Feminism & Transwomen: A Bullet Point Overview

youarebothfine

For screencaps and links to back up each point, see  The New Backlash.

Preface: a note on the word “gender”

People outside of academia commonly use the word “gender” to mean “sex class of male or female” (in contrast with the act of sexual intercourse.) Feminist theorists, however, use the word “gender” to refer to the social expectations thrust upon women and men, otherwise referred to as sex stereotypes or sex roles. Transgender identity politickers, further clouding the language, use “gender identity” to mean an innate inner feeling that overrides and in fact determines biological sex.

Always stay alert to the context in which you see the word “gender,” and ask for clarification when needed.


Reproductive Difference

1. As the continuance of any species is important to that species, sexual reproduction is important to humanity.

2. Human beings reproduce via the fertilization of female eggs by male sperm, and the work done by female humans to gestate fetuses and birth infants. (That work is arduous and dangerous and should always be freely chosen.) Every single human being on Earth was created in this way, as were their parents, and their parents’ parents, et cetera.

3. Definitions:
Woman: An adult female person.
Female: Of or denoting the sex that can bear offspring or produce eggs, distinguished biologically by the production of gametes (ova) which can be fertilized by male gametes.
Man: An adult male person.
Male: Of or denoting the sex that produces gametes, especially spermatozoa, with which a female may be fertilized or inseminated to produce offspring.

4. There is nothing shameful about human reproduction or the existence of female and male bodies.

5. The existence of infertile women does not render these definitions unusable any more than the existence of bilateral amputees or people born without feet means we can no longer class humans as bipeds. (To say men can identify as women-who-cannot-carry-babies is as sensical as saying fish can identify as footless people. Both experience a lack, but only for one is that lack unusual, for the other it is definitional.) If you actually care about infertile people, good – support them rather than using them as a weapon against women’s language.

6. The existence of intersex people does not mean men can “identify as” women any more than the existence of bi- or multi-racial people means white people can “identify as” black. If you actually care about intersex people, good – support them rather than using them as a weapon against women’s language.

7. The simple act of classifying human beings by sex does not assign to either sex any innate dispositions nor pre-determined behaviors, and is therefore not essentialist nor determinist.

8. Knowing that women are female does not somehow “reduce” them to their female organs, any more than knowing someone’s age “reduces” them to that age, or knowing their ethnicity “reduces” them to that ethnicity, etc.

9. Having words for classes of people is not only not-essentialist, not-determinist, and not-reductionist, but very obviously necessary for describing the material conditions, lived reality, oppression, and possible liberation of those people.

10. Every single large-scale classification of people will have a) in-group differences and b) a small percentage of outliers/exceptions. Consider why it is *only* the category “woman” that is under relentless philosophical/linguistic attack on the Left.


Feminist Gender Analysis

1. Female humans are expected and raised from birth to be submissive (“feminine”). Male humans are expected and raised from birth to be dominant (“masculine”). Feminists call this gender, and feminist gender analysis deconstructs the notion that there is anything “natural” about it.

2. Gender is a social tool to naturalize women’s dependence on men, and thereby ensure male access to female bodies and labor.

3. We are expected to signal our maleness or femaleness in various visual ways specific to our time and place, but gender is not about fabric color or hair length. Those are merely signals for others to know where we fall in the social hierarchy of male over female.

4. Femaleness does not naturally equate to the human personality traits labeled feminine, nor does maleness naturally equate to the human personality traits labeled masculine. Human personality development should not be limited based on sex, nor, as in the case of male violence, excused because of it.

5. In a post-gender world, all the stuff of human life would still be there, but access to it would no longer be limited by (real or perceived) reproductive potential.

6. Intersectionality does not threaten feminist gender analysis but expands upon it. Sex is one axis of oppression/privilege. Women are always oppressed based on sex but may have privilege based on race, class, or any other axis. Men are always privileged based on sex but may be oppressed based on race, class or any other axis.

7. Women’s sex-based oppression still matters, independent of any other oppression that can be shared by men.

8. Female people are punished whether they do conform to gender expectations (as the feminine gender is about subjugation) or whether they don’t.

9. Male people, while diminished in their humanity by gendered socialization, acquire male privilege in the trade. All too often, men want relief from the costs of masculinity without giving up any of the concomitant privileges, including a) the privilege to define women as they see fit, and b) the privilege to expect women will bend over backwards to meet their needs/fulfill their desires.

10. Feminist gender analysis is central to women’s liberation and the act of deliberately suppressing, mischaracterizing or erasing it is a misogynist act.


Transsexual People

1. Transsexual people experience a psychiatric condition, referred to as gender dysphoria, perhaps better labeled sex dysmorphia, which makes it very difficult to live in their sexed bodies. This is a painful and poorly understood condition occurring in less than one percent of the population.

2. Sex is chromosome-deep and expressed in physical morphology beyond that of the genitals and breasts. It is not possible to change one’s sex, any more than it is possible to change one’s genetic ancestry. However, one can undergo hormone treatments and surgery in order to more closely resemble a member of the opposite sex, and this can help relieve sex dysmorphia.

3. Social transition is just as important as physical transition, particularly for males who must work through their male privilege and learn what it is like to live in a sexist world while being perceived by others as women.

4. The term “transwomen” is a concession, made out of sympathy and respect, for males who experience sex dysmorphia and undergo physical and social transition. [This list focuses mainly on transwomen not because we don’t care about transmen but because we are concerned here with how men are using transwomen against women/feminism.]

5. Transsexual people are capable of building healthy, happy lives for themselves, and do not need to be treated like they are made of glass or like their physical reality must be papered over with magical thinking. Transwomen are capable of accepting that they are male and grew up with male socialization.

6. Transsexual people deserve legal protection of their human rights to safety, education, employment, and housing. Furthermore, they deserve caring and effective medical treatment.

7. It is, however, absurd to expect any woman who wants to talk about feminism to have an opinion on the proper medical treatment for a rare, complex and poorly understood medical condition.

8. It is furthermore absurd to expect feminists to center males who experience a rare, complex and poorly understood medical condition; pretend reproductive difference does not exist or matter; or call themselves “cis women” in order to differentiate the 52% of the human population that is female from the less than 1% of males who experience sex dysmorphia.

9. Most transwomen are just trying to live their lives without receiving nor giving harm, and are not making the above (#7&8) demands. Furthermore, some transwomen have braved exile from their own communities by publicly objecting to those demands. To center transwomen as feminism’s enemies is as foolish as centering them as feminism’s overlords.

10. Women and transwomen will have some important things in common (e.g. fear of male violence) and some important things not in common (e.g. socialization as a girl from birth, vulnerability to pregnancy). Accordingly, women and transwomen will share some goals and spaces and not share others.

11. Gender non-conforming males experience violence at the hands of other males. Women are not responsible for putting male victims of male violence ahead of female victims of male violence – that expectation is grounded in the gender hierarchy. Many women will, however, partner with anyone who wishes to help name and confront the social pandemic of male violence.

12. Forcing feminists to call transwomen female will have no effect on male violence against transwomen, because violent men a) don’t listen to feminists and b) attack female people all the time.

13. Men who attack transwomen are enforcing gender. Only abolishing gender will protect transwomen.

14. As for sex-segregated spaces, feminists have already proposed rational compromises such as simple documentation of medical treatment for sex dysmorphia before accessing opposite-sex nude and semi-nude spaces, along with the enforcement of improper purpose clauses. See Elizabeth Hungerford’s work at sexnotgender.com.


Transgender Identity Politics

1. It is an act of aggression to take away oppressed people’s language. This applies to women, and also to transsexual people.

2. Transsexual people experience sex dysmorphia and therefore undergo physical and social transition. Transgender identity politickers, however, dismiss the necessity of any experience of sex dysmorphia OR transition to claim the label “transgender” or “trans.” Someone claiming the label “transgender” or “trans” could be transsexual, or they could be a part-time cross-dresser. You can’t know and you are not allowed to ask.

3. Transsexual people who object to this colonization of their language are labeled “truscum,” quisling or TERF, and dismissed/monstered/silenced.

4. According to transgender identity politickers, any male who simply states he “feels like a woman” is 1) “trans” and 2) a woman and also 3) female and also 4) has always been female, 5) because he says so. If a male person “feels like a woman,” his penis is female. Such is the power of “gender identity.”

5. No one has yet distinguished “gender identity” from “sex-based stereotypes of human personality” but, when pressed, transgender identity politickers will fall back on brain sex.

6. Brain sex is sexist pseudoscience, just as brain race is racist pseudoscience.

7. However, according to transgender identity politickers, because less than one percent of people experience sex dysmorphia, and because those people are subject to suicidal depression and male violence, the rest of us must accept (or at least politely pretend) that there are male and female brains, that our brains not our reproductive capacity determine our sex, and if you disagree with this, it must be because you hate transsexual people, not because you understand a) how babies are made and b) how sexism works.

8. In effect, male people are telling female people they must either accept brain sex – meaning, placate men by parroting the idea that any man who is not sufficiently masculine is not really male, neverminding that the necessary flipside of “masculinity is innate to males” is “femininity is innate to females” – or else be held responsible for male violence against those insufficiently masculine males. They are using transsexual people as hostages/human shields in their war on feminism.

9. We call these transgender identity politickers “AFTAs” (anti-feminist trans activists) to avoid tarring all trans people with the same brush.

10. AFTAs have only managed to compile political power due to the sanctimony and ideological totalism of the Left.

11. Leftists will naturally feel sympathy for anyone with a painful psychiatric condition, yet conversely feel an equally natural aversion to major surgery on healthy genitals, leading to an aversion to considering this condition too closely. Combined with their pride in a high “disgust tolerance” (central to Leftist identity) this leads them to the knee-jerk projection that anyone questioning transgender identity politics is operating out of a low disgust tolerance (labeled “transphobia”).

12. If you can push Leftists past this point, they still have to confront the idea of larger systems of power outside of individual “identity,” especially systems of power based on sex (what feminist theorists call “gender.”) This point of existential crisis -between individualistic identity politics and radical class analysis- renders the Leftist vulnerable to ideological totalism, at which AFTAs excel: Nevermind that difficult thinking stuff, our magical “truth” is all there is. Brain sex transcends mere science, all questioners can be renounced and declared sub-human, thought-terminating cliches (“trans women are women”) are all the effort required. Just relax and submit.

13. Thus, here we are: If a male person says he “feels like a woman,” then we all must pretend he is a woman, and all blatant displays of male privilege and aggression no longer count as such. In this way, transgender identity politics provide men a “get out of male free” card, under cover of political correctness.

14. An oppressed group cannot maintain boundaries against their oppressors if they are not allowed to identify those oppressors. By rendering maleness unnameable, transgender identity politics enable male people (most of whom experience no sex dysmorphia at all) to destroy women’s boundaries.

15. Women who object to this destruction of their boundaries are labeled “TERFs” (trans exclusionary radical feminists) and dismissed/monstered/silenced.


Autogynephilia

1. Many AFTAs cling to sexed labels for their personalities because they fetishize women’s oppression; specifically, they wish to live the male fantasy of a female sex object who is somehow empowered by her ability to sexually arouse her oppressors.

2. The pornsick men of the Left, who think women’s liberation is about servicing as many Leftist penises as possible, have no problem with these AFTAs showing women how “woman” should be done.


Why does all this matter so much?

1. Males can now claim transgender identity in order to access female sports competitions, women’s colleges, girls’ and women’s locker rooms and bathrooms, and women’s shelters (both as residents and counselors.)

2. Males can now claim transgender identity in order to plead innocent to violent crimes against women, be placed in female prisons, and/or secure free SRS as well as a new legal identity. Their crimes are now counted as women’s crimes.

3. Any talk of female biology is now verboten. Vital work for female reproductive rights is sidelined by accusations of “cissexism.”

4. Any talk of sex-based socialization is now labeled bigotry.

5. The “Cotton Ceiling:” AFTAs and their allies call lesbians transphobic for not having sex with be-penised people.

6. Female-only events, such as conferences and festivals, are being shut down.

7. Any public analysis of gender as a coercive social system is being shut down.

8. Gender non-conforming children (likely but not necessarily gay and lesbian) are being referred for medical treatment.

9. The real concerns transsexual people have about their safety – particularly the safety of poor transwomen of color involved in the underground economy, particularly in 2/3 world nations – are being pushed to the side by middle class white transvestites performing histrionic hair-tearing about pronouns.

10. When masculinity is naturalized via brainsex, both male privilege and male violence are accepted as inevitable.


Let’s Talk About Men

There are very few transsexual people in the world, certainly not enough to have had this kind of chilling effect on feminism. We must ask ourselves who really benefits when women lose our privacy, our away-spaces, our language, our right to say no, our right to name the problem. The answer, of course, is men.

Transgender identity politics allow men to:

1. Label other male people Not Real Men, thus making themselves feel like Yes Real Men in comparison.

2. Excuse themselves from feeling any guilt about their male privilege. After all, as long as they don’t want to call themselves women, they were simply born with manbrains and thus destined to be the Manly Men in Charge!

3. Enjoy watching women being forced to confess to “cis privilege” – one can only assume this is because they agree with MRAs that women have it easy, that they are spoiled princesses with no real complaints.

4. Reap the rewards of AFTAs insinuating themselves in women’s spaces to make sure male feelings (and orgasms) are centered within feminism.

5. Use [the violence inflicted by homophobic males on gender non-conforming males] to shame women for not being “empathetic” enough. Blaming women for male-on-male violence means they get to 1) put women back in a place of mandatory care-taking and self-abnegation and 2) excuse themselves from confronting that violence, even though they are members of the class that both inflicts and experiences it.

6. Sit back and let the Paris “I would rather have a ‘sticky fuck’ than analyze oppression” Lees of the world show women what “feeling like a woman” should mean.

7. And finally, transgender identity politics enable Leftist men to casually dismiss as “TERFs” any feminists who might make them question any of the above.


Let’s Demand More of Men

1. Men need to stop trying to redefine “woman” as a garbage chute for (supposedly) defective men. A. Women are not defective men. B. Unmasculine men are not defective. C. As long as men can boot unmasculine men out of the category “man,” masculinity will remain unchallenged.

2. We desperately need men to sincerely confront, analyze and reject masculinity – to start redefining “man.” When violent and exploitative behavior is acceptable but nail polish is verboten, your club needs some work.

3. Masculinity is intimately tied up with femininity in the system of gender that allows men to feel entitled to women’s bodies and labor. Any meaningful rejection of masculinity will first involve letting go of that entitlement.

4. Instead of looking to feminists to solve all their problems, men could look to feminist history for examples of how to build their own communities of support for gender resistance. This would include embracing very “feminine” men as their brothers, and defending them from violence.

5. If their fellow males need specialized spaces in re. bathrooms or shelters or prisons, etc. ? MEN SHOULD BE CAPABLE OF BUILDING THEM.

6. Furthermore, any man who truly believes in liberation from gender roles should want every male child to grow into his full human personality – no matter how “feminine” that personality may be – without being subject to the psychic violence of being told he was born into the wrong body.

7. It is vital, in fact, that “man” comes to mean *only* adult human male, with thousands of ways to inhabit a healthy, happy male body, none dependent on the exploitation or bullying of others.

27 Comments on “Feminism & Transwomen: A Bullet Point Overview

  1. “Use [the violence inflicted by homophobic males on gender non-conforming males] to shame women for not being “empathetic” enough. ”

    Any examples of this?

    1. Are you. Fucking. Kidding me. See: Twitter, Tumblr, every trans “think piece” written by men ever. Thanks and Bye, Felicia.

      1. Huh? I don’t think the sane ones would blame male violence on trans women on women, at best they would blame women for not helping them/not opening up their spaces for trans women. Is the latter what you’re talking about?

        1. No, women are blamed for male violence against transwomen. We are told that any insistence that our female biology exists creates the environment in which men attack transwomen. “Female biology exists” is transphobia and transphobia (not men, mind you) kills. If you click through to the blog this bullet list summarizes, you will see examples. Although I personally find it shocking that anyone who has followed this issue doesn’t see this happening, because it is a *daily* occurrence.

  2. I like a lot of what you say and think it is useful to have it laid out in one place. But I would like to see some other way of describing body dysmorphia/dysphoria, other than as a psychiatric condition. In my work as a survivor of psychiatry/ anti-psychiatric oppression activist we find all psychiatric labeling to be misleading, as it creates a pseudo-scientific justification to treat certain kinds of patterns of human distress or states or consciousness as pathological, taking these experiences out of ordinary conversation and giving psychiatrists the last word in defining them. Women have particular reasons to reject this allocation of power to psychiatry to describe any psychic or emotional suffering as a medical condition, since psychiatry is one of the enforcers of gender norms and is used against us when we conform as well as when we don’t conform to stereotypical femininity.

    Another point, though more difficult to articulate and make sense of: while I agree with viewing gender as an oppressive hierarchy, I don’t know where to place cultural symbolism related to being female, such as Goddess spirituality. I don’t think that this is about femininity in the sense of subjugation rather the opposite, although in many cases these symbols have been degraded by patriarchy over time to incorporate patriarchal femininity. How would you address this, and other cultural forms created by women for women (like lesbian culture and festivals) in terms of being different than gender?

    1. 1) If people are experiencing distress to the point they feel the need for invasive surgery and lifelong drug dependency, that’s a psychiatric condition. Good people can and do disagree on the best treatment method for that condition, and as a non-medical-professional I don’t pretend to have the answer. I do think it’s very obvious that gender norms can cause sex dysmporphia, however, and that gender abolition could prevent future cases. Therefore we should *absolutely* stop pushing gender non-conforming children to think of themselves as trans, and start confronting the horribleness of the idea that any child could possibly be “born into the wrong body.” 2) I don’t have any problem with goddess spirituality (I think Trista Hendren is great) although it does not appeal to me personally (why would any god need genitalia?), if it helps women counteract the effects of patriarchal religion then all power to them. 3) I am all for female-only and lesbian-only spaces. I’m not sure how you think this is the same as gender – perhaps reading the blog these bullet points are based on will help (thenewbacklash.blogspot.com).

  3. Very fw talk of racial brains, because race is not even a taxonic valid classification of humanity, especially the races that exist socially.

    When it comes to gender identity and gender dysphoria. Neurological difference from cispeople of the same biological sex do exist. And to deny them is simply science denialism. Rooted in postmodern/poststructuralistic social construction which rejects that human psychology has any biological root. Everything is just social construction and thus they deny to human animal. Radical feminism arose when postmodernism and Michel Foucault, Judith Butler and Derridaand co were high and hip. They have influenced the modern left.
    Despite that modern science rejects nature vs nurture as a false dichotomy.

    I will let Robert Sapolsky, neuroanatomist of standford universiy to explain. Today other than what we talk about we also see white and grey matter variance.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A3C4ZJ7HyuE

    If we wish to be taken serious, end the science denialism. I understand that postmodern social construction is tempting, because then one can become everything. Everything is changeable. Like religion, it is there to deny the human animal.

  4. Very interesting, with thought-provoking arguments. I would still argue it is necessary to offer some leeway of definition to transgender people who literally cannot transition through no fault of their own (lack of finance, lack of public healthcare, health contraindications, overwhelming risk, etc) and so feel they have no option but to identify under the “trans umbrella” rather than embrace their birth sex, which anyone with any degree of dysmorphia will do about as happily as embracing a landmine, “brain sex” or none. Still, the point of some people frivolously or inconsistently claiming transsexual identity is well made, and it does sometimes happen, as in a local case where a prisoner managed to use it to get protected custody in prison (though to be fair he sounded like such a vulnerable wreck in any case it was probably just as well…).

    Mind you, I shan’t be holding my breath for the following…

    “4. Instead of looking to feminists to solve all their problems, men could look to feminist history for examples of how to build their own communities of support for gender resistance. This would include embracing very “feminine” men as their brothers, and defending them from violence.”

    A lofty vision, but I have long since given up hope of cisgendered male communities treating me like anything other than (a) a morbid curiosity, or (b) a punchbag, and my goodwill towards them is spent. But I agree that it cannot be a primary concern for feminists to mollycoddle transwomen, and I would strongly advise anyone coming out as trans to have developed the knack of deriving strength in solitude. Like it or not, it has a tendency to be an isolating condition and will likely remain so until society is restructured in currently very hard to imagine ways.

    1. It may be hard to imagine, but it’s the only way forward. Men giving up masculinity is the only way to end the epidemic of male violence. (And if you’d asked me ten years ago if it would be possible to force feminists and mainstream Leftist media to voluntarily accept female as a feeling and penises as marks of oppression, I’d have scoffed. That it’s easier for us to imagine a world in which women pretend female bodies only exist in male imaginations than to imagine a world in which men do not feel entitled to commit violence against anyone who is not acceptably masculine says a lot, I think.)

      1. Anything is possible, but I would still hope that if feminist and trans voices can agree on one thing, is that it is never in any sense the victim’s “job” or moral obligation to reform the victimiser. Rather, it is the victim’s inviolable right to fight, resist, and where they can do no better, avoid them like the plague (since, as you mention, it is an epidemic).

        1. Yes, but unfortunately it is very hard to avoid men in this world, as most of us do have to work for a living, and for those who are financially dependent on male partners or who have sons it can be impossible. I think it is better to think strategically about how to create change. Part of pushing for change is for all of us who possibly can to create and protect safe spaces. But education and outreach have got to be a part of any movement that hopes to achieve any widescale change. I will continue to ask, for example, every single time I see someone claiming to “redefine” or “expand the definition of” womanhood, why they refuse to do that for manhood. I will continue to ask, for example, every single time I see a headline that says transwomen “are dying” or “are killed” why they refuse to name the agent. And I will never stop fighting for little boys to be able to like dresses and dolls without submitting to either bullying or sterilization…

          1. The agent is male violence, indeed (or more literally, violent men, typically loaded on that heady combination of alcohol and peer pressure that slips so readily from posturing into evil). Which is why, while I agree with all the above in principle, I will not be in a hurry to recommend my trans pseudo-sisters to start outreaching to cis-men in sports bars, football stadiums etc. any time soon. This is not to say I think the feminist movement itself has the responsiblity to include transwomen within a political framework, safe spaces, etc. Just that we transsexual pseudo-women, as you point out, are ourselves such a tiny and scattered demographic, and one that is at present so viscerally repugnant to cisgendered male communities, we are perhaps more effective looking at ways to operate alone than in trying to emulate the mass political movements of the past (bearing in mind we have no mass, as such).

          2. Actually transsexual transwomen are indeed a tiny #, and furthermore I wouldn’t recommend any lone individual confront sexist men in large groups & venues in which they will be riled up — but you only have to look at this group (the Apostates) to see an example of several transwomen banding together to fight gender in a different way. However, I’m really speaking more towards 1) those larger # of men who love their penises but think since they aren’t getting all the male privilege to which they are entitled they should appropriate the category “woman” & then throw temper tantrums when all that female privilege they *imagined* does not appear, and 2) those MUCH larger # of (self-labeled) “liberals” who are so disgusted by the idea of feminine males and so enamored of the idea that responding to disgust with polite lies is the way to be on “the right side of history.” I don’t think that transgender identity politics are about transsexual people, I think they merely weaponize the suffering of transsexual people for their own (very sexist) ends. (see the blog this bullet point list was based on: thenewbacklash.blogspot.com.)

  5. I dis think this blog could perhaps stand as a realistic example of the sort of feminist politicking transwomen could safely and productively engage in… if any at all is deemed appropriate of them, that is. I am certainly not afraid to admit my misgivings on the subject.

    It occurred to me in the course of reading this that a male-bodied person who rejects overt masculinity yet remains male-bodied is a potentially very useful feminist ally. They stand at least an outside chance, if not completely risk-free, of being seriously listened to in cis-male circles, whereas an MtF transsexual, alas, most definitely does not. Considered strategically, a transitioned (or transitioning) MtF could almost be regarded as a rebel capitulating to the enemy camp, so I don’t have to imagine too hard why many feminists would find that action unfortunate bordering on contemptible.

    Still, I am grateful you take a sympathetic view of the situation, and one cannot live one’s whole life as an extended mea culpa. There are always ways to serve and make a positive difference, but perhaps feminism is by and large not the optimum route of service for transwomen (Particularly if our combat role, so to speak, will be as the “human shields” you mention). I have a sinking feeling that Caitlyn Jenner’s recent wittering about her trials with the “fashion police” will have already set back our credibility as progressives big time…

    Just seen the extended material on your blog. I see you refer to CulturallyBoundGender’s very cogent article on safe third spaces:

    “Other feminists support the creation of safe third spaces. These kinds of compromises are appreciated by some transwomen, but branded unacceptable by transgender identity politickers […]”

    I would be very much in favour of these, in fact, as they would also be appreciated by friends of mine who ID as gender neutral or agender (and I would not feel remotely threatened sharing such a space with them). It is also an official compromise in my workplace, where I am required pre-transition to use the disabled washroom. I see the sense and the sensitivity in this. Frankly, I am just happy to be out of the men’s room, which is characterised by such jolly pursuits as blocking the toilets with old newspapers and spreading human waste on the walls… and the average age of the men in that place is probably in their mid-forties. My cynicism of laddish culture remains undaunted…

    1. 1) The transwomen writing here do not identify as feminists, but as gender abolitionists. Feminism is by and for women, but anyone at all can fight for gender abolition. I think transwomen can play an important role there, not only as people who’ve experienced harm from gender so have every right to analyze that, but also as people who are *supposedly* centered in modern liberal feminism. Liberal feminists who see the harm of identity politics can be helped immensely by encountering gender critical transwomen – it assures them they are not heartless monsters, and so can be a necessary step in radicalization. 2) JENNER IS THE WORST. It makes me sick that so-called progressives think trans people should accept that shitbag as a role model. TRANS PEOPLE DESERVE BETTER. 3) Yeah, safe third spaces seems such a sensible working compromise. And men’s rooms are a horror (shudder).

      1. Metaphorical sigh… I really wanted to root for Caitlyn, but that whole ESPY thing left me cold. One can but hope she’ll give the fashion talk a rest and do something to merit that award post-haste. Come to think of it, I also liked Mr. Obama better before he acquired a pre-emptive Nobel Prize for hopefully doing something for peace in the future… though possibly the blame lies with whatever idiotic PR people think cheapening these awards is a good way to serve their clients.

        1. The years of child abandonment, the stealing of his step-daughter’s underwear, the equating of womanhood with nail polish, and the complete lack of remorse for vehicular manslaughter leave me cold.

          1. To be honest, I’d never even heard of the person until the whole Caitlyn business surfaced, though most of the facts that have drifted my way subsequently have, regrettably, induced scepticism.

            Thank you for the discussion. It has been illuminating. Just one other point I would like to pick up, if I may…

            “1) those larger # of men who love their penises but think since they aren’t getting all the male privilege to which they are entitled they should appropriate the category “woman” & then throw temper tantrums when all that female privilege they *imagined* does not appear,”

            Now, I can certainly see the point of looking askance at people who, with no evidence, make frivolous claims of having dysphoric / dysmorphic conditions for access rights. In cases I have heard so far (the prisoner I mentioned, my own workplace) the official response tends to be to find some workable compromise until the situation is clearer, though I do realise there are people who are not satisfied with such compromises.

            I do feel, though, that the category of untransitioned transwoman / “men who love their penises” can sometimes be conflated with that of the very many transwomen (especially in America) who want more than anything to transition, but probably will never be able to afford to (or cannot for health reasons). I have such a friend in South Carolina, who can no longer obtain employment since coming out. She would drastically improve her prospects by fully embracing her birth sex and male privilege, but this she will not do. I can’t help but think that is brave of her, if financially and socially ill-advised.

            I cannot dare to hope that healthcare access will drastically improve any time soon for these people, but I do feel that if someone can at least obtain a professional diagnosis for dysphoria / dysmorphia, even if they have no prospect of obtaining treatment for it, they should be accorded the “status” of transwoman (for whatever that is worth) and at least protected by the same laws and allowed to share the safe third spaces (provision of which should be a priority) with fully-transitioned MtFs. Bearing in mind my own transition is ongoing and scarcely a done deal (though we can but hope) I would feel like a colossal hypocrite to deny them that.

          2. If you’ve read the blog this overview refers to, you’ll have seen all the screencaps of (self-labeled) transwomen saying no sex dysmorphia is required to be trans, that penis can be female, and anyone who disagrees needs to choke on a female dick. Whether or not someone can afford SRS (Brucelyn, for example, certainly could, and for the record, I’m all for free penis removal surgery for any consenting adults) if they are genuinely transsexual they will not behave like that, right? But plenty of those people are getting past psychiatric “screening,” because doctors are afraid of being sued. The way things stand, this puts women in danger. Were we to move to safe third spaces, it would still put genuine transwomen in danger. It is in the best interests of both women and transwomen to address the labeling of penis-loving fetishists as “trans,” as long as the public thinks that means transsexual and laws are written accordingly.

          3. This page? (http://thenewbacklash.blogspot.co.uk/p/9-documented-harms-to-women-and-girls.html) I did cast my eye over them, though I find it hard to dwell too deeply on trans-activist trolling. Possibly irresponsible of me, but it does rather exacerbate my own shame. At any rate, though, I know it exists, and I am certainly not in the business of defending it.

            “Whether or not someone can afford SRS (Brucelyn, for example, certainly could, and for the record, I’m all for free penis removal surgery for any consenting adults) if they are genuinely transsexual they will not behave like that, right?”

            I think publicly available transition surgery would certainly do a lot to clarify this muddy issue. Sadly, I think it will be cold day in Hell before it is available to my friend in SC or those like her, bearing in mind the last time I was in America, parents were having to crowdfund to get kidney transplants for their kids. I am certainly not about to argue that transition care is a greater priority than that.

            I am very wary, though, of creating an elitist situation in which well-to-do people who can afford to become “proper” transwomen feel justified in looking with distrust and derision at those who are unable to afford their privileges. Bluntly put, as transwomen we are inferior or at least flawed creatures, regardless of our means and transition status: surgery or none, we are either ersatz women or defective men (or both at once). The sight of the flawed giving themselves airs over their equally flawed kin is uninsipiring, and if I am lucky enough to be granted transition and caught myself regarding any of my unluckier pseudo-sisters with disdain, I would feel I am no better than the very worst of identity politickers…

            But you and the apostates are correct, I believe, to call out the behaviour of any people who would cynically attempt to hop on the bandwagon of public acceptance and compassion, and I have to believe that can be done without tarring all financially disadvantaged transwomen with the same brush. The GIC phychiatrists over here routinely turn down transpeople whom they are uncertain of. A friend of mine (albeit a transman) has been in the system eight years with little success. If the psychiatric system could perhaps be tightened up and made more accessible, maybe that would enable people like my friend to obtain validation of their dysphoria / dysmorphia, if nothing else.

            I grant there is a slight risk in allowing untransitioned (but psychologically authentic) transwomen access to safe third spaces, but I am at a loss for any other moral solution, and I think I would dare it. At any rate, I would still feel a lot less threatened than I would do in an all-cisgendered male environment. In any case, if one assumes the absolute fakers are doing what they do in order to specifically obtain access to (non-trans) women’s spaces, one can assume it will only be a tiny minority of them who will find the third spaces equally tempting.

            I daresay there will always be those who complain about the third spaces, but at least over here the general official attitude is not to stand for any sort of nonsense when reasonable compromises have been offered (e.g. The case of CROFT v ROYAL MAIL, where a trans employee sued over being required to use the disabled washroom, and lost – http://www.antheamakepeace.co.uk/toiletissue.pdf).

  6. Eyes feeling ever so slightly maimed from so much badly grammaticised Twitter trolling, but point taken. The system must (or ought to) be set up in a way that prevents widespead piss-taking, if that is possible.

    I am glad to have read, though, that you do take a compassionate view towards people who would fall into the category of my friends who most definitely want to transition (but cannot financially):

    “If a male person claims the label “transgender,” they might be a transsexual who is sincerely pursuing or has already undergone medical and social transition, or they might be a part-time crossdresser.”

    Mind you, boil the issue down to practicalities, and someone is always going to be at risk, unfortunately. Unless we force people to present doctors’ letters at washroom doors, and the like, there will be no reliable way to tell who is in good faith anyway. And I would go so far as to say that transwomen should bear the brunt of this risk, as a matter of respect, practicality (as it would probably be less for them), and solidarity, and allow general access into the safe third spaces, also bearing in mind they could then be of benefit to agendered and gender-neutral people. That is as soon as safe third spaces become standard practice, at any rate. Can’t be too soon for me…

    1. I honestly think if men with no sex dysmorphia at all weren’t trying to use the existence of actual transwomen as Trojan horses that this wouldn’t be much of an issue. The # of actual transwomen is less than 1% of males (although it seems a lot of Leftists are nowadays determined to induce sex dsymorphia in feminine male children, which will spike that number). I shared a bathroom with a transwoman at JFK airport, she got several second glances but nothing else because it was only her size & build that gave her away – she acted like a normal person going about her business and not using the ladies room for performance, intimidation, validation, anything like that. Were she one of your friends who wants but cannot yet afford SRS who would know – as she wasn’t going to wave it around at anyone. Elizabeth Hungerford’s suggestion of Improper Purpose clauses would be very helpful for addressing the creepers, but what we really need is for mainstream Leftists to stand up against the ladystick brigade instead of performing their (faux) “liberal disgust tolerance” so hard they can’t even see what is happening.

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