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Ben Carson Has Some Thoughts About Being Transgender; Brace For Impact

by matt baume July 20, 2016


We’re sure Ben Carson went to medical school? Because he really does not seem to understand how human bodies work. (As you’ll recall, this is the same guy who said that gay marriage leads to polygamy, as if straights have not been employing serial sexual escapades since time began.)

“For thousands of years, mankind has known what a man is and what a woman is,” he drowsily droned to yet another group of rotten Republicans. “And now all of a sudden we don’t know anymore. Now, is that the height of absurdity? Because today you feel like a woman, even though everything about you genetically says that you’re a man or vice versa?”

Ugh, God, stop it stop it stop it stop it. First of all, “mankind,” blerg; at this point, using that word is just a deliberate middle-finger, and signal that yes, more inclusive words exist and no I’m refusing to use them.

But on to the substance of his argument: for thousands of years, humanity has understood that gender is a fluid, nonbinary thing. It is not hard to Google for examples of cultures all over the world that have blurred the lines between male and female over the last thousands years. But apparently Ben just believes that whatever he learned what he was a child always has been true and always will be.

Oh, but it gets worse:

Wouldn’t that be the same as if you woke up tomorrow morning after seeing a movie about Afghanistan or reading some books and said, “You know what? I’m Afghanistan. I know I don’t look that way. My ancestors came from Sweden, or something, I don’t know. But I really am. And if you say I’m not, (then) you’re racist.”

No, Ben. You have fundamentally misunderstood, well, everything. Trans people do not see a movie and then decide the next day that they are trans. Just stop this “woke up tomorrow morning” garbage.

But there’s actually something ever-so-slightly (and accidentally) correct about his analogy. Changing your nationality is something that people can, in fact, do. If you move to a different country, and learn a whole new set of customs and behaviors, and learn about yourself, and fill out a ton of paperwork, and do a lot of soul-searching and difficult decision-making, and have a lot of conversations, then yes you can in fact become naturalized as a citizen of another country. So, yeah, that can change.

It’s not a perfect analogy — trans people generally consider themselves to have been trans their whole lives, and for their transition to have affirmed the gender that they always were. But this is a nuance probably much too deep for Ben Carson.

matt baume
matt baume


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