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Humor amid the horror: The Babylon Bee stings the gender beast

The Babylon Bee
The Babylon Bee

If you've spent the last several years staring into the abyss of transgenderism, you learn to endure it by drinking deeply of some good biblical medicine: laughter (Proverbs 13:22).

And for that, I thank God for The Babylon Bee. 

Memorable are the times when I’ve found myself laughing hysterically at some of their greatest hits. I’m thinking in particular of their hilarious article during the height of the pandemic speaking about a newly-developed mask with a nose hole cut in so Joe Biden could still sniff people’s hair through it.

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Or another fave, the breaking news report from the spirit realm in 2017 announcing that Satan was responsible for kale, a vegetable he designed as “an act of terrorism against mankind.” Apropos the topic of this column, their articles explaining how puberty blockers were being put in infant formula, Flintstones vitamins, a Dr. Seuss book, and how they were recommended as a treatment for strep throat and also added to cigarettes so that they can be made legal for kids had me laughing uproariously.

Babylon Bee editors Kyle Mann and Joel Berry have now assembled a hilarious book, The Babylon Bee’s Guide to Gender, in which the authors help readers unpack the ubiquitous gender argle-bargle that has saturated our culture.  While readers chow down on a bowl of “Honey Nut Queerios,” they learn the Ten Commandments of Gender. Commandment IV is: “Remember Pride Month and Keep it Holy.” 

Each of the book's 12 chapters is a satirical spoof on a dimension of contemporary gender identity ideology ranging from pronouns and compelled speech (chapter 4) to gender in the workplace (chapter 8) to raising woke "theybies" (chapter 10). The final section of the book contains a gender glossary with helpful definitions of all the gender-speak and it's sure to elicit a few chuckles. Neopronouns (like xe, xem, or faers), for example, are defined as “pronouns used by Keanu Reeves.” 

It’s some much-needed levity. And the absurd humor is precisely the point. Despite its disproportionate influence over society, gender ideology is, in fact, ridiculous. It itself reads like satire. What comedian worth his or her salt wouldn’t want to crack jokes about it? 

According to Mann and Berry, the guidebook was fairly easy to write because it’s actually funny by itself. But it’s beyond merely making people laugh. 

A telltale sign of recognizing what irritates a tyrant is what you’re not allowed to laugh at and tell uncomfortable truths about, particularly if the humor and truth can be used to disarm said tyrant and thus undermine its power. Trans activists and Big Tech overlords, which are often one and the same, sure can’t handle gender jokes. 

Before Elon Musk took over Twitter, which is now X, The Babylon Bee was booted from the platform for joking in March of last year that Assistant Secretary for Health Rachel Levine was selected as their “Man of the Year,” a riff on USA Today naming him as “Woman of the Year.” Days later, when The Christian Post tweeted our news article about USA Today naming Levine as “Woman of the Year,” and reported that he is, in fact, a “man”, we were frozen out of our Twitter account. We refused to retract the tweet and were locked out of the platform for approximately nine months. Our account was restored to full use on December 31, 2022.  

When The Bee was barred from Twitter, CEO Seth Dillon “didn’t skip a beat,” Berry explained, recalling how he vowed that they would never take their tweet down, even though the situation was unnerving from a business perspective as they were unable to reach their readers through one of the platforms where they had a huge following. 

“I admire that stand he took, and I think that the effect that it had was a kind of spreading courage around. Courage can be contagious and sometimes all it takes is one person to make that stand,” he said. 

“Maybe it was just an instance where you’ve got the immature goofy guys in the corner, being the first ones to say something because we’re just not polite enough to not say something.” 

Mann observed that people might be afraid to speak out but one of the great functions of The Babylon Bee is that they can make a joke and readers will feel a lot more comfortable posting it online.

“There’s a sense in which The Babylon Bee is saying what everyone else is thinking. But because we have the shield of humor we can be the idiots and then they can share it. And then they’re safe from the criticism,” Mann added. 

Like the kid in the story The Emperor's New Clothes who was first to point out that the emperor was naked, The Bee was among those to blurt out the truth creatively, and in a way that caught the general public’s attention.

Whether joking or reporting the cold hard facts, it seems that the so-called “gender identity” of a person must remain off-limits from any questioning, humorous or real. Given that, it behooves us to ask: If something as innocuous as documenting the biological sex of someone warrants prohibition from speaking on a major social media platform under a convoluted notion of “hate,” what else is going on? 

As I’ve come to learn over the years, a whole lot more is occurring. And it’s horrific.  

In 2017, for the first time, I stumbled upon a photo of radial forearm phalloplasty surgery and it was as though the bottom had dropped out of the world. This was several years before the general public saw the courageous Scott Newgent pull down a shirt sleeve during a poignant moment in Matt Walsh’s widely-viewed documentary “What Is A Woman?” and expose her own disfigured forearm – the tissue from which was used to fashion a non-functional penis. But in the years prior, whenever I tried to talk about this particular atrocity with people, many would look at me as though I had four heads. But I actually know a mom whose daughter has undergone this very gruesome surgery at age 19. 

Coupled with the horror of learning about how chemical puberty blockers were being used in children, after seeing the carnage of a phalloplasty, I knew immediately that we were dealing with a monstrous, ideologically entrenched medical scandal. Both Bee writers describe what we’re currently living through as a real-life horror novel or film. 

Berry recounted how he was once dinged on Twitter (now X) for tweeting a photo of the results of a carved-up forearm to construct a phallus. In what he considered an ironic message, Twitter Safety subsequently sent him an email claiming he’d been sent the warning because he was sharing images of “violence and torture”. 

Interestingly enough, he’d first heard of this grotesque operation and other surgeries such as mastectomies, vaginoplasties, and hysterectomies on teens and young adults, some of which are done on minors, after he saw on YouTube a speech that I gave at the Ruth Institute’s Summit for Survivors of the Sexual Revolution in July 2020 in Lake Charles, Louisiana. 

“To realize that they’re actually doing that stuff for real, to children, you hear it and you almost get vertigo. You get sick to your stomach. And you suddenly feel this rage, like ‘How do I stop this?’” he said. 

Mann became aware of it through reading Abigail Shrier’s watershed book, Irreversible Damage: The Transgender Craze Seducing Our Daughters, which also emerged in the summer of 2020.  Shier’s even-handed journalistic deep-dive into the issue was, for him, “the scariest horror novel I’d read that year. And I’ve been catching up on the works of Stephen King,” Mann recalled. 

“But it is shocking. And it’s something that is hard to believe until you actually look at the numbers and read the stories of what’s happening,” he added. 

But the great gift of The Babylon Bee is that their humor has a way of shedding light on the darkness. The core of any good joke is the truth. And when the truth is pointed out with hilarity, a fortunate byproduct of it is that it just might shift a cultural debate. 

May The Bee’s mercilessly humorous stinging of this behemoth in their guidebook do just that.

Brandon Showalter has a bachelor's degree from Bridgewater College in Virginia and a master's degree from The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. Listen to Showalter's Generation Indoctrination podcast at The Christian Post and edifi app Send news tips to: Follow on Facebook: BrandonMarkShowalter Follow on Twitter: @BrandonMShow

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