Women who believe men cannot become women akin to KKK, gender studies professor says

Transgender activists and their supporters rally in support of transgender people on the steps of New York City Hall, in New York City, October 24, 2018.
Transgender activists and their supporters rally in support of transgender people on the steps of New York City Hall, in New York City, October 24, 2018. | Getty/Drew Angerer

A gender studies professor argued that women who believe men cannot become women are similar to the Ku Klux Klan.

University of Arizona professor Susan Stryker likened feminists who object to the idea that males can become women on the basis of self-declared "gender identity" to white supremacists, according to Inside Higher Ed. Transgender activists routinely refer to such feminists as trans-exclusionary radical feminists or TERFs.

"If womanhood is 'a restricted country,' Stryker said, referring to writer Joan Nestle, “Who says what those restrictions shall be? Who is womanhood for? How does one become its citizen?”

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Stryker continued that while no bounds should exist on academic inquiry, “what I see in the TERF wars is not disinterested academic inquiry.”

"It’s more akin to white supremacists wanting to propagandize other whites about foreigners, where the position of foreigners in the conversation has been deemed illegitimate in advance.”

Natasha Chart, board chair of Women's Liberation Front, a radical feminist organization, said in an email to The Christian Post Tuesday that no one truly does not know what a woman is, citing as evidence several examples of discrimination women as a class has faced.

"When women couldn't vote, play sports, attend college, or take out credit except with the permission of their father or husband, everyone knew what a woman was, and no men publicly threatened suicide if they couldn't suffer the same restrictions. When women could be arrested for indecency for wearing pants in public, everyone knew what a woman was. When there were no women's restrooms or changing rooms, keeping us out of public life, everyone knew what women and men were," Chart explained.

"Now there's confusion?"

She added that "if Stryker doesn't know what a woman is, and thinks women are oppressing men by insisting that very basic, settled rights we won to redress historical discrimination are unfair to men, it's not a feminist argument," but name-calling.

Conflict over gender within academia, particularly within the field of philosophy, has been brewing in the last several years as society grapples with a seemingly ever-increasing number of gender identities — such as pansexual, nonbinary, and agender — proliferating on college campuses and more broadly in culture.

As CP reported in May 2017, Rhodes College philosophy professor Rebecca Tuvel published an article in the feminist journal Hypatia called "In Defense of Transracialism" wherein she argued that society should extend acceptance to individuals who decide to change their race in the same way transgender individuals change their gender.

Those who objected to her article, like University of Tennessee's Nora Berenstain, accused Tuvel of furthering "discursive transmisogynistic violence" because she had used terms such as "male genitalia" and "biological sex." She also argued Tuvel's writing had not shown sufficient reflection "beyond white cisgender privilege."

Stryker is not the first to make a parallel between womanhood and foreigners navigating various obstacles. In an April 3 New York Times op-ed called "Is Being Trans Like Being an Immigrant," Jennifer Finney Boylan, who is a Barnard College English professor and identifies as transgender, compared the experiences of those who transition to the opposite sex to the plight of a 9-year old girl who lives in Tijuana, Mexico, and was detained at the U.S.-Mexico border for 30 hours earlier this year.

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