“Where did this come from?” asked feminist Kara Dansky Friday evening. “And why is this happening?” She was referring to allowing men claiming womanhood to use females’ private spaces, join their sports teams, and qualify for their scholarships. This is in the news currently because Joe Biden signed an infamous Wednesday executive order mandating that this “transgender” standard must be applied by all educational institutions receiving federal funding.
Answering her own questions, Dansky said that the “transgender” agenda was being enabled by “rank misogyny — and it is coming from the Left” (video below). Of course, it certainly is coming from the Left. But is “misogyny” really to blame?
Well, I suppose that when all you have is a hammer (and sickle?), everything does look like a nail.
Moreover, implicating that old stand-by misogyny helps to avoid the truth: that Dansky’s own beloved feminism is to blame. Before getting to that, however, some background.
Biden’s directive is titled “Preventing and Combating Discrimination on the Basis of Gender Identity or Sexual Orientation,” and it “spells disaster for women’s shelters, sports and health care in the name of transgender equality,” wrote the New York Post Friday. To read the executive order, click here.
Know also that central to this Made-up Sexual Status (MUSS or “transgender”) agenda is the claim that if a person “identifies” as the opposite sex, he’s to be viewed and treated as a member of that sex; there must be no distinctions and no questions asked. Thus have some feminists said that this agenda, and Biden’s order, serve to “erase women” by denying their biological distinctions.
Opining likewise, Dansky essentially claimed that the MUSS activists were denying the “material reality” that “sex is grounded in.” Alright, but, again, where did this come from?
Well, consider that for a couple of generations, the theory feminists demanded assent to was “gender neutrality”; it dogmatically stated that the sexes are the same but for the superficial physical differences, and, therefore, if you raise boys and girls identically, they’ll end up identical in capacity.
So intense was this dogma that, related feminist Camille Paglia, angry feminists would corner her on college campuses in the ’70s and insist that hormones didn’t exist and that, even if they did, they couldn’t possibly influence behavior.
How’s that for a denial of “material reality”?
Of course, “gender neutrality” was a theory of convenience. After all, if the sexes were the same beneath the skin, there could be little justification for traditional sex roles and excluding women from once-all-male arenas.
Yet ideas have consequences; A can lead to B. In this case, A was the thesis that the “sexes are the same except for the superficial physical differences.”
B is the corollary, “Change the superficial physical differences, and you can be the ‘opposite sex.’”
It’s the logical (d)evolution from “gender neutrality” to the MUSS activists’ “gender identity” (misusing the term “gender” all the way through). The former absolutely led to the latter — and feminism absolutely laid the groundwork for it.
Of course, the MUSS agenda has now gone beyond even this, stating that perception (identity) trumps reality. Another way of saying this is that your agenda takes precedence over biological distinctions, which are either illusory or irrelevant — just as the feminists once said.
So feminists first “erased” women (and men) partially, and now MUSS activists are attempting that erasure’s completion.
This brings us to sports. Feminists are complaining that MUSS men’s/boys’ participation in female athletics robs women and girls of sporting opportunities because of the male “biological advantage.” This is ironic because it was just a couple of decades ago that feminists were denying the male “biological advantage” (and some still do).
I remember, for example, when ex-tennis champion Billie Jean King complained about sports being the only area in which the sexes don’t compete together. There was also the feminist claim that if women only had the same opportunities to develop themselves, they’d equal or surpass men in athletics. (First, though, they’d have to surpass 14-year-old boys, whose 800-meter run record is better than the women’s world record.)
And as one commenter quoted here put it, “I’m constantly told that men and women are equal and that gender is a social construct. I’m constantly shown ‘bad[***] women’ on TV and in movies that can beat up men easily. I’m told a woman can do anything a man can do. So…[w]hy segregate sports?”
The point is that this conditioning had its desired effect. Consider: It came to light when I worked with children that one boy, approximately 11 years old, supposed that the women’s mile record should be better than the men’s. Another male age-mate expressed the belief that the intersex athletics performance gap was “very slight.”
This delusion is often carried into adulthood, too. Consider the “Deacon Frost” response below the following Abigail Shrier tweet:
Yet another Twitter user, going by the handle “Joee,” wrote, “I guarantee that an athletic woman who’s trained as much as a man can take a man on in the courts easily. Women are stronger than we give them credit for, clearly.”
This, feminists, is precisely what you once wanted people to believe. Mission accomplished (for the MUSS agenda, too!)
The good news is that reality does make a difference. When I pointed out to tweeter Joee that even 14-year-old boys often surpass top women in sports, he responded:
As for reality’s denial, the feminists’ earlier “I am woman, hear me roar!” equality claims always were mere posturing and chest-pumping, not principle. They just never expected to be called to the carpet. They were wrong.
And it took men in dresses to do it.