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“The idea that gender is natural is conservative, and the idea that gender is voluntarily chosen is insulting. Tell a victim of corrective rape that gender is voluntary. Tell any survivor of rape, the overwhelming majority of which are female, that being a woman is a fun set of clothing and behavior choices that she could reject identification with if she chose. Tell a preteen girl whose body is beginning to develop that the constant sexual assault at school, the constant leering and harassment from grown men, and the constant cultural messages telling her to starve herself, they’re all just part of her freely chosen identity as a woman.”
Ms. Hungerford clearly has no time for all the silliness po-mo brings to the table.
“Post-modern neoliberalism seeks to dismiss the experience of womanhood by claiming that anyone can choose to be a woman. And, in any case, it claims that we are too diverse to be generalized about. An interesting position to take: the class “women” has no defining characteristic, and yet transwomen know exactly what being a “woman” feels like.
The maxim “trans women are women” means at least three things: first, it means that being raised as girl from birth is not an important or relevant aspect of being a “woman” because one can be a woman without it.
Secondly, it means that having a female body is not an important or relevant aspect of being a “woman” because one can be a woman without it.
And third, it means that to be a “woman” reflects an individual’s desired relation to the social construct “woman,” rather than a description of the physical and/or cumulative experiential realities of female-born (and certain intersex) people as described above.”
-Hungerford, E. 2013,
“More and more women now refuse to put up with being lied to, beaten and betrayed by the fathers of their children. The truth behind the so-called decline in family values is that the illusion of stable family life was built on the silence of suffering women, who lived on whatever their husbands thought fit to give them, did menial work for a pittance to buy the necessities that their husbands would not pay for, put up with their husbands’ drinking and their bit on the side, blamed themselves for their husbands’ violence towards them, and endured abuse silently because of the children.”
— Germaine Greer, The Whole Woman
“womanhood should be important to feminists. why are we not allowed to find strength in speaking about the oppression we have endured since birth? why must we pause conversations about overcoming the shame we feel surrounding our bodies, the trauma and pain of our biology, the socialized submission and inferiority we had to unlearn, and whimper to the only-out-on-tumblr, treated-as-male-every-day trans woman but of course, i’m not the ultimate authority. my womanhood is no less valid than yours.
if womanhood is not the experience of being treated as a woman in a patriarchal society – ie, people who have not had the experience of being recognised as women and so have never been treated accordingly are given equal space and equal weight to their opinions – then what is womanhood?
what are women?
without a non-circular definition, and the constant ‘broadening’ of the category of woman (as if we are the ones who are narrow minded and must learn to accept non-conformity!) what is a woman’s experience? what are women’s issues?
(some vintage daisybeam content from way back when i was still incredulous that womanhood was being erased and somehow i had never noticed, up until the moment it became impossible to stop noticing)”
[Source: so good]
“Male violence against women does not simply take place in the cocoon of an individual relationship. It is structural, it is systemic. The pattern, the overwhelming consistency with which women are the victims and men the perpetrators should be a big clue. Male violence against women is not random, it has a function and that function is to maintain the social order of male dominance: patriarchy. Male violence against women is a cause and consequence of inequality between women and men. In the UK, the mainstream is very quick to identify ‘other’ religions as oppressive to women but this is equally true of Christianity. Religion reinforces and upholds patriarchy, forgiveness is just another of its tools. We do not need to forgive male violence against women unless we want men to continue to dominate women.”