There are two FtMs following my blog, (that I know of), and I find this really fascinating, because who woulda thunk it, trans people reading a TERF blog! (To clarify, I’ve spoken to them and they’re not hate-following, they’re just following.) One of them I’ve talked to quite a bit and the other I’ve only talked to briefly. Both of them enjoy hearing a variety of viewpoints rather than adhering to dogma, and they like my feminist analysis.
One of them said that I use a neutral tone about body modifications and that I don’t have an “agenda” like some people. This was really encouraging to hear, although I think maybe I do have an agenda.
It was encouraging because I try to balance showing compassion and understanding for people with dysphoria while also calling people out when they’re being homophobic or misogynist. It’s a really delicate balance and I never know if I’m getting it right. I’m gonna mock someone for being a special snowflake if they’re completely gender conforming while still claiming some special identity, but then I’m gonna support someone if they’re really suffering. It’s not an either/or situation though. Recently I criticized Chris Mosier for promoting homophobia and I could have taken that one in either direction. She is at once a lesbian suffering from internalized homophobia—which I have compassion for—and also a fully grown adult who should know that it’s harmful to lesbians to be a poster boy for the “Lesbians are really men” belief system. Sometimes a person is both a victim and a perpetrator.
I think it’s better to have a mature, nuanced discussion rather than just shouting at people that they’re delusional and mutilating their bodies. Shouting at people like that is counter-productive. No one is going to listen to a gender critical analysis from someone who is insulting them. That being said, I do take a firm position though, and that’s why I said above that it’s possible I do actually have an agenda. It really depends what you mean by “agenda,” I guess.
Speaking of agendas, I’ve always found “The Gay Agenda” to be a really amusing concept. Right-wing Christians always imagine that the homos are a bunch of organized diabolical geniuses plotting to take down civilization. Meanwhile, my actual life is far less interesting than that. I wake up to an alarm every morning like everyone else does, grumble a lot through morning traffic and then work for eight hours. If only I was bringing down civilization instead! My “Gay Agenda” after work usually consists of making dinner, doing the dishes, and writing a blog post before bedtime. (And then if I’m lucky, engaging in lewd acts with another woman. 😉 ) The horror!
I do have somewhat of an agenda in writing this blog. My original agenda when I started it was to promote radical feminism. Over time I became less concerned about the label radical feminist and more focused on my actual beliefs, whether they technically qualify as “radical feminist” or not. (Although they usually do.) The more I read about transgenderism the more I wanted to write about that. Lately detransitioners have been leading a revolution (way to go, women!) and so I have been supporting them a lot. I also have an agenda of promoting lesbianism, which is why I write about lesbian culture. I certainly have a set of beliefs and values that come through in all my posts. They are the following, in no particular order:
- Women are people, but we are not being treated as such due to patriarchy
- Women’s bodies are fantastic the way they are and don’t need to be altered
- Lesbians are female humans attracted to other female humans, and it’s great to be one
- Children should not be transitioned, and gender roles should not be enforced on them
- And obviously gender roles should not be enforced on anyone, child or adult
- Biological sex is a real thing that exists, and doesn’t change even if the person makes some body modifications
- Autogynephilia exists
- Pornography and prostitution are violence against women
- Sex-pozzies are not actually positive toward sex and also they’re fucking nuts
Pretty much everything I write contains one of these themes, and they’ve begun to repeat on an endless loop.
I’ve been watching a lot of FtM videos on YouTube, and let me tell you, the YouTube FtM community is bizarre, surreal, baffling, and sad. I’ve been watching so many videos and I’ve been wanting to write something on them but I don’t even know where to start. I am walking a fine line between “People can do whatever they want with their bodies” and “Why do so many women not want to be women or lesbians?”
The reason I don’t brush it off as a personal choice that doesn’t concern me is because I want to remain focused on a class analysis and a criticism of the culture. When many females who are attracted to females don’t want to be women or lesbians I am concerned about why. I have the right to criticize because I am concerned about this as a woman and as a lesbian.
When I start writing about FtM videos I’m going to be doing some “cissplaining” and giving out some excellent TERFy advice. (And believe me, my TERFy advice is excellent!) I don’t know how this will go over, but onwards I go, promoting the same values as usual: women’s bodies are fantastic, and the best possible outcome for a female who is attracted to females is not to pretend to be a man, but to become a happy lesbian.