A conversation with a Radical Feminist

So I had a conversation of sorts, that is still going on, with a radical feminist on tumblr. She has noted that she has issues with my commenting system not being open, so I have, for the purposes of this post, opened comments up to non registered folks.

Below is the extremely long exchange. Almost all the length is on my part — ya’ll know how I can be. I am not inclined to hve disussions on this stuff that are just going to be the same old same old generallizations and over-simplifications back and forth.

I felt that sharing this here was kinda useful for me, as well. It will allow a lot of people to see some of the things that get me in trouble with other trans people, and give one an idea about how I approach things.

There is a tumblr blog called “peak trans”. Yes, it is just like Peak oil — there comes a point where there just isn’t going to be anymore. Given that a certain individual recently jumped the shark by posting a video that was used to deny her rights because she just had to have something to attack trans people with and where it comes from is unimportant (yes, I am saying that Cathy Brennan is anti-lesbian and well as anti-trans), I am, as far as tumblr goes, shifting towards tackling some of the more egregious stuff there.

One of the first posts I saw was about an 8 year old girl. It gave me some pause and provoked a response that was not kind. I am unlikely to be kind to people who post via that resource.

This provoked a response from the person who posted it. All of that started a series of conversations that I may be taking more seriously than she is, which is ok. But in case anyone has forgotten how I go about doing things, I thought I would share this…

 

The Start:

My Princess Boy

My peak trans moment came when my neice recieved fifteen copies of My Princess Boy. My neice is quite the tomboy, you see, definitively preferring “boy” clothes and “boy” haircuts and “boy” activities. Her parents totally let her take the lead in this, and since she’s homeschooled and isn’t allowed mainstream TV, she had a lot of freedom to define her self. Sometimes she got hurt…it always bothered her when people thought she was a boy…but she dealt pretty well.

I’m sure the family and friends who gave her the book meant well. “Look! Here is another child who does things he’s not supposed to do!”…but it quite devastated my niece. Not just because getting fifteen copies of the same book would be upsetting to any six-year-old, but because of the messages that these oh-so-tolerant family and friends had written in the front. Most memorable: the grandparent who wrote -

To Our Prince Girl – You Can Grow Up to Be a Man!

This is not the message of the book! The message of the book is that you can be a boy and like pink and sparkles, and that liking pink and sparkles does not make you any less of a boy! But the way that the book was interpreted by my family and by so many others was that it was the beginning of a transition narrative.

And that narrative was put on my six-year-old niece’s very small shoulders. The small shoulders that I held later that night as she cried about how she didn’t want to be a man, she wanted to be a girl, why couldn’t she be a girl, why not? Did wearing cargo shorts mean she was going to grow a penis? I suppose to an outsider her fear would be funny, but it still turns my stomach to remember how terrified she was. She cried like I did when I came home from school realizing that liking girls that way was not okay. But I was eleven. She was six. Six, and she already knew the world wanted her to change.

The lesson my niece took away from this is that she can’t be a girl or a woman if she’s too masculine. She wants to be a girl. And so she started growing her hair longer. Pink has made its way in to her wardrobe, and impractical shoes. Nothing wrong with this – femininity is wonderful! – but this is not her choice. She buys these clothes and wears them strategically: boy clothes at home with her parents, girl clothes in public. And still there are questions. Her mother told me that their pediatrician keeps mentioning puberty blockers. MY NIECE JUST TURNED EIGHT.

This is what the whole “transgender” ideology is teaching our children. It is the new force for gender conformity. It terrifies me. And I am not going to stand silent. I am going to keep fighting for my niece and all the girls and boys and men and women like her. We do not need gender. We need to fight gender. And I will.

 

My Response:

Peak Trans

Supporting the use and power of gender since the moment it first went up.

And yes, I can prove it.

Oh, and by the way, I find it fascinating that a particularly asswipish person felt that it was more important they neglect their child than deal with something that apparently everyone else in their family saw that they didn’t, and despite the fact that statistically speaking, there’s very little likelihood that a person would transition.

And everyone, including the Cockroach, who reblogged it is supporting the patriarchy actively, and is supporting gender, actively, and is supporting child abuse and neglect, actively.

This is what they are promoting:

http://www.childwelfare.gov/pubs/factsheets/long_term_consequences.pdf

 

First Exchange:

 

Academic Silence

 

I sincerely hope that this is not in reference to the Princess Boy story. That’s my niece. Her parents are not neglectful, and no, the rest of the family is not seeing something that her parents are missing. My niece is absolutely clear on who and what she is. It’s the rest of the world with their stupid support of gender roles who are harming her. She wants to be who she is and her parents support her…the rest of the family is uncomfortable with that.

 

Dyssonance:

Yes, it was about that one.

Very much so.

Now, the *good news* is that if your niece is so wonderfully sure of herself, then the books being given don’t matter at all. Because the message sthat are prevalent around her are going to be everything that you and I dislike about the way they treat women.

And it also means that the family around her is, ideally, letting her be herself and finding her own way — even if that means she caves to some of those horrible tings via a patriarchal bargain.

But keep in mind that when you raise a trans child — someone who is really trans; not the 60% or so of genuinely gender variant kids that turn out gay or lesbian or bisexual and cis, or the 30% of gender variant kids that turn out to be het and cis — in the same way that you raise a cis child (which you are saying your neice is, and I fully understand if you can’t stand the term cis but ‘Not trans’ means more than that just cis folk) you *are* engaging in child abuse and neglect.

And yes, I will say that over and over and over again and I will do it with charts an figures and doodles and all the rest. And all of that is boring and doesn’t contribute to the fun of the fight between radical feminism and trans activists, who have been going around in the same circles for the last 50 years, so I understand if you want to just say some more shit about trans people.

I wont like it, mind you, but I’ll understand it.

Now, if you want to say that a tomboy should be allowed to just be a tomboy, or be butch, or whatever, I am *more* than willing to support you in that idea, and, indeed, I do exactly that, most days, because I get asked that question a great deal.

Trust me, you would know if she was trans,. You could tell because she would fight you on being called a girl, and it would go on and on until she felt punished enough that she just withdrew and became sullen or less excited about things. She would still run and play and do stuff, but it would slowly get worse until puberty hit.

If she’s not,. then it isn’t a problem. As for pressure, there is 1000 times more pressure to *not* be trans than there is to transtion, and as a child, that pressure is even greater. Pardon me if I find the concern to be trollish when not doing what was done for trans people leads to the deaths of kids consistently by their own hands. When people beat their little girls for saying they are boys or their boys for saying they are girls. To death.

So they want to support her in exploring her butch or tomboy identity. I’ll agree they chose a rather piss poor example, but look at that as an opportunity. There’s very little about being a tomboy that people are aware of, and most people are just as uninformed or barely informed on trans issues as you are, so they probably thought they were doing a good thing.

I would suggest you go out and find them a few children’s books about being a tomboy and recommend them to them. — Infinitely better choice than princess boy (which I am seriously scratching my head about giving a little girl, but hey, whatever).

Even more importantly, though, to me, at least, was that the person used their own inherent anxiety about this child to speak to “peak trans”, which is, in the end, just a way for people to express their anxiety, aversion, and animus towards transness and trans people anonmously.

It isn’t about them. It is about the girl. And if she knows she’s a girl — and children do between the ages of 3 and 5 99% of the time — then let her be a girl (just, please, if I have any impact, do not raise her to enjoy being objectified and help guide her away from some of the worst in the world). If she says she isn’t, then don’t force her to be a girl.

Zucker & Bem’s metastudy of gender variance in trans kids is why a lot of trans people are trying to get folks to do a better job determining what makes a child trans, because its already all but impossible to get treatment for a trans child.

We don’t like that it is based on certain stereotypical behaviors any more than anyone else, but oddly enough, when we help trans kids, they are genuinely trans. When others do, they may not be.

That’s not the fault of trans people. That’s the fault of ignorance. And when you realize that one of the people I just cited recently signed off on a document that calls his own efforts at stopping people from being trans (he sees gay as acceptable and trans as wrong) reparative therapy, you might realize that I am being as forthcoming as possible.

Trans people do not want someone who is not trans to transition. Simply put, we know already what a horrible thing it is to be something you are not. To us, forcing someone to be something they are not is what we went through in childhood, and we would, will, and do fight against that.

Just as we fight against those who try to say that treating us the same way cis folk are treated.

 

Second Exchange

 

Academic Silence

Oh, great. So, it’s apparantly abusive and neglectful to let a child be who and what they want to be. So my neice’s parents should give in to the pressure from the rest of the family and the doctor, and start injecting her with hormones?

Now, the *good news* is that if your niece is so wonderfully sure of herself, then the books being given don’t matter at all. Because the message sthat are prevalent around her are going to be everything that you and I dislike about the way they treat women.

Did you bother reading the post, or did you just jump straight in to start calling me and my family abusers? Because, see, the message my niece is getting from the extended family and people like you is that she isn’t allowed to be a female who isn’t a stereotypical girl – she keeps getting told she’s actually a boy. And that’s hurting her. She is being forced to conform. (But that what you and the rest of the patriarchy want, isn’t it?)

And it also means that the family around her is, ideally, letting her be herself and finding her own way — even if that means she caves to some of those horrible tings via a patriarchal bargain.

Nope, you didn’t read the whole post. What is it with Tumblr trans activists and their inability to actually read? And…lovely. As always, you dismiss the pain that is faced by female women and girls and turn it in to some kind of privilege. You are sick.

But keep in mind that when you raise a trans child — someone who is really trans; not the 60% or so of genuinely gender variant kids that turn out gay or lesbian or bisexual and cis, or the 30% of gender variant kids that turn out to be het and cis — in the same way that you raise a cis child (which you are saying your neice is, and I fully understand if you can’t stand the term cis but ‘Not trans’ means more than that just cis folk) you *are* engaging in child abuse and neglect.

Heard it here first, folks: if you’re NOT slicing your child’s genitals in to sad mockeries of social expectations, if you are not injecting them with hormones that remove their ability to have children, if you are not forcing them to have bodies and behaviors that conform to social expectations, you’re an abuser.

And yes, I will say that over and over and over again and I will do it with charts an figures and doodles and all the rest. And all of that is boring and doesn’t contribute to the fun of the fight between radical feminism and trans activists, who have been going around in the same circles for the last 50 years, so I understand if you want to just say some more shit about trans people.

No, the fight has definitely changed. You and your cronies are now going after children. You always did support the patriarchy, but this is a new low.

I wont like it, mind you, but I’ll understand it.

Now, if you want to say that a tomboy should be allowed to just be a tomboy, or be butch, or whatever, I am *more* than willing to support you in that idea, and, indeed, I do exactly that, most days, because I get asked that question a great deal.

Hey, that’s actually what the point was? And it’s the trans-supportive people who are saying that this isn’t allowed? But, once again, you prove that you have a lack of basic reading comprehension.

Trust me, you would know if she was trans,. You could tell because she would fight you on being called a girl, and it would go on and on until she felt punished enough that she just withdrew and became sullen or less excited about things. She would still run and play and do stuff, but it would slowly get worse until puberty hit.

But you don’t give a shit that she’s having to fight to be called a girl, do you. No, you only care about children who fall in to your little trans-positive mold. Never mind that my niece gets sad and withdrawn and upset because people insist on either forcing her in to being the proper “girl” or tell her that she’s a “boy.” Nope, since she’s not trans, she’s going to be perfectly fine.

If she’s not,. then it isn’t a problem.

Wow. The pressure to conform to the patriarchy, the pressure to be something she’s not to please others – not a problem. Gotcha.

As for pressure, there is 1000 times more pressure to *not* be trans than there is to transtion, and as a child, that pressure is even greater. Pardon me if I find the concern to be trollish when not doing what was done for trans people leads to the deaths of kids consistently by their own hands. When people beat their little girls for saying they are boys or their boys for saying they are girls. To death.

Once again you continue to ignore the fact that non-trans men and women who aren’t gender conforming face these pressures and the violence.

So they want to support her in exploring her butch or tomboy identity. I’ll agree they chose a rather piss poor example, but look at that as an opportunity. There’s very little about being a tomboy that people are aware of, and most people are just as uninformed or barely informed on trans issues as you are, so they probably thought they were doing a good thing.

They were not supporting her in “exploring her identity.” They were pressuring her to change her identity to be something they would prefer. And that’s not okay. My niece didn’t need any help “exploring” being butch – she’s just a girl who likes pants. It’s people like you who want to pathologize that.

I would suggest you go out and find them a few children’s books about being a tomboy and recommend them to them. — Infinitely better choice than princess boy (which I am seriously scratching my head about giving a little girl, but hey, whatever).

Lack of reading skills. Seriously, you really need to work on your comprehension.

Even more importantly, though, to me, at least, was that the person used their own inherent anxiety about this child to speak to “peak trans”, which is, in the end, just a way for people to express their anxiety, aversion, and animus towards transness and trans people anonmously.

I’m not doing it anonymously. But why should it surprise you that many people are uncomfortable with being public in their criticism? You’re seen what happens when we do that. We get death threats and rape threats. But, as always, you don’t care about that.

This was my “peak trans” moment not because I had anxiety or aversion to trans people, but because I could finally see the damage that a gender-positive ideology has on people. Gender harms.

It isn’t about them. It is about the girl. And if she knows she’s a girl — and children do between the ages of 3 and 5 99% of the time — then let her be a girl (just, please, if I have any impact, do not raise her to enjoy being objectified and help guide her away from some of the worst in the world). If she says she isn’t, then don’t force her to be a girl.

“Let her be a girl.” And what exactly do you mean by that? Since she says she’s a girl, should her parents start forcing her to wear the clothing and have the interests that are commonly associated with being a girl?

Zucker & Bem’s metastudy of gender variance in trans kids is why a lot of trans people are trying to get folks to do a better job determining what makes a child trans, because its already all but impossible to get treatment for a trans child.

It’s not “impossible.” Are you not paying attention to the growing trend of suggesting trans treatment for gender nonconformity?

We don’t like that it is based on certain stereotypical behaviors any more than anyone else, but oddly enough, when we help trans kids, they are genuinely trans. When others do, they may not be.

“When we help trans kids, they are genuinely trans.” Sure – you work very hard to convince them that they are. And if you “don’t like” that gender is based on stereotypes, why are you working so hard to support the structure of gender in the first place?

That’s not the fault of trans people. That’s the fault of ignorance. And when you realize that one of the people I just cited recently signed off on a document that calls his own efforts at stopping people from being trans (he sees gay as acceptable and trans as wrong) reparative therapy, you might realize that I am being as forthcoming as possible.

I don’t have a problem with trans people. I have a problem with the ideology of transitioning, which supports the idea that gender is innate and that people must conform to one or the other.

Trans people do not want someone who is not trans to transition. Simply put, we know already what a horrible thing it is to be something you are not. To us, forcing someone to be something they are not is what we went through in childhood, and we would, will, and do fight against that.

Huh. Really. Your original post on this said that my neice’s parents were neglectful and abusive for not encouraging their daughter – who does not see herself as trans – to transition. Nice contradiction there.

Just as we fight against those who try to say that treating us the same way cis folk are treated.

This sentence makes no sense.

 

 

Dyssonance:

Hi again. What we have here is a failure to communicate.

lets go…

Oh, great. So, it’s apparantly abusive and neglectful to let a child be who and what they want to be. So my neice’s parents should give in to the pressure from the rest of the family and the doctor, and start injecting her with hormones?

That is not only not what I said, it is a deliberate attempt to misrepresent what I said.

However, for clarity and in the interest of fairness and good faith, let me answer those questions.

It is not abusive to allow a child to be who and what they want to be,. Indeed, I support that wholeheartedly, and my only reservations would be when the child wants to be a mass murderer, thief, or similar criminal.

No, the little girl’s parents should not do so. If she’s quite settled, and very much a cis person, then doing that would be harmful to her. Which I said previously.

Did you bother reading the post, or did you just jump straight in to start calling me and my family abusers? Because, see, the message my niece is getting from the extended family and people like you is that she isn’t allowed to be a female who isn’t a stereotypical girl – she keeps getting told she’s actually a boy. And that’s hurting her. She is being forced to conform. (But that what you and the rest of the patriarchy want, isn’t it?)

I did read the post. However, in the two hours and 6,000 words on two other topics that passed, I seem to have somehow gotten it into my head that she was already a tomboy. I apologize for that.

The abuse concept stems from the fact that I said, *if* she is trans — and the description leads me to see it as a very common occurrence where the wider family sees the transness being enacted and the parents are resistant and restrictive (this is the normative pattern) — then not allowing her to be who and what she is is abusive and neglectful.

Also, you misrepresent my statements. My message is that she’s absolutely allowed to be a little girl. Allow her to celebrate that, indulge in it, enjoy it, live it, be it, and so forth. That’s my message. It would be the same message to you — if you are a woman, then be a woman.

My concerns are that she not be taught to fall into the traps that so many of us fall into — including the patriarchal bargain so many of us make in order to wrest some sense of power in a system that attacks us. I’m fairly certai based on your previous writings that you would support that, and I do not say it to sway you but because it is something we share in common, though we may differ on the how we achieve that goal.

If she keeps getting told that she’s a boy, the the people doing that — her family, because I am not involved in her life, so please don’t asset that I am doing such when I am not — it is beneath you and isn’t an act of good faith — are actively promoting the very harm that I seek to stop against trans people: they are trying to stifle her sense of self and her growth in that way.

Nope, you didn’t read the whole post. What is it with Tumblr trans activists and their inability to actually read? And…lovely. As always, you dismiss the pain that is faced by female women and girls and turn it in to some kind of privilege. You are sick.

I have no idea what it is with tumblr trans activists and their inability to read. I am not a tumblr trans activist. I am an actual trans activist who does this shit for a living, tyvm.

I have not dismissed the pain of women and girls. Not at all. Indeed, I haven’t talked about the pain of women and girls, so saying I dismiss it is misrepresenting what I have said. I realize we both have particular ideologies to deal with, but can we not engage in the bullshit banter for just a short while so that we an have an actual conversation and then get back to our usual shit later? I would kinda like to get through this since it is, after all, about a child.

I will repeat, as well: I did read the whole post. I also did several other things afterwards. When I came back to it, I had a slightly skewed recollection. I was trying to help — you were rather pointed in your claimant of her status as her niece, and I felt I owed you an explanation out of courtesy.

Heard it here first, folks: if you’re NOT slicing your child’s genitals in to sad mockeries of social expectations, if you are not injecting them with hormones that remove their ability to have children, if you are not forcing them to have bodies and behaviors that conform to social expectations, you’re an abuser.

And, again, a complete misrepresentation of what I said. As I noted, what we have here is a failure to communicate. None of the above is accurate, and all of it serves to state precisely the opposite of what I was discussing.

Additionally, we are talking about children here. I am presuming a child pre-puberty. I don’t know for certain. Chidren at that point never are candidates for genital surgery, so that idea is not only ludicrous, but pointedly intended to defame. Shame on you.

Hormones are also extremely rare in the treatment of *trans* children at that age — I cannot think of any personally, and I can only think of one case from several years ago that few support for doing so.

And no one would support giving cis children such. At all. It is not medically colled for except in very specific circumstances, most of which would preclude a cis person.

Notable exception: trans kids are often given the opposite hormones. For example (and purely as an example) I was given testosterone injections as a prepubescent child. I’m starting to think you would support such a now well documented unethical practice. Starting. I am still hoping you would not.

No, the fight has definitely changed. You and your cronies are now going after children. You always did support the patriarchy, but this is a new low.

In order to speak to this point, I am afraid I have to ask a clarifying question — who are my cronies? And how are we going after children? Please try not to misrepresent my position in saying so.

Hey, that’s actually what the point was? And it’s the trans-supportive people who are saying that this isn’t allowed? But, once again, you prove that you have a lack of basic reading comprehension.

um, I have to look at the original for reference here…

But you don’t give a shit that she’s having to fight to be called a girl, do you. No, you only care about children who fall in to your little trans-positive mold. Never mind that my niece gets sad and withdrawn and upset because people insist on either forcing her in to being the proper “girl” or tell her that she’s a “boy.” Nope, since she’s not trans, she’s going to be perfectly fine.

Another misrepresentation. No, I do give a shit. She shouldn’t have to fight to do such, and I find it troubling that the family would put in her that position. There’s no reason she should hae to fight to be a girl in any sorto f reality, so there is a reason for this that is not being revealed that is not visible in the descriptiopn as you provided it.

Indeed, while it is incredibly unlikely that you wold call on it, I offer my assistance in getting people to let her be a girl if that’s what she wants. I see no reason why cis children should be forced to live a lie.

I also see no reason why Trans children should be forced to live a lie. And I have both personal and professional experience in that area, and I am concerned primarily with trans people, so I am well aware of the pain that taking that little girl and trying to force her to be a boy would cause.

I really don’t give a shit if it is trans positive or not. In the end, if she is not being allowed to express herself in a manner that is appropriate for her from her perspective, then you are goign to get that withdrawn and sullen thing you describe.

Oddly enough, you describe it above as if she isn’t the hyper feminine sort then she gets criticized and told perhaps she’s a boy. That sounds like parents not being able to tell the difference and trying to enforce rigid gender roles on her.

That’s wrong.

Wow. The pressure to conform to the patriarchy, the pressure to be something she’s not to please others – not a problem. Gotcha.

Wow. yet another misrepresentation. Can you please not do that in the future of this specific discussion? It is distracting.

Once again you continue to ignore the fact that non-trans men and women who aren’t gender conforming face these pressures and the violence.

Not at all. Cis, inter, and related groups that are not trans all face pressures to conform to social sex roles of various sorts typical within the cultures (over and sub), class, ethnic backgrounds, and related elements all the time.

For Cis folk, those are normative patterns that are upheld by various traditions and negative forces such as sexism.

For inter folk, they are expected to conform to one or the other, often via surgical intereference that can and does lead to a later need to transition as the decision is made by the parents before they have reached a point of self awareness. I will note that this does ot inherently make them trans, but also that it does not mean they might not also be trans as well as inter.

For related groups of people who are not trans, the force can be even worse than it is for trans people, because they are often caught in a bind, since they are generally not immediately drawn to either of the socially constructed poles of man and women.

So for you to assert that is to misrepresent what I am saying. Tis would be akin to saying that when I talk about apples, I am erasing granny smith and redmond gold apples by only talking about apples. Or that I am erasing women and men when I talk about people. Not only is that misrepresenting me, that makes absolutely no sense except as a support for an ideological position and an outright effort to ridicule.

They were not supporting her in “exploring her identity.” They were pressuring her to change her identity to be something they would prefer. And that’s not okay. My niece didn’t need any help “exploring” being butch – she’s just a girl who likes pants. It’s people like you who want to pathologize that.

I did not say that they were doing so, I said they probably see themselves as doing that. How they see themselves and what they are actually doing is two different things, much like motivation and outcome are two different things.

You describe it as pressuring her to change her identity — given that you have consistently misrepresented pretty much everything I wrote, I am inclined to question your perception of events to the same degree I would question mine in a similar situation.

I do not doubt that it is something questionable on their part, I was pointing out that you should probably talk to them and give them some suggestion for better material than “princess boy”.

I have absolutely no interest in pathologizing the act of a girl wearing pants. Indeed, I am working against that, rather actively. That is a false statement. I do have an interest in allowing her to do so if she wants to do it.

I do have to presume that when you say “people like me who ” you mean people with degrees in psychology and/or psychiatry. Since those are the ones that do the pathologizing. Because any other meaning would be, well, sorta silly.

Lack of reading skills. Seriously, you really need to work on your comprehension.

Entirely possible. Could also be the way I communicated things to you. Or it could be that you and I are on polar positions in an ideological war and that colors our perceptions.

hard to tell at this point.

I’m not doing it anonymously. But why should it surprise you that many people are uncomfortable with being public in their criticism? You’re seen what happens when we do that. We get death threats and rape threats. But, as always, you don’t care about that.

Well, now you aren’t.

I wasn’t surprised. I am still not surprised. I get death threats and rape threats. Death threats from people who are in pretty much any ideologically opposite postion from mine — including rad fems. Not many, granted, but they do come in. Most of mine come from the anti-LGBT folks who like to use trans people as a cudgel against gay and lesbian people, and from gay and lesbian people who resent trans people being used as a cudgel against them.

I refuse to allow those threats to stop me from voicing my opinions when I know they are correct. I do not need anonymity to hide behind because I am willing to own up to my personal faults and even to work on things that I find especially egregious.

I don’t expect other people to do the same, but I absolutely have little respect for anyone who uses their own internalized anxiety, aversion or animus to trans people — regardless of the origin for such — to support and engage in action which are harmful to trans people. And “peak trans” is all about that.

The reason it was so hard? Because you knew it was wrong.

The rest is merely justification.

This was my “peak trans” moment not because I had anxiety or aversion to trans people, but because I could finally see the damage that a gender-positive ideology has on people. Gender harms.

Um, you said “It terrifies me

That is anxiety. Sorry.

“Let her be a girl.” And what exactly do you mean by that? Since she says she’s a girl, should her parents start forcing her to wear the clothing and have the interests that are commonly associated with being a girl?

What exactly do I mean by that? I mean let her decide what being a girl means for her, and engage in activities and a life that is in keeping with that. Do you have a problem with that?

No, that does not mean her parents should start forcing her to do any of that, Her parents shouldn’t be forcing her to do anything. Life is hard enough for a girl, she doesn’t need more shit dumped on her.

Or did you forget I am a woman?

It’s not “impossible.” Are you not paying attention to the growing trend of suggesting trans treatment for gender nonconformity?

I did not say it was impossible. I said it was all but. There is a difference there. And yes, I am paying close attention to such and I do indeed contribute to such.

Except that it isn’t gender non conformity. That, alone, by *every* standard of care, is substantively reduced in treatment protocols to the equivalent of “eh, let em dress hoe they want and play how they want and act how they want”. Gender nonconformity, in and of itself, is not considered to be significant enough to warrant treatment.

Transness — gender identity dysphoria in children — is different from mere gender nonconformity. Signifcantly so.

So yeah, I am aware. It is apparent, though, that you are not. Or at least, not as aware as you would like to be and not nearly as aware as I am.

I apologize if that comes across as hostile.

“When we help trans kids, they are genuinely trans.” Sure – you work very hard to convince them that they are. And if you “don’t like” that gender is based on stereotypes, why are you working so hard to support the structure of gender in the first place?

Incorrect and rather childish effort on your part. I do not convince anyone they are trans, They have to convince me. So the statement above is a direct falsehood. I don’t give a damn what their gender is, or even if they have one, either. It can be as stereotypical as they prefer for it to be or as atypical as they prefer for it to be. Makes little difference to me, personally, and all I do is help them be aware of how their choices impact their lives.

You say I “don’t like that gender is based on stereotypes”. This is incorrect, For one, gender, itself, is not based in stereotypes. There are gendered stereotypes, but hey are not the basis of social sex roles, they are not the basis of gender identity, and they are not the basis of gender expression. They are, often, expressed in the media as preferred normatives, and that is often passed on, but to say that gender is based in stereotypes is complete bassackward and all sorts of foolish and uninformed.

Thus, since the premise does not apply, the answer to your question is that I do not.

I don’t have a problem with trans people. I have a problem with the ideology of transitioning, which supports the idea that gender is innate and that people must conform to one or the other.

This, for once, does not misrepresent me, but rather misrepresents gender. No ofense, and I do not know who taught htis to you, but they did a pioss poor job if it was anytime within the last 15 years.

Hell, when I was in school in the late 80’s, it was better than that.

Gender, as a singular concept, is not innate.

One part of it is. That is the part of one’s identity, one’s self identity, sense of self — ego, self awareness, there are a host of terms for it — that determines how a person seeks to be seen.

Now, if you want to disagree with decades of science that establish that, fine. Please provide actual evidence as opposed to a belief. Especially when that science started in the 1940’s and involved some really unpleasant experiments.

Oh, and had nothing to do with transness. At all. So to say that transness as an ideology asserts such is false, and demonstrates a lack of awareness of the history and understanding of gender. Please avoid making incredibly untrue statements.

Transness didn’t gain significant study until the early to mid 1970’s, by which time gender identity as a fixed constant (along with Sex identity, which is often confused with gender identity in the general public) had been long established (30 years) in the understanding of sexual behaviors — including sexual orientation, which depends on it.

Not does the system of gender identity say that a person *must* conform to one or the other.

Gender roles (social sex roles) exist and often a social culture will enforce social punishments on people who stray from them, but the really prescriptive one is gender expression, which does all of that punishing even harder (just ask a butch lesbian, feminine gay man, or any trans person about that). When a woman in power is castigated in the press for showing too much breast, or a CEO is basically excoriated for being pregnant while being a CEO, that’s gender expression and gender roles (social sex roles) being used against someone.

Not their gender identity.

And “Gender”, as a whole, is all three of those things. Not one of them, not two of them, but all three of them. And social sex roles and Gender expression are cultural and not universal.

And those I do oppose being used restrictively and I do think they are harmful when they limit people but they do not always limit people and they are not inherent to patriarchy in and of itself (they would be and have been present in every culture, including matriarchies and those that are more equitable).

My position is to make them all so broad as to be practically meaningless and allow people to be whatever they are.

So please, understand all of that is not so much my opinion, but rather factual shit and you can easily go and look it all up yourself, but I suggest you start with good books that avoid ideology from *any* corner, especially trans and especially radical feminist.

Huh. Really. Your original post on this said that my neice’s parents were neglectful and abusive for not encouraging their daughter – who does not see herself as trans – to transition. Nice contradiction there.

Well, the reading I had — which, likely, was colored by the way it was written (which is “trans critical” i believe you would describe it as, correct?) — was that the child was a tomboy. At least, as I recall it now. Apparently I was wrong, and I have already apologized.

It also suggested a fairly standard trans child narrative where the parents were hostile to transition and other family members were supportive. That’s my lens in play. I apologize for that.

When I saw your reblog and read the post there, I felt bad because I had allowed both of our respective lenses and a few missing key pieces of information to color my perception and so I sought to address that.

Which was a rather large risk on my part, as I already am engaged in an online war of words with Brennan and I have a very long and ugly history with being blindsided by radfems going back to the post 2006 blowup on feminist sites.

However, despite you and Brennan (who would think it even if I won a nobel, I mean, really, she and I are not nice to each other) thinking I am stupid (oh, and , by the way, Tony is not my name, but I don’t expect you to not use it if you are as invested in the ideology as you appear to be), I am nevertheless actually very concerned about children being mistreated because raising a cis child as a trans one or a trans child as a cis one is abuse and neglect, and it is dangerous and it is destroying and it is harmful over the massive span of a person’s life.

And if your ideology is going to say that raising a trans child as a cis child is proper, then I *must* note that it supports child abuse and neglect. Truly. It is incumbent on me as a caring person.

I understand after this enormous response if you choose not to reply, and I will even understand if you want to just continue misunderstanding what I have said. We are on the opposite side of things. It is a huge gulf that neither of us bear any responsibility to bridge.

But I wanted you to know. Because I’m that kind of “male threat”. Because I am one of those people working very hard to make life better for trans people. And I do it because I know that making life better for them means making it better for everyone.

But hey, I’m just one woman. That you probably don’t think is one. So what do I know, right?

Third Exchange

Academic Silence

[Note: I have removed the previous stuff in order to respond effectively, not to hide what I wrote before or distract — follow the link for the background]

Hi again. What we have here is a failure to communicate.

lets go…

Oh, great. So, it’s apparantly abusive and neglectful to let a child be who and what they want to be. So my neice’s parents should give in to the pressure from the rest of the family and the doctor, and start injecting her with hormones?

That is not only not what I said, it is a deliberate attempt to misrepresent what I said.

However, for clarity and in the interest of fairness and good faith, let me answer those questions.

It is not abusive to allow a child to be who and what they want to be,. Indeed, I support that wholeheartedly, and my only reservations would be when the child wants to be a mass murderer, thief, or similar criminal.

No, the little girl’s parents should not do so. If she’s quite settled, and very much a cis person, then doing that would be harmful to her. Which I said previously.

No. In your first response, you even linked to a document about child abuse and neglect, and suggested that my niece’s parents were both for not “seeing” what the extended family (some of who had only interacted with her through pictures) believed. My niece is indeed quite settled on being girl. You don’t seem to acknowledge the harm that is being done to her by those who keep trying to tell her that she’s actually a boy.

This response is incredibly long. So the rest is behind a cut.

Did you bother reading the post, or did you just jump straight in to start calling me and my family abusers? Because, see, the message my niece is getting from the extended family and people like you is that she isn’t allowed to be a female who isn’t a stereotypical girl – she keeps getting told she’s actually a boy. And that’s hurting her. She is being forced to conform. (But that what you and the rest of the patriarchy want, isn’t it?)

I did read the post. However, in the two hours and 6,000 words on two other topics that passed, I seem to have somehow gotten it into my head that she was already a tomboy. I apologize for that.

What do you mean “already a tomboy”? She is already a tomboy. The new thing is her now forcing herself to conform to stereotypes of femininity in order to get away from people telling her she’s actually a boy.

The abuse concept stems from the fact that I said, *if* she is trans — and the description leads me to see it as a very common occurrence where the wider family sees the transness being enacted and the parents are resistant and restrictive (this is the normative pattern) — then not allowing her to be who and what she is is abusive and neglectful.

This is not the normative pattern. The normative pattern is children trying out different behaviors and then repeating the behaviors that their role models approve of – which usually leads to gender conformity. My original post was quite clear about how my neice’s parents give her the freedom to dress and behave as she wants; you just chose to ignore that.

Also, you misrepresent my statements. My message is that she’s absolutely allowed to be a little girl. Allow her to celebrate that, indulge in it, enjoy it, live it, be it, and so forth. That’s my message. It would be the same message to you — if you are a woman, then be a woman.

And what, exactly, do you think it means to be a girl, or a woman? Is my niece not “celebrating” or “indulging” in being a girl because she likes short hair and dirtbikes? Is my partner not being a woman because she likes the same things?

My concerns are that she not be taught to fall into the traps that so many of us fall into — including the patriarchal bargain so many of us make in order to wrest some sense of power in a system that attacks us. I’m fairly certai based on your previous writings that you would support that, and I do not say it to sway you but because it is something we share in common, though we may differ on the how we achieve that goal.

My niece is being pushed in to making patriarchal bargains because if she doesn’t, people tell her she’s a boy. She’s being pushed in to those traps because people can’t accept that gender isn’t innate.

If she keeps getting told that she’s a boy, the the people doing that — her family, because I am not involved in her life, so please don’t asset that I am doing such when I am not — it is beneath you and isn’t an act of good faith — are actively promoting the very harm that I seek to stop against trans people: they are trying to stifle her sense of self and her growth in that way.

You, with your support for the idea that people need to transition, are indeed supporting those who tell my niece she must actually be a boy. Trans ideology works to stifle people’s sense of self and push them in to conforming with gender roles.

Nope, you didn’t read the whole post. What is it with Tumblr trans activists and their inability to actually read? And…lovely. As always, you dismiss the pain that is faced by female women and girls and turn it in to some kind of privilege. You are sick.

I have no idea what it is with tumblr trans activists and their inability to read. I am not a tumblr trans activist. I am an actual trans activist who does this shit for a living, tyvm.

You are on Tumblr. You are pushing a fringe trans ideology. I admit it frightens me to think that you also do this in your offline life – I worry about what you would say to a gender non-conforming child and his or her family.

I have not dismissed the pain of women and girls. Not at all. Indeed, I haven’t talked about the pain of women and girls, so saying I dismiss it is misrepresenting what I have said. I realize we both have particular ideologies to deal with, but can we not engage in the bullshit banter for just a short while so that we an have an actual conversation and then get back to our usual shit later? I would kinda like to get through this since it is, after all, about a child.

You said it wasn’t a problem that my niece is making patriarchal bargains. You skipped over the very real pain my niece is experiencing because of the pressure to conform to the stereotypes of femininity. If you regret what you said, admit it – don’t try to pretend you didn’t say it.

I will repeat, as well: I did read the whole post. I also did several other things afterwards. When I came back to it, I had a slightly skewed recollection. I was trying to help — you were rather pointed in your claimant of her status as her niece, and I felt I owed you an explanation out of courtesy.

I was pretty clear in earlier reblogs that the story was mine and my niece’s. I was particularly pointed in my response to you because you decided to call my niece’s parents abusive.

Heard it here first, folks: if you’re NOT slicing your child’s genitals in to sad mockeries of social expectations, if you are not injecting them with hormones that remove their ability to have children, if you are not forcing them to have bodies and behaviors that conform to social expectations, you’re an abuser.

And, again, a complete misrepresentation of what I said. As I noted, what we have here is a failure to communicate. None of the above is accurate, and all of it serves to state precisely the opposite of what I was discussing.

Additionally, we are talking about children here. I am presuming a child pre-puberty. I don’t know for certain. Chidren at that point never are candidates for genital surgery, so that idea is not only ludicrous, but pointedly intended to defame. Shame on you.

If you’d read the post, you’d know my niece is currently eight. No, she’s not a candidate for genital surgery – but what’s the next step after hormones? If you have a child who’s being put on hormones before puberty, you’re grooming them to accept that they will eventually have surgery. WPATHsuggests that such surgeries should be performed as young as eighteen. Children are not being given a choice.

Hormones are also extremely rare in the treatment of *trans* children at that age — I cannot think of any personally, and I can only think of one case from several years ago that few support for doing so.

Have you read the WPATH standards of care? The push is to administer hormones at younger and younger ages. And while the news coverage is highly sensationalized, Google is your friend if you want to know about more cases.

And no one would support giving cis children such. At all. It is not medically colled for except in very specific circumstances, most of which would preclude a cis person.

My niece’s pediatrician’s repeated suggestions are perfectly in line with – once again – WPATH’s suggested standards of care.

Notable exception: trans kids are often given the opposite hormones. For example (and purely as an example) I was given testosterone injections as a prepubescent child. I’m starting to think you would support such a now well documented unethical practice. Starting. I am still hoping you would not.

I absolutely do not support any sort of unnecessary medical intervention with children – or indeed, with adults.

No, the fight has definitely changed. You and your cronies are now going after children. You always did support the patriarchy, but this is a new low.

In order to speak to this point, I am afraid I have to ask a clarifying question — who are my cronies? And how are we going after children? Please try not to misrepresent my position in saying so.

Your cronies are your fellow trans activists. I’ve already linked to WPATH’s position.

Hey, that’s actually what the point was? And it’s the trans-supportive people who are saying that this isn’t allowed? But, once again, you prove that you have a lack of basic reading comprehension.

um, I have to look at the original for reference here…

But you don’t give a shit that she’s having to fight to be called a girl, do you. No, you only care about children who fall in to your little trans-positive mold. Never mind that my niece gets sad and withdrawn and upset because people insist on either forcing her in to being the proper “girl” or tell her that she’s a “boy.” Nope, since she’s not trans, she’s going to be perfectly fine.

Another misrepresentation. No, I do give a shit. She shouldn’t have to fight to do such, and I find it troubling that the family would put in her that position. There’s no reason she should hae to fight to be a girl in any sorto f reality, so there is a reason for this that is not being revealed that is not visible in the descriptiopn as you provided it.

The reason she is being pressured to identify as a boy is because gender is a social institution that people are intent on preserving. My niece – like all girls and women – has to fight for her right to self-definition. The trans trend is just another obstacle she has to fight again.

Indeed, while it is incredibly unlikely that you wold call on it, I offer my assistance in getting people to let her be a girl if that’s what she wants. I see no reason why cis children should be forced to live a lie.

If you truly want to help, perhaps you should try to actually dismantle gender, rather than implicitly supporting it by suggesting that people should engage in gender transitions from one to the other. You know, work towards a world where gendered standards aren’t restricting who we are allowed to be.

I also see no reason why Trans children should be forced to live a lie. And I have both personal and professional experience in that area, and I am concerned primarily with trans people, so I am well aware of the pain that taking that little girl and trying to force her to be a boy would cause.

Why should any child – any one – be pressured to change who they are? Why can’t we change the system that restricts people to one of two options?

I really don’t give a shit if it is trans positive or not. In the end, if she is not being allowed to express herself in a manner that is appropriate for her from her perspective, then you are goign to get that withdrawn and sullen thing you describe.

Oddly enough, you describe it above as if she isn’t the hyper feminine sort then she gets criticized and told perhaps she’s a boy. That sounds like parents not being able to tell the difference and trying to enforce rigid gender roles on her.

That’s wrong.

It’s not her parents. It’s a social process from the extended family, her doctor, and society as a whole. While it’s easier to focus on the family, you need to acknowledge that gender actually is a socially widespread process.

Wow. The pressure to conform to the patriarchy, the pressure to be something she’s not to please others – not a problem. Gotcha.

Wow. yet another misrepresentation. Can you please not do that in the future of this specific discussion? It is distracting.

You explicitly say this. You explicitly say that my neice is making a choice to conform, and you explicitly say that it’s not a problem. It’s not misrepresentation to use your own words.

Once again you continue to ignore the fact that non-trans men and women who aren’t gender conforming face these pressures and the violence.

Not at all. Cis, inter, and related groups that are not trans all face pressures to conform to social sex roles of various sorts typical within the cultures (over and sub), class, ethnic backgrounds, and related elements all the time.

For Cis folk, those are normative patterns that are upheld by various traditions and negative forces such as sexism.

For inter folk, they are expected to conform to one or the other, often via surgical intereference that can and does lead to a later need to transition as the decision is made by the parents before they have reached a point of self awareness. I will note that this does ot inherently make them trans, but also that it does not mean they might not also be trans as well as inter.

For related groups of people who are not trans, the force can be even worse than it is for trans people, because they are often caught in a bind, since they are generally not immediately drawn to either of the socially constructed poles of man and women.

So for you to assert that is to misrepresent what I am saying. Tis would be akin to saying that when I talk about apples, I am erasing granny smith and redmond gold apples by only talking about apples. Or that I am erasing women and men when I talk about people. Not only is that misrepresenting me, that makes absolutely no sense except as a support for an ideological position and an outright effort to ridicule.

And you can’t see how the focus on trans people, and the very idea of transitioning, ignores the pain and discrimination of those who are non-trans but gender nonconforming? When you talk about trans, you are indeed excluding non-trans people.

They were not supporting her in “exploring her identity.” They were pressuring her to change her identity to be something they would prefer. And that’s not okay. My niece didn’t need any help “exploring” being butch – she’s just a girl who likes pants. It’s people like you who want to pathologize that.

I did not say that they were doing so, I said they probably see themselves as doing that. How they see themselves and what they are actually doing is two different things, much like motivation and outcome are two different things.

I don’t care what they thought they were doing. I care about the effect on my niece, which was emotional trauma. They didn’t care about what harm they did to her, all they cared about was trying to cope with their own gender biases.

You describe it as pressuring her to change her identity — given that you have consistently misrepresented pretty much everything I wrote, I am inclined to question your perception of events to the same degree I would question mine in a similar situation.

Right…so because you don’t like what I’ve said, I must be misrepresenting it. Okay, sure. You know, you sound exactly like the grandparents who wrote their stupid “You can grow up to be a boy!” message when I called them and told them how much they’d hurt their granddaughter. They didn’t believe me either.

I do not doubt that it is something questionable on their part, I was pointing out that you should probably talk to them and give them some suggestion for better material than “princess boy”.

Tried talking to them. They tell me the same things you’re saying: that it’s prejudiced or discriminatory to not tell my niece she could be a man (even though she doesn’t want to be.)

I have absolutely no interest in pathologizing the act of a girl wearing pants. Indeed, I am working against that, rather actively. That is a false statement. I do have an interest in allowing her to do so if she wants to do it.

If this was true, why do you support transitioning? If you don’t see gender nonconformity as a sign of a deeper problem, why do you think people should transition?

I do have to presume that when you say “people like me who ” you mean people with degrees in psychology and/or psychiatry. Since those are the ones that do the pathologizing. Because any other meaning would be, well, sorta silly.

Yes, this is exactly what I mean – the irresponsible medical professionals who are intent on confirming gender and pushing people to continue to conform.

Lack of reading skills. Seriously, you really need to work on your comprehension.

Entirely possible. Could also be the way I communicated things to you. Or it could be that you and I are on polar positions in an ideological war and that colors our perceptions.

hard to tell at this point.

I’m not doing it anonymously. But why should it surprise you that many people are uncomfortable with being public in their criticism? You’re seen what happens when we do that. We get death threats and rape threats. But, as always, you don’t care about that.

Well, now you aren’t.

I wasn’t surprised. I am still not surprised. I get death threats and rape threats. Death threats from people who are in pretty much any ideologically opposite postion from mine — including rad fems. Not many, granted, but they do come in. Most of mine come from the anti-LGBT folks who like to use trans people as a cudgel against gay and lesbian people, and from gay and lesbian people who resent trans people being used as a cudgel against them.

Peak Trans is a place where people can speak in relative safety. This is a positive thing. The problem is not that they choose to be anonymous – the problem is that they are not allowed to speak under their own names without facing violence.

I refuse to allow those threats to stop me from voicing my opinions when I know they are correct. I do not need anonymity to hide behind because I am willing to own up to my personal faults and even to work on things that I find especially egregious.

This sounds distinctly like victim blaming. Out of curiosity, is it only the trans critical who should be criticized for speaking anonymously, or are you also willing to call out other Tumblrs like Dear Cis People and RadFem Scorpion?

I don’t expect other people to do the same, but I absolutely have little respect for anyone who uses their own internalized anxiety, aversion or animus to trans people — regardless of the origin for such — to support and engage in action which are harmful to trans people. And “peak trans” is all about that.

Peak Trans is a place where people can explain how they went from being trans supportive to trans critical. You may dismiss the origins of the fear and anxiety, but that does not mean the threat is not real.

The reason it was so hard? Because you knew it was wrong.

The rest is merely justification.

Because you chose to remove the original words here, I have no idea what this is referring to, and I can’t tell by looking at the original post.

This was my “peak trans” moment not because I had anxiety or aversion to trans people, but because I could finally see the damage that a gender-positive ideology has on people. Gender harms.

Um, you said “It terrifies me

That is anxiety. Sorry.

Yes. I am terrified to think about how trans ideology has become so common and is now restricting people’s choices. This is not baseless anxiety. This is a response to actual negative events. It’s a rational position.

“Let her be a girl.” And what exactly do you mean by that? Since she says she’s a girl, should her parents start forcing her to wear the clothing and have the interests that are commonly associated with being a girl?

What exactly do I mean by that? I mean let her decide what being a girl means for her, and engage in activities and a life that is in keeping with that. Do you have a problem with that?

I don’t, but you do. Instead of allowing people to define what it means to be a girl (or indeed, a boy) you support an ideology that says that you can only do certain activities and behaviors if you are part of the appropriate gender.

No, that does not mean her parents should start forcing her to do any of that, Her parents shouldn’t be forcing her to do anything. Life is hard enough for a girl, she doesn’t need more shit dumped on her.

Or did you forget I am a woman?

This started with you saying that parents who don’t push trans identification on their gender nonconforming children are abusive. Did you forget that?

It’s not “impossible.” Are you not paying attention to the growing trend of suggesting trans treatment for gender nonconformity?

I did not say it was impossible. I said it was all but. There is a difference there. And yes, I am paying close attention to such and I do indeed contribute to such.

Except that it isn’t gender non conformity. That, alone, by *every* standard of care, is substantively reduced in treatment protocols to the equivalent of “eh, let em dress hoe they want and play how they want and act how they want”. Gender nonconformity, in and of itself, is not considered to be significant enough to warrant treatment.

I’m going to refer you to the diagnostic criteria. Yes, actually, gender nonconformity is used as the biggest sign of a person supposedly being trans.

Transness — gender identity dysphoria in children — is different from mere gender nonconformity. Signifcantly so.

So yeah, I am aware. It is apparent, though, that you are not. Or at least, not as aware as you would like to be and not nearly as aware as I am.

I apologize if that comes across as hostile.

You’ve made it pretty clear through this whole thing that you are not nearly as aware of the treatment for supposedly trans children as you think you are. And your original interpretation of my story demonstrates exactly how deep your bias is. If my niece and her family walked in to your office, I’m pretty sure you would have begun telling her that she should think about being trans.

“When we help trans kids, they are genuinely trans.” Sure – you work very hard to convince them that they are. And if you “don’t like” that gender is based on stereotypes, why are you working so hard to support the structure of gender in the first place?

Incorrect and rather childish effort on your part. I do not convince anyone they are trans, They have to convince me. So the statement above is a direct falsehood. I don’t give a damn what their gender is, or even if they have one, either. It can be as stereotypical as they prefer for it to be or as atypical as they prefer for it to be. Makes little difference to me, personally, and all I do is help them be aware of how their choices impact their lives.

“Be aware of how their choices impact their lives.” Yes, with an emphasis on trying to tell them that their problems would be solved if they transitioned.

You say I “don’t like that gender is based on stereotypes”. This is incorrect, For one, gender, itself, is not based in stereotypes. There are gendered stereotypes, but hey are not the basis of social sex roles, they are not the basis of gender identity, and they are not the basis of gender expression. They are, often, expressed in the media as preferred normatives, and that is often passed on, but to say that gender is based in stereotypes is complete bassackward and all sorts of foolish and uninformed.

Gender itself is a stereotype. You cannot describe gender without falling back on using stereotypes for your examples. It is not just the media who expresses “preferred normatives” – medical professionals, educational institutions, religious institutions and the whole of society do that.

Thus, since the premise does not apply, the answer to your question is that I do not.

You can deny it all you want. By presenting the idea that people can (or should) transition from one gender to another, you are indeed supporting gender stereotypes.

I don’t have a problem with trans people. I have a problem with the ideology of transitioning, which supports the idea that gender is innate and that people must conform to one or the other.

This, for once, does not misrepresent me, but rather misrepresents gender. No ofense, and I do not know who taught htis to you, but they did a pioss poor job if it was anytime within the last 15 years.

Hell, when I was in school in the late 80’s, it was better than that.

Gender, as a singular concept, is not innate.

One part of it is. That is the part of one’s identity, one’s self identity, sense of self — ego, self awareness, there are a host of terms for it — that determines how a person seeks to be seen.

Now, if you want to disagree with decades of science that establish that, fine. Please provide actual evidence as opposed to a belief. Especially when that science started in the 1940’s and involved some really unpleasant experiments.

There is no science that supports gender identity as being inborn. See my recent discussion with Valerie Keefe if you want to deal with that. Yes, I know that trans activists are all very much attached to the idea of “brain gender” these days – the old biological essentialism in a new shiny package. But people’s identities do not exist separate from their social locations. And the social location we are in right now pushes people to conform with specific and narrow gender stereotypes.

Oh, and had nothing to do with transness. At all. So to say that transness as an ideology asserts such is false, and demonstrates a lack of awareness of the history and understanding of gender. Please avoid making incredibly untrue statements.

Transness didn’t gain significant study until the early to mid 1970’s, by which time gender identity as a fixed constant (along with Sex identity, which is often confused with gender identity in the general public) had been long established (30 years) in the understanding of sexual behaviors — including sexual orientation, which depends on it.

Sex is not an identity. Sex is a biological reality. Gender identity is not a fixed constant – it has varied significantly over time and geographic location. There is no universal gender behavior, and for you to try to claim that there is shows massive ignorance in regards to history, as well as the vast variations to be found in contemporary life around the world.

Sexual orientation is not based on gender. Sexual orientation is based on sex.

Not does the system of gender identity say that a person *must* conform to one or the other.

Yes, it does. By presenting the idea that people have innate, individual-psyche-based gender identities, you are reifying the idea that gender exists as something biological, rather than social – and suggesting that the normative situation is for people to conform.

Gender roles (social sex roles) exist and often a social culture will enforce social punishments on people who stray from them, but the really prescriptive one is gender expression, which does all of that punishing even harder (just ask a butch lesbian, feminine gay man, or any trans person about that). When a woman in power is castigated in the press for showing too much breast, or a CEO is basically excoriated for being pregnant while being a CEO, that’s gender expression and gender roles (social sex roles) being used against someone.

Not their gender identity.

You cannot separate gender identity from gender expression. A person’s gender identity is very much connected to their gender expression, and when one’s gender expression is questioned, so is one’s gender identity.

And “Gender”, as a whole, is all three of those things. Not one of them, not two of them, but all three of them. And social sex roles and Gender expression are cultural and not universal.

You’re contradicting your earlier statements here.

And those I do oppose being used restrictively and I do think they are harmful when they limit people but they do not always limit people and they are not inherent to patriarchy in and of itself (they would be and have been present in every culture, including matriarchies and those that are more equitable).

Gender is always limiting. Gender is a product of the patriarchy. Your denial of this is basic sexism.

My position is to make them all so broad as to be practically meaningless and allow people to be whatever they are.

Well, once again….if this is really your goal, why should people have to transition at all? Wouldn’t it be better to support them in expressing themselves as whatever they want to be, rather than telling them to pick a box?

So please, understand all of that is not so much my opinion, but rather factual shit and you can easily go and look it all up yourself, but I suggest you start with good books that avoid ideology from *any* corner, especially trans and especially radical feminist.

I’ve done my reading.

Huh. Really. Your original post on this said that my neice’s parents were neglectful and abusive for not encouraging their daughter – who does not see herself as trans – to transition. Nice contradiction there.

Well, the reading I had — which, likely, was colored by the way it was written (which is “trans critical” i believe you would describe it as, correct?) — was that the child was a tomboy. At least, as I recall it now. Apparently I was wrong, and I have already apologized.

My niece IS a tomboy. She does not see herself as a boy. She sees herself as a girl who wants to do things that the rest of the world is defining as “masculine.” I don’t know why this is so hard for you to grasp.

It also suggested a fairly standard trans child narrative where the parents were hostile to transition and other family members were supportive. That’s my lens in play. I apologize for that.

My story suggested no such thing; you just chose to read it that way. My story presented my neice’s parents as being supportive of her gender non-conformity and the rest of the family telling her that she must really be a boy.

When I saw your reblog and read the post there, I felt bad because I had allowed both of our respective lenses and a few missing key pieces of information to color my perception and so I sought to address that.

Which was a rather large risk on my part, as I already am engaged in an online war of words with Brennan and I have a very long and ugly history with being blindsided by radfems going back to the post 2006 blowup on feminist sites.

However, despite you and Brennan (who would think it even if I won a nobel, I mean, really, she and I are not nice to each other) thinking I am stupid (oh, and , by the way, Tony is not my name, but I don’t expect you to not use it if you are as invested in the ideology as you appear to be), I am nevertheless actually very concerned about children being mistreated because raising a cis child as a trans one or a trans child as a cis one is abuse and neglect, and it is dangerous and it is destroying and it is harmful over the massive span of a person’s life.

I understand you’re concerned about children, but frankly I think your insistence that gender is natural and your disbelief that a gender non-conforming child isn’t trans to be harmful in itself.

And if your ideology is going to say that raising a trans child as a cis child is proper, then I *must* note that it supports child abuse and neglect. Truly. It is incumbent on me as a caring person.

Actually, my ideology says that children should be raised without gender and that suggesting medical interventions (particularly untested ones) for social behaviors is a terrible idea and needs to be stopped.

I understand after this enormous response if you choose not to reply, and I will even understand if you want to just continue misunderstanding what I have said. We are on the opposite side of things. It is a huge gulf that neither of us bear any responsibility to bridge.

But I wanted you to know. Because I’m that kind of “male threat”. Because I am one of those people working very hard to make life better for trans people. And I do it because I know that making life better for them means making it better for everyone.

But hey, I’m just one woman. That you probably don’t think is one. So what do I know, right?

I’ve done my best to respond. I’m sure you will think I have chosen to continue to misunderstand you. I don’t think I am. You are correct that there is a major gulf between our perspectives. I will not accept that pushing gender conformity on children – on anyone – is ever a good thing. I think the only people being helped by the trans trend are those who benefit from the continuation of the patriarchy – and I am committed to destroying that, and all of its tools.

My disagreement with you has nothing to do with your gender identity, although I will state (as I have stated repeatedly elsewhere) that trans women are women. I disagree with you because you are supportive of a harmful and restrictive gender system, and I am seeing the harms of that system directly on one of the people I love most. And that makes me very afraid, and very angry.

Dyssonance:

This is a full on tl:dr that I’m not sure AS will respond to. It has been a great little exchange, and I’m enjoying it at least.

Below the cut is the exchange at the last time, and then below that is this turn’s response. Will require copious amounts of coffee.

 

Since the last time I made it more difficult for you to follow along, I have simply posted the response with your comments in bold below.

Ok, um, err, wow.

I knew there was a big gulf but I hadn’t realized just how big.

No. In your first response, you even linked to a document about child abuse and neglect, and suggested that my niece’s parents were both for not “seeing” what the extended family (some of who had only interacted with her through pictures) believed.

Strictly speaking the link was in my first post on the matter, not my first response. In my first response to you, I did indeed say so previously.

You don’t seem to acknowledge the harm that is being done to her by those who keep trying to tell her that she’s actually a boy.

Please forgive me, but, um, what part of “If she’s quite settled, and very much a cis person, then doing that would be harmful to her.” was not able to cross the gulf?

What do you mean “already a tomboy”? She is already a tomboy. The new thing is her now forcing herself to conform to stereotypes of femininity in order to get away from people telling her she’s actually a boy.

I see. So my initial reading was correct, and rather than apologizing, I should have stuck with my earier impressions of her, and now you are giving me shit for that? *sigh*

She shouldn’t be forcing herself to conform in order to please others.

This is not the normative pattern. The normative pattern is children trying out different behaviors and then repeating the behaviors that their role models approve of – which usually leads to gender conformity.


It is the normative pattern for trans children — the one I described, which I thought was contextually clear, but apparently the gulf between us destroys even the possibility of contextual understanding, so everything must be made explicit. The one you describe is indeed the normative pattern for cis children.

My original post was quite clear about how my niece’s parents give her the freedom to dress and behave as she wants; you just chose to ignore that.

sigh. Sure, fine. In the interest of continuing dialog I will pass.

And what, exactly, do you think it means to be a girl, or a woman? Is my niece not “celebrating” or “indulging” in being a girl because she likes short hair and dirtbikes? Is my partner not being a woman because she likes the same things?

When someone can describe what those terms means exactly, without relying on what they are not, I (and many others) will be able to answer that question. It is akin to asking “what, exactly, do you think it means to be human?”. Your answers are going to vary greatly, broadly and there will never be universal agreement. I’ve asked the same question myself many times.

I would have to ask your niece if she is celebrating that manner to know if that’s what she is doing. Making her generic, I would say if that is how she chooses to do so, then absolutely that’s doing it. The same would apply with your partner.

Please excuse me, but it seems as if you are attempting to ascribe to me motivations that are not mine, and perhaps your argument with a different trans person has left you continuing to view all trans people with a side eye. In this case, it seems as if you are attempting to get me to somehow place a judgment on what constitutes someone who is “womanly” enough, or “female” enough, and as a point of order I would like you to understand that there is nothing deeper in my saying she should enjoy those things. How she enjoys such and what she does to enjoy it are irrelevant to me — I just want her to be herself, in whatever way *she* sees herself being. Not you, not me, not her parents or her family. Just her.

I am not prescriptive in my determination of how women should behave.

My niece is being pushed in to making patriarchal bargains because if she doesn’t, people tell her she’s a boy. She’s being pushed in to those traps because people can’t accept that gender isn’t innate.

And I said that she shouldn’t be (although you chose to say that I think its hunky dory and all that). I said she should be taught not to make them, or make ones that are less restrictive than the ones that I’ve had to make or even that you have had to make (pardon, I have no idea of your personal reference beyond your being in academia).

You, with your support for the idea that people need to transition, are indeed supporting those who tell my niece she must actually be a boy. Trans ideology works to stifle people’s sense of self and push them in to conforming with gender roles.

This is interesting. My supporting those people who need to do something that is medically and existentially indicated in order to free their sense of self and push them into ignoring gender roles is suddenly the opposite of that?

Truly, I am trying to make sense of the above statement of yours. It is ascribing to me an entire series of actions that are completely different from what I actually do. And that’s why I say the gulf is wider.

You are on Tumblr. You are pushing a fringe trans ideology. I admit it frightens me to think that you also do this in your offline life – I worry about what you would say to a gender non-conforming child and his or her family.

I am also on several other things, and I am not pushing a fringe trans ideology. I am “pushing” accepted medical treatment and practices. And your fear supports my previous assertion about your anxiety regarding trans people and transness.

However, to assuage your worry, you can find out what I say fairly easily: come on down and visit me to find out.

Fringe theory bothers me. There are perhaps two dozen experts who disagree with it that have any sort of influence and you are calling it fringe. That’s pretty much like saying that theories about homosexuality are all fringe.

You said it wasn’t a problem that my niece is making patriarchal bargains. You skipped over the very real pain my niece is experiencing because of the pressure to conform to the stereotypes of femininity. If you regret what you said, admit it – don’t try to pretend you didn’t say it.

This is incorrect. I did not say it wasn’t a problem — the idea of patriarchal bargain, in and of itself, is inherently bespeaking a problem. As I noted just a short bit ago, I am apparently not allowed to use contextual meaning, instead I must be explicit. On the other hand, you appear to be under no such limitation. That strikes me as unfair and annoying and somewhat entitled.

I didn’t skip over it. Again, what part of “If she’s quite settled, and very much a cis person, then doing that would be harmful to her.” was not able to cross the gulf?

Seriously — are you just looking at what I say and trying to find a way to use against me, or are you genuinely examining what I say on the presumption that I really do give a damn?

Because it doesn’t seem like you are. It seems like you are being hostile to everything and anything I say. Are you trying to force me to conform to your expectations of how a trans person acts in the way you see them, as opposed to actually dealing with one on a human level?

I may be overly sensitive of course — it could just be that since every single little thing I say is being examined for even the most insignificant thing wrong and that motivations without any sort of direct evidence are being ascribed and there was a great deal of misrepresentation of what I said previously that I’m just overreacting to a little bit of natural hostility here.

I don’t regret it because I didn’t say it. Furthermore, are you saying that women aren’t taught to create patriarchal bargains? Are you saying that they don’t learn them as early as 8, or even 6? Are you saying that I don’t understand the nature of them?

I’m genuinely trying to be engaged here, Academic Silence. I am not trying for “points” to score with my “cronies”, I am not interested in getting one over you. I’m not even trying to compete with you for different things. Really. I reblogged you, outside my normal habits, to have a conversation about your niece and to see if I could help you in some way to stop these people from harming her.

That is it. End of motivation.

If you’d read the post, you’d know my niece is currently eight. No, she’s not a candidate for genital surgery – but what’s the next step after hormones? If you have a child who’s being put on hormones before puberty, you’re grooming them to accept that they will eventually have surgery. WPATH suggests that such surgeries should be performed as young as eighteen. Children are not being given a choice.

I *did* know your niece was 8. I just don’t generally speak about children’s ages in general because then it becomes too personal and I’m trying to be somewhat distant.

She’s 8. The first step she would have — if she was really trans, so we are talking hypothetically now — is hormone blockers. Just curious — are you aware of the monetary cost of those blockers? I am curious if you are. Are you aware of the cost to trans children — and we are talking about trans child now, not your niece, because she isn’t trans — of *not* doing hormone blockers? Seriously, do you understand the financial cost of not doing so? I won’t even talk about the emotional cost here, because apparently to you there is no emotional cost to trans children because you’ve already said that trans children should not be treated (or is that too close to what you are tiptoeing around?).

Ok, stepping away from the derails, back to the point — so first step is blockers, then hormones, and once they cross the border of 16, the question is different because they are no longer considered children by the treatment protocols.

But let’s go with your contextual presumption of commonly accepted childhood lasting through 18. After hormones, is…

Whatever the individual wants.

Surgery — sure, if they want it. They have to go through two gatekeepers to get it, and if you honestly think that psych’s in the US just rubber stamp stuff you need to step back and do research that you have not done because it does not happen, even though a lot of people have tried.

That’s part of why what you say is a lie. Surgery is only called for in those cases where it is absolutely needed. Much to the shock of many, the Benjamin scale is still in frequent use in the US, even though a lot of people would prefer a more effective dimensional assessment like the one developed in the Netherlands and initially proposed for the DSM-V. And that means that only a few will ever be approved for The Surgery.

They will, also, be extremely binary — that is, they will conform for the most part to gender expressions (though they may not and most often do not conform to social sex roles unless they are under 30) concomitant with their expressed goals. That is, they will be Men and Women.

That’s the standard archetype that’s portrayed in the media, as well. But trans is much, much more complex than that, and even excluding the cost associated with such, only a few trans people will go for such. Most will not need The Surgery.

So to say that surgery is the next step after hormones is incorrect. It *can be*,. yes, I won’t argue there, but it isn’t necessarily so.

That plus the fact that surgery can be had first, and hormones second is another problem. Rare, not usual, agreed, but it does happen.

There are many trans people who went on blockers, and then on hormones and then never bothered to have surgery. When they were kids. I will say that it is rare, but the question of surgery doesn’t even come up until they are past puberty and isn’t a topic one usually has to discuss.

You say they are being groomed, ascribing a sense of coercion and a “forcing” to do that, and yet you are ignoring the single most common complaint of trans people that they were forced to conform themselves to something that was wrong. If that’s the case, then there is no coercion and no grooming them to accept going on. If anything there is trepidation — and, again, I speak from experience here. Practical real world stuff, not theory and not abstract.

So that is false. The only motivator for surgery is the child. And every step along the way — especially when you remember that for pediatric treatment, the recent crappy as all hell endo rules more often apply than WPATH’s SoC. But hey, you know what, from me you will get a lot of that second hand. Tell you what, call Dr. Jo in Los Angeles. Or talk to Peggy Cohen-Kettinis in the Netherlands (I have no clue where you are). They deal in trans kids literally every day. You want to say they are forcing them, then talk to them. They will talk to you when they have time, answer your question (though both can be pretty harsh if people do some of the stuff you have done so far with me).

Not given a choice? That’s all they are given. Saying that is an entire universe away from the truth.

How many of these kids have you worked with? Really. I want to know. I should know, with you making pronouncements of this sort. I don’t need to know where, just how many.

Have you read the WPATH standards of care? The push is to administer hormones at younger and younger ages. And while the news coverage is highly sensationalized, Google is your friend if you want to know about more cases.

Flat out, I not only read them, I had a pre release copy delivered to my four times the day before they were announced and then three times the morning of. There is a reason for that. I also know most of the people who worked on them.

I know them quite well. And I also know pretty much everyone stops and draws the line at 14. And that some draw the line at 18. So saying “younger and younger” when those lines have been pretty fixed for a decade now is a bit of a stretch and highly improbable.

My niece’s pediatrician’s repeated suggestions are perfectly in line with – once again – WPATH’s suggested standards of care.

Ok, now wait a second. Knowing that the treatment of trans youth has cost several doctors their licenses and that doing so is extremely tightly watched, you are going to try and tell me that your niece has a pediatrician saying she should consider transition, her relatives are saying she should transition, her parents are letting her be whatever and whoever she wants to be, and you are the ONLY ONE who is not seeing this?

I’m not saying that to be cruel. I am asking in honest concern and consideration — not trolling. It strikes me as *off*, but it can happen so I’m not saying or implying that you are wrong, but I am saying that given your hostility to it and the stuff you have said so far, could it be something else?

If so, then get a different pediatrician. Or help her to raise her own voice.

I absolutely do not support any sort of unnecessary medical intervention with children – or indeed, with adults.

Good. Neither do I. I think where we may differ is that I see treating trans children as necessary and you do not. If I am incorrect there, please let me know — that is, you do believe that treating trans children is necessary, correct?

Your cronies are your fellow trans activists. I’ve already linked to WPATH’s position.

Ah, in that case, I can say that my fellow trans activists are not “going after children”. Unless you believe that gay men and lesbians are going after children. Both have the same ring to it.

Of course, you have to remember that I do not consider most of what you generally label “trans social justice tumblrs” to be my fellow trans activists. I consider them to be people learning to be an activist. My fellow Trans activists include people like Miss Majors, Mara Keisling, Lisa Mottet, and probably three hundred others up to and including Janet Mock and Isis King.

Keep in mind, trans activists are not a single homogenous unit. That would be like saying all radical feminists are women who hate men, call trans women male, favor atheism and socialism, and seek the anarchic destruction of the government. Neither is true. So saying it does a great disservice to the efforts.

Trans people include great human beings and really shitty ones. Just like radical feminists.

So my cronies are people who you probably don’t encounter very often. And even then, I am something of a wild card. In no small part because I do choose to have a tumblr and I do continue to speak out in this forum as well as the others I have.

Oh, and the WPATH peeps. Them too.

The reason she is being pressured to identify as a boy is because gender is a social institution that people are intent on preserving. My niece – like all girls and women – has to fight for her right to self-definition. The trans trend is just another obstacle she has to fight again.

I’m sorry, that’s theory, not factual reality. Or less controversial, you ascribe an abstract issue to a concrete problem and it does not work. Sorry, can’t do that one.

I can do “that people are intent on preserving gender”. It works, it has merit, and it has history. That that is the reason she is being pressured, no. I could accept that she is being pressured because people expect her to be such as a result of her demonstrating traits they associate with one gender or another, but that is different from what you are saying.

Because you are still giving Gender, as a whole, powers it doesn’t have. Nor is trans a “trend”. It is not a “fad”, either. It is an at times deeply debilitating issue that people usually do everything they can to find another reason or cause for.

You do not know very many trans people, or you have not spent much time with them. If you had, you wouldn’t say that, even if they were some of the more problematic ones.

If you truly want to help, perhaps you should try to actually dismantle gender, rather than implicitly supporting it by suggesting that people should engage in gender transitions from one to the other. You know, work towards a world where gendered standards aren’t restricting who we are allowed to be.

Question for you that is important: do you think that trans people transition for any reason other than their personal well being?

That is a serious and critical question, and the answer to it will shape the real answer to the suggestion you make.

Related, do you think all trans people transition? Do you think that transition is equal to surgeries? Do you think that transition is equal to hormones?

Aside from that, it really feels as if you are still stuck on taking the most restrictive and ideological supportive viewpoint you can. So let me tell you something you definitely do not understand.

Gender, as a whole — that is, gender identity, gender expression, and gender roles (social sex roles) — is restrictive in only some cultures, and the kind of restrictions it has vary according to different cultures. Generally speaking, I deal in US culture primarily. In our culture, we define people’s gender most commonly through their physicality primarily, then by expression, then by social sex roles. Other cultures define people’s gender by their social sex roles, with physicality secondary or tertiary. I know this. Despite something we will get to in a moment, this is based on research and scientific studies.

As a person who works with trans people from all over the world, for no money and as a full time job and who has to deal with people from all manner of backgrounds in explaining this every day, one of the things I get to do is the exact opposite of what you say I do.

Because I say that people should be free to express their gender how they want to do so. There is no limit to that. There is no boundary to that. I know men who were slapped and said its a boy about as children that later did a physical change but not a social one. I know women that did the same thing, now. I know people who transition from macho men into your worst nightmare of woman, and people who transition from men in to butch dykes and feminine gay men. I know people who wear a skirt and men’s boots and earrings and a t shirt. I know people who have no gender, who have multiple genders, who are women, men, neither and both.

And I work for *all* of them. In all the diversity they represent. I’ve heard people suggest there be a third gender in US culture. My position is fine, as long as no one is forced into it. Just as my position is that people shouldn’t be forced into men and women boxes — however that box is dressed up or whatever that box allows people to do.

That is what I fight for. Now, if you want to take that and say that what I am doing is not working towards a world where gendered standards aren’t restricting who we are allowed to be, then fine.

Go ahead. Because when a person’s gender is only defined by them, and there are *so* many possible ways for human beings to be, then gender cannot be restricting.

I’ve said that at least three different ways already. I’m hoping that this one gets through the lenses and the ideologies and all the rest. Because if it doesn’t, if you say I am not working towards that again, then there is no crossing the gulf since the gulf is one you are creating in order to stay as separated from me as possible.

And I’m not going to try and figure out how to say it to you again, because it does get old trying to talk through the barrier of your personal ideology’s inimical nature.

Why should any child – any one – be pressured to change who they are? Why can’t we change the system that restricts people to one of two options?

Once more, and with feeling, I have said, several times, in several ways, that a child should NOT be pressured and that I am trying to change that system, and one of the things stopping me from doing so is people who keep telling me I’m not doing that.

Which is probably why my contrarian mindset makes me keep trying harder.

hello — that’s what being trans is all about!! That’s what lies beneath transness!

That’s why we hate it when people crap on us.

It’s not her parents. It’s a social process from the extended family, her doctor, and society as a whole. While it’s easier to focus on the family, you need to acknowledge that gender actually is a socially widespread process.

Ok, I acknowledge that gender is a socially widespread process.

Better yet, I’ll acknowledge that gender is social system of fairly great complexity that is culturally dependent.

I will even point out that gender is, in and of itself, always all about how others perceive one. And NOT about how one perceives one’s self.

Uh oh. Did I just totally say something that disagrees with the simplified version that every trans person and their mother seems to recite?

Oh noes! Of course, it isn’t the first time. And I’ve been doing it for several years, and ah, heck fire.

Now, think for a moment on what that means about Gender Identity. That means it is an inherent identity element that is formed around the way that one needs people to perceive you.

This might be why I said that Sex Identity was often mistaken for gender identity, since it is the one that is all about how one sees one’s self.

Of course, the entire life’s work of people like Milton Diamond and John Money (up to and including his horrific experiment that ended the lives of far too many people) doesn’t exist according to you, and everything they ever influenced is completely nonexistent as well, so, hey, you know, what the hell.

But with less sarcasm, yes, gender is about how other people perceive you, not how you perceive yourself. Gender is *applied* to a person, culturally. Change cultures, the way gender is applied changes. Change cultural point, the way gender is applied changes. This is why ethnicity and social class can have an impact on gender’s parts.

The social sex roles of a poor woman are more restricted than the social sex roles of a wealthier one. The social sex roles of a woman from one ethnicity are going to be different than the social sex roles of a woman from a different one. And all of those can exist within the social sex roles permitted women in general in an overarching culture.

How’s that for an acknowledgement? The explicit is definitely better than the contextually hoped for understanding, isn’t it?

You explicitly say this. You explicitly say that my niece is making a choice to conform, and you explicitly say that it’s not a problem. It’s not misrepresentation to use your own words.

Post it. Note that I am known for being very particular about my words. Bonus, I just took the time to look back over my posts.

Or did you yet again decide the context wasn’t there when I said if she’s not, then it isn’t a problem, referring to her possibly being trans.

Let me strip out some of the extra stuff and make the context clear:

You could tell because she would fight you on being called a girl, and it would go on and on until she felt punished enough that she just withdrew and became sullen or less excited about things. She would still run and play and do stuff, but it would slowly get worse until puberty hit. If she is not trans, then it isn’t a problem.

Now, all of that is referring to the way that trans people react and deal with those things.

However, that isn’t how you read it. So I am going to say post what you read if I said it explicitly.

And you can’t see how the focus on trans people, and the very idea of transitioning, ignores the pain and discrimination of those who are non-trans but gender nonconforming? When you talk about trans, you are indeed excluding non-trans people.

I absolutely can see how *you* see it. However, as you noted, I am a trans activist. Ergo, I tend to center trans lives. In centering trans lives, which are historically decentered in much the same way that women’s lives are decentered, I am going to generally have a focus on them, since people who are not trans, and not Inter, and not medi are generally cis people who are gender nonconforming and, structurally, they erase trans lives.

Let me offer a comparative that I hope will give you some insight into how wide this gulf twixt us is.

To do so I am going to do something that you may initially feel is insulting or meant to get a rise out of you, but is not. What I am going to do is repost your statement and change a couple terms. Here we go:

And you can’t see how the focus on women, and the very idea of feminism, ignores the pain and discrimination of those who are men? When you talk about women, you are indeed excluding men.

Now wait a moment, please.

That is how I see and hear what you are saying, in terms of what I understand is a common point you make. That is, I am “trying to reach you on your terms” there.

I ask you, if you were to have some member from the oppressing class of men say that to you, what would be your reaction. Honestly.

I see your concern as valid, but what benefit to trans people, who I am concerned with (and, that does mean I have to deal with men and women and people who are neither and people who are both), not all of whom transition, as well, because transitioning is not synonymous with trans, and not all trans people transition.

I could, for example pull out something that would probably offend you deeply because to you it would probably seem and read like me saying that you are trans and you are not trans. I won’t. This is because it is a trans centric thing, not one that is comfortable for people outside the trans spheres.

Nor do I ignore the pain and discrimination that cis people and inter people and medi people (sorry, I know, I snuck that one in on you. Sorry, taxonomy is something that is still being explored because even the experts are trying to wrap their heads around how big trans is and for ease I use the stuff I developed). Indeed, nearly all the stuff that they face is directly related to the same stuff that trans people face — especially if they are non conforming, since trans people often represent, to the general culture, the most extreme form of non conforming.

There is a concept I’ve spoken of called situational membership. It addresses what you are talking about, and because it is incorporated into the whole of my viewpoint and understanding, it means that by default, the work I do seeks to make things easier for anyone who does not conform, since they are often stuck in the position of being members of trans through the ignorance and of other people and the situation they find themselves in.

The ideal — the ideology — that I happen to espouse says that No one should have to deal with that kind of stuff.

No one.

Ever.

It is wrong. It is, if you will pardon me going there, Evil. And, sadly, part of the reason that I do give her so much shit is she’s gone there. Small part. The big reasons are more complex.

I don’t care what they thought they were doing. I care about the effect on my niece, which was emotional trauma. They didn’t care about what harm they did to her, all they cared about was trying to cope with their own gender biases.

You are correct.

However, now you have to figure out how to stop them from doing so in the future, do you not? Isn’t understanding what they thought they were doing useful in figuring out how to solve the problem?

Right…so because you don’t like what I’ve said, I must be misrepresenting it. Okay, sure. You know, you sound exactly like the grandparents who wrote their stupid “You can grow up to be a boy!” message when I called them and told them how much they’d hurt their granddaughter. They didn’t believe me either.

Sorry, but, in honesty, you did, and I do have some concerns, and it isn’t because I didn’t like what you wrote, it is because what you wrote has a high probability of reflecting a bias that you have against any trans stuff. You may have noticed I also said I have to suspect it in the same way I suspect myself at times.

Which you have admitted to and which I acknowledge. I am sorry if my saying that made you feel like when they told you to back off (I am inferring this, if they did not, then I apologize again).

Please note that this discussion involves both of us being a tad bit defensive, and if we are to act in good faith, we do need to be aware of that and try to correct slightly.

Tried talking to them. They tell me the same things you’re saying: that it’s prejudiced or discriminatory to not tell my niece she could be a man (even though she doesn’t want to be.)

This bothers me. When all you are suggesting is different materials (which is admittedly different than talking to them), I have to question the circumstances. Not to doubt you, but because the social dynamics are off — they don’t fit with typical predictive models.

Which is, I suppose, a roundabout way of saying that something is weird there if you try to tell them that she’s really not a trans kid but just a tomboy, back off and let her have her space and they tell you that you are being prejudiced and all that.

I would expect that from trans people. When you have a person that has been poked at with a stick constantly for years, they tend to react that way. But cis folk?

That strikes me as unlikely and different. Again, not to doubt you, just to try and explain that I’m not seeing something and I don’t know what it is, so that interferes with my ability to comment effectively.

If this was true, why do you support transitioning? If you don’t see gender nonconformity as a sign of a deeper problem, why do you think people should transition?

Why do I support transitioning when I am against pathologizing the act of a girl wearing pants? Because transitioning is not about a girl wearing pants. Transitioning is about a trans person (specifically, but, it can include an inter or medi person) reaching a point where they can be a girl that does wear pants, or that doesn’t wear pants or isn’t a girl that doesn’t wear pants or any of many, many other options.

Transition allows them to do that in a way that is healthy for them. And, again, not all trans people transition.

I am, to be frank, loathe to use myself as a personal example, but here goes:

I did not transition because I “wanted to be a girl”. I did not transition because I was “born in the wrong body”. I did not transition in order to have someone fuck me or have sex with me or whatever. I did not do it because I thought anyone had an easier time of it (which, btw, is actually a warning sign that stops the process).

I transitioned because if I didn’t I would have finally become either too out of control with the constant rage I felt or too depressed to keep living. Note that neither of those statement have anything to do with gender or sex or the usual stuff you hear.

I can tell you that my rage and depression stemmed from the fact that every single time I had to deal with my physicality, I felt an enormous sadness, a wrongness, and a horrible sense of unease. You know how deartartine’s tale of being harassed multiple times in a single day makes you feel? That anger and resentment and frustration and sadness and a bit of fear and concern and all that stuff. It was kind a like that, all the time, every single moment of every single day and it only got worse when I was around other people because they said things like sir and mr and dude and there was all that social sex role and other stuff and not one bit of it was *me*.

I also stopped being nonconforming in any outwardly visible way around my 13th birthday. Prior to that, at one point, I literally stopped speaking to my mother for six entire months when she argued with me that I was not a little girl and one other thing I’m too worried could be used against me by some vile people so I won’t mention it here. The reason I stopped was that I was hoping, after years of already wishing and pleading and making deals with any kind of sky or earth or good or evil spirit who would have me wake up a girl the next day, I was still being a kid and I was hoping that maybe by wearing a dress I could somehow magically transform myself.

And my mother found out and I was so mortified that *no one* saw anything for many, many years afterwards, and the only time I dealt with any of it was just before I went to sleep where I kept wishing and praying and hoping and all the rest.

My mother was supportive. There were no books like My Princess boy and the like back then. Indeed, the best known book on this at the time said I needed to be morally mandated out of existence. She got me what she could find (including that one, “brain sex” and the rest of the late 70’s books on “weird sex”). But it was too late.

I read them, and they only made it worse.

Instead, puberty was so bad I tried three times to kill myself and when none of them worked I adopted a pattern of behavior and actions that basically led me to walk into a recruiting office and ask to go get myself blown up.

I kept waiting for people to “look inside and see the real me”. Didn’t happen. I never told anyone about this. I never talked about it. I never shared it. The first time I attempted to commit suicide as an adult, all I did was say fuck this shit in my “note”.

Why should those people who need to transition do so? Because they need to. It is something that you don’t have to be a trans person to fully understand, but it is very hard to get a grip on it otherwise. The reasons you hear are the best attempts at explaining it. There aren’t words for it. You know. It isn’t always easy, but you know. The same way you know you are gay or straight or bisexual (although, for trans people, knowing that is a bit more complicated) when you are anything but a trans person.

And when you have that knowledge, you also know that your life is going to suck. You know because the whole world around you tells you that. Your family tells you, your friends tell you, the media tells you, hell every major trans story you hear of tells you that. You also know that there is a reason that every now and then you get *really* depressed – sometimes to the point where you can’t function. Or maybe you get angry all the time but sometimes you get even angrier. Or perhaps you find yourself escaping in to drugs and alcohol. Or maybe you engage in self destructive behaviors or risk taking for no damn good reason. Or any of those things that show up in the adult survivors of child abuse and neglect.

When it is right for someone, transition is not merely a “nice idea” or a “trend”. It is something that significantly changes lives for the better in nearly every major way, because the one thing that it fixes is underneath all the other shit built up on it like a house of cards.

That other stuff built on that base includes Coping strategies, tricks and mechanisms. There is also an enormous amount of internalized stigma. Start layering all the other stuff that anyone else has to deal with, and that just piles it deeper. Woman? Deeper. Black? Deeper. Poor? Deeper. Uneducated? Deeper. On and on and on, and when you pull the rug out from underneath, it does not all just fall into place neat and orderly, it becomes a crisis point in and individual’s life and there is chaos and hardship that is going to last a bit of time, typically however long it takes for them to find a way to resocialize and get back into society.

We do not get to step away from society, to segregate and hide out. We come from every single background. Gay men, lesbians, bisexuals, black, hispanic and latin@, native, A/PI, men, women, every single group and background possible. Tis is why there are so many possibilities, and this is why there is no “one” ideology. The only thing I can think of that’s typically uglier than the radfem v trans wars are the internal trans wars.

Here I am, a complete stranger who you have already a hostile attitude towards (it ok, its true, no sweat of anything) telling you — a complete strange I have little if any reason to be honest and open with — about why I transitioned.

It was to have a life that was on my terms in my way and that was built around what I needed out of it.

And I paid an enormous price for it. I had to give up everything I built in the years that followed my trying to get myself blown up. Not a little bit.

Since then, I have lived on 400 a month. That’s an enormous price to pay, and then you add in the fact that I’ve had my share of shit too — not quite as bad as deartartine’s all in one day horror, but I still didn’t appreciate the asshole whipping his penis out at me and making lewd jokes. I didn’t like the guy who felt he had a right to paw me with what seemed like a dozen hands and wouldn’t take no for an answer (and, as a note, I did do something that most women cannot do to make him stop. I dropped my voice — which hurts to do — and told the fucker if he didn’t stop I was going to take that hand and deform it multiple times. Amazing how fast he stopped — and he knew I was trans.).

And more. Yeah, I had a lot. Lost it all. That isn’t a whim or a perverted little fantasy. That just me having to be me. It is something I have tried to do at various times my whole life from the age of four. And each time I was beat down and it took me forty farking years to get to a point where I was personally strong enough to give it a shot.

That’s why I support transitioning.

It doesn’t have anything to do with reinforcing gender roles or supporting patriarchy or even fighting patriarchy. It has nothing to do with patriarchy. Hell, it really isn’t even about gender. It is about authenticity, about being true to yourself. It is about the individual, not about society.

I realize that all of that is eye roll stuff and none of it probably has much of any emotional ring to it for you, but there it is. Best answer I can give right now.

But also, don’t think that all trans people are immaculately aware of that. That’s not fair or reasonable. There are trans people who struggle with this stuff for years and don’t have access to the resources I’ve had access to, who don’t have the background I have. I seriously doubt that Martine Rothblatt had the access I have had. I know I sure as hell haven’t had the access she has had. And if you ask me, she’s a bit out there in weird land (and since you likely don’t know who she is, she invented the stuff that makes satellite radio work and became very wealthy and is generally considered smarter than any ten people randomly grabbed of the street).

Expecting that of trans people would literally be like expecting every woman to immediately understand how patriarchy shapes language to reinforce the particulars of what forms of patriarchal bargain are permissible, or expecting all white people suddenly and magically grasp the ins and outs of how they oppress people of color systematically. Its that kind of a fairly complex thing that sometimes learning it gets in the way of.

Yes, this is exactly what I mean – the irresponsible medical professionals who are intent on confirming gender and pushing people to continue to conform.

Three questions:

  1. Why do you consider them irresponsible?
  2. How do they confirm gender?
  3. What do they do (these days) to pressure people to conform?

I want to avoid misreading anything you have to say on this topic, which is why I ask, plus, some of what I say may just repeat earlier stuff.

Also, to the parenthetical on q3, while they don’t rubber stamp stuff by any means these days, in the past it was much, much harder to get through the hoops that were placed within the system and there is a great deal of animosity still present within the trans community regarding the gender policing that went on in the late 1960’s and early 1970’s and before that. It wasn’t universal, but it was fairly widespread (and among the worst offenders was Paul McHugh, who managed to get himself appointed to a gender clinic that he wanted to shut and succeeded in doing. This is the same guy who today says that priests do not molest children and all gay people should be imprisoned).

I will also note that a lot of what allowed them to achieve the goals of policing gender in the 1980’s, especially for trans women, was the hostility generated by a book that was written by a radfem. That’s truth, not ideology. I’m pretty sure you’ve read it, since most of the stuff I’ve seen you say about trans women in our exchange so far comes out of it.

Peak Trans is a place where people can speak in relative safety. This is a positive thing. The problem is not that they choose to be anonymous – the problem is that they are not allowed to speak under their own names without facing violence.

Rather than devolve this conversation into a sideline regarding peak trans, I will forego responding. If you’d like, I would be willing to set it up in a separate thread, however. I should not have taken the swipe at peak trans, as it was a side comment.

This sounds distinctly like victim blaming. Out of curiosity, is it only the trans critical who should be criticized for speaking anonymously, or are you also willing to call out other Tumblrs like Dear Cis People and RadFem Scorpion?

Generally speaking, I loathe anon commenting. It isn’t just them. However, the stuff they post is the key to it, not the anonymity. That part just irks me. So yes, I am willing to call them out on being anonymous. But, that usually comes after I see them say something seriously stupid.

Of course, I do stuff under my name and there are multiple political reasons for it, so I am sorta biased.

One recent example of the bullshit that I see trans people use is the ‘assigned at birth’ thing. The “CAMAB” and “CAFAB” and “MAAB” and “FAAB” and all the rest. That terminology is meant to replace the troublesome “FtM and MtF” stuff that is just majorly overused. And I have, indeed, written a post on it. I do not point out to them what I will point out to you.

Those acronyms, including the _t_ ones, all reinforce the binary gender structure as the patriarchy currently has it structured. They act as limiting functions that say that you must be one or the other.

What I told them was just as important – those terms all reinforce and focus on what someone wasn’t – that is, the way the existed at one point previously – not what they are. That, to me, is deeply problematic when you are seeking to shift understanding to a point where people recognize what you are, not what you pretended to be in the past.

There shouldn’t be a focus on the past, on what someone “was”, it should be on who someone is, today, now. Doing it otherwise forces people to keep referencing a time of pain and turmoil and shouldn’t be promoted as the way you describe someone. You should describe them as they are.

That how they are could be man, woman, both, neither, or some combination of those. Not up to me to decide, but why the hell do you or I need to know that a trans man was assigned female at birth when the range of trans lives is far more flexible and broad than something to trite and generalized and past focused?

Peak Trans is a place where people can explain how they went from being trans supportive to trans critical. You may dismiss the origins of the fear and anxiety, but that does not mean the threat is not real.

Because you chose to remove the original words here, I have no idea what this is referring to, and I can’t tell by looking at the original post.

You are correct. Or, more accurately, I see it as they perceive the threat as real. I routinely acknowledge that there are consequences that can arise from the freedom of speech.

I also routinely smack trans people, cisLGB folks, dominionists, and pretty much anyone who says really stupid shit about trans people. I have a history of being, um, a poorly behaved woman.

Anxieties are, by their nature, irrational. That doesn’t mean that to the individuals they are not very real and very present. Something I note not quite as often, because usually I am pointing it out to people who are committed to being transphobic.

Since the culture is filled with this as well, trans people and most folks are all taught it from the earliest ages. Which means it is *common* and *typical*.

I will ask: if people were doing a peak lesbian blog, how would you feel? What would you do about it? What if they were “lesbian critical” (ok, yeah, that’s really silly for a hypothetical, but maybe you’ll humor me?)?

Please remember there are Two perspectives, here. Both of us think ours is correct. We are negotiating a common set of linguistic and semantic sets so that we can communicate with greater ease about the issues surrounding your niece and how you felt about my response to your sharing that story.

Yes. I am terrified to think about how trans ideology has become so common and is now restricting people’s choices. This is not baseless anxiety. This is a response to actual negative events. It’s a rational position.

Ok, first, I would like to see on what basis you assert that trans ideology has become so common; and second, how you see it as restricting people’s choices?

I asked, now I will comment.

I have been on tumblr a relatively short while. I see a lot of trans people say a lot of things that make me cringe. This is common for a lot of us who are involved in the deeper shit offline. It is also why a lot of those people I mentioned earlier stay away from the internet (plus there is the whole “nobody can please everybody” thing and in a community this diverse and different, that’s very true).

I have tried to do some stuff to counter a lot of the uglier things I’ve seen. There is a limit to the influence I have, and one of those limits is that people who are picked on a lot tend to pick back hard.

I’m certain you will agree with that.

Those same people also tend to get very defensive and very hostile and will be very harsh. I don’t mean trans people specifically, I mean people, as a rule.

I’m fairly certain you will agree with that, as well.

There is no one trans person that can govern all other trans people. Hell, there aren’t even a hundred of them who can do that. The most they can do is to try and influence things. I have.

There is no single trans ideology. Even among my peers — the one’s I described. Even among trans people on tumblr, and excluding myself, there is no singular narrative. There are also a lot of people who have tumblr’s that are meant to make trans people look like idiots. They are not actual trans people. They just want to be thought of as such, because they want to defame and denigrate trans people.

When you say trans ideology, my curiosity is raised. I immediately wonder “does she mean the transgender borg or the HBS separatists or one of the othertwenty or thirty other ideologies?”

I have been telling you what *I* do. What *I* promote. What *I* know. And I will tell you that the majority of trans people do not know these things. And many of them hear stuff and they start to say it and they don’t think about it a lot or they don’t know all of it, and they will say some god awful stupid shit.

Note: the same applies to pretty much every other group I can think of. Including radical feminists.

There is a reason I go after what people say as individuals. There is a reason I usually describe those I post about as “pretending to be”. I know and am friends with several radical feminists. I don’t say that to say that I’m anything special or that I’m immune to making stupid mistakes myself.

I say that to point out that they get told they are not radical feminists. By other people who are radical feminists. Go figure.

And, just like that, there are trans people who I generally have little to nothing to do with. Not because I dislike them, but because there are well over a million of us out there of all ages and colors and sizes. We might only be three degrees apart, but I still do not know all of them.

So when you say trans ideology, and you do so as if it is a singular construct, a monolithic or homogenous whole, I am somewhat off put because that makes me go WTF is she talking about?

And that affects the way your anxiety manifests, as well. I would be rather hard pressed if you said that the way that most of the under 30 something on tumblr who are trans talk and speak, and some of these people who freak me out beyond tumblr that I learn about from other sources are causes for anxiety. These are individuals. Not a class of persons. Not some objectified “thing”. Really hard for me to fault you for calling out single individuals for being assholes.

But when you revert it to a class of persons, that crosses the line from merely anxiety. And allows me to fault you for more than just a personal spat between individuals.

Just a comment.

I don’t, but you do. Instead of allowing people to define what it means to be a girl (or indeed, a boy) you support an ideology that says that you can only do certain activities and behaviors if you are part of the appropriate gender.

Wait a sec. I have a problem with letting a girl decide what being a girl means for her, and engage in activities and a life that is in keeping with that.?

Um, I had just said that that was what I meant, and you say I have a problem with what I meant?

I think the rest was already covered above. I do not support an ideology that does so, which I hope that I have made clear to you above. And, again, there are multiple trans ideologies. You need to be more specific about the one you are speaking about.

This started with you saying that parents who don’t push trans identification on their gender nonconforming children are abusive. Did you forget that?

I didn’t forget it because that’s not what I said. That’s your ideological position and animus towards mine speaking, not a repeat or even paraphrase of what I said. Spin, you know.

I’m going to refer you to the diagnostic criteria. Yes, actually, gender nonconformity is used as the biggest sign of a person supposedly being trans.

Ok, yes, this is correct. Persistent gender non conformity is one of at least sevenfactors that are required for kids.

It is not the be all and end all, however. Furthermore, gender conformity in and of itself does not mean that a person needs to engage in the triadic therapy.

from the SoC:

This statement noted that “the expression of gender characteristics, including identities, that are not stereotypically associated with one’s assigned sex at birth is a common and culturally-diverse human phenomenon [that] should not be judged as inherently pathological or negative.”

Gender nonconformity refers to the extent to which a person’s gender identity, role, or expression differs from the cultural norms prescribed for people of a particular sex (Institute of Medicine, 2011). Gender dysphoria refers to discomfort or distress that is caused by a discrepancy between a person’s gender identity and that person’s sex assigned at birth (and the associated gender role and/or primary and secondary sex characteristics) (Fisk, 1974; Knudson, De Cuypere, & Bockting, 2010b). Only some gender nonconforming people experience gender dysphoria at some point in their lives.

I reference the SoC because I was talking about treatment.

Now to the point of diagnostics:

A. A marked incongruence between one’s experienced/expressed gender and assigned gender, of at least 6 months duration, as manifested by at least 6* of the following indicators (including A1):

  • 1. a strong desire to be of the other gender or an insistence that he or she is the other gender (or some alternative gender different from one’s assigned gender)
  • 2. in boys, a strong preference for cross-dressing or simulating female attire; in girls, a strong preference for wearing only typical masculine clothing and a strong resistance to the wearing of typical feminine clothing
  • 3. a strong preference for cross-gender roles in make-believe or fantasy play
  • 4. a strong preference for the toys, games, or activities typical of the other gender
  • 5. a strong preference for playmates of the other gender
  • 6. in boys, a strong rejection of typically masculine toys, games, and activities and a strong avoidance of rough-and-tumble play; in girls, a strong rejection of typically feminine toys, games, and activities
  • 7. a strong dislike of one’s sexual anatomy
  • 8. a strong desire for the primary and/or secondary sex characteristics that match one’s experienced gender

B. The condition is associated with clinically significant distress or impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning, or with a significantly increased risk of suffering, such as distress or disability.

Please note the following points:

There are 8 markers in part A, and A1 must be included in the six selected.

There must *also* be part B.

That is the standard diagnostic criteria for children for the DSM5. You might note that it is more restrictive than the DSM-IV.

The name of the diagnosis is also Gender Dysphoria in Children. Not gender nonconformance in children.

I will note, as well, that this is the current iteration of a concept that started in the early 1970’s when people dissatisfied with the removal of homosexuality decided that since gender variance in children seemed like a really good predictor, they could get it back in. Which they did. It was colloquially known as “sissy boy syndrome”.

You’ve made it pretty clear through this whole thing that you are not nearly as aware of the treatment for supposedly trans children as you think you are. And your original interpretation of my story demonstrates exactly how deep your bias is. If my niece and her family walked in to your office, I’m pretty sure you would have begun telling her that she should think about being trans.

If they walked into my office, I would have the parents almost certainly begin keeping a journal and spending time listening to the child and letting her express herself in the way she wants, without interference or suggestion from them.

Seriously. It would probably be about a month before I referred them for a therapist, and then another nine to 12 months before I would begin considering sending them anywhere else, and in both cases of a referral, it would only happen if the several conversations i would have with everyone concerned resulted in her meeting the criteria I posted above strongly. Not wishy washy — I tend to be more conservative in my approach.

So while you may be pretty sure, I don’t think you are right.

My not being as familiar with the treatment and diagnostic protocols I will let you make up your own mind on. I’m not here to prove anything to you. Merely to have a conversation that might help you with your niece.

“Be aware of how their choices impact their lives.” Yes, with an emphasis on trying to tell them that their problems would be solved if they transitioned.

There is only one problem that is solved by transition. So in no way, shape, or form would I tell them that. I never tell *anyone* that and it pisses me right the fuck off when people say that.

Especially trans people.

Gender itself is a stereotype. You cannot describe gender without falling back on using stereotypes for your examples. It is not just the media who expresses “preferred normatives” – medical professionals, educational institutions, religious institutions and the whole of society do that.

By that same standard, woman is a stereotype. Female is a stereotype. In both cases, you cannot describe such without falling back on gendered language and descriptions that rely on stereotypes.

Furthermore, you forget that some stereotypes are useful and that they function as a cultural shorthand. You also are glossing over internalized stereotypes that people carry to define how they interact with people.

I do agree that it is not just the media who expresses preferred normatives. You expressed that really well. I tend to have too great a focus on media, since I include marketing and advertising there and I strong feel that people underestimate the power those things influence on their lives. Thank you for reminding me.

You can deny it all you want. By presenting the idea that people can (or should) transition from one gender to another, you are indeed supporting gender stereotypes.

Yet, as I hopefully made clear above, I do not present that idea they way you describe it. Nor do I limit what gender(s) they can transition to or from, or how many times they can transition, and I do not necessarily say that all trans people should transition because it is not right for everyone.

(one thing I am talking around here is that there are several different kinds of transition, but part of the reason for doing so is that you appear to be focused on one specific type that is presented as a stereotype in the media and often seems typical for trans people and I don’t think it wise at this point to get into the side discussion on types of transition).

There is no science that supports gender identity as being inborn. See my recent discussion with Valerie Keefe if you want to deal with that. Yes, I know that trans activists are all very much attached to the idea of “brain gender” these days – the old biological essentialism in a new shiny package. But people’s identities do not exist separate from their social locations. And the social location we are in right now pushes people to conform with specific and narrow gender stereotypes.

  • Money, John (1994). “The concept of gender identity disorder in childhood and adolescence after 39 years”. Journal of Sex and Marital Therapy 20 (3): 163–77.
  • Sex and Gender: On the Development of Masculinity and Femininity (1968)
  • Stoller, Robert; Sex and Gender: On the Development of Masculinity and Femininity, Science House, New York City (1968)
  • Stoller, Robert; Splitting: A Case of Female Masculinity, Quadrangle, New York, (1973)
  • Money, John, and Patricia Tucker. Sexual Signatures on Being a Man or a Woman. (1975) Little Brown & Co
  • Money, John. Gay, Straight, and In-Between: The Sexology of Erotic Orientation. New York: Oxford University Press, 1988
  • Money, John. The Adam Principle: genes. genitals, hormones, and gender: Selected readings in sexology. Buffalo, N.Y.: Prometheus Books, 1993
  • Money, John, and Anke Ehrhardt. Man & Woman, Boy & Girl: Gender Identity from Conception to Maturity. Northvale, N.J.: Jason Aronson
  • Kruijver, F.P. et al.; Zhou, JN; Pool, CW; Hofman, MA; Gooren, LJ; Swaab, DF (2000). “Male-to-female transsexuals have female neuron numbers in a limbic nucleus”. J Clin Endocrinol Metab 85 (5): 2034–41. DOI:10.1210/jc.85.5.2034. PMID 10843193.

All of the above constitute what you state doesn’t exist in the first sentence above. I have specifically left out one famous example and about seven alternatives that exist (all by Diamond) because I don’t currently have copies available to me.

Seriously, there is a crapload of it, going back to the early 1950’s. I realize I am not going to change your mind on that point right now, the best I can do is hope that you will read up on the subject and possibly agree with me.

Personally, I could care less about your recent conversation with Valerie Keefe. I do not know her, and I am not dealing with secondary discourse that is inherently negative on all sides, that’s just me poking my nose in something I’d rather not get it bent by.

I do, notably, agree that it is essentialist to use those arguments. I, however, am more existential, and that means that it doesn’t matter if it is inherent or not — it then falls to the individual to be authentic in the best way they can. If their authenticity is not tied to their physicality, then they are, by default, as they speak and live and exist.

I disagree with the identities not existing separate of the person, but that’s a seriously meta discussion of a very different sort so I’ll gloss over that and run with what you’ve provided.

I do agree that the culture we are in right now and the way the culture defines rather narrow social sex roles, and gender expressions as preferable and normative and actively seeks to discourage people from living outside them.

I will note, again, that trans people are attacked (emotionally, physically, and verbally) specifically for *not* conforming to those norms and are considered taboo (even if it is breaking down).

So I am supporting, in point, people who actively defy those conventions and therefore I am not reinforcing them, I am working against those elements that seek to reinforce such and doing so on the basis of a personal expression, as opposed to a social proscribed one.

Sex is not an identity. Sex is a biological reality. Gender identity is not a fixed constant – it has varied significantly over time and geographic location. There is no universal gender behavior, and for you to try to claim that there is shows massive ignorance in regards to history, as well as the vast variations to be found in contemporary life around the world.

Sexual orientation is not based on gender. Sexual orientation is based on sex.

I did not say that sex was an identity. I spoke of Sex Identity. This is two different things. Sex identity is not sex being an identity.

It is also not Sexual Identity. Which is also not sex as an identity or a sex identity.

Gender identity has been constant through cultures and time. I would have to see some evidence that it is not to establish otherwise.

Gender identity is not behavior, though. That might be the problem. You appear to be describing it as if I am equating it to behavior, I am not. It can influence such, but it is not, in and of itself, a behavior.

I have not said there is any universal gendered behavior. Different cultures at different times have had multiple social sex roles and gender expressions. That you think I have is part of what informs my perception of your thinking of gender identity as a behavior.

Sexual orientation is based on gender and sex. It is also referential. Are you attracted to only genitals, or do you generally find yourself more attracted to the people they are typically attracted to?

Note that I speak of attraction. I do not mean have sex with, become involved with, or be romantic with.

Those are separate questions, and I want to focus on attraction, that momentary thing that can happen before you ever get to the rest of it.

And that can be turned off by any of a gazillion things.

I am also not reducing sexual orientation to just attraction — I am simply focusing on a specific part of it for a moment.

Yes, it does. By presenting the idea that people have innate, individual-psyche-based gender identities, you are reifying the idea that gender exists as something biological, rather than social – and suggesting that the normative situation is for people to conform.

Incorrect.

I said, quite clearly, that gender identity was biological, and that social sex roles and gender expression were social. For you to say that I said otherwise is not correct.

“Gender” (singular, discrete term alone) is not equal to Gender Identity (two discrete terms, one singular concept) and is not equal to gender expression and is not equal to social sex roles (gender roles).

Gender is a general term that bespeaks a collection of concepts that are those three other things.

There are, for example, many social sex roles for women and many gender expressions for women. And each of those things can vary from culture to culture as well as within each culture.

There are not enough of them that are “approved of” or considered acceptable without social punishment, and there aren’t any that I prefer or enforce on any individual outside of myself (and there, i go with what I feel works best for me).

But conformity is the norm. Indeed, the concept of conformity is pretty much “staying within the lines of the norms”. So one cannot have norms without some degree of conformity.

You cannot separate gender identity from gender expression. A person’s gender identity is very much connected to their gender expression, and when one’s gender expression is questioned, so is one’s gender identity.

Yes, I can.

Earlier in this response I note that I know some men who were men but who transitioned physically.

When I say that, I mean that they had a sex identity of female, a gender identity of masculine, a gender expression of masculine, and they lived in masculine social sex roles. They also asked me to call them men.

I will be straight up: the first time I met a person like tis I damn near had a cow. I was all kinds of ugly to them. They calmly had a series of conversation with me and explained themselves.

It still took me a while to get my head around it, and then I met more of them. And then I met the women who were the reverse.

All of them “post-op” to use a rather ugly shorthand. Bottom wise. Again, all of them.

So what I was dealing with, in terms that aren’t really all that trans friendly, is a someone “born a guy” who grew up, had a sex change, and still lives as a guy and thinks of himself as a guy but had to do the surgery thing because that was critical for him.

This is not a hypothetical. These are real people. Who were effectively mistreated by people forcing them to play a game of “being a girl or a guy” socially while they got through the hoops (took one of them nearly a decade) and then went on living as they needed to.

They are, granted, an extremely rare kind of person.

But they enable you to understand the difference and how those things can be separated.

Now, I will say that *most of the time*, you are correct. Note that how you want someone to see you is often heavily colored and is reflected in your expression in our culture, and in your social sex roles in other cultures.

And that people will generally attempt to conform to the most normative patterns for that culture. EG — cute young trans woman does everything she can to become the perfect shiny fuck toy for men. (Sigh. Yes, it happens.) Why? Because she’s received the same messages as everyone else her whole life, and then those messages were longed for and when she gets a taste of affirmation, she mistakes it for validation and acceptance and the whole shebang until she’s been beaten and abused enough to have learned a lesson.

Which fucking sucks. For lots of reasons, among which is that people use it as a stereotype against trans people that all we want is our shiny new fuckhole.

You don’t know anyone who does that, do you?

And, because the two are normally tied together — not always, but for the greater majority of the population, absolutely, and when I say greater majority, let’s include the APA’s 2 to 3 percent estimate for trans people that get shit on by other trans people and pretty much everyone else as well and use the regular numbers I’ve established as using and call it 4 %, then subtract the people who are not cis and not trans from the whole and call that around 2, so, say 94% of the population is the greater majority for this specific case — it is reasonable and typical and commonplace and focused on those who are the majority power both numerically and socially thought that yes, if you go after one person’s gender identity you also go after their gender expression.

94% of the time.

2% of the time, depends on the person and their circumstance. Another 2 to 3% of the time, they are transvestites who have a gender identity of one thing and tend to, part time often but not always, have an expression of another. so about 1 % of the time you have people who are trying to bring their gender identity in line with the rest of the aspects about them that are related to gender.

Those are the trans people.

Oh, and if you really want to get into the high end stuff, please come visit me and let’s chat about Sex Identity in detail and how for people, they can have a different sex identity from their gender identity and those can both be different from their expression and their social sex roles.

Seriously, this shit gets pretty complicated.

You’re contradicting your earlier statements here.

No, I am not. I am elaborating on them for two reasons — one, context is absent because we have different points of reference, and two, you are reading what I am saying through your lens and trying to make it make sense.

This is why I am being much more explicit. This is also why I ask you questions. Seriously — sometimes I don’t fully grasp the semantic structures of your statements and I making my best guess based on what I know of your ideological background in order to understand what you are saying.

We are also dealing with a very different grasp and understanding of Gender. For you, it is almost totally monolithic and singular — a single thing that can’t be broken up. Whereas my practical experience and day to day work shows exactly the opposite.

That gulf is huge, isn’t it?

Gender is always limiting. Gender is a product of the patriarchy. Your denial of this is basic sexism.

No, the way we apply certain aspects of gender in this culture is sexist. If gender is as you describe it, then the very notion of being boy or girl, woman or man is a product of the patriarchy and that means that feminism itself is a product of the patriarchy (since it is predicated on gender) and that patriarchy is a product of the patriarchy.

IT becomes a nest for things akin to snakes with two heads to spend a mighty long time eating themselves in. Sorry, I prefer not to do that.

I would say that social sex roles and gender expressions that are considered normative are absolutely part of the patriarchy, because it seeks to normalize on enforce that conformity in order to maintain the power of the dominant group.

That doesn’t mean that Gender is *always* limiting, just that the permissible ways of expression and acting are because there are others that are not permissible. The same applies to social sex roles.

So gender itself isn’t inherently or natively limiting, it is the way we are allowed to use it by the patriarchy that is the problematic factor (and Daly said all this, why the fuck am I repeating her?).

Well, once again….if this is really your goal, why should people have to transition at all? Wouldn’t it be better to support them in expressing themselves as whatever they want to be, rather than telling them to pick a box?

But I don’t tell them to pick a box. I let them pick a box or not. Up to them.

See earlier for the why transition.

I’ve done my reading.

Ok. But you don’t know about Sex Identity (developed independently of transness), you use gender as a singular construct that cannot be broken down in to components, you have a strange understanding of Gender identity, you kept asserting that I was trying to make people live in a specific box or particular role or expression and I’m not, and you have made several other statements that do not reflect the depth of understanding of transness and trans related elements that you present yourself as having.

Of course, you could have known all of these things and merely be testing me. A lot of people do. A lot of people think that since I rarely check my spelling, have a very non traditional style of prose, and tend to adopt both a pedantic and also a homey kind of “voice” when I write that I really don’t know what I’m talking about because I’m just too “maverick” like.

My niece IS a tomboy. She does not see herself as a boy. She sees herself as a girl who wants to do things that the rest of the world is defining as “masculine.” I don’t know why this is so hard for you to grasp.

Because every time I said something i thought was being supportive of her, I got told I was wrong about her.

My story suggested no such thing; you just chose to read it that way. My story presented my neice’s parents as being supportive of her gender non-conformity and the rest of the family telling her that she must really be a boy.

I didn’t say that it said that, I said it suggested that. Remember, we are a trans woman and rad fem — that whole eternal enemies thing. That colored my reading as well.

I understand you’re concerned about children, but frankly I think your insistence that gender is natural and your disbelief that a gender non-conforming child isn’t trans to be harmful in itself.

I never said gender was “natural”. I generally avoid using that word. I also try hard to avoid using the word “normal” unless referring to normatives or thing sthat are ordinary,l commonplace, and everyday. I can understand you interpreted it that way, but that isn’t what I said.

Inherent has a different meaning.

Well, I hope that now you have a better understanding of how a child can be non-conforming and still be Cis or Inter or several other things and not be trans according to me. And the WPATH. And the APA.

Because I do believe that a gender non conforming child doesn’t have to be trans, and the reason you thought i did was because of your lenses, my reliance on a context that was lacking, and my own lack of explicitness.

Actually, my ideology says that children should be raised without gender and that suggesting medical interventions (particularly untested ones) for social behaviors is a terrible idea and needs to be stopped.

Well, I support you in your idea that children should be raised without gender.

Your position on medical interventions is your problem, and I suspect we will not come to any sort of agreement or mutual understanding on that point.

I’ve done my best to respond. I’m sure you will think I have chosen to continue to misunderstand you. I don’t think I am. You are correct that there is a major gulf between our perspectives. I will not accept that pushing gender conformity on children – on anyone – is ever a good thing. I think the only people being helped by the trans trend are those who benefit from the continuation of the patriarchy – and I am committed to destroying that, and all of its tools.

I think that this time you didn’t misunderstand me as much as the first time, and for tht, I deeply thank you. It meant a lot and is why I put more effort in this time — including being more explicit. I’m certain I am not explicit enough — this stuff is hella complex, and each degree of simplification make sit even more likely someone is going to misunderstand.

I agree with you — pushing gender conformity on anyone is never a good thing. I suspect where we differ is in what constitutes that pushing and what constitutes Gender itself.

I disagree with you on the “trend” thing (that’s really offensive, you know, it comes across as calling our lives a lark or a momentary thing), and that only people who benefit from a continuation of the patriarchy are being helped thing, to me, says “trans men get all the good stuff”. because I do not benefit from the patriarchy, and indeed, the reason I lost so much was because of it (note; i gained back what I lost tenfold and far more authentic, but it was in kind, not the actual thing, and you cannot recover a lost child).

My disagreement with you has nothing to do with your gender identity, although I will state (as I have stated repeatedly elsewhere) that trans women are women. I disagree with you because you are supportive of a harmful and restrictive gender system, and I am seeing the harms of that system directly on one of the people I love most. And that makes me very afraid, and very angry.

Well if I was marginally successful in explaining stuff this time around, some of that will be diminished. Especially since I am doing none of those things.

Thank you, though, for this last post. It was markedly different in tone from the one before it, and much more what I was sorta hoping for.

I can be harsh — we do have tht gulf and the causes for it there and I must be mindful — but please understand I am doing my best to depersonalize this issue, which is absolutely something we are both passionate about.

If you want to continue, great.

Thank you. This was great.

Update:

Fourth Exchange

Academic Silence:

 

Since the last time I made it more difficult for you to follow along, I have simply posted the response with your comments in bold below.

Ok, um, err, wow.

I knew there was a big gulf but I hadn’t realized just how big.

No. In your first response, you even linked to a document about child abuse and neglect, and suggested that my niece’s parents were both for not “seeing” what the extended family (some of who had only interacted with her through pictures) believed.

Strictly speaking the link was in my first post on the matter, not my first response. In my first response to you, I did indeed say so previously.

You don’t seem to acknowledge the harm that is being done to her by those who keep trying to tell her that she’s actually a boy.

Please forgive me, but, um, what part of “If she’s quite settled, and very much a cis person, then doing that would be harmful to her.” was not able to cross the gulf?

What do you mean “already a tomboy”? She is already a tomboy. The new thing is her now forcing herself to conform to stereotypes of femininity in order to get away from people telling her she’s actually a boy.

I see. So my initial reading was correct, and rather than apologizing, I should have stuck with my earier impressions of her, and now you are giving me shit for that? *sigh*

So you’re going to stick with the interpretation that it’s abusive and neglectful for my niece’s parents to not tell her that she should transition. Despite the fact that my niece is quite clear in her statements that she is a girl, and that the thing that upsets her – that makes her cry and withdraw – is when people tell her she’s a boy. You keep claiming that you would respect her “cis” status, but everything else you say directly contradicts that.

It is clear you have decided that my niece must have some kind of gender disorder, rather than people trying to force her to conform to gender standards by telling her that girls can’t wear cargo shorts and short hair.

Later in this response you make the claim that I’m the only one who isn’t seeing my neice as a trans person. You are wrong. Her parents understand she is not trans, and more importantly than anything else, my niece knows she is not trans. My niece still knows that she can be a girl and like the things she does. Although the rest of the world is working very hard to convince her otherwise.

She shouldn’t be forcing herself to conform in order to please others.

How about we take the burden of resistance off the shoulder of a child, and put it back on the adults who are hyper-invested in forcing her to conform?

That’s what trans ideology does. It tells people that their bodies and behaviors are unacceptable, and that they should take drastic means to make them acceptable. Rather than try to create a world where people can be who they are, you are advocating that people make fundamental changes to their personalities and bodies to make them conform to arbitrary gender standards.

It really frightens me, to think how meeting with you in a professional capacity would play out for my niece and her family. Let’s assume that her parents decided that there was something “off” in the fact that their daughter wanted a dirt bike and BB gun for her birthday and consistently insists on shopping on the boy’s side at the Gap. So they bring her in, and you tell them to keep a journal of her behavior. What would that journal show? A consistent pattern of behavior more in line with the opposite gender. It would also show a deep discomfort with actions that are stereotypically associated with her assigned gender. It would show she really longs for the secondary sex characteristics of being a boy – the muscles, for example, and heavy body hair. The only one she doesn’t meet is a dislike of her sexual anatomy.

She also demonstrates “significant distress and impairment” because of this – the fact people don’t accept her as she is a terrible strain on her.

So my niece meets every one of the diagnostic criteria. Except…the distress isn’t coming because she likes her masculine clothes and behavior. The distress comes from people looking at her behavior and telling her that she’s not a girl.

I know you don’t believe me. I know you’re picturing my niece as the victim of transphobic abuse and prejudice. You can think what you want. You are wrong, and anyone who tries to tell my niece that there’s something wrong with her is also wrong.

I’m not going to do a point by point answer to the rest of your comments. There’s no point – you’re completely committed to your support of institutionalized gender and conformity.

 

Dyssonance:

academicsilence:

So you’re going to stick with the interpretation that it’s abusive and neglectful for my niece’s parents to not tell her that she should transition. Despite the fact that my niece is quite clear in her statements that she is a girl, and that the thing that upsets her – that makes her cry and withdraw – is when people tell her she’s a boy. You keep claiming that you would respect her “cis” status, but everything else you say directly contradicts that.

Um, no. I am seriously stunned that I can sit there and be as explicit as I was and all you come back with is that I am saying the exact opposite of what I said.

That is unimaginably bad faith. Now that all of this is on my blog, I can at least feel pretty good that people who are not trapped in a given ideology will be able to see that I said the exact opposite of what you decided, without any connection to reality, fact, or truth, that I’ve said.

Wow. I thought you were just being off out of habit. Now I see that you are have so much animosity towards trans people that you can no longer hear anything they say. That is not just transphobia, that’s hard core transphobia.

So at this point, *entirely because of your own words and actions*, I can no longer find any truth in your statements about your niece. Which means that all this effort was basically without much value other than whatever I glean from it now.

It is clear you have decided that my niece must have some kind of gender disorder, rather than people trying to force her to conform to gender standards by telling her that girls can’t wear cargo shorts and short hair.

Ah I see. My saying that none of that matters *really* means that it is the most inportant thing in the world. Ok, so you must be playing opposite day or something.

Later in this response you make the claim that I’m the only one who isn’t seeing my neice as a trans person. You are wrong. Her parents understand she is not trans, and more importantly than anything else, my niece knows she is not trans. My niece still knows that she can be a girl and like the things she does. Although the rest of the world is working very hard to convince her otherwise.

No, I say that it seems like there is something missing from the puzzle and that it doesn’t make sense. I also note there could be any number of reasons why that’s the case. But despite everything I’ve said, you have consistently decided, all on your own and without anything in what I have said to support you, that I have said the opposite. So this paragraph isn’t surprising at all.

How about we take the burden of resistance off the shoulder of a child, and put it back on the adults who are hyper-invested in forcing her to conform?

How about before we even try to do that, we get the adults to stop being fucking assholes who completely reverse anything someone says?

That’s what trans ideology does. It tells people that their bodies and behaviors are unacceptable, and that they should take drastic means to make them acceptable. Rather than try to create a world where people can be who they are, you are advocating that people make fundamental changes to their personalities and bodies to make them conform to arbitrary gender standards.

Ok, now we have, yet again, another complete and utter detachment from reality. I’m really sure that I just got done saying several times that there is no singular trans ideology. That everything you have just said is not only really, really wrong, but that it has absolutely no relation to facts. Wow. Just, um, omfg, wow.

It really frightens me, to think how meeting with you in a professional capacity would play out for my niece and her family. Let’s assume that her parents decided that there was something “off” in the fact that their daughter wanted a dirt bike and BB gun for her birthday and consistently insists on shopping on the boy’s side at the Gap. So they bring her in, and you tell them to keep a journal of her behavior. What would that journal show? A consistent pattern of behavior more in line with the opposite gender. It would also show a deep discomfort with actions that are stereotypically associated with her assigned gender. It would show she really longs for the secondary sex characteristics of being a boy – the muscles, for example, and heavy body hair. The only one she doesn’t meet is a dislike of her sexual anatomy. She also demonstrates “significant distress and impairment” because of this – the fact people don’t accept her as she is a terrible strain on her. So my niece meets every one of the diagnostic criteria. Except…the distress isn’t coming because she likes her masculine clothes and behavior. The distress comes from people looking at her behavior and telling her that she’s not a girl.

Hey, you know what? When that anxiety is combined with the animus and the absolute aversion you have displayed in just this singular response, I can see that you are not only not being rational, you are literally creating greater levels of anxiety and that worries me because of the internalized harm that can come from that. But you know what else? You are saying that all of that stuff is what the parents would see. And you are ignoring all the stuff I went to great lengths to note about the individual child’s say in all of this. And you are doing it maliciously and purposefully. And as a result of your worries, your fear and disgust and intense dislike, here you are engaging in magical thinking and inventing a whole cloth problem that is entirely predicated on your own fear, disgust, and intense dislike. I tried. At least now I don’t feel bad. But I will note that every time you do these things, you make me more and more certain because you are getting more and more defensive. And despite what you assert, no, I didn’t think such. Again, I have been going off only what you have said — that’s all the info I have. ANd every time I get too close to what you have said or I ask a question, I get a return to the same old same old falsehoods and complete detachment from reality.

I know you don’t believe me. I know you’re picturing my niece as the victim of transphobic abuse and prejudice. You can think what you want. You are wrong, and anyone who tries to tell my niece that there’s something wrong with her is also wrong.

Self fulfilling prophecy now in place, you will proceed to complete feelings of justification for your animosity.

I’m not going to do a point by point answer to the rest of your comments. There’s no point – you’re completely committed to your support of institutionalized gender and conformity.

Justification completed. Ok, so, um, that went well, didn’t it? We will now return you to your regularly scheduled combative encounters.

{ At this point, I am certain the exchange is over. I can only deal with consistent strawman arguments for so long. At least it provides a good example of why it is that trans people do not generally give much in the way of a flying fuck about radfem’s having much in the way of humanity}

Update:

Fifth Exchange

Academic Silence

tonidorsay:

Academic Silence: Peak Trans, cont’d

academicsilence:

So you’re going to stick with the interpretation that it’s abusive and neglectful for my niece’s parents to not tell her that she should transition. Despite the fact that my niece is quite clear in her statements that she is a girl, and that the thing that upsets her – that makes her cry and withdraw – is when people tell her she’s a boy. You keep claiming that you would respect her “cis” status, but everything else you say directly contradicts that.

Um, no. I am seriously stunned that I can sit there and be as explicit as I was and all you come back with is that I am saying the exact opposite of what I said.

That is unimaginably bad faith. Now that all of this is on my blog, I can at least feel pretty good that people who are not trapped in a given ideology will be able to see that I said the exact opposite of what you decided, without any connection to reality, fact, or truth, that I’ve said.

Read your own words, Toni. You said that my niece’s parents not promoting transition for her was actively supporting child abuse and neglect. That was your first interpretation. Backpedal all you want – that is what you said.

Wow. I thought you were just being off out of habit. Now I see that you are have so much animosity towards trans people that you can no longer hear anything they say. That is not just transphobia, that’s hard core transphobia.

I wonder why I might be hostile towards you, when you’re saying that I and my neice’s parents are abusing her? I really wonder.

So at this point, *entirely because of your own words and actions*, I can no longer find any truth in your statements about your niece. Which means that all this effort was basically without much value other than whatever I glean from it now.

Ah, yes, of course. Since the narrative doesn’t fit your own narrow little parameters, it must be false.

It is clear you have decided that my niece must have some kind of gender disorder, rather than people trying to force her to conform to gender standards by telling her that girls can’t wear cargo shorts and short hair.

Ah I see. My saying that none of that matters *really* means that it is the most inportant thing in the world. Ok, so you must be playing opposite day or something.

You have said it matters. You even acknowledged that not conforming to gender stereotypes is considered a disorder. You are talking out both sides of your mouth.

Later in this response you make the claim that I’m the only one who isn’t seeing my neice as a trans person. You are wrong. Her parents understand she is not trans, and more importantly than anything else, my niece knows she is not trans. My niece still knows that she can be a girl and like the things she does. Although the rest of the world is working very hard to convince her otherwise.

No, I say that it seems like there is something missing from the puzzle and that it doesn’t make sense. I also note there could be any number of reasons why that’s the case.

But despite everything I’ve said, you have consistently decided, all on your own and without anything in what I have said to support you, that I have said the opposite.

So this paragraph isn’t surprising at all.

The only missing piece to the puzzle you have offered is that my niece’s parents or I must be misinterpreting my niece’s clear statements that she is a girl and that it bothers her significantly when people say she’s a boy.

How about we take the burden of resistance off the shoulder of a child, and put it back on the adults who are hyper-invested in forcing her to conform?

How about before we even try to do that, we get the adults to stop being fucking assholes who completely reverse anything someone says?

Oh, I agree with this, Toni. So why don’t you stop trying to portray my niece as a transgender boy, and accept that she’s a girl.

That’s what trans ideology does. It tells people that their bodies and behaviors are unacceptable, and that they should take drastic means to make them acceptable. Rather than try to create a world where people can be who they are, you are advocating that people make fundamental changes to their personalities and bodies to make them conform to arbitrary gender standards.

Ok, now we have, yet again, another complete and utter detachment from reality. I’m really sure that I just got done saying several times that there is no singular trans ideology.

That everything you have just said is not only really, really wrong, but that it has absolutely no relation to facts.

Wow. Just, um, omfg, wow.

Really, telling people that they can and should undergo gender therapy and surgery isn’t factual? You mean that’s not happening?

It really frightens me, to think how meeting with you in a professional capacity would play out for my niece and her family. Let’s assume that her parents decided that there was something “off” in the fact that their daughter wanted a dirt bike and BB gun for her birthday and consistently insists on shopping on the boy’s side at the Gap. So they bring her in, and you tell them to keep a journal of her behavior. What would that journal show? A consistent pattern of behavior more in line with the opposite gender. It would also show a deep discomfort with actions that are stereotypically associated with her assigned gender. It would show she really longs for the secondary sex characteristics of being a boy – the muscles, for example, and heavy body hair. The only one she doesn’t meet is a dislike of her sexual anatomy.

She also demonstrates “significant distress and impairment” because of this – the fact people don’t accept her as she is a terrible strain on her.

So my niece meets every one of the diagnostic criteria. Except…the distress isn’t coming because she likes her masculine clothes and behavior. The distress comes from people looking at her behavior and telling her that she’s not a girl.

Hey, you know what? When that anxiety is combined with the animus and the absolute aversion you have displayed in just this singular response, I can see that you are not only not being rational, you are literally creating greater levels of anxiety and that worries me because of the internalized harm that can come from that.

Accusing a woman of being irrational. Typical silencing technique, one that has a lot of support in institutional psychology and psychiatry. Once again, you don’t want to face the truth that you are supporting gender oppression, so you are turning it around on me.

But you know what else? You are saying that all of that stuff is what the parents would see. And you are ignoring all the stuff I went to great lengths to note about the individual child’s say in all of this. And you are doing it maliciously and purposefully.

There is nothing about the child’s say in that diagnostic criteria. It is entirely based on conformity or non-conformity with stereotypes. Do you really think a child can stand up against the combined forces of their family and medical professionals when they are telling them that there’s something wrong?

I thank God that my niece’s parents have thus far resisted the pressure to pathologize their daughter.

And as a result of your worries, your fear and disgust and intense dislike, here you are engaging in magical thinking and inventing a whole cloth problem that is entirely predicated on your own fear, disgust, and intense dislike.

Yes, once again, my story doesn’t fit your narrow little parameters, so I must be making it up.

I tried. At least now I don’t feel bad. But I will note that every time you do these things, you make me more and more certain because you are getting more and more defensive.

Tone policing, now? Really?

And despite what you assert, no, I didn’t think such. Again, I have been going off only what you have said — that’s all the info I have. ANd every time I get too close to what you have said or I ask a question, I get a return to the same old same old falsehoods and complete detachment from reality.

I simply repeat the story. I have not changed anything. You have willfully misinterpreted it.

I know you don’t believe me. I know you’re picturing my niece as the victim of transphobic abuse and prejudice. You can think what you want. You are wrong, and anyone who tries to tell my niece that there’s something wrong with her is also wrong.

Self fulfilling prophecy now in place, you will proceed to complete feelings of justification for your animosity.

I’m guessing you’re feeling quite smug with yourself, now.

I’m not going to do a point by point answer to the rest of your comments. There’s no point – you’re completely committed to your support of institutionalized gender and conformity.

Justification completed.

Ok, so, um, that went well, didn’t it?

We will now return you to your regularly scheduled combative encounters.

Ah, yes. Instead of admitting that you have imposed your own gender pathology framework here – including dismissing me, a fellow woman, as being overly emotional, defensive, and irrational – you can continue with your support of gender oppression. Perfect work.

 

Dyssonance:

tonidorsay:

Academic Silence: Peak Trans, cont’d

academicsilence:

So you’re going to stick with the interpretation that it’s abusive and neglectful for my niece’s parents to not tell her that she should transition. Despite the fact that my niece is quite clear in her statements that…

Wow — bad faith much?

Seriously, can you pull anymore of the standard oppressive bullshit tricks out?

I really gave it a shot. And every single time you completely turned around what I said, and then you point blank just refused to have anything to do with questions or reason or evidence.

I’m willing to let other people decide for themselves at this point.

You just wanted to score points. Well, fine. You scored points. You “got that mean old Dyssonance”. Go with it, lady.

Hell, it ain’t no different from any of the other westboro-ish crap you’ve been peddling the whole time.

Have a day.

 

 

******** end ********

 

I will note that this is one day for me, and I suspect two days for her. I also wrote several other things in same day, so considering thw entire exchange above consists of over 30,000 words, I think this has been a hella lot of writing on a fairly short time. And if ever there was a good use for the PDF feature, lol, this is it.

I am never certain how these things will go. That it got as far as it has is kind of a really big deal. Sorry you all get the complete history over and over again, but hey, it might be handy now and again.

I will, should the conversation continue, add the expansions to this post as they come in. At this point, I think she’s pretty much moved on, but I have been surprised before, so hopefully she will press forward.

 

UPDATES: She did, but the response utterly ended any further chance of discourse with any meaning. Apparently, I’m just jsut spposed to take her lying over and over and over agian about what I said, and I’m not supposed to expect her to anser questions even though I answer hers, and so forth.

She is incredibly entitled, and while I didn’t think the girl was trans when I started the exchange, by the end, I was absolutely convinced that the girl is trans — but that’s not a certain diagnosis or anything. That’s also only based on the statements that Academic Silence makes.

She’s one of those laggards, who has utterly confirmed for herself what the truth is, even when confronted with information that directly contradicts that truth. For her, ideology is more important than facts, and belief trumps reality.

Ah well. I gave it a go.

I did edit the post as a whole to remove extraneous stuff since the whole post is already present. Final word count is 32,275.

 

On a personal note:

There has been an increase in the last two weeks of posting here. This isn’t because I’ve suddenly had a crapload of time, it is becaue I’ve been dealing with one of the downsides to being trans in the world we live in.

For me, it is almost predictably cyclical, and a great deal of stress at the end of last month and the start of this one has made me feel really lousy. For me, talking to other people — sharing how this feels — only makes me focus on it more. I am one of those who gets stuck on a loop that just cycles over and over like a skipping record and never gets anywhere.

So much of this has been me trying to do what does work for me: distraction. Get my mind off of it, deal with other things, shift to a lace where I feel a little more in control, a little more able to handle things.

I’ve finally pulled out of it. I am hoping, at this point, that it is not a case of too little too late, but it always is in several ways, and so now I have to deal with the consequences of my having to take care of myself for a change.

Thank you to those people who offered to be a shoulder.

I’m off to go and clean my house some more…