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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]

LRDtheFeministDragon Mon 01-Oct-12 06:34:58

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

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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

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

LRDtheFeministDragon Mon 01-Oct-12 09:05:39

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.

LRDtheFeministDragon Mon 01-Oct-12 09:17:08

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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LRDtheFeministDragon Mon 01-Oct-12 09:38:03

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.

EleanorHandbasket Mon 01-Oct-12 09:42:08

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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

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LRDtheFeministDragon Mon 01-Oct-12 09:48:13

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?

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