Defining “Women” as “People who Menstruate”

Recently there’s been some talk about periods among Freethoughblogs bloggers. A rather famous TERF wrote some tweets about how women are “people who menstruate.” That’s not correct. It’s wrong to imagine that only women can menstruate (so can trans men and non-binary people). It’s also wrong to say that if you don’t menstruate, you’re not a woman (a lot of women, including cis women, do not have periods for various reasons). Periods are not what defines an individual as a woman. There are various groups of people who have been assigned “female” at birth and identify as women but do not have periods:

–Elderly women.
–Women who have had a hysterectomy.
–Some of the women who have had an endometrial ablation.
–Women who choose to continuously use hormonal birth control.
–Women who are malnourished or very physically active.
–Some women with PCOS (polycystic ovary syndrome).
–Women with various genetic health conditions.
–Women who were born intersex.

And, yes, of course, there are also trans women who do not have periods either. Welcome to the club! Statistically, trans people are a small minority, thus trans women are only a fraction of all the women who do not have periods. It’s funny how in their attempt to redefine the word “woman” TERFs came up with a definition that excludes so many cis women. Simultaneously defining “women” as “adult AFAB people” and “people who menstruate” is impossible, because both of these groups of people overlap only partially. [Read more…]

How I Started to Hate Pink Color

How do children (and also people in general) decide what kind of clothes they like? People don’t pick their favorite outfits in a cultural vacuum. They don’t figure out how to clothe themselves from scratch. Instead, they look at what their peers are wearing. Sometimes, they also look at what some role model like, for example, a movie star, is wearing. Never mind advertisements. Fashion companies market specific clothes directly to children, and corporations wouldn’t be spending so much money on marketing to kids if it wasn’t effective. [Read more…]

8th March

International Women’s Day is celebrated on the 8th of March every year around the world. According to Wikipedia, “It is a focal point in the movement for women’s rights.” So far so good, I totally support attempts to eliminate patriarchy, sexism, and misogyny. Of course, we need more gender equality and rights for women. [Read more…]

Gendered Advertisements: Breast Cancer and Prostate Cancer Awareness Posters

Marketing people have a problem with limited creativity. The moment their target audience are primarily women, they will go for the most pink and over-the-top feminine advertisement design imaginable. Once the audience are men, they will go for macho imagery. Such strongly gendered advertisements with extremely feminine or masculine images are off-putting for some people. Not every person who is anatomically female adores pink. Not every person who is anatomically male likes macho imagery. [Read more…]

Making Decisions

Why should a person who isn’t a sadist even want to make decisions about what will happen with other people?

Sometimes people find themselves in situations where they are forced to make decisions about somebody else. For example, a parent of a 3 years old child must make decisions about their kid, because a person who is only 3 years old cannot decide for themselves. Alternatively, when a doctor who works at the ambulance gets an unconscious patient who is on the verge of dying, the doctor is forced to make decisions about how to treat this patient without being able to ask what the patient wants.

Contrast these examples with an entirely different situation. An adult person makes a statement: “I want to do X with my body or my life.” Then another person steps in and says: “No, I won’t allow you to do X.” Why would a person who isn’t sadistic even want to have such a responsibility? Why would they even want the legal right to be able to decide for somebody else? [Read more…]

Healthcare versus Mutilation

When a doctor performs some procedure that the patient has consented to, then that is “healthcare.” When a doctor performs a medically unnecessary procedure without the patient’s consent, then that’s “mutilation.” This ought to be obvious, I should be able to stop the blog post at this point without any need for further elaboration. Unfortunately, some people still fail to understand the importance of bodily autonomy and informed consent when it comes to people’s bodies. [Read more…]

A Debilitating Fear

Does the average woman who doesn’t want children at the moment lives in constant and ever present fear that one day her luck might run out and she might get killed by a parasite that has infested her body? Probably no. As for me, I might not be a woman, but the patriarchal society has forced me to live with such a fear.

I have spent the last two years trying to obtain a hysterectomy. A transphobic surgeon kicks me out of their office, and I proceed to schedule another appointment with yet another doctor. Rinse and repeat. For the last two years I had been asking for “hysterectomy” to doctors in state owned hospitals. Here I wrote about how that didn’t work. In theory, European Union citizens have a right to gender reassignment surgery. In practice, it can be impossible for a patient to actually obtain it. And Latvian bureaucrats managed to successfully find a loophole how to get away with denying me the surgery I wanted. [Read more…]

Defining Violence

Whenever people start to passionately argue about proper word definitions, it’s probably because somebody wants to get away with verbally hurting other people. Either that, or they are super excited about linguistics, and let’s be realistic—majority of people have no interest in philology. I say this as a person who has a master’s degree in German philology—whenever I try to tell people about how languages are really exciting, they instead find excuses how to change the conversation topic.

But what does “getting away with verbal abuse” even mean? If I dislike some person and I call them an “asshole,” I might get called out for it. Somebody can say, “This was rude and offensive, moreover, you hurt this person’s feelings.” If I wanted to emulate the typical behavior of a bigoted person, at this point I could argue that “asshole” isn’t a rude word, instead it’s a perfectly neutral description of who this person is; after all, I cannot be rude if I merely state things as they are. This is how some people try to insist that calling trans women “men in dresses” cannot be an insult, because it merely describes the reality as it is. On top of that, the person who said this transphobic phrase will argue that they aren’t even a TERF or a transphobe, instead they are “gender critical.” Just like people with racial prejudices are not racists but “race realists.” And mass murders of entire populations aren’t “genocides,” but some other euphemism du jour. [Read more…]

Various Shades of Sexism and Transphobia

We live in a cisnormative and sexist society, which tries to force traditional gender roles upon everybody, including people who don’t like said roles and don’t want to follow them. There are countless ways how a bigot can try to force traditional gender roles upon another person. Some of these “strategies” are very blatant and hostile, others are subtle and barely noticeable. In this article I will share my observations of various tactics that bigots use in their attempts to maintain the status quo, namely, a sexist and transphobic society with prescriptive gender roles. I will also talk about how male bigots differ from female bigots. [Read more…]