Why I decided to post in support of trans people

I am not trans. I do have some trans friends and that made me search for information online. That alone would not make me blog about it.

What made me blog about it was that “trans-critical” authors got me at a pan point that has nothing to do with gender as such. They turned out to be my old and deeply hated enemy. Collectivists!

I grew up in the late USSR. I know exactly what it means when class interests are extolled, when “the common is higher than the personal”, and when “do you think you are special?” is an insult. Their “speshul snowflake” attacks on trans would ALONE suffice to make me into a committed trans supporter, because I have seen that and had that done on me – for things having to do with red hair and non-typical interests and beliefs, not gender. With THIS sort of bully against trans, up trans.

Every one human is special. Individual identity is more important than any collective which the human has not chosen (once chosen, a collective becomes a part of individual identity – and matters BECAUSE of the individual choice). This is where I come from. This is what I stand on. And this is why I find myself a trans ally, even though I am not of their movement and actually oppose gay marriage (a different story altogether – and I do support civil unions for all).

For this one trans ally, thank the radfems.


3 thoughts on “Why I decided to post in support of trans people

  1. I don’t really understand what you write here. A lot of attacks on feminists when you do not point to the many relevant critiques of gender and the many who are not at all against trans. By trans own definitions of transgenderism, we are all trans. So what you write here seems in deference to a certain ideology. You claim to be rational but I am not seeing rational thinking. You are pitting one group against the next. I am disappointed you cannot have an intelligent discussion of gender without slamming either side.

    • Note I wrote “some authors”. There are people who at least try to criticize gender in a reasonable way… though I can actually only name one, Elizabeth Hungerford. Most “trans-critical” blogs are full of hate and personal attacks – and, as I point out, many of these attacks are about trans people daring to be different, to be special and to attract attention to themselves. This is the logic, and often language, of a school bully. For a prime example look up the treatment of Mina Caputo on GenderTrender. (I do not link to it because I am in Ireland and I am not sure if linking to what is, by local law, hate speech might land me into trouble).

      As for Elizabeth Hungerford, who is indeed rational and recently repudiated personal attacks done elsewhere, I have a rational disagreement with her – and it is exactly about individualism vs. collectivism. I will link this time: http://sexnotgender.com/2013/01/18/insurance-coverage-and-the-medicalization-of-gender-non-conformity/ ; here is a nice exchange between me (“Mikhail”):

      I: I have never argued for legal limitation on who anyone looks out for when alone at night. I do NOT believe that “the personal is political” and would never support any political or legal meddling with people’s private choices (while only adults are involved and consent is not in doubt) . This was about her view s on violence but I use the same logic to criticize the “cotton ceiling” idea (which I find quite harmful).

      She: People’s private choices? You’re a libertarian? Oh, we are not going to get along! . I am not really a libertarian, but it does not seem she ascribes key value to individual identity and choice, as I do.

      In the same exchange she also writes: Class-based analysis is the only way to understand structural and institutionalized discrimination. If we can’t talk about classes of people, then neither sexism or racism exist. It’s just individuals being mean to each other with no cultural context. ‘CLASS’ IS EVERYTHING IN POLITICS. . My instinctive response to this is the good old “better dead than Red”. I have seen where “class analysis is everything” leads. I have heard teachers bang on about Marxism and historical materialism – and felt the result, the deadly equalizing of everyone, the enforced conformity.

      So, even with the only rational trans critic I know, we are firmly on different sides of the individualist-collectivist divide. Though with her it is on the philosophical level; most others directly exhibit the bullying behaviour I have long known to be associated with collectivism. And collectivism has hurt me deeply; anti-collectivism is a deep part of what I am. This is why no other stance seems possible for me.

      That does not mean I always agree with trans activists. Radfem (which sometimes wrongly claims to be all of feminism) is collectivist at its very core, but some trans use collectivist logic as well. Things like “cotton ceiling” (collectivism in the bedroom – barf! sexual choice should be the very definition of individual, one can prefer ANY kind). Things like trying to redefine other people’s private space (WBW only? They have that right! As does ANY OTHER group oppressed or not, this is what private means). So yeah. It’s really about the core issue for me – the primacy of the individual over the collective.

    • Oh, and I actually have loads of respect and support for those feminists who uphold the individual rights and agency of women. For the others too on some particular issues, even while we disagree on the basics.

      I would no identify as a “feminist” or “profeminist” because I do not concentrate on that one issue, but denial of basic freedom or of respected inclusion in society is unacceptable on any basis except for criminals. Denial of individual rights to women did and does happen and I support feminists in fighting that.

      When some feminists say they want to concentrate on the rights on born females that is fine too, everyone does what they feel a need to do, no one has to include anyone else in their private group. It is only when feminist rhetoric is used to deny the identity and basic rights of trans people in wider society that our ways part in practical terms.

      And – my key difference from libertarians – “inclusion” for me also means freedom from discrimination in public spaces including workspace, as well as a certain minimal living and medical standard for a given society.

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