No Female Is In this Picture


John Stonestreet

Maria Baer

Admiral Rachel Levine, a man who identifies as a transgender woman, was commissioned into the U.S. Public Health Service’s Commissioned Corps. Officials called Levine’s promotion “historic” because, they assured everyone, Levine was the first female four-star admiral in the Commissioned Corps.

When something like this is announced the way it was – surrounded by fanfare and reporters constantly reminding us that this is a woman – it’s not cynical to wonder whether the job was earned by qualification or just a PR campaign. But it is unsettling to consider that the administration might promote someone more for the photo op than their abilities. And it’s frankly condescending to the Admiral, though he didn’t seem to see it that way.

This feels a lot less like a culture that’s soberly “following the science” and a lot more like a culture heading “through the looking glass.”


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