You are currently browsing the tag archive for the ‘Sex Based Oppression’ tag.

The unhappy pull quote from the article – “PWR BTTM’s response crystallizes a problem at the heart of modern gender politics, wherein language and personal experience are given precedence over material and systemic reality. ”



  1.  If misogyny was only just “hatred of the feminine” a supposedly mystic state of being rather than oppressive norms, women could opt out at any time by simply not conforming. This is so clearly and painfully untrue almost as if… Sex-based oppression exists

1a.  When I choose not to perform femininity out in public, the world still knows I am female. Men know what my body looks like no matter how I try to conceal and disguise it. They know my sex, my sex is female, and no matter how I identify or present myself, I will be harassed, solicited for sex, at risk of assault, and oppressed in public because I am female. This is sex-based oppression. The world doesn’t care how I identify. I have a body and my body is female and nothing I can do will stop it from happening, even if you deny sex-based oppression just please know that it is currently happening to me and it will keep happening to me regardless of how this might interfere with your political belief that sex and gender can be wholly divorced from one another (they *should be* does not mean they are).

-Found on

I have to thank tumblr for occasionally putting such important concise definitions at my fingertips.  So, let’s define what sex based oppression and where it comes from.

“As Friedrich Engels made clear, even before feminism’s First Wave, women were historically controlled because we are “a means of production”—without women, there are no heirs, and without heirs, no inherited property and wealth.  Women’s reproductive capacity is why we were colonized as property, just as animals, countries, weapons and land was colonized.  Otherwise, we wouldn’t have been important at all; any thing we could do (cooking, cleaning, sewing clothes) could have been done as well by men (and in the military, it was).  The reason women were oppressed was to control our REPRODUCTIVE ABILITIES.  This does not mean all women had these abilities, but women were assumed to have them until proven otherwise.  (In many religious traditions, a woman’s “barren” status was the only acceptable reason for divorce.)

There can be no other logical, rational basis for women’s oppression; unless you think men were just being “mean” or something.  No, it was for a very real, profit-centered reason.  Men without families and heirs could not build empires (or even working farms) and without this centralized, religiously-sanctioned consolidation of the family, the state could not have evolved.  The state then effectively empowered men to be women’s keepers until very very recently in human history.  

THIS is the origin of women’s oppression.  

So yes, women’s oppression is because of vaginas.  Also: uteri, ovaries, ovum and menstrual cycles.  That is just a fact.  This is what got us consigned to the lower class, and our vulnerability during pregnancy and childbirth is historically what kept us weak and dependent on men.  And this is how patriarchy evolved.  

To write “vaginas” (or other female body-parts necessary for baby-making) out of the history of patriarchy and the evolution of the state, is flatly incorrect.  

It is also anti-feminist, since this account effectively erases the one thing women were allowed to do, the one exception to our limitations:   birthing and raising children.  Anything women dared to do, had to be somehow connected to that.  So, the first women artists and writers were women who painted their children’s portraits; sang their kids songs or made up stories and poems for them; knitted/crocheted/sewed their clothes, created pottery for the family to eat on, etc.  Women’s creativity was harshly limited to domesticity like this, and yet, we found ways to express ourselves regardless.  It is a story of SURVIVAL.  To explain to our daughters (as Virginia Woolf did) why there is no female Shakespeare or Chaucer, is to go back to….. VAGINA.  We were only allowed to have babies and failing that, teach or take care of some other woman’s babies.  


I apologize to my veteran blamers as this is 101 type stuff, but I like being able to link to posts that define a concept clearly. :)

[Source:“Gender is an Experience”]

Well, it is picture and story time.   Here is the picture –


And here is the artful rejoinder provided by “blackswallowtailbutterfly” (I think, tracing tumblr sources can be tricky at times).


“Was…was that it? Was that the “valid point against sex-based oppression” you wanted witwitch to see? Because, um, fail.

Females have ovaries that produce ova and a uterus that sheds its lining once a month. Because of the ova production and a uterus with the potential to support a foetus, our reproductive rights are restricted. Because of the monthly shedding, we are mocked, bullied, and in some countries actively ostracized until the bleeding stops. If we become pregnant, we are considered murderers if we abort, defective if we miscarry, abandoning our child if we adopt, milking the system if we’re poor and we keep the child, unable to properly raise a child if we’re a single mother, etc..

Having vaginas ensure that we are expected to serve males sexually, even if some of us are completely repulsed by males. Although the vagina can tear if we aren’t aroused or natural lubrication isn’t sufficient, we are expected to take it until the man is satisfied. Our vaginas are considered icky, our natural smells wrong. Males who are perceived too feminine are often compared to our vaginas (“pussy”, “mangina”).

We also have clitori and labia, and depending where we’re born we may have our clitoris and/or our labia cut off. Even if we live in places where that’s not legal or condoned, porn ensures a good number of women will be dissatisfied with the size or shape or colour of the labia, and may be ashamed if their clitoris is “too big”. Only recently was it discovered that the clitoris is far more than the visible glans, that most of it is internal, and yet the inner working of the penis and testes has been fairly common knowledge for decades.

We lack a prostate, but males expect us to simply give in to anal sex because they want to try it. We are expected to do this even at the risk of pain and tearing.

Our bladders are tipped, which makes us much more likely to get bladder infections, yet we are not given extra bathroom breaks.

Males are seen as the default humans. Symptoms listed for various conditions are those that males experience, but not females. Female symptoms go completely ignored unless a women’s health organization covers it.

We also have breasts, which are treated as sexual objects for male pleasure, which overrides their actual function, and even the lives of the women. Breastfeeding in public is considered inappropriate, but full frontal nudity of females is commonplace in multiple media. Campaigns against breast cancer are called “Save The Tatas” and the like.

Females on average are weaker than males, having less muscle mass and lesser bone density. Males use this difference to intimidate, terrorize, beat, rape, and even murder females.

tl;dr If you think acknowledging sex-based oppression is seeing women are “walking vaginas”, you are actively ignoring the myriad ways our bodies are used against us under patriarchy. Also, no radfem belief will ever reduce women to our parts more than “vagina-haver”, “uterus-bearer”, “clitoris-owner”, “pregnant person”, “person with a vulva”, etc..”


And thus endeth the lesson on what (a small fragment of) sex-based oppression is like.




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