Thursday, September 3, 2015

My Girl

“Even the word ‘woman’ has come under assault by some of the very people who claim the right to be considered women,” wrote the journalist and filmmaker Elinor Burkett, in a recent Times Op-Ed piece ("What Makes a Woman,” NYT, 6/6/15). According to Ms. Burkett there is an acronym used by those who take offense at the supposedly exclusionary politics of some feminists. Ms. Burkett describes a “new trans insult, a terf, which stands for ‘transexclusionary radical feminist.’” The politicization of sexuality is producing infighting that’s fracturing one time alliances in much the same way that you find infighting amongst revolutionaries who were once unified by their opposition to a common enemy. Now it’s not merely male dominated society or fundamentalists who believe that marriage is a sacred bond between a man and a woman, or pro-lifers who are the enemy. Now the enemy is language itself. Ms. Burkett reports that a performance of Eve Ensler’s The Vagina Monologues was cancelled at Mount Holyoke and quotes a leader of the student opposition as explaining that the play “offered an ‘extremely narrow perspective on what it means to be a woman.’” The semantic consequences are delightful and amusing and someone should undertake a parody of a politically correct version of My Fair Lady, to demonstrate the reach of Big Transgender Brother. What would the new play be called?  Perhaps there could even be a contest. My Fair Person Who Might Have Been Born in a Man’s or Woman’s Body, My Fair Sensibility of a Woman, My Fair Lady (including Wannabees).The  possibilities are endless, but one thing is sure “The rain in Spain stays mainly in the plain,” or to quote Gary Puckett and the Union Gap, “Woman, have you got cheating on your mind?” And be careful in our current world of Newspeak not to get caught listening to the Temptations classic, “My Girl.”

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