"It is not our differences that divide us,” black lesbian feminist Audre Lorde once said. “It is our inability to recognize, accept, and celebrate those differences."
Most progressive folks would probably be quick to agree with this statement; yet, when it comes to gender and gender roles, difference makes liberals bristle.
In her new book Sex Scandal, author and Catholic Association Senior Fellow Ashley McGuire examines what she calls the “drive to abolish male and female.” At CPAC, MRC Culture caught up with her to get more details.
McGuire argued that in a gender-neutral society, women get the short end of the stick. “I think we got off track at a certain point and started to believe that equality could only be achieved if we stamped out difference, that difference is the source of inequity,” she explained.
Women, McGuire said, have been particularly convinced by this reasoning. But women are different. They have different needs, they get pregnant, they raise children. Choosing to ignore these realities does not serve women well.
The liberal media certainly don’t help in this regard; in fact, when it comes to gender and sexuality, they add to the confusion.
“Whoever controls the language of the debate has a lot of power,” McGuire weighed in. “Even the fact we are using the word gender instead of sex is very important, because gender means basically nothing and sex has a very concrete definition.”
In light of the transgender bathroom debate, McGuire’s book is extremely pertinent. Last May, the Obama Administration mandated that public schools allow transgender students to use the bathrooms of their choice. This month, President Trump announced a plan to roll back that directive, transferring it to the states. Celebrities and journalists then accused the Trump administration of bigotry, callousness and transphobia.
“The [Trump] administration said one of the concerns is how confusing [the policy] is and all the lawsuits it would lead to,” McGuire weighed in. “People are going to be confused when you essentially force all spaces to be co-ed and tell teachers if they use the wrong pronoun they might be hit with a civil rights lawsuit.”
And college campuses, which McGuire noted would have been affected by the mandate, are “already cesspools of confusion.”
So how can we protect women while promoting equality in the public sphere?
“Real equality between the sexes,” McGuire explained, “starts with understanding and accepting what makes us different and not being threatened by it.”
Audre Lorde would clearly agree.