Always a Woman.

So I know it’s a cliche to be angry and feminist but like all the best cliches it has basis in fact. If you are a feminist in twenty first century Scotland and you are not fucking furious at the charging of Marion Millar for hate tweets, then you’re doing it wrong. You have completely missed the point of what female solidarity is all about and you should take the word ‘feminist’ out of your profile, even though it’s great for the work…

I am so tired of faux feminists fighting for women’s rights whilst refusing to acknowledge any given group’s rights are utterly dependant on lucid definitions. The idea that we can change the word ‘woman’ to make it mean ‘human’ without completely decimating women’s rights is patently absurd. The fact that we’ve done it, and no-one gives a fuck, is a indignation of how deep seated and all pervasive misogyny is.

It started with a call for kindness and inclusivity and ended up in a complete violation of every boundary we had built to protect our girls and our boys and our women. And why the fuck should we be inclusive of everybody? What other group is expected to centre the oppressor in their activism? Do we expect Marxists to campaign for the rights of capitalists? Do we demand tenant’s organisations open their ranks to landlords? Should we make the girl guides take in boys?

Too late! We’re already doing that. Because… inclusivity.

And because of inclusivity, they call us bleeders and breeders, instead of women and mothers. And because of inclusivity, they exclude us from events that we’ve helped to organise and organisations our mothers and grandmothers founded. And because of inclusivity, we have have been silenced, forced into compelled speech and fired for non compliance. And because of inclusivity, we have been arrested. Our words of protest posing a threat so real that charges are brought, whilst our rapes go unpunished and our murder rates increase.

See all the #metoo ing in the world ain’t worth shit if a woman is criminalised for stating core truths. Truths we all know. Truths we whisper when we meet in bars or catch up over coffee. Truths that are so self evident they don’t even need voicing. Men and women are different sexes of the the same species. They always have been. They always will be. Like the sun rises. Like the sun falls. And if one day we take away the word for ‘sun’, that ball of light in the sky will will still rise. That ball of light in the sky will still fall.

I appreciate that stating the fact that women are a distinct sex class hurts the feelings of folk that truly believe sex is a spectrum and I don’t care. Stating that woman did not derive from man’s rib offends every God fearing Christian and yet, we are not persecuted for acknowledging it. Stating that meditation and a positive outlook never cured cancer really fucks off the wellness gurus but we don’t see the police charging people for taking the piss out of hippies.

In this time, when we claim no-one knows what a woman is, it is informative to look at who is being persecuted for their political beliefs. Black lesbians, working class mothers , muslim beauty salon owners, feminist academics, Indie children’s authors.

To a man, every last one of them are women.

We are living in a post truth world where the biggest liars get the best gigs. The right deny climate change and global pandemics. The left deny biological sex and class. Each perceives themselves as both morally and intellectually superior to their counterpart. Both sound equally stupid, to me. We live in a time when mumsnet is described as ‘a hotbed of terrorist radicalisation’ by lunatics who have the ears of presidents. Here, in Scotland, we are approaching a point when admitting that you know what a woman is, is a criminal offence.

And for all that, women continue to exist. We always have. We always will. Like the sun rises. Like the sun falls. And if, one day, we take away the word for ‘sun’, that ball of light in the sky will will still rise. That ball of light in the sky will still fall.

Identity Theft

So, it’s International Women’s Day and in its build up, our councils and universities are figuring out the unique challenges of celebrating a sex class and a culture that no longer exist. Sefton Council waded, unwittingly, into a political scandal when they flew a flag bearing the dictionary definition of the word ‘woman’. It seems they had been hoodwinked by bigots into believing the definition of the word ‘woman’ wasn’t bigoted. Leicester University Student’s Union weren’t as easily fooled. Aware that the word ‘woman’ is triggering to trans peeps, they changed it to a word that doesn’t mean ‘woman’, or indeed anything.

It’s a formidable task, to raise awareness of women’s inequality without upsetting all the individuals, groups and brands that have a vested interest in destroying women as a sex class. To this end, I think U.N. Women deserve a special mention. In a sycophantic tweet centring transwomen, they got round the dichotomy, by redefining women as an entity without form or limit.

It’s bollox, obviously, though not literally. I sit here in my female form, with my limited body, analysing the implications of being without definition or shape within a political, legal and educational system that only serves that which it can designate meaning to.

It is reminiscent of when we used to put women on pedestals, keeping much out of their reach. You can call me out of touch for refusing to disbelieve my own existence and I will call you out for your hypocrisy.

Those of us older than ten can remember a time when the word ‘woman’ needed no complex definition. When everyone who was anyone, and all of the nobodies, could tell the difference between a guy and a girl. Co-existing with this period of history spanning all of history pre 2014, was an never ending list of gendered expectations placed on the sexed body of the entity that everybody knew was a woman. Be nice. Be Pretty. Be quite. And on it went, forever, creating the most bizarre expectations of how a woman might dress and behave, how she might think, if she could indeed think, and what her inner most desires might look like.

The most important thing you need to understand about this long list of non nonsensical bollox called ‘Gender expectations for a lady’ is that, like the Bible, it was written by blokes. Blokes telling you what she wants, what she really really wants.

Feminism, since its inception, has been about liberating the female body from the expectations of the male mind. Today, literally, we cannot speak the word ‘woman’ for fear of offending all the interlopers in our ranks, who find the word ‘woman’ coupled with meaning, exclusionary, phobic, even hateful.

And, as a woman, what the fuck am I supposed to do with that? Am I supposed to pretend that that I don’t believe in the material reality and commonality of the sexed body? Am I meant to swap my understanding of these truths for the incoherent ramblings of a morally vacuous media who present woman as esoteric?

We’ve heard it all before. Woman as Virgin. Woman as Whore. The Good Enough Mother. The fragrant Mary Archer. Woman as Thing so inexplicable as to be beyond the capacity of words to describe. Woman as Nothing.

My debut novel Nailing Jess re imagines womanhood in a Matriarchy.

Some Feminist Thoughts on Policing Pronoun Piss Taking

Are you one of those women taking the piss out of Sam Smith’s pronouns?  If you are, you should know that it’s not just Sam Smith’s pro-nouns you’re taking the piss out of, but all the Sam Smiths. Sam Smith, in this context, means all the closeted and non closeted non binaries he represents, not everybody in the universe with the first name Sam and the last name Smith, which would probably cover a lot of non non binary types of both sexes, who are unlikely to take offence at satire and political commentary directed at non binary types and the identity politics their views embody.

If you are one of those women taking the piss out of Sam Smith’s pronouns – Have you asked yourself why? All Sam Smith is asking, very politely, is that you try and remember that he is now a they? How hard is that to do?

Sam Smith perceives himself as neither man nor woman, existing instead in the increasingly blurred lines between those two nouns. All Sam Smith wants is for society to acknowledge the blur, and the new nouns that have emerged from the haze. Before there were men and women. Now there are men and women, and men who think they are women, and women who think they are men, and non binary types who think they are neither men nor women.

All Sam Smith wants you to do is live and let live, and subvert your objective opinion of Sam Smith’s biological reality, in favour of Sam’s Smith’s subjective opinion of said reality. Is that such a big ask? It’s more about kindness than anything else, isn’t it? Why would you risk hurting Sam Smith’s feelings, or the feelings of any non binary type, when all that is required of you is to deny your own reality and undermine the basic framework through which you view the world?

See, Sam Smith is smashing through the gender binary by rigidly adhering to its stereotypes. He is breaking new ground by suggesting that his perceived lack of manliness is actually because he is not fully a man. He may sound like a gay basher from the eighties, but that’s pure coincidence. Where’s the harm in it? All Sam Smith seeks of you is to narrow your version of what a man and woman is, so that the Sam Smiths of this world can live in the chasm, in-between. This abyss that’s been created for the inbetweeners grows ever wider and can only continue to expand, as emotional rhetoric and name calling replaces reasoned debate and sound research.

All Sam Smith wants to do is live a life that best reflects his inner perception of himself. Where’s the cost to you,  in a world that is reshaping itself round perceptions of sex, rather than actual sex, anyway? Why wouldn’t you want to help this party along? All Sam Smith wants from you, is a broadening of your vocabulary to reflect the dissemination of your boundaries and the colonisation of your sex class.

It would be downright unladylike to refuse.