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Feminism, transgender and censorship

Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
So, I'm sure a lot of you are aware of the shitstorm that has surrounded Suzanne Moore, Julie Burchill, and the attitude of old-school feminists to trans women.

First, Suzanne Moore complained that women are expected to look like "Brazilian transexuals", then this article was removed by the Observer after they took a lot of stick for publishing it.

I think Suzanne Moore was probably misguidedly making a point about women's bodies being expected to conform to a somewhat masculine (i.e. non-curvy) shape, but I can't be sure. And she certainly didn't make any effort to apologise when she was called on it. Burchill's response was disproportionate and bullying.

I would have nothing to add to this very clear and thoughtful response. There has been a lot of anger about this, and I agree that Burchill wrote a vile piece of rubbish. But I don't agree with the Observer's decision to remove it.

What do you think?

Comments

  • Indrid ColdIndrid Cold Warming up? Posts: 16,688
    I didn't read either thing in its entirety, but it sounds like a lot of people took offence at something that wasn't really offensive (at least not to them). She wasn't attacking transsexuals (as far as I can tell), only using the word in possibly the wrong context.
    That doesn't warrant flaming, only polite notices to change the phrasing.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    she just got angry about a fair point, but she then got angry and ridiculous and very unnecessarily offensive
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I think Suzanne Moore's initial comment was a very ill judged attempt at humour. I would happily have let it slide (after wincing at it).

    I actually read the Burchill article first and I'll say this for her: she did a good job of making it sound like the reaction to Moore's comment was vitriolic enough that I actually felt sorry for her. The rest of the article was just vomited hatred.

    Then I saw the actual Twitter conversation and eugh. She had the perfect opportunity to go, "my mistake", and never hear anything else of it. But turns out she's a massive tool as well.

    Still not quite as vile as Burchill though.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I haven't finished reading all the articles yet, but this from Julie Burchill's original got a genui-LOL.
    To my mind - I have given cool-headed consideration to the matter - a gaggle of transsexuals telling Suzanne Moore how to write looks a lot like how I'd imagine the Black & White Minstrels telling Usain Bolt how to run would look. That rude and ridic.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    "by a bunch of dicks in chick?s clothing." made me crease up!
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    cisgender women refusing to acknowledge their 'privilege'?

    tut tut!
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    in my opinion, the discrimination transgender people face, is not the same as the the discrimination women face. Its much more blatant and harsher. I dont think it does TGs any favours to get involved in radfeminism, although tbf, i dont think it does many people huge favours. I also "get" what the RFs are saying about it being like the boy who shot his parents, then asked the judge for clemency on the grounds he was an orphan.
    I think its different issues. Certainly at the moment anyway
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Honestly its a storm in a teacup powered by the usual self-appointed feminist experts who love the sound of their own voice too much.

    If I hear the words "cisgendered" or "intersectionality" one more time I might get all stabby with anger.

    Its no wonder most women don't identify as feminist when you have tools like JudeinLondon on twitter moaning and groaning about stuff any normal person wouldn't give a shit about.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    piccolo wrote: »
    What do you think?

    Beware the warm rags of victimhood.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    i cant bear the radfem movement in general, bunch of shouty misandrists who do more harm to feminism than good
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    to be fair to the 'radfems', the only sense of common ground 'third wave' feminists share with each other that I can readily discern is the inheritance of radical feminist ideology....

    applied flexibly that is, at their each & own personal discretion.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    i cant bear the radfem movement in general, bunch of shouty misandrists who do more harm to feminism than good

    :yes:

    And it's that misandry that fuels their attitude to trans women, I think. They never seem to talk about trans men...
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    http://www.ibtimes.com/lea-t-other-brazilian-transgender-models-paved-way-fashions-latest-trend-photos-924395

    I think that this was the article that pissed SM off to begin with and i can see why.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Honestly its a storm in a teacup powered by the usual self-appointed feminist experts who love the sound of their own voice too much.

    If I hear the words "cisgendered" or "intersectionality" one more time I might get all stabby with anger.

    Its no wonder most women don't identify as feminist when you have tools like JudeinLondon on twitter moaning and groaning about stuff any normal person wouldn't give a shit about.

    Do you know what "intersectionality"is? Why does it bother you?

    I don't have a problem with the word "cisgendered"; it's better than saying somebody is "normal"or "real". There needs to be some word to describe people who aren't trans?

    I don't like a lot of radical feminists... Some of then are overty anti transgender. Bullying an already oppressed group does not progress women's liberation.

    I also get tired if mainstream feminism, representing mostly the interests if white middle class women, which is why I think that discussing intersectionality in feminist groups is important.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I do know what it means. As a theory its all lovely but in reality it means nobody is allowed to have an opinion on anything because everyone is "privileged" in one way or another.

    As for cisgendered it's a word to try and make the usual unusual, pathetically created as a result of the intersctionality double bind, a patronising attempt to "feel the pain" of trans people.

    It's no wonder that most sane people want nothing to do with these verbiose cretins.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Cisgender whether you like it or not is a derogatory term. Type it into Google, it auto suggests 'Cisgendered scum'.

    So there are two arguments: words only have the power we let them, ergo even' nigger ' shouldn't be frowned upon, or that words adopt a meaning based on their usage which can be derogatory.

    Unfortunately, this word has been used in a derogatory fashion fairly frequently giving it a value judgement now. You can't pretend that doesn't exist. Arctic is right that the reason people say' its just a descriptive word! ' is to teach the cis to check their privilege.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I do know what it means. As a theory its all lovely but in reality it means nobody is allowed to have an opinion on anything because everyone is "privileged" in one way or another.

    As for cisgendered it's a word to try and make the usual unusual, pathetically created as a result of the intersctionality double bind, a patronising attempt to "feel the pain" of trans people.

    It's no wonder that most sane people want nothing to do with these verbiose cretins.



    See, I disagree with this... Unless your opinion is that as a white guy, everybody has the same experiences as you, then you are speaking from a priviledged position.... Not that I assume you believe that and I can't say for your experiences od intersectionality discussion, but here's an example of my experience...

    I went to a conference last year called Go Feminist, which had a theme of intersectionality. In practice, it meant that it had talks by women who are disabled, black or trans (just examples) and their experiences. I found it really interesting and accessible.



    I'm not denying that some people have pulled the race/sexism card (again, two of many examples) to silence debate, but that's not something which happens all the time. I know somebody who got pulled up on sexism and then went and formulated an argunent ad hominum against the guy questioning him because he was white... That ain't intersectionality tho...
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Check your priveledge.

    The reason why debate in this area is fruitless.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    My experience is more privileged than some and less privileged than others. But that is what makes debating interesting.

    Intersectionality is an interesting concept and probably true, in a fatuous "everyone comes from different places" sort of way. But the trouble is that the theory is used to shut down debate and it is used to attack people.

    You only have to look at the way Caitlin Moran gets attacked to understand this. She's not BME so she's not allowed to have an opinion on race? Fuck off.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Offbeatempire.com/2012/10/liberal-bullying

    Is a good article arguing against brandishing notions of priveledge around willy nilly, with a link to counter arguments at the bottom.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    My experience is more privileged than some and less privileged than others. But that is what makes debating interesting.

    Intersectionality is an interesting concept and probably true, in a fatuous "everyone comes from different places" sort of way. But the trouble is that the theory is used to shut down debate and it is used to attack people.

    You only have to look at the way Caitlin Moran gets attacked to understand this. She's not BME so she's not allowed to have an opinion on race? Fuck off.



    See, that to me isn't intersectionality... I think if somebody is getting abusive and offensive, it should be called in to question.. but pulling a victim card to silence somebody isn't intersectionality, it's shitty debating skills..

    To be honest, as a working class white woman, I have been silenced and my views have been dismissed in a middle class environment for having a "chip on my shoulder". Or men, who refuse to listen to women and dismiss our views as over reacting...

    The "your opinion doesn't count because----" is wide spread.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I completely agree with that, but you asked why I'd get all stabby with rage if I heard the word again. The problem is not the theory but the usual shouty radfems who use it to attempt to silence everyone who disagrees with them

    I have privilege- I'm white, male, educated. I have disadvantage- I'm from a poor family, northern, divorced. That sculpts how I see the world and identifying that is important. But saying I am not entitled to my opinion because of privilege is wrong, but something that happens all too often.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I completely agree with that, but you asked why I'd get all stabby with rage if I heard the word again. The problem is not the theory but the usual shouty radfems who use it to attempt to silence everyone who disagrees with them

    I have privilege- I'm white, male, educated. I have disadvantage- I'm from a poor family, northern, divorced. That sculpts how I see the world and identifying that is important. But saying I am not entitled to my opinion because of privilege is wrong, but something that happens all too often.

    I have similar experiences with radfems... But intersectionality, I don't consider being especially linked to radfems... I see it as largely emerging from the fact that radfem and liberal feminists were composed largely of middle class white women and didn't include black women (Audre Lorde for example has written this and done so in a way which is not too academic in the language than some feminists)...

    Taking in to account things like class is also... or should be included in intersectionality?

    I think tbh... arguing with some feminists, especially the ones from a purely academic background can be annoying... Some I've met are uber patronising and can fuck off.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    no-one has considered that the acceptance of 'trans women' poses a problem to feminist ideology, predicated as it is on gender as a social construct?

    that's the obvious way to read between the lines, no?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    thats the problem I think
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I'm new to this site, i'm having a bit of a problem, I'm a boy with a strong feminism side to me, i keep it from my parents because they will kill be if they find out, plus i have a girlfriend who also doesn't know about this.

    And when i mean feminism, i mean it:o
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Feminism doesn't mean the same as feminine...
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I think everyone has privilage and disadvantage in different areas and theres no one which is better or higher than the other. Yes, if someone has had personal experiance of racism, then they do possibly have more experience and reason to debate that subject, but it doesn't mean others should be disallowed.
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