Thursday, May 08, 2014

I Hate Lumping People Together

I hate it when trans-people label all gays and lesbians and feminists together; just like any communities there are good and there bad members of a community. For example feminist are not all “Trans Exclusionary Radical Feminists” (TERFs), those that see the trans-community as part of women community far outnumber the radicals. Down in Australia a radical feminist just published a book ,
Gender theorist questions transgender "phenomenon"
A respected feminist theorist is calling for a radical rethink of society's acceptance of transgenderism.
By Ryan Sheales
April 30, 2014

In research presented in the new book Gender Hurts, University of Melbourne sexual politics lecturer Professor Sheila Jeffreys described transgenderism as a "hugely harmful phenomenon".
Professor Jeffreys believed increasing campaigns for "transgender rights" have been extremely damaging.

"Transgenderism is invariably born of severe psychological distress, but society's response to it actually creates new harms," she said.

"Gender Hurts highlights the distress caused to the partners and families of transgender people, and the agonizing regret sometimes felt by people who switch gender."

Dr Jeffreys also argued transgenderism undermines women's rights by seeking to expand entry into 'women only' spaces, such as toilets, changerooms, women's shelters and even rape helplines.
Now contrast that with what Judith Butler said in an interview in the TransAdvocate,
Gender Performance: The TransAdvocate interviews Judith Butler
By Cristan Williams
May 1, 2014

JB:  I have never agreed with Sheila Jeffreys or Janice Raymond, and for many years have been on quite the contrasting side of feminist debates.  She appoints herself to the position of judge, and she offers a kind of feminist policing of trans lives and trans choices.  I oppose this kind of prescriptivism, which seems me to aspire to a kind of feminist tyranny.

If she makes use of social construction as a theory to support her view, she very badly  misunderstands its terms.  In her view, a trans person is “constructed” by a medical discourse and therefore is the victim of a social construct.  But this idea of social constructs does not acknowledge that all of us, as bodies, are in the active position of figuring out how to live with and against the constructions  – or norms – that help to form us.  We form ourselves within the vocabularies that we did not choose, and sometimes we have to reject those vocabularies, or actively develop new ones.  For instance, gender assignment is a “construction” and yet many genderqueer and trans people refuse those assignments in part or in full.  That refusal opens the way for a more radical form of self-determination, one that happens in solidarity with others who are undergoing a similar struggle.
JB: I see no problem with women having a penis, and men having a vagina. People can have whatever primary characteristics they have (whether given or acquired) and that does not necessarily imply what gender they will be, or want to be.
Judith Butler’s and Sheila Jeffreys’ views are a 180o apart and Judith Butler is not alone in her think there are many other feminists who believe as she does.

Meanwhile, at the Michigan Womyn's Music Festival Lea DeLaria has backed out, according to ROYGRIV Jezebe,
This year's lineup for Michigan Womyn's Music Festival has been announced and the inclusion of Orange is the New Black star Lea DeLaria, who has decided not to attend, had raised some eyebrows across sections of the LGBT+ community given that the festival's trans exclusionary policy is still in effect and would prohibit the attendance of co-star Laverne Cox.

The list was announced by MichFest on the official festival Facebook page. To many, the inclusion of DeLaria seemed strange, given the support she has publicly given to Cox, and given the fact that a number of MichFest's most famous acts, including the Indigo Girls and Andrea Gibson, have publicly parted ways with the event.
So let us not lump all feminist together, like any community it is made up of diverse views.

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