This morning I received an excited email from the American Academy of Nursing – the Powers that Be in nursing. The jist of the message was how excited the board members were with President Joe Biden’s list of executive orders.
I have always suspected that I did not think or value many of the things that the power brokers in nursing thought or valued and my nursing career was teeming with head butting. These past four years, under the Trump presidency, I came to understand just how divided we are as a nation. Where once we could argue differences, these past four years have shown a virulence I had never known existed. Most of the venom seemed to be based upon political differences. In many ways they were characterized as liberal versus conservative. They also reflected – in a very dim way – eastern attitudes and beliefs versus the rest of the country but most especially the Midwest.
For those not familiar with American values and beliefs, there are distinct differences across the country about what people believe and how they behave. The three major differences – east coast, mid-west and west – reflect the history of these areas. The east – highly developed urban areas – densely packed human beings – the descendants of the earliest immigrants plus newly arrived immigrants. The Midwest, known as the farm belt, are farmers and the descendants of farmers. Wide open fields of grain. People in small cities and towns encompassed by farmland. The west, of cowboy and Indian fame, are the independent thinkers. Instead of farms, the west has cattle and range land. Perhaps California illustrates the great divide in the country with northern California primarily liberal and southern California primarily conservative.
My parents grew up in the Midwest (South Dakota and Wisconsin). They believed in the American dream, hard work, education, and the Constitution. We cried when we heard the National Anthem and watched the flag raised on the school grounds every morning when we recited the pledge of allegiance, hand over heart. They believed in neighborliness, helping each other. They may have belonged to different church denominations in their town, but there were never any fights. Children were expected to respect their parents and other authorities. They were, in essence, conservatives in every way. So, they raised me to believe in their values.
I have lived in several states in the United States. Perhaps because of my parents, I always felt most comfortable and at home when I lived in the Midwest (Ohio and Iowa). I was always the least comfortable and at odds with the culture of the east (Massachusetts and DC). But I did most of my growing up in the west (southern California) so I am an independent thinker, willing to fight for my bit of space in the universe. I don’t own a gun.
I am also a product of the women’s movement in the 1970’s when women wanted to have equal rights with men – a constitutional change. The impetus to this movement was equal pay for equal work. It failed. Just as the women’s movement to obtain the right to vote – in both Canada and the USA – was based on the proposition that women were human too, so too the women of the seventies felt that as humans they were the equals of men.
Changes to the lives and rights of women did come about from this movement. A major one was the funding of girls and women’s athletics. No one paid much attention to women’s athletics prior to the seventies. Schools were more interested in boy’s athletics. There were few national leagues for women despite their strong showing during World War II in the field of baseball. For the first time, women were granted television time for tennis, golf, basketball, and baseball. College athletic scholarships were offered to women athletes.
One of President Jo Biden’s Executive Orders allows men to compete in women’s athletics.
As anyone who knows anything about biology knows, there is more to gender than sex organs and hormones. The physical development of males and females differ from the moment of conception. Giving men manufactured hormones does not reverse male physique and development. Removing male sex organs does not make a male into a female. There remain irrevocable differences.
President Joe Biden, flying in the face of biological science, has declared that transsexual men are women and can compete in women’s athletics.
This EO, in and of itself, will destroy women’s athletics, as few women athletes can win against a male. Although, a woman can beat a man in tennis because she has a greater skill, women cannot outrun men, cannot hit a golf ball or baseball further, wrestle or box better.
What was hard won in the seventies, has been overturned in the 21st century.
And yet the American Academy of Nursing excitedly applauds this decision!