Insisting That Gender Is A Social Construct Is Oppressive To Women Essay

Insisting That Gender Is A Social Construct Is Oppressive To Women Essay

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When I went to college, I was exposed to all sorts of post-modern theory. It was fun to think about, even to apply – to literature, to film, sometimes to politics. But if one had told the nineteen-year-old dyke I was that someday, in the not-so-distant-future, these ideas from academia would be applied in very serious ways to women’s existence, lesbian’s existence, I wouldn’t have believed it.

In fact, this is exactly what has happened in the dominant culture. We have taken post-modern theory and applied it to a subjugated class (women). We say, with straight faces, “Anyone can be a woman!” We say, without stuttering, “A man is a woman if he says so.” What we then are to infer is that “woman” is a meaningless term – a concept, a malleable notion, a bit of academic jargon that can be tried out on a poem, a work of art, a dude. And in this way, we relegate “woman” to the status of “thing” – the lived reality of women becomes a text, an application.

I don’t give a fuck how anyone identifies. Truly, I don’t.

If, for example, a man says, “I identify as a woman. I’m going to dress like a woman. Change my name. Get some surgery. Take some pills.” Okay, fine. Cool. Rock on with your bad self. But the problem is, identity doesn’t, and never will, transcend biological reality.

The M2T seems to love this very philosophical idea: “I feel like . . . therefore I am.” M2T activists insist that males (I’m talking biology) who “feel like” females (I’m talking biology) are entitled — because of a feeling, a hunch – to women-only space (MichFest), to lesbian-only space, to shelters, to clinics, to organizations, to academic institutions that have been designed to serve the interests of women.

In a world that serves the interests of me...


... middle of paper ...


...lity. I had estrogen induced breast cancer. I have breasts. I menstruate. I see a gynecologist for reasons beyond mere pretense. As an adolescent, I was ogled by adult men and felt afraid. As a teen, I rejected the cult of makeup and had no interest in boys and was ridiculed for this – and no, that does not make me “trans,” it makes me a dyke. I appreciate my dumb luck at being born a female in the First World.

Tell Malala Yousafza that “female is a feeling.” Tell baby girls in China that female is “whatever you want it to be.” That woman is “whatever” is a male conceit and it is false. Men, despite their precious fucking feelings cannot simply colonize womanhood. Not without a fight.

You can identify as whatever-the-fuck you like, but unless you were born female, you will never be female. Embrace your fanciful identity. Enjoy your feelings. Leave women alone.

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