Women who challenge discourse around “gender identity” have been largely isolated on the front lines for the past decade.
Sheila Jeffreys argues, in her talk, that “transgenderism is an invention that is socially and politically constructed,” and that, rather than being innate, exists in direct connection to the forces of power that exist in a heteropatriarchal society.
Jeffreys connects the notion of “gender identity” to American neoliberalism in that it is, of course, a very individualistic notion, but also in the way that it connects to capitalism and the cash cow that transgenderism is for Big Pharma, gender identity therapists and clinics, and cosmetic surgeons. It seems odd to discuss gender identity outside the context of capitalism, considering the way “identity” and “expression” is so connected, in modern society, to consumerism.
In fact, Jeffreys suggests feminists drop the term “gender” entirely. She says instead, “We need to talk about sex class or sex caste” as “gender” has become meaningless and conflated with biological sex.
As feminists, what we really are doing is working towards an end to gender — a thing that was invented and imposed in order to naturalize the sex class hierarchy that positions men as dominant and women as subordinate