The term sex difference could then be re-defined as between-sex differences that are manifestations of a sexually dimorphic adaptation which is how many scientists use the term ,   while the term gender difference could be re-defined as due to differential socialization between the sexes of a monomorphic adaptation or byproduct. For example, greater male propensity toward physical aggression and risk taking would be termed a "sex difference;" the generally longer head hair length of females would be termed a "gender difference.
Transgender people experience a mismatch between their gender identity or gender expression , and their assigned sex. Transgender is also an umbrella term : in addition to including people whose gender identity is the opposite of their assigned sex trans men and trans women , it may include people who are not exclusively masculine or feminine e.
Many feminists consider sex to only be a matter of biology and something that is not about social or cultural construction. For example, Lynda Birke, a feminist biologist, states that "'biology' is not seen as something which might change. In order to prove that sex is not only limited to two categories Anne Fausto-Sterling 's Sexing the Body addresses the birth of children who are intersex.
This is because "complete maleness and complete femaleness represent the extreme ends of a spectrum of possible body types. Rather than viewing sex as a biological construct, there are feminists who accept both sex and gender as a social construct. According to the Intersex Society of North America , "nature doesn't decide where the category of 'male' ends and the category of 'intersex' begins, or where the category of 'intersex' ends and the category of 'female' begins.
Humans decide. Humans today, typically doctors decide how small a penis has to be, or how unusual a combination of parts has to be, before it counts as intersex. Rather, doctors decide what seems to be a "natural" sex for the inhabitants of society. Some feminists go further and argue that neither sex nor gender are strictly binary concepts. Judith Lorber , for instance, has stated that many conventional indicators of sex are not sufficient to demarcate male from female. For example, not all women lactate, while some men do.
Lorber writes, "My perspective goes beyond accepted feminist views that gender is a cultural overlay that modifies physiological sex differences [ Discussing sex as biological fact causes sex to appear natural and politically neutral. However, she argues that "the ostensibly natural facts of sex [are] discursively produced in the service of other political and social interests. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. See also: Language and gender. Main article: Doing gender. Main articles: Transgender and Genderqueer. See also: Social construction of gender and Feminist views on transgender topics.
Psychology: The science of behavior. Fourth Canadian edition. Richard November Archived PDF from the original on Archives of Sexual Behavior. Archived from the original PDF on 25 May Reflections on Feminist Family Therapy Training. New York: Routledge. Archived from the original on 8 May Retrieved 11 February Archived from the original on Retrieved Sex differences. NY: Academic Press. Washington, D. Sex, evolution and behavior. Cengage Learning; Beyond Nature vs.
Nurture Archived at the Wayback Machine. The Scientist, October 1, Cerebral Cortex. Press, 1st Harvard Univ. Press pbk.
Why Feminists Are Wrong and millions of other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Start reading Why Feminists Are Wrong on your Kindle in under a minute. Demonstrating, as Rosa Lee, does that gender differences between men and women are rooted in biology tells one absolutely. Editorial Reviews. About the Author. Rosa Lee is a graduate of Trinity College in Hartford, CT Why Feminists are Wrong:How Transsexuals Prove Gender is not a Social Construction by [ . In this book, Rosa Lee tries to argue that gender is not a social construction (an interesting thesis that seems highly relevant to.
L Gender Roles: A Sociological Perspective. New Jersey: Upper Saddie River. Archived from the original on 13 September Retrieved 14 April Food and Drug Administration. December 19, Archived from the original on August 9, Retrieved August 3, Retrieved on Gender, power and privilege in modern Europe. The Cambridge Grammar of the English Language. Butterfield, Jeremy ed. Fowler's Dictionary of Modern English Usage 4th ed. Oxford University Press. A Comprehensive Grammar of the English Language.
Harlow: Longman. June February The Scientist. Sex Differences in Cognitive Abilities 4th Ed. NY: Psychology Press. Gender, Nature and Nurture. NJ: LEA, p Archived PDF from the original on 3 March Hormones and Behavior.
Gender Difference? Oh, I'm So Confused! Oxford Textbook of Palliative Social Work. Archived from the original on April 12, Whereas the values of the enlightenment are those which inform radical feminists — the idea that physical reality exists and that we can find out information about the world through sceientific and scientific methods. That words can be defined and have meanings. That all definitions by their very nature exclude other definitions. I see post modernism as a regressive religious doctrine which takes us back to the dark ages.
It is to me exemplified by the Monty Python sketch about determining who is a witch — by seeing if they weigh the same as a duck. So the clash between liberal and radical feminsim is as I see it the age old clash between religion and science. The Catholic church finally had to capitulate to scientific discovery and has survived nonetheless. Likewise trans people can also accept science and survive.
It is perfectly possible for trans people to accept that their feeling do not change physical reality but they are still entitled to the right to present and modify their bodies as they wish. It is possible for society to accept trans people without having to believe in magic. Society can accept that some males wish to resemble women and should be well treated whilst realising that some spaces need to be seperated by reference to physical reality rather than feelings. Eggs producers and sperm producers have different needs and sometimes need different spaces.
Insisting that sperm producers have the right to demand access to the spaces of egg producers regardless of the feelings of the egg producers is tyrannical. The fact its couched in terms of being a civil rights movement is a red herring. No other civil rights movement has trampled over the rights of an oppressed group or allows an oppressor to claim oppressed status on the basis of his feelings. In all other arenas this idea is rejected.
A white person can not claim to be black, a grown man can not claim to be a child, a rich man can not claim he is a poor man on the basis of his say so alone. Only in the realm of sex is it being suggested that any male can claim he is female and demand to be accepted as such? Magic it seems is only allowed to exist in certain places — where it exclusively benefits males. I think we must have each read different comments because it struck me as incoherent and extremely biased.
Not at all. Post menopausal women have produced eggs. That they have gone through the menopause is evidence of this. Whether their eggs worked is irrelevant female people are born with eggs inside them. Describing something is not reducing it to only the definition. A dentist is an expert in teeth.
I am not implying a dentist had nothing more to them than their career. I am describing one aspect of a person — their profession. Woman is defined as adult human female and female is defined as the class of a species that produces eggs. Woman and man describe a persons reproductive potential nothing more. Whether or not you choose to acknowledge that difference it still continues to exist.
To be sex blind negates the ability to talk about sexism just as to claim to be colourblind negates the ability to talk about racism. You are the one denying biology like how a creationist denies evolution. If woman is not a class of reproductive category in humans then what is it? Your idea of woman is a collection of sexist stereotypes or an unprovable feeling in a persons head.
It is not trans exclusive practices feminists seek to continue — it is male exclusive ones. All female people are welcome. So, next time I want to ask someone who looks like a woman how they view their role in society,I should start by asking them the following: -do you, or have you ever produced eggs? A person who identifies socially as a woman and who is perceived by others as a woman, would be equally subjected to similar experiences as a cis-woman, with the added issues of being transgender. Also, we exist in society not as isolated identities, we exist with other entities and should be able to share space with them.
The fact that trans women do not have to deal with menopause makes biological dissimilar in all biological ways! Read about Rachel Dolezal, a white woman claiming to be black. Despite later admitting she was born white she still has her supporters. They believe she can be black purely on self-identification. And again this is only something I see in the U. Or even in Canada for that matter. As with post-modernist theorists and identity politics in general this writer fails to understand that radical feminism has an analysis of power, based in material reality, it is very far from a set of feelings.
Consciousness raising, invented by Second Wave feminists, used personal experience and feelings to understand our collective situation as women ie the personal is political. That gave us insights into, not only our individual situations but also a political theory and consequently political action. Whilst not espousing biological determinism, because the radical feminist analysis sees gender as socially built onto biological class, it does recognise the lived reality of living in a female body and the way that the oppression of women is worked out on those female bodies and via a system that stigmatises and disempowers those who are biologically female.
Trans people gave a different lived reality and a different form of oppression. Trans people who identify as women have neither the biological reality of the female body nor the experience of being raised a girl in a society that devalues and subverts the female. They are not women by any meaningful definition of the word women.
You need to understand the radical feminist analysis of patriarchy in order to understand what radical feminism us about. Your arguments will never make sense to trans activist because because queer theory in and of itself is brutally individualistic. There is a biological basis for gender. This is false. You are just parrotting anti-feminist trans agitprop when you claim that feminists have not paid attention to transmen. That was already in When Leslie Feinberg died in , her death was widely discussed by radical feminists in the blogosphere and the vlogosphere, who needless to say blamed her death on her transition.
Their comments showed that these feminist dykes were very well informed about the specifics of the f2m transition process:. So the claim that anti-trans feminism does not concern itself with transmen is definitely not true. Anti-trans feminists who are lesbians are deeply disturbed by the idea that a homophobic society would push young girls who refuse to be femme to go and become boys instead.
The very visceral reaction that many of these anti-trans dykes have towards transpeople comes from the realization that, had they been born in this day and age, they themselves might have been pushed to become transmen. Trans women of colour were fundamental in the fight for LGBT rights, and the T has been fundamentally present in queer history.
Ultimately I cannot agree with a feminism which would forcibly identify me as a woman purely because I have a certain set of reproductive equipment. Some trans women and men do, just as some cis women and men do. Some trans people are non-binary or genderqueer. In my extensive experiences of trans communities as a community member and as a researcher, I most commonly see people encouraging others to think, explore, maybe experiment with clothing before taking any further steps.
It is immensely difficult to get access to NHS gender identity services in the UK, with waits of months or years. This difficulty is intensified for young people, who must insistently and consistently assert themselves to be trans over the course of many years in order to access treatment. What trans-exclusionary feminisms miss is that trans women are oppressed as members of this sex class. If we pass as cis women we are mistreated accordingly.
If we do not, we risk being violently punished for our perceive femininity. And regardless, from a young age we internalise the sexist messages society constantly promotes the role and value of women. This is not just about reproduction. Women who do not or cannot reproduce are also subject to sexism. This is why so many of us are involved in pro-choice campaigns, access to reproductive technologies etc. Moreover, reproductive activists and trans activists and intersex activists, who are often sidelined in these debates share an interest in campaigns around bodily autonomy. This can be a point for unity rather than division.
Gender is not binary. Not all women have XX chromosomes. Not all women have wombs. Not all women menstruate. Not all women can give birth. Not all women have breasts. Building a feminism that is about more than eggs and sperm and the assumption of shared girlhood benefits all women.
I would recommend that people interested in the tragic circumstances around hir death actually read what sie had to say about hir own experiences in hir final years. Sie was a victim of the misogynistic and classist medical system, a topic sie wrote about extensively in hir later years. There are some complicated points being raised here, so it might be helpful, especially for readers less initiated in these debates, to clarify a few things:.
Crucially, the binary model of both of these is a human invention. Additionally, natural scientists could have determined that there were, say, six sexes, and counted various levels of particular hormones or variations in secondary sex characteristics as totally distinct sex categories. That there are only two sexes is a human notion which could have been otherwise, and the same goes, obviously, for gender.
To clear a misconception articulated in one of the comments above, feminisms are social movements concerned with the abolition of patriarchal gender norms. As I mentioned, anti-transgender feminist thought in Britain and other local contexts where feminism is ideologically very similar, such as the US and Australia is rooted in radical feminist theory and ideas, but increasing numbers of self-identified radical feminists are finding space to rethink their feminist theory in order to allow for the legitimation of trans identities. With respect to each of these: 1 Anti-trans feminist thought emerged from frustrations with misogyny within activism, a problem which persists today.
Both sides of the debate accuse one another of essentialism. The norms and value systems of these contexts were liberal, ostensibly though obviously not actually egalitarian, and capitalist. In that particular context, the social movement framing strategy that would strike the right chord would have to be one that would resonate with the underpinning moral logics of democracy, capitalism, and egalitarianism.
What consequently made sense at the time was a social movement discourse predicated on the idea that women are not in any way inherently inferior to or less capable than men or otherwise put, that having a female body did not make women any less worthy of full and equal recognition of their rights, capabilities, and democratic subjecthood than men. I found this piece because I was googling around for explanations for why this particular brand of radical feminism seems to have taken such deep root in England in particular. But at this point so many British feminists have that here I am googling around for some explanatory ethnography.
Beautifully and thoughtfully written, Ms. Her perception is that drag reflects a profound mockery of woman as Other. Margaret Atwood has also written about this phenomenon. It is something to consider. And it is perhaps what influences anti-trans radical feminists to believe that transgenderism, like drag, is rooted in various forms of self- and Other- hatreds. Like everything else under the sun, drag became politicized around and out of it emerged—at least in part—some non-binary modes of thinking and being.
It seems to me that these ideas are still works in progress and are still sending many of us to opposing sides of the same damn barricade,. A lot of anti-trans arguments assert a binary division where: — a man is a human with a penis and XY chromosomes — a woman is a human with a womb and XX chromosomes and focus on the power imbalance and consequent abuse of the first group over the second.
I am a teacher female in Australia, and we are all so careful at making sure everyone feels accepted and respected, and we try to moderate and foster open discussion. We see the difficulties that teenagers who are in the process of finding out who or what gender they are go through.
But it is truly radicalisation, and it is time it got ushered out of the door…. Her first appearance was in and is easily found in Google results and on YouTube. Thanks for the discussion truly helpful for an older feminist. For much of socialist feminism gender was understood as conceptually distinct from sex, gender was socially constructed on the biologically determined sex Socialist feminism — to put it rather simply- tended to ignore biology.
By contrast the RFs saw the sexed body as central, eg All men are rapists. Looking back I think an opportunity was lost in the theoretical failure to integrate both theoretical stances and their poltical practices. For a while I thought feminist anthropologists with their concept of sex- gender refusing to separate the two, offered more productive theorising. So for this feminist down with binaries. They harm more than help us create a juster and kinder world.
More cheeringly are moves outside the transgender debate for example where feminist neuroscientists and anthropologists are committed to an ongoing battle to recognise variety in mind- brain, moving beyond the normal and the abnormal to the typical and atypical. So for a feminist long committed to embodiment and who had a dire time when social constructionism was theoretically dominant within and without feminism letting our feminisms split into yet another binary looks to be problematic.
Splitting gender from sex makes as little sense as it did in the seventies. Last an anecdote — a feminist psychiatrist psychiatrist friend who works with adolescents tells me of the growing numbers so distressed that they see changing in their sex-gender identity by having their bodies carved and dosed as the only way to escape their misery. This so true! It is important that we adults provide spaces where to discuss. Open discussion means not needing to compartmentalize according to who produces what or who can conceive what.
Acceptance of non binary individuals will mean that these young people can explore and figure out how to exist in this life without the added pressures to conform. I really feel for them…. Hilary I was so glad to read your informed and nuanced thoughts amidst an abundance of reactionary p. I am thinking of writing an article about this very issue, having just found myself attacked and deleted by friends and friends of friends on Instagram for daring to question why I, a feminist, should be taking up the Trans cause. So my critique is not coming from a place of disgust with things gay or trans-sexual, nor from an ignorance or sheltered experience, far from it.
Thank you. They can, not may, they CAN screw, make love or, god forbid, get raped without conceiving life in a womb. I really feel sorry for anyone who ties their entire identity to a physical act, or a body part. As a trans woman I only feel sadness for anyone who propagates an ideology that is both divisive and exclusive. I am open and listening to those who identify as a radical feminist, what can we do to save these human beings lives all they want is acceptance , and what can we do to make sure we are not breaking the feminist idealogy?
All political groups eventually reach a tipping and splitting point. Marx pointed this out long ago. If you love who you are, work with other trans-identified folks in crisis. Tell your critics to go fuck themselves. Get a good therapist who will not only accept, but celebrate you.
Thus, for Butler, gender is neither essential nor biologically determined, but rather it is created by its own performance and hence it is performative. Similarly, if asking about sex rather than gender, at least a third option i. Woman and man describe a persons reproductive potential nothing more. That said, you really should read up on intersex and how that works — on a genetic level. The consensus among scientists is that all behaviors are phenotypes —complex interactions of both biology and environment—and thus nature vs.
Find trans support groups. With love—Max James Alberts.
I learnt so much and read every comment. Amazing entries. I want to focus on women and their place in society, and have mostly only found this discussion in feminist circles. Sadly the label feminist now gets used to indicate someone who is out of touch with trans issues or with other issues, like racism. What does one call oneself? Jeez- some of these anti-trans feminists are seriously angry people. Equality should mean equality for all groups including trans.
I like this article. Regardless of where you position yourself within feminism trans people are human beings, have the right to a liveable and life, and as such should be supported by feminists. There are other targets to be positioning this anger at, such as governments who actually do hold the power to remove hard won rights…. I wonder if the issues around trans-genderism could be, in theory, cultural rather than biological. In which case, there is a kind of clash of civilizations going on here.
Women are not intrinsically subjugated to men other than through the predominant cultural barbarities of patriarchal societies.
If, somehow, one were to make a pledge to working for the deconstruction of these nefarious ideas then, perhaps, that might go some way to engendering faith between these communities of people. In a way, gender identity is a kind of multi-culturalism which struggles to contain all of the disparate peoples existing within it. A disclaimer: I am a European-descended, middle-aged man. I think feminism means something different in USA than Europe, As in Europe it only means fighting abuse and subjugation of women. In USA it seems to be men who hate women, who spend their time searching out examples of idiots who talk nonsense to say all women who fight against abuse are like that.