Thanks I guess?

Oh. Ok. Always fun to read more about bashing feminist women.

Who counts as a woman? Is there some set of core experiences distinctive of womanhood, some shared set of adventures and exploits that every woman will encounter on her journey from diapers to the grave?

That’s the wrong question. It’s a leading question, set up to bash “TERFs” for claims they don’t make. The point isn’t about adventures and exploits, and it isn’t about who “counts” as a woman – it’s not a contest or an exam, it’s just a brute material fact.

It’s not about “counting” as a woman; it’s about being female and thus being subject to all the subtle and not so subtle cues in the culture that female people are 1. different and 2. subordinate. I say “subordinate” instead of “inferior” because many of the cues aren’t specifically about inferiority, but they are about “femininity,” delicacy, prettiness, compliance, seductiveness, flounces, stiletto heels, thongs, waxing, giggling, submitting. The subtle and not so subtle cues in the culture that male people get are different; they’re the ones appropriate for the sex that gets to dominate.

We’re treated to a quick visit to Judith Butler via an explanation that bad old feminism was about “the experiences of the wealthy, white, straight, able-bodied women who already have more than their fair share of social privilege.” Then we arrive at:

Any attempt to catalog the commonalities among women, in other words, has the inescapable result that there is some correct way to be a woman. This will inevitably encourage and legitimize certain experiences of gender and discourage and delegitimize others, subtly reinforcing and entrenching precisely those forces of socialization of which feminists claim to be critical. And what’s worse, it will inevitably leave some people out. It will mean that there are “real” women whom feminism should be concerned about and that there are impostors who do not qualify for feminist political representation.

The women who are accused of being impostors these days are often trans women. You might think that a shared suspicion of conventional understandings of sex and gender would make feminists and trans activists natural bedfellows. You’d be wrong.

It’s all Janice Raymond’s fault, apparently.

Feminists who deny “real woman” status to trans women seem to rely on a false assumption — that all trans women have lived in the world unproblematically as men at some point — and claim the importance of affirming the identity and experiences of those who’ve spent entire lives in women’s shoes.

Wait. One, as far as I know we don’t assume trans women – or for that matter any men – have lived in the world unproblematically as men at some point. The expectations of boys and men are far from unproblematic, and feminism has been underlining that since forever. Two, it’s not a matter of denying anyone any status, it’s simply a matter of declining to play let’s pretend forever. Being a woman isn’t like being upper class or a Nobel laureate, it’s just a brute fact. If we say that enough times maybe it will sink in.

After that the piece falls off a cliff, as she agrees how repellent it was when Caitlyn Jenner made it all about the clothes and says you can see why feminists wouldn’t like that, and then just says “but suck it up anyway.”


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