Women are not ‘imagined,’ and on International Women’s Day, we should know this

What does it mean to be a woman? Perhaps for International Women’s Day we could start to trust that women are actually capable of forming an answer.

In a nod to woke culture and a giant f*ck you to women everywhere, UN Women and Time magazine have officially made Women’s Day about gender identity.

International Women’s Day is usually marked with a choir of trolls asking, “When is International Men’s Day?” (It’s November 19th, for the record.) But International Women’s Day 2020 is special: it’s the year that, “What about transwomen?” officially joined the chorus to silence women.

According to a quote posted by the UN Women Twitter account, “Transwomen are women. Every woman is a woman… Women are formless.” On Twitter, #transwomenarewomen trended alongside #whensinternationalmensday. Time magazine doubled down on the confusion, publishing a piece by trans-identified academic, Susan Stryker, who informs readers that to define woman is “complicated” and that womanhood is “an imagined community.”

Most tellingly of all, Stryker asks, “Why can’t womanhood jettison its biocentrism?”

In case their pseudo-intellectual musings weren’t clear, Time magazine is using wokespeak to ask why can’t women just disattach themselves from the biological reality of being female? Why can’t womanhood just jettison sex-based issues like reproductive rights, femicide, natal sex selection, or sexual and economic oppression? Why can’t womanhood be less about females and more about males who identify as female? Just jettison it, girls. Afterall, womanhood is imaginary.

Gender ideology is unsatisfied with the multitude of awareness-raising days focused on transgender rights: the Transgender Day of Visibility, the Transgender Day of Remembrance, the Transgender Awareness Week, and the Day Against Transphobia, along with various other days dedicated to the rights of the wider LGBT umbrella. Gender ideology will not stop pursuing its agenda until women’s boundaries, women’s needs, and the very definition of womanhood are entirely extinguished.

Sefton Council accidentally promoted a non-woke scientific fact for Women’s Day, flying a flag that said “Woman. Adult Human Female.” They quickly removed it and apologized after being told it was “transphobic.”

In a sexist culture, women are expected to put everyone else’s feelings, issues, and needs before our own. We are taught to tend to everyone else’s concerns, to keep our concerns on mute, to placate and soothe other people’s feelings at the expense of our own. Things are no different under gender identity ideology, but apparently this is woke.

Like most people, I believe that transgender people deserve equal rights, but I also believe that those rights should not override the rights of girls and women. The fact remains, trans-identified males are not exactly the same as biological women and recognizing these differences is crucial to effectively address our differing needs. Why then, are women’s spaces and the definition of womanhood being so voraciously co-opted to address the needs of transgender individuals?

In the words of Meghan Murphy:

“Over and over again, I ask those who insist that ‘transwomen are women’ what the word ‘woman’ means. They refuse to answer. They simply say, ‘It’s a person who identifies as a woman,’ which essentially means, ‘it’s nothing at all’ — it is anything anyone says it is… On what basis do women’s rights exist, if the word ‘woman’ is meaningless? If anyone can identify in and out of femaleness?”

Vancouver holds some of the answers as to how women’s rights are dealt with under gender identity ideology. The City of Vancouver rescinded a long-standing grant to Vancouver Rape Relief and Women’s Shelter (VRR) a few years after Canada’s gender identity legislation, Bill C-16, came into effect, demanding women-only services provide for biological males who identify as transwomen. In a sad and ironic twist, Christine Boyle, one of the city councillors who voted to defund services because VRR insisted on maintaining their women-only policy, is now advocating for services that are trans-only. Canada’s gender identity law makes a case in point that is patently clear: gender ideology is about advancing the rights of transgender people by extinguishing the rights, spaces, boundaries, and needs of women.

So, what does it mean to be a woman? Perhaps for International Women’s Day we could start to trust that women are actually capable of forming an answer. We are not formless, undefinable, complicated, or imagined, nor are we able to jettison our biological reality. A woman is an adult human female. It’s not complicated and we don’t owe explanations or apologies for that.

Laura McNally is a registered psychologist, author, PhD, and professional shit-stirrer. Her commentary has been featured in The ABC, The Guardian, The Australian, The Ethics Centre, and more. You can find her at The Same Drugs with Meghan Murphy on Patreon and YouTube.

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