Transgenderism in the Elite in First Things December 2019 by R. R. Reno in The Public Square: Thomas Donnelly was a member of the foreign policy establishment in Washington, D. C., holding a position most recently at the American Enterprise Institute. He is no more, however, having been recently “reborn” as Giselle Donnelly. Josh Rogin profiled the new Donnelly in a Washington Post column, “a story of suffering, struggle, loss and love.”
According to Donnelly, “the whole thing is based on honesty.” Giselle adopts a demure posture: “I ask for people’s indulgence. That line of gender and sexuality is deeply personal for everybody.” But the posture is dishonest, says Reno. When a man ostentatiously changes his name and goes to work dressed as a woman, he’s not asking for indulgence. He’s certainly not respecting the deeply personal beliefs of others. On the contrary, he’s demanding a public and sustained complicity with his fantasies.
Compelled participation in private fantasy is disastrous for the morale of any organization. It forces coworkers to play assigned roles in the dreamworld of the transgendered person. Those around Donnelly must mouth lies to sustain his pretend female identity. To some degree or another, most of us have experience the frustration of having lost hours on the job as we had to pretend to be interested in our boss’s personal drama. Coworkers can be taken prisoner by someone who can’t not “share.” The imprisonment becomes acute with transgenderism, which now enjoys moral prestige and thus insists up on its right to compel us. Men like Donnelly are feted as heroic examples of liberation and “honesty.” They are empowered to strut like princesses, demanding the fawning use of “she.”
AIE President Arthur Brooks and Vice President for Foreign Policy Danielle Pletka say they support Donnelly. “We’re proud that she is part of the AEI family.” There you have it: An old line, establishment Republican institution is “proud” to join the side of affirmation, as if there are no costs. It’s emblematic of our establishment, left and right. They’re so rich and powerful that they imagine themselves immune to any reality, even the reality of the difference between men and women and the consequences of pretending it’s a social construction and not a reality at all.
We give thanks to R. R. Reno, Editor, FIRST THINGS, a publication of the Institute on Religion and Public Life, for the courage of publishing this information. We have eliminated the American Enterprise Institute and its President Arthur Brooks, whose writings we have supported for decades, from our list of institutions to support. We would encourage all our readers to do the same. We prefer this approach to that of marching or public display of violence. When Howard Schulze, CEO of Starbucks told shareholders if you don’t like our stand on Gay Marriage, you’re welcomed to sell your shares [and not visit our stores]. Many did. There is a Starbucks across from my office. After this announcement by Mr. Schulze, we have not set foot within his store. We observed a 10% dip in the Starbucks shares the following month after he made the statement. If the millions who voted for proposition eight would have done the same, our message would have been clear and effective for the cause of traditional marriage.
Background Reference: The social construction of gender is a theory in feminism and sociology about the operation of gender and gender differences in societies. According to this view, society and culture create gender roles, and these roles are prescribed as ideal or appropriate behavior for a person of that specific sex. Some supporters of this idea argue that the differences in behavior between men and women are entirely social conventions, whereas others believe that behavior is influenced by universal biological factors to varying degrees, with social conventions having a major effect on gendered behavior.