I have to highlight this comment from a post on Gender Trender. GM was talking about how FtMs still use women’s spaces because they know that as females they aren’t safe in male environments. A commenter called “FtM’s aren’t safe” responded thusly:
“Trans men don’t have bottom surgery because bottom surgery sucks for us. The powers that be would never let us have dicks that work, or even dicks that don’t without years of physical agony and multi stage surgeries. They get off on our pain and want us rapeable, just like they want anyone born without a schlong.
We’re not stupid. We know what cis men are about. And we’d rather live as incognito as possible. Besides, testosterone is an anti depressant, helps build strength, and stops that awful bleeding. Getting all that nasty child-having junk shoveled out of us will eliminate cancer, as will having the udders removed. Unfortunately, because of natal male worship and rape culture, we are stuck with these awful vulnerable genitals and should not be housed with those with rapist genitals. There’s a difference between natal men and trans men…and the patriarchy will NEVER let us close that gap (no pun intended).”
This person is aware that she is female, although she’s not happy about it. She knows that it’s males who rape. She knows she lives in a patriarchy. She knows that men want to keep women rapeable, and she names male worship and rape culture. She has all the knowledge that radical feminists have. She also has some severe sex dysphoria. I don’t know her, but it’s plainly visible in her words.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
An emotional state characterized by anxiety, depression, or unease
Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
A state of feeling unwell or unhappy; a feeling of emotional and mental discomfort and suffering from restlessness, malaise, depression or anxiety.
Being female in a patriarchy creates anxiety, depression, and unease.
She says taking testosterone is an anti-depressant. She thinks her female parts are “child-having junk” and “udders.” When I read this, I don’t see a man trapped in a woman’s body. I see a woman trapped in a patriarchy. I see her intense pain and trauma.
It’s not the “powers that be” preventing her from having a penis. She can’t have a penis because she’s female. No one can surgically create a working penis, it’s impossible. They can’t surgically create a vagina either—they can only create a hole, and a vagina is much more than that.
A penis isn’t what she really needs though. What she’s seeking is safety, bodily integrity, strength, and personhood. She has correctly identified that those are things only men are allowed to have.
I have no doubt she’ll take the hormones and have the surgery. I also have no doubt that her trauma will continue to live in her body after that. Body modification doesn’t make trauma go away. She’ll still have to deal with it. She’ll still be a female in a patriarchy, but a disguised female—one who has removed all the parts of her body that men sexualize and objectify. She’ll make herself look like someone who is not rapeable. To make yourself look unrapeable, you have to make yourself look like a man.
The reason radical feminists do the work we do is because we know the pain that females are put through in this world, and we want that to change. We will always speak the truth about male violence, and we will fight back, on behalf of all the females who aren’t safe. Females come in all sorts, with all sorts of personalities, and all sorts of ways of presenting. Whether we are feminine, masculine, or androgynous, all of us are oppressed based on our sex. I confront this fact not because of “transphobia,” but because I love and care about females.