By Tara Prema / Gender Is War
It’s a plot filled with anonymous denunciations, secret meetings, betrayal, dissidents, blacklists and infiltrators. For those just tuning in, this shitshow is the latest infighting on the left, where ideological purity and individual identity are all the rage – literally. Welcome to a new era of #LeftFail, where identity politics trumps everything, including strategy.
When we subtract the drama, what’s happened is that a couple of social justice groups (mostly hyper-moral ultra-leftist white college kids) has launched a campaign to blacklist people who disagree with their answer to a philosophical question. It’s not a question about the nature of capitalism or justice or exploitation or some other relevant topic, though. The question that’s tying the left in knots is: “What is a woman?”
If you answer, “An adult female human,” you could be blacklisted.
The correct answer nowadays is, “Anyone who identifies as a woman.”
This begs the question: “What does it mean to ‘identify’ as a woman?’”
The correct answer is, “To feel like a woman; to feel as if one is a woman.”
If you ask what it means to “feel like a woman,” there is no coherent answer, just hisses of:
So what is a transphobe?
Anyone who speaks about women’s biology, their physical sex, the power to give birth and nurse, for example.
Anyone who wants to abolish gender roles, meaning the stereotypes of how boys and girls are expected to behave, and how that affects us into adulthood.
Any person or group who defines “woman” as “adult human female.” That is, someone born female, with female biology.
The list includes midwives, traditional communities, radical feminists, and many others. It includes peace activist Cindy Sheehan and comedian Roseanne Barr. It includes Deep Green Resistance.
Radical feminists find that gender is a ridiculous set of oppressive stereotypes that have nothing to do with biology, rather than seeing gender as a spectrum or a binary or some kind of fluid. Gender stereotypes dictate that men are masculine and dominant, and women are feminine and submissive, and that is what you are. For this, academics and activists alike have denounced and blacklisted them.
There is a difference between a person’s sex and his or her gender. Radical feminists believe that sex is innate – it’s the biology we are born with, our DNA and secondary sex characteristics, like breasts and testes. Sex is in-born, and gender is constructed – that is, imposed on us by societal stereotypes (what we used to call “sex roles”).
On the other hand, genderists believe that gender is innate somehow – we are born with the stereotypes of being frilly or macho already in our heads. Sex, therefore, is constructed by means of surgery and hormones.
Genderists: If your internal sense of pink lace or ball games doesn’t match your genitalia, you need opposite-sex hormones and an operation! Or at least a whole new set of clothes, makeup, and a name change. And a million bucks. And a reality show. And a magic mirror to whisper flattering things.
Midwives are being told they can’t use the term “women” when referring to those of us who give birth and nurse children. Because that is transphobic. Midwives face blacklisting by their own professional association for refusing to call mothers “birthing parents.”
A traditional matrilineal community was harassed about having women’s circles until they started holding them in secret, away from the white dudes.
White dudebro masters student arriving at a traditional indigenous encampment: “Hey, you’re doing gender wrong. Let me mansplain to you about why this postmodern theory I just read about is superior to your traditional teachings passed on for hundreds of generations. Hey, where you going?”*
Anti-feminists have infiltrated radical feminist groups to spy out where their events are being held, so they can disrupt them by barging in or by phoning in death threats. In one case, a police informant joined a west coast radical environmental group and used the wedge issue of gender identity politics to start a faction fight that ended only when everyone quit.
And now we find ourselves watching as mass media celebrate transwomen as the epitome of womanhood. And we find we are ostracized by the gender cheerleaders at universities, conferences, and within the environmental movement.
Stop the Frack Attack is the most recent spasm of horizontal hostility on the environmental left. This anti-fracking coalition includes radical groups like Rising Tide, which has staked its moral purity on denouncing those who consider biological sex to be a material human condition. It does not include Deep Green Resistance, a group led by radical feminists, because – we are told – radical feminists are the evil “cis” oppressors. Note that Christian zealots and rightwing nuts with guns are not being targeted here. Feminists are the biggest threat and therefore deserve to be bashed, according to some trans advocates.
Along with the radicals, STFA includes the Idaho Conservation League, the United Christian Church, and the Denton Stakeholder Drilling Advisory Group. Did STFA’s central committee interrogate these good citizens on where they stand on the burning question of “What is a woman?” Are we to assume they all agree 100% that the categories of male and female no longer exist, except as semantics?
And if the Denton Stakeholders issued a public statement that Caitlyn Jenner has only changed clothes and makeup, not sex – would Stop the FA excommunicate them too?
Or is shunning a punishment reserved only for feminists?
And – final question – what the hell does this have to do with fracking?
One thing for sure: the oil and gas executives are laughing all the way to the bank. They know what some of us don’t – that infighting is like civil war: the only winners are the vulture capitalists.
* Different cultures around the world have different teachings about sex and gender. Many cultures have a designation outside of “male” and “female,” such as two-spirit and hijira. Many societies do not. Traditionally, some social groups are egalitarian, some are patriarchal, and some are matriarchal. They all have their own definitions of “who is a woman.” Not to speak for them, but those definitions don’t appear to be based on either radical feminism or postmodern theories about gender.