I'm obliged to reader M. L. S. for sending me the link to a speech by Christopher Rufo at Hillsdale College in September this year. We've met Mr. Rufo in these pages several times before. He's a meticulous investigator and authoritative journalist, who isn't afraid to tackle the real issues of the day and expose them. In his speech, he did just that for the rise of transgenderism and its social acceptance. Here are a few excerpts.
The sudden and pervasive rise of this movement provokes two questions: where did it come from, and how has it proved so successful? The story goes deeper than most Americans know.
In the late 1980s, a group of academics, including Judith Butler, Gayle Rubin, Sandy Stone, and Susan Stryker, established the disciplines of “queer theory” and “transgender studies.” These academics believed gender to be a “social construct” used to oppress racial and sexual minorities, and they denounced the traditional categories of man and woman as a false binary that was conceived to support the system of “heteronormativity”—i.e., the white, male, heterosexual power structure. This system, they argued, had to be ruthlessly deconstructed. And the best way to achieve this, they argued further, was to promote transgenderism. If men can become women, and women men, they believed, the natural structure of Creation could be toppled.
. . .
Some trans activists even view their movement as the future of Marxism. In a collection of essays titled Transgender Marxism, activist writer Rosa Lee argues that trans people can serve as the new vanguard of the proletariat, promising to abolish heteronormativity in the same way that orthodox Marxism promised to abolish capitalism ... This is the great project of the transgender movement: to abolish the distinctions of man and woman, to transcend the limitations established by God and nature, and to connect the personal struggle of trans individuals to the political struggle to transform society in a radical way.
. . .
According to survey data, up to 80 percent of trans individuals suffer from serious psychopathologies and one-quarter of black trans youth attempt suicide each year. “Gender-affirming care” largely fails to solve these problems, yet the doctors use these failures to justify even more extreme interventions up to the final one: genital reconstruction.
. . .
A less common but more symbolically apt surgery ... is known as “nullification,” in which a smooth, continuous skin covering from the abdomen to the groin is created following a castration or vaginectomy. In other words, the genitalia are replaced by nothing. Nullification surgery is the perfect symbol for the ideology behind the trans movement: the pursuit of the Latin nullum, meaning “nothing”; or the related nihil, the root of the English word “nihilism.” Trans ideology is animated by a profound nihilism that denies human nature and enables barbarism in the name of progress.
There's much more at the link. Highly recommended reading.
Mr. Rufo hit another one out of the park in his speech, IMHO. I think it's essential reading if we're to understand what drives the transgender movement in society today.