I knew I was a woman when …

This bucks the trend of my usual single-issue, fact-based articles, I’ll get back to that because facts are powerful, especially in the context of the current insanity. But you know what? I don’t feel like politing. I don’t feel like pleasing and thanking. I don’t feel like considering how I might engage people on the edges of the argument.

I just feel angry. So, so angry.

It’s prompted by the attacks by trans activists on a woman in London, prior to a debate about the Gender ID bill. That has been covered in detail and with by passion by many, including the wonderful @VictoriaPeckham,  GenderTrender and @MeghanMurphy.

The rage I feel about women being silenced for refusing to accept that cocks are part of the female anatomy has made me look at myself. How *do* I know I’m a woman?

I’m not having an existential crisis, I mean it literally. How do I know? Because I don’t ‘identify’ as a woman … I just am one.

There have been clues along the way, though.

I started my period during an episode of Bergerac.

My mum was at work and my dad was pissed. The rust brown womb scrapings in my knickers weren’t the gush of righteous ruby I’d been primed to expect by whisperings at school. The mattress sized pad seemed like overkill, to be honest…

Transactivists: I knew I was a woman then.

When I was about 13, we had some work done on our roof. There was a gang of builders swarming the house like sweaty, swearing, singlet wearing wasps. They left copies of The Sun in the kitchen, with Page 3 and pages of sexlines. As a stroppy, budding feminist I would bin any copy I found. One day, as I was leaving the house, one of them wolf whistled at my disappearing, stone washed denim clad arse.

Then he said : “I’d do you if you weren’t jail bait”.

Transactivists: I knew I was a woman then.

One summer, I got a job in a bar. A bar in a shabby, down at heel seaside town. The ‘interview’ was with a sleazy man in a shit suit with his shirt open to the navel. He said I’d be a bar maid. And hostess. My job, essentially was to flirt with men to get them to spend more money. I was really good at it. Then one evening I was dancing with one of the regulars and he got a bit gropey.

I told him to back off. He called me frigid. Then, in a fine piece of male logic, he called me whore and complained to the manager. I got the sack.

Transactivists: I knew I was a woman then.

I can’t list all the times men have run their hands across my arse, stroked my arms; touched my face, for crying out loud. Pretty much, if it’s a body part above the knee, it’s been fondled by a man who has not asked if it’s ok first.

To all the times I’ve been touched, uninvited, in a sexual way I’ll add all the uninvited comments from complete strangers. From ‘cheer up love’ to ‘wanna give me a blowjob’. All men.

And all felt they were entitled to do this because I’m a woman.

The feeling of my rapist’s semen running down my inner thigh as I ran, naked, into his bathroom?

I knew I was a woman then.

The terror when I was pinned against a wall by my “boyfriend”?

I knew I was a woman.

When I was pregnant, I vomited for the whole time. The hormones my female body produced to keep my baby safe and attached to my magical placenta made me vomit violently. I carried a water bottle in my car so I could seamlessly throw up mid gear change.

I grew my child, in the same womb that had disturbed my Bergerac viewing with its rusty flakes.

I grew a child.

Quite how, given my diet of very little followed by not much, I don’t know. Kneeling over the toilet, dry heaving but bizarrely comforted by the smell of bleach:

I have never felt more like a woman.

Giving birth, nearly in the hospital foyer? Knew I was a woman. Meeting my waxy, bloody, dark eyed baby as he snuffled for my nipple? Knew I was a woman. Managing my lactating, massive, painful leaky breasts? All woman.

Having my first post birthing bowel movement, sobbing at the blood and shit covered porcelain? Yep.

I knew I was a woman then.

I will be called transphobic by some for these words, I will be accused of not checking my cis privilege – the privilege to be raped or cat called or treated like a possession.

I will be accused of triggering trans people by waving my womb in their face like a bleeding, baby producing placard that states: “I am a woman, you are not”.

And yet. I do not hate trans people. I am not scared of them. I defend and accept their lives and their choices as being valid and very different to my own.

To quote Jenn Smith:

Woman is an adult human female, not a look or a feeling … getting rid of gender stereotypes would virtually collapse the trans narrative.

This is not about lacking support for trans people, however they choose to live their experience. I believe a firm rejection of gender norms is the best way forward – this supports gender non conforming people in a systemic way. It takes the pressure off them – because if there is no societally driven gender norm, you don’t need to trans.

No clothing has ever made me feel like a woman.

I have had short hair, long hair and in between hair; it made no difference to my woman-ness. I am a woman with sore feet in high heels and a woman who can run in trainers. I have never applied false eye lashes or lipstick, but my BFF assures me that red lipstick or not, she’s a woman.

Transactivists: I challenge you to explain to me how, through ‘lived experience’ transwomen are women.

Engage with this thought, stop trying to force your way into our sex without consent.

transactivists: I knew I was a woman when - fairplayforwomen.com
Very happy you had such a nice day, but please stop insisting you are women.


Adult human female standing up for fairness

2 comments on “I knew I was a woman when …

  • 18th September 2017 at 22:34

    That is excellent.

  • 24th October 2017 at 17:15

    I’m sorry but I remember Frankie Howerd in “Up Pompeii” (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Up_Pompeii!). The comedy was all sexual double ententes – ambiguity – in a much more innocent age. In 1970 my family and I found it wildly funny. That different world has totally disappeared in our more prurient, introspective times. What a pity!


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