Woman Undefined: The Counterfeit Mysticism of Gender Ideology
If you can’t define women, you dehumanize them
One of the most baffling aspects of the gender identity movement is the inability of its adherents to define the word “woman.” The reason for this is that the actual definition, “adult human female,” excludes the men who wish they were women, and it has therefore become verboten.
Instead, trans activists often provide circular definitions, like “a woman is anyone who identifies as a woman.” Then, because this doesn’t make a shred of sense, they eventually have no choice but to appeal to some sort of deeply felt innate knowing, and this is where they take a mystical—or rather, faux mystical—turn.
A woman is a feeling. A vibe. An energy. A woman is something so ineffable, so beyond our regular, everyday, five-sense, and three-dimensional reality that a definition which actually makes sense cannot truly do the word justice.
Every time I entertain this topic, I am viscerally and annoyingly reminded of the disaster of a tweet that UN Women decided to send on International Women’s Day 2020, quoting “model & disability rights activist” Aaron Philip:
"Trans women are women at the end of the day. Every woman is a woman. Women are multifaceted, intergenerational, international. They are limitless, formless ... women are the world.”
Limitless. Formless. Not even human.
More recently, lesbian YouTuber and commentator Arielle Scarcella took part in a Jubilee Middle Ground discussion about feminism. When she asked the group to “define woman,” another participant responded, “a person who their internal idea of what they are is a woman.”
An internal idea. Not a type of human.
The most obvious reason for these ridiculous, circular, and overwrought definitions is that they allow men to identify into the category of “woman.” If the definition of the word isn’t underpinned by physical reality, then what’s to stop them?
I also believe that another reason these attempts at defining “woman” in an almost poetic manner are so appealing to gender ideologues is that they have a ring of mysticism to them. Something about it feels lofty, special, deep. It feels like secret knowledge that only the properly initiated truly get.
But it is a counterfeit mysticism—nothing more than smoke and mirrors. It beguiles and stupefies the listener who allows themselves to be tricked. It doesn’t reveal anything deep about the nature of reality. In fact, it obscures reality.
Now, I know that some people’s ideas of a “mystic” might be similar to the gender charlatans – soothsayers and fortune-tellers, spirit mediums holding séances, and the like.
I’m thinking instead of the mystical figures and traditions of the world that used metaphor and obscure language because they were pointing at something beyond, not something as real, existing, and immediate as a female human being. Figures like the Christian mystics Teresa of Ávila and Meister Eckhart, of the author of the Yoga Sutras Patanjali, and of Zhuang Zhou, a Daoist figure who married musings on the illusionary nature of reality with deep engagement in everyday life.
In the 1960 book The Teachings of the Mystics, Walter Terrance Stace writes, “the proposition that ‘time is unreal’ is an example of a mystical idea.” He explains: “It must have arisen because mystics usually feel (a) that their experience is timeless and (b) that it is more “real” (in some sense) than any other experience.”
Mystics use phrases that are downright paradoxical in an attempt to describe experiences that are wholly outside of ordinary reality. However, they don’t try to convince the rest of us that, for example, we should live as if time doesn’t exist in ordinary reality, that we should throw away our clocks and calendars, burn our history books, and stop making plans for the future.
What’s even more perverse is that the way in which gender ideologues attempt to define woman is reminiscent of the way that mystics, philosophers, and theologians throughout history have attempted to describe God.
Consider St. Augustine’s search for God in The Confessions:
This is what I love, when I love my God. And what is this? I asked the earth; and it answered, “I am not He;” and whatsoever are therein made the same confession. I asked the sea and the deeps, and the creeping things that lived, and they replied, “We are not your God, seek higher than we.” I asked the breezy air, and the universal air with its inhabitants answered, “Anaximenes was deceived, I am not God.” I asked the heavens, the sun, moon, and stars: “Neither,” say they, “are we the God whom you seek?”
Later, he asks:
What then is it that I love when I love my God? Who is He that is above the head of my soul?
Just like God, a woman is something undefinable, a reality so ineffable that nothing in the whole universe can claim it.
But this is not a compliment. A real-life woman is not a transcendental and ineffable entity. Pretending that a woman is something which can’t be defined doesn’t elevate or liberate women in the here and now of physical reality.
On the contrary—treating womanhood as a transcendental experience denigrates and subjugates actual female human beings. The idolization of what it means to identify as female requires us to dehumanize what it means to literally be one.
The physical needs, safety, privacy, and dignity of female human beings pale in comparison to the mystical wonder and power of the mystical woman. Why pay care and attention to the needs of real-life women and girls when women are limitless?
Why should us lucky women who were assigned female at birth leave the women who had the misfortune of being assigned male at birth out of the magic of womanhood? Why should we keep them out of our washrooms, our changing rooms, our sports, our rape shelters, and our prisons? They have the same vibe as us, after all.
Who cares about pesky bodies and the physical realities of sex, strength, and aggression when a man’s internal idea of himself as a woman demands our validation? When you forget that women are human, then the only explanation for our unwillingness to share the lofty fruits of womanhood with the other human sex is selfishness and greed.
We need to remember that women are human and that womanhood is not some mystical attainment. We are real, and we deserve respect for exactly what we are—adult human females.
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This is more than a lie. This is the badge of membership in the "woke:" club, in the "trans" fad.
A man with intact genitalia and a beard and no history of questioning his gender mutters to himself, "I identify as a woman." If you want to be a member of the club, you nod vigorously and agree. Yes! He identifies as a woman therefore he is one!
He can go into a woman's lavatory and masturbate into the sink. He can go into a rape crisis center and renew the trauma of everyone there. He can be put into a woman's prison and rape biological women. Because that inaudible mutter was all that was required to make him a woman.
Yes, it really is this bad.
And anyone who denies his womanhood is "transphobic" and will be banned from Medium, fired from his job, lose his research credentials at a university.
Let me state it aloud:
A "trans" woman is not a woman.
A "trans" woman is a man impersonating a woman.
Whether his womanhood is based on nothing more than an inaudible murmur a few minutes ago, or the commitment of surgical gender reassignment, he remains a man. If after his death his skeleton is exhumed and analyzed, there will be no equivocation over his sex: he was a man.
This is the truth. Gender ideology is not.
Interesting analysis of the mystic angle, and a tip o' the hat for the reference to Meister Eckhart.
But while I certainly see the parallel to mysticism, I think it is only that, I don't believe that womanhood has overtones of pyramid power or pointless speculation on the nature of god. Because after all is said and done, despite the passion of faith and the willingness of the faithful to kill or die for it, god does not exist.
Biological sex is one of the most unambiguous qualities there is, common to all higher phyla of both plant and animal kingdoms. The "trans" cult is reduced to regarding developmental defects as other genders, so weak is their argument.
Funny how much we hear about "trans women" and how rarely about "trans men." Maybe it's because the surgery is so much less successful. The fad that started around 2006 overwhelmingly afflicts girls, while real gender dysphoria is 3:1 in boys. At least a "trans woman" can have a caricature of female genitalia, I don't know how well this works in the other direction and frankly don't want to.
But this isn't mysticism, this is an extension of postmodernist folly, the foundation of which is the denial of objective reality. "Trans" activists will get up and walk out of a room, will end an interview, at the suggestion that there even is such a thing.
It's almost as unnerving as seeing good people become MAGA cultists to see educated people attracted to this nonsense.
Edit: when a right-wing bigot like Matt Walsh emerges as the voice of reason, a lot of people need to get their oil checked