The controversy surrounding Scarlett Johansson playing a ‘transman’ demonstrates the incoherence of trans identity

The hypocrisy of trans activism is becoming too much to ignore.

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Last week, actor Scarlett Johansson was subjected to backlash online after news emerged that she planned to play a “transman” in an upcoming film called Rub & Tug. A comedian named Faith Choyce tweeted, “Scarlett Johansson is playing a trans man in her next movie because her ultimate career goal is to take an acting job from a member of each and every marginalized group.”

Ironically, many of Johansson’s detractors accused her of appropriation.

It’s interesting to witness comparisons being made between a woman playing another woman, albeit one who has been rebranded in our modern times as a “transman,” and a white woman playing an Asian person or a seven-year-old boy.

Trans identity, according to gender identity ideology, is entirely based on self-identification, rather than on anything material, meaning that, theoretically, Johansson could identify as Asian, a seven-year-old boy, or simply a man, and no one could contest it. How does one know how Johansson feels on the inside about her femaleness, age, or whiteness? Perhaps she doesn’t identify with any of it?

Beyond that, the question of the identity of the character Johansson plans to play in the film is unconfirmed, considering Gill did not live in a time when gender identity politics were entrenched, as they are today.

In her obituary, Dante “Tex” Gill is not described as a man, but as both an out lesbian who wore men’s clothing and as a “woman who prefers to be known as a man.” Though she liked to be referred to as “Mr. Gill,” she was not viewed as a literal male. The notion that a female actor should not play a female character who perhaps desired to be viewed as and treated as a man is nonsensical. It posits that only actors who have had the exact experiences of the characters they play be allowed to play said characters. Ironic, considering that a number of Johansson’s critics argued that trans-identified males should be permitted to play females on film.

Trans-identified actor, Trace Lysette, complained, “So you can continue to play us but we can’t play y’all… I wouldn’t be as upset if I was getting in the same rooms as Jennifer Lawrence and Scarlett for cis roles, but we know that’s not the case.” Another trans-identified actor, Jayme Clayton, demanded trans people be cast in the roles of “non-trans characters.”

Clayton later complained about being referred to as “trans” at all, when them published an article listing “13 Trans Actors to Follow Instead of Scarlett Johansson.”

So. To be clear: only trans-identified actors may play characters who are said to be “trans,” but they should also be cast in roles as “non-trans” people, and, in fact, we shouldn’t acknowledge them as “trans” at all.

This is beyond incomprehensible. We cannot simultaneously argue that only those who identify as “trans” may play trans-identified characters, also claim that trans identity is based on nothing more than a personal feeling (because, in that case, who is to say which actors feel or do not feel “trans” on the inside), and insist trans actors not be referred to as “trans” at all, all the while demanding that men who identify as women be permitted to play characters who were born female. Considering that the argument against men or women playing trans-identified characters is based on lack of shared experience, trans activists must then acknowledge that those who were born and socialized as male under patriarchy have not had the same experience as those born and socialized as female.

The hypocrisy and irrationality of it all is astounding — all the more so considering how many media outlets jumped on this story, and participated in the condemnation of Johansson, including Entertainment Weekly, Bustle, and The Verge.

We are on one hand told, “Transwomen are women” (that is to say, literally female), and on the other, that those who identify as transgender are different, special, and particularly marginalized. We are told we may not question the identities of those who claim to be women, but who were born male, but that it is perfectly acceptable to impose the identity of “trans” on those who did not use the term themselves during their lives, and also that we may impose the label “cis” (a term we are told describes a person who “identifies” with the gender imposed on them) onto those who do not publicly identify as “trans.”

The incoherence of trans activism and gender identity ideology demands allegiance to ideas that contradict one another and have no basis upon which to measure or define the various “identities” presented as inarguable truths. The only way, therefore, to participate in a politically correct way and to avoid being branded a heretic, is to ask no questions and to refuse critical thought. A perfect way to build a population of cultists, if indeed this is what we aspire to, as a culture. I, personally, recommend we choose another path.

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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  • Sharpie

    Where was all this outrage when Eddie Redmayne played a trans woman in the “Danish girl”?

    They always have to go after the women. My goodness. I hope Hollywood doesn’t give in because of the pressure of these bullies and keeps Scarlet for the role.

    • OldPolarBear

      Yes! There were a few complaints here and there, but in general, all the trans commenters I saw anywhere were much giddy over the whole thing. The movie was going to be such a landmark in mainstream trans acceptance. IIRC, it was pretty much a flop.

      • Wren

        Yes, that’s because, imo, the movie did not portray Redmayne’s character in a benevolent light. I remember seeing it with a friend before either of us had any understanding of the trans agenda, and both of us said “what a selfish asshole” after. Of course, why didn’t the movie as a whole receive more criticism for this? I dunno.

  • One of my good friends buys into all this transmadness. Of course he’s a guy, he can’t see how harmful all this is, and doesn’t even see the problem with transing a dead person. It’s impossible to have a conversation with people who believe in this crap.

  • Deborah

    Anyone see a 2011 film starring Glenn Close, called Albert Nobbs? The premise is similar: a biological woman lives convincingly as a man and no one knows the difference. There have been several films like this made over the years. No one would have expected a man or a “trans woman” to play the role, so why should we this time?? And why is Jamie Clayton flapping her gums about being trans at auditions??? Here’s a novel idea: if you want to pass and be considered the sex in which you now identify, just BE that sex! Maybe you’d get parts based on your acting skill and experience rather your self-deemed social identity and specialness. You can’t expect the world to treat and accept you as female if you tell everyone at every turn that you are trans. And this bullshit about trans actors not getting roles other than as trans characters? What about Chaz Bono on American Horror Story last year? That wasn’t a trans character, and Bono is a well-known trans person. Seems like they just want the best of both worlds: recognition for being trans while demanding everyone ignore that they are trans….

    • OldPolarBear

      Seems like they just want the best of both worlds: recognition for being trans while demanding everyone ignore that they are trans….

      Yep. I used to be a regular at some blog or other, liberal feminist or SJW or suchlike. Somebody, I think a trans person, posted about some TV show that I don’t remember either because I don’t watch TV; I think it was pretty popular at the time. It was some sort of office-work setting and had a trans character. This character might have even been played by a trans “actress.” The commenter was all on about how it was good the show had a trans character among the regulars and she liked “her,” and the character was accepted and liked by all the other people at work and had good lines, etc. But it was too bad, commenter said, that the show wouldn’t recognize and do more with the character’s trans identity. I thought “good night grief; make up your mind what you want.”

    • OldPolarBear

      Also, yes I did see that film! It was really good. Kind of sad, though, but also with some happiness. That kind of thing probably happened a lot, maybe without so many plot twists but more like everyday lives.

      • Deborah

        Agreed. I think it did/does happen a lot, too. Another film example of that: The Ballad of Little Jo starring Suzi Amis as a single woman living as man in order to survive frontier America in the 19th century. Very interesting film!

  • esuth

    Scarlett Johanssen could shut all these idiots up by coming out as a femme presenting AFAB trans man

  • Chicken Little

    Sooo many good points in this commentary. As usual Meghan, you are able to articulate what I can only feel on a visceral level until I calm down.

    The hypocrisy is astounding.

    And just as a side point, I can’t TELL you how much I resent the ridiculous label of “cis, this fucking made-up little word that makes trans weirdos and libfems feel all clever and smug.

    I am not fucking “cis.” I am a woman. A REAL WOMAN. Not a delusional mentally ill man who gets off on putting on lipstick.

    • Meghan Murphy

      It’s amazing trans activists think they can impose ‘cis’ on us, while we can’t even mention the fact of biological sex, isn’t it.

    • esuth

      You can tell when they talk about the goal of “looking cis” that there’s no job the word “cis” is doing that “real” can’t also do. After all, how can a person “look” cis when being cis is all about how you feel?

    • Stefy

      Oh I love you! This is how I have felt since this has started. This alliance of women and LGBTQ has hurt women (straight and lesbian) because those of us with vaginas are being pushed to the back when it is US who have to deal with most of the issues facing women today: unintended pregnancy, maternity leave/hospitalization, rape, ovarian cancer, breast cancer, etc.

  • Thom Prentice

    The mind boggles at the trans hypocrisy. Just boggles. Who needs drugs?

  • OldPolarBear

    LOL! And if you wanted to do Little Shop of Horrors, only an actual, sentient carnivorous plant could play Audrey Jr.

  • OldPolarBear

    That Mary Sue article was especially bad. Nobody even mentions the two trans recognized at the Spirit Awards for the awful-sounding Tangerine.

    • Zoë Lafantaisie

      Tangerine truly was horrific – but a real eye-opener. I still felt horrible for having watched it – it still bothers me.

  • Americus91

    Well to be cast playing a role as a “cis” person – there are two hurdles to get through aren’t there? First one is you have to be able to “pass” – no way in hell would I or anyone ever believe Laverne Cox is a “cis” woman. And I don’t use or believe in the word “cis” normally, just doing so for this comment.

    But let’s say one can “pass” – the second hurdle is you have to have actual TALENT and be able to truly ACT, and do it well.

    I have a hunch the number who are TRULY TALENTED AND PASSING – is NOT a very high one. 13 to follow? Give us a higher number please – I dare you. How about 30?

    And they ALL have to be GOOD and able to “pass.” – GOOD LUCK.

    This latest melt down – made me think of the movie “Victor/Victoria” – a woman – who plays the role of a woman, who pretends to be a man who pretends to be a woman. I thought of who could star in the re-make of the movie. That person would have to be incredibly talented – pass as a woman and be able to pass enough as a male – albeit feminine male – who pretends to be a woman – and be able to sing like a freaking bird!

    I can’t think of a single person who could outdo Julie Andrews in that role.

    But let them bitch and moan – they’re not helping their cause. They’re making asses of themselves.

    • James Dosher

      “Victor/Victoria” ~ a truly fantastic film and I agree with you: I’m unsure who could pull it off with the same aplomb as Julie Andrews did.

  • Meghan Murphy


    • Stefy

      Apparently I’m “2nd Wave” and “old”. I need to put that on a tshirt.

      • Meghan Murphy

        lol we all are, apparently.

      • FierceMild

        I’d buy one

  • Deborah

    ” “SHES NOT A MAN!!!!! Trans men are men, they could have hired ANY big name who’s a brilliant actor but was the right gender. We’re not women dressed up as men, we’re MEN!!!” ”

    Haha! WOW. Okay, this just takes the cake, doesn’t it? Isn’t that EXACTLY what Gill was: a woman DRESSED UP as a man?????? And besides, can’t that stand it’s own merit? Isn’t THAT enough of a premise, an experience, perhaps a struggle, worth discussing and exploring in a film? And the fact that this is not a fictitious character here, shouldn’t we explore a BIOPIC as closely as the person lived their life, you know, for accuracy sake? Should we ignore such people and experiences instead, would that somehow be better? I thought trans identity was a spectrum. Are we only supposed to portray one kind of trans experience?

    I’m sorry, but these “outraged” people sound like raging idiots!

  • Deborah

    Exactly, Anyone who knows anything about gay history and gay identity in the last century knows this. The trans movement of late completely hijacked the already established gay movement for their own agenda.

  • FierceMild

    Welcome, sister

  • Minerva Conatus

    Welcome, sister!

  • Hanakai

    I do not think the gay males to whom you refer are your friends. My friends do certainly do not refer to female humans with vile obscenities. Nor do my friends complain about my so-called “cis” privilege. The gay males in your reality are putting you down, and women down, and exercising their global patriarchal male privilege. They are not on your side.

    Get better friends.

  • Karla Gjini

    so sharp “The only way, therefore, to participate in a politically correct way and to avoid being branded a heretic, is to ask no questions and to refuse critical thought. A perfect way to build a population of cultists, if indeed this is what we aspire to, as a culture. I, personally, recommend we choose another path.”

    • Meghan Murphy

      Thanks Karla!

  • Clotilde

    It’s called “acting” for a reason. You portray a character who isn’t you. What’s so hard to understand about that?
    You’re alright Scarlett…go get ’em! Don’t let these attention craving trans people stop you from practicing your craft and putting on a great performance.

    • dandelionseed

      Surely Scarlett can simply identify as a transman while on set.

  • Stefy

    Yes! Intersectionality is great for gay males and transpersons but for straight women and lesbians it’s forced us to do all the accepting while they do all the benefiting. When I say “please don’t use the C-word, it’s derogatory” I am not getting BS like, well, I’m non-binary so I can say it. When I mention they don’t have a vagina, I have “cis privilege” and I hate transpeople. *sigh*

  • Chicken Little

    I don’t get it either. What’s in it for them? They get to feel all “woke” and stuff, like you said, but it’s a SAFE kind of “woke,” isn’t it? It’s safe because they are being good little girls toeing the line for patriarchy. They don’t realize that’s what they’re doing but they must feel on some level that they are “doing the right thing” by helping dismantle the work of the EVIL radical feminists WHO DARE TO CENTRE WOMEN IN FEMINISM.

    • Alienigena

      It is another way for men to express their hatred for women. I guess I have never really been under the delusion that most men like women. Supporting the trans cult is a way for men to get back at women for demanding same sex spaces, access to necessary health care (reproductive), education and jobs.

      • Wren

        I really think this is the truth: it’s revenge.

      • Robert Lindsay

        I doubt it. Most straight men think transsexuals are weirdos and nutcases. They are only accepted to the point that there is extreme peer pressure on us to be pro-transsexual. If not we get vilified as transphobic bigots, which the trannies act like is as bad as being a Nazi or a KKK member. The pressure is extreme and if you don’t go along you get called a lot of names and get a lot of hate.

        A lot of guys probably say screw it, I will go along with this crap to avoid all the abuse they get if they don’t.

  • Chicken Little

    Therein lies the hypocrisy. Trans dogma just makes no fucking sense.

    • DeColonise

      No it makes no sense because they commit these kind of sins all the time themselves.
      They speak on behalf of what they call “cis” people all the time esp when it comes to women. Transgender women (ie human males) talk over women ie human females all the time and they have no problems with this at all.
      They should be consistent and shut the eff up on any issue that is not trans.

  • pyrite00

    Also, if you are not already a big star with drawing power, the willingness of people to put up with narcissistic controlling trans-tantrums may be a factor in why these people are not chosen for roles.

    • BeeWall

      Exactly. This is their 15 minutes of fame. And now it’s over.

  • Ashley Braman

    So its art when males mock womxxn but womxxn cant do the same? What about equality

  • Richard

    A fine article. I don’t doubt that boys and men who wish they were female can feel profoundly unhappy and desperate. But it doesn’t follow that the way they feel, is the way a woman feels, who has had the experience of being female. I also don’t doubt that they can be bullied and marginalized. But it doesn’t follow that the way they feel about that is the same as how a woman who has been ill treated feels. I don’t want to be unkind to trans people, but isn’t it a bit presumptuous of them to insist that they way they feel is the same as how biological women feel? Is it right to say that they are in a way appropriating female identity to themselves? Speaking as a middle aged male, I don’t want to be judgmental about matters that are outside any experience I’ve ever had or will have, but I do find the content of this website quite persuasive on this issue.

    • dandelionseed

      Trans ideology is colonialism of the sexes. They treat “woman” as empty space, there for the taking and using, despite the people who have been living there for millennia.

      • Tomas

        how do you explain then that they’re are more trans men than women if ‘trans ideology’ is all about taking over womanhood?

        • corvid

          Lesbian and tomboy eugenics.

        • Tobysgirl

          Social media telling lesbians that they are really male. And I don’t see the violent aggression coming from deluded young females.

        • Alienigena

          Given the status of females in society it is not surprising that some biological females identify out of femaleness. That you don’t have the capacity to recognise the fact that females still have limited opportunities in western society and are treated differently (and disadvantaged in the study of certain disciplines, e.g. sciences) than males just proves to me that you don’t really have an understanding of anything relevant to the discussion happening on this site.

        • Alienigena

          The trans men are opting out of a gender category that gets nothing but contempt. I’d say read a book (about radical feminism, women’s history, women’s absence from much of the historical record) but I don’t think you would.

        • Hanakai

          This is a falsehood that you are spreading. In the only longitudinal study of the trans phenomenon, it was found that 1 in 150,000 women claimed to think they were male, but 1 in 30,000 males thought they were women.

          Sex cannot be changed and people who think it can be are delusional. XX or XY chromosomes are in the nucleus of every single cell in the body. And the wardrobe, makeup and mutilating surgeries of trans-delusionals does not and cannot change that.

    • acommentator

      “But it doesn’t follow that the way they feel about that is the same as how a woman who has been ill treated feels.”

      But even if they somehow did, it would not make them women. Women is a sex class, not a “feeling class.” It does not matter how anyone feels, it won’t make them a member of the opposite sex.

  • gfbonanza

    In a recent conversation, I referenced the historical precedent of lesbians taking on heterosexual male identities so they could enjoy public lives free of persecution and violence and was immediately labeled transphobic and was accused of “misgendering”, which is apparently akin to murder. I’m not sure how this is anything but lesbian erasure.

  • Yu Hu

    Patrick Swayze, Wesley Snipes and John Leguizamo played trans-women in To Wong Foo Thanks for Everything, Julie Newmar in 1995. And Hillary Swank played a trans-man in Boys Don’t Cry in 1998, a role she won a best actress Oscar for. Given that, it ought to be seen as acceptable.

  • Alawon.B

    So…transpeople get all the trans parts, all the “cis” female parts, but this is NOT about erasing women….BS!

  • Meghan Murphy

    “But the character is not female, they are male.”

    How so?

  • Meghan Murphy

    Do you know what the word “male” means?

    • Tomas

      I’m sure you know a lot of trans people see Male/Man as more complex than simply ‘they have a penis’, though that is the most common example of a man, intersex men exist, transgender men exist.

      • Meghan Murphy

        I’m asking *you*, though. What is ‘male’? How is a female ‘male’? Surely you know that trans and intersex are not the same thing?

      • Lynn

        Not everyone sees it that way though. Sex is a biological fact, women are repressed because of their sex. It doesn’t matter if I identify as “female” or not. Very few people are intersexed or have an anomaly.

        I couldn’t care less if a man chooses to present as female(aside from certain spaces which should be penis free for issues of safety and privacy)but it’s not because he has the wrong ” brain”, there is nothing wrong with trans people there IS something wrong with our bullshit gender rules. Why are we telling these people they are the problem because they don’t conform to a stereotypical type?

        • Hanakai

          A great many so-called trans people are quite mentally ill. If they have gender dysphoria, meaning unhappiness with their sex, that is a mental illness. If they hate their bodies so much they would surgically mutilate healthy tissue, they are quite mentally ill. If a male believes that he is really a female, then he has a serious delusional mental disorder.

          The medical field learned that surgery, such as prefrontal lobotomy, was not a proper cure or treatment for mental disorder, doctors stopped such surgeries. But now there is money to be made surgically mutilating people who seriously need mental health treatment. A mentally healthy person respects herself, loves her body and her life and does not want to destroy her health with hormonal loading and mutilating surgery.

          The reality is that most who think they are transgender are seriously mentally ill, and the society that buys into their delusions has gone seriously insane.

      • Alawon.B
  • Meghan Murphy

    What even *is* ‘trans’? It’s just an ideology… It’s not a material or measurable thing, so how could you possibly determine someone is ‘trans’?

  • gfbonanza

    “It makes a lot more sense.” No, it doesn’t.

  • Lynn

    Why is it harmless to erase her lesbian identity? Why is it harmless to assume any women who had to dress like a man to survive was really doing it because she was a man? Instead of a repressed woman?

    We really don’t know much about this woman aside from a contradictory obituary and the fact that she made her many as a pimp. So why is it okay to make assumptions?

    Many drag queens use female pronouns and wear traditionally feminine garments but do not identify as trans. Why can’t you challenge gender without being transfer?

    Why should trans people be forced to only play trans parts? If you believe a trans woman is just a woman than why should she have to play a pretransition male? It’s often very emotionally challenging to do so (even in orange is the new black Lavern Cox doesn’t not play her character pretransition her brother does). Why should tranness be a factor at all? Shouldn’t the push be just highering them for parts?

    Women historically played men (ex. Peter Pan) and men have played women (ex. See the entire history of the world before the last 100 years)

    You have no right to decide that anyone is “cis” either. How do you know?

    • Alawon.B

      Not to mention that there a number of us who find “cis” an offensive slur but trans acivists insist on “misgendering” us.

  • acommentator

    “In Canada conservative members of the Senate argued for bill C-16 (makes trans a protected class) along with liberals. There is no left-right divide for the most part because trans activists are misogynist first and foremost and so are most males no matter where they fall on the political spectrum.”

    It may sound a bit like the “no true Scotsman” thing, but there is no conservative argument for believing that trans people are actually members of the opposite sex, or for requiring people to pretend that they are. I know nothing about Canadian politics, but these “Conservatives” do not sound conservative to me.

    That does not make conservatives feminist allies on other issues. For one thing, conservatives are not gender critical. But on the issue of women being adult human females, conservatives have quite the same position as feminists, IMO.

    • Layla Alexandrovna

      Then why do conservative countries like Iran convert all their homosexuals to trans on pain of death?

      I’ve heard conservatives would rather have a trans child than a gay one. At least they can pretend.

      • acommentator

        I use conservatism in the western sense, in which both conservatism (looking back to Hamilton, Burke, etc.) and liberalism (looking back to Jefferson) are products of the Enlightenment.

        As to Iran, I am not even sure they are “conservative” in the sense of Islam. They seem pretty out there, as far as I can see, in comparison to most Islamic countries. (I have also read that the extent of trans approval in Iran is greatly exaggerated.)

        I have no idea where you “heard” that conservatives would rather a trans child than a gay child. It is pretty much the same thing, from a conservative perspective. Most trans people appear to be gay. As many have pointed out on this site, the pro-trans establishment takes people who would have seen themselves as gay just a few years ago and convinces them they are something else, in great need of expensive medical intervention.

        And I don’t know anyone, conservative or otherwise, who would want their son or daughter to be mutilated and bombarded with hormones the way trans people are.

    • Alienigena

      So conservative party members who have supported the trans agenda are not conservatives?

      There was support from conservative MPs for the bill (if not senators) in 2009 and 2011.

      I think most men hate most women on some level. Supporting trans activism is a way for conservative men to get back at women because they know the trans agenda undermines the rights of women to same sex spaces and bodily integrity. Conservative men, if they care about women at all, only care about the women who they are related to or have married. And most men being utilitarians only care about people who can (or are willing to) offer them something (ego stroking, housekeeping services, sex). So lesbians are likely a particular target.

      • acommentator

        Well, as I noted in my post, I don’t know anything about Canadian politics. Maybe “conservative” means something different in Canada than in the U.S.

        I disagree with the rest of your comments about conservative men, but this is not the place for me to belabor the point. However, your point about conservative men using the trans thing as a way to get a women is, IMO, and with all respect, not remotely true. Conservative men despise the entire trans argument, both from solid foundational reasons (sex is real and is not in your head) and in some cases less solid prejudicial reasons). Nor do conservative men, in general, has any desire to “get back at women.” (I recognize that there are men of all ideological views who are resentful of women).

  • acommentator

    I used to think that “intersectionality” was just a reminder that people from different backgrounds might see things differently and therefore one should listen to a variety of perspectives before deciding upon what to think. In that sense, it seems like quite a conservative concept to me. No one is perfect or omniscient or all wise, and we all have our blind spots.

    Of course, this is not how the term is used. Instead, it appears to mean that not only might people from certain backgrounds have a different way of looking at things, but that their way of looking at things must be deferred to without analysis, because what counts is not what they think, but that it is they who think it. I.e. what counts is who is doing the thinking, not the content of their thought.

    This is nonsense. And few people apply this logic to anything they believe is important, such as medicine or physics. “Oh, ten white cis doctors think I need to take anti-biotics for this infection, but this one gay black doctor thinks I can get by with fruit juice. He is from a marginalized group, so I will defer to him.”

    • James Dosher

      acommentor, I have to agree. Unfortunately, I feel most groups involved in the current ‘intersectionality’ union look at the issue as strictly what’s in it for them and less like a political coalition ~ in which what each group wants combined with what each group offers. Dedication and focus can count more than raw numbers. On the other hand, it should be taken into account, various groups in the coalition are going to find themselves at odds over certain issues an act accordingly. If one groups has to sacrifice, and sacrifice again, on their agenda, you can expect the coalition to collapse.

      As I’m learning it is not just feminist allied with other groups, but alliances among feminist themselves. Different groups within feminism emphasize racial solidarity, economic equality, gender separation, political identity, marriage abolition and gender neutrality (among tons of other stuff). Clearly they all can’t get what they want right away … so who is called upon to make what sacrifices in current year?

      As an outsider looking in, this is very interesting. I’m sure as someone on the inside, things are much more heart-rending. I’m not trying to belittle what’s going on here.

    • Alienigena

      ” just a reminder that people from different backgrounds might see things differently”

      Do they though? Heterosexual people across the globe have a lot in common with one another in terms of their life courses and beliefs. Based on reality (how people actually behave in romantic relationships and the nuclear family) most heterosexuals seem to believe that men and women have specialized and distinct roles in society and that those who don’t want to play those roles are deviant. As someone who is not keen to play my ‘assigned’ gender role I experience this attitude almost daily.

      • acommentator

        “most heterosexuals seem to believe that men and women have specialized and distinct roles in society and that those who don’t want to play those roles are deviant.”

        I was thinking mostly of racial or ethnic groups when I think of intersectional. But in any case, if you are talking family relationships, are gay people much different? The ones I know (not much of a survey population, to be sure) that have kids, one parent seems to be in sort of the “wife” or “mother” role and the other in the “husband” or “father” role. I am sure there is more to it than I see, but that is true when you get into a closer look at heterosexual couples as well.

        • Robert Lindsay

          MOST gay relationships are like this. With gay men, one is typically more masculine. He is the man in the relationship. The other is quite femmy and he is the woman. I have heard that many lesbian relationships break down like this too, with one playing the butch male role and the other a more lipstick feminine type.

          Gays go on and on about how different they are. Well why is it that in their relationships, they copy the roles of heterosexuals almost precisely.

  • Lynn

    So every gay guy is really a women? And every lesbian is a dude? So what are bisexual to people? Intersexed? You don’t see why that’s offensive?

  • acommentator

    “Perhaps they should scrap this movie then instead so no movie about a trans man is made at all and see how they like that.”

    Clearly, they feel just fine about that or they would not say anything. I don’t know if her withdrawal will kill the film completely. But it will surely reduce the box office by a substantial amount. They have to know this.

    • DeColonise

      Yeah, they clearly have no interest in highlighting a trans persons life on film, to them that a female is playing a trans man, who also was female or else wouldn’t be called trans man, is more important to shut down.

  • Alienigena

    “… makes a lot more evolutionary sense … than to say that evolution wired your brain against reproduction.”

    And radical feminists are the hateful, homophobic ones. No.

    What a sneaky way to say that you don’t think lesbians are a part of nature, that they are an aberration and that homosexuality (same sex preference) isn’t a real thing.

    And way to not read any of the comments from straight women about how they strived to prevent their bodies from changing (starving themselves) or to hide their bodies in loose-fitting clothing due to the sexualised comments and behaviour they received from males as children and adolescents.

  • Pera Raks

    Answer this, Tomas: If gender is fluid, non-binary, and a matter of self-identification or feeling or expression, why can’t Scarlett Johanson be a man while filming?

  • corvid

    ““Tex cared about the people who worked for him. I remember a young woman once wanted to get into the business [of sex work], and Tex said ‘You’re not coming into the business under my watch…You’re gonna make a life for yourself. You don’t need to be doing this.’” Gill was an outlier in his concern for the wellbeing of the women who found themselves doing survival sex work, instituting compulsory STI exams decades before such practices were common in the industry.

    That paternal concern for his workers may have been uneven, and he undeniably had a cruel streak — later court filings claimed he forced girls to take lie detector tests if he suspected theft, and would dock entire shifts’ pay for so much as a misplaced washcloth — but became ever more valuable as girls who knew too much about the rub parlor rackets ended up dead.”

    So according to this mealy-mouthed writer, Gill cautioning women AWAY from her chosen business is an example of “caring for people who worked for” her?!? Do compulsory STI exams actually protect women from anything? Do those latter examples of Gill”s “cruel streak” sound like ethical practices to you? The consistent use of the word “girls” to describe her so-called employees tells us what we need to know. Gill literally inherited a business model engineered by men. A pimp is a pimp. I am utterly disgusted with the fawning treatment Gill us receiving in the press and the attitude of trans activists regarding this issue.

  • corvid

    Gill inherited a business model engineered by male mobsters.

  • Tobysgirl

    Well, Tomas, it’s sort of like not having a discussion about race with a white racist who tosses around the word nigger. (I can just hear HIM now: “Black people use nigger all the time, what’s wrong with me doing it”?)
    And biological sex is not an IDEA, for god’s sake. It’s a REALITY.

  • Layla Alexandrovna

    Buck Angel is one who does I think.

  • BeeWall

    The trans community is rather silent on Danish Girl. I’m not sure it was a success…perhaps because the film had dimension. But now, it’s unlikely Rub will ever be made…the subject matter was a risk in the first place, and there are plenty of other scripts around waiting to be made into film.

    I was amused that after Scarlett dropped out, the trans actors who participated in the witch hunt were all up in it, suggesting actors to play the role. As if they had a say beyond shutting the production down. I doubt this hoopla will further their careers.

  • BeeWall

    Cultural memory is real. I look at Gill and recognize her as a butch lesbian. If the creators chose to ignore her true identification, they are, among others, transing Tex after death.

    • May Loo

      Exactly what they did with Teena Brandon whom I believe only admitted to be a male to get the SRS

  • Alienigena

    I wish that someone with some power and political clout would start to hold another group in society accountable for abrogating its responsibility to speak truth to trans cultists and the groups and individuals that support them. That group would be health care professionals (including psychiatrists) and biologists. There was a recent article on the CBC website that talked about efforts of McGill University to promote skepticism about health claims made by people on the Internet. Why is there no collective concern around science denial being promoted by trans activists specifically the idea that someone can change their biological sex, seemingly at will? Or they suggest that while humans are mammals we should compare them to amphibians (whose sex can change with exposure to hormones).

    They video enjoins viewers to “be skeptical’. Are students allowed to be skeptical around the dogma that trans cultists spout?

  • Raelee

    … and there it is – the homophobia.

  • Alienigena

    Who owns Jezebel and other pseudo-feminist websites? I thought many of them were owned by men. Why is it acceptable for men to own organizations (including that T-shirt company that featured t-shirts with feminist quotes/sayings) that claim to be feminist? Men don’t decide what is feminist for me and I don’t need them to ‘do’ feminism for me, I am not that lazy. Why not formally boycott them if they will be impacted financially by such a boycott?

  • Meghan Murphy

    What are you talking about?

  • kfwkfw

    What’s that now?

  • Melanie

    No, men can’t get periods. No more needs to be said. Lol.

  • corvid

    Aww. Does your brain hurt thinking about observable reality, i.e. healthy and well-adjusted homosexual individuals? I thought the scientific method included empirical observations.

  • gfbonanza

    You can’t use a pseudo scientific analysis of evolution to support YOUR political ideology of lesbian erasure and homophobia and expect me to take it seriously.

  • gfbonanza

    Not to mention your “scientific analysis” of evolution is inherently incoherent and ignores biology completely. If Gill indeed was a transman and not a butch lesbian, if homosexuals are actually trans, it wouldn’t make any difference in regards to evolution or reproduction, because Gill would still be a female person with a sexual attraction to other female people. Identifying as a man doesn’t magically give you functioning male reproductive organs. Transmen aren’t inseminating anyone. If your “scientific analysis” of evolution ignores biology completely it’s 100% bunk.

  • Alawon.B

    Pot meets kettle.

  • Tinfoil the Hat

    Thanks for the mansplanation of what a feminist is.

  • Tinfoil the Hat

    “they” and “them” are not singular pronouns. Stopped reading because your post was incoherent.

  • May Loo

    I tried to talk to a Liberal MP from my city about this, and I got the impression he cared more about the rights of transwomen than the rights of born females like myself. I guess we 50% of the population that is born female are as important to him as we are to my local Conservative MP who voted for Bill C-16.

  • May Loo

    Trans science is bogus science. We all have a biological sex. Trans ideology is like queer theory in that both deny the existence of real, physically verifiable biological sex. What do you think that M or F on your birth certificate is about? It states the body parts you were born with. It has absolutely nothing to do with your gender identity! Gender identity is based on nothing more than stupid, outdated sexist stereotypes which were better left in the 1950s. Also, if you really believe transmen were men, and transwomen were women, would you date or marry a transperson? That was a question I directed to myself. The answer was no because I would always be faced with someone who was born with my body parts, and I am not a lesbian. Most people like myself believe that body parts should match the outward appearance. As I’ve written elsewhere I don’t care about anyone’s gender identity because it is all based on what the person thinks the other sex is like, and not rooted in lived experience

  • Yeah, and meanwhile, again, women are having to fight over the scraps that men are giving us… including one of the 3 meaningful lead roles given to women in any given year.

    It’s quite ridiculous, isn’t it.

  • Welcome! One thing I am curious about though is the use of the “C word”. I use it, but as a reclaiming, and partially because I am a shitstirrer, and it is one of the few words that have power anymore.

    I am also Australian, so it is not used in the same way/context as in US & Canada.

    I have always ferociously defended my using the word as a feminist statement…basically “fuck being ladylike” kind of thing, and it is a fantastic word… but I have often reflected on it.

    Looks like I know what I am reading now to avoid work. haha.

    • Meghan Murphy

      I think it depends on context… I personally don’t like the term, but as you say, it’s used very differently in the UK, for example. I feel like it’s quite different, though, for a man to use the term against a woman (i.e. to attack her in a misogynist way), then for a woman to use the term herself….

      • oh for sure. I think my Aussieness shines through here too as the primary influence in my defence of the word, where it is actually a term of endearment as well… almost to the point where it doesn’t carry the same weight that it does elsewhere.

        I suppose the important thing to do is reflect often, and be willing to change, and respect those who don’t like it, I guess?

        Germaine Greer changed her position on it too, and I wonder if that has anything to do with her not living in Australia for a long time, and seeing it used differently elsewhere in the world?

        The etymology of the word has always fascinated me, and strikes to the heart of the daily dilemmas feminist discourse provides… thankfully we have a place where we can do that!

        • Meghan Murphy


  • Ahh I see. I am so sorry this happened to you x

    I don’t really see it used that way here… and it’s usually used ironically or comedically.

    I will defend the right of the standup comedian to use it too (a joke is either good or not good)… it’s so nuanced it makes my head spin.

    All I know is that if we get to US or Canada, not to use it.

  • marv

    Why insult innocent pigs by using them as a referent for sexist men?

    You are bastardizing the meaning of oppression. Wealthy abled powerful white men are the most intersectional oppressor class – white patriarchal capitalists. This strata dominates men and women below them as well as women in these elitist men’s economic class. Whites are a class over poc but even here white men lead the way (colonization, slavery).

    That all men also form a sex class above women doesn’t imply every man engages in “evil behaviors”. Men always wield class advantage though by merely living in a patriarchal society. They had/have free reproductive and care giving labor from their mothers, the benefits of sex inequality in that labor and the nuclear family, greater opportunities in the labor market (STEM fields), the freedom of moving around in social and economic space without the systemic threat of pornification, rape, sexual harassment and battering by women. Women as a class don’t have these privileges on the backs of men.

    You like to emphasize the exceptions instead of the rule of structural divisions – a chauvinistic and belligerent stance.

  • Meghan Murphy

    Nah. Feminism is for women. Men can be allies, but it’s not appropriate for them to take on the label themselves.

    • Robert Lindsay

      We are getting down to semantics, but I suppose that’s reasonable. Plus in your case it doesn’t seem to be coming from a place of hatred or contempt.

      This is though is a lot of men are going to continue to refer to themselves as feminists, many women will say things like, “I only date feminist men.” There’s also “Hey, feminism is good for men, too!” Many 3rd wavers in particular seem to believe that men can and should be feminists.

      I’m not sure if it matters at the end of the day. These are just words.

  • Meghan Murphy

    I think men tend to like to try to find as many women ‘fuckable’ as possible… Which is not a compliment, despite the fact they believe it is… I think men are more likely to refer to a woman as ‘fat’ than ‘ugly’, because according to men, ‘fat’ women (who are generally perfectly average and not ‘fat’ at all) are (god forbid) ‘unfuckable’.

  • Meghan Murphy

    Ohhh gotcha. I misread. Redacted.