Filed under: anek-doting, gender pimps, Grab a shovel, Interconnected!, WhatAboutMEEEE
According to the phobia list, my mom has “Gephyrophobia,” or, fear of bridges.
This is from, what she recalls, an eerie telepathic (or something? parasensory?) experience when her twin sister’s car was nearly thrown off a bridge during an accident. My mother claims to have those *twin feelings* where experiences are shared. When her twin sister’s car threatened to brim a high coastal bridge, instilled in my mother was the fear her life would be taken by a bridge some day.
My mother drives over very few bridges, if any, no matter the added distance or time to her trip. For over 30 years now she’s had recurring nightmares wherein she cannot make it over a steep bridge and reaches the top only to be staring down a hundred foot drop to the sea–one of those right-before-you-die’ers.
I have claustrophobia. Elevators are not my friend, or closed small rooms or crowded buses or concerts. I avoid them at all costs as well. Staircases are wonderful and businesses with enough decency to not sound a fire alarm if I use the stairwell make me a repeat customer.
When I was 4 it was darkness and under-the-bed phantoms.
I still freak out about heights.
But, you know, transpersons?
And phobia? Are you serious?
Listen I’m writing a pseudo book that I am going to post on this blog called “Radical Feminist Mis-characterizations.” I anticipate it will have endless contributions and I cannot wait to find out who, in whatever respect, I offend by laying out the mis-characterizations of radical feminists.
Are you calling *me* a MIScharacterizer pisaquari??? Have you forgotten I’m a PERSON!?”
Transphobia— it didn’t even make the phobia list and I can’t imagine why not. As much as it is thrown around you’d expect the Medical Association to have a book out on it by now–Janice Raymond on the cover or something, with doodled devil horns and a strap on.
“Transphobia,” just to give you a taste of the pseudo book’s brilliance, will cover radical feminists and all their “transphobia” for about 9 chapters. There will be account after account of radical feminists recoiling at the sight and presence of transpersons, Dworkinites melting at the touch of lipstick and lash curlers, separatists throwing bombs at “transition” surgeons.
(Forgive me! You will need boots to walk through this snark)
I, for one, am a big ole transphober. Why, just last week, an exciting suggestion was made by Deb about organizing some sort of Radical Feminist Conference. The conference, as laid out in the post, would be woman only, of the female born and raised variety. All but a few seemed down with it. I’m down with it. And since I cannot speak for all radfems let me give my account for wanting to make this trans exclusive.
I am not comfortable being my radical feminist self amongst transpersons. Reading transperson accounts online and in books does not help it either–in fact, it heightens my inability to speak freely. How can I, a gender abolitionist, feel comfortable speaking out against gender and its manifestations in the company of a transperson? How can I, a gender abolitionist, feel comfortable talking about my frustrations and hardships with the idea that what our bodies are born has anything to do with how we should express ourselves, in the company of a transperson? I think gender is woefully destructive and I put it to blame for so much of what pits us against our bodies. But what I am arguing for and about smacks against what transpersons feel is their reality and experience. In recognizing their daily trauma and very real oppression they receive I don’t have the *guts* to sit in a room and speak the truths I feel about gender with a transperson.
And why would I? What have radical feminists ever gotten by speaking their minds about gender as it applies to transitioning besides a stinking diagnosis? Add “transphobia” to the list of reasons why I am not down with trans at a radical feminist conference. (Perhaps we could come to some bull shit truce yes? Wherein you agree to label the problem accurately and we let you keep your silly name call: “genderphobia.” Because I wouldn’t dare ask anyone to part with “phobia.” How would you get through your day without vilifying radical feminists as hateful panicbots?)
I should have you know there is a P word I give to instances wherein a group of dissenting women are “diagnosed”–hysteria of some sort usually does the trick–and then told their paranoia can/must be solved by forcing the very thing/person they “fear” around them (5 homemade brownies in the next life to the person who gets it). Even if I did believe such a condition as transphobia existed amongst radfems, I certainly would not be cool with the triggering persons persistent imposing of themselves on the fearing (out of kindness, my loved ones take the stairs with me–they don’t push me onto elevators).
I cannot think of any other time in my life, besides a radical feminist conference here and there (the one proposed by Debs would be my first), where I would want to be in a trans exclusive environment. It took me years to find like-minded individuals on the internet–it would mean the world to me to meet them in person and speak openly about my ideas. Even the city I live in has a pretty thriving underground trans scene, places for trans to meet up and share their experiences and I think that’s great. But I have never heard of such a place for radfems. As it is, I would have to shell out some serious dough to make it to the place where I could be with such a like-minded group.
And I’m guessing, looking into this further, me and the radfems I run around with, are super cruel–I mean, have you considered this is also radfem only? I seriously doubt Phyllis Schlafly is invited. I wouldn’t invite my mother. Is this event also Nonradfemsphobic?
I have said elsewhere on my blog, in comments, that I agree radical feminists need to take more time to address the oppression transpersons receive and I hold to it.
But I can’t lie that it becomes hard to take that position when so much of what radfems do on this front (as with others, like the sex positive ordeal) is damage control. People spend more time being offended by radical feminists than engaged. Reasonable, productive discourse is shot at the outset.
And I don’t have a solution, as much as I wish I did. I also can’t lie that I am thoroughly irritated with the micro-management of radical feminist ideas and events as if WE are the fucking enemy!
As it stands, the Conservatives don’t like us, the Liberals resent us, the “alterntiave”communities make fun of us–trust me, we’re not getting any coverage, or making a lot of friends with all our “hateful” ideas. ( patriarchy and everything will stay intact after such a conference, much to our own disappointment and, many times, depression).
So you know, if a group of radfems (and I do mean group) want to get together and make a day of it exclusively then what the hell is the problem with it? What life shattering thing could possibly result that would have us labeled transphobic and the Grand Haters of transpersons?
Should we start slinging the same shit?
I mean..are you RadfemPHOBIC or something????
123 Comments so far
Leave a comment