'Gender-affirming care for young people' isn't as it sounds
Cults need to control language. It’s one of the ways they keep members onboard and attract new supporters. Few have done it as effectively as the new gender extremists, whose efforts now turn up in the media in many countries. Unwary readers will soon require a translation to discover what’s really happening.
Newspapers and websites in the UK regularly describe women who hold rallies in support of our legal rights as “anti-trans”, unconcerned about the flagrant inaccuracy. They are repeating the propaganda of trans activists, pure and simple. But the willingness of the New York Times to fill whole columns with meaningless jargon is astonishing to behold.
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At the weekend, the paper published two articles that demonstrate its loss of critical faculties. “Bans on Transition Care for Young People Spread Across US” was one headline. “How a Campaign Against Transgender Rights Mobilized Conservatives” was the other. Allow me to translate: the first story is about new laws banning the use of puberty blockers and life-altering surgery on children. The second frames campaigns to defend single-sex categories, in sports for instance, solely as a consequence of “careful planning” by social conservatives and the religious Right.
There has seldom been such an inaccurate phrase as “gender-affirming health care for young people”. “Gender-affirming” in this context means assuring kids as young as ten that they were “born in the wrong body”, and offering treatments to begin the process of “changing sex”. These include powerful drugs to arrest puberty, along with claims that the treatment is reversible — an assurance abandoned by the NHS, which now admits that the long-term effects are unknown. It also means surgery in some cases, including double mastectomies to remove the breasts of teenage girls.
We are talking about children here. Kids who aren’t allowed to drive, have sex or get married because their brains are not fully developed. The NHS acknowledges that most children with gender dysphoria will grow out of it, yet the “gender-affirming care” mantra is being used to sugar-coat treatments that expose under-18s to unnecessary surgery. The NYT would have us believe that trying to prevent the mutilation of healthy young bodies is “part of a broader wave of anti-trans legislation” across the US. See why language is so important here?
There is another explanation for the fact that it is Republican politicians who are passing these laws. The Democrats have adopted trans ideology so whole-heartedly that their leading lights, including Joe Biden, now sound indistinguishable from the most deluded of gender warriors. They are actively supporting legislation that removes the rights of girls to use single-sex toilets and race against other girls in school sports.
Not according to the NYT, which claims that opposition to these anti-women policies is a Right-wing plot. From its bunker deep in the la-la land of gender ideology, the publication accuses Republican governors of proposing legislation “focused on transgender girls’ participation in school sports”. The framing is deliberate, implying that trans girls are being banned from taking part in races and competitions at schools across America. They’re not. Trans girls are, biologically speaking, boys and they’re welcome to take part in school sports, as long as it’s with other boys.
There is a clash of rights here. It’s between people who know that human beings can’t change sex and a movement that wants to turn everything we know about biology on its head. One of its principal weapons is language, and it has succeeded in persuading supposedly progressive American institutions to abandon normal meanings of words. Trans speak is everywhere — and we need to resist it with every fibre of our being.