Ever heard of vivisection? It comes from Latin words meaning “alive” and “cutting.” It’s the practice, in other words, of cutting living creatures. Sounds pretty creepy. And for that reason, the term’s largely fallen out of use.
But the word can also refer to what many of us have experienced as the beneficial effects of surgery. What, after all, is surgery except “cutting” on “living” creatures?
But when H.G. Wells uses the term in his unsettling, 1896 science fiction novel, The Island of Dr. Moreau, vivisection takes on a much more sinister meaning. At it’s most basic level, the story describes Moreau using vivisection in a series of cruel experiments to “uplift” animals to something approaching a “human” state. In other words, changing a creature into something it wasn’t meant to be, something unnatural.
Now, Before Our Very Eyes . . .
Vivisection is back in the news. And, for our purposes, high school sports. Articles and reports abound (here and here) about males “deciding” they’re females. And then going out and cleaning up in sporting competitions against real females.
It’s true, for a number of reasons, most of these male to female “reassignments” don’t involve surgery. First, surgery’s expensive (up to $50,000 and not typically covered by insurance). It also looks pretty gruesome-but, to be fair, to an untrained eye like mine, most surgeries probably look about the same. Nonetheless, in 2016 there were about 1,500 male to female surgeries.
Chemical reassignment via hormones is probably more common-but the changes are less comprehensive, limited to things like muscle mass and facial hair.
The Sports Problem.
My problem with all this “gender reassignment,” at least in regards to high school sports, is that I don’t want my granddaughters to be forced to compete against what are really someone’s grandsons. Like this state champion track star who if, with “her” square jaw and mustache, is a “girl,” then I’m a monkey’s uncle.
If my granddaughters take after their parents, they are likely to enjoy sports. But to throw them in against boys, who are naturally bigger and stronger, in sports like soccer, lacrosse, and track isn’t just unfair. It’s dangerous.
And it becomes outrageous when kids, whose birth certificate identifies them as a “male” can simply, on their own say so, declare themselves “females.” To what end? So they can compete on a playing field that’s not just tilted? But pitching wildly. And then perpetuate the fraud by scooping up college scholarships which, under Title IX, are intended to be awarded to women? (Don’t get me wrong-I’m not a big fan of Title IX. It’s resulted in the elimination of some 400 college sports programs that mainly attracted men. That is, real men.)
Which makes me wonder: how’s the #metoo movement going to handle this ploy to make women go to the back of the bus?
The Conceit Of The Far Left. And Right.
The 20th century was the bloodiest in history. Millions died at the hands of governments in the grip of savage ideologies which were determined to remake human nature in their own, brutal image. The Nazi’s Übermensch. The Soviet’s New Man. The penalty for failing to fit the mold? Death. On a mass scale. Thankfully, though the cost in blood and treasure was high, those cruel idols were overthrown.
However, now, well on into the 21st century, it seems the lesson of the impossibility and undesirability of fundamentally reshaping human nature has yet to be learned. Except, this time, rather than concentration camps, gas chambers, and the Two Minutes’ Hate, individuals are remaking themselves. With vivisection. Or chemicals. Or the bare assertion that they are what they aren’t.
But It Doesn’t Stop There.
Did you see this story? If you accept it, North Korea’s dictator, Kim Jong-Un, has spent billions attempting to clone an army of “super soldiers who will obey his every command.” The article goes on to say that the hermit nation has a long history of human cloning experimentation. Kim is also trying to insure his own immortality by cloning himself.
And Kim isn’t alone in the pursuit of super soldiers. It’s an arms race that many, much more “advanced” nations, including ours, are engaged in.
And you thought Dr. Moreau was crazy.
So, just because we can, does it mean we should? And even if “we” decide we shouldn’t, how do we keep this genie in the bottle if the “we” doesn’t include us all? Will my grandchildren be forced to compete against “super” kids not just for athletic prizes? But also for places in college? And the work force?
Or, God forbid, on the battlefield?