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When Chivalry Dies, Women Suffer


The philosopher Montesquieu argued that the moral character of a civilization should be judged by how well or poorly it treats women and children. Now that the distinction between male and female has been erased and abortion has gone from being considered a “necessary evil” to a “positive good,” women and children are fair game.

For example, there was little uproar over the Indiana woman who was shot after telling Black Lives Matter (BLM) protestors that “all lives matter,” reports the New York Daily News. A 2017 video depicting a 60-year-old feminist being beaten by two young men was celebrated by trans activists on social media.

Also ignored are the numerous children who have been killed in this summer of violence. While protestors call for defunding the police, a handful of precious little girls have lost their lives in cities across the country. Not one of their names has made it into BLM’s murals or chants.

Recall the video of a self-described BLM activist who told a white woman to get on her knees and apologize for her white privilege. Seemingly intimidated and flustered, the woman complied and even thanked the man. Are feminists really okay with this?

Dave Chappelle’s attack on conservative personality Candace Owens in his recent Netflix special also shows that when the left needs to choose between the Me Too movement and the BLM movement, they will choose the latter. In his special, Chappelle crudely said he didn’t care if George Floyd had “personally kicked Candace Owens in her stinky p—.”

Chappelle was responding to Owens’s video detailing Floyd’s long criminal record, including the time Floyd held a gun to a pregnant woman’s stomach while robbing her, as the reason Owens does not think it appropriate to fete Floyd like a saint after his death.

Owens responded in a tweet that, unlike the left, she has a sense of humor. She has also said she does not believe comedians should be censored. But apparently physical and sexual violence against women is fine to joke about if that woman is a conservative and if the man attacking her is black.

Standing for Women’s Rights

All of these instances are proof that if a woman or girl’s suffering does not fit into the left’s narrative, it is ignored. They are a small sample of the way the left treats women. Nominating Kamala Harris for vice president is merely performative if everyday women are not being protected.

Edmund Burke gave a famous eulogy to the queen of France after she was beheaded by the French mobs. He notes that in a former day, 10,000 French swords would have jumped to her defense at the slightest insult. He writes,

But the age of chivalry is gone; that of sophisters, economists, and calculators has succeeded, and the glory of Europe is extinguished forever. Never, never more, shall we behold that generous loyalty to rank and sex, that proud submission, that dignified obedience, that subordination of the heart, which kept alive, even in servitude itself, the spirit of an exalted freedom!

If the French could behead a queen without a second thought, what will today’s revolutionaries be willing to do to a woman who won’t get on her knees and apologize for her white privilege, won’t kneel during the National Anthem, or refuses to call a biological man a woman?

Blurring Distinctions Erases Women

Those on the left have worked hard to erase every distinction, distinctions that provide protection for those considered weaker. Erasing womanhood leaves women vulnerable and without the protections and rights they have fought for.

Protecting women’s rights has gotten complicated because those claiming there is such a thing as a biological woman are now maligned as transphobic. Take, for example, famous author and feminist J.K. Rowling, who was recently ostracized by the left for affirming that transgender women are biologically male. Things have become so convoluted that the American Cancer Society has taken to calling females “individuals with a cervix,” instead of women.

In Bostock v. Clayton County, the Supreme Court redefined sex to include sexual orientation and gender identity. Inside Higher Ed argues that this will likely lead to an increase in lawsuits against sex-specific arrangements such as sports and clubs.

Compassion and inclusion towards those identifying as transgender cannot be the only consideration. Our society must also consider safety and fairness. For example, three Connecticut high school girls are suing over a policy that allows boys to compete on their sports teams. They argue allowing biological males to compete against females is unfair, as male biology generally makes them stronger and faster.

This “competitive disadvantage” hinders a girl’s chance of winning both titles and scholarships. Allowing biological males to compete in women’s sports on a large scale will erase women in sports. In Connecticut, two transgender athletes have won 15 state championship titles that were once held by nine different girls, reports Wired.

Fairness is not the only issue. Safety too must be considered. Canada’s oldest rape crisis center was stripped of city funding in 2019 for refusing to allow biological males who identify as women into their shelter. In 2019 the center was vandalized, reports National Review. The words “Kill TERFs (trans-exclusionary radical feminists)” were written on the building. Three weeks prior, a woman seeking shelter found a dead rat nailed to the front door.

Yet men pose a greater threat to women than another biological woman does. According to this report by the Bureau of Justice Statistics, 99 out of every 100 rapists are male. Any true feminist or Me Too activist would resist the trans agenda’s attempt to place women in positions where they are more vulnerable to assault.

Men Without Chests

In “Abolition of Man,” C.S. Lewis writes, “We make men without chests and expect of them virtue and enterprise. We laugh at honor and are shocked to find traitors in our midst. We castrate and bid the gelding be fruitful.”

While removing a woman’s protected status, the left has also massacred chivalry. Tired of being sneered at, men no longer hold doors open, bring flowers, or attempt to court women. Modern dating resembles online shopping more than it does anything else. Women are simply images on a screen to be swiped away. Is this the kind of equality suffragettes imagined 100 years ago?

Lewis’s man without a chest isn’t referring to a man without masculinity, but a man without a heart or conscience. This is the type of man the left’s relativism produces. The sexual revolution which taught that freedom means self-gratification has created a generation of men, conditioned by video games and pornography, to view women as mere objects.

Like the Epicureans, whose entire moral calculation rested on pleasure, radical leftist culture is producing men who aren’t only morally bankrupt, but who also lack impulse control. This produces severe consequences for those who are weaker, notably women and children.

This year marks the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment, the law that finally allowed women to vote. In such a year, it would be a shame to see women vote for more policies that make society inhospitable to women.