Oh. And thanks to Sarah, who helped me boil down the real insight into a much more condensed version.

Really, this is about nothing less than bodily autonomy. On the whole, I would have thought that those in the rad feminist camp who have campaigned long and loud for a “woman’s right to choose” would have got that.

Its my body. My life. And unless what I am doing actively harms others, then no-one but me gets to choose what I do with it.

Of course, it comes as no surprise that the religious right, which believes that a whole array of “experts” can know better than a woman what she needs to do for herself, is equally adamant in declaring it knows better than we what we should do with our bodies.

Its just surprising to find the same argument being put by supposedly more progressive elements.

Rad feminism as Trojan horse for the religious right? Surely not!



8 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    Is it possible that these so-called radical feminists are not accepting trans women as women?

    Why else are they so persistent with their views?

    I liken them to my “friends” who felt challenged by my transition and no longer wanted to be associated with me. It’s a lack of acceptance that we ARE women.

  2. 2

    […] knew i was tired, because the one thing i intended to add to my last “distillation” post isn’t […]

  3. 3

    […] knew i was tired, because the one thing i intended to add to my last “distillation” post isn’t […]

  4. 4

    Julian said,

    Please don’t assume JB speaks for all self-identified rad fems, Jane. A lot of us are about as pleased that thanks to her “rad fem” is now associated with “transphobia” as keen football fans were to find that a footie flag is now associated with the BNP!

    • 5

      janefae said,

      Apologies, Julian…and you know i know that.

      Its just so hard to get the language clear enough without ending up sounding like a Soviet-era news announcer.

      I know i could reference her as “JB, who is representative of that element of rad feminism that is associated with transphobia”, that’d be spot on, but tedious.

      accusing her of being representative of all rad fems on this issue is, i agree, inaccurate.

      any suggestions?


      • 6

        Julian said,

        None at all, I’m afraid, other than referencing her as Bindel the Odd and leaving the rest of us out of it. I’m just a bit prickly this week having had this debate a bit. Not one to derail your blog with though. xx

  5. 7

    Romola Des Loups said,

    “Rad feminism as Trojan horse for the religious right? Surely not!”

    Well, it wouldn’t be the first time! Really, we need one of those Political compass thingies for gender issues with one line leading from essentialism to self-determination and one crossing it for equality.

    • 8

      janefae said,

      spot on as to the essentialist thingy.

      Its weird: i hadn’t even encounterecd it as named concept until about six months back, when a friend pointed out that my thinking on transition stuck me full centre in the non-essentialist camp. Oh, i went: you mean there’s a name for my ideas? And indeed there is.

      And it is so pervasive. I read today that Hakeem had written that trans women are just “deceptive gays”. I’ve asked for the author of that comment to give me chapter and verse on that. But if true, that’s another piece of essentialism in the mix. It sort of pre-supposes that “gay” is a state of being, as opposed to what one does.

      Oddly, i suspect there is a fair bit of support for that view in the gay community itself. But the logic then follows.

      If people can be allocated, sheep and goat-like, to orientation categories, then presumably all trans women also have an underlying orientation – and it remains only for the “experts” to determine what that orientation is.

      I really doubt that i orient in any meaningful way towards men: which makes me formerly hetero, now lesbian. End of.

      Unfortunately, my very denial appears to constitute “evidence” for those of a certain ilk. The more i deny being gay, the more i must be – and therefore the more deceptive i am.


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