What Makes a Woman?

I’m going to say that I am more in support of the woman who wrote this piece than I am with the Transgender Borg who are attacking her.

Anatomy is part of what makes women women.  For all the blither, blather and babble about gender those TS/TG folks who are assumed to be female aka pass are assumed by society to possess female anatomy.  It is that assumption people operate upon not some academic gender studies babble about identity.

I’m a second wave feminist, one who made her peace with Lesbian Feminism some forty years ago. Today TG folks dismiss the “Real Life Test” as antiquated but it was a crash course in socialization as a woman.  If you spend most of your life with other trans-women you get socialized as trans, hence the Trans-speak and the inability to deal with even the mildest of feminist criticism.

I am the same age as Elinor Burkett, quite probably shared many of the same social influences of Second Wave Feminism with her.

Living real life as a woman makes one a real woman. It requires one to have or be presumed to have certain anatomy.  It takes the amassing of a history of living real life as a woman, including dealing with people assuming you have been that way since birth.

For what it is worth I do not believe in male brain/female brain.  I believe how our bodies handle hormones may in some cases play a role.  I don’t know what causes core sex identity and it doesn’t relly matter.  Rights are based on being human.  Nothing else.

From The New York Times:  http://www.nytimes.com/2015/06/07/opinion/sunday/what-makes-a-woman.html

4 Responses to “What Makes a Woman?”

  1. Edith Pilkington Says:

    “Their female identities are not my female identity.”

    “The “I was born in the wrong body” rhetoric favored by other trans people doesn’t work any better and is just as offensive, reducing us to our collective breasts and vaginas.”

    “Imagine the reaction if a young white man suddenly declared that he was trapped in the wrong body and, after using chemicals to change his skin pigmentation and crocheting his hair into twists, expected to be embraced by the black community.”

    “In fact, it’s hard to believe that this hard-won loosening of gender constraints for women isn’t at least a partial explanation for why three times as many gender reassignment surgeries are performed on men.”

    “The struggle to move beyond such stereotypes is far from over, and trans activists could be women’s natural allies moving forward.”

    “So long as humans produce X and Y chromosomes that lead to the development of penises and vaginas, almost all of us will be “assigned” genders at birth. But what we do with those genders — the roles we assign ourselves, and each other, based on them — is almost entirely mutable.”

    “If that’s the ultimate message of the mainstream of the trans community, we’ll happily, lovingly welcome them to the fight to create space for everyone to express him-, her- or, in gender neutral parlance, hir-self without being coerced by gendered expectations.”

    Did we read the same piece? Did she grant a special dispensation to you? What am I? Your ally? Her ally?

    Katie McDonough at Salon wrote a good analysis of Burkett’s piece which does point out many obvious truths, the same way Julie Bindel does. Yes, Burkett’s correct about many things but why should anyone have to pay for Jenner’s sins? I think she used Jenner to take a cheap shot at people she will never know or understand, very low hanging fruit. If you look closely, she didn’t give you any dispensation, either. She makes no distinctions, whatsoever. She would, “lovingly welcome(notice>)[‘them’] to the fight to create space.” She’s talking about that third gendered place for all those “trans identified” people. Even with all your experience she considers you one of them.

    This is just a recurring nightmare. She’s saying stick with your assigned gender. Just choose whatever crazy role you want to play. I don’t understand why you don’t get that. There is so much Az Hakeem passive aggressiveness in this kind of pseudo-tolerance. By now it’s become a brand. Again, I don’t understand why you don’t get that. One thing I will say is that “identity” is a very problematic concept. You’re correct about “being” but I don’t think Burkett is on the same page as you.

    • Suzan Says:

      I really find all the gender, gender, gender language seriously oppresses women. I am not transgender. I don’t think identity is more important than some basis in physical reality. If it were then we wouldn’t be looking askance at Rachel Dolezal, the Seattle white woman who identifies as black.

      I honest do not consider Jenner some sort of transgender hero. Just another supermarket tabloid queen and Kardashian reality TV super star.

      You of course realize that when I came out we didn’t consider ourselves to be really women until after SRS.

      As for dispensation… Considering I was part of Second Wave Feminism. I have long considered the feminist analysis of gender to be one less oppressive to women than the transgender one of claiming gender, gender, gender is all that makes one a woman or a man. Gender oppresses women by confining them to specific roles hence Jenner posing like a 25 year old pinup on the cover of Vanity Fair.

      If you want a hero how about any one of the brothers and sisters opening up the military? Jenner just crams us back into the old stereotypes.

  2. Edith Pilkington Says:

    That’s the nightmare part of all this. I don’t disagree with a thing you’re saying and I very much agree with many of the things Burkett says. “Hero” is such an odd choice of words considering what is involved. I don’t relate to Jenner’s narrative at all. BTW, I haven’t had any cosmetic surgery but I know a lot of woman who have.

    As far as the gender double talk goes, I just said all that needs to be said about it. The way the sex/gender distinction is manipulated by opportunists really makes it difficult to know where anyone is coming from until they’re finally in your face and it’s too late.

    • Suzan Says:

      After working on it for several years I back filed my memoir. I realized I just didn’t want to be naked in public that way. I’d rather write about the hippie way of life and its relevance to living out old age in diminished economic circumstances. Or about working class rural folks and hill billies and the racism like prejudice they face by the urban elites. I’d rather write about living small and in a manner better for the environment, in short about dozens of other topics instead of about my transsexual history. After nearly 50 years of being who I am now and the relatively short time I lived in a role that was forced upon me I have forgotten what it felt like before. But I damned sure know what it is like to have faced a life time of discrimination due to being a woman.


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