Abigail Shrier wrote a book, “Irreversible Damage: The Transgender Craze Seducing Our Daughters.” She makes it clear in the book that she is not writing about whether transgender individuals legitimately exist (she believes they do) or whether a person should or should not be able to change their gender (she supports an adult deciding to medically transition from their biological sex to the opposite). Her book, however, is focused on the question of why there is an astronomical number of young people, mostly girls, who are declaring that their biological gender is wrong and that they want to be reassigned the opposite gender.
It should be mentioned at the outset that there are cases that fall outside the gender binary category. According to a study published in 2019 in the Journal of the Endocrine Society, newborns with ambiguous genitalia (intersex) is 1.3 in 1,000. Included are babies whose external genitals are not clearly male or female or the external genitalia do not match the internal reproductive organs. There are various intersex conditions. Intersex, however, is distinguished from transgender. A transgender individual feels that their gender identify is different from their biological sex which was clearly determined at birth. It is for Muslim scholars, research scientists, and doctors to provide the Islamic position regarding cases of intersex or transgender individuals.
Gender Reassignment Is Increasing Rapidly
It is also important to state clearly that nothing conveyed in this article is intended to condone or encourage discrimination against any person or group, including transgender individuals. This article is focused only on a radical transgender ideology and activism that is prevalent on the far left in the U.S. today.
In Shrier’s book, she wonders why “gender reassignment [is]skyrocketing in the United States, Canada, Scandinavia and Europe? In Great Britain, it’s up 4,400% over the last decade.” This topic — given the data and the position of most regular people that there are two biological sexes — would be a fundamentally legitimate area to investigate. The reaction to her book, however, by transgender activists, “woke” radicals, and even some liberal-leaning organizations, is to excoriate her and call for her book to be banned. She writes:
“Yet since publication, I have faced fierce opposition — not just to the ideas presented, challenged, or explored — but to the publication of the book itself. A top lawyer for the ACLU called for it to be banned. Powerful organizations like GLAAD [Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation] have lobbied against it and pressured corporations — Target and Amazon among others — to remove Irreversible Damage from their virtual shelves.”
Muslim parents should be aware of what is happening on social media, in many schools, in the medical profession, and in American society in general with regard to this phenomenon. The following points might compel some readers to do their own research into this topic and thus realize that this is not of small significance or a transitory trend:
- Many teens are influenced by social media and peer pressure to see transgender identification as a quick fix. It becomes easy for them to consider any personal, psychological, existential complexities — that in previous times adolescents and teens worked through as they grew into adult maturity — are rather because they are transgender.
- Many doctors are buying into “affirmative care” regarding the young patients who request gender reassignment. This medical guideline discourages a doctor from investigating whether the youth might have other issues that are prompting them to think that their internal sense of gender is different from their biological sex. These doctors affirm the youth’s feelings of being in the wrong body and greenlight the way for gender-changing hormones and surgeries. Shrier notes in her book that many other doctors disagree with this approach but feel societal, medical, and peer pressure to go along with it.
- Physicians, scientists, medical ethicists, and many others have spoken out against the transgender activist campaign that seeks to normalize individuals, even children, deciding that they should be their biologically opposite gender. Some critics point to what appears to be the recruitment of children to the perspective of transgender prevalence and easy availability. Some critics are being censored and find their social media accounts cancelled. There are also active campaigns to ban books such as Shrier’s.
- Because of the backlash, many individuals are afraid to speak up. The Twitter mob is always ready to attack, and no one wants to be called transphobic. However, there are many people who do not endorse radical transgenderism. Shrier received a good number of messages from people, like this one — “Hi, Mrs. Shrier, I just wanted to drop you a quick note thanking you for your bravery. It might surprise you to know that I work for a prominent progressive politician (obviously I could never express my support for your work publicly). But it should be known that not everyone on the Left has totally lost their mind.”
- One example of the ideological mindset of transgender activist individuals and organizations is a slide presentation created by Gender-Spectrum.org. One slide states that “gender inclusive schools” engage in the following: “recognize that gender impacts all students; interrupt binary notions of gender [male/female]; acknowledge and account for gender diversity; question limited portrayals of gender; support students’ self-reflection; teach empathy and respect.” Of course, encouraging a young person’s self-reflection and teaching empathy and respect are good things. The problem arises when these traits are taught in relation to “interrupting binary notions of gender” and promoting “gender diversity.” Demonstrating how fluid gender has become in popular culture, Facebook currently offers 14 preset gender options to choose from plus an option to enter a custom gender.
- Some schools are facilitating transitioning of a student’s gender identity without notifying his or her parents. In an article on the website of The Heritage Foundation, the authors found that school personnel can “evaluate minors about sexual matters,” and that this “allows minors of any age to transition socially to a different gender identity at school without parental notice or consent and requires personnel to facilitate the transition with the use of the child’s ‘preferred pronouns.’ It also permits students to use the restroom that aligns with their ‘gender identity,’ stating that while ‘[s]ome students may feel uncomfortable with a transgender student using the same sex-specific facility,’ that ‘discomfort is not a reason to deny access to the transgender student.’’’ The radical transgender ideology indoctrinates students to see gender, not as determined by biology but rather by the young person’s feelings about their “true” gender identity. A book for very young children, “The Gender Fairy,” available in some school libraries, conveys to young readers, “Only you know whether you are a boy or a girl. No-one can tell you.”
Harmful outcomes from the denial of biological sex and gender are increasing. Examples include the following:
- A biological male who identifies as a woman entered the female-only space at a spa in Los Angeles. There were women and girls present when the biological male appeared naked in the female-only area.
- The U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights issued a Notice of Interpretation in June of 2021 regarding Title IX. It clarified Title IX’s prohibition on discrimination on the basis of sex, in any education program or activity receiving federal funds, to include (1) discrimination based on sexual orientation; and (2) discrimination based on gender identity. Thus, transgender individuals can use school bathrooms and locker rooms based on their gender identity. A biological male student who identifies and dresses as a female sodomized a female student in a bathroom in a school in Virginia.
- Biological males are competing against females in girls’ and women’s sports.
- Biological male prisoners who identify as women are being transferred to women’s prisons, creating a potentially unsafe environment for the women inmates; a lawsuit has been filed by one plaintiff who alleges that she was sexually assaulted by an inmate who was transferred from a men’s prison.
- Police in Scotland have announced that when a woman is raped, if the rapist is biologically male but identifies as a woman, the crime reports will state that the victim was raped by a woman.
- A social ethos of “anything goes” or “it’s just creative expression” or “these are personal choices” can become really troublesome. Drag queens have for several years provided “story hour” for young children at public libraries. Take it a step further and you have the Department of Education (DOE) in New York City offering a drag queen story hour in a remote learning program during the lockdowns. An article in the New York Post states, “Lil Miss Hot Mess, a San Francisco-based drag performer, shimmies her way through a dramatic reading of her picture book ‘The Hips on the Drag Queen Go Swish, Swish, Swish’ in a recent episode of ‘Let’s Learn,’ a DOE production created with public television’s WNET.”
There are now “drag kids” like a 9-year-old boy who calls himself Queen Lactatia, dresses like a female to perform on social media, and is showcased in advertisements for the House of Mann, a fashion brand that creates “luxury clothing and costumes for the LBGTQ+ community.” An article in teenVOGUE asserts that Queen Lactitia “inspires us to live colorfully.”Take this moral degradation further (this is not directed at transgender individuals; it is directed at radical left ideology) and we get an academic named Allyn Walker who wrote a book “A Long, Dark Shadow: Minor Attracted People and Their Pursuit of Dignity.” She advocates replacing the term “pedophile” with “minor-attracted persons.” She asserts that this can destigmatize pedophiles since, in her estimation, many who are attracted to minors don’t actually prey on or attempt to engage in sex with them. The radical far-left is engaging on many fronts that coalesce to sexualize children.
There is an easy slide from the reality of intersex individuals to the biology-denying radical transgender ideology. All it requires is an assertion that binary sex is a social construct and, therefore, each and every individual is free to choose a male identity or a female identity, “regardless of genetics or anatomy.” The authors of an article in the Wall Street Journal make this point. Evolutionary biologist Colin M. Wright and developmental biologist Emma N. Hilton also state:
“There is a difference, however, between the statements that there are only two sexes (true) and that everyone can be neatly categorized as either male or female (false). The existence of only two sexes does not mean sex is never ambiguous. But intersex individuals are extremely rare, and they are neither a third sex nor proof that sex is a “spectrum” or a “social construct.” Not everyone needs to be discretely assignable to one or the other sex in order for biological sex to be functionally binary. To assume otherwise—to confuse secondary sexual traits with biological sex itself—is a category error.”
Preparing Children: Make Them Aware of the Radical Agenda
A publication of The Heritage Society, The Daily Signal, features an article by Amy Haywood who notes that children who are brought up believing that there are two genders, male and female, are facing difficult situations at school. She advises that “…it would be wise for parents to formulate a plan to anticipate these scenarios with their children before they are caught by an activist teacher or school. Some good questions to think about with your children are:
- What will you say if a teacher asks you to introduce yourself with preferred pronouns?
- What will you/we do if a teacher punishes you for using ‘non-inclusive’ language in a writing assignment?
- What will you/we do if you are penalized for ‘mis-gendering’ another child?
- What will you do when the only correct answer on a test forces you to choose that sex ‘is assigned at birth’ by a doctor—rather than determined by chromosomes at conception?”
Muslim parents should be aware of the potential harms that their children might face in being exposed to this radical agenda — through social media, their peers, schools, and tv and film — that promotes gender-by-choice. Seeing gender as a social construct, a fluid continuum that abjures biological reality, is creating a mixed-up generation who will have a very hard time figuring out who they are. Rather than teaching children that only they know what their gender is, humans should be teaching children to be God-conscious, moral, and decent. The radical left agenda is divisive. Truth is universalizing and uniting.
“O humankind! We have created you from a male and a female and have made you nations and tribes that you may know one another. Verily the most noble of you, in the sight of Allah, is the most righteous of you. Verily Allah is All-knower, All-aware” (Qur’an 49:13).