Socially Constructing Polymorphous Perversity
Socially Constructing Polymorphous Perversity
Written By Laurie Higgins   |   05.14.18

As I said in an interview with Elizabeth Economou, who writes for Laura Ingraham’s Lifezette, “The Left likes to think that every belief with which they disagree is a product of social conditioning, never questioning whether their ideology is a product of conditioning.” There is no better evidence for that claim than the science-denying “trans” mythology—a profoundly destructive mythology—that is a messy stickywicket of contradictions.

“Trans”-identifying persons claim to be persons of the opposite sex, but how do they arrive at such a bizarre notion? Well, they usually say they know they are the sex they are not because they fancy the socially constructed styles and activities that society has arbitrarily assigned to and associated with the opposite sex. But if such styles and activities are socially constructed and arbitrary, how can fancying them mean anything intrinsic about their sexual identities? The “trans”-wicket denies both the meaning of biological sex and the value of stereotypes even as their mythology depends on both.

Stephanie Davies-Arias, writer and critic of pediatric “transitioning,” highlights this irony:

[C]hanging your sex to match your ‘gender identity’ reinforces the very stereotypes which [transgender] organisations claim to be challenging… as, in increasing numbers, boys who love princess culture become ‘girls’ and short-haired football-loving girls become ‘boys’. Promoted as a ‘progressive’ social justice movement based on ‘accepting difference’, transgender ideology in fact takes that difference and stamps it out. It says that the sexist stereotypes of ‘gender’ are the true distinction between boys and girls and biological sex is an illusion.

There are three important truths that get lost in “progressive” discussions of “stereotyping”:

1.)  Not all patterns, similarities, or expectations constitute “stereotyping,” and not all stereotyping is malevolent, oppressive, and destructive. Humans recognize patterns and classify like things together. That’s how we make sense of the world. And “stereotyping” is used both for instruction and entertainment.

Dana Carvey’s “Church Lady” wouldn’t have been funny or even made sense if we didn’t recognize the character type that actually exists and on whom Carvey’s character was based. In other words, the Church Lady was based on a stereotype.

The much-loved movie My Big Fat Greek Wedding wouldn’t have delighted audiences if they didn’t recognize the reality that the film warmly mocks. In other words, My Big Fat Greek Wedding includes stereotypes.

Tyler Perry’s satirical movies about the character Medea depend on a stereotype that reflects a personality type that actually exists.

The humor in the wildly popular sitcoms Parks and Rec and Modern Family emerges from characters who are stereotypes of people who exist and whom we recognize and, indeed, love. Real persons who share in common particular recognizable traits pre-exist the stereotype.

Will and Grace—the show that those who put their homoerotic desires at the center of their identity loved—wouldn’t have been funny were it not for stereotyping. The show was rife with stereotypes.

What about the satires of Aristophanes and The Onion? Should those writers have not engaged in “stereotyping”?

2.)  Stereotypes often emerge from and reflect anthropological truths. Human nature exists, and we recognize patterns in human nature. For example, we recognize that men and women are different. Even homosexuals acknowledge that truth. When homosexual men and women proclaim that they are romantically and erotically attracted only to members of their same sex, they are implicitly acknowledging that men and women are inherently and significantly different and that those differences are not only anatomical. Stereotypes can reflect and reinforce the good architecture of sexually differentiated human life.

Stereotypes about men and women emerge from and reflect truths about men and women–both good truths and bad. Stereotypes about men and women don’t dictate our lives or reflect the totality of any individual person, but they often do reflect true aspects of human nature.

Stereotypes about men and women were not created out of whole cloth or manufactured from the fertile imaginations of patriarchal oppressors. They emerged from patterns humans observe.

3.) Historically, societies have believed that the fact of genetically determined sexual differentiation was a good thing and should be cultivated. Cultures developed patterns of behavior and societal roles that reflected, codified, encouraged, and sustained sexual differentiation, which is mostly a good thing.

Of course, humans, being fallen, sinful critters, have often messed up royally. Men and women have deformed their roles and responsibilities and corrupted their natures in myriad destructive ways. Through pride, fear, lust, and selfishness, they have variously abused and abdicated their natures and their roles; and unthinking societies have at times become too restrictive regarding what roles men and women could or should assume.

But errors in how to evaluate and facilitate sexual differentiation should not lead to jettisoning the very notion and good of sexual differentiation. Sometimes encouraging conformity—including conformity to what the Left views as a “stereotype”—can be not merely a harmless thing, but a good thing.

It is good for societies to cultivate respect for and valuation of sexual differentiation through some expectations regarding dress and behavior. It is at minimum benign to paint the nursery walls of a baby girl pink and baby boy blue. It is profoundly harmful for boys to dress and act exactly like girls or vice versa.

Of course, what that looks like will change over time and across cultures. But the Left does not seek to work at ensuring reasonable gender expectations but, rather, to eradicate all recognition of sexual differentiation. They seek to usher in full bore the Age of Polymorphous Perversity—Freud’s term for boundary-less, infantile sexual behavior. If sexual differentiation can come to be viewed as a meaningless accident of birth, then elective amputation of healthy body parts, the sexual integration of private spaces, and the biological sex of one’s erotic partner are meaningless as well.

It is good for society to reinforce sexual differentiation (e.g., through clothing, jewelry, hairstyles). As both the homosexual and “trans” communities affirm, males and females are different. Those differences are substantive and meaningful, and reinforcing them is good. The Left argues that the cultural reinforcement of sexual differentiation is harmful except, of course, for gender-confused persons for whom cultural artifacts that reinforce sex differences are profoundly important.

Listen to this article read by Laurie:

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Laurie Higgins
Laurie Higgins became the Illinois Family Institute’s Cultural Affairs Writer in the fall of 2008. Prior to working for the IFI, Laurie worked full-time for eight years in Deerfield High School’s writing center in Deerfield, Illinois. Her cultural commentaries have been carried on a number of pro-family websites nationally and internationally, and Laurie has appeared on numerous radio programs across the country. In addition, Laurie has spoken at the Council for National Policy and educational conferences sponsored by the Constitutional Coalition. She has been married to her husband for forty-four years, and they have four grown children and nine grandchildren....
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