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'Passing' trans

(228 Posts)
SavetheVees Fri 20-Apr-18 14:04:17

Namechanged due to ~controversy~

I understand the anti self-ID issue. However, what I don't understand is how single-sex spaces can be policed by appearances alone? I have seen many threads where people speak about 'male bodies' - which is clear in the case of trans people who haven't actually made any effort to transition (incredibly rare in my experience - of course there are high profile examples)

This just really confuses me because I know quite a few trans people, including being a vague acquaintance to Tara Wood (I don't condone her actions so lets not go there), and in many cases, especially where hormones and surgery are involved, it is not really possible to tell they are trans. I first met Tara before she 'came out' as trans and the first time I saw her after the transition, I failed to realise it was the same person I had met before, and thought she was absolutely stunning. I was actually a bit envious of how effortlessly feminine she looked. I also know 'butch' presenting women, who despite being biologically female, are not feminine in the stereotypical-appearance way, and are often mistaken as men. I ALSO know women who have PCOS etc etc and have facial hair, who would be mortified to be accused of being biologically male when accessing single-sex spaces, even though they have a characteristic perceived to be 'male'.

So how would this be managed and policed? If you saw someone you knew to be trans accessing a women's changing room, despite them 'passing' as female visually - would you challenge them? What if someone was truly androgynous - would you challenge them? Would you expect someone else to? Surely there is no way on earth that we should be mandated to carry ID cards with details of our genitalia printed on them, or even worse expected to flash our privates at a changing room attendant in order to gain entry?! These sound far, far more intrusive and offensive to me than having a wee in a cubicle next to someone with a penis.

just to reiterate - I completely understand the ideological values of single sex spaces etc and protecting women from violent and voyeuristic men, however I struggle to understand how these spaces can be policed to avoid "be-penised" bodies without 1) being ineffective and 2) not offending biological vagina-owners who do not fit feminine stereotypes as effectively as trans folk do

TallulahWaitingInTheRain Fri 20-Apr-18 14:14:36

What's wrong with the current arrangement? Non-women* aren't expected to come into women-only spaces. Non-women who pass and who behave indistinguishably from women can get on with it. Non-women who don't pass or who behave in rapey or intimidating ways can be challenged. It's worked well for ages, why change it?

*an inclusive term for males, trans and non-binary people

DairyisClosed Fri 20-Apr-18 14:17:20

As pp. It's not being trams that is the problem. It is being obviously male that makes women uncomfortable.

Mumsnut Fri 20-Apr-18 14:22:00

Anyone who passes that well I would guess has had enough hormones that they wouldn't be a threat?

Teacuphiccup Fri 20-Apr-18 14:22:05

Well let’s face it, trans people have been using women’s toilets for years. We’ve had an honour system that has worked and I personally don’t have a problem with this (but do understand why some people do so support third spaces).

The issue with self id is that it creates a culture where women are no longer able to challenge any Male in women’s spaces in fear of being transphobic as they could potentially id as female.
It’s a cultural shift as much as a legal one.

As it stands trans women use women’s spaces but any funny business and women have the power to ask them to be removed.
The power balance flips when self id comes in.

And let’s face the fact that yes many trans women look feminine but it’s very rare that you find one that passes so much you can’t tell at all.
Being able to tell someone’s sex is programmed into us as it’s pretty important for the human races survival.

Also this debate isn’t just about where people pee, this is a red herring, it’s about prisons and rape shelters and whether we are able to ever say ‘well in these circumstances we need to have a female only space’.

In reality I think there are very very few times when we need to segregate by sex, but those times are very important and we should be able to maintain them.

Teacuphiccup Fri 20-Apr-18 14:25:06

Also butch women have been using women’s toilets forever, they might be glanced at twice but it’s usually quite obvious that they are women.

SavetheVees Fri 20-Apr-18 14:25:48

I think my problem with this is that the 'current system' as described, expects people to fit into the gender stereotypes that I thought most feminists wanted abolished. In these cases would it be ok then to challenge a butch woman due to not having sufficient 'female' characteristics? And that trans people are effectively only judged if they don't 'pass' adequately - isn't this just reinforcing visual stereotypes which we should be moving away from?

SavetheVees Fri 20-Apr-18 14:29:53

it’s very rare that you find one that passes so much you can’t tell at all

I disagree with this entirely, as I said I know quite a few trans people and only a few of them don't entirely "pass" in my experience. I am in my twenties though and think it's easier at this age than people transitioning later in life. If your only experience is seeing the occasional non-passing trans person in the street I see how you might think this

Also like I said this isn't really to do with self ID but to do with policing single sex spaces fairly and effectively

I agree that anyone, of any sex, should be removed from spaces when they cause a problem

Idontdowindows Fri 20-Apr-18 14:31:17

Butch women are still eminently recognisable as women. WOMEN are recognisable as women and it is incredibly rare that we cannot tell the difference between men and women.

Most trans people who believe they pass, do not actually pass, but as they are discreet and go about their business without too much ado, women have been kind enough to not mention it.

SavetheVees Fri 20-Apr-18 14:32:28

Also butch women have been using women’s toilets forever, they might be glanced at twice but it’s usually quite obvious that they are women.

Again I disagree, but I probably spend more time than average with LGBT and alternative social circles who don't have much time for presenting in a stereotypical way. I know several women who are repeatedly asked if they are men.

Teacuphiccup Fri 20-Apr-18 14:36:43

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

Teacuphiccup Fri 20-Apr-18 14:39:40

😂😂😂😂😂

Yes of course you’re the only person within the lgbt community.

I was brought up by two lesbians, my mothers partner was an out and proud ‘bull dyke’, I literally grew up in a lesbian community.
I doubt very very very much you know more gender non comforming women than me.

Ohforfoxsakereturns Fri 20-Apr-18 14:40:33

I wish this argument would move on from generalising trans people.

I want it to focus on two things: Male violence and the need for safe places based on sex
And
The damage TRAs and MRAs are doing to the whole situation, for both trans people and women.

How about we all start naming the problem: Male violence. Women haven’t been able to stop it happening to us so we’ve had to fight for ways to protect ourselves. And that’s under threat?! How can this be?
How about we pass the problem back to the men? How about those very vocal people in the spotlight who have been raised and socialised as Male - regardless of gender - start to speak out and show empathy as to why we are where we are?

Coyoacan Fri 20-Apr-18 14:43:04

I think my problem with this is that the 'current system' as described, expects people to fit into the gender stereotypes that I thought most feminists wanted abolished

You haven't bothered to read any of the replies have you?

Teacuphiccup Fri 20-Apr-18 14:43:28

And I’m not surprised your friends sometimes get referred to as he, it’s very confusing nowadays, it’s difficult to tell if a gender non comfoming woman is a gender non conforming woman or a trans man.

vaginafetishist Fri 20-Apr-18 14:45:04

Spend more time than average with LGBT do you?

Do you know a lot of us here are actual lesbians?

But no, please do continue to educate us on gender non conformity. I'm all ears.

SavetheVees Fri 20-Apr-18 14:45:45

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

TallulahWaitingInTheRain Fri 20-Apr-18 14:45:48

I don't expect anyone to conform to gender stereotypes. I just don't expect to find non-women in women-only spaces.

If a non-woman insists on entering a women-only space then it's up to them to make sure they don't make anyone uncomfortable (by, e.g., appearing male) and their lookout if they fail and get challenged.

I do have empathy for women who are regularly challenged because of a masculine appearance but I don't think doing away with women-only spaces altogether will leave them better off in the long run.

And as pp said, all this is a red herring. Prisons, refuges etc should be single-sex and should have ways of ensuring this that don't rely on genital inspections.

MadBadDaddy Fri 20-Apr-18 14:46:57

"It’s very rare that a woman looks so butch that you would mistake her for a Male...."

Everything Trans being discussed here comes under 'very rare'...

Must suck to be that rare woman.

vaginafetishist Fri 20-Apr-18 14:47:20

Butch women get asked if they are men as a put down and a reminder that they are not feminising themselves correctly. Men don't get asked if they are men. Sheesh.

changeypants Fri 20-Apr-18 14:47:59

Here here

SavetheVees Fri 20-Apr-18 14:49:00

@vaginafetishist

I'm trying to ask legitimate questions about the practical implementation of what I've seen many threads and comments proposing across mumsnet (i.e. the whole "male bodies" in females spaces policing"

As an actual lesbian myself, I probably do spend more time than average with LGBT people than the 94% of the UK population who are purely straight

changeypants Fri 20-Apr-18 14:49:05

Ha ha that was for foxsake at 2.40!

Teacuphiccup Fri 20-Apr-18 14:50:00

You literally said you probably know more gender non comforming women than other people.

but I probably spend more time than average with LGBT and alternative social circles who don't have much time for presenting in a stereotypical way. I know several women who are repeatedly asked if they are men.

Rufustheconstantreindeer Fri 20-Apr-18 14:51:34

are u ok hun

Thats not really a very good debating tactic

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