Consider Eleanor Holmes Norton on her way to cancellation.
It’s a surprising development considering that Norton is one of the most hard-left figures in Congress. She’s not a full member of the House of Representatives, mind you; she’s the delegate from Washington, D.C., which means she can’t cast a vote on the House floor, but can vote in committee and represents the interests of the District of Columbia.
One of those interests, apparently, is gender equity in terms of crash test dummies. However, in pursuing it, Norton managed to undermine one of the left’s key messages on gender.
As you’ll remember from those viral 1990s advertisements, the world of the auto crash test dummy is one of beige male privilege:
Norton — the chair of the Subcommittee on Highways and Transit, according to her website — wants to change all that.
On Tuesday, her office issued a news release stating “that she will introduce a bill to require that car crash test dummies be modeled on both male and female bodies.”
“The federal government only uses crash test dummies modeled on male bodies, and car companies are not required to use dummies modeled on female bodies either,” the release continued. “More important than differences in average height between males and females, there are also other biological differences in anatomy, such as average neck strength and posture, that affect how female and male bodies react in a crash.
“Since cars are not required to be tested with the safety of women in mind, women are at higher risk of injury and death in car crashes.”
Keep in mind the following quote came from a statement issued by her office. In other words, it wasn’t extemporaneous. She has only herself to blame for the unintentional hilarity:
“Women have achieved equality on the road when it comes to driving, but when it comes to safety testing to keep them safe on the road, they are nowhere near achieving equality,” Norton said in the statement.
“Crash test standards are incredibly antiquated, and we must update these standards now, especially as more people return to their daily commute in the next few months.”
I understand safety testing for female body types is important, but framing this as “achieving equality” in terms of driving rights and then trying to sell this as a matter of returning to normalcy — that’s almost a chef’s kiss kind of moment for out-of-touch officialdom.
There’s another slice of hilarity to this: Are we being told men and women have different body types? For that matter, why are we even calling them men and women? I thought we were supposed to be doing away with that kind of retrograde thinking?
Remember, in high school sports, we’re trying to forget that body types exist and that they might confer an advantage. Thus, when two boys who are deemed to be girls dominate high school track events in Connecticut, we’re not supposed to point that out. We’re not even supposed to note they were ever boys.
In fact, when one of the girls who lost to the boys who were allowed to compete in their events wrote an Op-Ed for USA Today about the experience, the paper made pains to eliminate any reference she made to her competitors being “male” or having a “male body.” Using this kind of language was apparently “hurtful.”
What was the “hurtful language” that editors deleted from Chelsea’s opinion piece three days after publication? The word “male.” 2/3
— Christiana Holcomb (@ChristianaADF) May 26, 2021
That’s deliberate misgendering — and passing laws to ensure that boys who say they’re girls can’t compete in girls’ sports is transphobia.
Why would we call these “dummies modeled on female bodies,” anyway? It assumes that someone is born into a gender — and, as we all know, when someone affirms they’re something other than that gender, they were always meant to be that gender.
And what’s this? “More important than differences in average height between males and females, there are also other biological differences in anatomy.” (Emphasis mine.)
In other words, when reality intrudes, even Eleanor Holmes Norton is forced to admit the obvious: Biology is biology. Men are men, women are women, and there isn’t any delicate language that can get around that fact.
Her ridiculous statements about women needing to achieve crash-test dummy “equality” aside, Norton doesn’t have a bad idea. The best part is that she managed to affirm, once and for all, the biological realities of gender.
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