So, this blog post went over tumblr recently, penned by “radfemrusty” – the post was well “liked” and reblogged by the new (yet painfully derivative) tumblr “terf is a slur” that appears to be yet another block-bot fan site.
At any rate, let me dig into the pile (in its entirety) – you know – cause it’s Winter Break and I need to pass the time somehow. “Radfemrusty” is in italics.
In today’s liberal feminism, any indication that you think trans woman are not female, were EVER not female, have any kind of ingrained male privilege, and do not have female bodies, even despite having male organs, is transphobic and not allowed. You are called a TERF and put on The Block Bot. It’s not enough to respect the oppression unique to trans women, you must also believe that there is no difference between cis women and trans women at all.
Some truth here. True, I don’t tolerate the idea that transgender women do not have the right to be regarded as women and I’m not alone. I think women who police who can and cannot identify as a woman are butts. I think that they are toxic to feminism.
It’s a bizarre logical leap to say that if someone regards transgender women as “female” that it magically means that cisgender women and transgender women are identical in every way. I really have no idea where y’all are getting this bullshit notion that anyone thinks the experiences of cisgender women and transgender women are all exactly the same; or that our bodies are all exactly the same. This is just a warn-out strawperson argument.
The experiences of girls and women are not monolithic, but there are intersections of shared experience that stem from being perceived as male or female, and the nature of our bodies. Some transgender women knew from a very young age that they were girls and explain that they were born girls but were coercively designated as boys, some will explain that they were once boys and are now women, others were perceived as being “like a girl” from a young age, others were hyper-masculine before gaining self-acceptance of their gender later in life, and a whole host of experiences that I can’t even begin to summarize here nor would it be appropriate for me to attempt to do so. The idea that “liberal feminists” including transactivist feminists believe (as a group) girls and women are all alike is asinine.
It is the TERF crew, rather, that see girls and women as a monolith, erasing our diversity of experiences and reducing us to our genitalia and how our sex was perceived at birth and society’s subsequent attempt at gendered socialization.
Oh – and by the way – the largest reason for TERFs to be put on the Block Bot is aggressively misgendering transgender people and using their former names. This is not only obnoxious, but, to some, it is emotionally taxing. Sorry if you feel entitled to abuse people. That’s a problem with you, not us.
Basically we are being demanded to acknowledge the difference (oppression level) and deny the difference (trans women are women) all at the same time. Anything else is silenced as transphobia. Holy dissonance!
STRAWPERSON…blah blah blah.
If you pay attention to when claims of transphobia arise on liberal feminist blogs/Twitter/Tumblr, etc, you’ll notice that it most often has to do with a challenge to the notion that trans women are and always have been biologically female, regardless of how long they were treated as male, their surgical history, or their modification/enhancement intentions.
The misuse of “biological” is common among TERFs. I spent a good week or so twitter-debating E. Hungerford of sex-not-gender fame about “biology”. She consistently road the pseudoscience train. I’m not going to pretend that we know all there is to know about human gender self-perception. However, reducing the concept of sex to gonadal sex is not good biology and denying that a self-perception of gender exists in humans is a trip on the “LALALALALALA” train.
Oh – and someone’s surgical history is none of your damn business.
We’ve all witnessed the following: Calling a “cis” woman a biological or natal woman is transphobic because it implies that trans women were not born female. A lesbian not wanting to have sex with a trans woman with a penis is transphobic because despite the penis, she is and always has been female. Referring to a penis on a trans woman as a ‘male part’ is transphobic because nothing about a trans woman’s body is male – she simply has a female penis.
You could also call a cisgender woman a “cisgender woman”. But, I suspect you think the word “cis” is some sort of slur while simultaneously thinking that “liberal feminists” think that all women are the same.
I’ve seen criticisms of the Cotton Ceiling discussion from various sources. The reactions seem to fall anywhere from seeing the discussion as toxic to delving into those social dynamics very heavily. However, no discussion I have seen, ever, questions the absolute right of anyone to refuse another person as a sex partner. Regardless, the “Cotton Ceiling” has been used to further the bigoted narrative that transgender women are rapists and the concept twisted in order to attack individuals by misrepresenting that discussion and imposing views on people who do not hold those views. Let’s be clear. Not being sexually aroused by penises doesn’t mean you are a bigot. You are a bigot for twisting a discussion about feeling accepted and wanted within a community into a rape-narrative used as an excuse to spew your palpable hatred.
Your arms are male parts.
Whether we refer to them as men or men in dresses or trannies or transwomen or trans women, it doesn’t matter. We could go around cautiously tweeting and commenting on every liberal feminist blog with polite questions using preferred pronouns about the appropriateness of the 60- year old airport lingerie cross-dressing dude being considered a woman, and we would still be reprimanded to educate ourselves. People who consider themselves the staunchest of allies find themselves being yelled at and dis-invited from the allies club because they didn’t put a space between trans and woman. Politeness and civility has nothing to do with it – it’s the perceived non-acceptance of trans women as lifelong biological females that gets you into trouble.
Let’s see. I used “transgender” as a noun once. I barely got out of the situation with my life. The howling indignation and dog-piling was horrendous!! I lost friends. Nobody talks to me anymore. I got kicked out of all the transgender friendly facebook groups I’m a part of. I am now anathema.
Oh wait – no – none of that happened. I’m sorry. I was magically transported to TERF-fantasy land for a moment there. What actually happened, is someone corrected me.
I’ll just start calling everyone tra–y. I’m sure there will be ZERO difference in reaction between throwing out slurs and grammatical differences that even extremely accomplished transgender activists disagree on sometimes.
OH WAIT – I forgot – I’m not a raving jackass*. Who the fuck would actually do that?
This is a problem. The conflation of trans womanhood with femaleness means that the shared experience of being raised female in a patriarchy now must include the experience of being raised male, which means there is no shared experience, or a shared oppression, among women at all. We all know that’s just not true, don’t we? You don’t have to be a radical feminist to know that women have the experience of being female in common, you just have to be a woman. Maybe that’s why so many trans women aren’t getting it?
Well, I’ve birthed two children and breast fed them. Have you? Are you married to a man? How could you possibly understand the experience of real women? Why don’t you get the fuck out of my exclusive club?
Sorry, feminists have heard this type of poison before and we aren’t having it. It was toxic then and it’s toxic now. Why do you think the term “TERF” was coined in the first place?
Transactivists and their liberal feminist allies are dictating the terms of the discussion and silencing the words of feminists who dare to question an unproven and very anti-feminist set of theories. Radical feminism provides an alternative that makes a whole lot more sense and doesn’t take a degree in gender studies to understand. It’s about women and girls, period. No nomenclature, no acronyms, no identities, no preferred pronouns.
Keep questioning and I’ll keep telling you your simplistic concepts of the universe are oppressive bullshit.
No nomenclature? Womyn?
No identities? Seriously?
No acronyms? WBW
No preferred pronouns? Should I call you “it” or do you prefer something else?
The notion that trans women and women are exactly the same, except that trans women are more oppressed as a result of being raised male, is a delusion maintained in the interest of inclusivity and individualism that is exceptionally dangerous for women. It’s not only that trans women with many years of maleness behind them are demanding that they be treated as any other woman with a female history (which completely erases the very real shared experience that women have as women), it’s also that men who have no trans experience whatsoever, who simply want access to women’s spaces for whatever twisted reason, will be granted that access because the law says that you are the sex you say you are and nothing else matters.
My friends and family who are transgender men, women and gender queer folks are of no threat to me. They are people who I love and admire. You, however, are a threat to them. As such, I will fight you**. Get it?
Men are not being allowed into women’s spaces. Women are. The worry that cisgender men will misuse the law to gain access to women’s spaces has been shown time and again to be a manufactured threat. Also, if you are going to the bathroom and become intimately aware of other people’s genitals during your stay – you are doing it wrong.
What has actually been a result of changing attitudes is the increased number of gender neutral and more private spaces to do private business; and I, as a mother of two (according to them) boys, one with needs involving behavior and one with needs involving toileting, am actually pretty happy about that. Who would have thunk that gender segregation hurts everyone?
The terms of the gender identity discussion are being dictated to us and require complete and unchallenged acceptance of a theory that is antithetical to feminism and woman-centered activism, not to mention the lived female experience. Radical feminists refuse to adhere to these terms.
Well, don’t let the door hit your ass on the way out.
*Most days. YMMV
**”Fight you” as in fight you ideologically and politically. Not actually “fight you” as in physically fight you. I feel the need to clarify this, since, you know, some of y’all are known for a wee bit of exaggeration on this front.