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Boundaries (again)

(74 Posts)
xxyzz Fri 20-Nov-20 18:01:56

I googled and there was a recent thread on here on boundaries, hence the again part of the title, but that one focused mainly on men overstepping women's boundaries by posting on FWR.

I wanted to look at boundaries more generally, as they seem to be key to the whole current debate.

Jane Claire Jones has interesting threads on this eg. twitter.com/janeclarejones/status/1329001324864823297

Her posts and others got me thinking - and apologies if this is all really obvious, but new to me - about how the whole debate really centres on concepts of boundaries and whether or not they are acceptable. Hence for feminists, it is natural to assert that women have the right to have boundaries, for example to say 'no' to sex as we want, and to live our lives as we want. Safeguarding is all about ensuring that children's rights to boundaries are also respected and policed, especially give children are too young to be aware of their own rights to say no to to inappropriate things or things they don't want themselves. So feminists have no problem with boundaries. Broadly, we think boundaries are both necessary and good, to keep us safe. They are the protective walls we draw around ourselves to ensure our own autonomy.

Yet TRAs (MRAs) try to present boundaries differently. Hence the term T***. The term 'trans exclusive' only works as an insult because it presumes that excluding anyone - ie drawing boundaries - must be wrong.

I think the difference surely is who is drawing the boundaries, and whether they are in a dominant position or not. So, to use an example where women have been on the other side of the boundary, until recently women were excluded from many all-male spheres, such as universities, all-male clubs etc. Here the boundaries were intended to protect male privilege, not keep men safe, as they were not in any way being threatened, being the dominant class. That was an example of boundaries that were, indeed, exclusive. They could be called 'women exclusive', if we felt like using that term. Most people (certainly on the left) would agree that those boundaries are wrong.

But how have a movement of what is largely, in the UK and US, composed of well-off white, straight, middle-class men, managed to persuade so many people (including women) that women are no longer entitled to have boundaries that keep out out transwomen, on the grounds that (they claim) transwomen are less privileged than women?

And more than that, how have they successfully managed to extend the attack on women's boundaries to even refusing women to have a word to describe ourselves and our shared oppression? Hence all the attacks on the word 'woman' and replacement with words that dehumanise us and refer to our body parts or functions only eg 'cervix haver, 'birthing parent' etc.

Why have so many fallen so quickly for the lie that women are not allowed to have any boundaries? Either theoretical ones like what we call ourselves (cf. also compelled use of pronouns) or physical boundaries involving single-sex spaces, eg the endless arguments over toilets, changing rooms, rape shelters and prisons. Or sexual boundaries eg the cotton ceiling or physical ones relating to who we allow close physical access to, eg. the rights to ask for a female HCP to undertake intimate examinations or medical care. Or job-related boundaries eg women-only shortlists or women's sports.

Put together, all of this adds up to a huge assault on women's rights to have any protective boundaries.

And yet TRAs are still successful in painting women as the aggressors for demanding any boundaries at all!

And yet it is only very recently that rape within marriage has been outlawed, in both the UK and US. It is within the last decade that Jimmy Savile and then the Me Too movement have suddenly made people aware that both children and adult women are entitled to have boundaries against sexual assault.

Explain how the many women (and men) who get Me Too, who oppose Trump's assault on women's rights, can yet accept and even actively support this wholesale assault on women's rights to bodily autonomy and boundaries?

Because I just don't get it.

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persistentwoman Fri 20-Nov-20 18:24:42

Interesting post OP.
I completely agree that all this is a relentless assault on our rights to establish and maintain boundaries. Women, children all under assault from the advocates of queer theory.
It's not only tedious, it's frightening to realise that predatory values are being promoted by so many - because demanding that others have no right to boundaries is predatory and abusive behaviour. Many more people see this now but not not enough to stop this movement.

NewlyGranny Fri 20-Nov-20 18:36:02

Testing and trampling of boundaries is colonisation, which is quite popular right now.

Coffeeoverload Fri 20-Nov-20 18:45:58

Agree and following brew

stumbledin Fri 20-Nov-20 19:00:43

Very upsetting example of this (if I have understood OP correctly) on AIBU www.mumsnet.com/Talk/am_i_being_unreasonable/4085101-Transgender-Girl-at-school-sexually-harassing-girls-AIBU-too-want-to-report - it may not even be "planned" but is an example of assuming superior rights.

persistentwoman Fri 20-Nov-20 19:12:13

stumbledin
That's a depressing thread but some good advice from posters. Hopefully the school will immediately see it as a safeguarding issue and not get distracted by the 'trans' aspect.

Cailleach1 Fri 20-Nov-20 19:16:58

It was deleted.

EyesOpening Fri 20-Nov-20 19:18:55

stumbledin

Very upsetting example of this (if I have understood OP correctly) on AIBU www.mumsnet.com/Talk/am_i_being_unreasonable/4085101-Transgender-Girl-at-school-sexually-harassing-girls-AIBU-too-want-to-report - it may not even be "planned" but is an example of assuming superior rights.

That thread’s been deleted hmm

Coffeeoverload Fri 20-Nov-20 20:03:21

A suspected plant maybe? If real it was alarming

stumbledin Fri 20-Nov-20 20:07:28

It sounded really bad. I took it at face value. Although example of school procedures seemed very strange.

However, I know how irritating it is to have a thread derailed to hope what's seems to have been a lot of deletions today, that this thread gets back on track.

xxyzz Fri 20-Nov-20 20:20:01

Genuinely interested how what sometimes appear to be intelligent women can not spot that what they are being asked up to give up is their rights to any of these protective boundaries or autonomy.

I guess it's the difference between second and third wave feminism.

But why? I think understanding this is at the crux of fighting back against the assault on women's rights. I assume it's the related lies of a) transwomen being the most vulnerable eg faked suicide stats etc and b) women being privileged (how? what adult woman really believes this?) are what convince many that women asserting their own boundaries to ensure their own safety = 'exclusion akin to men excluding women from men-only clubs etc.

I really really don't get how so many women who get Me Too can really buy in to b). Or is just that they have been told that transwomen ARE women, so cannot comprehend that this is a factor? And they are just focused on a)?

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xxyzz Fri 20-Nov-20 20:29:41

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

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xxyzz Fri 20-Nov-20 20:30:39

Sorry, too much of me - really interested to hear others' thoughts...

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BolloxtoGender Fri 20-Nov-20 20:31:32

Part of the why that I can see, is the very fashion trend for ‘inclusive’ as if inclusive is inherently good, in absolute terms. In the context of my employer, it’s all over corporate woke washing and communications. There is no push back, none what so ever. It’s like ‘inclusive’ is good end of.

No. The flip side of inclusion is colonisation/invasion. Intelligent women, are so drunk on the woke coolaid they cannot see that, or don’t want to see that because their social justice warrior status depends on it.

Coffeeoverload Fri 20-Nov-20 20:45:55

It’s because critical thinking in education (esp higher education) has been eradicated and replaced by dogma and cancellation/rape/death/violence threats.

terryleather Fri 20-Nov-20 20:50:49

I think we need to add in the influence of queer theory specifically when we discuss ideas around boundaries.

Queering the boundaries of things, disrupting and subverting them, is seen as very much a positive thing by this school of thought. This might be interesting when it comes to art, literature etc but when it comes to lived reality, as is often the way, what is very lovely for males and what they want/need is not so great for women and children...

xxyzz Fri 20-Nov-20 20:52:18

Yes, but as I said above, are the calls for inclusion not limited to those that are seen as powerful groups?

So eg black people are not asked to be inclusive and include the Rachel Dolazels of this world. That is (rightly imho) reviled. So it's not that everyone is expected to be inclusive.

But both women and LGB people - both groups one might not think of as privileged and who have been fighting for their own rights until recently (and still are) - are being asked to budge up to include the T (and NB) as the most vulnerable.

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xxyzz Fri 20-Nov-20 20:53:02

That last comment was to BolloxtoGender

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xxyzz Fri 20-Nov-20 20:54:05

Coffeeoverload

It’s because critical thinking in education (esp higher education) has been eradicated and replaced by dogma and cancellation/rape/death/violence threats.

Unfortunately agree.

And it's easy to bully strangers in a risk-free way via social media, with bought-in bots too.

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xxyzz Fri 20-Nov-20 20:59:04

terryleather

I think we need to add in the influence of queer theory specifically when we discuss ideas around boundaries.

Queering the boundaries of things, disrupting and subverting them, is seen as very much a positive thing by this school of thought. This might be interesting when it comes to art, literature etc but when it comes to lived reality, as is often the way, what is very lovely for males and what they want/need is not so great for women and children...

Can you say more on this? How has this idea been successfully sold to so many women?

I completely get why this boundary-breaking of women's boundaries would appeal to men (particularly dodgy ones) - but why are women falling for it? confused

Of course, I may be asking in the wrong place, since by definition nearly everyone here doesn't buy into it. grin

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terryleather Fri 20-Nov-20 21:42:48

xyzzy

For a start off, critical theory/PoMo/queer theory has been widespread in the academy for decades specifically in the arts.

That means many who now fill high up positions in the civil service/HR/NGOs/Third sector etc will have been educated in that way of seeing the word and now get to set the tone of the debate, language used etc.

Why do women buy in to it, I think there's lots of reasons.

It's luxury beliefs for the middle classes.

It's liberal narcissism where being seen to be "good" and "woke" is a currency that will allow you to progress your career and think of yourself as a good and righteous person no matter what the actual costs to others of those beliefs might be, as it's unlikely you'll be the one sharing a cell with a male with a trans identity for e.g.

Also many women are very invested in being seen to be "nice" and "kind", it's a big part of their identity.

I'm afraid I've partaken of wineso not really able to explain my thinking very well this evening...grin

persistentwoman Fri 20-Nov-20 21:48:14

That made sense to me terryleather , But then I have also partaken of wine smile

Gncq Fri 20-Nov-20 21:51:39

xxyzz
Sorry don't have anything to contribute bc I'm just about to head off after browsing some threads but I must say you're very good at writing, consider this a placemark.

BolloxtoGender Fri 20-Nov-20 21:53:43

xxyzz

That last comment was to BolloxtoGender

I don’t see that the calls for ‘inclusive’ are targeted at the ‘privileged’, at all....as can be seen for the push for women to be inclusive and kind to men. ‘Inclusive’ is an overwhelming fashionable ideology and pervades corporate culture, lots of D&I, HR, writers, charity, academics and consultancy parasitic jobs are riding on this....but they turn a blind eye, they see themselves as the good guys and on the moral high ground.

HecatesCats Fri 20-Nov-20 21:58:50

how have a movement of what is largely, in the UK and US, composed of well-off white, straight, middle-class men, managed to persuade so many people (including women) that women are no longer entitled to have boundaries that keep out out transwomen, on the grounds that (they claim) transwomen are less privileged than women?

By conflating the lived experience of black transwomen and transwomen in countries like Brazil, where the murder rate is high, with the lives of wealthy, privileged white men in the UK and US, many of whom have transitioned later in life. We've seen this week that the figures for murder rates of trans people overseas are being used to justify calls for policy shifts here. Plus institutional capture that's run parallel to PoMo influence in academia. Diversity & Inclusion is as much about shifting the paradigm towards acceptance of individual 'identities' as it is about racial/sex/class equality nowadays. Big institutions have huge power and have to do very little heavy lifting to get a pat on the back re DV&I, other than invite Stonewall in to consult, make staff add their preferred pronouns to their email signatures and apply for awards for spreading gender ideology. I know a number of super bright people who boast of helping to achieve Stonewall champion status for their organisation as if that's an end in itself. A pp on another thread mentioned that people are lazy (I'm as guilty in certain areas as the next person) and default to the status quo, so once ideological capture of a significant number of influential organisations has taken place it gets harder and harder to persuade people that the direction of travel is NOT GOOD.

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