The Patriarchy Doesn’t Hate Women but Trans Ideology Does

The Patriarchy Doesn’t Hate Women but Trans Ideology Does
A demonstrator holds a placard while attending the "Let Women Speak" rally in George, Square, in Glasgow, Scotland, on Feb. 5, 2023. (Andy Buchanan/AFP via Getty Images)
Wesley J. Smith

​Feminists still complain about “the patriarchy,” meaning a male-dominated culture that either consigns women to homemaking or limits their career opportunities. In this view, misogyny still rules the roost. Females make less money for the same jobs, and those with careers are often slighted, if not subjected to outright sexual harassment or hostile work environments.

Let’s get real. While women do indeed still face obstacles to equal participation in society, the country has clearly chosen to embrace full female inclusion in every aspect of life. Indeed, the day when the late Phyllis Schlafly could successfully argue against the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) by claiming that women enjoy a “privileged place” in law and society as homemakers and mothers is long gone.

Not only that, but women are making strides in significant areas of societal influence. Yes, men still are the majority in the learned professions, but not for long. Nearly 40 percent of the nation’s lawyers are now women, and they might well soon be the majority as 54 percent of current law students are female. Similarly, more than half of medical school students are women. Women are also increasingly serving in political offices, including 29 percent of the current House of Representatives—a record—25 U.S. senators, and the vice president of the United States. At the state and local level, 12 governors and 15 of the mayors of our 50 largest cities are female. These numbers will undoubtedly increase in the coming years.

Women are also increasingly influential in the worlds of business, media, popular culture, and the academy. So while the patriarchy may not be dead, it’s certainly on its deathbed. At the very least, “Mad Men”-style misogyny is fast becoming as obsolete as the rotary phone.

Unfortunately, the same can’t be said for the cultural juggernaut that is the transgender movement. Indeed, not only have gender ideologues erased the word “woman” as a biological reality—to the point that Supreme Court Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson refused to define the term during her confirmation hearing—but also the Biden administration has de-sexed mothers as “birthing people” in official government documents.

Wait, it gets worse. We’re now told, irrationally, that some men give birth, which denigrates the very concept of motherhood. Idiotic terms such as “chestfeeding” for nursing and “bodies with vaginas” are now ubiquitously found in the media, academic papers, medical journals, and even in official government documents.

Renaming parts of the body that are uniquely female in objectifying ways is also becoming ubiquitous. Perhaps the worst example comes from the politically potent LGBT advocacy organization the Human Rights Campaign in its booklet “Safer Sex for Trans Bodies” (pdf). First, the booklet erases “vagina” as the proper word for a biological woman’s genitals and replaces it with the crude term “front hole.” The guide engages in even greater surrealism by claiming that real vaginas are surgically crafted during transition surgery from male to female. Not to be outdone, a cervical cancer charity in the UK recently renamed vaginas “bonus holes.” The mind absolutely boggles at the misogynistic coarseness.

Even worse, women’s private spaces are no longer sacrosanct—which was the very danger against which Schlafly warned all those years ago when she was fighting against the cultural liberalism of the ERA. Indeed, it’s now a civil right in some states for trans women with intact male genitals to use female bathrooms, locker rooms, and other intimate spaces where women disrobe.

The award-winning female swimmer Riley Gaines wasn’t just cheated out of a tournament victory by having to swim against 6-foot-4-inch transgender swimmer Lia Thomas; she and her teammates also had to change clothes in the same locker room with Mr. Thomas, even though the swimmer retained male genitals. To say the least, this was a traumatic experience.

As Ms. Gaines put it in an interview: “Not even probably a year, two years ago, this would have been considered some form of sexual assault, voyeurism. But now, not even are they just allowing it to happen, it’s almost as if these large organizations are encouraging it to happen.”
Women’s being forced to shower with transgender individuals with intact male genitalia has also become part of the military experience. A story just broke about an 18-year-old recruit forced to sleep in the same room and shower with two such transgender individuals. The Department of Defense responded to questions about the incident by noting its intent to treat all soldiers with “dignity and respect.” The natural question arises: What about respecting her dignity?
This phenomenon is becoming increasingly common. And those who complain are depicted as the villains. An Illinois teenage girl who said she was “terrified” at being exposed to a naked transgender student with intact male genitals in a locker room was accused of hate speech. An 80-year-old woman from Washington who told a biological male transgender person to leave a YMCA women’s locker room is no longer welcome at the facility.

Criticize the patriarchy as you will, but no one with that sexist mindset ever insisted that women’s private spaces must be shared with biologically intact males.

​Now, even socially liberal feminists are under the gender ideology gun—literally threatened with death—for arguing that babies are born male or female. The most famous example is Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling, who has been castigated widely as a TERF, that is, a “trans-exclusionary radical feminist.” Her thought crime? She wrote on Twitter: “If sex isn’t real, there’s no same-sex attraction. If sex isn’t real, the lived reality of women globally is erased.” For stating the obvious, Ms. Rowling has been kicked to the curb—including by stars of the Harry Potter movies who would be nowhere but for her conjuring the Wizarding World out of her fertile imagination.

Ms. Rowling’s rejoinder to these attacks says it all: “Times Change. Woman-hate is eternal.” Indeed, we’ve never seen such blatant misogyny—even in the heyday of the patriarchy—as is now being imposed by transgender ideologues.

Views expressed in this article are opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.
Award-winning author Wesley J. Smith is host of the Humanize Podcast (, chairman of the Discovery Institute’s Center on Human Exceptionalism and a consultant to the Patients Rights Council. His latest book is “Culture of Death: The Age of ‘Do Harm’ Medicine.”
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