Let’s take a closer look
By Lucas J. Mather, Ph.D.
This new word occurred in my classroom some years ago but it was a faculty member who mentioned it to me in passing, first. A Democrat faculty member. A grade-inflater, probably. One of those faculty who just assume you’re a grade-inflating Democrat like they are.
Now when I heard this word I inquired what it meant.
It’s someone who has a problem with trans-people.
Has a problem? “Has a problem”? What’s that mean, I asked.
The look on her face. You know, someone who hates trans-people.
I mean, I could do this all day long: Ask good questions, be Socratic. But not everyone can handle even a few moments of being put on the spot. Just ask Euthyphro.
I could have asked what “hate” means. I could have asked what a “trans-person” is. Those are real questions that I had. But the expectation is that I had gotten the email, or was at the meeting–the nonexistent meeting, the imaginary email–that somehow put us all on same page with this strange way of talking all of a sudden.
I know what hate is. I mean, I know what hate really is. Hate is a settled disposition to dislike something intensely. It’s been a few years since I saw the first sign in Lost Angeles somewhere—someone’s front lawn or something—that said “Hate has no place here” or some such BS. What the sign means is they really hate hate there. They hate it.
But the term that I wondered about was phobia. That’s a Greek term. I took Greek in graduate school. I had to. I had to have a comprehensive exam using the ancient language for scholarship. I happened to know that word means fear, not hate. Fear and hate aren’t the same thing.
Moreover, if someone has fear, genuine fear, of something, that more often than not (am I wrong?), is a reason for proceeding cautiously, at least with that person’s feelings. I’m trying to think of an example where my first foot forward for someone experiencing fear is moral judgment from me to them, disdain, alienation, stuff like that. Is it morally wrong to feel fear ? Did I miss a meeting ?
It might be unreasonable to feel fear. It might be someone claims to feel fear, but they’re really using that claim to control you some how, like with masks nowadays.
So I knew something fishy was going on here.
What about the word “trans”? I know what people are. Don’t need help with that. But what’s trans mean ?
The looks on their faces.
Professor, it’s a transgender person.
A person who goes from one gender to the other.
Ah. Is that possible ?
You mean they transform from one to the other?
How does that happen.
They dress up like the other one, like if it’s a guy or was a guy he then puts on make up and girls’s clothes and changes his, excuse me, her name and changes pronouns.
To fit their feelings that they’re having.
Oh. So, the guy dresses like a gal and puts stuff on that he’s seen girls wear, like nail polish, and he says his name is a name that’s typically been for girls in his area or his time period, and that’s what makes him transformed into a real girl ?
Does he have to do all that or can he stay dressed the way he is, and keep his name, and no nail polish, no lipstick, and just say, I’m a girl now?
And what transformed in that case ?
He did. He is now a she.
Ah. But doesn’t transform—which is what trans is short for—doesn’t that mean “change”?
But he stayed the same.
No, his feelings now match his pronoun.
But he had the feelings before.
So he stayed the same.
But they match the pronoun. He’s a girl now. He’s now a her.
How does he know his private feelings match what real girls feel ? Don’t girl feelings, like girl looks, have a range of descriptions? And how are we to know which girls are real, by which to judge these things in the first place?
Uhm. I .
And another thing: pronouns are features of the English language that have a stable meaning untethered to private feelings. They track looks, don’t they? That’s what the words mean in the English language.
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Now, if someone is uncomfortable with that, it’s possibly fear, possibly hate. But more often than not, those emotions are coming toward the person asking these kinds of questions. The Democrats control the grade-inflating campuses. And that’s the very thing they’re afraid of changing.
That’s the very thing they’re afraid of changing. There’s a real fear of change there.
That’s what transphobia really is, in the present context.
Copyright Lucas J. Mather, 2021
All Rights Reserved