In Which I Announce I am TRANSPHOBIC

6 Jan

Yup, so I’m one of those radical feminists who just totally hates all transgendered folks. Oh, wait. No, I actually just want to question certain ideologies that underpin particular aspects of trans politics, and for this, I will be labeled TRANSPHOBIC. Got it.

I gotta say. . . I wasn’t entirely on the bandwagon until the last several months. It started with being like, “Oh, hey. . . I, as a female-bodied person socialized as a girl and woman, do not have gendered privilege because of that. Huh. Interesting.” And then I was like, “How in the world would someone who just up and says they ‘feel like a woman’ lose all that male privilege they were given up until the point of transition?” More or less, this is how that went.

And now, I’m all, “Having surgery to fulfill a particular type of gendered appearance is kinda unnecessary and reminds me of how I used to want breast implants so I could ‘feel more feminine’, whatever the fuck THAT meant.” Also, I now think about things like, “Maybe there is a sort of rapist mentality involved in MTF folks trying to force themselves into female-assigned-at-birth women’s spaces,” and, “No, it actually isn’t denial of one’s humanity to be denied entry into a music festival.”

Basically, I’m no longer falling for this po-mo, you-are-what-you-say-you-are politics which necessarily seems to leave FAAB women getting thrown under the bus yet again. Surprise! It’s still patriarchal bullshit!

Before becoming a ragin’ radical feminist, and even after, I bought into a lot of the liberal feminist stuff about trans politics. The most hilarious to me now is the line about how “it’s not trans people’s jobs to change the gender binary.” At one point, this was really convincing to me. Of course it’s not their job. Well, no. It’s not only their job – it’s everyone’s job. Actually, it’s everyone’s job to eradicate gender altogether. I only recognize now how incredibly anti-radical and, frankly, anti-feminist that way of thinking is. Some group of people gets a pass on the whole ‘reinforcing gender binaries’ thing? Nuh-uh. Don’t think so.

I also have examined ideas of “feeling like a woman” as it relates to myself, and found that the only way that makes sense is that to the extent I “feel like” one, it’s that others make me feel like one by treating me as one. I have no “innate” sense of womanhood (femaleness, sure… my uterine lining sheds and everything!), which makes sense as gender is a social construction. And, no, I am not cis-gendered, a cis-woman, etc. I have massive issues with there being a trans/cis binary since, well, binaries are restrictive and harmful. . . hey, just like gender itself! Just because I am not wanting to live “as a man” and/or have surgery or take hormones to appear masculinized does not mean that my default descriptor is cis. I do not feel like my “gender role” is a good match for me (hence that whole ‘being a radical feminist’ thing), nor do I feel “at home” in my body (what woman living in media-saturated porn culture does?).

You may now resume your regularly-scheduled patriarchy blaming.


Recommended reading:

Radical Profeminist: a guest post from Cerien, “When Some Transgender Activists Demand Inclusivity But EXCLUDE almost all Genderqueer/Transgender/Intersex People, We Gotta Speak OUT!”

“Red Without Blue: Since When Did LGBT Stand for Lesbian- and Girl-Bashing Tolerance?”

“The Trans/Gender Politics of Shaming Women-as-Women, Around and Beyond the Queer, Antifeminist Blogosphere”

Uppity Biscuit: “Do Not Call Me Cisgender: You Do Not Have Permission to Name Me”

Learning Feminism: “On Cisgender”

Word to the Wise: “My Gender is Not My Own”

“Questions in the Hope of Furthering Feminist Discourse on Trans Intersections”

“Personal Statement Update (The Short Version)”

“On Gender Normativity, Privilege, and Oppression”

“The Falsifiability Talk”

FAB Matters: On accusations of “TRANSPHOBIA!”

“The fallacy of ‘cis privilege'”

[Updated Feb. 12, 2011 to add:]

Undercover Punk: “Not Hatin'”

7 Responses to “In Which I Announce I am TRANSPHOBIC”

  1. Boner Killer January 6, 2011 at 12:11 pm #

    Great post. I have also been labeled a transphobe for asking why, when it is done in the trans community, is plastic surgery and bodily mutilation by a “doctor” accepted, but all other critiques are against it, as it damages our bodies (trans or not)

    I have no issue with trans folks, but i do have an issue with their belief that they are somehow above critique, or somehow benefiting womyn as a class. I used to hang out with a crowd of liberal, pro-white queer dan savages of the world, fuck radical lesbian group of people (this was prior to my entrance into radical politics) I never understood why I was forced to share a bathroom with a male-identified queer guy, he wasn’t even identified as trans yet he wanted to use our bathroom. I’m sorry but, I feel as a womon, we have a right to our own space for something like using the toilet. I mean, come the fuck on. It was not cool.

    i also loved radical profeminist’s piece that you posted (the first one on the list) it was very eye-opening. But so was this post, kudos to you. I’m so sick of this privileged poMo mentality that does fuck all for people on a global scale…

  2. Aileen Wuornos January 6, 2011 at 9:45 pm #

    Thank you!
    I am a proud ‘transphobe’ – because I am a womon-centred-womon.

    I refuse to participate in the delusional, womon-hating fantasies of sexually fucked-up men. This does NOT mean I wish they would all die or any thing like that, but, I do wish they’d realise, you are not a fucking special snowflake, you can not be friends with every one and no you are not entitled to a WOMON/GIRL only space.

    Any one who thinks that womyn and girls have any kind of privilege over men is a fucking idiot. That is all.

  3. Savage Rabbit February 11, 2011 at 8:28 pm #

    Hi, I’m Cerien! I got linked. Cool.

    The thing I really don’t get is how attached transfolk are to the gender binary. You can’t just “change” the gender binary: this is pretty basic. Reform is not possible; you have to destroy the corrupted system. We can’t just “expand” the gender binary to accept MTFs and FTMs and a couple extra genders – like you implied in your post: the gender binary in the first place does not work for the majority of people assigned genders along with sexes. And the entire point is to make it so that you are recognized as a person first, because only then can any identity you have be respected – what we have now is the reverse, where you as a person does not matter as much as what you are identified to be. Gender abolition is the only way. Abolition is the only way.

    And yet, despite being openly genderqueer – trying to describe my gender is like trying to describe colors to a blind person – I’ve faced a lot of accusations of transphobia and a lot of resistance. Mostly this has come from MTFs, which led me to the conclusion that MTFs fight gender abolition because they feel they need the gender binary to define themselves against – they just want more fluidity in it so that they can switch freely and all the genderqueers and everyone actually oppressed by the what the gender binary says about them (i.e. FAAB people) can just rot.

    Obviously that attitude – as long as I get mine, and I want mine specifically in the context of this fucked-up system so I can be SURE I got mine – is part of male privilege, and we’ve been seeing it everywhere, in the #MooreandMe campaign, in Sen. Lambert’s remarks earlier this week, etc. etc. It’s not the first time I’ve experienced it from MTFs either – I’ve openly stated that I’d prefer all people be referred to with gender-neutral pronouns (obviously, preemptive gendering changes how you treat someone), and MTFs have come up and said that they wouldn’t like that because they had to work hard to be referred to automatically with female pronouns! Ain’t that something! Like I said, the rest of the system must stay the same so they can be SURE they got theirs.

    Thanks for the links! I’m going through them now.

    • lishra February 12, 2011 at 2:33 am #

      Thanks for your comment, Cerien. The whole “I *earned* my female pronoun” thing is really insulting. It totally erases all the harms done to people assigned that pronoun from birth. ‘She’ is experienced by those people as oppression, not an accomplishment. Also, I wouldn’t congratulate a woman who became an executive for an oil company just because she worked super hard to get to that position… she’d still be participating in a really awful, harmful system, so I’m going to call that out.

      It’s not progress to cling to gender, nor is it progress to demand that gender be a distinguishing characteristic of humanity. In fact, requiring that *is* violence… something you’d hope more trans folks would put together more often given their own experiences.

      Also, I added you to my blog roll. Looking forward to more of your stuff!

      • Savage Rabbit February 13, 2011 at 7:00 pm #

        Absolutely. It erased the experiences of all my female-bodied friends, women, people who were socialized as women without their consent or desire, and it erased my own right to safety as well as every other genderqueer’s. Enforcing gender norms as biological – whether in your head or in your cunt – is essentialist. The idea that you automatically act a certain way if you’re cunt-identified is essentialist, and the idea that the way society genders you has no bearing on you, as a person, is fucking unacceptable.

        As someone who is genderqueer, I find that the radical feminist concept and deconstruction of gender identity/sex/gender is far more truthful than any “trans” analysis of it. Realizing and acknowledging the reality that if you are raised as though you have a uterus your entire life – and people with dicks are rarely if ever allowed to claim that, because HOW THE FUCK WOULD THEY KNOW WHAT BEING RAISED WITH A UTERUS IS LIKE? – you have an entirely different set of experiences and pressures is not transphobic. It is honest.

        I don’t even know why gender (that is, the way you perceive yourself as flavored) would be essentially human – it seems to me that non-human animals would have that kind of self-concept too… But then, I make it a practice not to listen to what white male scientists say about those they benefit from using as property.

        Lol, stay tuned. I have lots of great things in store. Soon I’m going to do a post on how the transactional model of sex – the one which allows porn, prostitution, etc. – is actually anti-sex and inhibits women’s sexual liberation.

    • Aileen Wuornos February 14, 2011 at 12:26 am #

      Love this comment Savage Rabbit.

  4. FAB Libber February 13, 2011 at 5:12 am #

    Thank you lishra.
    I too would be labelled “transphobic!!!” under those terms.

    Thank you too for the link to the “Do not call me cis” post.

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