Opinion

Gender ‘war on kids’ exposed

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Our nation’s children are under relentless attack.

That’s the central thesis of Robby Starbuck’s new documentary film, “The War on Children.”

Robby, a former music-video producer and director, and his wife, Landon, made the movie to expose the immense harm done by the sexualization of kids and their indoctrination in leftist ideology.

You can watch “The War on Children” on X (formerly Twitter), where it’s gotten more than 45 million views.
X owner and free-speech advocate Elon Musk shared the film, posting, “Worth watching, especially for parents.”

The movie features provocative and emotional interviews with a drag queen, a young detransitioner and a child-sex-trafficking survivor, along with well-known figures including ex-NCAA swimmer Riley Gaines, Libs of TikTok creator Chaya Raichik and Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.). Teenagers in focus groups also share their views on social media’s and pornography’s influence.

Definitions

The 2-hour, 19-minute film’s overarching theme is the impact of gender ideology, a purposely opaque and frequently misunderstood set of ideas. A short primer on its key concepts might benefit the viewer.

Sex is biological and binary. In humans, sex is determined by one’s sex cells. A human is male if he has the reproductive organs (testes) to produce sperm and female if she has the reproductive organs (ovaries) to produce ova.

Neither infertility nor the very small number of people born with ambiguous genitalia — the intersex are estimated to be less than 0.02% of the population — negate the fundamental sex binary.

Gender, on the other hand, is an invention of social science, specifically feminist theory, and first popularized by the controversial sexologist John Money in the 1950s.

Feminist theory posits gender is socially constructed — it’s defined as where a person identifies relative to social norms for what’s masculine or feminine behavior.

Gender is considered an infinite spectrum; Wikipedia lists more than 100 named gender identities.

In gender ideology, “transgender” (“trans” for short) has replaced the outdated terms “transsexual” and “transvestite.” Anyone who feels his or her gender characteristics do not match his or her biological sex is considered trans.

A tomboyish girl who likes sports is trans, as are effeminate boys who play dress up. It’s easy to see how this definition means the elimination of traditional gays and lesbians.

In the film, Riley Gaines explains that allowing biological males to compete with females leads to the destruction of girls’ sports and the erasure of women. Getty Images

As “The War on Children” shows, a social contagion fueled by schools and social media frequently leads confused, vulnerable and often mentally ill kids — overwhelmingly girls — down the path of gender dysphoria to dangerous, sterilizing hormone treatments and mutilating surgeries.

Studies show that contrary to gender ideology’s prevailing wisdom, kids are often less happy after transitioning, not more.

A thoughtful viewing of the film reveals the left’s war on children is actually a culture war with four distinct fronts: a war against girls, against boys, against parents and against America’s foundational values.

In the wars against boys and girls, children are the direct targets. In the war against parents, children are collateral damage. In the war against America, children — again, especially girls — are recruited and indoctrinated to be used as foot soldiers.

The war on girls gets the most screen time.

We hear Riley Gaines explain that allowing biological males to compete with females leads to the destruction of girls’ sports and the erasure of women, not to mention the female discomfort and trauma that comes with letting males use women’s locker rooms and bathrooms.

“The War on Children” also focuses on how society’s sexualization of girls and pornography cause depression and other mental-health issues.

We learn about the sex-trafficking epidemic from survivor Keelin Washington, who was trafficked beginning at age 14 in more than a dozen states.

We also hear the distressing story of detransitioner Layla Jane, who divulges the side effects of the puberty blockers she began receiving at age 12, the permanent nerve damage from her double mastectomy (often called “top surgery”) she had at age 13 and the appalling lack of information and informed consent she received from her doctors.

‘Cultural revolution’

Getting less screen time but vital to the film’s conclusion is the war on boys.

In focus groups, teenagers talk about the feminization of schools and society, the absence of masculine men and masculine role models, celebrity culture’s embrace of effeminate men and how for many boys pornography addiction has replaced the desire for real relationships.

The third front of the left’s ideological war is the attack on parents.

The film repeatedly illustrates that parents are no longer able to be their children’s protectors as the state seeks to usurp parents’ traditional role.

We hear the heartbreaking story of Abigail Martinez: Child-protective services took the California woman’s daughter from her to enable the child to undergo gender-transitioning treatments — after which the girl committed suicide.

Legislative bills in numerous states allow out-of-state children to undergo transitioning procedures without their parent’s consent.

The final war is the war on America itself.

We are told throughout the film the left is pursuing a cultural revolution, with a specific agenda to destabilize the family and traditional society.

The word “woke” is invoked often, though it is not defined.

Woke ideology, synonymous with “progressivism” and “leftism,” is properly understood as a fundamental rejection of America’s founding values, most notably four: free speech, capitalism, individual rights and objective truth.

The film shows how each is attacked.

On free speech, we learn about Jessica Tapia, fired from her teaching job in California for refusing to call a child whatever name and pronoun the child wanted.

The film highlights a political 2023 statement from the Colorado Education Association, the state’s largest teachers union: “The CEA believes that capitalism inherently exploits children, public schools, land, labor, and resources.

Capitalism is in opposition to fully addressing systemic racism (the school to prison pipeline), climate change, patriarchy (gender and LGBTQ disparities), education inequality, and income inequality.”


Senator Rand Paul speaking at a podium with a flag backdrop.
Sen. Rand Paul (R-Kentucky) is also featured in the film. ZUMAPRESS.com

Social justice & media

A story from Riley Gaines demonstrates the left’s rejection of individual rights and meritocracy in favor of identity rights. After Gaines tied for fifth place with trans swimmer Lia Thomas, the NCAA awarded Thomas the trophy, for reasons unexplained.

It’s easy to see how queer theory, itself the foundation of gender ideology, at its core rejects objective truth.
“The War on Children” doesn’t limit itself to exposing how leftist ideology is damaging kids but attempts to shed some light on the underlying causes.

Woke corporations play a role. Environmental, social and governance (ESG) policies mandate companies display pride flags and have diverse and anti-meritocratic boards.

Money plays a significant role too. Big pharma, which the film points out accounts for more than 70% of television advertising, makes enormous profits by medicalizing children. The porn industry has helped fund sex education in schools.

Addictive social media is key in indoctrinating children. As Chaya Raichik notes, sign up for TikTok, and you will immediately be fed content created by gender and trans activists.

Schools are probably the most important vector for woke ideology’s transmission to children. Queer theory’s belief that kids are sexualized at birth has filtered into sex-ed curriculum, which now often starts in kindergarten. This is not the sex ed most of us grew up with, focusing on anatomy and safe sex; it’s based on social-justice and gender ideology, introducing kids to pronouns and alternative lifestyles.

Books such as “Gender Queer” and “Flamer” show and celebrate children performing graphic sex acts and are found in school libraries and on schools’ recommended-reading lists.

Traditional values

Social-justice ideology, pervasive in schools, also leads to gender confusion. Prepubescent children are encouraged to move from an oppressor identity to an oppressed identity by declaring themselves some alternative gender such as nonbinary or pangender. Teachers play an active role, favoring, celebrating and affirming kids who come out as trans.

How do we protect our children from the onslaught of sexualization, gender ideology and woke indoctrination? The film offers several suggestions.

Restricting children’s access to social media and pornography is paramount. We must also fight legislative measures that strip parental rights.

The film also advocates a return to the traditional values of family and faith, monogamy and marriage. Parents must “raise warrior children and be warriors for children.” Children need to get off their screens, play outside and form real relationships.

Perhaps most important, according to “The War on Children,” are fathers. The film makes a passionate case that “papa bears” need to step up and reclaim their traditional role as protector of child and family. As a dad, I agree.

Andrew Gutmann is a congressional candidate in Palm Beach County, Fla., and co-host of the podcast Take Back Our Schools.

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