Nailing my colours to the mast … a little bit late

I wrote a draft of this post over the weekend, and events have overtaken me, as Gender Trender is now back on line. I’m still putting up the post, as this is unlikely to be the last time a woman expressing an opinion about gender gets trampled on.

It’s amusing to watch the Guardian bend over backwards in an attempt to atone for their sins. For example, here, we have a male transvestite telling us that sexism is bad, and how we should do feminism – thanks Guardian! I couldn’t have worked any of that out with out a man with a femininity fetish telling me first!

It’s worth pointing out, also, that trans women actually have more legal protections that FAB women. Hate crimes against transgender people are (rightly) recognised under law, but hate crimes against women are still treated as acts of individualised, isolated violence that have no wider meaning in relation to misogyny and women’s low social status.


I should have written something sooner.

I should have written something back in 2012 when ‘The Cotton Ceiling’, a manifesto for bullying and manipulating lesbians into having sex with male-bodied trans women, happened.

I should have written something when RadFem2012 was banned from Conway Hall, because Conway Hall decided that women politically organising together in a women-only space discriminated against men.

I should have written something when trans women organisers of the NYC Dyke March took part in harassing and threatening Cathy Brennan, and when part of the march was the ‘Hole-y Army’, trans and ‘queer’ women ‘celebrating’ women as ‘holes’ to be ‘fucked’.

I am saying something now. Gallus Mag, the author of the Gender Trender blog, has been locked out of her own account. This happened after she reported on the Observer’s censorship of Julie Burchill’s column, which Burchill wrote in defence of Suzanne Moore, after Moore (and her children) were bombarded with rape and death threats because Moore refused to offer a grovelling apology for the line “We [women] are angry with ourselves for not being happier, not being loved properly and not having the ideal body shape – that of a Brazilian transsexual.”

This isn’t new, the liberal-left press, such as the Guardian/Observer and liberal ‘feminist’ blogs such as ‘the F-word’ have operated near total censorship on this issue for some time now, so that even talking about the subject in a way that isn’t in line with current trans dogma is labelled ‘transphobia’ and silenced (and I mean real silencing, as in having your words erased, not the identity politics version of silencing, as in ‘being disagreed with‘).

‘Transphobia’ has become a convenient excuse for hating women. Trans women, ‘cis’ men (and some female-assigned-at-birth women) love nothing more than to threaten women and girls with torture, mutilation, rape and death. If the woman in question has committed the crime of ‘transphobia’, the threats become ‘progressive’, they become ‘social justice’.

Trans dogma is harmful to all female-assigned-at-birth (FAB) women and girls, it is harmful to lesbians, it is harmful to gay men (who get harassed for not wanting to have sex with female bodied persons).

It is actively, materially dangerous for gender non-conforming children.

Trans dogma has reached the point where it is an accepted truth that ‘gender’, the set of cultural norms that is built on sex hierarchies and women’s social and reproductive oppression, is hard-wired into our brains, even though gender norms vary across societies and through time, and our brains in infancy are very plastic, so that we do a lot of our development outside of the womb, in society; while ‘biological sex’, the idea that a penis is a male reproductive sexual organ, and a vagina a female reproductive sexual organ, is a social construct.

Trans dogma says that there is no such thing as a woman (but trans women are still real women), that ‘woman’ does not exist as a social-political category that a female baby (and a number of intersex babies) will be placed into at birth, and denies that this categorisation makes any real difference to a woman’s life experiences.

Trans dogma says that there is no such thing as a woman, except as a feeling inside a man’s head. Trans dogma says that there is no universal experience of being a woman, but, at the same time, that a man who spent his whole childhood as a male, who developed a career in a male-dominated industry as a male, who married and fathered children as a male, who then decides to ‘transition’ in middle age, experienced misogyny exactly the same as a FAB women did growing up female.

Trans dogma says there is no such thing as male privilege, that FAB women are privileged over trans women because we are ‘allowed’ to be feminine, that we oppress trans women simply by existing in our female bodies.

Trans dogma says that everybody oppresses everybody else, but that trans women are always the ‘Most Oppressed People on the Planet Ever’ (really? Try being a baby girl born into poverty in China or Africa or India).

Trans dogma refuses to name the agent when it comes to the real actual violence experienced by any gender non-conforming person (whether they call themselves ‘trans’ or not): men. Men are the ones beating and raping and murdering women and children and gay men and trans, but according to trans dogma it’s FAB women committing this violence.

Trans dogma says that only trans suffer from body dysphoria (or, rather, it is the only suffering that matters), and that ‘cis’ women are all happy with their bodies, perform gender roles perfectly, and are happy doing so.

Trans dogma says that nobody’s ‘gender identity’ can ever be questioned, making it easy for male sexual predators to use ‘gender identity’ as an tool for accessing women’s and girls’ safe spaces (toilets, changing rooms, homeless shelters).

Trans dogma says that any gender non-conforming child should be given powerful medication to block puberty and cause sterility (in preparation for a life-time of ‘sex change’ surgeries and drugs), even though there are no studies on the long-term effects of such drugs, and even though most gender non-conforming children do not grow up to be ‘trans’.

A significant number of such children will grow up to be gay, and the implications of this should be obvious; trans dogma is about disappearing gay and gender non-conforming children, it is about violently policing sexuality and gender norms.

Trans dogma says that the above is ‘breaking down’ gender binaries.

Trans dogma says that reproductive rights aren’t about protecting women from death or disability or a life-time of economic and social dependency on a violent man or a violent state, but that it is about a trans woman’s right to genital surgery.

Trans dogma tells women that they need to use a trigger warning every time they write about menstruation.

Trans dogma tells women who have experienced sexual abuse at the hands of men that they are not allowed to be triggered by penises.

Trans dogma says that any FAB woman from history who disguised herself as a man, to go to war, to get an education, to live with a female lover, or simply to live freely, was actually a ‘trans man’, because nobody who does anything strong or brave can possibly have a puny ‘female brain’.

Trans dogma is destroying feminism and harming FAB women and girls, and I am sorry I have not said this sooner.

9 responses

  1. Poof – biological women disappear – because biological males who claim they can ‘magically become “real women” say so. In other words patriarchal reversal logic in action. ‘Gender’ becomes ‘biological sex’ and ‘biological sex’ becomes ‘gender.’

    Lesbian women do not exist because they are really males in a female body – now where have I read this misogynist lie before? Why from male so-called medical experts who were determined to enforce the binary of biological male domination over female submission.

    The number of males who claim to be female being subjected to male violence are tiny compared to the mundane everyday male violence inflicted on women and girls – but we mustn’t say this because it is transphobic. Good word ‘transphobic’ because it is used by males and their female handmaidens to silence and threaten biological women who dare to proclaim ‘look the Emperor has no clothes.’

    Trans dogma is male supremacist latest tool in its never-ending war on women and because it is biological women being erased and silenced biological left-wing men are rejoicing.

  2. Reblogged this on loveangellove.

  3. Hello! I really agree with almost everything you said, I’m always reading your blog because I’m very very anti pornography, but as a brazilian fab woman, feminist activist and left-winger I found this: “We [women] are angry with ourselves for not being happier, not being loved properly and not having the ideal body shape – that of a Brazilian transsexual.” kind of tactless and a bit racist. Brazil is kind of shitty about treating transwomen, most of them are forced into prostitution, and that says a lot about how brazilian society treats women in general. I’m being picky about this because I’m fucking tired of my country being treated as some sort of sexual tourism paradise. I say “no” to this. Brazilian women are exploited as a whole group and we suffer a lot because of patriarchy and capitalism and we are organizing and fighting our way to independence. We elected a left wing woman as president for the first time two years ago. I really want to kick in the balls every f-cking gringo who come here looking for sex trade. So, please, please, don’t picture brazilian women, brazilian transwomen, etc as some sort of perfect bodied always available prostitute, this is a myth created by porn industry, it’s harmful to us and sad.

  4. Hello starry_doll,

    I don’t think there’s anything wrong with labeling the original phrase as tactless or a little bit racist, and you have every right to be angry about the racist, sexualised stereotypes of Latina women held by many white people.

    This isn’t really about Brazilian women, or Brazilian trans women, and it isn’t about saying it’s ok to objectify Brazilian women, or Brazilian trans women, it’s about how it’s now basically a thought crime to say that gender is a social construct, and now so-called ‘social justice warriors’ say it’s ok to physically attack women if they dare to publicly express an opinion on gender that doesn’t tow the trans party line.

  5. Hello sister! Thanks for understanding. I’m sorry for going further on this off-topic rant, but the remark on Brazilian transwomen was a diversion from the theme of the topic to me. I believe “how it’s now basically a thought crime to say that gender is a social construct” is a very worrisome situation and this should concern all women and feminist in every country where sexism is still a problem and that previous quote made me feel kind of excluded as a women from Brazil. What if they had said: “We [women] are angry with ourselves for not being happier, not being loved properly and not having the ideal breast size – that of a American hooters’ waitress”? – I think it’s not proper to make a stereotyped statement based on country of origin when you want all women to stand against patriarchy, because we know how pornography lies about the bodies and the sexuality of women of every country.

    I really stand against these “sexualised stereotypes of Latina women held by many white people.” – Including the prejudice held by white people from Latin American countries. I think “latina” is a identity that mainly refers to south americans who immigrate to the USA or to European countries and it sometimes erases the racial inequality within south american countries. It’s important to note that class and race are intertwined here, so black/brown women (here people will identify race by skin and hair colour instead of country of origin, this just to say that race is a social construct) are discriminated here too and they are the poorest members of society. While all Latinas are seem as the same when they immigrate, usually white people here immigrate for different reasons than those of people of colour, because they came from different economical backgrounds. White people will immigrate to study another language and to experience a foreign culture, because they grandparents where European and they want to visit the country of origin of their family, sometimes they get underpaid jobs to cover their living expenses pretty much as students anywhere will do to pay school expenses, etc. Women of colour and from poor backgrounds decide to immigrate because actually there’s no difference when you’ll work as a house cleaner (and this is the standard job for lower class women of colour here, we just passed a law in Brazil to regulate and protect their profession but it’s still a major problem that they are still exercising the jobs of their great-grandmother who where slaves, this means society wasn’t able to integrate them even if they are given so called “civil rights”) if your boss speaks your own language or another, if the police will treat you like trash anyway, if the society erases you and your racial identity, etc. The only actual difference is that they are being paid in dollars or euros (just to give some idea of what this means, for a Brazilian maid it’s twice or thrice of what she’d be paid in here), so it’s a very rational choice. I’m just saying this because the “Latina” identity was constructed based mainly on immigration imo and I think it can hide the reality of black/brown south american people in their own countries, including the fact that there’s class inequality, police violence and racism in their countries of origin, usually much worse than what they’ll face in another foreign country.

    Sorry about this very long off-topic rant again! Back to the main topic, as a social scientist I’m always having heated arguments with biologists and “born this way” advocates. I think this is one of the things that most annoys me in many mainstream LGBT groups and in the current media speech on this matter. I cringe every time someone starts “I am in such way because my brain was hard wired, because of hormones, because I have such gens, blah blah” goddamn. I’m a bisexual woman (and politically lesbian as Andrea Dworkin would put it) and I’m sure I don’t have gay or straight gens, bisexual gens or a more “feminine” brain or a more “masculine” brain or whatever, this is all pseudoscience bullshit. We must always reinforce that gender and sexuality are social constructs. This and that gender in the way it’s understood in the current society oppresses women.

    Thanks again and strength to us all!

    ps: changed my nickname, I don’t remember why I was using the other silly one haha. I think I was using it to comment on random pop culture blogs or perhaps to preserve personal information.

  6. Hello Ana,

    Your comments here are more than welcome, and a discussion of the intersection of sex, race and class is not off topic at all!

    I think Moore’s original comment was probably seen by her at the time as quite throw-away, I bet she never imagined it would blow up the way it did. I guess the point she wanted to make is that no woman in her natural state is ever ‘good enough’ – consider that one of the hottest super models modelling women’s clothes right now is actually male!

    Thank you for the info re. the term ‘Latinas’; I realise now it’s only something I’ve heard in reference to women of Latin American origin/decent living in North America, and I appreciate that it may not usefully cover the experiences of all South American women.

    “We must always reinforce that gender and sexuality are social constructs. This and that gender in the way it’s understood in the current society oppresses women.”

    Yes, exactly! Human brains are very plastic, and a lot of a baby’s development takes place within society not in the womb, which is why human beings are so adaptive, and have managed to populate the entire globe without splitting off into new species!

  7. […] Secondly, and more selfishly, I didn’t want to draw a shit-storm down upon myself, but I survived my previous forays into this subject practically unscathed, and the subject has become too mainstream, and too important, to stay quiet […]

  8. […] is a social construct, and a hierarchy, and it is harmful to feminism and to all women. I have written about this before, and I highly recommend this post from Liberation Collective on the […]

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