A funny thing happened on the way to the following article getting published. After two pieces appeared in the Chicago Tribune mocking and maligning those who believe sex differences matter, I submitted an op-ed in which I express an opposing view. The associate editor of the Chicago Tribune’s Commentary section, Marcia Lythcott sent me this response:
I would love you to offer up an opposing viewpoint but you have submitted a rant. There is no way that this piece would make those on the fence say “Hmmm, that a really interesting viewpoint to consider.” I feel like you are jabbing the opposition in the eyes nonstop. Is it possible for you to do a rewrite, one that is less doctrinaire and reader-friendly? The point is to have as many readers as possible read a piece to the bitter end. I fear that many will stop reading your submission by the third paragraph. No one wants to be screamed at.
Readers can make their own judgments about the professionalism and accuracy of Lythcott’s eye-jabbing response, but before doing so, please take a few minutes to read the two pieces that prompted my op-ed, one by Rex Huppke and one by Mary Sanchez. See if their articles are less eye-jabbing, doctrinaire, ranting, and screaming than mine.
“The Left Seeks End of Sex-Segregation Everywhere”
Written by Laurie Higgins — First published on American Thinker
North Carolina’s attorney general recently announced that he would not fulfill his duty to defend a duly enacted law one of the purposes of which was to preserve the right of communities to require that restrooms correspond to biological sex rather than “gender identity.” Progressives are incensed by this type of legislation, which is proposed by conservatives in response to leftist actions in the service of their subversive beliefs about gender dysphoria. Progressives want any persons who wish they were the opposite sex to have unrestricted access to opposite-sex private areas, including restrooms, locker rooms, showers, dressing rooms and single-sex shelters. In the brave new progressive world, beliefs about the meaningfulness of objective, immutable physical embodiment as male or female must be subordinated to desires to be the opposite sex.
The left seeks to prohibit “discrimination” based on “gender identity” and “gender expression” in all contexts, including those areas that were created for the sole purpose of recognizing and accommodating objective, immutable sex differences. The prohibition of discrimination based on sex and the prohibition of discrimination based on “gender identity” and “gender expression” with regard to facilities in which private activities take place are wholly incompatible. The former permits society in some contexts to accommodate sex differences. The latter forbids society in any context from accommodating real, objective, immutable differences between men and women.
Some progressives dishonestly claim that conservatives are “obsessed” with so-called “bathroom bills,” when in reality it’s gender-dysphoric activists and their ideological allies who are obsessed with radically altering the cultural understanding of sex. They seek to mandate that sex-separated facilities, like restrooms, for private activities no longer correspond to the biological sex of humans but to the subjective feelings of humans about their sex.
Progressives ignore substantive conservative arguments. They recast arguments about the nature and meaning of sexual differentiation as bigotry; flippantly mock potential risks, particularly for girls and women; and wholly ignore the near universal understanding that separate facilities for men and women to engage in private activities exist because objective bodily differences exist and have meaning.
The concern of conservatives is not centrally about gender-dysphoric men assaulting women or girls — though that risk is not nil. The safety concern is, rather, that predators may exploit these policies, pretending to be gender-dysphoric in order to access women’s private facilities.
But even this is not the central concern. The central concern is with the meaning and value of physical embodiment from which feelings of modesty and desires for privacy derive.
In order to justify the injustice and irrationality of policies that force women and men to share private areas with persons of the opposite sex, the left resorts to unsound comparisons of gender dysphoria per se to race per se. Their error rests in the fact that while there are no intrinsic and meaningful differences between people of different races, there are intrinsic, substantive and meaningful differences between males and females, which both those who experience gender dysphoria and those who experience same-sex attraction implicitly acknowledge.
Here are some questions for progressives:
- Why should gender-dysphoric persons not be compelled to use restrooms with those whose “gender identity” they don’t share while non-gender-dysphoric persons should be compelled to use restrooms with those whose actual sex they don’t share? Gender-dysphoric men claim that they want to use restrooms with only women, but what about actual women who want to use restrooms with only women? Why should the desires of men who wish they were women supersede the desires of objectively female persons?
- If separate stalls provide sufficient privacy to separate gender-dysphoric men from women in private areas, then why don’t separate stalls provide sufficient privacy to separate gender-dysphoric men from non-gender-dysphoric men in men’s private areas? And if separate stalls provide sufficient privacy to separate gender-dysphoric men (who are objectively male) from women in restrooms, then why not make all restrooms to all persons regardless of their sex?
- If objectively male persons who are uncomfortable with their male bodies are permitted in women’s private areas, why shouldn’t all men be permitted in there? What difference does it make to women if the man in the stall next to them likes his anatomy or not?
- Once objectively male persons are allowed in women’s restrooms, on what basis would any man be prohibited from entering a women’s restroom? Wouldn’t prohibiting men from accessing women’s restrooms because they’re men constitute discrimination based on sex, and wouldn’t prohibiting them from accessing women’s restrooms because they’re not gender-dysphoric constitute discrimination based on “gender identity”?
While progressives are exalting subjective feelings, they should bear in mind that many men and women content with their respective maleness and femaleness have feelings too—feelings of modesty—which do not make them heartless, ignorant bigots no matter how many times those epithets are hurled at them.
Widespread embrace of leftist sexuality ideology, which is intrinsically self-contradictory, will ultimately result in the eradication of the public recognition of sex differences in all laws, policies and practices. It’s universal co-ed restrooms or else.