I took a long time to find my voice. To become the having a thousand thoughts and opinions a day kind of person.
Joining Twitter and starting to write my old blog were both an avenue and arena that I had never experienced before and were in part the catalyst for releasing my voice. As a result, many thoughts and opinions began to form. It took a bloody long while to get there, but one thing to know about me is that I can and never will be pushed. I come to things in my own time.
When I finally found my voice, "the left" seemed to be a natural home for me. I happily joined the camp of lefties and refused to listen to anyone with the slightest inclination of right leaning thought. Feminism was another world where I felt at home. Pro women, pro choice, an easy decision.
But what comes with finding your voice and having a thirst to learn more, is that you begin to question the worlds that you have chosen. The boxes you have placed yourself in and the boxes that people have put you in.
If you had spoken to me in September last year, I would have described myself as a uber leftie. An intersectional feminist. Accepting of all. The kool aid had been drunk and I was on the party message.
But then. I began to question the rhetoric. Ask questions. Object. Seeds of doubt about what I thought I believed were planted.
I wonder if Rachel McKinnon realises the amount of people that turned away from intersectionality as a result of them (yes I am being careful) winning that bike race. The photograph of them standing on the top of the podium. Clearly male bodied. Clearly advantaged over the two women who came second and third. That was the start.
From there, I was like Alice falling round the rabbit hole. My fall was akin to falling off a cliff and while I grabbed at points of information along the way, by the time I found my feet again, I was a different person; again.
I became irritated by the left who seemed to be becoming more self righteous and controlling by the day. As I have said in a previous blog post, the presumption of the public and the persona surrounding them has always been that the left are always on the moral side, the side of the people, the right side of history. The right was always wrong. So why did I become to feel so stifled? So controlled? Wasn't it the right that wanted to control us?
Feminism also began to irritate me. Specifically the holier than thou way that some went about it. I cared about women's safety, women's rights, not what a fucking sandwich was called or whether a man opened a door for me was a sign of the patriarchy.
I reached a point where I was no longer a leftie, I was a centrist. I wasn't sure whether I was still a feminist. I was gender critical. That I was certain of.
So from last October when I first started to question everything to know, I was in a state of flux. I became politically homeless as more and more parties swallowed and spouted out the line that trans women were women. They are not. They will never be.
I joined the club of being blocked by Owen Jones (we need a badge of pride I think at this point).
Whilst listening to and learning from many gender critical women, I was also told however that certain people within the movement were not to be listened to. That they were extremists that would ally themselves to anyone. But I wanted to listen and make up my own mind.
I was tired of the labels I had both chosen and had been given. My voice was not being censored, but I was conscious that some of the things I thought were again, would not be acceptable.
I wanted so much to go to the Woman's Place meeting in London. To see Sharron Davies who I think is fantastic and unafraid in what she says and thinks. Unfortunately timing issues were not on my side.
But then I saw Make More Noise were holding an event in Manchester. Talking about the elephant in the room of feminism. What we did not talk about/enough. Posie Parker was one of the speakers. One of the people I had been told not to listen to. But I wanted to make up my own damn mind.
I really enjoyed her speech. I also loved the talk by Sarah Phillimore which I understood more from my line of work.
But I was scared to admit that I had attended a talk with Posie involved. Then I got angry. I am tired of limiting myself and my experiences. Who I listen to. What information I should take from people.
So today, I am removing my labels. I am politically homeless. Not left, not right, not centrist. I will viewpoints from all and discard what I don't agree with. But only after I have listened. Supporting women, their sex based rights and the rights to their own bodies will always be the line I will stand on. But I'm taking off the word feminist too.
I am label free other than my biologically fact based description of being an adult human female.
I think I will end my (very long, sorry) blog post with a few things that I believe and all, are a hill I would stand up for and die on.
- Every person is entitled to the same human rights. No person or group need or deserve more than that. We don't (yet) live in the equivalent of Animal Farm.
- Lesbians do not have penises.
- Biological men do not belong in women's spaces.
- No one under the age of at least 18 should be on hormone altering medication or undergo gender altering surgery. It is child abuse.
- The state should not be telling parents what sex their child is.
- If you think that you are circumgender trans, you need psychological help, not affirmation.
- If you believe that putting on a dress, having a beard and calling yourself a lesbian is right, again, you need psychological help, not affirmation.
- If you believe that a woman saying no is not allowed because it may hurt your chosen identity feelings, you can frankly, fuck off.
Think I had better stop here. For now. More posts to follow. Thank you, if you got this far, for reading.