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Supporting trans rights and feminism

(58 Posts)
WarwickDavisAsPlates Thu 09-Mar-17 12:16:53

Are these two ideas mutually exclusive?

I've been reading a lot of trans threads on here that have really left me feeling quite confused. Most women on MN say that trans rights is erasing women's rights and they don't want unisex bathrooms etc... I always thought I supported trans rights and feminism but since reading threads on here I'm starting to feel more like its one or the other.

Is there any way to support both?

drwitch Thu 09-Mar-17 12:25:33

Yes you can support the idea that the shape of your genitals at birth should not influence how you are treated, the expectations placed on you by others, what kind of behaviour, dress and activities you are allowed to do. You can support the idea that "femininity" and "masculinity" are social constructs and not fundamentally shaped by whether you possess a penis or not. This is what (I think) we have in common
I think the difference lies in that feminists tend to have push for external change (less pigeon holing overall) while the trans view is that people should be able to chose their own pigeon hole

ChocChocPorridge Thu 09-Mar-17 12:26:11

they don't want unisex bathrooms etc

I've only read support for unisex bathrooms, as long as they're not made by declaring the women's bathroom unisex, but instead are separate.

Similarly, I think we're all for trans rights - just as long as they don't trample on women's rights (eg. for sex segregated changing rooms), and as long as it's understood that we are focussed on fighting for women's rights and are completely at liberty to do that without having to centre other peoples rights before we get onto our own.

DJBaggySmalls Thu 09-Mar-17 12:47:57

I support trans rights and think there should be 3 options for spaces, male, female and unisex.
Plus women should have the right to ask for female staff without being labelled a bigot. For example, a self identifying man should not be able to enter the women only are in a mosque.

I think one of the real issues is that of male violence, which is on the increase. That concern is something we have in common. But it isnt being addressed by anyone.

SomeDyke Thu 09-Mar-17 12:52:29

I've just seen this story:

gay pride flag hidden!

which certainly seems to indicate that gay and lesbian pride isn't compatible (or at best can be discretely hidden) because of trans rights.

And this isn't the first such case, a previous case involved a transwoman burning a gay pride flag because gay pride made people more aware of trans people, hence they were more likely to recognize a transwoman as trans, supposedly, rather than just an 'unlucky' or 'ugly' woman............(don't blame me, I didn't come up with that 'argument' as to why gay pride and gay visibility is supposedly a bad thing.

scallopsrgreat Thu 09-Mar-17 13:01:39

Trans (and queer thinking) upholds gender stereotypes and therefore the hierarchy of gender. Feminism (especially radical feminism) wants to eradicate gender.

So they are in opposition.

It is much more than which bathrooms are being used. It is about supporting an oppressive structure.

OutComeTheWolves Thu 09-Mar-17 13:04:00

I've found this a tricky one. I firmly believe that a person can identify as whatever they want/call themselves whatever they want/dress However they want. I also firmly believe that trans people should be protected from bullying and discrimination in all forms.

However I feel like a lot of the trans activists' rhetoric stifles open debate in that you either agree with them or are transphobic.

Take for example the issue of transwomen in sport. One one hand I completely agree that they should be able to play the sport they love but also sports such as boxing and rugby make it quite dangerous for a person who was born a woman to play against someone with the strength of a man. There's also the added issue of raised testosterone levels giving people an advantage in certain spots too. And one person's rights shouldn't trump another's.

I don't actually know any trans people in real life so I don't know if what the trans activists are calling for is normal for most teams people or if it's at the extreme end of the spectrum.

I feel like they should create a group of maybe ten moderate trans people and ten moderate feminists, a real middle of the road group of fence sitters, and lock them in a room to discuss all the key issues. Once they've reached a consensus on everything, they can come out and tell us all what the craic is.

Datun Thu 09-Mar-17 13:05:41

Can anyone tell me what are the rights that trans-people are fighting for?

As far as I am aware the only one is to be legally identified as the opposite sex. And then everything else stems from that.

They are already protected under discrimination law from being fired at work, etc.

What else is there?

BertieBotts Thu 09-Mar-17 13:08:41

You can support the rights of trans people to live life free from violence and discrimination, to go about their everyday business without having to disclose or answer awkward questions about their gender for example, support the rights of all people to wear what they want, etc, without being contradictory to feminism. Indeed many radical feminists would agree that a person's gender is irrelevant to most parts of life and shouldn't be a problem.

The difficulty comes in the few areas where trans rights and women's rights are at odds. For example some transwomen believe that in order to be accepted as female they must have access to female only space. But most female only space is created for reasons of protection against male violence or specifically to discuss the lived experience of being female and growing up female, which transwomen don't have. Their lived experience is undoubtedly also difficult but it is different.

Another point where transgender rights and women's rights clash is women's recognition in sports. It's not fair that a trans woman, who has male biology is counted as female. It undermines the reason for separating the sexes in sport.

Lastly it's a problem for women's rights when transgender people commit crimes and are recorded as their transitioned gender in statistics rather than their natal sex, because this causes problems in recording and assessing patterns and trends of male violence against women.

Sorry my phone keeps separating the words trans woman, not me.

In short the problem is not transgender people in general, the problem is that sometimes transgender rights and women's rights are fighting for different things. I do support trans people but where there's a clash I will come down on the side of women's rights because I think this is still important and necessary.

BertieBotts Thu 09-Mar-17 13:12:32

Btw, many would consider my position to be hate filled or transphobic.

Lalsy Thu 09-Mar-17 13:13:12

I think they are in opposition - the trans agenda does not say gender is a social construct, it say gender is an innate characteristic.

Datun Thu 09-Mar-17 13:19:41

But all those rights that clash with women's rights, would only come into effect if they had the legal status of the opposite sex.

Living free from violence and discrimination is not a new right for anyone. That right is already in place.

The conflict only arises over the legal status of their sex.

Unless I'm missing something.

JapabSharted Thu 09-Mar-17 13:58:53

They are in opposition.

Feminism is factual. We are the female sex, you are the male sex, sex is a demonstrable thing, sex discrimination demonstrably happens, the female sex are disadvantaged by sexism, the female sex need spaces, organisations, and services specific to the female sex to enable them to overcome inherent sexism of society and to meet health and privacy needs specific to that sex.

Trans rights demand that the above category, sex, not be recognised and protected.
Trans rights REQUIRE people to adopt a gender identity instead. Rights cannot be conferred based on gender identity if the majority reject that they have one. You can't sort all people into categories for sport, and employment quotas, and prisons based on a concept that doesn't exist.

There is an imposition on others required from the Trans activist agenda. Everyone MUST declare a gender identity. It's like enforced religion. It's an ideology that forces people to submit to a belief that is untrue.

Xenophile Thu 09-Mar-17 14:07:03

Bertie, there is nothing in your post that is either hate filled or transphobic, it just reads as common sense.

Railgunner1 Fri 10-Mar-17 07:18:48

I'm wondering about the disabled. Their toilets are separate and genderless. Yet i haven't heard them whinge about "identifying as" or being "misgendered".

Xenophile Fri 10-Mar-17 08:44:51

If they are separate, then they are single, self-contained cubicles, which I think most rational people would be in favour of.

jellyfrizz Fri 10-Mar-17 08:59:48

For me, they are welcome to the gender side of things, I believe people should be able to present how they wish without discrimination.

I do have an issue with biology being denied though as biology is the ONLY thing that defines me as a woman and is the only reason we should be treated differently (sports, health etc.).

aginghippy Fri 10-Mar-17 10:05:59

For me, feminism means I am opposed to gender. I am opposed to the social construct that creates a hierarchy with men at the top and women at the bottom. I don't want a gender identity. I want to dismantle those hierarchical structures.

WarwickDavisAsPlates Fri 10-Mar-17 11:03:33

Jellyfrizz I think I agree with what you're saying, I feel that gender is just a social construct which only serves to divide us unnecessarily and keep women in their little socially acceptable boxes.

But I'm not sure I understand what you mean about biology.

If a trans woman had had all the surgeries is she now a woman?

I've seen posts on MN about how "you can't change your sex" and "no amount of surgery will turn a man into a women" etc. But I thought that once a trans person had transitioned then that was it, you are a woman/man now. Or am I just misunderstanding the situation completely?

WarwickDavisAsPlates Fri 10-Mar-17 11:05:36

Aging hippy: Yes I like what you're saying.

So WRT that a trans person is Pro-gender? Or could someone be trans and not support the gender stereotypes surrounding that?

jellyfrizz Fri 10-Mar-17 11:19:20

*But I'm not sure I understand what you mean about biology.

If a trans woman had had all the surgeries is she now a woman?

I've seen posts on MN about how "you can't change your sex" and "no amount of surgery will turn a man into a women" etc.*

Transactivists say that biology doesn't matter, that it's how you feel that counts and is what makes you a woman (or not). I say that biology is ALL that matters, it's the periods and the breasts and pregnancy and the fact that I have a vagina that mean that I am treated the way I am and the reason that women are mistreated over history.

I don't believe that a transwoman is a woman (in the biological sense) even if she has had all the surgeries. She will still be at risk of prostate cancer and other male diseases. I don't believe you can identify out of biology.

But I thought that once a trans person had transitioned then that was it, you are a woman/man now. Or am I just misunderstanding the situation completely?

I guess it depends how you define woman which seems to be up for grabs at the moment. Legally all it takes is a gender recognition certificate. Biologically, a sex change, hormones and a GRC are not going to stop a transgender woman getting prostate cancer or other male diseases so biologically still a man.

Railgunner1 Fri 10-Mar-17 11:21:49

If they are separate, then they are single, self-contained cubicles, which I think most rational people would be in favour of.

but they are not. its not even a question. they want to use bathrooms of whatever they 'identify'. i identify as a cat and i will sue my school/workplace for not providing me with a litter tray!

Keeptrudging Fri 10-Mar-17 11:24:36

I support the rights of transwomen and transmen to not be harrassed or mistreated, to dress how they want and to call themselves what they want. I do not accept being relabelled as 'ciswoman' whilst transwomen steal (for want of a better word) the term 'woman' whilst also saying they are 'women' whilst calling anyone who dares to bring biology into it transphobic. I don't want transwomen to be allowed to compete in women's sports, again down to that pesky issue of biology.

I think transgender people should be able to be open about being transgender in the same way as lesbian and gay people can be open, without demanding that their original gender be hidden or pretending they have whichever chromosomes they want to disown. I think the law needs changed to make it illegal to medically transition a child, they should be an adult before they make such a life-altering decision.

Given that most transwomen don't have surgery, I'm not comfortable with sharing women only spaces. Unisex/all cubicle toilets, perhaps. What I don't like is the feeling of a tiny minority trying to shout women down and screaming 'transphobic' at any attempts to discuss genuine issues.

If someone can find a way to enable transwomen to share spaces safely, to compete in women's sports without having a male-born advantage/causing physical risk to women, or to manage children transitioning in a non-harmful way, I'm all ears, but that discussion isn't happening.

WarwickDavisAsPlates Fri 10-Mar-17 11:29:14

Yes jelly I think that may be where I run into a problem, I'm not sure how you define a man or woman... to me a woman just is a woman... there's a trans woman I work with and I just accept that she's a woman, that's how she presents herself I never thought to question that.

Would different sex groupings make it less of a problem, so instead or male/ female we had male/trans male/trans female/female? Or would that just cause even more problems?

Whenever this issue pops up I find myself so conflicted.

WarwickDavisAsPlates Fri 10-Mar-17 11:35:07

I have to say I don't really have a problem sharing any spaces with a trans woman, although admittedly I only have limited experience of unisex bathrooms etc as we have mostly unisex spaces at work which has never bothered me.

Would I feel differently in a unisex changing room with my DD? Maybe I would, I can't say.

Have to admit I'd never thought about sports... maybe that's where a "trans" section could come in handy?

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