Spillover #27

A red "Keep Calm" poster with the caption KEEP CALM AND STAY ON TOPICComments on our 26th #spillover thread are about to close, so it’s time for a new one. Some reminders:

  1. #spillover is part of our comment moderation system for keeping other threads on-topic. It is intended as a constructive space for tangential discussions which are veering off-topic on other threads. This is part of our blog netiquette, which has the general goal of making it as simple as possible for commentors to find discussions focussed on topics of particular interest without entirely stifling worthwhile tangents of sorta-related or general interest. #spillover is also a space for those ongoing/endless disagreements and 101 issues that just keep on popping up.
  2. Commentors are encouraged to respect the topic of each post and be proactive regarding inevitable thread-drift in long threads: we hope that commentors will cheerfully volunteer to take off-topic responses into #spillover so that each post’s discussion gets room to breathe and tangents can be indulged in a room of their own.

More detailed outline/guidelines were laid out on Spillover #1.
The Moderator Team will enforce topicality where necessary, and off-topic commentors who ignore invitations from others to take their tangents to #spillover are one of the reasons commentors might consider sending the moderators a giraffe alert.


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11 comments for “Spillover #27

  1. Aaliyah
    April 8, 2015 at 12:40 am

    RE: tinfoil hattie’s comment in this thread:

    Can you please be honest and acknowledge that it is MEN who are responsible for this rape, abuse, and murder?

    I refuse. Just as straight women oppress lesbian/bisexual/pansexual women, cis women oppress trans women. Although the patriarchy is a male system of power that ultimately places men at the top of the gender hierarchy, not all women under patriarchy are of equal status or are incapable of being oppressors of female sub-classes. In fact, transmisogynistic cis women have a strong investment in exploiting and abusing trans women for their own emotional validation – in order to assure themselves of their “natural” womanhood worthy of preservation…unlike that of trans women, which is coded as “artificial” and only worthy of abuse and exploitation and fetishization (abusive cis men are not the only chasers of trans women). By attacking the “monsters”, they protect their own status as “real women,” because trans women symbolize womanhood embodied in an form regarded as unnatural in relation to ideal patriarchal bodies – those of cis men and cis women.

    I shouldn’t have to say this, but to be completely clear, I’m not saying that all cis women are evil. Many of them are great allies of trans women, and in fact in the early days of USian radical feminism trans women were actually actively involved in political projects with cis women who trusted them and didn’t see them as monsters (and that certainly isn’t the only historical example). And it goes without saying that transmisogynistic cis men are also still responsible for a huge amount of transmisogynistic violence. I say that as a trans lesbian who has been abused mostly by men throughout my life. Nevertheless, all cis women still benefit from transmisogyny, even the well-meaning ones who want to be supportive of transmisogyny, because of their cis privilege. Even though that cis privilege never makes them equal to or above the status of men in any way. After all, even the most privileged women under patriarchy are still oppressed by men. So yeah, I refuse to say that only men are responsible for transmisogynistic violence – and I will never shut up about it.

    • April 8, 2015 at 12:49 am

      So yeah, I refuse to say that only men are responsible for transmisogynistic violence – and I will never shut up about it.

      Seconded with vigour! Hell, as an AFAB non-binary person I still have privilege over trans women (let alone AMAB non-binary people).

    • Donna L
      April 8, 2015 at 3:19 am

      The argument that cis women cannot possibly have privilege over trans women because they are inherently “un-privileged” by virtue of having been designated from birth as part of a “sex class” — a common argument by transphobic feminists — is as ludicrous, and as much of a non sequitur, as the argument by white women that (for the same reason) they cannot possibly have white privilege over Black women and other women of color, let alone over men of color. Both constitute arguments at cross-purposes with the proposition they attempt to contest; neither makes any sense as a matter of logic; and both represent a willful disregard of intersectionality.

      Aaliyah’s point about radical feminism not necessarily being transphobic, by the way, is supported by this recent interview with Catherine MacKinnon: http://www.transadvocate.com/sex-gender-and-sexuality-the-transadvocate-interviews-catharine-a-mackinnon_n_15037.htm

      Also, as many times as I’ve defended tinfoil hattie over the years (here and elsewhere) against accusations that she’s transphobic, I think her imputation of dishonesty to Aaliyah is reprehensible, and I don’t understand what the purpose could be other than completely absolving transphobic cis women of any moral responsibility for the consequences of their enthusiastic, abusive participation in reinforcing societal transphobia over the last 40+ years, including continual viciousness, deliberate baiting, hate speech, lies, and exclusionary tactics — even apart from the fact that trans women do get assaulted by cis women in bars, women’s bathrooms, etc.

      Apparently, the universal principle that violence and abuse against women can be emotional and psychological as well as physical doesn’t apply to trans women. Refuse to admit a trans woman to shelter for homeless women or women who are victims of domestic violence, as a result of which she freezes to death on a park bench or is killed by her partner — both of which have happened? “Not our fault”; “he” should have gone to a men’s shelter. Dox her and/or contact her doctor or employer, as a result of which she tries to kill herself? Not our fault; “he’s” a delusional man who deserves everything that happens to “him”; let’s laugh about it and taunt “him” on the Internet.

      If anyone is being intellectually dishonest, it’s not Aaliyah.

      • Donna L
        April 8, 2015 at 3:25 am

        I should add: aside from bathrooms and bars, I, like Aaliyah, am personally aware of a number of examples of trans women being abused (verbally and even physically) by their cis female partners, as well as fetishized.

      • Aaliyah
        April 8, 2015 at 12:02 pm

        Also, as many times as I’ve defended tinfoil hattie over the years (here and elsewhere) against accusations that she’s transphobic, I think her imputation of dishonesty to Aaliyah is reprehensible, and I don’t understand what the purpose could be other than completely absolving transphobic cis women of any moral responsibility for the consequences of their enthusiastic, abusive participation in reinforcing societal transphobia over the last 40+ years, including continual viciousness, deliberate baiting, hate speech, lies, and exclusionary tactics — even apart from the fact that trans women do get assaulted by cis women in bars, women’s bathrooms, etc.

        The extent to which cis women can be manipulative towards trans women is frightening by itself. Just as many men have accused me of having “daddy issues” as a result of being abused by men, so many cis women have told me that I am the way I am because I’ve faithfully emulated his entire personality.

        It’s also very common for many cis women to get angry at us for behaving in ways that are “creepy” and “entitled” in their eyes even though they would tolerate the exact same behaviors from people who aren’t trans women. And those behaviors range from sexually active trans women doing something other than constantly hating themselves for being attracted to people, to trans women seeking emotional support from others. Either way, we’re considered predatory men by default, unless we try to make ourselves the “good tr*nnies.” And being one of those means, for many cis women, that we completely avoid ever being assertive, self-confident, and comfortable with our sexuality (or lack thereof).

        It’s interesting how, at the same time we are accused of being just like men, so many cis women hold us to standards of behavior that render us completely docile and useful for their own purposes. I know that lots of cis women will hate to hear this, but in my experience, quite a few cis women treat us the same way that many men treat women – through general contempt, harsh policing of behavior, exploitation, abuse, and objectification/fetishization (all of which are, of course, closely related). That is the extent to which we experience transmisogyny from cis women.

      • Donna L
        April 8, 2015 at 4:48 pm

        I’m not sure I agree that it’s “many” cis women, comparatively speaking. I would like to think, based on my own experiences, that the omnipresence of transphobic cis women on the Internet is disproportionate to their numbers in real life. Even on the Internet, although it would be nice if cis women spoke up more against transphobia, EG, Roz Kaveney, and I did get close to 1,000 signatures for that statement against transphobic feminism, and the vast majority were from cis women.

      • Aaliyah
        April 8, 2015 at 9:26 pm

        I suppose my offline experiences sharply differ from yours. Maybe my trans lesbian friends and I are unlucky somehow. That said, I’m glad that you haven’t run into many cis female transmisogynists outside of the internet.

      • Donna L
        April 8, 2015 at 10:29 pm

        Well, it helps that I rarely leave my apartment (especially for the last 10 months since I’ve been unemployed), and never try to meet new people. A surefire way of avoiding real-life transmisogyny!

      • Donna L
        April 8, 2015 at 10:55 pm

        (That was mostly a joke. The primary reason is probably that I have so-called “passing privilege,” and only disclose my history to people I’m pretty sure will be accepting.)

      • Donna L
        April 8, 2015 at 4:43 pm

        Another example of the harm done to trans women by transphobic “feminist” cis women:

        http://uncommon-scents.blogspot.no/2015/04/actual-harm.html

        I also forgot to mention the disgusting lies fabricated to reinforce and worsen the stereotype of trans women being physically repellent, such as the claim (promulgated not only in the darkest corners of the Internet, but in the new book by the “respectable” academic, Sheila Jeffreys) that trans women’s vaginas have a distinctive odor of rotting flesh and feces.

        But I guess that’s not abusive, and does no harm. Freeze peach!

      • Aaliyah
        April 8, 2015 at 9:18 pm

        Many of these cis women will point to the fact that their own bodies are coded as filthy under patriarchy (which is true, of course), and yet they see nothing contradictory about simultaneously calling trans women’s bodies privileged due to being “male” and saying that trans women have inherently filthy bodies. It would be funny to me, if it weren’t for the fact that it’s part of a pattern of silencing trans women every time they dare to say that they experience the world as women. I mean, seriously, the fact that trans women are stereotyped as having repulsive and filthy bodies is itself a undeniable sign of being classed as women under patriarchy.

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