It's Gender-Obscuring, Not Gender-Affirming

The phrase “gender-affirming care” is religious terminology. The “gender” this phrase refers to is the unmeasurable, unfalsifiable concept of gender identity, wherein someone tells you they are male, or female, or non-binary, or two-spirit, or gender-fluid, or whatever the latest fad is, and you’re supposed to simply believe them. They could be wrong. They could be lying. You don’t know! But that’s okay because you have faith, and if someone self-identifies as a particular gender, then they must be right … right?

I, for one, lack the faith required to believe that.

Every society will have a shared reality. It is inevitable. Without one, a society couldn’t function as a society. For most of human history, this shared reality has been dictated by those in power, but secularism proposed something different. Instead of having our shared reality be dictated to us by whoever held the most power, secularism said it should be based on proof, thereby protecting us from religious domination and granting us individual religious freedom. In a secular society, provable reality is our shared reality

There is much more I want to say on this topic, but I will add just one additional point for now: provable reality is not the same thing as ultimate truth. Consider the existence of God. I believe God exists, but I cannot prove it to you, therefore the existence of God is not part of provable reality, which means that, according to the agreement of secularism, I cannot force you to accept that belief as part of our shared reality. So why should we support this agreement if it means the shared reality of society won’t be based entirely on what we ourselves consider to ultimately be true? We should support it because this agreement applies to everyone: to me, to you, and to everyone else. And it is through this agreement that we all receive protection from religious domination (from each other) and are guaranteed individual religious freedom. We all agree that provable reality will serve as the foundation necessary for our society to function, and as for everything that is outside the realm of proof (the meaning of life, etc), we agree to disagree.

I wish that more religious people would understand this: In the conflict with the LGBT movement, secularism is our friend, not our foe. Secularism declares that our shared reality must be based solely on proof, but gender identity is an unprovable belief. In other words, by forcing their belief in gender identity on others, the LGBT movement is violating secularism. On this topic, secularism is on the side of religious conservatives. If this seems like a hard idea to accept given the current direction of society, then let me point out that the implementation of secularism in the USA today is flawed. We are protected from religious domination by organized religions, but we are not currently protected from religious domination by faith-based movements that claim to not be religious. This is a serious flaw. We need to fix it.

But let me return to the phrase “gender-affirming care”. This “gender” LGBT fundamentalists are referring to is outside the realm of proof. We know this because they rely on self-identity to determine someone’s “gender” instead of empirical tests. You aren’t a “two-spirit” because you took a blood test and it came back “two-spirit”. You’re a “two-spirit” because you said you were a “two-spirit”. That’s not secularism. In secularism, when we want to know how tall someone is, we measure them. When we want to know how much someone weighs, we weigh them. When we want to know someone’s biological sex, we test their anatomy/DNA. That is what secularism is: a shared reality based solely on proof.

So what is gender according to provable reality? It’s our biological sex—because that’s what is actually provable. The word “gender” is simply a euphemism for the word “sex”. And so, the phrase “gender-affirming care” is nonsense in a secular context. This phrase is talking about cutting off the breasts of teenage girls, about castrating boys, about constructing imitation genitals. That isn’t gender-affirming. It’s gender-obscuring.

To obscure is to hide or to conceal, and that is exactly what these medical procedures are meant to do. They are trying to conceal a person’s provable gender (their biological sex). They are trying to make a person’s gender appear to be the opposite of what it actually is.

You are free to believe in gender identity, just like I am free to believe in God, but I can’t force you to accept my unprovable belief in God, and you can’t force me to accept your unprovable belief in gender identity. “Gender-affirming” is religious terminology. In a secular society, these medical procedures are gender-obscuring.

topic: gender identity

A Disbelief in Demigods - Front Cover    Included in the satire and essay collection "A Disbelief in Demigods".

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