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Column: Revenge of the Patriarchy


By Sean Hyland

Sometimes it seems that we are so far down the rabbit hole that it’s hard to take the news seriously in all its absurdity anymore. It’s something like watching a Monty Python sketch of an I Love Lucy episode dubbed in German. It’s hard to make sense of. And since the conventional narrative makes not a lick of sense, one may as well go all out and let the imagination roam unfettered. 

Take the case of Lia (previously Will)Thomas, the transgender UPenn swimmer who has recently been all over the news for dominating competitions. [i] Thomas was a middling swimmer competing as a man, ranking #462 as a male, but has rocketed to #1 competing as a female. Anyone with eyes can see that Thomas is built and muscled like a man, even if testosterone suppressants have caused some relative loss of muscle tone. Thomas still clearly possesses all the male bits and pieces, and is reportedly still sexually attracted to women. Nonetheless, Thomas gets to use the girls’ locker room with all the ladies. Several teammates have professed to be a bit dissatisfied with the arrangement and have protested. [ii][iii] However, in this enlightened age we know that the only un-bigoted course is to invite peeping toms into the girls’ locker permanently.

One is tempted to get the teeniest little bit suspicious that Thomas’s newfound womanhood might be ever so slightly motivated by the copious winning, winning, and more winning as well as getting to hang out in the girls’ locker room. It’s not as though other hyper-competive athletes have not gone to equally self-destructive and devious lengths in the pursuit of winning at any cost. It would seem that some judicious skepticism would be in order. To be fair, I can’t dismiss the  possibility that Thomas may indeed be a confused soul acting in earnest, but that is still no reason whatsoever to subject everyone else to what is clearly a fundamentally unfair situation. 

The entire tableau is rather farcical. Women are really supposed to stand up and cheer for an ex-bro crammed into a women’s swimsuit while he dominates the competition? How liberating. However, since the conventional narrative is so strange it’s hard but to let one’s mind wander to other outlandish theories.

Perhaps the whole affair is actually a carefully orchestrated counter-offensive by the patriarchy, whose omnipotent machinations are, as we know, everywhere. The secret International Congress of Heavily Bearded Patriarchs, having grown tired of women getting uppity from having their own sports competitions and Title IX, could have planned a bold and desperate move to destroy women’s sports from the inside and with the support of women! High in the mountain fastness of their Himalayan fortress, the Ancient Bearded Ones formulated the double pronged strategy with which the Patriarchal counter-offensive could be deployed with devastating effect: promotion of the idea that physical sex differences have no empirical meaning, while covertly training an elite team of super-men “identifying” as females. Within 10 years, winning women’s stats will be so inflated that no biological women will bother competing and will retreat to a life of making their husbands sandwiches and bringing them beers. Stats in women’s sports will eventually reach parity with men’s stats, representing the ultimate victory for gender equality… or so people will believe. All the while, the only competitors in both men’s and women’s categories will be biological males, making even women’s sports in reality men’s sports. A more devious and subtle plan could scarcely be devised!

Any future women who dare protest can be easily silenced by accusations of trans-phobia, along with a gentle admonition that if a woman’s true gender identity includes growing a huge beard, having a male body and taking steroids to get jacked then who are we to judge?  Remember, jacked women with beards are just as authentic as any other woman and we accept that today, unlike the dark bigoted days of the 2020’s when trans-women were shamefully forced to take testosterone suppressants. Just repeat the sacred incantation, “Trans-women are women”, until all wrong-think and heretical inclination dissipates.

Perhaps I’ve gotten a bit carried away with my wild conjecture. However, I’m not sure that my flight of fancy is fundamentally any more absurd than the current zeitgeist. I’m quite sure that if one had told the rank and file of the Left ten years ago that the cause celebre of today would be defending the rights of male bodied trans-women to physically dominate biological women the reaction would have been one of shocked incomprehension. Yet, that is the absurd state of identity politics today.

 An absurd state yes, but one motivated for many by a misdirected sense of compassion. We should always have compassion for lost or confused souls, but this hardly means that we should reorganize society or jettison basic biology to accommodate the delusions of a few and their dogmatic enablers. When faced with situations so profoundly farcical, it’s hard to even take it seriously anymore. One feels that we are all the butt of some society wide joke, but not everyone gets the humor.

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