By Jonathon Van Maren
Last week, R&B star Macy Gray went on Piers Morgan’s TV shows and inadvertently stepped into the centre of America’s hottest culture war. “Just because you change your parts,” she told Morgan, “that doesn’t make you a woman.” Little did she know that she was contradicting the fundamental premises of the elite’s most powerful ideologues—and that they do not accept public dissent, least of all from celebrities. Gray turned from a beloved African American icon to an acceptable target overnight; Vanity Fair unironically called the pile-on “very public reeducation process.”
As Vanity Fair put it: “After speaking with a number of people in the LGBTQ+ community, Macy Gray says she’s reconsidered her opinions about trans women and her previous statements have been ‘grossly misunderstood.’” In short, she misunderstood that her heresies would put a bullseye on her back because everyone believed what she had said just fifteen short minutes ago, but after her struggle session she has acquired the right lines and can now parrot them obediently. “Being a woman is a vibe,” she said on the Today Show. “If you feel in your heart that’s what you are, that’s what you are.” And all the trans activists said: Amen. Good girl.
A debate over Gray’s recantation promptly erupted on Twitter between the different factions of those opposing gender ideology. Matt Walsh, who has been front and centre in the debate since his documentary What is a Woman? was released, tweeted that “women who publicly renounce the definition of ‘woman’ for fear of mean comments from trans activists deserve all the scorn they get. That kind of gutless cowardice is exactly what got us into this position in the first place.”
J.K. Rowling, another prominent critic of gender ideology, quote-tweeted Walsh with her disagreement: “Endless death and rape threats, threats of loss of livelihood, employers targeted, physical harassment, family address posted online with picture of bomb-making manual aren’t ‘mean comments.’ If you don’t yet understand what happens to women who stand up on this issue, back off.” In a weird exchange only possible in this weird cultural moment, Walsh and Rowling expressed respect for each other’s work (Rowling complimented his documentary) but continued to disagree.
Matt Walsh is now trending on Twitter, and a debate is raging about whether or not his critique of Macy Gray is correct. Radical feminists who oppose gender ideology are facing off with their religious co-belligerents, and a generally unproductive discussion is unfolding. Media outlets are reporting on the debate, with most hoping that both Walsh and Rowling will lose. (It is unclear who they hate more. Walsh holds run-of-the-mill Christian views; Rowling is a traitor to her class, which is far more unforgiveable.) But interestingly, the key point in the entire debate is being lost.