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Transcritical

Guest post by Keely Emerine-Mix

Under no circumstances, ever, at any time, is it appropriate to compare the legitimate, factual, courageous, moral imperative that spurred the Civil Rights movement of the 1960s with the attempts by transwomen to access intimate female spaces. Ever.

Do not conflate Jim Crow and the segregation of public spaces by whites against Black people with attempts to open women’s bathrooms, shelters, prisons, locker rooms, and other female-only spaces to male-born people. Don’t cry that this is “the New Civil Rights frontier!” Don’t suggest that the injury to men correctly barred from women’s private spaces is anything even remotely like the humiliation, hatred, and hurt caused to people of color during the years of legal public segregation. And whatever you do, do not suggest that the preening belligerence displayed by men who demand entry into women’s spaces is really just the same bedrock courage, dignity, passion, and righteousness of those who occupied lunch counters and public toilets to win for others basic civil rights.

It’s not simply incorrect. It’s delusional; more than that, it’s ignorant in the extreme and criminally, obscenely, arrogant.

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Guest post by k8 monsta

Editor’s Note: Horton is a Women’s Holiday Centre set up in England in 1979.  It offers low-price holiday accommodation, in a friendly and supportive environment, for women and children who were otherwise restricted by their circumstances. It was made possible by donations from women and many hours of women’s volunteer time. Thousands of women, children and groups have used the house and it has become a well-established and well-used resource for women in the north of England and beyond. The House has been sustained successfully since then through a combination of income from visitors, donations and fundraising, and many hard working volunteers.

As a women’s holiday centre, Horton’s policy says “we are able only to welcome women born women and living as women.” So it is unsurprising that it has attracted the attention of those who support “trans women” i.e. men, who want to be able to go there. A petition has been created which states “We are 65 women who have either visited or would potentially like to visit the Women’s Holiday Centre, and who feel strongly that you should change your Gender Identity policy.”

This has sparked much discussion on Horton’s Facebook group. This post is based on a comment by woman about her views about Horton and the need for truly women-only space.

Here we have a woman saying that these men are “more of a woman than me”…

I’m thinking of the Brit guy, the bloke who was a boxing promoter for twenty years… He was a father to several kids, a husband, obviously a son and quite possibly a brother…
Trying to get my head around this geezer being “more of a woman than me”….

Are we plumbing new depths of masochistic self abnegation here?
Is this altruism raised to a new power of lunacy?

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-Janet Mock, Author of Redefining Realness (former title: Fish Food)-

-Janet Mock, Author of Redefining Realness-

Janet Mock is a transwoman author who has strong opinions on gender and the sex industry shared in this memoir. Mock discusses many topics, but this review will cover five: essentialism, the term “cis”, the term “fish”, hormone blockers for children, and the sex industry.

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This is my response to the reactionary and misguided “A Statement of Trans-Inclusive Feminism and Womanism” (The Statement) posted at FeministsFightingTransphobia.wordpress.com.

We can all agree, I think, that people’s actual lives are more important than theoretical abstractions– including those related to “identity.” This is precisely why, as feminists, we demand acknowledgement for the lived realities and material conditions of women’s lives, including the social mechanics of sex-and-gender-assignment that ultimately give rise to women’s oppression. But beyond this, there are a truly alarming number of misrepresentations, inconsistencies, and logical errors in The Statement. I will address many of them below.

First things first, I want to point out that characterizing gender critical feminists as “transphobic feminists” remains unsupported where “transphobia” is not defined. Repeated use of this term to demonize a certain kind of political speech or political actor is clearly intended to be insulting rather than instructive; it serves as a way to shame us and any of our potential supporters into silence. Personally, I have no intention of insulting other feminists and escalating hostility by using similar epithets to describe them or their political views. 

Throughout this response I will refer to myself and others who share my general view of gender as gender critical feminists (no acronym). Because that’s what we do. We are feminists who criticize gender as a harmful social construct that distributes power unequally.

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In a recent anti-radical feminist screed, published prominently on several leftist blogs, a trans* activist attempted to equate gender critical analysis with homophobia. This is the latest twist on the conflation of the lesbian and gay rights political movement with the trans* political movement. And it’s the latest indication that it will be lesbians, other women, and girls who are most harmed by that conflation.

Though there are claims that our groups have reason to have a strong political alliance, it’s arguable that Gay, Inc. – the large, well-funded and influential political groups – created this conflation simply to increase funding and reach. There doesn’t seem to have been a period of time where lesbians and gay men were allowed any discussion or input about this decision. But there are obvious reasons to question the unholy alliance.

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IDENTITY VERSUS SOCIALIZATION

I want to explore what “woman” means when male-born persons can be “women” just the same as female-born persons.

Most significantly, the term “woman” must be disconnected from the socio-historic context that gives the term coherency in the first place. Without any material or experiential framework “woman’s” origin becomes irrelevant; she can be anything or nothing at all.

When male-born persons can be “women” just the same as female-born persons, the skin-deep veneer of social identity is being substituted for the complex, lifelong process of class-based socialization. This is neoliberal individualist choice-theory masquerading as the politics of liberation.

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Guest Post by DragonDyke

A trans-abled person is someone who wishes they had a particular disability, and, as much as possible, lives their life as if they actually had that disability. This could mean using a wheelchair whilst being capable of walking, not using a limb that feels alien or any other number of variations. Often individuals will think of self-harm or actually attempt it in the hopes of bringing about the desired disability and some trans-abled people seek surgery from professionals.

Those who see themselves as trans-abled believe they have the right to live as if they had the disability they want. This is viewed as their right to personal freedom which doesn’t harm anyone else. They also point to the condition of Body Integrity Identity Disorder (BIID) – described as a psychological condition where an individual would feel happier e.g. living as an amputee – as a reason for their condition.

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Sex Role BoxesI was coercively assigned a sex role at birth. As soon as medical personnel saw that I didn’t have a penis, the process of putting me and keeping me in a very narrowly-defined box began. From then on I was coercively stopped from doing or being things associated with boys and coerced into doing and being things associated with girls. I fought many bitter, painful battles over years of being forced into that box. A handful of those battles I won; most I lost, because the full power of adults was brought to bear to keep me in my proper sex role.

It’s intensely frustrating that in the intervening years experiences like this have continued for girls and boys. But worse, rather than meaningful progress toward simply allowing children to live their lives outside of any box, there is now a very powerful movement that claims that forcing children into the other restrictive sex role box is the solution. The problem, these people claim, is not that the person was coercively assigned a sex role at all, it’s that they were coercively assigned the incorrect sex role, and that (of course!) can be fixed by adopting the other sex role.

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(Note : this post was inspired by a comment I made over on the Ms. Magazine)1

If you’ve been paying attention to latest events and declarations by transwomen and transfeminists, you might be wondering, like I am, why transfeminism contains the word “feminism” at all.  Feminism is about the liberation of FEMALES/WOMEN from the system of MALE/MEN’S dominance (patriarchy), so one would expect any term containing the word “feminism” to have at least *some* connection to females (I am using the word female here to mean the majority of women in the world who have been assigned female at birth, including intersex, and raised as girls/women, in contrast to trans women, who were assigned male at birth,  have lived and been socialized as men, and remain biologically male even after -or if- they transition).  And yet, as transfeminism becomes more mainstream, it seems to be narrowly focused on only a few issues that are specific to trans people only, and not even exclusive to trans WOMEN.

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The ‘crimen exceptum’  idea is at the base of every inquisition, personal, political, religious or secular State-sanctioned.  The “crime” is considered to be so exceptional, that all the usual rules and processes of common law, especially rational evidence, is not needed to sentence the accused.  You do not need to be tried and convicted on any rational evidence, just accused of it.  Preferably accused by an angry lynch mob which hates you.  Even just a very small lynch mob if they are powerful enough with the support of the state and its various institutions and networks. If the hated accused does go to the law for assistance, it is always a sham, a fake trial and everybody knows the outcome.

Whether it be witchcraft, heresy, treason against the nation-state, a Jew, a Red under the bed, or today – someone accused of transphobia, it is based on the rule of the lynch mob. The crimen exceptum requires the suspension of processes of justice, including the common use of state-sanctioned propaganda and even torture in some cases. Throughout human history, just being a female perceived as being independent of male control systems has always been the crimen exceptum.  Two or more such females seen talking together is the worst crime of all. Read More

Guest Post by Dragon Dyke.

The latest slogan of the trans activists is ‘my feminism will be intersectional or it will be bull shit’. The current trans obsession with intersectionality is a major cause for concern, and a trans co-option of intersectional theory could have disastrous consequences for the political struggles of all subordinate groups.

Trans activists are co-opting political movements and the ultimate trans agenda is to remove the rights of all subordinate groups to self-determination and movements for liberation. I do not believe that most individuals who identify as trans or their allies are consciously planning the depoliticisation of class based oppressions. Trans is a structural and colonising tactic – a tool of the patriarchy, but if you buy into trans theory, that is what you are buying into.

The trans cooption of feminism and the attacks of the right of the female class to collective self-determination is the beginning of what I believe will end up being a long running movement to co-opt all struggles of subordinate groups. Trans is a growing movement and it is no longer only focused on trans sex and trans gender. New trans movements focus on trans abled and trans age, and any day now I am expecting to see the emergence of white men who claim to be trans race. As with trans genderism, these new trans movements are largely based on the sexual fetishisation of the subordinate group. So what is the scope of the trans project and what is the impact this growing movement will have on all subordinate classes?

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There is lots of talk about what “woman” means. It’s practically a cliche feminist topic! But the debate takes on new meaning in light of transsexuality’s destructive “gender” conservatism. Post-modern anti-essentialism seeks to dismiss the experience of womanhood by claiming that anyone can choose to be a woman and, in any case, we are too diverse to be generalized about. This is not true. Women are all subject to the tyranny of compulsory heterosexuality that dictates the sexual-ized behavior of humans according to the mutually exclusive classifications of “man” and “woman.” Women have shared life experiences as “girls” and as “women.” Radical feminist theory seeks to expose the ways in which trans theory, like patriarchal reality, denies female self-determination and imposes upon women their own false (read: male-serving) definition OF “woman.” Read More

Guest Post by AMAZON MANCRUSHER

This post is for all of my sisters, but in particular my sisters who are involved in queer activism. Like most of my recent radical feminist writing, it won’t be popular with queer identifying people, but I believe it important for me to write about my perceptions of queer culture, because I do not believe queer will liberate women, anymore than any other patriarchal culture. For me, queer culture almost eliminated me as a woman.

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