Type “war on women” into Google and you may be surprised with the results. You’ll likely encounter a “co-ed, feminist hardcore punk band” by that name, an article in Wikipedia about a “slogan in United States politics used to describe certain Republican Party policies and legislation as a wide-scale effort to restrict women’s rights, especially reproductive rights,” and various alarmist opinion pieces from high-profile standard-bearers of the Left, including People for the American Way, The New York Times, and the Huffington Post.
What you won’t find, unless you dig deeply, is any mention of the real war on women. But the carnage is all around us. And the biggest culprits, at least here in the United States, are those who claim most loudly to speak for women and others on an ever-growing list of “oppressed minorities.” These advocates belong to the Sexual Left and the LGBT movement.
The Sexual Revolution, despite its claim to “liberate women,” fired the first shot. While certainly the old, pre-revolution sexual order may have produced its own oppressions and hang-ups about sex, by and large it kept the act largely within marriage, which provided undeniable protections to women and children. In exchange for sex, men, who would otherwise tend toward unbridled sexual libertinism, were forced to provide a stable home and a trustworthy commitment to their marriages and families. In the process, men were “civilized.”
This order, according to author and radio host Dennis Prager, was sourced in a prior sexual insurgency, which he calls “Judaism’s Sexual Revolution,” based on the Hebrew Scriptures and carried forward by Christianity. It sees males and females (despite their obvious differences) as equal image-bearers of God. “This revolution,” Prager writes, “consisted of forcing the sexual genie into the marital bottle. It ensured that sex no longer dominated society, heightened male-female love and sexuality (and thereby almost alone created the possibility of love and eroticism within marriage), and began the arduous task of elevating the status of women.”
Anyone with even a passing knowledge of our moment’s version of Western civilization will concede that we have largely released the sexual genie from the marital bottle. As a result, men have returned to their pre-revolution ways when it comes to sex, and the status of women has begun its stomach-churning slide back to the days of ancient paganism. Prostitution, porn, and other social ills have come roaring back into the open, often cloaked in a new mantle of respectability.
Sociologist Mark Regnerus points to three technological developments that have made sex easier for men to obtain in recent years—thereby putting them at a distinct advantage when negotiating the “price” of sex with increasingly disadvantaged women: contraception, online pornography, and online dating sites. Now, Regnerus says, “Men can see more flesh in five minutes than their great-grandfathers could in a lifetime.” No wonder marriage rates are declining. Many women find themselves competing with far more sexual options for males than their mothers ever dreamed of, and the concept of withholding sex until the relationship is formalized with a ring seems absurd. Yet, without these formalities, we’re left with the stark utilitarianism of the old saying, “Why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free?”
Of course, sex has not been divorced simply from marriage to the detriment of women, but from childbearing itself. The one thing that a woman is designed to do that a man cannot—carry a child in the safe and nurturing environment of her own body until birth—too often is treated these days as a strange outcome to the sexual act, as some kind of disease.
The logical response, to abort and pretend that the child never existed, is seen as the very height of equality, as an inviolable “reproductive right”—when the only thing being reproduced is selfishness. The woman is diminished as a woman, encouraged or pressured to deny her essential femininity—and the humanity of her child—in the name of “social justice.” And surely some of the most tragic victims in this pitiless war on women are the millions of unborn girls (and boys) ripped without mercy from their mothers’ wombs.
As well, the retreat of Judaism’s sexual revolution in the face of this onslaught has left a vacuum filled only too readily by a resurgent homosexuality, which somehow denies the necessity of the male-female “binary.” Prager, surveying the rise of Judaism and Christianity across the broad sweep of history, notes “the direct correlation between the prevalence of male homosexuality and the relegation of women to a low social role. The improvement of the condition of women has only occurred in Western civilization, the civilization least tolerant of homosexuality.”
It was the rise of Christianity, according to sociologist Rodney Stark, that undermined the Roman practice of female infanticide, discouraged childhood marriages of Christian girls, protected wives from the life-threatening effects of abortion, and enjoined chastity on unmarried women and men.
One cannot help but notice the deleterious effects on women from the increasingly militant LGBT movement, which is the offspring of our society’s strident homosexual activism. In the name of “equality,” the proposed “Equality Act” of the Democratic Party-controlled U.S. House of Representatives, would prohibit discrimination based on “gender identity.” According to Abigail Shrier, writing in The Wall Street Journal, “Any biological males who self-identify as females would, under the Equality Act, be legally entitled to enter women’s restrooms, locker rooms and protective facilities such as battered-women’s shelters. This would put women and girls at immediate physical risk.”
Of course, many biological males have already entered these inner sanctums based merely on their declaration or belief that they are women. Others have had their bodies altered in order to gain this access. But the mere claim of a feeling that one is female—even absent any corroborating physical evidence—is enough to get the wheels of social justice turning. What does this feeling have to do with the fact of biological femaleness? How does this trend advance the interests of high school girls suddenly forced to compete against bigger, faster, stronger transgender males?
Consider the recent, stratospheric growth in the numbers of people who claim to be a gender other than their biological sex. According to the Gender Identity Development Service in the United Kingdom, in 2010, a mere 40 female patients were referred for gender treatment. In 2018, the number of such cases grew by 4,400 percent, to an astonishing 1,806. The National Health Service reports that a whopping 72 percent of patients seeking gender treatment were born female.
Similar trends are being reported in the United States as the LGBT train picks up speed. Some brave feminists, used to standing for such quaint notions as equal treatment and equal pay, are expressing concern, even opposition. Kara Dansky says that “on certain issues, such as gender identity, pornography and prostitution, … the left has pretty much sold out women.”
So the next time you hear an activist talk about a supposed “war on women,” don’t be afraid to speak up about the real war on women.
Stan Guthrie is a life coach and a licensed minister, as well as an editor at large for the Colson Center for Christian Worldview. Stan is the author of the forthcoming book Victorious: Corrie ten Boom and The Hiding Place.
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