Saturday, February 03, 2007

Will The Real (Feminist) Women Please Stand Up?

Today, via Egotistical Whining, I got word of a conversation going on at Womensspace regarding the decision Canada's Supreme Court made to decline to take up the case where a transwoman named Kimberly Nixon was appealing a lower court's decision that Vancouver Rape Relief (VRR is an organization that purports to support victims of sexual assault) was justified in prohibiting transwomen from employment because such women were not raised and treated as women since childhood. In the post entitled "Woman (Born Woman) Only Spaces Protected by Supreme Court of Canada Ruling" Heart (the author of Womensspace) agrees with the lower court's decision and also felt that Nixon was wrong to even sue VRR because it meant the organization had to spend thousands of dollars defending its discrimination against transpeople and that's money that could have otherwise gone to helping people at the center. The court's decision and Heart's comments don't sit well with me for one simple reason: I am against discrimination and that is what this case is all about.

This is a response that I left on Womensspace in response to Heart's comments about the Nixon case:

--------------------------------------------
Heart: "This lawsuit was not about defining who a woman is" it was about the right of equality groups, including females, to define the boundaries of their own spaces."

If a group discriminates against transpeople, then it isn't actually an equality group at all.
This idea about some supposed "right" you mentioned, sounds (to me) A LOT like the arguments posed by those who have sought to discriminate against other groups. What is the difference between a women's group that would like to keep out women with disabilities and one that seeks to exclude trans-women?

As a person who has lived with and without disabilities, I have seen how differently one is treated by the world based on one's perceived status as either "healthy" or "sick". Does that mean that I should be excluded from groups that are supposed to support female victims of rape? Isn't rape something that happens to disabled and trans-women too?

Heart: "So she brings this lawsuit, costing the shelter thousands and thousands of dollars, not to mention all of the energy and time expended, all of which could have been used to serve and support raped and terrorized women and which could have closed the shelter down entirely."

Sometimes ending discrimination means that some people will lose advantages that they once possessed. However, the fact that a group does SOME good does not mean that those who are fighting discrimination should just give them a free pass. Abolishing Jim Crow laws meant that white people had to wait a lot longer when they went to the doctor's office, when they tried to get their kids into good schools, when they went to the voting booth, et cetera. However, ending discrimination was the right thing to do then and it still is today in this case involving the VRR.
This lawsuit IS about defining who a woman is. Just look at what Jay said on behalf of VRR:
"We believe it is important for raped and battered women to have the choice of a women-only peer group for support. Now the Supreme Court of Canada has strengthened their right as well as strengthening our right to provide that support"
In other words, by excluding trans-women, the VRR claims that it is providing women-only peer groups. That statement shows VRR is defining trans-women as outside of its definition of who actually is a "woman".
While transwomen are just as vulnerable to rape as other women are--the VRR recognizes this by acknowledging them as belonging to the group that they are supposedly set up to support--according to the VRR, they are not, however, sufficiently "woman" enough to work there because they may have had a different sort of upbringing from the other women that work there.
I wonder what reaction many feminists would have had if a group with the same supposed goals as VRR decided that since all their other members and volunteers had an upper-class upbringing, any one who came from an impoverished background shouldn't be allowed to work there.
-----------------------------------


I find myself completely underwhelmed by the way that mainstream feminists imitate the very same patriarchy that they claim to abhor and fight against. It's a topic that I talk about a lot because the hypocrisy of it all bothers me more than when I have to deal with those who openly admit that they see nothing wrong with the discrimination and oppression that women face.

It seems that everyone and their momma (within the so-called "movement") wants to call themselves "radical feminists". However, there is very little about them that's different from all the other folks in mainstream feminism. It's still the same ol' folks trying to decide for the rest of us, what constitutes proper and improper behavior for women. I don't know of a single feminist person of color blogger or one with disabilities who hasn't come across this sort of stuff at some point. I'm not the only one who has written about it. Black Amazon spoke about it here. CoffeeandInk touched on it here and Liza Sabater remarked about it here.

Not unexpectedly, several of those on Heart's site, seem to believe that they are and should be considered the ultimate arbiters of what it means to be a woman. Rabfish pointed out that gender is constructed but none of Heart's other commenters seemed to be able to comprehend what that means. All of their comments are predicated on the idea that transwomen are not really women and, therefore, should not be given the same treatment that women deserve.

Can someone please explain to me what's so radically feminist about claiming that certain women should be discriminated against? And am I the only one who finds it just a tad bit ironic that a so-called radical feminist calls it protection when a decidedly patriarchal institution says that it's okay to discriminate against some women?

39 comments:

brownfemipower said...

because I simply can not take even one more freaking SECOND of that crew's bullsh*t, I will simply say thank you for the links to the other two sites--I had seen liz's site before, but not the coffee and ink site, and it is a great site.

Bint Alshamsa said...

I remember when the conversation about discrimination against transpeople started took off running on your site. I made a few comments but then the unapologetically hateful comments started floating in and the hypocrisy was just more than I could bear to see in one place, so I had to just take my leave. I'm not sure why I joined in this discussion. I think seeing people make so many false statements about Rabfish's comment really made me want to say something, especially since she was basically the only one there who was arguing against discrimination.

deviousdiva said...

I hate that place and but I had to go over and read what you had to say. As always, you are insightful, intelligent and, in my opinion, RIGHT ! I had to leave a comment against what Amy's Brain Today said about you going over there and starting fights. I just couldn't let that one pass.

How dare we disagree with them. We should go and get educated and stop being so uppity eh ?

I am totally sickened and offended.

Blackamazon said...

SO bint am I allowed to curse peopel out on your behalf?

Cuase the Why are you doing this as a WOC makes me twitch


Really does

brownfemipower said...

yeah, I know what you mean. Have you seen this thread of hers?
http://womensspace.wordpress.com/2007/01/21/left-and-right-wing-men-black-and-white-men-bond-publicly-over-the-terrorizing-of-the-duke-stripper-and-all-women

After the shit at my blog and then that thread and then the thread that heart participated in over at AD's--I have no time or patience left and I will no longer waste my precious time arguing with "race traitors".

brownfemipower said...

here's the link to AD's site:
http://leftistlooneylunch.blogspot.com/2006/12/how-to-stop-being-ignorantindifferent.html

Blackamazon said...

BFP I love you but showing me stuff like that increases my chanches of needing to hit you up for bail money

WHAT THE HOLY BLUEFUCKING HELL

shannon said...

what's a race traitor? I mean I know the dictionary definition such as it is, but like, it confuses me. I don't understand the concept, even though I think I am recovering.

Bint Alshamsa said...

DeviousDiva:

You know, I feel rather bad about the fact that I've devoted so much time over at Heart's spot when I could (and should) have spent it at sites that actually do have an interest in what women of color/women with disabilities think and feel and need.

I have got to join one of those sites that group all of the blogs you read and tell you when someone posts something new. I think I'll do that today.

Yeah, I think that Womensspace is going to be added to the same list as Feministing, I Blame The Patriarchy, and Mahablog. Judging from Heart's latest message on that thread, I suspect she may not actually post the message where I answered the questions she asked me. I also notice that she never responded when I answered her other questions either.

Like you, I'm pretty sickened by much of what has been written in that thread. I WILL see you at the chat on Thursday!

Bint Alshamsa said...

BlackAmazon:

Girl, I just love you so much! Have I ever told you how much your fierce friendship means to me? Just knowing that someone cares that much about what I am feeling when I write about these topics...well, it makes a big difference because Lord knows the ghetto girl in me is just dying to get out sometimes when I read this stuff from people where they actually try to convince people that they should not only condone discrimination but that we should also be thankful for and support their efforts to suppress, oppress, and invalidate every experience we've ever had.

My eye is twitching as we speak. ;|

Bint Alshamsa said...

BrownFemiPower:

You know what? I have truly learned my lesson. I promise you that! I approved your message without actually reading what you wrote and then I went back to posting on Heart's site. Big mistake! Had I done what I should have and looked at this link, I could have saved myself a lot of time today. I am NOT going to write one single word more over there. I have absolutely no desire to engage in any more conversations with Heart. I feel sick to my stomach after reading that ignorant tripe. Curiously, I noticed how she has also contradicted herself when it comes to what feminism is. When she's being taken to task, quite adeptly I should add, by Aradhana, she says:

Having said that, feminism is about each woman, speaking her own truth. It’s about each of us, giving voice to our own reality, our own lived experiences in the world as women.

However, in the current thread she creates this long list of problems--most of which are the classic issues of what mainstream feminists like to point out about third world issues while paying scant attention to the actions of first world men that are, at the very least, just as harmful to women.

Then she proclaims that her list is the definitive description of feminism.

Fighting that list, which is what gender is, is what feminism, the liberation of women (and of all people, ultimately, and animals) is all about. It’s not about individuals “performing” anything, or making symbolic gestures, or transitioning or anything like that. It’s about challenging male power which has made gender to be about all of the things on that list.

I guess feminism is only about individuals when the individual in question is her. As a woman with disabilities, I couldn't help but notice how her list ignored the issues that we face. Then I started thinking of how Heart's list also ignored the issues that I've seen other marginalized groups point out.

To me, it seems that her list was created--not as a definition of feminism--but as a means of challenging/denying the womanhood of all those who are not white feminists who want the whole world to weep at the amount of suffering they must be experiencing. I thought about Vegankid, Colonel Chabert, Belledame, and all of the other feminists who have written about their experiences and how Heart's supposedly definitive description also constituted a challenge to their womanhood. Her entire identity seems to be created around how she can attain power over all those that she pretends to consider herself an advocate for.

I AM THROUGH WITH HER.

Oh yeah, that "race traitor" business that she claims is just ridiculous. Marrying a person of color and having kids with them does not magically erase one's ability to engage in discrimination against others. If so, does the fact that I have a mixed race kid mean that it is now impossible for me to engage in discrimination against white people? I wonder if Heart would go along with it if I made that assertion.

I suspect she and her ilk would simply say that I'm unfairly "pulling out the big guns". After all, like DeviousDiva said, how dare we disagree with them or say anything that might upset their plans to win the "oppression olympics"?

Bint Alshamsa said...

Jesus, Joseph, and Mary! This just goes on and on. I think I'm going to call it a rest now that it's 4:30 a.m. and pick this back up later on in the day after I've actually gotten some semblance of sleep.

belledame222 said...

yeh, and then she closed the comments, i noticed. brave lass. :eyeroll:

btw, the saga also sort of continues at Little Light's or rather that thread picked up steam again. you -might- be interested, did you have the time. mostly the last o 100 comments or so. (it starts kind of nasty but turns more pleasant and interesting) (i think, anyway)

belledame222 said...

...and o christ, this story is making me sick. stupid me, i assumed it was going to be about Michfest or some Canadian equivalent. a -rape shelter-. What the flying blue hell is *wrong* with some people? ugh ugh ugh.

and yeah of course they're not bigots, they can't possibly be. "They" can always go make their own shelters of course.

"separate but equal," anyone?

fuck.

sly civilian said...

Owww. my head hurts. I'm taking off in another direction, as the oddly selective Laundry list of oppressions reminded me of a half-piece I had on foot binding in the western imagination.

BA- I think blogging for bail money is the new hotness.

belledame222 said...

Oh yeah, that "race traitor" business that she claims is just ridiculous. Marrying a person of color and having kids with them does not magically erase one's ability to engage in discrimination against others.

did you see this thread?

AD had/has no love lost for me, and i still disagree with her on a number of things, but i still wanted to stand of and cheer her for that.

and yeah, if you read that thread you notice what isn't -quite- said but she

might as well:

"Sexism trumps racism."

and womens uber alles.

also,

"yes, white men oppress MOC; I just don't care, mostly."

and where her shit -really- falls down is:

okay, let's say it's true, black men and white men sometimes "bond" via sexism.

but what she -doesn't- acknowledge is that it could just as well follow (and often does) that white men and white women bond via racism.

That does not compute, in Heartland.

That's why she keeps running into that particular shit.

Well, that and she's a hateful dogmatic asshole, of course.


anyway, just a note: Heart isn't the goddam mainstream, and it sucks moldy rocks that her ilk has wielded enough influence to enable a ghastly decision like this.

but, they're about as "mainstream" as Pat Robertson is mainstream Christian, i think. and the parallel works in a number of ways.

"get the fuck out of our way," she says.

Fine. Gauntlet. -Make- me, betch. It's on. Fucker.

belledame222 said...

wrt disabilities, tangentially related perhaps, she's also been at it with another woman, wrt eating disorders.

it's just really terrific how she, Heart, like -knows what's best for everybody.- i mean, seriously, what would we all do without her?

belledame222 said...

oh and of course: if being married to (abusive, as she never fails to remind people) black men and having mixed-race kids gives her some special insights into racism, then wouldn't you think every straight man who's been partnered with a woman--a FEMINIST woman, especially, okay, let's grant; and/or had y'know a mother, or daughters, strong feminist type ones, let's grant, that he'd have special insight into...sexism?

o wait, i forgot, all together now,

THAT'S DIFFERENT

belledame222 said...

oh so yeah anyway, this was her battle cry, in that Robin Morgan (hurl) thread:

The people we are fighting? Some of them are people whose pinheaded, self-serving, academented “analysis” it is that women “choose” to participate in beauty contests to get an education, or they “choose” to be prostituted to get an education, or they “choose” to participate in relationships which celebrate submission and dominance, and many of them are the same people who say our commitment to end sexism is “transphobic,” many of these people are the same people whose ideas are responsible for the fact that *things aren’t as different now for women as they were 20 years ago*. And *that* is the reasons for these discussions.

In point of fact, right now, to be dedicated to an end to sexism and to gender, full stop, is to be relentlessly excoriated by people who call that “transphobic” and a whole lot of other nasty things and a lot of those people are MEN who do not care one whit if anything ever changes for women, they want the clock turned back hundreds of years to the time when they owned us outright.

Really, I won’t have that kind of thing on this blog, the way when it begins to become evident that radical feminism has been lied about, maligned, misunderstood, when the lights go on and people start to bail because they realize they don’t have any good response to what has been offered, others come in wanting to talk about radical feminism being all about “theory” and no action, when *in fact* radical feminists are responsible for *revolution for women in our time* and if misogynists of all and every stripe would get the fuck out of the way with their misogynist ideas and behaviors and projects which they think are oh-so-”progressive,” and “transgressive,” even though they take us back to pre-feminism days, we might be able to actually *finish* the revolution we fucking began.

Sorry for my intensity but not really. This is TRUE.

Heart




shorter Heart: How dare you reject me/us after all that I/we have done for you! ("Us" means whatever I decide it means). We are radical feminists! We are Class Woman! the Class Woman, it is I! we invented feminism! we invented goddess-worship! we invented the Internets! we invented the cat! shame on you, you ungrateful little...poor dears! shame! shaaaaaaaame

piny said...

wrt disabilities, tangentially related perhaps, she's also been at it with another woman, wrt eating disorders.

That...figures.

I've been doing a lot of reading on ED lately--most of the stuff I've found puts binge-eating on the same level as anorexia; you're coping with the same problems via the same mechanism, only in a slightly different direction. The woman who eats obsessively isn't relating to her body all that differently than the woman who obsessively refuses to eat. And binge-eating isn't actually all that uncommon. That's just one reason why it's so foolish--and so very very dangerous to the afflicted people--to read anorexia as nothing but an overexpressed desire to be thin like the pretty girls. Like the woman's saying, the sufferer relates to her body in some ways that just are not straightforward.

piny said...

Also, thank you for this post and thread. I've been out of it lately, but I appreciate all the wonderful opportunities for lurking you've all given me. There's been a lot of talk of trimming blogrolls lately, but I've picked up a few new hangouts.

Natalie said...

That is so incredibly disgusting that I don't even know where to begin. I would think a transwoman would have an even deeper understanding of discrimination than the majority of women out there. Then to get it from a group of women's rights activits is unheard of. I hope she wins her suit.

Blackamazon said...

Bint I always worry about your feelings your smarts are more than fine but id o feel like running in for you mental and physical well being cause battling the stupid in no way can not be good for you

( PS I wann see Louisiana!!!!)

Natalie I'm not sure I agree wether trans women would be better understanding of oppression nor do i care if they are

VRR wants to be women born women only FINE go ahead . I will be sending my money to the center down the street.

BUt the way they chose to battle it . OH MY GOD! For a we trying to break down barriers organization to say that being accosted for how you express gender affiliations


ISN"T A THING TO BE DISCRIMINATED AGAINST!!!!!!!!


AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH

oh god thats teh motehr of all bad precedent that makes teh stomach ache its so bad

belledame222 said...

it might still get overturned, right? i thought this was a lower-court decision, not final, no?

and: people really should be hammering that "gender identity is not a protected category." ffs. well hello there then. so: being a BIOLOGICAL WOMAN is -protected-. having a GENDER IDENTITY incongruent with what you're supposed to is NOT.

and, it's a bunch of feminists that are cheering this.

but, women have no! repeat! no! power! over transgendered people!

it's disgusting.

and y'know i keep saying this:

you keep saying: NO POWER. we have NO POWER.

righto. and, as such, you were planning to enact this great global Revolution--how? just, what, hold your breath until the Patriarchy falls down? natter at other women about how "conventional" they look and fuck until the Patriarchy crumbles?

and the explanation for why this--seemingly inexplicably!--hasn't really y'know -worked- toward -that- goal:

it's all the fault (she said it -again!-) of queer/transgender. and sex-positive feminists, and every single man ever, and pretty much anyone and everyone but her/their own sweet self/selves.

covenient, that.

belledame222 said...

as for whether transpeople would be (inherently) -better- understanding of oppression: no more or less than any other oppressed persons, esp. wrt other oppressed peoples.

but. as BA was noting: they -do- take (for now?) trangendered -clients.-

so, like, wouldn't it behoove them to have a TG -counselor- on hand, if they're gonna do that?

or is this now leading to, okay, they don't have to take TG -clients- now, either?

either way it bites.

deviousdiva said...

I think it's completely necessary to challenge these attitudes but not at the expense of our hearts and minds. I often feel bad the other way, that I don't fight the big fights. I only went over there to support you but I really feel unable to engage in these arguments. My act of disgust was to de-link and I am in the process of de-linking from anyone who links there. I know people have argued that they have links to people they don't agree with but links are what helps build blogs and in turn attract more readers. But blogs like heart's are harming our communities and I'm not going to put up with that.

and yeah Bint, come over on Thursday for a chat ! I've missed you!

Bint Alshamsa said...

Can someone please tell BrownFemiPower that my comments are not showing up on her page? I'm not sure if they are going to moderation or if there is just something wrong on my end. :o)

I'd sure appreciate it!

Blue / Kay Olson said...

There was ugliness about disability in the Ashley thread at Heart's too, despite so much concern for the female caregivers of disabled childen and all. Well, maybe the ugliness was just toward me because I dared to say that disability sometimes trumps or is inseparable from my femaleness. Whatever. I had been holding out hope some discussions over there might be for the good, but there's just so much hate using radical feminism as a focus against everything else that it makes my blood boil.

I left the Ashley thread in disgust myself, and don't plan to return for any reason. If you aren't one of the gang there, you won't be given equal time or consideration. You won't get respect. But I'm glad you said what you did there, Bint.

belledame222 said...

that Rich character makes me so angry I can barely see straight. well many of them do, but the height of irony...

well no, blame the woman who sits there on her oh-so-radical-wimmin ass and enables him in his abuse whilst shutting down other voices.

wouldn't piss on the lot of 'em if they were on fire.

brownfemipower said...

I got them bint!!! I went through and found all of them--I'm SO sorry about that!!! They all got cast aside by the spam catcher!!!! (and I'm getting so much spam these days it's hard for me to keep up with it all--I'm getting about three hundred spam a day!!!)

brownfemipower said...

I got them bint!!! I went through and found all of them--I'm SO sorry about that!!! They all got cast aside by the spam catcher!!!! (and I'm getting so much spam these days it's hard for me to keep up with it all--I'm getting about three hundred spam a day!!!)

belledame222 said...


I guess feminism is only about individuals when the individual in question is her.


Sums it up.

I'm sure i've said this elsewhere by now, but:

at one point she wrote something that started with, something close to,

"Right now, my experience is the experience of that of most women on this planet"

and before i even got to what the fuck her saga was THIS time (having a whole shitload of kids, apparently), my immediate first thought was:

"Which planet would that be, again?"

Uranus, maybe.

Gary said...

Hey Tulip...

I found you becasue you found me...via Shakes I believe...Great page you have here.

This is an excellent post on a highly complicated issue that is foriegn to so many people. My best friend is a transfemale...Leah. She is a woman...Even when she wasn't biologically. It is amazing to me the ways that this country, and most organizations have rigid standards of membership...mostly created out of fear of repercussions (read loss of money).

If we are the land of the free and the home of the brave, why doesn't a radical feminist group stand up and be radical? Why not stand up and be brave? Instead, they cast a finger, a judgemental eye, and cower in a corner so that the people giving money will keep giving money.

Sad.

And most unfortunately, the way of the world in modern America. Fear rules this nation, and this is just one more example of it.

Keep up the good work here. I will be most proudly adding you to my blogroll!

Good weekend to you!

g

Susannah said...

Hi! Thanks for leaving a comment at my blog, and offering your prayers for my friend's daughter. I'm so glad your fight with cancer has been successful!

So neat that you are from southern LA...my mom's from there.

WomansSpace said...

What's being preached over at Heart's space is not radical feminism. I've started a new blog to address where these gender essentialists are actually in bed with patriarchy.

It's probably against some kind of blog ettiquetee but oddly enough my blog URL is

www.womansspace.wordpress.com

Actual radical feminist discussion as opposed to the patriarchal pablum can be discussed. And by the way, one blog entry clearly contrasts what Heart said and what radical feminists. The largest appropriation going on is the label radical feminist.

Hello to you Bint I thought you exhibited the best a second wave tradition on Heart's board and were eloquent. ***Sigh*** I also ached as it seemed you were run over by a truck. And hi Blue. It's inconceivable that you would receive any less than their total support. How truly sad and it's shocking to see the women they are letting down.

WomansSpace

WomanSpace said...

I so appreciate the title here about real feminists. Here was a commented derisively direct at you bint. Notice Rich's comnent:

Yet here is what is being sold on hearts board as feminism:

“female=a biological category

woman=a social construct

The two are not synonymous. They are like apples and oranges and as long as people attempt to use them interchangeably, they’ll never understand why many, many people disagree with discrimination against transpeople.”

Transwomen use them interchangeably all the time. Every single day. So do their defenders. But only feminsts are called on it, even when they’re not guilty of doing it: you just assumed that people here didn’t know that, that everyone here wasn’t as smart as you are.

That’s not nice."



Well Rich let’s see what Catharine MacKinnon says:

Much has been made of a supposed distinction between sex and gender. Sex is thought to be the more biological, gender the more social; the relation of each to sexuality varies. I see sexuality as fundamental to gender and as fundamentally social. Biology becomes the social meaning of biology within the system of sex inequality much as race becomes ethnicity within a system of racial inequality. Both are social and political in a system that does not rest indepen¬dently on biological differences in any respect. In this light, the sex/gender distinction looks like a nature/culture distinction in the sense criticized by Sherry Ortner in "Is Female to Male as Nature Is to Culture?" Feminist Studies 8 (Fall 1982). I use sex and gender relatively interchangeably.


No Rich, that’s not nice, that’s radical feminism. In short, what you’ve attributed to trans is exactly what radical feminists say. I’ll see if I can’t have MacKinnon write you a note a apology because obviously you know so much more about feminism than she does.

Feminism is sooooo inconvenient. Why read it, when you can just make it up as you go along.

WomansSpace

WomansSpace said...

“Can someone please explain to me what's so radically feminist about claiming that certain women should be discriminated against?”

There is a radical Feminist definition of woman which Heart’s board ignores. Before I present that, I’d like to offer one thing, brint which is your use of the word “transwoman” which is essentialistic. In that discussion you faltered on a couple of phrases of essentailism. You also accepted the trans split of sex and gender where radical feminists actually do not.
It is essentialist to use the word transwoman. If gender is a socially constructed, it socially true but not real in nature. You forget that people going through reassignment have many different pathes in life. Heart says that being a man starts at birth. How foolish. No one says, there is a three year old man. At any rate here is a radical feminist definition of woman.

“The person in radical feminist thought is necessarily socially constituted, affirmatively so through an active yet critical embrace of womanhood as identity. Catharine MacKinnon – Toward a feminist theory of state.

Woman is an identity of a person who has been socially constituted as a woman. The identity is critically embraced. In her 2006 statement, Lisa Vogel of the MWMF called Woman-born-woman, “a valid gender identity”. That’s all it is. Heart is treating the identity as if it is an object reality and therefore not a class of people which is not radical or feminist. There are kids who clearly begin as kids and are erased by the trans movement and there are fathers and husbands who have no social constitution as a woman nor do they have a critical embrace of that identity. I would suggest that kids are valid since that’s how they organized. However, I would challenge a claimed identity of someone who has sought life as a man, aligned himself with socially male patriarchal institutions such as a husband in a marriage and sought out male rewards and benefits, publically said he was a man and aligned himself with a woman as a man in this society. No one makes a man do that. That do that because they choose to. I think calling these people women does erase the lives of women. Certainly their path is quite different than that of the kid given that husbands and fathers chose to live as men, husbands and fathers. There is a huge functional and life schism in your monolithic application of the prefix making the lives of women invisible. How can you compare someone who went through reassignment at the acquisition of agency the same thing you call someone who has a wife and has chosen to live as an adult male, husband and father for twenty years? Would you deny that those twenty years as men are not socially constituting as men and that they sought it out?

So there you have centrally radical feminist positions. It challenges heart and brings into question some on your usages. Why should anyone call someone who has chosen to seek out life as a man –a woman? Patriarchy literally means the rule of the father and it appears to me that you are prepared to call people who chose to be fathers and husbands – women.
Heart is involved in identity politics and anything but radical feminism. Radical feminism becomes awfully inconvenient to people calling themselves radical feminist. Why resort to actual radical feminism when it’s far easier just to make it up?

In that thread, one woman admitted there is no real definition of trans. But that would have been better stated if she had just said, she didn’t know of any. Trans is 1.) an identity 2.) a community 3.) a political movement 4) an ideology.

Ampersand said...

I just read this for the first time. I'm very disappointed with the Canadian court decision, although I'm not surprised. Maybe in 10 years they'll be ready to rule in the other direction...

As for Heart's thread, they've been saying the same stuff for at least a decade now. Back in the days of the Ms. Boards, Rich consistently referred to transsexuals as "freaks" and "psychos"; he's cleaned up his language since then, although not his attitude.

kristen said...

my comment i just left on their site:

"anyone who agrees with the decisions of the Canadian Court and of VRR is not a feminist.

there i said it. you are not a feminist.

if a trans-woman wanted the services of the center then she was well within her rights to receive them. they should not have rejected her just because she wasn’t born female. if she was socially perceived as being female and lived her life as a woman then she is one.

what’s next? excluding women who haven’t given birth? who are disabled? what if they rejected women of a different culture because they were not raised in the patriarchal western world and are not truly women?

how shameful for these so-called ‘radical feminists’ to reject a sister. and how shameful for the so-called ‘feminists’ on this site to support their discrimination.

the women’s rights movement (in any country) will fail when certain ‘feminists’ practice the discrimination that we all fight against.

p.s.- how truly radically feminist is it for someone born and gendered male to reject the respect, education and privilege that came easier to him because he was born male and to live ‘his’ life as a woman?"