“Equality” cries were cherished by feminists when they gave females entry into military academies, boardrooms and the ranks of police; prize-money parity in some sporting events; and access to boys’ athletics. But with these appeals now putting sexually confused men in women’s sports, well, feminists’ cries are a tad different. Equality can be a real downer when it’s principle and not ploy.
As for my position, I’ve devoted more ink to combating the made-up sexual status (MUSS, usually called “transgender”) agenda than most any other writer. In fact, almost first in the field — and almost alone there — inveighing against MUSS ideology 10 years ago, I was criticized for political incorrectness by conservatives (some of whom now sing my tune). It thus may be surprising that I today say to MUSSmen athletes everywhere:
Best of luck to you, lads — may the best man win!
No, I’m not now seeking the Democrat presidential nomination, Biden-style (I’m using the wrong pronouns for that). It’s that, to use a twist on a quotation attributed to Abe Lincoln, “The best way to eliminate a bad law, or social law, is to apply it strictly.”
You see, I believe that anyone who wants equality should get equality — good and hard.
Up until the Rise of the MUSSmen, male-female Equality™ had been a one-way street called Feminism Ave., sort of equality lecture + selective application = whatever advantage I darn well want at the moment. Prestige-oriented feminists could complain about too few female CEOs while never being asked about too few female garbage collectors, iron workers or loggers; or why women aren’t subject to Selective-Service registration.
Politicians could bloviate about the workplace intersex wage gap, which somewhat favors men, and ignore the workplace intersex death gap, which greatly favors women. Activists could sanctimoniously agitate over men outearning women in acting while uttering nary a peep about women outearning men in modeling. Professional female soccer players (and other athletes) could lose to 14-year-old boys, lobby for the same pay as the men without being laughed at — and never be told the obvious: If you want the men’s money, emerge from your separate, protected athletic realm and try playing in the men’s arena and succeeding. Your separate ain’t equal, hon.
But enter the MUSSmen. They have won females’ competitions in track, weightlifting, golf long driving, cycling and are generally breaking barriers (and sometimes bones) in women’s sports everywhere. This is called unfair, but why?
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?”
Yes, what’s the problem? I also grew up hearing, “A woman can do anything a man can do!” Case closed.
Oh, you weren’t really serious about that? I’m sorry. I guess I missed the joke hearing the line screeched over and over and over and over again, year after year, in any and all circles, in every relevant debate, whenever the least convenient. I suppose my humor meter was malfunctioning — for four decades straight.
The culpability of feminism and its enablers in advancing the MUSS agenda goes beyond this, however. For a couple of generations, the theory the Thought Police 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 and insist that hormones didn’t exist and that, even if they did, they couldn’t possibly influence behavior.
But “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.
Of course, if feminists and their capon enablers hadn’t eschewed “white male linear logic,” they might have realized that ideas have consequences, that 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 MUSSmen’s “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.
Thus, when I now hear complaints about MUSSmen’s athletic exploits, my unmusical self plays the world’s smallest violin. These triumphant individuals are merely providing an object lesson in the consequences of advancing momentarily convenient lies.
Some will now mention that innocent women and girls suffer here along with the feminists. Yet while the age’s sins do “fall like black atomic rain on the just and unjust alike,” to quote English satirist Malcolm Muggeridge, there’s plenty of blame to go around.
For starters, women broke percentagewise for Democrats in last year’s midterms 59-40, meaning, well intentioned or not, six out of 10 women (and 47 percent of men) recently empowered a political group advancing the MUSS agenda. As for the rest of the ladies, ask yourselves: Did I ever say, even just in the heat of the moment, “A woman can do anything a man can”? Did I ever cheer those who do? Did I ever utter any other feminist battle cry? Insofar as anyone did, he helped MUSS up women’s sports — and society.
Don’t think I’m just placing an onus on women, because men allowed this to happen, too. The point is that people get the culture they deserve as much as the government they do, and too many of us, through mistakes of omission or commission, helped bring us to where we are now.
As for solutions, as long as many insist on talking equality’s talk, we should insist on walking its walk. For it’s easy to be idealistic when you don’t have to live with your ideals, and equality self-righteousness is all fun and games — until you’re no longer one of those people more equal than others.