PODCAST: Miranda Yardley on being a gender critical transwoman

The debate around transgenderism and feminism feels as though it’s getting ever-more heated. Journalist, Michelle Goldberg, wrote about the rift recently for The New Yorker, explaining the crux of the argument as such:

Trans women say that they are women because they feel female—that, as some put it, they have women’s brains in men’s bodies. Radical feminists reject the notion of a “female brain.” They believe that if women think and act differently from men it’s because society forces them to, requiring them to be sexually attractive, nurturing, and deferential.

On August 11th BBC’s Newsnight had planned a discussion on retired boxing promoter Frank Maloney’s announcement that he is in the process of transitioning and is now known as Kellie Maloney, and more generally, what it means to “identify as a woman.” A number of gender critical feminists had declined the invitation to join the discussion out of fear that the response to their arguments and views would be extremely hostile.

Miranda Yardley, a transwoman who takes a gender critical approach to transgenderism and feminism, made himself available to participate in the conversation with two journalists: Paris Lees, a transwoman and Fred McConnell, a transman. At the last minute, both Lees and McConnell pulled out of the debate and the show was cancelled.

I spoke with Miranda about what happened, as well as, more broadly, his experiences as a transwoman, what it means to be a gender critical transwoman, and his perspective on trans activism today.

Miranda is the publisher of extreme music magazine Terrorizer. He blogs about personal fitness, music and transgender politics. You can find him on twitter @TerrorizerMir and on tumblr.

Miranda published some notes about our conversation, which you can read on his tumblr page.

PODCAST: Miranda Yardley on being a gender critical transwoman
Meghan Murphy

Founder & Editor

Meghan Murphy is a freelance writer and journalist from Vancouver, BC. She has been podcasting and writing about feminism since 2010 and has published work in numerous national and international publications, including The Spectator, UnHerd, Quillette, the CBC, New Statesman, Vice, Al Jazeera, The Globe and Mail, and more. Meghan completed a Masters degree in the department of Gender, Sexuality and Women’s Studies at Simon Fraser University in 2012 and is now exiled in Mexico with her very photogenic dog.