CW: Transphobia, homophobia
Last month I wrote an essay about the ideological conflicts between Radical Feminism and the trans movement. While it was mostly well received, there were a few trans people who expressed concern that I was blaming trans people for their own mistreatment. I was initially dismissive and hostile towards these criticisms because I felt as though they were actively looking for signs of disloyalty and picking it apart despite it clearly not being my intention. I had seen how quick trans people are to turn on their supporters and I often felt as though I would be eviscerated for not holding the exact same viewpoints.
I believed there was something wrong with the trans community in their hostility towards opposition, and for all I know there might be. To be honest I’m not entirely sure since I’m only one woman, but I do accept the possibility that there are people who are trans and are also narcissistic, misogynist, violent, abusive, or unstable. These are all human qualities though. You will find these types of people in every sex, gender, race, sexual orientation, ideology, religion, or social class that has ever existed. If you ever judge the entirety of these groups by their worst members yet do not hold your own group to the same standards, you’re a gigantic hypocrite!
I have been… far more sympathetic to TERFs then most trans activists have been, and the reason why is because I highly empathize with the feeling that no one cares about how you feel yet demands you to sympathize with a certain group of people. I’m an ex anti feminist, and I find that a lot of TERFs remind me of myself prior to becoming one. I do not agree with them and their beliefs, but I can sympathize with that feeling because at the time I just wanted people to hear me out.
But there was a reason that I stopped being anti feminist. I stopped because the hatred and hostility I held towards all feminists was precisely what was preventing me from having any peaceful or civil dialogue. They assumed it was not possible because I kept throwing out extremist statements about how feminists are a misandrist hate group who don’t actually care about women other than themselves. I made those statements precisely because they were extreme; I was hoping that one of them would give me a reason to believe otherwise.
But that’s just not how people work. I didn’t start meeting the “nice feminists” until after I calmed down a bit. At that point I even became friends with some and they opened my eyes to the wider scope of things. As time went on I became far more passionate and committed to feminist ideology and sought to teach it to people in easier ways to understand.
I often refer to myself as a trans activist, but one will notice that there is not a lot of trans related activity on my part outside of my writing and on Twitter. The reason why is because weaving my own personal life and other hobbies makes for a more humanizing vision of what being trans is like. Trans people… are people just like everyone else; the only difference is that we want to live as a gender as one other than what we were assigned at birth.
But some people just don’t want to let that happen. Several activist groups are insistent on blocking all legislation that exists to protect trans people or by spreading harmful stereotypes and social stigmas. This is not even taking into account all the violent hate crimes and discrimination that many of us are subject to for simply existing and wanting to be treated with dignity and respect.
I’m sure we all know how it is by now. A marginalized group demands their rights to be treated equally and and the masses are totally divided on in. On one hand you have reasonable human beings who don’t think being different is inherently wrong or should be punished. On the other hand, you have selfish pricks who want things to stay the same as they are because THEY are happy that way and don’t want to inconvenience themselves to make any changes to their way of life. Oh, but they totally aren’t bigots or anything as long as this minority group just stays in their lane!
But maybe I’m oversimplifying things a bit. People have many of their own personal reasons for coming to the conclusions they do and there are various nuances that could come into play. It’s not so much as “one or the other” more so than a spectrum. On the furthest to the right you have Nazis errr I mean “alt right” that believe trans people are degenerate perverts that should be gassed but also secretly want to fuck Blaire White.
Somewhere near the center you have those that don’t HATE transgender people but just think that including trans women in women’s spaces is inherently dangerous for women because men may cross dress so they can sneak inside and raep all teh womenz. These people are typically highly ignorant of the realities of being trans and are praying on fears of trans women being predatory men, not to mention that they clearly do not give a fuck about trans people given the willingness to kick trans women out in the cold over a very small minority who assault cis women.
These people also definitely don’t hate trans people but get very pissed off if they are criticized for intentionally deadnaming or misgendering a trans person, believe that transgendity is a sexual fetish, claim that allowing trans teens to transition for the sake of their mental health is child abuse, think the T should be dropped from the LGBT acronym, think that there is nothing transphobic about telling trans lesbians and any cis lesbian partners of theirs that they aren’t real lesbians or saying that men who date or have sex with trans women are gay, who make jokes mocking trans people and refuse to take any responsibility when called out, or who harass any trans person on social media who tells them they are wrong.
Soooo, the question is whether this refers to TERFs such as Meghan Murphy or Magdalene Burns, or to anti feminist Neo Liberals like Laci Green or Chris Ray Gun? Unfortunately I cannot answer this question because I see very little difference between the two. However, I will say that calling Laci Green a TERF is giving her a bit too much benefit of the doubt seeing as how Laci subscribes to the same “feminist in name only” brand as Christina Hoff Sommers and Cassie Jaye. Plus no feminist should be able to fall in love with a chauvinistic douche like Chris Ray Gun unless she has a serious degradation kink going on… wait a minute, that explains everything!
And yes I am back to using the term “TERF” as well. If it sounds hurtful to you then I would suggest that you keep that in mind next time you insist on misgendering a trans person and trying to make them feel less valid. If you instead think they should just suck it up then that you have no reason to complain when the same logic is used against you. If you have never tried to make trans people feel dysphoric or attempted to spite them by misgendering them, then this does not apply to you.
“Oh but Annie, Laci and Chris say they don’t hate trans people and call them by the right pronouns and shit! How can you say they are on the same level as Murphy and Magdalene Burns?” The thing about this though is that a lot of TERFs don’t mind calling trans people they like by the right pronouns, they just don’t like that we expect them to do so. They’ll be nice to us as long as we stay in our lane and don’t inconvenience them, and whenever we go against their wishes they decide to punish us by revoking our pronoun privileges.
The underlying reason for this is that they don’t actually believe that trans women are women and trans men are men, and that’s all just the result of some political correctness bogeyman! It’s generally agreed upon that not believing that trans women are women and vice versa is transphobic, but some cis people contest that by saying “I don’t hate them so I’m definitely not transphobic!” thus proving that they don’t understand how prejudice works.
I doubt that someone like Roosh V will say that he “hates women” but that’s not what people are saying. Rather he holds a set of beliefs that is innately hateful towards women as a whole regardless of his actual character. Of course Douche V is well known for being a creepy rapist fuckboy but many of us fail to realize that prejudice or bigotry is not always indicative of one’s moral compass; that it is entirely possible for well meaning and kind hearted people to hold bigoted views.
Morality is never as simple as we make it out to be. Human nature is innately selfish and a lot of these negative aspects are pre programmed into us by default. But therein lies the problem; ignorance is only an excuse as long as you’ve never been told you’re wrong. The sheer fact that transgendity has become so much more accepted in the mainstream kills any validity of ignorance and the choice made to double down on what you were raised to believe instead of moving on is what determines their character.
That being said there could be many different reasons one holds an anti trans view, so what if they are not against trans people but are just against trans activists? Well in that case it depends on WHY you are against them. There have certainly been some trans activists who have advocated for violence and may have even engaged in it, but what excuse does one have for believing that ALL trans women are violent narcissistic woman haters? Furthermore if it’s only the violent activists you have a problem with then WHY do you insist on punching down at ALL trans people?
And no, having a trans person who thinks what you are doing is okay does not absolve you. If you make a transphobic joke and have a bunch of people telling you that it was transphobic, it probably was! And if you’re response is to double down on your shitty joke and say that they are just angry snowflakes being triggered, you probably ARE a transphobic asshole! You don’t just get to tell people what they can and can’t take offense to. You don’t get to cissplain to trans people what is and isn’t transphobic. And yes, trans people are not absolved from being transphobic. Chances are that if a cis person doing what you are doing would get you called a bigot, you’re doing something wrong.
And if you think this sounds harsh then I think you should know that I’m speaking from experience. I mentioned at the start that my “Radical Feminism and the Trans Movement” piece drew some criticism. To those people, I reacted precisely the way that I just described and I hurt some people really close to me as a result. It turns out that the worst I did was make a poor word choice to, yet I instead choose to act like them criticizing this piece meant THEY had problems and not me.
I have really grown to detest the “offense is given, not taken” mindset and I now assume that if someone believes it then they are likely an asshole. If a lot of people get pissed off at you then the constant in this situation is YOU! The course of action that a mature adult would take is to reflect on their own actions, figure out what they are doing that upsets people, and STOP FUCKING DOING IT!!! And yes, this also goes for some trans activists or leftist figures, but this attitude is far more common in the AIW crowd. If you choose to ignore when people are mad at you and keep doing what you are doing, don’t complain when a bunch of people are pissed off and hate you. Either deal with it or try to be less of an asshole.
“But what about how I feel? Are my own feelings supposed to not be taken into consideration? Am I inherently less important because I am not I minority?” No you are not but you also are not any more important. “Political correctness” exists for a reason. It was not created to arbitrarily give minorities the right to go around getting triggered over microaggressions or whatever shit AIWs think we do. It exists because when we didn’t have it, it lead to centuries of unchecked oppression and discrimination that have had lasting effects that still persist to this day.
Yes political correctness has many negative effects that heighten sensitivity and prevent rational discussion of controversial subjects, and it also ensures that more people will only abide by these standards out of fear of backlash or loss of profit rather than because it’s the right thing to do. The problem is that ignoring the larger factors at play and instead pushing a short sighted focus on the fact that you can’t say the n word, call Caitlyn Jenner by her deadname, or that people now say “Happy Holidays” instead of “Merry Christmas” only serves to reinforce why “political correctness” exists in the first place.
“But why should I be punished for what my ancestors and/or peers are doing Annie?” Because otherwise there is nothing to stop you from doing so again. You keep acting like there is no more racism, no more sexism, no more homophobia, no more transphobia, etc, outside of small fringe groups. The problem is that ALL of those still exist and are still holding out until their last breath, but none of you will listen to us. Cishet White people were shocked that Charlottesville happened but minorities have been saying this shit for years. Trans people have despised Germaine Greer for years and Andrea Dworkin dunked on her ass as far back as the 70s, yet feminists were still shocked to see that she’s a rape apoligist piece of shit who blames Harvey Weinstein’s victims for their own rape..
We see so many of you “centrists” that claim to be against the alt right or any sort of bigotry yet still decide to peddle outage over angry college students while never speaking out about any injustices faced by minorities in the modern day. And there are also those that host talk shows where they claim to be liberal but only have right wing speakers on while also claiming to be in support of “free speech.” DAVE RUBIN YOU DUMB FUCK, WE KNOW THAT YOU KNOW WHO CONTRAPOINTS IS!!!! HAVE HER ON YOUR FUCKING SHOW ALREADY YOU COWARD!!!!
Oh and let’s not forget how Aunt Blaire called Theryn Meyer an “insane triggered harpy” because she told Ben Shapiro off for misgendering her then went on to have a conversation with Shapiro in a video and complain about how no trans woman will have a mature conversation about whether or not they are really women… yes I called her Aunt Blaire, shut up! I get to be petty every once in a while.
But the thing is that, I dunno, maybe more trans people would be willing to have a polite conversation with Shapiro if he would not treat their validity and dignity as a debate topic that can be “disagreed with.” I’m not going to say Blaire is wrong for trying to have a mature dialogue with people who are anti trans, hell I’ve had dialogue with people who are far more aggressively anti trans than Shapiro, but the problem is that she expects EVERY trans person to be as cucked as she is.
For fucks sake, up to that point Theryn Meyer was mostly right leaning yet she’s still an “insane triggered harpy.” Then tell me Blaire, WHAT TRANS WOMAN ISN’T??? If Theryn Meyer is an insane triggered harpy then it’s clear that the only trans women that aren’t in Blaire’s eyes are those that conveniently happen to share her views. Yet she had the nerve to criticize Miranda Yardley for being a TERF pawn. Talk about the pot calling the kettle cucked.
And speaking of Yardley, you’re also to blame for this. You seriously wonder why trans activists are calling you a TERF when you not only parrot their exact claims and frequently insult and degrade trans people who disagree with you? If you think that any trans woman who doesn’t call herself a man in a dress is a misogynist then you are not only discrediting all of your trans sisters, but a lot of your cisters as well. I know plenty of cis lesbians who wouldn’t appreciate being called closet straight chicks and would be quite upset at your lesbian erasure.
And on the subject of trans women who are often called TERFs, there is Rya Jones. I have much less harsh words about her since she’s trans positive and isn’t as aggressively anti trans as Yardley. Hell I know that Rya has read some of my stuff and she may even be a friend of mine (we had a few conversations but I don’t know if there’s a quota or anything, I just have loose standards.). There is only a slight bit of distance between myself and Rya in terms of beliefs, but I feel that this slight distance makes all the difference in how the trans community tends to react.
The best example I can give is her response to Contrapoints’ TERF video. Now I have my own issues with Natalie’s video that I may respond to some other time, but the problem with Rya’s response is how it frames Natalie as being in the wrong for thinking that Radical Feminists are cruel and hateful bigots without a shred of empathy or compassion and that her portrayal was a straw man… despite knowing that every line was taken from a real person.
I will grant that Natalie clearly does not know much about what motivates TERFs or what their actual feelings are… but I honestly can’t blame her for thinking that having seen some of the hateful and bitter statements to pass out of the mouths of these women. And why is it that Natalie is the one who warrants this type of response despite the fact that women like Magdalene Burns will openly say that transgendity is a cult that hates women and get a free pass? Even ignoring the fact that trans people don’t choose to be trans yet transphobes choose to be transphobes, one should at least hold both sides to the same standards if one is going to play the role of a mediator; otherwise people are going to notice the obvious bias.
And to be fair, I can see some of the more positive qualities in most of the people I have criticized in this article (except for Chris Ray Gun, he’s just a douche). I don’t think anyone involved is an inhuman bigot with no morals or compassion, but very few people actually are. Instead, people merely choose to suspend their capacity for empathy when it comes to a specific group of people or if it inconveniences them. Prejudice against trans people based on the actions of trans activists IS STILL PREJUDICE!
I can understand confusion or even fear, and I’m certainly not going to say to never criticize the trans movement, but if you are actively standing against trans people as a whole, it doesn’t matter what your reason is. Even if you are nice to some trans people, even if you have no problem using the right pronouns or treating them like their chosen gender, it’s still a betrayal of trust if this only applies to those who are nice to you. Prejudice is not about blanket hatred; just because there are occasional exceptions to the rule does not mean the rule does not exist.
So for any gender critical feminists, neoliberals, right wingers, or any group that is called transphobic but still possess a shred of compassion for trans people, let me give you a word of advice. If you are ever arguing with a trans person about whether or not something is transphobic and you’re not trans, you’re likely being transphobic. It doesn’t matter if you call everyone “dude” or if you know a trans person who says it’s okay, or if you insist that the word “trap” only refers to crossdressers, the fact that you are even arguing with us is proof that you don’t give a fuck about trans people enough to back off when they say you are upsetting them; you just think that your shitty joke or whatever is too important and your ego won’t let you consider the fact that you might be doing something wrong. And yes, there is the possibility that a trans person could be oversensitive and make sweeping accusations of transphobia, but chances are if you are getting a lot of shit over it then you are doing something wrong!
And if you ARE trans and are arguing whether or not something is transphobic, this still applies. You’re welcome to your own interpretation and if you are okay with calling yourself a “trap” then there’s nothing wrong with that. But don’t you fucking act like other trans people have to agree with you or that you get a free pass from disrespecting and degrading them. Otherwise, it just becomes apparent that you’re only in it for yourself.
I’m not saying this to be mean, I’m saying this from experience. I was so proud of my Radical Feminism and the Trans Movement article that I did not realize It had made some dear friends of mine nervous and concerned; and I responded to their concerns with hostility and egotism until it cost me the ultimate price. That article of mine and my own hubris cost me the best relationship I ever had. Never assume that feeling powerless is the same as being powerless, and never assume that being a victim of abusive behavior means you are incapable of engaging in it yourself.
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