For the first time ever, Glamour magazine is honoring a transgender woman with its Woman of the Year award. The magazine will recognize Caitlyn Jenner for her contribution to the visibility of the trans community, her bravery, and her honesty over the past year. For thousands of trans girls who read Glamour, this could be a game-changing moment — proof that you can be trans and successful, even in a society that so often tells us otherwise.
At least that’s what some will take from the announcement. Conservative Matt Barber, on the other hand, thinks it’s the end of the world. Which is funny, because being your true self in a world full of Matt Barbers is part of what makes Jenner and other trans people so inspiring.
In today’s Western culture, an upside-down progressitopia, subjective “identity” must always trump objective reality. “Tolerance” and “equality” demand so.
Did Barber really just put “equality” in quotation marks? Like it’s something we made up? Can somebody get this man a history book?
And so, on Nov. 9, this former Wheaties box-splashed men’s Olympic gold medalist will assume that manufactured alter ego he calls “Caitlyn,” don his pretty costume (an awkwardly broad-shouldered evening gown and size 13 Jimmy Choo pumps), grace the stage at New York’s Carnegie Hall and give a tearful acceptance speech in that Oak-Ridge-Boys-low “giddy up” voice — creating both joy and guilt-laden cognitive dissonance in the minds of his adoring, yet equally detached-from-reality, fans.
Ughhh. But it gets worse. In his personal crusade against trans people, Barber is suggesting that “feminists” are equally displeased with Jenner’s transition and subsequent honor (false) and that we’re all about to collapse in on ourselves in a tornado of political correctness (false).
His case study is Germaine Greer, a self-described feminist known for her scathing comments attacking trans women. She’s scheduled to speak soon at Cardiff University, and though students petitioned to take her off the schedule for her hurtful statements, the school won’t budge.
Some choice quotes Barber used:
Glamour’s announcement is not sitting well with a number of women who possess actual girlie parts. Feminist icon Germaine Greer, for example, has weighed in on the controversy: “I’ve asked my doctor to give me long ears and liver spots, and I’m going to wear a brown coat, but that won’t turn me into a fu–ing cocker spaniel,” she observed with that distinctive sort of class, eloquence and femininity we’ve come to expect from many “progressive” women. “A man who gets his d–k chopped off is actually inflicting an extraordinary act of violence on himself,” she added.
Wait. Did I just agree with a radical feminist? This is truth. It’s crass and jarring in its delivery, but its truth just the same. Oh well, as they say, “Even a blind squirrel finds a nut every now and again.”
Anyway, this is not the first time Greer has taken issue with the “LGBT” lobby. “Nowadays we are all likely to meet people who think they are women, have women’s names, and feminine clothes and lots of eyeshadow, who seem to us to be some kind of ghastly parody, though it isn’t polite to say so,” she wrote in The Guardian in 2009. “We pretend that all the people passing for female really are,” she added. “Other delusions may be challenged, but not a man’s delusion that he is female.”
You don’t have to be a scholar of gender studies to know that Greer’s comments are disgusting, inaccurate, and far from progressive. LGBT activists and feminists have come out in droves to decry her statements and make it clear that her views are not only the minority, but also deeply offensive. Beliefs like hers undoubtedly contribute to the epidemic of violence against trans women, as well as the poor economic and health conditions faced by so many.
But Greer is the “feminist” example Barber is clinging to in order to demonstrate how liberals are supposedly warring with each other, even though that’s not the case at all.
It’s at once pitiable, yet somehow gleefully entertaining to watch, as “progressive” piranhas, frothing about in that cesspit of stagnant toxicity called “political correctness,” devour one another alive. This latest feeding frenzy pits the competing special interests of radical feminism against “LGBT” extremism.
As a result, some leftist nutburgers are petitioning some other leftist nutburgers to cancel Greer’s upcoming lecture at Cardiff University. Petition organizers accuse her of “continually misgendering trans women and denying the existence of transphobia altogether.” For the sake of those who don’t speak Progressivese, “misgendering” is a made-up word that identifies the process by which a sane person calls a man in a dress a “man in a dress,” and “transphobia,” another pretendoid (yes, I made that word up too), is a ham-fisted pejorative intended to shut that sane person the hell up.
Reading Barber’s words reminds me of being told “I am rubber and you are glue” by a kid I used to babysit. He’s furious that language and social norms are evolving around him, and rather than going with the flow — which plenty of Christians are doing happily — he’s throwing a tantrum and crying “extremism.”
(In related news, is anyone interested in ordering a bunch of Nutburgers bowling jackets? How about the Progressive Piranhas? Perhaps we could join a league?)
Here is Barber’s grand conclusion:
Veteran journalist and anti-radical-feminist Robert Stacy McCain summarizes this war of the nutburgers better than I can: “ The Competitive Victimhood Derby is ultimately a zero-sum game, you see. There can only be one winner, and the transgender claim to equal victimhood is rejected by radical feminists, who view this as an attempt to usurp their own categorical claim.
“It’s like a traffic jam on the Crazyville Road, where two politicized groups of wackjobs are compelled by the implicit logic of their arguments to fight each other for supremacy.”
You know what? Sometimes, radical “feminists” do lash out at trans women. But that’s not an example of *the Left* warring with itself, because anyone who wages a war on trans people doesn’t deserve to call themselves a feminist or a progressive. It’s just another manifestation of transphobia, and it’s just as bad as the politics of the Illinois Family Institute and other groups like it.
For that matter, it’s not a zero-sum game, either. When [right-wing conservative Christian] society treats women better, trans people will fare better. When [right-wing conservative Christian] society treats trans people better, women will fare better. That’s just how it is.
Barber is mistaken; we’re not warring with our own because Greer isn’t actually on our side. A feminist who devalues and dehumanizes any type of woman — including a trans woman — is no feminist at all. Barber can recruit Greer to his cause, for all I care; she’s not doing us any good.