We live in a time of streamlining and reductionism. This is apparent everywhere, whether it’s electronic adapters, one-size-fits-all clothing, vacation packages, multi-use tools like screwdrivers whose heads can change from Phillips to flathead, reversible jackets, pants whose legs zip off to become shorts, and so on. These things were on my mind as I followed the story about the transgender employee at the U.S. Space and Rocket Center Space Camp in Huntsville several days ago.

I was initially outraged that a biological male (who goes by the transgender name Molly Bowman) would be allowed to monitor young girls with the kind of freedom that the individual seemed to have, even during overnight hours apparently. I was also particularly turned off by the Space and Rocket Center representative’s deflection on the legitimate questions asked by Clay Yarbrough, the concerned father. The rep used institution-speak, the language of avoidance most easily seen from people like U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas or FBI Director Christopher Wray when questioned by congressional committees; it’s a language whose primary purpose seems to be to shirk responsibility and preserve the status quo.

But my overriding feeling was that of pity when I looked at the life of Molly Bowman, based on what could be gleaned from the latter’s social media page. It is to this that we turn our attention.

By any objective standard, Bowman is an extremely confused person. Although there were many troubling posts on his social media sites, the one that caught my eye read: “Gender is a Universe.”

Now, before personality fell victim to the politics of the day, it was generally thought that what was needed for healthy selfhood was unity – not multiplicity. The early psychologists wrote about unifying the ego and the unconscious through processes like integration and individuation. “To thine own self be true,” Shakespeare wrote during the early modern period, even before Descartes designated the affirmation of the self, or ego, as his starting point for metaphysics. Dante journeyed through the various stages of the Commedia to discover not only the secrets of the afterlife, but also who he was as an individual, and Christianity has always taught that a person is made whole through their union with God through the sacrifice and resurrection of Our Lord. Such ideas are apparent, even in contemporary culture, when we hear someone talk of “finding themselves” or being on a path to “discover themselves.”

But Molly Bowman’s statement that “Gender is a Universe” is proof that, somewhere along the way, the old idea of a unity of personality has given way to the notion that somehow we should be as many different people as possible.

Such a transition raises the question: How did we get here? 

It’s impossible to ignore the possibility that the multiple-genders craze is a lesser part of the zeitgeist, a mere component of the overall Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion movement itself. It seems the thought leaders of our time have made the calculation that if diversity is desirable in some areas, then it must be so in all of them – including selfhood. This is a dangerous calculation, given that much of what is promoted by the transgender movement was considered a mental illness by the medical community only a few short years ago.

It isn’t wrong to use abductive reasoning to formulate theories as to why some movements – such as transgenderism – which have come upon us all of a sudden, have gained such ground in contemporary society. One reason could be that the transgender movement is part of the overall DEI movement and that its proponents are falling victim to the drive toward the reduction and streamlining mentioned in my opening above. If so, the movement is guilty of the fallacy of false analogy, the idea that what is true in the context of one set of principles must also be true in another. This puts the foundation for transgenderism on shaky ground indeed.

At any rate, the idea that gender is an infinite smorgasbord of possibilities brings confusion to the unwary, and this should be eschewed, not promoted. We should be trying to help people like Molly Bowman, not encourage them. For it should always be remembered how the demon responded when Our Lord asked its name. “Legion,” it said, “for we are many.”  

Along with his father, Allen Keller runs a lumber business in Stevenson, Alabama. He has a Ph.D. in Creative Writing from Florida State University and an MBA from University of Virginia. He can be reached for comment at allen@kellerlumber.net.

The views and opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the policy or position of 1819 News.

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