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Collusion in blatant misogyny

Big corporations fund the transgender push to erase women

Dylan Mulvaney at the Rainbow Room in New York City on March 13 Getty Images/Photo by Roy Rochlin

Collusion in blatant misogyny

The last week has made obvious to all but the most willfully blind the depth and power of the culture industry’s commitment to normalizing transgenderism.

From the odd way in which media reports both downplayed the trans identity of the killer in the Nashville school shooting while playing up the danger of a backlash against those claiming trans identities. Then Budweiser announced that it was appointing “trans influencer” Dylan Mulvaney as a spokesman for Bud Lite and (most bizarrely, though the bar for “most bizarre” is set very, very high these days) Nike announced that he would also do the same for its range of sports bras. And then there is the ongoing trans opposition to the passage of legislation in various states to stop minors confused about their gender identity from receiving hormonal and surgical treatment. This opposition is armed with an arsenal of aesthetically persuasive rhetoric, from talk about the denial of gender-affirming care to demands that legislators follow the science.

The culture industry, from those who make beer to those who report the news to those who sell us the “science,” is requiring us all to believe the transgender nonsense or to keep quiet.

The “trans science” rhetoric is as interesting as it is ideological. To refer to the chemical and surgical attempts to gerrymander human bodies of one sex into those of the other as ‘affirming’ clearly indicates the assumption that inner feelings—often the inner feelings of children going through puberty, a typically confusing time anyway—are far more important for human identity than bodies. In short, we might say that the term assumes the unquestionable and altruistic truth of the least plausible and most contentious branch of critical theory, that dealing with gender.

The gatekeepers of what is and is not scientific “fact”—the medical establishment and the pharmaceutical industry—are making rather a lot of money out of the trans moment.

That so many of those using the rhetoric of affirmation and love have likely never read any gender theory, let alone taken time to reflect upon its presuppositions about embodiment and identity, would be laughable if it were not permanently damaging so many lives. And when claims about following the science enter the picture, the obvious problem is that science, strictly speaking, has no position on gender ideology.

Whether one favors a person’s physical biology or inner psychological conviction in diagnosing and treating gender dysphoria does not rest upon strictly scientific premises. That’s a philosophical decision based upon a prior understanding of selfhood and embodiment. If science does tilt one way or the other on this, it would surely favor the physical, given that, even after transition, a female body needs different medical treatment to that of a male, however many hormones have been ingested and however strong the person’s self-identification as a man might be.

Of course, the gatekeepers of what is and is not scientific “fact”—the medical establishment and the pharmaceutical industry—are making rather a lot of money out of the trans moment. Scientific knowledge is scarcely disinterested and rarely has it been more obviously driven by profit than at this moment in time. Ironically, those who truly want to help confused kids are the ones decried as haters. But their ‘hate’ is not making them the big money that the medics and the drug manufacturers are enjoying.

And that brings us to Budweiser, Nike, and Mulvaney. In a sense, this scenario reveals the real wickedness of the trans movement. Yes, it is certainly ruining many individual lives. Each one is an entirely avoidable tragedy. But it is also deeply misogynistic in that its assault on the sexual asymmetry of men and women is an assault on every woman. That a man is now the public face of sports bras is not simply ridiculous. It is part of a concerted cultural erasure of women as a whole.

Feminists, from J. K. Rowling to Kathleen Stock, have pointed this out, at great cost to their reputations and even at some personal risk to themselves. That the big corporations are colluding in this misogyny is disgusting. Part of me wants to boycott Nike sports bras as a result. But, being a man, I don’t need to wear them—though, come to think of it, neither should their spokesman, Dylan Mulvaney.

Carl R. Trueman

Carl R. Trueman taught on the faculties of the Universities of Nottingham and Aberdeen before moving to the United States in 2001 to teach at Westminster Theological Seminary in Pennsylvania. In 2017-18 he was the William E. Simon Visiting Fellow in Religion and Public Life in the James Madison Program at Princeton University.  Since 2018, he has served as a professor at Grove City College. He is also a fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center and a contributing editor at First Things. Trueman’s latest book is the bestselling The Rise and Triumph of the Modern Self. He is married with two adult children and is ordained in the Orthodox Presbyterian Church.

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