‘[H]e colonializes a female body, robs it of its natural resources, controls it, uses it, depletes it as he wishes, denies it freedom and self-determination so that he can continue to plunder it, moves on at will to conquer other land which appears more verdant and alluring. Radical feminists call this exclusively male behavior ‘phallic imperialism’ and see in it the origins of all other forms of imperialism.’– Andrea Dworkin.
The essence of imperialism is, above all, to dominate, possess, own, appropriate, and thoroughly expropriate people considered inferior. One of the subjugated peoples within capitalist societies is the class of women. Dominant men, including leftists and liberals, have colluded with capitalism to carry out various forms of the colonisation of women. The most important of these industries are pornography, prostitution, and surrogacy. These are huge money-making industries and are among the most lucrative in the modern global economy. One of their mottos is ‘sex work is work,’ which is nothing more than a succinct statement that the colonisation of women’s bodies is a legitimate capitalistic agenda and endeavour. The leftists, supposedly opposed to capitalism, become spokespeople and ideologues of the sex industry, the most odious and corrupt of all capitalist industries, and promote the colonisation of women all over the world.
But, over the past 20 years or so, another form of the colonisation of women has emerged. This is transgenderism or the trans ideology movement. In the West as well as in Japan and South Korea, those who chant the mantra ‘sex work is work’ are one with those who chant the mantra ‘trans women are women.’ They constitute almost the same political movement, the same ideological current, and the same interest group.
Why did these two fuse together everywhere in the world? Why does this happen both in the West and in the East, where the cultures and histories are entirely different? Is it a just coincidence?
No, this is not an accident. The reason why they fuse together is that they have the same roots, the same dynamics, and the same essence: they are both imperialist men’s rights movements that seek to dominate and colonise women, women’s bodies, and women’s sexuality.
Pornography physically conquers and colonises women’s sexual bodies in the process of its production, and conquers and colonises them virtually in the process of its consumption. In prostitution, the pimps and punters more directly conquer and colonise the female sexual body. But this is still insufficient for the domination and colonisation of women, because women still maintain their status as the Other, even if only as objects. Men’s desire to dominate women has no limits, and some of them cannot tolerate even the existence of women as the Other. This is where transgenderism comes in. It is the most thoroughgoing colonisation of women. It is so in a variety of ways, as below.
1. First of all, transgenderism dominates and colonises the very category of women by changing the definition of women so that men can freely enter into it or gain access to it. For an oppressed group, defining for themselves who they are is the minimum guarantee of their autonomy. Transgenderism deprives women of precisely that. Just as the Western imperialists colonise the people they seek to dominate by defining who they are, and by determining the boundary between them and the rest of the world, the trans ideology movement, also born in the West, makes women something conceptual and ideal by saying that even a man can become a woman because his mind and/or behaviour is feminine, and/or he self-identifies as a woman. Being a woman now ceases to be an objective, material, and political fact, and becomes an idea or feeling that men are free to possess. Women are robbed of their final sovereignty. Self-determination as an oppressed group becomes impeded because the group is determined to not exist (leading to the question “what is a woman?” lacking any coherent answer from many politicians in league with transgender ideology).
Andrea Dworkin once identified the ‘power of naming’ as one of men’s powers. In her most important work, Pornography, she states:
‘Men have the power of naming, a great and sublime power. This power of naming enables men to define experience, to articulate boundaries and values, to designate to each thing its realm and qualities, to determine what can and cannot be expressed, to control perception itself.’ (Andrea Dworkin, Pornography: Men Possessing Women, A Plume Book, 1991, p. 17.)
The greatest manifestation of this power today is transgenderism or the trans ideology movement. Even men are now named ‘women’, and even the very definition of women is determined by men.
Dworkin goes on to say that women who object to men’s ‘power of naming’ are persecuted ― ‘Whatever contradicts or subverts male naming is defamed out of existence.’ (ibid., p. 18) ― and this is what is happening today in the case of transgenderism. Women who oppose this male power of naming are called ‘TERFs,’ ‘transphobes,’ and ‘trans haters’ and are subject to contempt, slander, and violent attacks. Within fields of intense labour competition, such as academia, the media, and third sector, anyone speaking out against transgenderism has their job and livelihood threatened.
2. Transgenderism reduces ‘womanhood’ to practices of dressing, having long hair, applying makeup, and behaving in ways that are largely considered ‘feminine.’ Then, some men take possession of ‘womanhood’ reduced to such external adornments. Sometimes they even brazenly say that their parodies of femininity are more realistic than the real women they mimic. This is similar to colonialists accepting and promoting exaggerated caricatures of indigenous peoples as more authentic than the real ones.
3. Trans ideology encourages so-called ‘gender reassignment surgery’ for some men to create fake sexual parts of women on their own bodies to more directly possess and colonise womanhood. They can always admire in the mirror the reproduced fake breasts and other women’s parts on their own bodies, and they can touch them whenever they like. These body parts are pornographic ones reproduced on their bodies. It is embodied pornography.
4. Trans ideology makes girls believe they are men if they behave in a ‘non-girly’ way, and it denies their womanhood by giving them puberty blockers, cross hormones, and breast removal. This is another form of the colonisation of women. The British conquered Australia, Canada, and New Zealand, and tried to whitewash indigenous or mixed race children by separating them from their communities, giving them white names, instilling in them a white mindset, and teaching them to hate their communities. However, these classical colonialists did not go so far as to whitewash even the bodies of indigenous peoples. What they did, at best, was to control their minds. But the trans-identity movement does more than that. It not only reshapes the minds of colonised girls but also their bodies.
The transition of children makes global pharmaceutical and medical capitalist’s profit through drugs, surgery, and re-surgery for the rest of their lives. The economic basis of 21st-century imperialism is global capitalism, and the same is true of trans ideology. Capitalism as an ever-expanding economic system requires new areas of expansion to sustain itself and feed upon. Alongside the development of the global sex industry, the global development of the trans ideology movement creates a constant and ever-expanding source of profit for global capital.
5. The trans ideology movement physically colonises women’s spaces, by assuming that women-only spaces are transphobic and by allowing men (who self-identify as women) to freely enter them. Whether in toilets, public bathrooms, changing rooms, prisons, or shelters, there are no longer women-only spaces in countries where trans ideology has taken hold. These are now spaces to which men have free access. The most important feature of classical colonialism was to occupy the territory inhabited by the indigenous peoples, to abolish their exclusive spaces, and bring them under control. Women now face this same process.
6. Trans ideology allows men who self-identify as women to occupy women’s political positions as ‘female legislators’, to deprive women of honour as ‘women’s successes’, and to break into women’s sports, women’s contests, and all other women’s events to dominate and colonise them. A particularly disastrous result has been produced in relation to women’s sports. Men with physical advantages, who can achieve only mediocre results in the men’s competitions, enter women’s sports by claiming they are women, and steal medals, prizes, and recognition from women.
7. Trans ideology hijacks and colonises even lesbianism. Men who are merely heterosexual, claim to be women who romantically love and exclusively sexually desire women, and therefore pronounce themselves lesbians, taking lesbianism conceptually away from women and attempting to directly physically dominate (and sometimes rape) real lesbian women. Lesbians are the women who have rejected men the most and have tried to escape penile imperialism the most, and so, for the imperialist men, this is precisely why they must be colonised.
Andrea Dworkin states that lesbians are colonised in pornography by being treated as sex objects for the sexual pleasure of men:
‘The male defines and controls the idea of the lesbian in the composition of the photograph. In viewing it, he possesses her. The lesbian is colonised, reduced to a variant of woman-as-sex-object, used to demonstrate and prove that male power pervades and invades even the private sanctuary of women with each other.’ (Ibid., p. 47.)
This colonisation is done solely through the visual, but transgenderism attempts to colonise living flesh-and-blood lesbians in the real world.
8. Trans ideology arbitrarily draws a ‘cis-trans’ distinction among ‘women,’ and names ordinary women ‘cis women.’ Giving women the degrading name of ‘cis women’ is the same colonialist act as when Western colonists or imperialists called the local population ‘savages,’ ‘Indians,’ ‘Gooks’, ‘Chinks,’ or ‘Japs.’ In the case of the prewar Japanese imperialists who colonised the Korean peninsula, locals were forced to adopt Japanese names.
9. More thoroughly still, women labelled ‘cis’ are described as more privileged than ‘trans women.’ Although women are the largest and oldest minority in human history and have been consistently oppressed, discriminated against, exploited, raped, objectified, and killed since the beginning of male dominance (patriarchy), the group is now deprived of even this minority status. And a man who has enjoyed male privilege all his life, but one day declares he feels he is a woman, is considered more oppressed than any ‘cis woman.’ Thus, women are deprived of the right to speak out about the injustice of their imposed status. This is dehumanization at its most thorough. Women are robbed of any recognition of their subjectivity as women.
10. Finally, the trans ideology movement hijacks and colonises feminism itself. ‘Intersectionality’, which the Left is so fond of advocating, is today a pretext for taking feminism away from women and using it as a tool to dominate them. In the beginning, ‘intersectionality theory’ was supposed to emphasise the presence of women among racial and ethnic minorities who were always subsumed into and represented by the men of their racial group, but now it has become a means to dismantle the class status of women and to appropriate feminism. Throughout world history, an ideology designed to liberate some groups has often become a tool to subjugate it.
Thus, transgenderism or the trans ideology movement is a male imperialist ideology and a movement that seeks to deprive women of everything they have, and to colonise women in all aspects. And the United States, the world’s largest imperialist state, is trying to spread this ideology throughout the world through pressure, financial incentives, and threats by its government agencies and embassies. The United Nations, an international organisation of mostly Western imperialism, also disseminates trans ideology throughout the world and imposes it on all countries. This is a classic imperialist approach.
Feminist legal scholar Catharine MacKinnon once stated:
‘Anything women have claimed as their own――motherhood, athletics, traditional men’s jobs, lesbianism, feminism―is made specifically sexy, dangerous, provocative, punished, made men’s in pornography.’ (Catharine MacKinnon, Toward a Feminist Theory of the State, Harvard University Press, 1991, pp. 138-139.)
This statement is certainly correct. And it would be even more correct if the last word ‘pornography’ is replaced by ‘transgenderism’. Transgenderism, even more than pornography (and prostitution), is the ultimate means of the appropriation and colonisation of women (what is truly tragic is that she does not understand this at all; on the contrary, she has completely capitulated to it and is now attacking other radical feminists). The men have finally discovered it. They will never let it go. So, we must destroy it from the inside and the outside.
- Seiya Morita is a Japanese gender critical Marxist writer. Seiya’s response article to Catharine MacKinnon’s recent paper on transgenderism will be published here next month.