Nine

I’m a little late, as always. There are a few things I am good at, but time management is not among them.

Yesterday was our birthday. I was running around like a crazy person trying to complete a million errands before getting on a plane back out of Canada — the very progressive, very feminist country I can no longer live in.

I left for Mexico back in January, thinking maybe I would come back in a month or two or three, but having observed my home country’s enthusiastic, almost totally unchallenged descent into one opposed both to freedom of speech and expression, as well as women’s sex-based rights, I realized Canada was no longer a place I wanted to live in.

You may think I am being hyperbolic, but I’ve developed a rather persistent attachment to free speech and women’s rights and am unwilling to compromise.

Fundamental rights are not something you compromise on,  yet far too many of my fellow citizens have resigned themselves to complacency in exchange for an idea — the idea that nothing could possibly be awry in Canada. Not Canada — the country we constantly insist is better than almost all others. At least we don’t live in America, we tell one another. At least we didn’t have to deal with Trump, American Democrats tell us. It was such a stressful time! Gosh — the stress of having a president we don’t personally like! You can’t imagine. It’s almost as though there is a reason Hillary lost.

The day after Trump won, in 2016, I cried. All day long. Heaving, snotty tears to a boyfriend who had no idea how to relate to or comfort me. I was so sad for Hillary. It was so unfair and so humiliating, I’d thought. And shocking. Who were all these people who had voted for this asshole? This buffoon? Everyone I knew, after all, hated the man. I cried at the injustice of it all. But at some point I stopped feeling emotional about Trump’s election and just wanted to understand. Today, I understand completely. Today, there is no way I would vote for our left or “liberal” party in Canada. And there is no way I would have voted for Biden in the US.

Since 2016, my perspective on politics has changed drastically. That was also the year the Liberal Party introduced Bill C-16, Canada’s gender identity legislation. I feared the bill, once passed, would effectively nullify women’s sex-based rights. It was simple, I argued: one cannot simultaneously believe in — never mind protect under the law — “gender identity” and sex. You either understand women are female and men are male, or you believe one’s sex is determined by their imagination or clothing preferences. We cannot say, all at once, that women need certain spaces to be sex-segregated on account of their vulnerability in said spaces (prisons, change rooms, shelters, and transition houses, for example), but that if a man feels like it, he can use those spaces. What are we protecting, in that case?

And no, I am not being glib when I say “feels like it.” Gender identity is based solely on feeling. There is nothing tangible about it. One can “feel” it very strongly. It is understandable that one might feel at odds with gender stereotypes — I suspect the majority of the population does, on some level. The most macho of men will feel emotional, may enjoy a romcom here and there, or wish they didn’t have to be so tough all the time. Maybe they prefer dancing and singing to football or maybe they prefer doing the laundry vs shoveling the driveway. Speaking for myself, I love romcoms and have never tried shoveling the driveway. I’m pretty emotional, I love singing and dancing, but don’t like babies much, and long felt I lacked the “feminine” instinct other women seemed to have. I have always just wanted to be myself and to say what I thought — which is not very ladylike. I didn’t want to be girly — I wanted to have fun. And, despite what pop culture insists, girls didn’t seem to be having fun.

Since I was a kid, I “identified” with boys in a lot of ways — when I was young I wanted to be a tomboy, and as an adult, I was consistently surrounded by men — I was the lone girl out with all the boys at the bar or after party. Men have been my best friends and my intimate partners. I have plenty of female friends, of course, but my personality could easily be said to be more “male-identified,” were we to operate in such stereotypes. Had “gender identity” been around when I was a kid, and had my parents been naive, easily persuaded, stupid, or inclined to virtue signal, I surely would have opted for “boy.”

When I was nine years old I had short hair, wore oversized button up shirts, the “boys'” ballet uniform (black, not pink, leotards and ballet slippers), and two different colours of hightop converse. I wanted to be a detective when I grew up. I also loved the Babysitter’s Club and Ramona and Pippi Longstocking and Meg from A Wrinkle in Time, all of which, of course, had characters or protagonists who were not “feminine” identified — they were different, brave, adventurous, independent girls. What happened to those girls?

They got transed.

Today, the girls who are not “girly” are “boys,” or “non-binary,” or “trans.” It is not subversive or celebrated to reject sex-based stereotypes, it is time for a doctor’s visit — there is something wrong with you, and it must be fixed through medical intervention.

Naturally, progressive Canada is fully on board.

~~~

Feminist Current is nine. When I launched this website, I had no idea I would have to fight to say the words, “men are not women” or ask what a woman is, in a serious way, to politicians, academics, and other feminists. I never dreamed that journalists would report male violence as female violence because it was important to respect “preferred pronouns.” I had, of course, never heard of a “preferred pronoun” in 2012. But life comes at you fast. And what was once an esoteric conversation among pretentious academics wishing desperately to impress only one another became real life. Suddenly we had a man demanding his “female” balls be waxed by immigrant estheticians working out of their homes and women being banned from public forums for daring to point out that this predatorial grifter was a “he.”

~~~

In 2016, it was pretty much universally agreed upon that Donald Trump was a “misogynist” — abusive, even. An enemy to women. And yet, it turns out things are not so simple. It turns out that the “feminist” parties — the Democrats, the NDP, the Liberal Party — were the biggest enemies of all. It turns out that people who voted for Trump did not do so because they all hated women. It turns out that the educated elite claim to support abortion rights but refuse to acknowledge that it is only females who need abortions. It turns out that Trump was not the biggest danger — not by a long shot. It turns out that the lying cowards who are willing to say literally anything if it ensures their financial, political, or social privilege will tell us they are the true feminists — the true defenders of freedom, justice, and rights. They will say this while they tell us girls may not demand a naked male leave their change rooms and while they tell those girls they must respect the “identities” of boys who steal their track scholarships. They will tell us they are our friends and allies while insisting the man who assaulted us is female. They will say they care for their fellow womxn (unless she is yt), not like those dirty republicans or the fascist right or the dangerous Joe Rogan. Those men hate you, we love you — excuse me, it’s m’aam. We are the good guys, those are the bad guys, look over there, don’t say a bad word about us, either, because if you do you get the wall. Or maybe just a little punch. Just place your head gently in this guillotine — don’t be rude.

What were we saying? Oh right. Trump. Get him out.

~~~

In the past nine years, much has changed in terms of my outlook and approach. Most of all, I’ve realized party affiliation, political affiliation, ideological affiliation means nothing. Nothing. My “allies” are of all stripes. Because my only “allies” are those who believe in truth, freedom, and constitutional rights. I don’t care what your label is beyond that. I care about whether you have integrity and the courage to stand up and fight back even when it is dangerous or unpopular or if all of your internet friends are going to be mad at you.

The truth is more important than anything, because if we lose the truth we lose our integrity — and what is the point of activism without integrity?

Without integrity and truth, activism is not for others — for justice, for building a better world, for the rights and freedom of those outside our bubbles — it is for ourselves. It is for Instagramming, for self-aggrandizing, for guilt relief, social status, acceptance, financial gain, job maintenance, or maybe just something to talk about. But if it isn’t true — if you aren’t fighting for or against something real — then it is nothing but narcissism.

If we [should have] learned anything from 1984 it’s that when we give a little we give a lot — it isn’t just a pronoun, it’s a lie. Two plus two equals five and a man can be a woman if it’s the polite thing to do.

Now, Trump was arguably no better at the truth than any other politician, but he was also no better at the truth than any other politician. Biden lies to placate those with actual power, behind the scenes, and his lies are no less egregious, albeit perhaps more naive. What is a woman? Who knows, it’s no longer polite to. What I do know is that the left has demonstrated a willingness to say anything at all, without even a remote interest in what is true — they aren’t always lying intentionally, they just don’t care to know if they are lying, which is almost worse. The point is not effecting practical, productive change, then — it is a narcissistic performance.

~~~

Nine years ago I launched Feminist Current because I wanted a voice — a place to put the truth, that couldn’t be dictated and censored and manipulated by mainstream media — progressive media. (Liberal media, I may have called it in the past, but it is so far from liberal, that seems unfitting.) At the time, I didn’t think much about “the right” — I thought it irrelevant. Obviously the only good people were on the left, and everyone else was wrong, bad, or stupid. I know, I know. Little did I know.

I haven’t gone right, I’ve gone independent. Which, truthfully, I always have been. This website is beholden to no one — no advertisers, no funders, no institutions, no government, no friends, no allies. No one. It is here for the truth. And while I have, over the years, changed my mind about what that truth is, the aim is the same.

Older and wiser, less fearful, more brave — we embrace our cyclical cancellations from every possible angle. If you’re only just tuning in, I placate no one. And as I grow older, alongside this site, I become evermore immune to the bullying of those who wish they had the ladyballs.

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 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 lives in Vancouver, B.C. with her very beautiful dog.