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Transgender ideology has left the campus

…and become part of the real world

Twitter recently announced that it will punish any users who engage in “misgendering,” i.e. calling a man who believes he is a woman a man, and “deadnaming,” i.e. referring to a man by his birth name of Charlie when he wants to be called Charlotte instead. These two terms are both esoteric artifacts of transgender ideology, something that barely 0.5% of the population would have had any use for prior to yesterday. Now Twitter has made them part of its official policy. Hooray.

This kind of bizarre social development—in which a major global media company mandates that all of its hundreds of millions of users ignore basic scientific fact in favor of incoherent ideology—would not have been possible without the campus transgender movement. Those of us who follow such things have been warning for some time that this destructive weirdness will not stay confined to student unions and and LGBTQ Resource Centers; eventually it must boil over into the real world. Well, here it is: If you’re a social media user who doesn’t want to play along with the fiction of transgenderism—if you believe and profess that a woman who injects testosterone into her body, cuts her breasts off and gives herself a male name is still a woman—then you’re going to find yourself cut out of a large part of the public square. It’s just the way things are going.

This is why the fights and debates on campus are so critical. Higher education provides a fertile breeding ground for these types of ideologies. A worldview like transgenderism would never have found much purchase at all in the real world, far removed from the sort of suspended animation of campus life; it needed the infrastructure and social environment of college in order to fully develop and, having done that, become a part of normal mainstream discourse. (To take another example: In New York, it’s illegal to “misgender” someone.)

It won’t stop with Twitter, of course. Facebook will probably come next; expect Instagram and other platforms to follow soon. Conservatives—indeed, everyone who prizes scientific fact over nonsense philosophy—can expect to see the capacity for debate grow ever-more shriveled and denuded. In the meantime, it is worth reflecting on how we got here: We owe it in no small part to relatively small groups of activists operating without much coordination at campuses across the country. It’s a big win—for them. For the rest of us not so much.

MORE: The continuing incoherence of transgender ideology

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