Rep. Jayapal: Protect Transgender Freedom by Regulating All Americans
The federal government must regulate behavior by 330 million Americans to protect the freedom of transgender people, says progressive Democratic Rep. Pramila Jayapal.
“My beautiful, now 22-year-old child told me last year that they were gender nonconforming,” she tearfully said Tuesday, while using the “their” pronoun in place of “he.” She described how her son claims to be neither male nor female:
I came to understand what their newfound freedom ― it is the only way I can describe what has happened to my beautiful child, what their newfound freedom to wear a dress, to rid themselves of some conformist stereotype of what they are, to be able to express who they are at their real core … My child is free to be who they are. And in that freedom comes a responsibility for us as legislators to protect their freedom to be who they are and to legislate … behavior towards all people in our society.
Jayapal’s demand and her tearful celebration for her adult son’s “freedom” came during a hearing about H.R. 5, the Democrat-drafted bill that would require federal agencies to pressure Americans into agreeing that men and women can change their sex by declaring an opposite-sex “gender identity.”
This bill is not a stretch for Indian-born Jayapal, because she is a progressive who favors top-down direction of Americans’ economy, civic life, culture, and population. For example, she justifies this demand for government authority over sexual identity with a claim that progressives can maximize people’s freedom by imposing intensive regulation on thoughts and words.
Like other progressives at the hearing, Jayapal paired her support for government-controlled culture with her dismissal of Americans’ evolved culture of self-government and local autonomy. For example, Jayapal dismissed objections to the transgender ideology as mere fear. “We are talking about fear versus love; we are talking about fear versus freedom,” she said.
Far fewer than one percent of people claim to be members of the opposite sex, and even fewer undergo cosmetic surgery. But the Democrats’ legislation would force all women to submit whenever men claimed the legal right to take women’s places in sports and showers, in shelters, scholarships, and business set-asides; in culture, commerce, and language, such as in the use of male or female pronouns.
Overall, the transgender ideology requires the government to suppress the public recognition that women and men are equal, different, and complementary. The ideology all requires people to pretend that men and women are interchangeable and differ only in their self-declared “gender identity” and their outward appearance of clothing and style, such as the choice of wearing dresses instead of pants.
The ideology has quickly become a central plank of the progressive Democratic Party. On March 28, for example, nearly all Democrats voted for a resolution denouncing the Pentagon’s policy of using the “bright line” of biology to record the sex of service members. The 238 Democrats who voted called on service members to decide their own sex. That change would effectively eliminate the Pentagon’s ability to set rules which fairly match the complementary strengths and weaknesses of male and female service members.
Jayapal’s demand for nationwide enforcement of the unpopular transgender ideology came after several GOP members spoke forcefully against the ideology, which is enshrined in the Democrats’ draft “Equality Act,” numbered H.R. 5.
The Democrats pro-transgender bill “silences calls for fairness, flouts science and has no compassion for the women and children it marginalizes,” said Georgia Rep. Doug Collins, the top Republican on the House Judiciary Committee. He continued:
We are not here today to betray the Civil Rights Act, but to uphold its ideals. There is no doubt in my mind that men, women and children who experience gender dysphoria suffer deeply. Unfortunately, the legislation we’re considering would harm countless people who understand themselves to be transgender and would demolish the hard-won rights of women, putting them once again at the mercy of any biological man who identifies, at any moment, as a woman.
Collins’ defense of rights for women and men echoes President Donald Trump’s high-profile opposition to the transgender ideology established by former President Barack Obama. If ever endorsed by Congress or the Supreme Court, Obama’s policies would effectively erase women — and women’s rights — from the law, say critics.
The biological differences between the sexes remain scientific and certain … H.R. 5 nullifies “women and girls as a coherent legal category worthy of civil rights protection.” The bill privileges the rights of men who identify as women over biological women and girls … Allowing men to compete against women in women’s sports isn’t demoralizing because female athletes … aren’t talented; it’s demoralizing because it makes their talent irrelevant. Martina Navratilova explained the threat H.R. 5 poses to women’s sports: “Unless you want to completely remake what Women’s Sports means, there can be no blanket inclusion rule. There is nothing stereotypical about this – it’s about fairness and it’s about science.”
In fact, H.R. 5 ignores fairness and denies science in order to codify [gender] stereotypes and sexism. If a man who adopts mannerisms associated with women can receive every federal protection afforded to women, we’ve reduced womanhood to a set of stereotypes — the same stereotypes some men have chronically exploited for social, professional and political advantage. H.R. 5 plays into tropes that hurt women and girls across every dimension of society, and it would give those stereotypes the trump card whenever tension arises between the rights of a transgender person and the rights of a biological woman.
Under this bill, adolescents who can’t decide what major to pursue in college would be empowered to force doctors — bound by anti-discrimination laws — to administer hormones that could render these children sterile and conduct irreversible surgeries. Mothers and fathers who have watched their children deteriorate physically and emotionally as they transition away from their biological sex are begging Congress to listen before we leap.
Though women and children have historically been uniquely vulnerable, Democrats are condemning people who advocate for their rights and against H.R. 5 as bigoted. The ideology driving H.R. 5 is content to see women, lesbians and families become the collateral damage of identity politics that has no basis in science.
The hearing showed that Republicans “are starting to get united … [although] it is not a comfortable subject,” said Tabitha Walter, the executive director at the Eagle Forum. “When people like Collins are standing up and speaking out, you’ll see more Republicans speak out [because he] sets the standard,” she said, adding, “If Collins pushes it further, more members will push.”
Collins’ speech was accompanied by an organized pushback from other GOP members.
The transgender ideology strips safeguards from young children, said California GOP Rep. Thomas McClintock:
This obsession with the new trans ideology .. is being pushed on children as young as eight years old,” he said. If the legislation is passed, “Parents [will be] threatened with lawsuits or the loss of their children for questioning their child’s gender dysphoria or objecting to life-altering therapies or surgeries.
“It doesn’t seem fair” for men to seek the government support intended for women-owned business, said Ohio Republican Steve Chabot.
Texas Rep. Louie Gohmert highlighted data which shows how males have a huge advantage over females in sports. Top-ranked “women would lose to literally thousands of boys and men,” and also lose athletic scholarships if men change their sex, he said.
Arizona GOP Rep. Debra Lesko said the Democrats’ legislation would “prioritize the rights of biological males over biological women.”
The law would allow Trump to declare himself to be the nation’s first female president, said Florida’s Rep. Matt Gaetz. “This legislation creates more problems than it solves,” he added.
Collins also invited Julia Beck, a left-wing lesbian, to present the shared argument that men and women need to maintain single-sex civic options to help them make the best of their physical bodies in relationships, competition, work, recreation, and sports. Beck describes herself as a “radical lesbian feminist,” and is a former co-chair of the Baltimore City Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer Commission, a civic advisory group. She said:
Female survivors of rape will be unable to contest male presence in shelters. Men will dominate women’s sports. Girls who would have taken first place will be denied scholastic opportunity. Women who use male pronouns to talk about men may be arrested, fined, and banned from social media platforms. Girls will stay home from school when they have their periods to avoid harassment by boys in mixed-sex toilets. Girls and women will no longer have a right to ask for female medical staff or intimate care providers, including elderly or disabled women, who are at serious risk for sexual abuse …
Everything I just listed is already happening, and it’s only going to get worse if gender identity is recognized in federal law. I urge my fellow Democrats to wake up. Please acknowledge biological reality.
Beck’s testimony reflects the growing pushback by gays and lesbians who share with conservatives the view that people’s male-or-female bodies are fundamentally tied to their character and preferences.
This “biology matters” argument is being made by Andrew Sullivan, a British-born gay advocate who led the political push to allow single-sex marriages. In a February article titled “The Nature of Sex,” Sullivan argues that a pending Democratic-drafted bill which provides legal recognition and rights to people who try to live as members of the opposite sex:
…could put all single-sex institutions, events, or groups in legal jeopardy. It could deny lesbians their own unique safe space, free from any trace of men. The bill, in other words, “undermines the fundamental legal groundwork for recognizing and combating sex-based oppression and sex discrimination against women and girls.”
The transgender push to create legal rights for people living as members of the opposite sex also threatens the legal rights won by gays and lesbians, Sullivan writes:
If you abandon biology in the matter of sex and gender altogether, you may help trans people live fuller, less conflicted lives; but you also undermine the very meaning of homosexuality. If you follow the current ideology of gender as entirely fluid, you actually subvert and undermine core arguments in defense of gay rights. “A gay man loves and desires other men, and a lesbian desires and loves other women,” explains Sky Gilbert, a drag queen. “This defines the existential state of being gay. If there is no such thing as ‘male’ or ‘female,’ the entire self-definition of gay identity, which we have spent generations seeking to validate and protect from bigots, collapses.” Contemporary transgender ideology is not a complement to gay rights; in some ways it is in active opposition to them.
A significant number of “transgender” men — including many who have not undergone cosmetic surgery — also say they are lesbians who desire relationships with women. This novel claim is often accompanied by insults aimed at Beck and other women who disagree with the ideology. For example, they are commonly called “Trans-Exclusionary Radical Feminists”:
In 2017, Obama told National Public Radio (NPR) that his promotion of the transgender ideology made it easier for Trump to win the presidency. Multiple polls show that most Americans wish to help and comfort people who think they are members of the opposite sex, even as they also reject the transgender ideology’s claim that a person’s legal sex is determined by his feeling of “gender identity,” not by biology. A U.K. survey shows a similar mix of some sympathy for people with lopsided opposition to the ideology.
The transgender movement is diverse, so its different factions have different goals and priorities. It includes sexual liberationists, as well as progressives, plus feminists who wish to blur distinctions between the two sexes, and people who glamorize the distinctions between the two sexes. It includes high-profile children, people who are trying to live as members of the opposite sex, people trying to “detransition” back to their sex, men who demand sex from lesbians, masculine autogynephiles who say they are entitled to women’s rights, wealthy donors, politicians, political professionals, and revenue-seeking drug companies and medical service providers.
Transgender advocates claim that two million Americans say they are transgender to a greater or lesser extent. But very few people who describe themselves as transgender undergo cosmetic surgery of the genitals. Only about 4,118 Americans surgically altered their bodies in hospitals from 2000 to 2014 to appear like members of the opposite sex, according to a pro-transgender medical study.
Yet the gender ideology is rapidly gaining power, aided by huge donations from wealthy individuals and medical companies. In February, for example, an Ohio judge forced parents of a teenage girl to give up custody so she could begin a lifetime of drug treatments and surgery that would allow her to appear as a male.
The progressive push to bend Americans’ attitudes and their male-and-female civic society around the idea of “gender identity” has already attacked and cracked many of the popular social rules that help Americans manage the cooperation and competition among and between complementary, different, and equal men and women.
These pro-gender claims have an impact on different-sex bathrooms, shelters for battered women, sports leagues for girls, hiking groups for boys, K–12 curricula, university speech codes, religious freedoms, free speech, the social status of women, parents’ rights in child-rearing, children’s safety, practices to help teenagers, health outcomes, women’s ideals of beauty, culture and civic society, scientific research, prison safety, civic ceremonies, school rules, men’s sense of masculinity, law enforcement, military culture, and children’s sexual privacy.
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