As the White House plans to produce guidelines in the coming days for the Pentagon regarding President Trump’s proposed transgender military ban, Virginia Tech expert Christian Matheis points out that justification for the ban relies on a “tired and irrational” tactic called the myth of scarcity.
“Most of Trump’s tweets and statements associated with the transgender military ban perpetuate the false belief that there is not enough to go around. When in fact, we live in conditions of institutionally managed maldistribution, in which the majority of people and resources end up benefiting a very tiny minority of elites,” said Matheis.
“This presidency treats the rights to military service as scarce, insists that the resources used to support military service members are in short supply, all while implicitly and explicitly portraying transgender persons as threat to that alleged scarcity.”
“People who are transgender, already well-versed at coping with discrimination, navigate these sorts of situations as a matter of survival in our society. This equips them with better insight and political strategies than those who perpetuate the myth of scarcity, which ultimately indicates a sloppy attention to details. And a presidency with sloppy attention to details creates problems of the domestic and legal sort, as well as those of national security.”
Matheis is the director of the Office of Recruitment and Diversity Initiatives at Virginia Tech’s Graduate School. He has provided gender identity/expression 101 (formerly "Trans 101") training sessions since 2005, and specializes in topics that bridge social and political philosophy with public policy. Read his full bio here.
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