I touched on this briefly in my post before last: how so many of the responses, discussions, complaints, and trolling that I have read concerning my post, “Another Sister Lost to the Madness” were so interesting to me because of all of the misconceptions surrounding me and my posts, what these individuals believe I am saying, how they are interpreting my posts, etc. When you write something and you have a very clear intent with that writing and you make every effort to make that intent clear to your reader, you can tell when someone isn’t really reading what you are writing, they are merely reading what they think you are saying based on their own mis- or preconceptions.
A lot of that has happened over the last week or so as the above mentioned post made its way to a few communities and web pages or female transgenders, which reminds me that I wanted to bring something up really quickly before it also gets pulled apart, misconstrued, etc. Since both FtM and MtF are misnomers, in that no female can magically turn into a male and conversely, no male can magically turn into a female, as both are biologically impossible; and since using the terms transman and transwoman seem to bring about the need of these individuals to “other” the rest of us by insisting on using the slur, “cis,” I have been looking for better descriptors when speaking about these individuals.
I have come to like the terms female transgenders for women who attempt to transition into some facsimile of “men” and male transgenders for men who attempt to transition into some facsimile of “women.” I also like the terms, F2Tg and M2Tg, which would mean female to transgender and male to transgender, respectively. Both have the same meaning, neither should be considered transphobic since they are more accurate depictions of what transgenders are actually doing with their bodies, and both sets of terms satisfy the need to move away from the idea that one’s biology can be somehow changed with medication and surgery.
So, after reading some of the comments, complaints, discussions, and trolling, I really feel that I must point out some things; and I will number them so I can make sure I cover everything I mean to cover:
(1) Just because I have an opinion that differs from yours, just because I point out the reality of biology and transitioning, and just because I bring up the homophobic and misogynistic parts of transgenderism, this does not equal hate speech and this is not transphobia. I am not advocating violence against transgenders, I am not trying to get transgenders fired, evicted, or jailed, I am not trying to bring laws about to make transgenderism illegal. Nothing about what I am saying is hate speech or transphobia and all that you do when you accuse me of that is prove that you have no actual valid points, so you must deflect, deflect, deflect.
(2) Along with the above, just because I have these opinions, this does not make me this or that poster under a different name. Believe it or not, a LOT of women hold these same opinions. Some of us cannot be vocal with their opinions because the trans trolls are so violent and so relentless in their harassment; some of us can only be anonymously vocal, voicing our opinions while trying to keep the violence from being directed at us; and some of us are out there for all the world to see and taking all the shit that comes with voicing these opinions.
Just because I share the same opinions as some other women, this does not make me these women; and to be honest, the fact that people seem to think that this is true and/or that it is ok to attribute these opinions to one women who has hundreds of sock puppets is frighteningly misogynistic because it assumes that we women cannot think for ourselves and that we are all not allowed to have supporting opinions. So whoever it is that you think I am, dear reader, odds are very good that I am not her; and honestly? Who I am shouldn’t even matter. The message is the same, regardless of who I am.
(3) Do you know that saying, “Don’t shoot the messenger”? That is part of what seems to be happening here. Of the angry transgenders that are reading my posts, instead of actually reading the whole of each post or instead of actually reading what I am saying, they are reading what they think I am saying. Or rather, they are reading what they want to hear so that their level of delusion and martyrdom can continue. So when I pointed out that a young woman is made to believe that because she dresses in male clothing and loves women and likes to tinker with cars or whatever else it is that society has deemed “man things,” then she feels she should transition, that isn’t me telling someone how to identify themselves and it isn’t me telling someone what clothes to wear or who to love, etc.
These readers are confusing me with this patriarchal society. It is society that tells little girls, “Oh, you can’t do that, only little boys can do that.” It is society that tells little boys, “Oh, you can’t do that, only little girls do that.” Carrying that forward then, transgenders go forth believing that, well, if I like to wear these clothes, do these things, love these people, then I must be the opposite sex trapped in this horrible body. I am not saying these things and making transgenders feel this way, society is.
What I am saying is: fuck the patriarchy and homophobia. Little girls should be allowed to wear what they want, roll around in the mud, play sports, play with “boys’ toys,” and dream about growing up to marry the princess and save her from the evil witch, all while still being little girls who aren’t conditioned to believe that the only way they can live these lives of which they dream is by “becoming” little boys.
What I am saying is fuck the patriarchy and homophobia. Little boys should be allowed to wear dresses and make-up and high heels, have tea parties, play with their Barbie Dream House, and dream about growing up and being rescued from the evil witch by their prince charming, all while still being little boys who aren’t conditioned to believe that the only way they can live these lives of which they dream is by “becoming” little girls.
It is society that convinces people that gender is innate and not a social construct designed to enforce sexual stereotypes that keep male/men/masculine above everything female/women/feminine. To give in to this conditioning doesn’t make you a non-conformist, it makes you the biggest sheep on the planet because you are helping the patriarchy to enforce these woman-hating sexual stereotypes called gender.
So while I understand being angry at someone showing you the truth, if you are going to be angry and disagree with me, disagree with me for the right reasons. Don’t disagree with me because you haven’t read what I said and just think you know what I am about to say. Don’t disagree with me because you have misunderstood what I said. Don’t disagree with me because I am pointing out that the patriarchy has sold you a bill of goods. I didn’t create the patriarchy, ladies and gentlemen, I didn’t tell you that you needed to transition in order to “feel whole.” You told yourself that because that is the kind of fucked up society in which we live. We have the kind of society that has taught you from birth that you cannot live the kind of life you want to live unless you are the opposite sex.
I am not the one judging you, dear transgender reader, I am not telling you how to identify yourself or even telling you how to live. That is the patriarchy telling you all of that. That is homophobia telling you all of that. That is male privilege telling you all of that. That is this male dominated society shoving all of its collective stereotypical bullshit down your throat while calling it gender identity so it can get you to swallow it without choking.
I am simply one of the many pointing it out to you.
Even if this was a sockpuppet blog for another blogger, so what? Radical feminists get threatened. No one has an ethical obligation to put herself at risk, and we surely did not invent the concept of a nom d’plume.
Otherwise, people have styles, and it’s certainly possible to recognize similarities, but it would be an impressive writer indeed who could conjure up all of us.
People get angry at radical feminists not only when we break the rules, but when we even discuss the rules. Reminds me of Laing’s rules for dysfunctional families:
Rule A is Don’t. Rule A.1 is Rule A does not exist. Rule A.2 is Never discuss the existence or nonexistence of Rules A, A.1, or A.2.
The truth hurts. And people, like animals, tend to strike out against others when they are in pain. They mis-direct their internal anger and fear to the nearest target.
BTW, I am totes plagiarizing a big chunk of this for my own reverse blog post.
The whole idea that even just -talking- about it brings out the crazy, violent diatribes from some people is what baffles me the most.
But if we could get them to direct their anger to the right place, we all might be able to come together to liberate women and smash the patriarchy.
ps: It’s not plagiarizing if you credit me. 😉
The Emperor’s New Clothes doesn’t really work as a fairy tale. The real ending is they run the kid out of town and go back to business as usual. Never underestimate the power of group illusion.
You’re doing good lucid work addressing the problem. What I particularly like about your writing is that you keep it focused but calm, direct without attacking. You come off more as having a conversation than putting on a role.
One thing that does have to be addressed is that SRS isn’t really reversible, initial outcomes aren’t reliable and re-reconstruction must be even more problematic, so people who have done it are going to be exceptionally invested in it. While I don’t like the precedent of referring to men as women or vice versa, these people do need some kind of accommodation. The much-maligned (and little-read) Brennan-Hungerford letter was a reasonable compromise.
I do think though that the most effective pressure point is to look at how much medical transition is encouraged, either culturally or medically, instead of being seen as a very last resort. When the transgendered heap scorn upon the detransitioning, that is a bad sign. When docs collaborate with parents to transition adolescents, ditto. The mere idea of anyone other than the patient profiting in some manner from the procedures, including mastectomy, gives me the willies, whether it be financial profit or some kind of social validation. It does just scream genocide.
Another thing that’s come up recently is the lack of support services for the detransitioning. They become kind of invisible. Transitioning is seen as a success story, detransitioning as betrayal. This is the kind of thing that makes me see the whole cohort as a cult. I can think of no medical condition where people who determine they don’t have that medical condition after all, are seen as betraying those who do.
This strongly implies that it is a choice, or that the detransitioning are malingerers. But even a malingerer would be seen as wasting medical resources and simply ousted by the docs, not relentlessly tracked down and harassed by the other patients. But an ex-cult member who publicly discouraged belief in the cult’s premises might indeed be in danger. Hence the common transgender complaint that radical feminists do not believe they are real.
And who joins cults? People with a poor sense of self, people who need a lot of interaction to feel real. People with boundary issues. And narcissists. These are serious mental health problems and not easy to treat, but they cannot be removed with the surgeon’s scalpel.
mieprowan, I thank you for the insights that your comments today have given me.
It’s like those people who keep getting one plastic surgery procedure after another after another after another, until they are unrecognizable, and still unhappy with their bodies. You see these people and you wish that someone at some point said, no more; but because so many people make so much money off of plastic surgery, people aren’t talked out of it, they are encouraged to have things done.
Kind of like when someone leaves Scientology and everyone they ever knew in the church must shun them.
I have a few people following this blog who have de-transitioned and the lack of support coupled with how the trans community treats them is tragic. I can’t imagine how hard that would be to do without any support, with all of your friends gone and hating you, etc.
Hi, I’m trans and just started following you.
You make some interesting points about gender expectations. I haven’t read your other posts but am looking forward to it.
Just a question for clarification: Are problematic gender roles your main talking point or are the people’s personal feelings about identity the issue?
Yeah, I gotta admit I think most plastic surgery is exploitative. Sure, fix the kids with cleft palates, fix the burn victims, grow noses on people’s faces if it comes down to it. Fix the truly broken, don’t just invent new classes of broken to line your own pocket and inflate your own ego. Because that is truly contemptable.
You’re very welcome Mary Sunshine, I always like seeing your avatar. It cracks me up.
Yes! And if you already have been engaging in suicidal ideation, which is obviously common with transgender people, shunning does put you at risk. Hell, shunning puts *anyone* at risk, it’s one of the worst things one can do to a person outside of outright torturing per.
P.S.: I’ve always liked “per” as a neuter pronoun ever since I saw Marge Piercy use it in “Woman On the End of Time” most of my life ago.
That solves the unisex bathroom labeling problem too: “Persons.”
Gender roles themselves are the problem as they are based on sexual stereotypes created and maintained by the patriarchy. People’s personal feelings about gender identity stem from the socialization and conditioning we all endure growing up in this society. I liken it all to white or male privilege; it’s all sneaky because we are taught this stuff from birth, it comes at us from all angles until we think we believe something that was actually spoon fed to us in order to keep the oppressed down and the oppressors in power.
By the way, welcome aboard…
Agreed. I wonder what the -real- stats are on people who identify as transgender re: suicide before transition, after transition, and for those who de-transition, because I know before and after are quite high and I have to think those who de-transition could be high as well because, like you said, being shunned would make -anyone- feel alone and betrayed, which can lead to deeper depression and suicide.
Jesus, there should be a hotline or something for these folks.
I’m not following. Do you mean using “per” instead of she, he, etc.?
Per could be he/she or him/her. It’s a way to fill in several blanks.
But what would the hotline be called? “Transgender No More?” I don’t think that would work well with all the transgender support legislation. They’d just jump to get it shut down.
The main people who have the guts to take this kind of thing on are women. It’s always on our backs. The doods won’t run to the support of their dick-losing brethren. And they’ll back off from those with the new breasts as well.
Always on us. Butch lesbians are reserved for a different fate though. You who resist from the start, well, they know how to deal with you.
I’m being dramatic, but I’ve been writing out the last few days writing about a dead friend, and it’s been all over my writing. ❤
“Hi, I’m trans and just started following you.
You make some interesting points about gender expectations. I haven’t read your other posts but am looking forward to it.
Just a question for clarification: Are problematic gender roles your main talking point or are the people’s personal feelings about identity the issue?”
Miep butting in here, will guess all of the above. And then some. This question n your part is pretty good.
No, you’re right. A hotline or support group like that would be shut down and compared to “gay no more” groups.
I agree that stereotypes are tricky. I’m glad to see that, at least if I’m understanding, I think we agree.
Is it possible to see FtM and MtF as flexibilities along the spectrum, where individuals are saying: I’m sliding more toward what we know as the conventional male or female without giving up any parts of my being? I dunno, just a thought.
Thanks for the welcome 🙂
Not for me it isn’t, no. FtM and MtF are all about being NON-flexible in that they rigidly conform to the binary of female and male stereotypes as dictated by this patriarchal, male-dominated society. So many people who consider themselves trans like to use the words “conventional” and “old fashioned” when speaking about themselves because they can’t admit what they are really doing, which is everything within their power to conform to a very rigid social stereotype.
There is really no flexibility there; it is completely the opposite, in fact.
Totally right on. I was never part of any trans “community,” so I don’t notice any personal (real life) “shaming” in my de-transitioning, but many trans cult members online have said e.g. “well you must not really have been trans.” Yet I had similar “feelings and beliefs” to any other late-transitioning autogynephile. I was just fortunate in having the consciousness to completely snap out of it, although it was 13 years later with my body irreversibly mutilated. The question trans people should ask is not whether the de-transitioning person was really trans, but whether “trans” has any objective meaning outside of a collective auto-erotic hallucination. It doesn’t.
Thank you, BigBoo and mieprowan, for your compassionate and interesting thoughts. I sure was suicidal before transition, but in my self-analysis before de-transitioning I realized that my suicidality had been about many other aspects of my life. Becoming a “woman” was my escape into real life happy fantasy-land. In de-transitioning, I am fortunate that I didn’t engage with the trans community during my 13 years, so I feel no personal shunning. On the contrary, my family & friends are welcoming me back. Even so, realizing how I had asked for my body to be mutilated, and now having that reality, it brings me to some very dark and lonesome places. I have tools to get me out of these places, and people who love me, but many others are not so lucky.
[…] I just read some interesting comments in response to another excellent post by BigBooButch. In particular, please see the comments by BigBooButch and mieprowan about how medical transition […]
Seems like it would be good for detransitioning people to have their own blogs to hang out on. I think they would have to be moderated by detransitioned/detransitioning people.
WordPress is a nice platform because it has good protections and a nice connective horizontal structure as well.
Thanks for your kind words. I hope you find some peace in your life.
“but many others are not so lucky.”
This is why stories like yours are so important to get “out there” so other can read and maybe reconsider what they are doing. I wish you good luck in your continued de-transition and am glad your family and friends are such a good source of support.
[…] Source: The Truth About Why Transgenders Are Really Angry At Women Like Me […]