“Transition expresses not the truth of an identity but the force of a desire”

Andrea Long Chu hopes to upend the whole gender paradigm.

Say What

Oh geez, what now?

Chu’s fascinatingly offensive hypothesis is that Femaleness equals Passivity. In a Yin & Yang sort of way. Stripped of any metaphorical disambiguation.

“‘Femaleness’ is the urge to be a vessel for another’s desire.”

To say nothing of menstruating or breastfeeding or any of the 1,000 other things women may experience but men never do. That’s a damned convenient definition of Female for those who aren’t.

“My desire originated outside of me.” Chu is full of charmers like this: The classic idea that inspires Modesty laws all over the world. Women are blamed for men’s lust.

So, lots of gross, misogynist stuff. But then the interviewer asks,

“I wonder how we decided that passivity was so taboo that we want to project it away from us? That it was [therefor] just for women?”

A surprisingly good, gender-critical question. Masculinity is defined in opposition to Femininity. Undesirable things are pushed onto women as society’s scapegoat.

Chu responds with predictably convoluted sexism: “Because it’s destructive. If you were to experience your femaleness in its pure state, then you would just be completely flattened out.”

Girl With Skull

Just girly things!

This is the same old complementarian crap that said anything but passivity is unladylike. Positively Victorian!

He riffs a bit on how gender is something internalized from outside. Socially constructed, like beauty or race. “What makes gender gender, as opposed to something else? What if gender is not a matter of who one is, but of what one wants?”


“Transition expresses not the truth of an identity but the force of a desire.”

Did he just admit the Emperor has no clothes??

“Gender is the expression of someone else’s sexuality.”

Hang on.

He might have something here! Think about it – Gender is imposed by society. It is what we think others expect of us.

Glamour Shots

I need to see society’s ideal in the mirror so I can finally be happy!

If Chu succeeds in disseminating these ideas, he will directly undermine a lot Trans Theory. If transition isn’t about Living Your Truth, suddenly it isn’t so damn important.

So, while this fellow is clearly twisted up in some serious misunderstandings of psychology, it’s fascinating to me how he seems to have gone the long way round to get right back to Male Psychobabble 101 – Female = Passive.

So sit down and let my neovagina explain things.

Sorry, no.

His declaration that “we’re all female” is nothing but the same old song of submission. Chu is yet another Pied Piper luring us to our own undoing. It is the same old tune we’ve been trying to get out of our heads all this time.

Andrea Long Chu demonstrates a big chink in the TRA armor – The desire to feel special overshadows even basic self-awareness, leading to a male publishing an entire book about being female without a shred of irony.

But seeing how Chu has been a Trans darling since this book came out, it’s tempting to just sit back, grab the popcorn and wait. A failed ideology in new clothes will fail again, but Chu generously provides endless inspiration to help it along.



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