What’s Wrong with the World

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What’s Wrong with the World is dedicated to the defense of what remains of Christendom, the civilization made by the men of the Cross of Christ. Athwart two hostile Powers we stand: the Jihad and Liberalism...read more

There is no bottom of the hill

An important fact in our political life, a fact that is relevant in multiple ways, is this: It can always get worse. There is no bottom of the hill. The bad guys can always think of something more insane than what came before, and they will demand that we approve of it.

What follows is an example thereof. It is so bad that I considered not posting on it, as even noting it sullies the atmosphere of the site. However, it may be that this information will be helpful to someone else facing a legislative battle in the future. Also, if you have a daughter on a swim team and your locale or local university has the relevant laws or policies, you might want to keep a wary eye out.

Who could have predicted this twenty years ago? And what can be done about it now? (If you don't want to read about an insane result of the "transgender" agenda and of non-discrimination laws for "gender identity," you may not want to read below the fold. The remainder of the post is not graphically detailed but is certainly outrageous.)

At Evergreen State University in Olympia, WA, a 45-year-old man who goes by the name of "Colleen" and pretends to be a woman insists on using the locker rooms and sauna at the university, where apparently he is a student. In case the question occurs to your mind, "Colleen" is fully biologically male and has not undergone surgery. Nor does it appear that he has any intention of doing so, for whatever relevance that has to what follows.

The locker rooms at Evergreen State are also used by the girls' swim teams of Olympia High School and of the Evergreen Swim Club and Aquatics Academy. These groups, taken together, include girls from age six through high school.

"Colleen" changes in the locker rooms where the girls change and uses the women's locker room sauna, and on more than one occasion he has, shall we say, maximally exposed himself in full sight of women and minor girls.

Evergreen State refuses to do anything about it, alleging state law that bans discrimination on the basis of "gender identity," which allegedly includes a man's right to "live as a woman" and use a women's locker room and sauna in the presence of minor girls. This insane and misleading news report refers to "Colleen" consistently as a woman and coyly neglects to tell the reader just how those who complained came to the conclusion that the person in the sauna was a man. They were obviously terrible, discriminatory bigots for thinking that he was a man and asking that he be removed after they couldn't help noticing that he, er, was a man, in the nude, sitting in the sauna.

There remains an indecent exposure statute on the books in Washington State which definitely is applicable here. However, the state's attorney general refuses to prosecute because he finds the law "very vague in this area." Translation: Normally a man who went about naked in a women's locker room, especially in the presence of minor girls, would be straightforwardly guilty of indecent exposure and would be arrested, especially if he wouldn't abide by requests that he stop. However, the state's non-discrimination law throws all of this into a cocked hat if the man claims that he is a woman and "lives as a woman." So the local executive authority is going to blink on this one and let "Colleen" go on roaming the girls' locker room unchecked.

Meanwhile, what about the girls? Evergreen State has offered them a different, smaller, locker room in which to change. See, if you are a normal woman or girl and don't want to interact with a man exposing himself while you yourself are changing into a swimsuit, you are the one who has to move. He's a member of a persecuted minority (namely, men who think they are women and like to sit about naked in women's locker rooms in front of little girls), so he can't be asked to do anything different or to go elsewhere. He has to be given the run of the ordinary locker room, but maybe a smaller locker room can be found for those who are hoping to avoid him. Reports are unclear as to whether this smaller locker room has a lock on the door. In fact, this report implies that the area offered to the girls for changing is merely behind curtains, which is scarcely likely to make parents and women feel particularly secure. (The letter also indicates that "Colleen" is not the first man to be using the women's locker room at Evergreen State.)

What it comes to is that this man has ruined these girls' hobby. And it's not as though normal grown women would want to use the pool under these conditions either. Parents of girls on the swim teams have the unpleasant choice of taking them off the team altogether or of continuing to leave them in this incredibly inappropriate, not to mention risky, situation. Whether the swim teams can find another pool that isn't, for the moment, having its women's locker rooms stalked by a man, remains to be seen. Perhaps they aren't even trying, or perhaps there are no other good candidates in the area. In any event, with this green light from the local attorney general, it would be a mere matter of chance if some other pool were safe for now.

"Colleen" and others like him thus get to mess up university locker rooms and innocent hobbies such as swimming for everyone else, and the liberal agenda portrays them as the victims. The above-linked news story was about the sad and terrible fact that one woman one time actually told "Colleen" that he had to leave instead of sitting around naked in the sauna. The headline was not, "Man Exposes Himself Naked to Minors: Prosecutor Will Do Nothing." No, the real story for the great American public was "Transgender woman told to leave women's locker room." Ah, well, I guess that story has a happy ending from the perspective of KIROTV. Truth and justice triumph. "Colleen" vindicated.

I've seen some comments on this story that tie it in to the craziness of the "left coast." Maybe, maybe not. My own mid-sized Midwestern city passed a local non-discrimination ordinance three years ago that included "gender identity." As far as I can tell, "Colleen" could stalk girls at our local YMCA unhindered just as well as he can in Olympia. What would the local prosecutor and the city attorney do? Let's be clear: The legislative history of our local ordinance would show that the city council, which wrote the language, expressly considered scenarios in which a person still possesses the, er, equipment of one sex but "presents" as the other sex, and they intended to allow such people (who are deemed to be "in transition," though "Colleen" doesn't actually seem to be "transitioning" anywhere) to use the facilities of the gender with which they choose to identify.

Nonetheless, indecent exposure laws remain on the books. So what's a nice attorney general to do?

I say, prosecute and damn the torpedoes. Either the courts will side with "Colleen" and his ilk or they won't. If the prosecution goes through, right will triumph and "Colleen" and anyone else haunting little girls in the locker room will be told he can't do this anymore. If the case is dismissed because of a non-discrimination law, this will highlight the absolute urgency of repealing the non-discrimination statute

The fact that this has happened at all and that the media and other leftists side firmly with "Colleen" removes the pretense that "that will never happen" from those who advocate such laws in new jurisdictions. Be sure to bookmark this information and use it if such an ordinance should come to your town or state.

This post also seems relevant to a question that came up in a side discussion below: Is it always necessary to have explicit arguments against anything the left happens to bring up? My own opinion is that it is not. Things like this are a good example of the utter insanity that is presently being proposed in the world we live in. We are not open to the charge of bigotry, nor are our young people, if we cannot produce an essay on why men should not be allowed to expose themselves to women and girls. Visceral shock and anger are entirely appropriate responses and are a sign of a healthy mind.

Meanwhile, I'm sorry to say it, but we normal people (not even just Christians, but any normal people) are being driven back upon ourselves at every turn. Parents whose girls are on these swim teams need to take them off the teams if the team can't or won't move to a safe location immediately. Sorry I am to say so, and one hates to surrender all the public spaces to the orcs, but better that than send your daughters to change in the locker room among them.

May God help us all and somehow deliver this nation from the pit into which it is falling.

(Note: Due to the distasteful nature of the subject matter, I ask readers, including supportive readers, to be especially careful to observe as much decorum as possible in your comments and in any links you should put into your comments. There is additional information on this subject available on the Internet which is too graphic and which would be better not to link.)

Comments (77)

This post also seems relevant to a question that came up in a side discussion below: Is it always necessary to have explicit arguments against anything the left happens to bring up? My own opinion is that it is not. Things like this are a good example of the utter insanity that is presently being proposed in the world we live in. We are not open to the charge of bigotry, nor are our young people, if we cannot produce an essay on why men should not be allowed to expose themselves to women and girls. Visceral shock and anger are entirely appropriate responses and are a sign of a healthy mind.

Of course, this is something with which we agree. But on the other hand, this is an issue that hasn't seen widespread acceptance yet-and whether the media acts that way or not, I'll go and put myself out there for criticism (and if it can be proven, correction) and say that I really believe that.

Now, if one day it's considered as, if not a majority opinion, a well-respected minority opinion by the populace with growing numbers of people moving to its "side", for lack of a better way to say this, then as ridiculous as it sounds it WILL become necessary, or at the very least highly encouraged, to become knowledgeable about why you believe this is wrong.

Homosexuality, to tie it in to the discussion as a whole, isn't even as clear an issue because there really are people who just hate homosexuals and the natural repulsion of the perversion really does turn into an unhealthy thing-the Westboro Baptist Church being the obvious example. With that being the case it becomes a lot easier to draw parallels to the civil rights movement of the 60s.

Let me make it clear: I agree with you. I'm firmly on the conservative side here, and this story is horribly sick and disturbing. That this man hasn't been prosecuted yet is absolutely horrible. But I still think that, at least for the more generally accepted perversions such as homosexuality, education is a must-and if society keeps going in this direction and the conservatives don't stop retreating a little bit more each time and finally make a stand, education about this type of thing may eventually be necessary too.

I guess part of the issue here is that I don't agree that this is a matter of "becoming knowledgeable." It's not as though lacking an explicit argument against something totally insane amounts to ignorance. Nor do I think that we should allow our natural anger and repulsion to be overwhelmed by sheer social acceptance.

In any event, make no mistake: This sort of thing is already so widely accepted that the local news station made that report on it. That's a sobering thing. The news station's take on it was that this man is the victim. Do I think they represent a majority of Americans? I don't, but I think they represent the opinion-makers among Americans.

I simply don't think that our insane world gets to make up *absolutely anything* and then put it in our faces and say, "C'mon, c'mon, give me an argument. What's wrong with this???" and then we feel that there is something wrong with _us_ if we don't have an articulated lengthy answer.

It's perfect camouflage for a sexual predator. He can just claim to be "trans," then hide behind hate crime laws that protect him rather than the potential victims he's scoping out. If someone complains, then they face prosecution because their complaint is a hate crime. A rapist's dream.

In America, we don't technically have hate speech bills, so the complaint itself wouldn't be prosecutable. However, if he were in fact kicked out, he could sue either the university or the local police under whatever non-discrimination laws applied--state or local.

If this man who thinks he is a woman really is a woman (that's the presumption behind the state's law, that what he thinks is in fact the truth of him), then isn't throwing up curtains to hide him from the girls also discrimination? After all, since he is a girl, he should not have to suffer the humiliation of being hidden from other girls just because he doesn't fit the ideal of the feminine form.

It appears this particular insanity has caught on in other places:

http://www2.tbo.com/content/2009/nov/20/na-tampa-council-approves-transgender-protections/

http://culturecampaign.blogspot.com/2008/05/co-law-allows-men-to-use-womens-rooms.html

where were the "conservatives" when females invaded male locker rooms to "get interviews" and "gather information"?

chirp chirp go the crickets

the brave conservatives were busy doing whatever their wives told them to, just like now

it was All Good b/c after all, they were merely males, who have no right to privacy, nor to modesty -- not when the will of Almighty Woman and her enablers must be obeyed!

but now it's a problem b/c mr ?genderperson wants to wander around the female locker room?

sorry, no sympathy for your hysteria, nor your hypocrisy

in fact, ALL males should be allowed access to female locker rooms, given that females have been doing the same for many decades now

the Law of the Land is Equality, and the (again, conservative) pastors keep always telling me that God demands that i submit to the Law of the Land, and that the Governments have got God's OK

you cant have it both ways, that's the feminist scam

Y'know, ray, whoever you are, I really do not know what it is about a particular type of faux conservative who has extended his condemnation of feminism (which is fine) to a kind of general nastiness, bitterness, and caddishness. I've run into some of this recently elsewhere (and here) on the Web, and not only am I not impressed, no sensible person should be. Take your nasty bitterness, your refusal to give a damn about this story, and go jump in the lake. Amscray.

By the way, I have always opposed the women interviewers in the men's locker rooms. So did plenty of other people at the time when it arose. I remember it quite clearly. Our opinion, however, was not asked.

Well, I have been predicting for a couple years now that a guy at a college will demand entrance onto a women's sports team where the college doesn't have a men's team in that sport. And get the courts to approve it. But this is a LOT worse.

I am pretty sure that the idiocy of a man being physically male but "presenting as" something else is going to blow up in the flaky liberals' faces, but I don't know if it will do so before or after they have managed to bring down western civilization first. Once you accept this guy and his claims, there is literally nothing you can use to say no to a woman who "presents as" being sexually oriented toward dogs, trees, cars, or the color chartreuse, and demand to be allowed to marry these. Or a man "presenting as" someone whose gender orientation is toward those who are white-asian mix, named Jones, left-handed, and can only enjoy it in public. And will demand a separate bathroom for that gender! And will get indecency laws completely overturned when they are charged with carrying out the "in public" part of their orientation.

After putting up the above post, I got this link from someone who didn't know I'd already posted on it. It contains a little more information which is relevant:

http://radio.foxnews.com/toddstarnes/top-stories/college-allows-transgender-man-to-expose-himself-to-young-girls.html

Get this:

According to a police report, the mother of a 17-year-old girl complained after her daughter saw the transgender individual walking naked in the locker room. A female swim coach confronted the man sprawled out in a sauna exposing himself. She ordered him to leave and called police.
The coach later apologized when she discovered the man was transgendered but explained there were girls using the facility as young as six years old who weren’t used to seeing male genitals.

She apologized to him! She apologized! This coach, whose job is to defend these girls and to act in loco parentis while they are at their swim practices, originally had the right idea, told him he had to leave, and called police. But when she "discovered" that this particular man thinks he's a woman, she apologized!! And her awkward apology apparently included the semi-apologetic statement that there were girls there who weren't "used to" such a sight. Um, right, and women who are older should be just fine with it?

This just goes to show how the utterly suicidal ideology of the left has become mainstream. This coach thinks she has to apologize for telling a naked man to leave the locker room after she discovers that he is a member of a designated victim group. Unbelievable.

One could go on all day about why these attitudes are a problem.

Modern sexuality embraces novelty and the rule of supposed experts. The individual is transgendered therefore his behavior must be respected, an individual is homosexual therefore his behavior must be respected etc.

People need to stop being believing that the sexual theories of an elite class should have any relevance to their daily life. But, they have been taught otherwise for more than 100 years. All we can do is push back and teach otherwise.

As with sharia, there is always more progressivism to accommodate...

It's the task of liberals to relieve the sufferings of minorities. The 'transgendered community' is characterized as a victimized minority that suffers from unjustifiable discrimination, the torments of being abnormal, and the scoffs of the vulgar. To alleviate their suffering situation, political and legal pressure must be applied that will desegregate transgendered persons, regardless of outrage, in any social arrangement from which they are sensibly excluded.

In a different climate of 'educated opinion' - which has existed in my lifetime - the liberal project, in which the sufferings of transgendered people are a small piece of the jigsaw, would have been impossible. It is now impossible to resist the steamroller of liberal 'emancipation'. Isolated individuals will and do protest, but they cannot turn back the clock by a single tick.

The hour will come, I believe, when the pendulum will begin to swing the other way. But that won't happen until the intellectual assumptions and mores of our present society are repudiated by a future elite in a new generation. That's when we shall arrive at the bottom of the hill and begin to ascend again.

6 “If anyone causes one of these little ones—those who believe in me—to stumble, it would be better for them to have a large millstone hung around their neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea.
- Matthew 18

This is another example of a government defined "good" that is in direct opposition to the actual "Good". The State of Washington is very busy codifying the progressive definitions of "good" into law - thus paralyzing public and private institutions alike. I can't stress enough how dangerous it is to push for government defined personal morality! That is the Church's job. Unfortunately Christians have been amongst the most vocal in support of government mandated morality. We pushed the door open, and the devils rushed in! It won't be long until churches are not allowed to define "good" in any way contrary to the State's definition. Mark my words.

I will also point out that these problems of misdefining the good happen to be occurring in a society that is largely postmodern, has passed thorough the enlightenment, and has been one of the most consumerist in history. I will also notice that other consumerist nations are experiencing similar problems as well.

Hmmm, maybe Govt authority is not the sole problem.

This presents such an appalling vista that one would almost long for the establishment of the Global Caliphate in order to 'straighten things out'. May Our Lord have Mercy on us all.

Can't agree with that, de Gaulle.

About the Caliphate, I mean. I agree in imploring the Lord to have mercy.

The hour will come, I believe, when the pendulum will begin to swing the other way. But that won't happen until the intellectual assumptions and mores of our present society are repudiated by a future elite in a new generation. That's when we shall arrive at the bottom of the hill and begin to ascend again.

Alex, compared to my pessimism, it would be good news if you were right. Another possible scenario is that Western civilization simply comes to an end--in chaos, anarchy, or Third-World-style corruption and totalitarianism, accompanied by extreme and widespread poverty and the destruction of the rule of law.

Dear American citizens,

Please, for the love of humanity, do not vote for Romney. We really don't mind what else you do.
Yours faithfully,
The rest of the world

Lydia, please note that little word 'almost' in my above post!

However, it is debateable which would be the worst, living in a world in which liberal political correctness is taken to its limit, or under the Moslems. Personally, I believe there would be more freedoms for Christians under a victorious Caliphate than under the Sodom we would have here-I think Chucky Darwin is right on the money. It would be a world where babies would be torn from Christian womens' arms to 'protect' them from indoctrination with 'hate'. Perhaps, Islam may be a vengeance from God, like many other plagues (the licentious didn't get the message of HIV/AIDS), sent to chastise the West; certainly Christians are about to be tested more thoroughly than at any time since Nero et al.

Jeo, a vote for Obama is a vote for what's in the article. (and I'm from the rest of the world, too).

Personally, I believe there would be more freedoms for Christians under a victorious Caliphate than under the Sodom we would have here-I think Chucky Darwin is right on the money.

I thought you might think that, de Gaulle. I don't want this thread turned into a discussion of that, but I couldn't disagree more. The two things are incommensurable evils. We can look around the world and see what Christians suffer in Muslim countries right now. Their daughters are kidnapped and forced to convert. Their neighbors send mobs to beat them. And the government imprisons them if they witness to others (which is a direct commandment of Our Lord Jesus Christ) or if they could have been regarded as "Muslim" in their own backgrounds and hence as having converted. I realize that shocking stories like that in the main post may tempt people to say, "Maybe Islam isn't so bad for Christians," but we need to get a true and full grasp of the notion of evils that are incommensurable and that both must be fought to the fullest extent of our ability, rather than being weighed up so that we decide that one "isn't so bad as" the other.

So you refuse to consider the possibility that this man is a political protestor against women's invasion of males spaces and instead *project* criminality upon him?

Ray is right,feminists started this nonsense and this guy's absurd actions seem to be the only way to draw attention to the injustice.
He's working in your conservative cause,you should be thanking him.

A man who's had enough misandry.

I don't know why a thread like this has drawn out nutcases like Ray and numnut, but apparently it has. Maybe because the topic of conversation is, itself, totally nuts.

There are any of several ways of our society getting worse from here. But all of the various ways are bad, and it hardly matters whether the result is being under a totalitarian regime that tolerates no alternative world-view than its own is a liberal one or a muslim one, or a rightist totalitarianism like Marcos or Mussolini maybe, they are still evil, still opposed to Christian truth, still horrendous. We don't want to go there. Spending time on which one would be worse is not spending time on defeating the current evil.

Jeo, if you want to vote here, get in line for immigration, get a green card, get a job, stay out of trouble, get permanent residency, apply for citizenship, and THEN vote. And if you find yourself, after all that, in favor of someone like Obama or Bush who doesn't care whether non-citizens get into this country legally or illegally, why then you are free to vote for someone like that. As for me, I can willingly contemplate anyone winning but Obama and the other socialists running for the office.

If this guy's idea of "political protest" is to expose his genitals to women and girls, he heartily deserves to be locked up for a good long time, and I wish he were.

Not that that is a plausible interpretation of his actions, but I frankly wouldn't care if it were. He should be taken off by the boys in blue.

You will not preserve and rebuild civilization by further destruction. Unfortunately, there is a nutcase segment of the blogosphere that thinks destruction is what it's all about. May they be prevented from perverting any more young minds under the guise of "fighting feminism."

"The two things are incommensurable evils."

Lydia, you are certainly right. I was so shocked by the incident, and the direction it points at, that I was perhaps overcome by a bout of pessimism, but we mustn't despair. Please God, the ordinary people will revolt against these absurdities, as liberalism increasingly gets itself tied up in knots of its own making. A rape by one of these alleged 'women-men' might be what it would take, but not much consolation for the victim. Every action tends to provoke reaction, and the more ordinary people are intimidated and bullied into keeping their mouths shut in the face of these obscenities, the greater may be their wrath when they finally rise up, because these perverts cannot control people's private thoughts, no matter how much they might prevent outward expression of those thoughts.

Some thoughts on this issue from a different perspective. I come from a liberal background, and while I don't consider myself a liberal, I probably have some pretty divergent views from others on this comment thread. Nonetheless, I agree that the story described in this post is obviously really problematic. But it's problematic, I'll argue, even from a liberal standpoint.

Though I'm not a liberal, I do hold certain liberal values, viz. I don't much mind how or with whom other people choose to have sex (as long as its consensual, etc.) nor what sort of gender they consider themselves. (All of this seems to me really no one's business. In a polite, decent society, especially one with a well-defined moral code, I don't think we'd be as interested in other people's private lives.) But in the scenario described in this post, it is not that mainstream society is interfering with the private decisions of an individual; rather it is that the private decisions of an individual are interfering with mainstream society-- and doing so aggressively, interfering with one of the few remaining widely-accepted taboos in American culture.

When it is not being hysterical, Liberalism tends to go hand-in-hand with utilitarianism (i.e. the pursuit of the greatest good for the greatest number). But the scenario of the male-bodied trans-woman (I'll use the liberal terminology, hoping it doesn't annoy people) sitting around naked in a locker room full of underage girls seems completely unjustifiable from a utilitarian point of view: dozens of people are being made to feel that their beliefs don't matter & that their safety or their children's safety is at risk so that a single individual can feel that his/her gender choice is legitimated.

If you're looking for a rhetorical arsenal to address this kind of problem (c.f. MarkAnthony & Lydia's discussion at the top of this comment thread), then the above argument offers what might be some particularly effective ammunition when talking to liberals, since it works within their value system.

But providing conservatives with arguments designed to engage effectively with the liberal mindset is really a side-effect of my real aim in posting this comment. My real aim here is to extricate broader principles of liberal philosophy from what is obviously a ridiculous application-- one which, as Lydia points out, any fool not blinded by ideology can see is unreasonable & unfair. I'm not doing this because I espouse liberal philosophy & wish to defend it, but because I'm worried about a more complicated problem. In the increasingly mistrustful, angry, and sectarian public discourse in this country, we seem to find ourselves forever engaging with parodies of our opponents' positions. It doesn't help, of course, when these parodies actually become reality! But they're still parodies: the results of particular principles taken to ridiculous & ill-conceived extremes. Productive discourse will arise from liberals & conservatives (& advocates of other philosophies) engaging with serious, sober, well thought-out versions of one another's positions. If you don't believe such versions exist, then you resemble most people from both sides of the ideological divide, and I contend that you're not looking hard enough.

One other comment: if I were a transgendered person, I'd be angry about this whole incident and particularly furious at this Colleen character. This individuals actions & the responses from the university, the government, and the news media will surely be productive of nothing so much as an anti-transgender backlash.

De Gaulle:

I believe there would be more freedoms for Christians under a victorious Caliphate than under the Sodom we would have here

I don't see much difference between where Islamic states are now and where the progressives will take it if they can.

Lydia:

The two things are incommensurable evils. We can look around the world and see what Christians suffer in Muslim countries right now.

I couldn't disagree more. Christians have suffered the same fate in atheist countries. The methods used by the Communists were eerily similar to the methods used by Islamic states (read "Tortured for Christ" if you doubt this). The persecution of Christians and Jews has been barbaric wherever it has happened. It is not the ideology of the Antichrist that matters - any ideology will do - it is the ultimate goal (to negate Christ and his gospel by wiping out his Church). We must always remember that "we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places".

It doesn't help, of course, when these parodies actually become reality! But they're still parodies: the results of particular principles taken to ridiculous & ill-conceived extremes.

Well, Max, if the principle really logically does imply those extremes, and if the people in question really are being consistent with it, then it just isn't a parody. I'm sorry if that sounds extremist to you or insufficiently suave or what-have-you, but it is what it is. Take, for example, a "principle" like "gender is a social construct" or "you might have been born biologically a man but in some deep sense really be a woman," combined with "if you really are a woman in this deeper sense, society is obligated to treat you as a woman for the sake of justice." The insanity in the main post really *does make sense* (as insane consequences do "make sense" as conclusions of crazy premises) based on those particular principles. If one accepts those premises, then it is difficult to see why "Colleen" shouldn't be allowed to play dog in the manger and ruin the locker room for everybody else. After all, from the perspective of these principles, *theirs* is the problem. As "Colleen" put it, the girls should simply "be informed." It's as simple as that! Just tell the girls and women to get over it, because he's really a woman...somehow...and therefore we are obligated in justice to say that this is a woman and to act as if this is a woman in all our interactions. Women are allowed into this locker room, allowed to be naked in the sauna, allowed to take off all their clothing in the process of changing in the presence of other women. "Colleen" is a woman. Therefore, etc. It's positively syllogistic, given crazy enough principles as premises!

Now, like it or not, this is where leftism is at right now. Three years ago my own town, which isn't New York City or anything, passed an ordinance recognizing the special rights of people like "Colleen." It became evident to me at that point that, from a progressive perspective, "mere" gay rights is just soooo nineties. Trans rights is the new black. These _are_ their premises. Don't argue with me. Argue with them. The greatest happiness for the greatest number goes to the wall. Essentially, these people are a kind of bizarre philosophical deontologists. Only their absolutes aren't traditional things like, "It is always wrong deliberately to kill an innocent child" or something of that kind. No, their absolutes are, "It is always absolutely wrong to discriminate against a transgendered person."

If you look up the pro-"Colleen" news story linked in the main post, you will find "Colleen" likening the request that he not use this locker room to telling a black person not to drink from the "white" water fountain. Like it or not, this *is* a place where public discourse is at right now. And it isn't coming from the conservatives making strawmen. It's coming from the aggressive progressives pushing this as the next stage of their program.

You can say that it lowers discourse to respond to it, but not to call it out, point it out, and warn against it is simply to surrender preemptively, which I'm unwilling to do.

I couldn't disagree more.

Chucky, I don't know whom you're disagreeing with, but if you think I'm downplaying the horrific evils of atheistic Communism, you're arguing with the wrong person.

I wasn't saying that Islam is worse than leftism. I was saying that it isn't *better*. Presumably you aren't disagreeing with the evils of the treatment of Christians under Islam that I listed, because if you are, you are disagreeing with facts. Fact: That's how Muslims treat Christians.

As I said, these are incommensurable evils. *Right now*, the leftists in our own country, in England, Canada, Sweden, and other liberal bastions aren't torturing Christians and beating them to death. Does Communist ideology tend in that direction? Yes, it's been shown to do so, as you say, in Communist countries. Whether the particular group of totalitarians we have would all go to that extent is an interesting question; I suspect most of them wouldn't but would rather "reeducate" in gentler and more insidious ways, preferably by getting hold of children's minds at a young age, controlling the media, etc. But I don't say that to say that leftism is better than Islam and that we should make common cause with the leftists against the Muslims.

In fact, I'm one blogger as against quite a few elsewhere in the blogosphere who has *never* suggested such coalitions and has, in fact, consistently argued against them. My "incommensurable evils" idea indicates that it is dangerous to make a coalition with secularist leftists against Muslims and dangerous to make a coalition with Muslims against secularist leftists. I argue against those who make either suggestion or who downplay the evils on either side.

@ Lydia,
I'm not sure we substantively disagree here. I didn't mean to suggest that you had set up a straw-man, nor that public discourse hasn't gotten snared in a set of extremist interpretations, nor that there aren't people who will actually set out a priori axioms that lead inevitably to crazy positions. My point is simply that the "public discourse" is not really the public discourse, that it represents not what the majority of Americans or even the majority of liberals believe; that it is, rather, a ridiculous conglomeration of ideas that, ultimately, are not even coherent, much less reasonable. In other words, you haven't made the straw-man; society has made the straw-man, and made him come to life. But there's still a great many people in this country who believe a great many different things, and I suspect that most of them make a good deal more sense than the so-called "public discourse." So that the incoherence of the public discourse around the Colleen story does not imply that all of leftist thought around gender is incoherent.

For example, I could take the position that gender is partially constructed and partially biologically determined, but that what is determined is actually a set of variations around a mean, that some people will inevitably fall very far from that mean, and that, on occasion, a person will be born with a male body but an innate temperament and mindset that are actually closer to the feminine. I could then argue that such a person might feel so uncomfortable in his gender that he might feel compelled to identify as a woman, that such a decision should be his own to make, but that if he retains a male body, then it is unreasonable for him to expect to be viewed that way by others & he should therefore avoid women's locker rooms.

Alternately, I could take the position that gender is almost entirely a social construct but that all of culture is socially constructed, that this is in fact the fabric of society, so it is utterly unreasonable for one person to expect everyone around them to abandon their ideas about gender simply because he has abandoned his ideas about gender.

Alternately, I could take the position that I don't understand what the heck it means to want to switch genders but not switch sexes, but if someone wants to do that it's fine with me, so long as he/she doesn't do anything to make others uncomfortable (e.g. frequent female locker rooms.)

The point is, once we go past this absurd media narrative that masquerades as our "public discourse" there are a great many different positions that might lead to more or less reasonable conclusions.

But I don't mean to downplay the nasty ideological force that narratives about oppression have taken on through leftist discourse in recent decades. There are some strange mechanisms at work in these discourses that seem to drag the discussion inexorably towards extreme & unreasonable positions. It's worth exploring why & how this happens, and it's perfectly understandable to be angry and upset about them. But I believe that we can only be effective at developing a real public discourse that undermines these ideological mechanisms if we all understand that what lies beneath the ridiculous circus of our so-called "public discourse" is a great mass of reasonable people, capable (when their defenses are not up) of engaging in reasonable discussion about serious issues, from a wide variety of viewpoints.

mb

And where are the fathers of the little girls?
Why didn't they create a riot?

CS Lewis did notice that the lack of riots in modern West is not altogether a good thing. It shows a lack of outrage, a lack of positive convictions (Reflections on Psalms-a discussion of why the Hebrews seem more angry than pagans)

Lydia,
Islam is far, far better than the Leftism-it is plain from even a most cursory reading.
Constantinople under Ottomans was a flourishing cosmopolitan city. The trade of Baghdad was held 50% by Jews in 1947. The Bedouins used to take their children to be annually blessed by monks at the Carmel monastery 1930 (Evelyn Waugh 1930).

Islam has coexisted with Christianity for almost 1400 years and a modus vivendi was evolved in Near East.
While the Left, whenever in power even for a shortest period, has made an absolute intolerance for Christianity.

The reason is not far to seek. Islam is based upon truth--perhaps a distorted truth but truth nevertheless, that is there are lines they will not cross.

Gian writes: "And where are the fathers of the little girls?
Why didn't they create a riot?"

If a red-blooded man dragged this female impersonator from the bathroom, he'd risk getting charged with a hate crime.

Islam has coexisted with Christianity for almost 1400 years and a modus vivendi was evolved in Near East.

It's called dhimmitude. It stinks. To use a polite word. And under it, Christians are not permitted to carry out the Great Commission and Muslims are not permitted (on pain of death) to convert.


While the Left, whenever in power even for a shortest period, has made an absolute intolerance for Christianity.

Empirical evidence shows you wrong. The left is in power in a number of countries. They are doing bad things. For example, the police investigate you in England if you say that homosexuality is immoral. The same in Canada. That's very bad. It nonetheless isn't the actual "absolute intolerance" for Christians that obtains in Pakistan and Iran. You are either uninformed, or you believe what you want to believe.

But Gian, from our past conversations, I'm not the least bit surprised that you think this way, because you are, at heart, a "conservative" totalitarian, which is why you kinda like the Caliphate. It just isn't worth discussing with you.

"It nonetheless isn't the actual "absolute intolerance" for Christians that obtains in Pakistan and Iran."

Agreed, Lydia, but my fear is that secularism is a developing process, with, as you say, 'no bottom of the hill', and the 'Colleen' incident is a deliberate, orchestrated example of the ratcheting-up process. I would dismiss those who say that moderate liberals will draw a line on such incidents, after all, where are their protests now? They remind me of the quietest people in the world, moderate Muslims, to the degree I doubt either category exists.

Max, I understand your idea about drawing the line at things like this from within some set of sexually left or sexually liberal ideas. I think it is much more difficult to do than you think it is. In re. the case in the main article, this is especially true if one accepts anything remotely like the "trans" agenda. The "trans" agenda is definitely not about just "doing things in private." Transvestitism, for example, isn't the sort of thing that is just done in private, and the agenda is that they must be treated as the gender they "identify" with, even if their identification takes only the form of dressing and "presenting" as the opposite gender. Moreover, many transsexuals even who have had surgery can be told to be such, and they therefore appear bizarre and disturbing. The whole of the trans agenda is that society *must not take this into account* in a negative way. You can say that it is possible to be some kind of "moderate liberal" who doesn't buy that premise, but I'll wager that even you, self-styled moderate as you are, would be somewhat uncomfortable with what would now be deemed a "conservative" position--namely, that if employers or people who run locker rooms or anyone else doesn't wish to associate with a transsexual, including one who has had surgery, because they appear to normal people to be confused, grotesque, and disturbed individuals, then normal people should be allowed to discriminate against them, to the point of not giving them jobs and not permitting them to use the bathrooms, locker rooms, and other facilities of the gender they have insisted on mutilating themselves to resemble.

Yet that position would indeed permit society to monitor itself in such a way as to make a larger number of people comfortable and happy than the promotion of even a modified version of the "trans" agenda that insisted on protected class status only for those who have undergone surgery and are taking hormones. (There is no such "trans" agenda in question these days, but perhaps it is what you would support.)

Moreover, even if we take the matter back to the homosexual agenda, this is not and has never been about merely "what people do in private," again, because of the whole push for homosexuals to be able to be "out of the closet" and to receive protected class status when they are "out of the closet." If a businessman hires a homosexual who tells him and the whole world that he is homosexual, if that person is picked up from work by his partner and they are holding hands and in other ways demonstrating the nature of their affection in public, yes, this has always made a lot of people uncomfortable, and that's one of the reasons discrimination used to be allowed. The liberal position is that discrimination is wrong, hence, we got non-discrimination laws for homosexuals. Such laws would have had little application if this were merely about "what people do in private." Naturally, when one brings this up, one gets the racial analogy. But then, I don't think that striking down laws against miscegenation is merely about what people do in private! It's about a matter of actually righting an injustice. That, of course, is what homosexual activists believe as well.

The clash here is obviously between a principle that the large number of people in the society should not be bothered, have things put in their faces, be made uncomfortable, and be forced not to take things into account that, it seems to them, *should* be taken into account, and, on the other hand, a principle of non-discrimination that holds that they are *morally wrong* to take x into account.

I'm afraid we aren't going to be able to make any progress past that clash until and unless we agree as a society about what sorts of things are legitimate or at least non-bigoted to take into account and when it is *understandable* for people to be uncomfortable and to wish not to associate with certain people or groups of people. Unfortunately, our society does not agree on this, and there is no way around that. I'm afraid moderation simply won't cut it there, especially for those of us who have what are *now* considered (though they weren't even fifteen or twenty years ago) to be truly "radical, conservative" views about what sorts of things are rational grounds for discrimination. It is doubtful that we and even a "moderate" liberal such as yourself are going to have a lot of *substantive* common ground.

While the correspondents on this blog (well, many of them anyway) are rightly incensed by the promotion of an homosexual agenda by the media, is there any show on American TV that comes close to this: "A new six-part series will see Ian McKellen and Derek Jacobi as gay partners who share a cramped flat in Covent Garden for the most part of 50 years. A former actor and an ex-barman, their love has been reduced to reading, walking their dog, and bickering."

This description refers to a sit-com called Vicious (no kidding) which is scheduled to start on ITV in the New Year. McKellen and Jacobi, the blurb continues, "are both openly gay, and have been LGBT rights advocates for years".

Family entertainment in England now (or very soon).......words fail me.

(Information culled from a report in today's Daily Telegraph)

Alex, with respect to your comment on this 'Vicious' show, it wouldn't bother me too much if it was shown at a time when young children should be gone to bed. There were and always will be homosexuals, and they are free to live as they wish, and one need not watch this television programme, but, in the incident referred to here, this person is trying to impose something which directly effects the every-day lives of others, against their will. It's a difficult balance to achieve.

De Gaulle, it would bother me. Popular entertainment is, in a cycle, both a reflection of and an influence upon the morals of a people. It has been used expressly to change public perception by the entertainment industry, which is populated by a group distinctly to the "progressive" side of the population at large.

As for children's having "gone to bed," that gets a bit of a shrug from me, though I doubt even such minimal strictures are followed anymore.

Of course I agree that a television show which one can fairly easily avoid is less of a problem than a naked man in a girls' locker room. But isn't that a kind of a low standard?

Alex was indicating that the show tells us something negative about British culture concerning the normalization, and the continued push for yet further normalization, of homosexuality. I agree with him on that. It does. Of course, I'm sure we could list a litany of horrible TV shows in America as well that depict and promote even more decadence, including high schoolers engaging in sexual acts of various kinds. But I would rather keep the thread from descending into such a litany.

Yes, Lydia, it's the attempt to 'normalize' perversion (or in the locker room case, freakishness) that bugs me. The fact that most of my acquaintances think I get anxious about something that doesn't matter any more is worrying. The liberal line on sexual behaviour is accepted without question, as we know, among average decent people and only a few enragés are refusing to go with the flow.

This TV show, by the way, isn't scheduled for an obscure 'adult channel'. It's going to be transmitted on a popular mainstream channel. I don't know what time of night it will be broadcast - I imagine it will be after the 9 pm 'watershed'.

Lydia,

I am not a self-styled moderate. There's very little that's moderate in my political or social views. It's true, I wrote critically of "extreme positions" in my last comment, but the word-choice was careless; "fanatical" might have been a better word; my aim was to talk about positions so ideologically orthodox that they have become unhinged from human intuition. Also, the "reasonable liberal arguments" that I presented in my last comment are not my own beliefs, but merely a set of arguments that I thought made decent sense for a variety of different mind-sets and first principles. I'm actually not sure what my exact position is on the issue at hand.

What I am for is creating a public discourse in this country that's free of the elaborate ideological cages of political correctness, identity politics, and sectarian anger-- one in which people can actually listen to people they don't already agree with & feel safe expressing their opinions in mixed company, without fear of evoking disdain, fury, recrimination, etc.

You're right that I disagree with many of your opinions, some of them so strongly that I might be tempted simply not to engage. When I said that we don't substantively disagree, I was talking only about your reply to my first comment. To wit, I don't have a problem with openly gay couples, nor with gay families. I am deeply concerned about the deracination of western society & the breakdown of the family, but I think those evils arise out of economic and technological and, to a lesser extent, ideological conditions, not the rise of homosexual unions. But the point is, I can disagree with you without disrespecting you. I can believe that open homosexuality is not harmful to society without branding you a bigot for thinking the opposite. And I can find your posts interesting, your perspective valuable, your arguments helpful in exploring a difficult set of ideas. I hope & believe that I am unusual in finding this sort of encounter valuable only because so few people in this country have the opportunity to experience such encounters.

max

Lydia:

Chucky, I don't know whom you're disagreeing with

I was disagreeing with your "incommensurable evils" comment. I think these are a common evil.

That's how Muslims treat Christians.

Well that's how Muslim States or Islamic terrorist groups treat Christians. I don't know that individual Muslims would be inclined to do so. Maybe so. But I think the potential for savagery increase immeasurably when humans segregate into groups. Hatreds feed off hatreds in such settings and, what was previously thought unthinkable, suddenly becomes OK.

As I said, these are incommensurable evils. *Right now*, the leftists in our own country, in England, Canada, Sweden, and other liberal bastions aren't torturing Christians and beating them to death.

It's not just Communists and Muslims who treat "undesirables" that way though. Throughout history man has been brutal to his enemies. It is, I believe, the unchecked nature of man to do so. That is the commonality amongst these evils. It just amazes me to read about how normal citizens---under Nazi, Communist and Islamic regimes (to name just a few from recent history)---can turn into such monsters. From the intense hatred I've seen just in the blogosphere toward Christians and what they stand for, I'd say that an unchecked liberal group in the West could be just as brutal.

Whether the particular group of totalitarians we have would all go to that extent is an interesting question; I suspect most of them wouldn't but would rather "reeducate" in gentler and more insidious ways, preferably by getting hold of children's minds at a young age, controlling the media, etc.

Perhaps it's just the vestiges of Christian society that keeps them from crossing that line? I don't know. If killing Christians had little or no consequences, we'd be dying like flies. The hatred towards Christianity comes straight from the pit of hell - and the methodology doesn't change - no matter the ideology.

My "incommensurable evils" idea indicates that it is dangerous to make a coalition with secularist leftists against Muslims and dangerous to make a coalition with Muslims against secularist leftists. I argue against those who make either suggestion or who downplay the evils on either side.

Well the interesting thing about that is that, as you know, the leftists and Muslims are more than willing to make coalitions against Christians and Jews. I think that seemingly unexplainable fact is evidence for the common source of their evil. Like I said: "principalities and powers..."

I don't know that individual Muslims would be inclined to do so.
Yup. It doesn't take a state entity nor even a terrorist organization to get nasty.
Take, for example, a "principle" like "gender is a social construct" or "you might have been born biologically a man but in some deep sense really be a woman," combined with "if you really are a woman in this deeper sense, society is obligated to treat you as a woman for the sake of justice."

That's right: if this person appears to come down with penile or testicular cancer, well, the PROPER thing to do is to tell 'her' that "you can't have that cancer because you are a woman." And the PROPER thing for 'her' to do is to show up at 'her' gynecologist's office for (heh, heh) a pap smear and a mammogram, and maybe a sonogram uterine cancer. [OUCH!]

Would that cure 'her' of the insanity? See, it doesn't take a genius to figure out that it is simply irrelevant whether 'she' feels more like a woman, as long as 'she' has male genitalia, 'she' needs to be reserved and reticent around young girls anyway. Period. The fact that 'she' wouldn't do that shows that 'her' agenda is something much, much more troubled than just the sheer gender issue.

Lydia,
Do you know that there are Christian schools and colleges in Pakistan and they run with a lot more freedom and state non-interference than Christian schools in America?

I am more of a multicultural conservative. I would rather let each community live with its own laws as it thinks fit.

Chucky Darwin,
"the potential for savagery increase immeasurably when humans segregate into groups. "

But can humans be prevented from segregating into groups?

Isn't this what liberalism is about?. To prevent conflicts by forcing the humanity into a world state?

Indeed it is.
"I am more of a multicultural conservative. I would rather let each community live with its own laws as it thinks fit."
I agree somewhat. The only clause is that we must never refrain from maintaining our own superiority and confidence as a people.

"We are not open to the charge of bigotry, nor are our young people, if we cannot produce an essay on why men should not be allowed to expose themselves to women and girls."

But let's look, for a moment, at the worst-case scenario, based on everything we're assuming here about the ultimate form of the principles here being examined: What if we did have to produce just such an essay?

What do you say to somebody who says -- and let us for a moment assume such a person is operating out of some genuinely uncomprehending innocence rather than an affected political pose -- "Well, why shouldn't men be allowed to be nude in front of women and girls? When it comes right down to it, what, really, is the big deal, beyond our own prudish paranoia? Is there something inherently evil about male genitalia, or the male form? Do we demand anatomy textbooks be taken off the shelves in children's libraries? And as long as no explicitly sexual behaviour is initiated, doesn't a person in a male body have the same right to demand that body not be regarded in a sexual manner as a mother breastfeeding in public? And shouldn't the responsibility for that respect be put on those around him, just as women have rightly put the responsibility for proper sexual behaviour on men? And if we're concerned with people feeling sexually threatened, who in this scenario actually is more sexually threatened: a bunch of girls having to put up with a naked male form whose wearer has no sexual interest in them, or 'Colleen' having to change in front of a bunch of strange men who may very well be homophobic enough to attack and hurt 'her' in a conveniently private and evidence-destroying environment?"

There is only so far argument will get you with somebody who simply, fundamentally does not share the same premises as you do.

There is only so far argument will get you with somebody who simply, fundamentally does not share the same premises as you do.

Naturally, there is no debate without shared premises.

An answer could be made that the right or wrong depend upon the cultural context. A naked stranger-man is maybe no big deal in Congo jungle (even for little girls) but this here is not Congo.

Stephen J, your comment could be reasonable from an intelligent alien whose race has not suffered from original sin. From a human being, one who has lived every moment of life with the effects of original sin before his or her eyes and mind, the comment simply ignores vast mounds of unavoidable data, oversimplifies observable human behavior beyond recognition, and sidesteps every common sense apprehension of humanity. If you want to assume that this observer has no common sense, then yes, such a question may be asked. But of course, we who answer are going to do so knowing that our hearer has no common sense.

Stephen J, I'd be inclined to try a reductio on your imaginary person's argument, such as that this is an argument for everyone's being naked all the time. It isn't, in fact, restricted to the supposed "transgender" in the locker room. If the person thinks being naked all the time is fine, then he isn't taking "breastfeeding in public" in the direction that its advocates want one to take it. They would no doubt be offended if one suggested that their agenda is that it's okay for everyone to walk around naked all the time. (Though, without wanting to get off-topic, I do think that some women who breastfeed in public are to blame for making no attempt to be discreet.)

In general, too, I would not say that this is per se about "regarding a person's body sexually." I'm sure that many women would find "Colleen's" body simply revolting. It is, rather, that both women and men should be able to have a reasonable expectation in public places of not being confronted suddenly and without the ability to avoid it with the image or actuality of a naked member of the other gender and being forced ("forced" that is, just in virtue of going about their own business) to look at that other person's genital organs.

If one wants to become an anthropologist or missionary to a tribe of people that habitually go about naked, one at least knows what one is getting into. These women and girls didn't sign up for such a confrontation and shouldn't be forced into it. It is understandably disturbing for them.

Of course, if your hypothetical person doesn't get that, then you may be right: We're done, and we should just work as hard as we can to make sure that he and his ilk don't get political power.

Gian, you can say what you like about "Christian schools in Pakistan," but Christians in these countries really do suffer persecution of a particularly savage variety, including mob violence for allegations of "blasphemy," that evidently you just don't want to know about. Moreover, as I've said, witnessing and conversion illegal, which is directly contrary to Christian doctrine. In Afghanistan our own military _burned_ hundreds of Bibles that were sent to a soldier lest they be distributed. Youcef Nadarkhani (who happens to be a heretic on the Trinity) was locked up for having allegedly "converted" from Islam, and now his lawyer has been thrown in jail as his proxy for having publicized his situation. If the Great Commission offends your multiculturalism, the heck with your multiculturalism. Do your own research, if you like. I have a feeling that if I carefully researched a post on the subject you would still ignore the facts I adduced, because you've shown yourself quite capable of ignoring evidence in the past, so it's not worth my time to get you a whole slew of links.

Imagine applying the same logic of the "transgendered" person to the issue of race. A Causcasian man "feels deep inside" that he's really Asian, because of his great love for Buddhism, Asian culture, etc. He decides to straighten his hair, dye it black, then have cosmetic surgery on his eyes to make them look more Asian. He also has his skin tone chemically changed.

Wouldn't we think that such an individual, even if he has the "freedom" to do these things, was in need of not surgery but therapy? Would the "Chinese trapped in a Caucasian body" argument fly AT ALL?

Of course not. Common sense would prevail and the guy would be referred to a psychiatrist in two shakes. But when it comes to sex, the great liberal touch-me-not, all common sense goes completely out the window.

In short, a man can no more "become" a woman than a Caucasian man can "become" a Chinaman, and the fact that so many people think he can simply indicates how majorly screwed up we are as a culture. Sexual libertinism has unfortunately become the engine of modern left-liberalism.

"It is, rather, that both women and men should be able to have a reasonable expectation in public places of not being confronted suddenly and without the ability to avoid it with the image or actuality of a naked member of the other gender and being forced ("forced" that is, just in virtue of going about their own business) to look at that other person's genital organs."

I can't say I'd object too much to suddenly being "confronted" with a naked member of the sex opposite to mine, or "having" to look at her genitalia. (Depending on her age, weight and physique, of course.)

But more seriously, although I agree with this position in practice, the problem here is that what we are discussing is essentially a taboo, and the demand being placed on us is to justify that taboo in a way that permits just discrimination and exclusion. Moreover, we may well be forced to justify it to people who (a) do not believe in Original Sin, (b) rightly point out that this taboo is not universal -- there are many cultures who have no problem with public opposite-sex nudity at all, from the Swedes to the Fijians, (c) believe -- again rightly -- that passing laws based on culture-specific taboos is not generally considered just legislation, and (d) believe that the right of the individual to live publicly in accordance with his/her "identity" should generally trump the mere "expectation of comfort" of others (as we would agree in a second were we talking of, say, a woman walking publicly with a bare face, midriff and legs where a largely Muslim neighbourhood could see her). There are many men's bodies whom I find revolting and uncomfortable to look at; should I have the right to kick them out of a locker room I happen to share with them?

Again, please understand that I am not making these arguments because I agree with their end position; I am making them because anyone who wants to get our point across will have to answer them.

I am making them because anyone who wants to get our point across will have to answer them.

Well, I don't actually agree with that. I think we should be able to do this based on common sense. A naked man in the women's locker room is a naked man in the women's locker room. Let me add, too, that the premise of this entire trans. approach is _not_, "People should be able to get naked wherever they want to, because it's just a cultural taboo to say otherwise." Rather, the premise is, "'Colleen' is a woman, so 'she' should be able to get naked in the women's locker room even though the women's locker room is a semi-private space where only women are supposed to be found naked." So I don't think the entire "public nudity" issue is in question here. Rather, it's the attack on nature according to which people simply get to "identify" as any gender they want and then invade spaces which are allegedly gender-segregated because people will be changing clothes into swimsuits, etc., or bathing or sitting in a sauna in those places.

In some ways, Stephen J., the "trans" group would shoot themselves in the foot rhetorically if they decided to advocate for full public nudity of anyone, anywhere, anytime. That's why that isn't their approach.

I think we should be able to do this based on common sense.

Ah, but that's precisely the problem: the "sense" of the issue, the intuitive grasp of what is and isn't right about it, is not "common" here.

...the "trans" group would shoot themselves in the foot rhetorically if they decided to advocate for full public nudity of anyone, anywhere, anytime.

Are you so sure? I live in Ontario, where women can legally go topless in public, and in San Francisco full public nudity is more or less effectively legal, in both places for precisely the reasons I set out: When it came down to it, the argument for common sense repugnance to the concept was dismissed as a culture-specific taboo that didn't trump individual rights. So if our goal is to overturn laws like this, we need a stronger argument than simply common sense, no matter how much you and I both agree with it.

Rather, the premise is, "'Colleen' is a woman, so 'she' should be able to get naked in the women's locker room even though the women's locker room is a semi-private space where only women are supposed to be found naked." So I don't think the entire "public nudity" issue is in question here.

It is to our opposition, since we are the ones who appeared to bring it up. After all, our objection is not to an adult being naked in the presence of a child but to a physically male adult being naked in the presence of a female child, which in turn is based on our position that an individual's physicalsocial gender identity

when regulating potentially hazardous interactions. But since the opposition does not share that position, the only basis they can understand for our objection is the original basic nudity taboo, which in turn they dismiss as something not sufficient to justify legally enforceable discrimination.

Which in turn goes back to basic premises: If you fundamentally believe that accommodating the identity of individuals is more important than alleviating the discomforts of public taboos, and that gender identity dysphoria creates valid identities rather than aberrant psychological conditions, then it becomes very hard to find a way to forbid this kind of thing that does not violate other principles. And until an effective treatment can be found for the basic syndrome, I'm pessimistic about the prospects of delegitimizing it.

Which is well and away enough Devil's Advocating, so I'll stop there before I really tick people off.

Looks like I botched my entry somewhat. The second paragraph should say:

"...bssed on our position that an individual's physical gender should trump his/her social gender identity when regulating potentially hazardous interactions."

(The first "gender" was actually originally written as the three-letter term Sierra, Echo, X-Ray -- is there an automatic filter bot on this blog that deletes that word?)

Gian:

Isn't this what liberalism is about?. To prevent conflicts by forcing the humanity into a world state?

Liberalism is schizophrenic. Yes, they want a one world government with no discrimination, but (at least in this country) they are also all about classifying people by characteristics (race, gender, sexual orientation, religion), then assigning special rights to those groups (women's rights, gay rights, minority rights, etc.)

(Libertarianism, OTOH, does not classify people into groups but rather treats each person as an individual. For the Libertarian, groups don't have rights - only individuals have rights (and each individual has the same rights as every other individual). So we're not talking about Libertarians here.)

What's more, the liberals don't just assign rights to groups, they also assign thoughts and characteristics to groups. We are told that "the black community" thinks this, or "the gay community" thinks that - as if all blacks think alike and all gays think alike. It is a form of discrimination so insidious we often don't even recognize it. For instance, a black Republican is said to "not really be black" (as if the color of one's skin decides one's political views). I remember listening to a Jeremiah Wright speech some time back (I think it was at the National Press Club) where he went into detail about how black children learn differently than white children and how blacks express themselves differently than whites. It was the exact opposite of what Dr. Martin Luther King had said decades before. He was essentially saying that the color of your skin determines how you think, act and learn - and not one person in the press challenged him on it!

Here is a concrete example from a current radio ad put out by the NFHA promoting "diversity" while claiming that all white people think and act alike.

The worst part about it is that, by continually feeding the public with these stereotypes, while creating special rights for certain groups and denying others, the liberal system ends up pitting us against each other and causing the hatred to increase rather than decrease.

If you fundamentally believe that accommodating the identity of individuals is more important than alleviating the discomforts of public taboos, and that gender identity dysphoria creates valid identities rather than aberrant psychological conditions, then it becomes very hard to find a way to forbid this kind of thing that does not violate other principles.

I certainly agree with you there. Which is why my position vis a vis people who take that crazy position is full-bore social war, not, "Hey, let's sit down and have a dialogue." I would rather win over the middle-of-the-roaders who still have problems with total public nudity and will be repelled rather than attracted if the trans. lobby goes with that argument. Which is presumably why they didn't do so when passing their horrible ordinance in my town.

For the Libertarian, groups don't have rights - only individuals have rights

And this is why doctrinaire libertarianism is a complete joke of a philosophy of government. It is so obsessed with the individual that it denies that individual rights become group rights when individuals band together to form a society. The nation has a right to form a standing army to protect/restrict access to its collective territory precisely because the individual has the same right regarding their property.

Mike T:

And this is why doctrinaire libertarianism is a complete joke of a philosophy of government. It is so obsessed with the individual that it denies that individual rights become group rights when individuals band together to form a society. The nation has a right to form a standing army to protect/restrict access to its collective territory precisely because the individual has the same right regarding their property.

No Libertarian (that I know of) argues against the right of a nation to form a standing army - so you're putting forth a strawman. The collective rights of a nation are not based on any group-defined characteristic. Rather, they are just that: collective rights of individuals.

Stephen J,
A taboo does trump individual rights, by definition; otherwise it is not much of a taboo.
Your (c) is also rather unhinged liberalism.
(c) believe -- again rightly -- that passing laws based on culture-specific taboos is not generally considered just legislation

And the defenders of Partial Birth Abortion to define the justness?

All you mean is that this Taboo is not your Taboo. There are plenty of liberal cultural specific taboos such that breaking them would make liberals squeal.

Chucky Darwin
The schizophrenia of the Progressive liberals is partly because of dealing with concrete reality (unlike libertarians) i.e making an unprincipled exception and partly tactical one.

You are right that Libertarianism does not recognize groups and group rights.
But is it justified? Is it a tenable perception of reality?.

Consider that man is bound in Solidarity to other men--by Catholic doctrine. Now if you universalize this Solidarity, you get the Progressive form of Liberalism.

But you recognize only the solidarity of the family. And all other must be voluntary. And it is obvious that for you a neighbor is only as good as a stranger.
You presume on not sharing anything with a neighbor that you don't share with a villager half a world away.

Now, under such assumptions, it is very doubtful that a society could function at all, leaving aside the thinness of such an existence.

A taboo does trump individual rights, by definition; otherwise it is not much of a taboo.

In practice, yes; my point is, both we and (in principle) our opponents subscribe to a legal philosophy that considers this to be an unjust basis for legislation.

Look at it this way: It is taboo (in the classic literal sense of that term) for an unmarried Muslim woman to show her face, wear sexually provocative garb in public, or go unaccompanied by a male relative. If, say, 67% of the people in an American town were Muslim and voted to pass a town ordinance requiring full burka, niqab and chador for *all* female residents of that town -- not just Muslims -- would that law be just?

If you believe (as I do) that such a law is not just, because it forces people by law to live according to a taboo they don't share, then the problem is to find an objective legal basis for saying, "A law requiring 'X' level of public modesty and sexual segregation is unjust, but a law requiring 'Y' level of public modesty and sexual segregation is not," which means finding a meaningful distinction between 'X' level and 'Y' level that cannot be reduced to "whatever the local majority happens to subjectively prefer as more comfortable to their sensitivities".

I myself recognize the valid distinction between "protecting men from the temptation of female sexuality by ostracizing women" and "protecting children from exposure to sexual matters they are not ready to handle by controlling what can be seen in dressing rooms". But my point is that our opponents do not recognize this distinction as valid, or as significant enough to override the basic principle of "nobody else has the right to make me hide more of my body than I want to, merely because they are uncomfortable with looking at it".

Stephen J,
Actually taboos are not a matter of legislature.
Taboos are not to be enforced with State power but with mob power.
A taboo is such that a violator is set upon by the mob. If a mob can not be got upon, one has lost the taboo, as apparently now is the case, where no red-blooded man is willing to defend the honor of his daughter by extra-legal (or pre-legal) means.

Stephen J,
"If, say, 67% of the people in an American town were Muslim"

It is not an American town anymore, but a Muslim enclave.
If they try to impose their alien norms, I hope and expect the higher level authorities to re-impose American norms on the subversive enclave.

That is, I don't reason in abstract but see the problem in its political context

No Libertarian (that I know of) argues against the right of a nation to form a standing army - so you're putting forth a strawman. The collective rights of a nation are not based on any group-defined characteristic. Rather, they are just that: collective rights of individuals.

Then you need to spend some time with those associated with Reason and Cato. They firmly believe that individual right of contract supercedes the right of the group to establish border and immigration controls.

Mike T:

Then you need to spend some time with those associated with Reason and Cato. They firmly believe that individual right of contract supercedes the right of the group to establish border and immigration controls.

Thanks for that. I knew that the "pure" libertarians were against borders (I'm not one of them) but I wasn't sure why.

My thoughts on this are that any group has the right to band together to protect their collective individual rights (and thus border/immigration, police, military, even private-sector unions are all legitimate). What I don't think is legitimate is for a group to demand special rights from the government over and above another group. It is not right, for instance, for one race to get government mandated preferential hiring treatment - based on a special right given to them based on the color of their skin.

That's as far as I'm willing to take the prohibition on "group rights".

Gian:

You are right that Libertarianism does not recognize groups and group rights.

I think they recognize groups - just not group rights. (I could be wrong)

Consider that man is bound in Solidarity to other men--by Catholic doctrine.
Or by our common humanity
Now if you universalize this Solidarity, you get the Progressive form of Liberalism.
Or you get the human race.
But you recognize only the solidarity of the family.
Who does?
And all other must be voluntary.
It's not that they "must be" - they are. You can pick your friends but not your family, and - unless you're in prison - you can voluntarily leave any nation or group.
And it is obvious that for you a neighbor is only as good as a stranger.
I don't get that at all. This seems to be the crux of your point but it makes no sense to me.
You presume on not sharing anything with a neighbor that you don't share with a villager half a world away.
I don't get this either. It's like you assume Libertarians are unfeeling ideologues incapable of normal friendships and relationships!
Now, under such assumptions, it is very doubtful that a society could function at all, leaving aside the thinness of such an existence.
"under such assumptions" - Yes, but you're assuming things that are not real.

Okay, I have been sooo nice and let the discussion of libertarianism go on for a while,but now I'm getting bored, or perhaps just grumpy, so let's go back to on-topic. Thanks, gentlemen.

"If this guy's idea of "political protest" is to expose his genitals to women and girls, he heartily deserves to be locked up for a good long time, and I wish he were."

No outrage at women entering mens locker rooms for political protest though?
Shouldn't she be locked up just as quickly?
I don't expect this comment to be posted as it's not couched in flowery talk like those who agree with me,but fail to point out that you cannot fight leftism w/o fighting the lesbian driven feminist agenda.

Buddy, I'm getting extremely tired of you. I junked another one of your comments because it was vulgar and disgusting. I do not accept adulation of male indecent exposure on the grounds that it is macho.

I would be extremely happy if you were to disappear from our comment roster forever, because you give me the creeps. I have already addressed this silliness by saying that, in fact, I and others do in fact oppose female reporters' going into men's locker rooms and invading their privacy. (It is not, however, whatever you may think or say, perversion and personal craziness of the sort that this individual manifests. So, no, it should simply be forbidden and stopped only as trespass, not "locked up just as quickly" nor for as long as a man who exposes his own naked body to women and, especially, minor girls.) Anyone who knows anything about me or has read my posts over the years knows that I am opposed to feminism. In general, I would say that feminism has been part of the general idea that there is no such thing as the reality of nature-given gender roles. Therefore, ideologically, the trans agenda does have something in common with feminism. However, your icky quid pro quo nonsense is in nutcase-land, and you don't get to bore the list by continuing to repeat it over and over again. There is no need to address it further.

The "trans" agenda is part of an attack on nature altogether. As such, it should be opposed by all men of good will. Those who refuse to oppose it because they are so mired in their own little fever-swamp of misogynistic resentment are self-evidently not men of good will.

Lydia:

Okay, I have been sooo nice and let the discussion of libertarianism go on for a while

I have to say I was pleasantly surprised by that!
but now I'm getting bored, or perhaps just grumpy, so let's go back to on-topic. Thanks, gentlemen.

My original point was not about libertarianism but about the desire to have the State define and police morality. I apologize for the tangent that developed afterward.

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