What Is normal? What Is Abnormal? Who Decides?
Now that President Trump has declared that so-called "transgender" persons are unfit for military service, the radical left is bringing out its (yawn) big guns. In other words, it is playing the same broken record. If you disagree, then it can only be because you are a bigot. There can be no other reason. Neither morality, nor honest philosophical differences, nor even military effectiveness can possibly, no, not even remotely, be attributed as valid reasons to challenge the leftist dogma.
Let's go over a few sober facts.
I was reading an old Newsweek magazine, dated June 9, 2008, when, on page 13, I came across an article about something called Body Integrity Identity Disorder. A related condition is known by a fancier medical name: apotemnophilia. It has great instructional value concerning transgenderism.
BIID is a rare condition in which those people who have the disorder feel compelled to amputate one or more of their healthy body parts, and for no outwardly apparent reason. In one extreme case, a young woman in Britain (as I recall) deliberately froze both her legs with dry ice. Then she called an ambulance, knowing that this would result in surgical amputation.
It did. Surgeons removed both legs, which were by then beyond saving. Afterward, the woman said she felt more comfortable with her "new body."
The disorder is centered in the brain, in the part that "maps," so to speak, the body, so you know what and where your limbs are. In some people, the map has gone wrong, and the person may feel, for an example, that his arm or a leg does not "belong" there.
The best way I can think to describe it is to say some people have an extra finger or toe and wish to have it surgically removed. Such a person's brain has no "map location" for that extra digit, and indeed, it does not belong there. Usually, it is not even functional. So, when possible, it gets removed.
But for those afflicted with BIID, the body part does indeed belong there. It is something in the brain that has gone wrong, not the lower body.
I first connected this condition to transgenderism when, in an online discussion board, I encountered a man who had, as he described it, always felt that he really was a woman. He had surgery to remove certain parts and added others so as to appear convincingly to be a woman (at least according to him).
As with BIID, the discomfort so-called transgendered people feel about their bodies is a problem of the brain, not of the lower body. Therefore, the proper treatment is for what ails the brain. It is as wrong to mutilate the body to ease the discomfort of Gender Identity Disorder as it is to amputate healthy legs.
I raised the ire of others in the online discussion by declaring that Gender Identity Disorder (GID) is indeed a disorder. That upset some of my respondents, because as social liberals, they identify so-called transgendered people as off limits to criticism for their preferences.
I proposed the idea that the human species is composed of two complementary sexes, each with a different (but overlapping) function from the other, equal in worth. Same-sex pairings, therefore, are sort of like wearing two left shoes. But my correspondents would have none of that. Who was I, they demanded to know, to think I could be so judgmental, to declare that people who are not like me are therefore somehow abnormal?
In their view, I was the abnormal one. And from there, their accusations degenerated into the usual litany. I was a bigot, a hate-monger, pro-slavery, anti-woman, and the rest of the menu that liberals so often use to describe conservatives.
I had touched a raw nerve. I had asked, in a way, a question that put my interlocutors in a terrible dilemma: should we normalize BIID? Should we applaud it? Should insurance cover the cost of amputation of a perfectly healthy, useful limb, just to make the BIID sufferer "feel comfortable"? Or should we instead seek a cure in the brain?
But if we seek a cure in the brain, is it possible that when we find it, we might also cure GID? And having done that, is it far-fetched to think we might someday cure homosexuality?
Ah, but that is heresy. If homosexuality is normal, if it is healthy, if it is to be celebrated and applauded in same-sex ceremonies imitating weddings – then a cure would be not only unnecessary, but unethical.
For most, it was just too difficult to reconcile these two. Cutting off a healthy limb seemed so shocking, to all of us, that it bordered on the – here's another word my respondents often felt uncomfortable with – immoral. It seems immoral to amputate a healthy arm or leg. It causes disability. It violates the natural plan of the body. It –
But oh, my. Doesn't so-called "sex-change surgery" do the same? And does not homosexuality violate the male-female duality of the human species?
A few years ago, two deaf lesbian women announced their desire to have a child. The women were both deaf due to an inherited genetic disorder, and – hold on to your hat – it was their desire that their child-to-be also inherit this disorder.
There is apparently a "deaf lifestyle" that the two women thought should be celebrated, not disparaged. They sought a sperm donor with the deafness gene. There remained a possibility that the child would not be congenitally deaf, and if so, then the question arose as to how they would react to having a child with normal hearing, contrary to their wishes.
In another case, a young boy ceased normal growth in childhood, and it was discovered that he had dwarfism. Dwarfism has certain organic complications, and the parents sought to give the child hormones to boost his growth and prevent the unhealthy effects of dwarfism. However, the boy decided that he wanted to remain a dwarf and that it is disparaging to dwarves to try to find a cure for the condition.
We never got to finish the collision on this subject. I miss my old opponents; I guess I had indeed developed a sort of (was it abnormal?) affection for them.
But I also miss them because my next question would have led, I think, to this one: is nothing at all abnormal anymore?