Sitting on the gender spectrum

Charlie Porter is a fashion journalist who thinks he’s a gender-rebel.

I am 48, a midlife point that gives me perspective on what I maybe didn’t realise before. I have always used clothing to poke at the assumptions of gender. As a kid, I had safe parameters from my whiteness and middle-class upbringing within an accepting family. Where I sit on the gender spectrum is like a comedy version of “male”, which has allowed me to pass lightly in this patriarchal society.

Others, he hints, are not so capacious in their thinking.

According to gender-critical feminists, men who voice their trans-inclusive beliefs on gender identity are bullies and misogynists. It is common among such men to desire the dismantling of patriarchy. I am one of them. Yet I believe the result of the gender-critical argument is that gendered stereotypes are maintained, and patriarchy is consolidated.

I’m gonna go right ahead and say I don’t think he has a clue what the gender-critical argument is. It’s certainly not “laydeez should wear skirts and men should wear trousers.” I’m also gonna say I don’t think he desires the dismantling of patriarchy, because here he is saying he’s better at feminism than those stupid women are.

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