Bill C-16 misunderstands what gender is and how it harms women under patriarchy

Meghan Murphy testifies against Bill C-16 at the Senate.

Yesterday, I testified alongside Hilla Kerner of Vancouver Rape Relief (and a few others, who oppose Canada’s “gender identity” legislation for various reasons not aligned with radical feminism), against Bill C-16, Canada’s “gender identity” legislation. We were allotted five minutes to present; a question period followed. Here is the presentation I made to the Senate Committee*:

 

A key problem with this Bill is that it proposes to amend something as important as the Canadian Human Rights Act and the Criminal Code to include something that is not even definable.

According to the Justice Canada and The Ontario Human Rights Code, “gender identity” is defined as “a person’s internal or individual experience of their gender.”

But this definition misunderstands what gender is. Gender is not about internal or individual experiences — it is a social construction. It exists as a means to reinforce stereotypes and oppressive ideas about men and women. Gender does not mean male or female; it means masculine or feminine.

A century ago, gender determined that women should not be allowed to vote or be counted as persons under the law in Canada. Gender says that men are inherently violent, aggressive, independent, assertive, and rational whereas women are inherently passive, delicate, nurturing, irrational, and emotional. These ideas have been disproved, thanks in large part to the feminist movement, yet, today, in creating and supporting the idea that one can have an internal “gender identity,” we are regressing. No one is born with a “gender.” We are born male or female and gender is then imposed on us through socialization. Women do not know they are women because they are born interested in high heels or the colour pink, they know they are women because they are female.

Treating gender as though it is either internal or a personal choice is dangerous and completely misunderstands how and why women are oppressed under patriarchy, as a class of people.

Patriarchy was invented in order to control women’s reproductive capacity and gender was created in order to naturalize and reinforce that hierarchical system. Women and girls around the globe are killed, prostituted, raped, and abused every day, not because they wear dresses, have long hair, or behave passively, but because they are female, and under patriarchy, females are said to be less than — things that exist for male use, to be owned, bought, sold, and looked at. Women’s rights exist on this basis — because we, as a society, understand that women are discriminated against and subjected to male violence regardless of their clothing, body language, or behavior (which is now, apparently, is defined as “gender expression”.)

The idea that women could simply express themselves or identify differently in order to escape oppression under patriarchy is insulting and provably untrue, yet this is what ideas like “gender identity” and “gender expression” communicate.

If we say that a man is a woman because of something as vague as a “feeling” or because he chooses to take on stereotypically feminine traits, what impact does that have on women’s rights and protections? Should he be allowed to apply for positions and grants specifically reserved for women, based on the knowledge that women are underrepresented or marginalized in male-dominated fields or programs and based on the fact that women are paid less than men and often will be fired or not hired in the first place because they get pregnant or because it is assumed they may become pregnant one day?

The way men “feel” “on the inside” does not change that they hold power and privilege in this society and the way women “feel” “on the inside” does not change their experience of sexism. I don’t “feel” as though I should be called misogynist names, objectified, abused, or sexually harassed, but these things have happened to me anyway. I did not choose to be treated as a woman under patriarchy and I have never felt comfortable with femininity. Does this make me a man?

Dissolving the categories of “man” and “woman” in order to allow for “fluidity” may sound progressive, but is no more progressive, under the current circumstances, than saying race doesn’t exist and that white people don’t hold privilege in this world if they don’t “feel” white or if they take on racist stereotypes attached to people of colour. If a white person did this, we would rightly call it cooptation and denounce the behavior. Why do we accept that if a man takes on sexist stereotypes traditionally associated with women he magically changes sex and sheds his status as male in this world?

The rights of women and girls are being pushed aside to accommodate a trend. Bill C-16 may sound persuasive in its efforts to be open-minded and inclusive, but it rests on very shakey ground. I implore you to further consider the consequences and implications of these ideas, this language, and this legislation, before jumping on this bandwagon.

*Thanks very much to Purple Sage for editing and published the video clip of my presentation. To see the full webcast of the meeting, including questions and responses, visit the Senate of Canada website.

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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  • martindufresne
    • Meghan Murphy

      Thanks Martin!

  • Virginia Howard

    Clear and eloquent, thank you Meghan!

    • kelly

      My thoughts exactly. Well articulated, courageous!

      • Meghan Murphy

        Thanks so much!

  • Meghan Murphy

    xx

  • Meghan Murphy

    Thank yoooou!

  • Meghan Murphy

    <3

  • Meghan Murphy

    Thank you!

  • Meghan Murphy

    xx

  • Meghan Murphy

    Thanks for your support, Kathleen!

  • Meghan Murphy

    Also, women aren’t really oppressed anyway! Cool, right?

  • Meghan Murphy

    <3

  • Meghan Murphy

    Thanks, sister!

  • Meghan Murphy

    Thank you!

  • Meghan Murphy

    Transgender people are already protected under the human rights code in Canada. Also, it is not necessary to write ‘gender identity’ into the code in order to protect gender non-conforming people. (This could, theoretically, include everyone, anyway…..) In order to protect people who don’t conform to gender, you must protect sex-based rights. Hilla made this point, if you watch the video in it entirety. Males and females should be protected for diverging from gender stereotypes, but this would/could be a sex-based protection, not a ‘gender’-based one….

  • Meghan Murphy

    Most of the senators were quite respectful of Hilla and I, with the exception of one white liberal male…. Check the very last question here — Hilla’s response is GOLD: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RpFCtTfvMPg&feature=youtu.be&app=desktop

    • Cassandra

      What a complete asshole that guy is. What a mother f*cker!!

      • Kathleen Lowrey

        Transgender women are *more* discriminated against than women. ha ha haahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha
        yah thanks for your totally uninformed thoughts on the matter, sir.

        • Alienigena

          Translation. Biological males are more discriminated against than biological females, including Female-to-Trans (F2T). Cue the maniacal laughter on my part.

  • Cassandra

    This was/is wonderful. I can’t believe this is where we are today, but your courage and determination are the stuff heroines are made of. We LOVE you (and Hilla)! Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

    • Meghan Murphy

      <3 <3

      • Just Passing Through

        Yes thank you so so much!

    • Alienigena

      If this passes and there are negative consequences for Canadian women and girls you can bet media hacks, MRAs, random social commenters (assuming there is an internet and it has not been commidified into non-existence), and anti-feminists will be out in force in some dystopian future blaming feminists for ‘not doing anything’ at the time. You know, the common cry of ‘where were the feminists’ (Bill Clinton’s sexual harassment of underlings, status of women/girls in Afghanistan (e.g. education, place in public life) during period of conflict in 2000s). The issue really is who the media is choosing to listen to, not that there are no voices presenting alternate views.

      The problem is that feminists/activists like Meghan Murphy and Hilla Kerner are out there talking to parliamentarians and the Canadian people but their voices are drowned out by the trans zombie brigade at the CBC, rabble.ca and other media outlets. And apparently in the Canadian Senate (video at bottom of CBC article on issue, http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/transgender-rights-bill-female-born-spaces-1.4110634). Are we so immature that we care more about what total strangers think of us (strangers who live thousands of kms away from us, potentially) than about what is right? If it is just about what people think of us and assuming we are dealing with rational human beings (a big assumption) then the weight of evidence is on our side as the trans lobby and their adherents are the hate mongers in their many slanders of feminists and other public figures and their calls for the deaths and rapes of anyone who has a contrary belief to their own.

      • Meghan Murphy

        Yes, this is the thing, isn’t it… As far as I can tell, the only reason this bill is being pushed through by the Liberals is so that they look good. It is not a good, necessary, or rational bill. Trans people do not *need* this bill in order to be protected, under the human rights code. Beyond all that, of course, it has the potential to be very harmful to women. So yes, apparently people rally *do* care more about what others think about them than about doing what is right and ethical. I feel insanely angry just writing this!!!

  • Hanakai

    In the USA, LGBT people are already protected under hate crime legislation. If one commits a crime against a sexual or racial minority, the crime can be declared a hate crime and the penalty enhanced.

    Ironically perhaps, these hate crime laws protect transgender men who think they are women, but these laws do NOT protect or apply to real women. So a vile misogynist can commit all kinds of horrible assaults and crimes against a natural woman and it is NEVER considered a hate crime, but the same acts against a male who thinks he is female are given the enhanced penalties for hate crimes.

    The transgender lobby claims that there is an inordinately high rate of murders against men claiming to be transgender women, but when one looks at the data, a different story emerges. In the US, there have been 8 killings of transgenders this year and what is interesting is that the majority of these victims were working in prostitution. Now the reality in the USA is that prostitution is the most dangerous of all occupations and a women working in prostitution is 51 times more likely to be killed while ‘working’ than one in the second most dangerous occupation, that of liquor store clerk. The murder rate for transgenders who are not involved in prostitution is no higher than for other groups, so it appears that it is the prostitution that makes them vulnerable and not the fact of transgenderism.

    Furthermore, prostitutes are the number one victim of serial killers, because they are vulnerable and easy targets. In fact, there are serial killers of women operating now in every state of the USA killing mostly prostitutes, and no one raises an outcry.

    • will

      This is a great comment. Thank you.

  • Sabine

    I watched this via GenderTrender yesterday, absolutely FANTASTIC!!!! You were absolutely superb as was Hilla; clear, precise and eloquent. I watched the entire debate actually and was also impressed by Paul Dirks. Way to go Meghan! Huge hugs and cheers from the UK! xxx

    • Meghan Murphy

      Thanks Sabine!

  • Rachael

    Meghan, you are amazing. Thank you so much.

    • Meghan Murphy

      <3

  • Atheist

    Fantastic representation Meghan! You nailed all the major points and then some. <3

    • Meghan Murphy

      Thank you!

  • Atheist

    I remember hearing about transableism years and years ago. It’s been around for a while. These are people who saw themselves as amputees without legs or arms, and would go to doctors to try to get healthy body parts removed. Or they would buy wheelchairs from medical supply outlets and present themselves as disabled in public and say it was part of their identity. I remember reading a few stories where if people couldn’t get a doctor to maim them that they would do it themselves so they could have the “full experience” and collect social security. Does that sound familiar? And obviously it’s not just the mentally ill doing this. It’s scammers doing this so they can take taxpayer funds from people who are actually disabled and live off them.

    Someone wrote an article a long time ago pointing out the same logic that is used for transgenderism can be used in transracialism or any identity whatsoever including identifying as a kitten, a rainbow, a water cooler, or a pair of ice skates. They are right. When does it end? If we embrace one identity why should we leave out all others? I’ve kind of thrown up my hands about this and gave up. It won’t be until we have 10,000 identities floating around that people will understand how unhealthy and destructive it all is.

  • Césarion

    Really glad to see your testimony! And also a good job! Hope you made your point to them.

  • Are there any IP restrictions on re-publication of this video? I’d like to upload it on my channel if that’s alright with you?

    • Meghan Murphy

      I’m not sure, actually… I assume it is ok, but will try to contact Purple Sage to ask. You can also download specific clips from the Senate site (just scroll down to the May 10 meeting and click on that little camera icon on the right): https://sencanada.ca/en/Committees/lcjc/MeetingSchedule/42-1?mode=PAST

      • Thanks, I have had a read through the sencanada notices regarding reproduction and it seems to be permitted, in principle. It seems like a few other testimonies have reproduced on youtube since I posted too, so hopefully that means my interpretation of the legal is correct!
        I’ll put a link to this article (as well as Purple Sage’s channel and video with a credit her for the editing work) in the video description as long as you don’t have a problem with that.

    • Hi Magdalen, you can feel free to use my video. All I did was take a clip from the Senate of Canada website.

    • Wren

      I love your videos, Magdalen!!

  • Meghan Murphy

    I’m so glad the mainstream Canadian media has finally decided to acknowledge there is a feminist critique of this bill. They appear to have expressly excluded feminist voices from the debate, in favour of framing the issue as a simply ‘left vs right’ one.

    • Kathleen Lowrey

      Totally. Unless you are really paying attention, it looks like “cool groovy people vs. reactionary religious zealots”

      • Cassandra

        Yup. That’s the instant reaction.

  • Lady Dark Helmet

    I wish I had half of your guts, sister. I hope they’ ll listen.

  • Weeks

    It’s scary how things are changing.

  • melissa

    Watched yesterday.That was great! Well done you two. 🙂

  • Cris Montenegro

    Brilliant!

  • Meghan Murphy

    <3

  • Meghan Murphy

    Thanks sister!

  • Meghan Murphy

    I’m not sure I fully understand it, to be honest…

  • JingFei

    The author believes in reality. As do many people. A male cannot become a female because he “feels” female. Having never been female, a male cannot possibly know what it’s like. Women and Transwomen are NOT the same. Not by a long shot. They never will be. Trans activism is in direct opposition to women’s rights, and has no problems with females and girls becoming collateral damage in their quest for validation.

  • Cassandra

    Cisgender??

    You better don’t with that misogynist term. Not here!

  • Cassandra

    It’s invasion of the Gender Zombies! Run for your lives!

    Gender is not real.
    Only sex is real.

    And transwomen do not and will never face what female people face. Get your head out of patriarchy’s asshole.

  • Bleeps3

    It’s the porn. As everything becomes more ‘technologically advanced’, people will want to buy humanity.

  • Bleeps3

    You are an amazing human being, Meghan Murphy. You are courageous and awe-inspiring. If I were a billionaire…

    • Meghan Murphy

      <3

  • Alienigena

    “…transgender and genderfluid people face the same struggles and plenty more…”

    Re: transgender facing … plenty more struggles than biological females. Prove it with actual statistics, studies, reports, not your alternative facts or some random speculation on a blog.

    Jobs/Employment
    Women face discrimination when being hired, seeking promotion and advancement, seeking equitable pay, dressing for work (e.g. painful/physically injurious dress codes (e.g. female servers)), dealing with managers and co-workers who sexually harass and assault them (e.g. RCMP, Canadian military, firefighting, municipal policing, construction sites, etc.) etc.

    Reproductive Rights
    Women’s rights to basic reproductive health services (access to contraception, access to non-judgemental counselling (re: side effects of birth control pills, decision to have an abortion), access to specialists (e.g. gynecologists), access to abortion pills, access to abortions, access to pre- and post-natal care, access to diagnosis of and treatment for post-partum depression, etc.) is very uneven and sometimes non-existent in North America and many countries in Europe, just look at any state in the USA, PEI in Canada until recently, the Republic of Ireland or any eastern European country, for examples.

    Medical care
    Most drugs in the recent past were not tested on women of reproductive age. They are not believed when they seek medical help for serious undiagnosed medical conditions. These undiagnosed conditions lead to serious long-term health problems.

    “As a result of instrumentalization, the report argues, “women face a disproportionate risk of being subjected to humiliating and degrading treatment in health-care facilities, especially during pregnancy, childbirth and the postpartum period. Furthermore, they are especially vulnerable to degrading treatment in situations where they are deprived of liberty, including in migrant detention facilities or mental institutions. They are subjected to humiliating treatment within the health-care system because of their gender identity and sexual orientation, sometimes expressly in the name of morality or religion, as a way of punishing what is considered ‘immoral’ behaviour.”
    http://www.ifhhro.org/news-a-events/587-patriarchal-attitudes-and-discrimination-of-women-in-health-care-facilities

    Conditions Arising from Interaction of Sex and Gender
    “…unipolar depressive disorders have the most significant gender ratio and most unequal burden of disease in every region except East Asia and the Pacific. Unipolar depressive disorders account for 4.2 percent of women’s global burden of disease.”

    “In developing countries, severe depression and anxiety disorders go mostly untreated (76 to 85 percent of serious cases receive no treatment), partly because of ignorance, social barriers, and stigmatization, which may affect women’s access to treatment”
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK11729/

    The legal system works very badly for biological females in a number of areas ranging from protection from male violence (including a whole range of offences that include stalking, female autonomy (e.g. Saudi Arabia), harassment, sexual assault, domestic violence, prostitution, etc.) to treatment by the judicial when they deliberately self-abort, miscarry or when they murder a violent partner in self-defense.

    Violence Against Women
    Despite your alternative facts the reality is that women face much more violence from males (biological males, whether they are M2Ts or gender conforming, or non-conforming) just for being female (separate from discrimination they face for being lesbian, or disabled, or a woman of colour, etc.) than do trans. They face discrimination from
    – male relatives (sexual assault, physical assault, treatment as chattel (yes, still) in systems where bride prices or dowries are paid),
    – from their parents (even prior to birth) due to sex selective abortion, their genitalia is what determines their fate (based on ultrasound images) and now genetic analysis (two X chromosomes) will help seal their fate as well. Girls are given less food, less education (in many places parents choose to invest in their male children), spend more time caring for siblings, helping with household chores. They are also married to adult men before they are even sexually mature.
    – from male partners (husbands, boyfriends) through physical and/or sexual assault, through financial abuse and manipulation, through intimidation and threats (women are generally physically smaller than biological males, this is not the case with most M2Ts), etc.

    I could go on and on. But in no place on earth do M2Ts face the threat of having their lives being extinguished (like females do with sex selective abortion) before they even begin. And female infanticide was also more prevalent in the places in the world where female fetuses are now aborted preferentially. There are no verified genetic markers for transness (unless you plan on pulling some out of your ass) and if there were, the testing would probably be quite expensive (and likely would not be done in most cases), and not standard like testing for biological sex. Much easier to execute a female fetus than a male one who may in the future experience gender dysphoria or identify as trans.

    Really who are you trying to kid with your nonsense.

  • Hekate Jayne

    Transwomen face the same things as women?

    So, they face inability to access abortion? Or gynecology care?

    They worry about pregnancy? And pregnancy from rape?

    They were sexualized for their female bodies as children by grown males?

    They had to learn to hide the fact that they were menstruating? Because they were taught that their female bodies are nasty?

    They get told that bearing children for males is the most important thing that they can do, as women? And if they choose to not bear children, then they are informed that they aren’t womaning correctly?

    All of the fetuses that are aborted for the sole reason of being female are aborted because of their biological sex, not their “fetus gender identity”.

    Transwomen know nothing about being female. Since they are male, they have full control over their own bodies, unlike women, whose reproductive capacity is largely controlled by the state.

    Rapists don’t rape based on “gender identity”. They rape people with vaginas because we are women.

    Basic biology. It ain’t hard. Jesus.

  • Alienigena

    “those who don’t identify as male or female at birth”

    What trans are identifying as is masculine or feminine not male or female (the latter terms refer to biological sex).

  • Tired feminist

    You’re new here, heh.

  • Tired feminist

    We don’t believe in gender identity.
    Try again with a non-magical premise.

  • Melanie

    You’re the one playing word games. The term woman has a meaning. It means adult, female human. Males and females exist. That’s how you got here. Feminism is about eradicating sex stereotypes and gender roles that are especially harmful to girls and women. Transgender activism is about normalizing them and writing them into law to the detriment of the status and rights of girls and women. So no it’s not the same fight. It’s the opposite of feminism.

  • Melanie

    Great work Meghan and Hilla!

  • Alienigena

    “…actually the legislation for expression removes barriers which exist to segregate women and men”

    Why is removing barriers to segregation good in … prisons, women’s shelters, women’s sports teams, women’s support groups, recreation facility change rooms, clothing store change rooms, hospitals (they already room men and women together in Canadian hospitals due to lack of availability of beds, not optimal for older, frail women like my mother was)), extended care facilities (where older, and still larger males (including M2Ts) with dementia might act out violently (including sexual violence) against female roommates), etc.

    Most of my life it has been men and boys erecting the barriers, all the way from elementary school soccer fields to the workplace. Women have a right to their own safe spaces and bodily privacy. I have never taken nude photos of myself, don’t plan on doing so at any future time and wouldn’t permit anyone to take them of me, knowingly. I don’t take selfies of any kind. Why would I want to expose myself to biological males in change rooms? I use the cubicles with doors or curtains in fitness facilities whenever possible.

    Your perspective is just whacked.

  • calabasa

    Wow. You might want to try reading other articles on this site before commenting.

    Saying the sex binary does not exist because of the tiny number of intersex conditions (genetic mutations) is like saying that sight does not exist because some people are born blind due to congenital conditions (genetic mutations). For just one example (we could go on, and on, and on…saying sex does not exist is like saying human beings are not bipedal because some people are born with one leg, or no legs…this could go on, and on, and on)…how do you think babies are made, if biological sex is not real? By whom are babies gestated? By people whose “gender identity” is female, or by people whose biological sex is female, irrespective of some bullshit notion of “gender identity?”

    It does not matter if an individual biological woman is able to have children or not. She is of the class of people who is able to have children; just because she, personally, cannot, does not mean she is not of that class, or that she is not perceived by others to be of that class and therefore discriminated against for that reason.

    Transgender women, for the most part, do not reject patriarchy, they embrace it. They confuse femininity with female, believe that gender is real and sex is not, enshrining gender roles as innate and natural and therefore defensible (another point on which most people seem rather confused; natural is not necessarily defensible), rather than as social constructs. Some men and women who experience sex dysphoria understand that it is a result of social conditioning which leads them to believe they are not normal in their male bodies with their “feminine” desires, or in their female bodies with “masculine” desire, and that transsexualism is a symptom of patriarchy and of gender roles themselves, rather than that gender is real; unfortunately, most do not, or do not profess to know that this is true. This is called “gender essentialism” and is, in fact, an extremely conservative, patriarchal viewpoint. There is nothing revolutionary about it.

    Other “trans women” are autogynephiles and people with a whole host of mental illnesses and personality disorders, or repressed homosexuals who have been “transed” by social pressure. “Trans men” tend to be self-hating lesbians or gender nonconforming women who are sick of being discriminated against for being biological females, and want to take on the privilege of biological males, even at risk to their health; many have experienced sexual abuse and want to dissociate from their female bodies. There are, of course, some who experience “sex dypshoria” but again, they generally recognize this is a symptom of patriarchy caused by the social construct of gender roles, not that “gender” is innate.

    “Trans women” do not experience more discrimination than natal women. Hurt feelings and not being able to share locker rooms is quite different than forced abortion, or forced pregnancy, forced child marriage, or other laws which otherwise regulate women’s reproduction. It’s quite different than the discrimination based upon the possibility of pregnancy that professional women experience; it’s quite different than the rape and violence natal women experience. Do you think a 6′ trans woman (who likely doesn’t pass) is at risk for rape the way a biological woman is? Trans women are murdered, yes, but they are murdered in prostitution, just like biological women. Except when trans women are murdered it’s a hate crime, and when women are murdered it’s business as usual.

    Let’s give a hypothetical. In some societies, young girls are regularly forced into marriage with much older men, so they can be their property to rape, and to “breed” for them. Within these highly patriarchal, conservative societies, is it likely that trans people (people who don’t feel their bodies match their dictated gender roles) would want to “come out?” Probably not (for fear of being judged and killed; homosexuals would not want to “come out” for the same reason, unless, of course, they are in Iran, where homosexuals are forcibly transed, because it’s okay to be a straight trans woman or trans man, but not a gay man or lesbian woman; there is a lot of homophobia behind the push for people to transition, whether from the right or in disguise from the left).

    Is such “closeted trans people’s” oppression for not being able to express their “gender identities” the same as the oppression experienced by the girl who is raped from the age of eight or ten (sometimes dying from this violence), who is forced to give birth to many children (sometimes dying from this violence), who risks execution if she tries to run away (often dying from this violence), who, if she stays, at best faces a life of rape and torment? Is the “trans person in the closet’s” agony the same as hers? Really? Tell me again how the choice of “gender identity” is more important than the violence done to women when gender is forced on them.

    Men cannot be women, period. Women cannot be men. Do trans people exist? Yes. They’re trans. Hence the prefix.

    Do they deserve human rights? Absolutely. Do they get to stomp all over women’s rights and claim biological sex doesn’t exist, or that we are not oppressed for our biology? Do they get to claim that when “passing” transwomen experience oppression it’s not due to the perception by others that they belong to the biological sex class of women (except, you know, their reproductive rights are not being threatened, since they can’t carry children, and that they are not at risk for pregnancy from sex or rape), or that when “non-passing” trans women are threatened it’s not due to homophobia, another prejudice that arises from patriarchy? I.e., that they have special oppression not due, somehow, to patriarchy, a system they are upholding with their gender essentialism, whether they like it or not?

    Let them be gender apostates. There are plenty of transgender people who are gender apostates, which is to say, they recognize gender is a social construct, that they are not actually the biological sex they wish to be, and that their own dysphoria is a result of gender roles considered sacrosanct in our society. They actively fight to dismantle patriarchy, side by side with their feminist sisters. They do not pretend they are what they are not, and they do not cast feminists as their enemies.

    Transgender people are not “born this way” anymore than anyone is born into a gender role. They are not “assigned female” or “assigned male” at birth, they, like the rest of us, are “assigned masculine” or “assigned feminine” at birth, based on their male or female genitals, and later they don’t feel comfortable with their gender designation, so they decide to switch teams. What is revolutionary about that? Nothing…what’s truly revolutionary is to live in your natural body and flout gender roles if they don’t suit you. Which is what real feminists are fighting for.

    “Crazy?” No. It’s the genderists who are crazy, and in denial of basic science. “Radical?”

    Hell yes.

    • susannunes

      “Trans” is a myth. “Trans people” do NOT exist. You cannot “transition” into the opposite sex, and you cannot “identify” as a sex role, which is all “gender” is (and the term should be abolished in favor of the older and more accurate terms “sex roles” and “sex-role stereotypes”). Men and women are biological realities that are immutable. “Intersex” conditions prove that sex is binary. It is. Period. Sex is about reproduction. The whole “transgender” movement is a load of woman-hating b.s. Your post is mostly on the mark except the “trans” bit. Please refrain from qualifiers like “natal” when referring to women. There is only ONE kind of woman.

    • Alienigena

      “Hurt feelings and not being able to share locker rooms is quite different than forced abortion, or forced pregnancy, forced child marriage, or other laws which otherwise regulate women’s reproduction.”

      I love it when the garden variety bonehead comes on this and other forums to say that these kinds of things only happen in developing countries. Looking to the south of me I see the USA

      – charging women for miscarrying or self-aborting
      – granting greater rights to unborn fetuses than adult women
      – levying heavy penalties against women and girls for killing their abusers
      – restricting access to contraception and birth control
      – indicating through their presidential election that women are not suited to power
      – electing a president who has no respect for women, only tolerating women who have utility for him

  • Wren

    why are you surprised to see this article here?? You’ve clearly never come to this site, so your surprise is a lie disguised as a reprimand. I do not care about your opinion at all.

  • Wren

    Maybe punish men for being abusive shits????
    JUST A THOUGHT.

  • Alienigena

    It is amazing to me how men will rally around M2T’s in the senate hearings, saying things like the federal legislation is the same as the provincial legislation, so why object. When the issue is sexual assault (violence against women) the same people seem to imply that the law and the legal system are good enough and do not need to be changed. An article in Canadian Lawyer makes that case too, but with better evidence. Why the double-standard when involving laws that primarily impact girls and women?

    http://www.canadianlawyermag.com/6014/the-trouble-with-sex-assault-trials.html

    “Decades after laws around sexual assault were reformed, two-thirds of victims surveyed by the Department of Justice said they had little to no confidence in the police, the courts or the justice system. And when assailants are actually deemed guilty – when the system presumably works – then what? How do we stop assault from happening again?”
    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/how-canadas-sex-assault-laws-violate-rape-victims/article14705289/?page=all

    More on sexual assault and the law in Canada
    http://www.swc-cfc.gc.ca/svawc-vcsfc/index-en.html

  • susannunes

    Men are not women, period. There is NO such thing as a “transgender woman” or a “transwoman.” They are men. Period.

  • Hekate Jayne

    You said:

    “Actually it’s not really fair to put your fight on the backs of transgender people who were born this way…..”

    Women aren’t putting anything onto the backs of anyone.

    MtT are putting their shit on OUR backs. Women fought long and hard to have safe spaces. Do you think that males just handed us anything? Nope. Women worked to get them.

    And here we have yet more males trying to invade our spaces. If transwomen want their own shit, then they can work for it. Instead, they want to put their fight onto our backs, and take benefit of our work.

    Just like males routinely do, since they feel entitled to everything about us. Right down to our biology.

  • Hekate Jayne

    It’s “harmful” to refuse to capitulate.

    It’s “violence” to recognize biological fact.

    It’s “transmisogyny” to expect males in dresses to be respectful of our spaces.

    It’s “cis sexist” to refuse to submit.

  • Meghan Murphy

    Thanks Kelly!

  • Meghan Murphy

    I don’t see it but will take your word for it!

  • Meghan Murphy

    It conflicts with women’s sex-based rights. It also positions gender as either innate or an individual, personal choice or ‘feeling,’ as opposed to a means to reinforce the hierarchical, oppressive system that is patriarchy.

  • Meghan Murphy

    Transwomen are most certainly *not* the most disenfranchised group of people. I think it’s incredible that so many people have bought this myth without even thinking about it or looking into it further. This is not to say that transwomen do not suffer, but to claim they are somehow *more* marginalized than women (particularly women of colour and poor women), is ridiculous. Do you have any idea how many women die at the hands of men in the US daily?

    • Just Passing Through

      Yeah, but we’re just women….whotf cares about regular women? Our suffering, disenfranchisement, and oppression has been rendered invisbile….. to men. Well really to everyone it seems.

    • Sierra Caputo

      Women are victims of murder by men, absolutely. But so are transwomen. Almost overwhelmingly tw of color, and there are many sources out there that document this, if you care to take a good hard look. I don’t expect to change your mind, but at least realize that both groups are negatively impacted by the same misogynistic system, as far as to the point of being killed for who they are.

      http://www.hrc.org/resources/violence-against-the-transgender-community-in-2016

      Both groups exist in the same patriarchy that wants to treat them as inferior and without value. Instead of attacking transpeople, please recognize that there is a common enemy here. There’s nothing radical about opposing transwomens’ rights… in fact, that opposition is 100% status quo. Just ask the murderers.

      • Meghan Murphy

        I have indeed checked my sources and taken a ‘good hard look.’ You are right that transwomen of colour are subjected to male violence, but this does not mean that transwomen, as a whole, are somehow ‘more oppressed’ than women, as a class. (Though I do not particularly wish to have a contest to determine who is worse off…)

        Transwomen who are subjected to male violence are mostly prostituted, and abused by johns. As we know, people who are prostituted are generally extremely vulnerable to male violence. It is not true that white males who transition are subjected to higher levels of violence and oppression than women, though. This myth has been repeated over and over again has a means to shut women up and bulldoze women’s rights.

        You are correct that there is a common enemy, which makes it all the more suspect that trans activists *never* attack men and male dominated systems of power, but instead focus their energy on feminists and women’s services/spaces.

        No one here is opposing ‘transwomen’s rights.’ If you can’t argue in good faith, please don’t waste our time. Otherwise, I am happy to engage.

  • Meghan Murphy

    Oops!

  • Meghan Murphy

    I have not ever argued that transwomen are ‘lesser.’ Do not twist my words and arguments, please.

  • Meghan Murphy

    Can you point to where feminists have ‘put down’ the ‘trans community’? Can you also explain how feminist analysis of women’s oppression is ‘phobic’? Thanks.

  • Meghan Murphy

    Solidarity, sister.

  • pandora50

    Thank you Meghan, and Hilla as well, for bravely standing for women.

  • Hekate Jayne

    Please delete.

  • Tired feminist

    Why don’t you try watching the video and/or reading the transcript? She spoke exactly about what you’re asking.

    You are being rude by barging in and asking a question that was already answered several times. It shows how little you actually care about what feminists are saying.

  • Tired feminist

    Here’s an easy way to find it out:

    Are your gonads inside or outside?

    You’re welcome!

    (PS: transwomen are not the most oppressed people. All they have to do is to scream “transphobia!!!!!!!!” and everyone bows down to their every whim.)

  • Tired feminist

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHA omg you guys.

    You know what poses a real gender hierarchy? Patriarchy. Trans-identified males, aka “transwomen”, are at the top of this hierarchy, like all males, not at the bottom. Inform yourself.

  • calabasa

    Queer theory and postmodernism has hurt homosexuals more than anything, and ruined discourse to boot.

    What reproductive healthcare do transwomen need to access? You mean, access to surrogates (renting biological women’s wombs)? Or for their male parts? All they need to do is tell doctors that they are biologically male, if they have male parts, and then they have access to reproductive healthcare. Their abortion rights are not under threat. Transmen’s are–sure. Because they’re biologically women.

    And by the way, I’m not just regurgitating radical dogma, if you’re going to play the “I have trans friends” card. So do I. I have lived with a trans “woman” (an autogynephilic exhibitionist who got sucked into the movement when he was a male burlesque dancer and a very vulnerable person; he liked the attention). He was a nice person when he wasn’t pretending he was a woman, and asking why biological females might have a problem with a 6″2, muscular, male-bodied person covered in tattoos going into an all-women’s nude sauna. He acted as if I–a rape survivor many times over, someone who had gender forced upon her against her will, something which has been extremely destructive in my life–were less oppressed than him, because he’s been transgender all of a year, and can’t go to a women’s naked sauna he wants to go to. Boo hoo.

    I am fully aware that *actual* trans people–that is to say, people with *actual* sex dypshoria–suffer from many of these same issues (my 6″2 “trans” roommate who liked to call himself a “lesbian” even though he’d only date “cis” women whose other partners were, mysteriously, all men), because of misogyny (and often because of homophobia). I have known (and still know) many much more reasonable trans people, although they are not the bulk of the rabid transactivists now (maybe try reading my comment in response to Susan).

    There is a certain brand of “queer” person, and “trans” person, who is erasing gay and lesbian identity, and trying to erase women as a class, and bully us into putting ourselves second for the sake of “feelings.” Transgender people deserve human rights (and feminists have time and again proposed a third space for locker rooms and restrooms, but no, that’s not enough, because then we don’t think they are *gasp* actually men or women!–keep in mind absolutely NONE of this is an issue for anyone “passing,” those who tend to have actual sex dysphoria rather than NPD or any number of sexual kinks).

    Transgender people are entitled to their rights, as long as they don’t trample all over ours. When transitioning into an oppressed group, it’s important to be sensitive to the lived experiences of that group, not to come in making demands all over the place, as so many trans “women” do (i.e., acting very much like men).

    Furthermore, transgender dysphoria is a symptom of a disease of gender roles, one which getting rid of such harmful constructs would alleviate. Trying to call gender “innate” throws women–the class of people most harmed by gender–right under the bus.

  • Tired feminist

    Can you explain exactly HOW trans/queer theory goes “beyond the social constructs of gender the patriarchy has created”? Because as far as I know it does quite the opposite.

  • Meghan Murphy

    You aren’t wasting my time. I believe your questions are sincere and that you are trying to sort these ideas out for yourself, which is good. In response:

    1) No, I don’t differentiate between transsexualim and transgenderism.

    2) “Gender fluidity” doesn’t really work for me, because I feel it implies that gender is a choice or something you can ‘play’ with, which I don’t believe is true in this particular society.

    I do believe in rejecting gender stereotypes, of course, I just wouldn’t describe that as ‘gender fluidity.’

  • Hanakai

    Stop with this delusional hogwash about disenfranchisement. So-called transwomen are not the most disenfranchised group in the USA. In fact, M2FTs (Male to Female Transsexuals) are not disenfranchised at all, as they have the right to vote and have never (unlike real women) been denied the right to vote. Further, M2FTs have the same rights as other US citizens: the right to a trial by jury, the right to confront and cross-examine their accusers, the right to freedom of speech and freedom of religion, the right to be safe from unreasonable searches and seizures, the right to bear arms and the rest of constitutional rights and privileges of citizenship.

    Furthermore, US law protects LGBT people with hate crime laws and anti-discrimination laws. When a M2FT person is assaulted or victimized, the law defines the crimes as hate crimes and provides for enhanced penalties. Notably, however, even the most vile misogynistic crimes against women are not considered hate crimes under the law.

    In the USA, black men have the most problems with police and are the most likely group to be killed or murdered by police, falsely arrested, brutalized and falsely convicted. American police shoot and kill hundreds of black Americans every year, but we have yet to see a single news story of police shooting M2FTs.

    The transtrender lobby purveys the falsehood that M2FTs are being mass murdered in the USA, but when one looks at the data, that is simply not so. This year, eight M2FTs have been murdered in the US and it turns out most of them were in prostitution, selling sex for money — and prostitutes have the highest OTJ death rate of any occupation, being 51 times more likely to be killed than the next most dangerous occupation, that of liquor store clerk. Non-prostituted M2FTs have a lower death rate than real American women. Clearly, the M2FT deaths are due to prostitution, not to transgender discrimination.

    As to determining your biological sex, if you have a penis, you are male. If you have ovaries and a vagina, you are female. If you have XX chromosomes and Barr bodies, you are female; with XY chromosomes, you are male. One’s sex is marked in EVERY SINGLE CELL of the body and one’s ex cannot be changed. If you think it can, you are delusional, your thinking is scientifically illiterate and you need psychotherapy to get a grip on reality.

  • Meghan Murphy

    Thank you for your kind words.

  • Meghan Murphy

    Repulsive that the CBC would publish a white male engaging in smears and anti-feminist slurs.

  • Meghan Murphy

    Write to senators…

  • Cassandra

    Women are oppressed because we are female, and femininity is a tool of oppression. We are forced into femininity.

    Open your eyes.

  • Tired feminist

    If you were a radical feminist you would:

    – know why transgenderism harms women
    – never tell women to calm down in a feminist space

  • Meghan Murphy

    The only difference between ‘transgender’ and ‘transsexual’ is that the latter word as fallen out of favour.

  • Meghan Murphy

    I can’t tell if this is a joke or not. I’m gonna go with yeah.

  • Meghan Murphy

    I agree that pushing back against masculinity and femininity is important. I am not opposed to the existence of people who wish to identify as transgender, I am opposed to the idea that a male can simply identify as or ‘feel like’ a woman, literally.

  • Martine

    Hi Will,

    I’ve read what you sent me. I’ve learnt nothing new about transsexualism, genderism, gender and sex… but thank you, I’ve liked to read the testimonials. Yet, it is true that I was a bit confused by the criticism of “gender identity” as an harmful notion to women if it appeared in the Canadian Human Rights Act and the Criminal Code. But I understand it now.

  • Meghan Murphy

    Why would I? I don’t really care if people say ‘transsexualism’ or ‘transgenderism.’

    • Martine

      why would you not care? Words are important! We have to be very sure of the meaning of words before theorising them.

  • Meghan Murphy

    I don’t understand. You have a different definition of ‘transgenderism’ than everyone else?

    • Martine

      than everyone else, no, but than a lot of people here, it seems to be, yes.
      transsexualism in is origin and true acceptation refers to the pursuit of sex reassignment of people who think they were born in the wrong body when nothing like this exist because we learn be a woman or a man, our biology does not make us woman or man, but female or male. Transsexuals (fasly sefl-proclamed “transgender”) people are a symptome of patriarchy (amoung many others). It’s very likely that all the actuals transsexuals have faced during their childhoud, a traditionnal environnment ( parents, school, peers.. well society!) that couldnt imagine that a boy can actually like pink and play dolls without having a vagina.
      On the other end, “transgender” people are very aware of gender role and the social construction hierarchy between genders; they affirm society need ( as possible as it can in a society where social construction and its regidity are tough) to deconstruct gender role. It’s a more recent categorie of people and different to queer ativists too. It’s people that on purpose because of awarness, their personnal history on gender ‘adopt” some traits traditionnally assigned to the other sex as sweetness for boy, combativity for girls etc. To sum up they want to break the genders binarity and create something neutral. They are not visible because people are mistaken them with transsexuals. They have nothing to do with the biologising theroy of transseuals. I’m not saying they will succeed. I’m just saying that transsexuals and transgenders people don’t have the same knowledges on gender, one group is playing the patriarchal “game”, and the other is trying to fight against gender role. As words have meanings, why not to call a spade a spade? Also even if one have doubt about real transgenderism, at leat it’s important not to call transsexuals, transgenders, because that participate of their legitimacy.

      • Meghan Murphy

        Ok, could we say, basically, that you see “transsexual” as a person who surgically ‘transitions’ to the opposite sex, because they suffer from body dysphoria, whereas ‘transgender’ refers to anyone who chooses to take on the ‘opposite’ gender role than that which was applied to them, on account of their sex?

  • Meghan Murphy

    Hmm… No. It refers to the same thing. It’s just that today people seem to prefer the term ‘transgender’ over ‘transsexual.’

    • Rich Garcia

      @meghan_murphy:disqus @disqus_ZVR5Yr604N:disqus If I am correct, the term transsexual used to apply to individuals (usually transvestites) who would try to pass themselves off as their opposite sex, undergoing surgery to alter their bodies, even though they were widely recognized by society as being of their biological sex.

      Whereas the term transgender is steeped in the psychological fraud that is “gender identity” and it’s misogynistic ideology. Anyone claiming to be the opposite “gender” is under no obligation to mess with their bodies, only needing to make the proclamation that they are the opposite sex. And more often than not these people are heterosexual males with an intense hatred for females.

      And I don’t mean to sound pessimistic, but liberalism has killed Feminism. Aligning yourselves with the political left was a death sentence because progressives are self-righteous in the belief that they are the most tolerant people on the planet. They get to decide who is or isn’t deserving of justice and equality, acting as kings or dictators in the process.

      That you have straight white males as the face of liberalism should also signal a red flag. These men should not have the have the authority to decide who gets to be a protected class or strip marginalized groups (like females) of their ability to define themselves and set their boundaries.

      • Meghan Murphy

        Word.

  • Meghan Murphy

    This is confusing for a lot of people, I find… They think ‘radical’ either means ‘extreme’ or that it just means, like, ‘passionate.’ People call themselves ‘radical feminists’ because they see themselves as Very Feminist, but not because they are committed to addressing the root of women’s oppression…

  • Meghan Murphy

    Thank you!

  • Meghan Murphy

    This whole conversation strikes me as completely irrelevant and unimportant, w/r/t the issues at hand, tbh….Can we move on?

  • Cassandra

    I’m not sure what your definition of “femininity” is, but my definition has to do with all the messages we receive about being docile and giving and nurturing and dying to have babies and also being expected to self-objectify with the way we dress. That stuff is pounded into our brains from the cradle, so many of us think we actually like it. According to trans people the people who actually like it are “cis,” as are the people who don’t like it but don’t feel compelled to try to act and appear like they’re the opposite sex. This of course blows every trans argument out of the water immediately, because if there’s no such thing as biological sex, why are they trying to pass for the opposite sex by adopting offensive stereotypes which in the case of females, are harmful?

    I myself enjoy fashion and makeup and all that, but I have no delusions about what the purpose of it is within patriarchal culture. Women would have to reject it en masse for it to fall, hence the patrolling and the oppression and punishment for women who fail to conform to sex role stereotypes, aka femininity, aka gender.

    Nowadays women who reject it are being ensnared in a misogynistic homophobic hate movement that says they’re actually men and that they need to take testosterone and cut of their boobs.

    It’s HORRIFIC. People should be allowed to dress as they want to dress as the SEX they are. There are only sexed bodies with personalities. Gender is poison.

  • Kathleen Lowrey

    srsly. Every progressive everybody fell over themselves to oppose NC’s bathroom bill. Women’s issues? “reasonable people can disagree” chorus alternates with, as you say, crickets.

  • Martine

    “Then if trans”women” know that ,”femininity covers a lot of differents values that are for the most part perceived as negatives and inferiors to masculines values.”, why do they take it on in the first place? ”
    Because their environnement told us directly or insidiously that is they like pink, are sweet or anything else supposed to be “girly”, they can’t be boys! People need to identify to somenthing. Also not all thoses values are percieved as bad, those little boys who are told to be actually girls appreciate certainly the fact that they can cry, play in a relatively calm atmosphere sometimes or anything femininely related.
    “If we could avoid being preyed on or treated as inferiors just by dressing like men, then most women would be doing it.” Yes but it doesn’t work like this, if tomorrow I wear a fake beard I will still be percieved as a woman, because I have way too much learn my “woman job”. Thoses littles boys learn to be what society expect from a girl too when encouraged to do so. They learn it and play it too “well” even! Because of the stereotypical view people have of man and woman.

    • Zuzanna Smith

      That is why we reject gender or sex caste roles, they are wrong for everyone, but especially harmful to females. So stop defending gender, start rejecting it.

  • calabasa

    Hi Meghan, although I am not Canadian (I wish we had someone like you here in the U.S.), I never thanked you for your testimony, for putting forth on public record the position of radical feminism on the troublesome nature of protecting gender rights over sex-based rights. You are incredibly brave, considering the threats to life and livelihood faced by women who stand up for women with regard to the erosion of women’s rights in the name of transgender inclusion (I believe someone somewhere, in response to the ridiculous and increasingly ubiquitous “TERF” coined another slur right back–“FETA,” or “female exclusionary trans activist,” an apt term since they are all giant cheeseheads). As someone else said, I wondered if you’d have enough time to explain the nuances of this position, having been given so little time on the floor, but you never wavered for a second and made your point with grace and precision. Awesome.

    • Meghan Murphy

      Thanks sister xx

  • Martine

    no worries 🙂

  • Cassandra

    LOL

  • Wren

    “Having a transsexual status makes males more of a threat to females
    because they are in perfect proximity to carry out their violence.”

    This is so patently obvious yet denied with such eerily potent knee-jerking hungry zombie-eyed reactions that I feel my life might be threatened by their rage.

  • ♧BobbiEllen♧

    TERF is absolutely used to intimidate, threaten, & insult women. Anyone who uses it, is using hate speech in my opinion.
    I couldn’t believe these pins were being sold on etsy & they wouldn’t take it down… https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/2d6e51dc315e4c2f58bda5f3b831f2fb3ea9976f8254228b997c22250513c9c0.png

  • ♧BobbiEllen♧

    Well that’s why this is such a problem – they can discriminate all they want against women, because hey, why are they choosing oppression by being a woman?
    This whole thing is honestly the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard of. By stating sex is just a self proclaimed identity, they are really stating women have never been oppressed based on sex. Being a woman (and being female) is based off biological markers, & have suffered because of it, but if you change that, all of the abuse, oppression, objectification, etc was never about being a woman, it was all coincidental & on a individual basis.

  • Hekate Jayne

    That website is the best thing ever, regarding trans stuff.

  • Meghan Murphy

    I fail to see what is contradictory about the sentence you quote and my analysis of gender. Yes, females learn what it means to be treated like women, and are socialized as girls/women but that is not the same as being born inherently gendered, on the inside.

  • Meghan Murphy

    That’s not what he’s arguing. Males are socialized to be violent and this socialization doesn’t disappear simply by identifying as women.

  • Meghan Murphy

    Because those words are not the issue. The issue is the ideas, discourse, and impact on women/women’s rights.

  • Meghan Murphy

    I’m trying very hard to understand your argument, that’s why I asked. I am trying to clarify and simplify your argument, so that I and others can understand what you are trying to say. The way you are explaining it is not very clear. I’m afraid I’m lost.

  • Meghan Murphy

    Hmm, no… With all due respect, it is not Cassandra who needs to contextualize anything. You are the one who needs to clarify and contextualize your points, as people are clearly having trouble understanding what it is you are trying to say. Also, she didn’t ask a question, she made a statement.

  • Meghan Murphy

    “Transgenders people never claim to be this opposite sex!”

    Of course they do. They do all the time. Haven’t you been paying attention?

    • Martine

      transsexuals people do it, not transgenders!
      Transgenders as a criticism of transsexuals don’t claim to be from the opposite sex! I’m sure there is plenty of papers on transgenderism in english.

      • Meghan Murphy

        Trans people today, for the most part, identify as transgender, not transsexual, and they do, quite often, claim to have changed sex. Maybe things are different in France, but in North America and the UK, this is the case. Sorry this upsets you.

        • Martine

          I know that transsexuals are saying “I’m transgender” this is why it’s so hard to fight against! In france too!! They are more accepted when calling themself “transgender”, it sounds like a better word to them, like a smarter word. But it’s originally not the same, I’m afraid everyone now is doing the confusion… it’s mean they are winning in som way…
          I have read somewhere the other day a transwoman telling ” I don’t use the word transsexual anymore, it’s too negative”…. no way!

          • Meghan Murphy

            This is what I’ve pointed out to you already…

  • Meghan Murphy

    Most transwomen transition as adults. So you are incorrect that they aren’t socialized as men. I most certainly do ‘understand the strong impact of gender.’ This is why I make the arguments I do against Bill C-16 and gender identity more broadly.

  • Meghan Murphy

    And we do know what we are talking about, here.

  • Meghan Murphy

    “They live in this delusion where gender and sex have this perfect harmony/union.”

    lollllllllllllll

  • Meghan Murphy

    What is a woman?

  • Meghan Murphy

    There is no such thing as ‘internal’ gender. Gender is socially imposed. It’s almost like you came here to harangue people in the comments without actually reading the article/watching the presentation!

  • Meghan Murphy

    No, sex is not a social construction. Sex is a biological reality. Gender is a social construction.

  • Martine

    “I know they looooooove to say they defy gender roles, but they’re rather reinforcing them” transsexuals are reinforcing them for sure, not transgenders ,they precisely want to turn them down. They want more to abolish gender. Gender is a social relation of oppression

  • Martine

    firstly, by saying ” I think I kina get what you mean” you made by day 🙂 well my night.
    “This is not in contradiction with Beauvoir because adult human females have all (with extremely rare exceptions) gone through feminine socialization anyway. So at the end of the day it’s the same thing. It’s also a way to highlight the fact that only females go through the process of feminine socialization, i.e. the process Beauvoir calls “becoming a woman”.”
    I also understand what you said, what you’ve said is all true, but my fear is
    that by doing this “shortcut” > we are woman because females, or excatly ” we know we are women because we are born females” we don’t emphasize the social reality of gender ( we actually kind of of erase it) and we let a highly open door to essentialism.

  • Wren

    They can’t adopt a feminine gender. Do you understand what gender is?
    I gave you credit thinking it was a language issue, but you’re willfully ignorant or just a dude with an agenda.

    • Tired feminist

      He/she was writing quite well in the beginning and as soon as I said “your English is very good” it SUDDENLY degenerated into full-mode MRA iliteracy. It was so obviously fake that I laughed.

  • Martine

    I partly disagree with that. For me biological females are not males, still they can be men ( or tend to be) as social group, because they embrace too much masculinity. When I say “perceived as”, it’s not a fantasy from myself, it jsut that because of their “adoption” of the masculine gender (physicaly and behaviorly) they belong symbolicaly to the social group of men.

  • Lucia Lola

    Yes, please tell us, what is a woman? Still waiting on that.

  • Wren

    you’re totally right.
    And thanks for that resource/link!!! I’ve never seen it and it’s just what I need today.

  • Martine

    “The idea that a boy is actually a girl because he likes dolls only reinforces the idea that dolls are for girls. This should not be so hard to understand.”
    yes exactly it reinforces it. I know it sounds crazy that in some families ( maybe more likely religious one) it’s understandable that a boy can like playing with a doll, unless he is … a girl. But still it does exists. But I not sure if nowadays a transsexual would say something exactly like this « I was born in the wrong body », they will use the same kind of essentialist explannation but more something like « I think like a woman ».

    “But how exactly does identifying as transgender defy gender roles? I know they looooooove to say they defy gender roles” if you mean transsexuals ( I know I’m boring with that) they don’t defy gender their reproduce it, but transgenders, can move gender borders at least a bit.

  • Deb Thompson

    Imymejubilee, watch it you’re showing just how insane, and aggressive you are , and delusional, seek Psychiatric help Post Haste, males cannot become women. never ever will .

  • Wren

    I do not think you are here in good faith. People are bending over backwards to understand you and you are moving the goal posts and being chronically contentious.

  • Martine

    “Not only your sex defines you as a woman, but also all the social caracteristics put on it.” Yes it was badly expressed, it was an attempt of response to ” man and woman are not social constructions”.

  • Meghan Murphy

    Hello! Thank you so much for reading and for your wonderful comment. I know many women can relate… One thing you could do, if you are able (I don’t know where you are located….), find a group of women who want to talk about these issues… You could maybe do it in the form of a book club, for example, which would open up discussion. Not everyone has to necessarily agree on everything, but an interest in radical feminism, and a desire to learn and discuss. Like a consciousness-raising kind of thing. Though these kinds of groups, you can, if you like, begin to organize, maybe hold events, maybe do some actions, etc. Many women were radicalized, during the second wave, and still become radicalized, today, through consciousness-raising groups and through meeting and talking with other radical women. I’m sure other readers here will have some suggestions for you as well…

    Solidarity!

  • Meghan Murphy

    Ok Martine, you’re the real expert, we are a bunch of ignorant amateurs. Would you like to take over the site, in that case?

  • Meghan Murphy

    What is a cheetah?

  • Meghan Murphy

    If you leave an intelligent comment, I will respond intelligently. Deal?

  • Meghan Murphy

    I make very clear that there is no such thing as internal gender, that it is socially imposed. Did you miss that?

  • Meghan Murphy

    Radical feminists are not ‘essentialist’. We just understand how partriarchy work. Plenty of women in France do as well.

    If you would like some recommendations of second wave authors that will help you better understand the analysis, I recommend: Sheila Jeffreys, Janice Raymond, Andrea Dworkin, Germaine Greer, Robin Morgan, and Audre Lorde. I am currently reading an excellent book called “Woman Power,” by Cellestine Ware, which provides an excellent history of the beginnings of the women’s liberation movement in the US. I imagine other readers will be able to recommend some texts as well. Best of luck.

    • Martine

      thank you! I’ve heard about Andrea Dworkin, but never read a book of her, maybe it’s time!”Woman power” of Cellestine Ware sounds good too! Thank you again, best luck to you too.

      • Cassandra

        Look into Shulamith Firestone, too.

  • Meghan Murphy

    I JUST LITERALLY CAN’T EVEN.

  • Martine

    you said:” Please at least take the time to actually read my comments before responding:”Man and woman are socialy constructed as you’ve just said…” I have just clearly said the exact opposite.”

    This is true I don’t know where I’ve seen this sentence from you, my imagination probably.

    but then…
    woah… I don’t know how to explain my view better… because I thought it was already understood by all feminists. I don’t know why you don’t understand the social construction of men and women as a class. How do you understand ” One is not born a woman, one becomes one” ?

    Also, I don’t know where you’ve seen that I say that sexes could change… you said “There are only two sexes and no, that can’t “change in a way, at least a bit” “.
    I was talking about gender of course. Gender is a social oppression relation who has an analogy with class oppression. Women and men are opposed politicals concept. Women and men will disapear when gender role will no longer exist, but females and males will remains. (well that’s the ideal ending). Before this, we have to fight against gender, to discontruct it, so again if gender hadn’t the chance to change, why are we wasting our time fighting against it?

    you said “Again, you have managed to completely confuse sex and gender even when it is very clearly laid out for you.” With all due respect I’m not sure you are that good at not confusing gender and sex…

  • Meghan Murphy

    Sex is a material reality. A woman is an adult human female. Gender is a bunch of sexist stereotypes imposed on people based on their biological sex. A cheetah is a large spotted cat found in Africa and parts of Asia.

    You’re welcome.

    • Just Passing Through

      lol !! 🙂

  • Meghan Murphy

    Ah ha! We seem to have figured why you have trouble with rational discourse…

    • Tired feminist

      Thanks for the morning LOL!

  • Meghan Murphy

    I love when transactivists out themselves as MRAs. They almost always do eventually. Didn’t take you too long, though, did it?

    • Cassandra

      And so few of them have a handle on subject-verb agreement.

  • Martine

    “The idea that a boy is actually a girl because he likes dolls only reinforces the idea that dolls are for girls. This should not be so hard to understand.” yes exactly it reinforces it. I know it sounds crazy that in some families ( maybe more likely religious one) it’s understandable that a boy can like playing with a doll, unless he is … a girl. But still it does exists.

  • Morag999

    No doubt, in my opinion.

  • Cassandra

    You haven’t the foggiest clue what’s actually being said here, do you?

    • imymejubilee

      I have every fucking clue. You TERF’s are cancer to the woman’s movement.

      • Meghan Murphy

        Guess how many fucks feminists give about the opinions of MRAs on the women’s movement?

      • Anita Perry

        I often wonder how many times Dana Rivers used the sexist term “TERF” before he finally flipped out and shot and stabbed a lesbian couple and their adopted son in November 2016.. Read this: https://terfisaslur.com/. Several sources say that Rivers was involved in anti-lesbian activity at Michigan Women’s Music Festival. According to many transwomen, Michigan Women’s Music Festival was nothing but “TERFs”. Transwomen slaughter lesbian families in broad daylight and not one useless trans/queer run LGBTQIA alphabet soup organization says one word. It was a complete black out at trans/queer run LGBTQ groups. Currently in the US, there are two transwomen who are on trial for triple homicide, and a queer identified male was charged with stabbing a woman to death, and attempted murder of another woman just last January in Berkeley. Males who murder and rape women get taxpayer funded hormones, hair clips, etc, and the misogynistic bastards are sent to a women’s prison. Housing males who are convicted of murdering or raping women to women’s prisons is like shitting on the female sex twice. I can’t think of another in your face, one big F*** you to the entire female sex than having the audacity to call a human male who has been convicted of murdering or raping a woman a “female” or “woman”. This is the reality. In 2017, males who slaughter lesbian families demand to be called “women”. MRAs and transwomen must get boners just thinking about it. Disabled women are getting their boobs lopped off after only two visits to the “gender therapist” (this really happened). Disabled women with Down Syndrome end up in the ICU with a life threatening pulmonary embolism. Hell, just give her more testosterone, and set a date to get the mastectomy. Kids are being sterilized with puberty suppressing drugs and hormones. Lesbians are “transphobic bigots” for not getting down with the whole “Cotton Ceiling” thing. Women’s sports are being destroyed, and “women” Olympic athletes have a penis now. Middle aged males with age play sexual fetishes identify as 6 year old girls (this really happens). Then, there are all the “TERF” death threats. Google, “TERF is a slur.com”. Gender identity is without a doubt the biggest bullshit ever inflicted on the female sex. It’s misogyny and homophobia dressed up in neoliberal post modern bullshit. It’s a misogynist’s wet dream. It’s misogyny and homophobia on steroids. And, the only way they can shove this shit down women’s throats is through a form of modern day witch hunt McCarthyism tactic called “TERF”. We see the reality.

        • Cassandra

          Fantastic summary of what a horrible thing this really is.

  • Cassandra

    It would seem so for Monsieur Jubilee. In a way I prefer it. It sounds kind of schoolmarm-y, which I find hilarious when you consider the source. Imagine Dr. Frank-N-Further saying it and it’ll make you feel better for a moment.

  • Hanakai

    What are you trying to say with this word salad mess? You are not making sense and you are not using words correctly. (By the way, the word ‘data’ is a plural, the singular is ‘datum.’)

    Biology does not attempt to construct a homogeneous reality from heterogeneous data. Biology is a science, which means a system of knowledge that seeks to understand physical reality by applying scientific methods. Humans are a dimorphic species; they come in two forms: male and female. Sex is not a social construction: it is a natural and physical reality.

  • Cassandra

    But people aren’t raped on the basis of “gender perception.” A man doesn’t decide to rape a woman based on whether or not she’s feminine or not feminine. It’s like you’re so close to understanding but you just can’t connect the last two dots.

    If you don’t think the rape of men can be linked to the closeted sexuality of their rapist you are not living in reality.

  • Cassandra

    There are many people who aren’t “lost” when they don’t “identify” as something or with something. Sure we’re social creatures, but the concept of “identity” is incredibly immature. Nobody really cares. Liking the Beatles, a certain football team or something along those lines is usually sufficient. The rest is just individual personality.

    Queer culture is ironically very conformist and functioning as a new religion right now, which is never a good thing.

  • Tired feminist

    Hmmmm okay, I guess I shouldn’t have given you the benefit of the doubt. Whatever.

  • Tired feminist

    Good point. They seem not to have ANY ethical standards so it’s perfectly possible.

  • Morag999

    Like, a transdog?

  • Deb Thompson

    Burned .. and flames will get higher sunny Boy Hahahahaha

  • Meghan Murphy

    Yes please do tell!

  • Meghan Murphy

    Really Rich?? I deleted ONE comment from you, because it accused a commenter of being mentally ill, which I felt was probably unhelpful, no matter how annoying and difficult to engage with the commenter in question is being. In general, it’s not as though I’m insistent on commenters being overly polite to idiots and assholes, but it is worth at least *trying* to maintain some level of decorum, here and there. Lashing out at me because I removed ONE (not ‘responses’ — ‘response’) comment of yours, which was pretty much content-free (Is “Martine Oh, boo-hoo-hoo! Can’t stand the heat, stay the fuck out of the sun, troll. You’re mentally ill” REALLY, a REALLY important comment??) seems out of line, don’t you think? I’m trying to be fair, in this comment section, and the vast majority of trolls are deleted. Moderating this comment section is an incredibly difficult and time-consuming task, which I have done mostly alone, for years, because I care about ensuring the quality of conversations here, and because I learn from the conversations here. On pretty much every other site that has this much traffic and this active a comment section, they get interns and volunteers to moderate, or they just shut down the comment section completely. Show a little respect why don’t ya.

    • Cassandra

      We appreciate it.

      And maybe I ought to stop cussing in caps so frequently. Shame on me!

      • Meghan Murphy

        I’m not anti-cussing 🙂

  • Sabine

    “Transgenders dont’ take the opposite gender role, they take some of it,
    and destroy the most stereotypical in both because it is nefast for
    equality.”

    How do people identifying as trans destroy stereotypes?

  • Meghan Murphy

    I wonder if you can explain how a male becomes a woman, imyjubilee?

  • Sabine

    So are you saying that the very vocal trans activists are actually what *you* would classify as transsexuals? That transsexuals are masquerading as transgender? Because pretty much every trans activist (almost exclusively TIM – trans identifying male) claim at the top of their voices to be actual women – and when I say women, I am referring to how we use that word in the English-speaking world; a female adult, not a “social construct” – I don’t want to go down and round and round that cul-de-sac with you again. These people are calling themselves transgender but you are saying they are not transgender?

  • Deb Thompson

    We don’t “Kill” anything , we use our resources, brains, and common sence to work out what works in a manner that hopefully doesn’t put our safety in jeopardy, stop being Obtuse .

  • Melanie

    How can you know that you’re a woman if you can’t define what a woman is?

  • Cassandra

    Yes, there are strong subconscious desires to fit in and/or be part of a group. I am not contesting that. What I’m criticizing is this idea of announcing to the world, with the flourish of a trumpet chorus and the demand to be centered, your “identity.” It’s nonsense.

  • Meghan Murphy

    I completely understand your anger and frustration, believe me, but you need to put a liiiittle trust in my moderating aims, is all… Thank you for the apology, I appreciate it. No hard feelings.

  • Meghan Murphy

    I do my best. I’m sure it’s far from perfect.

  • Meghan Murphy

    Oh great! If you are in London, there are TONS of great feminists/feminist groups… Lucky you!

  • Meghan Murphy

    Thanks team! The commenters here do so much heavy lifting dealing with the trolls who do get through, and explaining feminist arguments and analysis effectively to newbies.. xx

  • Martine

    Of course women are victims of sexism, it’s THE dilemma.

  • rlodge

    So what, we should just lie down and let them? Y’all think we are trying to escape the patriarchy when I know trans men who continue to devote all their time and energy to fighting the patriarchy because they KNOW how bad women have it.

  • Martine

    not “my” transgenders … but real transgenders are too much hidden by transsexuals.
    I see the criticism on transsexuals, really, I think the exact same. For me ( not only for me here in France) transgenders and transsexuals don’t belong to the same groups. The participation of “my” transgenders ( it’s so not accurate to say “my” but you understand the terrible shorcut) on pushing back gender against, is true … but shadowing by transsexuals… and has a very small impact regarless the gender hierarchy issue.

  • Meghan Murphy

    I try to lead a semi-balanced life… I force myself to take breaks, even when there is work to do. I’m honestly not really a ‘vacation’ kind of person… I’d prefer to just work somewhere nice, and take breaks to go for a walk, go for a drink, or go to the lake, then come back to work, rather than fully ‘check out.’

    Also, I do like my work very much… Even though it can feel very overwhelming sometimes.

    Despite the challenges and stresses, I feel very lucky to be able to write and speak relatively freely, about things that matter, and to be part of a movement among so many wonderful, brilliant women. I feel very lucky that this space exists and thrives. And I feel VERY lucky that I get to work with my dog nearby, much of the time. I mean that really is living the dream…

  • BellaDonna

    The scientific establishment is biased in favour of male ideas and research, I don’t think anyone here would dispute that. However, it does not follow that just because this is so everything in science should therefore be rejected, or redefined because a male contributed research to it. For example just because Isaac Newton contributed to our understanding of gravity and was male, it does not mean that gravity is a male construct which needs to be redefined to include weightless. Similarly, just because males have contributed to research about biological sex it does not mean that biological sex is a male construct tainted by male bias and therefore should be redefined.

    Redefining biological sex (male/female) or the descriptors of sex (girl/woman, boy/man) to include males, leads to changes in law and public policy which permit males to enter the catagory of female. This enables males to fill quotas for females in STEM, and falsely inflate the number of females in it. This is only going to exacerbate male biases in science and research not help eliminate it. Indeed, males will be permitted to have their theories and research listed as if they have actually been created and conducted by a female. In other words males will be contributing for both males and females, so male theories and research will become even more dominant, not less. The only difference will be the male source of such theories and research will be effectively hidden, as he will be recorded as if he was female. So you see redefining the descriptors used for the female sex (girls/women) and allowing males (boys/men) to be included in the definition of woman, in reality does absolutely nothing to combat male biases in science or anywhere else, it only further benefits males to females detriment.

  • Cassandra

    We are going around in circles. I understand perfectly what the difference between sex and gender is. I will continue to say “male” violence because that is who is doing it. It’s really not very complicated.

    Furthermore, I do not buy for one second that trans “women” undergo some sort of modified socialization process. If you are male in this world, you have male privilege, which in turn creates a sense of entitlement and superiority and dominance over women. This is not mitigated in any way by what a male identifies as on the inside. The world does not treat feminine looking-men like females. The world treats them like feminine-looking MALES. They may suffer homophobia and mockery, but they are NOT seen as female, no matter how much some wish that were the case. All trans identified males look physically male. It’s maybe .5% of them who ever “pass.”

    There is nothing contradictory about what I’m saying. They are adopting femininity, which is oppressive to female people, and they retain male-pattern violence at the same rate as non trans identified males because the world knows they’re male and treats them accordingly — not even remotely how females are treated.

  • Cassandra

    You are not oppressed because of your gender. You are oppressed BY and WITH gender because of your biology.

    “…it’s just that it makes understanding the social construction better. “gender preceds sex” imply the rejection of the idea that natural differences of females and males participate of the categorisation.”

    This is the difference in our philosophy/thinking, right here, with that sentence. At least I think it is because I’m taking some leaps in filling in your meaning in light of the spelling and preposition use.

    The natural differences between males and female exist. Okay, you agree with that reality. One produces sperm, the other produces ova.

    The argument I think you’re making is that it is the act of naming these differences or categorizing them IN AND OF ITSELF that creates the problem.

    So here’s my question: Should we stop naming or categorizing or defining anything? Should nothing have a name or any distinction at all? Do you see how quickly this unravels? How would you give anybody directions? How would you bake a cake? How would we understand the difference between earth, wind, sky and water? I mean, they’re all elements. I do realize this is probably a bit reductio ad absurdum, but the reality of differences between two things does not create a problem when it’s recognized.

    Men have been trying to use the argument that women are inferior because we’re weaker and shorter and have periods and on and on, so they use the “different” argument to justify all kinds of horrors. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Whether or not we live in a patriarchal society, which we do, females suffer because we are female, because we produce ova and give birth, and this does not change by naming it, nor will not naming it make men stop fucking us over with it.

    Our female reproductive system is the ROOT of our oppression. Of course we can’t change our biology. We have to change/destroy male supremacy, which would require males to stop raping us and killing us and doing all sorts of evil things to us based on the fact that we have female reproductive systems. To re-iterate, not having the categories “male” and “female” would not change what is done to us. It’s really just about the most ridiculous notion in the world that it would.

    I don’t know how to be any clearer and I’m growing weary of this. I know what your argument is. We all know it very well here. We simply do not agree.

    Sex precedes gender.

  • Meghan Murphy

    Totally. I shouldn’t pretend as though I don’t get stressed out and worn down by attacks — I do. But the fact that much of the work I do is online allows me to at least work in pleasant surroundings, with my puppy. Which I swear makes SUCH a difference in terms of quality of life, not least of which because having a dog forces you to leave the house/computer and go for walks…

  • Kelly

    Yes. I do. Read ‘Unpacking Queer Politics’, ‘Anticlimax – A feminist perspective on the sexual revolution’ and ‘The Industrial Vagina’ by Sheila jeffreys for a start.

  • Kelly

    What is a TERF? and what is cisgender? Did you just make those terms up?

  • Kelly

    i think you are wrong. Women are the one’s being erased out of existence because apparently there is nothing that defines one.