Dear transphobic radical feminists

Posted: December 28, 2010 in Bodies, Damned binaries, Gender
Tags: , , , , , , ,

Well isn’t JKBC a bloody stupid individual for voluntarily going through the entire archives of a radfem transphobic hate blog. I’m not going to dignify it with a link, but it is, like many other transphobic hate blogs, accessible on WordPress tags (which is how I found it). Normally I try to avoid these disgusting places, but… I arrived and then read on in fascinated horror.

I don’t understand, radical feminists. You are cis. You have cis privilege. You can’t talk about being trans. Being a butch woman is not being trans. To be a butch woman is to experience a certain amount of transphobia from people who don’t know you, but does not give you the experience of being non-cis. Whether or not people are reading you as trans, you are cis. Don’t criticise my walk without walking a mile in my shoes.

Our identity does not invalidate yours. We often have the same goals as you, because we recognise that being freed from gender inequality and oppressive norms is a good thing. Not just for us, but for everyone. But many of us won’t call ourselves feminists – because the small minority of feminists like you hate us, and make it an unsafe space for us.

Who are you to talk about body dissonance? You, who have lived all your life in a body that fits you – who are you to tell me/us that I/we should not change this strange, alien body to the one that feels right? Who are you to violate my/our bodily autonomy? Who are you to talk down to me/us? Who are you to invalidate my/our identity? Who are you to put your fingers in your ears and yell LALALA when we tell you we’re dying from your hate and from your and the patriarchal, kyriarchal mainstream’s refusal to grant us validity, when we are valid?

In this, you are collaborating with the patriarchy you profess to hate. You cannot fight one oppression while perpetuating another, because one, it makes your movement invalid, and two, it will come around to bite you in the arse. Feminism is the movement that brought me to consciousness and that allowed me to accept myself – but that is not your feminism. Your feminism is a hateful rhetoric that violates the very principles you hold dear. Your feminism is not my feminism. You work against your narrow definition of the patriarchy and actively support the wider patriarchy and the kyriarchy. That – that’s not feminism, actually. I don’t like being prescriptive, but you cannot support the patriarchy/kyriarchy and still claim the title feminist. FYI, that goes for all other oppressions as well. You can’t support those and still call yourself a feminist, either, because those oppressions oppress women, the people you profess to support.

Stop calling trans women male fetishists. Trans women are as woman as you are. Anyone who will stand up in this misogynist culture and say ‘I am a woman’ is a woman, and brave, and strong, and incredible. Also, you have never had to encounter transmisogyny – and you never will – and believe me, transmisogyny is a bad thing.

Stop calling trans men brainwashed women. Trans men are not women. They are men. They are not butch women brainwashed by the patriarchy’s narrow ideals of femininity. They are not mutilating their ‘beautiful female bodies’. They are making their bodies habitable for themselves. You know the idea of ‘my body, my choice’? Well, it applies to trans folks too. And frankly, unless you’ve experienced dissonance, STFU. Like you tell cis men, unless you can get pregnant, STFU.

I don’t even want to know what you’d all say about non-binary folks. For the female-assigned, I suppose you’d say that because of patriarchal brainwashing, female-assigned non-binary folks feel the need to create new genders rather than be non-normatively female. No idea what you’d say about the male-assigned. Fetishists who hate women too much to even do the fetishisation properly? It’s hateful enough.

Trans people are not a trend. We are people. We’ve existed since time immemorial, but now as the movement towards our liberation raises its head cautiously and more of us are able to acknowledge ourselves, you call us a trend. Don’t disparage us for finding the courage to come to terms with ourselves. You did it – remember how hard that was? Now try doing that underneath the millstone of transphobia, cissexism, binarism etc.

Don’t give us shit about the way we are. We can’t help our genders. The world has screwed us over forever, telling us that we can, that we must call ourselves words that aren’t right, that we must wear a body that doesn’t fit. You don’t get to tell us anything about our experiences. You don’t get to have a say in our bodies. You don’t know the gender that exists or not in our minds. You’re not us.

I’ve got a solution. Don’t like us? Don’t talk about us. It’s very simple. You have cis privilege – you can walk away. Do so, please. We really don’t need you around, and you evidently don’t need us around since you hate us so much.

  1. Dreki says:

    I had to stop reading things like that, and comments on most articles about trans people. They don’t know what they’re talking about, and they’ll just insist that you’ve been too brainwashed by the Patriarchy to know who you really are. People like that just want to spew hate for the sake of being hateful, they aren’t worth the time.

    • JKBC says:

      Yeah, I know. I knew before I read it all. I was glad I refrained from commenting and getting in a shitstorm, but I wanted to retaliate in my own space, in my own words. It’s shitty that people who are meant to be working against part of the kyriarchy are so entrenched in it that they just can’t embrace others or see their own bigotry, and it annoys me because feminism did plenty that was good for me and I don’t like that they’re what a lot of people think is feminism.

      • Dreki says:

        A lot of cis feminism is problematic for trans people because it’s pretty rare to find cis people who “get it”. Even the ones who aren’t transphobic like that have a had habit of theorizing about trans people to suit them and ignoring the realities of the ones that don’t fit with their theories.

        And women can be just as oblivious to their privilege, some people even decide that they can’t be privileged in other ways because they don’t have one privilege. It hasn’t been so great for racism, either.

        • JKBC says:

          Yeah; there’s a lot wrong with cis feminism. It’s done some good things, but it’s still doing a lot of bad things along with a bunch of other groups since unfortunately, a lot of people have done ignorant theorising about trans people.

          It’s a real shame when people get blinded to their privilege. The other thing that you see in women is those who’ve swallowed the kyriarchy’s lie that sexism is over and who therefore think that oppression related to gender is also over. I think most marginalised groups have a tendency to think that they can’t have other privilege because of their lack of one, which is not good.

  2. THIS. So, so much.

    Thank you for writing this. I’m going through a really tough time with a “feminist” right now – she even publicly outed me as trans in order to make ad hominem attacks against me. She has continued to make these attacks (albiet more subtly) even since told not to out me.

  3. V says:

    You know what? It’s not worth getting angry about this, because we’ve already won.
    A cis rad fem can’t pick a passing trans person on the street. They can’t pick us when we change their oil, deliver their mail or cut their hair. They call our men ‘she’ and our women ‘he’ on their blogs, but in Real Life, they call our men ‘he’ and our women ‘she’.

    Our existence and their unwilling contribution to validating our genders nulls their arguments. They indulge our ‘fantasy’ every single day by gendering male looking people as male and gendering female looking people as female.

    I’m sorry radical feminism, but you suck at this. Until you get your hands on a portable chromosome reader or manage to convince the courts to make trans people wear a Mark of Cain, you’re screwed.
    We’ve already won.
    But thanks for playing 🙂

    • JKBC says:

      Not everyone ‘passes’ (horrible term). Are they less deserving of validation in their genders? And what of non-binary people? Unfortunately, we haven’t won this fight yet. We have the upper hand in the case of binary trans people who are generally read as their true gender, but we can’t leave the rest of us behind.

      Even a chromosome reader won’t help them much. Since it’s perfectly possibe for someone who’s been assigned female and read as female all her life to have XY chromosomes or chromosomes of some other configuration, they’d start pinging it at each other and find out that they had ‘different’ chromosomes.

      Sadly, until (unless? No, I’ll be optimistic) they come around, they will never validate people like me, those of us who don’t fit into a binary view of gender, and they will never validate anyone who doesn’t meet their arbitrary standards of gendering, cis, trans or otherwise. It sucks, and it means we can’t rest on our laurels. Also, their hatred backs up the kyriarchy’s hatred of us. Every person that hates us, that’s a brain for the kyriarchy. If we can persuade them – shake them – make them see, that brain that was on the side of the kyriarchy might start edging towards the anti-kyriarchy movement.

    • Dreki says:

      You’re also erasing non-binary people. They aren’t using the right pronouns for our neutrois, our androgyne, our genderqueer, our genderless, our anyone else.
      And, of course, what JKBC said.

      You’re actually being pretty damn problematic by saying that they gender male people who are “male looking”. They aren’t. They gender male people who look like CIS males. All males look like males. Just because a male doesn’t look like a CIS male doesn’t mean that he looks any less male. Yet he still won’t be gendered correctly by these people because these people are cis supremacists who will only correctly gender people who look like CIS people.

      That you would ever say that? Yeah, they’ve won. Damn have they ever won if you’ve honestly bought into the idea that trans people have to pass as cis, that cis people are the standard of how people of a certain gender look. And they’ve won so hard that you don’t even realize they’ve won.

      • JKBC says:

        V, Dreki is right – you are being problematic. They set arbitrary standards for gendering, based as Dreki says on ciscentric standards, and anyone who doesn’t meet those gets the full force of their hatred. We haven’t won. Your brain is still in the balance – if you think about things, maybe they can have lost you. Your comment indicates you are non-cis yourself. Don’t let them win you.

        Unfortunately V doesn’t appear to have any means of coming back to our comments – I don’t think My Comments works if you don’t link your commenting name to an account, and V hasn’t subscribed, even to comments. Maybe I shouldn’t have approved it – I try not to refuse to approve arguments, even if they are false ones, because they hopefully provide a way to bring the people making them around, and V seemed in need of bringing round. Hope V saved the link and sees the counterarguments; don’t like that people are wandering around thinking that kind of thing.

  4. […] I’ll respond with a quote from this link: […]

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