The Failure of Radical Feminism

Radical feminism and its focus on classism and in the small on the perceived impact of those naughty trans women on their struggle is quite the thing to behold. It focuses on the “patriarchy” while leaving behind the true victims of female disempowerment, single mothers, especially those on welfare, and women in disadvantaged jobs. In the 60s radical feminists burned their bras while women of color walked by and wondered what the hell these white women were going to do about sexual harassment or getting daycare for their kids.

(in the quotes below I did what I could to validate that they are true quotes by vetting them. I apologize in advance if I have somehow misquoted or reported a fictional quote)

Feminism is hated because women are hated. Anti-feminism is a direct expression of misogyny; it is the political defense of women hating.

Andrea Dworkin

Andrea, certainly one of the most infamous radical feminists out there, generalizes all men into  one statement that says they all hate women. Really? Every single one of them? That was never my experience as a man, either of myself or of my fellows. Rather we loved our significant others and liked many women as friends. That we misunderstood many women’s issues is indisputable, but that is not misogyny.

I also like this quote from her:

You think intercourse is a private act; it’s not, it’s a social act. Men are sexually predatory in life; and women are sexually manipulative. When two individuals come together and leave their gender outside the bedroom door, then they make love.

Andrea Dworkin

At the very least this is a terrifically cynical view of men. I doubt anyone would argue that men are more the actors, but her use of the word predatory all but accuses men of being criminal. What a confirmed lesbian actually knows of heterosexual relationships is unclear to me. Perhaps I need to read up on her history. I do know many women as girlfriends and I’ve never gotten this impression.

The idea that one can shed gender is a peculiar one, especially in a sexual context. I’d personally say that is probably the last place one can set aside gender.

To be fair though, there are many good things said by all of these women, fair things, much less divisive things. Still, these quotes from Robin Morgan give me pause:

We can’t destroy the inequities between men and women until we destroy marriage.

I claim that rape exists any time sexual intercourse occurs when it has not been initiated by the woman, out of her own genuine affection and desire.

I feel that “man-hating” is an honorable and viable political act, that the oppressed have a right to class-hatred against the class that is oppressing them.

I’ve always been of the opinion that men comprised a gender and a sex, not a class. Despite claims to the contrary, many men are not empowered and really are as much victims of the “patriarchy” as women. Radical feminists tend to forget that men also have societal requirements placed on them. Many men in menial labor jobs do not feel empowered.

It is also quite something to say that one should hate half of all humans on the planet for real and perceived wrongs. Even given that every single claim and complaint would be correct as stated, that is hardly the best way to persuade them to change.

I’d also say that there’s this odd dichotomy of abhorring but also leveraging gender roles. Yet there’s also just this denial of reality. Many years ago a couple we knew was visiting us. Our daughter was perhaps five months old and I made some quip about my wife nursing her. Mind you, I was very involved as a dad, I changed enormous numbers of diapers, bathed her, attempted to feed her, etc.

With them was a radical feminist who came up with this incredibly ridiculous statement that I could take hormones and breast feed her. Aside from the ridiculousness of how long that actually would have taken to have happened, and my actual internal feelings as a trans person, the very notion that she would suggest to a man to chemically castrate himself just to breastfeed an infant was insane, and I told her so.

Gender roles do have their place in some places. Men are not equipped to get pregnant. Women are equipped to do so. Women seem to be better suited generally for dealing with kids then men. Men are generally stronger than women and there are jobs where that makes a difference.

I only have problems with this where someone says a woman cannot be an X because she’s a woman if she’s qualified, or a man can’t raise a child.

Radical Feminists on Trans women

Without getting into a quote for quote argument, I read about an article in the Morning Star from a trans exclusionary radical feminist. There are many of these terfs out there. They, of course, have every right to their views, however misguided.

“gender” is defined by the socially constructed roles, behaviours and attributes society deems appropriate for men and women.

This is, of course, ridiculous. It’s true that society has gender constructs, but gender is not those constructs. Gender is the sense of whether  one is male or female or perhaps something in between.

Within the transgender movement, gender is often conflated with sex or even seen as something positive, and male socialisation is often denied.

I’m not aware of any trans person who conflates these. In fact, quite the opposite. We talk about our gender and sex not matching and as being the very characteristic that defines our condition. I would like to see the quote that proves the point on male socialization. It has, in my opinion, limited relevancy.

A trans woman is a biologically sexed male who transitions in order to socialise as female.

This itself, by definition, precludes trans women from being women on a biological level.

The former statement is true, the later shows an abysmal understanding of biology. I’m happy to refer the reader to an earlier article. If that’s not enough I have other commentary on the biology issue.

These include claiming access to public facilities segregated according to sex, such as changing rooms, hospital wards and relief facilities for victims of male violence — facilities segregated for the physical safety and dignity of women.

How can one properly  mock this. If you’ve read what I’ve said in the past, I personally don’t believe areas where  women get fully naked are appropriate for pre op trans women. Not for the reasons she claims but because it is too discordant and I believe to difficult to deal with on a visceral level.

However, changing rooms often have private areas and in those cases are entirely appropriate. Trans women are very often the victims of violence as well. What she says here in so many words is that we are men and a threat and our very presence will be upsetting because we’ll obviously be men. Whereas the reality is nothing of the sort.

In another Morning Star article we find still more idiocy.

There is no conclusive research on why some people are deeply unhappy with their bodies, but self-reporting, such as videos and articles created by people who are transitioning, gives us clues as to where their unhappiness is coming from.

When transgender people talk about how they knew they were trans, they often report identifying with the stereotypical behaviour and appearance of the opposite sex, such as boys who wanted to play with dolls and wear dresses, and girls who wanted to wear baggy clothes and cut their hair short.

Has this person actually done any research whatsoever? I never, ever, ever primarily associated with anything stereotypically female as the primary means of identifying as trans. I just felt entirely unhappy with being male and fantasized about being able to change.

There is, of course, a substantial body of brain research now to objectively show that this seems to be brain based as well as somewhat genetically based.

However, there’s absolutely no surprise that trans children would have some tendency to want stereotyped aspects of their target gender, and that is neither surprising nor proof of anything in particular.

In transgender politics, the physical anatomy of the body can be reinterpreted based on the subjective identity that one has — for example, a male body can be referred to as a female body if the man has a gender identity as a woman, and vice versa.

This is a problem for women and girls because our female biology makes us vulnerable to men, regardless of how we identify.

Gee, wish I knew that. I only considered my body to be partially female on cross sex hormones and only now consider it to be essentially female post surgery. I will point out to people who agree with the above statement that there is no meaningful difference between my body and a woman with a hysterectomy.

As for the later, unfortunately I am just as vulnerable as any other woman. Not just to men but to STDs and female specific infections and HPV.

I am amused at some of the idiocy. My favorite echos one of the bathroom debate cannards. Any man can just claim to be transgender. In the context of the article it was about a rapist going to prison and claiming this to be housed with female prisoners.

If people can simply decide to be the opposite sex, then a material analysis of women’s oppression cannot be done. Men who commit violent crimes against women can be recorded legally as women due to gender identity laws, which obscures the statistics on which sex is really committing those crimes, and violent males who are imprisoned can be imprisoned with other women, making incarcerated women vulnerable, because trans women cannot be named as males.

Can she possibly pretend that the transition of men to women or women to men is somehow so veiled in secrecy that determining criminal statistics is difficult? Is it that she’s concerned that skewing the statistics by the tiny, tiny percentage of the estimated .5% of the population that is transgender and the even smaller percentage of that which actually transitions and that also commits sexual assaults is going to make it hard to prove some argument? In a world where there are seriously big problems of sexual assault, she’s worried about trans women?

Aside from this ludicrous premise. For someone to take such a claim as serious from someone who had just been convicted of what is arguably one of the most male acts in existence both in terms of power and sexuality, would require a serious burden of proof. Does she have any idea what would be required to validate the claim?

As a prime example, a transgender prisoner, a genuinely transgender prisoner who had been on hormones for years, was housed with male prisoners in the UK. She and another prisoner both died in prison leading to a reexamination of the policy. Here was a clear case, but she had not had reassignment surgery at that point.

Even in the state that I live in, placement of an inmate with gender dysphoria, not just being transgender, requires being examined by competent professionals and if I read the form correctly would generally require a history of taking cross sex hormones. Not exactly a free pass.

On a more cynical note, I think they underestimate the fate of a prisoner who actually tries to be such a predator. Corrections officers can’t be everywhere and a male rapist in a female prison would likely learn all too well what his victims experienced.

Yet it’s worth noting that the crux of that particular argument is not that trans women are not women but that some man would pretend to be a transwomen. Since when is just behavior based on fraud by a third party?

 

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