The consequences of “rethinking” the category of “woman”

Eliza speaks the truth.

For the sake of the Twitter haters I’ll just arrange the rest of what she said as an essay.

Gender identity problematizes, denounces, and confuses what women need to make clear: Our sex matters.

Women’s healthcare depends on the recognition of sex difference on the part of medical providers, scientific researchers, health communicators, and patients.

Gender identity trades clear language and targeted research into how sex differences affect health and medical care in exchange for “non-prostate-havers” and medical records that don’t even record the patient’s (objective, unchangeable) sex.

To organize politically in our own interests, women must be able to define ourselves as a sex class and focus our time and energy on issues that affect women on the basis of sex.

Feminism is not and cannot be the movement for the liberation of “all marginalized people” or it will fail to meet the unique needs of women and girls. There are many worthy causes in the world but it’s OK for one movement to focus exclusively on women and girls.

Trans activism demands that women redefine ourselves in a way that cuts sex out of the picture altogether. When women are redefined as feminine stereotypes, rather than female humans, the constituency and targets of advocacy change.

Under gender identity ideology, the ways that sex matters to women’s lives becomes not just unfashionable but unspeakable. But the inequalities and injustices women and girls face on the basis of sex don’t go away just because we’re not supposed to talk about them anymore.

When women have to constantly defend our decision to focus on the rights of women and girls, that saps time and energy that could have gone elsewhere: to fighting for abortion access and paid maternity leave in the US, curbing sex-trafficking, preventing child marriage…

The consequences of “rethinking” the category of “woman,” as Judith Butler so coolly puts it, are clear: gender identity is a contrived attack on the rights, ability to organize, & very language of the People Previously Known As Women. It makes *everything* we need to do harder.

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