CounterCurrent: Week of 7/31
Pride month ended weeks ago, but the pride party never stops. Why? Because the goal of those driven by radical gender ideology isn’t toleration or affirmation or even celebration—it’s complete capitulation. The battle lines have been drawn, and those who cling to such archaic concepts as “male” and “female” (not to mention “sex” or “basic biology”) are on the outs.
Many of the most avid proponents of gender ideology found their beginning in the academy, so it should come as no surprise that America’s colleges and universities are at the center of this crisis. Gender ideology has infiltrated every level of American higher education, from dorm rooms to classrooms and from Title IX offices to faculty lounges. Faculty and students who dissent from the new orthodoxy have no chance of escaping the debate; their only options are to state their position and accept the consequences or to lay low and wait for someone else to “out” them for their “oppressive” views.
It’s not just about pronouns and rainbow flags. The top-down imposition of gender ideology has led to the erosion of knowledge and the redirection of every classroom discussion toward questions of identity and subjective experience. Nearly every academic discipline has become corrupted by the forces of this ideology, which refuses to recognize basic distinctions between male and female and rejects any argument that questions its dogma.
In October 2021, the National Association of Scholars took a stand and issued a formal statement opposing gender ideology in American higher education. But in the ten months since that statement was published, the crisis has grown even more severe, and the debate has become more pointed. That’s why, last week, NAS published a new statement that narrows in on a specific battlefield of the campus gender wars: transgender ideology.
Although a subset of gender ideology, transgender ideology poses a distinct and growing threat to every aspect of our education system. NAS’s new statement outlines the illogic of transgenderism and emphasizes the need for truth even in the face of extreme social and institutional pressure:
To oppose the transgender ideology these days is to risk various forms of ostracism such as exclusion from some social media sites, verbal attacks by student activists, and punishment from institutional authorities, already eager to police ideological transgressions. NAS is relatively immune to these forms of ostracism—though perhaps not entirely. We announce our opposition to transgender ideology first to open wider the “Overton window” of views that can be expressed in American society, and second to support the many faculty members and students who endure this ideological abuse despite their objections to it. They see no recourse. But there is recourse. Standing up for the truth is sometimes not easy, but it becomes easier when you know that others are with you.
The faculty and students pushing back against this totalizing force on their campuses are on the frontlines of a critical battle over the future of higher education. Their commitment to truth in the face of relentless persecution should be applauded.
Until next week.
P. S. The California Association of Scholars is encouraging any NAS members who are affiliated with the California State University (CSU) system to sign an open letter defending and reaffirming academic freedom on campus. The letter, which already has over 100 signatures, expresses concerns about “the erosion of academic freedom and the rise of ideological orthodoxy both inside and outside the CSU system.” If you are not affiliated with CSU yourself, please consider spreading the word to any of your friends or colleagues who are connected to the CSU system!
CounterCurrent is the National Association of Scholars’ weekly newsletter, written by Communications Associate Marina Ziemnick. To subscribe, update your email preferences here.