Dylan Mulvaney’s Cringe Trans Video Should Make Trans Activists Cringe

By Tom Gilson Published on March 19, 2024

“Gender is performance,” wrote Berkeley professor Judith Butler as she helped create the gender craziness we have today. In other words, no one is born male or female, they just perform their “gender role.”

If so, then here’s a performance for you, from Dylan Mulvaney, the former Bud Light spokesman who says we should consider him a spokeswoman. Brace yourself: The cringe factor comes in at near-fatal levels. There’s actually a lesson in here, though, believe it or not.

So, following a ridiculous video no one can take seriously, we’ll look at the message it carries: that transgenderism itself is ridiculous, not worth taking seriously. We cringe, but it’s the trans activists who ought to be feeling the most pain from this.

Let’s start where they do: This is a man performing, not a woman, and the activists want you to know it. That opening shot — the classic, alluring scene of the woman’s legs as she steps out of the car — is completely undone by the size of his feet. They are undeniably, unmistakably the feet of a man. The activists didn’t have to announce that so potently, but they did. They’re telling us this is a man performing as a woman. Over-performing, actually. As in over-the-top, cliched, no-real-woman-could-ever-be-like-that over-performing.

Does He Feel Like a Woman? How?

It’s as if Mulvaney produced a commentary on Judith Butler: Yes, gender is performance. Period.

If that thought bothers you, it should bother trans activists even more. They’ve had decades to think about it. It seems by now they would have noticed how their founding theory cuts the (hairy) legs out from everything they’ve supposedly built on it.

We’ll take Dylan Mulvaney and his “performativity” here (as they call it) as our example. He has decided to live as a woman. That’s his choice, I suppose, except it comes with a demand: We’re supposed to think of him as a woman, too. Some jurisdictions will hit you with legal penalties if you deny it. He’s a woman, period, no dissent allowed (though I do indeed dissent).

So how did he become so completely and decidedly female that his “reality” must become ours as well? Did he decide he felt like a woman, as many men “becoming female” have said they do? That he may be a man on the outside, but on the inside where it counts, he feels more like a woman than a man? There’s a problem there: How would he know?

Seriously: How could he possibly know what being female feels like?

A “Feeling” Spoken from Ignorance, Insensitivity, or Worse

I will grant that a man could feel like he wants to act like a woman, live like a woman, be treated as a woman. I’ll grant that a man might want to wear dresses and heels, and go to the salon and spa to get all prettied up, and probably sit in coffee klatches and exchange gossip like a woman. (Yes, that last one was pure stereotype, something that is not even remotely true of the women I know best, but the same goes for most of Mulvaney’s performance in the video.)

Men performing as women are just that: men performing as women.

At any rate, while it is certainly true that a man can know what it feels like to want to act and be treated like a woman, no man knows what it actually feels like to be a woman. The statement, “I am a man on the outside but a woman on the inside” is made from ignorance at best: He knows not what he is talking about. The more he tries to call himself a female, the more insensitivity he displays. And that’s being charitable. At worst it’s a statement made from deranged fantasy: the idea that he can first deny reality, then rearrange it, simply by expressing a thought he finds comfortable to think about himself.

No man knows what it feels like to be a woman, so no man whose feelings tell him that he’s a “woman on the inside” actually knows what he’s talking about. So when he comes forth and tells us we need to treat him as a woman because he “really is a woman,” you could ask him, “Really? How do you know? How could you know it so truly that your ‘truth’ about it has to be our truth, too?”

Is It All in the Freedom of the Performance?

I can only think of one way Mulvaney could answer that question. “Well, no, you’re right, I don’t know what it feels like to be a woman, but I do know what it feels like to prefer living the woman’s role.” He knows what wanting to perform as a woman feels like, he might say, if he’s read some gender theory on it. Dylan Mulvaney sure seemed to want to perform as a “woman.” Not a real woman, certainly, but whatever it is he imagines when he thinks of “woman.”

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So you ask, “Are you then a woman, or are you a man who prefers performing as woman?” We’ve already seen how the first option has him denying reality. The second one has him agreeing — get ready for this — that he’s a man. A man who prefers performing as woman is a man who prefers performing as woman.

Then Why the Hypocrisy?

That’s reality. Culture, corporate policies, and sometimes even the law tell us we have to engage in the performance with Mulvaney in order to be considered good humans. He gets to decide his performance, free of all controls. He might even think a person ought to have the right to decide his own performance, free of all controls. Meanwhile, his performance controls ours. So he’s performing the role of a hypocrite, too, only in that case he’s not acting. The hypocrisy is all too real.

You can decide how much control you’re going to give him, to culture, to policies, or to law. If you care about reality, you’ll grant as little as you possibly can. Men performing as women are just that: men performing as women. That’s what gender performance theory means, and it’s what Dylan Mulvaney’s cringey video tells us, too. Transgender artists’ freedom to perform necessarily entails your enslavement to taking part in their performance.

This is wrong. Don’t feed the actors.


Tom Gilson (@TomGilsonAuthor) is a senior editor with The Stream and the author or editor of six books, including the highly acclaimed Too Good To Be False: How Jesus’ Incomparable Character Reveals His Reality.

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