Making Sense of Feminism

Recently, a radical feminist who I’ve followed on Instagram posted her opinions on, as well as art of, JK Rowling. I was never a fan, so when I had heard about people ‘canceling’ Rowling in 2020 over tweets, I didn’t care to learn more about it. However, because this influencer was posting about Rowling, I felt compelled to look into it. I have always considered said influencer to be inspirational- she has spoken out about many women based issues and had a unique way of expressing feminism through art. So, naturally, I wanted to agree with whatever I was to read about in her post…

and truthfully, her post left me confused.

So, I went straight to the source and viewed the original tweets by JK Rowling.

Let’s begin with a recap. Rowling had an issue with an article promoting menstrual hygiene supplies because it referred to its clientele as “people who menstruate.” Her concern was that this was erasing the, “lived reality of women globally,” and that “erasing the concept of sex removes the ability of many to meaningfully discuss their lives.” However, using inclusive language does not suddenly erase a woman’s own womanhood. Additionally, not all women menstruate, and not all who share the experience of menstruating are women. Ignoring other gender identities to not feel excluded, excludes other identities as a result.

Something that the influencer said was, “[JK Rowling], like so many women these days, is accused of transphobia for a simple reason: she argues that women deserve protection on the basis of sex. She believes that we need spaces dedicated to women only. She thinks as many women that the system of self identification can be dangerous for biological women. (Because who can genuinely make the difference between a real and genuine trans woman, and a man pretending just to enter Women’s spaces?).” There’s a lot to unpack here.

  • Firstly, all women are deserving. ALL women deserve protection. Womanhood is not something to be gate kept and presents itself no single way nor is it a fixed experience. What the influencer, as well as Rowling, fail to recognize is the difference between sex and gender. As most people know, gender is a social construct. It is CONSTRUCTED. Meaning, it has no real black and white determination of what exactly one gender looks like because it is subjective to the individual. We may have a general image in our head based on what we commonly see around us, but that doesn’t mean that is all that is available in this world to represent that identity, and it’s not in align with feminist values to claim so.

  • Secondly, the idea that we as a society can’t determine who is lying about being transgender and therefore we are unsafe is taking an unlikely scenario and pushing it as a narrative to discriminate.

Transgender people are over four times more likely than cisgender people to experience violent victimization, including rape, sexual assault, and aggravated or simple assault, according to a new study by the Williams Institute at UCLA School of Law.

The myth that transgender people are transitioning (and placing themselves in harms way) simply so they can assault cisgendered people is ignorant as well as oppressive. I am no expert in feminism, but this just doesn’t feel like feminism to me. Our feminist goal is to fight oppression but we are only fighting it for some? Why should only one group of gender identity be validated for their struggles but others are “not real”, “not valid”? Is this not still gender oppression?

I want to support women but also PEOPLE.

One thought on “Making Sense of Feminism

  1. As someone who loves Harry Potter, I can not believe I didn’t know about J.K. Rowlings before! This was very informational and got me thinking that maybe this isn’t an author I should support like I have been due to our contradicting thoughts!


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