Opinion


Transgender policy: he or she as they want to be




Trade Tripper
Jemy Gatdula


Posted on May 26, 2017


At a government forum, a woman speaker began her presentation by laying a ground rule: she was to be referred to as “he,” “sir,” and a “man.”


None in the audience objected to this ridiculous act of bullying.


Bullying, as it was obviously forcing others to agree lest incur the punishment of being called a bigot or intolerant.

Ridiculous, because the entire exercise simply goes against reality.

To rely on biology, science, or fact is not bigotry. But to compel people to disregard reason is extremism no different from religious zealotry.

Nature designates, from conception, people to be either men or women. Science tells us it can’t change.

To demand everyone else acquiesce to one’s unilateral concept of gender is irrational. It’s like forcing others to agree one is 29 years old rather than 60, a unicorn rather than a human being, or a resident of Dagobah rather than Earth.

The problem is that progressives seek to dictate national policy, made worse by their invoking empathy rather than logically seeing the overall effect such a policy will have on society as a whole.

In the case of transgenderism, as a policy issue the same is wrought with difficulties that empathy cannot address nor can it correct the inevitable unintended consequences.

One such is the lack of a verifiable objective standard that can concretely determine who is a transgender. Right now, everything depends on the subjective declaration of the person identifying as a transgender without any scientific process (or legal definition) available to confirm or refute such claim.

Or stated simply: anyone can declare, at any time, of being a transgender. That person need not dress, act, speak, or look differently than how he or she is right now.

To demonstrate, a transgender can be a man claiming to be a lesbian woman attracted to women. It’s all in that person’s head.

Which leads to another matter: the transgenders claim of the right to shift (and many have allegedly shifted) from one gender to another, then back again. Remember, there is no scientific process that can objectively and concretely verify whether this is really biologically or psychologically happening aside from the mere say-so of the transgender.

And progressives would want to create additional property, contractual, labor, employment, welfare, and family rights, as well as criminal law, official identification, and revamp the civil service, judiciary, and military, all based on a transitory ambiguity?

Even disregarding the scientific and legal standard hurdles, the necessity of legislating transgender specific laws does not exist.

See population: the minuscule number of transgenders (which is likely way less than 1% of the population) simply does not justify carving out an exclusive set of rights that need to be backed up by the entire bureaucracy of government. All the more since there is the Bill of Rights that everyone can avail of.

Incidentally, the presence of human rights available to all fundamentally illustrates why no international law exists specifically for transgenders.

Regarding alleged pay gaps, US or European studies on same sex couples and lesbians show average incomes higher than straight couples or women. Transgenderism, as a factor per se, shouldn’t be that far behind.

The tolerance and openness of the Philippines is such that even without any law giving preferential treatment (as any law drafted for a specific sector does), our society already comfortably proffers a number of successful people claiming to be transgenders in media, academe, politics, and government.

Admittedly, one troubling statistic for transgenders is the scandalously high suicide rate (above 40% in the US), which is way higher than the US average (around 4%).

People attribute the plus 36% difference to bullying or rejection. But that theory can’t hold, forgetting all the while that black Americans in the US, suffering from substantially high rates of poverty, bullying, and discrimination, nevertheless, have quite significantly low suicide rates.

Discrimination is therefore not controlling here. One factor that could be is if indeed transgenderism is a form of mental disorder. Drs. Charles Ihlenfeld and Paul McHugh certainly think so. And if one looks at the relationship of mental illness vis-a-vis suicide rates, an extremely high correlation could be seen.

A natural (and logical) consequence is that to pander to the whims of somebody suffering from such disorder -- whether it be by media, academe, or the legislature -- will not help but only aggravate the situation.

And this comes at the expense of society too, if it allows itself to be reengineered and reorganized just to not offend the feelings of a group that want to impose their version of reality on the rest of the citizenry.

Transgenders are people deserving of every right and responsible for every duty. We should embrace, care for, and respect their humanity.

But to treat them with the feel-good political correctness of progressives, irresponsibly allowing ourselves to pretend that reality does not exist, is doing a great disservice to our fellow human beings.

Jemy Gatdula is a Senior Fellow of the Philippine Council for Foreign Relations and a Philippine Judicial Academy law lecturer for constitutional philosophy and jurisprudence.

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