“Trans Kids” Are the New Totem of the American Left
President Biden has announced that he would support federal legislation requiring states to administer hormone treatments and sex change operations for “transgender kids.” He blasted recent restrictions on such practices in Florida as “close to sin” and said that so-called gender-affirming care should qualify as a basic civil right.
The president’s message is dystopian on its face, but, at a deeper level of analysis, reveals the disturbing new metaphysics of the American Left, which has elevated the “transgender child” into a totem. In primitive societies, tribes in places such as North America and Aboriginal Australia would use totems to connect with nature, mediate their relationship with the spirit world, and honor the categories of the masculine and the feminine. In modern America, political activists use the “transgender child” as a post-modern totem to connect with a utopian, technologically-perfected future and to create a new category beyond man and woman. Through chemical and surgical intervention, they believe, they can smash the patriarchy and transcend the limitations of human nature.
In truth, however, these procedures will not usher in a utopia. As we are beginning to see with the first cohort of “detransitioners,” so-called gender-affirming care denies biological reality and often results in horrific complications and regrets. The American doctors who are performing double mastectomies on healthy young girls and penectomies on healthy young boys are not the saviors of the future—they are the butchers of the present, enacting a post-modern form of child sacrifice.