A few years ago, while serving as academic dean, I met with a professor who had been accused of racial discrimination. He was stunned. “I don’t understand how this could happen,” he said. “My progressive credentials are impeccable.”
For the record, I don’t believe he was guilty. But his answer told me far more about the mindset of the left than about his actions. For leftists, intentions always trump behavior and even consequences. Regardless of what actually happens, if they meant well, then they were clearly on the side of the angels. This same courtesy is never extended to conservatives, who are simply presumed to be malevolent—even if the outcomes are ultimately positive.
As a practical matter, that means leftists can do practically anything without serious repercussions as long as their intentions are good—as long as their “progressive credentials” are sufficiently on display. Witness the passes issued to people like Hillary and Bill Clinton, James Comey, Peter Strzok, and John Brennan for behavior that would have gotten the average person tossed in jail—or worse, banned from Twitter. Because they were supposedly opposing “white supremacy” or “fascism” or something, their actions were deemed by progressives to be justified, even heroic.
Which brings us to Joe Biden, whose serial creepiness toward women and girls, not to mention a credible allegation of sexual assault, have all been swept under the rug because he is ostensibly “on their side.” He is a “supporter of women,” whatever that means. From that lofty position, he can with impunity and even adulation inflict upon women the ultimate indignity:
He can cancel them altogether.
That is the logical extension of Biden’s Executive Order on “transgender rights,” issued his first day on the job. In that EO, he essentially declared that, as far as the law is concerned, men can be women. And in doing so, he utterly wiped out an entire category of human beings known for centuries as “women.” For, as Matt Walsh and others have persuasively argued, if anyone can be a woman, the distinction, the designation itself, becomes meaningless.
In my last column, I pointed out that this will destroy women’s sports, taking athletic opportunities intended for females and giving them to males instead. Unfortunately, the problem goes far beyond sports. It will ultimately affect every aspect of women’s lives.
For decades, feminists have argued that “it’s a man’s world” in which women are often subjected to discrimination, especially in certain areas. There is certainly some truth to that. (Again, I speak as a father and grandfather who wants my daughter, daughters-in-law, and granddaughters to be able to go as far in life as their talent and effort will take them, unhindered by artificial barriers). The solution has been special hiring and recruiting initiatives aimed at women in traditionally male-dominated fields, like science and engineering. (A generation ago, it was law and medicine—and look where we are now, with more females than males entering those professions).
But if anyone can be a woman, such initiatives are pointless. Just as a six-foot, 160-pound boy who can’t get off the bench for his high school basketball team can suddenly declare himself a girl and become a star—and don’t think that won’t happen—so a man who struggles to compete for a job or a seat in graduate school can take advantage of programs intended for women simply by proclaiming himself to be one, elbowing aside the very people who were meant to benefit.
Say a corporation decides it wants to promote more women into management positions. Most of us would consider that a lofty goal. Today, however, a man who might not have been promoted based on merit can move up several places in line just by “identifying” as a woman. The company must now consider him; by its own standard, it cannot do otherwise. How is that fair to anyone, either the women or the other men in the organization?
But it’s even worse than that. In any endeavor that requires more brains than brawn, women can certainly compete with men, including men who are faux women. However, we all know that “woke” companies will soon be falling all over themselves to burnish their progressive credentials, and thus keep the mob at bay by hiring as many people as possible from this newest victim group. That’s how wokeness works. As a result, women will again be forced to take a backseat to men—in this case, men pretending to be women.
To be clear, I recognize that a tiny handful of men suffer from gender dysphoria, genuinely believing they’re women. I sympathize. But that doesn’t make them women. More to the point, Biden’s EO is highly susceptible to abuse by men who merely desire the perks associated with being classified as women: preference in hiring or admissions, physical dominance, access to women’s bathrooms and showers. Proponents of “transgender rights” might scoff, insisting that sort of thing would never happen. But logically it could happen, and common sense tells us that if it can, it almost certainly will. (And, in fact, it already has happened.)
To comprehend the scope of the potential problem, simply substitute race for sex. Surely it’s more plausible for someone to say they’re Black or Native American based on a smidgeon of DNA (just ask Elizabeth Warren) than for someone who genetically is fully male to claim they’re female. Yet how long would the left tolerate an obviously white person who insisted they were Black just to win a government contract designated for a minority-owned business? Or one who claimed to be Native American in order to get a plum teaching job?
Well, never mind. The point is, most of us wouldn’t tolerate that sort of thing, and we shouldn’t. Nor should we tolerate a president, particularly one of dubious legitimacy, who abrogates women’s rights to safety, privacy, and equal treatment—who effectively cancels womanhood—with the stroke of a pen.