I’ve been reading a lof of radical feminists’ blogs the last days and I’m trying to list all objections to gay trans men I’ve found.
(Because ever since I’ve first heard about those objections, I’ve been fascinated by their internal logic, or lack of, in some cases)
Essential reading for this post is “A brief history of white androgynous radical queerness.” I’ll wait.
The point of this post is to, in part, explain why I never bother dealing with [r]dfms myself and also why, as some people occasionally wonder, if [r]dfmnism can ever be reformed.
1. White patriarchy and [r]dfms
By making teh patriarchy being the fundamental axis of oppression all they do is re-enforce the *white* patriarchy as colonial tool used to subjugate people across the globe. (yes, [r]dfms, this means that you are actually complicit in the oppression of women of colour everywhere). This wikipedia article notes that early [r]dfms viewed the patriarchy as ‘transhistorical’ which is so absurd that, well, such a point shouldn’t need refuting. And I’m not really going to refute it. Especially not by pointing out the many, many, many non-white pre-colonial (and ocassionally still existent) non-patriarchical societies and civilizations that have existed. Because [r]dfms, for the most part, aren’t interested in facts or history.
[r]dfms consistently fail to see and understand how the patriarchy so currently omnipresent in the world is a result of white colonialism, a colonialism that they currently benefit from (as white people), perpetuate, and are complicit in. This particularly holds true when the few ‘race conscious’ ones decided to get on that white saviour horse and try to liberate those Black and/or Brown and/or Indigenous and/or Asian women in the third world from their savage men. In doing so, they fail to understand how their actions and theories always presuppose the primacy and supremacy of *white* patriarchy, thereby reifying and enforcing the very thing they claim to be against.
2. [r]dfms, transmisogyny, and white supremacy
The importance of point one as context for the transmisogynistic theories and veiws of [r]dfems cannot be stressed enough. The intertwinning of [r]dfmnism and colonialism is important and part of why they stay being white supremacist.
It goes further than that, of course.
While [r]dfms don’t believe in intersectionality (as if it were the easter bunny), my race cannot actually be separated from my gender. At all. Who I am is rooted in my culture. (I’m gonna be using white terms to describe myself in this discussion for the sake of convenience — do not turn around and use any of these words for me, I still and always only use bakla as my gender/sexual ID).
Being a trans feminine poc, who if forced to pick a white gender would probably transition to being a woman, I am one of the perennial targets of [r]dfms. One of their biggest bones of contention tends to be that I’d be appropriating the ‘woman’ identity.
But note how this always presupposes the default ‘white’ position. Having a white [r]dfm tell me that I’m appropriating their identity is ridiculous beyond belief. Because I’ll never be a white woman. Like. I’d be a Filipina. And the only people able to tell me whether or not I’m appropriating their IDs are other Filipinas. End of story.
Nonetheless, who I am is a product of my culture. So. When [r]dfems run around shouting that ‘men in dresses’ are disgusting and should be mandated out of existence, they are calling for nothing less than genocide of me and mine. Because it can never, ever be a neutral thing for a white mouth to say that me and my fellow trans feminine poc should simply cease existing. Moreover, as per point one, white people already tried this shit (and as your obvious example shows, stay trying to do this). And if you think you can do better than 400+ of colonization and missionaries and shit, you are wrong.
We were here before white people came and we’ll be here after white supremacy has been dismantled.
But really. [R]dfms are really part of a longer history of white colonialism, white supremacy, and genocidal tactics that have been going on for hundreds of years. Neither their claims nor their methods are unique (or, dare i say it, radical).
3. the consequences
Perhaps one of the biggest clues that [r]dfem rhetoric is inherently white supremacist, is gleaned from looking at the consequences of their actions and organizing.
The consequences of transhobia (particularly transmisogyny) are largely and most heavily felt and experienced by those trans people of colour. You’ve only needed to pay the slightest bit of attention to notice the many reports of Black trans women who’ve been violently attacked or murdered this year. And this doesn’t touch on the poverty, sex work, and seriously reduced access to the medical industrial complex (and if you think this comment is only about *transitioning*… well. no).
But going globally, the consequences are such that bakla in the Philippines went from being assistants to women who served as spiritual leaders, to be beauty parlor operators (if they are lucky) or sex workers (often for white tourist men). It is such that in Latin@ countries, trans women often face violent oppression (see the numerous refugees). That places like China have entirely forgotton or suppressed their long history of gender variance.
And all of this is the consequences of white patriarchy and its attendant binarism/gender roles. This is the result of the same system that white [r]dfems benefit from, perpetuate, and enforce (often in disgustingly violent ways).
It is neither accidental nor unintentional that the people suffering most from white [r]dfms are trans feminine people of colour. This is only to be expected from a white supremacist ideology.
4. conclusions and last thoughts
My hope with this post is simply to illuminate the larger historical context of colonialism under which [r]dfms operate. There are other ways, shocker, that you can understand their ideology as being inherently white supremacist.
But for me, it will always be the fact that their ideology of liberation is such that it would require the complete and utter genocide of all trans poc (as well as wholesale destruction of the cultures we belong to), really says it all. For the only way that women of colour anywhere could achieve white [r]dfm liberation would be to first, accept the white gender model and, the, to remove all Indigenous traces of their previous society.
tl;dr Any group that calls for the genocide or complete erasure of a group of poc is and always will be inherently white supremacist.
[as always, if I reblog something and you take issue with it, don’t take it to the blogger, take it to my ask box, where I’m happy to talk to you]
So you can block her pre-emptively before she stalks you again.
This hateful waste of carbon based life stalks people online and then outs them to their families, coworkers, etc. Report and block and reblog please!
In case you don’t know who Cathy Brennan is.
Sylvia Rivera kicking ass on stage after some radfems & transphobes tried to refuse her the right to speak at the 1973 Christopher Street Liberation Day rally. Said radfems then had their own march in part protesting trans participation in Pride. A precursor to today’s Dyke March.
40 years later in the very same park trans women are still fighting for space within Pride as this year’s Dyke March fiasco demonstrated. I’m feeling challenged and troubled by the narrative that trans women’s response to transphobia must take the “form of serious, calm, point by point analyses of why radfems are wrong” as Stephen Ira pointed out.
What strikes me about this video is that she isn’t trying to be calm and collected after being attacked. She’s not internalizing the notion that fighting transphobia has to take on the oppressive notion of “respectability.”
These conversations have left me wondering: has the non profit industrial complex and professionalized activism gentrified our political activity?
So within all of that, I say: nothing but love and power to trans women creating space for ourselves in queer community! Special shout out to Voz who inspired this post!
I really appreciate your practice of pointing out historical precedent in the process of movement making, especially because radfems pretend that politically outspoken trans women are some new, millenial invention, when of course they know that trans women have been speaking for years. They present a really dangerously ahistorical vision of the world, is I guess what I’m trying to say.
If anyone isn’t following Reina, you should fix that right now!
(I’m glad I said something helpful.)
did you know that if you search “women born women” on google they try to sell you very unattractive clogs?
radscum take note
It’s almost 6am here in New York City. I just got back from a long night of partying post-Dyke March, my very first Dyke March ever. I was honored to lead the march with the banner, touched to see so many of our allies cheering us on, and just proud to be able to celebrate being who I am. Now, as I sit in my kitchen, decompressing, I have time to reflect on an incident that occurred during Dyke March that will surely make its rounds on the feminist blogosphere. I’m choosing to address this now, before the video is published, because I have nothing to hide or be ashamed of.
Cathy “Bug” Brennan, a woman who spends much of her life fostering hatred toward trans women (trigger warning for transmisogyny on those links, her entire blog, basically her entire existence), has posted on her Twitter, Tumblr, and I’m sure every other venue she can access, about trans activists “assaulting” her at Dyke March. Well, folks, I have no problem saying it - I, Holly Renee Reinhardt, am one of the people who “assaulted” her.
For those of you who don’t know, Cathy pretty much spends every waking moment doing something to alienate trans women from women-oriented spaces. She has this asinine theory that trans women want to be included in these spaces because they have a desire to sexually harass lesbians. She has written quite a few nasty things about people that I know personally, for no other reason than being who they are. Basically, Cathy Brennan is the type of person that I went in to activism to fight against.
After the march had completed at Washington Square Park, my dear friend approached me saying that she wanted to talk to Cathy, who happened to be at the Dyke March, but wanted folks standing with her in solidarity so that Cathy would see that she wasn’t alone in feeling this way.
My initial reaction to Cathy when she greeted my friend was that, perhaps, she was going to sincerely apologize for the horrible things she had done, and truly have an open discussion. But the tone from Cathy changed, and my friend kept trying to speak up, only to be interrupted time and time and time again by Cathy Brennan and her ignorance. I couldn’t keep my mouth shut anymore.
I spoke up and, quite powerfully, told her to give my friend a voice, because trans women are always silenced. This was met with Cathy repeatedly interrupting me. I tried to start the conversation with a simple “Look, we’re both cis women, let’s level here”, but Cathy freaked out and insisted that she doesn’t identify that way. Being the person I am, I immediately apologized for misgendering her, not realizing that she meant that she actually doesn’t believe in the word “cisgender”. She asked if we could talk, we walked over to the edge of the park, and the group followed us. That’s where shit, as they say, hit the fan.
Cathy sat down on a bench, immediately asking if anyone would like to sit in her lap. When someone called her out for sexually harassing us, she dismissed us like we were too insensitive, that it was a joke. It definitely was her idea of a joke, but at the same time, she insists that trans women are “bullying” lesbians in to sleeping with them. The failing logic only escalated.
At this point, I can’t even recall all of exactly what was said, but it ended up being about a dozen folks being mostly silent while myself and another person were the folks that were mainly talking to her. She kept interrupting us when we had valid points to make, she deliberately misgendered the other person in the argument, she consistently played the victim while denying that she did anything to deserve having folks call her out. My favorite part was that, when I brought up the fact that trans women are dying every single day because folks like her perpetuate transphobia, she harped on the fact that women are killed all the time because of systematic oppression. I wasn’t arguing with her on that, but the point is this - nothing I have done or said has intentionally contributed to the bullying and harassment of a marginalized group. I most certainly have not written an open letter to her parents, condemning her for being a dyke, or any of the countless amount of things she’s done to bully trans women.
She continued to pile on hate-filled rant after hate-filled rant, to the point that, after I decided to leave before it escalated any worse than it already had, I went to my friends and immediately broke down, sobbing hysterically, dealing with a panic attack. If anyone was harassing anyone, it was Cathy Brennan and her delusional diatribes in which she invalidated the existence of the people I love, triggered several other people to the point of tears, and played the victim while doing it. Not to mention that she had her (ignorant, delusional) posse stand beside her, filming the entire thing with smug looks on their faces. If Cathy felt she were being harassed, she could have left, but instead, she continued stoking the fire so that she would get a rise out of us to show to her followers who have, without ANY details whatsoever, come to the conclusion that we are worse than religious activists, that we are horrible people, etc.
I lost my temper, I’m not going to skate around that. Folks who know me know that it takes a lot to get me truly angry. I blow off steam sometimes, but this was pure anger coming out of me, something I can’t ever remember feeling. I was angry because I am so tired of trans women not having voices in the feminist and queer communities. I am tired of these women being shut down when they finally DO have the chance to speak. I am tired of people claiming to be feminists, then giving the movement a bad name, to the point where I can no longer feel comfortable identifying as such. I was tired of my dear friend, time after time, being told that her feelings were invalid in activist spaces. I felt that I, as an ally, had the responsibility of speaking up, and I did.
My trans sisters are dying every single day because people like Cathy Brennan foster such hatred and bigotry. So do I regret losing my temper? No. Am I sorry that she felt uncomfortable because she had to deal with a couple of trans folks and their allies calling her out on her bullshit? Hell no.
I’m not going to kiss anyone’s ass or apologize for losing my cool with someone so delusional, who treats my sisters like they are sub-human. You reap what you sow.
You know you’re a transmisogynst when…
Your existence is a trigger warning
I don’t know if I would have had the courage to engage with her at all in that situation.
Her calling it “assault” is not surprising in the least. Hell, half of her reasoning for the shit she does is this overblown idea of how victimized she is by the trans community.
True story: Brennan was the inspiration for TERF War.
Anonymous asked: Are you saying that a lesbian female does not have the right to take action against threats when they're made by trans people?
No. I have repeatedly stated ways in which Brennan could have taken action that would not have endangered this person’s safety.
I am saying that she has no right to endanger people and act as though this was the only possible course of action, which in this situation was clearly not the case.
Also, this bears repeating: Cathy Brennan is an adult in her forties. The person whom she outed is a minor.
Anonymous asked: cathy brennan didn't out rufus as trans to his school. she reported him for making repeated death and rape threats to women, after she alerted tumblr and they did nothing. there are consequences to actions.
In her actions, she made this kid’s status clear to their school. This is unacceptable. As I have said here many times, there is no reason to report this person’s actions to their school. Firstly, doing this puts the person under threat. Yes, it it appropriate and necessary for someone to receive consequences for rape jokes and violent threats of any sort. This does not make it okay for a woman in her forties to endanger the safety of a child.
Secondly, there is zero relationship between a person’s online activities and their school, unless the activity takes place on school computers. Although Brennan has claimed that the kid used school computers, I am unwilling to believe someone who has repeatedly proved herself to lie.
Anonymous asked: I don't agree with Brennan on much (anything) but evenweirdosneedtoreblog definitely sent dozens and dozens of messages to her on multiple platforms (Tumblr/FB/maybe Twitter?) on a daily and weekly basis. She notified the school b/c she was being harassed. I don't think what she did was the right answer, but evenweirdosneedtoreblog kept sending really creepy harassing misogynistic messages. I feel like that aspect is getting lost.
I don’t understand how outing the student to their school is the appropriate or even useful course of action here. If Brennan is dealing with online harassment, she should block the people in question, and if blocking does not work she should contact the websites in question.
We are talking about a situation in which a grown woman chose to antagonize, then out, a teenager. I don’t understand how this can possibly seem appropriate to you.
blueblotts asked: Dol you know are there any John Darnielle fanfictions?
There are many, but unlike much other fanfic, they are almost entirely sexless. The governing trope of John Darnielle fanfic is called “slay or...
Oh by the way I got the solo
I guess I’ll be
Closin the show
in other news stephen ira’s blogging is on point tonight
mattachinereview asked: have all the moments you like :3
“female to girl who can’t say no”
and “female to mage” (true neutral)
are having a moment.
I get irrationally upset when I find out someone who I didn’t like in high school is queer now.
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