Feminism

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Feminism

Postby Eva » Fri Feb 15, 2013 8:58 pm

So I read a book called "whipping girl" by Julie Serano which was quite good, discussed the idea of trans feminism. The idea applying feminist thought to trans issues.
I really think it's worth reading for anyone thinking about the subject.

Especially given a disproportionate amount of the violence against trans people is against trans women,
there is an attitude of well it must be sexual if you want to be a woman because why else would you want to be a woman, therefor you are a pervert.
However it's ok if you want to be a man and were female assigned at birth, because men are awesome.

This is a new forum idea I had, thought it would be good to get it started with a discussion on feminism.

So debate title:

"Is feminism a positive force in the world?"
silliness is not a virtue
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Re: Feminism

Postby FreeSpirit » Fri Feb 15, 2013 11:36 pm

Well I've never really got into feminist theory very much and in discussions I've had with other women, mostly cis, about it concensus has been that we've moved on from traditional concepts of feminism and are now into an era of humanism. That said I'm not denying that some still adhre to it. Of particular concern are the womyn born womyn movement who do neither us or traditional feminsis any favours. I will check out the book you've read though!

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Re: Feminism

Postby Karen » Sat Feb 16, 2013 6:33 am

I read it a few years ago,still have it and it was a great read,in particular remember theories on the conflict within the trans community itself between 'gender essentialists' and those of 'exceptional gender expression',but also things like the obsessions with before and after photos,depressed looking befores and yeah the sexualisation,scapegoating of femininity. Lot's in that book I could talk about. Bought it 4 times actually,for myself,sister,girlfriend and an lgbtq charity.
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Re: Feminism

Postby G.P.Cat » Sat Feb 16, 2013 7:07 am

Equality is already a central issue for most transgender individuals.
Feminism tends to be far too one sided to be beneficial and may only introduce more polarizing elements that just aren't needed.
If elements of feminist theory seem useful take those. But don't take the whole package.
Lateral Thinking! A skill for some and affliction for others.
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Re: Feminism

Postby FreeSpirit » Sat Feb 16, 2013 11:28 am

G.P.Cat wrote:Equality is already a central issue for most transgender individuals.
Feminism tends to be far too one sided to be beneficial and may only introduce more polarizing elements that just aren't needed.
If elements of feminist theory seem useful take those. But don't take the whole package.


I totally agree, you said in a more elequent way what I was thinking. Thats actually what seems to be the opinion of most cis genedered women I've talked about it with, i.e it was a product of the 70's/80's and now we've evolved beyond that to some extent. How that exactly applies to being trans I'm not sure and I think there's a danger of theorising too much of what is rather a fluid construct anyway.

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Re: Feminism

Postby Karen » Sat Feb 16, 2013 11:47 am

A lot of the book relates to sexism and how there's a lot more respect for female to males because of male's superior social status.

I spent a lot of time a few years ago lost in theory,all rather pointless unless your writing a thesis or something.

I note how my sister frowns upon any suggestion that the world is misogynistic,I seem more in tune with male privilege than she is. Most of the world's wealth is in the hands of men and always has been,all religions reserve an inferior place for women,although the Church of Ireland seems to have evolved somewhat. The overwhelming majority of elected representatives across the world are men and some of the shenanigans that go on in the Dail could only happen amongst middle aged men. The Irish constitution has enshrined that a womans place is in the home. It's a constitution written for and by old heterosexual catholic men.

Few women frequent pubs alone. A total contrast to my local cafe in the morning,which is mostly women and just the odd man,usually with a wife or girlfriend. A lot of cisgendered people don't seem aware of these subtleties though.
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Re: Feminism

Postby Eva » Sat Feb 16, 2013 12:52 pm

G.P.Cat wrote:Equality is already a central issue for most transgender individuals.
Feminism tends to be far too one sided to be beneficial and may only introduce more polarizing elements that just aren't needed.
If elements of feminist theory seem useful take those. But don't take the whole package.

Can you give me an example of something feminists generally do that is one sided?
I mean abortion and rape culture would be the things that I associate feminism with for the most part.
Both of which are issues that women face more than men.

I mean when you say one sided, it reminds me of people who advocate for a single egalitarian movement. The problem is that inevitably a rich white able cis guy will become the head of the movement.
Which is why you have a black civil rights movement, and lots of different organisations trying to fix the issues that disabled people face, each different group has their own unique problems.

Also feminism has a lot of importance when it comes to how you think about yourself.
It's useful to know that you are not there for the pleasure of men, or that you don't need to have plastic surgery to look perfect.
I know that a lot of the feminist issues aren't problems unique to women, but isn't that similar to a black civil rights organisations focusing on drugs?

Here is something that I would see as feminist and also incredibly powerful. It hits me particularly hard because I've often thought about having facial surgery, it makes me think twice about it.

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Re: Feminism

Postby sciencegirl » Sat Feb 16, 2013 3:00 pm

Apart from reading serano, have you read any other feminist books? I would imagine that one cannot have a good opinion on this concept unless they read across the spectrum.. the good, the bad and the ugly as it were.

For me, I see feminism as one sided, inequality exists across many groups, women typically do have it worse, but there are men out there who are discriminated for being men, for example, men who are not allowed custody of their children in a breakup (even when the children want to be with the father).

Feminism is an old fashioned concept, and I think humanism is more appropriate. The way I have always seen it is, is this simply, everyone is equal and should be treated as equals.

It should not be an animal farm world where "all animals are equal but some are more equal than others".

I'd like to hear trans guys opinions on this. They are always awfully QUIET!!! :)
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Re: Feminism

Postby FreeSpirit » Sat Feb 16, 2013 3:22 pm

sciencegirl wrote:Apart from reading serano, have you read any other feminist books? I would imagine that one cannot have a good opinion on this concept unless they read across the spectrum.. the good, the bad and the ugly as it were.

For me, I see feminism as one sided, inequality exists across many groups, women typically do have it worse, but there are men out there who are discriminated for being men, for example, men who are not allowed custody of their children in a breakup (even when the children want to be with the father).

Feminism is an old fashioned concept, and I think humanism is more appropriate. The way I have always seen it is, is this simply, everyone is equal and should be treated as equals.

It should not be an animal farm world where "all animals are equal but some are more equal than others".

I'd like to hear trans guys opinions on this. They are always awfully QUIET!!! :)


I think feminism worked to a degree in the past, it served it's purpose at the time. Now humanism is more applicable. We've moved on.

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Re: Feminism

Postby Karen » Sat Feb 16, 2013 4:27 pm

I've just finished Caitlin Morans 'How to be a woman' http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/0091 ... fl_title_1 She proclaims herself to be a feminist,it was entertaining,satirical,critical of traditional concepts of chivalry,of the Burqua,of traditional male love songs which are about women who don't exist....a good read ,she actually devotes 3 or 4 pages to Transsexuals in her other books 'Moranthology' http://www.amazon.co.uk/Moranthology-Ca ... 041&sr=1-1.
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