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17 comments

[–] ComplicatedSpirit 16 points (+16|-0)

One of the best I’ve ever read. Thanks for posting.

It raises a good point: perhaps part of the pity-party surrounding TIMs is not merely their masterful manipulation - they’ve been shown in research to be positively ridden with NPD - but also because of the concept that they’ve given up the greatest thing ever; manhood.

Because being a woman is shameful, just like being poor. It’s bad enough to be born poor, of course, but how tragic-yet-beautiful it is to be rich and become poor, willingly. It’s lowering oneself in a meek, humble way.

Because women are weak and humble. To be a woman is to be weak and humble. To become a woman is to become weak and humble. It is weakening and humbling to “become” a woman.

Ergo, culturally, TIMs play on the degrading station of women for their own ends, to seek pity. “A woman born at the bottom, has always been there: but I fell to the bottom from the top, so I hit the ground harder and it hurt more.” Not spoken out loud, because it doesn’t need to be.

[–] orchidea 13 points (+13|-0)

A very nice article. The point about people unquestioningly prioritizing trans-identified males above women as motivated by wanting to 'compensate' these men for debasing themselves to the 'subhuman' level of woman is something I have thought about before. I think there are also other possibilities. For example, the "sacralizing" of TIMs may from a place of pity and guilt. Pity, because it is sad and uncomfortable to see someone fighting against reality (in the case of TIMs who declare they are women, as opposed to a man who just dresses in a 'gender-non-conforming' way). It's hard to comprehend for people who are well-adjusted and don't hate themselves or their bodies. And guilt may result not only from feeling pity, but also for feeling some (involuntary) revulsion at how some TIMs present themselves. Because let's be honest, most of them do not pass, and I don't want to sound cruel saying it, but many of them look dreadful dressed up in women's clothes. A case in point being a 60 year-old AGP wearing clothes designed for a 20 year-old at a spring break party. What do they expect? If a 60 year-old woman wore the same thing, she'd be crucified for it, or people would at least be sniggering about it behind her back. But heaven forfend they do the same for a man! Well-mannered people who want to be kind probably feel the same recoil, then feel guilty and overcompensate for it.

[–] KBash 9 points (+9|-0) Edited

On one of Glinner’s podcasts, Art Morty suggested that it might also be driven by the sympathy of mainly-het men with bisexual tendencies who feel ashamed of them, or who are turned on by the idea of “chick with a dick” because they can explore their bisexuality without feeling like it makes them gay. Such men don’t usually think of the obsessive paraphiliacs, they think of extremely feminine gay boys presenting as girls. Their idea of trans-identifying males is mostly fantasy too, and their support might arise from pity, from sympathy or even empathy (from men who also feel uncomfortable with masculinity), to sexual curiosity and attraction; essentially, trans women mean something to both gay and straight men which evokes a strong emotion, whether pity (the charitable face of contempt), empathy, or curiosity, all of which is to say that non-trans males sympathize or empathize with trans males AS MALES.

In contrast, men find it extremely hard to empathize with women, I think, and tend to think of us mainly in stereotypes (to be fair, I think we probably do that to men, too; gender roles have made seeing each other as full human beings really difficult. The difference is that we are not creating laws and legislation surrounding stereotypes; any laws and legislation feminists lobby for is based on cold hard data and statistics. “The illogical sex” my ass)! In fact, I’d venture that the stereotypes or social scripts around women are mostly incorrect in a way that makes women look much worse than we are, whereas the stereotypes of men include many that make them look much better than they are, i.e. a big part of patriarchy is gaslighting women about men’s bad behavior, and justifying the latter by positing that victims of male violence are largely “evil women” (or else stupid women) who deserve it.

In any case, what’s going on with the trans movement right now is largely being viewed ahistorically. A good reading of, for example, Silvia Federici’s Caliban and the Witch would really help contextualize things for a lot of people, I think. Unfortunately queer theory, which is essentially historical revisionism, has taken hold in (been planted in) the public consciousness, thereby blurring actual history so that the process of transformation to full-on reality rewrite is complete.

[–] drdee 1 points (+2|-1)

'to be fair, I think we probably do that to men, too; gender roles have made seeing each other as full human beings really difficult' I disagree with this, because all of our culture and all of our media are about the outer and inner lives of individual men. We're all conditioned to see each man as an individual person. But pretty much all of our culture and media portray women the way men see women--as stereotypes, or stock characters.

[–] Verdandi 0 points (+0|-0)

Agreed. Plus men really don't need any more sympathy, especially here. I'm not going to tolerate being made to feel guilty for hating men. They've earned that hate.

[–] orchidea -1 points (+0|-1)

I hadn't really thought about how heterosexual / 'curious' men might think about it, that's interesting. I will check out that podcast. I agree with your points about the sexes failing to empathize with each other. As for stereotypes, I'm not sure if those for women are necessarily more negative than those for men (particularly for non 'alpha' males), but perhaps rather that positive stereotypes for women are generally tied to nurturing and self-sacrifice while for men they are more linked to agency.

[–] Verdandi 0 points (+0|-0) Edited

Women empathize with men all the fucking time. Little girls are expected to empathize with male protagonists in books, but female protagonists are considered "girl books" and only girls read them. We see stories revolving entirely around men and their rich inner lives 24/7.

Can we cut it out with the excessive sympathy for men here? They don't have difficult lives and they don't have ANY problems with the patriarchy. If these practices were really SO intolerable to men things would change. But they aren't.

You're playing right into their hands with that "both sides" bullshit. It only helps men and hurts women.

TIMs don't "debase" themselves to the "subhuman" level of women. Women have become steadily more "human" through the 20th century, especially the last half of it. In some 2nd wave feminist works, we are even more human than them, IMO. Males now seek to supplant women entirely in our humanity by becoming "women" themselves and demoting actual women to the status of "nothing." This erasure is an attempted conceptual murder of women designed to facilitate the real thing.

[–] orchidea 1 points (+1|-0)

^ When talking about men debasing themselves I was paraphrasing an argument from the essay, in case that wasn't clear.

[–] Ruby 1 points (+1|-0)

I hadn't thought about the compensation element but found it intriguing. I also appreciate your explanations. I'm sure there are a lot of reasons people overcompensate, some of which is likely just the marketing.

"All the stories we are told, from the myth of creation, to the original sin, to the princess who needs being saved, to the ugly old witch... are a long, interminable tale of erasure, shame, guilt, irrelevance and fear of the female sex; a tale that permeates deeply and shapes us to the core and that, as girls, we try desperately to shake in order to find our own values and our value in the world. Only to be hit at the dawn of puberty by pornography, the male gaze, everyday insults, constant humiliation, and for the least lucky of us, by rape and assault. Until we succumb and lie down, until we give up and comply, until we agree and participate.

"Women know this hate so well that it has inserted itself in the fabric of our being. Many of us have internalised it and with it they have internalised the male system of values whereby men are the only true humans - and as true humans, the idea that they could possibly be treated like women, even when they claim to be us, is simply unacceptable."

Wow, so well said!

[–] Ruby 1 points (+1|-0)

This was very well written, thank you for sharing it.