Lately I’ve been browsing the “lesbian” tag on WordPress to see what other lesbians are writing. They are often writing more personal stuff rather than political stuff, and they are not usually gender-critical—more often than not they are pro-trans. Even though I often like people’s posts, I am hesitant to comment on them. I feel like I don’t belong on a pro-trans lesbian’s blog, because if she were to come over here and read mine, she’d see that I’m a so-called “TERF” and decide I am someone to stay away from. We’re on two opposite sides of a great divide, and this makes me sad.
I do feel solidarity with other lesbians, no matter their politics. My lesbian friends in real life are generally the liberal type, and this doesn’t stop us being friends, it only stops us from talking much about politics. I don’t expect my friends to completely agree with me. I was saddened by a comment on a butch lesbian’s blog that when she had top surgery, she lost one of her friends because her friend was “too radfem.” I’m a radical feminist and I would not stop being friends with someone because she had top surgery. I have a political analysis of that situation but that doesn’t mean that I can’t be friends with someone who does it. I also have a political analysis of marriage, heterosexuality, and femininity, but that doesn’t mean I can’t be friends with women who are married, heterosexual, or who wear makeup. If I like someone as a person, then we can be friends. I also wonder though, was this friend actually a radfem or was “radfem” being used as a synonym for “asshole who hates trans people”? That may be the case, and that makes me sad, too. I believe in the liberation of the female sex class, and that does not mean I hate the gender-nonconforming. In fact, I LOVE the gender non-conforming, and the only people from the trans community that I hate are male fetishists who are violent toward women.
It would be nice if people would take the time to actually listen what gender critical and radical feminists are actually saying. Here is an article by Minnie Bruce Pratt about the “right wing” panic over transgender bathroom use. For those who don’t know, Minnie Bruce Pratt was the partner of Leslie Feinberg, a butch lesbian who lived part of her life as a trans man and who wrote several excellent books. I very much support Feinberg, as a lesbian and as a communist, and I have something in common with Pratt—both of us are the “femme” partners of butch lesbians.
In her article, Trans lives and bathroom bullies, Pratt makes it sound as though trans people are all completely innocent and would never use a washroom to perv on women and children, and that the people who oppose bathroom bills are all right-wing. That’s not true. Feminists have been documenting the rise of heterosexual male autogynephiles who have taken over trans activism, the instances of transwomen raping females, the instances of male cross-dressers demanding their penises be regarded as female sex organs, and the instances of young children being given Lupron for playing with the wrong toys. Plenty of the people documenting this are, in fact, butch and gender-nonconforming lesbians, and plenty of us are on the left. Where is the solidarity with we who understand male violence and male fetishes and who want women and children to be safe? Where is the solidarity with women as a class?
“Bigots are also manipulating the old slur that LGBTQ people are “child molesters.” In the past, this lie was used to deny lesbians and gay men custody of their own children and to fire lesbian and gay teachers. Now, bigots are falsely claiming girl children are not safe in a bathroom with transgender women.”
When I was coming out, I struggled a bit with the idea that I didn’t belong in female-only spaces because I was attracted to women. Something in my brain had internalized the idea that I was a sex offender just by being a lesbian, and I had to work through this. Lesbians and gays are not child molesters, and there is nothing wrong with us being around children or having children. It’s terrible that this was an idea that people used to promote (and sometimes still do.)
But there are rapists and molesters who have joined the transgender movement. I’m not going to ignore this. Have you heard of Stefonknee? He is a man with a fetish for dressing as a six-year old girl while getting fucked in the ass by his ‘daddy.’ He also practices his fetish around actual children. What about the transwoman who was a youth counsellor and was charged with felony rape and strangulation of a minor? I do not believe for a second that young girls are safe in a locker room around guys like that. I don’t know why lesbians who believe they are in solidarity with other women are ignoring this type of behaviour from transwomen.
The fact that I want girls and women to be safe from male fetishists does not mean that I think gays and lesbians should have their children taken away from them.
Pratt says: “The bigots’ attempt to reduce human complexity to a simple “M” or “F” flies in the face of scientific facts.”
What scientific facts? The vast majority of humans are either male or female. I didn’t make that up out of a hatred for trans people, that is true. I think the “human complexity” she’s talking about is personality. People can have any sort of personality, whether they are male or female. I am quite accepting of men who want to wear a dress and makeup and women who want to grow a beard. This doesn’t bother me. I live in a large city and I do run into trans people occasionally. I’ve been to trans events and listened to trans speakers, I’ve gone to a bank and had a trans bank teller, I’ve been in a community meeting with trans people in attendance, I’ve seen trans people on the bus or walking down the street. I don’t jump out from behind the bushes and attack them—I treat them with the same respect as I’d treat anybody else. In the case of gender nonconforming females, I find them attractive. Pratt would call me a “bigot” because I understand human biology and male-pattern violence. I don’t believe this makes me a bigot.
Because I have a pro-woman political position, and because I understand the reality of biological sex, I am separated from my fellow lesbians. What a tragedy.