In her article below, Thain Parnell exposes why ‘transactivism’ is the current counter-feminist movement. Whenever feminists make great gains in the pursuit of women’s rights and liberation, this achievement is met by a backlash movement – which often appropriates the term ‘feminism’ to define itself and disguise its true nature.
Susan Faludi’s book, Backlash: The Undeclared War Against American Women (1991), describes the backlash in 80s America, which occurred in response to the advancement of women in the workforce. The media harangued women with myths of a ‘man shortage’ and an ‘infertility epidemic’, urging them to listen to the ‘ticking’ of their ‘biological clock’, and warning women not to delay marriage and child-bearing until it was too late.
Similarly, AntiClimax by Sheila Jeffreys elaborates on how the ‘sexual liberation’ movement acted as a backlash to second-wave feminism:
“In the 1980s women’s liberation has been hijacked by the sexual libertarians who are devoted to persuading women that the enthusiastic celebration of our oppression in sadomasochism is the same thing as liberation. The language of sadomasochism is based upon the inversion of values as in ‘only when bound am I really free’ and ‘slavery is freedom’. Now the practice of that very bondage and slavery is being interpreted as freedom itself and female power.”
– Sheila Jeffreys (1990) Anticlimax: A Feminist Perspective on the Sexual Revolution. p. 5.
War is peace; slavery is freedom; transwomen are women.
In The Spinster and Her Enemies, Sheila Jeffreys describes the backlash against the first wave of feminism that occurred in the 1920s after The First World War. Women who had made use of the new work roles that opened up to them, offering increased financial independence, were referred to as “warworking women” who are “intersex” or “more or less unsexed” (Jeffreys, 1997, p. 168). A fictional work by Radclyffe Hall – Miss Ogilvy Finds Herself (1926) – was about a ‘warworking’ woman who comes to the conclusion that she must have the soul of a man! (ibid.)
Bizarrely, today’s backlash enforces this same ideology – but in a more ruthless and concrete manner – no longer is this merely a work of fiction. Women who defy or reject sex roles are not only told that they have the ‘soul of a man’, but they have been ‘born in the wrong body’ and must mutilate themselves to ‘fix’ this. Today’s so-called ‘warworking women’ are not called ‘intersex’, but ‘transgender’.
Thain Parnell, radical feminist writer and activist, elaborates on ‘transgenderism‘, the modern-day backlash against feminism:
Feminism has been co-opted but it won’t last
Article by Thain Parnell, originally published on Medium.
The backlash against feminism has been going on for decades, and has reared its beastly head every time women have inched themselves forward in any way at all.
However, in recent years, the backlash, in quite possibly the sneakiest attempt to subvert the gains Second Wave feminists fought for, has made the most devious bid yet to derail the feminist movement – trans activism and the co-opting of feminism itself.
Now, its extremely common to hear calls within the mainstream feminist movement, to centre “trans women” aka biological males.
Mainstream feminism is currently in reverse
Not only that but trans activism itself, with its regressive embrace of gender stereotypes aka the old sex roles, has preposterously forced feminism to accept idiotic notions, such as the idea that girls wear pink and boys wear blue.
This is quite clearly a ridiculous position for the feminist movement to find itself in.
It is an obvious triumph for adversaries of the feminist movement left and right, as the repressive sex roles, rebranded now as gender roles, are the main reason for women’s subordination.
In fact, though the backlash against feminism presents itself as progressive, it’s becoming crystal clear that the ideology underpinning trans activism is regressive to the core.
A dangerously devious idea
The type of sexism that used to spew from the mouth of outraged right wing types is now common parlance among enthusiastic trans activists, who quickly rush to trans any person who dares step out of their sex role.
It’s not uncommon to see statements like “Tomboy is the grossest aesthetic. Tomboys should transition or step the fuck out”, on social media, or hear similar sentiment repeated within trans circles offline.
Because of regressive gender ideology, more and more gender non-conforming girls are bombarded with the message that if they are not feminine enough, they are not a woman.
It may seem like a lunatic idea to hypothesise that transgender ideology is actually anti-feminist backlash with its roots firmly in the right wing, but the evidence is far too blatant to ignore.
From the latest nifty little animated videos Pink News post, that push the idea girls who prefer to wear “male” clothing and play rough and tumble are really boys, to Men’s Rights Activists who loudly proclaim trans women like the fragrant Blair White are better than real women because they’re more feminine, it’s glaringly obvious what the desire that drives trans activism is really all about.
Making women subordinate all over again.
Mainstream feminism now regularly compels biological women to admire how “feminine” trans women are, once again enforcing the idea that woman = feminine.
Once upon a time feminists were attempting to chip away at the sex roles that constrained us all in boxes, now mainstream feminists are running to demand the chains to their own enslavement.
As trans activism gathers pace, misogyny within the feminist movement rises, and biological women are prevented from naming, and therefore addressing the root cause of their oppression, their biology.
This of course is one of the core aims of the trans activist movement.
It is the feminine ideal pushed on women because of their sex that holds born females back, not their gender identity.
Trans activism disagrees, even going so far as to postulate the ludicrous claim that trans women experience more misogyny than those born female.
Even when so-called trans women appear to all and sundry to be very obviously biologically male, it still continues to push this utterly nonsensical hypothesis.
Women need a solution, but they don’t have one – yet
Women, frustrated, angry, and lost for an answer, turn to the only solution currently presented to them, the mainstream, male co-opted feminist movement.
Confused, yet desperately hoping to find an escape from their all-too-real pain, they eagerly imbibe the present so-called “feminist” ideology.
This of course, involves embracing almost everything that has been proscribed for them by men. It involves enacting male wants, male needs, and male desires, while pretending these desires, wants and needs are feminist and progressive.
Modern feminism claims to offer women “liberation” through kowtowing to biological males, porno chic, stripper culture, and anything goes kink.
The zenith of achievement that males who have infiltrated the feminist movement have aimed for all along is finally upon us.
Behold the emperor in his brand new clothes
Now women are mandated to bow to male bodied people, males who have not even had transsexual surgery or even cross sex hormones.
Women are compelled to declare that these kinds of trans women are women, the exact same kind of women as they are themselves, in fact.
The demands don’t stop there, the trans activist’s quest to conquer is ceaseless.
Now women must state trans women are not only women but better women than they are, and also more oppressed.
This is not just regressive, its positively sadistic.
Society sees male biology and privileges it
Women are no longer able to talk about their own bodies without censorship, for fear of “triggering” biological males who claim womanhood, yet have never been anything but privileged in the eyes of the patriarchal status quo.
Cultural malcontent among women simmers, as our misogynistic society heightens, enacting its sadistic practices upon its longtime target – women.
Women are aware of this, painfully so, whether they are forced to see sexual predators continue to escape justice, or compelled to be ritually humiliated by the proliferation of “hate porn” that is men’s revenge against the gains women made off the back of the Second Wave movement.
In an attempt to redeem their dented egos, the sex role system now compels men to degrade women further, harder, more in order to actualise the male sense of self patriarchy tells them they should possess.
Man equals sadist under patriarchy
Our society whispers in men’s ears from the cradle, teaching them they need to dominate women in order to be men.
It conditions boys and men to destroy their humanity and become sadists through a daily diet of porn, misogynistic messaging, and social privilege, thereby ensuring all empathy for women is deadened and the patriarchal system can thrust its way onward.
After all, in a hierarchical patriarchy where power is everything, no-one likes to give up status, least of all men.
In our culture power is everything to men
This is why men have reacted with such vitriol to the feminist movement historically.
This has not mattered up until now, as the feminist movement has generally been quite determined to press on and advocate for its members – women – regardless.
See the present problem?
The truth of the matter is, it is irrelevant to any actual feminist movement how angry men are.
Women are the largest body politic, they don’t require men to free themselves, they only require a pragmatic way forward.
Radical feminism gives women a way forward — and a way out of patriarchy.
Men never have been, and never will be relevant to any real feminist movement, which is why the presence of them in this latest incarnation of “feminism” has rendered the movement so thoroughly ineffective.
Meanwhile, the old guard on the right wing, who’d love to see women back in their proper place as wives and mothers, rub their hands in glee as actual feminists, of the radical kind, find themselves between a rock and a hard place.
In standing up to the trans activist movement, feminists are forced to assert that biological difference is an actuality, but this is then warped and weaponized by the right, held up as “evidence” of the anything but natural patriarchal order.
Biology is real but it doesn’t come with a dress code
Biology makes men have penises, and women vaginas. It allows women to gestate and men to impregnate. It is why women lactate and menstruate and it’s also what makes most men physically stronger than most women in terms of body structure, and muscle mass.
However, this is where it stops and ends.
Biology does not confer personality traits, particular kinds of intelligence or abilities, careers, dress, or style preferences onto people.
Biology does not make people of either sex have a predisposition to math, or to doing the washing up.
Biology does not dictate ambition, competence, or ability.
This must be clearly asserted.
Radical feminists must stand firm and united in our quest to burn the gender caste system to the ground. The key to the ruination of the entire thing, is of course the destruction of the stifling, suffocating sex roles.
The answer won’t come from the left or the right
The right pretend to offer shelter from the trans activists, yet they would have us run to them conditionally, on the grounds we accept that men and women are born innately with fixed roles proscribed upon us.
This is precisely the same thing the trans activists are saying, albeit dressed up in the jazzy clothes of Queer Politics.
As Andrea Dworkin put it in her aptly titled book, there is woman hatred on both the left and on the right.
The answer then, lies not in the left nor the right, but in radical feminist theory itself. The challenge ahead of us is to bring radical awareness to the larger body politic of women, in order to fully reclaim the feminist movement.
There is both good news and bad on the horizon.
Promised that the lie of equality had been achieved during the decades that followed the Second Wave, then offered feminism lite, women are beginning to get angry again, as they see the world is still orientated firmly around the default human – man.
The tentacles of the beast that is patriarchy spew out issue after issue for women to wade through, from sexual assault, to unequal pay, and the male gaze is ever present.
Women of this decade are beginning to see through the illusion of equality they were told they had gained.
Yet women, presently, are still attempting to cut off the beast’s writhing tentacles rather than driving a stake right through its heart.
From porn culture and #metoo, to the glass ceiling, body shaming, trolling, and harassment, anger runs rife throughout the female populace.
It’s a tragedy the very movement they turn to for a solution offers them no real answer.
However there is hope.
Women’s anger is not about to disappear but will instead worsen, as our culture ramps up its woman hatred and the trans activist and men’s rights movement together steer mainstream feminism off a cliff.
At some point, women will have to wake up.
And when they do they will be full of rage.
When they realise that the liberal feminist movement can never offer them what they need, radical feminism will be right here to offer them a place for their anger, and a real, workable solution that delivers all women liberation from patriarchy.
Then, and only then, can the feminist movement can rebuild itself again, finally wrested from the hands of the oppressor.
The tragedy is, along the way, much female energy will be wasted on centering and pandering to male needs. Many women might even find themselves swallowed up in the horror that is gender ideology themselves, as girls and women flock to transition into men, so unbearable it is presently to be female.
Radical feminists must try to limit the damage, while at the same time bringing the true intent of the trans activist movement to the surface, where women can see it.
Trans activism is a men’s rights movement
As legendary feminist scholar Sheila Jeffreys has been saying for well over a decade now, transgender activism is a men’s rights movement.
Trans activism and men’s rights are both rooted in the same fetid, patriarchal soil, and as such, can never offer women anything but subservience to male desire.
The greatest triumph of patriarchy has been to subvert feminism itself, yet in doing this the patriarchy has forgotten one crucial thing.
Though it struggles to see women as human beings, the inescapable fact of women’s humanity is the very reason why patriarchy will find itself ultimately unsustainable.
A system which mandates enforced femininity and supplication of a human being is doomed to fail – eventually.
If patriarchy served women, it might well last forever, but quite quite patently, it does not.
And women are angry, angry at so many things, though they do not have an answer to their anger presently. Yet they will, as all oppressed people do, eventually seek one, a real one.
As female anger boils over into rage, at the realisation women have been duped into embracing enslavement all over again, the spark needed to break the bonds of patriarchy once and for all will unite the feminist movement.
When women rise, and when their anger meets with the clear, resonating message of radical feminist wisdom, women as a class will make the final, crucial push forward.
Not this time merely into the workplace, or the halls of academia, but onto the final frontier itself, liberation — woman’s right to set her own standards, to be measured not by what men can do but by what women can achieve, in a world set up to sustain and nurture women’s bodies, minds, and souls.
Article written by Thain Parnell