Ayaan Hirsi Ali says 2022 is 'the year the West erased women': 'A tale of 2 different final chapters'

Somali-born Ayaan Hirsi Ali, a former Dutch parliamentarian, speaks next to French philosopher Bernard-Henri Levy (R) at the European Parliament in Brussels, Belgium, February 14, 2008. | Reuters/Francois Lenoir

Human rights activist Ayaan Hirsi Ali believes 2022 is "the year the West erased women," expressing concern about embracing an ideology that seeks to treat trans-identified males the same as women.

Ali, an ex-Muslim Somali-born woman who endured genital mutilation, wrote a column for UnHerd, titled "The Year the West Erased Women." She criticized the Cambridge Dictionary's new definition of woman to mean "an adult who lives and identifies as female though they may have been said to have a different sex at birth." 

The former Dutch Parliamentarian and author concluded that "progressives care more about semantics than emancipation."

"If 2022 has been the year of the 'woman,' it is a tale with two different final chapters: one hopeful, one less so," she wrote.

After praising women in theocratic regimes like Iran for "demanding their emancipation," Ali lamented the situation playing out in a "Western nation where the word 'woman' itself no longer has any meaning, its definition rewritten to include 'an adult who lives and identifies as female though they may have been said to have a different sex at birth.'"

"This is the paradox of the past 12 months: the existence of women is being questioned in the very place where female emancipation has come furthest, while in places where women remain shackled to medieval notions of honor and chastity, true feminism is at its strongest," she wrote. 

Ali said there are consequences of the effort to "divorce 'woman' from its biological implications."

"The past year has seen reports of transgender women attacking women in female-only spaces and unfairly winning trophies in women's sports," she added. 

"The spirit of these failures was perhaps best-distilled in the words of Supreme Court Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson, who in March was unable to define what being a woman entailed during her Senate confirmation hearing. 'I’m not a biologist,' she said, as if one needed to be a professional biologist to know basic biological facts."

Ali identified "gender ideology advocates" as "a threat not just to women but to Western ideals, too."

Asserting that "Western culture prides itself on the achievements of the Enlightenment and Science" and that "previous generations of feminists staked their claim" on "an appeal to reason," she believes the "so-called 'progressives' ... stake their claim on subjective feelings and happily ignore or dismiss its material effects."

"It is not just feminism and the rights of women that are at stake here: so, too, are the best ideals of the West itself," Ali warned. "If 2022 is the year of the 'woman,' let's hope 2023 will be the year when we can delete those quotation marks."

In 2022, the push to affirm trans-identified biological males as women in all areas of society took center stage in collegiate swimming. 

Lia (Will) Thomas, a trans-identified male swimmer who competed on the women's swimming team at the University of Pennsylvania after competing for three years on the men's team, set records this year. Opponents were critical of allowing Thomas to compete and eventually become an All-American, a feat that would have gone to a female competitor if he were not allowed to compete.   

One of Thomas' teammates said the presence of the trans-identified male athlete in the women's locker room caused "extreme discomfort" because he still has male genitalia.

The University of Pennsylvania generated outrage after nominating Thomas for the National Collegiate Athletic Association's "Woman of the Year" award, and USA Today invited similar criticism for including trans-identified Biden administration official Rachel Levine on its list of "women of the year."

Social media sites have also cracked down on accounts referring to trans-identified biological males as men. The Christian Post,Babylon Bee and other organizations were kicked off Twitter for referring to Levine as a man. 

Eighteen states have taken action to require athletes at the K-12 level and occasionally at the collegiate level to compete on sports teams that correspond with their biological sex as opposed to their gender identity.

Some sporting organizations, such as USA Powerlifting, have issued a similar policy in light of the biological differences between men and women that give men, on average, a physical advantage over women in athletics.

USA Powerlifting pointed to "increased body and muscle mass, bone density, bone structure, and connective tissue" as factors giving biological males an advantage over their biologically female counterparts in athletics.

A British Journal of Sports Medicine study found that men retain an advantage even after two years of taking feminizing hormones. 

Ryan Foley is a reporter for The Christian Post. He can be reached at:

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