But not all females are impregnable! Aren’t they women too?

From our U.N. submission:

Females require sex-segregated facilities for a number of reasons, chief among them the documented frequency of male sexual violence against females and the uniquely female consequence of unwanted impregnation resulting from this relatively common form of violence.[xix]

We raise two concerns in this sentence:

  1. the quantity of male-perpetrated sex-related violence against females and
  2. the unique sex-based harm of unwanted impregnation that only males can cause females.

Let’s look at the second concern first. This refers to a specific kind of sex-based harm that only females bear the risk of. Many of our critics seek to dismiss arguments about reproductive harm by pointing out that not all females are impregnable. While this is true, it is not a successful refutation of our points. We have not said that impregnability is the definition of female; however, if a person is impregnable, she is female by definition and biological fact. The overwhelming majority of females who reach sexual maturity and have normal lifespans are impregnable for nearly 40 years of their lives. Girls and women within that age range are the largest category of females and constitute a group of over a billion people worldwide. That’s a lot of people who are capable of having the very specific sex-based experience of pregnancy.

But aside from that reality, the fact that not all persons in an identifiable class experience a particular harm does not lead to the conclusion that nothing should be done for those who do. The reality of impregnation, therefore, cannot and must not be dismissed as irrelevant to any conversation about the protection of female legal interests. This is particularly important to remember in discussions about sex-segregated spaces. In these spaces, where fertile and non-fertile women are mixed together sharing the same facilities at the same times, protection for some necessitates protection for all.

Returning to the first concern, regarding the well-documented frequency of male sexual violence against females, first and foremost, this is a serious problem. Females are the primary and majority of targets of male sexual violence. This should concern all people who care about girls and women of any kind — fertile or not. In this way, transsexual women, non-fertile, and fertile women are similarly situated. And as long as girls and women remain the primary targets of sex-based violence by males, all women — including transsexual women — share an interest in maintaining the boundaries of female sex-segregated spaces such that the possibility of fraudulent male intruders is minimized.

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2 comments

  1. all women — including transsexual women — share an interest in maintaining the boundaries of female sex-segregated spaces such that the possibility of fraudulent male intruders is minimized.

    It is a good point, and one that seems to be constantly overlooked by transactivists. They only focus on their access, with very ‘loose’ definitions so that as many as possible can come under that trans umbrella. All of this negates the reasons why sex segregated spaces were necessary in the first place.

    The one point I do object to, is that there are persons claiming to be ‘transwomen’ who have fully intact and most like functioning, male genitalia. Whilst I understand the difficulty for those who are awaiting SRS, there should perhaps be a form of intermediate status for these M2Ts. I also object that the SRS referred to is often just breast implants, and not full SRS. After all, the categories of ‘female’ and ‘male’ are physical sex characteristics (and most being fertile in their respective categories). If the goal of a ‘transgender’ or ‘transsexual’ person is to transition to the opposite sex, then the actual definition of those sex categories needs to be acknowledged and maintained. Otherwise it is a joke.

  2. Lizzy Shaw · ·

    I can’t help but wonder if the crowd that always shouts, “But not all females can get pregnant, are you saying they’re not real females/women?” can hear themselves speak because they sound ridiculous. Marx and Engels recognized that women exploited for production and were viewed as tools because of our ability to have children. The fact that some women were never able to reproduce and the fact that some women have gone through menopause or had their reproductive organs removed so can no longer reproduce is irrelevant. Enough women can reproduce at some point in their life and that is the main reason for the sex caste system. All oppression is tied to resource extraction and the next generation of children, as well as sex, un-paided labor, and emotional support are pretty big resources. Incidentally, that’s why in the past and even today women who can’t or decide not to reproduce are told that something is wrong with them and women who want a child but can’t have one are encouraged to take dangerous fertility drugs and other expensive treatments.

    I find it very frustrating that speaking the truth of stuff like this, which is very basic feminism 101 is becoming forbidden discourse, even in feminist circles.

    As for safe spaces, you and DaveSquirrel make some good points. The trans umbrella now includes anyone who is slightly sex-role nonconforming and there is a big pressure to identify as some variant of trans.

    Also, I support female-only spaces always.

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