The Transgender Crusade versus the RadFem Crusade

Posted: January 30, 2010 in Troll Wars

I talk about the Troll wars between the RadFem Blogoshere and the Serranoan Trans-feminist Blogosphere | an obnoxious trans activism, I talk about ‘Cis Guilt’ as homologous to ‘White Guilt’

  1. polly says:

    Hi Jasper, that was interesting, but it finished in the middle, is there a part two? Anyway to clarify one thing:

    FAB (at least as used by online rad fems) stands for female assigned at birth. It’s meant to include those who are intersex but are assigned/identify as female and therefore occupy the same position politically as other females.

    I liked the point about cis guilt. I wouldn’t say it’s exactly analogous to white guilt however, since I feel white people actually have something to feel guilty about, and there is such a thing as white privilege, whereas I believe cis privilege to be entirely fictional. However it’s entirely true that browbeating yourself over your ‘privilege’ doesn’t actually DO anything to improve anyone else’s position. It’s only purpose usually is so you can convince yourself what a right on person you are.

    However *cis guilt* serves, anyway I would argue a different function to other expressions of this type. It is DEMANDED of the *cis*. It’s purpose is some kind of ritual to *authenticate* the gender of the offended trans person. As in my constantly being told that transwomen ARE real women. Apparently trans women are like tinkerbell. If you repeat often enough that they are real women, (whatever a real woman is) then they become real women.

    Anyway that’s enough mass murder for today.

  2. Jasper Gregory says:

    Good Morning Polly, I think we have lots to talk about here.
    There are in fact three more pieces. I recorded them all right after I discovered the FabMatters site. Yes I ramble, but I also hit on things that I have never found a way to write about. I am sure the viewership will number in the tens, but I am sure that you will watch them.

  3. Jasper Gregory says:

    @polly FAB (at least as used by online rad fems) stands for female assigned at birth.
    I am afraid that I can’t follow you on that definition.
    Faab = Female Assigned At Birth
    Fab = Female At Birth

    In the case of Intersex babies I would say they are Intersex at birth and the doctors choose Faab or Maab for them.

    I find the distinction of Faab and Fab important because The Extremist MTF Transsexual Activists are claiming to be Maab and Fab as opposed to Jasper who is Maab and Mab. They believe that they were ‘Always already Female’, while a Genderqueer like me was not. That is the basis of claiming Female Privilege for themselves while denying it to me.
    Fab and Faab are two different concepts, and they are needed to tease out different points of view.
    The MTF Mab-denialists are the extremists and their extremism needs to be exposed to the rest of the transgender community and to the gender normative feminist who aid the denialists in their power politics while taken the moral high ground as a ‘trans ally’. (see Kate Harding.)

  4. polly says:

    Well female at birth would just be female people and/or implies you can become female later. I agree intersex people ARE intersex, but a number are both assigned as and happy to identify as male or female.

    I agree totally that doctors choose Faab or maab for intersex babies, and some may intersex people may reject that later in life. The point is that if a baby is assigned female it will be treated as female, no matter what the reality of it’s biological sex. So the rad fem position is that that child is politically in an identical position to any other female WRT gendered discrimination. The use of FAB rather than faab is just because FAB is a better acronym!

    There’s a lot of anger among some intersex people about what they see as co-opting by transgender activists. Anyway Kate Harding – I presume this is the thread you’re referring to…

    Curiously I just referred to it myself.

    It drives me to distraction that the very people who insist that gender MAKES you male or female are also those who complain about gender essentialism. It’s the logic of the rabbit hole…..

    Go ask Alice, when she’s ten feet tall.

  5. Sjon says:

    Hi Jasper,
    I think , in general, people who belong to a minority group tend to protect the group. I think those groups point out stronger rules about who is in and who is out, how to behave, what to wear etc. to feel safe. As if they are building a fence to protect them from threat of the ” normal”, heterosexual society.
    For example: I follow a website about men wearing pantyhose. Transsexuals are not allowed to participate in discussions. You have to be straight and, very important, a male. No femininity allowed.
    Groups need enemies to define their own identity especially when they feel threatened.

    In my opinion transfobia occurs when someone is feeling guilty about not being able to live up with the values of being a good male or female. When a man sees another man with a lot of feminine qualities it confronts them with the fact that they didn’t develop those female qualities. And they need them so much to connect with the other species and the feminine side in themselves.
    I can understand why the feminists are so angry. They fight against male dominance and find a guy saying he is a woman. “stay out of our territory, you have all the opportunities we want so bad so go away”.

    Greetings, Sjon

  6. polly says:

    I think you have a very good point about the origins of transphobia (real transphobia that is) Sjon. But I am (by most standards) trans in the sense that I’m gender nonconforming enough to pass as male when I’m female. But apparently I’m transphobic because I won’t accept males who identify as females as potential sexual partners. And down the rabbit hole we go.

    Interestingly Jasper somebody just made a really good point about transphobia on my blog which is that Serano, in her insistence that FAB only spaces should not be allowed to exist, displays a type of transphobia herself. I’m going to just reproduce the comment because it’s very well put.

    It is quite ironic (and strangely similar to transphobia) that when Serano insists that her ‘feeling a woman’ means that she is ‘the same as FAB women’ (whether those of us who are FAB have this same feeling or not), she actually seems to set up FAB women as the standard for what a ‘real woman’ is.
    If she did not think of FAB women as the standard, then there would be no reason to claim that a space which excludes anyone not belonging to the political category FAB invalidates trans women’s gender. Instead she assumes that all FAB women (who don’t identify as trans) are ‘real women’ automatically, and that a woman’s realness is dependent on her being identified with FABs.

    This is a quite key point. Obviously there is some dissembling going on by those who insist they have always been female etc etc, or they wouldn’t feel so angry at not being included in gatherings of FABs. It is quite clear to me that Serano and her followers envy FABs and DO regard them as real woman. Methinks the lady doth protest too much.

    One point of contention (only one ha!) between radfems and MTFs is what I and others perceive as the misogyny of most MTF’s. I think quite frankly that some MTF’s hate FABs because they are FAB, something the MTF wishes to be, but obviously cannot be. This expresses itself in anger and misogyny.

    Although the MTF activists now stay away from my site (because they know what answer they’d get) it’s ironic that, as you have identfied Jasper, if someone identifies themselves as an ally, they will STILL be abused by the activists for not showing adequate repentance for their *cis privilege*. This is a perverse expression of power, which I think results from the anger.

    Anyway as I’ve said before, the church of trans believers now does resemble some kind of bizarre religion, in which beliefs must never be questioned, but simply accepted and repeated.

  7. Schala says:

    “But apparently I’m transphobic because I won’t accept males who identify as females as potential sexual partners.”

    I don’t care who you date, but I won’t accept slander in public if we were to meet. Calling me Mr is just a plain insult. Not dating me is well, your call. I’m straight anyways.

    FAABs don’t need to know wether they “feel like a woman” (which has nothing to do with feminity btw), because, realistically, if they did not, they would do something about it and not be in women’s space for the most. Especially trans feminine exclusive space. I just can’t imagine a trans guy condoning exclusion of trans girls (though some probably do, most don’t – most trans guys – who care – are for trans girls being included in MWMF for example, and are most of the visitors to Trans Camp).

    “It is quite clear to me that Serano and her followers envy FABs and DO regard them as real woman. Methinks the lady doth protest too much.”

    Change “Serano and her followers” for “people of color (especially black people)” and “FABs” for “white people”, then “real” for “equal” and you got what happened in the 1950s in the US.

    Race segregation wasn’t based on any valid motive. Wether they regarded white people as “real humans” (the same as themselves” has no bearing on them being envious of their status has “real humans”, but more about being treated fairly just as well (and not excluded).

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