After so much dwelling on the negative aspects of the Radical Feminist / trans* relationship (or tragic lack of), here is some worthwhile reading that shows empathy is indeed possible between the two camps, and also that transwomen’s experiences – though somewhat different from cis / non-trans women’s – are of value to feminism.
I would add that I still have reservations with the socialisation theory as a universal trope. Though patriarchy rubs off on us all in its own ways, it seems inevitable to me that someone raised in a left-wing, feminist-supporting family will – regardless of chromosomes – have a more critical view of stereotypical gender class dominance than someone raised in a deeply conservative, traditionalist family. On the other hand, cultural osmosis from what, frankly, remains a pretty sexist culture could still be theorised to have an insidious effect on even the brains of those who would gladly be shot of their birth bodies and genders.
I don’t really know what it is to become a woman. When I started to become one, in puberty, I was too young to really be able to appraise it. I only know that suddenly I started to be followed, grabbed, treated like my body was public property. I never questioned it. I didn’t know any different.
A couple of days ago, a friend of mine started tweeting from her locked account about her experience of transitioning. “so apparently I’ve reached that stage in trannyism where men’s eyes keep flicking down when they’re talking to me. fucking men”, she wrote. “am actually slightly worried some guy will do that then realise I’m trans and get violent […] since most straight men seen pretty insecure in their sexuality”. She then reflected that she would probably get used to it, “like I got used to being called “sweetheart” and constantly talked over, I guess. :-/”…
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