On actual exclusivity at Pride

Within all the talk of “inclusivity,” lesbians are feeling unwelcome at Pride.

Ada Wells (née Nathanael Abbotts) at Pride Edinburgh

The downside of including “bisexual” in my dating profile was that I got a slew of invites to threesomes from fleshy suburban swingers. The upside was that I benefited from a bigger dating pool. Around six years ago, on the eve of my 29th birthday, I was reading through the dating profile of a handsome and well-educated man when I came across the word “trans.” At the time, I couldn’t figure out what it was that put me off, and I berated myself for my prejudice. In principle, being trans shouldn’t have bothered me. I reasoned that it was the potential  of surgically constructed genitalia that made me clam-up.

I was reminded of this incident during Pride last year. I have always loved going to Pride — from the glittery drag queens to the freedom of knowing I can hold my same-sex partner’s hand without hostility — it has been a sanctuary for me. The experience of solidarity and acceptance, and the knowledge that for once I was not in a minority was life-affirming. Now in a long-term relationship with a wonderful woman, part of our getting to know one another was through participating in Pride events together. But we didn’t go this year; and I’m not sure we will ever attend again.

While the full humanity (and marketing potential) of LGBT people has at last been embraced by legislators and the mainstream media, the LGBT movement itself has become ever more constrained by regressive ideas about gender. It is widely understood that the majority of women who opt to become transmen were lesbian or bisexual prior to transition. In my own friendship circle I know lesbians who have decided to “live as men,” though none have been able to describe what “living as a man” actually means without relying on sexist stereotypes that should have died out in the 50s. What seems clear is that “living as a man” requires altering their female bodies.

While I respect their choice to live as they wish, I wince when I see my friends’ bound or mastectomy-scarred bodies — it seems to me the opposite of pride in who you are, and the antithesis of the “body positive” feminist message.

Search online and you will find a plethora of positive “trans coming out” stories showcasing young people whose self-hatred was supposedly cured through surgery and hormones. What’s more worrying than all the positive PR for these medical interventions, is the influence of advocacy and pressure groups who produce guidance for statutory bodies from schools to councils. Gendered Intelligence, for example, whose Trans Youth Sexual Health Guide defines gender as one’s “emotions and personality,” tells 16-24 year olds:

“Surgery will affect sex in many ways but the most noticeable effect is a boost in body confidence. You may enjoy sex more as you begin to feel better about expressing yourself.”

The number of children referred to the NHS as a result of confusion about their gender and “transgender feelings” has quadrupled in five years. Trans advocacy organizations are quick to claim that this rise in rates of “trans kids” is due to increased visibility and acceptance. But it’s important to acknowledge that even the most personal behaviour is impacted by that of our peers. When I was at a girls’ school in the 90s, there was an apparent epidemic of eating disorders and cutting. The increase in “trans kids” could equally be viewed as evidence of social contagion.

Binding breasts seems no more progressive than archaic, sexist practices like wearing a corset, breast-ironing, or foot-binding. But following an explosion of girls identifying as transboys, this practice has become so normalized across the UK that schools have been advised to modify physical education classes to accommodate girls who can’t breathe properly due to breast-binding.

The British Medical Association advise staff not to refer to “expectant mothers” in order to avoid excluding trans people. The preferred politically correct term is now “pregnant person,” which obscures the fact that it is only women who can give birth. Rather than making awkward linguistic accommodations to alter reality for a minority of people, or staying tight-lipped about dangerous and unhealthy practices, perhaps we should be encouraging everyone to love their bodies — in particular young lesbians.

We need to stop and to ask ourselves why girls are so frightened to grow up and become women who love women. Or to simply become “unfeminine” women. We need to spread the message that there is no essentially “male” or “female” way of being, and that bodies don’t need to change, sexist stereotypes do.

The misogyny of trans politics is not new to me, but I had a moment of sickening clarity at Pride last year. After a long day and night of festivities, my partner and I were leaning on a table in a bar. There was a young lad dancing alone; when I looked closer I could see the tightly bound chest and the beginnings of a beard. This was a kid of about 18, who had been told that altering her body in this extreme way would somehow resolve the discomfort and self-hatred she experienced under patriarchy. This image was a visceral reminder that lesbians, as they are — as women with diverse female bodies, who love other women with diverse female bodies — were no longer welcome at Pride.

The space for women like me at Pride has been squeezed by trans activists brandishing signs like, “Kids: Puberty is Optional.” The tyranny of queer politics has barred lesbians and feminists from even meeting without men; and leading organizations we might once have looked to for support (here’s looking at you, Stonewall) have opted for popularity points at the expense of lesbians. Sexuality has been re-branded as a costume that straight people can step into, and at Pride there is no room for those who question this. The mutilated and bound bodies of women do not represent a victory for tolerance, but evidence of young lesbians who have been let down by the movement that should have helped them understand and accept themselves.

I long for the day when my partner and I can return to Pride, and celebrate alongside lesbian and bisexual women who are proud of their bodies.

Jo Bartosch founded the feminist campaign group Chelt Fems, which she chaired for seven years. In March she stepped down to become a Director of Critical Sisters, an organization formed to promote women’s liberation and critical thinking across the left. Follow @CriticalSisters.

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  • Thank you for bringing up the topic of exclusion of lesbians at Pride. I think the primary reason that lesbians are excluded from Pride is that Dyke Marches have changed from being for lesbians to being for transwomen and “queer” libfems. Although the term “queer woman” theoretically means bisexual and lesbian women, in practice it has come to mean women who believe in gender theory and have an identity as something other than “cis” as well as men who identify as “women.” Marchers carry signs that say “No TERFs” in order to reinforce the message that men are welcome in dyke marches, but no lesbian feminists are allowed. Anti-“TERF” signs are in fact exclusionary to lesbians: as women who are female and only attracted to females, our very sexual orientation breaks the laws of gender theory, which require us to be attracted to men who feel they have an identity as “lesbians.” Men with such homophobic ideas should not be allowed anywhere near a Pride festival, and certainly not invited into a march that is supposed to be for lesbians, but unfortunately, today’s “queer” community believes that homophobia against lesbians is necessary.
    I have a question for the author, regarding the use of the word “fleshy.” What did you mean by this? To me it looks like you are calling them fat. I hope this is not what you meant.

    • Wendy Lev

      I agree and want to add this: most lesbians arent feminists and they too would be banned if they expressed they’re not into transwomen dick and will be called TERFs as well if they dare to express that. They know that. Its perhaps why many started using queer for themselves. This is an oppressed group of lesbians as well. Its very clear lesbians need to organize and create their own marches again.

    • Jeanne Deaux

      “Fat” works as a descriptor at least as well as it does as an insult. I too have noticed that a lot of these people into threesomes and poly and all the other edgy crap tend to be on the corpulent side of the size scale. Which, on the one hand it’s nice to see large people be more confident about their bodies but on the other hand, I’m wondering what they think they’re compensating for.

      And I’m fat, by the way. As a data point.

      • Feminist Reprise

        If your observation reflects reality (and I don’t believe that it does), it still is not relevant to the writer’s point. It would be like mentioning their race — a subtle call to existing (patriarchal) negative stereotypes to discredit people, rather than straightforwardly critiquing their behavior and ideas.

  • Kelly

    Exactly right. There is nothing wrong with anyone’s bodies. All bodies are perfect. But gender is becoming more and more entrenched.
    My daughter and I wanted to make some slime. We went to the shop and asked for the shaving cream. The shop attendant took us to the women’s section and there was shaving cream for $6.90 in a little pink bottle. I said “no, we’re not paying the women’s tax”. I walked off up the aisle. At the other end, there was one that was double the size and it was blue for $3. How do we get rid of gender while it is so lucrative? Think of all those trans specialists making a fortune.

    • Jeanne Deaux

      I kid you not, I once ran across a display of WOMEN’S FOAM EARPLUGS.


      I was not aware that men’s ears and women’s ears were so fundamentally different.

      Here’s betting they were also more expensive… though there weren’t any men’s nearby and I was in a hurry, so I couldn’t compare.

      • ptittle

        Quick note from someone who CAN’T STAND NOISE (men who love power tools…), there IS a difference: (most) women’s ear openings are significantly smaller. I spent two years trying to find earplugs that actually worked, not knowing that the problem was that all the (foam) ones I was trying were TOO BIG to fit properly (deeply enough) into my ear. Bilsom 303s are small (and yellow and white) (and not differently priced).

    • FierceMild

      Everything from toys to pens to deodorant to notebooks is separated according to sex. The only thing that isn’t “researched” for sex differences is…wait for it…modern medicine!

  • Hekate Jayne

    I am not a lesbian.

    But I support all of my lesbian sisters. In any way that I can.

    On my observation, we exist only in relation to males, and as males allow it. It seems that being a lesbian is an ok thing as long as it’s for and about males.

    But when a woman is actually a lesbian because that’s just who she is, it’s frightening for males. Lesbianism takes them completely off the map for the lesbian women. They see lesbians as women that have no use for them at all.

    And males don’t like that.

    Over at gendertrender, there’s an article about pride and how it’s been taken over by trans. There were women at pride carrying signs that say “I love dick”. That’s fine, and all, but that makes you the opposite of a lesbian. At least it used to. Until trans took over and insisted that women can’t choose who they fuck.

    And yet again, I don’t understand anything about anything anymore.

    • FierceMild

      Right? Yet somehow men who profess themselves ‘strictly dickly’ aren’t criticized at all. It’s almost as if what everyone finds objectionable is anyone not centering men and their dicks.

  • MsTerry

    Thank you for writing this. We have to be able to think critically about a practice that requires its adherents to destroy/mutilate healthy organs and tissues. It doesn’t mean we’re right in the end, but if we must uncritically accept such a thing, then is there nothing left to question?

  • pandora50

    Thank you for this. It all makes me very sad for us lesbians.

  • Claire

    As a long time reader of Feminist Current I have to say that this article makes me deeply uncomfortable. The main thing that sets FC apart from every other pseudo- feminist website is the depth and sophistication of analysis inherent in seemingly every article. FC may respond to current events but it is never reactionary, it is never superficial and it is never cruel. It is such a breath of fresh air to come here and read articles grounded in logic and nuance. This site has not only increased my knowledge exponentially, but also helped me to feel like I am part of a global Sisterhood and therefore less isolated in my struggle. I say this simply because I want you to know how grateful I am for this resource, and that any critique is imparted with the greatest respect. As a lesbian despairing over the assimilationist politics of the ‘queer’ scene/ the erasure of lesbian culture/ the rape culture of the cotton ceiling and the conversion therapy of transing GNC children, I was eagerly awaiting a response from FC as to the absolute mess that was Pride Month. Every day I woke up to more news that made me want to scream; whether it be the lesbophobia of the Chicago Dyke March twitter page, the outraged reaction from the queer community when one Dyke march asked via FB for attendees to let Dykes march front and centre, or celebrities like Rowan Blanchard declaring that binary sexualities are ‘boring’ and ‘over’. I assumed FC would collate all these happenings into a well researched article that demonstrated lesbian erasure/ the homophobia inherent in transgender ideaology in such a way that no one could refute it. Instead, I find this article to be highly personal in a way that hinders not helps the conversation. It focuses on highly personalised opinions/anecdotes rather than the broader social movement that is encouraging women/lesbians to transition; it lacks relevance in the sense that it doesn’t touch on what occurred in Pride month this year, it fails to include evidentiary support to back up its claims and it attacks people attempting to cope with oppressive systems rather than engaging in the structural analysis of the systems themselves. This is a vital conversation to have, but it is also a new and difficult conversation that is at risk of being derailed by the queer community before its even begun. Thus we need to be careful in how we approach it. For example, if you listen to any detransitioned woman she will tell you how cruel it is to say that the bodies of female to trans people are ‘mutilated’. It is possible to be gender critical without being cruel to those who have been affected by gender ideology and lesbophobia. I feel like this article lacks nuance/ compassion and will only serve to create a greater divide between transmen and radfems when they’re the people we should be reaching out to with love and support. It is also provides libfems with ample screenshotting material about how transphobic FC is. Previous to this article I always felt that cries of transphobia could never really be substantiated considering the complexity and rationality of the ideas on this site. When we write like this we play right into the hands of those who want to prove that we’re hateful and bigoted. I am not suggesting that we pander to Liberal Feminism or censor our words, I am merely suggesting that we consider how to best represent/ express ourselves in what has become a political minefield. I am desperate for conversations like this to reach the mainstream, I am desperate to protect Lesbian youth from a life of self-loathing, and so I ask you to consider carefully how you frame these conversations. Again, I say this with the greatest respect and very much look forward to having a dialogue with you!

    • Hanakai

      When healthy tissue is excised from the body, it is a mutilation. When healthy non-diseased structures that nature put there are amputated or excised from the body, it is a mutilation. If trans-delusionals think it is politically incorrect or cruel to call a mutilation a mutilation, that is their problem and another symptom of their mental illness. Why should the rest of us twist and torture language because trans-delusionals do not want to admit the biological impossibility of changing one’s sex, or admit that they are mentally ill and deluded in believing they are the other sex than their body and chromosomes dictate. And seriously, anyone who hates themselves and the magnificent miraculous body Nature gave them so much that they would for surgical mutilation is seriously seriously mentally ill.

      I am not going to deny reality because of the sensibilities of mentally ill deranged delusional people and I am not going to participate in their delusions. When a mental patient tells me that he is Jesus Christ, I tell him “No, you are not.” It is far crueler to let a mentally ill delusional person persist in their delusions than it is to confront them with truth and the need to get treatment for their mental illness.

      And, by the way, the piece above is not an article. Articles are objective and fully factual. The above is a personal reaction piece more in the nature of an oped. It is rather unrealistic of you to expect unpaid writers to do a comprehensive study and analysis of nationwide pride events in 2017; if you want such an article, someone needs to fund the writers and researchers. And biology and Nature are really all the refutation of trans ideology anyone should need.

    • Zuzanna Smith

      FC pulls no punches and this is exactly what we need, we have been too polite already and this is what is happening! Women have to stand up and say NO loudly and aggressively, our rights are at stake. I’m not a lesbian but images of men who pretend to be women with shirts that say “I punch terfs” with red paint meant to be female blood is a clear male call to violence to silence and terrify all women. Have you ever seen any other group that calls for violence to people who disagree with them? Do gay people wear bloody t-shirts that say “I punch fundie Christians”? Why is it acceptable for trans people to threaten women who do not hold their unproven gender beliefs?

    • Cassandra

      I know you think you’re being reasonable but all you’re doing is tone policing. Why can’t the author write something personal? Why does she or FC for that matter have to write with any *particular* analysis at all? We “play right into their hands” simply by not agreeing with them for Pete’s sake.

      In addition, stop validating the term “transphobia.” It’s a load of utter horseshit.

      • Claire

        I don’t ‘think’ I’m being ‘reasonable’. I think I’m attempting to engage someone I respect and admire (Meagan) in a dialogue, something I find intimidating as I’ve never commented on an internet article before and am apprehensive about being misunderstood. I’m really keen to hear Meagan’s POV as to the language used and don’t think that a willingness to share ideas is the same as tone policing. I do agree though that we play right into their hands by simply not agreeing with them so I’ve edited that part out.

  • Sabine


    I hope it’s OK to post this link? It seems pretty relevant to this discussion. It’s become more and more blatantly obvious that the lesbian movement is being hijacked by heterosexual men calling themselves “transdykes.” There is apparently no absurdity threshold for these ludicrous ‘identities’ and no depths of insanity to which men will not descend in their sick belief that ALL female bodies exist for their use. These are adult males who have fully functional genitalia which they nonsensically call ‘lady dicks’ and who become violently angry about actual lesbians not wanting to have sex with them and their penises because, hey! these are *female* penises thank you very much! If we ever needed yet more evidence that the world is truly and utterly insane then this is it. The gullibility of neolibs, lefties and libfems is absolutely astonishing. Everything in our society is an inversion. Men are successfully labeling women as the oppressors and people on all sides are buying it. If I could go and live on the moon I would. Anything to get away from this madness.

    • Just Passing Through

      Save a spot for me…I’ll be right behind you. Although I’m afraid they would just follow us to the moon because as you know, if they caught wind of the fact that there was an all female moon community, they would HAVE to come and colonize it.

      • Sabine

        So true!!! It really does feel like there is no escape….

      • Cassandra

        Men will not allow us to escape. That much is very clear.

    • Jade

      God, wouldn’t it be great if we could find a planet and form a women-only society like Anarres in Ursula Le Guin’s The Dispossessed?

      • Alienigena

        Loved that novel. Still one of my favourites by that author.

      • Sabine

        Sounds like heaven!!

  • DeColonise

    What a disgusting sign to wield, that the person is having in that image.

    • ptittle

      I’m not so sure it’s a disgusting idea. Puberty makes us sex-differentiated; many of us would rather not be sexual. So why not? (Of course we don’t know that until we’re on the other side of puberty…)

      In particular, males turn into obnoxions only after puberty; before that, they’re sweet boys; it’s the flood of testosterone. So…foregoing puberty would be a sort of voluntary burdizzo.

  • Thom Prentice

    Superb article. If this sort of lucidity ever makes it into the gay media — which stupidly seethes with one supposed outrage against trans after another — progress will then have been made.

    I recall seeing a sign at a fundie church in South Austin: “Sunday Sermon: The science of creationism and the myth of evolution.”

    Same with the trans branding and rebranding juggernaut. It twists, inverts and subverts the language to the effect of subverting all the gains made by the feminist movement and by the gay rights movement the same way Voter ID subverts the gains made by civil rights and the way bourgeois straight white women have benefited most from affirmative action.

    Same with the “businessmen’s war against the New Deal” eventually resulted in repeal of much of the New Deal / New Frontier / Great Society via Reagan, the Clintons / Gore and Obama. The Clintonite repeal of Glass-Steagall coupled with 9 / 11 and Bush/Cheney Iraq invasion as false flag justifications for establishing an East German-style surveillance and police state — resulted directly in the economic catastrophe gripping the US and the West — and we find ourselves arguing with the Radical Religious Reich over bathrooms for crissakes.

    Meanwhile, the catastrophe of capitalism continues as does fossil-fueled Climate Disruption from Global Heating and debt-funded and profitable world wars without end, Amen.

  • moonhee KIM

    thank you for this

  • Jade

    Right. Torture the girls because they can’t jail the men. I can’t imagine the torment that must go through a mother’s head to have to arrive at that conclusion. What a shitty world we live in.

  • Feminist Reprise

    Modern-day corsets, more like.

  • Cassandra

    I was going to say the same thing.

  • Claire

    I totally agree 🙂

  • Sabine

    That bloke is absolutely VILE!

  • corvid

    Former self-harmer and child of a paranoid-delusional father here. Self-mutilation is self-mutilation. You confuse descriptive terminology with insult. There are no abstractions being used here. If you look up the definition of “deranged”, it means unable to think clearly because of a mental illness. My father frequently engaged in behaviour I would classify as “deranged.” Look at Gallus’ entry regarding the TransDyke Antifa and tell me that an adult male wearing a fake-blood spattered shirt boasting that he beats women couldn’t be described as “deranged.” https://gendertrender.wordpress.com/2017/06/27/transdykes-the-anti-lesbian-antifa/
    “Delusional Disorder” is an actual disorder as per the DSM and one that my father was diagnosed with. He crushed my entire life with his behavior. Your version of “respect” is pandering to delusion. A movement that denies biological reality, celebrates misogyny, and constantly tries to shut down pornstitution-critical feminists does not “deserve respect.”
    No woman is being “maligned” for her patriarchy-induced body-hatred on this website. You are engaging in that old trick of blaming feminists for causing the problems we are pointing out.

  • lk

    “Many women will experience mental illness under patriarchy. Some of these women will transition, many will not. All of us deserve respect.”


    Your post brings up some interesting and valid points-how do we critique trans-ideology honestly while still embracing FtM (b/c they are still women)? Is trans ideology different for FtM’s than MtF’s?

    While I want to be respectful to women who have transitioned, words do matter….It is a form of mental illness and delusion to believe you are something despite all evidence to the contrary (I.e. to believe that you are a man in a woman’s body or vice-versa).

    I’m not sure that we can really engage the dangers of trans-ideology without using the appropriate language…even if that language is harsh, blunt, etc.

    For me, I tend to be much more critical of the ideology that encourages men to transition to women b/c this hurts the most vulnerable women-girls, women in shelters/prisons etc. And it largely seems to be Mtf who are all about killing “terfs,” wishing death/violents on “cis-scum” etc.

  • will

    What word or words would you use to describe irreversible self-inflicted damage to one’s body?

  • will

    Naming self-inflicted damage does not equal devaluing the women who self-harm. If I have a walking dream that leads me to burn down my own house in my sleep, I have burned down my own house – no devaluing of me by stating that fact.

    “The reality is that for many women, trans identified or not, the body is a battleground under patriarchy and not a ‘magnificent, miraculous’ gift from ‘nature’.”

    Yes, that is the way many of us have come to view our material animal selves thanks to patriarchy. But that does not change the fact that our material and energetic bodies are miraculous bodies. I would argue that women are groomed and traumatized into delusion about the value of our miraculous physical selves. Body dimorphic disorder, for example is, by definition, delusion.

    To reify an individual’s perception of material reality over the fact of material reality is one of the more effective mechanisms of neoliberalism.

    • Tobysgirl

      This is why it is so important to have contact with something other than the human-created world! The greatest problem with the human brain is that it thinks its thoughts are more real than reality (unfortunately that didn’t begin with neoliberalism, what else is literal religiosity?). I live in a rural area and every day is miraculous. I am severely disabled (I prefer to refer to myself as crippled because I AM) and sometimes I get so angry that people who are fit and able have nothing better to do than want to pretend to be men, fuss over their imperfect breasts, dye their hair pink (I’m developing an intense aversion to colored hair; see last photo of “transdyke” freak and his girlfriend on gendertrender’s post linked above).
      I want to scream, You could be climbing a mountain! You could be working in a garden! You could be swimming or kayaking on a lake! You could be taking care of animals that have been harmed or neglected! You could be doing something worthwhile other than staring at your navel!

      • Alienigena

        “You could be doing something worthwhile other than staring at your navel!”

        So true. I definitely need reminders of this. I am finding I just can’t deal with a lot of the nonsense in the world. Reading what trans ideologues write is maddening but it is also complete gibberish, it is not scientifically based, it is categorically hateful towards females and frankly decent people should universally condemn people who promote violence against women just because those women haven’t been brainwashed by trans ideology and are not self-hating.

        • Tobysgirl

          I think I would have gone mad long ago if I couldn’t at least watch the squirrels and many birds and turtles in this beautiful place where I am privileged to live (and I know I’m privileged). We are spending our lives and energy reclaiming 44 acres of abused land and a well-built 1840s house that was left to deteriorate. What is sad is that we have no children and know no young people who might be interested in continuing our legacy — we’ll probably leave our property to something such as Maine Farmland Trust.
          The trans insanity is just the latest insanity. Watching my horrible, disgusting country rain endless bombs upon peasants in Vietnam during my childhood/young adulthood made me sick. Knowing what people do to animals nauseates me. This is why we need beauty and peace in our lives to stay sane and centered.

          • FierceMild

            so, my sister is a lover of farming and right now she’s trying to match up with a farmer in your position near her to keep the land in loving hands. There are a lot of websites and resources that matchmake between older people who own land and younger people who really want to farm. Here’s one, but there are many more:

          • MotherBear84

            Hey, if you’re in Maine, you’re close to me! Cool. Ok, this is so off-topic from this thread, but I tried to figure out how to send you a private message through Disqus and couldn’t… Anyhoo, have you looked into WWOOF (I think it stands for Willing Workers On Organic Farms)? They might have some good suggestions for finding someone to help/work on/bequeath someday the property. In our community there are lots of young folks in their 20s who are getting seriously into small-scale organic farming but can’t afford a place of their own. We’ve had a few workers come to us through the WWOOF program. I see that FierceMild also posted a link about farm transfers. Ok, digression done! Megan, feel free to not allow this comment if you feel it’s too far-off from the actual discussion…I will not feel hurt! 😉

      • Hanakai

        I very much agree that much of the pathology of modern people is because of their alienation from the Earth and Nature. Indeed, a great many people are suffering from Nature Deficit Disorder.

        It was a great good fortune in my life to have had a childhood on a farm bordered by Nature, and be blessed with the sort of parents who let their children roam free in Nature, who were cool with their girl child being an athletic scrappy animal-loving tomboy, who knew to give me chemistry sets and microscopes and baseball bats instead of dolls. To grow up with that confidence in a strong body and the knowledge that I was the equal, if not the superior, to any boy was a great gift.

  • Tobysgirl

    Things certainly have not gotten better in my lifetime for women, but young women who choose to deal with misogyny by seeking individualistic solutions such as trying to pass for male are a very sad spectacle to me. Do young women now think it was a joy to grow up female in the 1950s and 1960s? The pressure when I was young to look like Twiggy, talk like Jackie Kennedy (soft and breathy for those who don’t know), focus all one’s energies on one’s appearance, was intense. Fortunately, there was still an idea of organizing collective action and many of us did not fall into the trap of thinking we could somehow medically/surgically find our way out of patriarchy.
    I do not support the idea of escaping oppression by joining the oppressors. I certainly have sympathy for young women who have suffered deeply at the hands of a brutal society, but since I do not see that as an excuse for male behavior neither do I see it as an excuse for turning on one’s fellow women.

    • Danielle Matheson

      I agree with you so much it hurts! That’s how I feel that these women are so full of self hatred and loathing because they think being a man is going to solve the problem of being a woman. And to add to your points, it reminds me of the stupid label of “cis”. I maddens me so much that people think we identify with our oppression! (Or flat out say we aren’t oppressed because we aren’t trans! That we women don’t suffer!) It angers me so, that they think what, I enjoy the constant making sure that I don’t get raped (again), that I’m safe, that it’s acceptable that women don’t go out at night, etc and that the solution is that we all lop off our breasts and wear fake penises! I don’t want to be a man! I want to be the woman I am, in a safe and compassionate world. It’s so sad that their regressive ideas are mainstream now. That even at 27, I’m still dealing with shit my grandmother fought against. Sorry to ramble! Just got excited.

      • Tobysgirl

        What do you think of women who claim to be men wanting to use women’s facilities? How would it work in the military if they accept trans recruits? I can easily comprehend why these women do not want to use men’s facilities, but part of being a man is the constant threat of male violence especially if you don’t conform in every little way to the societal notion of masculinity.

        • FierceMild

          Excellent point.

  • Danielle Matheson

    As a bisexual woman, I also feel this way. I’ve never been to Pride and I don’t know if I’ll ever go. It would be the only place I could ever be out but I couldn’t. Like many others, I want trans people to be happy and live safe and fulfilling lives, but not at the expense of females, our space and our sexualities. All this regressive bs just makes me feel left out (at best) and unsafe.

    I liked the point the author made when she said sexuality is a costume now. It’s sooooo fucking true. If you just sat and thought about it for a minute, these people essentially make “sexual orientation” a concept that doesn’t exist. Like my best friend who is a gay man said that “you love the soul, not the body”. As if a persons sexed body doesn’t matter! Um, the last time I checked, the reason lesbians and gay men have been having the issue of, oh you know, violence and intolerance towards them, was because they were attracted to same sex people!!!!! This gender nonsense makes those words meaningless. Like, I know for a fact, I am attracted to natal males and natal females. That’s what makes me bisexual. Now, I’m not saying the men I’m attracted to have to conform to stereotypes and the women have to be uberfeminine, but they can not have so much self hatred and delusion that they are the opposite sex. I feel like I’m not making sense and I’m rambling but this piece has made me feel exactly what she does. Left out. Pushed aside in the name of “inclusion”. Bah, what a joke.

    • FierceMild

      I know what you mean. When Target was boycotted for letting men in the women’s changing rooms and bathrooms they believed they could fix this by putting in a single stall bathroom in each store…for women. So now men have two change rooms and two sets of bathrooms while women have nowhere to try clothes on privately and a single stall bathroom. So inclusive.

      • Danielle Matheson

        That is the most ridiculous solution. It is in no way surprising though.

  • Tobysgirl

    Since no one else noted it that I can see, by detransitioned women she’s referring to women who decided they were men and have since realized that it ain’t so. What I often find hard to believe is that any woman is self-destructive enough to take testosterone (not a good idea for anyone).

  • Jade

    Thank you for the recommendation. I’ll look for this story and read it. 🙂

  • Meghan Murphy

    How awful and depressing.

  • MotherBear84

    Hear, hear!