Libby Emmons:

For me, it was the realization that trans ideology affirms, rather than deconstructs, gender stereotypes, that made me step back and take notice. To quote Daria from MTV’s ’90s-era eponymous classic, “I really don’t care what people do to themselves.” But when the actual definition of the word “woman” came under fire, when it turned out that wearing a dress and makeup in public was all it took to be a woman—meaning, of course, that dresses and makeup are the purview of womanhood as opposed to mere feminine accessory—I could not stay silent. Women in the United States have been fighting to abandon, rather than entrench, stereotypes of femininity, yet trans ideology reinforces it.

…Burns offers a classic “guilt by association” argument. Gender critical feminists aligning with conservative groups in this one area is not a reason to denounce them across the board. But because the left has successfully linked conservatism with racism, it is easy for progressives to lump them altogether as one deplorable block. It’s also inaccurate. Vox is correct that conservatives and radical feminists make strange bedfellows. But the left refuses to secure a woman’s identity from that of men, and is willing to say that female is a feeling, identifiable by costume and demeanor. This is what feminists have literally been fighting against the entire time.

Aristotle would harrumph in satisfaction and say, “I told you so.” A virtue taken too far becomes a vice. Few of us would have any immediate objections to the ideal of tolerance in the abstract, though as always, the particulars are what matter. But when tolerance is enthroned as the queen of the virtues, when your progressive bona fides depend on repeated public demonstrations of your tolerance for increasingly fringe ideas and lifestyles, it won’t be long before you’re blundering into absurdities. Having staked their entire identity on being the caring, accepting, understanding alternative to those mean, judgmental conservatives, progressives are in too deep to start hesitating just because their new pet cause entails a straightforward rejection of the concept of a shared, objective reality, independent of individual whims.

At a superficial glance, it’s true that conservatives and feminists seem like strange bedfellows. But it’s no stranger than fusionism, the conservative/libertarian alliance that lasted throughout the Cold War and only now shows signs of fracturing. Politics (and life itself, for that matter) has always been about harnessing tensions productively, not seeking to eliminate them altogether. The latter is another example of the monomaniacal tendency to take things to extremes. To the crusading true believer, every compromise for the sake of maintaining a precarious balance looks like “selling out” or hypocrisy. But when circumstances change, maybe your mind and footing should as well.