Found in the Wild: Female Erasure on Quora

Some readers may have heard about the recent nerfing of the RadFem community on Reddit. This was a gut punch for Yours Truly, as I had been an active member for six years. Of course, many a disgusting pornography subreddit was left standing, but women discussing women’s things is obviously something that needs stamped out.

Mansplaining

I know, I know – I just don’t listen!

My long-suffering web developer has set his sights on Quora as a good place to build a reputation among readers.

Feminism, to me, is a pretty broad topic. It’s hard to connect with people when you stubbornly refuse to “niche.” Readers and promoters alike enjoy straightforward content. But too many important topics just aren’t straightforward, with women’s issues touching them all and making theme bleed almost inevitable.

Not to mention, I am pretty awful at self-promotion.

So when I find a space labeled as curated for women’s voices, a little wave of excitement always washes over me. Maybe these are my people! Then I begin scrolling.

One space was literally nothing but fitness videos and herbal stuff. Stop Radical Feminism looks like fun. The Fourth Wave is great but staunchly political. However, the ironically titled Ladies First is what stopped me in my tracks and sent me running to my developer to demonstrate my frustration.

This space is administrated by a person billed as “a former Washington journalist for 20 years.” I thought it a little odd not to mention a publication, but maybe the list is long? A top post made specific mention of the place being for “femme people.” Oh, dear…. I took a harder look at the admin’s picture…. You have got to be kidding me!

Q: How did you get unintentionally outed as transgender?

A:(Quora Admin) It happened to me last Fall….

How wonderful. One of the biggest “women’s” spaces on Quora is run by a transwoman. Of course!

Now, people who know me know I don’t go out of my way to identify as "transgender." I’m female, end of story. I’ve found that now people are putting people who identity as transgender in their own, separate category. 

I don’t like that.” Yeah, I bet you don’t.

I’m a woman, end of the story.Right To A Door

Except that it isn’t. If it were, further clarification would be unnecessary. This person wants to take credit for the decades of work as a journalist (fair enough) while at the same time denying they ever lived as a man.

How cute. Let them have cake! We are expected to agree, And eat it, too!

This person is a wonderful example of exactly how Trans Rights and Women’s Rights contradict one another. If there can be no delineation between Women and Transwomen, women are left with nothing of our own.

Not bathrooms. Not medical offices. Not internet forums.

All other philosophy aside, wanting a place of one’s own is not bigotry. I need a door I can shut between me and my kids sometimes, and they are my own children! Love means respecting boundaries, not erasing them.

And if I have to pay my dues around Quora and eventually create my own space for women – one that doesn’t divide us along sexual or reproductive lines, one that doesn’t denigrate the minutiae of women’s lives – then so be it.

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