“Truth will ultimately prevail where there is pain to bring it to light.”
I never envisioned myself writing about something so personal. Even now, as the tips of my long, thin fingers tickle the keys of my laptop, my cheeks are blushing with adolescent-like embarrassment. Tap-tap-tap go the keys as I sheepishly formulate each new word… Tap-tap-tap goes my foot upon the floor as I try to muster the nerve to continue…
It began last week. I lay in bed exhausted, but unable to sleep. The pain came in waves with peaks so strong that all I could do was to hold my breath, counting down the seconds until relief. Tick-tick-tick… As time ticked onward, each minute moving me closer and closer to the moment my alarm would go off for work the next day, the sobering pain that I was experiencing granted me a moment of unsullied clarity.
That cruel, unrelenting pain pulsating through my lower abdomen in tidal waves of intensity was simply my body performing one of its most natural functions: I got my period and was having “lady-pains.” No, not in a million years had I imagined I would be writing about my “time of the month,” but hear me out… That sleepless night in bed, my female body was simply performing its monthly round of fertility exercises, preparing my womb to host a baby. In spite of my own desires in those bleary-eyed moments, I couldn’t stop my tummy from cramping and I couldn’t halt my menstruation. Truth had prevailed, the pain having brought it to light. The matter was entirely out of my control.
Throughout our lives we humans are but slaves to our bodies; death bringing about the inevitable bodily-betrayal. Yet, it can be easy for us to kindle the illusory flame of control, forgetting just how human we truly are. This is especially evident in humans’ constructions of certain sociological theories, theories which build upon and lend credence to illusions of control. Such is the case with the gender theory of today; a theory which contends that humans can change their own biological truth by simply humoring the illusions of the mind. It was as I lay there in bed curled around a heating pad like a twisted croissant, desperate for sleep and dreading the sunrise, that I began to ponder the dishonesty of this new gender theory, as well as the unintended consequences that indulging this theory can have on real people.
What makes me a female, a woman? Is my femininity found in my long, blonde hair? Surely not. Audrey Hepburn was clearly a female, to spite her pixie-bobbed hairstyle. Is my femininity found in my curvaceous hips or is it found in my breasts? Well, no. My aunt was still a woman after having to undergo a double mastectomy due to breast cancer. Is my femininity found in the height of my high-heeled shoes? Of course not. In fact, I’ve been known to rock a pair of sneakers and a baseball cap while attending my alma mater’s football games. Could it be possible that my womanhood rests upon my outward appearance and my conformity to “looking like a girl” and fitting neatly into the stereotypical “woman” mold? I certainly hope not! Yet, as a woman I have to wonder… Will an unintended consequence of adhering to the new gender theory of our time redefine women, our “femaleness” being determined entirely based on our exteriors? If humans are expected to accept that a biological male – having undergone physical alterations and maintaining a strict schedule of chemical “morphism” – is now a female based upon his altered physical appearance and new wardrobe (his ability to play the part), then what is stopping society from applying this skin-deep “eye test” to women who don’t conform to the stereotypical “girlie” image?
It wasn’t my long hair or my pretty face that caused me such duress that sleepless night in my bed. Wearing dresses and high-heeled shoes hadn’t caused me to grow breasts in middle school or to begin menstruating in the first place. Declaring my maleness would not have saved me from the hours of agony spent clutching that heating pad and praying that my pain would subside. My sex, my inherent biology is entirely out of my control. No amount of imagined “femaleness” will allow a biological male to experience the physical pain that I, as a woman, experience once a month, twelve times a year… nor will he ever have to worry about unintended pregnancies. Imposing upon all of humanity a theory of human gender that proselytizes an illusory narrative unabashedly counter to biological truth is not only dishonest, but it is also unkind.
Individuals who are heavy with the internal struggle of gender dysphoria, suffering under the weight of negative body image and self-loathing, need love and compassion, honesty and support. Given the untested and unstudied effects – both physical and psychological – which stem from irreversibly mutilating the body through surgery and possibly poisoning it through chemical dependency… is it truly kind for us to join a movement or to accept an ideology that teachers our young people that they aren’t good enough, that they have to literally change who they are in order to be happy?
What about our daughters? They too will one day grapple with the pains of biology. They too will one day be faced with navigating the world while carrying the weight of a negative body image, struggling with their bodies’ own contrast to the slender physique of a cover model. For the first time, however, our daughters may be desperately trying to survive their teenage years without the guarantee of physical privacy. Given the rigorous push for transgender-affirming laws that will ultimately legislate the most intimate aspects of our daily lives, don’t we owe it to our daughters to have a sincere conversation about unintended consequences? The future isn’t down the road. The future is now. Our actions have consequences; some intended and some not.
…That night in bed as the pain finally subsided and I began to drift off to dream, there was one thing I was absolutely certain of: now is a time that we must all tread carefully, because our actions today are the fruit of tomorrow.