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Feminism: Sex & gender discussions

Good article by Janice Turner on trans issue today

20 replies

KarlosKKrinkelbeim · 14/05/2016 18:34


so rare to see sense talked on this issue. I can't help but think that if I suffered from gender dysphoria, I'd be mightily pissed off at fools claiming to be "gender fluid" when what they really mean is they don't fit in with stereotypical gender roles. Show me someone who does, mate. Using that criteria we'd all be queuing up for surgery.

OP posts:
ThroughThinkandThing · 14/05/2016 19:28

I saw this and was just about to post -such a sensible piece! I think it encapsulated everything I feel about the whole issue.

TheCountessofFitzdotterel · 14/05/2016 20:16

Excellent article.

SeaWitchly · 14/05/2016 22:44

Unfortunately I don't have a Times online subscription so can't read this article.

Could anyone paraphrase the best bits for me or even cut and paste if possible?

megletthesecond · 14/05/2016 23:13

I broke my 'Murdoch is a bastard' Times boycott to buy it for the JT article (saw it mentioned on twitter). Good piece.

singingsixpence82 · 14/05/2016 23:43

Is there a way to get the article without paying £20? - Their pricing options seem deliberately confusing...

BombadierFritz · 14/05/2016 23:45

If you missed it, it was a summary of most of the threads on here. V good i thought.

ThroughThinkandThing · 14/05/2016 23:57

The trans lobby peddles a pink and blue world

Being a girl who likes trucks or a boy who wears nail polish doesn't make you gender fluid, it just makes you human

Over dinner a younger friend said he thought I was "gender fluid". I was taken aback. He was, I suspect, half-joking. But his inference was clear. I'm quite a "strapping" build, I rarely wear heels, I'm stroppy, opinionated, I hate shopping and like muddy boot camps. So, by modern definitions, I can't be wholly female, rather somewhere along a spectrum between male and female.

I'd never thought about my gender identity before. It hadn't occurred to me that not being a "girly" girl meant I wasn't 100 per cent woman. The point, I've always believed, is to expand the categories "man" and "woman", to tear down pink and blue prisons. So a little girl can like trucks, spacemen, getting dirty and still be a girl; a boy can put on nail polish, play with dolls and be no less a boy.

But it is not so simple now. I was speaking to a student I've known since she was 11: quirky, funny, inventive, always making mayhem with my son. Later she found the flicky-haired, make-up mad teen-girl scene cloying and repressive. She read Caitlin Moran's book, found feminism and herself. "But if I was 13 now," she says, "I'd be reading online trans forums and thinking that maybe I wasn't really a girl."

This is where we are now. On Radio 4's Today programme yesterday we heard from 16-year-old Colin, who transitioned into a male two years ago. A tomboy who wore boys' clothes when a little girl, at 14 he "identified with people I saw on the internet" and now straps down his breasts with painful binders. We heard a nine-year-old trans girl called Poppy who as an "effeminate" boy was bullied "so I changed to a girl and they liked me more".

As the head of the Tavistock clinic reported, her patients were once a very few, distressed young people, suffering from gender dysphoria, a psychological condition in which they had an overwhelming belief that they were born in the wrong body. Now a new, larger wave of patients, like Colin and Poppy, were emerging whose desire to transition may be stimulated by external ideas. Some are heading towards surgery and/or heavy, lifelong hormones that render them infertile.

A letter from Brighton and Hove city council recently asked parents to help their reception class four-year-olds choose the gender "they most identify with". How stressful for parents. What if my son is too keen on the dressing-up box? If my little girl says "I hate pink, I must be a boy", do you reply "pink sucks, wear what you like" or, as trans campaigners advise, honour your child's "true" gender?

I knew a four-year-old who swore he was a dog, yet children that age are now encouraged to change their names and gender pronouns. The plasticity of infant identity, the ever-evolving personalities of the very young, are seen as set; even though 80 per cent of children who identify as opposite gender grow out of it, the majority turning out to be lesbian or gay.

The trans cause is hailed as the latest liberation struggle. And we should defend trans men and women from discrimination and the hideous violence many have endured. But this should not stop us opposing a view of gender, spun off from the trans movement, that is as conservative as the Mad Men 1950s. Until recently Eddie Izzard was a transvestite, wearing skirts and make-up: "These aren't women's clothes," he'd say, "they're my clothes". Like Bowie, Prince and Grayson Perry, he made the category of man bigger, brighter, less confined. Now Izzard says he has "boy genetics and girl genetics". Filmed rushing into a manicurist, he gushed: "Being a transgender guy, I do like my nails."

Men, I've found, can't understand why this enrages women. Why are feminist ladies so mean to Eddie? Well, because he's no longer saying "I'm a bloke who likes pretty nails". He has declared: "Because I like pretty nails I am female." He is reducing being a woman down to make-up and sparkly shoes. By which definition, he's more woman than "gender fluid" ol' me.

In America a debate is raging about access to bathrooms by transgender students. In North Carolina and Mississippi, state legislatures have passed laws saying that students must only use toilets of their born gender, causing fears that trans girls in particular will be humiliated and attacked in boys' lavatories. Barack Obama this week threatened to withdraw federal funding from these states unless they desist.

Such ugly, hateful laws have grown from bigotry and disgust. But also from the ever-expanding mission of the trans movement itself, which demands that anyone who identifies as female - even born men who've never had surgery or hormones and who still have beards - be allowed into women's changing rooms. I don't care if a transitioned woman changes beside me. No doubt plenty have and I never noticed. But the idea that any man who just "feels" female can barge in unchallenged has caused understandable unease. Instead of addressing fears, activists scream transphobia, and from the ensuing polarised debate come bathroom laws.

The challenge now is how to support genuine, heartfelt young trans people, while addressing an internet culture that lures teenagers, amid the maelstrom of adolescence, towards ever greater confusion. At heart the trans lobby upholds the same nonsense that underpins porn and men's mags and the Tea Party right: that men are muscly hunks and women are passive pink fem-bots. To feel you are neither doesn't make you gender fluid - or any of the other 72 crazy gender categories on Facebook - it just makes you human.

By Janice Turner

(All mistakes my own).

SocialDisaster · 15/05/2016 00:04

I heard Eddie Izzard is trying to get on the exec in the labour party, is this true?

NoodleEatingPoodle · 15/05/2016 00:12

Thank you, ThinkAndThing Cake

Good article, definitely gleaned largely from these threads, but that's no bad thing as this is where the issue is being discussed intelligently and eloquently.

singingsixpence82 · 15/05/2016 00:38

Thanks TTAT - really interesting and while I agree it sums up discussions on these parts, she put some points in a way I hadn't heard them before - I thought her points were very effective.

LassWiTheDelicateAir · 15/05/2016 10:17

I heard Eddie Izzard is trying to get on the exec in the labour party, is this true?

He was standing for the Labour party NEC earlier this year. Not clear if he was successful.

MyCrispBag · 15/05/2016 10:25

I posted a video by this person before but this is a different one. The maker is a transwoman who has been trans for 13 years. Here they go through their drug regimen.

SocialDisaster · 15/05/2016 10:34

I was given Zolodex for Endo twice once for three months and once for six months and told I could not ever have it again .

MyCrispBag · 15/05/2016 10:34

Interesting comment on that video -

"Umm, this is not a trans woman. It is either a hoax or they are a (bad) part timer. Her, voice, makeup ... after 13 years you would learn to get it right."

The voice was explained in the last video when they said they couldn't be arsed doing it. The makeup? I think it's fine? What's up with it? I mean it may not be to everyones taste but it is fairly average. Is it not 'trans' enough?

HumphreyCobblers · 15/05/2016 10:55

That is a brilliant article. Well done Janice.

I hope there is no massive backlash for her.

314inTheSkye · 15/05/2016 11:05

That is how I feel too. Thanks ThoughThinkandThink.

Isn't it ''jungian'' (?) that we all have anima and animus within us and that's the case for males and females. But transgender movements come along and make that normal likelihood of being human and having two sides ''gender fluidity'' when for decades it's just been normal.

I wonder am I supposed to care that people who identify with being a different gender can't use the women's toilets when in fact I've happily queue dodged and used the men's toilets often enough. I don't paint my nails very often, so Eddie Izard's comments would have exasperated me too.

grimbletart · 15/05/2016 12:15

Seems like this transgender 'fashion" grew out of the all things pink and sparkly fashion.

QueenLaBeefah · 15/05/2016 12:31

I do think that a lot of what we have talked about on the Feminist boards is about to go mainstream. And I think the trans movements days are numbered.

darceybussell · 15/05/2016 12:44

Wow I had no idea people on MN thought the same as me. I had just thought I wasn't allowed to express my views as it would offend people.

I remember learning at university about what people need to do to be legally recognised as the opposite sex. The rules were that they had to 'live as' that sex for 2 years.

I asked the tutor WTAF does that mean. As a woman how am I 'living' differently to a man? Are we basically saying that a man needs to wear a skirt for 2 years and then we will consider his application to be a woman? Isn't that just completely superficial?

I didn't get an answer to that at the time and I've never really understood what it is about 'identifying' as the opposite sex that isn't just about clothes and hair and make up. I have been waiting for someone to explain it to me thinking that I just didn't understand. Turns out I do understand and people agree with me too!

meddie · 15/05/2016 13:04

I,ve actually bought up the potential change in law to self identification twice in the last few days with 2 different groups of friends and 100% they had no idea it was on the cards.
Only 1 person out of about 12 actually knew that transwomen often dont have genital surgery or dont want genital surgery. they all believed that transgender meant 'transexual' to use the historic term.
All the women saw almost immediately that this change in law could be abused by predatory males and were quite shocked that this could be allowed to happen. Tara Hudson was brought up in a whatabout way and not one knew that she still had a fully functioning penis. It was reassuring to see how quickly they all reached similar conclusions to the thoughts expressed on this forum.

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