- - Tuesday, October 24, 2017

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

I was recently criticized by Right Wing Watch (an organization that defines itself as a “project of People for the American Way”) for supporting Tony Perkins and the Family Research Council’s “record on issues including gender identity.”

The specific statement, which apparently caused such angst was reportedly made on the radio broadcast, “Washington Watch with Tony Perkins,” where I said, “Why are we being silent in the face of a culture that is degrading and insulting a female by saying she’s not a biological fact, but [that] she’s nothing but a fantasy and a fabrication … ? [Shouldn’t we] defend the dignity and the identity of a woman? You can’t be a feminist if you deny the feminine. You can’t be pro-woman if women aren’t real.” My response to the claim by Right Wing Watch and People for the American Way that I said these alarming things: guilty as charged.

At Oklahoma Wesleyan University (OKWU), we still teach logic and philosophy. Shocking as it seems, our curriculum still includes the basic time-tested truths of physiology, genetics and even gender. OKWU students graduate from this university recognizing the ontological and biological fact of the female. Our faculty are not science deniers. They pursue the truth. They don’t ignore it. They honor the actual, the confirmed and the definite. They recognize what is plain and verifiable. They embrace the empirical. Our professors believe in facts.

At this university, we don’t offer degrees in feelings. You don’t major in opinions here. We actually envisage that after four years of study in our halls and in our classrooms that you will learn something. We expect and hope that your diploma from OKWU will testify to the fact that you actually know a little bit more about what is true, what is right and what is real.

Yes, the scholars at this university have concluded that a female is an objective reality and not merely a social construct. Crazy as it sounds, we have actually concluded that women are not make-believe; that they aren’t leprechauns or unicorns but rather that they objectively and verifiable exist. Call us stupid, but we hold that there is very little more empirically obvious in the history of all human experience than one’s sex. Standing on this millennia-old foundation of tradition, reason, experience and revelation, we refuse to participate in the misogynistic insult of women by ignoring such self-evident truths.

As the result of this 5,000-year-old educational paradigm, which seems quite foreign to the writers at Right Wing Watch, we believe women should be granted the dignity of having equal access to athletics and other programs, as well as their own facilities. Women attending this university will not only have their own basketball and soccer teams, but they will have their own restrooms, showers and dorms. Yes, it is quite true that we refuse to let any of these rights to be taken away by any confused and dysphoric male who insists on compromising the person and/or privacy of our female students. We won’t permit any man (or misguided political agenda or organization) to violate the dignity of the women on our campus by pretending that a male is something that he is not.

To those who cry that the above position discriminates against the biological men who want to avail themselves of women’s programs and privileges, as well as a woman’s privacy, I say, yes, Oklahoma Wesleyan University, indeed, does discriminate. We discriminate between those who are male and those who are female. To do otherwise would seem to contradict the very premise of Title IX, a 1972 law which requires us to differentiate the female student from the male student and to, thereby, give women the same access to programs as men. If we didn’t “discriminate” in such a way, how in the world would it be possible to comply with Title IX?

Yep, I said it: You can’t defend the rights of women if you don’t believe women are real, and you can’t claim to be a feminist if you deny the very existence of the feminine.

At OKWU, we are honored to stand with the likes of Tony Perkins and the Family Research Council. We are pro-woman and we are proud of it.

• Everett Piper is president of Oklahoma Wesleyan University. This article was adapted from his book, “Not A Day Care: The Devastating Consequences of Abandoning Truth” (Regnery 2017).

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