This week, we’re going to talk about pollen. No, not really. That’s just why my voice sounds weird. At least I think that’s what it is. Everything outside has this yellow-orange coating on it, so I’m guessing I’ve developed allergies. Who knew?
Anyways, today we’re going to talk about contradictions at the center of transgender ideology. That might sound complicated. Basically what we’re going to talk about is the transgender worldview, what does it hold onto as true, and do they actually all fit together? I think this’ll make more sense as we go on, and you might be saying, “Well, why are we doing this? Why are we picking on people who think differently than us?” That’s not actually what we’re doing. All of us, Christian, atheist, Muslim, anyone, should strive to have a view of reality that is accurate, that is internally consistent, because if you actually hold a view of the world that doesn’t fit together, that has jagged edges that conflict, you’ve actually put your finger on something that’s not true.
If two things don’t fit together, one or both of them are false, and I think what we’ll see when we analyze some positions that are found to be a part of the transgender worldview, is that there are multiple points that do not fit, that contradict. The points that I’m going to go over here come from Ryan Anderson’s book, When Harry Became Sally, and it’s about this transgender moment that we’re living in, and so here’s one of the first point.
Advocates of transgenderism will say that the self is something other than the physical body, your true self is different than your physical body. While from a biological standpoint, you might be XY, you might be biologically male, they’ll say, “No, that’s not your true self. Your true self is something different, potentially,” so you could say, “Well, I’m a woman in spite of the fact that genetically I’m male.” That’s one point that the transgender movement would hold to, but here’s another point. Most of these people are materialists.
They think that all that exists is the natural, material world. The only things that exist in the world are made of material. They’re made of stuff, of atoms, and molecules, and if that’s true, then what is there that is not your biology? If you are different than your biological self, what is this “you?” Is it not something physical, and if it is something physical, what is it? What is the you that is not your biology? How can you be a female if your biological self is male? What is this other thing that is not biological? On a non-Christian worldview, on a naturalistic worldview, there is no other thing. You are your biology. You are a meat machine, and so if your biology is male, you are male, it would stand to reason, but that’s not actually what people are saying today, and this is a contradiction. The real self is something different than your biology, than your material, and yet at the same time, all that exists is only material.
They could hold to the first point, that you are something different than your biology, but then well, what are you? Are you a mind? Are you something immaterial? Are you a soul? Whatever you are, it doesn’t fit in the modern atheistic naturalistic conception of reality. That’s the first contradiction.
The second is that there are no meaningful differences between men and women. That’s the first point, and the second point that contradicts that is that gender identity, in other words, rigid gender stereotypes, is actually real, so why don’t those fit together? If there are no differences in men and women, why is it that when someone who is biologically male says, “No, I’m actually a woman,” that they act differently, they dress differently? Why does that happen if they’re not the same? If men and women are just the same, it’s just a label, why does becoming a man mean I somehow need surgery if I’m biologically a woman? What this tends to point out is that actually men and women do behave differently. They exhibit different behaviors because they are different.
Not just because it’s an identity they assume. They are actually different types of humans. Remember, based on our first point, the real self, what makes you male or female is not your biology, and so if that’s the case how does that also fit with this idea that there are no meaningful differences between men and women? If that’s the case, and you’re biologically male, and you identify as a woman, on this worldview, that would mean you actually are a woman, why can’t you still use the men’s bathroom? Why can’t you use the bathroom that was built for your biology? If there are no meaningful differences, just keep using the same restroom. If there are no meaningful differences. You don’t need a surgery. You don’t need hormones. You don’t need a different wardrobe. Remember, if there are no meaningful differences, then why change anything? Yet people seem to actually believe there are meaningful differences. I find something else interesting here, and this is a parallel point.
As an aside, modern feminism does not fit very well with the transgender revolution. Feminists don’t like it when trans people make it an like being a woman is jut changing your appearance. Even liberal causes can’t agree. The feminists can’t agree with the trans activists, but here’s something interesting on both of those. What’s interesting to me is on feminism, in order to become more empowered as a woman, you actually end up behaving more like a man, so modern feminism, in order to empower women, would encourage them often to dress in a more masculine way, to behave in a more masculine way in the workplace, and all of this to somehow be empowered as women. That doesn’t work, either, but isn’t it interesting that both of these groups seem to say that women or men should act a certain way? That’s what transgenderism is saying.
If you identify as a woman even if biologically you are male, well then you should act differently. Why, if there are no meaningful differences? As an aside, it’s interesting that when you look at social science, by and large men and women as a group do actually act differently than each other. It does seem that there are meaningful differences. The differences might be small. It’s not that men and women are radically different types of people, but nonetheless, there are distinct differences between the two, and they do seem very rooted in biology, not just in social construction, so that’s our second contradiction, that there are supposedly no meaningful differences between men and women, but gender identity, using very rigid gender stereotypes, is still very much a thing that should be followed, and so we should support someone in acting and dressing differently, and getting different surgeries just because they say they’re a different gender. Why, if there aren’t any differences that matter?
Here’s the third contradiction we’ll look at today. On the one hand, we’re told that people should be free to do whatever they want, and define truth however they wish. Remember truth is what I define it to be, but on the other hand, acceptance of transgender ideology should be ruthlessly enforced. Do you see how those contradict? On the one hand, truth is whatever I believe it to be. I can believe whatever I want, but on the other hand, everyone should be forced to agree with transgender ideology, and you might disagree with that last point. No one’s really being forced to. Really? People are trying to use the law to say that you have to use a certain person’s pronouns that they tell you to use, regardless of if they are biologically male. If they say, “My pronouns are he, him,” then you have to use those. Some have even said if you don’t, it’s a hate crime. If you don’t want to let a biological man use the woman’s restroom because he identifies as a woman, that’s supposedly discrimination.
Again, so what we see here is, on the one hand, you’re free to define truth however you want, if you’re a trans person, but if you’re not, then you’re also not allowed to define truth however you want. Wouldn’t it be interesting for the trans person to say, “No, truth is what I believe it to be. I get to define what’s true for me.” Couldn’t I therefore say, “Well, if I get to define what’s true for me, then I’m going to define you according to your biology, according to how God created you, according to how you actually are.” If we fall back on this view of subjective truth, where truth is simply what a certain person thinks, then how do we judge between truth claims? This is what’s behind the phrase “your truth” and “my truth.” There’s not your truth. There’s not my truth. There’s just truth, and if my truth doesn’t actually match reality, it’s not any kind of truth. It’s no one’s truth, so I think this is really important, because if the transgender person gets to define truth a certain way, and everyone gets to define truth a certain way, how do we judge?
How do we choose whose truth is real, and what we’ll live by? There is no consistent standard if truth is not anchored in reality, if it’s not objective, and so you see that there is a contradiction here, too. If people are free to define truth however they want, then we can’t ruthlessly enforce any point of view, because no claim can be better than another, supposedly. This is just the “new tolerance” rehearsed, where we’re told that no view is better than another, but yet also some views are wrong. Isn’t that interesting? You’re supposed to be accepting of everything, and everyone, but we’re not going to be accepting of you if you disagree with us. That shows the standard is self-refuting. It can’t be consistently lived out, and hence, it’s a bad standard. If your standard contradicts itself in how you apply it, it’s a bad standard. If your worldview has contradictions at the heart of it, it’s a bad worldview.
Once again, we’re not doing this episode to give us ammunition to beat up on other people. Far from it. What we should be doing, though, is getting equipped to spot the contradictions, the problems in someone else’s worldview, so we can point them out in love and show them the true worldview, reality that makes most sense. We live in a society today which tips its hat to science, and an empiricism, but doesn’t actually live by it, right? You can’t live in the world, here’s another contradiction, and say the truth is what I define it to be, and say that science gives us truth. There is a right answer and a wrong answer when we do a scientific experiment. It doesn’t matter how I think about it. It doesn’t matter what “my truth” is. No, there is a right answer, and it’s the same way when it comes to gender, and sexuality. There is a right answer, but we also need to have compassion on people who have a great deal of discomfort living in the body they live in.
They actually feel like there’s a mismatch. I don’t know what that’s like. I should have compassion on that person. That doesn’t mean I should encourage them in this confusion. It means I should be prepared to not encourage them to go on with this confusion, to make it worse, to change their body, or their social circumstance in a way that is out of accord with how God has made them physically. It’s interesting. At any other case, when there is a distinction between how a person feels and their biological reality we don’t actually tell them to change their body. We tell them and try to work with them to change how they see themselves. It’s the same way with anorexia, or people who have body integrity disorder, where they actually think that one of their limbs isn’t theirs, and shouldn’t fit. We don’t say, “Okay, well, chop that arm off.” No, we try to work with the mental side of them. Once again, what is that if your worldview says nothing exists that isn’t physical, but nonetheless, we try to work on the psychological aspect of a person to become more at home in their body.
We don’t tell the 75 pound, five foot 10 woman, no, the problem’s actually your body. You’re right. You are too overweight. No, we tell them, “You know, we need to work with you, because you’re not overweight. We need to change how you see yourself,” and it’s very parallel when it comes to gender, and gender identity. We don’t want to beat up on people. We do want to help them see that the path that they’re considering here is not actually a helpful path. When we live outside of God’s design, it’s not success. It doesn’t actually lead to happiness. It doesn’t lead to joy. It leads to pain, and suffering, and brokenness.
For some of us, it’s much easier to live in our bodies as they are than others, and so we do need to try to have compassion on other people, but we also need to be prepared to walk with them and help them see that ultimately, their views fall apart. They can’t be held consistently, and hence, they won’t actually lead to the type of happiness that they’re looking for.