Women are being censored because they wish to discuss the politics of gender. I say NO. Who wants to join me?

(1000 Posts)
Beachcomber Sun 20-Jan-13 19:48:45

Ok, I'm guessing that many here have heard about Julie Burchill's explosive article defending her friend Suzanne Moore against trans activists.

I'm also guessing that there are a lot of women who don't know that trans activists have been becoming increasingly influential in many areas that affect Women's Rights since the 1980s and 90s. These areas include feminist websites and blogs (such as the F word), feminist meetings and conferences, women's music festivals, in feminist literature and in academia teaching gender studies (a subject that used to be taught as women's studies) and in post-modernist and queer theory circles.

Transactivists call any resistance to their increasing influence and presence in these areas of female interest "transphobic". Discussion of gender identity as an oppressive social construct and as a threat to feminism and women's rights is also considered transphobic. Consequently, discussion of women as being a political class of people oppressed due to our sex and our reproductive capacity is becoming harder and harder for feminists to have without being accused of transphobia and bigotry. This is very very concerning.

Numerous women have been threatened or silenced by these people (for example they have been no platformed and/or picketed at feminist events or attacked and threatened after writing articles or essays discussing gender identity).

Let me be very clear that this discussion is about transactivists and people who threaten others into silence. It is not about transpeople in general (some of whom have stated that they are afraid to get involved in the controversy).

In my opinion, no matter which side of the gender identity debate one stands on, surely we can all agree that debate should be allowed to take place. One side cannot be allowed to shout down, threaten and silence the other.

The recent events are not just about differing opinions on gender identity though (or I wouldn't be bothering to post this), they are about women's right to talk about and identify sex based oppression and male supremacy, and therefore to fight against sex based oppression and male supremacy. And that is why this is an important if not vital issue for women's rights.

I think women's rights politics are reaching a pivotal moment - a moment in which we must stand up for our right to discuss our status as second class citizens as a result of the biological fact that we are female. If we can't discuss it, we don't have much hope of fighting it.

bugbrennan.com/2013/01/19/for-every-one-of-us-you-silence-100-more-will-rise-to-take-her-place/

To summarise the link - a well known and influential feminist blogger has been censored for discussing the issues outlined above. She is not the first woman to be silenced by these people. I think it is about time we stood up to them.

Thanks for reading.

kim147 Thu 31-Jan-13 21:51:27

Flora - people are never going to agree on "the cause" - some people think that it's societal and that "men" should be allowed to act, wear and behave how they want and basically step outside societal expectations.

Others think there's a much deeper biological cause at the root of all this so that's why hormones and surgery are needed.

Obviously there's no way the two sides can agree on this basic principle.

I'm sure there are transpeople who don't take hormones but live their life "outside the gender box". And there are those who react very well to hormones and surgery and who have absolutely no regrets.

I have my concerns about hormones for children too. Even though I know the positives.

And I do agree that gender is too rigid in this country and people should be able to live their lives as they want and ignore gender expectations. Should that include clothes - or is that a step too far?

Beachcomber Thu 31-Jan-13 21:57:39

Also FloraFox I read the article you linked to (twice).

The narcissism and doublethink made my brain hurt.

I would really like someone to explain to me what 'the gender coercively assigned to a person by their doctor at birth' is supposed to mean.

I need help with;

a) How gender is being used (seems to be being confused with sex)
b) Why the word 'coercively' is being employed

garlicblocks Thu 31-Jan-13 22:10:49

people should be able to live their lives as they want and ignore gender expectations. Should that include clothes - or is that a step too far?

I don't think you'd find anyone here disagreeing with that, Kim. I hardly think clothes are a major issue, certainly nothing like as critical as medical intervention. I'm not a textbook radfem but I'd like to see men having as much freedom as women in their mode of dress (we can wear 'male' clothes) and doubt that many feminists would deny a male the opportunity to wear a dress.

garlicblocks Thu 31-Jan-13 22:12:06

I would really like someone to explain to me what 'the gender coercively assigned to a person by their doctor at birth' is supposed to mean.

That made me do the face my dad used to do when I talked teenage marxism!

FloraFox Thu 31-Jan-13 22:20:23

I married a man in a dress. Well ok it was a kilt. But kim I do think men should be able to wear dresses. It used to be just as unacceptable for women to wear men's clothes. It took a long time for women to change this, with abuse and harassment of those women who stood against conventions.

I'm not so sure we'll never agree the cause. We certainly won't though if we're not allowed to discuss it or academics are shouted down for expressing their views.

GothAnneGeddes Thu 31-Jan-13 22:37:45

"Challenging this dogma is the opposite of hate"

Ah, so when gendertrender and their ilk call trans women "she-males, "mutilated males" and refer to their genitalia as "fuck-holes" they are not being hateful, but it's very opposite - loving. Right.

WhenTheRed - I've re-read my post, I think it's perfectly clear. Disagree with it if you wish, don't waste my time with faux incomprehension.

Many remarks on this thread remind me so much of the the EDL talking about Muslims and or immigrants.

Ohh, I know trans people are such a threat to you and your way of life.

Yes, just like the EDL says about Muslims.

And before anyone says I'm shutting down the debate saying that, I'm challenging you, not pulling the thread or getting it deleted.

WhentheRed Thu 31-Jan-13 22:50:40

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

kim147 Thu 31-Jan-13 23:00:29

Got to admit people on this thread have done a good job of highlighting a few examples of extreme behaviour by transactivists and using them in their arguments.

I'd hate to think feminists were attacked in arguments by the actions of a few feminist activists who went over the top in their actions - so then these actions were constantly used in any debate about feminism.

I think there's only a couple more "trans memes" I've not seen yet on this thread - better be quick, only 17 more posts left.

edam Thu 31-Jan-13 23:05:18

Feminists are constantly attacked for the imagined 'crimes' of other women, let alone other feminists. Sheesh.

TiggyD Thu 31-Jan-13 23:06:22

The battle for hearts and minds isn't fought against either army. It's the undecided that are fought in an attempt to capture them and add them to your side. Right and wrong is then decided by the largest side. Hopefully General Kim's.

kim147 Thu 31-Jan-13 23:08:27

edam I know - and feminists hate that. But some feminists still use the same method in their debates about trans people.

Beachcomber Thu 31-Jan-13 23:08:30

Kim, I think people highlight this stuff not because it is extreme, but because it has the law, the liberals, the pomos, the progressives and many libfems backing.

And that is powerful.

WhentheRed - 'coercive' just sounds to me like co-opting the language of oppression.

FloraFox Thu 31-Jan-13 23:08:42

GothAnneGeddes another post of no substance just insults.

Beachcomber Thu 31-Jan-13 23:13:04

Right Kim - but nobody listens to the extreme voices in feminism.

Perhaps because what they are saying doesn't shore up the status quo.

garlicblocks Thu 31-Jan-13 23:17:33

Quick, before I end up closing the thread on a daft question: What's a pomo?

WhentheRed Thu 31-Jan-13 23:18:19

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

kim147 Thu 31-Jan-13 23:20:53

garlic I keep reading that as porno. Good question.

Beachcomber Thu 31-Jan-13 23:22:58

A post-modernist.

kim147 Thu 31-Jan-13 23:24:05

And no doubt this thread will close tonight so....

till the next time.

beach I do understand what you are saying and I can see your frustration at how debate is shut down from your point of view on trans issues and how it fits into your view of society.

Beachcomber Thu 31-Jan-13 23:26:19

Thank you.

FloraFox Thu 31-Jan-13 23:30:12

beach thanks for starting this thread. It's been very interesting. I'm afraid I still don't understand the transactivists position much better than at the start and I'm disappointed so few have been willing to articulate their political views rather than just resorting to insults. kim thanks for sticking with it.

WhentheRed Thu 31-Jan-13 23:30:56

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

TiggyD Thu 31-Jan-13 23:33:30

There were no Transactivists on this thread Flora. Try going to one of their sites.

FloraFox Thu 31-Jan-13 23:34:11

when yes to living life without expectations. No to living lives without clothes. Keep 'em on folks. It's cold out there.

GothAnneGeddes Thu 31-Jan-13 23:35:52

When - I have laid out my issues with the arguments made. If you really see no problem with the way the "Cotton Ceiling" has been used on here, I'm not sure what more I can say. It is identical to the way the likes of the EDL will pick an extremist group of Muslims and then extrapolate those views to all Muslims.

I have said already said upthread that I accept trans women as women and trans men as men and those who are gender queer as such. I feel they have the right to identify as they wish and do not consider it a threat to myself as woman, or to women as a class.

I have seen no evidence that the existence of trans women as a group bear a threat to women. I have said all this upthread already.

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