Jessica Cantelon

A big fan of women, a straight male friend of mine likes to jokingly call himself a lesbian trapped in a man’s body. While the gag has largely been met with chuckles in the past, I fear that the story of Thomas Beatie may render it a bit too close to reality.

Born in Hawaii, thirty-four-year-old Thomas Beatie lives with his wife Nancy in the town of Bend in mountainous central Oregon. After several years of marriage, Thomas and Nancy are excited to be expecting their first child, a little girl.

But if you’re assuming that Nancy is the pregnant one, you’re wrong. It’s Thomas.

Put the words “pregnant man” together, and you will be pretty quick to create a small media frenzy. Thomas is no exception. A shirtless picture of him looking contemplative—complete with facial hair and protruding belly—is making quite the buzz on the web. Even Oprah jumped on board by having him on her show Thursday.

If Thomas’ situation were a medical phenomenon that doctor’s couldn’t explain, it might warrant some attention. But this is no medical mystery, simply because Thomas is not really a man. “He” is a biological woman—a lesbian once named Tracy—who decided several years ago to undergo breast removal surgery and take male hormones to grow facial hair. Legally Thomas is a man, but with reproductive organs that are still fully female.

Finish unraveling the gender-bending layers, and what sort of news story are you left with? “Woman becomes pregnant.”

Big deal.

But the media are eating this up because it’s a freak show. This pregnant woman looks and behaves like a man, and a story like that is just too good to pass up. As our research intern puts it, Thomas is not so much a freak of nature, but a freak of culture—a freak of culture that happens to mesh perfectly with the media’s prevailing liberal ideology.

These media narratives seem to all play the same tunes: It’s okay to be born a woman who wants to be a man. It’s okay to be a man who wants to bear a child. It’s okay to be born a woman who becomes a man who wants to bear a child. Seriously, the combinations are endless.

Radical leftists use culture-freak stories like these to further their vision of a gender-neutral society. The male-female “dichotomy” is being deconstructed as we speak. Say goodbye to the neat simplicity of the two sexes, and say hello to the gender spectrum.

It’s already happening. Restrooms at the University of Southern Maine were designated as gender neutral, albeit briefly. A bill passed in California last fall that made unlawful the discrimination of persons based not only on their gender, but also on their “gender identity and gender-related appearance.” And in Colorado, an eight-year-old boy came back to class as a girl. The administrators at this same school are also going the route of unisex restroom facilities.

Yes, the gender-neutral locomotive is gaining traction. And it’s sacrificing basic human nature on the altar of political correctness.

For decades second- and third-wave feminists have argued that women deserve the same as men, and now this has morphed into the unsubstantiated claim that men and women are the same. Science disagrees. As neuropsychiatrist Louann Brizendine, M.D. discusses in her book The Female Brain, differences between the sexes abound in their brain structure and functions. Biology goes a long way in validating traditional behavioral differences that gender-neutral advocates try to relegate to social constructs.

The blurring of gender lines is not a new thing. But it is meeting a new, unprecedented level of acceptance—all in the name of an alternative moral code known as tolerance. (The word tolerance is getting mangled by those more interested in pushing an agenda than in fairness or egalitarianism). Ensconced in this ideology is the oft-evoked belief that all people have a right to (fill in the blank) with full acceptance from society. No stranger to the victim card, Thomas Beatie falls right into line. “I’m a person,” she whines to Oprah. “And I have the right to have my own biological child.”

And she’s right. Nobody is telling Tracy that she can’t have her child. Unlike women in China fighting against government-forced abortion, Tracy enjoys complete reproductive freedom. But she isn’t satisfied at the freedom to have a baby; she wants freedom from strangers’ odd looks and natural bewilderment at a bearded pregnant lady.

The wisecrack about being a lesbian trapped in a man’s body may still be something of a gag, but the fact is, today we have a baby growing inside the body of a woman who looks and acts like a man. When contemporary culture begins to more closely resemble a punch line than any semblance of traditional society, it’s no laughing matter.


Jessica Cantelon

Jessica Cantelon is the Director of Marketing at the Clare Boothe Luce Policy Institute, a non-profit whose mission it is to prepare women for effective leadership and promote leading conservative women.