Wait… WHAT?! The conservative think tank applauded radical feminists? Did Hell suddenly freeze over during the Polar Vortex?
Actually, yes. But that’s not the reason that this happened.
It turns out that there was some common ground. The four women were there as part of a panel discussion, ‘The Inequality of the Equality Act‘. The Equality Act is a federal anti-discrimination bill that was first introduced in 1974 but died in the House Committee on the Judiciary that same year. The Act has been revamped and is being reintroduced. It has big support from virtue-signaling corporations, as well as prominent politicians and Hollywood celebrities.
Three of the four women who appeared at the Heritage Foundation were from the Women’s Liberation Front, and as the moderator introduced them, he stated that no liberal or left-leaning organization wanted to hear what they had to say. You can watch the entire video here:
The women were concerned that the new iteration of the Equality Act would add ‘gender identity’ to the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
Andrew Sullivan is a prolific writer, and, as a gay man, an early advocate of gay marriage. He is the former editor of New Republic and currently writes for a variety of publications. His articles have appeared in The Atlantic, The Daily Beast, and Time. Over the weekend, Sullivan wrote an article that was published in New York Magazine that begins with the bizarre panel discussion that occurred in late January and how the lesbian feminists received a ‘rousing round of applause’ by conservatives. The piece explores the underlying theory behind transgender ideology and the problems that arise from it.
He admits that some of the trans-exclusionary radical feminists (TERFs) can be ‘inflammatory and offensive‘ but that they are not tolerated by the LGBTQ community at large and are often demonized. ClashDaily has reported on the violent rhetoric that some feminists are subjected to by some trans activists.
The women spoke about the problem with the inclusion of gender identity in the Act and equating it with biological sex. They say that it would essentially eliminate the biological difference between men and women. The feminists argue that this would eliminate all female only spaces, (buh-bye Curves!) and is a threat to lesbian identity and perhaps even homosexual existence itself. One also mentions that transgenderism is rampant, especially among girls now. If that sounds like a stretch, read on.
In the article, Sullivan explains that abolishing clear biological distinctions between men and women makes us question what exactly it is that makes one a man or a woman. If what a woman is now includes an individual that is a biological male, what is it that defines a woman? If that biological male is still attracted to women, does that make that biological male a lesbian?
How can lesbianism be redefined as having sex with someone who has a penis, they argue, without undermining the concept of lesbianism as a whole? “Lesbians are female homosexuals, women who love women,” one of the speakers, Julia Beck, wrote last December, “but our spaces, resources and communities are on the verge of extinction.”
The newest iteration of the Equality Act doesn’t just include restrictions on discrimination of transgender individuals in employment, housing, and public accommodations, but redefines what ‘sex’ is to include ‘gender identity’. When we think of sex, we essentially think about the box that you check off on a form — Male or Female. The Equality Act’s inclusion of gender identity would eliminate the distinction and instead The definition of gender identity in the Equality Act is ‘gender-related identity, appearance, mannerisms, or characteristics, regardless of the individual’s designated sex at birth.‘ This drastic change would mean that anyone, despite their biological sex, could identify as whichever gender they chose and must be given accommodation or face legal consequences for discrimination.
One of the main issues that the lesbian feminists are concerned with is that the current transgender theory suggests that gender-related characteristics are stereotypes on male and female behaviors and that people who exhibit them are more likely transgender than perhaps homosexual.
What, after all, is a “gender-related characteristic”? It implies that a tomboy who loves sports is not a girl interested in stereotypically boyish things, but possibly a boy trapped in a female body. And a boy with a penchant for Barbies and Kens is possibly a trans girl — because, according to stereotypes, he’s behaving as a girl would. So instead of enlarging our understanding of gender expression — and allowing maximal freedom and variety within both sexes — the concept of “gender identity” actually narrows it, in more traditional and even regressive ways. What does “gender-related mannerisms” mean, if not stereotypes? It’s no accident that some of the most homophobic societies, like Iran, for example, are big proponents of sex-reassignment surgery for gender-nonconforming kids and adults (the government even pays for it) while being homosexual warrants the death penalty.
The other issue is the elimination of single-gender spaces, including lesbian spaces. Changing, dressing, and locker rooms would now be forced to allow anyone who identifies as a woman, even a biological man, into female-only spaces. How will that go over with gender-segregated swimming that is done in accommodation to conservative branches of particular religions? An interesting conversation for another time.
Sullivan states that the current theory is that a transgender woman is indistinguishable from a biological woman and that a trans woman has always seen herself as a woman. He then uses an example that we can all easily understand Bruce Jenner 1976 vs. Caitlyn Jenner 2015.
But is it true that when Caitlyn Jenner was in the 1976 Olympics men’s decathlon, she was competing as a woman, indistinguishable from any other woman? Contemporary orthodoxy insists that she was indeed competing as a woman, and erases any distinction between a trans woman and a woman. Similarly, public high-school girls track or wrestling teams would have to include female-identifying biological males — even if they keep winning all the trophies, and even if the unfairness is staring you in the face.
But, most people don’t accept that.
We may accept that Caitlyn Jenner, who came out as a woman in 2015, always understood herself as a woman, and see this psychological conviction as sincere and to be respected. But we also see a difference between someone who lived her life as a man for decades, under the full influence of male chromosomes and testosterone, and who was socially accepted as male and then transitioned … and a woman to whom none of those apply. It is highly doubtful that a non-trans woman could have successfully competed against men in athletics in the Olympic decathlon, no less. Whether you look at this biologically (hormones and genitals matter) or socially (Jenner was not subjected to sexism as a man for most of her life), there is a difference. If there weren’t, would the concept of “trans” even exist?
Sullivan says that this creates a conflict between trans rights and gay rights. In some ways, transgender ideology is in direct opposition to gay rights.
If you abandon biology in the matter of sex and gender altogether, you may help trans people live fuller, less conflicted lives; but you also undermine the very meaning of homosexuality. If you follow the current ideology of gender as entirely fluid, you actually subvert and undermine core arguments in defense of gay rights.
He says that there are many in the gay and lesbian community that are attached to the concept of sex as a biological and material thing.
…gay men are defined by our attraction to our own biological sex. We are men and attracted to other men. If the concept of a man is deconstructed, so that someone without a penis is a man, then homosexuality itself is deconstructed. Transgender people pose no threat to us, and the vast majority of gay men and lesbians wholeheartedly support protections for transgender people. But transgenderist ideology — including postmodern conceptions of sex and gender — is indeed a threat to homosexuality, because it is a threat to biological sex as a concept.
There are some within the trans movement that says that it’s ‘transphobic’ to have ‘genital preferences’ in who you decide to pursue a relationship with because some women have penises. We’re in a world that has determined that the word ‘vagina’ is bigotry and we should use the word ‘front hole’ instead.
If it’s all a free and fluid nonbinary choice of gender and sexual partners, a choice to have sex exclusively with the same sex would not be an expression of our identity, but a form of sexist bigotry, would it not?
So, we toss out the entire concept of sexual attraction and thousands of years of human sexuality for a tiny minority to not be offended. That’s an… interesting way of handling things.
You may not agree with all of Sullivan’s points, but there is a distinct overlap with the Christian Right and the point made by the women on that panel discussion — it’s the elimination of biological gender. If you believe that God created male and female, then you should find this new version of the Equality Act should be extremely troubling because it would erase those distinctions to appease a tiny sliver of the population.
Whether you think that transgenderism is a legitimate gender identity, mental illness, or a result of The Fall damaging all of Creation, we should always remember that we are dealing with people. As Christians, we are to keep in mind that all people are made in the image of God. We should debate the underlying ideas in a sensitive and courteous way.
Sullivan sums up his article saying that we need to be courteous in our discussions.
We just have to abandon the faddish notion that sex is socially constructed or entirely in the brain, that sex and gender are unconnected, that biology is irrelevant, and that there is something called an LGBTQ identity, when, in fact, the acronym contains extreme internal tensions and even outright contradictions. And we can allow this conversation to unfold civilly, with nuance and care, in order to maximize human dignity without erasing human difference.
Source: New York Magazine
We need to have an open, honest discussion about transgender ideology, and especially in relation to children.
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