Womanhood is Not Based in Biology

Over the past two days, Medium began pushing my piece titled “There Is No Such Thing as a ‘Biological Woman’ (or man!)” into more people’s feeds. I saw two positive responses, but they were washed out by the four or five critical comments. I was very candid about the impact people’s responses have on me but I’m sure most of the commenters didn’t read the article, and even if they had I would not be surprised if they willfully ignored my request that they be a little kind to me. This is to be expected and coming to terms with the fact that my writing will always attract mean people is really hard for me. Anyway I wrote the article a few months ago, and maybe it wasn’t structured as well as it could’ve been, but I stand by the core message of it. So here, I will rewrite:

There is no such thing as a “biological woman” because womanhood is not based on biology. This may be upsetting to cis women because they read this as critical of their biological children or “erasing” their ability to give birth, but I have two reasons to back this up:

  1. Some cis women can’t have biological children anyway and all cis women become infertile post-menopause. Does this make them any less valid as women?
  2. It is blatantly sexist to tie womanhood to motherhood or reproductive capacity.

The article’s subtitle was “why language like this matters”, and I doubt any of the audience really got that across, so here: Acknowledging the existence of trans people does not take anything away from you, but it adds tremendously to the well-being of trans and gnc people.

We are all born a gender. This may or may not be apparent to cis people because they identified with their assigned gender at birth (AGAB) and the main time we realize the difference between sex and gender is when there is initial incongruence. This said, whether or not they are aware, cis people also identify as their gender; gender identity is generally a universal human experience, for cis people too.
The difference, as we know, is cisgender people also happened to end up in a body that “matches” this identity. Trans people - generally - are not.

To these TERF women: it’s super cool you can give birth, and I’m sorry to be the one to break that some men and nonbinary people also have that capacity. I’m sorry that it’s news to you that womanhood isn’t the ability (and desire?) to birth children. Don’t blame me, though.

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