More Cotton Ceiling

Someone commented anonymously on my previous post as follows:
Why shouldn’t a lesbian, of which I am one, decide that she only wants to sleep with women – and by women I mean people with female bodies. In my book, that is the definition of a lesbian. I am not being prejudiced by declaring i will never sleep with men or never sleep with Trans people with male bodies, I am simply stating my preference as a lesbian.

I think actually it is quite arrogant for Trans people to tell lesbians what their definition of a lesbian should be.

I don’t know who this is. though psrticular coincidences of phrasing make me think that it may be Cath Brennan =@bugbrennan on Twitter- who seems to regard herself as totally my nemesis. But, I don’t actually know it is her and I choose to prefer to believe that someone who has tweeted me links to hate sites with my photo on them would have the good taste not to post here. Later Not Brennan apparently, just someone who shares her views and uses some of the same phrasing.

So, to address the point raised…

In the first case, what do you mean by ‘female bodies’? Do you mean ‘the bodies of people assigned female at birth’ or do you mean ‘those bodies I regard as female by some criteria I will tell you about but have not’? And when you say ‘female’, is there, as oddly there sometimes seems to be in people who take the position you are taking here. a subtle distinction between the word ‘female’ and the word ‘woman’? Are you saying that you would never want to sleep with someone who had a penis, however else they presented, or are you saying that you would never want to sleep with someone who had ever had a penis, no matter how much surgery they had had?

Do you insist on a full physical examination of your potential lovers? An up-to-date report from their gynaecologist? Or do you, like some of the people who comment on GenderTrender, believe that you just always know when a trans woman is in the room? That your womb twitches, or the hairs on your neck dance widdershins, or that you can smell them out? That their vaginal juices just taste different? (For people late to this particular conversation, or too sane to go near Gendertrender,I am not making this shit up. Honest. Not even exaggerating much.)

In which case. presumably, you also think it arrogant of trans people to want to have sex with anyone without full disclosure of their past. present and future genital configuration? Or do you think that lesbians. of whom you are one, should have some rights in this matter greater than those allocated to straight women, straight men and gay men? You did say ‘trans people’, but did you actually mean ‘trans women’? Or are you choosing to regard as ‘female’ the bodies of trans men? Wouldn’t that too be rather arrogant? And I notice, when you talk of arrogance, that you regard your own ideas about what constitutes a female body as trumping the ideas of the person who is that body?

Am I being arrogant in asking to have a conversation when your particular brand of lesbianism gives you a full and total answer and anything I might say is redundant?

No one here is telling anyone what they ought to think or to whom they ought to be attracted. I wrote my original post as the start of a conversation. The question is, rather, to ask them to justify that preference. Some lesbians like to talk as if they could never sleep with women who had ever slept with a man; is that a justifiable preference? One of my lovers was told that, if she slept with me, no decent woman would ever want to touch her again’ – would that be a justifiable preference? Some straight men say that, if they ever found out that someone they’d slept with was trans, they would kill them. Is that justified? Or at least, do you understand that level of anger, rather than regarding it with abhorrence?

I certainly would not want to sleep with any woman who had strong views about my past. I don’t know any lesbian trans woman who would want to. For me, this has not always been an abstract question. I’m out and have always been out, and don’t try to pass past a level that ensures basic social safety – I have nonetheless had occasional unequivocal passes made at me by women I had reason to believe shared your views and have regarded myself as obliged to make specific and explicit disclosure, just as I had to, back in the days when I was still sleeping with men. I certainly would not want the consequent awkwardness to happen after sex rather than before it. On occasion, though, I’ve thought it a shame, because I am weak and human, and my preference not to sleep with transphobic bigots is sometimes something I’ve had to weigh against sexual attraction.

It must be nice to be encased in certainty as to who everyone you meet is, and have perpetual hard guidelines about which of them are off-limits – or maybe not. How would you feel about a woman who said she would only sleep with women of her own race or religion? Or who had preferences about body weight, class, level of able-bodiedness? Just saying.

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About rozkaveney

Middleaged, trans, novelist, poet, activist
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409 Responses to More Cotton Ceiling

  1. drjon says:

    I didn’t even understand the comment you quote, at first. Had to read your post to realise that by “female bodies” they actually didn’t mean “a body which has female characteristics”, but “a body which is possessed by XX chromosomes, which I cannot see”.

    My bad.

    • rozkaveney says:

      Contrary to popular superstition, chromosomal assay does not always provide a clear settlement of the issue, even setting aside the standard intersex variations. One of my friends is a chimera, for example – and it all depends where you take the swab from; another’s test results went, approximately, ‘well, there’s quite a bit of X in there, and some Y, but…:

      • drjon says:

        “I will have to run a complete biometric chromosomal assay on your entire body so that I know which parts I can be attracted to, and which parts I will find repellent”.

      • cherade9 says:

        Yay! Don’t you think that would be an amazing chat-up line?

      • lesley222 says:

        I have never said that I find man’s bodies repellant. Simply that I don’t find them sexually attractive. Surely it is my choice as a woman to decide that I am a lesbian and therefore are only attracted to women’s bodies?

      • x_mass says:

        right with you there. I was having this discussion with a bisexual friend a couple of days ago and we were discussing how hetrosexuality did my head in – look i’m ok about them doing it in the privacy of their own bedrooms but in the street…. :p
        And she talked about how she could get around how us lesbians could exclude someone who if female we would find really attractive e.g. Brian Molko, and i agreed that he was really beautiful, but it was that he was male that would cause me to kick him out of bed. Having said that i have had girlfriends who have had penises but in that case its a disability, both of us know that its getting in the way, she would rather it not be there as would I.

        so again with labels and words i know what you mean and a better word usage would be female bodies but from your perspective I can see they mean exactly the same. Like i said a point of contention but…

      • lesley222 says:

        Yes we are not going to agree with whether somone born in a male body can be a woman. But I am glad you understand that I don’t find men’s bodies repellant.

      • ffutures says:

        The impression I’m getting (mostly from seeing your side of the argument, of course, and those of other friends, since I’m not directly involved) is that in many ways this is more like the rhetoric offered by the religious right, pro-lifers, etc. than anything that really resembles a rational or scientific viewpoint; basically it’s using dodgy arguments to justify prejudice.

      • x_mass says:

        oooh someone else like me!

        I actually got tons of Y but a whole bunch of other variations

  2. jessie_c says:

    Dear anonymous,

    I think actually it is quite arrogant for lesbian feminists to tell Trans people what their definition of a woman should be.

    Hypocritical much?

    • valeriekeefe says:

      Especially when plenty of trans people are lesbian feminists (though I will admit to holding treasonous ideas about the directionality of gender power relations… comes from Rawls), like me.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Hi I did post a comment to explain that I did not know how to put my name in, but that I am happy to share it. My name is Lesley. I am not any of those individuals you name, simply a lesbian reading on the internet who disagreed with your post. In terms of the points posted above:

    1. We all know what a male or female body is. A female body does not have a penis. If you believe a female body has no reality, why do Transgender people say they feel as if they are for example a woman trapped in a man’s body. If a woman’s body is not recognisable, then neither is a man’s. Thus you could not be trapped in a man’s body, thus no need for sex change surgery, electrolysis, etc. So no I would never have sex with someone who has a man’s body including a penis.

    I personally would never want to have sex with a Trans who was born with a male body however much surgery he had. Why? If someone looked totally like a woman – and in my experience this is rare – then I may be attracted to them. But as a lesbian feminist, I have made a decision that I want to spend my energy and time with women – not men and not Trans people. If I was tricked into sex with a Trans man I would be very very unhappy.

    2. I would always and have defended and challenged when Trans people are being harassmed. And I support legislation stopping for example Trans people being sacked etc for being trans.

    3. I don’t understand why your definition of woman, feamle body and a lesbian should trump mine. A Trans person who was born with a male body may self indentify as lesbian, that doesn’t mean that I need to recognise them as a lesbian. I don’t

    • jessie_c says:

      And I do not understand why your definition of woman, feamle body and a lesbian should trump mine. Who died and made you Queen to decree for everyone what does or does not define a woman? You degender us even right here in this thread. You show your utter lack of respect for our identities.

      You fall directly into the trap of the patriarchy: you define people by their bodies. Yet feminism is based on the premise that peoples’ bodies do not define them. You impose your deluded definition of trans people upon us, you do not listen to our knowledge, or experience, our voices. You oppress us in the exact manner you decry when men oppress you.

      By this you gleefully proclaim yourself a hypocrite. I pity you.

      • maellenkleth says:

        Oooh. Each of us has the intrinsic right to frame our own definitions. That’s easy.

        Waht’s harder is arriving at consensus within any given relationship.

        For record, in my world-view: penile=male. Period, full stop. Your world-view may well differ; neither mine nor yours trump each other, and practically speaking they have minimal need for intersection.

        Good discussion, this. ^_^

      • jessie_c says:

        Except that the anonymous Leslie has taken it upon herself to not only frame her definitions, but to seek to impose them upon total strangers. By doing that she declares that she considers herself to be superior, and trans people therefore inferior.

        I’m not about to take that kind of disrespect meekly.

      • Anonymous says:

        How am I anonymous? I have given you my name. What more information do you want?
        I responded to a post about the “cotton ceiling” which labels lesbians like myself as discriminatory for not viewing Trans men as woman. Is that not attempting to impose definitions on me?
        I don’t think anyTrans people here are declaring themselves to be superior by making the arguments they are making, just as I don’t think I am declaring myself to be superior by making the arguments I am making.

      • jessie_c says:

        Oh dear, you get very upset when the shoe is on the other foot, don’t you? Strange, I’m only saying what I think, the same thing you repeatedly claim you are doing. To throw your own words right back at you: I am simply stating what I see as a fact. You are puzzled why we get upset when you do it to us, yet you utterly miss your hypocrisy when you get upset after we return the favour.

        What you think you’re doing doesn’t matter, What matters is what you’re doing. We’re calling out your BS; you’re not expected to like it.

        But you have the opportunity to learn from it. Whether you do or not is up to you.

      • lesley222 says:

        No I wasn’t upset Jessie actually.

      • jessie_c says:

        You certainly do a convincing impression then. And I note how you neatly sidestep my points rather than engage them. You are not interested in discussion. You are interested in forcing your opinion onto total strangers and then derailing their answers when they venture into areas you’d rather not go because you know you have no answers for them.

      • lesley222 says:

        Sorry Jessie, what have I not answered? I am answering so many posts on here if I have missed something I do apologise. So can you say it again and I will try and answer it?

      • jessie_c says:

        Oh no, I’m not going to play that game. What I wrote is clearly available in this thread. Go read it without your ideological blinders on.

      • lesley222 says:

        “taken it upon herself to not only frame her definitions, but to seek to impose them upon total strangers. By doing that she declares that she considers herself to be superior, and trans people therefore inferior”

        Okay I think this is what you are referring to. Yes I frame my own definitions and ideas as everyone does. I only seek to impose them through debate, I have no power to impose them at all. In fact I ma vastly outnumbered here.

        I do not think I am superior at all. Yes I think my definitions and ideas are right and yours are wrong, but I don’t think that makes me superior. My girlfriend doesn’t agree with all my beliefs around transgenderism, but I don’t think I am superior to her either. We just have different views.

        And actually I am beginning to get all quite fond of you here.

      • maellenkleth says:

        Hmm, I suppose that I’m not reading her words in quite that way as you are, but instead considering that there’s an implicit ‘in my experience’ or ‘for my part’.

        I would imagine that this slogan is familiar: “yes means yes and no means no”; it’s up to the person who wears the cotton undies to decide who gets past them. ^_^

        Hugs,

        Elane

      • jessie_c says:

        I quote her multiple posts in this thread:
        …a Trans who was born with a male body however much surgery he had… (emphasis mine)
        Here she chooses to impose upon us a male identification in direct opposition to our stated identity.
        If I was tricked into sex with a Trans man I would be very very unhappy. (emphasis mine)
        Here she refiys the old and tired-out “trans people are deceivers” trope, and once again hammers home her point that we are male because she says so.
        If someone looked totally like a woman – and in my experience this is rare…
        Lookism here, once again concentrating on the superficial in her personal standards as she imposes them upon us.
        It doesn’t mean I have to accept your self definition.
        Here once again she declares that her definition trumps ours. And yet she declares that we have to accept her definitions. The hypocrisy is glaring.
        I don’t know who you are, I have just read your post today
        Here she declares that she doesn’t care who we are, but she won’t let that little fact stop her from imposing her definitions upon us.
        You say I am being rude by refering to MtoT as men or Trans men rather than women or she. I am simply stating what I see as a fact. (emphasis mine. Note that she can’t even bring herself to say MTF)
        Here again she declares that what she believes to be facts trump our own experiences; she is clearly superior, and entitled to label us, degender us, dehumanise us.

        Time and time again she calls us men. Time and time again she ignores what we say in favour of her ideology. There is no implicit ‘in my experience’ happening here. Instead there is a very explicit ‘I am privileged to define you as what I believe you to be despite anything and everything you say to the contrary’.

      • lesley222 says:

        I do not think someone can be a man or woman based on self identity. The term man and woman are biological realities. You can identify as a woman if you are a Trans man, but this does not make you a woman.

        I never for a minute said that Trans people trick lesbians into having sex with them. I was asked if I had sex with a Trans Man what I would think about that. I responded directly to that question and yes in that scenario I would feel tricked.

        I am not saying you have to accept my definition of a woman, female or lesbian. We are debating our different opinions about what constitutes a woman, female or lesbian. It is up to us as individuals whether we accept each others definitions.

        I do not believe that because my opinion is different to you that I am superior. But neither do I believe that because a Trans man tells me that he interprets his lived experience as to mean that he is really a woman or a lesbian, that I think he is right.

      • jessie_c says:

        Again and again you reject our reality and insist on your own. Again and again you insist that trans women are men. Again and again you throw this insult right into our faces.

        Then you wonder why we are upset at your privileged attitude.

        It is a well-known biological fact that being trans is a physical condition, not a “self identity”. It is indeed a biological reality, no matter how many times you loudly claim that it isn’t.

        You bloody well did say “Tricked”. Let me show you your own words once more: If I was tricked into sex with a
        > Trans man I would be very very unhappy. Don’t try to dance away from the truth when I call you on your bullshit.

        For someone who claims that we don’t have to accept your definition you’re pretty damn insistent that you must keep sticking it onto us. You claim the right to set our identity. Repeatedly, dogmatically, without even once listening to us. That is a textbook definition of an attitude of superiority. Once again you deny what your actions show you doing. Once again you prove yourself to be a hypocrite.

      • lesley222 says:

        Where they do intersect is when Trans men want access to women or lesbian only spaces or berate lesbians for not wanting to sleep with them because they don’t see them as a woman.

        If I was a straight woman, not involved in women only activities, Trans men would have no impact at all in my life and there would be no intersection. So no the fact that we hold different views of what constitutes a woman or lesbian would not intersect or matter to me.

      • maellenkleth says:

        My simple sense of things is that the organiser(s) of each space really ought to have the basic freedom to define who may or may not partake of that space.

        From that freedom, we would experience a variety of assortments of people within any given space. I don’t find that prospect particularly worrisome, so long as the relevant expectations are clearly-communicated beforehand.

        I might also add that I would never stand still for being berated by anyone, and find that particular behaviour quite unacceptable.

      • lesley222 says:

        I agree but all my early comments had to be allowed by Rozk as I was not registered. He allowed all of my comments. If he wants me to stop posting here, of course I will stop posting here. However, previously he actually posted that he believes in freedom of speech and was happy to allow my comments.

        So unless he has changed his mind in which case of course I will stop posting, I will continue to take him at his word that he is happy for me to post here.

      • heavenscalyx says:

        You could at least be polite in Roz’s space and use her preferred pronouns. To refuse to do so is beyond rude into abusive, obnoxious, and purposefully trollish behavior.

      • jessie_c says:

        7 times in the space of two sentences you degender Roz. Did you not read ‘s words? I might also add that I would never stand still for being berated by anyone, and find that particular behaviour quite unacceptable.

        Here again you show us that you consider yourself to be above polite behaviour when dealing with trans people. Here again you declare your superiority. Here again your actions belie your words.

      • heavenscalyx says:

        I really think Lesley has gone beyond any kind of polite conversation well and truly into troll territory. She’s just spouting the same things all the MichFest “defenders” spout, in pretty much the same words and phrases, and not bothering to read with any depth — just picking up on “hot button” words and casting them into her own reality.

      • jessie_c says:

        Raz says it below: Leslie and those who think like her are not concerned with how other people experience the universe.

        All we can do is to rub her hypocrisy in her face and show her that she is less right than she thinks she is. She may learn, though I doubt it. True Believers rarely let such minor inconveniences as facts sway them away from their comfortable delusions. What will happen though, is that anyone else who reads this will see her for the self-deluded hypocrite she truly is.

      • lesley222 says:

        If Rozk wants me to stop posting, she only has to say and I will stop posting.

      • vschanoes says:

        I am late to this particular party. I just want to point out that Roz has been a woman longer than I have been alive, and I am no spring chicken these days. If she has no right to the feminine pronoun, then neither do I.

      • arkady says:

        Stop referring to MtF people as Trans men – that term refers to FtM transgender individuals, of which I am one. The term you should be using is trans woman.

        When trying to persuade people you’re not a bigot, it helps to use the correct terms and stop behaving like one. And quit misgendering people; it’s damned rude and doesn’t do your case any further favours.

        And you must really have an overinflated opinion of your own self worth if you honestly believe that transwomen are itching for the chance to sleep with you.

      • lesley222 says:

        The whole nux of this debate is that I don’t accept Trans men are women and vice versa.

        An over inflated opinion of myself? That sounds dangerously close to anti lesbian men who criticise lesbianism by saying as if any man would want to sleep with you anyway.

      • jessie_c says:

        Ram that foot deeper; I don’t think you got it all the way in.

      • lesley222 says:

        I honestly don’t know what you mean jessie?

      • jessie_c says:

        I mean that you continue to insist, over all our objections that trans women are men. And now you’ve attempted to derail the discussion into the subject of anti-lesbian men. So keep chewing on that foot. Eventually you’ll reach your knee.

      • lesley222 says:

        Yes I do think trans women are men.

      • jessie_c says:

        And we have been telling you for hours how and why you are wrong, yet you persist in your lies.

      • lesley222 says:

        Lies or just a different opinion? I have not accused you of lying. I believe that you believe what you say, just as I believe what I say.

      • jessie_c says:

        Lies. An opinion based on falsehood is a lie. You may believe it, but that does not automagically make it true.

      • lesley222 says:

        My definition and I think the accepted definition of alie, si something that somebody says knowing that to not be true. We both believe in our own truith. Of course we can’t both be right, but I don’t think either of us are lying.

        Can I ask if you have had full MtoF surgery and if yes, how long ago?

      • jessie_c says:

        No you may not. You do not have permission to assume the right to know what my genitals are like. How incredibly rude!

      • lesley222 says:

        Fair enough, it is a personal question. I was just trying to understand better where you are coming from.

        As I understand the majority of Trans men do keep their penis.

      • jessie_c says:

        Here we go again. Trans men want a penis. Trans women, for the most part, do not. You do not need to know the state of y genitals to learn where I am coming from. I have given you all you need to know in my responoses to you.

        How many times do you need to be told not to be disrespectful before you learn that it applies to you?

      • lesley222 says:

        I don’t know if trans men want a penis or not, but I have read that most do keep their penis.

      • jessie_c says:

        And once again you allow yourself to miss the point. Once again you doggedly stick to your lie in the face of all evidence to the contrary. Once again you assume the right to define women as men, proving that you consider your opinion to be more equal than ours. Once again you attempt to oppress.

      • tekalynn says:

        Every person is different. Some don’t feel dysphoric about their genitalia, some do. Some want surgery, others don’t. Some want surgery, but can’t afford it.

      • Anonymous says:

        I think words have meaning. A pen, a desk, an elephant – these are words to describe real objects. We don’t get to say a car is really a pen – because what would be the point then of having words to name things, if they don’t actually mean something.

        Similarly a woman and female are biological realities – not a self identity. And it is rare outside the Trans community for anyone not to see a lesbian as someone who is sexually attracted to woman with female bodies.

        Patriarchy is not about saying someone with a female body is a woman. Patriarchy is about saying someone with a female is a woman therefore she will behave, think and feel a certain way.

        I have no power to force my definition of Trans people on you. In fact male dominated society is increasingly taking the view that Trans people’s self identity is the legally accepted definition. Please do not pretend I am oppressing you, when I have no power to oppress you. My only power is to say what I think and to refuse to sleep with Trans Men – hardly earth shattering power I think.

      • jessie_c says:

        I think words have meaning. A pen, a desk, an elephant – these are words to describe real objects. We don’t get to say a car is really a pen – because what would be the point then of having words to name things, if they don’t actually mean something.

        Yet you insist on imposing your own definiton upon trans women. You attempt to label us as something we are not.

        Similarly a woman and female are biological realities – not a self identity. And it is rare outside the Trans community for anyone not to see a lesbian as someone who is sexually attracted to woman with female bodies.

        The fact that trans women are women is a biological reality. A fact you would learn if you were to allow yourself not to be blinded by your ideology.

        Patriarchy is not about saying someone with a female body is a woman. Patriarchy is about saying someone with a female is a woman therefore she will behave, think and feel a certain way.

        I didn’t say that Patriarchy is about saying someone with a female body is a woman, I said that you use the Patriarchy’s tools and tactics. You dance and twist my words in order not to acknowledge their truth. Truly your hypocrisy is boundless.

        I have no power to force my definition of Trans people on you.

        And yet you still do so, at every possible opportunity.

        In fact male dominated society is increasingly taking the view that Trans people’s self identity is the legally accepted definition.

        Because they are actually learning the facts and truth about trans people. Things you do not allow yourself to do. Likely it’s because if you do so, you will see how threadbare your beliefs really are.

        Please do not pretend I am oppressing you, when I have no power to oppress you. My only power is to say what I think

        What you think is not truth. You use your cis privilege to insist that your delusions are reality. You and your ilk use your privilege to enforce your notions upon women. Look at what Roz talks about in her original post: When they have had the power, lesbian feminists of her stamp have broken sexual relationships and friendships, or got people sacked from jobs or thrown out of their homes. This in addition to the abuse and defamation which they regularly confuse with debate You are attempting to do just that right here and now. You declare that we are not women. By doing that, you oppress. Don’t try to pretend you don’t.

        and to refuse to sleep with Trans Men – hardly earth shattering power I think.

        Once again you degender us. Once again you deny our identity.

        But you needn’t worry. Most of us have a strange habit of wanting to sleep with people who are not bigots, so you can rest easy; none of us will ever wish to sleep with you.

    • x_mass says:

      hi leslie
      thanks for identifying yourself

      small point transexual people what to change their bodies, transgender cover a huge range of communities for example if you were intrested in dragging up as a man, for an evening of fun once in a blue moon, that would make you transgender.

      so transexual women say they feel like they are trapped in a mans body. because that’s how we experience it. I knew I was a girl about the time most other girls knew the were girls, however it only became a problem when i first went to school aged 5 and everybody insisted i was a boy. Their a good physiological reason for this but not something I can explain easily here.

      btw the trauma of being forced to be a boy when i was a girl was pretty bad: i started attempting suicide when I was 6 and by 9 i was too depressed to even try. As a small child I also repeatedly tried to remedy the situation through self surgery – which is remarkably difficult – nature put our genitals where they are for a reason

      your comments point to a basic question – how do you know you are a woman?
      And a futher question why should I accept that your a women just because you say so?

      do you know much about intersexulity?
      for example i was labeled as male as a child but surgery was performed on me when i was baby to make me fit within the accepted definition of male

      How would you see a partner who had been labeled as a girl at birth but actually had been porn with a penis that had been “reduced” to fit within the feamle norms?

      This surgery on children is quite common especially because their is so much societal pressure on parents to decaler the sex of their child – so they can be reared as male or female. parents who choose not to fall into this trap are labelled as abusers and attacke. thus their is intense pressure on doctors to ‘correct’ natures ‘errors’ so an easy classifictaion can be made

      2. you mention that you would feel tricked into sex if you had had sex with a trans man, so you would feel tricked if an ex-lover whom you thought was female subsquently changes their sex to become a man?

      3. you say your a lesbian feminist – why should I aceept to you as being a lesbian feminist? I known plenty of lesbians who used to have sex with men, and even have sex with men, yet still describe themselves as lesbian, should I accept them as lesbians, why should i accept what you say?
      btw the answer is because we run this world on trust, and if you say your a lesbian that’s good enough for me. If you say your a feminist then I am sure there will be plenty of actions you and i would fight together on for. Btw I describe myself as a lesbian feminist. actually i don’t i describe myself as dyke, a tranny, a raspberry or a crip, a geek and a gear head, a hacker and a head banger, as pinky and the brain….

      • lesley222 says:

        “transgender cover a huge range of communities for example if you were intrested in dragging up as a man, for an evening of fun once in a blue moon, that would make you transgender.”

        That makes it worse. So lesbians should be open to sleeping with a man because he once dressed up in a dress? You are talking about huge numbers of men then.

      • jessie_c says:

        Yet again you twist someone’s words. Yet again you push back the boundaries of your hypocrisy.

      • x_mass says:

        my dear i would hope you sleep with someone you fancy, who cuddles you, makes you good dinners, make you feel warm and special, who recognises all of whom you are

        I hope lesbians in general shoudl get to sleep with lesbian and bisexual women, cause going out with hets who are playing around is a world of pain

        should lesbians sleep with men um if they want I suppose

        i said transgender covers a huge range of groups, transexualsa small section of that, transexuals are about 1 in 1000 people, so persumably 1 in 1000 lesbians is transexual and i would hope that hope that other lesbians can see past teh suffering transexual lesbians have suffered to see the women within, that their are lesbinas who will love them for whom they are with all the diversity of whom they

        I hope you are loved for who you are, for all the diversity of who you are

        and btw thankyou for signing up to Lj and being willing to come into this space to talk, I am sure we are very challenging to you.

        hugs (if wanted)

        kate

      • lesley222 says:

        Hi Kate

        Thanks I have no problem at all with people here being challenging to me. I think I am also being challenging. And I do hope all Trans men and women find someone who loves them and respects them. And I know transgender people suffer lots of harassment and violence and I really wish that would stop.

        But sorry I won’t see a Trans man as a woman.

      • jessie_c says:

        In one breath you say And I know transgender people suffer lots of harassment and violence and I really wish that would stop.

        Yes right after that you go on and say But sorry I won’t see a Trans man as a woman.

        You wish the harassment would stop but you are utterly unwilling to be the person who stops first.

        And you wonder why we say you’re such a hypocrite.

      • lesley222 says:

        I guess it depends what you mean by harassment. I don’t want Trans people to be harassed at work by colleagues or customers, or to be harassed by neighbours or strangers on the street. That doesn’t mean I want Trans men in all women only spaces.

      • jessie_c says:

        You refuse to give up. You continue your campaign of hatred and pooression right in our faces. You once again demonstrate your claim to superiority by setting aside spaces for “real” women that you don’t want trans women to belong in. You clearly, unequivocably demonstrate your double standard. “It’s perfectly okay that trans women shouldn’t get harassed in the street, but don’t let those icky people near me.”

        Hypocrite.

      • x_mass says:

        no jess she isn’t a hypocrite she just has a different view of the world than we do

        her view is consistent and logical.

        I disagree with her underlying assumptions but that doesn’t mean she doesn’t care about how trans people are treated by society – she just see’s us as who we are at birth and that is a view shared by many people whose knowledge of biology is based on the “lies to children” that she was taught in school

      • jessie_c says:

        I contend that her hypocrisy lies in the fact that she claims to be feminist yet she consistently uses the Patriarchy’s tools against trans women. She claims the right to define herself, she gets quite defensive when we call her “cis” yet she expends large amounts of energy attepting to police our identities. There is her hypocrisy.

      • x_mass says:

        I guess i come froma multiple schoold of feminism theory, oh and a huge chunk of realpolitic.

        She to me undoubtly a feminist. I known plenty of feminist who see being lesbian as wrong and sickening (for religious reasons), they are still feminists even if they seem to ape the logic of patriachy at times,

        To me feminism is about making the world better for all women and there is so much to do that i am not worried about picking only people who accept me as me on my team.

        I saw what that logic brougt back in the eighties, that atomisation, that tore feminism to bits. It also was tearing the trasexual rights community to bits which is why I fought hard to promote transgender as inclusive and fought to incude transgender with LGBT

        As to pilicing identities, I suspect she is policing her identity,: If she accepts us as women, how does she know that she is a woman? Something that is central to her identity both as a lesbian and as a feminist.

      • jessie_c says:

        My heart bleeds for her. Regardless of any personal problems she has, she has no right to tell someone esle who they are.

      • lesley222 says:

        Thank you x mass, somone is agreeing with something I said!

        I have consistently said that I don’t want transgendered men to access some women only spaces, not all.

      • jessie_c says:

        And by doing that, you consistently degender trans women. By doing that you practise exclusionism, a tool of the Patriarchy. By doing that, you demonstrate your deep and abiding hypocrisy.

      • lesley222 says:

        Exclusionism by itself si not automatically a tool of the patriarchy. Black women excluding me from their space are not in my view using tools of the patriarchy or oppressing me. They are attempting to have some space for themselves.

      • jessie_c says:

        Invalid comparisson is invalid. And once again you attempt to derail. Exclusionism the way you are using it is a tool of the Patriarchy. Do not pretend for a second that it isn’t. Do not try and twist off the hook.

      • lesley222 says:

        No I don’t agree. What I want is a safe supportive space for women. It is not the same as being in a mixed space.

      • jessie_c says:

        Here again you insist that having trans women in a space makes it a mixed space. Yet again you degender trans women. Yet again you insist that your definition of women is more equal than ours.

        You are completely happy to use the Patriarchy’s tool of exclusion. Whether you agree or not, this is exactly what you are doing. Stop trying to pretend that it isn’t.

      • lesley222 says:

        Jessie we disagree on the definition of what a woman is. I doubt we will change each others minds at this stage.

      • jessie_c says:

        I don’t have to change your mind. All I have to do is demonstrate how wrong you are, and anyone reading this will know who is correct.

      • x_mass says:

        can i just point out that i think degendering things is in my opinion a good thing.

        If you don’t have gender then you can’t discriminate on it, I would rather have a society that didn’t care about gender, that saw it as important as hair colour – which actually bothers lots of people ironicaly

      • jessie_c says:

        Degendering in the sense that it removes gender from the equation is one thing. What Leslie insists upon is entirely different. Leslie’s degendering consists of her imagined right to remove our gender and replace it with her decree that we are men regardless of our wishes.

      • x_mass says:

        which is where i agree with you. This is about safe space. if my precense ther makes it unsafe, by definition its not a safe space.

        so what your saying is tou want ‘cis’ women only space – thats fine with me

        As strength to your bow may a give an example of this from trans community. I remember when the london FTM group would include Drag Kings but specifically excluded me despite my being a Drag King because i hadn’t been designated female at birth.

        I thought it a bit ironic but i could see the point

        On the other hand i objected pretty violently when another ex of mine claimed that i couldn’t do drag king since it for me was transitioning back not a radical performance, that in effect only if you had been designated female at birth could you be a drag king

        I think you can see the difference, in the first case this is about excluding to create a safe space that people can talk and the second is about discrimination and the policing of others.

        Mind you being in a safe space doesn’t make it safe i was horrendously hurt in a trans only safe space at last years UK BiCon

      • lesley222 says:

        Thank you for seeing my point about safe space for women born with female bodies.

        I find it interesting though that you specifically mention bicon as a place you were hurt in a trans only space. Before identifying as a lesbian I identified as bisexual and went to bicon. To be honest some of the horrendously sexist attitudes of some of the Trans people there I think have strongly influenced my ideas and feelings around women only space.

        I do know not all Trans peopel are like that, but I use women only and lesbian only space to get away from stuff like that.

      • x_mass says:

        if you went to any bicon since number 6 then you bound to have have at least seen me around, you might have even met me

        and i agree i have heared some prety sexist bullshit from trans people – stufft that makes me cringe

        which bicon did you goto?

      • lesley222 says:

        Not sure which number – went to 2. The one directly afer the furore about a Transexual MtF sleeping in communal sleeping space and one after that at university accommodation where a Transexual person was in all the women only spaces and then took part in a ceremony topless (with breasts) that was supposed to be done by male “nuns”.

        The one with the communal sleeping space issue – at that time i didn’t really have an issue withTransexuals, but I heard so many complaints from women about how this Transexual had slept in communal space and been horrendously sexist.

        If I am honest the more I learned about Transexuals and the more Transexuals I have actually met, the more I have wanted to keep them out of some women only space. And I do know not all Transexuals are like that and it harms and excludes those who aren’t. But I really don’t want to deal with sexist crap in women only or lesbian only space. I want a safe space psychologically.

      • x_mass says:

        if the communal sleeping space one was norwich the next one was nottingham (had a big hill between the sleeping space and the workshop spaces)

        Norwich was when me and arggh i cant remember her name (small, cute, powerful woman) had a massive knockdown drag out argument about trans inclusion at the closing plenary. she later came to another bicon and i was hugely guilty as i thought i had made bicons unsafe for her and sh explained I was a fool and it was because had a lesbian girlfriend and jsut didn’t feel like coming. Their was shared sleeping space and i think I was in the women only space but i not sure

        the transexual you refer to could have been me i suppose but then the sisters of perpetual indulgence have only been to a couple of bicons I don’t remember them at nottingham or norwich only in edinburgh

        I know me and my then girlfriend ahd a habit of dancing around discos with our tops off that was more about the fact that gay men kept insisting on taking their tops off

        if we meet an you recognise me than we might eb able to pin down when you perviously met me

      • lesley222 says:

        Yes Nottingham was my first one then. I didn’t go to the Norwich one, only heard about it. I didn’t go to the Edinburgh one. But I can’t remember where the second one I did go to was.

        I can understand the feminist point of dancing without your top off. But this is a hugely difficult thing for a woman socialised as one to do in a space where it is not the norm. I don’t remember seeing anyone doing that, but if I had tbh I would not have thought it was a feminist action. I would have asumed you were trying to claim the priveleges of both males and females.

        And the incident with the sisters of perpetual indulgence just seemed as if the transexual involved wanted to claim women only space, but then was happy to claim roles that and behaviour that was for men. I can’t imagine any woman being happy in that particular mixed space to be topless and perform that ceremony.

        I don’t know if I am explaining what I mean?

      • x_mass says:

        if you not been to edinburgh then it cant have been nottingham

        could it be you went to the bicon in woolich because I rememer there being crash space at kingston (which i didn’t use) and i vaguely remember their might have been the loindon branch of the sisters there. Then the next one after woolich would have been cambridge. Princess diana dies the weekend of the woolich bicon.

        sorry for being confused, just trying to help and see if it was me would had offended and thus if i need to apologoise for my acions

        there’s a list here that would help https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BiCon_(UK)

      • lesley222 says:

        Okay I think it was Nottingham and Birmingham – definitely Nottingham. I wasn’t at the one with thecommunla sleeping space.

        And don’t worry about it. I couldn’t even remember where it was, so it hardly scarred me.

      • x_mass says:

        birmingham was when I got pride to come along and talk about bi inclusion and adam gemes was running pride at that point and he was also a sister and i was working flat out to keep making the event happen, theitr is no way i would have been able to do anything to do with performance.

        the stuff to dow ith the nuns might have been if their had been a nun who was female to male pre top surgery but that seems unlikely given the time period. My memory of birmingham is haze I have 2 memories one when the firetrucks appeared and one getting rightfully balled by one of the nottingham organisers for being a total utter jerk after i ranted at her about my fellow birmingham organisers

      • lesley222 says:

        It was Birmingham, the fire trucks were there. And I am sure it was a MtoT transexual who performed.

      • x_mass says:

        i don’t think it was me then i just remember it as one very long very horrid blur besides back then i didn’t have breasts. i do now and to be honest i wish they were smaller and got in the way less, I mean i like them on other women i just wish they hadn’t gotton so big on me.

      • lesley222 says:

        You are being inappropriate now.

      • x_mass says:

        sorry, I have a tendency to only open my mouth to change feet

        I don’t know in what way I am being inapproriate

        but i really bad at recognising when I am being so

        so if you say so I guess i am

      • lesley222 says:

        It is clear from what you say that you have a history of being inappropriate. Either you know exactly what you are doing, which is what I suspect or you are a pretty typical sexist Transexual man.

      • x_mass says:

        soory what I talked about like other womens body parts

        are you seriously telling me that you don’t?

        And you haven’t heard any other dykes talking that way because i know tons of dykes who do

        plus loads of dyke fiction for like forever

        or is it one rule for me, because you see me as a man and one rule for other women because their allowed to feel/say those things

      • lesley222 says:

        No I would never talk like this to someone I don’t know over the internet, male or female. If you really think this is normal female behaviour, it shows that you haven’t a clue about normal female behaviour.

        Were you the creep who was wanting to talk to young women about their periods?

      • rozkaveney says:

        This has ended up being a reply to you, Lesley, but it’s also a reply to Kate – could the pair of you take this elsewhere? First of all you start palling up, now you start quarreling and insulting each other – and in the end, this is my space. Kate, you were a bit inappropriate; Lesley, you’ve been amazingly insulting all along and are now throwing around general accusations on the basis of one person’s ill-judged TMI.

        On a further point – Lesley, it is precisely because a lot of women, most of them not trans, discuss all sorts of things on line that the TMI abbreviation was coined. It may well be that in your part of the internet this does not happen – I’d suggest that this relates to your self-selected politics and friends.

        It really doesn’t have anything to do with people’s being trans.

      • lesley222 says:

        I will stop posting. I have said all along that if you want me to stop posting I will.

      • x_mass says:

        sorry it was late at night and i was bouncing back at someone in the way i would in everyday life, I would quite literaly say the same thing if i was in the same room as you anywhere. I know logically that people have blocks around this, but i forget and i don’t seem to be able to read what others seem to be able to read.

        Its been suggested in the past to me that i might have aspergers and i was recently diagnosed with ADHD which some are arguing is the other side of aspergers, which would fit as i have a lot of the autistic spectrum disorders.

        the real problem here is that whilist i can work around some of my disabilities, their are others I simply can’t. for example
        I cant here more than one dimensional stereo i.e. in front or behind me – I can’t and i never will – why because its physiological loss. equally i cant see lots of normal human spectrum, why its neurological. some stuff i can work around like not being able to do anything routine, that just requires extensive external framework and external mangment.

        With online discussions the general way i deal with is to not get involved but occasionally i make the mistake of doing so. like the last few days. a key issue for me is that in life i can at least tell if i have said the wrong thing and apologse then and their or I can get bawled out for it then and there

        the reason btw i am saying all this and i realise it may be TMI is because i’m sitting here crying. and now I need to go get meds fast because it can lead to me having an SVT and a trip to hospital

      • jessie_c says:

        Of course Leslie’s been itching for you to give her an excuse to feel as though you’ve thrown her out. Now she can go away and feel justified for feeling oppressed because the Big Bad “trans men” [sic] threw her out.

        No matter that this is your space and she was the one doing the oppressing. Those inconvenient little facts won’t survive her self-editing process.

      • x_mass says:

        have you ever thought about coming to a bifest

        i been going for years and its never made me want to sleep with a guy….

      • lesley222 says:

        No I identify as lesbian and prefer going to lesbian stuff. I would like to go to the festical in Michigan.

        And I may recognise you, but you are unlikely to recognise me. i was pretty quiet.

      • x_mass says:

        thats likely i’m crap at remembering people even i have met them loads of times before

      • lesley222 says:

        I don’t feel at all that “I don’t want those icky people near me”. If you lived near me I would be quite happy to meet up with you for a drink. But no I wouldn’t want to have sex with a Trans person who thinks they are a woman.

      • jessie_c says:

        Yet you feel entirely justified in excluding trans women from women’s space, and you feel completely entitled to remove our gender and insert your own opinion in its place.

        Nobody, not even Roz in the post that started this whole exchange, has ever suggested that you should have sex with a trans woman. You barged in here and made Roz’ post all about you. That’s your particular obsession, not ours. If you hadn’t stuck your overprivileged nose into Roz’ post, we wouldn’t be having this conversation and the world wouldn’t be learning about your particular brand of intolerance. Don’t you dare try and blame us for your actions. Victim blaming is still another of the Patriarchy’s tools. You’re racking up quite a list here, hypocrite.

      • lesley222 says:

        Yes I do feel justified in trying to exclude trans people from some women’s space.

        The cotton ceiling is based on the idea that lesbains as a group should not reject trans people as sexual partners because they are really woman. I don’t agree with that as you know. I actually think that argument of Roz’s, would challenge the definition of what a lesbian actually is – and not in a good way.

        I have repeatedly said to Roz if she wants me to stop posting I will. Roz has said several times that it is fine for me to post.

      • jessie_c says:

        So you admit that you discriminate. You admit that you do not consider trans women to be women. You admit that you oppress and will be happy to see the oppression continue. What I don’t see you admitting is how wrong you are and how deeply flawed yoru arguments are.

        That you see Roz’ discussion of challenging lesbianism as a threat says a lot about your insecurities and nothing at all about trans people. Do not try and blame us for your personal inadequacies.

        Yes, it is perfectly fine for you to expose your ridiculously incorrect ideas so the whole world can see them.

      • lesley222 says:

        What insecurities do you think I have?

        Actually I have lots, but none relevant to this discussion as far as I can see.

      • jessie_c says:

        You seem to be terribly fearful of the fact that if trans women are allowed into women’s spaces that you will end up sleeping with one. No matter how ridiculous the notion actually is.

        You also seem to have a fear of continuing discussions so you constantly derail them. And then blame that on us.

      • lesley222 says:

        No I don’t think I will sleep with a Trans person just because they are allowed into women only spaces. Honestly jessie, it is a bit more complex than that.

      • jessie_c says:

        It is? Then why do you constantly bring it back to that? Why, in the post that started this whole discussion, did you make the issue all about being “tricked” into sleeping with a trans woman?

      • lesley222 says:

        The point about being tricked was in response to a question about how I would feel if I unknowingly slep with a Trans person.

      • jessie_c says:

        Which would not have been asked had you not stuck your nose into a discussion that did not concern you. You made this about yourself, so now you get to reap the benefit when your attitudes and arguments are revealed to be theadbare.

      • lesley222 says:

        I think a post that is about sexual relationships albeit at a theoretical level between lesbians and Trans people does concern me. And I have repeatedly said to Roz here that I will stop posting if Roz does not want me to post. Roz has said it is fine for me to post.

      • jessie_c says:

        Once again you are attempting to derail. This is all I will say to point out your fail.

      • x_mass says:

        the key point here is that you may have already had sex with someone who subsquently transitioned to live as a man. when they slept with you they might have known that they were a man, but were to frightened to admit it publically, and from your perspective you were having sex with a woman.

        would you in that case feel that you have been ‘tricked’ by him?
        Or would you see ‘him’ as really her?

        So is this about how you identify as a lesbian?

        As an example i was at a UK Bicon over 10 years ago when their was woman their i had had sex with back in the eighties. she said how she had never had had sex with a woman, i pointed out she had sex with me and i had identified myself as trans and lesbian through out. But she then told me that she had not seen me a as a woman and thus it didn’t count

        peronally i found what she said upsetting and now as i write this i feel like I had d been sexually assaulted by her, she lied about how she saw me. If she said she saw me as a man, at the time, i would never ever consented to go to bed with her.

      • lesley222 says:

        I have been with my partner for over 20 years and the women I slept with before I knew when they were young so I know I haven’t. But of course if I was signle now I know it may be different.

        It is interesting what you say about sleeping with soomeone who didn’t respect your identity and you only found that out later. That is how I would feel if I slept with a trans person without them telling me beforehand. I understand why somone would do this e.g. fear of discrimination, but it wouldn’t stop me feeling tricked and used.

      • x_mass says:

        a. congratulations on 20 years – go both of you!!!!

        I think you would have a right toi feel that way to, I know its a horroible complex business but i truly belive in being honest, ist like not saying i am poly to someone who is looking for a monogamous relationship – that way lies just pain and betrayl and suffering

      • lesley222 says:

        Yes I guess it is about real consent from both sides.

      • tekalynn says:

        Then don’t! But please don’t deny people their identity.

      • lesley222 says:

        But that is at the root of the issue here. I don’t think being a woman is an identity you can adopt. It is a biological fact. It is like Christian fundamentalists asking me to accept that evolution never took place. I will never be bale to accept a clear lie.

      • tekalynn says:

        That’s the way I felt about fifteen, twenty years ago. I wanted my energy to go to cis women only. Then I started doing some research and started questioning my assumptions, which I realized were, yes, assumptions. So I did more research and realized that I’d been wrong in my belief that trans people can not decide their own gender identity. It was a bigoted belief, and I am sorry for it.

        Please, listen to what trans people have to say. Research, keep an open mind. Identity isn’t as cut and dried as many of us would like to think. And please let people speak for themselves. Thank you.

      • x_mass says:

        Ok its fine we can agree to disagree, i’m sure there are lots of things you and i would agree about and would happily work together on

        and thank you for recognising the harrasment we suffer,

        the problem is that because we have suffered so much we tend to tar anyone who disagree’s with us with the same brush. But its clear that’s not how you feel. I really appreciate your care, and what support you feel able to give.

        the one issue is lanuage I understand what you mean, don’t agree with it, but I understand where your coming from. However your choice of words sounds like harrasment when you clearly have no such intention. Can we agree on compormise about language: hows about this

        “i cant accept that transexual people are the sex that they state they are”

        this i think reflects what you believe, but without hitting buttons around words such as wo/man that hurt us?

        best wishes

        kate

      • lesley222 says:

        Yes I would be happy with this. Believe it or not I don’t use words such as woman to deliberately hurt anyone, that really is not my intention. And I would never have this debate with a Transgendered person unless they brought it up for debate as I believe Rozk did here.

        In real life if we met and you did not discuss this with me, I would not raise it. I also wouldn’t call you a woman or she. I would probably just avoid using any gender pronoun instead.

      • jessie_c says:

        So again you degender and disrespect trans people. Yet again you make it clear that to you trans people are Other, less than worthy of the respect and consideration that all people are supposed to be given.

        Yet again you prove that your actions oppose your words.

      • x_mass says:

        using peoples names are a good solution: so describing me as kate.

        Also gender neutral words such as they or one. So a typical sentance might be

        “so your looking for…. oh kate, they went in there”

        btw can i explain why i may be having a different reaction than other people here.

        I was loud about being transexual all through the eighties (which is why i spell it transexual not trans-sexual) I went loud at school at the start of the eighties just as their was the mose intense hatred shown towards transexuals by the feminist movement, the fact that you don’t want me hung, drawn and quartered would definitly put you on my side.

        I knew and worked with people who saw me as a man and would not allow me into womens only space but equally would fight for me if I was harrassed by others, who I saw as people who accepted me as me. Being excluded and not being allowed in, is not a new thing for me, it has happened my entire life.

        All my life I have been told how people don’t feel safe around. And if me being in a room made people unsafe then: it wasn’t a safe space. Yes i can be politically active and say: “no this your issue and you should have to accept me”, but I was there to get feminism done, not transexual rights (as i would of thought of it back then) and I just lived with it.

        this is something that you and my disagree with on as well though, because i happily work with someone on feminist issues who for example belives being lesbian is immoral and sickening (for religious reasons), people don’t have to accept all of whom I am to be an ally.

        which btw is how i see you right now, so one who disagree with certain aspects of who i am but who would equally work with me to make things better for lesbians and for all women in the world.

      • lesley222 says:

        Yes that does explain things thanks.

        Just to say certainly when I talk about safe spaces I don’t mean that I think Trans people are going to actually be physically violent or attack me. I mean a safe space away from sexism from men, including those who have been socialised as men.

        And in real life I do just avoid using gender pronouns with transexual people. I would never actually refer to them as a man, because actually I am polite. In a political debate though I do generally use gender pro nouns.

    • tekalynn says:

      You have the right, as everyone does, to decide who you do or do not wish to sleep with. But please remember that both cis and trans women are women. Thank you.

      • Anonymous says:

        My point is that I don’t think trans men are women, as I have explained in my posts.
        Lesley

      • jessie_c says:

        What you think is not reality. Explain until your face turns blue if you like, but your lie remains a lie.

      • x_mass says:

        she is not lieing

        she just seems the world differently from you and I

        I belive that global warming is a reallity and i am uterly terrified of what is coming in the future

        other people belive that its a bunch of crap

        I suspect that what i belive to be the truth is the truth but i may be wrong

        can you prove that she is totally and utterly wrong,
        do you have the neuroscience to prove this once and for all time
        because if you don’t then this about belief and not abot fact

      • jessie_c says:

        I posted proofs elsewhere in the thread. I know whereof I speak and she does not. Whether she truly believes the tripe she says or not is immaterial; she is repeating lies.

      • x_mass says:

        can we agree to disagree on the lies thing

        i belive that what she says is consistent with what she belives thus it is not a lie

        i disagree with what she believes, I think she is wrong and you are right but i don’t think she is telling lies

      • jessie_c says:

        I believe that she thinks she is not lying. But I also know that what she thinks is not the truth. The truth is Out There, and it doesn’t support her stance. This is objective fact. She can either admit it, or she can continue to be wrong. Whichever she does, the objective observer will know which of us is correct.

      • valeriekeefe says:

        Yes, your willful ignorance of neurobiology and the nature of sex and gender in a sapient species are on display.

      • x_mass says:

        what neurobiology?
        the neurobiology we have is very very inconclusive
        we are nowhere near understanding how our brains function and we wont be for probably a few hundred years

        equally sex and gender are highly contestable, they might seem ‘real’ but in the nienteenth and twentieth century ‘race’ was as equally uncontested as you seem to imply now

      • lesley222 says:

        i think that is the whole point of this discussion. I do not think Trans men are women and as a lesbian I choose to sleep with women.

      • jessie_c says:

        Once again you degender us. Once again you insist on your right to apply the label you preref over the label we do. This demonstrated yet again your privileged attitude that you are superior to us.

        Your actions belie your words, Leslie.

      • heavenscalyx says:

        You are conflating two things.

        1) You choose to sleep with cis women.
        2) You refuse to even be polite enough to use transfolks’ chosen terms and identities in their own spaces.

        #1 is your choice.

        #2 is participating in the Patriarchy’s gender- and body-policing, falling perfectly in line with the majority rule. Which is sad and rather pathetic for a feminist, and really tragic for a lesbian, who, by nature of her self identification chooses to buck gender roles enough to sleep with and engage in romantic relationships with her own gender.

        It wasn’t that long ago that straight culture commonly told lesbians that they weren’t real women, that they just wanted to be men, that they were broken and wrong and crazy and physically unfit. It is completely tragic that you can’t see that you’re just playing the scapegoat game by pointing fingers at people you think are more broken and wrong and crazy and physically unfit in order to distract Patriarchy from picking on you and your chosen people. You’re wallowing around in your own internalized homophobia, as well as cultural transphobia and biphobia.

        It’s things like this that make me ashamed to be a cis woman and a lesbian who even once identified as a rad fem separatist.

      • lesley222 says:

        Heaven I have repeatedly said that I am not a cis woman, I am awoman. But you don’t use the words to describe me that I would prefer either.

        I actually think transgenderism reinforces the patriarchy rather neatly. Don’t fit into your society given gender role, don’t bother challenging that role, just chnage your body. That reinforces patriarchy.

        Staright culture told lesbians that they wanted to be men. It didn’t tell lesbians they were physically men, as obviously physically they are women.

        Biphobia here seems to mean a lesbian who doesn’t want to sleep with men? Or have I got that wrong? And how have I been homophobic?

      • heavenscalyx says:

        I very carefully did not call you a cis woman. I said you choose to sleep with cis women.

        Straight culture did often tell lesbians that their bodies were somehow wrong or broken, as well as their minds. Medicine has a long, long history of trying to surgically, pharmacologically, or otherwise “fix” gays, lesbians, and transpeople.

        Plenty of people challenge their gender roles. For some, that is insufficient unto the cause of giving them peace and sanity. Western culture does not have a tradition of a third or fourth sex or gender, which often allows people who are not comfortable in their bodies cultural space to place themselves in a way that gives them a role outside the Western gender binary (but I note that there are often surgical solutions even in cultures that DO have traditions of third or fourth sexes/genders in order to better fit those sexes/genders).

        To police other people’s bodies and choices, though, the way that you’re doing, is falling directly into line with Patriarchy and its mind control. By failing to use a person’s chosen pronouns and identification, YOU ARE POLICING THEM — you are telling them, in no uncertain terms, that they are MISBEHAVING and to GET BACK INTO THAT BOX that you have identified for them. You are telling them that THEY are lesser beings and that ONLY YOUR DEFINITION IS THE RIGHT DEFINITION. You keep saying that you’re just stating your belief, but you are actively oppressing a minority by spouting the company line of the majority.

        Biphobia here is directly applied to your statement about being “tricked” into sleeping with a transwoman. OH NOES YOU MIGHT HAVE SLEPT WITH SOMEONE WHO ONCE HAD A PENIS YOU MIGHT NOT BE A REAL LESBIAN. That is biphobia (AND transphobia), and it is no better than the men who, upon discovering that they got uncomfortable in their pants for a transwoman, feel it is perfectly allowable to beat or kill said transwoman.

      • lesley222 says:

        Okay apologies I thought you had called me a cis woman. I read it too quickly.

        Straight culture tried to “cure” lesbians and others through surgery, medication, etc of being lesbians. But they did not say that biologically they were not women.

        I would actually be happy with the idea of a 3rd or 4th gender and I wish our culture did have this. And feminists challenge gender roles too you know.

        So I am not allowed to have an opinion of what other people’s choices are?? For example paedophilia. I am not conflating transgenderism with paedophilia, just pointing out that it is rubbish to say that we should never say what someone does with their body or the choices they make are wrong or inauthentic.

        No it is not biphobia. I am a lesbian who sleeps with woman. To say that is discriminatory is to say there is no such thing as a lesbian.

      • heavenscalyx says:

        But they did not say that biologically they were not women.

        It depends on who you read. And there’s also this pervasive current work on the so-called gay gene, which has been used to claim that lesbians do not have brains like straight women do, and it has been suggested that “lesbian brain structure” is actually male (the same way that “gay men’s brain structure” has been suggested to be feminized, and thus more womanly).

        You’re allowed to have opinions. How many people in this post have told you that gosh, you’re allowed to have opinions? But when you, as part of the privileged majority (and by being a woman with a morphologically-from-birth-within-mostly-arbitrary-medical-standards female body, you have OODLES of privilege here), start addressing people by the gender YOU CHOOSE FOR THEM, you are acting the oppressor.

        And by bringing up pedophilia in this thread, you have just conflated it with transgender issues, despite your immediate denial (which just shows that you’re AWARE that you’re doing it). You’re really going for ALL the Transphobia Bingo squares here, aren’t you?

        This is typical derailing behavior. I suggest you take a stroll through Derailing for Dummies to try to find some new strategies. Or maybe figure out why you shouldn’t do it.

        I never said there is no such thing as a lesbian. I’m a lesbian. I am so far pegged over on my Kinsey score that the meter is broken. But if I were sufficiently attracted to a woman to actually be contemplating sleeping with her, that person would be a woman no matter what her genital configuration might be.

        You betrayed your biphobia and transphobia with the “tricked into sleeping with” comment. You’re afraid that if you slept with a transwoman without knowing she was a transwoman that someone would come and take away your Certified Lesbian card. (And you admit that you would revoke someone’s lesbianism for sleeping with a transwoman, though you would be “too polite” to tell her so. Except, presumably, by referring to her chosen partner as “he”.) Because you yourself don’t believe that transwomen are women. If they aren’t women, how could they possibly “trick” you into sleeping with them?

        This is all theoretical, since transwomen have no interest in somehow maliciously sabotaging your self-identity by jumping into bed with you, then laughing evilly and twirling their nonexistent villainous moustaches. The fact that you somehow think this is possible, that transwomen are part of some great Patriarchal game to try to sneak into wimmin’s spaces and wimmin’s beds and convince wimmin that they are really straight women, they just need the right surgically-removed or hormonally-altered penis to convince them to tear up their Lesbian Certificates? This is called TRANSPHOBIA.

      • lesley222 says:

        Yes you are right there has horifically been the idea of a gay gene and lesbian brains. And there has even been research announced in the mainstream press to say that research has found this. Although all this so called research was later rubbished through proper peer reviews.

        Yes if a Trans man slept with me I would feel tricked.

        Trans men as men are born and brought up with privilege as however you identify yourself, as a boy and young man you will have been viewed by society as a man. Yes lesbians can organise to exclude Trans men from women only spaces such as the Michigan Festival, but although that gives some privilege, in the overall scheme of society is a pretty small privilege to have.

      • lesley222 says:

        And Trans men have been working and lobbying to get into women only space. So actually this is not my paranoi, it is actually happening.

      • tekalynn says:

        It’s really confusing when you say “Trans men” but are referring to people who were assigned the male gender at birth but identify as female. These people are trans women. People who were assigned female at birth but identify as male, THEY are trans men.

        You don’t have to agree with the accepted terminology, but it’s much easier to follow discussions if everyone uses the same wording. It’s also courteous.

      • lesley222 says:

        I don’t agree they are Trans men. If we can agree on terminology we both agree with to make it easier, I am happy to use this.

      • jessie_c says:

        Lesley does not want to be curteous. She has repeatedly demonstrated this. Lesley wants to ram her definition down our throats whether we want it or not.

      • x_mass says:

        actually society for a long time did argue that lesbians were not women

        it even happened in the feminst movement, their was rally strong move to exclude lesbians from the fieminist movement since they weren’t really women

        this is all about peoples insecurity about gender and how people define themselves in realtion to gender

        we use different models, if i sat with you for a couple of hours I think i could help you change your understanding of how gender and sex work and why you and I are both women but at the end of it you might also they – well all that makes sense in theory but where is your definitive proof and i would have to admit I don’t have any and nor does anyone else

      • jessie_c says:

        I actually think transgenderism reinforces the patriarchy rather neatly. Don’t fit into your society given gender role, don’t bother challenging that role, just chnage your body. That reinforces patriarchy.

        Oh does it? Then explain why the Patriarchy brutally punishes us in exactly the same manner you are doing when we dare defy their precious gender binary. Explain the more than 500 murders of trans people in the past 4 years if the Patriarchy so approves of trans people reinforcing them.

        Well?

      • lesley222 says:

        I didn’t say patriarchy approved of Trans people. I said that patriarchy reinforces gender roles and thus the patriarchy.

      • jessie_c says:

        Again you twist your words to get out of a tight spot. You said I actually think transgenderism reinforces the patriarchy rather neatly.
        When I challenged you to back up that claim you backpeadaled.

      • lesley222 says:

        No I don’t think I have back pedalled. I think it is safer for patriarchy to accept transgendered people changing their body rather than accepting say a third sex who challenge gender roles. And patriarchy has accepted this through legislation, at least in my country. Where I live the definition of the gender of a transgendered person is self identified and only has to be demonstrated by living as that gender for 2 years.

        As I asid before, I don’t really understand why individual people and from what I have seen individual men hate and fear transgendered people so much. I think it might be because men can not understand why someone in a male body might want to change their body and self identity to a woman’s. After all men being called a woman or being told they behave like a woman is an insult that is not uncommonly used.

      • jessie_c says:

        You completely backpedalled. I’ll say it again. You first said I actually think transgenderism reinforces the patriarchy rather neatly. When I proved conclusively that it does not, you then said I didn’t say patriarchy approved of Trans people. I said that patriarchy reinforces gender roles and thus the patriarchy. Which is entirely different from the point you first made. You backpedalled away from your contention that transgenderism reinforces the Patriarchy.

        Where I live the laws are slightly different but substantially the same; trans people are real people and they are to be accorded the recognition they deserve; recognition you consistently attempt to deny us.

        Again you attempt to define trans women by our bodies. Again you try and Other us. As I have maintained throughout this exchange, our bodies do not define us. Yet you persist in trying.

      • lesley222 says:

        Okay I was very unclear, fair enough.

        Transgenderism reinforces patriarchy by accepting that there is such a thing as a female or male way to feel, think and behave.

        I don’t think patriarchy approves of transgendered people, but I don’t think it is threatened by them either. I think individuals are threatened by transgender people though.

        That is the nux of our argument that we are not going to agree on. I think if you are born wwith a male body you are a man and vice versa. You don’t think this.

      • jessie_c says:

        That is because I know what I’m talking about and you have repeatedly demonstrated that you do not. Trans women are not men, have never been men and never will be men, no matter what they look like, or looked like in the past. This is a known fact. Medical Science has accepted this known fact for years, yet you persist in your denial.

        You may repeat your lie as many times as you like, but it will still be untrue.

      • lesley222 says:

        Okay jessie, I think we may have to agree to disagree on this one.

      • jessie_c says:

        No, I will not. “Agree to disagree” means that there is merit to both sides of the discussion. Your position totally lacks all merit and you know it.

      • lesley222 says:

        No I don’t know it. I still think I am right. I simply recognise that I am not going to change your mind.

      • jessie_c says:

        It doesn’t matter. You are not tying to change my mind. I am not trying to change yours. All I need to do is to demonstrate how laughably wrong you are.

      • lesley222 says:

        I suspect we are both doing that to people who are sympathetic to our individual views.

      • jessie_c says:

        No. I am succeeding. You are not.

      • jessie_c says:

        It is to laugh. All you have done is repeat the same lie over and over again, when you haven’t tried to derail the discussion. You fail so hard there isn’t even a word yet to describe the level of your fail.

      • lesley222 says:

        I have answered posts with reasoned arguments all along.

      • jessie_c says:

        You have not and you know it. Your arguments, such that you have them, have all been based on the falsehood that women are men. You know this. I know you know this because people have been telling you this for the past day.

        And once again you are attempting a derail. You lose. Again.

      • lesley222 says:

        As you know I think woman who is born with a female body is a woman and a man who is born with a male body is a man. I do not think this is a lie, but a biological reality.

        But jessie, I am going to bed now. Night.

      • jessie_c says:

        It doesn’t matter what you think is true. It matters that the people reading this know it’s a gross oversimplification. You conveniently neglect the fact that trans women are women based on biological reality. I posted proof of that hours ago and you dodged it. So you know that what you believe is a lie. So do we, and so does everyone else who is reading this.

        We know you lost. You know you lost.

      • lesley222 says:

        No I did not lose. Transexual men are not biological women. If they were why would you need to take hormones or have surgery. You need to do this because, lets face it, you are not a biological women. And you ask me to deny this as it hurts your feelings if I don’t lie about basic biological facts.

      • jessie_c says:

        Leslie, we have been extremely polite with you and your instranigence. You arrogantly came into this space where you weren’t invited and you arrogantly shoved your opinion of us into our faces and dared us to accept it. You have stuck with your dogma in the face of all reason, you have ignored all proof that you are wrong and you have attempted many times to derail the conversation to hide your inability to answer our points.

        Yes, Roz has not told you to leave; she is far more polite than you are, and she has provided you with an opportunity to make an enormmous fool of yourself where all can see.

        Roz mentioned that many women, actually a majority of women, are recognising that trans women are real women. You blithely ignored this and repeatedly restated your wrongheaded belief that we are not as if this would somehow make it true. You are part of an ever-decreasing minority that is dying out. You are condemned to become a part of history while we are busy making the future. You and your exclusionist attitude are becomming increasingly irrelevant to Feminist reality in the 21st Century. Think about that. Stew in your bitterness and impotent hatred.

        History is filled with examples of people who refused to learn and grow. You are merely one more added to the scrap heap in the dead, dusty past.

      • x_mass says:

        its a lie to kids

        reality is rather more divergent

        but as a useful rule of thumb its good, its right 99% of the time

      • x_mass says:

        I think your right about the patriachy thing.

        rather than having to accept that gender doesn’t exist which would blow a lot of how our society is ruled apart it’s easier to allow exceptions and small changes

        specially as most transexual people are strong supporters of their being only male and female

        obviously i don’t agree with that – I recognise that right now gender exists that doesn’t mean i belive that gender actually exists, I think its an artifact of how we used to do things

        I also not sure if sex exists, I accept that their are group of charateristics that can be groupled and crudely labeled at a gross level as sex but at a more fine grained level that’s much much more complex

        and yes that does contest with my calling myself a woman, a lesbian and a feminist – but they are useful shorthand labels when deeling at a gross level

      • lesley222 says:

        tbh I am amazed that you agree with me

      • lesley222 says:

        Sorry posted too soon. I know that Trans people have difficulties in realtion to the gender and/or sex identity they have versus their actual body. I do want society to find some way to accomodate this. Personally I would like the idea of a third sex – doesn’t have to be called this – and we have some women only space and some women only and third sex space. i would be personally happy with this.

      • x_mass says:

        I can understand where your coming from and historically its been offered as a solution for over a hundered years to feminism and lesbianism and transexuality is just the next redoubt

        how would you feel about being classified as a third sex by say hetrosexual women?

      • lesley222 says:

        I take your point I would reject that totally.

      • x_mass says:

        lesley if you met me you would probably intially think I was a bloke

        when i used to go to dyke night new women coming in would ask why that bloke was in here. I know because i had this story related to me by people, who have said exatly that, several times. How they would come in, be told: “oh that’s kate, you should chat to her” and they would chat to me and realise pretty quickly that i was just another dyke.

        i’m huge btw, I am over 6 foot and currently carry quite a lot of fat, something i am hoping to lessen. i working on building my muscles up, you see i like muscles on women and thus want them myself (I can’t wait for the olympics all those women swimmers..yum!) I’m a typical hacker/geek type – long hair, glasses, black coolmax t-shirts, black cargo pants, don’t wear bras except when in the gym, vibram five finger shoes, makeup, what’s makeup? Hang on this is starting to feel like an ad on ok cupid

      • lesley222 says:

        I think I do vaguely recognise you from your description, but not totally sure.

      • jessie_c says:

        Regardless of your opinion, you are a cis woman. You were born a cis woman, you live a cis woman and you will die a cis woman. Cis means not-trans. You know this. Why are you getting upset? We are only saying what we think. We are simply stating what we see as fact.

        Why is this so upsetting when we do it to you? Why do you so emphatically deny us our right to place ourselves on an equal footing with you? Can you not see your hypocrisy yet?

      • cherade9 says:

        I am a masculine woman. I have a naturally high testosterone level, high enough it cause me health problems and was even higher during my puberty. I have take medication to control it. Yet I am still a woman by your definition. However my friend was born intersex and has a much lower level of testosterone, yet was brought up as a boy. Even though she feels she is a woman and has been fighting since childhood for it to be recognised,she is still a man as far as you’re concerned.

        Interesting how your perceptions of what is actual reality can differ so much from someone elses. Why is it so threatening to you to accept trans woman as women? I’ve been raped several times, sexually assulted and generally have waaaay too much direct physical and emotional experience of living in the patriarchy (I am a staunch feminist and bisexual to boot). But I have no fear of trans women. They *are* women inside their heads. The inside of our heads is where *we* as humans live.

        What is it that is so precious to you about the notion of ‘pure’ woman and anyone who was not born into a female role in life? Why do you think that these women are problematic? If they are fighting patriarchy, if they’re willing to admit that their life experiences up to living as woman are different (not better or worse, but different) to natal born women, why is this a problem? The chances of being sexually assulted by a trans woman are minute. As most MtF women can tell you hormones do a real number on your physical strength and even the ability for a penis(if one is still present) to even be able to rape you. Trans *want* to learn how to live as women, to be the gender role they feel they are, in whatever way they define it. I’ve never met a trans woman who was disrespectful of my fear of male strength or of my genuine concerns about how our socialisation affects communications.

        However casting aside the issue of socialisation as women (which is going to become less of a problem as trans kids get hormone blockers at puberty so they can live safely in their chosen gender from the time they declare it) being a woman is an internal experience. I understand that you’re trying to say (I think) that being treated like a woman from birth in the patriarchy is what you consider to be the only true and valid way of being a woman.

        You can believe what you like, but the law disagrees with you, a lot of feminists disagree with you and it doesn’t seem that you will get to enforce your particular views within a wider society for very much longer. I’d try to find a way to cope with that. If it mean you and your particular group of feminist lesbians all want to stay purist about it, by all means do. But in feminist spaces you don’t have the right to define what is and isn’t female in the way you seem to want to. Yours is not the only view and yours is not the only vote. If you are a minority then you have to deal with that. When it comes to human rights (and defining what gender you are and live in is a pretty fundemental one) you don’t get to tell others what they are and enforce it in any meaningful way. Go and keep yourself off in your pure faith (which is effectively what it is).

        As to the original article of the ‘cotton ceiling’ I don’t think Roz was saying she thinks that all lesbians must sleep with trans women. No one should ever feel like they must. I read it as bemoaning the fact that some lesbians don’t accept trans women as women. She isn’t expecting you to change, she just wants to be able to talk about it. If people change their mind after reading that’s fine, but she’s not forcing that on you. You’re wrong, for so many reasons, but I’m too ill and tired today to write anymore.

        Yours,

        Disabled mother of a MtF trans kid, who’s been telling me he wanted to grow up into a woman since he was 2.

      • lesley222 says:

        Yes as I see it you are a woman with a hormonal imbalance. I think with intersex people the issue is more complicated. Maybe the Drs made the wrong choice and your friend is a man.

        I am so sorry to hear you have been raped and sexually assaulted, that is a truly horrendous experience. At no time on here have I talked about Trans men raping except when I was told that the definition of Trans includes men who wear a dress for a day.

        “Trans *want* to learn how to live as women, to be the gender role they feel they are,”
        Surely if they are woman they don’t have to learn how to live as woman – they would just live as themselve.

        You are right the law does disagree with me and as i have repeatedly pointed out, I have no power to enforce anything on anyone. I do have the right to say what I think though.

        Sorry to hear you are feeling ill and I do wish your child every luck for the future.

      • jessie_c says:

        Surely if they are woman they don’t have to learn how to live as woman – they would just live as themselve.

        This is precisely what we want to do, except you and your fellow essentialists do not wish to acknowledge our right to do so, and actively campaign to supress us, just as you have been attempting to do throught this thread.

        And still again you force your definition of trans women as men into the conversation. Still.

      • lesley222 says:

        I am more than happy for you to live as you choose as long as you don’t get access to all women only spaces. Thats the only practical point we disagree on.

      • jessie_c says:

        And it is the critical point. By maintinaing your stance, you deny that trans women are women. You clearly, unequivocally show the world that you are quite perpeared to happily discriminate in the exact same manner the Patriarchy does. You use the tools the Patriarchy uses to oppress all women to further oppress us.

        That you cannot see this for the utter hypocrisy it is saddens me.

      • lesley222 says:

        I am not part of the patriarchy. I don’t have the power to discriminate against you as the patriarchy does. Society and the patriarchy are accepting Trans men as women and vice versa.

      • jessie_c says:

        I never claimed you were. Once again you twist my words. I said that you use the Patriarchy’s tools to oppress in the same way the Patriarchy oppresses all women. You are using your cis privilege to define who women are, and to deny us access to women’s spaces. That is oppression. Don’t even think of trying to claim it isn’t.

        And once again you attempt to call trans women men. Yet again you oppress.

      • lesley222 says:

        Sorry I was genuinely not trying to twist your words. What do you mean by using the Patriarchy’s tools?

      • jessie_c says:

        Yes you were. I have explained how you are using the Patriarchy’s tools multiple times in this thread. Once again I refuse to play your derailing games. Go back and actually read what I wrote.

      • lesley222 says:

        Jessie, I am genuinely not trying to derail.

      • jessie_c says:

        Bullshit. Every post you make is a derailing attempt.

      • x_mass says:

        i disagree

        besides what is wrong with derailing?

        I belive life should be free not run on rails

      • jessie_c says:

        In this context derailing is a tactic used by privileged people to distract from the point at hand and further opress. I refer you to Derailing for Dummies: www(dot)derailingfordummies(dot)com/

        This quote exeplifies her thought process:
        “By simply derailing the conversation, dismissing their opinion as false and ridiculing their experience you can be sure that they continue to be marginalised and unheard and you can continue to look like the expert you know you really are, deep down inside!”

      • tekalynn says:

        I’m having trouble parsing this sentence. Surely the point is that kyriarchical society *doesn’t* accept trans people for who they are, doesn’t give trans people the right to decide their own truths and act upon them?

      • lesley222 says:

        Actually i think patriarchy has accepted this. In my country the law has been changed so that Trans people are legally recognised as the gender they are as long as they live in their chosen gender for 2 years. This was passed with very little public debate and no public hysteria.

      • jessie_c says:

        And yet here you are, trying to stir up the hysteria. Proof that the kyriarchy doesn’t accept trans people.

      • lesley222 says:

        Is kyriarchy a mistype? If not, I have never come across this term before.

      • jessie_c says:

        So here is another opportunity for you to learn something.

        en(dot)wikipedia(dot)org/wiki/Kyriarchy

        “Kyriarchy is a neologism coined by Elisabeth Schüssler Fiorenza to describe interconnected, interacting, and multiplicative systems of domination and submission, within which a person oppressed in one context might be privileged in another. It is an intersectional elaboration of the concept of patriarchy — it extends the analysis of oppression beyond traditional feminism to dynamics such as sexism, racism, economic injustice, and other forms of internalized and institutionalized oppression”

        You, as a member of the cis majority, are automatically part of the kyriarchy.

      • lesley222 says:

        Thank you Jessie I hadn’t come across that term before. It is a useful term to describe that. Yes I will be part of the kyriarchy at times. And i hope you accept that at times Trans people will also be part of the kyriarchy.

      • x_mass says:

        yup i definatly am

      • tekalynn says:

        Good, I’m glad to hear that. But you can bet your bottom dollar (or currency of choice) that it wasn’t the patriarchy’s idea! It was the work of a lot of trans activists and advocates which led to this legal change.

      • lesley222 says:

        I know that. The point I was making was that unlike lots of other legal changes for marginalised groups, there has been very very little public opposition to this one. Whereas anything that is about protecting gay rights is endlessly discussed and frothed about in the media. I think individuals can be be very discriminatory to individual transgender people; but at an institutional level at least in my country, discrimination seems pretty low.

      • marjaerwin says:

        Over here, the power structure doesn’t seem half as accepting of us. Some politicians brag that they would kill us. Most of us have already survived violence.

      • lesley222 says:

        That is horrific that politicians have said that! Nothing like that is ever said here. Although individuals do still experience a lot of violence and discrimination from other individuals.

      • x_mass says:

        so we don’t have right until we have lived for 2 years?

        so i cant go to the bathroom in public for 2 years – is that fair?

      • lesley222 says:

        In my country yes you could go to the bathroom. But after 2 years you would be legally recognised as the gender you have chosen for everything.

      • x_mass says:

        i think their is a language issue here

        theitr is transgender men who are men who are trans for example the drag up as women, but they see themselves as men

        their are also transexual women who you have defined as men and you seem to shorten that to trans men

        they are two distinct groups the first are men the second see themselves as women and have considered themselves to be female since they were were aware that society differentiated between men and women i..e sometime between 2 and 5 years old

        when we are talking about transwomen we are talking about group two not group one

      • lesley222 says:

        Sorry only just read this comment – I am struggling to keep up! Yes I am talking about transexual and will use that term now.

      • x_mass says:

        I’m sure you are, i would have quit ages ago

        i am really impressed that your willing to be here and talk, calmly and rationally with all the abuse that has been thrown at you

        people are doing to you what has ben done to them and that’s wrong!

      • lesley222 says:

        I don’t have a problem with what people have posted. I do understand that it is an emotive topic for people, so of course that is going to influence what they post and how they post it.

      • valeriekeefe says:

        This pants-wearing, makeup-eschewing, sneaker-clad, beer-drinking lesbian would beg to differ that transition is about changing roles.

      • rozkaveney says:

        I have hardly worn anything but jogging pants in the last two decades; I put on makeup occasionally when I feel like it for special occasions; I mostly wear Birkenstocks in summer and Doc Martens in winter. I drink coffee and we have about twelve kinds of tea in the flat. Stereotypes?

      • jessie_c says:

        We don’ need no steenkin’ stereotypes.

        Sorry for dragging out the drama in your blog, Roz. I just couldn’t resist helping her make such a fool of herself.

      • rozkaveney says:

        I’m going to bed now. You can all keep it up all night if you want.

      • jessie_c says:

        I think that now I’m going to obey the wise saying about wrestling with the pig.
        She’s on he way to bed as well, so she says. Probably trimuphantly muttering “I showed them all!”

      • valeriekeefe says:

        I was an avid golfer in high school and was really into The Indigo Girls… that disappeared when I realized they don’t like girls like me.

      • x_mass says:

        really they don’t like us

        oh well the music is still good

        i like tons of muisc by people who hate me

      • lesley222 says:

        Big deal you drink beer and wear sneakers – that is really transgressive behaviour, I don’t think!

      • x_mass says:

        2) You refuse to even be polite enough to use transfolks’ chosen terms and identities in their own space

        this isn’t our space, this is a point of meeting unless i have readically misunderstood what Roz has said

      • heavenscalyx says:

        What I meant was that it’s Roz’s space, and Lesley refuses to address Roz by her chosen pronouns.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Hi I did post a comment to explain that I did not know how to put my name in, but that I am happy to share it. My name is Lesley. I am not any of those individuals you name, simply a lesbian reading on the internet who disagreed with your post. In terms of the points posted above:

    1. We all know what a male or female body is. A female body does not have a penis. In the original post and comments, several people talked about female bodies which have penises – they do not. If you believe a female body has no reality, why do Transgender people say they feel as if they are, for example, a woman trapped in a man’s body. If a woman’s body is not recognisable, then neither is a man’s. Thus you could not be trapped in a man’s body, thus no need for sex change surgery, electrolysis, etc. Transgender people say that, because we all recognise what is a male and what is a female body. So no I would never have sex with someone who has a man’s body including a penis.

    I personally would never want to have sex with a Trans who was born with a male body however much surgery he had. Why? If someone looked totally like a woman – and in my experience this is rare – then I may be attracted to them. But as a lesbian feminist, I have made a decision that I want to spend my energy and time with women – not men and not Trans people. If I was tricked into sex with a Trans man I would be very very unhappy.

    2. I would always and have defended and challenged when Trans people are being harassmed. And I support legislation stopping for example Trans people being sacked etc for being trans (I think I may be in a different country to you, so the legislation will be different).

    3. I don’t understand why your definition of woman, female body and a lesbian should trump mine. A Trans person who was born with a male body may self identify as lesbian, that doesn’t mean that I need to recognise them as a woman or a lesbian. I don’t .

    4. As a Trans individual you can self identify however you want. It doesn’t mean I have to accept your self definition. As a lesbian I will identify however I want. I don’t care whether you accept my definition or not.

    5. The idea of the cotton ceiling has horrified any lesbian I have talked to about this. Even those who are extremely supportive of transgendered people and theTransgender theory behind it, are horrified by this idea. I think this idea will actually make it less likely that lesbians want to sleep with you.

    Lesley

    • rozkaveney says:

      We all know what a male or female body is. A female body does not have a penis
      So that’s that sorted then.

      If you believe a female body has no reality Why on earth would I believe anything of the kind? I just think your simple cut-and-dried one-size-fits-all definition is not the only one possible. I also note that you define femaleness in terms of absence, not presence; you might want to think about that.

      Oh, and don’t assume that I use phrases like ‘trapped in the wrong body’ – I said thirty years ago (and you can check the record on that) that I thought it a clumsy metaphorical inadequate description.

      But as clumsy metaphorical inadequate phrasings go, talking about relationships as if they were exchanges of energy, and trans people are some sort of vampire draining lesbians, pretty much beats ‘trapped in the wrong body’ hollow.

      I have not had a penis for thirty years. It’s clear that you still regard my body as male – you use the words ‘he’ and ‘trans man’ to describe trans women rather than trans men. You aren’t exactly big on respect are you? The worst of it is, you don’t even notice how rude you’re being.

      Are you actually saying that, just by asking to have a conversation about this, we are making relations with lesbian feminists of your stripe worse? I went through the seventies and the eighties – you don’t know the meaning of worse.

      And when you say you oppose harrassment of trans people, that presumably doesn’t mean the sort of harrassment which excludes trans women from lesbian space? Or the sort of harrassment which means that our lovers get abused and told at parties that they should not be dating us?

      • Anonymous says:

        Please update your post to reflect that I didn’t comment on your stupid blog anonymously.

    • heavenscalyx says:

      A female body does not have a penis.

      Oh, so genetic males born without penises are women?
      Genetic females born with ambiguous/enlarged genitalia can’t be women?

      By this simplistic logic, then genetic and morphologic males who have sex change surgery are definitely women. They even have vaginas, which 1 in 6000 genetic females are born without.

      And how do you relate to intersex conditions with this logic? For instance, do you agree with the far radical feminists who believe that individuals born with androgen insensitivity syndrome are really just broken and deformed men by dint of their XY chromosomes? Or do you allow them the luxury of being women because they have vaginas, female secondary sex characteristics, and are socialized from infancy as girls?

      When you say, “everyone knows what a female body is,” what you really mean is, “I know what a woman’s body is, and only what I say is a woman’s body is actually a woman’s body.” Because you and I would not agree on what a woman’s body is.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Hi Lesley again. I wondered if you are going to publish my comment? If yes great, I am happy to stay and discuss this with everyone. If not, then I will leave as there is no point in my being here.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Thanks for publishing it. I have never been on your blog before and so when there was a delay in publishing my comment I had no idea if this simply meant you were busy or were not going to publish it . I am glad we both agree on freedom of speech.
    Lesley

  7. rozkaveney says:

    I didn’t unscreen your comments because I had not realized they were screened. I was busy cooking supper for my girlfriend of two decades rather than hanging on your every word.

  8. rozkaveney says:

    I really do want to stress that I don’t think the cotton ceiling is just an issue about the relationship between lesbian trans women and the broader lesbian community. As my original post made perfectly clear, it’s an issue about just how a theoretical respect for all trans people’s choices manifests itself among cis people when it comes to sex and love.

    • heavenscalyx says:

      I agree, though I think the cotton ceiling is more visible between transwomen and the lesbian community as a whole, because much of the lesbian community claims to be rejecting Patriarchy guidelines on what an ideal woman’s body is (thin, white, blonde, straight, etc), while falling into line in other ways (fat-shaming, transphobia, biphobia).

      • rozkaveney says:

        Yes, that’s true, and of course, as a lesbian, it’s the version that has most affected me personally, both directly and in the way it has led to my partners getting endless snide remarks about not being proper lesbians. I remember when I still dated guys though, and was aware of it then, and I have seen it operate with my trans masculine spectrum friends who are gay men.

      • rozkaveney says:

        I also care about it a lot, because I am historically part of various lesbian communites that are not transphobic, and it makes lesbians look bad.

      • heavenscalyx says:

        it makes lesbians look bad

        SERIOUSLY.

      • lesley222 says:

        I don’t think not accepting that Trans men are women is Transphobia. So I don’t accept that it makes the lesbian community look bad.

      • heavenscalyx says:

        Not accepting that transwomen are women is transphobia — the culture is afraid to accept that there are, shock and horror, people who are not conforming to the norm in terms of biological bodies. In choosing to toe the mainstream’s line, you are participating in transphobia, whether or not you identify that fear within yourself.

      • lesley222 says:

        Okay I am transphobic then. And like many feminists – shock, horror – I also do not conform to the norm of what is expected of me in my biological body.

      • jessie_c says:

        Again you demonstrate your hypocrisy. When we refuse to conform to the norm you denigrate us. When you claim to refuse to conform to the norm you expect us to laud you.

        Sauce for the goose, Leslie.

      • tekalynn says:

        But that’s the essence of transphobia. If a trans woman (not a trans man–he’s on the other end of the spectrum) says that she is a woman, that she endeavors to live her life as the actualized woman that she is and wants to be, that she’s taking whatever steps she needs to in order to allow her body to conform with her sense of self, and we say “No, you’re not. You can’t let yourself be what you are,”…

        …that is the essense of transphobia and utter antithesis of feminism. The whole point of feminism is that we support people in their needs and choices, we unite to end prejudice, and WE DO NOT JUDGE. We do not classify into “us and them”, we do not buy into kyriarchical lies which divide and conquer. We are here to support women. All women, whether by anatomical birth or conscious choice.

      • lesley222 says:

        Okay I am transphobic.

        And no that is not the definition of feminism in any recognised text about feminism. Feminism is about recognising women as equal human beings. But women make choices that are deeply anti feminist, I certainly wouldn’t support every woman’s choices in life. And yes I do judge.

      • x_mass says:

        yes it really is transphobia but their is a differnence between holding transphobic belives and doing transphobic actions

        I hope in the process of this discussion you can see that I don’t mind that your transphobic, I hope you change your views in time but i still respect your right to view me differently than I do.

      • lesley222 says:

        I have said on another post, fine I am transphobic.

      • x_mass says:

        but your still a cool, fun, intresting women that i am enjoying chatting with and I would love to meet at some point

      • lesley222 says:

        That is starting to sound like a chat up line!

        Seriously as I said I would be happy to meet you for a coffee.

      • x_mass says:

        I know doesn’t it! 🙂

        which is why i am really happy you have a girlfriend of 20 years plus

        look i just be the strange person over in the corner smilling at you two cuddling…

      • lesley222 says:

        I actaully think lesbians are on the whole less fat shaming than straight woman, but it is far from perfect.

        But biphobia and transphobia? If you mean that some lesbians don’t want to sleep with bisexual woman then yes this does happen. But I never said the lesbian community was perfect.Lesbians can be and are racist, disablist, etc etc.

      • cherade9 says:

        And transphobic it seems. Which I already knew, too many friends have had to deal with it!

      • lesley222 says:

        Yes transphobic. And although I am appalled at any violence or harassment of transgender people, I am sure because I don’t view a Trans man as a woman and vice versa, you also think I am transphobic.

      • jessie_c says:

        We think it because you demonstrate you are. Your transphobia has been crystal clear throughout this thread. Once again you say you are one thing but your actions prove you wrong.

      • lesley222 says:

        I accept that according to your definition of transphobia, then yes I am transphobic.

      • jessie_c says:

        Here you try and insinusate that my definition of transphobia is not yours, and that you do not consider yourself to be transphobic. I call bullshit.

        You are transphobic by all definitions of the term.

      • lesley222 says:

        I don’t think my beliefs are transphobic as they are not about a hate and fear of transgender people. But I know many people would disagree including you and call me transphobic.

      • jessie_c says:

        Anyone who knows what transpobia is would disagree with you. Yet again you are playing word games. Shame on you.

      • lesley222 says:

        I am genuinely not trying to play word games. But okay I am transphobic.

      • x_mass says:

        wow

        thankyou for saying that

        and its fine to be so around me being transphobic

        if i excluded friends just because they were transphobic i wouldn’t have friends like carol

        whose cute and gorgeous and has a mind as sharp as buffys blade and just sitting here i am thinking about how much i miss her and all the great times we had together

        she had huge difficulties dealing with me going loud with her. I had assumed she knew and i didn’t at the time realise how much she fancied me. it must have come as huge betrayl to her when she found out

        carol is a lesbian feminist who would agree entirely with your posiition, she is also an amazing butch dyke and the sweetest women and i miss her like crazy

      • lesley222 says:

        What do you mean by going loud with her?

      • x_mass says:

        i distinguish between coming out and going loud

        historically coming out of the closet is actually a drag term i.e. a transgender community term but it was approriated by the the LGB community to describe being open about who you were

        Since i know a whole bunch of LGB people who are out about being LGB but not open about being trans or are open about some aspect of being trans say being into drag but not say about being transexual.

        hence talking about being loud as opposed to stealth (which the transexual community has commonly used to describe those of us who don’t talk about their histories. it varies to the degree people are loud or stealth just as their are lesbians who are only out in bed and bar.

        I am out, loud and proud everywhere i go, quite often to the poiunt wher i have abused, beaten, sexually asaulted, raped etc

      • lesley222 says:

        Thank yoy for explaining that term. And I am sorry you have had so much negative things happen to you as a result of being brave and telling people who you are.

      • x_mass says:

        yes we are, but that doesn’t make them not lesbians, just as in my view you and i are lesbians (I tend to call myself dyke as i find lesbian rather frou frou) of course you don’t think i’m a lesban which is annoying but hey… life.

      • lesley222 says:

        No we won’t agree in the view that you are a woman and a lesbian. But as I said elsewhere on this thread, I would never try to persuade or criticise a lesbian who did see you as a lesbian and slept with you. Their choice as far as I am concerned.

      • x_mass says:

        as far as i know the only thing the lesbian community is claiming is that we fancy women in all their gorgeousness. i know some lesbians like to make out that being lesbian means more things but that’s crap

        your a woman you fancy women and you wnat to call yourself a lesbian that’s good enough for me – i don’t even care if you also sleep with men, though I would suggest that if you refuse to call yourself bisexual then your being biphobic

      • heavenscalyx says:

        I should have been clearer in my statement that I was referring to portions of the lesbian community, not the lesbian community as a whole, that I have found to be extremely hypocritical on the point of refuting Patriarchy but choosing to judge others by Patriarchal standards.

      • x_mass says:

        ok that makes way more sense, their are lots of people who claim because i am X and you are Y then Z is…

  9. Anonymous says:

    Hi in response to your post.

    1. Of course a female body is not just an absence of a penis, as you know that was shorthand. We all recognise what a female body looks like – including Trans MtoT who have surgery, etc to try and make their male body look like a female one.

    2. I don’t know who you are, I have just read your post today so have no idea how you personally have described your transgenerism. However all the “explanations” I have read or heard of transgenderism from Trans people are based around being trapped in the wrong body, having a male brain in a female body, or vice versa, or a similar discourse. If this does not fit with your idea of transgenderism, please tell me how you “know” you are a woman.

    3. “Vampire draining lesbians” – this made me smile. Do you really not understand the difference between being with a woman and being with a Trans person who has been socialised as a boy and man for at least their childhood and teenage years? There are real difference because of socilaisation in how men and women behave and some of this is extremely subtle particularly in relationships. As a lresbian I have chosen to spend my time with women who also have been socialised as girls and women.

    I know anybody who steps out of proscribed gencder roles including Trans people and women, especially growing up, can have a very hard time. So I know it is difficult for many Trans people growing up. But your experience and socialisation is different to that of girls and women.

    4. You say I am being rude by refering to MtoT as men or Trans men rather than women or she. I am simply stating what I see as a fact. Just as you tell me that the definition of a lesbian is not as I see it, a woman who is attracted to other women with female bodies only. Is that rude? I actaully think neither of us are rude, we are simply debating.

    If you want me to respect your wish to be called she and a woman, then respect my wish to be called a lesbian with a definition where I only sleep with women with female bodies. But you don’t do you.

    5. Fighting against harassment is totally different to giving people access to certain spaces. I don’t think for example men should have access to woman only spaces. I don’t call that harassment. Do you? So no I don’t want MtoT to have access to lesbian spaces for women born women.

    I would never abuse or question anyone who decided to date or live with a Trans man because they were Trans. Who people date is up to them.

    Lesley

    • lovingboth says:

      Thank you – I had never realised that the transphobia of some people would mean they could not type MtoF but had to type MtoT instead.

      Wow.

      • jessie_c says:

        Is this the first radfem you’ve had the misfortune to encounter? Actually she’s been pretty gentle with her hatred. Most of them can get pretty ugly.

      • lovingboth says:

        Oh ghod no – being part of the bisexual and sex work communities means that’s not the case. I hadn’t seen this particular bit of nastiness before.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Hi I have just posted in response to your post at 22.09. But wanted to add another quick post about your comment about cis woman.

    Please don’t refer to me as a cis woman. I am a woman.

    • rozkaveney says:

      Of course a female body is not just an absence of a penis, as you know that was shorthand. We all recognise what a female body looks like – including Trans MtoT who have surgery, etc to try and make their male body look like a female one.

      Interesting that you chose that particular piece of shorthand. And, when people say we all know something to be simple, that is actually very complicated. what they usually mean is that they want to pretend it’s simple, when knowing perfectly well that it is not.

      I don’t know who you are, I have just read your post today so have no idea how you personally have described your transgenerism. However all the “explanations” I have read or heard of transgenderism from Trans people are based around being trapped in the wrong body, having a male brain in a female body, or vice versa, or a similar discourse. If this does not fit with your idea of transgenderism, please tell me how you “know” you are a woman.

      I’m not actually here to explain myself to you.If I could put into words my feelings and my experiences down the years, I probably wouldn’t be a poet or even a writer. What I will say is something like, I felt an ache in my bones that told me that I wasn’t a boy or a man that was less the more I thought of myself as a woman. But that isn’t it. How do you know you are a woman? Why would my sense of myself as one, irrespective of what my body used to be like, be any different? Some things are simply the case.

      • rozkaveney says:

        “Vampire draining lesbians” – this made me smile.

        You’re the one who uses weird metaphors about sharing energy.

        Do you really not understand the difference between being with a woman and being with a Trans person who has been socialised as a boy and man for at least their childhood and teenage years? There are real difference because of socilaisation in how men and women behave and some of this is extremely subtle particularly in relationships. As a lresbian I have chosen to spend my time with women who also have been socialised as girls and women.

        Now, for someone who thinks they are not being rude, you are awfully certain that my relationship of the last two decades is somehow invalid and lesser. I think that, perhaps, as someone who has dated other trans women, and been in a relationship for many years with someone who is not trans, I perhaps know more about what’s different and what’s the same than you do. But, of course, I am trans myself so you can regard anything I say as coming from a lower state of consciousness.

        I know anybody who steps out of proscribed gencder roles including Trans people and women, especially growing up, can have a very hard time. So I know it is difficult for many Trans people growing up. But your experience and socialisation is different to that of girls and women.

        You resisted socialization to make you conform to heteronormativity. I did that too, only I also resisted socialization to make me male just as some of my trans brothers resisted socialization to make them female. Sometimes you regard bodies as more important and sometimes socialization – and you think both are very simple linear processes, except when it suits you.

        You say I am being rude by refering to MtoT as men or Trans men rather than women or she. I am simply stating what I see as a fact. Just as you tell me that the definition of a lesbian is not as I see it, a woman who is attracted to other women with female bodies only. Is that rude? I actaully think neither of us are rude, we are simply debating.

        I’m trying to understand how you ‘see as a fact’ important aspects of the life of someone you have never met, and feel entitled to tell them that they are wrong about those aspects, and not be insulting.

        If you want me to respect your wish to be called she and a woman, then respect my wish to be called a lesbian with a definition where I only sleep with women with female bodies. But you don’t do you.

        I totally respect your desire to sleep with women – and indeed share it. I’m just asking you to consider the possibility that your definition is narrow. That is not insulting you in the way that misgendering me is – and using language to do so which misgenders all trans women and all trans men. This all started with you telling me that trans people are arrogant. Consider the irony.

    • jessie_c says:

      “Cis” is a value-neutral descriptive term. Would you complain about being described as “tall” or “slender”? That you see it as degrading says quite a lot about you and the way you view trans people as having less worth than cis people. You are a cis woman. You will never be other than a cis woman.

      And that fact has no value judgment attached to it at all. You need to get over yourself.

    • tekalynn says:

      I’m a cis woman myself. It simply means that I am not a trans woman. “Cis” is a value-neutral term and I take no offense by it.

      • lesley222 says:

        Okay I have just found out how to register.

        Cis is not a value neutral term. The word cis is based on the idea that there are:

        1. Two types of women, those born with a female body and those born with a male body.
        2. Those born with a male body are described as Trans, so the term cis is used to describe those born with a female body.

        I do not believe that anyone born with a male body is a woman. So there is no need for the term cis or even non trans. I am simply a woman.

      • jessie_c says:

        You are utterly wrong. Both Cis and Trans are equally value-neutral descriptive terms. That you cannot see this demonstrates quite clearly that you believe “Trans” people to be inferior to “real” people. You take umbrage at being lumped in together with us; you are offended when we assert our personhood and place you on an equal basis with us. This more than enything else you’ve written here tells us that you do not consider trans persons to be “real” and worthy of equality.

        And once again you stick to your delusion that trans women are not women. Once again you attempt to label us what we are not.

    • valeriekeefe says:

      Please don’t refer to trans women as men. They are women. Note that you can’t manage the courtesy you ask for.

  11. rozkaveney says:

    Fighting against harassment is totally different to giving people access to certain spaces. I don’t think for example men should have access to woman only spaces. I don’t call that harassment. Do you? So no I don’t want MtoT to have access to lesbian spaces for women born women.

    So maybe you would speak out if you saw someone being shouted at in the street. Well, I suppose we should be grateful for that. But you would bar trans women from lesbian bars – irrespective of whether other lesbians were OK with them being there – and would be upset if we went to law about it. So, trans women are allowed to be lesbian, but not to have anywhere to go – quite a lot of lesbian trans women only date each other but they still wouldn’t have a safe space to drink or dance with other lesbians.

    And how do you feel about raped trans women in rape crisis centres, battered trans women in women’s refuges, dying trans women in women’s wards in hospices? People calling themselves lesbian feminists have argued against all of those things using the arguments you use so when you say you oppose harrassment, what does it actually mean? And what is it worth?

    I would never abuse or question anyone who decided to date or live with a Trans man because they were Trans. Who people date is up to them.

    Really? That’s good of you. If they were your friend, would you not be even the slightest bit tempted to try and persuade them not to. Really not? You wouldn’t tell them that they would get their gold star badge taken away? Not even a bit. Well, OK

    As to ‘cis’, if you prefer ‘non-trans’, that’s up to you. We are all women, but you don’t like accepting me as such.

  12. Anonymous says:

    I know I am a woman because I was born in a female body. The name for an adult with a female body is a woman. A woman is not a “feeling”, it is a biological reality. Just as a cat or elephant is a biological reality.

    Of course I am not saying your relationship is lesser or invalid. I don’t know what your relationship is like. I do know though that you were not born in a female body and have not been socialised as a girl or female teenager and so that does make you different to women who are born and brought up as woman.

    Both female bodies and socialisation make a woman. I refer to both, as both are part of it. If it was possible for a boy to be socialised as a female, he would still, when he grew up be a man. And similarly a baby girl when born is clearly female because of her body, even though she is too young for socialisation to have taken place much. But a man who changes his body to resemble a woman’s has been socialised and brought up as a boy and man, however much he resisted this socialisation. And this does mean that even with a body that appears female, he will still have behaviours and beliefs that are a direct result of him being socialised as a boy.

    “I’m trying to understand how you ‘see as a fact’ important aspects of the life of someone you have never met, and feel entitled to tell them that they are wrong about those aspects, and not be insulting.”
    This all started because I responded to a post of yours saying that lesbians are being discriminatory not to consider trans men as lesbians and consider them as potential sexual partners. We are both stating what we consider as facts of someone else’s life. This is debate. If you don’t want to debate, then don’t post stuff where you are inviting debate.

    I said that I don’t think Trans men should be able to access space for lesbians who are women. I have never said that Trans men should be barred from all lesbian venues. TBH most lesbian space these days are open to Trans men, so this is a bit of a red herring, I think it is resaonable to keep some space open just to women or lesbians.

    “And how do you feel about raped trans women in rape crisis centres, battered trans women in women’s refuges, dying trans women in women’s wards ”

    My concern about this is that often the definition of Trans includes pre and post operatives as well as those who have no intention of changing their genitals. If I am in a hospital ward dying, I do not want to see naked men with penises. And if, as I have, you have watched anybody dying in a ward, you will know that there is a high chance of seeing other patients in semi dress for all sorts of reasons e.g. dementia, delusions because of morphine, etc. So no this is not appropriate. Similarly a Trans man with a penis in a battered woman’s shelter is not appropriate. This is not to deny the need for support for these individuals, just that these are not appropriate sources for that support.

    No I wouldn’t try and persuade any friend not to date a Trans man just because he was Trans. I wouldn’t consider her a lesbian, but I would be too polite to tell her that.

    “Gold star lesbian” – I and many others hate that term. Its not a hierarchy or a competition. Many lesbians have been married in the past or had long term relationships with men, it doesn’t make them any less of a lesbian now. But a lesbian is someone who is sexually attracted to women and if she chooses to have sex for pleasure, is having sex with a woman.

    I am not a non trans woman, I am simply a woman. And you are right, I don’t accept you as a woman.

    Lesley

    • hamsterine says:

      If “female” is merely a “biological reality” then surely the reality is as real when it is chosen and medically developed, as it is for some trans women, than when it is simply a matter of fate and non-intervention, as it apparently is for you. The “biological reality” around human sexual diamorphism, for example, is that some people develop more pronounced secondary sexual characteristics than others and some people, both cis and trans, delivberately enhance or adjust these with some sort of medical, diatary or other intervention.

      If someone had lost a lot of weight 20 or 30 years ago and been slim ever since, it would be kind of bizarre to keep referring to them as fat in the present tense or saying they had a duty to disclose their history of being fat to potential lovers. It seems obvious to me that if a person is motivated to,they can change their sex just as they can change many other aspects of their physicality. Furthermore it seems to me that it is you, not they, who need some help keeping up with the “biological reality” when the change has taken place.

  13. Anonymous says:

    “Cis” is a value-neutral descriptive term. Would you complain about being described as “tall” or “slender”? That you see it as degrading says quite a lot about you and the way you view trans people as having less worth than cis people. You are a cis woman. You will never be other than a cis woman. And that fact has no value judgment attached to it at all. You need to get over yourself.”

    No Jessie cis is not value neutral. Cis is based on the idea that

    1.There are 2 types of women – those born in a female body and those born in a male body who feel like a female.
    2. Women born in a male body are described as trans, so to describe those born in a female body the word cis is used.

    I don’t accept that men born in a male body who feel like women, are women. So there is no need to have two different words to describe two different types of women. There is only the need for the one term – women.

    I do not view trans people as having less worth than other people. That would be transphobic and discriminatory. I simply don’t believe or accept that whether someone is a man or a woman is not based on a biological reality. Someone born with a boy’s body is a boy and then a man. And someone born with a girl’s body is a girl then a woman. It just is.

  14. Anonymous says:

    “the trauma of being forced to be a boy when i was a girl was pretty bad: i started attempting suicide when I was 6 and by 9 i was too depressed to even try. As a small child I also repeatedly tried to remedy the situation through self surgery – which is remarkably difficult – nature put our genitals where they are for a reason.”

    That sounds extremely difficult and traumatic for you. And of course you should receive help and support. But I still don’t think that your trauma means that you are a woman.

    “your comments point to a basic question – how do you know you are a woman?
    And a futher question why should I accept that your a women just because you say so?”

    As I have said in a previous post I know I am a woman because I was born in a female body. You don’t need to accept this, but both institutions in society and everyone I meet does accept that I am a woman. Do people and institutions accept you are a woman?

    “do you know much about intersexulity?….How would you see a partner who had been labeled as a girl at birth but actually had been porn with a penis that had been “reduced” to fit within the feamle norms?”
    If a partner had been born intersex, a choice had been made about which sex to make the baby through surgery and female was chosen and she had been brought up as a girl, I would see her as a woman.

    “you mention that you would feel tricked into sex if you had had sex with a trans man, so you would feel tricked if an ex-lover whom you thought was female subsquently changes their sex to become a man? ”
    No because I would still see them as a woman – a confused woman, but a woman nevertheless.

    “you say your a lesbian feminist – why should I aceept to you as being a lesbian feminist? I known plenty of lesbians who used to have sex with men, and even have sex with men, yet still describe themselves as lesbian, should I accept them as lesbians, why should i accept what you say?”
    You don’t have to is the obvious answer. I personally don’t think the fact that a lesbian has previously slept with a man means she is not a lesbian. There is lots of pressure on young lesbians to conform to straight society and it takes a lot for a young lesbian to stand up to that. But I wouldn’t view a woman who slept with men to be a lesbian.

    “btw the answer is because we run this world on trust, and if you say your a lesbian that’s good enough for me.”
    So if a man who identified as a man said he is a lesbian you would accept that? I think words mean something and they are not just whatever people want them to mean.

    Lesley

    • x_mass says:

      “So if a man who identified as a man said he is a lesbian you would accept that? I think words mean something and they are not just whatever people want them to mean”

      ok fair point, i was wrong and you were right

    • x_mass says:

      I’m not cerain if your going to see this but at some point I can take you through some rather more advanced science that that you were taught in school.

      sex and gender are not as clear cut as you belive them to be, their are some serious questions as to wether they exist at all or rather their are specific functions for example reproduction that exists but confusing them with a range of other characteristics is a social function not a scientific one

  15. Anonymous says:

    “small point transexual people what to change their bodies, transgender cover a huge range of communities for example if you were intrested in dragging up as a man, for an evening of fun once in a blue moon, that would make you transgender.”

    So lesbians should be open to having sex with men who drag up as a woman for the evening thenThat would encompass a LOT of men under the label of transexual. Making the definition of transexual so wide just makes the idea of the “cotton ceiling” even more ridiculous.

    • x_mass says:

      no absolutely not

      were talking about transexual women here not transgender people

      the definition of transgender is different from the definition of transexual your conflation of the two is the problem

      its like saying that asians belive that women should not be allowed to go to school just because some afagani and pakistani people belive it to be so

  16. Anonymous says:

    I’d be interested to know, Lesley, how you would define the characteristics of femaleness which would mean you felt you had been ‘tricked into sex’ by somebody who was NOT a lesbian. Before answering could I recommend googling this piece ‘Dr. Charmian Quigley Writes to Greer’ and reading it. I’d post a link but live journal seems to reject links in comments.

    • lesley222 says:

      Hi Sarah
      My comment about being tricked was made in response to a question where I was asked how I would feel if I slept with a Trans man thinking he was a woman. And yes I would feel tricked in this scenario. A woman is someone who has been born in a female body. Because of socialisation there are differences between women and men and that includes differences between women and Trans men who grew up unhappy with the gender role they were being asked to play.

      I read the article you mention and I know a little about intersex already. If someone was born intersex and had surgery to alter or modify genitals or other parts of their body as a baby so they were clearly a girl and they were brought up as a girl, I would have no problem sleeping with her – assuming I fancied her of course!

      And most Trans people are not intersex.

      • Anonymous says:

        Hi Lesley

        Speaking personally my preference is for people who smell like men and have male organs although I can’t tell which individuals I might really fancy until I actually meet them. I wouldn’t wish to deny a different sexual preference to you. Autonomy over our own bodies and what we do with them is something very close to the heart of most trans people. However again personally I would never rule out sex with anybody who I found myself fancying. Unless and until a situation arises I’ve always found it seldom wise to say ‘never’.

        My own view is that no trans person should ever be obliged to conceal their trans status or history and in practice I think the imagined fear of deception by a trans person is seldom the reality unless fear of rejection is a component in that trans person’s thinking. Cisgenderist ideology and antagonism to trans people does nothing to help reduce this fear.

        One thing I would ask you to considerer is your language. I believe when you refer to a ‘Trans man’, you are actually meaning a trans woman = a trans person who identifies as female. It’s not really possible to claim to be supportive of trans people without taking this on board.

        If you know much about intersex, you should also be aware that many intersex adults find the idea that a decision should be made concerning their reproductive organs soon after birth to be mutilation unless not to have made such a decision would endangered their life. Again this is about autonomy over their own bodies. I find your sexual preference for a certain genital configuration and even socialisation perfectly understandable but this does present a paradox. How would you feel if a surgeon’s whim at birth had created a vagina in a person who was socialised as female but who was, at the time of intimacy, closeted in identifying as male?

        You say ‘trans people are not intersex’. This is unlikely to be scientifically correct. Accumulating data suggests that trans people do have a variety of physical similarities to the gender they identify with, mainly neurological. I cannot assert this with absolute scientific certainty at the present time but no more can you assert that trans people are not intersex.

        My own view is that theory and speculation are not helpful in these situations. Respect and a more gentle approach to each other is always preferable. As Roz has stated, nobody is asking anybody else to have sex with anybody else … but nor do they have to express revulsion at the very idea of sexual intimacy in some combination which does not appeal to them.

      • lesley222 says:

        Hi Sarah

        I do agree that no Trans person should ever be obliged to conceal their history, although I do understand why fear of violence, etc might compel some to do this in particular contexts.

        I have not said I am supportive of Trans people as a group. Of individuals as long as they are decent human beings, of course I would always be supportive of them. But the idea that someone can be a man or a woman because they say they are, is not one that I want to support.

        Yes I do know that there is a large debate about not doing surgery to intersex people’s genitals and bodies as babies. If someone had been born intersex ahd a vagina created and been socialised as a female, then I would struggle to see them as anything but a female tbh.

        I find the concept of neurological gender differences fairly problematic from a feminist perspective. If this is ever proven then of course I will ahve to accept it. But the current research really doesn’t prove that this is the case.

        I have not expressed revulsion at the idea of sex with men or male bodies. I am a lesbian and am sexually attracted to female bodies. But I am not revulsed by male bodies.

      • Anonymous says:

        “But the idea that someone can be a man or a woman because they say they are, is not one that I want to support.”

        It depends on your definition of ‘man’ or ‘woman’, where I concur with Charmain Quigley’s conclusion that this can only be subjective and contextual. I personally chose not to think in these terms but only to be happy for anybody who is comfortable with their gender presentation and apparent body sex. I am generally perceived as a woman. I would only describe myself as being comfortable with the way I now am.

        My only take on feminism is that any female or indeed feminine person is an entirely equal human being. There is a long and tortuous social history around the continuing struggle for this to be fully recognised but is there any reason to complicate such an aim with complex theory?

        Personally again, I recognise problems that I have had with what I expect of other people’s gender. I have come to see such expectation as entirely negative. You make clear that you expect certain behaviours from categories which you define as ‘men’ and ‘women’. History and experience may have led you to believe that your expectations are justified but you might consider that, by hanging on to them, you only perpetuate the likelihood of their continuing to be a reality.

      • lesley222 says:

        I don’t think the term man or woman is subjective unless we are talking about intersex people where sex is indeterminate.

        Feminism analyses the ways in which woman have been disadvanatged and discriminated against. Without an understanding of this and its compklexties, it is very difficult to make real lasting change.For example, why do some women keep returning to violent men? Unless you understand that, you can never effectively tackle it.

        I do not expect certain behaviours. I would prefer if people’s behaviour was based on them as an individual and not their sex. But the reality is that although I and some others try to overcome our socialisation around gender roles, it is very difficult to do so. Thus we witness feminists in marriages where they are still doing the most of the housework.

        I wish I had enough power to change how people treat me as a woman and that I could chnage things just by expecting them to behave differently.

      • Anonymous says:

        Well, we differ on the terms man and woman being subjective. The fact that many people can and do accept and/or perceive trans women as women and trans men as men … whether consciously or unconsciously … would seem to prove that they are subjective for all practical purposes.

        I take your points on feminism but I also think they tie in with expectation. Setting aside psychopathy, the way most men treat women … whether that is as equals or subservient … is the result of social conditioning and expectation. Different cultures and history make this extremely clear. An absence of expectation … except to expect the best of all people in all circumstances is true equality.

      • lesley222 says:

        That would take everyone agreeing to do this. i don’t expect men to be sexist to me for example, but they still are.

      • cherade9 says:

        But are trans women sexist to you? If you percieve them as men, do you percieve them as an extention of the patriarchy trying to ‘take’ some of your space and intrude on you as a woman? That’s the sense I’m getting from you at least. The fear is coming off the ideas you spoken about in waves.

      • lesley222 says:

        In teresting question. I can’t say that all Trans men are sexist. But all I have met are sexist in some way. Occasionally overtly, but more often subtly e.g. being in groups of women and dominating totally the conversation.

      • jessie_c says:

        Again you try and force your definition of trans women as men. Again you stubbornly declare your superiority and your imagined right to define us as you see fit. Again you demonstrate your hypocrisy.

      • lesley222 says:

        But do you think most Trans people who see themselves as woman are sexist?

      • jessie_c says:

        No, I’m not going to play your derailing game.

      • lesley222 says:

        You know jessie, you seem to be under the misapprehension that I hate and fear you. Honestly I really don’t.

      • jessie_c says:

        You have a very funny way of showing it. You have attempted to deny my identity and impose your own upon me too many times to count.

        And once again you’re derailing. Stop it.

      • lesley222 says:

        I really am not trying to derail things.

      • jessie_c says:

        Then stick to the point at hand and stop trying to twist away.

      • x_mass says:

        yes most trans people are not intersex

        and their is a political argument about whether transexuals are a form of inetrsexuality

        but don’t confuse transexuality with trans, transexuality is a small aspect of trans

      • x_mass says:

        the issue of socialisation is a complex one

        but it goes to a key issue – how does socialisation work?

        your making some big assumptions around socialisation and how we aquire socialisation, ones that if I spent some time talking you through the issues you might realise were unfounded

        arrgghhh this is one of the key things i need to write about in book form but i also need to get myself well and get myself finacially more secure and it will just have to wait

      • lesley222 says:

        Socialisation works through many outlets. Our family and friends o our family, the media, adverts, school, children we play with and their parents, strangers, etc.

        If you dressed an obvious boy in a dress you would quickly see socialisation at work from family and friends basically telling you off, strangers disapproving comments and schools interventions.

        And this is a crude example, Research into hwo people treat a baby they don’t know shows they behave differently if they are told a baby is a girl or a boy irrespective of their actual sex.

      • x_mass says:

        I know that’s the standerd answer its actually rather more complex than that

        again I would have to take you through a bunch of thought experimenst to start totease through the issues

      • lesley222 says:

        Or maybe we wouldn’t agree on it?

  17. noirrosaleen says:

    Good gods. Just reading this comment thread makes me wanna throw up in my mouth a little. I’m reminded forcibly of people who believe the earth is flat, or possibly that because their religion says so, they must burn people they deem witches to save their souls. People like these are what’s going to put scars on the souls of my future clients. What’s scariest is how absolutely blind she is to her bigotry. *shudders* I think I need to go read something fluffy to take my mind off this.

    • lesley222 says:

      And you think saying that Trans people need to break down the “cotton ceiling” so that lesbians will sleep with them is not sick inducing?

      • jessie_c says:

        That is not what Roz was saying. Again you twist words to make you point.

      • heavenscalyx says:

        Oh for the love of little goddesses…

        The cotton ceiling is transphobia, plain and simple, as well as biphobia. Transphobia and biphobia, just like homophobia, should be broken down and transformed by education and familiarity. The fact that you have read Roz’s post as some sort of diatribe intended to shame lesbians into sleeping with transwomen is JUST like all the men who think that, if a gay man looks at him funny, he’s TOTALLY trying to come onto him, or JUST like all the straight women who are TERRIFIED when a lesbian is in the gym locker room with them because CLEARLY THE LESBIAN WANTS THEM ALL.

        How self-centered and delusional.

      • x_mass says:

        i think the cotton ceiling is wrong and is based on transphobia i.e. in this case fear of transexual women

      • lesley222 says:

        We are not going to agree on this although I honestly don’t think in my case it is based on fear.

        By the way I think the term cotton ceiling is a terrible one. In my original post in Roz page I was angry at this term. It does give out the idea of trying to smash through a cotton ceiling e.g. womens pants, literally into their vagina. I do understand now what the term means and what it is trying to say, but I hate the term.

      • x_mass says:

        eeek I can see what you mean

        especially in the context of male sexuality

        your right its not the best is it

    • lesley222 says:

      And the idea that there is a “cotton celing” that Trans people should break down so that lesbians will sleep with them, makes me feel a little bit sick in my mouth.

  18. rozkaveney says:

    The point of the cotton ceiling debate – which, to remind everyone, is not just about the rights of lesbian trans women – is to discuss whether there is any validity to a theoretical model of trans equality which leaves untouched the idea that the trans body, whether pre- or post- medical/surgical/hormonal intervention, is intrinsically other and lesser. It is a debate about -for example- whether trans people should be expected to settle for objectification – whether in the shape of ‘chasing’ or in the blanket dismissal of us from certain sorts of space, whether it be specifically sexual space like certain sorts of bar or club, or space where our presence is seen as a sexual threat, as in rape survival centres, shelters for the victims of violence, or wards full of dying people. A lot of the time the debate centres on the fear of penises, whether by straight men or lesbians – I notice that, above, in a revealing moment of lack of compassion, Leslie says that she would not want trans people on a women’s ward in case, in their last agony, someone might see something untoward.

    Most trans people transition to a greater or lesser extent depending on the availability and cost of medical intervention, but yes, some trans women have penises, many trans men do not, and gender queer people might have whatever they are comfortable with, but you don’t get to know unless it’s relevant.

    It’s clear that certain sorts of people – of whom militant reactionary Christians are one and ‘radical feminists’ another – don’t believe in trans equality. Leslie has made it perfectly clear that she thinks sex and gender and socialization and body configuration at birth are simple issues around which she should not have to accept any complexity whatever. She claims to oppose harrassment, but fails at even minimal politeness. In the end, it comes down to faith, which trumps, for the believer, manners at every turn.

  19. rozkaveney says:

    Leslie and those who think like her are not concerned with how other people experience the universe. She says, revealingly, that women who sleep with trans women stop being lesbians at that point; she objects to the old ‘gold star’ term, saying that it is not a competition, but she also believes that her sense of things trumps not only trans people’s sense of ourselves, but the sexual identification of the people who have sex with us. Again, her faith tells her otherwise.

    How does this differ from the attitude to her sexuality of those Evangelical Christians who regard her as lesser, inferior, failing to do God’s Will? Both ways of talking and thinking are based in faith and not suceptible to reason. Any arguments cited by believers in support of their views are always mere counters.

    Leslie does not believe that there is any evidence available that would convince her that trans women are women and not men. I ask her two questions – what sort of evidence would be enough for you? and, if there were such evidence, are you prepared to spend the rest of your life apologizing?

  20. rozkaveney says:

    The idea that I would have less experience of death and dying is a quite remarkable piece of transphobic othering.

    • Anonymous says:

      No Rozk I did not say you have less experience of this, I don’t know you, so I have no idea of your experiences. I was simply explaining my point in case you or someone else reading it didn’t have experience or understanding of it.

      People can sexually identify how they want. But I can also have my own opinion on their identification. None trumps each other, we just have different views. And I don’t regard Trans people as lesser at all.

      What evidence would convince me Trans men are really woman? Properly researched scientific evidence of clear biological differences that meant in spite of outward appearance Trans men had a womans biology. But I think this is unlikely. If it happens I promise I will come back and apologise.

      • jessie_c says:

        You’d better be prepared to apologise then, because that evidence is abundantly available today for those who will let themselves see it.

        And once again you label us men. Once again you Other and oppress. Don’t try and claim you don’t.

      • lesley222 says:

        Jessie, come on the evidence is not available. Tell me about one properly peer reviewed paper that shows that TRansgenderism is a biological reality?

      • jessie_c says:

        There are none so blind as those who will not see. Those papers are widey available.
        http://www.genderpsychology.org/psychology/BSTc.html
        http://www.hy-ls.org/index.php/hyls/article/view/57
        http://www.reocities.com/debxtc.geo/Biolts.PDF
        …and many others available with just a few seconds of effort and a Google search.

        Of course, all of this is only a red herring. You insist on gential essentialism when you define trans women. You again use the tools of the Patriarchy to Other us. You move the goalposts whenever we counter one of your delusions with facts. You set the burden of proof to an unattainable level when you speak of trans women such that if applied to a cis woman the cries of outrage would be heard around the world. Women are not defined by their bodies. Except you claim the right to do so. Your hypocrisy remains breathtaking.

      • lesley222 says:

        Thank you for that jessie. I have clicked the links, but I need sometime to read and digest them properly. If after reading them I agree with you, I will come back and apologise.

      • valeriekeefe says:

        You could also read the Wikipedia article on DES. It demonstrates with some impressively large correlations, (like a study of 500 male-assigned children of mothers with suspected or confirmed DES usage that had a rate of avowed transsexuality of 30%, compared to 1% in the general population) that pre-natal estrogen drives female identification as well as female attraction.

        There’s also the breasts, prominent enough to sexually assault infront of two-hundred people, that I grew in high school.

        Yes, trans womyn are womyn.

      • x_mass says:

        are you ever in Oxford uk?

        could i sit down with you and talk you through this?

        having someoen who challenges my thinking is alawys good as it helps me find flaws in my logic and points to areas that need to be examined.

  21. paratti says:

    Support from a Cis Feminist Lesley who knows that Feminism means being in solidarity with all my sisters, no matter their origins,

    • lesley222 says:

      So you don’t value woman’s only space then?

      • paratti says:

        I believe we are stronger together than apart and inclusivity is always better than descrimination.

        And some of my best friends are trans. Why would I want to go somewhere they couldn’t or were not welcome.

      • lesley222 says:

        For some women their best friends are men. It doesn’t mean that they should be welcomed in women only space though.

      • jessie_c says:

        Yet again you press your imagined right to define trans women as men. Yet again you demonstrate your hypocrisy.

      • lesley222 says:

        Jessie I don’t think I am being hypocritical. I have consistently said the same thing on this thread.

      • jessie_c says:

        And you’ve consistently been hypocritical while you’ve been saying it. What you think you’re doing is irrelevant. The important thing is what you’ve been doing, and what you’ve been doing is being hypocritical.

      • x_mass says:

        because their are things that as a transexual woman i simply don’t know about and you might want to say talk about puberty with other females. I have never mensturated and if you wanted to be in space with only people who understood what it felt like to mensturate that would be fine. It wouldn’t be a women only space but it would be a women who have menstruated space only space.

        lesley can have spaces that specifically exclude a particular group of women, it happens all the time. their are plenty of rich womens groups that exclude poor women simply because of their location for example being in london as opposed to soweto

      • cherade9 says:

        Not in the way you define it no. I hate to tell you but this purist notion you have is exteremly alien to me and all of my friends who are feminist. Inclusion, not exclusion is surely the way forward?

      • jessie_c says:

        Don’t put words into her mouth. What you sutbborny refuse to accept is that trans women are women, no matter how long and how loudly you cry that we aren’t.

      • valeriekeefe says:

        I do… which is why I don’t want some guy trading on his CAFAB (coercively assigned female at birth) status to get entree into womyn’s space.

      • x_mass says:

        oooh nice acronym not heard that one before and yes i would object to having such a man in womens speace even though of course would let him in

      • lesley222 says:

        Yes because she would be a woman. Although if tragically she thought she was a man, I doubt she would want to access women’s only space. Most radical feminists just feel sad that women feel under pressure to mutiliate their bodies in this way.

      • x_mass says:

        no he is a man who is invading womens space

      • lesley222 says:

        I hardly think as a man you are qualified to judge that.

  22. rozkaveney says:

    If really wants to go on being here and exhibiting a level of fail rarely seen, then I am not going to stand in her way…Gotta admire the persistence.

    • lesley222 says:

      Well thank you for admiring my persistence! And I meant it, if you do want me to stop posting, all you have to do is say and I will stop.

    • lesley222 says:

      You know in one sense you are right Roz. Lesbians who accept Transgendered men into lesbian space and accept to your face that you are a woman and a lesbian, are showing that by rejecting the idea of sleeping with any Transexual man, that they don’t really consider you women or lesbians. But i don’t think that is prejudice. I think it is that at a deep level they know you are not women, but at a superfacial level are happy to go along with this because they don’t want to hurt your feelings.

  23. lesley222 says:

    One of the things that does puzzle me is why Transgenders should trigger so much hate, fear and violence amongst some people. I do NOT mean that this is transgender people’s fault at all – it is clearly not. But I have seen people become quite hateful and fearful about Transgenderism.

    Anyone any idea of why that is? Just interested in your perspectives as I really don’t understand this reaction from some people.

    • jessie_c says:

      Yes.Leslie, why do we trigger such levels of hate and fear in you? Why are you investing so much energy in denying our realities? Any idea why this is?

      Hello Ms Pot, meet kettle.

      • lesley222 says:

        It was a genuine question. And no you are totally wrong, I don’t hate and fear transgender people. I just don’t agree with your definition of what a man and woman is.

      • jessie_c says:

        You say you don’t, but your actions prove you do. Again: Pot, meet Kettle.

      • lesley222 says:

        You mean because I won’t see a Trans man as a woman and vice versa?

      • jessie_c says:

        A trans man is a person who was born male in a female body. You are deliberately, repeatedly and unceasingly degendering, Othering and insulting all trans people. You have done sothroughout this entire thread. Yes, your actions prove your transphboia and hypocrisy. It is clear for all to see.

      • lesley222 says:

        Yes I agree thata ccording to your definition I ma transphobic. I don’t agree that I am hypocritical though. Disagreeing with you is not hypocritical.

      • jessie_c says:

        Your transphobia makes you a hypocrite. Your repeated mewlings that you do not like discrimination against trans people excelt when you do it makes you a hypocrite. Your actions here prove you to be a hypocrite. The evidence is plain.

      • lesley222 says:

        I understand what you are saying. The fact that I don’t recognise Trans men as woman you see as discriminatory. So I now understand that you mean, me saying that on one hand I don’t recognise Trans men as women but also saying that I don’t believe in discrimination, you will see as me being hypocritical. I don’t see the fact that I don’t recognise Trans men as women as discriminatory.

        But I do understand now why you see me as a hypocrite. I didn’t understand this before.

      • jessie_c says:

        It’s not only me who sees you being hypocritical. it is blatantly obvious to the entire world.

        And here again you attempt to enforce your ideology on us. No matter how many times you try and claim we are not, trans women are women. We have never been, and never will be men.

      • lesley222 says:

        And I am not sure why I am investing so much time on this. Not from hate and fear, as I said upthread I am beginning to feel quite fond of you now.

      • jessie_c says:

        You may rest assured that the feeling is not mutual. You came into this discussion with a hostile and exclusionary attitude, and you maintain it. Whether you claim not to hate and fear is immaterial; your actions demonstrate it.

    • x_mass says:

      we invoke fear because of peoples insecurity around gender

      the simple reality is that feminism, lesbiansm and transgender rights are all the same thing

      its about challenging gender assumptions

      just because i am one gender then I should be treated equally in all things as any other gender

      what is happening here is the same fight that happened around lesbians being exclued from feminism back in the seventies

      I want sex and gender to stop mattering, for it to only be important in medical terms and with whom you partner with

      but that challenges fundamentally something that matters to almost everyone else because when they were growing up it mattered to everyoine else and so the cycle persists

      gender and sex matter to you because its how you define yourself as a lesbian and as a feminist but if they didn’t they wouldn’t,imoist of the time.

      their are exceptions, you fancy women because of how they are as women and its not just the body is it? I bet you have had girlfriends who weren’t your type but they were just so, so meeep!

      And its fine if you said to me look i find you really cute kate but because of your history I just cant, i just cant. it would hurt, but its your choice not mine.

      • lesley222 says:

        I would prefer gender not to an issue as well. I do think for me lesbianism is parially about sex and partially about gender. I am attracted to female bodies but I also choose to be with women socialised as women. But I do think for some lesbians it is all about the sex i.e. female body and not the gender roles.

        Gender roles though are such a large part of our society it is difficult to see them going totally. Although I still think we should fight against them.

      • x_mass says:

        simply by definition its not going to ahppen in our lifetimes but i hope in future it wil matter less

  24. rozkaveney says:

    I think it amusing that thinks that trans women dominate conversations. Maybe she should 1. count her contributions on this thread and 2. see how many of them duplicate what she has already said.

    • jessie_c says:

      She’s deleted her journal already. Houston, we have flounce sign.

    • lesley222 says:

      I am just replying to points people have made. Of course I duplicate my points as others have duplicated there arguments to me. There are a lot of posts oh here after all.

      • valeriekeefe says:

        When you just repeat your thesis that’s not dialogue, but rather it’s sloganeering.

      • lesley222 says:

        What you mean is I refuse to back down and accept your lie that someone with a male body can be a woman.

      • valeriekeefe says:

        Well, I never claimed that was the case. I rather, argue with your definition of “male body.”

        And it’s interesting, you claim to want dialogue and yet you in your words have a position and the position of others is reduced simply to, ‘a lie.’ You have a strange way of showing respect.

        At any rate, as a species we’re sexually dimorphic in many areas, genitalia, gonads, secondary sexual characteristics, and midbrain wiring. It’s that last one I want to speak of because it’s the only part of the body that is more-or-less done developing at birth… it’s also most integral to a person:

        If we were to take your brain out, put it in a jar, render it able to communicate and replace the brain running the rest of those organs with a sophisitcated computer, which of those two agglomerations, wired brain or brainless body, be you?

        The answer is pretty clear.

        Now this isn’t true for all species. One has to be sapient, able to act on more than instinct, to grow to deal with one’s surroundings. A duck’s brain in a jar would basically live the equivalent of a seizure.

        The brain is a uniquely important reproductive organ, one for which, unlike genitalia, gonads, or other secondary sexual characteristics, there exists no replacement, prosthesis, or surrogate. The brain is integral to the rest of the body. The brain is very much part of the body.

        Under those conditions it naturally should be understood that those with female neurology are female bodied. That those with female neurology, which is best measured by identification, are womyn.

        You don’t have to back down… but you do have to move beyond the simplistic cisnormative, heteronormative, and masculonormative stuff you grew up with if you’re going to claim to speak for womyn, if you’re going to oppose all of those power structures which are often lazily summarized as patriarchy. I know I had to, not just to liberate my sisters but to liberate myself.

      • Anonymous says:

        I know I’m well-late to the party, but I just wanted to take a moment to say that I think your comment here is knock-em-down, lay-em-out, fantastically perfect (I don’t get the bit about the duck, but that doesn’t ruin the experience of reading your points for me.)

        Thank you so much for taking the time to put your thoughts in such an erudite, crystal-clear way for us all to share. I’d like to print it out and put it over my desk for those moments when I need a reminder that there are sane, thoughtful, gentle people in the world yet.

        In short, I take my hat off to you.

    • lesley222 says:

      I have simply answered people’s points which have been repeated all round this thread. There are a lot of posts here after all.

  25. lesley222 says:

    Okay I do have to go now. I will check in again and respond to any posts that you want me to. I know you see me as transphobic.

    But seriously I do not hate or fear you. I actually feel quite fond of those who have been most active on here and if you lived close to me I would invite you all round now. I would even be polite and call you by your chosen pronoun.

    • jessie_c says:

      Oh, now I feel appropriately condescended to. You would be polite and use our correct pronouns. Everything is all sweetness and light.

      Except that you still maintan the delusion that trans women are really men in spite of all available evidence to the contrary and that you still reserve the right to call us men behind our backs and deny us access to women’s spaces because you really believe that we’re still men. But everything’s okay because you say you don’t hate or fear us at the same time eveything you say loudly proclaims how much you do.

      I have never before seen such depth of fail concentrated so closely together.

      • lesley222 says:

        I am sorry you feel condescended too.

      • jessie_c says:

        …but not sorry enough to stop.

      • lesley222 says:

        I won’t say that I think a Trans man is a woman to make you feel better, no.

      • jessie_c says:

        Still you insist that trans women are men. Thus you make a mockery of your oh, so condescending offer to use correct pronouns.

        Thus once more you demonstrate your hypocrisy, your intent to continue oppressing trans women and your utter fail.

      • lesley222 says:

        Honestly, do you really find it so oppressive if I use different pronouns to the ones you want me to use?

      • jessie_c says:

        Let’s turn this about. How would you react if we all of a sudden started calling you a man, something you know is untrue? How would you react when total strangers in the street refused to acknowledge your innermost identity? How would you feel when people started saying that you can’t go somewhere because of who they believe you are, when their beliefs are patently ridiculous in the face of your knowledge and lived experience? How can you deny that such treatment is anything but oppressive?

        You are consistently attempting to deny our lived reality and insert your opinions in its place. You are consistently asserting your right to define our lives for us. You are deliberately, repeatedly and condescendingly telling us that you know better, that you are the arbitrator of femininity, that you are right and we are wrong. Only a fool would say that this is not oppression.

        Once again you say one thing and do the opposite.

      • lesley222 says:

        Yes you are right I wouldn’t like it if someone insisted I was a man so a fair point.

        But Trans people are winning the right to be recognised as the gender they say they are. I fully expect soon for there to be no WBW spaces, so I suspect I will have to get used to it.

      • jessie_c says:

        We are winning the right to be recognised as the gender we are. There is no “we say” in the process.

        What you will have to get used to is the radical idea that trans women are women and that there has never been such thing as WBW except in the exclusionary and oppressive dogma of transphobes.

      • lesley222 says:

        I doubt I will ever agree that Trans men are woman. But I suspect you are right, I will have to get used to that being legally recognised as the case.

      • jessie_c says:

        You just don’t give up, do you? Once again you attempt to police our gender. Once again you demonstrate your hypocrisy; you object most vociferously when we describe you as “cis” yet you see nothing wrong with completely degendering us.

    • x_mass says:

      personally i wish you did, i would loive to come round and chat or tmeet you for a drink…

  26. lesley222 says:

    But you do. You are saying that you should have access to women only space because you are a woman even though I think you are not. So you are trying to force your beliefs on to me as mucha s I am trying to force my view on to you.

    • rozkaveney says:

      In the end, the issue is that you think your views on this trump not only my views but the views of all the women who, across the last thirty years, have welcomed, have invited, me into women’s space. I’ve never gone anywhere where a majority of the people present would not want me simply because I don’t want to hang with bigots – so, when the women’s floor at the London Lesbian and Gay centre was being run by Sheila Jeffreys and her mob, I would not go up there in any circumstances. The lesbian discoes in the basement were another matter. Similarly, when Marilyn Hacker wanted me to go wtih her to her own book launch at Onlywomen Press, I respected the publishers’ bigotry even though it caused them considerable embarrassment with a very pissed off author. There have always been plenty of spaces that would be described by all who used them as women-only space to which I was welcome. And these days, of course, there are fewer and fewer spaces where I would not be welcome, so really I would not force myself into a space where you made the rules.

      • lesley222 says:

        Rozk I have consistently said that I am happy to welcome Trans people into some women only space, just not all. And actually I have done so. I would be happy for you to be at the disco as well.

      • x_mass says:

        cool, just as if you were at bicon you woudln’t have been allowed into the trans only space

      • lesley222 says:

        And that would be absolutely fine. I do recognise the importance of safe space for any oppressed group.

      • rozkaveney says:

        Yet much of the broader conversation about this question comes quite specifically from the fact that there are a lot of spaces from which, using the arguments you’ve used, trans women have been excluded.

      • lesley222 says:

        Actually ime Transsexual woman used to be excluded from lots of spaces, but not so now in this country. I actually wish they were excluded more.

      • rozkaveney says:

        Which raises the question of why we are not, and the inevitable answer that most women, including most lesbians, decided long ago that they do not agree with you about whether or not we are women. One factor in this was, of course, the increasing number of out trans men, and genderqueer trans people – which shot a hole in large parts of ‘radfem’ theology about trans.

        Doesn’t it worry you that your position has become progressively an elitist one in which you believe yourself to be right and most other lesbians and feminists to be wrong?

      • lesley222 says:

        No it doesn’t worry me. I think most lesbians and feminists are happy to let Transexuals into women only or lesbian only space on the grounds that it isn’t doing any harm, lets not hurt their feelings and that Transexuals are a very oppressed group. Basically I think it is about women trying to be nice rather than any thought out feminist analysis.

      • rozkaveney says:

        That may be a part of the truth, but far less of it than you seem to think. And for you to claim that a thought-out analytic perspective forms no part of it is, I fear, an arrogant and rather sexist delusion and one which goes back to the 1980s and the progressive rejection of a lot of the shibboleths of Daly/Jeffreys style cultural/’radical’ feminism by socialist feminists, many of whom were also lesbians and found the atmosphere of tstifling and often tyrannical. It has in part to do with the hard work that some trans women did within feminism and within feminist scholarship – the claim that we are all mouthy bullies who suck the oxygen out of women’s space was one which a lot of women’s experience contradicted. It also has to do with the fact that trans women and trans men are transitioning far earlier than used to be common – there are more of us, and we are far less damaged than many of my generation were.

        Again, why not consider the possibility that the majority of feminists and lesbians have got it right and you have got it wrong?

      • lesley222 says:

        I know there is a feminist analysis which does agree with transsexuals. Simply that most of the women I know who have been happy for transexuals to access woman only space have not done so in terms of any real feminist analysis.

    • hamsterine says:

      Well, if some of us got together and said you shouldn’t have access to women-only spaces because of your antisocial attitude to certain other women would be likely to ruin the safe space, I’m guessing you’d object to that. Yet for me at least, that is the reality and your reality seems frankly a little bizarre.. and to try and discuss this without actually mentioning it would seem to negate the value of talking frankly about the issue at all.

  27. x_mass says:

    can i just say at some point you and i need to talk about the socialisation stuff but its a huge complex issue that I cant communicate well via text especially in this format

  28. x_mass says:

    but in the process i suspect you would help me recognise where i was lacking and help me to see what i had to think about

  29. x_mass says:

    Ok you might have seen me around at birmingham because I ran 13icon (and what a mess that was)

  30. x_mass says:

    so how transgressive are you

    you expect me to be transgressive

    what do you do that’s transgressive

    or is this all arm chair politics for you

  31. x_mass says:

    no.

    but belive what you like about me

    I try to talk sanely and rationally to you and you spit hatred and aouse back in my face

    I objected when people did it to you and i object when you do it to me

    btw people are transphobic because they feal inscure about their own gender, and I suspect at some time you wondered if you were really supposed to be a man, but you got over it and recognised that you were a dyke. It’s a very common experience for lots of lesbian, gay and bisexual folk, due to our societies equating hetreosexuality with gender. i have seen the same logic used by transvestites and drag queens who assume who you are is the gener you play. The problem is that those same people assume that the same is true of us AND ITS NOT!
    just as there is a difference between SM and actual slavery. Just as their is a difference between “feeling like someone raped you” and being gang raped

    In one situation you can say stop, no more, that beyond what i can take.

    the other situation is where you may die and you have no control about it

    if you want to face your transphobia sometime, and deal with your fears perhaps start listening and stop attacking

    i’m not a man, i never have been a man, and you are not the owner of me no matter how much you might want to be

    • lesley222 says:

      I saw your earlier post. I do genuinely hope you are okay. I do not wish any harm for any of the people here. Howver Roz has asked me not to post anymore andthis will be my last post.

  32. x_mass says:

    really i know plenty of dykes who agree with me and disagree with you

  33. hamsterine says:

    “How would you feel about a woman who said she would only sleep with women of her own race or religion? Or who had preferences about body weight, class, level of able-bodiedness?”

    FWIW, I would feel that she was normal.

    People do have all sorts of “type” prefereces when it comes to sex that we could easily recognise as excessively fussy if not downright discriminatory if the same guidelines were used to choose platonic friends. Yet in general, such sexual preferences are accepted. I for one recognise the degree of sexual attraction felt for various people as being fairly illogical and triggered by all sorts of little physical and behavioural attributes in the other person which logically may not be of great importance. Certainly, individual sexual drives seem to often diverge from the “logical” need to find, for example, a mate with good genes or a pair-bond with someone who would be a suitable sort of life partner.

  34. Anonymous says:

    No Roz, I do not comment anonymously, and rest assured I would prefer never even to know about or hear from you, as I think you are a complete idiot.

    Also, I don’t need to ask a delusion fuckwit about the Cotton Ceiling or what a lesbian is, as I know the answers to these questions.

    Cathy Brennan

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