Now that Dr. Seuss is in the midst of being cancelled, I’ve seen a number of conservatives suggest “He Bear, She Bear” by Stan and Jan Berenstain (or Berenstein if you’re into the Mandela Effect) as a likely subsequent target for SJW’s. I’ve even seen some of them praising it as anti-woke and explaining how they’re going to rush out to buy a hard-copy now before they all get burned.
And that’s really the problem with conservativism in a nutshell.
On one hand, it’s an understandable reaction. I happened to read through my wife’s childhood copy of the book a few years back as I was considering it for my sons. I immediately recognized that the first few pages are indeed triggering by woke standards. It begins:
I see her. She sees me. We see that we are he and she.
Every single bear we see is a he bear or a she. Every single bear we see has lots of things to do and be.
I’m a father. I’m a he. A father’s something you could be. I’m a mother. I’m a she. A mother’s something you could be.
So there you have it, any kid can recognize there are only he’s and she’s, they can tell the difference just by looking, and that only boys can be fathers while only girls can be mothers. BAM; A shot right across the bow of those trans activists! Very timely if you’re looking to own libs.
The thing is, that’s only the beginning of the book.
The remaining 90% is all about the things that he bears and she bears are all equally capable of doing. In terms of the artwork, the book makes a deliberate point of putting women in traditionally masculine vocations. The construction crew is almost entirely women, the female firefighter is leading the way up the ladder above the female police officer, etc. When it was written half a century ago, it would’ve been obvious as a deliberate attempt at portraying gender equality. But if you need that angle to be more explicit, here’s how the book ends:
We’ll jump and dig and build and fly…. There’s nothing that we cannot try. We can do all these things, you see, whether we are he OR she.
So many things to be and do, He Bear, She Bear, me… and you.
So while the book does take the existence of men and women for granted, it’s actually typical of gender deconstruction’s long march through the West. That’s not a putting a finger in transgenderism’s eye. That’s laying its foundation. Claiming that men are really women and vice versa is indeed utter nonsense. In itself, it’s an easy target for those who merely want to complain about our decline. But the reason it makes so much sense to so many is the everyday feminism incessantly telling us that except for our genitals and clothes, men and women are completely interchangeable.
If sexual biology is the only difference between men and women, then sexual biology makes no difference. Sure, only a he bear can be a father, but that doesn’t mean much if a father is merely an otherwise androgynous parent with male genitals. What’s worse, our culture actively trains its youth to hate children and avoid having any of their own. That makes the whole matter a moot point for most people. Sure, a man claiming to be a woman might be incorrect, but only on a technicality. Why bother resisting something that doesn’t even matter in the first place? People only believe gender is changeable today because we believed the genders were interchangeable yesterday.
That’s the reality conservatives are terrified of confronting. And it’s why they continue to walk on the same path as the progressives they hate–just a couple of steps behind. Right now, I’ve been receiving all sorts of warnings about the Equality Act (and rightly so, it’s a terrifying piece of legislation.) But the parts of the Equality Act they hate are just logical extensions of the parts they love. Ask conservatives, and 90% want things like equal opportunity for men & women and an end to gender discrimination. In other words, they want to treat gender as completely meaningless in public life. But what objection can there be to a person publicly changing something that’s completely meaningless?
For all their differences, conservatives and liberals alike made their sacrifices on the altar of Equality. It’s not the only idol we’ve all whored after, but it’s nevertheless a big part of why conservatives are just as responsible as progressives for the state of our civilization. It’s also why so many refuse to to repent and change course. Most staunch conservatives bought feminism hook, line, and sinker and find the idea of telling women they’re not our equals abhorrent.
But God will not be mocked, and if we remain silent, even the very stones will cry out eventually. Ironically, it’s actually the men pretending to be women who are out there disproving equality right now. After all, a man with long hair competing against women in athletics demonstrates inequality in a way most men refuse to. But one way or another, feminism will die in the end, equality will be toppled, and sane civilization will be restored. The only question before us is whether that civilization will still be ours, or will we simply be cut off from the land like so many evil peoples before us?
You nailed this perfectly. Thank you for the voice you are. I wish this would get published in The Federalist.
“In other words, they want to treat gender as completely meaningless in public life. But what objection can there be to a person publicly changing something that’s completely meaningless?”
So true. Another great post.
Hello Matthew. Sadly, you got a point, but we should still take the good, otherwise, we make the enemy look too strong. Obvious that propaganda is in there, but let’s be honest, it is in every book but the Bible. Yes, even in 1984.