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The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Ben Shapiro visits A&M, criticizes transgender community

Political+commentator+Ben+Shapiro+answers+audience+questions+after+giving+a+speech+in+Rudder+Auditorium+on+Tuesday%2C+Nov.+1%2C+2022.
Photo by Jonathan Taffet

Political commentator Ben Shapiro answers audience questions after giving a speech in Rudder Auditorium on Tuesday, Nov. 1, 2022.

Editor’s Note: This article has been updated as of Wednesday, Nov. 2.

In a line stretching down Military Walk, students waited to hear a speech from one of the nation’s most controversial political commentators.  

Hosted by Texas A&M Young Americans for Freedom, Ben Shapiro spoke to hundreds of students on Nov. 1 in Rudder Auditorium. 
The host of “The Ben Shapiro Show”, editor-in-chief of Dailywire.com and four-time New York Times bestselling author is best known for his conservative viewpoint on controversial topics and criticism of left-wing politics. 

Shapiro opened his speech criticizing gender-affirming healthcare, claiming transgender individuals uphold unethical values. 

Shapiro discussed the rise of “transgressivism” by the transgender community, but did not define the term during his speech. Shapiro also blamed a rise of suicide in young children on the “indoctrination” by the LGBTQ+ community, citing a song by the San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus that states “we’re coming for your children.” 

“There’s no question that ‘transgressivism’ targets kids,” Shapiro said. “They have to because here’s the thing if you wish to disrupt the society, you have to start with a crowd of people who have not been shaped and molded by the institutions.”

Reports have shown that gender-affirming healthcare lowers, rather than increases, suicide rates in transgender youth, though The World Professional Association for Transgender Health does not recommend hormone therapy until adulthood.
Shapiro said it is up to state and local governments to prevent the abuse of children and fight transgender ideas politically and personally. 
“More importantly, we have to reinvigorate a deeper sense of identity that used to characterize Western civilization, we have to get away from the idea that the real you is just your feelings, that the real you is who you choose to have sex with,” Shapiro said. “That the real you is everybody reflecting back at you what you feel about the world. That is not reality, it is not healthy, it is not good for society, it is not workable and it is not reasonable.”

Directly following his speech, Shapiro took questions from the majority student-filled audience. 
Industrial engineering junior Michael Harris asked Shapiro, a Jewish-American, his views on the antisemitic comments Ye, formerly known as Kanye West, has made recently in the media. 
“I’m not sure what there is to say about that,” Shapiro said. “The only thing I might add is he’s pretty obviously bipolar, and I would think that right now he looks like he’s in the middle of a manic episode. I only say that because I have members of my family who have been bipolar or had manic episodes. One of the characteristics of a manic episode is that everything that comes out of your mouth you think is a wonderful idea, even when everyone around you is telling you to stop, which seems pretty obvious because he continues to destroy his career and his wealth based on his own foolishness.”

Following a question regarding the Dailywire’s impact on the current divisive political state of the U.S, Shapiro said the openly-conservative publication is not to blame.  
“Number one, is my company engaged in the depolarization? No,” Shapiro said. “We’re a conservative company. We are an openly conservative company, we print a lot of conservative articles.”

When asked how young men can combat what he views as the trend of demasculinization, Shapiro suggests men have a responsibility to serve their country, community and family. 
“Either men are going to channel their aggression and their testosterone into the pursuit of defending things that are worth defending, or they’re going to tear down society,” Shapiro said. “What we are seeing right now is the latter. Then the leftists are sitting there apparently laughing at that and yelling at Jordan Peterson for having these narratives to tell young men [to] take on responsibility.”

Referencing research that shows similar genetic markers in gay men, an audience member questioned Shapiro’s opinions on the genetic similarities found within the LGBTQ+ community. 

“There is a trendiness to certain behavior,” Shapiro said. “There’s a trendiness to identifying in a certain way. It’s happened before and it will happen again I’m sure — social contagions are a thing.”

Studies have shown links between the transgender community and a social contagion, like Shapiro references, to be false. The CDC has also shown a decline in adolescents identifying as transgender from 2017 to 2019. 

Shapiro concluded his speech by answering a question about how to spread conservatism within the Jewish community. 
“We have to get more Jews to take the Torah seriously,” Shapiro said. “If people want Jews to actually be more conservative, then Jews need to believe in a more conservative worldview which tends to identify and correlate very strongly with traditional Judaism as opposed to a weakened form of Judaism or no Judaism at all in practice and in theory.”

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