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This past weekend, I visited the city where I went to graduate school and caught up with a good friend of mine from my PhD days, who still lives there. We talked about politics a little bit, and as the title suggests, I just couldn't resist the opportunity to ask about trans hoo-ha-- especially since it's more relevant now that Roe's been overturned, and we're seeing the division sown into feminism clear as day.

Luckily, he wasn't turned off by our conversation despite being very much indoctrinated into TRA talking points, which I, too, fell prey to for a minute while still in the academy. The cool thing is, I also got to see first-hand what TRA logic is from someone who's just trying to bE kInD (and not just the preddit screenshots here).

When I brought up Lia Thomas and how he took away scholarship opportunities for women (along with likely dozens of others, if not hundreds, of TIM athletes), he said that he heard ("but can't remember the source") that the statistics for trans athletes actually outperforming women are so scant as to be negligible. Nevertheless, I brought up this point: "But what about the women who ARE displaced? Too fucking bad and fuck your feelings?" He had nothing to say in response, but got kind of quiet and said, "Well, I'll have to think about that."

Another thing I brought up is how offensive I find the terms "bleeder," "uterus owner," etc, and how we can see the misogyny of this movement because men are not called "ejaculators" or "scrotum owners." I also said that iNcLuSiVe language surrounding pregnancy and abortion limits meaningful discussion about what's actually going on, because it's no longer understood as a WOMAN'S issue. He dug his heels in on this one, saying that trans men and non-binary people can get pregnant, but I didn't have a good logical response to that that he'd buy (because, to me, the obvious answer is THEY ARE WOMEN, but that's not going to work with someone who hasn't peaked yet). Any ideas for how to respond in a way that could get a TRA to bite?

I also brought up how it's wrong that women are being subjected to being around penises they did not consent to see in locker rooms, spas, etc, to which he said, "Well, I'm inclined to think of the trans women here, and their feelings as marginalized individuals," to which I said, "Whether or not they're truly marginalized is something we can talk about another time, but I think it's pretty clear that their feelings are placed above those of biological women. Not only is it misguided -- instead of socializing women that sOmE wOmEn HaVe pEnIsEs, we should be socializing MEN that not every dude is a GI Joe Alpha-type -- it recreates the age-old socialization of women: "Just be quiet, your feelings come last, and IF there's a chance after dealing with everyone else but you, we'll try our best." That stopped him in his tracks and said, "You're right... I'll have to think about that." Because the woke folk, you see, want to be good feminists too. That's how we can trap them... by LOGIC.

Because this is all LOGICAL, no?

Last: predictably, he didn't read what JK Rowling tweeted nor the essay that she wrote. I told him the response to her is what got me thinking this way, because the misogyny was so overwhelming (death + rape threats, but also the other age-old story: if a woman says something out of line, BURN THE WITCH).

It's not confirmed whether or not I peaked him, but I saw the wheels turning. And what I love about this guy is that he isn't cutting me out of his life for these views, lol.

LAST FOR REAL: I caught up with another PhD friend who's now a professor, and she said that while she and I USED to be considered lefty radical types, that she now feels "ancient" compared to the Gen Z students, lol. It was fascinating: not only are they so sensitive and easily "triggered" that even turning things in on-time or showing up to class is now essentially too much to ask of them, she and I vibed on the gender stuff. She's apparently peaked on her own, and I'm SO HAPPY because she's a Bay Area hippie who's been in the academic world for fifteen years... and she said she's really concerned about it.

PRAISE BE. We are not alone!

This past weekend, I visited the city where I went to graduate school and caught up with a good friend of mine from my PhD days, who still lives there. We talked about politics a little bit, and as the title suggests, I just couldn't resist the opportunity to ask about trans hoo-ha-- especially since it's more relevant now that Roe's been overturned, and we're seeing the division sown into feminism clear as day. Luckily, he wasn't turned off by our conversation despite being very much indoctrinated into TRA talking points, which I, too, fell prey to for a minute while still in the academy. The cool thing is, I also got to see first-hand what TRA logic is from someone who's just trying to bE kInD (and not just the preddit screenshots here). When I brought up Lia Thomas and how he took away scholarship opportunities for women (along with likely dozens of others, if not hundreds, of TIM athletes), he said that he heard ("but can't remember the source") that the statistics for trans athletes actually outperforming women are so scant as to be negligible. Nevertheless, I brought up this point: "But what about the women who ARE displaced? Too fucking bad and fuck your feelings?" He had nothing to say in response, but got kind of quiet and said, "Well, I'll have to think about that." Another thing I brought up is how offensive I find the terms "bleeder," "uterus owner," etc, and how we can see the misogyny of this movement because men are not called "ejaculators" or "scrotum owners." I also said that iNcLuSiVe language surrounding pregnancy and abortion limits meaningful discussion about what's actually going on, because it's no longer understood as a WOMAN'S issue. He dug his heels in on this one, saying that trans men and non-binary people can get pregnant, but I didn't have a good logical response to that that he'd buy (because, to me, the obvious answer is THEY ARE WOMEN, but that's not going to work with someone who hasn't peaked yet). Any ideas for how to respond in a way that could get a TRA to bite? I also brought up how it's wrong that women are being subjected to being around penises they did not consent to see in locker rooms, spas, etc, to which he said, "Well, I'm inclined to think of the trans women here, and their feelings as marginalized individuals," to which I said, "Whether or not they're truly marginalized is something we can talk about another time, but I think it's pretty clear that their feelings are placed above those of biological women. Not only is it misguided -- instead of socializing women that sOmE wOmEn HaVe pEnIsEs, we should be socializing MEN that not every dude is a GI Joe Alpha-type -- it recreates the age-old socialization of women: "Just be quiet, your feelings come last, and IF there's a chance after dealing with everyone else but you, we'll try our best." That stopped him in his tracks and said, "You're right... I'll have to think about that." Because the woke folk, you see, want to be good feminists too. That's how we can trap them... by LOGIC. Because this is all LOGICAL, no? Last: predictably, he didn't read what JK Rowling tweeted nor the essay that she wrote. I told him the response to her is what got me thinking this way, because the misogyny was so overwhelming (death + rape threats, but also the other age-old story: if a woman says something out of line, BURN THE WITCH). It's not confirmed whether or not I peaked him, but I saw the wheels turning. And what I love about this guy is that he isn't cutting me out of his life for these views, lol. LAST FOR REAL: I caught up with another PhD friend who's now a professor, and she said that while she and I USED to be considered lefty radical types, that she now feels "ancient" compared to the Gen Z students, lol. It was fascinating: not only are they so sensitive and easily "triggered" that even turning things in on-time or showing up to class is now essentially too much to ask of them, she and I vibed on the gender stuff. She's apparently peaked on her own, and I'm SO HAPPY because she's a Bay Area hippie who's been in the academic world for fifteen years... and she said she's really concerned about it. PRAISE BE. We are not alone!

27 comments

Excellent! I wonder what he would’ve said if you put it like this: “So women are being asked to give up our language and our spaces to appease men (transmen) and former men (transwomen)? Sounds like patriarchy to me.”

I agree-- the only thing is, the TRAs and their handmaidens purport to believe that TIPs are who their delusions say they are. So unfortunately this logic won't work! (Although it did peak me out of believing in True Trans when my hardcore radfemm BFF put it this way: "At the end of the day, it's still just people with dicks telling people with vaginas what to do." Amen...

He dug his heels in on this one, saying that trans men and non-binary people can get pregnant, but I didn't have a good logical response to that that he'd buy (because, to me, the obvious answer is THEY ARE WOMEN, but that's not going to work with someone who hasn't peaked yet). Any ideas for how to respond in a way that could get a TRA to bite?\

Besides the obvious "its dehumanizing" reason:

Trans ideology is more popular amongst white, educated, upper/middle class people. People outside of that demographic tend to don't know, believe, or care for it. The most effective response Ive used is saying that youre ensuring that women that are outside of that demographic and/or dont speak english fluently understand that the women's issues you're talking about affects them because language like "people with uteruses/cervixes" can cause confusion among them as those are advanced medical terms. Essentially, transmen and nonbinary women KNOW that they are affected by womens issues which is why they always say "um acksually its women and transmen and enbys!", but women who do not have the knowledge of gender theory (typically not higher educated and ESL women) wont necessarily know that this is an issue that affects women. I've had to explain to my older relatives what a transman is, and they were very confused and literally thought that a transman can impregnate a woman. If anyone says "well its not inclusive of trans people" you can reply with "im being inclusive of women who are disadvantaged and dont speak english fluently, should they not know that this is something that affects them as women?

Another reason is saying "women and transmen" or "people with uteruses" its easy for republicans to weaponize the fact that it obfuscates that its a woman issue, so it makes them easier to hide misogyny in their laws that they pass. A man will feel comfortable making laws about womens bodies if he can say "well this isnt about womens rights. as you said, men can get pregnant. so therefore I have the right to comment on this"

Heres a good paper about why we should just say women. Since your friend is a scholarly type he might be more convinced by it https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fgwh.2022.818856/full

Random thought here….The GenX sub is largely made up of parents of GenZ. It’s interesting how the GenX parents think their kids are “just like us” and “not like millennials”. I can’t help but think they are all just a tad delusional when it comes to their own kids.

we are not alone! So many leftys are just being silent to keep our jobs. I mean, hello inflation.

[–] Luckystar 4 points Edited

Awesome! I could probably be classified as a "Bay Area hippie" as well. I think there are more of us than we realize, the problem is the social costs for speaking out can be SO high (loss of job etc) that we just avoid the topic. Your experiences are exciting to hear about!

Btw

the statistics for trans athletes actually outperforming women are so scant as to be negligible

My snappiest come back to this line of reasoning is to ask them if we should legalize murder because "It's not like most people die of murder anyway". If something is wrong, it's wrong regardless of whether it happens 1 time or 1 million times.

Good work. Re: abortion not being a womens issue because of nb and trans men, the best response is that if it were truly the case that we wanted to help these outliers, we’d be using language like women and trans men. But we’re not. We’re eliminating the word woman.

I still can't wrap my head around that one... not to be a stickler! I'm just trying to come up with something absolute and totally air-tight that anyone with a modicum of common sense couldn't refute-- intellectual checkmate. If I were a TRA (which I'm fucking NOT), I'd probably retort with something like "transmen invalidates the fact that they're MEN," or some other hoo-ha. (That's what I've heard a few times now from TRAs personally and in response to C. N. Adiche's very good point that "trans women are trans women, who benefited from male privilege and were socialized male up until the point of transition, and have very different experiences from those of us born as women." Anyway, I feel like we could make the logic here a little tighter. I just can't articulate it yet...

" He dug his heels in on this one, saying that trans men and non-binary people can get pregnant, but I didn't have a good logical response to that that he'd buy (because, to me, the obvious answer is THEY ARE WOMEN, but that's not going to work with someone who hasn't peaked yet). Any ideas for how to respond in a way that could get a TRA to bite?"

FtM Trans men are still listed as Female for medical insurance purposes atleast until they have had a complete hysterectomy and no longer have any Female reproductive organs. This is just standard, so that TIF's can still get Female bodied specific medical care such as pap smears, cancer screenings, birth control, hysterectomy, etc. An abortion is a medical service that Female bodied people may need, and they are listed that way just like a TIF might need a cervical cancer screening or pap smear. We are arguing over linguistic bullshit that doesn't matter, because the right to abortion is automatically going to cover the people who need said abortion.

I don't’ think this is true.

I’ve seen a news story about a TIF almost dying because the hospital was using male blood ranges (kidneys or liver function) and multiple stories and posts about TIFs and TIMs having issues with insurance denying sex based care because they changed their gender marker.

My friend is a nurse and she didn’t know her TIF patient was a woman until she saw estrogen cream on her med list and asked about it. She does home nursing, like infusions, idk what she was seeing her for.

My guess is that as the amount of people identifying as trans has grown and most doctors have a lot of confusion on this stuff. I used to be TIF and on hormones. I know for myself that for insurance purposes my gender marker never changed. My driver's license did, but never my medical insurance for these reasons.

I can see mistakes happening though for sure, like doctors interpreting blood work wrong as you mentioned because in day to day interactions the doctors either don't get informed or there are misunderstandings. Thwy don't double check your gender marker on your insurance, they go off of your presentation,, sitting in front of them. I one time had to have a surgery for a kidney stone that involved a catether and at the last second I heard the surgeon confused thinking I was a man with a penis. I had explained but there was still that confusion. I assume a lot of TIP's don't disclose it to the medical professionals in the room with them and it can lead to misdiagnosis and errors.

A TRA would probably claim that being listed as "female" on a form is bigotry, and probably wouldn't work to convince them of our point...

While that's likely true, at this point, I guess my last resort would be to ask the TRA "So you're saying all trans men don't need female care? So they are immune to things like cervical cancer and endometriosis? How does that work; do cancer cells automatically know that they aren't allowed to be transphobic, so they better not grow in a trans man??"

The point about cancer cells effectively not respecting their host’s pronouns is pretty powerful lol 😂 Shows the limits of identity, and how it can’t supplant biological lived reality.

But they already know that's how they are listed on their medical insurance. It's not a surprise to any TIF. Medical insurance wouldn't cover a hysterectomy for someone listed as male. Just like an abortion would never be done on a male. They medically have the organs required to ever need an abortion.

That's awesome. I do have a small bit of advice on what you could say to him next time in terms of the language TRAs use:

Notice that we went straight from "women" to dehumanizing terms like "menstrator" and "uterus haver" to be inclusive. Straight to it. If it's about inclusion, why didn't we just add the TIPs into the mix and call it a day? Why didn't everyone start with saying something like "women, NBs and transmen"? Why is it such a problem for us to say something like AFAB? I think you should ask him that.

Also, have him consider that women don't have a word anymore even though it's clear as day that we experience oppression because of our sex. Every other marginalized group on the PLANET has a word to describe their group easily and concisely -- except women now. Women no longer means "female people" according to TRAs and were not allowed to use afab. So women aren't allowed to discuss us and our issues. How is that feminist again?

Someone had the excellent point on Ovarit a few days ago that the inclusion isn't for REAL women-- it's for TIMs who are so creepily obsessed with (and jealous) the fact that we, as women, have the power to GIVE BIRTH that we can't trigger their delicate, delicate "dysphoria" with discussions of our biological lived realities.

Still don't know how to explain that to a TRA, though.

I’m glad you got his wheels turning at least.

For the bleeder nonsense: 305,832 babies were born in Australia in 2019, 22 have TIF moms. I chose Australia because I had see something about the 22 pregnant TIFs on here, idk if other countries have this data.

Why should we complicate our language for such a small percentage of women? They could make their own websites and pamphlets for their ‘seahorse pregnancies’. Planned parenthood could make a special section for ‘nontraditional birthing parents’. Having their own sources makes sense anyway, because if they’ve taken medical steps like taking testosterone, that does change things.

What about ESL women or under educated women? We shouldn’t make important health information harder to understand.

Birth statistics https://www.abs.gov.au/statistics/people/population/births-australia/2019 Pregnant ‘men’ https://www.timesnownews.com/health/article/data-shows-22-australian-men-gave-birth-last-year-how-can-a-man-get-pregnant/465021

[–] Hollyhock 3 points Edited

Also, if a TiF needs maternity care, I would support a nurse or midwife using the TiFs preferred language primarily to keep the TiF's stress levels down as they manage pregnancy, labor and delivery. If you are dealing with a woman with severe mental illness going through a pregnancy, you'd make accommodations as well in order to help keep her stress levels low. Midwifes and OBGYN are not supposed to be tasked with treating mental illness as much as supporting a woman who has one. And, frankly, if you're giving birth and insist on being called a man, I call that a mental illness.

But changing all language for the general maternity audience, OH HELL NO.

[–] [Deleted] 1 points Edited

I see your point. Unfortunately -- and playing devil's advocate here, if only for the sake of making the argumentation as airtight as possible -- the TRA talking point is that this "small percentage of women" are THE MOST VULNERABLE GROUP OF BIRTHING PEOPLE OUT THERE. Plus, remember-- THEY'RE NOT WOMEN, you bigot, and that's the point! I feel like we're getting closer here...

[–] Luckystar 6 points Edited

Ask them if they really think that the they/thems are more vulnerable than immigrant women with limited English? If you really wanna go full woke add on "undocumented" or "of color" (non woman specific terms that remind them of men they feel sympathy for, to trick them into caring about women lol)

Proud of you!!! I like reading about the experiences people have talking to their friends about this issue. I tried this a couple of weeks back with a very close friend. She called me hateful and transphobic and got up and left me in the cafe we were in.

She hasn’t spoken to me since.

[–] Tabitha_Tuesday 12 points Edited

The behavior is exactly like cultists. If you're not in the cult, the others in the cult are ordered to stop speaking to you (shunning). You're a "Suppressive Person (SP)."

I'm so sorry to hear it. I've grown distant from a friend from this very issue as well, but another friend has come back into my life after being sucked pretty deep in ("I'm not poly or queer, I'm just ME," she said yesterday -- YES!!). Hang in there...

Thanks, it seems that a lot of people have lost friendships over this! That’s so good to hear that another friend came back around!

On the language thing for your friend - the argument I always go back to is that it may exclude women who do not speak English fluently and therefore don’t know what is relevant to them. For example here in Ireland, a lot of the cervical cancer information removed the word woman from their literature and advice. Therefore maybe opening women to a greater risk by not stating explicitly that they are the group at risk.