How to Oppose Unhealthy Narratives, by Dmytry Orlov

One of the mainstay techniques of contemporary psychological warfare is through the enforced use of narratives. A narrative sets out a set of definitions which then serve as reality-filters: any step off the narrow path these definitions provide is regarded as automatically offensive and requiring disciplinary action, while disputing the accuracy of these definitions is as pointless as disputing geometric axioms. Some narratives amount to hate speech and as such can be opposed through legal means as extremist, for promoting social division and strife. Others are based on a sort of false moralizing, appealing to our better natures and berating and seeking to punish those who refuse to go along with the program.
Such narratives are difficult to oppose because those who try to oppose them often make one and the same fatal mistake: they attempt to fight the narrative within its confines and its definitions. But the moment you accept the terminology of the narrative you become its prisoner. From that point on any struggle to free yourself from it becomes futile. The correct approach is to deprive the narrative of all of its validity by refusing to accept its key terms. Let us work through a few examples.
One particularly soft target is the narrative of “gay rights”: foreign journalists, for want of anything more useful to ask about, often inquire about gay rights in, say, Chechnya, a Moslem republic which, in accordance with Koranic teaching, considers homosexuality to be haram (forbidden). Demanding that they change their ways because of some other nation’s cultural preference is an assault on their religious freedom; what’s more, it’s completely futile.
What’s not futile is combating the narrative. The first step is to dissect the concept of “rights.” A right is not something that is generated ex nihilo and exists in vacuo: is a specific social privilege which is granted in consideration of a corresponding specific social responsibility. Generalized “human rights” are a reflection of societal standards and are, in essence, everyone’s responsibility to safeguard; therefore, they cannot be specific to any given group such as homosexuals.
Most civilized and even many tribal societies grant women special privileges while they are in the later stages of pregnancy (no heavy lifting), and paid leave while giving birth and nursing the babies. Bearing and raising children is a socially essential function. Since biologically this responsibility falls entirely on women, they are granted certain privileges for discharging this responsibility and not otherwise.
As another example, children are normally granted numerous special privileges, including free nurseries, clinics, sanatoria for the sick ones, kindergartens, schools, sports sections, summer camp, discounted public transportation, free museum tickets, a living allowance if the parents don’t make enough, low-rate mortgages for families with several children, ridiculously lavish city-wide graduation festivities (that’s in Russia; your mileage may vary)—because the socially essential function of children is to grow up and take over.
Now, what are the special, socially essential responsibilities of homosexuals? There are none, and therefore they are not automatically deserving of any specific privileges, a.k.a. “rights.” They could be granted some special consideration based on feelings of pity or sympathy by some individual or group, but these cannot be coerced or defended on a rational basis. On the other hand, much of the planet’s population feels homosexuality to be a perversion and therefore abhorrent, and forcing it to deny these feelings based on a false narrative of “gay rights” is a rather blatant form of injustice. Moreover, such efforts are completely futile but likely to result in considerable blowback.
More recently, the false narrative of “gay rights” has been extended to cover a multiplicity of “genders.” Here, the problem is, at its source, half-biological and half-linguistic. The linguistic half of the problem has to do with the term “gender” which comes from the Latin “genus” (pl. “genera”). It has two meanings: one is a principal taxonomic category that ranks above species and below family; the other is a grammatical term denoting a property of nouns in many Indoeuropean languages, which can be masculine, feminine or neuter, corresponding to the pronouns he, she and it. Ranking yourself above Homo sapiens seems like a very risky proposition; on the other hand, referring to yourself as “it” seems rather less contentious, though unappealing.
The third meaning, as a loose substitute for the term “sex” (male, female, plus a rainbow of specious distinctions) is an abuse of language. The first step in opposing this narrative is to deprive it of its vocabulary: Gender Is Not Real. The counterclaim that gender is socially and culturally real takes us outside of what is generally considered real: that which can be proven based on physical evidence. Elves are culturally real too, you know! OK, bring me a couple; I’d like to sequence their DNA. Then we’ll talk.
What is biologically real is sex. It is defined at conception and it is not mutable at all because it is based on the absence or the presence of the Y chromosome. If it’s present, that is a male; if it is absent, that is a female. If would be most useful to have a handheld device for making this determination, such as the one shown above. Point it at a person and press the button. If a blue LED lights up, that’s a boy; if pink, that’s a girl. And if something doesn’t look right, then that would be a patient.
And if that pink light causes you to think of “women’s rights” (special women’s privileges, that is) then please name women’s specific responsibilities that are above and beyond those of men? Is it to fight and die in wars? Is it to tow barges and lift bales? Is it to fix faulty wiring, leaky plumbing or cars that won’t start? Is it to bear and take care of babies?—sorry, those would be mothers’ rights, not women’s. Is it that women’s rights should be same as men’s rights? Sure, that’s easy: men have no special rights at all, so neither should women.
In any case, back to the boys and girls who don’t correspond to their respective blue/pink genetic dichotomy… at present, some countries are in such grip of sexual dysphoria that double-digit percentages of boys and girls aren’t sure what sex they are and are being chemically castrated while they attempt to sort themselves out. Childless old age, if they manage to avoid committing suicide that long, is sure to follow. This type of group madness seems externally induced: somebody wants to drive these nations to biological extinction. Given their already abysmally low birth rates, this shouldn’t be difficult to achieve. Nations go extinct in all sorts of ways. Some are slaughtered outright, some enslaved, some eaten by cannibalistic troglodytes… perhaps we should just look the other way and let it happen.
But if this is a disease, we shouldn’t let it spread, and the first step is to kill the narrative. There exists a clear dividing line. Is “gender” a matter of culture or a mental illness? Culture is an evolved human trait that helps societies thrive. Primitive societies have primitive cultures; advanced societies have advanced cultures. Mentally ill people, on the other hand, generally fail to thrive.
And a mental illness that prevents reproduction—well then! Biologically speaking, for any species, reproduction is the main act. Should people who neuter themselves be given any special privileges, dispensations or, if you insist, rights? If so, what is their special responsibility that is essential for societal well-being? That’s a rhetorical question; the real question is, is their illness contagious? Because if it is, then—please draw your own conclusions.
Source: Club Orlov