Saturday, October 3, 2015

TG silencing of divergent voices. Oh, the irony (is lost on them)

I recently found /r/asktransgender on reddit, a subreddit which, seemingly, is designed to encourage people to do things to their hormones and bodies based on very little introspection.

I've been commenting on it, hoping to help people spot the difference between (perfectly acceptable) clothing kinks and (perfectly acceptable) actual medical conditions, and also address the rampant misogyny around.

The one thread really got to me, and in discussion with a mod, the truth of the TG agenda showed itself again. I'm posting the entire thread here, before it goes. Check out the usernames:

submitted  by TrishyMayLesbian-Genderqueer
It's just disappointing.


[–]dysphoricfoot 11 points 3 days ago*
Looks like a couple terfs dropped in for a look see and to give you shit. Doesn't look like they are actually using the sub. I doubt they will stick around; once they've discovered "women only" isn't code for trash Trans people they will become confused and board with the sub.
[–]TooLateForMeTFTrans-Lesbian 6 points 3 days ago
Being new to the trans world, I'm still trying to get the lingo figured out. What's a "TERF"?

[–]dysphoricfoot 19 points 3 days ago
"Trans exclusionary radical feminist" they would like you to believe they are radical feminist who subscribe to the notion that gender is purely social construct and are therefore critical of transgender people who they feel are reinforcing gender roles. In reality they are run of the mill transphobes who use vaguely feminist sounding arguments to justify their raging prejudice against trans people. They are tons of fun.
[–]OsricthebastardMTF, 26, HRT 08/15/15, So very bi 16 points 3 days ago
They cease to be merely intellectuals with a philosophy that I stand in contradiction to, when they use lovely adjectives such as "pig in a wig" and "abusers" to describe us.
If you're a feminist who thinks gender is a twisted social construct that traps people in linear thinking, I would be inclined to think that you would view trans people as a victim of that system. But nope. They view us as the victimizers. It really is just transphobia.

[–]pantyboi309 6 points 3 days ago
That is one of the things that really bothers me about TERFs is that if they really believed that gender as a whole is a social construct (which still makes no fucking sense, gender roles yes, gender itself no) then wouldn't they be extremely sympathetic towards trans people's as being the people suffering the most from said social construct? That would make sense but no. Also I have no idea how they can think that gender itself is a social construct like what? I understand that the overwhelming majority of gender roles are social constructs but the thing is that they were created originally because of physical differences between men and women and it worked for the majority of people. Do these people claim it was just randomly created by some powerful group of people to control others? That's like tin foil hat level stuff and it's pretty obvious why gender roles became a thing and they stayed a thing because traditions are very difficult for humans to break out of.

[–]summer_d(╯ಠ_ಠ)╯︵ ┻━┻ 4 points 3 days ago
It's a culture of victimhood. A lot of militant feminism hinges on creating an identity out of being a victim. In our society, victims are not only excused of their crimes, but given extreme validation by others. I think that it's easy for any of us to see where TERF ideology comes from, starts at, etc. The rub is that at some point the logic becomes flawed and it is infinitely easier to follow an ideology to illogical outcomes than it is to try to piece together a comprehensive, logical viewpoint and then alter or abandon your identity in order to fit the logical viewpoint.
If you look at your own TERF policies and see that you have become the oppressor, it undermines the victimhood of your stance. There's a strange belief I don't understand - that women can't be sexist, that people of color can't be racist, that the elderly can't be ageist, etc. because they do not hold the privilege of some other class. Only, an individual certainly can hold privilege that is atypical of their socioeconomic class - let's take for example keeping trans women out of women only festivals. The women in this instance clearly do hold the privilege and are discriminating, but admitting that would be essentially comparing yourself to That Which Is Evil. So you take the position of, oh, they weren't born with a vagina, so they aren't women. That allows TERFs to keep their identity as victims and not oppressors. They then follow the ideology along the path to allowing Trans Men to attend the festivals, because those men were born with vaginas (which if I were FTM I would find horribly offensive).
People love labels. I would imagine there are a rather large number of TERFeminists who have never even scrutinized their beliefs - they simply accept it all part and parcel in order to better define themselves in terms of their experiences with the world. In reality, most radical mindsets, liberal or conservative, have fairly good, or at least logical, beliefs at their core. It's all the extra stuff they have to build up in order to support that belief without analyzing or changing it that turns their beliefs crazy.

[–]YoungFolksis a dude. 1 point 2 days ago
What you're talking about is called cognitive dissonance, and it's pretty weird and interesting.

[–]willdagreat1 2 points 3 days ago
I don't know this for a fact, but I feel that some of these people are so hateful because they believe that there is no such thing as gender. Trans folks stand in opposition to that belief.
I feel that a lot of this hateful language comes from the cognitive dissonance of being confronted with evidence that one of their core beliefs aren't true. I think this phenomenon is called the backfire effect, but I might be wrong.
On a side note, my father is a conservative Baptist preacher and believes in the concept of gender. This is from a place of opposing the push to eliminate the pink isle sort of stuff, but I'm hoping to use it as the foundation of my argument when I finally work up the nerve to come out. I'm going to try and get him a copy of Self Made Man by Norah Vincent.

[–]highpixie 2 points 2 days ago
Tbh i consider gender a social construct. It's not that it was created by some powerful cabal but that it emerged as a result of particular material conditions in society that arose with the neolithic, namely a shift in the mode of production from hunter-gatherer to agriculture and the social ramifications of that (private property, inheritance etc..). But anyway... the thing with TERFs is instead of gender they latch onto 'biological sex', seeing sexing as natural and gendering as not and so engage in some ridiculous reductions to biology. The irony is that ones sex assignment at birth is on the basis of gender conceptions and thus despite TERFs assertions towards abolishing gender they in turn can only reproduce it.
I have a passionate hatred of terfs tbh. They are 'double agents', proclaiming themselves feminist yet join hands with patriarchy, revelling in cissexism.

[–]flowirinFemale Post-OP -2 points 2 days ago
" then wouldn't they be extremely sympathetic towards trans people's as being the people suffering the most from said social construct? " I think they used to be. TS women were well accepted by radfems until quite recently, when the endless tide of bizarre men claiming womanhood whilst engaging in public and exhibitionist displays of their erect penises led to something described as 'peak trans', which then led to a wave of hatred and dismissal of all trans people form women's spaces and identities by the now TE radfems.
for a radfem, gender has multiple components, and essentially they consider TG identity to be a confusion of social role with physical gender. They think that anyone should be able to occupy any social gender role they like, without the need to change their body or identity to do so, whilst at the same time fighting against patriarchal gender roles... (this is where i disagree with them, since I obviously cared more about my body than any social gender role).
I imagine that quite a lot of us ARE radfems, and the conflict comes because we are looking outside ourselves for verification of our identity, and so get very upset when this particular group of women refuses to provide it. I think learning to understand other people's points of view is a healthy thing, and it doesn't hurt to listen to what they say and try and engage with it without hatred. I certainly discuss things with both TG activists and TERFs without letting it get to me, even though my beliefs lead me to be hated by the extremists in both camps.
Before you dismiss them, i encourage you to catch up with the lat 60 years of feminist theory, it is fascinating stuff, whether you agree with it or not.

[–]dysphoricfoot 4 points 2 days ago*
Lol no. TERFs were never sympathetic to trans women, in fact they exist as reactionaries against Trans women. They were originally an off shoot of second wave radical feminism which started in the 1960s. Second wave feminism applied ideas from anti-colonialism and socialism to gender relations.
Colonialism was based on a racist ideology that framed white Europeans as inherently superior to any other "race" of people. It relied on people accepting that "race" was a real category based on very real biological differences that extended from physical characteristics to metal capability. Anti-colonial deconstructed this category of "race" to prove that it was not based on any inherent or real physical differences other than some rather arbitrary characteristics like skin colour. That "race" is a socially constructed class used only to oppress and control people who are not white.
Socialism is basically an economic theory that describes all economic activity through the lens of a conflict between two classes. The class who owns property, factories, etc. exploits the working class to provide labour to work in their factories. The owning class gets to sell what the working class produces and pocket the difference at the expense of the workers. They are able to maintain this unfair deal because through economic means they control all power in society and all of society is set up to maintain and enforce this unfair deal.
When applied to gender you get second wave feminism. Basically "gender" like "race" is not a real category rather it is socially constructed. Men and women are equally capable and the difference between them have been greatly exaggerated for the purpose of oppressing women as a class. Women as a class are exploited like the working class in capitalism but rather then for labour it is for their reproductive capabilities. Society is set up to benefit men and enforce this unfair deal on women using a false and socially constructed category of "gender".
So in the 1960s and 70s this new feminism is becoming increasingly popular and successful because it has many valid criticism about power structures in society. Their was also a small but growing number of trans women trying to make their way in a world very hostile to their existence. Many of these women found themselves in feminist spaces because they were marginalized from mainstream society and oppressed by the same gender construct that cis gender women are. And this is were the terfs come in. They see these trans women as a threat, invaders from the patriarchy sent to destroy them from the inside. Because to them gender is not an identity it is a fixed class, and they are male therefore oppressors. They harassed and chased trans women out of feminist and queer spaces essential marginalizing them even from other oppressed people. I recommend you look into the story of Sandy Stone and Olivia records. The terfs wrote gender "theory" basically applying their ideology to the lives of trans women but ignoring their actual lives and experiences in favour of lies and conspiracy theories. I would recommend looking into Janice Raymond's book "the Transsexual Empire" as an example of this but I warn you it is a paranoid conspiracy theory / hate screed more then anything else. And ever since if a cis gender women feels uncomfortable about and wants to discriminate against trans women all they have to do is dress it up with feminist language and then it can be excused! This continues to today, although some may be strict ideologues most are more or less justifying their prejudice. Most are happy to abandon any actual feminist values in the pursuit of degrading trans women. In fact if you go to their spaces and see many are not actually feminist and only use it as a pretext to attack trans people.
I have seen there term "peak trans" from them many times. The idea is they see or hear something from a trans person that is so absurd they can no longer take trans people seriously. There is another word for this "prejudice". It is nothing more. If I get mugged by a black person and now I dismiss all black people as criminals and I try to prevent them from being treated fairly in society because of it then I have not had a "peak black" moment. I have allowed my personal prejudice to fester and have become racist. If I meet a gay man who acts like a stereotype from sex in the city and I assume all gay men are like that and I can't take any of them seriously. I have applied a judgement on an entire group of people based on the actions of one. I did not have a "peak gay" moment, I am an asshole. "Peak trans" is not a special kind of prejudice that is justified and terfs are not just a group with a difference of opinion, they are simply bigots like any other type of bigot.

[–]flowirinFemale Post-OP 1 point 1 day ago
I'd have to disagree on the acceptance. I walk in many worlds, and I find that i'm accepted pretty well by people that other people call TERFS. they may not agree with everything I say, but they are polite and call me "she". I get the feeling that all women can live together, if we stop fighting with each other.
[–] 2 days ago

[–]flowirinFemale Post-OP 1 point 2 days ago
ok, i don't get what line i crossed. I thought that was very reasonable, explaining the question "what is a TERF" in a non-confrontational and non-hateful way. What bit did you object to?
[–]WannabkateTeagan, warrior princess 0 points 2 days ago
I reread it, it's fine for the post. reapproved. But in the future can you please tone down your gender theory. It is close to attacking others and it does invalidate, and this sub needs to be a safe space for everyone. I think you can present it in a more friendly way.
and Yes, I know tone policing and whatnot; but I have a responsibility as a mod to all the users to maintain the safe space.

[–]flowirinFemale Post-OP 1 point 1 day ago
Sure. I'm trying hard not to invalidate anyone! Its hard being a feminist in a space like this, its very triggering. At the same time, i'm hoping that my particular, well integrated, post op voice, might prove useful for others like me who are finding themselves, whilst at the same time helping others who are not like me avoid making decisions that will hurt in the long run. I appreciate your acceptance of my presence. I hope that all of us are really looking out for each other and helping each other come to best self-understanding that we can.

[–]WannabkateTeagan, warrior princess 0 points 1 day ago
Cool thanks, you can be a bit Rawr sometimes. And it can be a bit off putting. Like someone was calling you a terf and literally reported all of your comments on asktransgender

[–]flowirinFemale Post-OP 1 point 1 day ago
I have a few stalkers, who chase me across the interwebs and comment/report everything i say. I get called a 'internalised transphobic misogynist terf" too, which makes no sense. I think feminism is a struggle for many trans* people.

[–]WannabkateTeagan, warrior princess 1 point 1 day ago
I dont care what you believe as long as you are a positive force who is following the rules. You from what I read, come super close to invalidation. Often. so as long as you dial that back a few notches, I am ok with you being here.

[–]flowirinFemale Post-OP 0 points 1 day ago
ok, i'm not aware that i've invalidated anyone.

[–]WannabkateTeagan, warrior princess[M] 2 points 1 day ago
That whole TS vs TG, is invalition. You are telling someone they aren't as valid. All identities here are valid. Just because someone decides one of the medical options isn't right for them doesn't make who they are less valid.
That needs to stop. We are all here to support each other not tear at one another. OK!?

[–]flowirinFemale Post-OP 0 points 19 hours ago
so difference is not allowed? Is it wrong to say there is a difference between physical dysphoria and gender dysphoria? I don't understand that. There's no value judgement involved... They are very different conditions with very different treatments. I simply don't understand how acknowledgment of difference is invalidation. At no stage have i ever said someone is wrong for feeling as they do, or said that any one way of being is better than any other (beyond saying i'd love to be cis) I'm feeling attacked, right now, but i don't understand why. There's no hierarchy of trans-ness in my head. There's differences, that's all. Same as post op TS is different from natal female... Could you explain to me WHY considering physical and gender role dysphorias as different is invalidation, or send me to a site that explains, because i think I must be missing something.

[–]WannabkateTeagan, warrior princess 2 points 17 hours ago
Very out dated vocabulary and gender theory and, aggressive language.
Because transsexual is the old term for transgender. And the belief that there is a difference is laughable. It's like gender theory for the 80s. Someone who is post opt or pre opt is still transgender. Non opt is still transsexual. Hell someone who is gender queer falls into the cat of transgender. You draw the line to narrow. Your definitions are incorrect to put it bluntly. You are harmful not helpful. I think that you have great potential to be a wonderful helpful asset to this sub. You need to update your information, catch up. You might have spent to much time in gender critical.
And I am not going to explain myself anymore than that.

[–]flowirinFemale Post-OP 0 points 15 hours ago*
And the belief that there is a difference is laughable.
now you are invalidating me.
In a healthy world, people are allowed different views. I have NOT invalidated anyone, and my words have been considered and promoting self-understanding. I've been supportive.
I'm hurt that simply having a viewpoint makes me 'aggressive'. I've suffered a lot of aggression in my life, and worked through a lot. I've been careful with questioning people on this forum to say things that will encourage self analysis and good choices, and i have not invalidated anyone's self image.
I expect you will ban me now, I can feel the anger rising. Dealing with angry people has never been one of my strengths, i cannot understand what motivates the anger, or how to disperse it without submitting - something my feminism prevents me from doing. I feel that open dialogue is important and prevents polarisation and isolation.
So, thanks again for allowing me the small opportunity to be part of this dialogue. I'm sorry that my beliefs and viewpoints are unacceptable.

[–]WannabkateTeagan, warrior princess 3 points 7 hours ago
not anger, frustration. its not your view point thats makes you aggressive, Its your wording.
Basicly I think if you talked about your experiences, feelings and not the gender critical stuff. You would be golden. Leave the your not trans enough or ts vs tg at the door.
I would love for you to share your experiences. Like we need more post op persons talking about that.

At this point i gave up.

this is my, off reddit, response. I'm keen to keep part of that sub, to help people find their way through the TG bog, so no more pressing of dissonance buttons.

Thanks for the niceness. (yes, i was trying to appease, so sue me)

this bit i find infuriating, since it is projection: "your not trans enough"

I don't even know what it means?! not trans enough for what?!

I'm happy to talk about my experience, but it WILL be triggering. Like most of the post-op women born TS that i know (we call our selves post-trans) my experience has little in common with the viewpoints and experiences most (but not all) non-op people I have ever met. Discussions of 'female brains' mean nothing to me - my brain is mine. I could talk about the relief in the change in the way I experienced the world once I turned off Testosterone, but that would be invalidating people who claim a testosterone ruled mind is just as female as an oestrogen ruled one, whilst simultaneously triggering all the TERFs who claim that such gender essentialism is completely wrong... In fact, as i think about it those two viewpoints are eerily similar.

I can't see how we, as trans people, can avoid looking at gender again and again and again, since issues with gender are the basis of our unhappinesses, and the route to our happiness. Each of us will have our own truths, the things that sit well for us, and the things that don't. I very much doubt we really understand better today than we will tomorrow, just differently.

I do have aspergers, which might be a cause of some of the wording issues - When i'm talking about things that interest me, there's no value judgement in my words at all, beyond the search for truth and harmony vs disharmony. I'm aware that other people have all sorts of attached value judgement, but i'm not very good at working out where, why or how to allay the distress (hence me really really not getting why people think i think "your not trans enough" - i have no clue as to what it is that people consider better.) Is being a natal woman better than being post-op trans? Well, i'd certainly prefer it, so it is better for me. Is being a post-op trans better than being a het CD? No. I'll have no biological connection to children, I rely on external medicines to stay healthy. My body is no longer intact. I'll be constantly excluded from spaces i feel i belong in by actual TERFS and my life was a struggle. Plus i can't swap identities to re-access male privilege if i wanted to. 

I was going to dig into my thoughts to talk about how i'm trying to understand the idea of a trans hierarchy, but that would then lay be open to criticism of bringing up ideas of TS vs TG, which i'm not allowed to do. Is the Gender Spectrum not allowed to be thought about? If it was a light spectrum we'd talk about red and green and blue, if it was an audio spectrum we'd name notes. So there's no 'hierarchy' of trans for me. Just like there is no hierarchy of colours, or musical notes.

I'm trying. I have been heavily editing my sharing of my experiences to try and not invalidate anyone, whilst staying true to my belief that the least hormonal and surgical intervention that someone needs in order to feel amazing about themselves is probably the best route, for them (medical adjustments of the body are never without risk). If someone needs surgery, they should get it (i disagree with terfs 100% on that), if all they need is support in pulling off an awesome frock, then they need that too. 

Yet, to deny there is a difference is damaging.

The dismissal of the idea that TS and TG are different is quite offensive. I feel like it serves a male, TG narrative. My views and experiences, although profoundly contrasting with that of non-op TG people are 'laughable' - dismissed, and then my voice is taken away. I am to be silent, to be compliant. I am not to disagree with my betters, who know better than me the nature of my own experience, even though it is not compatible with the TG dogma.

I'm aware that the same claim is extended to natal women. According to TG dogma, there is no difference between TG males and natal Women - so women better shut up too.

I'm coming to see TG and TERF viewpoints as identical, but from opposite sides.

TG claim there is no difference between men and women, there is no biological sex essentialism, so anyone can claim any gender identity, regardless of biological, hormonal or social realities. 

This exhibits itself as the silencing of opposing Natal Female and trans voices.

TERFS claim there is no difference between men or women, there is no biological gender essentialism, so anyone can reject gender identity. 

This exhibits itself as the silencing of trans voices in their cross-gendered spaces.

If there were no violent, agressive, dominating, penis waving, destructive, hateful TG activists, would Terfs still reject TS women from their spaces? Probably. Does it matter? Of course not. 

I'm aware that was a huge post. I've tried to avoid adding extra thoughts in this blog, as i most wanted to see if a) anyone still reads my blog! and b) if anyone has any further thoughts.

The exclusion of hormonal reality in gender roles by Terfs i find wrong, somehow, given that i've experienced profound changes in my inner world  through changing hormones, and there is a huge volume of literature on the effects of cyclic hormonal fluctuations in natal women. Dismissing it feels unfounded

The exclusion of differences between cis-men, all the variants of trans and cis-women by TG dogma also feels profoundly wrong, steeped as it is in misogyny and resulting as it does in the shouting down and erasure of non-compliant voices.

over to you...

1 comment:


    I don't frequent much of this stuff any more, I find it's very hard on my soul, but yes, I still do check in here occasionally.

    Read the above listed post, you'll see you aren't alone in what you feel.

    In order to deal with it, I mostly resolve that the war between TG's and "Terf's" is mostly piss and wind and in the big "scheme" of the world, it will only go so far before concepts along the lines of "darwinism" interject.

    To women such as you and I, that isn't very much comfort due to our biological/reproductive invalidity, however, I believe there's reason for us, I believe nature had/has a need (it needs someone with female characteristics that cannot bear children) and so it makes us (our kind) in order to fulfil that need.

    I think instead of spending so much time on this stuff, tearing ourselves apart, examining ourselves and searching for "why" or what makes us ''valid" we'd do much better investing our energy in accepting that things are as they are, we are women, and women are more in the world and in nature than just biology and incubators or baby factories.

    Yes, society places much emphasis on fertility and reproductive ability, I feel that, and it's a struggle every day for not just me but many women (some NOT born TS) who ALSO can't get pregnant, but society is wrong in that regard, I think giving birth is in fact one of the least significant things a female can do, I suspect something like 99% of females are born capable of it, so why is it deemed so significant?

    insecurities perhaps?

    pregnancy and child birth does not guarantee one will be a decent mother, in that regard I think most women actually suck!

    Another post that might be relevant:

    I hope you're well.

    I'd be happy to email or chat sometime if you wanted.


please be nice.