April 26, 2020 · by WLRN Staff · in Staff Articles. ·
On the Death of Reality
Navigating Anti-Debate Politics in the Age of Unreason
By Danielle Whitaker
Even amid a global pandemic threatening our lives, competitive wokeness—the self-righteous face of pseudoprogressive culture—continues to rear its glitter-coated head.
Last month, the Georgia state chapter of the U.S. Green Party made the risky decision to endorse the Declaration on Women’s Sex-Based Rights. This thought-crime was received as well as could be expected: the following week, as detailed in the Georgia Greens’ response, the national Green Party’s Lavender Caucus demanded that Georgia retract its endorsement, issue a “formal” apology, and submit to “educating” themselves about “the necessity of gender affirmation” or face dis-accreditation and expulsion from the national party. No debate or compromise. Submit to doublethink, or else.
This excerpt from Georgia’s response makes it difficult to rationalize their critics’ extreme reaction:
We welcome an opportunity to participate in dialogue on the issues raised by the Platform amendment which has been the subject of this recent controversy. But we would prefer to do so with people who have actually read the language we have adopted, and the document we have endorsed, not just the hyperbole and derogatory misinformation being spread about it. We insist on a fair and across the board application of the rules. We insist that we not be compelled to speak in a vocabulary which fails to convey our understanding of how the world works.
If you are not familiar with the Green Party’s ideals, the first of their Ten Key Values is “grassroots democracy.” (The seventh is “Feminism & Gender Equity,” but we’ll deal with that later.)
National Green Party member Dario Hunter, who is seeking the 2020 Green Party nomination for president, further endorsed the stance through a video in which he does not actually refute anything in the Declaration nor make any counterpoints to its specific contents. What he does do is pronounce that the Georgia chapter deserves to be dis-accredited for endorsing it, to which they also responded. His justification for this is a reference to his work with a pride organization helping provide resources to individuals who were displaced from their homes due to “being transgender.”
I’ve previously broken down the linguistic illogicality of the trans lexicon and the fact that oppression does not occur on the basis of “being transgender.” The concept of “transgenderism” is a misnomer because all variations of its definition, no longer synonymous with sex dysphoria, rely on myths: “brain sex” proponents are on par with flat-earthers, sex is not “assigned” but observed, and no one is “born in the wrong body.” Oppression is determined not by how we view ourselves, but by how we are viewed by others. Therefore, since “gender identity” is subjectively self-defined and “transgenderism” exists on a false premise, “transphobia” is prejudice not against an “identity” but against gender nonconformity, which requires no label or formal status (there exist people of all sexual orientations who are markedly gender nonconforming without pronouncing themselves “trans”), and which is rooted in the assumption of homosexuality, thus punished as a threat to heteropatriarchy. “Transphobia,” at its core, is misdirected homophobia. Furthermore, the word itself is now indiscriminately thrown about by trans activists as a silencing slur against any woman (or man, for that matter) who acknowledges sex-based oppression.
What Hunter and the other critics fail to recognize is that supporters of the Declaration fully agree that trans-identifying people deserve the same human rights they seem to think we’re threatening: equal access to housing, education, employment, healthcare, and so on. The question of how far we expand the definition of “rights” and whose rights matter more, however, as I later explore, is the root of this conflict.
They also fail to recognize that supporting efforts to help disadvantaged trans-identified people does not conflict with supporting women’s sex-based rights. It does not require that we pretend human sexual dimorphism does not exist or that sex has no sociopolitical significance. It does not require ignoring the sex-based oppression of women or the impact trans ideology has on their rights.
If “feminism” is a Green Party key value, I wonder what support is being offered to the women in prison who have been raped by male inmates who were housed amongst them in the name of “trans rights”? What support is being offered to the vulnerable victims of male violence who rely on the assistance of the Vancouver Rape Relief & Women’s Shelter, which just lost $30,000 in annual funding due to their commitment to protecting female safe spaces? What support is being offered to the high school girls who have lost athletic scholarships because trans-identified males have decided they deserve a place on women’s teams? What support is being offered to the lesbians who are bullied with death threats by trans activists into accepting male partners? What is being done to fight the rape rhetoric of the “Cotton Ceiling,” one of the trans movement’s most monstrous creations? What of the countless LGB individuals who lost their homes long before the trans trend exploded? What of the persecution they’ve suffered for centuries on the basis of sexual orientation? Were their needs ever fast-tracked to political prioritization as we’re seeing for the trans movement’s demands? Not even close—though, to be fair, under trans dogma, homosexuality can’t exist—and if it does, it’s a bigoted “genital preference” that must be “unlearned.”
Some folks seem to be forgetting that sex-based rights are not a fresh new invention of hateful “TERFs.” Sex-based rights got women the vote. Sex-based rights got women access to public restrooms. Sex-based rights won women the freedom to wear trousers. Sex-based rights allowed for women to own property, have their own credit cards, and legally obtain abortions. One day, hopefully, sex-based rights will abolish child marriage, FGM, sex trafficking, menstrual huts, and more. Rebranding us “cis women” or “vagina havers” doesn’t change the fact that we, as a class—whatever you call us—face specific oppression that this thing we call feminism was developed to eradicate.
Feminism is sex-based rights—always has been.
As mentioned, feminism—or rather, “Feminism & Gender Equity” nowadays—is one of the Green Party’s key values:
We have inherited a social system based on male domination of politics and economics. We call for the replacement of the cultural ethics of domination and control with cooperative ways of interacting that respect differences of opinion and gender. Human values such as gender equity, interpersonal responsibility, and honesty must be developed with moral conscience. We recognize that the processes for determining our decisions and actions are just as important as achieving the outcomes we want.
Oddly enough, that first sentence aligns closely with the core tenets of radical feminism, though we acknowledge this system extends far beyond politics and economics.
The remaining description embodies the vagueness typical of liberal “feminism” and the risks of not defining one’s terms. What is “gender”? This clouding of language is one of the biggest obstacles we face, obfuscating the reality and severity of patriarchy. Male violence against intimate partners (nearly always women) gets reframed as “domestic violence.” Male violence against women in general is now tactfully termed “gender-based violence.” Prostitution, the ultimate form of female objectification, is rebranded “sex work”—while the men who endorse it are simply “clients.”
Feminism is—or should be—a movement for the liberation of female people from all forms of male dominance (patriarchy). Acknowledging this male dominance, as the Green Party has done above, is the first prerequisite—but this is meaningless without also acknowledging the significance of “male” and “female” as distinct sexes. This they have failed to do.
“Gender,” as distinct from biological sex, is a hierarchical system of social roles, customs, and expectations that exists to place women below men. “Gender equality” or even “gender equity” are thus empty catchphrases that hide the reality of female oppression, implying both men and women face some form of sex-based oppression, which is false. The fact that patriarchy disadvantages men in certain ways (punishment for expressing gentler emotions; the burden of financial responsibility in the heteropatriarchal family unit) is not feminism’s responsibility. The ways in which male-built and male-upheld social systems are backfiring on men is not a feminist priority. Feminism is about fixing the problems men have created for women, not the ones men have created for themselves. The idea that male issues should be centered in female liberation efforts is paradoxical insanity. Just as white people do not experience institutional oppression on the basis of race, neither do men experience institutional oppression on the basis of sex. Every male, regardless of “identity” or how otherwise disadvantaged he may be, has sex privilege over females.
Granted, the identity movement is rooted in much deeper issues: surely the fundamental question we should be asking is, why are so many people suddenly so uncomfortable with their natal sex? If it stems from a growing consciousness of outdated gender roles and the desire to escape them, rightfully so, why are we not witnessing a mass movement to reject these roles rather than sex itself? Why, instead, are we witnessing an inverted sexism wherein females must be feminine has been replaced by people with traits labeled “feminine” must be female. This madness is embodied in the very first heartbreaking line of I Am Jazz: “For as long as I can remember, my favorite color has been pink.”
How deeply ingrained these roles must be in our collective psyche to the point that most of us truly believe that what we’ve been taught to label “feminine” is inherent to the female sex, and “masculine” to male. Is this really the “progressive” new world into which we want to lead humanity?—and why must this anti-reality dogma be handcuffed to the simple, beautiful act of gender nonconformity? Imagine if we could shift from “I don’t fit the roles assigned to my sex, therefore I am the opposite sex,” to “I don’t fit the roles assigned to my sex, because these roles are not inherent to either sex.”
Wishful thinking, I suppose. Let’s have a look at Georgia’s attackers, the Lavender Greens.
We are Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Intersex, Asexual+ Green Party members (LGBTQIA+ Lavenders) organized as a Caucus with the purpose of promoting Lavender issues within the Green Party and promoting the Green Party to the LGBTQIA+ community.
They have helpfully included a glossary of their terms, though it is worth noting that neither “man” nor “woman” is included. I challenge them to remedy this. Their definition of trans, as predicted: “A term describing a person’s gender identity that does not necessarily match their assigned sex at birth.” The fact that sex is not “assigned,” of course, renders this null.
Ironically enough, their definition of “sex” is almost spot-on:
Sex: Refers to anatomical, physiological, genetic, or physical attributes that define if a person is male, female, or intersex. These include both primary and secondary sex characteristics, including genitalia, gonads, hormone levels, hormone receptors, chromosomes, and genes. Sex is often conflated or interchanged with gender, which is more social than biological, though there is some overlap.
Smells like classic TERF rhetoric to me, though that last sentence leaves much to be desired—typical of hegemonic attempts to confuse the issue through a fusion of legitimate language with veiled propaganda.
What fascinates me about “LGBTQIA+” is that trans ideology is incompatible with most of the other letters. Sex must be acknowledged in order to acknowledge homosexuality, bisexuality, asexuality, and intersex conditions. The reality of human sexual dimorphism is the entire foundation of the alphabet soup, the entire source of homophobia and misogyny, and it’s the one thing they’re trying to pretend doesn’t matter—or even exist.
We know sex exists and that humans can’t change sex. I know it, you know it, apparently even the Lavenders know it, and that’s why it’s forbidden for the Georgia Greens or anyone else to speak about it. When people are allowed to openly discuss trans ideology from a critical or even questioning stance, people wake up. Radical feminists, detransitioners, and other trans-critical individuals are not shrinking in numbers. We’re growing and gaining the courage to speak, which is the biggest threat to any faith-based dogma, especially one that demands the participation and acquiescence of non-believers.
We have a ways to go. Trans ideology has not yet peaked in popularity, as its dangers and overall incoherence remain largely concealed by a boys’ club of successful lobbying, which relies on the hive-minded ignorance of slacktivism that has come to define liberal culture. For the average person, analysis of trans ideology does not take significant priority in their consciousness, but is simply the next wave of bandwagon activism to which we must blindly throw support lest we be ousted from the cool kids’ table. Most are not aware of the actual impact of trans activism; this widespread mix of apathy and laissez-faire tolerance is how we end up with disadvantaged women being sued for refusing to touch male genitals.
And so to those who would silence us, may I remind you that we need only glance at any point in recorded history to remember that those who try to shut down opposing voices and debate in favor of total ideological obedience are generally not on the right side of history.
Surely, some opposing voices must be so obviously heinous that we should not admit them a platform to argue their stance, nor offer the courtesy of considering their ideas, because society en masse has already decided these stances are unequivocally, objectively harmful—Nazis and pedophiles, for instance. Apparently on par with these groups, any voice deemed “transphobic” nowadays is indeed considered by trans activists to be “so obviously heinous” that it is undeserving of debate. They claim our very ideas cause unfathomable harm to trans-identified people and no justified benefits to anyone else.
So, is that true? What is “harm,” and who is really being harmed? Is the “harm” of not allowing males to compete in women’s sports greater than the harm this “inclusion” has on female athletes? Is the “harm” of not admitting male rapists into women’s prisons greater than the harm inflicted on the female inmates who are being raped?
What this boils down to is intense disagreement over what matters more: female liberation from male dominance, or male desire to be seen as something they’re not. After all, we cannot pretend that males are not the dominant voice in trans activism, just as in everything else. We are not facing an epidemic of trans-identified females demanding to participate in men’s sports or be transferred to men’s prisons. We cannot pretend this sex discrepancy in the trans “rights” movement is a coincidence.
As a former trans-identified female myself (not that I believe the trans experience of females is remotely equivalent to that of males), there is no denying that living with sex dysphoria can be agonizing; no denying that trans-identifying people face pain, that unmet desires can cause intense distress. But these are symptoms of a larger issue, of a broken and sexist society, the solutions to which lie beyond patriarchy and capitalism, and certainly beyond the nebulous, superficial veneration of “identity.” This broken, sexist society is precisely what actual feminism aims to remedy.
If “validation,” the apparent endgame of the trans agenda, is enshrined as a human right, the consequences are limitless. Absolutely any demand can be made, any truth buried, any other rights dismissed, in the name of “validation”—which, as I’ve shown, is already happening.
In all honesty, the deification of external “validation” does more harm than good to anyone, trans-identified or not. Relying on coerced validation from others does not fill the voids we all share; it does not generate genuine self-esteem but instead only deepens insecurity while breeding narcissism. Demanding others adopt and affirm your view of yourself is superficially and temporarily fulfilling at best, psychologically toxic at worst. Imagine if “affirmation” were the required treatment for anorexia or body integrity dysphoria, both psychological issues like transgenderism. Imagine if the ideal treatment for anorexia were diet pills and liposuction. Imagine if we considered it not only acceptable but necessary to amputate the healthy limbs of those with BID.
Refusal to indulge subjective desires does not constitute oppression. The Declaration on Women’s Sex-Based Rights does not condone harm to anyone, which is more than we can say for the trans community.
Though I strongly believe we should all be questioning the root causes of sex dysphoria and the trans phenomenon, I also believe everyone deserves to live their best life in peace and security. I am not concerned with what adults do to their own bodies, what they call themselves, or what they wear. I am concerned about the encouragement of young children, with their infantile understanding of sex and gender, to make permanent, life-altering decisions with serious health consequences before they are old enough to get a tattoo. I am concerned about what is being marketed as “healthcare” by a powerful and ethically bankrupt medical industry growing fat off the profits of trans-related “treatments.” One need only listen to detransitioners (and there are many—over 11,000 on Reddit alone) to realize that “do no harm” has been abandoned in favor of “do what’s politically correct.”
The distress of not existing as one’s desired sex is a very real issue entitled to all the psychological support and empathy it deserves—but it does not negate the global impact of transgender ideology on women. The Declaration provides clear evidence, yet trans activists like those in the national Green Party prefer to cry “transphobia” rather than attempt to refute or even discuss this evidence.
If that’s good enough for you, then welcome to the thought cult. Big Brother approves.
To show your solidarity with the Georgia Green Party’s support of women’s rights, please sign the statement and/or join the caucus for Dialogue Not Expulsion, then tune into WLRN’s monthly podcast covering this topic on Thursday, May 7, featuring the voices of Denice Traina, officer of the Georgia Green Party and Elaine Mastromatteo, longtime Green Party member who left the party after being called a “TERF”. If you enjoy the content we produce, please share to expand our reach of women’s voices through grassroots feminist media!