Originally posted at The Big Board
I think the term “woman” is, or should be, predicative. Yes, there is a bit of vagueness to “woman” if you want to split hairs. But I think it’s pretty clear that folk-prototypes across a lot of cultures are in close agreement about who women are. The sophistry of genderists thrives in this narrow band of vagueness, but I can’t see how a boy born with a wang and nads who made a career of doing male stuff in the Olympics is going to be able to break through that vagueness barrier and be near the core concept of “woman” just because of what he thinks or what he wants to do.
The whole point is that “trans” is attributive and not predicative in the senses logicians use those terms. X is a trans woman does not simply imply that X is a woman by logical structure. “Trans women are women” is not axiomatic the way some think it is. “Trans” is not a clear subset of “women”, and may not be a subset of women at all. I think it isn’t.
Originally posted at 4th Wave Now
There is power in naming. It’s how we find each other, how we connect to our histories, how we connect to our futures. Driving us apart from each other is the easiest way to keep us from learning to recognize attempts to redefine our realities.
I didn’t know this then. I subscribed to an incredibly misogynistic set of beliefs for years. “DFAB privilege” was a common phrase in our community – “designated female at birth privilege.” It was accepted fact that being born female gave you a lifelong advantage over a male who transitioned. This included men who used transition only to mean using different pronouns on Tumblr and having an anime girl as their avatar. We believed that, as “dfabs,” we needed to shut up about our petty problems. We could never have it as hard as any “dmab women or non-binary people.” Everyone in the trans community agreed that it was our responsibility to uplift “dmab voices.” None of this seemed outrageous or strange to me; it felt pretty intuitive. Growing up under male domination is a grooming process that leaves many girls and women extremely vulnerable to manipulation.
The first experience that did make me start to feel suspicious of male transition was when I was 18 and a genderqueer-identifying man who had never pursued any kind of transition raped my best friend, a woman unacquainted with insular trans community politics.
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.
Originally posted at Third Way Trans
I have been again thinking about identity, because it seems to lie at the heart of all the recent discussion of transgender issues. I have also been thinking about how the way we treat identity with respect to gender dysphoria is very different from that with other conditions. In fact, the way we treat identity with respect to gender dysphoria is the polar opposite of the way we look at most other conditions. In many different contexts, I was taught the importance of not making an identity out of someone’s condition.
For example, we try not to say “schizophrenic” instead we say “person with schizophrenia”. We try not to say “a depressive” and instead say “person with depression”. However, with gender issues it is the reverse, we are encouraged to say “trans person” rather than “person with gender dysphoria” and also to affirm those identities.
Originally published at Who Is Cis
It’s becoming increasingly common to see a loud stream of ramble rousing from the trans community in regards to their rights. Trans rights headlines are quickly replacing gay rights headlines. We are being flooded with individual’s stories emotion provoking plights. It’s emotional manipulation, but as the gay community knows, that is an effective tool.
Trans activist are screaming that “The fight is not over!” and “Don’t forget the T!” lamenting how they feel that gay men and lesbian women have reached their goals. How that gays and lesbians can now openly serve in the military (Oh boy, more bodies for men’s wars!) How DOMA was struck down. How marriage is now a right for same sex couples. I often see gay and lesbian people being told to take a seat because trans people have something to say, after all they just have it SO. MUCH. HARDER. I mean…people look at them funny when they go into spaces designated for the opposite sex, and they of course, wrongly receive abuse for their gender non conformity (As if gays and lesbians haven’t been gender non-conformist for ages.).
Originally posted at Sex Not Gender
The National Center for Transgender Equality (NCTE) has launched a campaign to gather information about trans identified people called the U.S. Trans Survey. The intent may be noble, but the data collection methods leave much to be desired. Here is some background on the project from its organizers (emphasis added):
[The U.S. Trans Survey] is the follow up to the groundbreaking National Transgender Discrimination Survey, which was conducted by the National Center for Transgender Equality and the National LGBTQ Task Force in 2009, and examined the lives of over 6,400 trans people in the U.S. The results were released in a 2011 report called Injustice At Every Turn. As the single-most cited study about trans people, it has changed how the public understands the challenges facing our community.
That last sentence is the crux of what bothers me. An internet based questionnaire is the single-most cited “study” about trans people? Are you serious? In what world is an anonymous survey with no sample validity considered the primary or best evidence by which “the public understands the challenges” faced by any group of people? Look, I’m no statistician but I did take Stats 101 in college. Even I can tell this “study” has holes the size of the Grand Canyon.
Originally posted at The New Backlash
‘[T]ransgender” identity politics are not about the human rights of transsexual people. Transgender identity politics are about men weaponizing the suffering of transsexual people in order to destroy women’s boundaries and undermine basic feminist analysis.”
Originally posted at More radical with age by Rebecca Reilly-Cooper
I am a woman. This is something I have never questioned. It is something I know with almost complete certainty.
A couple of years ago, if you had asked me how I know that I’m a woman, then – after I had stopped looking at you in bewilderment at being asked such a daft question – I am pretty sure that I would have given you an answer that made reference to facts about my physical body, my biology. I would have mentioned my secondary sex characteristics: the fact that I have breasts and a vagina; the fact that I menstruate, and from this can infer that I have ovaries and a uterus; the fact that I tend to carry my body fat on my buttocks, thighs and hips. This would have been an answer that is in part empirical, appealing to a scientific account of what features define females of the human species, and in part linguistic, relying on an assumption that the word “woman” has a widely shared, collectively understood meaning: an adult human female.
Over the last couple of years, I’ve read a lot more feminist writing than I had previously, and become much more immersed in contemporary theories of gender. And I now know that for some people, such an answer to the question “how do you know you’re a woman?” would be unacceptable.