Guest columnist Chenelle Brown: ‘Woman is worth fighting for’


Published: 04-13-2024 8:01 PM

In March, this paper published an important guest column titled “LBGTQ and the erasure of true female identity.” In it, writer Karen Bercovici argued that “woman” is a sex classification, not a social role, performance, or subjective belief. She insisted that women’s rights were hard won and remain necessary for our safety and political equality.

Moreover, she rejected the concept of “gender identity” and its conflation with biological sex in our laws and public policies. It was uplifting to read a defense of “woman” in a local paper, given how much our commonwealth has been captured by gender ideology and gender medicine propaganda.

And while it was predictable that Bercovici would be attacked online for daring challenge men’s rights to claim “woman,” I admire her for speaking out anyway. Woman is worth fighting for.

Woman denotes adult human female, Bercovici insisted. She suggested females possess reproductive sex traits that are distinct from males in ways that leave us vulnerable to physical subordination by men. She was right, and the 19th Amendment offers evidence of that. Enacted in 1920, 50 years after American men gained the right to vote as such, the 19th established that citizens could no longer be prohibited from voting “on account of sex.”

Importantly, its preamble makes clear, “extending the right of suffrage to women” was its intent. Indeed, “woman” was then understood as a sex class distinct from men. Further, before the 19th’s enactment, women were often denied the right to vote by men who leveraged physical or political power over them to impose sexist views about what activities or interests were appropriate for women.

Of course, those who rejected Bercovici’s arguments either refused to define “woman,” or denied the relevance of biology. For example, in a response published on March 8 [“LGBTQ and the vibrance of female identity”], a writer and self-proclaimed “feminist” characterized “woman” as one of “various social identities” under “patriarchy.”

However, reclassifying woman as a mere social identity untethered to biology requires that we not only rewrite history, but also obscure the fact that women’s oppression is inherently tied to biology. By nature, men more often develop in ways that render them physically stronger and more dominant than females. Muddling the definition of words such as “woman” and “man” doesn’t disrupt these facts of nature. However, it does undermine laws and social norms that deter males from exploiting any natural advantages.

Bercovici insisted that gender ideology is fundamentally tied to sexist stereotypes that should not be promoted. Indeed, movements for women’s liberation and for gay rights emerged to challenge sexist stereotypes said to justify denying people equal rights. Those movements were largely successful and inspired laws against discrimination on the basis of sex and sexual orientation.

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Today, however, sexist stereotypes are being reified per gender ideology, which is taught alongside scientific curriculum in local public schools. Indeed, youth are being misled to believe that a preference for pink is evidence that someone is a girl. Worst, as Bercovici noted, youth are being fed propaganda that changing sex is medically possible and sometimes necessary.

Bercovici, herself a lesbian, lamented that gender ideology is especially harmful to LGB youth who may pursue “transition” attempting to “escape” rather than embrace their authentic selves.

Unfortunately, critics of her column failed to address the inherent sexism gender ideology promotes. Instead, many advanced a false dilemma — either affirm that some people are born the wrong sex or deny them equal rights. However, no one explained what rights are denied when others refuse to affirm objectively false claims people make about themselves.

Finally, referring to “gender identity” as a “quasi-religious” belief, Bercovici challenged its conflation with sex in our laws and public policies. I concur. At best, to allege a “gender identity” is to make a metaphysical claim, since it’s an assertion of belief not founded in material reality or objectively discernible facts. While we are all entitled to believe as we wish, in a free society; subjective beliefs aren’t imposed on others or enshrined per statute.

Meanwhile, the column’s critics insisted “gender identity” was a logically sound concept warranting legal protection. Indeed, multiple commenters asserted that science somehow supports the view that people can be born the wrong sex/gender.

However, questions concerning whether someone is born the correct sex, race, height etc., fundamentally appeal to moral or social values, not medical science. The fact that surgeons now offer sex reconstructive surgeries to minors experiencing emotional distress isn’t proof that removing healthy body parts is medically necessary to correct someone’s sex or treat psychological ailments. Instead, it highlights the exploitive capacity of an extremely influential industry, some of which was laid bare in leaked documents and videos released last month in the WPATHFiles expose.

Chenelle Brown live in Newton.