Who should welcome whom? Why the anti-transgender section of the radical feminists should welcome transgender women. Because transgender women along with other transgender and gender non-conforming persons break the gender binary boundaries and rules for being a women imposed by others. Can this answer be defended? I believe it can, and I am going to attempt just that in this post.
[Note – this post contains talk of sexual behavior]
First, transwomen are women. The trans-exclusionary radical feminists [TERF’s†] do not accept this. Personally I don’t really care what they think. But, I am a feminist and a transfeminist, and I feel obligated to fight this pernicious view of transwomen. TERFs want to exclude transwomen from being women. However, every definition they come up with for what a women is excludes some ciswomen from the very thing they see as defining them.
A few examples will have to suffice for now. To be a woman you need to be born a woman. Well, sometimes the doctors get it wrong. In all appearances you present as a male on the outside, but have female innards. Next, a woman will have been born with a vagina. Intersex persons prove this wrong for some women. Last, a woman must be able to have working reproductive parts. So pre-pubescent females and post menopausal women are not woman? You get the picture?
They also confuse gender with sex. One does not imply the other. Most work within the postmodernist agenda, where gender is a social construct. This actually douses their fire. It is odd that they would attempt to exclude woman via a social construct for womanhood. If womanhood is a social construct they lose all determinants of what makes a woman because there are many ways of socially constructing womanhood. What construction is supposed to be the correct one—the TERFs. How can theirs be proved to be the right construction. But, that doesn’t matter to them because truth and falsity are patriarchic concepts use again women. This is because postmodernism has no proves to their supposed views. So, they claim a false victory. We need non-slippery criteria; we need evidence; we need a coherent proof. They provide none of such things—while science does. And science actually provides solution in the real world, not just some made up story.
So TERFs lack a non-slippery definitions. Science provides clear-cut ones. Ones that can be proved in many different experiments. TERFs story can’t even enter the scientific arena. Their beloved social construction theories read like fiction or even more incoherent poetry. Am I getting tedious—not nearly as tedious as the postmodernists are. They can think gobbledygook makes a profound state. Well, go no further than the Alan Sokal Hoax published in one of the postmodernist own premier journals (Social Text). They went ga-ga over it. These types of journals will publish anything they believe supports their agenda. The take away of the last two paragraphs is don’t believe a word they say.
Okay, with that out of the way they should except us for two major reasons. One is they push patriarchal views on women, and they thereby give validity to bigoted groups like the religious right, who would seek to keep women under the rule of their husbands. This gives feminism a punch in the stomach. The pain is made even worse by excluding transgender women, and that is similar to ostracizing, which can be highly damaging. The Amish and Jehovah Witnesses ostracize those who don’t play by the book. Do these people really want to be associated with such radical groups. I do not think that this group of feminism has thought this through. It actually hurts the cause of feminism for all women.
The second reason is that their logic leads to some outcomes that they may not agree with. These feminist mostly fall into line with a social constructivist view on gender. And, they go deep down and somehow claim that even biology is a social construction.‡ If gender is totally a social construction and transgender women are excluded every one should be excluded because all gender is socially constructed; ciswomen are also socially constructed, so no one has a gender that is real. If all genders are unreal than the acceptance of transgender women as women is the logical outcome because everyone has a socially constructed gender, it should make all equal in gender terms, or gender goes up in a puff of smoke.
So they either lie in bed with the bigoted religious conservatist, or fall in line with the transgender exclusionary radical feminists. Either way they create problems for all women, both transgender women and cisgender women. Personally, as a woman I do not wish to join either camp. It causes egregious harm to feminist causes. The fact that I am a transgender women as argued above should not be an issue.
Actually, being a transgender woman lands me as part of an intersectional group of feminism—transfeminism, like being a person of color or an immigrant (especially in the current environment) is intersectional, transfeminists are also intersectional. I am left to fight for the cause of both feminism and transfeminism. I welcome the challenge willingly. Once, I find a place somewhere where I can advocate for both I will certainly do so.
I believe my argument is strong, and I hope compelling. I believe my logic for my second reason why those feminist I wrote about should accept us into the feminist fold is sound. They also have lost out as they will continually move the goal post to what defines a woman. This eventually leads to the exclusion of all women. With this concern taken care of it leads to accepting all forms of gender identity, which is based on an internal sense of that someone has, which adds something to the core of their being. By this definition all are accept who feel they are a woman. Nothing further should be required.^
So for the feminist cause they should welcome us because to exclude us is bad for feminism and bad for women. I actually believe that they are anti-feminist attacking anyone who isn’t them, woman or not. Of course, feminism has at times in the past been anti-feminist too. Burn your bra,* don’t shave your legs, and don’t wear makeup.
† I use this term reluctantly because I feel it automatically puts these feminists on the defensive, and thereby closes their ears to listening to rational explanations to why their view of gender is confused. But, it quickly sets this brand of feminism apart, so I am using it more out of convenience.
‡ Not all of these exclusionary feminists go so far, or might think social construction theory is necessary to make sense of their gender views. Still, they are left out in the cold since, since no one has come up with a satisfactory definition of a woman.
^ This stands regardless of their gender expression.
* I actually no longer were bras, but this has nothing to do with feminism. Their just damn uncomfortable. I remember coming home and the first thing I would do is take of my bra. Oh yeah, I wear makeup and wear skirts (nothing short). I cry and I talk a lot about clothes. But, yes I will standup for the right of any woman to be anything she desires.