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The women promoting transition.

(57 Posts)
PermanentTemporary Wed 27-Nov-19 06:55:21

@MNHQ I'm notifying you of this thread before even starting it...

I think a lot about women involved with promoting transition. Dr Olsen-Kennedy, Dr Webberley, Susie Green. The mothers who appear on forums discussing their small child's social transition in terms of clothing recommendations.

To me they seem like anti-feminists who locate the solution to women's oppression in changes to individuals' presentation in the world, and who will medicalise personal distress by removing distressed women from the community of women, while internalizing the distress of men at toxic masculinity by insisting that any man who feels that distress must be female.

But I'd feel pretty sure that every one of those women would say they are feminists. And many opponents of their approach would use their actions to discredit feminism and say that it's literally about castration... or that 'feminists asked for this' by analysing society in terms of sexual oppression.

I guess I am struggling with the fact that so many women disagree with me in this! I feel like a sex traitor. These, after all,are the women Dworkin meant when she talked about women you don't like.

NovemberDays Wed 27-Nov-19 07:05:11

Do any of the women you cite identify as feminists, though?

And, speaking generally, identifying as a feminist is not really the same as being one, if your practice harms women.

But also, it seems to me that feminism has always been a broad church with different strands. Neoliberal feminism will of course support individual choice in a market place where the self is commodified. Others would argue that commodifying the self does harm to women as a group and therefore is not feminist.

I do not think there is one agreed definition of feminism which remains static over time and place.

The point about feminism being literally about castration - surely the counter-argument is simply that feminists such as Sheila Jeffries (hope I have that right?) have argued against transition from a feminist point of view for decades and that the first sex change operations were done by men (Johns Hopkins Institute, if I have that right) who talked about gender identity before feminists even picked up the concept of gender.

JellySlice Wed 27-Nov-19 07:07:37

Why should you feel like the sex traitor? To me it feels just the other way around: that they are the sex traitors. I, too, cannot understand why any woman would support her own erasure. They are, indeed, the women Dworkin refers to.

FadingStar Wed 27-Nov-19 07:16:59

I think these women are so entrenched in misogyny they don't even see what they are doing to themselves. I know that sounds patronising but I genuinely think they don't know what they are doing. It is the women like Hines who ACTIVELY and gleefully attack women and use this ideology to do it who are truly treacherous.

PermanentTemporary Wed 27-Nov-19 07:55:31

Oh yes, Sally Hines! I don't understand her at all. And I'm not dumb, I think I can follow her theories at least at a simple level, they just don't seem to make any sense.

JellySlice Wed 27-Nov-19 16:09:03

Most trans rhetoric doesn't make sense, no matter the sex or identity of the ideologue.

NonnyMouse1337 Wed 27-Nov-19 16:41:34

Women have all sort of opinions and ideas on different issues and topics.

Women are just as capable as men in acting out of self-interest or because they don't directly experience certain issues and so therefore don't see why it would be a problem.

I think feminists in general need to move away from thinking there's some default stance that all women will 'naturally' gravitate to simply because they are women. The vast majority of women don't view themselves as feminists anyway even if they might agree with feminists on certain things.

It's important to hold women responsible for their actions and stances rather than sweep it under the carpet as them being 'brainwashed by the patriarchy'.
Women have agency. Respect that.
They have the ability for intelligent thinking. With freedom comes accountability, so critique their ideas, engage and debate with them. A woman isn't going to agree with you simply because she is a woman. If you have a robust argument, it should be possible to persuade someone to see your side of the debate irrespective of whether they are a woman or a man. They might not agree with it, but you should be able to state the reasons for your position clearly without having to resort to appeals that she should be on your side because she is a woman too.

EmpressLesbianInChair Wed 27-Nov-19 16:45:29

Ruth Hunt. 'Men are always going to rape women'.
Jo Swinson. Asked about violent men and talking about lesbians instead.

HandsOffMyRights Wed 27-Nov-19 17:03:25

Not forgetting Helen Islan and Diva editor (name escapes me at the moment).

I can understand Islan (the same as Green - where can they go with this? They have to continue because of their past choices with their own children)

But I don't get the other one.

LangCleg Wed 27-Nov-19 17:05:16

Neoliberal feminism will of course support individual choice in a market place where the self is commodified. Others would argue that commodifying the self does harm to women as a group and therefore is not feminist.

This is the crux of it, really.

It grinds my gears to see the naked individualism promoted within neoliberal feminism as having anything to do with women as a class or anything to do with anything even approaching leftism. I wish it would stop colonising the left.

Siameasy Wed 27-Nov-19 17:25:13

Jazz’s mum too. They are so invested they now cannot turn around.

JellySlice Wed 27-Nov-19 17:59:11

I think feminists in general need to move away from thinking there's some default stance that all women will 'naturally' gravitate to simply because they are women.

Agree. We are not an amorphous mass, we have no 'hive mind'.

However, the consequences of misogyny and legalised erasure will be the same for all women, no matter whether their opinions and beliefs differ from those fighting against it.

I may fundamentally disagree with what these women stand for, and they me, but I have to include them in my feminism - otherwise, according to my beliefs and my standards, I would not be a true feminist.

I don't have to like it.

Goosefoot Wed 27-Nov-19 19:29:54

I think there are a few things going on.

Women have a lot of different ideas. I kind of hate the claim that women who don't toe the feminist line, or don't consider themselves feminists, even on some issues, are somehow handmaidens or working against their own interests, etc. It's patronising. People have a lot of different experiences and ideas about how things work best for all and for individuals.

And feminism does have different strands, like any ideological position that has been around for a while. People have new ideas as well over time.

A lot of the women I see big on supporting gender ideology consider themselves to be feminists. They think it is about redressing rights, recognising diversity. Usually they don't realise how medically questionable a lot of that part is. But they see it as in part a language thing as well, that we now define woman and man by gender rather than sex. Often they also have a shallow view of other rights questions, about race or SSM or any other current topic, they tend to spout slogans and get angry if you try and really think about them, or point out that some people they claim to be speaking for don't agree.

Speaking generally, I find most men are less likely to be very vocal about this, and even if they take the same general view are more willing to talk about it and see where it might be a problem. Those that are involved in activism or vocal are more, maybe a lot more, aggressive than the women though.

Chiochan Wed 27-Nov-19 19:33:30

I also struggle to wrap my head around usually educated priviliged women, supporting this movement.
I think age has a lot to do with it, it seems to be more younger women.
Gender idology is so obviously toxic to women, it completly hateful. How do these women imagin they are progressive? it beggers belefe. They mental gymnastics must be mindblowing.
But then you get working class tories so I guess..
Identifying on a deep emotional level with the very people who hate and oppress you must be a human thing, some kind of denial mechanism?
isent there a quote about getting you to hate the ones who are trying to free you and loving the ones who are oppressing you

ErrolTheDragon Wed 27-Nov-19 20:10:07

* I guess I am struggling with the fact that so many women disagree with me in this! I feel like a sex traitor. These, after all,are the women Dworkin meant when she talked about women you don't like.*

I don't really get your point. There will be women you disagree with on all sorts of issues, sometimes vehemently so - politics, religion or whatever.

Does anyone have the dworkin quote alluded to? - I can't find it, and I don't want to try to make a further point without checking what it said.

thatdamnwoman Wed 27-Nov-19 20:10:17

I had a friend who specialised in extreme medicine (A&E, disaster work abroad) and then trained to become a GP but absolutely hated dealing with the ordinary everyday stuff and was horrifyingly ageist. No adrenalin buzz. She started working with the homeless, then went into prison work, then asylum seekers and then she dropped it all to go into trans medicine. She's now powering up the transmedicine hierarchy.

She's someone who needs to see herself as a heroic saviour of oppressed minorities. I think they used to call it a god complex.

PermanentTemporary Wed 27-Nov-19 20:19:30

Of course women will disagree with me on lots of things. I guess I just struggle so much with a woman with a female body really believing this stuff and watching all the teenage girls wanting to transition and thinking 'yay authenticity' where I'm thinking 'fuck fuck fuck that girl is suffering'

ErrolTheDragon Wed 27-Nov-19 20:21:29

Sometimes when you don't understand someone else .... it's them, not you.

JellySlice Wed 27-Nov-19 20:29:40

Dworkin: "Feminism is a political practice of fighting male supremacy on behalf of women as a class, including all the women you don't like, including all the women you don't want to be around, including all the women who used to be your best friends whom you don't want anything to do with anymore. It doesn't matter who the individual women are. They all have the same vulnerability to rape, to battery, as children to incest."

Tarkus Wed 27-Nov-19 20:35:32

But then you get working class tories so I guess..
Identifying on a deep emotional level with the very people who hate and oppress you must be a human thing

You really can't understand why a working class person wouldn't be a Tory?

You have no comprehension that a working class person might look at the anti- business rubbish being spouted by Corbyn and think it makes no sense?

You think that a working class person might not support a party which encourages hard work and initiative?

ErrolTheDragon Wed 27-Nov-19 20:37:29

Thanks Jelly. The first line of that quote is key, isn't it?

ArnoldWhatshisknickers Wed 27-Nov-19 22:56:32

I also struggle to wrap my head around usually educated priviliged women, supporting this movement.

A subsection of the highly privileged have always had a holier than thou streak. A snobbish attitude to their 'lessers'. A view of themselves as better, deeper thinkers, of being more understanding. This is just the latest incarnation.

There is the same element of exclusivity about it. Of sneering at those who fail to use 'correct' language which always strikes me as a new form of etiquette that serves the same purpose as the old forms, which is to exclude those not in the know. Again, this has always been the province of the privileged few.

LangCleg Wed 27-Nov-19 23:02:31

A subsection of the highly privileged have always had a holier than thou streak.

Yep. Ever since Victorian philanthropists set out to "improve the poor".

littlbrowndog Wed 27-Nov-19 23:05:24

I just think they don’t use their brains tbh

Goosefoot Thu 28-Nov-19 02:10:55

There is the same element of exclusivity about it. Of sneering at those who fail to use 'correct' language which always strikes me as a new form of etiquette that serves the same purpose as the old forms, which is to exclude those not in the know.

Yes, I think this is why the correct language has to change all the time, it's a way of identifying the in group, so as soon as something begins to be mainstream, it's no longer useful.

But then you get working class tories so I guess..

I think this makes a lot more sense. The progressive left has made it clear they despise the values of many working class people, and they also don't seem to quite understand the kind of grass roots approach to leftism, they favour a much more top down approach Not to mention they've all fully embraced globalism anyway and the working classes are under no illusions who that is really good for.

I think a big part of it comes down to the idea that many of these women have already accepted certain popular slogans that incline them to accept trans ideology. Identity politics, the idea that our bodies being sexed is irrelevant to who we are, among other things.

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