I thought the Orange is the New Black star and LGBTQ activist Laverne Cox was commonly accepted as a woman, but I guess not.
In response to Time magazine’s recent cover of Cox representing the transgender community, the National Review‘s Kevin D. Williamson wrote an op-ed piece entitled “Laverne Cox is Not a Woman.” The Chicago Sun-Times ran with the piece over the weekend but has since been forced to retract it and apologize.
Regardless of the question of whether he has had his genitals amputated, Cox is not a woman, but an effigy of a woman. Sex is a biological reality, and it is not subordinate to subjective impressions, no matter how intense those impressions are, how sincerely they are held, or how painful they make facing the biological facts of life. No hormone injection or surgical mutilation is sufficient to change that.
Genital amputation and mutilation is the extreme expression of the phenomenon, but it is hardly outside the mainstream of contemporary medical practice. The trans self-conception, if the autobiographical literature is any guide, is partly a feeling that one should be living one’s life as a member of the opposite sex and partly a delusion that one is in fact a member of the opposite sex at some level of reality that transcends the biological facts in question. There are many possible therapeutic responses to that condition, but the offer to amputate healthy organs in the service of a delusional tendency is the moral equivalent of meeting a man who believes he is Jesus and inquiring as to whether his insurance plan covers crucifixion.
He goes on to argue that this seems to be “a very different sort of phenomenon from simple homosexuality.”
The Chicago Sun-Times admits the piece was “provocative” but now says it doesn’t align with the types of pieces it seeks to publish for its readers.
“We try to present a range of views on an issue, not only those views we may agree with, but also those we don’t agree with. A recent op-ed piece we ran online that was produced by another publication initially struck as provocative. Upon further consideration, we concluded the essay did not include some key facts and its overall tone was not consistent with what we seek to publish. The column failed to acknowledge that the American Medical Association and the American Psychological Association have deemed transgender-related care medically necessary for transgender people. It failed as well to acknowledge the real and undeniable pain and discrimination felt by transgender people, who suffer from notably higher rates of depression and suicide. We have taken the post down and we apologize for the oversight.”
I guess the piece just didn’t fare well with Sun-Times readers. Feedback sucked, huh.
You can read Williamson’s full essay on the National Review’s website.