QUESTION: You can’t help notice how hip both Transgenderism, and Socialism are today. But I’m further noticing explicit and implicit connections between the two. What’s the reason for that?
RESPONSE: If you look into it, Socialism and LGBT rights has a long and interesting history. Just this year, transgenderism, gender nonconformity, and abolishing traditional family structures were huge issues at a recent conference in Chicago dubbed, Socialism 2019. Summarizing one of the panel discussions, “Social Reproduction Theory and Gender Liberation,” one reviewer summarized how these modern socialists see themselves connecting to LGBT activism.
‘Corrie Westing… argued that traditional family structures propped up oppression and that the modern transgender movement plays a critical part in achieving true “reproductive justice.” …pregnancy becomes a tool of oppression, she said, as women who get pregnant and then engage in child rearing are taken out of the workforce at prime productive ages and then are taken care of by an economic provider. Thus, the gender binary is reinforced, Westing said. The answer to such problems is to “abolish the family.” The way to get to that point, she said, is by “getting rid of capitalism” and reorganizing society around what she called “queer social reproduction.” She then quoted a writer, Sophie Lewis, who in a new book, “Full Surrogacy Now: Feminism Against Family,” embraced “open-sourced, fully collaborative gestation.”
Many have wondered what the obsession on the political left is with Transgenderism. Let’s face it, they say, even if you have genuine concern for the freedoms and acceptance of transgendered people, we’re talking about a tiny fraction of the population. Can that really be a winning political issue? Why spend so much time on this? Surely there must be some political expedience beyond a moral crusade for the right to have 48+ gender options on Facebook!
Turns out, there is. This conference points overtly to the real reason – support for the trans-rights movement facilitates knocking out our inherent connection to biological sexual reality, which oppressively ties women to the family model that naturally arises out of binary sex. This is gold for socialists who need a reason for revolution against oppression.
Now, where they see this as inbuilt oppression, built literally into the very fabric of sex, someone else may see a very different and liberating design. If the binary nature of sex ties us to traditional family structures, it also provides a very immediate and local answer to our innate longings for purpose, belonging, connection and interdependence. But if that is true, the socialist is very right to assume the traditional family is standing in the way of the Marxist dream, for it is the very thing keeping us from needing or looking to a Central Planner to find meaning, purpose or even aid or justice. People getting their needs met in stable family structures and finding satisfaction in local control of their lives do not generally consider themselves oppressed.
Well, there can be no greater threat to the central planning required by socialism than a happy people that doesn’t need its government, except for the most basic of protections. Socialism/Marxism requires an inflamed, unhappy populace that demands its overseers be given total power to control the means of production so that experts can redistribute it, so everything can be fair – ostensibly to end all oppression and inequality.
But if we are happy with home, with a family, with the provisions the stable nuclear family provides, with the freedoms that come from local control of power, such an inflamed populace never materializes – and Marx’s predicted revolution is dead in the water. The only way to foment the Revolution that stubbornly isn’t happening in the West, is to break our “addiction” to family. To do that, you have to find a way to cast the family as evil, as an institution of sexual oppression, and to undermine the sexual realities that underpin it. So trans-activism is not ultimately a campaign to end injustice for 0.02% of the population, but rather is more fundamentally a means to undermine the biological realities of sex and cast binary sex as inherently oppressive.
“Women can’t be free and equal, until women can be men” is the message. Very few women, of course, will ever want to be men, but I think many, many women (and men) will gobble up the basic idea that unless I can be another sex, unless I can say no to my predetermined role conferred onto me by my gender, I’m not really free. Thus, I am in some sense “oppressed” by nature. If I remain tied to the biological roles that my sex inherently puts me in (having babies, if I’m a woman), I’m a victim of oppression. Thus, revolt, rise up, cast off the role nature gave you, it’s inherently keeping you down and unequal!
This is the Socialist Ideology inside the Trojan Horse of the Trans movement. Break down and reinterpret sexual reality, to open up the plausibility and the attractiveness of Marx’s long predicted revolution.
I looked up this conference, and found it had the tag line “No Borders, No Bosses, No Binaries.” So we’re not speculating about the connection as if it was some kind of conspiracy. Marx’s big idea needs an oppressor class. As the middle class in America continues to thrive (despite increased wealth inequality, which is far less relevant than standard of living, by which measure the poor are doing better than ever), the idea that we need to revolt against the Gates and the Buffets of the world cannot get off the ground.
But some bad ideas are like zombies and they refuse to stay dead. Modern Marxists have had to invent a new oppressor class, and new oppressors and therefore new reasons for revolution to motivate us toward the Utopia. This is it: the oppressors are cis-gendered persons whose traditional reproductive model ties women to home and family and children, takes them out of the workforce which somehow makes them oppressed. To support this narrative, gender has to be seen as fluid, binary sex as a false assumption perpetuated by capitalists, and the work of gestation and reproduction painted as an unfair and unnatural “burden” to be freed from.
Of course, this whole story vilifies birthing and parenting as “less than” so how could such a program sustain a society? The answer, in the newest version of the workers paradise, gestation is “open sourced” and we must assume some form of artificial, publicly controlled surrogacy will be the way all babies come into the world, and then would all be raised collaboratively. At least in this, socialists haven’t changed much.
Against this, is the Christian view. We believe nature is not an unplanned reality. Therefore, we believe we can read many things “out of” nature that reveal planning and design to us from the Planner and Designer. When it comes to sex, we read out of sex, intention. (Rather than reading “in to” nature whatever we want) Specifically, we see God’s intention. Not just for how we reproduce, but for who we reflect, namely God himself. We see inside the binary nature of humans, the Image of God. To be born into your particular half of this mystery (male or female) isn’t oppression, it’s calling and mystical reflection of the divine, to be celebrated, not bemoaned or striven against.
Christians can agree heartily with the new communist thinkers and sympathizers who (like the old ones) think the family a great and powerful obstacle to a secular paradise. But unlike those who frame it and the binary sexual design underneath it as evil, we see a very great and powerful Good.