"Social media is siege warfare," wrote a friend in text message. "Von Klauswitz would have been proud of its totality. No one gives anyone else a rest. Everyone is constantly bombarded with things they disagree with, in subtle, passive-aggressive ways, to make them feel bad."
Never have I heard a more cogent analysis of the politicking that goes on over social media. You've experienced it too, even if you've never thought about it. Every time you post your opinion in a status update only to be barraged by angry disagreements from friends and family, every time someone unfriends and blocks you (or you do the same) over such a disagreement, every time you find yourself defending your right to express your opinion on your own page or feed, you are experiencing the siege warfare of social media.
It is through this ceaseless onslaught that the forces of political correctness chip away, moment to moment, hour after hour, day after grueling day, subverting what is normal and self-evident. A disturbing viral video making the rounds these days depicts young people completely and totally unable to identify a man or a woman as just that. "Well, uh, whatever you think you are, or believe you are, I guess," they stammer. We've so beaten down our children with this notion that you can be whatever gender you "identify as" that reality has become meaningless. Even stating that we've done this, that we've subverted reality, is an "invalid argument." Those of us who think so must be "ignorant" and "uneducated." Worse, the fact that we don't accept the sexually deviant or mentally ill is because of some lack of compassion, some deficit of understanding on our part. If you do not accept "trans" persons, you are an uneducated troglodyte at best – and a willful hatemonger at worst.
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I'm a little tired of being told I must be a bad person, or a homophobe, or a transphobe, or some other 'phobe, simply because I think men should use the men's room, women's should use the women's room, and people who are freaking weird should perhaps take on the burden of coping with their strangeness in a way that doesn't unduly unsettle those around them. What happened to basic manners? What happened to the idea that if you are, well, a little out there, that you have to be the one to adapt? If you're a man living as a woman and actually passing for female, nobody's going to notice or care when you use the women's room. If you fear discovery because you're pretending to be something you're not, there are "family" bathrooms everywhere.
When we erase the distinction between sexes simply because it makes a tiny percentage of our population feel better about themselves and less uncomfortable with who they are – at the expense of unmaking biological reality for the rest of us – there are very real societal consequences for that. What are those consequences? For one, they are young people who can't point to a man or a woman and correctly identify them as men or women. They are otherwise decent, educated people who genuinely believe that a "trans woman" is actually a woman or that a "trans man" is actually a man. No, even if you've had surgery to turn your genitals into a facsimile of the opposite sex, you are not that sex. You will always be, genetically, your sex at birth.
I'm a libertarian when it comes to sexuality. I honestly don't care who you are, what you are, or whom you sleep with. I'm practically the United Colors of Benetton when it comes to you getting your freak on. I won't stand in the way of you being who and what you are if it makes you happy – but I reserve the right to believe there's something wrong with you. You don't need my approval. You don't need my affirmation. Tolerance – by its original definition – means only that I won't interfere with you as you go about your business. Why, then, suddenly, are we all so keen on inflicting specific deviant sexualities on everybody else, regardless of established social boundaries? Why have we decided that what we personally accept and what our institutions sanction should be identical?
On social media, when I expressed these sentiments, I was informed that I'm advocating for trans persons to be "second class citizens" and have their rights violated. I was told I want trans persons "either segregated or forced into situations which could see them come to harm." Further, I was told that I am "uncomfortable with trans people, because of who they are as people, at least according to your beliefs about them. Those beliefs are just that, beliefs which are not supported by facts or science, and which are personal beliefs." At issue seems to be the idea that there is a biological basis for transgender identity. Thus, the refrain becomes, "It's normal, because of SCIENCE!"
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The problem here is that there is a biological basis for a great many things. If science identifies a specific gene, or a specific neurological basis, for being homosexual, for being a child molester, for being left-handed, for being Republican, for whatever, this doesn't mean all behaviors we can thus identify are equally worthy of social sanction. There are two genders. These are male and female, XY and XX. Being able to identify, biologically, why some people feel the urge to be what they are not does not make this less a mental or psychological disorder. Yet in our reluctance to call these things what they are – deviant, weird, or simply mistakes of biology – we now seek to normalize and mainstream anything, real or imagined, that might make a single person feel better about him-, her-, or itself.
In the process, we've relegated to the status of ignorant bigots all those who grew up believing that there was such a thing as "normal." Regardless of what your social media contacts say, it's the burden of the weirdos to conduct themselves with a little consideration when traveling among the squares. Believing that isn't hate. It's just common sense.
Media wishing to interview Phil Elmore, please contact [email protected].