Speaking at the University of Connecticut on Wednesday, Daily Wire Editor-in-Chief Ben Shapiro was asked by a college student what difference it made which pronouns people used in describing transgender individuals. The young man asked Shapiro why people couldn’t address a transgender woman as “she.” Shapiro bluntly replied, “Because it is a lie.” He added later, “As far as that specific lie, I think that one of the problems that we have is this determination that men can become women and women can become men undermines some barriers between men and women that I think are useful and good, particularly in children.”
The exchange went like this:
Young man: "I agree with you that biologically a man is a man and a woman is a woman, I was just wondering what you see the detriment of society, why we can’t let a transgender woman be called 'she' or something."
Shapiro replied, "Because it is a lie. A lie is detrimental to society. So I think there are a couple of reasons."
Young man: “I understand it’s lying; I was taught not to lie. I just don’t understand what is so wrong about that specific lie.”
As opposed to other lies, I’m not sure there is anything wrong. I mean, I don’t like all of them. As far as that specific lie, I think that one of the problems that we have is this determination that men can become women and women can become men undermines some barriers between men and women that I think are useful and good, particularly in children. So, if I have to teach my 3 ½ year old, she’s almost four, if I teach my almost four-year-old girl that she can become a boy, then I think that is not only lying to her, I think it’s confusing her and I think it’s damaging to her psyche.
One of the premises of the transgender movement is that human minds are completely non-malleable, that oddly enough, men are not men and women are not women, but if you are transgender that is unchangeable, and especially among children, if a three or four-year-old has certain feelings, those feelings have to be taken completely seriously; we can’t fight against them; we can’t suggest that the kid will grow out of it. Instead we have to say that this kid is inherently transgender.
I can tell you, having kids, kids are incredibly malleable; kids are easily confused. And saying to a child, which is what the transgender movement would like to do — they’re having drag shows in kindergarten now in some areas — when you do that, when you confuse kids about gender, you are doing the kids no favors; you could be doing significant damage to kids. Kids should not be confused about their biology; kids should not be confused about their gender.
Let’s put it this way, just from a certain statistical standpoint, if it is true that the transgender suicide attempt rate is 40% over the lifetime, and if I am right, then more kids will be confused about gender, which by the way, you do see; you’ve seen an uptick in transgender surgery in Europe, you’ve seen a greater identification as transgender overall, in places like Europe, malleable rates of transgenderism in Europe. If that’s the case, then you are raising the suicide rates, presumably if there’s an association, for young people who are now confused about gender. So I’m not in the mood for countenancing lies about what men and women are, specifically when I think that there is a goal of redefining a key term for the entire society.