Will feminism eat itself? Can there be a women’s movement if you can’t define what being a woman is? Are you really a defender of women’s rights if you think it is okey dokey for a rapist to be transferred to a women’s prison just because he says he is a woman?
What we are seeing now is a major battle within feminism, where on the one hand you have some classic feminists who, being the ‘conservative’ ones, believe that women do not have penises and that people who do have a penis are probably men.
On the other side of the fence are those who believe that some men do have wombs and some women can have a penis and anyone who says otherwise is a trans-exclusionary radical feminist or Terf (which is just a modern term for witch, as Brendan O’Neill at Spiked rightly points out.)
It is quite the catfight and I know who I have my money on. This the ground zero for the feminist movement: it demonstrates that feminism is so fatally flawed and full of so many internal inconsistencies that it is bound to fail – and it is this transgender movement that will take it down.
For decades, the feminists not only pointed out the discrimination that women can face in employment but in order to fight this they claimed, in the face of all evidence, that women were exactly the same as men. This was distinct from challenging stereotypes, or securing equal rights before the law and in the market place, but insisting that men and women were essentially interchangeable beings in the biological sense.
Now the transgender movement has come along and said, you know what, women and men are exactly the same, so much so that they want incorporated into the law of the land the fantasy that a man can become a woman and a woman can become a man on the mere say-so of the individual. Two and two, we are told, make five.
So off the men march to the women’s prisons and to the unisex changing rooms, which are where the Times tells us that 90 per cent of reported sexual assaults, harassment and voyeurism in swimming-pool and sports-centre changing rooms happen, even though unisex facilities make up less than half the total.
Teenage boys will be able to access the toilets, showers and dorms of teenage girls even though we are told ‘that sexual harassment – and sexual assault – of girls at school is routine and normalised ’. Routine! In the face of this, separate and distinct toilets and changing areas for men and women are coming down around the country. If anyone objects to this, we are told to shut the hell up and get with the programme.
I never understood why the feminists had to push the fiction that men and women are exactly the same to achieve political, social and market equality. It was foolish – an unnecessary lie that has unleashed this threat to women’s privacy and safety that we are witnessing now. I never understood why they separated gender from sex, the two being conflated now to the detriment of women. If you don’t conform to feminine stereotypes, then you don’t conform to feminine stereotypes. That doesn’t make you a man and it doesn’t make you ‘gender fluid’. It just means you are woman, a non-conformist perhaps, who still needs privacy and separate intimate spaces from men. How long this movement can hold itself together is anyone’s guess.