Pope Says Priests are Chickenhawks not Pedophiles

In what has to be considered one of the most perversely pathetic excuses ever for priests behaving badly, the red Prada pump wearing former Hitler Youth, CEO of the misogynistic pandering to the powerful Catholic Church, made the astounding claim that it is improper to call the priests who have sex with underage boys perverts and pedophiles.

In an exercise in post modern word games where words mean what I say they mean and if you accept my definitions then it follows that these priests are chickenhawks and not peodophiles….

Oh well..

You can read the whole story here:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/sep/28/sex-abuse-religion-vatican

Sex abuse rife in other religions, says Vatican

The Vatican has lashed out at criticism over its handling of its paedophilia crisis by saying the Catholic church was “busy cleaning its own house” and that the problems with clerical sex abuse in other churches were as big, if not bigger.

In a defiant and provocative statement, issued following a meeting of the UN human rights council in Geneva, the Holy See said the majority of Catholic clergy who committed such acts were not paedophiles but homosexuals attracted to sex with adolescent males.

The statement, read out by Archbishop Silvano Tomasi, the Vatican’s permanent observer to the UN, defended its record by claiming that “available research” showed that only 1.5%-5% of Catholic clergy were involved in child sex abuse.

He also quoted statistics from the Christian Scientist Monitor newspaper to show that most US churches being hit by child sex abuse allegations were Protestant and that sexual abuse within Jewish communities was common.

He added that sexual abuse was far more likely to be committed by family members, babysitters, friends, relatives or neighbours, and male children were quite often guilty of sexual molestation of other children.

The statement said that rather than paedophilia, it would “be more correct” to speak of ephebophilia, a homosexual attraction to adolescent males.

“Of all priests involved in the abuses, 80 to 90% belong to this sexual orientation minority which is sexually engaged with adolescent boys between the ages of 11 and 17.”

The statement concluded: “As the Catholic church has been busy cleaning its own house, it would be good if other institutions and authorities, where the major part of abuses are reported, could do the same and inform the media about it.”

The Holy See launched its counter–attack after an international representative of the International Humanist and Ethical Union, Keith Porteous Wood, accused it of covering up child abuse and being in breach of several articles under the Convention on the Rights of the Child.

Porteous Wood said the Holy See had not contradicted any of his accusations. “The many thousands of victims of abuse deserve the international community to hold the Vatican to account, something it has been unwilling to do, so far. Both states and children’s organisations must unite to pressurise the Vatican to open its files, change its procedures worldwide, and report suspected abusers to civil authorities.”

Representatives from other religions were dismayed by the Holy See’s attempts to distance itself from controversy by pointing the finger at other faiths.

Rabbi Joseph Potasnik, head of the New York Board of Rabbis, said: “Comparative tragedy is a dangerous path on which to travel. All of us need to look within our own communities. Child abuse is sinful and shameful and we must expel them immediately from our midst.”

A spokesman for the US Episcopal Church said measures for the prevention of sexual misconduct and the safeguarding of children had been in place for years.

Of all the world religions, Roman Catholicism has been hardest hit by sex abuse scandals. In the US, churches have paid more than $2bn (£1.25bn) in compensation to victims. In Ireland, reports into clerical sexual abuse have rocked both the Catholic hierarchy and the state.

The Ryan Report, published last May, revealed that beatings and humiliation by nuns and priests were common at institutions that held up to 30,000 children. A nine-year investigation found that Catholic priests and nuns for decades terrorised thousands of boys and girls, while government inspectors failed to stop the abuse.

Bad Health Care Bill Penalizes Women: More Amendments Limiting Reproductive Health Care and Excessive Premium Rates for Older Women

NOW Call to Action on Health Care Reform

http://www.now.org/lists/now-action-list/msg00401.html

Tell your senators — health care reform can’t restrict women’s rights!
take action

After taking action, please support our work!

Action Needed:

Consideration of Senate Finance Committee Chair Sen. Max Baucus’ (D-Mont.) proposed legislation to reform our broken health care system continues this week. Please send a message to your senators today urging them to oppose all restrictive amendments that would limit women’s access to reproductive health care and to withdraw discriminatory provisions that would charge women (and men), aged 40 to 64, five times (!) the average premium amount charged to younger persons. Also, stress the need for the legislation to offer a strong public health insurance plan; Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-W. Va.) is set to soon offer an amendment that would establish a public health insurance plan.

Take action now!

Background:

The Senate Finance Committee is considering amendments this week to a bill that is the health insurance industry’s dream legislation. NOW opposes this bill, primarily because it does not offer a public health insurance option and because there are many onerous and costly provisions. More than 500 amendments have been offered, including a number that would further restrict access to reproductive health services. Other parts of the bill would require unaffordable insurance plans, mandate coverage with penalties for persons without insurance, write age discrimination into law, require taxpayers to pay billions in subsidies to private health insurers and fail to include a public health insurance option — something a majority of the public has said they want.

The amendments offered by opponents of women’s reproductive health care include: restoration of abstinence-only education, adopting a conscience clause, no pre-emption of state laws regarding abortion, no federal funds for abortion and others. Abortion services is the one of the most common medical procedures provided in the U.S., yet these amendments attempt to further stigmatize and marginalize this component of basic women’s health care. There may well be an effort to prohibit coverage of abortion services in all private health insurance plans.

Protect women’s reproductive health care — take action now!

Chairman Baucus and the insurance companies want persons aged 40 to 64 to pay an exorbitant amount for coverage — arguing that it is this age group that needs more care and should pay more. Middle-age women might see themselves paying four or five times the amount a younger person is paying for coverage. The reason that insurers would like this enormous hike in premium amount is that they say they must recoup income to pay for their losses due to new prohibitions against dropping people for pre-existing conditions and for stopping higher charges for women because of maternity care. This 5:1 (other plans have 2:1) charge will result in unaffordable premiums for millions of boomers and billions of dollars that will have to be covered by taxpayers in the form of subsidies.

Add this gigantic subsidy to insurers along with the hundreds of billions in income from the 50 million formerly-uninsured new customers now mandated to buy private insurance and you’re talking real money. It’s clear that the insurance industry is calling the shots.

Send a message to your senators to oppose any further restrictions on women’s reproductive health care, to withdraw a provision that would impose dramatically higher premium costs for middle-age women and men and to support a public health insurance plan.

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Posted in Feminist, Health Care. Comments Off

Hanging citizen journalists out to dry: shield-law amendment excludes unpaid bloggers

Reposted from Pam’s House Blend with permission

Original post may be seen at
http://www.pamshouseblend.com/diary/13237/hanging-citizen-journalists-out-to-dry-shieldlaw-amendment-excludes-unpaid-bloggers

And Pandagon

http://pandagon.net/index.php/site/comments/hanging_citizen_journalists_out_to_dry_shield_law_amendment_excludes_unpaid/

Hanging citizen journalists out to dry: shield-law amendment excludes unpaid bloggers

by: Pam Spaulding

Tue Sep 29, 2009 at 08:00:00 AM EDT

This may seem like a little inside baseball, but bear with me, because it will directly affect some of your favorite blogs.Here at the Blend we have inboxes overflowing with emails asking us to cover this story or that event — from advocacy organizations, tips from readers, PR firms, and the news media. It’s pretty clear that the equality rights movement is highly dependent on blogs and citizen journalism to analyze, report and advocate in the unique way that we do.

Many of these LGBT-based blogs are done as a labor of love because there’s certainly not enough money out there to quit our day jobs. Bloggers like myself, who subsidize the site with an unrelated day job are about to get a big F-You from Chuck Schumer if the roof isn’t raised. Ad revenue is irrelevant here, btw; you have to be employed by an entity to be covered.

A recent amendment to the federal shield bill being considered in the Senate will exclude non-”salaried” journalists and bloggers from the proposed law’s protections.

The law, called the Free Flow of Information Act, is intended to prevent journalists from being forced to divulge confidential sources, except in cases such as witnessing crimes or acts of terrorism.

Well, read the fine print to see how citizen journalists are left legally hanging out to dry. Schumer’s amendment draws a distinct line between bloggers and “real journalists” that:

limits the definition of a journalist to one who “obtains the information sought while working as a salaried employee of, or independent contractor for, an entity-

a. that disseminates information by print, broadcast, cable, satellite, mechanical, photographic, electronic, or other means; and

b. that-
1. publishes a newspaper, book, magazine, or other periodical;
2. operates a radio or television broadcast station, network, cable system, or satellite carrier, or a channel or programming service for any such station, network, system, or carrier;
3. operates a programming service; or
4. operates a news agency or wire service.”

So there’s no doubt that independent bloggers are the target here. At once we’re considered irrelevant and so dangerous they have to legislatively set up a slippery slope that can land us in the clink or left penniless just for trying to participate in citizen journalism. Wow.  The real issue here, however, is less the shield law than placing a definition of what is a journalist on the books. That will alllow pols, news outlets, state governments, etc. to deny citizen journalists press access because they are not “journalists” as defined by federal law.

It’s a huge slippery slope and a loss for independent reporting by bloggers if this definition clears.

Marcy Wheeler of Firedoglake confirms that we’re screwed:

To to be a journalist in Chuck Schumer’s eyes, you have to both have a boss (at this point, you generous readers and Jane would count as my boss, but Jane doesn’t have a boss, for example) and that boss’ company must disseminate news on some other medium, in addition to the Toobz. Even free-lance writers or people like IF Stone (in the period when he ran his own newsletter) would be excluded from this definition of journalist.

Now, I’m on the record as a skeptic that this new law is going to work out the way the media thinks. I fear that the national security exemption will mean the law will protect people like Judy Miller mobilizing smears or the Rent-a-Generals spreading propaganda, but not protect Dana Priest or James Risen and their sources.

Still, this move pisses me off because it’s a transparent bid to grant a powerful industry special privileges.

This is about ensuring that there is a wall between real journalists and the perceived unwashed masses of ignorant, unqualified bloggers who are mucking up the system. This is a serious issue, because I believe that reliable citizen journalists do have the respect of traditional media in some circles, but this legislative bid to create a firm wall is declaring war on us.

Nieman Journalism Lab’s Zachary M. Seward, who previously noted the House’s different definition of journalist, also expressed concern. “The shield law obviously needs a definition that limits its scope, but the professional definition, which now seems inevitable, would exclude student journalists as well as bloggers with a day job,” he wrote.

Pam Spaulding :: Hanging citizen journalists out to dry: shield-law amendment excludes unpaid bloggers

It’s ironic that this development surfaces right after I discussed the fairly accurate perception that blogging/advocacy journalism sits in a position that is ill-defined. (Huffington Post, “A Tech-Powered Gay Rights Movement“):

It’s a headless monster in many ways — digital activists in this world are frequently not Big Gay insiders. They are often part-time activists — people who feel strongly about issues and use the Internet daily. They never intended to lead or even follow movement leaders; they are just handy with the Internet tools of the trade, and have something to say about equality that resonates with readers.

Feeling the same financial pain the traditional print publications are experiencing with the economic downturn and drop in ad revenue, there is no pleasure in seeing LGBT publications shutter. Bloggers and activists are highly dependent on the strength of news media with an LGBT focus that has a budget to send reporters to do stories the online activists simply don’t have the funds to do. It’s a symbiotic relationship as well — many LGBT reporters want their stories linked on high-traffic or influential gay blogs because it expands their reader reach, and builds support to continue doing the work critical for both journalism and the equality movement overall.

Honestly, I have problems with this shield law for other reasons — why is the federal government getting into the business of regulating journalism to begin with? Surely there are constitutional issues at play here. But that’s a different topic worthy of debate…So simultaneously as traditional news media is under financial fire, citizen journalists are about to take a hit of epic proportions with the aid of a Democratic Congress. Imagine that. Thanks, Chuck. You can give him a ring at (202) 224-3027.

Posted in Uncategorized. Comments Off

In A Word: The True History of “Misogyny”

From Onthe Issues Magazine

http://www.ontheissuesmagazine.com/cafe2/article/63

by Christine E. Hutchins


There is very little new under the sun. Misogyny in art, literature and other records dates as far back in Western culture as documentation itself.

Misogyny comes from Greekmisogunia from misos (‘hatred’) and gyn? (‘woman’), explains Answers.com

But misogyny as a practice — the enforcement and celebration of the subordination of women — flourished unnamed in English until the seventeenth century.

Only when men and women began to write against rather than with culturally entrenched misogynist practices did misogyny get a name in England and Ireland. “Misogyny” as a concept requires people who are prepared to name it for what it is: hatred of women, an unnatural and unjust subordination of one part of the population by another.

In the early seventeenth-century men and women began writing poems, pamphlets, and plays against people who mistreat and malign women.

The tract that precipitated the introduction of “misogyny” to the language was Joseph Swetnam’s 1615 attack on women, colorfully titled The Arraignment of Lewde, idle, froward, and unconstant women: Or, the vanitie of them, choose you whether.

Swetnam minces no words in his tirade against women. Chapter 1, “Moses describeth a woman thus: ‘At the first beginning,’ saith he, ‘a woman was made to be a helper unto man.’  And so they are indeed, for she helpeth to spend and consume that which man painfully getteth.  He also saith that they were made of the rib of a man, and that their froward [difficult] nature showeth; for a rib is a crooked thing good for nothing else, and women are crooked by nature, for small occasion will cause them to be angry.”

Swetnam forges on with book-length alliterating abuse and jest, all at the expense of women. “[S]he was no sooner made but straightaway her mind was set upon mischief.”

The Oxford English dictionary cites 1656 as the first use of “misogyny” in English, an error then repeated by William Safire in his New York Times column. In fact, the first use in English was during the Swetnam controversy four decades earlier when opponents nicknamed Swetnam and his followers “Misogynos.”

Writers’ responses to Swetnam were swift, fierce and landmark. Previously in European letters, women had written the occasional defense. Christine de Pizan’s fifteenth-century French Book of the City of Ladies championed women in opposition to Guillaume de Lorris and Jean de Meun’s reduction of women in The Romance of the Rose to voiceless roses and disembodied “notches” through which men aim their “spears.”

Following Swetnam’s attack, men and women writers undertook the first concerted and collective attack on misogyny in European letters, as Katherine Usher Henderson and Barbara F. McManus point out in their edited selection of seventeenth-century English defenses of women, Half Humankind: Contexts and Texts of the Controversy over Women in England 1540-1640.

In 1617 Rachel Speght published Mouzell for Melastomus [A Muzzle for the Evil-mouthed] Cynicall Baiter of, and Foul-Mouthed Barker against Evah’s Sex. Speght’s defense gave rise in swift succession to other defenses of women and attacks on detractors. Esther Sowernam’s Esther hath Hanged Haman and Constantia Munda’s The Worming of a Mad Dog followed in 1617.

Then around 1618, Queen Anne’s players produced an anonymous play, Swetnam the Woman-Hater, at the Red Bull Theater, later printed for reading and home-acting by non-theater-going audiences.

The play comically highlights Swetnam’s swishy antics as a fencing-instructor who falls in love with and pens flowery sonnets to a man who has dressed in drag as a woman and in no way returns his affections. In the end, Swetnam’s would-be Amazonian lover roundly rejects him, leaving Swetnam in the unfriendly hands of a rampaging court of women who declare him, “Guiltie, guiltie, guiltie.  Guiltie of Woman-slander, and defamation.”

Misogyny acquires a name only insofar as it receives more than the occasional push-back. Without the active awareness and engagement of men and women who both recognize and criticize the subordination of women, misogyny appears in English language literature and arts as proverbial truth, cultural inheritance and natural fact.

These seventeenth-century books, with their first usage of “misogyny” as a word in English, enabled English speakers to move from widespread unselfconsciously misogynist assumptions to Mary Wollstonecraft’s selfconsciously feminist declaration in her 1792 A Vindication of the Rights of Woman. She writes that “argument to justify the depriving of men (or women) of their natural rights, is one of the absurd sophisms [twisted and illogical unreason] which daily insult common sense.”

By returning to Greek for the word “misogyny,” the anti-Swetnam writers found a linguistic symbol that enabled them to name, and thus challenge, the subordination of women for what it is — a social arrangement that is not based on any natural fact – and hence, changeable.

Posted in Culture, Feminist, History, Uncategorized. Comments Off

Death of the West: Our Sexual Identity Crisis

[Note:  This is reposted for discussion and not necessarily because I agree with the author's conclusions.  I tend to think we give all too much credit to "identity" without requiring at least an equal commitment to action at least reinforcing that "identity".  We are currently in a state of flux as we are coming out of a thirty year backlash against progressive thinking and an era ruled by virtual church state fascism.  I believe much of current "gender theory" is craven appeasement of conservative thought and all too much weight has been given to the ideas of nurture over nature.]

By Selwyn Duke
Reposted with permission
Original article may be found at:

http://selwynduke.typepad.com/selwyndukecom/2009/09/death-of-the-west-our-sexual-identity-crisis.html

Perhaps you’ve heard the tragic story of David Reimer.  Born in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada in 1966, David was the victim of a botched circumcision that left his penis charred beyond surgical repair.  His parents Ron and Janet, no doubt beside themselves, were confused about the best way to proceed.  Then, one day, they saw a man named Dr. John Money on television.

Money was talking about his theory of “gender neutrality,” which states that “gender identity” is learned rather than innate.  The idea was that the sexes were the same except for the superficial physical differences; this implies that if a child were altered so as to superficially resemble the opposite sex and was raised as one of its members, he would be happy with that sexual identity.  Hearing this, the Reimers hoped they had found their salvation.

They took their boy to Money, who told them that their son’s penis could not be restored and that he stood a much better chance of living a happy life if “sex-reassignment surgery” (in reality, reassigning sex is about as possible as reassigning species) were performed and he was raised as a girl.  The Reimers agreed, and the surgery was performed when the boy, who would be named “Brenda,” was 22 months old.

In reality, the kindest way to describe Money’s theory is fanciful.  His idea of “gender neutrality” was still in vogue when I was a youth, and “vogue,” in the most frivolous sense, is the correct term.  It was always more style than science; it was something that I, even as a teen, knew was bunk.  Yet who would listen to people such as me?  We were old-fashioned, behind the times.  And it didn’t matter that Money was Alfred Kinsey redux and believed pedophilia was lovely if it was for “love.” It didn’t matter that David and his twin brother, Brian, said that Money sexually abused them during photo shoots.  He was a “doctor,” a Ph.D. on the cutting edge of a brave new world.

Only, David (“Brenda” at the time) wanted nothing to do with that world.  Although he was never told he was a boy, had been surgically altered, was dressed and raised as a girl and was regularly seeing Money for therapy, he resisted his “gender assignment” from the outset.  He acted like a boy, played with boys’ toys and objected to seeing Money from the age of seven.  It wasn’t going well — and it wouldn’t end well.

At the age of 14, in a rare commendable act of teen rebellion, David threatened suicide if he were forced to continue with Money’s prescriptions.  This prompted his parents to finally tell him the truth about his condition.  With his eyes opened, he then replaced his estrogen treatments with male hormone therapy, took the name “David,” started living as a boy, underwent reconstructive genital surgery and later married a woman who already had children.  Yet the damage had been done.  His tormented life which began in such a tragic way came to a tragic end: he did commit suicide, at the age of 38.

Dr. Money, too, is now dead.  Yet he died with his ideological boots on; not only did he fail to repent, he fraudulently portrayed David’s case — the one for which he was most famous — as a success for years after its failure was obvious.  This, and his refusal to ever own up to the failure, only increased the chances that other children would be thus scarred.

As a testimonial to how quickly fashions pass away, Money’s theory has joined him in the grave.  The stake through its heart came in the 1990s, with brain research and an improved understanding of intrauterine development proving conclusively that the sexes are different even within the womb and the skull.  These new findings expressing old wisdom were related as revelation, reflecting the idea that nothing is truly valid until vindicated by “science.”  So there was no collective mea culpa from the psychological establishment for clouding reality and misleading generations of naïve parents.  They just continued without missing a beat, as if it were a matter no more significant than recommending the wrong size shoes for the kids.  Worse still, they have now moved on to their next mistake.

We have heard about the curious case of Caster Semenya, the 18-year-old South African runner who has been competing as a woman.  Semenya has become the focus of suspicion (I’ll use masculine pronouns, as I’m convinced this individual is a boy who experienced abnormal intrauterine development) because of his masculine physique, deep voice, development of facial hair, male mannerisms and the fact that he has been winning races by wide margins.  As a result, a battery of medical exams to determine his true sex has been conducted, although the results have not been officially released.  Yet the real story here is not what investigation may tell us about Semenya.  It is what our reaction to Semenya tells us about ourselves.

This is reflected in comments found throughout the Internet.  For instance, consider “JimBob” posting under this Daily Mail piece, who said,

“Why is everyone talking about genetics? What about Caster’s own mind – if she believes within herself that she’s female, then she is.”

Echoing this sentiment here, “Green Is Good” wrote,

“SHE identifies HERself as a female. Done.”

Then, back to the Mail, “Livio” opined,

“This is a clear case of gender identity discrimination. What if she is a man who identifies himself as a woman?”

That’s interesting.  What if you’re a lunkhead who identifies himself as intelligent?

Yet it isn’t sufficient to just dismiss this with sarcasm, as this isn’t the rambling of only a few twisted minds.

What these posters are expressing is the handiwork of today’s Dr. Moneys, “transgender” theory.  This is the idea that your “gender” can be whatever you want it to be — male, female, both male and female or neither, etc. — that it isn’t limited by biology.  If you have a problem with this, bravo, but then you should have a problem with the word “gender” itself.  Why?  Because its current usage (it used to apply only to words) was originated by people such as Money for the purposes of facilitating the relation of their theories.  Understand that while many people use “gender” as a synonym for “sex,” that is not its social sciences definition, which dictates that it refers to social rather than biological differences.  Yet people love to use this and other elements of the lexicon of the left.  It’s a fascinating phenomenon.  If you replace a simple, one-syllable word such as “poor” or “sex” with impressive sounding terms such as “underprivileged” or “gender” for ideological reasons, people, oblivious to the underlying agenda and wishing to sound sophisticated, will glom onto them.  You see, simpletons, who are relatively rare, prefer simple words.  And the only other group that does is rarer still: true intellectuals.  But I digress.

So, returning to Semenya, many people express the shocking idea that his actual sex should have no bearing on whether he should be allowed to compete with women.  It’s that modern phenomenon — image is everything, reality is negotiable.

This notion has so taken hold that we’ve recently heard of two stories out of Britain wherein young boys, ages 12 and 9, showed up in school earlier this month as “girls,” sporting girls’ clothing and ponytails and bearing feminine names.  And the schools are kowtowing to them, telling other pupils that they’ll be punished if they don’t handle the “sex change” “sensitively.”  Yet sensitivity is not for the other children, who are upset and confused.  In just the way that David Reimer’s body was mutilated in deference to yesterday’s latest theory, their minds must be mutilated in deference to today’s.

Now, even if someone subscribes to “transgender” theory, it is striking that he would allow a child who is too young to decide to have sex decide what sex he should be.  How did we get to this point?

These parents, like Ron and Janet Reimer before them, are listening to the respected social scientists of their day.  These “experts” tell them that there is something called “gender dysphoria,” which is the persistent feeling that one is a member of one sex trapped in the body of the other.  It’s enough to convince many parents, such as those of German Tim Petras, who received female hormone “treatments” at age 12 and now goes by the name of Kim.  Yet on what basis is this diagnosis really made?

Feelings.

It is truly reflective of this age, where relativism has obviated reason.  That is to say, if there are no absolutes, no Truth to use as a yardstick for judging among feelings, the feelings themselves become the ultimate arbiter.  Then, of course, if it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it’s a Fig Newton if it feels like one.

But one of the problems with emotion is that it is by its very nature irrational.  And if anyone would defend an emotion-based diagnosis such as “gender dysphoria,” note that it’s brought to us by the same psycho-babblers who have given us something dubbed “body dysmorphia.”  This is this persistent feeling that a certain body part, such as an arm or leg (or multiple body parts), doesn’t belong on one’s body.  And if you think it isn’t taken seriously, know that doctors have amputated healthy limbs on this basis.

Be shocked — that is, unless you accept “gender dysphoria” as legitimate.  Then you’d better be introspective.  For what is the difference?  Why would you accept the emotion-based diagnosis of gender dysphoria but not the emotion-based one of body dysmorphia?  Why are the feelings of those who suffer from the latter invalid but the feelings of those who suffer from the former a credible arbiter?  Both groups have persistent feelings that their bodies aren’t as they should be.  Both groups cannot bear to live in their bodies as they are.  Both groups want to have their bodies altered.  And both groups have found “experts” willing to put them under the knife.  Sure, it strikes us as the most horrid malpractice when a doctor amputates healthy body parts, such as a pair of legs.  But, then, should we view it any less dimly simply because those healthy body parts are between the legs?

Lamentably, today the answer is often yes, and this speaks volumes about our society.  That is, we’ve all heard that old stereotype of a lunatic, the guy in an asylum who thinks he is Napoleon.  Now the asylums have largely been emptied, and I think I know why: we’ve turned the outside world into an asylum.  What was once only acceptable to a small group within the scariest of walls — detachment from reality — has now been mainstreamed.  You can be a man who thinks he is a woman, yet no straitjacket is slapped on you.  It is slapped on the mouths of those who dare say self-image isn’t reality.

And that is the point: there is something called reality.  When feelings tell one he is, or should be, something he is not or shouldn’t be — a girl, a legless man or Napoleon — the sane conclusion is that you’re confronted with a psychological problem, not a physical one.  It may be intractable, and it is certainly easier to mutilate the body than cure the mind.  But you cannot mutilate reality, only obscure it.  If a man loses his genitalia in an accident, does he cease to be male?  Or, if “gender” is a continuum as today’s Moneys say, is he less male?  Did David Reimer cease to be a boy because he was mutilated and given estrogen against his will?  Of course, the “experts” would say the answer is no, since he never saw himself as a girl.  Again, though, feelings cannot be the arbiters of reality.  After all, I may have hypertrichosis like Jo-Jo the Dog-Faced Boy, undergo operations to create a snout, paws and a tail, howl under the moonlight and change my name to Spot.  Yet am I sane if I call myself a different species?

So what are we to conclude about “gender” science?  Decades ago its “experts” said society could turn your boy into a girl if it felt like it; now they say he can turn himself into a girl if he feels like it.  Is it just a coincidence that Dr. Money’s “gender neutrality” theory accorded with his day’s feminist claim that sex roles should be discarded because the sexes are essentially the same?  Is it just a coincidence that the current “transgender” theory accords with our day’s homosexual claim that sex roles should be discarded because everyone and his values are essentially different?  It is at all possible that these theories have less to do with sound science than the spirit of the age?

We have gone from the proposition that “gender” can be whatever society says it is to the proposition that it can be whatever the individual says it is without ever stopping to wonder if the second idea is just a crank like the first.  But most won’t wonder because today we place more faith in doctors than doctrine, and today’s doctors say that eternal common sense and yesterday’s doctors’ nonsense are wrong.  Yet the most significant thing that distinguishes them from Dr. John Money is that they are still alive — and their theory is not yet dead.

© 2009 Selwyn Duke — All Rights Reserved

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