A Teacher’s Perspective on School Choice (It’s Parental Choice)

The liberal media pounced on Betsy DeVos after her confirmation hearing last week, alleging that Trump’s nominee for Secretary of Education is a radical Christian who supports “dismantling” public schools.

I teach at one of those private, for-profit, Christian schools that Democrats and their allies in the media are vilifying as one of the greatest threats to our nation’s youth and education system.

Although those opposed to DeVos’ nomination would like to convince you that private and charter schools are designed to serve only affluent whites, in reality, my school’s student body is majority-minority. Many of these kids come from broken homes on the lower end of the socioeconomic spectrum.

This isn’t as rare as the media would lead you to believe. Scholarships and voucher programs, whether privately or publicly funded, allow children to succeed in schools their families would otherwise have been unable to afford. In fact, empirical evidence overwhelmingly indicates that voucher programs improve racial integration in schools.

Many of my students were unable to achieve their full potential in their neighborhood public schools. Their parents were growing frustrated with what their schools were teaching, and were growing worried about their school’s culture of drugs, promiscuity, and insubordination.

In my experience, low-income and minority families who are given the opportunity to attend schools like the one where I teach are so thankful their kids are able to receive a quality education in a safe and edifying environment.

Some of my students have shared with me their experiences attending local public schools. One of my black students carried a gun with him to school as an early teenager to keep himself safe from gang activity. Drug dogs sweep the halls of local public high schools, which also sometimes use metal detectors to check students for weapons.

Apart from concerns about their children’s safety, many families also feel uneasy about the content of their children’s education. In Washington State, for example, schools are now teaching elementary school children that they can choose their gender. Sexual education curricula teach students to use methods of birth control many parents find morally objectionable. And some teachers, schools, and educational standards distort history and science to promote their pet political agendas.

Many of the most vocal critics of DeVos and the educational philosophy she represents contend that the very existence of private schools with different educational philosophies threatens public schools and our social order. These critics oppose any system of school choice that allows parents to choose the school they want to educate their children.

Contrary to the baseless claims of her critics, Betsy DeVos has never supported “dismantling” the public school system. Instead, she is simply working to ensure that those low- and middle-income families who find their local public school insufficient can have the same opportunities as wealthier families that are able pursue other means of education.

Providing more alternatives to public schools wouldn’t necessarily cause an exodus of children from public to private schools, nor would it require that public schools be “dismantled.”

If, in fact, most public schools offer an education superior to that of comparable private schools, families will decide to leave their kids in the public school to which they’ve been assigned. On the other hand, families who worry about their son or daughter attending public school would be able to move him or her to a school that better meets their needs and reflects their values.

No school or educational philosophy is perfect, and a one-size-fits-all system doesn’t really fit all families and students. That’s why choice is so necessary and important.

I’m especially thankful schools like the one at which I teach exist to provide families with an alternative to unsafe, failing schools that teach an educational philosophy antithetical to traditional Judeo-Christian values. Voucher programs like those supported by Betsy DeVos enable families to pursue whatever means of education works best for their children – and that’s something we should all celebrate.

How President-Elect Trump Made Progressives Like “Discrimination” Again

What a difference eight years makes.

When President Obama was elected in 2008, he campaigned on the idea that marriage was a relationship between a man and a woman.

His political party was obviously good with that.

When he leaves office tomorrow, most of that same political party believes that people who hold the position he held when he was elected President should lose their businesses for it.

As a result bakers, florists, print shops, pizza shops owners, photographers, graduate students and fire chiefs suffered the wrath of a mob that somewhere along the way decided that tolerance only meant tolerating beliefs you agreed with or understood.

In principle, Americans have long agreed that “tolerance” is a good thing.

But only recently did we decide that “tolerance” required you to support events, messages, and activities you personally opposed.

But then Donald Trump was elected President.

And that changed everything.

To be sure, it’s a dramatic shift in the nature of the leadership coming from Washington, D.C.

But for progressives, it also required a change in their core principles.

For years they told those who didn’t support their view of marriage and sexuality that abstention was a sign of invidious bigotry. But overnight, it became a moral necessity.

Broadway singer Jennifer Holliday (who had performed for four previous Presidents) agreed to sing the national anthem at the inauguration, but she withdrew after receiving an avalanche of ridicule up to and including death threats and calls for her suicide.

Not only were they willing to tolerate people who declined to participate in certain events, they demanded it.

Ms. Holliday had hoped her voice would help bring people together.   But, as she described it, she didn’t realize that, “We’re not doing America right now.”

When Nicole Kidman tweeted that “…we as a country need to support whoever’s the president because that’s what the country is based on,” the mob demanded (and eventually received) an apology.

As if that statement is something requiring an apology.

The designer who declined to design a dress for Melania Trump was applauded instead of picketed.

When members of the Rockette’s objected to leg-kicking for the President-elect, the progressive mob showed no indignation at their obviously discriminatory preferences but defended their right of conscience.

The difference is obvious.

The mob agrees with their convictions and consequently has sympathy for their decision to abstain.

The hypocrisy, however, is equally obvious.

If you believe in freedom only for those who agree with you, you don’t really believe in freedom.

Progressives will attempt to make a distinction between the singers who opted not to sing at the inauguration and the florists who declined to decorate for a same-sex wedding. “Sexual orientation is a protected class,” they insist, “but whatever category you wish to put Donald Trump into is not.”

But that attempt to make a distinction simply ignores the fact that protected class status is a function of a political majority’s preferences.

What if “presidents who wanted to build a wall on the Mexican boarder” were designated as a protected class who could not be discriminated against?

Should that change the rights of singers to decline to be part of the inauguration?

Of course not.

But under their preferred framework, it would.

It has been commonplace throughout history that those in power would use their power to punish their political opponents until such a time as their political opponents figure out a way to wrestle power away from them and then they use that power to exact revenge.

America isn’t supposed to be that way.

Our Constitution and Bill of Rights were created out of recognition that all of us have rights that must be protected even if no one else agrees with us or even likes us.

And no one has the right to make someone else do something they don’t want to do.

Some of us forgot this over the past eight years, but now we have a chance to remember.

We have the opportunity to reestablish the idea that freedom is good even if the way it is used offends you.

The freedom to “discriminate” isn’t always a crisis because one man’s “discrimination” is another man’s right of conscience.

Sometimes we might be the majority.  Sometimes we might not.  But that shouldn’t have any bearing on whether people can be compelled to do things that violate their conscience.

Conservatives have been making this argument for years.  Now that they’ve lost an election, progressives are coming around as well.

If Trump’s election helped bring us together again on this point, perhaps he is making America great again, already.

Freedom of Association: Does it Exist or Not?

Last month, fashion designer Sophie Theallet said she would refuse to dress First Lady Melania Trump and encouraged fellow designers to follow her lead.

Believing that Donald Trump’s presidential campaign unleashed “the rhetoric of racism, sexism and xenophobia,” Theallet said that her personal convictions of “diversity, individual freedom, and respect for all lifestyles” disallowed her from “dressing or associating in any way” with the first lady.

“As a family-owned company, our bottom line is not just about money. We value our artistic freedom and always humbly seek to contribute to a more humane, conscious and ethical way to create in this world,” Theallet wrote in an email to the fashion designers.

Many of those on the political left cheered Theallet’s courage in taking a bold stand against ideas she finds contemptible. After all, isn’t Theallet’s decision to discriminate against the president-elect’s wife protected under freedom of association, the constitutional right that enables her to decide for herself who she will do business with?

Maybe freedom of association only applies to those on the left?

Ironically, the same people that extolled Theallet’s choice not to dress Melania Trump have long denied that Christians share the same right exercised by the fashion designer.

Here in Washington State, Barronelle Stutzman, a septuagenarian Christian florist, is facing the wrath of the state after she refused to decorate a same-sex wedding. Like Theallet, Stutzman believed that her moral conviction demanded that she not provide a service. And like Theallet, Stutzman felt that her conviction precluded her from using her artistic talents to support or endorse something she views as morally inappropriate.

Unlike Theallet, who was celebrated by liberals everywhere, Stutzman ended up in court being sued for discrimination by the homosexual couple and Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson. Because the state has sued her in her personal and professional capacities, she stands to lose her home, life savings, retirement, and business.

In oral arguments presented to the Washington State Supreme Court last month, Attorney General Ferguson claimed that Christians surrender their right to act upon their religious convictions when they start businesses.

To make matters worse, Stutzman isn’t alone. Christians in other states are also being targeted for exercising their right to free association – the same right that protects Theallet’s decision not to dress the wife of a man who holds views she believes to be immoral.

According to the ACLU, “Religion is being used as an excuse to discriminate against and harm others…. The ACLU works to defend religious liberty and to ensure that no one is either discriminated against nor denied services because of someone else’s religious beliefs.”

I’d love to ask the ACLU why they believe it’s permissible for a fashion designer to discriminate against First Lady Trump because of political convictions, yet it’s unacceptable for a Christian to refrain from using her artistic expression for an event she finds morally objectionable.

Our nation’s founding fathers believed that all individuals, including business owners, were entitled to freedom of association. Businesses and customers had the right to decide whether they wanted to do business with someone else. If the other party engaged in morally objectionable behaviors, or if the other party was asking you to violate your personal convictions, then you had the right to refuse to do business with them.

Yet the political left, which has long denied that businesses and individuals possess this fundamental right in issues of sexual orientation and religious conviction, seems perfectly fine with a fashion designer not providing a professional service to the First Lady of the United States.

This intellectual dishonesty from the political left is noxious.

America needs to decide whether it will remain faithful to its historical tradition of protecting freedom of association and other conscience rights for everyone, regardless of their religious and political beliefs. If not, it needs to apply the standard consistently. There shouldn’t be a different standard for Christian florists and liberal fashion designers.

Blaine Conzatti is a columnist and 2016 Research Fellow at the Family Policy Institute of Washington. He can be reached at Blaine@FPIW.org.

10 Reasons Trump’s Election Could Be Good for Social Conservatives

So guess what? That guy with the bad hair who yells “you’re fired” at people on the Apprentice? Yeah. He just got elected President.

While the reactions are mixed across the political spectrum, the result could be good news for social conservatives across the country.

Here are ten reasons social conservatives (whether you voted for him or not) have some reason for optimism.

  1. Planned Parenthood can be defunded. The House and Senate both passed legislation to defund Planned Parenthood that was vetoed by President Obama. Trump has said he would sign legislation if it came to his desk which would require Planned Parenthood to go fund themselves.
  1. The Supreme Court will not be stacked with progressives. When Justice Antonin Scalia died, it left a vacancy on the court that remains unfilled. If Hillary Clinton had nominated Scalia’s replacement, the harm to the First Amendment and life could have been devastating. However, if President-elect Trump follows through on his commitment to nominate an originalist justice to the bench, it will likely mean good things for civil liberties and the protection of the unborn.
  1. ObamaCare can be repealed. Multiple times, Congress passed legislation to repeal ObamaCare along with its promotion of abortion and multiple threats to conscience rights. President Obama, however, was in no mood to repeal legislation that is the foundation of his legacy. President-elect Trump has promised repeatedly to repeal ObamaCare and will begin his term with Congressional leadership that has repeatedly shown a willingness to do so.
  1. The open bathroom mandate can be removed. Earlier this year, President Obama issued a memo telling every school district in the country that they would lose education funding unless they forced the girls in their schools to share showers and locker rooms with boys who believe they are girls. A new memo from a new President can eliminate this threat as quickly as it was created.
  1. The Health and Human Service Mandate can be repealed: After ObamaCare was passed, the Department of Health and Human Services issued a mandate that requires all employer health plans to provide free contraceptives, sterilizations and abortion-inducing drugs, regardless of any moral or religious objections. This is the mandate that put Little Sisters of the Poor, a nunnery, at odds with the federal government because they did not want to pay for contraceptives. However, since this mandate was simply an agency directive rather than an act of Congress, a new directive from new agency leadership can solve the problem quickly.
  1. The Hyde Amendment will not be repealed. The Hyde Amendment prohibits the use of federal funds for abortion and the abortion industry has wanted to get rid of it for decades. Secretary Clinton had promised to do her best to get rid of the Hyde Amendment if elected. However, with pro-life majorities in Congress and the White House, the Hyde Amendment looks to be very safe.
  1. The Johnson Amendment can be repealed. For years, churches in America have lived under threat of IRS punishment if they did or said something “political”. This is because in 1954, then Senator Lyndon B. Johnson passed a rule prohibiting religious 501(c)3 organizations from engaging in “electioneering”.   While the threat is largely a paper tiger (no church has ever lost their tax exempt status for saying something about politics) it remains a source of great confusion in religious communities. During the campaign, Mr. Trump promised to repeal the Johnson Amendment to clarify that churches are free to speak and act according to their faith without fear of IRS reprisal.
  1. Hope for the Pain-Capable Abortion Act. Earlier this year, Congress passed the Pain Capable Abortion act making it illegal to kill a baby who is capable of feeling pain after 20 weeks gestation. While Trump has not made a public statement about this legislation specifically, it is difficult to imagine him using a veto on it if it were to pass Congress.
  1. Hope for the First Amendment Defense Act (FADA). Earlier this year, legislation was introduced in Congress that would prohibit the government from discriminating against people because of their beliefs. The legislation is necessary because people like Chief Kelvin Cochran are increasingly being fired from public sector jobs simply because of their beliefs. FADA was well received in Congress but almost certain to be vetoed in a Clinton Administration. Now, it has a very real chance.
  1. Protecting Religious Education. This year in California, progressives attempted to pass legislation that would cut off religious institutions from access to federal loans or aid because of their beliefs about marriage, gender, and sexuality. If that effort was successful at the federal level, estimates are that sixty percent of Christian universities would be forced to close their doors.   While state battles around this issue are likely to continue, yesterday’s election results all but guarantee this assault on religious education is no longer imminent at the federal level.

One election does not solve our cultural or political challenges, but for social conservatives who have been wandering in the wilderness for eight years, there is reason for optimism.

But do not be naïve enough to believe the work is over now that the election is over. Political pressures will once again pressure those who talked a good game during campaign season to take the path of least resistance during legislating season.

As the saying goes, if it is to be, it is up to me. Let’s make it happen.

Opinion: What Would Life for Christians Look Like Under a Clinton Presidency?

During the second presidential debate, Gorbah Hamed, a Muslim woman, asked Donald Trump to address her fears about living as a Muslim in the United States following the presidential election.

This isn’t the first time the media has asked questions about what life for Muslims would look like under a Trump presidency, and rightly so. Ever since Trump infamously proposed banning Muslims from entering the United States, journalists have been eagerly raising questions about whether the Republican nominee is a closeted Islamophobe, anxiously awaiting the opportunity to deny Muslims their constitutional rights.

Ironically (or not, depending on your opinions about the news media), I haven’t yet heard journalists ask an analogous question of Secretary Clinton: What would life for Christians look like under a Clinton presidency?

What reasons has Mrs. Clinton given for Christians to be so concerned about their constitutional right to live according to the precepts of their faith and the dictates of their consciences?

First, Clinton supports coercive non-discrimination statutes that trample upon the consciences of religious organizations and Christian business owners.

In remarks made to an event hosted by the militantly anti-Christian Human Rights Campaign, Clinton voiced her support for the Federal Equality Act. Critics warn that the Federal Equality Act would dismantle the essential pillars of religious liberty protections by amending the 1964 Civil Rights Act to include protections for sexual orientation and gender identity.

If signed by President Clinton, the Federal Equality Act could be used to compel Christian colleges to allow transgender biological males to live in female dorms. Likewise, Christian ministries should expect penalties if they refuse to employ practicing homosexuals. And Catholic adoption agencies could lose their licenses to operate if they follow their Church’s teaching by refusing to provide their services to same-sex couples. (Catholic adoption agencies have already stopped operating in both Massachusetts and Illinois because of similar state non-discrimination laws – an unfortunate development for the tens of thousands of children waiting to be adopted every year).

Mrs. Clinton also decried the Supreme Court’s ruling that allows Christian-owned companies like Hobby Lobby to refrain from providing abortifacients to employees. She called the Supreme Court’s affirmation of the business owners’ right of conscience “deeply disturbing.”

Under a Clinton administration, religious organizations and Christian business owners who don’t agree with the federal government’s revolutionary legal assaults on life, marriage, and gender should anticipate being given two options: repudiate the doctrines of your faith or expect the fist of government to squash you.

Second, consider Hillary Clinton’s comments at the 2015 Women in the World Summit regarding abortion. In her keynote address, she expressed her regret that too many women are “denied” reproductive healthcare [code word: abortion] and expressly stated that “deep seated cultural codes, religious beliefs and structural biases have to be changed.”

Christians find Clinton’s radical positions on abortion even more frightening when they realize that the Progressive Left, which is financing Clinton’s candidacy, supports using the federal government to force Christian doctors and hospitals to provide abortions, violating the most sacred human right protected by the First Amendment.

Third, Mrs. Clinton would nominate far-left judges who share her vision to limit the constitutional rights of Christians. The battle for religious liberty will be fought in court – and if Hillary Clinton is able to nominate judges of her choosing, that battle for religious liberty will be lost.

Christians have a lot to fear from a Clinton administration concerning their rights. Mrs. Clinton has made it clear that she’s not going to respect the constitutional protections of religious liberty, freedom of conscience, free speech, free association, and liberty of contract.

The mainstream media’s silence about Mrs. Clinton’s hostility toward the rights of Christians is revealing. Muslims are justifiably concerned about Mr. Trump rising to our nation’s highest office, and it is appropriate for the media to share those concerns with the public. So, too, are Christians justifiably concerned about Mrs. Clinton winning the election – but their concerns are being dismissed and buried by journalists with a political agenda.

Blaine Conzatti is a columnist and 2016 Research Fellow at the Family Policy Institute of Washington. He can be reached at Blaine@FPIW.org.

Two Bad Reasons Christians Won’t Get Involved in This Election

We are now less than two weeks from the election. While there is a lot that people are fighting about, the one thing everyone seems to agree on is that we’re ready for it to be over; in a dead man walking kind of way.

Within the church, people are disagreeing as well. One side says Donald Trump is too bad of a person to vote for, while the other side says that we have to vote for him because to allow Hillary to become President is a death sentence for the Supreme Court and many of our civil liberties.

But there’s another voice that sometimes chimes in as a kind of referee encouraging everyone to relax. And they have some really spiritual arguments for why we shouldn’t be that worried about it.

So here are my two favorite “Christian” reasons for being ambivalent.

  1. God is in Charge Anyway

This is basically the sovereignty of God argument. It says that, “God is still going to be God regardless of who is elected, so chill out.” From a strictly logical sense, this argument is the fallacy known as the non sequitur. Which means the conclusion does not follow logically from the premise.

It’s like saying, “Burritos are yummy so I should buy a new car.” Burritos are in fact yummy, but my decision to buy a car should be determined more by things like need and my ability to afford one. Burritos are going to be yummy regardless.

It is true that God is in charge, but our responsibilities and obligations are given to us independent of that fact. After all, God is also in charge if I neglect to pay my mortgage, abandon my family, or set off a nuclear bomb in the middle of a city.

Indeed, if we think it significant that God is always in charge, we should contemplate the implication of the command to occupy until he returns (Luke 19:13), seek the welfare of the city to which he has sent us (Jeremiah 29:7), and cast down every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God. (2 Cor 10:5).

Of course God’s sovereignty is always relevant to our lives, it’s just not always instructive to our choices and should never be an excuse for passivity.

For those of us who are more inclined to panic at the current state of affairs and live in a state of perpetual fear, the fact that God is good and always in charge should comfort us and allow us to trust Him and be confident regardless of the circumstances.

But ultimately, it should lead us to be more interested in His purposes for us in our current circumstances, not less.

  1. Persecution will be good for us.

This argument says essentially that, “I know things are bad and getting worse, but maybe shouldn’t do anything about it. After all, I’ve read Revelation and the decline is inevitable. Maybe we should embrace the loss of religious freedom and be ok with the government taking control of our churches, universities, non-profits, businesses, and families. After all, a little persecution will be good for us.”

What would your life be like today if our Founding Father’s took this position?

The first reason we know this is a bad argument is that no one would be willing to make it outside America.

Raise your hand if you’re willing to tell a Christian brother in Syria, Iran, or Nigeria how much you’re looking forward to experiencing a little persecution so our churches can flourish.

I’m sure we’d all become a bit sheepish at the sight of the machete scar across his face.

We should be prepared to obey regardless of what happens in the future, but that should never become indifference to what happens in the future, particularly when we are in a position to influence it.

Remember, if persecution happens in any form, that means bad things are happening to real people. In the Middle East, parents are forced to watch their kids be executed unless they recant their faith. In America, businesses are forced to shut down. Different degrees of bad, but still bad.

The church has been created in Christ Jesus for good works (Eph 2:10). We were not created to allow some harm because it will be good for us.

Of course God can take even the worst circumstances and make something beautiful from it, but if bad things start happening to our friends, neighbors, and churches, it should be despite our best efforts, not because of our passivity.

In 2014, it is estimated that only 20 million of the 60 million evangelicals in America filled out a ballot. That’s a lot of influence for good that was never leveraged.

Sometimes the reason we aren’t engaged is that we don’t know how to. We’ve tried to help in this election cycle by providing a voter guide that will help you identify which candidates share your worldview and value system. You can also access it by texting your zip code to 77039.

But sometimes we aren’t engaged because we’ve convinced ourselves we don’t need to be.

There are many things people within the church can disagree about this election season, including what to do with Trump v. Clinton. But we should all be able to agree that we won’t be afraid, we won’t be indifferent to evil, and we don’t quit because it’s challenging.

Why? Because we all want to be like Jesus.

What in the World is Going on at UW?

CNBC Contributor and University of Washington student Benji Backer sat down with Joseph Backholm and Zach Freeman this week for a discussion on the University of Washington and their efforts to ensure that every students gets a button to wear that clearly shows their preferred gender pronoun.  Teachers are also being asked to add their preferred pronoun to their email signatures.

Of course, the University of Washington has not been known in recent days to have the most discerning policies in regards to privacy and safety, nor do its students appear able to take a stand on, well…anything.

Trans Activists Trying to Make Parents Decide: Castration or Suicide?

By Silence*

Disagree with transgender activists for very long at all and they’ll probably accuse of you of causing the deaths of transgender people.

That was the case when a feminist conference planned an event where they would sell cupcakes decorated to look like women’s genitalia. The organizers were told that linking the idea of women with female reproductive organs was, “literally the primary tenet of trans-exterminatory feminism* and that branch of feminism has literally killed** trans women.” They were told, “Trans women are dying and you are aiding and abetting in that. You are complicit in that. YOU ARE KILLING*** TRANS WOMEN WITH YOUR BELIEFS.”

To be clear, the deadly belief in question is that the word “woman” means an adult female human. Transgender advocates may insist that this idea originated with white colonialists**** and is now maintained only by religious people and radical feminists, a claim so silly it’s embarrassing to even repeat.

(But thanks for the idea about talking to conservatives, that was a good tip! Next thing you know, social justice overachievers will call for the abolishment of criminal penalties for rape, and I wonder how they’ll paint the cross-partisan opposition to that? Hold on. Sorry. Not funny. They have already begun to call for the abolishment of criminal penalties for rape. If you don’t agree, you’re “carceral.”)

After a flood of other abuse, the event was cancelled. It’s not the only time a like-themed feminist event was challenged for this reason. It’s hard to know what to say to people who claim to be mortally threatened by a simple cupcake party, without any threats made or any hate symbols displayed.

More recently, University of Toronto professor Jordan Peterson declared that he didn’t want to be compelled by law to use the singular, gender-neutral “they,” or other preferred pronouns, for students. When accosted over these beliefs by a student who claims to be non-binary and wants to be called they, as this video shows, it only takes about three and a half minutes for the professor to be accused of being complicit in transgender homelessness, unemployment, and suicide. At the 4:28 mark, the student accuses the professor of creating alienation that results in suicide.

The transgender activist argument for disagreement as mortal threat has two parts.

In the first place, there are violent men who may assault or kill transgender people because they feel threatened by uncertainty about the other person’s sex. Often, these men are connected to the sex trade or other illegal activities. No one in transgender activism makes this connection, because they usually support the full legalization of the sex trade and so refuse to face the root of much of the problem. They also don’t want anyone talking about the death rates for prostituted women, which are similarly high because the sex industry is traumatic and the pimps and customers (graphic content warning) are often especially violent people.

Secondly, there are claims made that transgender persons have a very high suicide rate. The issue calls for discretion and respect; no one should do themselves harm nor be encouraged to do so. But a suicide threat made to compel obedience is a common tactic of domestic abusers. It is manipulative and cruel. A distinction has to be made between sensitively dealing with at-risk populations and giving in to abusive threats, or accepting deeply flawed excuses for terrible behavior.

As unnerving as such accusations of harm are, and they are routine in any disagreement with transgender activists, some people are more vulnerable to these comments than others. None more than the parents of minors who’ve come to believe that they’re trapped in the “wrong” body for their personality.

Public mob activism and misguided laws have made it increasingly difficult for therapists and medical professionals to recommend any option besides chemical castration for young patients who have trouble fitting into sex stereotyped roles. Institutions and practitioners have rushed to cash in. Some parents are enthusiastic about the idea of transitioning their children. Yet others still sometimes resist the intense pressure to treat their children’s psychological or social distress with sterilization.

For these families, there’s the suicide threat. Sometimes, peer encounters on message boards or elsewhere coach would-be transitioners to ask the question of whether the parent wants “a dead son or an alive daughter” (graphic content warning.) Sometimes, the dire warning comes from a medical professional, as it does in the following video, where Diane Ehrensaft explains how she convinces nervous mothers and fathers to accept the chemical castration of their young children.

Diane Ehrensaft: Parents need to be “worked with” to consent to sterilizing their 11-year-old “trans” kids from 4th Wavenow on Vimeo.

Never mind the questionable nature of widely reported statistics on transgender suicide. Never mind the simplistic and sensational reporting, which ignores all the recommended guidelines about preventing suicidal contagion. Never mind that some parents of autistic children, who are already at greater risk of suicide, worry that their children are being wrongly diagnosed as transgender.

No, it’s allegedly “child abuse” to ask any questions about whether transsexual medical experiments are an appropriate treatment for children. It’s not up for debate.

According to the transgender movement, everyone must just keep asking if they want children sterilized or dead. Sterilized or dead? Sterilized or dead? Sterilized or dead? Sterilized or dead? Sterilized or dead? Sterilized or dead? Sterilized or dead? Sterilized or dead? Sterilized or dead?

Though maybe, hear me out, a boy wanting to wear a Dora the Explorer costume isn’t a medical emergency?

* – There is no such thing as trans-exterminatory radical feminism. “TERF” is a slur (graphic content warning.)

** – Not true. Sexual dimorphism isn’t a feminist plot, deadly or otherwise.

*** – Still not true, or how can any of you survive the existence of biology textbooks?

**** – I’m not an anthropologist, but it seems to me that people from outside of Western Europe had also figured out how babies are made before white people showed up.


*Silence is the pseudonym of a radical, progressive feminist.

“For reasons of personal safety and livelihood, I cannot disclose my real identity. But I can tell you this much: I’m a progressive feminist who has spent years working on the front lines of the left. I have opposed conservatism my entire political life in the most strident of terms; under other circumstances, I wouldn’t admit to even reading this site.”

Donald Trump Could Make This One Problem Go Away Today

by Silence*

trumpIf you’ve found yourself outraged by the story of Donald Trump walking in on beauty pageant contestants in their changing room, while they were undressed, including minor girls, consider this:

Donald Trump could make this story go away tomorrow if he came out as a trans woman or non-binary and, in our current media climate, no one would ever bring it up again.

Why would it be news that a woman had walked into a women’s dressing room and seen other women naked?

Gender identity laws make just that much sense.

Meet Chase Strangio, an ACLU lawyer working hard to ensure that any man can walk in on women anywhere, just because he feels womanly sometimes. Whatever it means to “feel like a woman.”

“When pushed on the reality that there are no public safety risks to extending legal protections to trans people, anti-trans lawmakers have made clear that the core of the problem is just the very existence of trans people in single-sex spaces. There is, they contend, a privacy interest for non-transgender people in not seeing and not being seen by a trans person.

Here’s that last sentence in plain English: There is, they contend, a privacy interest for women in not seeing and not being seen by men, and vice versa.

Yes, I do contend that. I don’t want men walking in on me undressing without my permission. I don’t want to see men taking their clothes off unexpectedly. I don’t want laws protecting bodily privacy to be enforceable everywhere except bathrooms, locker rooms, women’s shelters, women’s prisons, OB/GYN offices, in the administration of urine tests, or during strip and pat-down searches where female staff could be forced to search biological males, or vice versa.

OB/GYN offices? Oh, yes. To see how far Strangio’s vision and that of the transgender movement diverges from most people’s understanding of the right to bodily privacy, consider this passage from the Lambda Legal briefing on the Equality Act, which has 178 cosponsors in the House and Senate.

“The Equality Act does not alter the general reach and applicability of the bona fide occupational qualifications (BFOQ) defense. However, when a BFOQ is used to justify employment or training decisions on the basis of sex, individuals must be recognized as qualified in accordance with their gender identity. It is important to note that courts have deemed very few BFOQs to be permissible in practice.”

That sounds so reasonable. Here’s what it means: if a man says he is a woman and he works in a medical office, he has to be treated by everyone on staff as if he is a woman. This includes when a female patient at an OB/GYN office requests only female staff for her examinations, or asks for a female chaperone. Here’s a health care industry perspective on some of the very few BFOQs allowed by the courts.

“For example, although the BFOQ defense will not serve as a valid justification for an airline to hire only women as flight attendants to comply with male customer preferences, the privacy interests of psychiatric patients can justify a BFOQ for personal hygiene attendants of the same sex,” [Kimani Paul-Emile, JD, associate professor of law at Fordham University School of Law] says. “To this end, courts have held that for certain workers, such as nursing assistants, hospital delivery room nursing staff, and others involved in assisting individuals with dressing, disrobing, or bathing, gender may be a legitimate BFOQ for accommodating patients’ privacy or modesty interests.”

To get back to the beginning, Chase Strangio’s vision of the law means that when a female patient asks for a female personal hygiene attendant, it would be discriminatory to refuse care from a man who believes that he is a woman. Strangio and the rest of the transgender movement would like this to be the law of the land, and they have no problem with shaming even young girls who dissent.

I don’t know if all the Democrats who co-sponsored the Equality Act realize that this is the consequence of a policy that they have promised they will pass into law if they get the chance. Yet it constitutes an invasion of women’s privacy beyond even the apparently voyeuristic intentions of one, Donald Trump, who is also in favor of ending sex-segregated spaces through gender identity laws.

My friends on the left want women to be able to say no to unwanted invasions of our privacy, as well as to any unwanted touching. What to make of a policy that would allow men to walk into our changing rooms and strip in front of us? What to think about congressional Democrats telling women that they have to accept men helping them with their bathing and intimate care needs?

Have Democrats read the testimony on transgender prisoners in the UK that was submitted to a parliamentary inquiry on transgender equality by the British Association of Gender Identity Specialists?

“The converse is the ever-increasing tide of referrals of patients in prison serving long or indeterminate sentences for serious sexual offences. These vastly outnumber the number of prisoners incarcerated for more ordinary, non-sexual, offences. It has been rather naïvely suggested that nobody would seek to pretend transsexual status in prison if this were not actually the case. There are, to those of us who actually interview the prisoners, in fact very many reasons why people might pretend this…”

What do Democrats think about women in prison having to bunk with violent men who think they’re women (graphic content), or judges letting off male sex offenders because they’re now “women,” as can happen in the UK and other countries with expansive gender identity recognition laws?

To look at how it would go in the US if we adopted the same gender identity laws as the UK has, let’s take the case of the recently convicted Kryzie King, who brutally beat, starved, and tortured a 4-year-old boy to death in 2014, when Myls Dobson’s father was forced to leave the boy in King’s care. King is listed by the Department of Corrections as male, and was housed in a men’s detention facility while awaiting trial. But King claims to be a transgender woman. Here’s a headline reporting on the case: Woman charged in death of Myls Dobson said she ‘tried to show him the love’.

Kryzie King is male, and the State of New York knows it. Yet state employees and media reporting on the case have had to refer to King as if he were a woman, and leaving out significant details regarding his past. New York’s gender identity laws demand that everyone go along with this or be at risk of being charged with discrimination, possibly subject to fines of up to $250,000.

Right now, to the chagrin of the Sylvia Rivera Law Project, King won’t be able to change his legal sex to female while incarcerated. Will this one protection for female prisoners in New York State be removed if the Equality Act is passed, or if court decisions render biological sex meaningless in the law? A 2009 study of 332 transgender male inmates in California determined that a total of 49 percent were incarcerated for crimes against persons, including the 20 percent of the study group who were registered sex offenders.

Do my friends on the left really want Kryzie King, who accepted a plea deal for a sentence of 22 years to life, to be able to change his legal sex markers and serve his time in a women’s prison? That’s something that even the State of New York, which has some of the most extreme gender identity policies in the nation, stopped short of allowing.

Kryzie King says he is a woman. Who are any of us to deny it if federal law insists that it’s discriminatory to claim otherwise. What does it matter if the women he would be housed with don’t want him showering with them, neither wanting to see him naked or to be seen naked by him? Will there be as much sympathy for these women as there is today for Donald Trump’s alleged beauty pageant victims?

I suspect Chase Strangio’s sympathies would begin and end with Kryzie King, with nothing spared for the women affected by him. Is that the true consensus of the Democratic Party and its members?

If it happens to be an awkward time for Democrats to bring this up, too bad. Women have been trying to warn them about these problems with gender identity laws for years and they have turned around and thrown us out of their politics for our troubles.

Not that it’s anything brand new.  If the men in the Democratic Party really cared about women, where are the charges filed against PR executive Trevor Fitzgibbon, whose firm closed down over widespread allegations of sexual harassment and assault? Maybe the women who spoke out against him know all too well what would happen to their career prospects if they took a liberal man to court for workplace misconduct. Transgender activism didn’t invent misogyny on the left, after all.

The question remains, will they listen before we have to come up with millions of stories about being assaulted by men who think they’re women, or will the incidents we’ve seen already be enough?

Women aren’t irrationally phobic of transgender people. We are afraid of men, because many of us have seen them behave badly towards us in private. There’s no evidence that men who think they’re women are any different than the rest. Democrats should stop pretending they don’t know what we mean, even as they ride to soaring heights in the polls on the strength of our outrage about male violence. That’s not okay with me.


*Silence is the pseudonym of a radical, progressive feminist.

“For reasons of personal safety and livelihood, I cannot disclose my real identity. But I can tell you this much: I’m a progressive feminist who has spent years working on the front lines of the left. I have opposed conservatism my entire political life in the most strident of terms; under other circumstances, I wouldn’t admit to even reading this site.”

The Important Difference Between Sex and Gender

By Silence*

Second trigger warning: Zack Ford

Earlier this week, we talked about how Zack Ford at ThinkProgress, an editor at one of the most respected publications in left-wing politics, has begun advocating forcible genital amputation for children.

Let’s get back to wondering how anyone can be as cheerfully self-satisfied as Zack Ford about promoting the sterilization of minors as an uncontrolled exercise in off-label intervention for body dysphoria, social alienation, or depression. Because there is almost no data available on the long-term effects of these treatments, since hardly anyone has been systematically tracking patients.

Medicare won’t even cover transsexual medical treatments because there isn’t enough evidence about patient outcomes.

The drugs used weren’t developed for this purpose. Patients receiving them haven’t been consistently studied for side effects over the roughly two decades that this type of treatment has been more commonly taking place. Calling these interventions “experimental” is praise they don’t deserve, given the way they have been haphazardly administered and monitored in these off-label uses.

Parents are diagnosing their kids off of YouTube. Kids are self-diagnosing off of Reddit forums where they’re told by complete strangers that if they’re questioning, they’re definitely transgender based on ridiculous stereotypes. Children are being diagnosed by their peers, who tell them that they’re doing gender wrong and seem more like the opposite sex. So when did schoolyard bullying become a clinical diagnostic tool?

One clinician tried to enact the “watchful waiting” protocol recommended by every major medical body that’s studied the issue, in light of the fact that well over 70 percent of children with gender or sex dysphoria eventually grow out of it. Trans activists threatened him, spread lies about him, got him fired, and got his entire clinic shut down.

Maybe dysphoric young people could be allowed to be a little different than their peers and no one would have to read much into it?

If conservatives were proposing that sex stereotype-nonconforming, mentally ill, or developmentally disabled kids be sterilized, liberals would be organizing capitol building shutdowns in protest of this alarming eugenics revivalbordering on genocide. But liberals are proposing it using words that make everyone feel like they need an advanced degree to just repeat them. So no protests.

The transgender activist lobby has done everything in their power to mainstream the radical feminist idea that sex and gender are different, which is true, as the American College of Pediatricians says. Your biology doesn’t have anything to do with wearing pants, putting on makeup, or playing with certain children’s toys. Your sex doesn’t have anything to do with whether you’re shy or like math. Sex doesn’t determine personality or ability.

Then these activists said that you couldn’t use the term transsexual because not everyone who isn’t a sex stereotype wants to get medical treatment to change their bodies. That’s also true. But then they started using sex and gender interchangeably, and confusingly, while normalizing medical treatment at ever-younger ages.

This chain of reasoning is hiding the fact that they’re trying to sell the world on the idea that there are transsexual children. Every time you read about transgender children, replace that term with transsexual, and see how you feel about it.

Ultimately, this all means that the gender identity activist lobby believes there are children who need sterilization and genital amputation as minors in order to not kill themselves. If this sounds terrible, that’s because it is. That’s probably why they don’t just come out and say what they want.

Where were these children before surgery was available? Where were all the boys who insisted that they would die if not castrated? Where were all the girls who insisted that they would die if they couldn’t cut their breasts off? Since when has it been conclusively proved that genital amputation is a good treatment for depression?

These medical procedures have been called everything from essential health care, to gender confirmation, to sex reassignment. One thing is certain about them though: they can’t make someone the other sex. They can chemically castrate you or amputate your gonads, but they can’t give you functional, opposite-sex reproductive organs.

Here are other things you should know about sex and gender.

2015 study of teenagers being treated at the Children’s Hospital Los Angeles gender clinic showed that their hormone levels before treatment were normal for their actual sex. A 2013 study found no genetic anomalies in the sex-determining chromosomes for adult male transsexuals. The true intersex conditions that transgender activists cite as proving that biological sex is a “construct” only affect 0.018 percent of the population, and everyone else has an obviously male or female reproductive system. Intersex conditions are separate from, and rarely have anything to do with, gender identity claims.

A very robust 2015 study of brain differences by sex found that there is almost no brain difference by sex. Even differences in spatial rotation ability appear to be influenced by socialization and aren’t “hardwired.” In the words of one neuroscientist: “There is not one aspect of the brain even which if a scientist looked at it they could tell whether it came from a man or a woman.” If you can’t say that a man has a male brain, how can you say he has a female brain?

Yet Zack Ford holds up a thin review of several small studies as conclusive evidence that gender identity conditions are biological, in much the same way as eye color or height. This is from the introduction of that review:

“Gender identity is a fundamental human attribute that has a profound impact on personal well-being. Transgender individuals are those whose lived and identified gender identity differs from their natal sex. Various etiologies for transgender identity have been proposed, but misconceptions that gender identity can be altered persist. However, clinical experience with treatment of transgender persons has clearly demonstrated that the best outcomes for these individuals are achieved with their requested hormone therapy and surgical sexual transition as opposed to psychiatric intervention alone.[1] In this review, we will discuss the data in support of a fixed, biologic basis for gender identity.”

Do you believe that there are really transsexual toddlers and preteens? Do you believe that men who’ve married and fathered children, then transition to live as women, are the right people to treat as expert authorities on the need for the sterilization of children based on their own mid-life worries about appearance?

I’ve read a girl’s interest in toys like dinosaurs and Legos being taken as proof she was really a boy. This should be terrifying to any other grown woman who enjoyed Legos or reading about dinosaurs as a child. Would we now be tracked into testosterone treatment and a mastectomy? This isn’t progress. It’s a warning to children that they need to play with the “right” toys, and wear the “right” clothes, and not do anything to stand out from the crowd at school, or they may be socially transitioned and sterilized before they’re old enough to know what that means.

This August, a young woman who transitioned and had a mastectomy at the age of 17, at a clinic that now claims a 0% desistance rate in pediatric transition, asked other detransitioning women to answer a survey. She heard back from 203 of them, but transgender health professionals are already dismissing these experiences. It’s worth clicking over and reading through, because people like Zack Ford would like to pretend that these women don’t exist, and they should know better, because this isn’t new.

It’s just inconvenient for people who want to convince the public that there are children who were born needing to be neutered.

So if you have kids, you don’t have to be guilted by anyone into letting a doctor cut your daughter’s breasts off, or hollow out your son’s testes, because they might look wrong when they get older. You don’t have to let anyone tell your child that their entire body is “wrong” and a tragic birth defect, or be made to feel like a monster because you think they’re perfect as they are. You don’t have to believe, because it isn’t true, that a minor is ready to decide whether or not they might ever want children as an adult.

It’s not a hate crime to tell a child, as their parent, that you’re going to do your best to get them to 18 in one piece, in as healthy a body as they could have. It’s not a hate crime to refuse to treat teenage depression or anxiety, especially if it’s caused by bullying at school, with hormone blockers, cross-sex hormones, breast binders, or genital surgery.

Zack Ford thinks he’s protecting vulnerable people from bullies. What he’s doing is helping pressure vulnerable kids into thinking that hormones and surgery will fix the (common as dirt) feeling that they don’t fit in, and unethically holding the threat of suicide over the heads of worried parents. You don’t have to take his warped perspective seriously.


*Silence is the pseudonym of a radical, progressive feminist.

“For reasons of personal safety and livelihood, I cannot disclose my real identity. But I can tell you this much: I’m a progressive feminist who has spent years working on the front lines of the left. I have opposed conservatism my entire political life in the most strident of terms; under other circumstances, I wouldn’t admit to even reading this site.”