I've just deleted a post I wrote yesterday because it was snarky. I hope no one read it because, well, because it was just snarky.
It was born out of concerns for what seems to be a huge chasm amongst feminists. I have no idea whether or not this is also happening offline, as I rarely encounter feminism offline unless I make the effort to go to a feminist meeting. I rant in pubs, but that's just ranting.
I am hugely concerned that women are being divided into two camps - pro trans and anti trans. This is ridiculous and totally missing the mark. Many feminists believe that the pressure of gender assignment has negative effects on every individual. I do not believe that one is born 'feeling' like a gender that jars with their body. Perhaps, as someone at the F Word posted, this makes me arrogant. But if I 'felt like a man', then there would be nothing to stop me living as one, except for societal prejudice against effeminate men or extremely 'butch' lesbians with realistic strap-ons. That is not something unchangeable. In fact, societal attitudes are the very things that need to change.
The thing is, I don't know what feeling like a man would be because I'm not one, and just because I'm an entitled, selfish, lazy, egocentric person, who isn't good at expressing their feelings, can parallel park, hates shopping and only has eyes for everyone with a pulse doesn't mean I have to rethink my body. Even in some sexual fantasies of mine I have a penis. It still doesn't mean I need to change my outer shell. It just means I have fantasies that involve me with a dick.
I am worried that the feminist movement is becoming preoccupied with trans politics, and the trans activists themselves do not seem to be reciprocating the support for women born women that they want us to provide for them. This is probably only on the internet, but I haven't seen many trans women who are concerned with women as a group - only trans gender issues.
Feminism should of course take all gender issues very seriously, and they do, but there are other things we are fighting for and against, too. If 'ciswomen' and trans women are to be allies, then it can not all be about trans issues. There needs to be some give and take and understanding of the needs of all women.
At the moment, all I am seeing is women being divided. There are those who think that the suffering of men who believe/ed themselves to be in the wrong body, should be discussed over and above other feminist issues that some trans women do not seem as bothered by. Abortion rights for example. Yes, trans women are subject to oppression and they have exactly the same resources to combat this as women have always had. (Ie not much! Make do!)
I am totally not
of the opinion that trans people have it worse than women born women. Different issues - not worse.
I also find it interesting that the all the trans women I have read online support the sex industry. (Please, if a trans woman thinks the sex industry is harmful to women, let me know. I would appreciate your input.) I worry that some men transition to a female body in order to partake in the sex object role, which they may see as more powerful than their previous incarnation as a male - particularly if sex was a very big part of their lives and as a male they felt disempowered by it.
I just thought I'm going to get some angry comments about that last bit but I'll leave it there anyway. For now.
I hope women can make peace. Sometimes it seems as if women enjoy sparring. Well, we are all human beings, and we seem to make a mess of most things.
Focus people. It's not all about the male born.