In 2015, I wrote my first piece on transgender ideology and practice. I co-wrote it, because these were perspectives that I was frankly uneasy to voice on my own. And I had good reason to be wary. My views would later destroy friendships, my theater company, and my ability to make work in the indie theater community in New York City, where I had spent over a decade producing, writing, and connecting artists.
Now, four years later, the Supreme Court is slated to hear two cases on the transgender question, and think pieces and amicus briefs are flying fast and furious. Writing for Vox, Katelyn Burns notes “The rise of anti-trans ‘radical’ feminists,” but her analysis falls short of capturing the real reasons behind gender critical feminism.
Burns assesses feminist gender criticism as being derived from hate and fear. She writes: “Groups like WoLF [Women’s Liberation Front] are commonly referred to as ‘trans-exclusionary radical feminists,’ or TERFs. They alternate among several theories that all claim that trans women are really men, who are the ultimate oppressors of women. Most of their ideas — like that trans women are a threat to cisgender women’s safety — are based on cherry-picked cases of horrific behavior by a small number of trans people. Above all else, their ideology doesn’t allow for trans people to have self-definition or any autonomy over their gender expression.” A Disease in the Publi... Best Price: $7.17 Buy New $32.99 (as of 05:25 EST - Details)
What Burns misses is that most gender critical women have no real concern for how adults wish to live and to express themselves. Their real worries came when the very act of defining the word “woman” as adult human female was labeled a prejudiced act. Women began standing up and rubbing the gendery sleep from their eyes when the concept of womanhood changed from the culture of those with biologically female reproductive systems into those who costume in feminine garb and claim they feel like women. The gender critical feminist was born when men who wanted to dress, express, and live visibly as women declared that not only are they women now but have been their whole lives.
That was the first problem. The second problem came when the transgender movement, under the misconception that those adults who transition to the opposite gender had been the opposite gender all along, began foisting this in both ideology and practice onto children. The idea was that if adults had always been trans, there must be trans children, and those children could be saved trouble in adulthood if they were able to transition in their youth. This led to the medical and pharmaceutical industries feeding drugs and surgeries to the young under the guise of a panacea for their lives.
Feminists had been fighting for the rights of women and children to exist outside of traditional gender stereotypes, without beauty expectations, with respect for motherhood, and without the misogynist hatred that society heaps upon young girls. They were appalled to find actual medical doctors proposing that daughters medicate their transition with Lupron, an untested drug that was discovered to have the side effect of stopping puberty, but brings with it brittle bones. They were aghast to find that young girls were being given testosterone, being advised to have their breast tissue removed, that young boys were being castrated, and that children in the earliest grades were being indoctrinated in transgender ideology with books, videos, and pamphlets, without parental notification, in many cases without an ability for parents to opt out.