February 21, 2014

Is Crossdreaming really Transphobic and Cissexist?

I have been active over at tumblr lately, partly because of reports of harassment of girlfags and crossdreamers and partly because of so-called "truscum" (separatists FTM trans men) who are trying to throw crossdressers and gender queer people out of the transgender family.
Photo: Tomwang112

This has been a fascinating journey into a world of conspiracy theories and hazing, invalidation and marginalization.

But I have also learned to know many courageous, creative and intelligent crossdreamers and trans people, transsexual as well as non-transsexual, who stand up to the abuse, defending their right to define their own identity.

Weaponizing science and philosophy

What really fascinates me is the way some people are weaponizing philopsophy and science in order to put down people who threatens their point of view. In this post I am going to use  Mahō Shōjo Naomi's presentation of me and my Crossdreamer blog as an example.

This is an interesting attempt at developing a narrative aimed at undermining the legitimacy of your opponent, by presenting a clever mix of half truths and untruths.

I believe it is extremely important for gender variant people, including crossdreamers, crossdressers and genderqueer, to understand and see through these techniques.

I guess that the main reason for all this hurt is that most of us, consciously or unconsciously, have bought into the idea that there is something wrong with us, and that we are diseased, perverted or abnormal. This leads to a desperate scramble for a dry spot, where we at least appear a little bit more normal than all the other "freaks" out there. As one crossdreamer told me: "Thank God! At least I am not gay!" We had a loooong conversation about that one, believe me!

The messages I get from especially girlfags on tumblr, tells me that this quest for gender purity they can be extremely damaging to their self esteem and undermine their ability to explore their identity.

Define your opponent as transphobic from the start!

Mahō Shōjo Naomi calls herself a transfeminist. From what I can see from her blog, she and I are not really that far apart as regards our views of sex and gendeer. It is a bit hard to say, but she seems to believe in a broad and diverse family of transgender people, and like me she is a strong supporter of women's rights, as well as the rights of trans men and trans women. We also agree that there is a biological component to the transsexual identity, although I suspect I am a little bit more holistic than she is in this respect.

But she is also clearly one of those who have been hurt so much, that she is now lashing out angrily at a lot of people, rarely giving them the benefit of doubt, and mostly in order to redefine them as the enemy. I am clearly the enemy.

The blog post, with the telling headline "Crossdreaming: Its Transphobic Roots, and Current Transphobic, Cissexist Content" gets off to a promising start:

February 11, 2014

How post-structuralist feminism has become a weapon used to invalidate transgender

I have spent some time over at tumblr, lately, mostly discussing the lives of female to male crossdreamers and girlfags. Sometimes it feels like being back in the school yard, with bullies honing in on you from all directions. This is probably because so many of the participants are very young and have still not developed the necessary empathy and patience needed to treat others with respect.
Using the fetish theory of modern feminists, lesbians
are invalidating the lives of FTM girlfags and crossdreamers,
arguing that these persons have no male identity.

There are some patterns here, the most important being the use of modern "post-structuralist" feminist theory to invalidate girlfags in particular and trans people in general.

Lesbians attack girlfags for "fetishizing" gay men. Since most of my readers do not spend much time on tumblr, I will republish a couple of my entries here.

The following is a response to impostoradult, who gives a very good presentation of post-modern accounts of sex and gender in her response to my blog post om sex, gender, mind and body. You do not have to read the original posts to make sense of this one.

Dear impostoradult,

I have actually no problem in accepting most of what you write here, both as regards post-modernism and your understanding of understanding in itself.

I guess I am more of a 'philosophical hermeneutics' kind of person myself, but the basics remain the same: Our life word, the sum of our experiences, put limits to what it is possible to think.

And yes, categories like gay, girlfag and crossdreamer only exist in our mind. You will not find them 'out there', in the 'real world'. However, our sense of self and our bodies are anchored in the real world, so we do have some access to "the world in itself", if no through language.

My admittedly popularized and simplified presentation in this blog post was aimed at those that systematically use parts of post-modern theory to invalidate the experience and identity of girlfags, crossdreamers and other gender variant people. And in this respect reminding people of their animal nature makes very much sense.

The current atracks on girlfags and crossdreamers, reducing them to unreal 'fetishes' and body-less 'semiotics' have their roots in the thinking of the post-structuralist philosopher Judith Butler and her fans. Having read all the books written by the lady, I can confidently say that this is a woman who have left the physical world behind and is now living in a mirage of literary references.

February 10, 2014

Man or woman or both? (The Rayka & Jack Dialogue 2)

Last year I had a very interesting email conversation with Rayka, a young Iranian girlfag and female to male crossdreamer. This is part two of our edit of that conversation. Part 1 can be found here.

If anyone have doubted the existence of female to male crossdreamers, this conversations should end that misconception.
Adam Lambert, girlfag icon.

In this part we discuss to what extent childhood experiences and hormones may shape our crossdreaming, and how to find word that can be used to describe who we are.

(Apropos words: A crossdreamer is someone who gets excited by the idea of being or becoming the other sex. A girlfag is female bodied person with a strong affinity to gay male culture and who may imagine herself being a gay man with a gay man).

What causes crossdreaming: Childhood, hormones?

I just wanted to know more about the theories about social and psychological causes of crossdreaming. I heard that getting raped at childhood might cause this condition. Well I experienced this! They say for a female, being raped may cause her hate her femininity so she wants to be a boy cause it feels more secure and less vulnerable! 

And there's also my hormonal problem. My body produce more testosterone than normal and causes some problems. Once my mom told the doctor that I'm so boyish and she said many girls with this problem are like that. As I read, it's also so common among FTM [female to male] transsexuals! 

I wonder whether this problem makes me boyish or me being boyish causes this problem! Something else: I have a butch lesbian sister! So many variations in a family, aren't there? But I have read somewhere that it actually makes sense, like, it's something in the family's genes!

Childhood crossdreaming

Illustration  of Iranian woman, based on photo
by Harris Shiffman. This is not Rayka, but
she could have been.
Childhood crossdreaming huh? Reading the trans people stories, I always see that they knew it in their childhood, but,well,I wasn't aware of this until about about [a couple of] years ago.

But I remember that I always (and right now) imagined the life of a boy (which I then realized was me!). I have  liked feminine boys since an early age, but don't remember if it was before that abuse incident or not.

Sex identity versus gender identity

You write: "I guess I am 'gender queer', but 'sex woman', if you see what I mean."

Exactly the same here (a male sex but an androgynous one); that's why I said I'm not transsexual. But, you know, I actually would like to transition to some extent. I always dream about it: top surgery and a low dose of hormones that gives me a deeper voice!

What irritates me the most is the idea that maybe my identification is not true; I just can’t be sure about anything…

Hey, seriously, why are FTMs  so much less visible than MTFs [male to female crossdreamers]?!

Discuss crossdreamer and transgender issues!