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Do you know what a woman is?

Updated: Jul 20, 2022

Preface


This article was technically difficult to write. It was impossible to use the word 'woman' or 'man' without implying what I believed one way or the other. For the sake of this article I have used the word 'woman' and 'man' to represent those that have been born female and male.


This question of what a woman is has been posed to us many times throughout our brief time as a local independent party in Southend - from women.


And they have said that they have no problem recognising the existence of trans-women, but the struggles that are unique to girls and women in society are unique to them and that the rights they have fought for seem to be eroding.


Trans-women on the other hand have said that they are deeply offended by any women who do not recognise their existence.


This is an enormously emotive issue that as a political party it is right to voice our standpoint, and yet in this world of toxicity, vitriol and self-righteous bullying, whichever way Confelicity is perceived to support will inevitably draw blood from either side.


As it happens, as a young party, we have not voted on where the party sits, and so I write this from a personal perspective and where I would put my vote.


Division


There is a strong sentiment on both sides that both are being attacked, and whilst on the defensive a distinct division has been created.


Something has happened to society that has led to a question that perhaps even 10 years ago would not even been asked.


Society is shaped by those that control the resources of the world, and so it must be concluded that there are a group of people with vested interests that have created such a chasm. Regardless, we are here now and somehow it all needs to be worked out in the right way.


Education


Education has certainly changed. When I was in school a man and a woman was linked to a person's sex. Therefore, what is now a hugely complex issue was nothing more than the easiest question in a science exam.


Yet now I find myself second-guessing my own education, and it certainly wasn't a question I thought needed exploration.


Today I find it does.


The 4


I find there to be four primary areas of discussion in the pursuit of answering what a woman is: identity, biology, physicality and emotion.


Identity


Identity is a social construct and we all have the freedom to choose ours.


If someone likes particular aspects of any particular identity that is their prerogative to introduce that into theirs. It is a choice.


If an English boy sees the Argentinian Messi playing football and wants to aspire to be like him; act like him; look like him and even talk like him, then that is indeed the right of that boy to do so. If he wishes to base his identity around Messi, which might include Messi's Argentinian heritage then that will be his choice. He is not an adult; he is not a man; he is not of the same country nor speaks the same language; and he may not physically look like him, but that has nothing to do with who he wishes to identify as.


A boy aspiring to identify as arguably the world's greatest footballer is not such a hard stretch. Had I suggested that an English woman who loved the Japanese culture so much that she actually identified as Japanese, then it becomes much harder to accept. In fact it is on the face of it ridiculous. However, all identity is 'man-made'.


Our so called identities have been passed down through our up-bringing. I am born in England therefore I am English. I can say that my culture is based from this environment, but I have a right not to identify as English if I so wish because everything I am is indeed made up from our ancestors. You only have to start learning French to see that a substantial proportion of our culture is from across the water! And that is not to exclude our Roman, Scandinavian, Germanic and Celtic identities.


And so I believe that any individual has the right to identify as they see fit, regardless of how others view that identification.


On this basis, if a human being loves, admires, thinks or feels like they think a woman does, then it is for them alone to declare whether they identify as the cultural term 'woman'.


Biology


However, I do also accept that identifying as what is culturally understood to be a woman, and being a biologically born female, are different.


I am not a scientist, so I would welcome anyone who has more information to present the knowledge they have, but as far as I am aware the male and female chromosomes are different: XX (female) and XY (male). These differences manifest themselves as what we culturally identify as female and male. And when the female becomes an adult, they become a woman.


So whilst I believe a man can identify as woman, they are not genetically a woman.


Physicality and Emotions


But what happens in the event of a genetic male undergoing physical operations to change their external bodies to a physical female. And what happens when that change is so convincing that it is impossible to ever know?


If they think, feel and act culturally as a woman, as well as being physically a woman, how can that person be denied the right to be called a woman?


Yes, at the genetic level they have an XY chromosome, but the physical chromosome itself is unidentifiable to human eye.


Without the advances in science to change the body this could never be a debate; the sex chromosomes would develop as evolution dictated and life, regardless of how an individual feels would, as torturous as it may be, have to live with it. For those born with XY chromosomes that were previously living a desperate life, these advances in science will have come as a boon. And who would deny anyone else the chance to live a happy life?


But like many solutions, a new set of problems arise.


Because our ancestors have set society up with a distinct acknowledgment of man and woman, there now has to be a shift in that set-up in order to accommodate this new eventuality. And it is this shift that is the cause of a great many problems for the group of people that are being asked to shift i.e. women (with XY chromosomes to avoid confusion).


There is such a thing as Women's Rights and they have been hard to come by. And now men are seen to be encroaching not just in their mental space, but also their physical space. And when one person's happiness is gained through the expense of another there is a problem. They would point to the serious matter of safety, particularly as we hear on the news about the rape and murder of women and girls across the world.


To be a woman is indeed part of their identity. Like the LGBTQ+ community and other historically suppressed groups, many women are proud to be so.


For many, simply being a woman has made life difficult as they have had to put up with sexual harassment, lower pay, fewer jobs opportunities, prejudice, sexist behaviour, and so on. This is an experience unique to them, and after all these years the last thing they expected to contend with was men wanting to be them, and then changing the laws so as to suit their new lifestyle!


These cannot be brushed over and government should not have created a situation where it is women that now need to do the changing.


Government's Top-down Approach


In this new world of aggressive political correctness where those who feel they are in the right feel justified in attacking those who appear bigoted and out of touch, women who thought women were women, have become the enemy.


The approach to accommodate both parties has been clumsy and lacking in empathy to the say the least. The result of such inconsiderate implementation of what are life-changing policies is hard division. Anyone might of thought it was sabotage with the degree of belligerence, poor communication and lack of involvement of women.


The anger of women is not because a man wishes to live as a woman, the anger is that the man's change has shunted women out without consultation.


It was always going to be a delicate matter that unless handled with great care would have ended up such as it is.


Confelicity


It is perhaps too late to bridge the divide, but one of our primary goals is to act as a bridge in Southend to at least address the areas that agreement can be found, and the areas that are seemingly insurmountable, we would continue to facilitate discussion with civility, patience and empathy.


The following are just a number of many concerns that have been raised:


  • Women's rights

  • Safe spaces and privacy

  • Gender neutral language changes

  • Legal ramifications

  • Body mutilation

  • Sporting fairness

  • Mental ill-health

  • Cultural influences in school education

  • Financially driven motives for the industries that stand to benefit from body transformations

These are all topics that present a myriad of debate, but it is certainly a challenge that Confelicity will look to embrace as we attempt to bring everyone involved around the table.


What is vital is that we all feel comfortable and safe voicing our opinions without fear of being ostracised, alienated and bullied. My opinion may indeed be completely wrong and built on a foundation of ignorance. However, hatred and vitriol towards myself or others causes division that is never going to heal if we engage within this kind of toxic environment.


And so if we are fortunate enough to be given the opportunity to facilitate a discussion for how Southend develops policies for the betterment of all of us, then we would do this in the spirit of unity.


So, do you know what a woman is?


In my opinion a woman is an adult female who is genetically and biologically female.

However, this does not mean a genetically and biological male cannot transition to become a woman, despite the immovability of the chromosomes. Science has made it possible for our consciousness to align with our physicality - right or wrong.


Policies must be created to ensure both parties live in an environment where they can be happy, and we should not look at this as being mutually exclusive from one side or the other.


The world has changed - maybe forever - but that doesn't mean it can't be even better.


If women were to embrace those men who so desire(d) to be them, and those men who wish to be accepted as such, empathised and respected the rights of their newly found sistren, then there is a realistic path to find workable solutions.


But it must be done together.

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