By Madeline Perez
“Women and children are being victimized and THE LEFT refuses to talk about it. Just stating the factual/logical arguments will be enough to have me canceled and taken away by the THOUGHT POLICE since we now live in an Orwellian nightmare where things like “freedom” and “moral values” are illegal. You see, I am not biased in any way, shape, or form against the queers, immigrants, or minority hoards- my best friend/lover/pet sitter is actually a queer minority immigrant–I just suddenly care a lot about things I thought were trivial before–like women’s sports and sexual assault. When I argue against the existence of transes, gays, and minorities in this country (God bless it), you can rest assured it’s for the good of the women and children- and that’s most definitely NOT a thin veneer to validate my arguments with some sort of false empathetic high ground.”
– Xoxo, Conservative figurehead
In recent years, we’ve seen an uptick in targeted conservative rhetoric as they flail about, struggling to cope with hard concepts like “trans people should be accepted in society” and “woman video game protagonist.” In recent months, we’ve seen bills deliberately targeting the rights of queer people—notably and most recently the “Save Women’s Sports Act” in Ohio and the “Parental Rights in Education (Don’t Say Gay)” bill in Florida, both of which I’ll get into later.
Conservatives have been malding over the existence of trans women in particular. Some conservative “libertarians,” considering their pious “My right to swing my fist ends where your nose begins” schtick, fall to hypocrisy: Their claim to respect people’s personal liberty seems to evaporate upon the very sight of a blue-haired pronoun-haver. But how do you argue against people’s rights and freedom of self-expression when it’s effectively harming no one? Well, that seems easy enough. You need to make it harm someone. Suddenly, it’s not just intuitive arguments about how nonconformity just ain’t right; it becomes societal degradation, threatening the fabric of reality as you know it—or maybe an attack on western civilization, if you’re into that. The message is clear: if we are going to fight against the rights of minority classes we don’t like, we need a victim—and no one makes a better victim than vague concepts who can’t be adequately defined AND/OR people already at risk of being taken advantage of. Thus, the victimization of women and children farted into existence.
Of course, none of the affronts are true. When gay marriage was legalized across the US, the integrity of marriage and love as a whole didn’t dissolve like Republicans said it would. Kids didn’t get confused and start wanting to marry fish sticks. And herein lies the problem: Cuntservative mouthpieces never actually believed kids would start marrying fish sticks—they just needed an argument that wasn’t “I think gay people are yucky and I don’t want it to be normalized.” So, they went to great lengths to tell their viewer/reader/listener base a series of arguments based on the false victimization of “society” and “children,” and their audience, looking for their own reasons to justify hating gay people, took the bait (of which the conservatives are a master at. Baiting, that is.)
On June 1st, Republican lawmakers in Ohio passed a bill banning transgender girls and women from participating in high school/college sports. If that’s not bad enough, the “Save Women’s Sports Act” goes in-depth stating that if a child on a sports team is “suspected” of being of the opposite sex, anyone (and I mean anyone) can challenge their right to be there. In response, the athlete in defense, who could be as young as 13, if not younger, is required to do one of three things to attain a physician’s note, proving they are the sex they claim to be.
1. An internal and external examination of the genitals
2. A blood test analyzing testosterone levels
3. An analysis of their genetic make-up
If a physician’s note is not attained for any reason, the accusing party is within their rights to sue the school district—meaning schools are under pressure to enforce this bill. Starting with the obvious, this bill is going to negatively affect not only trans girls and those who may be intersex, but cis girls and women who look more androgynous, strong, or don’t exactly conform to someone’s strict sense of femininity. Or maybe some parent gets upset when one athlete outperforms their own child—after all, you don’t actually need to cite a reason to challenge their gender. Besides the fact that some insurances aren’t going to cover things like chromosomal blood tests and testosterone checks, leaving people in low-income households more impacted, I can’t even begin to explain how wrong it is to force children to get internal and external genital exams. (Penis inspection day is just a joke, right guys? GUYS?) Especially for a pre-pubescent girl, an “internal genital exam” can be really painful, if not traumatizing. No one should be subjected to this.
There is only one transgender girl in the entire state of Ohio currently participating in High School Sports. It’s unthinkable that an entire bill was passed directly targeting one person, but conservative transphobia seems to know no bounds. Their new grift is that the very existence of trans women is directly harmful to cis women. That women’s sports as a whole is going to crumble if trans women are allowed to compete. But I am of the belief that high school and college-age kids should have a right to participate in organized sports and not be excluded because of their sex. When it comes to record-setting and Olympic-level athletics, I think it should be determined on a case-by-case basis that, admittedly, is going to be somewhat of an issue until more research comes out about the results of hormone therapy on one’s athleticism. Honestly, it is a complicated issue, but one meant for endocrinologists and NOT politicians.
This isn’t the only argument dishonestly making victims out of cis women. Over the past decade, as trans identity becomes more societally acceptable, panicking legislators have tried to make it more difficult and dangerous to be trans, especially a trans woman. In 2017, 16 states tried (some several times) to pass “bathroom bills” which make it illegal for trans people to use bathrooms concurrent with their gender identity. As you may know, one did pass in North Carolina for a short time before it got repealed. These were proposed on the false basis that trans women use women’s bathrooms for predatory behavior, sexual harassment, and assault, something that has—to this day—garnered absolutely no proof at all. You don’t have to be a genius to figure out that while trans women using women’s bathrooms is of no harm to women, being forced to use men’s bathrooms does put them in unnecessary danger—especially in more transphobic areas and states. The same goes for women’s prisons, another argument using cis women as victims, without any statistical evidence, putting trans women in excessive danger by forcing them into men’s prisons.
Some anti-trans figures (second-wave feminists in particular—TERFs, if you’re familiar with the term) have argued that transgender people are a threat to “womanhood” as a concept. They claim that since many trans women have not experienced the inherent pains and oppression of growing up female (less societal power, periods, being undervalued, underestimated, and facing sexual harassment), they lack the experiences needed to have a “female mindset” and therefore don’t belong in women’s “spaces.” Besides the fact that not every cis woman has experienced those things, this argument is just flat-out braindead. Being a woman isn’t something you had to work for, nor is it something you should be able to gatekeep (even if you are a certified girlboss). They also don’t believe trans women are women at all, just men trying to invade their special girlhood club—and since many of these second-wave feminist women are anti-man to begin with, this causes them to hate trans women with the strength of a thousand suns. But it doesn’t stop with trans women; many TERFs also believe that trans men are an affront to women everywhere. Their argument is that since being a man is societally more desirable, having the option to opt-out of being female is too alluring to pass up, so many young girls are just going to decide to become men. Often they drive the point home by making some statement like “If all this trans stuff existed when I was a little girl, maybe I would’ve been trans!,” and to that I say—there’s still time! The truth is, girls aren’t going to throw away their womanhood just because they think it’ll make them an extra 25 cents to the dollar when they’re older. That being said, the argument is presented like being trans itself is an inherently negative thing to be.
If kids want to explore their gender identity, it’s important to give them space to figure themselves out, because they will figure it out—that is, unless someone’s constantly breathing down their neck trying to force them to “conform” all the time. At the end of the day, this is just bullying with extra steps. If someone’s existence is enough to destroy someone’s whole concept of womanhood, then maybe the concept wasn’t strong enough to begin with. Everyone should have the right to freely be themselves without threat or ridicule, unless you’re being an asshole, of course. Then I’m going to have to write an article about you.
TO BE CONTINUED?