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Is it bullying to say trans women are men?

(171 Posts)
WeeBisom Tue 23-Jan-18 17:08:17

I’d appreciate advice about this issue, because the last couple of days I feel like I’m going insane. I have a male partner who generally doesn’t give a shit about trans issues because, as he fully acknowledges, it doesn’t really affect or bother him. Fine. I mentioned to him that a member of the Labour Parry in the UK had been suspended for bullying and harassment. Her crime? She tweeted “trans women are men” and “women don’t have dicks”. My partner responded immediately with “well that’s a really mean thing for her to say, that sounds like bullying and harassment to me.”

I then replied that she didn’t actually target these statements at anyone in particular, and that, furthermore, her statements were just objective facts (especially if you replace man with male). I then asked how it could possibly be bullying to simply declare biological truths.

I shit you not, my partner (who is not an idiot), said that saying “trans women are men” is the same as (and I quote) saying “all Jewish people are thieves” or “fat people are stupid and ugly”.

I pointed out that it’s not the same thing at all, because his examples aren’t true! I then insisted he come up with an example of a true, generalised statement that counts as bullying.

I gave some examples to help : “people who are five feet tall and 400lbs are obese,” and “people with dwarfism are shorter than average”. He conceded these weren’t cases of bullying, but continued to insist that saying “trans women are men”is bullying. He could give no other example where making a statement of fact is also bullying. Funny how transgenderism is exceptional in so many regards.

I then pointed out that relating facts and truths are not intended to be bullying or hateful. It’s unfortunate that some trans people get upset by hearing truths, but unfortunately the facts are the facts. And he responded that rad fems know full well that trans people get upset by such statements, and misgendering, and to persist in these activities counts as bullying. He also highly doubted that rad fems are making these statements as neutral declarations of fact - he thinks it is an attack on trans people.

(By the way- he doesn’t really think trans women are women but goes along with it to be nice.)

What are your thoughts on this? Is it bullying to say trans women are men? And even if we are not intentionally aiming to hurt people, does it make a difference if people are hurt anyway?

PocketCoffeeEspresso Tue 23-Jan-18 17:10:50

Another big difference is there's nothing wrong with being a man - nearly 50% of the population are men, and fine about being called men.

Someone can call me a man or a woman, and its factually inaccurate, but not insulting.

UpstartCrow Tue 23-Jan-18 17:10:58

Does your partner say 'white people can be Black'? Or 'able bodied people can be disabled'?
Does he tell Black people to center white people in their activism?

No of course he doesnt.
Women are oppressed based on our biology, not on how we 'identify.'

PocketCoffeeEspresso Tue 23-Jan-18 17:11:18

Sorry, one of them is factually inaccurate, but not insulting.

TheQueenOfWands Tue 23-Jan-18 17:12:09

I agree with you.

But I also agree that we have to go along with pretending they are to be nice.

Fekko Tue 23-Jan-18 17:12:47

The sky is brown, trees are spaghetti, dogs are cats, and I am Claudia Schiffer.

I dare you to contradict me.

nauticant Tue 23-Jan-18 17:34:52

The conventional* reply is "Would you accept a transwoman as your sexual partner and when you're sucking their woman's dick would you think "this is great heterosexual sex I'm having here"?"

Although this approach might not work so well on bisexual men.

* This shows what a pickle we're in. A few years back this wouldn't have made any sense at all.

just5morepeas Tue 23-Jan-18 17:44:28

I think it could be seen as bullying and harassment to say these things to a specific TIM out of the blue.

But as part of a discussion on trans issues, no. As you say, it's simply stating the facts.

Maryz Tue 23-Jan-18 17:49:26

Ask him about sport.

I peak-transed dh and ds by referring them to sport.

KanyeWesticle Tue 23-Jan-18 17:51:22

Facts aren't bullying. But, repeatedly using the facts as insults towards an individual can be.

Constantly reminding a short, fat, ginger friend that they are short, fat, and ginger is unkind.

However, a public tweet is not bullying. And, for example, Danielle Muscato is a man.

larrygrylls Tue 23-Jan-18 17:53:13

A lot of people would be offended by the generalised (and true) statement that large is merely a euphemism for fat (in a certain context) and we should start using the correct word.

Thehairthebod Tue 23-Jan-18 17:58:15

Just ask him if he would have sex with a transwoman and if not why not.

NataliaOsipova Tue 23-Jan-18 17:58:35

Perhaps we need to refer to people by whether they have XX or XY chromosomes and be totally scientifically accurate....

FreddoLady Tue 23-Jan-18 18:03:55


*Does your partner say 'white people can be Black'? Or 'able bodied people can be disabled'?
Does he tell Black people to center white people in their activism?*

*No of course he doesnt.
Women are oppressed based on our biology, not on how we 'identify.'*

And this

The conventional reply is "Would you accept a transwoman as your sexual partner and when you're sucking their woman's dick would you think "this is great heterosexual sex I'm having here"?"*

A transwomen is irrefutably male from the moment of conception. There is no such thing as having a gendered brain, as gender is a social construct. If a brain can be sexed incorrectly at conception, I would like to see the extensive research which proves it.

Fekko Tue 23-Jan-18 18:17:19

Just saw a Lily Allen tweet about her ‘calling out a festival for not booking enough women’.

I thought ‘but how does she know what they are??’

nauticant Tue 23-Jan-18 18:24:51

Why don't the organisers just ask some of the acts to wear dresses. They'll be able to reach 50/50 in no time.

But hadn't it been proven by science that Lily Allen is an idiot?

WeeBeasties Tue 23-Jan-18 18:31:59

Ask him to imagine we're 100 years in the future, and a transwoman's skeleton has been unearthed during an archaeological dig.

Will the scientists say they are a man or a woman?

Fekko Tue 23-Jan-18 18:35:18

I’m guessing the skeleton will be wearing a badge, and buried with a transcript of a long winded blog saying why they really really really are (crossed fingers) a woman (and how any museum mislabelling their bones will be sued/boycotted/burned down etc).

nauticant Tue 23-Jan-18 18:36:59

Don't you dare mis-bone me!

Fekko Tue 23-Jan-18 18:37:42


Lovesagin Tue 23-Jan-18 18:37:49

I don't believe biology and scientific fact can be a bully, no.

DearSergio Tue 23-Jan-18 18:39:06

Facts are not attacks. We all did biology at school, everyone knows trans women are men, that's why it has to be said that " transwomen are women ", I've never heard anyone say " black women are women" or " disabled women are women ".

Fekko Tue 23-Jan-18 18:39:07

It’s like arguing with a 13 year old (from experience). They really do know better than you and you are just stoooopid (it’s amazing you’ve lived so long).

jellyfrizz Tue 23-Jan-18 18:39:19

Can you actually be a trans woman if you’re not a man?

Fekko Tue 23-Jan-18 18:39:43

‘Some men are men - get over it’ (to steal a line).

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