A traitor to my ovaries

As I was writing my last post, I was trying to think what I could add by way of explaining why “trans issues” even rates a tag on Ideologically Impure. And then I got annoyed at myself: it shouldn’t need an explanation.

But, what with the theme this season* on the feminist blogosphere being transgender people, transgender “issues” and, no doubt, somewhere, a transgender agenda, it has become clear that there will be people, women, feminists out there who want one.

Now, this post from belledame at Fetch Me My Axe sums up the basics.

Know why online feminist discussions keep coming back to trans issues? Because some “feminists” are being GIANT fuckheads about, and -to-, actual trans women. To the point of being jaw dropping bigots and interfering in what in any other context would be, SHOULD be understood as basic fucking womens’ rights. Human rights, even, in some cases. That’s it. That’s all. Start actually listening to actual trans women, including the ones that don’t tell you what you want to hear, (hint, there’s probably more of the latter than the former), and you might not be having this problem.

But maybe that’s not good enough. And maybe when belledame does post a rant about threats to rescind gay marriage rights, maybe those fuckheads will say, “Oh, well, she’s gay, so it’s personal, it’s not a feminism thing.” After all, they are fuckheads.

So let me, as a heterosexual ciswoman, someone you fuckheads might actually care about, explain in terms even you should understand, why trans women’s issues matter. I mean, sure there’s the whole “I have a soul” aspect, the whole “I have the capacity for empathy” aspect, the whole “my feminism makes some fucking sense” aspect, but clearly those aren’t playing a major part in the “anti-trans” mindset.

How about this: when you shit on transwomen,** you are giving the Hatred Patriarchy a feminist-approved target. When you say transwomen’s issues are not Our Issues, you are telling men, TV producers, porn producers, idiot boys on Internet forums, the whole lot, that this group is up for grabs. Demonize, stereotype, abuse and murder, it’s okay with “feminism”. And do you really, honestly think they’re making the same magical distinction as you? That they’re saying, “Muahaha, let’s oppress this group of people who think and act and appear to be women, completely abstract from our oppression of Real Women which takes place two doors down!”?

Because, um, they’re not. They’re abusing women. And you have said that’s okay.

And when they’re done, right, do you honestly expect them to say, “Well, we’ve worked out our masculinity issues on some Not Real Women, let’s go find some with ovaries*** to love and respect and treat as equals”? When they’ve just been allowed, by feminists, to perpetrate any kind of misogyny they like on transwomen?

Or, um, did you just open the fucking floodgates to more abuse/exploitation/hatred of all women, you fucking morons? Did you honestly just start the, “First they came to marginalize the trans women, and I did nothing because they’re not real women” shtick? Who gets thrown to the Patriarchy next, you bastards? People-who-have-ovaries-but-also-wear-lipgloss?

If you can understand just one concept, please let it be this: the world/society/Patriarchy does not give a fuck if the women it shits on were born with cocks, pussies or ovifuckingpositors. You are not helping feminism, or women-born-with-requisite-bits-as-determined-by-YOU by saying, “Hey, they’re not part of our special club”. When the world shits on transwomen, it splashes.

Then, onto this excellent post at Hoyden About Town:

Now, on to one argument that Miss Andrea has used repeatedly and has received much praise for as an exercise in logical deconstruction: that transfolk, in reinforcing the gender binary by identifying as the opposite sex rather than presenting as more androgynously genderqueer, somehow undermine the classic view of gender as a social construct. The argument appears to boil down to “when feminists say gender is a social construct, they mean it isn’t “real”, therefore if we say that men can become women and vice versa, then we’re arguing that gender is real, and thus feminist gender theory disappears in a puff of smoke”. This simply does not compute, unless one has a very hazy grasp on the concept of social constructs in the first place.

Now, permit me to have a bit of a fucking brain-wave. Maybe, now hear me out on this, maybe transfolk, just like the rest of us, have grown up in a world firmly divided into Boys and Girls. And just maybe, it might sound crazy, but maybe when they, like us, are told there are two categories of “human” – “boys” and “girls” – and maybe they’ve been born with a penis but despite that are psychologically/behaviourally/aesthetically/mentally/emotionally/deep-down-inside stuck at the “girls” end of the black-and-white, two-options spectrum, maybe we might just have to cope with the fact that the only way our language and society can express that is to say “woman born in male body”.

And maybe those women, and those men-born-in-female-bodies, should be allowed to be them-fucking-selves and not be expected to sacrifice happiness and satisfaction in their own fucking physical and behavioural forms just because you – you, the “feminist” who denies them even their personhood you think they have some kind of Duty to Feminism not to “give in” to naughty, constructed gender binaries. You, who presume to speak for rape victims (clearly, traumatized by the cock and nothing but), you who don’t care if yet another man gets off committing rape and murder by spouting misogynist patriarchal bullshit as long as the victim wasn’t “born a woman”, you are going to say that these people, these human beings, should live fucking lies because otherwise your oh-so-precious “gender=construct” equation might be exposed as being a tiny bit more complex than that?

Jesus, when you phrase it like that, how could a person refuse?

*This is my theory, see: the blogosphere is actually akin to a hive mind, which is why people so often, separately, unprompted, start blogging about the same issue simultaneously.
**Or sex workers, or conventionally-pretties, or kinksters …
***I know full well that there are plenty of “women-born-women” lacking the requisite two ovaries. Someone should inform the anti-trans-folk.
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14 comments

  1. Lisa Harney

    The gender as a social construct theory increasingly reminds me of people who claim to be colorblind.

    Not in the sense that it’s a blindness to gender, but rather in the sense that it seems to promote an intensely privileged perspective about gender, that cissexual people who profess belief in the gender as a social construct theory feel entitled to make all kinds of sweeping claims about transsexual people on the basis of that theory.

    The most privileged claim they make is that it is absolutely true and that it has any more bearing on trans people’s lives than cis people’s lives.

  2. Pingback: Trans Conversations Shouldn’t Center Cis Concerns « Questioning Transphobia
  3. Natasha Yar-Routh

    Thank you, as a gender queer trans-women I thank you for a wondrous right on rant.

    Oh Lisa, I’m partially color blind and as a network engineer I can tell you it’s a real pain when the stupid little LED’s look the same rather they are blinking green or red. People look at you strangely when you grab them and ask ‘Is that LED blinking red or green?’

  4. Ami Angelwings

    Thank you for this! 🙂

    It is sad that I’ve read some of these anti-trans feminists actually say that transwomen transition to allow men to rape and abuse them to “train” for abusing “real” women (i.e. cis women), and we LIKE any sexual violence we get 😦

    I can’t believe ppl would actually believe things like that 😦

    You’re so right tho :\ Rather than think more about gender construction and sex and that these things might be more complicated and difficult than they assumed, they’d rather just demonize and marginalize transppl so that their theory stays intact and they dun have to think more :\

    (can you remove my previous comment, I forgot to add something which I fixed now 🙂 )

  5. GallingGalla

    Natasha, I think Lisa is talking about colorblindness from a racial aspect; people who say ‘I don’t see race’ tend to see only white.

  6. Lisa Harney

    Natasha,

    I hate the term “colorblind” to refer to people who pretend they don’t see race because people are really blind or colorblind.

    And I can only imagine on the blinking lights!

  7. fuckpoliteness

    Thankyou. I’m shaking with rage after having read *yet another* comment by mAndrea over at Hoydens in which she manages to piss all over anyone who doesn’t agree with her. She really has *the* most patronisingly infuriating style of writing I’ve ever read. Gaargh!!!
    So this was the perfect anti-venom. All better, balance restored (I think it was the bold and italicised repitition of *fuckhead* that calmed me). Great rant.

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  9. polerin

    Thank you. While I’m sad you’re having to focus on the “practical” aspects of non-inclusion to make a point, I understand why you did so.

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