Why I no longer hate ‘TERFs’

I used to hate so-called TERFs (Trans Exclusionary Radical Feminists). I thought they were mean, vicious, horrible people — an affront to feminism, to social justice, and to political purity. They were no better than puppy-kickers and kitten-killers in my mind. But, while I continue to fully embrace my transgender sisters in the fight against patriarchy, I will no longer vilify my feminist sisters who don’t. And beyond its convenience in writing this article, I will no longer use the word “TERF.”

Women are socialized to be caretakers. We learn to put everyone else’s needs before our own and, likewise, we are socialized to believe that everyone else’s oppression is more important than ours — especially the oppression of biological males. The oppression of men of colour by whites, for example, has always been taken more seriously than the oppression of women of colour. Police violence against women of colour receives far less coverage than police violence against men of colour.

In a recent interview, Fay Blaney criticized male leaders in Indigenous communities for failing to address the violence that happens against women in these communities. The most marginalized people in the world are poor women of color, yet progressives seem more concerned with the rights of gay men to marry than they are with confronting the trafficking and exploitation of these women by the multi-billion dollar sex industry. Lesbians were front and center supporting gay men during the AIDS crisis, but gay men could hardly be called “front and centre” when it comes to fighting for reproductive justice for women. Men on the left have a long history of ignoring women’s issues, seeing feminism as “bourgeois” and women’s concerns as unimportant — personal, not political.

Recently Caitlin Jenner was honoured at Glamour’s “Woman of the Year” awards, but Chaz Bono has yet to be nominated as “Man of the Year” by his brothers. The closest he got was a “Person of the Year” award at LA’s gay pride festival. I can only imagine how enthusiastically men would embrace an Esquire or GQ cover proclaiming Chaz Bono “Man of the Year…”

Yet Caitlin Jenner, a conservative Republican and deadbeat dad, who used to hang out at the Playboy Mansion and who can’t even be bothered to support gay marriage (because it’s not “traditional”), is championed by women. We celebrate her even though she supports a political party that seeks to systematically eliminate the reproductive rights of women. But because Jenner is transgender, understood to be a member of an oppressed group (despite her wealth and whiteness), we must consider her feelings and needs above our own. Because that’s what women are socialized to do. Is it impossible to understand why some women might be angry about this?

Females have never been the “default” human — that honor has always gone to males. And now we don’t even get to be the default woman. We are now labeled non-trans or “cis” women. Some trans activists are even claiming it is “cissexist” or “transmisogynist” just to refer to pregnant women as women. The Midwives Association of North America (MANA) will no longer use the term “pregnant woman” because they have been informed this is transphobic. Instead, they will use the term “pregnant person,” because it is now considered bigoted to imply a direct connection between women and pregnancy. So “womanhood” has been erased from the language of midwives in order to protect the feelings of a tiny percentage of the trans community.

It isn’t uncommon for transactivists to take offence to the acknowledgement of us breeders and bleeders. Author and trans activist, Julia Serano, tweeted that “contraception-centric feminism” has been “alienating” for her. Yeah, well, that tweet is pretty alienating to the hundreds of thousands of women who have lost access (or are in danger of losing access) to reproductive freedom over the past few years in the U.S. and to those still struggling for basic rights. I mean, what’s more important? That women have access to abortion and contraceptives or that people who aren’t female don’t feel “alienated?” Another popular genderqueer activist, Laurie Penny, wrote an article for Buzzfeed complaining that feminism’s “focus on women” was “alienating” to the queer community. We are talking about the women’s movement here, aren’t we?

Is it really so unreasonable that many women are offended by their own erasure? What equivalent erasure are men asked to accept in deference to the trans or queer community’s feelings? I can’t think of a single one.

Yes, transwomen deserve to be protected from employment and housing discrimination. Yes, they deserve to be protected from transphobic workplace harassment and referred to by their preferred pronouns. Yes, they deserve to be protected from street harassment and violence. But do they really have the right to demand access to every safe space reserved for women? Should a non-trans woman in prison really be forced to share a prison cell with a pre-op transwoman? (Or vice versa — the danger of having a penis in a women’s prison cuts both ways…) Whose needs come first and why?

Transwomen are not the same as biological women. So what? That’s why they’re called transwomen. Acknowledging that transwomen are different from females does not mean they are less than. What feminists who acknowledge that difference are asking is that the oppression of transwomen not be made more important than the oppression of women-born-women and that we not be asked, yet again, to sit down and shut up.

Two thirds of illiterate adults in the world are women. Ninety eight per cent of sex trafficking victims are women and girls. Every day, 800 women die from preventable causes related to pregnancy and childbirth.

Thousands of women around the world are forced to give birth to their rapists’ children, even if the rapist is their father. In 31 states, rapists can sue their impregnated victims for custody or visitation rights. Thanks to dozens of abortion restrictions enacted over the past few years, less than a third of women living in the U.S. have reasonable access to abortion, and women throughout the world are subjected to forced child marriage, dowry murders, and female genital mutilation.

When women of all ethnicities, abilities, and classes are referred to as “privileged” in relation to transwomen — even transwomen who are white and middle or upper class — it feels to many of us as though we are being erased, that the systemic oppression of women, based on sex, is being erased, and that still the default human is someone else. Is that concern really so hateful? So evil? So beyond understanding or empathy?

Many liberal feminists and trans activists say yes. Even in the women’s rights movement, women’s oppression must never be centered.

And yet, I am trans inclusive. Personally, it costs me nothing to embrace the womanhood of transwomen. It’s a cheap and easy way for me to feel morally superior and politically righteous (which, I suspect, is why it’s so popular among the liberal feminist set). Luckily for me, being trans-inclusive and being a radical feminist is perfectly consistent with tradition. Andrea Dworkin, one of the great founding mothers of radical feminism, not only accepted transgender people (they were called transsexual people in the early ’70s), but advocated for free surgery and hormone treatments.

In Woman Hating, she wrote, “… every transsexual has the right to survival on his/her own terms. That means every transsexual is entitled to a sex-change operation, and it should be provided by the community as one of its functions.”

Pioneer radical feminist, Catharine MacKinnon, had this to say about transwomen: “Anybody who identifies as a woman, wants to be a woman, is going around being a woman, as far as I’m concerned, is a woman.”

I embrace my transgender sisters, and I refuse to reject them. But I will not reject my so-called “trans-exclusive” sisters either. I will listen and be respectful of their point of view. I will stand with them to dismantle systemic misogyny and I will fight for women’s liberation from our seemingly eternal sub-human status. And if transwomen are smart, they’ll do the same.

Transphobia cannot survive the dismantling of male supremacy. Neither can racism, classism, homophobia, or environmental destruction. Male supremacy is based upon gender extremism, and violence against trans people is committed by gender extremists (not gender abolitionists) who feel seriously threatened by any transgression of the strict gender binary. The same is true of homophobia. Researchers have discovered that sexism, racism, and classism all result from the same mental processes:

“Sexist people accept hierarchies and social inequality, they believe that different social groups have a status that they deserve and they feel that the social class to which they belong is the best.”

Male supremacy is destroying the planet. Under systems of male domination, women lose the freedom to control their reproductive lives. When women have the power to choose, they choose to have fewer children. Overpopulation puts an enormous strain on the Earth’s resources, contributing to famine, mass migration, deforestation, and climate change. Male supremacist societies are also more violent and likely to engage in warfare, which exacts a horrific (and potentially fatal) toll on the planet.

No more “might makes right” or the mindless confusion of violence with strength. No more “death is glorious and birth is disgusting” or “women are meat and men must eat.” No more promoting the hideous lie that some humans are born more valuable than others.

As Winona LaDuke said, “We don’t want a bigger piece of the patriarchal pie. We want a new pie.”

So you see, my trans sisters, when you assert your womanhood, what feminists really want to know is if you’re here to maintain the status quo or to change it. Because the status quo isn’t working too well for most of us. It’s hurting us. Women are still treated like shit. And unlike liberal feminists, we’re not interested in spraying the shit with perfume and calling it a flower bed. We’ve come with shovels and we want the shit gone. Will you shovel along with us? Will you march with us for reproductive freedom? Will you lobby for universal pre-k and paid parental leave? We need those things. Will you fight with us against the idea that there is such a thing as a “lady brain” and that it’s “naturally” pink and fluffy and emotional and drawn to makeup and restrictive — but sexy — clothing? Will you fight with us against women’s sexual objectification? Will you take a stand against sex trafficking and the sexual exploitation of women and girls? Or will your transition serve to reinforce those injustices? Do you come to womanhood offering support or just to make demands?

These are not unreasonable concerns. Women matter. Whether you help women or hurt women matters. If targeting a folk music festival or suing a women’s rape shelter is more important to you than dismantling male supremacy, you can’t really blame some women for questioning how well you’ve overcome your male socialization. Blaming women for anti-trans violence, which is committed almost exclusively by males, isn’t helpful either…

Whether or not we can work together depends on our collective political and ideological goals. We want to liberate women from patriarchy and transform the world  — do you?

Penny White is a radical feminist freelance writer living in San Francisco. She has a master’s degree in psychology with an emphasis on childhood sexual trauma, and has worked for over 10 years as a case manager/peer counselor for mentally ill people living in poverty. Penny is currently a volunteer at The Gubbio Project in San Francisco, which serves people of all ages and abilities who have no homes. Follow her @kindsoftheart.

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  • Jeanne Deaux

    I don’t have to believe a transwoman is a woman in order to embrace a transwoman as a human being. I don’t have to believe there really is any such thing as transgender in order to recognize that there are gender-nonconforming human beings and that that gender-nonconforming takes many different forms. I can respect a trans person’s right to exist without believing they are something they’re not.

    And there isn’t even any such thing as trans-exclusive radical feminism unless you’re ready to argue that there is such a thing as male-exclusive radical feminism. Feminism is about the liberation of women from patriarchy. Period. The work transwomen need to do should be centered around their right to dress and behave any damn way they want to as long as they harm no one, without being harassed, assaulted, or killed for their trouble. That places them squarely in a men’s liberation movement, not a women’s. Being stereotypically feminine DOES NOT make you a woman.

    I don’t care what Dworkin and MacKinnon said. They weren’t right about everything. This is politics, not religion, and they were/are not prophets we must obey. We have been arguing this crap for fifty years or more, at least in terms of articulating what’s wrong with gender ideology–that a woman IS NOT the clothes she wears, IS NOT the hobbies and interests she pursues, IS NOT the preferences she has. She is an adult human with the potential to produce egg cells. That’s it.

    And that’s not reducing her to her reproductive capacity. It is reducing her reproductive capacity to her reproductive capacity because ALL it means to have a physical sex is that you have the potential to procreate. The whole point of noticing someone is male or female is noticing their reproductive potential. It has nothing to do with preferring dresses or dolls or shopping. None of those things have squat to do with making babies and we are not born with them.

    Your physical sex is not the entirety of who you are, and I am not threatening your existence by saying this. It is just the entirety of whether you will ever have or father babies, or might have had that potential if your parts were functioning correctly.

    Nothing complicated. Never should have *become* complicated.

    • Mancheeze

      Agreed. I will not submit to the ‘exclusionary’ label. I will not deny biology and sociology and most importantly, I will fight to end gender.

      Totally 110% agree.

    • Jasper Martin

      That was one of the most articulate summations of the problems with transgender that I’ve ever heard. A very sincere and appreciative “thank you” to you Jeanne Deaux!

    • RogueGhost2424

      Sorry to burst in and ruin the hate, but male eggs and female sperm are actually possible! You may need something new to discriminate on :/

  • TheArtistFormerlyKnownAsYoya

    The whole TERF thing is fairly new to me. I’m trying to feel my way around it, and I must admit I have a visceral reaction when feminists purposely misgender someone. However I also understand that urge when someone is clearly throwing around the male entitlement they’re accustomed to having. It must get really tiring to deal with.

    I would never dream of denying a transgender person the right to an exclusive group where they could discuss their shared experiences. I don’t know what it’s like to grow up as a transgendered person. Why would I ever demand they let me into every space they have?

    Someone on an online discussion made an allusion to the cotton ceiling idea the other day, except they framed it as lesbians “being afraid they’ll wind up with someone with the wrong genitalia”. Oh, those hysterical, prudish lesbians! Sooooo uptight! So paranoid!

    I also saw the bathroom issue referred to as “bathroom hysteria” with zero sense of irony. Darned women, always being so hysterical.

    And what is this comparison that “cis people aren’t killed for being cis”? WOMEN are killed for being WOMEN, every hour of every day. Men are not killed for being men. A trans person once said to me that she thought the shared experience between trans women and women was the experience of male violence, and I agree.

  • therealcie

    I like the way you say it, Penny. The problem for me comes from people who are horrendously transphobic, i.e., insisting that a transwoman should be called “he” because said transwoman has an XY chromosome pairing. Such things are extremely offensive to me as a person who believes that everyone deserves to be treated with kindness and respect. Something which women haven’t been afforded much of throughout history, by the way, which is why I fail to understand women who think they don’t need feminism.
    However, I am puzzled by things like outrage over “contraception-centric feminism.” What to the what now?
    Some women can get pregnant and give birth. Others can’t. I’m going through menopause. I’m very likely sterile at this point. How in the hell would it benefit anyone for me to get up in arms about a push for women to have access to contraception because I don’t happen to need it? It’s very peculiar indeed.
    I almost didn’t read this out of fear that it would be transphobic rhetoric. I’m very glad I changed my mind and read it.
    Women need to stand together, not tear each other apart. In my view, this includes cis women and trans women. Why are we fighting against each other? It’s a battle that no-one will win.

    • LuckPushedMeFirst

      Hear hear! I feel like I’ve been straddling some imaginary line because I understand both sides of the issue and think everyone (except the extremists) has really valid points! The biggest problem, just my humble O, is that trans extremists are bitter and angry and lashing out at the *wrong* enemy. A gazillion times more cis women are harassed, assaulted, raped and murdered every day for the crime of simply being women. (And that’s strictly a numbers game, but also the reality.) The men who hurt and kill transfolk are the same men who hurt and kill cis women. They’re also the same men who abhor feminism, radical feminism in particular, and would gladly do the opposite of whatever radfems are proclaiming just to spite us! Radical feminist ideology can’t and doesn’t touch the men responsible for harming transfolk because they hate us, too. And “enemy of my enemy” being what it is, you’re 100% right that standing together makes more sense, even if a seemingly insurmountable ideological wall exists.

      I can’t imagine struggling your entire life with feeling like an “other” who doesn’t fit in anywhere. On top of feeling like an alien in your own body. What a terribly lonely place to be! Craving acceptance and validation, having that as your life’s dearest goal, to have others finally reflect back to you what you believe with every fiber of your being is your true self, and being told it’s never going to happen…I think it would shatter the heart of the kindest transwoman and I can see how it might fuel the wrath of the most embittered.

      It’s a shame there can’t be a middle ground. Acknowledging transwomen as women while also acknowledging that it’s a different *kind* of womanhood shaped by different thoughts, feelings and experiences. Respect for biological womanhood and respect for transwomanhood. There isn’t room in the world for two types of women to coexist?

      • Nancy Miau

        It’s so nice to read this.

    • May Loo

      You are not a woman and I’d appreciate it you transgender women stopped trying to redefine womanhood for those of us in the 51% of the population who were born women. And stop this ‘gender identity ‘ is more important than the biological reality of our physical bodies. Fine call me a terf. Why do you blame us for violence
      against transwomen, especially transwomen of color, when most of the violence is committed by men? What makes your threats against terfs more justified than the threats you seem to think are made about you? I may not believe in God but I believe that we were born in the physical bodies we have for a reason. Instead of trying to change your body to fit your mind, how about trying to match your mind to your body? Your body may feel ‘alien’ to you, but how many of don’t feel comfortable with our bodies at some point in our lives?

      • cp2895

        Why is changing your mind to fit your body ideal but changing your body to fit your mind wrong?

        Btw, I’m not trying to start an argument over whether changing your body to fit your mind via surgery and hormones actually makes you a woman or man; we all have our own opinions on that in this comment section and I don’t think anybody is going to change anyone else’s mind here. It’s just that I’m involved in the mental health field in a mild capacity and know that a lot of doctors/counselors/others are currently debating whether treating the gender-dysphoric mind (at least theoretically since we don’t yet have the capacity to do so but may in the future) is more ethical than treating the body.

        • TiredOfDoubleThink

          I don’t mind what gender people want to live as, but one thing that does make me raise an eyebrow is why it’s considered OK to change your body to fit your mind BUT ONLY if your dysphoria is gender related. Transgender people are very quick to distance themselves from transethnic, transability, and transspecies/otherkin people, saying that those people are clearly bigoted and mentally ill. But it’s not clear what the distinction is. Transethnic/transability is seen as bigoted because it usually means a white or able-bodied co-opts a POC or disabled identity, but the same could be said for MTF individuals. Others say gender and race is different because race is purely socially-constructed while gender is purely biological but that’s clearly not the case, both are social constructs resting on biology. Personally it feels like respectability politics.

  • Kris

    Considering Lindy West was the creator of #shoutyourabortion it is quite surprising that she herself hasn’t been labeled a TERF. If vulvas and birth control are “transexclusionary”, how the hell does abortion get a pass?

  • WakeUp3

    Your post is very thoughtful. “We want people to love who they are and not feel “wrong” and we want half the population to still retain the scraps of protection that they worked so hard for.” Exactly.

  • martindufresne

    Thank you for unpacking so carefully the significant issues involved, and helping us past the smearing of feminists by trangenderist extremists.

  • northernTNT

    Great piece!
    The trouble with pronouns… once you admit the pronoun, the deed is done and all female safe spaces are destined to disappear… the pronoun IS the original battle, whether it be for a driver’s license or any ID… If we let go of the very definition, all else is lost.

    • Hannah

      Agreed. Words matter.

    • I think you are close. The original battle is over the definition of “women”. The definition of this word matters because the definition of the word determines our answer to other questions such as “which group is oppressed by patriarchy and how?” and “what specific objectives should femininist be fighting for?”.

      If one realises that women are biological females, then it becomes easier for them to realise that from the moment an infact is born with a vagina, society assigns her to subordinate role. This role is called “femininity”. It may consist of performing repetitive manual labour tasks all day long (cooking, cleaning, washing, etc.) for no pay. I may consist of drastically altering your body for the sake of making it prettier and then submitting to aggressive or degrading sex acts. It may consist of being super sweet and nuturing to everyone you encounter regardless of how they treat you. It may consist of all three, in any case, femininity is the mechanism through which biological females (who are not born females). It is a horrible role that nobody is born to conform to and that nobody should be encouraged to take on (regardless of how they feel about it).

      If on the other hand we say that the definition of a woman is someone who conforms to femininity (which is what most people in the trans movement eventually admit if you get past the circular “I am a woman because I feel like a woman” definition), then you are compelled to believe that femininity itself is the thing being oppressed. This viewpoint leads to the conclusion that there is a group of people born to be feminine (or for whom femininity is “who they are” and they can never change) and that they are “oppressed” (in the liberal sense) because they do not get as much “acceptance” (or rather approval) as people who are not feminine. This way of thinking leads one to conclude that “femmephobia” (or opposition to femininity, which in many cases is in fact justified), not femininity, is the problem. To put is simply, it results in a complete reversal of the feminist viewpoint and makes gender abolitionist femininist one of the main enemies of “women”.

      This definition of womanhood also excludes females who do not adhere to femininity, but still feel that they ought to have a part in the femininist movement. Last year, my local liberal feminist organisation (NOWSA) limited their definition of women to those who currently identified as women (the key word being currently). Biological females who had decided to identify as men were excluded, even though they face some of the same issues as biological females do, such as lack of access to abortion (and yes the fact that you can barely talk about female biology nowadays is ridiculous).

      I know radical feminists sometimes have events that are for “female-bodied, female-identifying” people, but at least they are not claiming to be all inclusive and then hypocritically excluding people who have valid concerns relevant to the movement. Radical movements should be ideologically exclusive, otherwise they get sucked into the mainstream. Leftists are under no obligation to allow right wingers into their events and gender abolitionist feminists are under no obligation to allow gender supporters (and most liberals and members of the trans movement are gender supporters) into their events. This is a case of justified ideological exclusion (which liberals practice all the time even if they deny it by labelling their ideological opponents as horrific monsters whom all of humanity hates). There should be some events that are open to critics of a movement, but ideologically exclusive meetings should not be seen as horrific acts of tyranny.

      That said, I am not a huge fan of “safe spaces”, by which I mean, spaces in which a bunch rules are set up to ensure that nobody ever feels uncomfortable because their way of thinking has been challenged. Female only spaces should not be “safe spaces”, but spaces where women decide (sometimes through passionate disagree) what the best way to combat (not run and hide from) male dominance is.

      Sorry, if this comes off as nitpicky (I do agree in essence with what you are saying), but the idea that women need “safe spaces” is part of what turned the feminist movement into this liberal mess (in which women cannot say anything for fear of “triggering” someone) in the first place. Women should have spaces where they are safe from violence yes (although ultimately we should be aiming to make all spaces safe for women in this sense by abolishing gender), but not ideologically safe. Also, we should not forget that the ultimate goal of gender abolitionist feminism is to create a world in which female only spaces are not necessary, because females get treated like equals.

      • calabasa

        I absolutely agree with you about safe spaces, Independent Radical (as well as the rest of it; although I believe transsexualism is a real phenomenon, it’s impossible to say whether it’s cultural or due to neonatal hormones or other hormone differences or actual brain differences, which I kind of doubt, and none of that has anything to do with all the typical “feminine” traits some trans women adopt with such slavish fervor; it must be said though–#notalltranswomen 😉 ).

        In terms of safe spaces, I think these should rather be “female” spaces, just so we can talk without constant inane interruptions from ill-educated men. But I agreee they should not be intellectually safe, and I am also tired of overdoing trigger warnings. I’m aware there are people who have been through much worse, but I’ve survived lots of male violence–rape, more or less violent (though never with a concurrent beating), various other sexual assaults, and being hit and choked by a boyfriend; and personally I don’t find anything triggering on a visceral level (on an emotional level, sure, but then again if I’m reading an article about feminism/rape/violence against women etc. I expect it might be mentioned and am prepared for it). There is so much *actual* violence in the world and people say such awful things all the time that trigger warnings seem more of a disservice than anything else, coddling women as if they were children…I think they are best for those in the immediate aftermath of their ordeals (or those who have yet to come to terms with the violence that’s happened to them) but I doubt they’d find themselves on a feminist article about VAW in the first place, at least not without knowing what they’re letting themselves in for.

        I’ve never heard another feminist express this online and I’ve been afraid of expressing it myself, which is the ultimate irony: afraid of expressing my distaste for trigger warnings and safe spaces for fear of being judged while in a safe space (like a radfem internet site). So thanks for that. The Atlantic Monthly has several articles on this very issue recently (in the last few months), including the excellent “The Coddling of the American Mind,” talking about how “hurt feelings” are ruling the conversation on college campuses, are considered by liberal students to be real violence, are making professors scared to say anything the slightest bit provocative or controversial in class for fear of censure or firing (rendering the campus again ironically an unsafe space for them), are pushing for certain topics and books to be banned (including the topic of rape law in law school and literature on racism in literature programs), are curtailing open discussion and critical thought, and how, in the end, catering to the demands of these “hurt feelings” is doing everyone–students, teachers, and those who will later encounter these students in the workforce, as well as the American public at large who will one day find itself under their rule–a disservice. I think this is also happening to some extent in other developed nations and it is such a show of privilege and not surprisingly goes hand in hand with liberal feminism which ironically endorses such much real harm (pornography, prostitution) which theoretically sound so nice–an ideology to try on a like a nose ring and a punky new hairstyle–while conveniently not affecting them at all in their “safe space” (and nor is any of that uncomfortable disagreement about the subject, including the lived experiences of the women who’ve experienced such real horrors and felt distinctly unsafe). These clashing mentalities, however (of openness to all sorts of abusive practices and intolerance toward dissenting opinions) does a disservice to women who are abused within a BDSM relationship, or have second thoughts about how great it was to do that porno for tuition money, or feel used because they thought sleeping around with a whole fraternity was “empowering;” such a campus that won’t tolerate any point of view that doesn’t toe the party line is a distinctly unsafe space for them too, nominally albeit vocally “enthusiastic consent” oriented and “anti-rape activist” or not.

        I, for one, am totally with you. Here’s to critical dissent and passionate discussion in open spaces that are not intellectually safe. If the conversation feels safe it’s because nothing’s changing, nothing’s happening.

        • TheArtistFormerlyKnownAsYoya

          I’ve been following The Atlantic’s articles on the topic as well, and think this phenomenon shows up often in online discussions. As soon as someone feels they’ve got the “moral high ground”, because you’ve been identified as a SWERF or a TERF, you are no longer due any form of respect and are to be silenced by any means necessary. There is no room for disagreement and exchange of ideas in some feminist places on the internet.

        • Rocio

          I understand where you are coming from in that liberals are getting ridiculous with language policing.

          But I have to vehemently disagree about those articles in the Atlantic like the one you mentioned and similar ones about how campuses are run amok. They are mostly written by right-wing men who are interesting in denying sexism and racism etch and in promoting the idea that women and non-whites are bullies with a bunch of power. They exaggerate in the extreme and turn a few incidents with some ridiculous liberals as to say that universities are not longer places of fierce debate. As someone who graduated from college only a few years ago, I can tell you professors at most universities in the US are not afraid to speak their minds (except to piss off administrators) and if anybody’s jobs are challenged it is from right-wing students going after left-wing professors. I have never had a professor who was afraid of their students honestly. These people writing this BS in the Atalntic have a very clear agenda that is not at all aligned with left-wingers who want free and open discussion.

  • Sylvia Black

    Males are not my sisters and they need to be okay with that.The fact that they are NOT okay with that says way more about them then it does me. “Kill all terfs” is a rallying cry for violating women. It is aggrieved
    male entitlement towards women who dare put up a boundary and hold it. If male-to-trans people gave a shit about women they would be spending their days speaking up for women to not be threatened on account of liberating *just females*(/feminism). Many of us have seen how pronouns and “woman” have been threatened right out of the feminist movement and know the costs when these words are lost.

    Women: hold your ground. You are not hateful or wrong for focusing on 51% of the global population
    ffs. There is so much left to do and your energy is precious.

  • Meghan Murphy

    srsly

  • Kris

    I hope someone does call her a TERF, maybe it will clue her in. The irony is that while Lindy has no problem slurring other women as TERFs, she herself is all up in arms and calling out comedian Patton Oswalt for using the acronym SJW on Twitter (in no relation to her at all), claiming that SJW is a slur that has been used toward her as a silencing tactic.

    • Meghan Murphy

      Oh lord the irony.

    • I am pretty sure that Social Justice Warrior is a right wing slur (just like Politically Correct). Nobody identifies as a SJW and it is used to dismiss people. That said, I do not like the standard term “Social Justice” either. It is deliberately vague. It also allows people to avoid saying “leftist” and instead pretend to be apolitical. “Leftist” and “political” should not be considered swear words. They are legitimate labels to identify with.

      • Meghan Murphy

        No I think it’s used to mock… But I use it and I’m not right wing. I just use it to refer to the ‘twitter activists’ who pretend that hashtags and harassing people they disagree with equates to activism.

      • Kris

        My point is not that SJW is not used as a pejorative. Obviously, it is and loads of people use it to mock whomever, and also apparently to attempt to silence Lindy West. My point is that it is ironic that she complains when perjoratives are used against her, while using the exact same tactic herself.

        • Meghan Murphy

          Totally agree, Kris.

      • TiredOfDoubleThink

        Nobody identifies as TERF/SWERF/TWERF whatever either, except for a few people who are trying to “take back” the terms, and there are people doing the same with “SJW”. Seems pretty equivalent to me.

  • Zuzanna Smith

    I totally agree Mellie, and bullying women into calling themselves “cis” is extremely disrespectful. I do not allow others to label me, I am a woman, no prefix needed. Some trans male on Pinknews comments told me that he was a better woman than me because it had just been gifted to me and he had to work hard for it, as if womanning was a skill that could be perfected like playing the piano.

    • JingFei

      Ever notice you never hear anyone policing men to call themselves “cis-men”? Most men I’ve spoken, gay and straight alike, look confused when they hear the term. You have to explain it to them, and yet all women seem to know it. I was militantly introduced to this term only 6 months after I immigrated to Canada and it was confusing as hell. Can you imagine if someone walked into a sports bar, turned down the television and insisted the boys no longer refer to themselves as “dudes”, that it was “exclusive and transphobic hate speech” and hence forth, they must say “I am a cis-dude” otherwise the are directly making trans men commit suicide?
      No one tries to bully and threaten males. And yet I have seen straight men use “terf” and correct women when it comes to these terms, with the trans advocates cheering them on.
      Why is there no “TED” ( Trans exclusionary dudebro) slur? Because they would get met with fits of laughter.

      • Meghan Murphy

        I know, right? Why is it that women are the only ones being bullied and silenced over this trans debate? Why are there no male “TERFs?” It’s no coincidence, in all of this, that women/feminists are, again, being blamed for male violence, while men get off scot-free.

        • hellkell

          And I’ve noticed that men on the left love using TERF, it allows them to feel totally righteous while telling women to shut up and think the way they want them to think.

      • Zuzanna Smith

        Exactly, the same way you don’t hear about straight men suddenly identifying as gay because their partner has become a transman, it’s pretty inconceivable. But women are obligated to change with every whim of men and their precious delicate feelings.

  • Lucia Lola

    Oh, this, THIS! This so very much.

  • Meghan Murphy

    I read that line as a dig to libfems who take zero risk in their ‘politics’ and seem to just repeat empty mantras for cookies.

    • keeva99

      ok, well if that’s the case I’ll retract my statement, but I really didn’t read it that way. I I I, me me me…reeks of individualism.

      • Meghan Murphy

        You don’t need to retract your statement. I’m not saying your opinion is necessarily wrong. It’s just not how I read it. We can disagree.

  • Meghan Murphy

    I haven’t deleted anything from you and nothing is in the spam folder… Perhaps it has been lost in the ethernet? Sorry 🙁

  • TheArtistFormerlyKnownAsYoya

    I hope it turns up… 🙁

  • TheArtistFormerlyKnownAsYoya

    A libfem let it slip the other day that she thinks radfems “aren’t good people”. This is someone frequently shouting about SWERFs, TERFs and white feminism (a white “feminist” herself, may I add). I said “Oh really? This is news to me.” and she backtracked, saying she meant “some radfems who are exclusive”. There’s that moral high ground again, and the sheer amount of ignorance is just appalling.

    Although this article is quite obviously biased by referring to the phenomenon as “victimhood culture”, I found it really fascinating as it identifies the root of what is happening on college campuses, in online discussions, etc:

    http://righteousmind.com/where-microaggressions-really-come-from/

    • Rocio

      Every time I hear some White liberal/sex positive Feminist who complains about “White Feminism” I’m like but you *are* White Liberal Feminism and they don’t even see it. Unless they’re committed anti-capitalists they’re not getting

      • Meghan Murphy

        It’s an incredibly strange reversal, isn’t it? They are entirely blind to their own words and politics.

  • Rocio

    Ah I went to a co-ed Jesuit university that had a higher percentage of conservative students than your average public or non-religious university. We left-wingers fiercely spoke our minds and right-wingers spoke theirs though the religious ones felt they had the upper hand bc we were at a Catholic in name university (the student body is at least half non-Catholic & would not be a top school if it was a school that didn’t try to recruit others). Obviously no left-wing professor at that kind of school doesn’t have thick skin and expects to hear all sorts of viewpoints from their students. They’re not the types to be bullied. I can see how this would be a much greater problem at Grad School which seems like a bigger echo chamber. I have an acquaintance who is getting her PhD at one school and boy does she support the sex positive party line. I mean it’s not a surprise. Undergrad is far more diverse than grad school due to $$$ reasons and well certain grad programs are mostly just liberal people who grew up in the solid or upper middle class.

  • Rocio

    The reason it gets to me is that these guys go off on “coddled” overly sensitive Black students at U Missouri and Yale (who many people sharing go off about the SJWs) and get incredible page views that far surpass the any other articles of the situations on these campuses at the same time that two students at U Missouri were arrested for threatening to kill Black students on campus. And that video that was shared by libertarians to show some Black girl yelling at an administrator at Yale over the administrator’s insensitive comments has led to various death threats against her. She had to delete her online presence entirely. IMO these writers do NOT care about the flames they fan or the effects of feeding to right-wing narrative that says Leftists & liberals are bullying people on college campuses. I have criticized the liberal’s whole party line policing before at length but as they say timing is everything. Going off about how liberals are “threatening free speech on campus” to a rabid activated right-wing at a time in the US where an open fascist like Trump is running is just not responsible behavior IMO, and truly shows these writer’s place in society that they think they can write these things with the environment that is happening and NOT think that racists aren’t eating up what they are saying.

  • Misanthropia

    You’re welcome. I’m fucking tired of having to make everything about men and suck the dicks of the one percent of men who only want to derail feminism. There are women dying in childbirth, being raped, being killed, being excluded from spaces and yet we are the privileged ones? BULLSHIT. I’ve said before and I’ll say it again, that transgenderism as we know it is a silent war on women, taking away the language we have to describe our situation and making excuses for violent men who hide behind the trans label. They may win the battles but we will win the war against these misogynists.

    • Cheree Corbin

      Transwomen are also raped, killed, and excluded from space.

  • Sally

    Very good points. I don’t understand the competition to be seen as more “oppressed” either. It’s like yeah, we know it sucks for trans people. We defend them against misogyny at every turn and this is how third wavers have responded? Like do they even realize that the same forces hurting cis women are the exact same forces hurting those who identify as trans? I’ve found one common theme among lib fems is they seem to be completely ignorant of feminist theory and either don’t know what patriarchy is or don’t accept it exists. So strange. As a woman I’m done being a victim. It’s important to acknowledge our victimization, but we do not need to make this our identity in order to get people to give us what we want or pat us on the head. Feminism is about fighting back and illuminating victimization in order to shed a light on the issue of misogyny. I don’t need to tell another woman about how I’m “more raped” than another woman in order to get people to listen to me. That is not what being an ally is about. It’s accepting there’s a common threads among our victimization and how can we all focus on what’s imperative to address it. Trying to minimize others suffering in order to bring your own into the limelight is not the way to go. It’s a competition to the bottom when you take that route. The same can be applied to those mra’s who constantly scream “but men too! ” yet rarely ever acknowledge that the very patriarchy that is oppressing women is defining harmful masculinity. We get that living up to a standard sucks. We’re women for chrissakes! As if this is some kind of novel thing?

  • calabasa

    Well, I am sure transwomen will be wanting to take self-defense classes, which might be fine for petite transwomen but for the big and tall they won’t find themselves very evenly matched! (Maybe better practice for the women of the class, though!).

    What martial art are you doing? I did judo for 2 years and got pretty good at it, I earned a brown belt (although I forget most of it now). I don’t think it really made a difference as I could still never bring myself to use it on a daily basis. The best self-defense courses for women might be those that teach women how to shout “no!” really loudly, and that have a psychological component as well (i.e. talk about coercion and real-life situations women are likely to face that aren’t of your “attacker in the street” variety but more of your “what to do when a guy you know gets out of line” variety, as well as maybe at least one section on partner violence).

    I wouldn’t consider carrying a weapon if it weren’t for my ankle…my sensei when I did judo always said “your feet are your best defense, not for doing foot sweeps but for running away.” Always run first: good advice.

    But really, learning how to resist in the first place is the best defense (and even people highly trained in martial arts might find it hard to use them on the streets, there is a reluctance to do violence even to someone who is doing violence to you, and I think this is even more true of women than men).

  • crawlkill

    the idea that reproductive right-centric feminism is alienating to trans people is very disturbing to me. speaking as a gay dude, this whole Planned Parenthood mess is never likely to affect me personally, but I don’t know if there’s anything I care about more right now. suffering from our own problems cannot, must not, diminish our ability to feel empathy for someone else’s, even if our problems are pretty unpleasant. the central nature of family planning, birth control and reproductive self-determination in the smooth functioning of society, to say nothing of the millions of specific cis women suffering for want of access to all three, makes it a vast and demographically critical issue with a clear solution.

    how could anyone, in short, find that issue alienating? does the movement to reform police violence alienate Julia Serano because of its specific focus on black lives? you don’t need to be a–what was the author’s term? a breed-and-bleed woman to be affected, in both a your-life and your-feelings sense, by the nightmarish social ill that is women lacking basic sexual agency. unless there are literally no fertile women you care about in the world, it’s not just fertile women’s problem.

  • Meghan Murphy

    How incredibly ridiculous!

  • Meghan Murphy

    As far as feminism goes, it seems there are far more pressing matters than pronouns… There are so many trans activists who hate on feminists routinely and call them “TERFS” who simultaneously support prostitution and think objectification is A-OK… I mean, if these people really cared about women, you’d think they’d focus their energy on misogynistic or violent men, rather than on feminists who fail to use preferred pronouns, no?

    • cp2895

      By that logic, all western feminists trying to fight for more reproductive rights should stfu because women in parts of Asia and Africa are routinely barred from going to school/are married as children/have acid thrown in their faces/etc etc etc. MRAs routinely use the argument I made above to diminish the work that feminists and women from the west- I’m sure you’ve heard it before -“since women in other parts of the world have it so much worse, we should focus our energy on that rather than on our own problems” or something to that effect. What they ignore is that we can, like Benkai_Debussy says below, care about and fight for/against more than one thing at a time.

      So sure, there are issues far more pressing than pronouns, but we can acknowledge the difference in severity without using that as a way to diminish transwomen who get upset at being referred to by the wrong pronoun (and a lot transwomen who do get upset at being called by the wrong pronoun aren’t also cool with the objectification and sexual slavery of women and female bodies…I understand what you’re saying with that comment, but it implies to me that either this is a characteristic of most transwomen, or that only misogynistic transwomen care about pronouns).

  • Meghan Murphy

    idk, a rather large group of people spent months attacking me, smearing me, and trying to have me fired and no-platformed based on the false accusation of ‘transphobia,’ simply because I’d argued that a naked photo shoot of Laverne Cox in Allure magazine wasn’t going to help/liberate marginalized people. Is that helpful for feminism, somehow?

    • Sythana

      It’s true that that shoot didnt feed all the homeless people in the world. But what it did do was show people like me that our bodies aren’t deformed; it helps us see that our bodies can be beautiful.

      • Meghan Murphy

        That’s kind of a derail/besides the point. And the same argument is used to defend the objectification of all women’s bodies… Being objectifiable/viewed as attractive, according to the male gaze, may well feel nice, but that’s really all it does… In any case, arguing that this version of acceptance doesn’t constitute a radical act is not ‘transphobic.’ Any criticism of discourse surrounding trans women is not automatically transphobic.

        • Sythana

          You said the photo shoot wasn’t going to help/liberate marginalizes people, so I was bringing up how it could help some trans women to begin to see their own bodies as not deformed. It wasn’t intended to derail, just to respond to that part of your post.

          And when I look at the picture, I don’t think about what men find attractive – I don’t care whether men find it attractive. An individual can have their own standards of beauty that’s separate from what men want. So while there could be people lauding the picture because guys think it’s hot, I certainly wasn’t one of them.

          • Meghan Murphy

            Ok well, that’s all fine and good. Whether or not we agree or disagree on that particular point, though, isn’t really relevant to the point I was making which is that a whole bunch of people tried to accuse me of being a transphobic bigot for making the exact same arguments I always make — just this time it was in relation to a trans woman.

  • Thanks, I appreciate that. I will try and remember that that kind of behavior is coming from a place of personal pain.

  • Sythana

    I have heard of that term, but I wasn’t sure what it meant. I googled it and I don’t think anyone really understands it, least of all the people using it.

    From what I’ve noticed, most movements have a militant/overly aggressive faction that throws a lot of hate around, born from self destructive thoughts and constant societal presser to conform/assimilate. While I can understand the frustration that someone can feel, the wanting to vent with people who’re going through the same things, I don’t find it to be helpful in the long term – it leads to a cyclical pattern of anger and hate. Worse still, potential allies get thrown under the bus, which only serves to undermine the movement as a whole.

    I hope that this rift can be mended someday, because not only do we want the same thing – to improve the lives of all women – but the only people this helps are the ****ing MRAs.

  • Meghan Murphy

    I do use preferred pronouns, so you’re barking up the wrong tree on this point. That said, the popular argument that to use the wrong pronouns somehow = violence is ridiculous. Beyond that, feminism has some great, smart, genuine trans allies. I am fully aware that the anti-feminist trans activists on Twitter are not representative of all trans people. At the same time, they do dominate the conversation… Surely you can see that?

    • Benkai_Debussy

      Oh, I completely agree that there are a lot of stupid people posting on sites like twitter/tumblr/etc, and there’s nothing wrong with arguing with them. I was just under the impression that many people are generalizing this behavior towards trans-people in general. And I’m pretty sure it’s an accurate impression in many cases, though it apparently isn’t the case with you specifically.

      I think that it’s easy to get a distorted impression from sites like twitter, tumblr, and certain blogs. These sites can be dominated by particular communities/viewpoints and aren’t necessary representative of the actual reality of feminist/trans/whatever discourse (which, outside of these pockets of the internet, is actually quite hostile towards trans-related issues).

      (Just in case, I want to mention that I’m not accusing you of being trans-phobic or anything; it’s just that what you initially said made me think of some problems I often see in discourse surrounding these topics.)

  • Believe me, when people use the wrong pronouns in referring to you, it’s pretty noticeable.

  • maskedghoul

    I’m just sick to death of having ‘cissexist’ thrown at me every time I post something about my vicious, debilitating period cramps on account of endometriosis. My uterine lining has absolutely ZERO to do with any other person on planet earth, much less a trans woman who doesn’t have a uterus.

  • I get what the author is trying to do here, but trying the “softly, softly” approach with the trans is not going to work. No matter how many times you tell them you embrace them as your sisters, the second you disagree with them about anything they will scream at you to shut the fuck up and die.

  • She should be ashamed for disagreeing with you? Hahaha. That does seem to be the typical trans line of thinking, though. “Support my delusions of being female or you’re a bad person!”

    Feminism is not about you, and owes you nothing.

  • You sure are personally invested in controlling this conversation.

  • Meghan Murphy

    I’m confused. Are the feminists the ‘bullies’ in this scenario?

  • Toni Coughlin

    Oh, look: JingFei and the Angry Essay. Coming soon to a theater near you. Here’s the thing about all your anecdotal and hypothetical representations: they’re straw. And packing straw is something I’d expect to see on a farm, not on the internet.

    So again, here’s my position: If you want to fight for women’s rights, then let’s do it. If you want to conflate trans people with some a representative ‘trans lobby’ that’s all the way bad in every bad way that you can find to badly describe it, then we can’t be friends.

    Sorry, but I have no interest in fussing over the acceptable minorities versus the unacceptable minorities. I don’t want to hear about your ‘acceptance’ of trans women over ‘fetishists’ any more than I want to hear about some sexists ‘acceptance’ of women over ‘cunts’ or some racists ‘acceptance of black people over ‘niggers’.

    • JingFei

      Yep, zero empathy.

  • Meghan Murphy

    Feminism has never been about ‘egalitarianism.’ We don’t want to be ‘like men’ — we want liberation from patriarchy.

  • Meghan Murphy

    You’re saying a whole lotta words that just add up to you not having a clue what you’re talking about.

    • RogueGhost2424

      You’re not even saying anything useful because you have had no clue about what’s actually going on.

      • Meghan Murphy

        I know you are but what am I

        • RogueGhost2424

          I’m what?

          • Meghan Murphy

            Not in on the joke?

      • Morag999

        Let me get this straight. You talk a bunch of nonsense, including making the lunatic claim that it’s “obvious” men can get pregnant. Yet, according to you, it’s Meghan who doesn’t have a clue what’s going on?

        Listen — many queer/transgenderist ideas are awfully imaginative and fanciful. And I’m sure it’s a lot of fun for those who enjoy spending time in, or escaping to, the fantastical realm. But there comes a time when you have to put away the magical thinking if you want to be taken at all seriously by serious, thinking people. For instance, people who know that only women can get pregnant.

        • RogueGhost2424

          Sounds like you don’t have a clue about what’s going on either. You talk about only women getting pregnant but many men have been pregnant and carried children to term. It’s amazing how you’ll do anything to avoid reality just because transgender and intersex people absolutely wreck the old “male vs female” binary that TERFs and other feminist radicals rely on to wage a sexist war.

          • Meghan Murphy

            Yes, YES! Feminists LOVE the binary. Without it, what would be the source of women’s oppression?! Good to see you’ve developed a solid understanding of the thing you are attempting to criticize, before criticizing it.

          • Morag999

            “You talk about only women getting pregnant but many men have been pregnant and carried children to term.”

            OK, RogueGhost, I get it: you’re pulling my leg for a bit of fun.

            Or, maybe you’re using hyperbole to expose the childish, make-believe nonsense to which trangenderists religiously cling. But, in that case, you’re preaching — so to speak — to the converted.

          • jr565

            What man has gotten pregnant? Was that man a biological women? Ahh………

        • Sythana

          Interesting, I hear MRAs saying the same thing.

          • Morag999

            And what’s that same thing, Sythana? That only women can get pregnant? Oh, no! I’m just like an MRA!

            Do MRAs also say that the Earth is round and that the sky is blue?

          • Sythana

            Here’s the thing, you’re using biology to try and prove your point, so let me use biology to disprove your point. The brain is sexually dimorphic, with transsexual brain structures matching cis brain structures. And since genitalia are thoughtless meat-parts, brain structure is what determines sexual identity, not genital structure.

        • athuberty

          Trans men (or men born women) can get pregnant. The idea of the midwives changing the term is that by calling them pregnant women, you strip away the idea that their preferred gender is masculine, even if their sex at birth was female.

          The naming convention has nothing to do with trans women. Everyone knows they can’t get pregnant.

          The trans men never come up in these debates, and they’re actually a driving factor in why organizations addressing women’s health services are becoming trans inclusionary. They were born women after all, so they need to be taken into account.

          • jr565

            If trans men can get pregnant it’s because they are women. They have uteruses. Only women have uteruses. They didn’t remove theirs, and so, like all women who can get pregnant, THEY can pregnant. Guys can’t get pregnant, since they don’t have uteruses. That’s basic biology.

  • Meghan Murphy

    Er, no… “Matriarchy” and “liberation” are not the same thing.

    • Luke Patrick

      Try expressing that POV in a room full of today’s so-called feminists. It’s a shame. Feminism really could have acheived quite a lot more by now, if it hadn’t been hijacked from within (and oppressed from without, it bears mentioning). I’m surprised that you reject the idea of egalitarianism as central to its philosophy. It may be the only way out of the trap that is modern society, for any of us. The problem needs to stop being framed in terms of gender; the real issue of this world is how its abundance is not shared equally (and there are reasons beyond and greater than gender discrimination for that). People could have rallied under the banner of feminism to acheive the above implied broader goal, but the shrillest, most philosophically myopic therein were not properly handled and now the whole thing has gone to pot. See the above article as evidence, what a (slyly written) rejectionist screed, when all we really need is inclusivity. Reject people after they show dishonesty, ill intentions, sexism or any other counterproductive behavior, not for who or what they are when they come forth. Feminism is eating its own legs.

      • Meghan Murphy

        Feminism has achieved more, arguably, than any other political movement that’s ever existed…

  • Sythana

    If you’re going to base your entire argument on biology, you can’t dismiss biology when it becomes inconvenient for your position.

    Moreover, where specifically did I say any body parts where “disgusting”? Where specifically did I say I wanted to “take up arms” against females and feminists?

    • Morag999

      What’s inconvenient for women, and for children, is the misogyny and stupidity exemplified by your lady-brain narrative and its material consequences.

      • Giauz Ragnarock

        She (nor I) are importing the lady-brain assumptions you are alarmed by. Neither am I (nor she) importing the man-brain assumptions you are alarmed by.

  • Meghan Murphy

    Do you mean ‘sex’ or ‘gender’? Also, I doubt Morag would deny the existence of intersex…

  • Meghan Murphy

    I agree that the gender binary is destructive and unhelpful — an invention, indeed. I don’t think that’s what any feminists are arguing against….?

  • Anna

    Oh please. She is only telling the truth. I’ve been called cis-scum,
    TERF, transphobic and to go kill myself because as a lesbian I had the
    nerve to say that I wouldn’t sleep with a transwoman. I never did any
    harm to any trans person whatsoever mind you, and even gave my support
    (silly me) on certain issues (like access to gender reassignment, use of
    pronouns and what have you). Well since then I’ve seen the light thanks
    to my experiences and support from my feminist sisters (lesbian or not)
    and decided that my voice can be used for very important issues instead
    of submitting and enabling delusional males telling me how my period
    works and what it’s like to go through puberty as a female like they
    have experienced it themselves. But sure, keep telling women to go kill
    themselves and “die in a fire you cis scum” as it’s so obviously a
    capital issue to have lesbians deny their orientation to please trans
    people instead of going after bi or pan girls. Geez, they even have a
    period tracking app FFS. How out of reality do you have to be to
    complain that period tracking apps are transphobic so a dev makes a
    gender neutral one??

  • Anna

    I see you got the “big clit” argument thrown your way too. I couldn’t
    avoid to see men in dresses with their legs apart, penis showing, when I
    was on tumblr. They tagged it all sorts of stuff but especially
    “lesbian”. It was years ago and I don’t use tumblr anymore so I don’t
    know if it’s still happening (besides being I’m too old for that now, at
    the time I left because I couldn’t deal with the weirdness and invented
    sexualities anymore and it became almost a sin to be a regular girl).
    Anyway
    I agree. When you flash your penis, potentially to minors even, and
    call it a “big clit”, you’re not “easing the dysphoria” as I’ve been
    scolded with, you’re just a male predator. No amount of fake indignation
    and bullying will change that. Ever.

  • withafunnyheart

    Females are the default human. science.

  • HistoryisHerstory too

    Brilliant article. So very well written and said. I cannot believe the school of midwifery won’t use the word ‘pregnant woman’ as not to offend anyone it’s crazy! What next?

  • Nancy Miau

    This is the best I’ve read in the comments, I really must agree with you!! Kudos for you 😀

    • Because, it affirms your mental disability as not a disability.

  • Nancy Miau

    How interesting the article on the trans woman not taking hormones and so on, it makes me wonder how it is that she identifies as a woman,then the whole gender construction comes to mind and makes my head ache but, I just don’t see how a woman would prefer to have these male characteristics .

  • Nekosite

    I get why you would say that “Cis is a non entity” but that erroneous. Cisgender is a marker adjective not an identity in of itself. No one is expecting anyone to claiming being cisgender.

    I don’t like claiming “being trans” it just happens to be something I am because of a combination of gender dysphoria (a disconnect between physiology and residual self image and self (whether you believe these to be biological, social / memetic or both is consequential), being in general androgynous / queer and being an philosophical advocate of postgenderism I socially identify as a women (while in my case more a combination of both genders in the binary).

    “…but don’t expect women to get on board with “we are all women” any more than black Americans bought the same from Rachel Dolezal.”

    This is a bit disingenuous. Race is entirely a social construct (unlike gender and sex). Even if it where not I would still advocate ones ability to change the color of their skin… not because because they would gain privilege or minority status but because it its who they want to be.

    If what this really comes down to is bathroom bill junk like most TERFs (yeah some peoples says its an insult, Again I am using it as a descriptor) then public bathrooms are public spaces.

    I am all for queer lesbian woman having their own spaces. I agree they need them but don’t go around doxing trans girls and calling them rapists and perverts.

    There are plenty of women that understand that trans girls are just in bathrooms to to business and in women’s spaces to feel comfortable.

  • Nekosite

    I respect you desire not to be labeled… However I like labels and need them for structure.

    Making such an important distinction about trans people makes sense to be because it seems to be a psychological / memetic and biological condition acting in correspondence with one another.

    Not even a expert statement, just building off of my own experiences and those of others I have shared. I also still completely understand how gender roles and binaries have been form as social constructs in patriarchal cultures.

    Having something to draw a distinction between people who experiences this and those that do not seems natural to me because it helps me makes sense and build a more accurate picture people in general.

    I apologize the discomfort that all of this causes.

    • Morag999

      “I apologize the discomfort that all of this causes.”

      Oh, no problem. Woman’s role is to accommodate. With a smile. So, please, go ahead: label us against our will, define our experiences, call us names, make metaphysical sex-roles the law of the land, invade our spaces … whatever males need to feel comfy and cozy with themselves, we’re a-okay with that.

      • Nekosite

        So I apologize and try to act civilly and you go off. Cool. e.e

  • Rafaela de Paula

    THANK YOOOOOOOOOOOOU.

    Unfortunately this liberal bullshit has come to Brazil and I have just been kicked out from a FEMINIST GROUP on facebook for asking “why is it transphobic to have exclusive spaces to talk about vagina issues?”

    She said “I don’t speak to TERFs” and kicked me out of the group. Seriously this is getting too much like every-day-life, it doesn’t seem like my feminism-safe-bubble anymore.

    Is it ok If I translate this and share on facebook?

    • Meghan Murphy

      Go for it!

  • JingFei

    No it’s not. It’s absolutely real. It even says so by your own source. Though it was deceptive, because you directly link to autogynephilia occuring in WOMEN which is rare to non-existent. In MEN, or MtF, your own source says it exists: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/m/pubmed/22005209/?i=5&from=/19591032/related

    The trans activists are trying to snuff out all knowledge of it, but it is a very real fetish. You can go to ANY fetish website and they have whole categories dedicated to it where men openly discuss this fetish. I’ve personally met cross-dressers with this fetish.
    I get that some trans women do not want to be lumped in and mistaken for a fetish, and that not all trans women are AGN,, but we cannot deny it’s existence.

    • PainbowDash

      If you claim it’s real than you should accept it occurs in 93% of women as the study shows. This is anything, but rare. Find another study on its rate in women to debunk those numbers if you claim it is real, but rare in women.

      A lot of paraphilias in the DSM are BS. That’s why they change them in every edition. Or maybe you think homosexuality is a paraphilia. The issue with paraphilia is it must cause distress to those suffering from it. This ignores questions of causality and correlation however. In a society where people stigmatize a certain behavior people will hide their behavior causing a dissonance in the brain. When it’s generally accepted people will behave openly without shame creating a feeling of acceptance. A fetish is only considered a paraphilia if it causes discomfort and distress. This is why they are BS pseudo science pushed out by those who have financial gains to be made by convincing individuals they are sick or broken. It wasn’t long ago these medical “experts” were using electroshock therapy and labotomy. One of the chairs on the paraphilia committee for the newest edition of DSM is still advocating the use of gay conversion therapy. What makes you think the modern psychiatric industry is infallible? Please do some critical analysis and research before speaking on a topic.

      • JingFei

        Rude 😛
        I’ve seen activists trying to dismiss this, so yes. In fact, I have looked into it. I spoke to this doctor ( albeit on Twitter) who directed me to his article on it, and it outlines what’s going on pretty well.
        http://www.sexologytoday.org/2016/01/whats-differennce-between.html

        The he directed me to this, that illustrates trans activists campaign to dismiss autogynephilia as “pseudo-science”, but at the same time, shows MtF trans who believe this accurately describes them and are fine with it. Also looks into it in further detail ( for example, highly unlikely that females, born and presenting female, would be sexually aroused by being feminized when they have always been feminized). It’s all food for thought, and you cannot outright dismiss it exists.

        http://www.science20.com/quantum_gravity/blog/according_moser_autogynephilia_women_what_could_mean

        I’m not going to ignore the people who have dedicated their lives to studying this (or the group of people who say this defines them) because a few rabid activists on the internet are afraid of it.
        Why do you care so much if they exist anyways? If this fetish doesn’t describe you, then fine. That’s not you. But it describes other people. Why is there such a push to not only erase these people from existence, but to prevent ANY study, research, or thought on it?

        • PainbowDash

          I don’t deny there are people turned on by the thought of themselves just as I don’t deny the existence of homosexuality. I reject the notion there is a standard sexuality and those not fitting it are mentally ill. All fetishes are strange to people to people who don’t share them. This however doesn’t mean anyone with a fetish is sick or broken.
          There are 549 “paraphilias.” Attracted to feet? You’re broken. Attracted to overweight people? Broken. Attracted to short people? Broken. Tall people? Broken. Attracted to butts? Yep that’s a paraphilia as well.
          In other words if you engage in anything outside of premarital sex in the missionary position most likely you have a paraphilia.
          Why would natural born females be turned on by the thought of themselves as females? Have you ever looked in the mirror and thought you happened to look extra sexy? Autogenopylia!
          Why is this paraphilia such a big issue for people? The same reason it was a big deal when homosexuality was listed as a disorder. People used homosexuality’s listing in the DSM to justify homophobia labeling all homosexuals as mentally ill perverts and deviants. This allowed gay conversion therapy to ruin the lives of thousands of men, women, and children. This allowed people to deny equal rights to these “deviants.” This made it ok in people’s minds to attack these clinically labeled “perverts.” This is exactly why transphobes insist on using the term Autogenopylia today. They want to justify their hate by declaring transwomen deviants and perverts. Why do you insist on using the term? Even if 100% of transwomen find the thought of themselves as women arousing so what? How does it affect you or anyone else?
          The term isn’t being used to discuss the paraphilia anyways. It’s being used to mislabel transwomen as perverts. You and I both know this is the case when people use it on these comment sections and to claim otherwise is disengous.
          I don’t care if I seem rude when people are trying to justify bigotry against me. Rude doesn’t even begin to describe the transphobic hate people are trying to spread whether or not they try to dress it up in polite language.

  • Sythana

    It’s so strange to see sister feminists embrace the westernized, patriarchal concept of identity. But if you are going to embrace such a flawed concept, the brain has physical differences that are influenced by the presence of estrogen and testosterone, as we as genetic factors which “contradict” genital structure for “sex” identity.

  • Adjowa Fuji Deva

    I fucking love you

    • RogueGhost2424

      I love you too, thanks for leaving your activity open so I could find this gem! You’re as “inclusive” as the author hahaha

  • Adjowa Fuji Deva

    There is literally nothing like that in the piece. You are just employing the same old tactics, making things up then calling your oponant hateful, although she said she was inclusive. Just goes to show you don’t have a leg to stand on.

    • RogueGhost2424

      Nice try, but you’re antitransgender yourself. Try hiding your comments about your extreme love for people who have this to say about transgender people before you pretend someone is inclusive:

      “Wandering lady-brain gets lost and winds up, quite by accident, taking up residence in a man’s body. Silly lady-brain! Poor guy is now forced to go out shopping for feminine things and — on top of it all — he is forced (though he’s just a girl, himself, and it hurts him so) to take up arms against females and feminists and their disgusting “meat-parts.”

      I’m sure I still don’t have a leg to stand on, right? xD

      • Meghan Murphy

        It might be helpful if you explain what you mean by “antitransgender.”

  • Meghan Murphy

    Are you saying that transmen are not, in fact, biologically female?

    • Sythana

      They aren’t. Patriarchal, westernized cis males have labeled them that for millennia because of course cis males are obsessed with genitalia and think it’s the only identifier of feminine/masculine identity. But brain structures in trans people match cis brain structures, and since the brain is obviously more important than genitalia for self awareness, no, transmales are biological male.

      Not sure why a few feminists want to use the patriarchal definitions of identity.

      • Meghan Murphy

        Identity and biology is not the same thing. Gender and sex are not the same thing. I don’t understand what is so wrong with being biologically female but not ‘identifying’ with femininity. That seems perfectly normal to me. Are you saying females who identify as female somehow are neurologically programmed towards femininity?

  • Meghan Murphy

    It is not a ‘moral’ judgement to say that a biological male is a biological male. That makes no sense.

    • Sythana

      I agree, biological males should be called biological males. And as I’ve already posted, trans males are biological males and trans females are biological females because, just like sexual orientation, sexual identity is inborn and brain structure is the true identifier of identity and orientation, not genital structure.

    • Giauz Ragnarock

      It is a socially conditioned category definition, though. We could base “biological sex” on “gender identity” instead of more observable sex characteristics and still have accurate definitions (different ones, but based on the person’s biological relationship between their brain and sex characteristics instead of just the characteristics themselves).

      • Meghan Murphy

        But patriarchy is based on biological sex. That is to say, it exists because men realized they needed to control women as they were the sex capable of giving birth.

  • Sarah Powell

    I am a trans woman, let me get this out of the way first. I think most trans people dislike Caitlin Jenner. She is a terrible advocate. I think Laverne Cox is an awesome advocate. She is very eloquent.

    I appreciate your view on the issue of trans advocacy and feminism. Passions can get heated on both sides of any disagreement. I don’t think the person that called TERFs (I’m not trying to be inflammatory) genocidal maniacs on twitter actually believes that.

    I can see how the recent attention of trans people can be frustrating. Trans people and specifically trans women have been getting a surge in awareness, but that’s exactly what it is a surge. Things have already calmed down as of me writing this in April of ’16. 2015 was our time in the sun after being pushed to the shadows for millennias. Trans people didn’t just appear in the 20th century. What changed is that we’ve been slowly getting more recognition these past decades. Please try and see things from our perspective once in a while.

    The issues you talked about are terrible, I hope they are resolved and I suspect they will eventually. The moral arc of the universe is long, but it bends towards justice. The problem I have with radical feminists, like Germaine Greer, though is that I feel they have sort of poisoned the well of feminism. I think a lot of young women are afraid to call themselves feminists because of the nasty vitriol of radical feminists.

    Trans people are tried of being mistreated without fear of consequences. That’s why so many lash out on social media. Until very recently that was our only outlet to voice our outrage. We were whitewashed from the stonewall riots. When I was growing up the only depictions of trans people were the trashy shows like Jerry Springer and TV programs that treated us like sideshow oddities. I think that’s part of why I only started my transition a few years ago.

    We are normal people with feelings. Nasty comments from people like Cathy Brennan saying “sorry about your dick” are like a being stabbed in the chest. I can’t help being born male. Please don’t hold that against me.

  • Meghan Murphy

    Speaking of ‘science’ and ‘being left behind in the history books,’ are you not the one who argued that femininity and masculinity are real things, not simply characteristics invented to reinforce the gender hierarchy?

  • Meghan Murphy

    You can talk about those things here, sister.

  • Meghan Murphy

    By “an intersectional analysis of gender” you mean what, exactly? The gender hierarchy? i.e. patriarchy? Because lol.

    • Che Coker

      Hey Meghan. I responded to one of your other posts. I think you are very informative and persuasive with your comments. I would like to maybe flesh out what Alex might have been getting at. Sometimes, race, class and sexual orientation can intersect with biological sex based hierarchies. Or maybe depending on the situation or social environment, race or class might trump gender. I’ve experienced a lot of this first hand. Like I had a job at a library for ten years. And I was qualified for a promotion that I never received and that I asked for. I was the only male. My boss and coworkers all were white females who had more education than I. But I was qualified for the promotion however based on time worked and the education I did have. Anyway, I was aware that historically librarians and library assistants were female and that a lot of the times when a male entered that world he might be promoted over the women. So I felt that there was this fear that would happen with me from the viewpoints of my co workers. They also shunned me socially. So I felt there was a conscious effort to keep me from rising on that job because of a perceived threat of me using my male privilege when in actuality and actual reality they had more power, status and privilege in the situation as white, educated people. In this case their whiteness and class trumped me being male because I was a male of color who had less status in society. Classic inter sectionalism. Another example I can think of would be my experience growing up in a predominantly white neighborhood. When I was a kid in the 70s and 80s; integration was just actually being implemented in everyday life. I noticed that I was the only child of color allowed in my white friends’ homes. Especially the only male child of color that my white female friends were allowed to play with. I saw that other black male children were looked at with suspicion or outfight fear. I even heard one of my girlfriend’s father say that he didn’t want a certain black boy in his house with his daughter when he wasn’t there, but that it was okay that she and I be alone together. I learned early that because I expressed myself in a traditionally feminine way; that adults saw me as non threatening sexually. And that other black males were seen as sexually threatening. Also, I was told that since I was lighter skinned that I was included or befriended because of those traits and that other black people had been excluded as friends because they were ‘all black’. So as a gay or feminine mixed race ‘black’ male, I have more privilege in a white space than a darker black heterosexual male. Alternately, in a black space; I have less privilege than a heteronormative black male. Because values around race and gender are generally different in the white and black communities. So, intersectional feminism deals with all that. It’s crucial for all people who want real change to be acquainted with some of the intersectional theory, if you actually haven’t lived it or you lived it and didn’t realize what you were experiencing had anything to do with feminism. It basically is acknowledging that there are hierarchies around gender and race and class and they are all happening simultaneously. Thanks for reading and hopefully I didn’t offend anybody

  • Meghan Murphy

    Gay men are often just as misogynistic as straight men and, today, seem to have almost zero interest in supporting the women’s movement. http://www.feministcurrent.com/2014/09/23/podcast-has-the-gay-rights-movement-has-lost-its-teeth-julie-bindel-on-her-new-book-straight-expectations/

  • Meghan Murphy

    But intersex and trans is not at all the same thing…

  • Meghan Murphy

    How can you say that a person’s biological sex doesn’t take precedence over their gender identity when we KNOW that women are oppressed because they are born female???

    • Prince_Ali

      I don’t think you understand what I am talking about. FOR THE TRANS COMMUNITY (which I was pretty clearly referring to), a person’s biological sex does/should not take precedence over their gender identity. When you are referring to a trans man, said individual is not a woman (as according to their sex), they are a man. Their gender identity is what is used to identify them (in accordance with their preference). If you cannot understand this concept, I do not think you can call yourself an ally of the trans community. In which case, I suggest you do some research about this topic, so you do not make uninformed comments.

      Also, I can say that (not according to the rules of society), your biological sex is not what should/does define you as a person. No one is arguing that cisgender women do not face oppression based on being biologically female or that they should not be treated with equity compared to men. What I am saying is that being biologically female is not what should be used to identify someone whose gender might be nonbinary, male, etc.

      However, I literally have not mentioned ciswomen (women whose gender identity matches their biological sex) at all, so I have no idea why you are bringing this into a discussion that is clearly about the trans community.

      I think the fact that you immediately jumped to talking about ciswomen shows that you do not understand what I mean by gender identity. In which case, I suggest again looking up the differences between sex and gender specifically in relation to the trans community.

      Going back to the original point, which you seem to have forgotten, you seem to be advocating for members of the trans community to identify themselves by their biological sex rather than their gender identity. That’s rather disrespectful and pushes your own opinions and preferences onto a whole category of people who are just as entitled to their own – especially considering that this is about them.

      • Meghan Murphy

        I honestly don’t understand what your point is. Ok, so a transman is a transman. That doesn’t make them male. I’m a feminist — I’m making a feminist analysis. Whether or not that makes me “an ally to the trans community” is irrelevant, unless the trans community is a feminist one. I ally with other feminists. Period. I don’t feel the need to include myself in communities that don’t share my political goals. There are plenty of trans people who ARE feminist and, therefore, are allies, but that doesn’t mean the “trans community,” whomever that is, are necessarily allies (unless they prove themselves to be). Does this make any sense to you?

        “However, I literally have not mentioned ciswomen (women whose gender identity matches their biological sex) at all, so I have no idea why you are bringing this into a discussion that is clearly about the trans community.”

        YO. This is a feminist site. We are ALWAYS centering women, here. If you don’t want to talk about women and the impact of the gender hierarchy on women, what are you doing here?

        I suggest YOU look up “feminism” before coming here and lecturing feminists about what it is they are supposed to be talking about and who they are supposed to be centering/allying with.

        YOU do not dictate “the original point.” I do. And you don’t get to bully people into having YOUR conversation the way YOU want to have it. K?

  • IntersexXX

    I agree with a lot of what Penny White discussed in this article. Women have been marginalised for centuries; women have been no more than objects to own and/or to consume. In this glorious century of progression, women are feeling even more marginalised than ever before.
    Women’s movements are being stigmatised for wanting to focus on real issues that pertain to their collective biology, such as: reproductive rights, female genital mutilations and the right to do jobs that are viewed as belonging to the more capable “male physique”: just to name a few of the rights based on the biological. These issues of biology tend to be shouted over by persons that feel that mere identity is the major issue. Sadly it is not.
    I, myself, am a woman that has an Intersex condition; I am not Intersex in the same way that a person with Down syndrome is not Down syndrome. Being fully vilirised I can understand how the stigma having a penis can eat away at you if you identify as female, but I don’t see how that can be used to override biological rights.
    I have a “penis” object between my legs and I have XX chromosomes and ovaries; I was lucky to have very liberal/lazy Finnish Australian parents. I was raised without personal pronouns of gender (hän is Finnish for he or she and his or hers) and all my siblings were treated the same. The choice was mine to be who I am and not enforced by my folks; my mother to this day proclaims that they had nothing to do with who their children became. Because of this I have a hierarchical identity: firstly I am happy, then a person, then I am me, followed by a female and lastly a feminist.

    So enough with my personal narrative and back to the issues of the post above.
    It is a shame that people are to fixated on the words used (words are never enough to convey the whole message) rather than the true essence of the original post. Dare I say that it is so goddamned ‘typical’ of trans persons to only focus on text rather than content.
    I have a diverse group of friends but my trans friends are usually the ones that make me uncomfortable in my own skin and more often than not angry. My trans friends are the first to ‘out’ me as a freak show when their own identity needs backing up ( I did not know that I had to be out and proud with my biological incongruity). My gender prefix (forcefully assigned by trans persons) changes when it suites the tran person, a perfect example is being told I am a ciswoman and don’t know the struggle of trans persons only to be told in the same breath by the same person that I am trans because I am a woman with a “penis”.
    As for cis, where the hell do trans persons get off assigning women as cis, can they not see how that further marginalises women. One of my rather political girlfriend fronts a radio show about trans issues and feels offended when she is referred to as a transwoman because she feels that the prefix trans- is irrelevant to her personhood, yet she insists on calling women ciswoman. This is an issue that has come close to violence more than a few times with her and I. By adding cis and dropping trans, I feel it further segregates women from womanhood and continues the degradation of women’s rights. Will future generations; who will eventually see trans women as just woman and non trans women as ciswoman, see the woman’s rights movements throughout history as trans rights because there will be no reference to “ciswoman”. Why are we forced to accept and change our vernacular to exclude ourselves just so women born men can feel more woman than women?
    Also as a side note; most transwoman I know strictly adhere to a very 50’s ideal of what a woman should be and as a result feel the need to gender my actions, thoughts and feelings while trying to force little old freakshow me into a ridged feminine cast. I always point out that I was not the one brought up to be a man.
    Call me a TERF ( yet another label forced on others by the trans community), call me an internalised transphobic freak but know that I don’t care for anyone that marginalises others.

    • Just Passing Through

      I wish I could upvote this twice….! Thank you

  • jr565

    Are they? Do lesbians generally have sex with women with penises?

  • The Mouse

    ouch!!! As a gay man, I agree. Just as I despise drag shows (hate them!) and I worry about how “trans” “women” behave, act in public and over do the “woman thing” with the makeup, pink clothes, exaggerated “womanly” mannerisms, etc. It’s sexist, but they don’t see it or get it. Trans “women” not only set ciswomen back 50 years, they reinforce stereotypes of what a woman should look like or act like. When I see a butch transwoman make it to the cover of Vanity Fair, I will sit down and shut up. Ever wonder why gay men dominate in fashion? Because they ALSO have stereotypes of what “real women” should look like. It’s men dictating to the world (whether gay or straight), how women should behave and look like.

    • Sythana

      Is sad to see a marginalized group stereotype another marginalized group.

      You haven’t met every trans woman in the world, just like the homophobes I grew up with in Oklahoma hadn’t met every gay man, but that didn’t stop them from stereotyping all gay men, just as its not stopping you from stereotyping all of us. Were the conservatives I grew up with right to do that to gay males? No, they weren’t, just like you’re not right in doing that to trans females.

  • Nekosite

    It doesn’t matter if people assume they where raised as boys of when they transitioned. Trans women still internalize memes associated with women and depending on their environment can can varying levels of socialization. To assume that all salivation is briny because it fits the culture you grew up in is jumping to conclusions.

    • Mellie

      What does internal feelings have to do with being treated and getting preferences of a boy and man. Trans women pre-transition get the benefit of not being talked down to, talked over, and other things those that are female are subjected to.

  • Meghan Murphy

    So any choice a woman makes ever is ‘not patriarchal’ because she made the choice?? Femininity has nothing to do with patriarchy if women ‘choose’ it? That is ridiculous.

  • Meghan Murphy

    But “30” would constitute “later in life,” no? Like the point was that before transitioning SarahLJP experienced male privilege, right?

    • SarahLJP

      Thank you, Catherine, for your support.

      Meghan, you don’t know me. Please don’t presume to know my life experiences. Besides I didn’t just come into existence when I started my transition. I may not have been treated like a female until I transitioned, but I still always viewed society’s treatment of women from the female point of view. I wish you could see passed the gender I was born into. I’m sure there’s nothing I can say, though, to make you feel otherwise about me.

      • Meghan Murphy

        I haven’t assumed anything. I was trying to clarify the point made by LorMarie. If you never experienced male privilege, feel free to say so.

        • SarahLJP

          I’m not denying that I’ve experienced male privilege. I’m just annoyed that I’m being judged for something I have no control over. It’s used to disqualify us from ever being able to relate to cis women on issues that, many of them, we both experience.

          • Meghan Murphy

            I guess I don’t really see it as ‘judgemental’ simply to say that the experiences of transwomen and women are different and that transwomen do experience male privilege during their formative years… And yes, transwomen and women can share many experiences, in terms of being treated like women in a sexist world, but there are also fundamental differences that I just don’t see the point in denying. Transwomen are not ‘bad’ because they are biologically male, just different. That’s ok, isn’t it?

          • SarahLJP

            *I’m glad we’re having a pretty reasonable discussion*
            Trans women are often painted with a broad brush. The age of transition and the environment a trans woman grows up in matters, I feel. You can’t say that a trans woman who transitions very young, like 4 or 5, has experienced much if any male privilege. I feel that my experience with male privilege is different from any other trans woman at the age I transitioned. I’m not sure if you understand what I’m trying to say.

          • Meghan Murphy

            I probably don’t understand exactly what it is you are trying to say, as I have not experienced what you have… But that’s ok. My only point, really, is that transwomen and women have different experiences (and some similar experiences) and that’s ok. I find it strange when people deny that there are any differences between transwomen and women is all.

          • SarahLJP

            I’m not trying to say there are no differences, there certainly are differences. I just wish people wouldn’t focus so much on the differences. As I’ve said, women and trans women both experience misogyny. Wage inequality (particularly for women of color), Body image issues, sexual harassment, and so on. More energy should be focused on our common struggles.

          • Meghan Murphy

            I think that focusing on common struggles is productive. I think many feminists feel frustration when some transactivists insist on saying that women’s struggles are not, in fact, women’s struggles… For example, that women don’t get pregnant but that PEOPLE get pregnant. Or when transactivists say that women cannot , in certain circumstances, have their own spaces. There are many areas where trans women and women can work together, but there are also some things that are specific to the female experience, and it is quite madedening to see this denied by some. I am not saying you have done this.

          • SarahLJP

            I do agree about the pregnancy thing. There were other things I was going to say, but I feel if I did it might get ugly. I’m nipping this in the bud.
            I’m not going to make anymore posts on this site anymore. Too much negativity tears me up inside. I wish there wasn’t so much animosity.

          • Meghan Murphy

            That’s fine. Though I don’t feel this conversation has been particularly “negative”…. All the best.

          • SarahLJP

            I wasn’t talking about our conversation. I was talking about this site in general. I do feel our conversation was probably going to get nasty though.

          • Meghan Murphy

            Um, ok… I guess women are meant to be ‘positive’ and ‘nice’ all the time?

          • SarahLJP

            Please don’t bait me into responding anymore. After only my second post on this article I was getting attacked by three people. I have too many things to worry about in real life. I don’t need anymore negativity right now. Our conversation might not have turned nasty, but I didn’t want to take the risk. I’m sorry we couldn’t go on any further. I hope you understand.

          • Meghan Murphy

            Of course.

          • Mellie

            Why can’t trans women create their own spaces. The fact that women and trans women face similar issues doesn’t mean we are the same. Gay men might face similar issues to women but they aren’t women and they shouldn’t demand access to women spaces or vice versa.

          • Sythana

            Firstly, trans females are biological females. Sex identity is determined by brain structure, not genital structure.

            And yes there are differences: trans female were socialized male as well as socialized to think we’re all buffalo bill from silence of the lambs, which is why our lives haven’t been any harder than cis females, but not any easier either.

            Our differences are similar to racial differences, religious differences, economical differences, etc of marginalized groups, bound together by being female.

      • I wish you could see and love the body you were born with however masculine or feminine you want to be.

    • Keep hammering. You’re right and radiojane is in denial.

  • Meghan Murphy

    But just the idea of transitioning reinforces the gender binary, no? Like, if you don’t feel comfortable with your assigned gender, why does that mean you must naturally be the opposite sex or gender? Why can’t you just continue existing, not fitting within the confines of the gender binary? That’s what trans-critical feminists are arguing, I believe…

    • Sythana

      The problem is that you can’t really go into a woman’s restroom with a full beard, “male” features, spotting a 70s style, button down, polyester shirt with your chest hair sticking out.

  • RogueGhost2424

    I agree, that’ is a very good analysis.

  • Meghan Murphy

    I didn’t argue any of those things. Also, my opinion is that women of colour should be entitled to have spaces for women of colour only — i.e. without white women. The same argument should be applied to women-only spaces (i.e. free from men).

    • Sythana

      Trans females aren’t men, so we agree that cis women’s spaces should be open to trans females.

      • Meghan Murphy

        Fine, but transwomen are male. (I don’t know what a transfemale is?) Are you arguing that there is no difference between transwomen and women? And that there is no circumstance under which is might be acceptable for women to have access to a space that is only open to women? Why can’t we support transwomen while also acknowledging that they aren’t female? Like, really, what is so bad about that? Why can’t we support people as they are?

        • Sythana

          Brain structure decides a persons identity not genital structure, so trans females are biological females, just as minority females, white females, lesbians, hetero females, etc. are all different types of females, trans female and cis females are also different types of women.

          Are there differences between an XX chromosome females born without ovaries and one with? Yes, but they’re both females. Are there differences between black females and white females? Yes, but they’re both female.

          • Meghan Murphy

            Identity is not the same as sex. Listen, I’m honestly not personally interested in keeping transwomen out of any spaces. But I do understand that some women do, and I think that is their right. I think that growing up female and growing up male in this world means something. I also am under the impression that, while some transpeople have gender dysphoria, some simply feel they don’t ‘fit’ within their assigned gender and believe, therefore, that this must mean they are the opposite sex, which doesn’t really make much sense. Having a female body means you are discriminated against and subjected to male violence, because you were born female — not because you have a ‘feminine’ identity. Trans people, of course, are also discriminated against and subjected to violence because they are trans. But transwomen and females are not the same, biologically, nor do they share the same social history. Again, that’s fine — it’s not an inherently negative thing and I don’t understand the point in insisting that transwomen and females are the exact same when clearly they are not. I mean, can we really say that a man who transitions as an adult has had the same life experience a woman who grew up female did? And hasn’t experienced male privilege and been socialized as male? Does that not matter at all?

          • Sythana

            There’s a lot to go through here. Firstly, seperating any group of people using a specific criteria is identity. But let’s say sex is somehow separate from identity, then how do you identity who is a female? See, you can’t even talk about this without using identity or one of its synonyms or describing a separation that translates to identity. Only people with natal vaginas are biological females… That’s giving a criteria for identifying someone as female. Moreover, there are females born with XX chromosomes who were born without vaginas. What is that? Regardless of how you answer that, you’re giving them an identity. The term female is an identity. Applying the term sex to separate one group of humans from another group of humans is creating an identity.

            So when you say identity is different than sex, I assume you’re saying that the feeling of being female is different than a biological cause of being female, and you’re defining that cause as having a vagin, which, again, is identity. What I’m say is that trans females have brain structures that match cis female brain structures, so if you’re going to put a criteria on the identity of sex, you should use brain structure and not genital structure.

            I also think that growing up identified as female or male means something, but that doesn’t give anyone the right to discriminate against an entire group of people because of stereotypes that everyone in that group is going to react to others in a certain way. If a group wants to stipulate that they reserve the right to bar females who act in obstructive, rude ways, great! That’s perfectly acceptable. I mean, no feminist group would want an ann coulter like conservative cis female coming in and bullying and even violently harassing others (having grown up in Oklahoma I’ve met a lot of cis females who are just as sexist as any cis male on his worst day). So it’s perfectly ok to kick a trans female out of she’s being mean and disruptive. But barring trans females only because they were born trans is discriminatory.

            As far as someone feeling like they don’t fit in so they call themselves trans by default is specious. First we’d need more specificity before just creating a hypothetical person and trying to understand their hypothetical motives, because currently it’s ambiguous.

            And yes of course, just as you said, having a female body (there’s that identity thing again) does subject you to discrimination in patriarchal cultures. But it isn’t a good argument to shut out all trans females outright from female spaces. Like I said earlier, barring rude and cruel people from a female space is a great idea, but that should apply to all types of females. Singling out trans females is just descriminatory.

            Moreover that issue won’t even stay relevant as western culture progresses. We’re already seeing the trans getting more acceptance and more rights, meaning trans people will be coming out of the closet more often and younger. At some point the socialized male thing will no longer be true, meaning that trans girls will be descriminated against in the same way as cis girls are now, due to early hormonal replacement therapy preventing masculinization body structure and creating feminized body structure, therefore being identified as female growing up.

          • Meghan Murphy

            But being female isn’t an identity… I mean, animals are either male or female. It is not an issue of ‘brain’ or of ‘feeling’. It’s an issue of chromosomes and reproductive organs. And no, of course that doesn’t mean that a woman who can’t reproduce isn’t female, but generally this is how a female differs from a male. You can’t ‘identify’ as male when you are female. You can wish to be male and perhaps feel more connected to stereotypicly masculine characteristics, but that doesn’t actually make you male.

            Research does not indicate that trans people actually have the brains of the sex they wish to transition to: http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/is-there-something-unique-about-the-transgender-brain/

            And, I mean, do you really think it’s reasonable to say that a male who has lived as a man for 30 years but now identifies as a woman must be permitted to, say, be a counselor at a rape crisis center for women? (I’m referencing the VRR case here, in case that isn’t obvious) Like, do you think it was unreasonable to decide this person wouldn’t be an appropriate choice for that position? http://www.feministcurrent.com/2012/05/14/rape-relief-v-nixon-transphobia-and-the-value-of-women-only-space-an-interview-with-lee-lakeman/ http://www.rapereliefshelter.bc.ca/learn/resources/chronology-events-kimberly-nixon-vs-vancouver-rape-relief-society

        • Because, then you are challenging their gender dysphoria… they don’t want to hear what they don’t want to hear and they don’t want to see what they don’t want to see.

  • Meghan Murphy

    I already told you what ‘female’ means. And the fact that there may be a biological basis for gender dysphoria is not the same as saying that transwomen are biologically female. Also, as I mentioned, not all trans people have gender dysphoria. Many simply are led to believe that, because they don’t like or feel comfortable behaving in masculine ways (if they are male) or feminine ways (if they are female) that they must be the other sex and must, therefore, transition. I don’t think it’s impossible that a transwoman could support a woman through trauma anymore than I think it’s impossible a male therapist could support a woman through trauma. But when there is a ‘woman-only’ rule, why would a transwoman want or need to lie in order to access a space/group? Like, what is the purpose of that? In the case of VRR, there were other ways Nixon could have supported VRR, but chose not to. Nixon had lived as a male for 30 years, do you not think that would have an impact on their understanding of the female experience under patriarchy?

  • Meghan Murphy

    I’m not sure what it is you are finding ‘revolting’ here? Women have different experiences than transwomen — so what? No one is denying that transwomen don’t suffer or face discrimination. What is it you are angry about? (I’m asking sincerely.)

  • Meghan Murphy

    I’m not sure what you are referring to, here. That I pointed out transwomen are male? I don’t believe I’ve been at all disrespectful to individual trans experiences or choices by pointing out a biological fact. Again, what I struggle with in this conversation is understanding why it is that we can’t acknowledge that transwomen have had different experiences than females who were socialized as girls/women from birth. A male who decides he wishes to live as a woman as an adult as undoubtedly experienced life in a much different way than a woman has. This does not mean that he (now she) should be abused or discriminated against — it’s just a neutral fact. I am confused as to why this offends you?

    • Because, he either has a mental illness or has never developed critical thinking skills.

  • Meghan Murphy

    That’s not true at all. And considering you can’t even name the supposed bigoted views you claim I have, I’ll have to assume you don’t really believe it either. Ending rational conversation about basic facts and ideas through ad hominem attacks is just a way to shut down discourse and silence critical thought. It also leads people to believe you don’t actually have an argument…

  • Meghan Murphy

    I’m not sure the issue is that trans women ‘should be excluded from feminism.’ I think the argument is that women should have the right to have access to some spaces that are for women only. I don’t really think that’s out of line.

    • Amelia Stock

      where should trans women go? its not safe in mens rooms for trans women, its not appropriate in womens rooms for trans women. should we just shit in the street?

      • Meghan Murphy

        I don’t think there’s anything wrong with gender neutral bathrooms existing (in fact, it seems a necessity now, doesn’t it?) as well as single washrooms. Same goes for change rooms. But perhaps those gender neutral or single stall change rooms should not replace women’s or girls change rooms. I just don’t think it needs to be either/or. Like, either women and girls must change in a room where a male is OR trans women have no viable or safe options. You know?

        • Alberto Ahrens

          TRANS women are not the violators of women and children…HETEROS ARE THE VIOLATORS. I raised my son since infancy ALONE…and I probably adore babies and children more than many cisfemales. Ignorance creates arrogance.

          • There is NO group of human beings on this planet that is capable of committing crimes but never, ever does so. Not women, not trans people, not gay people, not anyone.

            Raised your own offspring? The way every woman is expected to do without reward, let alone the cheerleading most men get every time they change a diaper? Wanna cookie?

            I have zero interest in raising children, so I didn’t have any. What exactly is your superior “adoration” of children supposed to prove? Because what it proves to me is that gender is bullshit, which means trans is bullshit.

  • Meghan Murphy

    There is no such thing as ‘innate femininity.’ If wearing tutus makes one a woman, my twin sister would have been a girl, and I a boy. I hated pink, dresses, dress shoes, etc. when I was a kid. I played with trucks and wore pants and had short hair. It is unfair that boys are mocked for wearing dress or engaging in activities supposedly reserved for girls, but I’m not sure that’s the same thing as understanding what it feels like to be a girl and having femininity forced upon you…

  • Meghan Murphy

    Ok, so here is the thing. I don’t actually personally care if trans women use women’s washrooms. I feel afraid every time I’m in a public bathroom as it is. A man could walk in and attack me at any point. But, 1) I think change rooms are a different story, as clearly girls are feeling uncomfortable with the idea of having to change in a room with a person who is male, and 2) I think this argument has larger implications than simply what bathrooms to use. When it comes to schools and government buildings, it wouldn’t be a huge ask to ensure that gender neutral single stall washrooms be made available. At the university I attended, there were single stall bathrooms everywhere, all over campus already. Yes, in private institutions or, say, restaurants, it would be harder to achieve (although it seems most restaurants just offer single stall bathrooms for everyone, anyway), but I think it’s something that wouldn’t be that hard to advocate for considering how quickly trans rights bills are being passed these days.

    I mean, what do we do, realistically, about the fact that so many women and girls don’t feel safe or comfortable changing in a room with a male? Is their comfort not important in this conversation?

    Women’s fear of men is not just silly — it’s real and it exists for good reason. This is not the same thing as saying that trans women are all predators just as it’s not the same thing as saying all men are predators. But it is a reality that I feel is not being respected in these conversations.

    Should women and girls feel afraid or unsafe so that trans women feel comfortable? Is there no way to find a solution that respects everyone’s safety and comfort?

    • Amelia Stock

      should trans women feel afraid or unsafe so that cis women feel comfortable?
      also you missed out the part where trans women are also in danger from those around them, i feel like you arent taking this seriously. no matter how occasionally things are convenient to trans women where places have stalls, there will be 10 times more places where they CANNOT feel SAFE and comfortable.

      you cant simply say “it wouldnt be a huge ask”, well no it wouldnt be unreasonable if we all decided and the government all decided and every building in the world cooperated that they would change their bathrooms to gender neutral or have them made available. you are making it sound far easier than it actually is.

      i asked you for a solution and you said essentially “what dont you have a solution for my problem first? you arent taking this conversation seriously.” now that we have both come up empty with a quick fix can we discuss the issues in more detail?

      as far as women not feeling safe with a biological male is concerned, please give examples of situations where they would be/feel unsafe so we are on the same page and can discuss.

      • Meghan Murphy

        But I didn’t miss that part. I am well aware that trans women are in danger from those around them (i.e. men). I definitely do take this seriously. What I’m trying to do is to point out that EVERYONE’S safety is important here and I’m trying to find solutions that respect this.

        I offered a solution that I think could work — can ask you, instead, what your ideal solution might be?

        “as far as women not feeling safe with a biological male is concerned, please give examples of situations where they would be/feel unsafe so we are on the same page and can discuss.”

        So, like, a woman’s/girls change room, for example. In a highschool or at a pool. An easy solution, imo, would be to provide single stall change rooms so that boys or men who don’t identify as boys or men have somewhere to change that doesn’t make women/girls feel uncomfortable but also doesn’t put them in danger or make them feel unsafe.

        • Amelia Stock

          your solution is to have gender neutral stalls, which are essentially just gender neutral rooms where anybody can be anybody by themselves. as i said, this is impractical to implement right now, wouldnt you disagree? i would say this is an ideal situation. but it is not a solution to fix the problem in the world we currently live in.

          when i said please give me examples of where they would feel/be unsafe, you again tried to push the solution i obviously dont agree is realistic, so can we move on?

          as far as i can see there are two locations this topic debates the use of, changing rooms and toilets. please give examples of when women and girls would be unsafe and what they would feel unsafe about specifically in these locations, with trans women or if you prefer to call them, males

          • Meghan Murphy

            In regards to feeling unsafe, again, I’d say, if a boy or man with a penis is in a girls or women’s change room, I’m thinking that might make girls and women feel uncomfortable or unsafe. Does that make sense?

          • Amelia Stock

            yes im asking you specifically why so i can give a better response because right now youre saying “women would feel uncomfortable around men… because they just would” and i want you to explain it further as to what they would be uncomfortable or feel unsafe about in your opinion. im not a cis woman so i cant assume these things accurately.

          • Meghan Murphy

            Ok. I think I misunderstood the question, in that case. You want to know why women feel unsafe around men?

            Well, because we’ve been brought up in a world wherein men have constantly threatened, harassed, groped, or assaulted us. We are, in general, not as strong as males and they are, therefore, often capable of overpowering us. Many of us have been abused or raped by men. I would guess that all of us have felt harassed simply by being leered at/stared at by men.

            Having to change in a room with a male, when most of us have histories of being leered at, harassed, raped, or abused by men and when we live in a culture wherein the male gaze is totally normal, would make probably most women feel uncomfortable.

            I don’t know if that’s helpful or answers your question?

          • maskedghoul

            And this isn’t just fear of the potential of being harmed. Every friend I have, my sister, my mother and all the rest of the women in my family have been either groped, grabbed, or otherwise assaulted more than once in their lives. These are our LIVED EXPERIENCES. This isn’t a one in a million chance thing, these things happen every single day in every single city on the planet. This isn’t rare, or a myth. This is business as usual and women have the need for safety hammered into their heads from birth for good reason, and if they cannot understand why a woman would feel unsafe with a male body nearby while in an extremely vulnerable situation, then they really don’t understand us at all.

          • You are absolutely right and you don’t have to justify your feelings to a bunch of unfeeling, uncaring and hateful transvestites / transsexuals.

          • Congratulations on having to explain the obvious. It’s not obvious to young trans guys because they’re guys. I have to admit, I’m amazed at your patience. Our society is in an advanced state of decay just like the Roman Empire before it went under. Up is down, down is up, black is white, lies are facts and gender is a choice so male is female and female is male. There is a reason that this gender dysphoria mental illness is spreading like wildfire.

          • Can’t speak for Meagan, but I *would* disagree. When there were no public women’s restrooms, they were considered impractical, even unthinkable. Women lobbied for them and women got them.

            When there was no ADA, accommodating every disabled person was considered impractical. Disabled people lobbied for accommodations and disabled people got them.

            If trans people can’t be bothered to do their own activism, I don’t see how that’s my problem. Crimes happen in public restrooms. They happen *all the time.*

        • Giauz Ragnarock

          “(i.e. men)”

          I just wanted to note that cis women are also a danger to transwomen. The anti-trans bathroom laws make it socially acceptable to mistreat transwomen using the facilities they are wired to feel least uncomfortable in (in the context of our USA’s cultural expression of gender). Trans-inclusive laws aim to foster equal respect of all people and punishment to individuals intentionally causing harm.

          • Meghan Murphy

            Women are most certainly not a danger to transwomen. The violence that transwomen are subjected to happens at the hands of men.

        • Che Coker

          In the news a year a so ago, there were some reported instances of actual real biological women viciously beating transsexual women. But for the most part, I agree with you. Men treat feminine males( gay boys, gay men and trans persons) horribly. If feminism could really work it could also make men to want to heal the wounds created by patriarchy just like women create women’s shelters for abused women; men could create spaces for other males. Like when men molest boys( whether those boys are feminine, gay, straight or whatever). Or when gay lovers commit violence on their partner. Or when a trans woman would need hormones ‘she’ would feel safe to go to a center or shelter that was predominantly male(maybe run by gay men?) That would mean that trans women would have to at some point admit that they are biologically male and that their experience is unique from a real woman. But not less just different. I agree that women shouldn’t be forced to put anyone’s needs before theirs. There should be a place where men can be helped by other men if men are abused or in crisis. Unfortunately this does not exist and males who are victims of the patriarchy will have to rely on the kindness of their sisters in the meantime. By the way, I have experienced sexual and physical violence in my life and at one point identified as a trans ‘woman’. And I had no choice but to ask help from different spaces that were designed for actual real women. I always was a smart bitch and knew I wasn’t a woman. I always understood as a mixed race or black feminine gay male who was adopted and sexually abused as a child; that I could possibly be a casualty of the white male heterosexual patriarchy or I might have even been created by its very machinations. So I sought help from my white sisters. The black women saw me with disdain and as a twisted creation of white supremacy. Now we’re getting into intersectional feminism. As a gender atypical person, when I heard what Germaine Greer had to say about Caitlyn Jenner and the trans movement; I actually was quite moved and happy. What she said was what I’ve always felt. Trans ‘women’ are not a ‘type’ of woman but men who have been oppressed by patriarchy. If males were allowed to express their feminine traits freely from childhood; then there would be no need to fetishize womanhood/femininity and then think you could ‘become’ a woman. Being female is a biological fact. Being a biological male who is expressively very feminine is something else and it’s okay. But it is different from the female rites of passage and biological experience. Men need to grow through an examination of gender and then be able to help boys and men who are gender atypical and not leave it to women to have to do that work. When they have enough on their plates already. Hopefully I’m not hurting anyone by sharing

          • Meghan Murphy

            Do you have a link to the news report you mention?

          • Just Passing Through

            I see you are still waiting on that link…. :/

          • “I agree that women shouldn’t be forced to put anyone’s needs before
            theirs. There should be a place where men can be helped by other men if
            men are abused or in crisis.”

            Maybe get to work on that, then? It’s what women had to do with far less money and power than men have.

            (Apologies–this was meant to be a reply to Che, not Meagan.)

          • Max McKee

            But those men, they are not under the feminist umbrella. They have to organise their own team to combat, they have to fight for themselves. You can’t expect someone else to fight your entire battle just because they existed first

          • Che Coker

            I think we’re in agreement. Re-read what I wrote. Peace

        • So sensible… so rational… so logical… only a narcissist who doesn’t care about women would disagree.

    • Alberto Ahrens

      We trans females have the same feelings as you do….but you do not wish to see or understand this….WE ARE NOT MALES!!!! PERIOD!!!!

      • Meghan Murphy

        You can identify as trans and live however you like but I don’t see how that changes your biology?

      • I think I can hear you stamping your feet.

  • Amelia Stock

    she i right, being born as and being brought up as male gives us certain values, no different to males, and furthermore that most men like women unlike most cis women. there are differences and it is faster and clearer when pointing out such traits to use the word male. no matter how disrespectful it is, distinction is necessary. we dont want another “not all men” on our fucking hands

  • Jennifer Adams

    You were discouraged because they thought you were a homosexual, not a woman. That’s not mysogyny. No one from your childhood identified you as a girl, they identified you as an effeminate boy. Humongous difference. That’s a different intolerance altogether.

  • fenke

    If you do not openly and publicly reject views like:

    “The transsexual is identified as such solely on his/her own script, which can be as learned as any sex-typed behaviour and as editorialized as autobiographies usually are. The lack of insight that MTF transsexuals usually show about the extent of their acceptance as females should be an indication that their behaviour is less rational than it seems. There is a witness to the transsexual’s script, a witness who is never consulted. She is the person who built the transsexual’s body of her own flesh and brought it up as her son or daughter, the transsexual’s worst enemy, his/her mother. Whatever else it is gender reassignment is an exorcism of the mother. When a man decides to spend his life impersonating his mother (like Norman Bates in Psycho) it is as if he murders her and gets away with it, proving at a stroke that there was nothing to her. His intentions are no more honourable than any female impersonator’s; his achievement is to gag all those who would call his bluff. When he forces his way into the few private spaces women may enjoy and shouts down their objections, and bombards the women who will not accept him with threats and hate mail, he does as rapists have always done.”

    Then you have no right to call yourself my sister.

    • Morag999

      That’s a very interesting quotation, fenke. I especially like the part where the writer says that the man has proven that there was “nothing to her.” It’s chilling, but insightful.

      Thanks for posting it, but you should have given proper credit to Germaine Greer.

  • Roy Sekliw

    Have I got this right: as a heterosexual man all I have to do is declare that I ‘identify as a woman’ and I can have unrestricted access to every women’s bathroom and changing room in the country? Hmm, I don’t anticipate any problems with that at all.

  • Meghan Murphy

    “Patriarchy is based on what one chooses to see in our world of biological traits.” No, like, historically, patriarchy exists/was imposed on women for a very particular reason and that reason was their female bodies/their ability to reproduce. I really wish people look at history before leaping into this conversations. Read Gerda Lerner, for example.

    None of this is to say that gender SHOULD be binary, it is to say that biology is at the root of patriarchy and patriarchal oppression of women. It is simply an (unjust) fact.

  • Helen

    Women’s suffering must remain more important than transgender suffering if the latter is to expect any sort of acknowledgement or respect ? How can you choose which issue is more worthy, whose pain is more worthy of attention.

    What’s more, you talk so much about this suffering of women, and while I in no way disregard it, the question arises: is a woman defined by her suffering? If she was not discriminated against simply for existing as a woman is she then less of one than those who did suffer ?

    And finally, how can you ask transwomen to ‘stand by’ the very people who exclude them from society and reject their identity. Ridiculous.

    • Morag999

      What’s this “less than” and “more of” a woman nonsense? Female is not on a continuum, except according to YOU. Stop projecting queer theory onto feminism and feminists. Please, take responsibility for your own incoherent shit instead of trying to load it off onto us and make it our problem. Thanks.

      • Helen

        Thanks for your feedback, it was greatly appreciated! Unfortunately all i got from your comment was a whole lot of hatred and anger and while it makes for a lovely read I’d rather be able to discuss a matter I genuinely would like to understand with people who have enough decency to resepect one another 🙂

  • Meghan Murphy

    I’m lost. My point is not to deny either that intersex people exist, or that some people suffer from gender dysphoria. Nor do I believe the gender binary is real (as in natural or innate). My point is to clarify how and why patriarchy exists, and that it very much does have to do with biology.

  • Meghan Murphy

    I don’t understand the purpose of your comment here, Alberto…

    • He’s exerting his indoctrinated male prerogative to be recognized and acknowledged by Roy. It was a male dominance display, just like when chimpanzees bang their chests and throw branches around while screaming at the top of their lungs. No feminine reticence on Alberto’s part to still be counted in the male hierarchy as higher and with more status than just a mere female.

  • Meghan Murphy

    I actually think that is a great idea. There definitely need to be more facilities dedicated specifically to trans people.

  • Meghan Murphy

    Um… Male violence is a ‘gene defect’??

    • linnet

      Easy to explain molestation and abuse away when you separate them into ‘Regular Men’ and ‘Those Other Guys’. Because rapists and child molesters ARE regular guys.

  • Giauz Ragnarock

    I was countering his ‘gotcha’ argument. I am arguing for equal protection under the law. These anti-trans laws are bad news if their (manufactured to increase fear) boogeymen in dresses are real. It does seem that all the “normal” people like myself pose the real danger (not sure about the genes).

  • CryMore

    Funny you mention that. So by your logic, the trans”women” who have to constantly protest that they are women, aren’t actually women. I agree with you on that.

  • Bronwyn Williams

    Whether we like it or not, those of us born female – with XX chromosomes and female genitalia – are socialised to be pretty and passive and deferential, if not by our families, then by a broader society that increasingly demands such attributes of women and girls. When puberty arrives it brings with it the joy of monthly menstrual cramps and the beginnings of a 30 to 40 year battle to avoid unwanted pregnancy.

    Our physical capacities and our personal freedoms are diminished by womanhood. But at the same time we see our male counterparts growing bigger and stronger, with fun dangly things between their legs and an unfettered capacity for adventure.

    

Most of us understand what it’s like to have dreams and aspirations beyond what society expects of us. Because of our ‘female’ socialisation, we do our best to understand and empathise with the distress and pain felt by others, including transgender persons. We know we cannot live their experience, but we do our best.


    Sadly, as has been demonstrated in innumerable public forums, many transgender persons – particularly male to female transgender persons – are unwilling to afford biological women the same consideration.

    Somehow, their suffering must be acknowledged to be greater, their needs must be prioritised, and they must be permitted to insult, label and ridicule biological women who argue against their superior entitlement.

    We female-born women are trained to be endlessly accommodating, but the current trans agenda is really testing our patience, particularly when we are set upon by other female-born trans ‘allies’.

    In fact, our overtly patriarchal society is working overtime to put women back ‘where they belong’. Women and girls are being sexually assaulted, killed and injured in domestic violence and exploited in pornography and in the sex trade in record numbers. The latter exploitation is promoted by many, including leading human rights organisations, as being ‘empowering’ for women.

    And now, we are expected to cede the feminist agenda to male-born persons who identify as female, and accept the blame for male violence against transgender women.

    It’s so absurd I’d be laughing, if it weren’t for the tears of anger and frustration and the despair I feel when I look at my two-year old grand-daughter and wonder what life will hold for her.

    And, yes, I’ve been called a TERF – before I even knew what it meant.

  • Mellie

    You never touched on her points, which is proof she is right. Feminist don’t care about gender or gender identity. We care about sex based oppression and how people use gender to justify it.

    • Meghan Murphy

      ^^^

  • Mellie

    White women and minority women share the same biology, whereas trans women and women only face arbitrary stereotypes based on trans women getting surgery, wearing clothing, and or using hormones.

  • Mellie

    It is not misogynistic to hate “femininity.” Females are not inherently “feminine.”

  • Mellie

    Having masculinity foisted on you is not the same as women having femininity foisted on them. Unless you are implying that women are inherently feminine, and that “cis” women are privileged because of this. If so you are sexist and this is why feminist don’t want to be around males regardless of their gender identity.

    • maskedghoul

      ^^^^^ THIS

  • Mellie

    A man who demands access to women only spaces is by definition entitled. And even trans women that are not pushy are still entitled by appropriating the female sex.

  • Meghan Murphy

    What does that mean? What is a woman? And yes, of course I’ve spoken to trans people. I have been writing about feminism/gender for years and have a graduate degree in Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s studies so, uh, yeah, re: your ‘pick up a book’ suggestion. Maybe you should try reading something other than Tumblr.

  • Meghan Murphy

    That’s not an argument.

  • Morag999

    I mean that Greer, rather than the commenter who quoted her, is insightful. As in: thoughtful, perceptive, intuitive.

    But, I think you already knew what I meant. And I think that your confusion was manufactured in order to suggest that feminist analysis and criticism of transgenderism is violence.

    • Giauz Ragnarock

      The greer quote sounds similar to boilerplate homophobia (“They’re rejecting the proper use of their genitals by which their parents made them”).

  • Meghan Murphy

    The reason I say that feminism is not about ‘egalitarianism’ is because feminism is not about people being ‘equal’, it is about ending patriarchy. We need to be more specific than just saying we want people to be equal.

  • Giauz Ragnarock

    The anti-trans laws allow people to do that even easier. All one has to do is claim they were assigned female at birth, so the law “forces” them to use the female restrooms/lockers/showers with the transmen. Moreover, these laws are negatively affecting cis women who are suspected of being trans. These laws are reinforcing the beliefs of people who see women as property. Transwomen do not want to invade women’s places anymore than POC want to ruin white society. They want equal protection under the law which includes punishment of those people who would assault them or sexually harrass them (some commenters on this blog would not see their comments on trans people as sexual harrassment apparently) and punishment to them in the same way a cis woman would be punished for harming another person in one of the mentioned facilities (which logically does not get all women banned from women’s facilities because they are not being treated like all individuals are the same risk as the criminal by virtue of some arbitrary trait none of them ever chose to have).

  • Meghan Murphy

    But violence against transwoman literally comes from men, not women.

  • Meghan Murphy

    I have never read an article by a feminist threatening to harm a trans woman. Also, isn’t the reason transwomen want the right to use the women’s washroom because they feel threatened and unsafe in men’s washrooms (understandably)?

    • Giauz Ragnarock

      I don’t take what I read as any sort of norm, just some explitive-ridden hole in the internet (that none the less does have plenty of stuff I do agree with as a feminist). Remember that transmen want to be respected in the men’s room as well. If it were only about fear of rape, transwomen would only be fighting for a safer men’s room experience. Instead they fight for safer experiences in all facilities by pointing that deliberate actions meant to harm or humiliate or distress should be prosecutable not groups of people. If randomly forcing cis persons as ourselves to use bathrooms where we could be harmed (just not raped) or humiliated or distressed would feel like injustice for the sake of other’s comfort to us, why do we think that isn’t exactly what they are going through? Is family bathrooms/lockers/etc only under penalty of law good enough for some randomly chosen cis people good enough? My point is not that women are an inherrent danger to trans persons, but fear of men is not the primary motivator for seeking equal protection under the law.

      • Meghan Murphy

        I see. Though when you said women were a ‘danger’ to transwomen, I took it to mean a ‘danger’ to the safety of transwomen. While I certainly don’t believe transwomen should be ‘humiliated,’ I don’t think that feelings of ‘distress’ exactly constitute a ‘danger.’ (Which is not to say I think transwomen should feel ‘distressed’ when using the washroom.) Women’s fear, with regard to public and private spaces, is men, not other women, so this was my response and thinking behind the issue of ‘danger’ and ‘safety,’ if that makes sense at all?

  • Meghan Murphy

    There are also women and girls who have experienced abuse or bullying at the hands of other women. There are always exceptions to every rule. But that does not mean the main danger to women are other women.

  • Nezumichan

    Woo! Now we get to a weird strawman. Never claimed Greer was the Patriarchy. Claimed she was uncritically repeating its views on trans women and calling that feminist. Which is all this anti-trans feminism consists of: pretending that parroting patriarchal notions suddenly becomes bold and feminist when you’re doing so to attack trans women.

    • Meghan Murphy

      Um. What ‘patriarchal notions’ was Greer ‘parroting’? She is being critical of gender stereotypes, not supportive.

      • Nezumichan

        Well, let’s see, that trans women are actually men and that trans women are inherently predatory, for starters. Those were coming from patriarchy waaay before some people decided to call them “feminist.” More generally for her school of feminism there’s also fun ones like an essentialist binary of sex and/or gender (something Monique Wittig and Andrea Dworkin both rejected, and is, indeed, foundationally incompatible with Radical Feminism), repurposing misogynistic attacks about how vaginas are dirty and smelly against trans women, for starters. It also reduces women to simply their genitalia, saying that this is the sole defining trait of womanhood. Generally, anti-trans feminism reuses patriarchal talking points against trans women or against cis women or trans women, with little or no modification.

  • Helen

    I see your point, although I do not agree with it.
    Out of curiosity, why do you exclude trans women from feminism ? Once they have transitioned are they not seen by society as women and thus discriminated against for that just like what you call ‘actual women’ (especially the trans women who choose to conform to the more stereotypical ‘feminine’ looks). Is this about the time before their transition when they would not have suffered for being a woman?

    • Mellie

      Trans women that don’t pass are not discriminated because of sexism. They are discriminated for being gender non conforming males and often are assumed to be closeted gay men. Trans women who pass will face sexism as they are mistaken for being female. But it is not the job of feminist to fight for males. Why do men think women should center or include males??

  • Meghan Murphy

    Are you talking about the condition of gender dysphoria? Because people with gender dysphoria still have a sex, no?

  • Morag999

    No, Matthew, being transgender is not a biological condition; it is simply a declaration, a metaphysical claim. It’s a statement of faith based on the belief — akin to a religious belief — that female or male (or intermediate/ androgynous) essences can and do take up residence in sexed bodies that do not “match” those essences.

    Scientific evidence for this mismatched essence is not forthcoming — for obvious reasons.

    • Diane Anthony

      I’ve read my share of articles, online postings, and books on this general topic. Posts I’ve seen from you, mainly on GT, have been brilliant in their clarity and succinctness. Four grafs and you’re done! You’ve laid out the whole thing. Thank you!

  • linnet

    Feminists have been supporting trans activism for a while now, which is all fine and good, as long as females remain the focus of feminism. Women know what it’s like to have to fight to be heard overtop the voices and needs of men in our society, and we tend to take up the banner for other underprivileged groups as well, it’s something we’ve always done. What concerns me is when trans dialogues silence women from discussing our anatomy and our shared experiences that come from growing up as a biological female. There must be a way to support one group without invalidating the other.

    • I’m afraid that there are too many MtT who are loud mouthed toxic narcissists spreading hate and poison for that to happen.

  • linnet

    Yeah I’ve heard that gem more times than I care to count. And then they DEFEND it. Complete lack of self-awareness.

  • jessica valdes

    Um they do not need to cite Serano when Dr Charles Moser’s group has refuted it, Dr Jamie Veale’s group has refuted it (independently) and Dr Larry Nuttbrock’s (independently) group has refuted it. NONE of them have replicated Blanchard’s work.

  • Just Passing Through

    Yes times a million this ^^^^^^

  • Meghan Murphy

    Do you not think men and women should have separate facilities?

  • Meghan Murphy

    “The thing that’s the most frustrating to me about this as a trans person is that I feel like I’m just talking against a brick wall of total ignorance, constantly. ”

    I can relate.

  • hazel

    I am a radical feminist and have thought deeply about gender politics and identity for a long time. I’ve spent years of my life working with marginalized women in emergency shelters, and have managed a domestic violence shelter as well as 70 bed womens shelter for women on the streets. The Trans women I have encountered in these environments have often been some of the most vulnerable women there. You have no idea what they face. And they generally are very withdrawn and try to be as unintrusive as possible. What does that tell you about privelege?

  • hazel

    And popular cisgender women don’t “work against feminism”?! Please stop scapegoating trans women.

    • kingdomheartsislight

      In my opinion, wearing dresses and looking sexy is not as harmful to the feminist movement in and of itself. The problem is when people try to pin this on womanhood, and that is what transwomen tend to do; define what they wear as an expression of their womanhood. THIS is damaging to the feminist movement. Transwomen have come to affiliate dresses and make-up as the very things that make them women. While there are biologically born women who wear these things, they do not necessarily staple these things to womanhood, and rather see this as an expression of the individual, not the woman in the clothes. This is where the difference between the trans movement and the feminist movement will collide. In this sense, transgenderism acts against the feminist movement. The very thing feminist want to destroy (gender constructs) is the very thing that transwomen embrace.

      Because transwomen want the complete opposite of biologically born women, they will have hard time bridging the gap. Transwomen are seeking to live in the slums and ghettos despite coming from a higher class; biologically born women are seeking to move to high class places despite living in the ghettos and slums. Trans women embrace the brain sex theory and even use it to validate their identity. Feminists do not and have seen this theory simply as a means to invalidate feminism. Women are seeking to get awards when they rarely do, while transwomen could have easily gotten more awards as a male, but with transitioning they also get the awards dedicated usually to biologically born women.

      For a person fighting for the rights of transwomen, biologically born women are considered the “higher status”, because they want to be able to date without having to hide who they are for fear of aggression and they want to be able to go in female spaces without being targets for bullying, harassment, or violence. They also want to get past their own gender dysphoria, hoping for medical benefits after spending almost buckets of money just for treatment.

      But for a feminist fighting for the rights of biologically born women, the transwomen are of “higher status”, because the transwoman does not have to deal with unwanted pregnancies, lack of pregnancy rights, the price of menstruation utensils, vaginal rape, nor female socialization of wifehood/motherhood. And to a feminist any issues a transwoman has with “womanhood” is mainly because of her choice to look like a woman.
      As a trans person, a transwoman is of lower status compared to most people. But as woman, she is of a higher status compared to most woman.

      The reason each see the other as a higher status mainly comes down to the fact that they honestly want two separate things, hazel. In fact, they want the opposite of each other. That must be understood. This is why including transwomen in the feminist movement is very difficult, and with some of the ideologies that transwomen have, it will be nearly impossible without a change in understanding.

      I must mention that the term cis is derogatory in a sense that it means that all women who are recognize they are born the female sex, suddenly identify with the female gender. That is false. The term cis is very damaging to feminism in itself. Yes, there are biologically born women who identify as the female gender, but there are many females who do not identify with socialized gender at all. There are women, like myself, who recognize themselves as the female sex and nothing more.

  • Morag999

    What bias? What bigotry?

    I acknowledge that some men are marginalized and oppressed, but, obviously, oppression does not turn men into women.

  • Morag999

    It seems to make you feel enraged when someone states that men cannot be turned into women. Very well.

  • kingdomheartsislight

    The problem is however that many of the ideologies of transgender people are somewhat dangerous to what the feminist movement is trying to eradicate. For example, trans people believe in the sex brain theory. As you and I both know, many feminists feel that this theory was made to undermine the feminist agenda, as it introduces the idea that society should keep women at a certain level because “their brains actually want it that way”. Whereas transwomen use this very thing to validate their existence as women, without questioning how anyone can be born with an identity in the first place without experience or exposure. To add, this theory excludes studies that involve lesbians obviously because it has been also theorized that lesbians have brain patterns that are similar to men…Yet, they are still biologically born women because of their sex organs.

    Another dangerous ideology is the insistent need to pass. While I understand that trans people want to pass for safety reasons, the problem is that upon transitioning they affiliate dresses, long hair, and make-up as a part of their expression of womanhood. While wearing dresses and make-up in itself is not dangerous to the feminist movement, when a person pins it solely with female expression, it limits women to simply those things. It also makes feminists question their understanding of women and whether they have only a misogynistic idealization of women that can be dangerous to feminism. And that’s just it…trans people are not able to explain how exactly they feel they are “women”; what led them to that conclusion?

    The third thing that acts against the feminist agenda is the use of the word cis…which has not only been used as a direct insult but it is also not true of every biologically born woman that recognizes her sex. If the term cis is the opposite of trans what does that mean? To the trans movement, trans implies a person that identifies with the gender opposite their biological make-up. And so they transition in order to fit their gender/sexual identity. Yet, according to the trans movement a cis person is a person that identifies with the the social gender that compliments their sex. But what does this say about a woman that recognizes she is the female sex, like me, but does not affiliate herself with gender constructs AT ALL? This can be damaging in the sense that the term assumes that every woman who recognizes her sex is automatically going to identify and conform to social gender. Women like me recognize that because we are the female sex that we might get pregnant upon having sex and there is a possibility of menstruation. We cannot ignore that that is what gave us the scientific classification of women/female/girl in the first place. However, that does not mean we automatically agree to identify with the social gender of womanhood, in which certain characteristics and roles have been made in place for the female sex. With that being said, this differentiation must change. Otherwise it is harmful.

    The final thing that really contradicts the feminist movement about the trans movement is the insistence that everyone in the feminist movement must see sex and gender the way that trans people do. As a result, feminists who choose not to date a trans person are automatically seen as bigots. This not only goes against the trans movement, in which women are fighting for the freedom of choices…it also contradicts the LGBTQ movement in which they are also fighting for the freedom to choose partners without scrutiny or harassment. It had gotten to the point that LGBQ people had thought about excluding trans people from the movement, because trans people have conflicting ideologies to the other two groups. The trans people honestly need their own movement…but in order to get support from others it has to be made in a way that does not contradict with other agendas.

  • kingdomheartsislight

    But Sythana, the most recent studies have actually stated that they do not have brain patterns that are simlar to neither male nor females, rather their brain patterns are unique. To add, just because the brain is structured a certain way does not mean the person was born with those brain patterns.

    To be honest, studies have shown that lesbians also have brain patterns that are just like most males. But does this make them male? Not exactly.

    In truth, the brain does not have a “sex” because the brain does not have sex organs and it is not able to procreate. You do realize that a piece of brain can be taken from a woman and placed into a male’s brain and it wouldn’t change a thing, right? The brain picks up patterns according to its environment. But the brain does not reproduce, has no genitalia. The term the “sexes” refers to the “sex organs” because the sex terms were made to merely understand the reproductive system. Our brains cannot have a sex. Even when our brains die, our bodies will still have a sex. Why do you think that is? Because sex was never determined by the brain and never will be. The brain is too complicated and diverse to merely say that brain determines sex. The brain does not procreate so following the brain’s patterns will not benefit such terms as male and female. Whereas the sex organs have very different classified functions that must be differentiated in order to know the difference between them.

    It has never been proven that ALL people with gender dysphoria or claiming to be trans has the brain of the sex they identify. What you should be questioning is how a person can be born with an “identity”. The brain develops identification upon exposure and experience to our environment. To be honest, most of these psychologist are telling trans people what they want to hear, when deep down they know that the brain sex theory is not scientific. In fact, on the national geographic website, the discovered the female brain is actually not so different from the male brain. The difference in brain size only comes from the fact that males and females have different skull structures. Of course, you know that transwomen have a bigger skull structure and therefore have a bigger brain than a biologically born female. However, the brain itself has no particular sex. The brain responds to the sex of the individual, not the other way around. After this response, the brain works as an aid to help the reproductive organs. The hormone traveling to the brain usually comes from the sex organs.

    Most studies on the brain sex theory are usually bits and pieces and only give theories that are appealing to minority groups. But if we look at the science from an objective point of view, the things they suggest don’t make sense and even conflict with facts.

  • kingdomheartsislight

    JingFei is right though. Despite the fact that trans people demand others to be compassionate, they re the most selfish and disrespectful group of people. They leave their femilies, abandon their children and wives/husbands, make their parents pay LOADS of money for hormone treatment, demand to have female only privileges, demand other people to date them, and even demand other people to see sex and gender the way they do all because they themselves can’t seem to accept the way they were born. Yet, everyone else is selfish…even though everyone else, including many family members, have had to make sacrifices to accommodate to trans people.

    It is not selfish nor transphobic to differentiate the difference between a transwoman and a biologically born woman. Because there are very important differences between them. Terfs seek to make those distinctions in order to better narrow down the issues that affect biologically born women. That was what the feminist movement was for to begin with.

    It is also not bigoted to question transgenderism. In fact, if you look up the definition of bigotry it moreso applies to trans people who refuse to question things, dogmatically standing by what they believe no matter how off it sounds.

  • kingdomheartsislight

    I don’ think the terf movement is made to retaliate against trans people. You have to understand that the terf is made to differentiate the issues that biologically born women will face VS Transwomen. While they both have some issues that are similar, most of the issues that feminists and transwomen have are different, and so are their goals. Transwomen are out to be identified with gender and to be seen as the lower class. Feminists are out to break down gender constructs and rise to the higher class. With that being said, trans people have a definitive understanding of gender and sex that most biologically born women do not have. Transwomen see dresses, long hair, and female things as an expression of their womanhood…whereas biologically born female only recognize womanhood because of the bodies they were born into, and all the other gender associated things are nothing by placed constructs that they feel should not be affiliated with any sex. Also transwomen believe in brain sex theory because it validates them as women, yet most feminists do not agree with the theory and find the theory to be a way to keep women under oppressive gender constructs.

    This is why the terfs were born…because some of the things that transwomen stand for goes against some of the ideas meant to build up the feminist movement. Not that transwomen are bad for what they do…its just they have different goals with different opinions on life than many feminists. Yet, what both sides do have in common is their view of the patriarchy. Perhaps that may be the only thing linking the two?

    • “Terfs,” aka feminists, existed long before the trans identity was thought up.

      If “the higher class” means men, this feminist has zero interest in joining it.

  • Katrina C

    I like lengthy, but I’m not going to respond to everything here because some of it I’ve already said all I have to add here.

    These are complicated topics, and I’m by no means an expert. I’ve only relatively recently dipped my toes in Gender Studies. I do benifit from a 13 year friendship with a pretty avowed feminist. She was the one who helped me along the way as I figured out I was Transgender but even we’ve had to discuss the things I now do or like that make her uncomfortable because they do tend to start sliding in to “is this what you think a woman is?” territory and have gone back and forth on that.

    What I guess I’m giving here is my experience, because I don’t like to discuss this stuff without caveating despite all my good intentions… I don’t think I’m special and have it “all figured out”. But because it affects the relationship with my best friend I’ve given it some thought and some study. Why do you think I ended up here?

    As far as the TERFs and Transgender Women divide. Look no further than this forum to find plenty of well intentioned women who might otherwise have very open minds basically screaming at Transgender Women “Men are men, you can’t change that” doesn’t matter if they are referring to their stereotypical Transgender Woman or someone who Transitions but avows culturally “woman” things.

    You’ve started the conversation by invalidating their identity. Often times causing a spike in Gender Dysphoria… which they might have spent years quieting down, imagine the worst self loathing you can imagine, and and now imagine that NEVER goes away. That is Gender Dysphoria. Even transitioning doesn’t lead to complete relief because we constantly are told we are wrong, that we will never be right, and this is why suicide is so common among that population. Yes, it is more extreme in some than others, but it is a real thing and you can’t start a dialog by making the first person feel like shit and expect them to really listen to anything you have to say.

    I guess what I’m saying is Radical Feminists need to reconigize that (nature or nuture) Transgender Women should be recognized as women and treated how they would treat other women because it is literally causing them psychological distress to do otherwise. Feel what you want on the inside, but saying the things I see in places like this HURT.

    On the other side though I think (and their is a fair argument that this comes from being socialized as men and raised to believe their thoughts and needs are always valid) Transgender Women need to realize that they can’t actively avoid women’s issues that make them uncomfortable just because they might cause their Gender Dysphoria to spike. It isn’t other women’s (and feminists) responsibility to cater their discussions around the inclusion of Transgender Women. Being included is what we wanted, you can’t ask for inclusion then dictate the terms. Doing so immediately stinks of the kind of biological sex based socialization that is easily one of the biggest issues that feminists fight against. You aren’t helping your case.

    Transgender Women can be (and often are) an ally, most of us were highly uncomfortable with the “bro talk” we heard growing up in locker rooms and hanging out (by choice or happenstance) with boys. I would do anything to see that the next generations don’t grow up in that toxic stew.

    But yeah, what is a woman? Here is a place we might disagree strongly and an opinion that I think I would even buck my best friend on.

    I don’t think gender is a social construct. Not entirely. Now I understand the trappings of gender are, their is no biological reason why pink is for girls and blue is for boys, and that extrapolates to everything broader (activities, clothes, etc). I also believe gender roles are social constructs, obviously.

    But if you look at Transgender Individuals across the globe you’ll see they often gravitate to whatever their society has dictated is the “gender norms” even if in other cultures that attire or behavior is literally the opposite. That is where the gender socialization comes in.

    I asked my best friend’s girlfriend, who obtained her masters in anthropology, if she knew of any culture, modern or historical, where men and women had the same roles and were in no way distinguished from each other. She couldn’t give me one, at least not in the moment.

    Gender I believe is a spectrum, and I believe a brain can be gendered, maybe not by birth, or in utero as currently believed, but being in conflict with that is what causes Gender Dysphoria. Now, the socialization affects what the brain thinks it must do to fix the Dysphoria, but I don’t believe Transgender Women (myself included) are wrong when they say they are women trapped in men’s bodies. Their brains are screaming that they are, and as most will tell you, switching our hormones makes us run better. Try it on someone who doesn’t have Gender Dysphoria and guess what it causes? Gender Dysphoria. So Hormone Replacement Therapy has a different affect on the Transgender Brain.

    That is biological, doesn’t matter HOW we got there. It has a neurological component. Gender has neurological and biological components, therefore I believe it exists.

    The obsession with the trappings of gender are because the brain is naturally programmable and humans are taught certain social things equal women and others equal men.

    But maybe not? I didn’t figure out I was Transgender till relatively recently. I didn’t live in a home where I was restricted from things along gender lines, though I was socialized to believe certain things were off limits.

    But I always was fascinated by makeup, I just didn’t see the point, when you hate looking in a mirror what is the point of trying to look and feel attractive? This changed when I came out to myself, it wasn’t sexual, it was confidence and comfort.

    I won’t pretend I know every reason why my brain works that way, but it is unrealistic for me to cater my experience around not disrupting the (noble) battle against the patriarchy. Doing so is no better than me dictating to other women what and how they should fight against, which as I’ve been clear about is also wrong.

    What I guess I’m saying is, this is complicated and I don’t think either the Transgender or Feminist communities have it all figured out, which is why we need to talk more, because our enemies are the same.

    (P.S. Prison is complicated, I don’t have answers, but I think perhaps we should do a better job there with medical care and handling inmates in a more case by case basis. Saying that these things are done more poorly there and that is just how it is is not an excuse.

    Inmates aren’t garbage who deserve mistreatment just because we have taken away their freedoms to punish them.)

    • kingdomheartsislight

      Thanks for your tolerance of my long essay. lol
      You stated something that I wanted to discuss first: ” I won’t pretend I know every reason why my brain works that way, but it
      is unrealistic for me to cater my experience around not disrupting the
      (noble) battle against the patriarchy. Doing so is no better than me dictating to other women what and how
      they should fight against, which as I’ve been clear about is also wrong.”
      The problem is that the very thing that feminists are fighting the patriarchy over is gender. Otherwise there would be no need to fight the patriarchy. Gender is the main rule of feminist’s understanding of patriarchy. This leads to a very big problem when trans people seek to fight standards that they are also upholding. I can understand that it is hurtful to have someone constantly invalidate your identity. Unfortunately, people invalidate your identity because it conflicts with their definition of sex or gender. You, of course having gender dysphoria, take it more personally because it causes much inner pain. However, what must be understood is that there are many people out here who are hurting. In order to fix the hurt from different sides, we need to find a compromise that will benefit everyone. But that can only happen when both sides can truly understand the goal of the other. Since transwomen and modern “cis” women have different goals, we have to find a way to work together without getting in each other’s way.

      Hormone Replacement Therapy does seem to help ease dysphora, I will say that. Yet, why it helps still is a mystery. Is it because the person feels that they are becoming what they want to be? Or is it because the hormones themselves are causing balance? Even people who take hormones may decide to commit suicide if they don’t pass…perhaps the passing part is most important when considering hormones rather the hormone’s affect on gender dysphoria? Our brain works in mysterious ways. A person who is addicted to something will sometimes feel rotten unless they are given what they are addicted to. I don’t know why your brain works that way either. But it is something I intend to discover in the near future. I’ve been doing tests and studying transgenderism for a while now. I find it to be a unique experience, personally. 🙂

      Let me start by saying I take testosterone supplements, even though I am a biologically born woman. It helps me build more muscle and makes me feel stronger. I want to confirm that not once did I feel like I had gender dysphoria after taking it. It does give me more hair than my sisters, both on my face and my legs and arms. Yet, I never felt as if I’m male in a female’s body. I’ve been taking this for years.

      Social gender may be motivated somewhat by biology, but gender in and of itself is not biological. Sex is very much biological, mainly because it is a term made to identify confirmed biological phenomenon involving the physical function of body none of us can control. Yes, sex may influence a female or males personal outward behavior in society, but the behavior patterns that come with sex have no clear definition. Gender, however, represents socially pinned characteristics that have been applied to the male and female sex…but many times they are not realistic, accurate, and they are oppressive even. For a woman, the idea of gender HURTS and LIMITS us. It really does. The brain sex theory feels more like a way to classify women as subordinate because its “in their nature”. If trans people believe in this, then the rift between feminists and transwomen who claim to be feminists will be hard to mend. Because honestly, that is the main goal of feminism…to end gender constructs formed by the patriarchy. If trans are against the goal…then how are they advocating feminism?

      Gender is a construct that tells a person how they will or should behave…yet society cannot determine how each individual will behave upon sex especially if they are not of that sex. That is why feminists are against gender. Because its origin was set up to discriminate based on a lack of knowledge, understanding, and even practicality. Gender was formed by what feminists call “the patriarchy”. You say that women have very similar behaviors and roles in all the world…but what if this is because of forced gender socialization has existed for thousands of years? Just like heterosexuality has always been the forced normative and still is….does that mean that it will always be and that that is the natural way of being?
      While gender has always existed, gender has always ignored animal instinct.
      Because men have always been seen as dominate, women have always been taught and trained to believe that they are not capable of succeeding in the way that men are. Do you also believe this? Do you believe that because of inherent characteristics, that women are not emotionally strong enough to handle things or that women are not brave enough? Do you believe that women are not capable of being assertive like their male counterparts or aggressive even? The sex brain theory encourages that women are not capable of these things, even though almost every female animal (including biologically born women) are emotionally strong, brave, assertive, and even aggressive. A female lioness will hunt you down faster than a male lion will. Female lionesses are better hunters than their male counterparts. Female sharks are more vicious than their male counterparts as well. So tell me, what makes the social gender constructs a biological reality, even for human women in your opinion? I don’t want to judge you as a trans person. I just want to speak on why the rift between radfems and transwomen still exist.

      Whether women have brain patterns that are different from men vary. In fact, women have brain patterns different from each other. And trans people have brain patterns that are neither male nor female. Lesbians have brain patterns that are similar to men and gay men have brain patterns similar to women. These are all case studies…mostly based on theory. But to be honest our brain patterns do not make us a certain sex. Mainly because the term “sexes” were meant to classify the sex organs, not the brain. If we want to make classifications based off the brain it would have to involve terms other than female and male, man or woman. The reason for this is because the brain is too complicated to say that it has a distinct sex…mainly because the brain does not reproduce. Let’s think about the heart. The heart is also a vital organ in which hormones influence…but does that mean that the heart determines are sex? Not necessarily. A brain surgeon can take a peace of a brain from a man and place it into a woman…and that wouldn’t change a thing.

      I do agree that most males and most females have different brain sizes, as this is confirmed scientific fact. But this is because most men (but not all) have a slightly larger skull size than women. In fact, transwomen have an identifiable male skull that is larger than the biologically born cis female. Therefore the brain size is just as versatile as the height of males vs females. We all know that men and most transwomen are taller than females and most transmen…but there are many exceptions to the rule and that even comes to the brain. Scientifically, someone could say that this larger brain would makes a transwoman’s brain function much differently than a biologically born cis female also…and more closely to how a male’s brain functions. But brain patterns, regardless of brain size can still be formed to be similar to a male or females, even if the sex is the opposite. This is because brain patterns do not have a “sex”. Brains can be influenced by our sex…but brains in themselves, just like hearts, arms, legs, etc do not have a sex. This is because they play no direct role in the reproductive system other than to help the sex organs to work properly. Sex organs=Sex. Therefore, the sexes were meant to identify the sex organs.

      Now if we’re talking about hormones…women also produce naturally
      more estrogen than transwomen do (before transwomen take estrogen
      suppliments). Women’s bodies produce estrogen in order to prepare for
      birth. Estrogen travels to the brain from the female sex organs, and
      the brain registers it and works with the body to make sure ou sex
      organs do their job. But just because the brain is receiving estrogen
      does not mean that the estrogen the brain has recieved makes a person
      female by scientific definition. Both males and females recieve doses
      of estrogen and testosterone at different levels.

      When asking “what is a women” it would require you to know the history behind the term and why the term “woman” or “female” came to be in the first place. Obviously the person that coined the term deserves the right to its definition right? Every animal has been defined by terms that identify their sex. This is how we know which animals to milk. Or which animal will lay eggs. The sex terms female/male; man or woman were made to identify the sexual reproductive role one will play…and that can only be determined by the sex organs or sex DNA that that person has. Even a woman who cannot give birth at first, with a uterine transplant her body will immediately react to it. Not the same with a transwoman however because their bodies are physiologically more like men on the inside.

      As far as prison…how much do you think it will cost to supply medical provisions on a daily basis? People with diabetes in jail struggle to get the proper insulin. People with Cancer in jail struggle to get the proper care as far as chemotherapy goes. There are many ailments with a limited budget to supply the necessary provisions for criminals. Taxes are already paying for the non-criminals…criminals usually are secondary as they are receiving a punishment, not a reward. The prisons are merely to house criminals, but these are major medical expenses. With that being said, until there is a way to provide proper medical services, what should be done in the time being? These things don’t happen overnight. And should they risk it? Should they risk having a transwoman in jail who may decide to opt out of her hormones? And what of the transwomen who are trans but do not take hormones? If it is an excuse, I find it to be one to consider. Also, do you think it is a good idea to allow transmen into jail cells with other men? For one, transmen have a higher likelihood of getting pregnant even on T (more than a transwoman has of impregnating a woman) upon being raped in such places if they still have an open vagina. So what should be done about transmen? I think the only logical explanation for transmen is to either keep them with the women or lock them up in a cell all their own. Or perhaps trans people should all be in a separate cell from both? This is the only way I believe will work without causing a major mess.

      Sorry…I hit you with another long essay…smh I’m ashamed of myself. 🙁

    • kingdomheartsislight

      I just wanted to mention this also…another reason that feminists invalidate your gender identity could be because they invalidate their own. Most feminists don’t care for gender in its entirety.

      • Kellyann Conway

        Exatly

    • Morag999

      “I guess what I’m saying is Radical Feminists need to reconigize that (nature or nuture) Transgender Women should be recognized as women and treated how they would treat other women because it is literally causing them psychological distress to do otherwise. Feel what you want on the inside, but saying the things I see in places like this HURT.”

      Snort.

      Yes, indeed, some men become deeply “hurt” and “distressed” when women stand up for themselves and for reality. Those men are called abusers.

      And here you are, advising women to say and do whatever abusive men tell them to say and do.

      You guys are really something!

  • Meghan Murphy

    Nobody gets to decide a persons gender. Gender is a social construct, imposed at birth based on biological sex. You should be enraged about that, though, yes.

  • Meghan Murphy

    What I meant was that it isn’t any individual that decides gender. It’s a social construct and imposed through socialization. An individual “misgendering,” for example, does not ‘decide a person’s gender’, as that’s already happened and happens regardless. By pointing out how gender and socialization work, they are not ‘forcing gender on you.’

    • Shakashuri

      How do you think socialization happens? It happens because individuals collectively share a similar ideology and impose it on others. Misgenering someone is imposing societies ideas about gender onto someone. When a lot of people do it together, it becomes a part os socialization, but is reinforced and carried out on the individual level. Socialization does not just happen on its own without the actions of indoviduals, it is precisely the actions of individuals reproducing societies ideologies that keeps those ideologies dominant within a culture. Anyways, this is really a pedantic argument, I think we essentially agree.

      • Meghan Murphy

        Individuals collectively share a similar ideology because of socialization — because of systems like patriarchy, capitalism, etc. We are *all* ‘misgendered’, if you want to look at it that way, as gender is imposed on all of us. But that does not mean that an adult female is not a woman and an adult male is not a man. In other words, you’re taking aim in the wrong direction. Gender is a problem, not people who understand how gender works.

        • Shakashuri

          I think the point I’m trying to make that you are missing, is that social systems like patriarchy do not exist separate from indoviduals, they are made up of the collective ideology of individuals that is constantly self-reinforcing. Individuals may or may not be aware that they are reproducing societies norms and ideologies when they act, but the reality is that they are whether they are aware or not. The social definition s of gender are only defined if individuals continue to define them. If o divide also decide to change how they define gender, and there were enough I divide also in a society to do so (which is exactly what identity politics is gunning for) than the societal idea of gender would shift.

          • Meghan Murphy

            Ok. Let’s go back to your initial point:

            Morag says, “It seems to make you feel enraged when someone states that men cannot be turned into women. Very well.”

            Your response: “They are enraged because you don’t get to decide a persons gender. The second you do, you are reproducing the ideology that radical feminism is trying to end.”

            If you are deciding that, rather than femininity, you would prefer to perform masculinity, you are not, in fact, undoing or challenging sexist gender roles.

            If a person says that “men cannot be turned into women,” that is not deciding a person’s gender. The gender is already there. Like, what is your argument? That a person who is male can be a woman if they say so? What does that mean? What does “woman” mean?

            I mean, the fact remains that adult females are women and adult males are men. The gender stereotypes attached to that, again, are the problem. Deciding you do not wish to perpetuate sexist gender roles does not change what “woman” and “man” means, in our current society and, as individuals, we can’t simply decide to do away with those categories — that’s not how this works.

  • Meghan Murphy

    “Feminine” and “masculine energy” is not a real thing…

  • Meghan Murphy

    How does one measure such a thing as “masculine energy”?

  • Meghan Murphy

    But you can describe charisma and talent. How do you describe ‘masculine’ or ‘feminine energy’?

  • Meghan Murphy

    In a way that makes sense…

  • dontdothis

    You are confusing sex and gender. Trans often do that and I think that they do it deliberately.

    Biological sex does not/cannot change. Gender is imposed. Women are supposed to be feminine (submissive) men to be masculine (dominant).

    Obviously individuals can reject gender and assert their own personality (which is what gender is). Men can wear dresses, makeup, heels, cry their eyes out. It won’t change them into women.

  • Shakashuri

    I neglected to read your whole comment before my first reply, so I’ve decided to reply again.

    First, I’m not trans, I’m a straight biological white male (the enemy!!!!) that has never been or felt masculine, and has never really identified with the things our society says men should identify with. I also don’t really identify, in general, with most things society says about people in general, so you could probably just say I’m a deviant on most levels or just throw me into the Queer pool, whatever. I’m also a cultural anthropology grad, so I do have a lot of education when it comes to culture and gender, and how individuals and society create, reinforce, and live through these conceptions.

    Honestly, you and I are probably on the same page. Others in this comment section, and most TERFs and TERF ideology, are not on the same page. They are bigots reproducing the idea that sex = gender and that a biological man can never be a woman. That’s incredibly offensive, and my main beef with TERFs in general. I don’t know any transwomen who wouldn’t be offended by such a claim, but I also don’t know any transwomen that would engage in a conversation like this in a way that alienated you as a woman (not saying they don’t exist).

    This is under one condition though, that the above claim was not a claim you were making. Many, MANY, people in this comment thread are making that claim, and I can tell you that in response to that claim many transwomen feel hurt, and may respond to that claim in many different ways, some of which may in turn feel demeaning, disrespectful, and alienating towards women.

    Can you blame them though? Many of the women here are making that very claim. Which is basically an attack on transwomen identities. How would you feel if I told you that you couldn’t do _____ because you were a woman? Not great, and any conversation we are going to have after that statement is going to be one fueled by anger and sadness. That claim though is very similar, I’m telling you that because of a societal category you were GIVEN, that your identity is limited. The same is true for the claim that a biological man can not be a woman.

    Is there a conversation going on in this article that is worth having? Definitely. However, it needs to be had without being had under the claim that biological men can not be women. As long as that claim is a claim that TERFs are making, the other valid points in their argument are not going to be heard by transwomen. Any type of person can be ridiculous and unreasonable, transwomen, women, feminists, hippies, morally bankrupt old white men that got us into this shit show in the first place, etc, etc. It seems as though this article isn’t aimed at ONLY the unreasonable transwomen (though those are the people quoted above as somehow representing ALL transwomen) it seems to be aimed at ALL transwomen.

    I engage in conversations like this with my peers in my field (social work) and friends on a regular basis, many of whom are trans, and they are not reproducing the kind of ridiculous shit being quoted above. I could probably write an article on why MRAs who are anti-feminist have a point using the most ridiculous quotes I could find from feminists (disclaimer: I consider myself a feminist, I am not defending MRAs). That wouldn’t change the fact that MRAs are bigots using some sort of twisted social justice ideology to continue being misogynist assholes.

    • Meghan Murphy

      “They are bigots reproducing the idea that sex = gender and that a biological man can never be a woman.”

      I think a big part of the problem in these conversations is that most people don’t really understand how patriarchy came to be and how it works. Women were not always treated as inferior or as men’s property. It’s only within about the past 6000 years that this system has come into place and has become naturalized to many.

      Due to women’s reproductive capabilities, men began to treat women as possessions — things to be traded (or stolen) among tribes/families — in order to ensure the longevity of their family line/the population. In order to ensure women stayed in a position of subordination, various gendered characterstics were attached to women and those characteristics were deemed inferior.

      While in reality, no, sex does not = gender, under patriarchy it does. That’s how gender works. Erasing the roots of patriarchy doesn’t help us understand how to defeat it.

      Whether or not, as you say, transwomen are offended by this or feel it is an attack on their identities, doesn’t change the reality of gender and its root. Men are women *are* different, in a biological sense — that is not the problem — the problem is that value/power is applied to those differerences and women have been subordinated, under patriarchy, due only to the fact of them being born female.

      • Shakashuri

        “Women were not always treated as inferior or as men’s property. It’s only within about the past 6000 years that this system has come into place and has become naturalized to many.”

        This is kind of an aside, but this claim has no evidence to back it up. Not because there is evidence to counter it, but because after 6000 years you’re talking about prehistory, from which we only have archaeological records. These records (I’m not an expert by any means but I did go to school for anthropology so that’s whatever it is) are incredibly sparse and really don’t say very much about how societies were organized (let alone social hierarchies). I think a lot of archaeologists and anthropologists (post feminism would probably argue that patriarchy and the oppression of women is a lot older than 6000 years just based on how entrenched it is at the point in which the historical record begins.

        That would be a theory though, because again, we know very little about people and how they organized their societies before history. We do know a lot about primates though, and you’ll find that in primate societies the female sex is normally “oppressed” (the quotes are because it’s so hard to know what non-human animals think and feel, or if they have awareness of things like oppression). By the time AMHSS comes onto the scene this could have changed a lot, but I don’t think it’s a stretch to say that early Homo Sapiens were probably more like their primate ancestors than we would like to believe.

        Not really relevant to the discussion, but I feel like I have to use my education when I can.

        • Meghan Murphy

          As I mentioned elsewhere, I recommend you read feminist historian Gerda Lerner’s book. She puts forth a very convincing argument for this.

          I don’t think comparisons to animals are particularly useful in this context, as w are not animals and we live in a society we created…

          • Shakashuri

            I’ll check it out, always open to new theories. I agree, WE live in a society we created, but the world for archaic homo sapiens was radically different from ours, and it’s more likely, as evident by what little archaeological evidence we do have, that their society was at the least a lot simpler than ours. I’d also argue that before fire this was even more true and that our ancestors at that period probably lived a lot more like our primate ancestors than like ourselves.

    • Anand

      Since you are not trans, then probably you are not the person to respond here to what I asked. You didn’t answer any of my questions, but I see that you honestly wanted to engage. Thanks.

  • Meghan Murphy

    But individuals can’t upend patriarchy by simply opting out. That’s not how patriarchy works. It doesn’t *matter* whether or not biological men feel offended by this because, under patriarchy, males are in a position of power. I mean, it’s really great (honestly) if men want to stop doing masculinity — that is very helpful– but it doesn’t make them women. That is offensive to women, who are not women simply because they don’t perform masculinity or have chosen to perform femininity, but because they were born into a system wherein femininity (subordinate status) is imposed on them at birth.

  • Meghan Murphy

    I’ve explained this elsewhere in the thread, but I suggest you read Gerda Lerner’s “The Creation of Patriarchy.” I think it may help you understand how the gender hierarchy came to be and how it connects to biological sex.

  • Meghan Murphy

    “Individuals most definitely can upend patriarchy by opting out.”
    No. Women *can’t* opt out. That’s the point. Patriarchy is systemic, not based on individual choice. Individuals can effect change and change their behaviour, but upending the system of patriarchy cannot be accomplished by simply denying its existence.

    “When a biological man decides to shed their ‘manhood’ (which is a social construct) they lose pretty much all of the privilege they had before.”

    They don’t actually lose *all* their privilege. That’s like saying if white people stopped identifying as white, they would cease to hold privilege in this world.

  • Morag999

    I’m sorry that you’re still confused. But I’m sure you’ll get it all figured out, being a self-professed expert on radical feminism AND cultural anthropology. Wow!

    Speaking of which, has “TERF” finally entered the lexicon of cultural anthropologists? ‘Cause you use the term a lot! What about “bloviating male assholery”? I’ll bet you could discuss that cultural phenomenon at great, painful length …

  • hazel

    I did not know that Navajo people have 4 genders! Someone from a native background once told me that there are no gender specific pronouns in their language, just one word to refer to individuals. Reminds me that there is a whole world beyond english/western constructs of identity, etc. I have also heard that many Native American cultures have always revered persons who we would refer to as gender non conforming and/or trans. I have heard the term Two spirit-Very beautiful.

  • Deborah Hamm

    Great article.

  • Carol Moore

    Good article. I do think women have a right on an ideological level to consider transwomen to be men who appear to be women, not real women. On a personal level we also should have the right to decide WHICH transwomen we will call “she” and for which we will carefully avoid using that pronoun because they act like obnoxious or creepy guys. I also don’t think we should be bullied into learning 10 different pronouns and then putting a lot of energy into remembering which one to use for which individual or face social and even job sanctions. (I heard that’s the new rule at U of Michigan for professors!) Absurd abuse of state power – one that would have elected a Republican if the yahoos hadn’t come out of the woodwork to nominate the Trump fool. And don’t we love the video of him kissing Rudy Giuliani who’s wearing drag.

  • Kellyann Conway

    Brilliant. Thank you.

  • Carol Moore

    Geez, have we gotten to the point that transmen ARE being put in male prisons? Haven’t heard of a case. Find it difficult to believe a transman would WANT to be in one…

  • Em

    While I agree that the man that physically and/or sexually assaults a trans woman probably hasn’t read Greer, or Janice Raymond, or whoever. When that same trans woman is then turned away from a women’s shelter while trying to escape DV, or while seeking services for survivors of sexual assault, the person who has made the policy to refuse trans women probably has read TERF literature.

    When TERFs try to legislate trans people out of existence by denying them medical services, when they fight to force trans women into men’s prisons where they’ll have the choice between solitary confinement or extreme risk of physical and sexual assault, or even just men’s spaces in day-to-day life which still puts them at risk of assault, then yeah, they are committing violence.

    To try to argue that TERFs do not harm trans people, to say they are not complicit in their deaths while denying them services and treatment, that is a ridiculous position to take. This isn’t some ideological debate about the meaning of gender, this is about forcing trans people into harms way through legislation and social engineering.

    That man that murders a trans women may not have heard of Greer, but that trans women was forced into that man’s path by Greer and co’s rhetoric.

    • Meghan Murphy

      1) Please stop using anti-feminist slurs
      2) Have you actually heard of any of many cases of a transwoman who was raped than turned away by service providers?
      3) No one is being ‘legislated out of existence’, what are you even talking about?
      4) “To try to argue that TERFs do not harm trans people, to say they are not complicit in their deaths while denying them services and treatment, that is a ridiculous position to take.”
      What do you mean by ‘services and treatment’? What is being denied to transwomen that causes their deaths?
      5) Why is it that you believe men murder transwomen and how is it that Greer forces them into men’s paths?

  • Stefon Roland

    I think feminist and women in general should not accept the concept that ‘Transgender’ women are indeed women. There is no way a male will ever understand what life really is like to be a woman. What women bear and endure during the course of their lives is unimaginable to us. It is wrong for Transgender women and their supported to attempt to rename real women as ‘cis’. As the author correctly pointed out, natural born women are the default; they are perfect in their creation needing no modification. Women will never have to explain to a date/potential romantic partner that they were once something else and may still have male genitalia.

    The hardships and oppression that befall women don’t happen because they choose to live like women, it happens because they ARE women. There is no choice. Typically if you choose to act in a way that the larger society finds unusual or even offensive, you will not be treated well. This is the issue transgender people and their supporters need to acknowledge. Just because medicine has advanced to make you look like a reasonable mock up of a women still doesn’t mean you are one. I do find it interesting that in 50 years of living in and around LGBT communities in New York and knowing several transgender people closely(male to female) they always chose the most stereotypical version of what a woman should look like. With all of the wide ranges of how women actually do look across the spectrum, their vision of a female is typically the most limited and conservative, just as Bruce Jenner has done.

  • Meghan Murphy

    Um. You haven’t responded to anything I’ve said. Why is it you think males should be allowed access to women’s spaces anyway?

  • Meghan Murphy

    “Trans women are turned away from shelters all the time. A quick google search will turn up innumerable results. Anti-trans feminists, have historically and continue today to push legislation to force trans women out of women’s spaces. This is inclusive of women’s restrooms, women’s shelters and DV services, and more.”

    “A quick google search” is not an answer. Also, “pushed out”??? Like, lol. You are acting as though the existence of women’s spaces are somehow harmful to men. Women’s spaces are for WOMEN. They don’t ‘push’ men out. Men were never allowed in in the first place. For good reason. Ridiculous.

    “”Yes, anti-trans “feminists” have both in the past and continue to push legislation that would deny medical treatment, and government support for such treatment, to trans people. Treatment that is often the alternative to suicide for many trans people. That, combined with denial to DV services and shelters, among other women’s services, traps many trans women into environments and situations where their risk of SA, violence, murder and suicide is much much greater. ”

    You are using the word “treatment” to describe unnecessary medical procedures. Stop being manipulative. Trans people have access to the same medical treatment EVERYONE ELSE DOES. And no, actually, transitioning does not prevent suicide. Statistics show this, regardless of bullshit propaganda from trans activists.

    “5) My point isn’t specifically about Greer but about the academically backed (and therefore legitimized) push by self proclaimed feminists to deny trans people, and more specifically trans women, access to medical treatment, DV support services, homelessness support services and more despite the fact that trans people are at much higher risk and need of such services. Perhaps part of that risk is even a result of being excluded from such treatment and services. Such rhetoric is often used to back things like the bathroom bills in the US, which is forcing trans women into male restrooms. Like, do you actually think that forcing a woman into a male restroom isn’t going to put her at great risk of assault?”

    As I’ve already said, trans people have access to the same medical treatment EVERYONE ELSE DOES. Like, what are you talking about when you say “medical treatment”? Cosmetic surgery? Hormones? None of this is necessary to anyone’s survival. And if trans people want more access to DV support services, they should do what the women’s movement did: work their fucking asses off for decades in order to get them. I personally have no interest in forcing transwomen into male restrooms, but I fail to see why trans people can’t advocate for a third gender neutral washroom instead of demanding access to women’s washrooms. Why is it you think women’s feelings, safety, spaces, and rights are so completely insignificant? Why are a small minority of people who identify as transgender more important than the entire class of women???

    Like, the women’s movement has worked so fucking hard to ensure rights for women, do your own fucking work. Stop trying to fuck with our rights.

  • There are valid reasons why women today should be concerned about trans-specific progressive changes, to be sure. Change can be very scary, and there’s plenty to be nervous about.

    This does not rationalize open transphobia, however. And “TERF” forums and the comment sections for articles that are pro-TERF or come across as such (like yours seems to) act as a beacon for transphobic people.

    Even your comment section here is attracting transphobic people who feel comfortable expressing regressive views and openly refusing to acknowledge transwomen as women. I feel that any writing that makes someone like that feel welcome is something that should be reconsidered.

    I have a TON of trans friends, including both men and women. And while there may be plenty of so-called “TERFs” who are not actually against transgender people being accepted as who they are in society, that does not at all seem to be the popular view. At all.

    It seems to be much more oriented around drawing lines in the sand over who does and doesn’t get to be considered a woman, and expressing hate and bigotry.

    • Morag999

      “Hello there ladies, or feminists, or whatever you call yourselves. I’m an entitled, silly, liberal man with an uninformed opinion. But that won’t stop me from leaving comments on feminist blogs, chastising women for doing feminism and womanhood wrong. Please allow me to begin with a short paragraph in which I pretend to have sympathy for women’s concerns with transgenderism — even though I haven’t the foggiest idea what those concerns are! Now that that’s out of the way, I’d like to begin by lobbing at you the anti-feminist slur, TERF. Next, I’d like you to know that all my friends are trans. My trans friends are angels and, all together, they weigh one TON. That’s how many trans friends I have, ’cause that’s how liberal I am. Now, I’m going to have to insist that, no matter what women think inside their female heads, men CAN, indeed, be women. I repeat: men who say they are women ARE women. End of discussion. I’d like now to reiterate that TERFs are bad because they are TERFy TERFs who practice terfcraft in public and who should be stopped because I, and my TON of friends, think they’re pretty mean. Also: hate. Also: bigotry. Thank you for listening to me tell you what a good liberal man I am, and how terrible you terrible women are.”

    • Meghan Murphy

      Oh I see! This is the very important comment you were so concerned about. Actually you can’t come to feminist sites and start smearing women and calling them anti-feminist names. Bye.

  • Meghan Murphy

    Good god you are stupid, aren’t you?

    “Never mind that, in addition to growing up with a family made almost entirely of women, he has loads of cisgender women friends that he regularly listens to, in order to better understand what life problems and concerns they have to deal with!”

    lol. Like, men who know women are ALWAYS so, so great and never misogynist. Also, what is a ‘cisgender’?

    “Never mind that he’s also a feminist, because men feminists only exist to support whatever we say!”

    No such thing as male feminists, sorry.

    Also he dared to use the TERF word! Even though he didn’t actually call the author a TERF and was referring to the community (even if she later made a youtube video literally declaring that she was a TERF in the video title, unless there’s another Penny White feminist who talks about TERFs)”

    TERF is an anti-feminist slur.

    “Also Never mind that loads of the people in the comment section are admittedly opposed to accepting trans women as women or accepting them as part of feminism, which is literally Trans-Exclusionary Radical Feminism!”

    Transwomen are male. You can be male and identify as trans if you like, but it doesn’t make you literally female. This is both basic science and feminism.

    • trlkly

      You quoted people in your article who used the word “cis.” Stop trying to pretend you don’t know it means “not trans.”

      And now you’ve stated that trans women are male. So you are a TERF. You are trans exclusionary. You claim to be trans inclusive, but you literally just admitted to not being so. You exclude them from womanhood.
      Like I said, it’s impossible to be trans inclusive and embrace TERFs. You cannot embrace that which would undermine the very thing you claim to believe. You embrace TERFs because you are one.

      And pretending that attacks feminism is stupid. You aren’t a feminist at all, as you embrace the patriarchy and how it values women.

      • Meghan Murphy

        I’m asking you, though. What do YOU mean when you use the term “ciswoman?”

        Transwomen are male. If stating that makes a person a “TERF,” I guess science is a “TERF,” eh? I am not “excluding them from womanhood,” they just literally aren’t women. Sorry these facts upset you, but being upset doesn’t change the facts.

        Feminism is about liberating women from patriarchy. Patriarchy invented the gender traits you are now pretending are innate, valuable, and real. Therefore I’m afraid it is you who has “embrace[d] the patriarchy.”

  • Meghan Murphy

    Get over yourself, dude. Your comment was in moderation, just like everyone else’s. I guess you’re more important than them, though eh?

    • Hey, if you’re too busy to bother having an argument, you’re too busy to bother having an argument.

      However, if you’re going to respond to me with your own counter-argument, then let my reply float in moderation for over a day, then both approve and respond to my indignant whinging about your perceived lack of moderation shortly after I’ve made said complaint while still leaving my previous reply in stasis, it suggests you’re neither interested in actually having the argument, or too busy to moderate it.

      Unless of course you’re simply waiting until you finish making your reply to my reply. In which case I owe you an apology.

      However, it seems more likely that you’re simply cherry picking which of my responses actually get seen, so that you can control how I (and likely others that you disagree with in this community) come across to everyone else.

      However, I’d really like for you to prove me wrong on that. I’m much more interested in an actual debate than having a slap fight over perceived biased moderation.

      • Meghan Murphy

        Dude. I have written entire articles about this. Read them. You know how to read, right?

        Again, ALL THE COMMENTS ARE MODERATED. I do not work for you, you entitled prick.

  • Meghan Murphy

    I was being facetious. There is no such thing as a ‘cis woman’. Go away, mansplainer. Take your ridiculous dogma back to the cult.

    • Just like there’s no such thing as a “hetero” woman?

      Is factually correct language that normalizes gay people also dogmatic cult-speak?

      • Meghan Murphy

        I’m sorry you’re having trouble getting your head around this. Women do not ‘identify’ with femininity — they are socialized into it.

        • I could be mistaken, but I don’t recall saying they did. Where did I say that? Could you elaborate on what you mean?

          • Meghan Murphy

            That is literally what ‘cis’ means. That a person ‘identifies’ with the gender role imposed on them.

          • So you’re saying gender and gender roles are the same thing? That’s not something I’ve ever heard before.

          • Meghan Murphy

            Do you really not know what gender is? It is literally gender roles.

          • Gender is not a construct imposed by society, though. The roles we associate with gender are.

          • Meghan Murphy

            Yes, gender is a social construct. That is what it is.

          • Gwen

            As much as I feel your frustration when a man feels it’s his place to tell women how to fight their own oppression… Insulting responses are likely to alienate him further and this ultimately hurts the movement. I suggest calling people ‘in’ rather than out, if they are no threat to you and you want to persuade them.

    • Also, disqus notified me of your previous reply, but my initial reply to you and your reply to my reply were still not showing so I thought you hadn’t approved it yet.

      That’s my bad, sorry!

  • Meghan Murphy

    Are you dumb? All of your comments are posted. For the millionth time, comments are moderated, manually, by a human who is not online 24 hours a day. Keep this up and I’ll just ban you.

  • Meghan Murphy

    Right. And no one (except Rachel Dolezal, essentially, who argues race is just a personal identity one chooses) is saying people of colour can simply identify their way out of racist oppression if they choose to or that racism will somehow disappear if we all simply stop identifying as black or white or Indigenous or whatever.

  • ohdear

    What if there were a “black only” space, or a space where they asked white people to “park their privilege,” and not speak, and I said that I have a black brain so I should be able to go/speak/lead, too? Black brains aren’t different, and neither are female brains. Racism and misogyny have told us that they are. There are many books, speeches, stories and articles claiming this. This is why black people were considered less than 100% a person, and why women couldn’t vote, or think for herself. The reason given wasn’t that she’s physically weaker or even that she has a vagina and bears children: her brain is different.

    Writing anonymously online is interesting because on any and every blog — I’d say 15 or more — that I’ve commented on with different aliases, if I didn’t say I was a woman, each and every person who addressed me with a reference to my gender (at least 30-50 individual writers) thought I was a (usually gay) male. So just in terms of online etiquette, there’s a certain way men and women are supposed to talk. And women are not supposed to be pushy and argumentative, or whatever, so people assume I’m a man. I don’t, however, have a “male brain,” even though I also played with cars and trucks, etc., I just happen to have fought that aspect of socialization.

    Fighting white supremacy (in the case of black spaces), and in this case, misogyny, is the answer. Then everyone would and could “present” however they want or feel. The presence of testosterone and penises wouldn’t be an inherent danger to anyone. The goals of feminism and trans activists should therefore align perfectly, and the fact that they don’t is pretty scary.

  • Megan

    This kinda just sounded like a long way say, ” i’m gonna be an asshole, but make it sound reasonable”, cause like isn’t deciding that cis-women needs come before those of trans, kind of defeat the point of feminism, that where all equal in some sort of way, or was that all bullshit. I mean you bring up some great points, about logistics, I guess but still groups that hold prejudice are all dangerous no matter how reasonable they may seem. ( sorry if this is a bit brash, i’m taking holocaust and genocide studies, and once you learn the warning signs of a genocide you never go back)

    • Meghan Murphy

      I’m not exactly sure what you are arguing… Do you believe women are not the oppressed sex class under patriarchy? And what is the ‘prejudice’ you mention?

      • FLORIDA GHOST

        women are not oppressed for having a vagina. women are DEFINITELY oppressed, nobody here is contesting that, but its not because of anatomical differences.
        so there is no “oppressed sex class,” there is oppression against WOMEN, regardless of what bits theyre born with.

        also… the prejudice they mention… is probably transphobia,,……

        • Meghan Murphy

          Patriarchy exists in order to control women’s reproductive capacity. So yes, it very much is rooted in biology/sex.

        • Liz Smissaert

          this is, quite simply, wrong.
          the womb is highly contested prime real estate for entitled men.

        • MéliMélo

          women are killed before being born for having a biological female sex, what on earth are you talking about? Do you know how many female fetus are aborted every year in many countries because females are considered inferior and less valuable then males? In what delusional planet earth do you live in?? You are no friend to women!

  • Drew Coyne

    As a trans woman who just wants to live her life and would love a third option space so I don’t feel like I have to fight other women over some thing many of them just do not seem ready for I find this article to be generalizing and promoting hate against me. I might want to use your bathroom out of fear of being attacked by men but I am not here to demand inclusion in every female activity nor am I here to place my needs above women. Would I like to be accepted? Yes, but reality is that is up to you, and the main thing I find hateful about this article is that it completely disregardes the right wing hate coming from TERFS that has nothing to do with the concerns of women and only propagates hate.You pretty much decided my life is not worth value based off anecdotes from people who spend way to much time focusing on an issue that rarely affects most people’s lives.

    • yes

      The women you call terf usually do not think trans women should not have rights, but if you search terf on twitter, you’ll find things like terf killer. What are you even talking about.
      Penny literally says she supports your rights. Yisus.

    • Tori

      lol there are no right wing TERFs. They would run away from all the dykes and pro-choice people.

  • Meghan Murphy

    Actually, yes, patriarchy came to existence as a means for men to control women’s reproductive capacity (i.e. their offpring/bloodline). I recommend reading Gerda Lerner’s The Creation of Patriarchy. Best of luck.

  • Funny you should bring that up. I don’t think it’s appropriate to suggest trans and cis women are 100% the same, because they’re not.

    I have a variety of trans friends in some communities, on twitter and elsewhere, and I’ve never once heard a trans woman suggest that cis and trans women are exactly alike. Not once has that ever been a view I’ve heard from the trans community, by any measure.

    In fact, emphasis on what it is that sets trans women apart from cis women seems to be considered extremely important to them in a number of contexts.

    I think cis and trans women are all women, but I’ve never been under the impression that I should think of them as all being exactly the same, at any point.

    As far as I can tell, the whole “but there are differences!” exists in contrast to an overblown ideal that is not actually mainstream within the trans community.

    That argument, in fact, seems to pop up mainly on transphobic blogs and the like. It’s more of a boogeyman argument used by transphobic activists to rally others against transgender folk, than one that’s actually representative of the trans community.

    It’s much like the fear of people masquerading as women to prey on folks in the restroom, in that it represents a problem that is more or less imaginary.

    So when someone says they support a movement that has demonstrable associations with transphobia because, among other reasons, they believe trans and cis women are different, I don’t know what the fuck they’re talking about.

  • Also, this isn’t intended as an insult or anything, but it’d help a lot if you’d break up your reply into paragraphs.

    Cramming it all into one giant block like that makes it needlessly tiresome to read.

  • DesertLL

    A lot of transwomen act frighteningly male. They want what they want immediately, and women’s rights have to come dead last, or they’re labeled terfs. This is OUR space. If you join it, you do it respectfully or not at all.

  • DesertLL

    I agree with you. How many trans women (or men) are dysphoric, and how many are part of some fashion trend? Prince was not trans, but if he were growing up now, would he be sucked into calling himself female? It’s getting so out of hand. Third gender is not female. Neither is gender bending and cross dressing.

  • DesertLL

    I’m proud of it too. The kind of people who get offended aren’t my allies anyway.

  • Mare

    > Firstly, trans women are forced by society to act a certain, ‘ultra-feminine’ way at the risk of being

    called ‘phonies’.

    Uh, don’t you understand why that is?

    >Secondly, if you try to force women to act against stereotypical
    femininity, you are no better than those who force them to accept it.

    So why not go in with us radfems and try to dismantle gender altogether? That way no one is harmed by gender stereotypes and the whole trans thing doesn’t need to exist any more? Literally what you’re fighting for is the concretion of harmful gender stereotypes. Goodness.

    • Julian Escobedo

      “Why not go in with us radfems and try to dismantle gender altogether?”
      Firstly, all women should equally lead the movement, not just ciswomen.
      Trans is about abolishing gender altogether, that part you don’t seem to understand. The only reason trans are expanding gender norms is to disrupt the binary. Trying to work within that system shouldn’t be subject to attack. Trying to ignore gender at this moment is equivalent to being a person who “doesn’t see color” in regards to race. It’s counterproductive.

      • Meghan Murphy

        Trans can only exist if there is a gender binary. The idea itself naturalizes and perpetuates the idea that gender and a gender binary exists. Also, what is a “ciswomen?”

  • Meghan Murphy

    I am talking about the root purpose of patriarchy. Like, why it exists. That is not the same thing as saying only women who reproduce experience sexism. Stop being daft and go read a book.

  • Meghan Murphy

    You aren’t a feminist so you won’t have to “hang up” anything. Lucky for you!

  • radwonka

    The huge majority does.

    Oh and I did study biology, dont worry dude.

    But let’s elaborate on chromosomes a bit.

    For males:

    XXY genotype (Klinefelter syndrome) = male.
    “… a genetic disorder in which there is at least one extra X chromosome to a standard human male karyotype.”

    XXYY syndrome = male.
    “… a sex chromosome anomaly in which males have an extra X and Y chromosome.”

    XXXY syndrome = male.
    “… in which males have two extra X chromosomes.”

    XXXXY syndrome = male.
    “… an extremely rare, aneuploidic sex chromosomal abnormality [in] approximately 1 out of 85,000 to 100,000 males.”

    For females:

    XXX genotype = female.
    “… characterized by the presence of an extra X chromosome in each cell of a human female.”

    X genotype (Turner syndrome) = female.
    “… encompasses several conditions in human females.”

    XXXX genotype = female.
    “… occurs only in females, as there are no Y chromosomes present.”

    For intersex people:
    XX/XY genotype = intersex, but not a new sex.
    “… some cells have the male chromosomal complement (XY) and some cells have the female chromosomal complement (XX).”

    All
    of these are variations upon male and female karyotypes but that does
    not mean these people are considered non-male or non-female. Their sex
    characteristics may not be what is considered “regular” for their sex
    (and they may of course be assigned the opposite sex incorrectly at
    birth), but that does not mean they are a completely new sex. For that
    to happen we would need a third sex chromosome on top of X and Y. If a Z
    chromosome popped up, that would be a new gender.

    In
    the case of the final intersex genotype, the majority of XX,XY cases
    are as a result of maternal contamination of the amniotic fluid and are
    not actually part of the baby’s genetics, in which case they will be a
    “normal” XY male (source).
    True chimerism has been observed in XX,XY people (i.e. some cells are
    male and some are female) but this, again, does not denote a new sex. It
    just means that the baby’s cells would be a mosaic.

    Males
    have a Y chromosome; females don’t. Yes, sex may not be as strict a
    binary as was once thought in the sense that there can be variations…
    but there isn’t a third sex. Cells are either male or female.

    Regardless
    of chromosomal variation, all of those diagnosed with the above
    syndromes are female by virtue of only having X sex chromosome(s).

    Regardless
    of chromosomal variation, all those diagnosed with the above syndromes
    are male by virtue of their Y sex chromosome(s).

    For the minority of people who cannot be so easily distinguished (sex chromosomes XX are found in some cells while XY are found in others, called mosaicism),
    a sex is generally chosen between the parents/guardians and the acting
    physician so that the infant may be socialized as either male or female
    according to patriarchal socialization.

    Lastly, the majority of
    those that are initially determined to be XX/XY intersex due to
    ambiguous genitalia are actually only presented as such as a result of maternal contamination of the amniotic fluid and are not actually part of the baby’s genetics, in which case karyotyping will determine the chromosomal sex of the infant.

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3314712/

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Klinefelter_syndrome

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/XXYY_syndrome

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/49,_XXXXY_syndrome

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Triple_X_syndrome

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Turner_syndrome

    http://medind.nic.in/jae/t06/i1/jaet06i1p24.pdf

    -askaradfem

    hint: all females have only have X chromosomes, Y chromosome is for males
    thats how biology works

    thats how sexual dimorphism works

    hahaahaha XD as you say

    now fuck off pretentious dumbass

  • Meghan Murphy

    Ask transactivists why they insist on attacking feminists and feminist spaces, shutting down feminist speech, any questions or debate whatsoever, and smearing every single person who dares question the concept of gender identity? Who benefits from THAT ‘war,’ hmmm?

    • Muriel Aurora Ranchal

      The thing is we trans activists are usually also feminist activists and work toghether with feminists. We disagree with transphobe feminism, which is nearly none of it (even though it sadly exists), but people seems to be always trying to give transphobe feminism and trans reactions to it a great deal of visibility other feminisms do not get (same as people seems to give much visibility to any self-proclaimed feminist making anti-men statements to make it seem feminism is anti-men). The problem of questioning the concept of gender identity is it’s stupid because it’s more than proven it exists.

      • Meghan Murphy

        Feminist analysis is not ‘phobic,’ it’s just feminism. That’s why we keep doing it.

        • Muriel Aurora Ranchal

          The phobia is in refusing to accept us as women. No one ever did that due to having analysed anything (when someone does analyse, they do accept us).

          • Meghan Murphy

            But how is that ‘phobic’? Do you see how this assessment is inaccurate and misleading? It quite literally does not speak to anything feminists are *actually* saying with regard to trans.

          • Muriel Aurora Ranchal

            Refusing to acknowlodge us as women is attacking our identity based on prejudice. It’s the same as saying a woman (weather cis or trans) is not enough of a woman for not playing with dolls or for knowing fencing.
            About feminists not saying we’re not women, thank you, that was my point all along. Feminists are not the same as TERFs. Feminists for the most part do accept us (probably because feminists do analyse often).

          • Meghan Murphy

            Why is it my obligation, as a feminist, to pretend that a male is female simply because he says so? I am a feminist — so are all of my hundreds of thousands of sisters. The women who fought for the rights I have today during the first and second waves are my sisters. You don’t get to write women out of their own movement simply because they don’t obey your orders.

          • Just Passing Through

            Amen to that!

  • Meghan Murphy

    Can you explain why it’s ‘anti-feminist’ to say that gender is not innate, is a harmful concept, and exists to reinforce male domination? Can you also explain why it’s ‘anti-feminist’ to ask that males stay out of certain woman-only spaces?

    You actually don’t get to redefine feminism to suit yourself. Sorry.

  • Meghan Murphy

    No, ‘cis’ doesn’t mean ‘the opposite of trans.’ All you gender identity dogmatists should get together and decide on some definitions, lest your arguments end up coming off as… um… irrational and nonsensical…

  • Meghan Murphy

    Hari Nef openly said they acted docile and passive (i.e. feminine) in order to attract men. Real revolutionary stuff there.

    Sexism is rooted in sex — the gender part comes after.

    Transwomen who are raped are not denied help by rape crisis centers. VRR helps transwomen get safe and get help all the time. They just can’t stay in the shelter or become counselors. VRR was NOT sued because they denied services to anyone. You clearly have no fucking clue what that case was about and on what basis they won. Why don’t you look it up instead of just making up lies?

    • Muriel Aurora Ranchal

      You’re right about Neff, I meant Cox and somehow got mixed up. Thanks for pointing it out. Sexism is rooted in gender, elsewise I wouldn’t be objectified, assaulted, demanded sex, and so on.
      Transwomen are denied help many times. Being denied staying is being denied help. I didn’t know this particular case and I assumed it was just once more one of those cases. These are an investigation and a periodistic article about it. When accepted we sometimes still get harassed even by staff (55% of us are harrassed by staff there, it’s past unreasonable).
      http://harvardcrcl.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/Goodmark_51-104.pdf
      https://theestablishment.co/for-transgender-abuse-survivors-help-is-even-harder-to-come-by-8488d039e13c#.isyq9pkwh
      So now we go to that specific case.If it was from an idiot it was just one idiot, so it wouldn’t debunk anything about trans people, but let’s see:
      In the article linked it says in the interview that “it was fairly obvious to everybody that it was women-only” and “men can’t join the group”, refusing to acknowlodge the trans woman as a woman, that’s called transphobia, dearie. Refusing to shelter trans women on the basis of being trans is too, which is not clear to me if they did or didn’t (it says they helped and accepted calls, but not if they ever sheltered any, not sheltering would be partially refusing service).

  • Meghan Murphy

    I know how to google, too! Cisgender is defined as “denoting or relating to a person whose sense of personal identity and gender corresponds with their birth sex.”

  • Meghan Murphy

    You aren’t getting this. What you call ‘transphobic,’ is not, in fact, ‘phobic.’

    Let’s test: what do you mean when you say ‘transphobe feminist’?

  • Meghan Murphy

    (Just noting this comment was edited, and used to suggest Hari Neff, not Cox.)

  • Muriel Aurora Ranchal
    • radwonka

      Yeah, the SRY gene of the Y chromosome is defective here. (https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/defective).
      Which is why the informations of the X chromosome, the one that isnt defective, create only female characteristics. Which again proves that Y chromosome normally has male characteristics and that X chromosome only has female characteristics.

      Now stop instrumentalizing malformations and defective genes..

      • Muriel Aurora Ranchal

        Not a defective gene, just an unexpressed one. many of your genes don’t express, but that doesn’t make them wrong.

        • radwonka

          defective =/= wrong
          defective = see the definition above

  • Meghan Murphy

    No I don’t. I am under no obligation to accept lies or to go along with an individual’s preferred identity. Transwomen do not suffer more under patriarchy than females. That is an absolutely insulting and ignorant thing to say.

    • Muriel Aurora Ranchal

      This talk is pretty much sterile until you get the time to understand we’re not fake women. Eeading Judith Butler might help you a bit. Data about agressions against trans and cis women is out there for you to reach if you really do believe you suffer more for being cisgender.

      • Meghan Murphy

        I’ve read Judith Butler, thanks. You do realize I have a graduate degree in Women, Sexuality, and Gender Studies, yes? I don’t need your ‘educating.’ You need to actually listen to what feminists are saying and stop trying to dictate what they should be doing with their own movement. We call this ‘mansplaining.’

  • Meghan Murphy

    How is stating facts (males are male, females are female) “phobic?” Trans people do not die because feminists disagree with them. They die because men kill them (mostly in prostitution). Yet, oddly, transpeople never seem to attack sexist men, johns, or the sex industry. Telling, isn’t it.

  • Meghan Murphy

    When you say “TERFs,” you are talking about feminists. Now, stop using anti-feminist slurs to smear feminists or you won’t be allowed to post here anymore.

  • Meghan Murphy

    As far as I’m aware, every single rape crisis center in BC, apart from VRR, takes transwomen in . Also, if transwomen want services, perhaps they should advocate for services and start their own shelters and organizations, just like women had to do. And, for the last time, it is not “transphobic” to understand that biological sex is real.

  • Meghan Murphy

    Lesbians are the ones pushing back against this gender identity nonsense, moron.

  • Meghan Murphy

    wtf are you talking about?

  • Monsieur Zoidberg

    “[my] GENETIC GENDER DEFINITION”

    Gender is described as the characteristics that a society or culture define as masculine or feminine. Gender is simply how society thinks men and women should look and act. I never once mentioned gender, but whatever, you we’re probably too busy thinking of your own reply to actually read mine.

    I believe I used the word “woman” throughout my reply, meaning the biological sex of the person. As in — no amount of plastic surgery or artificial hormones will change that.

    “your BLOG [this is Meghan’s blog] has “feminist” in the title for hell sake!”

    Yes, and you come over here and insult a bunch of feminist women with the slur TERF. That’s a term used to shut down real, biological women and our allies by accusing us of bigotry. Men want access to women’s private spaces, but men also want to be able to keep stealing from, objectifying, degrading, raping and killing women. We CREATED those spaces to get away from men because too many men can’t help but feel entitled to hurt women.

    “no real feminist will ever consider a transsexual woman ANYTHING BUT A REAL WOMAN”

    So, every woman on this blog is not a real feminist? Thank you, man, for telling us that our feminism is incorrect. Y’know, we always need a bright man to come in and tell us that us women are “doing it wrong.”

    Oh, and THANK YOU for all the science-fiction you posted above. I peed a little when I laughed.

    • Vasile Andrei

      you label yourself as feminists all day long
      but in the end you’re just as privileged, hetero normative and patriarchal as all the rest

      I have no clue about “the women of this blog” apparently PLENTY OF THEM disagree with YOU but ANY REAL FEMINIST WOMAN AND MEN …. and I say it AGAIN… REAL FEMINIST… will never support TERF and will instead support all Transgender/Transsexuals

      and you call yourself “a BUNCH of feminists”… wow… this is the gutter level, where do you go from here?

      and to spread lies about me “coming here to hate”, you’re THE HATER and your “bunch of TERFS” that HATE Transgenders!

      Haters need to check their privilege from time to time!
      What? You are unable to do it?
      That goes for all of you TERFS… CHECK YOUR DAMN PRIVILEGE and move along!

      You’re abusing the platform, others are far less privileged than you!
      You’re showing no respect for all others, and seem to have quite an issue with a growing number of genders!

      And stop preaching me about genders!
      I’ve seen less sexist definitions on MRA’s blogs!

      I told you before, I am telling you again… you’re NOT deconstructing your own gender and hold it high above the rest! You’re not your gender! Stop pretending you do not understand!

      Oh wait, don’t tell me… you have never even been to a gender class!
      How in the world such people pass as “feminists”?

      check your privilege, you do not have a say when it comes to transgenders and transsexuals, none of us have a say, they need our total support and acceptance!

      I cannot believe the level of sexism and hetero-normativism!
      are you sure you’re not some kind of MRA or worst?
      this is the talk of a conservative woman, stop oppressing us with your hetero normative gender definition and help us!

      • Monsieur Zoidberg

        You hate women so much, you want to legitimize men (the class that oppresses women) masquerading as women to erode our hard-won, woman-only spaces because their fucked up feelings are hurt because they’ll never be women.

        Don’t believe me? Look back at your wall of text, mansplaining my own oppression to me and every woman here. You are seriously fucked up, dude.

  • radwonka
  • Liz Smissaert

    stop :^)

  • Liz Smissaert

    this is lunacy.

  • Liz Smissaert

    non-binary people are trans

    • Muriel Aurora Ranchal

      Of course they are, what they aren’t is women. They can be androgyne, bigender, agender or a whole lot of other things, but woman is binary (and transwoman is no word at all, it is trans woman, two separate words because we’re both trans and women).

  • Morag999

    This is what you’re saying: “If more women believed in transgender magic and just did what they are told to do, we men who-pretend-to-be-female wouldn’t have to spend so much time and effort trying to force women to comply with our demands. Once you females do what you’re told to do, I’ll see what I can do about fixing up feminism.”

    What a horrible man you are, Steve. We don’t want anything from you or to do with you.

  • Meghan Murphy

    What ‘hate’? What ‘discrimination’? What have you ‘called out,’ exactly?

  • Meghan Murphy

    Oh shut up. Women ARE women. We don’t need your recognition or acknowledgment. We don’t need or want your prayers — take ’em elsewhere.

  • Morag999

    Oh, spare me.

  • JingFei

    Females rarely “naturally” grow thick beards like males. When they do, it’s usually a symptom of a hormone imbalance, or condition like poly-cystic ovarian syndrome (for example Harnaam Kaur, who is famous in a book of records for her beard.) .

    Regardless, they are still female.

    But I digress, what point are you trying to make?

  • Amanda

    I really appreciate your words. I’m scared to post articles like this on my Facebook because I don’t want to offend people I know who are trans. I understand they have struggles too (which are rooted in misogyny) and I care about them. I feel like I have to defend my biology and my body to trans people after all the outcry over images of female anatomy at a women’s march. I’m the last person to complain about sharing space, but I feel like I’m being shamed by people I thought were allies. How ironic is that?

    • Tori

      Amanda I have been yelling at everyone who tells me I’m “cis sexist” for buying a pussy hat. They are NOT going to shame me for talking about my body when that’s all men have done to me my entire life. All they’ve done, actually, is lead me to TERFS and RadFems, and I’m reading up on what’s going on. I’m not sure exactly where I stand at the moment but I’m angry my liberal friends agree with trans women that we should shut up about our genitalia. That just reeks of male privilege to me!

  • Tori

    Wait, what? We want to be acknowledged for being born female? I just laughed out loud. We are born that way and I never think about being acknowledged for it. What the…? I believe that’s what you call projection.

  • Tori

    Well fuck me sideways. You actually get it.

  • Tori

    Women need to take care of themselves and learn to love themselves! We do not need to continue to put others needs before our own. That is exactly what is happening here. You are being tricked into putting a man’s needs before your own because he identifies with a gender stereotype and appeals to your caretaker conditioning. Stop it! Don’t wait until it’s too late. I’m just now seeing what’s happening at 35 because of the stupid shaming of women for talking about their pussies at the women’s march. I am done putting myself on the back burner.

  • Meghan Murphy

    Oh gee whiz, a young white man who doesn’t like feminists! How original. Take a nap bb.

  • Meghan Murphy

    I am not against services for trans people… I am explicitly advocating FOR more services for trans people. We don’t need to get rid of all women-only spaces and shelters in order to support trans people, though… And, no, transwomen *aren’t* women. They did not grow up with the same experience as females in a patriarchy. What is wrong with acknowledging that there is difference between transwomen and women? What is wrong with difference? What is the point in pretending as though females and male who identify as transwomen are the same and have the same experience in this world, when that is clearly not true?

  • Meghan Murphy

    Without gender, what would ‘trans’ mean?

  • Meghan Murphy

    Please don’t use anti-feminist slurs here or you will not be allowed to comment here further. Thanks.

  • Morag999

    Yeah. Exactly.

    “I will pray for you” is vulgar even when no ill-will is intended. But announcing it during a fight or conflict is an act of pure aggression and attempted domination.

    It’s a way of saying, “I hate you and your disobedience, and so does God, with whom I happen to have a personal relationship. We — God and I — are going to collaborate on correcting your attitudes and behaviour.”

    On top of that, the I-will-pray-for-you asshole tries to pass off his act of aggression as its exact opposite — as a type of love from some higher moral plane … oh puke, puke, puke.

  • MéliMélo

    Millions of female fetus are aborted every year, show me the privilege….

  • Meghan Murphy

    Sigh. I’m afraid your manipulations won’t work here, Claire. What I mean is that the slur, “TERF” is applied to women who put forth basic feminist analysis about gender. It is also, of course, applicable to anyone who understands biology, which, contrary to your claim, is the vast majority of people in this world.

  • Meghan Murphy

    Sure. But trans is not, today, based solely on feeling distressed about one’s body… Or so we’re told. We are told, today, that it is about ‘feeling’ like a man or woman ‘on the inside.’ We are also told that it is about how one expressed themselves (i.e. the clothing we wear, our hair, makeup, body language, etc.)

    While sure, a person could experience sex dysphoria regardless of gender, one cannot say that a person is actually the opposite gender on the inside or based on ‘gender expression’ if gender did not exist at all. (Particularly not if it didn’t exist as it does under patriarchy — as a binary.)

  • Meghan Murphy

    Most transwomen transition as adults and indeed have been socialized as male. Please stop pretending as though patriarchy doesn’t exist and doesn’t treat males and females as different from birth.

  • Meghan Murphy

    It is one thing to speak critically about a slur (you will find the word “slut” on this website, for example — not used as a slur against women, but spoken about critically) and another to use it actually as a slur, by applying it to women, and/or to defend the term.

    You are right that anti-feminists continue to simply find new words to smear and attack feminists. “TERF” is no different than “lesbian,” “man-hater,” and “witch,” in that sense.

    “What word do you prefer to use to describe a radical feminist that invests most of their energy into preventing transwomen’s identities from being accepted, instead of advancing the most important and fundamental of feminist issues?”

    Like who? Do you not understand that pushing back against gender stereotypes and patriarchy itself (i.e. the system of power that oppresses females) *is* what feminism does?

    Again, you are being manipulative. If you wish for a civilized conversation, then you will need to address what feminists are actually saying about gender and gender identity and why they are critical of it, instead of just pretending as though feminists have some irrational vendetta against transwomen.

  • Meghan Murphy

    You could argue that all people are oppressed by gender, but then it’s clear that you don’t understand how systems of power work or male supremacy. If a man behaves in a way that is not appropriately masculine, he may be punished, yes, but that doesn’t erase his position in the sex class hierarchy. In any case, as feminists and leftists, our concern is not only with what individuals do and experience, but with ending systems of power that ensure an entire class of people is oppressed and that another class of people are dominant.

  • Meghan Murphy

    Right! You don’t join an oppressed group by choice. And, under patriarchy, women are oppressed based on the fact that they are born female — not based on their ‘gender identity.’

    While, yes, trans people may experience discrimination or abuse, people cannot identify their way in and out of the oppressor class simply by claiming another identity.

    As feminists, we aren’t fighting for generic “equality,” we are specifically fighting for the liberation of women from male violence and patriarchy. Our interest is not in ‘denying trans identity,’ as you put it, but it is focused specifically on female liberation and on ending gender stereotypes, as said stereotypes are used to reinforce women’s subordinate position and men’s dominant position.

  • Meghan Murphy

    “‘Feeling like a man or a woman on the inside’ is the same thing as being distressed about your own primary and secondary sex characteristics. How can you deny the lived experiences of millions of people?”

    What does it mean to ‘feel like a man or woman on the inside’? How does one define that?

    You are saying two different things: on one hand, being transgender is solely about feeling distress about the body (which would include 99.9% of women, in any case — are we all transgender?), and on the other, it is just a feeling on the inside.

    Also, I’m not denying the lived experiences of anyone. People can experience whatever they like, but that doesn’t mean I’m going to pretend away the root of patriarchy…

    “Do you acknowledge there is a distinction between gender expression and gender identity?”

    Um, no. Because neither of those things are real things. You’re just talking about gender stereotypes, which I am opposed to and are socialized, not a personal expression or identity.

    • Max McKee

      When you say 99.9% of women etc, are you referring to a more updated version of Freud’s penis envy theory?

  • Meghan Murphy

    Millions? lol no.

    In any case, please stop manipulating my words. That is not at all what I said. If you can’t engage with the words I am saying, please move along and stop wasting our time here.

    • Claire

      So, for the sake of advancing the discussion instead of inhibiting it… what word can we use to describe radical feminists that seek to prevent transgender men and women from defining their own identity… given that you take offence to the word T*** ??

      • Meghan Murphy

        Dude. Again, you are being manipulative in order to address what feminists are actually saying about gender and patriarchy. This is not about ‘preventing transgender men and women from defining their own identity.’ If you’d like to actually address our arguments, go for it, but I’m not going to respond to questions that intentionally distract from our goals and analysis.

      • Morag999

        You’ve got it all backwards. It’s transgenderists like you who seek to prevent women from naming our own reality.

        You see, women, who are female human beings, are real. “Human” and “female” are not separate categories. We are human and female at the same time. We are not an idea; we are not an empty space to be occupied by men when they feel like it; we are not made of metaphysical stuff, the content of which is defined by men collectively and individually.

        Transgenderists tell the world that a woman is something other than a female human being. You tell the world that “woman” is a concept which precedes the female body and can exist separately from it.

        That’s dehumanizing, and that’s a lie. Yeah, we take offence. So, how about you stop lying? How about you stop dehumanizing women, instead of asking us which slur we’d prefer to be called?

  • Meghan Murphy

    Statistics show most youth who identify as ‘trans’ grow out of it. The vast majority of transwomen transitioned as adult men.

    “Nowhere in my post have I claimed that patriarchy doesn’t exist. That’s a strawman argument, and you are putting words in my mouth that I never said.”

    Goodness, you are a well-practiced troll, aren’t you!

    My point, clearly, is that patriarchy oppresses men and women based on sex. So, women are born into an oppressed class and are socialized as such. Patriarchy began in order to control women’s reproductive capacity. Are you aware of this?

  • Meghan Murphy

    What are your claims, exactly?

    The reason why there is conflict is because on one hand feminists are saying there is no such thing as gender identity; that gender is socialized/imposed, not innate; and that ‘woman’ is not a ‘feeling’ but a material reality; and on the other, liberals and trans activists are trying to convince women that ‘woman’ is defined based only on gender stereotypes and that it is, quite literally, meaningless, which would in turn mean that ‘woman’ and ‘man’ are not real categories and therefore patriarchy doesn’t exist at all.

    As a feminist, do you believe patriarchy exists? If so, how does it work? What exactly is your argument? What do you take issue with, in terms of what I am saying?

  • Max McKee

    But why would they expect you to be anything other than what you claim to be? They are behaving exactly as they were taught to. It’s you who is not following the script they have been given.

    I’m not delegitimising you. It’s just that you keep making this argument and I feel like it’s flawed.

  • Max McKee

    But the Navajo gender thing, that’s really cool. I like their system. Masculine with feminine energy and vice versa. I like it a lot. That last thing you said though, I don’t know what that means. It’s just words.

  • Max McKee

    I have a question for you, and I really don’t want to upset or offend you, so please don’t be offended or upset. I’m just genuinely curious.

    Those people who say “I am. a woman” but choose to keep their penis for reasons other than surgical worries and or financial cost, what is your opinion on that?

    And I’m trying not to upset people, I’m a live and let live person myself, but I am curious.

  • GreenSangha

    Thank you for this commentary. I needed to hear your voice. As a woman of 57 I was part of 2nd wave feminism, but I was always a radical feminist who looked at the roots of oppression and the way oppression is linked (as well as the unique ways every woman experiences oppression because of overlapping oppression). I hadn’t herd the word TERF until recently and was dismayed by the re-appropriation of the term radical feminist. I have certainly been an advocate for safety and civil rights for transgender people. But I also used to go to the Michigan Women’s Music Festival (I think they spell it “womyn”) and I can respect the value of space for women-born-women. The life experience of these women is different than that of transgender women who had the privilege of being seen by the world as male – although they had the oppression of denying their sense of their true identity, which is also a unique experience. The way they internalized gender messages about femaleness is complex, and I don’t pretend to know enough about it, but I think it is different. I’ve been challenged for this way of thinking, and like most intersectional feminists I have struggled to figure out what I truly believe and want to advocate for as I fight for equality and justice for all women. I am still thinking, but I absolutely appreciate finding your perspective on this.

  • Meghan Murphy

    Men rape men too! Men beat up men too! I guess misogyny and patriarchy aren’t really real things after all.

  • Meghan Murphy

    “We are saying that ‘man’, ‘woman’ and ‘otherwise’ are based on an innate sense of self, NOT gender stereotypes. A woman need not dress a certain way, or have breasts, or be hairless. A man need not be assertive, strong and enjoy ball sports.”

    “Man” and “woman” are not based on an innate sense of self. The reason I know I am a woman is because I am female, not because of some feeling deep inside.

    And no, feminism is not about ‘celebrating gender identity,’ it is about ending gender stereotypes (i.e. gender), among other things. All gender is is stereotypes — it’s not a real thing.

    You are very right that men need not be assertive, strong and enjoy ball sports and that women need not dress a certain way. So why is the trans movement trying to pretend as though ‘feeling’ or dressing or behaving in feminine ways makes a person the opposite sex?

  • GreenSangha

    I had a maddening discussion with a militant feminist (who was not transgender) who said I couldn’t publicly use the word pussy, or cunt, or any words that refer to my genitals because I was being exclusionary and harming transgender women. My boundary was to say: “yes, I hear transgender women feel excluded when I use those words, and I am sorry for that pain; but they are words for body parts I do have and I am not going to stop using words that name my body parts”. Of course I was told I was unwilling to own the harm I do to trans women. After several similar encounters about different issues where this woman took the same approach I un-friended her. *sigh* You can’t please everyone. By the way, I agree that #3 is the correct response above! You march for my rights, I’ll march for yours. We all win. Or, you can attack me and refuse to work with me. Your choice. I used to care what choice a woman made. Not so much anymore. I’m feeling worn down by all the political correctness police in the feminist movement who would rather tear down their sisters than tear down the patriarchy.

  • Meghan Murphy

    NO ONE is saying that transwomen don’t experience discrimination. That is not the argument. The argument is that gender is not innate and that a feeling does not make one a woman.

  • Meghan Murphy

    “Insulting language”?? Where, exactly? This is a pretty rich accusation coming from someone who showed up here calling women anti-feminist slurs…

    How exactly does claiming to be female help men survive in a patriarchy, prey tell?

    “And the only thing T***’s want to do is abuse, harass and assault transwomen who turned up to fight for every one of us.”

    You are a liar. This lie — that feminists are responsible for abuse and violence against transwomen — is particularly egregious considering how many transwomen have LITERALLY (not in some manipulated “feminist words and ideas are violence!” kinda way) raped, molested, beaten, murdered, and abused women and girls.

  • Meghan Murphy

    I’m not speaking on behalf of all feminists — feminists are speaking on behalf of themselves. Many women, of course, are simply too afraid to speak at all, seeing as when they do, they are attacked, threatened, smeared, no-platformed, ostracized, and fired.

    All that said, I’d love to see the article you mention here!

  • Meghan Murphy

    Oh good lord you’ve done some serious twisting around in that brain of yours! If there were no gender, biological sex would still exist, and females who were ‘masculine’ would just be women, not men, not trans. And yes, everyone is pressured to conform to the gender binary, but that *still* doesn’t mean people literally switch sexes when they adopt the gender roles assigned to the opposite sex.

  • Stephanie Jones

    i see your point Claire. I guess I never thought about how difficult it is to live in your circumstances without calling yourself a girl. I can see why it’s important to you.

    im happy to share the word female with you. I’m glad you were at the women March.

    Hopefully one day when gender stops, transgenders can have the option to have a functional life while still calling themselves men if they want.

  • Meghan Murphy

    “The word T*** did not come about because of cisgender women merely talking about their bodies or feminist issues. It came about because transwomen were and are being ostracised, ridiculed, rejected, abused, spat on, and assaulted by radical feminists.”

    Claire, if you wish to post lies about feminists, you are going to have to do it somewhere else. Bye.

  • Morag999

    “Where it becomes problematic for transwomen is when the accompanying message is that a vagina is the essential and defining component of womanhood.”

    Yes, yes we know that female bodies are “problematic” for many men. Including for men who want the state of being female — being a girl or woman — to mean “a deep feeling I have about myself” rather than a material fact.

    Well, that’s really too bad for you, isn’t it? Why would any self-respecting woman worry her head over the tender feelings of men who find female biology “problematic”? If you find female bodies problematic, what you need to do is fuck off and take your male problematics far, far away from us. This problem is YOURS, not ours.

  • Alyssa Marie Kimmich

    No one who works with the Republicans can be good feminists. Have fun pretending genocide makes you a good feminist.

    • Meghan Murphy

      Who are you responding to?

  • I will not be bullied by a trans mtf into denying that my vagina, my uterus, my breasts and my clitoris materially and biologically define by womanhood. I’m afraid you’re just jealous because you can’t say the same thing. I’m sorry for you, but you were born male and nothing you ever do chemically or surgically will ever make you a biological woman capable of pregnancy. Additionally, please understand that the brain is an organ of the body. When there is a body / mind disconnect as with what has been labeled gender dysphoria, I will never accept that it is preferable to mutilate the body with perfectly healthy sexual organs, because the mind “thinks” its the opposite of how it was born???? Even Joseph Campbell says that the mind will want things that the body does not want. You put the mind in accord with the body, not the other way around. Unless you want to invest in the crooks of the “gender surgery and drug” business.

  • Spoken like a toxic narcissist who knows nothing about what it really is or feels like to be a woman. I suspect the truth is you only care about looking like a woman.

  • Such statements are detached from objective reality.

  • Transwomen are not biological females. And, the statistics about violence against women are at all time highs and that includes rapes of women by transwomen with penises in bathrooms. Transwomen are still males with the same propensity for male violence as other males. We will never live in your fantasy post Gender World of Trans and Cis. For thousands of years, humanity got along perfectly well with 2 sexes; female and male and the fact that there are so many people hating themselves enough to want to surgically mutilate themselves in modern times is a symptom of our decadent, decaying, patriarchal plutocracy.

  • We have fought too hard to keep men out of private spaces to allow the new man woman to usurp our rights to exclude members of the opposite sex from our bathrooms, retail changing rooms, locker rooms, prisons and women’s shelters. Male violence is real and dangerous and this exclusion is our first line of defense. So, where do you draw the line? At your penis. No penises allowed. If you have a penis you are not a female and even if you had inversion surgery that doesn’t create a vagina… its still just an inverted penis and still as male. No males allowed. Stop bullying us. You are not the victims here and I’m sick of your whining.

  • My biology gives me the right to say I’m a real woman and all your ranting will never make you one and only serves to illustrate your narcissistic delusions.

  • I’m sooooooo offended by this attempt to co-opt language to advance your agenda. The overwhelming majority of humanity is born female or male with a tiny tiny percentage being born physically “inbetween” in some way. The Chinese Yin/Yang symbol perfectly illustrates the fact that we live in a dual reality with two sexes for procreation symbolized by the white fish and the black fish. However, each fish also has an eye that is the opposite color symbolizing that there is some woman in every man and some man in every woman. We are all one. I resist and defy this anti-feminist attempt to change “female and male” into “trans and cis”. Screw that. And, it is especially confusing to children. It is immoral to track children into sex reassignment “therapy” (drugs and surgery) before the age of consent. Screw this unisex utopia of post transgenderism.

  • Well if I’m a TERF I guess that makes you a TNTA (Toxic Narcissist Trans Activist). How do you like it? The transgender cause and the people who support it are just as toxic and radical as the extremists of the GOP Tea Party. And, I’m being kind by not calling them Tranny Activists. I hate even including them in the LGBTQ designation. I’ve heard most Lesbians, Gays and Bi’s wish the Trans would just go away too and stop agitating, because their giving homosexuals a bad name. Yes, let’s exclude them and just go back to LGBQ, because those labels all refer to sexual orientation which T does not. It doesn’t fit in. Transgender is just a new term, because they didn’t want to use the language that was accurate; i.e., transvestite and transsexual. If this movement used the accurate terms, then liberal leftists might not have bought it to supporting this hogwash.

  • Uhhhhhh…. it’s not that everything in nature is “somewhat” dual… everything is dual, because we live in a dual reality. Everything in our physical reality is dual (light/dark, hot/cold, up/down, ying/yang) including humanity; female and male.

    • Milli

      Well, that´s what I say, no?

  • Cause, you don’t know what you’re talking about. Trans activists are arguing that they are women and that biology doesn’t matter. In fact, that biology is bigotry. Trans activists are participating in a patriarchal double standard by attacking feminists. The real author of trans woes are men, but I guess it’s easier to attack women than men, eh?

  • All the yelling is usually on the side of the trans people shouting down women who are feminists. Give me a break. Women are not going to redefine gender to suit a bunch of trans whiners. Gender isn’t the point anyway. We are women. Erasing biology as important is erasing our sex. Screw that. Advocate for your own separate gender then with your own rights, thank you very much.

  • Meghan Murphy

    I have no idea what your list is intended to demonstrate. Certainly Robin Morgan has never assaulted a transwoman, if that’s what you’re implying.

    Again, no feminist has been violent to trans people. Stop pretending as though this is somehow equal. It’s not. Feminists are simply trying to speak, hold events, write, and meet. We are threatened and silenced and slandered at every turn. Feminists do not show up at trans events threatening violence, they do not vandalize trans spaces, they do not start petitions to silence trans people, they do not send hundreds violent threats daily to trans people.

    It is not “harsh” to acknowledge the reality of male violence against women — it is reality. This is not an ‘it goes both ways’ kind of situation.

  • Meghan Murphy

    Ah, but once legislation dictates that a male is allowed to enter into woman-only spaces, then it no longer becomes just a ‘personal belief’. If an individual wishes to imagine themselves a woman, they are free to do it. But they are not free to force everyone around them to play along.

  • Meghan Murphy

    Claire was banned for posting slander about women, despite the fact she was warned against doing so. http://www.feministcurrent.com/2015/11/10/why-i-no-longer-hate-terfs/#comment-3163293139

    Moderating libelous comments does not constitute “no-platforming.” Stop pretending as though this is somehow on par with the actual public silencing and slandering of feminists who put forth critiques of gender identity politics.

  • Meghan Murphy

    lololllllllllll. Just realized that you, “Nichola Smyth,” and “Claire” are all the same person. BYE.

    • Morag999

      Talk about an “identity disturbance,” eh? His is the type of unstable personality which informs psychological thrillers and character-driven horror movies.

      What a creeper this “Claire” is … this Claire Alexis-Jones Buffy de la Rosa Hildegard Saint-Baptiste von Trapp-Smyth of Bingen!

  • I totally agree with you Morag999. I’m sick of this narcissistic hogwash that keeps ignoring our issues and keeps attempting to manipulate through blaming, crying and whining to stay the center of attention. Immature male self-entitlement. Women are the other half of humanity. The other 50%. These MANTA (Male Adult Narcissistic Trans Activists) are haters. They hate themselves on some deep level for whatever reason and project their hatred onto women while at the same time admiring the gender characteristics of feminization that we abhor and costuming themselves in our gender. Go get your own and stay the hell out of my bathroom.

  • Meghan Murphy

    Oh my god, ignore my last comment, you manipulative asshole. I see you are, in fact, “Claire,” and have just been posting here under different names. Go away, “Raelene Alexis-Jones,” “Claire,” and “Nichola.”

  • Your wisdom is impeccable.

  • Thank you Thank you Thank you…. I love reading how bravely and confidently you point out the idiocy of the mental gymnastics the trans go through to justify their denials to themselves and project their shit onto others… namely females who are an easy target and won’t beat them up if they come in our bathrooms.

  • Right you are Brandi86. I can also see when the emperor has no uterus too.

  • Rethink this one Brandi86… not a different species (you guys aren’t that damn special). But, they can be a different gender all to themselves (not male / not female) with their own damn facilities, so we can continue to protect women and children from the male violence that continues to happen whether men are allowed in or not. Bathrooms are still a prime location for rapes to occur.

  • Wow…

    You are still not getting it. You were born a man. If you can’t deal with that via a psychologist or a psychiatrist, please don’t foist your mental disorder onto women by forcing us to pee with you. We don’t want to.

    Our bathrooms. Our free will. Biology excludes you from womanhood, not feminists.

    Get some help!!!

  • Way to go Brandi86… High five!!!

  • You tell him girl!!!

  • Sucks to be you. Perhaps if you addressed your mental disorder and loved yourself enough to love the body you were born with… you wouldn’t have any issues with going to the men’s room. It’s not my fault that other men are violent. But, it’s not my responsibility to rescue poor little oppressed you by ceding my rights to privacy in the women’s room.

  • No, you look in the mirror and learn from your bigoted views. Also, please Google what projection is.

  • And, if my Grandmother had wheels she’d be a wagon.

  • You just dismissed that woman’s experience. She knows from her experience if they showed up at rallies or donated money or made phone calls, etc…. How dare you question her lived experience? That’s another tactic used by people who don’t have a genuine argument to shut down conversation and deflect criticism.

  • How dare you ignore what she said and immediately turn the conversation around to me me me me. I don’t give a shit about understanding you anymore. I’m sick of bending over backwards to understand your convoluted, confusing gender baloney to make you feel affirmed. That’s not my job.

  • LOLOLOLOL

  • Fantasy land…

  • You are an amazing woman and I’m so sorry that all you got in response was more narcissistic hogwash and me me me me… your experience didn’t matter and Ellaqwent could only talk about himself. Toxic narcissist who will never be a woman… not even in his head.

  • I’m not buying that at all.

  • Zuzanna Smith

    I can answer both those questions for you, A. no you are not a woman, and B. you can be an ally or you can pretend that you as a male should be centered because of your male entitlement that you cannot ever shed no matter how much lipgloss you put on. The fact that you demand to be called a woman is your part in upholding patriarchy.

  • Zuzanna Smith

    BS, you are out there policing us for the MAN, we know what’s up, sir.

  • SugarShark

    When “transgenders” use the term gender, they seem to be referring to one of two things: an inner delusion of being the opposite sex (dysmorphia, which would be a mental illness), or gender ROLES (for some reason, nearly always of 1950s America). They know enough from feminists to know that gender roles are bad, though, so they quietly drop the “roles” from their label and hope no one notices. “Woman”, though, refers to sex — though transgenders seem unable to use a dictionary, the actual definition of “woman” is “adult human FEMALE”. So, by definition, “transwomen” are not, and never will be, women. What they mean is that they have, of their own will, adopted the stereotypical gender role forced on women in the 1950s… but they’re too cowardly to admit to being feminine, because being feminine is only acceptable if you’re a woman. So they call themselves “women” to avoid the bullying they fear they’ll get at the hands of fellow men. 

    But, there’s no way they’re going to stop trying to trample all over real women in their stampede to try to co-opt OUR label, if we keep playing their game. Truth starts with plain speaking, as it goes — I, for one, will not call a transgender by the WRONG pronoun. “He/she” refers to sex, not gender — this should be obvious on many levels, from the fact that no one can see “between your ears” to magically deduce what you think your “gender” is, especially as REAL feminists work to destroy all these harmful gender roles and stereotypes; to the fact that transgenders insist that “gender is a spectrum” and there are “hundreds” of different genders… and yet only two pronouns. Either we’re missing about 200 pronouns, or they must refer to something there are only two of… like SEX. Not gender. Thus, Caitlyn Jenner is a HIM. HE is allowed to change his name, but HIS pronoun remains the same. So it hurts their feelings? So what. Truth hurts, people. You think your chosen “gender role” is so important that it needs its own word, to describe your enjoyment of wearing makeup and pretty dresses? Sure, fine, make up your own word for that. But YOU CAN’T USE OURS — the word “woman” is taken, and it does NOT mean pretty/makeup lover/sexually submissive/[insert whatever other stereotype about women these dudes have that make them think they can “identify” as one despite NOT BEING ONE]. 

    I’m just glad all this “transgender” nonsense wasn’t around a century ago, or real women wouldn’t have the right to vote yet. You know, unless they said they “identified” as men.

  • Meghan Murphy
  • Meghan Murphy

    Preeeeetty sure women have concerns beyond the media’s recent obsession with trans, but good to know you’re paying attention to what they’re actually saying…

  • Meghan Murphy

    If you don’t stop using anti-feminist slurs, you will lose your commenting privileges.