gender critical radical feminists
There’s a subsection of radical feminism that describes itself as ‘gender critical’. This means they are critical of the traditional female and male roles that we are presented with in most, if not all, human societies. They believe women and men are socialised into all manner of harmful behaviours that ensure that the status quo, in terms of men holding power and continuing to have licence to violence, are perpetuated.
This all seems reasonable to me. It’s clear that women are under-represented throughout public life and that society somehow ‘allows’ men to behave in unacceptably violent ways.
However, in terms of how gender roles impact on these serious problems, I’m not clear how we attempt to change the old roles without imposing arbitrary new ones. As a first step, we obviously have to break down the sense of expectation that children of either biological sex will follow traditional roles and have gender traits seen to be ‘normal’ for their biological sex.
The next step? See what happens. See how people develop. Because we don’t actually know if many people would choose to be essentially gender neutral or even what any less oppressive gender roles (if that’s what people choose) would look like. We have nothing to aim for beyond change.
But it seems that some gender critical radical feminist do know what the future will look like, what exactly is wrong with current gender roles. And they believe that any person born biologically female who wants to express themselves as male, is a blotch on their vision, an inconvenience to their theory. They believe that any person born biologically male who wants to express themselves as female is incorrect in thinking they want any female trappings such as heels or make-up, because these are the hallmarks of the devil, I mean the patriarchy.
So gender critical radical feminists want everyone to express themselves as gender neutral – erase the roles and dress as you please.
Except when you go to the toilet. Because when you go to the toilet (until we can convince every public convenience to go gender neutral) you can’t look gender neutral – your appearance must conform to your biological sex. Because if we can’t tell what sex you are based on your appearance, we won’t know where it’s safe for you to pee.
In the meantime, biological women who look like men are invited into female public toilets. And biological men who look like women can take their chances in the male public toilets.
I’m so glad that alongside their natural allies, fundamentalist Christians, this subsection of radical feminism has stepped into this debate to help make toilets safer for everyone, and in doing so undermine their own fight for gender roles to be overhauled by ensuring that our biological sex must match the ‘oppressive gender role’ physical appearance in order to safely go to the toilet in public.
If more pressure groups could use logic like they do, the world would be a much safer and more pleasant place for everyone. And when I say ‘everyone’, I mean ‘no-one’ (just in case you wondered).