Advanced search

Can we find a good historical analogy to the trans debate

(115 Posts)
StillTryingHard Fri 09-Feb-18 09:56:01

The problem as I see it is that here we have two opposing factions that each see each other as the victim.

We (me) see biological women as the victim - that we have been the victim of male privilege & supremacy politically financially and physically for millennia and still are in many (most) countries

Trans identifiers see themselves as a sexual minority who are being devised access to spaces.

All the analogies I come up with side with the people who want to gain access to denied spaces. Rosa Parks, suffragettes etc

Is there a sufficient historical analogy that can show even though we want self identifying trans folk to keep out of women's geographical political economic ring fenced spaces - that this does not make us the oppressors.

I fall into the terf camp btw. But I have these arguments in my head

doctorcuntybollocks Fri 09-Feb-18 09:57:42


BeyondWitchbitchterf Fri 09-Feb-18 09:59:32

Looking at it from a side of "you must believe the thing that we believe - despite no evidence - and you will be punished if not", there's plenty of historical religion examples of heresy.

BeyondWitchbitchterf Fri 09-Feb-18 10:02:12

If you look at it from "oppressed minority wants to take up what is offered to others", you're going to struggle - as generally the oppressed minority is the one in the right. However, that isn't what's happening here, self ID males are not an oppressed minority, they just view themselves as one. Like a persecution complex.

OvaHere Fri 09-Feb-18 10:05:27

I don't think the civil rights movement does align with the trans movement, although they like to appropriate it a lot.

Black people - oppressed group
White people - oppressors

The equivalent analogy would be if some of those white people decided that they had an inner black self and that black people as a class were oppressing them with their cis-black privilege. They would be insisting that those black people priotise the trans black people above themselves because 'more oppressed'.

Destinysdaughter Fri 09-Feb-18 10:07:20

That's a really good question OP and I'm sitting here wracking my brains to find a good analogy, but none of them really fit. It's difficult when you've got a movement that's based on 'feelings' which are totally subjective!

BlindYeo Fri 09-Feb-18 10:10:31

The Paedophile Information Exchange debacle?

BahHumbygge Fri 09-Feb-18 10:12:48

The glass delusion.

FluffyHippo Fri 09-Feb-18 10:16:46

The Glass Delusion is a useful analogy:

Except, of course, no-one rushed to legislate for glass rights!

FluffyHippo Fri 09-Feb-18 10:17:36


Great minds etc!

HairyBallTheorem Fri 09-Feb-18 10:23:38

I think colonialism is close. What it makes me think of are all those cowboy films from the 40s and 50s of the brave settlers opening up the west and creating a nation - a nation (America) in which the natives exist solely in the same way the landscape does - as a backdrop against which the white heroics can be played out. But that backdrop also functions as a "thing" which can be appropriated to differentiate the white settlers who see themselves as "American" from the European powers they are cutting themselves off from (and have fought a war of independence against) in building their new nation.

So in this analogy (an imperfect one) trans activists would be the brave settlers pushing ever westwards against the odds and creating a new nation (Americans), setting themselves apart from men and toxic masculinity (Europeans) and appropriating womanhood (the indigenous people, who aren't really seen as people at all but just part of the background scenery to be put on as a costume).

So they are colonialists, but they don't see themselves as colonialists because they've attached that label not to themselves (rampaging and pillaging across an already occupied territory) but to the "cis" people who they think oppressed them. And because no-one wants to pick a fight with the people with real power (the "cis" males) they project their beliefs about oppression onto the "cis" women.

Everyonematters Fri 09-Feb-18 10:23:51

Gay rights. People who stood against same sex marriage BELIEVED same sex marriage was wrong and wanted OTHER PEOPLE to live their lives according to beliefs those people didn't share. They thought gay people should not get married because of this.

People proposing Self-ID BELIEVE if a man says he feels like a woman he is a woman and can walk into all the rights and protections built up due to disadvantages in their biology. They want OTHER people, women, to give up those rights and protections because of a belief they don't share.

coffeecork Fri 09-Feb-18 10:25:42

We are heading towards government-enforced acceptance of the quasi religious belief that reproductive sex is not a material reality. Persecution of those who refuse to believe.

There are so many historical parallels here. I'm struggling to think of a historical parallel for the situation in your OP, though.

FlaviaAlbia Fri 09-Feb-18 10:26:07

Good point Everyonematters

I've seen so many comparisons to gay marriage but it really is pretty much the reverse of what those people are arguing.

BeyondWitchbitchterf Fri 09-Feb-18 10:27:27

To indirectly build on everyone's post -

The people who BELIEVED same sex attraction was wrong wanted to impose conversion therapy on gay people
The people who BELIEVE self ID is all that matters want to impose conversion therapy on gay people

TheCountessofFitzdotterel Fri 09-Feb-18 10:27:47

That cowboy analogy is brilliant.

BeyondWitchbitchterf Fri 09-Feb-18 10:29:03

Also works with (historic) disability/(present) ASD and sterilisation

Ostrichnomore Fri 09-Feb-18 10:30:02

Beyond has it.

Any group that is oppressed (throughout history and currently) generally deserves equality. There are always exceptions.

I completely and utterly agree that trans people should have equal rights to the rest of society. They are human beings, like everyone else.

The problem is when one group wants to extend their equal rights to the point of special rights, special considerations, and immunity from some constraints that society places on everyone else.

And this is where it gets blurry.

There are both transexual and transgender people who are happy with the fact that in many ways they have reached equality status. They have the right to be recognised, to be respected and to be accepted. They have integrated back into society in the same way the rest of us do - because we have to. Society is a natural and necessary aspect of humanity.

They nor us need special rights, or access to the safe places of others. Provision of safe spaces should be made for all, and those safe spaces should be respected by all.

For instance, when I take my children to nursery or to school, I do not demand access to those spaces on the days that I don't feel very adult. Sometimes I would like the safety and shelter that a school could provide, but I would never ask for access to one. Children are entitled to that safe space because they need it. I have equal rights to children, but they come with different provisions to suit my different protected characteristics.

On other days, my mental health causes me to feel anxious in a crowded public bathroom with tiny cubicles. On those days I cannot deny that I would like access to a single cubicle of a larger space, I would feel less anxious and less claustrophobic. But that is the disabled space. Disabled people have a right to that space because they need it. I have equal rights to disabled people, but they come with different provisons to suit my different protected characteristics.

Every other day, I like access to spaces which have been provided for the female sex. I am of female sex, I have periods and pregnancies, I have been a victim of male violence. I have a right to that space, because I need it. Trans people have equal rights to me, but that should come with different provisions to suit their different protected characteristics.

Many transexuals and transgenders do not dispute this, and in fact champion that.

And then there are the other trans people. The ones that demand access to the provisions for others under cover of equal rights. But this would in fact be special rights.

If someone with one protected characteristic thinks that their needs are greater than someone with another protected characteristic, they are asking for special consideration and special rights. They are asking for more than everyone else has.

But it gets dangerous when that person with one characteristic thinks that that characteristic allows them the same rights (note the same, not equal - equal is not the problem) as someone with a different characteristic.

This is where actual men, who do not even feel the need to identify as women, will want to use women's spaces. And worse, they may do so with the need or desire to cause harm.

This intention can neither be predicted on an individual basis, nor prevented. And the way things are going, it will not even be allowed to be questioned.

Women must stop talking, and stop thinking, and stop asking for consideration about their safety and wellbeing, in order to satisfy the needs of a protected characteristic different from their own.

Tell me then, who is the oppressed group?

BeyondWitchbitchterf Fri 09-Feb-18 10:30:04

I like the colonisation idea!

FlaviaAlbia Fri 09-Feb-18 10:32:49

The medication and surgery on children is like the lobotomy scandal.

Thought to be cutting edge medicine and a lifesaver for those with mental health issues and then looked back on with horror.

LangCleg Fri 09-Feb-18 10:32:50

I really like Hairy's colonial analogy!

And I also think it's close to a religious schism - as others have said about transubstantiation.

Everyonematters Fri 09-Feb-18 10:41:39

coffeecork you are spot on with this:
We are heading towards government-enforced acceptance of the quasi religious belief that reproductive sex is not a material reality. Persecution of those who refuse to believe.

That is what really worries me about the proposals for self ID. That any man can say he is a woman purely because he feels it is a belief. It is by no means one everyone shares. People are already feeling fear to speak out due to their jobs, their personal safety, etc. If you codify that in law and make it a hate crime to question it, how is that ok?

jaimelannistersgoldenhand Fri 09-Feb-18 10:48:13

Never thought of colonialism but yes, it's spot on. I think that the modern equivalent is cultural appropriation.

People used to be able to wear a silky kimono or wear their hair in lots of braids because they like them but these days we have to fear people thinking that it's an attempt to be culturally insensitive.

I see a lot of people agreeing with trans movement because they don't want to be seen as intolerant /transphobic.

Everyonematters Fri 09-Feb-18 10:59:39

Have a look at what has been happening in Canada. Remember Morgane Oger? The person who wanted to track down the woman holding a gender critical sign? He has set up a foundation to tackle similar 'hate crime'

This Transwoman is very concerned and trying to stand up for women like us:

AngryAttackKittens Fri 09-Feb-18 11:09:12

For the transing of GNC children and women suffering from trauma I'd say lobotomy would be the best analogy.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now