More questions for ‘TERFs,’ answered

This is the remainder of the questions for ‘TERFs’ that I began answering here.

From what I have read, you seem to believe the following about gender dysphoria:
Gender dysphoria is caused by internalized gender stereotypes and norms, often combined with homophobia.

(a) Is this an accurate representation of your beliefs?

(b) If so, do you believe it applies in all cases? Why (not)?

I think that in many cases people believe they are the opposite sex because of internalized gender stereotypes and homophobia. The reason I believe this is because trans people display it all the time. There is an endless supply of articles and videos where people say they knew they were trans because they liked things that are stereotypically associated with the opposite sex. In fact, even the DSM lists sex stereotypes in the diagnostic criteria for gender dysphoria. If these are the reasons people keep giving for being trans, then this is what people are going to assume.

However, not all trans people have internalized sexism and homophobia. There are lots of different reasons for being trans and these are only two of them. There are tons of teenagers identifying as trans now, and some of them have other conditions such as autism and PTSD. MtF transitioners often have autogynephilia.

Most of the people who responded to my “questions for FtMs” post did not display any signs of sexism or homophobia. I have been learning from what they wrote and they have explained sex dysphoria really well. This has been leading me to realize some important things, which I want to explain in a post of its own, but I will introduce it here.

The respondents to my questions didn’t talk about being uncomfortable with a feminine role, but with their physical bodies. At least one of them mentioned their dysphoria being a neurological condition. This is very different from what we keep seeing in the media—this is actual sex dysphoria. What we keep seeing in the media is people who provide a list of silly sex stereotypes as proof they were trans, and who don’t necessarily feel uncomfortable with their sex organs. I’m starting to see that we need to differentiate between gender dysphoria and sex dysphoria, and I’ll explain that further in another post.

I am open to believing that some people can have a neurological condition that causes them to feel a disconnect from their bodies that is not rooted in cognitive or cultural causes. However, I think this is really rare, and it’s a medical condition, not an identity. This is a really complex conversation that will require a post of its own another day.

c) What do you think about trans people who do not conform to gender stereotypes about the gender they wish to transition to or have transitioned to?

Generally, I think it’s fine for people to express their personalities at any time, so even if someone transitions, it’s still fine for them to express their personality. People should feel free to be any kind of man or woman they want to be, as long as they’re not hurting anybody.

In some particular cases, I might call bullshit to someone transitioning even though they are comfortable with their sex organs and their gender role. Take Fallon Fox for example. He claims to be a woman but he behaves exactly like any violent male. If he actually had sex dysphoria, he wouldn’t be a father, because a male who feels hatred and revulsion for his genitals wouldn’t use them to impregnante a woman and become a father. He is a violent misogynist, which means he is comfortable with the gender role of masculinity, which is the role assigned to him based on his sex. He has absolutely no claim to either femaleness nor femininity. In a case where someone supposedly “transitions” but maintains most of the qualities of their birth sex and assigned gender role, I call bullshit.

I can think of someone who transitioned who is a nonconforming member of their desired sex who I definitely support, and that is trans man Chase. Chase is FtM and is rather effeminate like a gay man, and that’s totally fine with me. I find Chase adorable actually. As with anything in life, it depends on the individual situation, but as a general rule, trans people, like anybody else, should feel free to disregard gender roles and be themselves.

II) Gender dysphoria can be cured by working on finding, dismantling and unlearning these internalized beliefs.

This is where we have to distinguish between sex and gender again, so that we can distinguish between sex dysphoria and gender dysphoria.

Sex is whether you are biologically male or female, and gender is the behaviors, mannerisms and appearance that signify your sex in a social situation. Dysphoria is a feeling of intense discomfort.

So if someone has gender dysphoria, then presumably they are uncomfortable with the behaviors, mannerisms and appearance that people expect from them based on their sex. If someone has sex dysphoria, then presumably they feel an automatic sense of revulsion toward their sexual organs.

The “cure” for these conditions is very, very different. What gender critical feminists are constantly saying is that if you are uncomfortable with societal expectations about what clothing you should wear and how you should behave, that is a cultural problem and it doesn’t require changing your body. The people who have sexist expectations of you should be disregarded, and if possible, told to fuck right off. However, if you have a neurological condition that is causing you to not identify with the person you see in the mirror, that is more of a medical problem rather than a cultural or cognitive problem. I don’t think we even have a cure for that, which is why transition is the best solution we’ve come up with so far.

Unlearning internalized sexism and homophobia is the cure only for those people who believe they should be the opposite sex because they identify with the stereotypical behaviors and appearance of the opposite sex. We’re seeing a lot of those people lately, but that’s not everybody.

III) This (II) is preferable to transitioning.

In cases where someone’s desire for transition is based on internalized sexism and homophobia, working this out in therapy is preferable to transition. These are the people who, if they do transition, often end up detransitioning a few years later.

d) Do you believe that that transitioning and dismantling internalized gender stereotypes/homophobia are mutually exclusive, or that transitioning is detrimental to the latter?

It’s different for everybody, and these things don’t have to be mutually exclusive. Some of the people who we’re hearing from who are detransitioning understood their situation much better after they began transitioning and realized it wasn’t helping. Going through that experience gave them more perspective and understanding of their motivations. So in some cases, transition might actually help with dismantling internalized gender stereotypes/homophobia. As much as possible, people should take the time to explore these things before beginning transition.

For other people, transition might be a coping strategy that helps them avoid dealing with underlying cognitive issues. It depends on the person.

e) Some (or even many) trans people express high satisfaction with their decision to transition. What do you think about that?

Of course some of them do. If people want to transition, and then they do, they’re going to be happy about it. When you get what you want, you’re happy. However, some people remain dysphoric after transition, and some of them detransition. So it’s not everybody who is happy. Also, we don’t have much information about trans people 10 + years after transition, a lot of our information is short term. There have been people who transition and are happy for 10 years and then become unhappy after that. We need more research on that.

IV) Gender non-conforming people are pushed into transitioning.

Yeah, a lot of them are. Some lesbians get people asking them when they’re going to transition and calling them by neutral or male pronouns even though they are women. A lot of trans kids are being transitioned by their parents because they are playing with the wrong toys.

b) Some (or even many) trans people claim that this was not the case for them, and often even that – in contrast – their environment strongly pushed them to remain in their assigned gender. What do you think about that?

People probably pushed them not to transition because they knew it wasn’t right. Family members care about them and don’t want them to make drastic changes to their bodies and become life-long medical patients who may never actually pass as the opposite sex.  If someone is in a lot of pain and they are fixated on the idea that transition will solve their problems, they’ll do it at any cost, even if it means going against their family’s wishes.

Thanks for the questions, Skepto!

“Queer” indoctrination for kids

Fourth Wave Now blogged about this new YouTube channel called Queer Kids Stuff that markets trans ideology to young kids. Her post can be found here. Instead of commenting on 4thWave, I am writing my own post, since, as usual, I am writing an entire essay.

The goal of this YouTube series is to teach the ideology of the queer/trans movement to kids. I’ve been observing for some time now how “queer” is becoming its own subculture that has little to do with homosexuals. (For more info, click the “queer community” blog tag.) Queer/trans is a sort of cult where a haircut and an outfit are an identity, where biological sex doesn’t exist, where being “different” in superficial ways makes you cool, and people want to be “different” just for the sake of being different, and where people are misunderstood and oppressed by normal, boring people who just don’t get it. It seems a bit like middle-class bored teenagers with teenage angst forming an alternative youth culture together, except it’s being promoted by fully grown adults.

Because the queer/trans cult doesn’t believe in biological sex, they don’t believe in sexual orientation either. They think that people have a “gender,” not a sex, and that people are attracted to a “gender,” not a sex. However, biological sex does exist, and homosexuals are attracted to the same sex. I am attracted to people who are female, not people who perform femininity.

This cult has formed out of what used to be the GLBT community. Even though gay men and lesbians barely have anything to do with each other, and even though trans is a totally different thing from being gay, we are all together in a community for some reason, and the trans have totally taken over. And by “trans” I don’t mean ordinary people with dysphoria who just want to live their lives, but weird people with ideology around erasing biological sex and creating safety for people to practice their sexual fetish in public and forcing random strangers to validate their special identities. This new cult is not a safe space for lesbians and gays, and when we speak for ourselves sometimes we get kicked out of the group for oppressing the special snowflakes with our inconvenient knowledge of biological sex and our own sexual orientation.

The first video in Queer Kids Stuff is about explaining what gay means.

The host, Lindsay, explains that gay means when someone loves someone of the same gender. That’s not true. I’m not surprised Lindsay would say that though, because, as I said, the Q/T cult doesn’t believe in biological sex. Also, Lindsay posted her bio on her web site, and although she vaguely alludes to possibly being lesbian or bisexual, she doesn’t call herself by any sexual orientation label, and just calls herself “queer.” Calling yourself “queer” is a way of disappearing your sexual orientation, because “queer” has become so vague that anyone can claim it, including straight people.

Although I don’t think small children would even understand the bit about “attracted to a gender,” the video does give some child-friendly and well-presented information—that some families have two moms or two dads. That’s how I would explain it—because that’s all kids need to know and all they would understand. (The video also mentions that some families have “many moms” and “many dads.” Obviously we need to be inclusive of polyamorous couples who are in relationships with everyone in their community. *eyeroll* )

The second video explains what gender is. It starts off by saying that girls can wear short hair and a tie if they want. Then it explains that people can belong to one of three categories, boys, girls or people. That would be pretty confusing for a kid, because boys and girls are both people, and putting them in three categories like that implies that “people” is a distinct category from boys and girls.

The video goes on to explain that anyone from any of these categories can wear whatever they want. The fact that a video about gender starts off with a discussion of clothing vaguely implies that gender is about clothing. However, it never explicitly says what gender is. The closest they come to explaining what gender means is when they write the word gender above the words boy, girl, and people. This implies that gender is whether you’re a boy, a girl, or a person. Since this is only implied in writing, but never said out loud, I don’t even think small kids will pick up on this.

The teddy bear asks a really good question, which is, if girls, boys, and people can wear whatever they want, then how do you tell what gender they are? (Once again, this questions betrays the underlying assumption that gender has to do with what clothing someone is wearing.)

Any sane person at this point would say that girls have vaginas and boys have penises, and that they’re still girls or boys no matter what they’re wearing. But in transland, there is no such thing as sex! There is only this confusing, vague concept of “gender” that seems to have something to do with clothes, but not exactly, and that can be labelled as “girl” or “boy” even though the concepts of “girl” and “boy” cannot be defined. No matter how you twist yourself, you can never follow the logic.

She also explains that there are people who are transgender, which means they don’t identify with the gender that doctors tell them they are when they were born. This is not true. Doctors note the baby’s sex, but they have no power to assign a “gender.” Gender is a set of mannerisms, appearances and behaviors that are culturally connected to people’s biological sex. Doctors do not singlehandedly create the culture that babies will grow up in. It’s primarily the parents, but also the community at large, who assigns the baby a “gender” by socializing them in certain ways. Further, the way Lindsay explains this in the video would be completely incomprehensible to a small child.

The answer Lindsay gives to Teddy is that you tell what gender someone is by asking for their pronouns. Can you imagine kindergarten children asking for each other’s pronouns to see what “gender” their playmates are? This stuff is way beyond their comprehension.

The third video explains what queer is. “It’s not a thing, it’s an idea,” Lindsay says. “Queer has to do with being different, and how everyone is different from everyone else. Some people are different because they’re gay or because of their gender. You can be different in lots of ways. We are all a little different or weird or even strange and that’s a good thing. So I guess we’re all a little bit queer.” Teddy asks, “Me too?” and Lindsay answers, “Of course, teddy!”

The unicorn song she sings emphasizes that queer means different. The last line is “queer means different and being different is so much fun!”

As the video closes, she says, “Now we want to know what makes you a little bit queer.”

This is bizarre and surreal.

The word queer has a long tradition of being a pejorative for homosexual, and if you ask older gay men they often recall being called this word while being beaten for being gay. Today, queer is an umbrella term that is supposed to include lesbians, gays, bisexuals, transgender people, people who have cool haircuts, people who practice BDSM, and people who feel they are special or unique in some way.

This video turns queer into something even sillier. Now it’s simply a synonym for “different” and kids should learn this word as a positive word to describe how we’re all different. All I can say is, what the fuck?

Lindsay says we’re all a little queer, which is so weird, because we certainly aren’t all a little homosexual, in fact, about 95% of people are heterosexual, so obviously when Lindsay uses the word this way she simply means “different,” and this has nothing to do with being gay.

Could it have to do with being trans? Who knows! Anyone can claim to be trans for any reason. You don’t even have to have dysphoria. You can just have a cool haircut and outfit and choose some pronouns and an identity label and voilà—you’re trans!

There is probably a very tiny percentage of people who actually have sex dysphoria—smaller even than the number of people who are homosexual. So judging by Lindsay’s assertion that we’re “all a little queer,” it seems like queer is neither about being homosexual nor having sex dysphoria—I think it’s primarily about having a cool identity label.

She closes this video by encouraging kids to list reasons why they are queer. Huh? The kids have just learned that queer means “different,” and that you can be different in lots of ways. So in what ways are kids different, that they can come up with on their own at a young age? Maybe that their eye colours and their hair colours are different? I doubt they’d come up with anything about sexual orientation, since little kids don’t understand sexuality yet.

These videos give me a weird and creepy feeling. I’m possibly supposed to be included in the queer community because I’m a lesbian, but this is not the sort of video I would make. I don’t want kids to be indoctrinated into weird, anti-science ideology. I don’t want kids to be confused about what girls and boys are. Everyone needs to understand the difference between male and female because this is part of our understanding of human beings, and it will become very important once kids reach puberty because they need to understand how reproduction works. The erasure of biological sex erases sexual orientation entirely, which does not benefit lesbians or gays. The gender identity ideology supports allowing male people into female locker rooms and washrooms, which is not safe for females. This ideology also makes it “bigoted” and sometimes illegal to name male people as male and for female people to assert their boundaries and need for privacy. I do not support any of this and it makes me angry that this sort of ideology is being pushed in the name of “LGBT” which I am supposedly a part of.

If the “queer” community wants to remove women’s rights to safety and privacy, wants to gas-light us, violate our boundaries, and remove our right to speak about our biology, and erase sexual orientation, then the queer community is hostile toward all women and particularly toward lesbians.

The people who benefit from this sort of activism are primarily people who want their special snowflake identity validated and males who want to enter female-only spaces. I do not wish to support these causes.

Sex dysphoria is a real condition, and I don’t think that people who have sex dysphoria are benefitting from the actions of this cult. The end result of this silliness is that more people will become conservative, because the liberals have lost their goddamn minds, and there will be a backlash against lesbians and gays, because we will be blamed for this.

Conservatives have been complaining for decades that the homosexuals are trying to recruit or indoctrinate their children, and we actually weren’t! Now look at what the queer cult is doing!

Here’s what I think kids should learn about being gay. If a teacher is talking about different types of families, they should list a family with two moms or two dads as a possibility, and remain quite neutral about this. That’s it! There is absolutely no need to put on a unicorn suit and play a song on a ukulele about how being gay is fabulous and fun. This isn’t a lifestyle being marketed to people. All we want is to be able to exist without being hated, basically. Teachers also should stop the bullies who engage in homophobic bullying. It should be pretty routine to stop any sort of bullying, and that includes bullying of gay kids or kids with gay parents.

But indoctrinating kids into weird ideology? No, absolutely not!


I support you 100%, Born Wrong.

born wrong

I was really lucky that, when my dissociative defenses started gradually crumbling around me, other women had already been organizing around the experience of stopping transition- other women who have lived it. If it wasn’t for the community that existed because of their hard work, I doubt I would have stopped transition any time soon. The alternatives to community created “for us, by us” looked a lot gnarlier to me than continuing to pretend I was a man on the inside.

For example, my main exposure to criticism of transition, while I was transitioning, was a certain blogger who loves to post photo roundups of unfortunate FTM souls. Seeing post-op pictures of actual people’s actual chests and genitals, that they live with every day, shared nonconsensually (yeah, they were already online, but they were sensitive pictures not shared with any intention of being consumed as anti-trans media) strongly reinforced the…

View original post 1,760 more words

Beauty and the Butch—A lesbian fairy tale

Guess what—I wrote a fairy tale!

The reason I wrote this is because I was thinking one day about superheroes and princesses, and how kids are being expected to identify with the characters that are marketed to them based on their sex, and how identifying with characters of the opposite sex is taken as a sign of being transgender. For example, right in the DSM criteria for gender dysphoria, they list identification with opposite-sex characters in stories as a sign of gender dysphoria!

Both kids and adults can identify with any characters they want, and all it means is that the character resonated with them in some way. It doesn’t mean they have a medical problem that requires treatment. It’s quite normal for girls to identify with male characters, since male characters are fully-developed characters who are often heroes and who get to go on fun adventures, while female characters are two-dimensional pretty things for the male characters to win. It’s also normal for lesbians to identify with male characters, since we also want to be the one to “get the girl.” Maybe we’d identify with lesbian characters if there were any!

As a woman, who was once a girl, I am expected to identify with princess characters, at least according to what the marketers think. However, I don’t usually identify with princesses, and if I had to buy a product that had either a superhero or a princess on it, I’d choose a superhero. There is only one princess I identify with, and that is Belle. Belle is a girl who doesn’t do what girls are expected to—she likes to read and she’s more interested in learning and having adventures than swooning over boys. When a young man does try to woo her, she has no interest and rejects him. What I identify with the most about Belle from the Disney film is when she sings “I want much more than this provincial life.” I love that she doesn’t want the regular life that’s expected of her and instead wants “adventure” and “so much more than they’ve got planned.” For many years now, I’ve thought of Belle as a lesbian, and I know in the real story she ends up with a guy, but hear me out. She rejects an offer of marriage from a man who, although he’s obnoxious, would make a good provider, and who all the village girls are swooning over. Then she falls in love with someone she never expected to fall in love with, and when the villagers find out, they don’t understand and try to kill her lover. This sounds like a lesbian narrative, if you leave out the part where the beast is actually a human male.

I was thinking about how Belle could be a lesbian if you just rewrote the story a little bit, and then I thought about how rewriting fairy tales to give them a modern/feminist/queer twist is an actual genre, and then I remembered that I’m a writer and I could totally write that myself! So I did!

Here is the PDF file for my lesbian fairy tale, Beauty and the Butch.

I’m going to continue to discuss it here, but warning: spoilers to follow! If you prefer to read it before hearing about what happens, then stop reading this post now and click on the PDF.

Continue reading

Four questions for ‘Terfs,’ answered

I wrote a post asking some questions to FtMs and some lovely people have taken the time to answer. Thank you all! I do want to respond to each of you but this is going to take me quite a while. The first thing I want to respond to is a list of questions for ‘TERFs’ that someone wrote to me in response.

You can find the list of questions here.

Before I start, I just have a little disclaimer about the word TERF. This word is a slur similar to “bitch” or “cunt,” as you can see from the way people use it in conversation. Women don’t identify with this word or call themselves this word unless they are being sarcastic. When I call myself a ‘TERF’ I’m using it sarcastically. I kinda think it’s funny that because I believe that biology exists and because I care about women as a class that makes me a member of a hate group. Well, it’s funny but it’s also not funny. Anyway, here are my first four answers to the questions for TERFs asked by blogger Skepto. Since my answers are so long, I’m just including the first four here and I’ll answer the rest in another post.

(1) What is a “man”, what is a “woman”? If there are people who are neither: what are they?

Simple: a man is an adult human male, and a woman is an adult human female!

However, I never give an answer that short, so I’m going to keep rambling for a while.

We humans reproduce sexually—that means that we reproduce by introducing a sperm from a male human to an ova from a female human. To facilitate this process, males have a penis and testicles, to create sperm and inject it into females, and females have a vagina and a uterus, which allows us to gestate a baby and then give birth to it. You’ll find that these are measurable, observable facts that vastly predate the existence of so-called “TERFs.” We didn’t make this up to oppress trans people, this is what humans have observed about ourselves since the beginning of time.

The word “man” exists to refer to adult humans who are male—that is, they have a male reproductive system that produces sperm which can fertilize ova. The word “woman” refers to adult humans who are female—that is, they have female reproductive systems that can become pregnant and give birth. Everyone who speaks English, unless they have been indoctrinated into the trans cult, understands these meanings of man and woman.

Now on to the topic of intersex. People with intersex conditions are very rare, they are less than 1% of the population, and they are simply people with ambiguous or atypical sex characteristics. They might be males with atypical male organs, females with atypical female organs, or people with a bit of both male and female anatomy. Intersex people do not represent something else entirely besides male and female, they are just atypical males or females, or a combination of the two. There is no third sex that is completely unrelated to male or female. The existence of intersex people doesn’t negate the facts of mammalian reproduction—despite the fact that nature creates a few atypical specimens in any given species, the vast majority of humans are unambiguously male or female, have typical sex characteristics, and can reproduce sexually, whether they choose to or not.

People who claim an identity as neither male nor female don’t usually have an actual intersex condition that makes their sex impossible to classify, they are usually unambiguously male or female and there is no reason for them to believe they’re not. If you want to know what sex you are, it’s quite simple: does your body produce sperm or ova? And it’s not necessary to look into your internal organs to figure that out. If you have a penis and testicles, that’s because your body is male and if you have a vagina and you menstruate, then you are female. I’m betting that 100% of “nonbinary” people know whether they need to use contraception during sex or not, because they understand reproductive anatomy and know what to do to prevent a pregnancy. They know whether they are female or male, they just prefer not to call themselves that or think of themselves that way.

Claiming that you are neither male nor female when you actually are is silly and nonsensical.

(2) A person is born with a vulva. The people around them refer to them as a woman, use “she” pronouns, and tell them they must not use the word “man” or “he” to refer to themselves. One could argue that these are unnecessary rules and limitations placed on them based on their anatomy just as much as the expectation that they wear dresses, play with pink dolls, wear make-up, etc. Do you disagree? If so, why? What difference do you see between the various limitations?

I think that pronoun use and enforcing sexist expectations on people are completely different things, and I don’t think that the use of anatomically correct pronouns is harmful. The reason we use she/her pronouns for people born with vulvas is because she/her pronouns are grammatically correct pronouns for females, and people born with vulvas are female. This is just a function of language. Language is there so we can communicate, and when we are communicating about someone female, female pronouns are used. The use of female pronouns doesn’t say anything at all about a person other than the fact that she is female. Therefore a female who has any kind of presentation, attitude, behaviors, mannerisms, and feelings, is called she/her. People who use male pronouns or plural pronouns to refer to a single female are not communicating effectively—they are misleading the listener about who they are talking about.

The expectations that girls have to wear dresses and makeup are completely unnecessary, sexist cultural expectations. Absolutely nothing is gained by girls wearing dresses and makeup other than the maintenance of a set of social rules about who girls are. This is an unfair and harmful practice for reasons that we can measure and observe. For example, girls often don’t want to wear skirts because they inhibit movement, they make her cold, and boys want to look up her skirt. Girls don’t want to wear makeup because it’s uncomfortable and it takes unnecessary time and money. Name any sexist expectation placed on females and I’ll give you a legitimate reason why its harmful, but I don’t think you’ll be able to make a case that harm is caused to a person by use of pronouns. It’s simply a matter of accurate grammar. It’s impossible to cause someone harm with clear communication and there is no reason why the use of a value neutral part of speech could reasonably cause someone distress.

Trans people do acknowledge their biological sex in other ways. For example, when people call themselves FtM they are acknowledging that they were born female. Similarly, calling someone AFAB acknowledges they were born female. For some reason, acknowledging that someone was born female in these ways doesn’t seem to bother the trans cult, but the use of female pronouns does. This doesn’t make sense. She/her pronouns, AFAB, and FtM all communicate the same thing—that the person in question is biologically female. If there was actually any harm in acknowledging someone’s biology, then trans men would never call themselves FtM or AFAB, they would just call themselves male and nothing else. The thing is though, there is no harm in acknowledging someone’s biology. It’s a morally-neutral, judgment free fact that communicates nothing about a person’s personality or feelings.

When females experience distress at being called a grammatically accurate pronoun, it’s because they are in a social situation in which they wish for people around them to not view them as female. However, it’s almost always possible to tell whether someone is male or female just by interacting with them, and chances are, even if a female gets everyone around her to agree to not calling her female, they still know she’s female. All this pronoun stuff actually accomplishes is that is forces people to play pretend that they don’t know what they know about a person. I don’t think it’s right to force people to pretend something that isn’t true and I don’t think anyone is harmed by acknowledging their sex.

So to summarize that, pronoun use is not a harmful thing, and it does have a purpose—clear communication. Forcing girls to comply with rules about wearing dresses and makeup is demonstratively harmful, and has no positive or necessary purpose.

(3) Similar to (2), but it might elicit different answers, so I’m putting it in as a separate question anyway: what does it mean to you to abolish gender? Would this include abolishing gendered words (like pronouns, “man”, “woman”, etc.)? Would it include abolishing gendered bathrooms, locker rooms, prisons, etc.? Why/why not?

This question is completely different from #2, so I’m glad you asked them both! Feminists want to abolish gender, but not sex. It’s impossible to abolish the realities of mammalian reproduction. Humans will always come in male and female, because that’s the way our species is created. Whether we like this or not, it will always be. There is no reason to abolish the words man and woman because those words simply communicate adult human males and adult human females. These will always exist as long as humans exist, so there is no need to abolish them, and it would be quite impossible to do so.

You are conflating gender and sex in this question, so let’s address that. Sex is whether you have male or female reproductive anatomy, and gender is a set of behaviors, mannerisms and appearances that communicate your sex to other people. We place certain expectations on men and women to look and behave a certain way, and when people defy those expectations they may be able to appear as the opposite sex in certain social contexts. Gender is a social construct that can change according to time period and culture. It’s not a fixed or essential part of human beings, it’s a set of expectations that exist because of the culture that created them. You change the culture, you change the expectations we have of men and women. You’ll also hear feminists say that gender is a hierarchy—that’s because the expectations we place on men and women are specifically designed to keep women subordinate to men—they are a part of the system of patriarchy. Gender is often used as a synonym for sex roles or sex stereotypes—feminists want to abolish these roles and stereotypes about women because they are harmful to us.

We certainly should not end sex segregation of males and females in places such as locker rooms and prisons. These spaces are not segregated by gender, they are segregated by sex. That’s because females are vulnerable due to their ability to become pregnant and need to be separated from males in places where they will be undressed. The reason for this separation is that males have a tendency to sexually abuse females, and this needs to be prevented.

(4) Do you support elective body modifications like piercings (ears or elsewhere), tattoos, braces, implants (e.g. magnetic implants, birth control implants, breast implants, cosmetic implants like artificial horns or artificial cheekbones), breast reductions, mastectomies, hysterectomies, sterilization, hormones (e.g. as form of contraception, to reduce post-menopausal problems, or as part of transition), laser treatment for hair removal or to correct eyesight?

I have done a lot of thinking on this question, because it opens up a whole philosophical discussion. The short answer would be that I do not support any elective body modifications. Of course, I never give a short answer to anything, so here is a long-ass essay!

Human beings are not Mr. Potato Head toys—we can’t just mix and match body parts as we please, taking off one and adding another like it’s no big deal. Humans are living animals and our bodies are what we’re made of and who we are. Any time a knife or a needle cut through flesh, that is an injury to the body and it’s a form of trauma. It’s something the body has to heal and recover from. Even taking hormones is not healthy, it has side effects and we don’t know the long-term effects of taking cross-sex hormones over a lifetime. We should automatically default to NOT injuring our bodies or risking our health unless there is some compelling medical reason to do so, such as for example, having a medically necessary surgery to save one’s life.

Some forms of elective body modification are more serious than others. Obviously a tattoo or a piercing are low risk and minimally invasive, while something like genital reconstruction is more invasive and more risky. I’ve never understood why people get piercings—it would be completely nonsensical to me to poke a hole in my body and put a piece of metal through it. It seems unnecessary and painful. It would give me anxiety to have a piercing. However I don’t write blog posts against piercing just because it’s minimally invasive and low risk, so there’s not much point in getting upset over it. For the record, I find it really horrifying when people pierce the ears of their babies and young children who are too young to consent. I consider this abuse. Laser hair removal is another example of a low-risk, non-invasive body modification. I think it’s unnecessary, but since it doesn’t cause injury, I’m not getting upset over it.

There are more serious forms of body modification that I make more of a point of speaking out against. I’ve written against labiaplasty a couple of times and I’ll be writing against it again—there’s an article I want to address in a future post on that. Any body modification that involves a surgery, a cutting of flesh, a removal of a part, or the sewing on or addition of a part, is an injury to the body and it’s wrong on the basis that people should not injure themselves.

I’m not against surgery that is performed for medical reasons and that is necessary for good health. Having a necessary medical procedure done to improve one’s health is about self-care, rather than about self-hate. Elective surgery is about self-hate. It’s done because the patient believes there is something wrong with them. I don’t believe it’s possible for a body to be ‘wrong.’ If you believe your body is ‘wrong,’ the problem is not your body, the problem is your attitude toward it. The size and shape of functional, healthy body parts is irrelevant—what’s relevant is that they are healthy. The idea that a healthy body part is ‘wrong’ is a negative judgment that is not accurate and is harmful toward yourself. I don’t believe it’s medically necessary to change one’s body in order to resemble a member of the opposite sex, and when people feel distress over their sexed body I think the origins of that distress are mostly cultural, emotional, and cognitive, and should be addressed with psychotherapy.

I am just as against modifications such as breast implants and cosmetic surgery designed to make someone better conform to a cultural ideal as I am against transgender surgery. I’m against body modifications on the basis that they are a form of self-hate and self-injury, regardless of the reasons behind the modification. The degree to which I am against a particular form of body modification depends on how invasive and risky it is, not on the type of reason behind it. I don’t see the various reasons for body modification as being much different from each other. Whether a woman is trying to look more like an ‘ideal’ woman or more like a man, the situation is the same: she doesn’t believe she is right the way she is, and wants to conform to an idea of how she thinks she should look in order to be happier. I don’t believe happiness comes from running away from your physical reality and artificially modifying it, I believe that happiness comes from self-acceptance and self-love. Being grounded in your physical self and in your physical surroundings is necessary for good health.

There is another necessary part of this conversation, and that is that I don’t actually go out in the world and stop people from having cosmetic surgery. Women are free to get breast implants or take testosterone as they please, and nothing I am doing is preventing that. People certainly have a right to do whatever they want with their bodies. What I do is promote an analysis of the cultural conditions that lead women to want to modify their bodies, because I have an interest in the well-being of women as a group. (And by ‘women,’ I mean all humans born female, whether or not they identify as women or have made body modifications.)

At the very heart of this conversation is the philosophical question, “is it acceptable for a living organism to injure itself?” You could argue this two ways. My argument would be that it’s always wrong to injure a living organism, even if it is yourself you are injuring. Sure, you have full agency over your own body, but that doesn’t mean you should harm it. Everyone deserves to be free from harm, including you. You deserve wholeness and good health. The other way you could argue this is that everyone can do what they want with their own body and no one has the right to question it. This second opinion is quite prevalent in society right now—we are encouraged to think of everyone as an individual with agency exercising their own choices. This individualistic notion of people choosing their own choices is coming from neo-liberalism, an ideology that promotes capitalism (the free market) and discourages class consciousness. This is a political position that is being sold to the masses on purpose by people in positions of power because this belief system keeps people focused on consumer spending as a path to fulfillment, which puts money into the hands of the people who are running the world. For more information on this, see Gail Dines’ lecture Neo-liberalism and the defanging of feminism, available on YouTube. I am against neo-liberalism, capitalism, consumer culture, individualism, and “I choose my choice because AGENCY” type politics. I believe in class analysis, which means looking at large numbers of people and social trends, I believe in looking at what is driving social trends, and I believe in fighting on behalf of entire classes of people (women, the working class).

I believe that a whole, natural, unharmed body is a positive thing to value, and that everyone deserves to feel comfortable in their own skin. I believe in changing the culture we live in so that fewer people will be dissatisfied with their bodies, and I’m saddened when people feel so much distress over who they are that they can only continue to live by becoming someone else. Although I agree that everyone can do what they want with their own body, I’m not satisfied to stop my political analysis at the agency of the individual.

Phew! If anyone has made it all the way to the end of this post, I’ll buy you a beer.

I’ll answer the rest of the questions another day, in another post.

September vacation

It looks like I will be taking a blog vacation again. This time it’s not to deal with Internet addiction (I’m quite happy being addicted to the Internet and plan to stay that way, thank you very much!) it’s actually because I have too many projects on the go. I have agreed to read and edit a manuscript for someone and now I am also diving head-first into my own creative writing project. Now, look, I’m one of those people who has started writing a novel multiple times and never actually finished any of them, so I make absolutely no promises that I will eventually show you the fruits of my labor. However, the creative juices are stirring and so it’s time to take a break from writing political opinion pieces for a while and try storytelling instead.

You all know what I’d have to say about politics anyway. Every day there’s another article about a toddler socially transitioning because he’s been playing with the wrong toys, a school forcing teen girls to accept pervy boys in their locker room, and a transwoman in prison who’s going to die if he doesn’t get his makeup delivered on time. After a while there’s just no need to comment anymore. Kids can play with any toys and this means nothing about their “gender,” women and girls deserve privacy from men, no matter how those men feel about their “gender,” and transwomen in prison should have considered not murdering or assaulting anyone if they didn’t want to be in prison. And they aren’t going to suffer any harm because they can’t wear makeup. (For fuck’s sake, actual women have been fighting for the right not to have to wear makeup!)

I say I’m taking a blog vacation, but I will still be on WordPress reading other people’s blogs. I just won’t be writing new pieces for a while. My last blog vacation was about a week and a half, so I don’t know, maybe this one will be like two weeks? Three weeks? I don’t really know, it depends when is the next time I see something that really pisses me off and I have to say something about it.

You are welcome to comment on old posts if the mood strikes you, and you can consider this an open thread for now. By the way, I seem to have quite a few new followers lately. Feel free to say hi and let me know what brought you to the gender critical blogosphere.

Discussion about pets and recipes okay here. The only thing I won’t tolerate is anyone saying they’re jonesing for a pumpkin-spice-latté-flavored consumer product from a mass-produced chain coffee shop. Puke! Pumpkin spices should only be consumed in an actual pumpkin pie.

Video: Gender Identity in Student Spaces

A conference was held in London, U.K this summer called Thinking Differently. It was a place for feminists to discuss gender identity and transgenderism. There were lots of great speakers and I recommend watching the whole thing.

In this clip, Magdalen Burns talks about being kicked out of her campus LGBT group and her women’s liberation group for violating “safe space” rules by disagreeing with their dogma.

It’s interesting hearing her talk about all the reasons why she was kicked out of various groups—all of them are really stupid reasons. But the part that I found most poignant was that she knows around ten gays and lesbians who have been kicked out of their university LGBT society by people who identify as “queer” but not lesbian or gay. It looks like we have reached a point where ordinary gays and lesbians are officially kicked out of LGBT—the important people in that group now are people identifying as queer and trans. The words queer and trans are so vague that anyone could identify this way, the only real criteria is you have to adhere to the group dogma. As Magdalen says, if you’re an 18-year-old lesbian in your first year on campus you’re going to fear not being able to be around other lesbians.

Whatever the hell “queer” is, it’s pretty hostile to homosexuals.