Everyone knows the political left disdains men — at least, white heterosexual men who aren’t confused about their sex. But it also has a serious misogyny problem. For all the trumpeting of women’s rights, leftist policies frequently demean, disempower, or even endanger women.
Women are expected to shoulder burdens not imposed on men, all to promote what’s touted as a greater public good. Besides, is there anything more dismissive and denigrating of women’s value and humanity than referring to them as “menstruators,” “birthing units,” or “uterus owners”?
1. Transgender Policies Erase Women
Much of the left’s misogyny arises from the sudden “transgender” contagion. Trans-accommodating policies have real victims, in addition to the ultimate victimization of the gender-dysphoric. Usually if not always, those other victims are women.
When biological males compete on women’s and girls’ sports teams – as happens in Connecticut high school track competitions – female athletes find themselves “on the sidelines instead of the podium.” If these girls are deprived of not only the thrill of victory but also college scholarships, the trans lobby argues, it’s a price they should be willing to pay for the male athletes’ idea of justice.
Other accommodations of the trans cult endanger women’s physical and psychological health. The institutional left insists trans-identifying males must be allowed into private female facilities such as restrooms and locker rooms, over the objections of women and girls. Obviously, a predator could easily feign a trans identity to gain access to such spaces.
Beyond that danger, women have a basic, self-protective unwillingness to expose their bodies and privacy to any random man, regardless of his intent. As numbers for sexual assaults are alarmingly high and sex trafficking is on the rise, is it really sensible to teach girls male nudity in their presence is normal?
The issue isn’t limited to bathrooms. President Biden plans to force federally funded women’s shelters to admit biological males, and California now allows male prisoners to transfer to women’s prisons even with no surgical procedures.
Leftist lawmakers apparently can’t grasp the problems with such a policy. British officials couldn’t either, but now the Ministry of Justice “has revealed inmates who identify as transgender are responsible for a rate of sexual attacks that is exponentially higher than their proportion of the population of women’s jails and prisons.”
In response, the left thinks these snowflake women should simply get a grip. As the Charlotte Observer argued during the North Carolina “bathroom bill” controversy, the problem lies with women’s irrational fears (typical females, always getting hysterical about something). “The battle for equality has always been in part about overcoming discomfort – with blacks sharing facilities, with gays sharing marriage,” the Observer chided, “then realizing that it was not nearly so awful as some people imagined.” Attitude adjusted, problem solved.
2. How Celebrating Prostitution Hurts Women
What about the standard leftist position on prostitution? Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez proudly touts her support of “sex work” as “real work.” In Baltimore, Philadelphia, and most recently in Manhattan, district attorneys have announced they’ll no longer prosecute prostitution.
Pimps in those locales are popping champagne corks. Far from Julia Roberts being paid to attend swanky parties with Richard Gere, the reality is starkly different. Anywhere from 50 to 90 percent of prostitutes (usually women) are estimated to be “pimp-controlled.” And working for a pimp isn’t exactly an empowering experience.
One expert on the effects of prostitution testified “prostitutes are often so financially and psychologically dependent on their pimps that they are unable to leave even when they are beaten.” She further described the most common ways the relationship ends: “the prostitute becomes pregnant, goes on welfare, turns to more serious kinds of crime, commits suicide, or dies at the hands of a customer.” I am woman, hear me roar.
3. When a Rape Is ‘Just a Rape’
An egregious but little-understood illustration of the left’s anti-woman mindset is the prosecution of so-called “hate crimes.” Dr. Tina Trent, a scholar who has written extensively on what she calls the “hate crimes industry,” explains how white, heterosexual women are quietly and systematically excluded from the category of hate-crime victims – even when violently raped, perhaps raped and murdered, and even when the perpetrator made clear he was motivated by hatred of women.
The FBI lists rape as a hate crime, but in reality, rape is usually only prosecuted and recorded as one when the victim is a transgender male or a racial or other minority. In one case Trent describes, a black man who raped nine women was charged with only eight hate crimes because the ninth victim was white rather than Asian or Hispanic.
Trent reported in an email interview that during her research on hate crimes and rape, more than one law-enforcement official told her when the rape victim is “just a woman,” the prosecution will be just for rape, not a hate crime with an enhanced penalty. “This extra-legal interpretation of hate crime statutes, which appears nowhere in the actual text of any of these laws,” Trent said, “has remained consistent across all states and the federal government’s prosecutions of hate-crime rape for more than two decades now.”
Why marginalize women in this way? First, as Trent explains, because there are “too many rapes,” recording them in the hate statistics would overshadow the (frequently less severe) offenses based on race, gender identity, etc. that it’s politically opportune to highlight.
Second, counting rape as a hate crime could unacceptably alter the demographics of hate criminals. The left’s narrative that only whites commit hate crimes is disrupted when rapists of many races show up in the statistics. So the simple solution is to exclude most rapes and rapists from the data.
This begins primarily in the training of police and prosecutors. “Bias statutes are so vague,” Trent says, “an unprecedented industry of ‘trainers’ and ‘educators’ has sprung up to explain to prosecutors and police precisely what these laws are supposed to mean.” And these state and federally-funded trainers, like the Human Rights Council, the NAACP, and the Anti-Defamation League, make it clear rape of “just a woman” isn’t included.
Women’s Rights Are Old News
All these examples illustrate at best a lack of concern for women and at worst actual contempt. But premier women’s organizations are largely silent. The only prominent group that dares challenge the leftist narrative on any of these issues is the Women’s Liberation Front (WoLF), which vocally opposes elevating the desires of trans-identifying men over the rights and safety of women. By contrast, the National Organization for Women (NOW) trumpets its support for all things trans, never mentioning the harm done to real women.
In the left’s hierarchy of victims, women simply don’t rank as highly as sexual and racial minorities. Having succeeded in making their version of women’s “rights” mainstream, leftists have moved on to new frontiers. Women are now expected to yield some of their rights and even their dignity to new victims, new narratives. After all, they’re just women.
Jane Robbins is an attorney and a retired senior fellow with the American Principles Project in Washington DC. She is a graduate of Clemson University and the Harvard Law School.