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Help please

(101 Posts)
sunshinesupermum Tue 13-Oct-20 12:40:55

I have two daughters both in their 30s and one is ashamed of me and calls me a TERF because I support JKR etc. Both of them are fully supportive of the trans argument and yesterday my elder daughter retweeted this 'Hey Rosie Duffield. I'm a woman and I'm having my say: TRANS RIGHTS ARE NOT A THREAT TO CIS WOMEN AND YOUR TRANSPHOBIA CAN GET IN THE BIN'

I read Rosie Duffield's interview in yesterday's Times and fully agree with her. This whole issue upsets me greatly because I can't see us coming back from it while we hold such opposing views. It's worse than Brexit for me personally.

They seem to conveniently forget that all women, whether feminists or not, of my era (1970s) had it far tougher than the small number of transwomen who they support today and don't see that our hard-won freedoms look to be erased. (eg threats to abortion rights in the USA). I brought them up to be feminists. They are both university-educated (unlike me) and can argue the hind leg off a donkey.

Any advice as to how to handle this as it sure doesn't look like the trans issue is going away any time soon. Thanks for reading.

OP’s posts: |
Kit19 Tue 13-Oct-20 12:50:27

I don’t have children OP but I know plenty of women on this board have had and still have this issue & im sure will be able to offer good advice

Sometimes playing dumb can help & asking questions so they have to clarify the position in detail rather than handwave away

You could ask them what they think about Keira Bell case

You’re really not alone & you can always come here & vent xx

NewlyGranny Tue 13-Oct-20 12:53:00

Ask them whether they would have been happy as teenagers or 11 year olds having grown men stripping off in pool changing rooms with them.

NewlyGranny Tue 13-Oct-20 12:55:04

All 3 of my adult children think I'm a TERF but only one has said it to my face. That one also called me bigot, boomer and Karen in the same sentence. They will still want that bank of mum deposit when they come to buy a house, though.

FloralBunting Tue 13-Oct-20 13:03:15

The most effective method I found with younger women who flex the female socialization 'be kind' impulse and call it 'intersectional feminism' is to refocus that impulse.

So they are attempting to be kind by included men in their spaces, magnanimously giving away what they perceive as theirs.

But it's not wholly theirs. They have those rights because of their membership of the entire sex class of female.

So I explain to a young woman who says this, if they were in a restaurant and a man asked for her food when he had finished his own, it would be entirely her own free choice to say yes or not. Then I ask, if the man was asking for the dinners of other women there, would it be inclusive and kind for her to take their food, despite their protests, and give it to the man, and claim that because she didn't mind sharing hers, they should be the same?

Refocus the impulse to 'be kind' on to other women.

ArabellaScott Tue 13-Oct-20 13:10:04

I would focus on your relationship and avoid the issue. Keep channels open. Active listening. Boundaries.

They aren't obliged to share your views, nor you theirs. I think often arguing these points can end up entrenching people further in their 'sides'.

OneEpisode Tue 13-Oct-20 13:53:48

If you want to talk about anything, the “cervix havers” point would be good.
By using “cervix havers” they include transmen and non-binaries, who skew young and tend to have as a result tend to have lower cervical cell abnormalities. By using “cervix havers” they don’t offend transwomen, who don’t have cervical cells.
By using “cervix havers” the public health campaign may not achieve its objective of encouraging people at risk for abnormalities in cervical cells.
Cosmo tells me a survey of women by Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust revealed half didn’t know “what the cervix is”. Perhaps those women need to have public health adverts that include them.
Perhaps using a word like woman, which many people learn early in their lives, or early in their study of English as an additional language, would be good for those people, in terms of preventing an upsetting illness with a potentially horrible death and everything?

Thelnebriati Tue 13-Oct-20 13:56:00

Maybe have a chat about consent, because they can't consent to e.g. mixed sex psychiatric wards on my behalf.

exwhyzed Tue 13-Oct-20 14:02:02

So I explain to a young woman who says this, if they were in a restaurant and a man asked for her food when he had finished his own, it would be entirely her own free choice to say yes or not. Then I ask, if the man was asking for the dinners of other women there, would it be inclusive and kind for her to take their food, despite their protests, and give it to the man, and claim that because she didn't mind sharing hers, they should be the same?

I like this

and like a previous poster I think showing your support for Keira Bell and asking their opinion on the principles of her case would be a good starting point.

Or agree you are MERF every time they call you a TERF, given that actually the movement is about keeping men out of women's spaces to protect women and not about keeping trans people out of anywhere just because they are trans.

CaraDuneRedux Tue 13-Oct-20 14:02:18

I posted on your other thread - glad you've found your way to a more frequented part of the board.

Have they read the interview with Rosie Duffield? I'd be tempted to ask them whether they support a woman, an elected representative, being left in fear of her life by online nutters. Then I'd ask if they wanted to revisit their "get in the bin" comment.

Though I agree with PP that asking questions is probably a better way forward.

Ask what they suggest we do with the "female-identifying" rapists with penises, in order to keep women's prisons safe for women.

Ask them what they suggest we do to stop women coming off rugby pitches with life-altering spinal injuries.

queenofknives Tue 13-Oct-20 14:07:40

I'd avoid the issue and let them know, with kindness, that the reason is because you cannot handle their misogyny and it's too frustrating to argue with people who are not thinking logically. Stick to your resolve of not discussing it with them. Let them work out what is so offensive about their stance for themselves. Take the moral high ground and stay there. Let them come to you when the light dawns.

Alternatively, there's a book by James Lindsay and Peter Boghossian called 'How to have Impossible Conversations' that I believe has some very good strategies.

Goosefoot Tue 13-Oct-20 14:11:21

I'm al for asking questions to draw them out. Why do they think TWAW? Are they of the group that believes that somehow such individuals are some kind of intersex condition we don't yet understand? Or are they of the gender is different than sex persuasion? If the latter you could chip away a bit at things like sports when it comes up.

But I wouldn't push it too much, your parental relationship is more important than proving a particular point.

anonymice Tue 13-Oct-20 14:18:08

ask them why they can't just respect your differences (and not sling misogynist slurs at you while they are at it....)

DiscoJanet Tue 13-Oct-20 14:29:56

I would just ask them to explain to me why they believe gender identity trumps sex when it comes to sport, hospital wards, changing rooms, women's awards, shortlists, refuges, prisons, health/criminal stats etc.

It was the sports issue a few years ago that first got me awake to the whole issue, until then I hadn't really been aware of it. It's an easy one to grasp imo as sport is all about the physical nature of bodies so is easy to see why identity is so irrelevant, and basically impossible to argue objectively and logically why, if you believe in separating sexes at all, male bodies (even with modifications) should play alongside female bodies. I think anyone who grasps this will find it very hard to then go on to argue TW really AW.

NewlyGranny Tue 13-Oct-20 14:31:50

I've stopped discussing it with my adult offspring. The rate things are unravelling, it will all be history soon, and no doubt they'll be reinventing the past and telling me I was the one saying TWAW etc, because a mother's place is doubly on the wrong! (Female and superannuated)

persistentwoman Tue 13-Oct-20 14:32:29

Strategic ignoring. Don't take the bait and get involved - as Goosefoot says, our parental relationships are more important. I stuck with the mantra "You are entitled to your opinion as I am and I respect that. What you can't do is hand over other women's rights to privacy and safety. Now - who wants a cup of tea? (diversionary tactic familiar to all parents ) grin

I collated a short list of the most egregious issues (children and drugs / surgery, sport, all the sex offenders in women's prisons) and held them in my head for use at an appropriate time. Frankly I only used them on a few occasions. One day adult daughter told me that she fully agreed with my views and that she had changed her gym to one where she was guaranteed a woman only changing room (Ballantynes) .

She still worries about my safety but we're now on the same page which is great.

Lunasea Tue 13-Oct-20 14:40:51

I have the inverse of this situation. I’m a millennial woman and my mother thinks my concerns re single sex spaces / erasure etc are “transphobic”. Think that’s because my sister got to her first though. It sucks - she raised me to be a feminist. I feel very lonely - my partner and immediate family all think I’m bigoted.

Siameasy Tue 13-Oct-20 14:43:14

Sounds like something a teenager would say!
I usually talk about women who are vulnerable-Dame Tani Grey Thompson talked about the impact on her, a wheelchair user
Then you’ve homeless women, women in prisons, asylum seekers, girls in the care system, women under section in MH wards, ...these are the kind of women who get forgotten about as they aren’t glamorous

Kit19 Tue 13-Oct-20 14:43:41

that must be really hard Luna - youre not bigoted and you're not alone

EdgeOfACoin Tue 13-Oct-20 14:48:14

I don't have advice on difficult conversations.

Maybe drawing attention to the girls in Connecticut who are losing races and scholarships to Andraya Yearwood and Terry Miller would help. In order to be kind and inclusive, girls have to compete against biological males.

How would they feel about their daughters having to compete against athletes with a male size advantage, male skeleton and male lung capacity? Is that fair?

Also, perhaps ask them to tell you the characteristics that are shared by all women and transwomen that are not shared by any men or transmen. I've never once seen an answer to that question.

sunshinesupermum Tue 13-Oct-20 15:04:50

Cara Thanks for your advice. I almost sent them Rosie's interview - they don't subscribe to The Times so won't have read it, but thought I might be opening a can of worms. On reflection, having read DD1's retweet I think I will copy and paste it in an email. Head above parapet time!

Kit19 I've followed the Keira Bell case with great interest - no mention of it from either DD. Nice to have a place to vent, thanks!

anonymice I like your comment - I may not agree with their stance but I respect their right to express it as they should mine.

queenofknives Will check out the book. This has been the only major issue that we've ever disagreed upon and I'm pretty distressed about it tbh.

persistantwoman You made me smile! These discussions usually take place via email or more often Wattsapp, not f2f nowadays. Glad you and your DD are now on the same page.

Sympathy Lunasea both mine were raised as feminists but are now ashamed of me!

exwhyzed What is a MERF?

OP’s posts: |
CaraDuneRedux Tue 13-Oct-20 15:15:33

Maybe not cut and paste the whole thing, maybe just say that you read the interview and her views are much more nuanced than they're being portrayed, and surely whatever her opinions, no woman should be getting death threats.

But agree with Goosefoot - softly softly approach to keep the parent child relationship ticking over.

sunshinesupermum Tue 13-Oct-20 15:18:59

You're right Cara I'll keep it simple.

OP’s posts: |
Thehollyandtheirony Tue 13-Oct-20 15:45:48

I would start by having zero tolerance to the level of rudeness in your DD’s tweet. No matter what she believes, she should be able to express herself in a respectful manner. She is directly contributing to a female MP feeling unsafe.

Babdoc Tue 13-Oct-20 15:57:04

Maybe reflect their nonsensical beliefs back to them:
“You’re absolutely right, darling, of course naked male rapists should be in women’s communal prison showers with them. If Karen White says he’s a woman, it’s fine for him to commit 4 sexual assaults there.
And yes, of course male athletes should take all the women’s medals in the Olympics, and of course girls shouldn’t get sports scholarships to uni when boys want to take them instead.
And who cares if women rugby players get paralysed or killed by men tackling them? As long as the men identify as women, it’s more important for them to be validated than for women to be safe playing single sex sport.
And I’m sure you’ll be perfectly comfortable alone in a changing room with a male flasher, as long as he pretends to be trans while he leers at you. And you don’t mind men planting mini webcams in your toilets to film you on the loo, do you. It’s a big porn category online nowadays, so that’s nice, isn’t it? You can be an unwitting porn star”
Tinkly laugh. Job done.

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