Ed. Note: Chris Seaton challenged me to a debate, following the Boy Scouts of America allowing girls to join and changing its name to Scouts BSA. Was this the end of gender distinction? Were they truly just a social construct? I argued the negative and Chris argues the affirmative:
Third wave intersectional feminism* slew another public monster when it managed to sever the terms “Boy” and “Scouts.” The institution wasn’t necessarily an issue. Rather, it was one more nail to the church door of the third wave feminist thesis** that boys and girls don’t have any fundamental differences. Gender*** is an irrelevant social construct.
If we are to accept this premise, then I submit we take the bold leap and abolish all gender preferential laws. Equality means we take away the regulations designed to benefit or deter a particular gender and level the playing field completely.
Defining a “gender preferential law” is tricky, but for the purposes of this debate let’s use “laws designed to benefit or penalize a specific gender.” Moving forward, this allows us to knock down a few laws that are essentially irrelevant under this new mental framework.
Let’s start with a law that’s been distorted beyond its original intent: Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972. This law was passed to ensure girls and young women in education were given equal opportunities for participation in activities and education. After all, women should get the opportunity to play softball or baseball just as much as men, right?
Well, with our new gender framework we can finally rid ourselves of the relic that is Title IX. If gender is meaningless then this law is redundant and should be stricken from the books.
The same can be said of the regulatory guidelines turning college campuses on their heads. The “Dear Colleague” Title IX tribunals were, at face value, created to give young women the chance to speak out in cases of sexual assault and be heard in an easier fashion than if they had to go through the actual legal system.**** Since we’ve reduced gender to a simple social construct, no one should have an issue jettisoning the “Dear Colleague” guidelines.
Some reading this by now are probably dismissing my arguments as presenting outlandish cases to make my point. Let’s take a moment and scale things to a more palatable level.
There is a classification of business called “woman-owned” for a reason: it’s easier to secure contracts if you’re listed as one. Now that we’ve reduced gender to nothing, there’s no reason for the Small Business Administration to keep providing these benefits to businesses that are 51% or more owned by women. Strike these certifications from the books and allow all businesses to compete on their merits.
At the heart of the issue is the desire for equality of opportunity and equality of outcome. If that means allowing girls and women leaders into Scout packs and troops, it also means shedding the legal benefits favoring a person based on gender. If one truly believes gender is a social construct, then that person should have no issues striking from the books every gender preferential law.
If you begin to sputter counter-arguments about “privilege” and “toxic masculinity,” then your original thesis on gender is invalid. If gender means nothing, then there is no male privilege or toxic masculinity. Allowing exceptions based on intersectional talking points doesn’t just defeat the entire gender thesis, it’s blatantly hypocritical.
Worse yet, if you choose to make the argument that women deserve these legal benefits because of their lack of privilege or oppression in society, you argue against a cornerstone of feminism itself: men and women are equal. Treating one gender as deserving of special treatment because the patriarchy harmed them for generations means you belittle the personal agency of people identifying as that gender. You’re calling them helpless.
These statements may seem as though they fall into the category of reductio ad absurdum, but this is where our modern society finds ourselves. Academia has clashed long enough with basic science and biology to the point where we must consider the absurd as factual. I can run my hand down my throat and feel the Adam’s Apple. A biological female cannot do the same thing. Yet we are told by our “betters” in their ivory towers that even making such a statement renders you a sexist bigot.
So let’s test the mettle of academia in the real world. If those preaching the dogma of third wave intersectional feminism truly believe what they say, they should have no problems ending all gender preferential laws. Not one blue haired gender studies major gets to screech from this point forward about lack of equal treatment from zir cisgendered peers.
We’re all the same, living in harmony, so let’s get to work in the trenches of law and strike as many of these redundant laws from the books as possible.
*The school of feminism that believes women are oppressed yet powerful, that hierarchies of “privilege” exist, and that all oppressed groups much come together to smash the “patriarchy.”
**Given the dogmatic approach of some feminists, a Martin Luther reference was appropriate.
***For the purposes of this argument, “gender” and “sex” mean the same thing.
***This footnote shouldn’t be needed, but in today’s society: no, I am not condoning rape or sexual assault. This is called a debate for a reason.