In “Gender as a Hate Crime” (Dianne Post, Rain and Thunder #41 ) it was noted that “When I was lobbying for the inclusion of gender in the Arizona hate crimes statute many years ago, the man who spoke before me said that crimes against women are so common that if they were included in hate crimes, it would overwhelm the system and no one else would get any attention.”
Indeed. I guess this is why transgender folks can achieve human rights, civil rights and hate crimes legislative protections but females can’t. Female-hatred can continue unabated without consequence or even being questioned. It is so ‘normal’ and so widespread, that it is not seen as systemic structural oppression in its own right.
One of the most common socially approved expressions of this universal Hate, is the continuing metaphor of women as animals, (ie not-human animals), chicks, cows, dogs, bunnies, and often presented as such in advertising, along with gender minstrel performance as a put-down, just as racial minstrel performance is. Then there are the cultural caricatures, the Political Propaganda, the enormous hatred and sexualised violence towards females in mainstream music, movies, advertising, TV sitcoms along with appalling western cultural stereotypes of the nagging fishwife, elderly mother(in-law), the ball-buster and the bimbo. The list is endless. If such Hatred in cultural stereotypes are applied to non-white races, it would be rightly labelled hate-speech.
Along the continuum of Hate, is the umbrella concept of Violence Against Women, including everyday harrassment and humiliation in the street, public spaces, schools and workplaces, incest, rape, assaults, and domestic violence, pornography and
prostitution industries, honor killings, womb-prostitution & egg-farming for baby-battery factory farms, child marriages and large-scale female torture and female rape/impregnation-camps in warzones and natural disaster regions, along with systemic social and political violence in differential access to public services, health care, employment, education and treatment under the law.
Just to name a few of the more obvious mechanisms of female oppression, (don’t get me started on FGM aka ‘Code of Femininity, aka the ‘beauty industry’, from African FGM, to hijab, to the sari to high-heels, western clothing (or lack of) etc etc) but with startlingly valid statistics to confirm systemic social and political oppression and hatred of females, over decades, centuries and millennia – and planet-wide. It is the universal female human condition. And one hell of a lot of that oppression — physical, social, psychological and political, is rooted in the female sex, not gender.
The Hate usually begins in the birthing chamber with “It’s a girl” (based on her genitals) and doesn’t really end until the old b*tch, bat, cow etc, is dead, for the overwhelming majority of female-sexed humans on this entire planet. Some groups of females don’t survive to the birthing-chamber.
Similar to other oppressed groups of human beings, this social and political hatred can be internalised by individuals and sub-groups, and fully accepted as the norm and once “normal” becomes “invisible” – its just absent. The generic social hate can then become wide-spread Self-hate, individually and collectively, and can be expressed through self-harm, masochism, celebration of the oppressed social status, and often as horizontal hostility, as in “othering” sub-groups of the oppressed population. In the case of women, a sizeable number collaborate in their own oppression, for the sake of survival. For to resist the largest, oldest and most basic Hatred and oppression of all man-made oppressions, is to risk very real death – as millions of female humans on this planet know only too well.
The continuum of Hate of the female gets progressively more intense for women also impacted by racism and classism. All females are Not-Human, but the further down male heirarchies the rest of your female body is, or your religion, socio-economic class or ethnic group or nationality, (the list is endless) the more frequently and severely you get treated like de-humanised shit when you are born female – its like progressively becoming more non-human, or more female. Wherever positioned in male heirarchies, all the Hate ultimately originates in a male over female symbolic framework.
This Hatred of the Female is also demonstrated in the decades long arguments over the inclusion of trans-activism in feminism, and all over just the ‘Name’ of woman and man.
Although it is primarily the Name of Woman only that seems to get everyone so angry and emotional. It is very interesting that few question the Name of Man, its only the Name of Woman which is in doubt.
Sex as biologically female or male, for the overwhelming majority of humans, is unchangeable. It is neutral, it is a fact of life. Like brown hair or green eyes. Gender, as ‘woman’ or ‘man’ is a social construct, an abstraction of the mind loosely referring to the social meaning of gender roles of ‘femininity’ and ‘masculinity’, reinforced by socialisation throughout life and ascribed a social status and importance in the abstract, in that ‘femininity’ is positioned socially and politically inferior to ‘masculinity’.
However, while anybody can – in theory — self-identify, and/or be socially defined as either ‘man’ or ‘woman’, most of us humans are stuck forever with being ‘male’ or female’. Every single cell in the body is sexed. The language of sex and gender
or ‘Name’ often gets confused as delphyne has noted “..out there in the real world nobody makes any distinction between man and male, and woman and female, so when the trans call themselves “women” it means they get into a whole lot of women’s spaces…”
At its most simplistic, radical feminist theory and analysis posits that female human beings, are oppressed through BOTH their biological sex as females, AND through socially enforced gender roles as women. It is not ‘essentialist’, or ‘cultural’ promotion of femaleness, it is fact of life for female-born humans.
Liberal feminism generally, tends to focus its energy mostly on the socially constructed gender roles and their relative social and political status, radical feminism focuses on both as being critical factors of women’s oppression, seeing both sex and gender as inextricably linked socially and politically across the planet in all cultures, in all countries in all religions and creeds. Biological sex shouldn’t be socially linked to social status, genderised roles, and hatred and abuse on an institutional and systemic basis, but they are, under patriarchy. If males didn’t need female biology for reproduction, there would have been no need to “invent” or “construct” social gender roles in the first place.
The socially constructed gender roles, conditioned from birth, just serves as a tool to reinforce the hatred and oppression of the biological sex of females, and provide a social argument for its reinforcement. No matter how many trans and queer folk like to ‘fuck with gender’, it cannot and will not do anything for female-bodied sex-based oppression. Indeed, the whole post-modernist concept is designed to erase, invisibilise, trivialise and deny female oppression. Make sure it doesn’t exist as a social or political category. Regardless of gender constructs, or de-construction, or re-construction, the female sex itself, is
universally hated, denied human rights and autonomy, and politicised trans lobbyists are just the most recent of the patriarchal cheerleaders to help erase its existence.
Female existence is sometimes recognised, in that some spaces, (and not all that many), have requested to be female-only spaces. Some of these are for socialising, such as the Michigan Womyn’s Music Festival, (aka ‘Michfest’), others are for female-specific public services, others are for political feminist organising. But these are very few, as most brands of feminism and women’s events, do include male-women and often male-men too.
It would seem, that even one such space, is always one too many, to ask for!
Talking of minorities within feminism – why pick on the most marginalised, the smallest numerically, and the most powerless minority of all feminists as “haters”?
If a group, for example people who identify with a particular shared group identity on grounds of religion, race or even common hobby, wanted to hold a festival on private land, and politely, respectfully asked non-‘whatever-it-is’ people, to not attend – most would not be offended by that request. Even if they were, I suspect they wouldn’t then call the national media, their lawyers and hold public protests over claims of discrimination.
It is a false claim, it is a lie of such huge proportions it beggars belief.
Liar, Liar, Pants on Fire!
Just who is doing all the “Hating” around here? It sure isn’t radfems who just want some female space to call their own.
And why do so few see this activity as Hatred? Because they have been successful in telling lies, ‘proving’ that females do not have any rights to their own name. Trans-activism directed at radfems is just the latest in a looooong herstory of Woman_Hatred.
Female-people who wish to have their own space, are just Not Allowed to, no matter how politely and respectfully they ask. The whole friggin world, right-wing fundies, left-wing, trans, queer GBT-alphabet-soups – all of them – are stating that females have no human right to organise themselves as females, socially or politically. Margaret Jamison wrote: “…radical feminists deserve to be called “hateful bitches,” of course, because we wont call (male-born) transpeople, female. That’s it. We won’t call male people female. We aren’t hurting them or slandering them in any way (after all, ‘male’ is not an insult – just a fact, like ‘short’ or ‘hazel-eyed’); we’re just not calling them female. That’s the sum total of the radical feminist position…. surgery and pharmaceuticals aren’t miracle-makers. They don’t turn male people female….Simple logic. That’s it. And the response is to hurl expletives in our general direction. To me, the “punishment” does not fit the “crime.””
Indeed. Me neither. Such a crime it is, to cause so much grief. The ‘punishment’ for such a ‘crime’ goes beyond the female-hating epithets – it extends to yet another formal legal discrimination against females. Typical patriarchal reversals within
reversals. It is the politicised trans who are the real female-Haters. I guess its no coincidence, that most high-profile politicised trans-activists are also pro-porn and pro-prostitution too.
Just add it to all the rest of the discriminatory woman-hating laws, policies, behaviours and everyday common-garden variety of violence females experience from the day we are born. We all know that females are not human, hence no legal
civil rights either. Only the male-born and their enablers are allowed such rights.
Meanwhile the Female-Hate continues and wins again.
Femininity, (and masculinity), in all its various forms (and there are a lot of them), is totally a social construction, but is always a male construction based on male-bodied life experience, and any *bits* of female-bodied life-experience which don’t correspond to male experience, are removed from the Human Condition altogether.
Poof !! *disappeared*
Erasure and denial of femaleness, and replacing it with male-bodied definitions of femininity, is something women are socially conditioned to share with men the world over. Men hate women, and so women hate women too, and in particular, we are taught to hate the femaleness in our own bodies and those of other women. We are trained and conditioned into masochism of the female body.
The male-born transgendered people socially reinforce an underlying concept of the inherent body masochism of femininity, as being the sole and only definition of womanhood, in Erasing femaleness. The female-born transgendered are erasing femaleness in their bodies, through masochistic self-harm which is still the hallmark of femininity.
Both socially constructed gendered roles attempt to Erase the Female from existence.
One attempts to Erase their own femaleness in Self-hatred by removing all their uniquely female “bits”, and the other is also Erasing the female, by replacing it with a superficial ‘femininity’ which similarly excludes all the uniquely Female bits, which biological males can’t do anyway.
Both roles are based on definitions of socially constructed femininity, which has nothing to do with femaleness. Either way, the female bits that can’t conform to a male biological “equivalent” standard are removed, denied any importance or value, or any humanity. Only male biology matters. Only male biology and life experience is ‘human’, so only male biology and socially constructed reality can be our ‘Destiny’.
In the search for ‘equality’ we seem to have settled for ‘equivalence’ of the kind — that anything a man feels, a woman can too. But anything a woman can feel and experience, but a man just can’t, just doesn’t exist. In other words, both are insisting that the Female has no right to existence.
I suspect that is why drag is not seen as offensive as racialised parody is. It is men laughing at themselves. For women socialised into femininity have none other but the feminised gentle male-definitions to identify with, and to receive even the smallest recognition of “humanity”, women must erase their own femaleness and side with the gentle- men in drag.
This generalised antagonism and hostility towards even the possibility, of a female Class identity, is possibly based in fear of upsetting the male-supremacist power systems – an understandable fear. So we identify primarily with race, class, gay male sexuality and other divisions, which are also male-defined social constructions to distinguish between groups of males. Females are irrelevant to these distinctions, for they are male-male ones, just like masculinity and femininity are both male-bodied, male-minded social constructions.
Liar, Liar, pants on fire!!
If trans “feminists” are sooooooooo identified with “women”, why aren’t they attacking male supremacy? Why do they attack the smallest minority of other feminists?
Methinx it has been the most brilliant tactic of Divide & Conquer ever perpetrated – by convincing us all that we don’t really exist as a ‘class’ or ‘category’ at all, and never did,
neither socially or biologically (when it has always been both, not dissected, dis-membered or separate) –
we have absolutely no basis on which we can unite in solidarity, and will never be a threat to the oppressive power-structures we all know are there.
The post-modernist ideal of an androgynous genderless Heinz soup-blend of humanity, removes, dismisses all concepts of unique femaleness and replaces it with masculinity, queer and femininity (which is all just more forms of masculinity in drag or without it).
Whether Culture and/or Biology, is Destiny then, it would still appear to be a very much a male-minded, male-bodied Destiny.
Whether She was a biological or a social construct, may that Mad, Mad ‘Woman’, the indefinable, uncategorised, Mad, Mad Woman who went down without a fight
- because it was in Her Nature and/or Social Construction to be
- non-violent, non-aggressive, but
- Ultimately Non-Existent ……
May those Mad, Mad Women, those Misfit Female Bodies, Rest in Peace.
Can the last one out, please turn off the lights?