GUEST BLOG: Dave Brownz – Why are Transactivists Hostile to Radical Feminists?

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Strong message on the Pride march. Auckland February 9. 2019

As a natural born male, heterosexual Marxist who supports SpeakUp4WomenNZ I am no doubt called a TERF (Trans Exclusive Radical Feminist) lover. TERF is the slur used by transactivists who promote trans-ideology to justify the right of transgender people to be legally recognised as biological men or women (Sex Self-ID), and who characterise those who are critical of transgender people’s right to change their birth sex as transphobic. I support the right of transgender people to change genders, but not their sex. Transwomen are still men, and transmen are still women. They are motivated to change their gender by forces outside their control and should be protected from abuse and discrimination. But this cannot be at the expense of the rights of women and men whose sex is determined at birth.  While Sex Self-ID affects both women and men, it is women who are suffering the consequences far more than men.

All of this is bog standard Liberalism 101 based on accepted biological science that women are one sex, and men are the other, and were so long before the market was invented. Moreover for thousands of years, from the onset of patriarchy to decaying capitalism today women’s subordination as a gender was premised on their sex’s reproductive and productive capacity. The patriarchy needed women to have a sex in order to construct gender relations of exploitation and oppression to gain and retain control of the wealth of that (re)productive capacity. That is, until  very recently. What happened? Either women are now free to live as their sex without gender subordination, or some one/thing has reinventing the terms of that subordination to the disadvantage of women, and as follows like capitalism and global warming, humanity. As a male Marxist who needs to explain everything, in the first instance to myself, I have had to struggle to get my head around this stuff. Step one was to make sense of the significance of the Sex Self-ID Bill.

The Greens Bill to legitimize Sex Self-ID

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‘Terf‘ as a term of abuse for gender critical feminists seems to have been around for some time, but it blew up on social media in Aotearoa last year in response to the Green Party’s Sex Self-ID Bill (Births Deaths Marriages and Relationships Registration Bill or BDMRR Bill) that allows transgender people to have their identity as born men or women altered in law by simply making a statutory declaration. Many fear that if this bill becomes law then it will be a big defeat for women.  At the least it replaces biological and social science concepts of sex and gender  with individuals subjective feelings, conflating gender and sex causing serious potential harm to transgender people and others. At worst it also allows transwomen existing women’s rights to hard-won female-only spaces and exposes women to male violence. 

Concern over this Bill was behind the split in the LGTB ‘community’ over the leadership of the Pride Parade.  Ostensibly the split was over the decision to exclude the police in uniform. This seemed to line up young trans people and their supporters against more conservative, corporate interests sponsoring the Pride Parade.  The police ban was, on the face of it, radical. Police as enforcers of bourgeois law should never have been included in Pride Parades in the first place as Emilie Raakete’sstatement about police abuse statistics of LGBT amply demonstrated. But this radicalism against the cops in uniform turned out to be  masking the real target for exclusion, biological women, namely lesbians.

This became clear as Renee Gerlich pointed out, when Louisa Wall made it obvious that she was not fussed by the ban on police in uniforms, that she really wanted to exclude ‘terfs’ from the parade. The police ban was an over-reaction on the police headquarters, not Pride. The cops were supposed to accept criticism of their abuse of LGBT, not walk away from the parade. But headquarters did not play along. Predictably the 2019 Pride March turned out to be a ‘radical chic’ celebration with a bit of pseudo Marxist-Leninist pink washing to mobilise ‘progressive’ youth against the opponents of the Sex Self-ID Bill, especially lesbians and their allies.

Transactivism is not Marxism

Certainly, cops or not, transactivism has nothing whatsoever to do with real Marxism, Leninism or Communism. First, Marxists never negotiate with police. They are agents of the bourgeois state who enforce bourgeois law, including the Bill in question which if passed will allow transwomen to invade women’s spaces and inflict male violence and probably get away with it. NZ Corrections have reported that six women are ‘alleged’ to have been assaulted in women’s jail by transwomen over the last 2 years.  Second, any transactivist who claims to be a serious Marxist would reject trans-ideology outright and support all women, including transwomen, against oppression unconditionally. But taking a stand on that would require a rudimentary understanding of the history of women’s oppression and right now trans-ideology has trouble acknowledging the existence of the female sex other than body parts.

So, in ignorance of that history, transactivists choose to bully those who criticize trans-ideology for ‘hate speech’ to shut down debate about the Sex Self-ID law before it becomes law. At this point in the argument, I am forced to the conclusion that far from fighting the patriarchy, transactivists join the patriarchy to attack the historic gains of the women’s movement. The next step is to explain why. The logic of my argument is as follows. Trans-ideology is best understood as the ideology of a state and corporate sponsored transactivist politics reflecting the post-modern individualism of neo-liberal capitalism facing a terminal crisis. It substitutes  individual ‘free choice’ for the solidarity of gender and class politics. It conflates sex with gender, allowing men to pose as women in taking the side of men in the historic oppression of the female gender a critical point in our human history when women are standing up for humanity and nature against the threat of extinction. 

Where does trans-ideology come from?

It seems to me that most Radical Feminist accounts of the recent emergence of 21st century trans-ideology tend to blame the corporate interests of big pharma in promoting gender transition. So far so good. No doubt this is correct as far as it goes. But it doesn’t explain its rapid adoption and acceptance of a movement that challenges the rights of women. Two recent articles (there may be others I am not aware of) go further in tracing a causal link between neoliberalism and trans-ideology.

The first by Heather Brunskell-Evans is excellent at the cultural level of analysis but doesn’t explain neoliberalism is a response to the onset of the structural crisis of global capitalism from the 1970’s onwards. For Marxists, neoliberal ideology emerged in the 1980s as a reborn 18th century liberalism, to shift the burden of the crisis onto workers as a whole. Then as now seems clear, trans-ideology burst on the scene in the new millennium, when capital’s crisis had become terminal, that is with no way back, to clawback the historic gains of women in a desperate attempt to survive. Because women have always fought back, trans ideology had to target politically progressive women, especially radical feminists, in order to divide the working class and weaken its ability to mobilise against the patriarchy and capitalist class rule.

The second is an article just published by Renee Gerlich that develops Naomi Klein’s ‘shock doctrine’ from her book Disaster Capitalism to account for the rise of trans ideology. Gerlich brilliantly extends Klein’s structural analysis showing that the emergence of trans-ideology coincides with the rise of neoliberalism from the 1970s on rising to a crescendo in the last few years. I agree with Gerlich that the attacks of neoliberal capitalism on women over this period were disproportionate and devastating. As a result more women sought refuge from these attacks in changing their gender. The motivation of men to change their gender is less clear but creates the conditions for a new form of male violence against women. Gerlich’s view supports the reality that trans-people were and are clearly trying to escape neo-liberal oppression which would, following Klein, require an organised fight back against the shock doctrine. That seems to be the message that trans-ideology is promoting as it refuses to join women in fighting the historical and material causes of gender oppression and instead demonises those most able to lead that fight.

Trans-ideology and Capital’s terminal decline

But how to fight? For Marxists, the problem with Klein’s Shock Doctrine theory is that the shock doctrine is strongly associated with the neo-liberal period of structural crisis without explaining the cause of the structural crisis in Marxist terms.  It does not show how capitalism’s exploitation of disasters of its own making is a desperate attempt to overcome its structural, and now terminal, crisis of falling profits and climate catastrophe. It leaves open the possibility that ‘neoliberalism’ is an aberrant ‘fundamentalist’ policy that can be reformed by progressive politics rather than by overthrowing a dying capitalism. A case in point is the Christchurch earthquake of 2010 which many saw as an example of Disaster Capitalism at work. Yet the disaster while triggered by nature itself, revealed the existing latent decay of capitalist society manifest in the poor design and build of structures and the state/corporate takeover of the rebuild under the National Coalition Government.

From a Marxist standpoint, trans-ideology has to be the child of the neoliberal counter-revolution against women as workers during that period of  structural crisis, stagnation and terminal decline. The end of the post-war boom and onset of structural crisis could be overcome by capital only by means of a counter-revolution to ramp up austerity against workers, particularly women workers, to restore its profits. This caused a long backlash against the gains of the 2nd wave of feminism of the 1970s to promote equal rights, equal pay, abortion rights etc which had to be opposed, and ultimately defeated, to restore the conditions for a return to adequate profits. It was no accident that neoliberalism targeted especially the most exploited and doubly-oppressed element in the working class, women both as unpaid domestic labourers and as part of the wage-labour force.

Further, among working class women, it was minority coloured, migrant and lesbian women victims of special oppression who suffered most, as unpaid domestic laborers, and along with other members of the reserve army of labour were used to drive down wages and conditions of the whole working class. This counter-revolution was uneven, as ‘third-world’ women suffered massive losses through infanticide, trafficking, slave labour, and prostitution as well as systematic rape and murder by males. However, minority women in the imperialist heartlands of North America and Europe were also cruelly demonized, typically as black, brown, migrant and/or welfare “solo mothers” to weaken their resistance to their oppression.

Neoliberal ideology, postmodernism, and trans-ideology

Which brings us to the question of how and why the neoliberal counter-revolution deepened around the millennium to give birth to a trans-ideology capable of driving  transactivist politics. I don’t want to dwell here on the historic origins of the bourgeois ideology except to say that for Marx, ideology is the effect of production relations appearing as exchange relations masking the exploitative nature of capitalist production as equal exchange relations. This is explained by the theory of commodity fetishism. It’s enough to say here that the ‘new right’ revival of neoliberal ideology returns to the classic liberal notion of the bourgeois individual as determined by market (exchange) relations rather than by their social relations as unpaid domestic workers or members of the productive working class.

Neoliberalism, as ideology, is the bourgeois ideology of late 20th century capitalism incapable of restoring the conditions for a return to the post-war rate of profit. In the attempt to make workers pay for the crisis, it justifies free market reforms, cuts to the welfare state, and attacks on the unions to weaken worker resistance to further losses of rights, conditions and living standards. It funds academics and intellectuals to counter socialism and social class identity with the post-Marxist  fiction that socialism has been defeated and capitalism can be ‘humanised’ as a free and equal society. The grip of commodity fetishism continues to act as an ideological antidote to individuals taking collective action as members of the working class or socialist parties rooted in resistance to domestic and social production.

The influence of postmodernism produces identity politics where individual choices in the market fragment the working class by gender, ethnicity, nationality and sexual identities, or combinations of these. The effect of postmodern theory then is to render as ‘different but equal’ individuals who are able to freely choose identities independently of the influence of social class or gender relations. Social relations, and gender relations, expressing historic contradictions that are fundamental to the development of capitalism and which determine our social being, consciousness, and prospects for social change, are suppressed by fetishized market relations of personal choice, including what is, or is not. ‘true’.  It follows that post-modern identity politics means that political activity is confined to the participation of bourgeois citizens in parliamentary democracy and distributional reforms.

Transactivism is an attack on women

By pitting workers identity politics against class solidarity, our struggles for rights and social gains are channelled into actions that do not challenge capitalist social or gender relations. Yet prolonged social and economic crisis brings the fundamental contradiction of capital between nature and society to the surface. The experience of growing austerity beyond a certain intensity spontaneously produces resistance in the working class engaged in production and reproduction. The big threat to capitalism is that women, especially minority women, who have the least to lose and most to gain from revolution, will unite to renew the fight against the patriarchy in the working class and lead the uprising against class exploitation and gender oppression.

Neoliberal ideology, dressed up as postmodern identity politics, is most likely to fail in regard to women where the contradiction between nature (production and reproduction of life) and crisis-ridden capitalist austerity is the most acute. Moreover, the minority women who are most likely to rise up against the triple oppression of class, gender and sexuality are lesbians. Lesbians’ sexual orientation rejects heteronormativity in the patriarchal family. They are perceived, correctly, as the biggest threat to gender ideology, and as most capable of defeating new attacks by men, as their current resistance to transgender ideology proves. Furthermore, they have an inherent political solidarity capable of taking a leading role in the labour movement.

This is where transactivism enters the picture as neoliberal identity politics, deliberately turning a justifiable and harmless self-identity as transgender, and as a potential ally of women, into the homophobic and misogynistic weapon of trans-sexual self-ID.  As a consequence, heterosexual men masquerading as transgender are licensed to attack lesbian sexuality and enter women’s spaces (toilets, refuges, prisons etc) to directly assault and dominate women. Facing this new threat, it is radical feminists, many of whom are lesbians, who have fought most strongly for safe spaces independent of men, and who are leading the resistance to trans-ideology.

Why women will lead the revolution

Neoliberalism has failed so far to overcome the cause of capitalism’s structural crisis because of widespread worker resistance to paying for it with their livelihoods and their lives. Profits have never returned to the pre-1970s levels. A number of boom bust cycles in the 1990s culminated in the 2008 Global Financial Crisis and the Long Depressionthe relatively stagnant global economy up to the present. Capitalism’s crisis of falling profits cannot be resolved in its favour unless wages and conditions are driven down by mass unemployment and other austerity measures to raise the rate of exploitation. So far this too has failed and spontaneous uprisings are now building world-wide most notably the Yellow Vest movement, which means we can expect the global economic crash we are heading for to come all the sooner.

To complicate its problems, capitalism now faces the backlash of nature as exponential global warming forces a collapsing of the ecosystem. Humanity is part of that nature since labour is integral to the biological and social reproduction of human life. It is the threat to the reproduction of life that motivates the Extinction Rebellion or ‘fight for life’ initiated by young people that is spreading as a global rage. This movement proves that ordinary people are realising that capitalism is in terminal decline and is destroying nature and that the solution must be ‘system change not climate change’ conceived as a democratic, post-capitalist, socialist, collective, sustainable people-centred economy and society.

Capitalism on its last legs has to use every means at its disposal to prevent the solidarity of women uniting with men and posing a revolutionary threat to its class rule. Revolutionary system change is on the top of the agenda today because we can’t solve any of our problems if dying capitalism takes us down with it. Without a victorious women’s struggle against the patriarchy there can be no system change. It is young women who are leading the climate emergency charge because it is women as a sex-class who have the least to lose and most to gain in challenging the oppressive, exploitative and ultimately destructive rule of capital and climate collapse. That is why the fight for women against trans-ideology and the transactivists attacks on lesbians, is a pre-condition for unity and solidarity necessary for the working class globally to make the social revolution, end patriarchal capitalism and create a post-capitalist, sustainable, human, world.

 

Dave Brownz is TDBs guest Marxist, because every Left wing blog should have a marxist

27 COMMENTS

  1. A classic article Dave, this is a matter I am still grappling with as are many other activists whose basic instinct is to support all oppressed people–there have long been divisions and differences among the exploited and oppressed, and this newish one seems to come straight out of Neo Liberal “me me me” psychology via post modernism. And as you say it is a situation prompted and actively promoted by capitalism.

    You have done the best job yet I have seen in NZ, of making sense of it from a Marxist viewpoint. Gender/sex is intensely personal too for those involved as well as being political in the wider sense for all of us.

    Like your observation on Lesbians role too.

    • Individuals have their own reasons and it can be written about in freehand and come to differing results almost every time for each individual, but if you look at the phenomena as a whole the effects of trans activism allows people to take radical stances, y’know more radical than Bomber, while being completely dissociated from anything that’s happening for loads of reasons, one being that no one can understand what transactivists are saying. So they’re already disconnected kind of like a private click group. And it’s very rewarding so there’s material reward so if your apart of the click group you can run around theatres with noise bombs frightening people and get academic accreditation so there’s lots of material rewards for being a trans activist.

      There where a couple of instances recently in an interview with Shaun Plunket and Jordan Peterson where callers talked about doing things on moral grounds and talked about truth and to transactivists thats kind of like old fashioned nonsense and enlightenment stuff. But transactivists do talk about white society and how there’s splits in the left. If the left had of been unified we would have smashed the oppressive cis yada yada “patriarchy” but there are splits from the inside on moral grounds because people don’t want to be tolerant and all that’s all naive and transactivists don’t want power plays because they don’t understand it, and truth is, like this old fashioned concept to postmodernism.

      All this is very convenient for transactivists and very radical to them and perfect self confidence because there is no reality for them. It’s just there narrative and your narrative. All this is bad enough in rich countries but when you get to third world countries it’s really shitty because there the separation of radical movements from popular struggles, it shows much more dramatically. People are poorer and suffering much more and transactivists are much more richer and that’s ugly. I don’t want to say that transactivists do it for the likes but they are very active and I kind of respect them for being staunch and I don’t know why I respect them but that’s a means only to transactivists. But in general as a phenomena i think that’s the way it works as a kind of insulation from radicalism and popular movements and actual activism and it serves transactivists as an instrument of power.

  2. “Marxists never negotiate with police.”

    Yes because negotiating with police in the GDR was not very advisable…

  3. There is a huge amount wrong with this post
    First, you say that people are using TERF as a slur when you ‘criticise’ them, yet your source, Renee Gerlich, is literally someone who point blank refuses to recognise the identities of trans people and mis genders them in one of the most naked displays of cis supremacy masquerading as feminism I have seen. So no, the use of TERF is well deserved in this regard. It calls you out on your trans exclusionary behaviour which is exactly what you are doing by refusing to recognise trans people.
    Trans women are not men, especially if they are post op. They don’t have penises anymore. Yeah, they can’t give birth, nor do they menstruate but then again so do infertile women and women on menopause. Are you going to exclude them from womanhood too?
    Same goes for trans men, some men may have non-functional penises for various reasons, this does not mean they are no longer men. This is the problem with such an essentialist understanding of gender, you end up also bringing misogyny and extreme masculinity into the mix as you exclude cis people as well as trans people with those definitions.
    Yeah being able to change your sex is a good thing. A proper Marxist should understand that everything is in motion, that nothing is static or unchanging. Therefore, the idea that someone should still identify with the sex they were assigned at birth even after they have undergone reassignment surgery is ludicrous. It has no meaning anymore.
    Also, the idea about trans people invading women’s spaces is just a regurgitated talking point from none other than American reactionaries. Its funny how you end up agreeing with them when it comes to trans people. The thing is that if a man really did want to invade a woman’s space, he could have plastic surgery and dress up as a woman and fool everyone into thinking he is a woman. He does not need trans rights to help him do this.
    Also contradictory is that if you are going to keep people confined to their pre-set identities, what are you going to do about trans men who are on testosterone? Eventually you are going to have some “women” in those spaces who will look very much like men and identify as such. This is not something that trans men nor the women in those spaces want.
    You neglected to mention that Louisa Wall herself is a lesbian, and that many of the people in PAPA are lesbians themselves. This is not about opposing lesbians, this is about ridding the lesbian community of transphobia. This is why there is such a strong opposition to her by the transphobes because she completely undermines their false narrative of lesbian persecution by trans activists.
    Also, you have no evidence whatsoever to suggest that removing the police was not the primary motive for the actions at pride. I have listened to Rakete’s podcast and she never once said anything about excluding lesbians from pride. It would be hypocritical considering she herself is a lesbian.
    Trans activism has everything to do with Marxism and Leninism, most modern Marxists have moved on from the bigotry of last century and have embraced trans liberation. For this poster this is not the case. They also build the straw-person of so called “trans-ideology” having “trouble acknowledging the existence of the female sex other than body parts”, what else would it be? If we are talking about social performance, then that comes under gender, sex is literally just your genitalia.
    I agree with you on neo-liberalism and its oppressiveness towards women, but “trans-ideology” has little to do with it. Your analysis of so called “trans-ideology” as an emergence of neoliberalism is completely ahistorical. There are many pre-capitalist cultures in which people existed outside of the gender binary, such as Mahu people in Hawaiian and Tahitian communities, the Diné of the Navajo nation and the hijras of India. These people have existed well before capitalism and will continue to exist after it has abolished.
    To explain it as a response to capitalist neoliberal alienation reeks of same bigotry peddled by Marxists in the early 20th century when they called homosexuality a “bourgeois degeneracy”. You completely ignore gender dysphoria which is a real and scientifically proven condition which causes much pain to those who experience it.
    Trans people will not be silenced. You have this cis supremacist idea of removing trans people from the working class in order to create ‘a pre-condition for unity’. This is the same logic fascists use, uniting people around exclusion of a particular group. If the revolution does not completely liberate transgender people as well as cisgender people, it is at best incomplete and at worst oppressive.
    I have already demonstrated that the Lesbian community are divided on the issue, and that essentialist ideas of sex are incoherent. For you to call self-ID homophobic and misogynistic is completely wrong.
    But of course, I am not surprised that a Trotskyite would mingle with Feminism Appropriating Reactionary Transphobes. Opportunists love banding together against progressive causes.

    • Red, I seem to have heard all your arguments ad nauseum over the last few months. Repeating them doesn’t make them true.

      Renee Gerlich can defend herself. I agree with her. Why should she acknowledge the lie that trans women can be women when biology, history and the current split in LGBT proves the lie?

      Transwomen cannot be biological women, no matter how many medical operations, men ditto. That is the truth even if the Greens manage to join the rush internationally to licence trans people as transsexuals by statutory declaration.

      Yes, Wall is a lesbian. But aren’t we all divided fundamentally by gender and class among lesser things. The gender war of women vs men and the class war of labour vs capital.

      Where are trans in both the gender war and class war? What is notable about lesbians is that some of them are leading the fight in both the gender and class wars.

      I say transactivists don’t even acknowledge the historical sex/class reality shaping their own identity. They are trying to fit into society by rejecting their bodies and changing gender for reasons of self-identity and self-realisation.

      I’m all for that. Capitalism is fucked. I think any means of escaping misery and oppression must be supported by us all. But that is no real escape if it ignores the social relations of gender and class that shape our lives.

      That’s why I object to a minority of trans demanding that their reality must override those of sex and class. If they think that they are joining women’s struggle they should do it on women’s and not their terms. When women point out that their spaces are for their defence, trans should respect that. The majority are doing so why not the vocal minority. Unless…

      I think advocates of trans rights such as yourself, are influential in creating a minority cult that erases both sex and class from history and with it the future and our liberation from dying capitalism and human extinction. Your pomo alibi that sex and gender are dissolved in a sci-fi ‘flux’ is an idealist fantasy.

      Worse, this chimera of a gender utopia, demands to be sanctioned by the ‘human rights’ of the bourgeois state, note the contradiction, serving the arch nemesis ruling class that is causing our extinction.

      That’s what makes trans ideology complicit with neo-liberal capitalism. Trans ideology ignores the real world where we are shaped by our gender and class wars and instead starts a cult-like ‘mini’ war among the working class.

      Unless we capitulate to this ultimatism, transactivists will resist our unity against dying capitalism and climate catastrophe. Oh dear.

      Why then would I support the exclusion of trans from the gender or class wars? Logically they must be part of the revolution side by side with all workers of whatever gender, orientation, ethnicity etc. because capitalism and the patriarchy have to be overthrown for all of us for each of us to be liberated.

      Marxists have a special duty to explain why capitalism is fucked so that our escape must be one of collective class and gender revolution whatever our personal identities.

      Let’s see trans-ideology come to terms with that, accept that they can join as trans with women on the terms of women’s historic struggle, and all join in the great movement that is beginning and can only end with the overthrow of capitalism

      Just a note on Marx and Lenin. I can’t answer for modern self-proclaiming “Marxist-Leninists” who succumb to state regulation on personal matters, but I am bloody sure that Marx (and Engels who wrote on the historic “overthrow of mother right”) would not agree that the fight against oppression of women today is consistent with some men claiming to be women.

      Nor would Lenin, who accepted that sexual orientation was a “personal choice” and not the business of the workers state, agree that trans identity was other than another expression of the free individual, which therefore did require the licence of the state.

      You see, that is why this issue is so central for Marxists. For us, what should be a personal expression only becomes political when it divides the working class and comes to the attention of the state.

      But in the case of transactivism when we are up against a dying capitalism wreaking havoc, a division is caused by the transactivists lie, that gender equals sex, and this is being promoted in collusion with the bourgeois state, on the wrong side of the class and gender wars.

      • Why then would I support the exclusion of trans from the gender or class wars? Logically they must be part of the revolution side by side with all workers of whatever gender, orientation, ethnicity etc. because capitalism and the patriarchy have to be overthrown for all of us for each of us to be liberated.

        Well, Dave, you have a peculiar way of attracting allies against the capitalists if you are not even prepared to acknowledge the gender/sex of trans-people. Why should they share your struggle when you cannot bring yourself to share theirs?

        I find Red’s arguments more persuasive; more compelling; and more rationally articulated than the hostility you have expressed in your blogpost and following comments.

        But more importantly, there is compassion and tolerance in Red’s response. Yours, I find… chilling.

        • Trans people are determined to fulfil there dreams and aspirations. Ever since the signing of the treaty in 1840 kiwis have first valued the scholar, secondly the farmer, thirdly the worker, and lastly the merchant. This is the social hierarchy of an agricultural society that does not change much in popular culture. Trans activists do not enjoy high social status in any social hierarchy, not only because there economic role is not obvious because they are always procreating through other means. Also because trans is considered unproductive. Traditional New Zealand under the colonial banner is a highly self sufficient economy under an egalitarian economy not open or willing to embrace changes. Such a society did not spark off an industrial revolution, nor give rise to capitalism.

          For generations bright young scholars have chosen the path of scholarship, and through the imperial examination system became neoliberals. The same values brought in by Roger Douglas effect everybody’s cultural diversity. Even today many of New Zealand’s top graduates join government jobs instead of starting businesses of here own, and so the result is the same for trans people. The result is New Zealand does not have a strong entrepreneurial tradition. In Britian most top gratitudes joined the government up until Margaret Thatcher changed everything and then the private sector was able to draw in talent and diversity. In America they where made to be entrepreneurs and drew in talent, not the U.S. government.

          So why aren’t trans people joining the capitalist class? With high immigration New Zealand receives many ready made entrepreneurs, shopkeepers, innovators, bankers ect. They are mending the melting and domestic textiles, and banking, and shipping is at record lows. They spawn an entrepreneurial culture among other displaced people who are flooding into New Zealand from abroad. When trans people are employed they are employed as the person who is on there birth certificate, completely trust worthy and loyal. The managers we are brining in from abroad are less than thrilled to compete with trans people. They see what’s going on and they will do likewise.

          We have to change our own minds and determine that there is such an entrepreneurial culture in New Zealand society that encourages many to try and succeed in business. But by and large naturalised kiwis control the bureaucracy and foreign interests control private profit. So now trans people must be brought into kiwi culture, entrepreneurship and dynamism.

          Trans people who do not complete transition surgery should not come the against females in woman’s sports. That is uncontroversial and easy to mend. The more difficult thing to do is mend public areas where diversity and dynamism is sorely lacking in the New Zealand economy.

        • Frank, maybe you attitude is shaped by your ignorance of the history of women’s oppression originating from male control of women’s reproductive powers, which are strangely enough biological functions and not social constructions.

          That struggle will always take preference for me, and enlist my compassion and tolerance. But that doesn’t mean I don’t have compassion and tolerance for trans people, as I continue to say sincerely.

          What I do not tolerate nor sympathise with is that a minority of aggressive trans people demand that for the world accept their ‘gender’ change it must include a redefinition of sex, with the ludicrous results that men now compete in women’s sports, are jailed in women’s jails, can qualify for women’s refuges and when challenged, state among other absurdities that transwomen’s penises are women’s penises.

          The consequence is that this minority of transwomen now perform exactly the role of oppressive men throughout history, of controlling women’s reproductive capacity (negating it as assorted organs) to enforce their class subordination by bullying and violence.

          If you don’t see that all of this amounts to some men demanding the right to be women, not to join the gender war on the side of women, but on the side of men, and on this question direct your compassion and tolerance towards women, I can’t help you.

        • I have read Dave’s and Red’s arguments and I find Dave’s to be more logical , and to articulate some truths that some may find uncomfortable, but true nonetheless!!!

      • Dave, you deny being transphobic. But everything you have written reeks of it. Whatever insecurities/fears you have as a CIS male is affecting your thinking.

        If you really think trans men and women will join your marxist struggle against capitalism when you deny their VERY IDENTITY, then you are delusional.

        Perhaps trans-people wouldn’t be so angry at TERFs if those same TERFs didn’t treat them with utter disdain. Respect can only be earned and TERFs need to go a long way before they will earn the respect of the trans community and feminists like myself.

        If I sound angry, its because many of the chauvinistic attitudes you’ve expressed I’ve heard before! Directed at women!

        • Gidday Priss. I am not transphobic. I support the rights of everyone to their sex, gender and orientation identities. That includes the majority of trans who do not fight for their rights at the expense of women’s rights. But I am against transwomen claiming that their “very identity” requires the destruction of the “identity” of women. This opposition is to a political position that lobbies the state to legitimate its anti-women politics. It is political and not a transphobic hateful attitude. And please explain how this opposition to an attack on women’s rights is a chauvinist attack on women?

          • I have a close relationship with two women, a generation apart. Both feel themselves under attack as women from the antics of some transgender. So explain this!!!

        • It’s not CIS or TERF. You may add what ever qualifier you like to a trans person but there is no such thing as CIS or TERF, it’s just man or woman. That is the respect given to any head of the household. If you can hold it down no one will curse you under there breath.

      • “Why are Transactivists Hostile to Radical Feminists?” then talks about the “lie that trans women can be women when biology, history and the current split in LGBT proves the lie?“..check your hostility dude…I mean does “History’ and ‘political splits’ prove Marxism doesn’t work??
        plus I’d really love to know how ‘History’ and a split in the LGBT community ‘proves’ anything regarding whether someone can or can’t be called a woman. Or, for that matter, whether or not you can define yourself as a Marxist.

        Peoples obsession with other peoples ‘bits’ and gender is just so incredibly dull. Like we don’t have better things to fight against.

  4. Actually curios to what kind of damage causes an outburst of this kind.

    Focusing on trans when your Prime Minister is a female and the patriarchy is staffed with people like “Loisa Wall” is exactly the kind of
    Idiosyncratic belief central governm make when on its last legs. You’re essentially building a ghost city in your mind.

  5. Pages and pages of the stuff. Is this really the most important issue on this planet?. I suspect that any party that gets involved in this will get their fingers burnt at the next election.

  6. As a so-called Marxist (highly doubtful) why have you gone beyond class into the right-wing Orwellian tool of identity politics?

    Marx was wrong about one thing: the lumpenproletariat ARE the revolutionary class 🙂

  7. I support the right of transgender people to change genders, but not their sex.

    Please delve further into that statement, Dave. Feel free to expand on who it is that has dictated that “Transwomen are still men, and transmen are still women” .

    Because it appears to me that you have taken upon yourself the godlike status to determine who shall be worthy of a particular identity.

    They are motivated to change their gender by forces outside their control and should be protected from abuse and discrimination.

    The first step to being “protected from abuse and discrimination” is to recognise the needs of transmen and transwomen; to be inclusive; and not to dictate to them who they are; who they must be according to any given religious/political dogma.

    But this cannot be at the expense of the rights of women and men whose sex is determined at birth.

    By definition, that statement is chauvinistic.

    We’ve heard the same rhetoric of ” expense of the rights” of others used against racial minorities, women’s rights, gay rights etc.

    How many times have we heard the same old bullshit that “Maori have more rights than non-Maori”? Ditto for every other minority that has fought for equality and had their struggle dismissed and derided as seeking “more rights at the expense of others”.

    From a Marxist standpoint, trans-ideology has to be the child of the neoliberal counter-revolution against women as workers during that period of structural crisis, stagnation and terminal decline.

    At that point, Dave you have totally lost the argument. Aligning trans-activism with the neoliberal counter-revolution against women as workers is as absurd as one can possibly get. You might as well insert “gays” and “lesbians” in lieu of trans-people.

    Your piece does nothing to advance equality, recognition, and inclusion of trans-people.

    I am disappointed, Dave, that as a Marxist, representing a political belief that supposedly champions the rights of others, you have bought into the irrational fear of reactionary transphobism.

    Almost every argument attacking, belittling, and denying trans-people their rights, I heard in 1986 during the Homosexual Law Reform process. The hysteria at that time led me to join the HUG movement, in support of gay rights.

    I urge you to re-think your stance. You look at this issue from an incorrect position. An ideology that denies a minority their rights; tolerance; recognition; and inclusion, cannot be supported by fair minded people.

  8. Dave, the one major thing you left out of your writing; humanity. Where is the humanity in your dissertation? You dissected the trans issue with Marxist precision, including cunningly smearing trans-activists as unwitting tools of the neo-liberal establishment, but you forgot that you are writing about men and women. That’s people like like who are on their own journey to achieve the sex/gender they identify as.

    Your Marxist analysis was cold, unfeeling, and inhuman. Stalin would approve.

  9. I agree with Tiger Mountain, an excellent blog. However some posts are angry emotional attacks on the ideas and the person. The great sympathy toward men who want to be women, who identify as women and are targets of abuse, should not substitute for an understanding of the difference between sex and gender. Any basic sociology text (i.e. Anthony Giddens “Sociology”) will have a chapter on sex and gender. As a social scientist/sociologist I’ll explain the difference which any diligent student of sociology understands.

    Sex is based on biology, is determined by nature, whereas gender represents the social role related to sex. This social conditioning varies from society to society. In contrast sex is an objective biological fact, our genitals, chromosomes, hormones and bones are markers of our sex.

    Gender is a term used widely although it’s quite recent. I look at my book shelves and see many titles include gender and gendered. But if I open Raymond Williams’ “Keywords, a vocabulary of culture and society”, a marvellous text, gender is absent.

    Despite being a relatively new term, gender has overtaken those of us who put ideas above material reality. Red and Frank, you confuse and conflate the terms sex and gender. As I explain they are not the same. However much you want men to be women, they are not. The position you take is more than ignorant, it’s dangerous for women, real women as Dave Brown points out, in women’s spaces. Women who have joined movements to fight for women’s rights – we continue fighting for equality and against the patriarchy so pervasive in our society on many different levels.

    It seems to me that more energy could be put into challenging stereotypical gender attributes and more people could enjoy what they would prefer to do and wear without being labelled cissy or butch, and without associating these stereotypes along rigid lines of identity.

    • “it’s dangerous for women, real women as Dave Brown points out, in women’s spaces.”

      What ” women’s spaces” Janio?? Public toilets? Changing rooms?? Oh not that old “stranger danger” red herring again?? Surely you know the facts and stats Janio? There are NO safe spaces. Even the family home is unsafe, considering thats where the vast majority of sexual attacks and family abuse takes place. Putting that onto the shoulders of trans women is not just misleading, it’s an outright lie to demonise a group of people. You will not achieve safety for us at the expense of denying transwomen their identity,. To think otherwise is misguided.

      Do not equate the rape culture from CIS men (eg “Roastbusters, et al) with the transwomen community, who also suffer many of the the same degradations as their CIS women sisters.

  10. It usually comes down to ethnocentrism. When a minority group wants to maintain power and control the only way they can do that is by deconstructing the majority in society. When globalism or universalism is the goal (for everyone except the ethnocentric group in control) then boundaries break down. Feminism and marxism as an ideology is globalist.

  11. Love the fact that almost everyone posting on this subject is male. Thank you Jordan Peterson, Stefan Molyneux, and now Dave Brown apparently women can not figure out who we are and need men to tell us! Yes some women do not want transwomen in their bathroom spaces but some of us are fine with it. It would be nice if we were allowed the luxury of having our own discussion, but that is never going to happen. If I was to ask anything it would be that you CIS/Marxist men have a discussion about how to stop CIS men raping women and children – we won’t talk but when you have sorted out the issues with your sex/gender and they are no longer raping/killing us then you can discuss with us who we wish to consider part of our sex/gender.

    • That’s why men are going there own way and increasingly large chunks of woman remain single and with out a child, because of this notion that woman are trying to give men the impression that woman hate men and they’re all going to cut there things off. And the long boring men that follow Jordan Peterson know that’s not true and is hypocritical so none of this will catch on.

      From a male point of view you are insulting because you want males to do all the work. From a female point of view you are also insulting woman because the men also have to do all the talking. And also woman are keenly motivated for sex themselves. This should not be the representation of sex.

      A lot of people will deceive themselves about not really knowing what to do to get access to regular sex. Deceiving ones self by claiming there is a rape crises, rape does exists, I believe victims should always have the opportunity to cry wolf 3 times, I do not believe that gives victims the right to lead criminal investigations.

      As a guy I intend to give gift to people young and old who are interested in a particular distain for pornography and other objectifying images of sex. If I had the free time id prefer to fumble around with the opposite sex, not necessarily having intercourse all the time but I do want easy access to it. I’m not an expert on rape culture, the fundamental element of it is degradation of woman which makes easy access to sex more difficult to access or makes it unobtainable, that is not my objective.

    • Lucy, my female relatives, who are left and progressive, and are uncomfortable with transwoman in their bathroom spaces, want to address this issue now !!!

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