Bathroom Alliance

Those who pine for former President Barack Obama because he brought people together have been given an example they probably won’t like.

In typical sledgehammer fashion, the Obama administration its last year in office, 2016, told public schools they must allow transgenders to use any bathroom of their choice.  If not followed, the Democratic administration stated they would withdraw federal funding from the alleged homophobic/transgenderphobic school.

This action garnered praise from the transgender community as a civil rights victory for them.

Mara Keisling, executive director of the National Center for Transgender Equality, said of Obama, “He has been the best president for transgender rights, and nobody else is in second place.”

But what garnered praise from one group has brought together two groups ordinarily at loggerheads.

In an example of the “enemy of my enemy is my friend,” Christian conservatives and radical feminists have found common ground over Obama’s politicization of bathrooms.

The Family Policy Alliance, the public policy partner of Focus on the Family, a Christian conservative organization, has joined forces with the Women’s Liberation Front, an organization of radical feminists, to fight Obama’s transgender order.

Kara Dansky, the chair of “WoLF’s” board of directors, told Fox News host Tucker Carlson that Obama’s bathroom mandate was discriminatory toward women.

By giving men who identify as women the same bathroom choices as women, Obama was violating Title IX, a federal civil rights law hard fought for by feminists that prohibits sex discrimination in education, according to Dansky.

Which One?

“We think that ‘women and girls’ are a meaningful category worthy of civil rights protection,” she told Carlson.  “If we define sex, under Title IX, to mean gender identity, what we’re essentially saying is that ‘women and girls’ can mean anyone who self-identifies as ‘women and girls,’ which makes that category ‘women and girls’ meaningless.”

Dansky’s position has caused her to receive some politically-correct hate.

“We’re called transphobic bigots because we ask questions about gender identity,” Dansky said. “We’re asking questions and we’re standing up for women and girls. And that seems to be not permitted.”

But, in a case of bizarro world overlap, Christian conservatives share the same view that girls are girls and transgenders are not, and are teaming up with feminists based on that allegedly fixed fact.

In an April 2016 op-ed by the president and founder of the right-wing group, the Ruth Institute, “Jennifer Roback Morse found agreement with “a radical lesbian feminist” author.  Citing Sheila Jeffrey’s Gender Hurts, Morse said she found common ground with the author, who asserted that the famously transgendered Bruce Jenner could not lay claim to being a girl.

“I absolutely agree with Jeffreys,” Morse wrote.  “Bruce Jenner was never a little girl.  I don’t care what kind of fantasy life he has.  I was once a little girl. So was Jeffreys.  Jenner never was.”

The Christian conservative group Focus on the Family seconds the interpretation that there are fixed sexual identities, and switching from one to the other or both does not change that.  What Danksy defends as a women’s rights issue trampled upon by Obama’s transgender-bathroom dictates, Focus sees as a violation of God’s plan.

On their website, they write that transgender identities are “contradictory to foundational Christian doctrine and the Judeo-Christian sexual ethic.”

Although having different motivations, the author on the Focus website comes to the same conclusion as the feminist Dansky when he-or she–writes, “Gender matters.”

And it matters for both Christian conservatives and feminists on the issue of privacy and safety for girls in bathrooms.

For Dansky, her side of the political spectrum has compelled her to seek alliances with the Christian right.

She said, “the Left has pretty much sold out women” on “certain issues, such as gender identity.”

Both Focus and Lansky’s organization have submitted an amicus brief to the Supreme Court to fight Obama’s transgender mandate.

Against those on her side who might protest such an alliance with a group known for abortion-rights, Autumn Leva, director of Policy for Family Alliance, defends the alliance with feminists.

“How wrong does something need to be for a Christian family group and a radical feminist group to take their argument together to the Supreme Court?” Leva said. “(This is a) privacy and safety matter and we’re asking the high court to acknowledge that.”

This is not the first time radical feminists have teamed up with the Christian right.  In the 198os, anti-porn conservatives like Edwin Meese, Attorney General in the Reagan administration, teamed up with anti-porn feminists Catherine McKinnon (who infamously said that consensual sex between a man and women was a form of a rape on the part of the male) and Andrea Dworkin to pass laws censoring sexual speech to protect women.  During President George W. Bush’s administration, fundamentalist Christians and anti-prostitution feminists teamed up in an effort to use sex trafficking laws to prosecute “sex workers.”

But both of these efforts had the backing of a Republican White House.

Now, however, a liberal President has inadvertently brought a group of Americans together.

Leva makes the point best when she said it is a measure of how wrong Obama’s transgender mandate is that those who champion abortion rights on one side and those who attack them on the other can find common ground.

And the existence of this alliance doesn’t bode well for healing the fissures in a broken Democratic Party.

Political correctness is now trampling on feminism.  The Democratic Party is having to pick and choose which special interest group takes precedence over the other.

And their president has in the process helped build a constituency between liberals and conservatives that may cause new headaches for an already-fractured Democratic Party.
Like so much else, Obama may have left a mess for not only the country but his own party to clean up.