‘You Are Killing Me': On Hate Speech and Feminist Silencing

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takeitslowly

I found this article to be so on point!

 

.... there is the threat posed by potentially being attracted to a trans  woman. You don’t even need to actually be attracted to her, just the idea that  you might be, or might be attracted to someone like her, can end up  being similarly destabilizing and terrifying. Like gender, but perhaps not to  the same extent, our sense of sexual orientation is another very important and  very central facet of our identity. In so far as most cis people aren’t able to  simply conceptualize a trans person as the presented gender and leave it at  that, they end up taking the comforting consistencies and certainties of one’s  sexual attractions and throwing those into chaos as well. A man might wonder if  it “makes him gay” or could “turn him gay”. A straight woman might fear the  same. A lesbian might fear becoming straight. And so forth. The fact that trans  women, by virtue of being women, are culturally positioned as sexual objects  makes this a bit more prominent. And when you throw in the conceptual emphasis  placed on the sexual aspects of a trans woman’s body, the cultural sexualization  of what transition is (it’s all about boobs and vaginas in the documentaries;  they don’t much talk about skin, scent, body hair, fat redistribution, lasering  away the facial hair, changes in fingernail strength, muscle loss or all that  other random stuff… just the sexy sex-times parts), and the degree to which our  conception of gender identity and gender expression is confused with sexuality,  and even the kind of attempts to conceptualize her gender I described earlier  can lead to contemplation of her sexuality.

Read more: http://freethoughtblogs.com/nataliereed/2012/03/06/a-beginners-guide-to-trans-misogyny/#ixzz3aoQ4Q0HM

takeitslowly

 

 

I agree that we shouldn't use terms like "real men " or "real women"

 

Another point I want to mention is that  terms such as "“biological male” and “biological female” ...can be confusing and also offensive, because many transgender people believe that their affirmed gender is biologically based. A more trans-centric term for nontransgender people is cisgender. (For all you science lovers out there, trans and cis are different orientations of molecules). On the Internet and on blogs, trans women often use the term “genetic girl” or GG"

 

Here's some interesting scientific findings

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/02/150213112317.htm

 

"This paper represents the first comprehensive review of the scientific evidence that gender identity is a biological phenomenon," explains corresponding author Joshua D. Safer, MD, FACP. "As such it provides one of the most convincing arguments to date for all medical providers to gain the transgender medicine skills necessary to provide good care for these individuals," he added.

 

quizzical

takeitslowly wrote:
...I want to mention is that  terms such as "“biological male” and “biological female” ...can be confusing and also offensive, because many transgender people believe that their affirmed gender is biologically based. A more trans-centric term for nontransgender people is cisgender. (For all you science lovers out there, trans and cis are different orientations of molecules). On the Internet and on blogs, trans women often use the term “genetic girl” or GG"

where do you get this stuff from?

cis is latin meaning; on this side

trans is latin meaning; on the other side.

and it is from chemistry, if i remember my high school chem classes. stereo bonding or double bonding.

and the terms are used in chemistry rather than biology.

Quote:
Here's some interesting scientific findings

were you hoping no one actually clicked the link?

Sineed

Interesting discussions! I've been too busy to comment of late, but wanted to drop by.

takeitslowly wrote:
Another point I want to mention is that  terms such as "“biological male” and “biological female” ...can be confusing and also offensive, because many transgender people believe that their affirmed gender is biologically based.

There's no evidence that being trans has a basis in biology. The author of the following link is male-to-female transgender. It's rather technical.

http://www.annelawrence.com/brain-sex_critique.html

Quote:
The theory that transsexualism reflects a neurological intersex condition, in which one or more sexually dimorphic areas of the brain are inconsistent with somatic sex, is sometimes called the "brain-sex" theory of transsexualism. This theory rests largely on two reports from the Netherlands Institute for Brain Research, published in 1995 and 2000, that suggested a possible neuroanatomical marker for transsexualism in the brain.

...

The brain-sex theory was never helpful in explaining clinical observations; now it has become irrelevant to explaining neuroanatomical observations. It is time to abandon the brain-sex theory of transsexualism and to adopt a more plausible and clinically relevant theory in its place.

From Brain Storm: The Flaws in the Science of Sex Differencesbook by Rebecca M. Jordan-Young, 2010:

Quote:

Analyzing virtually all published research that supports the claims of “human brain organization theory,” Jordan-Young reveals how often these studies fail the standards of science. Even if careful researchers point out the limits of their own studies, other researchers and journalists can easily ignore them because brain organization theory just sounds so right. But if a series of methodological weaknesses, questionable assumptions, inconsistent definitions, and enormous gaps between ambiguous findings and grand conclusions have accumulated through the years, then science isn’t scientific at all.

Elegantly written, this book argues passionately that the analysis of gender differences deserves far more rigorous, biologically sophisticated science. “The evidence for hormonal sex differentiation of the human brain better resembles a hodge-podge pile than a solid structure … Once we have cleared the rubble, we can begin to build newer, more scientific stories about human development.”

The problem I have with the whole "brain sex" theory is it is horribly sexist. Women have been oppressed by the concept of a gendered brain, like when we were not allowed to go to unversity. Feminists have been fighting against the concept of the gendered brain for over a hundred years. Attempting to attribute gender to human traits is a function of the patriarchy.

Here's another one. Most of the abstract is densely technical, so I have bolded the more comprehensible bits.

Quote:
Men and women are from Earth: Examining the latent structure of gender. By Carothers, Bobbi J.; Reis, Harry T. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Vol 104(2), Feb 2013, 385-407. Abstract Taxometric methods enable determination of whether the latent structure of a construct is dimensional or taxonic (nonarbitrary categories). Although sex as a biological category is taxonic, psychological gender differences have not been examined in this way. The taxometric methods of mean above minus below a cut, maximum eigenvalue, and latent mode were used to investigate whether gender is taxonic or dimensional. Behavioral measures of stereotyped hobbies and physiological characteristics (physical strength, anthropometric measurements) were examined for validation purposes, and were taxonic by sex. Psychological indicators included sexuality and mating (sexual attitudes and behaviors, mate selectivity, sociosexual orientation), interpersonal orientation (empathy, relational-interdependent self-construal), gender-related dispositions (masculinity, femininity, care orientation, unmitigated communion, fear of success, science inclination, Big Five personality), and intimacy (intimacy prototypes and stages, social provisions, intimacy with best friend). Constructs were with few exceptions dimensional, speaking to Spence's (1993) gender identity theory. Average differences between men and women are not under dispute, but the dimensionality of gender indicates that these differences are inappropriate for diagnosing gender-typical psychological variables on the basis of sex. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2013 APA, all rights reserved)

It's extremely hard to tease apart the effects of biology from the consequences of the highly gendered socialization such as we all had. Studies have found that baby boys and girls are treated differently from birth.

takeitslowly

hummm. I never said cisgender is a scientific term, its no different than homosexual or heterosexual. Its a sociological label. You can click on any link you want or you dont have to. its entirely up to you. Just because I posted something, doesnt mean it is always provided with a link.

 

I would appreicate it if you do not assume i am trying to trick you.

takeitslowly

Sineed wrote:

Interesting discussions! I've been too busy to comment of late, but wanted to drop by.

takeitslowly wrote:
Another point I want to mention is that  terms such as "“biological male” and “biological female” ...can be confusing and also offensive, because many transgender people believe that their affirmed gender is biologically based.

There's no evidence that being trans has a basis in biology. The author of the following link is male-to-female transgender. It's rather technical.

http://www.annelawrence.com/brain-sex_critique.html

 

 

You or anyone else definitely have the right to refute or disagree with any scientific evidence pointing to a biological basis in transgenderism, just as I have the right to raise awareness about the scientific evidence that gender identity is a biological phenonmenon. Its' interesting you bring up Ann Lawerence, she is definitely a controversial figure and many in the trans community disagree with her and think she has internalized transphobia.  Dr. Anne Lawrence, a transwoman herself, is also a strong proponents of the autogynephilia, a highly contestable term that is deemed offensive and  to many trans people. It is definitely possible for trans people to have internalized transphobia just as its possible for people of color to have internalized racism against themselves.  :)

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/02/150213112317.htm

 

I am definitely interested in hearing more from scientists using neuroscience to explain transgenderism.  Here's another recent study published in  (Journal of Neuroscience, vol 31, p 784).:

They found significant differences between male and female brains in four regions of white matter – and the female-to-male transsexual people had white matter in these regions that resembled a male brain (Journal of Psychiatric Research, DOI: 10.1016/j.jpsychires.2010.05.006). "It's the first time it has been shown that the brains of female-to-male transsexual people are masculinised," Guillamon says.

In a separate study, the team used the same technique to compare white matter in 18 male-to-female transsexual people with that in 19 males and 19 females. Surprisingly, in each transsexual person's brain the structure of the white matter in the four regions was halfway between that of the males and females (Journal of Psychiatric Research, DOI: 10.1016/j.jpsychires.2010.11.007). "Their brains are not completely masculinised and not completely feminised, but they still feel female," says Guillamon.

 

Sineed

takeitslowly wrote:
You or anyone else definitely have the right to refute or disagree with any scientific evidence pointing to a biological basis in transgenderism, just as I have the right to raise awareness about the scientific evidence that gender identity is a biological phenonmenon.

Besides feminism, my primary activity online is the defense of science, mainly in the context of debunking complementary and alternative medicines, and defending vaccination programs. A couple of years ago, a trans woman colleague approached me with concerns about the safety of her hormone therapy. At that time, I was in graduate school and had full access to a university medical database, so I cheerfully agreed to research the the safety of hormone therapy in transgender individuals.

What I discovered surprised me: there's a whole lot of conjecture and opinions, but little in the way of quality studies. For one, there are no recommendations for the dosing of hormone treatments, and no long-term safety data at all. I'm not a scientist, but I've studied a fair bit of science, and studies on transgender people are challenging because they are so few in number, so the studies tend to be underpowered for the purpose of coming to hard conclusions. A lot of what is said in the media is a combination of advocacy, confirmation bias, and wishful thinking.

That said, I believe that everybody should be able to do whatever they need, and find the supports they need, to live their lives according to whatever makes them most happy. What I object to are the attacks on women in an attempt to intimidate and silence us.

http://www.counterpunch.org/2013/06/21/55123/

Quote:
The Same Sexual Threats, the Same Silence for Women: The Emperor’s New Penis

Men have been silencing women for ten thousand years and it’s happening still.

At the “Law and Disorder Conference” in Portland, OR, on May 11-12, two women were peacefully tabling, handing out literature, and selling books from our organization, Deep Green Resistance. A group of five queer activists came up to the table and one of the men began shouting at the women, using aggressive language and threatening gestures. He grabbed and defaced table materials. When one of the women went to protect the materials, he marked her arm and hand as well.

...

The next day the DGR crew went back for more tabling, and an angry mob of queer activists again approached the table, yelling and cursing at them, and demanded that they leave. You can watch the video. The DGR members were respectful and courteous. They tried to de-escalate. Nonetheless, they were the recipients of bullying, threats, and silencing. Once again, for all their talk of “safer spaces,” the organizers did not intervene.

In a statement later released on the conference’s Facebook page, one of the organizers defended the attacks, saying, “Speaking personally as a white cis-male, it is not my place to dictate how anyone who feels unsafe or oppressed by DGR’s transphobia should respond to it.” So safe space does not in any way mean physical safety, as in freedom from aggression and assault. It means freedom to be aggressive and assaultive if you feel oppressed. What this in practice meant is that a man assaulted a woman for disagreeing with him, and destroyed books he disagreed with as well.

What’s his complaint?

He accused DGR of “transphobia.” This is absurd. The book and other materials never even mention the words “transgender” or “queer,” let alone include calls to dehumanize or harm anyone.

...

And in the time since, queer/trans activists have threatened DGR members with arson, rape, murder. They have created photoshopped pictures of us simulating bestiality. They have called for mass beheading of DGR members. We have done none of those things to anyone. Any member of DGR who did would be banned immediately. Yet queer/trans activists are accusing us of intolerance and hate.

Seriously?

...

Men are made by socialization to masculinity. Being a man requires a psychology based on emotional numbness and a dichotomy of self and other. This is also the psychology required by soldiers, which is why we don’t think you can be a peace activist without being a feminist.

Female socialization is a process of psychologically constraining and breaking girls—otherwise known as “grooming”—to create a class of compliant victims. Femininity is a set of behaviors that are, in essence, ritualized submission.

...

A photo of DGR speaker Rachel Ivey appears covered with glitter and the word “penis” in fat letters. For those who don’t get the reference, genderists throw glitter on people they don’t like. They call it “glitter bombing.” So the picture is suggesting that Rachel be assaulted with glitter and a penis. The word for that is rape.

This from people who are trying to claim the moral high ground as an oppressed minority. But the Emperor’s new penis is looking just like the old: same bullying, same threats, same assaults. Same sexual terrorism, same silencing. And feminism—the movement that tells the terrible truths about women’s lives and aims to change them—is being disappeared.

Starting with the category “woman.” Transgender activist Joelle Ruby Ryan has written that the terms “female” and “sex-class” are “offensive and passé.”... That a biological reality—female—can be called “offensive” shows how far down the rabbit hole Queer Theory has fallen. What’s next, gravity? And if female is “passé,” well, there goes life on earth.

Women are oppressed on the basis of our biology, by virtue of our role in reproduction. To erase "women" as a biological category also attempts to deny the history of our oppression.

takeitslowly

Sineed wrote:

takeitslowly wrote:
You or anyone else definitely have the right to refute or disagree with any scientific evidence pointing to a biological basis in transgenderism, just as I have the right to raise awareness about the scientific evidence that gender identity is a biological phenonmenon.

Besides feminism, my primary activity online is the defense of science, mainly in the context of debunking complementary and alternative medicines, and defending vaccination programs. A couple of years ago, a trans woman colleague approached me with concerns about the safety of her hormone therapy. At that time, I was in graduate school and had full access to a university medical database, so I cheerfully agreed to research the the safety of hormone therapy in transgender individuals.

What I discovered surprised me: there's a whole lot of conjecture and opinions, but little in the way of quality studies. For one, there are no recommendations for the dosing of hormone treatments, and no long-term safety data at all. I'm not a scientist, but I've studied a fair bit of science, and studies on transgender people are challenging because they are so few in number, so the studies tend to be underpowered for the purpose of coming to hard conclusions. A lot of what is said in the media is a combination of advocacy, confirmation bias, and wishful thinking.

That said, I believe that everybody should be able to do whatever they need, and find the supports they need, to live their lives according to whatever makes them most happy. What I object to are the attacks on women in an attempt to intimidate and silence us.

http://www.counterpunch.org/2013/06/21/55123/

Quote:
The Same Sexual Threats, the Same Silence for Women: The Emperor’s New Penis

Men have been silencing women for ten thousand years and it’s happening still.

At the “Law and Disorder Conference” in Portland, OR, on May 11-12, two women were peacefully tabling, handing out literature, and selling books from our organization, Deep Green Resistance. A group of five queer activists came up to the table and one of the men began shouting at the women, using aggressive language and threatening gestures. He grabbed and defaced table materials. When one of the women went to protect the materials, he marked her arm and hand as well.

...

The next day the DGR crew went back for more tabling, and an angry mob of queer activists again approached the table, yelling and cursing at them, and demanded that they leave. You can watch the video. The DGR members were respectful and courteous. They tried to de-escalate. Nonetheless, they were the recipients of bullying, threats, and silencing. Once again, for all their talk of “safer spaces,” the organizers did not intervene.

In a statement later released on the conference’s Facebook page, one of the organizers defended the attacks, saying, “Speaking personally as a white cis-male, it is not my place to dictate how anyone who feels unsafe or oppressed by DGR’s transphobia should respond to it.” So safe space does not in any way mean physical safety, as in freedom from aggression and assault. It means freedom to be aggressive and assaultive if you feel oppressed. What this in practice meant is that a man assaulted a woman for disagreeing with him, and destroyed books he disagreed with as well.

What’s his complaint?

He accused DGR of “transphobia.” This is absurd. The book and other materials never even mention the words “transgender” or “queer,” let alone include calls to dehumanize or harm anyone.

...

And in the time since, queer/trans activists have threatened DGR members with arson, rape, murder. They have created photoshopped pictures of us simulating bestiality. They have called for mass beheading of DGR members. We have done none of those things to anyone. Any member of DGR who did would be banned immediately. Yet queer/trans activists are accusing us of intolerance and hate.

Seriously?

...

Men are made by socialization to masculinity. Being a man requires a psychology based on emotional numbness and a dichotomy of self and other. This is also the psychology required by soldiers, which is why we don’t think you can be a peace activist without being a feminist.

Female socialization is a process of psychologically constraining and breaking girls—otherwise known as “grooming”—to create a class of compliant victims. Femininity is a set of behaviors that are, in essence, ritualized submission.

...

A photo of DGR speaker Rachel Ivey appears covered with glitter and the word “penis” in fat letters. For those who don’t get the reference, genderists throw glitter on people they don’t like. They call it “glitter bombing.” So the picture is suggesting that Rachel be assaulted with glitter and a penis. The word for that is rape.

This from people who are trying to claim the moral high ground as an oppressed minority. But the Emperor’s new penis is looking just like the old: same bullying, same threats, same assaults. Same sexual terrorism, same silencing. And feminism—the movement that tells the terrible truths about women’s lives and aims to change them—is being disappeared.

Starting with the category “woman.” Transgender activist Joelle Ruby Ryan has written that the terms “female” and “sex-class” are “offensive and passé.”... That a biological reality—female—can be called “offensive” shows how far down the rabbit hole Queer Theory has fallen. What’s next, gravity? And if female is “passé,” well, there goes life on earth.

Women are oppressed on the basis of our biology, by virtue of our role in reproduction. To erase "women" as a biological category also attempts to deny the history of our oppression.

 

No one is deying the reality of cis women. Just because trans woman are as much a woman as any cis woman, it doesn't mean the life experience of ciz women are erased or denied.

quizzical

takeitslowly wrote:
hummm. I never said cisgender is a scientific term, its no different than homosexual or heterosexual. Its a sociological label. You can click on any link you want or you dont have to. its entirely up to you. Just because I posted something, doesnt mean it is always provided with a link.

I would appreicate it if you do not assume i am trying to trick you.

i didn't assume trickery on your part at all.

i assumed lack of knowledg and i guess attempted misdirection to attempt to give more validity scientifically, for both trying to label people "is" gendered and for a biological female brain, where there is very little.

takeitslowly

*attempted misdirection* , sounds better. Thanks anyways.  Please do not be too kind to me, dont ever feel like you have to hold back your feelings toward me. lol

 

Anyways, this gives a good explaniation why i use the term cisgender, i do not mean it as a way to attack or deman or belittle anyone

http://everydayfeminism.com/2015/01/being-called-cis-is-not-oppressive/

So why do we say ‘cisgender’ instead of ‘non-transgender?’ Because, referring to cisgender people as ‘non trans’ implies that cisgender people are the default and that being trans is abnormal. Many people have said ‘transgender people’ and ‘normal people,’ but when we say ‘cisgender’ and ‘transgender,’ neither is implied as more normal than the other.”

You don't want to be labelled cisgender, you have a right to your opinon. But being labeled cis isn’t the same as being labeled trans. You’re not suddenly at risk for being harassed, insulted, fired, raped, stabbed, chocked, shot, or abandoned for your cis identity in itself.

You can disagree as well of course, but in my world , i believe that being a transgender woman create a new set of challenges that make the world a much more hostile,  dangerous and unsafe place to live in generally speaking. (which is not to say being cisgender is easy in  any way whatsoever, god knows my mother had a very tough life)

Pondering

Trans women are claiming that being trans is another form of being intersexed. Like Sineed I don't buy the brain theory but people who are not intersexed don't have a special term to differentiate them. Not being trans doesn't need a special name either.

quizzical

fiw, i've been thinking about this whole "trans" and "cis gendered labelling and why i feel it is 'othering', a lot.

i've no problem accepting the the reality some humans feel they were born in the wrong body. i believe throughout recorded history it has been so if you look between the lines. only nowadays humans have a choice in changing their external gender identity to better suit their internal perceptions of self.

for me, this is where i cognitively have issues. internally i believe those whose external genitalia do not match their internal perceptions of self, have a unique, maybe the most unique (not sure if this is the right word) perspective on human life and our interpersonal interactions. they get to perceive life from both female and male perspectives, and their own too. i think of people being able to experience both gender realities as being 'twin' gendered, not trans gendered, and thus hold a unique/special ability to perceive both male and female perspectives.

in chemistry "trans" means 'over on the otherside' while "cis" means 'on this side', and i think people whose perceptions internally are female are not on the other side from so called 'cis" gendered women. how could they be? if they were they would not know they are female internally.

i think too much emphasis is placed on genitalia in our society. the base biological reality is our differing genitals is for the purpose of procreating.

why should "trans"  persons have to give up having children, if they want, in order to fit indoctrinated social gender norms? why can't they live their life as a woman, or man, with society understanding our genitals are not what make us, as individual persons?

hope i've not been too clumsy in my attempt to voice my inner thoughts and beliefs on what i perceive as twin gendered souls.

 

Sineed

This?

Quote:
"Women do not decide at some point in adulthood that they would like other people to understand them to be women, because being a woman is not an ‘identity.’ Women’s experience does not resemble that of men who adopt the ‘gender identity’ of being female or being women in any respect. The idea of ‘gender identity’ disappears biology and all the experiences that those with female biology have of being reared in a caste system based on sex." - Sheila Jeffreys, Gender Hurts

Or this?

Quote:
Heterosexual coupling requires both sexes by definition. “Straight privilege” therefore accrues to both men and women equally. “Cisgender privilege,” on the other hand, is a misnomer. Gender-conforming males are rewarded for masculine conformity. Masculine men are never oppressed on the basis of gender; or to say it another way: “cisgender” men are never oppressed on the basis of gender. The same does not hold true for women; it is the opposite. Women’s gender conformity does not protect us from oppression on the basis of gender. “Cisgendered” women are still routinely targeted for sexist treatment, harassment, and discrimination. The concept of “cisgender privilege” falsely posits men and women as social equals in regard to gendered oppression. It is an inaccurate explanation of how gender norms operate as a sex-based social hierarchy that devalues women. Talking about “cisgender privilege” simply does not make sense in the context of women’s relationship to gender and oppression.

http://www.counterpunch.org/2013/08/02/sex-is-not-gender/

In this particular analysis, gender is not a spectrum but a hierarchy, with men at the top and women at the bottom, and it oppresses women and gender non-conforming males. I'm not *quite* sure about this myself. How do transmen fit in this, for instance? But it's some tasty food for thought.

quizzical

well, my brain is really going to hurt, you've added another dimension to my thinking sphere.

Sineed

Cool

6079_Smith_W

Another interestiing model:

I saw a copy of this at an event this week. The distinction between the top two is particularly interesting.

And if some want to say it is only possible for men to enjoy cis-privilege, I don't particulary care. I do know that I don't have to put up with people speculating and asking inappropriate questions about what is between my legs and on my chest and how I have sex. I also don't have to worry about getting the shit beaten out of me, or getting the cops called when I go to the bathroom or other similar places.

So in that sense, I'd say I enjoy a good deal of privilege beyond the straight white male kind.

Sineed

Biological sex is not on a continuum. One-hundred percent of us were born from a female gamete (the egg) merging with a male gamete (the sperm). To say biological sex is on a continuum because intersex is like saying the number of chromosomes humans have is not 46 but is on a continuum because some people have 47 (Downs syndrome, Trisomy 13), while others have 45 (Turner's syndrome).

I know it is trendy these days to say that biological sex is on a spectrum. But this is not our physiological reality as mammals and only makes the people who say that look scientifically illiterate.

As for the pink brain/blue brain part, I have rejected the idea of a gendered brain as horribly sexist for as long as I have been cognizant of such things.

What makes a woman? by Elinor Burkett, New York Times Sunday Review

Quote:

Do women and men have different brains?

Back when Lawrence H. Summers was president of Harvard and suggested that they did, the reaction was swift and merciless. Pundits branded him sexist. Faculty members deemed him a troglodyte. Alumni withheld donations.

But when Bruce Jenner said much the same thing in an April interview with Diane Sawyer, he was lionized for his bravery, even for his progressivism.

“My brain is much more female than it is male,” he told her, explaining how he knew that he was transgender.

...

I have fought for many of my 68 years against efforts to put women — our brains, our hearts, our bodies, even our moods — into tidy boxes, to reduce us to hoary stereotypes. Suddenly, I find that many of the people I think of as being on my side — people who proudly call themselves progressive and fervently support the human need for self-determination — are buying into the notion that minor differences in male and female brains lead to major forks in the road and that some sort of gendered destiny is encoded in us.

That’s the kind of nonsense that was used to repress women for centuries. But the desire to support people like Ms. Jenner and their journey toward their truest selves has strangely and unwittingly brought it back.

...

“You can’t pick up a brain and say ‘that’s a girl’s brain’ or ‘that’s a boy’s brain,’ ” Gina Rippon, a neuroscientist at Britain’s Aston University, told The Telegraph last year. The differences between male and female brains are caused by the “drip, drip, drip” of the gendered environment, she said.

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/06/07/opinion/sunday/what-makes-a-woman.html...

She also speaks of the silencing of the reality of the biological oppression of women in the name of gender diversity:

Quote:

In January 2014, the actress Martha Plimpton, an abortion-rights advocate, sent out a tweet about a benefit for Texas abortion funding called “A Night of a Thousand Vaginas.” Suddenly, she was swamped by criticism for using the word “vagina.” “Given the constant genital policing, you can’t expect trans folks to feel included by an event title focused on a policed, binary genital,” responded @DrJaneChi.

WHEN Ms. Plimpton explained that she would continue to say “vagina” — and why shouldn’t she, given that without a vagina, there is no pregnancy or abortion? — her feed overflowed anew with indignation, Michelle Goldberg reported in The Nation. “So you’re really committed to doubling down on using a term that you’ve been told many times is exclusionary & harmful?” asked one blogger. Ms. Plimpton became, to use the new trans insult, a terf, which stands for “trans exclusionary radical feminist.”

In January, Project: Theatre at Mount Holyoke College, a self-described liberal arts college for women, canceled a performance of Eve Ensler’s iconic feminist play “The Vagina Monologues” because it offered an “extremely narrow perspective on what it means to be a woman,” explained Erin Murphy, the student group’s chairwoman.

Let me get this right: The word “vagina” is exclusionary and offers an extremely narrow perspective on womanhood, so the 3.5 billion of us who have vaginas, along with the trans people who want them, should describe ours with the politically correct terminology trans activists are pushing on us: “front hole” or “internal genitalia”?

...

“Abortion rights and reproductive justice is not a women’s issue,” wrote Emmett Stoffer, one of many self-described transgender persons to blog on the topic. It is “a uterus owner’s issue.” Mr. Stoffer was referring to the possibility that a woman who is taking hormones or undergoing surgery to become a man, or who does not identify as a woman, can still have a uterus, become pregnant and need an abortion.

If the concept of "woman" becomes completely untethered from biological reality, what does being a women even mean?

Women are losing their reproductive rights at breakneck speed in the US, but we have to stop and "check our privilege" whenever we call ourselves women instead of "uterus bearers?" First of all, fuck that. Second of all, women as a category are not a privileged group.

 

6079_Smith_W

Call it continuum or don't, but there is a range on both the physical characteristic and genetic level. Most of us are strictly male or female, but there are exceptions. And if we want to get scientific it is the spectrum of those four which has the hardest science behind it, because it is entirely based on physical properties.

Sineed wrote:

Women are losing their reproductive rights at breakneck speed in the US, but we have to stop and "check our privilege" whenever we call ourselves women instead of "uterus bearers?"

No, I'd take that one with a grain of salt too.  But if the debate is going to focus on those hard line perspectives, "fuck that" is probably the only discussion on the matter. I know it is  important that they be considered, but they should also be seen in the context that not all people ascribe to that hard line.

 

Timebandit Timebandit's picture

I agree with Sineed on the brain issue - there isn't much evidence that male and female brains are significantly different, and adding what we now know about neuroplasticity to what we've known about the effects of socialization, I think there's less case to be made on differences that are inherent than ever. I also think its a convenient tool to take us backward on gains we've made. We don't know why some people are transgender. What really matters is that some people are and there are some needs they have that should be met. But accepting Jenner's opinion that his brain is female without question is like uncritically accepting that my SIL's belief that the Earth was created in 6 days because she feels in her heart it's true.

quizzical

Sineed wrote:
I know it is trendy these days to say that biological sex is on a spectrum. But this is not our physiological reality as mammals and only makes the people who say that look scientifically illiterate.

... the silencing of the reality of the biological oppression of women in the name of gender diversity:

Quote:
.....Let me get this right: The word “vagina” is exclusionary and offers an extremely narrow perspective on womanhood, so the 3.5 billion of us who have vaginas, along with the trans people who want them, should describe ours with the politically correct terminology trans activists are pushing on us: “front hole” or “internal genitalia”?

...

“Abortion rights and reproductive justice is not a women’s issue,” wrote Emmett Stoffer, one of many self-described transgender persons to blog on the topic. It is “a uterus owner’s issue.” Mr. Stoffer was referring to the possibility that a woman who is taking hormones or undergoing surgery to become a man, or who does not identify as a woman, can still have a uterus, become pregnant and need an abortion.

Quote:
If the concept of "woman" becomes completely untethered from biological reality, what does being a women even mean?

Women are losing their reproductive rights at breakneck speed in the US, but we have to stop and "check our privilege" whenever we call ourselves women instead of "uterus bearers?" First of all, fuck that. Second of all, women as a category are not a privileged group.

bolding and messy editing mine....

front hole my ass!!!!  i see these attempts to redefine women biologically as patriarchy and priviledge being expressed.

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Quote:
But accepting Jenner's opinion that his brain is female without question is like uncritically accepting that my SIL's belief that the Earth was created in 6 days because she feels in her heart it's true.

I wonder whether she used the term "brain" as a sloppy shorthand for "mind" -- referring to what goes on inside more than the organ itself?

quizzical

thiinking more about this, i feel being dismissed to a title of 'uterous owner' is an ultimate form of objectification.

Timebandit Timebandit's picture

I don't know, Magoo. On the one hand, mind vs brain is one way to interpret this, but on the other hand, as someone who rejects the dichotomy of mind and brain as seperate things (given what evidence we have), that doesn't quite work, either. I've heard people talk about having the soul of one sex or another, which strikes me as largely the same thing - frankly, I don't tend to think souls are a real thing, either. I have no answers or particular theory as to why some people are trans, but some of the theories being expounded as fact don't pass the sniff test, IMO.

6079_Smith_W

I don't see that people are concerned so much about proving theories as they are about explaining their perspective.

Not too many years ago we'd have been having this "because science" discussion about sexual orientation, and some would be puzzling about whether it is sickness or bad parenting. That scientific guesswork wasn't the final word then, and science certainly hasn't  been the main driver in recognizing other LGBT rights.

I don't see that it is any more valid or any less insulting when it comes to recognizing the identity of trans people. And I sure don't see that we have that much better a perspective now.

It is one thing to call out people who use this as an attack on women. Of course it is ridiculous. But how is questioning the validity of trans identity any better? And how is undermining that whole community necessary to counter over-the-top attacks on feminism?

quizzical

don't consider standing up for who i am as an action of undermining anyone.

 

Timebandit Timebandit's picture

Ah, but I'm not questioning the validity of trans identity!  It's valid!  And functionally, it doesn't matter *why* people are LGBTQ or trans or whatever.  They are, they exist, they have rights that must be respected and access to the freedoms we all should be able to enjoy.  That's not my point.

It gets sticky where trans people posit a specific theory that conflicts with the basis on which feminists have been fighting battles that benefit the majority of us, straight, cis, LGBTQ, and expect feminists not to question it.  On the one hand, I'd like to respect their experience, but not necessarily to the point of accepting a theory that is basically essentialist and puts me and my daughters at a distinct disadvantage in other ways.  There needs to be some listening in both directions.

 

Pondering

6079_Smith_W wrote:

I don't see that people are concerned so much about proving theories as they are about explaining their perspective.

Not too many years ago we'd have been having this "because science" discussion about sexual orientation, and some would be puzzling about whether it is sickness or bad parenting. That scientific guesswork wasn't the final word then, and science certainly hasn't  been the main driver in recognizing other LGBT rights.

I don't see that it is any more valid or any less insulting when it comes to recognizing the identity of trans people. And I sure don't see that we have that much better a perspective now.

It is one thing to call out people who use this as an attack on women. Of course it is ridiculous. But how is questioning the validity of trans identity any better? And how is undermining that whole community necessary to counter over-the-top attacks on feminism?

I disagree. For some trans-activists it is about imposing their theory of being born gendered on everyone else.

Has anyone here questioned the identity of trans people? It is feminists who are being attacked and silenced not trans-activists.

6079_Smith_W

@ TB

But again, it is not all trans people who are making the accusations above, and they aren't the only people who don't accept a strict anti-gender position, so why the generalization? If some hardliners attack your position you are quite right in calling bullshit, but for the far greater majority who do not, how is is an issue if they see gender is a different way than you, so long as they are respectful?

Pondering

6079_Smith_W wrote:

@ TB

But again, it is not all trans people who are making the accusations above, and they aren't the only people who don't accept a strict anti-gender position, so why the generalization? If some hardliners attack your position you are quite right in calling bullshit, but for the far greater majority who do not, how is is an issue if they see gender is a different way than you, so long as they are respectful?

What generalization? No one is complaining about trans women who are respectful so why are you making this point? This thread is about feminists being silenced by specific trans-activists and a particular . No one is referring to trans-women in general. You don't appear to have any interest in defending the feminists who are being attacked.

Timebandit Timebandit's picture

@Smith - It's not that they see gender differently.  It's that they are making a scientific claim without evidence that has an effect on much of what I hold dear, the small gains we've made over 30 years of my adult life.  Whether it's all trans folks, a majority of them or a vocal minority that make some pretty egregious accusations, it's not so easy to shrug off - they are certainly not respectful or geared toward discussion.

Show me some evidence that contradicts the current evidence on male/female brain difference and I'll be happy to re-evaluate my position.  I'm sure there will be more evidence added to the pile, one way or the other.  As I said, the why doesn't matter so much as people being treated with respect and equality and having their particular needs met - let's make sure that happens.  However, expecting decades of feminist thought and progress to give way to feelings just isn't reasonable and doesn't further anyone's agenda.

6079_Smith_W

That was my point . I don't see how it is a scientific claim, nor how this is a matter to be sorted by science any more than the validity of sexual orientation was.

Though there have been plenty of claims in that regard too.

 

Timebandit Timebandit's picture

It is and it isn't, though.  On one hand, I can understand orientation being somewhat hard-wired (although I don't know how far the jury is out on that or not, I just haven't looked into it).  However, gender/sex and brain is harder, because we do have comparative studies of men's and women's brains and the differences.  There are trans advocates who do say "it's a brain thing" and mean it literally, but there's no definitive evidence of that - we only have the gender binary research that's been done so far and show that differences are functionally negligible. So the evidence we have doesn't make that seem likely, but it hasn't been studied definitively. 

Feminists who point this out are frequently told they're being hateful. 

 

Sineed

I'm too tired to comment much, but thought I'd bump the thread with this recent interview. They talk of how much of modern feminism has lost its way and the confusion over basic concepts.

The No-Platforming of Radical Feminists

A discussion with two British women, radical feminist Julie Bindel and gender critical transwoman Miranda Yardley

https://www.indymedia.org.uk/en/2015/06/520718.html

Julie Bindel wrote:
And bearing in mind that we have, a chronic situation all over the world with violence against women and children, oppression and discrimination of women and children, by men, by the male ruling class. I just wonder if we can come up with some answers as to why radical feminists ourselves, are now the enemy, and now the oppressors and pretty much anyone else, who takes a neoliberal view, or an individualistic view, is now the oppressed. That oppression now doesn't have to now be rooted in anything material or structural, it can literally just be the politics of the personal.

"I'm polyamorous, you're oppressing me", is something that I've heard on several occasions. So that those with much privilege, who are Oxbridge educated, white people have now located themselves as "the oppressed", because there is some, weird, queer, Judith Bulter eyed notion that everything is a floating signifier and nothing really matters except the personal experience.

...

But then some younger women, interestingly mainly heterosexual, just said "fuck this with this gender nonsense, what's all this "female brain" and "male brain?" You know, we're not having this. Of course we'll stand in front of any transperson who's been vilified and bullied and attacked, because that's oppression, cruelty, bullying."

But we don't have to buy into this "brain sex" thing. We don't have to abandon socialist and radical feminist theory and principals, which is that gender is a social construction, which is how patriarchy works.

Miranda Yardley wrote:
Between them, Jenner and Maloney have been married at least five times and fathered eight children. Both have made enormous fortunes as men, each enjoying over six decades of male privilege before so boldly staking their claim to womanhood. If each these trans women have “always been a woman,” how does this relate to the lived lives and experiences of that 52 per cent of the population who are born and raised as women?

...

Society has a set of rules which governs what is acceptable for men and women to do, and this is called “gender.” Gender is not something we “have,” rather it is a set of behaviours that we are expected to follow based on our birth sex.

These same rules apply in Jenner’s apparent shift from the powerful male role model, to the shy, deferential seductress we see in Vanity Fair.

Gender is not a civil liberty, it is a set of social codes, and this is what gender does: gender disempowers women.

Jenner is not a “gender outlaw” breaking down boundaries and a mechanism for positive change. Jenner represents the status quo, in opposition to the positive, progressive force and changes that decades of women’s suffrage and activism have fought for.

You can read Miranda's article, which she references in the podcast, here:

http://morningstaronline.co.uk/a-d78a-What-does-it-mean-to-be-Caitlyn#.V...

 

Sineed

Timebandit wrote:
Feminists who point this out are frequently told they're being hateful.

As we have seen innumerable times here on babble, people use ad hominem attacks and accusations of hate when they don't have any cogent argument to make. It's the rhetorical equivalent of monkeys flinging their poo.

quizzical

oh my....lol love it!

Pondering

6079_Smith_W wrote:

That was my point . I don't see how it is a scientific claim, nor how this is a matter to be sorted by science any more than the validity of sexual orientation was.

Though there have been plenty of claims in that regard too.

There is a group of radical trans women that insist everyone must believe their "scientific" claim otherwise we are transphobic. They want the condition to be recognized as another form of being born intersexed or like being born gay. They attack radical feminism because the gender theory of radical feminists contradicts the being born in the wrong body theory.

Some even take it to the extreme of insisting that on a trans woman a penis is female. The logic goes, "I am a woman" "I have a penis" therefore some women do have penises therefore it is female.

They are equally angry that the lesbian community accepts trans men as sexual partners. They insist that it is offensive to trans men that a lesbian still identifies as a lesbian while in a relationship with a trans man even though trans men themselves are not having a problem with it. To lesbians the trans man has a vagina (very few have bottom surgery) so a lesbian's self-identity need not change based on their partner presenting as a man. 

Radical trans women also object to trans men attending lesbian only events because they are not women.

The bottom line is radical trans women reject femaleness as an acceptable category determining sexual attraction.

Here is a telling exchange:

https://factcheckme.wordpress.com/2012/03/13/the-cotton-ceiling-really/

From: [redacted lesbian]
Sent: March-12-12 1:59 PM
To: [redacted trans]
Subject: Re: What’s the cotton ceiling?
Thanks. So, just to make sure I understand this, a trans woman with a penis, and who has no desire to have a sex change, is not male bodied – correct?

On Mon, Mar 12, 2012 at 2:02 PM, [redacted trans] wrote:
There is nothing inherently male about a woman’s body, unless she identified things about it as male herself. So, no, I do not consider trans women with penises to be male-bodied, unless that is how they identify.

From: [redacted lesbian]
Sent: March-12-12 2:04 PM
To: [redacted trans]
Subject: Re: What’s the cotton ceiling?
This is seriously problematic for lesbians. What you are saying is lesbians – who desire sex with females – are somehow bigoted for that desire, no? That’s exactly what nontrans males say to us.
Anyway, take care, [redacted lesbian]

On Mon, Mar 12, 2012 at 2:18 PM, [redacted trans] wrote:
That’s a really nonsensical way of interpreting that. Please don’t put words in my mouth.

I have not actually been speaking about lesbian-identified women specifically, though they are some of the women who are within the category of queer women.

Trans women are female. When our female-ness and womanhood is denied, as you keep doing repeatedly, that is transphobic and transmisogynist. As I said earlier, all people’s desires are influenced by an intersection of cultural messages that determine those desires. Cultural messages that code trans women’s bodies as male are transphobic, and those messages influence people’s desires. So cis queer women who are attracted to other queer women may not view trans women as viable sexual partners because they have internalized the message that trans women are somehow male.

The comparison to what cis males say also makes no sense. What trans women are saying is that we are women, and thus should be considered women sexually, and thus be considered viable partners for women who are attracted to women. What cis males are saying is that queer women shouldn’t be exclusively attracted to women, which is completely different.

From: [redacted lesbian]
Sent: March-12-12 2:21 PM
To: [redacted trans]
Subject: Re: What’s the cotton ceiling?
I don’t want to put words in your mouth. I want to understand what you are saying. Trans women may be women, but they are not female. A penis is not a female organ.

“What trans women are saying is that we are women, and thus should be considered women sexually, and thus be considered viable partners for women who are attracted to women. What cis males are saying is that queer women shouldn’t be exclusively attracted to women, which is completely different. ”

It’s not completely different to lesbians, and it’s not completely different at all. Lesbians are sexually attracted to females. This does not include trans women with penises.

What you say makes sense *only* if you believe the fiction that people with penises are *female.* Correct?

On Mon, Mar 12, 2012 at 2:23 PM, [redacted trans] wrote:
Trans women’s bodies are female bodies, whether or not we have penises.

And I’m done engaging in this conversation. You are clearly attempting to bait me in order to find some way of slandering me and my work online, and, frankly, I have better things to do with my time.

On Mon, Mar 12, 2012 at 2:27 PM, [redacted lesbian] wrote:
I am not trying to bait you. I was trying to get you to make this statement: Trans women’s bodies are female bodies, whether or not we have penises.
That’s bullshit. And that bullshit means lesbians are expected to be sexually accessible to trans women with penises or face being labeled a bigot.
Best, [redacted lesbian]

Gender may be a valid category determining sexual attraction but so is biological sex which does exist. Female is a scientific category. "denoting the sex that can bear offspring or produce eggs, distinguished biologically by the production of gametes (ova) that can be fertilized by male gametes."Most people consider their sexual orientation to be based on biological sex not gender. Gay men are not transphobic for not wanting sex with gay trans men.

I think it is fair to say the grand majority of humans in the world consider biological sex to be the determining factor defining their sexuality. Gay males aren't sexually attracted to to the masculine gender, they are sexually attracted to the male sex, at least they think so. Some are attracted to very feminine gay men, others not so much, but the central factor is being born with a penis not gender expression. Likewise lesbianism for most is not rooted in gender expression it is rooted in being born with a vagina so trans men are included.

No lesbian's identity is challenged for being with a trans woman or with a trans man. Trans women are fully welcome in the lesbian community. Everyone just accepts however individuals want to categorize themselves. 

Gender identity has become fluid with some people switching back and forth, some having surgery some not. This is great. From a feminist perspective we want the gender dichotomy to vanish. Female will still exist as a category of human being with specific needs related to our biology.

A lesbian with a trans man is rejecting gender as a barrier but reinforcing the existence of biological sex.

There is a group of radical trans women who hate radical feminists especially those who are lesbian, because radical lesbian feminists believe that gender is a social construct not something we are born with, and insist on limiting their sexual partners to born female, a category that either shouldn't exist or should include transwomen. Hence, female penises.

As far as I can tell most trans women are not radical. They aren't interested in telling people their sexual preferences are illegitmate or trans phobic. They want individual acceptance by the people they are romantically involved in, like trans men with lesbians, and they want public acceptance and respect for their gender identity.

Concerning sexual preference:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biology_and_sexual_orientation

We definitely have very few scientific facts concerning the connection between sex, gender, and sexual attraction. Radical trans women need to back off on calling lesbians trans phobic for not accepting trans women as sex partners. There is zero proof that gender rather than sex determines sexual attraction. From what we know so far it is probably a bit of both.

Radical trans women are trying to deny the very existence of human femaleness as a category distinct from the gender category of woman. I am not female because I am a woman. I am female so I was socialized to become a woman. How other people arrived at being part of the category "woman" is not for me to say. I only know that I was not born a woman. I was born female.

I am also very disturbed that boys who like dresses are more accepted as girls than simply boys who like things that are socially categorized as feminine. By claiming to be girls they gain access to princess dresses and playing dolls with girls, something they are not allowed to do as boys. I'm not suggesting that all trans women are really boys who like feminine things. Just saying there is a lot of pressure to conform to gender stereotypes, more so for boys than for girls. There are more male to female transitions than the reverse. Could this be the reason or is it just because male to female is more medically advanced?

From a "radical" feminist perspective dresses and trucks aren't feminine and masculine they are just dolls and trucks. We are not female based on the toys we play with or the way we dress. We play with specific toys and dress a certain way because society deemed that is what people born female should do. Gender assignment is like a religion. We are immersed in it from birth.

Radical feminists and radical trans women might both be right to some extent. There may be something physical they were born with affecting them that causes them to identify as female, a mismatch between the way hormones usually behave and their physical sex organs, or some structure in the brain we have yet to identify. That still wouldn't disprove biological sex as the main determinent for sexual attraction for people who are not born trans be they gay or straight.

When radical trans women categorize lesbians as bigots for not considering them valid sex partners it is no different than invalidating anyone else's self-identified sexual orientation. It is not bigotry to experience sexual attraction as rooted in biological sex not gender.

That is why female lesbians and trans men have no problem with each other's self-identity. Their sexual attraction is biologically based not gender based. They should not have to change their self-identity to suit trans-theory that wants to enforce gender as the only valid determinant for sexual attraction and everything else as bigotry.

Radical trans women want me to use the term cis lesbian rather than female lesbian. That is erasure. I am not going to disrespect lesbians who categorize themselves

I exist as a non-gendered person born female. My gender expression formed as a result of being born female. It is socially constructed. I was conditioned to want certain things and to behave in a specific way based on being born with female genitalia. I am attracted to males which is typical of human mammals. That gendered male behavior can trigger a response only means that I have been conditioned to associate those traits as indicative of a male not that my sexuality is connected to gender expression as opposed to biological sex.

When a radical trans woman insists that a lesbian (or a heterosexual man) who is not sexually attracted to trans women is a bigot they are imposing a sexual orientation on other people. They are telling lesbians their sexual orientation must be based on gender, that sexual orientation as a function of biological sex doesn't exist.

Radical feminists who are also lesbians are in deep conflict with the trans community. Radical feminists see gender as a social construct. As lesbians they see their sexuality as rooted in biological sex not gender.

This is by Sheila Jeffreys, an arch enemy of the trans community, understandably so.

http://www.feminist-reprise.org/docs/jeffreysftm.htm

Her theory imposes a lesbian identity on straight trans men and rejects trans women as female.

Most people whatever their sexual orientation and gender presentation don't care about this stuff and go with this attitude:

http://tranifesto.com/2013/12/02/ask-matt-can-a-lesbian-date-a-trans-man/

But to radical trans women, lesbians identifying as lesbians while in relationships with trans men are living Sheila Jeffreys' theory.

To radical feminist lesbians, the cotton-ceiling is about born males pressuring lesbians into sex. I understand their rejection of the notion that penises can be female or that their sexuality is based on anything other than biological sex.

Radical feminists can't prove that we aren't born with a gender as well as a sex and radical trans women can't prove that sexual attraction is based on gender not sex.

It is quite possible that we are born with a gender identity as well as a sex and that both or either can factor into sexual orientation.

I accept trans women in female spaces even if they have rejected bottom surgery for whatever reason. But, when they are in female spaces they should conceal their penises not demand that women accept penises as female appendages. The grand majority of trans women have no problem understanding that and would not dream of exposing themselves in a female space. The last thing in the world they want to do is draw attention to their trans status.

I can understand both sides, can you?

 

 

 

6079_Smith_W

Pondering wrote:

I can understand both sides, can you?

Oh for heaven's sake.

What I can't understand is why, if it is such nonsense, that one should take it seriously at all. I think the proper response, made upthread, is to tell someone trying to put that on you to fuck off and mind their own business.

That is a bit more productive than taking the worst and most whacked out offenses and waving them as if they are the norm - which they are not. All I see is a vicious cycle in which both sides claim offense and demonize the other which neither side here is going to win. 

As for your claim that people here aren't defending feminists who are being attacked, I think the most telling example is that when a direct attempt to silence and unplatform (or whatever it is) was made here on Rabble it was met with solid resistance, and they were told politely to take a hike, even by those who don't entirely support the views that were under attack.

Does it mean silencing doesn't happen here? Of course not. But in overt cases like the ones being talked about on this thread or trying to get someone here fired, they failed.

 

Pondering

6079_Smith_W wrote:

Pondering wrote:

I can understand both sides, can you?

Oh for heaven's sake.

What I can't understand is why, if it is such nonsense, that one should take it seriously at all. I think the proper response, made upthread, is to tell someone trying to put that on you to fuck off and mind their own business.

That is a bit more productive than taking the worst and most whacked out offenses and waving them as if they are the norm - which they are not. All I see is a vicious cycle in which both sides claim offense and demonize the other which neither side here is going to win. 

As for your claim that people here aren't defending feminists who are being attacked, I think the most telling example is that when a direct attempt to silence and unplatform (or whatever it is) was made here on Rabble it was met with solid resistance, and they were told politely to take a hike, even by those who don't entirely support the views that were under attack.

Does it mean silencing doesn't happen here? Of course not. But in overt cases like the ones being talked about on this thread or trying to get someone here fired, they failed.

Yes they did fail but I don't think that was the issue this thread was about except that it is an example of it. In this particular case it failed but it is succeeding in some cases.

From the perspective of a feminist, women in North America are more genderized and objectified than ever before. Up until the 50s babies wore white. My niece recently had a baby and everything was pink or blue in 3 baby shops we went to. Everything we bought had at least some pink on it. There are some neutral sets I am sure but you really have to look hard to find white or yellow.

It's worrying that boys who like dresses are better off and more free if they just say they are girls. "Tomboys" are better off but the message is still that they are being unfeminine and at some point they will change.

Trans men have stated they gain after transitioning. Having masculine traits like stubble and being more muscular leads them to facing less harrassment gaining respect.

The pressure on children to express the appropriate masculine and feminine traits to fit in with their friends and society has never been higher. Even though women have much more access to professions deemed masculine.

Finally the backlash against physically crippling high heels is growing.

Many (all?) famous trans women and the parents of trans children explain "knowing" their true sex based on attraction to pink and dolls and not liking trucks.

In the very long run trans people may prove that gender is performed not innate.

If gender is innate, then what happens to a tomboy trapped in a male body or is that even considered possible?

But there are still two sides:

http://planettransgender.com/why-are-trans-women-treated-like-outcasts-i...

I won't quote the article because it contains some very ugly language directed at trans women by some radical feminists who seem to be TERFs. There is no justification and I must admit I am shocked they were apparently printed in the Guardian.

This is the first I have come across the term TERF.

http://theterfs.com/

It means trans exclusionary radical feminist. I'm happy to see it and to see it is becoming wildly used. It helped me understand the fury at Megan Murphy. If it is true that she used ugly and offensive words, even on a different platform, then I'm concerned. If someone used the word "nigger" disparagingly in any medium it would harm their employment prospects. At the very least it would disqualify them from writing anything at all about POCs on any platform. I'm not convinced that she has done that. Just saying that if she has it should at the very least be treated as a serious issue.

I have a problem with deplatforming people for their political views, and strongly object to any deplatforming of radical feminists or demonizing of radical feminists or radical feminism.

But, I don't want any kind of feminism abused as a cover to denigrate a severely marginalized group of people. While Jenner and Cox may be riding high the trans people in general are in severe danger of physical attack and/or being driven to suicide.

There is no excuse for the use of derogatory terms that I would expect to be banned for using here.

6079_Smith_W

Pondering wrote:

Yes they did fail but I don't think that was the issue this thread was about except that it is an example of it. In this particular case it failed but it is succeeding in some cases.

Sure, and as I said upthread, those attacks need to be considered, and called out. As you say, they exist on both sides of this divide.

What isn't necessary is for either side to undermine the others' position or existence in resisting those attacks.

Nor is it necessary to insist that one must be solidly on one side or the other (and to answer your question, yes I do see that there is a situation here where some people are on one side, and some on another). While I respect and see some important insight in both, I don't buy either as an absolute way of looking at things.

I should say I can appreciate that for gender-critical feminists this is a pretty hard and galling place to be, and that it must feel very unfair. I just don't see any way out of this by entrenching those divisions. I do think there should be some common ground in resisting those attacks, though.

 

Sineed

From Australia:

The disturbing backlash on speaking out against violence against women:

Quote:

As Margaret Atwood famously once said, men's greatest fear is that women will laugh at them while women's greatest fear is that men will kill them. Nowhere is this more starkly demonstrated than in feminist discussions of men's violence against women.

Last month, student and feminist activist Grace Mann was murdered after she stopped in at home in between attending two political events. Police allege she was bound and asphyxiated by a male housemate, possibly in retaliation for her part in helping to suspend the University of Mary Washington's rugby team, which had come to the attention of school administration for performing a 'violent rape chant' at a party. Mann was a member of campus group Feminists United, a women's group active in challenging misogyny in the school environment. Incredibly, a men's rights blogger has labelled Mann's murder the inevitable result of "feminist jokes about misandry".

...

Last year, Destroy the Joint's Counting Dead Women project revealed that women were being killed here at a rate of roughly one per week. The majority of these homicides were perpetrated by men, and the majority of those men were known to the victims in some form of intimate or familial capacity. By the end of 2014, 52 men had murdered their female partners, and approximately 30 more women were killed in other acts of violence.

...The reality is that simply being alive constitutes a 'dangerous situation' for women. But if we attempt to talk about that - if women attempt to wrestle back control of the narrative of violence and its impact on women's lives - we are accused of misandry and sexism. We're chastised for not including caveats that remind people that 'not all men' are involved in this extensive war on women. We're bullied for the 'sexism' of focusing solely on women, as if we should be prioritising the minute numbers of men who are victimised in hostile domestic situations although overwhelmingly not at risk of domestic homicide. In the most extreme of cases, as with Grace Mann, we can be physically punished and even killed.

...

I have an entire folder of emails sent to me by men talking about me being raped, killed or just 'taught a lesson', and the sending of these missives always spikes after I write about men's violence. Only a week ago, a man sent me a video of a woman being sexually violated and degraded on film, and told me that it was a video about me.

http://www.dailylife.com.au/news-and-views/dl-opinion/the-disturbing-bac...

 

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