It sticks in my craw to see non-feminist men like Tucker Carlson giving adulatory coverage to anti-trans feminists, as he did recently with Norwegian “hero” (Carlson’s word) Christina Ellingsen. Ellingsen has been charged with hate speech for statements she made on Twitter about trans women not being women.
I get Carlson’s position; I’m just not sure he gets Ellingsen’s.
Trans ideology, which elevates felt “gender identity” over biological sex—and in some cases denies the existence of biological sex altogether—is contrary to truth and to common-sense social norms. It is ridiculous that anyone should face a hate speech charge (with the possibility of jail time) for making biological or other statements about sex difference. It is hideous that children are being encouraged to make irreversible sex-change decisions as a result of trans indoctrination. And it violates fundamental fairness for women to be made to compete in sports dominated by much stronger and faster men claiming a female identity.
But people who care about equality, fairness, or cultural sanity shouldn’t think for a moment that radical feminists like Christina Ellingsen share any of these principles; they don’t.
Ellingsen is one of the lead signatories of the Declaration on Women’s Sex Based Rights—Norway (see her Twitter page @wdiNorway) whose goals of female supremacism and endless male bashing are at least as detrimental to social flourishing as the trans movement she and Tucker oppose. In the long run, in fact, radical feminism is arguably far more detrimental in its all-out attacks on masculinity.
The radical feminist (rad fem) movement is based on an anti-male animus so deep and pervasive that it has trouble seeing men as fully human. Radical feminism blames all men for “oppressing” all women—throughout history and even today, apparently—and it regards the trans movement (even the actions of the most modest, self-effacing of individuals who merely want to live as women, causing no trouble to anyone) as a deviously clever new way for allegedly misogynistic men to usurp women’s bodies and women’s (so-called) sex-based rights.
Rad fems pushed for and established these alleged rights: the right to “safe spaces” that exclude men, such as domestic violence shelters and related financial assistance and programs for victims, though it is undeniable that men and their children can be victims of abusive women (a fact that rad fems blithely ignore or even outright deny, the dishonesty of which is enough, in my opinion, to bar them from any reasonable person’s support); the right to affirmative action hiring, now in its fifth decade, that actively discriminates against men, denying them job and promotion opportunities; and many other special privileges in law and public policy that have disadvantaged men over decades of anti-male lobbying.
Many men have supported sex-based privileges and protections for women, but their support has never led to any diminishment of rad fem hatred.
Anti-trans rad fems are the same women, often political lesbians, who write articles and give speeches about why it is perfectly acceptable—even desirable—to hate all men simply because they are men (see journalist Julie Bindel’s “Why I Hate Men,” full of mouth-foaming and unashamed detestation, the sort of fact-free article that would have had any male author who wrote about indiscriminate woman-hatred fired immediately), and who attend conferences and present treatises about how the content of masculinity is formed through men’s alleged enjoyment of sexual cruelty to women (see the screeds of author Sheila Jeffreys, who has stated that “Men’s sexual use of women is crucial to their idea of themselves as masculine”). Both Bindel and Jeffreys have built their careers on allegations of the moral deformity of men—and now join with Ellingsen in proclaiming women the victims of this latest version of the same.
Here are some of the questions that Tucker might have asked Ellingsen to aim at a clearer picture of her worldview. The answers are my own inventions (as will become obvious), based on the Declaration to which Ellingsen, Jeffreys, and Bindel have appended their names.
Question: It’s interesting to see biology making a come-back in feminist discussions—it’s been absent for a long time!—especially the recognition that women are physically weaker than men. Does this mean that you now recognize the harms of integrating women into organizations that rely for their effectiveness on physical strength, such as the military or fire-fighting?
Answer: Of course she does not. The Declaration is clear in rejecting “any distinction, exclusion, or restriction on the basis of sex which has the effect [note that!] or purpose of impairing or nullifying the recognition, enjoyment, or exercise” by women (but not of men) of their rights or freedoms in any sphere. It doesn’t matter that studies have shown that all-male military units, for example, are far stronger, faster, and more effective than units with women in them. No matter the cost to men or society generally, women must not be excluded from any sphere they claim the right to enter. Only men are to be excluded from women’s spheres.
Question: Your organization makes frequent mention of women’s sex-based rights. You object, for example, to trans women laying claim to the legal category of motherhood because that claims “erodes the social significance of maternity.” Do men have equivalent sex-based rights—to fatherhood, for example? Do men have the right to object to the erosion of the “social significance” of fatherhood?
Answer: Certainly not. Fatherhood in the rad fem view is a construct based on patriarchal subjugation that is better off destroyed. Feminist social policy, legal initiatives, and propaganda have been purposely eroding the status of fatherhood for decades. Men have no right in law to parent their own children; a single unproven accusation in a divorce court makes it possible for a man never again to see the children he is still forced, on penalty of incarceration, to support financially. As Stephen Baskerville has shown in Taken Into Custody, state-supported feminist policies have vilified millions of fathers, stripping them of paternity rights, and rad fems enthusiastically support that state of affairs.
Question: Does your organization support equality before the law of men and women?
Answer: The Declaration on Women’s Sex Based Rights makes clear that equality before the law is a hindrance to feminist goals and can be easily discarded in practice. What matters to rad fems is the maintenance and expansion of the special privileges, massive government funding, and government-mandated protections that advantage women and hobble men. When women vastly outnumber men in academic fields and many professions, as they now do, feminists never suggest that the special measures should be withdrawn, or that any measures at all should be taken to help men to develop and advance towards equality.
The toxic nub of the feminist objection to trans women is revealed in the Declaration’s complaint that “Men who claim a feminine gender identity are being enabled to access opportunities and protections set aside for women. This constitutes a form of discrimination against women, and endangers women’s fundamental rights to safety, dignity, and equality” [emphasis mine].
Now there’s some logical mumbo jumbo! Keep in mind that none of the privileges women continue to claim in western societies—the set-aside scholarships, the countless equity targets in business and academia, the government funding, the exclusive programs—are being taken away from women. They are simply being extended to a tiny fraction of the rest of the non-female population. Millions upon millions of men remain actively discriminated against by these decades-old measures, unable to access the services, monies, college placements, or opportunities available to women; but any man who complains about the unfairness is shouted down as a misogynist, told this is what happens when his “privilege” is removed. Feminist accuser, know thyself!
Question: Your Declaration asserts the necessity for women and girls to have freedom of speech and to be free from hate-speech prosecution for stating biological facts and other arguments. Does your organization support the right of boys and men to freedom of speech, especially regarding biological and other sex differences?
Answer: Not at all. Ellingsen’s feminist Norway has policies and awareness programs designed to protect girls and women from what is termed “online harassment” by enforcing penalties against male perpetrators who make girls and women “feel unsafe” (always with the claim that more needs to be done). For years, radical feminists have emphasized the need for a gendered dimension (i.e. an emphasis on harms to women caused by men) in Norway’s hate-speech laws. Rad fems have emphasized that men and women experience online harassment differently, and that only women are targeted specifically because they are women. Norway’s new hate speech law simply went further than the rad fems had envisioned by including trans women in the category of protected persons. Has Ellingsen ever objected to the targeting of men’s speech for criminalization? Does she believe that men can be hated as men online, and that women who attack men with hashtags such as #KillAllMen should be prosecuted for hate speech? No. Ellingsen is upset that she herself can no longer say whatever SHE likes.
Question: Your document affirms the right of women to have “equal access” to opportunities in sport, requiring the exclusion of biological males. Do you support “equal access” for men in sport?
Answer: Radical feminists have passed legislation that has effectively denied men’s rights to access sport in college. In the United States, for example, Title IX prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sex has been twisted and warped in its implementation to deny funding for men’s sport. Because college men tend to be more interested in sport than college women, especially in (expensive) team sports like football, funding for male sports has been drastically cut in the name of equality—particularly ironic at a time when women vastly outnumber their male peers at colleges across the western world, at least in part because of the drumbeat of anti-male, pro-female propagandizing and promotion. No radical feminist has ever worried about male numbers on college campuses or cuts to male sports teams.
One could continue with the questions and answers, but the import is clear. Christina Ellingsen is a bigot who, like her bigoted rad fem friends, grew accustomed to a free pass for her feminist hatred. She could publish hateful articles and make disgusting claims about men; she could “jokingly” create hashtags like #KillAllMen with no repercussions, and then cry foul if any man wished her dead in return. She believes that it is right to discriminate against, censor, and castigate men.
Now she is shocked to discover that the shoe is on the other foot. Trans women have power to call her hateful, and she can’t even state a biological fact without facing a jail term! It’s a ridiculous situation, but it couldn’t have happened to a member of a more deserving group of fanatics whose non-stop anti-male calumnies may well be responsible for some of the young men who have decided they would rather live as women. One thing’s for sure: a society that hates men according to radical feminist postulates is not a society that can flourish or, ultimately, protect women at all.