Violence Against Women

(515 Posts)
EatsBrainsAndLeaves Sun 30-Sep-12 12:27:42

Just been reading this blog post which talks about women who Transition as violence against women. I agree with her.

[Warning from MNHQ - this contains graphic images]

http://dirtywhiteboi67.blogspot.co.uk/2012/09/transition-violence-against-women.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed:+TheDirtFromDirt+(The+dirt+from+Dirt)

Feckbox Sun 30-Sep-12 12:35:21

I read it, but can't comment one way or another. It's a subject I have no experience or understanding of

I don't agree, I think it's transphobic bollocks. I also think your link should come with a warning as some might not want to see the graphic images.

PanofOlympus Sun 30-Sep-12 12:55:15

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NormaStanleyFletcher Sun 30-Sep-12 13:00:15

Have asked mnhq to add something to thread title or op to say link has graphic images.

RandallPinkFloyd Sun 30-Sep-12 13:12:01

I've avoided commenting on any of your recent threads OP but imo you've gone too far this time.

Agree with Pan there's definitely an interesting discussion to be had but that is clearly not your intention.

That link is vile.

Reported and hidden.

I think this is a new angle as the article is talking about FtM whereas every other bunfight discussion I've seen on here has focussed on MtF which presents an entirely different set of problems (or not, depending on your POV) for women.

I think the author has a point worthy of discussion but the tone of the article, together with the use of the grim images is IMO really insensitive.

Leithlurker Sun 30-Sep-12 17:21:33

What exactly is new about it? I am fairly sure all aspects of people changing gender was poured over adnausem a few weeks back.

Or is the difference that some women do not want to be women and somehow that means men are attacking and mutilating them after being asked to do so by the former women. These former women incidentally go through months and months of psychological examination to weed out those that are either confused and unhappy, or those that have some psychological damage that is at the root of their desire to change. Only after satisfying those external examiners will any modification be carried out. Seems perfectly reasonable to me that no attack or anti women action is happening, rather a surgical procedure that has been proven to be needed by the individual concerned. It also cannot be against women as exactly the same is on offer to male who wish to become women.

Uppercut Sun 30-Sep-12 18:12:40

Gender dysphoria is a neurological disorder, not a political football.

A person could frame this illness in terms of 'women mutilate themselves so they that they can grow penises and escape male violence' but... not if they wanted to say anything meaningful.

PanofOlympus Sun 30-Sep-12 18:31:46

Message from MNHQ - "Oh no, not this shit again!"

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Sun 30-Sep-12 19:28:03

grin at Pan

kim147 Sun 30-Sep-12 19:34:49

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KoPo Sun 30-Sep-12 20:46:08

Eats I have avoided saying this for some time and have kept my tongue. But a number of your threads have this same method of posting something inflammatory and then waiting for the bunfight to ensue. Why?

You repeatedly come across as anti trans, anti man, and at times seemingly even anti woman who dosn't agree with you. Just what is it you are seeking here? I think you are coming from a place of personal pain and resentment, but there are ways of having a reasonable discussion.

In the words of Dragons Den ... "I'm out"

EatsBrainsAndLeaves Sun 30-Sep-12 22:18:03

I am back. As I have repeatedly said on other threads I dont spend much time on mumsnet usually, so I do come back, but I have spent the last 10 hours in real life.

I thought this link was tragic because it shows women mutilating their bodies. As the author says, we try and stop women mutilating their bodies through anorexia or other means, so why is this form of mutilation okay?

Sorry for not including a trigger warning with the photos. But they show what we are talking about when we talk about surgery on women. Lots have seen programmes on TV about surgery on men, but I have never seen anything on TV about the realities of the outcomes for surgery on women.

kim147 Sun 30-Sep-12 22:27:13

I'll engage - why not..

So what would the alternative be?

Luke Anderson seems very happy with surgery. But many FTMs don't actually undertake penile construction because it's major surgery.

Do you actually know any transmen? Or any transgendered individuals?

EatsBrainsAndLeaves Sun 30-Sep-12 22:29:31

Yes Kim I know quite a few Trans peopel - men and women.

The alternative perhaps is to give psychological help to help these women deal with their gender dysphoria. It is a psychological illness that needs psychological treatment.

kim147 Sun 30-Sep-12 22:30:23

How do you know? Are you a medical expert?

EatsBrainsAndLeaves Sun 30-Sep-12 22:32:48

Actually yes, kind of. I have read the original research papers arguing the biological origins of gender dysphoria and they are quite clearly wrong. There is no evidence at all that gender dysphorioa is anything other than apsychological disorder.

KRITIQ Sun 30-Sep-12 22:35:58

I'm not going to click the link. I used to be a nurse and did placement in operating theatres and surgical wards. Many surgical procedures are very gory to watch - during and in the aftermath - including things like hip replacements and nasal resections. Those procedures could be called "mutilation" as well, but it seems alarmist to use the term when referring to a procedures that improves the physical and/or mental health and well being of the patient.

So sorry, it's not something one can compare to anorexia or self-harming because there is clearly NO positive physical or mental health outcome as a result of the individual's actions.

kim147 Sun 30-Sep-12 22:36:21

Well that's me told smile

Thing is though, a lot of transpeople seem perfectly happy with their life. It's just the attitude of certain people in society towards them that causes problems.

KRITIQ Sun 30-Sep-12 22:41:27

Throughout history, there have always been people who have attempted to pathologise "difference," in people they regarded as inferior to them. Sometimes they argued that biologically they were inferior (e.g. race, sex,) and sometimes they labelled people with mental illnesses rather than considering that their behaviour was a not unreasonable response to prejudice (e.g. African Caribbean and Irish immigrants to the UK this century.)

This insistence that trans people are suffering only from a mental illness that should be "cured" with psychiatric drugs or talking cures only is a more recent manifestation of this.

kim147 Sun 30-Sep-12 22:43:56

Some people used to think homosexuality was an illness that could be cured. Some still do.

There's still a lot of prejudice out there.

EatsBrainsAndLeaves Sun 30-Sep-12 22:45:38

Research shows that after surgery self reported happiness goes up in the short term. But after 2 years self reported happiness and the level of suicides goes back to the level pre surgery. There is absolutely no evidence for positive outcomes for this surgery. It does not statistically make women or men any happier.

Leithlurker Sun 30-Sep-12 22:49:41

Jeeso, have a word with yourself Eats. Would you say the same about lipo suction, or gastric band fitting. What about nose jobs, or ear pinning?

Your whole argument is that those women who believe that they would be better off as a male are sick. So you would what go back to electric shock therapy, use of strong drugs that alter the mind? Thats what they used to do to gay people, or anyone else who did not conform to a stereotype. Except in this instance it is a feminist stereotype. How emancipated of you.

Who exactly would pay for this treatment? You clearly locate the problem in the individual so they would pay for the drugs, the psychologists, therapists etc. It certainly will not be the nhs as their exists a proven treatment that seems cost effective and successful. I do not think that the nhs will not be spending resources on two different methods of treating the same issue.

As usual, this is an interesting debate in theory but this thread is upsetting and comes across as deliberately provocative.

I'm glad I didn't click the link - and I partly didn't click it because the OP, who's been told before how to do links, doesn't think anyone reading deserves the basic courtesy of providing a proper one. Or apparently of providing trigger warnings.

Maybe this is a good moment to point out that we can't trust that the credentials people claim on the net, are real. People on this thread may be medical experts in transgender surgery (though it would seem strange if those same people were also ideologically opposed to the practice). But we don't know.

Reading original research papers does not make one a medical expert, but since they're all I can get, if I could have a link to them, please, that would be useful.

EatsBrainsAndLeaves Sun 30-Sep-12 22:54:35

There are a lot of original research papers. But this blog which debunks the research around a biological origin of gender dysphoria has links to lots of original research papers.

biologicaltheoriestrans.wordpress.com/2012/06/08/sexual-hormones-and-the-brain/

PanofOlympus Sun 30-Sep-12 22:54:58

Eats - so are you a 'professional' in this field? Or have you just read some stuff, like anyone else can?
As I'd said, and most posters here remember, there were multi-threads on the subject of transgender, and a few transgendered people contributed. I'd indicated my personal and professional interest in the discussion.
For me, amongst others, I know v well a F-M person - he is now v happy with 3 children. He was on a radio4 prog with Michael Burke a few years ago where he spoke eloquently about his experience as a 'girl' and how 'wrong' and unhappy he was. No media black out there.

And, it's fairly arrogant, or at least rude, to post an OP like this and wander off.
No wonder you've accrued a name as the sort of poster that you have.

A la above.."I'm out".

Leithlurker Sun 30-Sep-12 22:55:08

You know what i think I am going to report this whole thread, the level of ignorance and prejudice against mental illness is shocking and very upsetting.

If the other posters though think it worthwhile talking this through some more I will hold off.

No, sorry, I asked for original research papers, please.

I know there are lots of them. Since I have a university subscription to journals, I'd like your recommendations of those you've read, while I can access them too.

Thanks.

It'll be fun: we can discuss them and you can do a precis of what they're all about for us.

kim147 Sun 30-Sep-12 22:57:38

Did you just google a research paper? From what I know, it's very difficult to do follow up studies because people just don't want to be involved in long term studies.

Maybe rates would be better if society was a lot more accepting of difference?
And TBH, people often have high expections that won't be achieved by surgery and hormones. It's pretty hard not "passing", not being accepted, losing your family, being unemployed and being treated as a joke by people. But for some reason, people still feel the need to undergo transition. And risk losing everything.

kim147 Sun 30-Sep-12 23:00:08

So someone on the internet has read some papers, posted her views and you take her take as fact?

It's a good thing you don't work in medical research.

EatsBrainsAndLeaves Sun 30-Sep-12 23:00:46

Yes and that blog provides links to original research papers.

Surgery like this is violence against women. The link does not take you to photos of surgery which always looks gory, but of the results after surgery. You can see that the results do not look good. And the research shows that women are not even happier afterwards after the initial period of time.

We need to develop a psychological programme to support these women.

Yes, but if you are an expert, you will be familiar with many research papers.

I would like their citation info, please.

And then we can discuss what they're saying and how they fit into the general scholarship.

Seriously - if you are an expert, I would love the chance to do this. I only have subscription for a short while more, so would really like to read what you've read.

Leithlurker Sun 30-Sep-12 23:04:46

Do you ever take anything in, or only things that come from your very narrow point of reference?

EatsBrainsAndLeaves Sun 30-Sep-12 23:05:09

LRD - I havent got time, or the inclination to spend 20 minutes cutting and pasting lots of links here. Read the research papers linked to on that blog and we can then discuss those. The links are there for you

Leithlurker Sun 30-Sep-12 23:05:18

That was to Eats obviously.

kim147 Sun 30-Sep-12 23:05:40

What research papers? Who did they speak to? Have they got control groups? How long were the follow up studies for? What age were they? Did they have support? Did they compare the groups to those who had hormones but no surgery? What about those who had chest surgery? How did they measure happiness? Did they follow all the individuals?

How long ago was this research carried out? What was the sample size?

Forgive me, but I do not believe you.

You claimed to be an expert. You clearly wished to discuss the subject - you started a thread - but you cannot back up your claims.

Please either post the links and discuss them with us properly, or retract your claim to be an expert.

Incidentally, I simply do not believe an 'expert' would need to C&P links. An expert would remember what they read, and would be able to summarize it such a way as would demonstrate their expertise.

You would be referring us to specific authors, or papers by their titles - not blog posts.

EatsBrainsAndLeaves Sun 30-Sep-12 23:09:57

How many times? Follow the link I gave you. There there are lots of citations for research papers. The research papers proving a biological origin for gender dysphoria are bunkum. That is the point.

Browsing through that blog, btw, frankly, it reads as if the blogger doesn't realize she's reading the abstract of the article and not the article! I may be wrong here, but it doesn't inspire confidence.

eats, papers don't 'prove'. They demonstrate.

This is extremely basic science that a person with a good GCSE would know.

Please explain where your 'expert' opinion comes from, without reference to the blog.

Obviously, if you are an expert, you will be able to do this.

EatsBrainsAndLeaves Sun 30-Sep-12 23:14:36

LRD you are right the existing research shows no evidence at all that there is a biological basis for gender dysphoria. And i am not revealing anything personal about myself here!

I didn't say that, so I don't know why you think I am 'right'.

I didn't ask you to reveal anything personal.

I am simply asking you to provide citations - not from that blog - for the articles you've read. And expert precis so the rest of us can understand.

kim147 Sun 30-Sep-12 23:18:11

Do you know how the brain develops? I certainly don't and I don't really think anyone does. It's an incredibly complex organ. Did you know that experiences can be passed down between generations without affecting the DNA code? A male already has all the genes to be female - but the Y chromosome overrides them.

Things go different - genes get turned on, turned off. Experiences alter them. No one truly knows about brain biochemistry. All the potential neural connections. People have their theories. But no one knows.
What is a mental illness anyway - it's just a different way of the brain working to other people - is that so wrong? Can psychiatry rewire the brain? Make all those neurons work "correctly" - or maybe giving people what they truly want and supporting them, rather than treating them as freaks and outcasts, might be the more humane answer?

What do all your trans friends think?

Btw, because the specific article linked to is (as far as I can see), an article in a book and not a journal research paper, I can't access the whole thing.

So, could you link to something else that's likely to be in an online journal? That way I and others will be able to find it without having access to a specialist university library at midnight.

kim147 Sun 30-Sep-12 23:22:24

You do of course realise the only possible experiment is to have lots of children brought up from birth in a completely gender neutral environment so they would have no idea "how to act" and to see what the outcome is.

How that would be done is a bit more tricky.

I've got to say, having dug, from the incomplete version of that article ('Sexual hormones and the brain: an essential alliance for sexual identity and sexual orientation.') I can find, doesn't look good. It begins with some unsupported truisms, on which I know there is contradictory research.

However, I find the blog review of it truly bizarre. The publication looks to me as if it's intended as a review of the state of the subject (ie., paediatric neuroendocrinology). Such books do not typically present new work, but rather summaries of old work - which is what this article (very poorly) does.

Maybe it's been cited to kingdom come, and that's why the blog author is so fed up with hearing it cited. But s/he doesn't say that: s/he expresses concerns with the methodology.

And eats reiterates those claims, without any further sense of the state of the field.

I am not remotely an expert, I have no clue what's going on in medicine at all. A first year med student would be immesurably better informed. So I'm not pretending I know what's going on.

So, perhaps some proper citations - and explanations - would help.

From the preface: 'This volume covers a wide range of topics in pediatric neuroendocrinology and informs the reader of the latest scientific developments'.

It's not claiming to produce new experimental evidence.

Criticizing it for not producing new experimental evidence is therefore bizarre (and suggests the blogger hasn't actually read the preface, or possibly, anything other than the abstract).

By all means criticize it for being a shoddy piece of work ...

kim147 Sun 30-Sep-12 23:34:15

Well I've got a Masters in Biochemistry, did a thesis in brain biochemistry and spent several years doing genetic research so I know a little about science.

All I can say is the brain is complicated. Genetics is complicated. There's a gene called the SRY gene found in the Y chromosome that makes you "male". But then there's hormones in the womb, genes being turned on and off etc.

But that argument leads to the male / female brain which is a wholely separate discussion. Especially on this section. smile

I just wish some people would be less prejudiced and more supportive. People don't do all this stuff for fun.

kim147 Sun 30-Sep-12 23:40:23

eats Do you think homosexuality is a mental illness that can be cured? Or do you just think it happens and people should accept it without any prejudice?

EatsBrainsAndLeaves Sun 30-Sep-12 23:41:23

I have never suggested women have mutilating surgery for fun.

Leithlurker Sun 30-Sep-12 23:48:46

No you only suggested they do so because they are mentally ill!

kim147 Sun 30-Sep-12 23:50:22

What about homosexuality? Is it a mentall illness? Should it be treated by a psychiatrist? I don't think there's a sexual identity region in the brain, is there?

EatsBrainsAndLeaves Sun 30-Sep-12 23:50:56

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kim147 Sun 30-Sep-12 23:52:11

You're avoiding the question on homosexuals.

Are you serious? Homosexuals have a psychological disorder?

No. No they do not.

EatsBrainsAndLeaves Sun 30-Sep-12 23:53:33

Being lesbian or gay is not a psychological disorder. Lesbian and gay people do not mutilate their bodies to be lesbian or gay

kim147 Sun 30-Sep-12 23:54:07

No - I'm seeing what Eats thinks. I don't think that.

Leithlurker Sun 30-Sep-12 23:54:18

You have yet to provide the evidence for that, LRD and others have asked you several times but still no show. Until you provide proper documentation that can be read by everyone, it is only your assessment of what mental state others are in.

kim147 Sun 30-Sep-12 23:55:55

Interesting answer - how do you know it is not a psychological disorder?

Transsexual people feel something is wrong and this is what they have to do. In the same way homosexuals feel that they have to be with people of the same sex.

Leithlurker Sun 30-Sep-12 23:56:42

Are men also mentally ill to want to transform from M to F?

EatsBrainsAndLeaves Sun 30-Sep-12 23:58:32

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kim147 Sun 30-Sep-12 23:59:35

What's a mental illness anyway? Just a different way of being to someone else. Just something different in the wiring of the brain.

How are we to know if we are not all mentally ill in someway?

kim147 Mon 01-Oct-12 00:00:36

Why does it bother you so much anyway? It's not like anyone's making you undergo surgery.

EatsBrainsAndLeaves Mon 01-Oct-12 00:03:53

It bothers me because young women are going through mutilating surgery. These young women are suffering psychologically. They should have proper help, not just be offered mutilating surgery

Leithlurker Mon 01-Oct-12 00:05:28

So women who have healthy breasts reduced in size, women who undergo cosmetic surgery, women who have healthy breast tissue but who fear they are going to develop breast cancer they must all be mad as well then?

What about men and women who scar themselves, have implants placed inside themselves, have permanent skin bleaching. All mad as hatters eh? In fact who would you say is sane eats?

Leithlurker Mon 01-Oct-12 00:07:30

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kim147 Mon 01-Oct-12 00:09:22

You might just accept that FTMs are happy with the treatment, surgery and, like homosexuality, being transsexual is a "state of mind" that we know nothing about why it happens but it does happen and the outcomes are generally accepted as positive.

And if people treated them with more respect, understanding and compassion, this world would be a much nicer place.

Or maybe you think you're trying to do them a favour with your offer of psychiatry? What would you suggest - CBT, electric shock, ridicule, aversion therapy - think most of those have been tried before. sad

Leithlurker Mon 01-Oct-12 00:12:16

Apart from I said something along those lines earlier Kim I agree with you, lets bring back the big victorian asylums and put all the gay and slightly odd people in them and be done with it eh!

MmeLindor Mon 01-Oct-12 00:14:11

Why do you insist that they are not of sound mind? Don't you see how insulting that is?

I haven't researched this, but I would assume by the time a person gets to the stage of considering surgery, that they have been working through their issues for quite some time.

It's hardly a spur of the moment thing to decide to do.

kim147 Mon 01-Oct-12 00:19:24

You'll be pleased to know that homosexuality was no longer an official mental illness from 1973.

And that California has banned from today people trying to cure children who are homosexual.

usnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2012/09/30/14159337-california-becomes-first-state-in-nation-to-ban-gay-cure-therapy-for-children?lite

Bad news is - in Malaysia, people still think you can cure it.

www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/sep/14/malaysia-seminars-spot-gay-children

Not that I'm saying there's any link between these modern attitudes towards homosexuals and your views towards transsexuals. Not at all smile

EatsBrainsAndLeaves Mon 01-Oct-12 00:35:09

But lesbian and gay people dont need surgery and hormones to become lesbian or gay. How is it comparable?

sashh Mon 01-Oct-12 05:15:56

OK, I didn't follow the link, because I don't like to follow links when no one has said what I am linking to.

I have read various people's comments, so Eats let me make this personal.

I had my ears pierced when I was 14, I'd wanted them done from age 5. It is a form of mutilation, I asked for repeatedly.

Now in my 40s I am not happier than just after they were pierced.

Do I think I should have had psychological treatment instead of a piercing gun?

My personal view is yes: in an ideal world, a non-patriarchial world, yes, we wouldn't feel the need to pierce our ears. Because yes, it is (as you say sassh) a form of multilation. But we do it because, well, it is a tiny sting, and a tiny hole, and thereafter typically not an issue.

To talk about this or gender reassignment surgery in terms of 'madness' (which TBH isn't the world eats used) or 'psychological treatment' might be missing the point.

My best guess is that if we lived in a world where gender was no longer our key social construct, transsexualism as people experience it now, wouldn't exist. That is a guess. I don't know. No-one can know.

The reason I mention it is, I do strongly believe that gender is a social construct that we need to get rid of. 'Gender' is all the pink-for-girls, blue-for-boys, women-can't-drive, men-can't-cook rubbish, which when you take it away, only leaves biological sex: what primary and secondary sexual characteristics does this person have? (I also believe that without gender, the stupid desire to put people in boxes and insist such-and-such a woman 'looks masculine' or such and such a man is 'feminine', would disappear).

It seems very confused (and inconsistent, and patronizing) to me that, in order to transition, many transsexuals end up 'performing' a gender identity by being hyper-feminine, or hyper-masculine. Why? If the medical establishment trusts they are capable of deciding they need surgery, it's insulting to make them perform some silly game. Or, if the medical establishment is wavering but playing around with a trumped-up test, why choose to reinforce the idea that women must be masculine and men must be feminine?

So, basically, I think 'gender' is a stupid and useless construct, and I would love to see it gone. What is instead happening is that the definition of 'woman' is being changed. 'Woman' used to mean 'a person whose genitalia led to them being identified as female at birth [nb: not 'feminine']'. This definition is useful (maybe crucial) to feminists because it gives us a group identity, and because feminism is a political ideology, we need a group identity.

Drawing the boundaries of that group isn't easy. In the past, it's been drawn to exclude people we'd now insist be included - working class women; women of colour. Some might say, why not re-draw the boundaries again and include male-to-female transwomen? It isn't an invalid question, but I still find it a worrying one. Because at the moment, transsexuality reinforces the idea that 'gender' is the most important binary (not sex, and not anything else). That's the opposite of what I'd want to do.

I know feminists and transsexuals have a huge amount of common ground, but I still end up coming back to this issue of gender and the - to me - radically different ways we see its importance.

I hope that made sense.

kim147 Mon 01-Oct-12 06:56:21

I talk about the link between homosexuality and transsexuality because "something" has gone wrong in development. No - homosexuals don't need hormones but if your brain is telling you one thing and your body isn't, hormones are a way of at least solving part of that problem.

Your OP is also quite frankly provocative. Can you imagine what it would be like for a homosexual person to be described as "straight" by someone? Because that's what your OP is like. You are talking about people who feel very strongly they are not women. You may not think that - but, hey, there are people in this world who don't believe homosexuals are not homosexuals but are really straight people. And I think you'd be upset by that.

I do find it funny how many experts there are on something they don't know anything about. I see you can't be bothered to discuss being more accepting towards difference rather than displaying your clear prejudices.

But there's no point in engaging any further because you have a closed mind towards this issue.

EatsBrainsAndLeaves Mon 01-Oct-12 08:43:04

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eats, I'm glad you agree with me, but I don't feel as if our positions have very much in common.

You must be aware that the way you're expressing yourself is deliberately offensive.

You still have not explained why you claimed to be an 'expert'.

I'm sorry, but I think you are being very evasive and very offensive, at the same time. Do you not realize this?

The views you're putting across sound like a parody of radical feminism by someone who wishes to discredit feminism. If you don't want that, please, can't you try to stop it?

EatsBrainsAndLeaves Mon 01-Oct-12 09:09:06

LRD I am aware that some here find radical feminist views offensive. But I dont believe in changing radical feminist tenets and theory to make it more palatable to those who dont like radical feminism

BlameItOnTheCuervo Mon 01-Oct-12 09:16:49

Eats, I don't find radfems offensive, I do find you offensive, and believe that you are doing more damage than good to the cause of feminism.

But you don't really know much about radical feminist tenets? I don't think there's anything wrong with that, as I have said before - it's fine. But if you're still at the stage of asking lots of questions about the basics (as you are), I think perhaps that explains why you are struggling to put your point of view across honestly and in a way that doesn't needlessly offend.

I have absolutely no problem with radical feminists offending people. I suspect often, it shows they're doing it right.

But I think you're not doing that. You're claiming to be a medical expert on what are clearly extremely shaky grounds, and I for one find it really offensive.

This is a complicated debate, and lots of radical feminists put forward views that are incredibly controversial, but brave and honest and eloquent.

You're damaging their cause by pretending to be an expert and parodying their views. It may not be deliberate, but I am going to tell you that in quite plain language, because you do not seem to understand what the effect of your posts is.

EatsBrainsAndLeaves Mon 01-Oct-12 09:18:50

Thank you for your advice LRD. But I do understand radical feminist tenets.

BlameItOnTheCuervo Mon 01-Oct-12 09:21:25

But, as was shown in the who are members of the patriarchy thread, you don't. You said yourself that you are new to feminism. There is no shame in allowing yourself to be educated.

EatsBrainsAndLeaves Mon 01-Oct-12 09:22:34

Okay I am actually laughing out loud here now. But thank you for your genuine concern.

BlameItOnTheCuervo Mon 01-Oct-12 09:24:09

You're welcome. It was truly heartfelt smile

EatsBrainsAndLeaves Mon 01-Oct-12 09:29:44

Andf back to my original post, the compassionate action is to support these women to live their lives in a way that allows them to be as "masculine" as they wish without mutilating their bodies. That seems a pretty obvious approach surely?

wisden Mon 01-Oct-12 09:30:52

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AnyFucker Mon 01-Oct-12 09:32:56

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But, sorry, why the heck do you keep asking questions, then demonstrating you don't know the answers, if you secretly do know?!

Do you not get that it's rude and annoying?

wisden Mon 01-Oct-12 09:39:01

Exactly AnyF It is like me saying I can count to 50 in spanish and anyone who tells me I can't speak spanish fluently is wrong because I can use google to translate the other words I don't understand. Just because I can count to 50 in spanish does not make me bilingual!

BlameItOnTheCuervo Mon 01-Oct-12 09:41:11

Eats, if you want to learn, there is a poster on here who works with trans teenagers, maybe read her posts on the matter. She IS an expert.

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Alameda Mon 01-Oct-12 09:46:23

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You're probably right, ala.

<backs off>

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Mon 01-Oct-12 09:56:28

Eats, if you really do need to post and run as you often claim, it would be courteous to make your first post more of a full statement. For example:

"I think not enough is being done to find non-surgical solutions to gender dysphoria. I read this blog Xx that had graphic images showing that even after surgery many FTM transsexuals were unhappy with the results. Do other posters think more counselling/more support groups/more hormone treatment could improve matters?"

It really wouldn't take much longer to type and would mean people could see your point without having to try and access broken links, see things they weren't expecting to and above all decide whether to engage based on some idea of what you are talking about.

EatsBrainsAndLeaves Mon 01-Oct-12 10:00:06

Okay Snatch, will do. I actually dont post and run, just dont spend lots of time here. Maybe 30 minutes at a time

MmeLindor Mon 01-Oct-12 10:11:27

I didn't look at the link yesterday, because I was on iPhone and couldn't open it. I did today.

I don't see what that blog adds to the discussion at all, Eats.

As I said earlier, I don't have a lot of knowledge about this, and that blog did absolutely nothing to inform me further.

Surgery of any kind is going to be a bit gruesome, but posting pics without any explanation, ie. who the person is, if he is happy with the results, how the acceptance in his family and workplace has been etc ... I don't see how it furthers understanding of the issues.

EatsBrainsAndLeaves Mon 01-Oct-12 10:14:20

The point is that this cosmetic surgery to make women look like men doesnt even work. These are not pictures of surgery, but of the results afterwards.

MmeLindor Mon 01-Oct-12 10:20:18

Yes, but there is no explanation of that, or if these photos were taken mid way through treatment, or at the end of treatment.

And how should the reader know whether these were photos of people happy with the treatment or not?

Where is the rest of the story? And what about those who have gone through this treatment and the results have been good?

AnyFucker Mon 01-Oct-12 10:25:29

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EatsBrainsAndLeaves Mon 01-Oct-12 12:49:58

Just interested in a couple of assertions that you think i dont understand radical feminism. Could you explain where I dont show an understanding and what is the correct understanding of radical feminism?

I've explained on several threads, and I've answered your questions as carefully as I knew how.

Your thread on patriarchy, where it became apparent you don't know that the standard usage of the term and the use of the term in the context of feminism are different, is an example.

I have no problem with people wanting to ask questions and share knowledge. Loads of lovely posters have done the same for me. There's no need to feel as if you've got to put on a front.

EatsBrainsAndLeaves Mon 01-Oct-12 13:02:47

LRD you said not all men are part of the patriarchy - am I right? Perhaps you could link me to some radical feminist sources that define patriarchy in this way. Because this is certainly a very different definition of radical feminism from one that I have ever read of

No, you're wrong.

I'm not going to debate this again on a separate thread.

EatsBrainsAndLeaves Mon 01-Oct-12 13:05:33

A link to a radical feminist source then? You did say you wanted to educate me

If you are still unclear about whether or not men are part of the patriarchy, I think you are still not understanding how the term is defined in a feminist context.

If you just google 'feminism patriarchy definitions', or similar, you'll come up with loads of different versions and you'll get to see what the state of the debate is.

I linked you to wikipedia before. I think you're probably still needing to read and understand that.

EatsBrainsAndLeaves Mon 01-Oct-12 13:08:47

LRD I didnt ask you for a feminist definition, but a radical feminist definition. You said I didnt understand radical feminism? And everything I have read supports my definition. So I was genuinely interested in a source that contradicted the definitions I have seen and agree with.

You need to understand basic feminism before you can understand specialized applications.

As has been explained to you many times - patriarchy refers to a system of social oppression, wherein men as a class oppress women as a class.

EatsBrainsAndLeaves Mon 01-Oct-12 13:11:19

The explanation you post above is the same one I have discussed. So yes all men are part of the patriarchy and all women are oppressed by it. Glad we agree on this after all LRD

You are not reading words, or you are not understanding them.

Please stop pretending we 'agree'.

If we 'agreed', you would understand that no-one - men, women, small annoying children - lives outside the patriarchy. We are all part of the patriarchy. That is what 'social system' means.

Do you follow?

And, when are you going to retract your claims to be a medical expert? It is a concern that someone might read this thread and believe you, without seeing that you are not one.

It is fine to be at the stage of needing to ask exceedingly simple questions about feminism, but do you understand that when you do that, you're asking people to help you out with learning? And people will be willing to do that - but not if you twist what is said or make claims you cannot support. It's not fair and it does get people's backs up.

Forgive me for C&P from another thread, but you seem still to believe that 'we are not all part of the patriarchy. How do you think women are part of the patriarchy? I am genuinely puzzled that you think that.'

I can understand you being puzzled. I can understand you needing to ask simple questions.

But, when you do, and people suggest they think you're not following the answers, it is rude to come back and insist you know what you're talking about and agree with them. Given that you are the one who is puzzled and questioning, you are better off trying to learn.

Women are part of the patriarchy because the patriarchy is a social system.

I explained this very early on the other thread, and if you'd used the wiki link I gave you, you could have looked it up on there.

I am not going to spend more time here - I can see you may want to, but you'll be much better off stopping, thinking about what's been explained in answer to your questions, and trying to follow it.

EatsBrainsAndLeaves Mon 01-Oct-12 13:25:41

No women are oppressed by the patriarchy. As you say yourself in your definition LRD. And I am an expert in my field. i simply refused to share personal information when you asked me for details.

eats, go and look up what a 'social system' is.

You don't understand the term.

Women are both part of a patriarchial society, and oppressed by it. As has been explained many times.

If you disagree, you can explain why.

But you asked the question; you've been given the answers, and it's rude to simply deny them.

I am not asking you for personal information - as I have said - but I did ask you for academic references, not from blogs. The fact you couldn't provide them and the fact you linked to a blog apparently ignorant of the kind of academic text it was discussing make it quite obvious you are not a medical expert.

I don't want to know anything personal about you, but I do feel that if you are going to tell someone you are an expert in an area of discussion as fraught as gender reassignment surgery, you need to be telling the truth. I do not believe you were. I don't think it was a deliberate lie, I think you simply said something over-ambitious in the heat of the moment, because you wanted to be right.

That's understandable, but it's not ok to keep on with it.

EatsBrainsAndLeaves Mon 01-Oct-12 13:41:06

No you complained that the links on the blog were to abstracts. And that is because only the abstracts are publically available. You have said you have access to full research papers, so the abstract should give you the information you need to access these.

But being in the field you already know that the full copy of research paperrs can not usually be linked to for free on the net?

I asked you for links to the research papers.

You gave me links to the blog.

I have asked you time and again for proper links to journal articles not found on that blog.

I am sorry, but it is very clear you have not read originals, or you would be able to provide me with this information.

I'm not in the field, and I have already said that, so don't pretend I claimed to be.

However, as you would know if you were an expert, many people do have access to free online journals. I wanted a link to one. You weren't able to provide it.

MmeLindor Mon 01-Oct-12 13:46:16

Eats
LRD didn't ask you for personal details. She asked you to share your source of expert information.

If you insist that you are right, and that you are an expert, it is only fair that we get to read your 'evidence' and then present you with arguments against your thinking (if there is any).

I am not well read enough to debate the patriarchy with you, but from what LRD and others have written, you do not understand the basic principal -- the patriarchy is a social system, not an old boys club.

I am still a 'feminist with L plates' - there is no shame in admitting that there are parts of the feminist theory that I haven't yet explored. You post a lot of questions about feminism, which is why I had assumed you were in a similar position of starting out, but then you confused me now by saying you were already an expert.

Perhaps you are simply a faster learner than I.

Beachcomber Mon 01-Oct-12 16:50:06

I thought we'd put a stop to the 'you haven't read enough/know enough/been a feminist long enough to discuss these issues' type nonsense.

Radical feminism is straightforward and simple - you don't need to be well read or any kind of expert to get it.

The issue that some feminists have with FtM transgenderism is very simple. It is controversial but simple.

GetOrfAKAMrsUsainBolt Mon 01-Oct-12 17:01:06

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GetOrfAKAMrsUsainBolt Mon 01-Oct-12 17:02:20

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OTheHugeManatee Mon 01-Oct-12 17:06:59

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MiniTheMinx Mon 01-Oct-12 17:33:35

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beach - the issue, as I'm certain you know, isn't to do with anyone thinking you have to know a certain amount to be a radical feminist. In fact, as you know from my posts on this thread, I think it is just fine to be at a learning stage.

What is not fine is to parody radical feminism.

That's fairly simple.

MmeLindor Mon 01-Oct-12 18:15:07

Beach
it isn't about not being well read enough - I will admit to not knowing enough about this topic - but about not setting oneself up as an expert when one is nothing of the sort.

Beachcomber Mon 01-Oct-12 18:22:24

Well I'm not seeing a parody of feminism, radical or otherwise.

Does anyone remember way back when this forum first started that it was a place where women could express themselves about feminist subjects without their tone/posting style/etc being policed?

It is one of the things I like about most of the feminist spaces I have experienced - women are allowed to express themselves in an instinctive grass roots sort of way.

beach, it is rather inconsistent to claim you don't see something (therefore it cannot be there?!) and to claim you want everyone to be able to express themselves.

Either try to silence other posters by denying there's an issue, or go for free speech ... you can't do both, I think!

MiniTheMinx Mon 01-Oct-12 18:41:50

"without their tone/posting style/etc being policed?" no but their opinions were policed if it didn't fully accord with one or two posters.

Beachcomber Mon 01-Oct-12 18:41:50

I'm not trying to stop you say you think someone is parodying feminism LRD.

I'm saying I don't see it - just giving my opinion. I'm not saying it's 'not there'. I'm saying I don't see things that way.

Feel free to disagree. No skin off my nose - am not All Knowing and In Charge of Feminism. LOL.

Just glad to see actual women's issues being brought up on this forum and confused as to why there seem to be so many STFU posts.

Beachcomber Mon 01-Oct-12 18:44:37

"without their tone/posting style/etc being policed?" no but their opinions were policed if it didn't fully accord with one or two posters.

Dunno about that Mini.

I'm just thinking about when the section first started and how it was ok to just, yunno, explore stuff.

Happy days....

PanofOlympus Mon 01-Oct-12 18:59:30

Well, lets face it, Beach it was never "happy days", as you say - people's knowledge and posting styles had always been brought into question round here. And a fair amount of v unfair and belittling swipes were meted out.

And on the topic here, yes the radical feminist 'position' as expounded on FWR is simple. It's just that numerous posters disagree/disagreed with it. Largely because, imho, it was just that. Simple.

EatsBrainsAndLeaves Mon 01-Oct-12 19:03:20

Sometimes the truth is simple

PanofOlympus Mon 01-Oct-12 19:09:16

Simple, Eats? As someone said v wisely in this section, "If all you have is a hammer, then everything must look like a nail".
No sophistication, no accounting for individual experience, no ability to be generous in spirit, no finer filigree of the human experience.
Just a hammer.

Beachcomber Mon 01-Oct-12 19:10:06

Well, again, Pan, I don't see things that way.

I'm of the opinion that it is important for women to explore women's issues. Simply, without tone policing.

Of course there are always going to be disagreements on the subject.

I'm just [bemused] by the STFU here that doesn't seem to be about the actual subject.

People don't disagree with feminism because it is simple, straight forward and instinctive surely? I imagine they disagree because their experience of life has lead them to hold different opinions - which is fair enough.

PanofOlympus Mon 01-Oct-12 19:17:14

of course not Beach, but the STFU isn't aimed at the subject per se, it's prob. aimed at 'say something new because this stuff was worked through ad nauseum fairly recently, thank you very much'. Which the OP doesn't seem to care much about.

MmeLindor Mon 01-Oct-12 19:21:57

I don't know beach. It seems like you are reading a different MN than I am tonight.

My problem (and I speak only for myself here) with this thread is that Eats said that she was an expert and has been unwilling to back up that claim.

I think when someone claims to be an expert on something as controversial as this, then they should be able to converse knowledgeably about that topic.

And not insist that she is right and everyone is wrong based on a blog post, that has no neutral scientific base.

I'm quite sad actually, to find that in the last few weeks that I'm often on 'the other side' of the debate to you. Your posts were those that I would slow down and read when scrolling a thread.

Beachcomber Mon 01-Oct-12 19:23:12

I'm also finding the concept of feminism as a 'journey' or something one has to 'learn' as very strange.

Women don't have to learn about women's issues - we live them and experience them. Feminism has never been an academic subject.

Of course there is brilliant feminist analysis, that puts into words in an incisive, trenchant and coherent manner what many of us experience and feel - and it is vital that women can read and use that analysis if they want to.

But you can have a strong 'handle' on feminism without ever having read any texts. Thank god.

A lot of the radicals I know, were always radicals, they didn't graduate to radical feminism. It was perfectly obvious to them before they even knew that that was what it was called.

PanofOlympus Mon 01-Oct-12 19:27:08

"I'm also finding the concept of feminism as a 'journey' or something one has to 'learn' as very strange." And the rest of that post.

Lordy, Beach. Really? That's a fairly clear indictment of people who wish to come on here and learn a bit, including myself as a man.

I am hoping you don't actually mean that.

Alameda Mon 01-Oct-12 19:29:03

the concept of anything as a journey, other than an actual journey, is strange and annoying in its everywhereness at the moment

from BBC world news to tales from the national parks, follow me on my bbc4 journey this evening

Beachcomber Mon 01-Oct-12 19:29:55

Mme Lindor - EBAL said that she was 'kind of' a medical expert- she didn't say that she was an expert on trans issues, on FtM operations, on feminism or anything else. I have no idea what you do EBAL (and sorry for talking about you in the third person!). I also have no interest in speculating or questioning EBAL on wherein lies your expertise.

There are a lot of women who consider FTM gender reassignment operations as misogynistic and a form of male establishment violence against women.

That's nice of you to say, Mme Lindor, that you used to slow down and read my posts. I don't really see debates as having 'sides' as such - indeed, I try very hard not to and generally just say what I think.

Alameda Mon 01-Oct-12 19:30:32

when I say everywhereness I mean ubiquity

on my journey of vocabulary

MmeLindor Mon 01-Oct-12 19:30:50

Um. Have to disagree, again.

Of course we should 'live' feminism but we have to be made aware of certain issues first

I had no idea of the feminism / trans issue till I read about it here. Just one example of many.

People like you, and LRD and SGM have taught me loads.

I love the idea that none of us have to learn, that we all know what we're talking about automatically.

However - as I well remember you saying, beach, when the MRAs were constantly detracting from the topic with basic, annoying 'what about the menz questions, it is deeply annoying to have someone who asks constant, basic questions while pretending to be a learner, and then turns round to take the piss. That is rude. It is offputting to everyone else who wants to talk.

PanofOlympus Mon 01-Oct-12 19:38:43

I too am investing in Beach that she didn't mean all that she indicated.

Beachcomber Mon 01-Oct-12 19:39:22

Well, Pan. Are you really trying to understand what I'm saying?

I think Feminism belongs to all women.

It belongs to poor women, defavourised women, illiterate women, women as a group.

There doesn't need to be a journey or book reading or debating on MN to get women's issues.

For some women, it may be a journey or a learning curve. For other women it is obvious and as plain as the nose on their face (often because such women have been shat on good and hard by patriarchal society).

It's great when people want to learn about something and read and bolster their instincts. It isn't a requirement of feminism though.

PanofOlympus Mon 01-Oct-12 19:45:05

Yes, Beach I am trying to understand what you are saying, fwiw. And I do see, and know, family and friends (female) who 'know' stuff and are assertive enough to practice it, (both my sisters for eg) without the back up of 'theory'. We all know them. It's your questioning that every woman should know this, and have no need for a 'journey' and enquire on here, when we live in a society that tells them something else.

Beachcomber Mon 01-Oct-12 19:46:22

Mme Lindor that's nice again to say that you have learnt stuff from my posts on MN.

I can assure you that I am an instinctive feminist.

I have read a bit but what i have read didn't 'teach' me anything - it helped me express what I lived and observed and knew.

I love reading well written feminist analysis - not because it gives me ideas or introduces me to unknowns, but because it lets me know that I am not alone in my thinking and gives an eloquence to gut feelings, instinct and lived observation.

Women's rights have always been about women's lived experience.

Books give us the vocabulary and rhetorical tools to express that lived experience.

Beachcomber Mon 01-Oct-12 19:50:01

But Pan, I didn't say that every woman should know anything.

Nor did I say that there is no need for a 'journey' ever for anyone.

I'm just objecting to the idea that 'feminism is a journey' in general. My experience and observation is that 'ain't necessarily so.

Just another simple idea.

I've got to say, it is really nice to hear that, beach.

I wish I had known that sooner, or heard it sooner, from an influential feminist.

I don't think that is the issue here, though, honestly I don't.

eats isn't pretending to be mega-well-read in feminist theory, nor are people disagreeing with her. It's a red herring.

Beachcomber Mon 01-Oct-12 19:59:32

LRD it makes me kinda sad that women need to hear that they don't need to have read books or be academic or have spent a lot of time on a journey of discovery to get feminism.

Feminism belongs to us all - I don't imagine any one here would try to claim that an illiterate woman cannot understand women's rights. Would we?

Beachcomber Mon 01-Oct-12 20:02:14

eats isn't pretending to be mega-well-read in feminist theory, nor are people disagreeing with her.

Well what's the issue then?

EBAL as far as I can see you post cryptically on fairly typical subjects that come up in feminist discussions and expand when questioned. Seems fair enough to me.

kim147 Mon 01-Oct-12 20:02:48

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kim147 Mon 01-Oct-12 20:03:46

And don't give me that Eats is new to feminism stuff. She's been on here long enough and posted enough to be pretty well versed in what she thinks.

PanofOlympus Mon 01-Oct-12 20:07:26

Well that's a fairly benign interpretation of this particular thread's OP. Nicely, it could be seen as "here's an XY proposition. Discuss whilst I am away." sort of thing. A little arrogant possibly, and fairly rude and certainly superfluous give recent history here.

EatsBrainsAndLeaves Mon 01-Oct-12 20:13:28

I am not the one who has posted saying I am new or not to feminism. Other posters have said that.

So are you happy for young women to have masectomies, take hormones and have disfiguring genital surgery because they want to behave or dress in a "masculine" way. Because that is what we are talking about here.

kim147 Mon 01-Oct-12 20:15:41

Do you understand what gender dysphoria is? I thought you had special expertise in this field?

beach - the issue is what I've said it is, TBH.

I'm sick of answering questions on the subject. Read the thread.

BlameItOnTheCuervo Mon 01-Oct-12 20:16:36

Feminism has certainly been a journey <vom> for me. From being frustrated in school, to accepting that looks are an issuie when hiring waitresses, to annoyance at the way that people dismissed me, tio reading threads ion here. I have changed my opinions on so much. And learnt. And I am passing that on to dh and ds.

But I don't pretend tio be something else.

kim147 Mon 01-Oct-12 20:17:23

Do you actually understand anything about gender dysphoria? Self harming, suicide attempts? The sheer desperation of people who are like that?

Do you know the stats for that? With all your expertise?

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Beachcomber Mon 01-Oct-12 20:18:45

Well exactly.

I'm just confused by this thread.

EBAL you have posted a pretty standard feminist (although controversial in status quo terms) opinion on a subject that is integral to feminism.

I get your opinion and I think it is an instinctive one that many women/feminists hold.

Are people just uncomfortable with the subject because it is controversial (in patriarchy)?

kim147 Mon 01-Oct-12 20:19:20

In fact, Eats - have you got any empathy at all?

You might like to think about all those homosexual people a long time ago who were afraid to come out and were so unhappy they attempted suicide. Or self harmed.

Beachcomber Mon 01-Oct-12 20:20:46

EBAL - I think you may be Doing Feminism Wrong...

<wry>

kim147 Mon 01-Oct-12 20:20:49

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BlameItOnTheCuervo Mon 01-Oct-12 20:22:12

So are you happy for young women to have masectomies, take hormones and have disfiguring genital surgery because they want to behave or dress in a "masculine" way. Because that is what we are talking about here.

I am happy for people whio feel that they were born the wrong sex to have surgery that will make them happier.

kim147 Mon 01-Oct-12 20:23:29

Are you happy for young women to have sex with other young women?

Yes - because it's none of my fucking business.

EatsBrainsAndLeaves Mon 01-Oct-12 20:23:53

Young girls not allowed to act the way they want to because it is seen as "masculine" often develop gender dysphoria where they believe that they must really be the opposite sex. Of course they are distressed and upset. But we should be encouraginga situation where they can behave and dress in as "masculine" way as they wish in their own body.

And giving them psychological support to develop an acceptance and appreciation of the body they have.

This is a much more compassionate response than encouraging them to have unnecessary surgery and take hormones for life.

Beachcomber Mon 01-Oct-12 20:25:41

I don't doubt that EBAL will correct me if I'm wrong - but I think this thread is about the self-harm that women partake in when they mutilate their bodies in order to fit in with the patriarchal masculine/feminine paradigm.

The subject is self harm.

And the discussion is; should this self harm be institutionalised (in medicine) and normalized (by society) or should we question the enforced gender roles of patriarchal society and they harm they do to individuals.

Which is a basic founding question of feminist tenets.

EatsBrainsAndLeaves Mon 01-Oct-12 20:27:17

Exactly beach

Beachcomber Mon 01-Oct-12 20:28:19

And I don't think accusations of 'shit stirring' is helpful analysis or empathetic to be frank.

kim147 Mon 01-Oct-12 20:32:21

Eats - it's way more complex than wanting to act masculine. Way more complicated. You are over simplifying something you know nothing about.

If you actually took the time to speak to people who are in that situation and to try to truly understand, then you would realise how much more complex it is than wanting to act male.

Your body feels wrong. That's what it's like. Psychiatry has been tried - just as it was for homosexuality. But it's not worked. But even basic hormone treatment has been shown to make your body feel right. Many transsexuals don't progress to surgery. The hormones alleviate the feelings. But for others. the feelings of a body not feeling right go much deeper.

It is not a case of wanting to act male. It is a case of your body and brain not feeling right.

But it's hard to explain to someone whose body and brain do feel right.

Beachcomber Mon 01-Oct-12 20:35:23

There used to be a poster on FWR who would sometimes talk about these issues. She thought long and hard about FtM gender reassignment surgery and said that feminist questioning of the gender binary (hierarchy) helped her to clarify her situation. Shame she isn't here anymore.

PanofOlympus Mon 01-Oct-12 20:36:29

erm..no..the subject is self-improvement, not self-harm. Self-harm is all of the absolute shit and self-hatred that trans-sexuals have to endure. Pointing up again my friend who moved F-M and is now v v happy and successful (the Michael Buerke programme was called 'Choices' on R4) - if I know one, there there will be many. So he should endure a life of misery as a woman because....? it's not okay with a small section of feminists?

The radical feminists will baulk at the concept of a born-female rejecting the female state. That's their prob., but lets not pretend it's a global view, even amongst feminists.

kim147 Mon 01-Oct-12 20:40:56

Surgery is a very big step for many people in such a situation. Of course it is and it just does not happen.As it's kind of irreversible. People have doubts. Some people have regrets. But many don't and they go on to lead perfectly happy lives.

The younger you are, the easier it is. It's easier for FTMs as testosterone has some pretty obvious changes with hair, muscles and the voice. But FTM bottom surgery is unusual as it is a major procedure.

No one seems to have picked up on the prejudices faced by transsexual people which obviously affects happiness outcomes. Lack of employment and losing family. However, there has been a massive increase in referrals no doubt due to the recent media interest such as my Transsexual summer and also Luke in Big Brother (who won). People are becoming less prejudiced and more accepting and it is encouraging more people to come out.

EatsBrainsAndLeaves Mon 01-Oct-12 20:43:49

Yes I have talked to women who thought about transitioning as well as those who have transitioned and then detransitioned.

Yes these women say at some point they felt like a man? But what does feeling like a man mean? All men feel different.

What they mean is that how they act, want to dress, behave, way they communicate is seen as "masculine". They are censored for that. I have seen women accused online of being men when they are not, because the way they communicate is seen as too "masculine".

These women interpret all this as - well I must really be a man. So they then define this as feeling like man inside.

MiniTheMinx Mon 01-Oct-12 20:45:11

Is it a global view? I don't have a problem with transgender. I don't think I can really understand because I am not. In the same way that many feminist will not allow MtF into women only spaces, saying that born men can not really share their experiences. I can not share the experience of being trans and the oppression and vitriol they often face.

EatsBrainsAndLeaves Mon 01-Oct-12 20:45:21

Pan, there are an estimated 10% of Trans who regret transitioning. Usually after a number of years. But if you have had the full surgery and taken hormones, what do you do?

EatsBrainsAndLeaves Mon 01-Oct-12 20:46:49

Nobody wants to oppress individual Trans people. You do know young children are nwo being diagnosed as Trans? At 5, 6, 7 years of age? Do you really think this is a compassionate approach?

kim147 Mon 01-Oct-12 20:51:03

More complicated than that - maybe for some that's what they think, but others have a feeling of wrongness.

As for children - well I have my own views on that but I really don't want to enter into that debate.

Leithlurker Mon 01-Oct-12 20:52:37

Beach did you bother to read the whole thread? If you did you will see that LRD and others very slowly and very carefully tried to tease out what EBAL was on about. At each turn they were faced with obscure references, statements repeated time and again instead of informative or discursive points. This thread ata best has been antagonistic towards people with mental health issues, or downright dismissive of something you seem quite keen on, the real life lived experiences of people unhappy with the gender they were born in to.

MiniTheMinx Mon 01-Oct-12 20:54:54

It is a huge concern Eats, yes. I think that people are people and I can accept difference. Gender reasignment and hormones for minors, step too far.

I was a "tomboy" (hate that term) I am now very dainty although I don't do make up, hair, heels etc. I'm also gobby, confident and assertive, I don't do emoting very well (aspie????) so what am I? well I am me. many children go through phases, thank heavens many children are allowed to explore their world in a non gender specific way. Why do we jump in and label them trying to medicalise something that may actually come to be a form of human development (environmental factors.....think fish and rivers. I remember as a kid wanting to be a boy because boys seemed to have all the toys I wanted to play with! whilst I was given dolls, thank heavens no one in the 70's thought to medicalise normal behaviour.

Adults.......well lets just say they are old enough to make up their own minds and deserve respect and support.

MmeLindor Mon 01-Oct-12 21:00:19

10% is not a lot, Eats. That means 90% are happy and do not regret it <states the obvious>

I am not saying that the 10% who are unhappy don't concern me - their happiness is important, and there must be lessons learned from them to ensure that the percentage sinks.

But would you have 90% live unhappy for the sake of this group?

I don't believe in therapy (other than counselling) for children. Once they are older, they can make up their minds. I would worry that they might be influenced by parents.

EatsBrainsAndLeaves Mon 01-Oct-12 21:07:17

Most women who transition are very young i.e. teenage girls or very early twenties. And the truth this is all too new for us to know the lobg term consequences for women. There is some suggestion taht atking tetesterone may increase their risk of cancer and heart diseas. But really they are being experimented on.

kim147 Mon 01-Oct-12 21:10:12

I see you are ignoring the question about your medical expertise in this field.

"Regret" is hard to define. Does detransitioning count as regret or a realisation of how hard it is to be accepted? Many people do start the journey but once on hormones they react badly (the hormones feel wrong) - is this regret or a realisation they are not trans?

Post surgery - why the regret? Do they think life is too hard and they are not accepted? Is this a regret over the way life turned out and they made a big mistake? Would they regret things if life was easier and people were more tolerant.

It's easy to Google and quote statistics from a headline. But it is much harder to analyse something and postulate hypotheses. I personally think it is much more useful to look behind a headline figure and to actually question the assumptions and draw my own conclusions. I was trained as a scientist and it is important to analyse and hypothesise. Some people just give a headline and don't bother actually thinking about the research they've read and the thinking behind it.

kim147 Mon 01-Oct-12 21:11:41

Again, you're just giving facts without information. What is the median age for transition?

It's actually 42. Not young women.

Leithlurker Mon 01-Oct-12 21:16:16

Utter bollocks, this is not new at all what is new is the surgical treatment. Women have been dressing and acting as men for centuries. Many accounts of women dressing as soldiers, or sailors, going to war in some cases being very successful as men, including marrying other women. These were women plainly wishing to be men.

Leithlurker Mon 01-Oct-12 21:21:57
EatsBrainsAndLeaves Mon 01-Oct-12 21:45:23

42 is the median age for transition when men are taken into account. It is not the median age for women. Women usually transition very young

Yes women have been dressing as men for centuries because society would not allow them to do certain jobs or behave in a certain way when they were women. That is not the same as them thinking they are men.

kim147 Mon 01-Oct-12 21:54:44

Have you given any thoughts as to why people detransition?

I still find this discussion quite antagonistic. You seem to be focussing on the negatives rather than the positives for many people.

And - it is similar discussions that took place (and still take place) about people who are homosexual. I would have thought that you of all people would have an understanding about the prejudices people who are homosexual face, all the discrimination and the prejudices they face. Such as the death penalty in some countries.

But this country is far more tolerant now and we have a far greater understanding of people who are homosexual and are far more accepting. I do not know what it is like to be someone who is homosexual but I fully accept that is how they feel and I would fully support them in how they live their life.

The NHS and the way society is does not make transition easy. There is so much to do and assessments to get through before surgery is offered.

EatsBrainsAndLeaves Mon 01-Oct-12 22:01:21

Women and men who detransition or say they regret it have posted their stories on the net as to why. They are massively attacked by some Trans people who want to hide the fact that so many regret it.

kim147 Mon 01-Oct-12 22:05:20

No denying people detransition. There's also no denying that people get attacked. Believe it or not, there's people with very radical views in the trans world just as there is in the feminist world. smile

There's loads of reasons why people detransition - but how are you defining it?
And what about all those people who stick with it and lead happy lives?

Or are you only focussing on the negatives?

inde Mon 01-Oct-12 22:08:46

I hope you do have qualifications to come out with all this stuff EBAL or some properly researched evidence to back it up not just here say off the internet . These are real people with extreme problems and I would hate to think they are being used as a political football to suit your agenda.

EatsBrainsAndLeaves Mon 01-Oct-12 22:22:26

Kim I am well aware Trans people have a wide variety of views. There are Trans people who think it is a psychological disorder and that you can't change sex and who agree with radical feminists.

kim147 Mon 01-Oct-12 22:26:13

And there are many who don't.

And there are real people who don't actually know the cause but have to live with it in their real lives unlike some feminists who have the benefit of being able to discuss their theories and not having to live with it.

It's very patronising somebody theorising about something they have no real life experience about. It's a bit like mansplaining, isn't it?

EatsBrainsAndLeaves Mon 01-Oct-12 22:26:35

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

HoopDePoop Mon 01-Oct-12 22:27:01

I wish you could focus on the individuals concerned rather than the stress it places on your own personal politics.

V rightwing and narrow-minded to think it's a wrong thing, the end. It's not your life, why do you care so much? It's like it makes you physically recoil and threatens your very existence - I can see why many posters arecomparing the demonising of trans to homosexuality, it threatens systems or something to some feminists - I just don't understand why it matters so much! Live and let live, no?

If I don't have to be well-read to be a feminist, my instinctive feminist and human response to someone who wants to transition would be to support them, as it must be hellish. Aren't suicide rates amongst transpeople sky high? Have a heart.

HoopDePoop Mon 01-Oct-12 22:29:34

Also, just want to applaud LRD's posts on this thread - I think you always tread such an excellent line of disagreeing politely with people in this section without ever being dogmatic or rude smile

EatsBrainsAndLeaves Mon 01-Oct-12 22:31:26

Suicide rates of Trans people who transition go down initially and then climb back up to pre transition rates. This treatment doesnt work!

In terms of why it matters, it matters because under UK law anyone who is Trans man who says he is a woman, can access female spaces. That means men who say they are women can use female bathrooms, communal showers, attend sexual abuse support groups, etc.

And 75-80% of Trans people never have genital surgery. So in most cases we are talking about a man who still has his penis.

kim147 Mon 01-Oct-12 22:31:48

I do wish you would stop saying it is a psychological disorder. You don't know what the cause is. I don't. No one knows.

You are transplaining. It's patronising. I would not tell you what it is like to be a lesbian. I would not tell you what to think, how to act or criticise you. Because I do not know what it is like.

kim147 Mon 01-Oct-12 22:35:39

Can I play trans bingo?

You've come up with something that's been discussed - by you - ad nauseum.

Why don't you just admit you don't believe transsexuals have a right to exist and should all be given shock therapy and locked away?

This thread is a blatant attempt to bring up a debate that's been done before on here regularly and always ends up in a bun fight.

You don't believe people should have gender reassignment.
Others do.

You will never be convinced so I'm finished discussing this with someone who is as closed mind as you. I hope you do not have a child who is in this position as I don't think you'll give a damn.

EatsBrainsAndLeaves Mon 01-Oct-12 22:36:39

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

HoopDePoop Mon 01-Oct-12 22:41:24

The lines between being a man and a woman are a lot finer than you seem to think Eats , unless you're talking about gender, which in a patriarchy the lines are obviously very distinct. It's not actually that far to become a man, but obviously means a lot to people who want to have the necessary physical changes.

And really, if it matters so much because people with penises can access things designated just for women, still why does it matter? confused they're only willies.

KRITIQ Mon 01-Oct-12 22:42:01

Hmmm. I realise I will probably be taking this thread on a tangent somewhat, but it has meandered considerably already.

I am I believe older than most of the contributors to this thread and have been involved in some form or other of feminist activism for over 30 years. That doesn't give me any special status or authority, but I have had the opportunity to observe the evolution of the feminist movement from both a personal and a theoretical basis. I don't assume nor expect that anyone else will agree with my impressions.

Thinking back 20 - 25 years ago, I joined together with feminists who came to the movement by many paths and represented many different facets of feminism. There were often lively discussions and sometimes disagreements. Collectives could be hell or heaven depending. smile However, there seemed to be at least a willingness to focus on common ground we did share. Yes, it did include radical feminists, or at least women who saw themselves as radical feminists at the time.

I can never recall, however, any examples where representatives of any section of the movement trying to exert their superior status, claim exclusive entitlement to the term "feminism," nor condemn other feminists as ignorant, fakes, puppets of the patriarchy or in the other patronising terms I seem to hear from some quarters now. I've pondered a bit where the chauvinistic approach of some radical feminists might be coming from. As I said, I don't expect they or anyone else will agree on my "take," but what the hell, here it is!

I think in times of economic austerity and social unrest, it's not unusual for social, political and even faith movements to "turn more inward" than they would in less unsettled times. When the world outside is insecure, you want to know who you can trust and take comfort from being amongst other believers. To be sure who is "one of us," movements become more prescriptive about what behaviours and beliefs are acceptable and not allowed. Another way to mark who is "us" is to define who is "them," and a quick and easy way to promote unity is to depict "them" and the characteristics they embody as inferior or even better, as threatening to "us" in some way. Sometimes, condemning "them" appears to become more important than promoting whatever it is that brought "us" together as a movement!

My hunch is that this is what is happening recently in some quarters of radical feminism.

I think trans women serve as that "unifying pariah" for some radical feminists at the moment. Transmen are also sometimes targeted (but more along the lines of patronising and pitying - they are all just misguided/deluded Lesbians who refuse to accept their "true" identity who are exploited by the male medical establishment,) and also bisexual women, who've demonstrated that they can have sexual/romantic relationships with women so have absolutely no excuse for having any sexual/romantic interest in men.

It's interesting that Beachcomber says she doesn't understand the idea of feminism being a "journey," that it is something you either accept, chapter and verse, or you don't (and therefore have no right to call yourself a genuine feminist.) The approach makes me think of some fundamentalist Christian denominations that insist the only way to salvation is to follow their creed without deviation.

It's also interesting that there seems to be the suggestion from Eats and Beachcomber on this thread at least, that having that "faith" in the ideals of radical feminism is more important than having evidence to substantiate what you believe.

EatsBrainsAndLeaves Mon 01-Oct-12 22:44:38

Hoop if you think it doesnt matter then surely you think there should be now omen only space? So you would send any girls you have/had into a men's toilet if the women's toilet was busy? After all as you said, they are only willies.

HoopDePoop Mon 01-Oct-12 22:48:22

Of course not, don't be obtuse. Men as a class, women as a class - there is room for the quirks of individuality, no?

They're not sexual predators, they're trans.

And having a willy doesn't make you a predator anyhow. In the loos there would be a chance of my DD seeing a willy, but in any other actual real situation, ok it's be slightly unusual to have a trans who didn't 'pass' in the midst, but no reason to have a freak out about it confused

HoopDePoop Mon 01-Oct-12 22:49:54

Interesting post KRITIQ I agree that fundamentalism is not the way forward.

EatsBrainsAndLeaves Mon 01-Oct-12 22:51:08

But if you think there is no issue for a man with a willy being in a womens toilets, who does it matter if they identify as trans are not? It doesnt logically make sense. Either you object to willies in ladires toilets or you dont? And if you dont then all men and women should use the same bathrooms.

And lots of trans dont pass

OTheHugeManatee Mon 01-Oct-12 22:51:12

'Omen only space' - a safe environment where demonic offspring of the Great Satan can express themselves free of oppression from the virtuous?

grin

kim147 Mon 01-Oct-12 22:51:43

Bingo smile

puds11 Mon 01-Oct-12 22:51:57

Eats, there has been genetic studies conducted that do show that the chromosome balance in transgender individuals is different to that of a 'normal' male or female.

So who are you to dictate that this is a physiological disorder, when it is more likely a genetic mix-up resulting in a person who is not more one sex than the other, but who lands somewhere in the middle ground and makes a decision based on their own feelings, which sex they feel most associated with.

EatsBrainsAndLeaves Mon 01-Oct-12 22:52:35

Yes my w key keeps sticking.

kim147 Mon 01-Oct-12 22:54:18

Don't bother Eats with actual medical stuff, DNA, epigenetics and all that stuff. She's an expert in this field, don't ya know smile

<stops taking the OP and this thread seriously>

OTheHugeManatee Mon 01-Oct-12 22:55:40

Ooh and great post, KRITIQ. The idea that feminism is not a journey also puts me in mind of those theological doctrines that privilege revelation over canon, meaning that the most important thing is not what you've read or whether there are facts that support your assertions, but the force of your conviction and the persuasiveness with which you can transmit it to others.

EatsBrainsAndLeaves Mon 01-Oct-12 22:56:04

There have been no studies that show this that stand up to even the most basic level of scientific scruting. Tell me the study you are thinking of and I will explain why it is rubbish.

And that doesnt detract from the illogicality of the position here. Either women only space doesnt matter at all - bathrooms, sexual abuse support groups should all be men and women together, or it does matter and trans should be excluded.

OTheHugeManatee Mon 01-Oct-12 22:57:03

Is 'scruting' a word?

confused

kim147 Mon 01-Oct-12 22:59:56

Pleeeassse tell us your scientific credentials? Go on - I'd love to hear them smile

puds11 Mon 01-Oct-12 23:01:42

I will en devour to find articles for you, but in the mean time may i ask why you are so strongly apposed to a women doing something that makes her feel better/more comfortable in her own skin?

I have little experience with extreme feminism (which i assume this is) and would like to be enlightened as to what the problem is with transgender females?

I would also like to ask why it is an issue if i like to get piercings or tattoos?

None of this is meant as an attack, it is genuinely curiosity, although i may appose your views.

OTheHugeManatee Mon 01-Oct-12 23:02:07

If you're planning on scruting them, Kim, make sure you put your Marigolds on first.

MmeLindor Mon 01-Oct-12 23:02:52

Fantastic post, Kritiq

Eats
I don't know about you, but I find there is a massive difference between using a loo with someone who is packing a frankfurter, and a person who was born a man attending a sexual abuse support group for women.

Don't you see that?

puds11 Mon 01-Oct-12 23:11:39

Kim are you asking for my credentials or the op's?

KRITIQ Mon 01-Oct-12 23:12:59

Eats, you say many trans women don't "pass." Do you mean that they don't "look" or "act" like women? Surely, that involves accepting attributes commonly associated with one or other gender. It's my understanding that feminists recognise gender (like race, class, disability, etc.) as a social construct and a "tool" for maintaining patriarchal hegemony. It seems just a bit "wrong" for feminists to be using this "tool" themselves, surely.

kim147 Mon 01-Oct-12 23:14:29

puds11 Eats credentials. She's a scientific and a medical expert, don't you know?

HoopDePoop Mon 01-Oct-12 23:20:12

I wouldn't mind a willy in the vicinity as long as it was in a cubicle tbh.

Mixed loos - fine if well run and clean. And not with those godawful bins for tampons rammed right next to the loo and never emptied <boak>

I don't get the linking of trans with sexual abuse support groups - have there been many cases where it's been an issue? And if everyone is there for the same reason, I still don't see a problem tbh.

EatsBrainsAndLeaves Mon 01-Oct-12 23:20:22

puds the issue around Trans is twofold.

1. Those who are diagnosed and see themselves as Trans are being sold a lie. They feel unhappy that how they want to behave, express themselves and act is seen as not appropriate. So for example a very effeminate boy will be censored for wanting to wear dresses, play with dolls and other girls and act in a more gentle manner. Similarly a more masculine girl will be censored for wanting to wear boys clothes, play only with boys, act more aggressively and play with boys toys and wear boys clothes.

Because they are censored for that behaviour some of these girls and boys start to look at other children and think - for example in the case of a boy - well the girls get to act and behave in that way and that is how I want to act and behave so I must really be a girl.

These girls and boys express this and are then diagnosed as being Trans. They learn about surgery and hormones and are encouraged through dovcumentaries, the internet and media to see this as the next logical step.

So women and men end up taking hormones that cause damage to their bodies and having surgery to try and make themselves look like the opposite sex. Women tend to pass as men, better than men pass as women. So in many cases you have men who have had breast implants and taken hormones but still look partly like men. And then they face discrimination, violence and bigotry from some idiotic men.

So they are sold a lie. It is not a compassionate response to the original issue.

2. It is not possible to change sex. Individuals may want to, but it is not possible. 75-80% do not have genital surgery partly because of the many common complications. Many men who have transitioned to "women" still look like men. And both women and men have been socialised as children to act in a certain way as adults.

Most, although not all Trans people want access to spaces that are for their sex that they want to be. So men who have transitioned into "women" want to be able to use womens bathrooms, communal showers, rape crisis services, sexual abuse support services, etc.

But unsurprisingly most women who attend a woman only sexual abuse support group do not want an individual also attending who looks like a man. Similarly many women do not want an individual using a communal shower who still has a penis. And the same with men. There have been complaints from gay men of women who have "transitioned" to "men" trying to access gay mens bathhouses for example.

Most people, including radical feminists, dont care if Trans people are using mixed spaces. It is when single sex spaces are there that it becomes an issue.

3. Children in America are being diagnosed as Trans at 5 years of age for wanting to play with toys of the other sex. That is seriously scary and sows the increasing pressure there is for girls and boys to fit into tighter and tighter straitjackets about whtat is appropriate gender behaviour.

EatsBrainsAndLeaves Mon 01-Oct-12 23:22:41

Hoop there have been sexual support groups and rape support groups where Trans have attended or wanted to attend. And the women already attending havent been happy. Some women dont care about talking about sexual abuse or rape in a mixed group, but lots do. Those that do deserve to feel safe and be in a women only group

EatsBrainsAndLeaves Mon 01-Oct-12 23:26:06

Kritiq the language of passing is one used by Trans. Yes it means for example a man who wants to be a woman successfully managing to pass as a woman. Women and men ahve different bodies - and I am not just talkinga bout genitals. If someone discovers ancient human bones it is possible to say if they belong to a man or woman by the size, length and shape of the bones.

It is blindingly obvious most of the time of a man who has transitioned to a "woman" is a man. You can see it in the shape and size of their body, their voice, the shape of the face, etc.

MmeLindor Mon 01-Oct-12 23:31:43

To your three points.

1) that is your opinion. As I have not researched this thoroughly, I am holding off deciding one way or another. Give me evidence of this being true

2) this is indeed a problem, but should be sorted out with the individual. And I would question how often this issue comes up

3) I think most of us would object to a life-changing decision being made on behalf of a 5yo - including that actually weakens your argument, imo

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Mon 01-Oct-12 23:32:26

Eats can you point me to the case(s) in the US where children are being diagnosed at 5 on the basis of toys played with?

I found this article on googling which talks about girls stating that they were boys from a young age, but nothing about it being based on toys.

m.washingtonpost.com/local/transgender-at-five-tylers-story-leads-to-outpouring-of-other-stories/2012/05/21/gIQAQ9VRgU_story.html

KRITIQ Mon 01-Oct-12 23:55:04

Eats, with respect, I have seen many who describe themselves as radical feminists and "trans exclusive" claiming that most trans women do not "pass." It's not a term only used by transgendered people.

BTW nope, nowt you're saying is the least bit convincing, and I suspect you are citing "evidence" of various dubious provenance - something that's easy to do with t'interwebs.

But, if faith is more important than fact . . .

KRITIQ Tue 02-Oct-12 00:10:31

Oh yes, and you said above "It is blindingly obvious most of the time of a man who has transitioned to a "woman" is a man. You can see it in the shape and size of their body, their voice, the shape of the face, etc."

Any thoughts then on the surreptitiously taken photo posted by some dumbass Reddit member of Balpreet Kaur, aiming to poke fun at her "masculine" appearance? Would you say it is "blindingly obvious" from the photo that she has been identified as female from birth?

One of my High School English teachers had a very, very deep voice. I can hear it in my mind now. On the phone, she was almost always mistaken for a man. So is voice really such a reliable indicator whether one is male or female?

My former boss, female, was 6 ft 2 inches. A male colleague who recently retired would have stretched to make 5 ft 2 inches. So - possibly not the sex they claimed to be?

Just plain silly, and hypocritical, imho.

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Tue 02-Oct-12 00:14:42

KRITIQ, her response was kick-ass, I loved it. And I thought Original Dumbo Reddit poster was pretty sincere in his belated realisation of his Dumbohood and his apology too.

<slight sidetrack>

EBAL I'm curious about your thoughts on people born with male and female genitalia. Should they be allowed to use public toilets and rape support centres?

kim147 Tue 02-Oct-12 07:52:34

I see this thread has gone from the OP offering counselling to full blown hatred and despisal of people. Why didn't you just come out with all this at the start - wait you have on other threads.

I'm just surprised your tag team hasn't appeared yet.

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Beachcomber Tue 02-Oct-12 08:31:25

KRITIQ, you know, recently, in every one of your posts that I read you take a pop at radical feminists.

In fact I tend to skim over your posts nowadays because of it.

Imagine if I were to give my (negative) opinion on sex positive feminists or socialist feminists every time I posted. And imagine if I were to do it in an authoritative and 'I'm an old hand at this' sort of way. I find it rude and divisive and I'm not sure what you are hoping to achieve.

I disagree with what you claim about radical feminist analysis of trans issues. Trans women are not a 'unifying pariah' the analysis is a lettle more sophisticated than that - I suspect that you are familiar with radical analysis of the subject so I'm hmm at why you should choose to misrepresent it.

It's interesting that Beachcomber says she doesn't understand the idea of feminism being a "journey," that it is something you either accept, chapter and verse, or you don't (and therefore have no right to call yourself a genuine feminist.) The approach makes me think of some fundamentalist Christian denominations that insist the only way to salvation is to follow their creed without deviation.

Then onto this - firstly, could you please not speak about me as though I'm not here. It is othering and marginalising to talk about someone in the third person rather than address them in the usual manner. I'm on the thread Kritiq.

Secondly, why are you speaking for me and claiming I have said things that I have not? If you don't understand what I mean why don't you ask me to clarify rather than giving your own (incorrect and twisted) strawman version of what I posted. You have made a load of crap up and are now trying to pretend that I said it. Please quote where I say on the thread that one is not a genuine feminist if you don't accept ideas chapter and verse hmm.

Thirdly, comparing a person to religious or fundamentalist groups as a marginalising and othering technique is as old as the hills. It is also a thoroughly unpleasant way to go about having a feminist discussion IMO. (Especially when the views you are claiming to be fundamentalist were never actually expressed by the person you are attacking but made up by you in order to attack.)

It's also interesting that there seems to be the suggestion from Eats and Beachcomber on this thread at least, that having that "faith" in the ideals of radical feminism is more important than having evidence to substantiate what you believe.

Here we go again. You are claiming I have said things I have not and are attributing opinions I do not hold, in order to present me to others as irrational and of blind faith rather than rational, analytical and capable of critical thought.

In fact the majority of your post is a long winded personal attack.

hmm

I had to point out to you the other day that you were claiming people had said things they had not, on another thread. And so I'm asking you to refrain from doing this to me again and to either stick to what I actually say or leave me alone.

Beachcomber Tue 02-Oct-12 08:35:49

Oh, look, here is what I actually said hmm

Beachcomber Mon 01-Oct-12 19:39:22

Well, Pan. Are you really trying to understand what I'm saying?

I think Feminism belongs to all women.

It belongs to poor women, defavourised women, illiterate women, women as a group.

There doesn't need to be a journey or book reading or debating on MN to get women's issues.

For some women, it may be a journey or a learning curve. For other women it is obvious and as plain as the nose on their face (often because such women have been shat on good and hard by patriarchal society).

It's great when people want to learn about something and read and bolster their instincts. It isn't a requirement of feminism though.

EatsBrainsAndLeaves Tue 02-Oct-12 09:15:35

kim - I dont have a tag team. Who are you referring to?

eleanor - depends on the bones they have. Actually if they have certain bones they can say if it is a man or woman.

Lesbians are biologically women as you know. They dont need surgery or hormones to try and "pass" as women. It is not comparable.

beach - Yes you know as well as I do that certain women here have run most of the radical feminists off the board. They are simply trying to get rid of teh few remaining ones. And they are not going to succeed!

As my mother in law always used to say, dont let the bastards get you down!

BlameItOnTheCuervo Tue 02-Oct-12 09:18:28

Beachcomber Mon 01-Oct-12 19:23:12
I'm also finding the concept of feminism as a 'journey' or something one has to 'learn' as very strange.

Women don't have to learn about women's issues - we live them and experience them. Feminism has never been an academic subject.

Of course there is brilliant feminist analysis, that puts into words in an incisive, trenchant and coherent manner what many of us experience and feel - and it is vital that women can read and use that analysis if they want to.

But you can have a strong 'handle' on feminism without ever having read any texts. Thank god.

A lot of the radicals I know, were always radicals, they didn't graduate to radical feminism. It was perfectly obvious to them before they even knew that that was what it was called.

here you go Beach, HTH

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

inde Tue 02-Oct-12 09:24:46

EBAL

Your posts on this thread put me in mind of Alex Jones of infowars. He continuously spits out "facts" with nothing to back them up simply because what he is spouting suits his political agenda. If you are going to make out you are an authority on these issues about real people with very real problems you could at least say either what your qualifications are or provide links so we can see whether what you are saying is based on valid research. If you don't you just come over as another internet crank like Alex Jones.
After all I could cut and paste plenty of information off the internet to "prove" that homosexuality is a treatable disease. The people who say such things are doing it not because it has an basis in facts but because it suits their particular agenda and as far as I'm concerned it's playing games with peoples lives.

Beachcomber Tue 02-Oct-12 09:44:29

Well it's not really very helpful Cuervo, no.

Because I didn't say the following in that post;

It's interesting that Beachcomber says she doesn't understand the idea of feminism being a "journey," that it is something you either accept, chapter and verse, or you don't (and therefore have no right to call yourself a genuine feminist.)

I am simply saying that I think it is a shame if women pick up the idea that you need to have gone on a journey/read lots/discussed lots/etc in order to understand feminist perspective. I find the idea that women don't understand their own issues without having done some book reading or 'journeying', elitist, snobbish and excluding.

Whatever. I can't really be arsed to engage in this sort of crap. Ciao.

BlameItOnTheCuervo Tue 02-Oct-12 10:02:07

I read it differently, thats the problem with words on a screen, I suppose.

EatsBrainsAndLeaves Tue 02-Oct-12 10:02:16

There are political theories that criticise the construction of lesbian identity, I agree with some of them.

Analysing an identity is perfectly acceptable. If we refrain from talking about identities because of feelings we wouldnt be able to talk about basic feminism For example, oh no, dont talk about how coerced sex is rape because it might hurt a woman's feelings who justifies coerced sex to herself as normal sex.

Feelings are not an excuse to shut down political debate. If you find a discussion too difficult, then leave the thread.

BlameItOnTheCuervo Tue 02-Oct-12 10:04:01

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

EatsBrainsAndLeaves Tue 02-Oct-12 10:09:32

Yes I am interested in discussing whether offering Trans surgery and hormones to women is violence against women. I think it clearly is violence against women and a particularly horrifying kind where vulnerable women themselves agree to the violence.

BlameItOnTheCuervo Tue 02-Oct-12 10:12:53

no, you have your beliefs and are immovable. you are dismissive of others' opinions, as evidenced on the patriarchy thread.

I dont wish to discuss with you anymore, and since you seem to live on FWR I shall be hiding these boards, which is a shame, because I find feminism fascinating, and have been growing and changing my views. but, i will not be steamrollered by you.

toodle-pip, have a nice life.

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

KRITIQ Tue 02-Oct-12 10:23:16

Well Beach, I'm sorry to hear that you feel this way, but that's your call. I set out as plainly as I could that my post represented my observations - nothing more, nothing less. I said plainly that I wasn't claiming any special authority or status, either. As an observation, I didn't address you or any other person specifically. If you interpret that as a snub to you, that certainly wasn't the intention. If you believe it was a personal attack, that wasn't my intention, either. If you are very concerned about that, please contact site management and they will decide whether it was or not.

You said that "in every one of your posts that I read you take a pop at radical feminists," which probably means you are only reading very few of my posts here then! smile You say that you now tend to skim over most of my posts. That's cool. It's probably a good idea to skip over posts one feels will be upsetting for them. This is only a virtual space, no one is forced to be here and not worth getting upset over the content.

inde Tue 02-Oct-12 10:25:27

*There are political theories that criticise the construction of lesbian identity, I agree with some of them.

Analysing an identity is perfectly acceptable. If we refrain from talking about identities because of feelings we wouldnt be able to talk about basic feminism For example, oh no, dont talk about how coerced sex is rape because it might hurt a woman's feelings who justifies coerced sex to herself as normal sex.

Feelings are not an excuse to shut down political debate. If you find a discussion too difficult, then leave the thread. *

Assuming that is aimed at me then I and others have asked for verifiable links that back up statements such as

"Research shows that after surgery self reported happiness goes up in the short term. But after 2 years self reported happiness and the level of suicides goes back to the level pre surgery"

Or that "Women usually transition very young"

If not the discussion is all based on smoke and mirrors.

EatsBrainsAndLeaves Tue 02-Oct-12 10:28:06

The blog I linked to in the OP gives a lot of information. This blog also gives a lot of information. Some posts are opinion pieces and some are talking about research.

gendertrender.wordpress.com/

inde Tue 02-Oct-12 10:29:16

BTW I find people who say that Homosexuality is a disease and use dodgy "facts" to back it up offensive but then maybe that is just me.

EatsBrainsAndLeaves Tue 02-Oct-12 10:36:33

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inde Tue 02-Oct-12 10:44:16

*The blog I linked to in the OP gives a lot of information. This blog also gives a lot of information. Some posts are opinion pieces and some are talking about research.

gendertrender.wordpress.com/*

I've already searched that blog for valid research to back up things you have stated in this thread and can't find it. Maybe I'm just not looking hard enough. Given that this is an issue that affects people deeply could you provide a link to this valid research which proves the points you have stated in this thread as fact. You could start with one that proves that female to male people transition at a very young age. I just don't want to believe that you are playing politics with peoples lives.

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

EatsBrainsAndLeaves Tue 02-Oct-12 11:09:30

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Beachcomber Tue 02-Oct-12 11:16:16

OK Kritiq so you can't quote the words and sentiments you attribute to me on this thread. And you can't quote them because I didn't say them. I would appreciate it if you would take care not to put me in the position again of having to pull you up on speaking for me and misrepresenting me - it is becoming irksome.

It is such a shame that this section has taken such a kicking and that personal attack, strawmen and going after the label/poster rather than exploring ideas seems to be the prevailing modus operandi.

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

HoopDePoop Tue 02-Oct-12 11:21:34

You seem to think that there are massive and insurmountable difficulties in accepting that one could shift sex, EBAL - there is in reality very little difference between the two, and if someone would prefer to live as a woman/man, why would you not want to allow them to do so?

There have been so many points and arguments brought up to you on this thread, and you haven't addressed any of them - I'd be interested in your thoughts on people born with both male and female genitalia for a start - if the sexes are in your mind so unique, so different, and womanhood is a thing on a pedestal that you either have or you don't, how do you explain the proven possibility of genetic glitches causing 'in-between-ness'? Yes, most people are either definitely male or definitely female, but you absolutely cannot deny that there is a grey area with sex, just as there is with just about everything, like sexuality, morality and so on.

Your refusal to accept grey areas is why you appear fundamentalist and as KRITIQ so eloquently explains, appear so faith-based in the manner of Beachcomber .

I'm not asking for academic explanations or research-based stuff, just an acceptance of the way people actually are, not for you to deny people's existence because it doesn't suit your politics.

EatsBrainsAndLeaves Tue 02-Oct-12 11:21:58

Eleanor I actually care about these women who are being encouraged to have mutilating surgery and take hormones for the rest of their life that may damage their health. I wont be politically correct when I can see the harm this is causing to real women.

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

EatsBrainsAndLeaves Tue 02-Oct-12 11:27:04

Of course intersex people exist. Although usually they can be clearly identified as male or female a very small number cant. That is different from people with gender dysphoria. Intersex is a clear biological condition where for example there are deformed genitalia. But those with gender dysphoria are not intersex.

And there are intersex people who detest and complain loudly that some Trans people constantly talk about intersex to justify the idea that gender dysphoria is real and not a psychological disorder. They complain of appropriation and say clearly they are very different conditions and one does not say anything about the other.

Beachcomber Tue 02-Oct-12 11:32:14

HoopdePoop would you care to quote where I have said something faith based or fundamentalist on this thread? (Something I said - not something Kritiq pretended I said) hmm

I have said that I think feminism is and should be accessible to all women and that it isn't an academic subject. That women understand women's issues because they are our lived experience. I said it is great to read analysis but it isn't a requirement for being a feminist.

How is that faith based or fundamentalist?! hmm

You see Kritiq, you making stuff up about me on this thread is causing mischief. Well done sister hmm

Beachcomber Tue 02-Oct-12 11:38:09

EBAL - I hope you are ok and not getting upset by the ganging up and personal attacks on this thread.

EatsBrainsAndLeaves Tue 02-Oct-12 11:44:27

Beach thank you but I am totally fine. I find the excuses here for manufactured attacks fairly amusing actually. But thanks for your concern, it is appreciated.

inde Tue 02-Oct-12 11:51:43

EBAL - I hope you are ok and not getting upset by the ganging up and personal attacks on this thread.

Perhaps if you want to support her Beachcomber you could provide some facts to back up some of the statements that she has made in the thread like that female to male people transition at a very young age. Asking somebody so opinionated for evidence isn't ganging up. All that she has said might be true but I just want to see the evidence. is that wrong?

Furthermore I am going to say what I think many other posters are thinking. That that EBAL is posting threads that highlight the difference between radical and liberal feminists to be deliberately provocative. Why would she do that? Who does it help? Not feminists that's for sure.

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

KRITIQ Tue 02-Oct-12 11:58:39

Unfortunately I can't find the link (if I do, I'll post it later,) but some months ago, I read a very interesting article regarding the motivation of many "pro life" campaigners and demonstrators. I'll paraphrase what I can remember below.

The article said that they genuinely believed they were doing the right thing ethically in trying to stop women having abortions. They felt sincere in their belief that such women were risking serious harm to their physical and/or mental health and hadn't been fully informed of the risks. They often quote "research" and testimonies of women who've said they've suffered lasting damage from having abortions. They don't despise those who seek terminations, but believe they are succumbing to pressure from others - partners, doctors, activists, wider society - or are just misguided in thinking an abortion will solve their problems. They freely suggest what they see as "viable alternatives" to abortion and believe they are morally justified in intervening in the personal choices of individuals for the greater good of society.

The article then goes on to describe the position of those feminists who oppose medical or surgical treatment for transgender people. As one might guess, there are quite a few similarities with the above in terms of rationale for their beliefs and how they attempt to translate these into action.

EatsBrainsAndLeaves Tue 02-Oct-12 11:59:01

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

EatsBrainsAndLeaves Tue 02-Oct-12 12:10:53

Lots of women take contraceptive pills. The medical advice is that you only take these for a set number of years and often not beyond a certain age - even if you still need a contraceptive.

Trans women who want to be men have to take these hormones for the rest of their lives. Nobody has any idea what the effect will be of taking testestorone for a woman for many years. If you start taking it when you are 20, by the time you are 60 you will have been on it for 40 years.

Since nobody knows what the long term effects will be, this is medical experimentation.

OneMoreChap Tue 02-Oct-12 12:25:59

Kicks off with an appeal to read an article from a blog with a very trans critical viewpoint.

Follows up as a "sort of" medical expert, who's unfamiliar with citation or precis.

Recaps other threads and tries to refight arguments already unsuccessful...

Revisits level of awareness of feminist theory.

If this poster was a man, most readers would suspect them of being deliberately disruptive.

[In passing, I'm pleased Beachcomber highlighted the points below:

Radical feminism is straightforward and simple - you don't need to be well read or any kind of expert to get it.
Women don't have to learn about women's issues - we live them and experience them. Feminism has never been an academic subject.

Of course there is brilliant feminist analysis, that puts into words in an incisive, trenchant and coherent manner what many of us experience and feel - and it is vital that women can read and use that analysis if they want to.

But you can have a strong 'handle' on feminism without ever having read any texts. Thank god.

I imagine that has saved an awful lot of women and awful lot of time. I'd add there are very few things in life I've instinctively got without some study. I'm pleased that isn't the case for some women and feminism.]

KRITIQ Tue 02-Oct-12 12:26:39

To be fair, there are many people who are required to take medication for long periods or for a lifetime. My nephew diagnosed as diabetic at age 8 will take injections of the hormone insulin at least daily for the rest of his life. A friend from colleague who had a total hysterectomy at age 21 due to cancer is only now "coming off" hormone replacement therapy at the time when she probably would have been going through the menopause otherwise. My eldest sister has a dodgy thyroid and has been on the hormone thyroxine for about 30 years now.

There are risks involved in taking hormones or any drug for a long period of time. As time passes though, more evidence amasses to refine treatments, to reduce the negative side effects while optimising the therapeutic effects. Hormone therapy has been given to transgender people since the 1950's, so the concept isn't exactly new and there have been plenty of opportunities to study the longer term effects.

MmeLindor Tue 02-Oct-12 12:27:49

Eats
You didn't answer my question about the 90% who were happy. Or the reasons for the 10%being unhappy (that I think Kim asked)

And again - you are making bold statements about a sensitive issue without backing them up with facts.

If I were to go on a thread about vaccinations and say they were harmful, then I would be asked to provide EVIDENCE of my claim.

A blog that presents a one sided view of the issue is NOT evidence.

I could present my blog as evidence of pro-choice, but it is of course just as biased as a anti-choice blog.

A blogger collects links and evidence that backs up his or her viewpoint.

EatsBrainsAndLeaves Tue 02-Oct-12 12:28:19

onemorechap - You do know there are some nice MRA sites you might enjoy?

MmeLindor Tue 02-Oct-12 12:35:27

Eats
I would so like to ask some of the women you are 'representing' here. And ask them what they think.

OneMoreChap Tue 02-Oct-12 12:42:56

EatsBrainsAndLeaves Tue 02-Oct-12 12:28:19
You do know there are some nice MRA sites you might enjoy?

I suspect you may have more familiarity with them than I do.
I'm actually interested in feminism, and learn a lot here. I'm also prepared to engage with other posters and provide reasonable validation for my views...

I also take to heart lessons about my tone...

I also start considerably fewer threads and guess I might probably irritate less people, despite my gender.

EatsBrainsAndLeaves Tue 02-Oct-12 12:44:20

Men who want to be women have been taking hormones for "sex changes" since the 50's. There have been very few women doing so until very recently. From those that have there is the suggestion of a massively increased risk of cancer, heart disease and circulatory illnesses.

But the numbers of women involved are so small until recently, that this is not statistically significant. So actually we dont really know the long term effect on women.

And anyone consenting to medical treatment needs to be giving informed consent, which means that they should know the potential side effects.

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Tue 02-Oct-12 12:45:39

EBAL I am pretty sure that medical ethics would require the doctor to explain that there was only studies of the effect of X number of years.

OneMoreChap Tue 02-Oct-12 12:48:28

EatsBrainsAndLeaves Tue 02-Oct-12 12:44:20
Men who want to be women have been taking hormones for "sex changes" since the 50's. There have been very few women doing so until very recently. From those that have there is the suggestion of a massively increased risk of cancer, heart disease and circulatory illnesses.

Cite for that please? Assertion doesn't make it so.

But the numbers of women involved are so small until recently,

Cite for that, please?

that this is not statistically significant.

What size of sample would you consider statistically significant, and why?

So actually we dont really know the long term effect on women.

Shocking how the medical establishment would willy-nilly introduce a treatment there was insufficient evidence for. Had a word with NICE?

No, you can't change your biological sex M to F or F to M, but that doesn't diminish the experiences of trans women who want to be a man. (note: not male, but a man.)

Women have quite enough of men dismissing their feelings, or telling them they don't know their own mind without other women joining in as well. It's a bit presumptuous isn't it.

EatsBrainsAndLeaves Tue 02-Oct-12 13:02:08

The suggestions of massive increases in cancer and heart disease and the like are anecdotal. Women taking these hormones are reporting these issues at a young age. But the numbers involved so far in taking hormones have been too small for researchers to assess if this is just conincidence or not.

In terms of numbers for statistical significance, how many depends on how common an illness is. The number of people you need to include in any research varies for each illness. Google this and you can read up on it if you are interested.

Much though it pains me to trot out a MN favourite.

The plural of anecdote is not data.

Lots of things are meant to increase the incidence of heart disease or cancer. Without some kind of clinical study or trial, it could just be because of one of the multiple causes of cancer trotted out in the Daily Mail on a regular basis.

EatsBrainsAndLeaves Tue 02-Oct-12 13:09:43

Agree Keema. Which is why women should not be being given testerone they will have to take for life when nobody really knows the long term effect. And nobody does. There is anecdotal evidence which might turn out to be significant or coincidence. But as yet we dont know.

So these women are being experimented on.

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Tue 02-Oct-12 13:14:44

The thing is, EBAL, once the phase 1-4 clinical trials of any drug or treatment has been completed and all regulatory and safety tests passed, the only way to ascertain long term effects is to release the treatment for market use and undertake follow up population studies as required. It's the same for a cardio drug, a drug for the neurological system etc. some treatments do get withdrawn after years of use for this very reason.

MmeLindor Tue 02-Oct-12 13:16:21

You are the one making these claims. Why should we google?

Back up your opinions if you have faith in them.

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Sigh.

The term "experimented on" suggests no planning or forethought by the person undergoing treatment.

People make choices every day that may have a negative impact on their health long term, but free will is a wondrous thing.

MooncupGoddess Tue 02-Oct-12 13:37:00

Actually it would be interesting to have a proper discussion about FTMs, rather than the usual ill-tempered and repetitive fighting over MTFs. Unfortunately this thread is not it.

As an aside, if we lived in a society without ludicrous imposed gender roles (something surely everyone on this thread wishes for) it would be much easier to get a sense of whether transsexuals genuinely have something different about their make-up that means they feel a natural affinity with the other sex rather than their born sex. Or whether many of them have internalised gender roles, realise they don't suited the roles of their born sex and hence at a very early age subconsciously decide they should belong to the other sex.

Since we don't have this ideal society, and in the absence of any science bar the vaguest speculation, it is impossible to make any firm judgements as to the causes of transsexuality and I am pretty unimpressed by anyone who claims that we can.

EldritchCleavage Tue 02-Oct-12 13:38:14

*I don't doubt that EBAL will correct me if I'm wrong - but I think this thread is about the self-harm that women partake in when they mutilate their bodies in order to fit in with the patriarchal masculine/feminine paradigm.
The subject is self harm*
And the discussion is; should this self harm be institutionalised (in medicine) and normalized (by society) or should we question the enforced gender roles of patriarchal society and they harm they do to individuals
Which is a basic founding question of feminist tenets

Well, that is what the OP should have said, isn't it? But it didn't.

For what it is worth, I don't think the fundamentalist religion comparison is fair on Beachcomber, whose statements about not needing a 'journey' to understand feminism (paraphrasing) I agreed with.

Otherwise, this is another heartsink thread in FWR 'Chat'. Bring back the old bunfights, all is forgiven.

This is why your argument of no known results = medical experimentation falls down.

Here - chocolate might cause cancer

So every time I pick up a Curly Wurly I am unwittingly engaging in a medical experiment as anectodal data says that eating chocolate may increase my risk of cancer? No, I am making a decision based on the fact that I believe the consumption of said curly wurly would make me feel better.

Sorry for being so simplistic when surrounded by some very knowledgable and erudite posters, but sometimes a simple concept needs a simple explaination when faced with an illogical argument.

TeiTetua Tue 02-Oct-12 14:00:07

There are sources out there, if anyone wants to look (it doesn't seem as if anyone does, but still).

I just did a search on <transexual heart disease> and came up with this, which has the right kind of medical-research jargon in it, though it's readable by normal people:

http://jcem.endojournals.org/content/93/1/19.full

Unfortunately, what it says is that as far as long-term results of hormone treatments are concerned, "we just don't know". It doesn't seem as if there are any immediate and startling results, anyway.

I think that if transexuals are indeed being experimented on, it's something they feel is important enough to take risks for.

TeiTetua Tue 02-Oct-12 14:00:55
EldritchCleavage Tue 02-Oct-12 14:10:12

Surely the experimentation is consensual though? Doc says, 'Look, we just don't know the long-term effects of this'. Transitioning person says, 'Thanks for telling me, it is an unquantifiable risk I'm prepared to take.'

People do that in all kinds of medical situations, and I'm not persuaded that it is uniquely worrying or wrong in this context.

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Tue 02-Oct-12 14:12:52

Thanks, TeiTetua.

RowanMumsnet (MNHQ) Tue 02-Oct-12 14:17:29

Hello all <smiles brightly>

Please remember our rules about hate speech and personal attacks.

Thanks
MNHQ

kim147 Tue 02-Oct-12 14:39:52

This thread is a bit like a whole lot of straight people discussing what they think is right for homosexuals.

Or a whole lot of men discussing what they think about feminism and sexism.

Or maybe "explaining" about it - when they don't know anything.

OneMoreChap Tue 02-Oct-12 14:47:54

I know some trans activists might describe this as cis-plaining; but I was told in another FWR thread this was a technique used by people trying to disrup feminism discussion areas. Which EBAL seems to be doing quite successfully sad.

AnyFucker Tue 02-Oct-12 19:34:53

Yes, precisely OMC. And it seems that EBAL is managing to be even more successful at disrupting this arena than when we had the invasions of MRA's. I am very saddened to see posters whom I respect immensely falling out with each other.

At least when the MRA's were shit stirring all the regulars in this section were united against them. sad

EatsBrainsAndLeaves Tue 02-Oct-12 19:47:39

lol at the idea I am an MRA.

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Tue 02-Oct-12 19:51:50

AF suggested that you were as disruptive as an MRA, not that you were one, EBAL.

AnyFucker Tue 02-Oct-12 19:52:42

head

desk

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Tue 02-Oct-12 20:03:13

<passes paracetamol>

KRITIQ Tue 02-Oct-12 22:52:21

<Passes gauze bandage and micropore tape>

FoodUnit Tue 02-Oct-12 23:16:25

"So sorry, it's not something one can compare to anorexia or self-harming because there is clearly NO positive physical or mental health outcome as a result of the individual's actions."

Actually, anorexic people gain a sense of 'control' and self harmers feel 'purged'...which are short-term mental positives.

Also there are actually no 'physical' benefits to having this surgery. It is very dangerous, has many complications, numbness from scarring, etc and leaves you infertile (if the full hysterectomy). Though taking sex hormones gives people both physical and mental benefits there are also some negative physical side-effects for this too.

Of course it is a major form of mutilation. Sheesh!

kim147 Tue 02-Oct-12 23:20:31

More explaining from someone who has no understanding.

I was wondering when you'd pop along smile

Leithlurker Tue 02-Oct-12 23:21:38

Oh look EBAL your tag partner has arrived as predicted.

FoodUnit Tue 02-Oct-12 23:22:55

"More explaining from someone who has no understanding. I was wondering when you'd pop along"

What do you mean by having no understanding?

FoodUnit Tue 02-Oct-12 23:54:14

MooncupGoddess "Actually it would be interesting to have a proper discussion about FTMs, rather than the usual ill-tempered and repetitive fighting over MTFs. Unfortunately this thread is not it."

Though I've never been on one of the MN trans* threads before, I agree it is interesting to look at FTM from a feminist perspective.

"As an aside, if we lived in a society without ludicrous imposed gender roles (something surely everyone on this thread wishes for) it would be much easier to get a sense of whether transsexuals genuinely have something different about their make-up that means they feel a natural affinity with the other sex rather than their born sex. Or whether many of them have internalised gender roles, realise they don't suited the roles of their born sex and hence at a very early age subconsciously decide they should belong to the other sex."

But there is something about sex being something other than a reproductive category that is contentious. Saying 'I believe I should have testes and produce sperm- and my having ovaries producing eggs just feels wrong, I know it with all my conviction' - doesn't change the fact that my ovaries cannot become testes. And so what is this 'affinity' with, if it is not about reproduction? What is the distinction between a transsexual and someone who has a very strong affinity with the opposite gender?

"Since we don't have this ideal society, and in the absence of any science bar the vaguest speculation, it is impossible to make any firm judgements as to the causes of transsexuality and I am pretty unimpressed by anyone who claims that we can."

I would add that since many people feel at odds with their prescribed gender role, most people feel affinity with people of both sex, some with the opposite more than their own - at what point do you say someone is a transsexual as opposed to being one sex who is more comfortable appropriating the prescribed gender role of the opposite sex?

KRITIQ Wed 03-Oct-12 00:47:32

Perhaps kim means you're not a trans woman, but trying to explain the experience of a trans woman. We get something similar here from time to time when men try to explain what what the experience of being a woman is like. On another message board I used to frequent, the handful of members who were persons of colour were forever being told by white British folks that they knew better than they did what it was like to be a person of colour.

That sort of thing.

KRITIQ Wed 03-Oct-12 01:05:21

Apologies - looking at the context, "transman" rather than trans woman above.

kim147 Wed 03-Oct-12 07:07:12

I think there's a word for that. Feminists call it "mansplaining".

FoodUnit Wed 03-Oct-12 08:35:41

"Perhaps kim means you're not a trans woman, but trying to explain the experience of a trans woman. We get something similar here from time to time when men try to explain what what the experience of being a woman is like. On another message board I used to frequent, the handful of members who were persons of colour were forever being told by white British folks that they knew better than they did what it was like to be a person of colour. That sort of thing."

"Apologies - looking at the context, "transman" rather than trans woman above."

Hi KRITIQ, although I often hugely agree with what you say, I don't in this case. I know what it is to be a woman and I feel I can comment on the brutal mutilation of a healthy woman's body.

"I think there's a word for that. Feminists call it "mansplaining"."

I know all about mansplaining kim147, but the issue of transsexuals is complicated. Transpeople believe very strongly that they know what it is to be the opposite sex. That is a HUGE assumption. When MTFs suggest that this vagueness (in the sense that there is no physical evidence) is the definition of woman, they are inherently mansplaining - assuming they are more expert in what makes a woman than women are themselves- to the point that they get to define what a woman is.

For this reason it is silencing for a MTF when speaking to a woman to imply "you are not trans, so you can't talk about trans" - especially since I was in that post responding to errors KRITIQ had made about the annorexia, self-mutilation and the 'physical benefits' of brutal surgery.

kim147 Wed 03-Oct-12 08:48:09

You could of course leave transsexual people alone and let them get on trying to sort out their lives. In the face of loads of prejudice and anger and hatred.

But women aren't being left alone, are they? That's the issue.

If we could all simply live and let live, it would be lovely. But there are mutually incompatible issues. Not sure why women have to be the group to back off. Is it because we don't experience 'loads of prejudice and anger and hatred'? Or because we really should be used to those things by now, whereas they just sting that little bit harder to men?

EatsBrainsAndLeaves Wed 03-Oct-12 08:58:06

I agree with LRD. If trans men to "women" didnt want to access women only spaces and services, I dont think most feminists would be that bothered about this issue. We wouldnt agree that a man could ever know what it "feels like to be a woman", but that would simply be a minor irritation.

But this does affect women and because many feminists, and especially radical feminists, value women only spaces, it affects us personally more than most women.

We always get asked if we have met any Trans people. Most of us have met lots - either in woman only space or trying to get into woman only space.

But without this I would still acre about women who think they are really men. Because they are being encouraged to mutilate themselves to fit in with sexist ideas of what a woman is under patriarchy. And that is a feminist issue.

Leithlurker Wed 03-Oct-12 09:28:59

So was this the point of the entire thread then, to come back to a discussion that has been had very recently in which several radicle feminists were accused of being offensive and bigoted? In essence how very dare people who still have a willy try and get in to female only spaces, despite those willy wearing people identifying with and as women.

EatsBrainsAndLeaves Wed 03-Oct-12 09:31:45

The point of this thread was to talk about women who are having surgery and taking hormones because they think they feel like a man.

And i dont care if men with willies identify with and as women. They are not. That is the point.

Leithlurker Wed 03-Oct-12 09:33:05

They are not what?

EatsBrainsAndLeaves Wed 03-Oct-12 09:34:31

They are not women.

NolaFfing Wed 03-Oct-12 09:38:23

I thought the point of this thread was to talk about how women are "mutilating" themselves in order to become men and how this translates as VAW.

Which is clearly bollocks.

FoodUnit Wed 03-Oct-12 09:39:12

"You could of course leave transsexual people alone and let them get on trying to sort out their lives. In the face of loads of prejudice and anger and hatred."

I take exception to this post, since your first comment was in response to my talking about anorexia, self-harm, mental health and the 'physical benefits of surgery'. This could hardly be me 'not leaving transsexual people alone' [insinuating harassment?], since I wasn't even talking about transpeople in that case. Also I have never responded to a MN transsexual thread before, but this one was labelled as being about Violence Against Women.

Although LRD and Eats have answered this already, I want to point to further mischaracterisation in your statement kim147.

I know that people who are 'different' or 'gender-defying' incur a whole spectrum of difficulties up to an including violence and even death by people who are heavily invested in cultural norms, for various reasons. Feminists are some of the main activists trying to change these cultural norms and end male violence (which is usually what is targeted at people who are 'different' as well as towards women). However I have seen with my own eyes transwomen get preferential treatment when they are amongst women - there's a certain 'celeb-like' mystique and maleness that throws women into excessive gratitude.

Also 'trying to sort out their lives' sounds very benign and unassuming, when it is bizarre that a huge focus of transactivism seems to be eroding women's rights by redefining the meaning of 'woman' and legally challenging protections arising as a result of female reproductive vulnerability and low social status. Of course not all transpeople are part of this activism, but as a movement transactivism is a huge issue for women and feminism.

Leithlurker Wed 03-Oct-12 09:49:55

"Feminists are some of the main activists trying to change these cultural norms"

Sooo the norms then, women cannot be men, men cannot be women they stay exactly as they were born and thats the end of it. This seems too be the outcome of what Eats has just said. No do not even try and justify buy arguing gender and that cannot be changed. Being whatever gender, or acting as one sex or another is as much a state on mind as it is what you have in your underwear.

FoodUnit Wed 03-Oct-12 09:53:16

"Sooo the norms then, women cannot be men, men cannot be women they stay exactly as they were born and thats the end of it. This seems too be the outcome of what Eats has just said. No do not even try and justify buy arguing gender and that cannot be changed. Being whatever gender, or acting as one sex or another is as much a state on mind as it is what you have in your underwear."

Leithlurker you'll have to rephrase that in a way that actually makes sense before I can respond.

EatsBrainsAndLeaves Wed 03-Oct-12 09:53:45

Sex is immutable. We are born as a boy or a girl.

Gender is societies ideas of how a girl/women boy/man should behave and think. That is very changeable and that is what feminists want to get rid of. We should all be able to act as the individuals we are and be treated as individuals.

FoodUnit Wed 03-Oct-12 09:57:23

"Being whatever gender, or acting as one sex or another is as much a state on mind as it is what you have in your underwear."

I must say though, that when I gave birth, it wasn't a state of mind that the babies came out of.confused It would have been a lot less painful were it the case.

Leithlurker Wed 03-Oct-12 10:00:35

Nah FU your a big woman now I am sure you will figure it out.

EBAL Thats great fantastic we are all individuals, I very much agree with that. So as an individual some one comes to a women only space as a woman but still with the genitals of a male you would have no isse, becouse they are individuals, they have made a choice about what sex they wish to be.

EatsBrainsAndLeaves Wed 03-Oct-12 10:03:38

Leith, if we vwere living without patriarchy. But we are not. Under patriarchy sex i,e. whether you are a man or woman matters very much. That is why I am a feminist.

FoodUnit Wed 03-Oct-12 10:05:06

"Nah FU your a big woman now I am sure you will figure it out."

Erm by 'figure it out' do you mean pull it apart and demolish each of the wrong assumptions and logical errors that it comprises? Because although I am big and clever enough to do it, I don't actually have the time or inclination.

Leithlurker Wed 03-Oct-12 10:08:36

And by pull it apart and demolish, you mean disagree based on a political ideological viewpoint that I do not share. Carry on at your leisure all it proves is that those who are driven by ideology of any type are not worth listening too.

FoodUnit Wed 03-Oct-12 10:13:25

"you mean disagree based on a political ideological viewpoint that I do not share"

No that is not what I mean. I mean point out all your factual inaccuracies, arbitrary assumptions and logical inconsistencies. No ideology necessary.

inde Wed 03-Oct-12 10:27:33

It's just like watching a load of Christian fundamentalists argue that homosexuality is a disease because the bible says so. Well we know their attempts to convert gay people to the righteous way doesn't work. So has there been any significant success convincing trans people that there is no such thing as feeling that you are a female in a male body and that their problem is really caused by the patriarchy? I say significant because I'm sure the anti gay brigade can perhaps find one supposed success out of a hundred or more.

inde Wed 03-Oct-12 10:35:36

BTW if such therapy did work then it would be great. Anything that makes these people happy with the body that they have been given would be fantastic.

NolaFfing Wed 03-Oct-12 10:38:53

I agree inde. I'm pretty sure the anti gay lobby bang on about "biology" too. I think they're full of it as well.

It's utterly depressing to read this sort of thread, especially as a feminist. sad

FoodUnit Wed 03-Oct-12 10:42:50

"It's just like watching a load of Christian fundamentalists argue that homosexuality is a disease because the bible says so. Well we know their attempts to convert gay people to the righteous way doesn't work. So has there been any significant success convincing trans people that there is no such thing as feeling that you are a female in a male body and that their problem is really caused by the patriarchy? I say significant because I'm sure the anti gay brigade can perhaps find one supposed success out of a hundred or more."

You can't actually just shoehorn feminist critiques of transsexuality into 'religion versus gays' like that. It is arguing from an entirely different axis and perspective.

Religious patriarchy has put a lot of constraints on human behaviour claiming 'God's will' is behind their assertions. There is no proof for God and no proof that any person knows what Gods will is, even if God does exist. However it is provable that homosexuality exists( and occurs in other species too).

Feminist critiques of transsexuality occur over the very definition of what a woman is (not whether women exist or not). There is a word for ova producing adults - women. Transactivists want to say that it is not the case, there is actually something to do with a feeling that makes a woman. This is weird because it means that although I menstruate, have given birth and breastfeed - since I have a strong aversion to my gender role - I might actually 'not be a woman'. This is the mindf*ck. This is where it is like speaking to the Flat Earth Society who are in denial of a few basic facts.

FoodUnit Wed 03-Oct-12 10:45:29

Both inde and Nola you are making wild assumptions based on very different situations. It is mischaracterising to compare right-wing extremists and religious fundementalists with people that just want to get a few facts straight.

SigmundFraude Wed 03-Oct-12 10:48:07

'You can't actually just shoehorn feminist critiques of transsexuality into 'religion versus gays' like that.'

Yes you can.

NolaFfing Wed 03-Oct-12 10:49:29

No. I'm sorry if you don't like my opinion FoodUnit, but I am certainly not making wild assumptions. hmm

I am reading the posts from the OP and I disagree with her. I'm putting my opinion forward, is that alright by you?

I believe that people can certainly feel that they have been born into the wrong body and feel desparately unhappy and want to make changes that mean that they can live happy fulfilled lives.

There's been a parcity of facts on this thread actually. Pretty much all of the facts have been opinions floating around the internet.

FoodUnit Wed 03-Oct-12 10:52:36

"'You can't actually just shoehorn feminist critiques of transsexuality into 'religion versus gays' like that.'"

"Yes you can."

No you can't, since they don't actually fit .

But as a device to silence critique - insults like this thrown around can get past the majority of people's 'reality-checker' so can often work. Doesn't mean its actually true though.

FoodUnit Wed 03-Oct-12 10:59:21

"No. I'm sorry if you don't like my opinion FoodUnit, but I am certainly not making wild assumptions."

Comparing feminist critique of transsexuality to religious fundementalism and right-wing extremism is chock-full of wrong and insulting wild assumptions.

"I am reading the posts from the OP and I disagree with her. I'm putting my opinion forward, is that alright by you?"

Opinions are good - sweeping mischaracterisations and insults don't sit quite so well.

"I believe that people can certainly feel that they have been born into the wrong body and feel desparately unhappy and want to make changes that mean that they can live happy fulfilled lives."

Yes, but that's not what you said in your post. You said something very strong, dismissive and silencing.

"There's been a parcity of facts on this thread actually. Pretty much all of the facts have been opinions floating around the internet."

No - I've told a few 'facts' one of which is that I am a woman, I've given birth, and all the other reproductive signifiers that define me as a woman. I dispute the assertion that it is a 'feeling' or a 'state of mind' that makes me a woman.

NolaFfing Wed 03-Oct-12 10:59:31

You saying "You can't..." in relation to debate seems far more silencing than anything else really.

It comes to something when the people posting on FWR who I have always considered to be skating pretty close to misogyny are actually the ones sounding vaguely reasonable in comparison to the utter shit stirring posts.

I read those deleted posts Foodunit. I saw what the OP said and believe me they made for grossly offensive reading.

NolaFfing Wed 03-Oct-12 11:01:57

I am a woman and have given birth and have a vagina as well. I am not a transexual. What's your actual point?

FoodUnit Wed 03-Oct-12 11:02:38

"You saying "You can't..." in relation to debate seems far more silencing than anything else really."

Maybe I should have said 'it would be incorrect to'... still means the same thing.

I didn't see the deleted posts myself.

FoodUnit Wed 03-Oct-12 11:03:40

"I am a woman and have given birth and have a vagina as well. I am not a transexual. What's your actual point?"

What makes you not a transsexual?

NolaFfing Wed 03-Oct-12 11:06:15

So you've accused me of insulting, silencing, mischaracterising and being dismissive because I have read the entire thread and can see parallels in the way the OP has "discussed" the topic and the way that religious groups talk about homosexuality and you haven't even seen the whole thread?

Very good/

<slow handclap>

NolaFfing Wed 03-Oct-12 11:07:29

Because I'm not one. I'm surprised you're finding this hard to grasp.

FoodUnit Wed 03-Oct-12 11:11:13

My point is that the definition of what a woman is, is being eroded (this is getting waaaaaaay of topic since the thread is about FTMs).

If being a woman defined by having a strong feeling that you are a woman. Maybe I am not a woman then, since I don't have a strong feeling I am. It has just been the combination of what I was defined at birth as and actual events concerning my reproductive capability that make me sure I am a woman. But since I don't have this defining strong feeling a woman is supposed to have according to transwomen, maybe I am actually a man.

FoodUnit Wed 03-Oct-12 11:13:21

"you haven't even seen the whole thread?"

Perhaps some more posts have been deleted since I read it, but there were a few that had been taken out on the first page when I first read it.

inde Wed 03-Oct-12 11:15:18

Foodunit

I can see how your opinions fit in to your view of the world and that's fine but has this viewpoint ever actually helped any trans people?

NolaFfing Wed 03-Oct-12 11:15:31

No apology for all of those baseless accusations you chucked in my direction then?

I'm particularly fucked off with being accused of "silencing". I am very well aware of what you mean by that and I resent it thoroughly.

The argument that you are making is based on your own personal feelings, I am able to open my mind a little bit wider than basing the world around my own experiences.

SigmundFraude Wed 03-Oct-12 11:16:14

'But as a device to silence critique - insults like this thrown around can get past the majority of people's 'reality-checker' so can often work.'

Some 'critiques' deserve to be silenced. Sometimes, 'critique' is a euphemism for 'attack'. Using the word 'critique' does not make a persons viewpoint more palatable or correct.

HoopDePoop Wed 03-Oct-12 11:20:30

EBAL - 'We should all be able to act as the individuals we are and be treated as individuals'

Well, yes, I agree with you there. Can you extend the courtesy to transsexuals though?

nola, it's a bit off to pretend your subjective opinions are somehow more informed than food's just because you don't like what she has to say.

It does come across as if you're trying to make out you have more right to be heard than her, TBH.

Your argument is just as much (or as little) based on 'personal feelings' as hers is.

FoodUnit Wed 03-Oct-12 11:25:55

"I can see how your opinions fit in to your view of the world and that's fine but has this viewpoint ever actually helped any trans people?"

Why is 'helping transpeople' being prescribed as my cause? I'm a feminist not a transactivist.

"No apology for all of those baseless accusations you chucked in my direction then?"

Such as?

"I'm particularly fucked off with being accused of "silencing". I am very well aware of what you mean by that and I resent it thoroughly."

My intention is not to f*ck you off, but to stop the silencing nature of sweeping statements that draw unflattering and unfitting parallels,

"The argument that you are making is based on your own personal feelings, I am able to open my mind a little bit wider than basing the world around my own experiences."

No my argument is based on facts, empiricism, but also knowledge gained from others, also other methods of deduction. There is no vague 'feelings' at the base of my opinion. In fact my 'feelings' tell me to let transactivists have their way and re-define what it is to be a woman, since I am moved by the emotive nature of their pleas, but facts are more trustworthy. And that's what I choose to hold to. It is my opinion that the truth has value in its own right.

HoopDePoop Wed 03-Oct-12 11:28:31

I think I disagree with EBAL (although you haven't posted enough of your reasons for your stance) and FoodUnit (who has posted eloquently of hers, thank you) because I think instinctively that there is a lot more to being a woman than being able to reproduce. I agree with you FU that the debate centres around the definition of womanhood. I just think the divide between the sexes is not as strong or immutable as your position holds. I think as I posted upthread, that there are grey areas.

Surely being a woman is a lot more than reproductive capability? Even if a lot of characteristics of an average woman are caused by her reproductive abilities, as a man's nature is strongly affected by his hormones due to his own reproductive capabilities? Testosterone causing aggression and so on. If a woman had much much higher levels of testosterone than the majority of other women, regardless of patriarchy she would always act more like a man. This would make her identify more with men, no?

I can't understand the need to erase gender actually, I am a feminist but I can't accept this idea that the only difference between men and women is willies and vaginas - it's so much more than that, surely?

NolaFfing Wed 03-Oct-12 11:28:55

""No apology for all of those baseless accusations you chucked in my direction then?"

Such as?"

"So you've accused me of insulting, silencing, mischaracterising and being dismissive because I have read the entire thread and can see parallels in the way the OP has "discussed" the topic and the way that religious groups talk about homosexuality and you haven't even seen the whole thread?"

There you go. And I am literally laughing at your assertion that your opinion is the only one of any value.

Dear Lord.

HoopDePoop Wed 03-Oct-12 11:31:00

Pls stop throwing buns smile

FoodUnit Wed 03-Oct-12 11:36:20

"There you go. And I am literally laughing at your assertion that your opinion is the only one of any value."

Okaaay.. So you laugh at the idea that the truth has value in its own right?

So laugh at science, laugh at justice, laugh at reality itself... A bit weird that you'd ever try to enter a debate on anything at all if you think the truth doesn't have value.

HoopDePoop Wed 03-Oct-12 11:38:08

<ducks>

OneMoreChap Wed 03-Oct-12 11:38:57

FoodUnit It is mischaracterising to compare right-wing extremists and religious fundementalists with people that just want to get a few facts straight

compare with;
"Listen FoodUnit, you're always banging on about feminism; let me help you out here. The facts are..."

Second is mansplaining.
First is?

inde Wed 03-Oct-12 11:40:18

Why is 'helping transpeople' being prescribed as my cause? I'm a feminist not a transactivist.

Which comes back to what has been said already that these people have real problems and shouldn't be used as political footballs because they don't fit with your view of the world. If you are not interested in helping them then that is just what you are doing. If the treatment that they are getting is wrong then the backlash will come from trans people.
My main reason for taking part in this thread is that I seen someone saying things about trans people as if they are facts. When asked to back up these "facts" they can't. That isn't right and is unhelful to these people with real problems. Whatever the root cause of that problem is.

NolaFfing Wed 03-Oct-12 11:42:28

Your truth is not necessarily The Truth FYI. I note that you've chosen to ignore the rest of my post which is asking you to retract your many insults thrown in my direction.

It boils down to telling me to STFU by accusing me of "silencing". Irony.

HoopDePoop Wed 03-Oct-12 11:46:28

This confuses me:

The idea that trans erodes the concept of what a woman is.

Surely there are so, so few that it makes zero difference? Like, you could literally ignore them if it makes you feel uncomfortable? This is like people campaigning against gay marriage because it undermines marriage between a man and a woman - the natural order of things, if you like. The natural order will always allow some deviancy, it needn't be a threat to the status quo unless you let it be.

HoopDePoop Wed 03-Oct-12 11:47:51

Nola and Food - with respect, you are not discussing but bunhurling, can you desist?

HoopDePoop Wed 03-Oct-12 11:49:19

That is me silencing you both grin

FoodUnit Wed 03-Oct-12 11:49:33

"I am a feminist but I can't accept this idea that the only difference between men and women is willies and vaginas - it's so much more than that, surely?"

I think there is serious danger of stereotyping if you take that as a starting point. What about all the people who strongly diverge from all the other 'differences' that could be put forth to define their reproductive sex? Are they all transsexuals? Isn't it the reality of the situation that we have two reproductive sexes but human beings have a whole host of innate characteristics that fall in line with or diverge from their conditioned gender role? It is more than just a spectrum of male to female 'characteristics'...

NolaFfing Wed 03-Oct-12 11:50:27

No, sorry HoopdePoop. I will not be accused of dismissing, mischaraterising, silencing and insulting merely because I have read the thread and can see parallels between the way the church talks about homosexuality and the way that the OP has talked about transgender issues.

No, sorry, I won't.

KRITIQ Wed 03-Oct-12 11:58:44

Can I refer back to my post at Tue 02-Oct-12 11:58:39 please?

I believe (and please correct me if I got this wrong,) Food Unit, you are suggesting that when a person who has been assigned as female at birth chooses to have medical or surgical treatment to alter their body to become a man (or to become what they view as "not a woman," at least) that this is should be seen as a form of Violence Against Women.

Even where the person has made the choice to undertake treatment, fully informed of available information on the risks, they should still be prevented from undertaking the treatment.

I am aware that this is exactly the same argument proposed by many "pro life" campaigners. They understand that women have to give consent to have an abortion, but they also see abortion as an act of violence against both the woman and the fetus/unborn child. They also suggest (as some have here) that patients aren't fully informed of the risks of abortion so can't make a valid, informed choice.

I'm struggling to see what the difference is here. In both cases, campaigners insist that individuals should not have the right to choose what happens to their own bodies and wish to impose their own moral values on other people.

I like the old pro choice slogan, "If you don't like abortion, don't have one." I'd suggest the same should apply thus, "If you don't want gender reassignment surgery, don't have it."

Also, per my comment last night about "splaining." Food Unit, you may be a woman, but you aren't a transman or a trans woman. In the same way I could never claim to speak from the experience of being a Black woman or a disabled woman, I can't speak from the experience of being either a transman or a trans woman.

Let's say there is a woman over there who identifies as a woman of colour. I might look at her, see that her skin tone is not very dark, decide her features aren't "typical" of a woman of colour. I might believe she's not actually a woman of colour. That, however, gives me no right to insist that she's white, let alone that I can speak for her and her experience. Same thing goes for a person who's not a trans woman or transman insisting they are entitled to speak for them, just because they don't accept their self-chosen identity.

OneMoreChap Wed 03-Oct-12 12:06:05

KRITIQ

Wow, another top post.

FoodUnit Wed 03-Oct-12 12:14:52

"these people have real problems and shouldn't be used as political footballs because they don't fit with your view of the world."

I know transsexuals have real problems, and I certainly don't use them as political footballs.

I don't think being a woman is nothing more than declaring that you are one. And I would argue women are the ones being used as political footballs (particularly radfem ones), along with homosexuals and intersex people, by transactivists.

kim147 Wed 03-Oct-12 12:15:11

Without going into the whole biology debate, the important thing is that most transpeople feel happier after making such a big decision. Some drop out along the way, some stick the course.

And that's important. I do thing it's arrogant and flies in the face of feminist thinking to say "They feel like a woman / man" - no one knows what the hell anyone else feels like. Everyone feels different.

But they do feel wrong And this is such a strong feeling. Transitioning makes them feel right. It's really that simple.

There is a whole load of stuff about transactivism etc which has been debated to death on here. I have my own views on that but I've already discussed them ad nauseum.

Being trans is a feeling of your body feeling wrong. It's an overwhelming feeling. No one who is not trans can truly understand what that feeling is like.

FoodUnit Wed 03-Oct-12 12:20:28

"The idea that trans erodes the concept of what a woman is. Surely there are so, so few that it makes zero difference?"

If transactivists weren't actually eroding the legal definition of what a woman is, I agree it wouldn't make a difference.

But since it is resulting in some pretty dangerous things when a bloke - male sex offenders in fact -can legally 'define' as a woman in order to get close to their targets, amongst others, this tiny group of transactivists are actually making a disproportionately large and damaging difference.

FoodUnit Wed 03-Oct-12 12:26:15

"But they do feel wrong And this is such a strong feeling. Transitioning makes them feel right. It's really that simple."

But I think that it is worth considering why women are led to feel wrong in their bodies per se, and whether it is possible that they could be led to the conclusion that they are in the wrong sexedbody and go for this very invasive and dangerous surgery to 'correct' it. In other words, whether there are aspects of FTM surgery that could be rooted in the same misogyny as labiaplasty, breast reshaping and other cosmetic surgery.

FoodUnit Wed 03-Oct-12 12:35:39

KRITIQ in this: "Also, per my comment last night about "splaining." Food Unit, you may be a woman, but you aren't a transman or a trans woman. In the same way I could never claim to speak from the experience of being a Black woman or a disabled woman, I can't speak from the experience of being either a transman or a trans woman."

You are missing an important element of 'splaining and that is the actual power dynamic that underpins it. I agree that I cannot speak about living under the structural oppressions experienced by a black woman.

Aside from that, in your comment, you were responding to something I said that wasn't pretending to speak from the perspective of someone with gender dysphoria - so it was even less relevant to suggest I was 'splaining in any way.

HoopDePoop Wed 03-Oct-12 12:36:54

Thanks for your considered responses FoodUnit . DS has awoken so my own reproductive ability now hinders me. Will pop back later smile

kim147 Wed 03-Oct-12 12:38:13

Isn't it freedom of choice to undergo such surgery? Be it cosmetic or the need for major reconstructive surgery?

Would you deny women the right to cosmetic surgery?

FoodUnit Wed 03-Oct-12 12:40:15

" DS has awoken so my own reproductive ability now hinders me. Will pop back later" ..

Ahhh yes - I have let things slide - must get on myself smile

FoodUnit Wed 03-Oct-12 12:41:34

"Isn't it freedom of choice to undergo such surgery? Be it cosmetic or the need for major reconstructive surgery? Would you deny women the right to cosmetic surgery?"

There is a difference between critique and denial of rights.

HoopDePoop Wed 03-Oct-12 12:41:50

A quick question - have there actually been cases of trans sex offenders trying to attend support groups for victims,or is it merely an example of the kind of situation that you think would be inappropriate for a transperson with specific criminal tendencies to be present at? If it's hypothetical, isn't it a bit off to say that some trans may be sex offenders so we should bar all of them from women-only spaces altogether? Seems a bit sweeping.

inde Wed 03-Oct-12 12:53:14

People have asked for evidence to back up things that have been stated as fact in this thread about trans people and they haven't done so. Also I have asked for evidence where radical feminist analysis analysis has actually helped these people and been told it isn't a feminists job to help them. So what is the actual difference between this and Christian fundamentalists offended by the very existence of gay people?
If the gender confusion is really caused by the patriarchy then I would like to see that incorporated into their therapy. It might actually help them but reading this thread I see no evidence that is the case. Just some people trying to shoe horn trans people into their personal view of the world.

FoodUnit Wed 03-Oct-12 12:53:28

I don't have that much time but check this link.

KRITIQ Wed 03-Oct-12 12:54:13

Hi Food Unit. No, I don't think I'm missing the power dynamic that underpins "splaining."

It's true, neither of us as visibly white people can speak about living under the structural oppressions experienced by Black women. We both benefit from white privilege, whether or not we want to believe that that's the case, and whether or not we actively seek to benefit from that privilege. It's still there.

But, neither can either of us claim to speak on behalf of trans women or transmen about the structural experiences they face for being trans. We both benefit from cis privilege (the privilege of identifying as and being identified by others as the same sex we were assigned at birth,) whether or not we want to believe that's the case, and whether or not we actively seek to benefit from that privilege. It's still there.

FoodUnit Wed 03-Oct-12 13:11:18

"We both benefit from cis privilege (the privilege of identifying as and being identified by others as the same sex we we /re assigned at birth,) whether or not we want to believe that's the case, and whether or not we actively seek to benefit from that privilege. It's still there."

This is where our opinions widely diverge. I don't feel comfortable with my gender. I am not 'cis'. I think it is weird to think that a MTF suddenly has no male privilege over a woman. There is no 'structural oppression' of trans people (above and beyond all gender restrictions or the fear of deviants) , because being trans is a 'feeling' not a societal structure.

And since being trans is a 'strong feeling', combined with efforts to live as the opposite sex, up to and including hormones and surgery to make this more realistic, it is a psychological problem seeking physical solutions, not a form of structural oppression.

OneMoreChap Wed 03-Oct-12 13:17:11

I thought - with a science background about a hundred years ago - that is something wasn't cis, it was trans.

"There is no 'structural oppression' of trans people"
cf. with "Women aren't really oppressed in this day and age"

FoodUnit you're saying you're not cis-privileged.
I can say I'm not male-privileged.

Just because I don't recognise my privilege, doesn't make it disappear. Does yours?

FoodUnit Wed 03-Oct-12 13:23:44

"I thought - with a science background about a hundred years ago - that is something wasn't cis, it was trans. FoodUnit you're saying you're not cis-privileged. I can say I'm not male-privileged. Just because I don't recognise my privilege, doesn't make it disappear. Does yours?"

I am getting fed up with this nursery level reasoning of 'A seems a bit like B, therefore A is B'.

I won't waste my time on it.

OneMoreChap Wed 03-Oct-12 13:28:54

I think you're fed up with the fact that even here, with some strong minded people about you don't have a claque nodding agreement.

I won't waste my time on it.

As my auntie used to say if someone had a snit on and left, "Don't let the door hit you in the arse on the way out".

MooncupGoddess Wed 03-Oct-12 13:29:51

Given that trans people face prejudice and get discriminated against for being trans (that is, identifying as the opposite sex and going through a transition process), then surely people who aren't trans and therefore don't face that particular prejudice/discrimination are benefitting from privilege, in the same way as straight people gain from straight privilege because they don't face the prejudice/discrimination gay people do?

I know that rad fems don't like the term 'cis' but otherwise don't see why this is such a controversial argument?

FoodUnit Wed 03-Oct-12 13:40:18

""Don't let the door hit you in the arse on the way out"

I'm not going anywhere - just not engaging with your simplistic argument.

FoodUnit Wed 03-Oct-12 13:46:31

I would say 'those not suffering from psychological problems' have privilege over those not suffering phsychological problems, but I don't think 'gender dysphoria' requires its own binary to define the world and that the world should accept being defined by it, just because that particular pshychological problem can be somewhat eased by physical solutions.

FoodUnit Wed 03-Oct-12 13:47:47

Sorry tapping on smartphone should read "those not suffering from psychological problems' have privilege over those suffering phsychological problems"

OneMoreChap Wed 03-Oct-12 13:49:29

Mine, or MooncupGoddess, or KRITIQ, or kim147 or NolaFfing or inde and so on?

FoodUnit Wed 03-Oct-12 14:14:07

I've been engaging with lots of arguments omc, but not yours.

KRITIQ Wed 03-Oct-12 14:26:22

Food Unit you said, "This is where our opinions widely diverge. I don't feel comfortable with my gender. I am not 'cis'. I think it is weird to think that a MTF suddenly has no male privilege over a woman. There is no 'structural oppression' of trans people (above and beyond all gender restrictions or the fear of deviants) , because being trans is a 'feeling' not a societal structure. "

Well, yes, this is something I can't agree with.

I know many white people who don't see themselves as "white," often don't like being referred to as white (e.g. "I'm colourblind me," or "my skin is cream/beige/tan, not white.") and don't accept that they have any social, economic or political privilege because they are white.

That doesn't mean that white privilege doesn't exist. That doesn't mean that they don't benefit from it. Rejecting the term or the concept doesn't change that, no matter how much they want to believe it does, no matter how many times they insist it isn't valid.

Same applies here with regard to cis privilege.

Being trans is a "feeling" in the same way that being Lesbian, gay or bisexual is a "feeling." It's a human being's identity. How they see themselves, how they are seen by others, how they experience life. Similarly, a person of colour isn't just about the proportion of you DNA that's not caucasian or your appearance. It's also about how one sees themselves, how others engage with them, how they experience life.

We live in a society that is institutionally racist, institutionally heterosexist and institutionally cis-sexist. That means there is structural oppression of and discrimination against people of colour, Lesbian, gay and bisexual people and trans people. Just believing that's not the case doesn't make this disappear.

In fact, denying the existence of such oppression is actually a way of actively perpetuating that discrimination and oppression.

FoodUnit Wed 03-Oct-12 15:17:06

"I know many white people who don't see themselves as "white," often don't like being referred to as white (e.g. "I'm colourblind me," or "my skin is cream/beige/tan, not white.") and don't accept that they have any social, economic or political privilege because they are white."

Yup, I'm with you there.

"That doesn't mean that white privilege doesn't exist. That doesn't mean that they don't benefit from it. Rejecting the term or the concept doesn't change that, no matter how much they want to believe it does, no matter how many times they insist it isn't valid."

Yup, I'm with you there too

"Same applies here with regard to cis privilege."

No it doesn't

"Being trans is a "feeling" in the same way that being Lesbian, gay or bisexual is a "feeling.""

Now here you are piling in the assumptions. Some lesbians are political, for example.

"It's a human being's identity."

No, being gay or lesbian or bi is a human being's (or other species's) sexuality. It only becomes their 'identity' in a culture that is so geared against it, that it becomes their defining characteristic.

"Similarly, a person of colour isn't just about the proportion of you DNA that's not caucasian or your appearance. It's also about how one sees themselves, how others engage with them, how they experience life."

Now you have moved way off from structural oppression. A person of colour experiences barriers, conditioning, etc that are shaped to hold a person of colour back, to the benefit of white people. Its not vague 'how I see myself' story-telling.

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

OneMoreChap Wed 03-Oct-12 15:27:56

I thought KRITIQ and I were possibly arguing the same point, but San Fairy Ann.

K
"Same applies here with regard to cis privilege."
FU
No it doesn't

Ah, that would be one of your facts, then. Not an opinion

FoodUnit Wed 03-Oct-12 15:28:09

"Political lesbians (if they are purely in it for the politics) aren't lesbians. they are straight women who sleep with women because they believe sleeping with men is letting the cause down. Unless they actually fancy women, in which case it comes back to feelings."

They believe any woman can be a lesbian and it is not all about sex.

Anyway if you think women cannot 'define themselves as lesbians' for political reasons, because they are not real lesbians, then the whole identity argument is even weaker.

NolaFfing Wed 03-Oct-12 15:32:35

So women can define themselves as lesbians - even if they don't have sexual relationships with men?

Isn't that just re-defining what they actually are (straight women) because of the way they feel?

KRITIQ Wed 03-Oct-12 15:36:32

It's a bit of a side issue, but one can decide to have sexual relationships/partner with specific groups of people by choice. For example, a Jewish person may want to only have relationships with other Jewish people in keeping with their faith and culture. Someone with strong left of centre political views may not wish to have a relationship with someone who does not share those views. A vegetarian may only wish to partner with other vegetarians because of their personal or environmental beliefs. If a woman only wishes to have relationships with other women because that fits with her political beliefs, in my view, that's similarly okay.

NolaFfing Wed 03-Oct-12 15:38:09

I wonder if lesbians get all bent out of shape about "political" lesbians.

FoodUnit Wed 03-Oct-12 15:39:11

"So women can define themselves as lesbians - even if they don't have sexual relationships with men? Isn't that just re-defining what they actually are (straight women) because of the way they feel?"

Sorry, I'm not being deliberately obtuse - I don't know what you mean - is there a typo somewhere - do you mean 'even if they do have sexual relationships with men'?

NolaFfing Wed 03-Oct-12 15:40:40

I meant women. I meant "sexual relationships with women"

FoodUnit Wed 03-Oct-12 15:46:05

"I meant women. I meant "sexual relationships with women"

Thanks for clearing that one up. I am not a lesbian, political or otherwise, so I am only speaking from what I have heard political lesbians say. I'm sure there is a whole other world of contention I am not embroiled in on that front.

NolaFfing Wed 03-Oct-12 15:50:18

But can't you see the hypocrisy in that? You're not a lesbian so wouldn't seek to become embroiled in that - but you're quite happy to proclaim that transgender issues are psychological and all about "vague" feelings.

OneMoreChap Wed 03-Oct-12 15:54:14

NolaFfing Wed 03-Oct-12 15:50:18
But can't you see the hypocrisy in that? made me smile.

You'll shortly get an explanation about how it's different, and there's no such thing as cis-plaining.

KRITIQ Wed 03-Oct-12 15:55:51

Well, quite simply then Food Unit, you and I disagree on the issue of whether trans people face institutionalised oppression and whether cis people experience cis-privileged.

It's just the same as when I disagree with white folks who deny the existence of institutionalised racism and their own white privilege, or straight people who deny the existence of institutionalised heterosexism and their own heterosexist privilege.

I also disagree that one's "sexuality" can be defined so rigidly as you suggest. It's not necessarily an immutable factor and is very much about the individual's identity. For example, Andrea Dworkin identified herself as a Lesbian and John Stoltenberg as Gay, but they were life partners and were married. Someone I knew through feminist activism many years ago identified as Lesbian then, but 10 years later identified as straight and is now married to a man and has a child with him. Susie Orbach describes herself as "post heterosexual" having previously been in committed relationships with men, but now in a committed relationship with a woman. My former boss has always identified as Lesbian, but had sexual relationships with men and women. She has never seen herself, however as straight or bisexual because she would not choose a committed relationship with a man. One can be Lesbian or gay but be celibate. Sexuality is about far more than who you sleep with. Some people feel or know that they are Lesbian, Gay, straight, bisexual or asexual from childhood. For others, their identity changes during their lifetime.

I also don't believe I'm moving from the concept of structural/institutional oppression related to racism. There may be people of colour who experience differing forms or levels of institutionalised racism based on how they are perceived by others and how they identify themselves, and linked to other forms of privilege or oppression that may intersect with racism. This doesn't mean it's automatically better or worse for some people of colour than others. It does mean I do not believe I am entitled to define whether their experience "qualifies" as oppression or not.

FoodUnit Wed 03-Oct-12 15:58:59

"But can't you see the hypocrisy in that? You're not a lesbian so wouldn't seek to become embroiled in that"

No it isn't hypocritical

"you're quite happy to proclaim that transgender issues are psychological and all about "vague" feelings."

Transgender issues, require that I must re-define myself as a woman, by a psychological 'sense' or 'feeling' that I am a woman, rather than by my assignment at birth, in order to accommodate people who were assigned male at birth as women.

Lesbians, political or otherwise are not encroaching upon me in the same way. The two are very different scenarios in relation to me.

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

NolaFfing Wed 03-Oct-12 16:05:05

How? Please explain how a woman becoming a man (because after all that's the premise of this thread) affects how I am defined as a woman?

FoodUnit Wed 03-Oct-12 16:19:18

"Well, quite simply then Food Unit, you and I disagree on the issue of whether trans people face institutionalised oppression and whether cis people experience cis-privileged."

Absolutely. I do not believe acute gender dysphoria trumps all other psychological disorders, and requires a new binary description of the world to which we all must adhere.

"It's just the same as when I disagree with white folks who deny the existence of institutionalised racism and their own white privilege, or straight people who deny the existence of institutionalised heterosexism and their own heterosexist privilege."

Really? I find its more the case that this trans/cis binary is used to conceptually erase male privilege.

"I also disagree that one's "sexuality" can be defined so rigidly as you suggest. It's not necessarily an immutable factor and is very much about the individual's identity. For example, Andrea Dworkin identified herself as a Lesbian and John Stoltenberg as Gay, but they were life partners and were married. Someone I knew through feminist activism many years ago identified as Lesbian then, but 10 years later identified as straight and is now married to a man and has a child with him. Susie Orbach describes herself as "post heterosexual" having previously been in committed relationships with men, but now in a committed relationship with a woman. My former boss has always identified as Lesbian, but had sexual relationships with men and women. She has never seen herself, however as straight or bisexual because she would not choose a committed relationship with a man. One can be Lesbian or gay but be celibate. Sexuality is about far more than who you sleep with. Some people feel or know that they are Lesbian, Gay, straight, bisexual or asexual from childhood. For others, their identity changes during their lifetime."

I agree, sexuality is changeable. But if your 'sexual identity' is totally at odds with your sexual behaviour then something a bit dysfunctional is going on.

"I also don't believe I'm moving from the concept of structural/institutional oppression related to racism. There may be people of colour who experience differing forms or levels of institutionalised racism based on how they are perceived by others and how they identify themselves, and linked to other forms of privilege or oppression that may intersect with racism. This doesn't mean it's automatically better or worse for some people of colour than others. It does mean I do not believe I am entitled to define whether their experience "qualifies" as oppression or not."

See, this is where it all gets a bit weird...

I completely agree that in the cases of structural oppression such as racism it is not for anyone to give a laundry list of 'qualifiers' for the status of oppressions..

But at the same time, if I believe myself to be a horse, want to live in a stable and eat hay, - it would not qualify as 'structural oppression' if someone said - no, you aren't a horse, you are human. It would be the truth, it would be fact. If I said 'its not for you to tell the barriers to my being trans-horse aren't oppressive' - it would be fair enough for them to say - 'you have a psychological disorder, its not structural oppression at the crux of this matter'. This would be very different from someone denying the structural oppression faced by people of colour.

kim147 Wed 03-Oct-12 16:19:57

Most people on here know that I'm trans. I don't know why I feel this way. I can't explain how it started but I've been transitioning for several years and it's not an easy process. It does not just happen. I don't want to upset people or step on anyone's definitions. I just want to be happy and get on with my life. Hormone treatment has really helped my feelings and I cannot wait for the "op". But it is a long slow process. Lots of assessments.

I face prejudice and discrimination because of who I am. I'm struggling to find a job - is it age or is it because I'm trans. Who knows?

Why the hell would I go through all this? Just for fun or because of a massive feeling inside that something is really really wrong.

Then I read all this stuff on here and it's really upsetting. I can really understand the reasons people get upset by people saying "they feel like women". No ones that and it's arrogant to say that.

All I know is that this is what I want and what I need to do. All that desperation and suicidal feelings have passed now. I might have really screwed up my life in terms of relationships and job prospects because trans people do face issues that others don't pass. No doubt some will say I have the benefit of male privilege - well reading the stuff on the sexism page, there is no doubt I have.

I am happy with my decision. I don't know what I've become - except I have become me. And that is important.

You can debate all you like but at the end of the day, we are real people with real issues. No doubt trans activists get on people's nerves and there are real issues that need to be addressed.

All I want to do is be me and try to be accepted.

KRITIQ Wed 03-Oct-12 16:21:53

Well, actually, if I'm to be part of the solution and not still be part of the perpetuation of racial oppression, means that I as a white person must re-define who I am as well. I might not think of myself as white, or even think much about my ethnicity at all. I'm just a person. I don't actually have to think about what being white "means." It's something that just is, and I think that's the case for most white people.

Going back 50 years, my aunt from Louisiana bitterly resented the end of racial segregation. She didn't want to share restaurants, hotels, public transport or public toilets with Black people. She genuinely didn't believe they were people the same as she was. She certainly didn't believe African American women were the same as white American women or that they were entitled to any of the same rights or status.

I'm kind of seeking this idea of, "I don't want trans women to be regarded as women like me," as similar to Aunt Rose not wanting Black women to be regarded as women like her.

FoodUnit Wed 03-Oct-12 16:27:22

"Please explain how a woman becoming a man (because after all that's the premise of this thread) affects how I am defined as a woman?"

Because if the definition of a woman is 'to have a strong feeling, and to identify as a woman', then if you couldn't find this feeling within yourself, you might actually be a man- even if all the physical evidence tells you otherwise.

The logic is this:

If 'woman' is no longer defined as:

A woman is an adult person who was assigned female at birth,

to

A woman is an adult person who 'feels like a woman' and identifies as a woman

Then there is no physical, or evidence-based definition of woman. Just a 'feeling' and declaration of identity.

So if you don't have that feeling, then you could equally, by this new definition, be a man.

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

FoodUnit Wed 03-Oct-12 16:36:32

"Well, actually, if I'm to be part of the solution and not still be part of the perpetuation of racial oppression, means that I as a white person must re-define who I am as well. I might not think of myself as white, or even think much about my ethnicity at all. I'm just a person. I don't actually have to think about what being white "means." It's something that just is, and I think that's the case for most white people."

I completely agree, but a person denying the white/black binary that has been a historical justification for something as blatant as slavery, would be on very shaky ground with all the evidence to the contrary.

"I'm kind of seeking this idea of, "I don't want trans women to be regarded as women like me," as similar to Aunt Rose not wanting Black women to be regarded as women like her."

I know you are, but there is a lot more to being a woman than identifying as a woman. And yes Aunt Rose and many other white people have difficulty accepting people of colour as human, but Aunt Rose and all those others are wrong, people of colour are human beings and in no way inferior to white ones. Time is telling this suppressed truth about people of colour.

So this is where it differs. I am not denying the humanity of transpeople, I am denying that a man can become a woman or vice versa.

NolaFfing Wed 03-Oct-12 16:37:46

That still doesn't affect me because I am fortunate enough to have been born a woman, assigned as female, and to not feel "wrong" within myself.

What exactly are you pushing for? A ban on gender reassignment?

BlameItOnTheCuervo Wed 03-Oct-12 16:40:25

Kim, I can't possibly know what your life has been like. But good luck with your op, I truly hope that it will make you happier. I'm sure it will. Some posters forget in their desperation to uphold theory, that they are discussing real people and real situations.

Kritiq, I think I love you, you have said everything I wanted to, but better.

FoodUnit Wed 03-Oct-12 16:43:47

EleanorHandbasket "The new definition would be more like 'a woman is an adult person who was assigned female at birth OR an adult person who has been through gender reassignment and now identifies as female'."

No it wouldn't, you are missing out transmen and transsexuals who don't want hormones or surgery

It would be:

A woman is an adult person who was either assigned female at birth and does not identify as male or identifies as female irrespective of birth assignment.

When put like this, the birth assignment bit is actually irrelevant.

HoopDePoop Wed 03-Oct-12 16:46:07

Food "There is a lot more to being a woman than identifying as a woman"

Like what? You define woman as someone born with female anatomy, which seems simplistic to me. Do you think part of being a woman is living a life of oppression, and it's unfair for a man who has hitherto experienced male privilege to adopt womanhood with any understanding?

Sorry to dip in and out btw.

Message withdrawn at poster's request.