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Transphobic and Transcritical - what is the difference?

(82 Posts)
OurBlanche Sun 26-Feb-17 17:38:57

It seems to be a recurrent theme. Women here talk about various trans issues and some find many of the posts to be transphobic

I don't see that, I see a lot of women taking the opportunity to have a discussion they can't have in m/any other places. I see a lot of transcritical posts, some stated calmly, some not so. But they don't evidence transphobic.

So, on another thread I asked if it would be useful to discuss the difference between the two words.

My take is that I am not transphobic, I do not fear or hate any/all transpeople. I couldn't really care how someone presents themselves, what nomenclature they prefer.

I am transcritical, because of the actions of a very vocal minority of transactivists. I will disagree with them and it will have nothing to do with their preferred way of dressing, being hailed!

DJBaggySmalls Sun 26-Feb-17 17:44:24

Thanks for starting this discussion smile
To me, transphobic would be denying trans people exist. Openly posting hate speech against them, or trying to remove their right to exist.
Trans critical is pointing out that treading over the hard won rights of others is not ok.

helpimitchy Sun 26-Feb-17 17:46:31

Sticking the word 'phobic' onto the end of words is a guaranteed way of shutting down discourse. It's cheap and dirty and it usually works.

Transcritical sounds fine, but you'll still be accused of transphobia, so you can't win really.

LonnyVonnyWilsonFrickett Sun 26-Feb-17 17:50:29

Great idea for a thread, maybe we can sticky it too because I'm fed up with threads on other parts of MN accusing feminists of transphobia.

Transphobia would include hate speech, evidence of hatred towards trans people as a class, mis-gendering (ie not using a person's preferred pronoun and I'd include mis-cissing in that as well!).

Transcritical would involve stating that there is no such thing as pink and blue brains, asking for clarity around what 'feeling like a woman' means and defending the right to penis-free spaces (which include lesbians' vaginas). Questioning hormonal treatment etc for young children.

ShutTheFuckUpBarbara Sun 26-Feb-17 17:50:47

Thanks for starting the thread, I hope it will be a useful discussion.

Transcritical for me, means questioning, without hatred and trying to put stereotypes aside. It's what I have clumsily been getting at elsewhere.

BevGoldbergsSister Sun 26-Feb-17 17:55:00

I think I would describe myself as gendercritical if I had to really define it.

I understand how people can hate their bodies and sex organs and want to change them, although Im not sure to the extent the dysmorphia is a "born in the wrong body" problem as opposed to mental health probem such as anorexia.

I dont understand people wanting to change gender. I dont understand what a female/ male gender is.

OurBlanche Sun 26-Feb-17 17:56:29

Transcritical sounds fine, but you'll still be accused of transphobia, so you can't win really That, I think, is what prompted this.

Some of those who will call me/us transphobic will continue to do so. But some posters have expressed confusion about what that actually means, who don't have the confidence or a robust viewpoint and so find it hard to enter a debate, on either side. I wanted to start a post for those posters.

We need to be able to critique our world without being labelled as some sort of bigot. We do not need to follow the example of other forums by either closing down such debates are being generally vile to each other.

Allow me my naivety: maybe we can start making a more open, less entrenched debate!

OurBlanche Sun 26-Feb-17 18:00:01

Nice addition, Bev gendercritical

Gender is a social construct of what we, as a society see/accept as the external aspect of male/female. Think of the stereotypes, differences in dress, speech, behaviour, jobs, haircuts etc. All are gender constructs and change over time.

Look at high healed shoes over the centuries for an example*

*Examples required for just about everything if we are going to make this useful!

purits Sun 26-Feb-17 18:01:13

We need to be able to critique our world without being labelled as some sort of bigot.

Can we carry this concept over to Brexit debates too, please.

ShutTheFuckUpBarbara Sun 26-Feb-17 18:03:00

Allow me my naivety: maybe we can start making a more open, less entrenched debate!

This would be great!

OurBlanche Sun 26-Feb-17 18:08:12

Can we carry this concept over to Brexit debates too, please. Oh yes! Absolutely! smile

Thingsgettingstranger Sun 26-Feb-17 18:17:35

Thanks for this thread. Maybe now we can have an adult discussion without accusations of transphobia thrown around.

JAPAB Sun 26-Feb-17 18:21:43

IME "phobic" doesn't have to mean fearing or hating people. It can also be used to refer to attempts to deny their wanted rights or their wishes or aims, if the person using the term agrees with those aims/rights.

Few people will accuse you of being Islamaphobic for opposing FGM say, but somne of them might if you were to oppose Muslims having the right to pray perhaps.

To those who think same-sex couples should be allowed to adopt and have equal billing with opposite-sex couples in the agency, it might be homophobic to hold anyother view.

In otherwords, I do not think there is an objective standard here. You are being transphobic to some just by denying that transmen and women are men and women, or by saying they shouldn't be allowed to do this that or the other that some of them want to. Because tthose using the term agree with those aims/wishes.

venusinscorpio Sun 26-Feb-17 19:19:06

I agree with you JAPAB that objectively the word transphobia has largely meaningless because it can mean anything a person thinks it should. I'm sure that's what you were saying smile

Notwhatiexpected Sun 26-Feb-17 19:42:40

I am gender critical.

I understand Trans to be an umbrella term to describe a variety of psychological and separate biological states, rather than a noun to describe a thing.

I don't understand gender to be the same as biological sex, it is a term to describe the socialised form of the sex, and is subject to fashions and change.

I am gender critical because I don't believe that the socially defined version of the "sex" is fair and correct. Men can like what they want, wear what they want, love who they want, and so can women.

I am gender critical because it is offensive to me as a woman to have my sex reduced down to a steriotype which is then performed.

I have been called transphobic for these views, which I don't think is fair.

BevGoldbergsSister Sun 26-Feb-17 19:50:44

I am gender critical because it is offensive to me as a woman to have my sex reduced down to a steriotype which is then performed

I think this i a brilliant description, that womanhood and feminity are being seen by transactivists as something which is to be performed

Fauchelevent Sun 26-Feb-17 20:01:34

I'm gender critical, and critical of certain trans activism. Plenty of trans men and women are too.

I believe there are people with dysphoria whose lives are made easier by living in the body they see themselves as and I believe they should have the right to do this without threat, harassment and fear. I believe they should be able to do this without relinquishing any rights

I don't believe that "woman" is a feeling you can identify in and out of, it's a reality. I don't believe children who play with dolls and like dresses must be girls and must be transitioned to save them from a life of misery. Sex, and the oppression of females is in my opinion based on several biological realities which may not be present in all females but doesn't void the biological reality. I don't believe that after nearly 30 years living as a male, my DP can say he's a woman and be instantly more oppressd than me. Believing in many of these things would have me seen as a transphobe by many trans activists. In fact the single most dangerous, fatal thing for trans women is... lesbians who won't fuck them and feminists who don't accept woman is nothing more than a feeling. Much more dangerous than the actual men doing the harm. And because they don't conform to gender, not because men are oppressing them in the same way (but worse) than women.

That behaviour is transphobic. Finding trans people disgusting, harming them, not wanting to be near them, wishing them harm, shaming or outing trans people for being trans... ill treatment on the basis they are different from you, other than the norm, is transphobia. I don't even treat trans people's whose interpretation of gender is questionable. I simply don't agree with their arguments.

MarciaBlaine Sun 26-Feb-17 20:12:17

I am gender critical because it is offensive to me as a woman to have my sex reduced down to a steriotype which is then performed

I also agree with this. I am a woman. A biological female. I work In the IT industry and have no interest whatsoever in clothes, make up, shoes and handbags and what my tits look like. I perform femininity to the degree that is cultural accepted. Leg shaving, makeup when required and when it would be against my interests not to.

Bluntness100 Sun 26-Feb-17 20:24:35

Transphobia is a dislike or prejudice against transgender people, which is your definition of "transcritical"

Transphobia is basically a spectrum of negative attitudes towards trans gender people.

"Trans critical" I'm not sure is even a thing, and by your own description would fall into the transphobia definition spectrum.

Thingsgettingstranger Sun 26-Feb-17 20:30:27

Bluntness we don't have a dislike of transgender people. My own soname is transgender. We simply disagree with some of the ideologies which are vocalise by a minority of the trans community (ie transactivists). We are critical of those ideologies which are harmful to children, women and homosexual people - hence we are 'transcritical'.

Thingsgettingstranger Sun 26-Feb-17 20:30:55

*son, not soname hmm

BevGoldbergsSister Sun 26-Feb-17 20:40:04

Transphobia is a dislike or prejudice against transgender people

What about having a dislike of womens spaces, vocabulary and existence being eroded, is that transphobia?

What about questioning the use of lupron, is that transohobic?

If I say I feel like a woman due only to my biology, is that transphobic?

Genuine questions.

ladyballs Sun 26-Feb-17 20:56:05

Gender critical here. Which in some circles means I'm a TERF and should die.

lionheart Sun 26-Feb-17 21:24:58

I would use transcritical or transkeptic. Neither of those is about transphobia. Both relate to a need to ask questions, to debate these issues and to find ways to ensure the rights of all.

BevGoldbergsSister Sun 26-Feb-17 21:29:57

I would say my view is actually not about trans people at all.

I want to preserve sex discrimination laws and womens areas to protect women.

I agree transwomen should not be treated in all male areas, compete against male athletes or use male bathrooms. If transwomen wanted to campaign for their own spaces or gender neutral areas I would happily sign petitions, paint banners and march alongside them in support of that.

My stance is not so much denying transwomen safe spaces as protecting womens spaces.

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