Read Real Transbigotry at Pam’s House Blend. Then read the comments and the links in the comments.
The real transbigots are not us radical feminists/lesbian separatists this time. The real transbigots identified in Cathryn’s post are persons born male-bodied, who live as men most or all of the time, but who identify as women and on that basis believe they belong in women’s restrooms, showers, dressing rooms, Michfest, and so on. Their bigotry is evidenced, according to Cathryn, by their attacks on post-op transwomen’s bodies and lives, because post-op transwomen aren’t buying what they are selling. And understandably so. Post-op transwomen have lived as women, sometimes for many decades, and yes indeed, they have gained some insights into the lived realities of womanhood in that process. As they correctly state, women have reason to be afraid when persons sporting penises, male musculature, and male lived realities, attitudes, posturings, show up while they are dressing, showering, using the commode, and so on stating that in fact they belong because they are women. Evidently the objections of post-op transwomen are resulting in the kinds of no-holds-barred attacks from non-op transpersons (who never intend to “op” nor even live as women most of the time) with which some of us are all too familiar. I mean, what’s wrong with you. Of course someone who lives as a man most of the time but identifies as a woman should freely stroll in wherever women are dressing, peeing, or showering, and if women have a problem with that, they should get over it. I mean, what’s with all of this victim thinking. It’s just a penis, after all, a flap of skin. Pfft.
It’s interesting– in the comments thread, one commenter writes that she is reading Janice Raymond’s Transsexual Empire and finds it… not really so bad? She sort of agrees with some of what Raymond is saying, actually. And what Raymond is saying doesn’t come close, she says, to what these non-op transpersons and their advocates say in terms of sheer hatred and viciousness.
Well, yeah. As we’ve been saying.
I think what is happening is the logical outworking of the theoretical underpinnings of transgender. Being a woman, I believe, is about subordination because of our bodies. There is no more basis for womanhood being about the physical altering of bodies through surgeries or hormones than it is about ideas or thoughts in the mind or past lives or mystical, metaphysical knowings of various kinds. Post-op transwomen are beginning to see this because — guess what — they have now experienced being subordinated because of their bodies! These problems with transgender theories have always been apparent, though usually masquerading as class issues, i.e., how is it right to acknowledge the womanhood of someone who could afford surgery and not to acknowledge the womanhood of someone who could not? The deeper issue is, of course, what connection would surgical procedures have with womanhood in the first place? And why? How so? Our answer, some of us, is being a woman is not about surgical procedures, ideas or thoughts or beliefs about oneself or “identity”. Being a woman is about being mistreated by patriarchy because of our female bodies. That mistreatment — in whatever its form — is what female persons know and share as women. It’s what those who have not lived as female persons and women do not know and so they dismiss what we, as women, say about our lives, our realities, our fears, what we need. Sometimes they don’t just dismiss, they steamroll over us, and so far, there has been little we could do about that.