Pink, orange, lellow

My four-year-old son likes the colour pink. He likes it on everything: pink socks, pink toys, pink paint, pink glitter. Sometimes he even wears a pink plastic ring to school.

My son also knows that he is a boy, and that boys are not allowed to like pink. Not one to be deterred, he’s come up with his own solution. From now on, pink will be called orange and orange, pink.

“Are you wearing your pink ring today?”

“Don’t be silly! It’s orange! It has to be orange because orange is for boys!”

Let’s be clear: there’s no real reason why pink should be pink and orange should be orange. They’re just identifying words. Sometimes it won’t even be clear which one you should use, or if either is appropriate. Is salmon pink really orange? And coral? And what if your paint was pink but then you added more and more yellow? Ultimately it doesn’t really matter. There is pink and there is orange but not everything needs to be judged on how pink or how orange it is. They’re just the outer shades, not the things in themselves. Even so, I wish my son didn’t feel the need to switch words around solely on the basis that pink is not allowed.

Sometimes — often, in fact — I tell him that it is okay for boys to like pink. He doesn’t believe me and why would he? As far as he’s concerned I’m a lone voice spouting nonsense in a world in which everything is gender-referenced. He has, however, told me that I mustn’t worry.

“You’re a girl, Mummy. You can like pink, and purple too.”

“What about the other colours?”

“They’re all for boys.”

“But what if I say I like blue?”

“You can’t like blue.”

“My dress is blue.”

“No, it’s not. It’s purple.”


“Purple. You can’t have blue.”

And so he corrects my language in response to his fear.


This isn’t the only argument we have over colours. The colour “yellow” is, my son insists, pronounced “lellow”. We have told him that this isn’t so, but to no effect.

“Most people will say yellow. That’s what people will understand.”

“It’s lellow.”



We agree to disagree (were he more pompous than the average four-year-old, he’d tell me language evolves and that I just need to get with it). Anyhow, both of us knows what the other means. What is lellow to him can be yellow to me. That is just fine. Yellow can be lellow. And as for orange and pink? Well, who cares? Anything for a quiet life.

I don’t have much investment in these words — pink, orange, yellow. There is nothing within them that defines me or causes me pain. They don’t capture my sense of self, or things for which I and others have fought. I don’t feel unsettled at the thought of pink ceasing to mean what it currently does. I do not think people would view formerly pink objects as non-objects, drained of all meaning. The pink objects would be just fine.


It’s not the same with other words, such as male and female. Sometimes you need them to articulate who you are and what you experience. You need them to describe your world and to express the things you need. If someone else takes those words from you they take not just language, but context. They make you an unstable entity, subject to the whims of others to define what you are.

If you are a woman with a female body, you will be used to this happening. It will have happened throughout your life. You’re used to being a hollow vessel, a blank canvas, a vacant plot of land viewed as worthless unless a man plants his seed. You’re used to the belief that you’re incapable of self-definition. You exist only for others. The “you” words – those which express the cultural backdrop to your individuality – aren’t really yours. They’re only available on loan. You’re don’t really have an identity in any fixed sense. You are a shape with no inner life. You might experience womanhood, but you don’t really know what it means. You’re a person, yes – we’ll let you use that word – but you’re not one who’s capable of self-knowledge. There’s nothing really, truly real about you.

Why should those with female bodies be permitted to define them as such? Because it matters. Because that is what they are and because self-definition is not an act of violence. It is not an act of exclusion. It’s an act of self-possession, and it is one which the women who choose to access it deserve.

They deserve a context for the violence wrought upon them, and a context through which to describe the hate they experience. They deserve a context which describes oppressive beliefs about their personhood and the purpose of their bodies. They deserve a space in which to say “this is my shape and form, this is the context in which I experience it, and these are the ways in which cultural prejudice erases my personhood. My experience of womanhood is defined by not by internal map, but by being a person in this body and negotiating a world which doesn’t value bodies like mine.”


I am not discussing gender dysphoria in terms of colour preference; I know that that is not what it is. I am discussing words and their relationship to ownership of the self. It’s increasingly assumed that this does not matter to women with female bodies, floating along in their privileged bubble of non-reality. Any claims these women make over language are not related to their sense of self but must instantly be recast as an aggressive rejection of others. After all, aren’t these women always defined in relation to others? Without others to define them, what would they be? The very idea that such a woman could not be accommodating – that she would not be willing to give up the words that describe her reality – is considered beyond the pale. How could she be so non-inclusive! How could she be so selfish! And yet it is not true that a surrender of meaning comes at no cost.

If you are female, I am not female, at least not if female means something different to you and we are obliged to speak your language alone. I become a non-female. Unless you can articulate our common ground – unless you can say what makes us both female in words which relate not just to your experiences, but to our objective realities – then you have taken my femaleness away. Because I can’t accept yours as mine – I don’t actually believe in yours as mine – and you’ve denied me the context in which to speak of what mine means to me. Shared oppression is not enough; we are not life’s photographic negatives. My femaleness is real and substantial and it is not yours. We are different and the same words mean different things to each of us.

Sharing language is not the same as renouncing meaning. I don’t accept that my truth – that female reproduction is a reality and source of oppression – is disposable. I do not think it inclusive to demand that I give it away. There has to be some truth – some femaleness, some womanhood, some something – and if it is not mine, it is yours. Yours is not more inclusive than mine. It does not welcome me and it does not describe the self I know. And that, in some ways, is fine. I’d rather our two truths co-existed uneasily, rubbing each other up the wrong way, lellow and yellow, pink and orange. I’d rather our truths muddled along than that mine was automatically considered inferior to yours, or only read in the context of a perceived fear of you. I don’t read your truth as an attack on me but I am owed the same courtesy in return.

We can use the same word for different things, sometimes. We can swap words around, personalise them, or learn the language of another. I am a linguist. I like learning other languages. They broaden rather than limit my perspective. They don’t take from me, they enhance. But in learning and growing I’ve never been asked to pay for each new word I learn with the ones I already use. I’ve never been told that the price of new perspectives is the meaning I already value.

The world I want is one in which my son will not feel forced to change his vocabulary rather than admit his love of pink. I want his words to express enjoyment of difference, not a fear of transgressing arbitrary codes. But it’s also a world in which I’d hope the when understanding is possible – when it’s either yellow or lellow and it makes no difference – we’d go the extra mile to make conversation across boundaries a possibility. We can and should define the battles that matter. Whatever our definitions, we’re all of us people, not blank canvasses on which to project the fears that are ours alone.

46 thoughts on “Pink, orange, lellow

  1. It’s increasingly assumed that this does not matter to women with female bodies, floating along in their privileged bubble of non-reality. Any claims these women make over language are not related to their sense of self but must instantly be recast as an aggressive rejection of others.

    I see. So that accounts for your recasting my arguments for trans-inclusive language as an aggressive rejection: because I am a “woman with a female body”, or as I’d say a cisgendered woman, you feel that any claims I make over language are not related to my sense of self.


    Words matter. Inclusive language matters.

  2. …and thanks, Glosswitch, I never thought of it in those terms before. Too concerned about losing our safety to think how we were losing our identity.

  3. Are you mixing up “sex” with “gender” here? I know this is a veiled discussion of trans women, who can be women in gender terms, even if they were born without XX chromosomes. It’s worth wondering about women with Androgen Insensitivity Syndrome and where they fit in. They show that genders can be fluid, and chromosomes are sometimes not the defining fact. Just like mixing pink with lellow, maybe.

    Your last paragraph begins “The world I want” – which indicates you are thinking normatively. Your son, and transgender people, are living in the world we are in now, which is where the difficulty begins. That’s the world we have to negotiate.

    I hope you would agree that most women, cis or trans, are not solely defined by their biological bodies.

  4. Thank you Glosswatch for writting this article that make a lot of sense to me. As say a beautiful song of Tindersticks” I understand everything…you knew how I feel, Before I knew”. It feels damn good.
    I particularly liked this part : “If you are female, I am not female, at least not if female means something different to you and we are obliged to speak your language alone. Unless you can articulate our common ground – unless you can say what makes us both female in words which relate not just to your experiences, but to our objective realities – then you have taken my femaleness away. ”

    They can’t articulate it, this common ground, because they have no clue what it can possibly mean. For them we are a “shape with no inner life”, so they can’t possibly know. Our realness is something frightening, because then it becomes problematic to tell us what we are, to define us, to manipulate us. We already know what we are, this place can’t be taken, because we occupy it.

  5. But, in answer to Judi above, surely cis women are precisely defined by the material reality of their bodies and their born, biological sex? From the ‘fact’ of sex the learnt reality of gender is then absorbed into the psyche, into language, to give credence to that oppression based on the fact of biology. That gendering starts from the moment of birth means that it is very hard to disentangle social ‘femaleness’ from the fact of biology. . Being rooted in a certain biology doesn’t make me any more likely to like pink but the gendering of that biology may have conditioned me unconsciously to do so. Feminism is surely about disentangling that social conditioning, not capitulating to it. I agree there seems to be a lot of blurring of ‘sex’ and ‘gender’ on all sides of the argument but, for me, Glosswitch gives a very good account of the differences here and seems genuinely committed to finding a way through the conflict.

    1. Susanna, I would like to think Glosswitch wants to find a way through the conflict. But I have not noticed that she wants to discuss the issues of sex, gender, and transinclusive feminism, with anyone who disagrees with her views, no matter how politely that disagreement is expressed. In fact, what I’ve noticed is that where women – cis or trans – express civil disagreement, Glosswitch ignores or trashes them – see the blogpost written earlier where Glosswitch, rather than engaging with Roz Kaveney’s civil disagreement, expends a lot of words accusing her of being patronising.

    2. Follow-on, posted separately:

      Now, when a feminist who is both intelligent and usually gifted at civil yet intense debate expends this much energy avoiding debate with other feminists, I can only think: there’s clearly some deep emotional investment in not wanting to have this debate, not wanting to resolve the conflict, wanting only to keep feminism cis-exclusive and not think about trans women – and trans men.

      To name that emotional investment “transphobia” does not resolve the issue. I speak as a lesbian who has a homophobic feminist mother: I learned that while there were huge areas of feminism and equal rights where she could not go, this did not make her support of feminism and equality in the areas where she could go any less valid: and that her homophobia probably long-term caused her more pain than it did me – though I don’t deny that at a time in my life when I very badly needed adult support, my mother’s homophobic rejection of me was deeply hurtful.

      Glosswitch’s transphobia is her problem to deal with: it isn’t ours. But she can’t find her way through the conflict until she deals with it. I wish she would stop writing about the conflict until she can.

      Commented separately because I do feel Glosswitch would be fully entitled to delete this: I mean it honestly and sincerely, and I’m sorry for whatever pain it causes, but I’m aware it’s very personal.

  6. Okay gonna point out the really really obvious here.

    Disabled white people experience of oppression differs to the experience of Disabled people of color, It would still be bigotry if white disabled folks presented their experience as the default disabled experience and basically said that Disabled PoC didn’t count as disabled cos they weren’t white.

    You can talk about your experience of oppression without pretending that woman is exclusively bodily related existence. Talking about being a Cis woman and reproductive issues doesn’t have to treat women as a state of being that exclusively bestowed by having a Uterus. The reason you get called a bigot is because you do that.

    1. And what if someone comes along and says the word ‘disabled’ should apply to them because they consider themselves to be disabled, even though they don’t have any kind of disability?

      What if that person was disgusted at the hatefulness of people mentioning ‘disabled people’ and the names of particular disabilities in the same sentences, because that implies that the word ‘disabled’ describes a particular physical reality about a person’s body?

      If disabled people then began writing calm, reasoned blog posts saying that actually, the word ‘disabled’ did describe a physical reality about their bodies and they needed this word to describe the realities of their lives, would those people be hateful, disgusting bigots?

        1. Rose presented an argument that you have not countered with your own argument – you just insulted me, which proves nothing; that is, you have displayed a lack of reasoning skills, while demonstrating an angry embrace of ideology. So thank you, Dawn, also, for being an example of what I was talking about.

        2. Child, you don’t even know what feminism is, how would you recognise reason? Feminism isn’t transphobic gender essentialist patriarchal bullshit.

        3. Dawn, what does the word ‘woman’ mean? You can’t use the word ‘woman’ in your definition, obviously.

        4. Woman means anyone who identifies as a women, presumed woman means anyone desginated a woman by society. Simples.

        5. You can’t use the word itself within a definition. A banana is a thing that we call a banana but that’s not the definition of ‘banana’.

          When someone identifies as a woman, what is the thing or phenomenon that they are identifying with or as?

        6. Dawn, why do you refer to someone as “child” – “sweetie” – only more name-calling. Not persuasive, not a good way to counter someone else’s claims. It’s a bit mystifying – do you think this is an effective way to present your case? Think about it.

        7. Because talking to TERFS is like talking to children, children who are basically having a tantrum at having to share the designation ‘woman’ with anyone who doesn’t belong to their privileged group of women.

          Act like a child? Don’t expect to be treated like an adult.

        8. It’s not a debate, it’s you holding forth about how other people shouldn’t get rights because you think the bullshit they teach you in school is accurate. Rights are not up for debate. People get them by default and basically you can’t stop it, the world is changing. Don’t like it? Too bad.

        9. Dawn, I find you entertaining, the way you keep repeating phrases, “bullshit taught in school,” etc. That’s a claim with no EVIDENCE to back it up. I find it entertaining, to be told the world “is changing,” yet there is the same lack of reasoning and inability to formulate an argument, so name calling is the (ineffective) strategy of choice. Theory of evolution, reproductive biology, embryology aren’t changing the way you suggest. Now (ka-ching!) plastic surgery and endocrinology, “treating” gender dysphoria and body dysmorphia with surgery and hormones – now they ARE changing. But see John Hopkins decision re: their sex reassignment department…oh that’s right! Poof! They shut it down.

      1. Except Trans women ARE women, they’re not someone pretending to be anything, they’re genuinely 100% WOMEN.

        The comparison would be if someone decided that disability = something like paraplegia ONLY. Funny enough disabled folks like me talk about the conflicting experiences of disability without pretending that disability = our bodies. See how it’s works?

        Calm and reasoned? Plenty of MRA posts are outwardly that as well, they’re still vile woman hating posts written by disgusting bigots.

        Here’s the thing: it is possible to talk about Uteruses and other bits WITHOUT working on the basis that Uteri = woman, especially since as has been EXTENSIVELY PROVEN the notion of biological gender is lies to children BULLSHIT.

        There’s a big difference between “Having a Uterus makes someone a woman” which is gender essentialist patriarchal woman hating bullshit and “The patriarchy tries to restrict the use of Uteri by those who own them and treats anyone who is seen as a woman as inferior” Which is inherently inclusive.

        1. Oh, HERE’S the counter argument. Let’s see. First an unsupported claim (belief system, fantasy, whatever) – Trans women ARE women. Well I guess if you capitalize “ARE” that makes it true!!!! Wrong.

          There is a man who pretends to be both disabled AND a woman (look him up online!). Two for one! BOTH equally offensive and appropriative. Oh, and you’re disabled – okay, well, I guess that makes you an expert. No, wait, I’m a woman – an adult biological female – and you claim a biological male can tell me what woman is, femininity is, how I should feel about my reproductive system, etc.

          The point is, an adult female’s genitalia is the result of a long developmental pathway – the uterus is the “end point” (as ALL organs are) of that developmental process. What you see as reductive we see as EXPANSIVE – uterus and other female genitalia (same with male genitalia) are part of an entire developmental (ongoing through life – ever heard of menopause?) trajectory, arc, what have you. It’s like you’re looking at a graph with a line on it – and WE see the ENTIRE LINE – you just see A SINGLE POINT – a single ORGAN or SET OF ORGANS – and accuse US of reducing WOMEN to their genitals. No, you are reducing a developmental TRAJECTORY to individual POINTS on that trajectory.

          Or, you’re not seeing the forest for the trees. Your anger, intense – your logic, not so much.

        2. An argument? Sweetie, arguing your bigotry is feminist, isn’t an argument, it’s the puerile defensive whining of a child who can’t stand inclusion.

          Trans women are women. It’s as simple that. Don’t like it? Be honest about being a misogynistic gender essentialist who hates women if they don’t match her own existence.

          There’s a lot of disabled trans women, how am I supposed to know which one you’re defaming? Women are more than a few lumps of flesh. Anything else is misogynistic gender essentialism. Sorry about your bigotry.

          No, it isn’t, or it wouldn’t be possible for an XY individual to have a uterus as some do, cripes stop embarassing yourself with talking bullshit about biology. As someone who studied science beyond high school you’re offending me with your woefully ignorant attempts to assert your wrong beliefs about biology to justify your misogynistic gender essentialism.

          No, you don’t, your joke of a gender essentialism dressed up as feminism only includes one group of women. Mine includes every group of women. You reduce the category of woman to “has a Uterus”, you reduce people to their genitals, and actually exclude a tonne of Cis women with that definition. My feminism includes all women, what you call feminism is just gender essentialist misogynistic bullshit dressed up as if it’s progressive instead of extremely regressive.

          I think you’re a misogynistic gender essentialist disgrace to the feminist cause. We have enough MRAs, we don’t need someone with a uterus trying to poison the movement with beliefs about gender that wouldn’t be out of place under a voice for men banner.

        3. The thing is, ‘woman’ and ‘female’ already describe the body type I’m thinking of. We are not the ones redefining a word. We’re not trying to exclude anyone out of malice or hate, we just think retaining the biological definition of ‘woman’ and ‘female’ is necessary, because they describe an actual aspect of biology (it’s true whether you believe it or not) that has consequences for women’s lives. If we have to agree that these words describe trans women too, you are taking away words from us that we need. To repeat: the words ALREADY MEAN what we say they do. If you choose English speakers off the street at random and ask them to define the words, they will not come out with your definition.

          There’s nothing patriarchal about simply describing a person’s sex. Calling someone a woman needn’t suggest anything at all about what role they should take in society.

        4. Except that doesn’t even include all Cis women, it even includes some people who are TERFS deem men for being XY under the category women. Or does a Cis woman cease to be a woman if she has a hysterectomy?

          Treating woman as equaling person with a Uterus who is capable of getting pregnant is ridiculous to those who have even a passing knowledge of human chromosomes and biology because it forces a binary notion of “women” and “not women/men” on a what is actually a whole bunch of groups, from Cis women, to genderqueer FDAB people, to Trans men, to Intersex CAFAB people, to many other groups.

          And here’s the thing, it isn’t necessary to narrow the category in a bigoted way to talk about things like reproductive rights and reproductive coercion.

          We can talk about having a Uterus and being designated female at birth, without insisting that is the criteria for ‘woman’.

          The world evolves, learn to damn well grow with it. Unless you think presumed women shouldn’t have the vote because prior to us getting it, men insisted we couldn’t vote. Because that is the shitty argument you’re making, because Cis-sexist society is cis-sexist, you want it to remain that way.

          It is patriarchal when you decide that MEN ARE RIGHT about the category “women”, it is patriarchy when you box us in with male designations and call it feminism. It is MEN who decided that when I was born, I met THEIR criteria for ‘woman’. You are parroting MEN, and backing up THEIR ideas about MY gender.

          That is the problem.

        5. NO ONE is saying you MUST be able to get pregnant to be female. We’re saying getting pregnant is a uniquely female experience. Biologically female people who can’t get pregnant for whatever reason are still female and the role expected of them by society, from birth onwards, is based on the idea that women can be pregnant and give birth. Oppression of women has never been based on personal identity, it is based on reproductive roles, otherwise there are millions of women and little girls in this world who would identify out of their pain and misery.

          The fact that there are intersex people does not mean the sexes male and female don’t exist.

          The definitions of ‘female’ and ‘woman’ actually aren’t changing. Most English speakers have no idea that people have conversations like this on the internet. They would find it absurd. It won’t catch on, sorry. People know sex is real and our words to describe it are useful. I just wish certain online feminists would realise this so they can get on with doing real work for women instead of wasting everyone’s time having to endlessly discuss and bully each other over this nonsense.

        6. Except.. Oh wait YOU ARE.

          No, it’s not Thomas Beattie has been pregnant and he’s a man.

          The fact is the male/female biology is complete fucking bullshit. There literally is no such thing because gender is a massive spectrum physically as well as mentally. It’s all patriarchal nonsense to decide that there are two genders and they’re what MEN decided they were.

          The definition of feminist apparently is given all gender essentialist misogyny being dressed up as it to justify excluding trans women.

          Tackling internal group oppression is REAL WORK, being a TERF, isn’t even feminism, it’s just assholery.

        7. Thomas Beattie is female and deep down you know that.

          If male and female biology aren’t real, why do we divide olympic events into men’s and women’s? Is ending sex segregation in sport a good feminist goal? What about ending all sex segregation in public changing rooms, domestic violence refuges and rape counselling services?

          I am a woman, I have female biology and sorting me into the human class called ‘woman’ based on my biology is not misogyny or bigotry. It’s a simple description of reality. I’m sorry that you feel like people noticing you have specific anatomy is hateful or reduces you to being only that anatomy and nothing else. But that is not inherent in the practice of describing your sex. Society assigns all sorts of extra meaning to it, but that doesn’t make acknowledging sex in itself a hateful thing. It’s pure reality. Persuade people to drop the extra connotations, not to pretend they don’t notice the simple physical realities those prejudices are built on top of.

        8. Thomas Beattie is a man, you misgendering bigot. Please learn what feminism means, because what you’re doing is in reality gender essentialist patriarchal bullshit. Guess it’s true, just because someone is a woman doesn’t mean they’re good at feminism.

          So you think outdated binary biological nonsense is somehow proof you’re right against all modern medical knowledge about biology today. The line in the olympics is even more ridiculous when you get to the paralympics categories, it’s essentially arbitrary, as to what category one fits into.

          My local swimming pool actually had co-ed toilets and changing rooms for months due to the women’s ones suffering a flood, nothing happened. Funny how that is. And yes, I know survivors who went swimming while it was co-ed. That said, I’m not arguing for co-ed facilities, I’m arguing that people should be allowed to go to the goddamn toilet in peace without your bullshit misogyny being used to bar them. If a Cis man is willing to go into the ladies toilets and commit rape, he’ll do it. Trans women being able to go to the toilet doesn’t cause that, rapists cause that.

          It’s not reality, it’s not even remotely accurate in terms of biology. If we decided your form of ‘woman’ defined woman in body terms, and the opposite defined ‘man’ in body terms, we’d be left with a swath of people who would be outside of both. Very few women, cis or not would even fit into your idea of “female biology” because your idea of “female biology” is just complete bullshit as far as actual biology goes, I’ve repeatedly demonstrated this.

        9. If biological sex isn’t real, why haven’t I ever heard of trans activists or people who share their ideology campaigning to completely end sex segregation in sport/changing rooms/refuges? If even having words for male and female biology is disgusting bigotry then surely any segregation based on it is completely beyond the pale and an absolute top priority? Instead of telling people off online for using terms like ‘female biology’ why aren’t you pressuring businesses and charities to completely disregard sex in their services?

        10. Look biology is a few people who are at one end and a few at the other with most people falling somewhere in the middle. Being XX, having a vagina and a Uterus, being able to get pregnant? Not that fucking common. In fact there’s a chance that YOU are NOT XX since that is only one of many chromosome variants. The only way to know if you are? Is to actually get tested.

          Because Trans individuals are too busy fucking worrying about being murdered because of folks like you stirring up shit. Also we have been getting more and more gender neutral bathrooms, if you’re disabled? Every bathroom designed for you is gender neutral by default, and oh look, the sky hasn’t fucking fallen in because people with penii pissed in the same toilets as people with uteri. Amazing. The only negative effect I’ve found from them is some Cis guy keeps getting steaming drunk and pissing on the floor of the one in my local pub restaurant because he can’t climb the stairs, so scary.

          Except it isn’t the biology that matters. Because Trans women face transmisogyny. A trans woman’s body is a female body. Now how about you do something constructive like tackle anti-choice measures since those sorts of things affect all women, trans women as well.

        11. There are six billion examples worldwide of the fact that “having a uterus and getting pregnant” is pretty fucking common. And there’s an enormous legacy of oppression based on this, regardless of whether an individual woman has children or not.
          That is is possible for science to find further fine differences between human beings is obvious. That it makes sense to name these differences along lines that replicate human reproductive differences – male and female – makes no sense, unless you are obsessed with gender and wish to promote the maintenance of oppression justified by gender essentialism. That you can find difference after difference and say “look! I called this difference male too and it’s present in people with uteruses!” is hardly an act of genius. It’s just pissing about in order to wash your hands of any engagement with what is done to women for being female every single day.

        12. One other thought – if you want to say science or biology is patriarchal and sexist rather than based on any objective observation – well, yes it is, at least if it takes a path of erasing the impact of reproductive difference by blurring it into a structure of arbitrarily defined male and femaleness (which seems to be what you want).

        13. I am not sure we can say science is patriarchal (etc) *because* it says [x]
          Rather: science is patriarchal because it is located in patriarchy
          To counter this, I say we must attempt to decolonise our minds/divest from structures of domination when working in fields of science. This means double work – it means questioning assumptions while we apply them! Hard.
          a less patriarchal science may say [y] rather than [x]
          (and we could judge [x] and [y] on their consequences without taking our feminist lens to science-as-culturally-embedded-practice)
          but… cart… horse… causality…

          Argh sorry if that is hopelessly unclear!

        14. “To counter this, I say we must attempt to decolonise our minds/divest from structures of domination when working in fields of science. This means double work – it means questioning assumptions while we apply them! Hard.”

          It is hard. But it is precisely what can be achieved by an analysis of reproductive difference divested from an attachment to gender as a system of oppression.

        15. Re: “Look biology is a few people who are at one end and a few at the other with most people falling somewhere in the middle.”

          This is an objectively false statement.

        16. Nearly entire human race can get pregnant and has a Uteri? Gee, where are Cis men keeping their Uteri then?

          There’s seven billion people on the planet. People declared female at birth are approximately half of that, so 3.5 billion. Of those 3.5 billion, a substantial percentage will be too young or old to be defined as in child bearing years. Of the much smaller group that are in child bearing years some will be infertile either by mishap such as medically required removal of the Uterus, having scar tissue, just not being able to get pregnant, being born without vital parts for reproduction, or infertile by choice. So realistically, it’s nowhere fucking near 6 billion people who have a Uterus and can get pregnant, much less will get pregnant. You fail at basic maths as well as feminism.

          It is not the ability to get pregnant that causes oppression, it is the social ideas of what ‘female’ is that is used to justify it. If every person with a Uterus was struck infertile permanently tomorrow? Sexism would still exist.

          You don’t deconstruct the bullshit that is sexism by defining women as only those who can get pregnant, ignoring everyone else and declaring it feminism.

          The structure isn’t arbitrarily defined by folks who know what bodies in biological terms actually are. It’s arbitrarily defined by folks who look at bodies superficially and put them into two narrow categories that actually leave a fuck load of people outside of those bands.


          Only if one is a complete ignorant whose biological knowledge peaked at 16 years old. Biology doesn’t work the way you want it to. Deal with it and instead try using that knowledge to challenge the bullshit that is gender essentialism based on an idea of gender that comes from the fucking stone age.

        17. Dawn, I wonder why it is you feel your claims that I am young bolster your argument that biological males can become biological females. Also, I don’t feel insulted in the least by your criticism that I’m not “up to date” on the latest spin given to biology, evolution, etc., by people with a political agenda – that of letting men define reality for women! If men say that they can be women just cause they “feel” like they are, then women just have to STFU! No, we’re not going to shut up. Biological males cannot become biological females, no matter WHAT they do to their bodies. This is not the stone age view – this is reality.


          Seriously, if you’d ever taken science as a higher course which you apparently have not, you’d know that they tell you on day one to forget every single bit of info taught in school because it’s WRONG. High school biology is simplified to the point where it’s nowhere near the actual truth.

          Advanced biology is where one learns that the whole XY and XX is pure and utter CRAP with most people being NEITHER. Advanced biology is where you learn about biology, not lies told to children and believed by ignorant adults who want to believe them because it confirms all the bigoted shit they want to believe.

          Women as a group is not defined by XX, because most women are NOT XX even if they happen to match your other narrow criteria. Especially if they have had kids, they can have multiple chromosomes then.

        19. Dawn, I almost majored in biology. I have PLENTY of college-level science and math. LOL assumptions on the Internet.

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