A pantomime of womanhood

Women’s pain is not a novelty to be impersonated

Artillery Row

What does it mean to be a woman? 

The discourse is ubiquitous in the commentator sphere. How have we deteriorated so drastically that this is now the major political debate?

Only weeks ago, a viral TikTok video that attracted millions of viewers featured a biological man labelling himself as a “trans girl” experiencing a “first intense period after HRT”. Recorded by his boyfriend, who also identifies as a transgender girl, Sloane is groaning, holding his pelvis and exclaiming in pain about his “crippling period” cramps. His partner, “Harlette Rose”, later made a follow-up video explaining that Sloane asked him to record this video and upload it on TikTok to “share her (valid) experience online”.

An obvious point, which many transgender people likewise pointed out, is that you need to have a uterus to shed the uterus lining. How is Sloane having a period when he is biologically unable to do so? If you question The Narrative, and suggest that he may be experiencing gastrointestinal distress, you are decried as transphobic. Transgender activist Dylan Mulvaney proclaims it is “transphobic” to criticise “trans-biological males” for expressing pain due to menstruation. That’s the end of the discussion.

Without a womb, womanhood becomes a pain to be pantomimed

Period pain is no joke. I know many women who experience debilitating cramps to the point that it majorly disrupts their day-to-day activities. In an over-corrective measure, it is now the societal norm for doctors to prescribe combined oral contraceptive pills to mitigate menstrual symptoms. This can start at the early stages of adolescence, with many girls having to take time off school to cope with the pain. Conditions such as endometriosis are not to be brushed off. It can damage a woman’s health to the point that it is life-threatening, and it may even require a full hysterectomy to save her life. A woman receiving a hysterectomy would never be able to have children. Imagine how heartbreaking this is for a woman who wants to start her own family, yet is faced with no other choice but to sacrifice this to save her life.

It is insulting when a man, playing dress-up and recording makeup tutorials for “early transition girls”, makes a mockery of womanhood and centres the issue all around himself. Realising that he is objectively wrong, Harlette Rose tries to backtrack and state that using the term “period” was wrong, instead defining his partner’s issue as experiencing “PMS”. In an explanatory video to his follower base, Harlette Rose relays that medical literature is not “100 per cent concrete” on why transgender individuals experience PMS — but insists they do, and we are obligated to believe and validate their experience as “women”.

What disturbs me is the statement that cis” women, some of whom have no choice but to undergo life-saving hysterectomy operations, experience the same pain as men cosplaying PMS. The comparison of menstrual cramps to general muscle cramps that we “all experience” minimises women’s suffering, and it eliminates fertility as a unique aspect of womanhood. Without a womb, womanhood becomes a pain to be pantomimed for dopamine-doses of social media validation.

Harlette Rose dismisses critics who say the couple are “appropriating womanhood” as spouting “TERF” talking points, insisting that the video is “firmly rooted in [his] experiences as a woman”. I am offended at being labelled a TERF (I am decidedly not a feminist). Insults aside, if anyone was to ask them, “What is a woman”, what would they deign to answer with? Without a biological basis, the definition as being “Whoever identifies as a woman” becomes an ouroboros of meaninglessness.

I often worry about the influence this nihilistic and narcissistic trend has on my generation and younger, when many lack perspective on how and why this pervasive narrative is prescribed to them. Teachers are attempting to supplant conservative parents by hosting PSHE lessons about gender identity and LGBTQ+ identity — to draw children into their intersectional obsession.

This coincides with SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon introducing a system of self-identification for gender identity, without requiring a diagnosis of gender dysphoria or medical oversight from a professional. From the age of 16, it will only require an applicant to “live in the acquired gender” for a mere three months before they can have their gender recognised. Under this framework, a man can declare that he is now a woman and within three months be recognised as one legally. A child at the age of 16 can also declare a change of gender identity without any oversight from a psychologist or professional. 

Three in four people as young as twelve dislike their bodies

Research shows that almost 80 per cent of secondary schools have students that identify as trans or non-binary. The rate of growth for this social contagion is unsurprising. Three in four young people as young as twelve dislike their bodies and are embarrassed by the way they look. This increases to eight in ten young people aged 18 to 21. TikTok’s recommendation algorithm pushes LGBTQ+ content to children within minutes of initial viewing. In a documentary about his “transition”, eight-year-old Eduardo Joly (now “Edie”) said this was inspired by other influencers on TikTok. His father, Jonathon Joly, identifies as “non-binary, and declares he spent his childhood “suppressing who he really was”. You cannot tell me that an eight-year-old child, who started this process from the age of six by being dressed in girl’s clothes, came to this conclusion himself. How many more children and young people will go on to identify as the opposite sex, or something else entirely, in the future? How many of those will later regret their decisions, and resent that the only narrative they are hearing is from those who support transgender identity and the fetishisation of femininity? 

They do not want to answer our questions, because they can’t. Individuals such as Sloane and Harlette demand that we affirm their “identity” and validate their experiences as women, yet make a mockery out of ours. I refuse to accept their delusion and thereby tacitly support an ideology which harms impressionable kids.

At the end of their video, Sloane states: “I swear to god, if anyone says ‘welcome to womanhood’, I’m going to lose my s***.” No one was planning to, Sloane. Being female is not a pantomime to be mocked. Stop creating a costume out of womanhood.

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