Wo(man). (Wo)Man. (NIL)

Men can wear dresses, women can wear dresses, men can take hormones, grow tits, laser the hair off their faces, 
wear high heels, try and talk in an affected way, but they are NOT – and never will be – women. 

I had this conversation with a male friend. I said to him: ‘What does being a man mean to you, if you had to sum it up in a sentence? He hesitated before he replied. Then he said: ‘I’ll have to really think about that.’ I said: ‘Don’t think about it, just answer the question as quickly as you can.’

He said: ‘Well, I need to think about it.’

I said: ‘OK, that’s fine. I can tell you exactly what being a woman means to me.’

He said: ‘OK, tell me.’

I said: ‘I means living with daily fear of attack. I am on my guard every minute of every day when I am out in the street. It means knowing that as a woman I am not taken seriously. It means having lived with decades of this fear. It means having suffered sexual abuse, financial fear, near-rape, domestic violence, hard-core misogyny, it means travel restriction (I can’t travel freely), it means limits to my life lived fully, it means a body utterly changed by childbirth, it means monthly agony from periods, it means casual daily sexism, as a child, as a teenager as a young woman, as an older person, and so the list goes on….’

My friend didn’t say much. He looked very thoughtful. Then he said: ‘Being a man to me means feeling strong and powerful in my body. That’s all I can think of really. I don’t see myself as male in any other way than that.’

I said: ‘But you don’t live with the fears I just listed do you?’

He said: ‘No, no I don’t.

I said: ‘OK. Why would a man want to become a woman then, putting aside for one moment this feeling that men who want to be women and who are transitioning, say they have been female in male bodies from birth.’

He said: ‘It’s misogyny. The need to invade every single space going, all those sacred spaces women hold, spaces where women can exist as their true right. Men who want to transition want everything. They want to claim power over everybody.’

I said: ‘Yes, it’s misogyny. And now, transitioning men are using the online space to shut women down. There is no debate here just abuse, misogynistic of women who are born woman, another battle woman now have to add to their lists of never-ending battles. Men can change, transition all they like but they will never be women, never. It’s not about clothes, dresses, smooth faces, soft voices, long hair, it’s about none of this shit. Every aspect of their argument is based on misogyny. Even transitioning is misogynistic. In order to really understand women, stay as a man. If you were born a female in a male body, accept that gender is meaningless and that ever human feels ‘other’ somehow. That’s the only thing to do, accept the body you were born with, but love our mind and be genderless. Transitioning will never allow you to understand a woman’s experience of life. The gender thing is fluid. There is no difference between you and I except the fears I expressed and the strength in your body you want to maintain that represents your manhood, although I want my body to feel strong too.’

If all of this was fair, true and equal, the words woman and man would be gotten rid of. The language of sexual identity, the defining terms could be made neutral. Wearing a dress and growing your hair long does NOT make you a woman. PERIOD.


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