Tom Jensen is the editor in chief of Berlingske Tidende, and after years of coddling the American left he seems to be waking up to the fact that something is rotten in America:
I’m not “cisgendered.” I’m a man.
Tom Jensen, Berlingske.dk, May 1
Jensen is apparently trying to bring his newspaper’s Danish readers up to speed on what’s been going on across the pond the past few years.
Do you know the term “cisgender”? If not, it might be a little weird since you probably are. “Cisgendered.”
At least according to the conceptual apparatus that’s emerged in recent years, carried by a wave of identity politics in which gender, skin color, sexuality and age are just some of the main identity markers that are given crucial weight in almost all issues.
With potentially far-reaching consequences for our society.
Well, as the kids used to say, someone ate his Wheaties this morning.
And as the retired actor once said so famously:
Welcome to the party, indeed.
A Gallup survey conducted by Berlingske shows that 94 percent of all Danes define themselves as their biological sex. Four to five percent do so to some degree. Only about one percent define themselves differently.
We’ll get to that survey in a moment, first let’s let Jensen finish his thought:
In other words, there’s no doubt about what normality is. Most people believe that sex is biological and they consider their biological sex to be the sex they are.
But that view is being fought in these years by an extreme, identity-politics left, which is well on its way to storming any norm, any normality in society based on an ideological mindset that is as extreme as monk-Marxism was in the 70s.
But let’s be clear: the identitarians aren’t waging war against “normality.” They’re waging war against reality. Consider:
A few weeks ago there was a serious discussion in the Folketing about whether men could get pregnant. They can—according to the left. The logic is this: since a person with a uterus can define himself as a man, then men can also get pregnant.
Any discussion of whether men can get pregnant is not serious. It’s silly. Only women can get pregnant.
The insane left isn’t just playing with language here: they’re toying with reality and demanding that we all play along or get branded as haters.
I’m not a hater. If you think your sex is different than the biology you were born with, if that’s what floats your boat, terrific. Good for you. I hope it works out, and I certainly won’t do anything to stand in your way.
But if you tell me I have to call my late mother, my sister, my wife, and my daughters “people who menstruate” or “birthing people” to avoid offending your own personal sense of self-worth, you can fuck right off.
It’s very simple: biology is reality.
You have a penis or a vagina (or, in the case of hermaphrodites, both). You have testes or ova. You have XX or XY chromosomes. These aren’t social constructs or abstract concepts: look between your legs. Does it look abstract to you down there?
Yes, it’s certainly possible you’re one of a very tiny handful of people with something other than a simple vagina or penis, but there are also tiny handfuls of people with six fingers, or three. We don’t speak of people with five digits on each hand as the “cis-handed,” nor do we fret over the lack of representation of three- or six-fingered people in our arts and entertainment. We aren’t demanding that society rearrange itself to recognize that not all people are ten-fingered.
There’s nothing inherently wrong about having fewer (or more) than ten fingers, but it’s biologically abnormal.
You’re entitled to your own perceptions, your own interpretations, your own thoughts and ideas about reality, but you’re not entitled to make everyone else play along.
Let’s look at the survey Berlingske conducted with Gallup. The results themselves aren’t online, just a summary of the findings—which are more or less as Jensen presents them:
A new survey conducted by Kantar Gallup for Berlingske shows that the vast majority of Danes surveyed, 94 percent, define themselves as the gender they have been assigned at birth. That is: as a man or woman.
Conversely, four per cent identify to some extent with their biological sex, while one per cent do not “at all.”
Although it may seem like a small number of people who do not define themselves based on the gender they were born with, says Christian Graugaard, who is a doctor and professor at the Sexological Research Center at Aalborg University:
“I think then, it is relatively many if there are five percent who do not 100 percent identify with the gender they were assigned at birth.”
Regular readers of this blog—both of you—may recall my recent mention of the “Lizardman’s Constant.” That constant is 4%, and it represents the percentage of people believed to respond “inattentively or mischievously” to any given survey. These are the people who answer yes to questions like, “Have you ever been the victim of a fatal accident?” and answer no to online survey questions like, “Have you ever used the internet?”
The article about the Gallup survey notes that a similar survey on sexual identity back in 2019 found that “about half a percent of Danes identified as neither male nor female.” That’s one half of one percent, just three years ago—against 4-5% today.
With the Danish population hovering a little under six million, 5% of its population would be around 300,000 people. Are we to believe that between 2019 and 2022 more than a quarter million people in Denmark changed their minds about something as basic and unambiguous as their sex?
If so, I’d say that’s a pretty significant problem.
But I don’t think it’s so.
I think women who’ve maybe always felt a little masculine, a little tomboyish, are now asking themselves, in light of all this “trans” talk in the public sphere, whether maybe they’re not just masculine women after all: maybe they’re men stuck in bodies that menstruate and lactate! Ditto for men who’ve always felt in touch with their “feminine side.” In the past they may have simply considered themselves a little effeminate, or at least not entirely “masculine.” But now they wonder: were they supposed to have been women all along?
We could have a real conversation about the meanings of masculinity and femininity. We all know masculine women and effeminate men. Those are certainly fluid concepts that vary from culture to culture and from time to time. Back in the 1970s there was a lot of talk in America about the “New Man,” a more sensitive, caring fellow who was open about his feelings and willing to cry in the presence of others. And so on. Alan Alda was its ideal.
Then the old-fashioned man came roaring back in the 1980s, as evidenced by the Terminator, Rocky, First Blood, and Die-Hard franchises, among many other markers—including the 1982 publication of Real Men Don’t Eat Quiche. Maybe the pendulum is swinging back now: maybe we’re on our way back to men in cardigan sweaters having heart-felt conversations about their insecurities.
There’s nothing wrong with that. (Societally. Personally, I still prefer an action hero with razor stubble, whiskey breath, and attitude and authority problems up the wazoo. And heroines with big wide eyes, pouty lips, and fabulous knockers. But that’s just me. De gustibus…!)
But a penis is a penis and a vagina is a vagina. That doesn’t vary anywhere and has nothing to do with anyone’s feelings.
Besides, for a man to say he feels like a woman requires that he have a very definite idea of what it feels like to be a woman. Does any woman even know what it “feels like” to be a woman? Wearing high-heels, lipstick, and a bra doesn’t make you a woman. Plenty of very feminine women go around in flats, or without makeup, or braless. Women are a very variegated lot, as are men. It’s impossible to define men and women without the use of biology, because that’s the only thing that definitively separates them.
(Besides parallel parking, anyway.)
Imagine a Turing Test for sex: subjects would have text-only online chats with various men and women and then have to identify which of their conversational partners were men and which were women. Do you think anyone could do that with 100% accuracy?
If not—and it seems wildly unlikely to me that anyone could—then what does it mean to “feel like” a man or woman? I mean, if our inner selves as expressed through words aren’t discernibly sexed or gendered, how can our inner selves be sexed or gendered?
That’s not so say men and women can’t feel more or less masculine or feminine, only to say that the insane identitarians seem to have inflated some very normal phenomena—men feeling feminine and women feeling masculine—into a Defining Social Issue of Our Time.
Girls can feel boyish without being boys. Boys (and lumberjacks) can feel girlish without being girls. There’s no need to pathologize it.
Jensen covers a lot of old ground in bringing his readers up to speed on the insanity unfolding in the anglophonic world and the perils it represents to Denmark. He concludes:
…a justified demand for equality and tolerance has long since ended in an intolerance worse than before. Debate is therefore boiling in the United States these days, and will do so throughout the run-up to the midterm elections. We might as well take the critical confrontation with identity-politics intolerance sooner rather than later here, as well.
Note that the “intolerance” he’s talking about isn’t intolerance of people who “identify” as something other than their biological sex: he’s talking about the intolerance the rest of us face for keeping our feet planted in reality or normality. He’s talking about absurd cruelties like “the private Pride marches in Copenhagen, where white, heterosexual men are ordered to walk to the back of the procession to atone for their inherited privileges.”
This movie has been playing for quite a while now and at some point borgerlig (right of center) Denmark is going to have to understand that the American left divorced itself entirely from reality a long way back and this is what the Democratic Party is all about today: radical, divisive, and destructive identity politics. Supporting American Democrats empowers and legitimizes this madness. To borrow a favorite phrase from the left, it normalizes insanity.
That Jensen is only coming around to all this now suggests he’s been asleep at the wheel the past five or six years. The Danish GLOB have been so absorbed in the task of dismissing the American right as bigots, white supremacists, and insurrectionists that they haven’t bothered actually examining any of their arguments (“why should we? these people are all crazy Q-anon maniacs!”), and their long-standing infatuation with the American left ensured they never bothered examining theirs (“why should we? we have always stood shoulder to shoulder with them because we share their values!”).
Danish understanding of American politics is still years behind the time. It’s nice to see the editor in chief of an ostensibly right-of-center newspaper finally taking notice—now let’s see if the paper’s American coverage begins to reflect this new awareness.