‘We need to be braver’ — women challenge ‘gender identity’ and the silencing of feminist discourse

gender-identityWomen who challenge discourse around “gender identity” have been largely isolated on the front lines for the past decade. Liberal feminists and progressives have chosen identity politics over feminism many times over and this is no exception. Those who are not invested in women’s liberation are well aware that the power they seek cannot be gained from supporting the independent women’s movement, and most haven’t bothered to think hard enough about the roots of patriarchy to understand what it is we are fighting in the first place. But even many of those whose politics are otherwise rooted radical feminist principles have felt afraid to publicly question the dogma of gender identity discourse. We are only too aware that refusing to accept and parrot back commonly accepted mantras places you on the wrong end of a modern witch hunt.

I don’t deny that I felt afraid, for many years, to take a firm position on discourse surrounding gender identity and trans politics, despite my opinion that women-only space and organizing is central to the feminist movement and to supporting women recovering from male violence.

In fact, for many years, I wasn’t quite sure what my position was, and worried that speaking out against the naturalizing of sexist gender roles that has come hand in hand with support for what is called “trans rights” would distract from my fight against the sex industry and violence against women. Punishments for questioning trans politics include losing one’s job, censorship, blacklisting, being physically and otherwise threatened and attacked by transactivists, and social ostracization — all things that prevent women from speaking out. (I have suffered many of these punishments already, of course, for failing to toe the party line and for allying with women labelled “TERF” or “transphobic.”)

We live in a time wherein basic feminist ideas have become unspeakable, while anti-feminist slurs and smears are widely accepted and even celebrated by those who claim to be social justice activists and progressives.

Regardless of the risks, I cannot, in good faith, support the neoliberal, individualistic notion of “gender identity”  — not as a feminist who understands how patriarchy came to be and continues to prevail or as a leftist who understands how systems of power work. I do not wish to be silent in the face of regressive and anti-feminist discourse, because I know that my silence does not help empower other women to speak out. I do not wish to abandon my sisters who have already suffered immensely for speaking out.

In July, a conference organized by Julia Long took place at Conway Hall in London, England — the aim was to question the unquestionable. Thinking Differently: Feminists Questioning Gender Politics featured feminist speakers such as Sheila Jeffreys, Lierre Keith, Julie Bindel, Stephanie Davies-Arai, Mary Lou Singleton, Jackie Mearns, Magdalen Berns, and Long herself. They discussed the silencing of feminist speech that has been taking place across the UK (and beyond), as well as the impact of trans discourse on the ongoing fight for women’s rights and towards women’s liberation from patriarchy. Video recordings of the talks were released just last week.

Sheila Jeffreys argues, in her talk, that “transgenderism is an invention that is socially and politically constructed,” and that, rather than being innate, exists in direct connection to the forces of power that exist in a heteropatriarchal society.

Jeffreys connects the notion of “gender identity” to American neoliberalism in that it is, of course, a very individualistic notion, but also in the way that it connects to capitalism and the cash cow that transgenderism is for Big Pharma, gender identity therapists and clinics, and cosmetic surgeons. It seems odd to discuss gender identity outside the context of capitalism, considering the way “identity” and “expression” is so connected, in modern society, to consumerism. Femininity itself has been marketed to women for decades in an entirely sexist way, yet suddenly we are expected to accept things like cosmetics as “empowering” because men claim it as part of their feminized “gender expression.”

In fact, Jeffreys suggests feminists drop the term “gender” entirely. She says instead, “We need to talk about sex class or sex caste” as “gender” has become meaningless and conflated with biological sex.

As feminists, what we really are doing is working towards an end to gender — a thing that was invented and imposed in order to naturalize the sex class hierarchy that positions men as dominant and women as subordinate. One has to ask how progressive it is, from a feminist perspective, to accept the notion that gender is both real and innate — a thing that one can be born with, as this is precisely the tactic used historically by men to defend the idea that women should not be permitted to vote, work outside the home, or hold positions of power in society. Women were constructed as naturally “feminine,” which meant we were too emotional, irrational, and weak to engage in the public sphere as men did. Men, by contrast, were said to be more suited for public office and to hold positions of power as they were innately assertive, rational, unemotional, and tough.

Are we, as feminists (and as a society) really comfortable moving backwards in this way, by accepting gender roles (which exist only to naturalize and enforce sexism) as innate rather than socially constructed?

“Cis” is another term that has been adopted by those who wish to see themselves or present themselves as progressive but that is rejected by radical feminists. “Cis,” we are told, means “a person whose self-identity conforms with the gender that corresponds to their biological sex.” Therefore, a “cis woman” would be a woman who identifies with femininity, which I most certainly do not, nor do many other women. I reject the notion of femininity and I therefore reject the notion that women who have femininity imposed on them are either privileged or are naturally inclined towards their subordinate status. “Cis” is a regressive term, as it pretends as though women somehow identify with their own oppression. Nonetheless, women who reject the term are labelled “transphobic” — yet another way feminist speech is shut down and the general questioning of gender politics is disallowed.

Like Jeffreys, Lierre Keith connects the concept of gender identity to liberalism, pointing out in her talk that radicals understand that “society is organized by concrete systems of power, not by thoughts and ideas.” Therefore, she says, “the solution to oppression is to take those systems apart.” She points out that racism was reinforced through propaganda that said black people were naturally inferior, in the same way women and the lower classes were said to simply have different (inferior) brains, effectively naturalizing inequality. Gender, like class and race, is not a binary, Keith says, but a hierarchy.

Keith knows as well as anyone how scary it is to speak out. “My career is over,” she says. “I can’t ever speak at universities — even if I get an invitation, within two weeks it’s rescinded.” She compares this trend to McCarthyism, saying, “There’s this lock down on public debate — you have to follow this certain line.”

Julie Bindel, a prolific and established feminist journalist, has been officially no-platformed by the National Union of Students (NUS). She explains, in her talk, that a motion against her, enshrined at an NUS conference, read only, “Julie Bindel is vile.” Her crimes included an article written in support of Vancouver Rape Relief’s fight to define their own membership, after Kimberly Nixon, a transgender male, attempted to sue the longstanding rape crisis shelter after being refused training to become a counselor for rape victims and which argued against the sexist stereotypes transgenderism appears defined by. Bindel’s vilification was also based, she explains, on a 2007 article she wrote about trans people who were pressured into and regret having “gender-reassignment surgery.”

Many women refused to support Bindel back then out of fear, and some feminists still, she says, tell her they can’t put her on their conference programs lest their event venue get shut down. “This is not the way we should do feminism,” she says. “We are leaving behind young women in university who are desperate to be out and proud radical feminists and cannot.” Despite what many believe, this silencing of discourse is not about supporting marginalized people — it’s about destroying feminism.

Essentially, political critique has been relabeled as “phobia,” thereby shoving what is a feminist analysis of male domination and systemic power into the category of “bigotry,” which serves to justify censorship. And this is specifically happening to radical feminists who, Bindel says, refuse to “capitulate to the identity politics that is liberal or ‘fun feminism.'” Meanwhile, misogynists and pornographers are permitted on campus without protest.

Ironically, it is university students who seem to be leading the charge — bullying radical feminist students into silence, banning women from their campuses for challenging liberal doctrine (something Magdalen Berns speaks to in her talk, as she was banned from just about every women’s and LGTB group at the University of Edinburgh in her final year — an institution that has apparently placed a “trigger warning” on radical feminism itself). I say “ironically” because it is, of all places, on university campuses that these conversations should be encouraged, as indeed higher education is about studying ideas and learning how to think critically.

It’s time to put our fear aside. Here is what I have learned about feminism (the real kind of feminism — not liberalism, not queer politics, not pro-capitalist rhetoric centered around personal feelings of “empowerment”): Regardless of what we do or say, as radical feminists, we are persecuted, smeared, and silenced. This happens because we stand up for women, hold men accountable, and criticize patriarchy unapologetically. We are called “SWERF,” “TERF,” “whorephobic,” “femmephobic,” “transphobic,” “anti-sex,” “moralistic prudes,” and so on, not because we are terrified of trans people, prostituted women, and sexuality, or because our politics are centered around “excluding” particular individuals (unless, of course, those individuals are anti-feminist — then yes, you will likely feel “excluded” by feminism), but because these terms and slurs effectively silence and exclude us. We are no-platformed and blackballed, discredited at any opportunity, to the point that others cannot associate with us, support us, or share any of our work (regardless of the content of said work), lest they too be tarred with the same brush.

It is a strategy used to keep other women afraid and silent, and it’s working.

We are losing the right to speak about our bodies, as Berns points out. Women have rights that are directly connected to the understanding that we have been oppressed, historically, because we were born female. Patriarchy only exists because 6000-odd years ago, men sought a way to control women’s reproductive capacity. “Gender” was solidified in order for men to claim ownership of women’s bodies and in order to naturalize their dominance. Feminists had to fight for women’s rights on the basis that females were not inferior and that they needed special protection — not because of their personal feelings or “gender identity,” but because of their biology and the discrimination attached to that biology. “You might be worried about your job or your friends, but your rights are more important than anything else,” Berns says.

I have come to the conclusion that there is no point in living in fear of being labelled in these ways — with various acronyms or as some version of “phobic.” It is nothing more than a divide and conquer strategy. There is no avoiding these witch hunts, unless we are prepared to lie or be silent — something that is, in my opinion, a much worse sentence than being smeared, targeted, and called nonsensical names by anti-feminists.

I do not ever again wish to put any energy into hiding from these slurs because in doing so, the goal is achieved. I stand by my sisters who speak out and continue to speak out, despite being no platformed and attacked.

You can call us whatever you like, because we know what you really mean: Feminist. Not the fun kind.

Anti-feminists are winning and will continue to win so long as we stay silent. They will continue to claim the identity of “feminist” while smearing and vilifying movement women. Leftist men will continue to proudly call us anti-feminist names and censor our work, comforted by the support and silence of these “queer activists,” “sex worker rights activists,” and liberal feminists — people who have shown themselves as traitors to women and whose politics consist of inventing new words to disguise male supremacy and violence against women. It’s up to us to speak out and to stand by our sisters, despite the repercussions.

Bindel concludes her talk by saying:

“We need to be braver… Those of us who are a bit older and who have been in feminism for longer owe it to the newer feminists and the younger feminists. Because how on earth do we expect them to ever be involved in a cohesive, vibrant movement if they are terrified of being thrown out of their friendship groups and their own communities?

… Please let’s not capitulate anymore. I understand how scary this is.

There are still feminists saying, ‘I can’t have you on our program, I can’t ask you to speak at this, I can’t include your name in that because they’ll come after us.

Well let them come after us — because we’re waiting for them.”

I’m with you, sister.

Meghan Murphy
Meghan Murphy

Founder & Editor

Meghan Murphy is a freelance writer and journalist. She has been podcasting and writing about feminism since 2010 and has published work in numerous national and international publications, including New Statesman, Vice, Al Jazeera, The Globe and Mail, I-D, Truthdig, and more. Meghan completed a Masters degree in the department of Gender, Sexuality and Women’s Studies at Simon Fraser University in 2012 and lives in Vancouver, B.C. with her dog.

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  • pandora50

    Thank you Meghan and the other women who are courageously speaking out and up. May we all follow in your footsteps and do so as well. We can do it!!!

  • amongster

    Awesome article! I am with you and all the other women who take a stand against this madness. I do use a nickname here but I am not afraid of speaking truth under my real name elsewhere. Thank you for this important piece!

    • Meghan Murphy

      Thank you sister!

  • frazzled

    Very important article. Gay man here. I’ve become increasingly disturbed by news report of the “transing” of what, to me, seem like normal effeminate gay boys and butch lesbian girls. Trans seems to be a form of gay conversion therapy. I also don’t like how FTMs are encroaching into gay male space, or MTFs demand access to lesbian spaces and sex with lesbian women. Finally, if nobody can define a man or a woman, what does it even mean to love the same sex? What’s a coherent definition of homosexuality in a world where trans claims are taken as truth?

    If there was a public meeting to redefine the words male and female, I must have missed it. Defining male and female as a collection of stereotypes seems like a huge step backward. I do not see how transgender ideology is compatible with homosexual identity. “Trans” seems regressive and backwards, but if we say so in public, we are yelled at, called bigots and shut out. I don’t understand what T has to do with LGB, and I’m not going to stop asking questions just because I’m being screamed at, because I haven’t yet had satisfactory answers. No gay male leaders are saying these things in public, just brave lesbian feminists. What should gay men do? It seems the feminists are the only people with the courage to talk about the problem. How can we be good allies?

    • FakeFeminist

      I don’t even know that this is really a matter of “allyship”, as it affects both groups, just in different ways. The current trans rhetoric leaves no room for a coherent and meaningful definition of homosexuality, nor feminism either. People are condoning “coercive acquisition of sex” (read rape), sex stereotypes, erasure and elimination of people who don’t conform to sex stereotypes, etc., under the guise of feminism and progressivism. Yech.

      There are a few corners of the internet that are focused on the trans issue, they’re mostly radfem-focused AFAIK but friendly to any gender-critical person. I like these ones:

      https://www.reddit.com/r/GenderCritical
      http://gendertrender.wordpress.com
      https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCvTTakI97sQ4SkMnsH8r0qQ

      As for what to do, in general, I wish I knew. In my personal life I like to try to lead my loved ones towards peak trans. The more people who figure out the illogic of this game, the more supporters we have in the mainstream for referendums and general political support. Unless they are actively hostile to logic or sensitive topics, it’s really not that hard to lead a regular person to the point of peak trans. There is a mountain of both scientific and anecdotal evidence on our side. The only problem is that most people aren’t exposed to information about transgenderism except for what gets passed through the trans activist filters.

    • Cassandra

      “Trans seems to be a form of gay conversion therapy.”
      Bingo!

      But in a helluva patriarchal/gas lighting reversal, they turn around and say that encouraging “gender identity” confused or questioning young people to wait it out a bit (as many are just gay and lesbian) is a form of conversion therapy against trans. It’s fucking loony tunes town.

    • sandollar

      Fellow gay man here. How can we be good allies? We need to address the misogyny, sexism and lesbophobia in our community. We need to wake up to how damaging masculinity is to gay men. We need to address how performing femininity isn’t “subversive” or “transgressive”, it’s oppressive to women. We need to abolish gender for gay men’s sake, like radical feminists have been saying all along. We also need to address the damage that pornography and prostitution are doing to gay men and get away from this idea that both “validate our sexuality”. And super important, we need to stop hurting the “effeminate” gay boys who out of self-hatred decide to “transition” because we hold masculinity as an ideal.

      I’m sorry to say this, but we have nobody to blame but ourselves. We bought hook line and sinker the idea of the “homosexual brain” in the 80s and 90s, which is not that far from the “female brains in male bodies” rhetoric that transgender politics is trying to sell. We insisted in an innate, biological origin for homosexuality despite protestations from lesbian feminists. I thought it would prevent convservative Christian parents from trying to “convert” their lesbian and gay children, now transgenderism is doing it for them.

      Also, unpopular opinion, but we really need to address the reality that gay male transvestism or “drag” is not as subversive as we think it is. It’s actually insulting to women and I have no doubt that it emboldened heterosexual male transvestites to take their autogynephilia further through transgenderism. Now lesbians are paying the price with this whole “cotton ceiling” nonsense. There were gay men who warned us before about how transgenderism was incompatible with lesbian and gay rights, but they have been silenced.

      My advice: show gay men the London conference videos that Meghan refers to in this article, they’re on YouTube. Show them especially to young gay men who have pretty much bought the trans rhetoric. Show them Magdalen Berns’ videos that are also on YouTube, especially the one critical of Gigi (Gregory) Gorgeous, which really needed to be said considering that some young gay men have put that narcissist on a pedestal. Show them videos, again on YouTube, about the violent transwomen that invade women’s spaces. Start a conversation with your gay male friends. I know there are gay men that don’t really understand radical feminism and some gay men will be absolutely hostile to it, but the conversation needs to start somewhere.

      This is all I can think of. I hope this helps.

      • northernTNT

        Money is needed, everything comes down to money. Democrats spend twice as much money as Republicans per vote, because it’s such an uphill battle.
        We need a massive philanthropist.

    • linnet

      That was my peak trans. The idea that someone can forcibly change your sexuality based on what clothes they’re wearing. Like, what? THAT can’t be true….oh look. It totally is and they will rip your head off and dox the shit out of you for suggesting otherwise.

      • Cassandra

        Yeah, I remember reading some bullshit on Jizzabel where somebody in the comments section said something like, “Well, we’re not saying that you can’t have a sexual orientation, but perhaps you need to ask yourself *why* you feel this way.” That was one of the moments I had early on where I was like “Whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaat??!?!?!” No matter if you’re straight or gay, that is horrible and super rapey. I don’t know how lesbians can stand this shit. I would punch a mother fucker in the snot box.

        • northernTNT

          Jizzabel! love it! 🙂

  • I really love this article, Meghan. It sounds like you’re feeling brave and energized after watching the Thinking Differently conference. That speaks to the fact that whenever women speak out, the women around them get braver. Let’s keep speaking!

    • Meghan Murphy

      Thanks purple sage!

    • linnet

      this is so true! I don’t know how many women I’ve heard say “I agree with you but they would gut me if anyone found out.”

      • Yisheng Qingwa

        In my case, speaking out against the trans cult has threatened my job and men have threatened me with bodily harm in public. Also, women avoid me as if I am evil or something. I can see they are afraid, but of me..?

  • FakeFeminist

    I wanted to start out this comment by quoting the paragraph on the regressiveness of “cis”, but I kept reading and the quoted bit just kept getting bigger. I think you are bang on. Thank you for writing it and publishing it and giving us this site.

    • Meghan Murphy

      Thanks for being here 🙂

  • Meghan Murphy

    Thank you and solidarity, sister.

  • Sister Radical

    Thank you Meghan. You inspire me to be braver.

    • Meghan Murphy

      Solidarity, sister!

  • caroza

    Great article. Sisterhood! I do believe this particular worm is beginning to turn…

    • Just Passing Through

      God I hope so!

  • Polly MacDavid

    Fabulous article! Best thing I’ve read all day. Thank you for your thoughtfulness, logic & reason.

    • Meghan Murphy

      Thanks Polly!

  • esjayXX

    Great article Megan. I get depressed at how fast the gender identity nonsense is spreading, then am uplifted by the amazing response from places like Mumsnet (not a mum myself, so my stereotype was truly shattered there!)
    And I’m pleased to see a response from a gay man here. As a lesbian, I’m horrified at what I see as gay conversion, so I hope more gay men will speak out. When I was working in an LGB organisation in the 80s, I disagreed with the move to include T, but the few L voices were overridden.
    The conference was wonderful. We need to build on this energy.

  • martindufresne

    Now in French at https://tradfem.wordpress.com/2016/09/27/nous-devons-etre-plus-courageuses/, along with many other essays by Meghan and her colleagues.

    • Meghan Murphy

      Thanks Martin!

  • Meghan Murphy

    I hear you. It’s been difficult to discuss even in some of my friend groups. I know many people who feel totally isolated, unable to broach the topic at all. I’ve been surprised at how readily and eagerly many of my friends have simply accepted gender identity discourse, no questions asked.

    • Wren

      This, and the whole issue of pornography and the sex industry, are reasons I have very, very few friends. I just can’t keep my mouth shut about all this shit anymore.

      • Cassandra

        I’m your online friend, Wren! I do empathize with you. It’s rough out there and I too have a hard time keeping my mouth shut. I’m like the ancient mariner with this stuff though; if I sense even the slightest opening/willingness to engage, I trot out the list of how transgender ideology is hurting women. Most women haven’t really thought about it very deeply and it’s encouraging to see the wheels begin to turn.

  • Meghan Murphy

    Solidarity, sister!

  • Meghan Murphy

    Right on, sister!

  • Meghan Murphy

    Thank you so much for your words, sister! You are right that they called me TERF regardless. As far as I could tell, the only way to avoid the label would be to simply lie about my politics, which I am not interested in doing. Indeed, it is liberating to simply say what you think, rather than try to skirt around issues in order to avoid attack. More trouble than it’s worth. Besides all that, ‘gender identity’ has become such a troubling and mainstream idea, I could not, in good faith, avoid addressing it, nor did I want to anymore.

    Solidarity xx

  • MsTerry

    Meghan,

    Do you know if the text of the lectures is going to be produced? I’m having trouble hearing the videos.

    Thanks!

    • Meghan Murphy

      I’m not sure, unfortunately… Julia Long is the one who is making decisions about what goes public and how… You could try contacting her to ask?

  • Meghan Murphy

    Right on, sister!!! Welcome!

    Also, re:

    “I thought I was going crazy, I saw myself and others getting shouted down by trans folk who perhaps not coincidentally are at the helm of the pro-prostitution and pornography ideology that is infecting third wave feminism.”

    It is NOT coincidental at all. Because none of it is rooted in feminist/class analysis, but rather in a superficial/liberal/individualistic approach. If you can’t/don’t wanna get at the root, your analysis will fail, in the end, to be a feminist one.

    • Cindi Gold

      Gloria Steinem always said that she is a radical feminist,and that one of the dictionaries definitions of radical is going to the root.

  • Meghan Murphy

    Solidarity sister!

  • Meghan Murphy

    Thank you, sister. I so appreciate you (and all of our sisters here).

  • Just Passing Through

    Stick around here, you will get so much out of this site! Liberal feminism is empty and has little to no meaning anymore for women who are truly trying to better women’s lives and position in this fucked up mans world. You will learn so much here, I found this site about a year ago and thank god I did because I thought I was losing my mind with all the sex positive crap floating around out there and all of the “porn, you should love it and you should love to perform it for your man” bullcrap… it is a sane place in a sea of insanity!

  • Just Passing Through

    …..and the fact that it has been wholly embraced my men’s rights activists. Very telling indeed!

  • Just Passing Through

    …..and meanwhile, here in the states Obama is ramming through every transagenda he can before he is out of office. I seriously hate that man now… and I voted for him (just the 1st time) and now, I say ‘sorry for that’…. it is ALL so unbelievably mind boggling.

  • linnet

    Thank you for having the guts to stand up when everyone else is shouted down, no-platformed and run out of our own spaces. We need to stand together and say enough is enough. We aren’t transphobic for wanting to protect women and girls no matter how many people are doxxed or threatened with rape and dismemberment

  • keeva99

    and now i’m crying <3

  • Rachael

    Amazing! This has really set me up for the day. Thanks, Meghan, for everything you do. For your bravery. 🙂

    • Meghan Murphy

      Solidarity!

  • Dear Meghan,
    thank you for writing this piece. I also have recently found the video recordings of the conference Thinking Differently: Feminists Questioning Gender Politics and felt sad and worried it has such a small number of views. I forwarded the talks to another great channel on Youtube > BabyradfemTV https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCHH8wS-Kd1wUvlvrrCmMMPQ and I hope we’ll have these kind of radfem resources growing.

    Your persistence and truthfulness to the liberation of women is admirable Meghan, and I’m so glad you’ve opened this topic on Feminist current for all of us. <3
    We'll keep on fighting together! Thank you for highlighting the important message from Julie Bindel. We do need to be braver and to stand united for those women who get shutdown, bullied and threatened today and for those who will come after this generation.

    Thank you <3 sister!

    • Meghan Murphy

      Thank you and solidarity xx

  • nikeforsanderlorentsen

    Great, I’m so happy for your writing of this and giving me also argument against this trans cult and queer attak on women.

  • Meghan Murphy

    Yeah, the Jenner situation was probably when many people started to feel skeptical of this whole thing (despite the fact liberals celebrated it uncritically). In an article I read about his transition, the journalist (it may have actually been the Vanity Fair ‘coming out’ story?) mentioned, as a way to ‘confirm’ Jenner’s TRUE GENDER that he used to wear pantyhose under his pants. I was so flabbergasted and offended that this was being touted as ‘proof’ he was really a woman! So maddening.

  • Meghan Murphy

    I’m so sorry for your trouble, anne! All donations go through PayPal, so it may be an issue with them? Let me know if I can help in any way: meghan@feministcurrent.com

    Thanks for your ongoing support either way!

  • Meghan Murphy

    Yeah, it seems to be one of those ‘no critique allowed’ situations… Which we should always be skeptical of. Solidarity, sister!

  • Meghan Murphy

    I’m not sure if I have seen that one? Will look it up! Feel free to link np.

    Thanks!

  • Meghan Murphy

    Solidarity!

  • Meghan Murphy

    Thanks so much for your work and bravery, Magdalen!

  • Meghan Murphy

    Right on, sister!

  • Meghan Murphy

    In some ways, I’m kind of glad that happened, because it outs these students as the anti-feminist idiots they are. In terms of rationale, it seems clear feminism has been smeared so badly it is seen as more dangerous than violent, misogynist men (see: the ‘sex worker rights movement’ which paints feminists as the cause of violence against prostituted women).

    In essence, the third wave/queer politics/whatever you want to call it is so weak, ideologically, they can’t stand to even be AWARE of ideas that challenge their doctrine, because if they start asking questions, everything falls apart.

    These faux-activists seem to want to fit in with the crowd more than they want to fight back against the status quo.

  • somebody42

    Here’s the GoFundMe for the WoLF lawsuit: https://www.gofundme.com/WoLF-vs-USA

  • Wren

    Did South Park do it??? Anybody got a link?

  • Meghan Murphy

    They know they’ll lose this debate.

  • Meghan Murphy

    I, too, have friends who’ve told me they are SO relieved they can talk to me about it, because they were starting to feel crazy… At the same time, I have other friends who are relatively intelligent people, who seem to have bought it, which makes me (and our shared gender critical friends) sad. I tend to think a lot of has to do with that lock down previously mentioned on media. Here in Canada, the CBC is relentless in their trans coverage, but never to they dare question the dogma of gender identity, it’s all fully celebratory. So not only do many people feel that is the only acceptable position, but many simply don’t know there is any other way of understanding ‘gender’ and transgenderism. People are also very swayed by the ‘trans kids’ thing… That is to say, they feel bad about these kids and believe the only and best way to support them is to support their transition. Trans activists have been very powerful in this regard. I mean, look at what happened to Kenneth Zucker!

  • Just Passing Through

    Same here on the voting…but you are right, Hillary will not do fuck-all to undo what Obama et al have done. She will be our “token woman” just as Obama was our “token black” then after her 4 years we can go back to white male rule as it should be (cough)

  • Meghan Murphy

    They started a petition to have me fired and no platformed for not gushing over that spread. They are absolutely desperate to prevent anyone at all from questioning their party line.

    • I remember that petition to have you fired and no platformed. If I recall correctly, an another petition was started by Radical Feminists in defence of your Laverne Cox article, and I signed that petition imploring Rabbie.ca not to give in to the trans lobby to have you fired. Your articles there were brave and intelligent, and women and girls reading there needed your wisdom and critical analysis, to inspire and embolden them to speak out publicly without fear.

      • Meghan Murphy

        Yes! That petition, started by this sister, https://mancheeze.wordpress.com/, gained twice as many signatures as the one to have me fired/no-platformed. Thank you for your support!

      • JingFei

        That whole train wreck was how I noticed Feminist Current. I had lurked here and there, read an article once in awhile that I found really interesting, but the vicious, dishonest way they attacked her just utterly shocked me.

  • Meghan Murphy

    The thing about radical feminism is it’s the only thing that really makes sense 🙂

    Thank you for being here and for contributing to the conversation, sister.

  • Meghan Murphy

    Solidarity, sister!

  • Meghan Murphy

    Yeah I think it seems pretty clear that Jenner fetishized/s women’s clothing (and femininity, in general, perhaps?)

  • Meghan Murphy

    Yes, fair enough. I mean I think they know better than to try to argue with us on this, at this point. They are used to dealing with people who smile and nod and are not able to respond to rational points and arguments.

  • Meghan Murphy

    Thank you, sister! And thank you for all your great and important work!!! I’m so grateful to share this space with you xx

  • Meghan Murphy

    Yeah that was a really crazy, awful situation (re: Zucker). Toronto, for some reason, is totally run by trans activists and pro sex work folks. It’s weird. I am getting angrier and angrier every time I turn on the CBC and am sure I’ll snap at some point. Their efforts to be “PC” are just totally out of control

  • cday881@gmail.com

    Maybe they thought it was the hypocritic oath?

  • Meghan Murphy

    That is SO interesting. I might be useful to try to amplify those voices in an accurate way? Toronto seems particularly indoctrinated by identity politics/queer politics for some reason.

  • Cassandra

    “They barely mentioned the contradictions present in trans ideology, and when they did, it was just to squirt around the issue…”

    This is a perfect Freudian slip typo because they are definitely squirting all over everything.
    xo 😉

  • Cassandra

    This is what the beginnings of fascism look like. Seriously.

  • Wren

    I feel the same. Do you think he has any real understand of the ramifications of what he’s done?? I mean, I’m trying to believe he didn’t because he’s got two daughters, and it just seems like he pushed it through to appease progressives.

    • Cassandra

      I’ve often wondered the same thing. How can a man with two daughters do what he has done?

      • Tobysgirl

        I listened to an NSA whistleblower (who unfortunately did not remove hard copy like Snowden did) talk about seeing surveillance of Obama cross his desk before anyone knew who Obama was. He couldn’t understand why this man was being surveilled but noted Obama’s intimacy with Chicago’s gay male community. I don’t care that Obama is married and has two daughters — I think he is homosexual and is toting the gay male majority line which is fully supportive of transgenderism (it makes no sense, but what does?). This also explains his seeming indifference to the erasure of women and his refusal to overturn the Hyde Amendment (anti-abortion amendment which he could overturn with a stroke of his pen).

        Does anyone really think men (and some women) of this class give a damn about their children? They are willing to destroy the environment their children will depend upon as we all do, they are willing to engage in endless wars, they promote antisocial policies. What is hard for people to comprehend is that someone may read his daughter a bedtime story but, in essence, care nothing for her or her future.

    • midwifemama

      Look up the Pritzker family. This billionaire dynastic family transformed Barack Obama from a little known state senator to the President of the US and Obama has been paying the family back ever since.
      http://www.gregpalast.com/billionaire-bankster-breaks-into-obamas-cabinet/

      https://www.dnainfo.com/chicago/20160623/streeterville/billionaire-jennifer-pritzker-helps-fund-clinic-for-trans-kids-at-lurie

    • Just Passing Through

      I haven’t quite figured out yet if he could really be this intentionally malicious towards women or if he really is just a giant ignoramus. I’m hoping the latter because I don’t want to think he really is this ignorant. I think he lives in such a controlled little bubble that he may not even follow anything in depth and as we all know, radical feminist’s voices are being shut out and silenced all over the place right now so that may contribute. I know he has “handlers” as all powerful people do, and I think he really could just be clueless and believes this really is the “civil rights fight” of our modern times (hardly) and also he supposedly had a transgender nanny growing up or something like that…. but I don’t know, I know he is a smart man so it’s hard to believe he’s this clueless…maybe he just is. It’s a big head scratcher for me….I voted for the guy first time around… and again, sorry for that.

    • Just Passing Through

      …and what midwifemama said about the Pritzker family. I was not aware of that. I read her comment after I put mine up so I think you have a better explanation from her. It all makes sense after reading that! Wow…

  • Wren

    Totally!! I mean, I don’t know a single woman who actually uses the things.

    • Just Passing Through

      I don’t either… maybe someone’s grandmother? lol.

      • Meghan Murphy

        Seriously. Panty hose are gross and uncomfortable. I have no idea why anyone would wear them if they didn’t feel they had to for some reason. (Unless, of course, you were a man who had some kind of fetish around them.)

  • Just Passing Through

    ..but girls have to be short and dainty not tall and freakish …jeezuz just let people be people already! Gender harms us all…she is so right!

  • FakeFeminist

    6 genders, what the hell? How do you come to the conclusion of 6 genders? Once you get past about 3 or 4 “identities”, haven’t you locked yourself into a logical position of accepting pretty much all of them? I am really curious what these 6 genders even are.

    • JingFei

      I actually heard that on the news, but it was from a commenter. I’m trying to look up exactly what it is, and having a hard time. They seem to gloss it over with “teaching children that there are multiple gender identities”. So I might have spoke too soon and said that exact number in error.
      It bothers me so profoundly that they keep saying “LGBT” for all this.

      • FakeFeminist

        Maybe “lesbian” is now one of the genders. Wouldn’t make much less sense than the rest of it. 😀

  • Cassandra

    That’s an oldie but a goodie from the SJW bag of tricks.

  • Cassandra

    It’s rape culture turned on lesbians and it’s as old as the hills unfortunately. Now it just wears glitter.

  • Cassandra

    I watched this a few months ago and it was nice to watch it again just now. She’s great.

  • JingFei

    Well we’re up to our eyeballs in neo-liberal crowd pleasing with our selfie-taking, social media hungry Prime Minister.
    I don’t know much about American politics, but seems like Hilary Clinton won’t be any different. However, the alternative is worse…

    • Just Passing Through

      Yes the alternative is a freakishly grotesque specimen of american maleness… if he “wins” I think I may need to move up to your neck of the woods… just one request, can you turn the sun up a little in the winter? Don’t think I could take the cold :/

      • Alienigena

        I was sort of meh about Trudeau, I could take him or leave him. I don’t traditionally vote liberal (NDP or Green). But Trudeau is not growing on me. He is starting to sound increasingly shrill if anyone crosses him (if we don’t reach our climate targets … not our fault, your administration approved the natural gas pipeline). I guess he is more style than substance. I know that was the impression of a former boss (we worked in mental health field) when we heard him speak at a public event in western Canada in 2005 or 2006. You may want to move up here but I think even the most left-leaning Americans are far too libertarian for me. I would like to keep our public health care system and other public goods and I don’t think Americans are that invested in public goods, even those who vote for the Democratic party.

  • Irenic Empire

    I watched that just last weekend. She is amazing!

    • Meghan Murphy

      Just watched. Excellent!

  • Just Passing Through

    I’m seriously starting to think something a little more sinister might be going here the more I hear stuff like this “six gender” garbage. I think we are seeing some serious social engineering attempts and envelope pushing going on by those in positions of power to see just how far people will go, how far people will believe, how far they can push and how much we will resist or not resist, get people to believe 2+2=5 and if you say it doesn’t then you are baaaaad very bad! I think we all, and hell I mean everyone needs a good read of Brave New World, 1984 and Politics and the English Language just to brush up a little on what can happen when politicians and people in power start to push this kind of shit onto people. It’s getting just a tad ridiculous now. I think it’s time to get mad now…. six genders (actually Facebook says there are 70-something) and I have 4 heads and blue is really yellow and babies are really adults, cows bark, dogs moo… and yeah. wow.

  • Anna-Jane

    Sure is brave to say the same thing all the alt-right say.

    • Meghan Murphy

      lol. Yeah the alt-right just looooooves radical feminist ideology. Big time. They’re always going on about ‘male violence’ and ‘systemic oppression’ and ‘misogyny’, etc etc

    • Cassandra

      You guys are the ones who sound like regressive conservatives.

    • natalia

      Yeah, because this trans gender existentialist “lady brain”/ “man brain” narrative is sooo progressive!!! Its not like conservatives and alt righters believe the exact same thing.

    • johnnyRotten

      No they don’t say any of this. The ‘alt’ right (sorry , why not just call them the cunty right?) hate women and they hate trans-gender people. They make no bones about it. It is totally unjust to say Meghan Murphy hates trans-gender people and it shows a lack of depth of thought on your behalf if you cant tell the difference; this article articulated the issue clearly. The lies and narrative peddled by well meaning liberal feminists (and don’t assume all trans agree with lib-feminism ) are what concern rad feminists. Women, girls and trans people are being hoodwinked into perpetuating gender binary constructs by the patriarchy, all the while ignoring the mental health issue suffered by pre and post trans people. The longer people treat it as a civil rights issue and not a health issue, the more it undermines feminism, parenting, science, psychobiology, peoples sanity and ..oh yes… civil rights! We don’t treat schizophrenics by telling them their delusions are real to everyone. We don’t say people who don’t see their delusions are schizophobic. It might help them temporarily. It might feel like the kind thing to do sometimes . But its still a lie. They need support . Eventually we have to stop lying. Ask yourself: why is cutting off ones penis or breasts more sane than trying to change ones mind. There’s nothing liberal minded about that. Why is that the best treatment? ( more profitable for big pharma and surgeons perhaps?). Sometimes it is the right treatment, but often it isn’t. We don’t treat depression by telling patients to smile more. We don’t treat grief by animating a love ones stuffed corpse. I mean those may work, but it isn’t ‘alt’ right to suggest there might be better solutions, or to suggest something more sinister might be going on here, and it certainly isnt right wing to suggest perhaps this mental health issue should stop being used to tell other women how they must define themselves and give up their hard won their rights. It isn’t rightwing to ask people to question why people are obsessed with gender roles in the first place. There is absolutely nothing whatsoever ‘alt’ right about saying gender is a social construct. The right was built and depends on that construct being permanently naturalised.

      • anne

        Not to mention that ambiguity, and specifically sexual ambiguity, can be a fundametal symptom of psychosis and especially schizophrenia. Being tormented by delusions of being gay are the extention of passivity phenomena and somatic delusions, that imply something is done to the person without their consent, like aliens implanting a chip, like being ‘born in a wrong body’. Not all gender dysphoria is psychosis, but such symptoms can be perfectly consistent with most serious mental helath issues, you are absolutely right.

  • Tobysgirl

    Superb article, just superb. A very good oversight piece to send someone whom one suspects might be sympathetic.
    I try to speak to people about this issue, but it’s like trying to talk to George Wallace about integration in 1965 (he actually changed his views, something I think rah-rah supporters of transgenderism are mostly incapable of doing). I no longer support any group which promotes transgenderism and that includes peace and justice groups, Equality Maine, etc. No money, no signatures, nothing, and I tell them why. If you feel safe doing so, I would ask that others do the same.

    • Meghan Murphy

      Yeah I’m with you. The discourse is too harmful and regressive.

  • Mira

    I’ve been on both sides of the fence. I’ve been completely for it, and completely against it.

    Transgenderism is one of those topics that is hard for me to form an opinion on. As of this moment, I’m neutral on it.

    However, I don’t agree with silencing people. If people don’t agree with transgenderism, they should not be silenced. Everything is seen as “phobic” nowadays.

    If you can say you are against something in a respectful manner, than I feel you should be allowed to have said stance.

    • amongster

      There is no being neutral though. Silence equals being supportive of the oppressors.

  • Meghan Murphy

    Right on, sister.

  • Meghan Murphy

    I think a lot of the ‘gender dysphoria’ we are seeing today is just part of a social trend… That said, I think people should be able to be trans if they like, of course, and should not suffer harassment or abuse. I just don’t think we need to pretend women and men and men are women in order to protect people who identify as trans. I mean, the real issue is that people who are gender non-conforming are harassed and bullied. This isn’t limited to trans… Boys who are not ‘masculine’ enough are bullied and punished as are girls who aren’t ‘feminine’ enough. The solution to this problem is not to just turn people into the ‘opposite’ gender…

  • Meghan Murphy

    Ha. Yeah the third wavers work very hard to ‘protect’ others from radical feminist analysis (i.e. by smearing us).

    • FakeFeminist

      DAE now seek out “TERF block lists” as a way to find new radfem authors?

  • beyond partisan

    Those of us who remember Free to Be You and Me wonder what the hell happened!? Where’s Alan Alda and Marlo Thomas when you need them? I was taught I could be a girl and like to do so-called “boy” things. Now that has changed in a drastic, Orwellian way. Time for a Free to Be You and Me revival? The narrative must be changed.

  • Meghan Murphy

    Who has railed endlessly about “how harmful ‘the transgenders’ are to kids?” You are not actually responding to the arguments and analysis that is being made here. I’m sorry but what we are putting forth here is not only basic feminist analysis, but also basic fact. I have no idea, on the other hand, what your argument is, because you have not put forth an argument, but simply have made a bunch of unfounded, irrational accusations. This makes it difficult to take you seriously, ftr.

  • Meghan Murphy

    They are neoliberals, not leftist. And they are making regressive arguments about innate ‘gender’ which has been used by the right to naturalize women’s oppression for some time now. They may well be unaware of this, but it is what they are doing.

  • Meghan Murphy

    My articles are only offensive to people who are unwilling to question or consider their dogmatic beliefs. Having opinions that some don’t understand or like to hear does not = ‘offensive.’

    I also have not quoted anyone ‘transphobic,’ I have quoted feminists who have been labelled as ‘transphobic’ with the specific intention of smearing them and therefore deterring people from hearing what they are saying. This is not a new tactic — misogynists/anti-feminists have long called feminists all sorts of names in order to convince the public they are dangerous, extremist, nutjobs. This means that what you are doing now is also misogynist. You aren’t fooling anyone here, sorry.

  • Cassandra

    You’re male, aren’t you?

    • Meghan Murphy

      Anna-Jane, are you aware that trans activists had Kenneth Zucker fired? An incredibly well-respected psychologist who had run the GIC in Toronto for decades? http://nymag.com/scienceofus/2016/02/fight-over-trans-kids-got-a-researcher-fired.html

      They did this ONLY because he took an approach that first tried to get kids who believed they were trans to feel comfortable with their bodies, instead of immediately transing them, putting them on hormone blockers, etc. They went so far as to lie about him in order to do so. But yeah, no ‘unfeeling, uncaring mob’ there…

      • FakeFeminist

        “When a PhD student at the clinic did a follow-up study with 139 of Zucker’s former patients a few years ago, she found that 88 percent of them were now happy with their natal sex. Eighty-eight percent is a stunning statistic—one that challenges the increasing trend toward affirming a child’s stated gender.”

        https://thewalrus.ca/growing-up-trans/

        What a monster this guy is, right? If these 139 kids had gone to any other clinic, they would ALL have been put on hormone blockers, “socially transitioned”, etc, and in 122 of those cases it would have been completely unnecessary.

      • Anna-Jane

        You want some real, physical violence, lead by women? I mean, there was the time that Janice Raymond and her colleagues made repeated threats to Olivia Records because the collective included Sandy Stone, a trans women. Or the time they threatened to kill her, and brought guns to a show. ( http://transadvocate.com/terf-violence-and-sandy-stone_n_14360.htm )

        What about the time that a radical feminist named Robin Tyler was physically attacked on stage, because she was defending Beth Elliot, a trans woman, from assault instigated by Robin Morgan? ( http://transadvocate.com/that-time-terfs-beat-radfems-for-protecting-a-trans-woman-from-assault_n_14382.htm )

        What about the time that Janice Raymond managed to revoke all insurance covering for trans women? ( #1 http://transadvocate.com/fact-checking-janice-raymond-the-nchct-report_n_14554.htm ) ( #2 http://transgenderlawcenter.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/Economic-Impact-Assessment-Gender-Nondiscrimination-In-Health-Insurance.pdf )

        This was all done by “TERFs”. Do you want me to see you through the eyes of these bigots? Or by people who have conversations and try to meet in the middle.

        • Meghan Murphy

          Oh please. I know Janice Raymond and have been in contact with Robin many times. I don’t believe this ridiculous garbage for a second. Go smear women elsewhere, please.

          • Anna-Jane

            I’m not smearing women. I’m pointing out facts that have evidence behind them.

            But GL with your life. I’m turning of notifs from this, I’ve got enough on my plate and you guys denying people their rights is probably the last thing I need on it.

            I hope you have a nice day.

          • Meghan Murphy

            Neither Janice Raymond nor Robin Morgan have threatened to kill or hurt anyone. You are ridiculous.

          • Cassandra

            Males don’t have a “right” to colonize, silence and shit all over women. I hope someday you’ll be embarrassed at how absurd you sound and feel ashamed at how you’re regurgitating big pharma newspeak, junk psychology newspeak, and sexist, homophobic bullshit that is incredibly harmful to female people and gay people.

  • Meghan Murphy

    Saw that on Twitter! Do you have it handy to post here by any chance?

  • Meghan Murphy

    Yeah winters are not toooo bad here in Vancouver… Everywhere else in canada seems pretty harsh, though. (This comes from someone who HATES the snow, to be fair. I know many East Coasters like the snow much better than the rainy winters we have in Vancouver…)

    • Alienigena

      Even if it is cold on the prairies/foothills the sun tends to shine brightly quite often in winter. So if you like sun and can tolerate the cold, even the colder parts of Canada can be OK. And for those of us that don’t mind the flat (though I grew up near the foothills and Rockies, so in view of the prairies, prairie adjacent), the prairies (really cold, because of less moisture). I remember enjoying the lack of snow my last year of high school (completed in Tsawwassen, BC) and being able to play outdoor tennis in the rain in the middle of winter, which was another kind of cold. Though it can snow there, snowfalls tend to be brief, heavy and the snow shortlived. On the coast seems to become greyscale, the huge trees, the crows and ravens, the mist over what were (in my time there) rotting fields of cabbage. But then you get flowers (primroses) blooming in February (probably January now), so you have hope that spring is close. The thing I miss in the winter anywhere in Canada is the diminishing number of daylight hours. When I moved north in my province for a job I lost 20 minutes of winter daylight. You notice it.

  • Meghan Murphy

    rabble staff were incredibly disrespectful to me throughout. Judy said rude things about me behind my back, some of those involved during rabble’s inception and who’d been involved in other ways throughout the years DID support the petition. The only reason I stayed on at rabble is because it would have looked bad if rabble fired me, not because they support my work. Since, they have essentially tried to silently bully and push me out in various manipulative ways. A male editor has consistently censored my work and recently accused me of ‘transphobia’ due to the menstruators piece. A man! Like, the audacity to accuse a women of ‘transphobia’ because she understands how patriarchy and biology work! I will have more news to share on the situation there in the near future.

    • lagattamontral

      Well, if that is so it is very unfortunate, given the danger and abuse Judy underwent during the Morganthaler clinic saga and other struggles over the decades. Yes, I am aware of the stupid transphobia accusation. But I’m not going to leave again unless they ban me. My posts at rabble have more to do with ecosocialism and Indigenous issues than feminism per se, though of course informed by a feminist perspective.

      • Meghan Murphy

        Fair enough. I certainly would never ask or expect anyone to leave rabble on my account! I just wanted to share my experience with them, since the petition, which has been mostly negative. They want all the petition-makers back onside and want me out. They just can’t say as much out loud.

    • Cassandra

      “A male editor has consistently censored my work and recently accused me of ‘transphobia’ due to the menstruators piece”

      Nope. Transgender ideology isn’t a men’s rights movement at all, and it’s totes progressive to tell women not to talk about their female bodies. /s

      This enrages me.

      • Meghan Murphy

        Right? Now men feel confident dictating what our movement is and should be about. He is supported in calling women anti-feminist names. Thanks trans activism! Thanks third wave feminism!

    • Alienigena

      Can’t stand rabble.ca anymore. Part of it is the way they treated you and the rest is just that I don’t think their particular bias (left-leaning supposedly) makes their reporting any more trustworthy than mainstream media. Like some others I have been visiting rabble for some time. There was a site called Straight Goods (labour movement oriented) that I also visited, but I think it was folded into rabble.ca. I started looking for alternatives to mainstream media after listening to CBC’s reporting of the invasion of Iraq in 2003. The original Iraq war coverage was also offensive (making it into a video game almost). Michael Enright did some armchair war reporting, in a manner flippant enough (about areas being bombed and lights (read missiles) in the sky to be really enraging. I found DemocracyNow.org and then rabble.ca. I also visited Real News a few times. I think the fact that some (a very few) stories covered on such sites verge on the kind of musings that a conspiracy theorists would engage in (yes, I know some conspiracies are true) and an incredibly self-righteous and self-congratulatory streak puts me off sites like rabble.ca and DemocracyNow.org. And their journalistic heroes seem to have limited insights. I learned about Blackwater, Guantanamo, Palestine/Israeli conflict, Abu Grahib, and Wikileaks from DemocracyNow.org because they were the obsessions of the journalists affiliated with the show. But when it came to the sexual assaults of female military personnel the stories were few and far between (when a documentary was released). Or the fate of women in Afghanistan or Iraq during the war and after. I don’t really feel comfortable with mainstream or alt-media at this point.

      • Alienigena

        Judy Rebick standing by Jian Ghomeshi, before she (or Elizabeth May, or Sheila Copps (former MP Hamilton, ON)) had any facts of the cases dealing with his abuse and harassment of women in the entertainment and news industries and specific women with whom he worked. She could have reserved judgement. You never know how men behave in the private sphere, but there was also evidence his abusive behaviour continued into the public sphere. The willful blindness of certain women (e.g. my mother and sister) towards really scuzzy male behaviour (or entire patterns of behaviour that indicate a potential for such behaviour) never ceases to aggravate me.

  • Meghan Murphy

    You are oversimplifying the issue. Also, it is not feminism or society’s responsibility to validate the chosen ‘identities’ of individuals. There is absolutely no good reason to base politics or legislation on the feelings and preferences of narcissistic children who want to be more special than they actually are.

  • Meghan Murphy

    Again, please respond to the actual arguments being made. I am not “offended by the notion of someone having a gender identity that goes against their biological sex” — there is actually just NO SUCH THING AS GENDER IDENTITY. It’s not a real thing.

  • Meghan Murphy

    Yes, fair point. Anna-Jane is intentionally phrasing it in a manipulative way, but the ‘trans’ trend indeed does harm children, you are right.

  • Meghan Murphy

    While I understand that a small minority of people suffer from gender dysphoria, that does not actually mean that gender/gender identity is an innate thing. It just means that some people suffer from a mental disorder that causes them to believe they were ‘born in the wrong body’/are actually the opposite sex. But feeling or desiring to be a woman, if one is male, does not literally mean that person is a woman, it just means they are a male who wishes to live as a women. And frankly, people can do whatever they want with their own lives and bodies, but they cannot force the entire world to play along.

    “Stepping up on that, let’s look at what the core of the problem is: A group of people wish for you to call them something that you think they are not. It’s pretty clear you don’t consider transgender women to be women.”
    Transgender women are literally not women. I understand this makes them unhappy, but it is true. Again, it is not feminism’s job to validate individual wishes, delusions, or desires. If I told you I was a dog, are you obligated to agree?

    “You claim that they silence the ability to speak on behalf of your body, which I’ve not yet seen so keep my updated.”

    Well I and MANY other women have been accused of transphobia simply for pointing out that ONLY women have reproductive systems. Also, numerous transactivists claim to be ‘triggered’ by talk of women’s bodies AS WOMEN’S BODIES.

    “You claim that people will use this to rape people in the washrooms.”
    Um, no, I have not claimed that. Again, please stick to the actual words I have said.

    “Not to say a predatory man wont just walk into the ladies room without having to undergo years of hormone treatment, surgeries, death threats, loss of friends, physical assault, and bigotry among other things.”

    Men who do not properly perform masculinity are bullied and it is awful. Many of these men are gay, others are simply seen as effeminate. It must stop. But the solution to that bullying and homophobia is not to claim that these men are ACTUALLY women, it is to challenge the notions of masculinity and femininity themselves, as well as to challenge homophobia.

    “To point out why a lot of this just isn’t nice, it just isn’t okay! This feels awful, to come across feministcurrent I expected inclusivity, I expected women trying to fight together and not to bottleneck their fight by destroying a group of people that they don’t deem as ‘women’.”

    I’m sorry that it doesn’t feel nice when people make arguments or state facts that don’t go along with the dogma you have chosen to absorb, but it is not feminism’s responsibility to be ‘nice’ and make everyone feel good. Feminism is not a self-help book. This is not some new age garbage, this is not some capitalist faux-movement that sells ’empowerment’ instead of liberation. Feminism is NOT inclusive and I have no idea where you got the idea that it was. Feminism is a movement towards the liberation of women. It is a movement FOR WOMEN. Why is it that feminism is expected to ‘include’ everything and everyone?? It’s ridiculous. And entirely sexist. Women are ALWAYS expected to accommodate everyone else’s needs before their own. And that stops here. We’re going to put women first, FOR ONCE, in our own fucking movement. Deal with it.

  • Cassandra

    “There’s a difference between not wanting to have sex with somebody because they’ve got a penis, and not wanting to have sex with somebody because they’re transgender.”

    I honestly don’t understand what you mean by this. If someone who is claiming to be a woman has a penis, he is male. It’s the same thing. And I’m not a lesbian. I’m just horrified at what’s being done to lesbians in terms both of pressure from transwomen to have sex with them (because lesbianism by definition has nothing to do with penis), and I’m also horrified by all the young lesbians caught up in believing they need to say they’re men because they aren’t “feminine.” I stand with my fellow females on this. By your reasoning “transphobia” is anybody having a sexual orientation. It is not “bigotry” to understand that penis is male. Do you ever really listen to the bullshit you’re shoveling? You sound like an MRA.

    • Morag999

      “If someone who is claiming to be a woman has a penis, he is male.”

      Ha. The sentences we’re forced to write, eh? Crazy!

      • Cassandra

        Yes. It’s the twilight zone.

  • Cassandra

    Nope. Not a strawman at all. I would suggest you look at the awful things trans activists say before you defend them or maybe listen to lesbians when they talk about this stuff instead of telling them they’re “bigots.”

  • Cassandra

    “You’re just masking your hate for a group of people – those you consider “men”, even if they’re not – by claiming it’s something else.”

    Paul Elam called. He wants you back.

    • Tired feminist

      lol YES I totally thought that too. This person sounds and acts exactly like a MRA.

    • Alienigena

      Funny thing is that I don’t even of men as men (in my mind) all that frequently … I refer to them as dick or penis possessors. So am I considering trans women to be men or just dick possessors? So anyone with a dick (or someone who ever had a dick) is a dick possessor. I don’t see why I can’t reduce men to less than the sum of their parts. They do it to female persons all the time. And since I have never seemed to have a biological imperative to like men or be liked by them (not in my make-up and having some very bad male role models growing up probably didn’t hurt) while not being lesbian. I am not overtly rude to men in my daily life/job but if they come for me (threaten me with violence, or swear at me especially when I have done nothing to provoke it) I will defend myself, or threaten to do so physically. Men so like to threaten, it is why they don’t actually have to be physically violent all the time, a threat stands in for actual physical violence, keeping the women in line.

  • Cassandra

    “Turn the person down if you don’t want to have sex with a trans woman because you’re not comfortable with their genitalia”

    LOL! Last I heard, lesbians are indeed “uncomfortable” with penis. Holy shit.

    • Morag999

      ‘LOL! Last I heard, lesbians are indeed “uncomfortable” with penis. Holy shit.’

      No. That’s the old-fashioned, man-hating kind of lesbian, I think.

      The younger, hipper lesbians apparently really dig having sex with men. It’s true! Not because they’re heterosexual — oh no, no! Because they’re queer, and they’ve queered the whole concept of homosexuality by having heterosexual romps, relationships and marriages. It’s a brilliant and revolutionary strategy to “fuck with the man” and will eventually change the world. They just, like, fuck whoever, and watch everybody, all those boring vanilla people, stand there with their jaws on the floor, all shocked and stuff. It’s radical. Woo-hoo Woot!

      Get with it, Cassandra. What R U, some kind of right-wing bigot?

      • Cassandra

        “Queer.” Ugh. What a mess. How anybody can’t see what a backlash this is against gay and women’s rights progress I don’t know. It’s clear as day.

  • Morag999

    Aww. I think that’s sweet.

  • Felina Femenina

    “And anyone, woman or man, straight or gay, who rejects trans people as sexual partners should be able do so without accusations of bigotry. Accusations of bigotry amount to emotional and psychological coercion. Anybody, anytime, for ANY reason may reject anyone, including transgender people, as sexual partners.”

    Agreed. He made the declaration as if it were natural, universal moral law. A person can decide to not have sex with someone for any reason under the sun, or for no reason at all. No one has the right to shame and manipulate someone by slapping a disparaging label on it. Girls and women are shamed enough as it is for not giving in to sex if a guy was horny and wanted it, and as a result, many girls and women are traumatized for doing something they didn’t want to, weren’t comfortable with, or didn’t feel ready for. Now if the one with the penis “identifies as a woman,” a woman or girl is a bigot for not being attracted or turned on, and saying no? What he wrote sounds like male entitlement.

    • Cassandra

      “What he wrote sounds like male entitlement.”
      Yes, the entire discourse surrounding it is one big steaming pile of male entitleshit.

  • Meghan Murphy

    Right. No different than those ‘sex work’ advocates who accuse feminists of being conservative prudes for wanting to help prostituted women. These people are so fucked up, honestly.

  • FakeFeminist

    Do you understand what the terms “bell curve” and “neuroplasticity” mean? First off, it is impossible to determine a person’s sex or “gender identity” based on a scan of their brain. Absolutely, 100% impossible. Secondly, using the brains of socialized adults to prove an innate quality is simply bad science. Behavior and experiences shape the structure of our brains. This is known.

    https://www.theguardian.com/science/2013/dec/07/brain-science-ditch-male-female-cliche
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neuroplasticity
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4111126

    “To point out why a lot of this just isn’t nice”

    Feminism isn’t about being nice.

    “This doesn’t make the LGBT group stronger. This type of thing breaks it apart.”

    Spouting the line that male people are entitled sexual access to lesbian bodies didn’t have anything to do with that?

  • FakeFeminist

    I have rarely heard a woman say, “as a woman~” let alone say that in a feminist forum (nearly everyone here is a woman lol). That is usually a male thing, because we’re supposed to sit down and pay attention when we hear “as a man”, and they don’t realize it doesn’t work when we say it.

    Also this is total irrelevant male fantasy stuff. I find it hard to believe any woman would think we care about this tidbit:

    “It’s like those drooling male psuedo-intellectuals who used to hit on me in highschool.”

    So I think you might be right. Not that it really matters.

    • Cassandra

      Yes, that’s a good point. Women generally don’t go around saying “As a woman…” That’s more likely to get us dismissed. 😉

  • FakeFeminist

    Clearly people who care about education reform are the most regressive of us all.

  • Just Passing Through

    I have only ever been to Vancouver BC and absolutely loved it! We happened upon Stanley Park right at sunset, it was really beautiful there. We were there in November (of 1996) and it wasn’t too terribly cold as I remember. I just hear all the time how cold it is there, perhaps it’s more of an assumption from your dummy neighbors to the south who automatically think of Canada as freezing all the time 🙂 …..would love to visit Canada again..I’ve always wanted to see Banff and Quebec.

    • Morag999

      Nah, it’s not dumb to assume it’s freezing up here most of the time. Large swaths of Canada are cold for up to seven months out of the year! I think what surprises some visitors and newcomers from warm/tropical climates is that we have blazing hot (but short) summers. Extremes.

  • lagattamontral

    People have the right not to want to have sex with ANYONE, for any reason. It is a relationship (short or long-term). It has nothing to do with equal employment or accommodation rights for lgbt people or people of colour.

  • Meghan Murphy

    You are allowed to identify as and believe in what you wish — that does not mean you may force your beliefs or identity on everyone else around you.

    Also, do I need to clarify that I believe it is wrong to institutionalize personal ‘gender identity’ into law? My OPINION is that it is wrong to force your personal (imagined) identity on those around you. I am aware that transactivists are doing their best to push this kind of legislation forward nonetheless.

  • Meghan Murphy

    I don’t yet have a hard and fast opinion on gender dysphoria. I’ve changed my mind more than once about transgenderism in general as I learn more about it from both the medical community/therapists/social workers as well as from radical feminists and other thinkers, academics, and theorists. As I continue to learn and think my analysis is likely to change and become more solidified as well.

    I’m not quite sure what it was in particular you felt disappointed by in the piece, so I’m not able to respond directly to that. Feel free to elaborate if you like.

    At this point, based on talking to and learning from others who have studied the issue/phenomenon, my opinion is that a small minority of people suffer from a mental condition called gender dysphoria, some men (many of whom have pumped money into the trans rights movement) are autogynephilic and wish to justify their behaviour/fetish, and most others who are transing or being transed as kids are just gender non-conforming people, lesbians, or gay men who are transing as part of a social trend.

  • Meghan Murphy

    Look, I’m not American and am not an expert in American legislation, so I’m not going to argue with you about this particular decision.

    You are responding to my argument, which I’ve made clear is an opinion. Obviously there are lots of people who think people’s personal ‘gender identity’ SHOULD be enforced on everyone else around them. My opinion is that, while individuals should have the right to feel or believe whatever they like about themselves, they should not have the right to enforce their own personal identity on everyone else. I am not talking about marriage, because marriage is a legal contract (and I don’t support the institution of marriage anyway, so it’s not like I’m pro-marriage, even when it is gay people who are getting married), I’m talking about people’s personal narcissistic, invented ‘identities’ that are relatively meaningless.

  • Wren

    You can’t be serious. Nobody has to have sex with anyone they don’t want to, for whatever reason. Ever. You just completely revealed the brutal and violent core of your ideology.

  • Wren

    Just cause something is legal, doesn’t mean it’s right. Or sane.

    • Meghan Murphy

      Yes. This is the other thing. Feminists are constantly fighting towards legislative changes. Mainly men have been responsible for legislation since forever. I have no idea why we should assume that simply because something is law, it is right.

      • Cassandra

        Gotta love the appeal to authority fallacy.

    • Tobysgirl

      Are you thinking of slavery? genocide? concentration camps? apartheid? the ownership of women and children? corporal punishment? capital punishment? (One could go on and on.)
      These were all perfectly “legal.”

      • Wren

        Exactly. Whenever anyone uses the law to justify their behavior it is evident they are very privileged. The rest of us have been compelled to question laws.

  • Cassandra

    True that. And can you imagine if they tried to shove this shit down straight men’s throats? Unfortunately it’s that kind of thing that can lead to violence against them, which is a manifestation of both homophobia and misogyny.

  • Cassandra

    I thought lesbians were only attracted to females.

  • FakeFeminist

    sexandgenderintro.com

  • Mar Iguana

    “If a child can have two mothers or two fathers, I don’t see why a biological male can not be a woman…”

    A child can only have one biological mother (female) and one biological father (male).

    • Alienigena

      Technically, a child can have two mothers and a father. There was a story recently about using the egg of a donor mother because the mitochondrial DNA of the biological mother was damaged and had led to years of children dying soon after birth or dying in the womb. The recent news covered a procedure that was carried out in Mexico. Basically you denucleate the donor mother’s egg and replace it with bio mother’s nucleus. So the child is genetically the mother’s but has some of the donor mother’s MT-DNA (used to determine maternal haplogroups during genetic testing for purpose of ancestry/familial connection). The procedure has long been available theoretically, it isn’t a new procedure but it was banned in most western countries due to ethical concerns. In the recent case there seemed to be minimal downsides but an ethicist interviewed by CBC had some reservations. Stories from past procedures.

      http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-28986843

      As Wren indicates below just because something is legal doesn’t make it right.

  • FakeFeminist

    Lesbians don’t exist to validate your identity. If someone says they don’t want to have sex or a relationship with people of a given sex, that is their right, full stop. Sexuality simply isn’t “fluid” for most people, and it’s not bigotry to have a preference for one sex over the other.

    EDIT: Whoops I assumed you were a trans activist offended at the “misgendering”. I peeked at your history and it seems you are not, but I think you might also be lost…

  • Tired feminist

    “Spite towards not being the only important thing anymore” HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA ok when exactly in history have women’s rights been considered important by ANYONE ELSE than feminists?

  • Tired feminist

    Oh look, the MRA dropping his mask! What a surprise!

    • Tobysgirl

      You always know it’s a man when it goes on and on and on and on.

  • Leo

    Agree with Meghan’ answer, just thought I’d try to explain my stance on it to maybe show how some feminists are coming to the position they are (since I know others have similar views). Prefacing this with the fact that I have severe mental illness (with very likely biological/neurological basis), so that’s the perspective I’m personally coming from.

    The point is that it’s not, from a feminist perspective, necessarily a legitimate civil rights struggle as it currently stands, and is in fact harmful, to women and girls and transgender people themselves – and that applies even *if* there is a biological (neurological) cause for sex dysphoria (even ‘brain wiring’ telling a person they were female don’t make it so, for instance, and there isn’t proof such a thing exists. We know relatively little about the causes. Even if a ‘female brain’ really did exist the person wouldn’t somehow be really female, nor could we make assumptions about what that meant – clearly it doesn’t make women ultra-girly femininity conforming, because most aren’t). The approach is wrong and not helping the people it purports to help. If the best treatment that can be offered is permanent, serious and risky changes to healthy bodies, then we need better treatment, and people with sex dysphoria deserve that. Using pronouns to avoid triggering someone’s dysphoria on a personal basis can be helpful on an in-the-moment sort of basis, in the same way that ‘giving in’ and offering reassurance to someone with OCD (‘no, that’s not contaminated, it’s fine’) is not ideal but might be the only way they could handle a specific situation, but widespread lying about people’s biological sex is not helpful, and not truly kind – we don’t continually reinforce the false beliefs of those with mental illness, we help them learn to deal with them as best as possible, and hopefully overcome them (this *is* possible with sex dysphoria). Some of us can’t, however, or need better treatment options before that becomes possible – despite the narrative that’s pushed about other treatments not working for transgender people (therapy, CBT), they actually fairly frequently don’t work for mental illness either. Treating transgender people as a separate category to those with mental illness/neurological conditions is also usually done in a way that undermines us – their struggles are genuine and must not be compared to us, we’re just crazy people who don’t matter.

    Dishonesty about pronouns may also harm women and girls, because language affects how people think and it encourages people to think of the person as the sex they are not – it’s easier to see for instance why a ‘he’ might not belong in the woman’s changing area than a ‘she’.

    If I didn’t care about trans people, particularly children (have you seen the fourthwavenow website?), I’d honestly not bother to oppose it, because it’s too exhausting even for the sake of feminism. If it should turn out in the end I’m on the wrong side of history, I’ll be sorry for it (and have no intention of being inflexible and dogmatic, I’ll revise my view of dysphoria as needed in light of research), I came to this position after a lot of thought and am just trying to do what seems best.

    • Meghan Murphy

      Thanks Leo.

    • Wren
      • Cassandra

        This is really disturbing. People called this person “she” because she is female. It’s such a mindfuck to try to make people deny reality and then turn around and try to sue them because the child committed suicide and blame one of the factors of the suicide on people knowing she is female. My intuition when I looked at that picture in the frame is that she was a lesbian. A lesbian in a culture that hates unfeminine women. What the fuck is even going on? This is heartbreaking.

      • Leo

        That’s incredibly sad. It obviously wasn’t the only issue, but what were the psychiatry unit staff thinking, causing a child in crisis more distress? Usually I’m not surprised by the insensitivity of medical staff, but that one is weird, usually they seem happy to use the opposite sex pronouns regardless of situation. Very tragic. RIP.

        Drawing a comparison here as best I can, not intending to imply OCD is any exact equivalent to sex dysphoria (I’ve actually had symptoms that would be borderline or count as such though, and have noticed some similarity in sufferers’ descriptions of triggering. There may be some link, perhaps even an OCD/autism/dysphoria one), and obviously I am completely prepared to revise opinions on the nature of sex dysphoria in light of new information…

        I don’t think the ‘pinging’ described is simply inevitable, though – I have a ton of OCD triggers (which I do not expect the whole world to avoid tripping off, nor is there ever any suggestion that anyone should do that when it comes to OCD, despite the severity of it and it being rated among the top ten most disabling illnesses by the WHO. And yep, suicidal ideation can be included, it is for me, I’ve intended to kill myself before because I needed reassurance I wasn’t getting and self harmed in various ways, and one study showed OCD patients are ten times more likely to commit suicide – I’m explaining that to establish it isn’t that I don’t have any understanding of how desperate people can feel, it’s just I know reinforcing false beliefs doesn’t help in the long run) which aren’t necessarily intrinsically meaningful, rather it’s part of how my ‘sticky’ brain (it gets stuck on things when non-OCD people wouldn’t) works that they become imbued with such – while there may well be a biological factor in casing my brain to get stuck on things, it’s partly learned, in terms of what the specific obsessions are or what happens to be currently bothering me, is what I’m saying. With us OCD people, treatment doesn’t focus on the content of the obsessions, because it’s not very meaningful and could probably just lead to reinforcing them. There isn’t an intrinsic reason someone should be unable to cope with the correct pronouns being used, since it is factually accurate in what is referred to (even were a female brain in a male body or vice versa true, it doesn’t automatically follow that referring accurately to their male or female body should cause such distress) and pronouns are a cultural thing, rather it’s something they’ve become sensitised to. The insistence among some transactivists that ‘misgendering’ is always terrible and violent may in itself reinforce that.

    • Ronnie Ray

      Thank you Leo and Meghan for the thoughtful answers. I started reading Fourthwavenow (thanks for the recommendation Leo). Some of the stories there are heartbreaking. The pressure on GNC kids to transition is truly shocking, I had no idea it was this bad.

  • Tobysgirl

    I am not saying anything about gay or bi that it is not being said by gay men at GenderTrender. Older gay men who do not go along with transgenderism have experienced a degree of what radical feminists have experienced — ostracism, name-calling, etc. For some odd reason, much of the gay male and some of the lesbian community are gung-ho for transgenderism, a movement which many see as eugenics against gays and lesbians (think Iran, think transing gender-conforming children).
    And I’m sorry you don’t like my tone, but many of the gay men I have known were serious misogynists.
    George W Bush got into Yale because that’s where previous members of his family went — it’s part of his inheritance.

  • Meghan Murphy

    I’ve asked countless men not to call me a bitch, cunt, or slut, and yet…

  • Ronnie Ray

    I used to, but now I’m not sure. I’ve only recently started thinking more critically about the ideological conflict between trans politics and feminism. I’m pretty undecided about what “progressive” public policy would look like.

    The point I was trying to make is that regardless of what I think, trans politics are seen by the mainstream left as being progressive, foundational to social justice, etc. I’ve wondered if some kind of compromise politics can be (has been?) developed which centers women’s liberation while affirming the identities of trans people (at least those with bodily dysphoria). I’m becoming less hopeful though as there seem to be too many contradictions between the two sides.

    • Wren

      So how does the encouragement of genital mutilation and a lifetime of hormone therapy further anyone’s liberation?

      • Ronnie Ray

        I’ve been reading fourthwavenow which Leo linked to. I agree it’s a problem that they’re being encouraged (especially to young people) and that the side effects and seriousness of these treatments are being downplayed. That doesn’t necessarily mean that they shouldn’t be an option in some cases. I haven’t read the research on this yet, but there’s the argument that they’re important treatments for those with severe and otherwise unlivable sexual dysphoria.

        • Leo

          The proof just isn’t really there that it’s needed. *Why* is it helping? Any benefit can surely only be psychological, not physiological – even were the brain truly opposite sexed or ‘miswired’ in some way (not proven), reconfiguring the body’s appearance isn’t actually changing that, all it’s doing is changing the visual appearance, sometimes in quite a limited way. Proprioception etc does not rely on vision – if their brain were ‘wired’ to expect an opposite sexed body to that they have, why would simply changing the appearance help? Why can some live with only hormones and no surgery, or only top surgery, or no hormones at all? Given the limitations on what’s possible for transmen to achieve via SRS
          in terms of a convincing appearance, why can they live with that? And most of all, why can some overcome dysphoria, even find it diminishes with time? What of historical cases, before this option were available?

          Fact is it’s not intrinsically unlivable with (there is after all nothing actually wrong with their body, indeed there’s more potential loss of functionality after such treatment), it’s their psychological state (which there may be a neurological cause behind) that makes them feel that way. Thus it may be possible to address in other ways. That doesn’t mean other approaches are going to work (again I’ll point out that the lack of effective treatments is just accepted or ignored with other mental illness/neurological conditions), but altering healthy bodies in this way isn’t an answer to a psychological/neurological problem – indeed it’s a pretty bizarre path for the treatment options to have taken and out of line with how we treat other conditions (other types of dysphoria). I’d be prepared to support a (hypothetical) new psychiatric drug over this even if it was also risky, because it’d make more sense.

          • Hormones are drugs that have an effect. Men with autogynephilia sometimes lose their autogynephilia when they start taking female hormones. So they no longer want to transition. Then they stop taking the hormones. Then the autogynephilia comes back. I think this is in Anne Lawrence’s book.

  • Cassandra

    Yes, a heterosexual male, in other words. 😉

  • Ellen

    Terrific article. Thank you for writing this.

    • Meghan Murphy

      Thanks Ellen!

  • Meghan Murphy

    I know, right? It was obvious to me the second I started reading that this guys was a liar and an abuser. And I’d been a fan of his up until that moment!!

  • Sabine

    Please explain what it is you ARE saying then. Where is this bigotry you’re accusing all of us radfems of stemming from if we’re actually all free to not want to sleep with trans women??? You very explicitly stated that not wanting to sleep with somebody because they are transgender is transphobia:

    “There’s a difference between not wanting to have sex with somebody because they’ve got a penis, and not wanting to have sex with somebody because they’re transgender. The latter is transphobia while the former is a completely okay thing to do.”

  • Melanie

    What a revealing comment. It’s no surprise that the majority of transwomen identify as ‘lesbians’ if men view relationships as a means to control women.

  • johnnyRotten

    To be honest I think the T in LGBT is weird, what does a mental health issue have to do with ones innate sexual preference? (why not add any other marginalised group?) Why not add a D and align with disabled or (B)lack people. LGB all have a unifying cause: fighting gendered prejudice against peoples sexual preference. Being gay isn’t a mental health issue. Its normal. It doesn’t harm any other marginalised group. Cutting of your own penis is a mental health issue. And saying it isn’t harms marginalised women AND trans-inclined people. Perhaps there’s some perceived social prejudice that comes from asking others to deny this fact. But this seems like an odd focal point because plenty of right wing men would agree with the statement: ‘any man who wants to dress like a girl is a fag who should have his balls cut off’ . And yet it is lib fems like you who support their fucked up view. It is you who marginalises people with mental health problems by telling them its just a civil rights issue, that they can just choose their gender and everyone else should stop trying to help with their science and facts and care and compassion and logic.

  • johnnyRotten

    ‘this article about how deeply offended you are by people having an
    identity that does not fit into your political mindset is 90% of the
    reason people take feminism and most importantly radical feminism with a
    grain of salt.’

    I don’t think anyone here would disagree that the reason people take feminism with a pinch of salt is because 90% of people have a sexist political mindset based on centuries of oppressive gender identity politics. Did you think feminism was about popularism and appealing to the political status quo? Even for a lib fem that’s a lame comment.

  • Wren

    It is definitely eugenics, and they are searching for a biological basis for oppression. Sometimes I don’t give a shit what adults are doing to their bodies, but the fact that the medical community is doing this to children is absolutely horrifying. There will be a brutal backlash at some point in the future. I just keep thinking about a documentary I saw once on East German Olympic swimmers and the hormones they were given. They suffered for the rest of their lives.

    I feel somewhat guilty for saying this, but I do think that parents share some culpability and responsibility, despite pressure from the medical community or culture. I think it makes them feel special, too, and maybe gives them some attention that they felt they were lacking. I don’t want to say it’s Munchauser Syndrome by Proxy, but I can’t imagine putting my child through all this without considering the long term health costs and, well, just fucking common sense.

    • anne

      Some of it is definitely Munchausen’s by Proxy, especially the ‘my toddler is transgendered’ crowd. Parents inventing symptoms and even causing symptoms in children and then insisting on medical treatment, in order for parents to get attention and compassion, while causing harm to children is literally what we see on these shows where parents are lauded and congratulated for fucking up their kids. One of classic MbP scenarios would be the parent (usually mother) feeding child with too much salt, or too much water, or causing welts and lesions in the skin, leading to child developing fits, or getting multiple investigations and biopsies, on medication and often having repeated admissions and ‘mysterious’ diagnoses. MbP is a mental disorder deeply rooted in passive aggression and narcissism, so parents doing it would be susceptibe to personality disorders, which as rule cause them to feel they are right in whatever they choose to do. Doctors often don’t suspect something’s wrong until the admissions become frequent, or presenting symptoms worsen after reassurance that nothing’s wrong, but even then, it takes a trained (and sceptical) eye to spot it early. Imagine a parent deliberately coaxing a child too young to understand, towards opposite gender toys, feeding doctors these narratives that fulfill a gender identity diagnosis, leading to potentially lethal treatments and lots of congratulating attention. The difference is that gender identity diagnosis is the only one in medicine which a classic MbP behaviour by parents (much like classic fetishistic behaviour by men) is positively encouraged and medically and politically enabled. It boggles my mind, but I guarantee you that vast majority of my colleagues have no idea this is happening. I just saw a write up in a medical journal a month ago, glossing over the issue by encouraging doctors to be tolerant and use correct pronouns, no word of transing kids, what this is really all about, So the doctors are being groomed and lied to as well. Paediatricians even don’t know, unless they are working in a related field like endocrinology, this is being done on a sly, and now people’s licences are threatened if they oppose. In UK there’s all out assault on doctors by the government, people are forced to sign illegal and extremely unsafe and damaging contracts (unsafe for patients) so medical community has a lot on its plate and I think this is not a coincidence at all. Safeguarding our patients, do no harm, is the primary motivation for most of us. Make it so that we can’t advocate on our patients behalf, force us tomdo harm through regulation, and you have destroyed our self-esteem and sense of professionality. This is what they want, a bunch of managers dishing out meds a la USA, demoralised, humilated and controlled automatons for doctors, and best medical care for the chosen few. This is being done behind doctors backs, and by the time they realise, it’ll be too late.

      And you are right, there will be a backlash, probably sooner than we think, but awful lot of vulnerable people and kids will pay the price. When I was at uni we heard horror stories of gender assignment for intersex children, the mind bending brainwashing they called therapy, which was full of perverted male doctors even getting intersex kids to undress and sexually ‘explore’ in front of them in their assigned gender roles (basically abusive paedophillia) which lead to many suicides and ruined lives. We were horrified, it was supposed to be in the past. I think doctors still can’t imagine something similar could even be allowed. But it is, and big time too.

  • Brenn

    I am a transsexual and I agree that women should be able to challenge the idea of gender identity and be able to speak freely without fear or censorship or loss of platform. Same as those with an opposing view. No one should have their voice silenced. I believe open discourse and people’s experiences will lead them to decide one way or the other. I feel the best outcome is not necessarily mutual agreement on everything but maybe figuring out how to do no harm to one another.
    Speaking strictly for myself, I’m not trying to cause harm to anybody. I physically look and am treated as female but thats not because I want to reinforce or embody any gender role or stereotype. I don’t. I’m still basically the same person I always have been except for the way my body looks. It’s the outside world that’s changed, in that I am treated differently now. Having autonomy over ones own body is the most basic of human rights, so I don’t understand how the way my body looks harms anyone.
    I want to be treated according to how I am as a person, not on other people’s expectations of how I should look or be. I hope that everyone I know would feel free to speak their thoughts with me.

    • johnnyRotten

      I like your comments Brenn, but to my mind it still raises vital questions I feel have been overlooked.

      You say:

      ‘I physically look and am treated as female but thats not because I want to reinforce or embody any gender role or stereotype.’

      Do you think people treat you like a female or like a woman? I mean do you think there is a distinction when it comes to how people treat you or can we assume the word woman here? I think in our society most people will see you either as a woman, a man or a trans. Any distinctions you or I might choose to make between female and woman in the context of wider perceptions about gender i dont think matters. So if you don’t mind I’m going to assume you meant people treat you like a woman and that you look like a woman. (please correct me if im wrong) .

      How do you know what a woman looks like? If you don’t embody a gender stereotype how did you know what your appearance should be like to ensure a successful transition? If people are calling you a woman, and you say you look like a woman (but were born a man), surely its because you have modelled yourself on a what you think a woman should look like. So please can you tell me what informed this image?

      If you chose, for example, to model yourself on someone with shaved legs, high heels and lipstick, then in my mind you have reinforced gender stereotypes (these aren’t innate properties of females) . This is where I always come unstuck with a lot of trans but also a lot of rad fems. I can no more criticise you for reinforcing sexist stereotypes on this account than any rad fem who shaves her legs or wears make-up. In truth, I wouldn’t criticise any women for choosing to shave her legs or wear heels and make up. So I don’t see why I should criticise you either. What I absolutely would challenge is anyone declaring they are not reinforcing gender roles when they do this. Its vital to understand how gender stereotypes are constructed and perpetuated in order to have any chance of gaining enough self confidence to reject them. It doesn’t matter what sex we are, if we are perpetuating gender stereotypes we are helping sexism root itself.

      Still, in a misogynist society, where looking different to either the female or male stereotype can get your head kicked in, I fully support your position. Your comments are otherwise thoughtful and welcome. As long as feminists recognise we are all reinforcing sexist stereotypes most of the time, often unintentionally, sometimes not, then there’s a chance we will be brave enough to reject them. I’m not good at rejecting them, its terrifying, but sites like this do give me a little more courage every day. What angers me is the neo liberal feminist movement (backed mostly by men) co-opting certain types of trans activism to help them appear progressive ( often on a platform that makes a profit in the process) . I happen to think rad fems and right-thinking trans activists are natural allies. I’d love to see more transsexuals take an openly rad-fem position on gender, which means recognising and openly acknowledging their choices may be contributing to the problem of female oppression. That’s what I expect every radical feminist to do. If we can all acknowledge our own part in perpetuating gender norms (which also helps us better understand how we are effected by it ), we can forgive ourselves, work on our individual issues when we’ve put the fire out. Right now we need to get on with the job of tackling the real pedallers of misogyny, rape, abuse, violence, prostitution, hate porn, destitution, racism and all forms of oppression – men.

      • Brenn

        Hello. Thanks for the questions and I’ll try and clarify. When I used the term “female” I was referring to the biological state of being born female. So to clarify, because I look female I am treated as a woman.
        You make some very good points. So I will change my earlier comments to say I try not to embody any gender stereotype, but yes I invariably do often embody these stereotypes. Self examination shows I do; hairstyle, where I shop and sometimes how I act. I guess I fooled myself I didn’t in that if you take all the trappings away and I’m standing there naked one would take me as female, I rarely wear make up, hate high heels, am most comfortable in tee shirt jeans and flip flops, and usually don’t present as what would be called a sexed up males fantasy.
        So I should say that I TRY not to embody gender stereotypes that would harm women and children. Thank you for enlightening me on that point.

  • corvid

    Amazing article and comment thread.
    I felt like I should add something. There is discussion here of trans as a misguided gay and lesbian conversion therapy.

    Wren linked to the Washington Post piece about the trans “boy” who committed suicide. What a heartbreaking story. It was chilling for me to read the symptoms that made everyone concerned believe the little girl was a boy. That’s because, as a young person, I found it very difficult to sustain friendships with girls from around age 10. In my teens, I sought the company of boys instead.

    Internalized misogyny played a part in this, but the other thing is that I have PCOS which caused heightened levels of testosterone, awful mood swings and depression, feelings of anger and aggression, and a deep voice change much like what boys go through. The best way I can describe how I felt in comparison to other girls is that I felt like a big ugly wolf trying to make friends with deer. I hated myself. I was never diagnosed until my mid-20’s and I understand this is not uncommon with this disorder.

    While looking up PCOS information online, I happened upon this study on a possible correlation between trans and PCOS and it kind of blew my mind:
     http://m.humrep.oxfordjournals.org/content/22/4/1011.full
    “Of the 69 participating FTM cases, 40 (58.0%) were found to have PCOS.”
    That’s a majority. In the general population of women, the number is more like 5-10%. That seems very significant. Idk whether any further research has been done on this, but I would definitely be interested in finding out.

    I’m hetero, but I can only imagine the extent to which the combination of being a lesbian and PCOS might push a girl into believing she is trans. Finding radical feminism finally allowed me to accept myself, but in the absence of this, I fear for the fate of young women struggling in pain and confusion. Meghan, you are a true heroine for continuing to ask questions in the face of smear attacks and silencing.

    • Meghan Murphy

      Woah! Interesting — thanks for sharing!

  • Meghan Murphy

    Good to know that MRAs are fully on board with gender identity politics. That you all keep outing yourselves in this way is useful.

  • Cassandra

    How would you know who here is oppressed? Now trot on back to A Voice for Men.

    • Pat Wilms

      Ad hominem attacks are the lowest form of argument. An MRA am not. Interesting that the article was about silencing feminist voices, but you are so quick to silence any opinions you don’t agree with by slanderous name-calling. Argue against the points, not against the person.

      • Meghan Murphy

        You deny that women are oppressed under patriarchy. That makes you either stupid or an MRA. Fact.

        • Pat Wilms

          Again, an ad hominem attack. Calling me “stupid” because I don’t agree with you. Meghan you are capable of being better than this.

          • Meghan Murphy

            You haven’t ‘not agreed with me.’ You haven’t made an argument. You’ve made an untrue statement. Women are, by definition, oppressed under patriarchy. That’s the whole point.

          • Pat Wilms

            Thanks, we are making progress, rather than an ad hominem attack you addressed the question at hand. Now to respond to your post: who gets to decide if a statement is untrue? If you agree that there is no omnipotent arbiter of truth, then logically it is a matter of opinion which statements are true or untrue.

          • Meghan Murphy

            Do you believe patriarchy exists? Yes or no.

          • radwonka

            then no one can decide if gender identity is a real thing or not either, including you lmfao

            what a boring game

          • Melanie

            Also, we’re all equal and the only person who can oppress you is yourself. Except if you’re a man or transgender. Then you’re oppressed by evil women. What convenient, self serving illogic.

      • Cassandra

        I wasn’t trying to argue with you. I was inviting you to get the fuck out of here.

        P.S. Putting patriarchy in scare quotes and then using the term Ad Hominem reveals that you are indeed an MRA. We are very bored by you guys.

      • Cassandra

        Oh, and just so you know: If you were being “silenced” your comment wouldn’t be here at all.

  • Meghan Murphy

    lol. I repeat: Good to know that MRAs are fully on board with gender identity politics. That you all keep outing yourselves in this way is useful.

    • Just Passing Through

      He just listed every tired mra talking point, line by line..but no, not an mra at all… lol.

      • Cassandra

        Yep. He’s literally copying and pasting all their tired old lists from like five years ago and using all their lingo in every one of his replies. Do they think they’re original dropping in here with their litany of bullshit and do they really expect Meghan to argue each one of the points? He’s gotta be like 15, home alone and just discovered the manosphere.

        • Just Passing Through

          Lol yep! He missed one though…. the draft. He didn’t mention the draft. Not one of them have an original thought of their own…like ever.

          • Cassandra

            Oh, yes, that’s true. He didn’t complain about the draft that doesn’t exist anymore. 😉

  • Meghan Murphy

    By ‘different points of view’ do you mean ‘delusion’?

  • melissa

    “Exists today in many societies (Muslim countries, rural India)”

    “Many countries including Germany, India, israel, Burma, Pakistan, Argentina, and England have been ruled by women. ”

    So did Muslim countries like Pakistan, Bangladesh, or somewhere like India stop being patriarchal after being “ruled by women”?

    “in Canada and the US females far outnumber males in college admissions.”

    Same in Iran and some other Muslim countries. Even in Saudi Arabia 60% of all university graduates are women too.Did they stop being patriarchal?

    “So much that they are considering affirmative-action style programs to increase male enrolment.”

    Will they do the same with the disparities going the other way?Of the top colleges and universities in the nation, only Stanford sports a 50-50 gender balance. Harvard and Amherst enroll 56 percent men, Princeton and Chicago 54 percent men, Duke and Berkeley 52 percent and Yale 51 percent. And that doesn’t even begin to approach the gender disparities at Cal Tech (65 percent male, 35 percent female) or MIT (62 percent male, 38 percent female).

    “Considering money as a form of power, men hold most of the wealth in the world…to grab a piece of the wealth if they want to.”

    Lol hear that ladies, its that easy. Just pull yourself by the boot straps and go grab some wealth and power.

    “Not so much because men commit more crimes, rather the evil things that men do are defined as crimes, and the evil things that women do often are not.”

    How high are you? Men make up or the overwhelming majority of all violent crime regardless of country, race, religion or social condition. A 2013 global study on homicide by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime found that males accounted for about 96 percent of all homicide perpetrators worldwide. What is these “evil” thing women are doing?

    “In divorce and child custody law the institutionalized biases against men are extreme to the point of being abusive.”

    Prove it. Go ahead.Every study ever done on this points to the contrary…

    *We began our investigation of child custody aware of a common perception that there is a bias in favor of women in these decisions. Our research contradicted this perception. Although mothers more frequently get primary physical custody of children following divorce, this practice does not reflect bias but rather the agreement of the parties and the fact that, in most families, mothers have been the primary [*748] caretakers of children. Fathers who actively seek custody obtain either primary or joint physical custody over 70% of the time. Reports indicate, however, that in some cases perceptions of gender bias may discourage fathers from seeking custody and stereotypes about fathers may sometimes affect case outcomes. In general, our evidence suggests that the courts hold higher standards for mothers than fathers in custody determinations.*

    http://amptoons.com/blog/files/Massachusetts_Gender_Bias_Study.htm

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/cathy-meyer/dispelling-the-myth-of-ge_b_1617115.html

    http://divorcesupport.about.com/b/2011/12/28/child-custody-there-is-no-gender-bias-during-custody-decisions.htm

    https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2014/sep/28/women-children-family-breakdown-divorce-living-standards

    https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2009/jan/25/divorce-women-research

    https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/insight-therapy/201510/is-marriage-worth-the-trouble-women

    Marriage and divorce is bad, if not worse for women. Maybe stop peddling the same MRA bullshit if you don’t like being called one.

    “a women who murders her husband is portrayed as a victim.”

    Well, was she? A third of all murdered women in the US are killed by an intimate partner. 72% of all murder-suicides involve an intimate partner; 94% of the victims of these murder suicides are female.Lets not act this is anywhere near equivalent.

    ” A man who kills himself and his spouse is considered an abusive murderer.”

    And often either poor “mentally ill” or “family man” that just snapped.

    ” We are equal, the only person who can oppress you is yourself.”

    That’s cute.

  • Cassandra

    “You mentioned quite a few of the building blocks of patriarchal civilization without apprehending what you said.”

    This is every MRA in a nutshell.

  • Meghan Murphy

    “I am a radical feminist in my mid-40s. I’m also Latina and a lesbian. When I learned about radical feminism in the early-90s it was explained to me by my women’s studies professor as a feminist philosophy that defines patriarchy as an umbrella of different forms of oppression. Unlike liberal feminism that simply defines patriarchy as men ruling over women. Radical feminism claimes that the different forms of oppression in society (i.e. sexism, racism, classism, homophobia and anti-environmentalism) are all linked, liked under the umbrella of patriarchy. I learned that you can’t fight one form of oppression and ignore the rest. They are all linked. If you ignore one form of oppression you end up propping up the entire system of patriarchy.”

    Your professor, I’m afraid, sounds a little confused….

    While it is true that women of colour, working class women, and lesbians can suffer differently and in more harsh ways, due to being impacted by various systems of oppression, not patriarchy alone, patriarchy only refers to the systemic oppression of women, as a class, by men, as a class.

    “However, I’m troubled that radical feminism has come to mean excluding trans rights, or gender activists. ”

    Radical feminists are not opposed to trans people having rights, but I wonder what it is about the fight for gender identity or towards the idea of transgenderism that you think fits with the fight to end patriarchy?

    Yes, there were some feminists who tried to exclude lesbians (why? I do not know — it literally makes no sense), but those were not radical feminists. Radical feminism is not pro-heterosexuality. Also, I mean, the obvious thing about this issue is that lesbians are women, so naturally they are impacted by patriarchy and central to the feminist movement. Transwomen are not women, so I fail to see why their interests should be prioritized in this movement anymore than men’s should be?

  • Alienigena

    I was gobsmacked to read the following on rabble.ca re: participation in the Halifax Pride Parade. Because apparently women’s spaces and feminist events should be open to anyone who claims a right to be in them or participate in them. Like trans women and pole dancers (at TBTN). It takes some kind of gall to invade women’s spaces and experiences but claim that your spaces are ‘closed’. To all those who try to silence feminists who suggest biology is reality and to no platform them if they stand up for women, stfu you whiny hypocrites.

    “Halifax Pride is inherently a closed space. They ask that you, at the very least, are an ally to the LGTBQ+ community. Its members get to choose who, what and how their events happen. It’s as basic a principle that extends from Lion’s Club Halls to the Knights of Columbus, to the Optimists (the exclusion of the Pessimist perspective is not an attack on pessimists’ free speech).”

    http://rabble.ca/blogs/bloggers/nora-loreto/2016/10/how-free-speech-was-used-weapon-debate-halifax-pride

    • Meghan Murphy

      lol at the idea Nora Loreto cares about free speech. She promoted the petition to have me fired and no-platformed!

  • Meghan Murphy

    Thanks Ronnie. I, too, once thought the rift could be bridged. Not possible, though. As you’ve explained, the ideologies are at odds.

  • Brenn

    Hi. I just saw your post and I’ll be happy to answer any questions you have best I can. Of course I can only speak from my own personal feelings and experiences. I’ll write back after I put a little thought into it tomorrow.

  • JohnnyRotten

    Thanks for sharing this. I appreciate you taking the time to talk about it. You have shed some light on things but I still have more questions, hope you don’t mind:

    ‘But mostly it was this feeling of alienation and being uncomfortable in male situations and roles’

    Being uncomfortable around male behaviour and having to live up to masculine roles is understandable to me. Men have been socialised to behave in dumb oppressive macho ways and are punished if they don’t. I can understand why you would want to be able to behave differently and not have these male expectations thrust upon on you. Its common for feminist men to feel this way too. Of course, being seen as female allows that. What I’m interested to know is whether you think this gender/patriarchal socialisation of men has a role in the decision you made to be a woman? Did you prefer to be seen as a woman because women are less oppressive in their expectations of others than men are and therefore easier to identify with in daily life? Is it possible that you just feared having to behave like men, rather than having some innate biological desire to be in a woman’s body? How much do you think biology determines man/woman gender identity vs their socialisation. If you lived in a world where men didn’t shame you or impose certain macho expectations on you, if you were free, without prejudice, to behave less macho, do you think you’d still have an innate desire for surgery, or could you just be a non-binary male who could project the behaviours you admire in women. You say you don’t care about make-up etc (except to fit in). So what’s left over? If you take away macho gender socialisation and the make-up, all you are left with that’s different is your genitals? Perhaps that IS all thats needed to make you feel complete? Is it just a case of genital/body dysphoria do you feel? I cant see what else is left once you take out the socialised gender constructs created by patriarchy. Do you see what I mean? I’m glad you feel happy now. It sounds like you made the right decision for yourself given the world you found yourself in. What I’m trying to figure out is why you were so unhappy in the first place and whether in a different, more egalitarian world, free from sexist gender stereotyping you would have been happy without surgery, happy in the body you were born in.

    • Brenn

      Hi. Yes I was very uncomfortable with many of the aspects of the male socialization I got. I believe that people undergo socialization thru out their lives, and I don’t feel that sense of being uncomfortable anymore with how I have to act anymore. Theres some things I don’t like now that I didn’t have to worry about before, but those are external to me.
      So I would say my discomfort and distress would have definitely been less if I was free from expected gender roles I had to follow. But I believe I would have physically transitioned and had my surgery no matter what. I did have body dysphoria and a deep discomfort with aspects of my birth gender and felt a relentless drive to change it, to be happy in my own skin. I believe there is an intricate relationship between body dysphoria and gender socialization in regards to trans people. That must be why many trans people elect not to have surgery or even hormones, while others physically transition. So I was on the end of the spectrum where I had a high degree of body dysphoria.

  • Cassandra

    You are correct that transgender activists are pretty much MRAs. I think the tricky part is that there’s this small subset of people with actual dysphoria and/or major internalized homophobia, and that’s the image that good-intentioned people have in their heads (along with the laydee brain pseudo science). The trans lobby and various organizations and institutions that are profiting want to keep that perception intact, ergo any and all discussion that questions it or tries to illuminate the shit that’s going on is quashed before it ever sees the light of day, at least in any mainstream non-rightwingnut platform. It’s a real f*cking mess.

  • Well said.

  • Kamilla Vaski

    I’m reading these comments weeks later, but I must say I am deeply in agreement with your observation that this is an anti-intellectual phenomenon. It’s also pandering to the incompletely formed minds of young people (no offense to them) who should still be in the process of learning how about the historical context of the society they are growing up in. Instead they are encouraged to believe that being trans is somehow radical and forward-looking.

  • northernTNT

    CBC had excellent investigative journalism before the Chrétien and Harper governments turned it into a government propaganda machine. Journalism at CBC was world renowned before it was ruined.
    I would end the new “represent Canadiana” mandate, and bring it back to pure journalism.

  • northernTNT

    JingFei, (sorry to contact you two months later) as a biologist who did my thesis on teenage female athlete endocrinology, I’ve been concerned by this for a very long time (since 1996!). Yet, I have found no rational ear either in the atheist community (and certainly not the PC A+ community) nor among scientific peers. It is a despairing situation. Neuro-evo-psych is not even a respected scientific field, yet biologists are remaining mum. We seriously need to gather more outspoken biologists on this. The conversation needs to go beyond feminists! If you have any suggestions please contact me!

  • northernTNT

    Lesbians used to be so hard core and above this shit, how did this shift happen?!

  • Parker Wolf

    Right on, sister! You’re not alone in saying this. We need to stand up together against the cult of gender!

  • northernTNT

    You are late in the news. Most trans folks in North America and Western Europe do not have Gender Dysphoria, they simply self-declare the other sex. Trans activists in these goegraphies are fighting AGAINST medical diagnostics such as “Gender Dysphoria” and the entire medicalisation of Gender. Trans activists and lobbies are lobbying for the DE-medicalisation, for gender to be treated just like religion, based on self-declaration.

  • northernTNT

    Feminists do not “hate” trans folks, but we do know the difference between biological sex and stereotype genders.

    • Meghan Murphy

      Thank you northernTNT. This reframing of a feminist critique of gender as ‘hate’ is totally manipulative and disingenuous. Just an excuse not to engage with what we are saying.

  • Rachael

    It’s not your fault our society defines “woman” with clothing or a specific appearance, no, but that doesn’t mean you have to conform to those things. You can just be you.

    You may not, but many trans people DO choose to name themselves as the other biological sex, insist they are no different to people born in that sex etc. That is what is frustrating. You are no more a woman by having surgery, dressing in feminine clothing, and “surrounding yourself with female things” (I still don’t know what those are) than I would be a cat by meowing.

    • Sophia

      Yes I can just be me and I do so…now. Like the way I present is the most me perhaps. I feel relaxed and happy most of the time, my blood pressure also normalized. Would I do the same with less restirictive gender roles and stereotypes? Yes I think so. I mean the restrictive gender roles and stereotypes have become less restrictive (surely due to feminism) over the past decades, I mean compare now to the fifties of the 20. century. There is a wide spectrum now how women can present, so can and do trans women. In my support group there is one TW presenting as a butch. She says that everyone asks things like: Why did you transition? You could all have had this as boy…being masculine, being the active part and so on. But she says: “No I couldn’t…I am a woman and transition was needed. Now I am myself.”

      I didn’t want to say that everything is fine, but we suffer no more or less from the stereotyping that genetic woman do. That is my overall idea, there should be no dispute on that.

      “Surrounded myself with female things” meant to buy and dress and present my self with the clothing from the ladies department and jewellry and a bit make up. To tell the world: That is me, I am a woman! From what I’ve learned so far as a child what women do and how the’re supposed to look. I’ve no better words for it.
      And I know that I am not a born woman, that is why we are called trans women. It is ok for me. I have to live with this burden. But I insist on my choosen name and she. When I get misgendered by accident it is also ok, it says me I’ve to work harder 😉 No basically I’m cool with it…now…it was not always the case. But if someone does it on purpose to annoy me it is end of communication. It is okay to say I have a male biology or was born with a male body but please not “man”. This is too far from everything and just “eeek”, or “yuck”. A man is a man is a man and does not srs and so on. Trans women do.

      As for your last sentence…isn’t the comparison a bit far fetched? There are no species boundaries yet to cross.

      But I can understand that: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4rrXR6n0RTY

      • Rachael

        Most of what you say I find reasonable, and I have no issue with referring to you by your chosen name. I also find you are far more reasonable than many trans people I have spoken to – you are not denying your biological reality.

        I still think the sticking point for me is where trans people expect that – for born women to consider that transwomen are the same. The qualifier wouldn’t be needed if you were. Generally I like to live and let live. My problem is when MY reality (with everything that goes with that for bring female) is denied for the sake of someone else’s made up version. And I’m sure you have to deal with many cases of prejudice and stereotype. I feel sad that you have to. I guess the point is: it’s still different. No worse or better, just different.

  • Meghan Murphy

    Do you truly think we should rule out profit as a leading factor in the push towards transition? Big Pharma was behind the invention of things like ‘female sexual dysfunction’ as a means to sell women the ‘female viagra’ and had their hands all over the ‘sexual revolution’, re: the pill, too… Corporate interests influence so much in our society, it seems ridiculously naive to rule capitalist interests out, here.

  • Meghan Murphy

    I don’t think anyone is challenging the fact you self identify as ‘trans’ or your dysphoria, they are challenging the way gender identity discourse connects femininity to womanhood and masculinity to manhood in a way that naturalizes sexist gender roles. They aren’t challenging the way you want to live, as an individual, but the discourse around transgenderism that harms women and reinforces sexism.

  • Meghan Murphy

    I don’t think you are hurting anyone either… Again, I don’t think that’s what anyone is saying. What we are saying is that sexist stereotypes don’t literally make a person a woman…

    “Gender identity for me always just contains the information man or woman. This what in may case says woman despite of being born with a male body. It has nothing to do with gender roles and stereotypes. But maybe I should call it sex identity?”

    Gender IS gender roles and stereotypes… So, the things feminists are opposed to… I don’t know if you really need to call it anything. Just be yourself, imo.

  • Meghan Murphy

    Yes, definitely plastic surgeons have a big financial stake in the trans movement, imo…

    In general, I am skeptical of anything that demands a person go on unnecessary medications or hormones… Especially for life…

  • radwonka

    “Of course when you want to be recognized as a woman and get some things
    life has in stock like happiness, success love… you surround yourself,
    like all women, with female things, learning it. We do what all women
    do, try to pass in this world. Only we have to do more about it, spend
    more money, doing medical stuff like taking hormones an surgeries. It is
    all about passing, also for genetic women, they do surgeries as well
    and use make-up.”

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/4542c4277dcbf6347020d4639672c6ff19dc6b20a8711cb8d10e17145784773f.gif

    female “things”? What? Did you know that females have different personalities??? Do you know what socialization is?

    Anyway, so you are saying that women are nothing more than stereotypes, cosmetics and patriarchal expectations about our bodies? So gender non conforming women are what? non women?

    Boy, bye.

    (ps: when women do surgery they dont claim that their biological sex is different. False equivalence.)

  • radwonka

    “clothing, style”

    lol so you think that being a woman= stereotyped clothing/style/no hair?

    And you have the nerve to claim to be different than conservatives?

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/4542c4277dcbf6347020d4639672c6ff19dc6b20a8711cb8d10e17145784773f.gif

  • radwonka

    You reproduce them when you say that stereotypes=what being a woman is about.

    You clearly said that many times, so dont deny it.

    But fun fact: stereotypes are cultural (and change through cultures), it has nothing to do with female biology in itself.

  • Mar Iguana

    It is telling that men can feel free to openly use the words “to pass” without the least bit of shame. The m2t goal is to deceive, to successfully pass themselves off as what they are not, to see if they can get away with lying about what they actually are and demand everyone else go along with the masquerade, essentially saying “Who are you going to believe, me or your own lying eyes?”

    A ruse is a ruse is a ruse. (Apologies to Gertrude Stein.)

  • Sophia

    I want to say farewell to all of you, I’ll not comment here anymore. I’ve said what I’ve wanted to say. But I’ll check from time to time on Feminist Current, I think. Because most of the things I agree totally with, for example with the fight or critique against the sex indurstry. But I do not agree with the strange stereotypic of even hurtful ideas about transsexuals like me.

    Below are the things/ideas important to me to communicate:

    Transsexual women do not reproduce stereotypes more or less than anyone else do. And that it is not ok to say we’re only ones to blame for it, like if a genetic woman do use make up it is self expression or empowerfulment or whatever, and when a TW does the same, it is reproducing stereotypes. Both can be applied to both groups.

    We may biologically/body-wise different, but the gender stereotyping of society harms or affects genetic women as well and in the same way as TW.

    We are a tiny minotirty of human beings with dreams, needs, wanting to love and be loved, trying to figure this life out etc. We are individuals.

    We’re not a fifth column of the patriarchy, we’re not golems or zombies of big pharma and we are not pretty research subjects like strange butterflies of obscure Canadian-American sexology schools. Transsexuality is not a mental illness and not a fetish.

    We’re not liars or “traps” to decieve anyone, what you see is reflecting more of our true inner self, than our performance before transition.

    Finally I want to recommend a movie: “Boy meets Girl” by Eric Schaeffer and with Michelle Hendley. It is a love story, not that deep, but it shows a much better image of how we truly are than most other films some of the commenters probably have in mind like for example “Some like it hot”, “Silence of Lambs”, “Ace Ventura” or “Tootsie”.

    “Sense8” of Netflix I can also recommend for getting a more realistic idea of a transwoman.

    Wish you all the best and good bye!

    • calabasa

      Hi Sophia,

      I think you maybe need to do a bit of research (as most of the women on here have)…Sometimes transgenderism is a fetish (autogynephilia)–and no one is even saying there is anything wrong with fetishes if they don’t harm anyone, except that according people with fetishes women’s rights and calling them women or encouraging them to get surgery is a bit strange–sometimes it’s a result of childhood abuse (especially in the case of FtM), sometimes it is another mental illness or disorder that has latched onto the transgender bandwagon, which is likely why we’ve seen a huge increase in these cases, etc. I think a tiny percentage of the time it’s *actual* sex dysphoria (like yours) that is unrelated to any fetish or mental illness and can be cured simply by living as the opposite sex (and in which the body dysphoria is so strong the subject wants surgery).

      The question of whether it’s GOOD for you or not (to get the surgery) remains (we would not treat an anorexic with stomach-stapling surgery; that is also a body dysphoria). That’s a philosophical question that could be debated endlessly, but the fact remains that those with sex dysphoria in the past were somehow able to go without surgery. Was that because of fear, or because of acceptance? Depends on the culture.

      There is not ONE reason to experience a desire to transgender. IMO MOST of the time it is either fetish-based (men experience fetishes at a hugely increased rate over women) or based on the sickness of “gender roles” and comes out of a desire to reject one’s assigned gender role (which is different than sex; sex is innate, not assigned) and the belief that the only way to do so is to adopt the opposite gender’s gender role, i.e. “I reject the trappings of masculinity so I must be a girl,” a logically invalid conclusion which assumes that gender and sex are the same.

      It is impossible in a patriarchal world to know how many cases of *genuine* sex dysphoria (not gender dysphoria) exist, in which the individual really, really wants to have a different body and has always felt that way. Likely very few, and we really don’t know why. Of course transsexual individuals should be received with love (and, in turn, they should receive others with love). The transgender movement right now is very different than what you’re describing, and they particularly don’t receive women with love.

      I have realized that pretending a cross-dressing male is *actually* a woman is just another form of our identity erasure and of emotional labor expected from women. When we don’t give it to them, they lash out. What do they do to men who don’t accept they are actually women? What to FtM’s do to men who don’t accept they are actually men? Are there slurs invented for them? Although men are the ones who are violent again transgender people (if there is violence), are they ever threatened for their beliefs with distinctly masculine threats (of rape and death)?

      Once again, this is about making women cater to men’s needs and indeed to everybody’s needs but our own. This is the pure presentation of patriarchy: the expectation of women’s emotional labor and sexual acquiescence with the threat of violence if it is not met.

      Surely, as a reasonable person, it must bother you how your identity as transsexual has been hijacked and co-opted by a misogynistic movement for their own benefit? Surely this must trouble you–no?

  • Mar Iguana

    You are a male. You are not a female. I am a female, dehumanized because I was born with female genitalia.

    No, we are not all wearing masks. At least, not at all times. I wore a mask to get paychecks signed; “It’s showtime, folks.” Otherwise, it’s what you see is what you get.

    If truth makes you suffer, don’t expose yourself to it. You seem exceptionally adept at that. But, I’ll be damned if I’ll go along with m2ts’ delusions because it may hurt their fragile male fee fees.

    I have no idea what you’re talking about regarding the woman-hating, 4chan gamergate guys’ term they coined. Of course you are human, albeit a very confused one.

    Womb envy is a real prick isn’t it?

    • Sophia

      As I said elsewhere, I’m pretty much aware that I was born male. So what? Does that mean anything?

      Wasn’t there a feminist’ saying, that anatomy should never be destiny?

  • Meghan Murphy

    Aren’t you concerned about misgendering women, Sophia? I’m told that is literal violence…

  • Meghan Murphy

    I’m joking. Obviously I think ‘misgendering’ is ridiculous. None of your replies have been deleted, so I can’t tell you where your comment is… Will check the spam folder.

  • Sophia

    All the world’s a stage…you cannot not perform.

  • Sophia

    Lolwut? I have been. Non sequitur.

  • Couldn’t even read most of your rationalizations above… ugh!

    You kept talking about gender.. I don’t want to talk about it. To me it doesn’t exist. Gender stereotypes are prisons for women within patriachy. Women don’t want equality within patriarchy and dictated by men. We want liberation from all gender stereotypes. Gender doesn’t exist. You’ve give the central pre-occupation of your life to something that is only a stereotype. How sad for you.

  • Cassandra

    Definition of reality. And yes, this thread is old. So what?