Gender Critical Feminists and Criticisms of Gender Identity

A brief review of the beliefs of gender critical feminists:

  1. Biologically, the terms women and men relate to sex
  2. One cannot feel like a female or male, one is either sex or is not
  3. In feminist theory, the terms women and men may also relate to perceived social class and resulting sex based socialization
    1. e.g. a trans woman who passes as a woman will be perceived and treated like other women
  4. Experiencing or recognizing sex specific socialization is necessary to fully understand what it means to be a woman or man in any given culture
  5. Gender is an assigned social construct that should be abolished
  6. Women are oppressed via gender, i.e. gender is seen as an coercive external role of constructed inferiority
  7. Biological sex is not assigned, it exists, has relevance to everyday life and cannot be fundamentally changed

Misogyny is real, and it is sex-based oppression. Anatomy is obviously not the be-all and end-all of what makes a woman or what makes a man—but anatomy determines how we’re treated since birth—it informs conditioning, socialization, attitudes, perspectives, behaviors, etc. This is not because one’s anatomy is inherently female or male but because society reads it as such.

-notyourterf on

Criticisms of Gender Identity

  1. Conflates sex and gender
    1. “innermost concept of oneself as female, male, both, neither, etc.”
  2. Is based solely upon internal identity and thus cannot be known by outsiders or be the basis of oppression since oppression is linked to tangible reality
  3. Ignores sex based reality and gendered socialization
    1. “transwomen are female and have always been female”
    2. “transwomen are women” even when displaying male socialization
  4. Reinforces gender roles and stereotypes, e.g. little boys liking dresses, makeup or pink must be girls
  5. Supports biological essentialism, e.g. brain sex and/or hormones determine personality, behavior and presentation
  6. Has no distinct meaning, e.g. anyone can claim female or male gender identity regardless of surgery or medical treatment
    1. In law, this opens the door for improper purpose, such as non-trans males gaining access to previously protected sex segregated spaces
    2. In medicine, may lead to inaccuracies for disease diagnosis and treatment
    3. Erases accurate documentation of male violence
  7. Redefines language and erases women’s oppression
    1. Gender as natural and innate and/or something to “play” with
    2. Woman as anyone who says they are and/or identifies with femininity
    3. Biological essentialism as “invalidation of identity based on sex”
    4. Social distress around gender roles as “dysphoria” that one can identify out of e.g. women can identify out of their oppression
  8. Medicalizes normal human behavior and diversity, e.g. social distress around gender roles as “gender dysphoria,” and pressure to transition

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