On the transgender wars

I was five when I grasped the difference between biological sex and gender. My best friend dumped me when we started primary school because he realised I was a girl. I was so hurt and confused: I was the same person, but because our relationship was now embedded in a larger, gender stratified community, I was now seen as something less. Someone less. Someone different. Someone he could no longer be best friends with. What the experience told me was that my body had socially ascribed meanings that didn’t have anything to do with me, the person inhabiting the body. That I still liked climbing the same trees, riding the same bikes, playing in the same dirt, and with the same trains, was irrelevant. What mattered was that my body was different to his which now meant that there were different expectations on and of me, expectations I did not agree

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On “male feminists”

I occasionally update my bio page to reflect whatever I am concerned, or feel strongly, about at the moment. However, one thing which has remained the same for many years now is the following statement: there is no such thing as a male feminist. Around the time I first wrote that paragraph, I came across this article and broadly agreed with it, but especially so this quote: Although I believe that men can be pro-feminist and anti-sexist, I do not believe we can be feminists in the strictest sense of the word. Men, in this patriarchal system, cannot remove themselves from their power and privilege in relation to women. To be a feminist one must be a member of the targeted group (i.e a woman) not only as a matter of classification but as having one’s directly-lived experience inform one’s theory. The quote is attributed to Brian Klocke of the National

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