David Reimer was born a boy named Bruce in 1965. He had a twin brother named Brian. Due to urinary issues, doctors recommended circumcision in order to alleviate said urinary concerns. The doctor used a controversial method of cauterization which resulted in the complete burning of his penis.
Bruce’s parents were justifiably worried about his future & his happiness with no penis. They took him to Dr. John Money, a quickly emerging psychologist who was a strong proponent of blank slate theory. Dr. John Money was firmly convinced gender was a social construction and could be learned away through appropriate psychological & behavioral intervention.
Let’s step through the ideas pioneered by Money. He believed in sex differences & gender differences. His perception of sex differences was small (but larger than most feminists consider); he noted sexual dimorphism & that women are vulnerable while rearing children, so that explains why men were the hunters & wanderers. However, he coined the term “gender role,” replacing the traditional term “sex role.” He thought most behavior exhibited by men and women was socially constructed. “Gender roles” are the publicly displayed traits while “gender identity” was how one conceived of their sexual identity in their head.
He was one of the leading scientific forces that helped second-wave feminism smash gender roles & traditional society. Armed with the information that gender and sexuality were socially built, they radically altered society. As for Money himself, he transformed the medical and scientific community and turned the professions towards social constructionism. We see the vestiges of this in the supreme reticence of academia to admit biological sex differences. Since feminism and social construction are fused at the hip, they know the disavowal of social constructionism would seriously call into question many feminist theories & approaches.
As for Bruce, he began to go to therapy with Money as an infant. Under Money’s recommendation, Bruce’s testicles were removed shortly before two years, but no artificial vagina was created – just leaving young Bruce with a urinary hole. Bruce was renamed Brenda. Brenda was a patient of Money’s for about a decade with his brother Brian. Money noted this was perfect for deconstructing gender – as he had the perfect control in Brian.
The therapy was bizarre, making Brenda lie on the ground while Brian made thrusting motions, mimicking penetration. Money believed sexual identity around gender was formed during childhood sexual play. Money claimed that Brenda was a stereotypical girl & Brian the stereotypical boy – concluding gender is completely constructed.
Brenda, however, was not as he portrayed. Brenda refused to wear dresses at an early age and engaged in roughhousing with Brian. Brenda refused to sexualize boys and, for a time, identified as a lesbian. Bullied and abused at school, Brenda developed suicidal tendencies and refused to ever see Money again. She got estrogen treatments and underwent female puberty, growing breasts, developing a feminine voice and the whole bit. For his part, Brian developed a serious case of schizophrenia because of Money’s incredibly reckless and ignorant “therapy.”
Brenda, in high school, dropped the female act and assumed the identity of man named David. Notice the lack of taking his original name – most likely he was trying to assert autonomy over his life and identity. He eventually had a double mastectomy and had phalloplasty. This was years after he married a woman and became a step-father to a few children.
Brian, unable to cope with his mental illness, overdosed on his anti-depressants in 2002. Just two short years later, David’s wife informed him she wanted a divorce. Unable to cope with his life, his brother’s death and his impending divorce, he went to the local grocery store, put a sawed-off shotgun into his mouth and pulled the trigger. He was just 38.
Judith Butler: The Profile Of A Delusional Blank Slatist
Let’s talk about a prominent feminist and ardent social constructionist named Judith Butler. Butler is a gay Jewish radical feminist. Like any prominent feminist, she was gifted class and educational privilege. In the so-called hallowed halls of American academia, she came to her fame for her dogged insistence that gender is little more than a performance. Her seminal work is “Gender Trouble,” released in 1990 to the cheering applause of feminist and liberal academics.
A brief breakdown is needed. It is considered one of the essential readings of queer theorists and post-structural feminists. She is credited with coining the term “gender perfomativity.” The key point she belabors is the fact that both sex and gender are socially constructed – meaning humans have no inborn traits relating their sexual organs. She claims that both gender & sex are both socially constructed in the sense that heterosexist power structures demand conformity to existing norms based on misogyny & heterosexism. She further makes a Freudian argument that boys identifying as masculine are repressing incestuous & homosexual desires for their father – same for feminine women with regards for their mother. She calls for subversion of gender by parodying gender itself – she takes a strong liking to drag shows. She claims our humanity “admits no genealogy” and we are born into this world completely free & clear to be anybody we want – our bodies are necessarily limited by power structures that privilege men and heterosexuality.
A brief rebuttal would be this: Her ideas are based on theories of Freud that have long since been discredited. Do note that Cultural Marxism is rooted in Freudian theory, so it stands to reason they cling desperately to Freud’s theories of socialization & sexuality. The obsession with power and who controls it is key to understanding the psychology behind Butler’s arguments & social constructionists in general. The genealogical approach Foucault pioneered, utilized here through the lens of gender by Butler, explicitly refuses to consider biological & factual explanations for social phenomena in a society. Instead, the genealogical approach assumes truth is often discovered randomly and are often backed by power structures in a given society. Thus, all truths are subject to question – pure social relativism.
Butler is a classic homosexual narcissist – unable to understand that the strong majority of people don’t have the issues they have relating to masculinity and femininity; they demand the rest of the world change so they don’t have to reconcile the fact they will never be truly socially comfortable for their deviance based on lack of adherence to expected male/female behavior.
Her dogged insistence of blank-slatism is little more than her own issue with the fact she is a biological androgynous female. When we see such resolute devotion to social constructionism, it usually has either a biological or psychological root. Here, Butler was probably exposed to masculinizing hormones in the womb, but – as expected – she hit puberty and has estrogen coursing through her veins. Her inability to come to terms with that is the fuel that fires her pseudo-intellectualism. Often times, the strongest blank-slatists are people who, biologically, don’t fit the expectations of their sex. Here, Butler clearly is a lesbian that does not identify with femininity at all. Instead of coming to terms with that, she seeks to intellectualize her lack of feminine sensibility by trying to prove feminine women are really repressed lesbians.
As for psychological issues, let’s talk about when heterosexual females take to this rhetoric. Almost always there is a degree of narcissism. I strongly believe we exist in a culture of narcissism in America. As such, people often have fantasies that do not match up with the reality of their life. Feminist activism is emblematic of this idea. When heterosexual women take strongly to social constructionism, they often complain of impossible beauty standards or male fear of their self-perceived successes in life. It is a defense mechanism that allows them to pretend the men they find sexually attractive would desire them would it not be for untoward social forces. It is a form of self-handicapping that allows such women space to fantasize about men they desire sexually without ever having to worry about that being played out in real life.
Gender Politics As Narcissism & A Lament
Let’s consider a post by The Last Psychiatrist: Couple Reveals Their Child’s Gender Five Years Too Late
Let’s break this down.
What drove her to using her child as a you-go-first skydiving partner is the desire to be something coupled with the terror of doing anything– which results in ambivalence and inertia camouflaged in a consumerist lifestyle full of meaningless choices. This leaves a lot of unused emotional energy left over for me me me. She’s had 46 years to obsess over her identity, and this is what she came up with, a hail mary pass in the second half of a mid-life crisis.
Gender politics is the porting of personal terror of betraying social expectations and demanding that other people change so they don’t have to. The obsession over changing socialization, media representations of gender, etc. is little more than the inability to or fear of changing themselves.
If challenging of gender roles was a desire of the first order, a woman would flaunt her hairy legs, her refusal to wear dresses, etc. Notice how Jessica Valenti has hairy armpits – a classic narcissistic move as she can hide it if she wants to via clothing – but then show it off in photos. Look at me smash the patriarchy!
It isn’t a desire of the first order, the foremost desire is conformity, which is represented in the desire for society to give them new scripts so they can avoid the existential terror of truly becoming self-actualized. Notice the constant rhetoric of oppression of true personhood by society – what they are signaling is they want new ways of socializing people to be enacted because they are too afraid of becoming the people they think they want to be.
Her life has been marked by nothing eventful, nothing challenging, nothing unusual, nothing difficult, so she will have created drama out of ordinary events in order to self-identify. “Oh, God,” she’d say as she parks her Subaru at the Gymboree. “These mums are all so desperately conformist. Marry the father of my child? How utterly bourgeois. Did I mention my child is a court jester?
Female gender warriors is the sort of woman TLP is talking about – most likely just another white, entitled female who has had nothing exceptional – good or bad – happen to her. She is most likely not dumb, but not smart. Not incompetent but not excellent. She needs to create alternate realities where the dialogue is about her exceptionalism.
It isn’t for the kid, it is for her. If it wasn’t for her, you wouldn’t have heard about it. Wasn’t the whole point not to call attention to the gender? Oh, I had it backwards, the whole point was entirely to focus on the gender. Sigh. The main character in this story is herself. The kid is supporting cast. He is not a person, he is a blog topic.
This what gender politics is about – the person talking about gender politics. They don’t give a damn about the people they purport to help – they just want the worship from like-minded people that they are pioneers transforming the world for the better. The people they target – the kid here – is little more than a pawn in a greater scheme of worship from their preferred authorities.
As we saw with Judith Butler, she doesn’t understand that other people have vastly different relationships with femininity than she does. She understands the blank-slatist approach of academia and that encourages the retrenchment of her narcissism. As for the gender-neutral parents talked about above – all it is is their inability to smash gender roles like they claim to want to. They need proxies – children – who will supposedly prove their theories right. That is why feminists insist so strongly on taking over schools, universities and transforming the family – they need vulnerable children to become the people they never could be. Gender politics are self-absorption & narcissism of a supreme order.
David Reimer was little more than a pawn in the greater game of gender politics. Born into an ideologically churning world, he was little more than a notch-count for ignorant feminists who think the world revolves around their delusional ideas of reality & gender.
His suicide should have been the shot heard round the world for the death of blank-slatism. Was it? No. Most explanations revolve around financial issues, his brother’s suicide, the clinical depression his family has that apparently has genetic roots. Ironic, isn’t it? Claims of biological proclivities of depression conveyed from mother to son. Could it be he was denied his biological birthright of manhood?
Sure, maybe, according to apologists. However, it was those oppressive gendered standards of male behavior that mattered most. His wife wasn’t leaving him, he was leaving his family because of unfair expectations of male behavior.
In the twilight of his life, his wife assured him he was sexually adequate as a male. Very reassuring to man who understands the woman he loves is leaving him. Not just a man, but a man whose life was deconstructed & reconstructed with no thought as to his concerns or the reality of sex.
The most obvious & clear reason he killed himself is he was denied his biological identity as male. The fact that article was called “The Real Reasons” was because anybody with a brain and a heart knew it was because he was denied his biological birthright. See the narcissism? Confronted with one of the saddest events to occur in life – suicide – social constructionists still go out of their way to assuage themselves that gender is still a social construct. Blame the free market – he can’t find a job! Blame his depression – she left him because he was too angry!
David Reimer was a just a boy that never had a chance. After his botched circumcision, his mother became clinically depressed, his father an alcoholic and his brother became a schizophrenic. He was just a person born into this world who had to become his own man long before he had the tools to do so. He tried so hard to do right – he lived 38 horrid years before he took his own life.
Some might say he was weak, but no – he was strong. He fought so valiantly against the world around him – from infancy – that he did the best he could. Even the strongest of men can crack. He did. His suicide should have ushered in a serious gut-check for America about gender. Did it? No.
He died alone in a grocery store parking lot. He went to a place where communities come together, where families shop. He went alone. That is how he felt – on the outside, looking in. Losing his family was the final nail in coffin. That Rolling Stone writer was wrong – he wasn’t leaving his family, his family left him.
His country failed him, the medical profession failed him, even his family failed him. He had no reason to believe in anything anybody shot his way – he was deceived, betrayed & lied to from his infancy. A victim of blank-slate narcissism, he was little more than a pawn in an ideological battle.
You think they attended his funeral? No, they just continued to whine about how gender was little more than a performance. In that act they revealed who they really cared about – themselves.
Read Next: How The Gender Script Was Flipped