Not Your Mom’s Trans 101

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2 comments

  1. shaesavoy · · Reply

    What do you mean by “transphobic radical feminists?” This is a phrase that is thrown around a lot–especially in Internetland–but I have seen many instances of thoughtful gender-critical feminists (critical of the gender binary and the establishment of gender roles based on sex) absolutely silenced by being labeled “transphobic”–often without any attempt to understand their critiques of gender theory. As soon as that stamp is applied, the person to whom it is applied is effectively blacklisted. I think the trend of liberally throwing around the phrase “transphobic radical feminists” can be an instant dismissal and is incredibly toxic, much the same way Rush Limbaugh’s coining of the word “feminazi” did an enormous amount of damage to public perceptions of feminism (the movement to end sexist oppression). I also find it interesting that the group I’ve heard the label “transphobic” applied to most often is feminists–who are certainly not the block of power to target when looking at institutionalized oppression.

  2. I think part of the motivation for specifically criticizing feminists is that they’re supposed to be trans allies, in the same way that I might criticize a white liberal for unintentional racism while not bothering to criticize a Klansman (because what would be the point?). And while there are plenty of awesome radical feminists, it does not seem like a contentious claim to me to say that there is also a vocal, influential group of ‘radical’ feminists who are explicitly transphobic. Lindy West at Jezebel has a nice piece unpacking a recent instance: http://jezebel.com/5975828/transphobia-is-a-goddamn-embarrassment-to-us-all

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