Sunday, May 08, 2016


There are biological men who claim to be psychologically female, and biological women who claim to be psychologically male. Of course, they have no direct frame of reference. They can't compare themselves to normal men and women, so they don't know what it's actually like to be psychologically male or female, in contrast to their biological sex. 

I seriously doubt that most folks who claim to be transgender actually experience a mismatch between their sexual psychology and their sexual physiology. But let's entertain the possibility that some people genuinely suffer from gender dysphoria. 

Compare that to phobias. There are people who really do suffer from phobias. Take acrophobia. There are situations in which that can be nerve-wracking. Driving across a high bridge, or high freeway span, or driving down a winding road with a sheer drop-off. Things like that. 

But while we should be sympathetic to people who suffer from acrophobia, it's completely unrealistic to think we're obligated redesign road and bridges, or reshape the landscape, to accommodate acrophobes. 

By the same token, acrophobia would presumably disqualify you from becoming a paratrooper or fighter pilot. In a sense, that's unfair. But we can't reasonably drop the requirement that paratroopers jump out of airplanes or that fighter pilots have daredevil nerves. 

Likewise, some people suffer from hemophobia. That will certainly limit their options in the medical profession. It may not be fair, but you can't accommodate a surgeon who's afraid of blood. 

Or take sciurophobia. Apparently, some people are actually scared of squirrels. But does that mean we should create squirrel-proof public parks? Design squirrel-free safe spaces? 

Although phobias may be irrepressible, there are situations in which you just have to override your feelings and do what's necessary. Push through the fear. 

It's like soldiers who may be terrified of battle. That's understandable. But they have to steel themselves and do what's required of them, despite their fear. 

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