(Note: This blog post has nothing to do with the recent difficulties over bannings at the I Blame the Patriarchy boards. I wrote it in response to a cartoon and post created by Amp at Alas a Blog and the resulting commentary. — Heart)
A few responses to the latest anti-radical feminist tactics, screeds, attacks, propaganda:
- Radical feminists are no more “transphobes” than we are “manhaters.” To allege that we are is to indulge in sexist, misogynist, anti-feminist propaganda. The herstoric position of radical feminism is that those who are born male into this world enjoy male privilege, for all of the years they live as males and as men. It is never “_phobic” for an oppressed people group — which females certainly are — to castigate its oppressors, even in harsh and mean-spirited terms, with name-calling, swearing, and hyperbole. It might be mean-spirited, we might be generalizing, we might be stereotyping, we might — and likely are — angry, but we aren’t “manhaters” because we denounce what men do or because we denounce male privilege, which again, all who are born male into the world have or have had. Male to female transsexuals/transgendered persons have enjoyed male privilege, for all of the time that they have moved and lived in the world as males or continue to. To call them out for their sexism whenever we see it, find it, hear of it, know of it, are targeted by it, are impacted and affected by it is not “transphobic.” It is feminism.
- Female-to-male transsexuals/transgendered persons are situated much differently than male-to-female transsexuals/transgendered persons. Transmen have not enjoyed male privilege for any of the years they lived as females and as women, and they never enjoy male privilege as men do. When radical feminists call out transpersons, we are calling them out on their sexism. This means that most of the time, we are calling out transwomen or trans-identified men, not transmen.
- To compare radical feminists to the Religious Right is propaganda, it is a smear campaign, it is disingenuous, and it is transparently and hatefully misogynist. Shame on “progressives” who can’t find more positive ways to articulate their perspectives than to engage in down and dirty cheap shots of this nature.
- I was personally put out of business by the Religious Right. I sued eight fundamentalist organizations including several fundamentalist churches in federal court in 1997 and I won by a unanimous jury verdict. It’s silly to attempt to lump me in with the Religious Right. Having said that, I would much rather deal with the open and unapologetic misogyny of the Religious Right than with the veiled and unapologetic misogyny of white leftist liberal men. At least with the Religious Right, all the cards are on the table, and I do not have to, for example, deal with someone who is calling himself a “feminist” who prostitutes women, makes, uses, or benefits from the making of pornography, and engages in other acts of male oppression and privilege while pretending to be my ally.
- There are plenty of transgender/transsexual people who are religious fundamentalists and the Religious Right does not take any unified or unitary position as to transgender/transsexuality. To suggest that it does is to participate in, and be guilty of, the willful ignorance around issues of religious fundamentalism and religion in general of which far too many liberals, self-identified feminists, and “progressives” so-called are guilty, which ruins whatever shreds of credibility remain so far as the Left goes and clouds the credibility of progressive movements in general. People need to do their homework about the Religious Right if there is to be any productive confrontation or challenge to fundamentalisms (as opposed to tickle-for-a-nickle demonizing and scapegoating). There are female persons, girls and women, being horrifically oppressed by fundamentalist men. They deserve and need our educated and intelligent SUPPORT. Women and girls in fundamentalist religion are not similarly situated with men in fundamentalist religion and should not be lumped in with men in fundamentalist religion. Women in fundamentalist religion are an oppressed people group.
- Mary Daly did not “compare transsexuals with Frankenstein.” This is a lie.
- Male-to-female transsexuality/transgender is really about men’s rights. It has nothing to do with feminism. As such, as feminists, just as we oppose men’s rights, in general, we oppose this manifestation of men’s rights as well.
- One more. Critiques of transgender/transsexuality are no more meant as attacks on individual transgender/transsexual persons than critiques of prostituting women are meant as attacks on prostitutes or critiques of pornography are meant as attacks on women in pornography or critiques of motherhood are meant as attacks on mothers or critiques of marriage as an institution are meant as critiques of married women or critiques of high heels are meant as critiques of those who wear them or critiques of lipstick are critiques of those who wear it or critiques of shaving are critiques of those who shave or critiques of boob jobs are critiques of those who have them, and on and on and on, infinity. Some ought to get over themselves and learn the difference between critiques, analysis, opinions, politics and them. I can critique the hell out of your politics and your theories and ideas and go to the mat for you, love the hell out of you, and be willing to lay down my life for you. This is what any mother knows. This is what any lover knows. If you want to know how to critique and analyze the hell out of something without making it personal, try unconditionally fucking loving somebody, would you? Then you’ll understand. Maybe unconditional love is just so goddamn rare right now, nobody knows what it is any more. And if people don’t learn, then there will not be any revolution, not any time soon.