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There are lots of problems with how most of society treats transgendered people. Trying to sort out how best to rectify this has lead to many unproductive clashes. A major disagreement centres around whether biologically male transgendered people are actually women. My question to the BioMaleTrans is this: Why do you think you’re a woman?

I commonly see two answers to this question. The first of which is ‘I identify as a woman’. This doesn’t actually provide any information and is, therefore, not actually an answer. It is merely restating the original position that was being questioned in the first place. In this case, “I think I am” is perfectly synonymous to “I identify as”.

The second common answer is pretty much the same: ‘I feel like I’m a woman’. Still no new information, still synonymous with the original. Still not an answer.

So let’s get specific. Let’s do away with the vague, the obscure, and the etherial. Let’s dispose of brevity and confusion. Let’s look at some possible detailed answers as to why you think you are / feel you are / identify as a woman.

Do you like to wear skirts, dresses, and/or lingerie?
Well, that may be common in women, but it is in no way tied to them being women.
There are women who don’t like to wear any of those thing, but that does not mean they are somehow not women.
There are non-women who do like to wear some or all of those things, but that does not magically turn them into women.

Do you like having long hair and/or wearing make up.
Well, that may be common in women, but it is in no way tied to them being women.
There are women who don’t like either of those things, but that does not mean they are somehow not women.
There are non-women who do like both of those things, but that does not magically turn them into women.

Do you speak with what today’s society might consider a “feminine” lilt?
Well, that may be common in women, but it is in no way tied to them being women.
There are women who don’t speak with such a lilt, but that does not mean they are somehow not women.
There are non-women who do speak so, but that does not magically turn them into women.

Do you like the colour pink, romantic comedies, stuffed toys, spa days, looking at attractive men and/or any other thing that fits some version of the “feminine” stereotype?
Well, that may be common in women, but it is in no way tied to them being women.
There are women who don’t like any of these things, but that does not mean they are somehow not women.
There are non-women who do like many of these things, but that does not magically turn them into women.

Do you more easily connect with women than you do with men?
Well, that may be common in women, but it is in no way tied to them being women.
There are women who get along better with men, but that does not mean they are somehow not women.
There are non-women who get along better with women, but that does not magically turn them into women.

Do you express emotions in what much of our culture would call a “feminine” manner?
Well, that may be common in women, but it is in no way tied to them being women.
There are women who express their emotions in non “feminine” ways, but that does not mean they are somehow not women.
There are non-women who express themselves in all kinds of “feminine” ways, but that does not magically turn them into women.

Do you constantly get bullied, ostracized, and/or mistreated by entitled fuckwit men?
Well, that may be extremely common in women, but it is in no way tied to them being women.
There are a few women who aren’t consistently mistreated, but that does not mean they are somehow not women.
There are non-women who do suffer unimaginably because of these bastards, but that does not magically turn them into women.

Any reason, or combination of reasons, a BioMaleTrans could possibly give for ‘being a woman’ would necessarily be tied to a gender stereotype. That is, any claim of actually being a woman is inextricably rooted in harmful bullshit gender roles. There is only one valid claim to womanhood, and it is one that a BioMaleTrans is inherently excluded from: biology.

“Feminism recognizes that institutionalized male dominance is rooted in men’s control of women’s reproductive power (a source of other political struggles in Texas and beyond) and sexuality. In patriarchy, an enduring feature of the lives of girls and women is sexual violence — men’s unwanted intrusions into their lives. Women’s experiences vary, but none escapes this ever-present threat.

I’ve heard many stories from women about men following them into public restrooms or threatening them, a strategy some men use to harass and sexually assault women. Even more common is girls’ struggle with being sexually objectified throughout the culture, which creates a range of difficult emotions about their bodies, especially about being seen by boys and men.

I don’t endorse Patrick’s reactionary right-wing politics, but I do take seriously the experiences of girls and women who have to find ways to live as safely and sanely as possible in patriarchy. Where possible, the best solution is single-person spaces for maximal privacy for everyone. But in public facilities used by large numbers of people at a time, multi-stall bathrooms and collective showering and changing rooms should be segregated by biological sex, and we should guarantee the safety of those spaces.

Let me be clear: I am not arguing that male-to-transgender people are waiting to harass and attack women. Instead, this position recognizes that (1) some men will exploit any opportunity to move into female space, and (2) girls and women have a right to be free from the male gaze in such private spaces.

A feminist critique of the ideology of the transgender movement is not an attack on people who identify as transgender but simply asks questions that shouldn’t be glossed over and asserts the rights of women in a patriarchal society. The internal subjective experience of transgender people should not trump the objective threats that girls and women experience routinely.

Robert Jensen on A Feminist Current.

   Boom.  That last sentence, emphasis mine.

school   “I don’t want to see penis when I go to the washroom; he just stands there with the stall open and it makes me uncomfortable.“.

That was the quotable bit from a conversation I had with a female student I happened to be teaching at an elementary school this week.  We were walking in from recess and Jaina brought this to my attention.  I couldn’t detect any hate or malice in her statement, as she had just been playing convivially with Dakota (Male to Trans) minutes before.  I told her that she had every right to feel uncomfortable as the situation she described was not appropriate in terms of what was happening in the bathroom…   Jaina was surprised that a teacher agreed with her and her feelings of discomfort.  I was going to suggest that she remind Dakota to shut the door but the conversation ended as we entered the school.

I hope that by listening to Jaina and supporting her statement she will talk with her teacher and her Dakota to sort that issue out.

The conversation caught me by surprise (as with most occurrences while teaching behaviour classes) and in the moment I had to negotiate between the child’s feelings and the official school board policy on gender and washrooms.

Review of the policy in question came down to these points –

Indicators of this best practice in action (pg.9)

• Students are able to access washrooms that are congruent with their gender identity.

• A student who objects to sharing a washroom or change-room with a student who is trans or gender-diverse is offered an alternative facility (this scenario also applies when a parent or other caregiver objects to shared washroom or change-room facilities on behalf of their child).

I certainly hope that Jaina’s concerns are heard and action is taken as traditionally the concerns of girls, and females in general, are all to often thrown under the bus.

 

feminismI would suggest that you go read the full article by Rebecca Reilly-Cooper on politics.co.uk right now, as it describes the situation facing many feminists today.  Increasingly there is no debate, there is only complete acceptance of a set of views or you’re marginalized.  This is not a rational give or take situation, but rather an inquisitional drive for purity.

But I skip ahead – The article is about Germaine Greer deciding not to speak at Cardiff University because of concerns over her personal safety and the resulting fallout surrounding the event.

“In a Newsnight interview with Kirsty Wark, Greer remained characteristically uncompromising. Among the many things she said during that interview, the focus has been on two statements which directly echo Melhuish’s complaints: “I don’t think that post-operative transgender men, ie MtoF transgender people, are women” and “it is simply not true that intersexual people suffer in a way that other people don’t suffer” (given the context, it’s reasonable to assume she was referring to transgender as opposed to intersex people here).

You might not like these opinions very much. You might find them rude, obnoxious, blunt and hurtful. You might think it is disrespectful and unkind for Greer to openly proclaim that she does not share trans people’s perceptions of themselves and their identity. You might think she is mistaken, that trans women are in fact women, and do experience forms of discrimination and marginalisation that other groups do not share. But whatever your view about the truth of these opinions, it requires quite an argumentative leap to define them as hate speech, or to claim convincingly that merely holding and expressing such views is equivalent to inciting violence, hatred and discrimination against trans people. Crucially, Greer was explicit that she was making no statement at all on what treatment trans people ought to have. “I’m not saying that people should not be allowed to go through that procedure. What I’m saying is that it doesn’t make them a woman. It happens to be an opinion. It’s not a prohibition.” She also said that when speaking to trans women, she would “use female speech forms, as a courtesy”.

So Greer said nothing about what rights trans people ought to have or how they ought to be treated, and certainly nothing that could plausibly be interpreted as an incitement to violence. Believing that trans women are men is neither an incitement to violence, nor is it dehumanising, unless you also happen to think that men deserve violence and are not human. So the two main offences she is accused of are ones she openly admits to: not believing that transgender women are women, and not believing that transphobia – prejudice and bigotry towards transgender people – exists.

Both of these offences are solely concerned with the propositional content of Greer’s beliefs. That is, the objection is that she believes things that her opponents believe to be false, and that these beliefs are, for reasons that are never properly articulated, “dangerous”. So what Greer stands accused of is, essentially, thoughtcrime. She is guilty of holding the wrong thoughts, of believing the wrong things, of entertaining ideas and defining concepts in ways that diverge from some doctrine to which all decent people are supposed to subscribe. One must believe that trans women are women, and one must believe that trans people are subject to forms of prejudice and discrimination that others are not, and if you do not hold those beliefs, then you are by definition dangerous, a potential threat to others, and must be silenced. The possibility of reasonable disagreement on these issues is ruled out, ex hypothesi.

The response to Greer and her alleged transphobia is just one example of a creeping trend among social justice activists of an identitarian persuasion: a tendency towards ideological totalism, the attempt to determine not only what policies and actions are acceptable, but what thoughts and beliefs are, too. Contemporary identity-based social justice activism is increasingly displaying the kinds of totalising and authoritarian tactics that we usually associate with cults or quasi-religious movements which aim to control the thoughts and inner lives of their members. The doctrine of “gender identity” – the idea that people possess an essential inner gender that is independent both of their sexed body and of the social reality of being treated as a person with such a body – has rapidly been elevated to the status of quasi-religious belief, such that those who do not subscribe to it are seen as not only mistaken and misguided, but dangerous and threatening, and must therefore be silenced.”

Gender identity is all about the feels, however… strong personal feelings do not trump reality or the facts of the matter.   Women, the feminist movement, and society in general will be in a great deal of trouble if they ever do.

Hmmm.  This is a delicate topic, but one worth investigating.  For context, the people being referred to in the video are Bruce Jenner and Rachel Dolezal.

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