RE: JK Rowling’s Latest Transphobic Tangent

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The following is a question submitted to “Sounds like you need to be educated on transgender individuals but ok.” It’s been edited to anonymize any potentially identifying information but its inclusion is necessary context for the response.

Original Question:

Ok, so I have a question. (Picture for context)

 

I understand the science behind intersex and how the sex of a person is a lot more complicated than just the binary system we’re taught. I also know that gender is something entirely different and is a spectrum.

 

I also consider JK Rowling problematic in a lot of ways and know she has a history of problematic behavior.

 

With that being said, I want to understand the backlash this tweet is getting.

 

My thoughts:

Sex, though not binary, is a real thing. Trans women are 100% women, and I in no way would ever try to invalidate them, or anyone on the non-binary spectrum, for that matter. However, I will never truly know the struggle of growing up as a trans women. But that goes both ways, doesn’t it? Our upbringings and childhood experiences play a huge role in shaping who we are. And if you grew up being raised as a boy, even though you are a girl, your childhood experiences are still not going to be that of a cis women. I don’t think that makes you any less of a woman. Just a different type of woman. Kind of like how a white cis women and black cis women have INCREDIBLY different experiences, that’s the whole point about intersectional feminism. They’re both woman still. Likewise, cis women and trans woman have immensely different experiences. And there’s struggles and hardships that cis women face growing up that, generally speaking, trans women wouldn’t. THAT DOES NOT MEAN TRANS WOMEN DONT HAVE AN INCREDIBLE STRUGGLE. but I don’t think the cis women struggle of growing up female should be invalidated either.

 

Basically, as a cisgender female, our experiences growing up are inherently different. What about acknowledging that is offensive? I genuinely want to understand if there’s something here I’m missing.

Thank you in advance for the emotional labor. I appreciate you all ❤️


You have stumbled into a thing here and OOF have you chosen a shitty moment to not read the room. Do you understand how broken-hearted we are right now? Seriously. No, of course you don’t. If you did you wouldn’t be asking this literally while that woman is going on a TERF tweetstorm. You want to learn? Then sit here and listen to why this hurts. And if you have any dignity and heart in you at all, you will stay and you will hear it and you will actually try to absorb this because we are in pain right now so the emotional labor you’re thanking us for is from people who are out of spoons. I know there will be trans men and non-binary folks here to take up the mantle of the other sides of the discussion because this shit affects them too. And I hope you were being honest about listening.

Seriously, I hope you listen. So many of us thought she couldn’t hurt us anymore. We were wrong.

Let me break this down for you. Sex is absolutely real. We are under no illusions about that. No trans person in the world that I have ever spoken to (and through this group and my work I speak to lots) has ever once suggested that sex wasn’t real. We aren’t delusional. It was never about “sex.” It only became about sex when it couldn’t be about gender anymore. That’s how hellbent people are on denying us womanhood. “Fine, you want to be women here you go, but this space is only for BIOLOGICAL FEMALES NOW.” This is why we hate that. Because that’s what people like Rowling are doing. That’s the thing you’re alluding to.

When once have we ever said that the struggles of cisgender women were suddenly invalid? When? Especially in this group. Tell me. What do I invalidate with my existence? What does me being a woman take from you?

You’re right that I didn’t get the experiences that a cisgender woman has. I was raised like a boy even though I wasn’t and it nearly killed me. That’s my experience. My experience as a trans woman growing up left me emotionally and logistically unprepared to suddenly be thrust into my life as a woman.

We might be from different streams but now, at this point, we have merged into the same river. So why are y’all so insistent on bringing this toxic bullshit into this river we share? Why does this matter? Why are you so hellbent on isolating me from you?

You know what would have helped me when I was starting this transition? Women who saw our differences and went, “Let me show you some stuff,” instead of pointing out I’ll never be like them. Why are you forcing me to explain myself over. and over. and over again just to go to the bathroom? Why?

You brought up intersectional feminism. If your feminism doesn’t include black and trans women it’s not intersectional and it’s not feminist. And if your feminism revolves around periods and childbirth and uteruses and breasts, then it can’t include trans women and it doesn’t include a LOT of cis women. Our differences in our histories are what bond us and give us collective perspective. Or they should. But instead of seeing my history and seeing my pain and seeing what I went through and going, “wow, that’s kinda shitty too we should bond over this and make this world better,” people like Rowling want to use it as an opportunity to remind me that I can never be like her and I should be isolated from her.

The reason we get huffy about people bringing our differences up is because y’all use them to hurt us. Acknowledging the truths in a situation isn’t offensive, it’s what you all do next with that information that is. And we’ve seen this song and dance play out enough times. We are traumatized. At every turn we are denied, vilified, and abused by a society that will NEVER let us get past THEIR hangups about how we were born.

And for what, what does it matter? What is so fucking important about the circumstances of our births that y’all need to keep dragging it out this way? What have you lost for us gaining our humanity? Spell it out for me. In detail. What goes away by acknowledging my womanhood without qualifying and diminishing it.

Nobody wants to erase sex from the vernacular. We want to have a discussion with y’all that isn’t based entirely on how we aren’t real women and don’t deserve access to women’s things. People keep trying to section trans women off and give us our own little play place, but not our womanhood. Do you know how demeaning that is?

Why can’t you all just let the truth make you kinder? Why do you all have to do this every time you get an opportunity? Why are we so offensive to you? Why is it so hard to look at me as a bonus sister instead of as a threat? I don’t want to take anything from you I want to share in this with you. The TRUTH isn’t just biology. The truth is that we exist in this world together, now, in this moment and our different experiences give us tools to help each other be stronger together. The truth doesn’t mean anything, it’s what happens next that means everything. And people like Rowling choose to use it to cause harm and separation.

Why is the truth only important to you all when you’re trying to distance yourself from us? Why?

 


Here’s a relevant piece from the New York Times about why this sucks: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/04/01/opinion/trans-women-feminism.html

On being “biologically male”: https://everydayfeminism.com/2017/02/trans-women-not-biologically-male

Here’s a link to a better author: https://www.amazon.com/s?k=riordan+books&crid=2DA8GMNPURIEH&sprefix=rior%2Caps%2C161&ref=nb_sb_ss_i_1_4

 

Here’s a link to another better author’s series that is trans inclusive: https://www.amazon.com/gp/bookseries/B01947LZ8A

Comments (2)

  1. Bethany Melendez June 7, 2020
    • evey June 7, 2020

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