By Jonathon Van Maren
In a recent essay at The Free Press titled “Why the Mental Health of Liberal Girls Sank First and Fastest,” Jonathan Haidt describes how social media created a fragile, depressed, and frequently terrified generation of young people unable to cope with many once-basic aspects of modern life. A key aspect of what was going on, Haidt notes, is that young people were “catastrophizing,” which led to a culture of fragility, which in turn produced mobs of students weaponizing their feelings by demanding that speakers be cancelled or professors fired.
As Haidt and his co-author of The Coddling of the American Mind Greg Lukianoff noted, “catastrophizing” is a characteristic of cognitive distortions. It is also characteristic of the transgender movement, which despite holding a tremendous amount of cultural power present themselves as perpetual victims at constant risk of being murdered or otherwise victimized. The transgender movement owns Hollywood, academia, one major political party (the one that holds the White House and the Senate, no less), and much of the public education system. Yet their rhetoric insists that they are a persecuted minority.
Part of this, of course, is political strategy. It is called “cry-bullying” — weaponize your victimization to get what you want. The homosexual movement used these tactics to tremendous effect. But part of it, I believe, is also genuine catastrophizing. I’ve been at enough protests and talked to enough activists to recognize that they have bought into much of their own rhetoric, and many of them, despite their cultural victories and the incredible amount of cultural power they have accrued in a very short amount of time, believe that they are targets.
Consider the example of “JamesIsSmiling,” a TikTok star who identifies as “non-binary” and recently took to TikTok to warn young people that “queer” people in the United States are facing a genocide. “I’ve always known I wasn’t a boy and I wasn’t a girl,” the long-haired man tells his audience. “When I was growing up, it was really confusing because we didn’t have words to talk about that.” But despite political gains, James says, the times are particularly dark. “You probably talk to your parents about it, or maybe your friends, and I know sometimes you DM me about it and I read them, as many as I can.”
Those seeking to ban “sex change” surgeries, says James, are angry because they see “our joy and our self-acceptance and our beauty as a threat, because we celebrate who we are.” This joy is the “greatest tool for resistance,” because “as long as we have joy for who we are, they will never win.” James’ video was the follow-up to a warning he had felt compelled to send out to his young followers. Noting the “anti-trans bills” being passed across America, he stated:
We are in an active trans genocide in our country, and people don’t want to name it that because they’re afraid to use that word … People want to extinguish us. Some of our most influential people in the world are calling for the extinguishment of transgender people, which is a genocide.
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One thought on “Transgender activist compares bans on ‘sex changes’ for kids to the Holocaust”
The “genocide” rhetoric is ridiculous and offensive, of course, but also telling. The implication is that trans people are essentially a minority tribe that must be protected from the oppressive majority. The most compelling argument that TRAs put forward in favour of childhood transitions is that if kids with gender dysphoria can’t transition, they will experience severe psychological distress and have an extremely high chance of killing themselves. Hence, while “affirmative care” means bone loss, heart and brain damage, loss of sexual function, double mastectomies, surgical castration, and everything else that comes with a physically healthy child being turned into a permanent hormone patient, all of that is surely better than the child being so miserable that they’re at constant risk of suicide. Better a live son than a dead daughter, so the argument goes.
This argument has many problems, in that the medical evidence doesn’t support the “affirmative model”. As such, red US states, the UK, Sweden, France, Finland, and Norway are rapidly moving away from it. But someone that sincerely buys into its premises could at least credibly claim to have a child’s best interests at heart. The “genocide” argument is very different. If trans people are a tribe that must be protected at all costs, it would be a bad thing if all children could be made to be happy in their own skin without the need to transition. That would effectively be the end of the tribe. And “JamesIsSmiling” is not just some wingnut, his position is pretty much mainstream among TRAs. Clearly they do not have the child’s best interests at heart, they’re merely pawns to the ideology.