Judith Butler Is Everything Wrong With Gender Ideology

This interview is perfect #peaktrans material

When future historians want to understand just how liberal feminism lost the plot in the 21st Century, they need only look at the work of Judith Butler.

In an interview with the New Statesman published yesterday, Butler calls gender critical feminism “a fringe movement that is seeking to speak in the name of the mainstream.” Which is weird, because polls show that her point of view is decidedly outside of the mainstream. A minority view pretending to be the majority: who else does that?

Most people do not agree that a penis becomes female when a man puts on lipstick. Statistics show that “trans women” offend against women at the same rate as other kinds of men (because they are men). Butler, on the other hand, believes that men magically become harmless when they “identify” as women.

Radical feminism “assumes that the penis is the threat, or that any person who has a penis who identifies as a woman is engaging in a base, deceitful, and harmful form of disguise,” Butler says. “This is a rich fantasy, and one that comes from powerful fears, but it does not describe a social reality.”

Of course, those “powerful fears” are called rape and assault, which happen to women all the time. According to Butler, women are not allowed to object when a man has come into their space; they cannot ask whether a man is “trans” or just taking advantage of the new “social reality” that lets men into women’s spaces. To ask those questions is “discrimination” now, you see.

“The fact that such fantasies pass as public argument is itself cause for worry,” Butler says, having built an entire career on passing off the fantasy of “gender identity” as a public argument.

Strangely for a woman, Butler seems blissfully unaware of the lives most women live. Perhaps that is the privilege of the ivory tower, but the disconnection is general. “I am not aware that terf is used as a slur,” Butler says, for she has apparently never been told that she deserves to be raped and murdered and set on fire. No one has said “die, terf!” to Judith Butler.

Perhaps the experience would enlighten her. Butler is “perplexed” by questions about the abuse that JK Rowling has received for speaking gender thoughtcrime because trans people also receive verbal abuse, don’t they? Especially in Poland and Brazil and Romania.

See, if you just forget that we are talking about death threats made against a woman in the United Kingdom, we can pretend that it’s her fault when men abuse other men in other countries. Easy!

Butler’s career is all about this kind of solipsistic disconnection. “The social meanings of what it is to be a man or a woman are not yet settled,” she says.

That’s true enough — the words “masculine” and “feminine” are about performance, and the meaning of that performance is an ephemeral social construct. The problem is that human beings are not performances. We exist in bodies, and half of us exist in female bodies that have evolved to be generally smaller, weaker, and built around gestation.

Nevertheless, “it would be a disaster for feminism to return either to a strictly biological understanding of gender,” Butler says, “or to reduce social conduct to a body part.” As if anyone can exist outside of their physical body.

Has no one informed Butler that she is not a woman anymore, but a person with a uterus, or a person with a cervix, or a person who menstruates? Gender critical feminism does not reduce women to their parts; gender ideology does.

This inversion is also general to Butler’s work. To say that a man remains a man when he performs femininity “attacks the dignity of trans people,” she says, but calling women menstruators does not attack the dignity of women, somehow.

It is actually fascinating to watch the utter lack of self-awareness at work here. Butler worries that we are “living in anti-intellectual times.” This is a legitimate concern, and her continued prominence as a supposed intellectual is a prime example of why we should worry about it.

Three decades have passed since her manifesto Gender Trouble, and she is still appropriating the language of intersex conditions: “Many people who were assigned ‘female’ at birth never felt at home with that assignment,” she says.

Therefore, men become women when they perform 1950s-era sexist stereotypes. See how that works?

There is one ray of hope in the interview. After years of being told “this is not a debate,” we at last have Butler on the record saying that a debate is “possible.” Hooray!

Of course, that debate “would have to reconsider the ways in which the medical determination of sex functions in relation to the lived and historical reality of gender,” which is a fancy way of saying that we shouldn’t bring back those sexist stereotypes of the 1950s that limited careers and opportunities for women, which is a thing that almost no one anywhere is actually trying to do.

Quite the opposite, really: women are fighting just to maintain the things they have won, such as sex-based sporting divisions under Title IX. Butler was not asked about this issue in the interview, which is a shame, as her answer would make plain just how badly women would fare in her gender utopia. She is a men’s rights activist dressed up as a feminist.


About the author

Former progressive activist declared heretic by his former movement for refusing to believe that "woman" is a costume or a feeling and recognizing male pattern behavior as male even when it wears lipstick and high heels. Just because you hate something I say does not make it hate speech.
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I was flabbergasted when I read her profoundly dishonest interview yesterday. One would have to be living under a rock for the past 5-10 years to come to some of the (profoundly dishonest!) conclusions she does. Great analysis, thanks!

Brigitte Lechner

She is right in one thing; we live in anti-intellectual times. Rational debate and facts validated by evidence can be labelled delusional now. Butler proves it. Butler also takes the lead in a throng of feckless egos who capitalised on postmodernist theories, pontificating in ivory towers and never getting their hands dirty with work. She and her ilk ushered in this new era of irrationalism.

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