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Why do I keep seeing the word "women" spelled as "womyn"?

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The UK Labour party is in a huge row over this issue. Long standing feminists and lesbians are being pushed out or quitting over harassment for insisting that being a woman means something. https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/labour-officials-quit-in-transgender-row-06qtj2b3r

 

In Quebec, a trans person is head of a provincial woman's organization. I think things like this are going to tear these groups apart http://nationalpost.com/news/canada/transgender-president-of-quebec-womens-group-faces-backlash-from-feminists

 

A male to female dominatrix is scheduled as one of the headline speakers at Vancouver Women's March. We already had a schism around sex exploitation/pornography/prostitution and now this. We are being shoved out of our own movement. 

 

 

Meghan Murphy of Feminist Current has been talking about this topic for some time but it's really heating up lately.  Expect to hear about it more in the months to come. 

 

As Murphy says "If 'woman' is a thing individuals can opt in or out of, women's oppression is chosen. If women's oppression is due only to an internal 'feeling', and not due to being born female, we no longer need rights & protections as a group. Our oppression no longer exists."

 

 

Here's a recent post she wrote about this topic: http://www.feministcurrent.com/2018/01/04/thanks-trans-activism-2017-saw-return-old-school-sexist-dismissals-women-womens-rights/

 

Bolded.... that's really faulty logic right there.    It assumes trans women are choosing oppression.  Why does she think that they'd do that?

 

It also  assume that I, as a woman, might just as easily choose  to not be a woman as I might change my facial expression.  Rubbish.  I think it just shows contempt for those she disagrees with.

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poppy, fwiw, I think there's a context to this that is being lost because unless you follow a lot of feminist & lesbian activism groups, it's just not prevalent - because as you say, the percentage is so small. The thing is though, that in *those* realms, it's having a huge impact. 

 

There are prominent male to female transgendered people who are now shaming and harassing lesbians because they (the lesbians) don't want to have sex with a man. There are male to female transgendered people who are taking over women's spaces, women's leadership positions, women's health centers, and trying to make it about them and their health issues, which surely are not the same as biological women's issues. 

 

I've found myself pretty much pushed into radfem because I think women are a unique group with unique social needs and injustices and we can actually define ourselves. 

 

What does it mean to be a woman? Can someone just call themselves a woman and take over our spaces, our causes, our issues - and then dilute and undermine them? 

 

 

Yeah, I've seen really aggressive people in racial justice too.  It can be hard to not fall into "us vs them" when someone from "them" is calling you names and saying your opinion doesn't matter.  I get that.

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Linda Bellos is now a case in point - not only is she black and lesbian, she's Jewish too.  But queer logic posits her as an oppressor. 

 

Transsexuals who don't deny their biology get called truscum by transactivists and their allies.

 

I don't trust any movement that hates on Jews, and calls transsexuals scum. 

 

I can't see how feminism would make her personal identity (being a Jewish black lesbian) would make her immune to any criticism?  She's probably considered an oppressor because she calls for every feminist to "reject the ideology of gender identity, and policy proposals based on that ideology such as the self-declaration of legal gender."  She wants to ban protections for trans people.   When I hear that, I don't think national political battles, honestly, I think about public schools having debates about what bathrooms kids are or aren't allowed to use.  I'm on the ACLU's side on this topic. 

Edited by poppy
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I can't see how feminism would make her personal identity (being a Jewish black lesbian) would make her immune to any criticism?  She's probably considered an oppressor because she calls for every feminist to "reject the ideology of gender identity, and policy proposals based on that ideology such as the self-declaration of legal gender."  She wants to ban protections for trans people.   When I hear that, I don't think national political battles, honestly, I think about public schools having debates about what bathrooms kids are or aren't allowed to use.  I'm on the ACLU's side on this topic. 

 

Because queer ideologies of gender (including such quaint concepts as 'ladybrain') are in direct opposition to feminist thought and theory. If you can't define woman as a class (in a non circular manner and without reference to sex stereotypes), you can't protect or promote women as a class. 

 

Women’s oppression has its historical roots and its ostensible justification in female biology and the exploitation of female reproductive labour. Altering the definition of the word ‘female’ so that it now means ‘any person who believes themselves to be female’ is not only conceptually incoherent, it also removes the possibility of analysing the structural oppression of female persons as a class, by eradicating the terminology we use to describe the material conditions of their existence. 

 

~

 

Do you have a source for the assertion that Bellos wants to ban all protections ? I'd be interested to read about that.

 

Her identity doesn't make her immune to criticism, but it does kinda suggest (given the history of women, lesbians, black and Jews) that she doesn't belong to any kind of oppressor class. 

Edited by StellaM
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Bolded.... that's really faulty logic right there.    It assumes trans women are choosing oppression.  Why does she think that they'd do that?

 

It also  assume that I, as a woman, might just as easily choose  to not be a woman as I might change my facial expression.  Rubbish.  I think it just shows contempt for those she disagrees with.

 

It actually assumes that oppression is on the basis of female sex, and related potential reproductive capacity. Trans identified males cannot, by definition, share that oppression. Trans identified females can't escape it. 

 

Murphy doesn't assume anyone can identify their way out of their sex ?

 

 

Edited by StellaM
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 Sex, unlike marriage, is a biological, material reality that exists independently of society. So no, not comparable.

 

'Woman' as a collective noun does lose its meaning when it is defined so loosely as to include people sexed male.  And yes, there are consequences, and not just for 'cis' women.

 

For example, under the NHS in the UK, 'transmen' with intact breasts and/or cervixes  are missing out on pap smears and breast cancer screenings, because their gender is being used to direct their healthcare, rather than their sex. I would much prefer woman to mean those who are biologically female, no matter how an individual identifies, so that these trans identified females can get the health care they need. Biological definitions matter, even to queer people. 

 

I'm pretty immune to libfem shame tactics on this one, sorry, so you're probably wasting your time commenting on my posts. 

 

Well, I do understand where you are coming from here and generally agree, but as far as the SSM thing it certainly can be compared in the sense that the traditional or conservative or religious - whatever you want to call it - argument on this is that marriage is precisely a specific biological/material relation focused around procreation, and is only secondarily a legal contract (in some societies), or a feeling of being in love or sexual attraction. 

 

Of course you can think that women and men are biological descriptors of sperm producers and ova producers without thinking that marriage is a descriptor of a pair bond between two of those people.  But I think it would be inaccurate to say the argument for the second position isn't based in material reality.

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I didn't even know that was out there. It has to be a very small percentage though, doesn't it? I haven't come across it in reading. Seems like most trans people are just trying to be accepted in GENERAL and you know, not beat up or killed.

Nm

Edited by Frances

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Interesting...I don't think you have to believe the person "is not a woman" or that it's as simple as "a lifestyle choice" to acknowledge that the life experience will be pretty drastically different.  I don't think it's hateful to say that person may not have the same understanding as a person who was born female.  Just like a born female will not have the same understanding of a trans person's experience. 

 

And yes, there will be certain situations where that understanding is wanted or needed.     

 

No, this is huge in trans activism now - and it's very very different than the more low-key stuff that's heard in the general public.

 

The push is to say that this s not a disease or physical problem with the body - dysphoria as an explanation is seen as quaint at best, but often is seen as offensive.  Any sense that medical professionals should evaluate claims to make sure there aren't other issues going on, or someone should have to live in a gender for a while before legally claiming it - something that is presented to the general public as an important safeguard - is being presented in other contexts as transphobic.  The idea that the person necessarily wants to change they body in any way is seen as transphobic.  

 

 

It's become a deeply incoherent mess, from a scientific POV, a psychological POV, and just a rational POV.  More and more I'm seeing claims that sex , not just gender, is relative to personal perception - there seems to be no room in this view for any words that actually ever to people who potentially bear young and people who potentially father them - because claiming that physical description is seen as stopping people from self-identifying as they wish.

 

It's small, but these are the people running the lobbying, and at the moment everyone is terrified that they will run afoul of the PC thing to say and do, and they are essentially taking the word of these groups about what to do.  The CBC here recently pulled a documentary that was actually pretty trans positive (its the CBC after all) because the activists said it was offensive on these kinds of issues.

 

From a language use perspective, it's actually very weird.  I mean - if you actually want a word to describe a biological female, there isn't one if you are using this approach.

Edited by Bluegoat
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Well, I do understand where you are coming from here and generally agree, but as far as the SSM thing it certainly can be compared in the sense that the traditional or conservative or religious - whatever you want to call it - argument on this is that marriage is precisely a specific biological/material relation focused around procreation, and is only secondarily a legal contract (in some societies), or a feeling of being in love or sexual attraction. 

 

Of course you can think that women and men are biological descriptors of sperm producers and ova producers without thinking that marriage is a descriptor of a pair bond between two of those people.  But I think it would be inaccurate to say the argument for the second position isn't based in material reality.

 

You could make that argument.

 

I'd probably say, initially, that male-female pair bonding for purposes of biological reproduction is a material reality, and dispute the idea that any one concept of marriage, which affirms the pre-existing pair-bond, as anything other than socially constructed. 

 

But I'm happy to take your point on board and think on it more.

Edited by StellaM
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Does language shape the world, or is language is shaped by the culture in which it exists.  Seems like a "which came first, the chicken or the egg," argument. 

 

There are examples where both occur. It don't think it's a clear case of one or the other. 

 

Not completely on point, but for anyone interested in sci-fi my favorite book focuses on these issues.. written by Suzette Haden Elgin, Native Tongue.  it's kind of a "Handmaid's Tale" scenario, but with linguists, and the women use language to try and alter society.  Elgin was a linguist and her books in this series I guess resonate with my linguistics-major mind ;)

Edited by Kate in Arabia
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You could make that argument.

 

I'd probably say, initially, that male-female pair bonding for purposes of biological reproduction is a material reality, and dispute the idea that any one concept of marriage, which affirms the pre-existing pair-bond, as anything other than socially constructed. 

 

But I'm happy to take your point on board and think on it more.

 

I wonder though what the point of calling it socially constructed would be - I mean, we are cultural animals.  We enculture all kinds of material realities to function in various environments.  I think it's probably essential to living in communal environments.

 

We aren't likely to get rid of procreative pair bonding, so it will always have a cultural instantiation.  (Mind you this is also what I think about the idea we could eliminate all cultural elements of masculinity and femininity.)  

 

Anyway - that's a rabbit hole from a rabbit hole.

Edited by Bluegoat
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Because queer ideologies of gender (including such quaint concepts as 'ladybrain') are in direct opposition to feminist thought and theory. If you can't define woman as a class (in a non circular manner and without reference to sex stereotypes), you can't protect or promote women as a class. 

 

Women’s oppression has its historical roots and its ostensible justification in female biology and the exploitation of female reproductive labour. Altering the definition of the word ‘female’ so that it now means ‘any person who believes themselves to be female’ is not only conceptually incoherent, it also removes the possibility of analysing the structural oppression of female persons as a class, by eradicating the terminology we use to describe the material conditions of their existence. 

 

~

 

Do you have a source for the assertion that Bellos wants to ban all protections ? I'd be interested to read about that.

 

Her identity doesn't make her immune to criticism, but it does kinda suggest (given the history of women, lesbians, black and Jews) that she doesn't belong to any kind of oppressor class. 

 

The link you provided calls for people to: "reject the ideology of gender identity, and policy proposals based on that ideology such as the self-declaration of legal gender."   I read that and thought, if we reject policy proposals based on self-declaration of legal gender..... we reject protections for trans men and women.  How could it be read a different way?

 

However, it appears that the link doesn't lead to writings by Linda Bellos but to someone named Rebecca Reilly-Cooper.  So,  perhaps Bellos has as a less extreme view.

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It actually assumes that oppression is on the basis of female sex, and related potential reproductive capacity. Trans identified males cannot, by definition, share that oppression. Trans identified females can't escape it. 

 

Murphy doesn't assume anyone can identify their way out of their sex ?

 

I don't really understand what you are saying, that oppression has to do with reproductive capacity, but is shared by trans identified females.   Unless I'm backwards and you are saying that transgender people who lives as men are oppressed by their reproductive capacity?  

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No, this is huge in trans activism now - and it's very very different than the more low-key stuff that's heard in the general public.

 

The push is to say that this s not a disease or physical problem with the body - dysphoria as an explanation is seen as quaint at best, but often is seen as offensive.  Any sense that medical professionals should evaluate claims to make sure there aren't other issues going on, or someone should have to live in a gender for a while before legally claiming it - something that is presented to the general public as an important safeguard - is being presented in other contexts as transphobic.  The idea that the person necessarily wants to change they body in any way is seen as transphobic.  

 

 

It's become a deeply incoherent mess, from a scientific POV, a psychological POV, and just a rational POV.  More and more I'm seeing claims that sex , not just gender, is relative to personal perception - there seems to be no room in this view for any words that actually ever to people who potentially bear young and people who potentially father them - because claiming that physical description is seen as stopping people from self-identifying as they wish.

 

It's small, but these are the people running the lobbying, and at the moment everyone is terrified that they will run afoul of the PC thing to say and do, and they are essentially taking the word of these groups about what to do.  The CBC here recently pulled a documentary that was actually pretty trans positive (its the CBC after all) because the activists said it was offensive on these kinds of issues.

 

From a language use perspective, it's actually very weird.  I mean - if you actually want a word to describe a biological female, there isn't one if you are using this approach.

 

This all is reminding me of that fabulous piece in The Atlantic about Reed College and how extremists in an anti-racism  group  "took over" whole classrooms and were a dominant voice,  for a span. The group asserted that a core humanities class, rooted in ancient history text, was Eurocentric and therefore oppressive and traumatizing to students of color.   It all fell apart , but for a good year there were in class protests, open shaming of students who objected, and a rather stunning lack of push back from both the administration and the other students. 

 

Given the reaction to The Atlantic piece, it's clear that the group did more harm than good, and not just to students at Reed.  But that doesn't mean we should look with scorn and dismissal at every anti-racism policy or proposal or argument from now  on.

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I just have to say I am completely lost in this argument and don't understand about the last 10 posts.  Way above my pay grade.

 

Your post reminds me of the time that a heavily CC thread was having a nitty gritty discussion of some theological detail and  I replied something like "what does reformed mean?"   And then got an answer that was clearly and elegantly written and I looked at it and thought "nope, still no idea". 

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I just have to say I am completely lost in this argument and don't understand about the last 10 posts. Way above my pay grade.

You and me both, sister. Lol

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I don't really understand what you are saying, that oppression has to do with reproductive capacity, but is shared by trans identified females. Unless I'm backwards and you are saying that transgender people who lives as men are oppressed by their reproductive capacity?

Yes, trans identified females is female bodied people who identify as trans, so trans men.

 

Where legal protection for trans folks removes protections from the female class, and any attempt at discussion is shut down with violent threats and accusations of bigotry, what are we to do?

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Yes, trans identified females is female bodied people who identify as trans, so trans men.

 

Where legal protection for trans folks removes protections from the female class, and any attempt at discussion is shut down with violent threats and accusations of bigotry, what are we to do?

 

 

 

So trans identified man is a slur, then?  Or at least, I'm sure someone it's how it would be received by the people you are describing.  It's like calling a naturalized citizen a "American-identified foreigner".

 

There really is nowhere to go if you star with a slur.

 

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This all is reminding me of that fabulous piece in The Atlantic about Reed College and how extremists in an anti-racism  group  "took over" whole classrooms and were a dominant voice,  for a span. The group asserted that a core humanities class, rooted in ancient history text, was Eurocentric and therefore oppressive and traumatizing to students of color.   It all fell apart , but for a good year there were in class protests, open shaming of students who objected, and a rather stunning lack of push back from both the administration and the other students. 

 

Given the reaction to The Atlantic piece, it's clear that the group did more harm than good, and not just to students at Reed.  But that doesn't mean we should look with scorn and dismissal at every anti-racism policy or proposal or argument from now  on.

 

No, it doesn't mean any such policy is bad.

 

Any policy has to be subject to rational analysis, any way of thinking that is giving rise to the policy.

 

But I think this tendency to compare any criticism of these policies with either racist ideas or homophobic ideas, or really any other sets of thinking, has become a real problem.

 

For one thing, although sometimes they can be good parallels, they are actually talking about an entirely different set of facts.  The nature of race and ethnicity, for example, has a whole different biological basis than the nature of sexual differentiation.  It has a different history too, but I think the former is actually quite an important point that gets missed sometimes - it is entirely possible that there is an actual physical reality to sexual differentiation that is not compatible with ideas being put forward by the transgendered community.  And in fact scientifically there is actually a lot we don't know about "gender" in the brain - the models are very young and very unsure.

 

To say "we actually don't know if that is true, and to create policy on the basis of it seems to be a bad idea" similar to a racist statement - they really are not all that similar.  Nor is asking why "man" and "woman" are now supposed to refer to gender rather than sex.  They are saying completely different kinds of things because they are talking about different sets of facts.

 

The other thing I'd say is at the moment terms like racist and homophobic, misogynist, etc  have become cheap words and concepts that are used to condemn thinking people don't like without any real analysis at all.  Including of racism etc themselves in a lot of cases.  It's like accusing someone of heresy in the early modern period - it's you'd better get your thinking in line or we'll see you as having taboo thoughts.   

 

I think it can be great to use an analogy to illustrate an idea - it's very useful.  But you do need to very explicitly think it out, especially when using words that have such an effect of shutting down thinking.  

 

I think at the moment there is in fact no coherent argument being made around transgender issues.  And, to bring this back to the language question, a part of that is because of the manipulation of language which makes it extremely difficult to talk about with any kind of precision, not to mention likely to get people accused of taboo thinking.  How do you talk about even something simple like single sex environments when you don't have any language to do so?

 

I do think it could end badly in a few ways, probably more than one.  

 

ETA - that's a very interesting article, it does seem to have similarities.  Including language issues.

Edited by Bluegoat
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So trans identified man is a slur, then?  Or at least, I'm sure someone it's how it would be received by the people you are describing.  It's like calling a naturalized citizen a "American-identified foreigner".

 

There really is nowhere to go if you star with a slur.

 

Yeah, you are not meant to differentiate man (or woman) in any way.  In fact to use your analogy, you aren't even supposed to say someone in an immigrant, because that implies they weren't always an American.  (Analogy breaks down a bit there, but you get the idea I'm sure.)  

 

All sex is gender, and gender is real but not related to body parts, or what clothes you want to wear, all those cultural expressions of sex identity that gender used to be used to describe.  It's a new, third thing which is a kind of self-identity only.  Which is why increasingly this is tied to an idea that there are potentially an infinite number of genders (one for each individual even) and that they may change at any time.  

 

At my university now, in student union meetings everyone is supposed to wear a tag to show their gender and personal pronouns.  And a new one each time, because they can change, so it isn't like you can remember them one time to the next.

 

To me, it really does seem to be the end of category designations about the body at all are encompassed in this thinking - it's complete atomic individualism.

Edited by Bluegoat
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Well, I do understand where you are coming from here and generally agree, but as far as the SSM thing it certainly can be compared in the sense that the traditional or conservative or religious - whatever you want to call it - argument on this is that marriage is precisely a specific biological/material relation focused around procreation, and is only secondarily a legal contract (in some societies), or a feeling of being in love or sexual attraction. 

 

Of course you can think that women and men are biological descriptors of sperm producers and ova producers without thinking that marriage is a descriptor of a pair bond between two of those people.  But I think it would be inaccurate to say the argument for the second position isn't based in material reality.

As a traditional conservative person, I do see marriage as specifically and inextricably related to biology and procreation, and that is the essential basis of my opposition to changing the legal (or social) definition of marriage to include same-sex couples.  I don't want to get into arguing it here, which is why I didn't mention it before, but Bluegoat is right that for at least some conservatives they are related ideas.

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I'm lost in a lot of this discussion, but I really appreciate the explanations of something that has up til now gone over my head. I'll be re-reading and I've already learned a lot.

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Yeah, you are not meant to differentiate man (or woman) in any way. In fact to use your analogy, you aren't even supposed to say someone in an immigrant, because that implies they weren't always an American. (Analogy breaks down a bit there, but you get the idea I'm sure.)

 

All sex is gender, and gender is real but not related to body parts, or what clothes you want to wear, all those cultural expressions of sex identity that gender used to be used to describe. It's a new, third thing which is a kind of self-identity only. Which is why increasingly this is tied to an idea that there are potentially an infinite number of genders (one for each individual even) and that they may change at any time.

 

At my university now, in student union meetings everyone is supposed to wear a tag to show their gender and personal pronouns. And a new one each time, because they can change, so it isn't like you can remember them one time to the next.

 

To me, it really does seem to be the end of category designations about the body at all are encompassed in this thinking - it's complete atomic individualism.

 

I know trans men who identify as trans men. Like Barb Greve who wrote in his biography he is a ‘transgender guy’. https://www.uua.org/offices/people/barb-greve

 

Posters here who would refer to acknowledge that and would use ‘trans identified female’ instead .... that is what I am calling out as disrespectful.

 

I guess another analogy you might prefer is a born again Christian referring to a Catholic as a ‘Christian -identifying non -Christian ‘. The description is an act of exclusion.

 

I’ve been to meetings where you are supposed to identify your pronouns . Not many . It’s not my thing but I don’t see it as that horrifying . It’s like any other icebreaker - well intention and awkward and I forget what to use sometimes anyway.

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I know trans men who identify as trans men. Like Barb Greve who wrote in his biography he is a ‘transgender guy’. https://www.uua.org/offices/people/barb-greve

 

Posters here who would refer to acknowledge that and would use ‘trans identified female’ instead .... that is what I am calling out as disrespectful.

 

I guess another analogy you might prefer is a born again Christian referring to a Catholic as a ‘Christian -identifying non -Christian ‘. The description is an act of exclusion.

 

I’ve been to meetings where you are supposed to identify your pronouns . Not many . It’s not my thing but I don’t see it as that horrifying . It’s like any other icebreaker - well intention and awkward and I forget what to use sometimes anyway.

 

Some are just fine with it. Like a lot of things, people who self-identify are pretty much left to it as long as they don't rock the boat.

 

I'd have taken "trans identified female" to be a MtF, actually.  But I think it could make sense either way - so long as you accept that bodies do actually have a biological sex, it would not be "excluding" to point that out - it's a very factual statement you'd think.  But male and female have been reinterpreted as gender categories too, and, say, pointing out that breastfeeding is a female activity, or circumcision something to do with males, becomes a problem - because you can't exclude male from breastfeeding, right?  

 

Again, with the language thing - the nature of language is to categorize, and categories always derive their meaning by including some things and excluding others.  I can't even use a simple noun, the most basic building block of language, without doing that.  If I saw stone it only has meaning because it excludes some ideas/things and not others.

 

Total individualism in language is kind of a disaster.  That's what's worrying about the label business - not that it's some kind of terrible thing to have labels you have to write on.  It's the thinking behind those particular labels that is worrying.

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Some are just fine with it. Like a lot of things, people who self-identify are pretty much left to it as long as they don't rock the boat.

 

I'd have taken "trans identified female" to be a MtF, actually. But I think it could make sense either way - so long as you accept that bodies do actually have a biological sex, it would not be "excluding" to point that out - it's a very factual statement you'd think. But male and female have been reinterpreted as gender categories too, and, say, pointing out that breastfeeding is a female activity, or circumcision something to do with males, becomes a problem - because you can't exclude male from breastfeeding, right?

 

Again, with the language thing - the nature of language is to categorize, and categories always derive their meaning by including some things and excluding others. I can't even use a simple noun, the most basic building block of language, without doing that. If I saw stone it only has meaning because it excludes some ideas/things and not others.

 

Total individualism in language is kind of a disaster. That's what's worrying about the label business - not that it's some kind of terrible thing to have labels you have to write on. It's the thinking behind those particular labels that is worrying.

What I am responding to here is the movement within feminism that looks at Barb Greve — someone who is bald and has a goatee and dressed in men’s clothes who calls himself a ‘transgender guy’ — and say ‘ no, this is a trans identified female’ .

 

We can sort out medical issues. We can sort out collective language . i hope. But if we refuse to acknowledge trans people without contempt.... it’s gonna be really ugly.

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As a traditional conservative person, I do see marriage as specifically and inextricably related to biology and procreation, and that is the essential basis of my opposition to changing the legal (or social) definition of marriage to include same-sex couples. I don't want to get into arguing it here, which is why I didn't mention it before, but Bluegoat is right that for at least some conservatives they are related ideas.

This is the basis of my position on marriage as well.

 

The arguments are very similar to me. Marriage ceases to mean marriage when non marriages are included under its umbrella. Woman ceases to mean woman when non women are included under its umbrella.

 

There will be significant implications to both, not all of which are predictable from where we stand.

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What I am responding to here is the movement within feminism that looks at Barb Greve — someone who is bald and has a goatee and dressed in men’s clothes who calls himself a ‘transgender guy’ — and say ‘ no, this is a trans identified female’ .

 

We can sort out medical issues. We can sort out collective language . i hope. But if we refuse to acknowledge trans people without contempt.... it’s gonna be really ugly.

 

 

"Guy" isn't really a technical term though, is it?

 

 

Yes, they are looking to describe something objective and are objecting to having that language denied - they are using female to mean a person who has the anatomy - even if it doesn't wrk properly or has been altered by some means - to produce ova, to gestate and nurse a child.

 

If you are having a discussion of what it means to be a person who produces ova or sperm, or some social element arising from that - important discussions - you need to be able to apply the words that indicate those categories to the people who actually fall under those umbrellas, without being called contemptuous for doing so.

 

You can't sort out medical issues or language so long as you don't have a robust grasp of what Sadie calls the material reality, because all you will miss large components of what is true and your system will be incoherent and unworkable.  

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"Guy" isn't really a technical term though, is it?

 

 

Yes, they are looking to describe something objective and are objecting to having that language denied - they are using female to mean a person who has the anatomy - even if it doesn't wrk properly or has been altered by some means - to produce ova, to gestate and nurse a child.

 

If you are having a discussion of what it means to be a person who produces ova or sperm, or some social element arising from that - important discussions - you need to be able to apply the words that indicate those categories to the people who actually fall under those umbrellas, without being called contemptuous for doing so.

 

You can't sort out medical issues or language so long as you don't have a robust grasp of what Sadie calls the material reality, because all you will miss large components of what is true and your system will be incoherent and unworkable.

I am ok with acknowledging trans men are transgendered. If the debate here was ‘should we them men or transgendered men?’, then your comments would apply. Posters like LMP and Sadie will not use either term.

 

Taking the power of naming themselves away from a vulnerable population is an act of oppression . I suspect they would say ‘I was born with a uterus so I cannot oppress someone who was born with a penis.’ I simply do not think it is true that a women cannot oppress a man by virtue of biology. Especially since it completely removed class and race and culture from the conversation as well .

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I am ok with acknowledging trans men are transgendered. If the debate here was ‘should we them men or transgendered men?’, then your comments would apply. Posters like LMP and Sadie will not use either term.

 

Taking the power of naming themselves away from a vulnerable population is an act of oppression . I suspect they would say ‘I was born with a uterus so I cannot oppress someone who was born with a penis.’ I simply do not think it is true that a women cannot oppress a man by virtue of biology. Especially since it completely removed class and race and culture from the conversation as well .

 

I've never felt oppression is the fundamental issue.  I have no doubts that men can be oppressed by women and I think they have as much interest in describing their own physical reality as women do.  I also don't believe that being more oppressed allows you the privilege of defining the language.

 

I think the issue is, are we grounded in the physical world, and what does it mean to erase the meaning of biological categories.

 

To put it another way, when did male and female, or man and women, ever become a word that expresses gender only?  It's long been an indicator of biological sex, in English in any case.  And yet suddenly in the last few years, really, we're informed that these are gender categories only, and in fact no categories are left which indicate biological status.  

 

Accompanied with a philosophy that makes the claim that no such biological being actually exists, darn right people refuse to use the language being developed to support those theories, or refuse to give up the language they have always used to talk about themselves.  And because it is a collective category, that will apply also to how it's used about other people who share the category.

Edited by Bluegoat
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I've never felt oppression is the fundamental issue.  I have no doubts that men can be oppressed by women and I think they have as much interest in describing their own physical reality as women do.  I also don't believe that being more oppressed allows you the privilege of defining the language.

 

I think the issue is, are we grounded in the physical world, and what does it mean to erase the meaning of biological categories.

 

To put it another way, when did male and female, or man and women, ever become a word that expresses gender only?  It's long been an indicator of biological sex, in English in any case.  And yet suddenly in the last few years, really, we're informed that these are gender categories only, and in fact no categories are left which indicate biological status.  

 

Accompanied with a philosophy that makes the claim that no such biological being actually exists, darn right people refuse to use the language being developed to support those theories, or refuse to give up the language they have always used to talk about themselves.  And because it is a collective category, that will apply also to how it's used about other people who share the category.

 

How does 'being grounded in the physical world' get us to a place where people schedule women's music festival and explicitly say  transgender people are not welcome?  And then treat complaints about that as attack on women? 

 

I don't know if oppression is the right word, necessarily, but specifically excluding transgendered people from male and female spaces is not a workable solution.  The best case scenario is they'd either all go away.  Or maybe make trans only spaces?  I guess? But again, it is estimated to be .5% of the population.  

 

This is a mild discussion for us, but imagine if you were part of such a small minority and people were debating whether you had a right to name yourself, or be part of the larger community.   I am sure someone reading this is trans.  That's why I keep replying , I think, so the  discussion doesn't end with something that might make that lurker feel like his or her existence is not worth defending.

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As a detransitioned person, I've found the conversation interesting though confusing. I think it shows a lot of how the whole conversation around this has changed in the last decade. 

 

When I was a trans man, I was still female. When I was genderqueer, I was still female. It didn't matter how I looked, how other people saw me, how much I could deadlift, how well I could wear a kilt, what medication I was on, how bad my dysphoria got and how my brain was obsessed that everything would be better if I could just change my body and how others related to it, still female. Society's view of my reproductive capabilities did not change. And until a few years ago, I could talk about the abuse that happened because I am female and discuss the difference between being female and the feminine gender role and plenty of people understood. I could be female and trans and no said that saying both was a slur. People recognized and even spoke out about detransition, how it is a possibility, our history recognized, because it was seen as common sense that if you encourage people to transition and question their identity, then there are people who transition does not help and people who take different paths. 

 

Now, it's a minefield.  When I was a genderqueer, I was part of an online discussion on medical abuse. I used the phrase "I didn't feel like a person, I felt like a female who needed to comply." I got an inbox full of threats and called a TERF for calling myself female and saying that the cause of the violence against me was them seeing me as female which still is my perspective. When I was a teen, it was not only openly discussed but it was considered vital to our health to discuss alternatives to medical transition - it's an expensive process financially and to the body of which research is very limited and for females, we have a high risk of organ atrophy within years - now several health conferences literally ban any discussion of it because they're worried about their image - and violence. Universities are banning research on detransitioned people on ethical grounds - our existence is considered too controversial and unethical to discuss while we have hospitals doing reversal surgeries. 

 

It is and never been about who is the most oppressed until a few years ago. Oppression Olympics helps no one. No one identity makes one the most oppressed. Some groups are vulnerable - female people are a socially vulnerable group. Surely we should get some say in how we are called and how our bodies are talked about. Female is a physical, material reality even when people, like me, try to avoid and ignore it with every fibre of our being because acknowledging it seems like a massive threat to... everything. I think there is plenty of room for sex based and identity based space and language and discussion as there has been within our communities for decades until this all went off recently. I think acting like trans people are inherently most oppressed and therefore have more of a right to control language and space than everyone else doesn't actually help anyone...really, I think the current popular rhetoric is harming many young people who see threats around every corner and put all their faith in a cure to their pain when with what little research we have we know isn't there. Statistically, trans people are no more likely and in some communities less likely to be harmed or murdered. The group that is at most risk that bumps up the statistics because the population is so small is the same group most at risk for other people - those involved in sex work. Far better would it be to make sure people were financially supported to prevent people needing to do that to survive than the current governments' obsessions with making certificates easier to get and trying to make misgendering a person a hate crime. 

 

As a detransitioned person who was in part and without hyperbole saved by legally protected single sex spaces and the women who worked them and who cared for me no matter how I identified, I think the idea that I was not female because of how I identified and that single sex spaces being protected excludes trans people is nonsense. That only works if you think trans women and their belief in their right to female spaces is the only things that matters to trans people. It's not. Many trans people do not agree with the current changes going on and do not think they will see any benefit. Many will not benefit from space and bathroom laws, the harassment will continue anyways and only those who are strong enough already to fight for themselves will have any chance. That's why so many have fought for years for single use unisex stalls to be included alongside the disabled (which disabled people fought and still fight to have) and the sexed stalls (which women fought for a long time to have and are having to fight again for) and built trans only spaces and groups - there already there no matter the population size. I mean, oddly, in my country, legally, hate crime based on gender identity is nationally recognized and recorded while only a handful of places do the same for sex so I'm thinking population size isn't what matters for these things.  

 

I don't get why female people should not have female only spaces? I run groups for disabled people, I run women-as-identity groups, I run mixed LGBTQ+ events, I go to female-only groups, I've gone to immigrant groups in the past, there is room for all of these. People work hard to run and maintain and make sure there is support for all of these. Why is it such an issue for female women to have their own space because I've yet to see anything comparable to anything else. I think female people are just as worth defending as anyone else. 

 

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How does 'being grounded in the physical world' get us to a place where people schedule women's music festival and explicitly say transgender people are not welcome? And then treat complaints about that as attack on women?

If trans women are women and there is no biological or other distinction to be made, but biological women want a space with no biological males present and that is considered transphobic, then what is the solution?

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If trans women are women and there is no biological or other distinction to be made, but biological women want a space with no biological males present and that is considered transphobic, then what is the solution?

 

There are lots of spaces where trans women are not welcome, explicitly or implicitly.   If you host one of them, you open yourself up to criticism. If you don't forbid transgender people, guess what, you still open yourself up to criticism.  Girl Scouts allows anyone who identifies as a girl; American Heritage Girls does not.  Girl Scouts lost members over that, and  American Hertigate Girls got those $$.   Is AHG transphobic? Technically it obviously is; it's not a word I'd use to describe that organization, though.  Each group makes its choice, and faces the consequences.

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How does 'being grounded in the physical world' get us to a place where people schedule women's music festival and explicitly say  transgender people are not welcome?  And then treat complaints about that as attack on women? 

 

I don't know if oppression is the right word, necessarily, but specifically excluding transgendered people from male and female spaces is not a workable solution.  The best case scenario is they'd either all go away.  Or maybe make trans only spaces?  I guess? But again, it is estimated to be .5% of the population.  

 

This is a mild discussion for us, but imagine if you were part of such a small minority and people were debating whether you had a right to name yourself, or be part of the larger community.   I am sure someone reading this is trans.  That's why I keep replying , I think, so the  discussion doesn't end with something that might make that lurker feel like his or her existence is not worth defending.

 

 

Hmm, well, I am wondering if you have an issue with women only groups generally?  I don't, or with men only groups for that matter.  A women only music festival might not be my cup of tea but I can't say it bothers me.

 

They are a women only festival.  And by woman, they mean sex-category, female.  That is a concrete, physical world thing, even primate species is sexually dimorphic and even where there is not encultured gender, that impacts the life of all primates in a very immediate way.  Are we now to the point we being asked to deny those biological categories outright?  

 

The festival organizers found it necessary to clarify "women only" to be women-sex, not women-gender.  (And as far as I know they always accepted people born as women who presented in masculine ways - though there seems to have been much less inclination until quite recently for such people to call themselves transgendered.)

 

Given that the festival has had to be discontinued, I have a hard time seeing how there wasn't aggression towards female-sex persons identifying themselves with that material reality - apparently we aren't allowed to meet on that basis.  

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As a detransitioned person, I've found the conversation interesting though confusing. I think it shows a lot of how the whole conversation around this has changed in the last decade. 

 

When I was a trans man, I was still female. When I was genderqueer, I was still female. It didn't matter how I looked, how other people saw me, how much I could deadlift, how well I could wear a kilt, what medication I was on, how bad my dysphoria got and how my brain was obsessed that everything would be better if I could just change my body and how others related to it, still female. Society's view of my reproductive capabilities did not change. And until a few years ago, I could talk about the abuse that happened because I am female and discuss the difference between being female and the feminine gender role and plenty of people understood. I could be female and trans and no said that saying both was a slur. People recognized and even spoke out about detransition, how it is a possibility, our history recognized, because it was seen as common sense that if you encourage people to transition and question their identity, then there are people who transition does not help and people who take different paths. 

 

Now, it's a minefield.  When I was a genderqueer, I was part of an online discussion on medical abuse. I used the phrase "I didn't feel like a person, I felt like a female who needed to comply." I got an inbox full of threats and called a TERF for calling myself female and saying that the cause of the violence against me was them seeing me as female which still is my perspective. When I was a teen, it was not only openly discussed but it was considered vital to our health to discuss alternatives to medical transition - it's an expensive process financially and to the body of which research is very limited and for females, we have a high risk of organ atrophy within years - now several health conferences literally ban any discussion of it because they're worried about their image - and violence. Universities are banning research on detransitioned people on ethical grounds - our existence is considered too controversial and unethical to discuss while we have hospitals doing reversal surgeries. 

 

It is and never been about who is the most oppressed until a few years ago. Oppression Olympics helps no one. No one identity makes one the most oppressed. Some groups are vulnerable - female people are a socially vulnerable group. Surely we should get some say in how we are called and how our bodies are talked about. Female is a physical, material reality even when people, like me, try to avoid and ignore it with every fibre of our being because acknowledging it seems like a massive threat to... everything. I think there is plenty of room for sex based and identity based space and language and discussion as there has been within our communities for decades until this all went off recently. I think acting like trans people are inherently most oppressed and therefore have more of a right to control language and space than everyone else doesn't actually help anyone...really, I think the current popular rhetoric is harming many young people who see threats around every corner and put all their faith in a cure to their pain when with what little research we have we know isn't there. Statistically, trans people are no more likely and in some communities less likely to be harmed or murdered. The group that is at most risk that bumps up the statistics because the population is so small is the same group most at risk for other people - those involved in sex work. Far better would it be to make sure people were financially supported to prevent people needing to do that to survive than the current governments' obsessions with making certificates easier to get and trying to make misgendering a person a hate crime. 

 

As a detransitioned person who was in part and without hyperbole saved by legally protected single sex spaces and the women who worked them and who cared for me no matter how I identified, I think the idea that I was not female because of how I identified and that single sex spaces being protected excludes trans people is nonsense. That only works if you think trans women and their belief in their right to female spaces is the only things that matters to trans people. It's not. Many trans people do not agree with the current changes going on and do not think they will see any benefit. Many will not benefit from space and bathroom laws, the harassment will continue anyways and only those who are strong enough already to fight for themselves will have any chance. That's why so many have fought for years for single use unisex stalls to be included alongside the disabled (which disabled people fought and still fight to have) and the sexed stalls (which women fought for a long time to have and are having to fight again for) and built trans only spaces and groups - there already there no matter the population size. I mean, oddly, in my country, legally, hate crime based on gender identity is nationally recognized and recorded while only a handful of places do the same for sex so I'm thinking population size isn't what matters for these things.  

 

I don't get why female people should not have female only spaces? I run groups for disabled people, I run women-as-identity groups, I run mixed LGBTQ+ events, I go to female-only groups, I've gone to immigrant groups in the past, there is room for all of these. People work hard to run and maintain and make sure there is support for all of these. Why is it such an issue for female women to have their own space because I've yet to see anything comparable to anything else. I think female people are just as worth defending as anyone else. 

 

 

Here in Canada, a gender clinic that deals with kids was recently shut down for not using the "just accept without question what the kid says" approach.  Their director was one of the foremost researchers on children and gender and they'd been awarded a huge grant to study the effects of drug therapies on kids.

 

What shut them down was optics - lobbyists and a poorly done review by people with little experience in the field at all.

 

To me this is a prime example of the physical reality - including that of the people affected -  being shunted aside in order to maintain particular ideological points.  Because that research was going to be a heck of a lot more important than anything they achieved doing this.

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Hmm, well, I am wondering if you have an issue with women only groups generally?  I don't, or with men only groups for that matter.  A women only music festival might not be my cup of tea but I can't say it bothers me.

 

They are a women only festival.  And by woman, they mean sex-category, female.  That is a concrete, physical world thing, even primate species is sexually dimorphic and even where there is not encultured gender, that impacts the life of all primates in a very immediate way.  Are we now to the point we being asked to deny those biological categories outright?  

 

The festival organizers found it necessary to clarify "women only" to be women-sex, not women-gender.  (And as far as I know they always accepted people born as women who presented in masculine ways - though there seems to have been much less inclination until quite recently for such people to call themselves transgendered.)

 

Given that the festival has had to be discontinued, I have a hard time seeing how there wasn't aggression towards female-sex persons identifying themselves with that material reality - apparently we aren't allowed to meet on that basis. 

 

 

No, I don't have a problem with women-only spaces.  I went to a women's college (loved it!) and am now a girl scout leader.

 

I don't see any reason to exclude trans women.  Like, any.   Why were they excluded?   Why does an event for women have to be about the uterus? If I had a hysterectomy am I no longer invited?  I don't understand why they made it "women-sex not women-gender" except for some kind of hostility towards trans women.  

 

I also don't understand how "female-sex persons" are supposed to be immune from criticism, or how criticism is seen as aggression.  This is why I compared it to race-separated events in the past.   The biological , material reality is that races are different, and people are not really allowed to hold festivals where other races are forbidden from attending.  Or at least, are not allowed to act like the victims if they are called out on that.

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No, I don't have a problem with women-only spaces.  I went to a women's college (loved it!) and am now a girl scout leader.

 

I don't see any reason to exclude trans women.  Like, any.   Why were they excluded?   Why does an event for women have to be about the uterus? If I had a hysterectomy am I no longer invited?  I don't understand why they made it "women-sex not women-gender" except for some kind of hostility towards trans women.  

 

I also don't understand how "female-sex persons" are supposed to be immune from criticism, or how criticism is seen as aggression.  This is why I compared it to race-separated events in the past.   The biological , material reality is that races are different, and people are not really allowed to hold festivals where other races are forbidden from attending.  Or at least, are not allowed to act like the victims if they are called out on that.

  

 

Even with no uterus or even breasts you will always be a biological female.  that will never change.

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As a detransitioned person, I've found the conversation interesting though confusing. I think it shows a lot of how the whole conversation around this has changed in the last decade.

 

When I was a trans man, I was still female. When I was genderqueer, I was still female. It didn't matter how I looked, how other people saw me, how much I could deadlift, how well I could wear a kilt, what medication I was on, how bad my dysphoria got and how my brain was obsessed that everything would be better if I could just change my body and how others related to it, still female. Society's view of my reproductive capabilities did not change. And until a few years ago, I could talk about the abuse that happened because I am female and discuss the difference between being female and the feminine gender role and plenty of people understood. I could be female and trans and no said that saying both was a slur. People recognized and even spoke out about detransition, how it is a possibility, our history recognized, because it was seen as common sense that if you encourage people to transition and question their identity, then there are people who transition does not help and people who take different paths.

 

Now, it's a minefield. When I was a genderqueer, I was part of an online discussion on medical abuse. I used the phrase "I didn't feel like a person, I felt like a female who needed to comply." I got an inbox full of threats and called a TERF for calling myself female and saying that the cause of the violence against me was them seeing me as female which still is my perspective. When I was a teen, it was not only openly discussed but it was considered vital to our health to discuss alternatives to medical transition - it's an expensive process financially and to the body of which research is very limited and for females, we have a high risk of organ atrophy within years - now several health conferences literally ban any discussion of it because they're worried about their image - and violence. Universities are banning research on detransitioned people on ethical grounds - our existence is considered too controversial and unethical to discuss while we have hospitals doing reversal surgeries.

 

It is and never been about who is the most oppressed until a few years ago. Oppression Olympics helps no one. No one identity makes one the most oppressed. Some groups are vulnerable - female people are a socially vulnerable group. Surely we should get some say in how we are called and how our bodies are talked about. Female is a physical, material reality even when people, like me, try to avoid and ignore it with every fibre of our being because acknowledging it seems like a massive threat to... everything. I think there is plenty of room for sex based and identity based space and language and discussion as there has been within our communities for decades until this all went off recently. I think acting like trans people are inherently most oppressed and therefore have more of a right to control language and space than everyone else doesn't actually help anyone...really, I think the current popular rhetoric is harming many young people who see threats around every corner and put all their faith in a cure to their pain when with what little research we have we know isn't there. Statistically, trans people are no more likely and in some communities less likely to be harmed or murdered. The group that is at most risk that bumps up the statistics because the population is so small is the same group most at risk for other people - those involved in sex work. Far better would it be to make sure people were financially supported to prevent people needing to do that to survive than the current governments' obsessions with making certificates easier to get and trying to make misgendering a person a hate crime.

 

As a detransitioned person who was in part and without hyperbole saved by legally protected single sex spaces and the women who worked them and who cared for me no matter how I identified, I think the idea that I was not female because of how I identified and that single sex spaces being protected excludes trans people is nonsense. That only works if you think trans women and their belief in their right to female spaces is the only things that matters to trans people. It's not. Many trans people do not agree with the current changes going on and do not think they will see any benefit. Many will not benefit from space and bathroom laws, the harassment will continue anyways and only those who are strong enough already to fight for themselves will have any chance. That's why so many have fought for years for single use unisex stalls to be included alongside the disabled (which disabled people fought and still fight to have) and the sexed stalls (which women fought for a long time to have and are having to fight again for) and built trans only spaces and groups - there already there no matter the population size. I mean, oddly, in my country, legally, hate crime based on gender identity is nationally recognized and recorded while only a handful of places do the same for sex so I'm thinking population size isn't what matters for these things.

 

I don't get why female people should not have female only spaces? I run groups for disabled people, I run women-as-identity groups, I run mixed LGBTQ+ events, I go to female-only groups, I've gone to immigrant groups in the past, there is room for all of these. People work hard to run and maintain and make sure there is support for all of these. Why is it such an issue for female women to have their own space because I've yet to see anything comparable to anything else. I think female people are just as worth defending as anyone else.

I really appreciate hearing your perspective on this.

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Even with no uterus or even breasts you will always be a biological female. that will never change.

Yeah I was being a bit facetious. But the classic argument against gay marriage is that the purpose of marriage is procreation . If that were actually true , all women over 60 should ineligible for marriage ... the same thing seems to hold here. Making biology the prerequisite to purchasing a festival ticket.

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Here in Canada, a gender clinic that deals with kids was recently shut down for not using the "just accept without question what the kid says" approach.  Their director was one of the foremost researchers on children and gender and they'd been awarded a huge grant to study the effects of drug therapies on kids.

 

What shut them down was optics - lobbyists and a poorly done review by people with little experience in the field at all.

 

To me this is a prime example of the physical reality - including that of the people affected -  being shunted aside in order to maintain particular ideological points.  Because that research was going to be a heck of a lot more important than anything they achieved doing this.

 

I have heard of that and think it is disgraceful. Dr Zucker deserved so much better than that. Dysphoric people deserve so much better. We need options and to have a real idea of the risks. We know that the most common puberty blockers are off prescription drugs that have a history of lifelong side effects, we know synthetic hormones can screw up the endocrine system. I have on one hand the pros and cons of taking hormone treatment for menopause that I went into when I was 27 and big warnings that they should only be taken for a few years because of the increased risks of stroke and cancer, but discussing testosterone therapy will mean likely hysterectomy due to organ atrophy within a few years, that we actually have no idea the long-term effects is practically blasphemy now. 

 

I'm one of the lucky ones. When I was teen in school therapy, I could discuss how my gender issues were connected to my trauma, I could discuss alternatives to the medicine I couldn't afford and wouldn't be given because I was a minor anyways, I could hear in peer group therapies other girls who had been through the same and different ways to cope. For some, transition was the best move, others like me tried it repeatedly because more and more it's treated as a cure-all even when we know so many will not get long-term benefits from it and the side effects are literally deadly. Now, I sit with 22-year-olds while they buy hormones off the internet without medical support, 20 somethings who've been on hormones for a few years now and don't understand why they're still suicidal because no one ever talked them through what transition can and cannot do for people and the idea that they might need other therapies is heavily resisted because they've been taught all their pain is due to being trans, I help 30 something trans sex workers who are struggling to function because everything is about maintaining that identity and what they are doing to keep that is destroying them. It's gone from I want to feel comfortable in my skin in a world that has very small boxes that has treated me horribly to I need to prove to everyone and have everyone acknowledge in my way that I am who I say I am. It's like an entirely different world with entirely different rules has appeared and I struggle to keep up and I've been in it ages. I am not surprised a lot of other people haven't the foggiest 

 

I firmly believe that there is space for women-by-sex and women-by-identity spaces. I don't particularly care if trans women call themselves women and I only get slightly annoyed when one refers to not having their hormones for a few weeks as menopause though it does make it quite a bit harder to discuss it in a mixed sex group. I do get why there is a need for words that separate, that's part of what language does - give us categories so we can understand each other. Personally, I find the move by some to try to change the meaning of male and female baffling and don't think that will help anyone and that it should remain on medical forms and criminal forms and similar because without that information it will make doing any sort of research to help anyone a lot harder. No matter how I identify, I am female. Even in a world where people like to tell me that because I have DSD or because I have gender dysphoria I am not, being female is not something that can be taken from me and I wish people would stop trying. 

 

And I worry about the consequences of having those opinions. I mean Maria Maclachlan got punched and strangled for wanting to attend an event which was open to and included trans women speakers on the potential effects of the changes to the Gender Recognition Act in the UK which could legally change the definition of women and female. I used to be part of running a space for detransitioned women online but had to step away because I couldn't take the threats anymore. I fight to have sex based hate crimes have the same recognition as all the others including gender identity and it's really draining having people try to dismiss it as even existing while at the same time trying to care for my daughter after she's been sexually harassed and threatened by her male peers because she's a girl. My daughters deserve to be defended and to have space and to have attacks they suffer because of their sex recognized as that because I know very well that how we identify isn't going to change that. It's why trans women are mostly recognized for businesses and achievements and trans men mostly are recognized for having babies.  I've been in this so long and it's just...if you ignore the physical reality of sex, you miss a lot. Ignoring it won't make it go away. 

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No, I don't have a problem with women-only spaces.  I went to a women's college (loved it!) and am now a girl scout leader.

 

I don't see any reason to exclude trans women.  Like, any.   Why were they excluded?   Why does an event for women have to be about the uterus? If I had a hysterectomy am I no longer invited?  I don't understand why they made it "women-sex not women-gender" except for some kind of hostility towards trans women.  

 

I also don't understand how "female-sex persons" are supposed to be immune from criticism, or how criticism is seen as aggression.  This is why I compared it to race-separated events in the past.   The biological , material reality is that races are different, and people are not really allowed to hold festivals where other races are forbidden from attending.  Or at least, are not allowed to act like the victims if they are called out on that.

 

It isn't the festival reducing women to their uterus - it's you. Female is material reality and also a lived experience. 

 

No one is saying we're immune to criticism or that all criticism is aggressive. But surely women are allowed to say how we would like to define ourselves? Some do so by identity, others do so by biology. There is room for both. Saying I want space with other immigrants isn't hostile to native born people, saying I want space with other disabled people doesn't mean I'm hostile to able people, saying I want space with women doesn't mean I hate men, saying I want a space for mothers doesn't mean I hate fathers or non parents, and saying I want female space does not mean I am hostile males no matter how they identify. 

 

It's funny how people always want to compare sex to race - but if we try to discuss so called trans racial people the argument always falls apart, when we discuss that there are ethnicity based community groups people fought hard and still work hard for and gives a lot of support to their communities, the argument women-as-sex can't have the same while we fight tooth and nail to keep our women's centres and refuges open falls flat to me. 

 

 

Yeah I was being a bit facetious. But the classic argument against gay marriage is that the purpose of marriage is procreation . If that were actually true , all women over 60 should ineligible for marriage ... the same thing seems to hold here. Making biology the prerequisite to purchasing a festival ticket.

 

There are autistic groups that require proof of diagnosis. Many disability charities and groups require some form of evidence - as does the government when giving assistance. Many jobs require fitness tests. Biology is a prerequisite for a lot of things. 

 

Sometimes, it's just nice to be with other women-as-sex. It's not that hard. My women centre supported me no matter how I identified. My biology was all that mattered and it saved my life. My city has multiple trans groups and women-as-identity groups, but the women's centre helped me and I think trying to disregard women-as-sex spaces as just about the uterus is insulting for all the hard work they do. 

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The link you provided calls for people to: "reject the ideology of gender identity, and policy proposals based on that ideology such as the self-declaration of legal gender."   I read that and thought, if we reject policy proposals based on self-declaration of legal gender..... we reject protections for trans men and women.  How could it be read a different way?

 

However, it appears that the link doesn't lead to writings by Linda Bellos but to someone named Rebecca Reilly-Cooper.  So,  perhaps Bellos has as a less extreme view.

 

Two different people. One is a black, lesbian Jewish woman who began Black History month in the UK. The other is a lecturer in political theory. 

 

Well, you could read the rejection of self declaration as the rejection of self declaration. Self declaration removes safeguards such as living as one's intended gender for two years, having the intention of permanently living as that gender, and making steps towards transition, either hormonal or physical. It also removes the involvement of any medical or pychological oversight. 

 

I'm not sure what protections you're referring to  and linking to here ? 

 

Rejecting the ideology of gender identity - you know that 'gender' is akin to 'soul' here, as there is no material evidence for 'gender' ? Seriously. This 'gender' that you're defending - there is no evidence for it. There is sex, there are sex linked behaviours, and sex based stereotypes, and personality/temperament. There are socially defined constructs of 'masculine' and 'feminine' and obviously, people should feel free to adopt or reject those to whatever extent they wish, regardless of sex. But there is no material basis to the idea of 'gender'.

 

Honestly. I think people need to go away and do their own research on this matter. It's not transphobia to look at the studies in the same way you'd read any study for quality of method or conclusion. It's not transphobia to seek to balance competing rights. It's not transphobia to be concerned about a new epidemic of rapid onset dysphoria in teen girls,which even gender identity specialists worry is a social contagion. It's not transphobia to be troubled by current transactivism - plenty of transsexuals are. They think it's neither in their interests nor in the interests of women. It's not transphobia to question queer ideology and critical theory. It's not transphobia to care that up to 80% of children expressing that they want to be the other sex, even persistently and over a long period, desist by adulthood and become gay men and women, and that social transition and hormone blockers disrupt the desistance rate and produce 'straight' kids. It's not transphobic to want to know more about health effects of long term hormone use in those kids, especially but not only on fertility and sexual function.

 

The transgender umbrella is huge - I mean, I even fit under there, as someone who is agender, or feels she doesn't have a gender. Under that umbrella are people with sex dysphoria which makes their life hell...but they are being forced to share that space with a hell of lot of people whose aims and priorities do not align with theirs, and who most certainly don't give two hoots about women. 

Edited by StellaM
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So trans identified man is a slur, then?  Or at least, I'm sure someone it's how it would be received by the people you are describing.  It's like calling a naturalized citizen a "American-identified foreigner".

 

There really is nowhere to go if you star with a slur.

 

 

 

Look, I take my cue from transsexuals with a whole lot more experience of sex based dysphoria than you or me. They don't want to erase bio sex. They want to present and be seen as women, in order to ease their terrible sex dysphoria, but they don't deny that they are male, and they have male histories, They'd prefer 'transsexual' but would accept trans identified male as an accurate descriptor. 

 

I'm not going to hop to queer demands over their reasoned views.

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I am ok with acknowledging trans men are transgendered. If the debate here was ‘should we them men or transgendered men?’, then your comments would apply. Posters like LMP and Sadie will not use either term.

 

Taking the power of naming themselves away from a vulnerable population is an act of oppression . I suspect they would say ‘I was born with a uterus so I cannot oppress someone who was born with a penis.’ I simply do not think it is true that a women cannot oppress a man by virtue of biology. Especially since it completely removed class and race and culture from the conversation as well .

 

You are not arguing in good faith, because either:

 

1. you don't believe in class analysis, in which case, fine, but your arguments based on this rejection are neither of the left nor are they feminist

 

or

 

2. you're not prepared to make the effort to understand class analysis.

Edited by StellaM

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Thank you for sharing, SporkUK. 

 

I find the aggression towards and silencing of detransitioned women by transactivists very troubling. Your voice, experience and perspective matter and I think we all find your posts on this issue valuable.

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As a traditional conservative person, I do see marriage as specifically and inextricably related to biology and procreation, and that is the essential basis of my opposition to changing the legal (or social) definition of marriage to include same-sex couples.  I don't want to get into arguing it here, which is why I didn't mention it before, but Bluegoat is right that for at least some conservatives they are related ideas.

 

Well, you know what ? At least this argument against SSM is comprehensible. I don't agree with you, because to me, civil marriage is just a - nothing - a legal device  by the state to privilege the coupled (traditionally heterosexual) over the uncoupled. So to take a nothing category and broaden it to me personally means nothing. I'm more of a civil marriage abolitionist anyway. 

 

BUT I can understand this argument in a way that a million x a million discussions of how lesbians are sinners never made clear, lol.  Even though the inextricable link between biology and marriage is unclear to me, I get the shape of what you are arguing. 

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You started it!!!

 

I blame you. :D

I just asked a simple question. Lol

 

Honestly though, I've been reading this thread, and my head is spinning. I give up trying to understand any of it. I feel like I just figured out long division while everyone else around me is talking about differential equations. Lol

Edited by Kinsa
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To me, it really does seem to be the end of category designations about the body at all are encompassed in this thinking - it's complete atomic individualism.

 

And this is why it's totally bizarre that the political left - home of collectivist action and thought - embraces these ideologies. 

 

I'm pretty angry that people on the left just take the easy way out of making nice virtue noises and refusing to grapple with issues of language, of the co-opting of critical theory by post modernism. I mean, seriously, use your brains, people! 

 

And yes, it's hard. This isn't a mild conversation for me, given I'm living with the effects of this stuff in my family. Not that moms matter in queer theory, lol. 

 

I mean, I'd rather be nice. I'd rather be nice and comfy in my virtue too. But jeez. Read. Think. Look where these ideas take us. Is atomic individualism really the best place to stand in order to tackle all the crises facing us now, and in the near future ?

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