Guest post: Unilaterally redefining “feminist” 

Jun 3rd, 2023 4:58 pm | By
Guest post: Unilaterally redefining “feminist” 

Originally a comment by Your Name’s not Bruce? on A substantial cohort of self-identified feminists.

For the first time in over thirty years, it makes sense to me to reconsider what feminism means.

Well, that says more about you and what you think “makes sense” than it does about feminism.

Trans people have been illuminating sex and gender in new and insightful ways.

And right here, we have something that makes no sense. Trans people (can we have a definition, please?) are mostly saying that the physical, material, biological basis for the oppression of women means fuck all, and can be “identified” into and out of willy nilly. Men can become women, and women can become men. While certainly “new,” it’s not so much an “illuminating insight” into the meaning of feminism as its complete negation. This is at the heart of “feminism is for everyone.” Game over, case closed, turn out the lights when you shut the door.

…a substantial cohort of self-identified feminists have opposed trans peoples’ existence as trans.

The implication being that these “self-identified feminists” aren’t really feminists at all. Yet being a feminist only requires that a woman espouses and upholds a particular set of beliefs and principles grounded on the idea and goal of the liberation of females from patriarchal oppression. You’re attempting to deny that they are feminists by unilaterally redefining what the word “feminist” means. Well congratulations; you’re making their point for them, as men who claim to be “self-identifed” women can only be so by redefining what the word “woman” means.

Unlike feminism, which any woman can claim as her own, there are no beliefs or principles that a man can hold which will make him a woman. He might as well (and with as much success) claim to become invisible through sheer force of will. A man can no more identify into being female than he can identify out of maleness. Maleness is a life sentence into which one is born, a condition as ineluctable as being made up of protons, neutrons, and electrons of ordinary matter. One is no more “assigned” maleness than one is “assigned” one’s molecular structure. That’s not how these things work, and to pretend otherwise is delusional. This is the “illuminating, insightful” view of sex and gender that trans people have to offer? It is a narcissistic fantasy. Utter bullshit. To defend such a nonsensical view and enforce others’ adherence to it is wicked and harmful.

Because the material state of reality is forever out of reach, trans identified males have nothing but the costume, cosmetics, and mannerisms of patriarchal “femininity” to proclaim as the essence of “womanhood.” They’re like the brutalized rhesus monkeys clinging to the ersatz terrycloth covered wire “mothers” for some semblance of comfort, and god help anyone who tries to explain that their wardrobe and comportment do not make them “women.” If they weren’t so bloody-minded and bullying in their demands for access to female single-sex spaces, one might almost feel sorry for them.

A substantial cohort of self-identified feminists

Jun 3rd, 2023 10:56 am | By

Catharine MacKinnon Exploring Transgender Law and Politics:

For the first time in over thirty years, it makes sense to me to reconsider what feminism means. Trans people have been illuminating sex and gender in new and insightful ways.

She must have watched a different movie from the one I’ve seen.

And for some time, escalating since 2004 with the proposed revisions in the UK Gender Recognition Act,[1] a substantial cohort of self-identified feminists have opposed trans peoples’ existence as trans.

No, not existence as trans. What we oppose is the insistence – backed up with every form of punishment available – that men who are trans are literally women in every sense. We oppose the intrusions and thefts and insults that stem from that insistence. We oppose the punishments meted out to us for disagreeing with the dogma that men literally are women if they say they are.

Much of the current debate has centered on (endlessly obsessed over, actually) whether trans women are women. Honestly, seeing “women” as a turf to be defended, as opposed to a set of imperatives and limitations to be criticized, challenged, changed, or transcended, has been pretty startling.

Really? Really? How can we challenge the imperatives and limitations if we don’t know which people are subject to them and which people get to impose them?

Would MacKinnon say the same thing if there were a fad for trans-racialism, and a lot of privileged white kids started bullying and punishing non-white people for declining to accept the white kids’ “identity”? I don’t know, of course, but I strongly doubt it.

One might think that trans women—assigned male at birth, leaving masculinity behind, drawn to and embracing womanhood for themselves—would be welcomed.

I tried to look at it that way for a time. It does make a kind of sense. But it was always an attempt, I never really succeeded, and over time the lack of fit just became too obvious. They didn’t leave masculinity behind. They put their masculinity in a skirt and bullied us harder than ever.

From the boys

Jun 3rd, 2023 10:09 am | By

Oh come on BBC.

Pride 2023 on BBC Three

I Kissed A Boy: The Reunion

Ahead of the final of BBC Three’s ground-breaking dating series, I Kissed A Boy, this one-off studio special will see Dannii Minogue getting the latest goss from the boys (their love lives, their newfound fame, any lingering chemistry…)…

This is Gay

As part of a batch of brand new BBC Comedy Short Films, This is Gay – written and created by Kirk Flash – makes it’s linear debut on BBC Three. They’re called ‘gays’ – but what are they? Who are they? And why? Part mockumentary, part sketch show, This is Gay attempts to answer these important questions…

Keeping up with Krystal Versace

Keeping Up With Krystal Versace: Keep up with Drag Race UK Series 3 winner Krystal Versace as she prepares for her solo show with her drag family…

RuPaul’s Drag Race UK

Another chance for viewers to enjoy the iconic third series of RuPaul’s Drag Race UK as Mama Ru presides over twelve of the nation’s most fabulous queens…

Olly Alexander: Growing up Gay

In this eye-opening film, young pop culture icon Olly Alexander explores why the gay community is more vulnerable to mental health issues, as he opens up about his own long-term battles with depression…

Lily: A Transgender Story

Filmed over five years, this is the story of Lily Jones and her transition from male to female – a journey which began when she was 15 and living with her farming family in mid-Wales…


BAFTA nominated comedy drama film. In 1984, with Margaret Thatcher and the Conservative Party in power, a group of lesbian and gay activists, led by Mark Ashton, find unlikely allies in a collective of Welsh miners taking industrial action following pit closures…

Oh look! Finally the word “lesbian” appears…in the last item on the page, in combination with “gay.” No item about lesbians and lesbians only. Plural gay men, plural drag/trans, but zero standalone lesbians.

Happy Pride y’all!

H/t Julie Bindel.

No serious value for minors

Jun 3rd, 2023 9:03 am | By

Well that’s the best headline I’ve seen in a while.

Utah primary schools ban Bible for ‘vulgarity and violence’

Right on! The vulgarity is off the charts.

Utah’s Republican government passed a law in 2022 banning “pornographic or indecent” books from schools.

In other words they made a noose for their own necks. The Bible is hella indecent.

The Utah decision was made this week by the Davis School District north of Salt Lake City after a complaint filed in December 2022. Officials say they have already removed the seven or eight copies of the Bible they had on their shelves, noting that the text was never part of students’ curriculum.

The committee did not elaborate on its reasoning or which passages contained “vulgarity or violence”.

According to the Salt Lake Tribune newspaper, the parent who complained said the King James Bible “has ‘no serious values for minors’ because it’s pornographic by our new definition”, referring to the 2022 book-ban law.

Yer darn tootin’.

Other people’s perspectives

Jun 3rd, 2023 8:27 am | By

How do people get themselves here? People old enough to vote and drive and enlist?

If you were to ask me “What is a woman” today, I, like a lot of people would struggle to give an answer. That doesn’t mean I don’t have a belief. What it comes down to is that what a woman is to me might not be a woman to someone else. Just like if I were to ask someone “what is god?”

No. Not just like that at all. Pretty much the opposite of that in fact. “god” is imaginary, and “woman” is not. How does a grown-ass adult not know that? Or pretend not to know that?

Also how interesting that he says it about “woman” and not about “man.” Men are real but women are just a figment of everyone’s imagination, eh?

A lot of people would have an exact definition, while others will have a differing view. Some would say God doesn’t exist. Other would say that God is different for everyone. To me God is whatever someone wants to believe God is. My answer for what a woman is, would be the same thing.

Why would it be the same thing??? He’s met women, he exists because he came out of a woman, he sees women all around him all the time. None of that applies to God. Why would he think this is a good analogy?

It’s whatever you want it to mean to you. I know what I believe, but I wouldn’t force those beliefs onto someone else, just like I would tell a Jewish person or Muslim person “Merry Christmas.”

No, not just like that at all. Women are not a religious holiday.

I’ll give James Esses the last word here.

The very smart, even brilliant, Magadonians

Jun 3rd, 2023 7:48 am | By

And a new nation is born…

The followup one is the best, because it demonstrates how anarchic his “thinking” and “writing” are. “I’ll call them smart no make that brilliant but don’t change the word just say the first one and then the second one and keep going because momentum is all and coherence is what even is that?”

The tale of the non-binary shopper

Jun 2nd, 2023 11:54 am | By

Oh puhleeze. A man doesn’t magically become a not-man just because he calls himself “non-binary.”

A non-binary shopper said they felt ‘dehumanised’ and accused a fashion brand of being ‘transphobic’ after they were refused entry to a women’s changing room.

The “non-binary shopper” is a man. That’s why he was refused entry to a room where women change their clothes. Capeesh?

Giorgio Firico, 21, tried to go to the ladies changing room at Zara in Oxford when the female assistant told them it was against the rules and refused to give them a number for the clothing.

Giorgio, who studies in the US and is in Oxford visiting a friend, said: “I was wearing men’s clothing but I had two gowns on my shoulder, it was obvious what I wanted to try on.”

Oh fuck off Giorgio. The issue is not what you wanted to try on but what’s between your legs. Stop harassing women.

“At first I was shocked and I went away. Then I thought for one second, it’s my right. I do not identify myself as a man, I have a right to be there. I went back and explained clearly, I am non-binary, I am not a man.”

No. No. It’s not your right. It’s women’s right to be safe from self-absorbed (if you’re not lying) or predatory (if you are lying) men. It’s not your right to force yourself on women while they take their clothes off.

“She kept saying it’s against the rules. But I said, I do not think you know my gender identity better than me.”

Giorgio walked past the shop assistant and into the ladies dressing room next to their friend Anna where they closed the curtain and tried on the clothes.

Giorgio said: “Afterwards I went out and said you should be ashamed of the way you have dehumanized me especially as the shop does not have a gender neutral changing room.”

This whole thing is a gift to piggy predatory men.

La Part des Anges

Jun 2nd, 2023 10:48 am | By
La Part des Anges

Reduxx reports:

A lesbian bar that has operated in Rennes, France for nearly a decade has been forced to close its doors following a disturbing swell of vandalism and death threats by trans activists. Orane Guéneau, the owner and manager of lesbian bar La Part des Anges, was publicly denounced as “transphobic” and accused of “misgendering” by critics.

Speaking with Ouest France, Guéneau said she made the decision to shut down the venue to protect her employees in response to increased aggression, both online and at her storefront. On April 14, four unnamed trans activists spray painted the menacing message “Fuck TERFs,” accompanied by a trans symbol, on the front door of the venue during activities that were aimed at opposing national pension reform.

Women must not be permitted to have anything just for women. Even feminism has to belong to men and campaign for men.

Guéneau faced further harassment throughout the month of May when a local chapter of the French feminist organization Nous Toutes published a statement calling for their supporters to boycott the bar.

Nous Toutes except women who know men are not women.

“In Rennes or elsewhere: no feminism without trans people,” reads the call to action from Nous Toutes 35.

See? There it is. No feminism without trans people. Why not? No explanation given of course, it’s just dogma.

Good grief – it refers to “la communauté Queer.” What a ludicrous item to import.

The bar has always welcomed trans people according to Guéneau…but of course that’s not good enough.

However, tensions have escalated over the past five years as Guéneau defended lesbian patrons who were being harassed by men who self-identified as women and attended the venue seeking sex.

On multiple occasions, Guéneau told Charlie Hebdo, trans-identified males came to the lesbian bar to flirt with same-sex attracted women.

Charlie Hebdo; of course.

Their Hero’s Journey

Jun 2nd, 2023 10:19 am | By


Oxford is – this is the way it’s always going to go, I mean, this is a large number of students doing this – it’s a small number of students with a strong social media presence who have seized upon this as their Hero’s Journey while they’re at Oxford before they go on to management consultancy or law.

This Pride month, let the BL tell you

Jun 2nd, 2023 7:17 am | By

Scholarship to the resue:

The British Library has limited replies. I guess only fish can respond.

Ask the badgers

Jun 2nd, 2023 6:56 am | By

Due respect

Jun 2nd, 2023 6:36 am | By
Due respect

You don’t get to decide.

The Patreon is here.

H/t G.

Peter Pants on fire

Jun 1st, 2023 11:44 am | By

The Peter Tatchell Foundation tells us that Peter Tatchell is determined to tell damaging hostile lies about Kathleen Stock.

Veteran LGBT+ human rights defender, Peter Tatchell, has pulled out of tonight’s Oxford Union Pride debate over its hosting of Kathleen Stock on 30 May, without a speaker to challenge her trans-exclusion policies.

Misogynist creep. She has no “trans-exclusion policies.” None. Famous male gay rights activist libels lesbian, boasts about it via his “foundation.”

Writing to the Oxford Union today, Mr Tatchell said:

“I have decided, somewhat reluctantly, to withdraw from the debate.

“I strongly disagree with the Oxford Union giving Kathleen Stock a solo platform, without having a trans speaker to counter her viewpoint.”

Does Pater Tatchell insist on having a straight speaker present whenever he talks about something, to counter his viewpoint? Of course he fucking doesn’t, but when it’s a woman, the rules suddenly change.

“While I am all in favour of free speech, it is not free speech when trans people are denied a voice in favour of those who want to restrict their inclusion and human rights.”

More libel. Honest to god there need to be more libel suits about this kind of thing. Stock does not want to restrict the human rights of trans people.

It’s a trick they’re pulling here, a stupid dishonest trick. They decide that trans people get to have weird new special “human rights” that aren’t human rights at all, and then they label everyone who points out the absence of human rightsness Enemy of the Human Rights of Trans People. It is not a human right to have your fantasy about yourself validated by the rest of the world.

What a horrible man he turns out to be.

In which he admits stealing the doc

Jun 1st, 2023 11:00 am | By

Don was recorded:

US prosecutors have obtained an audio recording of Donald Trump in which he acknowledges keeping a classified document after leaving the White House.

The audio recording is said to be from a meeting at Mr Trump’s New Jersey golf club in July 2021, which is around six months after he left office.

Two people familiar with the matter told CBS that Mr Trump can be heard acknowledging there are national security restrictions on a military memo because it details a potential attack on Iran.

He says it is still classified and should have been declassified before leaving the White House, one person said.

No, Don, it should not have left the White House at all. You stole it.

Also, why would he keep a memo of that kind once it was no longer any of his business? What was he planning to do with it? Bribery, extortion, treason, what?

Mr Trump also says he wants to share information from the document but knows his ability to declassify it is limited because he is no longer president, CNN reported.

Goes to consciousness of guilt, members of the jury.

Living proof

Jun 1st, 2023 10:23 am | By

Again with the confusion between existence and self-description.

A woman who pretends to be a man gets pregnant.

So far so unsurprising.

(It would be surprising if she’d been trapped alone on a desert island for the past 10 months or so. Or if she’d been locked in a room alone ditto or some other such scenario in which it would have been physically impossible to be impregnated. Barring that – no surprise.)

The woman says she’s “a pregnant trans man” and that no matter what anyone says, she’s “living proof.”

Of what?

She’s living proof that a woman can say she’s a trans man, I suppose, but we already knew women can do that, so why it’s on the cover of a magazine is anyone’s guess.

If she means it’s living proof that she’s a man…

…she’s left out a few steps in the argument.

The right to be the thing they say they are

Jun 1st, 2023 7:53 am | By

Yet again I wonder…how do adults let themselves get to this point?

But there is no such “right.” That has never been a right. For blindingly obvious reasons. Everybody could have claimed to be the local landowner, and then what? Everybody could have claimed to be the king, the pope, the admiral, the owner of the bank, your sister, your daughter, your mother, a daffodil, a planet – the list is infinite. There is no “right” to “be the thing they say they are.” We don’t have the right to be David Andress even if we say we are.

This is obvious obvious obvious. Everybody knows it’s obvious. Yet somehow adults go on saying it. Why? How?

On behalf of all women

Jun 1st, 2023 7:34 am | By

Narcissistic bossy guy who pretends to be a woman tells a woman what she can say about women.

Jonathan Willoughby thinks he gets to tell JK Rowling to stop “hiding behind” the word “women.” Jonathan Willoughby is the one pretending to be a woman here, while Rowling is the actual woman talking about the way women are bullied and punished for speaking up. Willoughby’s way of persuading us that women are not bullied and punished for speaking up is to bully and punish Rowling in public. Very convincing!

Brag elsewhere

May 31st, 2023 6:35 pm | By

Oh ffs. If you don’t understand something that basic go do something else. Leave women alone. Go shout at magpies or the man on the telly or the sky. Leave us alone.

Because saying you’re a lesbian (or a gay man) is not an extraordinary claim. Same-sex attraction and love has been known about for literally thousands of years. and it doesn’t require any magic to get over the incredible bits. A man saying he’s a woman is an extraordinary claim. There’s a well known rule about extraordinary claims: go find it.

Also Stock doesn’t say she “feels she is a lesbian.” That’s your gloss so that you could compare it to “feeling” one is a woman when one is not. Stock doesn’t feel she is a lesbian, she is one.

Compare like with like. It’s a simple and useful rule for arguments.


May 31st, 2023 6:14 pm | By

Reminder, or new information if you didn’t know it: if you want to joke or gossip about something entirely irrelevant to a serious post, the place for that is not the serious post but the Miscellany Room.

Familiar to many women

May 31st, 2023 11:13 am | By

Madeline Grant at the Times on Ed Balls trying to patronize Kathleen Stock:

Given the crisis unfolding in UK daytime TV, I shouldn’t have been surprised to turn on Good Morning Britain and be confronted with a bona fide monster. To her detractors on social media, Prof Kathleen Stock is the ultimate bogeywoman.

One of them. Let’s not forget JKR, and Maya, and Julie, and Allison, and – they are many.

You’ll be shocked – I repeat, shocked – to hear that Twitter doesn’t reflect reality. Instead, what GMB viewers saw was a clear thinker and lucid speaker with a dry and understated wit. Perhaps all those years of harassment and intimidation by maniacs have afforded Stock a certain gallows humour.

Her interviewer was Ed Balls, a former MP, who in recent years has undergone a considerable rebrand, from Brownite bruiser to the comforting voice of breakfast television. But it seems old habits die hard. Balls repeatedly insisted that Stock’s position – that humans cannot change biological sex – represents an extreme view. “I think I do know what most people think,” he smirked.

Men telling women that it’s “extreme” to know that men are not women. How did we get here so fast when it took women decades to pry the door open just a little?

She asked Balls to explain why he purports to speak for everyone. He could not, and his blustery attempts at self-justification quickly and embarrassingly backfired.

Balls’s manner will be familiar to many women who’ve engaged in arguments with a certain type of progressive man.

There’s the faint sneer, the knowing air; muscular centrism, at the point of a verbal bayonet.

In other words the clueless assumption of superiority.