Confusion at Smith College

When one starts down the path of imposing fantasies upon and against  the basic categories of natural history, and insists that your own imagination, not nature itself, ought to be the basis for determining action, no end of trouble and confusion will come your way.  As the greenie bumper sticker of yore proclaimed, 'Nature bats last.'

The alchemists had their day, phrenology was taught at Harvard a century or so ago, and various other lunacies have been embraced by people who really ought to know better.  Today, it is the fundamental definition of the sexes, incorrectly referred to as 'gender issues' by the bien—pensants, which is the most fashionable folly of our day.

Craig Offman, writing in the Financial Times, has an utterly priceless article on the assorted problems bedeviling Smith College, now that it is in the grip of the fashionable mania of this era, the conceit that one can change what is incorrectly called "gender" identity.

Probably no college or university has suffered more from running with the fashionable trends of the day than Smith College, although Antioch College in Ohio might be a contender for that dubious title. Once upon a time, Smith was a serious institution of higher education, well—respected for the quality of its graduates. Famous former students include Nancy Reagan, Barbara Bush on one side of the political spectrum, and Gloria Steinem and Betty Friedan on the other.. Today, obsessed with feminism, lesbianism, and transgenderism (if such a word exists yet), it is a laughingstock.

Smith was founded to be exclusively for women, but now is taking seriously the claims of maleness of sexually confused people with two X—chromosomes. They must be addressed as males, a class of individuals not admitted to the college. Issues of bathroom usage, and even the proper form of gender—specific languages like Italian, rile the campus. The mental gymnastics involved are formidable, and the problems endless.

My favorite paragraph (among many hilarious examples) in the article reveals the utter self—absorption and lack of perspective of those who go off the ideological deep end.

'Just as Herbert Marcuse's theories were important on campus in his day, gender theory is important now,' says Paisley Currah, an associate professor of political science at Brooklyn College of the City University of New York and a board member of the Transgender Law and Policy Institute.

Earth to Professor Currah: if you want your theoretical obsessions to be taken seriously, don't choose to compare them to those of a man who has already returned to his default position of well—deserved obscurity. Marcuse is a joke to all but a handful of feverish radicals. The comparison is apt, given that future generations will scratch their heads in amazement as to how transgender theory could ever have been taken seriously, just as they today do over the onetime popularity of Professor Marcuse's "repressive tolerance" theories, which, come to think of it, just might apply to transgenderism in a way you do not intend.

I do not scorn those who are uncomfortable with the sexual roles of their own sex. There some things about manly manhood which don't come easily to me, either. I love to cook, for example, far more than my wife, who, it happens, is a graduate of Smith College.

Allowing for a wide range of appropriate behavior among the members of a sex is more than fine by me; I revel in the opportunities it opens up. I doubt that I will develop a taste for needlepoint, but I appreciate the option, of as a matter of theory. And I know women, such as the Secretary of State, whose knowledge of football dwarfs my own.

But we are born as we are, and no amount of reconstructive surgery, hormone injections, and 'support' from people encouraging the pounding of a round peg into a square hole, will alter the basic constitution into we are born. As Popeye used to say, "I yam what I yam." If you have two X chromosomes, you are a female of the species. An X and Y makes you a male.

Trying to 'reassign' a female as a male, or vice versa, makes no more sense than trying to 'reassign' lead into gold.  Prolonging this fantasy by taking it seriously will only create more pain and more problems for already—troubled individuals. It is the very opposite of compassion.

Thomas Lifson is the editor and publisher of The American Thinker.

When one starts down the path of imposing fantasies upon and against  the basic categories of natural history, and insists that your own imagination, not nature itself, ought to be the basis for determining action, no end of trouble and confusion will come your way.  As the greenie bumper sticker of yore proclaimed, 'Nature bats last.'

The alchemists had their day, phrenology was taught at Harvard a century or so ago, and various other lunacies have been embraced by people who really ought to know better.  Today, it is the fundamental definition of the sexes, incorrectly referred to as 'gender issues' by the bien—pensants, which is the most fashionable folly of our day.

Craig Offman, writing in the Financial Times, has an utterly priceless article on the assorted problems bedeviling Smith College, now that it is in the grip of the fashionable mania of this era, the conceit that one can change what is incorrectly called "gender" identity.

Probably no college or university has suffered more from running with the fashionable trends of the day than Smith College, although Antioch College in Ohio might be a contender for that dubious title. Once upon a time, Smith was a serious institution of higher education, well—respected for the quality of its graduates. Famous former students include Nancy Reagan, Barbara Bush on one side of the political spectrum, and Gloria Steinem and Betty Friedan on the other.. Today, obsessed with feminism, lesbianism, and transgenderism (if such a word exists yet), it is a laughingstock.

Smith was founded to be exclusively for women, but now is taking seriously the claims of maleness of sexually confused people with two X—chromosomes. They must be addressed as males, a class of individuals not admitted to the college. Issues of bathroom usage, and even the proper form of gender—specific languages like Italian, rile the campus. The mental gymnastics involved are formidable, and the problems endless.

My favorite paragraph (among many hilarious examples) in the article reveals the utter self—absorption and lack of perspective of those who go off the ideological deep end.

'Just as Herbert Marcuse's theories were important on campus in his day, gender theory is important now,' says Paisley Currah, an associate professor of political science at Brooklyn College of the City University of New York and a board member of the Transgender Law and Policy Institute.

Earth to Professor Currah: if you want your theoretical obsessions to be taken seriously, don't choose to compare them to those of a man who has already returned to his default position of well—deserved obscurity. Marcuse is a joke to all but a handful of feverish radicals. The comparison is apt, given that future generations will scratch their heads in amazement as to how transgender theory could ever have been taken seriously, just as they today do over the onetime popularity of Professor Marcuse's "repressive tolerance" theories, which, come to think of it, just might apply to transgenderism in a way you do not intend.

I do not scorn those who are uncomfortable with the sexual roles of their own sex. There some things about manly manhood which don't come easily to me, either. I love to cook, for example, far more than my wife, who, it happens, is a graduate of Smith College.

Allowing for a wide range of appropriate behavior among the members of a sex is more than fine by me; I revel in the opportunities it opens up. I doubt that I will develop a taste for needlepoint, but I appreciate the option, of as a matter of theory. And I know women, such as the Secretary of State, whose knowledge of football dwarfs my own.

But we are born as we are, and no amount of reconstructive surgery, hormone injections, and 'support' from people encouraging the pounding of a round peg into a square hole, will alter the basic constitution into we are born. As Popeye used to say, "I yam what I yam." If you have two X chromosomes, you are a female of the species. An X and Y makes you a male.

Trying to 'reassign' a female as a male, or vice versa, makes no more sense than trying to 'reassign' lead into gold.  Prolonging this fantasy by taking it seriously will only create more pain and more problems for already—troubled individuals. It is the very opposite of compassion.

Thomas Lifson is the editor and publisher of The American Thinker.