The left’s enthusiastic embrace of the trans movement is creating a rift within the feminist movement.
Zoe Strimpel writes at the Bari Weiss Substack:
“Pregnant people at much higher risk of breakthrough Covid,” The Washington Post recently declared. This was in keeping with the newspaper’s official new language policy: “If we say pregnant women, we exclude those who are transgender and nonbinary.”
“I’m not a biologist,” Ketanji Brown Jackson, the next Supreme Court justice and a formerly pregnant person herself, told her Senate inquisitors while trying to explain why she couldn’t define “woman.”
“It’s a very contested space at the moment,” explained Australian Health Secretary Brendan Murphy—a nephrologist, a doctor of medicine—when he was asked the same question at a hearing in Melbourne. “We’re happy to provide our working definition.”
The meaning of “woman,” the Labor Party’s Anneliese Dodds, in Britain, observed, “depended on context.” (Never mind that Dodds oversees the party’s women’s agenda.)
“I think people get themselves down rabbit holes on this one,” Labor’s Yvette Cooper added the next day, March 8, International Women’s Day. She declined to follow suit.
What were normal people—those who did not have any trouble defining woman, those who found talk of “pregnant people” and “contested spaces” and “rabbit holes” baffling—to make of this obvious discomfort with “women”?
Jackson, Dodds and Cooper—and, no doubt, every individual formerly or currently capable of becoming pregnant on the masthead at The Washington Post—would call themselves feminists. Champions of women’s rights. (So, too, one imagines, would Dr. Murphy.) Once upon a time, it was women like them who proudly declared, I am woman, hear me roar. It was women like them who stood up for women and womanhood.
But now these exemplars of female empowerment—educated, sophisticated, wielding enormous influence—seemed to have forgotten what “woman” meant. Or whether it was okay to say “woman.” Or whether “woman” was a dirty word.
It wasn’t simply about language. It was about how we think about and treat women. For nearly 2,500 years—from Aristophanes’ “Lysistrata” to Seneca Falls to Anita Hill to #MeToo—women had been fighting, clawing their way out of an ancient, deeply repressive, often violent misogyny. But now that they were finally on the cusp of the Promised Land, they were turning their backs on all that progress. They were erasing themselves.
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