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July 21, 2021 (LifeSiteNews) — Last month, I covered the story of a spa in California that insisted a biological man identifying as a woman had the right to enter the female section and expose himself to women and young girls. The staff of the spa were confronted by a furious African American woman, who demanded to know why this was permissible — other women joined her. One asked for her money back. One male bystander told the women to stop being so bigoted and permit the penis-packing “trans woman” to join them.

The reaction of the media and progressive activists has been revealing. Conservative media outlets, predictably, have highlighted this as a literal example of the emperor having no clothes and all of us being able to see that he is a he. Progressive activists are insisting that the spa did the right thing in defending the “trans woman,” who was clearly the victim in this situation. The faux crime of “misgendering” is apparently a bigger deal than little girls being exposed to male genitals.

This is a key tactic of progressive activists. In the face of an obviously disgusting incident — a man exposing himself in a private area with small girls — double down, and counter-accuse those objecting to the behavior. In short, gaslight women into thinking they are the aggressors in the situation. Gaslighting, for those unaware of the term, means manipulating someone by psychological means into questioning their own sanity.

A prime example of this is the editorial published by the Los Angeles Times in response to the incident, titled “Transgender spa customers have the same rights as everyone else.”

Trans rights, the editorial states, are “fortunately gaining acceptance in many corners … but society’s recognition of basic rights for one group also sometimes causes clashes with other groups that have been marginalized or disempowered.” That said, there can only be one response to the black woman’s outrage according to the LA Times—and read this sentence very carefully:

There is no doubt that Wi Spa did the right thing in defending the right of a transgender customer to be nude in the women’s area, even though the sight of male-appearing genitalia discomfited at least one female customer, who complained at the front desk. As a public-serving business, Wi Spa had to follow California law forbidding discrimination against transgender people. What’s extraordinary isn’t that the spa’s employees followed the law but that this led to violence outside as opponents and supporters of the law clashed over the weekend.

Read that again—a penis is referred to as “male-appearing genitalia.” As in a female penis. “Male-appearing genitalia.” This is next-level gaslighting. You are not supposed to believe your lying eyes. Furthermore, when the LA Times does use the term “penis” later on in the editorial, it is to tell women to get over it:

Everyone — transgender customers, members of every faith and women who are upset by the sight of penises — has the right to use the spa and other public accommodations. It just happens that in this case, the public accommodation also includes nudity…But no one has an absolute right to feel comfortable all the time. People have a right to use the spa, but that doesn’t include with it a guarantee that they all will feel at ease with everything they see.

Fortunately, the editorial continues, there “is reason to think that a lot of the hullabaloo over these situations will ease over time” because young people are more pro-trans.

In short, everyone calm down. Seeing penises in a female changing area isn’t a big deal because this was merely “male-appearing genitalia.” It is also not a big deal if young girls were present, because this sort of “hullabaloo” will be over the moment these young people apply their ideology to their comfort levels in change rooms.

As I’ve said before, the challenge of the trans community to the country is a simple one: Who are you going to believe — us or your lying eyes?

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Jonathon Van Maren is a public speaker, writer, and pro-life activist. His commentary has been translated into more than eight languages and published widely online as well as print newspapers such as the Jewish Independent, the National Post, the Hamilton Spectator and others. He has received an award for combating anti-Semitism in print from the Jewish organization B’nai Brith. His commentary has been featured on CTV Primetime, Global News, EWTN, and the CBC as well as dozens of radio stations and news outlets in Canada and the United States.

He speaks on a wide variety of cultural topics across North America at universities, high schools, churches, and other functions. Some of these topics include abortion, pornography, the Sexual Revolution, and euthanasia. Jonathon holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in history from Simon Fraser University, and is the communications director for the Canadian Centre for Bio-Ethical Reform.

Jonathon’s first book, The Culture War, was released in 2016.