Conservatism · Gender Relations · Hegemony · Transgenderism

Matt Walsh’s new documentary

Image from Current Affairs

To begin, a little background. Matt Walsh is an American political as well as social commentator from the Daily Wire, an ostensibly right-wing news and opinion outlet. Between YouTube and Twitter, Walsh boasts more two million followers. Walsh can, in all objectivity, be described as ‘alt-lite’. That is to say, on race, cultural, and religious issues, Walsh is well to the right of ordinary Fox News commentators, such as Sean Hannity; or ordinary Republican politicians, such as Mitch McConnell. At the same time, Walsh firmly distances himself from more radioactive right-wing figures such as Nick Fuentes. Moreover, Walsh has never, to the best of this writer’s knowledge, denounced the coronavirus pandemic for the lie that it is or openly criticised Jewish power. Thus the ‘alt-lite’ status of Matt Walsh.

Earlier this month, Walsh released a documentary entitled ‘What is a Woman?’ which shall be subject to some criticism below. Yet before doing so, it is necessary to fairly qualify this criticism. In the first place, such criticism is largely based on this documentary’s trailer, extracted below:

This writer would watch the documentary in full, but for such viewing being exclusively limited to Daily Wire members. Also, this documentary is serving a valuable purpose: To discredit transgenderism amid the wicked crimes currently being perpetrated against children in the same ideology’s name. Finally, in broad terms, Walsh is performing good work (and needless to say, leaving a far greater imprint than this website). The presence of a self-described ‘theocratic fascist’ as a leading right-wing online figure, speaks volumes to the rightward shift that commenced during the Trump years before continuing in varying forms since. In particular, Walsh should be applauded for recently drawing attention to the Drag ‘demon queen’ who performed before a group of toddlers.

These qualifications aside, two particular issues with this documentary come to mind.

The first issue may be introduced by way of a question. Even if this documentary intellectually dismantled transgenderism in the eyes of all policy makers, cultural framers, and ordinary people–where would that leave us and take Western society back to? In reality, that would take it back to approximately 2008, when transgenderism remained a fringe cause seldom embraced by the political left. Though an improvement, this change is gravely insufficient when considering the problems of mass immigration, feminism, and sexual immorality well underway in those times.

To criticise transgender ideology is not enough, because transgenderism is simply one expression of the problem–liberalism–rather than the problem itself. Walsh could render a more valuable contribution by confuting liberalism, the source of societal decay; rather than transgenderism, an especially egregious expression of that same decay. If Walsh did so, he would more comprehensively assail transgenderism, along with various other errors in which Western society is immersed.

The second issue concerns that of how Walsh, a conservative, frames the debate. Conservatives, should, as previously outlined,

Refuse engagement with the left on grounds that are calculated to bring about our defeat and legitimise their hegemony.

To publicly pose the question–what is a woman?–is to, in a large part, adopt the left-wing way of framing gender by questioning its existence. This left-wing framing established, the progressive is then readily able to respond by claiming that a woman’s true nature is uncertain, in order to justify transgenderism. Walsh, of course, has the sense to deny that a woman’s true nature is uncertain. But he has adopted the initial left-wing framing nonetheless, and in so doing, has at least indirectly legitimised it.

The question ‘what is a woman?’ is reminiscent of another question, which especially emerged in July and August 2021: ‘Should COVID-19 vaccinations be mandatory?’ The mainstream media asked this question, again and again and again, ultimately, with the effect of desensitising the public to mandatory vaccination and legitimising it. Likewise, to repeatedly ask ‘what is a woman?’ runs a similar danger in sanctioning that question and subsequent left-wing answers to it which deny gender. The reality and conservative perspective: all-thinking and reasonable people, know what a woman is and live accordingly. They know a woman when they see one–the matter is, essentially, that simple. There are but a trifling few people who genuinely think or behave as if gender does not exist. Therefore, it is fruitless to spend excessive time debating the existence of gender or its defining characteristics.

The above danger in mind, from a right-wing perspective, there are far better ways to strategically frame the issue of gender. Such ways include: ‘Why do feminists undermine motherhood?’; ‘the war on the family’; ‘the social role of gender’; and so on. By so framing the narrative, Walsh would institute grounds that are better calculated to cause a conservative victory, create a conservative hegemony, and defeat the left.

In closing and, albeit from a distance, there is plenty of good in Matt Walsh’s documentary and the thinking behind it. This thinking should, nevertheless, be refined, improved, and better articulated if conservatives seriously wish to overturn the prevailing left-wing hegemony. God willing, Matt Walsh will be forthcoming in doing so.

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