Good arguments

There are articles full of what I considered to be good arguments on every part of this site. Here is where I park a selection of some of my favourites. Many of them are also linked to from other pages on this site.

I’d like to dedicate this page to the memory of Kate Gould, a brilliant young woman who truly understood what makes a good argument. Sadly, Kate died unexpectedly in October 2017. I am honoured to include her last blog post below. RIP Kate.


Transwomen: The New Misogynists Kate Gould

Kate Gould

“This is our cultural narrative: men demand and women defer. Just because they’re wearing dresses, they behave no differently. Men want to have the right to choose the gender with which they identify and to be able to assert that right. For that is what transwomen’s rights are: men’s rights to identify and behave as they wish. To assume that this right is more worthy of support or more important than the rights of the women with whom transwomen say they identify is misogynist and demonstrates a lack of compassion and deep ignorance of what women deal with in their everyday lives – good and bad.”



“Evil Womxn”: The Silencing Of Biological Reality And The Technology Of Obfuscation” Julian Vigo 26.10.18

“We are at an impasse where the elliptical and conscious misrepresentations of sex are being used to shut up women in Canada, the US, the UK and beyond from live talks which are de-platformed, to social media accounts which are shut down, to billboards being removed, and the very linguistic basis for discussing sexual different being erased.”


Six years in the gender wars Sarah Ditum 10.09.18

“Death plays a significant role in trans politics. Stonewall insistently repeats a shockingly high figure for suicide attempts by young trans people as an argument for reforming the Gender Recognition Act (even though this figure was acquired through self-selecting respondents, and there was no attempt in the survey to account for co-morbidity of mental health problems with trans identification). Trans activist Paris Lees has made it a point of honour to talk about “an epidemic of violence against trans people”; actually, the average murder rate for trans people in the UK is lower than the average murder rate overall. The main calendar date for trans activism is Trans Day of Remembrance, which again is about the dead; when Shon Faye wrote a column for the less morbid Trans Day of Visibility, it started with a story about a death.”


A letter to a female trans activists La Scapigliata

“There is 3.8 billion women on this planet. We are harmed in myriad ways by male violence and misogyny. We spent hundreds of years fighting for the rights and protections we have. We are not going to allow you and a bunch of privileged white students drunk on postmodernism, who have no life experience or knowledge of the issues, to jeopardise our lives. We are not going to allow you to jeopardise YOUR life. So listen up!”


An African-American Woman Reflects on the Transgender Movement Nuriddeen Knight

“If I had gone to my parents begging them to be white, I think they might have laughed, cried, comforted me, and worried what they did wrong as parents. But what if I had told them not only that I wanted to be white but that I actually was white? What if I had declared that the race of my body simply didn’t match that of my mind? I think they would’ve been deeply troubled.”


Beyond Criticism Sam White, Country Squire Magazine

“It seems that anything prefixed with ‘trans’ or brightened up with a rainbow flag is beyond criticism. Because criticism has been recast as discrimination, labelled transphobic, and put in a box marked hate speech. It’s an authoritarian tactic which prevents open debate, policed by jobsworths who don’t know better, or who are afraid of being labelled as something-phobic themselves.”


Don’t you just love it when a man explains to you what it means to be a woman? Hadley Freeman, The Guardian

“There is understandable concern about being on the wrong side of history. But I’ll tell you what has never put anyone on the right side of history: shouting women down. Gender is a feeling and biology is a physical fact, and the reason women-only spaces exist is not to protect some special inner feminine essence, but because there are significant physical differences between male-born bodies and female-born ones, and the latter have long been at a disadvantage.”


Fear and Loathing Grips the Gender Debate James Kirkup

“Bluntly, why the hell is no one in politics shouting from the rooftops about this stuff? We’re talking about people trying to put the frighteners on Mumsnetters, for goodness sake. In any other area of public life, politicians usually fall over themselves in their rush to speak up for middle-class working mothers. Yet the politicians who were desperate to talk biscuits at Mumsnet Towers are curiously silent about the intimidation that some women now report there.”


I am a Woman. You are a Trans Woman. And That Distinction Matters. Olivia Broustra

“I asked why as a woman who was born with woman parts it is now considered transphobic to want to have conversations about the distinct and unquestionable differences in life experience between cis and trans women. I asked why when women have faced systematic violence at the hands of men and 1 in six women is raped, is it wrong for cis women to have some spaces just for them to feel safe in a world where they don’t? And I was immediately threatened, labeled as transphobic, and left to feel as if my voice was nothing.”


I am neither trans nor a woman. Can I write about the issues they face?” James Kirkup

“It is hard to think of many other instances where self-described progressive political movements would be so relaxed about stigmatising a group (though British Jews might here point to Labour’s tolerance of antisemitism.) People who take pains to use language sensitively—carefully referring to trans people by the pronouns of their choice and abjuring terms such as “trans-identified male” for a trans woman—are notably comfortable ignoring those women (and men) who object to “TERF” or “cis”.”


Identity is the issue of our age so why can’t we talk more honestly about trans women Hadley Freeman, The Guardian

“Trans activists say the idea that biology should determine who is and isn’t a woman is misogynistic. Yet far more simplistic gender arguments are advanced by the trans movement. On Radio 4’s PM last autumn – from the impartial BBC – a mother went unchallenged when she claimed she realised her three-year-old daughter was a trans boy when she asked for books about pirates instead of princesses. In another BBC interview last year, Eddie Izzard said he loves manicures because he’s trans.”


If It’s OK To Object To Rachel Dolezal Identifying As Black, Then It’s OK To Object To Men Identifying As Women Samantha Rea, Medium

“There’s backlash against any criticism of men identifying as women, despite the fact that men will never face any of the prejudice, or experience any of the issues associated with women’s reproductive systems. And just as black people cannot occupy the lived experience of white people, women cannot occupy the lived experience of men.”


If ‘white feminism’ is a thing, gender identity ideology epitomizes it Raquel Rosario Sanchez

“This is because there is an expectation that women are inherently nurturing. Being forced into the position of caretaker translates to women having less savings, being promoted less, and accumulating less money in their pensions. But gender identity politics reduces this reality — and womanhood itself — to a trivial, malleable identity. It is baffling that in a world where women and girls face structural oppression due to their biology, gender identity politics has thrived.”


Keingenderism, Truth, and Where the Transgender Movement Gets it Wrong Angelos Sofocleous

“As a response to the actions of this identity movement which undermine the aims of the movement itself, I propose the notion of keingenderism, and how it can help the movement keep consistent with its aim to emancipate the individual from the gender binary. My view is that, by adopting the contemporary ‘trans’ identity, one strengthens the traditional gender binary. As a result of the numerous ‘trans’ identities, the term ‘cisgender’, for example, has become an incredibly exclusive and restrictive term which only includes those who satisfy the stereotypes of what is to be a man or a woman, something counterintuitive to the aims of the transgender movement.”


Letter to UK Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn on trans/women’s rights Bea Jaspert

“Trans women describe themselves as having an internal sense of gender which is female. Natal women describe themselves as of the female sex, irrespective of gender. We are not the same.
Because we are not the same, we have distinct and different experiences of oppression, discrimination, exploitation and abuse. Because our experiences are different, we need separate voices, services, rights and protections.”


My Disservice to my Transgender Patients Kathy Mandingo

“As I recall, all of these patients were men wanting to transition to being women, and, as I recall, all of them struck me as psychologically unwell, as manifested in their behaviours. I remember thinking that there was an atmosphere of coercion among the staff in which it was uncool to question the validity of the patients’ desires and expressed gender identity. Any psychological disturbance was often attributed to the patient’s suffering of living their life in the “wrong” gender.”


Peak Trans Critical Kid Blog

“When he came out, it seemed that he was the epitome of female stereotypes. He said he always “thought like a woman.” I’ve known some of the most amazing, powerful, inspiring women in my life time. There are many things that I, and other men, can learn from these women. I didn’t understand how someone could categorize thinking like a woman without using sex-based stereotypes.”


Punches, Pronouns & Power  Sam White, Country Squire Magazine

“Unlike the selectively caring postmodern left, let’s not focus solely on our trans-bruiser and his feelings, but on clarity of expression, and the safety and understanding of everybody, and in particular the woman who’s just been violently assaulted. What do you want our onlooking reporter to do now? Do you want them to change the words to woman hits woman, so that—in the absence of visual evidence—anyone who reads the story will take away the belief that a biological woman hit a biological woman?”


Tantrums over tiaras … how to navigate the latest gender minefield Hadley Freeman

“Of course, trans women need protection from violent men – all women do. I’m just really not clear about why some women’s requests for safety are taken seriously while others are taken as proof of bigotry. Any man – and I have seen many online – who thinks he is proving his liberal credentials by shouting down women talking about these fears really needs to have a good long look at himself. Because this behaviour is – dare I point out the obvious? Dare I? – hideously patriarchal.”


The Banality of Stupid Nina Paley

“Dear Future,

Greetings from 2017, when we’re having Peak Trans. In 5-8 years this will be over. A generation of children currently being treated with hormones and surgery for being “born in the wrong body” will be suing their doctors and parents. People will no longer say that a penis is female if the penis-haver “identifies as a woman”. The current trend of allowing male athletes to compete “as women” as long as they’re taking estrogen will be history (to refresh: male-to-trans runnersweightliftersvolleyball players, etc. are currently thrashing female opponents because women’s sports organizations are unwilling to appear “bigoted.”)”


The India Effect: (what Celebrity Big Brother can teach us about gender politics.) Jeni Harvey

“It is a fact that no natal woman has ever felt the need to approach another, and shout at her that she is a real woman. And in return, no natal woman has ever felt the need to say to another, of course you are and I totally respect that. Such an exchange serves only to reveal that neither party wholly believes what they are saying. And so here lies the crux: trans women know they are not women in any concrete, material sense, which is what has given rise to all the various mental gymnastics regarding sexed brains and souls trumping the bare facts of ones reproductive system.”


The Left Are Abandoning Women; and in Doing So, Abandoning Everything They Stand For Tom Farr

“Full equality for all women? What do they mean by equality? Do they want women to kill two men a week? Do they want 85,000 men a year to be victims of sexual assault and rape at the hands of females? I refer you to my statement above referring to how radical feminism argues for liberation from patriarchy, not merely compliance and contribution to it dressed up as “equality”.”


The Oldest Hate Crime: How Misogyny is Being Used to Strangle Women’s Debate on Sex and Gender  Nicola Williams

“This report discusses the way some women’s voices are being silenced within the political and social debate on sex and gender identity. Women have an important and legitimate contribution to make but this censorship is preventing a fair and free debate. The aim of this report is not to address the questions and concerns women have but to highlight how and why women are being excluded. This is achieved through the demonisation of women with gender critical views through widespread use of misogynistic hate slurs and accusations of transphobia. This report describes the way women are suffering abuse, hostility and crime motivated by hate and prejudice due to their opinions on sex and gender. The consequences are that women’s views are not being fairly represented through hate-based silencing due to fear, shame and rejection.”


The Sex Delusion Jeni Harvey, Huffpo 

“I fully support the rights of any individual experiencing psychological distress to receive the appropriate treatment and support, including sex reassignment surgery if necessary. I support their right to live as they choose. Where my incredulity begins however, is at the point a person claims to actually be a member of that opposite sex; indeed that they always were. I ask in what quantifiable, verifiable way could anyone possibly know that?”


The violent misogyny of the gender debate James Kirkup

“This debate about gender and sex and identity may seem terribly modern, a product of our times, but really, this is a story as old as they come: women who do not know their place are threatened and punished. Britain in 2018 is still a country where women who speak out risk a smack in the mouth.”


To Boys Who Don’t Fit In Jesse

“Being a woman is, I believe, about being an oppressed minority group, being put in a different, inferior social class because you’re female. It’s bending biological facts out of recognition if you try to make ‘female’ into some flexible category that anyone can fit into, just cause they feel that way inside. It’s also truly insulting. If you do that, you’re saying the oppression of women isn’t a thing at all, because anyone can be a woman; anyone can opt in and out.”


Trans rights should not come at the cost of women’s fragile gains Sarah Ditum

“Too often, gender neutrality is accomplished by neutralising services or analyses centred on women. But it is also important to understand that, far from loosening the shackles of gender, modern trans ideology often tightens them. Feminism offers the radical proposition that what you like, what you wear and who you are should not be dictated by your chromosomes, hormones or any other marker of biological sex. Trans ideology reverses that.”


“Trans Women Are Women” Is A Lie Helen Highwater

“But I was also shocked by the number of intelligent and compassionate women who were being labelled TERFs and receiving abuse after abuse from people claiming the protection of the transgender umbrella. What on earth was happening here?

And so I engaged, and challenged others, and challenged my own beliefs. I listened to the women who were being abused. I listened with open ears and an open heart. And, slowly, I started to understand, what gender is. We live in a society where we are all constrained by gender.”


We are Not Allowed to Talk About Transgender Misogyny Tantric Trance : sex, spirit, science

“We are told that we need to accept everything transgender folks say because they are the most oppressed, therefore they are always right. Speaking the truth, that is, that men can’t magically turn into women, is now considered bigotry and violence. We must agree with everything because trans women are beaten up and harassed more often than women are (according to their own statistics and self-reports).  (Is this the Oppression Olympics?) This phrasing obscures an important truth: the ones doing the beating and harassing are MEN. It is men who beat women and feminine men.”


What are the radfem debate sticking-points and why do we care so much about them?  Tattycape

“The gender debate is becoming ‘too hot to handle’. Speak boldly on the matter only if you would also boldly enter a witness protection scheme afterwards. So, naturally, the whole thing has become juicy new ideological land for journalists and the media to approach bluntly and incompetently and then profit off the ensuing anger and venom.”


What Makes A Woman? Jeni Harvey

“There is no human right to use spaces reserved for those born female if you are biologically male, however, and what women are asking for is a debate around potential changes to the law, and the aggressive attempts to reshape social norms, that will affect their actual rights and status as a protected group based on biological sex.

But if to speak of the sexed difference between trans women as natally male and women as natally female — and how we might uphold existing equality law that specifically allows for, and recognises as necessary, a space for this difference — is framed as denying someone’s entire existence, then in one fell swoop, any mention of rights as they pertain at all to female people becomes unspeakable.”


Why Is Transgender An Identity But Anorexia A Disorder? Moira Fleming

” I approach this topic with a wrenching awareness of what it feels like to be disconnected from your body, to hate with every fiber of your being the way you look in the mirror, and to be willing to undergo great feats of self-mutilation to achieve a vision that is always just out of grasp. My perspective on the matter, however, probably would not go over well among most LGBTQ individuals. As a person who has struggled with anorexia nervosa since puberty, the transgender anguish resonates with me. The similarities between the two illnesses are striking. Yet one is an identity, and the other is a disorder. Why?”


Womanhood: On Sex, Gender Roles, and Self-Identification Sister Outrider

“Gender is a socially constructed trap designed to oppress women as a sex class for the benefit of men as a sex class. And the significance of biological sex cannot be disregarded, in spite of recent efforts to reframe gender as an identity rather than a hierarchy. Sexual and reproductive exploitation of the female body are the material basis of women’s oppression – our biology is used as a means of domination by our oppressors, men.”


Finally, a big thumbs up for Saying no to penis is not hate speech The New Backlash which has loads to read.

“Transgender identity politickers work to vilify and silence these transwomen, just as they work to vilify and silence any feminist who dares question the idea of [womanhood as a feeling male people have] – and transgender identity politickers are surprisingly powerful. Therefore, in the United States of America, in the year 2015, in a political climate that includes attacks on reproductive freedom from the Right, increasing pornification of girls and women from the Left, and increasing levels of violence against girls and women from all directions, I am afraid to publicly state my opinion that female biology and socialization matter – because that opinion is inevitably framed as “transphobic,” and an accusation of transphobia can mean ex-communication on the Left.”






Page last updated: 26.10.18