Tag Archives: gender identity

The Transgender Movement: Unfit for an Ecological Future

By Jeanne Neath

When non-essential surgeries including ‘gender reassignment surgery’ became difficult to obtain during the COVID-19 pandemic, many ‘transgender’ people became distressed. As NBC News reported, 31 year old Katalina Murrie, a Canadian ‘transgender’ male, had scheduled a facial feminization procedure “to soften one’s facial features and bone structure” with a surgeon in Guadalajara, Mexico for March 27th 2020. Even pre-COVID-19, the Canadian health system considered this cosmetic surgery non-essential and would not pay for it. With the pandemic, international travel no longer felt like an option to Murrie. Distraught at having to miss his surgery, Murrie told NBC News:

“What if all the borders closed around the world and I am stuck in a foreign country?” Murrie recalled asking herself. “My face would be covered in stitches. I’d have to travel through popular airports where there have been confirmed reports of staff members with COVID-19. My dream surgery all of a sudden became very stressful.” (NBC News, “Trans surgeries postponed indefinitely amid coronavirus pandemic“)

Murrie considered the facial feminization procedure anything but “non-essential” and groused about his situation, saying “I’m not gonna last to my 40s if I don’t have this surgery.”

facial feminization in Guadalajara Mexico

The COVID-19 pandemic has forced hospitals facing an overload of patients and procedures to prioritize what kinds of care they will provide. Cosmetic surgeries done on the healthy bodies of ‘transgender’ people became clearly inappropriate, impossible to perform in the face of an overload of sick and dying patients during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The pandemic, a result of human-caused ecological disturbances, is providing a preview into an unfolding ecological society. With the overconsumption in the global North the Earth is being pushed to her limits and she is forcing society onto a budget. As a result, ‘gender reassignment’ medical treatments, including surgeries, puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones are likely to become socially unacceptable, even impossible for society to provide as we shift into ecological sanity. Neither the Earth nor society can afford for queer ideology and the Internet driven transgender fad to continue pushing so many young people into a life of medical complications and dependency on medical services.

Insatiable Desires

When Katalina Murrie told NBC News “I’m not gonna last to my 40s if I don’t have this surgery”, he provided a clue to the mental state of many in the transgender movement. ‘Transgender’ people have placed themselves in the very unsettling situation of building a movement and individual identities based in a lie and a theft. The lie, of course, is that sex can be changed. The theft takes place when ‘transgender’ males assume the identity of an oppressed group – women. Since ‘transgender’ people cannot change their sex, all the surgeries and hormones in the world will never give them what they want, will never allow them to feel satisfied with their bodies or secure in their identities.

The impossible goals and insatiable desires of ‘transgender’ people remind me of Robin Wall Kimmerer’s discussion of the Windigo in her book, Braiding Sweetgrass.[1] A member of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation, Kimmerer explains that the Windigo is the “legendary monster” of the Anishinaabe people of the north woods of North America, a human being whose inability to cope with winter’s starvation time drives them into cannibalism. In Kimmerer’s word:

“It is said that the Windigo will never enter the spirit world but will suffer the eternal pain of need, its essence a hunger that will never be sated. The more a Windigo eats, the more ravenous it becomes… its mind a torture of unmet wants.”[2]

Mimi and Eunice cartoon

Of course, the vast majority of ‘transgender’ people are in no way monsters or legendary, but Kimmerer’s description of the “mind a torture of unmet wants” seems to fit. Kimmerer uses the story of the Windigo as a powerful means of critiquing the unrestrained consumption of so many in the dominant society and their complicity in the destruction of the natural world.

“The fear for me is far greater than just acknowledging the Windigo within. The fear for me is that the world has been turned inside out, the dark side made to seem light. Indulgent self-interest that our people once held to be monstrous is now celebrated as success. We are asked to admire what our people viewed as unforgiveable. The consumption-driven mind-set masquerades as ‘quality of life’ but eats us from within. It is as if we’ve been invited to a feast, but the table is laid with food that nourishes only emptiness, the black hole of the stomach that never fills. We have unleashed a monster.”[3]

Insatiable desire “eats us from within” and leads to a person who can’t stop taking, attempting somehow to sate the desire. Like the rest of consumer society, ‘transgender’ people, who want to be what they can never be, indulge in a frenzy of taking – usurping women’s identity, pirating women’s and Lesbian spaces, snatching symbols from Lesbian-feminist culture, insisting on medical services for non-essential needs, taking Earth’s “resources” used in providing those non-essential medical services.


Like the rest of consumer society, ‘transgender’ people, who want to be what they can never be, indulge in a frenzy of taking – usurping women’s identity, pirating women’s and Lesbian spaces, snatching symbols from Lesbian-feminist culture, insisting on medical services for non-essential needs, taking Earth’s “resources” used in providing those non-essential medical services.


What creates the insatiable desire that leads to all this taking? For ‘transgender’ people, an obvious cause is a patriarchal society that forces girls and boys, women and men into suffocating sex roles. In a society that tears apart and builds over nature, society’s sex roles can seem more real, more fixed than nature. Rather than work to change society’s deadly sex role prescriptions, most ‘transgender’ people have elected to deny and reject their own sexed bodies.

Our bodies, of course, are part of the natural world – part of our internal nature [4] – as are our minds, our emotions, our selves. Denial and rejection of the physical realities of one’s body is a sign of a deep and dangerous alienation from nature. The dominant society routinely creates people who are alienated from both internal and external nature and this alienation is another root of the transgender phenomenon.

So-called sex reassignment clinics in Thailand

Western Civilization Creates the Alienated Self

What creates an alienated self? It is not just transgender people who are alienated from their bodies and from nature. The alienated self appeared in Western civilization at least as early as Homer’s era in ancient Greece when “a dominant warlike race established themselves over the mass of vanquished natives.” [5] To understand the creation of the alienated self, I want to turn to Max Horkheimer and Theodor Adorno’s 1945 book, Dialectic of Enlightenment. These two philosophers can be difficult to read, so Carolyn Merchant can serve as our interpreter in this section. Here’s Merchant on the central character in Homer’s The Odyssey:

“Odysseus represents the struggle to overcome the imitation of nature and immersion in the pleasures of animal life and tribal society. Through the emergence of his own identity as an individual self, he is able to break the hold of the mythic past and control his animal instincts, his men, his wife, and other women. He becomes alienated from his own emotions, bodily pleasures, other human beings and nature itself.”[6]

Where people in more peaceful societies experienced themselves as part of nature, imitated nature, and experienced nature as sacred, Merchant explained that “In the ancient world the emergence of a sense of self as distinct from the external natural world entailed a denial of internal nature in the human being.”[7]

The alienation of self increased dramatically during the European Age of Enlightenment in the 17th and 18th centuries. At this time the elevation of mind, reason, prediction and control resulted in the “disenchantment of the world”[8] (and increasing domination of nature and humans with the expansion of patriarchy, colonialism and capitalism). The deeply felt perception that nature (and women) are sacred was further lost in the West.

Today most people living in cities rarely think of nature as the provider of all the physical materials they need to live – materials for shelter, water, energy, food, medicine. Many don’t know much about the natural world and don’t feel a spiritual connection to nature. Many live “in their heads” and feel deeply dissatisfied with their bodies.

‘Transgender’ people are not that different. But, they do take alienation to an extreme when they deny the physical reality of their sexed bodies. The alienation escalates even more when they take action against their own bodies by undergoing ‘gender reassignment’ treatments. This desecration of ‘internal nature’ leads to the desecration of external nature. As Merchant explained, “The disenchantment of external nature was achieved by despiritualizing a human being’s internal nature.”[9]

Pigs Can Fly? Growth is Green?

Pigs Can Fly? Growth is Green? Males Claim To Be Women? Technology Saves All?

The only strand of the environmental movement compatible with a trans-ideology that pushes ‘gender reassignment’ and medicalization is “ecomodernism” or, more broadly, “green growth.” Environmentalists subscribing to “green growth” philosophies are, like many ‘transgender’ people, stuck in fantasies about an impossible future where technology saves the day and overcomes biological, ecological and even thermodynamic limits. Both “green growth” and transgender ideologies are based in the anti-ecological and old-fashioned Enlightenment perspective that underlies “modernity” and the myth of progress.

Ecomodernists want the living standards of industrialized societies to continue rising and for high consumption lifestyles to spread into the global South. They believe, contrary to all evidence, that economic growth can be “decoupled” from environmental damage. What magic will they use to accomplish the impossible? New and improved technology, of course, with some population reduction and efficiency improvements tossed into the mix. All this “progress” would require an increase in energy production that could only be powered by nuclear energy. The authors of “An Ecomodernist Manifesto” explain:

“Transitioning to a world powered by zero-carbon energy sources require energy technologies that are power dense and capable of scaling to many tens of terawatts to power a growing human economy. Most forms of renewable energy are, unfortunately, incapable of doing so.… Nuclear fission today represents the only present-day zero-carbon technology with the demonstrated ability to meet most, if not all, of the energy demands of a modern economy….In the long run, next-generation solar, advanced nuclear fission, and nuclear fusion represent the most plausible pathways toward the joint goals of climate stabilization and radical decoupling of humans from nature.”[10]

Nuclear energy is a dangerous technological choice to hang your hat on. At least the surgeries and drugs that many transgender people depend on do not have the power to irradiate the Earth. These technologies can never be the “cure-all” that ecomodernists and transgenderists desire. They just avoid dealing with the real problems which are social.

Ecomodernism debunked

Most modern technology has grown out of systems of thought belonging to a patriarchal, colonialist, and capitalist system. These technologies must always be questioned. The transgender project is a crude early step on the techno-utopian[11] path that wants to create humans who are essentially different from the species nature created many millenia ago. For example, researchers are now using CRISPR technology for germline genetic engineering to create superhumans. Researchers studying artificial intelligence may soon have machines that are smarter than humans. All these technologies, including the ones used for ‘gender reassignment,’ would be carefully controlled or outlawed if this society were not based in domination and profiteering.

Ancient Connections

The ecologically unsound transgender project will not withstand the force of nature’s revolt. Already more and more girls and women who ‘transitioned’ are in revolt against the squelching of their female nature. They are detransitioning, re-identifying as female. Nature’s revolt is forcing a paradigm shift on the dominant society and the coming ecological society will not be able to afford the non-essential surgeries, unnecessary medical dependencies, insatiable desires and thefts from women, alienation from nature and use of questionable technologies for questionable purposes. An ecological society will have to be based in hard reality and this will not leave room for fantasies of becoming a different sex.

The way “forward” in these volatile times will include a spiraling “back” toward our species’ ancient connections with Earth and with our own nature. It isn’t hard to start forming these connections. Take a walk and let your feet feel the Earth with every slow step you take.[12] Find out how to use the different species of lichen and mosses to determine direction.[13] Learn what is going on outside your house by becoming familiar with what the birds are telling you. Then listen to the bird’s language every chance you get.[14] The changing Earth and the changing times are unsettling. But this part can be an adventure!

Carolina wren

*****

Footnotes

1. Please note that I am the one making the link between ‘transgender’ people and the Windigo. Robin Wall Kimmerer does not discuss this.
2. p. 305, Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge, and the Teachings of Plants.
3. p. 308, Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge, and the Teachings of Plants.
4. As humans we are, of course, influenced by both our biology and our society in much of what we do and experience. I am using the concept of ‘internal nature’ here to include human biology, but also other aspects of our internal being. In a broad sense human society in all its many forms is part of nature. So-called ‘gender identity’ is a socially created self-perception derived from deep internalization of male or female sex roles and the belief that those socially-created sex roles are fixed, even biological. ‘Gender identity seems to be based in a self-evaluation of how well one’s physical characteristics, preferences and predispositions fit with male vs female sex roles and stereotypes of what male vs. female bodies look like. There is no fixed, essential, biological gender identity as the transgender movement claims. Take away sex roles and sex stereotypes and “poof”, ‘gender identity vanishes too.
5. p. 48, “The Concept of Enlightenment” by Max Horkheimer and theodor Adorno. In Ecology: Key Concepts in Critical Theory edited by Carolyn Merchant
6. p. 3-4, Carolyn Merchant, Introduction to Ecology: Key Concepts in Critical Theory
7. p. 3, Carolyn Merchant, Introduction to Ecology: Key Concepts in Critical Theory
8. p. 44, “The Concept of Enlightenment” by Max Horkheimer and theodor Adorno. In Ecology: Key Concepts in Critical Theory edited by Carolyn Merchant
9. p. 4, Carolyn Merchant, Introduction to Ecology: Key Concepts in Critical Theory
10. An Ecomodernist Manifesto, https://static1.squarespace.com/static/5515d9f9e4b04d5c3198b7bb/t/552d37bbe4b07a7dd69fcdbb/1429026747046/An+Ecomodernist+Manifesto.pdf
11. See Part Three, beginning on page 133 in Bill McKibben’s book Falter: Has the Human Game Begun to Play Itself Out for a discussion of chilling technologies under development that will change what it means to be human – unless they are stopped.
12. See Tom Brown’s Field Guide to Nature Observation and Tracking
13. See The Lost Art of Reading Nature’s Signs: Use Outdoor Clues to Find Your Way, Predict the Weather, Locate Water, Track Animals―and Other Forgotten Skills by Tristan Gooley
14. See What the Robin Knows: How Birds Reveal the Secrets of the Natural World by Jon Young

American robin

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Coalition for the Feminist Amendments to the Equality Act Kicks Off its Campaign with a Successful Zoom event!

The newly formed Coalition for the Feminist Amendments (“CoFA”), consisting of FIST, the LGB Alliance USA, XX Amazons, the Georgia Green Party and others, kicked off its campaign at a zoom forum on November 14, 2020 attended by over 150 people. The four speakers, Ann Menasche (FIST member and co-author of the FAEA, Tina Minkowitz (FAEA co-author), Callie Burt (Associate professor, Georgia State University), and M. Lynette Hartsell (LGB Alliance USA), gave an in depth analysis of the Feminist Amendments and made a compelling case for joining this effort. The presentations were followed by questions and comments by attendees. After the official program ended, 20 or more attendees were so inspired that they stayed on for another hour and a half and continued the discussion of issues surrounding the struggle to preserve women’s sex based rights.

CoFA’s first action after the forum was to send through U.S. mail to each member of the Senate requesting that they consider the Feminist Amendments and provide us with an opportunity to testify for these amendments. The letter is below. CoFA welcomes more volunteers as this campaign has just begun. CoFA needs feminists and our allies to call their Senators and Congress members and build our base of supporters. If you have not yet endorsed the Feminists Amendments, please sign onto the endorsement page on FIST’s website. And spread the word!

If interested in getting involved in CoFA, please email info@sexbasedrights.org.

Coalition for Feminist Amendments to the Equality Act
*****

Letter to the U.S. Senate

November 16, 2020

To members of the U.S. Senate,

The late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg devoted her life to fighting for legal protections on the basis of biological sex. Congress should honor that legacy, and the legacy of so many other women who’ve fought to secure our rights, but most importantly, Congress has a duty to uphold our most basic human rights protections. The current version of the Equality Act (HR 5), now pending in the Senate Judiciary Committee, will risk erasing sex as a protected class in law, weakening protections and undermining the existing rights of females as a unique class, and the progress that’s been made toward achieving equality.

The Coalition for Feminist Amendments to the Equality Act (“CoFA”) is a national alliance of feminist and LGB organizations and individuals. We write to urge hearings on our proposal to amend the Equality Act (to receive testimony on its many problematic provisions), and to provide vital input on how those issues may be fixed. The Feminist Amendments expands civil rights laws to cover lesbians, gay men, bisexuals, transgender, and other individuals who don’t conform to gender stereotypes (roles traditionally imposed based on one’s sex), while continuing to uphold sex-based protections. In doing so, everyone’s rights are protected.

We support many of the positive provisions put forth by the Equality Act. Federal statutory protections for lesbians, gay men, and bisexuals based on sexual orientation are long overdue. We applaud the closure of the loophole that allows the use of religious freedom as legal grounds to allow any person to flout civil rights laws.

At the same time, the Equality Act’s attempt to protect transgender individuals from discrimination — through the creation of “gender identity” as a protected class — creates ambiguity, confusion, and a conflict of rights that must be addressed. The term “gender identity” is subjective, in that it describes a state of mind that may or may not be manifested in dress, grooming, or behavior. This subjectivity opens a loophole ripe for abuse. As it’s used in HR-5, the term provides no objective test useful to a court, which will ultimately litigate the conflicts sure to arise from this legislation. Failure to address these conflicts will threaten long-settled statutory and case law developed to protect the rights of females as a distinctive class.

More importantly, “gender” or “gender identity” is conflated with “sex” throughout the bill, and risks eliminating sex as a protected class in civil rights law. Merging two distinct groups — who have different sets of experiences, discrimination and marginalization — is detrimental to preserving human rights protections currently afforded to females as a uniquely subjugated class.

Female only facilities are an important legacy of women’s organizing, key to the protection of the female sex against male-pattern violence and to the broader participation of women in public life. It’s vital that these basic human rights provisions remain in place.

Male-pattern violence against females is so well-documented that Congress passed the Violence Against Women Act in an attempt to protect them from sexual and physical assault. However, such predatory violence remains pervasive as demonstrated by the “Me Too” movement and numerous well-documented instances of such violations by males in the entertainment business, the military, and even Congress. A Swedish study showed that this pattern of behavior is not mitigated by male-to-female sex reassignment surgery.

Moreover, the current bill’s “gender identity” provisions require that males who identify as women, including those with intact male genitalia (85-90% of males who identify as women retain male genitalia), must be admitted, solely on the basis of “self-identification,” into female facilities, such as, rape crisis centers, battered women’s shelters, homeless shelters, prisons, hospital rooms, communal showers, changing rooms, restrooms, and nursing homes.

Social scientists and international policy bodies have underscored the importance of maintaining separate statistics based on sex, as a key means of tracking disparities between the sexes, recording accurate data, and measuring our progress on addressing sex-based discrimination. In addition, there are multiple instances, such as within the context of health care, where having accurate information about a person’s sex, is vital, even life-saving.

By eliminating sex as a protected class, the bill, as currently written, would:

  • Undermine targeted remedies for the exclusion or under-representation of women and girls in education, and in jobs and professions traditionally held by men
  • Eradicate competitive women’s sports by undermining Title IX protections
  • Make it impossible to measure (and remedy) disparity between the sexes, such as the pay gap and domestic violence
  • Prevent the gathering of accurate crime and health statistics

See attached fact sheets for more information on the impact of erasing sex as a protected class in civil rights law, by allowing the concept of “gender” or “gender identity” to override “sex.”

The Feminist Amendments eliminate “gender identity” and instead establish two new categories in civil rights law: “sexual orientation” and “sex-stereotyping.” Doing so more effectively protects all classes, while not negating sex-based protections.

These amendments contain clear definitions of “sex” and “sex-stereotyping,” that will preserve female facilities and programs, allowing women and girls to participate fully in public life. (See attached.)

At the same time, the Feminist Amendments protect lesbians, gay men, bisexuals (and all people who don’t conform to imposed gender roles and stereotypes), including transgender people, from discrimination in employment, housing, credit, and in places of public accommodation.

These amendments also allow for the establishment of “gender neutral” facilities for individuals who may feel safer or more comfortable in such spaces, so long as the availability and access to female only facilities is not diminished. Thus, these amendments allow each protected class to continue to make progress toward achieving true equality.

One hundred years after women’s suffrage, women still get paid less, are denied equal opportunities in the workplace, and continue to be underrepresented in many fields and positions of economic and political leadership in our society, because of their sex. Females still suffer disproportionately from domestic violence and rape because of their sex. Discrimination on the basis of sex will not end if we eliminate sex as a stand-alone protected class.

No Senate action should be taken on the Equality Act without hearings to gather evidence on the conflicts outlined in this letter. We offer the Feminist Amendments to the Equality Act as our contribution to this much needed work.

We and members of our constituent organizations are prepared to sit down with you and members of your staff to discuss our concerns and appropriate strategies we might collaborate on to secure the hearing anticipated in the previous paragraph.

It is our fervent wish that you honor the legacy of our most revered jurist RBG by adopting the Feminist Amendments to the Equality Act to continue her fight to protect women and girls on the basis of sex.

Sincerely,

Ann Menasche

Feminists in Struggle

M. Lynette Hartsell

LGB Alliance USA

Co-Chairs, CoFA

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Good-bye to Gender Identity!

By Jeanne Neath

What distresses you most about how the transgender movement is hurting women, girls and Lesbians? For many of us, it is the loss of our women-only or Lesbian-only spaces – from our festivals, to feminist organizing meetings, to Lesbian lands, to goddess circles and more.

Cotton ceiling = rape

M2T persons not only think they can become women, but also that they should be accepted as Lesbians. When Lesbians refuse to consider them as sexual partners, they accuse us of creating a “cotton ceiling” that shuts them out. The poster is saying that these demands for Lesbians to have sex with males is a form of rape. The photo is from a ReSisters United radical feminist protest at Lancaster Pride in the UK.

We may feel enraged that male-bodied transgender people are allowed to compete in women’s sports and take trophies that rightly belong to women. Knowing that M2T (male to transgender) people are pushing their way into girls’ locker rooms and women’s domestic violence shelters may worry us terribly. Personally, it makes me crazy that Lesbians are being shamed and accused of discrimination in the queer/trans world for not being willing to have sexual or intimate relations with M2T people. Lesbians are supposed to want to have sex with males just because they become transgender, even males with a penis?

Now, ask yourself, what do all these assaults on women, girls and Lesbians have in common? Every single one of these losses for women (and there are many more) is the result of the transactivists’ claim that males can become women and the widespread acceptance of that claim. If it were recognized that males can never become women, M2T people would have no claim on women’s identities or women’s spaces. There would be no basis for them to demand entry into women-only spaces, to compete in women’s sports, to invade girls’ locker rooms, to complain that Lesbians don’t want to have sex with them, and so on. Please take a look below at the informational chart that XX Amazons has developed. You can easily see the central role that the M2T claim that “transwomen are women” plays in harming women on The (Trans) Gender Problem chart displayed below. (Or see a large, easy to read copy of the chart.)

The claim that “transwomen are women” is a preposterous claim. How have transactivists managed to make this strange idea believable to so many people? You can probably guess where I am going with this and, yes, “transideology” and its concept of “gender identity” is the answer.

Trans (Gender) Problem Chart

Click on the chart above to see the (Trans) Gender Problem chart in an easy to read size. The M2T claim to be women shown in the green circle at the center of the chart creates all the many harms to women displayed on the bottom row of the chart. “Gender identity” ideology provides the rationale for the M2T redefinition of who is a woman.

The Fabrication and Selling of Gender Identity

Gender identity is defined by the American Psychological Association (APA) as “a person’s deeply-felt, inherent sense of being a boy, a man, or male; a girl, a woman, or female, or an alternative gender…” (listed under their Guidelines for Psychological Practice with Transgender and Gender Nonconforming People). Transgender people (not intersex people) are male or female, as determined by their biological sex. Their only claim to being the “other gender” is that they feel like they are that “gender” and that they present with the “appearance, mannerisms, or other gender related characteristics” prescribed for the other sex (i.e. they conform to sex stereotypes, just the supposedly wrong ones for their sex). Take away the concept of gender identity and M2T people no longer have any basis for their claim to be women.

Origins of “Gender Identity”
Gender Hurts by Sheila JeffreysSheila Jeffreys traced the origins of the concept of “gender identity” in her book, Gender Hurts. In the 1950s and 1960s the medical profession became increasingly engaged with males who wanted to take advantage of advancing medical technologies in endrocrinology and surgery to become transsexual. At that time, the medical profession could not agree on what kinds of treatments were ethical. Some medical professionals strongly believed that treatment should be limited to psychological methods. The sexologists who offered physical treatment hit upon the use of the word “gender” to justify the harms they were inflicting on healthy bodies. Jeffreys quotes Bernice Hausman, who explained in her book, Changing Sex, Transsexuality, Technology and the Idea of Gender, that this justification required “construction of a rhetorical system that posits a prior gendered self.” (p. 27, Gender Hurts) Hausman described gender as “the idea of an identity prior to and within the body that theoretically should dictate the appearance of the subject.” (p. 27, Gender Hurts) (Note: the word “gender” was being used then, but today, “gender identity” would be used.)


The sexologists who offered physical treatment hit upon the use of the word “gender” to justify the harms they were inflicting on healthy bodies.


Jeffreys emphasized the impact that transsexuals had on the medical profession with their demands for medical services. These “demanders” were quick to see the usefulness of the idea of an innate “gender” as a justification for their desire to become transsexual. At the time, cross-dressers and transsexuals were easily seen as sexually motivated, having a “paraphilia.” Jeffreys explains:

“The association with sexuality created problems for their access to treatment, and to the seriousness with which they were regarded in the public world. The idea of a ‘gender’ mistake, in which they mysteriously incorporated a ‘feminine essence’, washed them clean of sleaze and enabled them to constitute themselves as a confident rights-bearing minority who were just born different.” (p. 28, Gender Hurts)

According to Jeffreys, the change in language from “transsexual” to “transgender” was likewise motivated by the wish to avoid association with sex and sexual motivation. (p. 28, Gender Hurts)

Is Gender Identity a Ruse?
We have come a long distance from the sexologists of the 1950s and 1960s, but the idea of an innate gender identity has become the centerpiece of transgender ideology. The “born that way” explanation has served to garner public sympathy for both the gay and transgender movements for decades now. Today’s transactivists are well aware of the effectiveness of their essentialist argument, and use it, even though some do not believe it is true. Listen to Emi Koyama, a M2T person who identifies as a so-called “transfeminist”:

“As trans people begin to organize politically, it is tempting to adopt the essentialist notion of gender identity. The cliché popularized by the mass media is that trans people are “women trapped in men’s bodies or vice versa. The attractiveness of such a strategy is clear, as the general population is more likely to become supportive of us if we can convince them that we are somehow born with a biological error over which we have no control. It is also often in tune with our own sense of who we are, which feels very deep and fundamental to us.” (The Transfeminist Manifesto, Emi Koyama)

Koyama and, no doubt, many other transgender people understand that transgender people are not “born that way”, but instead are “made that way” by social forces and by their own choices. Here’s Koyama again:

“Transfeminism believes that we construct our own gender identities based on what feels genuine, comfortable, and sincere to us as we live and relate to others within given social and cultural constaints.” (The Transfeminist Manifesto, Emi Koyama)

Where would the transgender movement be today if the public understood that transgender people are not victims of a “biological error”?

Born or Made?
Dragon trapped in human bodyThe “born that way” ideology still provides many medical practitioners and researchers with a meal ticket. The work of these professionals props up gender identity ideology. Consider Milton Diamond’s study of transgender identical and fraternal twins published in the International Journal of Transgenderism in 2013. In Diamond’s study of 110 transgender twins (74 identical and 36 fraternal twins), 33% of the male identical twins had a transgender twin. The percentage was smaller for female identical twins; just 23% had a transgender twin. These data are damning for the “born that way” argument. Since identical twins have identical genetic makeup, all of the transgender identical twins should have had a trans twin, if the “born that way” argument were true.

Diamond did find a very low rate of “concordance” for the fraternal twins in his study (one out of 21 for male twins and zero out of 15 for female twins were both transgender). Expected discrepancies in the genetic makeup of the fraternal twins could explain these extremely low rates, far lower than that of the identical twins. But, who can say what role differences in the life experiences of identical vs fraternal twins played? Are identical twins (who typically look very similar) expected by others to be similar? And do some of them then become similar?


Finding that only 23%-33% of transgender identical twins have a trans twin suggests that the snare for “transwomen trapped in men’s bodies” is primarily set by social forces.


Finding some degree of genetic component to transsexuality would not be surprising – almost any human characteristic is influenced by both biological and social factors. But, finding that only 23%-33% of transgender identical twins have a trans twin suggests that the snare for “transwomen trapped in men’s bodies” is primarily set by social forces. Yet Diamond would have you believe that genetics are extremely important. Much of the discussion section in his research report was geared toward explaining away the role of environmental factors and then advancing genetic arguments, including his pet theory that “transsexualism will eventually be seen as an intersex variation due to brain (nervous system) intersexuality.” (See “Transsexuality Among Twins: Identity Concordance, Transition, Rearing, and Orientation” by Milton Diamond)

The American Psychological Association, despite its nearly wholesale acceptance of transideology, has come to acknowledge the importance of social forces in forming gender identity. The APA Dictionary of Psychology (2nd edition, 2015) explains gender identity as:

“[O]ne’s self identification as male or female. Although the dominant approach in psychology for many years had been to regard gender identity as residing in individuals, the important influence of societal structures, cultural expectations, and personal interactions in its development is now recognized as well. Significant evidence now exists to support the conceptualization of gender identity as influenced by both environmental and biological factors.” (See listing for “gender identity” under APA Dictionary of Psychology)

The APA would probably like to stick 100% to the trans party line, but data like that of Diamond’s twin study make it impossible to deny the role of social factors in creating a transgender identity. The rapidly growing number of detransitioners likewise cannot be accounted for by biological theories. As Carey Callahan recently wrote in The Economist:

“When I first detransitioned, my community consisted of online groups of fewer than 100 women. Five years later the detransition discussion-forum on the popular site Reddit has just hit 7,000 people of both sexes.” (See “Gender identity is hard but jumping to medical solutions is worse“)

Those numbers are set to balloon even further. As transideology gains in popularity, social factors like Internet exposure and social contagion are contributing to the new phenomenon of rapid onset gender dysphoria in teenage girls (as has been documented by Lisa Littman).

Yes! Do Away With Gender Identity (and Gender)!

Since ‘gender identity’ is influenced by social/environmental factors, this throws open the question of just where in society a transgender person’s “deeply felt inherent sense of being” the “other” gender comes from. As feminists, we know the answer to this question. The short answer is patriarchy. It’s clear that male violence plays a key role for many girls and women who become “transmen” in order to avoid being a target for males. But, a transgender gender identity could not even exist without sex stereotypes, the patriarchal standards of masculinity and femininity that no one can measure up to. Since transgender people cannot change their sex, their only means of appearing as the “other” gender is to take on the sex stereotypes associated with the desired gender, including sometimes mimicking physical appearance.

Purposeful adoption of sex stereotypes is not an innocent undertaking. But, it gets worse. As radical feminists understand, standards of masculinity and femininity result from the needs of a patriarchal social system to maintain itself. Males are trained to have “masculine” characteristics like aggressiveness so they can serve as dominators of women (and others). Females are trained to have “feminine” characteristics like submissiveness so that they will be subservient to men. No wonder feminists want to free everyone from sex stereotypes by bringing an end to gender! Yet, when transactivists push the idea of an innate gender identity, they are pushing the idea that some people are destined to dominate and others to submit. What a pernicious dogma!


When transactivists push the idea of an innate gender identity, they are pushing the idea that some people are destinedto dominate and others to submit. What a pernicious dogma!


The trans movement depends on the concept of an innate gender identity to sell itself to the public, just as the sexologists needed that frame to justify sterilization and surgery for transsexuals in the mid twentieth century. Take away the concept of an innate gender identity and the ideological underpinnings of their lie/line about being a “woman trapped in a man’s body” disappears.

rhino trapped in human body

Rhino trapped in a human body? Hmm! I thought it was a dog.

Take away the concept of gender identity altogether (including even versions like Koyama’s that emphasize choice) and M2T claims that they are women disappear. Eliminating gender identity does not mean the elimination of transgender people.There is no reason that transgender people cannot act like every other minority group and claim and celebrate their transgender identity (and abandon their efforts to steal women’s identity). If we should be so fortunate as to eliminate gender itself, then the whole idea of transgenderism would lose its meaning (though perhaps the emphasis would then return to transsexual body modifications).

There are times when radical feminists and others resisting transdomination must fight back against specific assaults on our spaces and our existence as females made by TEAFs (transactivist extremists attacking feminists). But, I believe that we can be most effective by focusing on invalidating the ideology that is allowing males to make their claim that they are women. That claim is supported by transideology, specifically the concept of gender identity. If we want to go to the root of the problem (and that is what radical feminists usually strive to do), then invalidating and eliminating the concept of gender identity is a key goal.

One excellent means for invalidating the concept of gender identity is to educate people about feminist understandings of sex stereotypes. With that strategy we are working toward two critical goals: the elimination of gender and gender identity. I remain a novice in the art of framing, but I believe that a focus on gender and gender identity would be a fruitful area for radical feminists skilled in framing to explore.


One excellent means for invalidating the concept of gender identity is to educate people about feminist understandings of sex stereotypes. With that strategy we are working toward two critical goals: the elimination of gender and gender identity.


This blog began when I wrote about the modifications to the Equality Act recently developed by Feminists in Struggle (FIST). The version of the Equality Act currently under consideration in the U.S. Senate would entrench the concept of gender identity in U.S. law, making gender identity equivalent to sex and essentially eliminating female only public spaces. We need an Equality Act to protect Lesbians, gay men and transgender people, but the Senate version is a disaster for women, girls and Lesbians.

FIST’s feminist version of the Equality Act is, on the other hand, a brilliant advance for women. In FIST’s Equality Act, transgender people (and everyone else) are protected from discrimination on the basis of sex stereotypes. I was so very pleased when I discovered that gender identity is never even mentioned in the FIST document. Women-only spaces are explicitly protected. FIST has taken a critical step forward with their model Equality Act. We each now have the opportunity to support their Equality Act and the feminist goals put forward there. Good-bye to gender identity! Good-bye to gender!