“When I use a word,’ Humpty Dumpty said in rather a scornful tone, ‘it means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less.’
’The question is,’ said Alice, ‘whether you can make words mean so many different things.’
’The question is,’ said Humpty Dumpty, ‘which is to be master — that’s all.” – Lewis Carroll
The question is, says me, whether declaring one’s self a master, makes you one in fact. (I’m with Alice.)
There is a disconcerting trend I have encountered of people thinking, nay feeling, they must not judge others or anything lest they betray a bias that all things are not alike.
This seems to be a severe misreading of a statement from the Christian Gospels (Matthew 7:1–2) wherein Jesus admonishes us “judge not lest you be judged”.
This misunderstanding can be illustrated by a graduate student’s reaction, on hearing about women in Iran being stoned to death for an offence most westerners would deem minor. She curled into a fetal position and said, “I don’t want to judge. Every culture has its standards.” Really?
Pope Francis added fuel to this confusion when he reportedly said, “Who am I to judge?” in response to a question about the gay lifestyle. What he actually meant may never be known. That he was speaking for himself and not claiming infallibility in his statement may bring some clarity to what may be a paraphrase or a bad translation.
One cannot survive for long in this life without exercising discernment about what is the best course of action, or who are the best companions with whom to spend time. All behavior is not of equal weight or value. Everyone makes choices. Choices have consequences.
The quote from Matthew is more about ourselves being judged by the standard we set for others, than whether or not to judge at all.
I have been a victim of such muddy thinking myself. I once thought I was an idiot. However, it soon became clear this was not true. I was merely trying to fit in with my peers.
I came upon an article today: http://hotair.com/archives/2016/10/19/illinois-judge-cites-cisgender-subjects-transgender-bathroom-ruling/ .
The Federal Judge in the story (Jeffrey T. Gilbert) states in his ruling “High school students do not have a constitutional right not to share restrooms or locker rooms with transgender students whose sex assigned at birth is different than theirs.” Good to know he has read the Constitution. (Emphasis mine.)
I find several things about this statement to be curious. I am no constitutional scholar but I suspect the reason our founding fathers did not stipulate to such things in our Constitution is, to quote the Declaration of Independence, “We find these truths to be self-evident.”
The poor subject of this ruling, the young transgender woman (reportedly equipped with a penis), cannot understand why her need for privacy from those curious boys, might also excite the desire for privacy from those less curious girls, with whom ‘she’ now can share a locker room.
Does this Judge actually think the sex at birth is ‘assigned’ arbitrarily, by a fanciful nurse, to fill a quota or to rhyme with a Cole Porter lyric?
I am going out on a limb here by judging this Judge, but I always thought the sex of a newborn baby was ‘noted’. ‘Described,’ if you prefer.
Who would be served by making the answer to this primary question in anyone’s life, subject to a whim?
“Congratulations! It’s a… whatever.”
Mind you, this Judge is supposed to judge. He is a judge. Judging is his job. And this is the reasoning with which he arrives at his conclusions?
I’m merely speculating, but does anyone want to wager that this same Judge thinks there is a war on women? How would he know? Based on what obscure data?
How can there be a war on women if no one can identify exactly what the nature of a ‘woman’ is?
It might be illustrative to look inside a women’s locker room to see what one looks like. Or not.
If ‘womanhood’ is a status of one’s thought, this judge would have to be a mind reader to find a woman. Mind reading is a skill I never found useful in divining the thoughts of any woman I’ve ever known. But who am I to judge?
Who would identify as a woman if they knew war was being waged on them? Wouldn’t women wishing to avoid this gender war merely change that identity and go blithely about their lives?
But then they might be forced to wage war on women too.
Is that what this Judge is doing?