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Through the looking glass

TOM BURGUM
Staff Columnist
burgum@lbknews.com

“Through the Looking Glass” was Lewis Carroll’s second flight into fancy. Published in 1871, it was the sequel to “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.” This time Alice does not fall down a rabbit hole but enters a fantastical world by stepping through a mirror in her bedroom.

As you try to make sense out of the blur of news that surrounds us every day, it isn’t enough to try and make sense out of the Mideast train wreck, or the Iranian nukes to be, or a resurgent Russia and China, no, that is not enough. Now we are confronted with 58 genders. According to the Bible, Adam and Eve were simple, old Cisgenders but that is not enough on the other side of the looking glass.

Alice was lucky. Once in the alternative world she had only to deal with the Jabberwocky, the Walrus and the Carpenter and Tweedledum and Tweedledee. Beyond the looking glass in our world we are confronted by surreal academics, social construct activists, a muzzled, compliant press and the LBGT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Community) and GLAAD groups. GLAAD used to be the acronym for Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation. The organization is now simply known as GLAAD because the acronym spelled out doesn’t recognize and pay homage to those who have chosen to follow the same course as Caitlyn Jenner.

It was truly a through-the-looking-glass moment when you realize that it is acceptable for liberal academics to say, as did professor Wendy Doniger of the University of Chicago’s Divinity School, “Her [ Sarah Palin] greatest hypocrisy is the pretense she is a woman,” while the speech police at GLAAD have decreed that should you suggest that Bruce Jenner isn’t a real woman, you will be invited to a public hanging, one in which you are the honored guest.

Of course, the whole rationalization of the campaign for a new fluidity in gender identify is based on “you are who you think and feel you are.” If you buy that particular bromide, you won’t have any difficulty accepting Rachel Dolezal as black, or African American, if you prefer; or as a victim, as she prefers.

Ms. Dolezal, who was recently president of the Spokane, Washington chapter of the NAACP, resigned when it was revealed she was not African American, as she had publicly contended for years, but a white bread combination of Czech, German and Swedish heritage. She may be dissatisfied with the lack of dark pigmentation in her background but her disappointment doesn’t transform her into an African American.

But Dolezal isn’t breaking new ground. Elizabeth Warren is reputed to be the first woman of color employed by Harvard Law School despite the objections by Cherokee genealogists who dispute Warren’s claim. But, in the world beyond the mirror, it is the genealogists who are out of touch with the times. As Mark Steyn asked, “Why do we impose outmoded stereotypes and demand that black women be black? Why can’t a woman of color [Warren] retain her pallor? After all, as The New York Post informed us, ‘Caitlyn Jenner Still Has Her Penis.” That headline tells us just how far we’ve gone into the other side of the looking glass.

There may be those who want to make gender a social construct but it will remain a biological fact no matter one’s desires. I don’t like being short, but my dissatisfaction doesn’t nullify the concept of height.

As if the world beyond the looking glass isn’t crazy enough, complaints from the left intrude on the new world of gender choices. Jonah Goldberg wrote of Eric Sasson’s complaint in The New Republic. “One step forward for Caitlyn Jenner, one step back for woman kind. As a media sensation, Jenner had many choices for how to reveal herself to us, so the fact that she chose a way that only reinforces how much our society objectifies women is a bit distressing.” Several critics suggested it would have been better if Jenner had dressed as a businesswoman rather than a sex symbol. Pardon the observation, but a female sex symbol with a penis is a bit on the edge even on the crazy side of the looking glass.

The real problem with this criticism is that society has long objectified women with, if you remember, a lot of help from objectified women. Check out the clothes of the women attending the Academy Awards, or the lack thereof. As the Hollywood luminary stroll down the red carpet, the women’s attire virtually demands objectification. There is a good reason for all this, as Goldberg observed, “The Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue’ surely objectifies women, but it wouldn’t sell nearly as many copies if it was the ‘Sports Illustrated Sensible Pantsuit Issue.” The lesson here is that properly objectified women are critical to any entertainment endeavor. What do you think the box office would be for a movie starring George Clooney and Eleanor Roosevelt in “Strange Passion?”

On the other hand, I have no complaint with Caitlyn Jenner if he is happier being a she than a he. If Ms. Warren identifies with Cherokee Indians, it hasn‘t stopped her from being a force in the United States Senate. If Ms. Dolezal is happier thinking she is an African American, I’ll send her a film clip of Al Jolson singing a verse or two of “Old Folks at Home.”

I only object to being told I must celebrate their new identities and must speak of it only in the terms dictated by the LBGT, GLAAD, a zombie like press and academic speech fascists.

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1 Response for “Through the looking glass”

  1. ghostrider says:

    “If I had a world of my own, everything would be nonsense. Nothing would be what it is, because everything would be what it isn’t. And contrary wise, what is, it wouldn’t be. And what it wouldn’t be, it would. You see?” –TTLG

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