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Humanize From Discovery Institute's Center on Human Exceptionalism

The Patriarchy Doesn’t Hate Women but the Trans Movement Does

Feminists still complain about “the Patriarchy,” meaning a man-dominated culture that either consigns women to homemaking or limits their career opportunities. In this view, misogyny still rules the roost. Females make less money for the same jobs, and those with careers are often slighted, if not subjected to outright sexual harassment or hostile work environments.

Let’s get real. While women do indeed still face obstacles to equal participation in society, the country has clearly chosen to embrace full female inclusion in every aspect of life. Indeed, the day when the late Phyllis Schlafly could successfully argue against the Equal Rights Amendment by claiming that women enjoy a “privileged place” in law and society as homemakers and mothers, is long gone.

Not only that, but women are making strides in significant areas of societal influence. Yes, men still are the majority in the learned professions, but not for long. Nearly 40% of the nation’s lawyers are now women, and they will soon be in the majority as 54 percent of current law students are female. Similarly, more than half of medical school students are women. Women are also increasingly being elected to political office, including twenty-seven percent of the current House of Representatives—a record—twenty-five U.S. senators, and the Vice President of the United States. At the state and local level, twelve governors and fifteen mayors of our fifty largest cities are female. These numbers will undoubtedly increase in coming years.

Women are also increasingly influential in the worlds of business, media, popular culture, and the academy. So, while the Patriarchy may not be dead, it is certainly on its death bed. At the very least, “Mad Men” Mad Men – Wikipedia style misogyny is fast becoming as obsolete as the rotary phone.

Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for the cultural juggernaut that is the transgender movement. Gender ideology is energetically striving to cancel womanhood as an identifier. Indeed, not only have gender ideologues erased the word “woman” as a biological reality—to the point that Supreme Court Justice Ketanji Brown refused to define the term during her confirmation hearing—but the Biden administration has de-sexed mothers as “birthing people” in official government documents. Biden Admin Replaces ‘Mothers’ With ‘Birthing People’ in Maternal Health Guidance (

Wait, it gets worse. We are now told irrationally that some men give birth, which denigrates the very concept of motherhood. Idiotic terms such as “chest feeding” for nursing and “bodies with vaginas” are now ubiquitously found in the media, academic papers, medical journals, and official government documents.

Renaming parts of the body that are uniquely female in objectifying ways is becoming common. Perhaps the worst example comes from the politically potent LGBT advocacy organization Human Rights Campaign in its booklet, “Safer Sex for Trans Bodies” Trans_Safer_Sex_Guide_FINAL.pdf ( First, the booklet erases “vagina” as the proper word for a biological woman’s genitals and replaces it with the crude term, “front hole.” The guide engages in even greater surrealism by claiming that real vaginas are those surgically crafted during transition surgery from male to female. Not to be outdone, a cervical cancer charity in the United Kingdom recently renamed vaginas, “bonus holes.” The mind absolutely boggles at the misogynistic crudity.

Even worse, women’s private spaces are no longer sacrosanct—which, ironically, was the very danger against which Schlafly warned all those years ago when she was fighting the ERA. Indeed, it is now a civil right in some states for transwomen with intact male genitals to use female bathrooms, locker rooms, and other intimate spaces where women disrobe.

The award-winning woman swimmer Riley Gains was not only cheated out of a tournament victory by having to swim against the transgendered 6-foot-4-inch transgender swimmer Lia Thomas but was told that she and her teammates had to change clothes in the same locker room with Thomas even though the swimmer retained male genitals. To say the least, this was a traumatic experience. As Rains put it in an interview, “Not even probably a year, two years ago, this would have been considered some form of sexual assault, voyeurism. But now, not even are they just allowing it to happen, it’s almost as if these large organizations are encouraging it to happen.” Riley Gaines calls for separate locker rooms after seeing Lia Thomas’s ‘male genitalia’ (

Women being forced to shower with transgendered individuals with intact male genitalia has also become part of the military experience. A story just broke about an 18-year-old recruit forced to sleep in the same room and shower with two such transgendered individuals. The Department of Defense responded to questions about the incident by noting its intent to treat all soldiers with “dignity and respect.” The natural question arises: What about respecting her dignity? Female recruit considered resigning after being forced to shower with trans women with full male genitalia | Fox News

Women who complain about sharing private spaces with the transgendered are depicted as the villains of the piece. An Illinois teenage girl who said she was “terrified” at being exposed to a naked transgender student with intact male genitals in a locker room was accused of hate speech. An 80-year-old woman from Washington who told a biological male transgendered person to leave a WMCA women’s locker room is no longer welcome at the facility. In Los Angeles, a transgender woman’s male genitals were exposed in a spa hot tub area—including in the presence of young children—and the woman who complained was told if she didn’t like it, she should go elsewhere.

Criticize the Patriarchy as you will, but no male chauvinist pig—not even within Playboy’s leering philosophy—ever insisted that women’s private spaces must be shared with biologically intact males.

Now, even socially liberal feminists are under the gender ideology gun—literally threatened with death—for arguing that babies are born male or female. The most famous example is Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling, who has been castigated widely as a TERF, that is, a “trans-exclusionary radical feminist.” Her thought crime? She Tweeted: “If sex isn’t real, there’s no same-sex attraction. If sex isn’t real, the lived reality of women globally is erased.” What is a TERF? Definition for trans activists includes J.K. Rowling ( For stating this basic truth, Rowling has been kicked to the curb—including by ingrate stars of the Harry Potter movies who would be nowhere but for her conjuring the Wizarding World out of her fertile imagination.

Rowling’s rejoinder to these attacks says it all. “Times Change. Woman-hate is eternal.” Indeed, we have never seen such blatant misogyny—even in the heyday of the Patriarchy—as now being imposed by transgender ideologues.

Wesley J. Smith

Chair and Senior Fellow, Center on Human Exceptionalism
Wesley J. Smith is Chair and Senior Fellow at the Discovery Institute’s Center on Human Exceptionalism. Wesley is a contributor to National Review and is the author of 14 books, in recent years focusing on human dignity, liberty, and equality. Wesley has been recognized as one of America’s premier public intellectuals on bioethics by National Journal and has been honored by the Human Life Foundation as a “Great Defender of Life” for his work against suicide and euthanasia. Wesley’s most recent book is Culture of Death: The Age of “Do Harm” Medicine, a warning about the dangers to patients of the modern bioethics movement.