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In a radical feminist world, there is no transphobia

by Heather

Radical feminism is a platform for gender equality which includes, among other things, the belief that most gender is performed. As a radical feminist, I believe that gender roles are artificially created, that most dimorphism is affected rather than mandated by nature, and that the divide has been pushed beyond all reason to the express benefit of men. This is what we call the patriarchy.

One unfortunate aspect of this socialization is that society, through various messages including but not limited to role-modeling from peers and media, teaches young men that they are entitled to the hearts and minds of women, including but again not limited to domestic and sexual servitude. Women, no more fond of subjugation and servitude than men, become unfortunately prone to self-loathing and more fortunately prone to rebellion.

In the process of shaking ourselves loose the shackles of gendered expectations, different schools of feminism have emerged. Varying degrees of oppression are recognized, and socialized roles and appearances are sorted differently into categories of oppressive and benign. Radical feminism, as the name suggests, subscribes to the most severe criteria. Radical feminism is also unfortunately best known by queer communities as transphobic.

The rift between radical feminism and trans activism begins with the application of known oppressive phenomena to the analysis of trans presentation and activism. On the surface, it’s easy to see what their problem is. To the casual observer, trans women assert and express their womanhood physically and visually. They often wear feminine clothes, shave feminine areas, and insist on feminine names and pronouns. Trans men resist feminine obligations, much the way radical feminists do, but then also resist the designation of “woman.” In the eyes of transphobic radical feminists, the former too closely resembles role enforcement while the latter too closely resembles self-loathing.

If trans people and trans activists were at all interested in sending women at large back to the kitchen, entrenching them further into the sex class, or in the case of trans men, eliminating women altogether or otherwise gender-leveling up, the transphobic radical feminists might have a point. Inconveniently for them, this couldn’t be further from the case.

The patriarchy has the same persistent negative impact on trans women as it does cis women. Society tells them that they are more acceptable when they present in a feminine manner and worth less as a person when they fail to please the eye. The rigid physical standards applied to women cause trans women inordinate amounts of stress. The sex classing of women and requisite caste system of the class (more commonly known as varying degrees of fuckability, or even more commonly as a scale from 1 to 10) has inhumanely relegated trans women with a certain remaining organ to the undesirables. They are expected to be content with either fetishization or pity fucking, along with cis women of the overweight and differently abled varieties. This particular problem has recently been the birth of a massive online “cotton ceiling” debate. We’ll get back to that.

Let us first work on the premise that trans women are women and trans men are men. Of course without the validity of their genders decided upon, it’s easy enough for transphobes to make their arguments unchallenged. The most common radical feminist position on trans identities is that a post-patriarchal world would not require men to call themselves women to be feminine. They could just be feminine men; reverse that for trans men.

But this doesn’t hold up under scrutiny. Society already does not require masculine women to call themselves men or feminine men to call themselves women. Furthermore, a post-patriarchal world – more specifically a post-gender role world – would necessarily have eliminated almost every trait that divides men from women. Things we think of as masculine or feminine would no longer be associated with men or women and would no longer even be recognizable as masculine or feminine. Masculinity and femininity would lose all meaning.

This is not a utopian fantasy. Many things have already lost masculine and feminine categorization. In my mother’s time, trumpet playing was masculine. In my grandmother’s time, making jokes was masculine. Today, neither of these activities are associated with gender. It is not possible to draw a line in this gender-blending at the physical. Perhaps the imaginations of older-generation feminists who grew up in far more oppressive environments than today’s feminists were unable to think as far ahead as, say, the thick-necked, slender-hipped, flat-chested physiques of the very feminine 2012 Olympic women’s gymnastics team, or the soft skin and round, well-developed breasts of a trans woman on HRT. Nonetheless, here we have it. The lines are being erased with the slow liberation of women and medical advancement.

If the contention of radical feminism is that neither behavior, nor presentation, nor physical appearance should make or break the difference between men and women, why draw the line at the word “man” or “woman?” The very words will become nonsensical and impossible to define. Sure, there will still be some natural hormonal division, but when people can safely, permanently, and completely alter these differences at will, why deny it? When women and men are socialized equally, what will anyone have lost? What will anyone have gained but the right to define themselves, the right for which radical feminists so arduously fight?

Back to the cotton ceiling debate, or really, any debate online between radical feminists and trans activists: Is a childhood of boy-designated socialization sometimes evident in arguments from trans women? Absolutely. To start with, they don’t question themselves, apologize for themselves, or wait for their turn to speak quite as often as cis women are taught to do from birth. Likewise, a childhood of girl-designated socialization is sometimes evident when trans men make arguments. It will be nice when girl-designated socialization and boy-designated socialization include a childhood where respect and assertiveness are taught equally, but though there has been progress, we’re not there yet.

However, there is no reason to make the leap from a sense of the way somebody was socialized as a child to their “true” gender. Like the wage gap, sex classing, and glass ceiling, all of which very much apply to trans people’s identities rather than their designated birth sex, these are simply the costs and benefits of the patriarchy. Like skirts, heels, trucks, and sports, they are no more reflective of the true identity of a trans person than they are a cis person.

Comments

  1. Beanybag says

    I’ll copy my YT comment here.

    ‘most dimorphism is mandated rather than natural’ – this is a falsifiable claim, is it not? Why not remain agnostic towards it till we have research? I don’t see why you should hold the belief that most dimorphism is artificial without sufficient reason to do so. Can you point me to studies which would support your point? It sounds to me as if you might have overstepped this claim.

      • br0kenmech says

        “Although we would all like to believe in Fine’s extreme social determinism, efforts to explain (purely in terms of social variables)why neurodevelopmental conditions like autism,learning difficulties, and language delay affect boys more often than girls lead to the ludicrous position of blaming these conditions on sexist factors in society (or in parents).” ~ Simon Baron-Cohen

        http://issuu.com/thepsychologist/docs/psy1110/15

        • strange gods before me ॐ says

          It’s not clear that SBC understood what exactly the book was about.

          http://www.cordeliafine.com/Fine_Response_Psychologist_December_2010.pdf

          “[W]hile social effects on sex differences are well-established, spurious results, poor methodologies and untested assumptions mean we don’t yet know whether, on average, males and females are born differently predisposed to systemizing versus empathising. I therefore argue that to slam the door in the face of those who aspire to sex equality is premature. [...]

          Baron-Cohen thinks my position forces me to attribute sex differences in the prevalence of neurodevelopmental disorders to socialization effects. I disagree that I am required to take such a view. But the assumption that sex differences in atypical development must reflect sex differences in typical development creates no less awkwardness for Baron-Cohen than it does for me. Autism affects many more males than females, but in the general population sex differences in the ability to infer the mental states of others (a core impairment of autism) are so elusive as to be basically absent in the most stringent test of this ability.”

          • says

            Autism affects many more males than females,

            does it? I was under the vague impression that it’s severely underdiagnosed in girls, because it often presents with different symptoms than in boys. kinda like the heart-attack-symptoms thing.

            anyway, sorry for the tangential comment. that just kinda lept out at me

      • Beany says

        I’m not pretending, I still think the research is most certainly ambiguous. I’m not saying that your assumption is wrong, just that it is not yet well founded enough. I’m willing to leave this question unanswered till then all while fighting against gender roles. The brain is still very mysterious.

  2. HK says

    Your premise doesn’t sound very scientific, that is, evidence-based. If you look all the testing done on men & women, the history of tribal peoples & even before that of our ape-like ancestors, at the animal kingdom, at the study of the brain, at all the historical & scientific evidence we have, we see that some aspects of gender are innate in human beings, linked to demonstrably biological differences. This is why we have transgender people- because their brain gender differs from their biological sex. Further, this whole “The Patriarchy” theory seems to take on the properties of a conspiracy theory- who is this shadowy elite group of evil Men who have mind-controlled & twisted all humans to their will, that controls everything? It’s just as simplistic as “The Illuminati”. Sure, there is plenty of evidence to show that sexism in society has an effect on the human mind, that our natural inclination to gender-bend is socially restrained, that assigned gender roles effect people, that society is constructed in many ways to favor men (& in some ways to favor women) but the idea that it is entirely constructed by “the patriarchy” is simply rubbish.

    • says

      Interesting. What if a trans person’s brain does not in fact measure up to this scrutiny under a microscope? Would you confiscate their HRT and send them packing? What about when men just fail to be masculine and women just fail to be feminine? Do you put them on HRT to sort them out? What about the studies that demonstrate that, in absence of stereotype threat, the genders test equally in all metrics? When will skeptics admit that determination of a person’s likes, dislikes, mannerisms, and goals based upon their gender is as arbitrary and laughable as horoscopes?

      • sc_69fc3053efe3b6d2893944ca582d740c says

        What if a trans person’s brain does not in fact measure up to this scrutiny under a microscope?

        Then we’d have to re-think. Just as we’d have to re-think gravity if we found an apple that fell up, not down, from a tree.

      • sc_69fc3053efe3b6d2893944ca582d740c says

        Sexual differentiation of the human brain in relation to gender identity and sexual orientation D.Swaab & A.Garcia-Fulgaras Functional Neurology, Jan-Mar 2009:

        One person we studied had untreated male gender dysphoria (S7), took no hormones and kept his transsexual feelings under wraps. He appeared to have a large INAH3 volume – in the male range – but a female INAH3 number of neurons (68) and a female BSTc somatostatin neuron number (95). Hence, this individual’s hypothalamic characteristics were mid-way between male and female values

        • strange gods before me ॐ says

          The point was that gender roles are affected, not that there is nothing in the brain having to do with gender identity.

          Gender identity ≠ gender role.

      • Ben says

        So basically if there’s any overlap in sexual dimorphism, we can just ignore biology and actual science in favor of a pseudoscientific ideology? Cool.

    • says

      HK,

      I think Heather was generous to dignify your comment with the response ‘interesting’, since you spoilt it with the gross implication that anyone who acknowledges feminist theorising about patriarchies also subscribes to believing in, e.g. the Priory of Sion, the Illuminati, or the Order of the Solar Temple. Please don’t burn the straw-feminists!

      It sounds like unjustifiable scepticism to deny the centuries of social repression of women in Western culture as significant historical evidence supporting the influence of patriarchal domination, whether it so happened that those patriarchies were organised as a “shadowy elite group of evil Men” (or actually, not). Instead, your ranting about denying that men have been in the driving seat of society at large for a long time up until recently really sounds like you’ve been reading too many Dan Brown novels.

    • says

      Further, this whole “The Patriarchy” theory seems to take on the properties of a conspiracy theory- who is this shadowy elite group of evil Men who have mind-controlled & twisted all humans to their will, that controls everything? It’s just as simplistic as “The Illuminati”.

      well yes, your silly strawman of it certainly is as silly and simplistic as the illuminati.

      here’s a question for you: do you think the current socioeconomic system works in such a way that it rewards pollution and unsustainable development and punishes or disadvantages environmentally friendly business-practices, leading to the current state of worsening AGW, worsening pollution, and resource depletion? do you think there’s a shadowy cabal who purposefully designed it that way to destroy the earth?

  3. br0kenmech says

    As a radical feminist, I believe that gender roles are artificially created, that most dimorphism is affected rather than mandated by nature, and that the divide has been pushed beyond all reason to the express benefit of men.

    I would say that the question of whether or not gender dimorphism is predominantly “affected rather than mandated by nature” is a question for science to answer. I don’t see how the author’s radical feminist views are at all relevant.

    The idea that gender dimorphism expressly benefits men is just plain false.

    • strange gods before me ॐ says

      The idea that gender dimorphism expressly benefits men is just plain false.

      Do you understand this statement as denying the existence of male privilege?

      I ask because it sure looks that way. If not, then what can you possibly mean, in saying “male privilege is real, but the idea that gender dimorphism expressly benefits men is just plain false”?

      Anyway, we know that gender dimorphism does benefit men:

      http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2007/aug/21/gender.pay

      • Elerena says

        Do you understand this statement as denying the existence of male privilege?

        I ask because it sure looks that way. If not, then what can you possibly mean, in saying “male privilege is real, but the idea that gender dimorphism expressly benefits men is just plain false”?

        Do YOU understand that the statement “The idea that gender dimorphism expressly benefits men is just plain false” is not the same thing as saying gender dimorphism doesn’t benefit men?

        The patriarchy hurts EVERYONE, not just women. That women are harmed more by it is beyond question, but it’s absurd to claim that there are no areas where men are put at a disadvantage by gender dimorphism.

        • br0kenmech says

          Elerena

          That women are harmed more by it is beyond question

          I disagree. It certainly isn’t beyond question. It would depend on what you were going to define “harm” to mean. If you include physical harm such as violent assaults, work place accidents, war casualties, murders, suicides, etc… then the issue of gendered harm becomes much less clear.

          • Crip Dyke, MQ, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

            Ugh. The fact that you think this is a question is ridiculous. Women are quite obviously harmed more.

            Unless you were thinking of a subset of men and women? Like only the men & women in a particular city/region of the US? Even then, I would argue that you’re wrong…but not as ridiculously, flagrantly wrong as your idiotic universal statement would currently suggest.

            It is beyond question that women as a whole are hurt more by sexism than men as a whole.

      • br0kenmech says

        strange gods before me ॐ –
        We also know that there are situations where a masculine gender is a significant disadvantage. Tougher sentencing in the courts would be an example.

        I never said anything about “male privilege,” or “the patriarchy.”

        • Crip Dyke, MQ, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

          Tougher sentencing in court? A friend of mine did a study on sentencing of those who murder an intimate partner within the context of a heterosexual romantic relationship. The mean sentence for men was, IIRC, <4 years. The mean sentence for women killing a man was ~15 years.

          Why? Because men were expected to commit violence and therefore no "shock value" exists for the mere existence of such a killing performed by someone identified as a man (obviously the manner of the killing, the class background of the killer, etc. could all still shock). Men who killed violently were more likely to be charged with crimes such as manslaughter or criminally negligent homicide than women who killed violently. In general, it was much easier for both prosecutors and juries to find "mitigating factors" in a man's life. For a man, there is a narrative that being abused causes one to lash out. This is seen as natural and therefore not under conscious control. For a woman, being abused is paired with a narrative that posits her thinking of herself as not worth respectful treatment and therefore tolerating abuse and bad treatment. The *natural* thing to do for an abused woman, therefore, would be to shut up and take it, not to respond with violence… at least according to sexist conventional wisdom.

          I'm not denying that enforced masculinity hurts men – it does. But you should a) pick your arguments more carefully, this one isn't true; and b) test your hypothesis that sexism as a whole benefits men no more or less than it benefits women. What are the consequences of such a hypothesis? If the overall costs and benefits were the same or even very similar, then you would expect to see that equal numbers of men and women attack the gender status quo. What is the US membership of the National organization for Men? How much money do they spend on lobbying to enact legislation that would undermine rigid gender roles? How many times to you see the NOM on television protesting continuing gender inequities in child rearing, business executive positions, and individual professions?

          Why is it mostly women that are advocating more for men to have increased time with children? Why aren't men saying, y'know, something is deeply wrong if we have to do 90+ percent of the executive work at Fortune500 firms? We have to change that and get women doing 1/2 that work now so we can have more time to knit and chew the fat…and so that more of us can do really interesting jobs that more directly benefit human beings, like social work. Why do women disproporionately get the gratification of doing social work?

          Saying, "we have to go to war and you don't" isn't very convincing of an overall pattern of power distribution if the people who are arguing for change in that are more frequently women who want the right to go to war than it is men who want to be able to opt out without guilt or pressure.

          yes. There are absolutely horrendous consequences of compulsory masculinity. But do the thought experiment and you get results consistent with those consequences being either less than those facing women under sexism or the benefits of compulsory masculinity provide a higher net value when compared to its (negative) consequences than the benefits of compulsory feminity provide to women when compared compulsory femininity's (negative) consequences.

          The question remaining after this series of observations and tests is merely this: is it a complete accident that sexism benefits men more than it benefits women…and seemingly more than it injures men (since if the costs outweigh the benefits you would see men rejecting masculinity en masse)? Or is it that sexism benefits men because that's how it was supposed to function.

          What do you think?

    • says

      br0kenmech – the claim of the article is that radical feminist beliefs do not (or, rather, should not) lead to transphobia. Ergo, exploring what radical feminist beliefs are is completely relevant to the point.

      Whether or not you agree with them or think they are true is, strangely, unimportant when determining whether they ought to support or reject transphobia.

      • br0kenmech says

        aleph squared –

        Her radical feminist views are not relevant to the validity of the statement that gender dimorphism is predominantly “affected rather than mandated by nature” The statement is either true or it isn’t… feminism has nothing to do with it.

        Do radical feminist views also have relevance to the validity of the germ theory of disease?

        • says

          Yes, but you have to pay attention to the argument being made, yo.

          This wasn’t a post trying to support the radfem view of gender dimorphism. If it were, then your critique would be correct. However, the argument being made wasn’t “the radfem view of gender dimorphism is correct.”

          The argument being made was, “transphobia is not a logical or necessary consequence of basic radical feminist views, like their view of gender dimorphism.”

          It’s like if I were to make an argument in which I said, “creationists believe XYZ. Given XYZ, however, they must also logically believe ABC.” It isn’t relevant to my argument whether or not XYZ is actually true: what is relevant is that creationists believe it. You jumping in and claiming that I haven’t supported XYZ is irrelevant: I wasn’t arguing for XYZ (even if I do believe in it), I was arguing for the statement “if XYZ then ABC.”

          • br0kenmech says

            Judging by the other comments on this thread, I was not alone in seeing this statement (As a radical feminist, I believe that gender roles are artificially created, that most dimorphism is affected rather than mandated by nature, and that the divide has been pushed beyond all reason to the express benefit of men.) was a premise for the argument.

            No point in ignoring a faulty premise.

          • says

            Judging by the other comments on this thread, I was not alone

            Just because other people agree with you does not make you right.

            This is a simple matter of logic.

            Heather’s claim was that as a radical feminist, she believes X. This is a true claim whether or not X is true.

            Heather goes on to argue that, given her (and other radfems’) belief in X, belief in Y (or lack of transphobia) is implied. This is also a valid argument whether or not X is true.

            The truth of X is not relevant to the argument. An argument of the form P implies Q is true even when P is false.

  4. Stevarious says

    It’s delightful to hear from a professed ‘radical feminist’ about what radical feminists actually believe. A veritable mountain of straw-feminists have burned while wearing that label, and the clouds of smoke that wafts from the still-smoldering pile have obscured much.

    That is to say, I’ve had a great deal of difficulty finding out what radical feminists actually believe. Would you happen to have some resources where one could learn more?

        • br0kenmech says

          Holy crap… a guy can’t even count to five before somebody calls him a troll around here.

          Most radfems I have encountered have been transphobes. Are you saying radicalhub is a poor example of typical radfem ideology.

          • strange gods before me ॐ says

            Most radfems I have encountered have been transphobes.

            That’s confirmation bias talking.

            Are you saying radicalhub is a poor example of typical radfem ideology.

            Yes.

          • says

            Most radfems I have encountered have been transphobes.

            I agree there might be some confirmation bias going on, there. The belief that radfem=transphobic is so deeply entrenched (with good reason, I hasten to add; there are some disgustingly transphobic radical feminists), that whenever a feminist says something transhobic, she’s automatically assumed to be a radical feminist (even if she isn’t and has never identified as such), and trans-inclusive or trans* feminists are rarely considered radical feminists (even if they are).

            radicalhub is disgusting. I tried reading some of the posts one day and I literally got sick to my stomach. Those women barely meet my definition of “feminist,” whatever they want to call themselves, and I want to part of it.

      • says

        Hey thanks. I wrote about transphobia in radical feminism specifically because I encountered it so much. I wouldn’t say its “most” radical feminists, but it is a sizable chunk (and waaay too many people in total).

        Andrea Dworkin went out of her way to be supportive of people who are trans, too.

  5. says

    Nah, sorry, sexual dimorphism is a thing. It’s an interesting thing because, due to our big brains, women give birth to infants that are near helpless, and their heads are so large relative to the birth canal that “maternal mortality” is a universal measure of public health. Paternal mortality is not. Given the price pregnancy extracts on a woman’s health, accommodating the stresses of reproduction is a major selection pressure. Less upper body strength, more sensitive immune system, center of gravity lower, more lower body strength, higher pain tolerance, more body fat, average height, and your basic ability to gestate a fetus. Some of the time.

    I don’t think much, if anything, of our actual personalities flows from that. It’s just a different set of shared experiences.

    • strange gods before me ॐ says

      Nah, sorry, sexual dimorphism is a thing. [...] I don’t think much, if anything, of our actual personalities flows from that. It’s just a different set of shared experiences.

      This is not a disagreement with what Heather said. The dimorphism questioned here was gender dimorphism, not sexual dimorphism.

    • says

      To be fair (pace Sally and SGBM), I don’t think Heather was specifying sexual dimorphism as being affected by culture rather than having natural origin, or contrarily that gender dimorphism only resulting from social differences is the only game in town. Sally’s comment points to the fact that sexual dimorphism exacts an uneven toll on men and women most obviously in reproduction, so that a society that fails to compensate for this disparity (which to take an extreme example, the GOP is doing its utmost to regulate and enforce in the US) will almost certainly result in a culture that normalises gender dimorphism as well, by harsh imposition of gender roles.

    • M Groesbeck says

      Well, “dimorphism” has some connotations that don’t stack up well with “two Gaussian distributions that mostly overlap”. The traits you list are, IIRC, areas with much more variation within sexes than between; it’s a difference in mean rather than a dichotomy. (Of course, even species with a stronger dimorphism — peafowl, for a well-known and obvious example — have their outliers…)

      That a number of these traits are also effected by environment, experience, etc., which are often (including my own contemporary U.S. culture) skewed socially towards exaggerating sexual dimorphism just implies that “men are like X, women are like Y, due to biology” is really not useful in most cases.

  6. corey says

    I have always found it repugnant for me, or anyone, to be defined by gender. I dislike statements about what men always do or what women always do with equal disdain. I think chivalry is bullshit. I don’t like the last name game we play in marriage. I can’t stand men who characterize women as bitchy and selfish, and I can’t stand women who characterize men as stupid or untrustworthy. I think everything should be equal. Equal power in marriage and at work. Equal duty in raising kids. Equal pay for equal work, and that means guys hold the stop sign while ladies dig ditches and vice versa. Government officials and business executives should be 50/50 men and women. Coal miners, roofers, farmers, cops, plumbers and the like should all be 50/50 men and women. Equality to max. I guess i’m a radical feminist. That’s good to know because sometimes this view gets me accused of being other things that I find to be much less flattering.

  7. friday jones says

    While much of gendered behavior is probably imposed by societal custom, and societal custom can be changed to the point that gendered behavior is minimized or even eliminated altogether (that Utopian ideal you mentioned in the article), that just covers the gender-dysphoria axis of the transgender experience.

    Transsexuals don’t necessarily have the gendered behaviors of the opposite assigned-at-birth sex, but instead are at odds with their physical characteristics. In other words, their brains are mapped to view experience their bodies as the opposite of their assigned-at-birth sex.

    As they develop into sexually mature young adults, they experience the development of “wrong” secondary sexual characteristics and this inspires feelings of grotesqueness, even monstrosity, in the way such persons experience their own bodies.

    It’s all the occasional feelings of “ickiness” at hitting puberty, amplified into a constant drumbeat within the consciousness of the pre-transitioned transsexual person. Even one’s own shadow betrays one with its wrongness.

  8. says

    I definitely agree with you that a radfem philosophy ought not to lead to transphobia. So, yeah, in a world philosophically in line with basic radfem principles, there would be no transphobia.

    In my mother’s time, trumpet playing was masculine. In my grandmother’s time, making jokes was masculine.

    Totally nitpicking here, but playing trumpet is definitely still seen as masculine. Less so, maybe, but damn.

    Is a childhood of boy-designated socialization sometimes evident in arguments from trans women? Absolutely. To start with, they don’t question themselves, apologize for themselves, or wait for their turn to speak quite as often as cis women are taught to do from birth. Likewise, a childhood of girl-designated socialization is sometimes evident when trans men make arguments.

    The opposite has been true, in my experience. Are there any data to suggest this?

      • says

        Well, yeah – but I’m talking about within the options of classical acoustic instruments. Trumpet/brass/percussion tend to be on the “masculine” end of the spectrum. In my experience at a music conservatory primarily dedicated to teaching music educators, both the students at the school and the populations of their student-teaching schools viewed brass instruments in general as more masculine instruments (particularly compared to my lovely flute.)

        But mine is a pretty specific experience within the classical music industry, which is still extremely male-centered and pretty horrifically misogynist (great strides in recent years, but still…..)

        Outside of that, perhaps these stereotypes aren’t as strong or still extant at all.

  9. Vic says

    If you are a “real” radical feminist, you are not transphobic.
    Seems like a ‘No true Scotsman’ fallacy.

    • says

      I don’t think so, no. If she had actually said that radfems who are transphobic are not radfems, that would be a No True Scotsman fallacy.

      But arguing that the basic assumptions of radical feminism, pretty much universally agreed upon by radical feminists, logically lead one to reject transphobia (which is what the OP is doing) is not a No True Scotsman Fallacy.

      The OP acknowledges that transphobic radical feminists exist, arguing not that they aren’t radical feminists, but rather that their transphobic conclusions do not logically follow from the basic precepts of radical feminism.

      Saying “these radical feminists do radical feminism poorly” is not saying “these radical feminists aren’t actually radical feminists.”

      But maybe I’m reading the OP wrong.

    • says

      Isn’t a “No true Scotsman” fallacy basically committed by pointing out a characteristic of a person that isn’t part of the definition of the claimed group? Hypothetical — If I had a friend who claimed to be Scottish, but wasn’t born in Scotland or never even lived in Scotland, then saying he’s not a true Scotsman would not be a fallacy if we define a Scotsman as “a male native or national of Scotland.” (We can even drop the “true” in this case, because he’s not Scottish. Period.)

      So, if you go about defining what a radical feminist is and then claim people aren’t really radical feminists because they don’t fit that definition, then this may not be a case of the fallacy. The question should then focus on whether the provided definition of a radical feminist is at all accurate. If the definition is not agreed upon, then, yes, it would be a No true Scotsman.

  10. A 'Nym Too says

    …differently abled…

    Please, no! I can’t fly, I don’t have laser fingers or icy-breath.

    “Differently abled” is something invented by able-bodied people to make themselves feel better. It’s the equivalent of “ethnic”, or “coloured”, and along with it’s cousin “special” it deserves to share the same dustbin they do.

    “Disabled” is a good word, it’s a hundred times better than the awful “handicapped”, and it gets straight to the point without trying to sugarcoat things.

    As much as I’d love fire farts as compensation for my non-functioning legs, or the ability to explode heads due to my visual impairment, I don’t think the tech is right just yet! A girl can dream…

    Back OT – I am a radical feminist who hates that transphobes have hijacked the movement. Trans women choose to throw off the small amount of privilege they had, and become one of the most hated and marginalised minorities, in order to be the women they are. They need feminism.

    Oh, and the sheer number of people confusing sexual dimorphism for gender dimorphism is hurting my poor brain. This is sub-101 stuff, surely?

    Great post. My feminism will be intersectional or it will be bullshit.

  11. Jacques Cuze says

    *In a radical feminist world, there is no transphobia*

    You make a historical argument, but your article fails to explain then why then we STILL see so much transphobia EVERY SINGLE DAY from radical feminists and yet we see so little transphobia from the rest of the feminist universe.

    • says

      fails to explain? really? It seems to me like the author intimately understands the reasons why transphobia has cropped up in radical feminist circles and spends the majority of the article explaining why such beliefs are antithetical to other stated principles of the movement.

      It would be fair to call feminism inherently racist, or atheism inherently sexist, by the same standard- the fact that bigotry keeps cropping up isn’t sufficient proof of an inherent issue with the philosophy or goals of a group. It is evidence of the social privilege of the people who happen to be movers and shakers within a given movement. That doesn’t mean there is never a connection between bigotry and the stated goals of a group, but it has to be demonstrated.

      • Jacques Cuze says

        I think my point is that my *casual* observation is that there are far more transphobic radical feminist websites out there than inclusive.

        It is not that this bigotry *keeps cropping up* rather that this bigotry is endemic and rampant and that the author’s point of view, while of merit, isn’t the experience of the casual observer.

        This conflict can be resolved by one of:

        1. Demonstrating that transphobic bigotry is not rampant and the minority position of radical feminists,

        2. Accepting that Heather’s position, while romantic, is not valid

        3. Or something else

        • clamboy says

          I’ll try “something else.” I will not claim to speak for Heather, but my understanding of the article is: radical feminism entails certain tenets; these tenets, when applied consistently and logically, lead to non-transphobic conclusions; therefore, no matter the prevalence of transphobia within radical feminism, those radical feminists who adopt such views are being inconsistent with their own philosophy.

          • Jacques Cuze says

            Perhaps.

            Then it comes down to the relative priority of theory over empiricism.

            Here is Richard Feynman: “We’ve learned from experience that the truth will come out. Other experimenters will repeat your experiment and find out whether you were wrong or right. Nature’s phenomena will agree or they’ll disagree with your theory. And, although you may gain some temporary fame and excitement, you will not gain a good reputation as a scientist if you haven’t tried to be very careful in this kind of work. And it’s this type of integrity, this kind of care not to fool yourself, that is missing to a large extent in much of the research in cargo cult science.”

            Heather provides a compelling theory, but I am not sure that the data agrees with her theory.

          • Jacques Cuze says

            It might be that Heather’s “proof” is not as logical or consistent as it seems to be, or that Heather’s understanding of radical feminist theory is not coherent with the prevailing radical feminist theory held by the majority of radical feminists.

  12. says

    I’m left unclear as to the difference between radfems and original recipe. Heather seems to imply it’s that radfems think gender roles are mostly socially constructed, but don’t all pretty much all feminists think that? I was under the impression that radfems were defined by mainly by a desire to tear down the construct by gender policing and/or militancy and/or separatism.

  13. Rilian says

    I’m a feminist and transgendered, f to m-ish, and it does seem to bring up some apparent contradictions sometimes. But in a perfect world my gender would be irrelevant. Till then I feel like I have to be male.

  14. clamboy says

    This paragraph,

    “The rift between radical feminism and trans activism begins with the application of known oppressive phenomena to the analysis of trans presentation and activism. On the surface, it’s easy to see what their problem is. To the casual observer, trans women assert and express their womanhood physically and visually. They often wear feminine clothes, shave feminine areas, and insist on feminine names and pronouns. Trans men resist feminine obligations, much the way radical feminists do, but then also resist the designation of “woman.” In the eyes of transphobic radical feminists, the former too closely resembles role enforcement while the latter too closely resembles self-loathing.”

    is succinct, lucid, and illuminating, and I thank you for the best summation of this “rift” that I have ever read. In one fell swoop, you make clear the nature of this conflict, which I have read about, off and on, for some years (ever since hearing about the ban on trans women at the Michigan Womyn’s Music Festival).

    I apologize for this short derail, but I would like to echo an above commenter’s disdain for the term “differently abled.” The implication of the phrase is that all persons with disabilities have full and equal access to education, housing, employment, etc., but they just do it differently! Kinda not true. Since this is a derail, I will leave it at that, and won’t go into the social construction of disability.

  15. says

    Several problems I have with this piece:

    First, if you look at the history of radical feminism pretty nearly every leader, theorist or major person in the movement has been transphobic. Janice Raymond, Julie Bindel, Andrea Dworkin, Sheila Jeffreys, Germaine Greer, Lisa Vogel, Cathy Brennan and the list goes on have all made very strongly anti trans remarks. Your argument may be for a version of radfem ideology that includes trans people but I have yet to see a major person in the movement who subscribes to that ideology. Considering the VERY REAL harm to trans lives (denial of medical care, denial of access to services, denial of our identities, denial of our right to womans spaces) you might really consider rebranding if you want the trans community to listen.

    Secondly, you make a horribly transphobic argument as part of your piece:

    “Is a childhood of boy-designated socialization sometimes evident in arguments from trans women? Absolutely. To start with, they don’t question themselves, apologize for themselves, or wait for their turn to speak quite as often as cis women are taught to do from birth. Likewise, a childhood of girl-designated socialization is sometimes evident when trans men make arguments.”

    You say this with no proof, no data, and I find it extremely offensive. It is a generalization about the experiences of trans woman and we do not all have the same experiences whatsoever. We are multi cultural, of differant economic backgrounds, transitioned at differant times, do not experience socialization the same as cis people and yet you make a generalization about how we are. This is one of the most pervasive and harmful of all radfem attacks on our community and is constantly used to exclude us. Saying its true but we shouldn’t be excluded does not make me feel better. A statement like that about other minorities would be dismissed and attacked and this one should be too.

    My third problem I wont get into in detail since it will derail the other major points I wish to make here but I am not as sure as you seem to be about a gender free world being possible or even perhaps desirable. It seems to me that the promotion of a gender free society always seems to favor masculine ascribed characteristics over feminine ascribed chracteristics and as we move towards this wonderful world where people can be whatever they want that its feminine characteristics that are condemned and marginalized on the way and assumed to be the enforced gender roles when they may in fact be chosen.

    • Jacques Cuze says

      ““Is a childhood of boy-designated socialization sometimes evident in arguments from trans women? Absolutely. To start with, they don’t question themselves, apologize for themselves, or wait for their turn to speak quite as often as cis women are taught to do from birth. Likewise, a childhood of girl-designated socialization is sometimes evident when trans men make arguments.”

      You say this with no proof, no data, and I find it extremely offensive. ”

      Thank you. I saw this too and was stunned this was being said by a person claiming that radical feminism is the BFF of the transgendered and the rest of the world is mistaken to be skeptical of that.

    • says

      Do you have any evidence to share of andrea dworkin being transphobic? She didn’t say much on the topic in her lifetime but what I have read from her was supportive of trans people.

  16. says

    Personally, I don’t really see a problem with this. I find it much more implausible to think that trans women being mistakenly raised as boys would result in no differences whatsoever. If this weren’t the case, and there really was no difference, I doubt we would see quite so many guides on how to be more feminine in terms of mannerisms, speaking styles, and other “passing tips” solicited and unsolicited. Even though this is obviously problematic and should be unnecessary, there wouldn’t be a demand for this sort of thing if being raised under the assumption that you’re a boy didn’t sometimes come with certain effects. (And isn’t it just another generalization for you to say we “do not experience socialization the same as cis people”?)

    So, this is transphobic how? There’s nothing inherently wrong with being assertive, outgoing, not apologizing for oneself, and so on. And like you said, everyone is different – and these differences certainly don’t invalidate anyone’s identities. The only thing transphobic would be to suggest that this makes anyone any less of a man or a woman. It doesn’t in the case of cis people; why should it in the case of trans people? Clearly people who use this as a basis to exclude trans people are wrong to do so, and yes, that’s harmful. But “this leads to bad things so it’s wrong” isn’t a good argument.

    • says

      I think the issue is that this is the justification normally used to exclude trans women from womyn-only spaces. However, disagreeing with the conclusion doesn’t mean the whole argument is wrong.

    • says

      I argue with the assumption that this is true in a widespread fashion. I have found quite the contrary, that trans woman tend to be afraid to assert themselves and that they do not really fit male socialization. Although much like the article writer I do not know.

      That is my main problem, stating such a thing without data to back it up and making conclusions from it is what is transphobic. Saying that it is male socialization that is evident and not that some trans people are just aggressive much the same as some woman are very aggressive is the transphobic element of that statement.

      There is nothing wrong as you say about being any of those things but assuming WHY we are, and that it is MORE prevelant with trans woman than others without data is at least problematic and certainly comes across as transphobic to me in how it is used,

      • says

        I would like to add that I have been told I am agressive because of male socialization any time I disagree with radfems and anyone who knows me in person will tell you I am extremely passive (to the point my therapist works on assertiveness training for me). It is how the behavior is interpreted that makes in problematic and that is exactly what the writer is doing.

  17. Jacques Cuze says

    FWIW:

    http://www.livescience.com/22677-girls-dolls-boys-toy-trucks.html

    New and ongoing research suggests babies’ exposure to hormones while they are in the womb causes(*) their toy preferences to emerge soon after birth. As for why evolution made this so, questions remain, but the toys may help boys and girls develop the skills they once needed to fulfill their ancient gender roles.

    (*) the studies described at the URL seem to be correlational not causal

    • says

      Yes we all know our ancient ancestors in the Savannah required hormonal prompting to play with barbies and tonka trucks. Cause tonka trucks somehow resemble mastadons or something. Yeah, that’s it.

      • Jacques Cuze says

        This new series of studies is interesting because it facially seems to support Anna’s experience and the experiences of others over your supposition regarding importance of early socialization of children over genetic or other factors (environment in the womb.)

      • Jacques Cuze says

        Yes we all know our ancient ancestors in the Savannah required hormonal prompting to play with barbies and tonka trucks. Cause tonka trucks somehow resemble mastadons or something. Yeah, that’s it.

        If you’re not sure of how a study applies, or what a commenter might mean, well I for one am always open to questions and generally I prefer questions over dismissive snark (that often seem used to deflect questions of ignorance.)

        • says

          Okay, here’s a reason. Trucks are not natural phenomena. They are also not naturally masculine. There is nothing innately male about vehicles. The study was unscientific because it never challenged its own assumptions:

          1. trucks are masculine
          2. dolls are feminine
          3. Masculine boys don’t play with dolls (G.I. Joe, plastic buckets o’ soldiers, LEGO men)
          4. Feminine girls don’t play with things that have wheels (Barbie cars, Barbie jeeps, strollers, scooters, rollerskates, bicycles…)
          5. trucks or dolls resemble some sort of natural imperative
          6. evolution has anything to do with an 80 year old invention
          7. The possibility that this has nothing to do with masculinity or femininity and that there may be a third conclusion, for example: instead of boys like balls because balls are boy toys, perhaps infant boys with slower developing language and social skills (for which there actually is data) preferred simpler shapes at age 4 months to human-looking play things.
          8. Similarly easy and ridiculous conclusions to draw in a backwards sexism parallel universe: boys like things that move and are shiny because they are more primitive than girls. Girls like things that look like humans because they are self-aware. Boys like simple shapes because they’re incapable of abstract thought. Girls like to study anatomy from a young age which is why they’re better doctors.

          They shamelessly molded the results to fit the gender stereotypes they were attempting to justify. This nagging habit of evolutionary psychologists too often goes completely unquestioned by skeptics who dare not defy “science” and I’m not the only one who’s noticed.

          • Anat says

            I read the original work on monkeys. The point I found interesting is how hormone manipulation at different times in development had different effects – early intervention caused visible change in genital development but not in toy preference whereas late intervention did not alter genitals but altered toy preference. OTOH the changes in toy preference, while significant were far from a reversal of the preferences of unmanipulated monkeys. (Also, it is actually only the male monkeys that show a clear preference for one type of toy over the other, whereas female monkeys spend time with both toy types, but interact more with the stuffed dolls than with the wheeled toys – looks like some variation of your option 7 needs more investigation.)

  18. says

    Hi Heather,

    I know you brought up “boy-designated socialization” and “girl-designated socialization” only to make a small point, and only with “sometimes”, but I wish you would not give them such passing notice. Most readers are familiar neither with the ways such ideas have been used by transphobic feminists to exclude trans women, nor with the complexities that consistently come up in being designated the wrong gender.

    In brief, while trans women are exposed to different socialization than cis women in terms of direct messages as children, they do live in the same culture and may relate to the broader culture’s images of women as women. Both Natalie Reed and Asher Baurer have written about not absorbing their socialization like they were supposed to. And Little Light has a wonderful post called “fair” about the violence in her socialization. So to look at traits of a trans woman and call them “masculine” due to having a “boy-designated” socialization is, in my view, so much oversimplifying as to be inaccurate.

    We don’t really know how much of our gender is nature vs. nurture. We do know that women in similar demographic groups have a large variety of responses to girl-designated socialization, both the culture’s ideas of how women should be and the direct feedback of how they should be. But it’s only in the most privileged demographic groups where there is just one culture of direct messages and it lines up with the culture we see on TV: within the US that’s cis, white, middle-class, able-bodied, thin, straight, and so on. Everyone who is not one of these things must grapple with cognitive dissonance coming from that difference; I know I have, and I’m sure both you and ZJ have. There’s a lot to explore there about different socialization according to race, class, subculture, cis or trans status, size, etc., and I might go so far as to say it’s erasing to talk about “girl-designated” and “boy-designated” socialization as if there were only two kinds. Does that make sense?

    tl;dr socialization is complicated but people who think it is simple have a tendency to use it as a foundation for many terrible arguments. It’s not a good idea to enable that, in my opinion.

    • says

      Well, I don’t know what kind of parents and television shows and so on you’ve been around but where I am, I see boy toys and girl toys, boy clothes and girl clothes, boy activities and girl activities, and I don’t see third gender clothes, activities, and toys. Now there certainly could be an argument made for how boy and girl socialization can be different depending on race, class, location, and even just who your parents are, but children are not raised in a vacuum. One way or another they’re going to be told how to act based on their assumed gender and at no time in their lives is this more prevalent than childhood. As my partner Zinnia said further up the comments, I don’t think there’s any point pretending that there is no effect on a trans child from having been mistakenly raised as the wrong gender. Even especially independently minded individual trans women who were raised as boys, though they may have rejected every influence laid upon them, would not have been given the direct orders (keep your legs shut!) that a perceived girl child would have received. They wouldn’t have been given toy vacuum cleaners, ovens and sewing machines by distant relatives, or told to sit down and shut up while the boys are talking. Especially independently minded trans men would not have had their opinions taken as seriously by other men before coming out. These are the realities of gender inequality and whatever a person is on the inside won’t change how people perceive them until what’s on the outside broadcasts them. This is why trans women feel pressure to broadcast femininity, and trans men feel pressure to broadcast masculinity. How asinine would it seem if you were making this argument about any other minority, for example that I, as a gay woman, somehow because I was gay underneath managed to escape heteronormative socialization?

      How about a simpler argument? Do you really think all feminine-acting cis women are that way because they feel it on the inside? Do you suppose cis women who are anorexic are this way because of innate female desires to kill themselves dieting? Are you prepared to argue that all masculinity has nothing to do with socialization? If socialization affects cis people, it affects trans people. There is no magical trans shield that deflects a world of influence.

      • says

        I would never say that you escaped heteronormative socialization as a gay person but you would likely react to it and deal with it differantly. Honestly, trans people, particularily those who were aware early on of being trans frequently experience a TRANS socialization not a male socialization. We are trying to live as ourselves within the constraints of BOTH genders that are placed upon us. Many of us do not react or come out of the socializtion in a way that makes us behave male (or female in the case of FTM or binary at all in the case of others). I have serious problems with you making generalizations at all about the socializations of trans people without DATA to back it up. You are making assumptions without evidence and assuming the cause of behaviors. I can also point to a large number of trans woman who have eating disorders compared to the general populaiton at large in a much more female pattern to refute that male socialization that you speak. Having grown my whole life with a female gender identity I can tell you that I internalized alot of messages about how I should be in society and they were not predominately male.

        I do not claim my socialization speaks for all trans people but you should not assume your experience does either. When we are talking about theories that effect people lives in very real ways and belive me having lived through it this one does; you really want real evidence before you make these claims. They are used to hurt and exclude us.

  19. Great American Satan says

    As a holder of cis- and male privilege I have nothing useful to say here, but as far as the rebranding suggested above, a humble suggestion – which you can consider retracted if it’s torn to shreds below…

    Most people referring to the transphobic shits of the radical feminist community use “radfem” for short. Maybe they can get the “radfem” while trans-friendly types get the more official full-length name, “radical feminist.”

    Whatcha think?

    -

      • Great American Satan says

        Hey, I like it! Sounds kinda negative! It’s important for an insult to sound like an insult. TERF indeed.

  20. Jacques Cuze says

    Sorry this is a test post. I posted a reply last night to a series of studies I thought were relevant and interesting to the socialization vs. nature question, but the post never made it through.

  21. says

    Hi. I’ll state up front that I’m a cis lesbian, and I do hope I’m not being offensive or appropriating her, but this part really struck me:

    They are expected to be content with either fetishization or pity fucking, along with cis women of the overweight and differently abled varieties.

    As an overweight disabled woman (the weight may come or go, but the disability is here forever), this is something I really struggle with. I look at my body, have been told by friends, even, that no normal person would ever want to sleep with me. Why would they? I’m covered in thick scars from multiple surgeries (with more guarnteed to come), I have bulges of skin where my body didn’t get put back together right, somtimes I have hernias that pop out, very occasionally I have a stomach tube or other medical equipment protruding from my body. It’s objectively disgusting and is not going to go away (the medical problems are here to stay and I will never have the money for reconstructive surgery, unless I rob a bank or something). Only a freak would want me, only someone who would want to use my body. And if I did find someone who actually wants a realtionship, well, I’m told that of course I can’t be picky (it will never be about me finding someone else attractive) and I better be prepared to do everything I need to do to keep that person happy, to make up for my hideous body. Because that’s the ticket to a healthy relationship. To me, it seems like my choices are between celibacy and being used for sex (I chose celibacy, thanks), and my friends and family have only confimed this for (Well, except for Mom, who is sure that “God will bring someone special into your life.”)

    I’m sorry if this sounds self-pitying; I’m trying to be. I’m mostly at peace with this right now, and I do hope that I’ll prove everyone wrong and actually meet someone I like who can like me back. We’ll see. Celibacy may be my only option because I’m not going to settle for less than that.

    Anyway, again if this looks like I’m trying to derail your post. I just wanted to let you know this touched a nerve, brougt a lot of stuff up for me. I don’t know if it’s similar to what trans women go through, but it sounds like it could be, a little.

    I’m so glad that you made this, though! I’ve saved the link and I’ll probably watch it a few more times (and link others to it). I identify as a radical feminist but I hate a lot of the vile transphobia from so many of them. There are several “classic” books I just can’t read (Germaine Greer makes me hurl) and many places on the web that are just horrible, but still I cling to the label because I find that radical feminist theory best explains the world as I see it and how I want to work to help it.

    Thanks for listening to my babbling.

    • says

      Thank you for sharing your story. It’s never appropriating to relate an individual experience. You’re clearly not saying “therefore I understand the whole experience of being trans.” Sometimes things intersect in places and this is one of them.

  22. Si says

    Where is the discussion of men’s grotesquely skewed perpetration of violence? Radical feminism doesn’t center on the problem with men “wearing feminine clothes, shaving feminine areas, and insist on feminine names and pronouns”, it centers on male violence, especially menkind’s widespread tendency to sexualize their violence.

    Liberal feminists make gender presentation and resisting feminine obligations the centerpoint of their politics, which is where the so-called “sex positive” movement’s Yes Means Yes, Purity Myth, and Slutwalk stuff comes from.

    Radical feminists center male sexual violence, which is where their dedication to sex trafficking, The Nordic Model, and pornography criticisms come from.

    Male violence as a highly gendered behavior with catastrophic effects was omitted entirely from this essay that’s supposed to be about what radical feminism is, and in its place the author has put petty-by-comparison concerns about shaving and how males don’t apologize or wait for their turn. That’s feminist, but it’s liberal feminist, not radical feminist. Radicals implement plans to deal with the actions of rapists and pimps while liberals chastise athiest men for harassing and making sexist comments at conventions.

    • says

      That’s one theory. From what I’ve seen radical feminism only means you think you are more badass than those accomodationist regular feminists. People are all over the place as to what it means in terms of philosophy, tactics and favored policies.

  23. Sael says

    I’m a radical feminist and I’m quite in line with Heather’s thinking. I don’t have any problem with transpeople, greenpeople, martians etc.

    What I do rightly criticize is the social construction of gender (not sex) as an idea, not an attack on transfolk.

    Great post Heather

    Oh and if you want to see what ‘sex postives’ do to radical feminists in their spare time
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8RLcXTs7x2k

    Enjoy!

  24. jefffrey says

    Oh shut the fuck up! Everything is discrimination and oppression to u cunt feminist radicals. Since when is any radical good? And you are proud of yourself? Patriarchy forever!

  25. SVI says

    Weirdest thing ever: for some reason, male astronauts experience a progressive worsening of their eyesight. Space station astronauts have reported permanent nearsightedness after a few months in space. For some reason, this simply isn’t happening to female astronauts.

  26. lana says

    Its not that radfems hate transexuals, they don’t consider MTF transexuals as female or FTM transexuals as male; as technicly they aren’t.

  27. J says

    “Trans men resist feminine obligations, much the way radical feminists do”

    I’m a feminine trans man.

    What now?

  28. FunfemsTraitors says

    This is a shallow and frankly, sophomoric analysis of radical feminism. Radical feminism doesn’t center on the delicate feefees of little male jendar snowflakes who choose to step outside of society’s artificially erected gender boundaries. A man who shaves his legs or wears a dress or whatever is not radical. It’s an arbitrary *lifestyle choice*.

    No, the majority of the breadth and focus of radical feminism is and rightly should be the massive and disproportionate amount of violence perpetrated by males against females, both socially and physically.

    I mean, come on. This is not rocket science here, this is Marxist-Feminist analysis 101. Gender is not a spectrum of anything, it’s a violent hierarchical class system which places men (as a dominant class) at the the top of a structure of privileges where women (as a subordinated class) are subject to rape, forced childbirth and domestic slavery for the singular benefit of men.

    No, being female is not a suit you can take off and put away, it is an indelible mark in your genetic code whose physical expression marks you as a target for violence. The idea that you can ‘exchange’ sexes is a lie perpetrated by the very same patriarchal male supremacist medical establishment that once told women that sexual desire was a form of hysteria and that depression about being a victim of patriarchy is a sickness to be lobotomized away with the aid of medications that make you complacent.

    You can’t remove these materialist truths from the context in which they exist. To do so is to *literally* commit an act of unspeakable violence against all women by erasing the material existence of actual human females. And spare me the intersex argument. I’ve heard it and I don’t care. They are outliers, not the majority.

    The fact that the liberal ‘feminist’ movement has decided to collectively get on bended knee in dhimmitude to the transies and has allowed dangerous penis possessing effeminate, ugly weirdos into our safe spaces is beyond me. The only reason I can come up with to explain it is internalized misogyny or a False Consciousnesses created to produce the illusion the transgender liberation has anything in common with the greater and more important goal of freeing women from slavery at the hands of men.

  29. nadiachambers says

    While sterile, in what long-term cohabiting relationships I’ve had with men, I was pressed into domestic servitude, and the low estimates of the number of times I’ve been raped are in the 200’s. This particular castrated, man-loving/androphilic, penis possessing effeminate ugly weirdo who’s tried to cut their penis off on a number of occasions starting at age 9 and may yet eventually succeed doesn’t consider entering women’s safe spaces as a high priority, but has had trouble with getting beaten in men’s restrooms and raped in men’s homeless shelters, is even now subject to arrest for entering men’s spaces beyond that, and I won’t bother going into how dire it is in jails and prisons, which makes all of what I’ve been through to date look like child’s play.

    All these abstractions are nothing to me. I couldn’t be arsed to appropriate the moniker of “woman,” but it I have to play along to get the surgery, not that I’ll ever have the money (want one less penis in the world? donate to my cause!). Women’s safe spaces don’t particularly interest me, but being able to urinate somewhere besides on myself and what clothes I’m wearing without quite so much physical violence or arrest and incarceration would help. I’m a bit more concerned about how badly I’ll get beaten or raped on the street at night during the 10-day waiting period for shelter admission once the cops come to throw me out of the apartment I’ve already been evicted from than any abstraction, and both have already happened even while housed. I’m a bit more concerned about how I’m out of the medicines to keep me from vomiting food back up once I swallow it and to keep the food killing me once it’s swallowed and how I’ve already been starving for a week than any abstraction, and this happens every time I’ve lost a job. It’s a bit tough for castrated penis possessing effeminate ugly weirdos like me to get or hold onto a job.

    I rather doubt you have it in your heart to do so, but the proposal of humane solutions to the day-to-day living difficulties of penis possessing effeminate ugly weirdos like me might lend a bit more credence to your arguments than casting aspersions against me and all those like me.

    And “penis possessing effeminate ugly weirdos?” Oh dear, playing into the patriarchical feminine beauty standards, are we? Though I’m not one of them, perfectly passable post-op trans women are out there, a few even grown female from prior to puberty, and from the sound of it, you’d give them a free pass because they’re pretty and rich enough to get the surgery, the latter of which is classist.

    I wish I could say that you’re irrelevant to me, but the fact of the matter is, you fully intend to enable various assailants to beat and rape me, and in the US’ far over the edge of every right wing cliff political environment, you’re quite likely to succeed.

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