelings trump biology

When transgenderism first began to be celebrated in the mainstream, critics joked, What’s next? People choosing their race? Their age? Such notions seemed ludicrous, but in the time since, both have happened. Rachel Dolezal of Washington maintains that she is a black woman despite her blond hair, green eyes and two white parents. A Canadian 52-year-old father of seven decided that he was actually a 6-year-old girl—and was adopted by a Toronto family that lets him pretend to live as a child of that age.

Now, in the next step of ludicrous, some claim they’re not human at all but an entirely different species. These “trans-species” individuals identify either as animals like cats, wolves and lions—or as mythical creatures like unicorns, mermaids, werewolves or dragons. They call themselves otherkin.

Otherkin communities are growing. They convene on Tumblr, LiveJournal, Reddit and other online forums. More and more cities are home to regular otherkin meetings and conventions.

Following the lead of transgenders, otherkin have created new sets of pronouns for themselves. Also like the transgenders, they say anyone who declines to play along with the idea that they are a cat, dog or dragon is guilty of a hate crime.

Like many transgender people, some otherkin have their bodies disfigured in order to look more like the entity they identify as. Some have incisor teeth filed to points so they look more feline or canine. Others have their tongue slit in two to look reptilian. Some have whiskers or horns implanted in their skin or skull. One man had the exterior parts of his ears removed so he would resemble a parrot.

You might dismiss this movement as too ridiculous to warrant acknowledgment. However, it represents a bizarre extreme of a far more common failure to recognize the vast difference between humankind, which is made in the image of God (Genesis 1:26), and the animal world.

Besides that, it is worth viewing in light of the mainstreaming of transgenderism.

Both groups say feelings trump biological reality. Both call for sometimes going under the knife in order to force reality into conformity with those feelings. And transgenderism, until recently, affected so few that the majority thought the phenomenon undeserving of acknowledgment. Transgender people were also long regarded as mentally ill or publicity seekers until society attained a new level of “enlightenment.” Now transgenderism is policy in many schools and businesses. The movement’s heroes are celebrated by the media. American tax dollars pay for “gender reassignment” surgeries.

If the new enlightenment keeps expanding, will the mainstream come to celebrate otherkin? Will tax money pay for whisker implant surgeries? The questions sound ridiculous—but are they more ridiculous than it would have been 10 years ago to ask if society would come to embrace transgender people?

The rise of the otherkin shows what can happen when feelings are exalted above biological reality. The moral landscape of the Western world is changing drastically and rapidly, paving the way for ever more demented trends.

Women to register for draft?

Marine Corps Commandant Gen. Robert Neller said at a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on February 2 that “every American who’s physically qualified should register for the draft.” Army Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Milley agreed.

The Supreme Court in 1981 upheld Congress’s decision to exempt women from registering for the draft on the basis that women were restricted from combat roles. Now that this restriction has changed, the reason for exempting women is gone.

Some Republicans predict that soon the military will adopt a quota system, which would lead to a lowering of standards. “It would endanger not only the safety of Marines, but also the safety of our nation,” Navy Secretary Ray Mabus said.

The military chiefs in favor of women registering for the draft belittled this criticism. Sen. Tim Kaine said, “Daughters raised today are going to be raised different than daughters 30 years ago. When there’s a social cap or ceiling or limitation, that sort of gets absorbed by people and they don’t even focus on what they might be able to do. … When the cap is lifted, all of a sudden there’s all kinds of possibilities and people start to focus on opportunities they might have and train themselves up for them.”

This proposition is being pushed in the name of progressiveness. But despite Kaine’s wishful thinking, there are very real differences between men and women. Women face greater danger than men in most combat situations. Physical limitations make them likelier to be injured, captured or killed. And when women are captured, experience has shown that they are treated far worse than male prisoners of war. This reality endangers them as well as the men who must fight alongside them.

This policy reflects a victory of feminist ideology over truth, and it will come at the expense not just of traditional sex roles and right sense of male honor and duty, but also of national security.