Is the ideology of the transgender movement open to debate?

The Ontario / Canadian trans flag. “Two stripes with symbol.”

A few weeks after I had published online a critique of the ideology of the trans movement, I was at lunch with a friend who has long been part of various movements for racial, economic, and gender justice and works as a diversity coordinator at a nearby university.

The meeting came on the heels of a local activist bookstore denouncing me in an email to its listserv, which had led to tense conversations with some comrades. At the end of lunch, my friend hesitantly brought up the controversy, and I got ready to hear her critique of my writing. Instead, she leaned forward and said, “I don’t dare say this in public, but I agree with you.”

It was reassuring to know that someone whose work I respected shared my analysis. But it was disheartening to be reminded that a progressive/liberal orthodoxy on trans issues has left many people afraid to speak.

Most people involved in feminist movements know how bitter the trans debate has become, and those of us who identify with radical feminist principles are used to being labeled transphobic TERFs (Trans Exclusionary Radical Feminist), sometimes even accused of supporting a climate of violence against trans people. My goal here is not to assign responsibility for the breakdown of dialogue, but to point out one consequence of this state of affairs: Many people are afraid not only to disagree with the trans movement’s policy positions but even to ask questions about the underlying claims.

I have condensed into a question, a challenge, and a concern what I believe are the most important points in the trans debate.

The Question

If the claim of trans people is that they were born into one biological sex category, such as male, but are actually female, what does that mean? Is it a claim that reproduction-based sex categories are an illusion? That one can have a female brain (whatever that means) in a body with male genitalia? That there is a non-material soul that can be of one sex but in the body of the other sex? I struggle to understand what the claim means, and to date I have read no coherent account and am aware of no coherent theory to explain it. (Note: The concerns of a people born intersex are distinct, raising issues different from the trans movement).

The Challenge

If the claim of trans people is that they were socialized into one gender category, such as man/masculinity, but feel constrained by the category or feel more comfortable in the norms of the other category — that I can understand, partly as a result of my own negative experiences with the culture’s rigid, repressive, and reactionary gender norms. But those norms are the product of patriarchy, which means we need feminist critiques of patriarchy to escape the gender trap. While some in the trans movement identify as feminists, others embrace traditional gender norms, and in my estimation the movement as a whole does not embrace a feminist critique of institutionalized male dominance.

The Concern

As one pro-trans writer put it after reviewing the dramatic interventions into the body that happen in sex-reassignment surgery — which involves the destruction of healthy tissue — “It can seem and feel as if one is at war with one’s body.” Is this procedure, along with the use of hormones — including puberty-blockers in children — consistent with an ecological worldview that takes seriously the consequences of dramatic human interventions into organisms and ecosystems? With so little known about the etiology of trans, is the surgical/chemical approach warranted?

I have developed these ideas in more detail in online essays, which I hope people will read and consider, and I am working on a book that puts these issues in the context of a broader critique of patriarchy and the politics of rape/sexualized violence, prostitution/pornography, and trans.

The pornography issue was where I first encountered the splits between radical feminism and liberal/postmodern feminisms; a radical critique of the sex industry, in which men buy or rent objectified female bodies for sexual pleasure, often got one labeled a SWERF (Sex Worker Exclusionary Radical Feminist), as if a critique of institutionalized male dominance was nothing more than an attack on vulnerable women.

But I continue to believe that a focus on systems of oppression is essential. Since my first exposure to radical feminism in the 1980s, I have been convinced that such feminist intellectual and political projects are crucial not only to the struggle for gender justice but for any kind of decent human future.

Is reasoned and principled argument, within and between movements and political perspectives, possible? In some settings, the answer these days appears to be “no.” For example, when I submitted a piece to a website that had previously published my work, I warned the editors that it was a controversial subject. But they accepted the piece, made a few changes in editing, and posted it online. Within a couple of minutes — so fast that no one would have been able to read the whole article — a reader denounced me as transphobic, and the editors of the site, who had originally thought the piece raised important questions, took it down within a few hours (it was posted later on a different site).

Perhaps if these debates concerned purely personal matters, there would be no compelling reason for a public discussion. But the trans movement has proposed public policies — from opening sex/gender-specific bathrooms and locker rooms to anyone who identifies with that sex/gender, to public funding for surgery and hormone treatments — that require collective decisions. There’s no escape from the need for everyone to reach conclusions, however tentative, about the trans movement’s claims.

The trans movement is, of course, not monolithic, and varying people in it will identify politically in varying ways. But after two years of further conversations, reading, and study, I will reassert the conclusion I reached in the first article I wrote in 2014:

“Transgenderism is a liberal, individualist, medicalized response to the problem of patriarchy’s rigid, repressive, and reactionary gender norms. Radical feminism is a radical, structural, politicized response. On the surface, transgenderism may seem to be a more revolutionary approach, but radical feminism offers a deeper critique of the domination/subordination dynamic at the heart of patriarchy and a more promising path to liberation.”

One of the most common reactions I’ve had from people in progressive/liberal circles who agree with this statement but mute themselves in public conversations is that, in plain language, they just want to be nice — they fear that any question, challenge, or expression of concern will hurt the feelings of trans people. Sensitivity to others is appropriate, but should it trump attempts to understand an issue? Is it respectful of trans people to not speak about these matters? A couple of months after the lunch described above, I had a conversation with a longtime comrade in feminist and progressive movements, who agreed with my analysis but said that she thought trans people had enough problems and that she didn’t want to seem mean-spirited in raising critical questions.

“So, your solidarity with that movement is based on the belief that the people in the trans community aren’t emotionally equipped to discuss the intellectual and political assertions they make?” I said. “Isn’t that kind of a strange basis for solidarity?” She shrugged, not arguing the point, but sticking to her intention to avoid the question. I understand why, but those who make that choice should remember that avoiding questions does not provide answers.

Robert Jensen is a professor in the School of Journalism at the University of Texas at Austin and board member of the Third Coast Activist Resource Center in Austin. He is the author of Plain Radical: Living, Loving, and Learning to Leave the Planet Gracefully (Counterpoint/Soft Skull, 2015). You can contact Robert at rjensen@austin.utexas.edu or follow him on Twitter @jensenrobertw. Find more of his work at RobertJensen.org.

This piece was originally published in Voice Male Magazine and has been republished with permission.

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  • Julio

    yo wahts with all the frames on this page?

    • Meghan Murphy

      Are you seeing formatting issues? Are you reading from an iPad?

      • Julio

        yeah. i’m on a desktop PC. maybe its just me or my browser or something but there’s frames covering up a quarter of the page that weren’t here before.

        • Meghan Murphy

          Thanks Julio. I’m on a Mac as is my tech person, so we couldn’t see this on our end. We’ll get that fixed up as soon as we can!

        • NoAmnestyForPimps

          Windows 7, Chrome browser – no issues at all. Have you tried cleaning your cache, Julio?

        • Unree

          Windows 7 here, with the issue Julio mentions on Firefox but not Chrome.

          • Meghan Murphy

            Thanks for the info! We’re working on it 🙂 Sorry for the inconvenience.

      • I am reading from a windows 10 laptop and am seeing a frame on the left hand side and part of the page is blocked by it

        • Meghan Murphy

          Ah ok. We’ve just made some changes and done some updates on the site. It must have impacted to formatting for PCs… Will let our tech person know — thank you!

          • Hannah

            I have that problem on my iphone 5 as well.

  • susan federspiel

    the real issue is female sex disappearing from the legal, and social discourse and the repurcussioms of that- bathrooms aside

  • Lavender

    That’s not actually what radical feminists are proposing though, is it? Nice straw man attempt. Gender neutral facilities need to be provided so that people can do what they need to do without facing violence or impinging on other people’s rights. If it’s about “I just need to pee”, this solves that problem. Sex segregated washrooms and locker rooms provide women – an oppressed group facing constant male violence – the comfort and safety we also deserve. They’re not gender validation stations. Women shouldn’t have to give up these hard won protections for the tiny percentage of people who are trans. You seem to forget that the violence against trans people is committed by men (as is almost all violent crime); why are you making women out to be the problem? Shouldn’t you be going after the benefactors of patriarchy, the people at the top of the gender hierarchy who are the source of this fear in the first place? Women shouldn’t have to assume the burden of figuring out others’ sex. They’ll be branded bigots if they get it wrong or so much as ask a question (like we need more reasons to be vilified). And that ambiguity is dangerous. Allowing access based on gender identity means that any man can go into those spaces without any challenge or restriction even if he looks like a run of the mill dude. Transwomen who’ve undergone no surgery have already forced girls to use second class accommodations in sports facilities because they decided it was more important for them to be free to expose themselves than for girls to feel safe and comfortable. This is misogyny, plain and simple. The bizarre thing is that this exposes anyone using women’s facilities to greater harm from men, including trans people. This is about winning, not doing what’s right for everyone. So who is progressive in this debate? The people forcing women to deny biological reality? The transwomen who demand to be thought of as women, point period, because they have a feeling they imagine is an essential feminine feeling that most females say they don’t have? Or is it the people who believe in the regressive and disproved notion of ladybrains? I don’t think so. That’s not progressive. Radical feminists are the only ones making sense in this debate.

    • Just Passing Through

      YES! SO well said! Thank you…

    • JingFei

      Exactly. Excellent comment. As a sexual assault survivor, and someone who has been mercilessly sexually harassed by men ( I’m sure many women can say this), I’ve had Trans activists call me a bigot and tell me I “have to shut up and get used to their lady-penis ” in my change room. The entitlement and narcissism of trans activism in just incredible.

    • Just Passing Through

      “They’re not gender validation stations” nails it!

  • Gardenia

    I have been thinking about this particular subject for quite some time now and I have to say that I’m starting to think this as well. I used to be a liberal feminist for quite a while, so I can see where they are coming from. However, I also think that sweeping things under the carpet and avoiding particular questions is just harmful for everyone. I admire your strength to bring topics like this out into the public, regardless of the risks involved. We can all probably say we have witnessed the almost automatic negative, and often times aggressive, response from the general public when someone questions anything related to the transmovement.
    Great article, I really enjoyed reading it!

  • Independent Radical

    “Instead, she leaned forward and said, “I don’t dare say this in public, but I agree with you.” ”

    This is what a dictatorship looks and sounds like.

    To be fair though, this problem is by no means limited to the trans movement. The general culture of university campuses nowadays asserts that censorship is an appropriate reason to any ideas that cause annoyance, offence or conflict (or are “triggering” to use their terminology). It favours harmony and getting along at the expense of political liberty. It sees politics as something that is generally inappropriate to discuss.

    Ironically this censorship is coming from the very people who claim that those against pornography and graphically violent media in general want to ban things because they are offended by them. I can’t speak for all anti-pornography feminists by my argument for getting rid of pornography has never been that I am offended by it (though I am offended by it), but that pornography causes long term psychological harm to those who eagerly and happily consume it (as well as physical harm to those exploited in it).

    The only case the liberal, social justice crowd ever makes for why something should be censored is their personal emotion response to it. That’s considered enough. Well guess what, their attempt to silence my socialist comrades and my radical feminist allies provokes a negative response from me, their posters advertising “feminist pornography” discussion groups and classes on how to practice sadomasochism provoke a negative response from me, their restrictions of what pronouns I can use provokes a negative response from me.

    Negative emotions exist liberals. You can’t get rid of them. Getting rid of whatever “triggers” you with only cause you to find new things triggering. You can’t hide in your safe spaces forever and you can’t make the whole world your safe space. Learn to manage your emotions. This doesn’t mean your emotions are always unjustified. It means you have to reason through them, determine their origins, figure out whether they are justified or not. Some says someone you don’t like, figure out why the statement is wrong or harmful and make a rational argument.

    I can’t imagine myself supporting the complete censorship of a political position. Even fascism should be reasoned through, refuted and called out. To censor a particular means of expressing an idea (whether it is a political party or particular book or film or a type of media) is one thing. To censor any manifestation of an idea completely because the idea itself is said to be dangerous to the point where nobody is even supposed to have the idea exist in their minds is a threat to critical thinking.

    This trend is systemic. The actions of the trans movement are simply the most extreme expression of this general trend. The radical left needs to take a stand against this cowardice and attempted repression of disagreement. We need freedom of ideas (not freedom of speech as it is currently understood), the freedom to believe in and argue for whatever ideas one holds (though not necessary using any means one wishes).

    May liberty be return to the universities and may they once again be places of disagreement, discomfort, disharmony and everything else liberals wish to abolish.

  • Meghan Murphy

    He’s not brushing off intersex individuals, he’s saying intersex people are dealing with different issues that are not relevant to the kind of discourse around trans that he is addressing here…

    And no, Jensen is not saying there is no diversity among transgender people — he’s saying the opposite. And he’s right: if you believe in or support stereotyped, sexist gender roles, then you aren’t a feminist. I mean, you either are a feminist or you’re not.

    • MeOnDenman

      Meghan, who is it that decides who is a feminist, and who is not? What criteria are we following? Yours? Mine? Hers? Hirs? His?

      Beware of being the one who decides who is in and who is out of the group (whatever the group may be). That is a temporary position. One day you are likely to find yourself on the outside, by some other person’s decree.

      That is how “othering” works. You are either with us, or against us.

      Either way it’s always a temporary status because no-one can live their life in a box of rules!

      • Meghan Murphy

        Hmm… Well feminism, as a movement, aims to end patriarchy. This means that we also, naturally, want to get rid of the gender roles invented by patriarchy in order to create a gender hierarchy. It’s not “me” that decides, but feminism is a political movement and therefore has particular, collective aims. If people don’t support those aims, then they are not feminists, which is their own prerogative, of course.

        • Marti386

          “Hmm… Well feminism, as a movement, aims to end patriarchy”

          And that’s terrific. And since trans women have absolutely ZERO to do with the patriarchy, I guess you can leave us alone. Gender identity has squat to do with gender roles.

          Also, since the vast majority of feminists are trans-inclusive, I guess maybe it’s you who’s not supporting the aims of feminism. Just sayin’.

          • Meghan Murphy

            I’m confused. Transwomen aren’t impacted by patriarchy? Gender has nothing to do with… gender? I’m not clear on your argument…

      • Sally Hansen

        I know you wanna think that feminism doesn’t have an actual definition, but it does. Humans didn’t just create words for no reason lol Why should one call themselves something they are clearly not? Furthermore, no, we don’t have to cater to everyone else’s definition of feminism just because… reasons? PoMo’s, I swear!

  • Alienigena

    The ‘imaginary predator’ motif really feeds into the notion that women are hysterical, over-emotional and irrational. I see it time and time again in the news media. I guess the alternative is the angry hetero man beating up the trans man or woman in the men’s washroom. Wonder why that motif is never really explored to the same degree. The media coverage seems very misogynist. The assumption being that men are so tolerant when they are the ones threatening both women and trans people’s safety in washrooms and other spaces.

    http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2016/04/28/transgender-bathroom-bills-discrimination/32594395/

    • Hannah

      Really good point. That’s something we can all keep in mind when engaging with these people. I can’t count how many times I’ve seen trans activists berate women for being afraid of sexual violence. It’s disgusting and yet another example of how the movement is really just a men’s rights movement.

  • Novo

    It’s really strange and disturbing how the trans lobby refuses to engage with opponents. The ‘with us or against us’ mentality also creates a really toxic, polarized political environment. Even many high-profile right-wingers actually endorse teaching ‘both’ evolution and creationism alongside each other, whereas Obama’s directive to schools basically enforces the ideology, no questions allowed. Something is amiss when lefties are less flexible and open-minded than Sarah Palin. This type of silencing behavior the trans lobby practices is usually a sign that there are a. Business interests and/or b. Men’s boners at stake.

  • Cassandra

    Biological sex is not a construct.

  • Sally Hansen

    “they fear that any question, challenge, or expression of concern will hurt the feelings of trans people.” Speaking personally, I think a lot of people, including myself, are just fucking scared of these people committing physical acts of violence against us. Anyone who’s been to terfisaslur.com knows how dangerous these people are. I NEVER discuss trans issue in public. I don’t want to be raped, killed or tortured. It’s the same fear we have of all men, tbh. Question anything men say in general and you will experience backlash in the worst way possible if you are a woman.

  • Sally Hansen

    Interesting you should mention this. I graduated from university a couple of years ago and I took an evolutionary psychology class in which they basically argued what you are talking about here, that gay men have female brains. So completely ridiculous that this tripe is being peddled as science!

  • Melanie

    Feminists have always supported women’s freedom to keep their body hair without ridicule or shame. They reject the idea that women have to be ‘feminine’. This is far more progressive than saying body hair, muscle, a deep voice etc. Is for men only or means you must be one.

  • Sara Marie

    @LewisT:disqus You were responding to the article? The article doesn’t even bring up bathrooms! Try again.

    In my opinion, @susan_federspiel:disqus is right on. Personally, I’m not terribly concerned about an increase in sexual violence/harassment in the women’s restroom if transwomen are legally allowed to pee there. However, most of the laws that give transwomen access to the women’s restroom also allow them to use the women’s locker room, which I do have concerns about, particularly since there is no legal definition of transgender. Then there is access to women’s scholarships and awards, women’s sports teams (look at Iran’s women’s soccer team for exhibit A), and even things like being assigned a person of the same gender to pat you down at the airport. As Jensen’s article expresses, these are issues that badly need to be discussed. Instead, people who are brave enough to bring them up are called slurs and threatened with violence. Or at minimum, told we’re irrational. As if trans activists can predict the future and have all the answers.

  • Mar Iguana

    Watch the video of what happens when women try to have a civil dialogue with trans loonies and their handmaidens at GenderTrender, “EXPLOSIVE FOOTAGE* of the ‘Women Speak Out’ Press Conference and Q&A.” The video of this meeting is so important, a historic game-changer even, because it shows the abuse radical feminists have been enduring for years from this mentally unstable mob.

    Women from very different backgrounds tried to reach out with a press conference (not that any press bothered to show up) to these gender fascists: The leader of the Georgia ACLU who recently resigned because of the push to allow males in private spaces for women; a right-leaning writer and rape victim; a lesbian icon; a woman with a family member who is trans; and a de-transitioner.

    Miriam Ben-Shalom (a force of nature): “The transgender politic is an anti-female politic and as such receives blanket support from all male sectors who profit from the elimination of human rights for females. The State, the conservative politic, the liberal politic, the gay politic, the queer politic, academia, business, and media, all of these people benefit. And the only ones that aren’t getting any benefit at all are women and children.”

    • Sandi1951

      Women are always thrown under the bus, or asked to get to the back of the bus on nearly all issues — unless it benefits men directly somehow, then it cannot be considered.

    • Mar Iguana

      I mistakenly credited Ben-Shalom with that statement. She was actually quoting Gallas Mag, owner of GenderTrender. Turns out a lot of Ben-Shalom’s presentation was quoting Gallas Mag, who deserves a medal for bravely exposing these men as the autogynephiliacs they are for years.

  • Tangelo

    Online, in pubic forums, often a thoughtful article on the issue is posted and reasoned discussion starts up, then in come the trolls, spamming with irrelevant comments or cries of “hater”, “bigot” and so on. Their goal appears to be to shut down conversation about this issue, perhaps because some, or many, of the assertions regarding gender identity and public policy promoted by transgender lobby groups can not withstand reasonable discussion.

    One example is a recent debate, sponsored by the IQ2 Debate Society. Very interesting and informative. All parties were given the opportunity to make their points clearly and without interruption. The audience, many from the local LGBT community, and comprised of many who supported the claims put forth by transgender lobby groups, was asked to vote on the following question before and after the debate.

    Question: “Society Must Recognise Trans People’s Gender Identities”
    Before debate the vote was For – 76%, Against – 4% and Undecided – 20%
    After the debate the vote was For – 65%, Against – 24%, Undecided – 11%.

    The results show that the opportunity to listen to a full debate on the issue, uninterrupted, helped change people’s opinions on the issue. The debate can be found on youtube by searching “IQ2 Debate: Society Must Recognise Trans People’s Gender Identities”.

    • Meghan Murphy
      • Tangelo

        Fyi: I can see the graphic you posted in my Disqus feed, but not while viewing this page.

        Thanks for posting, it is quite telling.

    • Hannah

      I saw that too. It was great, well worth the watch. Rational, well thought out arguments from the “against” side and emotionally manipulative arguments from the “for” side. As usual. This is why they try so hard to censor/no-platform and shut down conversation.

    • Lavender

      Thanks for letting us know about the debate. Excellent material. Everybody is better off when we can hear each other speak. I think the panel was well-selected, well-organized, and I’m glad so many people turned up to get things out in the open and see what could happen.

    • natalia

      Just watch it.Bronwyn Winter was great.No wonder they always try to shut things down. Really hope we get to have more debates like this.

      • Cassandra

        Yes, she was awesome.

  • Meghan Murphy

    Um. The conversation around gender is, actually, much broader and more serious than you seem to understand. Gender harms women. You understand that, right? This isn’t *just* about pushing back against inaccurate name-calling that functions as a silencing technique. I mean, are you saying that it’s harmless to silence feminist thought and discourse? Does the existence of patriarchy not harm women? Heard of this little thing called ‘male violence’?

  • Sci

    I wish the author would pick a better term than “transgenderism” to describe a particular popular brand of liberalism with gender essentialism that many trans people have been suckered into. See the “Gender Nihilist Anti-Manifesto” for a relatively brief account of what actual radical trans theory can look like (a piece advocating gender abolition written by trans women; you can find it free online).

    That said, the policies the author has claimed as goals of “transgenderism” are designed simply so that trans people can exist. The bathroom issue was mostly caused by hype from reactionary conservatives caused by increased media attention given to trans people, because trans people have been using the bathroom they fit best in for a long time. The healthcare issue is… fighting for access to procedures that are recognized by the majority of doctors now as medically necessary. These issues aren’t even staked on any of the objectionable aspects of liberal trans theory that you brought up, these are basic things that just about any trans person should like to see happen. “Not being assaulted or arrested for using a public bathroom” and “access to medically-necessary treatment” should not be controversial.

    • Lavender

      I agree that trans people shouldn’t face arrest or violence in public bathrooms. But you know, people really have to start mentioning the part about how it’s MEN attacking trans people. Let’s think about why that is, given the current patriarchal context. Instead, it’s women who are vilified if they don’t want to see or be around penises in washrooms, locker rooms, etc. Women have a right to sex segregated spaces. Just as trans people have legitimate fears of violence, so do women and girls. That means that if we’re going to balance these rights, we need to provide an abundance of gender neutral washrooms in addition to sex-segregated spaces. But no trans rights group has accepted this proposition. The ‘reasonable demands’ picture you’re painting is a fiction.

      – girls have had to use second class facilities to accommodate exhibitionists who don’t GAF about anybody but themselves (e.g. Colleen Francis – here’s a take on the matter by an actual transwoman who’s not having it: http://ben-girl-notesfromthetside.blogspot.ca/2012/11/update-on-colleen-francis.html)
      – organizations have been sued, including women’s shelters
      – schools have been threatened with having their funding pulled
      – New York has passed a law whereby people can be fined $250K for using the wrong pronouns

      What planet are you living on? Yes, there are many reasonable trans people out there but they’re not allowed representation in the trans community and just like women and detransitioned people, they’re being overpowered and silenced. Trans people using gender neutral washrooms which are as safe as you can get — and remember, safety is the issue and they just have to pee — isn’t a valid solution for gender identity proponents because nothing less than acquiescence will suffice. Take a look at what’s just happened to Elizabeth Hungerford: https://twitter.com/ehungerford/status/747970460890042372. She welcomes post-op transwomen into women’s spaces without reservation and she still got banned as transphobic. Why? Because, call her crazy, she has a problem with the fact that literally any man can walk into women’s spaces, claim women’s awards, be included in women’s stats, speak as women, and define womanhood, according to the doctrine of gender identity – which has never been clearly defined (but has been deftly analyzed by radical feminists) – and which has redefined human rights laws and overridden the rights of females around the world. The only option for women is bending over. Same ol’. This is not about trans safety. It’s about validation. And I am not giving up the rights that women have fought tooth and nail for because there’s a small number of male-bodied people who think that women agreeing with them is more important than women being safe too.

      RADICAL FEMINISTS ARE NOT CONSERVATIVES. How many times do we have to say this? Every single one I know is a socialist. SMH. You’re smearing women because they won’t adopt a regressive notion that ties womanhood to femininity, and for what? What’s your stake in this anyway?

      • Cassandra

        Zuckerberg & Co. are some real USDA approved sides of asshole.

      • Sandi1951

        The only place one can have a reasonable discussion with Transfolk is at genderapostates.com, which appears to have crashed tonight pending a database failure but i am sure they will be up and running again soon.

  • Meghan Murphy

    Well you do sound like a racist, so…

  • Meghan Murphy

    Feminism is a political movement. Yes, it is also ideology, but it exists to effect political and social change. Would you say the same thing about socialism? That it’s open to interpretation?

    • will

      Of course socialism is in the eyes of the beholder! So’s math! 2+2 might equal 4 to YOU, but as a special snowflake, I might have different personal feelings about it. ;p

  • Meghan Murphy

    There are multiple systems of oppression that can impact people in various (intersecting) ways. So yes, women are oppressed based on sex, but might also be oppressed on account of class or race. Saying ‘either you are a feminist or not’ does not mean that all women are the same, it just means that feminism has a real meaning and real goals — it isn’t defined on an individual, personal basis.

  • Meghan Murphy

    Are you serious? It is not women’s job to support ‘penises’.

  • Meghan Murphy

    I’ve been told the opposite. But you are free to separate the words if you prefer, of course.

    You are being intentionally obtuse. The argument is not that actual trans people are an ideology, the conversation/question is about the ideology pushed as part of discourse surrounding trans.

    • Marti386

      So you’re saying that trans “ideology” is not being pushed by trans people, but rather, the patriarchy?

      That we’re some kind of dupes? That we would somehow allow ourselves to be hijacked by misogynists, or worse, that we knew about it and let it happen?

      As I’ve stated, the patriarchy is very much AGAINST giving us our rights. And our rights are all trans people have ever been demanding. There is no “ideology” being pushed here.

      You wanna have a discourse about patriarchy? Great. I’m all for it. But do it OUTSIDE of the trans discourse, cuz we have nothing to do with that, and neither does our movement.

      • Meghan Murphy

        Ok. Let’s try something else here.

        Do you believe there is such a thing as brain sex? Do you believe that femininity and masculinity are innate? Do you see how these beliefs are sometimes perpetuated within trans discourse? Can you see how these ideas are harmful and connected to patriarchy? No derailing this time, please and thank you.

        • Marti386

          It doesn’t MATTER what I think. I don’t need to give you a reason for my existence. Period. NO trans person owes cis people a reason.

          Stop thinking trans people have to dance until you’re satisfied. We ain’t doing that no more.

          • Meghan Murphy

            Um. You understand the purpose of this article is to ask questions? And to ask why it is unacceptable to ask said questions? If you do not wish to discuss/address the content of the article, why are you here? This is not about ‘dancing’, it is about ‘thinking’.

          • will

            “I don’t need to give you a reason for my existence. […] Stop thinking trans people have to dance until you’re satisfied. ”

            Who are you even talking to? No one has commented on your existence or asked you to “dance”. This is an article about the hijacking and shutting down of reasoned discourse about public policy. That is what it is about. The fact that anytime one tries to have a sensible conversation about policies that affect everyone as regards transpersons, MRA-style commenters fill the space with aggressive threats and/or pathetically incoherent inconsistent gobbledegook. The only consistent thing about your comments is how doggedly you refuse to address what has actually been said. You just keep writing textbook examples of flawed logic and derailing tactics.

  • Meghan Murphy

    Speaking of “drivel,” you are being intentionally obtuse. No one believes or has said trans people are responsible for creating gender or gender stereotypes. Please make an actual argument related to what is actually being said. Your manipulations don’t work here. (Which is, I imagine, why you are so angry…)

    • Marti386

      “No one believes or has said trans people are responsible for creating gender or gender stereotypes.”

      Then what exactly is the point of this article? Wouldn’t it be better to attack patriarchy head on, instead of wrapping this up in “trans ideology” stuff? Why drag us into it?

      This article seem to insinuate that trans people owe cis women explanations for our existence. We do not.

      Then it insinuates that SRS is “the destruction of healthy tissue”. It is not.

      The reality is that this isn’t the 70’s anymore, when Janice Raymond once declared trans people need to be “morally mandated out of existence”. That didn’t happen. Trans people are HERE. We’re out now, and we’re NEVER going back in the genie bottle. We’ll die first. So you’re gonna have to learn to live with us, because you honestly have no other choice.

      And if you wanna do that, I suggest you start by dropping the “trans-critical” edge. There are better things to be fighting against than trans women.

      • Meghan Murphy

        We are ‘attacking patriarchy head on.’ That is literally what we do, like, every day here. The connection to trans ideology is that much of discourse surrounding trans reinforces gender stereotypes and erases the root of women’s oppression under patriarchy. That is not the same as saying it is the fault of all individual trans people that gender exists.

        Why are you obsessed with the 70s, by the way? Second wave feminism very much roots our analysis here. It’s not as though all that much has changed since then, in terms of women’s liberation from patriarchy… In many ways, things have gotten worse, thanks to third wave feminism’s embrace of neoliberalism, identity politics, and porn culture.

      • Kara Goodway

        Wouldn’t it be healthier for YOU as a male born person to ‘attack’ your brethren, the patriarch for upholding gender bs that says you, as a male cannot wear lipstick and a purse and still be a man.

        • Marti386

          1.) trans women are not “male born”. We’re “assigned male at birth”.

          2.) Trans women are not “brethren” to males, least of all the patriarchy.

          3.) Trans women are not men, and this is NOT up for debate.

          4.) All you’ve done is prove you’re a transphobe. Buh-bye.

          • Meghan Murphy

            I believe you are confused about the difference between sex and gender…

          • Anon

            No one is “assigned” anything at birth. It isn’t like an airplane ticket seating assignment! People’s outside genitalia nearly always matches their chromosomes, and sex is observed, not assigned. Your brethren are indeed fully XY men, as are you, glitter or no. Trans”women” are men and this is NOT up for debate. You will not go buh-bye, but continue your irrational arguments that convince no one. May I suggest going back to school and majoring in something useful?

  • Meghan Murphy

    You’re thinking of Derrick Jensen. And no, Lierre, Rachel and Derrick did not push trans people out of DGR, nor are they transphobic. You may not use this space to slander sisters and allies thx bye.

    • Marti386

      Sorry, I got them confused.

      But I was there when the whole Lierre, Rachel, Derrick thing went down. And yeah, it was transphobic.

      • Meghan Murphy

        Define ‘transphobic.’ Because it wasn’t. DGR doesn’t hate trans people, nor do they fear them.

        • Magdalen Berns

          Marty’s in no position to make claims about anyone: He calls lesbians “vagina fetishists” because he’s a homophobe as well as a misogynist.

          • natalia

            Magdalen, love your YT channel. Keep it up!:)

          • Magdalen Berns

            Thanks. I intend to

          • Mistral

            Hiya, the Patreon PPal link is broken. It just spins and spins and spins. Is there another way to donate without giving Patreon my info?

  • will

    “What I’m not going to do is tell people who are happily being themselves that they’re part of a sinister rape cabal.”

    That’s a straw argument and a pretty offensive one. No one has said that. You are taking up space with ignorant comments.

  • Tinfoil the Hat

    And here’s where I stop listening – when you discount science as just another trendy feeling.

    • Donald

      That’s also where you show your ignorance because I never said that.

  • Tinfoil the Hat

    The “trend” in silencing people began 20 years ago? Try “as soon as humans began to communicate verbally.” It started with silencing WOMEN.

  • Sara Marie

    “You know that some people are just trans and not activists right? ”

    Yes. That’s why I specifically said “trans activists.” Which includes many people who are not trans.

    Telling someone they can only talk about bathrooms when they bring up an important point, or else they’re not on topic is trying to end the discussion regarding this article and, which is about being able to discuss issues regarding the transgender movement.

  • Sara Marie

    Yes, but that’s not what trans activists want to talk about, and we must be derailed onto arguing with them about what THEY want to talk about. Seeing as this is online, they can’t just drown out the convo by shouting, “BIGOTS!!!” and “trans women are women!!!” and “shut this thing down!!!” at the top of their lungs.

  • atheist

    “But what about teh dicks?” LOL

  • Meghan Murphy

    Ah ok, so we’re getting somewhere now… DGR voiced support for women-only space, but fully welcomed trans people into the group/org. Can you explain why you think it is that supporting women-only space is transphobic? Do you not think there is any occasion, ever, where females should be permitted to meet amongst other females?

  • Meghan Murphy

    I really doubt that anyone here cares about your identity… You are free to identify as you wish. Stop derailing and answer the questions.

  • Meghan Murphy

    Please stop manipulating my words. We also challenge women (and men — anyone, really) who defend or support sexist gender stereotypes and the idea that gender is innate. This is why we have trans allies — that is to say, trans people who agree that gender is not innate, and who understand that biology is at the root of women’s oppression, but are trans, nonetheless. As we’ve discussed, trans people are not a monolith. The challenges and questions, with regard to much of the discourse surrounding trans, though, are really not being addressed and, moreover, as Jensen points out, we can’t even ask the questions.

    Here I am, asking pretty basic questions, and you are refusing to answer and trying to manipulate the actual points being made in Jensen’s piece in order to avoid addressing them.

    Just because women like to wear makeup or enjoy burlesque or claim prostitution is empowering doesn’t mean that I don’t challenge those ideas and those women. So why would I not challenge sexist ideas put forth by transactivists?

  • Studebacher Hoch

    Oof-human developmental variability between two, biologically real end members (female gamete producing; male gamete producing) does not make sex a cultural construct. Crimony. You know a lot of intersex people object to their bodies being dragged into this discussion of transgender?

  • fragglerock

    Good point! Thank you!

  • Marti386

    Dude, if I need to provide proof of that infamous Janice Raymond quote, you prolly shouldn’t be up here discussing radical feminism.

    For the record, Raymond is the author of the transphobic screed, The Transsexual Empire: The Making of a She-male”.

    • Meghan Murphy

      No… That’s not how this works. You don’t get to libel feminists and then refuse to back up your claims. Here’s some further context to her arguments, since you are, apparently, unwilling to read, think, or defend any of your arguments:
      “This quotation is false, intellectually irresponsible, and appears to be a deliberate misquoting of my actual words written in the appendix of my book, The Transsexual Empire. It seems that Jahnsen plucked this erroneous quote from some secondary source on the Internet. As an academic, Jahnsen should have known better and verified the actual quote from my book.

      Jahnsen’s quote distorted my words criticizing the system of transsexualism into an attack on trans persons. What I actually wrote in my book is the following: “the issue of transsexualism has profound political and moral ramifications; transsexualism itself is a deeply moral question rather than a medical-technical answer. I contend that the problem of transsexualism would best be served by morally mandating it out of existence.” What this means is that I want to eliminate the medical and social systems that support transsexualism and the reasons why in a gender-defined society, persons find it necessary to change their bodies. Nowhere do I say, as Jahnsen attributes to me, “transsexuals should be eradicated on moral grounds.” Jahnsen’s quote, and the words of those who echo this falsehood, has overtones of ethnic cleansing and make it sound like I want to eliminate transgendered persons from the face of the earth.

      In the same letter, Jahnsen also objects to my views on prostitution. Given the way in which she has misconstrued my words about transsexualism, she would possibly accuse me of wanting to eradicate women in prostitution because I want to eradicate prostitution!

      This erroneous quote was picked up by someone signing as El Feministo who wrote a letter to the Vancouver Rape Relief and Crisis Center protesting my invited 2013 lecture at the Center’s commemoration of the victims of the Montreal Massacre. This letter reiterated Jahnsen’s muddled quote, that “transgendered people should be morally mandated ‘out of existence’” and cited a pirated online copy of The Transsexual Empire as its source. Obviously the letter writer did not take the time to read the book and had never done due diligence in checking the specific quote on p. 178 that was erroneously cited and that has gone viral on trans activist Internet sites. (http://rabble.ca/print/babble/feminism/janice-raymond-vancouver-public-library-montreal-massacre-memorial)”

      http://janiceraymond.com/fictions-and-facts-about-the-transsexual-empire/

  • Kara Goodway

    Being black is not a phenomenon one can identify in or out of. Stop hijacking POC struggles to further your own agenda. Woman (natal or trans) get killed everyday for being female, just like blacks get killed for being black…a born reality that is not ‘transitional’.

  • Meghan Murphy

    Ok, so since you insist on talking about your identity, why don’t you answer Jensen’s question. What does it mean when you say you are a woman? Or, in his words:

    “If the claim of trans people is that they were born into one biological sex category, such as male, but are actually female, what does that mean? Is it a claim that reproduction based sex categories are an illusion? That one can have a female brain (whatever that means) in a body with male genitalia? That there is a non-material soul that can be of one sex but in the body of the other sex?”

  • Meghan Murphy

    I’m confused also. Robert is an excellent thinker and ally to the feminist movement.

  • Meghan Murphy

    No… Gender isn’t innate. I was not born ‘feminine’, I was born female. I am absolutely offended and aghast that you would support the idea that I am naturally passive, irrational, emotional, weak, and subordinate. You are a complete sexist if you believe that.

    • Marti386

      “feminine” is part of the “gender stereotype” thing I talked about earlier. It’s not the same as gender identity.

      Gender identity is just who you know yourself to be. It’s innate, like being gay is innate. Case after case of intersex people who’ve been medically altered to be a specific sex, only to grow up knowing they were not that sex proves it. It’s not just social. There’s some biological component somewhere, and although medical experts haven’t found the exact proof, I suspect one day they will. They get closer and closer every day.

      Now, separate from gender identity is the two you’re really concerned with. Gender stereotypes and gender roles. They’re the ones that say women have to behave a certain way.

      Just to point it out, I know LOTS of trans women, and I wouldn’t say ANY of them reinforce gender stereotypes. As a woman and a feminist, I’m all about women being able to be anything they want to, and act anyway they want to. And that includes trans women.

      • Meghan Murphy

        Gender exists in order to enforce patriarchal gender hierarchy. It isn’t about personal feelings, it’s a system of oppression. Like, it’s a social category.

  • Kara Goodway

    But you’re not any other womyn. You are trans… TransGENDER. The whole transgender movement reinforces harmful stereotypes about womyn that womyn have been trying to move away from. You are purposely being obtuse, in fact, your entire argument screams of male entitlement.

  • Meghan Murphy

    Wait, so are you female? Or male? If you are trans, does that not mean you are male but have chosen to identify as a transwoman? i.e. you have transitioned?

  • Meghan Murphy

    Listen, just because you can’t come up with (or refuse to come up with) an intellectually sound/honest argument, doesn’t mean we just have to buy your smears/claims. You realize that now you are doing exactly what Jensen was pointing out/trying to address in his piece, right?

    • Marti386

      Fine. Explain how you’re gonna “mandate” transgenderism “out of existence” without stamping out trans people? Cuz trans people being forced to live in our assigned-at-birth gender would be death to us.

  • Marti386

    OMG here comes the “trans women are really men” comments.

  • Wren

    “That our understanding of sex as a biological construct is itself something that is culturally constructed.”
    No amount of wishful thinking will allow a woman to be impregnated by another woman, just like no amount of wishful thinking will make you less of an idiot.

  • Kara Goodway

    Their are ‘masculinized’ womyn all around. Some folks call them a ‘butch’ but I’m pretty sure, despite their “manly” appearance, if you ask them their “pronouns” they will tell you ‘she/her’. I’ve yet to see a dress wearing, hair curling effeminate male whose pronouns are ‘him/he’ and no we are not talking about cross dressers. “Cis” woman do not reinforce sex role stereotypes. And try telling all your female colleagues that they’ve busted their asses all this time working their way up the corporate latter, in a mans world, that she is ‘reinforcing gender stereotypes’. See how far that gets you.

  • Meghan Murphy

    I guess you don’t. But if you aren’t going to respond to basic questions, how do you expect people take your perspective seriously?

  • Meghan Murphy

    If you were born female then why do you identify as a transwoman?

  • Cassandra

    So basically it’s “my “rights” trump yours so shut the fuck up.”

    You DON’T have a right to shut women up. You don’t. That debate is over, and we’re not playing that game.

  • Cassandra

    “Feminism is also an academic perspective…”
    LOL!!!

    Feminism is a political movement the goal of which is the liberation of females from patriarchal oppression.

  • Cassandra

    Women don’t have penises.

  • Cassandra

    “We already established women can have beards, it’s not a stretch to say they can have penises. It’s arbitrary.”

    Actually, none of this is “arbitrary” at all. But thanks for the laugh.

  • Lavender

    Seriously though, why would DGR or any other such group allow people to join who physically intimidate them and deface their property? The trans brigade have been antagonistic af whenever DGR has planned or held events. Funny how you didn’t mention their bully tactics. You really do think women are stupid.

    And women are whatever men say they are? Just no, dude. Not happening.

  • Meghan Murphy

    Indeed. One has to ask why Marti is here if not to engage?

  • Meghan Murphy

    Indeed. It makes me wonder if, in fact, Marti is transphobic. They seem to think there is something wrong with being trans…

  • Meghan Murphy

    I don’t think you understand what “click-bait” is. In general, you seem to have a weak understanding of the actual meanings of words and terms…

  • Meghan Murphy

    What is a ‘real woman’? What does that mean?

  • Meghan Murphy

    Ok, so if you understand that gender is a social concept that exists to reinforce the gender hierarchy created by patriarchy, how can you also say that gender is innate?

  • Meghan Murphy

    But just minutes ago you said you were trans…

  • Meghan Murphy

    If gender is innate, what is the point of feminism?

  • Marti386

    I’m sorry, no agreeing with you makes me “mentally unstable”, does it?

    How easy it must be to dismiss anyone who doesn’t agree with you.

  • Marti386

    I’m not arguing that “cis is a slur” crap. Cis is a medical term, created by the medical community. Like “trans” is.

    Sorry you don’t like that, but that’s not my problem.Take it up with Volkmar Sigusch.

    • Meghan Murphy

      Ok so if you do actually believe there is such a thing as ‘cis’ and ‘trans’, what is the difference between the two?

      • Anon

        Cis and trans are old Latin terms and were not created for a phenomenon that didn’t exist back then. Cis means on the side of and trans means opposite or across from.

    • Cassandra

      Cis is not a medical term created by the medical community. Pomo “sexologist” terms hold no currency here.

    • Kara Goodway

      You and your trans brigade threaten suicide over ‘misgendering’ yet you are here calling womyn born womyn ‘cis’. Cut that out Martin. No woman here ‘identifies’ as that… Or anything other than what nature has given (XX) us. As a woman, you should know this. Oh wait…

    • Anon

      No, “cis” is a Latin term, not one created by the medical community. PLEASE, go back to school! You are embarrassing yourself.

  • Marti386

    I don’t have anything to do with the death of your sisters. Stop trying to stamp us out.

    • Meghan Murphy

      No one is here trying to stamp you out. Stop misrepresenting what people are saying.

  • Marti386

    I’m female, I have a penis. Anyone who “doesn’t agree” can frankly go to hell.

    My identity is not up for your debate.

    • Meghan Murphy

      Define ‘female’.

    • Hello

      Your “identity” is merely a delusional mental state developed through intensively-practiced auto-erotic auto-suggestion. Your self-hypnotic sexualized cross-dressing rituals over the course of years resulted in your current “identity.” I do not know if they also resulted in your needing eye-glasses.

    • Morag999

      ‘I’m female, I have a penis. Anyone who “doesn’t agree” can frankly go to hell’

      Snort!

      I hope they serve beer there.

  • Laura

    Marti…”still possessing all your rights”…what world do you live in? It’s a constant fight to retain women’s rights to privacy and bodily autonomy, not to mention the rights we still lack…

  • Meghan Murphy

    Good god. Can you actually make a cohesive argument instead of just repeating meaningless mantras?!? Unless your aim is, actually, to prove how irrational and crazy-making the ideology behind transactivism is…

  • Meghan Murphy

    Um no. Actually I published it because it was a completely rational and reasonable article that I figured our readers would relate to, appreciate, and find interesting and/or important. Which is the same reason I publish every article on the site. Because I imagine it might be of interest to readers. Get over yourself please.

  • Meghan Murphy

    By erasing ‘woman’ as an oppressed class of people and by eerasing the source of women’s oppression, your arguments could very well have a negative impact on women’s rights.

  • Meghan Murphy

    What does it mean to ‘live one’s life as a woman’? What does that look like? Why are women oppressed in our society? What is the source of women’s oppression?

  • Meghan Murphy

    But I’m asking you. So YOU answer.

  • Meghan Murphy

    “Trans women are real women. I’m as real as you are.”

    “The patriarchy doesn’t care if I’m trans.”

    “FYI, trans women do not identify as “trans women”. We identify as women. We’re women who happen to be trans, like some women are women who happen to be lesbian. It doesn’t make us any less women.

    Yes, I’ve transitioned. I’ve lived full time as a woman in all aspects of my life for 17 years now.”

    Not only did you say you were trans, but you acknowledge that you transitioned. From what to what?

  • Meghan Murphy

    Uh uh. And where does all that inequality come from? Why are women oppressed? What are the social roles and stereotypes you mention?

  • Sandi1951

    You really need to take your “vagina envy” and autogynephilia somewhere else and examine it under a microscope first. I realize this comment might get me on some hate lists, maybe even some death threats, but seriously, gender is a myth. Women can be dykes, men can be femmes, and we do not have to self mutilate to fit a damn sexist stereotype that is enforced by a violent rapist patriarchal culture of misogyny.

  • Sandi1951

    Well, the trans narrative now is so insane, we cannot talk about our cupcakes, menstruation or pregnancy, because our biology now is so offensive to the fake females. I am perfectly open to discussing and making peace with transwomen who understand they are not women, and grant them there own class and special interests.

  • Cassandra

    Yes, women’s rights are very endangered by gender identity legislation. It is unspeakably horrific for females and tries to erase the reality of sex. Sex is the root axis on which females are brutalized by males.

  • Sandi1951

    Well, I am extreme left Rad Fem who has always seem trans as self mutilation, and many of us in the Second Wave did. What has happened to the USA left is that it is really been overtaken by the Libertarians, and that is why the Clintons, who are really on the RIGHT have been able to populate the Democratic party. Overall, most people do not want to go too deep into feminist and sexist issues, it will destroy the status quo and all those illusions. It was easier to grant Gay marriage for instance, that to really over turn the notions and bigotry of marriage in general. Go figure.

  • An Old Contrarian

    And Brawndo’s got electrolytes! *moves hands* You keep not saying what you think a woman is. “A woman is a person who lives her life as a woman” means exactly nothing.

  • Lavender

    Thank you. You did exactly what I thought you’d do: use an entirely circular definition of ‘woman’ so you can play make believe and shit on actual women. The more gender identity proponents talk, the clearer it becomes to anyone who isn’t afraid of your gaslighting that you have no idea what you’re talking about.

  • Meghan Murphy

    It seems clear that “listening” as not resolved the issue… I think it’s odd to assume that disagreement or questions come from not “listening”… The same argument is used against feminists who oppose prostitution (“listen to sex workers!”). We have listened — the arguments don’t make sense and we disagree with the ideology behind them.

    • Sara Marie

      I completely agree.

      I also find it odd that there is an assumption that gender critical feminists (and pro-feminists) simply don’t know trans people. Believe me, I know trans people! That’s hardly the issue.

      And feminism is also a *rights movement*. Women have only been, oh, the longest oppressed class of humans ever to exist.

      • Meghan Murphy

        Right. Most of us know, listen, and have spoken to trans people, just as we know and speak and listen to prostituted women.

        • Wren

          I know, right???? It’s so annoying.

  • Lavender

    The corporate world is definitely another battleground (which of course shouldn’t surprise anyone as it’s the site of capitalism, white supremacy, and male domination). My employer is a very well-known Canadian corporation and they’ve sent a memo to all staff depicting the Genderbread Person, dictating that gender identity is THE TRUTH, END OF and if you’re a decent person who belongs on the team you’ll shut up and get in line. So the many thousands of people employed by this organization alone are being silenced because their livelihoods depend on conformity to a regressive nonsensical ideology. To have to swallow what is effectively an expression of hatred against myself and my entire sex so that we can continue to collect a paycheque is an attack on our dignity.

    • Cassandra

      That is horrible. I’m sorry. This is so Orwellian and terrifying.

    • lee

      The only option is to work from home, if possible. It doesn’t change what’s going down, but minimizes the damage in your life so you can function. You cannot function without an escape, even though when you open your door and step out into the world it’s still there. We have to strategize our revolution, and there is no shame in protecting yourself. Yes, you will earn way less. It’s worth it. Start planning now, and when you feel safer, anonymously mail your CEOs copies of 1984.

  • Meghan Murphy

    As I’ve already mentioned, the comments here are moderated. I am only able to approve them if I am, 1) Awake, 2) At a computer. EVERYONE has to wait. You are behaving like an entitled, manipulative, prick and it will get you blacklisted if you keep it up. First warning.

    • Independent Radical

      When you can’t reasonable complain about being censored (because you’re not actually being censored) just complain about being approved too slowly! It’s not like you can’t really know how much time it took for your comment to get approved compared to other because you don’t have a handy comment posting and approval timeline, oh wait, you don’t.

      I guess liberals just aren’t use to moderated forums. They’re are used to letting people say shit they don’t like and then using the fact that they have said that to ruin their online and real life reputation. Who needs to have productive discussions with people they disagree with, right? Just find something someone has said that you don’t like and use that statement to slander them. It’s ridiculous for them to complain about moderation when this is common practice for them.

  • Meghan Murphy

    “Female” and “male” are not “social roles.” GENDER is a social construct, sex is a biological reality.

  • Meghan Murphy

    Ok, so I believe you understand, based on your response here, that biology is indeed at the root of women’s oppression. That is to say, women are oppressed because they are female. You are treated like a woman, by men, because they assume you are female.

  • Meghan Murphy

    So you understand there is a difference between transwomen and women, then?

  • Meghan Murphy

    Wren’s point was that your “death” is not literal death. Clearly.

  • Meghan Murphy

    See — that’s the difference. I don’t identify as a woman. I am a woman. I was born female and was socialized as such, from birth. It’s not the same, is the point. And it seems that, while you do understand this, you are unwilling to admit it. Why can’t you just acknowledge that being a trans woman is different than being female? There is nothing wrong with acknowledging that — you may still live as you please and you still deserve rights and respect and safety.

    • Sara Marie

      On this note, I have no idea what it’s like to “feel” like a woman. If a male-born person “feels” like a woman, this is not the same as actually BEING a woman. Most actual women do not “feel” like women, or even “identify” as women, they just ARE.

  • Meghan Murphy

    You have yet to define “female” in a cohesive way. Does a driver’s license determine whether or not I am able to reproduce, for example? Are women socialized from birth as second-class citizens because of their driver’s licenses? What does it mean to be female? Can I escape gendered oppression if I change the sex on my driver’s license? Will my period go away if I do? Will a lifetime of fear/experiences of men’s violence and rape disappear? Will the historical context for women’s oppression change if we all put ‘male’ on our driver’s licenses? Can I erase a lifetime of gendered socialization by identifying out of it? I think you are ignoring an awful lot, here… Regardless of what your driver’s license says.

  • Meghan Murphy

    Indeed I am. Can’t say the same for you, I’m afraid.

    • Marti386

      Yeah well, I’ve been dealing with this stuff for a long time.

  • Meghan Murphy

    Thanks for the info. Marti is clearly a troll and is getting very close to being banned from the site.

  • Meghan Murphy

    Thanks for the info.

  • Marti386

    I think I luv you. 🙂

  • Zuzanna Smith

    A lot of trans”women” are conservative white men.

  • Meghan Murphy

    By “get off scott-free” do you actually mean “deserving of death threats because DGR believes marginalized groups should be allowed to meet among themselves?”

    From the DGR website and for the record:
    http://deepgreenresistance.org/en/who-we-are/faqs/radical-feminism-faqs

    “Lie #2: ‘DGR bans trans people from their organization.’

    Truth: This is false. DGR welcomes anyone who agrees with our Statement of Principles and Code of Conduct. We have had people who have identified as trans in the organization, who have been members in good standing. DGR does not discriminate against anyone based on their mannerisms, choice of clothing, physical appearance, choice of name, etc. Many, possibly even most DGR members fail to conform to gender stereotypes in either appearance or behavior. However, given our understanding of gender as a hierarchy, we recognize that being put into the class of called women is not something you choose, it is something you are born into. Therefore, we have a strict policy in defense of female only spaces, meaning that anyone born male is not allowed admittance. This is an important boundary that our female members, many of whom are survivors of male violence including rape, battering, and human trafficking (listen to those women), have set, and in DGR, women’s boundaries are respected absolutely.

    As articulated in our Statement of Principles, here is our position on gender:
    Deep Green Resistance is a radical feminist organization. Men as a class are waging a war against women. Rape, battering, incest, prostitution, pornography, poverty, and gynocide are both the main weapons in this war and the conditions that create the sex-class women. Gender is not natural, not a choice, and not a feeling: it is the structure of women’s oppression. Attempts to create more ‘choices’ within the sex-caste system only serve to reinforce the brutal realities of male power. As radicals, we intend to dismantle gender and the entire system of patriarchy which it embodies. The freedom of women as a class cannot be separated from the resistance to the dominant culture as a whole.”

  • Meghan Murphy

    You are manipulative and you are done here. You are unwilling and incapable of arguing with intellectual integrity or honesty.

    • Wren

      thank you

  • Meghan Murphy

    You argue that not-death is literal death? Ok….

    • Wren

      Ugh. How do you have such patience, Meghan?

      • Meghan Murphy

        I don’t feel very patient today, ha.

        • will

          You have astonishing patience, Meghan. Marti is like a giant talking toddler who really believes the universe starts and ends with themselves. Marti will never ever respond to what anyone has said but will continue to twist the words of others and use the rationale of “BECAUSE I SAY SO AND IF YOU DON’T OBEY YOU’RE KILLING ME TOTALLY LITERALLY AND THAT IS ALSO BECAUSE I SAY SO!!!!”

          The energy you have for continuing to try to respectfully engage this person, despite the fact that they continue to play the spoiled obnoxious child, is heroic.

          • Meghan Murphy

            Why thank you. I must admit I do have an enormous amount of experience dealing with giant internet toddlers…

          • will

            Ha! At least most daycare workers get minimum wage!

  • Cassandra

    This comment is hilarious. Taking up space with incoherent goading pretty much sums it up.

  • Independent Radical

    I would remove “gay politic” from the list since there is no single set of gay politics (queer politics is a specific brand of gay politics that I take serious issue with, for good reason) or perhaps replace it with “sex liberal politics” since that is the real problem, not gay rights as a concept.

    Otherwise, the quote is basically correct. The trans movement receives mainstream support since it basically reinforces the mainstream view of gender (which is that females are feminine and males are masculine), which results in male dominance over women since all forms of masculinity are ultimately about the pursuit of power and all forms of femininity result in either the loss or the willing surrender of power. So while it may not be an intentionally anti-female politics, it results in female subordination to males and thus is anti-feminist in practice.

    You can’t horrify radical feminists with our own quotes, liberals. We actually know what they mean. For me, this is not a personal fight against a movement that has harmed people I like. Both sides need to stop seeing it that way. This isn’t about vengeance (at least not for me). This is about ending the domination of men over women by ending gender and any movement that stands in the way of that aim is a movement I am forced to fight against. I don’t care who did what to whom and who said what about whom. I am looking forward (not backward) and fighting to liberate women and ultimately all of humanity. Who’s with me?

    • Cassandra

      “This is about ending the domination of men over women by ending gender and any movement that stands in the way of that aim is a movement I am forced to fight against.”

      ^^^This.

  • will

    “I am happy to answer the question of your column.”

    So…………. ?????

    You just wrote a couple hundred words and no answers to the clearly stated questions. Here they are again:

    If the claim of trans people is that they were born into one biological sex category, such as male, but are actually female, what does that mean?

    Is it a claim that reproduction-based sex categories are an illusion?

    That one can have a female brain (whatever that means) in a body with male genitalia?

    That there is a non-material soul that can be of one sex but in the body of the other sex?

    As one pro-trans writer put it after reviewing the dramatic interventions into the body that happen in sex-reassignment surgery — which involves the destruction of healthy tissue — “It can seem and feel as if one is at war with one’s body.” Is this procedure, along with the use of hormones — including puberty-blockers in children — consistent with an ecological worldview that takes seriously the consequences of dramatic human interventions into organisms and ecosystems?

    With so little known about the etiology of trans, is the surgical/chemical approach warranted?

    We’re listening.

    • Amy Fox

      The question posed in the title was is “it open to debate?” My answer was “Yes. Very much so. So why not ‘debate’ instead of rehash? Why not engage?”

      Years ago, I came from a second-wave perspective. But now when I talk in trans communities about these points and *don’t go on the attack,* and am willing to change my mind, we actually do discuss these things, and everyone learns. Because we’re actually talking to each-other. And listening. And, as with any group, there’s a surprising amount of ideological give when one approaches as a friend.

      But to answer the other questions (in my limited opinion)

      Regarding birth: It means that they were misassigned at birth. Imagine if people had “handedness” on their birth certificate. Or “sexual orientation.” Or “favorite food.” And (without much effort) imagine that a goodly number of these checkboxes were wrong. Imagine if the rhetoric that is commonly deployed against trans people was spread across these categories? Trans rights (generally) proposes that while genitalia are tightly correlated with gender identity and gender expression, the overlap is not 100%. That seems like a cogent argument to me.

      Are these claims?: They are claims I suppose. Some people make them. What of them? Obviously there are material differences in the spectrum of reproductive capacity (or the public perception thereof, as it intersects with gender expression, and cultural norms, and class, and race, and, and, and) that impact daily living, in a variety of ways. Some are obvious and intuitive. Some are not. It’s complicated and messy. The typical claims that are made by arguments debating against trans rights usually rely on an overly reductionist view of how genitalia affect how we treat each-others, and they fails to hear the complicated and theory-busting lived experience of trans people – and how awful the world treats them, despite ‘theories’ to the contrary.

      Regarding medical intervention: Is it consistent? Sure? I guess? That seems like a bit of a weird argument to make. Actually, it seems like first cherry-picking – why quote this one trans person as an example for the group? And second, a double-standard – why single out trans medicine for scrutiny? What about the titanium implant that put my wrist back together? My eye surgery? The pills I take in the morning that correct a possibly-otherwise-lethal neurotransmitter shortage? Do *these* somehow ideologically predispose me towards shale fracking and monoculture farming? Deep down, are these consistent with… well… actually, I gotta be honest – I don’t care what they are consistent with. I need them. These contribute to my wellbeing the same way that trans surgeries do for (some) trans people. Actually, the above are much less important. I could just wear glasses. Or get along with one hand being semifunctional. Both of these would hurt less than the obvious impact of bodily dysphoria. One thing I can say for sure is that any ideology that hinges on people refusing medical treatment might want to reconsider its pitch.

      The overall objection to the ‘debate’ about trans rights is that it all too often intellectualizes its way into downplaying trans people’s attempts to seek justice for real immediate awful problems, like unemployment and violence. Trans “theory” is just the wedge that exists to open the door of academia that leads to equality. The theory is not where the real fight is, the real fire. And so when someone says “I really don’t want to *debate* whether my house is on fire – I can feel the heat and hear the flames, so if you’re not going to put it out, please leave.” they aren’t censoring, they just have a clear sense of priorities. If you want to talk with them, grab a hose or a bucket first.

      • Meghan Murphy

        Gender is not a personal identity or expression. It is coercively imposed in order to manufacture a binary gender hierarchy. https://aeon.co/essays/the-idea-that-gender-is-a-spectrum-is-a-new-gender-prison

        If it were a personal identity or expression, than women would be responsible for their own oppression. As in, they would have chosen to perform it or express it, from birth, ergo, their oppression is their own fault.

      • Anonymica

        Transgender is not an ideology. It is a medical condition.
        There is no scope for “open debate” on this forum. Why do you even engage with this trans misogynist hate cult?

        • Cassandra

          No such thing as “trans misogyny,” unless you mean the hatred you have for females.

          gyno-
          combining form
          1.
          relating to female: gynarchy
          2.
          denoting a female reproductive organ: gynophore
          Word Origin
          from Greek, from gunē woman

      • will

        Thank you for taking the time share your thoughts on the questions asked by Robert Jensen. In the interest of civil discussion I would like to share my response to those thoughts.

        – Noting if a baby is born with male sex organs or female sex organs is not “assignment” anymore than saying a basketball is round or a needle is pointed at one end is “assignment”. It is a physical description and in no way “assigns” personality or individual sexual desire. Patriarchy’s coercive gendering based on the physical fact of sex organs is a separate issue and is not “assigned” by those present at the birth of a baby and who note whether she is female or he is male.

        – Yes those are claims from trans persons. They have been made countless times, including on this comment thread. Why muddy the discussion by pretending facts are all subjective?

        – Trans surgery is not treating an injured body. It is electing to alter the appearance of a presumably healthy body. I do not think that comparisons to fixing a broken bone or malfunctioning tissue is apt. There are cases of persons who have reversed their sexual transition surgery after the fact. It is unlikely that there are cases of people who have gone back to have their bone re-broken because that’s how they currently identify.

        – Unemployment and violence are very real and should be combated. Women experience violence and job discrimination constantly. Both groups are subject to male supremacy and oppressive gender dictates. I do not understand why people who work to dismantle patriarchal oppression should be harassed and threatened by members of the trans community who would ostensively benefit from feminist progress.

  • will

    “people drew on some books with a marker”

    That’s actually IS defacing property, no scare quotes required.

  • susannunes

    There is no such thing as a “transwoman.” They are MEN in dresses.

  • pyrite00

    Now you are making DEMANDS on another person’s site? No matter how much you men claim to be women, Marti386, that male socialization you had and the male privilege you have to use as a weapon ALWAYS come out sooner or later.

    • will

      Yes exactly. I will generally use whatever pronouns a person requests and I have never directly contradicted a transpersons claims to a particular sex. But this wanker is such a bog-standard entitled male. I have never witnessed a woman behaving like such an obnoxious asshole.

  • Zuzanna Smith

    A piece of paper says female yet your dick says male, which is right hmmm…

  • Zuzanna Smith

    “Being trans doesn’t make me less a woman” no, in fact in makes you a man, the least woman anyone can be.

  • Melissa Cutler

    Thank you for that link. That is a remarkable analysis and I’ve bookmarked it for future reference.

  • Cassandra

    “You do not get to decide where we belong. WE define ourselves. We decide what rights we want. Not you.”

    You sound like an abusive, violent male.

  • Cassandra

    All women have vaginas. That’s what makes them women.

  • Cassandra

    Trans women are murdered because they are not women. They are murdered by their fellow males for defying gender norms. The males who murder them know they are men.

  • Cassandra

    Yes, you mentioned it. Still holds no weight.

  • Cassandra

    “Whether or not you actually HAVE that biology or not is immaterial to it.”

    Oh! Good to know! So when a 15-year-old girl is raped and she needs to get an abortion, she can go the barbaric assholes in charge in places like Northern Ireland and certain countries in South America and tell them that her biology is *immaterial* to the oppression of being forced to be an incubator, so she should be allowed to do whatever she wants — they only THINK she is female and not deserving of control over her very own uterus!

  • Morag999

    I recall we young school girls wrote “luv.” In grade 5 or 6 or 7, we thought it was creative and cute. But, you know, we were kids …

    Ugh.

  • Cassandra

    Translation:
    I’m sorry about your trauma but people with dicks’ feelings need to be prioritized. Happy shit eating, ladies!

    • Virginia Howard

      (helpless laughter)

  • Cassandra

    Thank you for this article, Mr. Jensen, and for standing with women. And thank you Meghan for having the site to host it.

    • Cassandra

      I am replying to my own comment because I am calling myself out and/or questioning why I called the author “Mr. Jensen” but called Meghan Murphy by her first name. I would like to think it’s because I feel more sisterhood with Meghan, but I wonder if that’s really it. Why didn’t I call Mr. Jensen “Robert?” I think it was some sneaky internalized sexism on my part.

      And that is my end of going off topic. Apologizes, Ms. Murphy. 🙂

      • Meghan Murphy

        🙂

  • Morag999

    You said, lee! Queer theorists often discuss female as a quantity. More than. Less than. A matter of degree.

    Then they project this onto other people, assuming that we “think” in the same irrational way.

  • Melanie

    Women don’t ‘identify’ as women. We’re born female and grow up to be women, ie. adult females. That’s it. It’s a simple, objective fact. ‘Identifying’ as a woman means that you have subjective ideas about what a woman is, and thereby ‘identify’ with those ideas – ideas that are usually limiting, regressive and sexist. This has obvious implications for women and girls socially and now legally, which is why women are pushing back.

  • Morag999

    ‘Backing her up isn’t making you any friends in the trans community, or helping your “I’m not a transphobe” argument.’

    So what?

    Are you under the impression that it’s a goal of feminism not to upset men and to make sure you like us?

  • Kara Goodway

    Nope, I never said that. Men, like yourself, invented sex role stereotypes for the sexes and men like you continue to reinforce them. Tell me Martin, why do you believe you are a woman?

  • Virginia Howard

    But these cupcakes were made by California college students in 2015, and they are deadly, deadly confections. They’ve killed untold hundreds, and that’s a fact! This is not open for discussion, it is a metaphysical truth nailed like an iron butterfly to the face of God. End of story, case closed there is nothing more to say or meanings to parse– they are a sugary lie and an abomination!

    • Cassandra

      Oh, god, you all are cracking me up.

  • Kara Goodway

    Science doesn’t give you a vagina Martin Lololol. It gives you a gaping wound shoved full of your mutilated Frankenstein bullocks.

  • Ailurus fulgens

    >not all women can get pregnant, not all women menstruate

    No, but everyone who gets pregnant and menstruates is female.

  • Mellie

    You are afraid of being killed by men. Women are also afraid of men killing us. Women are not the problem.

  • Mellie

    Women wear make up without pretending it makes us women. Trans women think they are women because they do or want to wear it. That is the difference.

  • Mellie

    You don’t want to get into that debate because you know you are wrong. Reproduction and menstruation are not social constructs. They exist even before humans were intelligent enough to understand it.

  • Ailurus fulgens

    U sure?

    “In humans, biological sex is determined by five factors present at birth: the presence or absence of a Y chromosome, the type of gonads, the sex hormones, the internal reproductive anatomy (such as the uterus in females), and the external genitalia.”

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sexual_dimorphism#Humans

  • Mellie

    Men choose to oppress women based on female biology. Obviously a womens biology is not inherently oppressive, but women are oppressed by men and women handmaidens based on it. Your comment is like saying black people aren’t oppressed based on being black. Obviously having dark skin isn’t oppressive, but racist whites choose to oppress black people based on it.

  • Mellie

    Men are raped all the time– it doesn’t make you a woman.

  • midwifemama

    “We decide what rights we want. Not you.”

    So males who say they are female get to force themselves into female sex-segregated spaces because they say so? We have a word for males who insist on violating women’s boundaries and inserting themselves into women’s most intimate spaces regardless of women not wanting them there.

  • midwifemama

    In the United States, transwomen are actually the only “women” with full constitutional rights. The 14th amendment specifically disenfranchised female citizens and the ERA, which states that civil rights cannot be denied on the basis of sex, was never ratified. So women are not constitutionally legal persons. This results in a whole lot of sex-based oppression for female people, especially in states where fetuses have civil rights and the people in whom the fetuses are growing end up being jailed for suspicious miscarriages or cut open against their wills or forced to birth in hospitals because homebirth is criminalized. For a brief period of time (1964 to 2016) female people did have some sex-based protections under the Civil Rights Act, but we just lost all of those as the Obama administration declared this year that everywhere the Civil Rights Act says “sex” it actually means gender identity. So, it’s basically legal to fire someone for menstruating now, because that’s not something people of all gender identities do so it’s not sex discrimination. Already, the Supreme Court has ruled that it is not sex discrimination to fire someone for breastfeeding because under the new definitions of male and female, males and females can both breastfeed. Please stop fooling yourself into thinking the trans political movement is not destroying hard won sex-based protections for women and girls when that is exactly what has already occurred.

    • Cassandra

      I wish this could be blasted over the airwaves so that women could understand just how serious this really is.

  • Christina_Puck

    Robert Jensen is really awesome. I just finished his book The End of Masculinity. I really appreciated hearing about the way patriarchal socialization affects males. If more men had the courage and integrity to be honest like he has, the root problem could be addressed for trans people, and all society, and people wouldnt feel the need for unnecessary medical procedures to fit into a gender box.

    • DeColonise

      Pornography and the end of masculinity was a real eye opener, at least for me as a fellow male. I wish it had been taught and discussed in school

  • Sally Hansen

    I know, right? Evolutionary psychology is the most bullshit pseudo-science garbage ever. It’s basically just a “science” invented to justify every single patriarchal belief without any real evidence.

  • will

    I’m guessing that it was reported by a trans bully. FB is a private corporate space that is hostile to females (porn pics fine, breast feeding offensive, as one example). Trans is super trendy right now, sort of like the lumberjack beards all those young hipster boys have. Sexist people tend to blindly latch onto the “women are disappearing us!” -type propaganda because this particular aspect of trans activism is no threat whatsoever to the patriarchal status quo.

  • DeColonise

    Splendid article R.Jensen. Thx for posting Meghan.

  • will

    Marti’s pretty sure that Marti is the god who invented the universe and who can, in fact, re-write science, material reality, other people’s actual words, and so on, however they like. No one else exists in Marti’s little fantasy world and there is no material reality other than what Marti commands.

    If one can get a bit of distance on it, it’s extremely pathetic. The difficult part is that in this era of social decline, comparable to the conditions that gave rise to the Third Reich, where Donald Trump actually could become the U.S. president and working class Brits believe that immigrants and the EU are responsible for the pain resulting for the dismantling of their social safety net, this kind of unhinged grandstanding tends to gain ground.

  • will

    “The patriarchy thinks I have a vagina, and I get all the abuse you do because of it.”

    Correct!! You get abused because you perform femininity (like using the insipid word “panties”) and the world thinks you have female sex organs, which you do not.

  • will

    ^^^^HAHAHA^^^^

  • Melissa Cutler

    “why don’t we go back to the days where women who couldn’t have biological children weren’t considered “real women” or women who were lesbians weren’t considered “real women” – when getting your uterus or breasts removed due to cancer made you “less of a woman” or being butch meant you were “one of the boys”

    Who are/were conveying these messages about gender non-conforming women? Name the problem instead of erasing it with your subject-free syntax. Certainly not feminists, so why suggest that the feminists commenting on this post, including Ms. Murphy, are perpetuating gender conformity? Men are the problem. Patriarchy and misogyny are the problems. The socialization of masculine and feminine are the problems. Feminists aren’t the problem.

    Imagine if trans activists put their energy into abolishing gender and fighting the patriarchy instead of attacking feminists. If we abolished gender, then everyone would be free to present themselves however they wanted and exist freely. Isn’t that what trans people want? To be free to be themselves however they see fit without fearing backlash or violence? Abolishing gender is the only way to accomplish that.

    • Then why don’t you get to it and abolish gender? How long have you been on the case?

      And YES some of that gate-keeping as to who was a “real woman” happened within the feminists movement a long time ago. Some of those have to do with sex-essentialism. Some of those have to do with gendered functionalism. Etc so forth.

      I’m not implying that anyone here would gate-keeping womanhood in those specific ways – but it seems that gate-keeping womanhood is high on their list of priorities.

      As someone who has had biological children – my experience of my womanhood is VERY DIFFERENT than people who have not had that experience. The moment we start deciding who is *more woman* based on our “shared experiences” – solidarity is dead. I already have lesbian separatists trying to kick me out of the queer club – same old crap.

      Feminists are not the problem. Of course they aren’t. Feminism is much bigger than that. The problem is *certain feminists with large media platforms* using those platforms to fear-monger and spread misinformation about trans people – which has been going on since the 70’s.

      Unfortunately, that tireless endeavor does have REAL negative consequences.

      Why the heck am I still having to explain that being a trans woman is not about being “feminine” and being a trans man is not about being “masculine”? Acting girlish doesn’t make you a girl. Acting boyish doesn’t make you a boy.

      For years trans folks needed to play-act stereotypes to the medical establishment in order to access care – because the medical establishment had a conventional view of sex & gender. They complied in order to *survive* – and it seems that certain people want to punish trans women for doing what they need to do to survive in the HERE and NOW.

      But I know how this goes……masculine trans women are called “not real women” because of “male socialization” and feminine trans women are accused of play-acting stereotypes. Which justification for condemnation is used appears to depend on mood.

      The chorus of “we’re not your enemy”! Simply doesn’t drown out the *thought piece after thought piece* of drivel warning “females” about the dangers of “transgender ideology”.

      Folks can’t pretend you want to make nice-nice if they are tolerating and even promoting bullshit like this article and SO MANY OTHERS that are painfully similar….not to mention….you know, the whole sale bigotry in the comments section.

      Let’s see —- how many male names begin with “M”?

      Wake up.

      • Meghan Murphy

        Radical feminists have engaged in ‘gate-keeping’ with regard to women/who is a ‘real woman’ how, in a historical context? What are you referencing here?

      • Melissa Cutler

        “For years trans folks needed to play-act stereotypes to the medical establishment in order to access care – because the medical establishment had a conventional view of sex & gender. They complied in order to *survive* – and it seems that certain people want to punish trans women for doing what they need to do to survive in the HERE and NOW.”

        To me, this just highlights how much the patriarchy has fucked everyone up. I totally get it that trans people are doing what they can to survive in the patriarchy. I’m really sympathetic to that because we are all doing what we can to survive within this patriarchy. But for trans activists to invade women only spaces and threaten/harass feminists who dare suggest that gender is a myth is a real misuse of effort.

        You say, “Then why don’t you get to it and abolish gender? How long have you been on the case?” What a WTF remark. I mean, honestly. Why don’t YOU get to it? Why don’t trans activists get to it? Why waste time and energy squabbling with feminists when we should all be working within our own activist groups to abolish the common thing that is trying to destroy us? Work within your own damn group and leave women alone.

        • Anon

          Yes, how disingenuous. Feminists have been “getting to it” since the beginning of time, and it is trans working at cross purposes with us. It is trans and patriarchs alone insisting that gender is some real, deep-seated thing. Women have not done this! “Get to it”, my butt.

      • Morag999

        ‘But I know how this goes……masculine trans women are called “not real women” because of “male socialization” and feminine trans women are accused of play-acting stereotypes. Which justification for condemnation is used appears to depend on mood.’

        No, you’re not telling the truth. No men — whether you think they present as “masculine” or “feminine” — are women, period. There is no flip-flopping from feminists on this issue. Males can never be “real women” because they are male.

        What we’re not in the “mood” for is lies. We can’t stand the lies, even though they are so painfully obvious. Please stop lying.

  • Zuzanna Smith

    I’m going to pop down to the corner store and pick up a fresh batch of vaginas, they are readily available these days so I hear. Need anything?

    • Cassandra

      LOL!

  • corvid

    If being a trans person is absolutely, positively not about autogynephilia/sexual fetish, then WHY align with the LGB movement which is about sexual orientation?

    As a woman, i.e. adult human female, with an intersex condition, I do not see why I should uncritically throw myself behind any movement that blatantly panders to pimps, pornographers and the entitled men they service. I refuse to abandon critical thinking in favor of ideas that have no substance. My medical condition is not a sexual orientation nor an “identity” but a material reality.

    Radical feminists are the only people centering the reality and emancipation of women. This is why men must always create new and improved  reasons to have us burnt at the stake.

    • Cassandra

      “Radical feminists are the only people centering the reality and emancipation of women. This is why men must always create new and improved reasons to have us burnt at the stake.”

      Yes!

  • Meghan Murphy

    I’m grateful that you revealed your misogyny straight up, so I can ban you with no time wasted.

  • DeColonise

    Two male symbols attached on top of the female. That’s what transgenderist ideology seems to have given us.
    I think we males can do good with less of it.

  • Tangelo

    The Williams Institute is a think tank based at UCLA School of Law dedicated to conducting research on LGBT demographics, sexual orientation and gender identity law and public policy. They just released an updated estimate of the transgender population in the USA, broken down by State and by three age groupings. The estimate is based on 19 States responding, with an extrapolation from this data to the rest of the States.

    The updated total is 1.4 million adults, aged 18 years and up, with the greatest numbers in the 18 to 24 years age range. According to the NY Times, children and teens under 18 years were not surveyed because researchers have not yet concurred on a reliable method of tabulating these groups.

    The method used to identify transgender people was a survey question, as follows:
    Do you consider yourself to be a transgender? Yes / No

    If Yes: do you consider yourself to be male to female, female to male, or gender non-conforming?

    If the interviewer was asked for a definition of transgender, they responded:
    Some people identify themselves as transgender when they experience a different gender identity from their sex at birth. For example, a person born into a male body, but who feels female or lives as a woman would be transgender. Some transgender people change their physical appearance so that it matches their internal gender identity. Some transgender people take hormones and some have surgery. A transgender person may be of any sexual orientation – straight, gay, lesbian or bisexual.

    This New York Times article argues that these updated numbers have important implications for public policy and raise questions about the sufficiency of services for this population. The article has a link to the full text of the Williams Institute’s published analysis.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2016/07/01/health/transgender-population.html

  • Mar Iguana

    Cis this: (__|__)

  • will

    Thank you for your response. For the record, these are questions posed by the author, not by me. I’m not sure if you read the piece and the thread as you seem to be attributing these questions to me.

    But, as above, in the interest of dialogue I’ll respond to your answers.

    – Sexual expression, sexual identity, sexual attraction are complicated, yes. But reproductive biological sex is not a spectrum. We are mammals and the material facts of our species’ reproduction do not exist on a spectrum. Brain sex is little more than justification of the historic exploitation and control of females by males. Yes, much is known about brain plasticity and we know that everything we do, eat and think, as well as where and when we do it alters our entire neurology, so a culture that pushes people into pink and blue boxes will probably produce some common neurological imprints of those boxes.

    – Does that mean you think souls are either male or female and separate from the physical body?? Your answer is ambiguous and I still don’t know your position on that question. When I was a kid I believed I had the soul of a white bunny and would only answer to the name “Mrs. Rabbit”. I don’t think anyone actually thought I was trans-species.

    – Neither I nor the author have made the claim that trans is “new”, nor did anyone condemning medical interventions.Too bad you wasted your words straw arguing, but each to their own. I understand that some individuals find it intolerable to live in their sexed body. I certainly do not condemn anyone for seeking medical interventions in such a case. I do fear for children whose sexual identities are non-conforming who are put on puberty blockers and counselled towards altering their healthy bodies. I was recently told by a friend with high school aged children that there are “no gays or lesbians at the school. Just trans.” This aligns with a rigid gender binary that is profoundly oppressive as per public policy in Iran and recent legislation in Pakistan.
    http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-29832690
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2016/06/27/pakistani-clerics-declare-transgender-marriages-legal-in-islam/
    Subjecting healthy kids with homo or ambiguous sexualities to these sorts of interventions is extremely troubling. To compare most transition surgeries to emergency medical procedures is disingenuous.

    “”Should we let trans people suffer and die because their existence sort of confuses my bumper-sticker radicalism?””

    How dare you put words in my mouth. You have not even discerned a comment from the article in question. You project your assumptions onto me and other commenters here and are, in fact, enacting exactly the simple-minded, disrespectful and bigoted presumptions you accuse us of. Impressive.

  • littlebrassbird

    It’s weird how supporters of trans activism seem to regard trans people with so much pity. Not as equals. Not that the trans community seems to mind. They’ve cultivated an image of trans people as perpetual victims, intensely emotionally fragile, always on the verge of suicide and in need of constant reassurance and tender care from their allies (aka punching bags).

    On a related note, I’m really concerned about the discourse surrounding suicide nowadays. Without proof it’s being asserted that suicide is both caused by and evidence of oppression. Or that you can cause someone to commit suicide by saying the wrong thing, or hurting their feelings. It’s treated like a trump card to play when you want to guilt or shame someone into silence. Really disturbing stuff.

    • Sara Marie

      I completely agree with what you said re: suicide. I’ve suffered on and off from severe depression for many, many years. Neither myself, nor the other people I know diagnosed with mental illness, many of whom have made multiple suicide attempts, would ever even consider threatening people with “or I could just COMMIT SUICIDE!” to get what we want.

      Also, I can’t imagine any other oppressed group using suicide rates or attempt rates, as evidence of how oppressed they are. From what I’ve read, most suicidal people have a mental illness, so if someone used the “or I’ll commit suicide!!” line on me, I’d want to get them professional help, not take whatever they are saying super-seriously and cater to their demands.

      • DeColonise

        The whole threatening with suicide is a very typical abusive thing to do. While not saying every single person on the planet who has ever threatened with suicide is an abuser, I will remain firm that a lot of the times abusive people throw out this card to have control over another person. By making them stay in a relationship or in other ways making them conform to something that the person who threatens suicide wants.

      • “Also, I can’t imagine any other oppressed group using suicide rates or attempt rates, as evidence of how oppressed they are.”

        Did the gay rights movement just pass you by, or were you not alive yet when the murders and suicides of LGB teens due to their oppression was news?

        Conflating abusive folks “threatening suicide” as a way of emotionally manipulating their partners with trans activists mentioning that lack of support and transition-related care often causes extremely negative mental health consequences isn’t reasonable.

        The person closest to me who attempted suicide due to being denied transition didn’t threaten all of us with it, he just tried and thankfully failed. I’m telling you there would be no way I could handle these comments if he had succeeded. He is doing extremely well now and I saw first-hand how transition positively affected his mental health in profound ways.

        The vast majority of trans folks that seek transition (social and medical) are positively impacted by access to it. That is not controversial or unknown. Even the “Swedish Study” that Hungerford and others constantly misrepresent SHOWS THIS.

        So much of the rhetoric here is extremely similar to anti-LGB arguments that used to be very common. For example, anti-LGB folks tend to point to negative health outcomes and suicide rates of LGB folks as evidence that *being heterosexual is healthier*. It’s a maddening self-fulfilling prophesy. They contribute to societal norms that make life extremely difficult for a particular group of folks and then *use that misery* as evidence that they should continue to make life extremely difficult for that group.

        THAT is an abuse dynamic.

        • Sara Marie

          The thing is, teens who go on reddit or tumblr or other transgender forums are regularly told to bring up suicide if their parents are resisting going along with a gender transition for their child. Just to repeat myself, this is told to kids who have not brought up that they are suicidal, but it’s being given as “advice” because people know that most parents are terrified by the possibility of suicide. Also, many transgender people do suffer from other mental health issues, and if a parent is aware of these, the notion of suicide can seem even more real.

          On that last note, I think there is much more to the high rates of suicidal ideation/attempts/completion than just gender dysphoria. Every transgender person I have met, which is quite a few, has deep underlying mental health issues that they had long before they decided they had issues with their gender. I tend to think of transgender behavior as a symptom of another underlying problem (often problems), whether it’s depression, PTSD, etc. I do recognize that there are some *adults* who, for whatever reason, function better living as the opposite gender, and I do think for a small minority of people, transition may be the best option.

          Getting back to suicide, if someone is seriously considering suicide, there is a lot more at play then gender dysphoria. I do think suicide attempts need to be taken seriously, but the whole picture needs to be looked at. And if somebody transitions and is still suicidal? Trans activists don’t like to talk about this, or blame it on anti-trans hate, but suicide is NOT NORMAL and not an option for most healthy individuals.

          • Katharine Grey

            Thats nice, thats how you think, well you’re wrong. Volume 5 of the diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorder specifically explains that gender dysphoria, is not a mental illness. So please, don’t link it to mental disorders, ok, as that is not the view of the Psychiatric community, merely the view of the religious right, and elements of the feminist community. Facts are facts. One of those facts is that trans people have been dealing with your sort of bullshit all their life, and that bullshit has taken a toll on them. No wonder they are suffering by the time they actually transition.

        • There’s also a high suicide rate among Native Americans/First Nations. The thing is, though, with them and with gay and lesbian youth, no one’s up there pointing at these people going “You have to do EVERYTHING THESE PEOPLE SAY or they will KILL THEMSELVES!” They simply lay out the problem and what they think is causing it and leave it up to the reader to draw their own conclusions.

    • Suicide seems to be a weapon often employed by males against other people. When it is not being used to frighten women into silence, it’s being used as an escape hatch after a male (1) is caught molesting children or collecting child pornography; (2) has slaughtered his entire immediate family; (3) has murdered his partner or ex-partner; (4) has committed mass murder of strangers. MRAs bemoan the high male suicide rate but I find it difficult to mourn those particular male suicides who were just trying to get out of consequences for their actions.

      This here, I just don’t know. Could you imagine if anorexics and bulemics threatened suicide any time you tried to tell them they weren’t actually fat? But most sufferers of those eating disorders are female, of course.

      • Katharine Grey

        Actually i find that suicide is a weapon used by women as a way of manipulating people, typically their partners. Women use it as an excuse to kill their children who they don’t want to leave alone after they die. Typically the woman is mentally disturbed. She doesn’t want to face the problems she has. She doesn’t want to face the fact that she is an unfit parent who doesn’t deserve children. She is a perpetual victim. The woman uses suicide to frighten a man into silence, to frighten him not to leave her, to frighten him not to report her to social services. Suicide is a weapon women use then when (a) The women is trying to manipulate a man (2) She is trying to excuse child murder (3) She has slaughtered her entire immediate family (4) she has murdered her partner or her ex-partner (4) has committed mass murder of strangers. And of course (5) she hides from the consequences of her actions with tears.

        Could you imagine if men killed their children the way women do ? The world would be in uproar … but no, women kill their children every day, and why, because they are greedy, vile creatures, who want to control the lives of other people, and decide to hide from this reality by saying that murder is about compassion.

        • Meghan Murphy

          omg bye

  • Cassandra

    We are real. We’re are as grounded in reality as it gets.

    We are STILL in the days you’re implying that we’re “going back to”:
    -Women who can’t have children weren’t considered real women: Yup, a lot of MEN (the oppressor class — you know — biological males) still believe that. That’s patriarchy.
    -Women who are lesbians aren’t considered real women. Yep. Still believed by MEN. Patriarchy.
    -“Getting your uterus or breasts removed due to cancer made you “less of a woman” or being butch meant you were “one of the boys.” Yup. Still the case with MEN. Patriarchy.

    Why are you acting like WE’RE the ones supporting these stupid ideas? ERASING female biology doesn’t solve for any of it. Putting your fingers in your ears and going “la la la gender feels la la la gender feels la la la gender feels” won’t make it go away. All it does is take away the language we need to talk about it, to name the problem.

    Class analysis is undermined when the reason the class is oppressed (sex class female) is erased. What the hell is “womanhood”? Please define what that is. You can’t use the word to be defined in the answer.

    And what the hell is “internal socialization” ?? Socialization involves other people. That’s why it’s called “socialization.”

    Have you really swallowed the postmodern gender studies Kool-Aid to this extent?
    On what basis are millions of women oppressed if it’s not because of our female reproductive system? (Hint: it has nothing to do with “femininity” or clothing choices.)

  • Jasper Martin

    Trans people frequently speak of a “feminine soul”… That sounds religious. Which is fine, you can believe in a “soul” if you want and I can respect your belief in a “feminine soul trapped in a male body”. One quibble though, most religious people who believe in things with no evidence, like souls, do not require any one else to subscribe to those beliefs. We’re not coerced to pray at the alter of their beliefs. Yet no matter how polite someone is to a trans person, no matter how civil, no matter how many “correct” pronouns are used, if anyone ever so much as hints that we do not believe in these “feminine souls”, then transactivists claim we’re hateful and inflicting violence upon them.

    Do you think that type of response is reasonable and “worth listening to”? I do listen to transpeople — that’s how I arrived at the opinion that nothing about transgenderism makes any sense. My saying that, is apparently violence and will get me auto banned from any liberal community — at best, and vilified and harassed at my job and possibly fired, at worst.

    Does that seem reasonable behavior to you?

    Btw, I am not familiar with any medical treatment which involves the destruction of healthy tissue (besides transgenderism). Do you mean that some part of your son’s skin had to be cut open in order for a surgeon to access internal organs? I’m truly baffled, trying to think of even one situation where doctors would consent to destroying healthy tissue. Circumcision, do they still do that? That was done for religious beliefs, to make the believers feel better. And yes, they did claim to be at risk of eternal death if they weren’t allowed to destroy healthy tissue.

    It seems odd that you would talk about your son’s experience so extensively and not identify this mysterious procedure…

    • Anon

      Male circumcision, though controversial, and not strictly necessary, does have certain medical benefits and is not done solely for religious reasons. These hygienic and medical benefits are especially important in poorer countries. One example, is a lower rate of AIDS transmissions.

  • Virginia Howard

    XD (subvocal laughter)

    • Cassandra

      🙂

  • Jasper Martin

    So your criteria for determining what action to take, depends upon how sorry you feel for the person who claims to be suffering. Okay, that is how you choose to reason through complex ideas and that’s fine, I have absolutely no objection at all regarding how you choose to process reality.

    But. Why do you insist that everyone must use your criteria?

    Personally, I prefer logic, material reality, discernment. Do you see me insisting that you must use my criteria? The truly odd thing is, is that even when someone tells a transperson how much women and young girls suffer when forced to disrobe next to random people with penises in a locker room, transpeople tend not to care at all. Women get no empathy from the trans community. It’s as women are nothing but a fetish object to them, existing only to validate their “internal feminine essence”. What drives this total lack of empathy?

    When we tell them that women’s rights are being eroded, and as a result we are suffering greatly and about to suffer more, and give actual examples to prove our claim, again trans people do not care.

    Excuse me? What explains your laser focus on making biological males with a feminine soul as comfortable and validated as possible while completely ignoring the suffering of anybody else?

    • Amy Fox

      I’d say that the human impact of social policy is the most important place to start learning. Otherwise, one can wind up with a set of political beliefs that are completely internally consistent and even backed up by selective data (e.g. “prison is great because it provides free housing and food”) that lacks the compassion that stems from meeting people.

      This approach also gives new perspectives on solving problems. Re: the locker room – most trans people just don’t want to be stuck in the wrong locker room. But what we don’t hear from the media is that most of the trans men and women I know would rather people had the option to change in a private stall – an affordable option which would have benefits for others (people with scars, colostomy bags etc…), which I also believe addresses the issue you raise?

  • Melanie

    Both women and trans women can reinforce sex role stereotypes. The difference is that women are responding to societal pressure to conform to sex role stereotypes, while trans women insist that those stereotypes are literally what make them a woman.

  • Lena Saylor

    “No, (most of them) don’t get periods.”

    Am I misunderstanding, or are you claiming that “most” trans women don’t get periods? As if there is a small number of trans women who do?

    • Amy Fox

      Yup. Some are intersexed and find out at some point that they have a functioning uterus. I also know of trans women who get SRS and get spotting on a regular cycle.

      • drab analysis

        “I also know of trans women who get SRS and get spotting on a regular cycle.”

        This is 100% delusional

      • Melanie

        Transgender people are by definition people who transition from one sex to another. Intersex people are not transgender, they’re intersex. If a trans woman is getting spotting on a regular basis it’s not from menstruation.

      • Zuzanna Smith

        That’s called an infection of their inverted penis.

  • Mistral

    What I don’t understand is why so many transwomen are fixated on vaginas and why they insist on going out with people (women) in possession of one. It’s almost as if they were biological essentialists.

  • Mistral

    Or “everyone” will go along with it because everyone knows delusional, emotionally unstable men have to be placated. “Everyone” also seems to stick to their biological sexual preference despite whatever they say to the mentally ill trans. Funny how those hetero men are never pressured into going out with “straight” transwomen. No one expects gay men to have to date the formerly female either. It seems the only ones expected to prove how politically correct they are are lesbians.

  • drab analysis

    A good chunk of the trans women who get murdered are sex workers, so is it being trans or being a sex worker that is so dangerous?

  • Meghan Murphy

    Ah but remember the time I was told Laverne Cox was ‘more of a woman’ than I could ever be? GATE-KEEPING! EXCLUSION!

    • Cassandra
    • Morag999

      “Ah but remember the time I was told Laverne Cox was ‘more of a woman’ than I could ever be?”

      Ha. Excellent point, Meghan. And whatever could they mean by this “more than” stuff? All we know is that it has nothing to do with actually BEING female. Aside from that, they never say; they always leave us guessing what those mystical feminine qualities might be. One thing we can be sure of, however, is that this womanhood-as-quantity claptrap is a transgenderist thing. Yes, it’s THEIR thing, not ours, but they keep smearing it all over us. So gross. So dishonest.

      • Meghan Murphy

        I’m not performing femininity as I should, mayhaps. Funny thing is, is liberal feminists saying this, not radicals.

        • Morag999

          “I’m not performing femininity as I should, mayhaps.”

          Yes, that’s certainly the implication. Yet, the liberal/queer set will deny this, and consistently swear up and down that performing femininity is not! not! not! how they measure womanhood.

          Implying, and then denying, is of course a form of gaslighting (i.e., crazy-making or psychological abuse/warfare). Not only do they get to insult/abuse someone and look innocent while doing it, but they can also make it look as though their own words and ideas came out of mouths of the very people they have targeted.

    • ?

      Who said that? What was the context? What a silly thing to say.

      But seriously, the only reason you can make fun of that statement with the sarcastic capitol letters is because society considers your womanhood a given. Nobody is going to seriously see you as “less of a woman” due to not being Laverne Cox.

      The other criteria I mentioned WERE used to exclude people from the social class of “women”….used to other and demean people who did not live up to society’s ideals of womanhood and were therefor relegated to social isolation.

  • Tangelo

    Sinmantyx, I appreciate your research and posted links. However, given context, I disagree with your interpretation of Midwifemama’s comment.

    1. The June 25, 2015 EEOC guidance on pregnancy discrimination post dates the SCC decision and does explicitly states that “only women lactate” and practices discriminating against breastfeeding or lactation would be open to a claim of discrimination on the basis of “sex”. However, midwifemama, in his or her post above, was not writing about the EEOC guidelines. MWM asserted that “Already, the Supreme Court has ruled that it is not sex discrimination to fire someone for breastfeeding because under the new definitions of male and female, males and females can both breastfeed. ”

    MWM was talking about the SCC decision, and the former part of her statement, in that context, was correct.

    2. While the SCC decision spoke only of “men lactating”, the ACLU also appeared to think that the same decision might also be arrived at if “transmen” are used instead of or supplemental to “men” to bolster the argument that “men also lactate” so ‘no sex discrimination”. I believe th ACLU’s interpretation of the broader ramifications of this decision is correct.

    https://www.aclu.org/blog/speakeasy/firing-mom-because-shes-breastfeeding-sex-discrimination

    Midwifemama interpreted the SCC decision in the same light as the ACLU. I don’t think it was a stretch for either MWM or the ACLU to have done so.

    • Cis men can lactate. Not all women lactate. The question involving the case was about whether or not lactation was covered under the Pregnancy Discrimination Act – which it is. The court has never ruled that it isn’t.

      You may very well have some lawyer trying to be clever and use the existence of trans people or intersex people as some sort of ridiculous loop-hole in the law. If that is worrying, then the laws need to be strengthened.

      However, in this case, the fact that men can lactate was not remotely the basis of the decision. The case was thrown out because the company actually did attempt to accommodate her and the fact that men can lactate was NOT MENTIONED in the actually decision.

      I’m telling you now that NO LAW that cannot easily survive the existence of trans people is going to survive the ERA…not even a little bit. The worry about girls and women losing targeted legal rights was one of the main reasons we don’t currently have an ERA (not to mention bathroom panic *rolls eyes*).

      If anything, those hypothetical challenges will help prepare the law for the ERA – which btw, I fully support. Considering the positive impact of Title IX, it’s about damn time the ERA is passed.

      What’s not going to help? Vilifying the trans community with half-truths and lies about the sky falling when THE SKY ISN’T FALLING.

      • Virginia Howard

        “If anything, those hypothetical challenges will help prepare the law for the ERA – which btw, I fully support.” je suis ravi de votre condescendance. Chapeau!

  • littlebrassbird

    I kind of feel like you’re proving my point for me. Thanks!

  • Cassandra

    “”Internal socialization” is how your socialization affects your sense of self – you know – how you *internalize* socialization. A good example is stereotype threat.”
    I wondered if you meant “internalized” as opposed to “internal” when I asked the question, but I wanted to make sure. Okay, I can kind of understand this.

    “”Womanhood” describes one’s status in the social class associated with the female sex class.”
    Yes, this is what Simone de Beauvoir was talking about I think. Femininity is a made-up thing used to hurt females. So far we agree. I’m not sure about the “associated” part, because you can wear the clothes “associated” with the sex-role stereotype/social role of what a female is, but that is not the same as actually being female. Human beings discern sex extremely well.

    “The oppression of women is based fundamentally on the exploitation of our reproductive ability reducing our role in society to sex objects, incubators, and caregivers, but it doesn’t end there.”
    I agree with that for the most part. The “doesn’t end there” leads to your next paragraph…

    “The vast majority of people you come in contact with everyday do not know *anything* about your reproductive capability…other cues cause them to place you in the “woman” social category. Society degrades and devalues that which is associated with women and we do so very broadly.”
    Here is where you lose me. What “other cues?” Dress? Mannerisms? Do you agree or not agree that males have certain immutable physical characteristics that can always be detected? I have been around many transexuals and transgender women and not one has ever passed for female.

    And no, of course they don’t know anything about my reproductive ability for the most part, but they know I am a member of the class that for the most part produces ova and can usually gestate children. They see me as “fuckable” or “not fuckable.” After menopause women are discounted and not valued anymore precisely because of this reason. Do you think a sixty-something female would have ever been put on the cover of Vanity Fair wearing a bustier? Why was a sixty-something privileged white male enforcing offensive, objectifying feminine stereotypes put on the cover and celebrated?

    Trans gender women are degraded, you are right, but it’s not because they are female. It’s because they are male and going against socially constructed sex role stereotypes. It’s because of homophobia/heteronormativity. They are not degraded in the same way females are and they do not have the same vulnerability to rape + pregnancy that the vast majority of females between about the ages of 11 and somewhere around 45 have. So it really isn’t that “broadly.” I simply don’t buy into postmodern deconstruction. It hurts women.

  • Zuzanna Smith

    There are mothers in african countries that burn their pubescent daughter’s breasts with hot rocks so that these children will not be raped or forced into child marriages, here mothers like you support young girls getting their breasts surgically removed because society despises the female body on a female who doesn’t perform gender correctly, but here this is seen as celebratory and brave, it isn’t, it’s just as desperate. Listen to YOURself.

    • KC Kasem

      Why do so many people think it’s okay to constantly evoke the image of ‘African children’ suffering as a means of furthering their own views of the world?

      • Meghan Murphy

        No one here has ‘constantly’ done this. This is more than likely the first time. And I fail to see how using examples to illustrate a point is self-serving. It’s how one illustrates points.

        • KC Kasem

          I said ‘so many people’ not ‘people on this particular thread on this particular site’. I’m expressing general frustration with people using the image of the impoverished and down-trodden in countries they can’t even name and comparing it to circumstances that are radically different, which I have seen done countless times on the internet in general.

          It is an insult to the people living under such harsh conditions to use their image to ‘illustrate points’ when we actually have no idea how they’d feel about transgender people transitioning, or whether they would find their circumstances comparable to it. I don’t have a problem with people using examples to illustrate points, obviously. I have a problem with this PARTICULAR example. It is one thing to bring up the victims of terrible situations and bring awareness to their plight. It is another entirely to bring it up to make something you disagree with seem more extreme. To compare those who have had to have their breasts mutilated in order to avoid rape to those who have voluntarily removed their breasts in order to feel comfortable within their own bodies is, to me, sickening, and greatly downplays the horrifying circumstances of the former situation.

          And by the way, I didn’t say ‘self-serving’ I said furthering their own views of the world. Self-serving implies looking for personal gain. I don’t think op is looking for personal gain, I think she’s using an extreme example to further her view that transitioning is something to be ashamed of.

      • Sara Marie

        Um, I thought Zuzanna Smith’s example was super-important. It was not something I was aware of, and I’m guessing many other readers aren’t, either.

        I do agree that it is important to name *the country* (or area) this is happening in, rather than using “Africa.” Unfortunately, ZS may not have read the names of specific countries, as these are too often seen as unimportant in Western settings.

        • KC Kasem

          I think learning about these sorts of practices IS important, however I think the comparison between involuntary breast mutilation done to prevent rape and having an elective surgery is too vast to make it appropriate. It rubs me the wrong way that they are being framed as the same.

      • JingFei

        White Trans activists do this all the time. As soon as they are faced with losing an argument, they throw the “Black Trans woman” card and try to accuse everyone of “white feminism”.

  • Anon

    Yes, trans is a religion and an ideology. In reality, not everything in life is a choice.

  • Mac

    sinmantyx said: “I can’t imagine a feminist argument that would include a condemnation of medical interventions that allow so many women to avoid being perpetually pregnant – so condemning trans-related medical interventions on the basis of an “ecological worldview” that abhors “drastic interventions” specifically seems bizarre in a feminist discussion.”

    Birth control and abortion are NOT interventions, they are counter-interventions to resist the initial intervention of unwanted/unsustainable pregnancy. Your comparison does not hold up.

  • Christ.

    BIOLOGY IS DESCRIPTIVE not prescriptive. Trans people exist.

    What you’re doing is refusing to PARSE anything…you put it in one huge bucket and can’t separate DISTINCT aspects of sex and gender….for who knows what reason.

    It’s like if a biologist said that “human female brains, on average, are smaller than human male brains”…..and jumping to the conclusion that the person believes that women are stupid and men are smart.

    That’s not how he universe functions.

    I can say – “Hormones during my period affect my moods” without supporting the notion that “Women on their periods are useless and insane.”

    Do you see how those two statements are *different*.

    Do you know that, on average, women are shorter than men? I suppose that means that I support requiring women to wear high-heels or something?

    Yes, a “penis” is a male organ. However, a human being is not a penis. When you categorize someone into a sex category, you are making value judgments as to what aspect of that person places them into that category.

    You are confusing “material reality” with how we organize and react and model that material reality.

    • Zuzanna Smith

      A human being with a penis is a male, regardless of feelings, end of story, no amount of pretzel illogic will change that fact. I don’t believe in encouraging fantasies so that people’s feelings aren’t hurt.

  • Meghan Murphy

    People center Jenner in this conversation because liberals universally celebrated Jenner as a Brave Shero and ooooh’d and ahhhhh’d over her Great Beauty. Or did you miss that?

  • Anon

    Well, if it is on Wikipedia, it must be God’s honest truth! That settles it!

  • Anon

    Your stat is not correct. According to the FBI, there were 1600 women killed in the USA in single perpetrator, single victim incidents (typically domestic violence.) The homicide rate in the USA is consistently 15,000-16,000 per year with 1/3 of victims being female. So, there were more like 5000 female homicide victims, according to the FBI.

    • lee

      And we know there were actually a lot more, whose murder is unsolved. Thanks.

  • Anon

    You are pathetic and come off 100% male.

  • Anon

    It isn’t about “identifying.” Material reality does not bend to identifying or delusion.

  • Anon

    No, sweetie, it is an old Latin term! 90s? RFLMAO, SMH!

  • Meghan Murphy

    Banned a couple of days ago

  • Meghan Murphy

    I have no idea who those people are.

  • Meghan Murphy

    What kind of push-back were you expecting?

  • Cassandra

    It really is psycho-babble with a side of woo. How can you internalize socialization that you aren’t subjected to? Shit, I was exposed to male privilege early on (as all female children are) and knew that it was unfair and stunk to high heaven and that I would love to be automatically treated better because I was male. So does that mean I’m actually a man?

    WTF.

    • Morag999

      “How can you internalize socialization that you aren’t subjected to?”

      Maybe it’s like being a radio? And, for example, all the boy-gender stations are static, while the girl-gender frequency comes through crystal clear? You know, because of some complex mechanism involving the true-blue actual innate scientific gender identity of the child which picks up only the sex-role indoctrination which is congruent with the kid’s metaphysical sex. But I dunno; I’m apparently uneducated in these arcane matters. Heh.

  • Melissa Cutler

    And here we are again, back to the fundamental debate about gender and trans ideology. Which is why it’s astonishing that trans activists are like “what debate? There’s nothing to debate!” Um, yeah, there really is.

  • Morag999

    ‘In my student lobbying days, we made it a point to advocate the inclusion of both “sex” and “gender” in anti-discrimination policy – to make the intent more explicit. The inclusion of “gender identity and expression” is something that absolutely benefits the rights of women.’

    Gee, thanks a lot. No, that’s not a benefit to us; that absolutely harms girls and women.

    If a woman is fired from her job for not wearing make-up and high heels, that is called SEXISM. Discrimination based upon her sex, not upon “high heels don’t match my internal gender fucking identity.”

    What a disaster trans ideology is to girls and women. Horrible.

    • Cassandra

      I forget where I saw it, but a male (I think he was gay) in some sort of media job was being given shit for dressing in a certain way, and he and his lawyer realized he’d have to pretend and go down the gender identity route as opposed to the sex or sexual orientation route in order to have any case. That’s what a grip gender roles have on culture.

      I wonder what would happen if we females started “identifying” as trans gender women. Would we receive the same protections? Would they then be forced to define what “woman” actually means besides feelz? I wonder if we insisted on a whole new name for females, based on sex, like “bananas” or “apples” what would happen. Would males start identifying with that, too?

    • What do you mean by “us”….are you including me? Cause…….I’m sort of liking the idea of not being fired for failing to wear female-coded clothing.

  • Cassandra

    I know you’re right but I have to say it. They sound exactly like MRAs.

  • Cassandra

    And what’s so infuriating about it is that in the same comment threads where anything that questions the trans narrative is called “transphobic” and deleted, all kinds of foul shit is allowed to be said about females. It’s so clear that even if there is a small percentage of “true trans/dysphoric” males, overall it is being weaponized as a men’s rights movement that benefits men. Men defend males saying they “identify” as females for all kinds of reasons, but hate on females. The blatant misogyny and hypocrisy is breathtaking.

  • Tangelo

    Under Title IX and Title VII, the interpretation of “sex” as including “gender expression” benefits and expands the rights and protections for females. The case where this interpretation was first accepted by a court was not a “transgender” rights case, but rather Price Waterhouse v. Hopkins (1989), a landmark sex-discrimination case in which the Supreme Court held that discriminating against a woman because she was not sufficiently stereotypically feminine was a form of discrimination against her on the basis of sex. Ann Hopkins was told that in order to make partner in the accounting firm, she should “walk more femininely, talk more femininely, dress more femininely, wear make-up, have her hair styled, and wear jewelry.” The rule that discrimination on the basis of sexual stereotyping is discrimination based on sex has been upheld in numerous subsequent cases.

    Under Title IX and Title VII, the DoJ interpretation of “sex”, which has not yet been accepted by any court, as including “gender identity” serves to erode the rights and protections for female persons. Female right to privacy, in a space free from males, while attending to intimate bodily needs in bathrooms and locker rooms and sleeping dorms has been eroded because this interpretation requires that men and boys who think they are women or girls must be allowed access to these female spaces. School districts who decline to follow the DoJ/DoE “guidance letter” do so under threat of civil suit and financial penalty. Under Title IX, the DoJ interpretation as “sex” to include “gender identity” has already been interpreted by at least one school district to mean that male persons may be allowed on female sports teams. In Alaska, Haines senior Nattaphon Wangyot–who self-identifies as a girl–advanced to the state finals competing against females in the 200-meter, and placed third in the finals.

  • corvid

    This site is a haven for the female.

  • corvid

    “” ….because society despises the female body on a female who doesn’t perform gender correctly…”

    The hell are you talking about?!

    Please stop making shit up.”

    Telling women we’re “making shit up” when describing our oppression… gee, who else does that. Oh right, men. Constantly.

    • It is absolutely possible for you to “make shit up”…should I pretend you aren’t making shit up when you make shit up?

      • corvid

        What “shit” are we making up here sinmantyx? The existence of patriarchy and men’s hatred of “masculine” women? Because that’s what we’re talking about.

        Advocating for massive surgery as the only path to self-esteem…. that isn’t fucked up at all?

  • I’m aware of “4thwavenow” – I’m sure everyone on the site believe that they are doing what is best for their children. The adults around me when I grew up also thought they were doing the best for us when they caused us to hate ourselves and called us “abominations” for “same sex attraction” and tried desperately to fix us if we had the misfortune of being found out.

    Of course different areas of the U.S. are unique…and I *cannot speak to norms outside of the English-speaking world*. However, realize that the group of parents who are accepting of a gender non-conforming child and the group of parents who would support a trans child are nearly THE SAME GROUP.

    The few articles I am aware of from 4thwavenow – particularly the one written by someone claiming to be a psychologist writing anonymously – seem particularly far fetched.

    Again – it is possible that you are getting the cart before the horse. If someone has dysphoria, of course they are going to seek out the trans online community. The idea that combing Tumblr is going to cause a young person to seek transition (particularly medical transition) to….I don’t know….be “cool” or something is (as I mentioned before) extremely analogous to the bizarre idea that gay kids were claiming to be gay and having homosexual relations in order to be part of a fad. I lived through that myself – so I recognize this for what it is.

    Could some of these kids be claiming novel identities as a means of feeling a part of a group? Sure. It’s not like I think that is impossible – but there are MUCH less painful ways of fitting into a niche social group – like, I don’t know, getting into minecraft, drawing furry art, or becoming a scene kid. Considering that “kids these days” tend to be accepting of other kids that have a trans identity but do not seek *any medical interventions what-so-ever* – not to mention that medical and parental gate-keeping that exists for medical interventions of folks under the age of 18 exists.

    What exactly are you worried about and what are you asking for?

    And what are you implying when you say that one teen comes out and a few others come out afterward? Do you not think that someone else coming out might embolden you to come out as well?

    Consider that the anecdotes from that group may not be the evidence for the great-trans-recruiting-drive?

    Regardless, we can certainly find common group that nobody should be pressured or “led” into transition…that any pressures on a child (especially) to persist or desist (whether subtle or blatant) should be carefully acknowledged and managed. That *is* the current standard of practice.

    • Sara Marie

      “The few articles I am aware of from 4thwavenow – particularly the one
      written by someone claiming to be a psychologist writing anonymously –
      seem particularly far fetched.”

      I was actually referring to the comments section, which is mostly made up by mothers of children at various ages, but typically teenage, who want to/are transitioning. I DARE you to go there and tell those parents the same exact thing you said here. You are clearly totally unaware of the situation of many young females today.

      You ought to read this post, as well as all the others (including the comments) on the site, and then come back and tell us how hateful those parents are, and there’s no way transition has become a social phenomenon among younger females.

      https://4thwavenow.com/2016/05/06/social-work-prof-speaks-out-on-behalf-of-her-ftm-autistic-daughter/

      • They are not hateful….they are incredibly misguided and there is a high probability that some of them are doing their children great harm.

    • No rational person believes calling their child an abomination is doing the best for their child. They do it for the same reason a drowning woman with a baby will hand her baby over to strangers in a boat. Under normal circumstances you would never hand your baby over to strangers but you’ll do it to save their life. Under normal circumstances no parent would ever call their child an abomination but they’ll do it to save their child from hell. Your parents were religious in a particular way and believed you were going to face the worst consequences possible in that religion for your behavior. They were wrong, of course, but they didn’t know that.

      Don’t even compare the two. We KNOW the consequences of assuming a child is trans and doing irreversible things to their bodies–a majority of children who are gender-nonconforming turn out GAY or LESBIAN if not interfered with. When you go ahead and apply dangerous drugs to their bodies and encourage them to live as the opposite sex you are short-circuiting that maturation process and we’re literally wiping out a generation of gay and lesbian kids because God forbid a grown man should have to shave his Adam’s apple.

      Are you even listening to yourself?

  • I know it’s something a few people say – I just don’t personally know any of them. I do know of folks who thought that way as children.

    The idea of there being SOULS in the first place, not to mention souls that have gender, is obviously a religious idea. People who believe in souls may very well use that concept to explain what they are experiencing as a trans person.

    Even if you reject their explanation, that does not negate the sense of self that prompted that explanation.

    It’s sort of if you decided that having depression was caused by evil spirits – as far as I’m concerned that is complete bunk. That doesn’t mean that depression is made up.

    Or heck – you could think that being gay is Satan Tempting You!!! That doesn’t mean that sexual orientation is not a thing.

    Get me?

  • Meghan Murphy

    Ah. I think a nasty comment did slip through that I deleted moments after it went up and before I saw your comment. I don’t know which thread it was in — perhaps this one? This is can be a pretty high traffic comment section and it’s difficult to keep up with everything here.

  • Meghan Murphy

    Indeed. I mean, more often I am deleting comments from horrible misogynists and MRAs. I doubt they see FC as a ‘haven’ for grotesque misogyny, yet they sure do come here a lot.

    I clearly I let through tons and tons of comments I don’t agree with at all — from various ends of this debate (and other debates). While not all comments will be kind, the majority are reasoned, and to frame them as bigoted seems, to me, just an easy way to avoid addressing them fairly. Disagreement does not = bigotry.

    • “Addressing them fairly”?

      How would you suggest I “address fairly” a comment laughing at the thought of trans people committing suicide and claiming they only die from extreme sexual fetish accidents?

      How about Marti being called “Martin and Matt” and being accused of being an autogynopheliac with vagina envy? Calling the vagina’s of trans women “fuck holes” or insisting that trans is about sexual fetishism because they align with LGB groups?

      I mean, I don’t expect you to delete all those comments or start banning people – as I said I let a lot of pretty seriously messed up comments on my own articles/blog posts. However, it seems dishonest not to admit this is a place where those types of comments are not only tolerated in moderation – but also pervasive and accepted as appropriate by the vast majority of people making comments.

      If that’s your deal – that’s your deal – but accusing anyone who notices of “tone policing” is a bit silly….or, you know, implying someone who has spent many hours engaging on your site of avoiding “debate” because they vehemently think that making fun of trans women killing themselves is fucked up.

      • Meghan Murphy

        What comment are you even talking about? Laughing at suicide? Who did that? And no, you don’t need to address cruelty ‘fairly’. My argument is that painting this space as a haven for bigots is, I’m sure even you will admit, unfair.

      • Sara Marie

        Do you really believe there aren’t males who transition out of a sexual fetish (autogynophelia)? If this is the case, I don’t know where else we can go with this dialogue. Men *discuss* getting erections when they wear so-called “women’s clothing” on their support boards, and give each other advice for how to deal with this when in public. They try to tell one another there’s nothing abnormal about this, saying born women also get turned on looking at ourselves in the mirror. (That’s news to me). No, this is not the case for every male who transitions, but why should it be up to women to try to figure out who the fetishists are and who transitioned out of other reasons?

        Just in case you are going to deny autogynophelia is a motive behind *any* man’s transition:

        https://youthtranscriticalprofessionals.org/2016/06/29/i-wanted-an-identity-so-badly-a-desistors-account-of-trans-indoctrination/

        • linnet

          I have never gotten aroused from watching myself in a mirror. That whole “89% of women are autogynephilic” sounds like a load of dogshit to me.

      • corvid

        “Marti” continually demonstrates a fundamental lack of understanding of women’s pov. Tell me why this would be the case if “Marti” isn’t male.

        The use of the term “fuckhole” is a sarcastic, unvarnished reference to the idea that creating a hollowed-out skin flap in a male, that literally cannot exist without being penetrated by an object, and calling it a vagina makes it an actual vagina. If men didn’t think of a vagina as simply an orifice to be penetrated, they wouldn’t believe in this procedure. Women on this site question this procedure because we *do not* believe the vagina is a “fuck hole.”

        And I stand by my original comment re: questioning whether fetishism is a factor in trans. I invite you to actually address what I said, but if you’d rather call me a bigot and walk away just go ahead.

      • It isn’t a vagina. And what on earth else is that particular orifice for, that transwomen have created on purpose and that leads to nowhere in the body, requires unreasonable amounts of maintenance, and serves no actual function? It’s so that a transwoman can experience something remotely possibly kinda sorta maybe approximating vaginal sex but not really. Therefore, “fuckhole”. It’s not a nice word, and it’s not typically bandied about by nice people, but they’re calling it like they see it.

        A vagina is a VERY DIFFERENT thing. If you knew fuck-all about female anatomy and anatomical function you would understand that.

      • corvid

        One last thing. Part of your complaint is that some of us here are not being nice. I don’t feel particularly nice after a lifetime of bullshit.

        Maybe it was being designated “freak” from early puberty onward because of my PCOS. The shame and constant worry that I looked “too masculine” and the people who would call me “he” and “sir” both on the phone and in person. Sex partners who “jokingly” asked whether I “used to be a man.” Feeling out of place in the company of women, and “other” in the company of men.

        Maybe it was the realization that being female binds me to a station in the world over which I have no control.

        Maybe it was the constant assault by the propaganda of the pornstitution industry to make me believe that the enslavement of my female sisters, and my own potential enslavement, was necessary and justified, despite the deep feeling that this was wrong and that we were human.

        Maybe it’s that the movements that are supposed to be working on my behalf, the feminist movement and LGBTQ+, are broadly under the sway of “sex work” ideology and genderism, and as such provide no haven, no rest, no help.

      • JingFei

        As for Marti, as soon as he started posting here, I knew who he was because he is a notorious troll from Pinknews. As is that Igneous Rock, Demonica Purdue. They make up sock puppet accounts to flood the internet, looking for feminists and lesbians to put down. He is insulting, antagonistic, and usually flames far sooner than anyone debating him. I have seen him go through an entire comments section of about 600 comments, and combat every individual. One day he was putting down and insulting gay men, and they revealed he is in fact NOT a trans woman, just some guy in a basement in the US pretending to be one. They even found his photo. And he tried to pull the same crap here. He regularly insults gays and lesbians. But of course, it’s totally fine in your world for a man to come to a feminist blog and start mouthing off to everyone, being sexist and putting women down.
        The hypocrisy of the Trans movement is what changed my mind about it. Its totally fine for people under the Trans umbrella to label, insult, and dismiss everyone else, but they are exempt from it somehow.

        • Meghan Murphy

          Ha! Why am I totally unsurprised by this!?!? Glad I banned him.

        • Yes – two wrongs make a right! So moral. So awesome your view of the world!

          Christ.

  • Meghan Murphy

    So what is your point. You seem to be disproving it. Your question was, “Why place so much responsibility on Caitlyn Jenner?” The answer is that Jenner is extremely famous and rich — the most famous and rich celebrity to transition, publicly. And Jenner was celebrated en masse, by liberals, for doing so. Treated as a trans icon — a brave shero, as I said, despite the fact that Jenner is an asshole republican. Then you mention two relative unknowns as comparison? It doesn’t make sense. Like, what does that have to do with anything?

  • Anon

    If you think transwomen AKA men, are more abused by patriarchy then cis women, then you know nothing of our lives and nothing about crime stats.

  • Anon

    Yes, they are, and only a socialized male would not understand this.

  • Meghan Murphy

    Do you really, truly believe I have time to read every single comment that comes through here, thoroughly? Then google all the names that come up? I don’t… Also, I just pointed out to you that liberals celebrated Jenner’s ‘coming out,’ en masse, as brave and revolutionary. I didn’t say that the trans community all love Jenner.

    What you asked, again, was “But seriously, why place so much responsibility on her? If she were not trans would she be criticized for that cover as much as she has been? Do you think that she is the only older woman who has been on a magazine cover? Of the literally thousands of sexy-woman magazine covers that make in onto the shelves, why single her out?”

    I answered. Now you’re bringing up irrelevant people to prove a point that is not related to the question you asked, that I answered.

    All that said, it’s not like anyone here is challenging trans ideology based solely on what Caitlyn Jenner says. It’s based on popular and progressive discourse surrounding trans.

  • Meghan Murphy

    Ok, I will give you that this was flippant and cruel. But I’m afraid I can’t be accountable for the insensitive things some people say in the comment section. Plenty of anti-feminists have been permitted to say plenty of insensitive things here, too. In any case, again, you’re right that your definition of bigotry is likely not the same as mine. There are plenty of people here making very reasoned, intelligent arguments that don’t deserve to be dismissed as ‘bigots.’

  • KC Kasem

    How is it callous? I am horrified by breast ironing, and I am horrified someone would use it just to try to prove their point about transgender people. These aren’t just some ‘African children’ suffering, they are specifically young women from Cameroon, who live in poverty in an unstable and corrupt country. The specific circumstances of these girls matters, and in my opinion it matters more than trying to use their situation to make transgender people transitioning seem horrifying. Treating Africa as a monolith and the people within it as fodder for your arguments isn’t okay.

  • Anon

    Trans can use a 3rd option. There is a world of difference between a beard and a penis. Beards can grow on a minority of women, but penises grow on men. Use the men’s room or a 3rd option.

  • Anon

    bingo!

  • Life-saving, but the suicide rate goes up after transition. You’re funny.

    Jenner’s first response to seeing his altered face in the mirror was to feel horrified and think “what the hell did I just do to myself?” He shoved it down, of course, and now acts like nothing untoward happened at all.

    (I am not making that up. Google it.)

    Loving yourself for who you are means loving yourself for who you are. As far as anyone can ascertain, there is no “you” separate from physical “you”. Cutting into your body and administering inappropriate drugs to it–and cross-sex hormones are inappropriate and in fact damage the body*–is NOT loving yourself for who you are, it’s trying to change who you are.

    [*Buck Angel, a famous transman, had to have a hysterectomy in the past few years because no one ever told her that bathing your uterus in inappropriately high amounts of testosterone over a number of years is bad for said uterus. She wound up in medical trouble and had to have surgery. What else are doctors not telling trans people? “Life-saving”. That’s cute.]

  • I hate to throw myself into this argument when I already skipped it on Facebook but I read that claim about the 14th Amendment disenfranchising women and it’s not true. Actually go read the Fourteenth Amendment. It says “persons”, not “males”. There is NOTHING in the Constitution to indicate that women are not persons. Even slaves were considered persons, though 3/5ths of a person for the purposes of representation.

    The problem with the 14th is that there is federal judicial precedent stating it does not apply to women. But sometimes we get those garbage judicial rulings/opinions that don’t really stand up to what the Constitution actually says. (Another example is the SCOTUS ruling to which a court clerk added the handwritten note that corporations were persons, upon which the whole concept of corporate personhood was based until Citizens United.)

    So we could approach this a couple different ways. We could go back through that federal court circuit and somehow overrule that decision that the 14th does not apply to sex, or we could start over with the ERA and leave out the expiration provision. One way or the other we need to put paid to that stupid anomaly once and for all.

    And we better have radical feminists write the damn thing because you just KNOW someone would throw a monkeywrench into the works and change the word “sex” to “gender”.

  • You’re comparing a SCOTUS decision to an EEOC rule. You didn’t disprove anything. Disproving would be going and finding the SCOTUS decision and seeing that it doesn’t say what she thinks it says. If you’re just going to be a dishonest twit, go away.

  • Morag999

    Exactly, Cassandra. Thank you for laying this out clearly.

    We can also criticize these strange ideas in a more broad way, which still contains the the feminist critique, but which questions all thinking which is enamoured with complementary dualities. For instance:

    “No individual is a perfect embodiment of either male or female nature. We all have so particular proportion of each, and for each aspect making up the totality of our being there is some proportion male and some female.”

    Why name what women and men have in common as a certain “proportion” of the other sex (which, in these conversations, is always a mystical claim), when it’s obvious that what we share is our human biology? Not only is this idea factually incorrect, and a product of mythological thinking, but it’s ultimately dehumanization masquerading as a humanization.

    The idea that males and females are incomplete humans, or that we are mere elements in a greater whole — light and dark, yang and yin, sun and moon, etc. — is degrading to us because we are already whole as males and females.

    No, I’m not woo-ing here, or waxing poetic about the perfection of God’s children. Ha! I’m fiercely attacking the idea sexed bodies necessarily lack something that the other guy or gal has got, and that we’re sad and incomplete without at least some of that other stuff. Enter feminism here, because some people, as we know, are more incomplete than others …

    But the point is that, like tradionalists, ancient male thinkers, and new-agey spiritualists, transgenderists are operating from this same framework. When we assert that being female is an actual thing, a material, objective reality, they start screeching that we are “reducing” women to their genitals or baby-making capacities. This is incoherent. Certainly breasts and ovaries are human features, so “reduced” to WHAT, exactly? I was under the impression that females, vaginas and all, are completely human. But apparently, to be recognized as such, we must be elevated above our profane bodies, or infused with male “aspects” (like penises!) before we count.

    • Cassandra

      Right on to all!

      The whole “reduced” thing is like they’re trying to imply that we’re like conservative, religious numbnuts who think that our reproductive system is our *purpose.* Stating facts about female bodies is not reductive, they’re just facts. (But then they’ll go on to call us “vagina people” or “bleeders” when they’re not using the odious “cis,” so who’s reducing women to their reproductive organs again?)

      They’re “reducing” us to lady essence, and if I have to pick between lady essence and biological facts, I choose facts.

    • corvid

      Spot on. It took me a long time to put my finger on the idea that having naturally high androgen levels for a female, though affecting in many ways, didn’t make me any closer to “being a man” or even knowing what a man feels like. I know what a woman with high testosterone feels like. That’s about it.

  • Meghan Murphy

    I don’t know if you’ve ever been or met a teenager, but it’s not exactly abnormal for them to scream that they will kill themselves if they don’t get their way…

    Also, I’m afraid I just don’t understand how this particular medical intervention is something a child “needs.” Do you not think it is reasonable to wait a few years to see if the kid changes its mind? Do you not think it might be more progressive to teach the child that they can be gender non-conforming without altering their body in such a drastic way? Would you argue that a teenage girl who threatened to kill herself unless she got a nose job or breast implants should be allowed to go ahead, no matter what, because she feels, at that moment, her life is ruined if she doesn’t?

    • The person I responded to was mentioning a “gender transition for their child”…..who was talking about surgery?

      Who the heck is suggesting that a child transition just because they don’t conform to expected gendered norms? My eldest son likes long hair….nobody has suggested I take him to the gender clinic and “fix” him. My other son LOVES babies and cute animals! Any day now the gender police will show up and insist that he also wear female-coded clothing and I change his name.

      *feels like she is talking to a brick wall*

      I don’t think that claiming that you are suicidal (when you aren’t) is a great way to make friends and influence people…ffs. I’m saying that it’s awful that *in those particular families* that the child feels it necessary to go to such extremes to be taken seriously.

      btw – transition related surgeries (which are generally *not* performed on children anyhow?!) are not the same as cosmetic surgery. I do know that for a few individuals – both types of surgery are desired. However, the causes for someone to seek those different types of surgery are distinct.

      I know a LOT of people think that dysphoria is somehow the same as just not liking your nose or your ass or whatever-the-hell – but psychologists disagree – and those that experience dysphoria know those are not the same.

      The types of body-issues that many women have because of impossible beauty standards and the social pressure to conform to those standards are shared by all women (including trans women) – dysphoria is distinct from those issues.

      • Sara Marie

        “I’m saying that it’s awful that *in those particular families* that the
        child feels it necessary to go to such extremes to be taken seriously.”

        Again, FWIW, threatening suicide is regularly given as “advice” to teens who post on reddit and some other transgender forums and are concerned their parents won’t be supportive–which could mean, just don’t want to financially pay for–their transition.

        “The person I responded to was mentioning a “gender transition for their child”…..who was talking about surgery?”

        Once a child has fully socially transitioned to the opposite sex, and has been presenting as the opposite sex for some time, how easy do you think it is for the person to then say they changed their mind? Some trans-advocacy groups are lobby to get laws changed so that females aged 15 and above can get a double mascetomy *without their parents permission*! I don’t for one second believe all the females who come out as “transmen,” particularly as young people, are “really trans”, in the sense that they will feel profoundly better for the rest of their lives with top surgery, which is why this worries me.

  • Meghan Murphy

    “Gender-nonconforming kids are more likely to be LGB.”

    Honestly, I find this such a weird, regressive thing to say. ALL kids SHOULD be gender-nonconforming. Being gender non-conforming SHOULD be the norm. Being gender-nonconforming does not make a person necessarily lesbian, gay, ‘queer’, or trans.

  • Meghan Murphy

    Hmm, no… My understanding is that the ‘t’ was added in the late 90s.

    • I’m unsure when “LBGT” started to be used in writing, but trans folks have been aligning with LBG folks for a long long time.

      Essentially, especially those who transition later in life, the vast majority of trans folks have been considered LBG at some point in their lives.

      The oppression of LBG and T folks tend to have very similar sources as well, and many of the people trying to keep us down just think of us all as “perverts” and don’t make distinctions anyhow.

      Obviously, there are differences in what issues cis-LBG folks and T folks care about, and the alliance has sometimes been rocky.

      The idea that T must be about sexual orientation (and therefor perversion?!) because they align with LBG is just — out there? It just seems like grasping at straws to try to confirm a viewpoint already strongly held.

  • Zuzanna Smith

    “No, I’m saying that YOU (and people like you) insisting that in order to be “a woman” you need to have a vagina is social pressure for trans women to have surgery and be as stealth as possible – even if they would not otherwise seek particular medical interventions.

    Lord no, what I am saying is in order to be a woman you have to be born with a vagina, no matter what a male does he will never be a woman, end of story, buh bye.

  • Meghan Murphy

    My mistake. I thought you meant that gender nonconforming kids were all ‘queer’ or trans. Like that there is and should be a designated ‘other’ category for gender nonconforming kids. I actually can see that trans seems to have become a ‘solution’ to homophobia, in some places and circumstances.

    • Gender non-conforming kids are not “other” nor should parents and society force children into gendered boxes. I know we can agree on that. At least in my circles, children being gender-policed does not cause an out-pouring of insisting that the child is trans but simply empathizing with the child and being angry at the adults that are imposing and teaching those strict norms on the children.

      In the instances where medical transition is considered a way to normalize someone who is gay? The whole idea of that is absolutely horrendous – and I know there have been some reports of that sort of bullshit from the Middle East. We agree on this.

      What we don’t seem to agree on (or at least I disagree with most of the people making comments) is that somehow transition is being used (universally and routinely) as a means of imposing heteronormativity.

      I see the *exact opposite*. Because of societies insistence on heteronormativity – kids (in general) are stuffed into gendered boxes and punished for nonconformity AND trans kids are denied transition.

      • Meghan Murphy

        Ok. Can you tell me what you mean by “transition” when you say “trans kids are denied transition?” Because I am, actually, troubled by the idea of transing kids. I don’t think kids should be put on hormones, allowed surgery, or be, generally, medicalized, because they believe they are, in fact, not male but female and vice versa. What does ‘transition’ mean to you, when it comes to kids?

  • Sara Marie

    “Maybe you should consider how fucked up it is that any child would have
    to make their parents frightened that they might die in order to get the
    medical interventions that they need?”

    Look, you haven’t read the comments from the parents who post on this site. I don’t know of a single parent there who has said they would stop loving their child if they decide to transition when they are an adult, but the children of the parents who post on 4thwavenow have seen the idea to transition come out of nowhere. They want what’s best for their child. Not a single one has expressed any problem with having a gay or lesbian child, fwiw.

    You seem to be assuming that ALL YOUTH (or even young adults) who express a desire to transition will never change their minds. Yet, a couple of the mothers on the site have already observed that over a few years, their daughters *did* change their minds. Note that this was not to do to pressure from the parents, nor do parents encourage one another to pressure their kids on that site.

    But I don’t know why I’m describing all this to you, when you could just read the comment section yourself.

    Do you think it’s at all possible that some people, particularly young people, who state they are trans, really do have other issues going on, and, for lack of a better term, will “grow out” of trans gendering if things aren’t permanently put into place to make it otherwise?

    • “You seem to be assuming that ALL YOUTH (or even young adults) who express a desire to transition will never change their minds.”

      Please point out what I have said that leads you to that conclusion.

      • Sara Marie

        I actually asked you what your opinion was on this in my last sentence of that response.

        But for one thing, you have previously mocked the idea of anyone, including teenagers, expressing a desire to transition as part of a social fad that is currently occurring in certain groups of young women. That why I said, “it seems..” and asked you the question in the closing of that comment.

  • Sara Marie

    Thanks for sharing the info re: Marti. That dude has waay too much time on his hands.

    You know, I can’t remember the last time I saw anyone lecturing MTTs to “be nice” to feminists, lesbians, or anyone, for that matter. I can’t say MTTs and their allies were too “nice” to the female speakers in Tacoma, OR at Women Speak Out a couple weeks ago.

  • JingFei

    I also find it off-putting, but It’s incredibly rare to see that type of thing here. That’s a classic tactic of the “SJW” ( social justice warrior), not radical feminists.

    • Zuzanna Smith

      I’m not using it as any tactic, I am saying it’s exactly the same desperate attempt to hide femaleness or option out of being seen as female to escape male oppression, I’m sorry you can’t see that.

      • JingFei

        I wasn’t referring to you in this instance Zuzanna. I know how you meant it. Sorry that wasn’t clear!

  • Meghan Murphy

    Changing your name or wearing clothing designated for the opposite sex should not constitute ‘transitioning’, though…. And, like, puberty is forced upon everyone against their will.. That’s life. And it sucks. That’s not a medical or social imposition… To call puberty something that is ‘forced’ upon someone is weird to me. It’s a biological function. I am fairly certain most teenagers/kids don’t enjoy it. I cried when I got my period at 15 (almost 16). I was one of the last ones of my friends and was thrilled I didn’t have to suffer as they did — I think I kind of just hoped it would never come.

  • corvid

    I am not currently laughing, nor have I EVER laughed, at trans women committing suicide. That is some slanderous bullshit and you know it. I’d address every other distortion and mischaracterization you’ve made, but if you’ll excuse me, I don’t “debate” with people who blatantly lie about my position and twist my words.

    Unfortunately for us both, I too am human and as such don’t have infinite stamina for being fucked with. But I really hope you and your allies get lots of enjoyment out of shooting down your sisters for expressing cognitive dissonance in an insane culture. All hail the new future of “sex work” and mandatory physical/metaphorical dick-sucking for all./s

    Bye.

  • Meghan Murphy

    I blamed patriarchy on Laverne Cox and a ‘vile’, dontchaknow! Clearly is very invested intellectual integrity, rational discussion etc.

    https://twitter.com/MAMelby/status/591463735560011777

    https://twitter.com/MAMelby/status/591386875316670464

    • Morag999

      Jesus. So, on a sliding scale of vileness, Meghan Murphy, feminist writer and activist, is next to genocidal war criminals? Incredible.

      But then where do these looney liars belong on that scale? Surely such outrageous dishonesty qualifies as evil behaviour?

      At any rate, nasty stuff. I think, though, that this totally baseless, anti-rational mudslinging qualifies as just more evidence that your voice and your work is extremely important and accessible, both inside and outside of Canada.

  • Morag999

    ‘So, are women’s vagina’s who have had a hysterectomy also “fuck holes”? Cause…..just sayin’.’

    Dear Trans-activists: please stop digging up and using the dead and buried what-about-hysterectomies tactic. It’s not the gotcha moment you hope it is. It’s silly, and we’re tired from explaining, in various ways, why it’s silly. But, alright, it goes something like this:

    We say, “bananas are not apples.” Trans-activist comes along and replies, “Well then I suppose yellow apples aren’t really apples either, huh? … just sayin’. Ha! Take that!”

    Please quit that. It’s just a real drag on the discourse.

    • Cassandra

      It’s amazing, huh?

  • Donald

    I didn’t miss it at all. I simply take the position, along with other scholars who research and publish on issues of sex and gender, that the biological similarities are not relevant enough to warrant pursuing a social or political movement. The intersection of other relevant factors alongside sex are what motivates sociopolitical change. I most certainly understand what I’m reading but thanks for the dismissal!

  • Donald

    Hello “real” scientist,
    You must come from a discipline where there is no scholarly disagreement on things. Where everyone uses the same theory, methods, and adopts identical perspectives! Oh, sorry, there is no such thing. You should look at the work of Lisa Wade or Suzanne Kessler…unless those PhDs also don’t count because they present conclusions that you disagree with. As a scientist I wish I could discount evidence that I disagree with but unfortunately that’s not how science works – at least as I practice it.

  • Donald

    Who said anything about postmodernism? I am coming from a perspective that criticizes the scholarship you’re referencing because for decades male academics did developed biased perspectives. I draw on women scholars who argue that point – not the male scholars they criticize.
    Humans are not as dimorphic as you’re suggesting. Today we are less than 15% compared with other hominoids that are approximately 50%. Whether or not this is significant depends on what you’re using this information for. For anthropologists it’s generally not a significant matter.
    I agree with you that we (particularly Americans) have a society where males try to control sexed bodies. I don’t understand why you’re attacking me when I’m offering the same positions that you are with some slight differences along the way.

  • Morag999

    ‘Articles include; Terfy Terf Terf Terf.’

    Snort. But, of COURSE! Not sure how I missed that she writes for that website.

    Thanks for the info, JingFei!

  • Morag999

    ‘She also claims that T doesn’t “grow a penis” – it actually does. It usually doesn’t get particularly large, but that is a thing that happens.’

    I thought I’d heard everything from you.

    See, we can, up to a point, mock and laugh at your lies. But what about a young, vulnerable girl — like the one whose harrowing story was featured on 4th Wave Now? She was wondering why, after taking testosterone, she hadn’t grown a penis yet. Her mother had to explain to her that she never would.

    Why? Because of liars like you. There ought to be a law. I mean that. It’s criminal.

    • Cassandra

      I’m glad I walked away from another thread. I started to smell cuckoo and I was right. Do you think she actually believes this?

  • Meghan Murphy

    An anus has a biological function… Like, it’s kinda necessary… No? What is the purpose of a hole that isn’t a functioning vagina?

    • Morag999

      Yes. What a terrible and (need I write it again?) dishonest comparison.

      On the one hand, a completely necessary surgery to preserve or save a child’s life; on the other, a medically unnecessary surgery to make a man’s genitals appear more female.

      • Sara Marie

        The body treats a neovagina like a wound…I know one transwoman who was surprised when they woke up from surgery to find a dildo in there. (Yes, they shared this with me. Not something I asked about or heard about until then). My understanding is that MTTs have to dilate their neovagina daily for a long period of time, until their body “accepts” what it sees as a wound. IF you’ve had your ears or nose pierced, you know that without an earring for some period of time, the hole closes up. Same for the neovagina

        • Zuzanna Smith

          It never “accepts it”, they have to dilate for life or it either closes up or collapses, like any surgically created cavity.

  • Meghan Murphy

    Indeed.

  • Meghan Murphy

    Dude. Writing about objectification is kinda what I do. As is the bullshit corporatization of ’empowerment’. So no. Clearly I don’t see it as a waste of time. The other thing I do and have always done is write about/speak out against male violence against women. Please don’t be manipulative.

    What you literally said was “Meghan Murphy blames patriarchy on Laverne Cox for appearing naked in a women’s magazine.” Then you said, “So, criticism *from* her is priority #1 but criticism *toward* her is ignoring murdered women and children. Holy crap she’s vile.”

    Then we have you agreeing that I’m “name dropping Cee-Lo/Bill Cosby in that, after picking a WoC to criticize out of a mostly white list of nude celebs.”

    Like, as if I don’t criticize white people to excess. Give me a fucking break.

    You are manipulative and dishonest. I’m amazed you expect anyone to take you seriously.

  • Sara Marie

    Thank you for sharing this information. I’m not surprised, but it’s always good to know more about who one is communicating with.

  • I mean that you couldn’t actually write policy that way because there *are* practical reasons for some dress codes – even sex-specific ones.

  • Meghan Murphy

    You are being manipulative again. The point is that a vagina is not just a hole for a dick to go in. Feminists do not believe that.

    • Trying to be persuasive and making you think is not “being manipulative”.

      So, if feminists do not believe that a vagina is useful for sexual pleasure not just for insemination and pushing a baby through? What do they think it’s for?

  • Meghan Murphy

    Oh puh-leeeeeeease. As IF that is my schtick. Your idiotic attempt at ‘critique’ was just part of yet another anti-feminist witch hunt. And yeah, there are more important things in the world than that. As if people jumping to defend celebrities from having to think about their words is important. As if “Meghan Murphy blamed patriarchy on Laverne Cox” is an ‘argument’ or a ‘criticism.’ As if any of the attacks lobbed at me over that piece were in good faith. Desperately Seeking Reasons to smear feminists, more like it. And that is far more vile than my point, which was a completely reasonable one.

  • Sara Marie

    “Trans women on HRT get random erections much less than cis guys

    What is your fixation of their junk anyhow?”

    I know that HRT stopping/slowing down erections is a popular talking point. I’m just going by what trans women write about on their own, public boards.

    The comparison you made between autogynophylic men and kinky gay men does not work. In the first case, the fetish is what is behind a large number of men who transition. In the past, these men would just have been “cross dressers.” Still men, but men with a sexual fetish for “women’s” clothes. At least they were honest then.

  • Sara Marie

    “I know people who have detransitioned, but absolutely do not regret transitioning in the first place.”

    If what you mean is that they are focusing on the things they gained from the experience rather than the negatives, that could be said about any mistake a person made that they want to look at as being a growth experience. For that reason, I find this “regret” versus “detransition” manipulative framing.

    You choose to focus on a right-wing, male ex-transitioner, when there are many female, feminist detransitioners. I guess you want to tell them sharing their stories and talking with other ftms, and would-be transitioners makes them just like ex-gay evangelists?

  • Meghan Murphy

    Oh can you just stop. Women don’t hate their bodies because they are misogynists. They hate their bodies because of misogyny. Can you please go troll elsewhere now? I think you’ve had enough space here to twist people’s arguments around into something they very clearly did not mean.

  • Zuzanna Smith

    Calling a surgically created wound which serves only as a penetrative hole for males a vagina, isn’t just rude or degrading, it’s misogynist and female erasing.

  • Meghan Murphy

    Lol. You’re doing it now. Of course I did not say Cox looked like a cartoon.

    I wrote: “If women or transwomen were truly allowed to love themselves, I doubt they’d be spending thousands and thousands of dollars sculpting their bodies in order to look like some cartoonish version of ‘woman,’ as defined by the porn industry and pop culture.”

    I have written similar things a number of times, with reference to the cultural ideals of “woman” that females (and, clearly, transwomen) feel they must live up to, often through surgical measures.

    You can’t even be honest in defense of accusations of dishonesty.

    Bye girl.

  • will

    You’re right, JingFei, sinmantyx plays double standard all that way – using anecdotal references repeatedly and playing “gotcha” when some else does. There’s no coherence, no honesty. Projection all over the place – much like the drunk dude at the party who insists on wasting precious hours of your life explaining how feminism is about female domination and is a nefarious attack on men for circular and incoherent blah blah. Other than the fact that reading and participating in this thread has left me more convinced than ever that trans politics as presented by sinmantx, Mart and others is a particular form of narcissism fuelled by cartesian pomo and deep misogyny, (which actually has been useful) I believe it’s a total waste of time to engage. It’s a fad like eugenics was a century ago. Given time, many will look back on their “convictions” with embarrassment and regret.

  • Cassandra

    It’s a good question about the journalists. I don’t know. Maybe they’re just too afraid. Careers are ruined.

  • ptittle

    So I’m about one-third of the way through the 700 comments, and I’m getting impatient: isn’t ANYbody going to engage with Jensen’s piece?

    “Transgenderism is a liberal, individualist, medicalized response to the
    problem of patriarchy’s rigid, repressive, and reactionary gender norms.
    Radical feminism is a radical, structural, politicized response.” You nailed it. Say it loud and say it often. And thank you.

    • Katharine Grey

      Radical feminism is violence. Violence against everyone. Violence against those who embrace femininity in particular. Its hatred of pornographic actresses. Its hatred of those who like makeup. Its hatred of transgender people, who challenge feminist ideas about femininity. Transgendered people tend to feel that looking like a ballet dancer is more feminine than looking like a truck driver. Rad Fems disagree.

      • Meghan Murphy

        No. Literal violence is violence. Bye MRA.

  • linnet

    And they’ll deny it until the end of time and call you a c*nt in parting

  • linnet

    this is so true ^

  • Cara Ramsey

    I realize this is a bit late but perhaps some comments can shed additional light on this topic.

    1. The human brain, as a whole structure, is neither male nor female. Recent studies demonstrate this. However, the author of one of those studies, Professor Daphne Joel, confirmed in correspondence with me that this does not preclude specific structures in any single brain from being gender aligned.

    2. One of those structures that appears to be gender aligned and which has been implicated in both sexual orientation and gender identity is the bed nucleus of the stria terminalis in the hypothalamus, which is often given the shorthand of BSTc. In post mortem studies, people who identify as trans women showed very similar BSTc structures to cisgender women. Those structures are significantly different than heterosexual male BSTc structures which are “more male” (larger, thicker, denser) by about 40% than cisgender female structures. Additionally, homosexual male BSTc structures were even “more male” than heterosexual male BSTc structures, being about 50% larger, thicker, and denser than cisgender female structures. Meanwhile, transgender women had BSTc structures that were within 5% of the size of cisgender female brain structures. I can show you some fascinating microscope slides of this and it becomes very clear that trans women have BSTc’s that look almost identical to BSTc’s of cisgender women. Please note that this structural difference was present both in trans women who had medically transitioned as well as those who did not but chose to “suffer in silence” through their lives, so the brain was not “feminized” after hormone therapy began and that assumption can be dismissed.

    3. The above information about the BSTc is just one of approximately a dozen structures in the brain that appear to have gender identity and/or sexual orientation implications. These structures consistently align for trans people with the gender in which they identify. In other words, there is clear neurobiological evidence that being transgender is a medical neurobiological condition, not a psychiatric one. This is true for trans men as well, having brain structures that are much closer to male brain structures than female in most of these cases.

    4. The points made in #3 above are why the American Medical Association, the American College of Physicians, the American Association of Pediatrics, the American Psychological Association, and the American Psychiatric Association all now treat being transgender as a treatable medical condition.

    5. “Treatment” for trans teens does not involve hormone replacement therapy or surgery except in the most emergency of cases. I am aware of only a few of these that have ever occurred. In over 99% of cases involving trans kids, two primary steps are applied. First, the child is allowed to transition socially to live in the gender with which they identify. Second, just as puberty arrives, puberty blockers are supplied to suppress development of secondary sex characteristics. The development of these characteristics will resume if the puberty blockers are removed, so the children have the opportunity to further explore and grow in maturity before further medical intervention is provided.

    6. In those cases where children do choose to transition, usually by about age 14, the child is allowed to begin hormone replacement therapy. Again, in no cases except extreme emergencies are children allowed access to surgery. However, in nations that provide such surgery as part of universal healthcare, surgery is usually provided very shortly after their 18th birthday.

    7. A truly feminist society might reduce the need of some people for medical transition services, but is unlikely to reduce it to zero. Why? Some trans people have serious disconnects with their physical body. Simply ridding ourselves of gender roles won’t remove what the internal hard wiring of the brain is saying is wrong with them. Consequently, things like hormone replacement therapy and gender reassignment surgery are unlikely to vanish even in a feminist society, though the need for such things might be significantly reduced. How much? We cannot know until we get there. But the proper medical response today is not just addressing what patriarchy expects, as is the argument made here, but is really addressing what the transgender brain is telling the individual they need to be themselves. I am aware of one case where an individual did transition medically but not socially, continuing to live as “male” generally (in reality this person was very androgynous their entire life) but having had gender reassignment surgery, hormone replacement therapy, and developing other female secondary sex characteristics because of hormone therapy. This person was happy with their chosen solution to the issue. For them, the need to properly align their body with their internal wiring was more important than the need to shift gender roles.

    8. The argument that trans advocacy is a “white male” thing ignores the massive role that trans women of color have played in the trans movement and the larger LGBTIQ movement generally. As just one example, Marsha P. Johnson and Sylvia Rivera were not “just” drag queens as some allege. Drag is performance art (and has its own issues) but drag artists, at the end of a performance, resume living in their gender assigned at birth. Marsha P. Johnson and Sylvia Rivera both changed their names, underwent medical treatment as trans individuals, and later in life when the word transgender came into play, they also adopted that as their own as well.

    9. The argument that the “transition” movement “came out of nowhere” is also similarly ignorant of the history of trans people around the world and throughout history.

    10. The argument has been made that “Transgenderism is a liberal, individualist, medicalized response to the problem of patriarchy’s rigid, repressive, and reactionary gender norms. Radical feminism is a radical, structural, politicized response.” This is a false dichotomy, as I noted above. There are real neurobiological reasons for providing transition related medical responses. What might be better seen as a solution to this is to find out how much radical feminism, in realigning patriarchy’s rigid, repressive, and reactionary gender norms, reduces the need for “medicalized” responses to these issues. My own suspicion (without proof since we have no feminist culture against which to compare) is that feminism will reduce that need but not eliminate it.

    11. The article also asks if “reproductive base sex categories are an illusion”, and I think that question misses the point. We already know that people can be intersex and that intersex is a medical condition. I know one intersex individual who was forced to socialize as male but who chose to transition and who was happier afterwards as a woman. If we know that individuals can exist with mixed or ambiguous genitalia, and if we recognize that the human brain itself is the largest sex organ in the human body, then why should it surprise us when there are individuals in whom there are mismatches between genitals and brain structure?

    12. The author also asks “With so little known about the etiology of trans, is the surgical/chemical approach warranted?” As I note above, this question betrays an ignorance of the current state of neurobiological medical research into why people are transgender and what this means. Given that there are neurobiological mismatches, the question we can ask is why not “fix” the brain? And the answer to that is starkly simple – we do not know how to alter these structures safely.

    For example, Once the BSTc has set, in utero, it will not be altered by high doses of the opposite hormone after birth. So giving an individual who was assigned male at birth but who identifies as female high doses of testosterone does nothing to fix this. Indeed, there are cases where it has made gender dysphoria worse, not better. On the other hand, we do know how to do vaginoplasty and other medical interventions, since vaginal reconstruction is necessary for many different reasons, such as cisgender females undergoing radiation therapy who experience extreme damage to vaginal tissues. So the medical intervention is the best tool we currently have under the circumstances. It also works, vastly reducing (though not eliminating) many of the stresses that trans people experience and thus reducing their risk of suicide. As one psychiatrist noted, “When a procedure reduces chance of suicide by approximately 90%, that’s a success.” Again, however, the need for such interventions might decline significantly in a feminist society, yet it might not be eliminated.

    I will close by saying that, just like the illusion of the gender binary, simplistic yes-no choices are rarely effective or applicable in the real world. Right now, transition related medical care is a good response to the transgender medical condition. As society moves in a more feminist direction, the need for some or all of those steps in treatment might become reduced but is unlikely to ever be eliminated. What a feminist society might do for us though, is help us identify those who most need such medical interventions, while allowing those with less extreme forms of the transgender condition to live their lives in peace without the psychological trauma that patriarchy currently imposes on them.

    The assumption of second wave feminism, that being trans is a social learned thing entirely, is being disproved repeatedly as more and more neurobiological data accrues about why people are transgender. The proper response to that is not to decry the science, but to update feminism’s usage of the science. Feminism would be better served by recognizing that there are neurobiological forces behind being transgender and to ask how much, if any, can feminism reduce the pressures an individual feels about gender issues if we eliminate patriarchy and its rigid gender binary obsession. Indeed, feminism might be best served by separating “gender identity” from “gender roles” entirely, focusing on eliminating gender roles while allowing medical care to proceed about gender identity.

  • Cara Ramsey

    Your denial of the neurobiological research of the last 25 years separates you from the American Medical Association, the American College of Physicians, the American Association of Pediatrics, the American Psychological Association, and the American Psychiatric Association. So you are claiming that you know better than all of these organizations. You are claiming that you know better than Prof. Daphne Joel, who conducted the brain studies that I referenced. You know better than multiple peer reviewed scientific papers that have positively associated specific areas of the brain with specific functions.

    Further, you did not even apparently read what I wrote. The entirety of any human brain is neither wholly male nor female according to Prof. Daphne Joel, but individual structures can go either direction. That’s not contradictory.

    Your position is becoming ever more marginal and scientifically invalidated. You are holding onto a “flat earth” position because of your politics. I would suggest you look at the actual science because there are dozens upon dozens of peer reviewed scientific papers on the topics I discussed above, which is why those major medical organizations now take the position that they do. But that would inconvenience your politics so I don’t expect you to do that.

    Finally, your dismissal of this line of medical treatment in favor of “reparative therapy”, which has a documented failure rate that is absurdly high and is now considered “unethical” by every such major medical organization once again demonstrates your insistence that reality bend to your politics and not that you adapt to reality.

    Research goes back as far as 1995:

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed?cmd=Search&doptcmdl=Citation&defaultField=Title%20Word&term=Zhou%5Bauthor%5D%20AND%20A%20sex%20difference%20in%20the%20human%20brain%20and%20its%20relation%20to%20transsexuality

    The AMA, at its 2011 annual meeting, had a 70 minute presentation discussing the impacts of prenatal hormonal variations and what this does to the individual brain during development.

    http://media01.commpartners.com/AMA/sexual_identity_jan_2011/index.html

    There is increased understanding of the role of androgen receptors and their functionality in the development of human brains in utero and in relation to wide variances that can occur in hormonal ratios at that time.

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2706155/?tool=pubmed

    Sex differentiation in the human brain occurs based on hormonal exposures, not on genetics, and not on what’s between an individual’s legs.

    http://www.functionalneurology.com/materiale_cic/389_XXIV_1/3373_sexual/index.html

    I could go on with well over a hundred such scientific studies and articles but I’m sure you are not interested.

    And with that, I will simply wish you a good day. I am confident of where the science stands on this issue.

    • genocidal_maniac

      And yet you have not addressed the possibility of political pressure altering their conclusions. THey may hide behind jargon and give emphasis on slight possibility theories, but the fact is that any researcher who comes out against Trans is savagely hounded by the “community” and so an atmosphere of coercion exists.

  • Just Passing Through

    I like the answer you got on this question. It’s all cinched up for me now! Glad ol Cat got right back to ya on that! Lol! Sorry these dudes just make my head spin with their ‘gobbledygook’!!!

  • genny

    I have been reading all of your comments and I don’t believe you for a minute that you know so many trans people. The actual number of transgender people is a very small minority and intersexed people even way smaller, yet you just happen to know a ton of these people? Please. You sound like a troll.