President Trump is banning transgenders from serving in the military. On the other hand (following the earlier example of the London Underground) the Dutch national railway services, NS, are no longer using “ladies and gentlemen” in their announcements. The local government in Amsterdam, the capital of The Netherlands, is doing the same and more: they have released an entire “newspeak” vocabulary dictating their employees which words to use in relation to the LGBTetc-community (including the replacement of “born as a girl” with “viewed as a girl at birth”).
Individual freedom versus individual impositions upon society
Individual freedom should always be paramount, I don’t care what people do in their bedrooms (as long as it involves consenting adults of course), who they marry or what toilet they choose. For people who feel they need to “transition” I hope they have the support and facilities available to do so. But: living however you want does not include forcing the consequences of your choices (or struggles) on society as a whole. Personally, I do not think all transgenders are obnoxious, pushy jerks who insist on imposing their personal perspectives on all of us. But apparently it’s very tolerant and progressive to think that they are.
Who are we talking about here? A study in The Netherlands (article in Dutch) concludes that one in twenty people don’t fit the male or female categories completely. That sounds like a lot, but it’s also a very broad definition of transgenderism. The same study says that out of that group only about 1% genuinely feels more connected to the other gender. In total only 0.6% of men and 0.2% of women would seek hormone treatment or surgical alteration in order to actually transition (in whatever degree).
There are 7 billion humans on the planet. We cannot keep breaking that number down to the smallest possible groups for everyone who feels a little out of place with the groups which by any definition of the word could only be considered “normal”. The most perplexing example of which is the British Medical Association telling doctors to no longer call pregnant women “expectant mothers”, but rather “pregnant people”, because there was one person in all of Britain who was pregnant while transitioning. It doesn’t seem that this person, legally male, has lodged any kind of complaint about the way in which he was addressed, but that the BMA took it upon itself to be super-inclusive to one person while inadvertently changing their vocabulary into something far less personal and more distant for hundreds of thousands of others.
President Trump’s decision to ban transgenders from the military led to an utterly predictable outpouring of outrage. On an emotional level, this is understandable. People should be free to choose how they live (as long as they don’t victimize others), and as such they should also be free to join the military.
Lady Gaga’s tweet shows the completely emotional response to the President’s decision, and her total disregard for the consequences of her ideas in reality. Yes, transgender people should be held to the same standards as anybody else wanting to join the military. However, as we know that people in this group disproportionately deal with mental health issues and, as Lady Gaga pointed out herself, at least almost half of them deal are or have been suicidal. Statistically speaking this is a mentally unstable group, and therefore they would form an immense risk to themselves and their brothers in arms during combat situations.
Several army veterans have explained by now how the high pressure environment in which the military operates is no place for anybody who is dealing with inner struggles on such a fundamental level. Should each transgender person registering for a place in the military be judged for fitness individually? Ideally, yes. But should a huge, tax payer funded, apparatus like the military be forced to make accommodations for such a tiny group of people? Realistically, no.
On rational grounds, this decision makes perfect sense. It is sad that it makes some people feel uneasy or unhappy, but the debate between those two aspects of the situation is more philosophical than pragmatic. The bottom line is that there is a very small group of people who would require specific regulation and extra medical expenses and who would on average be less effective in battle situations.
Double standards in the name of equality
I get the impression that there a knights in shining armor on the left who are fighting for what they perceive as “equality” for transgenders, but which – as it always does – in reality turns out to be a singling out of a small minority and demanding special treatment. The sad consequence for the transgender people actually trying to find their place in life and society, that does not help their plight at all. To the contrary, the endless demands from progressives to accommodate every single one in precisely the way they want (which is impossible, of course) and their refusal to acknowledge the difficulties this causes in the real world, only leads to more resistance among the rest of us. Most of us would have been fine with an extra option “Male / Female / Other” – but with each gender added you are eroding that support, because you are turning into a caricature of yourself. There are dozens now, in the ideal world of progressivism. If you start to change science because it suits your idea of the world better, you are eroding your support. It is unnecessary.
Transgender toilet use was never an issue until somebody made it one by demanding special treatments, regulations and facilities. Nobody complained about pregnant women being called women. Nobody complained about standardized messages being addressed to “ladies and gentlemen”. And even if one person did. Or two. Or ten. Who cares? What if traditionalists would now start to complain that they insist on being called “gentleman” in stead of “person”, “earthling” or whatever the high and mighty progressive elite comes up with? They would be ignored, obviously, but only because under the rise of cultural marxism, double standards have become the rule rather than the exception.