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It’s Not You, It’s Me

Which is to say, in traditional terms, it’s you

John Blythe
Feb 25, 2017 · 6 min read

Betsy DeVos caved to Attorney General Jeff Sessions earlier this week regarding a rollback of protections for transgender students. Sessions actions are no surprise. DeVos’ reported response to the situation was, for me at least, quite unexpected. Her capitulation was spineless. And Chodemander in Chief Trump got to add one more broken promise to the pile.

Let me be entirely open up front and say that I’m still sorting out the nuances of my opinions concerning trans issues. My guiding principles would include the following:

  • I want to let bygones be bygones. Religious beliefs shouldn’t be barometers for issues.
  • The government need not be involved any more than is absolutely necessary. Its job is to protect its citizens and thus requires some sort of involvement in this whole ordeal.
  • I want to protect vulnerable peoples.

That protection applies to more than the trans community, however. It applies to my daughter and wife, too.

The underlying issue then is men, not trans-women. That said, the rub is located in our procedures and policies. It is no easy task to both protect and appease everyone. To think otherwise quickly exposes how wrongheaded one’s approach is to the situation.

With all that said, I want to fight against such rollbacks for the time being. Despite feeling the push and pull of the bathroom issue at large, when it comes to kids at school, I’m less concerned with any sort of loopholes being taken advantage of that could risk the safety of others.

At the least, fighting back seems necessary for anyone not wanting the full scope of Sessions’ and the Administration’s view of American life to take shape. Every inch they take back represents countless hours and efforts to move forward once more. Energy that should be spent elsewhere will have to be mustered to undo the undoing that this disastrous group of politicians are orgasming about implementing.

Yet, at the same time, I want to fight against the insanity of much of the Left concerning related issues, namely gender fluidity. And, if I had to choose which side is more dangerous to our culture, I think I’d pick the Leftists on this one.

The Devil We Know

We’re used to old white guys having antiquated opinions. Dealing with that is pretty easy: stop voting for them, convince others to stop voting for them, and—this is key—wait long enough till their shitty ideas die out with them and their peers. More pointedly: they’ll die off before long and so will many of their bad ideas.

The primary reflexive that comes to mind when viewing this is of the gag variety. (Ey laughed)

But when people want to quite literally make things up—new concepts and words and mores and phobias—as they pull them straight out of their fluid ass, then what are we to do? It’s a battle I’m unsure how to fight because it tosses the rule book — language — out the window.

When basic semantics is now up for grabs, what then? Ze doesn’t know what ze should do! Zelp ze! (Refer to the ridiculous chart above for help in interpretation.)

Trump is constantly (and rightly) assailed by the Left for not knowing how to compose an honest, much less sensible, string of words. Yet how much can be said by those who simply do it in other arenas and by other means, for other political agendas?

This fight is not any more sensible or honest than a Trumpian stream of consciousness. It is so beyond the pale that addressing it directly isn’t even possible. Reality is gone, the new norm is whatever one thinks up in the moment. And fuck you and your x-phobia if you’re not making up the same reality I am.

We’ve already seen how destructive such empty, hallucinatory rhetoric can be. Are we really ready to double down on in the inane insanity and go all in?

Helping ze Trans

I can only imagine what kind of derision awaits me as a white, cisgendered male if this post gets in the hands of a SJW on Twitter. Heaven help me. Even so, none of us get better or make any progress, individually or collectively, unless we dare to think out loud. Come at me bro (or gal or non-binary person).

Wanna roll with Drogo?

Here’s my hunch. Fighting for pronouns is missing sight of the fight that people sincerely want to have on behalf of humans. It’s pissing away energy to worry about pronoun identification—and let’s be clear, it’s all it is: a damned pronoun—rather than working on behalf of fellow men and women who have bigger issues in their lives than being referred to as “him” or “her.”

And, if you’ve ever thought the ‘snowflake’ title is unwarranted, then look no further than this issue.

I was called a snowflake just this morning. It melts my heart in the best way to know I’m getting under the skin of a Righty.

When you’re busy stuffing all sorts of extra baggage into the push for progress, you can’t be surprised when people balk.

So, without even arguing about the linguistically asinine part of this whole debacle, those who care about the trans community should be a bit more prudent when choosing which battles to engage in. Gender fluidity should be put on hold, if not discarded altogether, simply as a matter of practicality—if not sanity.

Lead In

Again, I know I’m the bad guy here as far as liberal circles are concerned. As I mentioned from the onset: I don’t care what people want to do or how they want to do it, I don’t want anyone’s religious beliefs to stop my life choices anymore than I want them to stop the choices of others, and I don’t want the government to unnecessarily force anyone into a norm.

Bottom line: we need to recognize that convincing people is better than coercing them.

Now, I made myself meander through this post despite my ideas being half-baked because I have an old friend from my high school days who I recently found out is trans. I’ve asked her if we could do an interview so I could write about it. My hope is that this post will help push me closer to doing it precisely because it shows how much my opinions are still being formulated.

There are plenty of people who are not bigots and yet are entirely derailed by the whole trans discussion. My intent is to serve as a liaison between the two sides of the discussion. Coming from a very conservative, Christian background, I know how that side thinks and speaks. Having now found myself in a much more liberal, secular position in life, I am still exploring many issues and want to hear from people who are actually living in them.

That last part is key: opinions of any sort don’t carry much weight until grounded in something real, namely someone’s life.

So, though I don’t know precisely when it will hit, be on the lookout for the first installment of First Person, a series that will try to get an inside look on issues from a first person perspective and, in so doing, can serve as the first person a listener or reader ever discusses such matters with, albeit vicariously via yours truly.

My constant refrain is that ideas matter and we must have constant discussion surrounding them. I’ve not yet arrived. Far from it. I hope you continue with me on the journey.

About the author

Hi there, my name is John. I love having conversations. My posts are an attempt to start some. Please join in the conversation via commenting or sharing.

Also, I’ve begun committing to donating a dollar to the Against Malaria Foundation for every recommend my posts receive within its first month. This isn’t a gimmick. It’s a quantifiable method for encouraging and reminding me to give to things I care about.

Thanks for reading and sharing.

The Bigger Picture

Oddly specific. Universally applicable. Submit your writing to biggerpicturemedium@gmail.com.

John Blythe

Written by

Trying to make a dent while I’m here. Part-time serial comma activist and wannabe writer. Opinions are my own.

The Bigger Picture

Oddly specific. Universally applicable. Submit your writing to biggerpicturemedium@gmail.com.

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