UPDATE 2: I have re-opened the comments due to renewed interest in this entry.
UPDATE: The comments section is closed due to this entry being linked to r/TheRedPill. Thanks for nothing, you little shits.
Above: An image from “Artists Against Misandry,” now shut down.
Also see previous entries in this series:
The confusion between sex and gender.
How not to prove the objective existence of gender.
First, what is genderism? It can be used in the same sense as “sexism” and “racism.” And indeed that is how it’s mostly been used. But in this case I mean it in the colloquial sense of people who enforce gender roles. An Australian named Tosson Mahmoud claims he invented this use of the term genderism, although he uses it to fight against “the virus of feminism.”
The concept of genderism, as used in feminism, is usually defined as the belief that certain behavioral preferences are caused by a person’s sex, in general that one’s gender is the result of one’s sex, and therefore that gender is natural (and even desirable).
This stands in stark contrast to the view that gender is a social construct. It is also generally held as being the opposite of feminism, because feminists believe that being of the female sex does not constitute an obligation to take on a gender role which is constructed as inferior and subservient.
What are the behaviors and roles considered appropriate for one’s sex?
If you are a Feminist (even a Liberal Feminist or a Fun Feminist), the answer to this should be “There are no behaviors and roles considered appropriate for my sex because Females can be and do anything.”
There is a lot of nuances in definitions here, but they are not entirely necessary. For example, some include within genderism the belief that there are two genders. But the two genders are an artefact of culture; some culture have three genders or four genders, and really, the exact number is irrelevant: all that matters is that some are seen as superior and some are seen as inferior. Genderism would not magically disappear if we added another gender to the list.
So who are genderists exactly? There are two kinds. One is traditional genderism, which generally in the West holds that one’s gender was assigned by God or evolution through their sex. This covers the gamut from non-science (Bible fundamentalists) to pseudo-science (evolutionary psychology) to quasi-science (studies and papers written to “prove” genderism), as well as most conservatives and liberals.
Even if they vastly disagree on pretty much everything, the goal of all traditional genderists is to suppress feminism and restore “women’s place” in society in order to uphold the gender hierarchy. And these various factions have been quite successful; together they encompass so many approaches that one of them is bound to work.
The second kind is trans genderism (not to be confused with transgenderism). Trans theory states that when a male does not feel that ey is a man, or when a female does not feel that ey is a woman, this is a fundamental biological problem which must be rectified by chemical treatment and/or surgery. They believe in the link between sex and gender just as much; they simply add another layer, the “innate gender” which trumps one’s “assumed gender” and otherwise takes over its role.
Trans activists believe they are anti-genderism. This may be so, but the very definition of transgender implies a link between sex and gender:
Transgender An umbrella term (adj.) for people whose gender identity and/or gender expression differs from the sex they were assigned at birth.
Transgender (sometimes shortened to trans or TG) people are those whose psychological self (“gender identity”) differs from the social expectations for the physical sex they were born with.
These are by far the most common definitions of transgender given by trans-friendly groups, and they clearly link sex and gender. If one is male, then one should feel like a man, and that if one is female, then one should feel like a woman. Gender rebels must be “helped” with chemical treatments and surgery so they can perform the proper gender.
In contrast, the traditional genderist position is that males are men and females are women, and gender rebels must be punished, not rehabilitated. The radfem position, on the other hand, is that we should live the way we want regardless of sex, that neither sex nor gender should limit us, and that gender-rebels deserve neither medical rehabilitation nor punishment.
From a radfem perspective, trans theory is extremely offensive in that it enforces gender roles while giving the illusion of choice. It ostensibly tells people that they can be whatever they want, but in practice they use one’s conformity or non-conformity to gender roles to assign them a label of “cis” or “trans.”
Reducing “woman” to a checklist of characteristics that others have forced upon us is insulting. Feeling that you are a woman because you have a medically made hole in your body that does not act anything like our reproductive organ is insulting. Thinking that you can be a woman without experiencing the effects of being a woman in infancy, childhood, adolescence and adulthood is insulting. Womanhood is not putting on a frilly dress and being emotionally available. Womanhood is dealing with the fact that that is the expectation of us, which you just reinforce.
Cis/trans is a tyrannical, binary label which aims to erase all levels of gender rebellion. Everyone who is not genderist and who rebels against gender has no choice but to take refuge in the domain of queer and eschew the cis/trans binary completely (I know nothing of queer theory, so I will refrain from talking further about it). Given the fact that it reduces third genders from other cultures to a “trans” label that simply doesn’t apply, it is also a colonialist, some might even say white supremacist, concept.
I’m a bakla Filipina. To call me trans for being bakla is to entirely erase the cultural specificity of my identity and to enact a type of cultural imperialism, something I most certainly do reject. Yet in Asher’s binary construction of cis/trans I am considered trans, something that I am not. Either that or simply rendered invisible.
Please note that I am not accusing trans activists of being white supremacists. I know very well they are not. What I am saying is that some have called the cis/trans binary white supremacist from their own cultural perspective, and I completely understand that.
Gender rebellion is a consequence of the existence of gender itself. Once you set up these little prison cells where people have to conform to one or the other set of behaviors, there will be people whose personalities lead them to adopt an admixture of both, and who will rebel against the attempt to impose a set on them. Now we know for a fact that few people, if any, are totally gender conforming, but most people try to follow their role enough so they don’t stick out. Some people, by virtue of having a personality that is too divergent from these sets, cannot do so, and will naturally rebel.
If you research the subject outside of radfem blogs, the first thing you will find is that many people hate radical feminism with incredible passion and vitriol. The biggest part of this vitriol comes from trans activists and their allies, who accuse radfems of being transphobic and of propagating hatred.
The reason for this should not be hard to understand. Gender is an integral part of trans theory, and anyone who seeks to eliminate gender is undercutting trans theory at its very foundation. To deny gender is to deny the transgender identity. I don’t dispute that this is bigotry, but the bigotry is the result of a systemic analysis. An anarchist is right to be a bigot against policemen and soldiers, because their job is inherently one of repression, no matter how nice the individuals might be. An antitheist is right to be a bigot against priests, even if they are nice.
Anyone who identifies their job or their very well-being with hurting other people should rightly be hated, and gender hurts people on a massive global scale. Gender is the rationale for oppressing women, gender sustains the rape culture, gender is an excuse to beat down, imprison and kill people. In that it constrains us to a set of preferred behaviors, genderism is necessarily a denial of freedom, in the political sense as well as in the personal sense. To follow a gender role means to be told how to act, how to talk, how to think, how to react, how to dress, how to have sex; as long as we have to follow gender roles, we are slaves to hierarchy.
Feminism does not believe that asking whether an individual identifies with the particular social characteristics and expectations assigned to them at birth is a politically useful way of analyzing or understanding gender. Eliminating gender assignments, by allowing individuals to choose one of two pre-existing gender molds, while continuing to celebrate the existence and naturalism of “gender” itself, is not a progressive social goal that will advance women’s liberation.
Gender is an extremely oppressive and unnecessary construct. Defining “trans” people as those who deviate from otherwise unobjectionable gender norms is not a progressive social cause. Fighting for everyone’s right to be as gender “non-conforming” as they wanna be, on the other hand, is.
Some people even claim that radfems want to kill transgender people. This is a straightforward lie, but it is a fact that trans theory applied to children leads to the extermination of homosexuality, because a majority of gender rebellious children are homosexual. They are also the ones who issue death threats to “cis” people (the most popular trans slogan is “die cis scum”). So the accusations leveled against radfems are clearly projections. Trans advocates wish for extermination and death but cannot proclaim this openly, so they accuse their opponents of wishing extermination and death on them. It is traditional genderists who kill transgender people and want to take away their rights, not radical feminists. Trans advocates accuse radfem of “transphobia,” but they are the ones who constantly lie to transgender people and tell them that there’s something physically wrong with gender-rebelling children and adults.
I honestly don’t know a group of people more compassionate than people who run radical feminists blogs on the Internet. This is why it boggles my mind when I read claims that radfems are hateful monsters: it is disconnected from the reality I observe in a very egregious way, and so it feels like they’re invalidating my experience. Of course they don’t care that they’re invalidating me: to them, radfem are walking sulfur-smelling devils and that’s all there is to it. I don’t really know what to reply to that attitude except that they’re speaking out of a position of willful ignorance.