Radical feminism holds that what is currently known as ‘gender’ is not a condition which naturally arises either from an individual’s sex or from any other innate source, instead being an ideology of ‘sex roles’ which support and are constructed by the patriarchy.
While the way in which gender is produced is often described as “socialisation” or “conditioning”, this article suggests modelling it as a lifelong process of sex role education, covering more than just the sex role an individual is expected to play.
This model allows us to explore in some detail the experience of transsexual people under patriarchy and to question some binaries around the political features of transsexual identities.
With these considerations in mind we revisit the political category of ‘woman’ – as used to understand structured sexism – from the point of view of transsexual women’s inclusion.
Trigger and Content Warnings
Trigger Warnings: This article contains mentions of emotional, physical and sexual violence against women and children. It contains one historical account of mistreatment in captivity.
Content Warnings: This article contains discussion of feminine socialisation and a direct account of the positions of women and men in society. It goes into considerable detail regarding medical establishment gatekeeping of treatment for transsexual women.