I was just six years old when it happened. I showed up for the first grade, fresh-faced and ready to learn, only to have my innocence shattered by a monster from the swamps of expressive individualism. In the dark recesses of my memory, he has remained nameless through all these decades. Some Google searches enabled me to find him: inventive spelling.
Apparently, “inventive spelling” has been controversial for some time as a component of “natural child” educational curricula. I’m not sure how I, a young Idahoan, came to be subjected to it, but I clearly remember being encouraged to decide whether I was a “girl,” “gurl,” or “grrrrrl.” Hooray for creativity! Why shackle yourself to the tyrannical dictates of conventional spelling?
This theory seems to have fizzled in most schools, possibly because it’s idiotic. Words have conventional spellings for a reason: their purpose is to communicate. If we encourage kids to form bad habits, it will be that much harder for them to become capable writers later. This theory’s heyday was evidently brief, but still, it left its mark. My classmates and I can thank our lucky stars that by the time we got to college, spell checkers had come along to cover our shame.
Bad ideas do die, eventually. At their peak this can be hard to believe. Whether it’s Malthusian population controls, global temperature freak-outs, low-fat diets, or disco, it often seems that idiocy seems unassailable until suddenly it isn’t. A page turns, and the emperor has no clothes, as his folly becomes a cautionary tale for future generations.
Here is my prediction. Within my lifetime, the LGBT movement will die. It will be remembered not as a Selma moment, but as a Salem moment: a period of collective insanity.
Eventually, Nature Comes Roaring Back
Whether the memory of this period evokes mild derision or deep shame will likely depend on these next few years. It’s still possible that the madness might recede and leave gays, lesbians, and religious conservatives all free to live peaceful and productive lives, knowing their fundamental rights will be respected even where their beliefs and lifestyle choices aren’t. Less optimistically, the early twenty-first century could be remembered as a time when any or all of those groups were harshly persecuted, potentially leaving deep scars in our social memory.
Either way, the movement will die. How do we know? Predicting the demise of the LGBT movement may seem rash in the present moment, as North Carolina prepares to battle the U.S. Department of Justice and Washington issues edicts demanding submission from every public school in America. But gender ideology is too incoherent and too inimical to real human good. It cannot outlast the moral indignation of the present hour.
On some level, even its most ardent advocates may intuit this. Their desperation to push the boundaries as far as possible, as quickly as possible,…