Kevin Williamson On Transgender Identity versus Reality

By Richard Nelson

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June 6, 2014

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As a relevant follow up to Wednesday’s post covering the Atherton high school’s new transgender policy, this piece by Kevin Williamson at National Review is worth your time. Williamson’s words are brief but get to the heart of the transgender controversy.

Williamson writes in response to Time Magazine’s (in)famous May cover which featured Laverne Cox. Cox is a transgendered woman who is gaining notoriety for his acting and media appearances. Williamson titled his article “Laverne Cox Is Not a Woman.” In it, Williamson builds the logical case against a transgender “identity.” Such a concept, Williamson says, is simply a notion that “language mystically shapes reality.”

“The infinite malleability of the postmodern idea of “gender,” as opposed to the stubborn concreteness of sex, is precisely the reason the concept was invented. For all of the high-academic theory attached to the question, it is simply a mystical exercise in rearranging words to rearrange reality. Facebook now has a few score options for describing one’s gender or sex, and no doubt they will soon match the number of names for the Almighty in one of the old mystery cults.

…Cox is not a woman, but an effigy of a woman. Sex is a biological reality, and it is not subordinate to subjective impressions, no matter how intense those impressions are, how sincerely they are held, or how painful they make facing the biological facts of life. No hormone injection or surgical mutilation is sufficient to change that.”

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Director, Commonwealth Policy Center