Change Your World-NOT your Body

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Does a Female Transitioner's Voice have a place on a Feminist Blog?

A space to post your opinions regarding yesterdays poll.

Should I provide a post or two a week where female transitioners can voice their opinions regardless of how those opinions are at the opposite end of mine? And despite that the trans community doesnt allow any differing voices, not even their own.

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18 comments:

  1. Your blog, your rules.

    Honestly, though, I think that because of the adversarial relationship that's developed between this blog/related feminist blogs and the trans community, a truly open forum in this space would probably do more harm than good, on both sides. Some of my fellow transitioning FTMs are...shall we say, rather immature. I think you saw this with your Open Comment threads before. And their poorly-thought-out and/or deliberately hurtful comments tend to provoke similarly hurtful comments from the anti-trans side.

    We have plenty of spaces where we can post our thoughts on transitioning and/or feminism; as usual, I don't think women are obligated in any way to give us the use of your spaces, no matter how much we may disagree with what you may be saying in them.

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  2. My take:

    Yes in an actively moderated way,meaning no totally open threads and the deletion of posts that most would find offensive or are obviously trollish.

    Pro Trans blogs do not allow open debate to the level that Dirt has and the trans community has mounted a campaign to have this blog banned from blogger. However, I think that by allowing more open debate on this blog then is permitted on pro trans blogs will show that Dirt is secure enough in her views to allow debate. Those who are insecure and have internal doubts are they ones who want to silence all views everywhere so that only their own voices are heard

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  3. Because your blog is public, there will always be "unwanted" voices.


    If you stand true to YOUR PERSONAL version of what feminism means to you, then no it shouldn't be provided.


    HOWEVER, bait and switch has worked before, do it again! lol

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  4. the trans so-called community is basically a clique of those in and those out. you can't have an opinion unless it jives with the hive mind.

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  5. If an anti-choice Catholic dude on his 15th marriage is allowed to be a feminist icon these days, it's a little late to worry about a bunch of women who drop T and grow stupid looking beards to pass the time as they collect disabillity.

    /just sayin'

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  6. I say yes. How can you have any type of legitimate conversation if only one side is represented? Discrimination and hatred stems from ignorance and ignorance from voices unheard. Enlighten everyone on all fronts so they may make a choice for themselves.

    I understand there may be an agenda, however allowing for open debate could be a good compromise for those ready to shut you down. You can't blame anyone (regardless of gender identity, etc) for reacting emotionally to something they take personal. There might be immaturity at first but I see intellectual conversation surfacing in its wake.

    erin

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  7. Don't do it.

    If the transitioners want a voice here, let them offer up their own space first for yours, and walk their talk.

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  8. @erin: "I say yes. How can you have any type of legitimate conversation if only one side is represented? Discrimination and hatred stems from ignorance and ignorance from voices unheard. Enlighten everyone on all fronts so they may make a choice for themselves."

    I really don't think that's the case here. One could probably call Dirt a lot of things, but "ignorant of trans issues and arguments" isn't one of them.

    To be honest, I don't think most of us have much to say that she and the other women here haven't heard already. And those of us who do have interesting things to say and can do so respectfully already usually see our comments published; most of the comments I've seen that were later deleted have been either old, tired, and redundant, or completely disrespectful and misogynist.

    Besides, there's no real reason for trans men to come here to speak. We have plenty of forums where we can speak, and Blogger's open to trans guys too - there's no reason one of us can't set up a site that's designated for dialogue, if dialogue is what we want. But this is a woman's blog that serves as a platform for a particular feminist viewpoint, and there's no reason for men to be here except to listen.

    I wouldn't go to a black blogger's anti-racist site and try to explain white people. I certainly wouldn't attack the blogger or commenters there for saying nasty things about white people, even if I found some of them to be insulting and/or untrue. I don't think most people would, other than the worst bigots. But for some reason men think we can go to women's sites and tell them what they should/shouldn't say about us. It's obnoxious. And it's mostly only trans men that do it, just like it's mostly trans men who try to date lesbians and inhabit real-world women's spaces. If we'd just shut up and listen for a minute, we'd realize that that behaviour is really the heart of the issue.

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  9. These guys are pretty much anti female so they shouldn't get a place on this blog.
    Don't do it.

    Cizz from europe

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  10. Anon 2:08:

    What's with the comments about disability? I'm a disabled lesbian, and I don't understand why whether someone collects disability is relevant to the conversation here. Seems like you might have a little bit of a prejudice...

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  11. i think you should.

    In order to make an educated opinion, one needs to hear both sides of the story. You're clearly against transition, so i think you should let those who have transitioned talk about theirs as well

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  12. I applaud K. They really get it.

    Props to you!

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  13. "I wouldn't go to a black blogger's anti-racist site and try to explain white people."

    Would a black blogger's anti-racist site make claims that white people don't exist? What's your implication here? That the actions and words of white racists are akin to what transmen do with our own lives and bodies? I come here because Dirt actually *lies* about our lives and our relationships with our bodies. I consider it my responsibility to present my truth to Dirt's readers who are not quite so full of intrinsic hatred and mistrust for transmen. I won't let someone else tell my story, and as long as women here are suggesting that we kill ourselves, or that our partners are child molesters, or that we are rapists, I will consider those words as bigoted acts of violence stemming from ignorance. You can be as magnanimous as you want but ftm's are not the perpetrators here. They are responding to the irrational hatred and false words of strangers.

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  14. @Anon 6:49: The sorts of things that people of color say are different from the sorts of things that feminists say, because the sort of oppression people of color experience is different in some important ways from the oppression that women experience. However, one doesn't have to look very hard to find people of color saying some extremely unpleasant things about white people (not just white racists in the sense that you mean them, but white people in general). Some of them are very painful to hear. Some of them are, in my opinion, untrue, or rather true only of a small subset of the population.

    But it doesn't do any good to go to a POC's blog and try to whitesplain myself. It'd be condescending (expecting to be listened to just because I'm a white person trying to educate the colored folk about my white innocence) and inappropriate. And it's worse than useless. Instead, if I want to be anti-racist, I go out into the world and show that I'm anti-racist. I go to places frequented by white people and call out racism there; I volunteer and work on issues of oppression; I write about racism to an audience of white people.

    And if I want to show that I'm feminist and against the oppression of women and gay men and lesbians, I do similar things. I write to a predominantly straight male audience about gay, lesbian, and women's issues. I engage in political activism; I participate in demonstrations against rape and gay-bashing, I work for political candidates who support women, I participate in counter-demonstrations to keep women safe entering Planned Parenthood. I don't go to lesbian and feminist sites and try to mansplain what an awesome feminist man I am. It doesn't work and it's obnoxious.

    And if they want to tell me I'm not a man...so what? Structurally, they're not the ones with the power. We live in a patriarchal society, and women can't oppress me any more than black people can oppress me. Their opinions matter on an individual human level, and I'm often personally hurt by them, but I'd rather channel that hurt into actually fixing what's wrong with the world rather than trying to convince oppressed groups that their oppression isn't my fault. If sexism weren't an ingrained structural element of our society and culture, then women wouldn't have any reason to tell me I'm transitioning because of sexism.

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  15. again K I commend you. brillant.

    You are a person who could actually make a difference in this ongoing, tired debate. A human difference, because you seem to get the big picture, outside of yourself and your own ego.

    I would sincerely be interested in reading more of what you have to say, as it really resonates with me as a younger looking butch dyke, who is often lumped into the "trans" arena, although I am 37 and well past my days of having a "case of the GI's"(gender issues)- although spent many years in the midst of it.

    I personally would like to hear your story if you'd be willing to share.

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  16. anon at 12;49

    wow!

    "I'd prefer to call on them to question their preconceptions about ftm's, because too much of their judgment is informed by the larger culture's hatred and mistrust for transsexuals."

    ---um your judgement there is assuming what that we are stupid and cannot make our own minds up based on our own experiences and witnesses to transexuals that we actually know?! puhlease. like we are so uninformed that we subcum to the hetro masses hatred and mistrust for trans... come on. way to belittle us and our intelligence there- just like a MAN.

    then you say:

    "Lesbians who hate, obsess over and rant about transsexuals are still working within, and coming from a system that gives them privilege over transsexuals, and their opinions - we are unnatural, we are sick, we are full of self-hatred, we should kill ourselves, we can't have love or have good lives, are STILL informed by the mistrust ingrained in all of us from the mass culture. "

    --- again with your judgement and assumptions. where anywhere on this blog does any lesbian say that transexuals should kill themselves? you really are jaded.

    talk about victim complex.

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  17. to K

    Thank you!

    In your comments on this blog post you state (very eloquently) EXACTLY how I've felt about much of the debate on this blog and in general. I've always wanted to leave a comment similar to yours, to let others know that there are actually some mature guys out there, willing to listen without automatically getting enraged and leaving immature and hateful comments (which really just adds fuel to the fire).

    And to Dirt:

    I really don't see the point of having the postings. I can see the potential benefits, but they odds are that everything will just be filled with immature comments flying from both sides. Not to say that ALL the comments will be immature or hate filled, just most. I understand the intention, I think, I just don't think it would work out in practice.

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  18. I agree with Kyle and K. This blog is run rampant with super immature people and comments that add no significance to the actual subject matter.

    If we really are here to help women and young girls, then heavy moderation is needed. I encourage Dirt to use a heavy hand in moderation. Delete away! Make it understood that only constructive comments are the ones that will see the light of day here.

    Only then can I really see us getting anywhere. Of course I'm really not sure of where there is to go, as many of us are steadfast in our opinions. But as in with the rest of life, when I see people so resolute in their views, it really makes me wonder if they themselves question them, and that's why they are so up for a fight to defend them.

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