Hi friends, I am about to take leave, and will disappear and go incommunicado for a fortnight. Best wishes to all for the duration.
Hooray! Finally a section of the Left is allowing space for progressives who challenge the right wing elements of the transgender trend. Any attack on women’s rights is not only reactionary in itself, it also splits the working class and it is time the rest of the Left came to terms with this.
The Morning Star newspaper in Britain has published two articles from progressive-minded critics of the transgender trend, and an open letter from others, thanking the paper for opening space for debate around these issues. The letter quite correctly states that “hard-won rights and protections that women have managed to gain are being eroded through political and social developments” surrounding the transgender trend. I do not agree with the signatories’ claim that women are a “sex class” but I certainly believe that the trans trend contains right wing, anti-woman ideas that divide the working class. Congratulations to the Morning Star for giving a platform for this point of view.
Reblogged on WordPress.com
“The first thing that has to happen to walk this back is for the left to admit what’s going on”
I was talking to someone the other day about Obama’s order on transgenderism, and she said she it was hard to see how we could walk this one back.
My initial reaction was to say that medicine has to lead the way, since they validated it in the first place. Stop with the junk diagnoses and acknowledge that there are several different things going on here:
1. People have genuine severe body dysphorias (rare) and want surgery to remove parts.
2. Men with autogynephilia (crossdressing sexual fetish) are increasingly being allowed in under this validating umbrella, a fetish that is correlated to some extent with the committing of violent sex crimes, and these men are treated as misfortunates who need support.
3. Lesbians are socially pressured into medical transitioning if they do not perform femininity.
4. Adolescents don’t feel comfortable with their changing bodies and/or their personalities don’t align with…
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“The BBC seems to be intent on pushing only one ‘transgender kids’ narrative to both parents and children. The unquestioning use of the new gender terminology by the BBC in their own report on the programme reveals their total immersion in transgender theory:
‘Transgender is a term used to describe a person who doesn’t identify as the gender that was assigned to them when they were born – they may wish to be seen as a different gender or no gender at all.’
…When did we stop considering sex-role stereotypes as harmful and limiting for children and start to embrace them as not only true, but as the only real distinction between boys and girls?”
The fight for transgender people to use the public bathroom of their choice is presented as a battle of the Republican Right versus everyone else. Traditional values and the alleged threat to women’s safety versus respect for diversity.
Behind this debate two quite different demands are jammed together. One is the right of individual male to female (m2f) transitioners to live as women. The other is the ideological demand of transgender activists, and their mass media supporters, to be allowed to redefine womanhood itself: to demand that biological women accept being recast as a subset of womankind. The second demand is reactionary, for two reasons.
First, female biology has politics attached to it, most notably around abortion rights. The battle for abortion rights is also a struggle that reveals women’s oppression, since capitalist society does not allow women full control over their own bodies. Banning the word “woman” from abortion services, as trans activists have successfully demanded, puts one more obstacle in the way of women understanding the discrimination against them.
Secondly, it means defining women by the way that they stereotypically look and act, which is the only sort of womanhood that m2f transitioners have. In reality women become who they are through a lifetime of sexist socialisation that is gradually inscribed upon people with female biology. The trans trend is attempting to conceal this sexism from view.
Supporting transitioners’ use of women’s bathrooms will also carry a right wing, anti-woman subtext until these issues are publicly acknowledged.
Exiles in their own flesh: A psychotherapist speaks
Thisis a guest post submitted by Lane Anderson (a pseudonym),a practicing psychotherapist who has worked extensively with “trans teens” and their families. She shares with usherclinical insights into her clients, adolescentpsychology, and the impact of the transgender phenomenon on our society as a whole.
If there are other mental health providersreading this post, please considerguest posting orresponding in the comments section below the article. See this earlier post featuring Dr. David Schwartz foranother critical perspective from a psychotherapist.
I am extremely grateful to Lane and Dr. Schwartz for speaking up. Time is of the essence, since the American Psychological Association recently released new guidelines which will make it even more difficult for clinicians to step forward.
I am a licensed psychotherapist.I’m writing this post onmy last day at ateen healthclinic, where I’ve seen patients and their familiesfor nearly a decade.
In the past year especially, it’s become increasingly…
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One of the many unfortunate consequences of the marriage of transgenderism with the lesbian/gay movement is the wholesale acceptance that “conversion” therapy (also referred to as “reparative” therapy)—rightly condemned as coercive attempts to change a person’s sexual orientation—is equivalent to helping a child or teen feel at home with his or her body.
Why shouldn’t attempts to change “gender identity” be seen as identical to efforts to convince lesbian and gay people to abandon their homosexuality?
Because they are actually polar opposites. Anti-gay conversion therapy tells a healthy human being that they are not ok as they are, in the body they have, with the sexual feelings they have for other humans. But therapy aimed at helping a young person accept and reconcile with their healthy, evolution-molded body, as well as their gender nonconformity, actually encourages wholeness and the integration of body and mind.
In an Orwellian twist, the trans…
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Miranda Yardley responds with style to the British parliamentary report Transgender Equality, debunking the trans ideology that informs it. “Gender,” she points out, “is a set of socially imposed rules to which males and females are expected to conform…. In effect, what is a ‘man’ or a ‘woman’ is… based upon sexist stereotypes…. These proposals are in essence the reinforcement of politically conservative ideas under the guise of socially progressive modernisation. It represents incredibly clever neoliberal politicising…”
She includes telling quotes from Simone De Beauvoir and George Orwell.
While Yardley interprets the report’s implicit attacks on women as an example of patriarchy in action, I argue that they derive from the interests of capitalism. Patriarchy theory is vague and relies on biological or cultural determinism. But this does nothing to challenge the strength of Yardley’s arguments quoted above.
Well done to all concerned in challenging this bureaucratic top-down move to shoehorn kids’ explorations into gender categories. The underlying message of the trans lobby is that females and males are not free to behave as they wish: if they buck convention they have a problem and need to change. The foot must change, not the shoe.
This is the blog about the transgender phenomenon, by a socialist critic. Discussion and constructive criticism are welcome.
Transgender individuals are trying to live a life that feels better for them, in the process defying the idea that we are naturally feminine or masculine based on our biology. As a result trans people risk harassment, bashings and sometimes murder by backwoods haters. Their rights are supported by the Left, most feminists, and most lesbians and gays. The Christian Right has rallied against them, as part of a wider campaign against anyone outside traditional, biology-based, heterosexual identities.
Yet everyone else seems to be on board. Trans rights are promoted by governments, CEOs, public authorities, and the mass media, including the right wing Murdoch empire. They are championed by an extraordinarily wide coalition stretching from the far Left to sections of the US Republican Party. Support from the elite and the Right is based on the potential of the trans trend to further their own interests. For while it challenges biology-based sex stereotypes, the trans trend does not challenge sex stereotypes as such – in fact transgender thinking is founded on sex role typecasting, for when someone transitions from one gender to the other, they have little or nothing but stereotypes to define them in their new status. Trans ideology also reframes the whole issue of discontent with sexual identity, from something that affects everyone, and demands deep social change, to something that affects only a small group, and demands only that we accept diversity. This makes the trans phenomenon a very useful way for the elite to maintain conservative ideas in a changing world. As Marx said, the ruling ideas are the ideas of the ruling class, and it is the elite’s way of looking at the trans issue that prevails. The conservative elements of the trans phenomenon are also advanced by many trans activists. The problems are these:
- mass media massively ramps up the sex stereotyping aspect of the trans trend, turning it at times into a carnival-like celebration
- critics who try to point this out have at times been silenced by trans activists, supported by the corporate media; the concept of ‘hater’ has been degraded by trans activists and supporters, used to create a mood of fear that silences progressive-minded critics
- trans activists make certain demands that reinforce women’s oppression
- media and public institutions present transgender identity as the definitive or only alternative to mainstream traditional sex roles, concealing the option of simply living a freer life without reference to gender
- instead of social change to push back stereotypes, trans ideology calls for personal change: the foot must change, not the shoe; instead of pointing out that something deeply wrong in society must change, it calls only for acceptance of diversity
- children and teens discontented with traditional gender roles are being told that trans identity is the only alternative: a high-stakes alternative leading toward surgery, infertility and a lifetime on costly drugs
- there are also questions to be asked as to whether the transgender trend is being used at times to channel young people away from gay or lesbian identities.
There is a different way to oppose biology-based stereotypes of the girly-girl and red-meat guy: to let males as males and females as females throw off stereotypes and live freer lives just as they are. I think most trans people would have no problem with this; they might even see it as vaguely allied to their own approach. It was once a commonplace among leftists and feminists. Yet we rarely hear of this approach, for it is not what the elite want people to hear. The Left does not challenge them, for it has surrendered a great deal of ground on this issue.