I’m A Trans Woman. How Can I *Not* Be A Pretendbian?

Trans women can be allies to Lesbians and not Pretendbians! Trans women allies:

1. Recognize that sex matters.

2. Respect that females will want to organize as females, and will not derail.

3. Support female-only spaces.

4. Support issues that impact females uniquely (e.g., reproductive choice) without derailing (a la Julia Serano).

5. Don’t personalize feminist objections to gender identity theory.

6. Speak out against violent threats made by trans activists against females.

7. Recognize that sometimes we will disagree – and that’s ok.

8. Do not view female sexuality as a political obligation (e.g., lesbians need to “overcome” their aversion to penis to “affirm trans women’s realness”).

116 responses to “I’m A Trans Woman. How Can I *Not* Be A Pretendbian?

  1. Hi! I’m a transgirl, 21, and I’m reading your blog trying to understand how to not impede on FAAB (female-assigned-at-birth) rights while fighting for rights of my own. Personally, I identify as pansexual and generally prefer male-identified partners, but I grasp your perspective and can understand a lot of your concerns. I don’t claim to be on the same level as other women – and I don’t claim to identify that way, either. Most other girls grew up with a much fuller understanding of patriarchy and subjugation while that is admittedly rather new to me, so the last thing I want to do is be oblivious to my privilege, even that which I don’t have anymore. I do have a couple comments on this post though:

    -On number 3, why do you have to use the term “female-only spaces”? That implies that I’m doomed not to be considered female because I’m trans. Instead of using an erasing term like “female,” use “FAAB-only spaces”. That way you’re being clearer about the space’s inclusion and exclusion policies in a way that will keep those that need them feeling safer. I can imagine such language would make a lot of other transgirls uncomfortable, but I do know for some it’s important to be in the strict company of those they don’t consider dangerous. I don’t LIKE being considered dangerous, but a truly safe space is one which fits everyone’s needs and individual comfort, even if that means separate spaces when required. The language here is important because female is more than just a term to describe bodies and sex, it’s used as a legal cover-all that transwomen have to adhere to in order to work their way through the system without endangering themselves. I am forced by this system to mark “female” on a number of important forms and documents – including in the workplace – in order to be treated properly by that system. Excluding transwomen from the definition of “female” in the modern world is a divisive policy that makes it harder for transwomen to find safety.

    -On number 6, threats of violence are never acceptable against those who are unified in the struggle against subjugation.

    -On number 2, same comment as on number 3. “Female” should not be a stand in term for “genetic woman”. Use terms that refer to chromosomes, birth assignment, or just straight up genitals. I’d be a lot more comfortable if someone at an event told me a space was for “FAAB identified people only” or, hey, even “women with vaginas only”. It’d be a lot less erasing then if someone said “Only females are allowed here.” It’d also be a lot less dangerous for me, too.

    -On number 1, yeah, sex matters, but don’t call me “male” because I’ve got a dick. Male assigned at birth? Sure, that’s fine, call it that. People who have penises are, a good 9.9 times out of 10, MAAB, but not all people who have penises are male. Assignment is important and should be respected.

    -On number 4, I agree, and that’s important. Transwomen shouldn’t try to commandeer women’s rights issues because, honestly, it’s not our fight. We can support and offer our thoughts as women to the debate but we shouldn’t try to be authoritative voices – or even voices – on issues surrounding reproduction and FAAB bodily rights.

    Some addendum – it is okay to not identify as FAAB if you identify as female. Either you’re a transwoman and can’t identify that way or, as I’ve seen on some blogs, you find that term erasing and fight back against it for that reason. You don’t have to accept it as a personal identity, but do acknowledge that those that aren’t FAAB but do identify as female deserve the same recognition as your personal female identity.

    • Trans women aren’t female.

    • Also, “trans girl”? Seriously? No.

      • I know. Its like a black person, “pretending” they’re human.

        They’re not, they’re something less – just like “trans women” are something less.

        Isn’t that right, bug?

        …….

        Really, what this entire site is about, is what all feminism is about:

        Saying penises represents “RAPE”, the same way Jewish people’s noses represent “GREED”.

        ……..

        You see, anyone NOT born with a vagina.

        They’re inherently corrupt, evil, and not to be trusted.

        ……

        Its the same way people used to think people born with black skin, were inherently corrupt and evil for the similar reasons.

        (Because of their physical characteristics.)

        ……

        If your anataomy is shaped a certain way, that makes you a threat.

        That makes you “Corrupt and Horrible”.

        ……..

        You’re different from them, so that makes you a threat.

        This is because abuse is something only people with dicks do.

        This why when women rape and abuse people, it doesn’t count.

        time.com/3393442/cdc-rape-numbers

        …….

        This is the one patriarchal notion, feminism embraces, rather than challenges.

        Women are equally strong and capible as men – EXCEPT when it comes to abuse.

        Then it just about who has a dick.

        …..

        Because of how you born….

        That will always make you evil and horrible in their eyes.

        They don’t hate you. They forgive you for it.

        ……

        But anyone shaped different from themselves, is the enemy.

        Because after years of people putting shitty labels on them….

        Now its their turn.

        ……..

        But people are waking up to what radical feminism, and feminism in general, really is.

        Its something equally as fucked up, oppressive, and hateful as the patriarchal system it fights against.

        ……

        So if you have a vagina, pat yourself on the back.

        Because what happens to you actually gets to count.

        You actually get to be “Good”.

        You can only be the victim, never the abused.

        So lets applaud another 50 year old female teacher, for sexually abusing another 8 year old boy.

        After all – most child abusers are women, don’t you know:
        http://www.safehorizon.org/page/child-abuse-facts-56.html

        (You’ll never hear a feminist quote THAT statistic, though will you? You can’t vilify boys for their body parts, with statistics like that. So, lets just ignore it, I guess.)

        …….

        So that’s, in a shell, is what feminism is about.

        People with dicks are savage & abusive / People with vaginas are not.

        …..

        Just like:

        People with black skin are savage & abusive / People with white skin are not.

        …….

        Just like:

        The Jews are savage & abusive / Pure blood Germans are not.

        ……

        It goes on and on.

        (So pick a physical characteristic, and let the hate begin.)

        …..

        Anyway, its not that they don’t ignore most medical and scientific theory, that says trans people ARE who they say they are.

        (Because they do that too)

        But the reason they actually CARE is because they think people with certain physical characteristics, are never to be trusted.

        ……

        Its the same mentality every hate group in history has had.

        ……..

        Abuse is not about body parts.

        Its about actions. Its about privilege.

        (But don’t tell them that. Besides, they think trans women ARE privileged.)

        ……

        However: If trans women are so privileged, why are they so busy getting raped and murdered?

        Why do they only get to be porn stars and hookers, instead of “real people”.

        ……….

        They’re really not privileged.

        Coming out as a trans women, is the most dangerous and stupidest thing you could ever do.

        And most people will hate and torture you for it, and say how evil and corrupt you are.

        …….

        Its a lot like being gay in the 50’s, actually.

        …….

        So enjoy your hatred, Pretendbians.

        There’s so much of it to go around, why would I try to stop you?

        ……

        Just don’t sell as equality.

        Own up to your hate, and embrace it.

        I would never fault you for it.

        ……

        Just call it for what it is.

        Because honestly, you’re not fooling anyone.

      • That was a lot of mansplaining I didn’t read.

    • “I am forced by this system to mark “female” on a number of important forms and documents – including in the workplace – in order to be treated properly by that system.”

      No you aren’t. If you are serious about fighting for your rights, consider fighting for your rights to be treated properly by the system in spite of you marking “male” on all documents and forms. In an ideal world there would not be transgenderism, you would be accepted for what you are, without ever having to hate yourself and spend your fortunes on becoming something you aren’t. Transgenderism is just like a big closet, and transgender industry is another name for reparative therapy.

      Please stop calling yourself a woman, trans- or otherwise.

      No, you have never been “forced by this system”; real females are forced by this system from the moment of birth, however, into a life of oppression, violence and rape. You have chosen by your own volition to get yourself into this. It makes me sick whenever individuals such as you speaks of being discriminated against or oppressed. You have got no clue, young man.

      • Totally, cos EVERY woman is raped and abused -_-

        Men get raped too. Men are on the receiving end of domestic violence, and prejudice because of their gender.

        Whats the point of equal rights if they arent equal for everyone, you dickhead?

      • Men rape men. Take it up with them.

        Abusive words get you banned.

      • man you sound like a real bitch. so hateful and spiteful you don’t see men and women are oppressed in different ways. I can never be the house wife I want to be I HAVE to be the provider because im male because of stupid gender roles making the likelihood of me finding a powerful woman who will be in control next to zero. Being feminine and male sucks. period. women got it bad but you are a fool and a bigot to deny our trans identities. fuck you

      • I’m giving Mr. Hersch’s comment about, I dunno, an hour before it gets deleted. Longer if Ms. Brennan is on vacation or off the grid.

      • I approved his comment. Why would I delete it?

      • I was unaware this was a moderated-only-by-a-human posting board. And given the terms “bitch” and “fuck you” in the post, it seemed not unlikely it would be bounced.

      • I will leave the comments demonstrating men’s misogyny pretty frequently. It’s pretty much all they have as a response.

    • Don’t worry hon, these women don’t speak for all feminists.

      • And you don’t speak for women.

      • @Bugbrennan Acctually, women rape people too.

        Its just not allowed to count, because they don’t have penises.

        …..

        Its kind of the one area of the patriarchy you guys embrace, rather than challenge.

        Women are just as strong and capable as men – EXCEPT when it comes to abuse.

        Then those old, false patriarchal notions work just fine, don’t they?

      • Women don’t rape because women don’t have penises. HTH.

  2. Transwomen are the ones who started stonewall and the gay civilrights movement you want something that is biased and your civil rights gay civil rights were born from the trans community read your history. What I dont understand is absolute blindness to our blight and you continue to do thing that can kill us. I understand you seem to have some inept anger towards us why? You dont have to subsribe to our way of thinking but to say we anything less then how we identify is wrong. If you look at any statistics we are under physical attack, rape, and murder at a higher rate than any women. To spout hate in any form is unbecoming of you and feminists, feminst does not mean to hate all that is male or your idea of it but tostrive for equality in everything; life liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. I am a veteran and have fought for all not those I like or do not. You see ttrans people as the way the straight community has view the lesbian and gay community for years. You would also keep our civil rights to where womens civil rights were pre-1900s. I dont ask why you are disliked in many aspects of the LGBT world ask why not. YOu come of as a seperatisit and a regular playground bully.
    Bugbrennan if it is your end goal to have equality, and to men out of womans spaces as you put it you should understand the extreme loss we trans people go through to be authentic. MALE PRIVELEDGE is the first thing to disappear and the there is acceptance from both the straight and gay/lesbian communities who do not understand how a person could want to change genders but not their orientation. We are excluded at every turn and it is your speech that hurts us to our very soul. I ask you to try to do two things attend a transgender (not a CD) support group and listen do not talk, two attend a Transgender Day of Remembrance. When you do these things against an entire community it is looked at with contempt.

  3. Did I insult you I? If so I wasnt trying to you said you wished for debate, but a monty python response or an insult is childish I thought I was dealing with intelligence with a misguided idea of what EQUALITY is.

  4. ok insults you are still a bully and a child. I see no intellectual debate here ok this is a your right im wrong type of deal ever think of joining NOM or defending DOMA you would be good at it!

    • You’re an asshole man mansplaining on my blog. Go start your own blog and mansplain away.

      • That’s right. Insulting people is cool. But if they contradict your insults, they’re totally “mansplaining”.

        ….

        See, that makes perfect sense.

        That’s not a totalitarian thought control tactic, to shut people up.

        Nope. Not at all.

        …..

        So I guess, lets guilt them into silence, over their own latent corruption.

        You know, just like men used to treat women

        (And some still do.)

        ……

        What its like to become everything, you fought against?

        That has GOT to be a bummer, right?

        …..

        Oh, but there I got having contradictory opinions.

        I hope that’s not too “OPPRESSIVE”, that I’m actually disagreeing with you.

        ……

        Democracy in action, right?

  5. omg bugbrennan you are completely insane, bigoted and a general menace to society. One day your karma will catch up to you and you will be forced to pay penance for your hate mongering. The trans movement is the civil rights struggle of our time. Get used to it. You hate blogs, wont stop us, slow us down, make us rethink or change us. All you are achieving is encouraging good people to see through your bigotry and creating more allies for us. For that we thankyou. You actually perform a civil duty for trans people by continuing to be your hateful self. On behalf of the global trans community we thankyou for all your time and effort. Good day. (y)

  6. hey Bugreman your bigotry and ignorance suit you well it matches your picture to a “T” and as mentioned you are a class A bully
    have a nice
    Day

  7. I am sitting here reading over your blog and find myself shocked by your ignorance and hate. What is your real issue with trans woman? Why don’t you do something that is actually proactive for feminism? You complain about oppression from a patriarchal system and then go around oppressing others. Judging by your stats your sitting in lowly corners of the internet. If your going to insist that being trans is impossible why don’t you present your evidence? All I see on this blog is pseudoscience and opinions. I guess you can’t actually back up your claims.

    I am also noticing it be a theme on these transphobic blogs that you only pick on teenagers and people with low followings. In other words your a coward.

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  9. Did you consider that maybe there’s room to disagree with these concepts in the first place, and that you shouldn’t be ordering around a group which are objectively more oppressed than women in the first place? I understand there needs to be a conversation and some give and take here, but most of this is rooted in some rather horrendous attitudes towards trans people and you’re basically just asking us to accept we should be “Othered”. You can’t just claim you don’t hate us, you have to show some real respect. I don’t agree with the concept of “female only spaces”. I don’t agree with derailing issues that apply to cisgendered women, but that should be a given.

    In all honesty, in a better world I don’t think we should even need trans inclusive female only spaces, let alone exclusive ones.

    I wrote a couple of blogs about how people abuse the concept of boundaries within the LGBT community.

    REDACTED

    Transwomen are excluded from far more places than regular women.

    Also, Cathy Brennan is an evil human being. I don’t say that because I “hate women”, I say that because I hate Cathy Brennan. What ever trauma made her that way, there’s a limit to how much sympathy you can have towards someone who only causes traumas for others.

  10. ok
    1. female space or space for female means just that for females. if you have to clairify you are female. chances are you are not. quit trying to coopt what is not yours by birth.

    2. xx equals female xy equals male. if you see yourself any differently feel free to identify as other. everyone has the right to see themselves as they wish. They do not have the right to force their self appointed view on someone else.
    3. females do not have penis’s. If you have one you are a man who is in transition not a female. get over the idea that simply because you say so you have the right to spaces designated for women only. fake boobs and wigs do not make a female. make up and heels do not make a female. hormones do not make a woman. chromosomes make a woman. The trappings are simply social constructs placed upon us by society.
    4. as a lesbian I love women. I do not want to sleep with men or have sex with men. If you have a penis I do not want to sleep with you because you are a man so stop whining when you can not get a lesbian to sleep with you because guess what penis means man.
    5. you had your say now I have had mine…… I would be your friend. I would even be supportive of your body dysmorphia and call you by whatever names you desire. That is where my alleigence would end because you would not be welcome into my lesbian space because to me lesbian space is for lesbians only. sorry if this bothers you.

  11. Well said gabrielglens with compassion and dignity

  12. Ugh… Your use of language is giving me a headache. I’m a trans woman that bought into the feminist idea of “female spaces.” I still kind of do! But i’m at a turning point as a feminist trans woman that does not want to have srs because i’ve learned to see my assigned “male penis” as a “woman penis” not only that but it’s apart of my body and i don’t have dysphoria about it anymore.. A penis does not = man for me. My penis has been assigned “male” which is different! And my trans woman penis functions very differently from a cis man’s penis, esp. considering my hormones. The trans woman penis needs a second look.
    I think we can trouble the logic of how we see gender when we discuss trans identities/experiences with assigned sex and how there’s this radical idea that being assigned a male does not mean i’m a man. If we want to play along with the system and the language it uses, we could say i’m a male woman. The word “man” is a social construct. The word “male” is assuming biology. I consider my sexuality queer.. but am mostly attracted to men. I never identified as gay though, and still don’t.. Queer has worked for me because i have this perception of sexual fluidity for myself now. Now, communication is constitutive so i understand that you will have a different relation to these words.. I’m really interested in this dialogue because i want to be a good feminist, but i am also a trans woman that’s a feminist and i’ve got trans feminist values. I think gender is this growing and changing idea. I don’t see myself as a woman. I see myself as a “trans” woman. My gender has been “oppressed” until i was able to understand there were options for me. And now my oppression is different. But! I do stand with my trans sisters who identify as lesbians. I don’t think biology should hold so much significance to identities that aren’t biological. The word “lesbian” is an idea just like the word “gay” “queer” “transgender.” What have you! These ideas don’t have biologies. I’m not saying it’s wrong we attribute them to biology, but i think it needs a second look of whose welcome to use these identities. I may identify in some ways, separate from queer, as a heterosexual trans woman. That doesn’t mean i want to engage in sex with straight men nor believe I have the chance, but i want to be respected as a woman by them because that’s how i see myself, and as a trans activist i fight to to help others understand that i’m a trans woman. I want to be treated like anyother cis woman, but that doesn’t mean i want you to think i have a vagina. It changes the way I have been able to perceive the penis. Like believe this or not, i’ve had a penis my whole life, but i’ve also been a hardcore misandrist and have been dealing with that. This wasn’t self-hate. I hated “men” I hated “masculinity” I didn’t hate the “penis” it was the “man.” i dont know.. It’s even like, who i was perceiving as a man. Right? Like, will there be genital inspections as female born female spaces? Because the whole women born women is offensive. I am a woman, and was born one. But I was assigned male. It’s the language use that was giving me a headache. Anyway! i know this is complicated and doesn’t maybe make sense.. But that’s because i’m trying to dialogue and in this dialogue really change your perception. And perceptions are for the most part set in stone unless your willing to change it. Trans women lesbians should be able to be accepted in cis woman lesbian groups. If not, i am realizing that it is transphobic. The idea of female born female spaces, anyway. And it being transphobic is not a bad thing necessarily.. It’s problematic, but not necessarily bad. Anyway, that’s all i have to say for right now… torn1990.tumblr.com

    • you, sir are a self righteous prick of an individual. You give trans people a bad name. shame on you for trying to co-opt space which is not yours for the taking. Learn to accept the word no, if you are attracted to men you are a gay man. if you are attracted to women then you are a straight male. in no way does this make you a lesbian nor does it allow you entry to lesbian space. a penis is a penis there is no such thing as a male penis and a female penis. women do not have penises ever. if one has had reassignment surgery I still do not want to date you or have sex with you because despite your body modification you are still a person with xy chromosomes. This fact will never change.

      learn to love yourself as you are instead of trying to be something you will never be. learn to accept the word NO if you attempt to proposition the wrong person though. Lesbians do not like having sex with men or male bodied people. learn to accept the word NO. I can not say this enough. NO you do not have the right to be in our space because you do not belong here. This does not make us horrible people this simply means we are finally sticking up for our rights. we are asking you and others to simply respect our boundaries and when you do not then we are going to stand up to you and tell you NO. No NO NO nO no matter how it is written NO means NO.

      you see yourself as a woman we do not see you as one because you are not one. you are a man. i personally dont give a rats ass how you identify or how anyone identifies because gender is nothing but what society lays upon us all. you have the right to be as you wish to hang whatever gender identity you want onto yourself. It still will not make you a woman. I am sorry if this offends you. I am sorry you have become deluded into thinking your penis is somehow now a ladee penis. Your penis is still your sexual organ and as such is not welcome into lesbian space

  13. Your dick is not an identity, sir. You’re a guy.

  14. I was at an award ceremony when i read this response on my cell phone. It really took me back to pretty ugly times where i didn’t know transition was possible because i didn’t know what was wrong with me and why people were perceiving my body the way they were. I thought suicide sounded awesome. It took a little effort to pull myself out of your transphobic remark, transphobe. Trans people are discriminated against, ignored, are murdered committing suicide. what can you do to help?

  15. Congrats Aaron on your male privilege and deciding that your male sex organ is infact “womanly.”

    • At the very least claiming a transwoman has “male privilege” is seriously oversimplifying it. Transwomen are less privileged overall than actual natal women. You are delusional if you think otherwise.

      • HAHAHAHAHAHAHA.

        There is no bigger example of male privilege than the fact that a man can claim to be a woman and have people bend to his will.

  16. i remember when i used to start dialogues with and about other trans women like myself and male privilege.. I still focus on male privilege, but i don’t use it in a way that attacks people in the LGBT community. This is just ridiculous. I realized I was doing more harm then good, and it’s not the activist work I wanted to focus on.
    Good luck with your transphobia. in the mean time, i’m going to try and be an activist that works to build community, love, and acceptance and work to help spread awareness about issues that effect the LGBTQ community. And through that, i will understand that privilege is relative.

  17. Redacted comment from a man pleasing Woman.

  18. why is your blog so damn good.
    I thought I was just a shitty trans person for accepting that lezzies wouldn’t like my dick and that I knew I would never be able to change the first 17 years of my life and those would always remain as me being a guy. It kinda sucks because apparently being this rational in the trans community gets you labeled as a faker. I am so glad that there is someone who isn’t a complete blithering asshole or a everyone must be perfectly accepted for who they are by everyone else idiot.

  19. Pingback: Stay In Lane | Pretendbians: Exactly Like Lesbians, Except Not

  20. > (e.g., lesbians need to “overcome” their aversion to penis to “affirm trans women’s realness”).

    Does this apply to post-op MtFs? Or would the aversion be to subtler things like Y chromozone, brain chem, hormone, history?

  21. You are legitimately insane. You are not a good person. You actually have mental problems and are crazy. Seriously, reading your posts makes me as nauseated as reading the words of slave owners back in the 1840s. No, I’m not “trans”. I was born a “woman” with “female” genitalia. And I’m hugely feminist. You are not a feminist. You are NEVER a feminist. Sorry.

  22. How can you be a “feminist” when you are against feminine people? I saw your post about the trans woman who was tortured and murdered. How can you say “this is so sad” when, judging by your blog comments, you vehemently hate trans-women??

  23. I realize that I’m kind of late to the party, comment wise, but I just wanted to say that, for whatever it’s worth, I think this is a pretty reasonable list. It Is upsetting to see the arguing and hate go back and forth about all this stuff, especially the vitriol coming from the supposedly “good” side (the one that I’m on, but a little embarrassed of, that is). The way I see myself does not rely on me harassing women who do not consider me to be one of them.

  24. My biggest fear is that you are absolutely right.

    I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to say as if it was the good side, at all…just the one that I am expected to be on.

  25. Brain scanning techniques have concluded that transwomen have brain structures that match more closely to female brains than male brains.
    http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn20032-transsexual-differences-caught-on-brain-scan.html#.UyjMN4XljIU

    So here is where I am interested. Do you contend that it is purely genitals that matter? Or do you actually acknowledge transwomen think and feel more similarly to women due to brain structure and actually change your position on the situation?

    In the case that it is only genitals that matter, would you concede that just because someone is born with a penis that they are entitled to male-privilidge? Would it not even be contestable that it is a person’s appearance that decides that because of how the people surrounding them view them?

    In the case you acknowledge the brain structure characteristics, where do you draw the line? Where is the acceptable level of inclusion amongst transwomen and cis-women? And why do you draw the line there?

    • Men don’t rape women with their brains, sir.

      • iamtechnicolour

        Um, well the decision to rape is made with the brain. If trans-women have the same brain structures as women then are you saying women are equally capable of rape if given a phallic object with which to rape with?

        Also trans-women don’t typically have a functional penis after a few months HRT.

      • No women have functional penises ever, sir. And transwomen don’t have “female brains,” sir.

  26. If we had any real courage, we would be sporting our uniqueness as a revolutionary act against gender and conventional notions of bodily autonomy; if we don’t like our organs, we should be able to change them. If we don’t like the sumptuary requirements of masculinity, we can express ourselves however we wish. But guess what, fellow translings, co-opting a female identity is not only taking the easy way out, but it is hurting females. That’s right, you heard it from a trans ‘woman,’ no, we are NOT female. That transphobia you are facing? Guess what it is? It’s called sexism. Men rule the gender pecking order, and have historically done so since gender has existed – when trans people get attacked, who are the overwhelming majority of our attackers? Good job, you guessed it – MEN! (here, have a cookie). Men attack us for a variety of reasons which I will not get into in detail because to do so will reference a wealth of feminist discourse that most trans people don’t bother to read. They all boil down to sexism, which is based on gender roles.

    Abolishing gender will not kill trans people. It will free us to figure out truly who we are and what we are about. But to say that we ‘give up male privilege’ with one breath and then proceed to silence the needs of women with the other is an act of violence. The fact that we EXPECT people to listen to us, and then threaten sanction if they don’t – is this the result of female or male-typical socialization?

  27. I realize this is a few months gap, but once I read this I had to say something. You see, i am a Trans woman myself, and while I will concede that I’ll never know what it’s like to really “be” a woman, I still identify as a female. Yes, I was assigned male at birth, but my entire life that was lived as a male felt completely off to me, like I was playing a part for a play or something, and wasn’t who I truly was. I won’t pretend for a minute that i’m a woman, or that I should instantly gain access to female only areas, (though to be fair unless you’re speaking of restrooms or other such places where such rules of privacy or discretion should normally be observed this is just as sexist as a bar that only serves men)

    Now I’ve stated I don’t identify male, but it’s not that easy I suppose to just say I identify female, because that’s not really it. Like I said, and some of you have pointed out, I am not a woman, and will never know what it means to be a woman, however I am also not a man. I agree with Miriam in that gender should be abolished. Things that are male only or female only leave out a very important crowd, those who were assigned one way at birth and decided or felt over the course of their life that the assignment was wrong.

    I may just be writing from opinion here, but the hate I see on the blog above me is exactly why a lot of men think that all feminists are ignorant hateful b*****s. I support feminism 100%, where I probably differ is that I believe in equality for all, not just for men and women, but men who wish they were women, and women who wish they were men for that matter. The thing to remember here is that hate breeds hate, it doesn’t just well up out of nowhere and take root, someone starts hating because someone hated on them before. As an example let’s take a look at Ms. Brennan: She has a rather extreme view of what feminism is, and what classifies or “qualifies” to be a female. This is fine, but she shouldn’t be taking it out on people who don’t fit her qualifications. Telling a trans woman like myself that “no women have functional penis’s. Ever.” and repeatedly calling them sir is just going to make trans women hate feminists. For a minute I almost left the site because of the hate spewing from her keyboard, and had I left it would have been without a seconds thought, and with no regrets. However having taken the time to post this and hopefully educate some of you, less open minded people, I feel like we can make a collective step forward. The issue here isn’t “Male vs Female” or “Cis-Female vs Trans Female” or even “Cis Male vs Cis Female vs Trans Female vs Trans Male” The issue here is person vs person, and it shouldn’t have a vs there, we’re all people, and we all deserve the same level of courtesy and respect. Thank you.

  28. it is impossible for a class of people to appropriate lesbians when the cold hard data shows that more hate crimes happen to transsexual women than any other minority in the country. also, this article says to not derail lesbian issues in the process of supporting your own issues, but this article is literally doing that. lesbians have 10 times more privilege than transsexual women do. thanks for basically calling us men and accusing us of not recognizing that sex matters. i will be staying inside all day today, waiting to die, shaking my head at the hypocrisy of number 8 since the pot is blatantly calling the kettle black. have fun making me feel unsafe when i walk past you.

  29. You said previously that all that matters are chromosomes, so a woman with AIS (androgen insensitivity syndrome) should be addressed as “sir” and called out from female spaces, and treated like a transgender?

  30. Okay so I myself am (physically at least) male. I am currently “questioning” myself and my gender.
    when I think of my past and present being spent as a guy. it just makes me feel really depressed and I don’t really understand where this feeling comes from.
    I first had these feeling about age 4-6. I cannot imagine how this could arise from a desire to “invade” female only spaces, because at that age I would have had very little concept of what that was.
    How would you explain my feelings? what should I do? awaiting your advice Matthew.

  31. maybe maybe. but I have heard that there are various experiments (posted on transsexual websites) and autopsies showing that transsexuals have feminine brain structures. There definitely is a difference between the brains of men and women.

    That being said I do find the whole “woman trapped in mans body” hard to buy into. Just sounds like something off a sci-fi to me. I am going to a gender clinic in the near future maybe I should challenge them a little.

  32. So you believe all the evidence that male and female brains are different is created by people with an agenda? Why?

    Most of these studies show that men and women have a similar level of intelligence. The fact that many scientists where males only shows the historic sexism of our culture.

    You also call yourself a “gender atheist”. but atheist is derived from Greek with A= no theist=god. so the word atheist is only for religious topics not ones on the debate about gender.

    • “All the evidence” is basically none, and none of that evidence accounts for the presence of functioning male reproductive organs in a “transwoman.”

      Gender is your God, hon.

  33. Firstly it seems like you are saying that all there is to a women is their “reproductive organs” I do think that…I think what is between the ears does also matter.

    One of the most interesting, but most often unmentioned point, is that all embryos start off as female. that means that every man who has ever suppressed women was once female! 😄

    So SRS actually prepositions the same tissues that would of been the other organ. so a neo-vagina is a butchered penis in the same way a penis is an enlarged clitoris.

    still many transwomen do “keep” their male sex organs. I can sympathize with some of this after all invasive surgery can be very scary.

    Gender is not my god….OCD is…

  34. Just verifying that I’m reading/interpreting correctly: For the purposes of not being a “Pretendbian”, a MtF trans woman must recognize that she is male, full stop? Or is a MtF trans woman considered male so long as she has transitioned “completely”, i.e. had bottom surgery as well, but if she still has a penis she is considered male for the purposes of this list?

    I ask because I know many MtF trans women who consider themselves women, but e.g. with regard to “support female-only spaces” the context of this list seems to be “assigned-at-birth female only”, i.e. “no trans females”. But I don’t want to assume. Would that be correct?

  35. All MtF trans women who call themselves lesbians are considered for the purposes of your list above to be “pretendbian”? And no MtF trans woman of any stripe can be considered “female” by your definition here? i.e. for the purposes of e.g. “supporting female-only spaces”, a trans woman should simply consider herself male?

    I promise am not being pedantic; I am just trying to be clear in my understanding.

  36. Thank you for the clarification.

  37. I don’t understand why this list is so difficult to comprehend. I applaud men who willingly reject hegemonic, prescribed masculinity, but it’s pretty clearly counterproductive to anyone with functioning critical thinking skills to adopt the “identity” or form of the oppressed sex to morph into some sort of super-mecha “oppressed being” that absolutely no one can argue with without ~*tRiGgEriNg*~ a suicide attempt. That is the definition of “silencing” women. Maybe, just maybe, if you could respect the boundaries of women, and fight along side us for our liberation, we would return the favour and treat you as our friends and not as our invaders. Yes, respect is earned. No one is endorsing physical or political harm against you. But your feelings? Your self image? No one owes you validation.

    You rock, Cathy!

  38. The list, I agree with. But Cathy, you really need to get an attitude adjustment with these snarky “sir” comments of yours. You’re doing it deliberately to spite these people, and that is the farthest thing from cool. It does not rock. Also, I noticed that anytime someone had a good point, you had nothing to say besides things like “too long, did not read” or “mansplaining.” Maybe from your perspective that’s how you avoid responding to something that’s not worth your time. But I don’t think you realize that when you make a move like that, it actually gives off the impression that you pick and choose your battles—you won’t respond to an argument if you’re on the losing end of it. It’s almost as if you view these comments as a chance to show off how terse and mean you can be, how “you are always right,” rather than a chance to continue a dialogue with your readers. You ought to know better than this.

  39. Unless I’m misunderstanding your position, the premise behind which you’re operating is that there are two biological sexes, and it doesn’t matter what a person does post-birth, their sex remains the same. Further, that “gender” is a null concept that should be eliminated, and one should base one’s positions from a purely biological perspective. That is: To create a female-only space, one must ignore the concept of “gender” entirely and create a space for biological females, irrespective of gender. So a person who is a MtF trans woman is still a man, and should not be included in a female/woman-only space.

    The article posits that the concept of binary sexuality is incomplete, and the assumption that sex is binary is inadequate. This would imply that a re-examination is appropriate.

    I don’t think it’s much of a stretch from “sexes are non-binary” to a discussion of gender, but I’m sure you have no interest in going there.

    • Human beings are sexually dimorphic. intersex conditions are not “transgender conditions.” Gender is a social construct, a hierarchy that oppresses Women and Girls.

  40. Interesting piece, dougom. Cathy, if you were interested in scanning the article for something related to transgender people, here’s a relevant part you may have missed:

    [“My feeling is that since there is not one biological parameter that takes over every other parameter, at the end of the day, gender identity seems to be the most reasonable parameter,” says Vilain. In other words, if you want to know whether someone is male or female, it may be best just to ask.]

    I have heard you mention before that your adversaries/opponents/detractors do not read what you write, or listen to what you have to say, and that’s why you find it pointless to converse with them. Here we have a case where you’re doing the exact same thing. I don’t know if it’s willful or not, but it is certainly ignorance. If you’re not looking for dialogue, then you must not value what other people outside of yourself have to say. I think that’s a big part of why you have enemies: you won’t take someone seriously if they don’t agree with you, or you don’t agree with them. You’re making a mistake.

    Nobody deserves to be sent the threats and insults that have been hurled your way. I think I can understand why you’d react with negativity toward anyone who disagrees with you, given the hatred you’ve had to endure. However, you have nothing valuable to gain by treating every individual who does more than simply agree with you as an opponent to quickly shut down and forget. And I don’t think there’s anything ignoble about learning a lesson either; if you take away nothing else from what I write, at least take away this: your “sir” talk needs to stop. You know very well that you are using it as an insult and not an honorific.

    • The feelings men have about “being a woman” do not make them women, sir.

      • Actually, our feelings and our actions in respect to these feelings have a great deal to say about who we truly are. We are more than what the world makes us, we are also what we make ourselves. How we respond to the arbitrariness of the world is quite telling of our character. A lot of it is in our hands. Not that there’s anything I can say to change your mind … but I do believe the status of oneself being a man, woman, or nonbinary gender ought to be for each of us to decide, and not for an outside party to dictate. The standards for one of us may not necessarily apply to the other. That’s why it’s best to simply ask whether someone is a man or a woman, rather than make rude assumptions. I don’t think there’s anything hard about it.

      • You talk a lot. Bye!

  41. If you wonder what problems radical feminists have with trans women, they’ve given plenty of examples here. So many of you go through all that effort to transition, and them ACT LIKE MEN saying things like ‘suck my dick’. smh
    You are your own worst enemies! Realistically, the biggest sin being committed against you here is their not being willing to gender you as women, because like it or not, we’re *not real women*. Our biology, chromosomes and DNA are all MALE. We’re appropriating a female identity. We’re NOT the same as natural-born women, as much as we’d like it to not be so. You can’t just spout a bunch of pseudo-science and remake biology by claiming somehow we’re just women in men’s bodies. There is no real, true science behind this.
    It’s not a big deal, just don’t be delusional about all this. There’s no reason to force others to like you, believe as you do, or to have sex with you. You are not going to change their minds – let them be. They’re truly not your enemies.

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