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Something popped into my head the other day as a way to at the very least, get libfems/handmaidens to think about their position, if not to downright peak them.

The conversation would look something like this:

Libfem: Transwomen are women!

Radfem: If transwomen are women, then would you feel comfortable if the Senate and Congress (or Parliament in other countries) were made up of 50% men and 50% transwomen? Would you feel perfectly represented, as a woman? If they are women, as you say, they could represent you perfectly well. If you wouldn't feel perfectly represented, why not?

The answer of course is that transwomen are not women, and cannot speak for women or relate to women's experiences or needs really at all. They are not interchangeable with women, because they are not women.

I like the idea of leading libfems to realize this for themselves.

Can anyone find any flaws with this argument? Do you think it would be effective? Would you make any adjustments?

Something popped into my head the other day as a way to at the very least, get libfems/handmaidens to think about their position, if not to downright peak them. The conversation would look something like this: Libfem: Transwomen are women! Radfem: If transwomen are women, then would you feel comfortable if the Senate and Congress (or Parliament in other countries) were made up of 50% men and 50% transwomen? Would you feel perfectly represented, as a woman? If they are women, as you say, they could represent you perfectly well. If you wouldn't feel perfectly represented, why not? The answer of course is that transwomen are not women, and cannot speak for women or relate to women's experiences or needs really at all. They are not interchangeable with women, because they are not women. I like the idea of leading libfems to realize this for themselves. Can anyone find any flaws with this argument? Do you think it would be effective? Would you make any adjustments?

56 comments

[–] Alecto 70 points (+70|-0)

I think this wouldn't convince the most ardent TRA. Just look at Emilia Decaudin proudly displaying his boner in a sweater dress at a political event. They see nothing wrong with that.

I'm wondering if posing the hypothetical: 'If Donald Trump came out as a trans woman tomorrow, would she be our first woman president?' would get them to stop and think for a second.

[–] lucretiamott [OP] 37 points (+37|-0)

I agree the Emilia thing is pretty shocking, that people just sit back and accept him as a man taking a spot reserved for women. But he is one dude in a relatively obscure position. Thinking about the hypothetical of having literally no women in congress is a little more stark.

I like the example of the "first woman president" as well. I think libfems would buy it though. Those that are deep in the quicksand would, anyway.

[–] Alecto 20 points (+20|-0)

I think you're right about the having literally no women in Congress thing and representation/advocacy on behalf of womanhood. Could we think of some more plausible examples that follow a similar train of thought? Say, the entire board of Planned Parenthood being TIMs or their midwife being a TIM.

[–] [Deleted] 23 points (+23|-0)

I really think the general public does not know about Emilia. Obviously there was no coverage in any NYC papers.

[–] Alecto 21 points (+21|-0)

For good reason. Man in a dress with a boner is an accurate, but unflattering, depiction of TIMs.

[–] Researcher1536 22 points (+22|-0)

Man in a dress with a boner who looks just like a man and who beat out a biological black woman who is actually from the area in question (unlike boner dude) for that political position.

[–] Luckystar 11 points (+11|-0)

This is definitely true. Decaudin is one of my biggest peaking materials but literally zero mainstream media from either side reported on him. One LGBT magazine did a vague article IIRC without a photo, and then there's radfems. But the story is obviously true because Decaudin himself confirms it. Feels like I'm going crazy sometimes.

[–] LGBALLIANCEUSA 3 points (+3|-0)

Check out this article on Decaudin. https://thevelvetchronicle.com/decaudin-dismantled-1-male-1-female-rule-now-runs-for-district-leader/

Not mainstream, I do get your point. But it's written by a -local to Decaudin's area- lesbian, in case you missed this one.

[–] Conga 13 points (+13|-0)

I think it would be a similar situation to that famous tim who killed a woman on a car crash.

I mean did you see that tik tok that was shared here a few hours ago? A girl was venting about their tim dad, but most comments were telling her to respect their father's (now "mom's") pronouns. If something like that were to happen Trump would be ridiculed, but they still would respect his new pronouns. Probably something like he was a man when he was a president, but now he's a woman.

Lol what have you made me think of. 🤣

[–] Luckystar 7 points (+7|-0)

I definitely think the Trump analogy is better. I could absolutely see libfems saying "Yes it's ok if they were 50% tw" or "That's never gonna happen so why are you worried about it" etc. But they (to be fair, and I) hate Trump.

Decaudin makes me literally sick to my stomach he's so disgusting. He should have been arrested for sexual harassment (walking around with boner showing) not elected to a position. What were those local voters thinking?!

[–] bannedrui_resin 36 points (+36|-0)

I don't think they really believe TWAW. I think they believe we should act as though TWAW in order to prevent suffering. But they mentally gloss over the details. I bet they would say something like "that would never happen because trans women are a tiny minority". They might accuse you of stirring up fear with lurid fantasy scenarios (shout out to Rebecca Solnit and Judith Butler for spreading this narrative--that women are hysterical fantasists! Thanks, Rebecca!!! Thanks, Judith!!! /s). You should ask people, and press them on it, though, if you can. It's a very instructive thought experiment.

Or alternatively, perhaps they would simply tell you that government should have a fair and representative mix of trans women and uteropods/vulvasapiens/cervixfolx. Who knows. Please ask and report back.

[–] Alecto 15 points (+16|-1)

I've actually been thinking about this. They believe that us calling them 'women' will convince men that their feminine behavior is acceptable. Would it have saved Matthew Shepard's life if, as a society, we called him a woman because he had sex with men?

No, obviously not. Changing language does change attitudes (like getting rid of slurs), but being called a man when you are a man is not pejorative. Man is not a slur. Their goal is to convince (cis) men that gender non-conforming men are okay, but they realized it's much easier to just bully women into parroting TWAW.

[–] bannedrui_resin 19 points (+19|-0)

I think it's more that trans people have invested so heavily in their fantasy of changing sex/gender, that we realise interrupting the fantasy would devastate them. And we don't want to devastate other people. So we play along. Sprinkle a little queer theory and virtue signalling into the very earnest pretending, and many allies start believing in their own play acting. That's my take, anyhow.

[–] Alecto 11 points (+11|-0)

I also agree with you, though I have heard the argument I was refuting in my previous comment multiple times.

I think that treating people with kid gloves is that whole 'the soft bigotry of low expectations.' You're not expecting them to be able to handle a very fundamental aspect reality, so we all have to play pretend like we're in a worldwide child's tea party.

I don't know how to properly counter 'just be kind,' rhetoric. Personally, I think lying isn't kind at all.

[–] lucretiamott [OP] 10 points (+10|-0)

I could see people discounting the argument because it's hyperbolic, like you say. The idea is to go with that thought, and take it to its conclusion like, "why or why not would that be good for women?" It's sort of a logic puzzle, I guess.

[–] bannedrui_resin 8 points (+8|-0)

Yep. It's a thought experiment. It's allowed to be unrealistic because it's designed to tease out which of two or more conflicting values would be prioritised in the case of clear conflict. But, you know, people will always miss the point, change the subject, or change the goalposts if you make them uncomfortable.

[–] Fortissima 5 points (+5|-0)

This is one of the two arguments I think is strongest: They would just talk about what a tiny minority trans women are.

[–] bannedrui_resin 2 points (+2|-0)

Yeah, I wonder about this. If it's true, then it means we probably shouldn't worry so much about bathrooms or whatever. But why is the anti-feminist backlash and silencing online so widespread? And why are lesbians saying their dating scene has been massively invaded? Either there are more trans people than previous statistics suggest, or a small number of people are having a huge impact. And of course in some areas it really only takes one man to ruin things: one naked man would make a changing room unusable for many women. One man can make a shelter or prison unsafe. One man can dominate a social group. We need the right to single sex spaces, even if we don't use that right all the time. And we most definitely need the right to say the truth and continue presenting feminist analysis of society in plain language without being silenced or accused. There may not be many trans people, but there are a lot of anti-feminists in the trans movement.

I was thinking about this just today. I was thinking about how a few years ago, pictures of the teams of old men discussing women's healthcare (I think it was regarding the Hobby Lobby and birth control thing? idk, beside the point) and whether TWAW repeaters would feel it would be a better representation for women if it were a group of trans women instead.

[–] Alecto 23 points (+23|-0)

How do we know those old men weren't actually trans women who are still in the closet? Maybe they are women.

Sarcasm, obviously.

[–] DBrooke 21 points (+21|-0) Edited

The phrase "Trans women are women" doesn't convey any additional information about this class of people. At this point, pretty much every educated person knows the basic facts about "trans women" and their defining characteristics

It's not a statement about a class of people at all. It's a statement about the word "women."

Specifically, it's a demand that the word be changed to refer to something other than its historical and commonly understood meaning. It's used as a command, not as an informational statement.

[–] bannedrui_resin 11 points (+11|-0)

Yes. And not only do we need to agree to the "ameliorative" redefinition of women (and lesbians), we also need to pretend that there has been no redefinition; that this is what women (and lesbians) has always meant :(

[–] Luckystar 3 points (+3|-0)

At this point, pretty much every educated person knows the basic facts about "trans women" and their defining characteristics

Are you defining "educated" here as "educated on trans issues"? Because that is absolutely not the case. I've lived in hyper progressive areas my whole life (like 90% Democrat) where this gender nonsense is rampant but I've asked a few of my closer friends their opinions and their responses show that they don't really understand it at all. When you say trans, most average people think of HSTS.

[–] DBrooke 1 points (+1|-0)

Yeah, but that's sociology. I'm talking defining characteristics.

[–] Grumpykat 12 points (+12|-0)

Considering one of my friends said that if she ran a women's shelter and a woman was uncomfortable about a TIM, she'd find someplace else for the woman to go since she would be a transphobic threat to the TIM? She wouldn't care.

[–] Amareldys 12 points (+12|-0)

They'll say yes, they'd be fine with it.

[–] meranii 1 points (+1|-0)

Exactly, they're full on deluded. Plus, they'd already be calling you a TERF and hateful just for starting with "IF transwomen are women".

I mean, it's all so logically inconsistent that it's designed in a way you can't win. Despite misgendering being the worst crime in their circles, I've seen TRAs straight up say "Jessica" Yaniv isn't really trans and actually call him a "he" just so they don't have to claim him.

[–] femuhnist 11 points (+11|-0)

You have to understand that for the libfem, "trans women are women" is as obvious as saying "Black women are women." Wondering if we would feel represented by trans women is akin, to them, as wondering if white women would feel represented by Black women -- it's bigoted and wrong. They have convinced themselves that "trans women" are women with a descriptor attached. That's why "trans women" have gone to such lengths to call themselves that in the first place, with the space between "trans" and "women."

[–] Luckystar 9 points (+9|-0) Edited

It's honestly sad how many women genuinely believe that trans women are literally women. I remember showing a photo of Emilia Decaudin -- 5 o clock shadow visible, "male" haircut style, boner showing through his clothes -- to a liberal friend, I asked her if this person is a man or a woman. She asked me "What do they identify as?"

Like FFS woman you can see for yourself what it is! He's literally a man in a dress! It's not an insult anymore, it's reality, men are literally just throwing on a dress and calling themselves women and getting away with it. It's so obnoxious. I mean, even transwomen who have body mods/hormones are still not women, but at least they put some fucking effort into it. (And if men with creepy fetishes want to castrate themselves, I'm not stopping them). Now it's literally just men in dresses. Don't tell me it's offensive to call them that when I'm just calling a spade a spade.

[–] Fortissima 3 points (+3|-0)

This is one of the two arguments I think is strongest: they'll just accuse you of being racist, as though you were saying you wouldn't feel represented by black women. Which is in itself as racist as heck, but they don't see that.

[–] au_dela 10 points (+10|-0)

I don't think that it would be effective. It has the same flaws as the argument that if everyone was homosexual, then humanity would go extinct—no one can take that argument seriously, because homosexuality on the whole is rather uncommon. Transgenderism is different in that it does have a social contagion factor, but no one that you argue with is going to acknowledge that.

A more effective argument, which I've actually seen applied in relation to trans-identified males apparently never having male privilege, would be something more like, if Donald Trump came out as female, would "she" be the first female president? Would you feel that "she" accurately represents your needs and experiences as a woman? Do you think that "she" would get away with the same conduct that "she" has had throughout "her" presidency so far? You'll still get people who refuse to engage with hypotheticals, but it's more realistic.

[–] r4df3mcynthia 9 points (+9|-0) Edited

I think that doesn't matter. Those people don't care for arguments, they don't use reason to come up with their beliefs. They are just assholes trying to push a misogynistic and homophobic set of beliefs forward as "progressive and ethical". Even if it's just narcissistic and self-serving. edit: for example, you might just get a full ressonating "YES, EVEN 100% TRANSWOMEN WOULD REPRESENT MEEE" from, let's say, a teenage genderhair dumbass. even if they wouldn't really believe that when actually taking the time to think about it. it's just about winning internet arguments, which aren't based on argumentation but on who has the biggest hissy fit.

[–] Alecto 14 points (+14|-0)

Not every libfem who parrots TWAW has thought about it, or its implications. Sometimes all it takes is to plant a seed of doubt in their minds for them to see the light that it's just a man in a dress. It isn't just the people you're arguing with, directly, on the internet. It's the people who will read the argument as well.

[–] Luckystar 10 points (+10|-0)

I was parroting TWAW and had pronouns in my profile just a year ago. I've only lived in hyper progressive areas where that's just the default opinion. Sometimes I honestly forget that there does exist actual transphobia (as in, people that use slurs or bully someone because they're trans) because here trans is so glorified. I used to live in terror of being labeled a "TERF".

Ironically losing a couple of good friends of mine because I disagreed with their sexist/homophobic TRA views was part of what began my peaking process. I guess what they say about when you isolate someone their views only get stronger is true. I genuinely told them I was always open to an explanation if they thought I was "transphobic" as to how, but of course it's "not their job to educate you" and such.

In a way, I enjoy that the word "TERF" is entering the mainstream. TRAs have gotten more people to look into radical feminism than radical feminists did. It's ironic.

[–] NewMa 6 points (+6|-0)

The first few times I was called a TERF I was like, "I don't even know what that means...."

Two of my friends were like "if you're a swerf or terf just unfriend me now" and I was like "what does that mean?" and they gave me the acronym definition and I said "I think that transpeople should have jobs and not be subject to discrimination in housing or bakeries or whatever but I think that Title 9 should have meaning and women's sports should be for people who are, in fact, women in truth with no modifiers applicable."

Two months later I find out transpeople are trying to stop calling themselves trans at all and I'm like "Well that smells of bullshit."

[–] r4df3mcynthia 1 points (+1|-0) Edited

good point, but honestly, not everyone has the energy to go into fruitless discussions just for the possibility that someone reasonable will see it and come to their senses.... I mean, I know that happens because it happened to me (thought I was never liberal edit: as in I was always left wing. liberalism is a right wing position), but I wouldn't waste my energy on that because I don't have it anymore. I'm really tired after about 6 years dealing with internet arguments on the subject. But if you still got that energy, by all means, do use it. In any case, that "would you be ok if all the women representing us in politcs were trans women" argument is a little weak. I still think just asking "what is a woman?" makes a whole lot of difference. That's why they try to shut it down so adamantly. It's that easy to undo gender ideology beliefs. edit: I mean, you should try your initial idea anyways, but I'd say you need to work it a little more.

Question: If your husband transitioned, do you think your children would have two mothers? Would your child no longer have a father?

[–] dalyandot 6 points (+6|-0)

I think there was a female politician in UK who said that it would be ok if the 50% women were all trans. They are so convinced TWAW that they will not admit the flaws in the argument. It may get someone that has not been paying attention yet to think again but not those who are fully on board

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