Questions about the transgender movement – children, identity, ancient precedents

Is the transgender movement the latest in a series of civil rights campaigns? Or did psychiatrist Paul McHugh get it right when he described the movement as “cult-like”? Are children being helped or recruited? 

How relevant or not are Jungian descriptions of anima, animus and self to experiences of gender today? Is somatophobia (hostility to the body) a factor in transgender culture? 

How comparable or not is modern transgenderism to the worship of goddess Cybele in the ancient Roman world? Can we find gentler ways of acknowledging the goddess in everyman, and the god in everywoman?

An excerpt:

So-called affirmative gender therapy leads young people through a series of steps (social, pharmacological, surgical), which is comparable to a process of initiation. The process is meant to bring out their true identity, and enable them to find happiness.

Initiation is not necessarily bad news. There are many forms of initiation in the world today, the Evangelical born again experience being a notable example. Different initiations have their claimed success stories about how wonderfully they changed someone’s life, and some of the claims may well be true.

Still, when gender therapist Margaret Nichols says ‘puberty blockers are a godsend’ to transgender children, I have to wonder what sort of god she has in mind?”

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Comment by Colin Robinson on September 23, 2017 at 6:46pm

To klemens swib Jung had serious concerns about the way political mass movements can swallow up individuality. I think this is what he meant by “weeds”, a word he used in his lecture “Psychotherapy Today”, delivered in Switzerland in 1941. Perhaps we need to find a balance between too much fear and too much celebration — a way of acknowledging the archetypes and experiences behind a mass movement, without having to support the movement itself uncritically. As Jungian analyst Lisa Marchiano wrote in a recent article about transgender teenagers: “ …we ought to take our distress seriously and assume it is trying to tell us something. What it is trying to tell us, however, may be in the language of symbol, which is the only way the unconscious can speak to us.”

Comment by klemens swib on September 23, 2017 at 5:04pm

Jung said words to the effect that if the human weeds were allowed to flourish and spread they would rapidly proceed to blot out the rest. In that vein civilization tames, transforms, disciplines and shapes raw human nature and material nature into a serviceable bulwark against the external and internal sources of chaos. Conformity is a part of the bedrock upon which civilizations are built and persist. With that said conformity has its dark side and it can stunt deny and destroy that which is different or new or even wondrous. Is the transgender movement one of the hydra headed agents for chaos and thus ultimately an attack on our christian civilization itself or is it part of the progressive evolution of such. This is such an emotionally volatile issue entangled up in politically correct hysteria that I am not surprised other readers have remained silent. With that said I'll hold my fire for a while...

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