Being a somewhat old-fashioned person, Cockburn is skeptical of latter-day feminism and the utter sanctity of a woman’s right to choose. So it’s quite odd that he also feels compelled to defend progressive womanhood from Planned Parenthood, which quite unexpectedly has come out in favor of misogyny.
‘I’m the Head of Planned Parenthood. We’re Done Making Excuses for Our Founder,’ says the headline from current Planned Parenthood president Alexis McGill Johnson. The context is Planned Parenthood’s ongoing cancellation of Margaret Sanger over her support for ideas that are today unpopular, such as sterilization, eugenics, and freedom of speech. The piece recites the usual set of complaints made against Sanger’s life work, followed by a promise to have an ongoing “reckoning” with her racism (it is unclear whether this involves looting Planned Parenthood’s headquarters).
But then, McGill Johnson ends her op-ed with a gratuitous bout of misogyny.
‘What we don’t want to be, as an organization, is a Karen. You know Karen: she escalates small confrontations because of her own racial anxiety. She calls the manager. She calls the police. She stands with other white parents to maintain school segregation. And then there are the organizational Karens. The groups who show up, assert themselves, and tell you where to march. Those who pursue freedom and fairness, but also leverage their privilege in ways that are dehumanizing. And sometimes, that’s how Planned Parenthood has acted.’
What are you doing, Alexis? Organizational Karens? Cockburn might hope that one of the country’s oldest feminist organizations, at least, would call out a sexist racial slur against white women for what it is. But nope! Planned Parenthood is on board.
McGill Johnson isn’t done there. ‘When we focus too narrowly on “women’s health”, we have excluded trans and nonbinary people,’ she writes.
Well, Ms McGill Johnson, your group’s name is Planned Parenthood. You’re here to give teenage girls Plan B without their parents finding out. Now you’re babbling about including the ‘nonbinary’? Also, since you just got done trashing Margaret Sanger for her role in defending sterilization, are you sure you want to pivot to helping gender-confused children sterilize themselves?
The essay continues:
‘We pledge to fight the many types of dehumanization we are seeing right now: the dehumanization of Black and Latino victims of police violence such as Adam Toledo, Daunte Wright, Breonna Taylor, George Floyd and too many others.
‘Some might see this as virtue signaling [might?], but Planned Parenthood is taking this work seriously. Our senior leadership team is diverse. We have invested in training designed to give everyone, from the board room to the exam room, a foundational understanding of how race operates. And we are establishing new diversity, equity and inclusion standards for affiliates seeking to be a part of the Planned Parenthood Federation…Planned Parenthood has an obligation to change how we operate. We must take up less space, and lend more support. And we must put our time, energy, and resources into fights that advance an agenda other than our own.’
In other words, Planned Parenthood would like to apologize for a century of promoting the positions it was created to promote. They were too white and too straight, or something. ‘Please, we have a diversity program now. Don’t hurt us.’
Like the Sierra Club, AFL and the ACLU before it, Planned Parenthood has been eaten. What was once a women’s health and abortion rights group has become an interchangeable cog in the progressive machine. That means not only taking the same position every other group takes on every issue, but assigning them the same priority. So if the woke brain trust says that trans rights, police shootings and a ‘racial reckoning’ are the issues that matter in 2021, that’s what Planned Parenthood must be about too.
What if you are a moderate who supports abortion access but not police demobilization? What if you back trans rights but find abortion morally indefensible? What if you want softer crime policies but also a secure border? Well, progressive America isn’t the place for you. It’s all or nothing.