Davina Ayrton

I’ve written about identity and it’s limits before. The gender binary disappearing before gender equality is even a possibility was always going to cause trouble. Gender inequality is inequality defined by sexual violence. Gender is an awful construct, rigid roles and flawed conceptions reproduced through economics, social policy systems, media narratives and gendered relations in the private domain. Gendered power relations defined by violence.

The key difference between men and women’s sexed bodies, is that women’s reproductive organs produce society and that power is at the root of the subjugation of women. Sexual violence is one such means, with the penis as a weapon used to subjugate women and girls since forever.

How we define womanhood is complicated by the fact that is constructed around us, through performative roles in which we have little choice once our reproductive organs come into play. Trans women’s womanhood is as constructed through male violence as those of us made women through those gender roles. But here is the line.

Once you have used your penis as a weapon to construct someone elses gender identity through rape, once you have brutally raped a 15 year old girl you cease to have the right to ask to use the safety of segregated single sex spaces. You have chosen in that act that you are a man. Not just a man but perpetrator of sexual violence and a risk to women. If you have a learning disability which means you cannot help yourself but rape women then you are a man who presents increased risk to any woman and should be kept away from segregated female spaces. When you download images of child abuse, you are choosing to be a perpetrator of sexual violence against children and are a risk.

Davina Ayrton has chosen his gender. He chose to be a man, he chose to be a rapist, and he used his gender and his sex to rape a child and contribute to the abuse of other children. He can wear a dress. He can identify how he chooses. He does not have the right to have women identify a rapist as a woman or the right to shout transphobia when placed in a prison where he, as a rapist, may be at risk of the crime he committed against a female child.

Tara Hudson was a violent criminal who identified as a woman and would have been at risk in a male prison. Tara Hudson did not rape anyone and did not choose her gender by raping someone.

Once you have raped someone you have chosen your gender, and however you identify afterwards you have no right to have other people identify a rapist as a woman, to identify you as a woman. That is the dividing line between women and men. Women cannot use their genitals to rape women. They live on the other side of the gender divide starkly marked out by gendered violence.

The limits of identity. How he chooses to identify once he has done that is his business and noone elses concern.

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