Feminism Needs The Transgender Community

13 Jan

Julie Burchill

The problem with being a celebrated feminist writer, is that many people will analyse everything that you say, even seemingly meaningless throwaway analogies. The journalist Suzanne Moore, found this out to her peril recently, when during an otherwise excellent piece about the power of female anger in The New Statesman, Moore made a comment about women aiming for the body of a “Brazilian transsexual”. Many people disagreed with this statement, and Moore was questioned about it on Twitter by a number of people, and verbally abused by others.

Although Twitter is never the best place to have an argument, or attempt to question another person at length about a serious subject as the 140 character limit is too damn short, Moore’s defensive and evasive tweets on the matter, and her subsequent follow-up piece in The Guardian, I Don’t Care If You Were Born a Woman Or Became One did little in some people’s eyes to make up for the hurt caused, and so, Moore decided to leave Twitter. Not to be outdone, the journalist Julie Burchill wrote a response in The Guardian’s sister paper, The Observer, and then the proverbial shit really hit the proverbial fan.

Titled, Transsexuals Should Cut It Out, Burchill’s impassioned defence of her “brilliant writer” friend Moore, reads less like a well-balanced and well-argued analysis of the situation, and more like a threat: “You really won’t like us [me] when we’re [I’m] angry.” But puerile threats aside – I’m sure trans people have much more to worry about than Burchill’s promise to get angry – what should transsexuals cut out, exactly? Standing up for themselves? Correcting hateful and incorrect language? ‘Bullying’ her mates? Undoubtedly, some people went too far in their abuse of Moore, and were probably not going to be satisfied with any of responses, but they had every right to challenge her. However, once what should be an impassioned debate becomes difficult and abusive, then all sides are at fault. If Burchill, believes that the transgender community is wrong because a few of its members have bullied her friends, then Burchill’s article, makes her, by her very own definition, a bully.

If Moore’s initial piece was problematic in its wording regarding trans people, then Burchill’s article is simply abusive. It uses a number of hateful and upsetting terms, most noticeably  “shemales”, “shims” and “dicks in chicks’ clothing”, which should not have been published in any newspaper. Her insistence that the trans people not only want to be treated as women, but receive special privileges above those of “natural-born women” is both worrying and inaccurate. Burchill’s article reveals a woeful ignorance, if not hatred, of trans people, and it is ignorance that causes fear, paranoia, anger and leads to the abuse of, and violence against, trans people.

But there is a bigger issue at play here, and that is that women, and therefore feminism itself, are exclusive terms, and that only certain people can identify as women and feminists. If you really, truly identify as a woman, whether you were born in a female body or not, then you should live as one, freely and without judgement from anyone, let alone other women.

If you identify as a women, then you’ll probably identify as a feminist, because you want women to do and feel better, and if you believe that women deserve better, then you are a feminist. Whether you’re cisgender or transgender, you are welcome here, and you are very much-needed in feminism. It’s time for trans people to stop being used as an easy target for abuse and ‘jokes’, it’s time for us to come together, to get angry, and to use that anger to grow our movement, to increase our followers and bring us all one step closer to equality.

I am a woman, I am a feminist, and you are welcome here.

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8 Responses to “Feminism Needs The Transgender Community”

  1. DaPoet January 13, 2013 at 10:28 pm #

    Feminism is an ideology of hatred – Misandry – that has outlived its time in the sun…

    • trashtaylor January 13, 2013 at 10:33 pm #

      Feminism is not about hating men, it’s about making women equal to men, and it is very much needed.

      • DaPoet January 13, 2013 at 10:40 pm #

        Actually feminism is all about passing laws that take away the rights of the male gender to their children, homes and financial resources and leave individual males at the mercy of false accusations of rape. The concept of seeking equality with men is the Trojan Horse that has allowed the feminists to commit their crimes against humanity – all in the name of equality of course.

      • trashtaylor January 13, 2013 at 10:45 pm #

        Again, feminism is about making women equal to men in the eyes of the law.

        And I’ve yet to hear about a crime against humanity committed in the name of feminism. Could you give me an example?

      • DaPoet January 13, 2013 at 10:50 pm #

        Demanding laws that benefit women at the expense of men is only just one feminism’s crimes against humanity.

        The shameless promotion of the murder of a child gestating within their mother’s womb through the means of an abortion as a method of birth control is another. And makes the modern day daughters of Cain – feminists – just as morally corrupt, heinous, monstrous and brutal in their own crimes against humanity. As Hitler, Comrade Stalin and Chairman Mao were in their finest moments in history during the unlamented twentieth century.

      • trashtaylor January 13, 2013 at 10:54 pm #

        Man, you’re funny. I think you should quit writing poetry and do some comedy gigs.

        Whilst we’re at it, considering that this post was really about trans people, what’s your opinion of them? I would love to know!

      • DaPoet January 13, 2013 at 11:00 pm #

        You can lie to yourself in regards to the reality of feminism all you want and remain willfully blinded by its hatred of the male gender – after all that is what feminists do best!

      • trashtaylor January 13, 2013 at 11:03 pm #

        You mean I’M THE BEST FEMINIST? Like, ever? Thank you, you are too kind.

        But what about our trans brothers and sisters? Do you like them too?

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