Feminist Author Claims 'Female' Wasn't Invented 'Til the 1800s

(AP Photo/Gerry Broome, File)

We’re living in a time of clarified history — or, as the woke seem to prefer, “histories.” Example: a recent assertion about the origin of “female.”


In case you’re unfamiliar with revered author Jacqueline Rose, here’s a brief 411 from Macmillan.com:

Jacqueline…is one of the most important living feminist literary and cultural critics. … She is the celebrated author of…Women in Dark Times, Mothers: An Essay on Love and Cruelty, and On Violence and On Violence Against Women.

In a July 26th piece penned for The New Statesman, Jacqueline tackles a tall topic of our time: What, exactly, is a woman?

The question, she says, implies there isn’t an answer:

“What is a woman?” The formulation has the merit of suggesting that to be a woman, far from being obvious, is a question, and one susceptible to more than a single reply.

And if you weren’t aware, the notion of two sexes was lately conceived:

Being a woman is at risk of becoming a protected category, as the binary man/woman hardens into place.

It appears woman-ness is in need of whacking:

[I]t has always been a central goal of feminism to repudiate the very idea of womanhood, as a form of coercive control that means the end of freedom.

What is a woman not? Someone who was simply born that way:

It was Simone de Beauvoir who famously wrote, “One is not born a woman, but becomes one.”

And being one brings oppression:

[B]ecoming a woman is something that society, not nature, enjoins on all humans biologically classified as female, as it casts its oppressive diktats over them, mind, body and soul, layer upon layer.


“Female” concerns, perhaps, Jacqueline’s most curious claim. For all you official females, you made it by just a couple centuries:

In fact, the term “female,” as distinct from women, has its own tale. As the New York Magazine critic Andrea Long Chu has written in her book Females (2019), the biological category “female,” as it is understood today, was developed in the 19th century as a way of referring to black slaves.

You can’t separate womanhood from white supremacy:

To assume that “female” is a neutral biological category is, therefore, historically naive and racially blind. It not only drastically limits the options, but trails ugly histories behind it.

Sexually speaking, we’re living in an all-new world:

Man Who Says Women Don’t Exist Wins ‘Woman of the Year’

Professors Insist ‘Sex Is Not Binary,’ Sex Separation in Sports Is White Supremacy

Harvard Professor Insists There Are Two Sexes, Colleague Is ‘Appalled’

‘How Dare You’: Obstetrician Is Aghast at the Claim That Men Can’t Give Birth

New Transgender Owner of Miss Universe Celebrates an End to It Being Run by Men

State University Teaches ‘Transgender Etiquette,’ Tells Students Nearly 50 Percent of Men May Be Bisexual


As aforementioned, some say what’s new is the idea of merely men and women:

Averting the vice of vagueness, Jacqueline’s New Statesman article is titled “The Gender Binary is False.”

Sex is a choose-your-own adventure:

Perhaps there is no bedrock, anatomical or psychic, on which sexual differentiation can securely ground itself.

Amid women’s punitive plight, thank goodness for our trans triumph; at least it’s manhandling maniacal manliness:

[The felt experience of being a woman] is…for many — most — women the mark of oppression, prejudice, low pay, the burden of domestic labour, violence in the home and on the street. For many trans women, it is a claim that arises out of the feeling that biology and a core, lived, sexual identity have been woefully misaligned. These women surely deserve respect as women, not least for discarding the straitjacket of masculinity.

So what, again, is a woman? Stop asking like a patriarchal persecutor:

[T]o claim that sexual differentiation is “reality” surely ignores that “reality,” for feminism is something to be negotiated, struggled over, fought against. To claim the right to dictate on this matter is oppressive and omnipotent, and uncomfortably like the patriarchal order that feminism seeks to dismantle.

“What is a woman?” Speak for yourself. Who on Earth can presume to answer the question on behalf of anyone else?


May men stop being omnipotent, as we refuse to dictate reality to one another.



See more content from me:

University: LGBT Students Should Give Doctors Sexual Business Cards Revealing Their Pants-Pertaining Particulars

State Medical Board Demands Nurses Not ‘White-Splain,’ Be Colorblind, or ‘Weaponize Whiteness’

Health Experts Order Doctors Not to Record Trans Patients’ Actual Sex — It’s ‘Irrelevant’

Find all my RedState work here.

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