Admiral Rachel Levine, who currently serves as assistant secretary for health in the Biden administration, is not a woman. This is simply a statement of fact.
Rachel Levine is also not a powerless, marginalized individual. Yet Twitter as a company seems to believe that pointing out both of these truths is worth suspending accounts over. The conservative satire website Babylon Bee recently found their account locked over a tweet they recently sent naming Rachel Levine their “Man of the Year.” The joke was in response to USA Today naming Levine its Woman of the Year despite Levine not being a woman.
By writing this piece and tweeting it out, I and perhaps the Spectator could also find their Twitter accounts suspended.
It’s convenient for next-wave feminists to remain silent on issues of censorship when Twitter and others are targeting those across the political aisle. But soon this will all come to a head. Trans issues of biology and what defines a sex at birth will be pushed to forefront, not only in places like the Biden administration but in women’s college sports and even the world of the arts.
The Babylon Bee has been accused of “punching down” with their satire of Levine, but Levine is one of the most powerful health officials in the country. Similar criticisms have been lodged against those speaking out against collegiate swimmer Lia Thomas, a trans woman who has been winning against biological females. Yet Lia Thomas has the power of an entire mainstream media complex on her side and Levine has the backing of the most powerful man on earth.
Twitter suspended the Babylon Bee under their policy against “violence and harassment on the basis of race, ethnicity, national origin, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, religious affiliation, age, disability or serious disease.” They also banned right-wing commentator Charlie Kirk (and it aggrieves me to defend him) over another factual tweet concerning Levine.
Neither the Bee nor Kirk threatened violence against Levine or committed harassment. Twitter suspended the Bee simply because it disagrees with their joke and was encouraged to do so by a left-wing base increasingly hostile to anyone who presents an argument they disapprove of.
Biological males who reassign their gender are claiming mantles reserved for female accomplishments, “Woman of the Year” or “NCAA Women’s Swimming Champion.” Lauren Hough, a popular female LGBTQ author, recently had her nomination for the Lamba Literary Awards revoked due to what a small group of Twitter activists described as her making transphobic arguments on Twitter in defending another author and friend of hers. Earlier this year, trans activists demanded Netflix pull Dave Chappelle’s latest standup special when Chappelle jokingly called himself a TERF and defended Harry Potter author JK Rowling against accusations of transphobia.
The Babylon Bee and the conservative right are not going to solve the issue of trans males occupying mantles reserved for biological females. It will have to be the next wave of feminists who say enough of this lunacy. Twitter in the meantime has made it clear that they will threaten and censor anyone who does just that — even at the expense of a joke and the truth.