Progressives! Don't Let The Right Divide And Conquer.
The progressive Alliance which has achieved so much is under constant attack from the regressive forces of the right. The gains that have been made in reproductive rights and in the defense of minorities are under constant attack from those who would turn back the clock.
What has frustrated such attempts for so long has been the unity which progressives have displayed when confronted with bigotry. An attack on one of us has been an attack on all of us. However our enemies are forever searching for a wedge issue which might allow them to divide and conquer.
Hence their delight at the difficulties which have emerged in the LBGT community in relation to transgender sportswomen who wish to compete as women. Many women have complained that the participation of trans-women in women´s sport is unfair as they have more developed physiques. Fox News anchor Tucker Carlson was overjoyed to have the opportunity to interview lesbian activist Julia Beck who is one of those objecting to the current situation.
Beck told Carlson “In many states, men can legally identify themselves as female and gain access to women’s single sex spaces, and sports is just one institution where men are taking titles, scholarships, and this is a problem. Many women like myself have been pushed out of spaces that we built, spaces that are intended to include us simply because we acknowledge biological reality.”
While there may be genuine cause for concern among women, it must be remembered that the coalition which we have built as progressives is precious and when we show division we give encouragement to those who would destroy it. We allow them to nefariously argue that in fact the progressive alliance is no more than an alliance of self-interest, a marriage of convenience doomed to collapse under its own inherent contradictions. As the right-wing sharks circle scenting blood in the water we must look beyond our own personal priorities and see that the project is more important than any individual. So instead of soul searching about internal disagreements we must turn our focus once again outwards and towards the real enemy. We must engage with the still many injustices which exist for women and indeed the transgender community.
In the realm of sports we should be intensely focused on the outrageous pay gap which exists between sportsmen and women. To take but one example, male soccer stars routinely earn multi-million dollar salaries while none of their female equivalents come close to earning even one million dollars and the majority earn a pittance in comparison. This discrepancy is the legacy of centuries. of patriarchal oppression which made sports the sole preserve of men. The only way to right these wrongs is to insist on both equal pay and equal television coverage for women´s sport. This is an example of an issue that everyone in the progressive alliance can get behind and it directs our anger and our energy in a positive direction. The greatest danger is that we forget who our enemy is and allow that same enemy to sow the seeds of division amongst us.
What do you think? Leave a comment below.