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Talking to dd about trans issues. I feel like I'm betraying her.

(12 Posts)
GrabtharsHammer Fri 25-Nov-16 18:20:15

We just had a conversation over dinner about (among other things) transwomen in women's sport. Dd is 12 and very passionate about feminism. She was outraged. We had a very in depth conversation about what it all means and she is fascinated and basically horrified.

However, I felt I needed to tell her that although I believe she is absolutely right in her take on the situation, it's not a good idea to air these views in public, especially at school, as the mainstream opinion is that transwomen are women and that challenging this will get her in trouble.

I was a gobby outspoken teen about lots of things and it made me something of an outcast at school as well as getting me into hot water with teachers (meat is murder, wearing trousers, protesting various causes).

I'm torn between my wish for her to stand by her beliefs and my wish for her to have a smooth ride at school.

Have I said the right thing? I feel like I've done her a bit of a disservice really.

How are you handling this with your kids?

VeraTheVestigialVirgin Fri 25-Nov-16 18:35:08

Unfortunately I think you're probably right, particularly if your daughter isn't very confident indeed. Teens are very black and white and she would have to be prepared to be called all kinds of horrible things for trying to get people to understand that the 'trans women are women period' mantra really isn't applicable to some situations if you want to be fair to females.

GrabtharsHammer Fri 25-Nov-16 19:05:44

It genuinely terrifies me how far the agenda has been pushed and that we are on the wrong side of the orthodoxy. DD was totally bemused that anyone could think anything about the sports situation was fair or right. But I don't want her labelled as 'transphobic' for airing her views, even though I support them.

VeraTheVestigialVirgin Fri 25-Nov-16 19:56:02

My DD is too young for most of this. Unfortunately at the teenage stage, her peers are unlikely to understand how there isn't an answer to the conflict between people who believe that gender identity always trumps sex for categorisation purposes, no matter how recent the identity or how minimally it is expressed, and those of us who believe that the class of people with female bodies and reproductive systems deserve separate consideration, and that sometimes the challenges of inhabiting a female body need a support or protection that may need to be prioritised over the challenges of having a feminine gender identity. I believe that competitive sport is one of those areas where biology comes before identity, amongst others, although it seems that many disagree. It is a real shame for those talented female children coming through who are destined to not only put up with less respect as sportspeople, lower prize values, less sponsorship and fewer opportunities to make a career out of their talent, but who also will face competition from individuals with such a biological advantage as well.

VestalVirgin Sat 26-Nov-16 11:27:05

Well, you told her what you think. She can make her own decision.

It is only natural that you'd want her to be safe, and I think it is healthy to prioritize your child's wellbeing over politcal agenda - as long as you support her if/when she decides to be outspoken about it after all.

IAmAmy Sat 26-Nov-16 12:41:30

Your daughter sounds fantastic and I completely agree with her on this issue. Unfortunately I do think you're correct in your advice, even though I hate the idea of a girl with such passion for feminism having to censor her opinions. I've posted on another thread that the Feminist Society at my school has pretty much shut down all debate on this issue and declared "women who define as women are women", decry any hint of what's termed "transphobia" and use the term "TERF" regularly. There will be girls who agree or will come to agree with your daughter but it's worrying how accepted this trans ideology seems to be.

EnormousTiger Sat 26-Nov-16 15:22:29

Just think yourself lucky you don't have my teenage son who has decided to take the anti feminist side of a debate against a girls' school. I want independent thinkers and hope we would all die to allow those whose views we hate can continue to express them even if it upsets people but he is certainly pushing it here..... and good for him. I don't want ot breed clones; just free thinkers.

Datun Sat 26-Nov-16 15:25:21

I've read lots of comments under articles to do with transwomen in sport, and even those who fully support the trans ideology are a bit hmm at the disadvantage teamswomen have over biological women. Perhaps because it's less to do with a 'questionable' threat and more to do with an obvious disadvantage. It's where 'inclusivity' and 'reality' part ways.

0phelia Sat 26-Nov-16 15:28:43

It's appalling how male bodied people (no matter how "free" in their thinking...) can take advantage of women in sporting competitions in this way.
I have written to my MP.

Cocochoco Sat 26-Nov-16 15:36:15

I think you are right. I do the same with my dds. One is friends with a trans girl who we've known since she was a baby (boy). That little girl is very sporty and represents the school in athletics after beating dd and a few others in a race, so we've had this exact discussion at home. My dd was not that bothered but could see there was an unfairness especially to the girl who came second. Very hard to articulate a supportive and fair position - it's basically tough luck.

DontBuyANewMumCashmere Sat 26-Nov-16 15:53:50


...the class of people with female bodies and reproductive systems deserve separate consideration, and that sometimes the challenges of inhabiting a female body need a support or protection that may need to be prioritised over the challenges of having a feminine gender identity.

Thank you for articulating this so well.
I typed out a long post and deleted it because I have nothing useful to add.

I am an LGBT ally (but the T by extension, I guess), but the stories about men having periods, women having penises, men in women's prisons and now in women's sports have got me riled.

So thanks.
I don't post on Trans threads as I feel so conflicted about it and can't form a coherent argument.

Datun Tue 29-Nov-16 12:16:36


I used to feel the same as you, and was supportive. But gradually the implications have become clear, and the reality is very different to the live and let live, all-inclusive initial dream. The transactivists have made it very difficult not to pick a side.

I understand your conflict, though.

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