If you believe women come in both male and female varieties

Helen Saxby on Rowling and truth:

Speaking the truth about sex is becoming more and more difficult because of accusations of transphobia, and yet much of the reaction to Rowling’s tweet was just angry that she had highlighted this fact. We’re not allowed to say sex is real, but we’re doubly not allowed to say that we’re not allowed to say it. Many people suggested that Rowling was deliberately misrepresenting the truth. ‘Nobody is saying sex isn’t real!’ was a common refrain, presumably because being caught out saying sex isn’t real would make you look stupid. Trans allies want to deny sex exists but to do it in a sort of secret way without the fact being brought out into the cold light of day for examination.

They want to do it but they don’t want us pointing out that they’re doing it. That seems fair!

By the same token, they want to call us bitches and cunts and stinking holes, but they don’t want us to say they’re doing that and that it’s misogyny. Don’t name the problem, be the problem, yeh?

If we weren’t one of two sexes we would not be able to reproduce sexually, and that’s what the human species does.

It’s just biology. Biology is difference, it is exclusive, it has boundaries, it’s the truth. But are we allowed to name it?

But if, when the situation demands it, you do have to tell the truth about someone’s sex, then the correct trans ally response is to deny the sex. Sex suddenly is not real anymore. Situations which demand the truth are those such as equality law, sex-segregated sports, hostels, refuges and changing rooms, because in these areas sex really matters. Sex forms the basis of women’s rights. But suddenly this man in front of you, with a female gender identity, who you were happy to treat politely, is now literally a woman, no debate. If you don’t treat his gender identity as if it were his sex you are a transphobic bigot. Sex denialism serves to replace sex with gender when it’s expedient to do so, so that gender, in a sleight of hand, becomes sex, to all intents and purposes. If you notice the sex (and lots of women do notice) you are hateful. If you don’t notice, it will be used as proof there is no harm in letting males into female spaces, despite the fact that a woman’s boundaries have still been breached without her consent. The ethics of this are not to be discussed.

And if you try to discuss it, stand back while the flood of “cunt!” and “stinking hole!” comes pouring over you.

Reciting the mandatory “trans women are women,” Helen points out, is saying that sex isn’t real.

Transwomen by definition have to be male. Women by definition have to be female. The only way the mantra could be true is if you believe women come in both male and female varieties. If you do believe this, then you also have to believe that ‘single-sex spaces’ must accommodate two sexes, and at the same time that they must retain the name ‘single-sex’. This tortuous redefinition of commonly-understood words is crucial because otherwise you would have to admit that trans demands are impinging on women-only services, and the official line is that there is no conflict of interest.

How does “cis” fit into this redefinition project?

Transwomen are not, of course, adult human females. If they were they wouldn’t be trans. It’s just a way of hiding the fact that you’re saying women come in male and female varieties, a necessary camouflage when you don’t want anyone to notice you’re talking rubbish. The promoted way of avoiding this fate is to divide women up into ‘cis’ and ‘trans’, cis being the female women and trans being the male women. If you accept the categorisation ‘cis’ you accept that women come in both male and female varieties, and you are saying biology isn’t real. You also contribute to the negative consequences for women when ‘cis’ becomes weaponised as a sign of privilege over ‘trans’. JK Rowling is not just a wealthy white woman for the purpose of discrediting her opinion, but a wealthy white cisgendered woman, thus neatly putting women into the position of oppressors of men.

I think the way it works is that if a woman is white and cis she is also necessarily a Karen and that’s three strikes and she goes to the very top of the intersectional pole, oppressing everyone.

JK Rowling expressed concerns about the effects on women if we are coerced into believing that sex isn’t real. Many of the vile and offensive replies to her tweets illustrated the fact that sex differences are very real when it comes to insulting women. In the treatment of JK Rowling there was a very clear pattern of sexualised abuse from men that many women will recognise from experience.

Yep. I was surprised at how very familiar it was. How stupid of me – of course it’s familiar. There are only so many ways of expressing disgust and loathing of women, why would I think any of it would be original?

JK Rowling has been very brave. No matter what her personal wealth or privilege, she speaks for a huge number of women who don’t have a voice or stand to lose too much by using it. The lack of empathy for women who have suffered sexual or domestic violence seems to be growing as the most vocal advocates for trans demands stoop to painting even rape victims as bigots. How cold-hearted do you have to be to hear the intimate disclosure of sexual abuse from a former friend, colleague or mentor, and use it to publicly distance yourself from her and reinforce your credentials with your fan base?

Then she shares Emma Watson’s horrible treacherous tweet.

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