Source: Eileen F. Toplansky

In March of 1970, Anne Bernays penned a piece titled “What Are You Supposed to Do if You Like Children?”[1]  Her target was the Women’s Liberation Movement that was ushering in ideas that “men are sexual vampires, [and] marriage is stunting and exploitative.”

In short, Bernays focused on “liberation’s” “paralyzing excesses” because at the root of  Liberation’s determination “to disintegrate the sexes is the disabling anxiety that different means the same thing as inferior.”  But “anybody can see that women are as valuable as men but they are no more the same than ears and eyes.”

Bernays railed against the idea that “[l]iberation insists that women be absolute ‘equals’ with men.”


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Those women who are “willing to acknowledge the remotest emotional obligation to husband and children, especially to children during their fragile first five or six years of life … can’t summon the time, physical energy, and psychic equipment to do two jobs simultaneously.  You can’t split a woman’s life down the middle and expect each half, like a severed worm, to go happily crawling off, to survive and function in perfect health.”

Yet that is exactly what has been demanded of most women as they valiantly try to raise a family and work outside their homes.  Or they simply decide that children are not worth their time or effort, or some other agency is left to the care and development of their children.

The left never ceases to “defeminize women [resulting in] the loss of true sexuality in so many people, both male and female” with “ambivalent feelings about life itself.”

In 1970, Bernays wrote that there was “a real, gentle conspiracy among the administrators of elite women’s colleges to assure their students that they are not merely as good as men but that they are men — female men.”  If they “happened to get married and have children along the way, [they] will be able to deal with any minor problems that arise on this score.”

In essence, as the Women’s Liberation Movement branded the “clinical differences between male and female” as “sinister, malevolent, male chauvinist [and/or] reactionary,” is it any wonder that women have incorporated the idea that motherhood is a pathway to misery and that “when society undergoes its badly needed overhaul, children [need] to be whisked off to communal nurseries where superbly equipped women will look after them while their mothers go out and fulfill themselves”?

Bernays, however, pointed out that a mother’s time with her children “is short [since] they grow up fast, and soon all that’s left of them is a voice, long-distance, on a Sunday afternoon.”

Is it not possible, Bernays asked, that “some women might prefer not to have their children removed after breakfast, that they may enjoy having their kids around, giving them lunch, talking with them, trying to discover the shape of their personalities, presiding over domestic war and peace, taking them to buy shoes, even kissing them?”

Kimberly Ells reminds people that it was Shulamith Firestone in the 1970s  who wrote that it has “become necessary to free humanity from the tyranny of its biology” and “eliminate the sex distinction itself [so that] genital differences between human beings would no longer matter culturally.”  Ultimately, Firestone asserted that the “blood tie of the mother to the child would eventually be severed,” and the “disappearance of motherhood” would follow.

Fast-forward 52 years since Bernays’s essay, and now “transgenderism is setting the stage for the legal marginalization of mothers, fathers, and families by force of law.”

When “women legally disappear, so do mothers because to be a mother is a sex-specific designation.  The family is obscured and weakened.”  This is evident in this headline, where “men can be called mothers, as it’s no longer a gender-specific term.”  In fact, a “transgender man [sic] who gave birth after transitioning from a woman fights to be named the father on the birth certificate.”  In essence, the child will not legally have a mother!

In 2020, Joanna Williams wrote about the corrosive impact of the transgenderism ideology.

The expansion of transgender rights has gone hand in hand with an expansion of state and institutional (both public and private) regulation of speech and behaviour. This highlights a significant difference between today’s transgender activists and the gay rights movement of a previous era. Whereas the gay rights movement was about demanding more freedom from the state for people to determine their sex lives unconstrained by the law, the transgender movement demands the opposite: it calls for recognition and protection from the state in the form of intervention to regulate the behaviour of those outside of the identity group. Whereas in the past, to be radical was to demand greater freedom from the state and institutional authority, today to be radical is to demand restrictions on free expression in the name of preventing offence.

In actuality, the term “liberation” is a misnomer, since “[t]his seemingly benign view has consequences for how we socialize children and organize society.  It calls into question sex-protected rights and freedom of association.  The existence of female-only prisons and refuges or girls’ schools, clubs and sports is thrown into doubt.  Yet far from engaging in a free and open discussion, transgender activists have moved to curtail debate.”

In fact, Joe Biden’s Department of Education may sue schools that do not affirm a student’s transgender identity.  Moreover, “an inmate at Illinois’ largest women’s prison says she was raped by a transgender inmate who was transferred into her housing unit.”  So much for the Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA).  In Canada, officials punished Rob Hoogland because he tried to save his emotionally unstable daughter from self-destruction.

Consequently, in the 52 years since Bernays wrote her piece, the transgender movement has ferociously woven its way into society, thus eliminating the idea of females altogether.  In essence, the “endgame of transgender ideology is to dismantle the family.”  Already there is the marginalization of family relationship words — mother, father, son, daughter, brother, sister, uncle, and so forth.  While there is no outright ban of these words yet, they are now being replaced with gender-neutral language.

What starts out “as a celebration of gender turns out to be an edict for the elimination of the sex distinction itself, which, in turn, erodes the family — the essential cradle of humanity.”

When men can claim to be women, it is ushering in a movement where women are, for all intents and purposes, being purged from society.  Now “transwomen are women” at the expense of actual women.

Amelia Koehn asserts that “to think that a biological man who identifies as a woman can compete with [women] as if our bodies can be cheapened like this is not only insulting but also a direct assault on ourselves as female athletes.” 

One might as well discard Title IX protections as the entire category of women has now been erased.  In effect, men competing with women merely “repress, embarrasses, humiliates and excludes women.”  Even in the lesbian world, “biological men who believe they are women are demanding full inclusion in lesbian spaces as unquestioned equals, insisting [that] actual women … adjust their plans accordingly.”

Never forgetting the money trail, “trans-identifying kids are cash cows for Planned Parenthood” — the group that broke federal law regarding the sale of fetal body parts.

How is it that injecting cattle with hormones is evil, but injecting kids with hormones to obscure their true sex is the new frontier?  How is it that female genital mutilation is horrifying to most individuals, but allowing teens to approve the surgical removal of healthy sexual organs is perfectly acceptable?

As the transgenderism movement gains traction, is it possible to anticipate, as Wesley J. Smith does, that “after transgender, comes ‘transabled’ healthy limb amputations?”

Eileen can be reached at

[1] Bernays, Anne. “What Are You Supposed to Do If You Like Children?”  Atlantic, 225 (March 1970), 107–109.