Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Long read: Rethinking Rad Fem

I found this article on a feminist site I'd never seen before. It's become anathema, in activist circles, to question the transgender narrative at all for fear of being called a bigot, or worse, as several prominent feminists have found out, getting no-platformed. I hope this very thougthful, nuanced piece doesn't get its author banished for thinking the wrong thoughts, because it's well worth reading in its entirety:
Transgender ideology does not recognise one of the most basic concepts within feminism; that sex and gender are different. When I first took a Women’s Studies course (over ten years ago), one of the critical distinctions I got to grips with was that sex and gender are not the same. Gender is a social construct; it is how individuals are expected to perform in accordance with their biological sex. This is feminism 101, and yet according to some of those within the transgender movement, this has become akin to hate speech. As a woman, the gendered behaviours and clothes associated with my sex make it impossible for me to undertake routine practical tasks. Hence, I do not consider myself trans and am confident that no-one would see me as such, but I wholeheartedly adopt masculine behaviours and clothes routinely. I can’t fix my car or put up shelves in a skirt. This is not me releasing my ‘inner man’ or expressing my male ‘gender identity’, it’s me getting on with stuff and adopting masculine clothes and behaviours to be able to do so. To call me ‘cis’ is to suggest I’m content with the restrictions of femininity, I don’t just reject this I object to it.