Coming out as ‘non-binary’ throws other women under the bus

Sam Escobar. (Image: Twitter)
Sam Escobar. (Image: Twitter)

The cool thing for “feminist” writers to do lately is “come out” as “non-binary” or “genderqueer.” These women claim to be non-binary based on the premise that they have complex inner lives and don’t identify with every aspect of their social subordination through femininity.

Laurie Penny says she felt trapped in her female body as it developed sexually objectified breasts and curves as a teen. Jack Monroe recounts going through childhood photos that revealed she didn’t always wear explicitly feminine clothing: “Me, aged seven, in a baseball cap and jeans. Me, aged twelve, with a one-inch crop all over my head. Me, aged thirteen, insisting on wearing trousers to school like my friend Z.” Good Housekeeping’s beauty editor, Sam Escobar, recently published a shallow account of her non-binary status, explaining that she was “not exclusively attracted to boys” and sometimes “watched straight porn… from the male perspective.”

If these supposed indications of non-binary status sound to you like extremely mundane experiences common to a vast number of women, you would be correct. This is because non-binary identity is essentially devoid of meaning.

Some common narratives conveyed by “non-binary” women include: “I always liked having short hair,” “I don’t like being subjected to sexual violence,” “I feel uncomfortable in my female body.” Often being non-binary is defined by superficial choices that aren’t viewed as stereotypically “feminine.” However, even those choices seem to not be a requirement for non-binary status, as exemplified by Escobar, who looks as “feminine” as any woman.

Unlike some categorizations popular within queer ideology (“trans, “femme,” “genderfluid”), non-binary is less an “identification” than it is a “dis-identification.” Non-binary status is defined based on what it is not: “I am not a member of the subhuman class known as women. I am not the thing to be fucked.”

A woman coming out as “non-binary” is a non-statement that declares nothing but common loathing of the female class. Is the alternative to a “non-binary” woman a “binary” woman? And what does that mean? That we all love our bodies and have managed not to internalize the male gaze? That we are all fully at ease with the gendered stereotypes placed on us? 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.

Unlike second-wave feminists, who advocated for women to unite collectively under the banner of feminism, queer theorist Judith Butler touted “disidentification” as a politically progressive act. In 1993, Butler argued that women should “collectively disidentify” with other members of the female sex as a means to “queer” the category of sex itself. Over 20 years later, Butler’s vision has come to eerie fruition, as women proudly proclaim they have nothing in common with other females.

Butler’s bizarre, seemingly-antifeminist political prescriptions make sense in the context of her wider political project. In her two main works on gender theory, Gender Trouble and Bodies that Matter, Butler theorizes that gender is not oppressive due to the sexist, hierarchical stereotypes attached to masculinity and femininity, but because of its binary nature, which she says “violently excludes” those who fall outside the “margins” of the gender binary. For Butler, homosexuality can be equally as “exclusionary” and  in need of “deconstruction” as heterosexuality, as both are binary terms that “cruelly erase” other sexualities, such as bisexuality. Butler’s overarching political aim is to render marginalization impossible by making all social categories “inclusive.” This appears to have been achieved in a way, today, as we see the melding together of all categories of sexual orientation into the amorphous “queer.” (Oddly, oppression still exists, despite this magical rewording.)

The recent trend of declaring oneself “non-binary” seems to be another victory for Butlerian queer politics, wherein social reality has lost definitional shape and blurred into a mass of individuals who are supposedly “not men and not women.”

Butler is focused on eliminating marginalization for “non-normative” identities (which could theoretically include anyone from BDSM practitioners to pedophiles), not specifically women. She argues that the category of “woman” itself must be deconstructed, as it excludes other individuals who aren’t women (aka males). Since Butler is not concerned with the liberation of women in particular, the fact that women disidentifying with one another is likely to impede feminist efforts doesn’t bother her. But despite Butler’s admission that her politics are not specifically concerned with female liberation, many women still declare their non-binary disidentification to be a feminist act.

Penny at least acknowledges that disidentification with women clashes with feminist politics, but attempts to resolve this by saying she still “identifies, politically, as a woman.” This is paradoxical, as Penny’s non-binary declaration is not merely a neutral personal expression of her individuality, but already saturated with a certain political ideology. In this ideology, when a woman bristles under the boot of patriarchy — exemplified in the way Penny hated her female body during puberty and painfully felt pressured to conform to standards of femininity — this discomfort is seen not as a natural reaction to the unjust imposition of power, but rather as an indication that a woman is not a woman at all.

If discomfort in the female social position means a woman is “non-binary,” then what does it mean for all the women who don’t declare themselves “genderqueer?” Are they always a-ok with their lives under patriarchy? Do they never feel restrained by the narrow confines of femininity? Few people, if any, align perfectly with one end of the gender binary or the other, so, as Rebecca Reilly-Cooper argues, “If gender really is a spectrum, doesn’t this mean that every individual alive is non-binary, by definition?”

Escobar notes that she “identified considerably with men,” which is completely unsurprising, considering our culture is almost entirely dominated by the male perspective. Our literature and films feature mostly male characters who are the heroes, villains, and rogues, while most female characters appear only in relation to those males: the love-interest, wife, or mother. Feeling such intense alienation (combined with the trauma of rape), it makes sense that Escobar would experience depression, eating disorders, and body dysmorphia.

But she makes no such connections between her experiences and patriarchal power, instead implying that her unhappiness and alienation were due to not yet having realized her “difficult-to-name” uniqueness she describes as “non-binary.” (Penny similarly attributes her struggle to growing up in “a time before Tumblr when very few teenagers were talking about being genderqueer or transmasculine.” The horror!)

What this assumes is that structural power will disappear when women realize their unhappiness under patriarchy is only due to a personal oddity or defect. The ideology behind “non-binary” exemplifies the liberal concept of the social contract (that is, the idea that individuals living under state power are assumed to consent to that power, otherwise they would simply choose to relocate.) When being narrowly defined by sexist stereotypes is positioned as a state one can simply reject, voluntarily, women who don’t choose to opt out of gender are positioned as therefore consenting to that power.

I can think of nothing more anti-feminist than an ideology that precludes the possibility of identifying and confronting patriarchal power, and instead individualizes oppression as though it is a “personal choice.” Penny argues that she is still a feminist, and any obligation for women to identify with other women, “politically or otherwise,” constitutes “fucked up and bullshit” “identity policing.”  But feminism is not a matter of personal identity. Just like feeling pain under patriarchy is not a result of individual women’s quirks. Unfortunately, we can’t come out as “human beings” in order to convince men to treat us like equals. So please, spare us your insulting insinuations that we can identify (or “disindentify”) our way out of structural oppression. We’ll be trying to build a political movement with the specific aim of female liberation, in the meantime.

Susan Cox
Susan Cox

SUSAN COX IS A FEMINIST WRITER WHO LIVES IN NEW YORK. SHE EARNED HER MA IN PHILOSOPHY IN 2014.

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  • angry tardis

    Thank you.

  • TheArtistFormerlyKnownAsYoya

    Ugh, just cool girl feminism with a new face. Look at me, I’m different! I’m so not like those weak and sad “women” over there, always so worried about women stuff. No, I’m fun! I like porn from the man’s perspective!

  • therealcie

    You make some excellent points. Personally I don’t feel right about completely writing off non-binary as an identification. I know people of both sexes who consider themselves non-binary, meaning they don’t consider themselves to be either male or female. In my view, this isn’t the same as what these individuals are espousing.
    When something becomes trendy, it really does a disservice to the people who truly do fall within the category.
    It seems to me that what the women you write about in your article are saying is that they are “non-men.” The whole non-men thing is a big mess. It’s also erasure of women.

    • Jeez, a person can “consider” all they want, they’re still male or female depending on what’s inside their pants. There seems to be a really good thing going on — more and more people rejecting various details of masculine or feminine conditioning — but they’re misidentifying it. And they’re misidentifying it as personal, rather than political, making it a sort of pathetic form of “me-firstism”. People able to shake off some of the societal conditioning should be grateful of the circumstances/people that allowed that to happen. Instead they’re saying it makes them special, and it’s all because of something individual to them. It’s not. We do not grow up in isolation. Personality is not part of our essence, it is created through interaction with external factors.

  • jdndcus

    Very well done.

  • Kendall Turtle

    I never watched porn from the female perspective (I didn’t want that stuff happening to me) I preferred pants to dresses and still do, I always had more male friends than female friends until just recently, I don’t like makeup or any accessories. Yet, I’ve never had an identity crisis, but apparentally I’m non binary based off of sexist stereotypes of what makes a woman a woman and what makes a man a man. -____-

  • lk

    This genderqueer, genderfluid, non-binary, demigirl, demiboy, agender, transgender and etc. movement just gives individuals the illusion of power where there is none or very little.

    Declaring that I am agender and demanding that you call me they/them/ze probably makes one feel very powerful and unique, but it does absolutely nothing to change reality, challenge sexism or improve life for women as a class.

    “The ideology behind “non-binary” exemplifies the liberal concept of the social contract”….

    I think this ideology is also deeply conservative because (not only b/c it buys into gender stereotypes) it makes everything about the *individual*, it does not acknowledge classes nor the systemic issues that face these classes (like racism and sexism).

    Women as a class exist and they face certain issues b/c they ARE women not because they feel like or identify as women…

  • Meghan Murphy

    Exactly!! The whole point of porn is that it IS geared toward the male gaze — it is for men to watch.

    P.S. I LOVED the new Ghostbusters. Highly recommend.

    • lapis

      After seeing it I quite immediately wanted a sequel so these funny ladies could hang out together some more on the big screen – their friendship and interaction was the highlight of the movie!

    • namesareirrelevant

      We went to see it in the third week it was out here, usually by the third week here the theatres are half empty, but it was absolutely packed, and everyone was laughing and having a great time.

      The way the dude bros got so screechily hysterical about Ghostbusters, you would think it was some sort of classic never to be touched. I saw the original too, as a kid (and several times since), and it was no funnier or better written, in fact it was downright cheesy a lot of the time. And we all loved it. The new version was just cheesy enough, just daft enough to be fun. Just like the original. And with a great cast. Just like the original. Minus the sexism, unlike the original.

      I probably would never have bothered to see it if not for the controversy, so thanks? I guess to the squealing hysterical sexists who made it clear to me why it was important that my daughter and I saw it, for a great night out.

  • Meghan Murphy

    “I’m friends with trans activists who frequently debate whether the term “sexism” should even be used because it’s ‘trans-antagonistic'”

    Seriously?!?!? Fuck.

    • Cassandra

      Oh, yes. It’s upside down world. If you have any affinity for a certain sex to have SEX with (you know, homosexuality, heterosexuality), you are automatically transphobic. If you think sex matters, you are transphobic. It’s fucking loony toons town. Trans are tacked on to the LGB movement but think all the members of LGB (or at least the LG) are transphobic, if you really think about it. I am only attracted to males, sexually, but in their world I’m a bigot and exclusionary if I won’t consider sleeping with a trans man (a female). Trans ideology is rape culture on steroids.

      (I know you probably already know all this, but it needs to be said over and over again.)

  • Meghan Murphy

    Thank you!

  • Meghan Murphy

    So what if trans people are part of the LGBTQIAetc movement? If they aren’t advocating towards female liberation from patriarchy, they aren’t part of the feminist movement. What should have been made clear to you in reading Susan’s piece is that Queer politics and feminism have different aims. Why does everyone have to be included in everything?

  • Cassandra

    “If you are recognised as a woman and female, there is no out.”

    This cannot be repeated enough.

  • Cassandra

    Yeah, “femmephobia” is absurd. It’s all literally the definition of gas lighting and/or patriarchal reversals. The oppressor always finds a way to steal the language of the oppressed, spin it and use it against us. That’s all this is. (See “sex negative” “sex worker” “TERF” “transphobic” etc., etc.)

  • Lavender

    Do you seriously think that men who rape, harass, and otherwise abuse women give a sweet fuck how they identify? Women don’t “identify” as women. We were born female and inherited all the baggage that comes with having a female body. If you think that women conform to the stereotypes of gender because you got it in your head that you’re special, then congratulations – you’re a misogynist.

    I’m not non-binary. That’s a bullshit category made up to make some women feel better and allow men to pretend they’re not male-socialized men like all the other men. I’m a woman, and though that has made me a victim (and now a survivor) of male violence, I don’t not want to be a woman. Because my being a woman isn’t the problem.The problem is what people expect and demand of me simply *because* I’m a woman. It’s you gender identity nutbars who are trying to convince lesbians and other GNC women – with alarming success – that there’s something wrong with them, with their bodies, when we need to be telling girls to love themselves just as they are so they can grow up to be happy, healthy women. They deserve that. I violate stereotypes day in and day out as a woman because I know that the only way to destroy a stereotype is to prove that it has no basis in fact, rather than to say that those stereotypes are all fine and dandy, they just don’t apply to YOU. Fuck that.

  • Alienigena

    I think the point being made was that everyone (virtually all born women) are non-binary. There will always be ways in which even women who perform to type don’t conform (like some ‘ideal’ type) absolutely. Maybe these performing to type women like watching contact sports, e.g. boxing or football. Or even engage in contact sports (look at women’s rugby at the Olympics). That’s not me, but I do like hardware and building supply stores. Don’t like dresses now, but did when I was a young child. Played with dolls but psychodrama not dress up. And so on. The point is that the term is basically meaningless if it applies to virtually 100% of the population.

  • Meghan Murphy

    Feel grateful you are free of the pressure to desperately seek male approval by throwing your sisters under the bus.

  • Meghan Murphy

    Somehow my response was posted in response to the wrong comment. I’m sorry!

  • Meghan Murphy

    They have no arguments, so they resort to name-calling and slander. Classic.

  • Filosofiskstein

    Word! 😀

  • Sara Marie

    Yes.

    Furthermore, research shows that when a toy is advertised with all boys or mainly boys, like a board game, girls will still feel the toy is being advertised to them and want it. However, when these same toys have commercials made with majority girls, boys do not see the toys as being ones they want to play with.

    My point is, male identification starts young for children of both sexes. I recently started thinking about this, because I realized a tv show such as “Broad City”, which stars two women is likely not one too many men watch on their own (eg, without a girlfriend). But there is nothing about the show that makes it particularly “girly,” other than the fact that the two starring roles are both women.

  • Meghan Murphy

    Step one: Don’t read the article
    Step two: Post a very faux-serious post about how sad you are that _____ is being literally erased
    Step three: Don’t ever back up your argument
    Step four: Find you way back to the MRA forum on Reddit

    Good luck!

  • fragglerock

    Hahahaha…”coming out” as “non-binary” is like “admitting” your special at a Special People Anonymous meeting. “Ugh…I admit it everyone, I am also special….hold your applause, please.”

  • Milena Gary

    So true.

  • Meghan Murphy

    Gender isn’t an internal experience. It’s an external imposition.

  • Meghan Murphy

    Hmm… That’s surprising because I’ve opted out of political ads (and all other ad categories that might lead to something offensive popping up, leaving us with very few options and minimal ad revenue)… Could you screenshot and send to me if they show up again so I can send them along to Blogher? Thanks.

    • Kendall Turtle

      I get puppy dog ads ^_^ I search a lot of dog stuff cuz of my two crazy dogs!

  • Susan Cox

    I didn’t make up the ideology of gender. But that would be CRAZY impressive if I did, so thank you for thinking of me so highly, I guess.

  • Meghan Murphy

    Gender is imposed. It’s something people are socialized into. It’s not about choice or personal identity. The idea that we are all just super special individuals, each different in our own special way, making personal, private choices all the time, is neoliberal claptrap.

  • Meghan Murphy

    These women referenced are very well-known writers, not just rando nobodies.

  • Michelle Z.

    We might be forgetting the actual definition of “queer”. From dictionary.com: “a person whose sexual orientation or gender identity falls outside the heterosexual mainstream or the gender binary.”

    Heteronormative conditioning is part and parcel with the patriarchal propaganda.

    • Melanie

      The very concept of ‘gender’ is part and parcel with patriarchal propaganda. The entire point of feminism is to reject that our sex has anything to do with who we are as people. People who identify outside the ‘gender-binary’ implicitly legitimate gender roles and stereotypes so that their ‘identities’ can make coherent sense. They reinforce and normalize the concept of gender, and now are even having it written into law. They might feel like they’re challenging the status quo, but they’re actually reinforcing and legitimating it, to the detriment of girls and women in particular.

  • Michelle Z.

    Isn’t there talk of Tilda playing Bowie?

  • Meghan Murphy

    I said *if*. Just like anyone, some people are feminist, some people are not. Some trans people ally with feminists, others do not. If they don’t, they aren’t allies. It’s pretty straightforward.

    Thanks for the lecture, though.

  • Meghan Murphy

    huh? First, I am not the author of this article. Second, the quotes referenced *don’t* hold any weight with me, personally, but they do with others. I don’t understand what you are trying to argue, here.

  • Meghan Murphy

    Laurie Penny is quite well-known. I’m surprised that you haven’t heard of her. Even so, you’re very wrong in your impressions of these writers. They all have very large followings. You really couldn’t find better examples.

  • Meghan Murphy

    Patriarchy imposes gender, not individuals.

  • Meghan Murphy

    TERF is generally used against feminists (i.e. women).

  • Meghan Murphy

    Ask better questions.

  • Morag999

    “Many trans people have a much more nuanced view of structural oppression and gender roles than the author gives us credit for.”

    Yes, so nuanced, in fact, that the language we use to talk about these things disintegrates into a puddle of sparkly goo.

    If the end goal is individualizing everything until we must, each and all, speak in a highly specialized prattle — “queering” our language into babble — you get lots of “credit” for that!

    • Robin

      “Individualizing everything” is definitely not the end goal. Many trans people care about structural oppression and sexism, we are just asking for some respect.

      • Morag999

        Transgenderists are not asking for “respect”; they are demanding that everyone play make-believe with the notion that sex is arbitrarily “assigned” and that harmful sex-roles are not social constructs, which serve power, but harmless “gender identities” which are innate to everyone on Earth.

        The disrespect is coming from your side.

        • Toni Coughlin

          “Transgendrists”…? Seriously…? That is disrespectful and is coming from your side. Uh, acknowledging the effects of medical transition isn’t “make-believe”.

  • Morag999

    Woman is a sex, not an identity. Women can attempt to dis-identify with being female, and even call themselves something else, but that does not change their sex.

  • Meghan Murphy

    Like, socialized. I don’t impose gender on people. Do you not understand that it is feminism’s goal to undo gender stereotypes? Stop being ridiculous.

  • Meghan Murphy

    Not all women are feminists, but feminism is indeed a movement by and for women.

    • Rilian Lunsford

      Sure, whatever, it was started by women, and mainly benefits women, but there are feminists who are not women. Are you saying that all feminists are women?

      • Meghan Murphy

        I don’t believe men should call themselves ‘feminist,’ no. I believe there are male allies, though.

        • Rilian Lunsford

          feminist: a person who supports feminism.
          feminism: the advocacy of women’s rights on the grounds of political, social, and economic equality to men.

          And what about NBs? Or are you pretending they don’t exist?

          • Meghan Murphy

            You’ve lost me.

          • Rilian Lunsford

            Men are people, and NBs are people, so they are capable of being feminists.

          • Meghan Murphy

            Ok… So what? Like, sure, some men are great allies in this movement. It’s still a women’s movement — by women, for women. I don’t understand what point you are trying to make.

          • Rilian Lunsford

            I’m replying to something you said. Did you forget what you said? You said that “terf” is a misogynist insult and that men can’t be feminists. Men and NBs can be feminists, and a TERF is a self-described feminist who wants to force gender labels onto other people. This is in response you saying it’s a misogynist insult. It’s not.

          • Meghan Murphy

            Ok. So you’re just trying to argue that TERF isn’t an anti-feminist (therefore misogynist) insult? You’re wrong. Move on.

  • Meghan Murphy

    Sure people get bullied who don’t conform, but where do you think those ideas come from in the first place? The idea that women should be feminine and men should be masculine is a social one, not one invented by individuals.

    • Rilian Lunsford

      Society is made up of individuals. Each individual chooses to misgender and bully others, or they choose to not do that.

      • Meghan Murphy

        Where do you think gender comes from?

        • Rilian Lunsford

          Gender *roles* developed the same way as the rest of culture. It’s all arbitrary and often unfairly forced onto people. How do you think gender roles ie sexism originated? According to what I’ve read, it originated before any kind of record keeping, so we can only speculate.

          • Meghan Murphy

            It’s not arbitrary. It’s part of a hierarachical system we call patriarchy. It exists to oppress women and to (further) empower men.

          • Rilian Lunsford

            Yes, patriarchy is another word for what I was talking about. It is arbitrary as is all culture. I asked how you think patriarchy originated, because you asked me that. However, I don’t think how it originated is relevant to opposing and destroying it. You don’t have to know where gender comes from to refrain from misgendering people. Misgendering and bullying people into conforming to gender roles are actions taken by individuals and you have the power to refrain from those actions.

          • Meghan Murphy

            Patriarchy exists because men figured out they needed to control women’s reproductive capabilities.

          • Zuzanna Smith

            Gender role policing is not arbitrary, it’s very very deliberate and systematic, that is why so many people suffer from gender dysphoria, especially women, actually most women suffer at some level, opting out of being called female is not helping in any way it is hurting and it doesn’t work anyway. It doesn’t even work for the women who are demanding to be seen as “non-binary” really if they have to bully and force people to use their preferred pronouns or not to be called woman, people just see them as narcissistic and spoiled millennials.

  • Rilian Lunsford

    demanding that afab people call themselves women is demanding that they conform to a gender role.

    • Meghan Murphy

      Ha. No.

      • Rilian Lunsford

        Ha. Yes.

        Calling people girls/women/boys/men based on their genitals is (part of) gender roles. It is part of the external imposition of gender that you claimed to be opposed to.

        • Morag999

          Your comments are very silly.

        • esuth

          ‘Women’ and ‘Men’ are the words we use to describe the two SEXUAL categories that an overwhelming majority of humans unambiguously fit in to. For chickens we use hen and rooster, for sheep we use ewe and ram. It’s not that difficult and we humans are not special and different. Gender has fuck all to do with any of this.

    • Reality is sweet

      “Woman” means adult female human. No particular role or behavior or haircut is required. Did you ever have a dog or a cat or a hamster? Was it male or female? I bet you know! See, it’s like that! Your answer does not depend on the role played by your pet. Does that help?

  • Meghan Murphy

    The person who wrote this article has not imposed gender on anyone. A woman is an adult female.

    • Rilian Lunsford

      A woman is an adult female human. Yes. NBs are not female.
      The person who wrote this article intentionally called NBs “women”. That is imposing gender on NBs. Misgendering == imposing gender on someone. They are the same thing. Imposing gender *roles* is a different thing.

      • Meghan Murphy

        Of course the individuals mentioned in the article are female.

      • Kendall Turtle

        Whoaaaa, goodbye science. Apparently sex no longer exist! You can just identify out of biology now!

      • k.f. morton

        “female” = possession of ovaries, uterus, xx chromosomes and/or vagina and vulva. How is stating that someone possesses these features imposing gender on them? Or does the act of “identifying” as non binary change your physical characteristics? Confused.

      • Sabine

        Hahahahahahahahahaha! “NBs are not female”. Genius.

        • Rilian Lunsford

          They’re not male either.

  • Meghan Murphy

    I don’t respond well to being lectured and condescended to. I mean, I’ve been writing about feminism for a long time now, consider that I’ve thought things through, is all.

    • Michelle Z.

      If you felt lectured and condescended to, that was not my intent. My intent was to make statements and elaborate why that was my perspective. I like to write thoughtfully and choose my words with consideration.

      I’m not convinced you’ve thought things through completely from multiple possible feminist perspectives. There is not one “right way” to be a feminist. To me that is imposing social constructs at the same time we are trying to deconstruct others.

      I don’t doubt that you work hard. Also, thank you for thinking I might have questions about the feminist movement/ideology, but I suspect I’ve been a feminist longer than you’ve been shaving or choosing not to.

      “A long time” is not 4-5 years. You’re fighting the good fight, but please slow down. The past twenty years has hardly seen enough progress and we all need to pace ourselves because there is a lifetime of work ahead. Patience is what you need most of to make any serious headway with fence-sitters.

      • Meghan Murphy

        I guess this is just your style, eh?

  • Meghan Murphy

    If they’re female they are… You understand the difference between sex and gender right?

  • melissa

    ” I don’t think she’s ever known what it’s like to truly feel uncomfortable in your own body.”

    I don’t know about Susan but millions of women do. I certainly did. I hated going through puberty, i hated having breasts and everything that came with being a girl. A lot of this was just exasperated by growing up in a conservative family. Been through plenty of phases but eventually did start to feel good in my skin.I have no idea what “feeling” like a girl entails. i have both feminine/masculine interests so i know what feeling feminine or masculine mean I suppose, but again, how does one feel a gender?

    “I identify as a lesbian, a feminist, a humanist and an atheist. Those are all labels that represent something that I CHOOSE to affix to my sense of self.”

    Lesbian is a sexual orientation, feminism is a political movement, humanism is a philosophical and ethical stance and atheism is lack of belief in a god. Aside from lesbian I’m all of those things as well. These things tell me about your personality, preference, politics, character, and worldview to a degree, but how is gender comparable to this? Does your gender determine any of that? Whats exactly ones gender suppose to tell me about them?

    “So let’s consider that identifying as non-binary is a way of saying “the limited number of words available in English to describe how I perceive my gender are limited, but I have to pick something” and that something is non-binary.”

    Isn’t that the problem though? The suggestion that ‘woman’ is somehow a limited experience? How is it that we’re defining man/woman here? If we’re the sole arbiters of what it feels like to be a man/woman, if there’s no objective criteria of what it means to be a man/woman, the claim to identify or not identify as one becomes intelligible.

    “I grew up as a girl. My mom made me wear dresses and pink and lacy crap. Not me. The term that is closest to how I could be described is soft butch.”

    Add in some religious conservatism and my experience was more or less similar.It was nauseating.Not me either.I hope we’re not describing growing up as a girl as wearing pink lace dresses. And I thought it was fairly common for many lesbians to not be overly feminine?

    “When I was in my early 20s, I had an identity dilemma and truly considered if I might be transgendered and even went so far as to get as referral to the specific psychologist (I didn’t end up going).”

    And here’s the problem with this gender identity narrative. Its inadvertently reinforcing the idea that if you don’t fit a stereotype, don’t have these “woman” feels, if you feel atypical or different, you must not be a woman at all. Being a woman(whatever we’re even defining that as) couldn’t possible entail the these diverse human experiences.The biggest British centre treating children with gender issues, 67.6 % female patients referred to the clinic are attracted to females, and 42.3 %of males are attracted to males.And i don’t think it’s a coincidence considering how gay people even less often fit these stereotype of what’s suppose to be “man” or “woman”.

    “Now I hear so many more terms that allow gender fluidity, because as we’ve learned,”

    Maybe we should’ve learned that gender is a social construct instead? That our genders don’t define us? That we’re capable of wide range of diverse human experiences, regardless of the socially imposed construction that is gender?

    “ I sometimes wonder if I had had access to these gender concepts, that I might have had an easier time.”

    It probably would’ve been easier for me too. But I’m massively grateful I didn’t. Knowing myself I would’ve so easily embraced these labels, buying into this regressive, gender essentialist idea and defined myself *against* the limiting box I would’ve inadvertently defined as “woman”. Going by the definition of non-binary/ gender fluid, it seems most people I know would fit that label. Not being able to fit into these socially constructed ideas of woman/men doesn’t make us a minority, it makes us human.

    • Michelle Z.

      Melissa, thank you for the great reply. I love when my ideas are challenged (I mean this; I’m not being sarcastic).

      I’m not on a device that allows easy editing, so please allow me to number my responses to correlate to your chosen quotes of my OP.

      1. I acknowledge that many, if not all, women go through so many stages of uncomfortable due to our conditioning from birth w.r.t. gender. I was implying that sometimes the gender identity crisis goes beyond that. Trans people generally feel that they are prisoners in the wrong physical body and this does not lessen after puberty, it intensifies.

      2. By identifying as a lesbian, I am identifying as a female homosexual. The gender is inherent in the word. I couldn’t identify as a lesbian if I wasn’t a woman first. I find language is very important because English is a very patriarchal language, and manoeuvring in it can be tricky.

      3. My belief is that the biological definition, the societal definition and the individual definition of gender are all perceived and measured differently.

      4. Pink and lacy is how I describe the other extreme to how I wanted to dress. There is a strong femme (aka lipstick lesbian) movement within the lesbian dialogue. These women are criticised by some of the more extreme lesbians as conforming to the societal definition of how a woman should look (can’t we all just work together? sheesh). My girlfriends are typically “straight-looking” which is not a term I like, but most easily describes them.

      5. I completely agree with you. I had a hard time, but in the end I decided not to go forward. I think I would have done it for the wrong reasons – to “fit in” to society easier. I love my biological parts that make me a woman and I when I tried to imagine parting with them, I wouldn’t do it. I consider myself fortunate to be where I am now, even though I still need to work daily to love my body.

      6. Again, I agree ( in #3).

      7. I am a humanist as well as a feminist, and again I agree that we are all human. I think the availability of these terms is what is most important because it starts a discussion about something that we previously didn’t address. “Non-binary” is not unlike any other words we use to describe ourselves: it a tool for those who truly need it, and misused/abused by people who think it’s trendy.

      Can you provide source for your pic? It sounds like I might like to read it 🙂

      On a personal level, I’m glad you managed to overcome your upbringing and embrace your self. Thank you for sharing your personal experience.

      • melissa

        Trans people can do what they like, but that doesn’t justify forcing everyone to play by or accept reinforcement of this very, gender existentialist, regressive and ironically conservative ideas about these “lady brain”,”man brain” or the lack of one that everyone is supposedly born with.It does not justify forcing everyone to accept we’re all on this innate,static spectrum of gender(which never gets coherently defined to begin with) that we’re all the sole arbitrators of, which fundamentally defines every one of us, and that the vast majority of people are somehow “binary”.

        “By identifying as a lesbian, I am identifying as a female homosexual. The gender is inherent in the word. I couldn’t identify as a lesbian if I wasn’t a woman first.”

        Yes, female homosexual.Homosexuality is defined as someone being attracted to people of their own *sex*, not gender.If you’re defining “woman” as a female human then that would make sense and we’d be on the same page, but we’re not talking about woman as sex but as an “identity”. Would it be correct to not expect a lesbian to be attracted to a regular biological male and that a gay man wouldn’t want to sleep with a regular biological woman merely on the basis of them feeling like the opposite gender?It is because of sex, because of material reality that ‘same *sex* marriage’ is an issues. Also, wouldn’t you identifying as non-binary mean you’re not a woman?

        “My belief is that the biological definition, the societal definition and the individual definition of gender are all perceived and measured differently.”

        Ok, then maybe define them? How exactly is the individual definition of gender measured?What constitutes ‘woman’?What is the criteria?How would one identify with ‘woman’ if we can’t define one?

        “. Pink and lacy is how I describe the other extreme to how I wanted to dress. There is a strong femme (aka lipstick lesbian) movement within the lesbian dialogue. These women are criticised by some of the more extreme lesbians as conforming to the societal definition of how a woman should look”

        Those are all just women with different personalities and preferences, i dont see what that has to do with gender as an identity.Also, there should be a distinction between criticizing individual women and criticizing ,analyzing ideas, societal trends,norms, socially imposed ideas of gender etc. I’d say religion is a good comparable example of that.People often take someone scrutinizing religion as an idea ,normalized practice ,a social norm and the traditions and dynamics that results from it, as some individual attack on people.There’s this tendency of people yelling “choice” when the societal structures creating inequality for different groups of people, that we play into, that’s either informed by religion or culture, comes into question.

        “I think the availability of these terms is what is most important because it starts a discussion about something that we previously didn’t address.”

        I dont know, it seems the other way around .It only seems to completely stifled the discussion…

        http://www.feministcurrent.com/2016/06/27/ideology-transgender-movement-open-debate/

        http://www.feministcurrent.com/2016/06/01/everyday-feminism-pulls-article-alice-dreger/

        http://www.feministcurrent.com/2016/06/02/head-of-georgias-aclu-chapter-resigns-over-transgender-bathroom-directive/

        http://www.feministcurrent.com/2016/04/23/prince-was-not-trans-he-is-proof-that-men-need-not-be-masculine/

        http://www.feministcurrent.com/2015/11/10/why-i-no-longer-hate-terfs/

        http://www.feministcurrent.com/2016/07/21/uvic-womens-centre-becomes-third-space/

        http://www.feministcurrent.com/2014/07/29/how-terf-works/

        I’m not completely sure what you mean by this not being addressed.Second wave feminist have been speaking about gender for quite some time now.

        I cant quite remember where that pic was originally from, but here’s some i read on this i found useful …

        https://aeon.co/essays/the-idea-that-gender-is-a-spectrum-is-a-new-gender-prison

        https://liberationcollective.wordpress.com/2012/06/08/a-feminist-critique-of-cisgender/

        Thanks for sharing too.I’m glad you’re doing well as well 🙂

        • lk

          Melissa, your responses are amazing!

          “Those are all just women with different personalities and preferences, i dont see what that has to do with gender as an identity.”

          Yes, so many times when people discuss gender identity, they are really just listing personality traits and preferences.

          Liking “feminine” things does not make one a woman, liking “masculine” things does not make one a man.

          I’m ready to see the whole idea of gender identity just be recognized for the limiting, unnecessary force it is.

          Imagine how much happier we could be if we were just allowed to explore different interests, activities, clothing without worry if it was too feminine, too masculine, not feminine enough…

      • Yisheng Qingwa

        You sure sound like a man to me. A condescending, bloviating man.

  • melissa

    You’re not a “new minority”. Going by how non-binary/gender fluid is defined, most people i know fit it. Not fitting into these socially constructed ideas about man/woman is not a new ,exceptional,l minority experience..

  • melissa

    The day black people validate Rachel Dolezal as black because she “feels” it, the day we can just identify in and out of a race, then make that comparison.Otherwise this is just a false equivalency.

    Buying into gender existentialist ideas about gender being these innate, unedifying identifies as opposed to social constructs isn’t helping the “female struggle”.

  • Zuzanna Smith

    Trans people are the ones who conform to gender roles of the opposite sex, they should be called cross sex-stereotype people because that is what they are. WE are saying you can be of either sex and live, dress, act, however makes you happy, YOU are saying you can only do that if you change your pronoun, name or body. YOU are the one conforming to gender roles and you are the one who is depressingly regressive.

  • Meghan Murphy

    My ‘high horse’ comment was a joke. I’m 36 (37 in October). And yourself? I’m more than happy to have constructive discussions about issues and ideas, but tend to do so with sisters — women who are engaged in the movement, who I know and trust as allies, and/or who’ve really considered and studied feminist theory/ideology and who are working toward similar goals in the movement. Those women are not always polite if they disagree with me, but they are sisters, so our disagreements happen in a different way, in different forums (generally, not public forums), with respect, and with trust. While I always learn a lot from reading the comments here (and obviously from reading elsewhere), most of my input in the comment section is to moderate and, therefore, my responses, when I do respond, are brief and I don’t tend to get into long-winded ideological conversations here, though I think you will find other commenters here are very intelligent and informed and you will likely learn a lot from many of them/the discussions here. While moderation is a big part of this job, I need to try to focus as much energy as I can on writing/editing. You’re right that my responses happen quickly and that I don’t have time to read them over. This is just the reality of the forum/amount of comments/work I’m trying to get through on a day-to-day basis. I also can’t help but wonder whether a man would be told his confidence in his field/work (based on brief interjections in the comment section) was off-putting? Somehow I doubt it… In any case, I do wish you all the best and hope you enjoy the site/engaging with others here. You seem very intelligent and I’m sure you will bring a lot to the conversation. Just wanted to give you some (again, brief) background/context w/r/t my engagement. Thanks for your thoughts.

  • Jessica Ayleen

    So, people (male and female) have to endure to not be themselves (genderqueer or NB) just because other women would not feel good??? or for the sake of feminist???

    Can you at least see how much this is similar ro saying that gay people can be gay, but cant hold hands or kiss in the street? Or trans people need to be confined to prostitution and invisible???

    People are people, they want to be happy and have a good mental health. If a person is NB, this person is NB and coming out is the best she/he can do for her/himself and in the long term to change the gender norms of the society…

    • Morag999

      “Can you at least see how much this is similar ro saying that gay people can be gay, but cant hold hands or kiss in the street?”

      No. Not at all.

    • Zuzanna Smith

      They are changing nothing, if anything they are reinforcing gender norms.

  • Melanie

    In order for a person to identify as ‘non-binary’ or ‘genderqueer’ they must define other people as ‘binary’ or ‘gender conforming’ for their identity to make coherent sense. You don’t get to identify others, especially when doing so reduces them to a set of regressive sex stereotyopes and roles that have been a key part of their oppression for centuries.

  • Meghan Murphy

    “You see feminism as your work, your job. Perhaps it’s what pays the bills.”

    While I appreciate your sincerity, in terms of your desire for engagement, for whatever reason, you seem to make a lot of assumptions that are insulting and make it difficult to engage politely. I’m trying, despite that.

    My interest and commitment to feminism is not financial and I find that assumption insulting and totally off-base, considering my work and politics and what I’ve always, consistently expressed in my work and politics. Yes, this is my job — I’m a writer and a journalist — but I don’t see *feminism* as a job or a source of income. It is a political movement. I can’t even imagine how many times I’ve repeated this, considering that I am not only anti-capitalist but that I’ve chosen the least ‘marketable’ subject matter and politic upon which to centre my work.

    I started this website, not because I thought it would be financially beneficial, but because I thought it was important to have a space for real feminist analysis — not the bullshit ‘cool girl’ feminism that pushed ‘sex work’ and porn as a source of empowerment for women. It has become somewhat financially sustainable (in a very small way, in comparison to the kinds of budgets other media outlets/sites work with), thanks to reader donations, which is wonderful, but the goal was never profit. The politics have always come first. I did have a wish to become a real, bonafide writer, and worked my ass off, writing for free and pitching constantly, until I began to get published and paid.

    Yes, this is my job, but it’s the assumption that somehow I don’t “get” feminism/the movement and the assumption that people have the worst possible of intentions and just haven’t considered alternative ideas that is presumptuous and condescending when, in fact, it was you who misunderstood and don’t have the background with regard to radical feminist ideology.

    This is the original comment I responded to:

    “Meghan, how many trans people do you personally know? All of the transpeople I know are advocates for all marginalised groups. Nothing like being marginalised within your own queer community.

    Do you realise that liberation from patriarchy necissitates such large scale change that the rampant racism, capitalism, anti-muslim constructs have to die with it? We are all in this together, against The Man. Queer activists also want equality, which means lifting up marginalised groups and trying to bring down the 1%.”

    What you don’t understand, again, is that queer politics and the feminist movement have different goals. Susan explains this in her piece quite well, I think. My argument is not that certain individuals may not be part of/allies in this movement — it’s that, in order to be political allies, one must share goals and politics. That’s not a judgement call, it just is. How can you work towards shared goals if your goals are not shared? Political movements require solidarity and queer politics impede solidarity.

    So yes, my response to you was curt, but it was because it was in response to condescension that was not only unwarranted, but based on a misunderstanding of feminism as a political movement and, apparently, a misreading of Susan’s piece. I DO know what I’m talking about, in this case, and so does Susan. This doesn’t mean either of us have nothing to learn, it just means the specific arguments made here aren’t up for debate. (That is to say, the argument that queer politics and radical feminism have different aims.) The ideology is different, the worldview is different, and, in fact, queer and transactivists are actively and viciously attacking our movement and our sisters in this movement. We aren’t *all” working together against ‘the man’ because we have different ideas about who ‘the man’ is. (They seem to believe ‘the man’ is radical feminists, and we are aware that that is ridiculous.) We could possibly have some sense of solidarity with these activists if they weren’t busy attacking us, our work, our movement, and our spaces and instead actually attack THE MAN. Like, really. I’m not sure if you’ve been paying attention to who queer activists perceive to be the enemy, but they’re way off base. Queer politics do not see women’s oppression as class based and do not seek to liberate women, as a whole, from patriarchal oppression.

    Anyway, I want to apologize for being curt or hurtful but, at the same time, I feel your approach to this conversation was kind of ignorant, but with the assumption that we, here, were in fact ignorant and just needed a talking to from someone with more expertise. Beyond that, I’m not going to spend hours in here monitoring my tone and explaining arguments, over and over again, that have been outlined very clearly already in the articles published here.

  • Meghan Murphy

    “Gender is a thing that some people have. It is how one perceives oneself internally.”

    No, it isn’t. Unless you can explain what it ‘feels like’ to be a woman ‘on the inside’ (without falling into sexist gender stereotypes)?

  • Meghan Murphy

    Understanding that sex is a real thing has absolutely nothing to do with ‘dogma’.

  • Meghan Murphy

    I’m listening. It’s just that you’re wrong and your arguments don’t make sense. Everyone is ‘non-binary.’ There is no such thing as ‘feeling like a woman on the inside.’ I don’t need to ‘self-identify.’ I *am* a woman. And it has nothing to do with some ‘feeling on the inside.’

    Ordering people to LISTEN harder to people who make non-arguments and don’t make sense is only likely to change the minds of others who don’t wish to think these things through very deeply.

  • Reproductive rights are binary, everyone has one or the other, even intersex people have one sex they have a right to procreate as one one they have a right to procreate with. We need to ban transgender reproduction, it would be too expensive and unethical.

  • Kendall Turtle

    Erasing sex based language benefits one group, the oppressors.

    Instead of “man murders woman” it turns into “they murdered them” effectively erasing male violence against women.

  • Jane Medeiros

    I know other people asked you this but: What is a woman? Do you really think that being a woman = performing gender roles related to the female sex?

    That’s why you wrongly believe we are demanding them to conform to gender roles?

    Here’s another question for you: Can you imagine a world without gender?

    Can you imagine a world in which the female sex is not defined by femininity?

    • Rilian Lunsford

      I will answer your questions in order.
      1. A woman is someone who says she is a woman.
      2. No.
      3. If you’re misgendering someone, you are trying to make them comform to *at least one gender role* which is being called a woman/girl/man/boy. It’s a gender role because it’s assigned to them based on their genitals at birth.
      4. I can imagine a world without gender roles.
      5. I don’t know what “femininity” is. Masculine and feminine are noncepts and I don’t find them useful in my life.

  • Meghan Murphy

    It isn’t helpful or convincing to simply say something is ‘awful’, without making an argument to support your claim.

    • Crystal Light

      buddy,

      • Meghan Murphy

        That’s not an argument either?

        • Crystal Light

          right, it isn’t helpful or convincing. i would hope you’d hold your own comments to your own standards.

          • Meghan Murphy

            Pointing out that someone who is obviously wrong is wrong doesn’t require extensive argumentation. I mean, “demanding that afab people call themselves women” is *not* “demanding that they conform to a gender role.” It’s just a nonsensicial, stupid thing to say. Especially considering that many others asked pertinent questions Rilian Lunsford couldn’t answer and explained many times over why his arguments were nonsensicial. Rando internet commenter who says “this article is awful” but doesn’t explain why has zero credibility AND hasn’t made an argument. Which is actually fine, because all it shows is that… he doesn’t have an argument… So who cares what he thinks.

          • Crystal Light

            i guess what concerns me here is that you took the time to respond to this comment which has no arguments but not mine, which does – maybe you do care?

            and “obviously wrong” still isn’t a substitute for an argument

          • Meghan Murphy

            I’m moderating. Not responding to each and every comment.

          • Rilian Lunsford

            “”demanding that afab people call themselves women” is *not* “demanding that they conform to a gender role.” ”
            How is it not?
            It is, because “woman” is a gender role.

          • Morag999

            Please stop being so dumb or we’re going to have to start feeling pity for you. A woman is a person. A person who is also of the female sex.

          • Radical Mon

            woman is an adult human female. it is biology. not a societally pushed gender role. it’s genderists who insists on perpetrating that actions and interests etc are gendered.

          • Melanie

            The idea that ‘woman is a gender role’ is precisely what feminists have been challenging for centuries. It is sexism plain and simple. What a regressive ideology.

  • Toni Coughlin

    “… liberating girls and women…” Unless, of course, those girls/women don’t identify with you (as in female-at-birth nonbinary and trans men) or those girls/women are trans.

    • Jane Medeiros

      How abolishing gender won’t liberate girls and women? Or you can’t imagine a world without gender?

  • Toni Coughlin

    If you can’t accept a legally/medically female trans girl/woman using the locker rooms, showers, etc. then you should probably just change and shower at home, shouldn’t you? I mean… what else are you going to do? Tell me to use the men’s room? That would actually be illegal at this point.

    • Melanie

      That’s precisely the problem with these laws. They impinge on the rights and freedoms of women and girls and send them right back where they started, with limited or no access to public space. Which is sex discrimination.

    • Opinions are free

      I don’t think you are familiar with the laws.
      In many places the only determination for man to be woman is subjective self-determination: just do it. No medical exam, no legal process. And you change mind every day etc.

      • Toni Coughlin

        In how many places? And in which places?

  • Toni Coughlin

    “erasure of female identity” How does the fact of people being who they are “erase” female identity? So Jack Monroe says that Jack Monroe is neither man nor woman…What exactly is there for you to resist there?

  • will

    There is no such thing as innate gender. Everyone is non binary as far as the social construct called gender is concerned. To insist on being trans – on a transition from one gender to the other – necessitates reification of the imaginary entity called gender to material reality. It’s false consciousness. To insist that I am courageously nonbinary while everyone else is binary is narcissistic and arrogant in its presumption about others’ experiences.

    Somehow the ability to differentiate between material reality and solipsistic fantasy is beyond the grasp of many people. We are mammals. We reproduce through a material sexual binary. Beyond that, liking pink or lace or UFC is irrelevant. Do what you want. Wear what you want. Have sex with any adult who wants to have sex with you. Call yourself what you want. But do not act as if you are being oppressed because I will not bow down and cater to your fantasies. Reject gender roles, sure, but don’t pretend that everyone else is conformist who acknowledges the reality of women’s reproductive capacity and the material and social conditions that have formed around male strategies to control that reproduction.

    When you deny the real world conditions of females you reinforce women’s subjugation. It makes no difference if you do it in the name of some self- congratulatory faux- resistance or if you do it in the name of AVFM.

  • will

    Identity is a made up concept that could not exist without the requisite critical mass of people privileged enough to have had little or no experience with the limitations of material reality. I doubt anyone who has known hunger, who has feared that they might have no shelter to protect them from the elements, has the time to fuss over the way stilettos form or don’t form their so called identity.

    Identity is fashion posing as politics. Real political agitation for social justice is harder. It requires looking beyond the mirror and considering the material reality of people other than yourself and, further, it require consideration of how one’s actions impact people other than you, your friends and your family.

  • amongster

    It is not about “looking like a woman”. If you have the body that has evolved to produce ova you are female, and when you are a grown up female you are a woman. This biological concept is not that hard to understand.
    If you don’t want to call yourself woman, even though you are female, you should look into what association with the words you have that make you reject it and you will probably, hopefully, realize that your reasons for rejection are prejudices that stem from sexist sex stereotypes.
    And if you don’t want to call yourself female even though your body has evolved to produce ova then you are simply confused which is not surprising considering the brainwashing that is going on these days. Good luck breaking free from this indoctrination.

  • Meghan Murphy

    What ‘mean and hurtful things’ have I said about ‘an entire class of humans’? Also, i am not “appropriating the label ‘feminist,'” I actually am one. You are not challenging any preconceived notions, you are just making things up out of thin air in order to defend your preferred worldview.

    • vonn_new

      What I did was suggest an experiment you could run so as to collect information yourself with no mediation from me or anyone else whatsoever. You rejected that suggestion. For what it’s worth, I’m running the experiment myself right now. The results are fascinating. Unfortunately, you won’t receive the benefit of the richness and diversity of the many beautiful ways people are answering the question because … why?

      I’m not going to inventory the hurtful things you’ve said in this set of comments. I have better things to do that revisit that. If you go really care, you can go back and read it for yourself. Right off the top of my head you told someone who disagreed with the article to ‘go back to the MRA forum’, which was just harsh.

      • Meghan Murphy

        You are aware that you make no sense, yes?

  • Melanie

    Yes, I was a bit confused about who you were speaking to. Sorry, I just got out of hospital and was still groggy from the anesthetic!

  • Melanie

    The entire point of feminism is to challenge and reject the notion of gender roles and stereotypes being applied to each sex. The idea that we have an inherent ‘gender identity’ (or a non-binary one that’s measured against it) is the exact opposite of feminism.

  • Karla Gjini

    well said @morag99:disqus

    “What feminists support is liberating girls and women from male violence and control by challenging and dismantling male systems of power.”

    it’s not about the individual + identity, it’s about women as a class being oppressed by male supremacy

  • Meghan Murphy

    Please don’t tell women who fear male violence that they are ‘irrational.’ It’s incredibly regressive and sexist.

    • Toni Coughlin

      Please don’t equate irrational fears of trans people to fears of male violence. It’s incredibly regressive and sexist, and a disservice to all victims of male violence (myself included).

      • Meghan Murphy

        Well, to start, people here really aren’t just talking about bathrooms. Mentioned were rape crisis shelters, homeless shelters, locker rooms, etc. I wonder, though, what it is you think women are concerned with, if not male violence? What is it that you think is irrational about women’s desire for women-only spaces, under these circumstances?

        • Toni Coughlin

          Are you suggesting that transgender women don’t exercise? I think you (and many on the right wing) are concerned with trans women, and that trans women using facilities does not follow into “male violence”.

          Again, most women do not seem to share your concerns of “male violence” around the transgender issue.

          • Meghan Murphy

            Can you stop being ridiculous and actually answer my question? We aren’t talking about *my* thoughts or feelings, nor are we talking about ‘exercise.’ You are responding to women’s concerns by calling them ‘irrational.’ So, once again: what it is you think women and feminists (not the right) are concerned with?

  • k.f. morton

    Gender isn’t who I am, period. My personality, my capabilities, all the things that make me who I am, are in no way dependent on my being a woman. Gender is the system whereby all these things – my traits, tendencies, preferences, abilities – are directly connected to the fact of my being a woman. Gender is the ideology which says there are distinct roles, characteristics, experiences, etc, appropriate for women versus men. We need to acknowledge that there is no appropriate way of being a woman or being a man, that gender is an oppressive construct which facilitates the exploitation of females, and the “non binary” cop out dodges this. Jack Monroe saying that wearing a baseball cap, a one inch crop, trousers, etc, somehow negates her being fully woman, is incredibly regressive and essentialist. It doesn’t send the message that girls can be whoever they want to be – it sends the message that if girls lack stereotypical femininity, they are not really girls at all. Forgive me for not seeing that as liberatory.
    Now , if you have an alternative definition of gender, please help me understand what you mean by the term. And p.s, the man who sexually assaulted didn’t pick on me because he thought I liked pink either. The whole point I was trying to make is that sex, not “gender identity”, is the cause of my oppression. If you are going to accuse me of being reductionist, please demonstrate clearly how I am being so. Because to me, it’s gender that’s reductionist, not believing that I can be a tomboy and am still fully a woman.

    • Toni Coughlin

      Ah, so now you’re contradicting yourself in your first two sentences and proceeding into a straw argument for Jack Monroe? You defeat yourself, because if there exists no appropriate way to be a woman, then there exists no appropriate way to argue that someone must be a woman. Sorry, but you don’t speak for Jack and Jack is not beholden to your ideology.

      I have the dictionary definition of gender, and the ability to follow it through to distinguish between identities, expressions and roles. And p.s, the point I followed with is that sex changes, because applied biology is a thing.

      You demonstrate your reductionist views in your last straw argument. You CAN be a tomboy and fully woman. And you CAN ALSO be nonbinary. Or ANYTHING ELSE

      • k.f. morton

        Maybe this makes my position easier to understand : to me, being a woman is not a “gender identity”. It consists in being biologically female and consequently in being subjected to feminine socialization. It’s not a feeling, not a personality. The word “woman”, when I am using it, signifies the political status of a person assigned to them on the basis of their biology. I can understand you might think I was contradicting myself if you were under the impression we were both referring to gender as an identity, but that’s not how I understand gender. Gender is a system for dividing humans into two classes on the basis of physical markers and then dishing out privilege or disadvantage according to which class you fall into. Males are classed men and institutionally privileged. Females are classed women and institutionally oppressed. (Intersex people have to conform to gendered categories as well to survive, and there are some instances in which the term “woman” can encompass intersex people as well. For instance, my fellow national, Caster Semenya, whom you mentioned in another comment, has received feminine socialization her whole life, and hence I would accept her as a woman). What I’m still confused about is how you see gender. Are you positing gender is a feeling, an innate essence, or what?

      • k.f. morton

        So, to sum it up: gender classifies people into categories according to their genitalia at birth. This is to enforce male supremacy, to ensure that females are kept oppressed, our emotional, sexual and reproductive labour stolen from us to benefit men. How this works is by assigning certain innate personal traits to people according to gender. Women are classified as “naturally” submissive, men as “naturally” dominant, etc. Through establishing that there is a way of being which is distinctly “womanly” vs manly, is to establish that the exploitative relationship between males and females is hence natural, normal, appropriate. Feminists argue that to destroy the exploitative relationship between male and female, we must destroy gender – the idea that sexual markers say anything about who you are inside. The idea of identifying as “non binary” may initially seem to parallel this goal, but in fact, it reifies gender. For, instead of saying that deviating from cultural norms of femininity, or feeling discomfort with these norms and/or the challenges of inhabiting a female body, is fully compatible with being a woman/female, identifying as non binary says that such deviation/discomfort signals one is not woman/female (I use the terms interchangeably) and hence brings us right back to the idea that there’s an appropriate way to be a woman. It is – that word you love to use – “reductionist”.

  • Meghan Murphy

    Solidarity, sister <3

  • Jane Medeiros

    C’mon, it’s too easy for a twenty something guy to claim that he doesn’t identifies as a man or a woman after growing up with male privilege. I wonder if those nonbinary amabs will accept receive the same salary as their female counterparts. I wonder if those nonbinary amabs does the same amount of chores that their mothers and sisters or girlfriends/wives (in case they are in a relationship with a woman).

    • morri85

      thats the same qargument some people use against transwomen too. though.

      • Morag999

        So?

      • Jane Medeiros

        You know that in a patriarchal society boys and girls are raised in different ways. Boys are taught to be assertive and strong and girls are taught to be demure and pretty. Nobody is exempt of this gendered socialization. Not even nonbinary ”amabs” .

        Or do you believe they lived in a magical gender-free zone? (and quite frankly if they lived in this gender-free zone, they wouldn’t need a gender to label themselves).

        Oh, and there’s no such thing as a ‘gender fairy” who will magically erase all the male privilege and male socialization they received.

        Look, I know that gender non-conforming men can be harassed and bullied just for being gender non-conforming, but saying they never had any male socialization or male privilege is a lie.

        I still wonder how many times those nonbinary ”amabs” washed their own underwears

        I still wonder how many times they were afraid of walking on the streets at night.

        I still wonder how many times someone underestimated their intelligence just because of their gender/sex.

        I know what I’m saying sounds harsh but I’m here to defend women and girls, not to coddle the male ego and validate men. I’m so tired of seeing women coddling the male ego and doing their best to validate everything a man says or feels. It’s frustrating when mainstream feminism is now doing the same.

    • namesareirrelevant

      Of course not. They’re men, not women and have been raised with male privilege. Being a woman, as we all know, has nothing to do with wearing a dress, make up or your opinion that you’re a woman. It’s your DNA and it can never be shucked off because you feel like it. Men dressing as women are only accepted by other men dressing as women as women, plus a few cheerleaders and the deeply misinformed.

      I never bother responding to exceptionally aggressive men masquerading as women or their cheerleaders. Their highly enraged and entitled attempts to bully, bash, batter and silence women who defend women’s rights rather than the rights of men in dresses is reason enough not to do so. The fact that they are simply, factually wrong is another good reason.

  • anne

    I’m so sorry you’ve been through those ordeals will, and I share your knowledge of what it feels like to carry on in this mysogynistic world afterwards. I could not agree with you more, though, on what first comes to mind when someone asks what it feels like to be a woman. Not the fucking lipstick and tits in a push up bra or waxing the bikini line or dyeing the hair or relentless self-objectification but all the various forms of victimisation, exploitation, violence and oppression, denial of same opportunities and safeties and goading and ridicule at any sign of distress with the patriarchy. I’ve been thinking a lot lately, how women who are traumatised purely because of their biology, have to get up and carry on as if nothing happened again and again, suffering in silence, or risk not just shaming but aggressive re-victimisation. But suffering in silence is no solution either, as it inevitably results in getting ill or burnt out, if for no other reason than coping with this burden of pain and distress and disturbed basic functioning like sleep, rest, relaxation, spontaneous dissociation, inability to correctly judge the dangers living in a perpetual flight or fight state. How much that robs women of chances! The only solution I can think of, other than vigilante justice, is to provide all women with basic living wage, I’d say all humans surely, but most acutely and immediately – women. Not saying than the sick and disabled deserve anything less, but at least there’s an acknowledgement in society and law, disability allowance etc, while women, who are as a group disabled by oppression in vast numbers, get no mention at all. It would even out the playing field for so many women who suffer in silence, and that’s, if we truly look at all the threats to personal safety every woman lives with, the majority.

  • Melanie

    No they aren’t. They are by definition the opposite sex of what they ‘identify’ as. That’s what transgender means.

    • Toni Coughlin

      Wrong again. “Transgender” is an adjective, and adjectives modify nouns. Hence “Trans women are women.” Language yay 🙂

      • Meghan Murphy

        Then why not just call them ‘women’ instead of ‘transwomen’?

      • Melanie

        Trans women are males who ‘identify’ as women. By definition they’re not female.

        • Toni Coughlin

          You are, literally, incorrect. Google the definitions.

      • Yisheng Qingwa

        Cult-speak BS yay 🙂

      • Melanie

        That’s exactly the problem. Transgender ideology has mangled language so that a woman doesn’t mean an adult female any more. It can mean whatever you want it to mean. Likewise the term transgender can mean whatever you want it to mean. Yay language. You don’t even have to make sense! Whatever suits you at the time.

        • Toni Coughlin

          How has it “mangled” language? “Woman” has long meant “adult human female”. And “female” has long meant “of or denoting the sex that can bear offspring or produce eggs…”

          “Of” or “denoting” – get it? As in post-menopausal women are still female because they “denote” as much despite the fact that they can not produce eggs any longer. As in a trans woman who is legally female is “of” the sex class. As in “male” plugs and “female” sockets. The words were never as narrow as you seem to think.

  • Melanie

    With feminism. Gender may always exist as an idea or a practice but we don’t have to buy into it or accept it. I don’t accept that being female means that I have to act, move, talk, dress or be a certain way, do certain things, have certain preferences. That’s just offensive, sexist and regressive.

    • Toni Coughlin

      Rrriiiggghhht. If you didn’t buy into gender, then you’d realize that trans people don’t have to act, move, etc. in certain ways either. And you would extend your criticisms to the masses of cisgender people who participate in gendered activities.

      • Melanie

        There’s a big difference between participating in gendered activities and claiming that those activities literally make you a man or a woman.

        • Morag999

          Yes. But I have never seen a transgenderist commenter get it, Melanie. Never.

          They can’t get it or they refuse to get it, even though it’s really quite simple. As soon as one claims to be a sex they are not, or claims that they do not identify with the sex they are, they have declared that their subjective, individualized concept of a woman or a man is a universal truth. And they must project this “truth” onto others in order to attempt to make their own identities coherent.

          The specific content of their subjective ideas or stereotypes about the sexes is secondary to this main problem. The main problem being that they have rejected the material and biological reality of the sexes, yet have decided which metaphysical traits determine womanhood or manhood.

          It’s so obvious, but they don’t understand this. They can’t afford rationality. And this is why they persist in prattling on and on about, for instance, their fashion choices. As if we give a shit about the details of their costuming. All their scattered, disordered “thoughts” exploding on the screen, and all that boring, mind-numbing minutiae about trans feelings and trans expression … all of it is designed to miss the point and to keep them and everyone else focussed on their own infantile narcissism.

          Disgusting.

          And at the root of it — no matter which direction the transition goes, no matter what silly label they apply to themselves and to others — is misogyny. That’s what it is. It’s a new religion, a new magical-thinking liberal religion, which was born of misogyny and which justifies it.

      • Yisheng Qingwa

        “Trans people” … lol

        Keep defending men’s pseudo-right to fetishize and co-opt women and women’s spaces. They will NEVER stand up for you. Know it.

        https://www.reddit.com/r/GenderCritical

  • Melanie

    It’s no more irrational than trans women’s fear of using the men’s.

  • k.f. morton

    You can be medically female with xy chromosomes, a penis, or testes, or any combination of the above? I have to ask, what, then, in your framework, does it actually mean to be medically female versus male?

  • k.f. morton

    What is the difference between gender identity and gender expression?

  • k.f. morton

    You are here referring to intersex people. Being intersex is distinct from being male or female.

  • k.f. morton

    Isn’t it just? Hmmmm, I wonder why…

  • Meghan Murphy

    Why are you not able to answer simple questions? What is the difference between a woman and a transwoman? I already know what *I* (and most of the world) understands a transwoman to be, I am asking *you* as you have said that transmen are male and that transwomen are women. If this is the case, why not just call them ‘women’ and not ‘transwomen’? (And no one commonly refers to women in the NBA as ‘tallwomen’ — they just call them ‘women.’)

  • Melanie

    I have been questioned for prostitution in the street even when I wasn’t in it anymore (I have actually been in prostitution and endured serious violence at the hands of men) and sexually harassed by men in public countless times in my lifetime. I have valid concerns about males being allowed into female only facilities, which is what these laws allow.

  • anne

    It’s why certain men on panels deciding on categories of mental illnessess have been lobbying for decads for removal of both narcissistic and antisocial personality disorders from classification. Basically looking to inflict a final stamp of approval on behaviour that’s responsible for so much pain and destruction in our society. The men in power can profit from it, the rest if can emulate it, but either way, narcissism must be ‘cool’ for this shitstorm to go on.

    It’s interesting how oppression seems central to that ‘feeling like woman’. I remember in my early 20s not giving a rat’s ass about my sex or gender particularly, being ambitious and strong and brave and busy and each instance of abuse that I couldn’t fight against stripping some of me away, until I stopped feeling like a human and stared feeling like a woman. Now, it’s like that movie Matrix, I can’t un-take the red pill.

  • Yisheng Qingwa

    Uh huh.

  • DeColonise

    Well written. The superiority is very evident in this rather global-well western at least–movement at this point. There is a form of elitist/totalitarian/authoritarian character in all this, or how I shall say, that I find very disturbing and as you mentioned, scary.

  • Just Passing Through

    “I’ve only been raped once” …that line jumped out at me and just makes me so sad, angry, fed up…. you should NEVER HAVE BEEN RAPED even once!! The shit we put up with decade after decade after century after century. It seems that we (the world) address so many different types of oppression in the world (race, lgbt, disability etc) and yet the misogyny in the world is so accepted, so normalized…..when will it be women’s (born women’s) turn to have the world say “enough of this bs!” ….seems like , maybe never.

  • Meghan Murphy

    Ok. Then I have two question: What does “woman” mean and what does “transgender” mean?

    When I google “transwoman” the definition that comes up is:
    transwoman
    ˈtranzˌwo͝omən/
    noun
    noun: trans-woman
    a male-to-female transsexual.

    Wikipedia says: “A trans woman (sometimes trans-woman or transwoman) is a transgender person who was assigned male at birth but whose gender identity is that of a woman. ”

    • Toni Coughlin

      So when you Google “transwoman”, you get a compound word (transwoman) defined by an adjective (transgender) and a noun (woman). So I’ll answer your question again: The difference between a transgender woman and a woman is that the transgender woman is transgender. Similarly, the difference between a tall woman and a woman is that the tall woman is tall. Other differences will depend on the individuals.

      Your general understanding is wrong. And as much is demonstrated even in the definition that you provided above, “a male-to-female transsexual”. Why does it say male-to-female? Because the fact of the matter is that applied biology (both endocrinology and surgery) are used to affect physical changes in a person’s sex characteristics. And many things erase “biological sex”, actually, as it is defined by the production of small/motile gametes, or large/non-motile gametes. And so anyone who does not produce gametes is biologically neuter. Thankfully, society can still recognize characteristics beyond gamete production.

      The words, “woman/man” mean “adult human male/female”. And the words “male/female” mean “of or denoting the sex which [produces gametes as described above]. Of or denoting — get it yet?

      • Meghan Murphy

        What does transgender mean? Why is a transwoman transgender and not just a woman?

        If you understand that woman means adult human female, then surely you can acknowledge that a male is still a male, even if they are transgender?

  • Just Passing Through

    I think its really an offshoot of the men’s rights movement. “Hey! I know how we can conquer the wiminz, BECOME them, and then proceed to gaslight the hell out of them till their heads spin around!”

  • k.f. morton

    What I have presented is a standard feminist analysis, not a personal definition. You might care to do some research on feminist theory regarding gender, because what I am saying is simply what numerous feminist theorists have said long before me – hardly “personal”. On the other hand, you still have not defined your own understanding of gender, rather reverting to condescending appeals to authority. When you accuse me of defeating my goal to abolish gender every time I use gendered words, I’m reminded of people who claim that the way to abolish race is by being colour blind, that talking about people being black or white somehow necessarily reinforces racist stereotypes. No, it doesn’t work that way. It begins with acknowledging the entrenchment of gender so we can dig it out.
    Oh, and please don’t presume to tell me what I am or am not comfortable with. I’m trying to have a conversation in good faith, but the arrogance and presumption with which you continue to address me is annoying. I myself happen to be a largely gender non conforming person, so please, don’t speak to my experiences when you know nothing about them.
    Then again, this accusation of being reductionist. You know, it’s an interesting pattern in the way you argue – repeatedly, you level accusations at me, but you provide very little substantiation for your own claims. I have extensively laid out my own analysis of gender, and invited you to do the same, but all you got for me is a reference to the “dictionary definition”. It does make it seem that you lack confidence in your own arguments and are deflecting by leveling accusations at me.
    But let’s take a look at that accusation. Reductionism, in the context of this debate, would imply that I reduce people to essential, rigid characteristics along the lines of (in this specific instance) gender. Yet, here’s the thing. I believe that gender is externally constructed, and, therefore, that it does not determine who I, or anyone, is. I look at Jack Monroe and see a perfectly acceptable human being who happens to be biologically female – I believe that in a world where gender was not enforced, she could be exactly who she is without having to define herself as “non binary”, because we wouldn’t believe there are “feminine”, “masculine” or “non binary” ways to exist, simply ways that humans, of whatever sex, exist, and we wouldn’t need to put people like Jack in a box. Now, if one believed gender was NOT externally constructed, one would be left with the alternative that it is internal, innate. If the identity of man, woman, or non binary, for that matter, is not a cultural construct, a set of ideas about which personal attributes are appropriate in males, which in females, and which combination renders one in between, then what is it? Is it a set of attributes that objectively, without any societal influence, define gender identity? Is it an innate essence? Is it a feeling? I keep asking you the question of what gender is, because that is the key to this whole debate – if you believe gender is objective or innate, then in fact, you are an essentialist, and YOU are the reductionist. If it’s just a feeling, then it has no meaning. Think about that. If you can advance a model of gender that is neither constructed, objective/innate nor subjective feeling, please do.
    Anyway, you’ve yet to demonstrate to me how I have thus far contradicted myself, and you have yet to demonstrate to me how I have been reductionist. Im listening.

    • Toni Coughlin

      Really? Because it sounds like your “standard feminist analysis” never progressed past the 1970’s. For my understanding of gender, Google “define gender”. If you want to know about something more specific, then ask a more specific question, e.g. “What is your understanding of gender identity.”

      Do you or do you not have a problem with people like Jack claiming a non-binary identity? Because it seems plainly obvious that you do…

      As for “Read More”, No thank you, lol.

      • Meghan Murphy

        You understand that the bulk of feminist theory originated during the second wave and that we don’t reject that analysis, but rather we build on it, right?

      • k.f. morton

        And, lol, “if you want to know about something more specific, then ask a more specific question” – well hun, here are the more specific questions I had JUST asked you, ” If the identity of man, woman, or non binary, for that matter, is not a cultural construct, a set of ideas about which personal attributes are appropriate in males, which in females, and which combination renders one in between, then what is it? Is it a set of attributes that objectively, without any societal influence, define gender identity? Is it an innate essence? Is it a feeling? I keep asking you the question of what gender is…” And before that, “Now , if you have an alternative definition of gender, please help me understand what you mean by the term.” Like, how much more “specific” do you want me to get? The problem here isn’t that I don’t ask specific questions. It’s that you don’t answer them.

      • Sabine

        You seriously just responded to that with “Google “define gender”? Hysterical.

      • owleyes27

        lol yah shitting on the HUGELY monumental gains of the second wave is totez feminist. post-modernism killed the feminist movement and now it wants to piss on the ashes.

    • owleyes27

      lol this shit is feminism 101. i learned all of this sex & gender stuff i’m talking about now from obtaining a degree in women’s studies. i guess all my profs were bigoted “terfs” hey?

  • Morag999

    ‘ … if you apply your own personal definitions of “man”, “woman”, “male” and “female”.’

    Ha. You’re either lost in the wilderness of your own imagination, or you enjoy gaslighting, obfuscating and lying. Probably the latter, but in any case: no.

    No, feminists do not apply “personal definitions” of male/man and female/woman. You and other members of the gender cult do that. We stick to the objective definitions of the sexes.

    • Toni Coughlin

      Then I recommend that you find yourself a dictionary, because a man/woman is an adult human male/female, is an adult human of or denoting the class[es].

      • Morag999

        Sorry, I dont have a Queer Dictionary with post-modern definitions.

        But I do have a beautiful Oxford Illustrated which I bought for my kid. The kid who gestated in my uterus. And who was delivered through my vagina.

        Not all women give birth, of course, but we all know exactly how many men do: zero. Because, like you, they are male!

  • Meghan Murphy

    Um. What ‘theory’ are you referring to exactly? Like, what is it you are suggesting we reject? All theory that originated during the second wave? Because that’s kinda like everything…

    • Toni Coughlin

      Yours. And I am referring to one aspect of it.

      • Meghan Murphy

        It seems even you don’t even understand what it is you are arguing.

        • Toni Coughlin

          That the transphobic aspect of 70’s feminism is “old hat”, if you will. Is that simple-enough for you?

          • Meghan Murphy

            Huh? So k.f. morton’s explanation of sex, gender, and patriarchal oppression is ‘transphobic’? How so? Like, if that’s the case, feminism, in and of itself, is ‘transphobic,’ as are facts and history…

  • Meghan Murphy

    No. YOU answer the question. What do YOU believe transgender means. Because MOST people understand transgender to mean a male who chooses to transition/identify as a woman (or vice versa).

    Also, since you are so fond of Google, why don’t you Google “female”? The definition, you’ll find, is this: “Female (♀) is the sex of an organism, or a part of an organism, that produces non-mobile ova (egg cells). Most female mammals, including female humans, have two X chromosomes” OR “of or denoting the sex that can bear offspring or produce eggs, distinguished biologically by the production of gametes (ova) that can be fertilized by male gametes.” This is also what the vast majority of people in this world understand “female” to mean.

    Do transwomen produce ova and have two X chromosomes?

  • will

    Ouch. What a painfully farcical comment.

    Well, see, language is an agreed code of meaning. So “trans” indicates a transition from one state or location to another. If a trans man is legally and medically male as you say, the adjective “trans” is extraneous; the trans man is just “man”. Employing the signifier “trans” indicates he was something other than “man”, from which he transitioned.

    But I don’t expect you to participate in any collective system like language, given that you clearly exist in your own solipsistic bubble untethered by the meaning of words, or material reality, or intellectual rigour, or of anyone else’s actual experiences of oppression. Best of luck in there.

  • Meghan Murphy

    Totally… What’s also interesting/amusing/depressing is that, when pressed, you’ll almost always find they have no idea what “second wave” means and what the gains/theory that came out of second wave feminism actually are, despite their purported hatred for the second wave. They’ve just read tweets from their friends disparaging second wave or radical feminism and have gone along with it. Doesn’t exactly make them seem very credible, does it…. 🙂

  • Meghan Murphy

    Your comment, “Because it sounds like your ‘standard feminist analysis’ never progressed past the 1970’s” was in response to k.f. morton’s comment, which did indeed outline standard feminist analysis. You have yet to show how said analysis is ‘transphobic.’ It’s very clear that you are avoiding defending your own arguments because you can’t.

    • Morag999

      Yeah, Toni’s full of pomp and hot air. There’s no room in there for sense, let alone any empathy for women’s concerns.

    • owleyes27

      how can anyone call themselves a feminist while shitting on all the amazing work women did before us? it’s fucking outrageous.

  • Toni Coughlin

    Really? “In order to update name and/or gender on a Washington state ID, the
    applicant must submit by mail (1) a document demonstrating the name
    change, such as a birth certificate or court order (if applicable)
    and/or (2) a Change of Gender Designation Request form signed by a licensed physician.”

  • Rilian Lunsford

    “woman” is a gender role, and “woman” is an actual gender that people feel. They are homonyms. They’re different things. But meghan at least rejects the idea of gender being a real thing that people feel, so all that’s left is the gender role.

  • Toni Coughlin

    Yes. In the real world, which is so unlike the online echo chambers of “gender critical” theory. You’re quite welcome. And yes, you used “identity” *after* I told you to specify.

    Oh, it’s you that has demonstrated your straw argument, because you argue that non-binary people are non-binary “because” [causative] of their expressions rather than simply correlative. You also argue that they identify as non-binary due to discomfort with norms/challenges “instead” of simply identifying as women (as if their identification argues that one can’t identify as a woman and be uncomfortable with said norms/challenges). That’s 1) straw argument, 2) correlation as causation, 3) false dichotomy and 4) your assumption.

    It sounds like you are projecting in how “rude” I am. Sorry, but I deal in verifiable information: definitions, facts and logic. The literature that I engage with tends to be thick with anatomy, physiology, and microbiology. I do not engage with so many WordPress blogs as do so many who share your opinions.

    Plato and Aristotle…? Sorry, but I am not one for armchair philosophy. Leave you alone? If you do not enjoy engaging here with me, then you are certainly free to stop engaging.

    • Meghan Murphy

      This is the real world, dear. We are part of the global women’s movement — the real one. Not the Twitter one. Our first and second wave sisters achieved everything you are privileged to experience today. In real life. Those are the facts. You very clearly have zero connection or sense of solidarity with that movement.

  • Meghan Murphy

    The third wave doesn’t erase the analysis that originated during the second wave, though it tries to. The third wave is essentially liberalism, not feminism, in any case.

    In any case, people’s concerns and questions about trans discourse extend far beyond the issues you’ve named above (As if anyone at all is against transgender healthcare or people changing names?!?), and you know it. But, by all means, keep creating strawmen to attack because you’re unable to address the actual arguments people are making.

  • Morag999

    Oh, I know, you can practically smell the toxic masculine fumes coming out of the computer screen when a transwoman stops by to tell us what bigots we are. It’s enough to turn a gal into a dreaded “sex essentialist”!

  • Morag999

    But what do you mean by “woman” Melanie? I know it used to mean an adult female person, but our language has recently been changed and enriched by Rilian.

    Now “woman” is a role you have to play, while “woman” is a feeling someone — even a man– has deep in his bosom. Please note that these two words are homonyms and homophones. This can be tricky, so be careful.

    So, when you say “woman” are you referring to the womanly role, or to the womanly feeling? Those are your two choices, as “female person” has been taken off the table by Rilian. Please take as much time as you need, and good luck. You’re gonna need it!

  • Meghan Murphy

    Do you live inside a tiny bubble on the internet? No. The real women’s movement, that exists in the real world, that fights for women, in real life, and has for decades. Erasing those women and that work is beyond the pale. And stop pretending as though women of colour are not a part of this movement or that the experience of systemic racism and things like slavery and colonialism are somehow comparable to the desire of transwomen to use women’s washrooms. It’s so fucking offensive. Go away now.

  • Meghan Murphy

    Ha. Who do you think runs rape crisis centers like Vancouver Rape Relief? Who do you think has successfully advocated for the Nordic model in Canada and France and beyond? The third wave is working against the feminist movement, you’re right about that, but we haven’t gone anywhere and we won’t.

  • Meghan Murphy

    There is no such thing as ‘mental gender.’ There is such a thing as brains being impacted by their surroundings/experiences, but there is no such thing as ‘brain sex.’ Gender is social/cultural idea imposed on people based on their biological sex.

  • Meghan Murphy

    I’m responding to the actual words you are saying. The ones I disagree with. Do you wish for conversation or do you wish to troll and derail?

    • Rilian Lunsford

      That’s ironic.

    • Rilian Lunsford

      How is that a response to the comment you posted it as a response to?
      I said call people what they want to be called and you … said that you are responding to my words. Wut?

      • Meghan Murphy

        “You keep ignoring the fact that there are two separate things. Assigned gender and actual (mental) gender.”

  • Jane Medeiros

    How exactly this ”mental gender” is not affected by external facts? Like society saying that ”blue is for boys and pink is for girls”. Do you really think this ”mental gender” happens in a void with no influence of society.

    How exactly this mental is not influenced by society?

    Now another question: Is gender innate or a social construct?

    ” I don’t care if you believe it’s a real thing. People say that they feel it, and that’s enough. Call them what they want to be called”

    Again, are all feelings and identities valid?

    • Rilian Lunsford

      No it doesn’t happen in a void, it doesn’t matter what causes someone’s gender identity, respect it regardless.
      There are two different things called gender, people have gender (or claim to) and there’s also the social construct of gender. Don’t you know that sex is a social construct but also a real thing? This isn’t rocket science.
      Society should not enforce gender roles or gender or sexual identity or anything.
      How are they separate? How are you not getting this? There’s the gender you ARE and there’s the gender that other people say you are (and that comes with stupid gendered expectations and treatment).

  • Sabine

    You also don’t have time to answer the most simple questions directly. It’s painful.

    • Toni Coughlin

      Sure thing. That’s why I copied/pasted definitions of words…

    • owleyes27

      like “what’s a binary woman” because you can’t define something as “not something else” without defining the “something else”

  • Sabine

    “It would be ridiculous to a second wave feminist to say that running away from female identity is a step toward liberation. They’d ask, liberation from whom? It is not your female body that oppresses you, it is the social construct that shames your female body that oppresses you.”
    YES.

  • esuth

    Sorry, but I have to ask: If you’ve never met a feminist who wasn’t a true believer in trans politics then what exactly is your problem? That a few women you’ll never meet are questioning it? If your side has already won the culture war I don’t see any reason to come here and argue with us. By the way, my favorite hilarious contradiction that trans activists believe about TERFS is that they are powerless, old, regressive dinosaurs and simultaneously control all governments and bathrooms in the world. Which is it?

    • Toni Coughlin

      What’s my “problem”? I suppose it would be the generic “problem” of reading some otherwise-great media, only to be sorely disappointed in it when it turns around to attack marginalized minority populations. I don’t peruse feminist online media expecting Fox News.

      By the way, my favorite hilarious quote from one of similar persuasion is, “All transsexuals rape women’s bodies by reducing the real female form to an artifact, appropriating this body for themselves …. Transsexuals merely cut off the most obvious means of invading women, so that they seem non-invasive.”, as if there exist zero female-to-male transsexuals and they better not show up for tomorrow’s workshop at 2:30pm tomorrow in the Wal-Mart bathroom.

  • Meghan Murphy

    What’s a minority gender? Also, how does acknowledging the real source of women’s oppression exclude women of colour, lesbians, or women with disabilities? You’re just making shit up now. Radical feminism is full of women of colour, lesbians, and women with disabilities. Stop pretending like denying the roots of patriarchy somehow equates to being “intersectional.” It doesn’t.

  • Meghan Murphy

    It is a response to what you said, because you said it.

  • eloise

    “Is the alternative to a “non-binary” woman a “binary” woman? And what does that mean?”
    -Folks coming out as non-binary aren’t women. That’s the point. So there’s not a “binary” woman alternative, there’s just folks who identify as women, and those who don’t, regardless of how they may be perceived as women in public. Hence how Penny can “identify, politically, as a woman” while being non-binary. I myself use “they” pronouns and identify as non-binary as well, but since I’m almost always read as a woman in public spaces, I do still largely experience life as a woman and all that means in a patriarchal, sexist society. That’s inescapable since our society only recognizes two genders.

    basically, check your transphobia and let folks live their lives and identify as they want – it won’t make your gender any less valid, just like same-sex marriage doesn’t make straight marriages any less real either. The feminist movement you reference isn’t just built by women-identified-women either, but folks of all genders. Oiy vey.

    • Melanie

      If non-binary means neither man or woman, then what makes them not men or not women? And what makes ‘cis’ people men or women, if it’s not their sex?

      • owleyes27

        I love how none of these very simple questions are being answered

  • Just Passing Through

    never said it was “fixed” calm down already.

    • Rebecca

      Perhaps not but you’ve scarcely improved on your original errors. “Calm down” is somewhat patronising. It would be nice if feminists could refrain from responses most of us associate with male feminist-bashing.

  • Just Passing Through

    Why don’t you stop assuming to know what any one of us has gone through in our lives. You sure do play the put upon victim really well. Go wag your finger at someone else I am completely uninterested in what you have to say….you are an obnoxious little twit …you don’t know me from adam so kindly fuck off.

  • Jane Medeiros

    Really? Can you prove me? Do you really think that an amab (I hate using this post-modern word) will give up all his male privilege and male privilege just because his ”gender feelz”? Do you really think a white person will give up his/her white privilege even if she/he consider herself/himself an ally in the fight against racism? Do you really believe a straight person will give up her/his straight privilege even if she/he is a ”straight ally”

    You give men too much credit.

    • owleyes27

      Also how would society know Sam Escobar wasn’t a woman? Much of society will see and treat her as a woman. Oppression happens regardless of how an individual sees themselves. Society would have to have the ability to read someone’s mind in order to know and oppress them off the basis of being “non binary” which much of society has never heard of, especially outside of the West. How you see yourself doesn’t trump how society and its institutions see and oppress you as being part of the female sex class. Same with asexual. How would anyone know you are asexual unless you wore a sign on you at all times? How could you immediately be oppressed based purely on self declaration? The discourse is bizarre.

      • Meghan Murphy

        *All* of society will see and treat her as a woman. No matter what she says.

  • Meghan Murphy

    Um. Third wave feminists are running the Department of Housing and Urban Development? How could they possibly find the time, in between pole-dancing classes and photoshopping their belfies?

  • namesareirrelevant

    Well, there’s no debate or doubt, the author is correct. Imposed gender roles are nonsense and have absolutely nothing at all to do with the sex you are born with.

    It’s unfortunate we cannot get misogynists who wear dresses to understand that the reason they cannot wear a dress and high heels is the hatred of men for women, and if they worked to eradicate gender roles they might in time be allowed to dress as they pleased, rather than beaten and bashed by men for choosing to wear make up or a dress. What a wonderful world it will be when the storm troopers for gender role enforcement finally understand that there is no such thing as an amorphous blob of men or women doing a and b. Despite all the enforced societal indoctrination from the cradle to the grave, women still continually break free of imposed gender roles and do what they actually want to do. We haven’t the faintest clue of what the world would look like if both sexes weren’t constantly informed of their chosen roles.

    What a shame that cross dressing men don’t realise that in such a world they would be free to wear what they wanted, conform to any role they like, and that would have nothing to do with them being a man or a woman. You don’t feel like a woman because there’s no way to feel like a woman. You just are born one, or not.

    It’s unfortunate that men are scared of male violence so try to force themselves into women’s safe places without ever accepting the undeniable fact that they are now the ones for women to be afraid of. And of course they have that right.

    Note – it’s fine that the comment is long. Feel free not to read it. It’s fine that it’s repetitive, when talking to flat earthers one must continually repeat the facts.

    And it doesn’t matter if you are offended by the truth. Science wins.

    A man in a dress is still a man in a dress and will be one forever. He can slice his genitals off, he can get hormone treatments, he can shave his entire body, he can screech aggressively and try to force his highly masculine and angry sense of entitlement on women. You know, the way commenters defending men in dresses immediately default to being aggressive the second a woman challenges them. That’s what that sort of man does.

    He’s still a man in a dress. Start with the DNA and work upwards. You’re welcome.

    Nope, that one person you managed to find a link on who had mutated genes doesn’t count. Nope, anecdotal evidence doesn’t matter. Nope, what he wishes he was doesn’t count, I can wish I am Indigenous Australian. I’m still not. Nope, that’s in no way more offensive than a man in a dress trying to steal the human right of a woman to be called a woman and left in peace by angry, violent men. Nope, male/female brain has been utterly debunked. In a few cross dressers the “female” parts of the brain were more “feminine”. In most they weren’t. And it turns out those parts of the brain are changeable over time anyway. Nope, it wouldn’t matter if a woman was raised in a forest by wolves and wore only leaves, she would still, obviously and forever, be a woman.

    If cross dressing men were able to pass, then they would be. The fact is, most of them cannot. So no need for those underwear checks so many men seem so keen on either.

    And they’re not going to be able to beat, batter and bash their very masculine and highly over entitled way into female safe spaces for long.

    Who says so? I say so. And so do millions like me. No, your anecdote about how you daily share a toilet with a 200 pound testosterone filled man and you exchange make up tips and recipes is fooling nobody.

    Those of you who hate women, want women to be stripped of the most basic right to be called women, or have swallowed the misogny you’ve been taught that a woman’s human right to be called a woman doesn’t matter – you go ahead and keep defending highly aggressive and over entitled cross dressing men. I’ll be on the side defending the human rights of women. All women. To the human right to be called women. To the basic right to have a safe space free of men.

    Even those women who are too cowed and frightened of upsetting aggressive men to realise they need their human rights to be defended.

    You’re not snatching the human rights of women away, no matter how enraged you become – in the way over entitled, enraged, bullying men do.

    As on all threads with enraged men in dresses trying to force themselves into women’s spaces, we see women being mocked for daring to want a safe place free from male violence. We see men who know for a fact that men as a sex absolutely do pose a very credible threat to women as a sex laughing at them for daring to even mention that. We see cross dressing men trying to shut women up, shut them down, demoralise and infantilise them. We see the statistically undeniable fact that men rape and creep on women and yes there absolutely is a tangible threat to women and girls from being forced to share women’s safe spaces with aggressive cross dressing men being laughed at and mocked. By men.

    For daring to say women have a right to go to the toilet or have a shower without a man looming over them. For daring to speak the undeniable fact that you are not a woman if you were born male.

    It is insanity alright, but not on the part of women. Never mind, decent people are just going to continue to insist that women keep their human rights and women are not giving up those hard earned human rights at the bullying, shrieking insistence of cross dressing men.

    And when cross dressers and their cheerleaders realise they were on the wrong side of history and tried to harm women, actual women, they will hang their heads in shame. Or not. Either way, at some point they will be forced to shut up about it, just like those who tried to tell women they couldn’t vote.

    Cue squealing hysteria from enraged cross dressing man. Cue me using my superpower of being a woman who has been abused by men on the internet and in real life my entire life for daring to speak the truth to ignore such comments.

    • BethAnne

      Actually, if you want to start with the DNA up, genetically we all start out as women. You have been abused and therefore you feel justified in this well thought out but ultimately incorrect rant. No one is going to repair that for you, counseling may help but I suspect that you only care about carrying the anger with you. Cue me understanding but ultimately glad that you don’t hold any political power.

    • Just Passing Through

      Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! For this excellent comment that I wish could be seen by many more! THIS^ right here….says it ALL! SO WELL SAID! I used to be cowed too out of fear of angry violent males, but I have decided to say FUCK it! I will not be silent on this matter any longer. Too many of us are being silenced by these assholes (and I’m sorry not sorry they are absolute fucking assholes!) I wish more of us could find the courage like you have to stand up to these bullies.

    • Just Passing Through

      Count me as one of those millions right along with you!

  • Meghan Murphy

    Can you, for once, actually respond to what people are saying instead of creating straw men so you can feel comfortable making baseless accusations?

  • Meghan Murphy

    Ah yes. You gotta love when males accuse women of being prudes because they won’t get on board with misogyny. If you’re trying to convince everyone here that trans politics are pushed by sexists you’re doing a really good job.

  • Morag999

    And you are a sick, woman-hating man. A colossal waste of time and space and air. Go make your rape jokes somewhere else.

  • Radical Mon

    “What other people do isn’t really your problem to solve if it isn;t affecting you” except it IS affecting us? trans* individuals can obviously exist without affecting us– but trans POLITICS are everywhere and they are very harmful. lesbians are being told they’re transphobic if they aren’t attracted to/don’t want to have sex with dicks (because “penises can be female”. children are being transed if they don’t adhere to gendered expectations. butch lesbians are pushed to identify as trans. actually, lots of people who are “GNC” are pushed to identify as trans. maybe you haven’t seen this. but it’s happening.

    i CONSTANTLY see women attacked for being ‘terfs’ (the doxxing and verbal abuse is absolutely rampant) and you know what you need to do to be classified a terf? just disagree with trans ideology on anything. or disagree with a trans* individual on anything. i saw that just today. a lesbian saying sex is not gender and she’s only attracted to females was told she’s perpetrating VIOLENT transphobia.

    • Pigeonesque

      How does one differentiate between existence and politics, in this case? Assuming we agree on what a right to exist involves, it seems logical to interpret it as a right to appear how one wishes without fear of violent reprisal. A young butch-identified lesbian shouldn’t have to brave physical or verbal harassment every time she uses the washroom, but unfortunately, bullying is still alive and well. Rules, however well-intended, only go so far. At the end of the day, your options are to either hire bathroom monitors (expensive, political suicide, and honestly decidedly creepy), ban every student from every bathroom (neither legal nor practical), or punish the bullies after the fact.

      If this girl decides that the only way to avoid being cornered is to use the nurse’s single-stall bathroom, I think virtually everyone would grant her that. Only a complete arse would tell her something like, “If you didn’t dress so boyishly, you wouldn’t have this problem. You bring it on yourself, deal with it.”

      However, switch in a young trans guy in her place. Identical in appearance, only difference is in requested name and pronoun. Right off the bat, a not-insignificant number of people would turn down the request, even if his clothes and hair were exactly the same as those of the young butch lesbian they’d earlier defended. This kid’s basic desire to appear as himself without being attacked for it suddenly becomes a political statement. Further muddying things, imagine there’s no single-stall in the school, it’s out of order, or otherwise for some reason not an option. If this kid explicitly states that he’s being attacked in the girls’ washroom and has never had such a problem when using the boys’ washroom, it makes zero sense to force him to either try to hold it all day or keep using the washroom he gets attacked in if the ultimate aim is to protect students. He’s a student. Especially if using an off-campus washroom isn’t an option, due to distance or legal liability. Yet, allowing this kid to use the not-dangerous-for-him bathroom becomes politically unacceptable to many, to the point that some places have literally made it a crime.

      By the time you get to this type of thing, it really seems impossible to separate politics from peaceful existence. Sad irony being that many of the people raising the most fuss don’t even have kids to begin with; their involvement is 100% politically-motivated.

  • Radical Mon

    YES. i am a woman because i’m an adult human female. i’ve never ever felt like a woman, and i also would like to know what that supposedly feels like. because i’ve never felt it.

  • Meghan Murphy

    I’ll bet you a hundred bucks you haven’t even read the book you all are so fond of vilifying her for.

    • owleyes27

      merely reading counter viewpoints is triggering ,okay?

  • anyone

    So here is my take– I sometimes feel like a woman and sometimes I don’t feel like any gender. So I’m moving to some kind of gender queer identity for those reasons. I don’t hate my body, besides wishing I was in better shape or had wavy hair I’m fine with having a female body and have no desire to change it. But even when I’m wearing traditionally “feminine” clothes and doing “feminine” things I don’t always feel like a woman. I can be wearing a skirt and top and …knitting and still feel genderless. I can also wear “masculine” clothes and sometimes feel female. It has nothing to do with what I wear.

    Also I don’t believe that saying i’m genderqueer or non binary or however you want to describe it frees me from patriarchy or oppression, it’s not going to protect me from being attacked verbally or physically, it’s not going to free me from worrying about what could happen.

  • Stephanie Larson

    Your first mistake is referring to feminine non-binary folk as “non-binary women” when they are not women. The whole point is that they are not women, nor are they men. You say that “non-binary” is a term “devoid of meaning,” which is incorrect. The only term you use in this horribly offensive piece of writing that is devoid of meaning is “non-binary woman.” To quote you, “I can think of nothing more anti-feminist” than rejecting a person’s gender identity and deliberately misgendering them. Feminism is not just for women. Shame on you.

    • Meghan Murphy

      “Your first mistake is referring to feminine non-binary folk as ‘non-binary women’ when they are not women.”

      Confused… Do you mean they aren’t female?

      • Just Passing Through

        This generation is lost. Just lost…. so sad. It’s a study in how EASY it is to indoctrinate garbage theory into malleable minds… and they eat it up and don’t question anything they’re being fed. Whatever happened to critical thinking, dissent, and intellectual integrity? GOD PEOPLE ARE SO FUCKING STUPID TODAY IT HURTS!

  • Meghan Murphy

    Is Sam intersex?

    • Stephanie Larson

      I don’t know, but that is completely irrelevant and none of anyone’s business. I am talking about gender identity, not biological sex. Sam’s gender identity is non-binary: neither man nor woman.

      • Kendall Turtle

        Male and female are not gender identities, they are biological realities.

  • Kendall Turtle

    This was a fantastic reply, thank you for the insight.

    • Thank you. If you ever want to read my Twitter, I try to bridge the divide between transsexuals and gender critical feminists (although at the moment, it’s largely a lot of panic about the looming Trump presidency).

      http://www.twitter.com/genderrebel42

  • Morag999

    Someone ought to develop and market a home pregnancy test specifically formulated for non-binary folks.

    Such a product, packaged up in race-car red, or a dignified silver and black, could help stop unconscious misgendering in the check-out line, and prevent terfy cashiers from thinking the wrong thoughts.

    • esuth

      “Ugh, when will my ignorant TERF ovaries stop misgendering me?”

    • Truthe Delivery (shadow broqr)

      lol…I was thinking of starting an obstetrics office for pregnant men.

    • kuroichan101

      They are talking about gender identity not biological gender.

      • Meghan Murphy

        Gender is not biological. Gender is just the social roles imposed on people based on sex. You are confusing sex with gender.

  • Meghan Murphy

    Of course not.

  • Meghan Murphy

    But gender IS gender roles. That is what it is…

    • kuroichan101

      Gender is not gender roles. I get what you mean but look at a psuchology book. Those things effect one another but they arent the other.

      • Meghan Murphy

        Yes, gender is literally gender roles.

  • scratchj

    I’m a gay, white american woman with a graduate degree who actually relates very much to much of the experiences I hear non-binary people describe–and i still have the same question as you.

    • JingFei

      That’s the thing ( would have answered this sooner but didn’t see it btw). But I have never heard ANYTHING out of a “non-binary” person that I haven’t heard for years out of gays and lesbians. By all the explanations I’ve heard ( when you can get them to answer a straight question which is rare), I’m apparently non-binary. Like, they cannot describe it without using sexist stereotypes. Not to mention, any femininity I have, which I do somewhat, was pushed on me. As it was pushed on most women. We never had a choice. We were bombarded with images, concepts , family pressure, of what we had to be from the day we were born. So if females never had a choice when it comes to gender, that would indicate a very low percentage of women ‘identify’ with it 100%. I have yet to meet a female who hasn’t felt oppressed by femininity in their society.
      As for myself, as a child, of course I was a “tomboy” as they say. I liked dirt, bugs, video games, kung fu and action figures. My mother made me take ballet, hated it. Was miserable. But my childhood preferences aren’t uncommon with women. Are we all non-binary? For real, if i had a choice at 13 to transition and opt out of being an adult female I just might have taken it. I was terrified of puberty. I hated my breasts and used to wear tight exercise bras to hide them. According to this day and age, these behaviours mean one is somehow under the trans umbrella.
      But I am not. I’m me. I have a distinct personality, female physiology that I’m at odds with at times, and I’m just trying to navigate through this world and find ways I can be myself. Because I believe all these traits are not some kind of unique, innate gender experience. They are personal preferences and individual personality.
      I can be a female and like guns, FPS video games, baggy men’s pants and hate make up. I don’t need a special snowflake pronoun.
      I can only see this as a trend. A trend created for privileged western kids so they can feel special, have a cause, have a religion to cling to etc etc.

  • scratchj

    If your best argument for referring to what someone is saying as “spewing bullshit” is a semantic one, it seems a bit overly volatile… Do you have anything more substantive?

  • scratchj

    I’m a cis woman who identifies comfortably as a woman. I’ll be honest though– I feel like a woman because I was born female. I’m a lesbian, not particularly feminine in presentation, not particularly masculine, either. I get mistaken or a man from time to time, depending on my hair cut or outfit. I was a tomboy during my childhood, and went through a several year phase of being convinced that I was actually a boy, and definitely WISHING that I were one. I spent years after that really uncomfortable and displeased with my body, wishing it were more masculine, or at least less feminine. None of that makes me feel like I’m not a woman, however. I don’t identify with very many stereotypes of women, but I do with some at least some of the time. That is my experience as a woman.

    Honestly, sometimes I feel like when a trans or non-binary person is explaining what it means to be those things, I feel frustrated because I relate to their experience almost exactly–and in some way, it feels like they are telling me I don’t feel like a woman either, or that I’m not.

  • Truthe Delivery (shadow broqr)

    It’s because you are correct on all counts 😉

  • Truthe Delivery (shadow broqr)

    Good question I wish more would answer…I think most people would say that they don’t understand what it means to have a “gender identity”. I grew up during a time there were strict divisions between girl and boy permissible activities and though I wanted to learn auto repair and soccer, I didn’t “feel like a boy”. I hated dresses. I cried if my mom put me in pink but i didn’t relate these to anything more than stupid social rules that don’t make sense. And that’s exactly what gender roles are – stupid social rules that no one gets or even really agree with anymore.

    • JingFei

      For sure! And the gender-snowflakes would tell you that you are “cis” or “binary”. But I’d argue most females are not “binary”. Meaning most females have issues with their physical bodies ( they are unhappy with them, would want to change them, would love to opt out of periods, menopause etc). And the vast majority of women do not “identify” with everything we are supposed to according to society’s crappy stereotypes.
      Females usually have femininity pushed on them. It isn’t an option. We are indoctrinated into it. So it’s impossible to differentiate which behaviours are natural, and which are trained into us. Other than that, with more freedom, our choices vary from individual to individual. A female can want to be a truck driver, a sound engineer- and it doesn’t mean we somehow turned on the “man” switch.
      At any rate, these gender snowflakes will never answer. Because they don;t have any answers. That’s why their tactics are so classless (where they dogpile/harass, rage against anyone who deviates).
      I have literally never received answers to most of my questions. I just get met with rage and accusations of “hate” or “phobia”.

      • owleyes27

        Do you have a blog or Tumblr or Pinterest? Because you’re bloody brilliant.

        • Meghan Murphy

          Agree!

      • Just Passing Through

        “I just get met with rage and accusations of “hate” or “phobia”.” Yep, that’s about all they have to offer most of the time because they don’t really know what the hell they believe. They just spout their tumblr genderqueer garbage and then yell at you and call you names… so reasonable they are.

  • Melanie

    What is it if it’s not the gender roles and stereotypes imposed onto each sex? I’ve yet to see anyone answer this question without referring back to them. It’s impossible not to because without these stereotypes the whole concept of gender and gender identity makes no logical sense.

    • ksedge

      I know this is just anecdotal, but consider Chelsea Manning or Lana Wachowski. They were assigned a male sex at birth, but they’re obviously women. And what gender roles do they follow?

      Gender is so diverse. So is sex. If you can’t define it for yourself and follow your own internal definition of who you are, then what’s the point of feminism?

      • JingFei

        Regardless of how anyone in the west internally “feels”, biology is at the root of the oppression one major group of people (51%) experience at the hands of the other. You know, males dominate and oppress females. Males are the ones with most of the power. Sex is overwhelmingly dimorphic. It is biological. Biological intersex conditions exist in a small percentage ( because they are always brought up so INB4) on this continuum, but gender is a social construct that varies between cultures.
        No amount of identifying as a man would have saved me from being raped. The terror I faced of possibly being impregnated by this terrible event was because I am female. The way I knew the police would probably blame me, and how my own reputation would be ruined if I spoke up, was because I am female. It has nothing to do with how much I like “man things” ( and they aren’t man things to begin with). It has nothing to do with if I act, or speak stereotypically masculine or feminine. It didn’t matter that I wore baggy combat man pants. Think a predator cares about that? No. They care that they are male, that they are much larger than me, much stronger than me, have created societies where females are trying to fight their way out of the subordinate role, tooth and nail. They know if they attack me I have next to no hope of winning if I fight back due to the obvious physiological differences in size, mass and strength between the sexes. They have been taught that I am a sex object. That they are entitled to female bodies, and get off on the power structures they have created.
        I cannot “redefine” myself into anything else. Or at least, I COULD, but If all women decided to “identify” as men, it would make absolutely no difference to the sex-based oppression we face. We can scream that we are actually men on Wednesdays, or “not women” over the mountain tops. It will not change our lot in life one bit. It does nothing but splinter the feminist movement into branches that will exact no lasting, significant step forward.
        Our biology is why this is happening. In a patriarchal society, traits defined as “masculine” are superior. Femininity is inferior. This is the hierarchy by design.
        Feminists fight against these notions. But in order to do that, it’s important to call bullshit on the idea that specific traits or skills etc etc are tethered to human biology. “Identifying” as the opposite gender in your head, simply because you feel you gravitate towards traits the Patriarchy dictates you can’t have, based on your physiology, does nothing but reinforce the concept that gender is innate. It tells them they were right all along, and the Feminine is weak, demure, bad at math, giggles softly, fears wrinkles, loves pink, unicorns, flowers, babies blah blah blah.

        It’s such utter cow dung.

        If a woman operates a fork lift, she doesn’t tap into her “inner man” that day. She has the ability to do it because she is a competent person and learned the skill. If a man is great at applying flattering make up, he isn’t suddenly a “woman”. He is a male who is creative, has a good eye for colour and symmetry, and has an affinity for such things. It is their unique personalities. Not some man/woman dynamic.
        I think what people don’t get, or even resent, is the regressive nature of it all. It seems incredibly sexist. Also very irritating that suddenly we have a wave of people who cannot fathom that females are still very much oppressed globally under patriarchal systems because of their biology. A group of people that in turn, oppress the women who are still trying to fight against sex-based oppressions. A group of people watering down our ability to define reality, who want to ban speech, or tell us not to name our body parts because it’s “phobic”.
        I mean, we’ve had to explain that to a variety of special snowflakes in this very comment section that yes. Global oppression of females still actually exists. It’s frightening to be honest, because this is really important stuff, and all the progress we have been making is in jeopardy.
        People should be free to be whoever they want so long as it doesn’t cause harm to anyone else, and so long as it is not truly disruptive to society (so long as it doesn’t lead to oppression of another group). You should be able to be your own unique individual. But there is a very large trend at the moment of kids under 24, binding themselves to an ideology where traits that don’t match up to sexist stereotypes = they are “not women” or “not men” and cannot take the slightest criticism, or questioning of their faith-based identities.

        I confess, I find it very odd.

        • kuroichan101

          Quit pretending as if women arent generally equal to men in developed society. “No amount of identifying as a man would have saved me from being raped, “you do realize that men are raped more by other men than women are by other men? You do realize that ASSUMING that all men think women are taught to see women as sex objects is a wild assumption? This is the flaw of feminists. They assume they know how men see everytging and refuse to accept that men are biologically wired, if they are heterosexual, to be attracted to a woman and their body parts. They refuse to accept that other women use their sex appeal to “control” men and make themselves seen as sex objects and enjoy it. Lets bot continue to pretend the patriachy is real and that women in developed societies actually experience REAL oppression. If you want to know what oppression is then look back at histiry and see how blacks were treated or gays, etc.
          Gender identity will always exist so people can identify as whatever. Gender identity isnt something formed to escape the fake oppression feminist talk about. Its just something you feel. That is why FTM exists. This article was retarded and pretended as if trans people exist due to fear of “male oppression “. Thats simply retarded.

          • Meghan Murphy

            MRAs and gender identity-pushers are the saaaaaame *sing*

    • ksedge

      PS: Also, what hierarchy are they perpetuating? I think, in the end, their lives, their choices, stand in opposition to many hierarchies, including those based on gender.

  • Melanie

    In summary, it’s about conforming to sexist stereotypes about males and females. These regressive ideas are exactly what feminists have been fighting against for centuries now.

  • Elian

    This is so fucking ridiculous. First of all acting like all nb people were assigned female at birth, then acting like it’s a way to “escape the patriarchy.” I honestly don’t know how to begin to tell you just how misinformed you are. Can’t say I’m surprised to find another transphobic feminist though.

    • Meghan Murphy

      I honestly can’t understand what you are talking about.

  • Elian

    Please, like this flavour of feminist cares about anyone who wasn’t born with a vagina and is happy with it. TERFs are just as bad as any other bigot, impossible to reason with and totally blind to their own privilege.

    • Meghan Murphy

      Again, wtf are you talking about?

      • owleyes27

        Avoiding all questions becaus “terf scum” is an easier rebuttal.

  • Meghan Murphy

    No. It is unclear what you are responding to and what you are arguing.

    • Elian

      Um, responding the article I posted the comment on. Arguing that its ridiculous and the author is misinformed.

      • Meghan Murphy

        What exactly is ‘ridiculous?’ What exactly is she ‘uninformed’ about?

        • Elian

          For starters, non-binary people aren’t women. They’re non-binary. And the author appears to have made the common mistake of confusing GNC (gender nonconforming; one who does not conform to the typical roles/expectations/presentation of their assigned gender at birth) with non-binary, which is a gender identity in and of itself, falling under the trans umbrella.

          Not gonna lie, this whole website feels TERFy (that would be trans exclusionary radical feminism, a violent and bigotted ideology) so I’m gonna excuse myself from it.

          • Meghan Murphy

            “For starters, non-binary people aren’t women. They’re non-binary.”

            What does “non-binary” mean?

            “Not gonna lie, this whole website feels TERFy (that would be trans exclusionary radical feminism, a violent and bigotted ideology) so I’m gonna excuse myself from it.”

            Not gonna lie, but when you use anti-feminist slurs, it makes you sound like a misogynist. You’re excused.

          • Melissa

            Did you just claim that TERF is an anti-feminist slur? One can easily be feminist without excluding trans people.

          • Natalie

            Holy shit. So if I just say I am non-binary I can stop menstruating and being a woman? I can stop worrying if I honk at a man in traffic that he won’t pull over and kill me? Glad that’s solved!

  • Meghan Murphy

    They are so accustomed to their tumblr feminism, they are always caught off guard when asked to come up with real arguments, using their own words…

  • Meghan Murphy

    How does one determine who is ‘non-binary’ and who is not? You are correct that feminists are ‘non-binary,’ but they do not identify as such. They understand that they are both ‘non-binary’ but also female and therefore part of the political class of women. My point being that, if there is something that is a ‘non-binary’ human it means there is also a ‘binary’ human, which flies in the face of the feminist analysis that says gender/gender roles are not natural/real, but invented, and imposed socially. It’s also insulting… Acknowledging one is female and therefore a woman — oppressed under patriarchy as such — does not make one ‘binary,’ it just means you understand material reality.

    • owleyes27

      I swear, this question has been asked 100 times in this thread and not one person has answered.

  • Melanie

    I asked because I want to understand what you mean by conforming to an assigned gender. It’s a genuine question. I’ve never seen anyone explain it without referring to sexist stereotypes about males and females that are precisely what feminism is trying to free women, girls and other groups from, such as gays and lesbians who are very often discriminated against because they don’t conform to their ‘assigned gender’.

  • Meghan Murphy

    “Where non-binary differs is that it is a conscious rejection (or critique) of the notion of exactly two genders.”

    But what you believe in your individual mind about gender actually has little to do with the reality of gender… Again, gender is socially imposed — it is an idea. So whether one believes in two genders or not has no effect on the gender hierarchy that exists under patriarchy. Feminists don’t believe in gender at all, but they also understand that gender shapes our material reality, so fight the system of gender from that standpoint. Do you see what I mean? We need to fight the system — the idea of gender itself, but also need to understand how that system works, and address its real life function. To simply say, “I opt out!” or “I don’t ascribe to gender” doesn’t really address the problem, as gender, under patriarchy, goes on without you.

    What some people believe existed in ‘other cultures’ is not really relevant to us in the here and now, because we are living under patriarchy and under patriarchy gender exists only to reinforce sexism/male domination. People often reference ‘other cultures’ without really knowing much about those cultures anyway, so i find those arguments generally kind of superficial.

    Also, identifying as ‘non-binary’ and being born intersex is not the same thing. One thing is a personal choice/identity, the other is a biological reality.

    “Non-binary feminism” is not a thing… Feminism explicitly rejects the gender hierarchy. (As Lierre Keith says, gender isn’t a binary, it’s a hierarchy). But again, it also understands how gender functions to maintain sexist ideas about women and female subordination under patriarchy. That’s kinda the point of feminism, so to call something ‘non-binary feminism’ makes little sense.

  • Just trying to Understand

    What is you definition of innate? How is a person likes and dislikes innate?

    • Jane

      Something is “innate” if it is natural and/or if you are born with it.

      The individual traits that a person has are innate. Some people are born and naturally like the color blue, like certain hobbies, have certain abilities, have tastes for certain foods, etc. These things are not taught, they are naturally within the person. So, these things are “innate.”

      Gender is a set of categories that people are taught after they are born and grow up. They are taught what the words “man” and “woman” mean and the traits that are supposed to go in each category. People are taught to encourage certain qualities and discourage others. But, this influence comes from outside of them, from society/culture, it does not come from within them and it was not present at birth. So, in this way, gender is “not innate.”

      I hope this explanation helps.

  • marv

    “This is why I find it sad and foolish when feminists are uninterested in (or antagonistic towards) trans or non-binary folks and their experiences. Those people -feminist or not- have something really valuable to offer feminism: the anecdotal evidence of living in more than one gender, and/or with different hormonal profiles.”

    I have heard this type of argument used in the context of economic classes: the petite bourgeoisie and middle classes have a valuable place in undermining the class binary system because they live semi-outside it. The trouble is they don’t really have such autonomy. Capitalism is actually stabilized and fortified by the non-binaries even while they seek to reduce the extremes of rich and poor by offering themselves as the ideal to strive towards.

    The real solution remains socialism. There would be no binary/class to struggle against by offering non-binary lifestyles/identities. The end of patriarchy eliminates the gender class conundrum too.

  • Jane

    First of all, I’m not a radical feminist. So, asking me how I personally feel about gender or what I believe is “innate” will not give you an idea of how radical feminism as a whole feels about gender or what it wants to do with it. In the future, it would be best to clarify what someone’s beliefs are before making any assumption that they reflect an entire group.

    Second of all, you asked me for examples — that’s what I gave you. Maybe liking blue can be a socially-imposed behavior, but it can also be innate — because there are people socialized to like pink as girls who still end up preferring blue because of how looking at the color makes them feel, as opposed to what the color portrays symbolically, or what wearing it results in conveying to others in a societal sense. Color is literally the frequency of light and so there is a mechanical/biological function underlying it, even if social/cultural pressures exist surrounding it.

    Here is a paper from York College in Pennsylvania, on radical feminism, ideas connected to it and surrounding it: http://faculty.ycp.edu/~dweiss/phl380_feminist_thought/radical%20feminism%20notes.pdf — This paper extensively outlines various ideas in radical feminism — some which may be currently held and some which were original aspects of radical feminism when it first came out ages ago. This will probably be able to give you more information on radical feminism than I could, being that I’m not a radical feminist, myself.

  • Reality is sweet

    Oh, I see, you have a masculine heart. Not like those “women” who fully embrace their role as domestic drudges or decorative objects. You’re not like your mother or your grandmother or your aunts or your neighbors, who are wired to love those roles. Nope, you’re different. (You’re an idiot.)

    • ksedge

      The title of that blog is “Masculine Heart”. I think it’s a reference to fathering.

      I’m a Fujimoto on my mom’s side. Gentle strength. I’m proud of them.

      I’m also multi-gendered. I believe it’s wiring. (Coincidentally, I’m also bi-handed, as this man’s son is, and bi-racial. Some people aren’t supposed to be one side of a dichotomy. It’s part of human diversity.)

  • Jane

    Just as points to ponder, and not as a matter of judgment at all…

    How can “being your true self” ever be thought to involve having plastic surgery? Don’t those two things contradict? I mean, either “who you are” is something that you’re born and come to realize consciously through self-reflection, or it’s something that you can cut and paste into whatever shape you please. — But, if it’s the latter, then where is the “self,” exactly? I mean, if you can just change your hormones and your sex and your face and your chest and all these other attributes, then where is your “self” located anymore? If so much of you is subject to change, then your “self” becomes something transient and mutable. But, to have a self that is transient and mutable goes against the very definition of “self” — which is one’s essential and enduring being.

    And, what exactly are we labeling with the term “non-binary”? Are we labeling identities or are we labeling lacks of identity? Are these people some other category because they have explored every category and found themselves not to fit anywhere? Or is this a label denoting a lack of such exploration? Or, is this a label denoting a desire to live in a world where labels don’t exist…which is a bit of a self-contradiction seeing as “non-binary” is a label in and of itself…

    And, to those who are trans, specifically, if being male allowed for the same personality qualities, likes, dislikes, hobbies, and abilities, as being female, would a transition still be necessary? And, if not, how could it be said that one is trans “gender” — when gender is exactly that difference in role. Wouldn’t it then be transsexual? And, wouldn’t that be about perceiving one’s body as the other sex, rather than having anything to do with gender roles?

    I just feel like there’s a lot of confusion in these subjects. While in other fields, creating terminology with definitions actually makes things clearer, inexplicably, it does the opposite here. And, the list of terms seems to grow every other day.

  • pseudonamed

    thanks for sharing. appreciate the honesty. I think most so-called ‘terfs’ would be fine with trans people deciding to live as another gender because that feels more comfortable for them, etc. as long as they didn’t try to deny that there are some differences between transwomen and AFAB. Admitting there are differences doesn’t mean one is ‘better’ than the other. As you said, we all get harrassed. we should be working together to fight harassment and violence against both females and gender non conforming people without stepping on each others’ rights.

  • Meghan Murphy

    “I’ve never used the term “Non-binary feminism” -another strawman? You are quite right that “Non-binary feminism” isn’t a thing, but non-binary feminists certainly are. I use both labels, sometimes separately, sometimes together, because they make sense to me. They are complementary, not synonymous.”

    Please cut the trolling. My comment about “non-binary feminism” was very clearly in reference to your “non-binary feminists” point.

    In any case, your arguments still make no sense because pretending as though there are “binary” people (or feminists) and “non-binary” people (and feminists) is a false premise. No one is “binary.”

  • Meghan Murphy

    When you accuse me of not arguing in good faith and of engaging in “straw men,” despite the fact that I’ve spent a decent amount of time engaging with you sincerely, and that you, on the other hand, are now just being manipulative and insincere, I will ask you to stop trolling, yes. Unlike you, I am not some rando on the internet.

  • Morag999

    “The article above, and the posts below which cheer it on, gave me initial suspicions that it was little more than a histrionic and pseudo-feminsitic rationalisation of a prejudice against a specific minority of gender non-comformists who pose a threat only to patriarchal norms.”

    In other words, you’ve stopped by to grace us with the usual transgenderist conclusion, in the absence of any coherent argument, which is: “you’re all a bunch of hysterical phobic bigoted women!”

    Sorry we couldn’t “disconfirm” your suspicions, young Brennan. That we made you sad and disappointed. Snort! But thanks for entertaining us with your unusual diction. While your sentences are vain and nearly empty, I could see how you might be able to manipulate someone, at least for a little while, into believing they represent the clear and logical thoughts of a “sincere dialectical opponent.”

    Jeez Louise. You make no sense.

  • owleyes27

    My first question was “what does being a woman feel like” it’s amazing because either no one answers at all or if they do they rely heavily on sexist stereotypes about womanhood. Non binary defines itself based on the idea there’s a binary woman out there. Yet no one can define what a binary woman is?

  • owleyes27

    omfgg yes

  • owleyes27

    It does when people are telling women to stop saying “female biology” and refer to “pregnant women” as “pregnant people” – very clear erasure when men are not asked to make the same sacrifices.

  • owleyes27

    “hi i was born in 2002, i know more about feminist theory then those old bigot scum terfs”

  • Meghan Murphy

    But don’t you think most people feel uncomfortable being either ‘feminine’ or ‘masculine’?

  • DoNotGiveMeAnAirhorn

    As a woman aligned nonbinary person, I take great offense to this. People like me do not ‘throw women under the bus’ by being who we are. Our gender identify, or well, our lack of thereof, is not ‘a way to escape the patriarchy’ and is certainly not a ‘cool thing to do.’ As a nonbinary person, we live in a world where we our constantly ridiculed by people who think the use of singular they/them pronouns are ridiculus (see the U of T prof. that refuses to use they/them when referring to people), people like yourself who think that we’re somehow faking it in order to be cool or different. Just let us be, please. We just want the right to live like any other person does.

    • Meghan Murphy

      No one would or has argued that you throw anyone else under the bus by being who you are… But there is a question as to what you mean when you claim to be ‘non-binary?’ What are the implications of this term for others? It naturally implies that those who don’t identify as ‘non-binary’ are somehow ‘binary,’ which they are not, really…

  • Meghan Murphy

    You can’t ‘identify’ with gender. Gender is a social imposition. To claim that I “identify” with femininity is to say I “identify” with subordination.

    • DoNotGiveMeAnAirhorn

      Femininity isn’t subordination???? You’re just confusing me now.

      • Meghan Murphy

        Yes, femininity is subordination. That is the whole point of gender under patriarchy — to make men dominant and women subordinate. Have you heard of feminism before? You should look it up.

        • Just Passing Through

          All ‘Gender Studies’ classes at all Universities everywhere must be closed immediately. End of story. And close Tumblr and Twitter too while we’re at it. People’s minds are being fried to death with this pomo queer feminism-is-fun-and-for-everyone grade-A Garbage!!! Enough Enough Enough!

    • kuroichan101

      Just look up the definition of gender identity then nonbinary. It doesnt neccessarily mean fem or masculine. And there is no patriarchy.

  • Meghan Murphy

    You’re embarrassing yourself, Toni.

  • radwonka
  • Meghan Murphy

    ok

  • Meghan Murphy

    lololllllll. Oh Toni — stop yourself.

  • radwonka

    2. So? I thought that you didnt like the definition because “thesaurus something”?
    And what point? Humans are still a dimorphic specie last time I checked.

    Ah I forgot,

    those who “normally” produce sperm cells are males. In case you wanted to imply that those who produce that are females. Males have a definition and females too. And you cant change those definitions.
    Cancers, deformations, etc have nothing to do with individuals who have XY chromosomes claiming to be individuals who have XX chromosomes.

    But tell me, if nothing can be defined, since you seem to imply that the word “normally” changes the definition entirely, then how can one think that he is a female? isnt it weird to think that you can be something that has no real criterias?

    Basically, if females dont have physical criterias (because of the word “normally” right?), then what is a female for you?
    And, do you also think that others words can lose their meaning like that, or do you only have a problem with the word “normally”?

  • Meghan Murphy

    Ew. Don’t act like a creep or you’ll get yourself banned.

  • Tired feminist

    Well I do have something to say: you talk like a sociopath and we won’t buy your little game.

  • Meghan Murphy

    “Feminism is supposed to be about recognizing and battling oppression against everyone (not just women).”

    lol. No it’s not, MRA.

  • Reality is sweet

    A “woman” is an adult female human, much a “hen” is an adult female chicken, and a “doe” is an adult female deer, and a “sow” is an adult female bear. We do not ask a doe about the nature of her identity before determining that she is, in fact, a doe and not a buck, a fact that is innate and immutable. I hope this helps clarify things for you.

  • Sarah Cox-Nakano

    this is repulsive. if you do not actively fight for non-binary people, regardless of the gender they were assigned with at birth, you lack a very fundamental misunderstanding of gender and need to go back to feminism 101. transphobia, fucking everywhere.

  • Meghan Murphy

    Donchaknow feminism was invented last year on twitter?!?!?!!? #outraged

    • Morag999

      #transphobiafuckingeverywhere
      #butnotadroptodrink
      #wowjustwow
      #borednow
      #bye

  • radwonka

    “Because you sound breathless and out of control. Do you genderists have a
    kink for tantrums or something? Like, is it one of those BDSM things
    that’s inextricably woven into the queer fabric of your lives?”

    Ha, MTE. I wonder why they always sound as if they were having a tachycardia.

  • Meghan Murphy

    Or write for Feminist Current 🙂

  • Ciara Drachen

    No, most women don’t feel that way. Resenting gender discrimination is not the same as identifying as transgender.
    In the US, approximately 0.4% of people identify as transgender. And, of those, most identify with a binary (male/female) gender. A far, far smaller number identify as nonbinary. And, by the way, not all nonbinary people are assigned female at birth.

    I appreciate trying to overthrow oppression, but you can’t do that by throwing minorities under the bus. Hard enough being binary trans, but at least bigots don’t actively insist that your gender doesn’t exist at all.

    Feminism is based on gender equality. I don’t understand how a feminist site can post such discriminatory articles about people of a different gender. It’s disgustingly hypocritical.

    • Meghan Murphy

      No, feminism is based on liberating females from male oppression. People who identify as ‘non-binary’ are not a minority group.

  • Meghan Murphy

    Gender is NOT individual OR personal. It is a social system.

  • JingFei

    I understand ( and thanks, I’m also sorry for what you’ve been through. I sincerely mean it).
    Our critiques are not designed to inhibit people from being who they are. I dare say no one cares and would love a world where no one needed labels to peacefully walk their own path. But when an ideology starts to affect how already oppressed groups are treated, it is crucial to critically analyze it.

    Anyways, thanks for the productive discussion! Sorry for the walls of text.

    • ksedge

      Please don’t apologize for “the walls of text”. 🙂 (I know what it’s like.)

      Thanks in turn. I think we can disagree on some points while still hearing each other. (I feel heard, anyway. I hope I was able to extend that to you, too.)

      I hope this doesn’t sound lame, but… good luck to you in recovering from trauma. (I know it can be such a rocky path to navigate. I’m glad we’ve survived. I wish all the best resources to you.)

      I know that doesn’t cover it (it never does). But it seems important to me to hear things like that anyway, so… I just wanted to say them.

      Take best care. 🙂

  • Meghan Murphy

    lolololllllllllllbye

  • Meghan Murphy

    Feminists are opposed to gender, not “for [all] gender[s].” You are misinformed.

  • Tallriksmodellen

    There are people who are sort of comfortable with describing themselves as “men” or “women”. And there are people who aren’t.

    It’s somewhat bizarre to make the case that gender is solely a description of what characteristics society ties to your reproductive function (which for example doesn’t apply to trans- or intersexuals), when so many people use the word to describe something more than that – namely personal, innate, internal identity and existence in relation to society and the world.

    The word gender describes identity in a unique and complex way – describes a unique ASPECT of one’s identity – and therefore can’t simply be replaced by another word like “personality” – in the same way as the words “man” and “woman” cannot be replaced by, say, “person with penis” and “person with no penis”. Words and language are more complicated than that.

    In a way its of course true that “everybody is non-binary” – in the sense that nobody’s an ideal manifestation of the essence of womanhood/manhood. The crux, however, is whether or not you actually IDENTIFY as non-binary, the point being that people should be free to form their own identities. Since we happen to live in a society where gender is given such great significance in the construction of one’s identity, gender identity obviously becomes an important factor here. If we want people to be able to form their own identities we have to allow them to be free to choose their genders.

    Susan Cox’s transphobia reminds me of homophobes arguing that homosexuals choose to be gay, forgetting to reflect over why on earth anyone would CHOOSE to be the victim of all that hate. Non-binaries are the subject of great oppression and subjugation, something Susan Cox seems to conveniently have forgotten. Her “social construct”-comparison is of course unbelievably hateful and detached from reality.

    Furthermore, non-binary people aren’t just playing around trying to be special and egdy. Just like binary trans-people, they experience genuine discomfort in their assigned gender role and, unlike binary trans-people, they experience similar discomfort in the “opposite” gender role.

    I you accept the fact that binary trans-people are uncomfortable enough with their assigned gender to go through the immense perils of a juridical and medicinal sex change, then you also have to accept that an individual can be uncomfortable with BOTH traditionally available gender roles, wanting to opt for a third option. If we close that option we throw those individuals under the bus, instead of welcoming them to join the struggle against the patriarchy because, in reality, these people of course pose ZERO threat to this struggle.

    Just because the male-female binary is useful in the understanding of history and the world doesn’t mean Susan Cox gets to to force upon people certain identities that these people themselves positively reject.

    • Meghan Murphy

      How does one determine who is ‘non-binary’ and who is not?

  • Meghan Murphy

    My point is that everyone is non-binary. Am I “binary” because I understand I am a woman? Because I don’t identity as “non-binary” instead of as a woman? If you understand that gender is imposed, not innate, and that no one is actually only/either “masculine” or “feminine” then you can no longer claim that “non-binary” is a definable group of people, never mind a marginalized one. Is a person who chooses to identify as ‘non-binary’ more oppressed than a woman? How? Why? It’s not as though women feel comfortable with the femininity imposed on them…

  • Meghan Murphy

    “Non-males,” eh? Excellent job replicating the centuries-old stereotype that everyone who is not male (also known as “women”) only exist in relationship to men.

    “Our common goal is to destroy the patriarchy, no?”
    If you don’t believe that gender itself is oppressive, then you are not fighting to destroy patriarchy and we do not share common goals.

    “How do we help that struggle by oppressing other minorities who fights the same enemy?”

    Transactivism and transactivists fight feminists, not violent, misogynist men. So how you can claim we are ‘fighting the same enemy’ is beyond me. If transactivists ever decide to stop attacking feminists and go after men, then yes, perhaps we could consider them allies.