Did my views on trans women change?

Originally posted at The Idge of Reason

Appropriating the language of feminism for misogyny is a problem. That is not about denying trans women anything. Trans women need the discussion of structural inequality that they face part of. Feminism is not about controlling the worlds women so they have to concentrate on managing your identity instead of the lives they face because of structural inequality imposed on them for being women. Women did not choose the things attributed to our gender, even if you value them. They are not an innate part of womanhood. If your identity is so fragile you need women to manage it for you, that is about you, not them. There is no female brain that meant women wanted to be subservient for years. There is the responsibilities that still fall disproportionately to women, there is economic inequality rooted in this, there is the reason feminism existed in the first place. Which has not gone away.

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Violent behaviour and gender

Originally posted at Hemlock Solanum

It is a fact that men commit violent crime at a much higher rate than women. Whether it’s against women or other men, more victims of sexual or physical assualt are victims of male perpetrators. It’s an unfortunate but undeniable fact.

(If you doubt me then Google is your friend, you don’t need me to hold your hand)

But why?

We have three possible reasons.

1 – It’s their natural state. It’s biologically hardwired into them.

2 – It’s learnt behaviour. Taught to them from an early age, this is social conditioning.

3 – A bit of both.

Now I’m pretty certain that it’s 2, from what I’ve read about gendered behaviour, but for the sake of this post we’ll treat all as equally likely.

At the moment my timeline is full of talk about the North Carolina bathroom laws for TG individuals. And obviously this is an argument which has been going on for a while between trans activists and radfems, not just in regards to toilets, but also in any areas which are separated by sex. Eg. refuges, counselling groups.

The argument goes like this.

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The Value in People

Originally posted at Jaqueline Sephora Andrews

People are important.  When you value life, you can honor and respect opposing view points.  Some might not like that I’m a transsexual, or feel that I too appropriate other realities. I can disagree with other opinions, but their lives matter regardless of how their comments make me feel.  The world doesn’t revolve around my feelings.  The lack of respect for people, especially women, is why it was necessary for me to leave the trans movement.  I saw that it was a misogynistic movement that expected women to be obedient.  Women who don’t obey are labelled Trans Exclusionary Radical Feminist (TERF) and targeted with abuse.  Regardless of how you feel, transwomen, radical feminists are people and entitled to their analysis.  If what they are saying isn’t true, then why do you work so hard to try to silence their voices?  You have fallen for your political agenda that you fail to see the value in people.  People deserve safety.  Women are entitled to their safe spaces.

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Why I no longer hate ‘TERFs’

Originally posted at Feminist Current

I used to hate so-called TERFs (Trans Exclusionary Radical Feminists). I thought they were mean, vicious, horrible people — an affront to feminism, to social justice, and to political purity. They were no better than puppy-kickers and kitten-killers in my mind. But, while I continue to fully embrace my transgender sisters in the fight against patriarchy, I will no longer vilify my feminist sisters who don’t, and beyond its convenience in writing this article, I will no longer use the word “TERF.”

Women are socialized to be caretakers. We learn to put everyone else’s needs before our own and, likewise, we are socialized to believe that everyone else’s oppression is more important than ours — especially the oppression of biological males. The oppression of men of colour by whites, for example, has always been taken more seriously than the oppression of women of colour. Police violence against women of colour receives far less coverage than police violence against men of colour.

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Oppressive Silence

Originally published at The Morning Star

On Saturday June 6 in Sheffield, RadFem Collective, a radical feminist women’s group, and I hosted an open talk and discussion with journalist Julie Bindel to discuss the effect of the no-platforming of radical feminists.

No-platforming has been justified based on allegations of transphobia. Although this may seem to be a niche discussion, the real-world effect is both further and broader than it at first would appear. The Trojan horse of transgender identity politics dominates much feminist and women’s discourse and makes it harder for women’s groups to prioritise other concerns and causes.

This event was to some degree a follow-up of a similar talk held in Nottingham in February. That these two meetings even happened is remarkable. For each, the location was shrouded in secrecy and revealed to attendees only the day before to prevent campaigners from lobbying the venue to force cancellation.

Both these meetings were planned and organised between radical feminists and me, a trans woman. I have written before in the Morning Star about the conflicts that exist between radical feminism and transgender politics, and in the light of these problems RadFem Collective and I have resolved to work together to bring people on both sides of this debate together, as well as anyone else who may be interested. Both meetings had a mixture of radical feminists, other women who would not necessarily describe themselves so, as well as trans women, trans men and men. If nothing else, we were able to measure the success of both these events by the diverse mixture of attendees.

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‘You Are Killing Me’: On Hate Speech and Feminist Silencing

Originally published on Trouble and Strife

Radical feminists are regularly accused of denying trans people’s right to exist, or even of wanting them dead. Here Jane Clare Jones takes a closer look at these charges. Where do they come from and what do they mean? Is there a way to move towards a more constructive discussion?

The claim that certain forms of feminist speech should be silenced has recently become common currency. Notable instances include the ongoing NUS no-platforming of Julie Bindel, the cancellation of a performance by the comedian Kate Smurthwaite (which prompted a letter to the Observer), and, in the last month, the demand that a progressive Canadian website end its association with the feminist writer Meghan Murphy.

The basis of this claim is the assertion that a certain strand of feminist thought is hate speech. Versions of that assertion have circulated on social media for a number of years — complete with obligatory analogies between Trans Exclusionary Radical Feminists (TERFs) and Nazis, the BNP or the Ku Klux Klan. But its effectiveness in excising speech from the public sphere was really brought home to me in August 2014, when the journalist and trans activist Paris Lees pulled out of a Newsnight debate with the gender-critical trans woman Miranda Yardley, saying she was ‘not prepared to enter into a fabricated debate about trans people’s right to exist.’

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