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I Am Kielbasa Print E-mail
By Austin Ruse   
Friday, 21 February 2014

Imagine the heartache of the cis-trans male who opens up Facebook and realizes there’s no gender category for him to choose from. It’s only male and female. This is just too outré for words. 

Doesn’t everyone know that gender is a social construct – that gender is malleable and may change from moment to moment? One could be five or six or seven of them before lunchtime and a few dozen more before climbing under the covers and turning into a butterfly, or whatever.

Gender is not in the head, you know, it is not in the brain. You are not wired in any particular way. All of this is a choice you make as you make and remake yourself throughout the day and throughout your life. (But somehow gays are also “born that way” and not to be subjected to reparative therapy.) Some go so far to say that even sex is a social construct, but these brave pilgrims are truly ahead of their time.

Facebook fixed all that now that you might choose what they call a “custom” gender. This bespoke genderism is a boon to those constricted by the tired choices of our fathers and grandfathers , who after all might have felt like non-op, non-binary trans men, but probably mistook it for the grippe.

Go to Facebook. Do it now. Click on “about,” then “basic information,” then “edit,” then “gender.” You will see three choices – male, female, and “custom.” Since that is all that drops down, you have to fill in what you want to be.

Type in “trans.” Go ahead. Don’t be afraid. Your choices appear: trans, trans female, trans male, trans man, trans person, trans woman, and then trans*, trans* female, trans* male, trans* man. For the life of me, I cannot figure out those asterisks.

Put in “man” and you get cis man, cisgender man, transsexual man, cis woman, cisgender woman. . . .you get the picture.

As confusing as these words can be, their meanings are even more confusing. Some months ago I wrote a column here about the fight between Warren Beatty’s daughter, who is a binary trans man going by the name of Stephen Ira, and Sonny and Cher’s daughter Chastity, also a binary trans man, who goes by the name of Chaz.

Chaz made a huge mistake on ABC and compared his transgenderism to a cleft palate and said it was a misfiring in the brain where his body did not match up with who he thought he was inside. Stephen Ira pounced, “I am a binary trans man, and I do not want Chaz, another binary trans man, representing me and simultaneously mistreating my non-binary comrades in this way.”

Sheer gobbledygook.

But it means something to them. As I did some months ago, I turn to a fellow named Asher who has placed his “Not Your Mom’s Trans 101” on a website called The Atheist Library. Asher says, “There are many trans people who are neither male or female. They cannot be categorized as ‘either/or.’ These people may use terms for themselves like genderqueer, androgynous, agender, or neutrois. They often use gender-neutral pronouns such as ‘ze/hir/hirs’ or ‘they/them/their/theirs.’ They can be both male and female, or none of the above, multi-gender, genderless, or something else entirely.”


        Chastity (left), who became Chaz (right)

You know who has gender just about right? Weird to say: the U. N. General Assembly.

Go figure that.

There are two definitions of gender in UN documents and one of them is in a hard law treaty. The Beijing Platform for Action, which is non-binding, says gender “should be understood as it is traditionally understood.” Not bad. But the binding treaty that established the International Criminal Court defines gender as “men and women in the context of society.” That “context of society” is a fishy formulation the gender crazies hope they can fool around with at some point. But for now “men and women” is darn good and certainly precludes non-op, non-binary trans men.

As promised here are few definitions just to wet your whistle. I will get you started and then you are on your own.

Pansexual is someone who believes they are many or all genders.

Agender is someone who believes they are no gender at all.

Genderqueer, according to the North American Lexicon of Transgender Terms, is a general category for identities other than man and woman, also considered non-binary and opposed to cisnormativity. Genderqueers may want to be referred to not as he or she but as one, ze, sie, hir, co, ey or they. When writing a letter to a genderqueer you will want to address they (sic) not as Mr. or Mrs. or even Ms. but as Mx.

A trans man, according to Wiki, is a female to male transgender or transsexual person. The trans man was assigned female at birth ,but self-identifies as male.

You note my sarcastic tone. While I recognize sarcasm as the lowest form of punditry, we must muster enough of the old oomph to laugh at these people and right in the kisser. Though in this context, I shudder at that word kisser.

Make no mistake, not everyone in the gender funhouse is happy. Some folks have been left off, and they’re plenty steamed. The custom list of genders at Facebook is custom in the same way ordering a shirt at Men’s Warehouse is. There are fifty-eight, and they’re all on the rack. They left off bioguy and biogirl. They left off demiguy and probably a lot more.

Some are petitioning for new categories. On local radio in DC this week, they reported on a guy who asked Facebook to add the gender he called “kielbasa.” Makes no sense. Makes perfect sense.

But then it struck me, something deep inside. I am kielbasa. I have been kielbasa all my life. Until I’m not.

 
Austin Ruse is the President of the New York and Washington, D.C.-based Catholic Family & Human Rights Institute (C-FAM), a research institute that focuses exclusively on international social policy. The opinions expressed here are Mr. Ruse’s alone and do not necessarily reflect the policies or positions of C-FAM.
 
 
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Comments (26)Add Comment
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written by Bangwell Putt, February 21, 2014
Father Aidan Nichols, O.P., writing on "The Thought of Pope Benedict XVI":

"The growth of freedom consists not in the ever more complete demolition of barriers to individual rights ('something that leads to absurdity and to the destruction of those ... very rights')."

"Freedom is ... a shared freedom, possessed in a coexistence with other freedoms which both limit it and support it, or else it will be anarchy. ...Freedom belongs with an 'ordered co-existence of freedoms' which is why a right order of law belongs to its very concept."

The plight of the persons described by Mr. Ruse; persons who have not achieved integration of mind, body, and soul, is profoundly disturbing. Pope Benedict asks: "Does not the decision of freedom, as being able to decide to do anything and being able to do what we decide, have to be expanded to include the connection with reason ... to avoid becoming tyranny and unreason?"

It is never too late for any person to return to right reason.
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written by Augustine Thomas, February 21, 2014
Austin Ruse would help contribute to orthodox Christian culture, but he's too busy studying the latest secularist perversions, like all 64 "gender identities"!
Why are churches so full of ignorant Catholics who love silly secularist stuff but just can't seem to manage an interest in the Church?
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written by Rich in MN, February 21, 2014
Thank you, Mr. Ruse.

In probably my most useless bit of narcissistic reflection, I have on a few occasions imagined myself at one of those "Town Hall Meetings" where President Obama is taking questions from the audience. I am called on. My pre-screened question is "What is the best way to fix education?" Instead, wired up by a dozen Hostess Twinkies, I madly veer off script and ask: "Mr. President, let's say 2 high school students -- both white males -- come into your Oval Office. One tells you he identifies "heirmself" as female and wants to use the women's bathrooms and showers, and participate on the women's teams. The second boy says he identifies himself as black and wants to check the "Black" box on college applications and take advantage of the various Affirmative Action programs at his high school. How would you advise each of them? If there is a difference between the two scenarios, would you explain what the difference is? And you are not allowed to answer 'I am evolving on that issue' or 'It's above my pay grade.'"
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written by Amadan, February 21, 2014
This just goes to show the folly of using the word Gender as a substitute for Sex. The former is definitely arbitrary and is used to describe WORDS which can be masculine, feminine or neuter. Living things are male, female, asexual or hermaphroditic. That is determined by biology.
A drake is a male duck but drake is the masculine form of the word duck.
It is quite arbitrary to say in Spanish that a table (mesa) is feminine but it has nothing to do with sex.
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written by grump, February 21, 2014
Mencken, Twain and Will Rogers would have had a ball with this. Good job, Austin, but you left out "metrosexual," which Wikipedia (the choice source of the hoi polloi these days) describes as follows: "The term is popularly thought to contrast heterosexuals who adopt fashions and lifestyles stereotypically associated with homosexuals, although, by definition given by the originator, a metrosexual "might be officially gay, straight or bisexual."

Glad we got that straight. In another sign of gender confusion, it is quite common and annoying to me to hear many if not most parents refer to their children or a group of children in their charge as "guys," usually preceded by "Hey." When I grew up there were just boys and girls and the teacher always made the distinction clear.
But now we have "unisex," a term coined in the sixties (surprise, surprise) that denotes "gender blindness."

What flows from all of this is the decline in masculinity, as evidenced by the steep drop in sperm counts and fertility rates, the feminization of boys (no more cowboys and indians and nerf or BB guns), the degradation of men portrayed on TV as clueless and bumbling oafs at best (think Homer Simpson, Everybody Loves Raymond, Married With Children) or at worst as aggressive sexual predators.

Even feminists such as Camille Paglia are alarmed as "low T" threatens the nation. Wrote Paglia in a recent WSJ piece: “What you’re seeing is how a civilization commits suicide." Meanwhile TV is swamped with ads suggesting that middle-aged guys need a blue pill "so they can be ready" should their libido kick in. It makes you wonder how anybody was ever born without the aid of third-party assistance.

Matriarchy is now firmly in place in America as second-wave feminism marches on. There was a time when "Father Knows Best," but now he doesn't know much except how to let mother rule the roost -- that is if he's still in the house.
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written by Dan Deeny, February 21, 2014
More interesting would be discussions with chaplains who have served in Iraq or Afghanistan, chaplains for police forces or fire departments, Christian Catholics serving as policemen or fire fighters, nurses, etc. Why not interview a former Christian who is now an Atheist? Or Rep. Xavier Becerra, a Hispanic Catholic who supports the abortion business?
Keep up the good work.
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written by guest, February 21, 2014
Thanks for a great piece. Is this an example of the Anti-Christ? I am not being dramatic.
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written by Austin Ruse, February 21, 2014
Augustine Thomas...I am Lazarus come from the dead, come back to tell you all. I shall tell you all...

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written by Hen, February 21, 2014
Augustine Thomas Sir, The answer to your question referring to ignorant Catholics, is that the good Fathers aren't using the pulpit to any where near it's full potential. This is especially true regarding the sacrament of man/woman matrimony versus the ludicrous concept of same sex marriage. The Fathers don't teach well, even though they can have the very best resources in the argument.
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written by Bangwell Putt, February 21, 2014
Re: Comment by Augustine Thomas

Pope Benedict has long taught that Catholics should not seek to establish "cordons sanitaires" - cultural areas sealed off, so to speak, from the secular culture.

"... at all times there must be at the forefront of our minds not [only] the will to accommodate [tolerate or ignore] but dedication to truth. Truth is generous enough, after all, to accommodate what is truly fitting."

"The religious element in culture points to the concern of culture with ethics ... with rectitude of action and the ground of both action and thought."


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written by Stanley Anderson, February 21, 2014
In C. S. Lewis’ Space Trilogy, he makes reference to the Solar System’s (“The Field of Arbol”) many life forms and mentions “the seven genders” (and of course this all had nothing to do with the current “human” issue under discussion here). In another forum at the time I couldn’t resist having a bit of fun with the passage in a post that needed a possessive pronoun (and making reference to the old line about listing the vowels as “a, e, i, o, u – and sometimes y and w). So where the possessive pronoun was needed in the sentence I was composing, I wrote, “har/her/his/hor/hur (and sometimes hyr and hws) -- and you thought gender neutral writing was cumbersome here on Earth!”
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written by Phil, February 21, 2014
Austin,
What gender should we call someone who was born with both male and female genitalia, is assigned one gender, and then later identifies as the other? Let’s suppose they are a faithful Catholic living a chaste life, and through surgery and hormone therapy have male genitalia but “on the inside” are female. It’s an interesting question, especially considering “male and female he created them.”
I can tell that the idea of someone being born with both types of genitalia and later identifying as the other sex disgusts you, leading to your response of disbelief and sarcasm. Your sarcastic response bothered me, because I know people suffer through this (even faithful Catholics) and I think our response should be sadness and mercy towards their situation, not sarcasm and derision. This does NOT mean that we should go against the Church’s teaching in any manner; they are called to chastity. Is it wrong to have new categories to describe such sad circumstances? I don’t think so, and I even think of Acts 8 where the apostle Philip evangelized the eunuch.
Of course, some people will try to use new categories to legitimize choices and dispositions and are contrary to Church teaching, and we should be opposed to that, but your post does not address that. The disgust and tone that you displayed seems contrary to the spirit of mercy to which the Gospels calls us.
Peace,

Phil
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written by Athanasius, February 21, 2014
@Rich, a better question would be to ask the president what he would think if that white male wanted to use the girls' showers at school just as Mr. Obama's daughters finished gym class and would be changing in there. (I apologize in advance for the rude comment, but it makes the point.)
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written by Deacon Ed Peitler, February 21, 2014
Here's thought #1: When I look at the picture of Chaz, I can think of only one gender category - Trans Fat

Thought #2: Tower of Babel
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written by Paul, February 21, 2014
Hopefully this article is about the growing number of bizarre cases of "I'm a girl/boy trapped in a boy's/girl's body" not the rare and tragic cases of intersex birth.
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written by Austin Ruse, February 21, 2014
Phil, you go on DNA. Of course a tiny number of people are born with mixed genitalia. If you want to know what NOT to do, read John Colapinto's eye openign book called As Nature Made Him about the butchery and psychological torture of a boy who was born not with indeterminate sexual organs but who had his penis harmed in circumcision so they raised him as a girl under the guidance of a very sick man at Johns Hopkins University named John Money.

My mirth is aimed at not at those with birth defects but those with crazy ideas that deserve our sarcasm.

But, nice try at a kind of emotional blackmail.
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written by Sherry, February 21, 2014
In the last few months, there have been several excellent articles regarding this subject:

1. "Polish Bishops Warn 'Gender Ideology' is Dangerous to Society" (Life Site News)

2. "Europe's Cassandra"(Catholic World Report)

3. "DePaul the First Catholic University to Offer LGBTQ Minor" (National Catholic Reporter)

4. "Gender Mainstreaming - The Secret Revolution" (Catholic Culture)

People buy into distorted ideas thinking they are supporting something good. But gender confusion is no friend of faith, family,and marriage.

Gender confusion has been in the works for a long time, although most people are not aware of the effort or the consequences. There has been a deliberate strategy to create an environment where people "decide" what gender orientation suits them - at that point in time.



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written by Stanley Anderson, February 21, 2014
Austin Ruse wrote, "My mirth is aimed at not at those with birth defects but those with crazy ideas that deserve our sarcasm."

As the old line goes, "hard cases make for bad law."
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written by DeGaulle, February 21, 2014
There is no other word for this nonsense than 'insanity'. The consequences of indulging insane thoughts are rarely beneficial in any situation.
As regards the points about Mr Ruse supposedly mocking those with birth defects, that allegation is particularly mistaken, because it is the 'gender benders', who should be thankful for what they are and what they have who are effectively making a mockery of those with genuine afflictions who have no choices in the matter.
Deacon Ed: Trans Fat-brilliant.
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written by Guest, February 21, 2014
Phil,

Do you live in the same culture that the rest of us live? Do you really assert there is some large population of folks with the birth defects you mention? Do not bother to answer as the questions answer themselves.
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written by Rich in MN, February 21, 2014
@Sherry,
I should definitely try to look at the DePaul article this weekend. I am curious whether the NC Reporter thought it was a good thing to have an LGBTQ minor. (I am guessing the answer is yes.) A few years back, my daughter and I took a road trip to look at several colleges and universities, including a few [nominally] Catholic universities. I remember walking through the DePaul Student Union and seeing advertised there several official tours of GLBTQ neighborhoods in the Chicago area. One of these neighborhoods was actually called "Boystown." I could not resist the temptation to shoot off a quick letter to Cardinal George telling him just how darn proud the late Fr Edward J Flanagan must feel that there is a gay neighborhood named after his ministry for troubled boys, and there is a Jesuit university promoting it!
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written by Seanachie, February 21, 2014
@ Rich in MN

FWIW...DePaul is not a Jesuit institution.
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written by Francis Miller, February 22, 2014
If there is any one issue that concerns me as a grandparent of very young grandchildren, it is this. They are being raised in Catholic homes open to all the perverse and compelling distractions of the day. It appears to me and in my experience being quite active in my Church, that the skeptics are in ascendance and their faith in such nihilism is reinforced everywhere at every opportunity. The Church has one message but many voices. These voices often heed little of the message, thereby reinforcing skeptical pop culture. The gender issue is more than a battering ram against Christian sensibilities and Church teaching, it is a Trojan Horse, the enemy has been at home among us sowing doubt and skepticism for a long time. The evidence is the radical change in the word Tolerance to mean acceptance versus abiding without violent or uncharitable reaction. The switch from the word indicating a grace and what is good, to mean acceptance of what is wrong and sinful. The skeptical elites manage the media and its rhetoric well. The USCCB does neither. I pray for the souls of my grandchildren everyday not to be undone by what lurks in that Trojan Horse, it is despair in knowing the Truth.
Fearful stuff.
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written by Rich in MN, February 22, 2014
@Seanachie,
Thank you for the correction. While my daughter and I were in Chicago, we also visited Loyola (which included its own disconcerting story that I will spare you). I recklessly lumped DePaul into the same camp. My bad.

@Francis Miller,
I think your entire post should be read at EVERY Mass for the next year -- or longer. You address one of the key issues very succinctly when you say, "The skeptical elites manage the media and its rhetoric well. The USCCB does neither." If I had a nickel for every time I read the phrase "anti-gay marriage law" or "gay marriage ban" (which makes about as much sense to me as the phrase "motor-boats-on-the-moon ban"). There is so much social engineering imbedded in language, it makes one's head spin.
In my post above, I mentioned my (probably rash) letter to Cardinal George. The gist of my letter was that I made reference to Matt 13:24ff (the Parable to the Weeds and Wheat) and expressed my concern that WE are the ones planting weeds in our own fields. Your "Trojan Horse" metaphor is quite apt and your remark, "Fearful stuff," sums up my feelings exactly. Thank you.

I am very grateful for Austin Ruse and the others at TCT, and also people like Bill Donohue and -- dare I admit it -- Michael Voris (who sometimes makes Austin Ruse look like a member of "The Church of Nice" by comparison), all of whom have a direct, no-nonsense way of publicly defending Catholic teaching and the Catholic Church.

Thank you all very much.
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written by Metro, February 22, 2014
Perhaps they should add the category choice "legion".
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written by Manfred, February 23, 2014
Francis Miller (and of course,all others here):
You make excellent points. I see positive things here as well. For example, I see a change in tone in some members of the Church
in that they are becoming more adult. By that, I mean, they see the damage which has been done to their families and they know they cannot rely on ANYONE on this earth to assist us. That is why the Rosary is ESSENTIAL, as Mary has repeatedly said "Only I can save you." We must come to the realization that if any of us achieve eternity in Heaven with God and his saints, many of our family members and our friends may not be there. Mary said to the three children at Fatima "You have seen Hell where poor souls go who have no one to pray for them."

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