Biology for Dummies or how to fall foul of twitter’s women hating algorithms.

So, I’ve been shadow banned from twitter for what appears to be two reasons. Firstly, I am banned because I have a vagina. Secondly, I am banned because I refuse to relinquish my belief in the political significance of said vagina.

Now, obviously, I can’t do much about the vagina. I was born this way.

The latter is a little more complex. I could pretend to be a liberal feminist who believes that prostitution is a service industry, and that there is very little difference between serving up teacakes and serving up tits and ass. I could pretend to believe that women and men were biologically interchangeable, and therefore oppression was not rooted in our differences, and the patriarchal exploitation of them to the advantage of men, but was actually based on our gender. This, of course, would require me to redefine my understanding of the word ‘gender’, and indeed, the word ‘oppression’.

In order to come to believe that women are oppressed because of their femininity, and not their female bodies, I would have to first believe in an in-ate femininity. Liberal feminism suggests that I, a female, that does not openly define as trans or non-binary, must be, by default, cis.

Only, I’m absolutely not cis. In order to be cis, I’d have be to be aligned with my femininity, and I’m not. In fact, this absence of alignment has got me in so much trouble over the years. My big mouth, for example, directly conflicting with a feminised woman, whose mouth is small and dainty, and above all else, shut. Except, when she’s performing oral sex for money, which is a perfectly valid way to earn a living, and absolutely no different than being an accountant.

Then, there is my flat size nines, that I use to wade in to situations and offer my opinion. In stark contrast to the feminised foot, which is smaller, higher and dances around stuff a lot, careful not to knock things over. Perhaps, having an opinion on matters trans is a perfect illustration of this. Feminised women, often simply self refereed to as cis, defer to their trans sisters on matters of gender, especially trans gender. The logic is that a biological woman lacks the lived in experience of a biological man, who thinks he’s a woman, and therefore, has no skin in the game, and no right to debate the issues. Yet, here I stand, steadfast in my right to a view on what constitutes a woman. And, I do this, with no nail varnish adorning my toes.

Another non-cis thing I do is all the household chores, even the manly ones. This week alone, I’ve emptied bins, changed light bulbs and put together a five tier bookshelf. Admittedly, my young son did most of the technical stuff, and it took nearly two hours, and I got incredibly frustrated… but, I did not manifest that annoyance in a girly fashion. In fact, I kicked the wall and swore, twice, which, when you think about it, is setting a bad example to my son, thus making me a bad mother, itself defying the feminine ideal of always being a good mother.

Truth is, I can’t help but give two fingers to society’s expectations of how I should do femininity. But, I also give those two fingers to femininity itself. What a pile of incoherent, ill conceived, constantly shifting, entirely baseless bollox it is? Being feminine doesn’t make me a woman. In reality, it mostly gets in the way of it.

I am a woman because of my biological make up. That is not to say, as patriarchy would have it, that I am not more than the sum of my parts. That is not to say, as patriarchy would have it, that I am less than the sum of my parts.

 

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12 thoughts on “Biology for Dummies or how to fall foul of twitter’s women hating algorithms.

  1. Love this!
    Especially ” My big mouth, for example, directly conflicting with a feminised woman, whose mouth is small and dainty, and above all else, shut. Except, when she’s performing oral sex for money, which is a perfectly valid way to earn a living, and absolutely no different than being an accountant.”

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Cisgender means someone who was identified as female at birth (as I was, and as I presume you were, from other things you say about yourself in this blog post): and in the present day, now you are able to identify yourself, you still identify as female – as I do, and you do.

    So, yes, you are cisgender.

    Cisgender has absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with “to be aligned with my femininity”. That’s an invention of TERFs.

    Like

    1. @EdinburghEye

      “Cisgender means someone who was identified as female at birth”

      Ah ha ha ha… No.

      Sex is observed at birth. It is a biological fact. One cannot identify in or out of one’s sex.

      “Cisgender has absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with “to be aligned with my femininity”. “

      Please explain, without using the misogyny that passes as gender stereotypes, what ‘cisgender’ is? Because, I’m guessing that most women do not want to ‘identify’ with the oppressive stereotypes male dominated society has forced them into.

      “That’s an invention of TERFs.

      And ‘cisgender’ was an invention by men, meant to marginalize females and their struggles in patriarchal society.

      “So, yes, you are cisgender. “

      What if she identifies as ‘not cisgender’, then what? 🙂 We do know of the terrible ‘violence’ that is misgendering… 🙂

      So now you get to choose: do words have meanings or not? Because in my lexicon, women = adult human female. So, if we have to honour the category of ‘cisgender’ ,you have to honour the category of woman.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. “Please explain, without using the misogyny that passes as gender stereotypes, what ‘cisgender’ is?”

    Cisgender means – you were identified as female at birth: that is, someone looked at you when you were born and said “That’s a girl!” and wrote F on your initial paperwork: and now you are older, you still identify yourself as female.

    Your notion that it is *impossible* to identify yourself as female without “oppressive stereotypes male dominated society has forced them into” is a bit weird: you yourself in this blogpost identify yourself as female without identifying with oppressive stereotypes: I like to think I do too: indeed, I know quite a lot of women, both cisgender and transgender, who identify as female without identifying with oppressive stereotypes.

    The first use of the word “cisgender” in print is in 1994, and the person credited with this first use is Dana Leland Defosse, who as far as I know identifies as female. Crediting the invention of cisgender to a man when a woman is the first known user, is typical historical sexism, I’m afraid.

    “What if she identifies as ‘not cisgender’, then what? ”

    Well, ‘not-cisgender’ would mean transgender or nonbinary: someone who was identified as female at birth, but now he is older, identifies himself as male (or identifies themself as nonbinary). To me, it seems simpler to have words: cisgender for someone who has not transitioned (what we used to call “born woman” which I as a feminist always felt uncomfortable using: I wasn’t born a woman, I was born a baby) transgender for someone who has transitioned.

    “So now you get to choose: do words have meanings or not? Because in my lexicon, women = adult human female. ”

    Absolutely! A woman is an adult human female. How do we know if someone is female or male? We ask them. We do not assume we know based on stereotypical judgements about appearance. At least, we don’t if we are feminists. Or just polite.

    Like

  4. @EdinburghEye

    “Cisgender means – you were identified as female at birth: that is, someone looked at you when you were born and said “That’s a girl!” and wrote F on your initial paperwork: and now you are older, you still identify yourself as female.”

    Observed natal sex is not an ‘identification’. It is an concrete fact. One’s sex is not an identity, but part of the base physicality of the human condition, in most cases, one is either born distinctly male or female.

    The process of ‘identification’ has no bearing on the material reality of the situation.

    “Your notion that it is *impossible* to identify yourself as female without “oppressive stereotypes male dominated society has forced them into” is a bit weird:”

    Females are automatically treated as second class based on their sex. Sex based oppression is one of the major axis of oppression that works against females.

    Also, no one ‘identifies’ as female. You simply are, or are not based on your physiology (for the majority of the population). Individuals do not get to determine their sex, as biological sex is immutable in human beings.

    “you yourself in this blogpost identify yourself as female without identifying with oppressive stereotypes:”

    Err.. This is not my blogpost.

    Furthermore the author, in her own words says this:

    “Truth is, I can’t help but give two fingers to society’s expectations of how I should do femininity. But, I also give those two fingers to femininity itself. What a pile of incoherent, ill conceived, constantly shifting, entirely baseless bollox it is? Being feminine doesn’t make me a woman. In reality, it mostly gets in the way of it.”

    No where does she says she ‘identifies’ with being female. Rather she states material reality as quoted here:

    “I am a woman because of my biological make up.”

    It is irrelevant as to how you personally identify in society. Society will treat you as a member of that class of people you have been born into regardless of your strong personal feelings.

    “I like to think I do too: indeed, I know quite a lot of women, both cisgender and transgender, who identify as female without identifying with oppressive stereotypes.”

    Again, one is either female or not. One cannot identify into a class of people that one does not belong too. The oppressive stereotypes are not optional – they will be applied to you regardless of what you think you are.

    “Well, ‘not-cisgender’ would mean transgender or nonbinary: someone who was identified as female at birth, but now he is older, identifies himself as male (or identifies themself as nonbinary).”

    Again (again), not particularly relevant as society will read you and classify you according to the dominant stereotypes that apply.

    “How do we know if someone is female or male? We ask them.”

    No. They simply are, or are not. Humans are quite keen on recognizing members of each of the sexes. Men trying to act like women, and women trying to act like men are quite obvious and despite their acts – it does not change what they are in physical material reality.

    “We do not assume we know based on stereotypical judgements about appearance.”

    Society does. Gender theory does. Transactivists do.

    Radical feminists do not. They see the root the problem – the social construction of gender – and realize that it is a oppressive patriarchal feature of society that should be celebrated, but rather deconstructed and done away with, because its main function in society is the oppression of the female class.

    ” At least, we don’t if we are feminists. Or just polite.”

    Effective feminism names the problems and situations that stand in the way of female liberation from patriarchal society. Gender is a problem. Male violence is a problem. Lack of access to reproductive care is a problem.

    The expectation of ‘being polite’ is just one aspect of the toxic socialization that females endure as they are crushed into ‘acceptable female roles’ box. Changing society for the better and standing up for female rights, boundaries, and spaces explicitly requires women not to be polite, and going against these ingrained tendencies takes a great deal of mental energy and willpower.

    So no, feminism does not need to centre men or their feelings in feminist discourse and praxis and it most certainly not have to be ‘polite’. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. @myself – correction…

      “They see the root the problem – the social construction of gender – and realize that it is a oppressive patriarchal feature of society that shouldNOT be celebrated,”

      I need an copy editor…

      Liked by 2 people

  5. I only realised after I wrote and posted that comment that you were a random drive-by commenter, like myself, not the author of the blogpost! And it didn’t seem worthwhile editing the comment, as I checked out your blog and it appears you, like the OP, identify as female.

    “Observed natal sex is not an ‘identification’. It is an concrete fact. One’s sex is not an identity, but part of the base physicality of the human condition, in most cases, one is either born distinctly male or female. “

    And yet, in order for someone to write either “M” or “F” (or even make the decision to leave the box blank, as one legally can in some places now in the case of an intersex infant): some person other than the infant must look at the baby, observe the baby’s “base physicality”, and identify that “base physicality”, for the most part, as either male or female. Identified female, or female, at birth is a concrete fact: the observer, the one who identifies, exists.

    Females are automatically treated as second class based on their sex. Sex based oppression is one of the major axis of oppression that works against females.

    No. Studies have been done – with babies, with young children, and by adults – that demonstrate pretty consistently that people identified as girls and women are discriminated against based on the gender they have identified as or – for infants and very young girls – the gender they have been identified as, based on how they are dressed, made up, and named. This is, if you think about it, pure common sense (though common sense should always be confirmed by solid research): no one literally checks a female employee’s naked body to confirm she doesn’t have a penis before giving her lower wages than a male employee.

    Also, no one ‘identifies’ as female.

    Rubbish. The author of this blogpost does. I do. So do you. So do (approximately) 98% of those identified as female at birth.

    The words in which the author of this blogpost identifies herself as female are:

    “I am a woman because of my biological make up.”

    Men trying to act like women, and women trying to act like men are quite obvious and despite their acts – it does not change what they are in physical material reality.

    And yet, you have undoubtedly encountered trans women, & trans men, who didn’t out themselves to you as trans, and you took for granted they were cisgender. And you have also, probably, given your stereotyped and judgemental attitude to gender-roles, encountered cis women whom you assumed were trans women, because they didn’t conform to your expectations of dress, mannerisms, or looks.

    Radical feminists do not. They see the root the problem – the social construction of gender – and realize that it is a oppressive patriarchal feature of society that should be celebrated, but rather deconstructed and done away with, because its main function in society is the oppression of the female class. </em.

    Strangely, every trans-exclusive radical feminist I ever met is, like you, sure that gender is biologically fixed, absolute, and unchangeable. They are not interested in deconstructing gender at all: for them, gender is, as you put it, a "concrete fact": they're certain, as you outline in the penultimate paragraph from your comment that I've quoted: "Men trying to act like women, and women trying to act like men are quite obvious" – it does not seem to occur to them, or to you, that this is reifying gender as a concrete and unchangeable reality.

    Like

    1. @EdinburghEye

      “And it didn’t seem worthwhile editing the comment, as I checked out your blog and it appears you, like the OP, identify as female.”

      I’m curious, as to which pieces of evidence has led you to the conclusion that I ‘identify’ as female. I ask this because there is nothing more than having the chromosomes and matching sex specific female organs and body characteristics that enters one into the class of being female.

      Sex and gender are not the same. Physical sex exists as part of material reality and will manifest itself without our input.

      Gender is a social construct (That is a set of ideals and rules imposed on nature by humans) that is based on the two physical sexes present in our species.

      “And yet, in order for someone to write either “M” or “F”[..]”

      This, and the rest of the associated paragraph do not seem to be particularly relevant to the issue at hand. Because we are sexually dimorphic species, we are (in the majority of cases) born either male or female. Even if no one observed or identified a person’s sex at birth, they would still either be female or male.

      “No. Studies have been done – with babies, with young children, and by adults – that demonstrate pretty consistently that people identified as girls and women are discriminated against based on the gender they have identified as or […]

      Gender bias in Mothering

      “Although boys outshine girls in a range of motor skills, there are no reported gender differences in motor performance during infancy. This study examined gender bias in mothers’ expectations about their infants’ motor development. Mothers of 11-month-old infants estimated their babies’ crawling ability, crawling attempts, and motor decisions in a novel locomotor task—crawling down steep and shallow slopes. Mothers of girls underestimated their performance and mothers of boys overestimated their performance.”

      Sex discrimination is the basis of what you speak of. Mothers underestimate their daughters abilities because of the material natal sex their daughters possess and the gendered expectations and stereotypes based on what sex they are.

      Sex is the basis of oppression of women, it is the basis of why the patriarchal system was created – to control the reproductive functions of women and by extension women in general.

      I’m sensing confusion as to what the categories of sex and gender actually are in this conversation please see how we get to gender from the quoted article below.

      The Social Construction of Gender p. 112:

      “For the individual, gender construction start with assignment to a sex category on the basis of what the genitalia look like at birth. The babies are then dressed and adorned in a way that displays the category because the parents don’t want to be constantly asked whether their baby is a boy or a girl. A sex category becomes a gender status through naming, dress, and use of other gender markers. Once a child’s gender is evident, others treat those in one gender differently from those in the other, and the children respond to the different treatment by feeling different and behaving differently.”

      Also, the google search here is chock full of relevant information on sex, gender, and social constructs and how they work in our society.

      “The words in which the author of this blogpost identifies herself as female are:

      “I am a woman because of my biological make up.””

      She has stated an independent, objective fact. Like these:

      1. Gravity accelerates objects to a terminal speed of -9.81 m/s/s.
      2. The earth revolves around the sun.
      3. A woman is an adult human female.

      All of the above are independent of human observation, and more to the point independent of ‘identification’ at any point.

      You may truly believe that the sun revolves around the earth, but it does not change the fact that the opposite is true. Similarly, you may believe that a male of the species can ‘identify’ as a female of the species. The truth of the matter is that biological sex is immutable, and no amount of surgical disfigurement will change that fact.

      “And yet, you have undoubtedly encountered trans women, & trans men, who didn’t out themselves to you as trans, and you took for granted they were cisgender.”

      It is pretty rare and not the case for most of the trans identified males and trans identified females I’ve seen. ‘Passing’ is not the same as being in the same being members of the same category, especially when it comes to socialization within patriarchal societies.

      “Strangely, every trans-exclusive radical feminist I ever met is, like you, sure that gender is biologically fixed, absolute, and unchangeable.”

      *blinks*

      How many times is it necessary to explain that gender and sex are not the same thing? Several times in this thread already. Stop conflating sex and gender. Define your terms.

      Gender roles are based, as per the article quoted, on the natal sex of the individual in question.

      Biological sex are where gender, gendered expectations, and gender roles come from.

      Individuals, once read as society as male or female get different rules, standards, and expectations based on their biologically determined sex role in society. Male privilege starts pretty much from birth and follows men – however they choose to present to society.

      Trans identified females do not get male privilege, the mysterious factor being is that they are not male, and lack the upbringing and expectations that makes natal males expect it and act in terrible ways if it is not acknowledged (see most of transactivism).

      Have you noticed the leadership of the transactivist groups? It is not a coincidence that they’re all TiM’s.

      “They are not interested in deconstructing gender at all: for them, gender is, as you put it, a “concrete fact”: “

      . “One is not born, but rather becomes, a woman.” – The Second Sex by Simone de Beauvoir (1949)

      I’ve posted a break down of how that quote applies to this context here. The important nugget is this –

      “I don’t know how much clearer she can be: she defines “woman” as “the figure that the human female presents in society” and goes on to criticise the fact that society has made this figure into something “intermediate between male and eunuch” and called it feminine. To Beauvoir, “woman” is a harmful social construct forced on females, so this word doubly doesn’t apply to transwomen, who a) are not female and b) are not forced into womanhood.

      Feminism, and Radical feminists have been deconstructing and fighting against the notion of gender pretty much since the inception of Western Feminism.

      Gender and gender roles are oppressive and toxic for women and men. Radical feminists recognize this and struggle to emancipate females from the oppressive patriarchal system known as gender.

      There is no freedom to be found in gender for the truth that lies at its very core, that inhabits every fiber of the roles it codifies is this – Men are superior to women.

      It is, quite unsurprising then, that radical feminists view ‘gender-identity’ and politics/ideology based on in quite negatively, because it is male supremacist at its very base. Gender identity politics is the weaving of flowers into the chains of gender roles (that still manages to benefit males) that enslave us all.

      “it does not seem to occur to them, or to you, that this is reifying gender as a concrete and unchangeable reality.”

      The current eruption of gender identity politics and gender (queer)ideology is nothing more than an opaque, mostly self referential, postmodernist rearrangement of the deck chairs on the sinking (gender) ship of the Titanic.

      Women (adult human females) lose by default because Gender is a system that is built to oppress them. Why haven’t females en masse identified themselves as ‘male’ to escape the shit that goes with being female in society?

      Where is the mass exodus? Because if they identify as male, then they get to be fully human in society right? Right??

      Right now I see legions of TiF’s leading the way in society, captains of industry, the political classes chock full of them, pro sports and the business class, filled to the brim with TiF’s and all of their male privilege (because privilege and oppression are still features of a ‘genderqueer’ society)….

      No. You don’t see *any* of that. What you do see are TiM’s infiltrating women’s spaces in politics (see the train wreck that is the Labour Party in the UK). We see TiM’s in female sports, displacing female athletes. We see wealthy males who ‘transition’ later in life and call themselves female, yet still somehow maintain their status and their millions – think the Wachowski brothers, Bruce Jenner etc.

      No. Just… no.

      No amount of ‘queering’ the system will change the fundamental rules that underlie the power dynamics of our society – sex based privilege and sex based oppression are some of the prime movers in society and no amount of language deformation and gender bending is going to change that. Playing within the toxic game of gender and gender roles only strengthens the justifications for keeping the status quo intact, when in fact, the problem is the very game itself and that is the problem that needs to be addressed.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. “I’m curious, as to which pieces of evidence has led you to the conclusion that I ‘identify’ as female.”

        Sorry, at this date I can’t be sure: I looked at your blog, read what were then the top three or four posts, saw that you identify as female, and thought: okay, I don’t need to edit my comment to note that I made a mistake about your gender.

        Honestly, the rest of your comment, while long and thoughtful, is not something I feel the need to respond to at this point: I just spotted your comment because I’ve been up late emailing my MSPs to tell them about our pro-abortion rally outside the Scottish Parliament tomorrow at 5:30, and composing a letter to my MP to ask her to vote for repeal of anti-abortion laws affecting Northern Ireland. All of which strike me as more important than discussing gender with you.

        I do have one point to make:

        “(see the train wreck that is the Labour Party in the UK)”

        The Labour Party in the UK currently has a membership of 552,000 people, making it one of the largest political parties by membership in Europe. As of 21st May, Labour is at 38% in the polls, a nose behind the Conservatives at 42%: for well over a year now the polls have hovered around this mark,,. In the current state of the parties in the House of Commons, it has 257 seats in Parliament, gaining 30 seats and a 9.6% swing towards Labour in the General Election last year. I believe, correct me if I’m wrong, you’re referring to this party – of which I am neither a supporter nor a member, just to be clear – as a “train wreck” because a hostile right-wing press has picked up on a tiny group of women who are complaining loudly because Labour Party policy is that a trans woman doesn’t have to acquire a Gender Recognition Certificate before being accepted as a woman for the purpose of standing for women’s officer posts or being included on all-woman shortlists. I believe, at last count, that as many as 0.05% of the party’s membership may have left the party, or threatened to leave, because of this policy. The hostile right-wing press will naturally use any excuse to attack Labour: in the UK, we know how to take these attacks with a large grain of salt. You should not therefore assume, from your position of ignorance in Canada, that this means the party is a “train-wreck”.

        Like

  6. @EdinburghEye

    ” I don’t need to edit my comment to note that I made a mistake about your gender. “

    I wouldn’t worry about either. The fact that I’m read as a woman because I have some small insight into what life is like on the short end of the patriarchal stick should be enough food for thought for the moment.

    “All of which strike me as more important than discussing gender with you.”

    The great part about blogs is that you can take your time in replying. So please, take as much time as you need to show how and why your case for ‘gender identity’ is good for women (adult human females) and the movement to emancipate them patriarchy (feminism proper) is.

    ” has picked up on a tiny group of women who are complaining loudly because Labour Party policy is that a trans woman doesn’t have to acquire a Gender Recognition Certificate before being accepted as a woman for the purpose of standing for women’s officer posts or being included on all-woman shortlists.

    The fight for female representation in society and more specifically politics is important. Women fought for, and deserve their place in the political arena. TiM’s are not female, and should not qualify to be any where near all-women shortlists.

    ” You should not therefore assume, from your position of ignorance in Canada, that this means the party is a “train-wreck”.

    The reading I’ve done is indicative that the Labour Party is embracing the po-mo gender-identity ballyhoo wholeheartedly. It would be a train-wreck for any political party to do so.

    Like

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