Male Femme Responds

Posted by – July 13, 2012

A transvestite of my acquaintance has written a very interesting response to the radfem anti-trans position that is worth reading. Jeffreys, and other radfems, seek to disenfranchise trans women on the basis that they are just transvestite men, and this male femme takes on why, exactly, that doesn’t make sense either.

This section is particularly interesting:

After that digression, in her final section Jeffreys asks the (for her, rhetorical) question: “Transfemininity – Transgressing Gender or Maintaining It?”, reiterating once again that “Femininity is exciting because it is the behaviour of subordination” and, further, that “it is because it is the behaviour of subordination that it cannot be preserved.” From my own perspective, femininity is not intrinsically the behaviour of subordination, so any move to eliminate it is unwarranted (never mind being hopelessly impractical). Instead, what is required is the negation of gender stereotyping, so that people are able to develop their gender freely and are free to express it as they need or wish. As for Jeffreys’ question itself, I think the answer is pretty much “neither” in all cases:

— For trans women (with whom Jeffreys is primarily concerned at this point) the question has no relevance, since trans women are not inevitably feminine; their gender is as variable as that of any other woman. (Jeffreys merely confuses sex and gender here.)

— For male submissives transgression does occur in a sexual sense, in that maleness is disassociated from stereotypical expectations of sexual dominance. Sissies might appear to render this ambiguous by coupling femininity with sexual submission, but it is still in essence male submission. In either case gender transgression is not really the point.

— For male transvestites cultural gender rules are certainly transgressed, but that doesn’t imply any real gender transgression either. As Jeffreys’ selective evidence indicates, some transvestites (like anyone else) can have quite ‘traditional’ views on gender. (A penchant for cross-dressing is no assurance of progressive values.) Moreover, transvestites’ default stealth (i.e. closetedness) rules out meaningful transgression for most of us, whatever our politics. The best that might be said is that transvestites are potentially transgressive. If we were all out and open about our (varied) gender expression, so that the assumed correlation between femininity and femaleness was shown to be false, we might well be gender transgressive. But, with a few notable exceptions, we mostly aren’t.

As much as I would rather see this embarrassing radfem position just go away, it won’t, until or unless pro-trans radfems are willing to speak up and provide logical theoretical reasons for why trans people should be included in a radical feminist agenda.

5 Comments on Male Femme Responds

  1. Autumn Sandeen says:

    I’m not holding my breath.

    I have a hard time embracing the title of feminist for myself specifically because of the antitrans statements of many of the early feminists, and of course now a loud bunch of radfems taking up the cause of that blatent form of cissexism.

    I just wish we could ignore them into a quiet fade away, but they haven’t caught on how embarassing they are to this point. They haven’t caught on as yet that they’re on the wrong side of history, and probably won’t.

  2. helenboyd says:

    Autumn

    I think it’s important to recognize that the radfem branch of feminism has historically excluded many types of women and feminists, including het women & pro sex women, kinky women, etc. depending on the type of radfem & the era.

    So for me this is nothing new & not particularly to trans women. It’s a sad, long history of “us vs them” that radfem politics seems to foster.

    God knows they never wanted me in their gang. Shoot, I like boys.

    h.

  3. lovehearty42 says:

    I guess this is coming from a skewed position, considering that I don’t consider myself a feminist, but rather a humanist. I think that if we were to embrace each others’ humanity before addressing them by titles like “gender-transgressing” or “radfem” or “Christian conservative”, all the other stuff doesn’t really matter as long as the people involved aren’t being harmed. Having perused a great number of the articles at the RadFem website, I think I can safely say that, rather than being interested in the rights and opinions of women in general (trans or no), they are interested in forcing their ideas of how women should act onto other people, and indeed they try to define who is or is not a woman. The problem isn’t that they claim they want to fight patriarchy, but that their writings show that they want to BE patriarchy (or matriarchy, as they are a group of women).

    In short (and to stop beating around the bush, no pun intended), it seems like the people at the RadFem website only seem to have their built-in vaginas with factory settings to offer the world than anything of any real value to anyone other than themselves.

  4. natasha.anon says:

    The elephant in the room here is that many of the assertions of Jeffries, Bindel, etc. are backed up by page after page after page on the web. Pages built by “trans” people themselves, documenting their fucked-up view of the world. Teh trans is rife with masochism, misogyny, bad porn and plain old fashioned stupidity.

    Where are our police? Where are the trans people telling the f-wits to grow up? They are nowhere. Instead trans people slip and slide around and pretend they’re other than what they are. Transvestites pretend to be crossdressers, who in turn claim “transgendered”, who say they’re transsexual, and of course transsexuals, seeing all the weirdos, claim to be intersex.

    Healthy? I think not. The radfems might be blunt, but I think they have a lot to tell us.

  5. Anastasia says:

    Guilt by association, eh? There are some fucked up transpeople out there, so every transperson must be fucked up, right? How is this different from the generalizations old-line anti-feminists make about “women?”

    You should be happy to know (but maybe you don’t care) that I don’t think all feminists are essentialist, fucked-up bitches just because Jeffreys, Bindel, and the other rad fems are out there. Not to mention those people who deliberately mis-use the term ‘misogyny.’ Or those who claim they are the only ones who are ‘healthy.’

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