Even liberals balk at where gender wars are headed


The trans-teen social contagion, and its conflict with parents’ rights, is now so well-established even the prestige progressive press has been forced to notice. The New York Times caused a stir last week by asking families, educators and teens: Should parents be informed when a teen identifies as transgender and doesn’t want mom and dad to know?

Yes. Obviously. What’s striking about the article is just how many once-progressive parents struggle with this question — but are also starting to wonder if things have gone too far.
Liberals who cheered for gay rights and tell their kids “Be your true self” suddenly have a teen who insists being his or her “true self” means irreversible surgeries and infertility.
And they want this at an age when it’s not even legal to get a tattoo.

“Like Saturn, the revolution devours its children.” These words were written in 1793, by a Frenchman appalled at the madness the French Revolution unleashed. He was right: Revolutions have a momentum of their own. And America’s sexual revolution follows the same pattern. What began with war on the rules governing sex has become war on every natural bond and limit — even those of our biology.

And this revolution is devouring American children.

Pro-transgender protest
Many trans activists want children to be able to gender-affirming surgeries while still minors.
SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Parents who cheered on earlier stages of the revolution now stand helplessly by as state-empowered ideologues do an end run around their loving authority and butcher their troubled teens under their noses. Meanwhile, a chilling recent case in Virginia shows the path this carves for even darker forms of “freedom” waiting in the wings for those children “liberated” from their parents’ oversight.

Is it time to put the brakes on? Too late, sorry! Having “liberated” sex from babies and “liberated” marriage from procreation, the revolution isn’t stopping now. Far from it: Activists want to “liberate” identity from biology — and kids from their parents. And they have friends in the White House: President Biden’s Assistant Health Secretary Rachel (formerly Richard) Levine, who is transgender, is hell-bent on “protecting trans kids,” which is to say undermining parents’ authority to stop their own children from making irreversible surgical decisions based on “gender identity.”

Levine is only the tip of the iceberg. A growing body of state law favors kids’ “freedom” over parents’ authority. In Washington, for example, laws governing doctor/patient confidentiality and school-based health centers combine to mean a Washington-based 13-year-old girl can get testosterone injections at school, without any need for her parents to consent — or even know it’s happening. In Oregon, too, minors can access transgender interventions at taxpayers’ expense — and without their parents’ consent.

Purple Friday in the Netherlands.
A Washington-based 13-year-old girl can get testosterone injections at school, without any need for her parents to consent.
Ramon van Flymen/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock

The revolutionaries will tell you this simply reflects progress in our understanding of children’s rights. But take note: Naïve youngsters struggling for independence are a target for predators. And the most vulnerable youths are those who lack attentive, authoritative loving parental oversight.

This has no doubt always been true. But the gender-activist push to undermine parental authority is pouring fuel on the fire. Take the chilling recent story of “Sage,” a 14-year-old from Virginia who was trafficked for horrific abuse not once but twice after the teen’s school hid her “gender identity” from her parents. Sage’s “liberation” from loving parental authority, driven by an activist lawyer who bullied her to lie to judges, turned out to be into the sadistic hands of rapists and sex traffickers.

And make no mistake: There will be many more Sages.

Recent laws enacted by California’s LGBTQ+ fanatic state Sen. Scott Wiener have turned the Golden State into a legislative sinkhole, where parental authority evaporates the moment you say “gender” — even if you live out of state.

Once in California, a young person need only get themselves declared abandoned in a family court and have the state assume custody, and hey, presto: no more “No” from Mom and Dad. And as investigative writer Abigail Shrier shows, this will create a “predators’ paradise.”

It’s not the case that every activist working to “emancipate” teens from parental authority in the name of gender is a closet sex trafficker or child molester. But they’re still carrying water for them.

Disillusioned ex-liberals: It’s time to pick a side. If we accept that a 13-year-old can “consent” to a double mastectomy or hormones that will sterilize her for life, what else can she “consent” to? You may still have some fondness for the movement flying under the banner of “LGBTQ+ rights.” But look at where it’s going. It’s waging war on parents’ loving authority over their kids, replacing the natural bonds of family with a wasteland of for-profit body mutilation and creating a perverts’ playground.

Whether it’s “No” to their kids or “No” to government meddling, it’s time to defend the right of Mom and Dad to say “No.” No more “liberation.” The revolution stops here.

Mary Harrington is a contributing editor at UnHerd and author of the forthcoming “Feminism Against Progress.”


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