In November 1942 one of Boston’s most popular nightspots, The Cocoanut Grove, caught fire while hosting upwards of a thousand people. To this day, The Cocoanut Grove fire is the deadliest nightclub fire in history with 492 people killed. Part of the reason for the high fatality rate was the lack of adequate fire exits. The main door from the street was a single revolving door. As panicked patrons fled the fire, the door became a deathtrap. Rushed by hundreds of people, it soon was jammed with a mass of bodies and stopped working. Firefighters had to dismantle the door to gain access. As a result of this fire, building codes were later changed to require that outward opening standard doors always flank revolving doors.
Many in our culture today are as afraid of reality as the Cocoanut Grove patrons were of the flames that night. They are looking for any exit they can find to prevent them having to deal with life as it really is. However, the revolving door to relativism is beginning to slow. The consequences of pretending things are other than they are are starting to stack up and jam the works.
Nowhere is this truer than in issues of gender and sexuality, especially in the increasingly bizarre world of the “transgendered.” We’re told with a straight face that some biologically male people are really female and vice versa (as an aside, don’t you love how progressives tout science in support of their ideology, except when science is inconvenient?). At first it was just that some men are really women and must “transition” to their true gender. Now we’ve moved on to the bizarro world of more than just two genders and gender being “fluid” and changing over time. So, you might be a man today and a woman tomorrow and then a man again next week, followed by some third gender the week after. When feelings trump biology there’s no end to the iterations of being that must be accommodated.
The trouble is, this nonsense is not sustainable. It soon begins to jam up the works of society proving an inconvenience even to its supporters. What, for example, do you do if you’re a left-wing feminist all women’s university and a man wants to join your ranks claiming, despite his XY chromosomes, he’s really a woman? Or how about when the same fellow wants to join the monthly meeting of the Down With the Patriarchy Club that is usually a male member free zone? It’s enough to give the president of the Gloria Steinem Fan Club a headache.
The most recent lunacy comes courtesy of the abortion lobby – no strangers themselves to pretending things are not what they really are. Worried about being exclusionary (you know, the unforgivable sin), activist Lauren Rankin thinks the abortion industry should stop promoting abortion using slogans like “the War on Women” or “Stand with Texas Women” because they exclude the men who have abortions. Wait, what? Yes, you read that right. In the bizarro world of transsexuality, men can have abortions because, of course, when a woman says she’s a man, she is one, despite the ovaries and womb that have made possible the baby growing in her body that she now wants to murder. A baby presumably conceived when she had sex with someone whose body was able to produce sperm but who may or may not have been male. This is so bizarre that columnist Katha Pollitt, despite being both pro-abortion and pro-transgender inclusion, wrote a piece arguing against Rankin’s thesis. What’s interesting is that Pollitt almost could not bring herself to write something making the obvious point that only women have abortions. Because she has been so indoctrinated by the feelings equal reality crowd, she was worried she’d “hurt and disappoint” people by sharing the bleedin’ obvious with them:
That is why I’ve started this column many times over many months and put it aside. I tell myself I might be wrong—it’s happened before.
No, Katha, I’m pretty sure you’re not wrong, only women can have abortions because only women can get pregnant.
What should our reaction to this be? On the one hand, it could cause us to despair even more for our culture. But, on the other hand, it could be a sign of hope. One can only run from reality for so long. I can pretend gravity is merely a social construct while I’m between the tenth floor and the second floor of the building I just threw myself off of but after that it becomes a harder position to maintain. I think we’re in a similar situation with sex and gender. The further from the jumping off point we get the more bizarre the claims get and the more likely they are to be seen for what they are, just so much stuff and nonsense. When even those who are inclined to agree with the left can no longer support the outlandish claims of the gender and sexuality lobby, the size-challenged cisgender female has begun to sing.