The Dumbest Cover Story Ever – New York Magazine’s “Freedom of Sex” is the ultimate example of the lunatic nihilism that’s consumed America’s intellectual class


by Matt Taibbi

New York Magazine has a new cover story, by the trans writer Andrea Long Chu: “The moral case for letting trans kids change their bodies.” A jeremiad in support of the idea that children must have absolute political agency, it makes the Unabomber manifesto read like a Shakespeare sonnet. The money passage:

We must be prepared to defend the idea that, in principle, everyone should have access to sex-changing medical care, regardless of age, gender identity, social environment, or psychiatric history.

A lot of the piece is standard-issue woe-is-me fuck-everything cartoon nihilism you’d hear from any laptop-class liberal arts product, arguing for a generalized smashing of the patriarchy, among other things by attacking the biological conspiracy to produce those units of material labor value known as babies. Complete abolition of norms would be an “impossible task,” Chu notes sadly, but that doesn’t preclude their “collective reimagining” by an alliance of intersectional victims working toward a Marxian paradise free of “oppressive systems,” which of course include the nuclear family. This brings us to Chu’s big clickworthy idea: child liberation.

Pop quiz: which of the following passages are from Chu’s New York piece, and which are from a 2008 NAMBLA-published essay, “A Call for Social Justice”?

a) We have a responsibility because of our relative freedom of action to the ideal we espouse of complete liberation for children.

b) For now, parents must learn to treat their kids as what they are: human beings capable of freedom.

Easy, right? The New York passage is “b.” But how about:

a) Legally, children are not owned by their parents, but nonetheless are completely subject to their parent’s domination and consequently, have the status of slaves.

b) Americans tend to imagine children both as a font of pure, unadulterated humanity and as ignorant dependents incapable of rational thought or political agency.

The New York passage is still “b.” One more:

a) From an acceptance of the concept of children’s liberation it is not a large step to the acceptance of the idea of general social liberation for all people. When special cases of discrimination against children are examined, the specialness of the examples diminishes. 

b) For these people, sex itself is becoming a site of freedom. This freedom is not unprecedented… What is new is the idea that this freedom can be asserted as a universal right by a group as politically disenfranchised as the young.

It’s “b” again. Am I comparing pedophile writing to trans advocacy? I am, a little! The “kids… have a right to the hazards of their own free will” idea in Chu’s essay and the NAMBLA-endorsed “children’s liberation” concept aren’t exactly miles apart, but that’s not even the point.

No serious person bothers reading past the headlines of NAMBLA essays because we know no matter how flowery the rhetoric, the endgame is a stranger jonesing to bugger your 13-year-old. As anyone who’s raised children knows, leaving kids to “the hazards of their own free will” is a completely unworkable concept, apart from its outrageousness and moral insanity. The editors of New York should have reached the “Sorry, that’s just fucking stupid” stage one paragraph in. The American intellectual mainstream is now so infected by cowardice before academic shibboleths that it kowtows to ideas the average kindergarten teacher would flunk without a thought.

Chu won the Pulitzer Prize for Criticism last year, putting her in the middle of the middle of current ideological orthodoxy. The New York essay perfectly captures the lunatic nihilism American academics have fanned into a mass movement by granting the most idiotic forms of teenage self-absorption the status of wisdom and insight. This has had disastrous consequences, both for society and its ballooning population of over-encouraged young pseudo-intellectuals like Chu. We love our kids and are appropriately fascinated by everything they do, but we don’t put their filled diapers on walls as art. That’s bad parenting, and the editors at New York are guilty of something similar when they give this piece top billing.

Kids now can go straight from the Beavis and Butthead blowing-up-frogs stage of development to college, with nothing but cheering adults and the Internet in between. They’ve read nothing, know nothing, and have been reassured the world revolves around them in the same way adults in medieval times turned child regents into egomaniacs to strengthen the tradition of divine right. Here the plan seems to be graduating waves of narcissistic ignoramuses and encouraging them to continue blowing things up, only switching out frogs for adult targets like familial love or common sense. It’s all in service of a goofball Marxian utopia students used to leave behind by freshman year, but is now an article of faith even among the tenured. Here’s Chu on reasons parents might be concerned about giving pubescent girls puberty blockers:

The specter of mass infertility cannot be underestimated. I do not think it is an exaggeration to say that the anti-trans movement is driven by a deep, unconscious dread that society will not have enough working female biology to support the deteriorating nuclear family — and, with it, the entire division of sex itself.

Of course, parents who worry over fertility are driven by deep unconscious concern for the general future of demographic replacement, not because they love their own particular daughter and worry she might want to have children someday. Family after all is a material calculation! As Chu writes, sex “functions as a kind of material base, as the Marxist feminists might put it,” being a “source of labor, wealth, and power” in which the “elaborate superstructure of gender” is continually reaffirmed through the production of “assets” called children. Therefore, “if biological sex is part of a material structure of value… society has a concrete interest in any potential gains or losses,” which is why Alabama Republicans want IVF:

The recent rush on the part of the Alabama GOP to enshrine the legality of IVF treatments… is an excellent reminder that many religious conservatives support significant medical interventions in biological sex… when the payoff is a human infant.

These concepts are not hard, no matter how much post-modernist gibberish terminology you pile on to make them seem complicated. People want access to IVF treatments because they’re grownups who want to have children. They’re less excited about “significant medical interventions in biological sex” when the choice is being made by minors and enabled by activists and school officials whose collective medical and psychiatric knowledge could fit in a bee’s anus.

We don’t let pre-teens drive, we don’t hand them chainsaws on the way to school, and hesitation about doling out extremely powerful drugs with permanent side effects falls in the same category for obvious reasons. Unfortunately, common sense taking a back seat to verbose pedantic snobbery is the new American way, as everyone from the editors of New York to whoever’s currently running the White House (whose doddering figurehead apologized to a murderer this weekend for an “error” of political terminology) keeps proving.

The through-lines connecting all the inanities of the modern left are a belief that history started ten minutes ago and the demand that people believe the unbelievable. The trans issue seems to occupy a central place in the new mythos because a) it’s a place where upscale white dudes can reinvent themselves as victims of oppression, and b) it demands a rejection of biological fact that doubles nicely as a test of faith. Current manias say we have the technological capacity to fully re-engineer people and build utopia, so never mind the thousands of years of history telling us how efforts to build heaven on earth tend to play out. We’re new, advanced, past all that. As Chu put it, “Justice is always an attempt to change reality.”

That’s not true, but that rarely stops Chu, who likes to begin passages with statements like “Most people are not being made to change their sex at gunpoint…” (no people are being made to change their sex at gunpoint, but whatever). When the concept of justice becomes intertwined with rejection of reality, it starts to be righteous to say things that make no sense, also called nonsense in English. Here Chu takes on the issue of competitive sports:

Liberals, meanwhile, object to trans girls’ participation in sports not because sperm swim faster than eggs but because trans girls, they suppose, will swim faster than their own little girls, who may then be deprived of athletic scholarships or other opportunities.

It is impossible to overstate the absurdity of saying that someone who benefitted from male growth hormones but switched to participate in (and presumably win) girls’ sporting events, is the victim of someone else’s ambition and hyper-competitiveness. Chu goes on:

Widespread discomfort at the largely fantastical idea that trans girls will always dominate in their chosen sports reflects a basic patriarchal belief that the physical advantages of being male are perfectly acceptable so long as they are possessed by men. (In this sense, sex division in sport is meant to enshrine inequality, not to mitigate it.)

Yup: patriarchal bigotry is what causes young women to object when a 6’4” man switches pools to race against them. Chu goes on to say, “Let trans girls play sports, regardless of their sex status. If they excel, this means only that some girls are better at sports than others,” which of course is exactly what it doesn’t mean.

Chu singles me out as a TARL, or “trans-agnostic reactionary liberal,” an irritant whose transphobia is expressed via “protecting free speech and civil society from the illiberal forces of the woke left.” Along with Jesse Singal, Helen Lewis, Bari Weiss, and Matt Yglesias, we TARLs classify anyone who’s “forcing the orthodoxy of gender down the public’s throat and viciously attacking anyone who dares to ask questions” as “trafficking in censorship, intimidation, and quasi-religious fanaticism.” Yglesias was forced out of a company he helped found because he co-signed the Harper’s Letter with J.K. Rowling. That Chu put him on a list of people said to have engaged in “reactionary” scaremongering about fanatical censorship is hilarious.

Chu’s big debut was an essay called “On Liking Women” in N+1 magazine in 2018, which among other things described an infatuation as a young person with the SCUM Manifesto by Valerie Solanas, better known as the person who shot Andy Warhol. I also read that book in college, when I was plowing through writers of angry prose, reading everyone from Eldridge Cleaver to Jack Henry Abbott to Andrea Dworkin (whose book Intercourse I loved, even as it describes men as maybe earth’s lowest life form).

The Solanas theory is that man is a mutant whose Y chromosome is really just an incomplete X, a “walking abortion” who’ll grow up to be a prisoner of a twisted sexuality whose unquenchable, unachievable goal is to deny his own femaleness. “Completely egocentric, unable to relate, empathize, or identify,” the male hates himself for being “psychically passive,” which is why he’ll do anything, including “wade nostril-deep through a mile of vomit,” to stick his thing in anything — babies, corpses, “any snaggle-toothed hag” — to prove he’s no woman. However, he is passive and does want to be a woman, and once he accepts this, Solanas writes, he becomes a drag queen and “gets his dick chopped off.” At that point he achieves a “continuous diffuse sexual feeling” from being woman-like.

This is wild stuff and Solanas is a wonderfully vivid writer. She’s also a complete nutcase who shot a human being because he lost a draft of a play called Up Your Ass. That should be your first clue to take it with a grain of salt when your disintegrating narrator expands beyond biting commentary to social theory, like a casual proposal in the book’s first paragraph to “overthrow the government, eliminate the money system, institute complete automation and destroy the male sex.” As the text goes on, the SCUM Manifesto drifts in repetitive circles. Following the eternal law of violently crazy people, Solanas inevitably writes herself into Hitlerisms:

Read more

0 0 votes
Article Rating
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Dems push for universal pre-school child care (gov’t run) so they can get their mitts on impressionable minds even younger than age 5.
So they can turn more children into sterilized sexual cripples dependent on elites who control their hormonal doses until they get tired of them.
The child doesn’t realize that he/she will never know sexual pleasure, having a family or a life free from drugs.
But the elites do know all of this.
Children, turned into unsexed, drug dependent slaves are perfect for their purposes.
Good question here:

More New York Dunderheads at work the Big Apple has he all time worst printable stuff ever

It still confuses me that some believe children have all the legal rights of adults, but when a child commits a crime, they want to hold the parents accountable.

Obama’s selection of Kevin Jennings, NAMBLA supporter, to be “safe schools czar” should have been the warning that the left wants to make all children nothing but sexual accessories, but non-mentally ill people simply don’t think that way. Because so many perverts and sexual predators have gravitated to the Democrat party, it is only logical that they would conduct a campaign to make child sexual abuse normal.