This is why the ‘true trans’ approach is a problem

There is no such thing as “transgender.” There is no such thing as a “trans woman” or a “trans man.” “Trans children” do not exist.

Before anyone has a conniption, let me clarify: I am aware that there are people in the world who identify as “trans,” who have a kind of dysmorphia that leads them to feel they are in the “wrong body” and are meant to have the body of the opposite sex, and who take cross-sex hormones and get cosmetic surgeries that make them appear more “female” if they are male, and more “male” if they are female. But there is not such a thing as a person who literally changes sex; and having a feeling, taking hormones, and getting surgery does not alter your biology to such an extent that you stop being male if you are born male, for example.

This is why I tend to use the term, “trans-identified male” or “trans-identified female,” rather than “trans man” or “trans woman.”

I also tend not to feel comfortable legitmizing concepts that don’t make sense or that aren’t rooted in material reality, and transgenderism is not a real, material thing — it is a vague concept attached to an incoherent ideology that has altered our ability to speak about reality and to protect the rights of women and girls, and I simply will not participate in that.

If we treat the term “transgender” and the idea of transgenderism as legitimate, we end up having to contend with manipulative arguments like the one made by professor, attorney, author, and political columnist Seth Abramson recently, in response to a tweet by JK Rowling, pointing to the absurdity of recording male rapists as women. Abramson tweeted:

“Sorry, J.K., but if a self-described trans (alleged) rapist is indeed a trans person, there’s no harm or foul here — the policy just ensures proper record keeping. And if the suspect *falsely* claims to be trans, that lie will be used against them at their rape trial. No issue here.”

Well, sorry Seth, but there is no such thing as “falsely claiming to be trans” because, in keeping with gender identity ideology, there is no way of demonstrating or “proving” transness. All that is required to be “trans” is to announce you are either the opposite sex or “trans,” and no one is allowed to question you. You don’t need to change your appearance, behaviour, be diagnosed with any kind of mental illness/condition, or alter your body parts. There is no way to “prove” a person is lying about being trans, because “trans” doesn’t mean anything, and it is not permitted, in our culture, to question this identity.

Hey, I didn’t make the rules.

Often, when women like me express concern about men being allowed to access women’s change rooms, prisons, bathrooms, etc, we are accused of trying to make “trans people” out to be predators. We are not. We are pointing out that males can pose a danger to women and girls, especially when allowed access to spaces where women are girls are vulnerable. We don’t care if these men identify as trans or not, we care that they are men.

Among the many problems that come with legitimizing the concept of “trans people” is that we end up caught up in debates about what “trans women” do vs what “cis women” do, as Charlotte Clymer (who was, for the record, a male “feminist” named Charles until he was cancelled, then conveniently re-emerged as “trans” in order to force his narcissistic, very badly made up face back into the spotlight) demonstrated yesterday, also in response to Rowling’s tweet.

“Of course,” Clymer tweeted, “if JK Rowling really wants to lay out the statistics of cis women vs. trans women being convicted of sex crimes, I’m not sure it’d be helpful to anyone, least of all her own worldview, but that is certainly a choice she can make. Talk about missing the point entirely.”

I think Clymer knows as well as anyone that the issue is not about how many so-called “trans women” are convicted of sex crimes, but that males are far, far more likely to perpetrate sex crimes than women, and that men do not generally fear females. Recording male offenders as “women” not only skews statistics on sexual violence and, more broadly, male violence against women, but gaslights victims who know full well they were raped by a man. A victim of rape doesn’t care how her rapist identifies or what kinds of outfits turn him on.

Many who are critical of gender identity ideology continue to insist there are “real trans” and those who are not “truly” trans and are therefore faking it, or something of the like. This makes no sense. Who cares whether one really feels “trans” on the inside. That makes no difference in terms of the harms of gender identity ideology and is irrelevant to the conversations we are having about women’s rights. A person may well have some kind of mental illness or condition, but that is (and I swear I’m not saying this to be mean) their problem to deal with (alongside, one hopes, an ethical therapist). And it doesn’t make the concept of transgenderism — that is to say, the idea that a person can be “born in the wrong body” or that a male can become a woman — any more coherent.

The longer we pretend a man can become a woman and that there is such a thing as a “trans woman,” the more men will transferred into female prisons, where they may sexually assault female inmates, the more headlines we’ll read announcing, “Female pedophile charged with raping teenager” or something of the like, and the more men will feel completely entitled to waltz around women-only spas or girls’ change rooms naked, knowing there isn’t a thing any of the women and girls present can do about it.

If you are an adult, you can do what you like with your body; entertain any fantasies you like, inside your own head; put on a wig and change your name to Tina; but you cannot change your sex. How you feel is how you feel, but how you feel isn’t really about anyone else but you. As unpleasant as it might feel, no one else is required to concern themselves with your inner struggles or preferences. Certainly not women and girls who may find themselves victimized as a result.

There is no such thing as trans person — there are males and females, and that’s all that matters, in terms of both “gender” and sex. And the sooner we stop playing along with this nonsense theory, the sooner we can all get back to discussing and addressing reality like adults.

Meghan Murphy

Founder & Editor

Meghan Murphy is a freelance writer and journalist from Vancouver, BC. She has been podcasting and writing about feminism since 2010 and has published work in numerous national and international publications, including The Spectator, UnHerd, Quillette, the CBC, New Statesman, Vice, Al Jazeera, The Globe and Mail, and more. Meghan completed a Masters degree in the department of Gender, Sexuality and Women’s Studies at Simon Fraser University in 2012 and is now exiled in Mexico with her very photogenic dog.