March 4 2017
Ashley McGuire, author of Sex Scandal: The Drive to Abolish Male and Female, sat down to talk to National Review's Kathryn Jean Lopez recently, and the result is something that you will want every young woman (and young man) you know to read.
It's also a provocative read for the rest of us. For example, Ashley asserts that the post-male-and-female ethos reigning on many American campuses right now, is actually more detrimental to women than to men:
Women have the most to lose in a world that denies sexual difference, or that denies sex as a category outright. For starters, women cannot make claims on the basis of their sex, such as workplace discrimination, if sex is not a legitimate category to begin with. This is where you will see radical feminists lining up alongside social conservatives in expressing concern about the gender-identity movement. But as I argue in my book, when we talk about a “gender neutral” society and make such a society our cultural ideal, we wind up defaulting to a world where the male stereotype becomes the baseline for measuring equality and rights.
For example, women are only equal with men in the military if they can serve in combat roles, which assumes that macho strength is what makes a good solider. Women are not equal with men unless they can eradicate their fertility through contraception and abortion, which assumes the womb-less male body as the paradigm. We even have a pill now, female Viagra, to help women perform sexually more like a man. Rather than force society to recognize and adjust to what makes women unique, we just tip the needle more in the male direction.
Ashley also explains why Fifty Shades of Gray really bugged her:
I think the popularity of Fifty Shades — and especially the fact that two of its movie adaptations were released on Valentine’s Day weekend — really sums up what happens to romance in a “sex-blind” society. We wind up with the basest stereotype of male sexuality exalted as romantic, even when that sexuality is forced on women. Romance and chivalry (and even consent) start to disappear quickly in a world that tells men and women that women should be treated exactly like men. Sex, as we see in Fifty Shades, starts to take on an aggressive and even violent theme. It’s the exact opposite of what women are looking for in a relationship.
Ashley also discusses developments that make Fellini's Satyricon look tame by comparison--such as why a midwife's association insists that women must be referred to as "birthing individuals." But, most intriguingly, she explains why the sexual landscape is so weird that radical feminists and social conservatives may be finding some common ground.
I urge you to read the interview in its entirety.