The Scarlett Johansson Transgender Brouhaha

More. Business Insider reports (or, rather, prints a GLAAD press release as news):

“Scarlett Johansson’s announcement, together with the transgender voices who spoke out about this film, are game changers for the future of transgender images in Hollywood,” GLAAD president and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis said. “Hollywood changed how Americans understand gay and lesbian lives, and TV is starting to do the same for transgender people with authentic transgender portrayals being major hits with critics and audiences. The film industry has a real opportunity to do the same.”

Related: Business Insider deletes opinion column defending Scarlett Johansson, and columnist resigns:

The Jim Jordan Accusations

Rep. Jim Jordan, head of the conservative Freedom Caucus in the House, is under attack by the left (here’s the Vox account) because before his political career, when he was an assistant wrestling coach at Ohio State, he did not report that the team doctor had sexually fondled male student wrestlers during physical exams and that the doctor had joined wrestlers in the showers. There were also accusations that “voyeurs” had engaged in locker room sexual activity while the team trained and showered.

Jordan said he didn’t know about the inappropriate activity, which has only recently become public.

I wonder, however, if Jordan had known about and reported this alleged behavior to the authorities, whether the left would be accusing him of having promoted a homophobic witch hunt at Ohio State.

More. The New York Times reports:

One wrestler denied the allegations entirely, saying that the accusers were “seeing dollar signs.” Others wrote that they had never witnessed or heard of [the doctor] acting inappropriately.

But [a public relations firm] also sent along a statement from one wrestler who wrote that in the locker room, there were “definitely inappropriate things that in my opinion were pretty disgusting going on all around us,” and another who wrote that he had been abused by [the doctor] and never told anyone but his father.

Trans Teens and Controversy

From The Atlantic cover story:

[O]ther resources, including those produced by major LGBTQ organizations, place the emphasis on acceptance rather than inquiry. The Human Rights Campaign’s “Transgender Children & Youth: Understanding the Basics” web page, for example, encourages parents to seek the guidance of a gender specialist. It also asserts that “being transgender is not a phase, and trying to dismiss it as such can be harmful during a time when your child most needs support and validation.” Similarly, parents who consult the pages tagged “transgender youth” on glaad’s site will find many articles about supporting young people who come out as trans but little about the complicated diagnostic and developmental questions faced by the parents of a gender-exploring child. …

Some LGBTQ advocates have called for gender dysphoria to be removed from the DSM-5, arguing that its inclusion pathologizes being trans. But gender dysphoria, as science currently understands it, is a painful condition that requires treatment to be alleviated. Given the diversity of outcomes among kids who experience dysphoria at one time or another, it’s hard to imagine a system without a standardized, comprehensive diagnostic protocol, one designed to maximize good outcomes.


Putting the “T” in Perspective

Andrew Sullivan blogs (second item):

Children and adolescents are subject to a myriad competing impulses — hormonal, social, familial, psychological — and some early identities wax or wane away as maturity arrives. And so the movement to assign a trans identity to children who exhibit gender dysphoria has some great benefits, in relieving acute psychic pressure, but also inevitably, has some drawbacks. If a gay or a straight kid happens to show signs of behaving as or identifying with the other gender, they can be prematurely defined as trans, and start on a track that will not work for them. …

We should be attentive to gender dysphoria, and watch for signs of a kid being genuinely trans, and care for him or her. That’s been a big and hugely welcome change from the gruesome past. But to automatically equate non-stereotypical gender behavior with being trans is a dangerous overreach. Gender dysphoria affects countless young gay boys as well as lesbian girls, along with straight boys and girls who don’t fit gender stereotypes but are nowhere near being trans or gay. Keeping that in mind is also essential. And that, to my mind, requires an abundance of caution and patience, which is why I favor a ban on irreversible sex reassignment surgery and hormone blockers until the age of 18. I’m all for supporting trans youth in their identity and dignity. But if you’re not regarded as mature enough to vote, you should not be regarded as mature enough to alter your body and your gender irreversibly.

The danger in the alternative is that gay boys and girls can actually be mis-defined as trans by well-meaning parents or therapists. Which, it seems to me, is as homophobic as defining us as straight.

More. Sullivan makes this point as well:

There’s also the reactionary element in prematurely defining gay people as trans. There’s a reason why one of the countries with the most sex reassignment surgeries is Iran. For the mullahs, it is homosexuality or ambiguous sexuality that is the problem. Surgically reassigning gender is the solution. Of course there’s a world of difference between forced sex reassignment surgery in Iran and voluntary transitioning in the West. But for some reactionaries, trans people who adhere to gender roles are preferable to gay people who don’t.

Pride Month Dissidents

Once I attended Pride events religiously, but I’ve felt this way for many years.

Satire from The Onion the isn’t far from the mark:

Not a satire:

More. Another testimonial:

The Varied Experiences of the LGBTQ “Community”

More. A tenuous “community” at best, with 46% of LGBTQ people identifying as bisexual (vs. 32% gay and 16% lesbian). A political movement, albeit one that is now an arm of general progressive leftism, and a cultural identity. But “community” is more of a stretch than ever.

The Pronoun Controversy and Compelled Speech

Over at Reason, John Stossel writes:

“Shame on you! Shame on you!” chanted protestors after psychology professor Jordan Peterson said he’d refuse to obey a law that would require everyone to call people by the pronoun they prefer—pronouns like “ze” instead of “he” or “she.” …

The pronoun controversy seems silly. “If somebody wants to be called ze or zir, why not?” I ask him for my next online video.

“I don’t care what people want to be called,” he answered. “But that doesn’t mean I should be compelled by law to call them that. The government has absolutely no business whatsoever ever governing the content of your voluntary speech.”

What if I politely asked him to call me ze?

“We could have a conversation about that,” says Peterson, “just like I would if you asked me to use a nickname. But there’s a big difference between privately negotiated modes of address and legislatively demanded, compelled speech.”

That sounds like a reasonable, libertarian take on the issue, but for comments like that, Peterson is called “bigot,” “Hitler,” “transphobic piece of s—.”

Pride Commissars Try for Another Scalp

Pride Month has now become a reminder that you’d better march in lockstep with the progressive left and echo all of its many, many, many hates … or else.

NOT from a satire site:

Double Standards So Obvious that Only a Progressive Wouldn’t be Appalled

Roseanne Barr’s racially tinged tweet was wretched, but she immediately deleted it an apologized profusely. No matter, to insult a member of the blessed Obama’s inner court is the highest of crimes in the view of the Hollywood progressive elite. Meanwhile, obscene slanders lobbed at the current U.S. president, his children and, well, any Republican are of no consequence.

Roseanne the show was always, and when rebooted continued to be, about a struggling working-class family with close black and LGBT friends. No matter, Roseanne the tweeter lost it and, being a Trump supporter, must not be forgiven.


Actually, this makes sense:

More. Andrew Klavan writes in the Wall Street Journal:
>>Roseanne Barr and Samantha Bee seldom have anything interesting to say. But their recent controversies explain our political situation. Taken as one, the story has the precision of a parable.
Ms. Barr, a Trump supporter—in one of her many thoughtlessly grotesque moments—tweets a vulgar remark about longtime Obama adviser Valerie Jarrett. People reasonably interpret it as racist. Within hours, Ms. Barr’s No. 1 television program is canceled. Even reruns of her decades-old show are taken off the air.
Ms. Bee, a leftist who hates Mr. Trump—in one of her many well-scripted and vetted grotesque moments—makes an obscene remark about Ivanka Trump. That it is misogynistic is beyond dispute. The audience cheers. Her producer brags that the obscenity is trending on social media. After a day of outrage from the right, Ms. Bee issues a halfhearted apology. She receives an award. Her unpopular and unprofitable show stays on the air. Influential cultural voices earnestly debate whether her ugly comment was really all that bad. The conversation trails into silence.<<

On What Ails Scouting

Former Eagle Scout Mike Rowe responds to a woman who expressed dismay about the Boy Scouts going “co-ed.” He posted:

As I read it, The Boy Scouts are launching a separate program that serves girls. …

When I left the organization in 1979, there were 5 million active members. Today, there are 2.3 million. With the recent departure of the Mormon community, that number will soon drop to under two million. Clearly, something is wrong. The question is what? Is it the past sexual scandals? Is it the more recent admission of gay and transgender members? I would imagine those are factors. But a 60% decline? That seems very unlikely. …

[R]ight now, there’s a perception that The Boy Scouts have gone soft. That’s the real tragedy, Sharon, because I can’t think of anything more needed in our country today, than a youth organization that offers kids the same experience I underwent in the basement of Kenwood Church [read the full post]. Why? Because our country’s current obsession with “safe spaces” is destroying character faster than the Boy Scouts of today can build it.

Obviously, we want our kids protected from the hazards of a dangerous world. … But safety is not the purpose of our existence, and this whole idea that kids need to be protected from fear, distress, discomfort, and disappointment is far more dangerous to the future of our country than anything I ever encountered in Scouting. You can’t build character in a “safe space.” You can only build dependence and entitlement, and you don’t have to look very far to see the results. Pardon my rant, but the stakes are high. …

We are the ones who gave them trophies just for showing up. We’re the ones who told them that their feelings were more important than their actions…. Now, we are confronted with millions of dissatisfied young adults with no tolerance for beliefs that conflict with their own, and no realistic understanding of how life actually works. …

It’s not enough to simply ignore bad ideas. The safe space movement needs to be confronted, and I’d love nothing more than to see Scouts of both genders lead the charge.

More. Some of the comments from Mike Rowe’s original Facebook post support his description of what’s happened to scouting:

  • I grew up in a troop very much like Mike Rowe’s. But now a Boy Scout can’t build and climb a pioneering project more than six feet off the ground without their plans being reviewed in advance by the “council enterprise risk management committee” (aka lawyers). So you know the BSA has gone soft. s/A former Scoutmaster, District Commissioner, etc.
  • If these kids are anything like my son, the reason the numbers are declining are due to what is being taught. My son joined with the idea that he would learn outdoor activities, responsibilities, camping, archery, and so forth but in reality the whole year he only learned songs, skits, and chants. He was very bored and lost interest.
  • Same issue with Girl Scouts for my daughters. Two different troops in two different years and not one camping trip or outdoor activity. When I was a young Girl Scout, we learned fire building and first aid. Lots of the same things the boys in Boy Scouts were learning. Now it’s lazy indoor arts and crafts and peddling as many cookies as possible.
  • That was my daughter’s Girl Scout experience as well. Not one thing at all done outdoors in the entire year she was in the troop. Two times a month they met in the school cafeteria after school for an hour to glue beads together or color. … It was such a waste of time and I felt nostalgia for my days as a cub scout in the 1970’s when we met once a week and did all kinds of projects, explored the great outdoors, learned to work together as a team and were all proud to wear our scout uniforms all day at school on the meeting days. Especially when we did the pledge of allegiance in the morning before class started. All these things are now relics of a by gone era it would seems.
  • I was shocked when I became a Boy Scout day camp counselor…and they kept canceling camp because the temperatures outside were too high (in the 80s) for the poor little air-conditioned flowers. … This generation of overly dramatic parents has killed Scouting and all it stood for, which is a damned shame. People just can’t stand to be uncomfortable any more, and will give up anything to avoid it.

But others indicate a wide variety among troops and their activities:

  • We run a Cub Scout Pack and do tons of science experiments, games, whittling, knot tying, and during the summer we hike and bike. I am so sad your son had a bad experience!
  • The troop I am a part of has campouts where shooting shotguns and learning about gun safety is the main activity. Our numbers have grown steadily over the past four years because we still believe in what the scouts’ core values are.
  • By the time my son was 12, he had canoed two 50 milers (led two boats down the 2nd time), rowed his own boat, learned to rebuild a boat engine, been hiking up the tallest mountain in SoCal, camped 100 nights, and was preparing for jamboree. Don’t give up!
  • Our Boy Scouts do activities several times a month. They include camping, hiking, mountaineering, fishing, flying airplanes, skiing, whitewater rafting, canoe trips, horseback riding and still volunteer a lot in the community. All thanks go to the great and tireless efforts of the Troop’s leadership and parents.