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I’m quite done with the notion that feminism and transactivism can ever be reconciled.  They are mutually exclusive concepts.

Feminism is about the liberation of females from patriarchy, and as evinced as of the September 13th – transactivism is about maintaining a respectable queer patina over the ugly face of male violence and domination.   Stand where you may, but after the 13th, know who you stand with.

That is all.

 

 

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“i really don’t understand how you preach that women should all love each other but not accept transwomen. i do see some of your points about men claiming to be trans lesbian and not actually be either but.. i still think transwomen are women.. i had a lot of respect for you until now..”

 

awaitingthematriarchy answered:

“I’m sorry to hear that of course, but I stand by my beliefs. ‘Woman’ is not an identity that you can opt in or out of – it is a politically neutral fact of biology. It’s the word that describes adult human females. Women can exist in infinite variations of personality types and aesthetics, but whatever our differences, we’re all united by our shared biology, which in turn confers a shared experience as being socialised as female under the patriarchy.

However, if we accept male-bodied people as ‘women’, then the meaning of the word changes. What does it mean to be a woman if we remove it from the state of existing as female? What does it mean to ‘identify as a woman’ if you are biologically male? What are you identifying with? If you can’t identify with the biological reality of being a woman, and you can’t identify with being socialised as a female, then the only thing that you can claim to identify with is the more abstract concept of femininity, which isn’t the same thing as womanhood at all. Does ‘woman’ become redefined to mean ‘anyone who identifies as feminine’? Where does that leave women who don’t identify with the social expectations around femininity? Aren’t they women?

How can we combat (or even vocalise) sex-based oppression if our biological sex is now irrelevant to womanhood? And let’s be clear, as a female I don’t have the option of identifying out of sex-based oppression. If all women everywhere collectively announced that we no longer identified as women, then it wouldn’t somehow magically stop misogyny. It would still be the same 50% of the human population being raped, abused, and exploited. The very act of a transwoman identifying as a woman and demanding recognition as such is an extension of male privilege. Women don’t get to chose our oppression under patriarchy.

So no, I’m afraid that I love and respect women too much to pretend that I view transwomen as anything other than gender non-conforming males. I don’t hate transwomen, and I believe that they should be able to live their lives free from violence or harassment, and I support their right to dress and present themselves in whatever way makes them happy, but I don’t believe that the act of doing so fundamentally changes their sex. My feminism is about prioritising females and lesbians, and combatting sex-based oppression. I wouldn’t be able to do that if I believed that womanhood was something as flimsy as something that anyone can ‘identify’ into.”

Brave words in the current climate of fake news and factual-relativsm.

Another interesting snippet from the conversation over at VW’s:

 

Arbourist:  “Humans, like most mammals are sexually dimorphic.”

VW:  This is a discriptive label we use in an attempt to best explain what represents the majority or general experience. That’s not my opinion – it’s a fact. Sexual dimorphism in humans is not a law, and it’s not even true for every individual, is it?”

Arbourist:  A man expressing typically feminine traits is still a man. ”

VW:Yes, of course. And a man who feels they were assigned the wrong sex and therefore gender at birth, based on nothing more than casual observation of their external genitalia, now has the freedom within many of our societies to become a woman.


 

I just happen to be reading a short essay called On Language and Erasure by Hypotaxis and this passage jumped out at me”

“But since this is a post about the notion of “erasure” and “thought policing,” I wanted to point out a couple of excerpts from the article – which was, in fact, written by a female:

Sex is based on the body, but biology is a branch of science and science is also a social construct and really what I’m saying is that your sex is essentially a label a very educated person slapped on you at birth using as many contextual clues as they could garner at the time about your DNA. Sex is not immutable or unchangeable or somehow “intrinsically” defined by our bodies; it’s more that science and medicine have put words in place to define sex and thrust it upon us – and that they’re often inadequate at capturing the full spectrum of diversity swimming around in the big ol’ sea . . .

 This is the kind of bullshit, circuitous, narcissist-logic, swamp of nothingness fuckery being sold to women on behalf of males who would prefer we not acknowledge reality. The attempt to convince women – or anyone for that matter – that science is a “construct,” in the same way gender is a “construct,” in a world where most are bat-shit insane idiots because we are no longer allowed to express a rational thought,  is dangerous. And how is this any different than the crazy people who run around denying evolution? Or climate change deniers? The incentive for Creationists to deny evolution, and for those who deny climate change is the same as the incentive for the trans/queer/gender worship lot who claim science is merely a construct: the scientific principles inconvenience them, hurt their feels.

“But if Jesus didn’t live with dinosaurs then . . . then . . . then FUCK YOU EVOLUTION ISN’T REAL!”

“But if my gas chugging SUV that I really, really like is bad for the environment then . . . then . . . then FUCK YOU CLIMATE CHANGE ISN’T REAL!”

“But if my penis isn’t part of female anatomy and I really, really would like to be a girl then . . . then . . . then FUCK YOU BIOLOGY IS A SOCIAL CONSTRUCT!”

Gender Studies is anti-intellectualism dressed up in academese for the benefit of males. Period.

And yes, science and medicine have put “words in place” to define things. Scientists and doctors use words particular to their disciplines, they have language that means specific things like “molecule” and “cancer” and “female” and thank fucking god for that. A doctor’s job is not to acknowledge every special nuance of your unicorn self. A scientist’s job is not to placate your fragile feelings.

Reflected in the Autostraddle is also the way in which trans/queer/gender-speak has reframed true feminism – now considered “radical” – to be “trans-exclusionary” (i.e. does not prioritize males/make religion of gender). Radical Feminists – referred to in the modern gestalt by the pejorative “TERF” – are those who are concerned with the welfare of women and girls, who are interested in the liberation of women, the end of gender, and the dismantling of patriarchy. Trans/queer/gender studies speak has appropriated the word so that it means, “don’t be mean to males”; trans/queer/gender studies has taken the tools of the oppressor – gender roles, pornography, prostitution and called them “empowering.” Trans/queer/gender studies folk work tirelessly to ensure women cannot speak truthfully about their lived realities, for fear it might alienate males.”


 

What twinged the comparison for me during my conversation with Violet is what seems to be the willingness to slip into a very liberal relativist reading of facts that do not agree with her position on human sexual dimorphism.  The strategy seems to be to get away from facts and go to the idea that everyone has their own equally important set of facts and the disagreement between these two ‘world views’ is where the argument should be – as opposed to actually arguing the original fact based argument.

It makes so hard to find any sort of common ground when everything seems to be relative and words mean different things to different people.   :/

 

 

Post Modernism keeps coming up at the root of many debates on contentious issues.  Gender identity politics one of the area where the influence of post-modernism can be seen.   This quote from Tildeb on Violetwisp’s blog is part of his critique of a segment of the left side of the political spectrum what Tildeb calls the Regressive left.  The claim is as follows:

“My claim is that there is a strong and growing element in the Left that is regressive, that operates by actions and sentiments that a anti-liberal in principle and demonstrate actions that are anti-Enlightenment in value… not least of which is saying that they do so on behalf of liberal principles and Enlightenment values but then actually committing the opposite. Furthermore, I claim the tactics used are fascist, that bullying and intimidation and violence and disruption and demonization are gaining wider and broader social acceptance… especially by people who should know better. In addition, from these sideline observers who should know better than appease and apologize for these hypocritical illiberals comes a kind of Fifth Column, people who go along, who do not soundly condemn, who rationalize excuses on behalf of others, who partake in the illusion of supporting ‘correctness’ by incorrect means and use a form of apologetics for Really Bad Ideas championed by the more militant advocates who presume they are defending victimized groups by these fascist methods.”

Many women are experiencing this phenomena vis-a-vis liberal feminism allied with trans-activism.  Females are routinely branded by the regressive left as TERFs for expressing a need for female only spaces, expressing their sexual preferences and defending the necessary boundaries they set in society in order for them to be safe.  The function of the term “terf” (trans exclusionary radical feminist) is to silence, shame, and coerce women into accepting men into their spaces and their feminism.  It has been a fairly successful campaign, but women are slowly seeing the downsides of a version of feminism that centres around the needs of males, having their peak trans moments and rejecting liberal feminism because essentially, it isn’t about women and their struggle for emancipation from the patriarchal structures of society.

Tildeb isn’t directly addressing feminist concerns, but this next portion of his comment illustrates exactly the issue with the regressive left’s take on reality and how it affects their argumentation.

“The point I keep raising is about the use of anti-liberal methods done in the name of liberal principles and then excused by those claiming to support liberal principles. Also, I keep raising the point but face significant reticence. from those I accuse of hypocrisy, of using a double standard, of going along with a very Post Modern framework and language not just about groups and power but this idea that everyone owns their own facts, their own truths, that any action illiberal intolerant action undertaken in defense of the victimized groups is somehow justified as well as exempt from legitimate criticism.”

Everyone can’t have their own set of facts and truths and have the naive expectation that others will go along with them.  Your deeply subjective personal thoughts and feelings are precisely that – *your* thoughts and feelings; expecting others to fall in line with your subjective whims is not only unreasonable, it is not how the world works.  Interfacing with society involves a give and take and mutual understanding of how the world works.  We teach children that their own desires and perspectives must be tempered with input from reality – they cannot have all the things, nor do things work precisely the way children think they should.   As children mature their outlook on the world becomes more nuanced and the interaction between their personal selves and the world begins to even out and the interplay between individual and society establishes itself into a generally beneficial mutual relationship.

The right to swing ones arms around is limited by the presence of others who may not want to be hit with said arms.  In other words feel free to exercise your freedom as long as you’re not infringing on the rights of others.  The same can be said of your subjective thoughts and feelings on gender and how your present yourself to the world.  By all means, identify however you wish.  That is your right, and I fully endorse an individuals right to do so.

But, your self-identification ends with you.  There should be no expectation that others have to take your subjective self-declared identity at face value.  So, if you happen to be male and identify as a woman fine.  But the expectation that others *must* treat you as a woman goes against the conception of rights we have in a liberal society.  Others may have different views on gender and identity and they have the exact same rights as the person who happens to be a male identifying as woman.

The problem is that people who do not go along with the self-identification of others are unjustly maligned, harassed, and their views marginalized by the current liberal feminists/transactivist movement.  People who believe that the social construction of gender is harmful and should be abolished have their views routinely mislabelled -phobic or bigoted when really they are just stating their opinion (of course, being backed by fact and observable reality is nice too).

So, let’s try and further the bounds of the debate and see where it takes us.

 

A big thank you Tildeb for clearly putting into words some of key points of the post modern gender identity debate and the surrounding controversy.

 

I’m sometimes asked why I give such serious side-eye to the term identity politics.  This isn’t some sort of dogwhistle like the freezepeach moniker that gets affixed to people who want to say racist or sexist things and then hide behind free speech.  Gender IDPOL is a systemic denial of the reality women face and an iron scold meant to silence and shame women who dare to speak out against the arguments IDPOL make.

The good news is that despite the abuse from the ‘progressive’ left and the usual abuse from dudes, brave women are speaking out against gender IDPOL, precisely because of its insidious nature and the implicit erasure of the female experience from the public sphere.

Ms. Sanchez writes a cogent essay that appears on the Feminist Current, I suggest going there and reading the entire work.  However, I wanted to highlight this section in particular as it speaks to the material situation women face in society, and how IDPOL is obfuscating that struggle.  Also highlighted are some of the rhetorical dodges genderists use to muddy the water when it comes to the reality of sex based oppression.

 

“This is because there is an expectation that women are inherently nurturing. Being forced into the position of caretaker translates to women having less savings, being promoted less, and accumulating less money in their pensions.

But gender identity politics reduces this reality — and womanhood itself — to a trivial, malleable identity. It is baffling that in a world where women and girls face structural oppression due to their biology, gender identity politics has thrived.

Susan Cox argues that: “The non-binary declaration is a slap in the face to all women, who, if they haven’t come out as ‘genderqueer,’ presumably possess an internal essence perfectly in-line with the misogynistic parody of womanhood created by patriarchy.” There’s a twisted, neoliberal cruelty in arguing that the primary problem with gender is its impact on the chosen identities of individuals, and not the way it operates systemically, under patriarchy, to normalize and encourage male violence and female subordination.

When confronted with evidence that, historically and globally, women’s oppression is sex-based, gender identity politics simply claims that sex itself is an “invented” social construct.

In an article at Quartz, Jeremy Colangelo writes:

“Sex and gender are much more complex and nuanced than people have long believed. Defining sex as a binary treats it like a light switch: on or off. But it’s actually more similar to a dimmer switch, with many people sitting somewhere in between male and female genetically, physiologically, and/or mentally. To reflect this, scientists now describe sex as a spectrum.

Despite the evidence, people hold on to the idea that sex is binary because it’s the easiest explanation to believe. It tracks with the messages we see in advertisements, movies, books, music — basically everywhere. People like familiar things, and the binary is familiar (especially if you’re a cisgender person who has never had to deal with sexual-identity issues).”

But feminists don’t argue that sex is real because it is “the easiest explanation to believe” or because of what the media tells us. We argue sex is real because from the moment an ultrasound reveals a baby is female, her subjugation begins. And though “gender identity” is presented as an issue feminism must contend with, it is, as Rebecca Reilly-Cooper explains, completely at odds with feminist analysis of biological sex as an axis of oppression:

“Women’s historic and continued subordination has not arisen because some members of our species choose to identify with an inferior social role (and it would be an act of egregious victim-blaming to suggest that it has). It has emerged as a means by which males can dominate that half of the species that is capable of gestating children, and exploit their sexual and reproductive labour.

We cannot make sense of the historical development of patriarchy and the continued existence of sexist discrimination and cultural misogyny, without recognizing the reality of female biology, and the existence of a class of biologically female persons.”

Far from fluid, the realities of sex-based oppression are strict and enforced through violence — this is particularly true for women of colour and women in poverty.”

If gender identity is so amazing why are not females in large droves identifying as Men to escape their oppression?

A quite comprehensive list. Female erasure is a serious problem in our society and we should move to ensure that the rights of Women are preserved.

“Here is a list of the Human Rights of Women that so-called Transgender Rights are eliminating. No one is saying Trans folk should not have rights, but what IS wrong is that trans activists are denying and destroying the Human Rights of women—and children who have no voice at all. Read this list—and wonder. And then, get angry . Here is the list , prepared by Gallus Mag, a blogger and writer in the women’s community…

Removing the legal right of women to organize politically against sex-based oppression by males
Removing the legal right of women to assemble outside the presence of men
Removing the legal right of women to educational programs created for women outside the presence of men
Eliminating data collection of sex-based inequalities in areas where females are underrepresented
Elimination of sex-based crime statistics
Eliminating athletic programs and sports competition for women and girls
Removing the legal right of women to be free from the presence of men in areas of public accommodation where nudity occurs
Elimination of grants, scholarships, board and trustee designations, representative positions, and affirmative programs for women
Removing the legal right of women to create reproductive clinics, rape crisis services, support groups, or any organizations for females
Eliminating media and all public discourse specific to females
Removal of the right of journalists to report the sex, and history, of subjects
Eliminating the legal right of lesbians to congregate publicly
Elimination of lesbian-specific organizations and advocacy groups
Removing the legal right of women to free speech related to sex roles and gender
Elimination of the legal right of women to protection from state-enforced sex-roles (appearance/behavior/thought)
Elimination of the legal right of girls to protection from state-enforced sex-roles in public education
Elimination of the patient right of dependent females to hospital/facility bed assignments separate from males
Elimination of the right of dependent females to prefer female providers for their intimate personal care requirements
Elimination of the human right of female prisoners under state confinement to be housed separately from male prisoners” (from here)”

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