The third wave’s tokenization of Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie is anything but intersectional

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

“How could she say such a thing?!” Behind every response to Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s recent remarks about transwomen was the message that people were not only outraged with the Nigerian novelist and feminist, but disappointed in her as well. In the Los Angeles Times, Michael Schaub wrote that she “angered” the transgender community. Paper Magazine explained that “People aren’t reacting well” to her comments. Raquel Willis said she “gaslighted” transgender people only to “strip them of their womanhood” at The Root. Unapologetic Feminism characterized Adichie’s comments as revealing her “lack of sophistication” as a thinker. (It couldn’t possibly be that she had a valid, albeit different, opinion about womanhood — she had to be confused or stupid.)

Most outlets who decried Adichie’s comments were dishonest in their representation of the conflict, almost exclusively reproducing the opinions of people who disagreed with her. By excluding the notable support and solidarity she received from numerous men and women, Adichie’s opinion was presented as an aberration (therefore more condemnable) and more isolated than it is.

And what could a renowned feminist writer have said to cause such (apparent) indignation? In an interview with Channel 4 News, Adichie was asked:

“Does it matter how you arrived at being a woman? …If you’re a transwoman who grew up identifying as a man, who grew up enjoying the privileges of being a man, does that take away from becoming a woman?”

She replied:

“I think the whole problem of gender in the world is about our experiences. It’s not about how we wear our hair or whether we have a vagina or a penis. It’s about the way the world treats us, and I think if you’ve lived in the world as a man with the privileges that the world accords to men and then sort of change gender, it’s difficult for me to accept that then we can equate your experience with the experience of a woman who has lived from the beginning as a woman and who has not been accorded those privileges that men are. What I am saying is that gender is not biology, gender is sociology.”

The intensity of the backlash led Adichie to issue a longer response which granted her critics far more empathy and thoughtfulness than she herself was awarded by them. She explained that to acknowledge male privilege “is not to say that transwomen did not undergo difficulties as boys. But they did not undergo those particular difficulties specific to being born female, and this matters because those experiences shape how adult women born female interact with the world.” At the Women of the World festival, she elaborated, saying that to conflate the experiences of transwomen with women’s experiences was “dishonest”:

“I don’t believe that we should insist on saying that the person who is born female and has experienced life as a woman has the same experiences of somebody who has transitioned as an adult. I don’t think it’s the same thing. I just don’t think it has to be the same thing in order for us to be supportive.”

Adichie’s clarifications did not abate critics who would only be satisfied with a full retraction and obedient adoption of the kind of modern newspeak that demands we accept transwomen as literal women.

The uproar over Adichie’s comments represents two distinct issues: 1) The belief that only transwomen should be the arbiters of what womanhood is, and 2) The practice of elevating certain women as icons, only to virulently pull them down once they express an opinion those who tokenized her disapprove of.

As for the first argument, some people argue that transwomen cannot have male privilege because they don’t identify as men. At Everyday Feminism, trans writer Kai Cheng Thom argues, “We cannot receive male privilege — because male privilege is by definition something that only men and masculine-identified people can experience.” But this assumes that for a structural force (such as systemic privilege) to affect you, you must identify with it. By that logic, women and girls must identify with our oppression in order for it to affect us. (This argument also begs the question: what are trans people transitioning from or to?)

Transgender actress Laverne Cox made a similar argument, tweeting:

“I was talking to my twin brother today about whether he believes I had male privilege growing up. I was a very feminine child though I was assigned male at birth. Femininity did not make me feel privileged.”

But privilege doesn’t ask anyone if they want it, so it doesn’t t matter whether you agree with it or “believe” in it. Privilege perpetuates itself by remaining in the background, invisible to those who have it. This means that being able to not notice your own privilege is in itself a sign of privilege. To say, “I didn’t feel privileged,” despite being part of a privileged class of people, speaks to its omnipresent power.

And how do we challenge systemic oppression if we deny it exists? As writer and scholar Claire Heuchan points out:

“If trans womanhood is synonymous with womanhood, the hallmarks of women’s oppression cease to recognizable as women’s experiences. If we cannot acknowledge the privileges those recognized and treated as male hold over their female counterparts, we cannot acknowledge the existence of patriarchy.”

We live in a world where millions of girls are aborted before they are even born simply because their ultrasound showed a vulva instead of a penis. Rita Banerji, director of the 50 Million Missing campaign, is right that the “mass extermination of women” is a human rights crisis. This is a world where drugs and treatments for serious health issues, like heart attacks, are designed with male physiology in mind, leading to faulty diagnosis and even death for women. Indeed, there has been a systemic undervaluing of women in the medical field when it comes to the way heart disease affects female biology, resulting in more risk and death for women. Women are also more likely to be injured in car accidents because crash test dummies have long been designed based on men’s bodies, not women’s (this is only just beginning to be addressed now, and “male” dummies are still the norm). We have tried pretending male and female bodies are the same, and it is women and girls who pay the price.

As Sarah Ditum argues, women cannot remain neutral on this issue because the battlefield is our bodies: “There’s no way to avoid picking a side when you yourself are the disputed territory.” Suggesting women should not discuss or acknowledge differences between females and transwomen  in order to avoid being labeled “controversial” (or worse) is just another way patriarchy demands submissiveness and silence from women in exchange for a false sense of security.

In a world where being born with a vagina carries distinct material oppressions, the idea that these dynamics depend on a person’s inner feelings is callous and insulting to women and girls as it assumes that, by identifying as something else, we can avoid oppression.

Cox says that “intersectionality complicates male and cis privilege,” but shouldn’t it also complicate the male privilege of transwomen? If intersectionality is to be applied to all axes of both privilege and oppression (as I believe it should), why should trans identities be exempted?

Willis, a writer and trans activist, is among those who believes Adichie simply shouldn’t speak about transwomen at all, tweeting:

“Chimamanda being asked about trans women is like Lena Dunham being asked about Black women. It doesn’t work. We can speak for ourselves”

But Adichie was asked a question about womanhood, as a woman — why shouldn’t she have say?

In this statement, Willis implies that transwomen should not only get to define womanhood for themselves but also for females. But if transwomen are the only ones allowed to talk about womanhood, what can women talk about? Whose narratives are women allowed to tell?

“Liberation is always in part a storytelling process,” Rebecca Solnit wrote recently in The Guardian. “A free person tells her own story.” In other words, women’s ability to speak about their own lives, bodies, and experiences is deeply political.

“A valued person lives in a society in which her story has a place. Violence against women is often against our voices and our stories. It is a refusal of our voices, and of what a voice means: the right to self-determination, to participation, to consent or dissent; to live and participate, to interpret and narrate.

Who is heard and who is not defines the status quo. Those who embody it, often at the cost of extraordinary silences with themselves, move to the centre; those who embody what is not heard, or what violates those who rise on silence, are cast out.”

Women’s opinions are constantly policed because opinions are part of the public sphere and, under a patriarchal system, women are to remain in the private sphere. (The notion that someone should “come and fix” Ngozi Adichie’s politics speaks to this policing.)

Why was the backlash against Adichie so swift? Why portray her opinions as beyond the pale and “phobic” when they are anything but? Because she had been placed on a pedestal by progressives and, in voicing an unwelcome opinion, deviated from third wave groupthink. Worse yet, she had expressed views shared by second wave, radical feminists.

When Adichie became a household name in the West, she was a young woman of colour from Nigeria who used her voice to galvanize the urgency of diverse voices and perspectives. A worthy cause, for sure, but one that has been manipulated to foment divisions within the women’s movement worldwide.

Third wave feminism in the U.S. contends that, until its inception, feminism wholly ignored the diversity of women’s lives and experiences. This is bullshit. As a Dominican woman who has studied the history of the women’s movement, in my own country as well as in Latin America and the Caribbean, I find this idea predictably short-sighted and U.S.-centric. The women’s rights movement has existed for over a century, and extends across countries and time periods. It is not accurate to assume that until the term “intersectional feminism” came along in the U.S., the women’s movement cared only about the needs and concerns of white, Western, upper-class women.

But even if we were to look only at the history of the women’s movement in the U.S., we’d learn that the first wave began as the result of a fire that consumed the Triangle Shirtwaist Company, killing over 100 working class, immigrant women. The fire led women to understand the peril and powerlessness of their lives without political rights and solidarity, as an oppressed class, which was pivotal to the suffragette movement. Similarly, feminism and the labour movement have collaborated (and dealt with conflict) for over a century and, within this struggle, feminists have often been the ones to push for more inclusion. Some of the most renowned feminist scholars and thinkers nowadays, like bell hooks and Angela Davis, became central to the movement during the second wave, precisely because they centered and criticized race relations within the movement. By erasing the contributions of women of colour from the feminist movement prior to the advent of the third wave, we are doing exactly what third wavers claim to criticize: ignoring the contributions of working class women and women of colour.

The point of drawing a line between what third wavers call “white feminism” and “intersectional feminism” is to both tarnish the accomplishments of the movement throughout history and to increase divisions, hostility, and infighting among feminists today. Young feminists, afraid of being seen as “problematic,” are taught by the third wave to reject and denounce their foremothers without even reading or understanding their work. Within this, the term “white feminism” became a catch-all term for misogynist attacks that have long been leveled against feminists, only this time masked as social justice.

Intersectionality is a theory developed in 1989 by black feminist scholar and lawyer Kimberlé Crenshaw in her essay, “Demarginalizing the intersection of race and sex: A Black feminist critique of anti-discrimination doctrine, feminist theory, and antiracist politics” to address the way being both black and female affect women in the U.S. legal system. Crenshaw defined “white feminism” as “the creation of a consciousness that was distinct from and in opposition to that of white men” and “the failure to embrace the complexities of compoundedness.”

Intersectionality is a powerful tool of analysis but it has been turned into a ubiquitous term commonly used in ways that have little to do with the original intention of the concept. Jess Martin explains, “Millennials often use the term to denounce anyone who explores topics or holds political views they don’t like, particularly any critique of queer theory’s definition of gender as a chosen and individual identity, sexualization, objectification, and/or the sex industry.”

Contemporary feminism in the U.S. seems to believe it needs witches and idols in order to differentiate itself from former waves and become mainstream. The witches — who are smeared, lied about and no-platformed in an effort to silence them — are movement women who identify with the second wave and radical feminist ideas. The idols are women like Adichie, who possess the identities (she is a young, woman of colour from outside the U.S.) that third wave discourse demands at the moment, in order to present itself as more progressive and legitimate than the ongoing grassroots feminist movement. In a moment when identity politics matters more than material reality, this set of identities was seen by progressives as an opportunity to tokenize Adichie.

Alas, in a manner familiar to anyone who has been tokenized based on their identity, the second this bright, powerful, thoughtful woman conveyed an idea that was unpopular, she was draggedpositioned as just another privileged woman who doesn’t know what she is talking about and needs to be “educated.” She was labelled a “TERF” and a “white feminist” herself; her views were presented as not just wrong, but also dangerous.

This, at the very least, proves that “white feminism” was never meant to be an analysis of race or class. It was always intended to smear and divide women into the categories of Woke Feminist/Un-Woke Feminist. Like the term “cis,” as Rebecca Reilly-Cooper argues, it is a linguistic tool meant “to ensure female people have no way to describe ourselves that doesn’t cast us as oppressors.”

https://twitter.com/MauddGonne/status/841046423395270657

https://twitter.com/WickdTransWitch/status/840721197323112448

Luckily, there is someone who already taught us how to navigate backlash as a result of controversial opinions: Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie herself. I don’t know if the intense bullying she has been subjected to recently will force Adichie to recant her heresy — I hope not… But if she needs some comfort, she can revisit her own speech at the 2015 Girls Write Now awards ceremony:

“I think that what our society teaches young girls, and I think it’s also something that’s quite difficult for even older women — self-professed feminists — to shrug off, is that idea that likability is an essential part of you, of the space you occupy in the world, that you’re supposed to twist yourself into shapes to make yourself likable, that you’re supposed to hold back sometimes, pull back, don’t quite say, don’t be too pushy, because you have to be likable.

And I say that’s bullshit.

So what I want to say to young girls is forget about likability. If you start off thinking about being likable you are not going to tell your story honestly, because you are going to be so concerned with not offending… And that’s going to ruin your story, so forget about likability. And also the world is such a wonderful, diverse, and multifaceted place that there’s somebody who’s going to like you; you don’t need to twist yourself into shapes.”

Adichie is not here to be anyone’s token Woke Idol. She doesn’t exist to ensure other people’s comfort. She is not a blank space for others to project their ideas on to. She is here to speak her truth, even if some don’t want to hear it.

In a moment when U.S.-centered third wave feminism resembles groupthink more than a political movement, Adichie’s position (and her decision to stand by it amidst furor) is a rare display of bravery.

Through watching Adichie withstand this firestorm, more women will learn how to resist.

Raquel Rosario Sanchez
Raquel Rosario Sanchez

Raquel Rosario Sanchez is a writer from the Dominican Republic. Her utmost priority in her work and as a feminist is to end violence against girls and women. Her work has appeared in several print and digital publications both in English and Spanish, including: Feminist Current, El Grillo, La Replica, Tribuna Feminista, El Caribe and La Marea. You can follow her @8rosariosanchez where she rambles about feminism, politics, and poetry.

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  • Cassandra

    This is so important and so well-written, Ms. Sanchez. You and Meghan and Susan and other guest writers here are killin’ it.

    The first comment under the VenturesAfrica story (written by a black woman in defense of a black woman) is from what looks like a white woman from Oklahoma State University. Take a deep breath and read it, folks. This is the kind of blind stupidity and lack of historical knowledge that third wave/queer theory “feminism” represents. The sad part is that she thinks she’s on the “right side of history.”

    How did we get to the point where white women like her are calling other people “white feminists” and pontificating on articles written by black women, telling them that they are horrible people for knowing that penis is male and that males are socialized male and all the privilege than entails no matter how they feel on the inside? Oppression is structural and comes from the outside folks, that was the entire point of CNA’s comment. Gender Identity is just one giant victim-blaming reversal cluster fuck. FOR FUCK’S SAKE, LIBFEMS! GET YOUR HEADS OUT OF YOUR ASSES!!!!!! Stop letting MALES define female out of existence while they tell us to shut-up about our own bodies. How can you be so goddamned dumb?

    We have a moment here, and we should all use it. I’m carrying my “Sisters not Cis-ters” bag tomorrow. It’s lavender so people will think I’m a lesbian and look at all the fucks I give!

  • Lucia Lola

    Brilliant essay.

  • Max Dashu

    Excellent points! and well-written. Thank you.

  • Novo

    Great essay!! What was really strange to me is that people think this public intellectual is supposed to affirm their feelings instead of challenging them to think deeper. I don’t know why they don’t understand that she’s not supposed to be their mommy. It’s also odd how these woke Twitter hipsters can’t wrap their head around the idea that maybe with all her life experience she might be wiser than them. I’m in my 20s but I hate how they treat older women.

    Some of the least acerbic responses literally just said that she was ‘hurtful’ (!!!) . Some of the responses to the Natasha Vargas-Cooper essay said that too especially the response essay in New Republic. Their only counter-argument was just that she was ‘cruel’ and ‘mean’ and ‘hurtful’. The greatest crime a woman can commit…hurting male feelings.

    It had never occurred to me before how.. gendered the call-out culture is.

  • Rachael

    Fabulous article! I think Adichie was really brave to post her clarification because it can’t just be written off as a “one-off” comment she made without thinking. The backlash must be terrible. I hope she knows many, many women support her views on this.

    I also really like her speech re.likeability. Bang on! You can’t be authentic and also be likeable (in the female stereotypical sense of the word). I’m fed up of being likeable because it means being silent, and in fact I have a hell of a lot I want to say.

  • ✧ʕ̢̣̣̣̣̩̩̩̩·͡˔·ོɁ̡̣̣̣̣̩̩̩̩✧

    Let’s post this everywhere

  • Jax Gullible

    Excellent work! Thank you for one that I will send to all the liberals women busily building a fence to sit on

  • anne cameron

    Spot on! I agree with this young woman, and I am awed by her bravery.
    Too many “third wave” women need to get off the bandwagon and stop ass-kissing. Caitlyn Jenner is NOT my choice for “woman of the year” ! She’s the one who said the hardest part of being a woman is deciding which dress to wear. Tell that to the survivors of genital mutilation.

    • Zuzanna Smith

      Bruce Jenner is not now, nor will he ever be a “she”.

      • Marla

        Oh, but hold on now. Caitlyn here “empowered” the Third-wave by pissing in a toilet in Trump Tower. I mean, what a sacrifice when you consider he’s so used to pissing all over the gold plated one he has at home.

  • Meghan Murphy

    Yeah it’s all about virtue-signalling. You ‘call out’ someone *else* as ‘racist,’ or ‘transphobic’ in order to assure those around you that you are not those things. It’s a way to do ‘politics’ without actually having to do anything.

  • Meghan Murphy

    The liberals who are trashing her now also only really paid attention to her because of Beyonce. Their ‘politics’ are centered around celebrity culture and wannabe twitter celebrities (i.e. people who’ve managed to gain a lot of followers, but haven’t necessary contributed anything of substance to the feminist movement), so it’s no wonder the things they say are never rooted in material reality and are so ahistorical.

  • Meghan Murphy

    Ridiculous, too, because so often that direction is hurled at women who are far more ‘educated’ w/r/t feminist theory, who have been in the movement for some time, who hold graduate degrees, who work on the front line, etc. It doesn’t *actually* mean ‘educate yourself’ (as the people who demand this are generally totally ignorant to second wave activism, women’s history, feminist theory, what’s actually happening in the grassroots movement, etc), it just means, ‘accept my dogma uncontested.’

    • Zuzanna Smith

      Yup, it means drink the kool-aid.

      • Melaniexxxx

        so similar to anti-vaxxers screaming at medical professionals to ‘educate yourselves!!!!”

  • Meghan Murphy

    Telling women to ‘sit down’ w/r/t discussions of womanhood and creating divisions among women is not a progressive response, no matter what third wave feminism tells you. The conversation and issue Adichie was addressing is one that affects all women. You, as a male, must relish being able to barge into conversations about women and tell women to sit down and shut up.

    • FierceMild

      Right? What a complete canoe this dood is.

    • genny

      Hey, why wouldn’t he? He already loves barging into our safe spaces.Barging into our conversations is the next logical step.

  • Purple Barnacle

    A woman is an adult human female. Any other definition will either be circular (“a woman is anyone who says they’re a woman”) or rely heavily on stereotypes (female brain, female essence). I think male privilege is only too apparent in transwomen: in the way they dismiss the concerns of women, in the way they demand access to our spaces and bodies, in the way they threaten us for pointing out the material reality of our sexed bodies and the socialisation that is imposed on us as a result. There is nothing transphobic in what Chimamanda said. There are clear differences between women and transwomen, and demanding that women ignore their reality, with a constant flow of threats and abuse, is nothing but gaslighting.

    As for kids transitioning early, we’ll have to wait and see. What we know is that most of them will end up being sterilised for not conforming to arbitrary stereotypes, and we know that Lupron has long-term health effects on the women who took it.

  • Rachael

    Who the hell do you think you are? You come here and tell women to shut up and make out your opinion holds some sort of extreme weight. Look at your language! We “MUST” do this and that (in caps no less!) – as if somehow your dictating to us doesn’t reflect your male socialisation? Wake the hell up.

  • springazure

    Thanks, Ms. Sanchez, for standing up for Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. I just finished reading her book “Africanah” and look forward to other work by her. I find it disheartening that women (no matter how we got there) are so willing to cruelly trash someone for expressing her opinion. The movement is not going to get anywhere if we must adhere to an inflexible ideology and cannot disagree. Especially now, we need all the support we can give each other in resisting the reactionary forces unleashed by the Trump administration and the fallout from that.

    Third wave feminists would do well, as you so clearly point out, to better understand the history of the first and second waves and the sacrifices and achievements made by those activists. And, to better understand the history of women in the Civil Rights movement–women were crucial leaders but were overshadowed by men who got the credit for the women’s achievements, and furthermore faced difficulties within the movement based on their gender, including sexual harassment.

    These issues are complicated. I wish we could take a deep breath and listen to each other with empathy instead of distrust.

    • Marla

      “Third wave feminists would do well, as you so clearly point out, to better understand the history of the first and second waves and the sacrifices and achievements made by those activists.”

      Third-wave feminist history is about themselves and only themselves. It’s a bullshit plastic culture bubble of self-absorption. History to the most of them is nothing more than what transmale going under what sexual dial-a-select alphabet soup identity politic they choose that day. The Suffrage movement means zero to them other than it’s a line in a Bowie song and how that’s “kwel” because “Bowie was trans way before his time.” Achievement to them is an unethical animal testing cosmetic company targeting transmales with multi-million dollar contracts. Third-wave feminism is anti-human and above all else, anti-women. Adichie didn’t suffer any backlash. Oh no, what she went through does not surprise me in the least and that was to be excommunicated by telling a community that life is not about always getting your way simply because you identify with something.

  • cday881@gmail.com

    Yeah, ask women to abandon their means of recognizing patriarchy, that should help.

  • Melanie

    Transwomen can’t speak to the experience of women. That’s all Adichie said. She doesn’t need to be ‘collected’ by anybody. She was born female in a world that oppresses the female sex and she’s entitled to speak about her experience of that. That’s intersectionality for you.

  • Melanie

    Isn’t it odd that when it comes time for males to ‘check their privilege’ in intersectional feminism suddenly intersectionality doesn’t count. If sex is not an intersection then why is it called ‘feminism’ at all?

  • Zuzanna Smith

    I could go to Africa right now and look into another woman’s eyes and understand her issues around being female. Bruce Jenner could not. Jazz has always been treated extra special, not at all like a regular girl would be treated, and I’m pretty sure you get that.

  • FierceMild

    Umm, it’s the fact that transwomen are male that makes them not women. That’s all.

  • Melody Williams-Daniels

    I think a large part of the problem is that we’ve agreed to refer to surgically altered, gender non-conforming males as “women”. That’s why these males feel comfortable dictating the direction of feminism or browbeating ACTUAL women into submission for daring to dissent.

    Your comment smacks of male entitlement.

  • Melody Williams-Daniels

    It’s very curious, isn’t it? White males can now identify as women and accuse black females of oppressing them.

    I’d laugh if it weren’t so infuriating.

    • snapcracklepop

      The fact that so many people can’t see this is astonishing, it makes feel like I’m going mad!

  • Zuzanna Smith

    “Unabashed terfs” That’s a t-shirt waiting to happen!!

  • Wren

    most of us here aren’t afraid of being direct.
    transwomen aren’t real women.

    • Morag999

      It’s so funny, you know, how we couldn’t possibly be any more direct about the fact that they’re men. Yet, many new commenters will still come along accusing us of “implying” or of blowing a “dog whistle.” Ha. Despite the clarity and bluntness of our speech, their perception is that we’re being all sneaky about it. That they’re onto us. That they’ve caught us.

      It’s like, the only speech they’ve bothered to rehearse is the “gotcha!” so they can’t really afford to hear our unequivocal and unapologetic rejection of gender identities. I suppose they’re more used to liberal feminists immediately apologizing for thought crimes and turning themselves inside-out to deny any signs of latent terfiness.

  • Wren

    i’m confused. what does male privilege have to do with demonic possession. like, what is your point.

    • Tired feminist

      His “point” is that male privilege is all in our pretty little heads.

  • Wren

    i’m not here for transwomen. i’m not here for inclusivity. i’m only here for biological women.
    why does being wrong feel so right?

  • midwifemama

    Jazz Jennings is dripping with male privilege, as evidenced by his assertion that he plans to use his sister’s body as an incubator. Patriarchy is the global system where male people exploit female people for reproductive and other labor. By saying he plans to use his sister’s womb for his reproductive desires (a process that could wreck his sister’s emotional and physical health and maybe even take her life), Jazz is demonstrating male privilege under patriarchy. http://www.counterpunch.org/2015/07/31/gender-patriarchy-and-all-that-jazz/

  • Cassandra

    It really really really makes no fucking sense. But come on y’all, don’t you deep down love knowing that we are in fact *not* the ignoramuses*? It’s like knowing a big juicy secret.

    *Surely a protective device against going completely mad in the Mad Hatter world we’re currently witness to.

  • Step

    Wonderful to read, and to find Femist Current in the last month. I hope CNA stands her ground, and chooses “not to be liked” by third wavers who abhor her. MtT are not women, and do not experience their world as women, nor their physiology as women. Women, for the sake of ourselves and for our children must not be complacent. (As a teacher of adolescents, I won’t be silenced any longer. Growth stunting chemicals and hormonal treatments for dysphoric children and teens are sterilizing them, and guaranteeing them a life on chemicals. And a great majority of them will outgrow their dysphoria. Why are doctors doing this? Another topic, indeed.)

  • shy virago

    Raquel, as always you go ‘mas al fondo de la noticia’ and get to the bottom of things! I don’t like how intersectionality is being used right now, and you gave me a way to explain it.

    One thing I want to point out about transgenderism is not only the loss of safe space, like bathrooms and locker rooms, but
    scholarships. If a man (i.e. transwoman) can say, by law, that he indentifies as female, he may be eligible for
    scholarships meant for women! Women’s Liberation Front in California has been trying to sue the US government in their definition of ‘female’ to stop this from happening.

  • FierceMild

    What they lack is exactly what the author of this piece (and Ms. Murphy, Ms. Cox, etc) have; clear-headed courage.

    Sometimes when I read these pieces I think that these are the women whose voices will bring us freedom, whose words will reverberate through the ages. These are the women my daughter will quote to her daughter. The contrast just seems so clear.

    • Cassandra

      I agree completely.

  • FierceMild

    Oh fuck right off. White women can and should stand beside, behind and with black women. That does not require them to shut up. Transwomen are men and THEY need to “sit the hell down for this one” because they’re speaking for a group they have nothing in common with.

  • TheArtistFormerlyKnownAsYoya

    I’m not sure you get the concept of male privilege or how it works.

  • TheArtistFormerlyKnownAsYoya

    The fact this has to be explained is astounding.

    • Cassandra

      And how.

  • You know, while Adichie may be right that (pre-transition) transwomen grow up with different experiences from their cis counterparts, she still is a fallible human being who can make mistakes like the rest of us. The vast majority of human beings on this planet, even if they are born into certain marginalized demographics, still belong to at least one or more groups that are relatively privileged. So if we’re to be honest, we ALL have privilege to check. I undoubtedly benefit from straight, white, and male privilege for example, yet I am autistic and therefore don’t benefit from neurotypical privilege. It might be unfair to tear Adichie to pieces for having privilege to check, but that shouldn’t mean she doesn’t have that privilege to check at all.

    • Morag999

      What’s the point of these clichéd statements about Adichie being a “fallible human being who can make mistakes like the rest of us.” Yeah, you’re correct, we’re all fallible and we all make mistakes sometimes. So what? What you’re saying here is generalized to the point of meaninglessness.

      Is this your squishy, cowardly way of saying that Adichie, a black Nigerian female, enjoys privilege at the expense of white males? White males who claim they have the right to force other people to perceive them as women? If that’s what you really want to say, then say it, and face the music.

      On the other hand, if you think it’s a ridiculous lie to cast her as an oppressor of white males, then don’t write mealy-mouthed sentences such as: “It might be unfair to tear Adichie to pieces for having privilege to check, but that shouldn’t mean she doesn’t have that privilege to check at all.” Far as I can tell, this sentence means that you still agree she ought to be torn to pieces, but torn to pieces in a nicer way, and for non-specified reasons.

  • Ms Gribbly

    Thank you, Ms. Sanchez! Thank you for standing up for what is right. We need your rational, feminist viewpoint! Yes, yes, yes!

  • Tired feminist

    What is a woman, Sappho?
    Can you answer this simple question without circular definitions and without stereotypes?

  • Tired feminist

    That would only be true if there were no evidence of male privilege in the real world.

  • Onaolu

    This was quite an enlightening read. Kudos.

  • Tired feminist

    Hi Forth! A couple of questions for you:

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

    Thanks!

  • China Fortson-Washington

    I just want to add to the discussion that Ms. Adichie is entitled to her opinion about womanhood. Whether it agress with what you precieve it should be, she still has a right to have her own personal opinion, just as you have the right to disagree with her. For those of you that put your expectations on her whose showing “priviliage” and because she does not live up to your expectations does not make her uneducated, dangerous or any of the other negative descriptors meant to define her.
    Must of Black women know, “Intersectionality is a powerful tool of analysis that has been turned into a ubiquitous term commonly used in ways that have little to do with the original intention of the concept coined by Kimberle Crenshaw in 1989. Intersectionality is the study of what Ms. Crenshaw contends are overlappingor intersecting social identities and relatedsystems of opperssion, domination, or discrimination.
    The term is often used to denounce anyone who explores topics or holds political views they don’t like, particularly any critique of queer theory’s definition of gender as a chosen and individual identity, sexualization, objectification, and/or the sex industry.

  • Melaniexxxx

    Perfection! Thank you for writing this, you are no doubt about to receive a slew of death threats and vitriol. It is SO, SO important that we do not lose our ability to critique male socialisation and the unique threat to women-born-women on a biological basis x

  • Fiona1933

    Beautiful Pity ‘Sappho’ will never read it. After all, that might mean she has to learn something.

  • Fiona1933

    How can you claim you have no male socialisation? Just look at how you express yourself. Look at you dictating to women, telling us when and how to speak. Look at the entitlement in your tone. Compare how you write with the actual women here.
    Stop telling women when they can speak. And stop using the word ‘cis’ Its a slur, its an insult, its men defining us again. We have a word. Its ‘women’. And you can stop saying ‘terfs’ as well. That word operates exactly like ‘witch’. Women called witches were first cast out of society and then subjected to violence…and thats what ‘terf’ does. Tell me, why do you have no such word for men? why are men permitted by the trans movement to keep defining their lives? Where are the men apologising for speaking of their own bodies…where are the men threatened with violence?

  • Fiona1933

    But in reality, its not like that. Read any article thats pro-trans, like in the New York Tines, then read the comments. They are nearly totally common sense. Nobody believes in a female penis.

  • Fiona1933

    Look at all the fucks I give!!

  • Meghan Murphy

    Q: What do you, the third wavers attacking Adichie, and the Trump Administration have in common?
    A: They all hate feminists

  • esuth

    Lol, people like you keep coming here to say this. You offer no evidence and expect us to change our minds. Look, you have a religious belief in gendered souls (or whatever you want to call it) that we don’t share. You can believe whatever you want! But please don’t expect everyone in the world to share your entirely faith-based unscientific opinion that women are people who wear high heels.

  • Step

    Trans identified males are not women.

  • Step

    Thank you CNA, FC, and Trump. MtTs clearly will shove women under the bus when it suits them, i.e., competing in women’s sports.

  • Tired feminist

    Your childhood shapes your personality for the rest of your life. Genital plastic surgery doesn’t give you a brand new brain. I can’t believe this has to be explained.

  • Meghan Murphy

    How does one identify as a male or female “internally?”

  • Meghan Murphy

    Oh Lucas. I got to this comment *after* responding to and approving another one of yours here. Grateful to find you being completely upfront about your misogyny, while lecturing feminists about how they’re doing it wrong.

  • Meghan Murphy

    They aren’t women. Males are not entitled to a voice in the feminist movement. And, no, women don’t need *more* humility, so they can move over, yet again, to let men speak. You are deeply confused about the aims of feminism.

  • Meghan Murphy

    I’m sorry to inform you, but the God is real. God is real God is real God is real God is real. If you don’t agree with me, you are a bigot.

    Do you realize this is what your argument amounts to? You aren’t making an actual argument, you are just stating dogma as though it is truth, and accusing those who don’t parrot the dogma back to you of being ‘bigots.’

    • Lucas

      What are you talking about? This is not dogma, it’s lived experience. And if you choose to use bigoted language unapologetically to make your argument rather than listen when trans women ask others to stop invalidating their identity then hey, guess what, i’m gonna assume you’re a fucking bigot! What a weird concept.

      • Meghan Murphy

        believes it. What if I told you I was Indigenous and that I’d chosen to live my life as an Indigenous person, therefore this was my lived experience, and you had to accept it. Would you be obligated to accept that I am Indigenous?

        Also, I’m curious to know what language I’ve used that is ‘bigoted’?

      • Cassandra

        Nobody ever has any obligation to validate anybody’s “identity.” Zero. None. Zilch. Asking women to deny reality is abusive.

      • Alienigena

        “listen when trans women ask others to stop invalidating their identity”

        Well, maybe I’ll listen and defer ‘when hell freezes over’ or individuals like you ‘stop committing femicide against biological females by supporting sex selective abortion’. Because that comment reflects the kind of histrionic nonsense that MtTs and their supporters are fond of spewing on a regular basis. Not acknowledging someone’s preferred pronouns is not the same as being targeted, as female fetuses and girls and women are for annihilation because of your genitalia either through sex selective abortion, or by being deprived of adequate nutrition, or being put in danger because of menstrual taboos, dying in childbirth (because neocons don’t support contraception or abortion), etc.

        Seriously. How many people on this blog have read a comment (on some media site) from some jag-off to the effect that if women want access to safe abortions they shouldn’t have anything negative to say about sex-selective abortions. Because abortion is abortion is abortion. Doesn’t matter that the practice is seriously skewing sex ratios in certain regions of the world. Sometimes the anti-female commenters suggest that the remaining women (those who are not aborted) are lucky because they will be sought after by men. No, they are not lucky. Reduced numbers of women in a society does not translate to increased status for women (as if women exist only to become wives for men, also assumes all women are heterosexual) but a greater likelihood that women (from neighboring countries) will be sexually trafficked for use by biological males.

        https://www.unfpa.org/sites/default/files/resource-pdf/regional_analysis.pdf

        http://www.economist.com/node/15636231

  • Step

    Go to 4th Wave Now site. Mind blowing tragedy.

  • Cassandra

    That may have been part of the context out of which intersectionality emerged, but the actual term (not the idea) came out of a court case, didn’t it?

    Not sure why you’re choosing to jump on Ms. Sanchez. She wasn’t claiming to speak for black American women. If all of us had to mention everybody else every time we ever talked about anything nothing would ever have a single-minded purpose and we’d be reading essays so mind-numbingly incoherent we’d rather be in Times Square on New Year’s eve than read one more word of it.

    Oh wait, that’s what postmodern queer gender studies *is*! What a coincidence!

  • Step

    Interesting that the insult is “ignorant twat”. Degrading female genitals. Many trans activists often reference some part of female anatomy when insulting women. It’s misogyny.

  • FierceMild

    So…they’re still male.

  • Cassandra

    This has been going on for a while now but it’s not easy to find information. This “movement” is in large part being driven by the pharma companies. Like for instance: Johnson & Johnson owns Clean ‘n Clear. Any coincidence they had Jazz Jennings as a spokesperson?

    The blog 4th Wave Now is an excellent place to start. It was started by a mother who had to deal with her daughter claiming transhood. (The reasons girls do it are different than the reasons males do it but that’s another subject.)

  • FierceMild

    Wanting transwomen to use their own facilities for changing/bathing/using the toilet Is not “enforced discrimination.” Using sex-based spaces when genitalia are involved is common sense, not a one way ticket to Si-bleedin’-beria! Get a clue and a sense of proportion.

  • Cassandra

    Oh stop the bullshit.

  • FierceMild

    Why do they need to be using their penises in women’s bathrooms for that?

    Also, thanks for using sexist slurs for female genitalia (which no transwomen posses) it makes your allegiance to male supremacy apparent for those who might otherwise have been distracted.

  • Sandra7075

    You are blowing up 7 trans killed but sweeping under the rug how many more women are killed just for a sympathy grab. Many of the ones killed are black and trans. There is also a hidden prostitution going on that gets silenced to support this “Sex worker positive” myth to make prostitution out to be cool and trendy. Working the streets gets many killed. Biological women have every right to be concerned and how the trans activists treat women with death threats, harassment, trying to then turn around and get people to feel sorry for them just doesn’t make me give a damn. Women are the ones being abused over this gender identity cult. Many of these people pushing for gender identity were outed as sex offenders and child rapists. Including that man that raped his stepdaughter, went to prison, came out with a new name and gender identity to start TERF tracker to harass any woman that didn’t sip the kool-aid. Once he was exposed, he then took a step down off of his platform as an advocate.

    This is a male rights campaign. So that men can push women down as if women haven’t been pushed down and erased out of history enough. You are just using women knowing that women can be emotionally manipulated easier than men also knowing that men tend to get violent more so than women. Go stick you male rights activism elsewhere. Gender identity is a cult and a farce.

    The vast majority of “trans” will NEVER FULLY TRANSITION meaning that movement is more in line with men that just want to exploit women and get a free pass as a minority group. Most of the ones doing this are white males. Oppression isn’t a badge stupid!

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CWTEbqynUVk

  • FierceMild

    Transwomen are male regardless of their willingness to recognize that biological reality at any point in their lives. If I believed myself to be Napolean for my whole life it wouldn’t make me Napolean.

  • FierceMild

    Interestingly the exact same percentage as for homosexual youth suicide…it’s almost like gender itself is an oppressive idea that ought to be gotten rid of so people can just live and love in their bodies with their own personalities regardless of their sex.

  • Cassandra

    Oh dear. I hear they’re developing a vaccine against gender studies pomo zombie MRA brain, so cheer up! Maybe you can be part of the trials! But only if you have a male brain! I heard it can kill female brains but I won’t say that because there’s no such thing as a female so how can there be a female brain? and I don’t want to sound like a truly excellent real female.

  • Thank you so much for this.

  • FierceMild

    It’s masculinity, and the attendant violence imperative, that lay the groundwork for murder. Not feminists. Trans ideology whole-heartedly embraces gender stereotypes and perpetuates the suffering and oppression of themselves and of all women.

  • FierceMild

    Transwomen are men that’s why they don’t get a voice in feminism. Acknowledging the realities of biological sex doesn’t invalidate your existence as a person, just as a member of a biological class to which you do not belong anyway. Even the people willing to validate your gender identity don’t actually believe that biological sex is a matter of inner feelings. They’re just trying to be nice and polite.

  • Tired feminist

    What are you doing here, Lucas? Honest question.

  • FierceMild

    So you think women who don’t agree with you should perform obviously repellent and degrading sex-acts? Gotcha.

  • FierceMild

    How about trans people stop trying to hijack feminism and repurpose the work of women to their own ends? Do your own damn figuring out, you lazy misogynist.

  • midwifemama

    Actually the main distinction between MTTs and women is that women are oppressed globally on the basis of reproductive capacity. Women in every country of the world are state regulated breeding stock, with degrees of variation. No country allows women full autonomy in reproductive decision making.

    When male politicians debate whether or not women should be forced to bear rapists’ babies, they are certainly not talking about transwomen. When Boko Haram and Daesh kidnap women as rape and breeding slaves, they are kidnapping those people specifically because they assume they have vaginas and uteri. When the former Romanian regime banned all abortion and established menstrual policing squads, they were not concerned about gender identity, they were policing people of the female sex.

    It infuriates me that the men’s rights movement and queer theory have been so successful in convincing so many people that female biology does not exist as an axis of oppression. Female biology is the world’s biggest axis of oppression. All over the world, male people exploit female people for reproductive labor; this is the very basis of patriarchy. The males who call themselves transwomen will NEVER experience this exploitation while all female people all over the world experience it to some degree.

  • FierceMild

    Hmmmmmmm, I wonder how you know which is which though? I mean, even just for the purposes of conversations like this one, how are you making that distinction?

    Oh wait, I know! Transwomen are male, that’s how you tell them apart from women!

  • FierceMild

    May I quibble with brava?

  • FierceMild

    Heeheeeheeeee!!! That made me laugh so hard!

  • FierceMild

    And don’t forget being totally fine with being ‘champions’ in women’s sports as well as taking accolades and awards reserved for women.

  • Tired feminist

    I see you learned to perform masculinity quite convincingly, but that won’t turn you male.

  • FierceMild

    Dude, that’s not feminism.

  • Lucia Lola

    *points and laughs*

  • Step

    A doctor Identified you as female at birth. You assigned masculinity to yourself.

  • Cassandra

    Do you have any idea how fucking stupid you sound?

    We aren’t bullied because we’re “feminine.” We’re bullied because we’re of the female sex.

    We WILL NOT convert to your insane religion.

  • Cassandra

    Female is not an assignment or identity. It is a biological reality.

  • FierceMild

    Also this blog:
    http://gendercriticaldad.blogspot.com/?m=1
    Has a lot of information about the transitioning of children.

  • Cassandra

    Having a period isn’t meaningful or a commonality because not everbody’s mother could possibly get drunk and stand on a table? How about the possibility of pregnancy? Because you know that’s what can happen after you get your period, right? Is that not meaningful?

    You are a dishonest misogynist patriarchal fucking asshole.

  • FierceMild

    Nicely delineated.

  • Cassandra

    I have no idea what you just said and I’m pretty sure you don’t either.

  • Cassandra

    There’s no such thing as “cis” you asshole MRA. We don’t ascribe to gender theology here and we never will.

  • Cassandra

    “Cis” is you caving to trans cult pressure. “Cis” is you saying that women “identify” with their oppression.

    Stop.

    • Fouraces

      To me cis means ‘not trans’ and ‘trans’ denotes someone with a high level of gender dysphoria. I’m pretty sure most people who aren’t transtrenders and ‘non-binaries’ understand these terms this way.

  • Cassandra

    Men LOVE doing it.

  • esuth

    Who is trying to murder you here? And since you asked, by “transgender ideology” I mean the belief that human mammals can change their sex. You believe otherwise, and I’m not trying to change that. I can respect your religious beliefs without believing them myself.

  • esuth

    Maybe if your goddamned existence is so fragile it can’t withstand random internet feminists’ questions, it was never so solid to begin with!

  • lk

    Coming on a feminist site to tell a woman to suck a man’s dick is incredibly sexist and disrespectful.

  • lk

    “ya’ll could be debating about how to stop my trans sisters from being murdered on the streets.”

    We have actually discussed this many times—we have discussed the importance of putting an end to male violence, because it is men that are killing trans-identified people and women.

    “But it looks like ya’ll have more important things to do, like defending the purity of the label “FEMINIST”.

    The women on this site are doing much more than defending the label feminist–we are defending the rights of women and girls.

  • Cassandra

    A trans woman is always a trans woman (male). A woman is always a female.

  • Morag999

    ” … because ya’ll are still debating whether they’re women or not.”

    No, we’re not. If you think we’re debating whether or not males can be women, you’re not paying attention.

  • midwifemama

    Using words for female genitalia as insults against women is pure misogyny, Lucas. But I guess we should expect such woman-hating from someone who proudly identifies with patriarchal masculinity (aka male supremacy). You certainly appear to be enjoying being a member of the oppressor class. I, for one, am beyond disgusted by women who jump class, identify with our male oppressors, then come back into female spaces to tell women how to think and speak. Good work exemplifying the woman-hating ideology that is genderism, though. Gender exists to keep women in their place.

  • Cassandra

    We’re not “debating” whether trans women are women or not. It’s not up for debate because males aren’t females. This is biology and how 7.5 billion of us came to be here. So trans women should NOT have a voice in feminism because trans women are male. Feminism is a political movement, the goal of which is female liberation from male oppression, and that oppression is sex based—not feelings based, not identity based, not makeup based, not long hair based—sex based.

    And nobody’s invalidating your existence. You clearly exist; you’re here being an MRA and a general ass wipe so we know you exist. We just don’t have to validate *your* idea of your existence, especially when it is so fucking harmful to sex class female. We have zero obligation to cow-tow to your nonsense. Asking us to deny biological reality is abusive.

  • Cassandra

    You are so original and creative, so non-male. I’m in awe.

  • Cassandra

    What is a female?

  • Cassandra

    Male privilege in scare quotes. Nope, no MRAs here, peeps. Nothing to see, now move along.

    You know how it benefits you? Because everybody knows a trans woman is MALE.

  • Cassandra

    Who’s on First?

  • Cassandra

    This comment section gives me a flicker of hope, too. There are women commenting here for the first time. And for every one new woman who comments, I’d guess there are at least 10 more who are reading and agreeing but not ready to or not into commenting.

  • Fouraces

    Maybe actually learn basic things about feminism before demanding for feminism to take care of all problems for trans women.

  • Morag999

    ‘Still laughing at “crude genital inspection”‘

    Me, too! Crude genital inspections of newborn babies are amazingly accurate. Identity inspections, on the other hand …

  • lk

    “Exactly this. The reification of “feelings” above material reality – this widespread culture of outrageous narcissism – is extremely toxic and dangerous to any discourse on power.”

    Yes, not only feelings but individual experiences. If someone talks about rape culture, you’ll always see a woman comment and say something like “I’ve never been raped” as though her individual experience negates the existence of larger cultural and social norms.

    “In my experience it’s white men who FEEL the most victimized and their feelings of victimization are in response to any proposition of the cessation of their privilege.”

    So true! and You can’t forget the suffering of the wealth too..even though their wealth is usually gained from the hard labor of other people.

    What’s frustrating is that this nonsense is so present in both the current liberal and conservative ideologies, albeit in different ways. Conservatives make everything about individual actions and work ethic without acknowledging how systems and history impact the material reality of different classes of people (access to healthcare, education, housing, likelihood of being arrested and etc). Liberals are much better at discussing the reality of systemic inequalities, but have become committed to this idea of self-identification above all and accepting everything to avoid hurting people’s feelings.

    • Wren

      I agree and firmly believe that not all suffering is equal.

      IMO this is also partly the fault of modern psychology and a therapized society. Everything is relative and valid simply because an individual feels it. This has been used against me and is one reasons i gave up on therapy. According to certain counselors my experiences of exploitation were mine alone, and my analysis of the phenomena — which was vital to my recovery — was routinely dismissed because other women in prostitution claimed to have positive experiences. I don’t have time for that shit anymore.

  • Morag999

    “I was assigned a 1200-word essay at birth”

    Wow. You had it rough. Me, I was assigned short readings and multiple-choice questions at birth.

  • Meghan Murphy

    Well, you said her opinion was based on ‘bigoted fallacy,’ so pretty close eh? Also, as I’m sure you know, this is common practice among transactivists and third wavers — to accuse people who disagree with gender identity dogma of being ‘bigots.’ ANYWAY. There is zero ‘evidence’ that transwomen are literal females, so I have no idea what you’re talking about.

  • Meghan Murphy

    No it’s not. Feminism is about liberating women from patriarchal oppression and male violence. I mean, I guess you can call yourself a feminist all you like, but no one who is actually a part of this movement is gonna believe you…

  • Tired feminist

    Absolutely right.

  • Tired feminist

    Transwomen are male. Males exist. Where’s the “invalidation of existence”?

  • Tired feminist

    How are you a feminist if you can’t even define woman?

  • Tired feminist

    Trans activists are men’s rights activists. Same ideology, same tactics. It’s fair to assume they have the same goals.
    Not all trans people are trans activists, sure, but those don’t bother us. I don’t care if men think they’re women, as long as they stay the fuck out of our spaces and don’t demand validation.

  • Tired feminist

    “And many of them by lovers, boyfriends, partners, and people they were dating so…”

    Evidence?

  • Tired feminist

    “Overwhelming evidence” of what, Lucas? You guys can’t even define “gender identity” (without using gender stereotypes) and want everyone to believe this anti-gay, misogynistic crap.

    • Cassandra

      Now biological reality is “bigoted mythology.” Who knew?

  • Tired feminist

    HAHAHAHAHA. It’s not “academic” to say men cannot turn into women.

  • Meghan Murphy

    How about when the whole world treats you like a stupid weak rapeable object because you’re female and inside you’re like, ‘I’m not a stupid rapeable object!’

    That’s gender. My sex doesn’t change. And just because your inside feelings don’t match the gendered way you are treated doesn’t change your sex either.

    You can’t ID your way out of sex.

  • Tired feminist

    Lol yeah, you were soooooooo oblivious to sexism that you decided to deny your femaleness.

  • anne

    Sam, you misread, she asked for evidence that WASN’T plucked out of some MRA’s ass.

  • Jamel Love

    Can we really say that a Trans Woman was always a woman though? To the degree that identity is ever-evolving and fluid, to the degree that conceptions and ideas of gender beyond the material differences between men and women also continue to change and evolve..along with the societal norms constructed from them. While I do not purport to make a purely biologically deterministic claim, nor to speak on experiences of being born a woman or a trans women (which I can never have as a hetero black male) I do think that we all agree there are no concrete conceptions of man/woman masculine/feminine, and trans womanhood stems from and can only exist in relation to the constructions of gendered identity. So, my point is if identity is fluid, how can one “always be” something constructed and ever-evolving.

  • Tired feminist

    All of us here were pissed as children because boys could do stuff we couldn’t. What’s the difference?

  • Tired feminist

    What’s a female?
    Again: no circular definitions. No ladybrainz.

  • Alienigena

    I agree that the ‘check your privilege’ movement should be consigned to the ‘poorly executed idea’ dumpster as it has been used by some very cynical people who are willfully blind to actual privilege (note the number of self-identified straight white men who come on FC to rant about white women / white feminism, feminism in general, women with some public stature (politicians, feminists, public academics). I do think that it is sad that the idea of social justice is so maligned given that it arose out of a legitimate desire to improve the lot of the most disadvantaged in society. Wasn’t social justice first maligned by the kind of MRAs and Gamergaters who overwhelming populate reddit and other socially regressive platforms?

  • Alienigena

    Well if Step’s comment is making you sick enough to projectile vomit up your internal organs, I say, “Good job”. Is there a continuum for how sick you feel possibly ranging from ‘a bit queasy’ to full-on ‘norovirus-induced projectile vomiting’?

  • Meghan Murphy

    A definition cannot be tautological. You can’t define a thing based on the thing you are defining. Like, you can’t define a grape by saying, “A grape is a grape.” That’s not a definition. What is a woman? What is a person who identifies as a woman identifying as?

  • Meghan Murphy

    Ha. Noooo, Wren won’t be leaving.

  • Meghan Murphy

    Why don’t you try answering the question instead of just insulting people? That would be more productive, don’t you think?

  • Meghan Murphy

    Considering that violence against women is perpetrated by men who are definitely not radical feminists, can you explain how feminist analysis of gender contributes to violence against trans-identified males?

  • Meghan Murphy

    “I’m referring to Step, who commented “MtT are not women, do not
    experience the world as women, nor their physiology as women.” This
    statement is bigoted, rooted in false assumptions, and completely denies
    and dismisses the lived experiences of trans people everywhere.”

    Can you explain why? You can’t simply make a statement and demand people accept the statement without providing a rational argument to support your statement.

    Why is it false equivalency to ask you if you would respect my identity as an Indigenous person, if I told you I identified as such?

  • Tired feminist

    Actually it is. Your insistence that male privilege is fictional is a good indicator that you might be male.

  • Wren

    I am sorry that you and your partner have lived such confused lives and that doctors and psychiatrists have validated and exploited your confusion in a way that has turned you into a medical experiment from which you may never recover. You must adopt a stringent and reactive ideology to protect yourself from this reality. In that regard, you have obviously succeeded

  • Tired feminist

    LOL nope. It’s only circular if you believe male privilege is fictional, which you do, otherwise you wouldn’t use scare quotes around it every single goddamned fucking time.

    Male privilege is what makes these men overconfidently clueless to the point of expecting women to bow down to their wishes to be seen as women. Men are used to our deference. Men are used to be listened to and taken at face value even when they’re talking absolute shit. These things encourage some of them to “identify” as women. I bet many of them don’t even believe *themselves* that they’re women, but they learned they can say anything.

  • Tired feminist

    Lucas didn’t “point out” very much apart from insulting everyone while preaching dogma.

    It doesn’t matter what “he” thinks or used to think as a child about being female. Most females agree that being female in a patriarchy sucks. This doesn’t turn us male.

  • snapcracklepop

    “Our language is important, and when the peolle we speak about who we claim to be allied with ask us to check our words, it’s our duty to do so.”

    Do you realize how hypocritical this is? Do you really not understand why women and lesbians are angry AF about some of this BS? We are asking transactivists – our so called allies- to check YOUR language! Attempting to erase the status of women and lesbians by demanding that we call ourselves ‘cis’, refer to our vagina’s as ‘front holes’ and pressure lesbians into sleeping with/being attracted to male-bodied people, or male-identified people is outrageously disrespectful. You cannot demand we change our language to suit you- that is not respect, and it is certainly not a celebration of difference and diversity. And it is VERY “dangerous” to women. We are not all the same, that is OK. Our struggles a different, that is OK. This is not an anti-trans fight, this is a pro-women fight. Get it? Now please, I’m asking YOU to check your words.

  • Wren

    OMG I KNOW. i wanted to say this exactly. yet somehow she thinks she caught us in a logical quagmire, when she simply confirmed us.

  • Wren

    hehehehe.

  • Wren

    SAME.

  • Meghan Murphy

    That’s not what FierceMild said. The point is that adopting the stereotypes associated with the opposite “gender” does not resolve the problem of gender, nor does it mean one actually changes ones sex.