Trans Misogyny

Trans activism is often a one-way street – and females are in the way.

Over the past few years, no realm of political activism has grown faster or become more central to our disputes than gender ideology and transgenderism. It has rapidly transformed from something at the fringe of current events to a topic that inserts itself into every other news cycle. The pace of change, especially after the Obergefell Supreme Court decision which legalized gay marriage across the country, has been blistering. Trans activists are common on television, punch above their weight online, and exert serious pressure against dissenters and neutral institutions. Even minor pushback to this revolutionary movement – and yes, redefining our understanding of our sexed bodies is radical – has been routinely labeled as bigoted, transphobic, or, in the case of trans women, ‘transmisogynist’.

Transmisogyny is a term, coined by the trans writer Julia Serano, for prejudice against transgender women (natal males). This idea is of a piece with the broader intersectional movement, which posits that “all forms of inequality are mutually reinforcing,” creating a hierarchy of victimhood in which the more identity boxes one checks, the more ‘oppressed’ one is. In just a few years, the incidence of this term has positively exploded across the Internet, with major news outlets using it repeatedly and scholarly articles abounding. But the real transmisogyny isn’t as Serano described it; the term is a more apropos of the severe misogyny of the trans activist movement.

Transgender activism only seems to look one-way: at women. Activist focus on trans men (natal females) is practically nonexistent, and they are far less ubiquitous in media. Theoretically, both sorts of transgender person would merit activist attention, but this is not how things have played out in reality. Instead, the vast majority of trans activism centers exclusively on inculcating the idea that trans women (again, natal males) are in fact no different from natal females. The activist attempt to usurp womanhood is a shot across the bow of feminism and more often than not reinforces misogynist stereotypes.

Women as a group have been persecuted and repressed for nearly all of human history. This was a grotesque abuse, but has been legally rectified in nearly all countries on Earth in 2023. Differential treatment still occurs, and some places – like Iran and post-US-withdrawal Afghanistan – are governed by regimes that oppress women as policy. Those advances in gaining true legal equality were earned through hard work, political activism, and the perseverance of millions of women, aided by the civilizational undercurrents of Western society and political ideology. Besides political representation, some of the most significant areas of feminist success have been in creating voluntary sex-segregated spaces that are safe from male incursion, having medical language and treatment take female concerns seriously, and demolishing the idea of femininity as a set of tightly-prescribed, stereotypically-submissive behaviors. Radical transgender activism – and the misogyny it entails – would undermine all of those critical gains.

Sex-segregated spaces and activities are important for several reasons, including the higher male propensity for physical and sexual violence, the desire for privacy in vulnerable spaces, and the physical differences between males and females. Trans activism has sought consistently to dismiss these concerns and allow natal males into the female spaces the early feminists fought so hard for. And, of course, this push only goes one way – you don’t see popular rallies about natal females entering male spaces. Trans activists seek to have natal males incarcerated in women’s prisons, purely on the basis of self-ID, that is, personally identifying oneself as a woman. This has already been happening across the country and the world, and has had predictably poor results – including the jailing of a natal male rapist in a female prison. Domestic violence shelters, typically female-only due to the trauma of the survivors who find refuge therein, have been forced to allow natal males as employees, undermining their very purpose as a safe space. Locker rooms and bathrooms have been similarly made unofficially unisex, shocking female patrons who are confronted with naked male bodies in their presence.

Sports have been a hot-button issue with regards to trans inclusion as well, with activists rallying for natal males to be allowed to compete against natal females. This idea, taken to its logical conclusion, would destroy women’s sports entirely. People who have gone through male puberty and continue to naturally produce testosterone on average have enormous athletic advantages over those who have gone through female puberty – even after testosterone suppression. That is not to say that I can dunk a basketball over Candace Parker, but that the average male has advantages over the average female in athletics. When it comes to elite competition, a natal male who is average (within competitive sport, already an above-average group compared to all males) would succeed when competing against even the best females. Serena Williams is a great example of this. Clearly the best female tennis player of her (or perhaps any) time, she has admitted that she could not beat any male player ranked in the top 100. When she and her sister played the male ranked #203 in 1998, they were soundly beaten. In the past few years, we have seen natal males succeed in women’s cycling, swimming, Australian-rules football, track and field, and even in mixed-martial-arts fighting. Seeing this reversal only a decade or so after the mainstreaming of women’s sports is truly depressing.

Australian-rules football player and trans woman Hannah Mouncey, formerly a player in the male league.

Trans activism has also undermined the achievements of feminism through its marginalization or elimination of women in language. This is especially noticeable and prominent when it comes to medical language or body-centric nomenclature. It is no longer a special gift of femaleness to be able to get pregnant, but something that any person can do – even the CDC says so! Breastfeeding, one of the most intimate human activities, is now ‘chestfeeding’. Women have been labeled as ‘menstruators’ and ‘bleeders’, language that demeans the vast majority in the pursuit of ‘inclusion’ for a tiny minority. This language gaming, a prime tactic of postmodernist activists, is not merely offensive, but can be actively harmful. Males and females anatomically differ, meaning that similar symptoms can stem from different causes based on sex. However, some health websites and providers have embraced the trans activist line that health issues are never sex-specific. For instance, Healthline has said that “anyone can develop endometriosis,” which is entirely false; it is a painful, female-specific disease that does not occur in males. Notice how this all goes in one direction; medical activists don’t promote the idea that women can get prostate or testicular cancer, for example.

Trans activists’ erasure of the accomplishments of feminism is perhaps most galling when it comes to the reinforcement of stereotypes of femininity. For millennia, women’s roles were tightly controlled and curtailed by male-dominated societies. Women were often refused education, married off without consent, and expected to procreate and raise children. Their manner of dress, professional options, and public behavior were constrained, both legally and culturally. Breaking the chains of these social stereotypes and restrictions so as to reveal women for the full individual persons they are was a goal of feminism from the start. In my childhood in the 1990s, this battle was seemingly mostly won; ‘girl power’ was all the rage and women were quickly rising through education and professions, sometimes faster than men. People as distinct in affect and behavior as Rosie O’Donnell and Princess Diana were all viewed as legitimate expressions of womanhood. No life path was forbidden as being unbefitting of femaleness or too masculine.

In a vanishingly short period of time, trans activism has changed all of that. Now, children are being taught that womanhood is not based on one’s natal sex – leaving personality and interests aside – but on one’s fitting within a stereotypical box. Do you like playing with trucks and army men, prefer your hair short, or enjoy getting dirty in the mud? Congratulations, you’re actually a boy! The idea that one’s preferences are indicative of a deep-seated gender identity is both utter bunkum and incredibly damaging to the feminist mission. Women who have more stereotypically male preferences – people who often turn out to be lesbians – are being told they are instead trans men. In some circles, this has been labeled a ‘lesbian extinction’, and as such, many same-sex attracted women are found in the leadership of the gender critical movement. (This group includes Kathleen Stock, the philosopher and author of the excellent book Material Girls.) Feminists worked for decades to disassociate stereotypical femininity from actual womanhood, and it has taken only a couple of years to radically destabilize that work.

Transgender people deserve recognition and the basic human level of respect that any person does. They should not be fired from a job for their status, or discriminated against in neutral public spaces. This is what American society owes any social or cultural minority. But radical trans activists want far more than this. They seek to continually expand their favored treatment, particularly into women’s spaces. Trans activists are accelerating down a one-way street, and females are in their path. This is the real trans misogyny.

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