A clarification and an apology.
I wrote a post about so called “women born women” spaces.
Let me make this chrystal clear:
Anything that provides a service, like a shelter, isn’t what I meant. Battered women’s shelters are for all women. I wasn’t referring to safe spaces. Anything that women might need. Anything that ISN’T just a social meeting shouldn’t be able to discriminate against any trans women.
I wrote that post after seeing an argument break out about Michfest, and a specifically a few other festival/meet ups like it, where a few feminists who made the group were getting berated by trans women who wanted the address for the meeting. They were trying to say they weren’t being transphobic for saying it was a cis women’s meet-up. And I saw their point - because wanting to meet up with people who have VERY similar experiences isn’t discriminating against other groups who don’t share that. It’s not saying they’re not women, just that they wanted to have a meeting with people who they had similarities to.
And now I feel like a bit of a tool. Because shelters aren’t what I’m talking about. I see why people thought it was ironic that I got yelled at and nearly arrested for using the bathroom. That type of thing isn’t what I was talking about.
And, on top of that, I saw a lot of people getting angry at me.
In my (albeit, clearly errant) mind, I saw my post to mean what I was talking about in my mind: that a group of cis women who had similar experiences would want to meet up and share those experiences. But I worded it poorly.
In any case, I made a HUGE error.
Lots of people got angry. And I saw that valid anger as male privilege seeping through when you were angry that it looked like (again, entirely my fault) I was posting about trans* women being thrown out of safe spaces, bathrooms, and public spaces, like that was somehow OK.
I am sorry.
I am my own editor, and that was worded about as horribly as possible.
My post about spaces for cis women was supposed to be about cis women being allowed to meet other cis women without it being called transphobic. I was an arrogant fool when I thought people who were angry with me about this were just showing internalized male privilege when they were fighting against oppression we’ve all felt.
I am sorry. If I ever write something that seems transphobic in the way that was, please contact me. If I’d known that was how it was coming across I would have edited it immediately. I am SO sorry to all those who I offended.
I *still* don’t understand why you think it’s okay to have an oppressor group be able to hold meetings that prohibit those from a group they benefit from the oppression of from attending?
(And yes, because I’m a person of colour, I can make this analogy) Take this for example:
White women only meeting (no woc allowed)
WoC only meeting
Do you think both of these meetings are acceptable to hold?
And this is why conversation is better then yelling.
I’ve had a lot of people throwing words like “sell out” and “transphobic idiot” around. I hear stuff like that and don’t listen. I can’t process irrational arguing. But Taleth has given me the first example that made me understand why this is so problematic.
I keep thinking about this, and you’re right. WoC have a right to (and do) have meetings about their experiences because they have a source of common pain and systematic problems to overcome.
If there was a meeting that said “white women only,” everyone would be shouting that it was racist.
And if that’s true, it’s simple logic that “cis women only” for anything, even a simple meeting, is transphobic, because you’re right. An oppressor group shouldn’t have meetings that don’t include the group they’re benefitting from the oppression of.
That makes a lot of sense.
I have a math quiz in the morning and I have to drop Mecca off before sprinting over to the most FUBAR parking situation on the planet, so I have to go to sleep. But you’re right. I was wrong. Cis women only spaces is trans phobic.
tl:dr Taleth, after a couple days of conversation, got me to understand where I was going wrong logically, by using a clear example and a consistant, even tone throughout conversation.
So, if your math quiz has the question “2 + F***ING 2 = ?”, are you not going to be able to answer it? It’s an easy question, probably far easier than any actual question you’ll get… at least if you recognize that ~*rudeness*~ doesn’t change the nature of truth.
The truth of something doesn’t change because you don’t like the packaging it’s wrapped up in, and you’re showing an enormous amount of entitlement in expressing the belief that you deserve to have the truth fed to you in the form that pleases you best.
Here’s the most important and truest thing you have said all evening:
I hear stuff like that and don’t listen.
Yes. That’s exactly right. You don’t listen. Active voice in full operation there.
Whyis that anyone else’s problem than yours? It’s your choice to stop listening. No one’s stopping you from listening.
I want you to entertain a possibility here: what if you were a sellout? Notice I’m not saying “are”, so you can’t stop listening. This is hypothetical. Imagine a world in which you, for whatever reasons of internalized self-loathing or whatever, were selling trans* women down the river and it was so ingrained that you didn’t even realize it.
Now, youcan’t say that’s impossible. You’ve been telling us all along that we’ve internalized stuff and don’t realize it. It’s a cornerstone of your belief system that a person can be behaving in problematic ways and not know why or even be aware that they’re doing it. You can’t say it’s impossible now.
So we have this completely hypothetical world in which you’re selling us out, and we’re angry. And we all have differing responses to anger and different ways of dealing with it, but our anger is all valid because… selling us out. Hurting us to do something you see as helping yourself. Not good.
So what are we supposed to do about it? How do we communicate this to you, if we’re not allowed to call you a sell-out?
A lot of what you write seems to be deeply predicated on the idea that there’s one right way to say things, one right way to do things, and you’re trying to figure out what that is. That’s rearing its ugly head here, again. You’re basically saying “See? Taleth’s way worked, so that’s the right way.”
Okay. It worked for you, but only because you chose not to listen to anyone else.
What about someone else who would need to see the anger to understand that they messed up? What if this whole scenario had played out exactly the same way but a different person was in your place, and this person pointed to taleth and said to everyone else, “See? This is just not worth getting upset over.”
Well, actually, you’re kind of doing that, too. But I mean, in addition to that, they weren’t swayed by taleth.
See, the world is full of people who do the same thing you’re doing here: policing people’s reactions to things that harm them. And a lot of the time, there is no right answer. The right answer is always whatever the injured party doesn’t do. Be polite? Well, then it’s not a big deal and we can simply agree to disagree. Be angry? Well, then it’s just a lot of shouting and I can write you off.
See? Any response can be spun into the wrong response, and that’s why it’s important to recognize that there is no wrong reaction to transphobia. None. If you drop a hammer on someone’s foot, you don’t question what comes out of their mouth in response. Even if you don’t like yelling and they’re yelling. Even if you don’t like four-letter words and they’re cursing like a sailor.
Just Long Enough, You Should Read Every Word: You caused the harm, you don’t get to dictate the response to the pain.