Jenni Murray’s statements about womanhood are not bias, they are the truth

Jenni Murray, presenter of BBC’s Woman’s Hour.

After BBC presenter Jenni Murray published a piece in the Sunday Times questioning whether a man could “become a woman” by taking hormones and perhaps getting surgery, not only was a petition launched to have her fired, but she was reprimanded by the BBC. Yesterday, it was reported that the broadcaster issued Murray with an impartiality warning, telling her she must remain impartial on “controversial topics.”

While I agree that journalists have a responsibility to do fair and balanced reporting, I’m left wondering how understanding that women are female is “controversial” and am troubled by the notion that Murray’s comments constitute a bias. This reeks of the longstanding myth of the unbiased male reporter that is rooted in the idea that men’s perspectives are neutral whereas women’s perspectives automatically constitute a bias. The notion of “impartiality” has long been gendered, but in light of this particular debate, I’m curious to know how often reporters have been reprimanded for accepting the claim that a male can legitimately become female simply by saying so. Based on the increasingly common practice of reporting male violence as “female violence,” I’m inclined to think never.

Murray references India Willoughby in her piece, who lived as a man and succeeded in the male-dominated field of journalism for his entire life before transitioning at 50. Willoughby appeared on BBC’s Women’s Hour after saying that women’s hairy legs were “dirty,” but it was Murray who was told she didn’t understand womanhood, as she challenged Willoughby’s sexist assumptions. Murray writes:

“Unsurprisingly, my polite and informed line of questioning exposed me to a barrage of criticism on social media. I was a TERF and didn’t understand what Simone de Beauvoir , the author of one of the great feminist tracts, The Second Sex , meant when she wrote: ‘One is not born, but rather becomes, a woman.'”

Of course, Murray did understand. Rather, those who never read de Beauvoir’s text have misinterpreted it and continue to bash those who have read it over the head with their convenient inventions. “As a matter of fact,” Murray clarified, “I have understood perfectly what de Beauvoir meant ever since I read her as a teenage girl,” pointing out that the author discussed the reality of the second sex intentionally and correctly:

“Your sex, male or female, is what you’re born with and determines whether you’ll provide the sperm or the eggs in the reproductive process. What de Beauvoir was analyzing was gendered socialization.

In other words, the girl who grows into a woman goes through a lifetime of pressure to become the socially constructed idea of what a woman should be, regardless of her innate talents, abilities or ambitions. It’s what feminism has sought to challenge. She did not mean that an individual born into the male sex, socialized into the expectations of the masculine gender, can simply decide to take hormones and maybe have surgery and ‘become a woman.'”

As an “unbiased reporter,” Murray was perfectly within her rights (and, indeed, obligation) to state basic facts about womanhood and the impact of socialization on females. Unless we are prepared to consider patriarchy itself up for debate, all journalists should understand how gendered socialization works and how it harms women.

“I’m the Bridget Jones of trans!” Willoughby announced recently. “I work in television, and I haven’t got a guy.” That Willoughby can’t see anything more to the reality of someone like Bridget Jones, beyond working in television and not being able to “find a guy,” speaks to what Murray points out in her piece. Jones’ fictional (albeit realistic, in many ways) reality included things like sexual harassment, body hatred, sexist treatment in the workplace, and pregnancy — things that Willoughby has the (male) privilege of dismissing, instead presenting womanhood as being about little more than cute outfits and chasing boys.

But we have yet to hear that Willoughby’s sexist opinions about women constitute a bias that should render the journalist unemployable. Rather, we are expected to leave Willoughby’s statement to Murray back in December — “I’m not a transwoman, I’m a woman” — uncontested. Why is womanhood only up for debate so long as the parameters of the debate are dictated by males?

Murray’s skepticism and (carefully managed) anger at the notion a person who spent their entire life as part of the dominant class of people can suddenly redefine the meaning of womanhood should resonate with women everywhere.

Instead, this anger and these questions are unspeakable. Numerous men were aghast that a woman would dare even to have an opinion about womanhood, going so far as to suggest Murray should be fired.

Willoughby openly mocked Murray, suggesting she had “been on the sherry” and that she needed a makeover, calling her a “dinosaur.” The journalist also went on to demand Murray be fired, saying, “The fact that she’s still allowed to host Woman’s Hour while spouting this bile is ridiculous and she should finally be sacked.”

It seems even women do not have the right to speak about themselves. Men, the ultimate “unbiased reporter,” maintain the right to define our realities and experiences. Rather than reprimand Murray, the BBC should support her, and remind her colleagues that speaking the truth is part of their job description.

Meghan Murphy
Meghan Murphy

Founder & Editor

Meghan Murphy is a freelance writer and journalist. She has been podcasting and writing about feminism since 2010 and has published work in numerous national and international publications, including New Statesman, Vice, Al Jazeera, The Globe and Mail, I-D, Truthdig, and more. Meghan completed a Masters degree in the department of Gender, Sexuality and Women’s Studies at Simon Fraser University in 2012 and lives in Vancouver, B.C. with her dog.

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  • lk

    I read Jenni Murray’s article and I found it to be thoughtful and well-reasoned. I’m sure she will be labeled a bigoted evil terf who is responsible for the deaths/abuse of people who identify as transgender…how long do you think it will be before she starts receiving death threats?

    It really boggles my mind that stating facts is now a sign of bigotry. But I feel like the trend of modern culture is not to struggle to find the truth through critical reasoning, observations and the ability to recognize that there are such things as facts but to put individual feelings and self-identification above everything else.

    This entire line of thinking (There is no racism because I’ve never experienced it! I’m a woman because I say I am! There is no such thing as gendered socialization! There is no such thing as privilege or luck! People are just people! Don’t label!) probably makes individuals feel good, but in reality it only keeps sexist, racist and classist systems in place and even renders these systems invisible.

    I think outside of the world of tumblr, twitter, instagram, everyday feminist, reddit and etc…most people agree with Jenni Murray… Anytime this topic has come up in real life (usually by way of Bruce/Caitlin Jenner) the conversation is basically always the same: a man can’t become a woman and a woman can’t become a man.

    • Rachael

      “But I feel like the trend of modern culture is not to struggle to find the truth through critical reasoning, observations and the ability to recognize that there are such things as facts but to put individual feelings and self-identification above everything else.”

      This!!! So much this!!! Everyone has become the centre of the universe and nothing else, not even facts, matters.

    • Alienigena

      Even the terminology used around transgenderism is misleading. What does ‘gender reassignment surgery’ have do with gender or sex. The surgery performed on MtTs is extensive cosmetic or plastic surgery, it is not magic (does not convert male to female) or even medically needed (if as certain MtTs suggest there is such a thing as ladybrain (don’t agree with a concept but it is cited by certain MtT activists and their supporters as a thing)). In their minds they are already women pre-surgical interventions. The thinking in the more radical elements in the transgender camp goes beyond a basic lack of scientific literacy to actual idiocy. Because more than the appearance of things (having a surgical intervention to remodel sex organs and taking hormones to decrease body hair) we are talking about ontogeny (fetal development), how cells differentiate in female fetuses vs. male fetuses (formation of sex organs) and biological processes that are distinct based on biological sex (e.g. menstruation, menopause, breast milk production, etc.). Claiming that the exceptions to the rule should dictate to those who surround the average (e.g. re: menstrual flow (I would have been atypical in terms of excessive flow at 11 days per month when I was younger) or endometriosis) doesn’t fly with doctors who treat biological females and are happy to label us atypical, delusional or just neurotic (see CBC on endometriosis sufferer http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/calgary/endometriosis-awareness-calgary-march-1.4012139). Why should so much attention be focused on such a small segment of the population? MtTs. Why are they being pandered to? Because they start out life as biological males? Everywhere I look I see a majoritarian response to things (in voting schemes, in society at large), not saying I agree with the majoritarian view, just wonder why the oddest people (those who call others special snowflakes and whiners, I mean angry men (MRAs)) seem to be aligning themselves with an extremely small but vocal minority (activist MtTs).

      • genny

        I say the more penises removed from this world the better!

      • lk

        “Even the terminology used around transgenderism is misleading. What does ‘gender reassignment surgery’ have do with gender or sex. The surgery performed on MtTs is extensive cosmetic or plastic surgery, it is not magic ”

        Yes, the terms are incredibly misleading..no amount of surgery can change your sex.

        It’s plastic surgery geared towards making a delusion seem as though it is actually fact. I find it particularly interesting that trans activists are pushing for grs to be covered by insurance and/or tax dollars.

        I have frequently heard it said that sex reassignment surgery is “life affirming, life saving and necessary..” What?! How can it be necessary to remove a penis or breasts simply because you feel like you have been born in the wrong body?

  • Alienigena

    So women are no longer allowed to reflect on their experience as women and girls, especially experiences that are not shared by MtT? There was an article on CBC Edmonton documenting a young woman’s struggle to get her endometriosis diagnosed and properly treated, a struggle that resulted in long-term health problems. How would a MtT relate or how would an MtT try to shut down that woman because they can never experience what she experienced (not physiologically possible). Just unbelievable that such hateful people (many biological males and angry MtTs on social media) are allowed to ask that Jenni Murray to be fired for reflecting on her personal experience and how that experience influences her view of the MtT worldview wrt to women.

    • Kathleen Lowrey

      well as long as you reflect on your experience as a woman or girl while holding a man’s hand and gazing soulfully into his eyes, *then* you can speak. Sort of mumbly through the side of your mouth, but still.

      [of course this PR stunt designed to do nothing so much as centre Justin Trudeau in whatever conversations about women might happen today, is being used to bash… his wife. Of course! Of course. Of course. Even though it has the fingerprints of the office of the PM all over it]

  • Meghan Murphy

    “So unless one is a feminist – and the correct type of feminist – one is not a ‘real woman?'”

    Not sure where you read that, as no one has made that argument. It seems you are seeking out strawmen…

    “I am a cis woman. My sister lived as, passed as and was treated as, a boy until her 13th birthday when she chose to start wearing skirts and grow her hair. She was born with a female body but absolutely did not experience a girlhood. My parents supported her as a boy and support her as a woman.”

    If your sister is female, she is a woman. I’m not sure what you’re arguing here. She did not somehow escape being female simply because as a child she was perceived to be a boy by some…

    “Many women of colour, working class women, disabled women, lesbians, and other women do not experience girlhood the way that some white middle class feminists seem to require, for a variety of reasons.”

    Again, wtf are you talking about? Many women of colour, working class women, disabled women, and lesbians are all female and are oppressed as such. The argument feminists are making is to say that MALES are not women. Not that women are not women. Stop being manipulative and trying to pit women against one another in such a dishonest way. You know full well what we are talking about here and you know full well that feminism is about liberating ALL women.

    • foamreality

      how should girlhood be experienced? How do they know they didnt experience it? Is girlhood anything like womanhood? Womanhood is where you are treated like a second class citizen. Did they feel they weren’t treated badly enough? Or was it just the skirts and long hair? Because we all know they are biologically innate to women.

  • Tweek Jones

    Your sister is female. Not male. This stuff is all so simple, why do people make it so complicated?

  • Tweek Jones

    Where I live, we dont even have this discussion. I dont think any trans person would go on a full on attack on women and lesbians here. This stuff is complete madness.

    • Anon

      Meaning what? You think men in dresses don’t hurt women? What about all of the 1000s of documented cases proving otherwise?

      • Tweek Jones

        I live in a small country, where gay and lesbian rights are taken seriously. The trans have no clout. I also dont see trans people attacking women and lesbians for being that. Im not saying it cannot happen ever, just that I dont see any convo on this. I do see convo on bathrooms etc, but many trans already use them. I think the mentality here is more rational and less homo/lesbophobic than in eg UK, USA. There are more reasons, but this is the basics.

  • Tara Bianca Rado

    All of this!!!

  • Michelle

    Your sister would have been recognised as a girl the whole way through, indulged as being a tomboy.

    Every girl and woman experiences girlhood, you cannot claim because life experiences might differ depending on where you are and your position in life that it doesn’t count. It means that you get socialised accordingly into a hierarchy where all females are considered inferior to males. You can be diverse as you like, but it means discrimination from day one no matter what. You can see that in operation here, a man can simply claim womanhood and girlhood despite never, ever having experienced the biology nor the life experience of growing up a girl or a woman and call for someone to be sacked when someone points this out and the clear fact they have no understanding nor will to understand the issues faced by and experiences of women.

    You’re even demonstrating this here. You don’t need to show submission here and say you are ‘cis’ when there is only woman, an adult female (not that I exactly trust that claim as it is based on asserting authority on this against the words of many other women to dismiss them). Having to use this is only in reference to males who are enforcing the idea there are different kinds of women so they can slot themselves in there and claim they are part of that group, but of course, so much better.

  • Meghan Murphy

    There are not trans children… There are children who are male or female who don’t fit gender stereotypes or perhaps suffer from what’s referred to as ‘gender dysphoria’. In most circumstances, “trans children” grow out of their desire or claim to be the opposite sex…

  • Cassandra

    But you do understand that a trans person will always be the sex he or she is born, right? A woman is an adult human female, and the world will always be able to tell the difference.

  • Cassandra

    Nobody could have imagined anything as hateful and viscous and silencing and horrifying for women as “gender identity” if they tried. Oh wait, men did exactly that. It is the most fucked-up nightmare.

  • Yisheng Qingwa

    LOL, NOPE. NEVER GONNA HAPPEN. EVER, EVER, EVER. 🙂

  • Yisheng Qingwa

    You are too stupid to even indulge. Bye.

  • lk

    Yes, women are a diverse group-no matter our race, our class, or disability we share two things in common: girlhood and female biology.

    Men, no matter how much they embrace femininity, how they feel or identify are not part of this diverse group of women.

  • Meghan Murphy

    Ooooooh. lol.

  • Tired feminist

    LOL no. He’d grow up as an artificially feminized boy.

  • Tired feminist

    Please spend some more time on Feminist Current before commenting. Your “sister” is male, and deceiving him into believing he could ever, by any means, become female, is not going to do him any good.

    I know this might sound harsh for you, but it’s the truth. If you care about your brother stop spouting this nonsense.

  • Tired feminist

    I read it that way too. Now that “female” doesn’t mean anything either, she can just go on about how her bro was totes born with a female body.

    • FierceMild

      Ack! So very sad-making.

  • Americus91

    I replied to a person who was stating that people were “Obsessed over genitals” and asked “If biological sex is meaningless what does this mean for homosexuals? The definition literally is attracted to the same sex not the same gender. Will homosexuality be redefined as well?” I got “Who are you? A buddy of MILO? We fought for your rights at Stonewall now you want to toss us under the bus and it’s not going to happen. There’s a lot of money and power backing us”

    Good lord – I’m a suburban stay at home mom asking questions about this confusing issue and they jumped to that! And of course never answered the question.

  • Anon

    Scientist here! No, wrong, silly Shawna! His chromosomes are still XY and he still has his junk. Hormones and dresses don’t change that.

  • Anon

    Women are XX.

  • FierceMild

    When you say trans children do you mean transgender children or do you mean adults who identify as children?

    Like this father of seven who identifies as a six year old girl:
    http://www.mediaite.com/online/meet-the-52-year-old-father-who-identifies-a-6-year-old-girl/
    Is that fine? Are you saying that actually makes him six years old? Can you honestly say you wouldn’t be nervous if he was in your child’s kindergarten class?

    Or perhaps you believe perfectly whole and able bodied people can simply ‘identify’ as blind or as amputees like this person:
    http://www.nationalpost.com/m/wp/news/canada/blog.html?b=news.nationalpost.com/news/canada/becoming-disabled-by-choice-not-chance-transabled-people-feel-like-impostors-in-their-fully-working-bodies

    And we should all respect and support that delusion without question?

    What about white people who identify as people of colour?
    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/jun/16/transracial-definition-destructive-rachel-dolezal-spokane-naacp
    Does that actually make them people of colour?

    When considering people who identify as morbidly obese:
    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/38345743c6b7e9bdb084118fd231d44fc439832dab49c983df1d016c5bdedae8.jpg

    Do we, in your opinion, just agree and say “yes, you’re dangerously obese if you feel fat!”

    We need to find a more effective way to support all of these “trans” people that actually helps them and doesn’t increase their risk of disease, bodily injury, death, and sterility.

    Hormone therapy – including puberty blockers – have these side effects:

    Testosterone:
    hot flashes
    decreased sexual desire
    loss of bone density and increased fracture risk (Osteoporosis)
    erectile dysfunction
    fatigue
    increased risk of diabetes and heart attacks/strokes
    weight gain
    decreased muscle mass
    anemia
    memory loss
    LDL (bad) Cholesterol increase
    muscle loss

    Estrogen/Progesterone:
    vein clots in the legs (deep vein thrombosis )
    blood clots in the lungs (pulmonary embolus)
    Uterine Cancer (endometrial cancer)
    Breast cancer
    Heart disease
    Stroke

    Does that really, actually, for real in real life sound like a risk assessment that should be left up to the decision making skills if a nine year old?

  • oh the hue manatee

    From http://thenewbacklash.blogspot.com/p/3-birds-and-bees-bigoted-hate-speech.html

    …Feminists are also told that to posit femaleness as an axis of experience/oppression is racist, because white women and women of color will have different experiences.

    As if *any* axis of experience/oppression isn’t intersected by other axes. Not all people of color have the same life experiences: Latino Americans will have different experiences from black Americans; black American men will have different experiences from black American women; black Americans will have different experiences from black Kenyans; and a Kikuyu person living in an apartment in Nairobi will have different experiences from a Maasai person living as a nomad on semi-arid land in the Great Rift Valley. Racism still exists and matters. Not all homosexual people, disabled people, older people, Muslim people, or poor people have the same life experiences all across the world either. Their experiences and oppressions still matter.

    … intersectionality does not *erase* sex any more than it erases any other axis of oppression. And intersectionality does NOT mean that everything must intersect with penis.

    ~~~

    Of course, sex is the only class subject to such ridiculous treatment.

    Transgender identity politickers will point to infertile women as evidence the word “woman” shouldn’t denote reproductive biology, but they do not decry the labeling of humans as bipeds because some people are amputees. Nor are they offended by the notion that humans have five senses, although some people are deaf or blind.

    Transgender identity politickers will also point to intersex people in order to claim sex is a “spectrum.” However, they do not claim white people can identify as black because some people are bi- or multi-racial. The existence of purple does not mean that red is blue. (Nor does the persecution of albinos in Tanzania mean the only truly oppressed black people are white-skinned.)

    • Wren

      Awesome post.

  • oh the hue manatee

    Also, consider why we’re supposed to accept that girlhood is *so* diverse it must put up *no* boundaries, but boyhood is not. The childhood of human males is diverse, is it not? Some may like dolls and dresses. We don’t need to include penises in girlhood just because some people refuse to include dolls and dresses in boyhood (because those people are desperate to defend to the death the idea of masculinity – which is to say dominance – is innate to maleness.)

  • cday881@gmail.com

    We are all real women.

    Who’s we? I’m not a real woman.

  • Alienigena

    “Or unless one has experienced a childhood similar enough to some white middle-class woman’s definition of normal – one is not a “real woman”?”

    As others have said, why engage, but I’ll take a chomp at your lure.

    Similar enough … because only middle class white women
    – menstruate (and have been shamed for letting even the smallest amount of menstrual blood show of stain clothing)
    – are body-shamed (see treatment of the Williams sisters, the tennis players, by media, misogynists and trolls and Leisel Jones, Olympic swimmer (a white woman albeit)) for whatever reason (too fat, too thin, shoulders too broad, butt too big, breasts too small (or big)) as children and adults
    – are reduced to objects
    – are assigned more housekeeping chores and childcare (e.g. how many boys are expected to babysit neighbors children) work than boys or men as children, adolescents and adults
    – are told (by random strangers) to adjust their facial expression (to smile more, to not roll their eyes, to not smirk, etc.)
    – are told (by random strangers) they would be more attractive if they just didn’t do (insert something here, anything, one woman I know was told she would be more attractive if she didn’t smoke)
    – are told they are too angry
    – are told to adjust their posture (to one more ladylike, ladies don’t sit with their legs open)
    – are told their hair is a mess/unkempt/not up to par (an allusion was made to my hair by a college instructor when she said that intelligent (the glasses and the CV fool them) people don’t take time to brush their hair, white woman here, with frizzy, self-tangling hair, that I do brush and use conditioner on)
    – are harassed in the street
    – are told to be quiet and just listen
    – are told they are too quiet (what are they plotting, what are they thinking, are they sitting in judgement of others)
    and so on.

  • Alienigena

    Thirdly, they demand right of access to women’s bodies (e.g. cotton ceiling references).

  • Misanthropia

    Transtrenders are pathetic and misguided. Their increasingly toxic mixture of irrationality and misogyny only makes me more severely opposed to them. I hope this incident pulls even more women into radical feminism and increases our numbers. I applaud Jenni Murray. She is an alpha intelligent woman.

  • Meghan Murphy

    Males still experience male privilege, regardless of whether they later choose to live as transwomen.

  • Meghan Murphy

    Of course she did. If she was female, she still experienced being a girl, even if she didn’t present as a girl in a stereotypical sense.

  • Meghan Murphy

    Define “woman.”

  • Wren

    The east germans gave their women athletes male hormones (they said they were vitamins). I remember seeing a program about it. The women suffered horrible health consequences including permanent sterilization. Fucked up.

  • Wren

    She’s gonna need a lot of therapy.

  • Wren

    She did have a girlhood, albeit an extremely confusing one thanks to your family.

  • Yisheng Qingwa

    Cool (made-up) story, bro.

  • Liesl Bites Back

    I love how the people saying that “women are killing trans people by maintaining boundaries” conveniently ignore the fact that most of this violence is perpetrated by men. Not women, men . But still, let’s just blame women because they’re being mean and not open & available to everyone.

    Head—>desk.

  • M. Zoidberg

    It’s when they throw “science” at me (as though all research is created equal) that I get super bummed. I countered with Nobel Prize winner Randy Schekman boycotting Nature.com and other clickbait science journals that cherry-pick content just to get more subscriptions.

    …Aaand I was dismissed as a troll. Discussion over (even though I thought that I was being fair). Head against the wall, as you said, Wren.

  • Meghan Murphy

    “So many young liberal men are just so, so SO happy there’s finally a liberally sanctioned way to publicly attack and hate women again. After years of having to stifle their resentment of women (particularly older women, who they largely consider socially useless), along with having to pretend not be annoyed/grossed out by women’s expression of uniquely female challenges, along comes the trojan horse of trans-rights and sex-worker-rights with a fully loaded interior that seats three: misogyny, rape apologia, and Men’s Rights Activism.”

    Yuuuup.

  • Meghan Murphy

    #notsorry

  • Tobysgirl

    Never be scared, but understand that so-called civilization does not like those who speak truth. You will never be popular, you will never be feted if you speak truth. When Martin Luther King was assassinated he was the most hated man in America; many African-Americans had turned against him because he criticized the violence of America. Most people are conformists and will go along with whatever nonsense is current (afterwards they will tell you they never believed what they shouted fervently a day previously). Thus speaketh an old woman.

  • Just Passing Through

    Me too, very very scary

  • Just Passing Through

    ezzzzzackly!

  • FierceMild

    Don’t leave me behind!

  • FierceMild

    They’re hiding and voyeuristically listening to the sound of women peeing while they wank off just like their founding father.

    http://spartacus-educational.com/TUhavelock.htm

  • Wren

    #notgoingquietly

  • genny

    That “cis” stuff doesn’t go over big around here, it’s just a liberal buzzword, aka meaningless.

  • Wren

    And she must have been terrified of being found out so always a little paranoid. That’s not something the boys had to fear. When I was little I wasn’t supposed to talk about being ethnically Jewish. Nothing made me feel more like a Jew than the fear of being sussed out.

  • genny

    Honestly, you should just go peddle your trans nonsense somewhere else. No one here will ever buy what you’re selling and it’s exhausting listening to your libfem shit. You make zero sense.

  • FierceMild

    Nice catch!

  • Wren

    Your ex is a transwoman and butch lesbian?
    So you dated a man. Your entire family is seriously confused and fucked up or all this is just a joke. Bye.

  • FierceMild

    I’ve put up with all the obfuscations and bad faith arguments from you that I’m going to. I hope your courage finds you soon.

  • FierceMild

    The question was how do they know who to cut? not are they nice to trans folk.

  • Wren

    You are right. Women are a diverse bunch:
    You yourself are a misogynistic, anti-feminist MRA. I will never stand with you.

  • namesareirrelevant

    Yes, it was done quite deliberately. Makes the highly aggressive male lobby trying to steal women’s rights nearly insane with fury, but then anything factual does.

  • lk

    “Transwomen are women. They have a different life history to you, that’s all.”

    No, transwomen are men. Transmen are women.

    Even if you reject the reality of gendered socialization..biological facts still remain. There are distinct biological differences between males and female..how one dresses, what pronouns your are called, what clothes you wear doesn’t change that.

    If transwomen are women, can they get pregnant, give birth to children, have periods, go through menopause?

    No, they cant because they don’t have female biology.

  • Claudia Manion

    Please save me a place on the Ark too!

  • lk

    I’ll be honest, I’m kind of confused as to why the LGB community has embraced trans-ideology so much (I’m aware that some members are highly critical of it as well).

    Everything about the ideology seems anti-gay especially this ridiculous idea of the cotton ceiling.

  • Tired feminist

    Oh geez, I met a lot of transgeniuses in this life…

  • Tired feminist

    Cool, so turns out you’re not THAT dense after all. Can you identify a pattern in the perpetrators of violence against women AND against feminine men? Their sex, maybe?

  • Tired feminist

    You said you are a “cis woman”, now you say you don’t conform to what’s expected of your gender? Which one is it?

    If not all transwomen have a ladybrain, then what makes them women? What is a woman? It’s the third time I ask you this.

  • FierceMild

    Except when they beat the shit out of you instead. Pain is scary.

  • FierceMild

    You made me laugh!

    • Aylune B. Papyrus

      Weeee 😀

  • FierceMild

    I think that’s why she’s here, which is why I was extra patient with her.

    • M. Zoidberg

      I used to creep on here about two years ago as flag-waving lib-fem who loooooved transwomen and just wanted them to be accepted by all the “bigots” who were, to me, irrational (I dated a MtT for years, so I felt like an attack on him was an attack on me.)

      And then all my bullshit fell apart when I was hit with facts. What is a woman? A biological female, no ifs, ands, or buts.

      What really helped was the Rachel Dolezal situation and the complete rejection of her claim of transracialism by almost everybody. I was like, “so we’re mad at her for appropriating blackness to her advantage, but we champion and support men who appropriate womanhood to their advantage?” Blew my ignorant, liberal mind to smithereens, and opened the door for facts instead of feelings.

      • FierceMild

        I think that’s exactly why some of these commenters turn up here. I lurked around and read here for a very long time while I was in my radfem chrysalis.

        • Sabine

          I love that: radfem chrysalis.

      • snapcracklepop

        I was the same as you (minus the dating a trans person). It makes me blush to say that I was excited about Caitlyn Jenner’s coming out because I saw it as a milestone moment for inclusion and queer acceptance. They say ignorance is bliss, but unfortunately for me, I’m not a bloody idiot, and as a feminist, I can’t ignore what is painfully obvious.

        What I find so sad about all this is the heavy denial by lib-fems and queers (I use the word queers here as an umbrella term), and I keep thinking about how we can help others to understand that our concerns are legitimate and that it isn’t a matter of bigotry.

        I understand the protectiveness of a site like this by its readership, and I feel the same rage in regards to the issues, but I wonder if sometimes we buy into the mud-slinging when we do things like overly focus on the biology of our opponents. Trans people aren’t going anywhere and most of us, I’m sure, support the rights of all people to be free of violence and discrimination, so I’m not sure how helpful it is to repeat to individuals that transwomen are men, call them ‘dudes’ or ‘blokes’ etc. This may be true, but it will also certainly shut down the dialogue and provide ammunition for trans activists to prove their point. Rather, I think we are better off sticking to the facts and away from individual personalities as much as possible, and instead the issues as they relate to public policy.

        Maybe there is still a part of me that really does not want to offend trans people, but I’m curious to know what other people think about this?

        • lk

          “Rather, I think we are better off sticking to the facts and away from individual personalities as much as possible, and instead the issues as they relate to public policy.”

          Here’s the thing though, for trans activist and trans-ideology facts are considered bigotry/transphobic/contributing to violence.

          By stating that transwomen are men, we are actually sticking to the facts.

          If transactivists will not admit that transwomen and women are not the same, I’m not sure we really have much to discuss with them or that we have anything to gain from allying ourselves with them.

          I’ve heard transpeople say that feminist and transwomen are in the same fight, but we are not.

  • Aylune B. Papyrus

    Me neither. Should be interesting.

  • Aylune B. Papyrus

    Confident stupidity makes me angry too.
    I’m enraged when I see how people (okay -males) will spout the most nonsensical rhetoric ever with that stupid smug smile on their faces,
    While I’m always making efforts to gauge what I saying, back up my words with sources, and be careful not to say false or vague statements.
    Meanwhile they don’t give a shit and just talk and talk and TALK and it’s so stupid and they think it’s so CLEVER and they’re so DUMB and WHY WHY WHY I’M RAMBLING BUT IT MAKES ME ANGRY

    I’ll go have organic lemon tea.

    • Wren

      haha, I usually reach for something stronger.

      • FierceMild

        Martini on the edge of despair, anyone?

  • Aylune B. Papyrus

    I lived in Peru and it surprised me a lot when I learned all my girlfriends had they ears pierced as babies :/ they were like, ”oh, your ears aren’t pierced, your parents didn’t do it when you were a baby ?”

    Um, no ? Why ? How could they even know I would want earrrings ?

  • Aylune B. Papyrus

    Well yeah. And it’s pretty self-evident, too.
    It’s not demeaning to children either : it’s just a fact.
    I’m saying that cuz somebody somewhere has probably said ”You’re taking away children’s AGENCY when you say they can’t make decisiosn for themselves !”

    • FierceMild

      But they actually can’t make decisions for themselves. That’s why they’re dependents.

      • Aylune B. Papyrus

        You’re taking away children’s agency when you say that, you vicious childphobe.

  • Aylune B. Papyrus

    That too.

  • Sabine

    Vulva flan! Oh god…that made me laugh out loud! I’ll bring some clitoris cupcakes in case the flan doesn’t work out…

  • Sabine

    Isn’t that akin to a straight, biological female, presenting in a traditionally feminine way, calling herself a gay transman? Hahahahahahahahaha! Oh god, this gets better and better. Christ on a bike….

    • FierceMild

      Head exploding. Need more wine. Hell, that may require whiskey to sort out.

  • Melanie

    Also define ‘100% woman’.

  • Alienigena

    I can relate to your relative. I did the girly thing until 10 or 11 (being a neat freak and obsessive about what I wore was a response to an abusive home life I think) and would occasionally wear dresses after that but never to school and only on formal occasions though I had a tomboy best friend and liked outdoor activities (not sports per say). I wear jeans (prefer tailored shirts over t-shirts) whenever possible though I do have dress pants and blazers in my closet. But I have been mistaken for male, screamed at by men and women alike (often from moving vehicles) and called fagg*t, and I have been propositioned by straight men (from moving vehicles), One of the times this happened I had braids (can’t stand hair in my face or eyes, so braids, now I just keep my hair short) and was wearing a peacoat and jeans, a not unusual choice for me. Relentless sexism will come your way whether you embody gender stereotypes or disrupt them (even unintentionally as I do, I choose clothing for comfort).

    • FierceMild

      I think we share a closet and…I WANT MY PEACOAT BACK!

  • Kris

    If all women are so different with no shared girlhood or even biology etc like you say, then why use the term “woman” at all? Why have a single category and a single word to describe a class of people with nothing in common? You must believe we all share SOMETHING in common to use the same word to refer to us as. So what do we share?

  • will

    “Sticking my head above the parapet”… “I’m aware I’ll be shot down for some of my opinions”

    Well, you are adept at virtue-signalling, I’ll give you that.

    The documentary about you, linked on your site, is described as “an intimate account of the joys, sorrows, thoughts and dreams of Katy, a transgender male to female from Norwich.” and your self-description says you “prefer the pronoun ‘she’ or ‘they over ‘he'”. Why then are you claiming to be intersex when you are apparently trans? If you have the courage you seem to believe you have why not say you are MtF rather than appropriating Intersex?

    Also, in light of your self-proclaimed intellectual courage, will you consider that, if an opinion of yours is met with critique, it might be that your opinion is incoherent and not entirely fact-based or honest? Will you consider that an argument that counters your opinion is not the persecution you clearly assume to meet here, but discourse?

    • Katy Jon Went

      One can be intersex and trans (and trans may mean MtX) and non-binary, they need not be exclusive. That documentary was 5 years ago and not titled by me – if you watched it you’ll see how non-conforming to any gender I am. I prefer Mx and they now, but am also laid back around pronouns as I get called all three still. Having spent 7 years under a paediatrician being prodded and poked and nearly given human growth hormone for lack of male development, I don’t call that appropriating intersex, it’s just private medical details that I don’t feel a need to discuss. And the op I was seeing 5 years ago is not the op I chose to undergo 4 years later.

      • FierceMild

        If your bona fides rest on experiencing being male, female, intersex, and trans you damn well do need to discuss it.

        You can’t just come into a discussion like this one, make a claim like that, then flounce around saying you want to keep your meaning private. It makes you look like an attention seeking troll with nothing to add. So prove you’re not by adding something. All you’ve done so far is ask for attention.

        We’re waiting.

      • Tired feminist

        Everyone here is gender non-conforming. What’s the difference?

        • Wren

          The difference is that we aren’t as special as they are!!!
          That’s all.

    • Katy Jon Went

      PS, I’m totally ok with gender critical discourse, I don’t believe in fe/male brains etc, and I don’t see the discussion as persecution – that me’s speaking personally, many other do see it so. I also don’t “expect” access to some female spaces without an invite or my showing respect, but again, many would. My opinions are my own, that’s why my article explores and quotes various sources and opinions.

  • Deborah West

    Bravo!!!!!!!!!! Me too.

  • Katy Jon Went

    Having been designated female at birth, then later male, and having an intersex endocrine condition resulting in delayed development, and atypical puberty due to non-take up androgens, I tried living as man and woman – legally and socially at different times, I now live as non-binary. I was bullied and abused for not being a full man, and rejected by a few for not being a fully “biological” woman. How am I misogynist in calling for recognition of biological, psychological, and social realities that are outside a purist binary that is not reflected in nature’s complex reality. And Katy was my birth name, before being raised male as Jon, then a decade ago reverting to Katy. @morag99:disqus abusive comments don’t further discussion and understanding, and I don’t tell women how to think or behave, I just ask people to imagine what it is like being neither fully male nor female, and where do we belong, where are our spaces. Most modern intersectional feminisms recognise the othering of non-men be they trans, intersex, non-binary, and are supportive of their needs and rights, and if you read my article you’ll see I don’t ask for those to be respected at the expense of the rights of natal females, raised and socialised as girls and women. Gender roles and constructs are oppressive to all genders, but when some feminists reinforce the pseudo-binary and try to police those that blur the gender construct, it seems like a backward step.

    • lk

      “Gender roles and constructs are oppressive to all genders, but when some feminists reinforce the pseudo-binary and try to police those that blur the gender construct, it seems like a backward step.”

      Feminists are not reinforcing anything…we are acknowledging reality. Human sex is not all that complicated. The vast majority of humans are and have always been male or female, with a small percentage who are intersex.

      How exactly are trans people blurring the gender construct? They’re not…they are embracing it fully with their talk of “feeling female” and their proof that they feel female is always about liking feminine things. Trans ideology asks us to deny the existence of female biology, gendered socialization, paints women as paranoid and irrational for wanting the safety of female-only spaces and dares to suggest that “cis” women identify with femininity when it is fact thrust on us the second we are born.

      The concept of gender is by far more oppressive to females, which is why males do everything to maintain gender roles–either through religion, faux science, call for a return to tradition or violence. And why men are filled with such rage when women dare reject the trappings of femininity or step out of our place.

  • Aylune B. Papyrus

    I’m guessing surgery and hormones are a pretty awesome cash cow. Not to mention the fact that many professionals must fear losing their jobs or reputations if they dare speak out ? Patients pushed by trans activists could slander them if they refused to give them hormones and try to convince them there is nothing wrong with their bodies…
    “My therapist is so horrible, he says there’s nothing wrong with my body and I need to accept myself as I am”
    It’s probably happened already.

  • Aylune B. Papyrus

    Same here, sister

    The world just can’t handle us subverting the wealthy-poor binary.

  • snapcracklepop

    I can get on board with this to an extent- as allies (at least within LGBT) we can get more done. What I don’t think you are pausing to consider properly and fully is how the trans-agenda is affecting the women and girls you claim to support. The argument here is not a personal one. I don’t doubt you know brave, supportive trans people. This isn’t the point. There are plenty of good articles on this site and beyond that can explain to you the many REAL concerns feminists have. You might also like to watch the youtube videos by Magdalen Berns who lays a lot of them out very precisely. If you are a reasonable person and feminist, you cannot possibly engage with some of the trans rhetoric- e.g.: women as menstruators, chest feeders, front-holes etc and not see why this is deeply offensive and dangerous to women (and just plain ludicrous!), and why older feminists and feminists who have been politically active and engaged for some time would be incensed by it. You can be a good ally to your trans friends and at the same time to your sisters- ie: half the world’s population, by standing up to this nonsense. In this way, you could do some actual good.

  • Alison Heather Smith

    Could I interrupt this discussion with a few definitions and facts?
    1. A ‘man in a dress’ is a transvestite or a drag queen, not a transgender person.
    2. Male-to-female trans people are not people who grew up thinking they were men then woke up one day and ‘decided’ to be a woman. They grew up their whole lives feeling they did not fit the gender they had been assigned at birth, and have gone through extensive psychological and medical assessments to establish this. The vast majority of them would not claim for a moment that their experience was the same as other women, but they do have an experience of prejudice.
    3. Amongst young people, there are now as many female-to-male transgender people as male-to-female. Most trans people are not very vocal or activist at all, but those who are would argue for rights for all, so this is not a ‘male vs female’ argument.
    4. There are very few doctors or psychologists who deny the existence of trans and intersex conditions – these are medical realities that will not go away just because some people shout ‘you are not who you say you are’.
    5. There is little to no evidence of male-to-female trans people attacking women in toilets, changing rooms or refuges, or even of men who are not really trans pretending to be so in order to gain access to those spaces. The idea that a predatory or violent man would take testosterone blockers and have their penis removed in order to gain opportunities to assault women is logically absurd.

    • Meghan Murphy

      Most people grow up feeling they don’t fit the gender they were assigned at birth.

      Most transwomen do not go through “extensive psychological and medical assessments” to establish anything. Perhaps this was true in the past, but no longer. Today, ‘gender identity’ is simply claimed.

      Most transwomen do not have surgery.

      Transwomen have the same rates of violence as any other male. Do you believe males should be allowed in women’s change rooms, bathrooms, prisons, and women’s shelters?

  • Meghan Murphy

    Most do.

  • Meghan Murphy

    Intersex people and trans people are not the same. Intersex is about your biology, trans is about ‘gender identity.’ Feminists do not believe gender is innate, therefore they do not believe there is such a thing as ‘gender identity.’

  • lk

    What is a woman?
    What is a man?
    How are babies made?

    If we cannot agree that there is a such a thing as women, how can we even talk about sexism against women?

    “So how is it that the oppressed have become the oppressors?”
    Are you saying that feminist are oppressors because we acknowledge biological facts? That is not oppression.

    • Alison Heather Smith

      Acknowledge all the biological facts, not just some of them. Sex and gender are incredibly complicated biologically and socially, and medical science recognises that.

  • lk

    Transgender people do not blur the gender construct…Claiming manhood by saying that you “feel like a man” or claiming womanhood by saying you “feel like a woman” does not challenge the notion of gender but suggests gender is some innate thing that people are born with.

    Yes, trans ideology does ask us to deny female biology in the name of being inclusive. If they are not interested in erasing female biology why do they want us to refer to pregnant women as pregnant people, why do they say things like talking about birth control is transphobic?

    What about articles that tell us to be gender-inclusive when we talk about abortion? Abortion is something that only affects women, denying this makes no sense.
    http://everydayfeminism.com/2014/08/gender-inclusive-discussing-abortion/

    “trans ideology (although I’ve never seen an offocial trans ideology 101 document to check that)”–Of course, there is no transideolgy 101 document..but every ideology has beliefs that are open to criticism.

    At the end of the day, I care about the safety and rights of women…transactivism wants to change public policy in ways that seriously harm women…like allowing biological males into female shelters, locker rooms and prisons.

    • Alison Heather Smith

      Where is this so-called ‘trans ideology’ coming from, and why are you equating it with gender-neutral language? I have had trans friends for 30 years, and have never heard any of them putting forward any kind of agenda beyond the desire to get on with their lives without harassment.

      And again, where is this harm you are so worried about? Do you have any evidence of a case where a genuinely trans person assaulted a women in a toilet, changing room, prison or shelter? (By the way, everyone posting in this discussion will have shared those spaces with transwomen many, many times in their lives without even realising it, because most trans people look just like everyone else.)

    • Katy Jon Went

      There is no “they” or coherent voted on ideology, no set of beliefs laid out like the Women’s Liberation Movement. Like many feminists, many trans have differing beliefs. The pregnant people thing came down through the BMA so that AFAB people who were pregnant but identified as male or were transitioning in that direction, and some intersex people might be better included. It’s not a battle I’d have fought, and it does’t erase mothers it just allows those 1 in a million AFAB pregant FTMs etc to not be called mother if they prefer.

  • Meghan Murphy

    This follow up study shows a majority of boys ‘growing out of’ gender dysphoria. https://tspace.library.utoronto.ca/bitstream/1807/34926/1/Singh_Devita_201211_PhD_Thesis.pdf

    While in the past, one had to get a psychological assessment to claim the identity of a woman, if you were male, this is no longer the case. Gender identity laws and policies dictate that one only need announce they are of the opposite sex in order to be treated as such.

    How does one tell the difference between a male and a transwoman?

  • Alison Heather Smith

    So do you think that infertile people are neither male nor female? And if there are only two categories of human in your view, presumably they are not human at all? You cannot possibly classify gender by the ability to produce ova or sperm!

    • Wren

      WHAT??

  • Katy Jon Went

    The SRY gene on the Y chromosome is the main sex distinguishing factor, but in some cases XX males and XY females exist, and shades in between.

    “The idea is instead of having a simplistic mechanism by which you have pro-male genes going all the way to make a male, in fact there is a solid balance between pro-male genes and anti-male genes and if there is a little too much of anti-male genes, there may be a female born and if there is a little too much of pro-male genes then there will be a male born.
    We [are] entering this new era in molecular biology of sex determination where it’s a more subtle dosage of genes, some pro-males, some pro-females, some anti-males, some anti-females that all interplay with each other rather than a simple linear pathway of genes going one after the other, which makes it very fascinating but very complicated to study.”
    http://www.learner.org/courses/biology/units/gender/experts/vilain.html
    http://www.nature.com/news/the-spectrum-of-sex-development-eric-vilain-and-the-intersex-controversy-1.19873

  • Katy Jon Went

    Most adult intersex people prefer not to use DSD – disorders of sex development, but differences of sex development or other less pejorative terminology.

    As an aside sperm cells have been created from a female human embryo creating the possibility of babies being born without two female parents and no male sperm. Three parent babies are also now possible.

    • Tired feminist

      How?

  • Melanie

    How does a person ‘identify with a sex’? You’re born a sex – male, female or intersex – you don’t identify as it. What you mean is identifying with the sex stereotypes and roles imposed onto people because of their sex. This doesn’t challenge any binaries or acknowledge the complexity of human beings. It reduces them to a narrow set of sex stereotypes that have been particularly harmful to girls and women, gays and lesbians and other people who don’t conform to ‘masculinity’ or ‘femininity’.

  • Meghan Murphy

    I think they were just in moderation?

    • snapcracklepop

      Not sure, but I wrote a few comments that don’t seem to be showing up

      • Meghan Murphy

        Sorry moderation is slow sometimes. Tough to keep up! 🙂

        • snapcracklepop

          No worries, thanks 🙂

    • snapcracklepop

      Oh yep! I can see them now.

  • lk

    Has someone who supports transideology ever been able to give you a rational, logical response to these questions?

    I have never heard one…they either don’t answer, or say its complicated.

  • Wren

    Uh nobody here would argue against any kind of consensual, healthy, non-exploitative relationship, but socialized men (anyone who has or had a penis) have a hard time understanding what that is. Don’t pretend you don’t know this.

  • Wren

    If you are truly a biological anomaly, why would you spout trans ideology?? You either chose to for specious reasons, or you’re being used.

  • Meghan Murphy

    The mind is not gendered. The mind is just the mind. There is no such thing as a feminine brain or a masculine brain. Sex is actually a real thing, in that women’s bodies are different than men’s bodies, in terms of reproductive capacity. I think it’s ridiculous to pretend sex doesn’t really exist because a small minority of people are intersex.

  • Tired feminist

    Because apart from feminists, no one really cares about women’s rights… so one can say the stupidest crap about women’s rights and people will fall for it. Imagine if white people demanded to join Black Lives Matter saying they “identify” as black! But nah, it’s just women, so whatever.

    • Wren

      well one woman did try to do just that (identify as black), and the consensus is that she’s absolutely crazy. Seems kind of unfair doesn’t it?

  • Tired feminist

    TranswoMEN are men! There’s a clue in the name! 😀

  • Tired feminist

    HAHAHAHAHA you’re not gender critical to the slightest. If you were, you wouldn’t be supporting this anti-gay, anti-woman, anti-science cult.

  • Meghan Murphy

    But we also don’t say that because some people have disabilities that mean they can’t walk means that humans are not a species with two legs for walking on… Instead, we make buildings accessible. We can and should also make buildings accessible for trans people who feel uncomfortable using either the men’s or women’s washroom, by installing single stall gender neutral washrooms.

    • Katy Jon Went

      Yes I agree in many instances that is the way forward, certainly helps non-binary folk. Privacy, accessibility and safety should be paramount. I’ve never demanded identical services or access, nor use of women’s spaces, though when only 2 spaces are offered and some people don’t fit in either it does raise an issue. And one that had gone back centuries and millennia, HRT+GRS has just created new dilemmas for those who are for want of a better word “third gender”.

  • Meghan Murphy

    It is not useful to dissolve the categories of male and female. In part, because males and females are treated very differently and have very different experiences in this world. If we dissolve the categories of male and female, we lose the ability to fight for women’s rights on the basis that they are an oppressed class of people. But also, the reality is that if you have a female body, you have different health requirements, some of those being connected to your reproductive system and the fact that you can get pregnant.

    • Katy Jon Went

      Most non-binary activists would argue for supplementing male and female not erasing them, and certainly not denying the differences in treatment because of them. Those who are intersex, trans, agender, or non-binary, experience differences in treatment themselves because they are different, not necessarily because they are male or female.

      • Meghan Murphy

        Then why is it that transactivists are so intent on gaining access to women’s spaces, rather than on creating separate spaces? Why are women who support woman-only space harassed, smeared, and called “TERF?”

  • Leo

    I’ve spent long enough in unsuccessful treatments for mental illness myself (how many therapists did you see? Some don’t help some people, or aren’t much good generally – I’d question how much use yours was if they were surprised at reluctance). That’s life. It’s not a good reason to harm patients. People can learn to live with dysphoria. Other people with mental illness manage. There is no cure for many conditions. At present, though, decades of waiting is absolutely not the standard being applied, or demanded by transactivists.

    You obviously haven’t reached a point you’re thinking straight about it – I don’t ‘feel’ like a woman any more like I feel like I have blue eyes, it’s just a biological fact. Of course you don’t ‘feel’ like a woman or like a man, no one does without relying on sexist stereotypes. How would you even be able to tell what feeling like a woman was, or feeling like a man? You can’t compare feelings with anyone else to check that easily. It’s incredibly irresponsible of the medical professionals for someone still thinking in such a mixed up way to be put through harmful surgery. I’m not the least bit surprised if they don’t regret – people not thinking straight aren’t going to. Do I regret not eating all day because of my OCD?* No, of course not, because I felt it was necessary. I’m still wrong, I know that, on a rational level, but…

    What I do know clearly is that someone aiding me to harm myself wouldn’t be helping. People with mental illness do not always have the capability to make rational decisions or to behave rationally. In addition, the medical professionals are telling the transitioners it will help, and affirming that idea, not trying to dissuade them. No wonder if they say they don’t regret.

    In any case I greatly fear there will be far more regretters in future, with the way young people are being railroaded towards medical transition. it’s also simply not so straightforward to assume they’ll all just live normal lives, problem solved. For one they’ll have given up their fertility, secondly they may will have more difficulty finding partners. Some may have surgical complications. One young person in a study died. Such needless risk is unacceptable.

    So, yes, I would ban it – it should never ever have been presented as a ‘treatment’. What did all these dysphoric people do before it, I wonder? It seems like in fact, they managed. There’s no medical reason it should help, it’s only psychological, and it’s just horrendous to use harmful surgery to gain a psychological effect.

    * I’ll have something now and should start to feel better in a bit.

    • lk

      I think what the medical/psychiatric community is incredibly harmful, especially when it comes to children. How can it be healthy to tell a boy that he is a girl because he feels like one? How can it be healthy to give a developing child hormones to stop puberty?

      How does it make sense to remove someone’s healthy penis and give them a “vagina” that they have to dilate for the rest of their lives so that it will remain open?

      I find the whole practice to be unethical; instead of helping patients deal with not fitting into sex stereotypes, doctors are helping patients alter their bodies to match how they feel.

      If I went to a doctor and asked them to remove my arm because I felt like a one-armed person, no ethical surgeon would agree to this…no ethical mental health practitioner would affirm my belief that I should be one-armed.

  • lk

    I’m going to pose these questions to you again.

    What is a man?
    What is a woman?
    How are babies made?

  • Wren

    Quite honestly you are saying that you have a “reputation for engagement rather than no-platforming, etc.” but we are telling you that you are writing the same insane rhetoric we hear regularly. You can’t call the intentional rejection of material reality “balanced” commentary. You may pat yourself on the back and tell yourself that you are better than other who espouse the same ideology, but that’s just adding to what appears to be your sense of superiority over us and apparently those who you would see as your allies.

    You say you are intersex and have chosen the gender of female, but your insistence on writing alternative facts and your self-congratulatory statements makes you come across as entirely male.

  • Wren

    “I do believe gender is a construct, but so too is sex”
    I believe you have lost your mind and I’m not sure why any of us should engage with you. I’m done.

  • Wren

    Are we peak gender yet???

  • Wren

    Lol, this makes no sense.

  • Wren

    I’d have problems with a person pretending to be in a wheelchair and demanding the same resources as people with actual disabilities.

    isn’t that fraud??

  • Wren

    But for how long can the imaginations of marginally intelligent people eclipse the entire medical community????

  • lk

    Acknowledging and ending actual female suffering=unimportant.

    Making sure nobody is ever misgendered, that children have access to unnecessary hormones, that men can enter women only spaces, that lesbians also have sex with men=important.

  • lk

    Lol, 71 gender identities? What?! I didnt know it had gone up that high, I remember not too long ago…Tinder was accused of being transphobic for only having male or female options, so then they worked with GLAAD to come up with 37 gender identities.

    Who wants to be male or female anymore, that is so boring and outdated!!

    How freeing to break the shackles of biology(which is apparently just a construct)! The world is going to be a much better place now that people can just declare their identity!

    I will no longer be a black, heterosexual female.

    I am now a White, Jewish, Italian gender-questioning, gender-variant cis-male pansexual. My preferred pronouns are they/them. I can both give birth and impregnate someone.

    We are reaching such a level of ridiculousness that I don’t even know what to say anymore.

  • Tired feminist

    How exactly is anyone here “denying the existence” of trans people?

  • Tired feminist

    Transgenderism is anti-gay, in case you didn’t notice the obvious yet.

  • Tired feminist

    Cool, so we don’t need men anymore! Finally!

  • Tired feminist

    If sex is a social construct, how does sexed reproduction happen?

  • Tired feminist

    You say you don’t believe in gendered brains, then proceeds to say the mind “may not match chromosomal or gonadal sex”. Which one is it? How would the mind “match” sex?

    • Katy Jon Went

      That’s some of the language of John Money and Anne Fausto Sterling about the layers of sex – that sex can be embodied and felt and be in sync or vary at many points in our development. I don’t believe in a an exclusive set of pink and blue brains, but rather a brain blank slate that experiences in and post-utero hormonisation, parental raising, social environment, puberty hormonisation, education, experience and more that psychosocialise and wire our brains differently, but not in simplistic binary gendered ways, though the way we experience gender will affect our brains.

  • Tired feminist

    How exactly does transgenderism help us to achieve these goals if it DEPENDS on the existence of gender roles to transition to/from/out of?

  • Tired feminist

    How is non-binary an “exception” if according to transgenderism “gender is not a binary”?

    What is a gender identity?

    • Katy Jon Went

      An identity reflecting an expression of nature for many, a disorder or dysphoria recognised by the medical profession. It is non-binary that rejects or supplements the gender binary, many trans believe in the gender binary, just that they are on the other side of it.

  • FierceMild

    Most do. You go look it up. I suggest you do some reading for comprehension exercises first to prep.

  • FierceMild

    Me too! Every. Single. Time.

  • Morag999

    “And since when did any feminist believe in reductionist biological theories of gender?”

    Since never.

    It’s transactivists who call the objective reality of the female sex a “reduction.” This is a projection, because it’s transactivists who believe that to BE female, and to assert that one is female, is NECESSARILY to be reduced down to reproductive capacity and processes, to be reduced to a feminine brain and psychology. For transactivists, the reduction is indigenous to the female body, per se. (We call this “misogyny” by the way.)

    While transactivists project their essentialism onto feminists, at the very same time, they lovingly embrace the reduction of “woman” into an unchanging, timeless essence, and promulgate the idea that “woman” is not a biological category, that it can exist separately from the female body — because “woman” is a metaphysical thing that precedes and finds a home in the physical body.

    According to trans ideology, a male body can contain the essence of womanhood, and the male will think/feel that he’s really a woman, because this woman-essence is a universal. It MUST be a universal, or else how could he, in his male body, know? Well, he can know he’s a woman because a woman is not a female human being, but a concept, and a fixed, eternal thing. Therefore, he can know exactly what it is like to think and feel like a woman. He can compare his feelings and thoughts against the womanhood checklist he has imported into his own mind, and by ticking off the stereotypes most precious to him, know with absolute certainty that he meets the criteria.

  • Katy Jon Went

    What on earth was dishonest about the above comment?

  • Katy Jon Went

    I wrote the above because there seems to be an assumption and stereotype that all trans women are dying to wear pink, heels and dresses, and that they are “men in dresses”. That gender stereotype does not reflect the range of expression of trans and non-binary youth today. I don’t believe in gendered brains but something makes trans people feel neither male nor female, or male rather than female (or vv).

    • lk

      Male and Female are not feelings. They are categories based on certain observable material facts like chromosomes, a vagina, a penis.

      How does a person feel female or feel male or feel neither?

    • Morag999

      I know why you wrote it, but you miss the point. “Range of expression” means nothing. Denying one’s sex IS stereotyping. The denial of one’s sex is based on stereotypes, always. No exceptions.

    • Zuzanna Smith

      Male and female are not feelings they are biological categories.

  • Meghan Murphy

    We’re not talking about “non-binary” (which is not a thing, by the way, no human is all ‘masculine’ or ‘feminine’), we’re talking about trans/transactivism. I assumed by ‘non-binary activists’ you were talking about transactivists. Anyway, no one is calling for gender neutral cubicles in any concerted way. The primary issue is almost always about males having access to women’s spaces and, if there is any push back at all, those pushing back are smeared and attacked.

    You are right that men don’t see women who identify as men to be a threat, whereas obviously women and girls DO see men who identify as women as a threat (for good reason).

    I don’t really understand what you are arguing, here, tbh. It doesn’t seem rooted in what is happening in the mainstream or in liberal or progressive circles.

  • lk

    How is transgenderism not anti-gay?

    Sexual orientation is attraction based on sex (not gender identity). A lesbian by definition is someone who is attracted to someone of the female sex. There are trans people and trans supporters who argue that lesbians who won’t date/have sex with transwomen are transphobic; lesbians are being encouraged to date biological men who identify as women to be inclusive.

    Women are supposed to view the penis of transwomen as being somehow magically different than the penis of men…I have seen articles where transwomen refer to their penises as girl dicks/lady dicks and attempt to portray a penis as though it were somehow a female organ.

    How can it not be anti-gay to suggest that lesbians date men? This article highlights some of the points I’m trying to make: http://www.feministcurrent.com/2017/01/13/todays-shameless-lesbians-wont-queered/

    Still patiently waiting on your answers to these questions:
    1. What is a woman?
    2. What is a man?
    3. How are babies made?

  • lk

    Does your patience know no bounds? 🙂

    I keep coming back to this thread waiting for a response that makes sense of transgenderism, a response that shows how transgenderism is good for women…haven’t seen one yet…

  • lk

    I’m starting to think that transideology is the religion of the left. Just as religious ideology asks us to believe things that defy logic and reason, to believe with no proof or evidence so does trans.

    We are to believe that anyone who says they are a woman is a woman. To even question someone’s claim that they are a woman is tantamount to heresy. We are to ignore the material facts in light of self-identification and feeling. We have to learn all this ridiculous language like cis, front hole, girl dick and etc. We are to praise trans people for their braveness and courage and never ever critique their actions or words-even when they are threatening or violent.

  • lk

    I have to say that I really hate the way people who defend trans always, always throw in something about intersex as though the two are the same.

    Intersex, male, female are biological facts. We do not have to take someone’s word for it that, they are intersex..it is something that can be observed.

    Agender, trans, bigender and the other bajillion and one gender identities are about some inexplicable feeling, self-identification and announcements from people. The day someone can explain to me what it means to feel like a woman or a girl without relying on cultural sexist stereotypes is the day I will change my name!

  • Morag999

    Yes!

  • Zuzanna Smith

    lol

  • Meghan Murphy

    Cool derail, but ‘non-binary’ isn’t a thing.

  • Meghan Murphy

    Ok, well that’s nice that that’s what *you* want, but that’s not what transactivists are fighting for. Primarily, they are fighting for access to all women’s spaces, to shut down women’s services and organizations that don’t comply with their demands, and to be recognized as literal women — no different than any other female.

  • Meghan Murphy

    Women and other marginalized groups should have the right to meet amongst themselves, because of their status as a marginalized group. I mean, no progressive in their right mind would argue that white people must be allowed to organize with BLM, because “equality.”

  • Meghan Murphy

    That’s good. I hope the university also supports other women’s spaces, too.

  • Meghan Murphy

    I don’t understand why you participated in an MRA panel, then?

  • Tired feminist

    Of course the world is gendered, this is not what I asked. I asked how one can possibly “feel” a sex. What is this magical “something” that makes trans people “feel” male or female, according to your own words?

  • Tired feminist

    Cool, so you agree that this argument reinforces gender roles?

  • Tired feminist

    You’re not a feminist.