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They’re eventually coming for you

Look around – the “first they came for” lines are being played out again in our country.

3 min read
Photo by Adi Goldstein / Unsplash

People will say that invoking German theologian Martin Niemöller amounts to hyperbole. First they came for the Communists / And I did not speak out / Because I was not a Communist. But it can’t be hyperbole if they’re piecing it together in the open.

And don’t be fooled: Attacking trans kids and their parents is the first step in a return to the 1950s, the Golden Age of the far right, when men were men (or at least closeted), women were women (and subservient and unemployed outside the home), and colored people knew their place (or at least could be terrorized to remain there).

The far right hasn’t been subtle at all. It hasn’t just been Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas who has opined (between luxury junkets) that we need to get rid of gay marriage. GOP candidates agree, and the Texas Republican party platform includes eliminating gay marriage — even though 71% of Americans support it. Why, you can’t even say the word “gay” in Florida schools — forget gay marriage — unless you’re very sly. The Daily Caller’s Michael Knowles has even demanded that we wipe out transgender folks.

There is no middle way in dealing with transgenderism. It’s all or nothing. If transgenderism is true, men really can become women, then it’s true for everybody of all ages. If transgenderism is false — as it is — if man [sic] really can’t become women — as they cannot — then it’s false for everybody, too. And if it’s false, we should not indulge it, especially as that indulgence requires taking away the rights and customs of so many people. If it is false, then, for the good of society, and especially for the good of the poor people fallen prey to this confusion, transgenderism must be eradicated from public life entirely.

Now, Michael Knowles insists that he was never advocating for killing nonbinary people. So we’ll take him at his word. He only wants to shame them, strip them of their rights, and jail them “for the good of society.” I feel so much better!

And isn’t it interesting that the far right focuses on transgender women, but never transgender men? Funny that. It’s almost if this is all about insecure men puffing themselves up in their far-right silos.

But that’s not all. The far right is fairly jonesing at the prospect of getting women out of the workforce. At Turning Point USA’s most recent Young Women’s Leadership Summit, there was only one message: drop out, get married, kowtow to your husband, and have lots of White babies. It’s rare to have a so-called leadership summit whose central theme is that attendees shouldn’t be leaders at all, but here we are. They also missed the irony that none of the female presenters had taken their own advice. So, ladies, if you enjoy your job, know that Republican pundits, organizers, and candidates know better than you. In fact, The Daily Wire’s Matt Walsh wants you to know that including women outside of their traditional sphere simply ruins everything — especially sports. Must be those feminine cooties.

Episodes in which girls were tormented for not being girly enough are now rampant. Unsurprisingly, that’s especially true in sports. A busybody old man tried to get confirmation that a 9-year-old girl in British Columbia, Canada, was really a girl. Was he hoping to get a sneak peek in her drawers? The man’s wife called the girls’ mom “genital mutilators” for good measure. Your daughter’s a really good athlete? They’re coming for her, too. Utah Parents complained that an incredibly successful girl athlete “doesn’t look feminine enough” and, therefore, must secretly be a boy. Great way to humiliate superior athletes out of jealousy!

Women who look too butch are being harassed for following the state legislators’ commandment that they use the bathroom that accords to the sex noted on the birth certificates. Florida — where else? — allows for the bathroom police to use genital inspections. Feeling freer, ladies?

And I don’t have to enumerate Republican attacks on voting rights, Black- and trans- elected officials, and democracy in general, do I? But, if you want specifics, Vox does an excellent job here. I also recommend Aljazeera English’s article here.

First, they came for the trans kids ...


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Ivonne Rovira

Ivonne is the research director for Save Our Schools Kentucky. She previously worked for The Miami Herald, the Miami News, and The Associated Press. (Read the rest on the Contributors page.)