Dear Trans Women: Part 2, by Judith Bell

I am humbled by Judith Bell’s incredible way with words in this piece and the one that preceded it. Again, I wish every trans woman would read the series, which will apparently have four installments.

Some highlights:

“Many aspects of male socialization are terrible burdens… Male socialization can be traumatic, or even scarring.”

“Male socialization does not guarantee success. There are many disenfranchised males in the world who are increasingly bitter about not receiving the boon that their maleness promised them… But just because you experienced disenfranchisement and disappointment does not mean that you don’t have male privilege. In fact, your feelings of not ‘getting what you were promised’ is a symptom of your male privilege.”

“In contrast, female socialization makes no promises. It does not encourage you to try for your dreams. It stunts, it crushes, it warps you, because in society’s eyes, in men’s eyes, you cannot have dreams because you are the dream.”

“You have chosen your alliance with femininity. The opportunity costs you experience because of that are not systematic female oppression.”

“That choice was not made for you by your parents and your doctor, as intersex people experience.

That choice was not made for you by society, as female people experience.

You made that choice by yourself. A real, uncoerced choice.

Male privilege gave you that choice.”


One thought on “Dear Trans Women: Part 2, by Judith Bell

  1. I understand the points, some of them are good at addressing some things – like how it’s about men hurting men really. It also can help to show understanding and empathy about the strains of gender that we push against and how it affects some groups of men.

    However, men are not really ‘burdened’ or discriminated against here though, and truth be told these particular men are still very privileged. The men that do receive the violence are as a whole, already marginalised by race and poverty, the white men in the movement do not experience this, but rather use this to push their agenda of the most oppressed of all. The sexual and fetishistic component is ignored, the only way they could really be transcending gender would be if they transgressed while being proudly male, but they don’t. They take over women and elevate femininity which is harmful to women. They’ve despite being a tiny group have managed to get legislative and policy changes in that work in their favour and to the detriment of women and girls everywhere. If they actually cared, they wouldn’t do that, they would only advocate for their own needs and not to take over women’s rights and women’s spaces. But they don’t, and the list is growing, this man, called a “female” cyclist wins the race, the next is the first “female” to get a placing in a elite unit in the army (that they were already in!), another male is the highest earning female gamer in a particular game genre. We see headlines like “Woman convicted of bestiality” and find that’s another man, while seeing a rapist claim to be a woman and placed in a women’s prison.

    You cannot ignore that these men as a whole gain more privilege, more power, especially to exercise over women and I don’t think pandering to their better nature will help.


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