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Tuesday, November 29, 2022

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Today In Trans Tyranny – The American Conservative

This happened in Ireland. Ireland!:

A teacher in Ireland has been suspended from work and then jailed for contempt of court after he refused to use the correct pronouns to address a transgender student.

Enoch Burke was arrested on Monday for violating a court order barring him from teaching at Wilson’s Hospital School in Westmeath, or even being present there, the news site reported.

Judge Michael Quinn found Burke guilty of violating an order made by the High Court last week and sent him to Mountjoy Prison, where he will remain until either he purges his contempt or the court gives further orders.

The RTE report makes clear that Burke was not jailed for his pronoun usage, but rather for refusing the court’s order to stay away from the school. That’s a meaningful difference! Still, it is insane that this ridiculous pronoun stuff has come to this. Had Burke obeyed the court’s order, he would have kept his freedom, and the school likely would have gotten away with quietly firing him. Firing a teacher who wouldn’t engage in a practice nobody ever heard of until the day before yesterday. Destroying the career of a teacher who refused to live by lies. It is true that Burke comes from a family of cantankerous Evangelicals who love public protest, and who may not be the most sympathetic campaigners to many. Again, though, Ireland is now a country where a teacher’s refusal to conform to pronoun insanity gets him suspended from his job.

I’ve mentioned in this space before that traveling throughout the former Communist nations of Europe, I keep running into people who have come to hate America, which they correctly identify as the source of gender ideology. They believe — again, correctly — that this stuff is being forced on their unwilling societies via cultural imperialism: through Big Business, and through the US Government’s initiatives.

Leor Sapir, writing at City Journal, reports that the US State Department is turning American diplomatic outposts into staging areas for the culture war against backwards foreigners who won’t join the Gender Identity Revolution:

Is the U.S. State Department about to classify Sweden, Finland, and the U.K. as human rights abusers? According to an internal memo from Secretary Antony Blinken (leaked to me by an officer in the department’s Foreign Service) and circulated among employees last week, the answer might be yes.

The memo represents an effort by Secretary Blinken to carry out President Biden’s Executive Order 14075 from last June. That order instructs agencies of the federal government to do what they can to stop “conversion therapy” for “LGBTQI+” people. Following its release, Biden appointed Jessica Stern as Special Envoy to Advance the Human Rights of LGBTQI+ Persons, a position created by the Obama administration but left unfilled under Donald Trump. Stern, who goes by “all pronouns,” had previously served as executive director at OutRight Action International, an advocacy organization with a permanent presence at United Nations headquarters in New York. OutRight has borrowed arguments against “conversion therapy” for sexual orientation (where the evidence against the practice is strong) and applied them, unscientifically, to “gender identity” (where studies have consistently shown that cross-gender identification in children is, for the vast majority of those who experience it, a passing phase). This strategy of piggybacking off public ignorance about the difference between homosexuality and transgenderism is by now familiar. And lest it be thought that politicians know better, Biden himself seems unable to differentiate between sexual orientation and gender identity.

The Biden administration has defined “conversion therapy” as any effort to “suppress or change an individual’s . . . gender identity.” The Blinken memo cites as an authority the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, an organization that, like the American Academy of Pediatrics, has fallen victim to capture by a small but vocal and well-organized group of ideologues, among them Jack Turban. The memo relies on the United Nations Independent Expert on sexual orientation and gender identity, Victor Madrigal-Borloz, to clarify that “conversion” means only efforts to change a transgender identity into a “cisgender one.” Thus, a hypothetical scenario in which a child is put under intense pressure to become trans, even if this means medicalization, would technically not count as “conversion.” At the first signs of a child’s gender distress or confusion, the only legitimate, “human rights”-respecting outcome of treatment, according to the Biden administration, is social transition followed, in most cases, by body modification.


Ominously, the Blinken memo defines “conversion therapy” to include not only “electric shock” and “corrective rape” but also “talk therapy.” That’s right: using psychotherapy to help a child in distress about her changing body feel more comfortable in it rather than undergo expensive, risky, and irreversible hormonal and surgical interventions is, according to the State Department, no different from electrocuting gays and lesbians in order to “liberate” them from their innate sexual attractions.

The problem, for countries like Sweden, Finland, and the U.K., is that medical authorities in these places have concluded over the past two years that the evidence for pediatric “gender affirming care” is extremely weak and that, as a result, hormonal and surgical interventions are (as Finland’s COHERE put it) “experimental.” Sweden and Finland are now instructing clinicians who deal with minors to utilize an approach that emphasizes talk therapy as the first line of defense and “affirming” drugs only in extreme situations, if ever. Sweden has banned gender surgeries for minors—surgeries that are practiced in the United States, notwithstanding the repeated gaslighting of gender clinics and left-of-center media outlets.

The Blinken directive effectively turns American consulates and embassies into global “gender affirming” spies. Embassies are instructed to “submit robust information on the so-called ‘conversion therapy’ practices” of host countries “as part of the annual Human Rights Reports.” Jessica Stern’s office will then devise an “action plan to combat the practice across foreign policy and foreign assistance lines of effort.”

Read the whole thing. We are becoming an Evil Empire. Older people I talk to in the former Soviet bloc countries tend to talk about what’s happened to America lately with sadness and incomprehension. Inevitably they’ll say something like, “What happened to you? We used to look at you as a sign of hope.”

More on the State Department’s weaponization of diplomacy for the culture war: five years ago, I posted documents sent to me by a Fulbright scholar, from his State Department training before being sent to a very conservative Third World country. He said that all the scholarship winners that year had been subjected to lengthy lectures by the State Department on how their job was to go abroad to spread the gospel of LGBT rights — this, even though it had nothing to do with the Fulbright program, and in many cases would be diametrically opposed to the cultural views of countries the American scholars were headed to. Respect for the Fulbright scholars’ host countries didn’t matter to the State Department. What mattered above all things was that these US-funded scholars become ambassadors for the cultural revolution. As the Fulbrighter who sent me images of the training documents said:

What I would like to emphasize is that these SJW ideology sessions took fully 1/3 of our day. This was time that could have been spent talking about the religion or culture or history of the regions we’re going to–many Fulbrighters have never been to the country they’ll be doing their research in, and could absolutely use a primer. Yet the State Department decided it was more important to stick self-described LGBT activists on a stage than it was to give people a meaningfully informative orientation about the region.

That was 2016. Heaven only knows how bad it is today.

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