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“There has been little acknowledgement of the way in which trans politics demands far more of women than it does of men, perhaps because this would require an acknowledgement of the fact that male/female remains as much, if not more, of a dominant axis of oppression as trans/cis. Why aren’t we claiming that “men” needs to become a more inclusive category? If men can get pregnant too, why aren’t men’s rights activists campaigning for abortion rights? Why does pregnancy become a de-politicised “people’s” issue while testicular cancer remains a men’s issue? If sex is irrelevant, why are female people always the ones expected to cede linguistic and physical ground?

Pregnant with my third child, I faced more than one self-righteous male informing me that “biological sex is a construct.” The arrogance of this is staggering. Every single human being on this planet exists because of the reproductive labour of female bodies. Around 830 women die every day due to preventable pregnancy complications. The world is missing an estimated 90 to 100 million women due to the extermination of female – not feminine – infants. In such a situation, to boldly declare that you “see no sex difference” reveals both ignorance and privilege. We’re back to the idea that female people cannot be credible witnesses to their own lives.

If men were genuinely invested in supporting trans women, there’s an obvious thing they could do: stop pretending it is inevitable for “masculine” men to respond with violence to the idea that those who wish to socially transition to womanhood remain biologically male. As feminists have been arguing for decades, maleness and femininity can coexist. If the thought of that makes some men violent, then the problem lies with how men see maleness, not with feminists refusing to treat womanhood as a catch-all category for anything men don’t want to be.

Andrea Dworkin suggested when it comes to justifying misogyny, the right has religion while the left has nature. Trans politics has offered up a suitably postmodern amalgam of both. Are we dealing with scientifically verifiable proof of the “gendered” brain? Or with some mystic, soul-like essence known as “gender identity”? In many ways, it doesn’t matter which, as long as both are reinforcing a male view of how masculinity and femininity work.

I am tired of men posing as more open-minded than feminists, when in fact they’re behaving in the exact same way men have always behaved towards women. If you’re a male person telling a female person to be silent about her experiences of gender and power, you’re not only doing feminism wrong, you’re exemplifying the very values you claim to undermine. “

*slow clap*

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