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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Do the wheels on the bus still go round, or is that subjective now?

I woke up this morning with a banging headache and a child banging on about sport’s bags and missing math’s homework sheets. I medicated the migraine and mitigated the impending math’s class crisis, fed and watered the child and cat, and took the former to school. On arrival home, I filled a sink with water and piled in the dishes. As they soaked, I paid a few bills on-line, and had a ten minute conversation with my landlord, where he lied constantly. Now I’m bent over my laptop at the kitchen table, hoping to bang out five hundred words, before I have a much needed shower.

None of this seems particularly remarkable, until you consider, I do not exist.

I have been erased.

You may think I’m speaking metaphysically, but I’m not. Metaphysics is dead. It went down a year after irony, and just before literally. Literally now means not literally. Facts are no longer objective, and objectivity is no longer a thing. Here, in this post modern minefield, all that matters, at any given moment, are the thoughts in your head. As long as they are the right thoughts…obviously. If those thoughts are wrong, then they must remain forever in your head. You must never be allowed to speak them publicly, for fear you will contaminate the subjective thought pool.

It probably sounds more ominous than it is. In reality, the rules are quite simple.

Are you a biological woman? If you have answered ‘yes’ to this, then we are not off to a good start.

Let’s try again. Are you a biological woman? If you are afraid to answer, then we are getting somewhere. I’ll help you. There is no such thing as a biological woman. The closest approximation we have to it is a cis woman.

But, what if you are not cis? What if you don’t even know what cis is? So, ignorance is no defense, and actually no-body knows what cis means.

If you are not cis then you are a trans, and deserve a seat at the front of the bus. If you are neither cis, nor trans, then you are probably non-binary, which makes you infinitely more interesting than cis, but not quite as special as trans. Go to the middle of the bus.

Everybody else, to the back of the bus, and away we go…

But, what if you are neither cis, nor trans, nor non-binary? What if you were born female, and identify as none of the above, or none of the other inane multi gender options available? What if you are politically opposed to the subdivision of the clear sex classes into meaningless, abstract, entirely subjective gender categories? What then?

Anyone following the bus metaphor can see where this is going…

 

 

 

 

In defense of the TERF, because we are all,in fact, TERFS.

So, I’ve been an online TERF for quite a while now, and I’m more than aware what a murky core lies beneath the surface of trans ideology. This week, I saw it, in action, in the real world, and it doesn’t get any prettier, close up.

On Valentine’s night, I had the privilege of attending a woman’s event organised by women, for women, about women. A Woman’s Place U.K. had hired out a Leith venue to facilitate a much needed conversation on gender recognition and where current and future legislation impacts on women’s rights. The fact that it sold out, well in advance, is an indication of women’s interest in this subject, and their desire to speak openly about it. So far, so pedestrian.

Except, the night, as it unfolded was anything but average. To access the venue, women had to walk past  a masked mob, banging drums. The group, calling themselves Sisters Uncut were there to protest the meeting being allowed to proceed. Women shouldn’t be allowed meet with other women to talk about stuff that affects women. See? If you are finding it difficult to understand their motivation, then it will not help at all if I tell you they are a domestic violence collective. Yes, you read that right. A group whose primary purpose is to draw attention to the huge deficit in government funding for domestic violence victims, spends its time and resources opposing women centered meetings.

Far be it for me to tell any group how to organise, but it’s difficult to comprehend how stopping women meeting to talk publicly about women’s things, including domestic violence, in any way furthers the aims of the group. It would, in fact, seem counter intuitive. What thrives in secrecy? Domestic violence.

That’s why I’m starting to suspect that Sister’s Uncut isn’t an anti domestic violence collective as much as the almost armed faction of the trans activist community. The ones on the ground, willing to do the dirty work, in order to back up the insidious threats their bots, trolls and armchair activists spawn on-line. It is impossible to have sentient awareness of domestic violence and simultaneously threaten and intimidate women for participating in public life.

It was this thought that occurred to me most, as I sat in the meeting, surrounded by women speaking about their lived in experience as women, and tuneless drums attempted to drown out their individual and collective voices. It didn’t work. The women spoke louder, as so often happens, when you try and quieten them down.

For those of you reading, who think none of this matters ‘coz TERFS are just bad people, and they shouldn’t be allowed to meet in public. Ask yourself, have you ever met one? Have you ever conversed with one? Have you ever held the hand of one, as they went through a psychiatric assessment, or a rape exam, or a police interview? TERFS are women who know their own boundaries, and won’t move the goalposts to suit the whims of a minority. TERFS are women who know that the term ladycock is an oxymoron. TERFS are women who reject the term CIS for the meaningless paradox that it is. TERFS are women who were told not to ask questions, but raised their hands anyway.

At a deeper, and more profound level, we’re all TERFS. Every last one of us. Even the transfolk. See what i did there? Used trans as noun? Classic TERFdem. If you don’t know that, you’re probably a TERF. ‘Coz we all know the difference between a man and a woman. It’s not our fault. It’s hard-wired into our D.N.A. and vital to our ability to survive and propagate. It’s as in-ate to us as our ability to smell and see. Why we have chosen to collectively lie, I cannot speculate, but because we all know we are lying, there is no escaping the truth. We are all TERFS.

 

 

 

 

 

CBB’s India and the cult of no man’s land.

It’s very difficult in these hyper-emotive times to put forward an opinion that doesn’t have woke credentials. By woke I don’t mean the past tense of wake, I mean right on. That’s not the dictionary definition, but that’s okay, because definitions are very last year, possibly even the year before last. Definitions belong in some place, in the past, when words had meaning.

Sometimes, the universe makes it easier to shine a spotlight on an opinion, in a place in time. This January, in the U.K., through the medium of reality tv, it has become easier to speak about trans ideology, and to voice rarely permissible concern. India Willoughby  is a gender critic’s dream. For those of us, trapped on the outskirts of liberal feminism, unable to embrace an ideology that has a deeply religious core, we can abbreviate all our concerns about trans ideology into one word – India – and we don’t mean the country.

India’s just one deeply unhinged human being, one could argue. A entire ideology does not rest on India’s shoulders, which is a fair point, except…

India ain’t really that special. India’s policing of people’s language and sexual boundaries can be found in A Basic Introduction to Trans – Page one. Who among us, even three years ago, could be sure what a pro-noun was, without thinking about it? Now pro-noun awareness is as necessary to social survival as dental hygiene. It is imperative that we defer to people’s internal experience of reality, rather than our own external, objective view. When someone says ‘Call me Ze!’, it is considered the height of ill manners to retort, ‘Catch a grip of yourself, you’re a girl, a teenage girl!’ Instead you must say ‘Sure Ze!’, suspending dis-belief, like you were in an audience participation fringe show, not an early evening pub quiz. It’s as if our ability to intellectually speak about this, ripe for rational dissection theory, has been swept up in a tornado of politeness, and what remains is a large number of almost redundant reasons why objective not subjective experience, must be the measure of a human being.

So, why are preferred pronouns an ethical and political minefield? Is it not just good manners, to refer to people as they would like to be perceived? In which case, refusing to do so, would be considered, at worst, rude. Only, that’s not how it plays out… A rejection of pronoun pandering leads to an all out assault on one’s character. Only ignorant bigots and religious zealots don’t comply. All those who voice opposition are framed as right wing, regressive, conservative, God fearing, gay bashers. The type of people who pathologically fear progress. Except, this doesn’t account for the number of left wing, atheist people, mainly, though not exclusively, women, who have expressed apprehension about the rise of trans dogma in mainstream culture. It also doesn’t account for the vast number of lesbians who have come out against trans ideology. It doesn’t have any space for the hundreds and thousands of average human beings, who continue to know that men have willies and Adam’s apples, and that only women bear children.

But this blog isn’t about ordinary people, it is about an extra ordinary person, India. And I’m arguing that India is undoubtedly special, when compared to your average woman, but decidedly average in terms of trans activists.

When not getting hot under the collar, every time the mask slips and some one shouts ‘I see you.’, India’s time in the house has been spent desperately seeking sexual validation. Sexual validation is a little known, but highly valued right, that trans activists seek. Riley J Dennis makes a living, analyzing the consent out of of people’s sexual boundaries. The logic goes as follows, ‘You wouldn’t reject all women with blue eyes, so how come you reject all women with penises?’ Those of us brave enough to point out the difference between reproductive organs and eyes are decried as vagina obsessives, reducing womenhood to body parts, as though one could live a life independent of one’s body. In the dark recesses of twitter, where gender critical meets trans activist, sexual boundaries are perceived as a manifestation of inner trans hostility. Everyday, on my timeline, I witness lesbians being harassed and vilified, because they don’t do dick. But, lesbians are synonymous with an embargo on penis. It is lesbianism 101, or would be if lesbians framed their sexuality around men. Lesbians love the vagina. That’s their thing.

And their-in lies the conflict with transwomen. Transwomen are women, we are told, again and again. By individual perception, not objective observation, they shall be known. In order to accommodate, we have to change the definition of woman, and once we do this, we, by inference, change the definition of lesbian. In real world terms, these concessions, because we don’t wish to appear frightfully rude, see lesbians shoved into a new box called progressive heterosexuality, and forced to get on board with ladydick. Of course, nobody will call the new box progressive heterosexuality, and even if they did, it would make no difference, ‘coz words have no meaning.

But actions still do. And the action that provided the most reasons for India’s nomination was bed-gate. Bed-gate saw India refuse to relinquish to Anne Widdecombe the bed reserved for Anne by Big Brother, until forced by Big Brother to do so. India’s rational, ‘I got here first!’ held no sway with a room full of womb bearers, who had been socialized into respecting their elders and accommodating others. For me, I saw India’s colonization of a single bed, and subsequent rejection of the nurturing part of  womanhood, as the perfect metaphor for trans ideology.

‘I am a woman.’, the transwoman says. ‘Define woman, without using the word woman?’ the trans skeptic might ask. It cannot be done. Unless we refer to the dictionary definition, which is an adult human female. Instead, what we get is a set of badly drawn stereotypes, as a man, defines his understanding of a woman, through his biology and socialization as a man, and the limitations placed on him by a gendered world, and an abysmal absence of imagination.

See, acting like a woman is easy, if you are a drag queen, and you know you’re acting. Being a woman, that’s actually a lot more complex. It’s navigating the world as other. Not primary. Less important. Less safe. It’s learning survival skills from an early age, that include, but are not limited to, playing nice, acting dumb, laughing at jokes that are not at all funny. It’s not being believed. It’s being blamed. It’s being left, holding the babies. It’s having those same babies snatched from you, if he wants to hold them. It’s being object in a world where subject is male. You can’t become a woman, any more than you become a hairdryer. We are born this way.

So, when a woman tells a transwoman, ‘Of-course, you are a woman’, what she means is, ‘Of-course you are not a woman, but I have been trained from an early age to accommodate your emotions, and to lie to protect the fragility of your ego.’

My debut novel Nailing Jess was published by Cranachan in June 2017.