This is a little off the track with regards to Radfem2012, but as this young woman addressed and criticised the conference for the female-only policy, so her YouTube will be addressed directly here.
Firstly I need to dispel the myth that just because someone is born female, that automatically makes them a feminist. It does not, and some females actively support female oppression and undermine feminism. Feminist is not synonymous with female.
The second myth I need to dispel is that just because a liberal feminist is anti-porn and anti-prostitution, that does not make her a radical feminist – there is far more to radical feminism than just picking and choosing one or two ‘bits’ that take your fancy, and hey-presto, you’re a radfem. Being a radfem involves not only understanding all the radfem points, but how they interact, as well as a view that our ultimate aim is not to patch up a bad system (patriarchy and male domination) but to eradicate it altogether.
Now unfortunately this 25yo, recent university graduate, young woman, has declared herself to be a radical feminist, and has opposed the female-only policy of Radfem2012. This then becomes my business. Radical feminists are indeed territorial about who calls themselves a radical feminist. This is because we saw what happened during the Third Wave, where feminism became defined by the personal preferences of the person calling themselves feminist. This effectively made the term ‘feminism’ useless, as it could stand for anything. I often use the expression that ‘you will not change radical feminism, radical feminism will change you’. If you do not understand what that means, you are not a radical feminist.
Becoming a radical feminist is a process of years, it does not happen over night, it takes learning and life experience to become one, and whilst we welcome novice radfems into the fold, we do not amend radical feminism to be something that suits the newbie’s personal preferences. Usually the process of becoming a radical feminist involves getting some areas straight away, but other areas are more difficult to understand. I sometimes call the new radfems, ‘proto radfems’. It is nothing to be ashamed of, we were all proto-radfems once.
Those are the parameters.
Here is the YouTube in question, below is a transcript as best as I could manage. I will address most of the issues briefly.
Hey YouTube, how’s it going?
I might alarm everyone by not talking about myself for an entire video.
Radical feminism, Radfem2012, has announced that it won’t allow non-biological women to attend.
That is correct, but to be more specific, it is for female-born (“FAB/FAAB” female assigned at birth) who still live as women/female. This is inclusive of intersex raised as girls and still living as women. The older (problematic) term was “Woman Born Woman” (WBW).
And this is obviously transphobic. But I want to discuss it from the issue, perspective of feminism because it seems crazy to me.
‘Transphobia’ is a relatively new term, the ‘phobia’ means ‘fear of’. Radical feminists do not literally ‘fear’ trans persons – nor is it a counterpart to homophobia, because with homophobia, the targeted person is often bashed by a straight male. Radical feminists pose no physical threat to trans persons, all we have are words, we disagree with the concept of ‘transgender’.
So feminism in its basic form is about equality between men and women,
Liberal feminism is about that, radical feminism is women’s liberation from a male dominated system, the old term which we still use “women’s liberation”.
and I assume that because transwomen are not allowed to go to this event, that men are not allowed to go to this event, and that’s fucking crazy. That’s crazy talk.
That is a logical fallacy by you. You believe that transwomen are women, yet you subconsciously equate them with men. Freudian slip in other words, you don’t actually believe that transwomen (M2Ts; Male to Trans*) are the same as FABs.
What you don’t get male radical feminists, that’s just fuckin’ bollocks. Some of the strongest male feminists, sorry, the strongest radical feminists I have ever met have been men.
There are few genuinely feminist men (that are not invested in upholding the status quo). There are even fewer males that support radical feminism – John Stoltenberg is really about the only one I have met in real life. So yes, I am curious as to where you found this enclave of ‘radical feminist men’. True male radfem supporters actually use the term “pro-radfem”, any male calling himself a radfem is not genuine. Genuine pro-radfems recognise that females set the radfem agenda, their input is minimal, and their ‘job’ is to educate other men and not to dictate to women what (radical) feminism is all about.
So that the idea that the notion that in some way their sex should disqualify them from having a valid opinion on this situation of equality between men and women is crazy in my mind.
It is not just their sex, but their entire upbringing as males that causes the problem. Same goes for transwomen. We call it male privilege. If you have not yet observed that boys are treated better than girls and given more advantages, and men as a class have more resources and advantages over women as a class, I can only suggest that you do not even have a basic grounding in feminism at all, let alone radical feminism.
And I’ve always had a problem with women-only feminist groups. But these groups usually tell me that there are a lot of people, a lot of women in those groups that don’t feel comfortable being around men, that have been the victims of rape or domestic violence and that sort of thing. They want to be free to discuss that type of topic, but I really don’t, I still, really can’t understand it because there are so many male rape and domestic violence victims in the world, that I am not ready to disqualify someone on the presence of their penis from being able to have a discussion on that situation. Even if it is more prevalent against women than it is against men.
A couple of things. You grossly underestimate the disparity in the number of female vs male victims in both those things – the only time a male has anywhere near the risk of rape is when he is in prison. For domestic violence, according to the 2006 British Crime Survey, 85% of DV victims are female, 15% of DV victims are male. Approximately half the male victims are victimised by males. Of DV perpetrators, 88% are male. That is a huge disparity, both in victims and perpetrators. Two books you should read – I never called it rape by Robin Warshaw, and Why does he do that? by Lundy Bancroft. Bancroft is male, and he certainly does not have the male-centric views that you do.
The other thing missing from your limited understanding is that the dynamics of female and male victims is very different. There is little value in having mixed survivor sessions. Even the Equality Act (2010) allows for this.
So men are not allowed, that’s my first problem with the notion that transwomen wouldn’t be allowed.
Circular logic, logical fallacy. Take your pick. And throw in your own subconscious view that men and transwomen are of the same group.
Secondly that, you know, [pause] that transwomen actually experience like a drop in their salary after surgically becoming a woman from becoming a man.
Some might, many retain their jobs in male-dominated professions, thereby skewing the ‘equality’ headcount – the equality count shows that X-number of ‘women’ are employed – but there is no real increase of born-females in those jobs, so by transwomen keeping those jobs, it does not progress the employment opportunities for females. Think about that.
As for ‘surgically becoming a woman’, wrong again. Most who claim to be transwomen do not have (full) Gender Reassignment Surgery, and most (over half) wish to retain their penis. The Gender Recognition Certificate can be issued without surgery, or homones, they are not essential requirements for certification.
If a woman becomes a man, they actually end up earning more money. I think it’s like 3%, I dunno, it’s been months since I’ve been debating this on YouTube. And it’s about [a] 1% drop for a man that becomes a woman. So transwomen are even subject to the same sexism that biological women are subjected to, and have just as much right to be there discussing that problem.
That paragraph is a complete and utter embarassment to you. The difference between the female wage and the male wage is still around 20%. The figures that you supplied are blind guesses. Did you even realise how much lower females are still being paid? Do you even realise the sex bias going on in this recession towards females? You may want to familiarise yourself to the real picture of sexual discrimination going on before you bleat on about ‘equality’. We born females still don’t have it, even after 37 years when it became illegal to pay women less for the same job. Also see the Fawcett Society for more facts.
But the main issue with radical feminism rejecting transwomen, is where [sic] the fuck is making the argument about gender roles in the first place. Last time I checked, unless there has been a big feminist conference that I didn’t fuckin’ get an invite to, which is actually a possibility[.]
Although the above is somewhat incoherent, and I will address gender roles further down, it was second wave radical feminists that named gender roles, and analysed how they were socially determined and enforced. It is not transactivists with some unique insight into gender roles – their main platform is upholding a gender role binary (not to be confused with the genderqueers, although they mix).
One of the main arguments that we as radical feminists are making is that you’re not born a man or a woman, that you’re socialised to become a man or a woman. That the differences we see between men and women in society are largely socialised and not biologically pre-determined.
“One is not born, but rather becomes, a woman.” ~ Simone de Beauvoir, The Second Sex is the quote you are referring to. By the way, you are NOT a radical feminist.
The quote does not mean what transactivists think it means, that one can slap on a dress and mimic females and suddenly ‘become a woman’. It refers to the lifelong socialisation of females from birth to their ‘assigned’ gender role as ‘Other’ (less than males, with males as the ‘default human’). In actual fact, it is a crappy gender role assigned to females, hence Second Wave Feminism set about to stop females being treated as second class citizens.
So if someone is by gender a woman, I really fail to see how in any way, that disqualifies them from being a radical feminist or attending Radfem2012 to discuss those views.
That actually does not make any logical sense, but I assume you mean if a transwoman has the (supposedly innate) ‘gender’ of a woman? See above for male socialisation, males as feminists, and that the gender role assigned to females that is no ball of sunshine.
It’s us propagating the idea that gender roles are not only, do not only symbolise what we already are, but actually inform what we become.
I think you may have stomped on your own point somewhat, that gender roles are something you acquire because of the rather mysterious self-identity as ‘a woman’? The persons claiming to be transwomen were socialised as males, some would have been beaten up or bullied for not conforming to the masculine role, but that is enforcement by patriarchy/society, and nor does it mean they were raised as girls by the adults around them. They were raised as boys, and disciplined as non-conforming boys.
And [—-] radical feminism, just feminism in general, like the whole reason I am a feminist is because I don’t believe that my uterus defines me. And I find it very difficult to get my head around the idea that only, bio-, people, we’re talking about biological women versus transgendered women or transsexual women, but it’s hilarious reading some of the comments around this because you get people talking about the reproductive women and they mean biological women but essentially what they are saying is any woman that hasn’t had a baby or hasn’t had some kind of test that to prove she’s not barren, cannot be a radical feminist.
Like it or not, at your birth you were determined to be ‘female’. That then channels you into socialisation as a girl, into the female gender role – all born-females are. The female gender role is to ensure reproductive exploitation, or probable/potential reproductive exploitation of your uterus. You were conditioned to be heterosexual, praised for being pretty, and your mission in life was to ‘find your prince’ – this is all propaganda fed to you throughout your childhood via things like Disney movies and parental praise. And if you succeed in accepting all that brainwashing, you can look forward to 20% less pay, limited career prospects, a one in four chance of being raped or victim of domestic violence, primary responsibility for child/ren – even if you do all the stuff ‘right’.
No radfem uses the term ‘reproductive woman’ – you just made that up. But most females are fertile, and a minority are born or later become infertile, including menopausal women. We have reproductive vulnerability as females, for we are the ones that bear the consequences of sex or rape.
Also, read this comment which covers a lot of women’s reproductive issues that are deemed ‘transphobic’ by transactivists, transactivists want to shut down these conversations between females, and throw focus onto transwomen’s issues. Talk about hijacking feminism.
No wonder I don’t really hold with organised feminism very much, because it’s fuckin’ stupid shit like this – like that’s a major issue you’ve got there if you’re gunna [—-] that gender is only the elephant in the room as long as it only applies to bio-, people that biologically match their gender sexually.
You need to read/learn more, and talk less. Your knowledge on feminism is limited even for a libfem. You seem to have read bits and pieces, picked up a few buzz terms, but do not really understand the fundamentals (hint, start with equal pay, that is an easy one to grasp). Once we have parity in that area, then perhaps you can worry about the men.
It is you who does not see the elephant in the room with regards to gender. Radical feminists reject the gender role assigned to females (and reject that the only other alternative is to become a transman). The majority of transwomen actually revel in the feminine gender role, the very role we are trying to abolish. Hence trans politics is in no way compatible to radical feminism.
Anyway, I might have missed something,be interesting to hear if I have, and I hope you’re well, see you soon. Bye.
You missed one hell of a lot, have very little understanding of radical feminist politics (even though claiming to be a radical feminist). You have no grounding in First or Second Wave feminism either, and barely a handle on Third Wave/Liberal feminism.
Whilst we welcome anti-porn libfems who are genuinely curious about radical feminism to come to the conference, your understanding of feminist politics is well below the entry level required to gain anything from the conference.
Even some transsexuals can understand the need for born-females to have their own space, why can’t you?
Please issue a clear retraction that you are NOT a radical feminist. Feminism is not some little game or hobby, women’s lives actually depend on it, like the two women per week murdered by the current or former partner. Get with the programme, or get out of the way.