A roundup of news and commentary from around the interwebs.
The famed agnostic French novelist Michel Houellebecq has penned a fierce op-ed in opposition to assisted suicide for Harper’s Magazine titled “The European Way to Die.” An excerpt:
In nearly every country, historical era, religion, civilization, and culture, agony has been deemed a crucial aspect of our existence. We don’t lack for studies of death: for the Christian West, I recommend the work of Philippe Ariès. Whether you believe in the existence of a creator who will call you to account or not, this is the moment of farewell—a last chance to see certain people, to tell them what you may never have said before, and to hear what they may have to say to you. To cut short these death throes is both impious (for those who believe) and immoral (for anyone). This is the consensus of the civilizations, religions, and cultures that have gone before us, and this is what so-called progressivism is preparing to destroy.
Read the entire thing.
Democratic legislators continue their push to enshrine de facto infanticide as the law of the land wherever they hold power: “Minnesota Governor Tim Walz Signs Bill Legalizing Abortions Up to Birth.”
At Quillette, there’s an interesting essay on the never-ending and always-changing search for authenticity titled “Every Gender Identity Is ‘Authentic’—Until It Isn’t.” Before Ellen Page was Elliot Page, for example, she was a lesbian and this was an amazing story of her speaking her truth before she became a he and that story was abandoned. An excerpt:
It’s easy (or convenient) to forget that when Page—then Ellen—came out as lesbian in 2014, she similarly presented it as a bold act of truth-telling, proudly proclaiming, “I am gay … I am tired of hiding … I suffered for years because I was scared to be out.” She stated that it was vital “to be authentic, to follow my heart.” She had seemingly found and embraced her true (lesbian) self.
But apparently, that supposedly authentic truth was in fact counterfeit: In 2020, Page, now Elliot, stated, “I can’t begin to express how remarkable it feels to finally love who I am enough to pursue my authentic self.” Elliot also reported in the interview with Time magazine, “I’m fully who I am.” Page has therefore managed to find an “authentic” self at least twice—not counting the actor’s pre-2014, pre-LGBTQ+ life, during which there was no public mention of being either L or T.
Maybe—just maybe—our culture’s search for meaning is leading down all the wrong paths.
You won’t hear it from our leaders, but Canada and the US are actually extraordinarily extremist on the transgender issue. From the New York Post: “Even progressive Europe won’t go as far as America in child transgender treatments”:
Yet a growing number of European countries wait until patients are as old as 13 and require psychotherapy. Sweden’s National Board of Health and Welfare states children should never receive blockers outside clinical trials, and they must be at least 12. Finland and England are pursuing similar changes.
The contrast is even starker with cross-sex hormones, which result almost immediately in irreversible bodily changes and can lead to sexual dysfunction and infertility. They can also cause major health problems such as strokes, heart attacks and cancer.
Our review of 11 of the most progressive Western and Northern European countries shows they almost entirely restrict cross-sex hormones until age 16, once again following psychotherapy sessions. American children can receive cross-sex hormones at 13 (younger in clinical trials).
Finally, there are “gender affirmative” surgeries — the most aggressive and invasive procedures. Every Western and Northern European country we surveyed except one bans surgery until age 16 or, more commonly, 18.
America has documented cases of minors as young as 12 receiving surgeries. While most procedures for underage youth are double mastectomies for teenage girls, cases of genital surgery — such as the inversion of the penis, sometimes with tissue removed from the colon, to create an orifice resembling a vagina — are documented as well.
Why are children in Stockholm protected from these procedures, yet children in Boston are not?
The emerging European approach deserves greater attention, and given the state of research, even more prudence is warranted. Utah is leading the way by largely ending transgender medical treatments for minors.
But the US medical establishment won’t budge. A recent New England Journal of Medicine article called the idea of using psychotherapy to address gender-related distress “inflammatory” while suggesting the need to suppress such “science denialism.”
Read the whole thing.