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Book review A rational approach to gender identity issues

Gender Is Not An Identity, It Is A Tool Of Patriarchy
by Green Goude
(Gender Critical Greens, £2.50)
THERE is something wrong when respected members of the left feel the need to adopt pseudonyms to write a pamphlet about gender identity politics.
But if you read the Morning Star or were at the London Anarchist Bookfair recently or go on Twitter, you will know that there is an intense and sometimes violent debate going on over gender identity.
This pamphlet, in a considered and rational way, tries to calm down the anger and open up the debate. Green Goude begins by reminding us: “Men are fine, women are fine. Every body is fine, every body is perfect.”
She argues that it is the society that we live in and the nature of patriarchy which has created the oppression of women by men as a class.
Goude, a veteran of the socialist feminist movement, sees the backlash against feminism by capitalism and the reversal of the gains made by women as the background to the growth of interest in transitioning by young people.
She challenges the notion that transitioning can transfer someone into the opposite sex. While respecting and supporting the rights of individuals to do so, male to trans people (MTTs) — raised as a male with all that gender's privileges over women — espouse “an ideology with no basis in fact, which is not believed or adhered to by many MTTs.”
Goude calls for a more respectful debate on the issues of gender and supports the individual’s right to play around with issues of identity, but she is aware that this is a key issue when collecting statistics, shaping policies on prisons and sports and in challenging ingrained discrimination against women in public.
The answer, as Goude rightly acknowledges, is for there to be more debate and discussion around these issues while recognising that, although people have every right to identify however they like, this cannot mean allowing personal preference and the expression of personality to be given the same status, rights and recognition as biological sex.
Otherwise, as she comments, “we undo in one fell swoop all the gains women have made and still need to make in our male-dominated society.”
Goude’s pamphlet is a challenge to the silencing of feminists who have questioned trans ideology. As she counsels, “Any silencing only benefits a misogynist, homophobic and patriarchal society and we will all be the losers.”


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