Beautiful Justice: The Sexist Radical Left Versus Women

By Ben Barker / Deep Green Resistance Wisconsin

What makes a radical a radical is a willingness to look honestly and critically at power; more specifically, imbalances of power. We ask: Why does one group have more power than another? Why can one group harm another with impunity? Why is one group free while another is not? These kinds of questions have long been used by radicals to identify oppression and take action against it. The process has seemed both straight-forward and effective—until applied to the oppression of women.

As persistently as the radical Left has put names to the many rotten manifestations of the dominant culture, they have ignored, downplayed, and denied the one called patriarchy. While it’s generally understood that racism equals terror for people of color, that heterosexism equals terror for lesbians and gay men, that colonialism equals terror for traditional and indigenous communities, that capitalism equals terror for the global poor, and that industrialism equals terror for the earth, radicals somehow just can’t get that patriarchy equals terror for women. If it ever comes up at all, the oppression of women is diluted to the point of sounding more like a bunch of isolated, temporary, uncomfortable circumstances than what it really is: an ongoing war against the freedom, equality, and human rights of more than half the world’s population.

The degree to which sexism, male privilege, and patriarchy are not addressed amongst radicals is the degree to which they plague us. It’s a vicious cycle: as men on the radical Left repress feminism, they forcibly silence concerns about unjust male power within the radical Left, and thus solidify dominance over political movements which will likely never again be able to overcome unjust male power.

Patriarchy run amok is the enemy of truly radical activism. There can be no liberation in the world, if those claiming to fight for it aren’t ready for the liberation of women in their own ranks. As my dear neighbor says, “There’s nothing progressive about treating women like dirt; that’s what’s happening already.”

Maybe some of these men don’t see their privilege. Or maybe they see it fine and feel entitled to it. In either case, most are comfortable with the status afforded to them based on their sex, both in society and social movements. Men sit atop a hierarchy with half of humanity beneath us, forcibly there for us to talk at, dump undesirable work on, and use for sex. This reality doesn’t simply disappear by calling yourself “radical.” Indeed, any radical who doesn’t see this—never mind challenge and stop it—isn’t worth the name.

Too often, so-called radical politics are really just men’s politics. Righteous declarations about resistance to all forms of domination aside, men cleverly manipulate movements to stifle anything threatening our own power and privilege—including women.

Within this rigged game, radical men and the political groups they control are more than happy to address patriarchy; as long as they control the debate, it’s no sweat. With a snap of the fingers, the fangs of feminism disappear. Men are oppressed too, they plea. Things aren’t as bad as they seem, we learn. Women are liberated, they demand. And somehow, with all traces of common sense thrown to the wind, the radical Left as a whole eats the lies and turns them into political policy.

If only radicals would understand gender like they do race and class. It seems so obvious: gender, like race and like class, is a social construct that justifies the oppression of one group by another. That’s it. But ask most—though, especially men—on the radical Left about gender, and prepare for the bizarre. In taking power entirely out of the equation, they claim gender is really just a spectrum to choose from, or something innate and therefore inevitable, or even a metaphorical and playful war between the sexes.

In actual reality, gender is none of these things. It’s not a choice; women don’t have the power to decide to not be treated as they will within a woman-hating culture. It’s not natural; biology is an excuse used to justify the ideology of patriarchy. It’s not fun and the war against women is not metaphor. Assault, slavery, exploitation, trafficking, and second-class status are daily fare for women, and gender is the excuse. You don’t accept or play with a hierarchy; you dismantle it. Radicals should know this.

Gender is a terrible lie with the realest of consequences. It starts with human beings and socializes—read: deforms—them into classes of people called “men” and “women”. Further, it claims that men and women each possess an innate set of personal habits—and worth—termed masculinity and femininity, or “maleness” and “femaleness”. Men learn domination and women learn submission. Patriarchy thrives.

This social construction is the same with race and class. The difference is that radicals would have no problem—we hope—seeing through the idea of some innate (or chosen) “blackness” or “poorness”. No human being is born on the bottom of a hierarchy; women, like the global poor and people of color, are forced there.

Power isn’t pulled from thin air; it is taken from the powerless. If men have power, women don’t.

Masculinity is defined by the violation of boundaries. No longer simply human, men use sheer military-style force to get what they want, to satisfy an insatiable ego. Men prove we are real men by making others—often women—bend, and ultimately break, to our wills.

Male privilege is the grand rationalization, the justification of unjust power that we men try to make ourselves, and everyone else, believe. The lesson is that masculinity is normal and men are absolved from accountability; that men know best and are always right. The hierarchy thus becomes inevitable, resistance seeming like an utter waste of time.

Feminism is the other side of the war. It is, in the brave words of Andrea Dworkin, “the political practice of fighting male supremacy in behalf of women as a class.” This commitment is radical politics at its most honest, which is precisely why the male-dominated radical Left stands in its way.

Feminism explodes the lies that make patriarchy seem benign. It demands full humanity for women and is willing to struggle to achieve it.

When we’re honest about the breadth of damage that gender does to women, we see the breadth of action necessary to get us from here to justice. Sexism is clearly not a mere uncomfortable circumstance, amendable by attitude alone. Rape, pornography, humiliation, trafficking, and reproductive slavery are anything but mental events. If the radical Left would look honestly at these atrocities—let alone, not participate in them—we’d know what to do: organize and resist.

Instead, radicals call it “sexual liberation” and choose to celebrate it—a heart-breaking legacy with its roots in patriarchy and history in the social movements of the ‘60s and ‘70s. If a woman can choose to fuck, they claim, she must be free.

Choice, however, is only as meaningful as what there is to choose from. Women can choose between invisibility and sexual exploitation; they can choose between poverty and sexual exploitation; they can choose between death and sexual exploitation. I’d trust radicals to call bluff here if the opposite—collusion with the sexual exploitation of women—hadn’t been confirmed over and over again.

Feminism strikes a nerve. When men don’t get our way, backlash isn’t too far behind. Feminists face it from all directions. It seems anarchists, communists, sexual libertarians, men’s rights activists, and right-wingers can agree on at least one thing: the sanctity of male power. Men, along with whatever groups they dominate, come out in full force to put women back in place, whether through slander, censorship, threats, or physical violence.

There’s been little reason for women to count the male-dominated radical Left as anything resembling an ally. On the contrary, radicals seem ever willing to lend a hand to the other side. Take just this past week for example, when one environmentalist woman was barred from speaking at a university’s Earth Day event because she happened to also be a feminist; and when a decades-old women’s music festival was publicly ostracized for not letting men in; and when a venue slated to host one of the world’s only radical feminist conferences is considering reneging on the agreement after ongoing harassment from radical and conservative men, alike.

But if it’s not blunt retaliation men use to silence feminist women, its outright lies. The most common one is that men are, in fact, oppressed too. The radical Left has taken the bait. In the face of story after story depicting the terror waged daily against women, radicals want to know one thing: what about the men?

Of course men experience oppression—but not because we are men. Patriarchy means that, no matter the individual man, he will be treated as more of a human being than a woman would within the same circumstances. Men may be subjugated in a myriad of ways—each abhorrent and deserving of resistance in its own right—but not because we were born not female. Indeed, even the most otherwise oppressed or egalitarian or radical men have the capacity to use their power as men to hurt women. We needn’t ignore one injustice to see another.

If we, as radicals, are to live up to our name and traditions by getting to the roots of unjust power, we need to reject and combat patriarchy on all counts, at every level. Every time we allow men to wield power over women, we help the enemy.

If radical men want to fight the power, as many claim, we can start with men’s power over women. We can resist domination in all its manifestations; even—or especially—when doing so threatens our own privilege; even when it means changing who we are.

There’s no revolution and no justice without freedom for women. Patriarchy is destroying our social movements as surely as it’s destroying the lives of women and as surely as it’s destroying the planet. As musician Ani DiFranco sings, “The road to ruin is paved in patriarchy.” The road to revolution, on the other hand, is paved in feminism. As radicals, the choice is up to us: ruin or revolution?

Beautiful Justice is a monthly column by Ben Barker, a writer and community organizer from West Bend, Wisconsin. Ben is a member of Deep Green Resistance and is currently writing a book about toxic qualities of radical subcultures and the need to build a vibrant culture of resistance. He can be contacted at benbarker@riseup.net.

A Swedish translation of this article is available at: http://djupgron.wordpress.com/2013/05/12/den-sexistiska-radikala-vanstern-versus-kvinnor/

A French translation of this article is available at: http://coll.lib.antisexiste.free.fr/CLAS.html

73 thoughts on “Beautiful Justice: The Sexist Radical Left Versus Women”

  1. Are you… trolling? Sexism is rampant on the left, of course. Our movements can’t just leave behind the impacts of the systems of oppression in which we have all been socialized.

    But referring to ‘radicals’ or even ‘radical men’ as a homogenous group doesn’t leave anyone much traction for engagement. There are lots of men and women, working together and separately, to address sexism in and out of the radical left, with an incredible diversity of tactics. Failing to acknowledge the work that is being done doesn’t support your argument. Instead it sounds like you think you’re a noble voice in the wilderness – the only guy who really understands.

    The idea that the left has somehow dealt adequately with the complexity and challenges of race and class, neglecting only feminism, is absurd – and, btw, racist and classist. Your parade of sweeping generalizations erases both the work being done to undermine patriarchy AND the persistent impact of race and class oppression within movements for social change. Or ‘communities of radicals,’ if you don’t like movements, or whatever the hell you want to call them.

    So: yes. People who want social change need to address the way that patriarchy has affected us all. Men need to check their privilege, get out of the way, and support women’s leadership. This is JUST AS TRUE of white people and economically advantaged people. There is lots of work to be done, and a lot of learning to do.

  2. Yes, this is beautiful … and … the continued conflation of sex and gender is an issue, I’m very sad to say. That thing which is much like race and class, and is the root word of ‘sexism’ is sex, not gender. Sex is real, male or female. Class and race are both partially-constructed, but for those of us who are marginalized by these, they are not patriarchy’s toys, but our own hard-won identities: we recognize one another and ourselves, and we share and resist oppression via race and class as well. Gender is ‘masculine’ or ‘feminine,’ construct of the patriarchy, not a valid oppression to resist. We radical feminists want to do away with gender, not perpetuate its use.

    Thank you so much for bringing up WATM? (What About The Men?), and that most-beloved word, revolution.

  3. Rafter, It is hard to engage your argument when in the same breath you claim there are plenty of non-sexist men on the left AND accuse the author of writing about misogyny to solicit sex from women?

    This article accurately describes my experience as a woman on the left. Even so, your analysis is cynical to the point of being grossly disturbing.

    And, I must ask, are you acquainted with the author? Or you automatically assume every man is “heterosexual” per your understanding of normative male heterosexual behavior?

    1. Sorry if I gave the impression that I was assigning sexual motives to Ben. That was not my intention. I was alluding to the scenario in anti-oppression work, when people in the position of oppressor frame themselves as The Good [Fill in the Blank] – the good man, the good white person, etc. See the excellent “Detour Spotting for White Anti-Racists” here for more discussion: http://www.racialequitytools.org/resourcefiles/olson.pdf

      I found the blanket description and condemnation of a huge group of people, without the slightest reference to the many forms of resistance and reconstruction that are being attempted by diverse coalitions, counterproductive to say the least. Maybe inadvertently – and certainly unconsciously – Ben positions himself as the sole anti-sexist man. Whatever his intentions, this does not serve anti-sexism.

      I see how it was possible to read my statement the way that you did, and I regret my clumsy phrasing. Apologies to any and all who read it that way – and particularly to Ben.

      1. I take your point. I generally think arguments are stronger when they are situated in a person’s experience, rather than universal claims. But DRG is a national movement and sometimes in an attempt to describe a widespread problem we resort to generalizations. I also might read this differently in an alternate context, but the discursive style of social movements is not one of terrible specificity.

        Perhaps the disagreement is I believe he is describing a norm and you are writing of an exception—although I certainly wish it were otherwise.

        I understand your point about race and class too. But I read that section slightly differently because I’ve had similar experiences. I am frankly confused by the number of white “radical” men who can talk about race oppression and class oppression but cannot talk—I mean in any way, at all—about gender oppression. (I am not saying they are in no way racist or classist, but that they are completely illiterate in feminism.) How the heck does a person even become acquainted with topics of racism and classism but not sexism? Who are they reading? I don’t know; it is great nagging mystery of my life.

        I took this to be the phenomenon he is describing. In my mind I do not separate class/race/ability/gender/orientation. If we are unravelling one system of oppression we are unravelling them all. The question is how there are (many) men who do not realize this?

      2. This is fucking deranged. The extent to which the left has failed to deal with patriarchy’s abuses is the extent to which they still fucking occur and are even institutionally supported/concerns institutionally suppressed within their own ranks. No more and no less. Ben says as much in the above, and you are seamlessly shifting between treating ‘the left’ as a series of structures/organisations and a collection of individuals ‘not all of whom are bad *sadface*’. Stop individualising a structural analysis when it suits. Just stop.

  4. Thanks all for your comments.

    To “Rafter” specifically:

    You write: “But referring to ‘radicals’ or even ‘radical men’ as a homogenous group doesn’t leave anyone much traction for engagement. There are lots of men and women, working together and separately, to address sexism in and out of the radical left, with an incredible diversity of tactics. Failing to acknowledge the work that is being done doesn’t support your argument. Instead it sounds like you think you’re a noble voice in the wilderness – the only guy who really understands.”

    I generalize because men as a class generally indulge in using their privilege as men to control and hurt women. My experience has been that the radical Left is, today, controlled by men who indulge in this way. I don’t find it noble in the least to say this out loud; it’s heartbreaking. And in the article I tried to be clear that no man, however otherwise radical, myself included, is exempt from being accountable to the privilege we’re afforded at the expense of women.

    You write: “The idea that the left has somehow dealt adequately with the complexity and challenges of race and class, neglecting only feminism, is absurd – and, btw, racist and classist. Your parade of sweeping generalizations erases both the work being done to undermine patriarchy AND the persistent impact of race and class oppression within movements for social change. Or ‘communities of radicals,’ if you don’t like movements, or whatever the hell you want to call them.

    “So: yes. People who want social change need to address the way that patriarchy has affected us all. Men need to check their privilege, get out of the way, and support women’s leadership. This is JUST AS TRUE of white people and economically advantaged people. There is lots of work to be done, and a lot of learning to do.”

    I wouldn’t dream of claiming that the Left has adequately dealt with the “complexity and challenges of race and class”. I just think the Left is, on the whole, more honest (though not by much) about those systems of oppression than about patriarchy in that they at least name race and class as the problem, unlike gender which is passed off as anything but what it really is. I don’t see enough work being done to undermine the harmful impacts of any of them, which obviously needs to change.

    1. And as cultural anthropologist Roger Lancaster wrote in his introduction, in his good 2003 book,The Trouble With Nature sex In Science when he’s talking about how scientists constantly search for a ”gay brain”,a ”gay gene” or ”gay neurohormonal” patterns.Roger came out as a gay man when he was in college.

      He then says (One can hardly understate the niave literalism of present-day science on these matters: Scientists still look for the supposed anatomical attributes of the opposite sex embedded somewhere in the inverts brain or nervous system.) He then says and this notion now enjoys a second,third,and even fourth life in political discourses.He then says it is by appeal to such conceits that Aaron Hans,a Washington,D.C- based transgender activist,reflects on his uncomfortable life as a girl:”I didn’t *think* I was a boy,I *knew* I was a boy.” He says,Hans elaborates: ”You look at pictures of me- I actually have great pictures of me in drag-and I literally look like a little boy in a dress.

      Roger then says,Far,far be it from me to cast doubt on anyone’s sense of discomfort with the ascribed gender roles.Nor would I question anyone’s sense that sexual idenity is a deeply seated aspect of who they are .But testimonies of this sort and appeals to the self-evidence of perception beg the obvious question:Just what is a little boy or girl * supposed* to look like? The photograph that accompanies Han’s interview shows a somewhat robust girl.Is this to say that (real) girls are neccessarily delicate and (real) boys athletic?He then says (If so,virtually all of my nieces are ”really” boys,since not a one of them is delicate or unpresupposing)

      Roger then says,There is indeed something compelling about such intensely felt and oft- involved experiences-”I knew I was gay all along”; ”I felt like a girl” – but that compulsion belongs to the realm of outer culture,not nature.That is, if ”inappropiate” acts,feelings,body types,or desires seem to throw us into the bodies or minds other genders,it is because acts,feelings,and so on are associated with gender by dint of the same all-enveloping cultural logic that gives us pink blankets ( or caps,or crib cards,I.D. bracelets) for girls and blue for boys in maternity ward cribs.He then says,when we diverge one way or another from those totalizing associations,we feel-we really feel;in the depths of our being-”different”.Therein lies the basis for an existential opposition to the established order of gendered associations.
      Roger then says But therein also lies the perpetual trap: Every essentialist claim about the ”nature” of same sex desire in turn refers to and reinforces suppositions about the ”nature” of ”real” men and women (from whom the invert differs), about the ”naturalness” of their mutal attraction(demonstrated nowhere so much as in the inverts inversion),about the scope of their acts,feelings,body types,and so on( again, marked off by the deviation of the deviant). Aping the worst elements of gender/sexual conservatism,every such proposition takes culturally constituted meanings -the correlative associations of masculinity and feminity,active and passive,blue and pink- as ”natural facts”.

      Roger then says,In a twist as ironic as the winding of a double helix that goes first this way,then that,the search for gay idenity gradually finds it’s closure in the normalcy of the norm as a natural law.In the end,I am not convinced of the basic suppositions here.I doubt that most men are unfamiliar with the sentiment given poetic form by Pablo Neruda:”It happens that I became tired of being a man.”Even psychiatrists who treat ”gender dysphoria”- a slick term for rebellion against conventional gender roles -admit that at least 50% of children at some point exhibit signs of mixed or crossed genddr idenity or express a desire to be the ”opposite” sex.Roger has a note number to the reference in his notes section to a March 22,1994 New York Times article by Daniel Goleman called,The ‘Wrong’ Sex:A New Definition of Childhood Pain.

  5. I love your article, but I would like to counter that patriarchy is in itself a system of oppression, and this oppression does not have boundaries. While the most common, physically grotesque, and visible signs of oppression in human society are the result of female oppression, the inherent causes and pain felt internally are spread far and wide. In the standard patriarchal model of our time men are oppressed in a pecking order where to not be the millionaire playboy is to have work pressures, bosses, responsibility pressures, and most importantly internal emotional pressures. Patriarchy demands the submission of the rational emotional male to the service of the order. It is true that more women are raped, beaten, and abused. Is it not equally tragic that on the other end of the spectrum men are completely forced to deny their own inner being, and then be told that anger is the only true emotion men are capable of feeling and expressing? The man then expresses his anger at his own subjugation towards women and children. It is not in men’s thinking that women have nowhere else to dump their toxic emotional storage, they’re simply functioning in the conditioned model of patriarchy: dominate something until you consider yourself above it, and the shit will follow gravity and hit those beneath you. It is arguable that even the millionaire playboy does not escape the tentacles of this paradigm, as his thirst for power, wealth, and oneupmanship lands him in a state of perpetual inadequacy yearning for true emotional life experience and yet lacking even the knowledge of what it is as it was stolen from his in childhood. Men don’t deserve more pity than women, but it isn’t about who has suffered more, it’s about the fact that patriarchy causes ALL to suffer in an infinite number of ways. Males who are lucky enough to awaken to this truth find themselves on the side of feminism. Not that feminism is the goal, true equality is the goal, but feminism is the tool that exists here and now to make this change.

    1. “Is it not equally tragic that on the other end of the spectrum men are completely forced to deny their own inner being”

      Categorically fucking not.

      It’s tragic. And it’s part of the problem. But it is not equally tragic. I’m not one for attempting to compare the ways in which abusive cultural institutions oppress and hurt individuals in order to generate a hierarchy of ‘who is the most oppressed’, but under NO CIRCUMSTANCES is the hurt suffered by the dominant social group who benefit materially from the material, routine, systematic oppression of the oppressed social group, ever going to be equal to that material opression.

      This is part of what Ben’s article is criticising; gender is being treated differently to other forms of class based analysis. It’s tragic that the capital owning class have been turned into ecocidal, omnicidal sociopaths by the institution of property and its most recent form; capitalism. It’s obviously tragic. But no leftist in their right mind would consider this worth mentioning when discussing the material abuse and enslavement faced by the proletariat.

      Class based analysis. Structure. Politics in command. What happened to radicalism?

  6. Nathaniel, I like your statement here but it is hard to wrap my head around the idea of men experiencing an “equal tragedy” in this paradigm. For example: During the summer I am street harassed so regularly in my neighborhood I sometimes just stop leaving the apartment. Are these men, who publicly flaunt their power over me, really in a state of equal anguish? Do all men internalize and experience patriarchy in the same way?

    Because it seems to me these men fully “get” the system, and are rather gloating in it. I am a cheap thrill as they get to push the “power” button over … and over … and over … again. And then my male neighbors can walk down the same streets as they please without any (or very rare) interference. I don’t disagree with the basis of your argument. But can you look at the realities of women and men’s lives and conclude these are “equal tragedies”? I can’t. As long as we live in parallel universes, I have to say, yes, it kind of is about who is suffering more. Not as a futile exercise of cataloguing competing anguishes. But as naming the reality of patriarchy for what it is.

    Do most American men live in a state of fear? And if so, is this really physical fear or something a bit higher up the hierarchy of needs? Are you afraid of women you know? Are legislators trying to limit your access to birth control or incarcerating you for using drugs after conception? Are they picketing the places you go for health services? Do you know women who beat their husbands and refuse to use protection and rape their grandchildren?

    I’m trying to consider this argument from other angles, and I can’t find any sort of rational entry point. As a straight person I could also say the system suppresses some of my desires, sanctions certain behaviors and denials, etc. But would I ever say I suffer equally to homosexual people in our culture? Are you kidding? it’s the one part of my life that is relatively easy (in terms of acceptance in the metaculture, not in being a heterosexual woman, which is another story … And I’m anyhow skeptical about the stability of the terms “heterosexual” and “woman.”) I don’t mean to make a sloppy analogy but when I turn to consider my own positions of privilege, it’s still hard for me to grasp what you are saying.

  7. “Take just this past week for example, when one environmentalist woman was barred from speaking at a university’s Earth Day event because she happened to also be a feminist.” … if you are referring to Lierre Keith’s cancelled event in Appleton, she wasn’t barred because she was a feminist, she was barred because a bunch of feminists there were uncomfortable with her transphobia.

      1. Nowadays it seems that radicalism is considered identical transphobia. No arguments are provided, no criticism. If you offer a radical account of gender (i.e if you do feminism), it’s just self-evidently transphobic.

  8. I’m grateful to this discussion for making me aware of the connections between DGR and the virulently transphobic RadFem milieu. I’ve since read up RadFem a bit since then, and was shocked and appalled by their statements on trans issues. It’s as if the state of feminist discussion of gender was pickled in 1972 – in acid – and has been fermenting since then. For alternate perspectives on trans issues – that finds commonality with radical feminism instead of conflict – you could start here: http://cnlester.wordpress.com/2013/04/25/twenty-one-questions-on-trans-issues-answered/

    In related news, I received email notification of a comment here, that was taken down by the time I returned to the site. Since I don’t know if the author took it down by choice, I’ll leave it unattributed:

    “Similarly, the “radical feminist conference” that was cancelled was radfem 2013, a hotbed of vicious transphobia, and the “women’s music festival” is mitchfest, which is not under fire for excluding men, it is under fire for excluding women, because of its longstanding transphobic policy. If you want to be an ally to women, it’s probably best not to start by calling them men.”

    1. “If you want to be an ally to women, it’s probably best not to start by calling them men.”

      If you want to be an ally to females, it’s probably best to stop demanding that they eliminate boundaries they set up in spaces they secured and maintained in order to for have some small part of their life free from continuous adulteration by the dominant fucking social group.

      1. Males are the dominant social group, and are weaponisd from birth through the forcible application of the ‘Man’ gender by patriarchy.

        Trans people variously cannot or do not want to conform to the gender imposed onto people based on their sex.

        People who are males are denied entry to female only spaces because:
        – those spaces are for females who are the primary target for oppression under patriarchy, where most violence they experience and indeed most violence full stop flows from the male class and toward the female class
        – males are weaponised from birth by patriarchy.

        Because they do not conform to prescribed gender (NOT because of their identity), trans identifying folk are sadly subject to a significant amount of male violence and abuse, and are also policed by handmaidens of patriarchy (females that are not feminist, that have internalised patriarchy and its abusive norms).

        I support them in seizing spaces where they can organise against patriarchy’s abuses and hopefully feel safer. The same as I do females. I do not know why the entire Left – both sexes, all genders – feel it is appropriate to demand that female-only spaces cease to exist and must be adulterated by males.

    2. It’s been “awaiting moderation” for about 3 days now. I’ll be charitable and assume Barker is checking his facts, although why that comment in particular requires moderation, and why those facts weren’t checked before the article was posted are both open questions.

    3. Except “feminine” and “masculine” are really *HUMAN* traits,thoughts,feelings and behaviors! Unfortunately transexuals both reflect and re-inforce these artificial socially constructed categories in the very sexist,gender divided,gender stereotyped,woman-hating male dominated society we all live in!
      And there is plenty of decades worth of great psychological research studies by many different psychologists that shows that the sexes are much more alike than different in most traits,abilities and behaviors with a very large overlap between them,and that most of the differences between them are really small average differences,many of which have shrunk even smaller,and they find much greater individual *people* differences! Biologically the sexes are more alike than different too! Transexuals don’t help people learn and understand this!

      Feminists(such as Robin Morgan,Janice Raymond,Gloria Steinem,Germaine Greer etc) who have rightfully pointed this fact out,are not afraid of transexuals or prejudiced against them,the issue is what I said it is. The only transexual woman who actually debunks these common sexist gender myths,and gender stereotypes is Kate Bornstein author of Gender Outlaw:On Men,Women And The Rest Of Us,Gender Outlaws,My Gender Workbook etc. She was a heterosexual man who was married and had a daughter,then had a sex change and became a lesbian woman and then decided not to idenitify as a man or a woman.

      1. And I have * a lot * of great research studies about all of this,probably too much to post on here at once.

        But like comedian Elaine Boosler said so well back in the `1980’s I’m only a person trapped in a woman’s bopy.I’m sure she was responding to transexuals on TV talkshows claiming have the ”wrong” mind in the ”wrong” body,or think more like a ”man” or ”woman” gender myth gender stereotyped bullshit which they reinforce.

      2. I have an excellent book from 1979 written by 2 parent child development psychologists Dr. Wendy Schemp Matthews and award winning psychologist from Columbia University, Dr.Jeane Brooks-Gunn, called He & She How Children Develop Their Sex Role Idenity.

        They thoroughly demonstrate with tons of great studies and experiments by parent child psychologists that girl and boy babies are actually born more alike than different with very few differences but they are still perceived and treated systematically very different from the moment of birth on by parents and other adult care givers. They go up to the teen years.

        They also show that surveys show that boys are overwhelimingly prefered over girls,(sadly nothing has changed and sexist Tee shirts that say( I’m Too Pretty For Homework So I Let My Brother Do It For Me) (and other sexist anti-female ads,pornography,etc do too) like these both reflect and contribute to this injustice.They also explain that when people guess if a pregnant woman is having a girl or a boy,and they list a whole bunch of false unproven old wives tales,that assign all negative characteristics to a woman if they think she’s having a girl,and the imagined girls or given all of the negative characteristics.

        For example they say that author Elana Belotti(1977) explained these examples, The man and woman each take hold of one end of a wishbone and pull it apart.If the longest part comes away in the man’s hand,the baby will be a boy. If you suddenly ask a pregnant woman what she has in her hand and she looks at her right hand first ,she will have a boy;if she looks at her left hand it will be a girl.If the mother’s belly is bigger on the right-hand side a boy will be born,and also if her right breast is bigger than her left,or if her right foot is more restless.

        If a woman is placid during pregnancy she will have a boy,but if she is bad-tempered or cries a lot,she will have a girl.If her complexion is rosy she’s going to have a son;if she is pale a daughter. If her looks improve,she’s expecting a boy;if they worsen,a girl.If the fetal heartbeat is fast,it is a boy;if it is slow it is a girl.If the fetus has started to move by the fortieth day it will be a boy and the birth will be easy,but if it doesn’t move until the ninetieth day it will be a girl.( Belotti 1977,pp.22-23)

        Dr.Brooks-Gunn and Wendy Schempp Matthews then say, now rate each of the characteristics above as positive or negative. A woman expecting a girl is pale,her looks deteriorate,she is cross and ill-tempered,and she gets the short end of the wishbone,all negative characteristics. They then say,furthermore ,a girl is symbolized by the left-the left hand,the left side of the belly,the left foot,the left breast. They say,left connotes evil,a bad omen,or sinister,again the girls have all of the negative characteristics. They then say,that sex-role stereotypes about activity also characterize Belotti’s recipes:boys are believed to be active from the very beginning and girls have slower heartbeats and begin to move around later.They then say,the message although contradictory(girls cause more trouble even though they are more passive) is clear in that it reflects the sex-role stereotype that boys “do” while girls “are” and the belief that boys are more desirable than girls.

        I once spoke with Dr.Brooks-Gunn in 1994 and I asked her how she could explain all of these great studies that show that girl and boy babies are actually born more alike with few differences but are still perceived and treated so differently anyway, and she said that’s due to socialization and she said there is no question, that socialization plays a very big part.

        I know that many scientists know that the brain is plastic and can be shaped and changed by different life experiences and different enviornments too and Eastern College Christian and Gender Scholar Psychology professor Dr.Mary Stewart Van Leewuen told this to me too when I spoke to her 15 years ago. Dr.Van Leeuwen also said that humanbeings don’t have sex fixed in the brain and she told me that humans have a unique highly developed cerebral cortex that allows us to make choices in our behaviors and we can learn things that animals can’t.She also said that I’m correct that the human female and male brains are more alike than different.

        There was another case in Canada that I read about online some years ago about another case in which a normal genetic male baby’s penis was destroyed when he was an infant and in this case he was raised as a girl from the much younger age of only 7 months old,not as late as 21 months as was David Reimer,and research shows that the core gender identity is learned by as early as 18 months old.

        In this other case,it was reported in 1998 he was still living as a woman in his 20’s but a bisexual woman. With David Reimer they raised him as a girl too late after he learned most of his gender identity as a boy from the moment he was born and put into blue clothes, treated totally differently, given gender stereotyped toys, perceived and treated totally differently than girls are in every way(in the great book,He and She:How Children Develop Their Sex Role Identity it explains that a lot of research studies and tests by parent child psychologists found that they give 3 month old babies gender stereotyped toys long before they are able to develop these kinds of preferences or ask for these toys. They also found that when adults interacted with the same exact baby they didn’t know was a girl or boy who was dressed in gender neutral clothes,they decided if they *believed* it was a girl or boy. And those adults who thought the baby was a boy,always handed the baby a toy foot ball,but never a doll and were asked what made them think it was a girl or boy and they said they used characteristics of the baby to make the judgement . Those who thought the baby was a boy described characteristcs such as strength,those who thought the baby was a girl described the baby as having softness and fragility,and as the Dr.Jeanne Brooks-Gunn and Wendy Schempp Mathews explain,Again remember that the same infant was being characterized as strong or soft,the actual distinction by sex characteristics being only in the minds of the adults.

        They also explain that in the toy preference studies,girl toddlers often show an intitial interest in the trucks,but eventually abandon them for a more familiar type of toy. Also check out Kate Bornstein’s books,Gender Outlaw and My Gender Workbook,and recently a co-written book,Gender Outlaws. Kate used to be a heterosexual married man who fathered a daughter and then had a sex change and became a lesbian woman who now doesn’t idenity as a man or a woman. I heard Kate interviewd in 1998 on a local NPR show and she totally debunks gender myths,and rejects the “feminine” and “masculine” categories as the mostly socially constructed categories that they really are.She even said,what does it mean to feel or think like a woman(or man) she said what does that really mean.

      3. Dr.Hyde,

        Below is a presentation by Eastern College Christian and Gender Scholar psychology professor Dr.Mary Stewart Van Leeuwen which talks about how much abundant consistent psychological research studies find few gender differences,and much more overlap similarities between them.It’s not online anymore and I don’t have a link to it.

        Trinity 2007

        Opposite Sexes or Neighboring Sexes?

        C.S. Lewis, Dorothy L. Sayers, and
        the Psychology of Gender

        Mary Stewart Van Leeuwen

        Gender and Modern Social Science

        C. S. Lewis was no fan of the emerging social sciences. He saw practitioners of the social sciences mainly as lackeys of technologically-minded natural scientists, bent on reducing individual freedom and moral accountability to mere epiphenomena of natural processes (See Lewis 1943 and 1970 b). And not surprisingly (given his passion for gender-essentialist archetypes), aside from a qualified appreciation
        of some aspects of Freudian psychoanalysis (See Lewis 1952 (Book III, Chapter 4) and 1969). “Carl Jung was the only philosopher [sic] of the Viennese school for whose work [Lewis] had much respect” (Sayer 102).

        But the social sciences concerned with the psychology of gender have since shown that Sayers was right, and Lewis and Jung were wrong: women and men are not opposite sexes but neighboring sexes—and very close neighbors indeed. There are, it turns out, virtually no large, consistent sex differences in any psychological traits and behaviors, even when we consider the usual stereotypical suspects: that men are more aggressive, or just, or rational than women, and women are more empathic, verbal, or nurturing than men.

        When differences are found, they are always average—not absolute—differences. And in virtually all cases the small, average—and often decreasing—difference between the sexes is greatly exceeded by the amount of variability on that trait within members of each sex. Most of the “bell curves” for women and men (showing the distribution of a given psychological trait or behavior) overlap almost completely. So it is naïve at best (and deceptive at worst) to make even average—let alone absolute—pronouncements about essential archetypes in either sex when there is much more variability within than between the sexes on all the trait and behavior measures for which we have abundant data.

        This criticism applies as much to C. S. Lewis and Carl Jung as it does to their currently most visible descendent, John Gray, who continues to claim (with no systematic empirical warrant) that men are from Mars and women are from Venus (Gray 1992).

        And what about Lewis’s claims about the overriding masculinity of God? Even the late Carl Henry (a theologian with impeccable credentials as a conservative evangelical) noted a quarter of a century ago that:

        Masculine and feminine elements are excluded from both the Old Testament and New Testament doctrine of deity. The God of the Bible is a sexless God. When Scripture speaks of God as “he” the pronoun is primarily personal (generic) rather than masculine (specific); it emphasizes God’s personal nature—and, in turn, that of the Father, Son and Spirit as Trinitarian distinctions in contrast to impersonal entities… Biblical religion is quite uninterested in any discussion of God’s masculinity or femininity… Scripture does not depict God either as ontologically masculine or feminine. (Henry 1982, 159–60)

        However well-intentioned, attempts to read a kind of mystical gendering into God—whether stereotypically masculine, feminine, or both—reflect not so much careful biblical theology as “the long

        arm of Paganism” (Martin 11). For it is pagan worldviews, the Jewish commentator Nahum Sarna reminds us, that are “unable to conceive of any primal creative force other than in terms of sex… [In Paganism] the sex element existed before the cosmos came into being and all the gods themselves were creatures of sex. On the other hand, the Creator in Genesis is uniquely without any female counterpart, and the very association of sex with God is utterly alien to the religion of the Bible” (Sarna 76).

        And if the God of creation does not privilege maleness or stereotypical masculinity, neither did the Lord of redemption. Sayers’s response to the cultural assumption that women were human-not-quite-human has become rightly famous:

        Perhaps it is no wonder that women were first at the Cradle and last at the Cross. They had never known a man like this Man—there never has been such another. A prophet and teacher who never nagged at them, never flattered or coaxed or patronised; who never made arch jokes about them, never treated them either as “The women, God help us!” or “The ladies, God bless them!; who rebuked without querulousness and praised without condescension; who took their questions and arguments seriously; who never mapped out their sphere for them, never urged them to be feminine or jeered at them for beingfemale; who had no axe to grind or no uneasy male dignity to defend; who took them as he found them and was completely unself-conscious. There is not act, no sermon, no parable in the whole Gospel which borrows its pungency from female perversity; nobody could possibly guess from the words and deeds of Jesus that there was anything “funny” about women’s nature. (Sayers 1975, 46)

        It is quite likely that Lewis’s changing views on gender owed something to the intellectual and Christian ties that he forged with Dorothy L. Sayers. And indeed, in 1955—two years before her death, Lewis confessed to Sayers that he had only “dimly realised that the old-fashioned way… of talking to all young women was v[ery] like an adult way of talking to young boys. It explains,” he wrote, “not only why some women grew up vapid, but also why others grew us (if we may coin the word) viricidal [i.e., wanting to killpmen]” (Lewis 2007, 676; Lewis’s emphasis). The Lewis who in his younger years so adamantly had defended the doctrine of gender essentialism was beginning to acknowledge the extent to which gendered behavior is socially conditioned. In another letter that same year, he expressed a concern to Sayers that some of the first illustrations for the Narnia Chronicles were a bit too effeminate. “I don’t like either the ultra feminine or the ultra masculine,” he added. “I
        prefer people” (Lewis 2007, 639; Lewis’s emphasis).

        Dorothy Sayers surely must have rejoiced to read this declaration. Many of Lewis’s later readers, including myself, wish that his shift on this issue had occurred earlier and found its way into his better-selling apologetic works and his novels for children and adults. But better late than never. And it would be better still if those who keep trying to turn C. S. Lewis into an icon for traditionalist views on gender essentialism and gender hierarchy would stop mining his earlier works for isolated proof-texts and instead read what he wrote at every stage of his life.

        Mary Stewart Van Leeuwen is Professor of Psychology and Philosophy at Eastern University, St. Davids, Pennsylvania.

        This essay originally was presented as the Tenth Annual Warren Rubel Lecture on Christianity and Higher Learning at Valparaiso University on 1 February 2007.

        The Cresset

        Bibliography
        Evans, C. Stephen. Wisdom and Humanness in Psychology: Prospects for a Christian Approach. Grand Rapids: Baker, 1989.
        Gray, John. Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus. New York: HarperCollins, 1992.
        Hannay, Margaret. C. S. Lewis. New York: Frederick Ungar, 1981.
        Henry, Carl F. H. God, Revelation, and Authority. Vol. V. Waco, Texas: Word, 1982.
        Lewis, C. S. The Collected Letters of C. S. Lewis, Vol. III. Walter Hooper, ed. San Francisco:
        HarperSanFrancisco, 2007.
        _____. The Discarded Image: An Introduction to Medieval and Renaissance Literature. Cambridge: Cambridge University, 1964.
        _____. The Collected Letters of C. S. Lewis, Vol. I: 1905–1931. Walter Hooper, ed. San Francisco:
        HarperSanFrancisco, 2004a.
        _____. The Collected Letters of C. S. Lewis, Vol. II: 1931–1949. Walter Hooper, ed. San Francisco:
        HarperSanFrancisco, 2004b.
        _____. “On Three Ways of Writing for Children,”[1952] Reprinted in Of Other Worlds: Essays and Stories, ed., Walter Hooper, 22–34. New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1975.
        _____. “Priestesses in the Church?” [1948]. Reprinted in God in the Dock: Essays on Theology and Ethics, ed. Walter Hooper, 234–39. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1970a.
        _____. “The Humanitarian Theory of Punishment,”[1954]. Reprinted in God in the Dock: Essays on Theology and Ethics, ed. Walter Hooper, 287–300. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1970b.
        _____. “Psychoanalysis and Literary Criticism,”[1942]. Reprinted in Selected Literary Essays, ed. Walter Hooper, 286–300. Cambridge: Cambridge University, 1969.
        _____. [N. W. Clerk, pseudo.] A Grief Observed. London: Faber and Faber, 1961.
        _____. The Four Loves. London: Geoffrey Bles, 1960.
        _____. Till We Have Faces. London: Geoffrey Bles, 1956.
        _____. Surprised by Joy: The Shape of My Early Life. London: Collins, 1955.
        _____. Mere Christianity. London: Collins, 1952.
        _____. That Hideous Strength. London: John Lane the Bodley Head, 1945.
        _____. The Abolition of Man. Oxford: Oxford University, 1943.
        _____. A Preface to Paradise Lost. Oxford: Oxford University, 1942.
        The Cresset
        _____. Perelandra. London: The Bodley Head, 1942.
        Martin, Faith. “Mystical Masculinity: The New Question Facing Women,” Priscilla Papers, Vol. 12, No. 2 (Winter 1998), 6–12.
        Reynolds, Barbara. Dorothy L. Sayers: Her Life and Soul. New York: St. Martins, 1993.
        Sarna, Nahum M. Understanding Genesis: The Heritage of Biblical Israel. New York: Schocken, 1966.
        Sayer, George. Jack: C. S. Lewis and His Times. San Francisco: Harper and Row, 1988.
        Sayers, Dorothy L. “The Human-Not-Quite-Human,”[1946]. Reprinted in Dorothy L. Sayers, Are Women
        Human?, 37–47. Downers Grove, Illinois: InterVarsity, 1975.
        Sayers, Dorothy L. Gaudy Night. London: Victor Gollancz, 1935.
        Sterk, Helen. “Gender and Relations and Narrative in a Reformed Church Setting.” In After Eden: Facing the Challenge of Gender Reconciliation, ed., Mary Stewart Van Leeuwen, 184–221. Grand Rapids:

        Eerdmans, 1993.
        Copyright © 2007 Valparaiso University Press http://www.valpo.

      4. http://www.apa.org/research/action/difference.aspx

        This is a major study by psychologist Dr.Janet Shibley Hyde written in American psychologist back in the Fall of 2005 in which she did a meta-analyis which is a compilation of 1,00’s of psychological research studies of the sexes from decades by all different psychologists and it consistently found that the sexes are psychologically more alike than different in most abilities,personality,traits etc.

      5. http://www.apa.org/research/action/share.aspx

        And then there is this big study including by Dr.Hyde and others from The American Psychological Association’s site from 2006,called,Think Again:Men and Women Share Cognitive Skills. And it says that psychologists have gathered solid evidence that boys or girls or men and women differ in very few significant ways– differences that would matter in school or at work–in how,and wekl they think.

      6. I made another typing mistake and again there is no edit option.

        But also,

        Below is an email I wrote to Oxford University Gender communication professor Deborah Cameron author of the great important book,The Myth Of Mars and Venus Do Men and women Really Speak Different Languages?.

        Dear Deborah,

        I recently read your great important book, The Myth Of Mars & Venus. I read a bad review of the book, The Female Brain on Amazon.com US by psychologist David H.Perterzell he called it junk science.

        I also thought you would want to know that John Gray got his “Ph.D” from Columbia Pacific University which was closed down in March 2001 by the California Attorney General’s Office because he called it a diploma mill and a phony operation offering totally worthless degrees!

        Also there is a Christian gender and psychology scholar and author psychology professor Dr. Mary Stewart Van Leewuen who teaches the psychology and Philosophy of Gender at the Christian College Eastern College here in Pa. She has several online presentations that were done at different colleges from 2005- the present debunking the Mars & Venus myth.

        One is called , Opposite Sexes Or Neighboring Sexes and sometimes adds, Beyond The Mars/Venus Rhetoric in which she explains that all of the large amount of research evidence from the social and behavorial sciences shows that the sexes are very close neighbors and that there are only small average differences between them many of which have gotten even smaller over the last several decades and in her great even longer article that isn’t online anymore called,What Do We Mean By “Male-Female Complentarity”? A Review Of Ronald W.Pierce,Rebecca M.Groothuis,and Gordon D.Fee,eds Discovering Biblical Equality:Complentarity Without Hierarchy, which she says happened after 1973 when gender roles were less rigid and that genetic differences can’t shrink like this and in such a short period of time, and that most large differences that are found are between individual people and that for almost every trait and behavior there is a large overlap between them and she said so it is naive at best and deceptive at worst to make claims about natural sex differences. etc.

        She says he claims Men are From Mars & Women are From Venus with no emperical warrant and that his claim gets virtually no support from the large amount of psychological and behavioral sciences and that in keeping in line with the Christian Ethic and with what a bumper sticker she saw said and evidence from the behavioral and social sciences is , Men Are From,Earth ,Women Are From Earth Get Used To It. Comedian George Carlin said this too.

        She also said that such dichotomous views of the sexes are apparently popular because people like simple answers to complex issues including relationships between men and women. She should have said especially relationships between them.She also said when I spoke wit her in 1998 and 1999 that humanbeings don’t have sex fixed in the brain,she said humanbeings adapt to their environments,and they develop certain characteristics in response to those environments but they are not fixed and unchangeable. Dr.Van Leeuwen also said that I’m correct that the human female and male brain is more alike than different and she said the brain is plastic and easily molded and shaped throughout life by different life experiences and environments.She said humans have a unique highly developed cerebal cortex which animals don’t and this enables people to learn things and make choices that animals can’t.She also said that I’m correct,the human female and male brain are more alike than different.

        Sociologist Dr.Michael Kimmel writes and talks about this also including in his Media Education Foundation educational video. And he explains that all of the evidence from the psychological and behavioral sciences indicates that women and men are far more alike than different. He also demonstrated with a lot of research studies and evidence from the behavioral and social sciences that the sexes are more alike than different in his very good 2000 book,The Gendered Society which he updated several times in more extensive academic volumes called,The Gendered Society Reader.

        Yet Dr.Mary Stewart Van Leewuen says that there are no consistent large psychological sex differences found.

        I have an excellent book from 1979 written by 2 parent child development psychologists Dr. Wendy Schemp Matthews and award winning psychologist from Columbia University, Dr.Jeane Brooks-Gunn, called He & She How Children Develop Their Sex Role Idenity.

        They thoroughly demonstrate with tons of great studies and experiments by parent child psychologists that girl and boy babies are actually born more alike than different with very few differences but they are still perceived and treated systematically very different from the moment of birth on by parents and other adult care givers. They go up to the teen years.

        I once spoke with Dr.Brooks-Gunn in 1994 and I asked her how she could explain all of these great studies that show that girl and boy babies are actually born more alike with few differences but are still perceived and treated so differently anyway, and she said that’s due to socialization and she said there is no question, that socialization plays a very big part.

        I know that many scientists(the good responsible ones) know that the brain is plastic and can be shaped and changed by different life experiences and different

        Also there are 2 great online rebuttals of the Mars & Venus myth by Susan Hamson called, The Rebuttal From Uranus and Out Of The Cave: Exploring Gray’s Anatomy by Kathleen Trigiani.

        Also have you read the excellent book by social psychologist Dr.Gary Wood at The University of Birmingham called, Sex Lies & Stereotypes:Challenging Views Of Women, Men & Relationships? He clearly demonstrates with all of the research studies from psychology what Dr.Mary Stewart Van Leewuen does, and he debunks The Mars & Venus myth and shows that the sexes are biologically and psychologically more alike than different and how gender roles and differences are mostly socially created.

        Anyway, if you could write back when you have a chance I would really appreciate it.

        Thank You

      7. Public release date: 4-Nov-1999
        [ Print E-mail Share

        Contact: Penny Burge or Sharon Snow
        burge@vt.edu or ssnow@vt.edu

        Virginia Tech

        20-year-old sex-role research survey still valid

        BLACKSBURG, Va. ­ In the late 1970s, Penny Burge, director of Virginia Tech’s Women’s Center, was working on her doctoral dissertation at Penn State University researching the relationship between child-rearing sex-role attitudes and social issue sex-role attitudes among parents. As part of her research, Burge designed a 28-question survey in which respondents were asked to mark how much they agreed or disagreed with statements such as: “Only females should receive affectionate hugs as rewards,” “I would buy my son a doll,” and “I would be upset if my daughter wanted to play little league baseball.”

        Hard-hitting questions, many of them. But Burge carried on. She received her degree in 1979, and in 1981 her research findings were published in the Home Economics Research Journal.

        Among her findings were that respondents who named the mother as their child’s primary caretaker held more traditional child-rearing sex-role attitudes than respondents who named both parents. In addition, those respondents who held more traditional child-rearing sex-role attitudes also held more traditional social issue sex-role attitudes, and fathers were more conventional than mothers with respect to the issue of whether or not boys and girls should be raised differently.

        “We found that parents do cling to traditional sex-role attitudes,” Burge said. “It was more pronounced with male children where pressure to achieve was more intense.”

        Over the years, Burge occasionally received requests from other researchers for permission to use her survey in their own research. Burge always granted permission, but had redirected her research focus to gender equity in education. She had moved on in her career, serving on the faculty in Virginia Tech’s College of Human Resources and Education from 1979 to 1994 when she became director of the Women’s Center.

        But a recent request from a researcher at New Mexico State University sparked her interest. The researcher, Betsy Cahill, had used Burge’s survey (with some modifications and additions) to conduct research on early childhood teachers’ attitudes toward gender roles. After the results of Cahill’s research were completed and published in The Journal of Sex Roles in 1997, some unexpected events occurred.

        The Educational Testing Service, a national resource that makes research instruments more widely available to other researchers, requested permission to use the Burge and Cahill survey tools in its upcoming Test Collection, a reference publication for future researchers. “I was honored,” Burge said. “It was nice to have another researcher include my survey instrument in her own. And the request from the Educational Testing Service gave an additional sanction to my survey. It’s amazing to me that the same type of social questions are still valid after 20 years.”

        And no one can dispute the past two decades have brought enormous social changes in the world, which leads to the second unexpected occurrence.

        Cahill found that many of the findings from Burge’s research were still very much the same. For example, teachers who espoused traditional gender role beliefs for adults also did for children. For those who were more accepting of cross-gender role behaviors and aspirations, they were more accepting of these behaviors from girls than boys.

        Enter Sharon Snow, newly hired assistant director of the Women’s Center at Virginia Tech, and the third coincidence regarding Burge’s survey tool. As part of a survey research class Snow took while working on her graduate degree at Texas Woman’s University, she cited Burge’s study in her literature review.

        “As part of the class, we conducted a survey of students to determine their attitudes about gender roles in children,” Snow said. “We found that parents do indeed drive gender-based behavior. It’s not something that just happens naturally.”

        So 20 year later, researchers find that parents still have a profound influence on their children’s gender roles.

        “The most amazing finding is that despite tremendous societal change over the past two decades, many parents still hold fast to raising their children with traditional sex-roles,” Burge said.

      8. E-mail a Friend

        List Price

        $27.00

        Why So Slow?: The Advancement of Women by Virginia Valian
        $27.00 List Price

        Overview –
        Product Details
        Pub. Date: February 1999
        Publisher: MIT Press
        Synopsis

        Why do so few women occupy positions of power and prestige? Virginia Valian uses concepts and data from psychology, sociology, economics, and biology to explain the disparity in the professional advancement of men and women. According to Valian, men and women alike have implicit hypotheses about gender differences — gender schemas — that create small sex differences in characteristics, behaviors, perceptions, and evaluations of men and women. Those small imbalances accumulate to advantage men and disadvantage women. The most important consequence of gender schemas for professional life is that men tend to be overrated and women underrated.Valian’s goal is to make the invisible factors that retard women’s progress visible, so that fair treatment of men and women will be possible. The book makes its case with experimental and observational data from laboratory and field studies of children and adults, and with statistical documentation on men and women in the professions. The many anecdotal examples throughout provide a lively counterpoint.

        The MIT Press

        Publishers Weekly

        Social psychologist Valian thinks that the Western world has gotten gender all wrong. “As social beings we tend to perceive the genders as alternatives to each other, as occupying opposite and contrasting ends of a continuum,” she writes, “even though the sexes are not opposite but are much more alike than they are different.” Indeed, despite nearly three decades of feminism, “gender schema”the assumption that masculine and feminine characteristics determine personality and abilitycontinue to influence the expectations and thinking of most Americans. Just about everyone, Valian writes, assumes that men are independent, task-oriented and assertive, while women are tagged as expressive and nurturing. As such, women lag behind in many professions and continue to do the lion’s share of housework and child-rearing. Girls remain less attentive in math and science, while even women who attend medical school tend to steer themselves into “gender appropriate” slots such as family practice or pediatrics. Valian bases her findings on research conducted by social scientists in fields as disparate as psychology, education, sociology and economics, and the result is a work that is both scholarly and anecdotally rich. But it also posits concrete suggestions for changing the way we view the sexes, from stepped-up affirmative action programs, to timetables for rectifying gender-based valuations. Accessible and lively, Why So Slow? is a breakthrough in the discourse on gender and has great potential to move the women’s movement to a new, more productive phase. (Jan.)

        More Reviews and Recommendations

        Editorial Reviews –

        What People Are Saying
        ” Why So Slow? is a breakthrough in the discourse on gender and has great potential to move the women”s movement to a new, more productive phase.” Publisher”s Weekly

        The MIT Press

        Features –
        Why So Slow?
        Table of Contents
        Table of Contents
        Preface
        Acknowledgments
        A Note on Method and Scope
        1 Gender Schemas at Work 1
        2 Gender Begins – and Continues – at Home 23
        3 Learning About Gender 47
        4 Biology and Behavior 67
        5 Biology and Cognition 81
        6 Schemas That Explain Behavior 103
        7 Evaluating Women and Men 125
        8 Effects on the Self 145
        9 Interpreting Success and Failure 167
        10 Women in the Professions 187
        11 Women in Academia 217
        12 Professional Performance and Human Values 251
        13 Affirmative Action and the Law 277
        14 Remedies 303
        Notes 333
        References 353
        Author Index 385
        Subject Index 393

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      9. Dr.Anne Fausto-Sterling’s Myths of Gender:Biological Theories About Women and Men.She is a biologist and geneticist at Brown University and she thoroughly debunks these claims about testosterone levels and aggressive behavior and a whole lot of other sexist,racist claims made by both women and men scientists.

        And Delusions of Gender How Our Minds Society and Neuroses Create Differences by Australian neuro scientist Cordelia Fine also thoroughly debunks common myths of gender and also the book,Brain Storm:The Flaws in The Science of Sex Differences by Barnard professor Rebecca Jordan-Young as reviewed by Amanda Schaffer on Slate’s site Oct 21,2010 called The Last Word On Fetal T Rebecca Jordan-Young’s masterful critique of the research on the relatiopnship between testosterone and sex difference.

        http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/delusions-of-gender-cordelia-fine/1101003614?ean=9780393340242

      10. There is an excellent online article that I printed out 12 years ago,by Jungian psychologist Dr.Gary S.Toub,called,Jung and Gender:Masculine and Feminine Revisted. On his site it now only has part of this article and it says you have to register to read the full article. I emailed Dr.Toub years ago and he wrote me back several nice emails,in one he said he really liked my letter,and that it was filled to the brim with excellent points and references.

        In this article he talks about what parts of Jungian thought he finds useful and what he finds problematic. The first thing he says he finds useful is, In the course of Jungian analysis, he often assists female clients to discover traditionally,masculine qualities in their psyche and that he likewise frequently assist male clients to recognize traditionally feminine qualities in their psyche. He says this process frees each gender from the straight-jacket of stereotyped sex roles and expands his clients identities. He then said that the process also mirrors and furthers the breakdown of male-female polarization in our culture,and the cultural shifts towards androgyny.

        He also says that most importantly, his practice of Jungian analysis places the greatest emphasis on facilitating his clients individuation process. He says this means that he tries to assist clients,male or female,to search for their authentic self-definition,distinct from society’s gender expectations.He also says that many Jungian definitions of masculine and feminine are narrow,outdated and sexist.

        He also says that he has found that generalizing about what is masculine and what is feminine is dangerous,often perpetuating gender myths that are discriminatory and damaging.He says while there is some research supporting biological roots to personality differences,the majority of studies suggest that much of what is considered masculine or feminine is culture determined.

        He also says that viewing masculine and feminine as complementary opposites,while useful at times,is problematic. He then says as his gay,lesbian, and transexual clients have taught him,gender is more accurately viewed as encompassing a wide-ranging continumm. He then says that likewise,the more people he sees in his practice,the more he is impressed at the great diversity in human nature. He says he has seen men of all types and varieties,and women of all kinds. He then says,he is hard-pressed to come up with very many generalizations based on gender.He says he knows that there are some statistical patterns,but how useful are they when he works with individuals and in a rapidly changing society? He says if each person is unique,no statistical norm or average will be able to define who my client is.

        He then says,from a psychological perpespective,men and women are not, in fact,opposite. He says his clinical experience is that they are much more psychologically alike than different,and the differences that exist are not necessarily opposing.

      11. The feminist changes *are* for the better,and many pro-feminist men have recognized this too! They say it has freed them and allowed them to develop and express more of all of the shared common *human* traits,emotions,behaviors,abilities and reduce and prevent male violence against women and children etc. Definitions of “masculine” and “feminine” differ across time periods,and in different societies.

        John Lennon is a great example of how feminism changing limited artificial gender definitions and roles,changed him for the much better. John as a child and teenager had a lot of traumas that permanently psychologically damaged him,but because of his and Yoko’s beautiful loving relationship,and as he said she was a feminist before he met her,(and he said that because she was a feminist before he met her,they were going to have to have a 50/50 equal relationship which he never had before) he went in to primal scream therapy and Yoko went with him and he dealt with all of his pain and anger for the very first time at age 29.

        When John was a young guy,he was often drunk getting into fist fights with men,hitting women,and womanizing including cheating on his girlfriends and then his first wife Cynthia.Of course Paul,George and Ringo did the same with all of the groupies all 4 of them had while touring from 1963-1966. I hadn’t watched these Mike Douglas shows in years until December 2010 when it was the 30th anniversary of John’s tragic murder.

        Out of the 5 Mike Douglas shows that John and Yoko co-hosted for a week that was taped in January 1972 ( Ihadn’t watched these tapes in years until last December with the 30 year annivesary of John’s tragic murder) and aired in February,a young criminal lawyer Rena Uviller(she went on to become a Supreme Court Judge) who worked with juveniles, and she,Mike Douglas,John and Yoko were discussing the then very recent women’s liberation movement. George Carlin was on too.

        Rena said,she agrees with Yoko,that the idea of Women’s lib is to liberate all of us,and she said ,I mean we could talk hours on the way men really suffer under the sex role definitions.Yoko agreed with what she said too. Rena said that men don’t really realize they have only to gain from Women’s Lib,and that she thinks that maybe with a little more propaganda we can convince them.

        John then said,yeah there is a lot to gain from it,just the fact that you can relax and not have to play that male role,he said we can do that,and he said that I can be weak,( but notice how then in a male dominated gender divided,gender stereotyped,sexist society,and even unfortunately still now in a lot of ways,the “female” role was defined as the weak one,and the male role as the strong one) I don’t have to protect her all the time and play you know that super hero,I don’t have to play that,she allows me to be weak sometimes and for me to cry,and for her to be the strong one,and for me to be the weak one. John then said,and it really is a great relief,after 28 years of trying to be tough,you know trying to show them,I don’t give a da*n and I’m this and I’m that,to be able to relax.and just be able to say,OK I’m no tough guy forget it.

        Rena then said,I think in some funny way,I think girls even as children,have a greater lattitude because a little girl can be sort of frilly and feminine or she can be a tomboy and it’s acceptable,but a little boy if he’s not tossing that football,there’s a lot of pressure on him.John said,there’s a lot of pressure,not to show emotion,and he said that there was a lot of pressure on me not to be an artist,to be a chemist and he said he discussed this on another Mike Douglas episode.

        Rena said that unfortunately some of the leaders in the Women’s Liberation movement fall victim to being spokesmen,for Women’s Lib, and yet at least in public personality they seem to really have a certain amount of contempt for the hair curled housewife and there is a kind of sneering contempt,and she said I think it’s a measure of their own lack of liberation.And Yoko said it’s snobbery,and Rena said yeah,they really don’t like other women,but I’m sympathetic,and Mike Douglas then said a sexist woman-hating statement,saying,well women don’t like other women period.Rena said,no see that’s very unliberated and Yoko said, in response to what Mike Douglas said,that’s not true,that’s not true.And John said,you see they are brought up to compete with men.

        Yoko said that even though in Japan they say they don’t have much of a woman problem and women already had some liberation,there is still a long way to go that she really agrees with Rena that so many female liberation movement people basically hate women,and we have to first start to understand women and love them whether they are housewives or not,and she said that snobbery is very bad and we have to somehow find out a way to co-existing with men,and she asked Rena don’t you think so and she said most definitely. George Carlin said,that actually many successful women are acting out male roles just like a lot of blacks think they escaped are acting out white roles.John also said that he thinks that women have to try twice as hard as to make it as men,and he said you know they have to be on their toes much more than a man.

        On another Mike Douglas episode from the same week,former actress and acclaimed film maker Barbara Loden was on and Yoko had requested her as a guest.John asked her ,Did you have any problems working with the men,you know like giving them instructions and things like that and Barbara said,I did, but I think it was because I was afraid that they would not accept what I said,and I wasn’t quite that authoritative in my own self.John said it’s certainly a brave thing to do,and Yoko said it is.

        Mike Douglas asked Yoko if John’s attitude had changed much towards her since The Female Liberation Movement,and at first Yoko says John’s attitude from the beginning was the same,and that they met on that level.John then says,twice, I was a male chauvinist and Yoko says,yes he was a male chauvinist but,and then John says,Can I say how you taught me,and Yoko says yes.John says,How I did it in my head was,would I ask Paul or George,or would I treat them the way I would treat a woman? John then said,it’s a very simple thing maybe it’s fetch that or do that ,and I started thinking if I said that to them,they’d say come on get it yourself,and if you put your wife or your girl friend in the position of your best friend,and say now would I say that to him,then you know when you’re treading on some delicate feelings.

        Mike Douglas said years later that after this week of John and Yoko co-hosting his show,many young people who had never watched his show before,(and his main audience was middle America and people older than their 20’s and even mostly their 30’s) told him they loved the show,and that it was great and his ratings went up high for those shows.Even if John didn’t always live up to his feminist ideals and beliefs in his personal life,(although he did with Yoko because of her and this why and how he emotionally evolved into a caring,nurturing,house husband and father to Yoko and Sean),just the fact that he spoke out as a man in support of the feminist movement on a popular TV show back in early 1972 when most of the sexist male dominated woman-hating society looked down at it and considered it crazy which in some ways it’s still unfortunately wrongly misunderstood(and it’s really the male dominated,sexist,woman-hating society that has always been so wrong and crazy!),and the fact that John was (and still is) greatly admired and influential to many young people male and female,he did *a lot* to legitimize it and show it was rational,reasonable,needed and right!

        A few months later he was performing Woman Is The Ni**er Of The World on The Dick Cavett Show and then months after that live in Madison Square Garden.In his very last radio interview done by Dave Sholin etc from RKO Radio just hours before he was tragically shot and killed, John said I’m more feminist now than I was when I sang Woman Is The N**ger,I was intelectually feminist then but now I feel as though at least I’ve put not my own money,but my body where my mouth is and I’m living up to my own preachings as it were. He also said what is this BS men are this way, women are that way,we’re all human.

      12. Mike Douglas also said to John and Yoko,You’re both so different,you had such different childhoods. John said,it’s incredible isn’t it? Yoko said,Yes! Mike asked,What do you think has attracted you to each other? Yoko said,We’re very similar.John then said,She came from a Japanese upper-middle class family.Her parents were bankers and all that jazz,very straight.He said they were trying to get her off with an ambassador when she was 18.You know,now is the time you marry the ambassador and we get all settled. I come from a an upper-working class family in Liverpool,the other end of the world. John then said,we met but our minds are so similar,our ideas are so similar.It was incredible that we could be so alike from different enviornments,and I don’t know what it is,but we’re very similar in our heads.And we look alike too!

        Mike also asked John about his painful childhood,and how his father left him when he was 5,and John said how he only came back into his life when he was successful and famous(20 years later!),and John said he knew that I was living all those years in the same house with my auntie,but he never visited him.He said when he came back into his life all those years later,he looked after his father for the same amount of time he looked after him,about 4 years.

        He also talked about how his beloved mother Julia,who encouraged his music by teaching him to play the banjo,got hit and killed by a car driven by an off duty drunk cop when John was only 17 and just getting to have a realtionship with her after she had given him away to be raised by her older sister Mimi when he was 5.

        And John also said,And in spite of all that,I still don’t have a hate-the-pigs attitude or hate-cops attitude.He then said, I think everybody’s human you know,but it was very hard for me at that time,and I really had a chip on my shoulder,and it still comes out now and then,because it’s a strange life to lead .He then said,But in general ah,I’ve got my own family now … I got Yoko and she made up for all that pain.

        John’s psychologist Dr. Arthur Janov told Mojo Magazine in 2000( parts of this interview is on a great UK John Lennon fan site,You Are The Plastic Ono Band) that John had as much pain as he had ever seen in his life,and he was a psychologist for at least 18 years when John and Yoko saw him in 1970! He said John was a very dedicated patient. He also said that John left therapy too early though and that they opened him up,but didn’t get a chance to put him back together again and Dr. Janov told John he need to finish the therapy,he said because of the immigration services and he thought Nixon was after him,he said we have to get out of the country.John asked if he could send a therapist to Mexico with him,and Dr. Janov told him we can’t do that because they had too many patients to take care of,and he said they cut the therapy off just as it started really,and we were just getting going.

      13. Also there is a lot of evidence from sociologists and anthropologists that there are androgynous cultures. Many anthropologists like Walter Williams author of the award winning,The Spirit and The Flesh,and many other anthropologists have done field work for decades in places like Tahiti and Malaysia, women and men are encouraged to have androgynous roles there and they are not polarized into “opposite” categories and gender roles,and they are more alike in their personalities and behaviors. This is thoroughly explained in the good book, Manhood In The Making:Cultural Concepts Of Masculinity.

        And the men there unlike in our very gender divided,gender stereotyped, sexist male dominated society ,aren’t punished for being similar to women or appearing so-called “feminine”, they are encouraged and rewarded for it! And it’s in the very gender divided, gender stereotyped sexist male dominated societies where the sexes are polarized into “opposite” categories and gender roles that makes *more* gender differences.

  9. Well done Ben! You’ve just nailed it! Those so-called “liberals” who blame capitalist world and its cruelty and yet fall into another form of stupidity, immorality and misogyny!!! Blithering idiots who lick Stalin’s, Trotsky’s, Mao Zedong’s ….. but denounce Hitler and Mussolini!!!!! Those chauvinists who claim to abhor violence, yet glorify porn, prostitution, glorify Marquis de Sade, 50 Shades and things like that in the name of “sexual freedom”, who ignore mass rape of German women by Soviet “heroes” during 1945! Who praize Russia and it’s dictator Vladimir Putin….. And so on… Ugh, that’s why I’m so disgusted by both right-wing and left-wing dumb zombies. This is the proof that patriarchy has NEVER been destroyed. Revolutions, wars, violence have succeeded in the name of what?! Again, in the name of patriarchy!!!

    1. Independant Woman thank you so much for including and mentioning the horrendous,sick,sexuialized,romanticized,sexualized,sadistic,men’s violence against women,woman-hating Fifty Shades of Grey (HORROR!) that is so messed up,disturbingly and horribly so poppular with womren!

      I have *tons* of great information by both women and men who recognize this on feminist blogs and on the many very well deserved bad amazon.com reviews! I have a blog 50shadesofharm that i haven’t posted on in a long time and I have found a lot more great information since then.

  10. F, I’ve never met anybody who thought that radical feminism was identical to transphobia. The critique of gender essentialism and transphobia originates largely from within a community that understands itself as radical and feminist. There are plenty of resources out there on this – a little googling should turn up tons.

    From a pro-trans feminist (cis male ally) perspective, I would argue that certain lineages of feminism – like RadFem – are transphobic when they reinforce the violence of the gender binary. The way this shows up, most saliently, is by declaring that transmen are confused, self-hating gender traitors – and that they are women! – and declaring that transwomen are evil infiltrating agents of the patriarchy. And, of course, that they are men.

    Are there misogynist trans people? Of course. There are racist disabled people, and classist people of color, and homophobic women. These are all demographic groups, not ideologies – and even ideological groups are pretty heterogenous, cf. feminism. 😉

    When RadFems pathologize an entire group – one that is already a target for violence and exclusion, and dismiss their struggle for self-determination, they become a reactionaries. They join the ranks of libertarians, with a confused and confusing mix of emancipatory and truly oppressive goals.

    For me, the most useful developments in radical thought in the past several decades include the questioning of fundamental categories (race, gender, ability, beauty), and the simultaneous attention to the intersectionality of multiple vectors of oppression and privilege. All of these share forms of oppression have things in common, but they aren’t the same, and the way that they intersect in people’s lives aren’t linear. Experience of one doesn’t mean you understand the experience of another.

    It seems like RadFems want to invert the gender norms of patriarchy while maintaining the basic structure. To me this seems like responding to an oppressive Christian upbringing by becoming a Satanist. We can do better. We can’t just walk away from the patriarchy’s gender categories – their legacy requires more work to undo – but I think the path of liberation is in that direction. And I say that as someone who fully believes in putting women up front and in charge of any and all liberation movements.

    1. It strikes me as hilarious and depressing that an article discussing the way shitty approaches to gender on the left get in the way of dealing with the oppression of females by males in this culture and in our own communities, is gradually being diverted away from its originally intended purpose *by a shitty approach to gender*.

      “The critique of gender essentialism and transphobia originates largely from within a community that understands itself as radical and feminist.”

      a) They are neither of those things, because their understanding of gender is not structural and because it does not understand material gender relations through a class antagonism between female and male in which males have constructed an entire cultural narrative to maintain political dominance – they do not understand gender as a social relation, but as an individual expression. So they are not radical.
      b) Radical feminism opposes patriarchally constructed gender (as part of its opposition to systematic male violence, that uses gender to target and control females), not ‘gender essentialism’

      Your friends have removed power, class, structure from the equation and have come up with non-political, consumerist approach to gender.

      “are transphobic when they reinforce the violence of the gender binary”

      This is an incorrect analysis, obtained through using the aforementioned faulty understanding of gender.

      “Are there misogynist trans people? Of course.”

      And once more, ‘poof’ in a wave of individualism the entire class based discourse around gender is gone. There are individuals, some of whom are naughty.

      It is not as important to know that there happen to be some misogynistic transfolk, like there happen to be some misogynistic males in patriarchy – like “Of course, it’s all just random happenstance”. The more important point is that the entire Queer understanding of gender and gender relations is fundamentally misogynistic and in opposition to female liberation from patriarchy, rape culture and imposed gender roles.

      “one that is already a target for violence and exclusion”

      Primarily by males. By males.

      “For me, the most useful developments in radical thought in the past several decades include the questioning of fundamental categories (race, gender, ability, beauty), and the simultaneous attention to the intersectionality of multiple vectors of oppression and privilege.”

      Interestingly most of these discussions of intersectionality came from radical feminists. The concept of privilege has been distorted recently, though, so that it no longer refers to a condition in which X is privileged *because of* the systematic oppression of Y, and has come to refer to a condition in which X happens to not be oppressed in the particular way that Y is. The causal element has been removed, as it has been in most liberal and leftist politics to be honest.

      “It seems like RadFems want to invert the gender norms of patriarchy while maintaining the basic structure.”

      Lolnuh.

      “We can’t just walk away from the patriarchy’s gender categories”

      Not if we keep telling people that it’s liberating to voluntarily embrace them in a project of consumerism, or that these constructs represent a true personal identity they

      “And I say that as someone who fully believes in putting women up front and in charge of any and all liberation movements.”

      Except in saying that, you *really* want to take fully socialised males that identify as women and put them up front and in charge of female liberation movements, and convince everyone that this will advance the self-liberation of females from patriarchy. It won’t, as it will not permit the destruction of patriarchy’s gender and the elimination of its material ability to do harm to females.

  11. I dug it up to the part where he lumped his comrades and companer@s in with men’s rights activists and right wingers. Not just disingenuous hyperbole, but patently untrue. Anarchists and communists, and others in the socialist project have consistently attempted, of course to varying degrees of success, to include a working analysis of patriarchy and how it manifests. Women were formative to both movements. That’s what all the anarch@-feminists and communist women who applied Marxist dialectics and conflict theory to gender relations were doing. It’s wrong to discount their contributions in such a cavalier fashion, as they continue not only to inform, but in both many philosophical and material ways, continue to lead the socialist project.

    I’m in no way saying that we’re successful as a movement, or even that I’m always successful myself in battling my patriarchal programming. When I have, it’s typically because of amazingly patient women who have taken the time to call me out, which isn’t to be expected at all, but is certainly always appreciated. Transfolk have also been crucial to that process of unpacking “masculinity” and “femininity” and showing me what allyship can and should look like.

    But what I’m saying is that folks need to realize that if they want to criticize the “Left”‘s inability to fully integrate feminist critique into its analysis, like the title claims to want to do, or really, even to scathingly outline certain failures in this regard, one has to do it with respect for their comrades’ contributions and respect for the facts. Immediately discounting the fundamental and formative feminist contributions to anarchism and communism, while rhetorically lumping those movements in and equating them with the same obtuseness, the same lack of analysis(reverse-sexism, anyone?) or same lack of effort on their part as contemporary men’s right’s advocates is pretty inaccurate and, from a comrades’ standpoint, pretty ignorant.

    1. Danny: reverse sexism is a canard. It is impossible by definition for members of an oppressed class to behave in an elitist manner towards their oppressors. Also, MRA’s can go fall in a hole and flail. Poor mens, not having enough willing female victims. Bite me.

      1. Reverse-sexism. Yes, that’s why I called it a lack of analysis attributed to men’s rights advocates. Sorry for my clumsy phrasing, or whatever caused that misunderstanding.

        Also, I can’t speak for transfolk, but I’m not sure the conversation revolves, or should revolve around sexual reassignment surgery. As I understand it, it’s not pivotal.

        Also, many pre-civilized cultures show evidence archeologically of folks of one sex living(or buried, as it were) fully accepted as another gender, and in some surviving pre-civilized cultures, stories still reflect that absence of biologically essentialist thought.

        Bite whom? I’m not hungry.

  12. Women who are born XX and live their lives as women, with the identity of women, all the rape attempts, the fears of pregnancy, the dealing with birth, have a different life experience from any XY person.

    High-end medical technology can make an XY person more feminized, but it won’t make you a woman in a biological sense, no matter how badly you wish it. It also won’t make you a woman in an experiental sense.

    And that’s sad. Because anybody who was born into a male body and wanted to be a woman so badly as to go through all that ongoing medical crap, surely deserves some credence.

    The problem is that within the context of DGR, we need to address transgender issues outside of the context of increasingly technological medical interventions. Because the base premise of DGR is that industrial civilization is not sustainable, and that means much medical technology is not either.

    What did transgender people do in old cultures? What will they do when this one collapses? You write about killing yourselves if you can’t have complex medical intervention. And even that isn’t enough, because you cannot be, really be a woman when you were born with male parts.

    If you predicate your survival on this culture and its technology, while we are working on the assumption that this culture and its technology are wrong, evil, need to go down, then you’re doomed. I don’t think people with unusual gender identifications are necessarily doomed in the context of any given culture.

    Can we discuss that?

    1. “anybody who was born into a male body and wanted to be a woman so badly as to go through all that ongoing medical crap, surely deserves some credence.”

      What gender is a pre-op transwoman?

    2. I wish this reply wasn’t so late, but I have to challenge some of your claims. (for what it means, I am a cis-male).
      -First, I don’t think people experience their chromosones, I think people experience reality from within bodies that are labeled and organized by society and non-consensually stuck with socially determined gender roles. What about intersex people? who do you think should get to define their sex and gender? What non-intersex people who are treated routinely differently from their gender or ambiguously because people don’t even assume a specific sex that they can attach their gender notions to?
      -Second, if you want to learn about how less industrialized cultures have interacted with and constructed gender, you can easily do that research and learn a lot in almost no time at all. I have found that even highly patriarchal cultures have often shown a whole lot more respect for gender variant people than what I’ve heard from “radical” feminists (who I have to say, get their knowledge of what we call ‘chromosones,’ like the rest of us, from modern industrial technology). Here’s a start:
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Third_gender
      http://nabihameher.wordpress.com/2007/06/08/hijras-%E2%80%93-the-third-sex/
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Two_spirit
      http://www.highbeam.com/doc/1G1-19225793.html
      this is about the issue of biological ‘sex,’ chromosones, and the myth that there are 2 sexes – http://capone.mtsu.edu/phollowa/5sexes.html
      These aren’t necessarily the best sources, but it’s a start

  13. What I’m seeing here (as usual) is too many men who are talking about whom women should decide were women. Wait a minute, I thought. This isn’t about transgender rights. This is more shit about men overriding women as to decisions. 

    Why the hell should men get to tell us who are women? 

    Women should get to decide who are women. If you think you’re a woman, and we decide you’re still men, then go away and quit bothering us. 

    This is entirely independent of medical intervention. No, you don’t get to be a woman just because you say you are a woman. And you definitely don’t get to demand to be accepted into womens’ spaces just because you say you are a woman.

    I’ll lose friends for this, but this has gone too far. Men abuse women, and we’re quite used to it, to the extent where we have the right to demand that all of you leave us alone, including those of you who feel the need to insist you’re women, you’re lesbians, whatever. We don’t care. Go Away. Go be whatever you think you are somewhere else for awhile. Stop trying to treat women-only spaces as forts whose doors you are trying to break down (rape metaphor anyone?)

    Just go away. And stop using our genitalia as insults while you’re at it. Including “douchebag.”

    Just go away.

    ~~~~~~

    Thank to the real male allies here who host this blog, you know who you are.

    1. “Women should get to decide who are women. If you think you’re a woman, and we decide you’re still men, then go away and quit bothering us.

      This is entirely independent of medical intervention. No, you don’t get to be a woman just because you say you are a woman. And you definitely don’t get to demand to be accepted into womens’ spaces just because you say you are a woman.”

      So what’s the cutoff point for acceptance then? Female assigned at birth, I’m guessing? What happens if we apply this logic consistently? Just imagine the absurd implications of a similar attitude elsewhere. How ridiculous would it seem, for example, for a group of disabled people to say:

      “Sorry, but you haven’t been disabled since birth, therefore you’ve gone through some of your life experiencing able-bodied privilege and because of that you’re simply not welcome in our safe space for the disabled”

      So tell me, then, why is it that self-identification should be considered sufficient grounds for inclusion in some contexts but not in others? Why the double standard? And honestly, what sort of mental gymnastics do you find it necessary to perform in order to maintain that double standard?

      The reality is, though, that despite your plea that “women should get to decide who are women” there is NOT consensus on this front. Don’t arrogantly elevate your own position with the pretense that there is. Furthermore, as understanding of the diversity and complexity of human sexuality, gender, etc increases, the division around this issue increases all the time as well, frequently breaking with traditional understanding of these matters.

      Ultimately it becomes clear then, that the statement “women should get to decide who are women” contains a contradiction.

      If women are doing as you suggest and deciding that they are women, what gives you the right to exclude women from engaging in that decision making process simply because you don’t agree with their answer? It seems as if you’re saying “Women should get to decide who are women only if I think they’re women”

      1. OK, I’m disabled, “because I say so”, and I should get disability financial compensation and government assistance, because I “say” I’m disabled, and society “must” allow me to use disabled parking spots (normally a fine of 250$ for use by non disabled) because I “identify” as disabled.
        And then I’d like to apply on some African-american affirmative action positions, because I “identify” as black, and then I’d also like to get First Nation / aboriginal status and land rights because I “identify” as First Nation.
        Your argumentation failed on so many levels.
        Life is not about what you feel inside, life is about reality. And affirmative action, in any of it’s guises, is about groups who successfully argued that they weren’t getting a fair shake from the ruling cast. Females are not the ruling cast, not even caucasian females, since statistically, in North America, black males achieve higher standings than white females.
        The concept of “self identification” is a joke, and it’s religious crap like this that gets people spending millions of dollars on placebo homeopathics, because they self-identified (same as self diagnosed) as “diseased” when in fact they just had a benign / normal pain.
        What we think we feel inside is practically never relevant.

        As a long-standing bi-eco-feminist-dark-green-anti-pharmaceuticalisation-of-society-anti-natalist, I will up my fight against any patriarchy I find in the environmental and deep green movements,

  14. Also super interesting that if you click on the “Underground Action” tab in the header, one will look over the timeline and see actions attributed almost entirely to left-anarchist and communist movements. Not right wingers. Not MRA’s. Comrades.

  15. I agree with Independent Woman. Humankind is so dumb that it still has not understood the ways beyond left-wing or right-wing dichotomy. The world is either conservative, or liberal, black or white, intelligent or stupid, good or evil. You must be either a religious fundamentalist or a communist, there is no other way!

    This is why I despise both of them so much. Self-righteous “leftwingers” never recognize the atrocities committed by Soviet and communist government and troops. None of them will ever get the inhuman conditions people lived in Gulags. None of them will have compassion for raped German women, none of them will give a significance to Mao’s or Stalin’s crimes against humanity. Yes, they condemn Hitler, Mussolini, and yet justify the previous dictators! They “fought” for “progress”,so why bother about their “bad behavior”?!

    I hate them as much I hate rightwingers and their zealotry! Why are they different, just because their different extremist views? Give me a break! There is no such thing as “lesser” evil or “greater evil”. For a woman who has suffered throughout her life, evil has no name, political affiliation, religion, or anti-religion. Women suffer from everyone and everything. Men talk about revolutions, progress and other blablabla and women pay their stupidity! Men commit violence, because they know nothing other than that, women go through rapes, sexual exploitation, and degradation! Why the Hell should I care whether the perpetrators are Leftists or Rightists, Christians, or Satanists?!

  16. To M

    Glad you got what I said 🙂 Thanks. Yes, self-righteousness and blindness leads these people to say : Oh, your problem is no worse than bla bla bla, it’s not as bad as bla bla bla, don’t exaggerate…. Their meaning : don’t talk, shut up!!!!!! This is a main characteristic of patriarchal system : to keep women’s mouthes shut, to distinguish what kind of women are “worthy” of their “sacrosanct” attention and what kind of aren’t.

    How long should this twisted manichaeism last?!

  17. Normy, what I dispute is your right to redefine out of existence all the amazing radical feminists I met, listened to, and read, whose ongoing leadership constitutes my definition of feminism.

    But obviously we have very different positions on this. For myself, I will keep taking my lead on trans issues and intersectionality from from sell-out misogynists like Angela Davis, the Lesbian Avengers, and Andrea freaking Dworkin.

    For those interested in an honest-to-goodness critical assessment of the history of trans-positive vs. transphobic feminism (and if you have a high tolerance for academese) see here: http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/feminism-trans/

    For a discussion of Andrew Dworkin’s rather brilliant take on trans issues, see here: http://www.womanist-musings.com/2009/08/andrea-dworkin-on-transgender.html

    1. It should be remembered that Woman Hating was Andrea Dworkin’s first book, written when she was in her 20s. Within just three years of its publication Andrea Dworkin, as well as Robin Morgan and Mary Daly, were enthusiastic in their support for Janice Raymond’s book The Transsexual Empire: The Making of the She-Male, a radical feminist work critical of transsexualism.

    2. I don’t believe I’ve ever demanded that females exclude trans folk from all their spaces. Only that it is not anyone’s right to demand that they restructure the boundaries of their spaces to meet their criteria.

      I can’t imagine that a radical feminist would demand that females tolerate pressure from males to enter spaces when they are not welcome.

      I don’t hate trans folk and want them to destroy patriarchy alongside us. I want more male space to be seized by trans folk and females and used to organise more political activism. I don’t think it appropriate to demand that all female-only spaces be destroyed.

    1. Hi Suzy, I am really sorry for this. I did intend for you to be acknowledged; I credited the image to your name in the file description which is supposed to make your name pop up when hovering over the image. But for some reason this does not happen. I should also have asked permission before using it. I tried just now to add a caption giving credit but it did not work. If you would like I can simply replace the image, or put a note giving credit at the beginning of the article.

  18. Ben was the first DGR person I met and I really appreciate his work on sexism. Let me say that first.
    Some of what’s going around DGR these days reminds me of the Michigan Women’s Music Festival 30 years ago when trans surgery was new, and they only admitted “womyn-born-womyn.” Seems like the same issues.
    I know one born woman who has XY chromosomes, so that doesn’t do it either. I know somebody who changed genders and her wife is struggling because she’s heterosexual but now they’re a lesbian couple. I know somebody who would change genders but his wife doesn’t want to be a lesbian, so he’s depressed. I’ve known trans people who seemed like the gender they claimed, and some who didn’t, some who seemed like the male privilege was their natural home and they weren’t giving it up.
    So I don’t have answers, but I find it kind of tiresome to be around people who do. It was hard to read to the end of this because everybody was shouting at each other. Having been a radical feminist (long ago), an almost-separatist, a long-time lesbian, and just kind of amazed how many trans people have crossed my path – I am aware that there is no group that has it all right. The feminists and the lesbians have certainly done our share of ideological shouting. I’ve been rude to an amazing number of men who were surprisingly nice in response. The converse of course happens too. Guess I’m used to it – but not nearly as much as I was in the 60’s and 70’s. These days, when I meet a man who acts the way most men acted then, my whole body gives off alarm signals, and I go into “handling” mode.
    On the other hand, maybe it’s gotten worse again. I’ve heard rumors….
    As a woman and a lesbian, I’ve felt very safe in DGR spaces. I wonder whether I would feel safe as a trans person – of any kind and any behavior. Because, just as lesbians aren’t that way because we were abused as kids, trans people aren’t that way because they are power addicts. They are real.
    I’m sorry, that all is going to sound like I said “be nice” and ignored the serious content about sexism. I didn’t ignore it, I’m glad you’re saying it. I just wanted to say this too.

  19. The entire premise is absurd.You expect me to join a replicant revolt (with “Americans” no less) in defence of Mother Earth?

    Angels Doing Time
    “The world will end…the mechanical will have Americanized us to such a degree, progress will have atrophied the entire spiritual part within us, [that we will] die by that we had thought we could live by. [We will be destroyed]… by the abasement of the heart.” – Charles Baudelaire. April 9, 1821 – August 31, 1867. From Seeing Double: Baudelaire’s Modernity by Francoise Meltzer

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