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You were right

(113 Posts)
DoughDoe Sun 14-Jun-15 01:04:49

So I was a bit confused about all the anti-trans posts in here. I didn't get it really. Transsexuals are victims, minorities, etc., why are you lot against them?

Now I have seen the story of Rachel Dolezal:

who decided she was black and became a local NAACP president. When it was discovered that she wasn't, basically everyone has said she has no right to do this.

And suddenly it all makes sense to me. If we do not accept that people can make a relatively minor change from one skin pigmentation to another, and that a white person cannot become black, then we sure as hell shouldn't accept that a man with different bone, muscle, sexual organs, brain, chromosomes, and god knows what else, can POSSIBLY be a woman. And he CERTAINLY should not be participating in women's sports and other female spaces.

It's absurd, and it just makes you wonder why it is that if transracialism is so roundly rejected (no, you are not a black person, you are a white person with a bit of bronzer and an Afro), why we don't say that a transsexual is not in fact a woman, but simply a man in a dress.

partialderivative Sun 14-Jun-15 01:19:07

So you accept that male and female brains are different?

DoughDoe Sun 14-Jun-15 01:22:25

That wasn't really central to the point I was making TBH.

Perhaps best to stick to obvious physical attributes in view of the black skin vs white skin analogy.

ElsasComplex Sun 14-Jun-15 01:25:48

But surely the reasons you give are exactly why it should be considered completely differently?

Apart from skin colour and, the most important element of belonging to a race is cultural heritage. Being white with makeup or surgery is not going to give them the cultural identity needed to transition.
However, a boy growing up feeling they are a girl has obstacles that are entirely physical. These can be altered with surgery and hormonal treatment. Therefore, a man can become a woman through transition, but a white person cannot become a black person whatever they do.

ElsasComplex Sun 14-Jun-15 01:27:03

unless, as partial mentions, the male and female brains are physically different. Then, one cannot become the other.

ElsasComplex Sun 14-Jun-15 01:37:19

This is an interesting article I came across when googling here

DoughDoe Sun 14-Jun-15 01:37:46

"Apart from skin colour and, the most important element of belonging to a race is cultural heritage."

I think what you means is that skin colour is the only essential. Cultural heritage isn't crucial. If a white couple adopt a black baby at birth and raise him in Iceland (which is homogenously white), he doesn't have a 'cultural heritage', but nobody would deny that he is black.

The white woman who can't be black does have black cultural heritage in that she grew up with black (adopted) siblings and she has studied black culture. But she still is resolutely DENIED entry to blackness.

A white blonde girl growing up in inner London might have more 'black culture' than the black baby growing up in Iceland, but she still is not black, and he always will be.

Yes it's true that he might not feel belonging, if he tries to join the NAACP in later life, because of his Icelandic mannerisms or whatever, but if he moved to a black neighbourhood and lived with other black people and absorbed their culture, then he would very quickly become '100%' black.

DoughDoe Sun 14-Jun-15 01:38:51

Sorry I stopped reading that article when I got as far as 'cisgender'.

You can stick that term up an appropriate orifice.

DoughDoe Sun 14-Jun-15 01:39:15

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

DoughDoe Sun 14-Jun-15 01:39:26

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

DoughDoe Sun 14-Jun-15 01:39:58

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

DoughDoe Sun 14-Jun-15 01:40:22

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

diggerdigsdogs Sun 14-Jun-15 01:46:15

Elsescomplex what does being a woman feel like again? Can you describe it please?

kickassangel Sun 14-Jun-15 01:58:51

hmm - the argument that transgender people have spent their lives feeling like they were in the wrong body is quite questionable. In order to qualify for the surgeries to take place, it used to be the case that patients had to go through some fairly rigorous and odious (some would say traumatic) 'testing' (or interrogation.) Before they would be accepted for the medical procedures, they had to convince a team of doctors that they were in fact desperately unhappy, to the point of suicide, and simply could not continue in their current physical form. There is a lot of first person documentation from the earliest trans-gender patients that fit along with this narrative.

This is now being quite seriously questioned. More modern gender theorists claim that the narrative reflects more the requirements of how the medical profession needed to 'prove' an illness/syndrome/whatever, than how many people actually feel.

there is a big split. Some people (generally labelled radical feminists) believe that if you haven't grown up experiencing the life of a woman, then you can't ever really claim to BE a woman. That when a man decides to enter into a woman-only, space, no matter what medical procedures he has been through, he is invading and trying to appropriate that space. Others (liberal feminists) believe that we should accept all people who choose to label themselves as female.

There are some similarities here between transgender and trans-race (for want of a better phrase) - that someone of a higher status is wanting to be part of a lower status group, and feels the need to somehow take on that persona, even to become an 'expert' on what it means to be part of that group.

My personal opinion is that there must be a huge number of reasons why a person wants to adopt/become an identity which they aren't. We all do it to some extend, but the more notable examples attract a lot of discussion and we can't just ascribe one reason to those people as if they all have the same thoughts and feelings.

However, I would be very unhappy for someone who had spent their life (until a certain age) being treated as male to try and tell me how I should feel/think/behave. To put in into another context, I moved to the US when I was 39. I cannot imagine a time when I will claim that I know what it is like to be an American, even in 30 years from now.

diggerdigsdogs Sun 14-Jun-15 02:01:14

Agh I wrote a long post in support OP and lost it.

<sisterly fist bump>

kickassangel Sun 14-Jun-15 02:39:21

See - the other side of this is that people often say they 'acquire' color/accent etc if they move (this is mentioned in the article). For someone growing up in Nigeria, that has dark skin, they obviously are aware of their skin color, their nation's history, and the economic position of their country. however, if they then move to a predominantly white country they suddenly acquire a new dimension to their self awareness that wasn't there before.

In the example of a person of a child with dark skin growing up in Iceland, they will have a very different experience from both white children in their environment, and black children in other countries. It is very difficult to understand how that would be for someone, and they may struggle to self identify with one particular group, or feel that they partially identify with many. However, their identity would be based upon a real experience of who they were. In the case of a man becoming a woman, he may well have felt that he wanted to be/should be a woman his entire life, but he didn't grow up as a woman, and he didn't grow up in a 100% male world, looking like a woman. I have no problem with people wanted to be trans gender or gender fluid, but I do have concerns about people who then claim that they were really a woman (or whatever) all their lives. They simply haven't lived through the same experiences (and this could be a cause of great unhappiness for them) so they should acknowledge how they have lived a different life, albeit an unhappy/unsettled one. (So I'm neither radical or liberal, or maybe both?)

nooka Sun 14-Jun-15 03:00:09

That article is by a very odd person who seems to struggle with reality. How can Dolezan only 'identify' as black but Talusan is a woman? Surely it is as transphobic to deny Dolezan's 'black identity' as it was to say that Talusan is a man in a dress (the writer has been/is involved with someone who apparently said this to them and has kicked up an almighty stink about it)?

It's incredibly dismissive to say that Dolezan only changed her appearance for political reasons (and it does sound much more complicated in any case) but claim that all transgenders have no choice because they are actually female.

In the comments: "Rachel Doelzal's claims of being black have neither impact on or comparison to being transgender. Whether Dolezal's actions were taken as a deception by the black community is between her and that community." Does that mean the community of women can reject Jenner, Talusan and other trans women then? I've not seen that presented as an option anywhere, indeed any slightly negative comment is leped on as being hateful, bigoted, oppressive and violent.

Just massively hypocritical.

HarveySpectre Sun 14-Jun-15 08:36:36

partial do you think black people have different brains to white people? Otherwise what point are you making?

HarveySpectre Sun 14-Jun-15 08:41:15

I think Rachel Doelzal is the best thing to happen for feminists regarding transgender people

What perfect timing. Maybe her and Caitlyn could do photo-shoots together

HarveySpectre Sun 14-Jun-15 08:44:00

Andd elsas if you were to be using those differences between the sexes to say transgender and transracial are completely different. You would be arguing that transracial was much more 'doable' and that transgender is not

Egosumquisum Sun 14-Jun-15 08:51:56

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

HermioneWeasley Sun 14-Jun-15 08:55:39

I think it is important to remember that from everything they have written, Talusan seems quite damaged and delusional. I am at a loss to explain why the guardian keeps giving them a platform.

In the more mainstream debate, there does seem to be a clear argument by some trans women that "I feel like a woman, therefore I am what a woman is, therefore this is what a woman's body is". RD's situation seems to me that you could apply the same arguments and therefore she is black.

Except we can all see she isn't .

HarveySpectre Sun 14-Jun-15 08:58:49

1) think what Rachel is an indicator that she does have mental health issues

2) you actually know nothing of Rachels 'i ternal struggles' or 'motivations'

3) yes TG people do choose to transition. Many choose not to

4) the drivers do not actual make it different, in terms of whether the objectives can be met. They cant be in both cases

Egosumquisum Sun 14-Jun-15 09:05:41

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Egosumquisum Sun 14-Jun-15 09:09:54

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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