The Present Day Significance of Wilhelm Tell

Previous generations knew of the legendary Swiss hero Wilhelm Tell. His story was read and plays about him were staged in high schools, particularly because in him one could find traits of the American character, as it used to be. To the people of today, he needs an introduction.[1]

In 1300, what is now Switzerland was a land of the Austrian king of the Germans. As the chronicles tell it, the king appointed a particularly brutal man, Albrecht Gessler, as administrator. Gessler raised a pole in a market square, placed his hat atop it, and ordered all who came byto salute it. Wilhelm Tell, a famous crossbow sharpshooter, going somewhere with his son, did pass by, but refused to salute. Rather than execute him outright, Gessler gave Tell the choice of being executed together with his son, or be spared if he would shoot an apple off his son’s head. Tell split the apple with an arrow, but Gessler moved to put, or rather burry, him in a dungeon. Tell managed to escape and spearheaded a revolt which led to the overthrow of the Austrian rule and the birth of the Swiss Confederation.

The Wilhelm Tell story becomes relevant in the analysis of a contemporary social phenomenon, the sex change operations. In a previous article, I discussed the matter of sex change operations from the viewpoint of the cost and who has to cover it.[2](a) It was emphasized there that the manner in which the case is presented is scientifically incorrect. Whether evidenced by examination at birth or in the womb, the sex is determined at conception, together with all characteristics which define the individual as a unique human being.[3] The determination is genetic and immutable. The surgical mutilation for creating a physical appearance at variance with the genetic makeup is meaningless. As long as the genetic makeup is not changed, there is no sex change.[2](a)

It is noteworthy that the preferred nomenclature has replaced sex by gender.[4] Rigorously speaking, gender is a grammatical concept; in most languages it is unconnected to sex. Thus, in French love is masculine and hate is feminine. In Russian, war is feminine and peace is masculine. In Romanian, shoulder is masculine, hand is feminine, and elbow is of the third gender (mixed or ambigender). The German takes the cake, as the noun for brother is masculine, the one for sister is feminine, but the nouns for little brother and little sister are both neuter. The English language is peculiar, as it does not really have genders for nouns; nor does it really have flexion, so gender has become a synonym for sex, possibly with a fuzzier meaning.

Accordingly, one talks now of gender reassignment (GR),[5] a phrase in a class with Lenin’s democratic centralism, that is, nonsense. (Who assigns gender in the first place, anyway?)

As we feared, the costs to society of these exercises have greatly increased. Thus, in the years since, Medicare began paying both for “reassignment” surgery (GRS) and hormonal treatment (HT) for transgender people.[6] Costs were also foisted on taxpayers by courts: Iowa’s Supreme Court ordered the state to include GRS coverage in its medicaid program.[7] Judges have continued to order that states provide GRS-HT to persons in penal custody.[8] The societal burden is compounded by indirect costs, including the proliferation of advocacy organization, like the National Center for Transgender Equality, the Transgender Law Center,[6],[8] et al, which even in the unlikely case that they don’t have any access to public funds, consume the earth’s and society’s resources. At the international level, there is a World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH).[9] New occupations, like transgender-affirming therapist,[10] have appeared, proving that enough money flows into that line of business to allow people to make careers out of it.

The condition which these interventions address is gender dysphoria (GD), where dysphoria is a profound state of unease or dissatisfaction with something. It is, therefore a mental (psychological or psychiatric) condition.[11]

A report that there is a hard science explanation for gender dysphoria has been published.[12]: Whereas most men bear XY chromosomes and most women carry XX chromosomes, some people have XXY chromosomes, and some have XX chromosomes in some cells and XY in others, rare, true hermaphrodites.

The claim that XXY chromosomes determine GD in men could be valid only if based on a genetic analysis of a sufficient number of GR subjects, comparing the incidence of the XXY chromosome with that in the general population. The article[12] has no references, but a cursory literature search does not reveal GD being associated with XXY chromosomes.[13] It is noted that XXY males can have a normal sex life, but may be infertile. Testosterone is administered to enhance virility.[13] In the case of coexisting XX and XY, a determination may be made whether male or female characteristics predominate, then the unwanted body parts may be excised.[14](b)

All these cases are disorders of sex development (DSD)[14](a). Claims to the contrary notwithstanding, DSD is an abnormal condition.[15] Its treatment has as goal to restore the natural condition of the organism. Gender dysphoria is not a DSD and the current approach to its treatment is to change the natural order of the organism. The attempt to conflate the two[12] is unscientific.

GD is one of at least twenty four conditions which manifest dysphoria.[11] It is the only one, however, for which the accepted treatment of the mental condition is the modification of the body and the alteration of social and legal norms to comply with a distorted mental perception.[2](a) Indeed, patients with multiple personality are not issued multiple drivers’ licenses, the substance withdrawal syndrome is not treated by hooking the patient back on drugs, a patient believing he is Napoleon is not provided with a mini army and generals, and social and legal norms are not altered to eliminate “the internal turmoil”[9] of the sufferer of the antisocial personality disorder.

The strongest argument claimed for GRS is that the GD sufferers show a sizable suicidal tendency. Half of transgender youth think of suicide and up to 32% have attempted suicide. Accepting that there are finite health resources for an almost infinite number of health needs, the cost of a suicide is much higher than the cost of GRS-HT.[9]

The argument has a profound deficiency of logic. The question is not whether the condition should or should not be treated, but whether GRS is the proper treatment. The factual data are also incorrect. Among the conditions manifesting dysphoria, suicidal tendencies are rather common: Suicidal thoughts is one of the most common withdrawal symptoms of heroin, two thirds of girls suffering from antisocial personality disorder have considered suicide and one third attempted it, more than 70% of multiple personality sufferers have attempted suicide, and so on.[16] Furthermore, it has been indicated that suicidal tendencies reappear within ten years following GRS.[17](a) Also, the authority cited[9] as recommending “sex change” surgery, WPATH, seems an advocacy group for the procedure, rather than a scientific body.[18]

The cost of health care as the allocation of finite resources to competing needs[9] has been discussed before.[2](b) Along these lines, it must be noted that, historically, resource allocation for GRS-HT came together (one might argue it was correlated) with the reduction in screening tests (PSA) for prostate cancer, on the absurd argument that the test gives occasionally “false positive results,” creating anxiety in patients. More recently, the same advice (reduce the number of tests) with the same ridiculous rationalization (there are some false positive results) was offered concerning mammograms for women![19] Anyone who has conducted research and measurements knows that a good test should be calibrated in that manner if the consequence of a false negative result is significant. The patient’s anxiety dissipates when more elaborate tests prove he is healthy. (My urologist on Long Island, NY, was livid about these directives.) In the ten years since, there was an increase in the incidence in prostate cancer, which “chronologically followed new recommendations in the USPSTF guidelines for PSA-based prostate cancer screening.”[19](a) We may expect that in ten years or so, an increase in breast cancer cases will be observed. We should add that 0.005% to 0.014% of males exhibit GD[11](b) and only the fraction that attempt suicide was given. The absence of the number of those who succeed, suggests that the paper[9]. is propaganda, rather than science. Considering next that all males, those that undergo GRS included, are subject to prostate cancer, it follows that spending on GRS-HT over the PSA tests has increased the number of deaths. These data should sober up all those who think the increase in government control on dispensing health care is a good idea. On the contrary, a move toward private distribution and personal decision on treatment and provider choice, and an approach to payment with a choice of direct payment or through insurance, should be sought.[2]

As a further note, it has been reported that that among side effects of GRS-HT for both sexes is an increase in cancers and cardiovascular diseases.[20]

What is unquestionable, is that the mental condition (having a perception of reality at variance with the reality itself) is not cured, not even addressed by GRS-HT. Would someone accept a surgeon with such a mental condition to operate on him? I wouldn’t. Likewise, allowing such a person in the military, where the soldier has the lives of others (in the army and in the country at large) literally in his hands, makes no sense. (Remember Private Manning?) Moreover, having the cost of the permanent treatment of such individuals competing with funds for buying bullets is wrong.

It was observed that the distorted perception of oneself is typically encountered in children, who often put themselves in fairy tales.[2](a) As they grow, from infancy, children are pretty much taught their identity. It may be shocking, but it is not surprising, therefore, that indoctrination into transgenderism has been applied to children, although the claimed rationale for it has been debunked.[17] The approach has tragical effects. Thus, a divorced couple in Texas split custody of their little boy. The mother has decided he should be a girl, at the recommendation of a gender-transition therapist. (We can assume that the initial decision was the mother’s, otherwise the therapist could not come into the picture; once consulted, it is only natural that he tried to bring business to himself.) The child is thoroughly confused: when a therapist asked him to choose his name, he wrote down Luna, chosen by his mother, when he was with her, but James, when he was with his father.[10] This finding in itself should eliminate from consideration dysphoria, which is “strong, persistent feelings of identification with another gender and discomfort with one’s own assigned gender and sex; in order to qualify for a diagnosis of gender dysphoria, these feelings must cause significant distress or impairment.”[11](b) Instead, other people have seen that the child shows no sign of distress, but is balanced and satisfied when he is with his father and treated as a boy. The mother, though, has filed suit, asking the court to terminate the father’s parental rights and also require him to pay for the transgender medical alterations.[10] Her motives can only be guessed, but a compulsion to hurt her former husband cannot be excluded. There have been parents who in that situation killed their children from such a compulsion.

Of the many other cases, three will be mentioned here. The first is that of a mother of triplet boys who desperately wanted a girl. She cross-dressed one of the boys for two years, insisting that it was his idea. As the boy was two years old when this started, the claim should be rejected outright. Anyway, she sued to deny consent and custody to the father.[21](a) In a second example, a well known actress stated that her son, age three, had told her: “I am not a boy,” From that moment, she raised the child as her second daughter.[21](b) Many a parent heard a child a that age stating that he is an eagle, a wizard, or who knows what. One just helps the child grow out of the fantasy. Instead, the actress thought it “cool” to destroy the biological identity of a human being; the fact that the child was adopted, might have helped. The third example comes from Britain; the methods used are the same as here: As revealed by a whistle-blower, seventeen pupils in a school are in the process of “changing gender.” Most of them are autistic, which means that vulnerable children are tricked and groomed into believing they are of the wrong sex. The parents are kept deliberately in the dark. It is noted that of the youngsters referred to the one and only gender identity clinic in UK (we can guess who runs and controls it) one third, that is, 150, showed moderate to severe autistic traits.[22]

Willful mutilation of children has long been known. In past centuries, some children were prepared in this manner to be used as beggars. Also, boys with beautiful voices were castrated to earn money for their families as soprano singers. In our times, children are mutilated in such manner for political correctness, although in some cases mental derangement of parents also plays a role.

Also historically new is the power that people who make a living out of transgenderism, under the guise of “experts,” are allowed to wield. In this aspect, the current mutilation epidemic conforms with the historic experience: there is profit in the enterprise. The problem is that unlike physics, chemistry, and other hard sciences, psychology and related fields are soft sciences and can be distorted into pseudosciences. Before accepting the opinion of such “experts”, one should find out the fraction of the cases they intervened in, for which they recommended that the natural, genetic, definition be not altered. (I would guess, zero is the likely answer.) Besides, logically all those who profit from the process should be disqualified for conflict of interest. Instead, the structures of power are currently biased in the favor of transgenderists. Thus, when there is disagreement, the parent who wants to mutilate a child is too often given preference over the parent who wants to preserve the child’s identity, in which the appearance conforms with the genetic script, rather than a mental construct.[21] When both parents want to preserve the child, too often the power of decision is given to interest-conflicted “experts,” the parents being kept in the dark[22] or overridden by the power of state, a process in which judges often play a nefarious role.[21]

The cavalier attitude toward mutilation of children can be contrasted with the premises of the (attempted) ethical justification for GRS, which starts from the assumption that “those seeking GRS are of legal adult age, competent, and seeking the treatment voluntarily.”[9] There is a case in Germany, in which a court awarded damages for a sex assignment operation without consent.[23] Unfortunately, recognition by law of the right to bodily integrity and physical autonomy seems to exist only in Malta, where non-consensual modification of sex is outlawed.[24]

Lately, people marginally involved, or even spectators to the game of people pretending to be somebody or something else are forced to participate in it. Assertion of freedom of speech in dissent is not allowed. For example, a teacher in Indiana who taught orchestra at a high school called students by their last names. He had to resign, because the school policy was to call transgender students by their preferred first names.[25] In a system which protects the rights of all, opposing opinions should be, at least, acceptable. As things are now, even noncommittal neutrality is punishable. More reports of teachers similarly fired have been published, in the U.S. and in the UK.[26]

Harsher forms of persecution have been reported. Thus, a Canadian man, passed out leaflets revealing that a candidate for Parliament was in fact a man, who had “transitioned” to woman two years before. The provincial Human Rights Tribunal found him guilty of the crime of “misgendering.” The judge admitted that the accused’s religious freedom was infringed upon, but said he should hold his belief to himself(!)[27] In other words, one’s right to actuate his fantasies overrides another’s religious freedom. The Canadians are just a step ahead of us.

In another development, transgenders (boys claiming to be girls) participate in girls’ sport competitions. Thus, two transgenders entered a scholastic track competition in Connecticut and won the first two places. Seventeen other states allow such mixed participation.[28](a) Moreover, the International Olympic Committee has published guidelines regulating the participation of transgenders in the Games. Notably, to participate as a woman a man needs not undergo GRS, only to declare female gender identity and maintain a testosterone level under a prescribed level for 12 months before, and throughout the competition. The declaration cannot be changed for sporting purposes (meaning that it can, for other purposes) for a minimum of four years.[29] This type of rules invites abuses, especially considering the commercial nature of Olympics at present and the possible financial gain for successful participants. The rules are also punishing the honest, biologically female, competitors. The “principles” established in the Canadian case just mentioned, will even prevent them from knowing that the “gal” who beat them was a guy.

The same yearning for celebrity and income may push some boys who don’t hope to succeed in sport as males, to “transition” to women, with no dysphoria involved.

The imposition of such nonsense by the government seems to gather speed. Thus, a bill already tried without success in 2017, has been introduced in the US House of Representatives as H.R.5Equality Act. (It is customary to affix lofty names to measures imposing the dictatorship of the government.) Among many dreadful things, this would force men claiming to be women into women’s teams, locker rooms, and showers. It was sponsored by every Democrat and two Republicans.[30](a) At state level, absurdities of this kind have already been implemented.[30]b)

In anticipation, a federal judge in Illinois (confirmed in 2014) told the plaintiffs complaining that their school had allowed a transgender (biological male) to use the girls’ locker rooms, restrooms, and showers, that there is no constitutional right to “visual bodily privacy.”[31] The school had instituted the policy after being threatened by Obama Administration’s Education Department with loss of funding. The Trump administration rescinded the policy, but the school didn’t.

In another case, a female high school student from Pennsylvania entered the school girls’ locker room and found an individual in ladies’ underwear, through which the male complements appeared clearly. She ran out and later filed a formal complaint that her civil rights were violated.[32] If the monstrosity labeled H.R.5.[30] becomes law, girls like her will have no recourse. We must do everything to stop it. We are no longer dealing with dictatorial measures, but with the imposition of a totalitarian form of government.

It seems at first hard to rationalize this push to force people to accept that clear manifestations of psychological disorder are normal, and to adjust or hide their reason and common sense which say otherwise. The task become easier if we consider the analogy with the case of Wilhelm Tell.[33]
Gessler’s goal in imposing the “obedience to the hat” was to break the resistance and moral fiber of the Swiss people. Saluting the hat was a sign of resignation to the state of serfdom. Today’s insistence that people accept nonsense and insanity as normalcy has the same ultimate goal. Will our contemporaries react like the Swiss in 1307, or swallow meekly whatever will be imposed on them? The matters being in an advanced state, people need to gather their courage and act now. We can all take heart from the dignity of Bill Whatcott, the Canadian man convicted of the crime of “misgendering” a politician, who went to the sentencing wearing a shirt with a bible passage, Genesis 5:2, the basis for his actions,[27] or of Prof Jordan B. Peterson of the University of Toronto, who fights for the freedom of speech against the gender police at his university and in the provincial legislature.[34] One of the girls beaten on the track by the boys claiming to be girls in Connecticut has also protested.[28](b) The cases of the young ladies who sued were mentioned above. We must all join those in this fight.

The most urgent matter is to assure that the minimum ethical requirements[9] for “gender reassignment” are fulfilled: the patients are of legal adult age, competent, and seeking the treatment voluntarily.

Next, the policy of secrecy should be replaced by full disclosure. If, for example, one pays to see a game between two women’s teams, the information about the genetic (i.e., true) sex of players should be disclosed. Ditto for choosing one’s physician, and so on.

At the same time, we should obtain that gender dysphoria be treated as a psychiatric condition, which it is, with the goal of curing the mental ailment, rather than mutilating a body and distorting the society’s fabric.


[1] (a) ; (b) ttps://
[2] D. Fărcaşiu, Four Commentaries on Healthcare, 09/22/2012. (a) 4. Sex-Change Surgery and The Case For Personalized Medical Insurance; (b) 2. Health Care as a Problem of Allocation of Money.
[3] * ** Your destiny from day one, Nature, 2002, 418, 14 (07/04/2002)
[4] It seems that this word switch originated with John Money, the grandfather of “sex change” operations.
[6] National Center for Transgender Equality, Know Your Rights. Medicare
[7] G. Aviles, Iowa Supreme Court rules that Medicaid can cover sex reassignment surgery, AP. 03/08/2019,
[8] K. Phillips, A convicted killer became the first U.S. inmate to get state-funded gender-reassignment surgery, Washington Post 01/10/2017,
[9] J. J. Go, Should Gender Reassignment Surgery be Publicly Funded? J. Bioethical Inquiry, 2018, 15 (4), 527;
[10] S. Pointer, Father Desperately Battling for Custody of 6-Year Old After Mother Claims Child Is Transgender, The Western Journal, 11/28/2018
[11] (a) Dysphoria: ;
(b) Gender dysphoria: ;
[12] P. Ubel, Is Sex Reassignment Surgery a Basic Human Right? Forbes, 10/4/2012
[13] For example: (a) *** Klinefelter syndrome, NIH, U.S. Natl Library of Medicine, ; (b) Sex Chromosome Abnormalities, ; (c) Mayo Clinic, Klinefelter syndrome, ; (d)
[14] (a) S. Lehrman, When a Person Is Neither XX nor XY: A Q&A with Geneticist Eric Vilain, Scientific American, 05/30/2007;
(b) M. Z. Iqbal et al, True Hermaphrodite: A Case Report, APSP J Case Rep. 2011 May-Aug; 2(2), 16;
[15] L. Sax, How Common is Intersex? Journal of Sex Research, Aug 1, 2002,
[16] (a) K. Nenn, Kicking Heroin: Overcoming Suicidal Tendencies, Behavioral Health, Detox, Drug Abuse, Mental Health, 09/25/2015, ; (b) W.H.J. Martens, Suicidal Behavior as Essential Diagnostic Feature of Antisocial Personality Disorder, Psychopathology 2001, 34, 274–275, : (c) C.A. Ross, G.R. Norton, Suicide and parasuicide in multiple personality disorder, Psychiatry, 1989 52(3):365,
[17] (a) R. T. Anderson, Sex Reassignment Doesn’t Work. Here Is The Evidence, (b) P. McHugh, Transgender Surgery Isn’t the Solution. A drastic physical change doesn’t address underlying psycho-social troubles, WSJ, 05/13/2016, and previous papers. ; c) L. Sax, Politicizing Pediatrics: How the AAP’s Transgender Guidelines Undermine Trust in Medical Authority, 03/13/2019,
[19] (a) Serban Negoita et al, Annual Report to the Nation on the Status of Cancer, part II: Recent changes in prostate cancer trends and disease characteristics, Cancer, 124 (13), 05/22/2018, ; (b) Harvard Medical School, New mammography screening guidelines,
[20] (a) M. Satari, Breast Cancer in Male-to-Female Transgender Patients: A Case for caution, Clin. Breast Cancr, 2015, 15(1), e67 (b) Millicent Odunze, Sex Reassignment Surgery Questions and Answers.
[21] (a) Margot Cleveland, LGBT Activists Teaching Judges To Yank Kids From Parents Who Won’t Transgender Them, The Federalist, 02/12/2019, ;
[22] S. Manning, School has seventeen children changing gender as teacher says vulnerable pupils are being ‘tricked’ into believing they are the wrong sex, Daily Mail, 11/18/2019
[23] * ** Gender Warrior Wins Case Against Surgeon,
[25] E. Rosenberg and M. Balingit, A teacher refused to use transgender students’ names. His resignation was just approved, Washington Post, 06/11/2018;
[26] (a) G. Moomaw, Virginia high school teacher fired for refusing to use transgender student’s new pronouns, Richmond Times-Dispatch, 12/7/2018 article_65be1826-50b2-5d38-be58-47d9b9480917.html
(b) M. Oppenheim, Teacher suspended for referring to a transgender pupil as a girl rather than a boy, The Independent, 11/14/2017
[27] P. D’Abrosca, Canadian Man Fined $55k for ‘Misgendering’ Transgender Female, 04/07/2019;
[28] (a) Transgender high school athletes spark controversy, debate in Connecticut, AP, 02/25/2019,
(b) W. T. Huston, Female Athlete Speaks Out Against Transgender Equality Act, 04/21/2019,
[29]C.Zeigler, Exclusive: Read the Olympics’ new transgender guidelines that will not mandate surgery, 01/21/2016,
[30] (a) H.R.5. — 116th Congress (2019-2020), Equality Act ,
See also:
(b) B. Vannozzi, NJ poised to be among states with most comprehensive transgender civil rights, NJTVNews, 05/30/2018
[31] S. Warren, Judge Warns: No Right to ‘Visual Bodily Privacy’ for High School Girls, CBNNews, 04/08/2019 Also:
[32] J. Hamil, Student Claims Civil Rights Violation by Transgender Student in Locker Room, 3/14/2019,
[33] The Wilhelm Tell story as allegory of forced acquiescence to falsehood has been noted before.
[34] S. Ventureyra, Canada’s Boldest Professor Defies the Gender Police, Crisis Magazine 12/5/2016