The measure of any democracy is its ability to protect the rights of the vulnerable

The measure of any democracy is its ability to protect the rights of the vulnerable

That this madness exists in a modern world is despicable

I don’t get it, I really don’t. On Nov. 19, the Ontario Conservative Party passed a resolution put forward by Tanya Granic Allen to discuss removing the concept of gender identity from Ontario school curricula.

The motion stated that gender identity is: “A highly controversial, unscientific ‘liberal ideology’; and, as such, that an Ontario PC Government will remove the teaching and promotion of ‘gender identity theory’ from Ontario schools and its curriculum.”

To his credit, Doug Ford (sensing political disaster, I’m sure) cut short the resolution. The question remains – why did it arise in the first place?

I suspect most of those hungering for this debate may well be ignorant of the fact that biologically we don’t only have two sexes legally recognized in Canada – in fact, we have three: male, female and inter-sex.

Ergo, at a basic science level, human biology is not an either-or proposition at all and in fact intersex individuals can have both XX and XY chromosomes at the same time, in the same body (so much for you’re either male or female).

Gender, on the other hand, is about something quite different than a person’s sex in modern parlance. Gender is more about societal roles, personal perceptions and where on a spectrum – from hyper-masculine to ultra-feminine – an individual fits.

In 2018 gender is a concept that is only very loosely tied to biological sex – in short, one can fit in anywhere one feels good fitting. Medical science has also made it possible for our physical bodies to be modified to meet our gender preferences, so one can not only relate to a gender psychologically, but can relate physically as well. Really none of the masculinity/femininity stuff is new – it has been around forever. So, one would think that this is social progress that should be celebrated simply because people can be comfortable in their own skins, and as such be happier, and more productive.

Well, apparently such celebration is not possible for Ms. Granic Allen and those who seem to see this debate about these issues as critical to our societal well-being.

What is it about gender identity that is so threatening? What is the problem with a male who finds himself at the feminine end of the gender continuum, or a woman who finds herself at the masculine end? In truth, there is no “problem” now, nor has there ever been.

The tragedy here is that people who experience a key aspect of lives differently from the mainstream are pilloried, not because they are a harm to anyone or anything, but because they are different. In fact, describing the experience of those suffering from gender discrimination as “pilloried” is something of a minimalist perspective.

In truth, in various locales throughout the world, they variously are bullied, ridiculed, beaten and murdered simply for being different. It is the tyranny of the majority writ large.

As 2018 closes there are 72 or 73 (depending on the source) countries wherein being anywhere on the LGBTQ2S spectrum is illegal and those accused of these “crimes” are subject to punishments varying from institutionalized discrimination to the death penalty.

That this madness exists in a modern world is despicable, that even a hint of it should exist in Canada is a stain on our nation’s dignity. Is the idea of “gender identity” a matter of “liberal ideology”? I think not.

It is a matter of fairness, of ethical behaviour, of dignity and of justice. The measure of any democracy is not in its ability to enact the wishes of the majority but in its ability to protect the rights of the vulnerable.

Perhaps a little self-reflection is due from Ms. Tanya Granic Allen and those who subscribe to her views.

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