Helen Saxby asks whether identity matters so much when it comes to sexism and violence, a question I've been wrestling with for a while:
When I was a student, the men who tried to rape me when I was hitch-hiking did not respect the rather masculine gender identity that I felt inside. They didn’t care that I had grown up preferring football and racing cars to dolls and make-up. They didn’t even care that I was wearing combat trousers and a donkey jacket! They just cared that I was female. Calling yourself ‘non-binary’ will not identify you out of that threat if you are a woman, and that is why we have sex-based rights for women: biological sex matters. When it comes to safety for women the way you ‘identify’ is a mere indulgence: it’s about as important as whether you consider yourself to be a Goth or a Punk for example, no more and no less. And, to be clear, people are not oppressed for being ‘non-binary’: they are oppressed by virtue of their female biology.So what do AFAB people feel in response to sexism? As long as society reads them as female, they're going to experience sexism. Unless your identity begins and ends with your online profile or you're ensconced in an environment that recognizes a rainbow of genders. Not a reality for most people.
These are valid questions to be asking, but increasingly taboo. And that's disappointing because the discussion about gender and gender oppression should be an intellectually sound one.