Critical Theory Reducing Itself to Absurdity

Critical Theory Reducing Itself to Absurdity April 4, 2024

Reductio ad absurdum (“reduction to absurdity”) according to the dictionary, is “disproof of a proposition by showing an absurdity to which it leads when carried to its logical conclusion.”  This is usually a tactic used by someone arguing against an opponent, who then comes back by insisting that the premises at issue do not have to be taken so far.  But when it comes to woke ideology, we are now seeing the critical theorists themselves pushing their beliefs so far that they are reducing themselves to  absurdity.

In his essay Transqueers Take the Mask Off, Andrew Sullivan discusses a book by Berkeley professor Judith Butler entitled Who’s Afraid of Gender?   According to her, sexual differences are not biological but are nothing more than a social construction.  And that means further that the male-female “binary” derives from white supremacy!

The hetero-normative framework for thinking of gender as binary was imposed by colonial powers on the Global South, to track the legacies of slavery and colonialism engaged in brutal surgical and sexological practices of determining and “correcting” sex in light of ideals of whiteness. . . .Black bodies were the experimental field from which white gender norms were crafted. Dimorphism serves the reproduction of the normative white family in the United States.

Sullivan replies:

The golden rule of the woke applies: everything is a product of white supremacy! But of all the things you could call “socially constructed,” the sex binary is the least plausible. It existed in our species before we even achieved the intelligence to call it a sex binary. It existed before humans even evolved into the separate and mostly distinct genetic clusters we now call race. How’s that for pre-cultural! It is in countless species that have no access to an array of “practices, discourses, and technologies.” It structures our entire existence. Not a single cell in the body is unaffected by our sex. Our entire reproductive strategy as a mammal is rooted in it. If you can turn even this into a human invention — malleable and indeterminate and a “spectrum” — there is nothing real outside us at all.

This is the anarchy and nihilism intrinsic to critical theory in all its toxic forms. It deconstructs everything and constructs nothing. It is a negation of humanity’s signature mixture of the earthly and the divine, the instinctual and the intellectual. In this grim, neo-Marxist dystopia, the individual is merely a site where various social and collective powers impose their will.

Science therefore has no autonomy beyond politics; art becomes a mere expression of power dynamics; there are no stable truths — which is how critical theory has destroyed the humanities, replacing them with nihilist word-games.

Feminists are beginning to realize that transgenderism, which insists that men who identify as women must be accepted as such, undermines their ideology.  Similarly, homosexuals are beginning to realize that the elimination of the “male-female binary” threatens them as well, requiring gay men to pair off with transgender men (that is to say, women), and lesbian women to pair off with transgender women (that is to say, men).

Besides being a Catholic centrist, Sullivan is gay.  He goes on in his essay to show transgenderism has become openly “homophobic”!  He gives evidence of this from “queer” dating sites and counseling material.  He writes, “Butler and the TQ+ movement are trapped by their logic into being homophobic: they have to deny that gay men can exist at all, because men cannot exist at all, unless they include women in the definition of man.”

Transgenderism has become part of the LGBTQ creed, though, resulting in fatal contradictions in that movement. Sullivan comments, ” by far the biggest group in the “LGBTQIA+” umbrella are bisexual women in relationships with straight men.”

Sullivan also looks at a recent cover story of the mainstream New York Magazine entitled Freedom of Sex:  The Moral Case for Letting Trans Kids Change Their Bodies.”  In the article, Andrea Long Chu, a transgender lesbian woman [a man attracted to women] argues that “in principle, everyone should have access to sex-changing medical care, regardless of age, gender identity, social environment, or psychiatric history.”  Or parental permission.

Her contention that even very young children should be allowed to get any sex hormones and sexual surgery they want eliminates any distinction between childhood and adulthood, Sullivan observes. “But think about it for a millisecond: if a child of any age can demand to have his own genitals removed with no safeguards at all, why can’t he demand to have his genitals played with by an adult as well? Who dare impede a child’s total freedom?”

This “moral case” for transgendering children implicitly justifies adults having sex with children. In the course of tearing this artcile apart, Sullivan shares this information that I didn’t know about the founders of critical theory, with its various schools of critical race theory and critical queer theory:

And so we’re back to the pomo French intellectuals of the 1970s petitioning against age-of-consent laws. In fact, queer theory’s core pioneers — Michel Foucault, Gayle Rubin, and Patrick Califia — all once defended adults [having sex with] kids. Foucault defended sex with infants. This is not extraneous to queer theory; it is intrinsic to it. The point of queer theory is that there are no limiting principles.

But there are limiting principles and there is a male-female binary and any “moral case” involves transcendent moral truths and not just assertions of the will.  The advocates of the contrary views are making that very clear.


Illustration:  PHILOSOPHY !?……….. ( ? ) + ( * ) = ( ! )  by Rant 73 via Flickr, Public Domain


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