Dear third wave feminists, LGBQ community, LGBTQ allies, liberals, and assorted other regular people:
Do you believe that any of the following things are true? It’s a rhetorical question, because I know for a fact that some of you believe some of these things. But bear with me for a moment.
- That there are issues of specific interest to natal women, such as hormonal birth control, pap smears, tampons, diva cups, abortion, yeast infections, and endometriosis? That because of the existence and sensitivity of these issues women might have an interest in gathering to discuss them outside the presence of people who don’t share these concerns?
- That natal women experience a particular sort of body/genital shaming that not everyone experiences? That it would be ok if some women wanted to gather to discuss that and to make vulva cupcakes?
- That it’s ok that the play Vagina Monologues exists and is performed?
- That a t-shirt that says “All bodies are good bodies” is ok?
- That sex reassignment surgery is not obviously good?
- That there’s a difference between the sexes? That females have the reproductive organs to create ova and that males have the reproductive organs to create sperm? That intersex people don’t disprove the general concept of sexual dimorphism in humans?
- That a kid too young to legally get a tattoo is too young to make decisions about his “gender” that will likely make him infertile and a permanent medical patient?
- That a four–year–old is way too young to call transgender? (That’s 10 separate links, and here’s more on the issue)
- That Danielle Moscato is a man?
- That lesbianism, at least for some, involves attraction to female bodies? That it is not bigotry to have a sexual preference based on anatomy?
- That when evaluating the same-sex marriage divorce rate, relationships that were heterosexual before one person transitioned don’t belong in those statistics? To be specific, that my marriage and divorce to a person who was born male, and who was male when we married, and whom it was only legal for me to marry at the time in my state because he was male, does not represent a failure in same-sex relationships?
- That male-born Fallon Fox beating a woman until she’s hospitalized resembles male-on-female violence too much for comfort? That male-bodied people are likely to outcompete female-bodied people in sports? That girls need the opportunity to participate in sex-segregated sports to help build their skill and self-esteem?
- That it’s at least theoretically possible for predatory men to take advantage of transgender policies to harm women in women’s spaces?
- That the stories of people who regret transition are valid and important?
- That evidence exists that at least for some transgender people there is a sexual or fetishistic component?
If you don’t believe a single one of these things is true, you are hereby dismissed. I am not talking to you. I am baffled by you, but I am not talking to you.
But if you believe that some of these are true, even in the darkest, most secret part of your heart, I have a dare for you. I dare you to say them to a male-born transgender activist online and in public. You can hint at them, say them sheepishly, say them apologetically, if you like. You can even just link to someone else who’s saying them, without comment. If nothing else, try saying them anonymously under a fake name.
And see what happens.
Because these are morally neutral statements, aren’t they? And you should be able to say something morally neutral and true in public, without fear of retaliation or violence.
Depending on how deeply you’ve looked into transgender activism, you may or may not already know that saying these things will get you ostracized at best and possibly sabotaged and threatened. So I don’t actually want you to do it.
But I do want you to think about what it means when a group of people has the kind of control over you required to make you utterly unwilling to speak for yourself about something you wholeheartedly believe.
Are you being bullied?