Friday, May 13, 2016

DoE OCR Demands That Schools Accommodate "Transgendered" Students

This should concern everyone, IMO.
   It's not that there's no problem here worthy of thought.
(a) It's not clear that "transgenderism" (if that term even picks out a real phenomenon) is what the new left-wing and left-liberal insta-orthodoxy says it is.
(b) This is more evidence that OCR is basically pushing incoherent, highly-politicized, far-left theories current in women's and gender studies on the country via controversial interpretations of law. Remember: it's OCR that gave us the interpretation of Title IX according to which universities are not only permitted but required to employ a preponderance of evidence standard in the case of rape accusations (rather than some more demanding standard).
(c) This new diktat apparently turns on incoherent pseudo-concepts like gender identity and gender assigned at birth.
   Look. It's fine to address these issues. They should not be taking up this much public debate...but there is something there to discuss. Most importantly, however: the cluster of concepts and arguments offered up by the postpostmodern left gets just about everything wrong so far as I can tell. I don't think that there's any way to get the illiberal left and the illiberal fringe of liberalism to re-think their views. Dogmatism is, IMO, almost the defining characteristic of extremism. But that doesn't mean that the rest of us have to just nod and go along with it all.
   And, by the way, whence the tsunami of transgenderism? How is it that this alleged condition--"socially constructed" and yet totally biological!--is suddenly afflicting so many people? How is it that we've all survived this long without this causing any insurmountable problems? Nobody thinks it's cause for reflection that suddenly, as this becomes a cause celebre--and is heroified by the far left--"transgenderism" is so important and so common that we have to start mandating that freaking elementary schools make policy on the basis of made-up concepts like "gender identity"? Does no one realize that there are fake diseases and factitious disorders that become trendy?
   Look, this is exactly the kind of thing that conservatives fear. Instead of allowing the culture to evolve naturally over longer periods of time, we have policy enacted by fiat by un-elected bureaucrats. And, in this case, policy driven by a fad, and created by activists pretending to be scholars.
   There really is a problem at the root of all of this, but the leftist orthodoxy being imposed on the country gets it almost entirely wrong. The real problem is that it's hard to justify segregating so many things--including restrooms--by sex. It's one of those well-functioning institutions that is difficult to justify theoretically. Add to this that it is usually easy to identify someone's sex at a glance. And add to this that males and females tend to dress and groom themselves differently in ways that tend to exaggerate their natural differences in appearance. Now add that some people don't want to buy into the latter. They not only don't care to dress and groom themselves in traditional ways; in fact, they want to dress and groom themselves in ways the other sex traditionally does. (In fact: some even like to think of themselves as the sex they aren't.) So now we have the system of sex-segregation of restrooms + our expectation that we can discern sex at a glance + people explicitly defying stuff about sex-specific ways of dressing and grooming. Now add: we have some people who react violently to those who violate such traditions...  The theoretically elegant and practically stupid way to solve the problem is to give up on the sex-segregation of restrooms. The theoretically stupid and practically ok-but-not-great way to solve the problem is the way preferred by the leftist insta-orthodoxy: pretend that men who deviate from traditions about appearance literally are women, and women who deviate from the traditions literally are men.
   I don't know what the solution is. But I'm fairly sure: it's not the incoherent leftist insta-orthodoxy.
   Perhaps worse: I'm concerned about the fact that we as a country seem to be just accepting all this. The only people objecting are cultural conservatives...and nobody listens to them anymore. Even dedicated lefties ought to worry about this mindless, passive acquiescence.


Anonymous John Plato said...

I can't follow your logic when you say, "There really is a problem at the root of all this."

For that 0.3% of the population that does not fit the norm, accommodations for them can and regularly are made.

The notion that Title IX was intended to force every teenage girl in America to undress, shower, and dress in front of teenage males is absurd. I can't recall a more preposterous overreach of the federal government in my lifetime.

And they've really grabbed a tiger by the tail on this one. By issuing threats and blackmailing local school districts, they actually might unify the fractured Republican party and deliver the election to Trump, which would be a disaster.

I honestly thought Obama had more sense than this.

4:23 PM  
Blogger Winston Smith said...

> I can't follow your logic when you say, "There really is a problem at the root of all this."

I gotta say, I think my explanation above is pretty clear...

10:42 PM  

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