Gender Critical by ContraPoints – the transcript
On the day that The Female Eunuch was issued in America, a person in flapping draperies rushed up to me and grabbed my hand. “Thank you,” it breathed hoarsely, “Thank you so much for all you’ve done for us girls!” I smirked and nodded and stepped backward, trying to extricate my hand from the enormous, knuckly, hairy, be-ringed paw that clutched it. The face staring into mine was thickly coated with pancake make-up through which the stubble was already burgeoning, in futile competition with a Dynel wig of immense luxuriance and two pairs of false eyelashes. Against the bony ribs that could be counted through its flimsy scarf dress swung a polished steel women’s liberation emblem. I should have said, “You’re a man. The Female Eunuch has done less than nothing for you. Piss off.”
– Germaine Greer writing in The Independent, 1989
First of all, a reminder that this video is a female-only space. So if there are any men here today, get out! I mean, unless you enjoy secretly watching the very interesting things that women do on our own, in which case, like, comment, subscribe!
So look, it’s 2019, I think most people have heard about TERFs, trans-exclusionary radical feminists.
You know these fanatics like Germaine Greer who call trans women it and think that trans men are lost lesbian sisters.
You guys know about trans men, right?
Male-to-female is not the only type of transgender person. There’s also people who were born, well, people who were assigned, people who were always, people who identify.
TERFs don’t like being called TERFs, they think it’s a term of disparagement, which, it is. They call themselves radical feminists, RadFems or lately, gender critical.
The idea is that gender femininity, masculinity, gender roles, all that, it’s all a patriarchal construct, and biological sex is the only thing that makes a person a man or a woman.
In the past on this channel, I’ve always caricatured TERFs as being like angry, man-hating bigots, whose only real tactic is accusing trans women of being creepy men. And there definitely are some people who are really like that, but I want to be fair, I want to be balanced, so in preparation to make this video, I posted an invitation on Twitter asking people who used to be gender critical feminists to share their stories with me.
And I got hundreds of responses, a lot of them from women who have had traumatic experiences with men and who at one time found comfort in a rigid view of gender where women and men are completely separate species, where women are safe and men are dangerous. And for a lot of those women, allowing trans people into their picture of the world at first challenged their sense of stability and comfort. It was difficult emotional work, work that they needed to do, but still difficult. And that makes total sense to me, like it’s very easy for me to understand why someone would feel that way.
So it’s not just evil bigots who are attracted to the gender critical worldview. And in this video, I don’t want to just parody TERFs. This time, I want to really engage with gender critical ideas in the public arena of free speech open communication dialogue conversation debate idea marketplace expression discourse. Maybe I’ll even get in touch with my inner RadFem. She’s a little shy, sure, but she’s here, not queer, reads a lot of Germaine Greer. And when I am having a dark night of the soul, sweaty, she’s feeling XXtra biological and when the full moon shines she speaks.
(“Waltz of the Sugar Plum Fairies”) Ugh, this is agony. I’m a biological woman trapped in the body of a male narcissist. Can you imagine? Okay, so she’s a little out of touch, sure, but she’s not a bigot, you know, I’m sure she doesn’t hate trans people, she just has a few concerns.
You know it’s like you’re not even allowed to ask questions anymore or you’re accused of transphobia. We’re all just expected to conform to this gender ideology that we the public never got a chance to debate. We didn’t vote for trans orthodoxy, yet here we are permitting biological males to run rampant in women’s spaces, foisting penises on lesbians, and indoctrinating our children with the ludicrous dogma that girls can become boys with a change of costume. Oh, it rattles my chromosomes.
She goes on like that for hours. It’s like being trapped at the bottom of an elevator shaft with the ghost of Anita Bryant. Do you kids even know who Anita Bryant is? Do you have any idea how many decades I fought for your rights? Wait, is Anita Bryant even dead? Scholars remain divided. It does seem like it’s getting harder to have conversations about difficult topics. You know, our children are coming of age in this Orwellian nightmare where you can face consequences for simply having a politically incorrect opinion about the Jewish question. It’s PC run A-mok, it’s a Hannuhkatastrophe!
Problematic banter aside, the current discourse about transgender issues is an explosion of untreated sewage. We have far-right politicians menacing us with legal discrimination and erasure, we have fear-mongering and hostility in the press and that, combined with high rates of family rejection and mistreatment, puts trans people on the defensive. So in public, we tend to stick together, concede nothing, and shield ourselves behind simple, unambiguous slogans. Trans women are women. Which is true, we are women.
But, that was a sinister but, watch out for that. What happens is that people who don’t really understand trans issues, in other words most people, have lots of unanswered questions about the details. And in particular, people who are familiar with feminist theory, but not trans feminism, might wonder things like:
· How can you be a woman without the oppression experiences of girlhood?
· Why can’t you just be a feminine man instead of equating womanhood with sexist stereotypes?
· Why are misogynistic gender ideologues erasing the vocabulary needed to discuss female oppression?
Trans people don’t like engaging with these questions because most of the time they’re just brandished as weapons against us. You know, it’s like when a man asks if society is so sexist against women, then why is it that men are 97% of combat fatalities, feminazis? Like you could sit there for three hours trying to make a nuanced feminist rebuttal, but wouldn’t you rather just eat a bowl of thumbtacks? Because nine times out of 10, that guy doesn’t give a shit about combat fatalities, he’s just trolling you to shut down whatever actual point you were making.
And the same goes for people telling me, you sure do like wearing nails and makeup, is that all you think there is to being a woman? Could you define womanhood for me? Like they don’t actually care, they’re just trying to make my life worse for 20 minutes.
But if you really are sincerely wondering about the answer to these troll questions and many people are, then you actually need fairly complicated and nuanced answers. Which is why they make good troll questions because they waste a lot of your time.
In this video, I want to take at face value the questions and concerns associated with gender critical hostility to trans people and I want to try to give nuanced answers rather than dogmatic ones. Now, the problem with being nuanced is that it’s hard, so I might f*ck something up. And a lot of trans people want me to represent them absolutely perfectly, so if I do f*ck something up, well, just read me to filth on Twitter like you always do, you little shits, love you!
Let’s watch an instructional video to learn more. – Can a man ever be as glamorous as a woman? We have 13 beautiful women on our show today, only the catch is that some of them are actually men. – Oops, wrong channel.#
Concern one, gender metaphysics.
‘There’s no such thing as a man trapped in a woman’s body. There are no pink brains and blue brains. Just because you want to be a woman, doesn’t mean you are one. This whole sacred dogma of gender identity makes no sense.’
Trans people often use metaphorical language to describe feelings that are difficult to put into words and that’s how I understand the trapped in the wrong body language.
Is there literally such a thing as a male soul trapped in a female body or vice versa? I don’t personally believe there is, but I’m a little biased, I sold my soul to a Sudanese businessman and all I got in return was this shitty ketamine habit.
As for brains, there is some evidence suggesting a correlation between binary transgender identity and cross-sex brain anatomy, but the evidence really doesn’t justify claims about female brains in male bodies or anything like that. Brain differences between men and women are statistical averages of things like gray and white matter density, not as the term female brain implies, distinct anatomical structures likes penises and vaginas. So personally I don’t believe in any gender metaphysics at all.
I’m kind of an unorthodox trans person, so much for the unquestionable dogma of the trans cult in that I think of myself as a woman who used to be a man, rather than as having always been a woman.
But it’s important to remember that while I may not fit the typical profile, I am not real and not valid.
But in any case, I live as a woman now, and that’s kind of just what’s happening whether you like or not so I’m not sorry? My view is well-expressed by Catherine MacKinnon. “I always thought I don’t care how someone “becomes a woman or a man; it does not matter to me. “Anybody who identifies as a woman, wants to be a woman, “is going around being a woman, as far as I’m concerned, “is a woman.”
Concern two, gender stereotypes.
‘What do you mean you live as a woman? You mean you reinforce oppressive gender stereotypes by putting on makeup, nails, and a fake girly voice.’
Listen, sweaty, first of all, my girly voice is very f*cking real. Second, my clothes, makeup, voice, none of this makes me a woman. No trans woman thinks that femininity and womanhood are the same. Rather, we’re using a cultural language of feminine signifiers to prompt others to see us for what we are.
Sometimes I get the impression that my cis girlfriends don’t really understand why I’m presenting in such a meticulously feminine way, like they think I’m wearing ombre lips at 11 a.m. because I’m playing some kind of clout game, which I am, but also if one person calls me sir, that’s gonna ruin my day, so I’m desperately throwing glitter spaghetti at the wall in hopes the light catches some glimmer of womanhood.
I think butch or gender non-conforming cis women sometimes side-eye hyper-feminine trans women because they don’t identify with this vision of womanhood at all and they’ve had to struggle since childhood against a society that’s told them they have to be feminine. And I completely sympathize with that. I think there should be more gender freedom, less coercion, less restriction. But also, I’ve had to fight against the same society that told me I should really, really, really, not be this, so, I feel like we should be able to form some kind of solidarity here.
Concern three, abolish gender.
‘But you should be moving beyond the patriarchal constructs of masculinity and femininity, not conforming to them. Real feminism aims to abolish gender, not reinforce it.’
Abolish gender? Well that sounds like an ambitious project for one transsexual, but I mean I’ll give it a try.
(snaps) Solanus be praised. No nails, no makeup, I’m wearing a nice little gender-neutral robe moment. I did it everyone, I abolished gender. Well, I guess long hair is still a gender signifier, so I should probably get rid of that.
(gong rings) How is she though? She’s feeling a little genderless. I guess the way I position my body is still gendered and there’s a gendered cadence to my voice. So what I’m gonna do is just hold my hands up genderlessly and speak in a genderless robot voice. My name is 5443461 I have no gender. Patriarchy is over. I guess English is still patriarchal language, right? So I should probably be communicating with a series of genderless sounds.
(imitating robot) I can’t stand this, f*ck this. Look, maybe abolishing gender is a good idea, like, wouldn’t it be better if your genitals at birth didn’t determine what kind of life you could live?
But that is a utopian project requiring massive systemic change, kind of like abolish borders. Your utopian pipe dream is valid! And denying trans people their gender identity because abolish gender is kind of like denying citizenship to immigrants because abolished borders.
Like you’re targeting the people who are the most vulnerable under the present system and the leveraging that system against them under the pretense of abolishing it. You know, you don’t see gender critical feminists in Kim Kardashian’s Instagram comments like, why are you wearing a dress, Kim, you creepy misogynist.
You should be abolishing gender, not reinforcing stereotypes designed to oppress women. No, they don’t attack the gender expression of people with power and influence. They’re all on Twitter, harassing some poor, newly out trans woman with 200 followers and calling her a creepy man and mocking her for being feminine ineptly or being too feminine or not being feminine enough.
It’s almost like when they say abolish gender, what they really mean is abolish trans people. It’s almost like this is a hate movement hiding behind a handful of pseudo-feminist platitudes. But surely, I must be missing something.
Concern four, male privilege.
‘It is absolutely typical of male privilege and entitlement that you think you can just claim womanhood for yourself without living any of the struggle that entails.’
So look, I’m a successful, white, middle-class trans woman. In the grand scheme of things, I’m really not very oppressed. I may not be the 1%, but I am the tra*ny 1%. So I don’t like to complain about every little microaggression I experience because under the circumstances, it just seems a little gauche. And I don’t like things that are gauche.
But I’ve had cis feminists of my race and class tell me that I have no idea what it’s like to be talked over and interrupted by men. – [Man] Actually, Kropotkin. – Or to experience street harassment or to have to treat every first date like a potentially life-threatening situation and it’s just bizarre to me that they think that. Like, what do you think my experience in the world is? You think men treat me as their equal? You think street harassers are gonna treat me with dignity and respect because I have a Y chromosome?
Hey beautiful, where you going baby? Where you going? Oh, it’s a tr*nny. Excuse me, sir, my mistake. Please proceed freely to your destination.
Come on, people, use your heads. When you have Germaine Greer calling trans women it, what do you think the guy on the steps of the liquor store is gonna say? When a trans woman doesn’t pass, it’s not like society simply treats her like a man. No, you get treated as monster gender, pronouns it and spit, and male privilege is not a good description of that experience at all.
Once you start passing as a woman, it’s really a step up, even though women get treated bad, because it’s still better to be a she than an it. Now gender critical feminists are really skeptical of the whole notion of passing. They think they can always clock a tran and they assume everyone else can, too. But that’s just not reality. I mean, I’m only a year and a half into my transition and at this point, I’ve had zero surgeries and it’s been like six months since I was last misgendered offline. I mean, a person with a good eye for it will probably clock me and maybe a lot of people have just been indoctrinated into politically correct gender ideology, but like, you really think the gas station attendant and the nail technicians and the heating and plumbing guy are all calling me miss and ma’am because of postmodernism?
I know some of you are gonna sneak off to your shitty little RadFem forums and obsess over how manly and clockable I am, but like at the end of the day, what am I gonna trust, the deranged hate-posting of 25 frothing anons or every social interaction I’ve had for months? I’m so sorry you can’t handle that I’m natural fish. I’m ahi tuna and you’re mackerel sweaty. Take a f*cking sip, babes. – [Theryn] I love that.
Concern five, male socialization.
‘So you had a male upbringing, you never experienced the traumas of girlhood, you benefited from male privilege for decades, and now you think none of that matters? You are who you are because of how you were socialized, not because of how you dress.’
Alright, it’s time to crack open the nuance. So on the one hand, you’re partially right. I have no idea what it’s like to be catcalled as a nine-year-old girl or what that does to a child’s psyche. That kind of thing didn’t start happening to me till I was an adult, when I knew what I was getting into and was ready for it. That’s very different from what cis women go through. My upbringing and adolescence has more in common with a typical man than a typical woman and many of the experiences from those days I simply can’t make sense of as female experiences.
I absolutely benefited from male privilege and it did influence who I was and who I was in my late teens and early 20s was an anti-feminist shithead who had no idea what women go through and I feel ashamed and alone in admitting that. Because in trans discourse, it’s just accepted as obvious that trans men know what it’s like to be raised as women and to be influenced by those formative female experiences, but when it comes to the early life experiences of trans women, we’re supposed to say, when “I was five years old, I loved wearing my mom’s high heels” or else say nothing at all.
There’s that wonderful quotation from Sylvia Plath where she describes the way living as a woman stifles an adventurous spirit and her longing for a male experience. – [Narrator] “Yes, my consuming desire is to mingle “with road crews, sailors and soldiers, barroom regulars “to be a part of a scene, anonymous, listening, recording “all this is spoiled by the fact that I am a girl, “a female always supposedly in danger “of assault and battery. ”
My consuming interest in men and their lives is often “misconstrued as a desire to seduce them “or as an invitation to intimacy. “Yes, God, I want to talk to everybody as deeply as I can. “I want to be able to sleep in an open field, “to travel west, to walk freely at night.” So I got to do all of that in my early 20s and what I discovered is I hate sleeping in open fields, I despise the west, and I’d really rather stay inside collecting ceramics and sucking dick.
Now I’m not saying that makes me a woman and I’m not saying that Sylvia Plath is a man because she wanted to slam back brewskis with road crews for reasons that are inconceivable to me. What I am saying is that, when I hit my mid-20s and realized that I was inhabiting a gender, body, and sexual persona that were drastically wrong for me. And I tried every possible alternative to transitioning before realizing that I had an irrepressible need to become a woman.
So I changed. And when I changed, society’s treatment of me changed. Socialization doesn’t end with childhood, it’s a lifelong process. For example, when I transitioned, my friends, family, fans, enemies, stalkers, and radical feminist haters started commenting on my physical appearance about 20 to 30 times more often and I had to get used to that being something that matters a lot more.
That said, resocialization takes time, and sometimes, trans people early in transition have most of that process ahead of them. I also think we have to take into account the age at which a person transitions. Kim Petras, whomst we stan. – [Theryn] Oh, we stan. – We stan. – Oh, we stan. – I stan. Oh, we stan. She transitioned as a child and I imagine was socialized more or less the same as a cis woman. Whereas, Caitlyn Jenner, whomst, well, just whomst, she made millions of dollars in men’s sports, she had six children by three wives, transitioned in retirement at age 65, and told Buzzfeed that the hardest part of being a woman is figuring out what to wear.
This is the only trans woman most people have heard of. It makes me want to cry. Like, I’m not saying Caitlyn Jenner is not a woman, but I am saying that anyone who wants to argue that male privilege hasn’t shaped her perspective, doesn’t have a leg to stand on. But also, trans women often don’t experience male socialization the way cis men do.
Many trans women are feminine and queer before they transition, and have basically always experienced a kind of femmephobia that is rooted in misogyny. Some trans women also identified as women years before transitioning and internalized society’s messaging about women more than society’s messaging about men. Now that’s still not the same as living in society as a girl from birth, but it’s also pretty different from the socialization of masculine cis men.
I think the reason some trans women feel the need to argue that trans women never experience male privilege is that a lot TERFs use male privilege as a proxy for calling us men. Pull up your zipper your, male privilege is hanging out. I suspect the reason this is such a major talking point for many gender critical feminists is that there’s an element here of stolen valor, this sense of injustice that people are claiming their identity without experiencing their oppression.
It reminds me of what in the trans community are called transmedicalists, people who insist the only real trans people are those who experience agonizing dysphoria. In both cases, there is a sense that the essential thing that confirms your identity is pain. What it is to be trans is to despise your body, what it is to be a woman is to be brutalized by men. ‘You didn’t suffer like I’ve suffered. You don’t know what it’s like!’
You know, I’m tempted to strike back by saying that you don’t know what it’s like to occupy an identity so stigmatized that most of the people who are attracted to you in private are too ashamed to admit it in public. You don’t know what it’s like to have a body so non-normative that you’re shut out of whole areas of society. I could go on, but this America’s Next Top Victim contest does nothing but to provoke infighting between trans women and cis women at a time when we should be marching side by side to destroy video games forever. #YesAllGamers.
Concern six, reproductive oppression.
‘You don’t know what it’s like to grow up being shamed for your periods, to fear unwanted pregnancy, to have to fight for your right to abortion, to bear the pain of childbirth.’
Well, yeah, that’s true. My inner RadFem sways in a gentle victorious samba. I do think it’s important for trans women to stand in solidarity with cis women on issues like period equity and abortion rights and to learn about the experiences of cis women to form a more complete understanding of the female condition.
But of course, no individual woman experiences all the things women experience and individual women understand the meaning of womanhood in drastically different ways. For some women, having babies is the most essentially womanly experience. For others, maybe it’s having an abortion. I mean, not actually, but you know, TERFs pretend it is to own the tr*nnies.
For me, it’s receiving 12-paragraph emails in my business inbox from married men struggling through the existential crisis of some kind of shemale-themed sexual awakening. Also, do you want to be a guest on my podcast, Free Speech Radio? But also, not all women experience their womanhood as essentially oppressive or centered around the pains of reproductive capacity. When Shania Twain sang Man! I Feel Like a Woman!, she wasn’t talking about having a coat hanger abortion in the bathroom of a Greyhound station in Chattanooga. Man, I feel like shit.
(“Man! I Feel Like a Woman!”)
Concern seven, erasing female vocabulary.
‘Trans activists are erasing the vocabulary needed to discuss women’s bodies and women’s oppression. We’re now expected to talk about pregnant people and menstruators just to appease the gender ideologues. Well, I for one am not a menstruator, I am a W-O-M-B-Y-N and I will not be erased.’
Okay, if you’ve heard the terms menstruator or pregnant people and are thinking, ‘what the f*ck kind of Orwellian newspeak gender cuckoldry is that?’, take a deep breath, clear your mind, here’s the tea. Some medical organizations have recently begun using the term pregnant people instead of pregnant women. And in 2016, Planned Parenthood included the word menstruators in a Tweet about the repeal of a tampon tax. This has prompted some conservative, TERF, and Christian publications to post panicked commentaries warning that the entire concept of womanhood is being erased.
But in fact, medical language that assumes that everyone with a uterus is a woman erases trans men and non-binary people who menstruate and get pregnant. So saying pregnant women in this context erases them, whereas saying pregnant people includes them and cis women and doesn’t erase anyone except for Cincinnatians because we all know they’re not people. Take your shitty chili elsewhere.
I’m a woman, not a goddamn menstruator! What kind of misogynistic madness is it to reduce women to their capacity to bleed?
I agree with you. The word menstruator sounds pretty dehumanizing. And the trans men I’ve talked to about this aren’t really the biggest fans of it either. Sometimes it takes a while to settle on language that’s both inclusive and usable, and my prediction is that menstruators is a not gonna work out. Maybe people who menstruate?
‘But why can’t I just say woman, that’s what I am!’
You can just say woman! That is what you are! No one is asking that you stop referring to yourself as a woman. Institutional medical language is designed to be inclusive and therefore impersonal. No one is proposing that we stop calling individual women pregnant women or expectant mothers.
‘Your obvious misogyny is nakedly exposed. I notice it’s only female anatomy you’re trying to erase. I notice you’re not suggesting doctors start saying people with prostates.’
Oh, I am definitely suggesting that.
‘But trans activists are invading feminist spaces and telling women we can’t discuss our own bodies.’
I have no problem with cis feminists discussing or celebrating periods or wearing pussy hats at political marches or free bleeding all over the National Mall. I mean, someone has to. The National Mall is not gonna bleed on itself. I totally get why cis feminists would want to celebrate their reproductive anatomy in defiance of a society that routinely shames and subjugates them for it. The problem arises only when menstruation or reproductive anatomy are used to misgender trans men or exclude womz whomst doth not bleed. I mean, trans women do bleed, but only when we cut ourselves. ? No one knows what it’s like to be a sad tran ?
Concern eight, TERF is a slur.
‘TERF is a slur designed to silence women. Nay, it is hate speech designed to incite violence against women.’
The word TERF is a pejorative for a person who dresses up transphobia with radical feminism, but it’s not a slur. A slur is a pejorative that targets someone’s race, religion, gender, or sexuality. The word misogynist is pejorative. It has only negative connotations and is often used as an insult, but it’s not slur. It targets bigoted behavior and beliefs, not a type of person
The same is true of the word TERF. It’s a derogatory term for beliefs and behaviors that deserve to be derogated. The phrase gender critical is really a euphemism, recently created to replace TERF with a phrase that doesn’t have such negative connotations. It’s perfectly analogous to the phrase race realist, which was invented by racists wanting a more flattering and respectable description of their beliefs. I’ve used the term gender critical in this video to be inviting to fence-sitters, but I refuse to cooperate with racists who want me to use their euphemisms and I generally do the same with TERFs.
Now I’m a very agreeable, non-confrontational person. I usually like to call people by whatever they wanna be called. But when it comes to race realist or gender critical, every time I use these phrases, I’m essentially becoming an accomplice in their scheme to legitimize bigotry. And I have especially little patience for TERF requests for linguistic decorum since most of the language used by TERFs is specifically designed to be maximally hurtful, harmful, and insulting to trans people.
For instance, TERFs refer to any and all trans-related surgery as mutilation. They call trans women TIMs, an acronym for trans-identified males and trans men TIFs, trans-identified females, obviously with the intent of mockery and misgendering.
Just to give you a sample of typical TERF prose, here are a couple comments from literally the first thread I saw on the gender critical subreddit while I was working on this video. –[Woman] And I have to admit to considerably more contempt for the likes of (bleeps) since he makes a point of taking selfies with ridiculous, insulting-to-women facial expressions. I also get a good laugh at TIMs putting their hands up to their chins. They’re trying to look all dainty and to hide their Adam’s apple, but it only draws more attention to their enormous man hands. I saw an AGP photo shoot where this neanderthal in his 50s was posing with one leg up like a flamingo, his hands dainty at his ear. In every photo, even group ones at events. Now I was just grossed out.
So there it is. That’s what this is really about. In this video, I’ve gone through a list of gender critical concerns and I’ve provided responses I hope the average person will find fair. But I would be lying to you by omission if I were to end this video without being real with you about what the core of the gender critical movement is actually about.
See what TERFs do in public is they advance what on the surface are a series of feminist critiques of trans people. For example, the critique that hyper-feminine trans women are reinforcing misogynistic stereotypes designed to oppress women. At a glance, this appears to be a critique of the way some trans women behave and present themselves. But in the next breath, these same TERFs will argue that trans women are mannish, unfeminine perverts who are forcing masculinity into female spaces.
So if trans women being feminine is bad and trans women being masculine is bad, then there really is no way that trans women could behave that TERFs would accept. So in fact, what TERFs really oppose is not trans women being feminine or trans women being masculine, but trans women being trans women. In other words, the fundamental issue underlying all these phoney concerns is transphobia, simple animosity toward trans people’s very existence.
And it’s pretty easy to recognize that just from tone they use when they talk about us. When you read through the gender critical subreddit, or TERF twitter, what you see is just the flimsiest cloak of feminist platitudes draped over a jagged thorn tangle of visceral disgust and targeted hate. The pure exuberant malice of it all is not even disguised in the Germaine Greer quote from the opening of this video or in the average gender critical forum post. The enormous, knuckley, hairy, be-ringed paw, the pancake make-up through which the stubble was already burgeoning, this Neanderthal in his 50s, ridiculous, insulting-to-women facial expressions. Now, I was just grossed out. What gender critical feminism really amounts to is a baroque palace of rationalizations built on a foundation of pure disgust. In this respect, it’s just like homophobia.
You know, I came of age when gay marriage was the most contentious social debate and the arguments people made, that marriage was under attack, that the children would be traumatized, that bestiality would come next, that this tiny minority was undermining all our institutions with their outrageous demands, it was all just nonsense. If you got a conservative drunk, as I used to be able to do, Sylvia I wish I could give you what I had, he would just blurt out the truth, which was that the sight of two grown men locking lips made him wanna vom.
Homophobia and transphobia do not originate in the frontal cortex. They come from the lizard brain disgust response we evolved to deal with blood, infection, vomit, feces, flies, the hairy paw, the stubble burgeoning through the pancake makeup, bleh! It’s a disgust I can recognize at a glance because it’s the same disgust I felt toward myself for years.
It’s the disgust I felt when I clocked a trans woman on the L platform in Chicago five years ago and decided then and there to abandon my first attempt at transition. It’s the disgust I still struggle against every day. It’s the disgust that’s always at the bottom of transphobia because transphobia is always the same. It always comes from the same place and it’s always expressed in the same kinds of ways.
I recently rewatched that classic viral video from an old episode of Cops where a police officer humiliates a Native American trans woman named Stephanie Yellowhair. The power-tripping cop demands to see her ID, misgenders her, deadnames her, mocks her clothes and makeup, and calls her a crossdresser. It’s all so repetitive and familiar. It’s the same arsenal of petty sadism you see in the right-wing press, on 4chan, on doxing forums, on gender-critical Reddit, it’s all the same.
What everyone remembers about Stephanie Yellowhair is her unbreakable wit and confidence in the face of transphobic abuse. The single most iconic moment is when, after being grilled in the back of the cop car amid a flurry of deadnaming and misgendering, she glances back at the cop and says. – Excuse my beauty. – [Officer] Excuse your beauty, okay. – And that, right there, is the single greatest quality of trans feminine culture, the resilience of trans women, the assumption a regal posture in even the most abject conditions.
And that’s really all you can do because there’s just no reasoning a transphobe out of bigotry. So, to any diehard gender critical feminists still watching this, what else can I say except, on behalf of trans women, excuse my beauty, TERF.
(“Waltz of the Sugar Plum Fairies”) Okay, a tongue pop isn’t a solution to every problem. Or is it? I posted an invitation to Twitter for people who used to be gender critical feminists to shoot me in the back of the head. It’s PC run A-mak. Look at him, okay. – [Theryn] It’s so stupid. – It’s so stupid. – Run A-mak. – Corona Premiere. The TERF beer of choice. ‘Cause my chromosomes need to unwind after a hard day of hating trans people. It is abso, these titties. I just catch that, I just saw them, and I just lost it. I just, it’s just, what? I am a W-M-B-Y-N. You do know how I do struggle with spelling. V-I-C-T-R-O-Y. ? No one knows what it’s like to be a sad tran ? ? To be a trash can ? ? For trap chaser’s jizz ? Burgeoning.