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Critical social justice and gender

To the editor:

In a recent letter on the subject of LGBTQ rights, I made the following statement: “Men cannot be women, and women cannot be men. There are two genders, and a person is either one or the other.” One would think that this truth is so obvious and self-evident that it would be universally accepted, but that is not the case.

A local social justice activist disagrees. In her letter of 11/22 she rejects the idea that this truth is grounded in biology and science, and claims instead that it is a “socially constructed concept.” She would have us believe that the reason why men believe they are the masculine gender and women believe they are the feminine gender has nothing to do with our male and female body parts or our XX or XY chromosomes. She would have us believe that we think this way only because society has conditioned us to think in this way.

The idea that gender is a “socially constructed” concept is a basic teaching of Critical Social Justice Theory. According to social justice activists, the male/female binary gender setup is not an inherent part of the nature of mammals. Instead, according to them, it was developed by a majority in our society to dominate, oppress, and stigmatize those who deviate from sexual norms.

One of the goals of social justice activism is to tear down male/female norms by aggressive criticism of those norms – that’s the “critical” part of Critical Social Justice Theory — and by blurring the distinctions between the two genders.

The question for the reader is this: Who do you want teaching and counseling your young children in their public schools? Do you want people who believe that gender is a “socially constructed concept” and is not biologically determined? Do you want people who aim to blur and confuse the distinctions between the two genders?

This is part of what makes the Critical Theory debate so important. Young people are easily misled and confused when it comes to figuring out who they are and where they fit in this world. We need to be very careful about who will be guiding and influencing their decisions.

Michael Thom

New Ulm

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