The feminist author of The Abolition of Sex has become the ultimate example of a new propaganda phenomenon, which denounces leftists as right-wing when they say unpopular things.
Two years ago, in February of 2020, the Washington Post published a piece called “Conservatives find unlikely ally in fighting transgender rights: Radical feminists.” The essence of the article was to describe groups like the Women’s Liberation Front, or WoLF, full of people with decades-long track records as leftists or feminists, as not merely in temporary agreement with conservatives on trans issues, but actual converts to the entire conservative cause.
The piece described WoLF as “fringe activists” who “argue that advancements in transgender rights will come at the expense of women’s rights” and have been “shunned” by modern progressives, who call them “a discriminatory, right-wing group disguised as feminist.”
The piece was one of countless examples in which leftist or independent critics of mainstream fixations — from Russiagate to the campaign of Joe Biden to war in Ukraine — are reclassified as right-wingers and Trump supporters. The far left, libertarians, Greens, and other assorted malcontents used to be just ignored by popular media, but now they don’t even enjoy that privilege. The new instinct has a clear and effective purpose, to create the illusion that there is no intramural debate on one side of the aisle, that disagreers are actually enemies in disguise.
Kara Dansky, a former WoLF board member and the author of The Abolition of Sex, may be the most outspoken feminist in America when it comes to criticizing popular current beliefs about gender identity. A former ACLU public defender, she’s focused heavily on the presence of biological men in women’s jails, and for her troubles has been essentially booted out of mainstream progressive politics.