The British are fast backing off the idea that giving puberty blocking medications to adolescents is a harmless exercise. Much sound medical science suggests otherwise and much more raises extremely serious questions about its impact on a child’s future physiological, psychological, emotional and perhaps even cognitive well-being.
But in Portland, Oregon, schools are going the opposite way. The curriculum for kids from kindergarten through grade five is heavily weighted with the latest in gender-identity ideology that begins innocently enough, but ends with – you guessed it – encouragement for sexual transitioning. Here’s Chris Rufo’s take on a cache of documents reflecting that pedagogy he received from an anonymous insider in Portland Schools.
Now, the gender-identity curriculum begins in a not-too-offensive or loony way, by drawing a distinction between sex and gender.
Gender identity is about how you feel about yourself inside.
OK, I can accept that. After all, not all boys or all girls feel the same about themselves as boys or girls. Some boys and men feel more macho than others; some girls and women feel more “girly” than others. That’s been true since the dawn of humanity. There’s nothing wrong with either and nothing wrong with pointing the matter out, if – and it’s a big if – that’s all the schools are doing.
But of course it’s not.
Very quickly, the concept of gender as just “how you feel about yourself inside” spills out of gender and into biological sex.
The curriculum presents the categories of “man” and “woman” as manifestations of the “dominant culture” that has used sexual norms to oppress minorities.
What had so recently been simply matter of how one feels about one’s sexuality has now leapt to the claim that biological sex (man and woman) are not only suspect categories, but a means by which the dominant culture oppresses everyone else. Parenthetically, I’d be intrigued to know which non-dominant cultures (or any others for that matter) the documents cite as not having the concepts of man and woman. What do they do with the fact that one of the very first things – perhaps the very first – our human brains have evolved to do when we meet a new person is register his/her sex. We’ve been doing that for hundreds of thousands of years, but, according to the gender identity zealots, the entire concept of “man” and “woman” is simply a devious plot by white Europeans to subvert others.
The main point of this particular pedagogy is to attack and destroy anything associated with “whiteness” and/or “white” culture. Of course doing that relies entirely on the above notion, i.e., that biological sex and the recognition of same are, in some way, unique to white European cultures and backgrounds. After all, if all cultures in all places and times see sex and differentiate between the two sexes, it becomes impossible to denigrate white European cultures for doing so. In that and much else, the curriculum generally bears little or no relation to hard reality and, as such, can’t withstand even minimal scrutiny.
But the fact that this curriculum appears untethered to the real world is not its worst problem.
The solution, according to Portland Public Schools, is to obliterate the “white colonizer” conception of sexuality, with its rigid male-female binary, and encourage students to inhabit “the infinite gender spectrum.” This means destroying the system of “cisheteronormativity” and promoting “queer” and “trans” identities… For some students, the subversion of the gender binary might also involve a gender transition. The curriculum provides a detailed explanation of how to “pause puberty” through “hormones and/or surgeries…”
Hey, who needs to speak truth to power when you can just take drugs, avoid puberty and possibly damage your body and psyche for life? Simple. Take that, Western civilization!
More seriously, once again the curriculum begins with something that’s at least an arguable possibility – “the infinite gender spectrum” – but jumps immediately to “gender transition” that is, among other things, emphatically a misnomer. Transitioning from one sex to the other is not just a matter of “how you feel about yourself inside,” but the objective use of experimental medicine and surgery to radically transform the patient physiologically, mentally, psychologically and emotionally. Those aren’t just feelings, they’re hard reality. It’s not “gender transition,” it’s sexual transition, two vastly different things. Alas, I suspect third graders aren’t likely to grasp the subtleties.
The point being that, in the Portland schools, it is but a short step from the simple recognition that different people are likely to experience their sexuality differently to “take hormones and have surgery before you’re old enough to drive.” Such is the state of play in some of our kindergartens and elementary schools.
Now, the people peddling this deeply destructive nonsense pretend certainty about their own moral rectitude. But that is pretense only. I know this because the documents received by Rufo were secreted out of the Portland Schools by a person who wishes to remain anonymous. Why couldn’t Rufo just, for example, go online and read them? Because they’re meant by the gender-identity ideologues to be top secret, at least from the parents whose kids are being targeted. That raises the obvious question, “if your pedagogy is so beyond reproach, why does it have to be kept from parents, the press and others?” The need for secrecy isn’t exactly a ringing endorsement.
Fortunately, Rufo has punctured that balloon.
This article originally appeared at The Word of Damocles.