by Jonathon Kneeland
Morgane Oger is the Vice President of the now ruling British Columbia New Democratic Party. The BC NDP is your typical left of centre political party. They have an ambitious social justice platform, spend most of their time letting us know how virtuous they are by claiming to speak for the voiceless, and have expressed a serious interest in increasing the number of taxpayer funded human rights organizations in the province. If you're still stuck in your leftist bubble and haven't experienced your awakening yet, this probably sounds like your party. If you've had your awakening, then you can likely see right through the whole mess and are painfully aware of the fact that like most political careerists that market to the social justice vote, they are quite willing to overlook some forms of violence and hatred in order to pander to the half-baked and trendy ideologies that have not yet discovered their proper boundaries.
The placement of boundaries really is the discussion to be had here. There is a growing movement that has not yet found its boundaries, and the patience and good nature of the citizenry appears to be approaching its limits. How much are we expected to put up with while maintaining the live and let live philosophy that most reasonable people espouse?
Live and let live is a reasonable and effective approach to a maintaining a harmonious society that's made up of individuals with many different opinions, values, and beliefs. It works pretty well and is based on the idea that you are free to do as you please as long as you are not infringing on the rights of others. This allows people the freedom to practice their religion or to practice no religion, choose who they sleep with, choose who their friends are, choose their line of work, indulge all of their own interests – as long as those interests are legal, or even to alter themselves so as to appear to be opposite their original sex . You'll generally get no objection from reasonable people on these basic rights. So far so good.
I am of the live and let live type. I make no objections to other people's sexual preferences, lifestyles, religious views, choice of occupation, or any of the common topics that frequently do bring objections from one's parents or siblings. In return, I ask that others not impose their view of the world on me in a way that causes me to either have to engage in activities that I object to, or to refrain from acting to prevent an obviously immoral action. Increasingly, this bargain is being degraded by those who wish to force us to think what they tell us to think, to accept their opinions and desires as concrete and unalterable fact, and to refrain from asking questions. Here, we run into a real problem. I'm not willing to go along with being bullied into agreement. I like to ask questions and I like to understand something completely before I go along with it. I like to weigh all the evidence and then make the best decision I can, based on that evidence. Increasingly, my desire to draw my own conclusions is being challenged by a highly aggressive and occasionally violent movement.
The movement that I'm referring to is the transgender movement. I'm hesitant to even call it a movement, as it's made up of a wide range of individuals. However, it seems to behave as a movement and many of its adherents seem to be studying the same material. The reason I suspect this is that when I get into a minor argument on Twitter with a member of this movement, I can usually accurately predict the content and the outcome of the conversation very shortly after it begins. Many of these conversations are boring and irritating, but they're necessary to have if you want to understand someone else's position.
What I have been able to understand, so far, is that a portion of the transgender movement holds the position that a man who transitions into a woman, simply dresses as a woman, or says he sometimes feels like a woman, is the same as a woman who was born female and is therefore entitled to enter any female space he likes. Again, we have a problem here. I am quite willing to agree that he has the right to live as if he is a woman and I would never object or say that his decision is in any way morally inferior to any other way of living. Like most reasonable people, I'm willing to go along right up until the point where the behaviour begins to infringe on the rights of others. We've very much reached that point, and our provincial government appears to be complicit in the current aggressive overstep of the transgender movement.
It's important to logically lay out my position that the transgender movement is overstepping its proper boundaries. In order to do that, I have to tell you something of myself. I'm an atheist. I could never be religious. This is because I fall into the category of people described by Pascal as being so made that I cannot believe. I am made this way and it is because of the way my mind works that I'm an atheist. I have no choice in the matter. I interpret information literally and I am unable to force myself into believing things that are untrue or even appear to be unlikely, based on the available evidence. I also object to compulsory enthusiasm, as this requires a similar tricking of one's own mind. My mind is very mechanical, and it's no surprise to me that I ended up as a machinist and an industrial mechanic. I like to design, repair, build, improve, and troubleshoot machines and their components. This work is very much in line with my nature. I was a very small child when I began taking things apart and making other things out of the parts. This is who I am and I expect others to live and let live when it comes to me.
The transgender movement looks to me to be exactly like a religion and it comes along with similar demands: an unwavering belief in implausible theories, demands of compulsory enthusiasm, and the demand that citizens and authorities look the other way while immoral actions take place under the spell of its ideology. In fact, here are some of the things that you are required believe in order to escape the hyper focused aggression of the transgender movement: That men have periods and menstrual cramps, too; that men should be allowed to enter women's sports events if they say they're women; that men should be allowed to enter women's shelters if they say they feel like a woman; that men should be allowed in women's and girl's changing areas; that there are many genders; that people who don't wish to have sex with a transgendered person maintain their position out of hate; that children should be exposed to the ideology of the transgender movement at an early age; that male criminals who would prefer to be in a female prison need only identify as female to make this a reality; and many other things that are being rapidly added to a growing list of preposterous ideas.
I cannot make myself believe that someone born a man can become a woman. My understanding of biology and evolutionary psychology is such that I would have to lie to myself in order to hold such an opinion. In addition to the available scientific information, my opinions are also formed by the fifty years that I have spent being alive and interacting with and observing friends, coworkers, parents, siblings, and children. I'm free, and wish to remain that way. I want to use my own mind, think my own thoughts, and I want to be honest and pursue knowledge for its own sake.
The fact that I cannot make myself believe that a man can become a woman does not alter the fact that I accept their right to try. It also doesn't alter the fact that if it makes them happy, I support their right to engage in the pursuit of it. I treat their religion – the idea that gender is fluid – the same way that I treat other religions. I don't even go so far as to say that they're wrong. I simply say that, based on the available evidence, I don't believe it and I can't make myself believe it. I say that they're welcome to believe it and also to live their lives as though it were true. I don't understand why this isn't enough for the transgender movement. I'm holding up my part of the live and let live bargain. Why won't they?
The overstepping of the transgender movement consists of activities that I find morally reprehensible. There are constant threats of violence along with actual violence directed at feminists and lesbians from men claiming to be women. We see constant threats of financially crippling human rights complaints against those who question scientifically incorrect transgender dogma. Men are entering women's sporting events and taking medals from female competitors. Women have been assaulted by men dressed as women in women's change rooms. Women's shelters now have to waste their precious resources hiring lawyers and defending themselves in court from men who feel entitled to dress as women and enter shelters where traumatized women could once find a reprieve from male violence. Young children are being indoctrinated into the transgender movement before they are old enough to understand very much at all. Some of these children are being given puberty blocking hormones and undergoing surgeries. In one particularly disturbing case, an autistic teenage girl who was struggling with various issues was encouraged by a local activist group to undergo a mastectomy and take hormones. This caused further confusion and grief for the family. The girl's mother, Dr. Kathleen Levinstein, wrote the following about her ordeal:
She had a legal name change in Dec of 2014, a bilateral mastectomy in April 2015, and started testosterone in Sept 2015. My daughter has severe Crohn’s Disease, and currently, she is having grave reactions to the testosterone. She has been hospitalized three times now for complications.
Please read Dr. Levinstein's full detailed and disturbing account of her family's ordeal here.
If anyone working with children objects or raises concerns about the targeting of children by transgender activists, representatives of the movement will attempt to have the heretic fired. Morgane Oger, along with the head of the British Columbia Teacher's Federation, campaigned to have school trustee Barry Neufeld fired after he publically questioned the wisdom of confusing young children about their gender. I have a difficult time imagining that a morally healthy individual would wish to see someone lose their employment because they hold a different opinion.
One reason that the rise of the transgender movement has been able to take place under the radar is that people are simply not familiar with it and dimly imagine that the transgender movement is about human rights and protecting a vulnerable minority. This is incorrect. The movement appears to me to be highly aggressive and is anything but vulnerable. Also, the movement has been highly effective at using the guilt card: you go along with all of my dogma and plans to indoctrinate children and enter women's shelters or you are denying my existence. This is an absurd but often put forward proposition. If you are making such a complaint, then you must exist. And you would exist independently of anyone else's perception of you. I do not depend on others believing my theories so that I might "exist". I simply live the best I can and get on with my own life. If someone "misgendered" me, I can't imagine that it would change my day very much at all. The transgender movement would be doing themselves and me a favour if they took the same attitude.
Most citizens are unaware of the extent to which this movement has advanced and how damaging it actually is. The very sinister nature of the movement was only made clear, and only fairly recently, because some feminists refused to bow to the political correctness mob that was forcing the rest of society to accept bullying and pseudoscience in the name of "tolerance". The feminist position was clear. They insisted that men who claim to be women are not actually women and that they should not be allowed in women's shelters. This was a clear line and the fight is now on.
The transgender movement has responded by creating the acronym TERF (Trans Exclusionary Radical Feminist) and has begun to employ the term to dehumanize feminists and pave the way for violence and aggression against them. The term is used in the same way that all terms of this type have been used throughout history: for the purpose of justifying violence and intimidation. Once you have a name for something you consider to be evil, you only need to apply the name to your perceived targets. This eliminates the need for thinking or understanding nuance and puts you in a morally superior position – if only in your own mind.
This is how the term TERF is being used:
Because the political party where Morgane Oger is the Vice President considers itself to be highly progressive, I am determined to find out how they feel about Oger's use of the term TERF. It is unimaginable to me that the Party would allow anyone affiliated with it to use such a vile and aggressive slur. I would expect their reaction to be swift and forceful and to either publically distance themselves from Oger, or to compel Oger to make a public statement denouncing the term. This hasn't happened, and so I can only assume that the Party and its leader condone the use of the term. This is a disturbing thought. Will the BC NDP next be resurrecting and reemploying historic slurs against Jews or Asians? There was a time in British Columbia when it was illegal to hire "Oriental workers". We've moved past the time when our government engaged in using slurs, haven't we?
Here is Morgane Oger, Vice President of the BC NDP casually using the term:
When Oger isn't using the term TERF, he is busy threatening people with human rights complaints and reminding anyone who questions the movement that the government is on his side and that he will use his "legal team" to attack anyone who offends the movement. I want to know the BC NDP's position on this as well. Does Premier John Horgan support the idea of Oger threatening to financially ruin any citizen who wishes to remain loyal to science and the pursuit of knowledge and places this value above any pseudoscientific political agenda? On this topic, please read this open letter to the BC NDP. As far as I am aware, the government has not yet responded to the letter. This means that all we have witnessed from the Party so far is arrogance, hypocrisy, indifference, and a willingness to tolerate real hate and aggression from its vice president.
I voted for the BC NDP as a stand against corruption. I didn't know that my vote would be used to help support the use of a slur that is designed to increase violence against an identifiable group. The party owes British Columbians an explanation on Oger's use of the term TERF, and also for his never ending threats of legal action against decent and harmless citizens who wish to remain truthful and free. I'm not going away until some sort of explanation comes.
As for Oger, I make no objection to his dressing as a woman. If he was decent, I would even call him "she" if he requested. So far, he has not requested this of me. In any case, I don't believe that he is a woman. I can't make myself believe it anymore than I can make myself believe that a bull is a cow, and anyway, I wouldn't wish to deceive myself in this way. It might even be the case that even Oger isn't able to deceive himself in this way:
If Oger believes that he is actually a woman, and it makes him happy, then fair enough; but he's not to bully me into believing it. I won't have it. Our civilization has expended far too much energy and endured far too much suffering, violence, and war at the hands of religion to now allow some new religion to appear on the scene and demand an unconditional devotion to its unproven theories. And of course, this demand is made with threats of violence, financial ruin, and loss of employment.
I must also correct Oger on one particular line of thought that he keeps presenting. He makes objections to people pathologizing transgenderism. In my opinion, the thing that people are likely and rightfully wishing to see pathologized is the continual overly aggressive behaviour of some in the transgender community; the constant threatening with lawsuits for wrongthink; violent physical attacks; the desire to coerce children into the movement; the insistence on men forcing their way into all female only spaces; and of course, the use of the violence inducing slur TERF. The pathologizing also likely stems from the observable fact that some in the transgender movement are determined to control the thinking of others. This is totalitarian and violent in nature and is pathological.
I am an atheist, and I will always be one. I respect other's beliefs and will always defend their right to worship as they please. I even attend church very occasionally – but I don't actually believe. I enjoy the company and I enjoy the buildings and I have always admired the sense of community and hospitality that you find there. I also respect members of the transgender movement's right to believe that they are of the opposite sex. I won't believe it, you can't make me, and you shouldn't try. As soon as you try to make me believe by way of slurs that are designed to imply that violence is coming unless I comply, or threaten me with financial ruin, or try and get me fired, I will no longer have any respect for you. In fact, I will only have contempt for you at that point. Morgane Oger must be made to understand that this is how our society works. You can't force people to respect you. Respect and dignity are acquired through respectable and dignified behaviour.
I will wait for the BC NDP to take a position on Oger's use of the slur TERF. In the meantime, feel free to email your local MLA and ask them for an explanation. If they won't take a position on something as simple as using slurs designed to promote violence and aggression towards an identifiable group, then we have a right to ask that they pack their things and get out. They have no business being in government if they remain quiet on this question.
Live and let live is a good and reasonable approach to life. Morgane Oger and the BC NDP really should give it a try sometime.