I'm worried about this series getting boring, so let's zip up to the exciting present for a moment to get our bearings. After all, this extended, Alzheimer's-like ramble began as one man's attempt to figure out how the hell we got here. So... let's remind ourselves: Where exactly is "here"?
A few snapshots from the past few years:
In 2015, a famous male athlete puts on a dress and make-up. He then declares himself a female. Despite the athlete not having undergone "sex re-assignment surgery", our cultural overlords immediately announce their agreement: the dress and make-up have indeed made the male a female. Not just a "female in spirit", but an actual female.
Time magazine then proclaims the athlete its runner-up "Woman of the Year". Glamour magazine goes all the way and proclaims him its "Woman of the Year". Social media bans anyone who dares refer to the athlete by his original male name, uses male pronouns to refer to him, or in any way affirms the immutable reality of biological sex. At the same time, politicians begin passing laws to enforce the new orthodoxy.
The message was sudden, but clear: We must believe a lie. We must speak a lie. We must make ourselves unknow that a person's biological sex is an unchangeable fact of nature. We must believe that a male who amputates his penis and testicles has thereby turned himself into a female—as opposed to just a male without a penis or testicles. We must believe that putting on a dress vaporizes, or at least renders meaningless, the sexual identity encoded within every cell of our bodies. We must believe that gender dysphoria never really existed, and that instead, a kind of spirit possession is at work. The idea is that a male or female soul—through some sort of never-explained cosmic mix-up—winds up trapped in the wrong body. What sounds like the premise of a bad '70's Disney movie is now the One True Truth.
In short, the message was, and still is, we must adopt beliefs about biological sex which, only a decade ago, mental health professionals would have deemed proof of psychosis. Now, we're supposed to remain unbothered as those same mental health professionals demand we adopt their new psychotic vision. They demand we parrot the lie they all know is a lie. Insanity is the new sanity. Falsehood is the new truth. Bullying is the new compassion. State-enforced delusion is the new science. Magic is the new physics. Fantasy is the new reality. Man is the new woman, and woman is the new man.
Hate for the constraints of human biology has only spread since Bruce turned into Caitlyn. Just a few days ago, for example, the Miss Nevada USA pageant decided to crown a biologically male contestant. Kataluna Enriquez reportedly has completed her surgery—but again, all that "sex reassignment surgery" is, is the amputation or mutilation of sexual organs. Because that is true, the phrase "sex reassignment surgery" is itself a transparent lie. You can't "reassign" or change biological sex. You can amputate a penis and testicles. You can amputate breasts, and remove a vagina and a uterus. You can flood bodies with lab-created hormones. You can wear make-up or dresses, top hats or tuxedos. But what you can't do is change sex. In fact, you can't even erase the effects of male sexual maturation decades later.
The athlete formerly known as Gavin Hubbard is testament enough to that. Hubbard grew up a big, stocky, strong lad. The 6'1", 280 pound New Zealander would have made a wonderful prop for his local rugby team. But as it happened, Gavin gravitated toward powerlifting.
Success came quickly. Competing in a 1998 tournament at the age of 20, Gavin set national records for junior powerlifting. Alas, in subsequent senior competitions, he didn't place particularly well. The next few years of competition brought even more frustration. He just couldn't approach the skill of the top performers. And so, in 2001, Gavin decided to end his powerlifting career. It was time to pursue other things.
And so he did—that is, until he discovered an opportunity to get back into competitive powerlifting over two decades later. And this time, the amazing athletic success the twenty year old Gavin had once dreamed of, but could never attain, looked perfectly attainable for the nearly forty year old Gavin. Fame beckoned. Money beckoned. Applause. Approval. Status. Glory. Even an Olympic gold medal. It was a dream come true.
And it was a dream come true because Gavin wasn't Gavin anymore. Gavin was now Laurel.
As to the current status of Laurel's genitalia, I don't know. What I do know is that the powerful effects of adolescent testosterone on Gavin's muscle mass, strength, size, bone density, and ligamenture continue to confer extraordinary athletic benefit on Laurel, notwithstanding Laurel's regular estrogen shots. Whereas Gavin, in his prime, couldn't even come close to winning an adult powerlifting competition against a few fellow Kiwis, Laurel—at 43 years of age and after two decades without lifting—can outlift virtually every biological female powerlifter on this planet. And in just a couple of weeks, we're going to see Laurel compete as a woman. And beat most or all the other competitors. Laurel will almost certainly win a medal.
And when that happens, our demented cultural overlords will shout from the rooftops that Laurel's "achievement" represents a "victory for transgender athletes everywhere". But although true enough on the surface, underneath this too will be a lie.
For what it will actually represent is a victory—and a plainly hollow victory at that—for a specific class of male athletes. And by "special class", I mean, male athletes who have genitally-mutilated themselves, taken estrogen, and are now competing against females. Put another way, it will represent a victory for unfairness; for sociopathic liars and bullies who demand we unknow facts it is impossible for us not to know; and of course, for misogynists, for whom the best woman is always a man.
That last point is, of course, one of the key motives behind the left's laudations of Caitlyn Jenner, Kataluna Enriquez, and Laurel Hubbard: the best woman is a man. And they proclaim this article of faith as vigorously as they do its opposite: the best man is a woman.
This sounds like a contradiction. It isn't. It perfectly expresses a core driver of Wokism: a seething, pathological, violent, sociopathic, hate of everything that is: all truth, all reality, all nature, all existence, all constraint, all law, all sense, all decent aspiration, everything. This is far beyond mere antinomianism. For the Wokists, whatever is must be extinguished. This is what their all-consuming hate requires.
Meeting the new standard of pseudo-piety requires nothing less than our own self-induced insanity. Failure to self-induce insanity gets you "disappeared" from social media, fired, or physically attacked. At this rate, who can doubt the attacks could escalate into the murder of political dissidents? Not that the Wokestaat will do that directly (by the way, I just made up the word "Wokestaat"). No, they'll just use their street thugs as proxy exterminators—just as they use Antifa and BLM rioters as proxy chaos agents, social media as proxy censors and spies, and mainstream "news outlets" as a proxy propaganda arm.
Chuckle if you want, but Wokism is the official religion of the United States government. And like all fanatics, there's nothing the Wokists won't do to force their stupid, pernicious ideas on to everyone. That includes every form of carrot and every form of stick. (Will pick this up next time).
Tal will be back here next week to continue the conversation. Mark Steyn Club members can weigh in on this column in the comment section below, one of many perks of club membership, which you can check out here.