Flat White

I want my ‘sex’ back in 2022

2 January 2022

12:00 PM

2 January 2022

12:00 PM

It has been about a year now since I decided to take up my pen and write some things that I find deeply disturbing about the gender identity movement. I have some theoretical basis in the field, as my degree was in cultural and political theory. I have also lived a diverse life and raised daughters, so I wondered if I could help contribute to the debate.

The journey for me started with a story I wrote about being a survivor of child sexual abuse and having nursed my family through chronic disease. I sought to highlight that government has a duty to shield citizens from natural vulnerabilities, one of those vulnerabilities is based in sex. I have argued that the removal of the category of sex, based on the physical reality of humans, will leave the more vulnerable sex more subject to predictable violence and abuse.

This was my simple argument, and in these pages and others I have laid out my case for women to retain sovereignty over their words, their sex, their spaces, and controversially, their gender. Sometimes arguing for the obvious is hard, especially when the words we have used to anchor ourselves to reality are being redefined under our feet.

I have tried to explain the difference between sex and gender. I have explained the cultural and political philosophies that have been distorted by gender identity activists. I have defended Marx and Foucault with ‘you know they didn’t’ mean that’ kind of arguments. But today, I have decided we are not dealing with a rational political movement. We are dealing with one of those hysterical social phenomena we look back on and think, ‘What the #&@* were they thinking?’

Today I read the headline, TOTAL SICKO Woman jailed for having cocaine-fuelled sex with an Alsatian. I’m not playing anymore. A man rapes a dog in the UK, and the press don’t notice he is not a woman? Not only can women not have their own spaces anymore, they have to take crimes and social stigma for the worst of men? Sure, it’s not ‘all men’, but it is definitely that guy and he is all man.

By calling men ‘women’ we are allowing them to access our vulnerable spaces and changing the gender meanings that we give our daughters about what it means to be a woman. We are allowing the colonisation of sacred female rites of passage; periods, birthing, breastfeeding, menopause, motherhood, grand-motherhood, and all the gendered narratives we write to help women through these rites.

Bathrooms do not exist to affirm identity, they are spaces women change their sanitary products while leaving a pram outside the stall. They are places women flee to, they are places women cry, they are spaces women’s bodies are allowed to exist away from male bodies.

I want to acknowledge that it was the late Christian Kerr who first published my writing here. When I raised the issue of the silencing of feminists and the sexual coercion of lesbians, Christian said he considered it a vital issue to cover. My thoughts and prayers remain with Christian’s family in their grief. Men like Christian are standing with women as they develop arguments and political activism to fight again for what is ours – the cultural and legal rights over our sex.

In the last year, as well as the best of men, I have seen the worst. As I started to argue for the recognition for the unique vulnerability of women and girls, I began to receive a regular flow of vile abuse, death threats, rape threats, as well as pictures of rather unimpressive male anatomy. Abuse seems to be par for the course for women in this country on all political sides, but in this space, the abuse is actively excused by both women and men who make ‘TERFs’ a legitimate target for abuse. I hope to see an improvement in the political environment in 2022.

So, Happy New Year to all, and thank you for reading. I have had some beautiful messages from both male and female survivors of sexual abuse and from decent men who want to stand up for the rights of their beloved women. I have also received some polite and reasonable messages from men’s rights activists wanting me to balance my arguments out. I promise to do so as soon as women have their sex back.

Just a final note that men are not women and I intend to continue next year as I began.

Edie Wyatt has a BA Hons from the Institute of Cultural Policy Studies and writes on culture, politics and feminism. She tweets at @MsEdieWyatt and blogs at ediewyatt.com.

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