For the first time in its history, the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit edition will feature its first transgender model. Valentina Sampaio, a transgender woman from Brazil, has become the first transgender person to appear in the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit magazine.
This isn’t the first big gig Valentina has landed. In 2017, she was the first transgender model to land a Vogue magazine cover and last year she was the first trans person to represent the Victoria’s Secret’s lingerie line.
It’s definitely a step forward but we should be asking ourselves a step towards what?
Sure, I’m about to be attacked for being “transphobic” but when someone labels you as something you're not for the crime of being able to think for yourself or having your own opinion, who really cares?
The sad part is that the questions being raised are in response to real world situations. Individual rights are being swept aside for the sake of political correctness and inclusion while those who are concerned about the loss of women’s rights and gay rights are considered “transphobic.”
In order to be inclusive you must exclude others. Doesn’t really make sense does it? What’s happening is that you’re getting a taste of what it’s like to be a member of the LGBT community, also known as the alphabet soup. The lie of inclusivity and tolerance only happens when you agree with the rest of the clan. Independent thoughts and opinions are very rarely tolerated, if at all.
But has Sports Illustrated become woke? Are they really trying to become more diverse or are they just continuing to try and get out in front of years of criticism for objectifying women. Since its debut in 1964, feminists have said that the “Swimsuit Issue promotes the harmful and dehumanizing concept that women are a product for male consumption” and projects an unrealistic view of what a woman should look like.
Sales and subscriptions have been on the decline and in an effort to stave off the backlash, in 2010 SI gave its subscribers the option of declining the Swimsuit edition. In reality, opting out of the controversial issue hasn’t helped the dwindling sales and if the response on social media is any indication, SI can expect to suffer ever more revenue losses.
When you get down to the nuts and bolts of it, the SI Swimsuit edition is primarily purchased by men and according to my research (consulting with my straight male and lesbian friends), it is primarily acquired for the pictures of beautiful, leggy women. Plain, simple and straightforward… men (and lesbians) like to look at beautiful women. They always have and always will.
If you manufacture a product, tailored to a particular demographic chances are they will buy it. If however, you change that product to appeal to people other than your target audience don’t be surprised when it is met with objections.
In other words, the results of making a bad business decision is not rampant “transphobia”. No business worth its weight in salt would expect their customer base to suddenly change their preferences because their product has, is foolhardy at best.
When it comes down to biology, sex and science, one cannot expect a straight males to be attracted to transgender women and then attack them as transphobic when they do not. It is asinine. Actual science does matter and the ramifications of ignoring it will have far reaching and long lasting consequences.
Would you chastise and ostracise a lesbian (a biological woman who is attracted to only other biological women) for not dating a transgender woman (a biological male)? Surprisingly, many in the LGBT community as well as LGBT allies, also brand them as transphobic.
If you subscribe to the same logic that gender is fluid and a construct of society, then you, the reader, should also be open to dating a trans person.
If the prevailing “science” is that gender is fluid then why do we need protection for women’s rights? If there is no difference between men and women then we should do away with the Title IX protections for women in sports, education and work.
If there is no difference between men and women then there is no such thing as sexual discrimination or even the “gender pay gap”. Since one’s sex is now considered to be subjective, why would women need single-sex spaces such as a women’s shelter if there no longer a distinction between male and female? Why do we have same sex prisions?
While we’re at it, this means that there is no such thing as homosexuality either, so we probably should do away with gay rights as well the notion of hate crimes being committed against homosexuals. The very definition of being gay (biological men and women who are attracted to other biological men and women) looses all meaning if there is no difference between the sexes.
The struggle that transgender people face is real, no one is denying that but I firmly believe that the actions of companies like those of Sports Illustrated, do not to raise up transgender people but instead thrust them further into controversy by conveying the message that unless you submit you are part of the problem.
Just like the ACT UP movement of the 1980’s, where forcing one’s sexuality upon the masses didn’t result in the desired consequence of acceptance, the same thing is taking place in the many facets of trans activism. When you force someone to conform, to not make their own informed decisions, you will be met with resistance regardless of the situation.
I don’t condemn Valentina, in fact I applaud her. It’s this woke culture and the business operating in fear of being cancelled that I have a problem with. Much like how Black Lives Matter has hijacked the Democrat party in a demand for justice and equality, the same has happened to the trans community.
Equality and acceptance cannot be won at the expense of someone else losing their own inalienable rights. Freeing someone from oppression by oppressing others does not solve the problem.
Why can’t we see that and how many times do we need to keep making the same mistakes before we figure it out?
Allan Giberti is the host of RI Red Radio on 990WBOB.com. You can listen to Allan live on Mondays and Tuesdays at 7pm Eastern.
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