An answer to a question

A comment that didn’t get through moderation was asked of me yesterday when I explained my “agenda.”

“Am I understanding you correctly: It’s okay to be lesbian/homosexual but not transgender?
So what did the blind person say to the able bodied? “It’s cool to be blind as long as you’re not deaf!”

This question is a rather unfortunate oversimplification of the issue. If I have to simply answer a yes or no question, “is it okay to be transgender,” then the answer is yes. Of course it’s okay—there’s nothing inherently wrong with making body modifications or looking the way you want to look. That’s not a moral issue, it’s a matter of personal preference.

I criticize transgenderism not because there’s anything wrong with individual people who make body modifications, but because the politics of transgenderism are misogynist, homophobic, and sexist, and are taking away women’s rights.

So, to the dude who asked me this question, no you were definitely not understanding me correctly.

You ask this question as if homosexuals and transgenders are two mutually exclusive groups that I am treating differently. However, there is a lot of overlap between these groups because a lot of people who are transitioning are actually same-sex attracted. In particular, a very high percentage of FtMs are same-sex attracted. You can’t separate lesbians from FtMs because many FtMs are lesbians, or at least they would be if they weren’t determined to “live as men.”

I choose to support masculine women as women and as dykes who are perfect the way they are and don’t need to change. Dykes are not men—not if they wear men’s clothes, not if they shave their heads, not if they use strap-ons, not if they fix cars, not if they work in the skilled trades, and not if they get mistaken for men by clueless strangers. They’re women and they’re not “doing woman wrong,” they’re doing woman fabulously. The idea that women who are considered “masculine” are really men trapped in women’s bodies or have “male brains” is a sexist and homophobic idea that is over a century old. (19th century sexologists invented the idea that homosexuals are “inverted” and that we have male souls in women’s bodies. That’s because they thought homosexuality was a disorder and they didn’t know what caused it.)

Furthermore, there are many different types of people in the trans community and so asking a question that assumes that all trans people are the same will bring a useless answer. There are some trans people with dysphoria, some with internalized homophobia, some with sexual fetishes, and some who don’t know how to fit in because they can’t perform their gender role. (And people might have more than one of these characteristics at the same time.) If you really want a useful discussion, then you have to ask better questions, like, “is it effective to deal with dysphoria by making body modifications?” and “is it okay to steal underwear from your female family members and masturbate into them?” and “is it okay to identify as a woman because you are a man who doesn’t feel comfortable being macho and tough?” and “is it okay to pretend to be the opposite sex so that you won’t be seen as gay?”

Here are some things that are okay:

  • Wearing the clothes and haircut that you like is okay
  • Cross dressing for sexual purposes in the privacy of your own home is okay
  • Refusing to perform the gender role you were assigned is okay
  • Being homosexual is okay

Here are some things that are not okay:

  • Promoting sexist ideas about “male brains” and “female brains” is not okay
  • Taking away women’s rights to sex-segregated spaces is not okay
  • Forcing everyone around you to participate in your masturbation fantasy is not okay
  • Claiming that homosexual people are really supposed to be the opposite sex is not okay

As for body modifications, I’m on the fence about that one. I’m a person who doesn’t even believe in piercing my ears or painting my nails, so naturally I don’t think anyone should take cross-sex hormones or have cosmetic surgeries either. However, humans from all different cultures and time periods have practiced body modification, mostly in the form of tattoos and piercings, and I know people are going to do whatever they want regardless of my opinion. I usually just state that body modifications aren’t necessary, without stating that they should be forbidden.

The main thing that I keep saying over and over is this: you are just fine the way you are, it’s the culture that is a problem. It’s quite incomprehensible that people find this bigoted or hateful.

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20 thoughts on “An answer to a question

  1. More proof that you are clearly a much better person than I am. I’m afraid my reaction to that question would have been more along the likes of fuck you, you moronic fuckwad, except I would have said it meaner. That said, your response was very thoughtful and well-stated. Thank you. I’ll try to quote you, with attribution, of course, when asked the same types of questions.

    Liked by 6 people

  2. Would love to see this (especially your bullet pointed section) posted up in lots of public areas. Many people instinctively recognise culture is the problem but lack an articulate argument, including the media! This provides it. Maybe the next or current big thing in music could put it to music, if their music company allowed.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Another excellent post, thank you. I think a lot of the problems are caused by people interpreting criticism of an ideology as an attack on individuals. This detracts us from tackling important questions that are raised in response to an ideology that allows only one narrative while dealing with a number of distinct issues (homophobia, misogyny, autogynephilia, dysphoria, etc.), all of which requiring a different approach. People are being harmed in the process, but raising this point results in attacks and attempts to silence. This seems to go for those detransitioned individuals who are speaking up. Hopefully we’ll start to see an end to this madness sooner rather than later but I suspect we still have a long way to go.

    Liked by 6 people

    • I would like to share the following post from tumblr, of two trans-women in a relationship who call themselves “trans-lesbians” (which I think is appropriate in this case)

      They look like having a great time and I applaud their courage to promote their relationship, independently if I think of them as two gay men or not.

      I certainly don’t think of them as two gay women, but in the end that’s somewhat irrelevant, because what seems important is that they’re just two human beings living what looks like a joyful and healthy (gay) relationship.

      Should we call them “trans-gay”? Are they fully transitioned, operated, etc.? Who cares.
      It’s just two people together. No more labels/descriptions are needed for their joyful, adult, same-sex relationship, IMO.
      To go beyond this is to do politics (and that’s where trans-activists usually collide with RadFems), in a context where it shouldn’t be done and, in fact, should be avoided.

      Like

      • You raise a good point. In an ideal world this relationship wouldn’t require a label: these are just two men in love and I wish them all the best. But there is a problem with them describing themselves as trans-lesbians. In a world where people are oppressed because of specific characteristics it is important to have clear language that allows such oppression to be named, discussed and confronted.

        A lesbian is a female homosexual. In other words, someone born with a penis will never be a lesbian. This matters because some trans activists, by claiming that males can be lesbians, are erasing us as individuals and lesbians as a class of people that is oppressed because of our orientation and our biology. In doing so they are adding to our oppression and coercing (mostly young I suspect) lesbians into what are effectively heterosexual relationships. It is rape culture.

        The mantra “Transwomen are women” is already illustrating how problematic this is for women. We are losing our voices and our spaces, and our rights are being eroded. “Trans-lesbians” to me presents a similar problem. Redefining the term lesbian to include males renders it meaningless since anyone can declare themselves to be a lesbian. It does however achieve the erasure and appropriation of lesbianism, and it harms us. This is why we have to be political in my opinion, why we have to point out that trans ideology and the stripping of words’ meaning are harmful to classes of oppressed individuals.

        I guess, put simply, we must remember that there is a context to our lives. As a lesbian this means facing both misogyny and homophobia, and trans ideology, with its demands, contributes directly to the misogyny and homophobia we already experience. Post modernism and queer theory have a lot to answer for.

        Liked by 2 people

        • The mantra “Transwomen are women” is already illustrating how problematic this is for women. We are losing our voices and our spaces, and our rights are being eroded. “Trans-lesbians” to me presents a similar problem. Redefining the term lesbian to include males renders it meaningless since anyone can declare themselves to be a lesbian.

          Yes to all this.

          “Transwomen are women” is a lie.

          Liked by 2 people

        • I totally agree with your arguments.

          My point in sharing the tumblr page was to raise the question of to what extent the prefix “trans” would already imply that the person is, in fact, *not* of the same class of the people to which it refers.
          I saw a lady called Penny, in the following YT video, presenting a similar concept and it sounded very reasonable.

          In this case, trans-women would *not* be women, trans-lesbians would *not* be lesbians, etc.
          I believe this makes sense if we think that “trans” always designates objects that are necessarily different from those to which they refer.
          Perhaps this would make sense also in terms the political discourse to describe the various classes of people.

          This is a matter of semantics, but it is important, as you said, due to the appropriation of the words “women” and “lesbian” – which have an specific and central meaning for us – by the trans-activists, with essentially different meaning.

          Perhaps the prefix “trans” is not enough though, because, e.g., in chemistry cis and trans isomers refer to *essentially the same* element but with slightly different chemical properties due to the spacial position of some atoms in the molecular structure,
          http://www.chemguide.co.uk/basicorg/isomerism/geometric.html

          Liked by 1 person

        • I see what you mean and I agree that the use of “trans” should in principle indicate that we are talking about separate and distinct classes of people. Unfortunately trans politics has different ideas on the subject. It’s interesting, initially I was far more flexible with the language I used. For example I used transwoman without thinking much about it but then realised that it allowed trans activists to claim that MtT individuals were women, just a different sort of woman, and therefore should be given access to women’s spaces. (I use mainly male trans these days, and sometimes MtT because male trans can be confusing when having conversations.)

          I think the problem is that it’s all about subjective feelings now as a result of post modernism. It’s a mixture of Alice Through the Looking Glass and 1984: men can claim to be women, no discussion allowed. I find it bizarre that we’ve reached such a stage. I’m a biologist and was unaware of what was going on until fairly recently, so I’m baffled by all the claims that have no basis whatsoever in reality. What shines through though is the male entitlement that underlies it all, and the fact that MRAs are cheerleading the trans movement says it all.

          But I’m off on one again 😉 In terms of language I won’t let them dictate which words I use since that would be letting them decide the terms of the debate. I won’t use “transwoman” or “trans lesbian” when talking about male individuals, and I certainly will never use “cisbian”. I’d probably make concessions if the debate was about trans rights and the discrimination and violence they face but it’s clear that trans ideology as it stands is a new front in the war on women. This means placing our reality and our biology at the centre of the debate, and not allowing them to appropriate words such as woman and lesbian.

          I’m sorry this is so long again and you probably don’t disagree with it anyway. I just think we’ve been pushed into this corner so it’s no longer about semantics only. It should all be a lot simpler but it’s such a mess, isn’t it?

          Liked by 3 people

        • Yes, it’s unnecessarily messy, as usual, when patriarchal standards / procedures start to corrupt the natural order of things.

          As you said
          I just think we’ve been pushed into this corner so it’s no longer about semantics only.

          It’s unfortunate, but is true.

          Liked by 1 person

  4. Well said, I really admire how calm and reasonable you are while still standing up for what you believe.

    Its implict in the other points but I would love to see ‘Evangelising transition to vulnerable young people and promoting transition as the only treatment for dysphoria.’ explicit in your don’t do list.

    Liked by 4 people

  5. This! I thank you a thousand times over, my friend, for your eloquent words and for your fierce support of butches and dykes.

    I have never had so much love for someone I’ve never met as I have for you right now…

    Liked by 5 people

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