"The Hardest Thing About Being a Woman is Being Male"


Responding to Joe Biden's executive order on gender identity, a wide variety of commentators have weighed in against this action. Today I'm quoting from two of the most articulate, because they are never normally on the same page: Andrew Sullivan and Meghan Murphy. Sullivan is a gay, Catholic conservative, and Murphy is a Canadian radical feminist.

Sullivan criticizes Biden for making the unity Biden says he hopes for less possible than it otherwise might be: "none of that can or will happen if the president fuels the culture war this aggressively, this crudely, and this soon. You don’t get to unite the country by dividing it along these deep and inflammatory issues of identity . . . Biden’s emphatic backing of this illiberal, discriminatory project on his first day is relevant. He has decided to encourage 'unity' by immediately pursuing policies that inflame Republicans and conservatives and normies more than any others."

Amen to that. Sullivan goes on to say:

"Take the trans question. Most decent people support laws that protect transgender people from discrimination — which, after the Bostock decision, is already the law of the land. But this is not enough for Biden. He takes the view that the law should go further and insist that trans women are absolutely indistinguishable from biological women — which erases any means of enforcing laws that defend biological women as a class. If your sex is merely what you say it is, without any reference to biological reality, then it is no longer sex at all. It’s gender, period. It’s socially constructed all the way down.

"Most of the time, you can ignore this insanity and celebrate greater visibility and protection for trans people. But in a few areas, biology matters. Some traumatized women who have been abused by men do not want to be around biological males in prison or shelters, even if they identify as women. I think these women should be accommodated. There are also places where we segregate by sex — like showers, locker rooms — for reasons of privacy. I think that allowing naked biological men and boys to be in the same showers as naked biological women and girls is asking for trouble — especially among teens. But for Biden, this is non-negotiable, and all objections are a function of bigotry.

"And in sports, the difference between the physiology of men and women makes a big difference. That’s the entire point of having separate male and female sports, in the first place. Sure, you can suppress or enhance hormones. But you will never overcome the inherited, permanent effects of estrogen and testosterone in childhood and adolescence. Male and female bodies are radically different, because without that difference, our entire species would not exist. Replacing sex with gender threatens women’s sports for that simple reason.

"For good measure, Biden also pledges to remove any protection for orthodox religious freedom and individual conscience in “LGBTQ+” areas in his proposed Equality Act, which repeals the relevant sections of Biden’s own Religious Freedom Restoration Act, and also makes sex indistinguishable from gender.

"[These] policies are obviously unconstitutional. The federal government cannot actively discriminate on the basis of race, sex or group identity under the Constitution. It cannot strip women of their rights as a distinct biological class. It cannot void religious freedom for individuals. Biden’s woke rampage in the federal government won’t last, because it cannot last if our constitution means anything. So let the lawsuits commence as Biden alienates and inflames his moderate supporters and snubs practices that most Americans take as common sense."

Meghan Murphy is equally scathing:

"[Biden] signed an executive order to implement certain aspects of the Equality Act,which sounds like a great thing, unless you are a woman who, in 2021, hoped for equality under the law. Sorry, Karen. Equality is not for you. Put your mask back on.

"Lest you had been fooled into believing an “Equality Act” was, at least in part, about combatting sex-based discrimination, seeing as women are the half of the population who spent the last 100 years fighting for equal rights under the law, we are reminded that our status as 'woman' only matters if you are the kind of woman who is a man.

"[I]n this case we’re using the term “discrimination” to defend the rights of men to claim they are female and be treated as such.

"You might ask why men would wish to be treated as 'female.' Well, for starters, to ensure they are not denied access to abortion should they become pregnant with delusion. But there are a few other good reasons, too. One of which being that, should these men find themselves charged with sexual assault, they can avoid being stuck in prison with a bunch of violent dudes. Fair enough. No one wants that. Problem is that, as 'women,' these men now have the right to be imprisoned in women’s facilities, meaning female inmates are now subject to the male violence no one wants anything to do with. Seems unfair, right? Too bad, Karen! That’s equality!

"The really important thing this Equality Act does, though, is to level the playing field for males who aren’t good enough athletes to compete against other male athletes. It is more fair for them to compete against women who are, due to their biology, not as strong or as fast as male athletes. Indeed, women’s bodies are different than male bodies, but we’re no longer allowed to talk about why that is, because material reality is not very polite, and impoliteness kills.

"Men can now not only legally access women’s facilities — including washrooms, locker rooms, and dressing rooms — but as 'women,' they can also win sport competitions, races, scholarships, and accolades previously reserved for girls and women, which they fully deserve, because the hardest thing about being a woman is being male.

"Personally, I’m just relieved Americans no longer have a crazy guy as president! Imagine if the leader of your country believed that males could become female through pronouncement, then enacted legislation on that basis! LOL."

I never thought to see the day that Andrew Sullivan and Meghan Murphy agreed on anything, but I guess that comes from being some of the few sane individuals left among the the pundit class. Of course, we must remember Rousseau's quip that "To be sane in a world of madmen is itself a kind of madness."