The political left today likes to pretend to value women – and accuse the political right of deprecating them. Abortion is the obvious debate issue today – that is, what rights does a woman have to “control her own body?” That’s actually a part of the paradigm of victimhood – and of intersectionality, the notion that one can be as many times a victim as the number of victim classes to which a person belongs. But it takes on its own special importance, and shows how hypocritical leftists can be. After all, they pretend to value women – but do not know what a woman is. And in trumpeting a “right” to abortion, they strike at the heart of what makes women so valuable in society.
How important are women?
The left likes to phrase their accusation this way, particularly since the decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization. (597 U.S. ____, 2022.) “Has not the Supreme Court taken away the right of women to control their own bodies?” they ask. They then suggest that women don’t count anymore as far as the political right is concerned.
First, all the Supreme Court did inDobbs was to take the federal courts out of the controversy. Recall Justice Kavanaugh’s separate concurrence: as he sees it, the Supreme Court cannot “unilateral[ly] … rewrite the Constitution.” And the Constitution does not, nor did it ever, guarantee any such right as that to abortion. Now State legislatures, and State courts, must decide.
Second, women mean a great deal to what Dr. Steve Turley calls “the nationalist populist right.” But to say that is to imply a corollary: men on the right know what a woman is. Whereas on the left, they literally don’t know.
As a former physician, your editor can write a workable definition of the term woman. Thus, woman means:
- The female of the species Homo sapiens,
- Usually born with uterus, ovaries, the trumpet-like tubes that carry the eggs to the womb, and all the rest of the female reproductive system, and
- Having a pelvic girdle specifically shaped to let a baby pass through.
Physical versus ideological intersex
While physical intersex does exist, it is rare, it is tragic, and it requires a difficult, but necessary, decision.
The National Library of Medicine still maintains the best definition of physical intersex available anywhere. True gonadal intersex means the person has one each male or female gonads, or one or two gonads with features of both. Most of the time, no one knows what brought it about. But some animal studies give a clue. The pesticides that are a part of conventional farming today can play a role. This gives further reason to consider abandoning conventional farming in favor of traditional or “organic” farming.
“Intersex” also covers various conditions in which the patient is recognizably male or female, but something has gone wrong with the formation of the body. Inopportune hormonal exposure during pregnancy can produce a girl with male features. Boys have the opposite problem. In point of fact, female anatomy is the “default” developmental goal and requires testosterone to override it. A genetic male intersex didn’t get enough, whereas a genetic female intersex got exposure to it at the wrong moment.
The remaining cases of intersex are always associated with an abnormal sex chromosome share. Any such patient inheriting a Y chromosome (or sometimes two) will develop as a male; without it, the patient will develop as a female. But if the number of sex chromosomes is different from two, the patient will have a problem. Different combinations causes different problems.
The transgender phenomenon
None of the above has anything to do with the transgender phenomenon – or movement – today. Anyone saying they “feel” of a different sex from the one they were born into (absent any intersex cause), has made an adaptation to a bad environment, or come under a bad influence. The problem comes from giving a child conflicting messages. Or it could come from a deliberate attempt to recruit a child for ideological reasons.
That is what moved Elon Musk, owner of Twitter, to share this:
“Gender affirmation” here means altering a person’s physical body to conform to that person’s expressed (for the moment) desire to live as a member of the opposite sex. It has no indication – except only to thin the ranks of humanity. Which is also the motive for abortion – and indeed anything else that deprecates the special place of women in human society. To do this to an adult who asks for it is bad enough – but at least the adult did ask. To do it to a minor is a practice no sound society can allow. As Elon Musk also said:
What rights can the left even argue that women have?
In point of fact, no one on the left can even talk about women’s rights anymore. That’s because they don’t even know what a woman is. Then Justice-candidate Ketanji Brown Jackson admitted as much to the Senate of the United States.
More broadly, women mean more to the right than to the left. The left treats them as agenda pawns – a phrase we borrow from The Obama Files. But the right sees them as a vital part of family and society, having a role complementing that of men.
The right would also accord them extra police, military and other protection precisely because they truly are the weaker sex. Anyone who doubts that should ask why one never hears of “trans-men” competing in men’s sports. In contrast the spectacle of “trans-women” competing in women’s sports has now prompted many States to forbid the spectacle. They have made a judgment – a correct judgment – that to admit men to female competition merely because they opted for surgical mutilation and/or hormonal poisoning is to destroy women’s sports. Which would not be a problem if men were not, on average, physically stronger.
What measure of “control” does anyone expect men to take?
One more thing bears mention today. Nothing in Dobbs, nor in any of the abortion bans or restrictions now on the books, can in any way construe as to provide for, or even allow, anything remotely similar to the dystopian – and totally extra-Biblical – scenario that proceeded from the fevered mind of author Margaret Atwood. This found expression in the novel The Handmaid’s Tale and one motion picture and one streaming series with that name. That scenario needs no further description, mainly because we have occasionally seen misguided young women engage in costume play from it as a form of protest. Let it suffice that Margaret Atwood did not get her scenario out of the Bible. Nor out of any possible observation of how certain dedicated religious communities (like the Amish or other Mennonites) live.
More broadly, no one other than a criminal wants to force a woman to conceive. So if a woman is not prepared for the responsibility of a child, let her abstain. (And let men abstain, too, for that matter, if they are not prepared to accept their responsibility.) Control begins with the decision even to have a relationship. That control continues with the decision to carry that relationship any further than a chance meeting.
Those of us on the right, seek this return to tradition precisely because we hold women in high regard. Too high to sell them short, or to use them to make a point, as the left does.
Terry A. Hurlbut has been a student of politics, philosophy, and science for more than 35 years. He is a graduate of Yale College and has served as a physician-level laboratory administrator in a 250-bed community hospital. He also is a serious student of the Bible, is conversant in its two primary original languages, and has followed the creation-science movement closely since 1993.
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