By Jonathon Van Maren
Simply to keep up with the carnival of absurdity our culture has embarked on with the embrace of gender theory may seem like a pointless endeavor, and indeed, it is nearly impossible to review each new daily round of dispatches from the frontlines of the Sexual Revolution as it moves through our public schools and halls of power. But because we must live in this culture and raise our children on what we hope will be islands of sanity, it is still important at least to track certain trends.
One of these trends, and I have been detailing it in this space consistently, is that of normalization. What I mean is that we are very close to becoming inured to the sheer ludicrousness of the claims made (and now largely imposed) by transgender activists. We have become so barraged by news that once would have been the exclusive purview of satire sites such as The Babylon Bee and The Onion (which, like nearly all once-liberal outlets and institutions, has been thoroughly domesticated and has become what it once mocked.)
There are, for example, headlines like this in The Metro: “Ex-soldier exposed her penis and used wheelie bin as sex toy in public.” The first line reads: “A trans sex offender lifted her skirt and exposed herself three times in one day.” This article produced a wave of derision, jokes, and double entendre on Twitter, all directed at the fellow trying to pass as a girl while flashing his member about as well as those indoctrinated or dumb enough to believe this pervert was a woman. Comments along the lines of “women are acting so weird these days!” constitute the majority of responses.
Some newspapers (like the New York Post) run these headlines with deliberate irony and a wink and nod to readers—they have to use the “preferred pronouns” in order to avoid getting booted off social media, but they know we know, and we know they know. The artful use of modifiers is especially helpful in this regard, and some media coverage is palpably sarcastic. The tabloids, of course, love stories like this because they are almost guaranteed to go viral, thus ensuring plenty of eyeballs on ads.
But other news outlets faithfully publish these stories in the service of normalization. Sure, most people now are sane enough to read a story like this and know, immediately, that “her penis” is a ludicrous phrase. People mock it; some get angry. But the key is to keep publishing stories until it is boring to point out that phrases like “her penis” are insane. We get used to it. Outrage and mockery are exhausting, and people want to move on. Eventually, everyone accepts it. Perhaps they don’t believe it, but they accept it. That is a key function of little stories like that of the soldier waving his privates at people.
Or stories like this one, in the Toronto Sun:
Two females at New Jersey’s only all-women’s prison have been impregnated after having sex with a transgender inmate. The women were not identified, but are housed at the Edna Mahan Correctional Facility, in Clinton, which New Jersey Governor announced plans to close last year, according to the Daily Mail.
Again, cue the hilarity. A woman is getting women pregnant! We all know this is…well, not how things work. But prior to the year 2000, not a single country on Earth accepted that marriage could be defined as a relationship between two men or two women. Twenty-two years later, most international bodies have enshrined these brand-new definitions as fundamental rights, and label those who still hold to the traditional view held by most of Earth’s population as bigots. That’s how fast change can happen—overnight, historically speaking. People may have condemned or mocked the idea that a millennia-old institution could be redefined by a handful of activists and revolutionaries, but here we are. The younger generation of voters don’t even remember what society was like before.
That is a key reason we are deluged with these sorts of stories: To get us used to them. To boil the frog. So we get to the point where we see a headline announcing the transgressions of some burly chick who has used her penis for some crime, and simply shrug and think: That’s not the way things were. But that’s the way things are.