Make No Mistake, “TERF” Is A Slur

I find it difficult to believe that we women have to keep saying this and writing about it, but I guess we do because men’s voices are the only ones people want to listen to, not ours’; but make no mistake, “TERF” is a slur created by men to silence and even shame women. I was reading a post by GallusMag the other day where she talked about a man who claimed to be a woman who works for Twitter and who is accused of rape. In the comments section, GallusMag (who was locked out of her WordPress blog because of that post, which is WordPress’s way of telling women that if you write about their friends and colleagues, they will shut you down and fast) posted a pic of a news agency, The Daily Dot, actually using the word “TERF” as if it is a normal, accepted word by everyone and not a word made up by men in their ongoing effort to silence women in the issue of transgenderism. It made me incredibly angry because this was supposed to be a news organization, or at least, that is what I am lead to believe. Maybe they are a trash-rag that doesn’t really report the news so much as they report gossip and innuendo?

So let’s talk about this slur for a minute. A lot of transgenders and their allies like to keep saying that it is simply a description of radical feminists who are “trans-exclusionary.” But let’s get real here, ok? This slur may have started out as a simply description by a man who felt slighted by some women who feel that men, even in dresses, should not be allowed in certain spaces that are for women, spaces like restrooms, changing rooms, showers, dressing rooms, etc.; but the word went way beyond a description and into slur territory within a few minute of it being created.

First, there is no “TIRF” or trans-inclusionary radical feminist. There is, in fact, no term that is opposite of “TERF” that is used, ever. There is only “TERF”; and that term is used to silence, to bash, to put down, to shame, etc. not just radical feminists, but all women who see biology as a real thing and gender as a social construct. It is used against women, especially women who disagree with men who claim to be women, in any way.

Second, the term is not just hurled at radical feminists. I as just called a “TERF” this evening and I have never purported to be a radical feminist, not in any of my tweets or writings’ but there I was, having  label thrust upon me against my will, a label that by its very “definition” shouldn’t include me. But as I said, this slur isn’t just for radical feminists, it is for all women who disagree with men, especially men claiming to be women, i.e., trans “women” or male transgenders.

Let’s think about that for a minute. Let’s think about how (metaphorically) rape-y that is to have a label such as “TERF” or “trans-exclusionist” or “trans-exterminist” thrust upon a woman against her will. Slurs that she has never claimed, never called herself, never acknowledged, but slurs that are forced upon her, whether she likes it or not. That is a part of rape culture, is it not? To force something onto a woman that she does not want? Something that she has not given you permission to do. Especially when this comes from a group of people who want to self-label and do not want others to label them. How hypocritical of them to then force women to accept a term that they all know well and good is a slur meant to silence women.

Third, the only time women can even seem “trans-exclusionary” is when we want to have women-only spaces, like restrooms, dressing rooms, social gatherings, rape crisis centers, shelters, etc. But that is no more “trans-exclusionary” than it is for POC to be “white-person-exclusionary” when they desire POC-only spaces. Just like POC should be able to gather without white people so they don’t have to watch what they say around white people or cater to white people or have white people take over everything, we women should be allowed to have our own spaces without men, without having to worry about what we are saying around men or that they men will take over. Just like POC whould be able to gather and discuss what it is like to be a POC in this white-dominated world, we women should be allowed to gather as sisters and discuss what it is like to be females in a male-dominated world. We should not be slurred with “trans-exclusionary” simply because we wish to gather with other women in female-only spaces.

We should also be allowed to feel safe. We should be allowed to have penis-free restrooms, dressing rooms, shelters, jails, rape crisis centers, etc. so that we can feel safe. For thousands of years, the penis has been used as a weapon, as a weapon to control women, to hurt women, to exert power over women. It has been used as a weapon and we are seeing more and more how trans “women” are accused of or convicted of the rape and murder of women but they continue to be allowed to be placed in female prisons even if they still have their penises. This is so wrong on so many levels but in today’s PC culture of not wanting to offend these men, they are not placed where they are supposed to be: with other men. Instead, the rights and the safety of women are circumvented for the rights and safety of men who claim to be women because they are afraid of, you got it: men.

Before someone jumps into the fray and says that trans “women” have the right to feel safe as well, to that, I say two things: (1) of course, (2) but women are not a threat to trans “women,” men are. Men are dangerous and men do almost all of the damage to women, transgenders, and every other group out there. Women should not have to forgo their own safety to guarantee the safety of men from other men. If trans “women” wish to truly feel safe while respecting women’s need for safety and privacy, why don’t they create their own space, their own restrooms, their own rape crisis centers and shelters, their own changing rooms, etc.? The answer is clear: because (a) they don’t respect women and (b) they don’t want to be safe from men, they want what women have, they want to take over everything that woman is and that women have.

Finally, most women care about other women. There are some women who are so conditioned by the patriarchy that they believe the misogynistic bullshit that men and rape-culture spews down all of our throats. But most women want other women to be safe, they want us all to have our own private spaces, away from men and their penises. As I said, the penis has been used as a weapon against women for thousands of years and most women would agree that not allowing men and their penises, even if under dresses, into our private spaces where we are half naked and vulnerable or where we are running away from abusive men or where we are going for help and treatment after having been raped is something that all women should have without being called “TERFs” or “trans-exclusionary” in any way.

I know this because, as a butch woman, I have received the “look” from women in restrooms or changing rooms when they think I am a man. There have been women who say things to me in an effort to get me to leave the restroom or changing room; and in one instance, there was even a woman who physically tried to keep me out of a restroom, thinking I was a man and shouldn’t be in the women’s restroom. So I know that most women care about other women and other women’s safety; but men are trying so hard to shame these women into hating the rest of us for wanting our own space and using the slur “TERF” is one of the ways that they do this.

They threaten all woman with “TERF” if they don’t allow all men into all women’s private spaces and that is how “TERF” is used as a slur. It is used to control women by using shame to get them to see men in dresses as women and treat them as women when they are not. It is time for women to stop fighting against other women and fight with us. Stop allowing men who claim to be women walk all over you and demand that you see them in a certain way when common sense and science tells you to see them as they are; and stop allowing men to create and use slurs like “TERF” to silence your sisters who do see them as they are: men trying to re-define woman and abolish what the word really means so they can take over all of our spaces, once and for all.

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RE-BLOG — A Statement from Gender Identity Watch

No matter if we are gay, straight, or bi, we women really need to start standing together and standing up for one another in this.

So transgenders and transsexuals deserve to be protected under the law from discrimination and violence? Of course! But where a line needs to be drawn is: not at the expense of women. For people born male and socialized with male privilege to DEMAND entry into women’s private spaces, it is not just disrespectful, it is misogynistic.

If you are male bodied and you truly want to call yourself a woman, then do what we women do for each other: respect women, put women first, listen to women’s lived experiences, support women.

When you can do THAT, then we can talk.

Lesbians, Dykes, and Butches: The Real Gender Non-Conformists

Let’s talk about public bathrooms. And airport security. And dressing rooms. And all of the other places that lesbians who don’t conform to the patriarchy’s ideal of what a woman should look like go where we are incorrectly identified as not being women. Places where we are accosted, detained, assaulted, barred from entering, humiliated, mocked, abused, beaten, and even raped; all because we dare to thumb our noses at the binary and proudly remain the women that we are, the women we choose to be, regardless of what the patriarchy demands.

You can even include all of those places where we go for doctor’s appointments, job interviews, etc. Places where our name is called and when we respond, the person calling our name is confused and unable to reconcile the woman’s name on their form with the person in front of them because of how the patriarchy conditions all of us to view women.

A lot of lesbians, dykes, and especially butches don’t fit that perception. We never have. We have always done woman in our own way without a care in the world about how society sees us, while refusing to change who we are when society tries to change us through shame and violence.

We all have the stories, you know the ones. I am walking towards the woman’s bathroom when an older woman walks out the door and then stands there, trying to keep me from entering while telling me this is the ladies restroom, as if I cannot read or see the small female figure in a skirt on the door. Or the times, so many times, I lost count of when I am finishing up in the woman’s restroom, washing my hands when a woman opens the door, looks at me, pauses, looks at the sign on the door, looks at me again, and then just stands there frozen. Or even those times when they don’t stand frozen, but feign confusion asking if this is the ladies room.

We butches, as well as non-conforming dykes and lesbians, we all have stories like these, with varying degrees of danger and humiliation. I have butch friends who flat out refuse to use the woman’s restroom unless a femme friend or lover accompanies them to keep the stares, and the violence, to a minimum. Other butch friends won’t go to the woman’s restroom, no matter what, because they have dealt with such humiliation and violence before that to even consider using a woman’s public bathroom gives them an anxiety attack.

There are other stories, of course: being denied entry into the woman’s dressing room at a clothing store, the stares and murmurs, and even some women moving to another area, while we are changing in a woman’s dressing room at the YMCA, having to go through airport security more than once or, worse, being detained because the people at security look at us and see: men.

These stories go on and on and on for all of us, so it really wasn’t a shock to see news reports online of a woman, Susan Ho, who was using the woman’s restroom at a casino where she was entered in a bowling tournament, only to be unlawfully detained and assaulted when she tried to exit the bathroom and was accused of being a man in the woman’s restroom. At one point, the people detaining her even went so far as to discuss the possibility of removing Susan’s shirt to see if she was actually a woman, as she said. Read the full article here: http://www.courthousenews.com/2013/10/08/61853.htm

I say I am not shocked when I see this sort of thing in the news, but it doesn’t make reading about it any less disheartening. As I said before, some lesbians and dykes and especially we butches don’t fit the patriarchal view of what women “should” look like.  When people see me in my jeans, t-shirt, and hat, they make a snap judgment and see what their conditioning tells them to see: a man.

See, we are the real gender non-conformists. I know that transgenders and their apologists and allies love to make the false claim that trans men and trans woman are gender non-conformists, but that is all smoke and mirrors to hide what is actually happening. Trans people are the very opposite of gender non-conformists. They do everything they possibly can to completely and utterly conform to the binary.

Look at trans men. When on T, what is the first thing trans men do? Go out of their way to grow facial hair because, to them, facial hair is one of the biggest defining factors of maleness, of being men. Forget the fact that there are women out there who have no choice but to shave their faces because for one medical reason or another (this differs woman to woman), they have facial hair.

Then look at trans women. They are one hundred percent about presentation; and that presentation is driven by male desire, by the patriarchy, by what they, as men, find attractive in women. They must dress and act in extremes with the long hair, tons of make up, and dresses all the time because when men think about women, this is how they see women in their minds’ eyes: as a completely vamped up, stylized version of woman.

Both trans men and trans women go out of their way to be as “manly” or as “womanly” (respectively) as they can be because that is what the patriarchy, what the binary demands. Pick one or the other, the patriarchy says. If you wear men’s clothing, you must be a man; and if you wear women’s clothing, you must be a woman. If you are going to be a man or a woman, make sure to be the most über man or woman you can be so that we are positive that that is what you are. It is this same line of thinking that has parents turning tomboys into little trans men and feminine boys into little trans women. In the parents’ eyes, they are doing their child a favor but what they are really doing is forcing their child into the binary box.

Butches, as well as non-conforming lesbians and dykes on the other hand, are who they are while still being women, the patriarchy be damned. Instead of conforming, we, literally, stand out and are the most visible women in the lesbian community. We take a lot of heat for that, yes, but we love our bodies, we love being women, and we are not going to “transition” into some variation of men simply to please the patriarchal binary system.

Transgenderism is, at its very core, conformity. That is the number one goal of transgenderism: conforming to the binary. Butches and non-conforming dykes and lesbians want the very opposite.

Transgenders try to co-opt our words by claiming to be women and even lesbians. They try to co-opt our spaces by forcing their way into women’s restrooms, dressing rooms, and other woman-only spaces. They try to control our bodies by shaming us into having sex with them or else be labeled bigots and transphobes. They even try to steal our histories by turning women like Teena Brandon into a trans man, by claiming the butch and drag queen who started the Stonewall riots were actually a trans man and trans woman, etc.

They do all of this under the guise that they are gender non-conformists, when the truth of the matter is simply this: if trans people were truly non-conformists, there would be no transgenderism. Women would be women and men would be men, regardless of how they dressed or acted; and there would be no back lash, no mocking or shaming, no violence toward them, towards all of us, for being who we are.

No, the true non-conformists are butches, lesbians, and dykes. A professor once told me in college, “You are a genderfuck.” He was right; and I am damn proud of it.

 

Extremist or Realist?

Here’s the thing. We all have our own filters, be they the filter of white privilege, class privilege, male privilege, living as an oppressed POC or, especially, WOC, female, male, gay, straight, bi, etc. The list goes on and on because there are as many filters through which to view the world as there are people in the world.

So I see the comments, the tweets, the discussions, and the arguments about my blog and the posts contained therein. I also see the accusations: transphobe, extremist, vile, vitriol; and those are just a few from the last couple of days.

I have been on-line for a number of years and I have learned that words are very very important. I try very hard to choose my words carefully and while sometimes I leave out the word, “some” when speaking about a group of people, such as trans women, I have never used the word, “all” when speaking about any group of people. If someone reading my blog sees the word, “all,” then that is their own filters through which they are viewing my blog and I cannot (a) be accountable for that or (b) find my way to being offended by it.

I think it says a lot about the reader who sees, “all trans women” or “all bisexuals” or “all” anything in my blog and then gets so angry that they must argue and spew forth accusations like transphobia, hatred, extremist, etc. It is very telling to me to see these kinds of responses to my blog. It tells me that (a) these people see themselves in the mirror I am holding up and this bothers them to the point of wanting to smash said mirror, and/or it tells me that (b) they are so conditioned by the patriarchy and the binary system of being that they cannot fathom a different way, a different system, and anything that contradicts what they have been conditioned to believe must be destroyed.

So let me lay it out for you, dear reader. I am not a transphobe. I do not hate trans people. I do not believe anyone should face discrimination, beatings, or death simply for being who they are. What I do “hate” is that this patriarchal binary system that is currently in place in our society makes some people think their only option is transgenderism. Because let’s be clear, transgenderism is a strict adherence of the binary system. It is not non-conforming, it is conforming to such a degree that drugs and surgery are needed in order to complete the necessary steps to conform absolutely to what society expects to see.

See, instead of letting girls and women be whomever they choose to be, they are being encouraged and conditioned to believe they are boys and men. That tomboy down the street? Her parents, her school, and the media has convinced her she is a boy. Instead of boys and men being allowed to be whomever they want to be, even if that means going through life wearing dresses and make-up, they are conditioned to believe they have to transition into a facsimile of a woman. That little boy who likes to wear mommy’s dresses? His parents, his school, and the media have convinced him that he should be a girl. That is what this patriarchal binary system has created: the need to be one or the other and to never deviate from either unless you are “switching” from one to the other.

But in reality, there is no “switching.” Sex is not gender is not sex. Sex is biology. With few exceptions, human beings are born either female or male. Girls and women are female children and female adults, respectively; just as boys and men are male children and male adults, respectively. This is basic science, biology 101. No matter how many drugs or how many surgeries, females cannot become males and males cannot become females; therefore women cannot become men and men cannot become women.

The very idea that a person has to be one or the other, female or male, is insulting and damaging to the gay community. Lesbians everywhere, this butch included, are non-conforming to the binary. So many different lesbians, refusing to adhere to the binary and thumbing their nose at the patriarchy as they, as we live as woman on our own terms. There are also gay men everywhere who do not conform to the binary, we see this with gay men who are deemed by society to be feminine and we also see this with drag queens, just to name two.

For transgenders to claim that they are “two-spirits” is insulting to the gay Native Americans who actually are two spirits. For them to claim that they are the ones who are non-conforming to the binary is insulting to hundreds of thousands of lesbians and gay men over generations who spent their entire lives not conforming to society’s rules and expectations. For transgenders to also re-write history so that drag queens and butches of the past suddenly become trans women and trans men, respectively erases our identities and our very histories. If I “hate” anything at all, reader, I “hate” that and will fight against it with every fiber of my being.

What I also “hate” is that a great majority of trans women want to co-opt women’s spaces, women’s words, and yes, women’s bodies. Whether certain feminists wish to believe lesbians or not, this is our lived and shared reality. The “cotton ceiling” exists and it is an affront to lesbians everywhere. Lesbians are shamed and guilted into having sex with male-bodied people who call themselves women and are told that if they do not comply, they are bigots for not accepting trans women as women.

Trans women’s whole state of being rests on how they are perceived. When that is threatened by lesbians who, by the very definition of a lesbian, do not wish to have sex with men, these trans women become so enraged at the very thought that we are denying them that they threaten us with rape, bodily harm, and even death at (a) being “misgendered,” and (b) our refusal to see past their penis and their being male long enough to have sex with them. This is not conjecture or rhetoric. This is reality. This is the “cotton ceiling.”

As a side note for those who do not know and who do not care to use Google, the “cotton ceiling” is a phrase that was created to describe the barrier trans women face when trying to date and have sex with lesbians. See, our panties are that barrier and the “cotton ceiling” represents the attitude that we simply need to be “educated” to accept trans women as women and then we will be willing to date and have sex with them. The very concept is so misogynistic and supports a rape culture that is so prevalent not just in this country, but world wide.

I do understand that even after having read this post, some will still insist that since I do not see trans women as women, then I am a transphobe and filled with hate. That is simply not true. What I am is someone who can see past the rhetoric, past the conditioning so ingrained in all of us, and see that while sex is a biological constant, gender is a social construct that can change with each person who tries to define what it is.

I also understand, and have been subjected to, men who do not even bother to read the entirety of my posts, but still have so much to tell me about what I am thinking and feeling, what I mean, and why I am such a bigot. These are men who feel so entitled, they don’t even feel they need to be informed before dressing a woman down for her words that they didn’t even be bothered to read. This does not hurt my feelings, I simply cannot and do not take these men seriously.

And, for the record, I do not hate men, not even the men who call me names and threaten me and my sisters with rape, violence, and death. What I do “hate” is that because of male privilege, men feel so entitled as to think they can take over women’s spaces, take over women’s words, and take over women’s bodies. Do “all” men feel this way? Maybe. Maybe not. But I can tell you that ALL men are conditioned from birth. ALL men are instilled with male privilege and even if society may see them as women based on their dress and actions in strict adherence to the binary, they still hold those privileged attitudes within themselves. It is that privilege that makes them believe that there is no space they cannot be in, no words they cannot co-opt, and no woman they cannot have.

That is what I “hate.”

Trans “Women” Hope Butches Become a Thing of the Past

Astonishingly, and I say that sarcastically, since this does not surprise me in the least, trans women actually hate women. It isn’t just about men controlling women, this is flat-out misogyny at work here.

It’s no secret that trans women, being men, believe they not only have the right to use the words woman and lesbian to describe themselves and they not only have the right to women’s spaces, these men also believe they have the absolute right to women’s bodies. This is what the cotton ceiling is all about: men demanding that women who don’t want to have sex with them, have sex with them anyway or be accused of being bigots for not having open enough minds to see these men as women.

Let’s be clear, shaming, guilting, or tricking a woman into having sex with you is rape. Period. Full stop. Women, lesbians, have the right to refuse to have sex with anyone they choose for whatever reason they choose. Why? These are our bodies.

So is it really surprising that these same trans women, who are straight men and sexual deviants, do not support or even care about butch lesbian women and actually want to see us disappear altogether?

I am used to it, of course. Men have always LOVED the idea of lesbians, but only in that they are picturing thin, feminine lesbians who eventually just really want to be with men and don’t really want women at all. The thought of butch lesbians repulses men because, as some ignorant people believe, they think we just want to be men. They also do not find us attractive because we appear masculine. So, of course, those women they find the least attractive should be destroyed, especially those of us who threaten their very existence: we don’t need or want men and women want us.

Taking the ignorance of these men a step further, it isn’t really a shocking revelation to see that since they believe all butches want to be men, then surely we are on our way to becoming men just by being butches and we will eventually all transition, making butch lesbians obsolete and, as I said the other day, extinct.

  

David-Dana-Taylor-butch-tweet

 

So much for the LGBT community, huh? That’s transactivist, David “Dana Lane” Taylor, by the way, under one of his many troll accounts expressing his belief that the way for the “terf menace” (another slur created and propagated by trans women to describe radical feminists and, especially, lesbians) to be gone once and for all is to get rid of butch lesbians; and the way to do that is to have us all transition into “men.”

What these men really want is for all of us butches to just hurry up and transition already so we can be trans men and support these misogynistic sexual deviants in their clear cut efforts to own and possess women.

What these men fail to realize however, is that women who transition into “men” are not butch lesbians who want to be men. There are butches who transition, yes, but almost every instance of that is due to the kind of societal pressure these men are expressing; the whole idea that if we look, act, dress, and talk “like men” then we should just BE men. This stems from the belief that there can only be two ways of being woman/female or man/male; and there is never any kind of overlap or in between.

Little girls, who would have at one time been considered tomboys and been allowed to become whatever kind of woman they wanted to be are now being forced into a trans lifestyle by their parents under the guise of “understanding and support.” Young butch women who are happy being butch are pressured into transitioning by a society that includes lesbians telling them that they should just be men and get it over with already. Young women who are straight but hate their lives as women transition as a way to escape the patriarchy into which they have been born as second class citizens. Those are just some of the reasons why women transition into “men,” but make no mistake, they are not transitioning because they are “men trapped in women’s bodies,” they are transitioning because the binary system tells them they should.

This is why the very idea that the binary system could be a lie, a social construct designed by men, is what scares these men to death. The idea that women can be who they are and not want to be men, not want to transition, is unfathomable to these men. Add that to the idea that there are women out there who honestly do not need or want to be with men, dress or not, and you have a full scale panic on your hands that creates rapist thinking like the cotton ceiling and lesbophobic thinking like the above sentiments Mr. Taylor put forth.

And let’s be honest, the above sentiments are lesbophobic and homophobic. To put forth the idea, the hope that eventually all butch women will transition and thank god, so we don’t have to look at or deal with them any longer is unbelievably homophobic and lesbophobic in that it expresses the desire to exterminate all butch lesbians.

At what point, do you think, will lesbians and women stand up to these men and say, “No more!”? There is going to come a time when lesbians and women realize that these men are just your average everyday men who want to own, possess, and eventually do away with women. The fact that they are using the trans lifestyle to promote their misogynistic and homophobic views should wake women up and make them realize they are fighting for the extinction of their own sisters.

So what are you, dear reader going to do about it? What are you doing to ensure that these men will no longer get to dictate with whom you will have sex or which women are ok and which women need to be exterminated?

 

I Call It Like I See It

This is an older entry (Nov 2012), but is significantly relevant to my posts, “Ass”uming Butches Into Extinction and the follow-up to that post. We women who do not conform to societal standards and the binary system get “misgendered” every single day of our lives. It’s inevitable; and while it can be annoying and even aggravating, we do not contact the press, we do not sue the people who have called us men or trans, and we do NOT threaten anyone with death or rape. This is a clear difference between women and people who are male but call themselves women.

Please also note that this person, Theresa/Thomas is a very violent person who was convicted of aggravated assault (see: http://nametheproblem.com/2013/06/17/teresa-cross/). So when he was kicked out of this store, it most likely was NOT because he was gently “correcting” these women about his “gender.” He was probably acting like the scary violent man that he is; but in a dress.

You think I just don't understand, but I don't believe you.

Being a woman is not about spending thousands I agree, it is about conviction, courage and standing up to patriarchy and the glass ceiling. It is about finding Leda and the Swan disgusting and hating violations of womankind, or indeed mankind. But, transwomen have to work to attain what non trans women have from birth. For the record, I have never spent thousands, I don’t have it to spend.”

Do you find this disgusting? If so, you are a woman.

A news item from Fort Worth, Texas crossed my inbox recently.  Teresa Cross, a Transgender Woman, attempted to shop at a store.  When Teresa asked if she could use her debit card, the clerk stated that “he” could not. This act bothered Teresa because “she’s a Woman.”

View original post 1,651 more words

“Ass”uming Butches Into Extinction

Just yesterday, I wrote about how bisexual women, straight women, and men claiming to be women were co-opting the word lesbian in their effort to twist and distort it until it means nothing; and I wondered if the patriarchy, with the help of the “I hate labels” and the “sexuality is fluid” crowds, would swallow the term whole, taking lesbians’ identity away, once and for all. Of course, that is a hard pill to swallow and the majority of lesbians will fight tooth and nail against people who think they can co-opt our words and spaces, bully us into silence, and shame us into having sex with trans women and their accompanying penises by calling us transphobic and bigots because we do not want to have relationships or sleep with men.

So imagine my horror when I was sent this screen cap of a visit to the doctor recently. A butch lesbian, a woman who does not fit society’s definition of what a woman should look like or how a woman should dress, behave, or present herself went to the ER. She checks in, sees the doctor, and before leaving, takes a peek at her chart to see something so unbelievable, for a second, I thought I was being punked when told about it.

 

Doffy1

Posted with her permission,
including leaving her name visible.

 

This doctor decided that the butch lesbian in front of her was not actually a butch lesbian but a trans man in denial. In the chart, she writes that this butch is a 48 year old trans man but adds that the “chart will say female.” There was no conversation, there were no questions about whether or not this woman believed she was trans, there was nothing but an assumption; and that assumption was based on this butch woman’s appearance.

Instead of inquiring, instead of taking a good look at the person in front of her and seeing the woman inside the butch, instead of accepting that a woman can look and dress in a manner deemed by society to be masculine while still being a woman, the doctor assumed this butch lesbian was a trans man and put forth that assertion into the woman’s chart without even so much as a by your leave.

I can tell you, as a butch, that having something like that happen: the complete erasure of the woman that you are in order to appease a group of people with such a debilitating disorder, they cry “bigot” at the slightest foul, is nothing short of humiliating. In induces a rage that, to be honest, I have no analogy for at the moment. I get irritated when I am mistaken for a man, sure, but when the person hears my voice or takes a more-than-glancing look at me, they realize their mistake, see the woman that I am, and, most of the time, apologize for not paying enough attention to the person in front of them so as to see more than a hat, t-shirt, and pair of jeans that led them to their erroneous assumption in the first place.

This is different; and, no, it isn’t the same thing as a trans person being “misgendered.” That’s silly, actually, when you take into consideration that gender is a social construct that, with so many people, changes with the wind. No this is the obliteration of butch women.

Worse than that, this is a person, a doctor, proclaiming that the patriarchy, that men mean so much to her and her conditioning is so complete, she has decided to, without consent, assign maleness to the woman standing in front of her; and she expects that gross misjudgment to be rewarded with thanks and praise for being such a good sheep in the gender pasture.

This is why we must band together and stop this madness, this trans epidemic, this erasure of women, and this annihilation of butch lesbians. Butch female lesbian visibility is a feminist issue, one that is much more important, and vitally so, to women; more so than prioritizing men’s issues. Lesbians should not be erased for the sake of men’s “delicacy.”  

 Our words are important. Our spaces are important. Our sex is important. Every time we take another step back to readjust the lines that should not be crossed, we get closer and closer to the cliff leading to our extinction.