Get ready to shit your pants. I’m going to use the word “trans.”

10 Jan

I have resisted commenting on this whole thing for a long time, but I guess I have to do it. Still, I am going to post my thoughts in snippets, since this requires thoughtfulness, subtlety, and some other shit.

I’ve been absent for quite lengthy periods over the course of the last year, which I suppose means I’m not entitled to an opinion on what goes on in the feminist blogosphere, but which is also due in large part to the state of the feminist blogosphere in the last year or so. I’ll readily admit that I’ve never been a voracious blog reader, having barely enough time to read the comments on my own and force a post out of myself every few months in between working, studying, drinking, etc., but I do check in from time to time to find out what’s going on and to seek out new blogs. There are a lot of new blogs. A lot of excellent new blogs. However, I’m a little bewildered by a trend that I noticed emerging over a year ago that seems to have taken over the radical feminist blogging world.

I’ll take a deep breath, prepare myself to be deleted from tens of blogrolls, and say it: why the fuck is everyone so obsessed with “the trans issue”? And why is it that otherwise intelligent, thoughtful, compassionate radical feminists turn into complete assholes when discussing it? Any attempt to approach this issue has at this juncture been rendered nearly pointless by the vitriol and cliquishness that characterize the current state of the discussion of the relationship of transwomen to feminism and to womanhood as a meta category, and that is unfortunate.

Sure, a few asshole transwomen are to blame in part for this state of affairs, but so are a few radical feminists. Since when do people who care about oppression use dehumanizing tactics such as demeaning and belittling people who are trying to fight against their own oppression and trivializing that oppression? Since when is using a snotty, crass word like “twanz” to refer to a member of a group of oppressed human beings considered acceptable behavior for a radical feminist? Referring to transwomen as “men who cut their dicks off,” “twanz,” “she-males,” and whatever other terms are de rigueur among those who call themselves trans-critical radical feminists isn’t clever, it’s gross and embarrassing, and makes all of us look like assholes. I’m aware that there are several trans activists online who use terms just as bad (if not worse) to attack radical feminists, but if trans-critical radical feminists want to claim to be the bigger woman, they need to act like it.

To be continued…

 

122 Responses to “Get ready to shit your pants. I’m going to use the word “trans.””

  1. Miss Andrist January 10, 2012 at 5:25 AM #

    AMEN

    Also, FUCKING FINALLY. <3

    Yeah, there's a certain body of assholery in trans activism. That's like saying there are christians, and then there are evangelicals. Trans as an oppressed group? Is an issue of ableism and access. Trans as an issue of gender binary only highlights and proves in no uncertain terms what we've been screaming about gender != sex. Further discussion, however, amounts to Talking About Men.

    Awesome.

  2. Roxie Moxie January 10, 2012 at 6:03 AM #

    Wow.
    “Twanz”? I’d never read/heard that before, kinda shocked the shit out of me. It sounds horribly offensive and belittling. Self-awareness is so key.

  3. Undercover Punk January 10, 2012 at 6:18 AM #

    9-2, you have every right to an opinion. But given your readership, it would be much more helpful if you included some *feminist ANALYSIS* when you say “trans,” rather than simply criticizing what other women have been doing in your absence. This post is likely to further demonize our community.

    Something like this, maybe:
    I-dentity (aka trans) politics is fundamentally LIBERTARIAN. It is ahistorical and acontextual. It essentializes sex stereotypes by renaming them consensual “gender identities.” It invisibilizes power structures that give rise to female oppression. It is anti-feminist.

  4. Lisa Millbank January 10, 2012 at 6:33 AM #

    As a transsexual woman and radical feminist who blogs, thank you for this post. The issues here are so complicated that they’ll never be addressed through mudslinging. I’ll look forward to reading the others with an open mind!

  5. Immir January 10, 2012 at 7:30 AM #

    “AMEN

    Also, FUCKING FINALLY”

    Agreed. Everytime I get to a page and someone is writing about this I roll my eyes and think ‘this again?!’ and the language and attitudes being expressed are down-right hateful

  6. Boner Killer January 10, 2012 at 8:20 AM #

    ” why the fuck is everyone so obsessed with “the trans issue”? ”

    I was wondering the same thing! Last time I checked, male dominance and men in general oppress women, the LGBT community, the earth, etc. I don’t understand how much of the “conversation” happening about trans folks is not being used in any way that is positive or even constructive. A lot of what I read really upsets me, only because I have no idea why so many people are turning their attention way from the real oppressors and shitting on a small group of people. Thank you so much for this, I’m sure i’ll lose some readers, too!

  7. Boner Killer January 10, 2012 at 8:21 AM #

    Also some of the so-called “constructive discussions” about trans folks ends up with horrible name-calling. That makes me truly sad.

  8. Laix January 10, 2012 at 8:23 AM #

    Rad fems appose trans doctrine because we as fab womon have the right to challenge that which claims to identify as womon when biology clearly supports our view. You want to be another sec fine but invent one of ur own is not an anti view but a valid opinion. By refering to detractors as ‘assholes’ is to sink into a sexist vernacular so often used by men to foreclose on womons right to speech.

  9. Justin January 10, 2012 at 8:47 AM #

    I assume its a function of inhabiting feminism, which requires some measure of questioning and debunking the male archetype to fully absorb. Sometimes this manifests as blanket hatred of all men, whatever their guise. I assume that the same impulses toward equality, morality and respect of one self and others that led the individual to feminism would ultimately lead to the other side of hating on transgender folks if that is where they are currently at. So call it out, but try not to let it get you down. We are all on different paths, and we are all making our way through at our own pace.

  10. wohom January 10, 2012 at 9:05 AM #

    I was off the blogosphere for some time, and when I returned there was much focus on transgenderism on radical feminist blogs. I was, too, extremely confused by the dialogue, much of which is sarcastic and hostile. It’s the kind of verbal exchange that I have a hard time holding with. When I read Strossen’s Defending Pornography, for example, I cringed every time she used the term “McDworkinite,” as if anti-porn activists were sci-fi aliens. I have no use for that kind of dialogue in my own writing, and do find that it undermines conversation on many levels.

    However, I need to understand WHY there is so much sarcasm and hostility. So I’ve been reading outside of the blogosphere–I need to catch up on what I’ve missed. I started with Sheila Jeffrey’s excellent Unpacking Queer Politics. I am now reading Julia Serano’s Whipping Girl. I’ve also spent a lot of time on YouTube looking at “transition” videos, especially videos by young, young kids talking about being “trans,” at an age when no person can possibly know who she is.

    I still have much to learn, consider, observe before I start writing about this more regularly on my own blog. Nevertheless, what I have come to understand is that much of the hostility in the radical feminist movement is because the transgender movement has launched what I have come to think of as the lesbian genocide. Indeed, it’s larger than that. That’s going to dig up more than hostility. This is about survival.

    I’ll have a heck of a lot more opinions on all this when I am more informed.

  11. bugbrennan January 10, 2012 at 9:10 AM #

    Thanks, Undercover Punk, for your feminist comment. What an unfortunate blog post this is.

  12. allecto January 10, 2012 at 9:44 AM #

    Some of us have written quite extensively on why we are ‘so obsessed’. To me it is like asking “why are feminists ‘so obsessed’ with talking about porn?” or “why are feminists ‘so obsessed’ with analysing film and literature?” or male terrorism in the home, or the ubiquitous princessification of girls etc etc.

    Why are we so obsessed? Because these men harm women. Lesbians and separatists in particular. They actively harm us with death threats and ostracisation of our work and analysis. They actively harm us through intruding on our spaces, suing our organisations etc.

    http://radicalhub.com/2011/10/10/sister-space-under-threat/

  13. hall-of-rage January 10, 2012 at 9:59 AM #

    Hey Nine Deuce, (I’m usually GXB here)
    Thank you. Whatever opinions you might hold about trans women or men, thank you for not being just like so many other radical feminist bloggers. I feel sick reading dehumanizing posts, whose aim is at people close to me.

  14. Noanodyne January 10, 2012 at 11:05 AM #

    How unfortunate to boil radical feminist critique of trans* down to emotion-laden concepts such as “dehumanizing tactics,” “demeaning and belittling,” and “gross and embarrassing.” In fact, many radical feminist (and other) bloggers have developed well-reasoned and cogently-argued critiques in the last few years. If these arguments do not hold water, or if they are missing some fundamental element that is core to feminist analysis, then that is the task of other feminist writers to address. Tying them all up with the hate/phobia ribbon and tossing them aside is not only unfair to these feminists (of which there are now dozens who are making these critiques — not a handful of fringers), but smacks of outright fear of the truth. Yes, some of these women are mad as hell because there is yet another derail of our work toward liberation. Whatever you believe, I invite you and your readers to actually read and consider those critiques that are articulate and based in true feminist analysis by following the links on this page: http://noanodyne.com/pro-faab-womens-lib/

    If our arguments are faulty, fine, engage in real debate based in real analysis. But all the fear-mongering says way more about those engaged in that than it does about our arguments. I look forward to continuing dialogue among feminists on this issue.

  15. delphyne January 10, 2012 at 12:36 PM #

    Is this really what inspired you to post Nine Deuce, a couple of weeks after it was revealed that a male “feminist” blogger attempted to murder a woman, and the lib fems are doing nothing about it? No bannings, no comment from any of his liberal feminist colleagues, just a white out, hoping it will go away.

    I got banned from lib fem blog Feministe for “transphobia”, when I was calling liberal feminists out for the fact that they have promoted and allied with this man, despite the fact they knew he’d sexually exploited his young female students. Now they know about his crime they still won’t ban him – radical feminists on the other hand, disappeared from their blogs.

    This post of yours seems to be part of that whole context of the attempted erasure of radical feminism. Twisty is linking to a trans “radical feminist” today too.

  16. GallusMag January 10, 2012 at 12:49 PM #

    “I have not said that I don’t agree with radical feminist analysis of trans politics..”

    That’s interesting because you explicitly stated that you disagreed with that analysis as presented in UP’s comment quoted below:

    “I-dentity (aka trans) politics is fundamentally LIBERTARIAN. It is ahistorical and acontextual. It essentializes sex stereotypes by renaming them consensual “gender identities.” It invisibilizes power structures that give rise to female oppression. It is anti-feminist.”

    However you have now deleted your comments.

    This is essentially a troll post, stating basically nothing, from someone who knows nothing about what she is commenting on, forcing women to take the time to explain things to you that you were too lazy to research yourself.
    Must be good for the stat counter though, eh?

  17. GallusMag January 10, 2012 at 1:09 PM #

    “I don’t understand why women are upset but the important thing is that they keep sweet.”

    Thats what I learned from this post.

  18. sipiy January 10, 2012 at 1:36 PM #

    Stumpin’ for the Man-chine.

  19. Merideth January 10, 2012 at 1:44 PM #

    @undercover punk and others

    Actually, trans identity is anything but ahistorical. There are dozens and probably hundreds of examples of transgender identity in both historical and current cultures. Gender identity outside of the American/Western gender binary is not acontextual but is rather situated within a culture’s constructs of gender. In many cultures people of third or other genders are common and considered quite normal. If you don’t believe me, try reading an anthropology 101 textbook, or reading the Bible (where there are 6 genders), or talking to someone who is not from your country, or talking to a few transgender people…

    Some individual trans people might be anti-feminist, but trans identity in and of itself is not antifeminist at all! Because the goals of feminism, LGB activism, and trans activism challenge the prescribed gender roles of our societies, these causes are necessarily tied together. Consider, for instance, how misogyny is ultimately at the root of both homophobia and transphobia.

    I don’t understand what justice is served when transphobic feminists respond to criticism of their transphobia with essentialized views of the gender binary. If you want to challenge patriarchy, why do you reinforce patriarchy’s binary dominant/submissive gender system with ethnocentric and biologically incorrect definitions of gender and sex?

    Maybe y’all might try including some *reality ANALYSIS* in your next comments.

    P.S. What’s with the “I-dentity” thing? Are you trying to say that people who are transgender are so absorbed in the idea of their individual views of gender that trans people are basically the same as selfish, self-obsessed libertarians? Isn’t that analogous to saying “feminazis” are so absorbed in the idea of forcing their view of women as better than men on all the rest of us that feminists are basically the same as fascist, oppressive dictators like Hitler? Seriously, am I understanding you correctly here? Because it sounds like you don’t actually know what the word “transgender” means.

    P.P.S. If you don’t want to be called an asshole, don’t act like one :)

  20. OutsideLookingOver January 10, 2012 at 2:47 PM #

    As a trans-woman who doesn’t have the gift of vocabulary you all do but living inside of the issue I can offer my perspective on this. I’ve been an enthusiastic reader of these pages, with my life-experiences and observations fully validating Nine-Deuce’s – and others’ – assertations about the state of women’s rights and, well, status in society. This is a society that was designed for men by men and which status is protected by men. All the MRA rubbish that is being published does not mesh with what is statistically true about the evidence that male entitlement and privilege continues to trample on the rights of women. My observations as clinician (RN) bear out those statistics rather than what men are saying.

    But I was male-born. Regardless of my ideologies or who I identify with, my instincts and behaviour and – blush to even think of it – past was/is that of an entitled person. Oh, I work at it sedulously, but the fact remains, it’s a mindset to contend with.
    Just because I say I indentify with women and focus my life and thoughts on understanding and being a woman, doesn’t really *make* me a woman. That’s right there with saying I want to be 6 inches shorter. One of my workmates was telling me what it was like being pregnant – I was terribly envious of the entire experience, not because it sounded appealing (her pregnancy wasn’t an easy one) but because of what all that would mean, being a mother and how that changes you – and she looked at me and with a wry smile said: “oh, it’s not all that glamorous.”
    Which is a motivator so many trans-people M-F go into transitioning with. I’m not saying all. But really, because males are entitled, males are blind. They have no clue. We have no clue. I have no clue.
    But I am learning.

    But by the same token I so seriously don’t blame genetic women for feeling a bit of disgust. Males have no idea about what it means to be female, they have this little idea in their heads which doesn’t have any bearing on reality. They continue to live their entitled lives even as they transition. This might be pure guessing, but I wonder if part of the reason the suicide rate is so high among trans-women is because they realise that 1) their goal is actually not attainable and 2) they’ve sacrificed much more than they thought they would have done: they’ve lost that privilege.

    I’m in that grey-area state. I get the side-long looks, the giggles, the social-leper tag. I KNOW I’ll never be accepted by women as one of them and I’ve voluntarily distanced myself from anything remotely appearing male.The only aspect of my life that I’m in synch with is my body finally *somewhat* matches my head. Most of society has an issue with what they see.
    But I have no issue at all with women not wanting to accept me as one of them. I so seriously do not blame them. The more I’ve learned, the more this holds true.

    No, I don’t have the benefit of psychological evaluations or psychiatric assessments – I did have to see a psychiatrist before they allowed be to have hormones, but that was all very token with a quick resolution as key objective – so all this is just based on what I see and come to understand. I do hope it sort-of helps, though.

  21. Sneeky Bunny January 10, 2012 at 3:02 PM #

    Amen, amen, AMEN! Seriously. The shit storm on I Blame the Patriarchy was astonishing.

  22. isme January 10, 2012 at 3:21 PM #

    “Since when do people who care about oppression use dehumanizing tactics such as demeaning and belittling people who are trying to fight against their own oppression and trivializing that oppression?”

    Argh, yes. Not talking specifically about trans issues, but that is one of the terrible failures of social activism.

    Currently it’s an actual legitimate argument for being wary of feminism (or at least, feminists, which isn’t quite the same thing), that it is the struggle towards equality for certain types of women, and that the others are expected to support it when needed and quietly sit in the background and keep quiet otherwise.

    Now, I’m not, of course, saying this is true of feminism as a whole (feminism as a single monolithic entity existing only in the fears of MRAs), but there’s so many people who say they support women’s right to equality, but stopped considering themselves feminists because the feminists they know went out of their way not to support their right to equality in return.

  23. Mary Sunshine January 10, 2012 at 3:31 PM #

    I agree with Gallus that this is essentially a troll post. It’s also a radfem-baiting and dykebaiting post.

    Not taking the bait here.

    Bye!

  24. Rusty January 10, 2012 at 4:52 PM #

    I heard an interview with Sheila Jeffreys recently in which she talked about radical feminism and trans-critical theory. There was one sort of throw-away statement she made that really stuck with me for some reason. She said “There are quite a lot of radical feminist blogs that are not only being very critical of transgenderism but even, dare I say it, laughing at it, which is a very very naughty thing to do, but sometimes the oppressed and the subordinate have to laugh at the dominant idealogies that oppress them.”

    I have these awful moments when I read about radical feminists being silenced and threatened and banned and generally demonized that I become genuinely frightened, sometimes nearly to a state of panic, about the future of feminism and women in particular. I do feel like transgender theory is a dominant idealolgy that, if not true currently, is most certainly on the track towards creating a more oppressive, difficult world for women. Among other things, womens’ voices, our experiences, our biological realities being increasingly dismissed as cis-centric, and therefore worthless. Womens’ spaces being deemed cis-sexist, and therefore no longer allowed to exist. So many of the ways in which women love and support each other in a male-dominated culture are intensley under fire, and honestly, it scares the shit out of me. Enough to make me say snide and assholey things sometimes.

    I guess I just wanted to point out that the tone you’re talking about – the ridicule, the rudeness – while I get why you think it’s unproductive, it also seems to me like an understandable radical feminist response to what feels like a very real threat to women.

    • Nine Deuce January 10, 2012 at 7:53 PM #

      Rusty – I get all of that and don’t disagree with much of it, but the language being used goes beyond being “naughty.” It’s not OK to use slurs against oppressed people, even if one is a member of an oppressed group. I suppose I fucked up by only posting the first bit of this without explaining where I stand on the whole thing other than the bit about not liking the terms in which it’s being discussed. I did not set out to attack radfems, I set out to express my disappointment in language and tactics that are beneath radical feminists. We’ll see whether everyone wants to revoke my radfem card once I’ve posted the rest.

  25. thebewilderness January 10, 2012 at 8:02 PM #

    It isn’t that complicated, really. Activists have been attempting to change the laws in the UK and the US, as well as the UN positions, to remove sex as a defining characteristic and replace it with gender. The ramifications of this would affect women in numerous ways that would make their difficult lives even more difficult.
    Trans activists are, for the most part, mens rights activists. They are pursuing their agenda, as they have every right to do. So are feminists.
    As far as why some people use mockery and sneering derogatory language when speaking of another group of people, you know why. So do we all. The history books are full of “how to” on the matter of demonization.

  26. FCM January 10, 2012 at 8:23 PM #

    language and tactics? why dont you just say that we didnt ask nicely enough. but seriously, is it the message or the delivery that bothers you? because you dont get into the message here at all. and whatever anyone thinks about the “delivery” is their fucking issue, and quite cliche to tell women we arent being nice enough, and feminists that we are being hateful and shrill about it.

    here is *part* of MY issue with it. medicalization of trans (particularly SRS) wouldnt exist if doctors (and transwomen) didnt believe that womens vaginas were just fuckholes for men to penetrate with their dicks. rather than ORGANS that female humans have. organs. like heart and lungs are organs.

    and all of this is built on and dependant on rape-culture ideology, which means that transwomen have something (if not everything) TO GAIN from rape culture. namely, their fake fuckholes. illustrations within.

    http://factcheckme.wordpress.com/2010/07/16/rape-culture-birthed-the-neovag/

    • Nine Deuce January 10, 2012 at 9:38 PM #

      Come on, FCM. You are well aware that I am not in the practice of expecting women to “play nice” when criticizing male supremacy. It’s not a matter of niceness, it’s a matter of the message and analysis being lost among the slurs and circle jerk of snottiness. I’ll get to the message in later posts as I have said I would. I posted this part first because it’s what prompted me to even write about this in the first place.

  27. Nobody Important January 10, 2012 at 8:37 PM #

    I see the bullies have showed up to shame you into compliance. Who needs men when we have radfem bullies?

  28. Rebecca January 10, 2012 at 9:07 PM #

    9-2, I fully agree with you about the tone and nastiness. Thanks for this post and I look forward to the rest.

  29. Fede January 10, 2012 at 9:38 PM #

    I don’t know how to talk about this issue. ‘Trans debates’ are – without any exceptions that I know of – horrible. Is there any way to say anything that won’t be offensive to somebody one does not want to offend?
    I do understand Rusty’s point about FAAB women’s realities being dismissed as cis-centric if they want to create spaces that only include FAAB women and not transwomen. I do think that’s a genuine threat, and I whole-heartedly believe in FAAB women’s right to create such spaces. Whatever we need to feel as safe as possible.
    That said, I don’t see how I can say this to a MAAB sister and expect that exclusion to not be fucking hurtful and offensive to her. I don’t see any way around that. For myself, I can say that I feel safe in women’s spaces that include transwomen.
    Maleness assigned at birth does not make me feel threatened (and/or hostile). The wielding of male privilege does. I know people who feel that in a patriarchy such as this, the two cannot ever be completely separated. I sort of get their point; there’s little chance that a MAAB and a FAAB will have had very comparable early lives in this sexist society. So no, we don’t start out the same, and maybe we can never be entirely in the same boat.
    I don’t agree, however, that transwomen generally wield male privilege. In fact, I can think of nothing that would quite so effectively strip a person of their male privilege as transitioning.

    I also gotta say – and this is where I thank Nine Deuce humbly for this post – that if I ever saw anyone treating my RL friend, or you, OutsideLookingOver, the way I have seen some transwomen get treated in radical feminist spaces (“twanz”?), I would have to eat their heart in the marketplace.

  30. isme January 10, 2012 at 10:53 PM #

    “I don’t know how to talk about this issue. ‘Trans debates’ are – without any exceptions that I know of – horrible. Is there any way to say anything that won’t be offensive to somebody one does not want to offend?”

    I know what you mean. I find myself strongly agreeing with the idea of keeping seperate spaces free from intrusion, but also strongly agree that people shouldn’t be excluded.

  31. sipiy January 10, 2012 at 11:02 PM #

    Bullying is running a rape crisis centre into years of debt, a rape crisis centre that says no, our clients don’t want to be counseled by a male. Bullying is what men do to women, when women say NO. Bullying is what Kimberly Nixon a Male in a dress did to women who refused to accommodate his demand DEMAND to counsel raped women.

    Bullying is putting Vancouver Rape Relief into debt over 15 + years. Bullying is women volunteers having to take time away from women’s needs, to deal with the demands of a male bully, and finally, bullying is having to pay the MALE bully from the money other women working McJobs donated to the rape crisis centre, while the MALE bully lives high on a MALE pilot’s salary. A job until recently, a woman didn’t have a hope in hell of getting or any other job that pays what a MALE BULLY earns.

    http://www.rapereliefshelter.bc.ca/learn/resources/chronology-events-kimberly-nixon-vs-vancouver-rape-relief-society

  32. Feminist at Sea January 11, 2012 at 12:15 AM #

    I used to be in a similar position you currently find yourself in, Nine Deuce. Trans-people do face violence, because of being trans, and I figured that since we shared some common ground discussion about possible descrenpancies in arguments about trans-expression and identity would be possible. After all I learned and formed my radical feminist views while discussing them with other feminists.

    But I also felt distictly uneasy about some of the things being said regarding transphobia and trans-identity. When I tried to discuss them on a liberal feminist forum, that was HarrietJ’s forum, where I was a moderator, I quickly got labeled transphobic and was told that I was not allowed to question these views at all, merely to unconditionally except them in order to set myself apart from trans-phobes. I didn’t agree and decided I didn’t want to stay on that forum, but I was unable to delete my own account via the user-panel so I went into the admin panel to delete my account.

    This caused a big stir, despite the fact that I had already said I wouldn’t be modding the discussion, because it involved myself and I hadn’t done all of a sudden I was considered the rogue mod. I really had it. I told them to delete my account and haven’t been back since.

    So, I want to invite you to try it. So far you have only expressed your opinion about the way others have expressed theirs. I’d say try it for yourself and see what happens. I am just giving you a heads up. I think your status is currently that of trans-ally, but that will change the second you express any doubts the opinions held by trans-people and their allies.

  33. delphyne January 11, 2012 at 4:01 AM #

    Hang on, you called rad fems assholes in your post and now you’re complaining about snottiness Nine Deuce. How does that work exactly?

    I’d still like to know why it was *this* that is exercised you enough to write rather than the Schwyzer episode. You haven’t said.

    “trans-critical radical feminists”

    BTW, no qualifier is required here. Radical feminism is by its nature critical of the institution of trans, as it is all male supremacist institutions. I don’t know if you think there is another kind of radical feminism but there isn’t. There have been a few interlopers recently in the blogging world claiming to be radical feminists, but they seem to be using it as a USP rather than anything politically specific or coherent. They certainly don’t refer back to the actual radical feminist movement, but rather come across as a lib fem’s idea of what a radical might be like.

    If we’re talking about circle jerks – you, Violet Socks and Twisty all coming up with variations on the same theme a week after the trans debacle the Feministe, sure looks like you’re working in concert. Coincidence I’m sure.

  34. Mark January 11, 2012 at 7:19 AM #

    “Since when do people who care about oppression use dehumanizing tactics such as demeaning and belittling people who are trying to fight against their own oppression and trivializing that oppression?”

    Since when have the strong(er) dominated the weak(er)? Since the beginning of life on Earth, I’d imagine.

  35. FCM January 11, 2012 at 2:43 PM #

    MRAs and misogynists come in all shapes and sizes 9/2. some of them are members of oppressed male classes, and are oppressed by other men. it wont stop me from calling them all MRAs and misogynists, or even son-of-a-dick fucking shitbags if it ever strikes me to do so. what exactly would stop *you* from calling an MRA what he is?

    • Nine Deuce January 11, 2012 at 4:14 PM #

      The difference between “asshole” and “twanz” ought to be obvious to just about anyone.

  36. FCM January 11, 2012 at 2:54 PM #

    its also not exactly accurate to say that trans are oppressed, or more specifically, that they are oppressed as a class, is it? who exactly is a member of that class? even they dont seem to be able to answer that one. in places where they are legally protected as a class, its a complicated legal definition that even they dont agree on, and its only a legal class bc someone says it is and writes it that way. there are no obvious, objective criteria for this “class” like there are for other classes of people.

    if they arent a class, and i dont think they are, can one even be “oppressed” on an individual basis? on the basis of what, exactly? this entire thing is such bull. if you think this is not exactly the same as telling feminists they can call out MRAs who wear yellow but not ones who wear blue, then explain to me *how* its different.

    • Nine Deuce January 11, 2012 at 5:00 PM #

      FCM – I will have more to say on this in the remainder posts, but is it really helpful to radical feminist theory to lump trans and MRAs together? I understand your rhetorical strategy in calling trans activists MRAs, but even if one does view trans activists as enemies of radical feminism, don’t they need to be confronted in a way that can be distinguished from the approach to the MRA problem?

  37. Noanodyne January 11, 2012 at 2:56 PM #

    Thank god Mark is here to help us reach the bottom line:
    “Since when have the strong(er) dominated the weak(er)? Since the beginning of life on Earth, I’d imagine.”

    Yes, that’s exactly the radical feminist position — males have been dominating females since forever. And we seek an end to that domination. You’ll have to excuse us when we get loud and obnoxious — we’ve been getting really stressed out about how little distance we’ve covered since “feminism” became a political movement. We work on all kinds of issues that remind us by the minute every day that females are the lowest creature on the planet. There seems to be nothing that is too disgusting or too dehumanizing for men when it comes to women. Our argument against the trans movement is the same as our argument against prostitution, pornography, and heteronormativity: It forces “women” into a class based on “gender” which class can then be held down forever by the class known as “men.”

  38. OutsideLookingOver January 11, 2012 at 3:30 PM #

    Read the article in your link on the Vancouver Rape Relief. I am not surprised. By what rights does this Kimberly person think “HE” has any rights – or have any sort of understanding of – counseling female rape victims? This is indeed another case of a male bullying women.

    Being there has made it clear: trans… doesn’t. You’re still male. And all other issues still apply. Get on a trans site, a forum. What do they talk about? “Appearing” female. Like it’s a big delusion, a huge disguise, an effort to trick society. It’s male mindset. And it’s a complete insult to women… it makes a mockery of that entire gender.

    I’m not trans by choice. I hate my maleness, but now I have a far more accurate target of what I actually hate. And it’s not my body. That’s just an innocent bystander.

  39. ibleedpurple January 11, 2012 at 4:01 PM #

    Actually, trans identity is anything but ahistorical. There are dozens and probably hundreds of examples of transgender identity in both historical and current cultures. Gender identity outside of the American/Western gender binary is not acontextual but is rather situated within a culture’s constructs of gender. In many cultures people of third or other genders are common and considered quite normal. If you don’t believe me, try reading an anthropology 101 textbook, or reading the Bible (where there are 6 genders), or talking to someone who is not from your country, or talking to a few transgender people…

    Well, trans needs a binary system to exist. No, let me correct it: trans needs a system of a particular number of boxes which allows individuals to be sorted according to relative amounts of conformism with sex role behaviour. And most revealingly, societies with “more” than two genders do not become more friendly towards their female inhabitants. I mean: India, Iran, Thailand?

    Third genders have a very important function in societies which are based on binary systems. To offer roles to non-conforming members. This is a very humane way to deal with those who are seen as deviating from norms. And I am pretty sure that no surgery is neccessary. As everyone knows other societies deal differently with gender non-conformers. Shunning, violence, rape, murder. I would say that such mechanisms of social punishment are more common in societies which are very large like modern nation-states, particulary those with an ideology which is rigid and dogmatic, e.g. Roman Catholicism. Cultures do not construct gender roles because they feel like doing it. Roles are functions seeing as the first is defined by the latter. They exist because they have a certain function.

    This would be a very fascinating thing to research. But I would have to pretend that trans is actually not natural but constructed. Watch my options in life disappear, lol.

    _____

    Nine Deuce, I would not delete you from my blogroll if I had one. But please take note of the fact that there is no strong opposition within the trans movement to the medicalization and pathologization of gender non-conforming children as trans. In fact, homophobic parents who have driven their children to refuse their born sex with their relentless sexism find a safe haven in the trans movement which seems to be largely uncritical towards the motivation of identifying as the opposite sex role. There is no empirical evidence for the assumption that children have a fixed gender identity. I am not supportive of a community which doesn’t shun individuals who think that children should be declared trans so that adults can prove the fixedness of their identity.

  40. No Sugarcoating January 11, 2012 at 4:42 PM #

    I can’t wait to read the next part, and the ensuing discussion. This is one of the only feminist spaces where both staunch trans-allies and anti-transgenderism feminists congregate. So, here’s hoping for a productive discussion. For sure, it’ll be painful, but I think it’s better that everybody talks it out earnestly instead of just avoiding the elephant in the room. Nothing changes that way.

  41. Boner Killer January 11, 2012 at 6:26 PM #

    Sunshine, you said ” agree with Gallus that this is essentially a troll post. It’s also a radfem-baiting and dykebaiting post.” how is this a troll post???

  42. m Andrea January 11, 2012 at 7:36 PM #

    It’s not a matter of niceness, it’s a matter of the message and analysis being lost among the slurs and circle jerk of snottiness.

    I had a feeling that’s what you actually intended — and I agree with you. Unfortunately the post in it’s entirety only echos the same tired refrain we always hear from patriarchy: angry women need to sit down, shut up and SMILE POLITELY when we object to sexism. Not only did this post “lack nuance” but it completely missed clarifying any point at all and segued right into male supremacy tactics. Do you not notice that the behavior of the transgendered are ten times worse than any radical feminist has ever been?

    For years now some of them have been hacking into private forums, deleting accounts, leaving thousands of messages such as “cunt whore bitch spread your legs so I can gang rape you”, impersonating radfems on Facebook in a deliberate effort to gain identifying information so that they can then stalk and harass women in our homes and places of work while threatening to rape us until we’re dead. All that routine violence, but you’re more concerned when somebody types “twanzie” on a keyboard.

    If you’re concerned about “civility” then I suggest you notice precisely who is doing the most damage by far. Until then, this post sounds like a male supremacist trying to refocus everyone’s attention FROM our actual objections and TOWARDS how sad you feel when you hear of our objections.

    The REASON I because frustrated with trans SEVEN YEARS AGO was because they consistently failed to address the actual radfem objection to the transgenderism ideology, and since then have improved not one iota. If they want to be taken seriously then they need to (1) address the actual objections instead of crying about (2) how they feel about those objections. But they never have, and so one appropriate response to idiots is indeed ridicule.

    And now they’re crying how sad they feel when they’re ridiculed. Hey, newsflash, try addressing the actual criticism.

    However I’ve been thinking that some newbies late to the debate have no idea of that (relatively) long history and, due to their male-centric conditioning, only notice the (mild) disrespect expressed by the occasional radfem while remaining completely oblivious to the large amount of violence routinely expressed by the trans community on a regular basis. I personally believe that some newbies require the theoretical objections to transgenderism be clearly delineated without rancor at this point in time, in a way which soothes their insecurities and diffuses their knee-jerk responses which quite predictably will accompany any challenge to their unrecognized male supremacy. Which is quite a bit different message than “oh gosh all radfems are rude”.

    Upon further reflection, this post was seriously disappointing, almost as if you actively desired to make plain your redundancy. If you cannot express accurate comprehension of some subject, then why do you assume you are entitled to declare one half of it to be “the problem” and then further entitled to expound on a solution? You could have made a post entitled “hey what’s up radfems why are you so rude?” or “hey radfems have you thought about xyz”? Which would have resulted in a CONVERSATION. Instead, you preferred to exhibit all the class of any patronizing mansplaining asshole.

  43. Boner Killer January 11, 2012 at 7:45 PM #

    Nine Deuce, I am making a post in response to this, hope you can check it out.

  44. thebewilderness January 11, 2012 at 8:48 PM #

    Mens Rights Activists and Trans Activists have common goals. A trans person is not necessarily an MRA, but Trans Activists certainly make it clear that they are. Why do you doubt them?

  45. m Andrea January 11, 2012 at 11:38 PM #

    “Since when do people who care about oppression use dehumanizing tactics such as demeaning and belittling people who are trying to fight against their own oppression and trivializing that oppression?”

    Please notice that while the right to be considered equal to the default human is a valid civil right, the desire to be a stereotype is not.

    Gay dudes do not fight for the right to be treated as a stereotype, but if that were indeed their battle cry I’m not sure how feminists would actually respond. Would we tell them that they’ve internalized some pretty serious misconceptions about gay men and they need a big dose of self-esteem? Or would we say that yes, they do deserve to be treated as a stereotype?

    The right to be a stereotype is not a civil right, therefore the desire to be a stereotype is not a valid oppression.

    And as soon as class woman stopped being stereotyped, then nobody would feel the urge to transition and nobody would feel as if there was anything wrong with a man who wears dresses or whatever else they want to do. They’d just be a man who wants to do whatever, and does it, in the body he was born with.

    So it is the presence of transgenderism which correlates to sexism. Of course transgenderism as been around forever — so has sexism. But as somebody else said, you can’t fight sexism with more sexism. I’m supposed to look at sexism and be happy? what? Please don’t mistake me for one of those women who are hiding under the feminist label because she’s too humiliated to be found wallowing in her own capitulation.

    Right now, somewhere else, you’ll be thrilled to know that I am engaged in one of those respectful conversation about transgenderism which you cherish so much, this time with a group of sincerely nice women who might as well be Every Woman. Never have I seen a group of women more politely sticking their fingers in their ears and humming la-la-la-not-me. After a few days of this totally blissed-out respectful trans convo, it’s obvious to me that in their own souls they already have capitulated to second-class status and have zero desire to do anything else. They’re resigned and happy decorating their cages as long as that cage is not too confining. They literally don’t want to know how deep the sexism goes and I’m beginning to suspect that a “revolution” will not happen to most women willingly.

  46. Heather Valentine January 12, 2012 at 12:50 AM #

    While I will not attempt to flash my credentials, since they are small and limited, I will say that I sometimes fall into the angst-ridden lesbian group struggling to include the trans-gendered or gender-confused in our ranks.

    Logically I cannot explain it. I know that gender can be confusing. I know that it is not cut and dry. Yet when my ex-sister-in-law partnered with a lesbian a few years back and this woman recently began to call herself a “he” and demand that the kids call her “daddy,” it just felt wrong. It seemed dishonest. I could not read any authenticity in these actions. How do you rise to the front of the local lesbian scene and become the “it” couple only to later become a heterosexual couple? Isn’t that selling out on some level?

  47. doublevez January 12, 2012 at 2:10 AM #

    Maybe read here before you continue your posts, NINE.

    http://gendertrender.wordpress.com/2012/01/12/casebeer-roberts-bill-introduced-in-maryland/#comment-6054

  48. Feminist at Sea January 12, 2012 at 2:33 AM #

    “Thank god Mark is here to help us reach the bottom line:
    “Since when have the strong(er) dominated the weak(er)? Since the beginning of life on Earth, I’d imagine.”

    Yes, that’s exactly the radical feminist position — males have been dominating females since forever. And we seek an end to that domination.”

    Actually, Noandodyne, I don’t necessarily agree with that, human history is littered with examples where physical strentgh made absolutely no difference in whether or not people belong to an oppressed class. If you only look at the millenia of slavery, than you will see that within any patriarchal system it’s possibly to oppress people, no if many in the oppressed class are physically weaker, than those they oppress. The same goes for many animals. Animals living in groups have a culture too and it is not nearly always the males being boss, whether they are actually stronger or not.

    The human race is nearly a million years old, but the culture of civilization, and women’s oppression within it, is only a few millenia old.

  49. Nine Deuce January 12, 2012 at 2:42 AM #

    Re: Hugo Schwyzer: I have always ignored him, as all feminists should, and will continue to do so.

  50. delphyne January 12, 2012 at 5:23 AM #

    Well that’s your problem Nine Deuce, all feminists don’t ignore him, they help him with his career and platform. Instead of having a go at a man who does deserve your opprobrium – he tried to kill a woman after all – or his supporters, the ones who have given him a warm welcome into the heart of feminism, you’re going after radical feminists instead.

    It is easier taking on other women though isn’t it?

    Does the link to the proposed new law in Maryland, give you any second thoughts about who truly needs to be reminded about civility?

    • Nine Deuce January 12, 2012 at 5:27 AM #

      Delphyne – Why aren’t you over at Hugo’s place?

  51. Sugarpuss January 12, 2012 at 5:42 AM #

    Well played, 92. Nothing boosts RadFem blog traffic quite like Transgate.

    You know…there was a time when I used to (half-jokingly) refer to myself as “a gay man trapped in a woman’s body”. This was the explanation I offered to gender-conforming idiots who couldn’t quite wrap their brains around the idea that a woman could reject traditional, ultra-feminine crap and be sexually attracted to men. As much as I enjoyed fucking with people’s heads by making such a claim, there was also a part of me that really began to believe that I was somehow defective. Needless to say, it is precisely this type of mentality that the medical establishment preys upon….which has birthed the hot mess known as “transgender”.

    Is there something wrong with me? HELL NO. Am I a man just because I find most female clothing to be incredibly uncomfortable? NO. Does the fact that I built my custom PC from scratch (brag, brag :P) mean that I know what it feels like to be a man (because such behavior is generally associated with males)? NO. If I engage in other stereotypical male behaviors…like guzzling beer till it rolls down my chin (I hate beer, but let’s pretend for the sake of argument), does that mean that I now possess a magical, invisible penis…and that I can toootally identify with being a male-born person? OF COURSE NOT.

    Biology is what it is. I am undeniably Female. I only thought there was something wrong with me because The P has that wonderful way of trying to force a square peg into a round hole. The problem with many “transwomen” is that they are blindly parroting patriarchy-enforced femininity, and feel that this somehow makes them experts on the topic of The Female Experience. Unless one is born with Female genitalia, they will never fully understand what it is like to live life as a Woman. They have never been the girl who is told that menstruation makes her “dirty”. They have never been the child bride, ravaged by her adult husband. They never have to worry about being impregnated by a rapist, and being denied access to an abortion. These experiences are uniquely Female. A dress & a tube of lipstick has shit-all to do with “feeling like a woman”.

    Unlike “transwomen”, Females are born into this hell. We didn’t get the super-special privilege of choice; plunking down a hefty some of ching-ching for sexual reassignment surgery. The fact that these dudes (usually middle-class & white) can even afford such a thing is very telling. Disadvantaged? Hardly. At best, these men are simply products of gender-norm brainwashing. At worst, they are misogynistic fetishists with an incurable case of Vagina Envy.

    And THAT is real talk, Sugarpuss style. :)

    • Nine Deuce January 12, 2012 at 5:53 AM #

      Sugarpuss — I am REAL bummed that you think that was my goal.

  52. delphyne January 12, 2012 at 6:08 AM #

    I was at Feministe saying Schwyzer should be in prison for his crime, asking why Feministe hadn’t banned him, why lib fems had promoted him despite their knowledge of his sexual exploitation of young women, and pointing out that radical feminists had had a clear view of who Hugo Schwyzer was for years, a view that was ignored because of our perceived “transphobia” – the excuse that they have consistently used to pretend that we and our arguments don’t even exist. I got banned for “transphobia” (read the thread if you want to see exactly how offensive or otherwise my comments were) and my views prompted an outpouring of bile and contempt. Hugo posting on the same thread did not receive that reception.

    I posted where I could politically be most effective, so don’t try and put this back on to me.

    In case it’s not clear what I’m saying – the admission of Hugo the attempted woman killer and exploiter of young women to feminism is *political*. It needs to be challenged, because it represents a danger to women. Your idea that some rad fems are “acting like assholes”, not so much. But it does cause an internet fight.

  53. -b January 12, 2012 at 6:19 AM #

    At least SOMEbody’s doing something constructive. Sorry to cut into your riveting men-focused discussions by posting her thoughts. It’s okay though, did we ever expect other self-proclaimed radical feminists to take a woman seriously or demonstrate respect? And hey, somebody might click on your name, if you’re caustic enough. Clever!

  54. delphyne January 12, 2012 at 8:37 AM #

    I’d have thought supporting trans was pretty much the definition of men-focussed. At least radical feminists keep males out of our spaces.

    Who do you think is being disrepectful -b? Nine Deuce telling rad fems that they look like assholes? I don’t think anybody has responded in kind.

  55. deepika January 12, 2012 at 10:43 AM #

    from the OP: “but if trans-critical radical feminists want to claim to be the bigger woman, they need to act like it.”

    wellbutsee – they’re claiming to be THE women. not the bigger/smaller/meaner/nicer women. just – the women. actual WOMEN. with different bodies and needs and rights and life experiences than trans women. which the trans activists are denying and denying and denying in often violent and threatening ways. are the radfems not allowed to yell back? it’s like telling a woman being assaulted to be polite because the assaulter is also poor/traumatized/oppressed by society.

    why on earth should they have to be the “bigger” person in all of this? they are human just as much as everyone else, as much as – dare i say it – trans women. and for radfems, there is no need to “act” like women at all…

    if you had used that same philosophy of being the bigger woman guiding all your posts we may never have witnessed the raging brilliance that was your “why i hate men” post. and i’d never have turned from funfem towards radfem.

    personally – i agree that it’s always better to avoid using demeaning, insulting language as that almost always detracts from the actual (and in this case, very important) message. however, my sympathies lie entirely with the radfems on this one, due both to radfem content as well as the context surrounding much trans discourse wherein the most danger and threat comes from the trans activists and not from the radfems.

  56. la redactora January 12, 2012 at 12:37 PM #

    Twanz is mockery pure and simple. It certainly isn’t hate speech or anything like that. The w instead of r is basically saying “your ideology and idea of yourself is absurd to the point of comedy.” And yes mockery and disagreement are allowed, last time I checked.

    Come on “trans”? Trans what, exactly. By surgically altering their bodies and taking dangerous hormones (or at least at dangerous levels) they haven’t gone “across,” “beyond,” “or to the opposite side” of *anything.* They are still exactly themselves (but likely a bit sicker). Anyway, if they really have been “female all along” then they should be perfectly happy with themselves the way they are, and skip the body modifications all together. But that’s the thing. *None* of their ideas add up and what I have said here is just the tip of the whole sad, confused iceberg.

  57. ibleedpurple January 12, 2012 at 1:05 PM #

    mAndrea, your comments are spot-on.

  58. doublevez January 12, 2012 at 1:17 PM #

    From the Gender Trender link I posted above. Best read it NINE.

    “A proposed new law which came about in response to death threats published on a social media site this summer against lesbian activist Cathy Brennan was introduced in the Maryland House today.

    House Bill 8, introduced by Delegate Mary Washington would amend Criminal Law Section 3-805 concerning Harassment via Electronic Communication to include harassment via electronic communication other than email.”

  59. Sargasso Sea January 12, 2012 at 1:55 PM #

    ***Honey?! Does this radical feminism make me look like an asshole?***

    Really, ND, you started out by saying that you don’t necessarily understand what’s going on with radical feminists and trans then in the same breath appear to lay the blame on radfems (for being ‘rude‘) all while claiming to have more to say about it even though you‘re not clear. This is talking in circles.

    Then you said that you had 1700 words in the first comment you made before you edited that part out. I remember seeing that very clearly because I thought immediately: If you already have 1700 words on the subject why not just post them now and avoid this unnecessarily provocative and (possibly) disingenuous introduction?

    We’re leery of your motives for good reason, Duece.

    • Nine Deuce January 12, 2012 at 3:30 PM #

      I didn’t say I didn’t understand, I said I didn’t think it made sense. “Why” vs. “why the fuck.”

      Also, doublevez, what is with the capitalization of my blogging name in your comments? It appears as if you are attempting to sound menacing.

  60. Lysandra January 12, 2012 at 2:37 PM #

    I suppose I fucked up by only posting the first bit of this without explaining where I stand on the whole thing other than the bit about not liking the terms in which it’s being discussed.

    I think that’s probably true, because it seems like the criticism that this post can be used as just yet another way of berating rad fems is valid, since the post itself contains no actual trans-critical analysis or sense of respecting WHY the trans-critical argument is so crucial in today’s political environment. To my mind, the critique of “why are we spending so much time talking about trans?” is way more problematic than “can we please stop with the name-calling?”

    I’ve gained so much from your generally brilliant writing, and was somewhat surprised by this post. But while I see how it is problematic, I think it’s absurd to claim this is actually a troll post… just perhaps short-sighted or missing an important piece of a picture. A “sin” I have committed myself, and after all, we are all human! So I for one am looking forward to reading your further thoughts on this.

  61. Heart January 12, 2012 at 3:13 PM #

    :**(

  62. Francois Tremblay January 12, 2012 at 3:52 PM #

    This is not really an argument per se, but I wonder what people would think if, for instance, white people started getting pigmentation changes and nose surgeries and started calling themselves the n-word (or the reverse, black people pulling a Michael Jackson). I don’t think people would be especially “accepting” and no one would see this as some kind of revolutionary act… it would just be seen as a more elaborate form of blackface.

    I think you could make an equivalent comparison for any other oppressed group. But weirdly enough, in the case of women, it seems to be totally acceptable… Isn’t that at least a little worth of examination?

    • Nine Deuce January 12, 2012 at 4:04 PM #

      Of course it’s worth examination, though I am tired of the race = sex thing (which is usually an ill-fitting analogy). The problem is that the “examination” is being done in such a way that no solutions seem to be sought.

      Are you sure that men seeking to become women is considered “totally acceptable”?

      • Francois Tremblay January 12, 2012 at 4:16 PM #

        I’m not trying to say that women and black people are oppressed in the same ways or that their situation is equivalent. I just thought the idea of an oppressor “changing” into the oppressed just seems like a weird or unacceptable concept in most situations, but for some reason not in this one, and I wonder why exactly that is.

        “Are you sure that men seeking to become women is considered “totally acceptable”?”

        In certain circles, anyway. Not in society as a whole. Trans people are the subject of a great deal of prejudice. Whether that prejudice is warranted or not, well… I don’t want to get into that debate; I’m sure your next entry is going to elicit more than enough about that. For my part, I understand the radfem arguments against trans people and agree with them, but I don’t think it justifies the… particular obsession some people seem to have about it.

  63. Lysandra January 12, 2012 at 4:12 PM #

    well I know my Facebook friends are falling all over themselves to shame the Girl Scout who is uncomfortable with the organization allowing males in.

    In my circles, which tend to be a lot of churchy types, progressive clergy, and psychotherapists, people either accept trans ideology with open arms or they stay silent about it, knowing the shit that would rain down on them from high if they dared question the tiniest part of it.

  64. FCM January 12, 2012 at 4:29 PM #

    solutions to what? what the hell are you talking about? people with super-special snowflake fee-fees will always exist, we dont seek a “solution” to that, but we will protest when *their* proposed solutions to their own perceived problems, and their entitlement, get in the way of our survival. and genderism does that. self hating women and women who dont want to become impregnated by men and women who dont want to have sex with men and women who dont want to be associated with the rape-class anymore and little girls who play with toy cars are being surgically and chemically mutilated by the male medical machine.

    men in womens spaces does that. it gets in the way of *our* survival. taking resources away from women-only services does that its *their* proposed solutions to their own problems that are the issue here bc they effect US. radical feminists “solution” is the same as it always is: liberation of women from men, women supporting other women (aka. not men, or transwomen) and eradication of the patriarchy.

  65. Noanodyne January 12, 2012 at 4:33 PM #

    This isn’t a great place to split hairs with you, Feminist at Sea, but what the heck. “Domination” in the frame of oppression is a metaphor, not a description of physical strength. And “humans” have been leaving evidence of having “culture” as we know it for no more than 200,000 years. The “human” cultural and social history we have solid evidence of is 50,000 years old and the large majority of culture that we can “read” from the archeological record shows that males have dominated females in myriad ways. And that’s a long time to be oppressed by any measure.

  66. Sargasso Sea January 12, 2012 at 5:22 PM #

    Especially after FCM’s concise breakdown of the “Why” you ask for, it would be venturing into the land of us ‘holding your hand through this’ (as opposed to, you know, doing the research yourself) which is simply ridiculous coming from you. You’re way too good for that?

    Let’s have the rest of it then. Or are you just going to continue to “sit on it” until *we* tell you what to say?

  67. Sugarpuss January 12, 2012 at 5:38 PM #

    92 said: <blockquoteI am tired of the black people = women thing (which is usually an ill-fitting analogy).

    Considering the fact that black women are half of the black race, yeah…. black people = women. Or do black women not count as people…or as women…or what?

    • Nine Deuce January 12, 2012 at 5:50 PM #

      Edited to reflect the fact that I should have said race/sex. My poor choice of words.

  68. wohom January 12, 2012 at 7:53 PM #

    “Twanz” is more than “mockery, pure and simple”. “Twanz” is in the voice of either a child whose speech is not yet fully developed or in the voice of a person with a speech impediment. As such, its use either implies that the “twanz” is not an adult, and therefore to be treated as children are in our society–as lesser persons and, as such, not accorded full rights—or that the person is perceived to have a disability.

    Very few mocking terms are neutral, if any. They are usually loaded with implicit meaning, meanings of which are rarely missed by those they are leveled at.

  69. Boner Killer January 12, 2012 at 8:27 PM #

    I love how calling people out for using hateful language and names has turned into a discussion about women’s only space????? This post took no position on that topic at all!

  70. la redactora January 12, 2012 at 8:53 PM #

    @wohom. I’ll be considering what you have said.

    But as someone with a disability and a speech impediment I think it is something of a stretch. Sometimes a joke or insult is just that.

    And, I don’t have any issue with implying that people are being childish.

  71. FCM January 12, 2012 at 9:06 PM #

    wait, are we now saying that the problem is that we arent allowed to mock them? seriously?

    performing a separate analysis of the issues of transman-ism and transwoman-ism reveals how each one is misogynist (but neither is misandrist) and that might be a useful tool for your understanding of what the hell radfems are bitching about. (ie. misogyny, and support of male power at womens expense). you might also pay attention to how many of the mocking terms are directed at transwomen, vs how many are directed at transmen. i have noticed a difference.

  72. Fede January 12, 2012 at 9:09 PM #

    Sugarpuss, like you I also used to say half-jokingly that I was a gay man in a woman’s body. I don’t identify as transgender or even genderqueer, but I guess part of me will always wish I had been born male. Not that I ‘feel male’ whatever that would mean, but because it would be great to be considered fully human by society in general. Another part of me would resist the temptation even if by some magic fairy trick, I could be made male, because dammit, there’s nothing wrong with me! I am in fact very close to perfect /smirk/ and if society regards me as ‘lesser’, that only makes me proud to belong in the underrated rather than the overrated half of humanity.

    You’re right that engaging in stereotypically male activities does not make anyone a man, just as wearing a dress and lipstick doesn’t make anyone a woman.

    What I will say, though, is that I CAN totally identify with male-born people. I do it all the time, and I am able to do so because we are all human beings and it’s really not that difficult. In fact, I can identify very easily with males, even in matters of ‘unique male experience’, since the male experience is a matter of great concern and endless interest in all the arts and in popular culture as well.

    Most male-born persons can’t identify with ME, however. The reason they can’t (or won’t) is that they have been taught that being a woman, I’m inscrutable and totally alien to everything that is truly human (i.e. male).

    Anyway, you made some other points that I’d like to address:

    Unlike “transwomen”, Females are born into this hell. We didn’t get the super-special privilege of choice; plunking down a hefty some of ching-ching for sexual reassignment surgery. The fact that these dudes (usually middle-class & white) can even afford such a thing is very telling. Disadvantaged? Hardly.

    It’s true that transwomen aren’t born into the hell that females are. But they are born into another one. Women are born to be second-class citizens (at best) in this society, and assuming that we don’t try to transition F to M, we are perceived by the misogynist powers that be to “know our place”. But just as the status quo requires the sub-class to know their place, it is also dependent on the superior class knowing theirs. Transwomen are perceived to be giving up a privilege that was supposed to be their sacred birthright. By doing so, they are committing sacrilege.

    People wouldn’t go through painful and expensive surgery in order to make their body more congruent with their self-image if having a “noncongruent” body didn’t suck. And that’s just the ones who can afford surgery and hormone treatment. Many can’t and just have to live with the discrepancy. Whether they can get surgery or not, they will have to live with the social leprosy of being trans.

    Looking at statistics for rape and harassment committed against M to F, I would say that, yes, transwomen are disadvantaged. I think they are so intensely targeted because their very existence is proof that the “birthright” of males is not 100 per cent secure. Cis males don’t like that, because they know very well that they would hate to slip down the privilege ladder and be treated the way they themselves treat women.

    @mAndrea: I agree that being a stereotype is not a human right. Not all transgendered people (try to) fit into a femininity stereotype, though.

    A lot of transgendered folks will disagree with me when I say that in a post-patriarchal society, I believe there would be little need for reassignment surgery, since there would be no classification of people on the basis of sex OR gender.

    But we don’t live in a post-patriarchal society, and in THIS society, some people need to disassociate themselves from the class they were assigned to at birth.

    • Nine Deuce January 12, 2012 at 9:22 PM #

      Fede:

      Sugarpuss, like you I also used to say half-jokingly that I was a gay man in a woman’s body. I don’t identify as transgender or even genderqueer, but I guess part of me will always wish I had been born male. Not that I ‘feel male’ whatever that would mean, but because it would be great to be considered fully human by society in general. Another part of me would resist the temptation even if by some magic fairy trick, I could be made male, because dammit, there’s nothing wrong with me! I am in fact very close to perfect /smirk/ and if society regards me as ‘lesser’, that only makes me proud to belong in the underrated rather than the overrated half of humanity.

      You’re right that engaging in stereotypically male activities does not make anyone a man, just as wearing a dress and lipstick doesn’t make anyone a woman.

      What I will say, though, is that I CAN totally identify with male-born people. I do it all the time, and I am able to do so because we are all human beings and it’s really not that difficult. In fact, I can identify very easily with males, even in matters of ‘unique male experience’, since the male experience is a matter of great concern and endless interest in all the arts and in popular culture as well.

      Most male-born persons can’t identify with ME, however. The reason they can’t (or won’t) is that they have been taught that being a woman, I’m inscrutable and totally alien to everything that is truly human (i.e. male).

      Anyway, you made some other points that I’d like to address:

      Unlike “transwomen”, Females are born into this hell. We didn’t get the super-special privilege of choice; plunking down a hefty some of ching-ching for sexual reassignment surgery. The fact that these dudes (usually middle-class & white) can even afford such a thing is very telling. Disadvantaged? Hardly.

      It’s true that transwomen aren’t born into the hell that females are. But they are born into another one. Women are born to be second-class citizens (at best) in this society, and assuming that we don’t try to transition F to M, we are perceived by the misogynist powers that be to “know our place”. But just as the status quo requires the sub-class to know their place, it is also dependent on the superior class knowing theirs. Transwomen are perceived to be giving up a privilege that was supposed to be their sacred birthright. By doing so, they are committing sacrilege.

      People wouldn’t go through painful and expensive surgery in order to make their body more congruent with their self-image if having a “noncongruent” body didn’t suck. And that’s just the ones who can afford surgery and hormone treatment. Many can’t and just have to live with the discrepancy. Whether they can get surgery or not, they will have to live with the social leprosy of being trans.

      Looking at statistics for rape and harassment committed against M to F, I would say that, yes, transwomen are disadvantaged. I think they are so intensely targeted because their very existence is proof that the “birthright” of males is not 100 per cent secure. Cis males don’t like that, because they know very well that they would hate to slip down the privilege ladder and be treated the way they themselves treat women.

      @mAndrea: I agree that being a stereotype is not a human right. Not all transgendered people (try to) fit into a femininity stereotype, though.

      A lot of transgendered folks will disagree with me when I say that in a post-patriarchal society, I believe there would be little need for reassignment surgery, since there would be no classification of people on the basis of sex OR gender.

      But we don’t live in a post-patriarchal society, and in THIS society, some people need to disassociate themselves from the class they were assigned to at birth.

      All excellent points.

  73. doublevez January 12, 2012 at 9:13 PM #

    Capitalizing your name (have a look at your masthead) is MENACING but you ignore the wankfest over threatening to beat Cathy Brennan to death with a baseball bat, and smearing her blood all over the hood of a car.

    Are you on some kinda drugs?

    • Nine Deuce January 12, 2012 at 9:20 PM #

      doublevez — I saw the link you posted, and the behavior exhibited toward Brennan was absolutely unacceptable. I also applaud the measure being introduced in Maryland. The two people behaving that way are fucking pigs. They are not, however, proof that all trans people are evil.

  74. doublevez January 12, 2012 at 9:18 PM #

    Tell me Boner Killer, what position do you take on a transGriot and a crossdresser exec with a FAIR org getting their boners on threatening to beat Cathy Brennan to death with a baseball bat, and smearing her blood all over the hood of a car.

  75. Fede January 12, 2012 at 9:23 PM #

    Correction: I meant to say that not all transgendered people try to fit into a femininity or masculinity stereotype.

  76. Fede January 12, 2012 at 9:25 PM #

    Thank you, Nine Deuce!

  77. Lishra January 12, 2012 at 9:48 PM #

    Personally, I don’t use words like ‘tranny’ or ‘twanz’ and the like, and don’t plan on it. It would just be another reason for someone to outright dismiss my arguments when I write a critique of transgenderism. Yet, even without my use of those words, I still get hateful comments and emails, and my friends (who also don’t use those words) get death threats. While delivery matters, ultimately, the problem trans activists have is with what we say, even if we say it in the most polite tone without a tinge of mocking.

    I really don’t see how a word like ‘twanz’, for example, is much different than when anti-porn/prostitution feminists such as ourselves call “sex positive” feminists “sex pozzies”, or call mainstream feminists “fun fems”. Or perhaps it’s like calling BDSMers the “sexual equivalent of being into Renaissance faires”?

    • Nine Deuce January 12, 2012 at 9:50 PM #

      I don’t use “sex pozzies” or “fun fems” because I don’t think it’s clever and I think it’s kind of lazy and unnecessarily confrontational. The BDSM/Ren faire thing isn’t a cliche, and it applies. We all get hateful comments and emails, as well as death threats. They aren’t cool no matter who they are coming from. Besides, I thought we had agreed that having a sex fetish doesn’t qualify one as oppressed.

  78. Sugarpuss January 12, 2012 at 10:01 PM #

    Fede said:

    It’s true that transwomen aren’t born into the hell that females are. But they are born into another one.

    Transwomen aren’t born, they’re made…by a society obsessed with gender. I don’t really have an issue with gay men who have transitioned (aside from the unethical genital mutilation)…my main concern is with pervy heterosexual men who simply want to infiltrate lesbian spaces, and force themselves on those women. There is a certain type of dude out there (getting more common, it seems) that fixates on lesbians (thanks to porn), and is genuinely angry because they will not sleep with him. You see, us straight gals aren’t good enough for them anymore…they want an unwilling participant. These creeps are just another flavor of woman-hater.

    • Francois Tremblay January 13, 2012 at 2:46 AM #

      I was thinking about this some more at work today, and it seems to me to revolve around the fact that an oppressor is trying to “pass” as an oppressed on the basis of stereotypes. It’s the same general dynamic as that concerning women trying to look like men (suspicious or mocked) v men trying to look like women (absolutely unacceptable). Or the fact that some Indians and Japanese go through surgery or other procedures to be more “white,” and it’s not a big scandal. But if a white person ever tried to “pass” as a black person by widening their nose and changing their pigmentation, and said something like “I always felt like I was a black person… I never liked to listen to public radio or wear suits, and I always liked to eat watermelon and listen to rap. Now I am free to be as black as I feel inside,” black people would righteously be outraged and denounce it as pure racism. This person would be in the media nonstop and would be considered a racist in its purest form.

      But when a man tries to “pass” as a woman by getting a pseudo-vagina (really just a hole) and getting bigger breasts, and says things like “I always felt I was a woman… I never liked sports or hanging out with the guys, and I love the color pink and shopping for dresses. Now I am free to be a woman, like I’ve always been inside,” it doesn’t seem like women (except radfems) make a big deal about it. Such a person is never called a rank sexist.

      I’m not trying to make a statement about who is more oppressed or whatever, I just don’t really understand why there is such a difference in reactions. I’m sure someone can set me straight and explain why that is, but so far I don’t get it. Why should we not be completely outraged at MtF trans people in the same way than we would be at a hypothetical WtB (white-to-black) person?

  79. la redactora January 12, 2012 at 10:15 PM #

    Sugarpuss, that is a good example of how this issue affect lesbians much, much more than straight women. Straight women aren’t hanging around in so-called “queer” space (where trans would also be) or attempting (normally) to set up women-only spaces. Straight women aren’t the ones expected to accept MTF as “real women” and “real lesbians.” Lesbian-feminists had enough on their plates, dealing with bigotry and misunderstanding from straight men, from straight women, from gay men and misogynistic “drag” queens. Trans were just another massive F-U card from the universe, and the message was clear. “Cause we’re (not) worth it, too.”

  80. Fede January 12, 2012 at 10:22 PM #

    Transwomen aren’t born, they’re made…by a society obsessed with gender.

    Absolutely. But by the same token, we are all made thus. We are none of us the person we would have been, had we been born into a post-patriarchal world.

    And oh, hell yes, we need to be wary of pervy men wanting to infiltrate lesbian spaces. I had no idea that this type of thing was becoming more common, but it doesn’t surprise me, knowing how porn has developed. I still think pervs like that are a small minority of transwomen. A minority that can do immeasurable harm, but that shouldn’t be allowed to represent trans people.

  81. Sugarpuss January 12, 2012 at 11:24 PM #

    @la redactora: Yeah, there’s a lot of het women who need to pull their heads out of their butts, and realize how this trans thing is effecting the lesbian community. I personally put Female-born people first, regardless of orientation. I’m getting pretty fucking tired of the idea that it’s Feminists’ responsibility to take in every lost puppy that shows up on our doorstep, just because they have the audacity to believe that it’s a woman’s duty to nurture their ungrateful asses.

    LOL ‘Nuff said. ;)

  82. la redactora January 12, 2012 at 11:44 PM #

    @Sugarpuss, exactly.

  83. wohom January 13, 2012 at 8:03 AM #

    @la redactora and Sugarpuss
    “Yeah, there’s a lot of het women who need to pull their heads out of their butts, and realize how this trans thing is effecting the lesbian community.”

    Yep.

    • Nine Deuce January 13, 2012 at 12:11 PM #

      Alright, so let’s discuss what occurs when transwomen seek entry into women-only spaces and how this disproportionately affects lesbians.

  84. la redactora January 13, 2012 at 3:22 PM #

    Well, this, for starters.

    http://bugbrennan.com/2012/01/13/its-groundhog-day/

    Remember, lesbians have been on the front-lines of this for decades.

  85. la redactora January 13, 2012 at 3:47 PM #

    And then there is stuff like this

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/01/11/girl-scout-cookie-boycott-transgender_n_1199260.html

  86. Murasaki January 14, 2012 at 1:42 AM #

    I’m not sure I agree with your whole post ND but I definitely agree about the name calling.

    Its really no different from MRAs and anti-feminists pulling the “ugly” card.

    You won’t be off my bookmark list any time soon. And you’ve inspired me to read more trans women’s voices rather than just turn off and make assumptions about that person based on their male experience and a few bad apples.

  87. sneeky bunny January 14, 2012 at 11:46 AM #

    La redactora, are you sure you want to be aligning yourself in support of the girl organizing that cookie boycott? If you go to her website she’s just as outraged that lesbians are allowed in scouts. There are also pages about the evils of abortion, and sex education. She is pretty much a text book example of a Tool of the Patriarchy. Just sayin’.

    http://www.honestgirlscouts.com/

    ( Sorry. I’m crap at links)

  88. la redactora January 14, 2012 at 12:51 PM #

    Sneeky Bunny, I haven’t “aligned” myself with anyone.

  89. Sugarpuss January 14, 2012 at 2:17 PM #

    @sneeky bunny: Just because the Girl Scout in question may be misguided on certain other issues, that doesn’t invalidate her concern with allowing biological males into what is supposed to be a female-only space. Then again, we’re talking about the same organization that allows perverted, heterosexual adult males to serve as guidance counselors (and other positions of authority), so I don’t know why I’m surprised that they are pushing “inclusiveness” to the next level by allowing a biological male child into the mix.

    Thanks to the masochistic, boot-licking, porn lovin’ sex-pozzies, female lives are more craptastic than ever.

  90. sneeky bunny January 14, 2012 at 4:50 PM #

    Sugarpuss, go take a look at her web site. She’s more than a little misguided. Despite the fact that you might agree with her on this one point, she, and the people behind her, are not your allies in any way shape or form. As I said, she feels just as outraged by the existence of lesbians, and their participation in scouting, as she does about trans people. And for precisely the same reasons. In her world view both are perverts.

    As an example, or argument for FAAB spaces, she is avery poor choice. That is my point.

  91. Feminist at Sea January 14, 2012 at 5:12 PM #

    Sneeky Bunny, that goes for a lot of organizations. Radical Feminists don’t see porn as empowering and want it gone. The same applies to most religious organizations, but the motives are very different and where the blame it placed too.

    In feminism, I have noticed, the enemy of your enemy is not necessarily your friend. In fact, nine out of time times they’re not.

  92. sneeky bunny January 14, 2012 at 6:16 PM #

    Feminist at Sea: Indeed, that is true.

  93. OutsideLookingOver January 15, 2012 at 4:06 AM #

    Trans-sexual men have no right to expect to be accepted into lesbian or women-only groups. We need to accept we are not women. We will never *be* women. Much as our hearts may tell us otherwise, the facts are these: we are XYs.
    Nothing will change that fact. Ever. That’s biology. And to insist on our “rights” as trans-women is not only presumptuous, it’s outrageously entitled behaviour. Which we’re supposedly not trying to be. But by *insisting* we’re women, we’re *showing* we have no clue what it means.

    Safe to delete, Nine-Deuce… just wanted you to know how I feel. XYs have no place in the safe zone of XXs.

    • Nine Deuce January 15, 2012 at 1:45 PM #

      OutsideLookingOver – I don’t disagree that it isn’t appropriate for transwomen to expect entry into lesbian or women-only spaces. Also, I don’t plan on deleting any of your comments.

  94. sneeky bunny January 15, 2012 at 12:02 PM #

    OutsidelookingOver:

    If you feel that way, then why are you here?
    To be clear, I would not ask you to leave, bu I am curious.

  95. OutsideLookingOver January 16, 2012 at 4:24 AM #

    Sneaky Bunny: very good point. I don’t have an answer to that. I’d like to offer support but I’m also not appropriately where I belong.

    Thanks for pointing it out.

  96. OutsideLookingOver January 16, 2012 at 4:27 AM #

    Sheesh, that’s entitlement for ya, isn’t it? Here I’m trying not to exercise it, and yet…

    …this is embarassing. Thanks for your patience, everyone. i finally got it. You can be assured of my continued support. Goodbye.

  97. sneeky bunny January 16, 2012 at 11:59 AM #

    OutsideLookingOver, please, to drive you away was not my intent. Nine Deuce has made it clear that you are welcome here.

  98. Fede January 16, 2012 at 9:47 PM #

    But, but –

    OutsideLookingOver, I know you’ve been a commenter here longer than I, so you (or Nine Deuce) can tell me to mind my own business if I’m out of line, but as I understand, this space is not born-women only. If women feel safe here – and I for one do – it is because people of sincere feminist persuasion are encouraged to comment here and others are dissuaded.

    So for what it’s worth, I wish you would keep commenting. Yours is a good voice; I’m sure I’m not the only one who thinks so.

  99. cub January 18, 2012 at 5:02 AM #

    sugarpuss,
    you said, “I’m getting pretty fucking tired of the idea that it’s Feminists’ responsibility to take in every lost puppy that shows up on our doorstep, just because they have the audacity to believe that it’s a woman’s duty to nurture their ungrateful asses.”

    it has been a while, but that reminds me of what happened to the ERA.

    and 92, re. sex v. race, you’re right, they aren’t the same. just ask Shirley Chisholm: “Of my two ‘handicaps’ being female put more obstacles in my path than being black.”

    drag has always reminded me of black-face; or to paraphrase Lisa Simpson, “The comparison is apt. –Apt!”

  100. Lysandra January 20, 2012 at 2:24 PM #

    As I said, she feels just as outraged by the existence of lesbians, and their participation in scouting, as she does about trans people. And for precisely the same reasons. In her world view both are perverts.

    And it’s the anti-transgender views that are getting people up in arms. Funny that, eh? I haven’t seen a single person outraged because of her anti-lesbian views, and after reading multiple articles about her this is the first time I’m even hearing about it. So people are upset that she’s anti-transgender but couldn’t give a shit that she’s anti-lesbian. Gee, I wonder why that would be.

  101. deepika January 20, 2012 at 11:44 PM #

    d’oh! i totally missed that exchange between sneeky bunny and outsidelookingover. now it’s a bit clearer to me why outsidelookingover has stopped commenting. although, clearly, they (olo) could have just pointed out that this blog is not a woman-only, lesbian or safe space and never has been, and continued commenting (and sneeky bunny could have avoided yet more reading comprehension fail by not asking olo why they were commenting here) but okay.

    let’s please note that this trans woman was not excluded or driven away by radfems, and that olo’s “exile” (so to speak) is largely self-imposed with the impetus for said exile coming from a pro-trans commenter.

  102. lizor January 21, 2012 at 1:28 PM #

    @OLO

    What Fede said. Please don’t disappear.

  103. Sneeky Bunny January 21, 2012 at 6:03 PM #

    @deepika: Yes? That was what I said. OLO left because they felt their participation on this blog, despite 92 making it clear that they were welcome, was inappropriate. I feel that to be a pity. Lizor and Fede feel that to be a pity. We would like OLO to come back. I think we are all clear now? I never wanted OLO to leave and said so in the first post of the exchange between us. That OLO has internalized the negative position regarding trans people that many have expressed here breaks my heart. Good job!

  104. unchainedaura May 6, 2012 at 6:45 PM #

    ok you want trans people to adress the issues and questions? here we go again. To start with lets adress the claim it is a fetish, and all trans people view women as little more than sexual objects. If this were the case how do you explain a large portion of transsexual people being aesexual? or the fact people still attempt to transition in countries where it is a death sentence to do so, For example I know there are people transitioning in uganda, I will not name them for safety reasons. Moving on to the fetish part of the issue, you confuse transsexuals with transvestites, a common mistake perpetuated by pornography

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

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