Feminism & Transphobia

Today I found a share in my news feed on Facebook related to a project that is looking to raise money. At first glance it appears to be a group of female goddess worshipers looking to increase the rights of women.  Then I dug a little deeper.  First I checked out their fundraiser page which you can find here.

Then I began to investigate what exactly they stood for.  What is female erasure? According to the site, it is where women are being erased due to misogyny and apparently trans equality.

From - http://www.femaleerasure.com/

I started doing a bit of google searching and found some interesting information from Circle Sanctuary back in 2012 related to Trans-women at Pagan events.

Here are a couple of the discussions.







Some years back there was a big issue at an event in California related to Trans-women not being allowed to attend ritual held by Z Budapest.  This site outlines some of the issues with Z and directly discuses her Trans-phobia.





In my hours of research and reading some of the writings of Z, I found a term called TERF.  TERF stands for Trans Exclusionary Radical Feminist.  Yeah, you read that right. How is Trans-phobia a feminist issue? According to Sable Aradia, it isn't.  And I agree with her.  However there is something that threatens womanhood by allowing women who were born as men to become who they are.  And apparently so much so that there are actually groups out there who are doing what they can to "expose" them.  One such site is called Gender Identity Watch.

From their site:

https://genderidentitywatch.com/


So here's my question.  Why do these women feel the need to take some measures to exclude Trans-women from their events?  I'm not really sure I get it.  To this day I do not understand how my life is impacted by the way another person identifies.  When I get up in the morning, I'm me.  No matter if a gay person is up, a trans person is up, I am still me.  If two men get married, my marriage is still mine.  If a biracial couple have babies, it doesn't impact me.  Why do so many people spend so much of their time hating on other people?  What's with all the name calling and being ugly to each other? I just don't get it. Maybe some out there feel threatened by a transition.  Not sure how.  It is pretty sad if you feel your life is threatened because someone had surgery to become who they are inside.  I mean shouldn't we support and celebrate those who are finally able to live out of the closet? To be who they are and support their right not to be beaten over it.  While I do not believe that being Trans is the same as being lesbian or gay, as these are related to sex, Transgender is not.  It is gender.  Gender and sex are different.

Until each of us calls out those who would seek to hurt others by using derogatory speech, creating events that are exclusive, or making people believe that Paganism is a group set on the basic male/female gender roles we will always be faced with these problems.  When you hear someone using slurs or calling names, dehumanizing others, take a moment to speak up.  Take a moment to say, hey, that's not right.  Work for inclusive events that will allow for all of us, each and every one of us to be able to join together in intelligent discussion and debate.

From Jennifer Finney Boylan's Article - The T-Word.

The use of the word is made more complicated by the fact that some people in the transgender community use the word themselves, in a manner reminiscent, perhaps, of the way the “N” word is used by some African Americans. Younger people, in my experience, as well as people in the drag community, are more comfortable using it than transsexuals. For some trans folks, it’s an attempt to reclaim a slur and redefine it with pride and ownership. RuPaul, America’s most famous drag queen, uses it with abandon; so does Kate Bornstein, our most respected genderqueer activist.

What we have to remember is that we need to remember how we are using the word. How are we treating others.  If our intent is to slur and to dehumanize, then you're using a slur.  Plain and simple. Some have taken to using slurs as a way to take the power back.  Using words such as Fag and Dyke. However I don't believe that one can take back the power of an oppressor by using their language.

I watched an interview with Dr. Maya Angelou regarding the reclamation of the N word. I found her theory resonated with me and I embraced this take on it.



I follow another free thinker on YouTube called the1janitor.  He gives a very eloquent editorial on the use of the N word. I highly recommend subscribing to his channel and checking out his other videos.





So to wrap this up, I guess my main point was to just get it out there that we can nip this crazy in the bud by just being the open honest people that we are.  Let those who want to be trans-phobic be alone over to the side and those who can welcome others into their community do so.  Those who can be caring and loving, do so. Those who can see the struggles of others and can honor that energy within them that gets them to the next day, do so.  The Trans Community has so much going against them already, do they really need this too?

By the way, if you're in NC ....  #illgowithyou




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Recommended Reading:
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/alexandra-billings/in-a-word-tranny_b_5523090.html
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/delia-melody/casual-transphobia-in-my-_b_8462272.html
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dana-beyer/anti-trans-slurs-drag_b_5022301.html




Renee Olson

Wife, Witch with the Metal Skills of a Dark Elf. I spend my time working with wire, weaving life and magic.

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