“Real” Women Deciding Which Women Are “Real”

A post by Jamie

Yesterday evening, I received a letter directing my attention to a women’s organization in Canada (called REAL Women of Canada, formally established in 1983), that presently seeks to undermine a private member’s bill. The bill proposes changing the Canadian Human Rights Act, such that discrimination against trans* people will be considered a human rights violation; and changing the Criminal Code of Canada, such that aggravated assault, battery, or murder perpetrated against a trans* person will be considered a hate crime. Once again, for clarity, RWoC finds this proposal troubling and vehemently oppose it. You can even read RWoC’s brief in PDF format (if your stomach can handle it by the end of this writing). But first! Why do they call themselves REAL?!

Our name defines our aim.  The word REAL is an acronym which means Realistic, Equal, Active, for Life.

(from their website)

I advise strongly against giving that website too much traffic (or any at all, really). That’s how they make money, and then they use it to promote a barely repackaged vision of the ideal family that harkens back to 1950. It’s also pretty clear that for females who aren’t busy popping out babies, you’re not a real woman whose needs should be heard by the government (think that “for Life” part is just a coincidence? Think again.) It might be advisable to have a barf bag handy for the rest of this post, which deals with the brief they published on why they think Bill C-279 shouldn’t be allowed to pass.

Evidently, the primary trouble RWoC identifies is the definition of terms like “gender identity”, “gender expression”, and “transgender”. In their infinite wisdom, RWoC declares that these terms are neither defined explicitly in the language of the bill nor used in common language (i.e., defined intuitively), and thus threaten to radically destabilize the entire structure of society if they are given protected status. RWoC claims that the stuff that binds society together is the hyper-heteronormative nuclear family, and they advance no argument to support this claim at all. Anywhere. But RWoC also claims (without any supporting evidence) that pedophiles and their interests in sexually exploiting and abusing children are part of the ever-expanding fight for LGBTQ equality:

Beyond special rights, many demand “recognition and acceptance.” These and further categories would fall under the umbrella of “gender identity” and “gender expression” and this includes paedophilia as paedophilia activists are already agitating for recognition, demanding that their sexual orientation be legally and socially accepted.

(emphasis added)

First, about that “special rights”… Thing. Last time I checked, the phrase “special rights” meant that you already have the same rights as everyone else, but still seek unique status that affords you exemptions of some sort and relative freedom from restrictions. For instance, when a pro-life extremist enters an abortion clinic with an unwanted pregnancy and demands her own waiting room, a different standard for confidentiality (such as the use of a pseudonym or no chart notes at all), or to be allowed to enter and exit the building through a private entrance so that she won’t risk being exposed to the ridicule and shaming her peers subject all other clients of the same clinic to. That’s “special rights”, and they are generally denied. When they are denied, the abortion clinic staff (and everyone else in the waiting room) are often faced with an extremely hostile person reacting towards this standardized care with an abusive disposition, and this sometimes (but not always) results in denial of services. This person has no standing for demanding their “special rights”, and that is why they are called “special”.

Being recognized and accepted as the person I am, however, is not a “special right”. You either recognize and accept me — that I am a person and I have the right to freely determine who I am — or you are treating me as though I am not equally entitled to self-determination and personhood as you are, and are thus perpetrating an abuse against me. But unlike someone demanding “special rights”, I will simply walk away, as I have already had to walk away from all my blood relations (in part because of a lack of acceptance and recognition, and in part because of horrendous sexual, physical, emotional, and spiritual abuse, which is also denied). The right to self-determination and personhood are not “special”. They are basic human rights. The reason why these rights don’t protect pedophiles’ proclivities towards children is because their victims have those inalienable rights too. My right to self-determination does not impede upon anyone else’s rights.

But apparently all that wasn’t enough, though, because RWoC finds it necessary to define gender as something that is determined entirely by one’s chromosomal sex (again, without any evidence in support of this claim at all — perhaps because there isn’t any), and to define intersex conditions as narrowly as possible; in that, though there are intersex conditions that only manifest at gonadarche, according to RWoC, these aren’t real intersex conditions because they weren’t evident from birth. RWoC then defines transsexuality as “rare” without any further qualifiers (see: minority), and claims that despite a number of problems in researching transsexuality in longitudinal studies, it’s totally explicitly clear that sex reassignment does nothing to improve the quality of life of the person who requests it. This couldn’t possibly be due to, say, the fact that it’s totally legit to treat a trans* person as disposable, because due to their gender status, that’s not considered a hate crime and they aren’t even legally considered a person. Or that trans* people are routinely discriminated against everywhere, and it’s not considered a human rights violation, to say, compare them to pedophiles instead of accepting their identities as valid, or leave them in the streets to die from hypothermia in the middle of winter instead of letting them into a homeless shelter.

Further along in the brief, after RWoC claims that protecting trans* people from discrimination and hate crimes would somehow disadvantage them even further, they added this little gem:

Since the term “gender identity” and “gender expression” are undefined, they apply to anyone who “thinks” he or she is another sex, whether or not he/she has had hormonal treatments or surgery. This allows such individuals to use the washrooms of the opposite sex with impunity. This places females and children at a strong disadvantage and possible risk. Since child predators will be able to use cross-dressing as a pretense to gain access to children in public washrooms.

This conclusion is based on two cases in British Columbia, as outlined in Appendix B.

Follow this with a complaint about how taxpayers have to pay for transition (but I thought this was “rare”, so wouldn’t the expense be virtually unnoticeable?), and some more nonsense that is primarily focused on how dangerous it is to be transgendered in a prison — O RLY? You think maybe it’s dangerous outside the prison too? And how is claiming that transgendered individuals are sometimes just pedophiles pretending to be transgendered helping those who would be at risk of harassment and beating? How is interfering with a proposed change to the Canadian Human Rights Code and the Criminal Code of Canada, that would criminalize discrimination against these individuals and subject violent perpetrators to harsher sentences for violating these individuals’ rights, going to help reduce their risks?

But back to the scare quotes around the word thinks. Speaking only for myself here, I find this not only completely redundant, but profoundly ignorant as well. I don’t just think I was born in the wrong body. It’s not just some idea I’m toying with, like whether or not to shave my head completely clean bald for the second time even though it’s the middle of winter and I’ve already been growing my hair for nearly a full year. I inject a sufficient dose of testosterone every week in alternating locations, that I’ve been experiencing a very gradual but permanent change in my physiology. I’ve changed my name and permanently terminated contact with people who insist on calling me by the name I was assigned at birth. I have felt compelled to pursue surgical removal of my reproductive organs once I was finally forced to resign to the fact that they are there, they work, and they are going to stay unless I can access medical treatment for my dysphoria. But even before all this, I tried numerous times and in numerous ways to end my life, because I couldn’t go on living the life I was assigned when I was born female. Transsexuality isn’t something one just toys around with.

And about that “wrong bathroom” use without impunity thing. Before I started testosterone, I watched one of my chosen family act in a play at his school. During intermission, I went to the bathroom. While drying my hands, a woman came out of a stall and did a full-blown double-take at me, because she couldn’t determine my gender from a quick glance. I took a trip to Portland later that year, and after pounding back multiple rounds of Jägermeister in a tiny and dimly lit hipster bar with just a couple dozen people present, I went to use the “correct” washroom, but it was already in use. So I went into the “wrong” one. My ass hadn’t even touched the seat, and someone was already hammering on the door and announcing to the entire bar that “There’s a girl in the guy’s washroom!” This was neither a large washroom, nor was it really even a men’s washroom. It was a standard toilet and single sink in an 8-square-foot room covered from floor to ceiling in graffiti. I can’t even form an adequate gesture of how invasive this behaviour was, let alone how alarmed I felt as I silently panicked about someone bursting into that tiny room to drag me back out, beat me, or worse. When it didn’t happen, I panicked about what would happen when I open the door to emerge. And a few months ago, I used the “wrong” bathroom (the meaning of which has changed since testosterone — now all bathrooms are the wrong one), and started to panic when an out. binary-identifying trans* person said “Jamie, you’re using the “wrong” bathroom.” I couldn’t tell if she was serious or joking. Then there’s the time anti-abortion extremists stalked me for a block and followed me into the washroom in a restaurant (I thank my lucky stars they went into the “wrong” one looking for me). The point here is that no one has impunity for using the “wrong” bathroom. Rigid social norms and extremely unsettling people with unchecked control issues make damn sure of that.

And one more thing: child predators in the bathroom? Well, if RWoC is so concerned for the safety of children and so clearly alarmed about pedophiles walking about freely in public, as we all should be (within reason), have they not realized that most pedophiles prey upon their own family members? And if they don’t have access to their young relatives, they make a point of getting jobs that gives them access to and authority over children. Such as baseball coaching, or priesthood. The two cases they cite concerning pedophiles preying upon children in public washrooms don’t even concern either children or pedophiles. One of the incidents they cited happened in a nightclub, and the other involved a woman who had been assigned a male sex at birth and successfully completed transition to the opposite sex years prior to the event cited — which concerned a rape counselling service. RWoC concludes their entire brief by calling transsexuality a state of “mental confusion” and demanding that access to all forms of gender transition and sex reassignment be strictly prohibited.

I might be laughing at this if it wasn’t so egregiously offensive. I might not even take it seriously if they weren’t explicitly “pro-life”, and therefore representatives of yet another well-funded arm of a Catholic campaign to undermine women’s rights in Canada (and apparently the rights of gays, lesbians, bisexuals, queers, and trans* people as well, who according to RWoC, are all complicit with pedophilia and not worthy of human dignity). As far as I’m concerned, any group that seeks to take away women’s rights, or define the parameters of who qualifies as a “real” woman as narrowly as possible, is a hate group targeting women and anyone not considered “woman enough”. These hate groups represent the biggest threat when they aren’t taken seriously enough. Just ask Savita Halappanavar’s husband, family, and their international community of supporters.

Even better yet, ask CeCe McDonald: currently serving a prison sentence for successfully defending her life when an attempt was made on it because she’s trans*.

Stand up. Speak out. Fight back. It’s time.

Follow Jamie on Twitter!


  1. says

    No kidding. I’ll never be able to wrap my head around the panic bigots like these feel when they even think about a transwoman entering a women’s bathroom just like anyone else.

    This is why I identify all these issues that have a common root in body-policing. Because there really should NOT be an organization like the Stasi monitoring the minute-to-minute activities of any group of people ever.

  2. baal says

    This allows such individuals to use the washrooms of the opposite sex with impunity.”

    oh noes!

    The RWoC’s arguments rely on fear based reasoning and have little to do with reality. I’m fond of reminding folks who make RWoC-like points IRL (way too many of them) that they don’t like me to make points on how they live their personal lives so they should butt out of everyone else’s. Somehow when the issue is *them* it’s totally different and affronting.

  3. says

    RWoC’s attempt to link trans* activism to paedophilia fails on that little matter of consent…

    (Incidentally, since I am otherwise fairly ignorant on the matter, what is the purpose of the consistent use of the asterisk at the end of the word trans?)

  4. says

    I wish I could report similar success, but apparently that’s the difference between dealing with an individual who harbours some sort of prejudice and dealing with members of a hate group.

    Only the former is willing to actually listen to the sounds one is making with the hole in their face. The others are merely listening for their cue to jump all over you with some other fear-based bullshit, derailment of the issue, or blatant lie, and will go out of their way to avoid answering any question you have for them. I’ve decided to just picket them silently from now on.

  5. says

    I know someone who was physically dragged out of the bathroom by security guards at their own workplace, which has policies against doing that.

    But also, well said.

  6. sharoncrawford says

    They don’t seem to be worried about all those scary lesbians in the women’s washroom.

    how often itt all comes down to the bathroom. The ERA must be defeated because “unisex bathrooms” — just like in MY house and probably yours too! Women can’t be hired on the railroads because BATHROOMS. They never built any because there were no women. Now they can’t hire women because there are no women’s BATHROOMS.

    I am so fucking sick and tired of this song.

  7. says

    Not sure what the OP would or will say, but here’s an answer:

    Not everyone agrees on which terms are best to use, but trans* is meant to encompass multiple possibilities: “transsexual” and “transgender” in particular. Check out this glossary and the rest of that small site, it’s been recommended to me and is good.

  8. says

    To say nothing of the fact that male child molesters, dressed as men, can go into bathrooms now and rape all the little boys they want… and yet we have like ZERO examples of that happening. We have more examples of adult men going and having sex with other adult men in bathrooms than we do of child-rape.

    WTF bigots?

  9. says

    Trans* is an indicator that trans is a political identity distinct from transgender, transsexual, and transvestite, which one may or may not also identify as. But transgender, transsexual, and transvestite are more often terms that are assigned to trans people, and used against them to dismiss their concerns or invalidate their identities.

    It’s like how queer isn’t an umbrella term for gays, lesbians, bisexuals, pansexuals, and queers, but a distinct political identity.

  10. says

    Not that explicit protection of trans people in the CHRC and inclusion as a protected class in the Criminal Code aren’t worthy and necessary in themselves, but I’m also pleased that by saying “gender” and “gender expression” cis women too will finally be protected likewise.

    And REAL Women? Gwen Landolt (I guess she’s now vice-president?) is like Charles McVety’s evil sidekick.

  11. ischemgeek says

    They don’t seem to be worried about all those scary lesbians in the women’s washroom.

    Au contraire. Such assholes are also often the sort who want to set up sexual orientation-segregated bathrooms and harrass the shit out of lesbian/bi for daring to have to use the bathroom/locker room. Such bullshit at my high school was a part of why I stayed closeted as a bi girl.

  12. says

    Reading that back, I hope that I didn’t come across as offhandedly dismissive and selfish/privileged. I’m really quite pleased about the bill’s addressing of trans rights and support it wholeheartedly on that reason alone. In fact, I think I’ll write to my MP right now (now that I have one again).

  13. says

    They don’t seem to be worried about all those scary lesbians in the women’s washroom.

    And what about transitioned trans people? I mean, are they suggesting that they would rather have a post-transition trans man (like, for instance, this guy?) in the washroom with their little princesses?* (I figure they wouldn’t care if a trans woman got what was coming to her by daring to enter a men’s room so that question is kinda moot).

    *Not to suggest there’s any more likelihood of a trans man being interested in little princesses, but surely we’d see some REAL Women head explosion if someone who looked like Buck Angel had to use the ladies’ by law.

  14. says

    I’m sure their heads would explode if I ever crossed paths with any of them.

    Depending on who’s reading me at any given time, I’m either a gender-bender, a gender-is-WTF?, a transman, a transwoman, a cisman, or a ciswoman.

    I could literally hear neurons bursting when I was counter-picketing an anti-abortion extremist group, as they tried to figure out who (or what) was under the spandex.

  15. says

    No. We need to have mandatory ultrasounds, head-to-toe X-rays, CT scans, MRIs, invasive digital examinations, chromosome testing, and custom-fitted urinary devices so that your stream exists in a vacuum, or else you have to just hold it in until your kidneys explode.

  16. dianne says

    “Special rights”? I see someone looking for “special rights”: RWoC want the special right to tell others what their gender should be and to police rest rooms to make sure that no one goes into the “wrong” one.

    Oh, and the vast majority of people who engage in pedophilia are cis- hetero- men. Including cases of same sex pedophilia. It’s almost always cis men whose adult sexual partners are women.

  17. dianne says

    Don’t worry, after all that radiation I’m sure your kidneys will have atrophied and you won’t be producing any more urine anyway.

  18. dianne says

    Sigh. And I always thought the Canadian government was supposed to be rational. Another good myth gone.

  19. leftwingfox says

    Ugh… CBC Radio news had the clip of the “hidden pedophile” excuse this morning when discussing the bill.

    I think the kitchen staff in the restaurant downstairs heard me yell “Motherfucker” at that one.

  20. says

    CBC Radio News can do a fuck of a lot better than that, and should have their nose held in that steaming pile of bullshit if they failed to call it out for what it is.

  21. says

    It’s *supposed* to be rational, but there’s a libertarian minority that supports the ReformaTory CRAP mentality, and they’ve managed to hoodwink the old PC stalwarts that they’re really the same thing. Also, buffoons who appeal to the same libertarian “I got mine, fuck you, and any talk of a just society is ‘political correctness run amok’,” to wit, Rob “the law doesn’t apply to me cos I’m gonna shut down the gravy train; excuse me while I coach a football game” Ford. They’re few and far between, but there are enough to really screw things up for the rest of us.

  22. frog says

    Gah, what a bunch of shit.

    I’m a hetero cis-woman, and all my interests and preferences and skills are stereotypical “male” ones (I’m good a math, I have a superior sense of direction, I hate shopping, I own and use power tools, I adore action movies, I like to argue, etc). I’m sure these assholes wouldn’t consider me a “real” woman either, but at least they wouldn’t be able to bar me from the bathroom.

    My sympathies. I hope this bill goes through and people get over their damn selves. Who gives a crap who’s in the women’s room? They’re all separate stalls, anyway. It’s the blokes in the men’s room who stand there unprotected with their willies hanging out.

  23. says

    The religious belief that “chromosomes define REAL sex” is problematic.

    Do the REAL women insist that sex reassignment also include a bone marrow transplant to change the patient’s chromosomes, based on this peculiar belief? Because changing chromosomes is possible, it’s not done because it’s irrelevant to what sex the patient is.

    Bone marrow-derived cells from male donors can compose endometrial glands in female transplant recipients by Ikoma et al in Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2009 Dec;201(6):608.e1-8

    Also, what about people who are XY and have given birth?

    “A 46,XY mother who developed as a normal woman underwent spontaneous puberty, reached menarche, menstruated regularly, experienced two unassisted pregnancies, and gave birth to a 46,XY daughter with complete gonadal dysgenesis.” — J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2008 Jan;93(1):182-9

    To say XX=Female, XY=Male is no more accurate than to say the Earth is flat. It’s a good approximation – we use a flat Earth model in street directories and walking to the corner shop. It’s only in very unusual circumstances, when traveling long distances, that it’s inaccurate. Same with chromosomes – it’s inaccurate in only about a million people in North America.

    To insist that legislation be formed on either basis – chromosomes defining sex or flat Earth – is self-evident nonsense.

  24. says

    That’s what I can’t wrap my head around. I asked to use the bathroom at a McDonalds after making an order for a McFlurry, because I just needed to wash my hands. They clicked the button for the men’s room (probably because of my voice), and I went in there, and again, it was a stall and a sink and a standard toilet, and there just HAPPENED to be a urinal in this one behind the door.

    And all I was doing was washing my hands, but a man walked in and blew a hissy fit that there was someone in there that he didn’t think was supposed to be in there.

    …I was washing my goddamned hands.

  25. says

    Silly! They don’t think anyone who is trans* should have access to sex reassignment or hormones or the “wrong” bathroom or even a gender-non-normative wardrobe!

  26. Brad says

    I read recently that in addition to serving as a wild card, some programming language I’m not familiar with used asterisks in its syntax in a way that made sense for trans* groups to use “trans*” on IRC back in the day.

  27. says

    That’s a little before my first attempt to understand what the fuck cybersex was. Evidently, the novelty wore off pretty quickly, and instead, I found a pen pal in Romania.

  28. ischemgeek says

    These morons remind me a lot of the kids in my high school in an area often called Canada’s bible belt.

    … and the kids had the excuse that they were kids.

    It is not my fucking place, as a cis woman, to police where the fuck trans* people go to the bathroom. How the fuck is this hard to grasp?

    (also, fun fact about bathrooms: My uni department has had a 50:50 gender split for about the past 15 years or so. When did they decide to change the bathrooms to reflect this? This year.

    Oh, and they did it just by changing some of the mens’ bathrooms to unisex bathrooms, that way the men who were complaining that it would be toooooo inconvenient to walk across the floor of the building to the other men’s bathrooms would be appeased. And said dudes often bug women who dare to use the bathrooms that used to be theirs because once a men’s can, always a men’s can, apparently.

    So, yeah. Dudes get what they want. AGAIN.

    I know it’s a minor thing in the grand scheme, but those minor things add up. 1/2 the number of bathrooms the men get sends a fucking message. No womens’ sizes for gloves and lab coats sends a fucking message. Lab clothing guide obviously directed toward women in its writing sends a fucking message. And so on. And they’re working to change it but not hard or fast enough.

  29. ischemgeek says

    And as pissed off as I am as a cis woman, trans* people get it worse. Like fucking whoa. I don’t have people yelling at me about what gender I am just for walking down the street,* I don’t have people assaulting me for daring to use the bathroom, and if I flirt with someone, I don’t have to have the fear in the back of my mind that I’m going to be assaulted just for my gender.** Trans people in my city do. I’ve seen it happen.

    Then there are those who want to segregate bathrooms for trans people which is all kinds of fucked up for the same reasons as segregating bathrooms for gay, lesbian and bi people would be. And so on.

    Shit like this pisses me the fuck off. And, y’know what? I don’t give a fuck that it’s not ‘nice’ for me to be fucking angry anymore. Fuck being a ‘nice girl.’ Nice girls don’t rock the boat. Nice girls don’t get this shit done. So fuck being ‘nice’. I’m done.

    You hit the straw that broke this camels’s back with that post, and I think that’s a good thing.

    *Anymore. Kids in my high school used to think it was oh-so-funny to purposefully misgender me all the fucking time because I didn’t wear skirts and makeup and liked stereotypically male things

    **Again, anymore – among the many other things my high school was behind on, GBLTQIA equality was one. If I even might possibly have been flirting with a girl, I could expect to be jumped at my locker later in the week

  30. says

    Agreed on all counts. I recently heard of a fairly problematic unisex bathroom on a university campus, which can be locked from the inside.

    So while it’s super great that there is a unisex bathroom, unless the person using it locks it from the inside (even though there are more than one stall inside), there is a very palpable fear of someone just waltzing in, locking the door behind them, and barricading a gender-diverse individual inside.

    Something tells me that university just doesn’t get what the issue is.

  31. says

    Ugh… I was in the closet through high school and through two colleges until my final semester, and I STILL couldn’t escape the sting of other peoples’ transphobia.


  32. mynameischeese says

    I’ve gone into the men’s so many times because of long queues for the women’s and nobody threw me out or batted an eyelid. As far as I’m concerned jacks can either be unisex or there can be two: one for people who pledge not to pee on the floor and one for people who can’t wait in a long queue who don’t care about the cleanliness. Haven’t I got better things to do than police who goes into which? I think I do.

    In conclusion, what I’ve learned from the comments today is that gender issues always come back to the jacks.

  33. dianne says

    Have you heard of Stephen Harper?

    NOOOO!!! I reject the reality of Stephen Harper and substitute…practically anyone else. What hope is there for the US if even Canadians can’t be sensible in their choice of politicians?

  34. dianne says

    Why should a non-single stall bathroom even have a lock on it? That seems silly to me, whether it’s unisex or not.

  35. Brownian says

    Yeah, you can blame him on us Albertans.

    I’m doing my part to mitigate the problem by driving poorly and generally making myself a hazard to local life and limb.

  36. leftwingfox says

    I have no idea. The rest of the clip did a good job otherwise of setting the basic objection to the transgender protection bill early, rebutting it, and then setting out a compassionate case for the defence of a targeted group, before giving the last word to the frothing bigots.

    I’m hoping that it was a matter of “Let’s air them saying the stupidest, most offensive nonsense “argument” imaginable so people know exactly how horrible they are.”

    That said, the past decade has pretty much proven that no bad argument is outside mainstream discussion anymore.

  37. says

    A lot of people seem to have real trouble with people who are even a little gender-nonconforming; as a cis man, I’ve been read as about every gender out there too, often by people who got really butthurt about it. Since I started going bald and actually developed facial hair (the latter didn’t happen until I was about 30) I don’t get read as a woman much anymore but before that about every third time I went into a public bathroom I’d get some dude either giving me the stinkeye or asking me if I was in the right bathroom.

    On an unrelated note, these days I go into girls bathrooms all the time. Not just that, but ones used primarily by elementary school girls. As a custodian at an elementary school I hardly have a choice, but I notice that these assholes aren’t getting butthurt about that kind of thing.

  38. ischemgeek says

    Yeah, I feel yah. And I know I had it a fuckload better than some despite having lived in 7 places (in three different language communities and two countries in two different continents) by age 8 and thus never really feeling at home anywhere. See also: English is my third language and yet the only one of my first three that I can speak fluently.

  39. mesh says

    Gender identity and expression undefined my ass. The point of a bill isn’t to spoon feed everyone a science education. Research continues to show that gender isn’t some fixed binary that denotes one being from Mars and the other from Venus. Far from being some arbitrary “thought” the data points to gender identity being a core function of the brain. One such study involved raising boys with cloacal exstrophy, a birth defect known to split the penis apart, as girls. Not only did they all demonstrate patterns of male behavior, but over half the participants declared themselves boys.

    The defining sex organ isn’t found between your legs, it’s found in your skull. The effects of male androgens and female estrogen on the brain are well-documented. Hell, I bet many adherents to the notion of chromosomal sex as the sole determining factor would have their minds absolutely blown to learn of intersexuality; that a chromosomal male could be born with female organs and vice versa threatens the dogma of uncrossable gender lines. It wouldn’t exactly be much of a stretch to conclude that the mind, and thus gender identity, is not bound by the supposed monolithism of chromosomal sex either. But then it’s so much easier to hand-wave the issue away entirely by just declaring all transgender people to be confused.

    Gender expression isn’t exactly some new and revolutionary concept either. It’s taken for granted that gender differences exist because of gene expression as we all share the genes for ovaries, testicles, etc. Granted it’s pretty clear that they have no clue what it actually means due to how they use it synonymously with gender identity in order to equivocate the demands of transgender people with those of pedophiles as though a concern over sexual orientation weren’t a complete non-sequitur.

  40. says

    Bathrooms and pedophiles, eh? Sounds like the same old shit Rob Anders said in October. After having aged two months, that line of thinking is still just as wrong and just as putrid.

    In spite of the HarperTron and his party being in power, Bill C-279 is expected to pass, according to what was said when Anders made his awful comments. (It passed first reading, anyway. I thought the second reading was supposed to have happened by now, but maybe it got held up in committee.)

  41. Kristina D says

    It’s so funny to me that these people hide behind Christianity– as if some how the work of Jesus propagates hate and politicization.


    Christ loved all people. And served to judge no one. Unfortunately, I think religion and politics go hand in hand as far back as man has known how to exploit and deceive other men.

    It reminds me of this video I recently came across– it’s a cute little song about how Jesus and his followers actually Occupy Jerusalem.

    Anyways, here it is: http://youtu.be/a6akkb_afqs

    Great post! I wish we could some how get particular people to see the error of their ways.

  42. says

    I was picketing so-called Christians (who are actually just Catholic bigots) today, and one of the street tweek Jesus freaks actually started trolling them! Hilarious.

  43. osmosis says

    curious.. do transgender ppl have the typical statistical breakdown regarding sexual orientation? That is, are the majority of them heterosexual, and theoretically will be transforming into a homosexual of the opposite sex?

  44. says

    Given that a key component of transgender healthcare has yet to eradicate the nonsense prying of healthcare professionals to try and pressure transsexuals to magically transform into heterosexuals after surgery, it’s probably hard to say given that a lot of people would likely have been legitimately dishonest with healthcare professionals, simply to access help.

    I really don’t even understand how this question is relevant to the topic, and won’t be answering this any further.

  45. says

    I am only speaking for myself here. I’m not speaking on behalf of all of FTB.

    Additionally, I speak for myself only when I say that I distinguish between Catholic bigots deliberately traumatizing as many people as possible in a densely trafficked public location at least once monthly, and a Christian who believes that abortion is a bad thing but doesn’t stand on the street corner shaming everyone who disagrees.

  46. says

    The xtian who believes abortion is a bad thing is still voting against my bodily autonomy. They don’t get cookies for not standing on a street corner and verbally abusing women. Also Abrahamic religions are irredeemably patriarchal and contribute to the idea that women’s bodies are public property. So, no, fuck this “no twoo kwystyun” bullshit.

  47. says

    No, actually.

    There are Christians who don’t vote conservative just because cons are pro-life, and who don’t campaign governments to enact an abortion ban, even though if you ask them they’ll tell you that they don’t think anyone should get an abortion.

    There are pro-choice Christians (and pro-choice devouts of other faiths).

    In fact, if you want to talk pro-choice Abrahamic devouts, one of the weekly pickets I was attending was visited very briefly by a Rabbi who told the anti-abortion extremists that he doesn’t agree with abortion, but doesn’t want it banned and doesn’t stand around shaming women who access the clinic. A frikkin’ Rabbi.

    You seem to think that being a devout in your personal life makes you incapable of defending liberal politics, feminism, or general anti-oppression. What’s next on your list of made-up faith-contraindications? Decolonization and anti-racism?

    I’m sure glad there’s no such thing as the Thought Police, because the very idea that “I think abortion is bad” is in any way equivalent to “Dear government: ban all abortions; and p.s. all female-bodied citizens of this country, you’re terrible people for even thinking of having the right to bodily autonomy”? It’s literally an inversion of the very extremism I stand against.

  48. says

    Awesome, we’ve got an FTB co-blogger spewing Harvard Humanist-style “But they’re not aaaaallll like that!” crap now! Plus a lecture about “inversion,” meaning “You’re just as bad as they are!”

    But, like I said, this was probably inevitable when FTB started going social-justice warrior and recruiting from the Land of Lolz which is Tumblr.

  49. L says

    There seems to be something very offensive about a man washing his hands. But I’m probably not a REAL woman (no matter what both my womb and my brain say) because I can’t figure what.
    You know, I even thought that transpeople always used the ladies, because in cubicles you have some privacy, unlike the public use of pissoirs.


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