The law states that a transgender person- regardless of gender reassignment surgery- is their stated gender. So yes, by law a woman can have a penis. Whether you personally think a woman can have a penis or not is a personal decision, and doesn’t- and shouldn’t- change the law. But if you don’t have more important things to focus on than someone else’s genitalia then you live in unimaginable privilege and it’s time someone told you that.
As a young boy I was given a never ending list of things that made a man a man. If I’d imbibed them all I suppose I’d consider myself not a man now- or I’d have tried to become the woman bedding wood chopping dilettante that is constantly touted as what a “real man” is. Ultimately, whilst society can have a broad consensus on what constitutes a man or a woman it’s really down to every single individuals’ personal feeling, an answer that will of course frustrate any transphobic or regressive folk who read this- but think about it.
You know you’re a woman, yes? What makes you a woman? Is it just a lack of a penis or is it a multitude of things? And if someone else gave you a list of what they think a woman is that conflicts with yours does that make you less of a woman or is it irrelevant?
There is your answer to this entire protracted exhausting debate around gender. To themselves and in the eyes of the law a trans person is their stated gender and you can’t and won’t change that any more than the fact they are that gender to themselves alters your gender. NOW CAN WE MOVE ON?
Every day the media assails us with endless rhetoric around whether women can have penises, why do we need to call it chest feeding, what about bathrooms and shelters and on and on- as if suddenly 70% of children instead of around 0.7% identified as trans, as though trans people are positively sweeping the globe! It’s the new catchy phenomenon- that affects less than 1% of people.
Ah but then of course comes the argument- should 99% of people be made uncomfortable by this less than 1% of people? No… but they aren’t. Transphobia is not the popular theory we’re constantly told it is by right wing knee jerk reactionaries like the person who prompted this article today, the ever ineffable Nick Ferrari. Most people don’t feel uncomfortable around trans people because most people realise that a trans person is a person trying to live their lives in a world that seems to be doing its utmost to hinder that. Would I expect women to be comfortable with the pontificating, red faced pillock that is Ferrari tumbling into their gym changing room and haranguing them about their dress size? No. But Ferrari isn’t identifying as a woman, because he isn’t one. There’s a gulf between a trans woman and a cis man and the constant ignoring of this fact is what drives most of us who are not trans but are fucking sick of the endless recycling of the anti trans talking points are fed up of.
How often do you see strangers’ genitals? Me, usually about 50 minutes after I’ve hopped on Grindr, and other than that never.
I avoid looking at people at the gym because I’m not a creep- and if you, like utterly obsessive people like Staniland, spend your time talking about furtively staring at the dangly parts of strangers in the hopes of justifying your moral outrage, you may come to realise that you are the spooky one, not the person just trying to use the facilities.
Ultimately, I feel I need to say this very clearly for transphobic people- and I’m sorry to my trans mates, I don’t mean this to sound as insensitive as it will but- the correct answer to “can a woman have a penis” is I DON’T CARE. I don’t care what’s in your pants, what you were born with or as, I don’t care. I care about you on an individual level and the only time your genitals factor in is if I want us to see each other naked or if you plan to weaponise them against me.
The stats clearly speak to the fact that trans people are not a danger, not simply because they barely exist in the first place but also because trans transgressions (say that five times fast…) barely exist as well!
Websites developed by TERFS would have you believe that around every 3rd turn in a city a trans person is waiting to assail you with what they conceal beneath their clothes- it’s confected outrage and the fact that so many people endlessly fall for it is so consternating. Maya Forstater claims to care for women and yet has declared previously she doesn’t believe in period poverty and only referenced the overturning of abortion legislation in the days after it was leaked to say WOMEN, NOT PEOPLE. Truly, picking at language is the real indicator that you’re a champion of women.
With all of the things going wrong in the UK right now- coronavirus killing approximately 83,000 of us a year, a government making their own corruption legally unassailable, the breakup of the union, the worsening war in Ukraine and our ever increasing march towards direct involvement- focusing on whether a person has an inny or an outy in their private personal area is the height of pathetic. If you feel like trans people are encroaching on your freedom you may want to double check you can still vote after the restrictions on ID came in. If you feel that trans people are taking your rights away I hope you dont want to protest about it because you literally can’t do that any more without risking legal repercussions. And if you feel trans people are dictating laws and sensibilities to you, you may want to know that the government is enforcing laws that means the far right are able to visit and speak at universities and cannot be turned away.
All of the posture, bluster and noise around trans rights has done absolutely nothing but allow actual fascistic rhetoric to embed itself and breed in the fabric of the UK- and that’s why when people tell you you’re supporting fascists and authoritarians, they’re right.
If people keep their genitals to themselves what they have shouldn’t concern you, and if you don’t believe trans people are who they say they are you have the legally protected right to think so- but you also can’t go around blustering at people about it because it’s rude- so you have what you want, you can air your views, you already have access to single sex spaces -but if it’s now gotten to the point that you’re dissecting, in depth, what genitals people have and don’t have you truly have walked off the reservation. I urge you to get some perspective and focus on actual tangible issues instead of the concealing of genitalia.
Daviemoo is a 34 year old independent writer, radicalised into blogging about the political state of the world by Brexit and the election of serial failures like Trump and Johnson. Please check out the rest of the blog, check out Politically Enraged, the podcast available on all streaming platforms and share with your like minded friends! Also check him out on ko-fi where you can keep him caffeinated whilst he writes.