"This is real life." To Babylon Bee creator Adam Ford, it was important to make that distinction, since even the world's greatest satirists couldn't imagine a scenario like this one. Twitter, king of conservative censorship, wielder of the all-powerful on/off switch, had done it again. In the growing genre of it-sounds-like-fake-news-but-isn't, Big Tech's thought police locked the Bee's account for recognizing something all of us have been tested on since high school: biology.
The offending post was meant to be a mockery of USA Today, which last week decided to name a female-identifying man, HHS's Rachel Levine, as one of the newspaper's "Women of the Year." The announcement, which was second in absurdity only to Joe Biden appointing him in the first place, showed what kind of outrageous, science-defying dogma is being pushed on unwilling Americans. The Bee, seizing the moment to make a point as only it can, declared Levine its first-ever "Man of the Year," writing: "Levine is the U.S. assistant secretary for health for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services... He often wears a dress, which some people think is weird -- but he doesn't care one bit. Come on! Men in India wear dress-type garments, don't they?"
Apparently, the sarcasm hit a nerve at Twitter, and the Silicon Valley titan -- who has a reputation for pulling the plug on uncomfortable truths -- let Bee CEO Seth Dillon know that its post violated the company's "hateful content" policy. In a message to fans, Dillon confirmed, "We're told our account will be restored in 12 hours, but the countdown won't begin until we delete the truth that violates the Twitter rules." But, he vowed, "We're not deleting anything. Truth is not hate speech. If the cost of telling the truth is the loss of our Twitter account, then so be it."
Of course, the irony of this whole uproar is that USA Today is the one "harassing other people on the basis of... gender." What does it say to billions of real women -- that they're completely indistinguishable from men? That the sum total of being a woman is throwing on a dress and some make-up? The so-called "party of women" is now a party of make-believe. It's one reason feminists, who stood outside the NCAA swim meet this weekend, now say they're "politically homeless." "I was historically liberal," one woman vented outside of the girls' collegiate championship where Lia Thomas was racing. Now? "I don't think the Democrats care about women and girls. They [want] to put men in [women's] prisons and men on [girls'] sports teams... I think that we're going to have a lot of people walking away, really."
The same Left who preaches that we shouldn't judge people by their appearance in the race debate suddenly wants to define an entire gender by it. Forget the 6,500 genetic differences between the two sexes. Change your name and you can race as women, compete for jobs as women, win awards for women -- erase women. And Babylon Bee doesn't want any part of it. That would be "ideological surrender," Dillon told NRO. Twitter could easily take down the tweet themselves, he pointed out, but instead, they want you to "bend the knee and admit wrongdoing by deleting the tweet yourself."
"It's not just that expressing these views is not allowed, you have to deny that you meant it. They want you to concede something. They're forcing you to grovel and adopt an ideological position that you don't actually hold," Dillon shook his head. In this case, it's not even an ideological position that Twitter demands submission to -- it's an outright lie. "We stated the fact that a man is a man and got [punished] for it," Editor-in-Chief Kyle Mann tweeted. "We are living in a clown world."
And from college pools to classrooms, Americans are refusing to play along. They feel confident confronting this culture of delusion because teams like the Babylon Bee are brave enough to do it too. Deep down, Twitter feels incredibly threatened by the growing number of people willing to challenge the woke agenda. If they can shut down the ring leaders -- the Christians with the biggest microphones -- they think they'll have a much better chance of forcing the rest of us in line.
At FRC's ProLifeCon earlier this year, Mann was frank about the hurdle of censorship. Big Tech, Big Government, the mainstream media, the fact-checkers, "They all kind of work together to silence us... And that's obviously really scary for us," he admitted, because that's how they can "deplatform us."
At the end of the day, though, the more cowardly we are as a movement, the more likely it is that the cancel culture will take over the marketplace of ideas. "And we don't want that to happen. So I think we need to be more bold... and more open about [our] beliefs..." The best way you can help, Dillon agrees, is "never censor yourself. Insist that 2 and 2 make 4 even if Twitter tries to compel you to say otherwise.... Continue to say what's true even if it has consequences. Make them ban tens of millions of us."
Suzanne Bowdey returned to FRC in 2006 after a three-year absence. In her role as Senior Writer, she drafts commentary on topics such as life, religious freedom, media and entertainment, sexuality, education, and other issues that affect the institutions of marriage and family. Her op-eds have been featured in publications ranging from the Washington Times to the Christian Post. As part of the team that plans FRC Action's Pray Vote Stand Summit (formerly the Values Voter Summit), she oversees the event's schedule, speakers, and select publications. Since 2020, she has also produced FRC’s weekly broadcast, “Pray Vote Stand.”