I don’t write about trans issues because I don’t know enough about it, and I have zilch knowledge of it.
Similarly I don’t write about racism regarding blacks and browns and whatever other skin colour, because I’m white northern European. Nor do I write about homosexuality. Or disability. Or mental illness. I have no direct experience. The most I write on any of these issues is to say that I oppose discrimination for any societal groups, but their voice is more meaningful than mine. Or is it?
Before I continue, I need to spell out a couple of acronyms.
TERFs – Trans Exclusionary Radical Feminists
FETAs – Female Excluding Trans Activists
If those terms leave you shaking your head, try trans feminism.
And an interesting article on FETA.
I don’t care what sex or gender people are. So, in the above article by FT I am the third category.
However, with my NHS hat on, I do care that a shedload of money is spent on trans ops and drugs. Just as I care that money is spent on IVF and plastic surgery.
Some years ago, one of the GPs in my health authority (HA) area approved breast enhancement for one of his patients. She wanted larger breasts so she could be a page three model. My phone did not stop ringing from press calls. And the secretary kept running in with numbers for me to call back.
He approved surgery on the grounds that she suffered low self-esteem aka potential mental health problems.
It goes without saying that I came out with the appropriate guarded comments about his decision, clinical confidential relationships, HA can’t comment on that.
But, my personal view is that, given that resources are finite, I do not see remoulding bodies or creating babies in vitro as a priority when people struggle to gain treatment and drugs for Alzheimers and cancer. Or transplants. Is body-changing surgery such a priority? Is it life or death?
Does that make me a TERF?
The big debate within radical feminism, and those of us who think we are radfems, is whether or not MtoF trans women are women. Can they adequately speak on behalf of feminists? Having spent at least the early part of their life as men, with the accompanying privilege? Did they know what it was like growing up as a girl, a young woman? No.
Trans women have a different experience. Different oppression, different discrimination, different bigotry.
Trans women often want to appear ultra female, thereby reinforcing patriarchal indoctrination. That’s not really guaranteed to get a pass from the average radfem.
I have no answer as to whether or not trans women are women. I just know they haven’t shared my experiences.
Just as men, who wish to be feminist allies, haven’t shared them either.
When I read men, talking amongst their smug little selves about feminism, and how right-on they are, I just groan.
Instead of writing your oh-so-important posts, for other men to applaud, why don’t you find something written by women and link to that?
I’m not qualified to write about many issues. But … the men are. Really? You all know and experience discrimination as women? I think not.
I don’t want to hear your views about sexism. I have my own. And my experience. Dripping patronising condescension does nothing. What are you actually doing to counteract sexism and misogyny? That would be more helpful.
One good post was Pink’s about women in French politics (too idle to link) where the women complained about being judged on their appearance.
Please men, stop telling us what you think. We’d actually like you to consider what WE think.