“Men also experience misogyny”

An open letter from “feminists” in support of “birth certificate reform” in Victoria (the one in Australia):

We the undersigned stand in support of the Victorian Government’s proposal to amend the Births, Deaths and Marriages Registration Act 1996, to allow transgender and gender non-conforming people to change the sex recorded on their birth certificates without being forced to undergo medical or surgical intervention.

In other words to amend the law so that people can insert lies into their birth certificates. I can remember when birth certificates were nothing but cold, dull, bureaucratic statement of a few facts about a person. That’s all they were: just facts: not poetic invocations of personality or inner essence.

This amendment will provide transgender and gender non-conforming people in our community with access to legal affirmation of their identities without being required to undergo coercive sterilisation as a requirement to legally change their sex and gender identity documents.

But that’s the thing, birth certificates aren’t about “affirmation of identities”; they’re about documenting a minimum of cold hard facts.

As feminists we have long fought for people to be freed from the violence that the strict policing of gender and sex promotes, and any law that fundamentally equates one’s body parts with one’s identity and possibilities in life only furthers that violence.

Oh no no no no no. That’s not feminism. That’s not what feminism has been fighting. Feminism isn’t about “the strict policing of gender and sex”; it’s about a system of male domination that casts women as the inferior and subordinate sex. Feminists have never thought that the way to end the system of male domination that casts women as the inferior, subordinate sex was to “identify as” men (while leaving other women behind to go right on being cast as inferior and subordinate). We’ve always thought that the way to end the system of male domination that casts women as the inferior, subordinate sex was to end that system. Policing gender and sex has nothing to do with it; getting rid of male domination has everything to do with it.

We recognise that it is not just cisgender women who face gendered violence and discrimination, but that the transgender and gender diverse community face disproportionate discrimination across all facets of their lives including healthcare, employment, housing, and other aspects of daily life. Trans femmes and trans women and girls in particular also experience misogyny and any attempts to claim otherwise are simply excluding one part of our feminist community.

Men don’t experience misogyny. Men can experience bullying for not being masculine enough, but that isn’t itself misogyny. Feminists are allowed to keep feminism for women and girls and we are under no obligation to “include” the part of our feminist community that is male.

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