By Selwyn Duke
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It used to be that we’d warn children about predators lurking in the streets or around playgrounds. Now predators target kids with shows, videos, and books — and some parents willingly expose their children to such predation.

A good example is It Feels Good To Be Yourself: A Book About Gender Identity, by Theresa Thorn and Noah Grigni. Though published in 2019, the work has received some press as of late, perhaps partly because a major school district featured it on its website in February.

As commentator Andrea Widburg reports, “The first half of the title suggests teaching children to follow their passions (painting, building, medicine, etc.) but, as the second half of the title shows, this book is about kids affirming or denying what they see when they look in their underpants.”

“The book is marketed for grades 1-2 and reading levels 4-8,” she continues.

Unsurprisingly, the work has received glowing reviews from the establishment press. Widburg relates an example: “The spirit of free expression and creativity infuses every spread of this inclusive exploration. ― Publishers Weekly, starred review.”

The book’s author, Thorn, doesn’t identify as a MUSS (Made-up Sexual Status) individual; in other words, she’s normal — if you can thus characterize a person who corrupts children with bizarre material.

But Grigni, the illustrator, is described as “a non-binary transgender illustrator, writer, and organizer.” “In other words,” Widburg writes, “I’m guessing Noah is … male and dedicates his entire life to justifying the mental struggle he has with the hardware in his underwear.”

Grigni may be lacking in sense and morals but isn’t lacking in talent, apparently, as his book’s “pictures are charmingly done even if you don’t like the message,” Widburg also informs. This is tragic, as it makes the book more seductive. Evil can’t be true, so it must be tempting.

In fact, the book has seduced its way right into schools. For example, in “February, for Black History Month, the Los Angeles Unified School District put on its website a five-page graphic talking about what kids should be learning during a ‘week of action’ for ‘black lives matter at schools,’” relates Widburg. “The transgender page explicitly promoted It Feels Good to Be Yourself.

Commentator Matt Walsh made a video (below) about the book and commented on “how the gentle tone and cute pictures nevertheless promote scientific, cultural, and emotional madness,” as Widburg puts it.

Widburg and Walsh do not exaggerate. I’ve illustrated in the past how the MUSS (“transgender”) agenda has no basis whatsoever in good science (and my challenge to any “expert” to debate me on this point is still open) and have pointed out that many young people, now scarred for life, have MUSS “transition” regret.

Yet there’s something less noticeable that should be addressed: This now-common counsel to “just be yourself.” It’s toxic advice.

Do we tell alcoholics “Hey, just be yourself — if it feels good, drink it”? Should pedophiles just be themselves? What about 400-pound gluttons whose greatest urge is to continually eat? What about racists? I mean, it’s quite possible that Adolf Hitler and Robert Mugabe were just being themselves — and in their warped minds it may have felt good.

“That’s different,” some may say. Why? It’s only different in that the behaviors referenced above aren’t socially accepted. And it’s quite telling that the “just be yourself” counsel is only rendered when at issue are fashionable behaviors or those the pseudo-elites want to normalize.

Others may suggest the difference is that the above behaviors aren’t inborn. Note, however, that just as some researchers claim “transgenderism” has a biological basis, so have scientists claimed for years that alcoholism has a genetic basis. Some experts make similar assertions even about pedophilia and racism.

But it doesn’t matter — for the same reason it’s doesn’t matter *if* some people have naturally occurring homicidal instincts (related to the idea that psychopathy is inborn): genetics doesn’t determine morality.

Claiming otherwise is the error of supplanting morality with biological determinism, which reduces man to animal.

In fact, why is it that self-help books, videos, and seminars constitute a billion dollar business? Why do people spend mightily on therapists? Why do Christians speak of being “born again” or becoming a “new creation”?

It’s because whether we consider man naturally or supernaturally created, whether we view him as inherently flawed or from Eden fallen, we know we’re not perfect. We have good and bad instincts, and we all govern them with some standard. It may be a Christian, Muslim, Jewish, humanist, hygienic standard or some other, but none of us are “ourselves” in every respect.

For the wise know that we shouldn’t strive to be what we are — that doesn’t even require striving, only reacting — but the person we should be. Ancient Chinese sage Confucius alluded to this when lamenting, “It is not that I do not know what to do; it is that I do not do what I know.”

So what determines when we should “be ourselves”? Insofar as the urge or desire in question conforms to the good, we can indulge it. People will have different tastes in flavors and food, and this is fine as long as that desire doesn’t extend to gluttony. We also have different gifts, and someone with a proclivity for engineering shouldn’t be pressured into entering medicine.

But then there are matters of Truth. We’re not supposed to “be ourselves” when this leads to evil. Of course, we should also remember that many dark urges result from early-years upbringing; meaning, they may now be part of the self but weren’t authored by oneself. Our “true self” may be someone far better.

As for “gender” confused youth, note that upwards of 80 percent of girls and 90 percent of boys will outgrow the confusion if left to their own devices. What’s so tragic about seducing them further into the MUSS agenda is that, once there’s “medical” intervention, they’re never going to be able to be themselves in a way they actually should be.

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