June 11, 2019: Wokeman Signal

Talk about the comic
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Foxgloves
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Re: Whats a woman?

Post by Foxgloves » Sun Jun 16, 2019 8:48 am

SrPilha wrote:
Foxgloves wrote: How do you define 'woman'? (one sentence please, if possible)
A woman is, in our society, whatever we collectively identify as such.

The claim "trans women are women" is not an essentialist one, as I understand it, but an act of inclusion: "our understanding of 'woman' must cover these people as well".

I'm not sure this solves any of the discussions on this thread, but at least it might take us away from reifying some stuff that maybe shouldn't be.
A schnargel is whatever society collectively identifies as a schnargel. Now you know what a schnargel is. Right? Does that make any sense whatsoever?

No, it doesn’t.

You wanna hear it from someone who has more patience to elaborate - here's one feminist critique of woman as a supposed social construction and queer theory over all: https://soundcloud.com/womenreadwomen/p ... -of-parody

You’re talking about women like were a medical diagnosis that gets updated with new discoveries or social attitudes. Like our existence is contingent on society believing in it. Imagine telling that to any other oppressed group of people. Oh wait, lesbians are being told their sexuality also needs an “inclusiveâ€￾ update… Not homophobic at all.

Please give me an objectively verifiable non circular definition of woman. You can tell me I’m being non-inclusive all day long, when everything else is just word salad, I’m not inclined to change to my mind.

PS to everybody: The comic is clearly refering to a specific group of transactivist allies, who are male, many of them still identifiying as male, using the movement as a veil to be shitty to women which the left only accepts because women who believe our oppression is based on bodies not identities are personas non grata. It's not a representation of all trans people, many of whom are perfectly friendly people, who don't deny reality or womens sex based oppression.

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Z6IIAB
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Post by Z6IIAB » Sun Jun 16, 2019 1:19 pm

I don't really think we should waste our times on ill intentioned trolls that come here only to yell at us for disagreeing with their sexist and misogynystic beliefs.

They have proven time and again their only purpose in coming here is to disrupt our community, twist our words and voice their poorly interpretations of a pretty on-the-nose webcomic.

And, as if that wasn't enough, they repeat the same tired vitriolic we all are done hearing everywhere else on the internet.

I know some of you still have the energy and think it's worth the effort. I've been throught so many discussions already. I promise you, it's not.
Call me Celina. I've been a fan since 2007, and tried to enjoy the old forum since then too. Now that we have a forum for radfems/people who actually enjoy the comic! Hell yes! I'll call up all my buddies here!! Armageddon is coming.

SrPilha
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Re: Whats a woman?

Post by SrPilha » Mon Jun 17, 2019 3:51 am

Thanks for the soundcloud link. I believe your position is clearer now to me.

One quick reply, though:
Foxgloves wrote: A schnargel is whatever society collectively identifies as a schnargel. Now you know what a schnargel is. Right? Does that make any sense whatsoever?

No, it doesn’t.
The only reason this doesn't make sense is because we don't see "schnargel" used anywhere else, whereas we do see "woman" used everywhere. This is how we learn the meanings of words: we see how they're used, in what contexts, with what associations, we see what actions are related to them, and so on. This is also how we can see how problematic so many of these uses and associations are.
My position is that trying to find an essential / essentialist definition of "woman" is a problem - but that doesn't mean we don't already know, even with certainty and with the consequences you've pointed out, what a woman is.

I certainly do not wish to consider women, or being a woman, like a medical diagnosis and I apologise if that's what came through. I do believe however that genders only exist and manifest as they do because we believe in them. I'm not saying this is an easy thing to deconstruct, just saying that there's nothing in nature or biology that could tell me properly what women are or do.

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Foxgloves
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Re: Whats a woman?

Post by Foxgloves » Mon Jun 17, 2019 6:23 am

I certainly do not wish to consider women, or being a woman, like a medical diagnosis and I apologise if that's what came through. I do believe however that genders only exist and manifest as they do because we believe in them. I'm not saying this is an easy thing to deconstruct, just saying that there's nothing in nature or biology that could tell me properly what women are or do.
I just used "schnargel" to illustrate, that the definition was circular and thus useless. Anyways...

How is "a woman is an adult person with female primary sex characteristics, aka a vulva", not a clear definition? It is clearly the definition men have always gone by when deciding who to oppress. It's the definition feminism has gone by when deciding who to advocate for. The oppressor isn't confused about biology. Neither are most of the oppressed agitating.

This "I don't really know what a woman is" by fear of being exclusive is totally new and totally hindering to feminist activism. Significant parts of a vital movement are forced to hit the breaks to debate who they are even advocating for. I know some other movements debate who e.g. qualifies as "disabled" or even who qualifies as "African American", but woman is extremly straightforward. Only when you try like hell to include male people in the definition do you end up with "shit, now I can't put my finger on what all these people have in common anymore that distinguishes them from men....".

Don't make it harder than it needs to be. Women have female bodies and it's that physical fact that's the continued excuse for our oppression. Trans people are oppressed because of their non conformity and assumed homosexuality. You can be an ally to us both, but you gotta stop insisting women are a mysterious category. We're the ones who menstruate, get pregnant, give birth, need abortions, are victims of FGM, I could go on. That's an objective fact. Stop saying men invented us out of thin air. Females existed before humans did and long before we had language. Suggesting we're a made up social or linguistic category is insulting and actively harmful.

GothHick
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Re: Whats a woman?

Post by GothHick » Mon Jun 17, 2019 6:50 am

Foxgloves wrote:PS to everybody: The comic is clearly refering to a specific group of transactivist allies, who are male, many of them still identifiying as male, using the movement as a veil to be shitty to women
Ah! Is it? Thank you! To me the reference / recent arc has been very inside baseball. Unable to pick up on what to you (and others) has been a clear series of references really made for a weird tonal shift in the comic. I could tell something was up from forum chatter and more-or-less extrapolated what you made clear in your PS, but no sarcasm- thank you.

Everyone but me knew what the schnargel was. :D

If I hadn't read the forums... I honestly don't know what I would've made of the recent comics.

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