The Thinking 

Was Abraham Lincoln a Girl?

March 21, 2012


IN THIS previous entry, I discussed Susannah Cornwall, the British academic who has written a lengthy, well-funded academic paper stating that there is no conclusive proof that Jesus was male. According to Cornwall, Jesus could have been an “intersex” person (the latest fad in the Gender Confusion Movement) and possessed characteristics of both sexes, as do some rare human beings. Thus he may have been outwardly a man, but still anatomically a woman.

Lawrence Auster points out the logical implication of this remarkably inane theory: We cannot be sure of the sexual normality of many historical figures. Virtually any man could have been a biological freak. This is a dream come true for feminists. The prophets, the geniuses, the male artists, the famous statesmen — perhaps many of them were women.

Mr Auster writes:

I think you focus too much on the particular historical person, Jesus, of whom Cornwall says that we cannot know if he was a man or some kind of intersex being, and you are reacting to that claim, and thus miss the real import of what she is saying. Beyond her immediate explicit purpose, which is to undermine the connection between maleness and the priestly function, it seems to me that the most significant thing about her theory is not that she says specifically that we cannot know if Jesus was not intersex, but that she’s really saying that we cannot know if any historical person was not really intersex. Let us leave aside the fact that particular historical persons were married and had children. That proves nothing. Their marriages might have been false fronts to conceal their ambiguous sexuality. Their children might have been adopted. The point is that by Cornwall’s logic, we cannot know if Moses was not intersex, or Jeremiah, or Plato, or Cincinnatus, or Julius Caesar, or Muhammad, or Alfred the Great, or Pope Gregory VII, or Thomas Aquinas, or George Washington, or anyone before our own time. We just don’t know.

Just as homosexualists love to assert that various prominent historical figures were “really” homosexual, the aim being to show that homosexuality is far more widespread than “we” want to recognize and that our ideas of normality are false, Cornwall is asserting that intersexuality or transgenderism (or whatever the word is) is far more widespread than has been recognized, and therefore our ideas of normality are false.

— Comments —

Laura writes to Mr. Auster:

I knew there was something important I was missing about that article and you saw it right away.

By the way, are you a girl?

Mr. Auster responds:

Your question betrays a lamentable reliance on the essentialist (and let us note in passing that essentialism is closely related to phallocentrism) notion that there are such things as “girls,” “boys,” and “sycamore trees.” I am surprised that you are still at the beginners stage. Clearly remedial course work is called for.

Laura writes:

I have much to learn.

Matthew Creek writes:

Furthering Mr. Auster’s point, perhaps we should also assert the “indeterminate” sex of some other major figures of history, such as Josef Stalin, Adolf Hitler, Vlad Tepes, Attila the Hun, Ivan the Terrible, etc. It comes as quite a relief to me to realize that these people may not, after all, be such a discredit to the male sex.

Laura writes:

Jack the Ripper too.

Laura adds:

Contrary to what I said above about this being a boon to feminists, intersex theory brings the entire feminist scenario of historic male oppression of women crashing down. It wasn’t necessarily men who tyrannized women. It could have been women.  We just can’t know.

Bruce B. writes:

I agree with Larry that a logical implication of Cornwall’s argument is that we can’t know the sex of any historical person and, if she were consistent, she would make this argument. But she didn’t. I think her immediate, explicit purpose is what matters here. That’s what liberals do. They make arguments that sound plausible (to thoughtless people at least) but aren’t consistent in their application of these arguments because they’re just trying to accomplish an immediate, specific purpose which is usually the advancement of a liberal innovation.

A parallel to this (hope this isn’t a stretch) is liberals’ argument that races don’t exist. Human beings, in general, categorize things. Liberals, like all people, categorize things every day of their lives. They also witness others doing the same thing on a daily basis. It’s literally part of our daily experience, whether we’re talking about colors, geographic regions, dog breeds, whatever. Liberals don’t explicitly object to all the categorizing that’s going on around them on a daily basis in conversation. In other words, they don’t apply their non-categorization principle consistently. And for good reason. They’d sound ridiculous and discredit themselves if they did. This indicates that their non-categorization principle is ideologically based and intended to accomplish a specific purpose (in this case the liberal goal of the destruction of distinct racial groups).

Similarly, Cornwall’s ideologically-based argument about the sex of historic figures isn’t applied consistently because she’d risk discrediting herself would put her specific (liberal) objective at risk.


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