Women Lose When We Submit to Multicultural or Gender Intersectionality
Educators are as terrified of the wrath of the gender censors as of the Islamophobia activists.
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Nobody ever heard of Trafalgar High School in the Toronto-adjacent town of Oakville, Ontario, until a video featuring one of its staff, Kayla Lemieux, an allegedly trans-identifying male industrial arts instructor, achieved international attention. In the video, Lemieux, is seen outfitted in gigantic prosthetic breasts, complete with proportionately huge protruding nipples, positioned alarmingly close to a chop saw.
The Halton District School Board (HDSB) chose to respond to viral media ridicule and robust local protest by “standing behind” Lemieux. Their goal, according to a HDSB spokesperson, was to “make sure she is protected,” and “ensure that everybody remains safe.”
Schools have dress codes for a number of reasons, including decency. Decency can’t always be precisely defined, but there was a time when its inverse—indecency—needed no definition, because it was instantly recognizable. The HDSB code states, “Dress codes must be presented in a manner that does not reinforce stereotypes.” Some women do in fact have very large breasts. But these prosthetic “breasts” were of a grotesque size never seen in nature.
Lemieux’s get-up is not “dress”; it is a clown costume, conceived to evoke mocking laughter at female-ness. The reverse never happens. It is impossible to imagine a male-identifying woman teacher prancing through the halls sporting a huge prosthetic dick. It is the kind of stunt only a male fetishist could dream up. To be fair, Lemieux may not be a fetishist. It’s possible that Lemieux is in reality a clever hoaxster, bent on testing the limits of an “inclusion” policy that appears willing to set decency limits on women, but not on men who identify as women. Perhaps Lemieux’s goal is to expose the insanity at the heart of radical gender theory. Inshallah.
But on its face, this case goes well beyond stereotyping and deeply into misogyny. So it was disconcerting to learn HDSB Chair Margo Shuttleworth had told the Toronto Sun that “the teacher is completely accepted and welcomed into the school community as far as the staff is concerned.”
There are 100 stories a day that illustrate the irrationality around trans rights running rampant in our institutions. This particular story caught my attention as more than the sum of its farcical parts because, to state the obvious, teaching is a female-dominated profession. In Canada, 75 percent of upper secondary school teachers are female. That Ms Shuttleworth could happily report her staff’s complacency regarding Lemieux’s behaviour means one of two things: Either everyone at the HDSB, from the bottom to the top of the pedagogical food chain, truly believes—or can’t be bothered to interrogate—a dogma demanding that an overt and sustained expression of misogyny should be enthusiastically accommodated as long as it is expressed under the banner of “gender identity.” Or: there may be a few, or even many staff members who are deeply offended by the stunt, but consider it necessary to voice their support, understanding how little concern the HDSB will demonstrate for their protection and safety if they don’t.
I am leaning toward the former hypothesis. After all, in early childhood education, a full 99 percent of Canadian teachers and assistants are female. It is in early childhood education where the gender indoctrination begins, and by all accounts, female teachers constitute a huge army of happy foot soldiers for the advancement of radical gender theory, which they imbibed in teacher training programs steeped in left-wing dogmas. (Those few dissenters with the courage to voice their resistance usually suffer for their heterodoxy, shunned by their female colleagues.)
Have feminist leaders denounced these teachers’ and students’ forced compliance with misogyny? No. But feminists failing to stand up for women being treated badly is an old story.
Pivoting from the ridiculous to the tragic in the realm of misogyny, and speaking of symbolic dress codes, Iran is being roiled by protests sparked by the torture-death of a young woman, Mahsa Amini, for her failure to secure her hijab properly. Women there are burning their hijabs and cutting their hair in protest. Will feminists take the cause of Iranian women to heart? If past is prologue, they will not. Before Mahsa Amini, there was Maryam Shafipour. She came to Canada in 2015, having spent two years in the infamous Evian prison for her women’s rights activism. She tried to contact women and human rights activists here, but “Most of them refuse to respond… No action, no statement, no march, no meaningful support.”
Canada’s nadir moment on this file also took place in a school. Entrepreneur Tanya Lee founded a book club in 2017, where teenage girls from various secondary schools could come to discuss books with their female authors. In 2021, the Toronto District School Board (TDSB) withdrew support for an event featuring a Nobel prize-winning memoir by 28-year old Nadia Murad, a Yazidi survivor and daring escapee of her 2014 sex-enslavement by multiple Islamic State terrorists.
Murad is a UN Goodwill Ambassador and advocate for survivors of genocide and sexual violence. There is literally no woman on this planet more deserving of respect for her response to trauma, and more worthy of iconic status as a role model for female resilience. The reason for the cancellation given by the board was that Murad’s book could “promote Islamophobia” and “offend” Muslim students. #MeToo feminists willing to go to bat for Murad were nowhere to be found in the TDSB.
Educators are as terrified of the wrath of the Islamophobia activists as of the gender censors. In both cases, it is other women who lose by women’s submission to their edicts.
But women do more than submit. Guided by their allegedly feminist gurus, they aid and abet male-bodied misogynists that vilify lesbians who defend their biology-based sex preferences. They cheer for the male-bodied athletes who are turning sport for many female athletes into a unique form of psychological torture. They are indifferent to the plight of female prisoners, who are forced to share their intimate spaces with male-bodied rapists. And they pretend to believe that oppression of women in patriarchal societies is somehow none of their business because “it’s their culture,” or even convince themselves that self-erasure under a veil is “true feminism.”
The prosthetic-boobs story is absurdly lightweight in comparison to women’s oppression in Iran and the horrors of sex slavery in Iraq. But the stories do share a strong common link: feminism’s inhumanity to women degraded by misogyny, as long as the misogyny arises under the dome of multicultural or gender Intersectionality.
Where are those fiery “take back the night” feminists of yesteryear, who fought like tigresses for the sex-based rights of women? It seems that all too many of them got suckered by the radical gender theorists into taking cross-ideology drugs they were told would empower them further. Their nominal muscularity improved as promised, but, having failed to read the small print warning, they became infertile, and their increasingly hollowed-out movement flatlined. R.I.P. feminism.
It seems women seeking support for their sex-based rights will have to make do with the stubbornly sane non-ideologues like those who support Reality’s Last Stand.