The Emperor Has No Clothes

Vaginas are not important. Having a uterus does not mean you know anything about what happens inside one, or anything about reproductive rights. There’s no such thing as a right way to be a female. Biology is a social construct. Anyone can become a female by declaring themselves a woman. Apparently it’s a feeling. Males can have periods, they only need take HRT to have a complete reproductive cycle. Ectopic pregnancies can be implanted inside males so they can give birth. Females oughtn’t to talk about their periods, it’s triggering to males trying to be women. These males trying to be women tell females like me that we have period privilege. These males trying to be women tell females like me that we oughtn’t point to our vaginas and uteruses and vulvas in our discussions about our womanhood.

AYFKM? Does no one else find these outrageous claims, made by individuals calling themselves trans women, incredibly misogynist? Are males now co-opting and redefining woman/female hood? Is misogyny the new feminism where we can no longer have frank discussions about vaginas, uteruses, menses, and things that have defined our existence because they underlie our subjugation by and within society? How does this amount to progress? To be honest, it smells like indoctrination of the kind I used to endure during my childhood on Sundays at Catholic Mass.

Forty years ago I remember going to the Safeway with Mum to buy feminine hygiene products. Pads in those days came in one size: massive menstrual diaper sized. They still sold belted pads, even. Giant boxes in mute colours with photographs of dandelion seed heads lined the shelves. Plastic bags had already begun, though paper bags remained on hand. However, without us asking, the cashier automatically placed the box of menstrual diapers in a paper bag. They would handle it gingerly, as though wired with explosives, trying to touch as little of the surface as possible. Um, apparently they hadn’t realized mum and I hadn’t even used them yet.

No one talked about periods, PMS, and women had begun to die from toxic shock syndrome. The internet did not exist yet. We did not live in an information age. I remember growing up feeling the shame of that menstrual taboo seep into me like some kind of social osmosis. The social expectations of discretion, and all the ridiculous euphemisms we use to talk about menses all conspired to shame women into silence about this normal part of their biological functioning. Such a primal, bloody mess makes people feel uncomfortable. And here we are, 2017, being told the same thing: shut up, don’t talk about your period. 

The Emperor has no clothes on.  People have begun noticing. They feel frightened to say.

Males can never become females. Females can never become males. Girls and women are females. Boys and men are males. This is biology. Biology is not a social construct. Vaginas are important. Uteruses too. We all came from one. No, you are not Athena: you did not emerge from your father’s forehead after he swallowed your mother. Women necessarily centre our womanhood around our reproductive differences, because the biology does indeed impact our lives. Equality does not mean erasing what makes females distinct from males. Equality means acknowledging and accepting and not subjugating, raping, killing us for those differences. Imposition of gender stereotyping, such as in the trans ideology, falls under gender stereotyping. Insisting that, in order to adopt a feminine persona, one needs to be a female? That’s sexist because it reinforces gender stereotypes and objectifies females. A male who adopts a feminine persona is not a woman, does not need to be a woman, nor a man. Other cultures acknowledge a third gender and even fourth gender. Gender identity does not change biology.

 

 

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