Alternate Reality - "Virtual" Only Goes So Far
"Virtual reality" is deeply affecting the reality that we actually live in!
By Paul Hayden
December 14, 2020
I have learned a new word - "deadname." "Deadname" is "the name that a transgender person was given at birth and no longer uses after transitioning, and the verb is to speak of or address (someone) by their deadname." (1) It seems to be in use now since around 2012. It is calling someone by their "old" or given name, or using the "incorrect" pronouns for their chosen gender or sexual expression. It is seen as offensive, insulting, disrespectful, an injustice, and even “as a verbally violent offense that attempts to invalidate a person’s authentic gender identity.” (2)
We obviously need new words to try to explain and keep up with our changing reality.
I came across an article that discusses this topic at length. (3) It really got me thinking even more about all this. [If you really want to delve into this different topic (for most of us), see this article – “10 Words Transgender People Want You to Know (But Not Say)” (4)]
If a man (like well-known Bruce Jenner) gets in his mind, whether short term or over a long time, that he is really a woman and not the male Olympic star, then he takes whatever steps he chooses, medically, pharmaceutically, or socially, to become that woman. He changes his name to "Caitlyn" and proceeds to dress, act, and live as that "woman" of his mind, and prefers “she” and “her” be used for him. But does that really make "him" a "woman?"
By the way, the entire preceding paragraph would be considered highly offensive and disrespectful of Mr. Jenner and his alternate reality as the “woman” Caitlyn Jenner, according to the thinking of the above-mentioned articles. It affects their mental well-being and self-esteem to bring up their opposite past self. With all due respect, I think their mental well-being and self-esteem are already in severe jeopardy.
I think what may be coming into play in the past 20-30 years is the "virtual" world that has been thrust upon us, for better or worse, with computers, video games, and electronic life. I have heard it said that “one’s perception is their reality.” But that only goes so far – for them - but not necessarily for me or others. Perception does not replace reality.
"Virtual reality" is deeply affecting the reality that we live in!
The definition of "reality" from Merriam-Webster online: (5)
Definition of "reality":
1: the quality or state of being real
2a (1): a real event, entity, or state of affairs - "his dream became a reality"
2a (2): the totality of real things and events - "trying to escape from reality"
2b: something that is neither derivative nor dependent but exists necessarily
It keeps going deeper - what is "real"? I really think most people know by and large what is real, apart from philosophical discussions that are often not at all in touch with reality. Here are a few ideas of what "real" means:
Definitions of "real":
So, a man decides he is really a woman, and chooses a "woman's name" for himself, and "she" (he) can then require us to use that name for him, along with the appropriate pronouns, and in some (a growing number) jurisdictions legal actions can come against someone not using those new names and pronouns for this person.
This person does not see reality as real anymore. They declare they are the opposite sex, and the rest of us are supposed to see their new reality the way they do, not the way things really are. In fact, we are obligated to see things the way they do even though a few short years ago what they are experiencing was called mental illness.
If we do not bow down to what they want, using feminine names and pronouns for a man (or vice versa), then we are seen to be offending them and being disrespectful.
What about them offending us in the first place with what to us is utter nonsense? A man cannot be a woman any more than he can become a chimpanzee or a butterfly!
What are the rights of those who choose not to participate in this mental illness? Others seem to have the right to decide their sex, but the rest of us are not afforded the right to choose not to participate in their divergence from, well, reality.
Respect is not necessarily participating in others’ delusions or fantasies. That is part of the problem. Those of us who live in the “real” world are being called upon to enable those who are on vacations from reality, and we then become their codependents in their illusions.
There is a place of respect that each of us can have for ANY other person, just for the sake of caring about them and sharing love with them because they are human. But that is a two-way street. Understanding and empathy is important, but not when forced upon a social situation like this in a unilateral manner. Respect is much more efficacious if it is shared and mutual. We can love and respect (to a point) and care about someone without agreeing with everything they think or do.
Are there answers satisfactory to all sides? It seems unlikely in this polarized new reality that is being forced upon many of us. Be prepared, though, as it will likely get “worse” before it gets better, at least from my perspective.
Now, we could delve into “Non-binary individuals (those who do not identify as male, female or transgender)” – wherever the heck that would take us…
For the record, I am a proud “cisgender” (look it up), but what if I decide that I am a dog? Can I just go outside and urinate wherever I wish? Of course, if I defecate, my owner must follow up my job with a plastic bag to dispose of the remains. Oh, and I must be on a leash…
One of my favorite books is Reality Therapy by Dr. William Glasser – it probably would not be appreciated much now, except by those of us who keep our feet on the ground and our minds clear for the real purposes of life.
Paul Hayden is a Christian believer, and an American patriot, necessarily in that order. He is a student of the Bible, and is avidly interested in our role in the context of history, as understood through the heart and eyes of faith. Paul has lived and traveled somewhat widely, and now lives in the heartland of the U.S. (central Illinois), with his wife Donna - they have five grown children. Since December of 2016, he serves as the Editor-in-Chief of www.ConservativeTruth.org.
"I was raised by a Christian minister, Kenneth Hayden, until his death when I was 10. Then my mom married a farmer. So I was raised in a very down-to-earth home. My faith has grown through the years, but both in conjunction with the institutional church and through small groups and individuals, including books as well as group settings, where deep, sincere faith is shared that aligns with Biblical truth."