Fighting between so-called transgenders and radical feminists has escalated enough that the mainstream media is noticing it, but one conservative journalist has covered this internecine battle for quite some time and in doing so has demonstrated how to drive the news cycle instead of reacting to it.
The New Yorker recently published an article on the fight between the anti-science crowd that insists they are the opposite sex and the crowd of man-hating lesbians and future lesbians. “What Is a Woman? – The dispute between radical feminism and transgenderism” by Michelle Goldberg provides insight into what the conflict is about and where it eventually could lead. It is a great story for those interested in culture and how blowback to the assault on sexual morality is coming from an unexpected place.
Rush Limbaugh noticed the New Yorker article and talked about it on his incredibly popular radio show, and so the fight between the so-called trannies and #RadFem (the hashtag used by radical feminists) can now safely be called mainstream news.
But although many people are just beginning to hear about this fight it actually has been brewing and escalating for quite some time, and one veteran conservative journalist has long covered it. He wrote about it when few others were—and when no prominent news outlet on the right would dare acknowledge it.
Robert Stacy McCain has decades of journalism experience. He has worked for multiple new organizations and now contributes to the American Spectator even as he regularly publishes on his own website.
McCain has covered the trannies vs. #RadFem fight at least since the start of this year, and I had known about it months ago thanks to him. He has performed some fine journalistic work by digging through old news, paying attention to leftist conferences and interactions, sifting through social media, reading old feminist books, and otherwise finding sources to document what exactly is happening.
And what is happening, in short, is that radical feminists are angry that men are claiming to be women and attempting to get in on their agenda. The feminists are pointing out the truth that men aren’t women and vice versa. Meanwhile, the trannies insist the opposite, with men who claim to be women attempting to join the angry feminist jihad.
Radical feminists noting the truth about the sexes doesn’t necessarily mean they are doing so because it is the truth. Rather, their noting the truth likely stems from their hatred for men. But regardless of their true motivations they are correct. And in being correct they have shamed the broader conservative movement, which largely has surrendered on recognizing this plain-as-day reality. This alone is sad but it also illustrates another problem.
Conservative surrender on the truth that men aren’t women and women aren’t men is the reason McCain has been the only prominent conservative journalist who covered the trannies vs. #RadFem fight to this point. (Notice I say “conservative journalist.” I don’t deny that there are conservative bloggers, pundits, and talk show hosts who have talked about it.) And so, conservative journalists missed an opportunity to lead the news cycle. Instead, conservative reporters and news outlets were satisfied to sit back and wait for leftists to make the news with other headlines that the nation would debate and discuss.
Regrettably, there is nothing unique about this missed opportunity. Whenever a conservative tries to lead the news cycle or change the accepted narrative on something, journalists on the right often don’t pick up on it. This is infinitely truer for any story involving morality. For example, Breitbart published, “Conservative Media Refuse to Cover New Book on Gay Movement,” on June 8 and the author made an interesting observation:
Robert Reilly is one of the more respected men in Washington, DC. As a very young man, he was a special adviser to President Reagan. He is a longtime music critic, specializing in teaching the emergence of amazing new orchestral music. He was a spokesman behind the green line during the Iraq war, reporting directly to Paul Bremer, head of the occupational authority. He led the Voice of America.
Reilly’s new book cannot get a hearing; there is a media blackout, a stonewall even among the conservative press. . . .
Nothing in National Review, not even National Review Online. Nothing in Weekly Standard, even though Reilly reached out personally to his old friend Bill Kristol. Nothing in the American Spectator, which has already rejected a piece on the book by one of their longstanding contributors. the Wall Street Journal didn’t even lead the publisher along. They said simply and firmly, “no.”
This refusal to lead the news results in leftists continuing to control every issue while conservatives are constantly on the defensive or even outright surrendering on an issue.
It doesn’t have to be this way, of course. Robert Stacy McCain has been doing a thankless job for some time now—not just on the trannies vs. #RadFem fight but by covering other news stories that no other major conservative journalist or outlet will. He has shown how it is possible to lead the news cycle and thus change what we all discuss. But he can’t do it alone. Other conservative journalists need to follow his lead and do the same.