Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell
Maybe we should be keeping shtum about sex and things. Mustn’t sex ed. have a limit? To say that what’s needed here is for younger and younger babes in the primary sex.ed class, will surely trespass over an invisible border into much of a muchness with madness, no?
When we reduce this topic to absolute absurdity, then madness becomes less of an issue. There would be no madness or confusion or any other negative utile from teaching, say, a one-year-old, the ways of the birds and the bees. After all, 1s are wholly w/o any of the logical faculties from which confusion etc etc arises. But for children who are not very very young and who are not yet old enough either, why would we want them to be confused by sex talk? (I say confused by, and not about, sex talk). Why not let them learn about it all all for themselves and over the natural course of things…
My natural urge: No, Not Yet! to sex ed. for 6s and 7s and 8s; and No! also, to the other type of sex ed. that ends up with us shooting TCPP and Leuprorelin Acetate and other chems into the bodies of 8s because they want to be Trans. when they might just be Gay as well as might well be Trans. – and there is nothing wrong w/ being just Gay.
Re: ^ the numbers alone tell us it is kinder not to ask when we already know a hefty minority of the Global GDP contributing pop. is and always has been turning out Gay, while a tiny minority of said pop. is thought to have been turning out Trans. Probability alone tells us that our duty of care is to assume they will continue to turn out majority-Gay.
If you say: “But, you patronising-so-and-so, my 6-er knows exactly the type of Sex he/she/they’ll be wanting to be and what sex they’ll be having in the future thank you very much”, then I suppose you should be encouraging your 6-er to engage in a healthy 6-year-old-sex-life, because to do otherwise would be patronising, and, given what you just called me, ∴ hypocritical. You are too far gone over the invisible border into madness to warrant much of a response.
If you say: “But, you naturalism-nature-loving-twat, it’s not about biology and needs and such things, it’s about the freedom to choose,” then I say to you 1.) framing this as freedom to choose probably makes you an essentialist whether you know it or not and 2.) that if it’s not a biological thing, then let it wait, because being different in even more hefty minority ways can be traumatic enough as is.
Have a gander of Virtually Normal, a book, a manifesto/treatise, written by the (brilliantly brilliant) Andrew Sullivan, in which he recounts his discovery of being different. His obsession begins at age 10, (NB. the double-digits), when he finds out he has a desire to be with young men that is not quite like the way other people want to be with young men. This obsession became way worse later, as, “to reach puberty and find oneself falling in love with one’s own sex is to experience a mixture of self-discovery and self-disgust that never leaves a human conscious.”
I myself, me, can admit that I was similarly terrified around that similar age, when, in attendance at an all-male sleepover, I got a raging boner mid-jump while being near-inexplicably naked. I did not turn out to be card-carrying homosexual, but I still remember the experience as one which made me feel a huge amount of shame for several months. But look now at how far we’ve come! Nowadays, 10 year old me might have not suffered this experience, when instead I might have been wrenched away from this moment having been made to confront myself much earlier. By 10 my story is already in VOGUE magazine, and we’re all so proud that I said YES to gender dysphoria.
So it’s clear what I think about asking the kiddos what they think, but there is another side to this. That one there ^. The ‘telling’ aspect, which has become far too public for public’s sake. Eg. the act of ‘outing’. ‘Outing’ once meant telling the world about someone’s homosexuality to bully them for it; now it can also mean to tell the world about someone’s ‘closetness’, what with them having been up until that moment in the closet and that being evidence of societal oppression.
Telling the world all the wrong things is the same as asking a child all the wrong questions; it forces something to be known and public which might have been better-off being left alone and private. The underlying cause seems to be the same though: one of rabid impatience from Foucaudian Fuckwits.
So, Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. Laissez-faire, s’il vous plait.
In his critique of liberalism’s legislative efforts to make right the wrongs done to the Gays, Andrew Sullivan argues in Virtually Normal that legislating on the matter would make catharsis less not more likely. “Of course,” says Sullivan, “the responsibility is ultimately others’; but, alas, homosexuals could wait for centuries for others to take hold of that responsibility. It is only by the paradoxical process of risking one’s livelihood and asserting that one is not a victim that the psychological dynamic is transformed and real progress made.”
Does the same apply to other groups eg. Trans.? Can Andrew even say such a thing of everyone in his own group? It’s might be lauded, to be, for oneself, anti-affirmative action, anti-positive discrimination, anti-anti-angry speech; but what of everyone else? There is no one spokesperson for the Gay community. Doesn’t lumping together the solutions for millions of Gays go against everything he so eloquently outlines in Virtually Normal; concerning the different dramas of individual lives? Although all of these individual lives amount to ‘lived experience’, and this begs for the individual to assert that they are not a victim, might there not yet be commonalities to ‘lived experience’ which can indeed be rectified through legislative efforts?
I am not sure what I think about this, but I think that that is in itself a position one can take on the issue. Laissez-faire, mon ami, at least until we know what the fuck we’re talking about.
In 1993, the good ol’ US of A had the ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ policy in the US of A-rmy. I submit that until some first-class public Sex Ed solutions come to the fore re: Trans. issues (which, remember, we really really don’t know much about), we should not dismiss ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ w/r/t our everyday non-military civilian divisions. I do not mean ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ in the sense it which it was originally used of course. The ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ of 2019 will insist, merely, that you leave the kids out of this for now, and will politely ask, in addition, that you don’t ask me, you don’t ask him, you don’t ask they, and that you don’t tell either; and that you don’t do all these things not because our workplaces will benefit from their absence but because it shouldn’t matter even if it does. I’ll rephrase. Whether or not it matters to you shouldn’t mean it has to matter to me, not when it doesn’t matter to me, not when it really doesn’t matter to me – in the sense of will-fight-for-your-rights-anyway-doesn’t-matter to me. Maybe this way we can move towards universality, and from Virtually, towards Completely, Normal.
Edit: For a more recent take on this topic, why don’t you try Sullivan out for yourself: http://nymag.com/intelligencer/2019/11/andrew-sullivan-hard-questions-gender-transitions-for-young.html?utm_medium=s1&utm_campaign=di&utm_source=tw
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