One of the most frustrating things about writing is when your target audience completely misses the point, often wilfully. This week, the Morning Star published my piece which calls for the transgender movement to seek some form of congruence with women’s causes:
Our starting point is a willingness to listen and being able to admit our differences from women:
Human beings are sexually dimorphic and trans women are biologically male
Sex-based socialisation is a reality and the lives of women and trans women are different
Women are entitled to their own spaces, groups and organisations, and no woman is compelled to accept a trans woman as a sexual partner
It is wrong for trans women to threaten or abuse women either in real life or on the internet.
Of course, the response from women, particularly feminists, was overwhelmingly positive, and the response from the trans community has been negative: only in the world of trans could a call to support women be met with derision:
So many times, I see statements about how transwomen support women, particularly from self-defining ‘feminist’ transwomen who are often anything but:
Three areas women aren’t supported: cotton ceiling, women’s spaces, cultural misogyny @cateatsu @pavahk @ZJemptv @ZoeyTheWolfe @MariTheTNF— Miranda Yardley (@TerrorizerMir)
The Cotton Ceiling
TheI’m tired of hearing about the cotton ceiling. That essay was so titled in reference to a trans woman’s panties. @TerrorizerMir— Cat with no big bro (@cateatsu)
I too am sick of hearing about the ‘cotton ceiling’. Women have the right to deny male-bodied individuals from access to their own bodies.
In case Cis Lesbians werent aware, heres two types of Transmisogyny to avoid, and how to avoid them!!! -… http://t.co/mmsLUuQQ9p— Trans Resource (@TransResource1)
The above tweet from yesterday (Christmas Day!) links to this Tumblr post which states the following are ‘transmisogyny’ (transnewspeak for misogyny directed at transwomen, misogyny being “dislike of, contempt for, or ingrained prejudice against women”):
Type A Transmisogyny: “I’m a lesbian and therefore am not attracted to any trans women by default.” (Regardless of her beauty, ability to “pass”, or structure of her genitals)
Type B Transmisogyny: I’m a lesbian and therefore am not attracted to pre-op…
This is transwomen telling lesbians that have contempt for, or ingrained prejudice against transwomen, if they refuse to accept a transwoman as a partner. It is even going as far as to tell lesbians they should accept male-bodied individuals with penises as lovers.
A thousand fucking times I will say it, no woman or lesbian is required to accept a transwoman as a partner, this claim the transgender movement is making over women’s bodies and sexuality is pure men’s rights activism.
It’s only Cathy Brennan and Linda Shanko’s lies and hysteria spreading that demands otherwise. @TerrorizerMir— Cat with no big bro (@cateatsu)
Of course, the most compelling way to demonstrate your feminist cojones is to tell women they are hysterical and that they lie. Protip: if you listen to both these women, you might learn a little of what it actually means to be a woman.
These tweets speak for themselves.
As far as women’s spaces go, trans women belong in them just as much as any women. @TerrorizerMir— Cat with no big bro (@cateatsu)
However, given the vastly greater numbers and money cis women have I’m not seeing the obligation. @TerrorizerMir— Cat with no big bro (@cateatsu)
No, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no. How dare you be so arrogant. Transowmen are not women, we have different lives to women, we do not automatically have a claim to their spaces. This is arrogant men’s rights activism that completely ignores women’s lived reality.
As far as cultural misogyny goes, trans women tend to be just as subject to it as cis women, and it’s often even more lethal.@TerrorizerMir— Cat with no big bro (@cateatsu)
Two wrongs don’t make a right. Attacking cultural misogyny/mistreatment of women is something I would have thought transwomen could really get behind, alas no: this attitude is very much ‘every man for himself’ and demonstrates a breathtaking lack of empathy with women and women’s causes.
Where do we go from here?
I’ve said it so many times, for examples of earth-shattering miogyny and untempered contempt for women, look at the transgender movement. But it doesn’t have to be like this. Transwomen can align politically with women and support their causes and the first step towards doing this is to listen.