i am a radical feminist, writer, and jewelry designer/maker who loves reading, collecting turquoise, and learning new languages.
Posts tagged transgender
It’s madness to tell a five-year-old boy who likes tutus that he has a ‘gender identity disorder’
Apparently 165 children have been diagnosed with GID in Britain over the past year, seven of them aged five or under. God help them. Girls acting tomboyishly or boys experimenting with dolls is not a psychological disorder – it is all part and parcel of growing up, of experimenting with roles and just having a laugh. For doctors to tell a five-year-old boy like Zach that he has a disorder, and for his school to play along with this psycho-charade by setting up “gender-neutral toilets” for him, strikes me as being the height of irresponsibility. It is the medicalisation of childish antics, so that preferring a Barbie to a GI Joe comes to be seen as the external expression of internal mental anguish about gender and identity.
The elevation of childhood confusion and immature desires into a mental disorder reveals far more about adult society than it does about children. It is the adults – the doctors, the schools, the social workers – who are really screwed up in the GID debate, not the kids. It is normal for kids to want to be all kinds of things – girls, boys, robots, dogs – but it is not normal for the adults around them to scratch their chins and say: “Yes, you clearly have psychological issues. I propose reorienting your whole school and home life around your desire to be a [insert crazy childhood dream here].” What is really motoring the GID bandwagon is modern adult society’s weird combination of not wanting to tell children what to do anymore (it’s too judgemental) and its inability simply to chill out about what children get up to. So on the one hand, adults are increasingly reluctant to tell a boy who announces “I am a girl” that he is being silly, and on the other hand they find it hard to sit back and just accept that some boys like ballet and some girls like to eat worms – instead, thanks to increasingly influential “early years” theorists, every childhood behaviour is interpreted as an outward sign of an inner, identity-based turmoil.
There is no such thing as Gender Identity Disorder. A kid who does seemingly weird things does not have “gender identity issues”; he’s just behaving in a way that many kids always have. It is society that is disordered, to the extent that it is now more willing to tell a toddler that he has a psychological affliction rather than simply saying to him: “You like pink? That’s nice, dear.”
- Brendan O’Neill (source)
Again, there is no such thing as cis privilege, and female reality matters
I hope by “triggering” the bug means “uncomfortable for females because it forces us to address our cisprivilege” but somehow I think I will be disappointed.
What misogynist bullshit to suggest that we should feel guilty for having been born female. As if we’re not made to feel uncomfortable because of it every day!
After spending several months reading trans activists in an attempt to understand exactly what they want from us, I’ve figured some of it out. These observations don’t describe all trans women, merely the ones who drive the pomo/queer studies-influenced transgender activism that dominates the public discourse on this issue.
Trans women activists write with the assumption that the gender-identity based discrimination they face cannot be addressed without erasing sex-based oppression of females. This is completely untrue, as both concerns can be addressed congruently. The question is why trans women take this extreme stance.
Part of it is that they can’t be regarded as female in the sense that biological females are unless female as a sex class ceases to exist. It’s not good enough for them to be considered women, they’ve got to be seen as female in every sense that biological females are. Trans women are deeply threatened by females discussing their physical realities that trans women don’t share. They want us to shut up about everything that doesn’t involve them.
This attitude comes from unexamined male socialization and male privilege. Like most males they expect women to defer to and cater to them. As evidenced by their indifference during the recent congressional fight over reproductive rights, they don’t care much about issues that don’t directly affect them. Trans women have also demonstrated that they’re too lazy and entitled to do their own political work, hence their entryism into liberal feminism. As Andrea Dworkin wrote, males expecting females to drop their own issues and do men’s political shit work is nothing new.
One way in which trans women erase sex-based oppression of females is by refusing to name male violence as a problem. They instead talk about “cis violence,” when it is overwhelmingly males who perpetrate violence against both trans women and females. This serves to spread the blame for male violence against trans women to females, which is not only cruel and inaccurate, but makes it impossible to address the real source of oppression.
Additionally, the Tumblr trans community and their allies have no understanding of what actually constitutes privilege.
“Cis privilege” makes no sense as a political theory. For cis privilege to be analogous to male privilege or white privilege, females would have to benefit directly from trans women being born in male bodies. We do not. We would have to benefit from the discomfort they feel. We do not. Quite the opposite, because they use their dysphoria as an excuse to force us to pretend that we don’t exist as a class and have nothing in common with each other! Additionally, we do not hoard all the cis bodies to keep them to ourselves, as rich white males hoard money and political favors. The sex you’re born in is just the roll of the dice.
Females are also exempt from cis privilege because female is not a privileged class. Being born on planet earth with body parts that men seek access to and control over is no privilege. That’s what the War on Women is about. Our biology, not our gender expression. Express your gender any way you like, but it is a gross expression of male entitlement to accuse females of privilege for being born in a female body.
Another thing the privilege-checklist flogging Tumblr Tots don’t understand is that there is a difference between structural oppression and not getting what you want. Being born with a male body is not structural oppression. Sexual dimorphism in humans is not a construction of the patriarchy. The patriarchy is not to blame for the hormones that flood our bodies at puberty. Intersectionality does not mean that everything that makes you unhappy is a form of structural oppression.
Internetwinnage, quoted above, is deferring to male entitlement. That’s understandable, because females are socialized to put the needs of others before their own. Please understand that billions of females are oppressed due to their sex, not their gender identity, and that the feelings of first world trans women are not more important than that reality.
I would have to agree with Katie Berger Tremaine that it’s very hard to reach a compromise with trans people like her who possess such a deeply flawed conception of intersectionality and privilege theory, and a continued denial of male socialization. However, radical feminists are willing to try. As Cathy Brennan said:
I respect trans women as women, and believe they deserve, like all humans, access to employment, housing, and public accommodations. However, they are not female, and any protections for trans women must be fashioned to ensure they do not infringe on the rights of females. Females have an absolute right to set a boundary based on sex. What suggestions do you have for ensuring just treatment for trans women and females?
Trans women do not get to erase male violence and arbitrarily name an oppressed class to be their oppressor class without at least some of us in that class fighting back. They need to understand that sex-based oppression of females exists. They also need to understand that females get to discuss issues that do not involve trans women. We don’t have to keep silent about our own experiences to make you happy.
Otherwise it’s no dice.
^^^ (bold mine)
Tumblr getting mixed up.
Why is it that the loudest voices are coming from those who are supposedly “on the margins”?
Could it be because those people aren’t actually marginalized as much as they believe they are?
Tumblr does not hear the vast majority of indigenous voices, because the vast majority of indigenous voices are still being silenced. Having accessible internet access is still a luxury in a lot of our communities. This is marginalization.
No schools, or inadequate infrastructure. This is marginalization.
No potable water, environmental poisons from nearby large-scale developments. Denial after denial that our people are getting cancer from tailing ponds. This is marginalization.
No adequate treatment for addictions, insufficient health service. This is marginalization.
Wilted lettuce that costs five times what it does down south. This is marginalization.
Missing and murdered and seen as garbage, always assumed to be prostitutes as though this justifies our deaths. “High risk lifestyle”? Being visible Native American is a high risk lifestyle. This is marginalization.
Headdresses. Struggling with people taking you for white. Struggling with people taking you for black. That is what Tumblr hears about. People claiming to be marginalized and oppressed. People who speak more loudly than anyone else. People who speak over Native Americans who are real, living breathing members of their Nation. People who are upset about being outside, demanding to be let in.
That is not how it works. You do not get to ignore all of your privilege and pretend that you experience the same marginalization. You do not get to cry about not being accepted, when you do not live our lives and never have. You do not get our sympathy because that “wasn’t your choice”. It was not our choice either.
How can you possibly “be one of us” when you refuse to listen to our concerns about the identities you claim for yourselves? You can pretend that our refusal to accept this is a form of colonization, and ignore the irony inherent in you yourselves telling us who we must accept and on what grounds. You can do this, but we see you doing it.
If you were raised outside, disconnected, or are only vaguely, minutely Native American, you need to stop speaking so loudly. You need to listen, and learn. You need to become familiar with our communities and our voices. You cannot create these things in your head and then guide yourselves with the images you have fabricated. You may not notice that you are doing this, but we see you.
We see you.
You do not see us. You do not know us at all. And until you do, you will never be among us.
this is a fantastic piece of writing with incredible, yet still accessible, points. i bolded a few sections because it is amazing to me to see the parallels between native experience and women experience when it comes to people who are vaguely native/raised outside native experience, and transwomen who insist on entering women’s spaces 24/7. of course, when its race its so much more likely to be viewed as unacceptable. but the insistence upon understanding female experience from transwomen is totally legit and if you are critical of that AT ALL you are a transphobe/transmisogynist.