Am I wrong to feel shouted down by this?

(151 Posts)
Puddingpop Thu 18-Jul-13 11:48:14

This is the first time I've ever ventured onto here,and I may regret doing so,but this is really annoying me and I'm curious to know the opinions of other women on the subject.

I use Tumblr,and I keep seeing messages like this on my dash,which have been reblog fed by friends,Cis women can have abortions. Men can have abortions. People who identify as both male and female can have abortions. People who don't identify as male or female can have abortions. Don't erase people.

Now I don't consider myself to be transphobic,but messages like that,and others referring to the 'privilege' of 'cis' women,are really starting to make me angry,perhaps unreasonably so. But I can't help feeling shouted down as a woman,when I see posts like that.Also being called a 'cis' woman really rankles,for some reason.

I don't deny that trans hatred exists,but when countless women are unable to get access to safe and accessible terminations when needed,and when so called developed nations are removing that right from women,doing all they can to make it harder for women to get a termination,is that really what we should be focusing on?

I honestly have no idea what that is about. Men having abortions?

Trills Thu 18-Jul-13 11:54:28

I don't really understand what you are describing.

Are people making these statements in general, or in response to something that you have blogged about?

Anyone who can get pregnant is capable of having an abortion. Anyone who cannot get pregnant cannot. "People who can get pregnant" includes people who identify as female, people who identify as male, and those who are unsure or would like to choose "neither".

IMO the only person who should get to decide or judge whether someone should have an abortion is the person who is pregnant.

Erato Thu 18-Jul-13 11:54:50

It's tumblr. It's niche by definition, not mainstream (tumblr is deliberately designed to avoid norming as far as I can tell). I wouldn't get too hung up on it tbh. If your twitter or facebook feed was doing the same thing, different story.

Trills Thu 18-Jul-13 11:55:45

Is the statement a complaint that when we talk about "women having abortions" we are excluding transgender-males-who-have-the-capability-to-get-pregnant?

Puddingpop Thu 18-Jul-13 12:00:13

Sorry,I'm being clear as mud I know. It seems to be about pretending that abortion is not a female issue,and saying that 'men' presumably female to male transsexuals people need abortions too.

Some are general memes that are being passed around,but I've also gotten messages criticising me for so called cis female privilege,because I've tried to discuss feminist issues,but have apparently ignored the problems of male to female transsexuals while doing so. I just feel as though feminism is getting derailed at times by some getting all 'but what about the menz ' only with transsexuals.

Puddingpop Thu 18-Jul-13 12:07:58

See I'd worry less if it was Facebook because I don't really like it,or use it,and have people on there who I don't care for all that much,but with Tumblr,I keep it small,and everyone on there is an online friend or friend IRL too. But I do get what you say about it being less mainstream,Erato.

Puddingpop Thu 18-Jul-13 12:08:57

That's pretty much it,Trills. It is basically saying that abortiob has nothing to do with gender.

Puddingpop Thu 18-Jul-13 12:21:45

Here's another example that might be a little clearer.

'Please stop referring to abortions and other vaginal health issues as “women’s rights" or “women’s health/body rights". These issue affect more than just women and it’s about time that we recognise that.'

That is what is getting my back up. Perhaps wrongly so,but I do feel shouted down when I read that sort of thing.

Oh I see. Men can have abortions if they started life as a girl?
But that doesnt mean that abortion is not a womens issue. The vast vast majority of people it affects and affects to the greatest extent are women.

ImTooHecsyForYourParty Thu 18-Jul-13 12:25:46

can you ask for an example of how they affect others ? particularly how they affect others in a way that is more important than women?

Same as breast cancer. Men get it. But it's a women's issue, because women are so much moer affected (I assume...happy to be told I'm wrong)

Puddingpop Thu 18-Jul-13 12:48:56

Exactly my point,Stealth. It is very definitely a women's issue. But when I try to state that I'm accused of being transphobic.

I've tried that Hecsy,but I just feel shouted down when I do,and told that I'm being bigoted if I dare to suggest that it,or any other feminist issue,predominately affects so called 'cis women'. It just feels exactly like what about the Menz,to me,only this time with transsexuals. And I don't think that's ok.

It is a person-with-uterus issue, no? Regardless of what gender that person-with-uterus identifies as?

Do you feel it detracts from the strength of the argument in favour of abortion / reproductive rights if the "women's issue" label is taken away? I'll grant you, person-with-uterus rights (PWU rights?) is less catchy and more confusing... But more accurate?

I'm not sure whether it's worth fighting about... confused except as an ideological objection to the way that Women's needs always get challenged? Have I put enough questions in my post yet? Or do I need more? grin

ImTooHecsyForYourParty Thu 18-Jul-13 12:54:55

people who shout you down instead of explaining their pov (assuming they have been asked a legitimate q in a polite manner) invariably do so because they cannot actually justify their position.

Daeira Thu 18-Jul-13 16:09:55

Are they really trying to suggest that using the word "women's" to describe things that affect female genitals and reproductive organs is an inflammatory term that marginalises trans people and somehow prevents them from accessing the support they need when they need an abortion or have some kind of female health issue?

Really? Because a real and measurable impact is the only reason I can see for complaining, otherwise it's just pronoun type semantics, surely.

Yes, I know words and labels matter, but there is such a thing as taking it too far and having a victim mentality about a situation. Obviously I'd prefer our language to be gender neutral, as careless use of gendered words affects women as well, but it's not. You pick your battles...

Anyway, I would have thought that (a) they most definitely ARE women's issues, even though they are also "other people with uteruses who don't identify as women"'s issues - the former does not exclude the latter, and (b) attacking the people more likely to be on your side is a bad way to build a platform for change.

Interesting question - have you asked them what the stats are for FTM pre-op trans people who have accessed abortions? I don't even know if such stats are captured, but it would be interesting to know how significant an issue we're discussing here.

kim147 Thu 18-Jul-13 16:47:21

I don't know who you talk to but I think most transsexuals don't think like this nor make comments on it.

Of course abortions are a female issue - trans people are well aware they can't get pregnant and they should not stop women discussing it in case it upsets trans people.

Same for breast cancer - even though that does also affect males and of course being on hormones for MTF does increase the chances of getting such cancers.

rosabud Thu 18-Jul-13 17:04:54

Can I just ask what a cis woman is? Also, can a man, who started life as a woman, still get pregnant? And can a woman, who started life as a man, get pregnant once she has changed into a woman?

Sorry for massive ignorance, but need to understand the basics before I can understand this, really.

MrsDeVere Thu 18-Jul-13 17:11:26

I reject the label Cis Woman entirely.
I don't need my status as a woman clarified. I don't need a new label. I am a woman.

I am not particularly exercised about the politics of transgender/feminism/radfem etc
but that particular issue pisses me right off.

Its like a white person deciding what a black person should be called.

I have never encountered the abortion debate re transgender though. It sounds very confusing.

kim147 Thu 18-Jul-13 17:12:07

There is someone who is a transman who got pregnant whilst on treatment.

No - a transwoman cannot get pregnant. No womb or ovaries so that's not going to happen - something that makes some transwomen feel very upset about but you have to accept that is not going to happen.

Trills Thu 18-Jul-13 17:14:43

A trans man (who started life physically female) may or may not be able to get pregnant, depending on what kind of treatment or intervention he has had, because he may still produce eggs and have a working womb. He cannot get someone else pregnant because he cannot produce sperm.

A trans woman (who started life physically male) cannot get pregnant because there is currently no surgery that will produce a working womb. She may or may not be able to get someone else pregnant, depending on what kind of treatment she has had, because she may still produce sperm.

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I like the phrase "pronoun semantics".

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I hope I used the correct pronouns above.

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When we talk about something being a "womens issue" we may mean:
A - This is an issue that primarily affects people who are perceived as women by those around them
B - This is an issue that primarily affects people who see themselves as women
C - This is an issue that primarily affects those with female reproductive organs

As far as I know we never (or rarely) mean that the issue only affects one of those groups, just that it primarily affects "women" for oneof those deifnitions of women.

K8Middleton Thu 18-Jul-13 17:21:21

Where do people find the time to see possible offence in everything?

Honestly, the idea that we should be championing the rights of pre-op female to male transsexuals who might have an unwanted pregnancy and not be able to access a termination is a bit mad. Just how many instances of this are there?

Didn't the female to male transsexual who had a baby in the USA have to stop taking his usual hormones and start taking others? So not exactly easy to get pregnant in the first place confused

vesuvia Thu 18-Jul-13 17:26:11

An excerpt from the Wikipedia article about male pregnancy en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Male_pregnancy:

"Some female-to-male transgender people can become pregnant, while still identifying as men. This is possible for individuals who still have functioning ovaries and a uterus. For example, Matt Rice, a transgender man, bore a son xxxx in October 1999 following random sperm donations from three cisgender male friends....

Thomas Beatie, another transgender man, has borne three children. He chose to become pregnant because his wife xxxx was infertile, doing so with cryogenic donated sperm and a syringe, at home. Beatie gave birth to a girl xxxx on June 29, 2008. ... Beatie gave birth to a boy xxxx on June 9, 2009. Beatie gave birth to his third child, a boy ... on July 25, 2010. Beatie has since had a phalloplasty to create an artificial penis and is also considering a hysterectomy."

Yuval Topper, an Israeli transgender man, gave birth to a child on December 28, 2011."

I've replaced the names of the wife and babies with xxxx because it is not necessary to name them here.

FloraFox Thu 18-Jul-13 17:30:09

puddingpop I understand your frustration. It seems like there is an ongoing effort by some activists to police language in a way that is, in my view, harmful to women and women's issues. They are redefining the word "woman" as meaning a person of either sex who wishes to be identified as a woman based on the culturally constructed roles and attributes society currently imposes on persons of the female sex. The traditional and scientific definition is obviously an adult human female but this is apparently transphobic.

Person-with-uterus? No, sorry, I find that quite revolting. I'm not critising you, buffy for using that term but i'm appalled that the meaning of womanhood is being co-opted to the extent that you don't feel you have a word to use to describe that class of persons who are biologically potentially able to conceive and produce children and who have been oppressed and continue to be oppressed as a result of that one aspect of their being. The word is woman.

rosabud Thu 18-Jul-13 17:43:44

OK, thank you for the explanations. So a cis woman is a real woman, or at least, a person who has been born a woman and always identified as a woman and stayed as a woman. I have to know......what does cis stand for??

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