As I mention in the first chapter of Undead Sexist Cliches, the foundational myth most of the bullshit I write about is built on is that men and women are fundamentally different. Everyone knew and accepted this until feminism came along and claimed the two sexes were interchangeable. Feminists are challenging the truth known to all prior generations so they’re wrong, wrong, wrong! End of story.
Of course there are fundamental differences between men and women. Women get pregnant and undergo menstruation. Men can pee standing up. Men are more prone to colorblindness. But sexists see vaster, more profound differences, which conveniently explain why men run everything. Men are just evolved to be better at everything. Men are smarter. “A man penetrates, conquers, colonizes, plants. A woman receives, surrenders, accepts.” Men are aggressive competitors, women are not. Etcetera, etcetera, etcetera.
Which is why I cast a dubious eye on one section of Sen. Rick Scott’s Republican agenda (which Moscow Mitch quickly rejected as a political gift to Democrats) where he declares “Men and women are biologically different, ‘male and female He created them.’ Modern technology has confirmed that abortion takes a human life. Facts are facts, the earth is round, the sun is hot, there are two genders, and abortion stops a beating heart. To say otherwise is to deny science. As a scientific statement, sure, it’s true, but with conservatives it invariably translates into “no discrimination here! Women just aren’t cut out for the military/big business/voting/STEM.” It’s okay to slut-shame women and not men.
Possibly Scott doesn’t mean any of that, but I always assume the worst of Republicans writing about gender. For example “abortion stops a beating heart” is clearly a shorthand for “no abortion.” But of course abortion doesn’t always stop a beating heart — there often isn’t one — and whether a fetus has a heart is irrelevant. Forced-birther think its rights trump the mothers from the moment egg meets sperm, long before its heart beats so it’s nothing but cheap rhetoric.
First off, the fact “everyone knew it was so” doesn’t mean “therefore it must be true.” In relatively recent history various European peoples believed in the divine right of kings, that the Catholic Church was the only true faith, that bad air caused disease and that maggots grew naturally from rotting meat. None of which was true.
Nor does Scott saying “it’s science” prove any of his claims. Sexists love to pretend science is on their side but they simply use it to rationalize their pre-existing bias. It’s no more a valid argument than “it’s natural” when they argue for women to stay home with babies. If it’s nature that’s important, shouldn’t they want women to stop shaving their legs? Shouldn’t they be in favor of teen sex? After all, abstaining at that age (assuming a willing partner) is definitely not natural.
Obviously that section is also about cracking down on trans people and non-binary but I don’t doubt Republican misogyny is wrapped up in it too.