There is much commotion in America (mostly using a Twitter megaphone) following the Trump Administration’s action to rescind President Obama’s transgender guidance affecting public schools. Essentially, the transgender directives expanded the definition of Title IX allowing students to use whatever bathrooms, dorm rooms, or overnight hotel rooms during field trips they say align with their gender identity.
Despite the spin accusing conservatives of bigotry, women and girls’ safety concerns and male violence are at the center of this debate, not transphobia. But this morning I saw a startling narrative about the transgender directives circulating among unlikely sources: Christian feminists.
Christian feminists or Jesus Feminists—the people who proudly herald “women are people too” when lambasting denominations who do not recognize female ordination—are conveniently ignoring protests raised by women on both sides of the political spectrum.
Here’s just a few of the sentiments Christian feminists are circulating on Twitter:
I’m beginning to wonder if conservatives actually relish the suffering of refugees, Muslims, trans kids, and others. Just don’t get it.
— Rachel Held Evans (@rachelheldevans) February 23, 2017
Being a Christian means protecting the vulnerable; not pushing for laws that make vulnerable children unsafe. #ProtectTransKids
— Jory Micah (@jorymicah) February 23, 2017
What kind of politician fears the poor voting, hurts trans kids, seeks to sell off the earth for its own financial gain? Weak, immoral ones.
— Diana Butler Bass (@dianabutlerbass) February 23, 2017
How heartbreaking to watch Christian feminists churn out the bigotry accusations aimed at conservative Christians with little thoughtfulness and wisdom. Perhaps it’s just easier for Christian feminists to follow along with the popular progressive narrative than to weigh the fears of little girls’ parents, sexual assault victims, and rape survivors. But I guess the broader feminist movement isn’t paying attention to these women either.
Is there even a little internal disagreement among feminists over prioritizing women’s safety versus transgender accommodations? Well, yes. But these feminists are being marginalized, silenced, and left unprotected.
The Heritage Foundation is a strange sanctuary for a lesbian, a self-described “long-term Leftist” and feminist, and rape survivor, but as I previously noted, that is exactly what it became last week during a panel symposium.
“I am in debt to the Heritage Foundation because they’ve offered us something that no organization from the Left did and that is a safe space to speak,” said panelists Miriam Ben-Shalom, a teacher and activist who made history for being the first person reinstated to the military after being discharged from service for being openly lesbian.
During the panel discussion, Ben-Shalom opposed the Obama administration’s transgender directives on the basis of male predators who might commandeer the gender identity defense, not hate of trans people. “I don’t care if a biological man wants to put on a dress,” said Ben-Shalom. “If transwomen were really women, they would understand that the issue is male violence and they would sit down with us and civilly work together to find an acceptable solution to this problem.”
“When gender identity wins, women always lose,” insisted Kaeley Triller Haver, a rape victim and political activist for women’s privacy and safety. “It’s not because anybody up here has any bigotry in their heart, it’s because ‘women’ means something. And for too many of us it means we get silenced, and told to sit down and be quiet, and told that our needs don’t matter and unless we are willing to compromise those [needs] we are unloving.”
Mary Lou Singleton is the self-described Leftists and feminist I mentioned earlier. She is an active member of the Women’s Liberation Front (WOLF) and admitted that defending women’s privacy and safety over the gender identity movement is “forbidden discourse on the Left.” During the panel discussion Singleton shared she was the victim of a boycott and vicious attacks after refusing to use the preferred pronoun of a serial child rapist.
From a Christian standpoint, Jesus Feminists can acknowledge revisionist gender ideology is incompatible with God’s creation, present the redeeming love of Christ, and still denounce hate and bullying against trans kids.
From a feminist standpoint, Jesus Feminists should listen to the very women—whether they be conservative or liberal—they claim to represent and defend. Even better, refuse to kowtow to rash policies that place women and girls at greater risk of male violence.
Please, before commenting, WATCH the entire panel discussion titled “Biology Isn’t Bigotry” hosted by the Heritage Foundation: