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Feminism: Sex & gender discussions

Can we talk about the mental impact of being told the definition of woman is changing?

255 replies

UglyCathKidstonBag · 04/07/2018 14:32

I’d like to hear specifically from women who feel their mental health has been in any way impacted by being told the definition of “woman” has or will change so that it either excludes them or includes men. Has anyone felt their mental health has been impacted by the “erasure” of woman.

I have long term therapy as part of treatment for PTSD and GAD both of which are centred around abuse from various men in my life. I had been able to control both to a manageable state thanks to this treatment until the past 3-6 months.
I am now unable to use places such as gyms, swimming pools, changing rooms and similar settings because of my fear of being in intimate spaces with unknown male bodied people. This is now starting to have a knock on impact for my work.

OP posts:
Over50 · 04/07/2018 14:48

Has anyone felt their mental health has been impacted by the “erasure” of woman.

I can no longer go on Twitter. I had a psychotic episode, for the first time in my life as a direct result of the gaslighting by trans activists on Twitter.

I am now homebound and fear one of the gaslighting TRAs from Twitter in female spaces, a male NHS smear tester presenting as a woman, a physical assault as happened at speakers corner or a bomb going off at a meeting of women.

I was fragile as I am an EA survivor of of gaslighting partner.

FloralBunting · 04/07/2018 14:50

I struggle with this after some years as part of religious fundamentalism and the rigid gender roles that I was slotted into and the repercussions of that mentally and physically.
It has taken me a long time to come to terms with the fact that I am a woman by virtue of my physical body, not the dresses I wear, or the length of my hair or the headcoverings I wear, the enforced maternity, the shutting down of my ability to earn etc. etc.
To see this regressive lauding of genderism as the be all and end all that is being pushed over and above women's basic rights to freedom, safety, privacy etc is most definitely hurting my mental health, like seeing a long beaten enemy rise and find so many of your friends on their side.

I understand the complaint TRAs make about deadnaming being an unpleasant reminder of the things they want to forget. This is definitely how I feel when I am told that a woman is actually just someone who presents in a 'feminine' way, which seems no different to the years I spent with men telling me there was only one way to be a 'true' woman - dresses, long hair, housework, submission, dollies, etc.

Cistersaredoingitforthemselves · 04/07/2018 14:53

I must admit I have reduced my time on MN ( I used to find this my safe space but I don't know) and I have locked down my Twitter account - I try not to look at it every day. I have stopped all the notifications too.

I have severe anxiety and get stressed about what I read on here - it feels so personal and I start to think what it's going to be like in a few years time and how I, a menopausal woman, will be treated in the future, which all links into the Handmaids Tale. I can't watch that at the moment either as it is becoming all too prophetic for me.

Sorry - I sound so bloody flaky
My lovely DH says he is seeing me decline and wants me to stop all MN and twitter etc ..... I think he might be right.

Over50 · 04/07/2018 14:56

I enjoyed connecting with others on Twitter. I am sad that I had to close my account. I can limit myself to viewing the odd tweet. The algorithms and gaslighting on Twitter are the problem.

Cistersaredoingitforthemselves · 04/07/2018 14:56

Actually thinking about it I am going to change my username to something less - fighty!

I feel beaten into submission

Floorplan · 04/07/2018 14:59

I'm so glad you started this thread as this is impacting my mental health immensely. Since I discovered what was going on about 4 months ago, I have been having having horrible episodes of cognitive dissonance several times a day when my brain tries to cope with the fact that various people are basically claiming a is b. It physically hurts my brain and is chillingly reminiscent of the gaslighting I experienced as a child from my abusive father and from my long marraige to an abusive man.

My depression is worse, my anxiety is worse, my social phobia is worse and I keep drinking too much.

Cistersaredoingitforthemselves · 04/07/2018 15:01

I wonder if we need a self care thread? Somewhere where we can just say how we feel, have some positives etc. a sanctuary of sorts

WhereDoWeBeginToCovetClarice · 04/07/2018 15:11

For me, the whole thing doesn't bode well. I think it is the first step in the erosion of other rights, including free assembly and free speech.

I want to opt out, but I know that if I don't get up and fight now, worse things are going to happen and I don't want the world to decline into totalitarianism.

I feel about as happy as anyone feels when the are forced by circumstances to fight rather than get on with their life and focus on the fun stuff. The feeling is of being trapped, of the mentally unstable pushing for laws to facilitate their madness and lust to dictate how others think and behave, while ignorant well meaning people wave them along out of politeness.

History has shown us that periods like this don't go well for us humans. I want my kids to be safe. It is a horrible feeling of foreboding.

OvaHere · 04/07/2018 15:14

I have to take breaks from time to time to recharge or I find myself spiralling.

I'm not fearful in the sense I worry about using sex based facilities. I do recognise that for the moment it's not very likely I personally will happen upon a male bodied individual with nefarious intention.

I am angry though about the dismissal of women's concerns, the way we have been treated because of it and the frightening speed at which words and material based reality have been changed into gobbledegook and stripped of all meaning.

I think we have to look at this like a relay where we pass the baton on whilst we take time out. Which is why it was so heartening to read the lurkers thread to know there are other women to hopefully take over if we burn out.

There is a multi faceted attack on women at the moment, everything from the effects of austerity measures to denial of biology and removal of sex segregated spaces. I'd be really interested to see some research done about the impact this has had on the mental health of women.

WhereDoWeBeginToCovetClarice · 04/07/2018 15:17

I feel haunted by this image of Sophie Scholl - she probably had know idea she would be executed, she probably had faith in the courage and goodness of humanity, so she tried to stop the war. I wonder what could happen our situation - what are we sleepwalking into.

Can we talk about the mental impact of being told the definition of woman is changing?
WhereDoWeBeginToCovetClarice · 04/07/2018 15:18

no idea

LangCleg · 04/07/2018 15:37

I rarely get anxious or upset. But I do rage. To the extent it is not at all good for me. Gaslighting is the most insidious of things. Watching it happen on this scale is nigh on unbearable.

womanformallyknownaswoman · 04/07/2018 15:47

The visceral and real harm caused by being coerced to conform to abusers' demands undoes me. Serious PTSD is analogous to paraplegia in its disabling impact. Being made to conform to thought reform and word policing on here, and in real life plus on Twitter etc causes so much distress by re-traumatisation, that the emotional pain is unbearable and overwhelming.

This is what I just posted on another thread and is pertinent:

It's like verbal rape by stealth - it's disgusting - exactly like a rape victim would feel, I imagine, when her rapist's words are being rammed down her throat and into her being, along with their dicks. The violation is palpable and causes profound harm to her wellbeing and safety, often lifelong.

And here we are having the same done to us from all sides - like being gang-raped

I limit my time on here and elsewhere where undue influence is applied as it causes me harm and I also can't bear to see the wholesale flailing of so many women.

IamXXHearMeRoar · 04/07/2018 15:55

In an unprecedented time of entirely accessible knowledge and information we are ruled by a non democratic minority who have forcibly turned their backs on intelligence, science and fact. The greater good has been disposed of as an ethos.

I am afraid.

I talk with my older friends and relatives, women who fought to ensure we could go to work and have a mortgage and they are afraid.

I am stumped by the fact that women no longer exist in Scotland.
I cannot understand how this has happened and how nobody seems to know about it.

I keep hearing about government sanctioned brutalisation of children.

I believe this episode in social history will be looked back on with abhorrence.

GardenGeek · 04/07/2018 16:02

This reply has been deleted

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

genderskeptic · 04/07/2018 16:02

It's so upsetting, i feel like we've already lost. country after country is rolling over and accepting genderist ideology over biological FACT. I keep thinking, is there somewhere I can go to feel a sense of community?

but everywhere i might go, like a women's centre or a swimming pool or a gym... there could be stealth trans"women" violating me with their presence without me even knowing.

I think ill just stay indoors from now on!

GardenGeek · 04/07/2018 16:07

This reply has been deleted

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Halfeatentoast · 04/07/2018 16:11

I don't feel the definition of woman is changing - yet. However I do worry about it and even left the site for a while as i was finding it stressful, due to my issues, then rejoined recently, though I don't read the feminism section as much. I'm still here in spirit but I can only cheerlead those of you more able. I wish I could do more. I'm sure someone will be along in a minute to dismiss our concerns as overreaction but there is a slow, creeping change that MAY end up having a huge impact that I don't think can be ignored.

UpstartCrow · 04/07/2018 16:15

Well one good thing that's come out of it is that I'm now a lot better at spotting the goady fuckers making fake accounts to troll, doxx and harass people.

MsBeee · 04/07/2018 16:19

Yes, I find it extremely depressing and I also already feel like my choices have been shit ( ha spellcheck, but I’m gunna leave it ) down.

It is already changing my behaviour and shutting down my options.

I have travelled extensively on my own. I always book female only spaces and have stayed in YHA women’s only dorms and female only accomidation many times.

Now I am no longer guaranteed this. YHA shame on you! There is an underlying feeling of of a lack of safety.

Making people uneasy is a great way to control them and limit what they do.

terryleather · 04/07/2018 16:22

"For me, the whole thing doesn't bode well. I think it is the first step in the erosion of other rights, including free assembly and free speech.

I want to opt out, but I know that if I don't get up and fight now, worse things are going to happen and I don't want the world to decline into totalitarianism"

This is very much how I feel.

I wish I could just turn away and pretend it's not happening but I can't do that now I know the threat to the rights of women and girls and indeed the horrendous threat to free speech for all.

I came to all this through Twitter about four years ago so was very much faced with the worst of it there - MN is a lovely calm haven in comparison (leaving aside AIBU...)!

I took the decision to limit my time on Twitter quite a few months ago as I know it has had a huge negative effect on my anxiety levels which are high enough as it is and that's made a big difference to how I feel.

So has taking action in RL and also meeting up with other GC women in my area through MN, those things have been real positives.

However I still feel overwhelmed by the fight, how much women have been caught on the back foot by agencies with an agenda who have spread their propaganda far and wide, creating a climate that makes putting our position forward look unreasonable at best to the uninitiated.

Add to that the utter glee which so many many many men have taken in jumping on the bandwagon to allow them to give women a (sometimes literal) beating has been a real eyeopener - it's shocking how little it has taken for true colours to be shown.

Top it all off with how casually our rights could be taken away without anyone bothering to consult us or care about the effects on women and girls is just depressing beyond belief.

It really does not feel good to be confronted at what seems like every
turn by the message that you don't really matter, others come before you and possibly you're not quite as much of an actual human being as the penis bearers after all..

hungryhippie · 04/07/2018 16:22

I don't post much but reading about everything that's going on is definitely affecting my mental health.
I feel hopeless a lot of the time and some of the posts can bring me to tears.
I have taken down my twitter as it was just too much.

TransplantsArePlants · 04/07/2018 16:25

I am angry. My eyes have been opened to how little of a shit so many still give about women. I am so sorry to hear from those of you whose previous experiences have made you all too aware of this. I have known but not really known.

I do think that stepping away from social media is a good idea.

And yes to experiencing a sense of foreboding. Sense seems to have gone out of the window

ImPreCis · 04/07/2018 16:30

I am stressed and upset by what is happening to all women in this country, whether they know it or not. I often have to step away from here as my incredulity turns to rage, my heart rate increases and I am moved to tears for my DD and the ashes of her equality. (Not that she would accept that this is the case😢)
I am also afraid of being outed on line as I am not very tecky and it would have massive repercussions for my life, and I know I would not cope with the abuse.

I’m going to stop now as I am sounding pathetic and maudlin, and my garden is calling! 💐😍 along with a Gin and tonic!

UglyCathKidstonBag · 04/07/2018 16:42

I wish I could just turn away and pretend it's not happening but I can't do that now I know the threat to the rights of women and girls and indeed the horrendous threat to free speech for all.

This is exactly how I feel. I really wish I could walk away because it is going me a great deal of damage but I will not let my children and others face where this will end up.

I talk about this a great deal at work and every single one of my colleagues (apart from the students we have on a rotation) is gender critcal. We hold sway in our profession (HCP) when we speak en masse but we have for a long time been too scared to do so. This week that view has changed and we are mobilising and reaching out to other people in the same field.

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