Originally published by Samantha Rea at The Independent
Last week on Twitter, a representative for the Green Party gave a shout-out for the Young Greens Women Twitter account, directing “non-male” members to give them a follow.
I – along with many others – objected to this phrasing, on the grounds that women exist in their own right, not in relation to men. Referring to women as “non-male,” positions men as the defining group, and women as “other.” It’s like saying that men are Coca Cola and women are the supermarket budget brand – or men are filet steak and women are a bargain bag of offal.
When I flagged the phrasing, I received some well-meaning responses, telling me what it “probably meant.”
“Maybe they were trying to be non-binary,” suggested one. Another proposed that: “Maybe they were trying to take gender fluidity into account – non-males might be a wider group than just women.”
Without meaning to, their explanations simply reiterated the binary I was objecting to in the first place: “male” juxtaposed with “non-male”; male presented as the polished paradigm of the human species, and everyone else lumped together as “other.”