If we, the populace, have now lost the right to expect that our daughters will not have to share a bathroom with little boys, I think there are two issues that we need to demand clarification on, before we just passively accept this huge change in the boundary-line between private and public. We need:
1. A definition of sex and gender that is grounded in science rather than ideology
Science has the obligation to inform us about facts, but not the right to demand we accept ideological value judgments. What we are seeing is not “fact”. We don’t even have a consistent definition of what gender is or whether it matters: the mental health “experts” who are quick to insist that Coy Mathis will experience some really awful, negative consequence if he’s forced to acknowledge his male body are the same people who insist there’s nothing wrong with gay people deliberately making children motherless or fatherless – because sex and gender are apparently so unimportant to children that one can swap out a mother for a father with no loss at all involved. The rule seems to be “if it involves destroying a sexual boundary, then it must be right”. That’s consistent with the ideological goals of the so-called sexual revolution (which describes the destruction of sexual boundaries as “liberating”) but when science is separated from ideology (GIGO) the arguments are far less compelling.
Coy was diagnosed with “gender identification disorder” a mental ailment that the American Psychiatric Association, after years of lobbying from some advocacy groups, removed from its lists of mental ailments. The main objection those groups had been that the treatment consisted of getting the patient to accept its biological designation, that the designation of a mental disease would cause undue stigma and it would reinforce the binary model of gender in society. This last items is something the advocacy groups strongly reject, and are advocating against.
This is dripping with irony because by rejecting “boy things” in order to wear dresses, have long hair, play with dolls you are reinforcing male to female stereotypes…
2. A definition of “mental illness” that consists of more than just ideologues voting on who should and should not be stigmatized as a precondition of receiving what they need to live
If a person is going to argue in court that they can’t have a normal, decent, or happy life unless other people lose their rights (whether it’s a child’s right to have a relationship with his own real mother or a little girl’s right to not have to share the bathroom with boys), then that’s not normal or healthy.
Everyone has the right to make whatever lifestyle choices they want, but that right does not come with the right to demand that others consider themselves obliged to worry about your special needs. It can’t be both ways; it has to be one or the other: if you need accommodations, then you can’t argue that your condition is “equal”. To make such arguments is not only dishonest, but it does a major disservice to all those disabled people who are thus doubly stigmatized by the implied claim that there is something “icky” about being classed as disabled.
Mental health services originated as a promise – that people would be cured of their dysfunctions and would be helped to live better lives. It is a betrayal of that promise when mental health service providers who admit up front they don’t know how to “cure” much of anything focus instead on using their awesome authority to control and manipulate us, telling us how we ought to feel about function and dysfunction, forcing us to accept their ideological values and depriving us of our rights to self-governance and liberty, using people like Coy Mathis as mascots and meat shields who will be hurt if we do not acquiesce in their power grab.
In Creationism as a Mental Illness, Robert Rowland Smith argues that creationists exhibit several signs of mental illness including denial, psychosis, and inability to grasp irony.
The specter of mental illness does indeed loom large over creationists, but they are not alone. Signs of psychopathology can also be seen among their political bedfellows, conservative Republicans, especially when you consider a wide range of illness indicators. In his award-winning 2005 book Dr. James Whitney Hicks discusses 50 signs of mental illness including denial, delusion, hallucination, disordered thinking, anger, anti-social behavior, sexual preoccupation, grandiosity, general oddness, and paranoia….
The editors of this volume provide compelling arguments for many destructive trends in the mental health professions – most particularly, psychology, but also psychiatry and social work. They demonstrate from an insider’s perspective how activism masquerades as science in the APA, and how “diversity” has been redefined into a kind of narrow politicism, where differing worldviews are not only summarily dismissed, but the holders of such views actually punished.
The authors condemn the APA for providing forums only for their preferred worldviews. They particularly note how psychology is undermined when APA makes resolutions and public policy statements on issues for which there is little or inadequate science. Such prostitution of psychology by activist groups within APA is contributing, they say, to the profession’s demise as a scientific organization. “Psychology and mental health,” Cummings says, “have veered away from scientific integrity and open inquiry, as well as from compassionate practice in which the welfare of the patient is paramount” (p. xiii).