Ritual castration dates back thousands of years and can be observed throughout cultures around the world. Eunuchs existed in China 4,000 years ago, were imperial servants 3,000 years ago, and were common as civil servants by the time of the Qin dynasty. Eunuch singers are known to have existed from the early Byzantine Empire, and Italy famously castrated young boys to preserve a feminine singing voice. At the height of Italy’s fascination with the castrati, in the 1720s and 1730s, it has been estimated that upwards of 4,000 boys were castrated annually. The hijras of India, now often referred to in Western media as trans women, traditionally underwent not only castration but also participated in prostitution, a practice that continues to this day.
Castration also figured in a number of religious castration cults. During the late 18th century, for instance, a religious sect emerged in Russia that preached self-mutilation, particularly of primary and secondary sex characteristics. The Skoptsy, as they were called, could be compared to Orthodox Christians: they believed in saints, heaven and hell, and that Jesus Christ died on the cross. Unlike mainstream Christianity, the Skoptsy sect also believed that Christ was castrated.
In decades past, the overwhelming majority of those claiming to suffer ‘gender dysphoria’, or a strong wish to inhabit the body of the opposite sex, were adult men with transvestic fetishism. These days, gender dysphoria is used broadly to refer not only to a male preoccupation with his status in society and the size or shape of his own genitalia, but to a discomfort with one’s sexed body in general. In this way, the male sexual practices of feminization and castration — whether surgical, chemical, or metaphorical — have been expanded to include women and children.
The reasons that women and girls experience discomfort with their bodies are profoundly different from the ways adult men express their desires to become “sissy sluts”, to “grow boobs” or get “girl skin”, or to otherwise inhabit female bodies for the purpose of arousal at being treated like, and degraded as, a woman. Therefore, I propose that what is really meant by “inclusivity” is the forced integration of women and children into male fetishistic proclivities in order to normalize them. In this, women and children are being treated as collateral damage.
Just as the Skoptsy, the hijra, and those responsible for the castrati actively indoctrinated children into self-mutilation, sometimes by force, so the modern transgender movement tirelessly targets youth. Through children’s books, social media, television programs, celebrities, and influencers, young people are being told that masochism and dissociation are not only to be celebrated, but an expression of identity.
It was necessary for the Skoptsy to alienate children from their families in order to achieve this; similarly, gender ideologues claim that parents are abusing their children when they attempt to protect them from harm. Gender ideology represents a new iteration on the strategies of previous self-harm cults. From the Skoptsy to the Castrati, women and children have long been mutilated to normalize the practices — whether religious, cultural, or sexual — of adult men.