What Makes A Real Woman?

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Sunday Papers Live: Style Section

It’s one of the most vicious debates of our time, which has ripped the feminist community apart and deeply divided society—what is it that makes a woman, a woman?

Is it the way she thinks, the way she dresses or her sex characteristics?

If a transwoman self-identifies as female, is she ignoring the impact that male privilege will have had in shaping her world view? Is gender something inherent, which can’t be recreated with hormones, surgery and a new wardrobe? Or is the concept of a “real woman” redundant in an age of freedom and gender fluidity?

Maybe we should all stop obsessing over what has defined women in the past, and instead ask ourselves how women see their future?


Paris Lees, award-winning journalist, trans rights campaigner and presenter

Sarah Ditum, New Statesman columnist, writer and self-proclaimed “anti-fun feminist”

Katie Glass, Sunday Times columnist and writer

Jess Bradley, The NUS’s Trans Officer

Host: Serena Kutchinsky, freelance journalist and former digital editor of Newsweek and the New Statesman.