Why must trans activists smear those who put forth inconvenient narratives about ‘gender identity’?

Jesse Singal’s piece about “detransitioners” was both well-reported and empathetic — so why is he being attacked?


I read Jesse Singal’s feature story in The Atlantic about “detransitioners” (defined in the piece as “people who undergo social or physical transitions and later reverse them”) and “desisters” (“people who stop experiencing gender dysphoria without having fully transitioned socially or physically”) with soon-to-be-squashed interest. Singal has produced some great analysis and reporting on the transgender trend for The Cut, including a solid debunking of the smear campaign against Dr. Kenneth Zucker, which resulted in Zucker being fired from Toronto’s Child Youth and Family Gender Identity Clinic (GIC) in 2015. While Singal has not critiqued the notion of transgenderism outright (and unfortunately has failed to engage respectfully with feminists’ concerns about legislation that threatens women’s sex-based rights), he has, through his writing, managed to challenge the notion that a child’s professed “gender identity” must immediately be validated without question — a position trans activists reinforce through threats, harassment, libel, and the no-platforming of those who question this approach.

Singal’s most recent piece is heavily reported, and he mostly avoids editorializing about gender identity and the idea of “trans kids,” aside from expressing concern for the well-being of those who struggle with these issues. He speaks to a number of women who were led to believe they were, in fact, men, but after having begun transition, realized this was not the case. One of those women, Carey Callahan, has been relentlessly attacked since she began speaking publicly about detransitioning in 2016.

In a video accompanying the article, Callahan explains that when she was a child, she felt like “a tomboy,” and when forced to wear a school uniform as a teenager that included a kilt, she started to be sexually harassed by men. “It felt so unfair to me that I had to wear this ridiculous outfit,” she says. Once in college, she — like so many young women — was sexually assaulted, which she says “contributed to this feeling that I wanted to take my body off.” In other words, what trans activists frame as “gender dysphoria” was in fact just the regular old sexism most women and girls experience in a patriarchal society. After living as a trans man for four years (which included injecting testosterone for nine months), Callahan realized that transitioning hadn’t resolved any of her struggles. “This is not a trans thing, this is a trauma thing,” she says, adding that she now regrets transitioning, though luckily she had not yet gone so far as to get surgery as part of her transition.

Singal also spoke with 22-year-old Max Robinson, who explains that she “didn’t enjoy being treated like a girl” and “grew up a happy tomboy — until puberty,” at which point she, like Callahan, was sexualized, and began to get sexually harassed by boys. Robinson began to feel extreme discomfort with her body, something that was exacerbated after an 18-year-old man sexually exploited her when she was only 13. After learning about the existence of “trans men” on TV, Robinson decided the solution to these problems and feelings was to transition. She went on testosterone, then got “top surgery” (a mastectomy). Despite all this, Robinson’s discomfort did not go away, and she went back to identifying as a woman, believing she “misinterpreted her sexual orientation, as well as the effects of the misogyny and trauma she had experienced as a young person, as being about gender identity.”

A 14-year-old Singal interviewed named Claire became obsessed with transitioning at around 12, after she began to feel uncomfortable with her body and struggling with mental health issues, then coming across YouTube videos by trans-identified teenagers. “Maybe the reason I’m uncomfortable with my body is I’m supposed to be a guy,” she thought. Her parents tried to be as supportive as possible, without encouraging her to actually transition, despite the fact that most of the resources they came across insisted that “if [their] daughter said she was trans, she was trans” and that parents were obligated to “affirm” their children’s claims to be transgender. Eventually Claire came to believe that her feeling that she was a boy stemmed from rigid views of gender roles that she had internalized. She tells Singal:

“I think I really had it set in stone what a guy was supposed to be like and what a girl was supposed to be like. I thought that if you didn’t follow the stereotypes of a girl, you were a guy, and if you didn’t follow the stereotypes of a guy, you were a girl.”

These stories aren’t uncommon — most kids who believe they are trangender desist later on — but trans activists refuse to allow for these narratives and experiences. Today, we are told time and time again that transgenderism is innate — something you are born as. When we acknowledge that gender is in fact a social construction — a set of stereotypes applied to males and females — rather than something we are born with, the entire concept of “gender identity” falls apart.

Despite Singal’s capitulation to language like “cisgender,” “assigned female at birth” (sex is not “assigned” at birth, it is observed — this language stems from a history of doctors imposing a sex on intersex babies, which is no longer common practice) and “authentic gender” (what does this mean?), he allows for a narrative to emerge that gently questions the practice of immediately affirming “gender identity,” no questions asked, as well as the idea that youth who claim to be trans are in danger if they aren’t immediately put on puberty blockers.

Singal speaks with Laura Edwards-Leeper, a psychologist who runs Pacific University and Oregon’s Transgender Clinic and trains clinical-psychology doctoral students to conduct “readiness assessments” for young people who want to transition, but who has been challenged simply for doing assessments at all, which trans activists and families of so-called trans kids claim is “traumatizing.” Edwards-Leeper facilitates transitioning for kids, including putting them on puberty blockers when deemed appropriate, but still worries that the field is moving to a place where “we’re maybe not looking as critically at the issues as we should be.”

Singal also interviews clinicians who support the “affirming care” model (including the medical director of the Center for Transyouth Health and Development, who rejects mental health assessments when determining whether kids should begin transition, saying, “I don’t send someone to a therapist when I’m going to start them on insulin”), as well as trans activists who believe the “detransitioners” narrative makes it more difficult for trans-identified people to access the services they want. He speaks to a couple of young women who went through the transition process and claim to be happy (though they are both still very young, so it’s impossible to know how they will reflect on the experience as adults). He does not, on the other hand, so much as speak to a single person who is critical of the notion of internal gender or the idea that a child can be “born in the wrong body.” Though well-reported, the piece itself was not particularly hard-hitting. The idea that kids might change their mind about a trend that is very clearly rooted in the existence of rigid notions about differences in boys’ and girls’ personalities and preferences, as well as the challenges girls face when they go through puberty in a world wherein they are objectified, is common sense. Nonetheless, Singal has been attacked viciously online as “dangerous” and “transphobic.”

Writer Roxane Gay went so far as to suggest any piece about transgenderism should be “vetted” by trans-identified people, supporting an actually dangerous and unethical narrative that says journalists should not be permitted to work independently and should not publish journalism that upsets the status quo. Imagine if all reporting had to be vetted by ideologues and lobby groups before publication? Considering the intensity with which trans activists defend their ideology, it is comparable to suggesting journalism about climate change be “vetted” by climate change deniers or that articles about President Trump be “vetted” by his administration or supporters.

In an article at Jezebel entitled, “What’s Jesse Singal’s fucking deal,” Harron Walker argues Singal should not have interviewed detransitioned women for his story about detransitioning because they are not real trans people (how one tells the difference between fake trans people and real trans people is left unexplained) and that he should not be paid to write stories about “trans shit” at all, presumably because Singal does not erase all inconvenient narratives to placate those who subscribe to gender identity ideology. (It should be noted that despite Walker’s rather hysterical insistence that Singal has no right to be interested in — never mind write about — transgenderism, because Singal does not identify as transgender, Walker writes for what is supposedly a women’s site, thereby taking a job away from an actual woman.)

The notion that only trans-identified people should be concerned with or speak about “trans issues” or the idea of gender identity is ridiculous, of course. Gender identity ideology is affecting real kids’ lives, as well as things like legislation and society’s understanding of sex and gender more broadly — something that impacts us all. Feminists have expressed concern about the impact of all this on women’s sex-based rights and women-only spaces, which are under serious attack by trans activists. Yet we are being told we may not even speak about these issues.

Singal appears to be trying to bridge a gap that he believes will serve everyone, and report information and stories that he hopes will help people. That he produced a relatively balanced story, including perspectives and challenges from trans activists alongside questions and (mild) critiques of the popular “trans kids” narrative, and expressed a great deal of empathy towards youth who identify as trans or suffer from what he calls “gender dysphoria,” yet was still harassed and attacked viciously, speaks volumes about transgender ideology and its proponents. Those who cannot defend their own positions with integrity will avoid debate, or bully and otherwise try to silence and discredit dissenters. Indeed, we see this behaviour coming from the President of the United States himself, who has smeared the media and journalists, fired anyone who is not an unwavering yes-man from his administration, and repeated lies ad nauseam. The similarities between the tactics of trans activists and President Trump are not subtle, but considering the ongoing insistence of those who support transgender ideology that it is they who are “on the right side of history,” they may want to reconsider their tactics.

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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  • Tara C

    I would think the trans activists who are most virulent about this are the ones who are the most uncertain about their own choices. In other words, it likely hit a few nerves. I’ve only met a couple of trans women that I’m aware of. They were quiet people who projected a somewhat troubled air, but who were very nice to deal with. I can’t imagine either of them being involved in the kind of commentary I’ve read on Twitter.

    I think the problem is that trans is just another thing that has been seized upon by influencers in the West to be pushed as the latest thing for hipster activists to involve themselves in. Not surprisingly, a lot of feminists are dubious about the idea of male hipsters sharp-elbowing their way to the feminist platform so that they or their friends can dominate those platforms. Instead of considering those concerns and looking for solutions, the trans activist reaction has been to issue threats against any women who don’t toe the line.

    The fact that lesbians are particularly targeted and smeared as homophobic for their choices is what really raised my hackles about all this. Although I’m hetero myself, I well remember being a teenage girl and standing up to grown men who would try using the “maybe you’re a lesbian – maybe that’s why you don’t want to sleep with me” line. I also had a male boss do that to me when I was in my 20s. In a supervision session which was supposed to be all about him mentoring me.

    These smears and attacks against women who don’t comply with the thinking others are trying to foist upon them is so reminiscent, to me, of the way in which grown men thought they were entitled to teenage girls in 1980s Britain. The lack of respect they had for us, and the manipulative techniques they would use to try to get us to sleep with them. You can see, from events in Rotherham, that it’s still rife. Far more aggressive, in fact. At least those men didn’t threaten me with physical violence. At least they took no for an answer, albeit ridiculing me in the process.

    Now it’s different, and it’s different because by assuming the superficial appearance of a woman, or by purporting to be fighting a valiant fight on behalf of trans women – men like that believe they are somehow immune from the kind of criticism that would be readily dispensed to a man who threatened women in that way.

    I’ve veered away from the topic of this article. Sorry. What I intended to say was that this aggressive campaigning against any writers who question the impact on young people of this trend for transitioning strikes me as what happens when antifa and the alt right become temporary bedfellows due to their common loathing of a particular group. In this case, almost the only group that could bring those two different extremes together. Women. Biological women. Biological women who won’t toe the line. Though I appreciate that in this particular scenario, the writer under attack is in fact a man.

    • oneclickboedicea

      I think left wing men hate women every bit as much as right wing men do, they just do it in a different way ie one stabs us, the other gasses us, either way we end up dead if we don’t comply. Left wing men have found a way of inserting men into every female institution so that they can steer it towards gendered compliance. Cunning and the ultimate in gaslighting.

    • Jani

      What you say about the elimination of lesbians as a political voice is very interesting in this context. “Lesbian” has been reduced to nothing more than a category of pornography, masturbation fodder for socially and sexually inadequate men to masturbate to.

      So now we have this “queer” identity that means just about anything and everything. Single? You’re queer. Heterosexual? You’re queer. Larger bodied? You’re queer. Anything can mean ‘queer’. I daresay there are a few lesbian and bisexual women who identify as ‘queer’ but why not identify as lesbian if that’s what they are? Isn’t that what the L stands for? Unfortunately the trans movement is probably attracting a lot of younger people at a time when they are trying to work out if they’re gay or bisexual or whatever, but I don’t believe they’re going to find the understanding they need at that stage of self discovery within trans activism. Not only that, the trans activist ‘community’ is full of all that TERF shit and actually closes off other ideas and ideologies that might actually be more helpful to people who are questioning their sexuality and identity.

      • I’ve been ruminating on this and I am pretty sure LGBTI covers it. Am I just old?

        Seeing through my teenagers lenses, where they are clamouring to be “more different” than everyone else… I feel bad for laughing at them, because in our household anything goes and we are fine with whoever they are and whoever they love…

        I found out about a “gynephile” as a separate identity that isn’t lesbian or bi recently… I mean wut… and pansexuals… ugh… and “queer” basically any bloody thing.

        I really am not sure if I am just getting old and out of touch, or the world is going mental. I know i sounds funny but I can kind of see why Germaine is doing what Germaine does…

        • TwinMamaManly

          I think “pansexual” just means I will f**k anything human, pretty much with or without a pulse.

    • My experience has been the same. Several of my friends (from all walks of life) have transitioned over the years, and I will always support their right to peace & safety and self expression however they see fit. What they go through is incredibly painful, on the inside and out. I guess it’s always been my source of confusion too… is the absolute disconnect between my personal experience of trans people of, say, 5 years ago, to “online” trans people now, and how I reconcile my radfem views with love and compassion for my friends (both MtF & FtM)

      I realise that this walks very scarily close to “I have friends who are trans” and “they should just keep it to themselves not rub it in our faces” and “I want to help save their souls” homophobia of old… but there’s just no room at all for nuance anymore.

      I think the vast majority of trans people, on an individual level, are just trying to figure out their identity and lives, are victims of patriarchy as well, and just want to be accepted and go about their day.

      Radfem analysis (and FC) has been a godsend for me to try and find a framework and reconcile all of this ‘confusion’ I feel as a feminist… what makes me sad (and genuinely hurt) is that so many on here are accused of having hate in their hearts, when I am sure that most of us have had more exposure to trans people than the average Twitter third wave ‘activist’.

      I think it’s very important, even though the personal *is* political, is to try and make it clear that “the person” is not fucked… “the system” is. The online transactivists can get fucked and are fair game, but I can’t help but wonder if they are an extreme vocal minority… because I see some very good and vulnerable people in pain… purely at the hands of men.

      Anyway, this is a segue, and I strayed too, but am sure I am not the only one here who genuinely wants to find a place for transwomen… just not in my own spaces… I can’t see many people here who aren’t compassionate towards the plight of trans people on the personal level.

  • Tara C

    Sorry, came back to this and saw I wrote “homophobic ” (in the context of lesbians being smeared for their sexual preference) when it should have been “transphobic”.

    I entered into some sort of discourse (can’t really call it a debate) with a “Genderfluid trans gal. Commie anarcho-feminist” on Twitter. https://twitter.com/CattoTara/status/1009300536720535553

    This person believes in taking vigilante style justice against those who disagree with (insert whatever pronoun is applicable). When I said that a criminal court would disagree with this notion of reasonable self defence, Genderfluid’s response was along the lines of “fuck the law, I do what I want.” Which is, of course, the logic of somebody with an anti-social behaviour – whether or not they want to politicise that disorder with reference to something called commie anarcho-feminism.

    This same person whines about the society whose laws they reject not giving trans people a leg up. In other words…”I reject society and its laws, but society and its laws should embrace me, protect me – and give me a leg up.”

    The Atlantic is brave and right to publish an article that highlights the problems that can arise from transitioning. Brave, because it’s inevitable that it will come under attack from the usual band of disturbed hipsters and narcissists who would wish death and torture on anybody who threatens their shaky sense of self by insisting that that two and two generally make four – not three or five or eight.

    We can probably all remember, from school or university years, one or two outliers who seemed to pride themselves on being outliers. Who had disdain for the group, were rejected as a consequence and then felt wounded by the rejection. They regard unqualified support from any person or institution with authority and influence as their absolute right – even though they reserve for themselves the right of the hipster to regard the mainstream with disdain.

    • Tobysgirl

      You know what’s amusing about people such as this calling themselves anarchists? Anarchism is the ultimate personal responsibility; to be an anarchist you not only have to take responsibility for everything you say and do, you feel obliged as a member of society to be responsible to and for other people and the environment. I will not say that anarchism has degenerated as a philosophy, but I will say that a lot of whiny, well-off kids throw around words they think are cool and about which they are completely clueless. Genderfluid, indeed! What’s that, kool-aid?

      • Yisheng Qingwa

        They don’t call it MANarchism for nothing.

      • rlkittiwake

        Genderfluid is purple and it’s served out of a vat.

  • Jani

    We really ought to be questioning the gender stereotypes in childhood especially the pink fairy princess crap marketed to girls, not to mention the reach of the diet industry at that age, because the message starts very early that a girl’s most important value is in what she looks like and not what she can do.

    Sexual harassment becomes an everyday reality for a girl from puberty onwards and it’s worse now because boys of that age have already been exposed to explicit pornography. Young girls who are introduced to it are terrified of having sex when they are older because they’ve seen slapping, choking, hair pulling, name-calling in these videos and expect it to be a painful and deeply unpleasant experience that they dread. I can understand why some girls would wish to be a boy if it meant not having to endure these perceptions of womanhood. The real issues are those concerning gender roles and gender stereotyping.

    I accept that gender dysphoria exists and that there are some genuinely transsexual people, but what I’ve observed in more recent years is more to do with a kind of deep distress stemming from the fucked up societal messages and what a woman should be (good old fashioned misogyny) and its toxic masculinity counterpoint.

  • FierceMild

    The very real suffering perpetrated by social enforcement of sex-role stereotypes (gender) is being politically leveraged against women and homosexuals. I am made out of shock. I’m going to go rinse my brains out by reading some homesteading blogs.

    Also, thank you, Ms. Murphy for your incisive and deeply kind writing. I feel for the moderating work you’re about to endure.

    • Meghan Murphy


  • Alienigena

    “Singal also interviews clinicians who support the “affirming care” model (including the medical director of the Center for Transyouth Health and Development, who rejects mental health assessments when determining whether kids should begin transition, saying, “I don’t send someone to a therapist when I’m going to start them on insulin”), as well as trans activists who believe the “detransitioners” narrative makes it more difficult for trans-identified people to access the services they want.”

    What about the idea that medical professionals should first and foremost, ‘do no harm’? It seems to me that they are intervening in children’s lives and doing a lot of harm. There need to be lawsuits against professionals who support the trans identity agenda. They are benefiting financially and behaving in a morally bankrupt fashion. I don’t have the rosy view of medical professionals that others might have, maybe because I was a child with a chronic illness and I noticed the disinterested attitude of medical professionals from a young age. I think we give people too much credit and attribute their behaviour to ignorance, when they are just apathetic or intellectually lazy and they want to make minimal effort to make maximum income. Which is a disastrous approach in health care. People in that industry need to have enough scientific curiousity to be willing to pursue answers to problems that are not financially lucrative. Because people’s lives are at stake.

  • Lavender

    “if you put forth wrong opinions about gay people”

    What opinions might those be? Not sure if you caught this or not, but a lot of females who seek to transition are actually lesbians. Radical feminism has been led by lesbians. Lesbians are beautiful. We don’t want future gay and lesbian people to think they’re the opposite sex because they’ve internalized sexist stereotypes. Did you come here thinking we would condone homophobia or are you maybe trying to get at something else?

  • Melanie

    No, we’re questioning the concept of ‘gender identity’, not the people who claim to have one. Gender identity makes no coherent sense without legitimizing sexist stereotypes and roles. Of course feminists are going to criticize the idea of an innate ‘identity’ based in sexist stereotypes. If a person claims to have a ‘male or female identity’, it doesn’t follow that they do or that they’re really the opposite sex somewhere deep down inside, anymore than an anorexic who claims to be overweight is actually overweight.

    • Adam King

      That sounds a lot like “hate the sin, not the sinner.” The two are inseparable.

      • Meghan Murphy

        That doesn’t make any sense. You can disagree with an idea without hating the person who believes in the idea.

      • Melanie

        Believing that an anorexic is not overweight is not making a moral judgement on them, implying that they’re bad or that they’re ‘sinners’. It’s disagreeing with their perception based on objective facts. Likewise, disagreeing with someone’s perception that they’re the opposite sex when they’re clearly not is not a moral judgement. Believing that gender dysphoria is not evidence that someone is the opposite sex is not a moral judgement. It’s a disagreement based on objective facts.

  • Jani

    Thanks for sharing your journey. I feel that rigid gender stereotyping is at the root of a lot of these gender and sexuality questions. I’m dismayed at the toys marketed to girls these days. I mean toy ironing boards FFS! I thought that shit had disappeared years ago. Sure, you could make such toys “gender neutral” but they’re sold in pink packaging alongside princess dolls and glitter make up sets. Once girls (and boys) hit puberty we’re into the murky world of objectification and porn culture and once again, we see the gender stereotypes only it’s far, far worse than in previous decades (I’m talking about the years between the women’s liberation movement and before the internet was everywhere).

    I see no reason why boys can’t care for animals or like baking or needlecraft. My grandfather who was a sailor could cook and sew because it was necessary to be self sufficient when at sea. These were men with beards and tattoos, it wasn’t seen as effeminate or a sign of being gay. It was a necessity to have these skills. If we have the use of our hands, our feet, our eyes and so on, there’s nothing to stop anyone doing anything traditionally associated with gender roles. Women can fix cars. Men can use sewing machines. There’s nothing “innate” about any of it. I really thought we had smashed through those barriers but it seems we’ve actually gone backwards.

    • FierceMild

      Once in college a male co-ed asked me in front of the volunteer groundskeeper, a retired sailor, to sew buttons back onto his shirt for him. The groundskeeper made him and all the other members of his work study group make buttonholes for the next week. By hand.

  • Jani

    “Most women experience gender dysphoria because we do not identify as idiots and fuck toys“

    Hahahahaha!!!! So accurate.

  • dr pepper

    But you *do* send someone to an internist or an endrocrinologist before you put them on insulin, you don’t tell them “if you feel like a diabetic, that means you are one”.

    • rlkittiwake

      Every time I’ve read the “I wouldn’t send someone on insulin to a shrink” line, I think “Why not?”

      If it’s type 1 diabetes, the person needs to come to grips with managing a lifelong serious medical condition. If it’s type 2, then the person needs to make some lifestyle changes, and getting one’s head shrunk seems like a prudent part of that change.

      From everything I’ve read about going on cross-gender hormones, it’s kind of a freaky ride. Hell, transitioning in general is kind of a freaky ride.

      A few hours on the couch might really help with the process.

      (Oh, but I forgot, even a medical or psychiatric treatment that’s supposed to help the person is “gatekeeping.” I just literally murdered someone with this post.)

    • yrba

      Exactly! Putting someone on insulin requires objective testing to prove that this medical treatment is needed.
      What objective proof does that.medical director have that the kid needs hormones and “transition”? Nothing. Just the kid’s thoughts and feelings.
      Would that M.D. put a child on insulin solely because she said she felt like a diabetic? Or thought she was diabetic?
      How did that doctor get into med school with such poor reasoning ability? Her/his license should be revoked.
      I’m going to write to that doctor and.point this out!

  • Meghan Murphy

    “But I’m not comfortable implying that what detransitioned women experience as gender dysphoria isn’t any different to how most women feel about their bodies.”

    But that’s all due to sexism/misogyny…

    It may be at higher levels for women who struggle with mental illness and sexual abuse, but the root cause is still patriarchy, no?

  • I feel exactly the same way. I see my daughter and her friends (one in particular who is now “a boy” – a lesbian who likes short hair…) and I lament. I was not a typical “girl” either – “bossy”, ambitious, funny, occasionally arrogant, confident in my abilities and not caring about being liked…. all qualities that, in the 90s, were pretty well not “feminine” personality traits. Didn’t care much for “girly” things, only wore skirts once a year… you name it.

    I wonder if, in retrospect, I may have had similar doubts. I hadn’t really had exposure to the ideas – I am hetero so I suppose it never really factored in. I only really wondered about it when it came to the forefront with my own kids.

    All 3 of my teenagers are grappling for labels. The most persuasive parts of the internet seem very good at providing vulnerable and confused teens who feel “weird” (ie literally all of them!) with a “tribe”.

    The difference between the Gilmore Girls Fandom group and trans groups, is that there’s no severe physical, long term, negative impact of reading every book mentioned in the Gilmore Girls…… I see trans activism (not necessarily trans people, but the “keyboard warriors”) as just another fandom – but a dangerous one.

  • Hekate Jayne

    That’s where heteronormativity is almost impossible to escape.

  • Robert Gonzalez

    Yes! I often think that because I’m so interested in historical clothing and trying to get an accurate picture of what life was like. I know it’s often said, but of course pink was once seen as a masculine color because it was like a diluted red. 18th century Europe had men that wore as much makeup or more makeup than most modern women (depending on what class they were part of). Nail polish is definitely a very recent addition to the “feminine” gendering of things.

    We’ve forgotten a lot of our history. And it’s funny how some norms have arbitrarily been reversed from norms of the past. Overwhelmingly, nowadays, I see trends that put a huge burden on women to style themselves in time-consuming and expensive ways. Personally, I’m a bit of a snob about clothing — because I love good fashion so much — and I constantly lament the fact that modern men dress like such fucking slobs. That was something I’ve always had a hard time with growing up — I always wanted to dress nicer and look presentable. People assumed I was homosexual for that, which I still don’t understand. No, I’m just a straight male that doesn’t want to look like I just rolled out of bed.

    • Tobysgirl

      My husband has never been a fashion plate. But when he became a nurse he started collecting scrub tops and has been repeatedly told he has the best ones. Part of that is because he had a pair of purple scrub pants and couldn’t find a top to go with them, so I bought him a Laurel Burch print of colorful horses and had it made into a top, and then he picked out three prints which I had made into tops for a birthday one year. Of course as a nurse creepy male patients — who he was assigned to because he wouldn’t take any crap from them — liked to yell faggot at him, which is very funny because he’s as straight as they come, including no male bonding.

    • Jani

      I love historical costume and studying art history from this perspective. You just have to look at portraits from previous centuries to observe how powerful men displayed their wealth and status through fine fabrics adorned with embroidery and pearls, lace, precious stones etc. Stockings (hose) were an exclusively male garment which later became worn exclusively by women. Today stockings have become ridiculously sexualised. I guess that’s another story for another day — another invented fetish originating in factory. I have a love/hate relationship with fashion. I love the creativity, innovative garment design and construction, the handcraft of couture, the fine fabrics etc, but I hate the business of fashion. I hate the tyranny of the style and beauty industries, the diet culture and all the misery involved in creating the illusion of something that doesn’t really exist.

  • therealcie

    I’ve started to notice that the ideology of “trans activists” is very close to Fundamentalist ideology. Anyone who questions it is a blasphemer and must be silenced.

    • Cassandra


  • rlkittiwake

    There are women-only classes for hunting, fishing, and other outdoorsy things in the US.

    Look up “Becoming an Outdoors-Woman.” There are chapters in a lot of states.

    • Wren

      Ooohhh I’m gonna look that up.

    • Jani

      I don’t live in the US and I don’t like killing animals. But each to her own 🙂

  • Robert Gonzalez

    I’m so sorry you went through that, Hekate. That’s so fucking disgusting. I actually used to wear baggy clothing just to escape being teased for being fat. It didn’t work, of course. But I can’t imagine being in your situation. I never had to consider that as a male. Did you receive male attention at age 11? (Not that I’m surprised)

    “But now? No way. Males are so subpar and substandard in every area. No wonder some of them want out of their male bodies. Ick.”

    I share your feelings, sadly. That’s why I briefly considered it. It’s sad that it has come to this — that we feel the only way to escape is to change our bodies in any way, even if it’s plastic surgery or being overweight.

    • Hekate Jayne

      Every girl has male perversion inflicted onto them the moment that our bodies start to develop. We learn very quickly that it is on us to avoid it, that no one is going to help you, that males are allowed to say and mostly do whatever they want. What I didn’t understand until I got much older is that the fear that we feel is a perk. I remember thinking to myself “those males are scaring me, surely they don’t know that.” I was wrong, though, making women and girls afraid gives them a fucking boner.

      I try to have compassion for males that have shit slung at them by other males. But I am just worn out by male demands and the demands make me question that it’s compassion that is wanted. I have been in restrooms with trannies many times, and never had an issue. But these dudes screeching about how they must be in our private spaces for “validation” do not want compassion. They want submission and capitulation.

      I can’t remember which trans article it was, but it was pretty recent, where this came up, about our experiences as girls. There is this time, at the beginning, where I was just me. I mean, I was raised in purity culture from birth, but I didn’t really know what my mother was saying when she would teach me about being a “helpmeet” and staying pure, lol. Those were concepts that I didn’t understand.

      And there was a lot of “stop running” and “don’t get dirty” and being groomed to be quiet and dainty and to not take up too much space or make noise. But even that wasn’t unbearable.

      But I can get it down to one instance. I was 10 or 11. My mother had pulled up to a store and she waited in the car while I ran into get something. I was in line at the register when an adult male approached me and began talking. He was creepy, and I was uncomfortable, but I didn’t really understand why that was, and of course, I can’t be rude (lol), so I was politely engaging with him.

      My mom came in just then. We are small people, she was not even 5 feet tall. She walked up, staring this guy down the whole time, lol. My mother was a lot of things, but scared was not one of them. He immediately walked away.

      So I had all sorts of questions. She had seen him watching me as I walked in and she didn’t like the look on his face, I guess. On the way home in the car, she tried to explain the nuance of what had happened in a way that a child could understand. All I remember is that she said that he had been staring at my ass. And I remember being frightened because I got the distinct impression that I was doing something to make males react to me a certain way, but I had no clear idea of what it was or how to stop doing it. But now, I know that I wasn’t doing anything except existing as a female human being. And it made ME responsible for male choices because MANLOGICKS.

      Time is split in half for me, right at that point. I was a girl and I had likes and dislikes and interests. Then, BOOM, a set of fuckholes appeared in my place. And lots of males took a lot of opportunities to make me aware of my place as a fuckable thing. I hear that it stops at some point, that I will become invisible. But I am mid 40s and I still get harassed. It’s never ending.

      And so, this is why we get so blindingly mad when dudes slap on a dress and then claim that male socialization never, NEVER happened to them. And that they were really, actually socialized as girls. It’s ludicrous. And pretty fucking insulting.

      And it’s why I don’t have compassion for the majority of males. But I do have some for you, so I am capable of it. But it’s exhausting, to be degraded, abused, and ignored by males while they simultaneously demand that we “validate” them, clean their house, give birth to and raise their children, demand, demand, demand, and then when we finally tell them to shut the fuck up, then we are cold hearted bitches that are selfish.

      And this is why I am generally bitchy. Not that anyone asked, lol.

      • FierceMild

        Just a big yup to all of that. I woke up with boobs when I was eleven and had similar experiences.

        When the trans mania first hit the mainstream I thought men had just found out that men in dresses used women’s bathrooms and were freaking right out. I recalled the many times that I’d seen six foot tall sad men in makeup, beige pencil skirts and size 17 pumps duck into the ladies and use the bathroom. They would keep their heads down, eyes to themselves, do their business and leave. It never bothered me because they were clearly there for safety. So I defended their needs. Then I met the modern transwoman. Not the same thing AT ALL.

      • Tobysgirl

        But it’s effervescent bitchiness!
        You make me thank the gods that I was never told to be pure and be a helpmeet.

      • Robert Gonzalez

        “And it’s why I don’t have compassion for the majority of males. But I do have some for you, so I am capable of it. But it’s exhausting, to be degraded, abused, and ignored by males while they simultaneously demand that we “validate” them, clean their house, give birth to and raise their children, demand, demand, demand, and then when we finally tell them to shut the fuck up, then we are cold hearted bitches that are selfish.”

        Honestly, I’m grateful for whatever bit of compassion you somehow have for me. I really am. I don’t know what makes me an outlier, other than the fact I watched a tyrant male (my father) try to fix our family by abusing my mother and being a fucking asshole. I learned early on that men were scary and demented. I’ve always been worried that this demon is hiding in me, waiting to be unleashed. I was so afraid of becoming my father or like other men. As a teenager I tried to give into what was expected of me but never really did a “good” job of it. Unfortunately, I still had enough time to be a raging sexist and expected that one day I’d have a wife that cooked and cleaned and did my laundry.

        I’ve always had a voice in the back of my head that countered that and questioned things. It got stronger and stronger until it became the dominant voice. Now I question every fucking thing I see men do. For example, I no longer believe that pedophilia is unique or somehow rare in men. I went through this phase a few years ago where I wanted to understand what made pedophile men tick. I scoured the net for legal areas where men felt comfortable discussing their attractions. That in itself was crazy. Men literally get off on fucking everything, just like you said about men getting off on scaring little girls or women (I know you know this). Eventually I would find pictures of little girls in ordinary situations (walking on the street; playing on the playground) with comment sections below them. There were tons of grown men commenting things like role-play situations “Yes, Daddy, I’m ready to please you.” or their sick ideas “boy she’d love sitting on my d*ck.” I challenge any MRA to show me women doing the same thing to pictures of little boys. It’s really eye-opening and telling that men feel comfortable enough to say that shit in public, non-seedy websites, not even involving child pornography.

        It doesn’t surprise me at all that you were sexualized like that. It’s sad that all the fucking burden falls on you — on all women It’s your chore. Everything is your chore. That’s why I don’t expect sympathy. That’s why ladymenz don’t deserve sympathy. We men have it easy compared to you, no matter what situation we’re in. Yes, we’re fucked over by the patriarchy too; however, too many of us never bother to question the system or acknowledge that. They rather blame TERFs for denying them womanhood. Fucking really!? Get the fuck out of here with your shit. I’d feel bad for men that realized that, but I can’t even find any.

        I think you’re perfect just the way you are. My opinion doesn’t matter, but I think you deal with men in a way that protects and benefits you. You’re definitely not “bitchy,” in my opinion.

      • Jani

        Oh God, your posts here are triggering memories for me right and left. That early male attention from age 11 and 12 and into early teens. Creepy neighbor watching me from his window, very probably masturbating. Another creepy neighbor who would conveniently walk his dog up and down when I was sunbathing. He knew how old I was. For some reason his wife was very hostile towards me and told her kids to keep away from me. But her creepy husband was forever watching and perving. Then there was the creepy perv who ‘helped’ clean some mud from my thighs in the bathrooms on a school sports trip. He was ‘cleaning’ me very slowly, his hands up my skirt. I had just turned 12. Creepy guy staring at me whilst masturbating as I waited at a bus stop. Indecent exposure, by a stranger, quite near my house on two occasions. Once when I was alone, once when I was with a friend. I could go on. At this age we have the body of a young woman but our entire life experience until that point has been that of a child. When you look at the images of women we are offered, we get the distinct message that our role is to be visually and sexually pleasing to men. So when we get all this pervy attention at such a young age it’s confusing — is this what adult life is? Is this how it’s supposed to be? Then I was sexually assaulted at the age of 13. “Did all women get raped?” I asked myself. I can distinctly remember thinking about what I would do. Would I fight? Would I let it happen? Seriously. I thought it was part of “being a woman”.

  • FierceMild

    The statistics indicate that the majority of adult transitioners find relief in medical transition and the vast majority (80-90%) of children with gender dysphoria desist as they age and become well adjusted homosexual adults. However, the statistics on the success of adult transition were taken before the current social contagion of trans identity and referred mostly to men transitioning in middle age.

    • mail_turtle

      That’s just the beginning of the analysis. Is the percentage of children with gender dysphoria that desist dependent on the age group of the child? Is it dependent on how long they have already had gender dysphoria? Because if children in a later age group who’ve had dysphoria for a long time have a low probability of desisting, then this should be taken into account.

      • FierceMild

        I see what you’re saying, and I don’t think the questions you ask have been answered. Ironically, it’s the trans activist lobby that stands between the scientific/medical community and trans kids. It’s not acceptable to ask these questions and that certainly poses ethical problems for the people treating these children.

        There are also indications that the more intensely gendered a culture is, the greater the prevalence of transgenderism. That also indicates a need for reflection and study. None of this would be so urgent or so fraught if we weren’t using baseless ideology as grounds for surgically and chemically altering children, eradicating homosexuals, and revoking women’s access to privacy and participation in politics and sports etc.

  • FierceMild

    Right? What is so female about a three stage enamel? I’ve often wondered. It’s the same thing as car paint essentially.

    • Jani

      I guess you don’t get one of those little brushes with car paint….

  • Robert Gonzalez

    To go along with this… When I gave thought to maybe transitioning (when I was a trans-identified male) I thought that others like me must have a strong desire to empathize and support biological women. You know because they kind of want to fucking BE females.

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. God, was I fucking naive. Trans-identified people are some of the most sexist and misogynistic people that I’ve met. That goes for trans men and women alike. I couldn’t believe the horrible things that I heard in those communities and still hear now.

    No, they don’t have your best interests in mind. They are almost always selfishly focused and obsessed with their dysphoria. They care more about being passable, fitting in and fully embodying their desired gender. That often means absorbing every horrible stereotype in existence. That means sexism and misogyny is guaranteed to be a part of it.

    • Tobysgirl

      And this is the ultimate in neoliberal ideology. My selfishness trumps (no pun intended) ALL. My needs and desires are more important than entire classes of people, especially women. The narcissism is stunning.

  • Jen Miller

    The attacks on detransitioned people are appalling. I’ve read many stories by people who’ve been through that particular experience – without exception they were smart, insightful, humane and respectful of others. None of them expressed anything resembling “hatred” of trans people (although goodness knows they’d been provoked). So this awful response suggests several things. One: most detransitioners are women, therefore their experience is disregarded and they are held endlessly responsible for other people’s problems. Two: their existence is denied and they are vilified and attacked merely for describing their own individual lives. (Ironic that every critic of the trans movement is accused of “not wanting trans people to exist” and yet this is precisely how they treat former members of their own community.) Three: there are certain comparisons here to the treatment of survivors of child abuse from minority religious communities: “Our community is marginalized and hated by some outsiders, therefore you must keep your mouth shut about what happened to you, or you are a traitor and evil.” The zealotry is disturbing.

  • rlkittiwake

    Trans reduces identity to a semantic game of definitions and emotions. The “winner” is the most delicate flower in the entire garden.

    “When the article mentioned someone who was never diagnosed with dysphoria, I felt sad and offended because nobody understands what it means to be truly trans, where you’re trapped in the wrong body.”

    “When the article mentioned someone who was diagnosed with dysphoria, I felt sad and offended because trans people are subjected to so much gatekeeping.”

    “When the article mentioned someone who was diagnosed with dysphoria, I felt sad and offended because people who aren’t trans want to make it like being trans is a mental illness, and it’s not.”

    “When the article mentioned someone who felt like they were trapped in the wrong body, I felt sad and offended because some trans people don’t feel the need to undergo surgery and that’s a limiting definition of trans.”

    “When the article mentioned mental health challenges, I felt sad and offended because there’s a totally unjustified stereotype that trans people are mentally ill.”

    “When the article mentioned mental health challenges, I felt sad and offended because so many trans people have been lost to suicide, and even the mention of this is triggering to me and makes me feel suicidal.”

    “When the article mentioned mental health challenges, I felt sad and offended because living with transphobia leads to depression and anxiety, so if I was passable I would be less depressed and anxious. Which is why insurance should pay for me to get DD boobs.”

    There’s literally nothing you can say outside bobblehead cheerleading that isn’t going to make them claim to feel sad and offended.

    • Tobysgirl

      There’s a lot in this world that makes me sad and offended, and guess what? No one cares.

      • FierceMild

        I care

    • Jane Rogers

      But people who aren’t trans who think they are ARE mentally ill, right? Those people have a right to proper mental health screenings before medicalization. The trans movement position is: Fuck the rights of the mentally ill to protection from harm.

  • Frilly Prosecutor

    I’m glad you did share your story again because, being new to this site, I heard it for the first time. I read another of your comments about wearing make up and thought I’d share this with you: I was at a museum in London a few weeks ago and saw a man wearing subtle make up, which he’d applied much better than I’d ever be able to 🙂 He was wearing a black shirt and trousers, and I don’t have any reason to believe he was presenting as “trans.” He looked really good! Very stylish. He reminded me so much of the singer from the Human League.

    • Wren

      Ha! It’s true that men wearing makeup is nothing new. It’s 80s retro!
      A little guyliner and lip gloss never hurt Mr. Le Bon.

    • Robert Gonzalez

      Thank you for saying that. I’ll continue to share it when it’s relevant. I’ll keep trying to update it a bit or add some new details. I hate repeating myself! lol

      I feel a bit cringey mentioning how I like makeup, especially because for women it’s usually a chore or an expectation. It’s convenient for someone like me to enjoy it because I rarely wear it. But I do love the artistry of it. I’m huge on Halloween costumes and I take HOURS to do makeup for that. I started to get better with practice and I’m already a lover of art, so it was just natural for me to fall in love with it.

      I love when men present in a way that doesn’t involve being “trans” but comes off as more traditionally “feminine” or androgynous. There are some Japanese fashion styles that take full advantage of that and incorporate more historical styles from the Victorian era or Baroque periods. It’s hard to find men these days that don’t claim to be some strange other gender or full-on “female.” Basically, anyone stylish that cares about their appearance is a huge plus for me.

  • JProf

    A few comments about this:
    1) Singal’s basic position: I totally support transgender rights, but young people (and their parents) shouldn’t rush into making decisions because some/many (?) young people desist or detransition. The TRA’s response: Singal is a vile transphobe! WTF!!??
    2) Does anyone else think that Jordan Peterson’s position about men and women–that they are different in a way that frequently aligns with gender stereotypes–is ironically very similar to the transgender position?

  • -Jane Don’t-

    I have trans friends, & they just want to live their lives unassumingly. They don’t make it a big deal like they (as in, trans activists) do online. I know that the woman I went to college with isn’t – & can never be – a biological male. I know that my former coworker who is a trans identified male can never be a biological female, but I respect their pronouns & identities because they are my friends. I want to ask them so badly about their experiences – especially my biologically female friend that “identifies” as male now. I want to know how his (yes, I know her, but I’m trying to be respectful here) experience in the world has differed. I want to know why their decision to transition, but it didn’t surprise me at all. When we were in college, she was always a gender non-conforming woman. I was surprised to find out she had a boyfriend at the time.

    I want to ask them about these things b/c I’m genuinely curious & want to get some insight of their experiences, but I’m afraid to for being labeled a TERF just b/c I acknowledge biological reality.

    Sorry, I’ve had a few drinks in me tonight. Bad week. :-/

    • Jani

      Like you, I don’t have an issue with the reality that trans people exist. I also know that the overwhelming majority of trans people just want to get on with living their lives peacefully and enjoy the same rights and freedoms as everybody else. No one need be ‘excluded’ from participating fully in society and that isn’t the purpose of debating the proposed changes to the Gender Recognition Act in the UK. The real issue — as I see it — is the abuse of these proposed changes by those who seek to undermine the services and facilities which were specifically set up to support and protect women facing issues which affect women — issues such as rape and domestic being the most critical.

      Note that what I’m saying is the ABUSE of the proposed changes to the GRA, under which it would be possible for a violent heterosexual male, born male and intending to stay that way, to gain entry to a domestic violence safehouse where his ex partner may be seeking refuge, just by saying “I am a woman” when clearly he’s not. But by law, if the proposed changes went ahead, he could do precisely that.

      I agree that there are questions concerning trans people and their access to certain services that need to be addressed. If a trans person is raped or sexually abused, what facilities are available? Can these be met under the existing framework or is there a need for services specifically for trans people? As I said, the aim is for ALL people to access the relevant facilities and receive the same level of service when needed.

      Thee are other many, many questions that need to be addressed, not just issues around sexual assault and domestic violence, but overall the question is, what is the need and how can it be met?

      As for the ‘dressing up’ or personal expression, really I don’t care. And that goes across the board. Dress codes are ludicrously gendered anyway. If a male heterosexual banker wants to go to work in a skirt and heels then fine. It doesn’t mean he’s gay. Or trans. Or queer. If a woman can do the same job in a skirt and heels one day, and trousers the next day, why can’t a man? I’m not being facetious here. Just pointing out that dress codes are gendered for no compelling reason other than convention. Men in Scotland can wear kilts and it’s not gay, or trans, or queer. It’s just clothes. So quite honestly I don’t really care about what people wear. At the end of the day we all take our clothes off anyway.

  • Me too. I really should have put that in quotation marks. I meant that in the context of a 14 year old in 1994 who didn’t fit in. Obviously I don’t believe in such things.

  • At the moment my relationship with my 17 year old daughter is very strained, because she’s drinking all that “TERF” Kool-aid bullshit – completely uncritically… just like another internet fandom she’s joined. If I hadn’t seen the impact this shit has on teenagers with my own eyes I would be more understanding, but it is dangerous.

    • Robert Gonzalez

      I guess it’s just customary for a teenage kid to disagree with their parents, though. Keep that in mind. I hope she’ll open her mind as she gets older, to your side of it. I think all of that is dangerous, too. I worry about the long-term effects these belief systems (fandoms) will have on them.

      Being a parent (especially a mother) is so difficult. You’re amazing.

      • haha I am not that amazing, but yes, I hope that she’ll come round. Most mothers & daughters fight over makeup and boys… I do find it funny that our one big fight was over her calling me a TERF. She’ll be ok. I just worry about her friends, who seem to be wanting to transition before they even know who they are.

        I’m not saying there’s a correlation, but it has seemed to be the most confused/damaged kids who gravitate. I am sure there’s some chicken-egg scenario, but even suggesting that they see a psychiatrist is “gatekeeping” now. I mean what….

        Every other major medical procedure that requires a lifestyle change usually requires a psychology consult… why is someone with a gastric sleeve required to see a psychologist, but someone who is changing their entire BEING immune?

        It’s bonkers.

  • Tobysgirl

    Do we really think that people in indigenous cultures, people in prehistory, sat around feeling sick because they were born in the “wrong body”? These are symptoms of consumer capitalism which tells you constantly you can be anything you want to be, WITH ENOUGH MONEY.

  • Tobysgirl

    Did anyone else see the two BOYS on ABC this morning, the BOYS who won the girls’ statewide track meet? No one would mistake these two males for females even if they were blind and deaf. The parents were absolutely disgusting, willing to go along with anything so presumably their son can get a college scholarship. Presumably these two BOYS couldn’t make it on the boys’ track team so had to don wigs and pretend to be girls. Neither was in the least effeminate and were making no attempt to pass.

    I think it is way past time for full-blown shaming of males every day in every way. I am hoping that someone will institute a lawsuit against the school district (?), the state board of education (?), something!

    • Jane Rogers

      People are far too afraid to speak up in Liberal America. I complained about the ONE male CT athlete last year, on Facebook, and was fired from my volunteer position of secretary of the political pac I helped build. Primary positions: Anti-censorship, but because of the complaint of one transfemme “supporter” (this is a man who doesn’t even identify out of his male privilege, just into female pronouns, and female spaces) who did and still does no work/gave no money, I was told to stop discussing the matter of Andrea Yearwood “or else” (So, NOT anti-censorship)… I supported this pac for being pro-privacy, but women and girls wanting privacy in their intimate spaces was of no concern to them, was rather *bigotry* (even in the case of 5 years olds) AND after I resigned in protest they slandered me (pro-truth in reporting pac) and doxxed me, along with a photo of me that contained my *LGBT* child! (“privacy advocates, protect LGBT people”) All the work I put into this organization turned to dust because I spoke up about CT girls track

      One year later and it’s TWO males topping the ranks in GIRLS CT track. “Inclusion” policies for TIMs means *exclusion* of females from top rankings and access to scholarships. The entire reason Title IX was devised and passed to begin with. It was never meant to be about “gender” “Gender” used to be a polite euphemism for “sex” and to pretend the founders of the law meant anything other than “sex” is intellectually dishonest. The MRA-TRAs have completely bastardized the notions of Title IX, and have enlisted the ACLU in a full on assault on it. Title IX was NEVER about “inclusivity” of males.

      The trans movement relentlessly bullies anyone who speaks up, especially those in leadership, the most eloquent, and most logical, and THEN goes on to bully anyone who resists no-platforming the gender critical. This is why there isn’t more of a protest.

      The pharmaceutical industry, which is making millions tapping this “new market” essentially owns the mainstream media political discourse (“Ask your doctor about” how much editorial control the billions in advertising revenue buys big pharma; they are one of ABC’s biggest sponsors) and you’ll understand why such travesties of justice against female athletes are celebrated not criticized. Sure these boys haven’t medicalized, but these tales of lionization absolutely *encourage others* to medicalize… especially young females, who are getting the message loud and clear: Society hates women, you’re better off being a man.

  • Jane Rogers

    “Today, we are told time and time again that transgenderism is innate.” For logic’s sake, let’s assume this is true. Desistors show us that people who aren’t and never were trans are having medicalization grossly overprescribed. The point the TRAs try to paint us with is that we’re are trying to “talk kids out of being trans.” Our point is the opposite. With these lax policies and relentless media attention encouraging kids to think their problems will be solved by changing their bodies, we are concerned that the trans movement is attempting to talk kids INTO being trans, when the high level of desistance shows clearly most “gender anxious” kids aren’t.

    • Wren

      “…we are concerned that the trans movement is attempting to talk kids INTO being trans…”

      Definitely. And it’s particularly terrifying to hear about parents being accused of neglecting their child or driving him or her to suicide if they don’t subject the child to ‘trans’ treatment. It would be unbelievable if it weren’t true.

  • Jane Rogers

    The only other instance of doctors handing our powerful drugs like so much Halloween candy within the first visit(s) is in the case of psycho-pharmacopeia. The big pharma operators have far too much power over policy and need to be reigned in.

  • Jane Rogers

    “What about the families crossing the border?!” -The same people who would have kids taken from their parents for refusing to trans them.

  • Frilly Prosecutor

    Wren, it’s exactly the same for me. From the age of 16 or so and throughout university, my clothing was my creative and artistic outlet and yes, at times eccentric. Then in my 20s when I began working full time and commuting I began getting sexually harassed so badly, also stalked and followed at one point, and even if I wore something merely “nice” but otherwise unremarkable, I was noticed and harassed. I’m in my 30s now and living and working in a better area so the harassment has drastically lessened but I’ll never be able to get back that precious time (my 20s) when I loved fashion but felt forced to dress down and look as boring and bland as possible to reduce my chances of being harassed, to try to “fly under the radar” as you so aptly put it. And yet it didn’t matter what I wore, even in my most boring outfit, I was noticed and harassed. We just can’t win.

    • Wren

      It’s very true that my efforts to be unnoticeable have failed miserably. It’s almost as if the less I care about men’s approval, the more they try and remind me that I ought to. Sigh.

  • Wren

    Honestly, anyone who thinks humans can change sexes is a bit tapped, imo.

  • Jani

    Oooh!!! I’ve got a blue car so it’s obviously a boy. Perhaps I can trans him up a bit with a pink manicure kit 😉

  • Cassandra

    This is wonderful! Wow, what a lot of work that must have been to create. Solidarity!

  • ptittle

    It’s not about us. When men sexualize women, it’s because THEY’RE insecure about their sexuality; it’s not because we’re looking this way or that way.

    (To add a case in point…a few days ago, I was working alongside a handyperson I’d hired, a male; I was in work clothes — baggy pants, a long-sleeved turtle neck top, b/c it’s bug season, and so with a bug hat on as well — and post-double-mastectomy so no breasts at all — and when I said something about needing another screw, to attach the top board to the bottom board, OF COURSE, he responded as if I’d made a sexual innuendo…)

  • Meghan Murphy


  • mail_turtle

    What if the child feels so desperate about their sensation of being in the wrong body that they have a high risk (again, based on statistics) of committing suicide or suffering from severe depression? What if statistics indicate that children at risk of suicide markedly or severe depression improve after an intervention? If trying to help them to find a way to become reconciled is statistically a less succesful intervention would you still recommend it?

    • FierceMild

      I couldn’t say because that isn’t the current case and I don’t have the training to address that depth of mental illness. Should you tell someone who believes that they are Napoleon that they aren’t Napoleon? If it is believed to be better for them that you agree they are Napoleon should you then cut up and reform their face to resemble Napoleon?

  • mail_turtle

    ps, typo: I meant “markedly improve”

  • FierceMild

    Dude, men attack and murder us no matter what we do. The policy of keeping our heads down hasn’t worked and won’t work.

  • TwinMamaManly

    “Women to some extent get off a bit easy in terms of male aggression and violence and that what men unleash against other men is at least more deadly”. You do realise you are on a radfem site and that sort of BS won’t be tolerated? Take your #menarevictimztoo attitude elsewhere.

    But before you go, you do realise that the reason women continue to put up with men’s bullshit (although there are commenters on here that no longer do) is because we have been socialised to do so…make sure you educate yourself on this before you come back and contribute.

  • TwinMamaManly

    Then clearly you don’t have much contact with girls or young women. Or you do, but *shockingly* they don’t confide this in you.

  • ptittle

    Sad thing is the handyperson is in his 60s.

    But you’re right: “It’s all about how THEY feel” — and why should that surprise us??

  • TwinMamaManly

    Radfems don’t believe in violence for violence’s sake. That is the remit of men and transactivists. Clearly you don’t really understand what radfem is.

  • TwinMamaManly

    Oh dear, are you one of those Americans that doesn’t understand sarcasm?

  • TwinMamaManly

    There is no such thing as biological gender! Seriously dude, do you even know what radfem is? From your comments here you seem to think we are a bunch of sexless, genderless, mandating, violent women.

    Sex is biological. We are born either male or female (with a small percentage intersex).

    Gender is a social construct with attributable stereotypical traits, behaviours and presentation.

    Please educate yourself on the basics.

  • Frilly Prosecutor

    @hekatejayne:disqus @disqus_JBqhgJBLou:disqus @disqus_enipAN0Ij0:disqus This thread is long, so apologies if I missed anyone out but Duran Duran Night is on BBC4 on Friday 29 June!! I think you’re all in the US but hopefully someone will post it online so you can watch it too.

  • Jani

    I would say that there are trans people who are 100% certain they want to go through complete gender reassignment and live as the opposite sex for the rest of their lives. Way back, my path crossed with Caroline Cossey/Tula before it became known she was born male. She was obviously a very convincing woman as my boyfriend at that time was completely lusting after her. She was actually in a relationship with one of his work colleagues and he was super envious of him. This was all before it came out that she was born a boy. I’d say she was “genuinely” transgender, although I’ve read she could have actually been intersex. In any case, if she wanted to live ‘as a woman’ then fine. Let her live her life as she determines.

    The current transgender activism is a bit odd though. I think there’s a big difference between being the equivalent of a misunderstood goth who likes dressing up and a transgender/transsexual person. I think it’s completely normal for a young person from early teens to early 20s to explore one’s sexuality and one’s identity, and expressing oneself through clothes and maybe makeup, joining a tribe to fit in and then breaking away to become an individual, perhaps a few times, and so on. The trouble with modern day sexuality is that we are very tolerant as parents, we accept the reality of sexual relationships, we expect our kids to know about safe sex and contraception and we keep the channels of communication open in case of any problems. We’re also accepting that some kids will be gay or lesbian or bisexual. There’s no “sex is bad, don’t do it”. At least not where I am. On the other hand, kids are exposed to all manner of porn categories very early on, there’s sexting, revenge porn, hookup culture, so there’s a lot for parents to keep up to date with. No one wants their kid to be a victim of revenge porn, or date rape, or anything else. I have be date raped. I was also sexually assaulted by a gang who intended to and attempted to rape me at 13. So I have lived with those realities and I know how the gang attack fucked up my education and a whole lot of other shit. So how do you rebel against the adults when they’re just so fucking open and accepting of every possibiliy? Heterosexual? “Oh, my parents are heterosexual, how boring.” I’m not saying it’s the ONLY reason why this trans activism has taken off. It’s a lot more complex especially with the impact of social media. I sense that a lot of these trans activists will never transition, and in 10 years time they’ll probably be getting married and having kids and jobs. A few definitely will transition and that’s OK. In my country people have to (or had to) go through a lot of therapy and transition in stages, and I’ve never had a problem with that. I’ll admit I don’t really know a lot about it but I accept it, and I also believe that the “genuinely” trans people — see my own definition above — should be able to live their lives peacefully and without unfair discrimination. That’s all I have to say about it really.

  • Jani

    Yes I was a bit disappointed that Roxane Gay was critical of what was a fair article, but I suppose the people we admire aren’t necessarily in complete alignment with our views all of the time, nor vice versa. People in the public eye have to be so very, very careful about what they say about the trans issue. I am not in the business of denying anyone their legal or human rights, but having rights also demands the responsibility of affording those same rights to everyone else. But the trans issue right now is like walking on eggshells. All this misogynist “TERF” hate speech and threats of violence against women (who have the right to gather and debate without threat or harassment) is totally out of order. I’m not that interested in whether trans women are “real” women, there’s no answer to that which everyone will agree on, but trans people are going to have to learn to have an open dialogue with biologically female XX chromosome women to determine how their rights and needs can be met in the current legal and social frameworks, particularly regarding protected spaces. If that involves separate provision for trans gender people that does not result in the loss of protected women-only services and facilities, then that’s what needs to be implemented. No-platforming feminist speakers and events is NOT the way to go about it. Assaulting and threatening women isn’t either.

    • Meghan Murphy

      She’s disappointed me a number of times at this point, alas… She is a good writer, but has terrible politics when it comes to feminism…. Pro-‘sex work’ etc

      • Jani

        Yes, I’m definitely not in step with some of her views, pro ‘sex work’ bring one of them. I read Hunger because of what she went through at 12 which was similar to what I went through at approximately the same age, and how it shaped her life and quite literally her body from that point onwards. Her journey has been different from my own but she’s told her story and for that I am grateful for her putting it out there in the public domain. I really ‘got’ that dreadful feeling of shame and secrecy, and of having to deal with something like that alone without having the maturity to understand it. But by no means do I agree with some of her views. Well, quite a few in fact. As you say, she’s not without her merits as a writer and an activist but I know what you’re saying.

      • Hanakai

        She is a good writer, but not a good thinker. And she has swallowed the trans propaganda hook, line and sinker.

        • Meghan Murphy


  • Robert Gonzalez

    You wear it!? Holy shit. AND you have one of the dresses (Alice and the Pirates) that I love? I adored that line when I found out about it. Okay, you’re one of my new heroes. I love Angelic Pretty, Baby the Stars Shine Bright, Mary Magdalene, Innocent World, Moi-meme-moitie and Atelier BoZ. I’m definitely not a brolita and if I ever did wear anything I would make extra sure that I do it justice. However, I’m more masculine than androgynous (though I border closely) and so far only wear men’s fashion items. I have no burando whatsoever and only really admire the artistry of those dresses from a distance. They are gorgeous. I’ve wanted to get some items from Atelier — the masculine pieces. I’ll attach a picture on here at the end of what I mean. It’s more 17th-18th century in style. But the main styles I adore would be Edwardian and Victorian. I have a few pieces like that that I’ve collected sporadically when a costumer lets them go or I find something modern that looks like it’s from those eras (very rare). You really are lucky to have a parent that can do that. My mom did have a lot of influence on me liking these styles. I adore her Victorian dolls, artwork and other antique collectibles. I so badly wanted the historical American Girl dolls Samantha and Kirsten when I was little but just didn’t have the ability to get one because I was a boy. I’m in a Hispanic family that values machismo. It just wasn’t going to happen. But I do collect them now and try to make up for my deprived childhood by doing whatever the hell I want now. lol

    I didn’t think he made that claim. I’m glad to hear he doesn’t. His style is exquisite and so refined. I admire so many of those Japanese artists. I love Hyde and Gackt too! Hyde’s makeup tends to be more subtle and I follow that example if I do choose to wear anything.

    Phew. I’m glad you saw that. I make so many typos on here, especially when I’m on my phone. Thank you for seeing me as kind and thoughtful. I try my best to be. I certainly see you that way and all the other women on here. I’m lucky to have found this site.

    No! It’s not garish at all. It’s a masterpiece. I think there were several dresses (colors, prints, etc.) in that line, right? But I loved all of them. It’s definitely hard to find places to wear beautiful items of clothing like that. But why not wear it for yourself, even if it’s just inside? And drinking tea is fun! Why not do it while being as fancy as possible? 😉

    • Frilly Prosecutor

      You mentioned all the brands I love! You know those times when you absolutely must buy a particular thing, no matter the expense? That’s how I ended up with the Alice dress. All my other lolita things are accessories, i.e. things that didn’t nearly bankrupt me, lol. I used to be heavily involved in the manga scanlation scene and I’m cry-laughing right now at hearing the word brolita again (I was in one of the many groups that scanlated Vampire Knight, which is full of drool-worthy lolita fashion). Being more masculine than androgynous, even bordering, doesn’t mean you can’t pull off that look. Consider ’80s artists like Adam Ant, Duran Duran, Phil Oakey, for example. They weren’t remotely androgynous but wore makeup and stylish outfits and no one questioned their “masculinity.” I’d love to see a picture if you do get the chance to post something.

      I’m sorry you had to deal with the whole Hispanic machismo stuff growing up. I’m ethnically very mixed (white, Chinese, Southeast Asian) but in my head I was the red headed Canadian orphan Anne Shirley (from Green Gables, if you’re familiar with it). I had a straw boater and frilly Edwardian dresses just like hers (I love my mother so much more for indulging me in this way). Anne was my life, lol. I love that you’re collecting the dolls that you missed out on in your childhood. Adulthood is pretty crap but at least we have the power to choose what we buy now!

      Hyde is awesome. He can hit the high notes but also do the growly rock voice. I got my friend into him after lending just one CD (666) and she doesn’t even understand a word of Japanese. That’s the power of Hyde, lol.

      Thank you! And same 🙂 I feel so lucky to have found this site too. It’s really helping me to make sense of things and I’m learning so much from the intelligent reader comments as well.

      Well, you’ve convinced me. I shall certainly make an occasion of The Dress. Tea and posh biscuits. It deserves that much, right? I’m very happy to hear you understand the sacred art of tea. I think you’d fit in really well in the UK 🙂

  • Tobysgirl

    All doctors do is cover their asses! And when they’re done covering their own, they cover the asses of their fellow doctors!

  • ptittle

    How would we NOT put up with it? What exactly do you imagine a woman who doesn’t want to put up with it DOING?

  • marv

    “Do I think that men single out women for aggression and violence due to misogyny. I know this will set radfems off, but I say NO. I mean some do, hardcore woman-haters and abusers, sure, are motivated by misogyny. Your average guy is not. He engages in all the stuff above and at the same time thinks he likes or loves women.”

    It is not your prerogative to define misogynist conduct anymore than white people determining when acts are racist – mansplaining and whitesplaining. Up to women and black people to decide. What is going on in the head of violent men isn’t a deciding factor.

    As for the rest of your remarks, it’s senseless to believe because men attack other men and nonhuman animals, that women have it better than those victims. Why make such a silly competitive comparison? Men are violent towards each other, animals and women all because of men’s political primacy. The structural power of men is destructive in many ways. Duh

    Make a donation taking up so much labour time for the FC. It’s the least you could do.


  • TwinMamaManly

    Agree entirely. I suppose man/woman (“bi”) is attraction to the stereotypical binaries. Pan is that plus everything or anything else? Asking for clarification or misunderstanding what their preferences are (because we are ALL mindreaders – good forbid we misgender someone presenting/acting/dressing as one sex but feeling the opposite on the inside) is BIGOTRY!

  • mail_turtle

    I actually agree that therapy should be the first line of treatment, and it *is* the first line of treatment. Since you call it the first line of treatment, does that mean that – in some particular cases – you would consider medical transitioning as an option if that first line of treatment doesn’t work?

  • marv

    Nonsense. Men are the gatekeepers to women’s bodily freedom. Gatekeepers have real power. They aren’t routinely hounded, sexually objectified, raped and otherwise assaulted and killed.

  • Robert Lindsay

    ALL men can’t get laid anytime they want to. The reason is because women are gatekeepers of sex and won’t allow this wanton promiscuity among straight men.

    It is only feminists and feminist men who lie and say that the sex market is the same for men as it is for women. This is because of the basic solipsism of women. Women can’t have sex anytime they want to, so they assume that what’s true for them must be true for men too. Women can’t put themselves in the shoes of men and see their view.

    I’ve had sex with more women than most men will in 20 lifetimes. So keep calling me dumb and ridiculous names.

    PS Why is it that whenever anyone pisses off a feminist, male or female, first you call them misogynists, then you scream, “Obviously you can’t get laid!”? It’s so juvenile, immature and unprofessional. No wonder no one listens to you.

    As an aside, this argument doesn’t even make sense. You say these men are horrible woman-haters, then you yell that they can’t get laid. Do you all actually WANT virulent misogynists to be having sex with women? Isn’t it better if they DON’T get laid. You’re not even internally coherent.

  • Littona

    Well, clearly yes. Would there even be a way to prove or disprove that? It’s just a random supposition. The prevalence for mental disorders of all kinds is extremely high in humans compared to the rest of the animal world (that we know of), though, so the fact that no other animal has gender dysphoria doesn’t mean that no human would have it without the patriarchy.
    We might even discover that there are biological risk factors for dysphoria (as is the case for, say, anorexia, a disease which is heavily linked to mysogynistic social pressure; yet there are genetic variants that increase susceptibility to it, and links to the immune system are being investigated as well).