Some questions for those who say they "don't get" why lesbians and feminists keep insisting on certain rights despite the ongoing media war and death threats coming from (a minority) of misogynstic MtT activists.
(1) Do you agree that oppressed groups have an inherent right to define themselves?
(2) Do you agree that oppressed groups, for the purpose of support and well-being, sometimes need to meet just among themselves without the presence of those raised to be their oppressors?
(3) Do you believe upbringing and conditioning shapes a human being to a major degree by the time they are ten years old?
(4) Do you believe the upbringing and conditioning a girl receives is substantially and critically distinct from that which a boy receives? Or do you believe the difference between adult gender as it is expressed in this country is primarily a result of "boy" and "girl" brains?
(5) If you believe in gendered brains, how do you explain all the cultures around the world and historically where what we now, here, call "male" and "female" behavior was exactly the opposite for them? Are they / were they not actual human beings?
(6) Do you believe someone raised Christian has the right to attend Jews-only small sharing gatherings simply because they "feel" Jewish?
(7) Do you believe someone raised white American has the right to attend blacks-only small sharing gatherings because they get a dark tan, listen to rap, and rename themselves Shaniqua or Tyrone? Or would you call that racist stereotyping?
(8) Do you recognize that someone wearing long hair and make-up, dresses and heels is engaging in feminine drag, no matter who they are? Do you understand that drag is sexist stereotyping and has no actual relevance to identity?
(9) Do you believe that female biology amounts to having breasts and a hole, wherever they come from?
(10) Do you agree that someone born and raised male can now claim to have menstrual periods, menopause, and demand cervical exams at clinics funded (underfunded) to assist in female biology? If you don't agree, are you ready to be called transphobic?
(11) Are you actually fine with people raised 35 years as a male and having prior convictions as a sex offender being allowed free access to locker rooms and bathrooms used by girls under 18? If you don't agree, are you ready to be called transphobic?
(12) Do you actually believe there is privilege in being raised female as that is defined in our culture? If it is not a privilege, how is it oppressive to refuse to allow those raised with ACTUAL privilege to steal what few protections we have?
(13) Do you think lesbians are being oppressive when they decline sex with someone who has a penis?
(14) Do you agree that at least 95% of the violence and oppression aimed at trans folk in our culture comes from males and male-controlled institutions? If you do agree, don't you wonder why the majority of public transwomen protest is focused on feminist lesbians instead of those who are actually, you know, doing the raping, killing, incarcerating, etc?
(15) Do you understand that females are raised to never say no to male desires, to feel guilty when they do so, to blame other females who say no? Do you believe it is possible that those who are raised male and not worked through their socialization might consistently display outrage and scream oppression when they encounter "No" from a female?
(16) Do you see anything wrong with the term non-trans? Why are females being told we have to assume someone else's binary as part of our definition?
(17) Do you understand that TERF actually means male-excluding radical feminists? Transmen are common in womyn's gatherings. That's because we believe socialization determines your values and attitudes, not whether or not you have a hole.
(18) Do you know that MRAs are jumping on the anti-feminist bandwagon with violence-espousing transwomen activists, because they agree no woman has the right to actually say no to anyone born male?
(19) Do you know that ISNA and other intersex groups have pointedly and repeatedly demanded that intersex not be lumped in with trans identity? They find this offensive and manipulative, for good reason. If you hear the argument that trans folk should be equated with intersex, it won't be coming from those fighting for intersex rights. Or from feminists.
(20) Do you know that 2/3 of children who express so-called gender dysphoria (which is, at its basis, a rational rejection of the sex roles embraced by our larger culture) will as adults come out as gay or lesbian? For this majority, gender reassignment will be pointless and destructive. If you know this reality and speak it, are you ready to be called transphobic?
(21) Do you know that radical feminists are not asking transfolk to be denied any human rights -- we do not boycott or no platform trans gatherings, we do not invade or try to shut down trans-only events, we don't take over trans marches and parade with giant blow-up vulvas. We simply ask to be allowed our own self-definition, as transfolk demand for themselves; we ask you to stop hurling the overflowing chamberpot term "transphobic" at anybody who dares to have a non-essentialist definition of gender; and we want you to stop targeting the Michigan Womyn's Music Festival. (And I do mean target: No more cutting the water lines to the disabled women's bathrooms there, no painting penises on the food tent wall, no more blasting loud rape lyrics at those unfortunate enough to be trying to sleep within earshot of Camp Trans.)
Copyright 2014 Maggie Jochild.