A Feminism Embedded in Human Nature

In our cultural moment, an embodied, relational feminism—one that does not see sexual difference as a threat—has to be reactionary; it is counter-cultural by default. Those hoping to realize that vision need to be against progress, but also for something more stable and enduring: a feminist movement that recognizes and embraces the limits of our nature, as well as norms that steward that nature; that guard it from pathological excess and enervation.
Gender dysphoria needs to be acknowledged and treated as a psychological illness. I understand the resistance to language of disorder and pathology, motivated by a fear that such language is stigmatizing. I understand, but I disagree. To reclassify disorder as order forecloses the possibility of recovery. I think of my own battles with anxiety, depression, self-harm. I don’t want someone telling me those things are normal and good. I want to be healed.
We are witnessing a kind of last battle, a feminist Armageddon that will determine whether feminism, as a movement centered upon the wellbeing of women and girls, will endure into the future or self-immolate. Only a return to realism can provide a stable definition of woman, the requisite ground for effective feminism.