Tuesday, July 23, 2024
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Canceling women (or when men make better women than women)

One of the progressive-liberal mantras is “down with the patriarchy,” but the reality is that the new “woke” ideology wants to shape a world with no women

Anna Mahjar-Barducci
Anna Mahjar-Barducci
Anna Mahjar Barducci is a researcher and author. She lives in Jerusalem.
Rachael Levine, a biological man, was declared ‘Woman of the Year’ by influential newspaper USA Today. Photo: Jarrad Henderson-USA TODAY, Sipa USA, AAP

Recently, USA Today named US Assistant Secretary for Health Rachel Levine, a biological man, “Woman of the Year.”

For years, governments and NGOs in the West promoted campaigns and programs for women’s empowerment, but woke propagandists are now changing the trend. They would rather a man be “Woman of the Year,” thereby denying women the opportunity to earn this title. After all, Levine has not done anything to deserve such a prize – if he were really a woman, simply being Assistant Secretary for Health would not have gotten him noticed by the press at all. He is “Woman of the Year” simply because he declares himself to be a woman. So now, little girls are supposed to look to a man as a role model for female empowerment.

Woke ideology is indeed disempowering women. Another example of this damaging process is swimmer Lia Thomas, a young man who is referred to as ‘she’ or ‘her’ and was allowed to join the women’s swim team at the University of Pennsylvania in 2021. Not surprisingly, Thomas competed on the 2021-2022 women’s swim team season in a “dominant” fashion. Recently, he even won a first division national championship, coming first in the women’s 500-yard freestyle event (Thomas ranked at 65th best when competing as a male in the same event four years before).

After all, Levine has not done anything to deserve such a prize – if he were really a woman, simply being Assistant Secretary for Health would not have gotten him noticed by the press at all

It’s no surprise that he came first – men outperform women in sport competitions due to factors such as greater muscle mass, significantly higher testosterone levels, and more. Pitting women in a race against a man is an inherently unfair competition. If the trend continues, girls will be deprived of becoming athletes and women’s sports will be – ironically – dominated by men. It’s also worth noting that conversely, women who identify as trans men and who would like to join a men’s team have no physical advantage – and once again would be outperformed by male athletes. Women are gradually being “cancelled.”

‘Mothering Against Motherhood’

We have reached a point where our own legislators and academia no longer can (or want to) answer the simple question: “What is a woman?” If they were to answer, they would have to admit that there is a biological nature that cannot be ignored, and that womanhood is interconnected with motherhood. Indeed, the woke fixation on canceling women seems directed exactly against motherhood, and thus against the nuclear family. If proponents of woke ideology cancel womanhood, then they can cancel motherhood as the fruit of a marriage between a man and woman, and consequently, they destroy the family. American feminist Adrianne Rich summarised the concept with the slogan “Mothering against motherhood.” In her book Of Woman Born: Motherhood as Experience and Institution, Rich explains that motherhood is a “patriarchal institution” that “degraded female potentialities.”

In her book ‘Of Woman Born: Motherhood as Experience and Institution’, Rich explains that motherhood is a “patriarchal institution” that “degraded female potentialities.”

Following on Rich’s ideas, Andrea O’Reilly, an author and a professor at the School of Women’s Studies at York University in Toronto, stated that motherhood is a social construct and part of an oppressive “ideology.” She wrote: “Motherhood is… primarily not a natural or biological function: rather, it is specifically and fundamentally a cultural practice that is continuously redesigned in response to changing economic and societal factors. As a cultural construction, its meaning varies with time and place; there is no essential or universal experience of motherhood. Patriarchal motherhood… is neither natural nor inevitable. And since the patriarchal institution is socially constructed, it can be challenged and changed.” She then further elaborated on Rich’s theories: “Mothering, in its current ideological manifestation, regards maternity as natural to women and essential to their beings conveyed in the belief that women are naturally mothers… For Rich, and more recent theorists, this discourse becomes oppressive to mothers not because children have these needs [i.e. requiring spending time with them and energy] but because, we, as a culture, dictate that only the biological mother is capable of fulfilling them… The modern ideology of motherhood makes mothering oppressive to women because they require the denial of the mother’s own selfhood.” O’Reilly’s alternative to motherhood would be “feminist mothering,” but when she tries to define what “feminist mothering” is, she confusingly states that it is “determined more by what it is not (i.e., patriarchal motherhood) rather than by what it is.”

For proponents of woke ideology, “selfhood” should have a priority over motherhood, which itself should be deconstructed. To them, motherhood should not even be the fruit of a marriage between a man and a woman, since the traditional family is considered to be the center from which patriarchal oppression arises. Ironically, in order to destroy the patriarchy, there is a need to cancel womanhood and motherhood, which is the pillar of the traditional family’s formation.

University of Pennsylvania transgender athlete Lia Thomas holds her trophy after finishing tied for fifth in the 200 freestyle finals at the US NCAA Swimming and Diving Championships on 18 March 2022. Photo: AP, John Bazemore

‘Destroying the Traditional Family’

How can womanhood, motherhood, and family be canceled? By simply declaring that men can also be women (everything is a social construct). Woke ideology pushes for a society with no sexes, just genders that can be changed in accordance with one’s mood and wishes. This means that the term “woman” is going to no longer be easy to be defined. It is a subjective matter. Women are pushed to deny their own nature and rebel against motherhood. Woke supporters want to deny – as Pontiff John Paul II wrote in the apostolic letter Mulieris Dignitatem – that the “mother’s [i.e., a biological woman’s] contribution is decisive in laying the foundation for a new human personality.”

The traditional family will be canceled, as it is an institution where a man and a woman play defined roles (e.g., mother and father), and will be replaced by polymorphous relations among genders. Spanish intellectual Benigno Blanco, who has been the head of the Family Forum (Foro de la Familia), explained: “Private and family life becomes politicized and becomes the center of the strategy politics of the new ideology. Why can’t there be a marriage as an institution specific to the union between man and woman? Because there is no man and no woman.” Marriage should be substituted by the union of any two or more adults of any gender.

Paula Olearnik of Poland embraces then-Pope John Paul II during a celebration with young people in St Peter’s Square at the Vatican in 2004. Fascinated by what it means for man and woman to be created equal in the likeness of God, John Paul II wrote that a biological mother’s contribution is decisive in laying the foundation of a new human personality. To trans activists that’s heresy. Photo: CNS, Giancarlo Giuliani, Catholic Press Photo

According to feminist author Sophie Lewis, “to abolish the family is not to destroy relationships of care and nurturance, but on the contrary, to expand and proliferate them.” As a result of this “expansion,” natural kinship is also degraded, as the natural family is part of the construct of the traditional family and therefore of patriarchy. Surrogacy is instead elevated, as it breaks the natural bond between a mother and a baby in the womb. Lewis wrote: “We are the makers of one another. And we could learn collectively to act like it. It is those truths that I wish to call real surrogacy, full surrogacy.” She then added: “Normative parenting, or normative kinship … makes bodies not only (or not even primarily) through procreation, but also through the process of gendering them male or female. This last is one of, if not perhaps the, most challenging aspect(s) of the horizon of queer parenting: the defeat of kinship as ‘a regulated system for making people look like they were born into an anatomical sex.”

A New Yorker holds a transgender flag. In 2021 the Biden administration appealed a ruling protecting medical personnel from having to carry out gender-transition procedures against their conscience and professional medical judgement. Photo: CNS, Brendan McDermid, Reuters


According to Helen Hester, author of Xenofeminism (“a gender abolitionist, anti-naturalist, technomaterialist form of posthumanism, initiated by the working group Laboria Cuboniks”), technology is helpful in overcoming human boundaries and disbanding the traditional family. In her book, Hester cites radical feminist Shulamith Firestone, who defines pregnancy as a “temporary deformation of the body” and suggests that ectogenesis (the development of an embryo in an artificial environment) would be “an unprecedented opportunity” for ending “the oppression of the impregnatable” and freeing them “from the tyranny of reproduction.” Hester recognises the “troubling aspects [of Firestone’s] treatment of this issue,” but she nevertheless shares the belief that pregnancy could be technologically mutated. Moreover, she explains that the liberation of the body requires liberation from the body, suggesting even that the Del-Em menstrual extraction device (devised by American feminists in the 1970s) is a “hopeful example of what a xenofeminist technology might look like.”

After “liberating” the woman from womanhood and motherhood, and after the abolition of the traditional family and the “binary gender system,” the next step is posthumanism. As explained by American scholar Donna J. Haraway in her 1985 essay A Cyborg Manifesto, “the cyborg,” defined as a creature in “a post-gender world,” “has no truck with bisexuality, pre-oedipal symbiosis, unalienated labor, or other seductions to organic wholeness through a final appropriation of all the powers of the parts into a higher unity.”

In her manifesto, Haraway further stated that a “cyborg world” is the one in which people are not afraid of their joint kinship with machines. The cyborg is a hybrid between a machine and organism that overcomes the dichotomies between human and mechanical, nature and culture, male and female, normal and alien, psyche and matter.

After “liberating” the woman from womanhood and motherhood, and after the abolition of the traditional family and the “binary gender system,” the next step is posthumanism

A belligerent war

Woke-ism is leading a belligerent war against humanity with the clear intent of radically distorting human nature, while pursuing a self-destructive goal. It is therefore not surprising that the main enemy of this totalitarian ideology are women, who hold the power to give birth to a new life. Progressive liberalism promotes inhumanness and as such wants to empty women’s wombs of life; it is not a coincidence that in the Bible, the Hebrew root for mercy “rahamim” (misericordia, the opposite of inhumanness) is “rehem,” which means “womb.”

It is interesting to note that some of the main supporters of this destructive pathology are women who think that to free women from the “patriarchy” it is not enough to achieve equal rights and opportunities, but it is necessary to abolish the woman-man duality (Karl Marx docet!). This was also the idea of French philosopher Simone De Beauvoir, as she believed that men are the ones who have defined what it means to be a woman, and that men constructed the “woman” category to oppress women and exploit their “reproductive function.” To end this “patriarchal oppression,” it is then necessary to remove the “categories” of man and woman and substitute them with interchangeable genders and affective-sexual orientations that can continuously mutate. However, the paradox is that women are now taking hormones to become “men,” and men can now “give birth,” while biological men are replacing women by beating them in sports and becoming role models for women.

If the patriarchy was accused of oppressing women, this new ideology is far worse. Woke-ism is building a man-dominated society, where women cancel themselves and have no place, as we are being brainwashed to believe that a man makes a better woman than a woman does.



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