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…