Throughout my entire adult life, the cause of “women’s rights” has been in the forefront of politics, law, and social thought. But as of 2021, there are no longer any “women.”
The Department of Health and Human Services now refers to “birthing persons.” Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez refers to “menstruating people.” Last week, The Lancet, once serious medical journal but increasingly politicized to the far left over the last decade, had a cover headline referring to “bodies with vaginas.” The Economist magazine reports that “In Britain the opposition Labour Party is tying itself in very public knots over questions such as whether only women possess cervixes.” And two weeks ago the ACLU—once a venerable civil rights organization—altered a quote from the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, in which the ACLU replaced every instance of “women” with “people.”
And this leads to a prediction a very sound young friend of mine—a recent graduate of a premier law school (showing there is yet hope for the future)—passed along in a note: Whatever the outcome of the Dobbs case at the Supreme Court this term (Dobbs is the case that challenges Roe v. Wade), there is a likelihood that the three liberal justices won’t use the word “woman” in their dissents or concurrences. Stay tuned; this could be an interesting moment.
So if there are no longer any “women,” why do we still need “feminism”? In fact, in our new dispensation isn’t “feminism” itself a bigoted term?