This past week Turkish-born Enes Kanter, a center for the Boston Celtics, achieved his United States citizenship. To celebrate, he legally changed his name to Enes Kanter Freedom.
So what are we to call him now? Mr. Freedom?
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Of course we are. That’s his name. It’s all legal-like, and while it isn’t particularly the way I would have gone about things, he has both the legal and moral right to be called whatever he chooses, so long as the proper procedures are followed (which they were). I don’t care if he changes his name to Enes Firetruck…if that’s his legal name,
I’ll be perfectly happy if he signs my basketball “Mr. Firetruck”.
This is why I am perfectly happy to call Biden administration Assistant Secretary for Health Rachel Levine “Rachel”, even if he was born “Richard”. Do it legally (as he did), call yourself whatever you want. If Richard wants to be forevermore known as “Lamppost”, I’ll be happy to refer to Lamppost Levine throughout my commentary.
What I won’t do, however, is call him “she”. Because HE is not a SHE. He claims himself to be “she”, parades himself around as “she”, and insists to everyone that he’s a “she”, all while demanding that he be recognized as a “she”. It’s that last part I have problems with. There’s a pesky chromosome problem with that whole arrangement, and I refuse to not “follow the science” in that regard, especially when someone is doing their best to force me to.
Caitlyn Jenner is Caitlyn Jenner, but he is not a she. He doesn’t have to be Bruce anymore, and he can call himself “she” if it pleases him, but I won’t. He doesn’t have to associate with me if he doesn’t like it (and I wouldn’t blame him). He can hang only with others who will honor his delusion if he so chooses. That’s his right. But his chromosomes, as scientifically clear as anything that ever was, make him a male…end of story.
The Wachowski brothers (of “Matrix” fame) are Lana (born Larry) and Lilly (born Andy), but they nevertheless remain the Wachowski brothers and not the Wachowski sisters. The same applies to them. I don’t expect them to invite me to their Christmas party, and I’d surely make a lousy guest anyway. Truth be told, I won’t be inviting them to mine, either, because they’re both men pretending to be actual women, and that just isn’t my thing.
Now don’t get me wrong; Lana and Lilly are perfectly within their rights to call themselves ladies, act as females, dress as women, and have whatever surgeries might suit them. I will defend their right to do so, even as I maintain my position that they suffer from a particular type of mental illness that I believe does demand treatment, just not with a scalpel. I’m fine with them choosing to limit their social circle to only those who will pretend right along with them; again, that’s their right. If they want to “identify” as lawn chairs, it is just as acceptable to me to the extent that their insanity does not bear any legal weight, because, in fact, they are not lawn chairs and they have no legal or moral right or expectation to recognition as something they are not.
Oh, I’m sure there’s some activist lawmaker out there who has tried, maybe successfully, to create such a “right” via the legal system. I’m sure there will be more and more of that, and given the mass insanity that grips our ruling class right now, I’m quite certain such efforts will be successful in some form or another. Eventually, expressing the thoughts I’m elucidating right now will likely result in me being charged with a “hate crime” or some other such nonsense, but none of that changes the fact that Lana and Lilly carry the “Y” chromosome, and that makes them male, PERIOD. They are not lawn chairs, and they are not women.
Comedian Dave Chapelle has gotten himself in a whole lot of hot water over his opinions regarding the so-called “transgender/transsexual” subculture, and he’s been a lot less direct than I’m being here. And that’s a big part of the problem. Certainly, it’s a big part of the problem I have with the whole thing. Let me lay it out for you in plain English.
Lesbian? Gay? “Trans”? No problem. Identify however you wish. Sleep with whoever you wish. Love whoever you wish. Dress like, act like, call yourself whatever you wish. You are entitled to all of those things as human beings. “Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness” doesn’t say that you must only be heterosexual and wear a particular type of clothing before you qualify. Liberty belongs to a transgender/transsexual just the same as it belongs to an old white guy like me.
But Liberty belongs to an old white guy like me just like it belongs to a transwhatever. You have the right to call yourself Lucifer and dance naked around a tree every Tuesday night, but you don’t have the right to demand that I join you or respect you for doing it, and it damned well better not be my tree. You are entitled to cut your penis off if you wish, but I am entitled to find that absolutely bizarre and refuse to be somehow accepting of it, particularly if some tyrant is trying to require that I honor and respect you for it. You have the right to hate chocolate ice cream, but I’m going to say there’s something wrong with you.
Yet somehow, because I find it moronic that you don’t like fudge ripple, it’s suddenly okay for you to disrupt my ability to earn a living, live peacefully, and express my thoughts as protected by the Constitution of America – the very document that protects your right to run around pretending to be a woman? Screw that. You will never legislate my acceptance of your brand of anti-science, and I won’t be bullied into buying into your delusion. Call yourself Rachel, or Caitlyn, or Lana, or Lilly, and I’ll do the same because that’s your name. Call yourself a woman if you must, but I won’t because you’re not and you never will be. That’s the science. That’s the truth.
So why am I writing this? What does my essay add to this particular conversation, which has been discussed to the point of deceased equine flagellation?
Only this; it is both morally wrong and completely pointless to attempt to legislate or otherwise insist that all people believe only what some people want them to believe.
We will never legislate “hate” out of existence. No matter what we do, someone somewhere will hate someone or something else, and attempts to force the issue invariably entrench the opposing sides into their respective positions. “Hate” is a strong word representing the furthest end of the human feeling spectrum, but I’ve chosen it specifically because the “rule” applies throughout that spectrum. I cannot be made to love polka music, any more than I can be made to hate applesauce.
Our unbridled legislators may create law that prevents any other music besides polka from being played on the radio, but someone will still play the blues in a barn somewhere, and I and others like me will be sitting on hay bales listening to it. They may outlaw the production of applesauce, but back alley doorways will open into speakeasies serving Johnny Appleseed’s delicious cinnamon-sugar goodness. We can ban Nazism, but there will still be Nazis. We can demand that people take a vaccine, but there will still be those who file fake vax cards.
If you want me to respect what you say and do, how you live, what you believe, then give me a reason to. Coloring your hair green proves nothing to me. It says to me that you’re trying to be different, just like everyone else. It screams “look at me!”, which only serves to elicit the Chamberlain stink-eye. You’re free to do it, and I’ll fight to the death to preserve that freedom, but I’m free to laugh at you and wonder where your parents went so wrong. To enjoy the freedom to fly in the face of convention, you have to be willing to endure the arrows when convention fires back at you. Demanding that you get what you want while also demanding that nobody else have the freedom to challenge you on it is not only wrong, but stupid. It defies logic, nature, science. If you’re going to be outlandish, expect an outlandish response. If you want someone to take your outlandishness seriously, convince them of why they should rather than try to legislate or “cancel” them into compliance with your nonsense.
Two final points. First, regarding “transgender” and “transsexual” lifestyle choices, let me say that I absolutely believe there are people in this world – particularly in today’s world where so many “proper” lines are blurred – who suffer genuine confusion and angst regarding something as simple as gender. I believe this is a real condition, and presents real challenges. I feel for people who endure such dysphoria. But it is dysphoria; a profound state of unease that affects a small percentage of people and is, psychologically speaking, abnormal. This makes “gender dysphoria” a mental condition, no different in that respect from depression or narcissism or psychosis. It is deserving of compassion, understanding, and treatment; it is not, in my view, somehow deserving of mass acceptance and it certainly should not be subject to the marketing that attends it today.
Transgenderism is being sold these days, not merely tolerated or even accepted. That is wrong on many levels, but to make matters worse it’s being sold to children. That makes it borderline evil. This explains, in part, my refusal to go along with it by recognizing “personal pronouns”. Beyond being idiotic, that very concept is genuinely dangerous.
And secondly, it is not lost on me (and should not be lost on anyone who reads this piece) that Liberty demands a great deal of self-reflection, including attentiveness to the risk of hypocrisy. Most who digest this essay will fall to the right of the political spectrum, and as such they will occupy my “side”. Taking sides when the subject is Liberty is a dangerous, often foolhardy, proposition. Liberty rarely chooses “sides”. To have your Christian faith respected, you’ve got to be willing, even eager, to respect the faith (or non-faith) of others who are not Christian. To pursue your dreams, you’ve got to give room for others to pursue theirs (even if their dreams are incongruent with your own). To demand respect for your race, or sexuality, or way of life, you’ve got to offer exactly the same respect to those who do not share any of those things with you. If you embrace an anti-Black or anti-Gay attitude, you forfeit your right to not suffer someone else’s anti-White or anti-Hetero biases. You will be tempted to justify these actions based on some sense of moral “right versus wrong”, but that line is very, very fine.
Few walk it successfully, and even those who seem to do so are often perilously close to unaware abject hypocrisy. Critical Race Theorist Ibram X. Kendi recently fell into this trap without even realizing it, as side-choosers often do. It happens to me. It may have happened in this article. If you choose a side (and I believe we all do, and these days we all must) it happens to you, too. It is imperative that you be open to recognizing your own hypocrisy so that you may grant slack for others when they step over that line. Respect for your fellow man demands it, but perhaps more importantly, respect for LIBERTY demands it.
By Jackson P. Chamberlain
Jackson P. Chamberlain is a right-leaning, liberty-loving husband and father whose American heritage dates back nearly four hundred years. He writes from his home at the base of the Appalachian Mountains. He can be found on GETTR @jpchamberlain, or on MeWe as Jackson Chamberlain. Jackson is a regular contributor to The Blue State Conservative.