Gender and Tolerance
The latest entry in the left’s ever expanding list of groups who need to be petted, pandered to and catered to is transgender people.
Transgender speakers are hot on the college lecture circuit, and the latest “inclusion” fad on college campuses is “gender neutral” bathrooms and dorms.
And worse, the Obama Justice Department is trying to force the transgender agenda on the entire nation’s schools.
With transgender people (and with gays and every other politically correct victim group) the left uses the word “tolerance.” If you oppose their agenda, it’s only because you are “intolerant” or a “bigot” and even a “homophobe.”
Tolerance ought to be a two way street. But today’s Social Justice Warriors see no need for tolerance toward people who disagree with them.
Let’s take Bruce Jenner, for example. He has decided he’s a woman. He’s had some plastic surgery so that his features are a bit more feminine. And he wears dresses. Tolerance says he had a right to do all of that.
But tolerance says that I have a right to view him as a male transvestite, who is a bit odd. Anybody who says I have no right to think that is intolerant of me. Jenner has a right to his opinion as to his gender, I have an equal right to my opinion about his gender. Equal tolerance.
Social Justice Warriors: Equal Tolerance?
Of course, a Social Justice Warrior might insist that he has a right to view me as a bad person because I think that. He does indeed, but if he tries to bully me by calling me a “bigot” or “intolerant” he is no better than I would be if I bullied a gay person by calling him a “pervert” or “degenerate.”
Further, if the Social Justice Warrior has a right to view me as a bad person because of my opinions, I have an equal right to judge the opinions and the actions of others. I have a right to decide that (for example) homosexual acts are sinful, or that guys wearing a dress are weird.
But of course, Social Justice Warriors deride “judgmental” attitudes on the part of people with whom they disagree, while being rigidly judgmental toward those same people. They seem to think they have a monopoly on passing moral judgment.
Things get worse when people try to impose their ideas about sex and gender on others. Does “tolerance” mean that a person who looks like a man gets to use the ladies room? What about tolerance of women who would feel that to be a huge imposition on their sense of privacy? Why does the person who looks like a man want to use the ladies room? Probably because he wants affirmation of his gender identity.
But demanding that others affirm one’s idea that one is really a woman (while one looks like a man and was born a male) is a demand one has no right to make. You have a right to think you are “really” a woman. I have a right to think you are really a man, and so do the women who feel violated if you are in their restroom.
And it’s even worse if in public schools a kid with a penis is allowed to run naked in the girl’s locker room, as the Obama Administration has demanded.
Which shows how using government to force your notions of sex and gender on others is downright toxic.
Private Sector over Governmental Fiat
Left to the private sector, things are likely to work out in a messier, but ultimately more satisfactory way. Big box store Target can declare its restrooms gender neutral if it wants. People who are uncomfortable with that are free to shop elsewhere. That’s tolerance.
While nobody should be forced to accommodate the desires of transgender people, some firms may choose to, just as some restaurants might choose to accommodate vegans. But the accommodations are likely to be more moderate than Target’s. Having single use bathrooms (one user at a time) is not outrageous, since people are used to that after decades of air travel. Likewise, no transgender person should mind using the “family” restrooms, since those are inherently gender neutral (intended for a dad and small daughter, or mother and young son, for example). And expensive reconfigurations of facilities are unlikely, just as vegan restaurants are uncommon.
Gay Lobby and Hypocrisy of “Tolerance”
Issues of tolerance and intolerance have been even worse where homosexuality is concerned. Government has punished Christian bakers who did not want to bake a cake for gay wedding and photographers who did not want to photograph a gay wedding. Christian student groups have been told they may not insist that their officers adhere to Christian standards of sexual behavior. The gay lobby has been willing to use government to impose their notions of what is moral on people who disagree.
On the average college campus, saying something negative about homosexuality invites a lecture from your dorm resident assistant, or being bullied by the Bias Incident Response Team.
If the Westboro Baptist Church asked a gay baker to cater one of its events, nobody would think of trying to force him to do so. If the Muslim Student Association had an officer who started loudly insisting that Mohammad was a fraud and a child molester, the Social Justice Warriors would be happy to see that officer kicked out. But Muslims vote Democratic, and can be portrayed as a victim group.
Saying something unkind about Christians on a college campus would hardly raise an eyebrow.
Tolerance is only tolerance if it works both ways. Wanting tolerance for one’s own opinions and own favored groups is not tolerance. Every bigot wants that. The test is one’s willingness to tolerate people and opinions one dislikes. This is a test the left in America flunks badly.
[By John McAdams, Reprinted from The Madison Speakeasy, Volume 1, Number 2]