Transgenderism: active framing

February 16, 2010

Just a quick note to explain why I’m refining my strategy in regards to transgenderism, and to offer it up for consideration to other radical feminists.  As always, your opinions, thoughts, and  suggestions are very welcome.  

Normally, we usually only speak in terms of the male-to-female transpersons, with the female-to-male added as barely an afterthought.  Many reasons for this, I’m sure.  Mine is primarily that including the ftm renders each sentence too wordy and also that the ftm are not aggressively pushing the trans agenda like their counterparts.   Many radical feminists believe, in addition, that some of the dynamics are not exactly the same (I agree with this assessment).

But from now on, I will refer mostly to the perspective of a normal woman whenever possible, in spite of the fact that my main purpose is still to deconstruct mtf.  What on earth could be advantageous to such a strategy?  It’s simple, I’m narrowing my target — or more specifically, refining my word choices to better address and effect change in, my real target.  I asked myself:  who is the only group actively fighting for the acceptance of transgenderism, and who is guilt-tripping the rest of their group into compliance?  The answer is:  3nd wave vanilla girls (and boys) who display a profound misunderstanding of basic feminism.  Consider the effect on her when she reads something like this:

Transgenderism is the idea that girls “must really be a boy” if they want to express traits which are traditionally and currently associated with masculinity.

The reification of sexist dogma becomes much more clear to her when females are the active subject.  It reminds her to focus on herself, and the root cause of sexism.  It reminds her of all the countless injustices which occur whenever the belief that “only boys can do X” pervades a culture.  It breaks transgenderism down to it’s core and emphasizes the harm accruing to her personally.  In addition to those benefits, it also works to disengage the trigger which activates her subconscious — and it is this unconscious reaction which prevents her from using her brain.  I’m talking about the subconscious tendancy, achieved through eons of male supremacy brainwashing, for women to automatically identify and express sympathy for male needs before they contemplate their own.  Deconstructing transgenderism as if  from the perspective of a normal woman puts women front and center. 

There’s also a potential bonus.  If you look for it, you can catch the transmorons saying something in reponse which sounds roughly like “oh that isn’t true, stop talking about yourself and don’t forget to give me tissues for my tears”.   Simply point out that whenever someone disagrees, then the onus rests upon them to offer up for your perusal precisely whatever it is that is that they do claim.  So in theory we finally get to hear whatever it is that they do believe transgenderism means, although I’m not holding my breath since they’ll probably opt for the same old misdirection ploy and change the subject.  

I’ve noticed that whenever I do reframe trans ideology to position normal women as the active subject, the reaction is always the same so be warned: it’s always psychotic frustrated rage which will immediately refocus attention on absolutely anything else in your comment.  The last thing they want anybody to do, is to discuss transgenderism as if from the perspective of a normal woman.  And yet, it is they who claim mtf are “normal women”, and it is they who claim that “normal women are on the same continuum of femminity as they themselves are”.  Well, if they are then let’s play their game by their rules, and ask them why a regular girl needs a penis in order to express traits associated with traditional and current standards of masculinity. 

Surely their response is not “Oh but of course no regular girl would ever desire to express traits associated with traditional or current standards of masculinity”?  I’m waiting for that one, lol.   The only other slightly-less-than-batshit-insane reply would be “Oh well, you know,  the average mtf feels even more feminine and girly than the average genetic girl, who can cope just fine with expressing boyish qualities without needing a penis”.   (I’ve already had one transmoron try this excuse on me.)  Do they really mean to suggest that the average mtf feels like a non-average female?  So they feel more womanly than a real woman, and at the same time they feel  identical to real women?   Cluestick:  It isn’t possible to be “more than” and “equal to” at the same time. 

Why haven’t the vanilla girls noticed yet that all of the justifications for transgenderism require magical thinking and delusion, in order to make sense?   That becomes especially apparent when we reframe the beliefs of the transgendered into the perspective of a normal woman.  I realize it’s not always possible to do that, but the more we do, the easier it becomes for the typical 3nd waver to recognize how the tenets of transgenderism, when applied to herself, directly negates her own humanity by propagating the same sexist drivel which she claims to oppose.  I’m also not saying this repositioning is easy to do, I only mention it because radical feminists tend to be very intelligent and perceptive, and will be able to develope variations that would never occur to me.  Let me know when you do!

45 Responses to “Transgenderism: active framing”

  1. Nat Says:

    Everything comes down to how it’s imagined – and how it’s imagined comes down to the way it’s framed in language. Of course you are right on with all of this.

  2. Imaginary Says:

    Hello. Brilliant post. I don’t have much more to say than that because you’re awesome, so I’ll keeping reading your site.

  3. berryblade Says:

    This entry = win

  4. rhondda Says:

    Because so many people have demonized Janice G Raymond, I decided to read her book, The Transsexual Empire. I was quite taken aback and did not find it transphobic at all. In fact, she is talking about ethics and how the mtf’s could have made an existential position, against the patriarchal feminine/masculine divide and chose not to do that and comply with the the medical establishment who are actually the agents of this gender dimorphism where they make lots of money and prestige at the trans expense. Really sad on one level. I must say those 2nd wave feminists knew what the were talking about. It is too bad that post modernism bullshit has taken over so much intellectual energy..

  5. m Andrea Says:

    Thanks! It is odd, this writing of blog posts. Clearly they are written for the edification and amusement of others, and yet, responding to comments as if somehow I articulated something which you didn’t already know on some level, is odd. It resonates precisely because you did already know. Which means I’m only repeating the bleedin’ obvious. lol And then I feel stoopid and don’t want to compound my error by writing more.

    Btw. Someone left a comment which only said something about women in dresses, but later I realized they were quoting Diane von Furstenberg who supposedly said “Want to be a woman? Wear a dress!” Really sorry I deleted your comment, it’s a good quote.

    Somebody else left a similar quote from Coco Chanel, who said “Look for the woman in the dress. If there is no woman, there is no dress.” I have no idea of the context, but that single statement implies something quite different from DVF’s quote and doesn’t even pass the logic test. It’s post modern bullshit. It says physical items of clothing can only exist when they are displayed on something.

  6. factcheckme Says:

    when you say “typical vanilla 2nd waver” to whom are you referring? i am interpreting this as “3rd wave” but not sure if you are. i love this post nonetheless.

    i left academic feminism 10 years ago, and as far as i am aware, this trans bullshit hadnt taken hold yet at that time. fast forward to now, where its absolutely taken over. now, instead of feminist analysis based on theory, we have basic anti-feminist MRA propaganda masquerading as feminism. and not only is noone challenging it, feminists are PRACTISING IT. MRA-double speak has drugged the guards, broken down the door, and taken center stage. and the fucking third wave CHILDREN are watching and grooving along like its a fucking concert, or a puppet show. instead of, you know, realizing and reacting to what it is: the complete and utter destruction of the feminist movement, happening right in front of their eyes, in real time.

    i love the feminazis. they (we) are the only ones who arent insane.

  7. m Andrea Says:

    Oops I got my waves mixed up, fixed now, thank you! And thanks for reading, that’s high praise from you.

    From now on I’m going to stop using the phrase “vanilla girl” since it’s not clear enough. And yeah, my next series is on deconstructing the funfeminist queer theory bullshit. Wheeee! Guess I’m not the only one who thinks they need a reframing. :) Have at it, radfems!

  8. Michelle Says:

    I would suggest that if you intend on ‘going after’ mtf transgenderism, that you define in clear terms precisely what you mean in your use of that term.

    Transgender is understood by many to be a very broad term, and I think it would be exceptionally difficult to deconstruct a concept that is not particularly homogeneous.

  9. Curious Says:

    Hi miss Andrea, I wanted to ask a couple questions and hope it won’t be offensive or anything. Also if you don’t feel like answering any that is completely fine, plus if you had any direct questions for me, please feel free. I am transgendered but don’t really take any real offense to any of your writing on trans folk because you bring up valid concerns and questions.

    My question is that if someone came up to you and asked ‘what is a woman’ or ‘what is a man’ how would you answer? Also if possible please answer in a way that does not base ones sex on gender stereotypes or with what parts you may or may not have been born with.

    Reading through what you’ve said it seems like, although I don’t want to assume anything, you believe that gender is simply an unfortunately male-dominated social construct, which I agree with, however I wanted your opinion on biological differences as well. Specifically do you feel that estrogen levels or testosterone levels in people are part of the reasons for their behavior?

    Also in regard to gender simply being a social construct, if say a transgendered woman wants to belong to a group of feminists, what is wrong with that if gender itself does not exist? By that logic wouldn’t it just be one person fighting for equal rights along side another person fighting for equal rights?

    Again I’m sorry if I appear ignorant on anything in particular but I like to hear all viewpoints and learn as much as I can.

    Thanks in advance as well if you choose to answer any of my questions.

  10. m Andrea Says:

    Michelle, hi, the incredibly loose definition was coined by transfolks themselves and I keep waiting for them to notice that such a broad definiton doesn’t have enough precision to mean anything at all. I am trans, according to the def, so how can I possibly be “transphobic”? :) lol

    Hi Curious, I think I’ve been so rooooood today surely I’ve given up any right for anyone to even attempt politeness in my direction, but still, thanks.

    My question is that if someone came up to you and asked ‘what is a woman’ or ‘what is a man’ how would you answer?

    People are mostly socialized from birth into their assigned gender role by the folks around them. Trans don’t squeeze out of the womb as a fully formed 4year old “knowing” they have the wrong body, they’re ignoring all the socialization which has already occurred and been directed at the body they had all along. Even from Day One baby boys and girls are treated differently, even when parents insist they made every effort to treat them the same. Studies indicate boys are allowed to cry longer before they are picked up, are held more roughly and one other thing I can’t remember at the mo. Here’s another one:

    http://www.newsweek.com/id/214834

    Specifically do you feel that estrogen levels or testosterone levels in people are part of the reasons for their behavior?

    Hormones are incredibly complex, there are about 213 of them I am told, and all have a multitude of feedback loops interacting with each other during various stages. An unbiased endocrinologist (NOT a trans endo, lol) is the only qualified person to speak on such a complicated question. I’m under the impression that leading reseach indicates it’s not hormones at all, but something even more obscure.

    if say a transgendered woman wants to belong to a group of feminists, what is wrong with that if gender itself does not exist? By that logic wouldn’t it just be one person fighting for equal rights along side another person fighting for equal rights?

    If gender doesn’t exist, then the trans really aren’t who they think they are and why would they want to join a club which isn’t relevant to them? They want to join precisely because they do believe gender exists.

    LOL You do realize that transfolks are basing their entire lives on a belief that gender exists, right? No actual proof other than “they feel it in their heart”. No wonder they want some bit of research paper which says their belief is real. But you know, even the most ardent of religious faithful tend to experience a change of heart, and then what?

    Gender roles in general as well as socially permitted expressions for those roles seem to be changing quite rapidly right now, more so than any other decade I’ve been alive. More men seem to notice and to care that debilitating sexist prejudices are cultivated and perpetuated by culturally accepted norms. The gender role which defines who people think they are right now won’t fit in twenty years, because those roles will have been replaced by yet another gender standard. Seems like SRS for at least some folks might be a permanent solution to a temporary problem…

    How *do* transfolk decide it’s right for them? What kind of reasoning process do they go through? Because as far as I can tell, (and I’m liable to be wrong of course) the entire process seems to hinge on different versions of only one question, asked ad naseaum: do I feel like what I think a girl or a boy is “supposed” to feel like? Do Transfolk ever ask themselves: Do I feel like expressing feminine or masculine qualities and what precisely (who what where when or why) prevents me from expressing those qualities right now, in the body I have?

    Anyway, I’m curious too. I know there’s a most excellent workbook by Bornstein but I didn’t see those questions in there. Thanks for stopping by, btw.

  11. m Andrea Says:

    Ah, some other questions, maybe I should write a book, :)

    Why do I think only specific bodies can do or are allowed to express certain qualities? Have the traditional standards for masculine or feminine roles ever changed in the past, and if so, what caused those standards to change? How would people react if I told them I didn’t like the expectations associated with my current gender, and what do I think would happen if I told them I wanted to expand the limitations which are currently assigned to the gendered body I occupy right now?

  12. factcheckme Says:

    My question is that if someone came up to you and asked ‘what is a woman’ or ‘what is a man’ how would you answer? Also if possible please answer in a way that does not base ones sex on gender stereotypes or with what parts you may or may not have been born with

    leave it to a fucking transwoman to frame the question this way. because for born-women, what “makes us women” has everything to do with what our genitals look like, at birth, which is exactly what born-men and transwomen conveniently ignore. we are funnelled into an oppressive female gender-role, based on the presentaion of our genitals AT BIRTH. based on the assumption that we are fertile, and will one day bear children, whether or not we ever actually do.

    and due to rape, unreliable birth control, a male-biased misogynist medical establishment, and mandatory PIV in het relationships, womens born-sex is never irrelevant, for a single second of our lives. at any time we can be victimized, based on the reproductive capabilities of our working female ORGANS. you know, FEMALE ORGANS, right? unlike the fake contructed fuckholes that transwomen long for, and think is the same thing as a vagina. its not.

    only a fucking transwoman would demand that born-women define “woman” without regard to our female organs, when the truth is that its precisely our female organs that are the source of our suffering. they want to believe so desperately that they SHARE our suffering, so that they will be automatically included in a pro-feminist discourse, but they dont really get what the discourse is about. like all born-men, they dont understand AT ALL whats so bad about being born-female. wake the fuck up, already. this is so boring.

  13. Curious Says:

    Wow thanks for the quick response on your opinions on the matter. I’ll focus on MtF trans woman because I have more experience in that department, and like you said trying to include FtM would make things too wordy. For the record though, I’d prefer to just call trans women, women, and trans men, men, but definitely for convenience sake I’ll stick to keeping trans on there.

    Taking away anatomy and gender stereotypes, when deciding what makes a man or a woman, and there is absolutely no difference, all you have is a gender ambiguous human being.

    I agree that gender is not something you are born with, so in that respect I agree that every trans person who says ‘I’ve known forever that I was this gender’ is lying, or at the very least confused as to when they started feeling that way.

    The way I see it gender is a lot like time, in that we have constructed our own ideas of how time actually passes in the same way that we have constructed gender roles and stereotypes. These roles and stereotypes do not exist in a physical sense but unfortunately exist socially.

    So for transfolk who decides transition is right for them, it is almost totally dependent on what they feel makes a woman or a man. So in a way I guess I am almost completely validating your concerns since someone’s ideas of gender roles stems from society, and society is male-dominated.

    Likely however most people are exposed to the hyper-feminine super stereotypical and overly exaggerated trans woman who is often seen in media. While this is unfortunate since you are all fighting to get rid of gender stereotypes and now someone comes along and tries to reinforce them all, I guess I’m hoping to explain why people do that and that there are other trans woman out there that don’t fit this stereotype.

    Trans women who act very stereotypically female usually do so because that is the only way society will see them as a woman, which unfortunately is important in our society. To some trans people this is also often the safest option, because when being seen as some kind of crossdressing guy or being labeled as some kind of third gender the person either becomes immoral by society’s logic or is dehumanized in a way that makes discrimination, abuse, or killing someone because of how they are expressing themselves okay. When not being seen by one of the two society defined gender roles people get confused because they can’t categorize someone, and unfortunately people usually hate what they can’t understand.

    Although the stereotypical trans woman acts like the stereotypical cis woman I also wanted to point out that there are a ton of us that don’t necessarily fit typical female stereotypes but still feel like women. For example I know plenty of trans women who still wear masculine clothes or identify as butch women, which I guess for most would lead to the question of, why would you even transition if you’re still going to act like a guy? Which really is a terrible question since it implies that what makes a woman a woman, or what makes a man a man depend solely on how you act by society’s standards.

    When asked ‘do I feel like expressing feminine or masculine qualities, and what prevents me from expressing those qualities in the body I have?’ I honestly don’t care what qualities I represent, I’m me. A lot of trans women in the media say that they knew they were trans because they played with dolls as a kid and only hung out with girls. I see myself as a woman, but I don’t think I’ve ever played with a Barbie, I liked video games and other stereotypically masculine activities as well as stereotypically feminine activities. So I guess the main reason most people decide to change their bodies is because they feel more comfortable doing so but also because society dictates that we have to. Getting an F on our driver’s license or birth certificate requires SRS in almost every state, and unfortunately because of a difference in a letter getting a job becomes extremely hard and we are much more open to physical or mental attacks by other people who try to tell us what we aren’t.

    I do feel like a lot of trans women or men probably wouldn’t even care about SRS if it wasn’t needed to be recognized as a woman or man in their state. Honestly I’d much rather not have sex recorded at birth and not have any sex on my driver’s license because again it leads into thinking that parts make someone a woman or a man. I also agree that some transfolk feel that SRS will solve all their problems and that they’ll finally be happy if they have it, but if you have a ton of emotional problems that have nothing to do with your body image, changing a physical part of yourself is not going to make you happy. On the other hand some women and men are much happier after SRS so more power to them, I know that I am a lot happier after starting hormones for instance.

    Anyways, so yes, I am basing my idea of what it’s like to be a woman based on my views of what make a woman but at the same time I don’t feel that stereotypes or body parts make someone a woman either. Since I am living as a woman I am also experiencing life as a woman just like any cis woman would. So while I had been socialized as a male I’m also being socialized as a female now.

    Unfortunately I don’t really feel like I gave you a direct answer as to why we feel like women, but at the same time I hope that knowing that we all don’t follow society’s stereotypes on gender does help a little.
    If I failed to answer anything let me know and I’ll try to rephrase it. Also if you have any other questions please feel free. I hope this helped try to understand what we are thinking though.

    If possible could you also explain more why trans women shouldn’t join a group they don’t belong to if gender doesn’t exist? I still don’t really understand the reasoning why one person wouldn’t want to help another person regardless of gender. I just take that the same as someone saying race doesn’t exist, we are all people, but you can’t join our all black club because you’re not black (sorry if I misunderstood what you were saying though, I really don’t want to offend anyone).

    Again though, thanks for answering how you felt earlier – just noticed you have a new question, about to head out though so I’ll answer that later.

    @factcheckme – sorry if anything appeared like a demand, these are just questions I had whether any chose to answer or not.

  14. Curious Says:

    Why do I think only specific bodies can do or are allowed to express certain qualities?

    I think anyone should be able to express themselves however they want, society just makes it harder for some people because it doesn’t fit into the ‘norms’ for how people should act.

    Have the traditional standards for masculine or feminine roles ever changed in the past, and if so, what caused those standards to change?

    Yes traditional standards for masculine and feminine roles have changed in the past, this is mostly do to people fighting for their rights to be and express who they are until society realizes that it’s current way of thinking is flawed.

    How would people react if I told them I didn’t like the expectations associated with my current gender, and what do I think would happen if I told them I wanted to expand the limitations which are currently assigned to the gendered body I occupy right now?

    I don’t think any reasonable person likes expectations for their gender or any form of limitation. I’d be proud to help anyone fight for their rights to express themselves however they want as long as it was not actively physically hurting someone else. Some people are bound to be hurt mentally by change. For example some people use religion as a reason why women are inferior or lgbt rights shouldn’t exist because saying otherwise would invalidate their religion and so they are the ones being discriminated against (such bullshit but that argument is out there).

  15. factcheckme Says:

    and that, ladies and gentlemen (and men in dresses) is what we call a mansplanation. FFS, “curious”. perhaps you should learn to stop talking so much, and learn to listen, for a change? a lesson all born-men are in desperate need of.

  16. m Andrea Says:

    Oh Curious, I wasn’t actually asking that you answer all those, but thanks for your perspective — yours seems pretty similar to mine in many ways and how nice to find that out! I was only contemplating Bornstein’s workbook (sorry I wasn’t clear) and how it does indeed make readers feel very loved and yet unfortunately asks too many leading questions in order to obtain the author’s desired outcome. Too much cult indocrination for me and so I was wondering what sincere questioning of gender would sound like, if having the reader simply better understand their own selves (in relation to societal expectations) was the goal. Good thing I didn’t post the twelve paragraphs of more questions I wrote immediately after the first batch! :)

    Anyways, so yes, I am basing my idea of what it’s like to be a woman based on my views of what make a woman but at the same time I don’t feel that stereotypes or body parts make someone a woman either.

    Well, FCM did mention a very good point — females, as individuals within a class of other females, are oppressed to a great extent based upon the ability to reproduce, whether or not any particular individual female has the capability. So, can’t really ignore such an obvious point in one’s understanding of gender. But how I personally define gender is related to the specific type of socialization which only occurs at a very young age — it’s like imprinting a set of images on the lizard brain or subconsicous which I believe the psychologists consider extremely difficult if not impossible to significantly alter later in life. I think the linguists also consider the age bracket 0-3yo to hold special significance in terms of brain/language developement. So the type of socialization which is internalized for that age group is fundamentally distinct from that which occurs later.

    Anyway, how do the transfolk know that they are being treated the same as a bornmale or bornfemale? Which I’m sure sounds rude but it’s one that also needs to be asked, as oftentimes I’ve noticed transfolk who clearly do not pass say “oh golly I went to such and such place and they totally read me as my target gender”. But most of the time in my experience, the other people were very much aware of the trans status and simply were too polite or confused or intimidated to say anything. We are all trained by now to expect a flood of tears… lol And really, does it matter if somebody doesn’t fit society’s pre-conceived and wacked out steretypes anyway? If the trans folk can spend so much time and energy convincing everyone it’s possible to be born in the wrong body, then why not spend that same amount of time and energy convincing society that it’s okay for boys to like pink sparkles (or whatever he likes which society claims is inappropriate).

    If possible could you also explain more why trans women shouldn’t join a group they don’t belong to if gender doesn’t exist?

    It’s like you said. A white person can admire Black folks and believe he is Black all he wants, but he still isn’t going to be perceived as Black no matter how much he tries. Sometimes groups with special needs just want to be by themselves and I certainly wouldn’t want to bust in with my white privilege hanging out if they didn’t want me there. Maleborns get male privilege, femaleborns don’t because there is no privilege in being considered the sextoy/servant class.

    What some bornfemales do have is gender conformity privilege, which is why the whole cis designation recognizes only the existence of male hegemony and fails to recognizes the existence of sexism as experienced by females. Really, now that I think about it, if I were trans (and I am lol) I’d be insulted too. Cis says loud and clear that trans folks (and funfeminists) don’t understand sexism. Hmmm, would a good analogy be: it’s like telling Black people that they have blackprivilege. Or UncleTomprivilege. Conforming to a racist sterotype in order to avoid punishment for stepping out of “my place” is not a privilege — and it’s a huge fucking insult to be told that crap is a “privilege” as if second class status is an improvement. What is it supposed to be an improvement from — slavery??? Blacks are supposed to be thrilled to pieces they’re not still slaves even though they’re clearly not considered worthy of full humanity??? Why not call it what it is — gender conformity privilege?

    !ok gotta go.

  17. m Andrea Says:

    !back But I still have to go…

    The thing about cis is that, when applied to that part of a group which clearly possesses only second-class status, the term automatically implies that being second class is a privilege. Which is an insult, because why on earth is being second class a good thing? We’d like to get OUT of second class status, remember? :) It’s like waving a red flag in front of a bull, and I don’t believe the transfolk et al realize that by using the term, they are setting themselves up to receive a much more negative response to anything else they would like to say.

    It’s like saying to a Black man, “Hey there buddy! Enjoying your craptastic second-class status? Gosh, your second-class status looks so goooooood on you! It’s like you were always meant to be second-class and we love you for accepting that designation with such good grace”. And then White dood flashes his shiny first-class status, leaving the Black person just standing there steaming with frustration. Doesn’t matter what is said next, Black man is going to be mad, mad, mad. Very mad, even.

    It’s such a red flag and it’s guaranteed to be such a red flag every single time it’s used, that my humble suggestion would be to drop it. :) Even if you don’t understand a word I’ve said except the mad, mad, mad, very mad part.

  18. Curious Says:

    “Good thing I didn’t post the twelve paragraphs of more questions I wrote immediately after the first batch!”

    Honestly if you have questions you’d like me to try to answer I’d love to help. I’ve noticed in other posts that your main problem with transsexual women is that they don’t seem to answer any questions or validate their argument in a way that makes sense to you. So if possible I’d try if you think that would help?

    “females, as individuals within a class of other females, are oppressed to a great extent based upon the ability to reproduce, whether or not any particular individual female has the capability”

    I agree with this but wanted to point out that provided I do ‘pass’ as a female to men, I’d be subject to the same oppression even though obviously I’ll never be able to reproduce. So in a sense I guess a lot of it really does depend on how society sees me. Personally I don’t think I pass very well, although I think this is typical for transsexual women because we are generally prone to having terrible body images. Other people tell me I definitely pass, but again that might just be people being nice.

    “Does it matter if somebody doesn’t fit society’s pre-conceived and wacked out stereotypes anyway?”

    It shouldn’t and I wish it didn’t. But people are discriminated against, attacked, raped or killed because of how they express themselves. Fitting into society’s pre-conceived and wacked out stereotypes allows a transsexual women to blend in a bit more when they feel if they didn’t they would just stand out as ‘a man in a dress’ (which is not always the case and not always needed as some transsexual women ‘pass’ very well, but again as I said earlier, self esteem and body image problems can lead people to believe that they aren’t living up to societies ridiculous standards). This does not mean I promote living out these stereotypes but I see why some people choose to.

    “What some bornfemales do have is gender conformity privilege, which is why the whole cis designation recognizes only the existence of male hegemony and fails to recognizes the existence of sexism as experienced by females.”

    I say cis women only because I use it to differentiate between genetic women/bornfemales/biological women/etc. and trans women. If it’s offensive I’ll stop, but I just typically don’t like saying bornfemale or biological female because there are so many grey areas in that aspect. Like if a woman is bornfemale and doesn’t have a fully functional uterus or ambiguous genitalia, is she less of a woman? I bring that up only because I was born with XX chromosomes, and no Y chromosome, but had fully functional male genitalia at birth.

    “t’s a huge fucking insult to be told that crap is a “privilege” as if second class status is an improvement”

    Is this one of the main reasons why you don’t understand transsexual women in particular? I’m going to try to think like someone who had only just encountered a transsexual women, and had very strong views that males have privilege while women do not. Logically I’d assume that a ‘man’ of privilege purposely assuming a gender role that lacks any privilege makes little sense, unless they are doing so by some sort of fetish-like desire or they are trying to compensate for their gender by a form of self-masochism in their born gender role.

    For convenience sake a fetish is:
    any object, idea, etc., eliciting unquestioning reverence, respect, or devotion: to make a fetish of high grades.

    or

    Psychology. any object or nongenital part of the body that causes a habitual erotic response or fixation.

    Personally I neither hold women or men to a high reverence or respect. Both are earned on a case to case basis regardless of sex. Also because I think of people as people I don’t really hate any class of people, so I don’t hate men because I look at them individually, in which case I don’t think I’d have any reason to try to compensate for the male gender in general being bigots.

    Transvestic fetishism is having a sexual or erotic interest in cross-dressing.

    I don’t get any kind of sexual thrill by wearing women’s clothes or men’s clothes, I dress in what I feel comfortable wearing. I definitely don’t think of myself as attractive and have a fairly poor body image, so again, I don’t feel some sort of sexual thrill by looking at myself. So really I don’t think this is a fetish for me at all.

    So my two logical examples as to why a ‘man’ of privilege have fallen through, in my opinion, at least personally with me. So then I guess the question would be: Why assume a female identity when you know there is really no benefit to doing so by societal standards?

    Honestly it always comes down to this question and again I’m not sure how I sure answer. My only theorized explanation is that there is some sort of biological reason why I feel the way I do, which without any proof I can’t really use as a valid explanation. I know that I feel much more comfortable now, and am happier, which again, doesn’t quite make sense provided what it entails by society to be a woman.

    I really do hope that I’m being helpful in some way though. I realize that there is a lot of confusion about transsexual individuals but I want to try to explain things when I can in hopes that we all do understand each other.

    @factcheckme – sorry for talking so much, I was under the impression that miss Andrea had asked me to answer some questions, and again I just have again without really being sure if I was actually asked to answer some questions or not, but I hope it helps.

    I really do want to listen to all different perspectives, and honestly people had told me that radical feminists were pretty opposed to transsexuals. Instead of just assuming this was the case and instantly hating people based on what I was told I wanted to understand the reasons for your disapproval of transsexual people. From what I’ve read so far Andrea is for the most part presenting valid concerns but is still open to a change in perspective. I don’t want to force anyone to accept me but that doesn’t mean I don’t want people to.

  19. Nicky Says:

    I have a question. What is feminist take on intersex people and those born with and intersex medical condition and those with ambiguous genitals.

  20. m Andrea Says:

    Wow, you are seriously nice, Curious, thank you. I also forgot to mention that I am very much aware how difficult it must be for a transperson to have a conversation with someone who disagrees with their basic philosophy. Kudos to you, that says quite a bit about your strenth of character.

    About the questions. It’s not that transfolks aren’t responding to MY questions, it’s that most don’t seem to contemplate any criticisms at all, ever. When a reasonable person questions the existence of god, they would read the criticisms of atheists as well as arguments by the believers; a reasonable person wouldn’t restrict themselves to only one viewpoint as most transfolks seem to do, and they wouldn’t immediately dismiss the atheist arguments as “phobic” without first refuting the actual arguments. It’s like that workbook of Bornstein’s, every question is designed to lead the reader down the garden path to only one conclusion. And I’m wondering why more transgendered folks don’t at least attempt to read a similar type resource written from a compassionate radical feminist — if such a resource actually existed, of course.

    You obviously do consider the criticisms, and amazingly enough it appears that you and I have many points where we do agree. What I personally have trouble with, is something that is difficult to articulate, but it concerns justice, or “doing the right thing”. Otoh, folks should be allowed to do whatever they want, if it makes them happy and they’re not hurting anybody. A man in a dress going about his business doesn’t hurt me, at all. A transperson who isn’t even trying to pass and is still going about his/her business, might even help me. I can see that possiblity because the message being sent (and hopefully accepted) is that it really doesn’t matter what gender someone is or what gender they were assigned at birth — that they can express any quality at all while also expressing any gender at all, in any combination. In that case, gender doesn’t matter and genderized expectations aren’t being assigned to any particular biological sex. It’s a win-win and naturally I love the “third gender” that many are now choosing. I can and do support that. What does hurt me a great deal is when MOST people keep insisting that specific qualities must be paired with a specific biological sex, which is what happens when the focus is on passing and also when the insistence is “but I really am a man/woman”.

    Another win-win with the third gender is that the focus becomes not on who is a man or who is a woman, but who is displaying a predator mentality and who is displaying a prey mentality. Both gender and biological sex cease to be the defining criteria, but instead the defining criteria becomes internal character. Funfeminists have claimed all along that was their goal, but yet that is not nor can it be the logical result when most trans are insisting “but I really am a man/woman”.

    “t’s a huge fucking insult to be told that crap is a “privilege” as if second class status is an improvement”

    Is this one of the main reasons why you don’t understand transsexual women in particular? I’m going to try to think like someone who had only just encountered a transsexual women, and had very strong views that males have privilege while women do not. Logically I’d assume that a ‘man’ of privilege purposely assuming a gender role that lacks any privilege makes little sense, unless they are doing so by some sort of fetish-like desire or they are trying to compensate for their gender by a form of self-masochism in their born gender role.

    Hmmm. Before I can answer what I *assume* you are asking, as opposed to what you seem to be actually asking, perhaps we should make sure we’re both talking about the same thing?

    Do you think that sexism exists? I do!
    Do you think that men and boys have more privilege while women and girls have less? I do!

    What you seem to be implying, and correct me if I’m wrong, is that *someone* is supposed to be assuming that a born male is taking on the feminine role with all of it’s genderized expectations, solely because he desires to be second class? I’m confused — who assumes that? That is such a non-logical assumption, I feel confident that no radical feminists would think that the reason a maleborn transitions is because he wants to be second class. Sorry for being wordy, but I wanted to be clear.

    Becoming second class is a consequence of, not the reason for, transitioning. The reason seems to me is that he thinks he’s a she. Or more accurately, that he’s not satisfied with the restrictions on his assigned gender role. I don’t have a problem with that, it’s great that some men are sick of their imposed limitations. My ONLY problem is when transfolk say, “I feel like expressing this quality XYZ, and BECAUSE this quality XYZ is only associated with females then I must be female”. That sentiment is an enormous problem for me precisely because it reinforces harmful gender sterotypes.

    All that may seem like a trivial distinction for me and other radical feminists to kick such a fuss over, but we do indeed have a good reason for being so particular: Any theory is never just put on a shelf to collect dust; theories are tools meant to be used in a variety of applications. When a theory contains a small flaw, that flaw will be magnified a thousand times through it’s cummulative use. When the flaw creates or perpetuates harm, that harm will be magnified a thousand times. What was once a small harm is now a very large one and the people who used the tool are now wandering around trying to figure out how to fix the harm. They usually create another theory to fix the harm created by the first one, but because they don’t care about small flaws, this one also causes harm. It’s much better to use a perfect tool the first time — or to at least discern what applications this tool is limited to.

    Anyway. Females, women and girls have less privilege. They have this absence of privilege precisely because they are (or are assumed to be) females, women, and girls. They exist in a state of second-class. “Cis” is supposed to mean “privilege”. So ciswoman means “the priviledge of being second class”, which is an insult, the very thing feminists claim to abhor. Cisman is still accurate, but a more accurate term for genetic females would be much better received. Some trans call them gwomen while the gg for “genetic girls” is infantilizing.

    Okay that was a novel, apologies. Thanks for asking me to claify some things and thanks also for sharing your thoughts. This is very helpful.

  21. m Andrea Says:

    Hi Nicky and welcome!

    I have a question. What is feminist take on intersex people and those born with and intersex medical condition and those with ambiguous genitals.

    I believe that the usual feminist response is to just accept intersexed folks as the gender they were assigned at birth and socialized as. Could be some feminists don’t have that opinion, but I personally consider intersexed to be in a very special class…

    and if I told you what that class was, you’d probably also want to know that when I personally analyze gender, I don’t look at trees. I look at the forest. In my forest, transgenderism barely qualifies as an outlier. The only reason I care that some guy wants to call himself a woman is that it reifies harmful gender roles for the largest group on the planet. Do intersexed reify harmful gender roles? Nope! Well then, let me know if the trans are bothering you… :)

    • Nicky Says:

      I know a lot of Trans people that are bothering intersex people including me. Some come from OII Australia and even Zoe Brain. Their are trans within OII Australia who claim to be intersex and claim to think that Trans people are intersex. Their is this one trans person by the name Gina Wilson who thinks that trans people are intersex and is spreading misinformation about intersex people.

      Even Zoe Brain is one of those transsexuals who thinks he’s a woman and thinks he’s an Intersex person. I have seen Zoe claim to be a woman and claim to be an Intersex person. I have even seen Zoe claim womanhood as well.

      See with Intersex people, intersex people do not want anything to do with trans because we have enough on our plate dealing with the doctors and surgeons. Their are trans who think they claim to be intersex and claim to have an intersex brain.

  22. Curious Says:

    *What you seem to be implying, and correct me if I’m wrong, is that *someone* is supposed to be assuming that a born male is taking on the feminine role with all of it’s genderized expectations, solely because he desires to be second class? *

    Sorry, I’ll clarify. I was only meaning to imply that it typically doesn’t make much sense for a man to willingly take on the role of a second class citizen. Was not implying at all that that might be a reason for transition or people assume that might be the case. So sorry if I didn’t make much sense there.

    Anyways miss Andrea, thanks a ton for responding to everything and having, what I hope was, a beneficial conversation for both of us. :)

    I’m also hoping that other transwomen or transmen might look at this conversation and better understand what you are getting at when you direct criticism ,at them so that they don’t start trolling your posts and telling you you’re wrong without even understanding what you’re getting at (as I’ve seen some transwomen do in previous posts I had read).

    Thanks again though~

  23. m Andrea Says:

    Hmmm, my previous comment to Nicky was kind of fucked up, I think. Not to mention dismissive. If you’re reading Nicky — apologies! Some intersexed folks have pretty terrible health and social issues they have to deal with, and while I do naturally have sympathy, being born with ambiguous genitalia seems to set them outside the realm of the largest classifications which is where I personally prefer to focus.

    I’ve been aware for some time that they are opposed to all surgery on kids, and I personally agree with that philosophy. And I guess they don’t always like the gender they were assigned at birth? But I would suspect that most born with ambiguious genitalia are assigned as female, and since to be female is to be second-class barbie homemaker, I can see how many of them would prefer to be perceived as male. So it’s really the same problem with sexism that all females face, and it’s the same erroneous conflation of gender-with-sex that most trans face. But for most people, the ambiguious genitalia only hides the primary issues and I’d rather deconstruct those primary issues which apply to all.

    Curious, you are very sweet. Thank you.

  24. polly Says:

    Oh for heavens sake:

    Taking away anatomy and gender stereotypes, when deciding what makes a man or a woman, and there is absolutely no difference, all you have is a gender ambiguous human being

    So why is being a ‘woman’ so important then? Oh hang on…

    Trans women who act very stereotypically female usually do so because that is the only way society will see them as a woman, which unfortunately is important in our society. To some trans people this is also often the safest option, because when being seen as some kind of crossdressing guy or being labeled as some kind of third gender the person either becomes immoral by society’s logic or is dehumanized in a way that makes discrimination, abuse, or killing someone because of how they are expressing themselves okay.

    Ever heard of Quentin Crisp? He seemed to manage ok with the old cross dressing, in fact he became something of a celebrity. He has plenty of modern day equivalents.

    Trans women are not simply ‘crossdressing guys’ who are afraid of being beaten up, pull the other one curious. They WANT to be perceived as female. Nowt wrong with that in itself, whatever floats your boat.

    Most trans women “pass” badly and can expect to be constantly outed, and wearing pretty frocks and ultra feminine drag makes it worse, because they emphasise maleness. I have utterly no objection to someone male wanting to be perceived as female BTW, just them telling me that it’s because of some weird spiritual essence called ‘gender’, which in defiance of the laws of science means their male body IS female.

    Saying that being ‘seen’ as a woman is important in our society is like saying that being seen as black is important in our society i.e. it’s bollocks. Generally you’re better off being seen as a man. Even a cross dressing one.

  25. polly Says:

    I see the second point has already been made.

  26. polly Says:

    My question is that if someone came up to you and asked ‘what is a woman’ or ‘what is a man’ how would you answer? Also if possible please answer in a way that does not base ones sex on gender stereotypes or with what parts you may or may not have been born with

    Humpty Dumpty replies:

    A word means whatever I want it to mean. So insisting one is a ‘woman’ or a ‘man’ is an ultimately futile endeavour if everyone means something different when they use the words.

    Biological sex however is real. Ask anyone who’s ever had a baby. Or been a baby. That would be all of us then. The stork didn’t bring us.

  27. m Andrea Says:

    “POLLY!” she squeals, “where have you been?!”

  28. polly Says:

    Fighting the patriarchy, natch. Which involves staying sane, and kind of avoiding just repeating the same thing over and over and over and over again on the internetz……

    And lots of cardio. To be a lean mean fighting machine.

  29. polly Says:

    But to clarify curious, you’re confusing gender and sex. Most people do, it’s not just you.

    Sex is a physical reality, as factcheckme points out. And when roughly one half of the human race has babies and the other half doesn’t, biology IS destiny actually. If you’re in the (very small) bit of the female population able to have control over your own reproductive capacities, bully for you, you’re privileged, to an extent. But being female matters very much if you don’t -and even if you do, a lot of popular contraceptives aren’t exactly a walk in the park. And even if you are in the affluent first world, you’re likely to find your financial prospects hugely affected if you have a baby. Particularly if you get sacked for being pregnant. Which is very common.

    Now the magic bit is however, even if you NEVER get pregnant, you still get stuck in the ghetto reserved for the babymakers if you appear female on the outside. Which answers Nicky’s question about intersex, it’s how you’re categorised that’s the issue as well. So you’re in a clever double bind. Even if you don’t have a baby,even if you’re an infertile/post menopausal lesbian separatist, you don’t get to escape the lot of the female person, in fact you’ll be castigated for your lack of babymaking/dried up old hagness like as not. And your boss still won’t pay you as much.

    And that, my friend, is gender.

  30. polly Says:

    We’ve repeated this what – about a zillion times by now?

    Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

  31. m Andrea Says:

    Yes, but. lol It was a thread over at Miska’s that made me realize how ignorant some of these transfem funfem folks are. Yes, they’re trying to find excuses and at the same time, yes they really do have genuine trouble connecting the dots between complex thoughts. Yes, they really do need this shit explained in Sesame Street parlance, and yes, insults go right over their heads because… see above.

    We’re dealing with people who honestly believe that a logical argument can be legitimately refuted with “oh but that hurts my feelings”. I finally realized it’s not just an act. And this is how I deal with retards… I pretend they are my sister, who really is mentally disabled, and pat her on the head every time she poops in the toilet without getting any shit on her pants. Getting mad at her is pointless…

  32. polly Says:

    You can explain it using ladybird books though (they’re a type of book aimed at very young children), they still won’t get it, because they DON’T WANT TO.

    Typical statement ‘but transwomen ARE women’.

    Me ‘what do you mean when you say that, deconstruct it, what to you mean by *women*’.

    Funfem ‘but transwomen ARE women’.

    No point, it’s not a belief that’s amenable to logic. It’s like when I asked a Mormon who was trying to convert me if he’d read ‘The God delusion’, and he said ‘Yes but I KNOW god exists’.

    Me and Richard Dawkins might as well give up. Richard’s still going, I’ve taken up cardio, since it’s a repetitive exercise that might actually make me less stressed.

  33. polly Says:

    Basically the position of the fun fem is “I believe in gender because some other people do, and it’s mean not to join in their delusion, cos they’ll cry because lots of people are mean to them already”. Simple as that.

    Which is as logical as me saying I should become a Muslim, because of Guantanamo bay and the Iraq/Afghan wars.

  34. m Andrea Says:

    You are extremely helpful Polly, thank you. I was thinking last night about some of the questions asked of pro-abortion folks, such as “if abortion is so wrong then do you think it’s appropriate to imprison women who have abortions?” It’s the type of question designed to cripple their knee-jerk lizzard brain response. Sadly, I think that question backfired, as they then said “oh! Of course we should imprison nasty whores!”

    I was trying to think of a similar type question to ask of the funfems, but one that wouldn’t backfire… As you mentioned, and Jennifer over at UnsaneSavage reminded me, the funfems are not using logic, at all. They do not see logical arguments as valid criticisms which must be refuted with logic, they perceive everything in terms of how it makes them feel.

    I can’t sic the MRA’s on the funfems regarding the question of transgenderism, and get the funfems into a position where they have to defend themselves, since the MRA’s and religious fundamentals also believe that a man who wants to express icky feminine qualities must “really be a faggoty girl”.

    The only thing the MRAs and fundies do, is conflate gayness with transgenderism. One researcher, Rekers, wrote a paper describing how the question of transgenderism should reopen the debate regarding homosexuality as a mental illness. I think we’re witnessing the limits of the average human brain — even trained scientists can’t conceptualized the existence of two over-lapping continuums.

    Good on you for the cardio!

  35. polly Says:

    Well the trans activists do that as well of course (though they say they don’t)- conflating homosexuality with being ‘trans’ I mean, not cardio. I mean take this flipping prime example….

    http://www.bilerico.com/2009/12/what_is_trans.php

    Of course it’s like the MRA’s. They don’t start off with ‘if you’re lesbian you’re trans’, because they know that would throw people’s hackles up. They start with something nice and innocuous sounding, just as an MRA may start taking about male child abuse, say, and work up to it. And by the time they get there most of the *allies* are so darn confused and/or scared of being called *transphobic* that the average trans activist could advocate compulsory sex changes for lesbians and they’d all cheer. But that would never happen – would it?

  36. polly Says:

    I mean I’ve asked ALL the difficult questions – like what gives a straight woman the right to dictate what goes on in lesbian space – and all I get back is.

    *But transwomen ARE women*

    A noble effort, but ultimately doomed I fear apart from among the already sceptical.

  37. lishra Says:

    m Andrea: Obviously I’m super late to this, but I just wanted to say that I really got a lot out of the exchange between you and Curious, so thanks for that. I’ll now return to reading even more old posts :)

  38. CrystalShadow Says:

    That’s an interesting way of framing the question. And I think I understand what it implies for trans-orthodoxy. (That’s a phrase I made up, but I find it peculiarly appropriate somehow.)

    It’s actually the source of a lot of internal conflicts I’ve had when I discovered about transsexualism, and that it in any way applied to me…

    The literature all seemed to imply that your behaviour had some bearing on if you ‘qualified’ to be a transsexual woman or not.

    Questions like: “Did you play with dolls?”, “Would you rather be a nurse or an engineer.”

    I read all this stuff, and looked at myself and thought, “None of that makes any kind of sense.”

    I felt obliged to jump through hoops because I didn’t fit the ‘pattern’ laid before me.

    By gender stereotypes, I have next to no ‘feminine’ interests at all. I am, after all, more or less a hardcore nerd, whose primary interests are science fiction, computers, computer games, science, engineering, trains…

    In short, a huge list of things that are not in the slightest associated with anything that could be called ‘feminine’.

    Which probably explains why I find that aspect of the most common transsexual stories such a difficult thing to swallow.

    By orthodox trannsexual accounts, I can’t be a woman.

    The answer to this, of course, is the same one that has always been true.

    My hobbies and interests have NOTHING to do with whether I’m male or female.

    And more recently I’ve also realised even the question of defining my own identity that the trans-orthodoxy implies isn’t what I was truly concerned with.

    I spent a lot of time repressing myself, or just hiding from the world. But that aside, what’s really going on in my head?

    The answer is NOT ‘I feel like a woman’ or ‘I want to be more feminine’ or ‘I want to do stereotypically feminine activities’.

    At heart, it is a feeling of wrongness. A disconnect from my own body.
    The unshakeable, but impossible to explain in any rational way, sensation that my body is physically expressing traits that it shouldn’t.

    That’s it. That’s all. Nothing else there. Any other problem I have could be solved just by doing it.
    The clothes I wear, the activities I take part in… NONE of that is, or needs to be constrained by what my identity is.
    Being male or female has no bearing on any of it.

    How my body feels to me also has no bearing to society at large, except that what my body looks like to others forms part of the social construct defining what others consider me to be.
    If I change my body therefore, it would imply a change in the social constructs involved insofar as they have anything to do with a person’s body.

    If changing my body has no social implications at all, then the implication would also be that neither does anyone else’s.

    How can we talk about men and women at all, if the physical nature of the body as a whole has no bearing.
    And, what I see quite often, is arguments that boil down to physical essentialism being used to attack transsexuals.
    (Ironic considering it’s also used in different ways to by transsexuals to support their own dubious claims instead.)

    Socially, gender is clearly based on external categorisation to an extent.
    I know this both because of the talk about ‘passing’ or ‘not passing’, and my own parallel experience of times when people get so confused they ask you to clarify what you are.
    This is a contradiction though, because if my own opinion of what I am has any weight, how can it also be over-ruled by anyone that feels like doing so?
    Does self-assessment of gender count, or not?

    But, gender is a social construct.
    Sex is not. Here however, we find reductionism at work.
    “You’re male if you have Y” chromosome.
    “You’re not a woman unless you can get pregnant”
    “That’s a mutilated penis, NOT a vagina.”

    In what sense of logic do these things work? They are very bizarre statements.

    The last one is perhaps worth taking particular care with, since it’s the most common one I’ve seen feminists use.

    I had an argument about it with someone once because of the logical implications it held.

    The ‘vagina’ part, OK, yes. You could argue it’s not a vagina.
    But the real logical mess is the ‘mutilated penis’ bit. In no other context have I seen people genuinely hold to the logic that an object of any kind is defined EXCLUSIVELY by it’s construction materials.

    Does anyone call a car a ‘mutilated lump of metal’?
    A house a ‘pile of bricks’?

    For that matter, is a butterfly, a ‘mutilated’ caterpillar? The emphasis on ‘building material’ trumps ‘end result’, which most of the time is combined with arbitrary immutability. (A man is a man, a woman is a woman, and this can never be changed. – In which case, how can an adult exist? If a child cannot change, everyone is clearly still a child.)
    This is so fundamentally at odds with a physical reality where evidence generally suggests things can be rearranged, re-ordered, and changed about through some process sufficiently to turn anything into just about anything else, Yet claiming sex is immutable is to say that some arbitrary label applied at birth is forever the one and only truth in defiance of the fact that words are DESCRIPTIVE NOT PRESCRIPTIVE.

    No word in existence causes what it is associated with to be a certain way. The exact opposite is true, in fact.
    Something is a certain way, and we choose to label it according to those characteristics.
    Since this inherently has to do with grouping things with similar characteristics together, the logical implication is that the meaning of a word is that it describes a certain set of characteristics shared by all things that word defines.
    A word can clearly be redefined at any time to alter what those characteristics are, but what is logically impossible, is to give something characteristics just by virtue of calling it something.

    It gets worse when words are mutually dependant. Male and Female are interdependent terms. They have specific independent definitions of their own, yet part of their definition is tied up with the assertion that one is not the other.
    That’s irrational, because if they truly described something in their own right, (Which, they clearly seem to), then whatever characteristics their definition depends on are not automatically mutually exclusive.
    But, if someone claims they are male AND female, they immediately come under attack.
    The irrational assertion that they are immutable classifications leads to other problems too. Notably, that a person whose defining traits would put them in one category, can be put into the other not because they have any traits at all that fit that category, but because they used to have such traits. – Never mind that they may have traits that technically fit neither category. (Or both).

    Whenever you define two categories as opposites of eachother when they actually are not, and further go on to define that these two categories are the sum of all that is when they DEFINITELY are not, then go on to use these categories in such a way that you label things as belonging to these categories not insofar as they have the characteristics that you claim defines the categories, but rather some arbitrary decision at one, arbitrary point in time…
    Is it any wonder that inevitably, the end result of such a classification often fails to make any kind of sense?

  39. m Andrea Says:

    Hi Crystal, thanks very much for stopping by! Saw your comment elsewhere and noticed your comment was the most thoughtful I’d ever seen by a transperson (well anyone really) — seems like most aren’t willing to acknowlege even the possibility of gender as a social construct even though it’s accepted theory by now. Ah, crap, and now wish I hadn’t closed the brower window where I’d found your original comment…

    Anyway, please be aware that pretty much all the trans posts on this site were written with the much larger contingent of less thoughtful transgendered folks in mind. If someone like yourself were to read them with the idea I was addressing your own personal situation, well, the posts might appear pretty simplistic and insulting. I just get so tired of folks not able to acknowlege the basics.

    Apparently there’s a few standard reasons for transitioning, and not everybody has the same reason. While of course it’s not up to me to “approve” the reasons, I can “understand” the feeling of body dyphoria best — that sense of a set of body parts (the whole) just not feeling right. Hope you stick around, or at least your email was valid — be nice to have your feedback for any future posts. And of course to hear your thoughts on anything else as well!

    The ‘vagina’ part, OK, yes. You could argue it’s not a vagina.
    But the real logical mess is the ‘mutilated penis’ bit. In no other context have I seen people genuinely hold to the logic that an object of any kind is defined EXCLUSIVELY by it’s construction materials.

    Does anyone call a car a ‘mutilated lump of metal’?
    A house a ‘pile of bricks’?

    About the “mutilated penis” bit. Well technically a car IS a lump of metal that’s been formed into the shape of a car. lol But with mutilated metal of any kind, it’s always manufactured by engineers for a very specific purpose; metal is not actually born with any sentience. Or believes itself to be “really a lump of cloth” kind of thing.

    I ASSUME, that whenever most feminists make some remark about a “mutilated” body part, they’re just using a linguistical shortcut to refer to an entire set of ideas which have been discussed so many times that a grammatical shortcut seems appropriate, on their way to discuss yet another idea. I mean, the surgically constructed “vagina” was indeed born a healthy penis which was then altered during surgery. It’s not a car which was born a car and then altered to be MORE car-like, it was born one thing and then changed to resemble something else. But, whatever ELSE the feminists may be referring to by the term “mutilated penis” depends on context.

    The rest of what you say after that quoted bit is quite fascinating, thank you. But before I get into all that, let me just ask this, briefly: How can biological sex NOT be immutable? The chromosomes don’t ever spontaneously change, except perhaps in extremely rare outliers, AND, that mutation is always classified as a medical disorder — simply because mutating chromosomes is not a function of healthy bodies. As soon as any spontaneous shift of chromosomes occurs, the person is excluded from the category of “healthy”.

    to be cont…

  40. m Andrea Says:

    It gets worse when words are mutually dependant. Male and Female are interdependent terms. They have specific independent definitions of their own, yet part of their definition is tied up with the assertion that one is not the other.
    That’s irrational, because if they truly described something in their own right, (Which, they clearly seem to), then whatever characteristics their definition depends on are not automatically mutually exclusive.
    But, if someone claims they are male AND female, they immediately come under attack.

    well, place an orange ball and an orange monkey in front of you and then define them both. lol Which is my way of saying that anybody could still make the exact same accusation about the color orange which you just did about bio sex — the determining factor which defines an orange ball is indeed excluding orange monkies.

    and well, that’s actually the nature of a definition. The entire point of a definition is to examine two different things which have many qualities in common, and then determine what they don’t have in common. A def is intended to find the essential essence of a thing, such that, without the essential essence, it cannot be described as the other thing.

    Could you perhaps define male and female? Because it’s really not clear how you are defining those terms, and no offence. I just use the standard medical definition which is based upon the presence of chromosomes, and characteristics related to reproduction. A woman who had her reproductives organs removed, or a woman whose reproductive organs don’t work, was still born with that particular classification of reproductive characteristics — so in my book she’s female.

    And correct me if I’m wrong, but in the last part of your comment you seem to be saying that anything can be born one thing and then become something else. Which it is true that original parts can be altered, and yet how can the altered part be anything other than an altered part? Especially since you yourself said:

    No word in existence causes what it is associated with to be a certain way. The exact opposite is true, in fact.
    Something is a certain way, and we choose to label it according to those characteristics.

    Hmmm, believe it or not I think this all goes back to the idea that a woman is not a car. Human animals are:

    1. sentient beings
    2. formed organically
    3. with no purpose for it’s creation other than to create the existence of a new sentient human animal,

    while a car is an
    1. inanimate object
    2. created by specialists
    3. for the sole purpose to fulfill a specific need of a sentient human.

    while a trans-penis is
    1. non-sentient
    2. created by specialists
    3. for the sole purpose to fulfill a specific need of a sentient human.

    See, I read everything after the blockquote (several times!!) and unfortunately I still don’t know where you’re going with all that. Because while everything you said seems to be true (meaning I agree with you), at the same time you seem to be placing a ***value judgement*** on the idea that there is a factual difference between male and female bodies. So we have a fact, and then there’s how you feel about the fact. Personally, I don’t feel anything at all about fact that there are physical differences — it’s how other people continually assume that there is some essential CHARACTER trait inherent to each bio sex which irks me, cos that’s the basis for sexism.

    Anyway, your thoughts would be appreciated, if you have time.

  41. m Andrea Says:

    suppose the shorter version is just to say we can take a 1957 chevy steering wheel and put it in a 1987 honda and now that we’ve done that, let’s ask why the entire honda can’t be labeled “100% genuine honda”.

    well it’s still a car but the car is not 100% genuine honda anymore. a part has been replaced by a different brand.


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