How a Skirt in a Funeral Home in Detroit Threatens Civil Rights

What seems like a simple case of a man wanting to wear a dress at work in a Detroit Funeral Home has far reaching implications for women’s rights.

On Tuesday 8th October, what started in a suburban funeral home with a request to wear a skirt peaked with a febrile mob of hundreds of people shouting at feminists outside the Supreme Court in Washington. This is the ‘R.G. & G.R. Harris Funeral Homes V EEOC & Aimee Stephens’ case, which, in a sign of the times, has inverted the usual order of things: the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) are pushing for the elimination of women’s rights. Holding the line in opposition stand feminists, conservatives and an assortment of Christian groups.

The case centres on a man called Aimee Stephens. Stephens identifies as a woman, and as such when he told his work he wanted to transition and ‘live as a woman’ he asked to wear a skirt in accordance in with the company’s female dress policy. His employers refused. Stephens took the case to the EEOC who sued the funeral home for sex discrimination and won. The case then progressed to the Supreme Court where the ACLU has joined the legal battle ‘to ensure Aimee’s interests are protected.’ The case hinges upon the definition of ‘sex’ in the Civil Rights Act (1964).

This might sound like an irrelevant and esoteric point of law, but by pursuing a case on the grounds of ‘sex discrimination’ the court will effectively rule on whether the public can be compelled to recognise a biological man as a woman if he claims to ‘identify as a woman.’ Changing the definition of sex to a statement of self-declaration makes the word a subjective opinion, rather than a simple, verifiable fact.

It should be noted that according to the ACLU’s own brief: “The Court of Appeals expressly did not address the lawfulness of sex-specific dress codes. … Ms. Stephens had no personal objection to the dress code and planned to comply with it as a woman.” The sexist double standards that women have been fighting for years have become little more than a prop for a male idea of what it is to be a woman.

Whatever the merits of the original case, the ramifications for the rest of civil society are enormous and chilling. In the ‘land of the free’ where individual liberties are fought-for with the zeal of a frontiers’ woman, the right of ordinary citizens to publicly recognise an individual’s sex would be verboten.

Whipped-up into a righteous fury the assembled mob on Tuesday had apparently not grasped the implications for free speech nor women’s rights. Bellowing ‘homophobe’ and sounding sirens, the group also didn’t seem to notice that the powerful speech by Natasha Chart, Chair of the Board of WoLF and a bisexual woman herself, began with a powerful and rousing defence of lesbians (the full transcript of her incredible speech can be read here).

Bravely, a teenage athlete took to the podium to explain why girls like her should have the right to compete against their own sex. During her speech the crowd ceaselessly chanted ‘Transwomen are Women.’ Some of the most heart-breaking testimony was from mothers, grieving for their children who are undergoing brutal regimes of synthetic hormones because they believe themselves to be the opposite sex. Throughout their desperate and impassioned speeches the crowd chanted ‘Trans Rights are Human Rights.’

The long-standing black feminist human rights campaigner Linda Bellos tried to tell the crowd that when she came out as a lesbian her children were taken away because of her sexuality. She didn’t get to finish her message; she was drowned-out by the protestors calling her a homophobe.

Perhaps one can’t blame those protesting the speakers. The case has been presented by the mainstream media as one of LGBT rights. Indeed, the Trump administration have filed a suit opposing the case, though with a quite different intent from that of WoLF.

In an interview for NBC News replete with tinkly music and sympathetic head-tilting, Aimee Stephens opines that opponents are ‘trying to erase a whole sector of society so that they don’t exist any more.’ There is a dark and heavy irony in this, as effectively if the case goes in Stephen’s favour women will cease to exist as a distinct legal category, and the whole of society will mandated to pretend that an individual’s reality of biological sex is defined by their own stated feelings of ‘gender identity.’

In a cruel twist that underlines the US left’s betrayal of women, the first outlet to publish a full transcript of a speech given by Chair of the Women’s Liberation Front (WoLF) Natasha Chart was the alt-right publication Breitbart.

Following in the footsteps of radical feminists like Catherine McKinnon and Andrea Dworkin, WoLF have always been clear that they will make strategic alliances where necessary, but that their opposition to transgender rights is because of the impact on women and children. From the relative comfort of the UK it is easy to judge groups like WoLF for acting in coalition with right of centre and religious organisations, but the scale of the threat in the US from the powerful transgender lobby forces difficult choices. As Natasha Chart notes: “Still others insist that it’s violent of me to associate with conservatives, in spite of the fact that gender activists associate with lots of conservatives, and I’ve never heard of any reckoning for that. It’s almost like women who say no to these men are just going to be wrong no matter what we do.”

This is truly a Davina and Goliath fight. WoLF are essentially a few women who have dedicated themselves to this fight. They have not just been ostracized by the left, they have been forced out of jobs, de-platformed, vilified and persecuted for years.

Even if one doesn’t sympathise with feminist arguments, the idea that women can have penises is absurd. The notion that believing this could be enshrined in law is gravely concerning and would be laughable if it wasn’t happening in the most powerful nation in the world.

I will leave the last words to Natasha Chart, a woman at the forefront of this battle:

A man can never be a woman, a lesbian can never be male. My name is Natasha Chart, from New York State. I will not be forced to lie. I will not submit.

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