This is what I said at Radfems Respond

 

Multnomah County Library in Portland, Oregon: May 24th, 2014

My name is Rachel, and like most people who survive adolescence, I know what it feels like to be politically surprised. I’ve learned what it feels like to be so convinced, so sure of my convictions, only to have some new piece of information throw my whole conception of the world into doubt, and trigger the realization that I don’t understand the world as well as I thought I did. And as painful and humbling as this experience can be, I think it’s really healthy and important – our understanding of the world should shift and change to accommodate new information. A stagnant worldview becomes dogma. When faced with the pain of cognitive dissonance, you have two choices: you can either dig in your heels, and try to maintain your carefully ordered universe by ignoring the conflict, or you can choose to critically reexamine your views in light of the available evidence.

Cynthia Enloe is a feminist who wrote a book called The Curious Feminist, and in a chapter called The Surprised Feminist, she says: “I have come to think that the capacity to be surprised – and to admit it – is an undervalued feminist attribute. To be surprised is to have one’s current explanatory notions, and thus one’s predictive assumptions, thrown into confusion. In both academic life and activist public life in most cultures, one is socialized to deny surprise. It is as if admitting surprise jeopardizes one’s hard-earned credibility. And credibility, something necessarily bestowed by others, is the bedrock of status.”

A few years ago, I encountered some information that surprised me. It was a conception of gender that was new to me, and differed from anything I’d heard before. My existing conception of gender at the time sounded something like this:

Gender (often called ‘gender identity’) is a personal, individual quality possessed by each person. Gender identity is the subjective perception by an individual of their position on a spectrum between masculine and feminine, which are both neutral attributes.

Gender is performed outwardly through choice of markers or symbols like demeanor, body language, aesthetic choices like hair, clothing, presence or absence of makeup, etc. These outward markers are what govern whether another individual regards you as male or female.

Each person has an innate gender identity (masculine, feminine) which is independent of their biological sex. Each person is born with a biological sex (male, female, intersex) which is also apolitical. Sex and gender are not necessarily connected.

What is oppressive about it? The fact that it’s a rigid binary system. It forces every person to identify as either a man or a woman (not neither, both at once, something in between or something else entirely) and punishes anyone who doesn’t conform. (This oppresses both men and women, especially those who don’t fully identify with the prescribed model for their gender)

How can we resist? ‘Genderqueer’: women and men reject the binary system, identify as ‘gender outlaws’ (e.g. queer, trans) and demand recognition for a range of gender identities. (From this perspective, the ideal number of genders would be… infinite?) (troubleandstrife.org)

Like most of the feminists of my generation, I was not taught to question the existence of the system called gender. The dominant, patriarchal culture and the mainstream feminism I considered myself a part of were at odds with regard to how exactly we should treat gender, but they were both in agreement that gender was natural, inevitable, and eternal. Sure, we could bend traditional gender norms, we could try and reform the gender system, make a little more bearable to live within, a little more inclusive of nonconformity – but questioning the reason for it all, asking WHY gender exists in order to question the necessity of its existence, was unthinkable to me.

But I couldn’t avoid the question forever. By chance, I was introduced to an alternative conception of what gender is and what gender is for, and that alternative conception was this:

Gender is a hierarchical system which maintains the subordination of females as a class to males as a class through force.

Gender is a material system of power which uses violence and psychological coercion to exploit female labor, sex, reproduction, emotional support, for the benefit of men.

Gender is not natural or voluntary, since no person is naturally subordinate to another. Biological sex is a physical feature of each person, and those deemed female at birth are socialized by the culture into femininity (in other words, ritualized displays of submission to males).

Why is it oppressive? It’s based on the subordination of one sex class (women) by the other (men)

How can we resist? Women organize to overthrow male power and thus the entire gender system. (For radical feminists, the ideal number of genders would be… none.) Without patriarchy, there would be no need for gender.

These ideas were completely new to me, and they flung into chaos my understanding of gender, and of feminism, and of the culture I was living in.  As Enloe puts it, my “current explanatory notions, and thus one’s predictive assumptions, thrown into confusion.” And at that point I was faced with the choice.  I could ignore these new ideas, dismiss them, pretend I was unchanged and continue business as usual – or I could critically reexamine my feminism in light of this new information. I chose the latter.

And because of that choice I’ve lost friends, and seen other friends pressured to publicly cut ties with me under threat of social and professional consequences because of my politics.  I’ve been stalked, intimidated, yelled at and ridiculed. More lies have been printed about me than I can count. I’ve been bullied, I’ve been harassed, threatened, and organizations and individuals who have dared to work with me has been harassed and pressured. I’ve seen my friends attacked and physically bullied for questioning the current dogma around gender.

Whatever I’ve gone through this last year, let me be clear that I’ve gotten off real easy in comparison to so many. I am by no means the first woman to face this kind of backlash for questioning gender. The current trend we’re seeing in action here today of trying to silence dissent against gender is just the latest outgrowth of misogyny that has been metastisizing for millenia. I’ve gotten off easy because I have a community that has supported me through the backlash, and guidance from women who have been fighting this fight since before I was born.  Most women in my generation don’t have that kind of support on this issue.

Women have written to me, or come up to me after talks, and thanked me for speaking out publicly, but told me that they could never be so public about their convictions.  And I don’t blame them– they’re afraid of losing their jobs, afraid of losing their communities, afraid of getting the death threats and the stalking and the bullying, and they don’t all have the support that I’ve been lucky enough to rely on.  So when I list the things that have happened to me because of my choice to critically reexamine my worldview, and then to speak up about the conclusions I reached, I don’t do it to complain – I knew exactly what was going to happen, and I regret nothing. I do it to let other women know that they are not alone in the backlash and the hatred they’re experiencing, and I do it because I know that not everyone has the luxury of being able to speak up publicly and withstand the consequences.

So my feminist framework was thrown into confusion in response to that new information, the radical conception of gender. In response and in tribute to my own cognitive dissonance, and to the new conclusions to which it led me, I wrote a presentation called The End of Gender, in which I attempted to explain how and why my conception of gender shifted from liberal to radical. So that talk got put up online a year ago this month, and the last year since that talk came out has been extremely, and sometimes excrutiatingly, educational for me. In particular, this year has taught me the difference between what we are allowed to say, and the ideas we are allowed to have about gender, and the questions we are not allowed to ask; the ideas we will be punished for stating out loud. In that presentation, I tried to get across two main ideas:

1. Female people are a distinct social class with unique experiences, and members of that class experience specific forms of oppression under male supremacy based on the fact that we are female.

2. Gender is an inherently oppressive caste system that serves to facilitate and maintain the exploitation of female people under male supremacy.

In the last year, my experiences have made it clear to me that these two ideas are tantamount to Orwellian thoughtcrime in our current political climate around gender. And my question – yet again – is why. What is it about these two ideas that justifies the level of threats, backlash, and silencing that we receive just for daring to speak them out loud?

With each of these, I want to talk about their significance to feminism – the reasons that I think it’s important that we state them out loud despite the consequences –  and I also want to honestly address some of the criticisms that I’ve heard directed at them.

Of course, most of radical feminism’s detractors don’t even bother to engage with this discussion. It’s a lot easier to threaten women, to make us afraid, than to actually have a constructive adult conversation. It’s a lot easier to dismiss radical feminism as outdated, a relic from an earlier time, as many choose to, than to acknowledge and engage with our points. This argument, if it can even be called an argument, falls completely flat for me and so many radical feminists of my generation. We’re not clinging to relics, we’re reaching for a politics that actually addresses the scope of the misogyny and male supremacy that we are forced to live within.

Young women organize radical feminist conferences, write gender-critical analysis, fight to maintain the right of female people to organize as a class, and support each other through the intimidation, threats, and ostracization that such work earns us. Some of us, the lucky ones, benefit from the support and guidance of women who have been feminists since before we were born. Other young women came to radicalism because they could see that the ideology we’ve been fed by academia and the dominant culture – individualist, neoliberal “feminism” – is actively working against the advancement of women’s human rights. We do not appreciate being ignored by those who would take the easy way out in dismissing our politics.

So let’s start with the first one – female people are a distinct social class with unique experiences. Now, proponents of the liberal conception of gender would have you believe that the idea of female biology itself is passe, or old fashioned. No one IS female, they say, female is just a voluntarily chosen category that anyone can choose to occupy, or not, regardless of the realities of our bodies. The problem with this view is that it renders female-specific forms of exploitation utterly invisible and unspeakable. One glaring example here, one of many, is reproductive exploitation, which happens to female people because we are female. Male people are not reproductively exploited, no matter how they identify. Male people are never forced to carry their rapists babies to term. Male people are not jailed, as increasing numbers of female people are, imprisoned for miscarrying or otherwise failing to bring pregnancies to term. Male people are not forcibly sterilized, a practice that women, particularly women of color, are still subjected to today. Physical sex matters, and shapes our experiences of exploitation.

One criticism I’ve gotten for saying this, a criticism that initially gave me pause, is the idea that by saying that female experience is unique and distinct, I’m somehow saying it is uniform, and that all female people share the same experiences. But I think this criticism is a leap, and that people who use that argument are responding to an argument that I, and other radical feminists, have never made, because I’ve never said that. I am not postulating the there is a universal experience of being female, because there is not. Female experience is as diverse as female people are. What those of us in male supremacist cultures share, despite the huge differences in experience depending on other factors in our lives, like race, and class, and culture, is the fact that we are exploited because we are female. Our experiences are distinct from that which is experienced by male bodied people, and that remains true no matter how specific male people identify.

Its no secret that much of the the backlash to the radical conception of gender centers around its relationship to transgenderism, and to people who identify themselves as trans. Here’s some background for the uninitiated, the conflict is this – some people, myself included, believe that female experience is unique – that being born in a genetically female body comes with certain experiences that are not shared by people who are not female. For others, to say that female bodied people and male trans people have different experiences of the world amounts to blasphemy, and is punished as such. Today, to even use the word female to describe ourselves and our experiences is often shouted down as “transphobic.” But if we can’t talk about female people as a distinct social class, with distinct experiences, the reality of our lives becomes unspeakable, erased. Ask yourself – what system, is served by erasing the reality of female experience? The answer, of course, is male supremacy. We cannot fight what we cannot even name.

A logical corolary of the fact the female people have unique experiences is that female people have the right to claim their own space, set boundaries of who can enter that space, and as a distinctly oppressed class, female people have the right to organize and meet autonomously from male people if we choose. I believe that all oppressed groups have the right to meet autonomously. There’s a conference tomorrow called New Narratives that is for male trans and male detransitioned people.  That meeting excludes everyone else because the goal is to focus on that specific group – but female people are not afforded that same freedom. When we have meetings specifically designed to serve people with the unique experience of being female, we get death threats. And my questions again are why, and what system does that serve? The answer, again, is male supremacy – we cannot fight what we are not allowed to organize against.

Next one – Gender is an oppressive caste system. This goes back to those two definitions of gender that I talked about at the start, and Lierre covered this even more extensively earlier this morning. Gender liberals make two arguments to defend gender – sometimes they say that gender is natural, innate, biologically essential – and sometimes they say it’s voluntary and freely chosen. I and other radical feminists disagree with both of these justifications.

Proponents of the liberal definition of gender believe that gender is something we are born with, and if a person’s inborn gender doesn’t match up with the accepted stereotypes for the body we’re born with, then it means that that person was born in the wrong body. This definition of gender is being used to tell children, toddlers, that they were born in the wrong body if they don’t conform to gender. This is an oppressive form of biological essentialism. The only groups of people whom I’ve heard defend gender as a natural, inevitable quality that we’re born with, other than gender liberals who call themselves progressive, are men’s rights activists and conservative religious fundamentalists, so forgive me for not understanding how this belief is remotely progressive. This represents an adjustment, a repackaging of the rhetoric of male supremacy – not resistance to it.

The idea that gender is natural is conservative, and the idea that gender is voluntarily chosen is insulting. Tell a victim of corrective rape that gender is voluntary. Tell any survivor of rape, the overwhelming majority of which are female, that being a woman is a fun set of clothing and behavior choices that she could reject identification with if she chose. Tell a preteen girl whose body is beginning to develop that the constant sexual assault at school, the constant leering and harassment from grown men, and the constant cultural messages telling her to starve herself, they’re all just part of her freely chosen identity as a woman.

No. Gender takes the lived experiences of being female or being male and reduces those experience to sets of stereotypes. Transgender ideology retains those same oppressive stereotypes, but liberalizes their application by asserting that anyone can embody either set of stereotypes, regardless of their biological sex. This does not take away the destructiveness and reductiveness of the stereotypes, and in fact it reinforces them.  Gender itself is a set of stereotypes, and I don’t want to reform those stereotypes, I want to abolish them along with their destructive and toxic effects on our lives. The only way out of a double bind is to smash it.

I don’t personally believe that misogyny is the conscious reasoning of every male person who begins identifying themselves as female.  When I was a high school teacher, I had male students that were told by counselors that they were sick with “gender dysphoria” and put on hormones by doctors because they failed to live up to masculine stereotypes. These boys aren’t consciously out to invade female space – but they, and the abuse that they receive at the hands of the medical and psychiatric establishments, certainly aren’t poster children for why gender castes deserve to be rationalized or maintained. The fact that some males have a negative experience of gender does not erase the fact that structurally, on the macro level, gender exists to facilitate the extraction of resources from female bodies.  Gender is the chain, and male supremacy is the ball.  Just because males sometimes trip over that chain does not erase that fact that the ankle it’s cuffed to is always female.  The punishment meted out to males who disobey the dictums of masculinity (a punishment that is yet another negative affect of the sex caste system) can be severe, and of course it’s indefensible.  However, it is distinct from the systematic exploitation that females experience because we are female.

The stereotypes of gender are not neutral, they’re not random, they’re not arbitrary. Just like the stereotype of the indigenous “savage,” which was created in order to exploit indigenous populations for their land, just like the stereotype of the “lazy immigrant” or the “welfare queen,” both created to exploit communities of color for their labor, the stereotypes called gender are created and recreated by patriarchy for a specific purpose, and that purpose is to is to facilitate and justify the systematic exploitation of women, the mining of female bodies for resources.

Oppression is always tied to resource extraction.In a culture that treats reproduction, labor, and sexual gratification as resources that can be bought, the female body is an extraction site. Gender facilitates and justifies the exploitation that male supremacy depends on. It is no coincidence that the male stereotypes we call masculinity reward aggressive, cruel, boundary-breaking behavior, because those are the behaviors required from male people in order to maintain male supremacy. It is not a coincidence that the set of stereotypes called “femininity” include physical weakness and compliance with male demands. It is not a coincidence that the dominant stereotypes within femininity – domestic laborer, selfless mother, and infantalized sex object – correspond with the resources that female people are exploited for under male supremacy – cheap labor, reproduction, and male sexual gratiication.

I don’t need or expect everyone to agree with me. The scare tactics, the bullying and the threats – they are loud, and flashy, and they’re intended to take up a lot of space in the conversation. But despite the best efforts of the bullies, those kind of attacks do not make up the whole of the conversation. In the last year my views have also simply been criticized, with varying degrees of respect and sincerity, sometimes by people that I very much respect. I’ve been questioned and challenged. Again and again, I’ve been told that I am wrong. The reason I still hold these convictions, despite the criticisms I’ve received, is that none of those criticisms have presented any evidence that these two basic principles are incorrect.  If you want me to stop organizing around radical feminist goals, to stop challenging gender, to stop being a radical feminist – which seems to be what many people want, and want badly enough to threaten and harass me to get their way – then your work is cut out for you.  Convince me that these principles are false, and I will have to reevaluate my feminist framework.  I agree with Enloe, again: “Admitting my surprise is the only way I’m going to be able to take fresh stock of my feminist analyses of developments both far afield and close to home.”

So come on and surprise me. Threats, slurs, smears, and uninformed dismissals are what I’ve come to expect – constructive, sincere, adult conversation would be quite a surprise to me, at this point.

I didn’t choose these politics for the hell of it. Naming the reality of male supremacy, naming gender as inherently oppressive, and defending the right of female people to organize autonomously, comes with a cost. I and many others have come to accept that cost after challenging, painful analysis of radical feminism’s merits. For me and others in my position, radical feminism has been a lifeline of critical thought. We grew up within a version of “feminism” that uncritically accepted the inevitability and the naturalness of gender, the neoliberal primacy of individualism, and ultimately, the unchallengeability of male supremacy.  We deserve better. Gender is not a binary, it is a hierarchy, and it exists to facilitate exploitation.

This is the fact that we are not allowed to notice, much less speak out loud. We cannot fight what we cannot even describe, and that is why it’s so important that we do speak this truth out loud, in public, every chance we get. Gender is an inherently oppressive caste system. It cannot, should not, be reformed, extended, or embraced. If we want to end male supremacy, gender and the exploitation it serves must be abolished.

 

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19 thoughts on “This is what I said at Radfems Respond

  1. Trixee

    Thank You! I wish I could memorize this. I could’ve used it when I was recently being told how wrong I was for believing that MichFest should remain as is. That my wanting to have access to womyn space was discrimination.

    Reply
  2. jestersarmed

    Thank you! This was the most compact, intelligent, well analyzed summary of what constitutes my own thoughts – and eloquently phrased at that. I read this piece on tumblr first and came here just to leave a thanks.

    Reply
  3. Pingback: This is what I said at Radfems Respond | Deep Green Resistance Southwest Coalition

  4. redhester

    sister, i salute you. thank you. thank you for speaking truth. may you live a long and wonderful life. may you be free from suffering and the root of suffering. may all beings be free.

    Reply
  5. marti386

    “Convince me that these principles are false, and I will have to reevaluate my feminist framework.”

    Okay, I’m game. I’d be glad to explain why you’re wrong. Throw me any radical feminist concept regarding trans women you’d like, and I’ll explain to you why it’s wrong. I don’t really have the time to dissect your rather long article point by point here, but I’d be glad to respond to any you’d care to pick.

    But to begin with, let me pick a few quotes at random.

    “Gender is a hierarchical system which maintains the subordination of females as a class to males as a class through force.”

    Yes, it is. The problem is your radfem analysis of the patriarchy seems to begin and end with gender. Gender is only ONE system of oppression that it uses. It also uses race, poverty and sexual preference to oppress people. That’s called intersectionality, which is something radical feminism doesn’t really take into account.

    “Gender is performed outwardly through choice of markers or symbols like demeanor, body language, aesthetic choices like hair, clothing, presence or absence of makeup, etc.”

    No, that’s wrong. Radical feminists don’t seem to grasp that what they mistake for “gender” is actually “gender expression”. You’re conflating gender with gender identity and gender roles. The three are not the same. Gender is simply the sex you identify as. Gender roles are the roles the patriarchy expects you to maintain for your sex. Gender expression is simply how you express your gender to the outside world. If Gender expression and Gender were the same, we wouldn’t have butch trans women or effeminate trans men. But we do. My gender has always been female, even when I didn’t shave my legs and let hair grow on my face. How I expressed my gender outwardly had no effect. Which is why trans women say we’ve always been women even before transition. Because how we looked on the outside didn’t matter.

    “These outward markers are what govern whether another individual regards you as male or female.”

    Which is exactly WHY, for all intents and purposes, trans women are women. Because the world (and the patriarchy) perceives us to be women. As a trans women who goes about her life without being clocked, I can easily tell you I receive no male privilege, because no one can tell I’m not cis. I receive the same threats, the same chances of sexual violence and the same lower pay as any cis woman. I’ve been made to feel unsafe around cis men the same as you. I have the same chance of being attacked.

    In fact, Gender Identity Watch (aka Cathy Brennan, you know, the woman who keeps donating money to you so you can go to these radfem events) recently published this amazingly ignorant statement about the Elliot Rodgers murders that stems from the same misguided notion:

    “Were these women killed because they identified as women or because they were, in fact, women?”

    The fact is, it’s NEITHER. They were killed because the Elliot PERCIEVED them to be women. He saw a bunch of people he thought were women, and he shot them. If it turned out later one of them had a penis, I don’t think that would have protected them, do you?. Perception is all that matters in the real world. Someone thinks I’m cis, he may try to rape me. Someone thinks I’m cis, he may try to beat me. What’s between our legs is really immaterial, compared to what people assume is there.

    “For others, to say that female bodied people and male trans people have different experiences of the world amounts to blasphemy, and is punished as such”

    Again, NO trans people say that. In fact, trans people agree with you. We never said that trans women and cis women don’t have different experiences. We simply say there is NO “shared girlhood” (that thing you claim exists to deny trans women womanhood). No two women are alike. No two women have the same experiences. The idea that a white, rich, married woman with 4 kids has the same “girlhood” that a poor, black, homeless, drug addicted woman has is beyond ludicrous. But it is something I’d expect from radical feminism’s history of failing women who aren’t cis, white, upper middle class women. All trans people do is point that out, and say that’s not a legitimate excuse to claim trans women aren’t real women.

    “Tell any survivor of rape, the overwhelming majority of which are female, that being a woman is a fun set of clothing and behavior choices that she could reject identification with if she chose. Tell a preteen girl whose body is beginning to develop that the constant sexual assault at school, the constant leering and harassment from grown men, and the constant cultural messages telling her to starve herself, they’re all just part of her freely chosen identity as a woman.”

    Please, PLEASE point me to where trans women are saying that being a women is a “fun set of clothing and behavior choices”. Cuz honestly, I’ve never seen any do that. In fact, trans women would be the first to tell you that it’s NOT a choice, anymore than being gay is. It’s belittling and insulting to suggest we find it a lark to be trans. And if you honestly think that trans women aren’t under as much chance as cis women of sexual assault at school, that we don’t get the same “constant leering and harassment from grown men” as cis women do, well, you’re being dishonest. You do know that more and more, trans girls are transitioning earlier and earlier, right? Some as early as ages 4,5 and 6? Girls who get all the same “lived experience” as cis women? I wonder, will you radfems change your position on “shared girlhood” being the only definition of woman, when trans girls growing up as women become the norm? Or will you simply shift the goalposts once again?

    Maybe you could also explain why radfems attack on “gender” always seems to begin and end with trans women’s gender? I mean, since cis women make up the majority of women, wouldn’t it be more productive to “smash gender” amongst yourselves first, before you start lecturing trans women?

    Well, I don’t want to make this too long. If you have anything you’d like to debate, feel free to throw them to me.

    Reply
    1. Andi

      You bring up a vital point about perception; many trans women are consistently perceived and treated as women, and have therefore assimilated as women into society. These ARE women, because they face misogyny in every area of their present lives and internalise misogyny over time (e.g. the beauty standard). Radical feminism needs to account for these women. It also needs to understand the very real, life-threatening and well-documented existence of SEX (not gender) dysphoria, and the right of any dysphoric individual to do what is necessary to survive. For many young trans individuals it is an extremely debilitating mental illness that is literally transition or die.

      However, this point about perception goes both ways. Many trans women are not women, not socially. If you aren’t consistently perceived as a women, you don’t experience or internalise misogyny. You are perceived as a gender non-conforming male, for the most part, which has a whole host of incredibly violent and disastrous consequences that nobody should ever downplay: you experience transphobia and homophobia. But transphobia is not the same as, nor is it really comparable to, misogyny. This is not a case of either form of oppression being “better” or “worse”; it is a case of being irreconcilably different. A visibly male but gender non-conforming individual faces oppression but still receives male privilege.

      There is also the fact that before being women, and before being gender non-conforming males (the consequences for which are generally increasingly unacceptable, socially, with age), many transwomen were boys. They were perceived and treated as boys. They received male privilege in certain crucial respects, in crucial years, often to the detriment of other girls and women.

      Of course intersectionality is important and creates new forms of oppressions, but to shout about “intersectionality” every time someone talks about female specific issues, which is basically to imply that there aren’t female specific and unique issues, is to shout down discussion and organisation. Most people are oppressed on multiple axes, this is of course true; there is nothing exclusionary about breaking this down to examine a single axis and organising based on those specific struggles.

      There IS a certain prevalence transphobia among radical feminists who really should know better (Cathy Brennan is an overgrown troll at this point), or at least a dismissiveness of trans women who really are directly affected by so many of the same issues, and I wish it would stop, but it isn’t an integral part of the root theories. I think radical feminism can grow to include the experiences of assimilated trans women, and of course the toppling of gender would mean the destruction of transphobia.

      Reply
      1. marti386

        Andi, thanks for the courteous reply. You make some very solid points. I just wanted to touch on a few that I have issues with.

        “Many trans women are not women, not socially. If you aren’t consistently perceived as a women, you don’t experience or internalize misogyny.”

        But that argument is quickly becoming a thing of the past. Thanks to more doctors understanding transgenderism, and more parents understanding, and the internet providing much needed resources, trans children are getting the help they need while they’re young. They’re getting puberty blockers, so they don’t get male features. When I look at the young trans women of today, I’m amazed at how far we’ve come. In the near future all trans women will be perceived as cis women unless they choose to reveal that fact. There are trans girls in kindergartens and 1st grade classes now. Amazing.

        ” A visibly male but gender non-conforming individual faces oppression but still receives male privilege.”

        How can ANY trans woman receive male privilege? Can you explain how losing friends, being kicked out of families, losing your job, being kicked out of your apartment, being harassed, beaten, raped and murdered in ANY way “male privilege”? Cuz those are all things that happen to trans women. I don’t find any “male privilege” in being trans, nor do any trans women I know, whether we pass or not. But it does sound AWFULLY similar to what cis women face, doesn’t it?

        “Many transwomen were boys. They were perceived and treated as boys. They received male privilege in certain crucial respects, in crucial years, often to the detriment of other girls and women”.

        I don’t know ANY trans women who were boys. The world tried to TELL us we were boys. We didn’t buy it. Claiming that trans women got male privilege just because society tried to force it on us is like saying there is no such thing as gay or lesbians, because society tried to force straight privilege on them. As you can see, it doesn’t work.

        Me? I never had male privilege to the detriment of other girls or women. My only friends at school were girls. Boys were scary. They used to beat me and humiliate me. See, underneath it all, even the boys at school always knew subconsciously that I was a girl. I didn’t belong with them. I looked like a girl. I was always mistaken for a girl. And I was punished for it. So while I didn’t experience it in quite the same way as the other girls, I did indeed experience internalized misogyny. The girls always knew I was one of them, and took me in without hesitation.

        “Most people are oppressed on multiple axes, this is of course true; there is nothing exclusionary about breaking this down to examine a single axis and organizing based on those specific struggles.”

        But the fact is that multiple axes of oppression are so interconnected, it’s pretty much impossible to simply single one out to attack. You have to attack it as a whole. That’s why the idea of patriarchy has pretty much been replaced with kyriarchy. Also, the problem I have with that statement is that it insinuated that trans women don’t suffer from the same struggles. We do.

        While it’s true that I may not be able to experience certain things like menstruation, I believe trans and cis women have FAR more things in common than not. But radical feminism seems to try to split us apart, rather than let us work together. And since science is catching up it won’t be long until even those few differences are gone. Soon trans women will be able to grow our own uteruses from stem cells. And another reason to exclude trans women will be gone. Adding tran women to the larger group women does not “erase” cis women. Cis women are still very much here. We simply add our lives and struggles to theirs.

        “I think radical feminism can grow to include the experiences of assimilated trans women, and of course the toppling of gender would mean the destruction of transphobia.”

        I hope so. Because you wouldn’t believe how many self-proclaimed radfems who debate me on forum boards claim that I have to be denied the right to use the restrooms because trans women are “all perverts and rapists”. Seriously. I just had a “debate” with one who said that I couldn’t be trusted in a restroom because of Richard Speck.

        No, I’m not kidding. Richard freaking Speck. You know, the guy who murderd a bunch of nurses 48 years ago? And died in 1991? THAT guy.

        It’s that kind of thing that makes me skittish when I comes to radfem politics. Because honestly, you wouldn’t BELIEVE some of the “arguments” I’ve had to deal with from radical feminists. If radical feminists want us to believe they aren’t really transphobic (as Rachel claims), then they need to start cleaning house. Because I’ve heard my share of ridiculous “radical” claims.

        Still, it was a pleasure talking with you. 😉

      2. Andi

        “But that argument is quickly becoming a thing of the past …There are trans girls in kindergartens and 1st grade classes now. Amazing.”

        Okay, but what about the present? I’ve agreed that trans women who have assimilated are woman and should be accounted for in radical feminism.

        “How can ANY trans woman receive male privilege? Can you explain how losing friends, being kicked out of families, losing your job, being kicked out of your apartment, being harassed, beaten, raped and murdered in ANY way “male privilege”? Cuz those are all things that happen to trans women. I don’t find any “male privilege” in being trans, nor do any trans women I know, whether we pass or not. But it does sound AWFULLY similar to what cis women face, doesn’t it?”

        I already said I do NOT want to downplay the oppression trans women who are visibly trans face. It is violent and it is horrific. What I am saying is that this is not /equivalent/ to misogyny. The examples you provided sound “awfully similar” to misogyny, but they also sound awfully similar to, for example, homophobia. But it is not equivalent. Patriarchy does not hate non-assimilated trans women because they are women – the basis of its hatred towards them is because it perceives them to be gender non-conforming men.

        “I don’t know ANY trans women who were boys. The world tried to TELL us we were boys. We didn’t buy it. Claiming that trans women got male privilege just because society tried to force it on us is like saying there is no such thing as gay or lesbians, because society tried to force straight privilege on them. As you can see, it doesn’t work.”

        Gay men and women can absolutely have conditional straight privilege. A homosexual man who suppresses his attractions and acts in a typically masculine fashion and perhaps gets married is going to have all the advantages in his upbringing, education and employment, is not going to face abuse based on being gay, and is probably going to subordinate the woman he marries. Arguing that he does not “really” experience these privileges because of the emotional trauma of the suppression is ignoring material reality. This is also true for many trans women who transition late in life.

        The privileges trans women face when they are perceived as boys over those perceived as girls vary in their extent, but they are not insignificant. Facing greater attention from their parents and greater educational opportunities, as well as an instilled belief that they are superior to other girls, is probably the key white-western-middle-class example. (A side note at your potential outrage here: as a transsexual woman, I can confirm that this was absolutely the case for me. I held a sense of superiority well into my teens and into my transition – believing, for example that I was performing femininity “better” than other girls. I was a total shitbag and this is privilege I am still unpacking). Meanwhile, children perceived as girls across the globe face genital mutilation, being sold into sex slavery, a constant sense of inferiority, higher rates of sexual abuse, denial of education, etc etc. These differences are enough that there is a cohesive idea of girlhood that indeed excuses most trans women,

        “Me? I never had male privilege to the detriment of other girls or women. My only friends at school were girls. Boys were scary. They used to beat me and humiliate me. See, underneath it all, even the boys at school always knew subconsciously that I was a girl. I didn’t belong with them. I looked like a girl. I was always mistaken for a girl. And I was punished for it. So while I didn’t experience it in quite the same way as the other girls, I did indeed experience internalized misogyny. The girls always knew I was one of them, and took me in without hesitation.”

        I’ve already touched upon why, having grown up in society, “never having male privilege” is almost certainly not the case and I encourage you to properly examine your experiences. With regards to other people “knowing” you were a girl… I don’t really know what to say. Perhaps the civility of our interaction ends here, because there really isn’t a word for such an unfounded belief beyond “delusional”.

        “But the fact is that multiple axes of oppression are so interconnected, it’s pretty much impossible to simply single one out to attack. You have to attack it as a whole. That’s why the idea of patriarchy has pretty much been replaced with kyriarchy. Also, the problem I have with that statement is that it insinuated that trans women don’t suffer from the same struggles. We do.”

        Arguing that we must, always, attack the problem “as a whole” is shouting down organisation. The way oppressed peoples have historically accrued rights has been incremental.

        “While it’s true that I may not be able to experience certain things like menstruation, I believe trans and cis women have FAR more things in common than not. But radical feminism seems to try to split us apart, rather than let us work together. And since science is catching up it won’t be long until even those few differences are gone. Soon trans women will be able to grow our own uteruses from stem cells. And another reason to exclude trans women will be gone. Adding tran women to the larger group women does not “erase” cis women. Cis women are still very much here. We simply add our lives and struggles to theirs.”

        It’s more than that, though, and the “soon” is not relevant, nor is it likely to ever be (will the poor, immobile, of colour, oppressed from birth trans women likely to be affected by reproducive control have access to these expensive uteri?). The whole historical basis of misogyny is that those born female are subjugated from birth by patriarchy and used as a resource for reproduction. Trans women who have assimilated experience a great deal of that misogyny. It is absolutely true that we can and ought to band together on certain issues, and I applaud and support any movement towards that, but women with uteri have the right to organise on their own based on the specific issues trans women do not face.

        Also it is not fair to call women “cis” when they have explicitly stated that they do not identify as cis and do not wish to be called that – as a person who I can tell is largely invested in identity politics, I believe you can do radfems that favor at the very least.

        “I hope so. Because you wouldn’t believe how many self-proclaimed radfems who debate me on forum boards claim that I have to be denied the right to use the restrooms because trans women are “all perverts and rapists”. Seriously. I just had a “debate” with one who said that I couldn’t be trusted in a restroom because of Richard Speck.”

        I’m sorry this has happened. Radical feminists who argue from this point of view that all trans women are “rapists” and are operating solely to be able to use womens spaces are uninformed. As a trans woman I am forced to use the women’s bathroom lest I am outed and face the myriad abuses that might acompany that. Of course, we shouldn’t deny that rapist trans women exist in a way that might partly be based on male privilege, but that is not super relevant to us a class.

      3. marti386

        “What I am saying is that this is not /equivalent/ to misogyny.”

        Maybe not, but it is transmisogny. It’s pretty darn close, for all intents and purposes.

        “Gay men and women can absolutely have conditional straight privilege.”

        That’s not what I said. I said if the idea that all trans women get male privilege simply because they were exposed to that programming as children, there would be NO gay people at all, since they would have also accepted that straight programming as children. The fact is, just because you’re exposed to something doesn’t mean you accept it.

        Sure a gay man can pass as straight and get straight privilege. The difference is that a gay man who does so does it to expressly GET straight privilege, while a trans woman who doesn’t pass does NOT get male privilege. In fact, a trans woman who doesn’t pass is especially focused on for punishment for rejecting male privilege. Because rejecting you’re male “birthright” is as big a felony as you can get in the patriarchy’s eyes. It doesn’t pat you on the back because you were male.

        “I held a sense of superiority well into my teens and into my transition – believing, for example that I was performing femininity “better” than other girls. I was a total shitbag and this is privilege I am still unpacking”

        So it was “male privilege” because you were better at being feminine than other girls? Lots of cis girls do this. How is it any different because you were trans? Why should you feel shame because you were good at something many girls are?

        “Meanwhile, children perceived as girls across the globe face genital mutilation, being sold into sex slavery, a constant sense of inferiority, higher rates of sexual abuse, denial of education, etc etc. These differences are enough that there is a cohesive idea of girlhood that indeed excuses most trans women”.

        True, but that’s not just because your trans. Let’s be honest here. If you’re a white girl in an upper class life in the USA, chances are your not getting genital mutation, or being sold into sex slavery. You’re just appropriating the struggles of women in third world countries who have lives American women couldn’t dream about. Yes it’s very important to stop this from happening, and I don’t need to have a clitoris to know it’s very, very wrong. But to suggest that women like Rachel or Cathy Brennan (or most other radical feminists) have a right to appropriate this just because they’re cis is dishonest. And as for the rest, I guess you haven’t seen the statistics that show trans girls have a greater percentage of sense of inferiority, sexual abuse and denial of education as cis girls here. The amount of trans teens who are thrown out of their families, end up drop-outs and homeless or in poverty are VERY high.

        “Arguing that we must, always, attack the problem “as a whole” is shouting down organizing.”

        No, it’s not. It’s just suggesting organizers need to take that into account.

        “Also it is not fair to call women “cis” when they have explicitly stated that they do not identify as cis and do not wish to be called that – as a person who I can tell is largely invested in identity politics, I believe you can do radfems that favor at the very least.”

        When radfems claim they don’t identify as “cis”, that’s really another way of saying that they don’t need a label for themselves, because they’re the “real” women. Sorry, but it doesn’t work that way. “Cis” is the opposite of “trans”, and as long as radfems continue to consider us trans, they label themselves cis by default. You can’t have one without the other. Also, sorry if I don’t feel I owe them any favors. I’ve seen radfem blogs refer to trans women as “twanz”, “tranny”, “M2trans”, “pretendbians”, “bedwetters in bad wigs” and “MRA” Oh, and that’s in ADDITION to being called “mentally ill”, “sicko”, “pervert”, “rapist”, and “freak”. So you’ll have to excuse me if I don’t feel any guilt for using a medically used term.

        “There IS a certain prevalence transphobia among radical feminists who really should know better (Cathy Brennan is an overgrown troll at this point), or at least a dismissiveness of trans women who really are directly affected by so many of the same issues, and I wish it would stop”

        I agree. Unfortunately, it seems to be more the norm than the exception in radical feminist circles these days. And I wish more radfems would call out this kind of behavior, because it’s hard for us to try to reach any kind of agreement as long is it continues. That’s why I mentioned Brennan earlier. It’s kinda hard for someone like Rachel to claim she’s not transphobic, when she’s accepting money from the likes of Brennan, someone who recently jumped on the bandwagon of Pacific Justice Institute, a group of former anti-gay conservatives who are now attacking innocent trans children in a futile attempt to roll back California’s new protection laws for transgender kids. If she publicly disowned such tactics, it might go far to show she’s not the transphobe everybody assumes she is.

  6. sharonredwood

    ” Thanks to more doctors understanding transgenderism, and more parents understanding, and the internet providing much needed resources, trans children are getting the help they need while they’re young. They’re getting puberty blockers, so they don’t get male features. When I look at the young trans women of today, I’m amazed at how far we’ve come. In the near future all trans women will be perceived as cis women unless they choose to reveal that fact. There are trans girls in kindergartens and 1st grade classes now. Amazing.”

    It’s “amazing” form of child abuse. Do people really know the long term side effects of GnRH agonists on the developing bodies of children? I seriously doubt it.

    Please read what this individual says about “trans girls in kindergartens and 1st grade classes now.” They are slapping labels of “transgender” or “gender dyshphoria” on kindergarten kids and first graders, and people see no problem with this practice. It’s child abuse on an Orwellian scale, and the potential for abuse should be obvious to any rational person.

    The sterilization of children is generally viewed as a human rights abuse. It’s amazing what people can do all in the name of “gender identity”.

    GnRH agonists are used to treat hormone sensitive advanced prostate cancer and severe endometriosis in women. They shut down the hormones that stimulate tumor growth and spur the growth of endometrial tissues. GnRH agonists are also used for precocious puberty (puberty when kids shouldn’t normally go through puberty). Precocious puberty is NOT the same thing as transgender. I don’t even know if GnRH agonists for a psychological diagnosis in children is even approved by the FDA for this purpose.

    Lupron is one of the GnRH agonists that has been given to “gender dysphoric” children. Google it because there have been horrible side effects from Lupron. Lupron is not the only GnRH agonist drug. Supprelin (histrelin acetate) is a GnRH agonist that is used for central precocious puberty. It’s an implant that is inserted in the arm. Completing puberty too early means the child may have fewer growth years. The kid may not reach his or her expected adult height.

    What they are doing is basically giving a drug used to treat central precocious puberty to “gender dysphoric” children.

    “The FDA reports that, as long ago as 1999, it had received adverse drug reports about Lupron® from 4,228 women and 2,943 men. These side effects included: tingling, itching, headache and migraine, dizziness, severe joint pain, difficulty breathing, chest pain, nausea, depression, emotional instability, dimness of vision, fainting, weakness, amnesia, hypertension, muscular pain, bone pain, nausea/vomiting, asthma, abdominal pain, insomnia, chronic enlargement of the thyroid, liver function abnormality, vision abnormality, and anxiety, and others.2 In 325 of these cases, the women required hospitalization; 25 women died.3 At the time, the FDA said that it did not have enough staff capacity to assess any causal effect in these cases.”

    http://nwhn.org/lupron%C2%AE-%E2%80%93-what-does-it-do-women%E2%80%99s-health

    The transgender community and the clinics who prescribe puberty suppressing drugs to children always say that they are reversible. This is only partially true and they know it. Depending on where you live, with parental approval, cross gender hormones can start at age 16. Some children go straight from puberty suppressing drugs to cross gender hormones.

    Treatment with puberty delaying drugs leads to sterilization if it is followed with the administration of cross sex hormones at 16 years, as the Brill and Pepper handbook on “transgender” children (2008), explains, “the choice to progress from GnRH inhibitors to estrogen without fully experiencing male puberty should be viewed as giving up one’s fertility, and the family and child should be counseled accordingly” (Brill & Pepper, 2008, p. 216). For girls, sterilization is the outcome too, because “eggs do not mature until the body goes through puberty” (Brill & Pepper, 2008, p. 216).

    Do parents have the right to compromise the future fertility of their children? This could be construed as a human rights violation.

    Deliberate delaying a normal part of human development, adolescence, because of what basically amounts to a questionable psychiatric diagnosis in healthy children assumes all the following:

    (a.) The diagnosis of “gender dysphoria” is correct to being with, and there isn’t something else going on in the child’s life.

    (b.) The child is completely free from any parental, peer, or cultural influences. How much is “gender dysphoria” in a 12 year old child, and how do we separate this from everything the parents read on transgender websites and blogs? How much is actual “gender dysphoria” or GID and how much is parental discomfort at having a child that doesn’t fit neatly into sex based gender roles?

    (c.) Children have the mental capacity to decide or choose for themselves.

    It’s a scientific fact that the pre-frontal cortex of the human brain which is sometimes called the judgment center of the brain isn’t fully developed until the early to mid-twenties.

    ”The prefrontal cortex, the part of the frontal lobes lying just behind the forehead, is often referred to as the “CEO of the brain.” This brain region is responsible for cognitive analysis and abstract thought, and the moderation of “correct” behavior in social situations. The prefrontal cortex takes in information from all of the senses and orchestrates thoughts and actions to achieve specific goals. This brain region gives an individual the capacity to exercise “good judgment” when presented with difficult life situations. Brain research indicating that brain development is not complete until near the age of 25, refers specifically to the development of the prefrontal cortex”

    http://www.hhs.gov/opa/familylife/tech_assistance/etraining/adolescent_brain/Development/prefrontal_cortex

    These children might feel different, but this doesn’t mean that they have the mental capacity to make informed decisions. They aren’t even old enough to vote or buy alcohol, but they are supposedly old enough to voluntarily give up their fertility and possibly endanger their health. This is being done to them.

    Wait ten or fifteen years from now and watch the lawsuits pile up over the drugged, damaged, and infertile adults. This is an Orwellian nightmare in the making.

    Reply
  7. sharonredwood

    “attacking innocent trans children in a futile attempt to roll back California’s new protection laws for transgender kids.”

    AB1266 will be rolled back because it is the right thing to do. Or, God forbid, California is split into six different states. Rural counties in California want no part in it. If people in California are all happy, why are there efforts to divide California into six different states? Some counties are so disgusted with Sacramento that they want to form their own state. If this happens, there probably will be more Republican senators and congress persons. The smaller counties will go Republican. Each state has two senators no matter how small it is. I sure as heck don’t want more Republicans in Washington. Are more Republicans in Washington good for the LGBT? No one cares because they shoved through their AB1266 and got what they wanted. The thought of dividing California actually frightens me, but people are fed up with politicians in Sacramento. This cultural divide isn’t going away, especially with things like AB1266 coming from Sacramento.

    Has anyone even read AB1266? I’ve read this horrid piece of legislation.

    California law already prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. No one wants transgender identified students bullied. There are legal remedies and mechanisms in place to address teasing and bullying of transgender students. AB1266 doesn’t even address bullying, teasing, harassment, or discrimination per se. It only deals with access to sex-segregated facilities based on “gender identity” which, by the way, isn’t clearly defined other than how a student identifies at any particular point in time. Female students have a constitutional right to privacy, and AB1266 all but eviscerates protections for female students.

    THIS IS THE REAL AB1266 – ONLY THIRTY-SEVEN WORDS OF POORLY CRAFTED LEGISLATION

    * AB1266 is only thirty-seven words of poorly crafted legislation. There are no guidelines, rules, or standards put in place. It’s a poorly written one size fits all approach to a complex and deeply divisive issue.
    * Under AB1266, no documentation is required. Nothing. Zero. Zilch. Nada. No letter from a therapist saying gender identity is a persistent and deeply held belief is needed.
    * A student doesn’t even have to tell his or her parents.
    * Apparently, students can self-identity at any time. Also, nothing would prevent a student from switching gender identification, or going back to identifying with the sex they were born into. This does occur, and it’s always a possibility.

    FOR THOSE WHO HAVEN’T READ AB1266, THIS IS AB1266. IT AMENDS SECTION 221.5 OF THE EDUCATION CODE THAT WAS HISTORICALLY DESIGNED TO ADDRESS DISCIMINATION BASED ON SEX.

    “(f) A pupil shall be permitted to participate in sex-segregated school programs and activities, including athletic teams and competitions, and use facilities consistent with his or her gender identity, irrespective of the gender listed on the pupil’s records.”

    An act to amend Section 221.5 of the Education Code, relating to pupil rights.

    THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS:

    SECTION 1.

    Section 221.5 of the Education Code is amended to read:

    221.5.

    (a) It is the policy of the state that elementary and secondary school classes and courses, including nonacademic and elective classes and courses, be conducted, without regard to the sex of the pupil enrolled in these classes and courses.
    (b) A school district may not prohibit a pupil from enrolling in any class or course on the basis of the sex of the pupil, except a class subject to Chapter 5.6 (commencing with Section 51930) of Part 28 of Division 4 of Title 2.
    (c) A school district may not require a pupil of one sex to enroll in a particular class or course, unless the same class or course is also required of a pupil of the opposite sex.
    (d) A school counselor, teacher, instructor, administrator, or aide may not, on the basis of the sex of a pupil, offer vocational or school program guidance to a pupil of one sex that is different from that offered to a pupil of the opposite sex or, in counseling a pupil, differentiate career, vocational, or higher education opportunities on the basis of the sex of the pupil counseled. Any school personnel acting in a career counseling or course selection capacity to a pupil shall affirmatively explore with the pupil the possibility of careers, or courses leading to careers, that are nontraditional for that pupil’s sex. The parents or legal guardian of the pupil shall be notified in a general manner at least once in the manner prescribed by Section 48980, in advance of career counseling and course selection commencing with course selection for grade 7 so that they may participate in the counseling sessions and decisions.
    (e) Participation in a particular physical education activity or sport, if required of pupils of one sex, shall be available to pupils of each sex.
    (f) A pupil shall be permitted to participate in sex-segregated school programs and activities, including athletic teams and competitions, and use facilities consistent with his or her gender identity, irrespective of the gender listed on the pupil’s records.

    Again, please note that (a.) through (e.) is what feminists did, and thirty-seven word (f.) requiring NO DOCUMENTATION OF ANY KIND was pushed through by transgender activists.

    Why does AB1266 state, “A pupil shall be permitted to participate in sex-segregated school programs and activities”? SECTION 221.5 (a) through (e) thoroughly covers sex based discrimination (vocational courses, classes, career guidance, higher education opportunities ect.). Girls can take any class they want (carpentry for example) and boys can take classes they want (cooking, or whatever). Transgender identified students can take any class they want. Section 221.5 (a) through (e) is very clear in its intent. What does (f.) mean when it says “sex-segregated school programs and activities? For the purpose of AB1266, what does “facilities” mean? Section 221. 5 (a.) through (e.) covers everything from classes to vocational training and career counseling. What sex-segregated school programs and activities are they talking about? The only sex-segregated things left that (a.) through (e.) doesn’t cover are restrooms and locker rooms because these are assumed to be segregated based on sex. Wouldn’t “facilities” include all facilities such as restrooms and locker rooms? The way that they cleverly dance around this subject is amazing to me. Biological male students (penis, testicles, testosterone, and XY chromosome) will have access to the girl’s restrooms and locker rooms. AB1266 is K-12 (kindergarten through high school). Sixteen year old boys do not belong in the girls’ restroom or locker room, and parents have every reason to be concerned.

    Transgender activists didn’t just eviscerate the privacy rights of female students. They did it by crapping all over Section 221.5 of the Education Code that feminists fought so hard for. They tack (f.) onto what feminists have accomplished. NO DOCUMENTATION OF ANY KIND IS REQUIRED. So, the female sex is screwed twice.

    For all practical purposes, AB1266 appears to erase female as a distinct class of person. Perhaps the most odious form of sex discrimination is the process whereby the female sex is treated as an invisible non-person, lacking in meaningful substance or history. If “gender identity” is the exact same thing as biological sex, then sex is essentially rendered meaningless, irrelevant, devoid of significance, merit, history, or acknowledgement.

    At the same time it amends Section 221.5 which was historically designed to address sex based discrimination, it risks codifying sex based stereotypes into law. Stereotypes based on any inherited or genetic trait such as skin color, physical disability, or biological sexes are offensive.

    When an eleven or twelve year old boy says that he is a “girl”, or identifies as a “girl” what does this mean? He could say that he likes to draw, hates sports, likes wearing the color pink, and enjoys playing with his sister. Does this make him a “girl’, or is he just a boy who enjoys non-traditional play and dress? Isn’t it possible that this male child is really just a boy who prefers activities traditionally associated with girls? He might associate traditional “feminine” behavior with being a “girl”. As we all know, sex based stereotypes also apply to females. For example, girls are supposed to like dolls, dresses, and makeup. Girls who have short hair and prefer building blocks to dolls really can’t be girls. Is the State of California applying the following logic and thought processes to its schools? Society says that girls like X, and I like X, therefore I’m a girl. Our culture says that boys like Y, and I like Y, therefore I’m a boy. Isn’t this sexist on its face? This strikes at the heart of who really is a “girl” and who really is a “boy”, and how society constructs the meaning of “girl” or “boy” and “man” and “woman”. Sex is a biological reality whereas “gender identity” is largely culturally defined.

    There is no logical and consistent way to completely ferret out the “gender identity” from cultural stereotypes of what constitutes socially acceptable masculine and feminine behavior. No matter what the State of California does and doesn’t do, it cannot prove that each and every child who identifies as being of the opposite sex isn’t doing so wholly or partly because of culturally based sex stereotypes.

    Reply
  8. sharonredwood

    “And as for the rest, I guess you haven’t seen the statistics that show trans girls have a greater percentage of sense of inferiority, sexual abuse and denial of education as cis girls here.”

    No such statistics exist that are accurate and aren’t biased.

    We are to believe that males who were raised as males with male socialization “have a greater percentage of sense of inferiority, sexual abuse, and denial of education as cis girls (females) here”.

    Here we go with “cis privilege” again. That is, females have privilege because they are female and not transgender. Forget rape, sexual assault, domestic violence, rampant sexual harassment, and the fact that males are responsible for most violent crime. Females are privileged for being raped and abused.

    http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/jan/23/india-gang-rape-case-sexual-violence

    This is “cis privilege”

    One in five women have been victims of rape or sexual assault.

    This is “cis privilege”

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2610535/Fugitive-killed-Oregon-moveable-dungeon.html

    This is “cis privilege”

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2321264/Cleveland-kidnapping-girl-chained-wall-abductor-like-kind-trophy-kidnap-house.html

    This is “cis privilege”

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/asia/india/9108642/Indian-dowry-deaths-on-the-rise.html

    This is “cis privilege”

    http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/jan/23/india-gang-rape-case-sexual-violence

    This is “cis privilege”

    http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/jan/23/india-gang-rape-case-sexual-violence

    Reply
  9. sharonredwood

    “And since science is catching up it won’t be long until even those few differences are gone. Soon trans women will be able to grow our own uteruses from stem cells.”

    If someone said that they were going to create a black person or Native American in a laboratory, people would be appalled. Since “woman” is something that can be purchased just like any other consumer product or accessory, they are going to make “lady parts” to surgically place in males. Women really need to read to understand exactly how they think. Read it and let it sink it. They really don’t see women or female as a distinct class of persons. The concept is completely foreign to them. “Woman” is something that is essentially created by males. Woman is man made.

    Imagine Frankesteinish, surgically enhanced Stepford Wifes on hormones with custom designed uteri from stem cells. We will just create “women” in a laboratory. It shouldn’t be too hard.

    It’s bad enough that they see no problem sterilizing children through the use of GnRH agonists at age 12 or 13 and cross gender hormones at age 16. Now, they are talking about growing a uterus in a laboratory to be sewn into a biological male. Is he going to grow an entire female reproductive system in a laboratory? This would be quite an accomplishment. A uterus is an actual organ that is part of the entire female reproductive system. The uterus has an actual purpose. It’s where a fetus develops. Why would a biological male want a uterus? Does he plan on getting pregnant? Or, is it just a vanity object to make him “feel like a woman”? How is he going to get pregnant, or does he just plan on incubating a developing fetus? Providing, or course, the fetus survives. Who cares about a fetus anyway when we are talking about his special “lady feelings”. Attempts to transplant a uterus have failed, and some have resulted in death, but who cares. Then, we get to genetics. All the mitochondrial DNA and half the nuclear DNA comes from the mother (think actual biological female). He would be contributing no genetic inheritance. His special lab grown uterus would essentially be a designer object to make him feel “womanly”. There is an actual purpose behind sexual reproduction in that it ensures genetic diversity. I can see using stem cells to replace damaged organs like hearts or livers (things people actually need to live). We are going to use stem cells to create a uterus to put in a biological male to make him feel “feminine”.

    Drugging and sterilizing children and creating a uterus in a laboratory to put in a biological male. This is Frankenstein’s little shop of horrors.

    Reply
  10. lib

    Just curious, not trying to be awful..
    But since you think something needs to be fixed,
    why is it that the body is what needs changing through surgery and hormones, and etc which makes them sterile among other issues. Why is it not the sex dysphoria, the not accepting one’s healthy body as OK just how it is, and the self-loathing of the body that should be changed?

    Reply
  11. lib

    And I dont mean fix the ‘gender dysphoria’, because you can be masculine or feminine and like activities traditionally considered for boys/men or girls/women irregardless of your sex, because gender is oppressive socialisation and non-conforming is essential. I certainly wasnt any of the terrible things society told me about femaleness, thats why I’m a feminist.
    I just mean the ‘sex dysphoria’, the bit that makes trans people hate their own bodies or sexual endowments

    Reply
  12. lib

    before any trans ppl call me transphobic, keep in mind this is likely the only position that believes there’s nothing wrong with you to begin with, that you are perfectly acceptable just the way you were born, that you can have a gender that doesnt match you private parts and thats absolutely fine, because no-one else matches their gender either. We should be free to be us and free to keep our bodies intact unless there is an actual disease in them that needs operating

    Reply
  13. JJ

    This is excellent. Kinda what i’d been hoping would happen. I’m a gay guy who, while i enjoy my effeminate-androgynous style, do not identify as a woman, because i’m not. I just like to express the only thing i’ve ever known. I rejected masculine culture at an early age, largely because the men in my life were usually wankers. But i am male. I don’t like calling myself a man, though realistically i am, but i certainly don’t call myself woman. I used to think i was gender dysphoric, long before i knew what it was called, but really i was just “me dysphoric”. I’m not feminist obviously, but i greatly empathize with this. From a distance and in silence. Maybe that’s just cowardice, but i do believe women should have their space, away from men, and especially some of these sociopaths who masquerade as women, whose motivations i am greatly sceptical of. I have a friend who is “transitioning”, and i know he is an autogynophiliac, i just don’t know how to say it to him. Yes ‘him’. I want to expose him to all of this, because i don’t want him to become yet another keyboard ‘trans-activist’ making disgusting threats to the radfems, over crap he reads online. I know he is a basically moral person, but i don’t know how to go about it. He is MUCH bigger than i am, unempathetic, and frighteningly intelligent. Am i just being a coward? This is the first time i’ve ever typed anything on the internet, and doubtlessly will be the last, but i really do admire this cause. There are men who are secretly cheering you on. Secretly, because i ask for neither approval or forgiveness, i just don’t know how to proceed. Don’t be silenced by the ‘die cis-scum’ monsters, because then everyone loses. Not just humans, but the rest of animal kingdom, indeed the very environment itself. Keep it up.

    Reply

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