Feminism isn’t about popularity or kindness, Rebecca Solnit

Across the mainstream political spectrum, people are growing bolder in questioning the popular narrative that “transgender women are women.”  

This last Saturday, California-based feminist Joey Brite produced an all-day online conference in which feminists and allies gathered to discuss how gender activism is harming women and girls. Presenters included:

>> Prominent writers, medical and mental healthcare professionals, and leaders of NGOs in the U.S. and U.K., who have been actively raising the alarm about the blossoming medical scandal of giving minors exogenous hormones and double mastectomies in the name of “gender transition.”

>> Three individuals who had formerly self-identified as transgender, giving scientific and first-hand information on the mental and physical harm these “treatments” cause.

>> Two women who have been physically assaulted for publicly stating views critical of gender ideology, one of whom was assaulted with fellow lesbian feminists at the San Francisco Dyke March.

None of these serious issues appear in the pop-feminist fluff piece by Rebecca Solnit, published today by the Guardian. Instead, Solnit takes us down memory lane to her youth in “the loudest, proudest queer town around,” San Francisco, where she was thrilled to visit gay bars and see lots of cross-dressing men who were just so, so very kind to her. 

On this basis – and nothing more – Solnit takes it upon herself to lecture all the “ladies who are fearful and hostile to trans women,” pressing us to drop our “really weird fears” about men using self-ID to gain access to vulnerable women in bathrooms, lockers, shelters, and prisons. According to Solnit, it’s actually “cis” women who pose a threat to the men she calls “trans women.”

Men have already used “gender identity” policies in prisons to gain access to women then rape and harass them. Yet, at this very moment, Solnit’s home state of California is poised to adopt a bill that would give violent criminal men the right to be housed in women’s jails, based on nothing more than their self-declared gender identity. SB 132 would:

>> Allow men at any time to self-declare their gender identity and preferred first name, gender pronoun, and honorific.

>> Allow men at any time to be housed at a correctional facility designated for women unless a different placement is requested based on the inmate’s perception of his own health and safety needs.

>> Force facility staff to use language pretending that men are women.

>> Forbid facility officials from considering anatomy, the presence or absence of a diagnosis of gender dysphoria, and the presence or absence of any other physical or mental health diagnosis.

>> Forbid prison officials from overriding a prisoner’s chosen preference to be housed in a women’s facility unless officials demonstrate in advance significant security or management concerns.

Guess this is more of that “kindness and liberation” Solnit’s going on about.

Shallow appeals to kindness, popularity, and pseudoscience are not feminism. Women and girls deserve so much better than this from writers who make their living purporting to represent our interests.