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In Favor of Feminism: Share Your Views



  • Member Posts: 1,434

    This might be dangerous, but I'm going to jump in here. As I see it, a trans female is a trans female, which is biologically different than a natural born female. But a trans female is a woman (if she chooses to live as a woman), no different than a natural born female is a woman.

    The problem, as I see it, is that as a society we have muddled together biological sex and gender, which are two different things. Biological sex is what it is, from the day we are born and as recorded on our birth certificates (recognizing that biological sex might be muddled in up to 0.05% of the population). Biological sex is internal to our bodies, it's in our chromosomes, it can't be changed, and it has significant health implications for one's entire life. To me, the idea that one's biological sex can be changed on a birth certificate, or that a birth certificate can state "X" is just plain silly. One's physical appearance can be changed through surgery and hormones, but biological sex does not change.

    Gender, on the other hand, is often defined as "socially constructed characteristics of women and men" and as such, gender can be whatever someone wants it to be. The appearance (clothing and/or physical body) of a biological male can be that of a woman and the appearance of a biological female can be that of a man. Or someone can choose to have a genderless physical appearance. People should be able to adopt whatever physical appearance they want, and they should be able to live and function in society as whatever gender they choose, whether based on their chosen physical appearance (a transgender woman who dresses, acts and lives as a woman) or contrary to their physical appearance (a lesbian woman who dresses and acts in a manner more consistent with men but identifies and lives as a woman).

    The problem is that we continually confuse biological sex with gender - we use the same words for both so it's not surprising that we get confused. Unfortunately it's too late now but I think a distinction should have been been made between male/female and man/woman/non-binary. Biological identification shouldn't be lost/changed. If someone is smashed up badly in an accident and their driver's license says "Male", but this individual is a biological female (who may be pregnant), there can be serious implications. So maybe we need to move to a double identification, biological sex/gender. The first is binary and is identified and recorded at birth. The second can be many things, and develops and possibly changes over time.

    Speaking of pregnancy, I think the confusion between biological sex and gender is why we are moving to terms such as "birthing people" and "people who menstruate". These days, men do give birth... but males don't; only biological females give birth. Just replace "women" with "females" and many of these issues are resolved without forcing such awkward language.

    I want those who are transgender to be able to live as they choose. But I also have a concern that much of what was won by feminists (derived from "female", not "woman") for either females or women is being lost because as a society we don't distinguish between biological sex and gender. And the safety and rights of females are being brushed aside as we focus on gender equity for anyone who chooses to be any gender, regardless of biological sex. I think we need to accept and understand that biology doesn't change and that needs to be factored into our societal changes.

  • exbrnxgrl
    exbrnxgrl Member Posts: 4,507


    I don't think your post was dangerous nor even controversial. I think that part of the issue is that openly acknowledging the trans community, which we should do, is a relatively recent event. All of our frameworks from language to dressing room issues, as well as a multitude of other things, has yet to catch up. I feel as if this is just the beginning of trans acceptance and there's a long way to go. But you’re absolutely right that although external appearances can be altered and other body parts removed or reconstructed, nothing can change your genetic gender.

    One of my former students identifies as non-binary and now uses a traditionally female name. I have no problem with the name but get tripped up on pronouns. I respect her feelings but it has been a challenge to get out of the habit of saying he. BTW, she was in my class in kindergarten and is now a college student. The change is relatively recent so I kind of have a hangover from saying he for so many years but I'm trying!

  • sampy661
    sampy661 Member Posts: 36

    TIM - Trans Identified Male - Autogynephile, Transwoman, Transsexual, Transvestite etc.

    TIF - Trans Identified Female - Transman etc.

    Terms such as “transfemale” and “transmale” are confusing - TIM and TIF allows the reader to identify the biology and discern which sex is being discussed - when I hear the oxymoron “trans female”, I immediately think we’re discussing XX.

    Having said this, it’s fascinating how quickly a discussion on feminism can morph into a discussion about trans rights, I guess preserving the hard earned rights of biological women and girls isn’t quite as important as pandering to the fragile feelings of males and boys who think they can magically become women. As for the TIF’S - don’t get much of a mention do they, they’re not quite as threatening to males and society in general, it’s as if they’re female or something.

    Now I realise I brought up the trans, but with the exception of OVARIT, seems to me any discussion about women within any facet of society is immediately followed with “what about transwomen”. So I apologise to the DivineMrsM for my mischief, I’m just a menstruator after all.

    On a serious note, feminism to me will always be about fighting for the next generation of young girls, who through no fault of their own, will eventually be relegated to the sidelines because society believes a boy is no different to a girl because he said so - male socialisation demands he gets his way and too many handmaidens and woke bros are quick to pander to this obscene notion.

    Now I have to prepare for my 3rd infusion of chemotherapy tomorrow 😶.

  • exbrnxgrl
    exbrnxgrl Member Posts: 4,507


    Threads do evolve, meander, divert and even sometimes return to the original topic. No apologies needed! Good luck with chemo tomorrow.

  • tb90
    tb90 Member Posts: 278

    I can no longer stay silent. This is why I stay away from labels such as feminist because these boxes never describe me. I am a humanitarian and support the rights of all. I do not believe that our sexual orientation is a choice. Having supported many young adults through gender changing surgery, no one would ever choose that. I do not judge others based on their genitalia, but save judgement for the behaviour of others. Like the Catholic Church in Canada. You are far more at risk as a vulnerable person in church than in any change room or bathroom. This conversation has digressed to where we were during HIV. I am certain I will have raised some retaliation. If so, please do not PM me and then block me, discuss it here in public.

  • sampy661
    sampy661 Member Posts: 36

    Thank you Exbrnxgrl,

    TB90, NEVER STAY SILENT, I am but one opinion and there’s room for many, just don’t cancel anyone for their opinions is all I ask. Don’t allow fear to silence you

  • typhoon
    typhoon Member Posts: 59

    Trans women are males who have transitioned to become women, and trans men are females who have transitioned to become men. It's not hard to understand. (Please note that I am differentiating between biological sex and gender.)

    There's nothing magical about the transition process. It is physically, psychologically, and emotionally grueling, and the people who undertake the process are far from fragile.

    Men and women, including several posters here, who care about the successful integration of trans people into society, are not "woke bros" or "handmaidens", nor are they pandering to an "obscene notion." That kind of hostility and direct attack - on trans people and on people commenting in this forum - is absolutely unwarranted.

    With the single exception of one post, I've been impressed with the thoughtfulness of the discussion. People have expressed their wide range of views and concerns with respect for one another, and I've learned a lot and am grateful.

    Trans people can get breast cancer, too. I don't know if we have any trans people among the many, many thousands of members here, but if there are, now and in the future, I hope they find as warm a welcome as anyone else.

    (Edited to add: Contrary to an assumption implied in a previous post, the issue of trans people was initially raised in this discussion by someone who self-identified as "gender critical." Up to that point, nobody had said anything remotely along the lines of, "what about trans women?")

  • divinemrsm
    divinemrsm Member Posts: 5,802

    Here are the pioneering women who will be on new quarters

    Beginning in 2022, women's faces will appear on quarters for the first time, and the public will help choose who will be minted.

    May 20, 2021, 9:00 a.m. ET

    A quarter featuring Maya Angelou

    Beginning in 2022, women's faces will circulate through the nation's currency on quarters — something long overdue, according to Rep. Barbara Lee, a California Democrat who has been working on this legislation since 2017.

    "I wanted to make sure that women would be honored, and their images and names be lifted up on our coins. I mean, it's outrageous that we haven't," Lee said. "Hopefully the public really delves into who these women were, because these women have made such a contribution to our country in so many ways."

    Lee began drafting legislation on the coin program with help from Rosa Rios, the Treasury official who oversaw the United States Mint under former President Barack Obama. She introduced her bill, the Circulating Collectible Coin Redesign Act, with two Republicans, Reps. Anthony Gonzalez of Ohio and Deb Fischer of Nebraska. It was signed into law in 2020.

    The program will have the United States Mint circulate up to five chosen women on the reverse (tail) side of the quarter-dollar from 2022 to 2025 — allowing for up to 22 women to have their faces on U.S. quarters by the end of 2025. The Mint selected the first two women to be in circulation by 2022: the civil rights activist and poet Maya Angelou and astronaut Dr. Sally Ride. Three others were announced in June: Wilma Mankiller, Adelina Otero-Warren and Anna May Wong.

    "In circulation means if you go to purchase whatever in the grocery store … the chances are you may get a quarter with Dr. Maya Angelou or Dr. Sally Ride," Lee said.

    It's not just about the coins, but about what they represent and the power they have to start a dialogue in this nation around women who were trailblazers in their field, Lee said. The last time a woman appeared on U.S. currency was in 2000, when gold $1 Sacagawea coins went into circulation, honoring the Indigenous woman who helped the Lewis and Clark expedition explore the Louisiana Purchase territory.

    The women on the faces of the quarters

    Maya Angelou (April 4, 1928 – May 28, 2014)

    Dr. Sally Ride (May 26, 1951 – July 23, 2012).

    Wilma Mankiller (November 18, 1945 – April 6, 2010)

    Adelina Otero-Warren (October 23, 1881 – January 3, 1965)

    Anna May Wong (January 3, 1905 – February 3, 1961)

    Link to full story:

  • divinemrsm
    divinemrsm Member Posts: 5,802


  • divinemrsm
    divinemrsm Member Posts: 5,802


  • divinemrsm
    divinemrsm Member Posts: 5,802

    I was happy to read the two posts about Ida B. Wells. For one thing, I didn't know about her! I will read up more about her, but this is an excerpt from an NPR article:

    Wells, who was born a slave in 1862 in Mississippi, was a 30-year-old newspaper editor in Memphis, Tennessee, when she began her campaign against lynching. Wells' crusade was prompted by the 1892 lynching of a man whose first child was her godchild. She traveled the South over several months interviewing witnesses and reading reports of similar events, which she published in the newspaper she co-owned and edited, The Memphis Free Speech and Headlight. In 2020, Wells was awarded a posthumous Pulitzer Prize for her reporting on the lynching of African Americans.

    Although she was threatened frequently because of her work, she helped to found several civil rights organizations including the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People and the National Association of Colored Women.

  • divinemrsm
    divinemrsm Member Posts: 5,802

    I was also pleased to read that Ida B. Wells has recently had *two* monuments unveiled in her name.

    One of the topics of women's equality that I'm drawn to is how very few monuments there are of women in the U.S. compared to the vast majority of men. I follow an organization called "Monumental Women", an all-volunteer, not-for-profit organization created in 2014.

    Can you believe that for 167 years, NY Central Park had no statues of real women until MW came along? CP had Alice in Wonderland, Mother Goose, Juliet with Romeo, witches, nymphs, and angels – but no real women.

    Through much much work, MW broke that bronze ceiling just last year, 2020, with a monument of Women's Rights Pioneers Sojourner Truth, Susan B. Anthony, and Elizabeth Cady Stanton. 2020 was the 100th anniversary of the 19th amendment and 200th anniversary of the birth of Susan B. Anthony. All three women were New Yorkers as well.

    Monumental Women has the further goals of increasing awareness and appreciation of Women's History through a nationwide education campaign and challenging municipalities across the country and across the world to rethink the past and reshape the future by including tributes in their public spaces to the diverse women who helped create and inspire those cities.i


  • alicebastable
    alicebastable Member Posts: 1,926

    TB9 and Typhoon, thank you for saying so civilly and eloquently what I wanted to say - and I'm afraid I'd have been neither civil nor eloquent.

  • melbo
    melbo Member Posts: 266

    I don’t understand the argument that supporting trans rights is somehow taking something away from women’s rights. It’s not a zero sum game. There is room for making the world a better place for all of us.

    The one argument against trans rights I have seen in this thread that resonates with me at all is that some people (mostly men) are using trans rights as an excuse to be jerks and forcing their way into spaces where women should feel safe(ish) to prove they can do it. That’s not a trans issue — that’s an assholes issue. Supporting trans rights won’t stop the true assholes or rapists from forcing their way into spaces they don’t belong.

  • exbrnxgrl
    exbrnxgrl Member Posts: 4,507

    “ That's not a trans issue — that's an assholes issue.“

    Love it, melbo

  • armom4
    armom4 Member Posts: 82

    I have an issue with this argument:

    "some people (mostly men) are using trans rights as an excuse to be jerks and forcing their way into spaces where women should feel safe(ish) to prove they can do it."

    What straight man is going to pretend to be trans so they can get into women's spaces? This is just a BS excuse that pearl-clutchers use to deny people the right to use the bathroom they want.

  • melbo
    melbo Member Posts: 266

    ARmom4 - yes exactly. Someone earlier in the thread brought up the point that some men were doing this. I agree that it's a problem if someone were doing such things, but it's definitely not a reason to not support trans rights. And like you, I question how much this might truly be happening

  • SerenitySTAT
    SerenitySTAT Member Posts: 3,534

    In response to the original topic: I will be forever impressed that my mother, now 82, was able to become a doctor when young. She was the only one of her siblings to go beyond high school. I was born during her medical residency, and my father became a reluctant stay-at-home dad. However impressive she was, she still deferred to my father (leading to many issues). So, my mother was not a feminist. Fortunately, my brothers and I didn't follow in their footsteps into the patriarchy.

    While some women are making breakthroughs in some fields, there's still clear inequity. We should have more women leaders. Women shouldn't be criticized for behaving in ways that are acceptable for men. Women athletes shouldn't be forced to wear revealing uniforms (handball team has to wear bikinis or they can't play!). Girls around the world should be educated. But the inequity isn't limited to women.

    Trans rights: I agree that supporting trans rights does not take away from women's rights. I asked my 2 daughters (early 20s) who are much more aware of social issues than I am about the fear of the trans community. Pretty much the idea of men in women's clothing assaulting women stems not from actual cases but fiction. The violence in 'Psycho' and 'Silence of the Lambs' were committed by men in dresses, but they weren't by the trans community. And it wasn't real. Men posting videos of themselves dressed in drag in women's bathrooms => theatre to stoke fear. The next generation of women are more savvy than us. Listen to them.

    Fun fact: Ada Lovelace is the daughter of absentee-father/poet Lord Byron. I knew of the daughter since I like math history. My older daughter knew of Byron as a literature major.

    Also, I have used the mens room more than once when the women's line was just too long. Maybe unisex bathrooms are the way to go?

  • betrayal
    betrayal Member Posts: 1,911

    SerenitySTAT: Perhaps your mother wasn't a feminist at home because she was keeping the peace? Was this also a cultural decision on her part? Just a thought since your father was in a reluctant role and her children were impacted by her role. However, she was in a male dominated profession and I am sure she met resistance there almost daily but was able to still be successful. I was a healthcare worker and can attest to how physicians regard female counterparts.

    Love the above discussions about trans and agree that asshole will always be assholes. I am not offended by them and want all people to live the life that best suits them and their lifestyle.

    As far as using men's rooms when the women's line was too long. Happened at many a conference when female to male ration was skewed to us and number of stalls was sadly disproportionate to needs when breaks had impossible time constraints: average of 45 seconds per woman/stall with over 100 women in line and break was 15 minutes and only 4 stalls available. Do the math.

    Had to laugh at one guy who tried to enter the mens room, saw it was occupied by all females and sought to edify us by telling us the door read "men". We told him we could read and he was welcome to join us if he wanted to use the urinal since we were willing to share the room. He declined and left quite huffy. I would suggest hotels, etc. have the same number of stalls for women as they do urinals for equity starting in the restrooms (and none can be out of order for starters).

  • olma61
    olma61 Member Posts: 1,004

    Men's bathroom: A couple of years ago, I was shopping and had to use the restroom. I ducked into a fast food place near my house and the ladies room was occupied. I did already know they had single stalls, so after waiting a few minutes I really had to go, so I entered the men's. When I came out, the old guy who had been sitting nearby, was staring at me shaking his head. I had sat down to arrange stuff in my bags and hejust kept on with the dirty looks. I just looked at him and shrugged, hey whaddya want. So yeah I guess (some of us ) women are not alone in wanting our own restrooms and keeping out the other sex.

    A little silly with single stalls, though. Starbucks now just has two that are unlabeled.

    I think I would hesitate more to enter a big one that had a row of urinals, but I guess one can get desperate enough to do anything for relief. I've seen pictures of “street urinals" in Europe, you can't see the guys genitals at all the way it's set up, but you can see them all standing there peeing. It's weird to my very American sensibilities.

    A couple of places I visited in Puerto Rico had a row of stalls with floor to ceiling doors and the sinks and mirrors were a common area with an open doorway. For everyone to use. These were upscale restaurants. Not a bad setup.

    Interesting detail about Ada Lovelace, thanks

  • olma61
    olma61 Member Posts: 1,004

    About trans rights and especially in regard to what I said about sexual assault - my main problem is that the laws in certain states, and Canada too, I believe, are supporting self- ID.

    If the problem is assholes with penises, this kind of law enables every possible kind of asshole. I have lived all my life in an urban area and have encountered plenty. They don’t even have to pretend to be trans or anything, a full-on appearing man can enter a women’s locker room, just hang out and the staff cannot question them. There have been reports of this happening in New York City going back years already. Even if they don’t assault anyone, I’m not there to be an object for anyone’s voyeurism or fantasies.

    Non-binary gender is very interesting to me. At first, I expected see people who desired an androgynous appearance and/or gender expression, but that isn’t always the case from what I’ve seen.

    I don’t personally know anyone who identifies that way but I’ve seen many women online, including celebrities, who are very typically “femme” presenting, and I’m not sure what “non binary” means in those cases.

    The former teen bride Courtney Stodden is an extreme example. Lady looks like a Vegas showgirl. What does she feel is not female about her? I don’t know her sexual orientation other than she married a man, but sexual orientation doesn’t change a persons gender.

    Recently I read that 80% of people identifying as non-binary are female. Makes me believe there are factors in society making young women want to opt out of femaleness. I even think that may have something to do with the increasing number of females identifying as trans.

    Would love to do an in depth research project involving females who identify as non binary.

    Sampy wishing you a comfortable chemo session

  • armom4
    armom4 Member Posts: 82

    Melbo: I guess I missed the earlier mention of the topic. I just had to say something bc I feel like it's a silly argument.

    Can I just say, I've sort of been reading along, you all are thoughtful and wise and I'm so hopeful for our futures after reading your posts. Great discussion!

  • divinemrsm
    divinemrsm Member Posts: 5,802

    With so much interest in transgender issues perhaps the topic deserves its own dedicated thread.

  • olma61
    olma61 Member Posts: 1,004

    I would agree, Divine. I do feel like I’m hijacking so I do apologize xo

  • SerenitySTAT
    SerenitySTAT Member Posts: 3,534

    Betrayal - It was definitely a cultural issue for my parents. She was successful as a physician, but as a mother, she didn't keep us out of harm's way. He was never violent towards her that I can recall. Guess he knew who brought home the bacon. To this day she defends him, so I keep my distance. My brothers are more forgiving. I know that when I became a mother, I was infuriated that she didn't help us. My husband knew that I would protect my children over him.

    One last thing on men's room: The first time I remember being in the men's locker room was when I was about 6 or 7. We were at the YMCA for swimming lessons. My dad wouldn't let me into the women's locker room by myself. I learned early to avert my eyes. Now there are family rooms. Perhaps that should be the default. Some retail stores already have unisex dressing rooms.

  • 2019whatayear
    2019whatayear Member Posts: 462

    If issues around reproductive justice, contraception, sex, and parenting are of interest to you, you may be interested in reading or listening (they have podcasts) to the Rewire News Group

    The website: Rewire News Group

    from their about page:

    Who We Are:

    Rewire News Group is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit media organization dedicated to reshaping the national dialogue on all things sex by making it more inclusive, positive, and centered on justice.

    Our Mission:

    Inspiring you to own your relationship to sex, abortion, parenthood, and power.

  • miriandra
    miriandra Member Posts: 1,878

    Women of the Arts

  • divinemrsm
    divinemrsm Member Posts: 5,802

    2019whatayear, if you don't mind my mentioning that when I first saw you posting on this thread, your screen name immediately made me think of the affectionate light-hearted joke as in “...then 2020 said 'hold my beer.'" Thanks for the Rewire News Group link, I will check it out.

    Miriandra, wow, I knew nothing of Maria Anna Mozart. Her story makes me think of so many things. How often women's genius was/is overshadowed, suppressed, erased. How often the masses of people today embrace the great men composers of yesteryear yet never comprehend the reasons why women are not in those ranks.

    Even in today's more modern world: the most popular song of John Lennon's solo career, “Imagine" which has received countless worldwide accolades, was co-written by Yoko Ono but she wasn't giving the songwriting credit until 2017. From Wikipedia: “Lennon later said the composition "should be credited as a Lennon/Ono song. A lot of it – the lyric and the concept – came from Yoko, but in those days I was a bit more selfish, a bit more macho, and I sort of omitted her contribution,“ These words came before his death in 1980 yet no credit to Yoko until 2017!

    The other thing I am reminded of is the following story, explained in an article fromThe Guardian:

    “Over the past several decades, orchestras have started changing the way they hire musicians. One of these changes was designed to eliminate bias against women.

    It would be hard to deny that there was such a bias in the composition of orchestras. As late as 1970, the top five orchestras in the U.S. had fewer than 5% women. It wasn't until 1980 that any of these top orchestras had 10% female musicians. But by 1997 they were up to 25% and today some of them are well into the 30s. What is the source of this change?

    .....In the 1970s and 1980s, orchestras began using blind auditions. Candidates are situated on a stage behind a screen to play for a jury that cannot see them.

    .....Even when the screen is only used for the preliminary round, it has a powerful impact; researchers have determined that this step alone makes it 50% more likely that a woman will advance to the finals. And the screen has also been demonstrated to be the source of a surge in the number of women being offered positions.

    By the way, even a screen doesn't always yield a gender blind event. Screens keep juries from seeing the candidates move into position, but the telltale sounds of a woman's shoes allegedly influenced some jury members such that aspiring musicians were instructed to remove their footwear before coming onto the stage."

    I can't find the additional details (will look for it), but I believe one reason blind auditions came about was after some famous composer claimed men were better at the violin than women; he was challenged on his views and after proven differently, he later conceded he was wrong.

  • summerangel
    summerangel Member Posts: 182

    SerenitySTAT, your mother was brave! My mother is also 82 and is a retired registered nurse. When she was young she desperately wanted to become a veterinarian, but was a child of a prominent doctor who absolutely forbade it. He told her that if she wanted to work she could choose any of the "acceptable" careers for women: Teacher, secretary, or nurse. She chose nurse but was never very happy in her profession. I think her experience helped shaped my career path, as well as one of my sister's. My sister is a chemical engineer and I'm a software developer and architect.

  • divinemrsm
    divinemrsm Member Posts: 5,802

    Serenity & SummerAngel, thank you for the stories about your mothers. It is quite impressive to hear of an 82 yr old woman who became a doctor all those years ago. She must have somewhat compartmentalized her life, submitting to her husband but being revered by her patients. Maybe the two balanced each other out somewhat.

    My oncologist, who’s been with me the whole 10 years since I was diagnosed, is retiring next month. She is 74. She didn’t go to medical school until after she was married and had three sons. Her husband was a skilled surgeon. She told him, “I know I can do this.” and he encouraged her. I cannot even imagine having that kind of male support. It makes a lot of difference to many. When I think about it, his support of her led to my good fortune of having her as my oncologist.

    I grew up and still live in an area where steel making was king. All that industry meant high paying jobs for mostly men. The mills declined, but the patriarchy is still a big factor here. I don’t know a whole lot of liberal minded men. Fortunately my son and stepson are liberal. And dh is making some inroads. He was a steel worker. My brothers embrace the patriarchy. My dad was raised by Polish immigrants and had five brothers. Even tho he had four daughters, he didn’t really respect women.

    As mentioned, I didn’t grasp the patriarchy until about 10 years ago. When I look back over my life, I see countless times where the frustrations I experienced were a direct result of the patriarchy, but at the time, it was an invisible force to me. I kept thinking I was the problem, I was doing something wrong. But it was a male dominated system I could not see that was working against me. A lot of things make much more sense now.