- Date published:
1:23 pm, February 5th, 2023 - 34 comments
Categories: feminism, gender, gender critical feminism, identity - Tags: gender identity ideology, the radical notion
Recent months have seen a rise in conflict in online spaces between different aspects of what is broadly called the gender critical movement (the wide range of views and politics that share in common the idea that biological sex is dimorphic, or binary, and that this matters in human affairs). Gender critical views come from the whole political compass (left, right, libertarian, authoritarian).
In the UK, arguably the forefront of gender critical progress, gender critical feminism is largely left wing and socially progressive. The following set of essays has been produced by radical and socialist feminists, and is linked here for all sides of the debate to further understanding, including the fundamentally left wing nature of gender critical feminism and what that means.
The full PDF of essays, Gender Critical Disputes, is available for free from The Radical Notion.
THE RADICAL NOTION was founded in 2020 to create a space for the resurgent wave of feminist thinking and activism.
We are committed to the materialist analysis of sex-based oppression, and to challenging the material and symbolic structures of male dominance. This moment is a historic opportunity to deepen and widen the analysis of all aspects of women’s political condition, and its foundational role in all systems of extraction and domination. We welcome words and images from women of all nationalities, classes, ethnicities and back- grounds to illuminate the meaning of feminist politics in their lives, and to create a global picture of this political moment. Our current battle, and the social, political and environmental unravellings we see all around us, are, at their root, crises of patriarchy. We want to seize this moment to speak that truth.
We recognise that recent political disagreements have been extremely painful for many on all sides, and that is a source of much regret. We maintain, however, that there are substantive political issues at stake here, that efforts to stifle discussion are politically unhealthy, and that we remain committed to the right of all women to voice their political opinions. Just as with the critique of trans ideology, we have tried to explain our position as clearly and thoroughly as possible. We know many will disagree, and don’t expect any immediate political effect, but we think it important for our analysis to be placed on the record. We hope this work can be taken as it is intended: as a genuine political contribution to a movement which is profoundly significant for us all, and for women and girls.
From the Editorial:
Patriarchy is not universal, and it is not inevitable. It was developed by people through historical processes for the material purpose of controlling and appropriating women’s bodies and labour. And, since it was developed by people, so it can be undeveloped. As we learned from Max Dashu in Issue Six, there have been societies that are not patri- archal.1 Another way is possible.
Gender-identity activists claim that feminism must centre the needs of male people, and they persuade some women to join them in this crusade. This ‘feminism’ is not about women’s interests, and thus ‘being a feminist’ becomes an identity quite separate from a commit- ment to women’s liberation from patriarchy.
Redefining ‘feminism’ to include people who support patriarchal power is a way to make it harder for women’s liberationists to find each other and or- ganize together. When our words are taken from us we cannot speak the truth, so it is a very effective patriarchal weapon.
In circumstances in which ‘feminism’ is claimed as an identity divorced from women’s political interests, understanding what is and is not in our interests is crucial for directing our energy. Thinking, talking, and writing about what women need, the ways we are oppressed, and how we might resist is necessary for enabling effective struggle against patriarchal power. It is no coincidence that women’s thinking is a site of misogynistic attack against us. In 1983, Andrea Dworkin wrote, “Men hate intelligence in women … Intelligence is a form of energy that pushes itself out into the world … The intelligence of women is traditionally starved, isolated, imprisoned … Intelligence is not ladylike. Intelligence is full of excesses.”2
THE RADICAL NOTION aims to provide a space where we can push our energy out into the world, in all its excesses. Here we have a place to leave ‘ladylike’ behind and become what we are capable of. And through that process we develop the thinking, understanding, and power necessary to resist the crushing weight of the beast.
Feminism is the movement against patriarchy, based on the radical notion that women are people. People who think, make, act, move, feel, speak, write, love, build, create. People who are agents of change. Onward sisters. There is much to do.
The organising slogan of patriarchy is order out of chaos. They associate chaos (human intelligence) with women (their prophet Jordan Peterson does this, he also calls God the highest value created by man for the order of society – Camille Paglia, who now identifies as a transgender man says, God was man's greatest creation).
The flood of judgment was supposed to restore order.
Basically the empires of men are political alliances between the God patriarchy (social order – Taleban/Teheran/Riyadh for the openly obnoxious form without the sophistication required with democratic governance) and mammon (economic order).
The USA security regime has at its heart a fear of egalitarianism (social and economic) because that involves change to the political order. Their nation was formed by those who owned slaves and who designed an order of rule to preserve their privilege. It was modelled on the British constitutional system – whereby the power elites always remained in power (Christian throne Crown and City of London).
New Zealand's place in such a regime (no state church or religion and dependent on foreign capital – see the 1975 election campaign, the 1984 regime capitulation, the Kiwi Saver/NZ Super/KiwiBank resistance etc) is questionable. We have a Treaty (an indigenous people with birthrights) and women have had the vote for 130 years.
Of course the American right have used imperial security leadership, not to secure the rights of women (Biden said protecting the women of Afghanistan was not part of their forever war), but the interests of global capitalism. This regime of mammon uses group identity politics (the white race and its God patriarchy) to protect itself from social justice advocates within the democracy – and thus sees feminism as a threat. In this, mammon and religion (created by men) are in lockstep.
Dividing the resistance is part of their methodology (both CIA and FBI), and they use psychological warfare operations (and high tech – remote neural monitoring and bio electro magnetic fields) as standard gangstalking and gaslighting practice (as did the East Germans).
And like the Soviets, they have used the psychiatric profession as part of their gulag. The MK Ultra Project Monarch Mind Control research was not closed down in the 1970's, it just went wireless (long arm of the law). They first indicated their capacity to use public health research as a weapon when at the very last minute a new mental health condition was formally sanctioned into the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders 1952 (when homosexuality was classified as a "sexual deviation" within the larger "sociopathic personality disturbance" category of personality disorders. The sexual deviation diagnosis included "homosexuality, transvestism, pedophilia, fetishism and sexual sadism as examples).
Of course the connection between incels (MAGA cap misogyny) and the transgender movement is obvious (see cissy girls online porn, if you have a strong stomach). Broken Windows defenestration (of women from power – see Jehu OT and the glorification of Jehu Ministry in American religious culture) involves not just Jan 6 events but also intrusion into feminist solidarity.
Lots of "political orphans" in UK politics.
"The Tories now join a disunited Labour Party, divided down the middle over the issue of trans rights – or, rather, the rights of male-bodied transwomen to invade women-only spaces."
For those of us who engaged the debate, it is perplexing why so many have abandoned the basic aims of the left-wing project and taken such intransigent positions around the transgender banner. This short opinion piece in Scotland's Sunday Post summarises a completely unnecessary and embarrassing situation that the SNP has brought upon itself
This is just bizarre mob behaviour. The Zoomer generation lives online, the messy realities of meatspace should not interfere with their lovely fantasies.
While I think the way gender critical women are treated is disgusting and biological women have a right to their own spaces.
That same "LGBTQ lobby " has had all its safe spaces from gay bars and pride to recently Grindr, totally taken over by heterosexual cis women.
Gay bars used to be our safe places where we could meet each other without fear of death. Straight women selfishly decided they felt safer in gay bars so forced themselves in, demanded we cater to them, brought their straight male friends with them who would call us slurs or worse if we hit on them in our own bars, disrespected our rules and pretty soon gays stopped going to gay bars (we're now told gay bars are dying cos gays don't need them, no gays won't go cos drunk straight chicks have ruined them) so we moved away from bars and started organizing our own gay drinks nights at other bars, as soon as the straight women found out they highjacked them too.
Straight people then started treating our punk rock rebellious pride parades as parties to just get shit faced in and demanded they be increasingly desexualized so they can take their kids and get pics taken of how enlightened they are
Then there are the women who sue gay sex clubs to allow them inside so they can watch gay men have sex.
And now, straight cis women think they are being modern by highjacking Grindr, the one safe gay app where we can meet each other without fear of violence, bigotry or death, straight females now think they are being worldly going on our dating apps looking to turn the gay men they fetishize, or say they simply want "gay bff's" or to meet bi guys or turn us. All of these reasons are Disgusting they can do that anywhere 99.9% of society is designed for heterosexual dating but they still take our safe spaces and with straight women comes straight men, increasingly you see profiles that say "no f#gs women only" ON GRINDR and not mention all the heteros who think they can sell drugs on Grindr.
When told to gtfo our apps and bars entitled straight women freak out about how we're misogynists for not wanting vaginas in our spaces.
Gay men regularly get killed simply for trying to meet other gay men and straight women thinks it's a big laugh to totally ruin our spaces just so they feel safer.
Gay men love straight women, but not in our bars, our saunas, our apps, our festivals and we're never ever going to sleep with them so stop fetishizing us.
Straight women fetishizing and appropriating and highjacking gay spaces is not new, not a rare event and never gets talked about cos the owners of our spaces don't wanna rock the boat or risk legal action for being discriminatory, or just greedy.
And while I'm on the subject gay men and women never have their own spaces anymore it's always full on LGBTQ spades (despite the T being able to have their own safe spaces) we can never have just our own thing, and when we try straight women call us out for not being inclusive to other groups.
Everyone including straight men and straight women and trans and gay men and women deserve to be safe and have places where we can talk about our problems and socialize with each other.
People need to learn the words separate but equal.
I agree Corey, people need to learn we are separate but equal.
I have not heard of straight women taking over gays bars and gay dating apps. I am not doubting you, but do you have any links about this? I think gay people should have their spaces protected.
I would say however I think it is unlikely that heterosexual women come into your spaces insisting that they are really gay men and that you are being sexist or some such thing if you don't go along with such a fiction.
seemed a pretty credible first hand account of what is happening in gay men's spaces. I have no trouble believing that women call gay men sexist when being refused. That behaviour sounds like classic liberal feminist positioning (and some gay men are sexist so there’s bound to be some push back done in sexist ways).
Oh, it's a thing alright.
Well Joe 90, I have read some of the links. In one it said that bachelorette parties going to drag shows helps with the income stream.
I understand that gay people would want these spaces for themselves, I really do.
Is there some human rights issues preventing the spaces becoming gay male or lesbian only? Or is it commercial?
Now Joe, as I remember you are one of the commenters on this site who have shown no support for GC women's concerns about trans women (ie men ) in their spaces. Quite the opposite. So I want you to now imagine if these straight gate crashers started called the men who objected to their presence in gay bars a nasty slur, ie an equivalent to terf. Imagine you are one of those gay men who simply wants the gay bar to yourself and you are accused of mysogymy for doing so. Imagine that the Government decides to get involved and makes a law to say these het women cannot be eluded. Imagine if the govt then threatens a hate speech law that would mean that if you speak up against these het women, you could be acused of a hate crime. Imagine you try and hold a series of meetings in public libraries about these laws and the problems you are experiencing and the libraries shut your meeting down, because these het women use the library and it needs to be a safe space for them. Imagine if you have to go to the High Court to ensure your meeting is held. Imagine if you start posting about this on this left wing site, where you would expect straight people here to be sympathetic to gay people's need for separate spaces. Imagine if you found on this site not only did you get no support, but you got called a bigot for not wanting these women in your spaces.
I do have some sympathy for what is happening with this. But I also want to say a huge "now you know how we feels". And I am afraid the issue for gender critical women is worse. We are gaslighted with the f…g ridiculous line "trans women are women". At least you are not being told that sexual orientation is a social construction and meaningless. Oh and also when gay men visit the AIDS clinic (if they have the misfortune to do so) they are not greeted with changes to their language e.g people who have sex with other people. Or penis havers having sex with each other.
You're probably aware that in Tasmania the Anti-Discrimination Commissioner has said that it's a breach of law to run lesbian events.
And that many online dating sites for lesbians include males and lesbians get banned if they state female only.
The pressure now from gender ideology is such that I'm not sure how one would differentiate commercial from cancel. But we know that lesbian and gay bars used to function for lesbians and gays respectively, and now they don't. It's not because there aren't lesbian and gay people wanting those spaces.
I'm hearing lesbians saying they now meet in secret. That's mind blowing.
Yes indeed Weka, I am aware of the situation in Tasmania. I wonder what Corey and Joe 90 think about that?
that's an eye opener, didn't know it was happening like that outside of the LGBT stuff. Pretty fucked up and disrespectful.
Molly and I had a conversation recently about whether it was ok for black people to put on theatre that was for black audiences only(Molly no, me yes). The argument is that beyond safety and dignity there should be no separation. I disagree, because I know there is such a thing as women's culture that exists even when we are safe and I want to retain that. I've seen this with lesbians as well and assume it's true for gay men. In addition to the safety/dignity reasons, sometimes we want to gather for our own purposes that are wholly about positive reasons. It's something that's getting lost in the GCF debate spaces because the boundaries have been pushed so far against safety and safeguarding.
I also think men are entitled to their own spaces, they just need to sort out the patriarchal accumulation of power and privilege bit.
"Molly and I had a conversation recently about whether it was ok for black people to put on theatre that was for black audiences only(Molly no, me yes). "
My issue was related to it being a National Theatre and taxpayer funded.
I don't care about private businesses or organisations.
Thanks for the clarification, I’d missed that part of it.
Thanks for that perspective. There needs to be a lot more listening on both sides of these debates IMO. There are the trolls (Matt Walsh, Libs of TikTok,…) that obsess over what evil thing "teh gh3ys" are doing; and on the other side there's Owen Jones and other activists who appear to be projecting thinly disguised misogyny.
Smearing and vilifying seems to get more traction on social media. But as a society we need less heat and more light. We don't have to like each other or approve of others beliefs or lifestyles. But we have to figure out a way to share this planet without acting like tribal chimps throwing turds at each other.
Too many of these online pundits rely on manufactured outrage. The pictures they paint are a caricature, not reality.
less heat and more light is good.
Straight women going to gay clubs was sort of well known, that it had become a problem for gay community, not so much.
I was often out with gay friends and we would all go into the gay nightclub. Some specified gay men only and of course we respected that
sorry Corey, there is no such thing as a CIS women. If you are born with the capacity to produce large gametes then you are a women (you more than likely have xx chromosome and secondary sexual characteristics of being female.
If you are born with the capacity to produce sperm, then you are male. Most likely you will have male genitalia (penis and testacles). You will never be able to carry a child or give birth.
If you told me ten years ago I would be writing this on a blog site where the people ar supposedly intetelligent, I would have laughed.
There are no CIS women. Just women. And girls.
Sex isn't assigned at birth. The idea is utterly ludricrious.
On this site people who rejected the vaccine, many for reasons to do with bizzare unscientific theories are no crazier than the people on this site who believe sex is assinged at birth. The term I would use is science deniers.
In law, sex is assigned at birth.
The birth certificate lists birth sex and the options are male or female.
The cis was of a design to distinguish between those who identify with a gender in accord with their birth sex and “others” (such as transgender).
Of course, of late, part of the self ID activism also involves the claim of a right to change the birth sex recorded on the birth certificate.
citation needed for that. Afaik, sex is observed and recorded sometime between conception and the immediate post-partum period. Many foetuses have their sex recorded at a scan.
Whatever the original intent, for the people who don't have a gender but only have a sex, the term cis is offensive because it forces them into gender roles that they find harmful.
I don't like it because it says seeks to redefine the terms woman and man and that's happening in a context where women are losing our rights including our language and ability to talk about our own bodies and politics.
In law, sex is assigned at birth.
Do you know of a period before birth when someone is a born citizen? And sex (even if determined in the womb) is thus formally assigned at birth.
How, the point was to remove expected gender conformity to birth sex?
That pertains only to the transgender side of it (which has disrupted the traditional born male or born female separation within society), and in particular the self ID development (sans the health system and legal pathways that once managed that).
Weird how transgender lobbyists claim to be disrupting gender roles but then encourage young people not to accept their natural bodies, but to go for opposite sex hormones and surgeries to conform to, you guessed it, a perceived gender.
The alphabet soup lobby tries to pigeonhole butch women or effeminate men into the opposite gender, and any kind of nonconformity needs its own flag and pronouns. This isn't freedom, it's magical thinking akin to astrology.
Whereas women have been fighting actual sex-based oppression (gender roles) for millennia.
Some males and females (some of whom easily pass as within the gender stereotype of their birth sex) will find the concept of gender ID useful. There are many options – agender, bi-gender, non binary, gender queer, genderfluid, gender variant, third gender, twospirit without reference to being transgender.
It's just being more able to identify as they really are – part of the modern acceptance of difference (and moving from mono-cultural to multi-cultural society), as per same sex marriages.
Whether people take up the option of identifying other than cisgender is up to them (and someone at some point will find an alternative to cisgender – maybe same gender as birth sex).
People try and pigeon hole others in all sorts of ways, but people still get to choose secretly, who they vote for and also how they identity their gender, their sexuality, their faith, their ethnicity – on a census form and also in more personal (private lives) and or public ways.
Historically there has been the male in the female role on stage, then the transvestite part of theatre (and the sex industry) while more recently there has been the chemical assistance and surgery to enhance male and or female stereotype body form and the presentation of such on social media – with some negative (psychological impact) on adolescent youth and single adults.
From that world has come the transgender – which some are connecting to the wider concept of transhumanism
This is but the beginning.
Another reality of the human condition, is suffering and mortality. Most do not have the luxury of ascending Maslow's hierarchy of needs and exploring exotic identities. Many people are carrying some kind of trauma, and dissociation from their own bodies and minds is a natural defence mechanism.
But a basic tenet of mental health is acceptance of reality "as it is, not as I would have it".
It is however part of being young and today's individuals have more capability to shape their lives than in past times.
Society once imposed a reality on its citizens
– a ban on same sex relationships
– gender role conformity
– religious conformity
– acceptance of autocratic rule (largely organised by the insider haves over the have nots)
Emancipation has led to the end of an imposed reality/order out of chaos, human dominion is now formed by empowered people – individuals even.
Which we can note opens up all sort of opportunities (social media informs youth of them), which makes more pressure on development – as to their reality and the lifestyles of others.
Sure there is a commonality in terms of aging and or illness or adverse life circumstance resulting in suffering. And acceptance is a way of coping. But youth have yet to identify who they are and what they want. Acceptance can be a fraught concept because it dampens hope and expectation which is important for aspiration.
They might be young people exploring possibilities, or they could be traumatised adolescents dissociating from their bodies, especially girls who don't want to become objectified by porn addled boys and seek a way out.
Interesting though Weka, I don't recall hearing Cis man used much at all. Only cis woman.
Lol, quite fucking true
Those who are protesting in Scotland to support the idea that men who identify as women should be kept in womens prisons have lost their minds to a cult. There is no other explanation for such a frightening idea, especially given what has happened in jails where transgender women (i.e. men) have been placed.
I am waking for the left wing and the likes of the NZ Labour Party to wake up.
Thanks for posting the article Weka.
Yes the movement has the hallmarks of a nascent secular religion. As one wag tweeted, the plethora of "identities" is about as useful as the Zodiac, but has less scientific basis 😂
Another writer likens the trans movement to Gnosticism (an ancient Christian heresy)
And this is a fascinating trip down a rabbit hole tracing the philosophical roots of "Wokeism" in general.
How is he using the word gnostic there?
Was Descartes a Gnostic?
Theo Jordan is a critic of Emerson
Theo Jordan connects the dots of this (when it comes to gender and sexuality free will) to gnostic thought, as per the idea of the "human body being a prison" (conforming to nature of human birth dominion).
It's a stretch. Human males and females have societal/cultural (religious heritage God order out of chaos) expectations of them. As to being born males and being male gender, or born female and being female gender and expectations of a "natural" heterosexuality. But human life is more diverse than that.
Theo Jordan appears to be a traditionalist, Emerson believes in progressive change – thus towards greater social justice and freedom, and not required conformity to an established order.
Francis Aaron, another acolyte of Henry Makow (born a Jew and determined to save the men of Western Civilisation from socialism and its alliance with feminism and black lives matter against religious patriarchy, aided by of course by Jordan Peterson).