When I spoke this March at an event sponsored by the Heritage Foundation at the U.N. Convention on the Status of Women, I mentioned to the moderator that it must have seemed odd for Heritage to have invited a liberal feminist to their event as it was for me to be there. I went on to describe how I (and many other women) have been fired, harassed, or no-platformed by the left for disbelieving in gender identity fictions, including the existence of the “female penis.”
As odd as everyone surely feels about those we’ve found ourselves agreeing with, we all seem to have found a lot of common ground on challenging a movement that’s mandating parents go along with the chemical sterilization, or surgical sex organ modification, of all children who discover gender identity on Tumblr, or in a PFLAG group, or after a friend at school goes trans. Many people find it curious that such drastic interventions are being proposed for a vaguely defined psychological condition with an ever-expanding list of barely related symptoms.
I certainly didn’t think when I was talking that day in New York City that, only a few weeks later, I’d be reading a news story about the head of The Heritage Foundation getting deplatformed. Yet Google disbanded its entire Artificial Intelligence ethics panel after its employees protested the inclusion of Heritage’s president, Kay Coles James, who wrote about that experience here. The protest wasn’t over the inclusion of a conservative generally, either, but appears primarily related to Heritage’s position on gender identity.
Anonymous employees, calling themselves Googlers Against Transphobia, closed their sign-on statement in opposition to James — an African American — this way: “Google cannot claim to support trans people and its trans employees — a population that faces real and material threats — and simultaneously appoint someone committed to trans erasure to a key AI advisory position. Given this, we call on Google to remove Kay Coles James from ATEAC.”
So, thanks to gender identity activists having quite an astonishing tantrum, a major global technology provider with a questionable track record regarding long-term planning and product support has just abandoned outside ethical review of their AI projects.
Heritage Is Up for the Debate, But Not Google
It’s true that Heritage has become widely known as one of the only mainstream political organizations that will provide a platform to any feminist, medical professional, or detransitioner who’s critical of gender identity at all.
Two years ago, Heritage hosted a left-leaning midwife who was thrown out of her midwifery organization for refusing to use sex-neutral language in the profession, and a lesbian veteran who’d campaigned to end Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, along with two conservative women, in their “Biology Isn’t Bigotry” panel. A year later, they held a panel on gender dysphoria in children, featuring medical experts.
This year, some of my colleagues at the Women’s Liberation Front (WoLF) spoke this January at another Heritage panel on the inequality of including gender identity in the Equality Act, although with a focus on the harms of transition to children and their families. Heritage held a further panel on medical harms to children, featuring two medical experts and a detransitioner, a week following my appearance at the U.N. event. Shortly after the council was disbanded, Heritage went ahead with a previously announced event focusing on harms to women’s sports if men are allowed to compete.
If you listen to any of these panels, all you’ll hear will be calm, reasoned discussion of real events, including the deplatforming of other women, medical harms to children, and medical facts. You won’t hear anything like the kinds of harassment and threats that gender activists routinely issue to those who disagree with them, especially women.
It should worry everyone that respectful commentary on gender policy like Heritage has featured can get people removed from polite society now, or even fired. It should dispel any remaining belief that this is just a fringe, internet phenomenon that can be ignored.
Gender Totalitarians Stronger than Other Far-Left Groups
From my perspective as a liberal who used to work at the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) headquarters in DC—you may remember SEIU as a regular feature on Glenn Beck’s old whiteboard; those segments always cracked us up at the office—I’ve never seen anything like the power gender activists have on the left to rule entire viewpoints out of bounds, or blacklist staff across issue groups on ideological grounds.
Within the union space, the Communication Workers of America have generally sided with the telecommunications industry on net neutrality, against a broad opposing consensus on the left. Construction unions are often on the opposite side of policy fights with environmental organizations. The teachers’ unions weren’t thrilled with the support several Obama administration figures gave to charter schools, and this fight continues within the party at the state and local levels. None of these major policy disputes have been resolved by declaring one side or the other out-of-bounds, or their opinions disallowed, and these are not small disagreements.
As an example more people will be familiar with, there’s abortion policy. While the Democratic Party is mainly in favor of women’s access to abortion, no less a figure than Nancy Pelosi recently declared that there would continue to be room for voters and elected officials with opposing views in the party.
Gender identity activists are not only more powerful within liberal activism than the union and women’s movements combined, they also have astonishing ideological dominance within the technology companies that represent the new public square. Any expressed disbelief in mind-over-matter sex change can get your posts—or your account—suspended from Twitter, Facebook, or WordPress.
It’s not just technology companies enjoying the PR benefits of being part of the Human Rights Campaign’s Business Coalition for the Equality Act, or who’ll go to great lengths to stay on the right side of HRC’s Corporate Equality Index. Accenture, a global management and technology consultant with offices in Washington State, recently threw a female reporter, Joani Walsh, out of a ticketed event they were holding on transgender visibility at their U.K. offices in London, along with the lesbian feminists attending with her.
The women had done nothing besides sit quietly in their seats, before seven police officers showed up to remove them from the venue because one of the panelists recognized the women as having disagreements about gender identity politics.
Where Might This Lead?
If you want a look into where this could all lead, you only have to keep abreast of the news about gender identity policy in countries that don’t have free speech protections. U.K. gender activists, including a man who admitted to strangling his ex-wife, are training police, who’ve begun cautioning and even arresting people over such invented crimes as “deadnaming” or “misgendering” people who claim to be a different sex than they are. A Canadian court has now issued an order to arrest the father of a young girl if he refers to her again as a girl, in public or private, or to third parties, on charges of family violence.
Even in the United States, where we do have free speech protections, both Facebook and Twitter have suspended or banned women for referring to trans-identified men accurately with respect to their sex. Both companies are, like Google, part of HRC’s Business Coalition for the Equality Act. Both companies have refused to remove content encouraging violence towards women described as “TERFs,” (trans-exclusionary radical feminists), and Twitter has been recognized by Amnesty International as allowing especially persistent abuse towards women on its platform. The “Human Rights Campaign” seems fine with all of that.
In the future gender activists seem to want, all of our speech rights could be suspended at the whim of people who demand that the entire world lie about what sex they are. That may be impolite to say, but it’s important that we do say so before it becomes illegal.
It’s important that we are able to say that a man named Veronica May Clark —who made a club with screws embedded in it, then broke into his ex-wife’s house and beat her boyfriend to death with it, severely injuring his ex-wife and leaving her for dead—is a male convict, who should not under any circumstances be imprisoned with women while he serves the remainder of his 75-year sentence.
It’s important to say that men shouldn’t be in women’s domestic violence shelters, which the Democrats in Congress are currently trying to insist on. It’s important to say that treating children with any combination of puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones that fully block their natural, reproductive development window constitutes a permanent chemical sterilization, and they will not be able to reverse this as adults.
Human beings can’t change sex. I’m going to say it until I can’t. We all should.