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Feb 27 17 2:08 PM

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This article made me cry.

http://www.feministcurrent.com/2015/11/10/why-i-no-longer-hate-terfs/

Not so much because of the author's (  http://www.feministcurrent.com/tag/penny-white/  )  expressed opinions but due to the comments left by readers.  A Trans-woman - Claire ( https://disqus.com/by/disqus_JjNndUpZxh/ ) - is expressing the trans side and set against her are some very angry voices.  The thing is I cannot totally disagree the the sentiments expressed by either side of this... um... let's call it a debate.  And that is why it is so upsetting because I see the reason for the discomfort of some cis-women around trans-women.  I myself have been on the recieving end of abuse from a violent and obsessive trans-woman (one who actually showed me the pistol she kept in her purse! )  Also, I express a lot of sorrow for Trans-women who are struggling for acceptance as women.

I do not have an opinion to express here exactly, but it is my sincere hope that open and honest dialogue will eventually create enough understanding to bring most of us together.  I have tried to find totaly positive agruments coming from the obvious TERFs in the comment section, but I could not.  I found several admissions that Trans have rights and they should have their own safe spaces... just not "REAL women's" spaces.  

I feel a bit ill now - so I'll just post.  Feel free to comment
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#1 [url]

Feb 27 17 3:11 PM

Looking at the comments on articles anywhere can be a mistake... I look at stories to do with politics... There is so much HATE out there, its very worrying

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#2 [url]

Feb 27 17 8:31 PM

Bobbi Dare wrote:
This article made me cry.


I do not have an opinion to express here exactly, but it is my sincere hope that open and honest dialogue will eventually create enough understanding to bring most of us together.  I have tried to find totaly positive agruments coming from the obvious TERFs in the comment section, but I could not.  I found several admissions that Trans have rights and they should have their own safe spaces... just not "REAL women's" spaces.  

I feel a bit ill now - so I'll just post.  Feel free to comment

You won't find anything positive from TERFs.
 
More apologies to you if I had sparked an interest in you over the TERF acronym.  Before my ban from that other site, my transwomen (among my less than 40 circle of people) constantly had fights with TERFs.  So, from their fights, I learned a lot about gender differences and the trans experience.  The most compelling ridicule that the anti-fem MTFs had of the TERFs was that these women (TERFs) are envious that they are not men. Short and simple.  

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#3 [url]

Feb 28 17 3:17 AM

What truly fascinates me about the TERF is that they despite their "social constructivist" arguments, and despite the fact they must have seen how science has been used to suppress women ("nymphomania", "hysteria"), feel no qualms about using old fashioned, patriarchal theories like "transvestic fetishes" and "autogynephilia" to invalidate transgender women.

They have set up several blogs where they repeat Blanchard's autogynephilia dogma and provide "examples" of trans people who seemingly live up to the cliche of the perverted bathroom stalker. In other words: Under the surface of academic intellectualism, lives a beast who cares nothing about facts or the feelings of others. The goal is to find any argument that can be used to trash people like us. Which is probably also why they have few qualms about supporting right wing, religious, extremists -- i.e. people who are anything  but feminist.

I believe it is important for us to understand this mechanism. Only if we understand it, can we do something about it. And the clue seems to me to be to humanize transgender people in general and crossdreamers in particular. We have to get behind the cliche or the stereotype. The members of CDL are actually not violent rapists stalking women's bathrooms. But that is what many of the TERFs try to tell the world.

The acceptance of homosexual people did not come as a result of academic discussions. It was the end result of a virtous circle where increased urbanisation and liberalisation caused more homosexuals to come out of the closets. This meant that more and more people learned to know homosexuals for real, and they realized that gay and lesbians were just people like themselves, and not perverted child molesters as many of the extremists wanted people to believe. 

But the fact that homosexuality was taken out of the DSM psychiatric manual helped speed the process. One of the main arguments used by homophobes and transphobes is that we are all mentally ill. The new and correct understanding, that the mental problems of gay and trans people is caused by harassment and oppression and not by being gay or trans in itself was of great help.  

When I get into a clinch with TERFs and reactionary relgious fanatics is to repeat two main messages:

1. Being transgender is not a mental illness, and the medical establishment says so in the DSM-5.  Ref http://crossdreamers.blogspot.no/2014/05/the-dsm-5-on-gender-dysphoria.html

(The WHO ICD-11 manual will not be out until 2018, unfortunately, but that one will apparently also remove the stigma of mentall illness from transgender people, as well as remove the fetishistic tranvestism categoy all together.)

2. Being transgender is not a fetish. If it had been hormone replacement therapy would have "cured" it, as the mix of anti-testosterone and estrogen drugs reduces the sex drive significantly. The desire to become ones target sex does not diminish.

(Argument no. 2 does not directly address the lives of non-transsexual crossdreamers, but since the TERFs argue that all "autogynephiliacs" are the same, the hormone replacement therapy argument is relevant for all of us.)

When they bring up the inclusion of autogynephilia in the DSM-5, I refer to the gender dysphoria part of the DSM, which says that such fantasies might just as well be a symptom of dysphoria and does not stop you from being diagnosed with dysphoria.

None of these arguments will make them change their beliefs. But others that read the articles and debates may understand. The fact is that most radical feminists support transgender people. They see through the bigotry.

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#4 [url]

Feb 28 17 12:31 PM

Jen wrote: "You won't find anything positive from TERFs.
More apologies to you if I had sparked an interest in you over the TERF acronym. "
I am just fine Jen... but TY for the concern. *hugs* I was only interested to see what this group was about and I confirmed that. These are the same people that started the Women Born Women events / spaces. It was stupid 10 years ago and it is still stupid. I might seem like I know what I'm talking about but you have to realize that I have not been keeping up with trans issues so I am totally clueless with terms like TERF.
Also, I seem to have a natural tendency toward masochism, and will sometimes get involved in losing arguments against complete idiots.

I resisted the temptation in the case of Penny's article, but I still felt for Claire and her honest attempts to clue in these morons. Such anger! I cannot understand it (echoing Jack's comments).

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#5 [url]

Mar 14 17 10:21 AM

The analogy often cited in the DSM-5 removing "trans" from the mental illness list but retaining the "gender dysphoria" is the comparison to race: "Being black is not a disease, but being unhappy about being black is dysphoria."

I understand the TERF argument. "You weren't born female, and so you don't (cannot) understand the ontological baggage that entails having been born cis-F." The commonality that trans and TERF share is oppression of minority. Both groups are oppressed by the masculinist hegemony, but the grounds for the oppression differ.

I understand the TERF line of argument, "You were born and grew up as cis-M, and now you wish to surrender that sexist priviledge and become "female" -- which is a biological and onltological impossibility." In reality, and I'll take flak for this view, trans-women are more trans than women. The gender issues of trans people are about being trans, not about being cis-women. TERF argue that their issues are about female oppression and misogyny, not about gender presentation and transition. 

All this from my own point of view:

I am trans-gender. I am not trans-sexual. Politically I am radical feminist, but I am not cis-female, I am trans -- radically, politically asserting that gender presentation is fundamentally a social contruction, and oppresive. And so my response to TERF is, "I'm radical feminist. I am not cis-F."
 

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#6 [url]

Mar 14 17 1:01 PM

There is more to dysphoria than social oppression. For many there is the experience of a clear and jarring dissonance between body and soul, which is at least partly grounded in biology. That is not the same as the discomfort you feel from being marginalized as a social group. I am sure social acceptance will help many transgender people to live out their identity without transitioning physically, but even in a perfect world that would not help all.

TERFs are nothing but transphobic bigots hiding their prejudices behind a veneer of quasi-feminism. They do not deserve the respect of any decent, human being with a good heart. They are actively trying to destroy the lives of trans women through, doxing, ridicule, harassment, lies and the use of the pseudo-science of  autogynephilia.

Moreover, right now they are actively aiding the extreme right in persecuting trans women all  over the world. Unbelieveable! They are actively helping the patriarchy in policing and forcing a marginalized group of women back into the closet. Because that is what trans women are: women. Not trans women as opposed to "real women", but women as a subcategory of all women.

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#7 [url]

Mar 17 17 8:03 AM

One of the things I most enjoyed about the Women's March in January was how inclusive the organizers were. Trans-women activists (3 of them) were given time on the main stage to speak along with other voices in the women's moment. This is why I am not particularly concerned about TERFs because their voices are the fringe and even in the era of Trump that ignorance is thankfully fading. We are all rightfully concerned about the rise of hatred but you should take solace in a few things: politicians who pass discriminatory laws are challenged today with amazing speed, Bigotry is exposed and condemned on Social Media also with remarkable speed, and the voices that support hatred and bigotry are being discredited. That last one is not happening fast enough but it is happening - I mean look at what happened to Milo Yiannopoulos a couple weeks ago, and Kenneth Zucker was finally let go from the CAMH last year.
The tide of history seems to be sweeping toward less hatred and ignorance not more, I look at this wave of intolerance as a sort of last gasp for stupidity. Let the TERFs spout their stupidity, many more speak for humanity and tolerance and pretty soon no one else will be listening to them.

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