Thursday, 9 January 2020


“Feminists like Bindel, Greer and Burchill come from the schools of feminism which remain concerned with matters of women’s reproductive rights, the rights of women to escape violent and abusive relationships and much more. They are also women who believed in breaking down the stereotypes over what a woman should be or could be. Perhaps the most obvious point of non-overlap with the trans movement is that in many ways trans does not challenge social constructs about gender, but reinforces them. 

Consider a prominent male-to-female transsexual YouTuber like Blaire White, who on becoming a woman (prior to announcing a de-transition late in 2018, in order to father children) adopted the body type of a sort of teenage male fantasy pin-up woman: all prominent breasts, flicking hair and pouting lips. Or consider the other end of the female archetype spectrum. 

In December 2015 Julie Bindel was finally allowed to speak at the University of Manchester where she appeared on a panel with the trans writer and activist Jane Fae. During Bindel’s speech and at other points in the event Fae sat knitting a purpley-pink garment of some kind. She had brought her knitting with her. 

Or consider April Ashley, who in one documentary film celebrating her 80th birthday in 2015 was shown going back to her childhood haunts in Liverpool, where she was receiving the keys to the city. Throughout the film it is impossible to throw off a sense that Ashley is auditioning as a stand-in body-double for HM the Queen.

Despite the vilification that a particular generation of feminists has received for not getting on the trans train, it is never explained why they should. Their language may be colourful when they attack this target–as when they attack other targets–but the accusations of being hateful, dangerous, encouraging violence and even of not being feminists sidestep the legitimate questions they raise. Why should certain feminists feel entirely fine about men who become women only then to either flaunt their perfect breasts, ape the royal family or take up knitting?” 

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