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I know this has been done to death... transactivism v feminism

(158 Posts)
Lo24 Thu 23-Feb-17 12:24:15

I know, I know...

It's just no matter what I read or who I talk to I still can't find an answer that makes sense to me.

I'm happy for anyone to be whoever they want. I don't believe the blue brain/pink brain crap (science doesn't support it) but I still support anyone who feels they need to transionition (fully or otherwise).

It seems so awful that (amoung other human rights violations) Trump is removing laws that protect trans kids. But the argument (the only one I see thrown over the Internet, bashing radical feminists) is the idea anyone who feels like a woman is one, whether or not they transion in any form.

I have 4 young girls. I don't want them left at risk because teachers can not challenge boys who follow them into the toilets because that would be transphobia. If they ever have to (god forbid) access female prisons, dv shelters, psychiatric hospital I want them to have protected female only space.

Yet mention this to transactivists and it's transphobic and makes me a radical feminist. I don't particularly care about the rad fem argument that trans renforces general roles, or that it's body dismorphia and should be treatment by mental health professionals, I don't care for Germaine Greer's stance on the 'issue'. So I don't have a radical stance on this. I just don't want female rights protection eroded. I'm sure any trans person who has transioned in some form won't pose a risk, but if anyone who terms themselves a woman must be allowed access to female only spaces then that protects predatory men from being challenged also. But I can't say that or I get accused of accusing trans people of being predators. Ahhh!!!!

Anyone know the answer? Is there any form or transgender activism that recognises that eroding female protections doesn't help trans women either? Or any literature by anyone trans that gives a better argument than the 'everyone who says they are a woman is one and if you don't agree you are a bigot' line of thought. Help!

AHedgehogCanNeverBeBuggered Thu 23-Feb-17 12:30:26

Believe me, if there was a decent answer it would've already been proposed.

I'm all for calling people their preferred pronouns, and obviously they can dress any way they like, but the whole 'girls do x, boys do y' pisses me off massively, as does the trans invasion of women's safe spaces and sports.

GreatBritishBakeOff Thu 23-Feb-17 12:33:34

YANBU, I'm completely with you. It's like the majority of the world refuse to see it. It drives me mad.

roseshippy Thu 23-Feb-17 12:36:40

transgender bathrooms are associated with sexual assaults on women and children.

there is a long list here:

The assaults are not even necessarily committed by transgender people, but when you say 'you cannot question people going into the 'wrong' toilet', then perverts use that as an opportunity to commit sex crimes.

MrsTwix Thu 23-Feb-17 12:42:55

The answer is individual toilets with full walls and doors, (not cubicles) opening into a public area so only one person is in any toilet at a time.

MeganChips Thu 23-Feb-17 12:45:54

I agree with you OP but I struggle to articulate it.

I have every sympathy with the difficulties trans people face but it's equally important that women's rights don't get eroded in the process.

I saw a petition on Facebook recently trying to stop GG speaking at an event in Brighton for international women's day. While I don't agree with her stance either it seems like all the work done for feminism and women is irrelevant in face of the trans issues which seems wrong.

ItsAllGoingToBeFine Thu 23-Feb-17 12:46:00

I think one thing that would go along way towards helping the issue would be to stop conflating gender and sex. They are not the same thing, and it confuses things massively when they are used interchangeably, including in legislation.

BevGoldbergsSister Thu 23-Feb-17 12:47:24

Miranda Yardley is a transwoman who speaks a lot of sense sometimes, however shes branded a bigot and terf by the transactivists.

What you say does make sense and is the common sense approach, however that is not what the trans activists want.

Simply saying you do not think someone with several convictions for rape and a penis should be in a womens bathroom does make you a radical feminist now, sorry! grin

MorrisZapp Thu 23-Feb-17 12:49:16

I don't think TAs want individual, neutral toilets. They want access to one labelled women.

ItsAllGoingToBeFine Thu 23-Feb-17 12:58:05

To be fair though, not all trans-people are extremists - individual toilets (preferably with sinks inside) would solve a lot of problems for a lot of people.

EmpressOfTheSpartacusOceans Thu 23-Feb-17 12:59:17

Is there any form or transgender activism that recognises that eroding female protections doesn't help trans women either?

There are a few transpeople who speak up for women, but they get enormous amounts of shit for it. Miranda Yardley is probably the best known one, and also posts on here sometimes.

There is more to the "trans kids" issue as well though. About 80% of children who present as gender-nonconforming and are not put on medication become reconciled to their bodies at puberty and grow into lesbian or gay adults.

Others get put on puberty blockers "to give them time to decide". It's emphasised that these blockers are harmless and reversible.

In practice this means their brains and bodies can't go through that stage of development, so that they're far more likely to continue transitioning and move on to cross-sex hormones.

One example of these nice harmless puberty blockers is Lupron, a drug used for treating prostate cancer (it chemically castrates males) and endometriosis. The link is to a petition to US Congress "in the hope that further long-term safety studies are done before it disables or kills more women."

Lo24 Thu 23-Feb-17 12:59:55

It's I agree. But talking about that is very theoretical and doesn't directly propose a practical solution. I'm generally shocked that things have gone so backward on this. While there were ofcourse stereotypyes when I was at school (not so long ago) being a girl was allowed to mean being strong, being ambitious, being competitive. And being sensitive, emotional, nurturing didn't make a boy a girl. But still, while I agree pink/blue brain nonsense needs challenging it doesn't help when I get called a bigot for suggesting some feminists are trying to protect female spaces from being invaded by predatory men, not from trans people, but from men who take advantage of the rhetoric that saying you are a woman means you are one and anyone who challenges that is a prejuice bigot.

Mrs sure that's great but again not practical in terms of funding is it. We can't suddenly rebuild everything. And it doesn't address the issue of males given access to women's prisions/shelters/psychiatric treatment beds/girls sex ed classes or similar. I appreciate this isn't allways happening but in some places it is, and the argument that anyone who terms themselves a woman is one (legally) leads to these risk.

It bothers me so much because I would support anyone who feels the y need to transition, yet just because I voice that my girls will need female only spaces I am acused of attacking trans people who have been suppressed and stigmatised forever (because that's not the experience of women..)

Surely trans women who live as women, in some form are aware that letting anyone who calls themselves a woman into female only spaces leave them at risk as well? Where's their activist literature?

roseshippy Thu 23-Feb-17 13:04:35

Did anyone see the news today that violent murderer Christopher Hunisett was denied special privileges after

"cutting off my testicles and slicing the shaft of my penis in half"

in a DIY in-prison gender transitioning.

Isn't it time more noise was made that chopping off your bollocks and mutilating your penis does not make you a woman!?

Lo24 Thu 23-Feb-17 13:16:27

Thanks for the miranda links, I will read them.

I guess I'm also finding it confusing that getting protection from sexism, racism, disablism (which doesn't happen really), or anything else were all long battles. Yet suddenly overnight it feels like anyone who feels like being a woman now has more legal protection than my female children, at the expense of my female children. The idea that women can't moan about periods or ask a friend for tamp ax in female toilets for fear of offending a transwomen is rediculous.

I get the male privilage argument rad fems put forward for this. I just don't find its useful when arguing the point that female protections need to remain in place. I don't want to batter down someone else's experience of life to afirm my point, I just want the tiny slice of female safety that was so hard taught for remain in place. And I don't get how to argue that without being attacked for being a bigot or transphobic etc. It's so fucking frustrating and tiring. Probably more so when suffering pmt but i can't possibley voice that! It's like my experience as a woman now is more hidden and worth less than it was as a child 20 years ago. Why are we moving backward and why does more human rights protection for smell mean less for my female children and me, because that doesn't make any logical sense!

MorrisZapp Thu 23-Feb-17 13:16:45

That article is a masterclass in passive aggressive reporting.

The final sentence is... perfection smile

Lo24 Thu 23-Feb-17 13:39:26

But rose I don't have a problem if someone born male wants to transion to 'being a woman'. It certainly doesn't make them female, and I don't want them having access to female only spaces. Mostly because of predatory males who will take advantage of that loop hole, but also because of female inmates assaulted by trans mtf inmates.

I agree the issue with trans kids is much more complicated and the hormones to stop puberty are a serious risk. And that looking at the social construction (and deconstruction) of gender is vital with children. But in discourse with an adult who is adamant they must transision to living as a woman I don't want to shut down their voice with mine, I just want mine to be heard without being slammed for being a bigot just because I want to protect hard won female rights.

MercyMyJewels Thu 23-Feb-17 13:59:30


All us "TERFs" have been through what you are now. We are not bigots, in fact the vast majority of the gender critical posters on MN are liberal lefties in all other matters. Yes it's difficult to take a position which aligns with right wing nutters. But a broken clock is right twice a day and all that bollocks.

It's sad but you will end up picking a side because the TRAs make it impossible for the debate to be anything other than diametrically opposed arguments

I embrace my TERF-dom now; I am not going to apologise for having a balanced argument and seeking to protect the safety and privacy of women and girls AND to prevent children from having a lifetime under medical care

Lo24 Thu 23-Feb-17 14:12:49

Mercy I don't want to pick a side, because what then happens if my next child is a boy who is adamant they are trans? Or if on or more of my girls are certain they must live as a man. There must be another way. And while I think much more mh treatment prior, during and after transitioning should be a priority i don't think preventing everyone who grows up believing they are trans having access to medical care fore transitioning is OK either. Some body dismorphia is treated jointly by therapy and surgery, whatever terms need used I don't have a problem if someone trans people need that option.

And I don't want to along with right wing, because I don't think their pov is correct either. I don't want there to be no space for people who are trans I just don't want that space to be at the expense of female protected spaces.

It's the definition of trans that is the problem, the idea that anyone who feels they are a woman can therefore say they are and then have access to female only spaces. If someone has transitioned or is living as a woman I wouldn't think the pose a risk to other women, it's the idea that anyone who terms themself a woman is one that is the problem because it's that definition that would mean a group of men could follow my daughters into female toilets unchallenged because it's un-pc for onlookers to challenge them. That's the problem that concerns me. Or that males can access female shelters to further abuse their victims or that men can steal psych beds funded for females etc

MercyMyJewels Thu 23-Feb-17 14:20:27

This might tip you to peaktrans Lo grin

600 girls at an all Girls School - their rights trashed because of 1 male's demands

FloweringDeranger Thu 23-Feb-17 14:20:40

Op, it seems that the very very few trans people are being used to push a world which can be divided into 'men' and 'non-men'.

Let's face it, being trans has become trendy. People who a few years ago would simply have been unhappy with the social expectations, opportunities and treatment for their sex are now being socialised to believe that they therefore must be trans whereas a few years ago they might have simply challenged those expectations.

Saying this is neither radical nor bigoted, it is being sane in an insane world!

Owlzes Thu 23-Feb-17 14:22:31

I don't think it is 'trans activists' vs 'feminists'. I know lots of really trans inclusive feminists.

I think there is a fundamental disconnect between those who think gender is a matter of identity and those who think it is a matter of biology and I don't think that can really be bridged right now and I wish I knew how. I also think that, miserably, both sides will end up throwing some people under the bus as a part of this, and I think neither side are willing to see where they are doing it, but see only too clearly where the others are. And it's awful.

MercyMyJewels Thu 23-Feb-17 14:24:18

I didn't mean pick a side to be unfair to transpeople. Far from it. Of course trans people should have human rights, dignity, privacy and safety the same as everyone else, but not at another group's expense

But the Trans activists don't want compromise, they want access to female spaces because that's validation, and nothing else will do.

HarryPottersMagicWand Thu 23-Feb-17 14:29:11

I think spaces need to be segregated by sex not gender. Penis = male, vagina = female therefore youmuse the facilities designated to your sex. It doesn't need to be much more complicated than that. Prison may be more complicated but have a designated wing in the prison for your sex, not gender.

I went somewhere today and was chatting to someone I hadn't met and they started talking about trans rights and how it doesn't matter if a male identifies as female and wants to use female toilets because it isn't all about paedophiles. I couldn't be bothered to get into a debate about it but she really didn't understand that this very issue will be exploited by a small majority and as women we have a right to feel bloody safe in certain places.

MercyMyJewels Thu 23-Feb-17 14:29:50

Got this from twitter

MrsTwix Thu 23-Feb-17 14:35:43

I'm going to have to agree to disagree with you. A trans woman is a woman to me.

Coming back to the toilets thing, I'm aware we can't rebuild everything, but as and when we extend older buildings or build new ones we could provide facilities like in the picture.

Personally I suspect anyone's daughters are more at risk from other girls in the cubicle style toilets. Bullying is another much more usual reason for schools to prefer that kind of design.

I've heard of a number of incidents where girls have sexually assaulted other girls, often after a falling out.

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