It’s ignorant and arrogant to equate the crusade to invade private spaces with the Civil Rights Movement

Originally posted at Liberation Collective

Under no circumstances, ever, at any time, is it appropriate to compare the legitimate, factual, courageous, moral imperative that spurred the Civil Rights movement of the 1960s with the attempts by transwomen to access intimate female spaces. Ever.

Do not conflate Jim Crow and the segregation of public spaces by whites against Black people with attempts to open women’s bathrooms, shelters, prisons, locker rooms, and other female-only spaces to male-born people. Don’t cry that this is “the New Civil Rights frontier!” Don’t suggest that the injury to men correctly barred from women’s private spaces is anything even remotely like the humiliation, hatred, and hurt caused to people of color during the years of legal public segregation. And whatever you do, do not suggest that the preening belligerence displayed by men who demand entry into women’s spaces is really just the same bedrock courage, dignity, passion, and righteousness of those who occupied lunch counters and public toilets to win for others basic civil rights.

It’s not simply incorrect. It’s delusional; more than that, it’s ignorant in the extreme and criminally, obscenely, arrogant.

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An Open Letter to the Lambda Literary Foundation

Originally posted at Alice Domurat Dreger

When I wondered who might have advocated for the book to receive a Lammy, I am happy to say that so many people I respect came to mind: Jim Marks, Victoria Brownworth, Dan Savage, Anne Lawrence, and others. The more I thought about it, the more finalist status made sense to me. Why should the Foundation, thirteen years after it was harassed unjustly, do anything other than march on without cowardice?

So I joyfully answered the congratulatory email I received from Lambda and started making plans to attend the awards ceremony in New York. Not too surprisingly, Conway and James soon launched a campaign against my book’s finalist status, but I pretty much ignored this. I figured the Foundation knew this would happen and was prepared to weather the storm.

But no. You caved. And quickly—much more quickly than the Foundation did under Marks in 2003. In spite of all the LGBT people who have actively praised my book, who have thanked me for the work, you quickly caved to a small group of bullies who have proven time and time again that they will do anything they can to get attention and to force everyone to adhere to their singular account of transgenderism, even when it negates the reported childhoods of gay and lesbian people, even when it denies the reality of many transgender people and attempts to force them into closets because of their sexual orientations.

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Women Saying ‘No’

Originally posted at Gender Apostates

Women have always been called names for saying no. Frigid, bitch, prude. These words are meant to shame us into saying yes.

Women are supposed to be available, welcoming, obedient, and it has been the aim of the women’s movement since its inception to challenge these preconceptions, to say no to men’s definition of us.

It is thanks to feminism that since 1991 wives can say no to their husbands and have that ‘no’ backed up by law. It is thanks to feminism that women no longer have to accept dismissal if they marry or become pregnant. It is thanks to feminism that women in the West are beginning to feel confident in saying no to men in myriad different situations.

Prude, bitch, frigid don’t sting like they used to. Misogynists in the west are losing society’s assumption that women should say yes. Increasingly, it is they who are shamed for insisting. As feminists we applaud this.

However, when it comes to transgender males, men who wish to call themselves women – or more to the point want us to call them women – the story is very different. If we say no to the appropriation of our name, our bodies, our struggle, it is we women who are shamed. We’re being re-named: TERF, cis, transphobe. We’re being re-named by men who wish to try on the costume ‘woman’; they think it doesn’t fit us any more, us no-sayers are not the pliable girls of their dreams, and we must share.

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The Rad Under the Bed

Originally posted at Chel Fems

‘Caitlyn Jenner is still Bruce to me; he’s spent his life benefiting from male privilege and surgery can’t change that’ was a comment a friend made to me last June.  My reaction was pure visceral disgust, this simple statement cut to the core of who I knew I was; a proud bisexual feminist with a passion for promoting LGBT rights.  In my youth I’d carried the rainbow flag during drizzley protests against Trident, I considered myself a strident trans ally. As such, my friend could not have said anything more shocking, I wanted to go home and scrub my skin.  All of my friendship circle were carefully chosen as open-minded, accepting and largely left-wing; I couldn’t reconcile her views with the intelligent, kind and courageous feminist I knew her to be. I met with her about a week later with the intention of talking her round, but instead I found myself questioning my views and researching those of some with the transgender community.  I will always respect pronouns and names that trans people use, but I will not excuse what I now see as the blatant misogyny that runs through much of the dominant transgender ideology, or the silencing of feminists who question it.

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There’s a simple reason why the Stonewall trailer doesn’t feature more ‘trans women of colour’

Originally posted at The Spectator

The Sixties was way too chilled for today’s stiff, authoritarian transpolitics. Back then people did what turned them on. Gay men donned dresses because it made them feel good. Gender-bending was a laugh, designed to cock a snook at social mores. In contrast, today’s transpolitics takes itself ridiculously seriously. Using iffy scientific claims and waving turgid PhD theses, trans activists claim some people are physically one gender but mentally another and they need therapy, drugs and sometimes surgery to enable them to become their true selves.

What a striking difference with the lipstick-stained gender-benders of the Sixties. Where those drag queens stuck two well-manicured fingers up at authority, by refusing to be manly and instead advertising their effeminate streak, today’s trans activists appeal to authority; they rely on it, in fact, especially medical authority, which they constantly cite to prove their identity is real and their every drug, nip and tuck is necessary in order for them to become the gender their nerve-endings tell them they are. It’s sad, and needy, a hunt for pseudo-medical validation of their desire to play at being women, where those Sixties queens just did what they wanted and had a hoot, regardless of what doctors or squares or any other figure of authority thought of them.

Indeed, the early gay libbers argued against the idea that they had a medical condition (the American Psychiatric Association listed homosexuality as a mental illness until 1973). Today’s trans activists insist they have a medical condition, and demand both medication and unflinching global sympathy to deal with it. What a bizarre turnaround: from kicking against the psychologisation of one’s sexual interests to demanding the psychologisation of one’s gender identity.

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Toward an End to Appropriation of Indigenous “Two Spirit” People in Trans Politics: the Relationship Between Third Gender Roles and Patriarchy

Originally posted at Culturally Bound Gender

When I say that transgenderism is culture bound, don’t get me wrong: I think every gender role and presentation is, in fact, dependent on culture.  The entire idea of gender, the roles that are developed and called “gender,” are based on the sex binary.  That’s why almost always, when you see gender roles, even if there are more than two, you can bet money that it’s just a matter of reclassifying people who don’t fit into a culture’s otherwise rigidly defined sex roles.

Which brings us to the indigenous people of North America.

I have a special kind of rage for any white person who claims to identify as a “Two Spirit” person.  It’s like wearing a hipster headdress: it proclaims loud and clear that you’re a white person who likes to appropriate American Indian culture while having little or nothing to do with the culture you’re appropriating.

The version of this that’s less enraging but more prevalent (think of it as the “dreamcatcher” of appropriation–common, misunderstood, and talked about in gross ways by all kinds of white people) is the white trans person who points to American Indian cultures as some kind of more accepting place for people with dysphoria/GID, because many of these cultures had a “third gender.”  This represents a misunderstanding of what, precisely, being two-spirit meant culturally, economically, and socially for many two-spirit people, and also represents a very limiting, naive, “all these people look the same to me” view of American Indian nations.

Before we start: lumping all non-gender-conforming people in indigenous North America into a single “third gender” or “berdache” or “two-spirit” label is problematic.  The cultures of pre-Columbian North America were incredibly distinct from each other, with significantly different gender roles to be observed even in Indian nations that were very close to each other.

What gets even more interesting when you look into the two-spirit phenomenon is where it doesn’t pop up–or doesn’t pop up with the same frequency.

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