You said “There’s no such thing as “female” genitalia and that way of wording only reinforces the…
Sara Lynn Michener
2

“…but language isn’t by itself a function of judgement, but of the rational utility of describing one thing vs another.”

I’m not sure how you’re coming up with the taxonomy here but either way the language you use is a function of the judgments that society has formed. And the language here is particularly narrow in its conception of who has a certain kind of genital organ and who does not.

“So when you come up with a term that means “woman who has a vagina” let me know and I will happily use that.”

I mean, you can just use the classic AFAB thing, right? I don’t see why we need to talk about genitals at all. It just unnecessarily drives the conversation towards irrelevant biological aspects of bodies which also unnecessarily discriminates (intentionally or not) against transwomen and NB folks. So I don’t even see it as necessary.

And AFAB still highlights all of the things the march was trying to address via abortions, etc.

“I *did* specify “women with vagina” vs “woman without vagina” I did not, at any time, even imply, that a woman who doesn’t have a vagina is not a woman. Nor would I ever say that.”

The language you used in that particular instance struck me as a poor way to frame it. I’m not accusing you of seeing transwomen as not real women, nor do I think you’d say something like that.

“What I disagreed with, was the decision by some to not attend the march because of its perceived faults, even though I agreed with the presence of many of those faults.”

For me it’d depend on their reasoning. If they feel alienated (and I think they have good reason to) then I don’t think they should feel obliged to go to a space they don’t feel welcomed in. The good can become the enemy of the perfect as much as the other way around.

“However, the pussy hats, etc, are not remotely one of those faults. Happy to agree to disagree with you on that.”

I don’t see how that’s true because it’s implicitly defining womanhood with your genitals. But OK, we can agree to disagree if you want.

“I then flew three thousand miles to attend that march. It turned out to be the most diverse (genderwise and racialwise) I had ever attended…”

I mean, that’s great and should be celebrated to some extent but I also don’t think it makes the other issues go away.

Like what you read? Give Doreen Cleyre a round of applause.

From a quick cheer to a standing ovation, clap to show how much you enjoyed this story.