By Jonathon Van Maren
As the post-Christian West convulses with a transgender culture war that is increasingly careening into violence, people still possessed of common sense constantly ask a single question: How did we go from gay ‘marriage’ to the elimination of sex categories overnight?
There are many good answers to this question, of course—historical, cultural, philosophical, and even (or perhaps especially) theological. But the single most significant factor contributing to the wild success of the transgender movement’s cultural blitzkrieg is rarely mentioned: cowardice.
It took decades for the gay rights movement to achieve political dominance. It took less than a decade for the transgender activists who surged behind them to succeed. As Vladimir Lenin once put it: “You probe with bayonets: if you find mush, you push. If you find steel, you withdraw.” The trans activists have found mostly mush, and I’m not merely referring to the mind of the American president. And so, they pushed, and here we are. Entire institutions have gone down like dominos.
Trans activists swiftly discovered how effective cry-bullying was, and how quickly people cave for fear of being called names. They realized that despite a mountain of evidence to the contrary, they can blackmail their opponents by accusing them of pushing ‘transgender children’—a now-exploding category hitherto unknown in recorded history—to suicide. They insist that they are on the ‘right side of history’ despite the fact that they have only a few years on their side and we have thousands on ours. The masses remained mostly mute.
There was confusion, yes. Chaos, certainly. But ultimately, it was the cowardice of millions that gave the gender ideologues the culture: the school boards that backed away from a fight and the medical institutions that swung the doors wide open to butchers and extremists. It was the fear of the parents who were cowed into silence while their consciences screamed. Worst of all are the many politicians who, despite claiming the mantle of conservative, have stood by while legions of children have followed activists into a lifetime of excruciating medicalization at the hands of malpractitioners.
Consider, for a moment, how many of our middle-aged and elderly politicians would have reacted if they were told in the year 2000 that one day they would be championing the right of biological males to enter women’s bathrooms and changing rooms unimpeded, or that they would allow brawny male rapists into women’s prisons, or male athletes into women’s sporting events. Imagine how they would have responded if we told them that within two decades, they would call double mastectomies and castrations for healthy children a ‘human right.’
These leaders would have been livid. They would have accused us of ugly smears at best, vitriolic and hateful phobias at worst. They would have said we were lying. Back then, they probably would have believed it. But that was then, and this is now. True, some of them are brazenly wicked. Some have bought into the indoctrination themselves. Once they accepted the premises of the LGBT movement, they stepped out onto the slippery slope they had mocked us for warning about. But many of them are simply cowards—and so here we are.
Another example is the new phenomenon of declaring your ‘preferred pronouns.’ Once a fringe practice, students at many universities are expected to announce their preferred pronouns. Corporations demand them on name badges or in email signatures. In healthcare and in government, it is becoming standard. Politicians, journalists, entertainers, and other elites put their pronouns in their social media bios. This practice is framed as mere politeness, but it is actually a potent victory for the trans activists. They understand that pronouns are premises, and that by declaring yours, you are validating theirs.