A coalition of radical feminists, lesbians, and politically conservative women are petitioning the government to scrap "gender identity" in federal civil rights legislation that's being considered in Congress.
The inclusion of this into the Equality Act, these women say, erases sex-based protections feminists and others have fought for in previous decades, and women as a category are essentially scrubbed from the law. Women and girls face increased risk of exploitation by predatory males who will use gender identity to invade their private spaces, they maintain.
The Equality Act is an update to the 1964 civil rights law guaranteeing freedoms previously denied to African-Americans, and is considered by many to be one of Martin Luther King Jr.'s legacies.
Both the radical feminist organization Women's Liberation Front, a left-wing radical feminist organization, and the Hands Across the Aisle Coalition, a bipartisan group of women resisting transgender activism and ideology together despite profound differences on other issues, issued statements denouncing the Equality Act as a "full-frontal assault" on women and girls. The bill, which was introduced Wednesday, has the support of 161 major corporations.
"In the era of #MeToo, it’s hard to understand why these companies are willing to endanger women and girls by acting so deliberately to undermine the nation’s indecent exposure and voyeurism restrictions, in what are supposed to be single-sex accommodations. Is it any wonder that many of them have recently faced significant sexual harassment allegations, or had large bias or sexual harassment claims brought against them?" the HATAC statement reads.
The statement cites a report from WalesOnline which notes that in Cardiff, the capital of Wales, where mixed-sex toilets were recently installed in schools, girls are skipping school because boys are shaming them over their periods and the fear being sexually harassed.
"This is no different than what happens in developing nations when menstruating girls have inadequate toilet facilities, or facilities that they must share with boys. To think that this wouldn’t occur in developed nations smacks of chauvinistic notions of progress that use per capita income as a proxy for moral development," the bipartisan coalition asserted.
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"We ask that these major brands and multinational corporations, and the nonprofit virtue signalers who represent their interests, stand down this full-frontal assault on the privacy and dignity of women and girls. We ask that they act instead to encourage respect for everyone’s right to single-sex accommodations, as originally guaranteed in all previous civil rights laws recognizing the state’s interest in discouraging sex-based discrimination against women and girls."
Likewise, board directors of WoLF noted it their statement that "the gender identity provisions of the Equality Act will forbid the law to see sex while legitimizing sex stereotypes, and by doing so, they will destroy the law’s ability to fight sexism, or protect women from male harassment and violence. The concept of gender identity is not only unrelated to sexual orientation, in some respects it is directly contrary and undermines the ability to prevent discrimination and harassment against same-sex attracted individuals."
The legislation is being considered largely at the behest of the Human Rights Campaign, the nation's leading LGBT activist organization.
"People across the spectrum oppose gender identity ideology because no one really believes in human sex change. Everyone knows you can’t change sex, but out of either a desire to be kind, or social pressure, some people are willing to act as though it’s possible," said Natasha Chart, board chair of Women's Liberation Front, in an email to The Christian Post Thursday.
"This is, and always has been, a polite social fiction. It was introduced to ease both the discomfort of people, primarily men at first, who didn’t like the sex stereotyped roles expected of them, and of other people who were upset at seeing others reject sex-stereotyped behavior. But it’s anachronistic," she continued.
While most of the views of the women of WoLF are decidedly left-of-center, the political left at-large appears to think that they need a new social justice cause, along with an opportunity to present themselves as allies to a marginalized group of people and offer an "everything you know is wrong" kind of critique, she said.
"The irony that they’re mainly doing this on behalf of men, and many very wealthy, white men, seems lost on most of them," she said of the left.
"After so many years of 'RuPaul’s Drag Race,' is anyone still that bothered by seeing men in dresses and lipstick? Women of every description, especially as we get older, are very likely to wear pants, have short hair, go out without makeup, and most people don’t think anything of it."
Thus, those on the left backing the inclusion of gender identity in the Equality Act are attempting to frame this topic to cohere with their standard narrative and enemies, she said, adding that they would otherwise have to engage feminist arguments against gender ideology, which they seem afraid of doing and is harder.
"What they should be concerned about is the inevitable fallout from what’s going to be a medical child abuse scandal like nothing they’ve ever seen. They think Twitter is judgmental? Wait until they have to face detransitioners and their families, asking why they didn’t do anything to stop this," Chart added.
Meg Kilgannon, a conservative Catholic member of the Hands Across the Aisle Coalition, believes it is important for people to put aside their differences and deal with the present threats to women and girls. Conservatives and Christians who think transgender ideology and the concept of a self-determined gender identity other than biological sex is so ridiculous it will never be enacted in law are misinformed.
"Conservatives largely don't think we need to say that men can't be women and women can't be men. That's obvious. We don't think we need to talk about that. But we absolutely must say that and we must keep saying it," Kilgannon said in a CP phone interview Thursday afternoon.
The right to even speak those obvious truths is under assault in the proposed legislation, she stressed.
"To say that out loud you could face fines, you could be accused of a hate crime for simply stating the fact that a man is a man. Even if he wears a dress, that does not make him a woman."
Kilgannon told CP that although she might not agree with left-wing women in HATAC and others on issues like same-sex marriage and abortion, conservatives should table those differences and fight together because being a women means something.
"And if anyone can claim to be a woman, then it doesn't mean anything to be one," she said.
"I'm willing to work with anyone on this issue, because it is the defining issue of our time."