Michelle Goldberg on the dispute over what it means to be a woman. The transgender-rights movement has forced a rethinking of what sex and gender mean, and radical feminists now find themselves shunned as reactionaries on the wrong side of a sexual-rights issue.
I would like to draw attention to this quote from this well researched article on the conflict between trans-bashing radical feminists (TERFs) and transgender activists.
'Yet, at the same time, the trans-rights movement is growing in power and cachet: a recent Time cover featuring the actress Laverne Cox was headlined “THE TRANSGENDER TIPPING POINT.”
The very word “transgender,” which first came into wide use in the nineteen-nineties, encompasses far more people than the term “transsexual” did. It includes not just the small number of people who seek gender-reassignment surgery—according to frequently cited estimates, about one in thirty thousand men and one in a hundred thousand women—but also those who take hormones, or who simply identify with the opposite gender, or, in some cases, with both or with neither. (According to the National Center survey, most trans women have taken female hormones, but only about a quarter of them have had genital surgery.)
The elasticity of the term “transgender” has forced a rethinking of what sex and gender mean; at least in progressive circles, what’s determinative isn’t people’s chromosomes or their genitals or the way that they were brought up but how they see themselves.
Having rejected this supposition, radical feminists now find themselves in a position that few would have imagined when the conflict began: shunned as reactionaries on the wrong side of a sexual-rights issue. It is, to them, a baffling political inversion.’
Read the full text over at The New Yorker!