- The Iona Institute - https://ionainstitute.ie -

What does the National Women’s Council believe a woman to be?

I wonder what the National Women’s Council of Ireland (NWCI) believes a woman to be? There used to be a very easy answer to that; you’re a woman if you’re biologically female and a man if you’re biologically male. The question is prompted by the fact that at its #femfest at the weekend, the NWCI had ‘gender neutral’ toilets, one with urinals and another without. (So I saw pictured on Twitter).

Today, in an age where we have accepted transgender ideology in the blink of an eye, you can be a woman with a male body, a man with a female body or you can be something else again, say ‘gender non-binary’, which means you reject the (apparently arbitrary) division of the sexes into just male and female.

I can find no indication that the NWCI rejects or even questions this thinking. In fact, one of the speakers at #femfest was from the Transgender Equality Network Ireland. It seems the NWCI is not on the side of those feminists like Germaine Greer or Julie Bindel who reject important aspects of transgender ideology and insist that you don’t automatically get to call yourself a woman when you have a penis.

I remember a few years ago speaking to a young American woman who was raised by radical feminists who used to bring her to feminist camps each summer. The camps were for ‘women born as women’ so as to exclude ‘women’ with male genitalia. In other words, there are still some feminists who believe that your biology has something to do with the sex you claim to be.

A Germaine Greer or a Julie Bindel would agree that there are all sorts of ways to be a man, and all sorts of ways to be a woman because they believe gender roles are socially determined (and they are, to some extent), but if I understand them correctly, Greer and Bindel still believe your sex is linked to your physical body and you can’t simply wish that away.

The question arises as to whether, one day, the head of the NWCI could be a ‘woman’ with a penis? The logical answer would seem to be Yes because the NWCI seems to believe that you are a woman if you say you are and no objective criteria need be applied. Being a man, or a woman or gender non-binary, or something else again is an entirely subjective thing dependent solely on your say-so.

But if it is an entirely subjective thing, then logically the categories of ‘male’ and ‘female’ need not exist at all seeing as they have no basis in objective reality. This being so, perhaps the time has come to abolish the National Women’s Council because it is based on old, outdated binary ways of thinking about sex and gender?