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No Man of Woman Born > In which an analogy doesn't make sense, but conversation continues beyond platitudes of good = good and bad = bad. We get into the weeds

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message 1: by Pam (new)

Pam | 93 comments Yes, you read that right. I'm bringing Harry Potter into our discussion about Trans rights.

But first a disclaimer: I KNOW historically when any non-binary or non heteronormative dare to exist, the majority of people start to immediately question it. And they also begin to attack or make bold assumptions that stick into the majority's mind that helps the US vs THEM mentality. Many of these ideas that form stereotypes are wrong and blatantly dangerous to the individuals involved. Such as that the queer community were considered pedophiles. This has then dogged the community for years as they try to expunge their record. Etc etc. And I'm not going to even touch on the violent reactions that "upstanding" folk did to "protect" themselves or their way of life. (Heinous)

We all here, (I assume) are the choir and a welcomed part of the LGBTQI team of allies. And many of us are also feminists. Who believe in diversity, who believe in having many voices. Who believe in letting people be themselves and not have to conform to someone else ideal of what it means to be you.

And yet.... there is a large debate (putting it mildly) within the feminist community and the trans community that has sparked the TERF war.

So from what I understand... it's the Great Snape Debate (only on a much larger, much more intense field). Please pardon my use of this as I am trying to wrap my head around this entirety of the scope in a way my brain can comprehend. This is a bit rambly and disconnected as I try, again, to make sense. (Second disclaimer: this analogy uses Pro-Voldermort vs Pro-Potter team as a way to remove ourselves from the Dark vs Light and the connotations within.)

Snape, as many of you know, was a double agent in the Harry Potter series. His motives were questioned on whether he was a Pro-Voldermort side or the Pro-Potter side. He was essentially living a lie since high school when his views of his world changed.

Now, after the series ended (and even in the 6th book), it was left to the fans to determine if he was truly Pro-Potter or not. No one questions his Pro-Voldermort side. That's what he was affiliated with, he has been marked. etc. But everyone questiones his Pro-Potter side.

Was he actually Pro-Potter even though he had his own transgressions as an adult? Do we need all of the Pro-Potter side to be angels? Should the Pro-Potter side accept him or are they justifiably nervous about someone who grew up Pro-Voldermort who is now in their Pro-Potter space?

A lot of what I am hearing / reading from the radical feminists focus a lot on these "Pro-Potter" spaces. Women's shelters, for example. Bathrooms. Women's competitions, etc. Again, we are seeing the same old arguments of immediately thinking the worse of someone and thinking the worst of someone in an abusive or sexual manner.

But is it "fair" to these women who are already in shelters, trying to escape men, to be in a same area with someone who may be mindfully, internally be Pro-Potter, but still have the death eater tattoo?

And then there is the whole feminist review on male privilege, Cis women have worked hard to gain recognition and wins for themselves. Then comes Caitlyn Jenner who continues benefiting from her former position of privilege and immediately reaps the rewards from her current privileged. That would be akin to Draco Malfoy in the 11th hour denouncing the Pro-Voldermort side and immediately joining in the after war party in the Pro-Potter side. Great for the Pro-Potter side, they have a new member in their ranks, but he didn't do the work, but he gains the spoils.

Ok. So that's where my mind goes trying to understand the issue. I hope it's obvious that I am in favor of Trans rights, but I am confused about all of this other stuff when I get into the weeds of the issue.

And obviously, despite the hundreds of years of trans-history, we are only now really making space for them. And as such, we are seeing first hand how change works. It's messy, it's an upheaval. It's uncomfortable for the hetero-normative population.

I am looking for your help, your guidance, and your thoughts on the matter. Any reactions to this? Any advice on how can I be a better ally?


message 2: by Robert (new)

Robert Smart | 37 comments I just wanted to write something preliminary back Pam because no one has commented yet on your topic. I need to wrap my head around what you wrote a bit more before I respond to it. :)


message 3: by Pam (last edited Dec 20, 2018 03:17AM) (new)

Pam | 93 comments I appreciate your response!

Marganilzed Relations is all about giving voice to the minority communities; it's here to spread awareness and understanding. I appreciate your help in spreading that understanding.

I do not completely understand why some feminists are being called terfs, why there is such animosity between the two communities. But if you had to diagram my energy going to causes, then my preference is currently higher for feminism than LGBQTI+ needs. This is not to say that I do not believe in them, just that I understand and follow more feminist themed discussion//articles//pins/than LGBQTI ones. So I suppose I'm trying to rectify my loyalty (?) To feminism in this whole TERF conversation?

Does that make sense?


message 4: by Pam (last edited Dec 20, 2018 09:25AM) (new)

Pam | 93 comments Thanks Keith.

My anology was more on internal vs external bodily clues.
If a Trans woman, is a female trapped in a man's body
Then Snape was pro-potter, trapped in a dark marked body.

For all purposes someone could look at their physical bodies and make a snap judgment on what they believe / who they are, without understanding the person inside.

Taking it further, how could someone who has the "equipment"/ sexual organs or a dark mark be anyone but who they appear to be? How can a transwoman be anyone but a man wearing a dress until they go through therapy and an operation. (This is the current argument running around, but not my personal opinion)

I also am using Harry Potter, because I (and some of you?) Are emotionally invested in these characters. They are not just placeholders for individuals. I personally do not know anyone who is trans.

And I recognize that I can be very accepting for a group of people, but would I be the same when confronted on an individual level? I find that as I age, I have deep affinity for large groups of people, but tend to dislike individuals. New people I work with are questionable and I am wary with them until I humanize them (learn their family, their hobbies outside of work, their pets names etc). So I placed the trans conversation involving people I care about that most of you recognize as well.

I like your review of Percy. (JK, as impressive as ever giving us so many foils to characters, counterparts to them; cutting through stereotypes and giving us complexity)


message 5: by Laure (new)

Laure | 10 comments What helps is to stop considering transgender women as "women trapped in male bodies". They're women who were born with a penis & so on, and have sometimes elevated testosterone levels.
TERFs do not consider trans women as women, as Keith said. TERFs are transphobic.

"Male" genitalia are not Death marks. A person assaulting someone won't do so only because they dispose of a penis. TERFs use the argument of the body to stigmatize trans women.


As for the Snape issue: He was pro-Voldemort and definitely became anti-Voldemort. His Death mark is a trait he acquired because of his beliefs and choices - the dude was a kind of Nazi.

Trans women do not change sides. They were born women and remain women, whatever their body appearance. Some trans women decide to not alter the genitals they were born with, and that's ok. They're still women.


message 6: by Pam (last edited Dec 20, 2018 09:22AM) (new)

Pam | 93 comments Keither wrote: "But, isn't this part of the issue? That, even after transition, some feminists still believe that a trans woman is still "just a man in a dress". To all intents and purposes, this is the stance taken by Germaine Greer. ."

Yes, that is the argument, not one I believe in, but one I am using to get this conversation going.

And I am seeing that this HP reference stuff isn't working, so I will change the name of the thread accordingly


message 7: by Pam (new)

Pam | 93 comments Here is another question

Feminists are currently saying women can be anything. That to your point Laurie, women do not need to have the sexual reproductive parts in order to claim to be a woman.

But is the trans community continuing the binary system of being either male or female and not exposing gender nuance beyond the two party system? Is that accurate? Is that more false information that's been spreading?

Our last book was on individuals who are intersex. Again, to your point, they are who they are, not necessarily one or the other. They do not have to belong to a narrow definition of gender. Does the intersex community feel more closely aligned with the feminist community or the trans community? Is it personal preference?


message 8: by Pam (last edited Dec 20, 2018 09:35AM) (new)

Pam | 93 comments Laure wrote: "Trans women do not change sides.

Ok. but that's (edited) gender identity and gender expression, right? They do not change sides as in they always a woman and trapped in the wrong body. But through choices (clothes, hormone therapy, or later surgeries) they can start to finally feel like they match. That's called transitioning, right?

I read (and again, feel free to call this out too, I am opening myself for your attacks) that doctors are very worried about this due to the differences in physical bodies and hormone levels.

I think we have had this discussion before that the standard "model" for most medical students has been the cis-white male body. But we are learning cis-caucasian male body and all that effects them are not the same for cis-caucasian female body, let alone cis-african or cis asian or those who are not cis.

So doctors now that they are just starting to look into how different treatments effect different bodies are now worried about individuals who are in the process of transitioning. We can identify as who we really are, but the bodily issues are something to pay attention to especially as the medical community fixes the blunders of their past.


message 9: by Pam (new)

Pam | 93 comments Laure wrote: "What helps is to stop considering transgender women as "women trapped in male bodies."

Ohhhh. I see. I did it again.

" pam wrote: "They do not change sides as in they always a woman and trapped in the wrong body. "


message 10: by Pam (last edited Dec 20, 2018 09:31AM) (new)

Pam | 93 comments Sorry, I suppose I am really unequipped for this conversation.

So transitioning is similar to coming out? A person always was themselves, but now they are expressing their identity externally?

Keith's article from Owl wrote. "We’re tired of sharing platforms with speakers that deliberately mislead the conversation and represent a small fringe group that doesn’t base their arguments in factual evidence or reality.

Ok. So far that list of misleading information includes:
- Trans individuals "trapped" in the wrong body
- The amount of hate crimes against the trans community far outweighs the number of crimes done in female spaces (like bathrooms or shelters)

Any others?


message 11: by Pam (last edited Dec 20, 2018 10:01AM) (new)

Pam | 93 comments Thank you Keith.

Racism/ homophobia/ tranasphobia all start with micro aggressions before they get the Greer level of hate spewing before they become violent.

And in my family I am known as the "libra-tard"who has to cut through their assumptions and offer the other perspective. Last year, I know I answered a question on the different sexuality (pan vs bi vs a) incorrectly and I know that my misinformation led to furthering their negative convictions. I can only feel a drop of what these communities feel.

My family is my family. And I try to love them even when we do not see eye to eye. But I also am a firm believer in others right to live in their fashion and not the have to contort themselves to others outdated versions of the world. So I want to be an ally. And to me that is to out-logic the naysayers or stereotypes.

I never "win"these discussions so to speak, but I definitely know when I am doing a disservice to the marganilzed communities or not speaking up. The good news, hearing me offer a different perspective has made an impression on some of the younger family members. So.. there is some progress.


message 12: by Laure (new)

Laure | 10 comments Pam wrote: "Sorry, I suppose I am really unequipped for this conversation.

So transitioning is similar to coming out? A person always was themselves, but now they are expressing their identity externally?

Keith's article from Owl wrote. "We’re tired of sharing platforms with speakers that deliberately mislead the conversation and represent a small fringe group that doesn’t base their arguments in factual evidence or reality.

Ok. So far that list of misleading information includes:
- Trans individuals "trapped" in the wrong body
- The amount of hate crimes against the trans community far outweighs the number of crimes done in female spaces (like bathrooms or shelters)

Any others?
..."


I think transitioning could be seen as a kind of coming-out - although in most cases, trans people usually come out before transitioning. But I guess that depends what we include in the word "transitioning": does it always include body modifications (hormonal treatments or surgeries)?

Pam wrote: "feel free to call this out too, I am opening myself for your attacks

Sorry, I didn't want to be aggressive. I usually get upset when reading about TERFs, especially because of their habit to spread lies about transgender people. TERFs are harmful and I wish they wouldn't be prominent on feminist platforms.

Pam wrote: But is the trans community continuing the binary system of being either male or female and not exposing gender nuance beyond the two party system? Is that accurate? Is that more false information that's been spreading?

Our last book was on individuals who are intersex. Again, to your point, they are who they are, not necessarily one or the other. They do not have to belong to a narrow definition of gender. Does the intersex community feel more closely aligned with the feminist community or the trans community? Is it personal preference?


There's a multiplicity of genders, but so far most people (cis or trans) identify as male or female; this doesn't mean that they do not recognize other genders. You also have non-binary people, who were identified as male or female from birth, but do not identify as any of them anymore. The spectrum exists, and identifying oneself at one extremity of it (as I, for example, identify as a (cis) woman) doesn't contradict that. And I'm pretty sure the communities of trans people, intersex people, and intersectional feminists overlap :-)


message 13: by Pam (last edited Dec 26, 2018 10:33AM) (new)

Pam | 93 comments All good. We are all on the same side. Just some is us are more informed than others.

:)

Thank you with your help and explanations. I appreciate that this is a place where I can ask questions.


message 14: by Pam (new)

Pam | 93 comments Good people of OMR: I have another question.

In the book they have quite a few pronouns. Xer, Ker, Ner, They, etc. Is usage all personal choice or do pronouns reflect a certain individual type (? also, is type insensitive, what would be the better word here?) i.e. a Transwoman only uses Xer while Transmen only use Ker?


message 15: by MeerderWörter (new)

MeerderWörter | 120 comments Mod
Reading this thread now.


message 16: by MeerderWörter (new)

MeerderWörter | 120 comments Mod
Sorry that it took me so long to respond to this, but here I am:

Usage is definitely personal, and can also be situational, when you are only out to your friends for example but not to your family.

The other thing: I don't really like saying pronouns are a choice, because that implies that they are preferred (much like I prefer lemon ice cream over chocolate ice cream). Pronouns are someone's pronouns, they aren't preferred.

And I also don't think that you can say that neo-pronouns go together with certain trans identities... this might be true one day, when things have settled in more and there is broader acceptance in the society, but it also might not.
And the last thing: It is trans woman and trans man, not transwoman and transman

To answer some of Laura's questions:
There are different "types" of transition, so to speak: Social transition is changing one's name, gender marker, pronouns, biological transition is taking hormones, any surgeries that an individual might want.

I am also pretty certain that there is an overlap between trans people, intersex people, and intersectional feminists:)

One last thing to you:
How a person describes being trans might be very different: Some people say they are trapped in the wrong body, others do not. Again, many people with many different experiences that need to be respected.

Does the intersex community feel more aligned with the feminist movement or the trans movement?
I think this again really depends on how your experiences are. But for me personally it depends on the topic in question, not something that surprises anyone I think.

No, women don't need to have the sexual reproductive parts of females in order to be women, Pam. This is really transphobic and intersexphobic and in return, this question begs asking if women who had a hysterectomy or a removal of the ovaries or the like are still women? Which of course they are!

The next question you ask, are trans people are continuing the gender binary? I would negate this question, and I am telling you why:
Western society, is based on biological essentialism. Meaning that when you are born, a look at your genitals determines what society has in mind for you (it is very slowly changing, this perception, but that's basically what it is).
The problem is(or well, it's not a problem to me but to a lot of people), that sex doesn't determine gender, otherwise there would be no trans people around, and secondly, that the idea is that there is male and female only, thus hurting intersex people like myself. Trans people show that gender and sex may correlate, but one does not determine the other. They show that rigid gender stereotypes are just that, gender stereotypes, and that we can either align ourselves with them, or break them up.
A trans woman can still have a masculine gender expression, as in which hobbies she has and stuff like that. THIS is breaking down gender stereotypes.
Why do I know that? Because the outcry of people of how this isn't possible, denying that person their true personhood, shows that people still think in these binary boxes, and then also align different things very strictly with these boxes.
Yes, trans people are breaking down gender stereotypes, I have no doubt about that.

Back to Laure again:
TERFs are following a gender essentialist philosophy, claiming that biology determines gender. They are not really a fan of socialisation, I don't think so, otherwise they wouldn't spout around this ****.
You know, they say that you can never change your gender, you are born a woman and will always be a woman (or a man). In this way they agree with trans people even, but they use a different form of basis for it: On the ground of biology, and that whatever a person does to change their sex characteristics won't change whether they are a woman (man) or not. You see where this is going. So you see that it is a very similar argument, but the basis is different. TERFs think that biology determines your gender, and changing it doesn't change your gender, (Now that I think about it, that is some real crap, isn't it?)

And this last thing is for you Pam, because you asked for it:
There is nothing wrong with aligning with feminism, TERF is simply an acronym for Trans Exclusionary Radical Feminist. Radical feminists came up with it because some of them were transphobic and those that weren't didn't want to align themselves with them.
Yes, there are radical feminists that aren't transphobic, well, at least according to the definitions that were used back then.
Feminism is like a big tree, with many branches and even more twigs, and some forms of feminism are definitely very pro LGBTQIA, because remember, women aren't a monolith, we are very diverse and thus feminism needs to be diverse in order to reflect our struggles and demands.

Fin.


message 17: by Pam (new)

Pam | 93 comments <3

Thanks Meerder!


message 18: by MeerderWörter (new)

MeerderWörter | 120 comments Mod
So I remember this popped up somewhere, but I can't remember anymore where, but it's about neopronouns.

A thread by author Ana Mardoll:
https://twitter.com/AnaMardoll/status...


message 19: by Pam (last edited Feb 06, 2019 06:18AM) (new)

Pam | 93 comments Author is upset about people who are not her target audience not paying attention to her intro: I get this and are in agreement. This book wasn't meant for you, but for those who are looking for representation.

Author begins to explain neopronouns and that they don't mean anything objectively only personally: and this is where I get confused.

And I know confusion makes me a less than great trans supporter, but it comes back to what feels like identity choosing.

Xer/ner/ker = based on Mardoll's words don't have an objective meaning behind them. Where as pronouns (he/she/their) have very defined characteristics and are sociologically reinforced by the community at large.

(Ducks behind a wood crate before the tomotes are tossed) as a Cis woman it feels like trans individuals are randomly choosing which pronoun they like best based on the shape of the word. It doesn't mean anything (right now) to anyone else but themselves.

And that's fine. Whatever helps you feel comfortable. However, our whole linguistic structure is based on understanding what things mean.

Think of society as one big computer program. Society at large has been programmed to accept these few command lines/pronouns what they mean and where they are applicable and how to use them correctly. and society at large is running into an error in confusion when approached with new command lines/neopronouns that are not recognizable (right now). Or another idea: our monkey brains try to create patterns or repetitive ideas that an be grouped together. Zer/Ker/Ner Are all new words.

I think the cis community has to and will be able to recognize xer, ker, zer, ner as pronouns in the future. But we still need to be taught on what they are. We will learn them, but it just takes time and repetition

And also disclaimer: this was my first time running into ker, ner, xer. (I have seen zer before, and assumed that was it. That zer was the accepted and only neopronoun for the community at large or Their)

And on another note.... I find it interesting how form follows function. Maybe once the cis community understands the neopronouns, they will also understand the trans community better.

And last last last note: dear Mardoll, people are stupid. So don't pay them any mind. You were able to create something that means so much to little children (both young and old) who are trying to see themselves in a book. And you gave them several to choose from.


message 20: by Pam (last edited Feb 07, 2019 06:37PM) (new)

Pam | 93 comments Another note... Because I can't stop thinking...

Is is Mardoll's role to educate? No. The introduction explained enough for xer purposes. Mardoll created a wonderful book that showed context and usage of the neopronouns spectacularly.


message 21: by MeerderWörter (new)

MeerderWörter | 120 comments Mod
Maybe the neopronouns will get a meaning one day, things usually tend to do that.
Language is in flux and changes and adapts to changes in the environment of the speakers. What is new today may be old tomorrow or in 100 years.

I too agree - it is not xer task to educate, because this is an anthology written for trans people and thus NOT as an educational tool. I still think one can learn a lot from it, but it is not an education tool in the classic sense. There are other books for that.


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