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Appropriate Language: Transfeminine & Transmasculine

(26 Posts)
GardenGeek Mon 18-Jun-18 13:25:51

I have been typing this on as many threads as I can but thought a new thread may make this point stand out.

I was on twitter a few days back and saw the trans allies using transmale as interchangeable with transmasculine.

Thus I deduct transwomen is interchangeable with transfeminine.

Bolding for effect...

I believe this is acceptable also for GC.

GardenGeek Mon 18-Jun-18 14:02:56

May I please ask if this is an acceptable term under new talk guidelines?

loveyouradvice Mon 18-Jun-18 15:02:33

gardengeek your logic is impeccable.... but sadly can't see myself using it.. just feeling too pissed off at the moment!

TERFragetteCity Mon 18-Jun-18 15:05:17

Doesn't really work for me.

What is 'feminine' about these three for example?

ErrolTheDragon Mon 18-Jun-18 15:07:08

Those do seem like the appropriate terms for people who identify as transgender rather than transsexual.

Do you know if 'transmasculine' is more widely used than 'transfeminine' at the moment?

Norther Mon 18-Jun-18 15:08:42

I just hate the use of feminine and masculine in general to describe personality traits. I find it problematic outside of foreign language grammar. Who defines which is which?

Strigiformes Mon 18-Jun-18 15:08:50

That seems OK, nice and clear too.

ErrolTheDragon Mon 18-Jun-18 15:12:56

Gender terms like masculine and feminine can mean what the heck any particular culture wants, so IMO people who want to be defined in terms of 'gender' are welcome to them.

PermissionToSpeakSir Mon 18-Jun-18 15:16:14

Not my cup of tea.
'Feminine' and 'masculine' are bound up in unhelpful sexist stereotypes that are also subjective.

I don't have any interest in reinforcing sexist ideology that harms women and gives blokes a boner thanks.

GardenGeek Mon 18-Jun-18 19:08:13

Mixed response! grin

Do you know if 'transmasculine' is more widely used than 'transfeminine' at the moment?

It seems so. Transmasculine is standardly used on twitter by trans community & allies.

So it must be OK to use transfeminine even though I have never seen it used with my own eyes.

It is defined actually as... Transfeminine is a term used to describe transgender people who were assigned male at birth, but identify with femininity to a greater extent than with masculinity.

Is pretty good definition. Not a circular definition either grin

On trans wiki it even says can be used to refer to a transwomen; but is also more inclusive as includes everyone whos on the spectrum even if not commited to transing fully... such as....
- Trans woman
- Demigirls
- Multigender people who identify as female more than other genders
- Gender fluid and demifluid people who are feminine more often than other genders.
- Any other Non-binary person who identify as feminine more often than other genders.

Yes and I agree terf muscato is definitely not feminine in my books! But I would rather refer to them with something which suggests gender, as opposed to purporting sex.

So its the best compromise I can find, and I think its pretty damn good. grin If I say so myself!

ErrolTheDragon Mon 18-Jun-18 19:15:06

I find it somewhat interesting that 'transmasculine' is commonly used whereas 'transfeminine' isn't. Do you think it's because the former are less inclined, or feel less entitled, or simply less able, to appropriate the word 'man' ? Or maybe more honest.

GardenGeek Mon 18-Jun-18 19:25:01

It is interesting. I have no idea why one is more commonly used than the other tbh. Maybe its not, maybe its just where I was on twitter perhaps.

It is a positive 'label' for transmales, and I saw used in positive tweets. So I assume transfeminine is also positive - due to logic and the fact its on trans wiki. But again I haven't seen it to confirm.

So far though v. pleased with this definition. Its a real definition. It actually makes sense in logic, language, & real life!

I might need to lie down grin Never thought I would see the day!

Mumsnut Mon 18-Jun-18 19:25:28

transmasc and transfem for short?

GardenGeek Mon 18-Jun-18 19:28:35

I think transmasc works, but think transfem suggests transfemale which is likely to be rejected by GC.

Its annoying to type it all but I cant find a way to shorten it which doesnt purport to sex. Perhaps thats why its not used on twitter often - its too long.

Norther Mon 18-Jun-18 19:37:03

I use the phrase 'people who are biologically male' or 'people who are biologically female' because the meaning is clear to us all but trans people can't complain because people is neutral and they declare themselves to be biologically of the category they identify with. That way we can reach out to the uninitiated and there is nothing they can do about it!

ErrolTheDragon Mon 18-Jun-18 19:39:37

I saw transfemme somewhere, I think on the NUS trans conference thread.

Norther Mon 18-Jun-18 19:39:58

Perhaps PBM and PBF? Just an idea.

GardenGeek Mon 18-Jun-18 20:51:21

Well theres no confusion there norther, I think that would have use as an acronym in certain discussions. But it doesnt acknowledge their gender. I think if we are to say we want our sex acknowledged then we too must acknowledge gender. So I was hoping this was a term we could unite on that is unoffensive to neither trans community or GC community.

I thought that would work errol but it wasnt defined on trans wiki so thought is the definition open for debate. I am trying to find one but cant ahh. I like transmasc transfemme for short, but the whole point in the reason I liked transfeminine is because it was defined (something everyone wants), was acceptable to trans community (so not offensive), and that it clearly explains what it relates to gender. I wonder whether it is less clear as transfemme what that refers to.

I am basically imagining - would my nan get it grin

Norther Mon 18-Jun-18 21:10:16


But how do you acknowledge gender if you don't believe gender exists?

You could theorise labels for different people. However the categories are shifting all the time. I believe in time (not too distant future) current spokespeople for trans will themselves be excommunicated by their own because of shifts in belief. E.g. people who have surgery will eventually be disowned by the movement for being 'biologically essentialist'. You can't attempt 'once and for all' terms under these conditions.

GardenGeek Mon 18-Jun-18 21:45:03

I believe gender exists! I am critical of it because it exists grin
If it didn't exists I would have nothing to be critical off.

I have to recognise that they want gender, I don't want gender. But I cant take gender away from them. The same way they cant take sex away from us.

If you believe they cant have gender, then how can we say we must have sex.

I have a weird unique position on this because I went through all the motions of this on twitter recording the erasure of sex. I understood both camps were not ready so I left. Only once we fight for the right of sex AND gender, then can we win. No one can argue with that.

How can they say we cant have both.

And yes I agree currently I cannot tell which direction it will go, and I agree its going to go all insane internally and it will become and LGBT fight not a women's fight, thats another reason I stopped twitter.

That extra bit about right to sex and gender people keep missing. I keep posting it but everyones still too angry.

I had that anger too, it was just accelerated by going straight to the front line. Honestly neither camps are ready still, but I will keep on trying to get this point about sex AND gender across.

I am just trying to keep the debate open and stop people being banned atm with these words - in the hope that in time, people will realise what I am talking about. And articulate it and fight for it better than I can.

I am a brexit voter, I know what happens when you are tarred with bad intent. This is too important. We cant let that happen.

Norther Mon 18-Jun-18 21:47:21


Just read yiur posts on trans athletes thread. I understand what you are trying to say. For a proportion of reasonable trans people that will be enough - it always has been enough. But for the current crop of vocal nitwits it never will be. The point for them is the very act of dominating our sex and entering our spaces. They will accept nothing less. You can't reason with or accommodate them. The best hope I think is for divisions to happen within them along blanchard lines if you know what I mean.

thebewilderness Mon 18-Jun-18 21:50:28

I think to be properly inclusive we need to say genderists and transgenderists.

GardenGeek Mon 18-Jun-18 21:51:06

But thats the thing this isnt about them. I am only concerned about the erasure of women as a sex class by conflating sex and gender.

They can have gender. I just want the right to sex too.

Norther Mon 18-Jun-18 21:51:26

Blanchard as in some day soon my mother's sister will no longer enjoy visiting the capital of france. Does that sufficiently get around naming individuals?!!!

GardenGeek Mon 18-Jun-18 21:58:17

However the categories are shifting all the time. I believe in time (not too distant future) current spokespeople for trans will themselves be excommunicated by their own because of shifts in belief. E.g. people who have surgery will eventually be disowned by the movement for being 'biologically essentialist'. You can't attempt 'once and for all' terms under these conditions.

And I think you might come round to this. This is already there really and part of how I got there.

By having right to sex and gender, it allows someone to identify as both trans+ and as a sex. Why can you not have both. And especially as there are 70+ genders and not binary. Also as its fluid.

But this is what I mean about not being ready for it. The current TRA do want them to be the same. But in time that will not be the case.

This is why the main objective is not be construed as transphobic in the mean time. We need to just keep on banging the drum talking about womens rights as a biological sex; and if we do need to refer to the trans community, we need to do so in the most amicable terms.

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