Surprise! Blocked.

What are ‘terfs’, why are they opposed by trans activists and liberal / ‘intersectional’ feminists, and which side should I be on?

This thread made a few people angry. It was criticised as an ‘abstract philosophical debate’.

[Originally posted on Twitter, 13 June 2018 – slightly edited]

Surprise! Blocked, essentially for rejecting this definition of the word ‘woman’.

“A woman is anyone who says they are a woman.”

Apparently this makes me a terf, and expressing my view on this is an appalling act of violence, which means it is okay to punch me, always.

But I am not a terf – why? Terf is a derogatory term for a radical feminist. If it’s not derogatory, it’s redundant. Terf is also inaccurate; I prefer merf, or Male Exclusionary Radical Feminist. All males are excluded from radical feminism. For once it is not about us.

But I’m not a merf, either. I am male, and so I can’t be a radical feminist, but only an ally. 

I would’ve thought all males can be allies, should they choose.

Liberal feminism? I’m done with that, thanks.

Over the last few days I have become increasingly convinced that liberal feminism is, ultimately, toxic. This is because I dared to ask ‘Why are people claiming it’s okay to punch terfs?’. And honestly, I still don’t get that.

It looks to me as though rad fems acknowledge biological sex, but want to liberate all humans from an oppressive gender system. Lib fems want to extend the oppressive gender system but erase the concept of biological sex.

Lib feminism is convenient for male humans who don’t hate female humans. They abhor the patriarchy and blame it on ‘men’. But by declaring themselves ‘women’, they can avoid responsibility for doing anything about it.

This is problematic.

Lib feminism is convenient for female humans too, because it is no threat to the patriarchy, and is inclusive of male humans. No need to face those scary fuckers down.

This is understandable, but it will not lead to liberation from the patriarchy.

Rad feminism is inconvenient for everyone. It is a true threat to the patriarchy. 

However, it is problematic because  it does not concern itself with the rights of non-female humans – particularly ‘men’. This tends to upset them – particularly ‘men’.

Radical feminism is also problematic because some of its most famous proponents have made statements that many humans find very offensive. Frequently, this offensiveness is gratuitous, and distracts people from the point being made – if there is one.

There is no question that many humans feel deeply threatened, in various ways, by rad feminism, and / or by its proponents.

Rad feminism aims to destroy the gender system. Gender is one component of individual human identity. Thus, rad feminism can be perceived as a threat to our individual sense of who we are as humans.

If there are no more ‘men’ to oppress ‘women’, no gender system at all, and no patriarchy, how will people relate to one another, and especially, how will male humans relate to female ones?

When there are no genders…

I will not be a man. There will be no such thing as men. I will not be a woman. There will be no such thing as women. I will not be non-binary. There will be no such thing non-binary.

When there are no more genders…

There will still be male humans, and female humans. And there will be sexual orientation, and sexual preference.

When there are no more genders…

There will be the opportunity to dress how I like, modify my body as I like, love whoever I choose to love, express my masculinity and my femininity and my sexuality just as I like.

When there are no more genders…

Who will I be?

I don’t know. 

I suppose…

I’ll just be myself?

Is that a threat to my individual human identity? Or is it liberation for all sexes, all genders, and all sexual orientations? 

Is that something I want?

Yes.

Yes.

YES.

But I have been informed, most seriously, that expressing support for this goal is an act of violence against trans people, and makes me a terf, for which it is morally necessary for lib feminists to punch me at every opportunity. 

That seems odd.

Could it be…

That liberal feminists are invested in the patriarchy?

Or that trans people are invested in the patriarchy?

Or is it that ‘men’ are invested in the patriarchy, and everyone else lives in fear of upsetting them due to the ever-present threat of male violence?

Hmm.

Given my awareness of the ever present threat of male violence, particularly against all humans who are not ‘men’, what are my responsibilities as a male human who disapproves of this patriarchal system of oppression?

I have a responsibility to oppose male violence, and the threat of male violence, particularly against female humans, but also other humans, especially those who are not ‘men’.

I have a much lesser responsibility to oppose female violence and threats. But that responsibility is greater if that violence / threat is directed against other female humans, and tends to advance the interests of male humans at the expense of female ones.

I have a responsibility to listen to female humans, to take them seriously, and to do my best to understand what they are saying. I do not have to agree with them. I do not have to speak, but if I do I must try not to dominate the conversation.

I have a responsibility to listen to, and take seriously, humans who disagree with me, particularly female humans and others who are not ‘men’. I must be open to alternative ideas and perspectives, particularly those of female humans. But I do not have to agree.

As a male human who disapproves of our patriarchal system of oppression, I have many responsibilities.

I must do my best not to evade them.

As a human male, one of my responsibilities

is to avoid taking up positions and invading spaces that have been set aside specifically for female people.

In particular, I must not occupy those female positions and spaces by insisting that I am in fact a human female.

I am a male human. 

I am stuck with that.

There is no way to make a male human into a female human. I cannot be female, because I am male. 

As a social convention, I accept the label ‘man’. But that does not mean I must conform to the gender stereotype labelled ‘man’.

It is relatively easy for me to accept all this, because I am not trans.

That, at least, is a fact.