I think one of the…

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A Twitter thread by @radicalhag

I think one of the keys to this is acknowledging the harm of the TWAW/”identifying as a woman” rhetoric, which erases women as a sex class.

If you are male and perceive yourself as a woman, want to live in the social role commonly associated with women, want to express femininity, I think society should enable you to do so.

I do not believe that that makes you a woman, and I think it is harmful and misogynistic to try to force women to pretend to a belief that you are one.

We enable equal treatment by acknowledging differences and catering for them, not by trying to pretend that they don’t exist.

We do not, for example, enable equal treatment for disabled people by telling them their bodies don’t matter. We enable it by providing wheelchair access, wide toilets etc. We make it easier for them to take up social roles by catering for their physical differences.

Women’s bodies are very different from men’s bodies, and those differences matter. They have a big impact on our lives. Menstruation, pregnancy, miscarriage, menopause – no male will experience these.

We are also at risk for male violence, sexual assault and forcible impregnation. We have less upper body strength. We are far less likely statistically to commit violent crimes. Spaces where we are safe from males enable us.

They are also of particular importance to marginalised women from, for example, conservative religious communities, women whose voices have thus far been ignored.

We are enabled to take up the social roles we want to by the acknowledgement of our physical difference, not by pretending it doesn’t exist. Women’s facilities, sports, political lists, societies all exist to overcome bodily difference.

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/single-sex-toilets-unesco-un-international-womens-day-period-a8244776.html

Rape crisis, refuges, separate prison estates all exist to protect us from male violence and help us recover from it. Bodies, not identities, are what is salient in these spaces.

Self-id demolishes this, if transwomen are elided with women. If any male can claim access to womanhood based on his identity, then women’s spaces cease to exist, because they are by definition spaces which exclude males.

In the past we’ve created the legal fiction of womanhood for the very tiny minority of males who transitioned fully. If the transgender movement want the criterion to be identity instead, then this is no longer adequate to safeguard women.

Transgender activists seek to erase women’s bodily reality, to claim that the differences don’t exist or don’t matter, so they can claim membership of the category woman. I think this demand is unreasonable and sexist. It erases women. It also erases transsexuals.

What we need from transactivists is to understand their practical needs. What we need to do politically is make a very clear separation between leaving the category of man, which should be enabled, and joining the category of woman, which should not.