I’m going to disagree with some big movement feminists here.
I think both of them are a little too eager to say that trans exclusionary radical feminists aren’t feminists, because it sounds like every other “we aren’t all like that” attempt to dodge uncomfortable questions about problems within one’s own movement.
It’s kind of crappy to deny that the transphobia is coming from inside our movement, and that’s what I see here. I don’t want to hear from skeptics that there can’t be sexism in the movement because a real skeptic wouldn’t be sexist, because that’s an obvious cop-out that I think most people here would rip to pieces like it was the end of a Mortal Kombat round. I’m tired of hearing it from feminists about transphobia within mainstream feminist movement(s).
I get that “radical feminism” faces a lot of preposterous tarring from people who don’t know the first thing about feminism except that they heard once feminists want to build a fortress out of bra charcoal on the dark side of the moon to which only women will be admitted. Believe me, I get it. That doesn’t mean we should be dismissing critique from within the movement.
I mean, how often have we been over this with skeptics? How often have we had to say, “We know these people are failed skeptics but that doesn’t make them any less capable of poisoning our movement from the inside, so they are our problem.”
TERFs are our problem. No amount of “but they’re not REAL feminists” will make that stop being the case.
I know the urge to distance ourselves. I’ve heard the “but not all white people” and the “but not all Christians” and the “but not all skeptics” and the “but not all men” and I think everybody here probably has as well. We all know why people say it. Many of us have said it ourselves in the past, because it’s a very seductive way of keeping clean an ideal that is very precious to us.
That’s not what trans people have asked me to do. That’s not what women of color have asked me to do. They have asked me to listen to what they say they need and value that more highly than my discomfort at being associated with oppressive people, behavior, and movements.
I agree with Marcotte that TERFs are bad at feminism, and that they are far behind the times scientifically, philosophically, and morally. However, I disagree with Marcotte that they are irrelevant. Furthermore, I see a very familiar pattern getting played out in Marcotte’s insistence that TERFs are not any of our own, and it’s a pattern that puts the comfort of the privileged above solidarity with those being oppressed by them.
For some people who also disagree with the people I just disagreed with, check out this sample of objections I grabbed just by searching for “Amanda Marcotte” on Twitter.
Did I miss any links?