Derrick Jensen Responds to John Stoltenberg

Originally posted at Gender Detective

As a fellow writer, I understand that publishers come up with article titles. Sometimes they don’t ask my approval on them, and sometimes they do. And as a writer I know that when I find a title harmful I demand it be changed. So it was illuminating, disturbing, and unfortunately not surprising to learn that you approved the title “Andrea was not transphobic.”

By now you must be aware that the phrase “transphobe” is routinely used as a rhetorical cudgel to browbeat many women into silence and submission, women who want nothing more, in many cases, than to be allowed to use the bathroom or locker room or shelter free from the presence of biological males. By denying that Andrea Dworkin was a “transphobe” you were by contrast lending credence to the notion that these other woman are in fact “transphobes.”

I’ll spell it out. The women I know who have been called “transphobic”—and who have been threatened with rape, other forms of torture, and murder by many of the very same biological males who are labeling these women as “transphobic”—are not, in fact, “transphobic” in that none of them wish to exploit or wish any harm on people who identify as transgender.

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