Category Archives: Radical feminism

FETAs and the false concept of “agency.”

I’ve stated that FETAs (Female-Erasing Trans Activists) don’t generally talk about socialization, because they know they don’t have anything to say against it except the lame excuse of “well, we’re not all socialized the same.” This is not true of all FETAs, as this entry from Ashley Allan testifies.

This so-called “trans lesbian” is out to debunk the concept of socialization as used by radical feminists. Her reasoning is not a surprise, since it’s the same lame excuse used by all other trans genderists who try to approach the issue:

[B]ut it also perpetuates the myth of shared girlhood, which has already been disassembled by women of color particularly along with fellow trans women. As [Natalie] Reed puts it, “There is no singular, universal woman’s narrative. There are as many stories and experiences as there are women.”

And she’s right. What experience of womanhood is experienced by all women? You probably don’t have to think very hard to see that this really is impossible, and for shared girlhood to be a thing, it needs to ignore that us women are multifaceted.

Keep in mind that she is referring admiringly to the same Natalie Reed who protested a day of remembrance for the women who were murdered in the Polytechnique Massacre, and who shames actual lesbians for not having sex with transwomen. All right.

The concept of gender socialization does not imply that all women experience the same patterns of indoctrination. What it does imply is that all children grow up indoctrinated in the concept of gender, that they are all keenly aware of what a “boy” and a “girl” entail, that men grow up with sexual entitlement and women do not. Gender socialization is for the most part social and not parental: the fact that genderless parenting has failed to prevent the acquisition of gender concepts is, I think, good evidence of that.

That’s the experience of “shared girlhood” that radical feminists are talking about, and which Allan must deny because it destroys the silly pretense that there’s no such thing as gender socialization.

She tries to counter this fact by stating that transwomen have somehow not internalized boyhood. How is that? Are transwomen magical creatures which do not go to school, watch television or read books? She does not explain exactly how this anti-indoctrination ability works, but it’s clearly magical thinking. But later on she does write:

In other words, I wasn’t raised as a male. I was a trans girl who had cis norms imposed on her. I was responding to these “you are male” messages as a trans girl. And because of that disconnect, I committed varying forms of violence against myself. I self-harmed, I abused drugs and alcohol, I starved myself, and more. Others recognized that disconnect and bullied me for “being a faggot.” I will not lie about how that disconnect also resulted in violence against others in the form of lashing out verbally and getting into fist fights with men who bullied me.

The fact that Allan felt like her identity wasn’t being recognized, was bullied, and became violent because of it, is terrible. It’s terrible that young gender rebels are forced to hate themselves because of the traditional genderist dogma. But it’s equally terrible that young gender rebels are forced to assimilate into FETA dogma in order to accept who they are. Both are the enemy of individuality and healthy maturation. The only healthy attitude is to love oneself, no matter the gender we’re supposed to be, and that love cannot be conditional.

But despite her claims, Allan was “raised as a male,” not as a transwoman. She knew she was male and received the indoctrination from her very first years of life, long before she started to rebel against it (children start applying gender roles as young as two years old). She was not yet a “trans girl” because she was too young to have a gender. Her despair is understandable and profoundly tragic, but it’s not the result of some magical immunity to gender indoctrination or some fantasy “innate gender,” it’s the result of her personality violently clashing with her assigned gender role and other people’s gendered expectations.

Transwomen love to play the Womanhood Game, comparing themselves to actual women and claiming that they’re performing better. In this entry, Allan turns that around and accuses radical feminists of playing the Womanhood Game. Her argument is that the exclusion of transwomen is done on the basis of the Womanhood Game, that transwomen are excluded because they’re not woman enough.

This is a ridiculous projection. No radical feminist I know blames transwomen for not performing femininity because radical feminists are against gender roles. In fact the stereotype of radical feminists is that they blame women for performing femininity, not the opposite! How uninformed or lying can she be to state this? Seriously, what world does she live in?

Now you might be wondering where the concept of agency comes in. Actually, it’s Allan’s alternate explanation for this supposed immunity to socialization:

Nobody internalizes all messages sent to them the same way (which is, again, why there are so many different expressions of womanhood). In fact, some are outright rejected, and that’s because folks know a message is not about them. TERFs often act like folks have no agency within these structures, that people, particularly women in this case, are more stone tablets to have their identities engraved upon them. That sounds pretty darn misogynistic, doesn’t it? Seems to be a pattern in TERF rhetoric. Acting like women don’t have agency over their own experiences sounds exactly like what patriarchy says about women. Which brings me to the next bit, another sociological concept TERFs seem to omit on the regular: Structure and Agency.

I’ve already addressed why this argument is factually wrong, but now I want to confront this “agency” business, because it shows us the dirty underside of trans genderism.

First she states that socialization works differently on different people because they reject indoctrination when they “know a message is not about them.” This is a bizarre claim when talking about messages about gender because we’re all indoctrinated at a young age to believe we have a gender. There are six year old gender rebels but no six year old gender atheists. That realization comes a lot later, if ever. So there’s no six year old out there rejecting gender messages because they’re “not about them.”

She then states that radical feminists reject the concept that women have agency within the socialization process. I certainly hope they do, otherwise they would hardly be “radicals”; radicalism means to go beyond individual behavior, looking at the institutions and constructs which mold people’s thoughts and actions, and trying to provide structural explanations to social issues. Using “agency” to explain anything would represent an abdication, much like a scientist explaining a natural phenomena by invoking God.

In her most outrageous claim yet, Allan claims that this refusal to attribute “agency” (a nonsense concept) to women is “exactly like what patriarchy says about women.” Again I cannot fathom how anyone could say such a thing with a straight face. Patriarchal reasoning attributes complete “agency,” and the resulting blame, to women (“her victimization was her own fault”) and denies “agency,” and blame, to men (“boys will be boys,” “they can’t help it!”). So the radical feminist rejection of agency in explaining women’s exploitation is exactly the opposite of “what patriarchy says about women.”

The straw womyn metaphor used by Allan, of a stone tablet being engraved upon, is actually fairly close to what real scientists say about the human brain. They portray the developing human brain as a block of stone which is constantly being chiseled by experience. So ironically, while trying to paint the radical feminist position as misogynist, she actually made a fairly accurate metaphor. Either way, the point is, the way our brain works, including the way our identity develops, is not up to our “choice,” despite what Allan wants to insinuate.

The nonsense concept of “agency” is central to this whole rationalization because, for FETAs, “agency” trumps biology. FETAs seek to erase biological sex, because biological sex is the basis of gender and the justification of gendered oppression. By denying the validity of sex, they hope to promote trans genderism without “outing” it as just another form of genderism, meaning, hatred against women. And then, in a blatant projection, they call radical feminists misogynistic for denying “agency.”

Allan does want to debunk biological sex. She points out that sex is based on a number of biological factors, and that intersex people are forcibly assigned a sex through unnecessary and profoundly unethical surgery. All of this is true, but the conclusion does not follow:

[G]ender is not based on sex assignment. Rather, the reverse is true: sex assignment is based on gender. The construction of sex is but one other way to impose gender roles upon people while denying the variance in bodies. Sex has been constructed so that it serves the ends of a white patriarchy. TERFs are then reinforcing this same exact structure when they police the borders of womanhood by invoking gender essentialism (by way of biology and socialization) to exclude trans women.

Note what is not being mentioned here: pregnancy, menstruation, differences in physical strength, all the biological traits which are typically used to justify gender. Transwomen cannot talk about those because they refuse to acknowledge the existence of female traits they cannot have, as this invalidates their self-identity.

Allan’s reasoning is bizarre because it assumes that gender arose out of nothing, and then sex was constructed around it. This seems very unlikely because we know of no social construct that arose out of nothing. Money arose because of the natural need for an efficient medium of exchange. Race arose because of visible physiological and cultural differences. But gender supposedly just… appeared, and sex came later.

It is true that sex is partially constructed by intolerance for intersex people, and that intolerance for intersex people was probably the result of gender role attribution being seen as necessary. That’s all fair, but FETAs don’t get to use intersex people as fodder for their arguments. The concept of gender has always been rooted in sex and the fact that intersex people have been an exception to this rule does not disprove the principle.

Furthermore, if sex has no relevance to the formation of gender, then how did gender become a universal construct? Why are there no known genderless societies in history? Why do gender boundaries always roughly (not exactly, but roughly) align with genitals? And why does it seem to always be the case that people with penises are assigned the dominant gender roles?

Human biology is real and the criteria for biological sex are all real things that can be measured. The interpretation of what they mean may be arbitrary, but sex itself is not a construct.

Allan also uses the term “gender essentialism.” You see FETAs use that term a lot, and they obviously have no clue what it actually means. Essentialism is the belief that entities fulfill specific criteria that establishes them as an entity a specific kind. Gender essentialism is the belief that men and women are fundamentally different (i.e. that “being a man” and “being a woman” entails fulfilling criteria which go beyond being assigned a gender).

I do not believe that men and women are fundamentally different, by which I mean that there are no criteria beyond assigned gender itself which can tell us who is “being a man” and “being a woman”; in short, there is no such thing as “being a man” and “being a woman.” There is no Womanhood Game because there are no criteria by which a transwoman may become “more of a woman”: “believing they are a woman,” “taking puberty blockers and mutilating their bodies” or “speaking in a high voice” are criteria which determine whether one can pass as a woman, but they do not make one a woman.

The main objective of FETAs is to elevate gender to the status of untouchable personal choice and to downgrade biological sex to the status of make-believe.

My perceived sex characteristics say nothing about my gender, nor is it already set in stone by an omniscient structure as to how I will receive certain messages that are hurled in my direction by folks who read me incorrectly. These structures are not so deterministic, and if they were, social movements would be mostly non-existent, because social movements are an acknowledgement that these structures aren’t working.

Again with the blind belief in “agency” and the slagging of determinism, as if determinism was a material entity or force that prevented us from doing things like starting social movements; not just that, but determinism is apparently “omniscient” in Allan’s mind! In the entry I just linked, I used the image of the Devil being chased in an old folk tale ironically, because I never thought anyone would actually be so stupid, but it seems Allan literally believes determinism is like the Devil. That is absolutely amazing to me. Again, what world does she live in?

Allan states that her perceived sex characteristics say nothing about her gender. But this is almost certainly false: we can say with 99.8% (the approximate percentage of non-intersex people) certainty that Allan’s sex characteristics (penis, XY, and so on) determined her assigned gender (man). We can state as a fact that in her first years of life she integrated all the indoctrination directed at boys, whether she liked her role or not. This is not the result of an “omniscient structure” which somehow defeats all social movements, but the result of normal human development.

This is the end of my analysis of Allan’s entry. I will not indulge her grandstanding, because it is itself based on the lies and misrepresentations I have debunked here. Transwomen are victims of gender, not of “cis” women, and when transwomen like Allan choose to become FETAs, instead of fighting against gender, they surrender the moral high ground and any sympathy anyone may have for their situation. Gender necessarily means woman-hatred, and anyone who promotes gender (or gendered slurs like “cis”) promotes woman-hatred.

Now, Allan insists on attacking the concept of socialization because she believes that it somehow does not apply to herself. I would reiterate that everyone is targeted by gender socialization and that there is no magical “get out of socialization” card.

But I would also extend this further in talking about trans socialization. Once the parents of a child (usually out of homophobia) have decided that their child is “trans,” they begin twisting everything that child says and does into the “trans” narrative, that they are stuck in the wrong body (i.e. a boy in a girl’s body, or a girl in a boy’s body). When the person goes into the wider world, this twisting becomes a social phenomenon, for the same reason.

Crucially, this socialization also consisted of a lot of positive reinforcement. That is, when people decided I was trans and treated me accordingly they were often at the same time trying to show respect or be friendly. I didn’t receive the same sort of treatment as a butch dyke…

This “trans” socialization consists of several components. One is deciding that certain actions, appearances, practices etc are signs that a person is trans/male rather than a woman, female, and/or butch. This is based off the assumptions that any perceived “masculinity” is maleness and that stepping outside the female role and temperament makes one not a female…

Another part is treating the presumed trans man’s behavior and self expression as more acceptable because they’re trans/male. This “masculinity” or whatever isn’t supposed to be present in a female body but being trans explains and makes it acceptable. What was unsightly, confusing or unnatural before is now something this person can feel entitled to.

That there are just as strong indoctrination mechanisms enforcing transgenderism than there are operating on genderism may seem obvious, but is something that people like Allan wish to ignore, because acknowledging it reduces transgenderism to just another expression of servitude, like gender itself. As I like to say, you do not become free when your jailors scrap your assignment to one of two prison cells and let you choose your prison cell instead. There’s no mental freedom, no physical freedom, to be found in any form of genderism, no matter how old or modern they are.

Kristal Garcia, an MRA defending PIV.

I stated in a previous entry that there was almost no response to the PIV criticism issued by radfem, with one exception I found. The exception is this entry by Kristal Garcia, a woman who professes allegiance to the MRA woman-hating crowd.

Now, before I get into the entry, I do want to point out the irony of a woman being the only person with the intelligence to write a response to PIV criticism. Even when they believe in an ideology that upholds the superiority of men over women, women still end up proving they’re better.

I do want to point out, in case anyone else wants to read it, that her response is very condescending. She also misrepresents many of witchwind’s arguments, and uses MRA propaganda to support her position. I am not interested in her condescension, her misrepresentations, or her MRA bullshit, but I am interested in answering the substance of her replies.

Why, yes little radfem, me choosing to have sex does make sense. It makes so very much sense. You see, I am a human being and I have a brain. With this brain, I create thoughts. I analyze and recognize what feels wonderful for me and what does not. I use this brain to make decisions such as saying ‘Yes’ and ‘No’.

This was written in reply to witchwind pointing out that PIV is the main axis of female oppression, and that yet some women (like Garcia) willingly choose to be oppressed. Garcia’s reply is to use the concept of agency (i.e. blaming the victims) as a shield for oppression.

This is an inane reply, to say the least. The fact that Garcia chooses PIV is not merely a result of “what feels wonderful” to her, but also part of her indoctrination as a woman. Our preferences do not exist in a vacuum, but are the result of the combination of our personality and the way we are socialized. Men are trained by pornography to see PIV as the highest form of sex, and women are trained to want PIV in order to become “real women.”

As I’ve explained before, PIV lies at the center of the web of female oppression, in the middle of natalism, the abortion debate, and liberal feminism, which is the kind of feminism most women come into contact with. Behind every exhortation for a woman to follow her gender role lies PIV. So there’s nothing surprising in the fact that most women willingly submit to PIV: what’s surprising is that some women rebel.

The fact that any person approves or disapproves of anything does not make it the product of agency. All our decisions are conditioned by a wide variety of social constructs (including gender and sexuality) and their attendant beliefs. There is no place there for an agency “god of the gaps.”

[U]se that brain thing we women have in our heads and use a condom! Ta-da! It’s called taking responsibility for your sexual actions. Yes, when you have sex you can also get pregnant. Abortion is not something that comes from what you call ‘PIV’. That is a choice made by a woman to terminate a pregnancy she can also choose to keep the child. As for the rest of your prattle, sex can lead to death if you are not careful, yes. Both men and women have died from serious diseases and that is nothing to joke about. That is why condoms exist and being safe with sex is important.

Again with the irony: why is an anti-feminist using a liberal feminist argument (use protection and you can do anything! PIV is safe!) to make her point? Not to mention that the argument itself is simply wrong. The pregnancy rate with condoms over five years is 56%. Contraception used perfectly still has a pregnancy rate of 2 to 6% every year.

That may not be much for a single individual, but it does mean that millions of people experience unwanted pregnancies every year due to contraception failure. And that doesn’t even include STDs! Condoms are better than nothing, by far, but they are not the “ta-da!” solution to STDs or pregnancy, and it does not mean you “took responsibility” for your actions. Taking responsibility for your actions must include understanding the risks of one’s actions, instead of sweeping them away with one inadequate response.

Sex is not violence. A man putting his penis inside a vagina is not rape. Rape is rape. Again, you say intentional ‘sexual’ harm of a woman- RAPE IS NOT SEX! Now, a violent assault on a woman yes, is rape.

The issue of rape aside, it seems that Garcia believes that imposing the risk of harm on someone is not violent. That may or may not be the case, but Garcia obviously is not interested in elaborating any further, so there’s nothing left to discuss. All we’re left with is a woman screaming “RAPE IS NOT SEX!” Again, a liberal feminist argument being used by an anti-feminist (perhaps Garcia is in the wrong faction?). Yes, clearly rape is about power, but it does involve forced sexual activity as well. Most of the time, very specific forms of sexual activity… some form of penetration, whether PIV or anal sex.

PIV increases immune system function, boosts fitness, flexibility, happiness, increased productivity, lowers blood pressure, lowers heart attack risk, improves sleep, eases stress, lessens body pain, improves women’s bladder control. A man does all of that with PIV, how much more respectful can you get?

I believe one huge “citation needed” tag is needed on this one. But yes, I imagine feeling more fulfilled in your social roles in general makes you happier and more at ease with yourself. That’s not a specific argument for PIV but an argument for better assimilating into society, no matter how. But it’s no sign of health to assimilate oneself into a sick society, not to mention the deleterious psychological effects of having to live as a woman in a society which considers women to be inferior. Better to just reject gender altogether, including the PIV mandate.

Because of insane women like you treating prostitutes as if we are mindless morons suffering from Stockholm syndrome instead of seeing us as the healthy sexually expressive humans that we are, women are being raped thanks to fem-nazi’s like you. That’s right. Women in Myanmar and Cambodia have their brothels raided by corrupt police who rape them, take their children from their homes and jail them. In Cambodia these women are put in ‘rehabilitation’ camps where they are raped, beaten and have poor nutrition and are slave labor. Because of creatures like yourself who say women like myself are incapable of thought, you have created unsafe work conditions for sex workers.

I have no idea how Garcia interpreted a discussion of PIV as an incentive for her to bring up prostitution, but again she’s parroting the liberal feminist party line for some reason. She attributes the persecution of prostituted women to radical feminists, but no radical feminist has ever advocated laws against prostituted women or has implemented violence against them. Radical feminists advocate the decriminalization of prostituted women and the use of public resources to give them the possibility of living a life away from prostitution, which 90% of prostituted women want to leave. The fact that Garcia is part of that privileged 10% does not make her experience all-important, as she seems to think. Again she seems to imitate liberal feminists, in that they despise and attack all non-privileged prostituted women (unless “mindless moron” is a term of endearment for her, which I cannot rule out given how condescending her entry is).

You are so detached from your power as a human being. I am subordinate to no, one nor will I ever be controlled… Women are not oppressed by men.

There, I think, lies the central delusion of MRAs and the arguments for PIV in general. Most of the time they do not come out and say something so stupid, and merely wax poetic about how wonderful and sparkly-shiny it is to pound their girlfriend or wife, completely disconnected from any social or ideological context. Of course any action can be justified, including genocide, if you dissociate it from context.

It would take an MRA woman, however, to make such a delusional statement as “I am not subordinate.” Does Garcia not wear any makeup? Does she not wear any feminine clothes? Given that she’s an MRA, I doubt that she dares to go against the fuckability mandate.

Of course MRAs blame the victim whenever women (or men, for that matter) are subjected to any oppression, so they can simply ignore all the systemic factors which we group under the name Patriarchy. In their place, MRAs have weaved a belief system made of lies and half-truths which blames women as a class for everything they think is wrong with society.

I have to say that Garcia’s arguments were much better than I expected, but that’s because she stole so many of them from her opposition:

“I choose to be degraded, so it’s perfectly valid!” and
“Contraception makes sex completely safe”- these two arguments are copied straight from the libfem playbook.
“Rape is not about sex”- this is a standard feminist slogan.
“PIV has so many health benefits”- given the total lack of sources and the wild claims, she must have copied this from some copy of Cosmo.
“Feminazis are causing the jailing and rape of prostituted women”- this is a pretty standard line from the pornstitution activist crowd, who are not MRAs by any means.
“Women are not oppressed”- this is perhaps the only substantive MRA argument presented. Not convincing to anyone who hasn’t drunk the misogyny Kool-Aid, but it’s there.

If her arguments are representative of MRAs, then MRA anti-feminism can’t be very substantive if it has to run under feminism’s dress to get any sort of rebuttal going. So I don’t think we have anything new coming from those quarters.

“Cliff Pervocracy” wants you to know that BDSM is feminist.

A while ago I published a response to a bad attempt at defending BDSM by someone who may or may not be named Clarisse Thorn. Here’s an analysis of another attempted defense of BDSM, and this time the name of the author is definitely fictional.

“Cliff Pervocracy” (who’s surprised that abusers hide their real names?), author of a blog delightfully called The Pervocracy (a government led by BDSM abusers and rapists, presumably), wants you to know that feminism and BDSM are completely compatible.

In the real world, feminism and BDSM are not compatible at all. Feminism fights against Violence Against Women, BDSMers are for Violence Against Women (as long as it’s “consensual”!). Feminism fights against the gender hierarchy, BDSMers support the reproduction of all hierarchies, including the gender hierarchy, as “edgy” and “sexy.” Feminism supports examining how our sexual practices are impacted by social indoctrination, and BDSMers scream like banshees if you even bring into a conversation the shadow of doing such an examination.

So how does “Cliff” answer to this? Well, his first answer is to just ignore the issue:

My usual flippant answer–which also happens to be my most emotionally honest–is that it’s like asking how I can be a feminist and keep guinea pigs. What do my hobbies have to do with anything? Kink is just a fun activity that involves a different part of my personality

So already his “emotionally honest” position is revealed: “Cliff” gives so little shit about abusing women that he thinks this is an issue on the level of having guinea pigs. At least he’s honest about his woman-hatred.

And who else calls their sexuality a “hobby”? BDSM cultists usually take their sexuality very, very seriously. Perhaps “Cliff” hasn’t drunk the Kool-Aid yet. But let’s continue…

A deeper answer is that it’s pleasurable for everyone involved. The things I think of as feministically troubling are things that harm someone.

You heard it here folks, BDSM is “pleasurable for everyone involved.” Everyone? Really? Including the 30% of BDSMers in the United States who have been violated? Including all the subs who suffer from the PTSD phenomenon that BDSM cultists euphemistically call “sub drop”? Including all the people in BDSM who re-create their past abuse or rape in a vain attempt to “deal with it”? Is this dudebro for real?

Look, I understand the desire to bury your head in the sand and ignore the sins of other people in your interest group. We all do it to some extent. But to be part of a community which uses violence as recreation (whether “consensual” or not) and pretend that it can’t possibly have any consequences to anyone is just laughable.

So “Cliff” fails miserably at justifying BDSM. How does he fare at addressing anti-BDSM arguments?

For one thing, a whole lot of those arguments could apply to plain ol’ sex. It can be used as a weapon of, and an excuse for, horrific abuse? People are sometimes unintentionally harmed doing it? It’s horrible when done nonconsensually? There are some really awful people who are into it? A lot of the narratives around it are sexist, hetero/cisnormative, body-policing, and glamorize unsafe and questionably consensual activities? The industries that sell media and services related to it are often nightmarishly exploitative? I don’t want to deny or minimize the fact that all these things happen in BDSM. I just don’t think it’s any worse in kink than in sex.

This is a logical fallacy of tu quoque: he’s trying to claim that sex is just as bad as BDSM, therefore BDSM can’t be bad. “Cliff” doesn’t seem to realize that all he’s done is point out how abusive BDSM is.

Besides that, “Cliff” is deliberately understating the abusive nature of BDSM. BDSM is not “an excuse for” abuse, it is abuse. BDSM is not “unintentional harm,” the harm is very much intentional: that’s the whole point of it! BDSM is horrible whether done “nonconsensually” or not, because there is no consideration for consent in BDSM apart from symbolic gestures which do not, and cannot, indicate consent. BDSM does not just have “awful people” in it, it is the perfect environment to attract awful people who want to groom and subjugate victims. BDSM does not just have some sexist or heteronormative nerratives, it has narratives of (amongst other things) incest, rape, slavery and genocide.

In all of these ways, BDSM is definitely worse than sex. This is not to say that “plain ol’ sex” cannot lead to abuse, harm, and so on. Obviously “Cliff” is assuming that we’re all sex-positive in order for his argument to work: as I am not sex-positive (see: sex-negativity), it makes no sense to me at all. I already think sex is not a great thing, and therefore equating BDSM to sex only confirms what I already believe. Yes, I agree that BDSM at least as bad as sex!

Not realizing his complete failure, “Cliff” keeps going:

Actually, I’ll go a little further than that. While “kink is always consensual!” is facile white-washing, on average kinksters are more aware than the general population of what consent is and why it matters. We talk about it a lot more, and we (at least try to) socially normalize the idea of negotiating it.

I’ve already commented on this on my entry about Clarisse Thorn’s rationalizations: this is complete doublespeak which ignores the facts about harm I’ve already cited. The BDSM cult mentality is a violent mentality and it is one which assuages its anxiety about consent by performing rituals which have nothing to do with consent.

Conflating consent with liberation is the business of those who do not know that oppression cannot operate without it.
Rachel Moran

But equally importantly, “Cliff” involves the specter of “negotiating” consent. Although he doesn’t expand on that, it should be a huge red flag. Sex and consent are not things to be “negotiated.”

I think it’s important to talk about the negotiation model of sex, because it not only lies at the core of the pretense that “BDSM is all about consent,” but it also underlies other anti-feminist worldviews. For example, the “sex work” concept, which is anti-prostituted women and pro-VAW, relies heavily on it: it assumes that prostituted women have to negotiate sexual encounters with their johns, and that anything that goes against such negotiations is therefore undesirable. Likewise, many men (including MRAs) believe that sex is a process of negotiation, and that men who “pay the price” are entitled to sex.

What all these frameworks, including BDSM, have in common is that they replace actual consent with a list of codified gestures or rituals which are supposed to represent a transaction (see: transactional model of sex) that supposedly secures consent. And they then turn around and argue that concern with these symbolic gestures or rituals represent concern for consent.

But these gestures or rituals are completely arbitrary and have nothing to do with consent. The BDSMer’s belief in contracts and “safe words” as tokens of consent is no more valid than the MRA’s belief in paying for dinner as a token of consent or the liberal’s belief in exchanges of money as consent in “sex work.” And none of these are any more valid than the statist belief that paying taxes signals consent to the laws or State authority, or the Christian apologist’s belief that committing “sins” means you consent to being thrown into Hell.

But in the case of BDSM, I think we can narrow it down some more. Who else is obsessed with contracts, formal or informal, as signals of consent? Free market fanatics. And BDSMers’ logic seems to mirror market logic on consent issues: their complete refusal to look at the context of actions, their reduction of ethics to subjective feelings, and the contradictory belief that a system of inequality can engender consensual actions (I’ve discussed these points against voluntaryism in this entry).

Leftists are very well aware that contracts and the possibility of leaving do not nullify the abuse inherent in capitalism. They have no qualms arguing against corporate hierarchy, profits, wage inequality, lack of workplace safety measures, and so on. And yet many leftists turn around, use the exact same argument in favor of BDSM, and don’t realize they’re contradicting the very foundation of their political positions. This tells me that the BDSM cult mentality is extremely dangerous, in that, unlike most cult mentalities, it is easily able to penetrate society and pollute people’s minds, even the minds of people who would oppose it otherwise.

I also think a lot of “BDSM is sexist” arguments wouldn’t long survive an encounter with a female dominant or a male submissive.

I think this point goes back to the BDSM cult propaganda line that all opposition is merely misguided and misinformed about what they’re “really about.” If only they knew there are female doms, they would change their mind!

But no, this blatantly obvious (and widely publicized) fact has not escaped our attention somehow. The existence of female doms does not prove that BDSM is not sexist any more than females raping males proves that feminism is wrong about rape being a tool of gender oppression.

Like all radical positions, radical feminist analysis looks at institutions, not individuals. BDSM as an institution is sexist, amongst a lot of other things, because it puts a stamp of approval on abusive sexual behavior that is, by and large, used by men against women. Does that mean all men in BDSM are abusive and all women in BDSM are victims? No, clearly not. Just like how women can internalize misogyny and turn against themselves or other women, women can be doms and men can be subs, but that doesn’t prove anything about the institution itself.

In this answer there is also a whiff of the repugnant sex-positive dogma that women want to be abused because they take part in an abusive institution. No, the fact that there are women doms does not mean it’s okay to abuse women.

And finally, our ending:

How can I be a feminist and do BDSM? Because I trust women to know their own desires. Because BDSM does not stand apart from the world at large, and if we have to live in this world anyway, we might as well do what we love. Because I love and respect my body, my mind, and my potential as a human being–and all three are going “hell yeah, I totally want this.”

You can’t have a defense of BDSM without some doublespeak, and this is another good example of it. We are seriously supposed to believe that a person who supports an institution in which human beings are abused, tortured and raped also loves and respects his body and mind.

This conclusion also echoes the bizarre anti-feminist sentiment that feminists really deep down hate women, because they fight against women’s “choices,” “agency” or desires. But no one on my side of the divide is blaming women for being in BDSM, or arguing against any individual woman’s desires. That’s completely missing the point, and demonstrates that “Cliff” does not know what feminism is.

Feminism does not exist to validate every woman’s “choices,” “agency” or desires. Feminism exists to criticize the context in which we live and how that social context guides our personal decisions and personal desires. “Trusting women to know their own desires” in a context where people’s desires, men and women alike, are constantly being manipulated through indoctrination and the media (including, notably, pornography, which is similar to BDSM in that they both reproduce violence against women) is not sound reasoning or feminist analysis.

This naive view of desire is in line with the ethical subjectivism of BDSM. If the individual lived in a vacuum and was not influenced by society in any way, then we’d have some kind of a case for stating that whatever the individual feels is valid, including about their own sexuality. But this is not how reality works. If society was totally egalitarian and power relations were purely imaginary, then one could perhaps make some kind of case that BDSM is not abuse. But this is not how reality works.

As I said in my rebuttal to Clarissa Thorn, I welcome anyone to give me URLs to similar attempts at rebuttals. These are the only two I’ve found without having to actually read BDSM blogs, which is really not something I want to get into. So unless you know of any others, this is probably the last analysis I’m going to do for now.

Clarisse Thorn tries to refute an argument against BDSM.

It has occurred to me that, while I do get BDSM people wasting my time while trying to defend their abusive sexuality (see for example the comments section on this entry), I don’t really engage with the more serious BDSM arguments out there. That, I think, would be a lot more productive.

Therefore I wanted to start by addressing the words of one Clarisse Thorn (probably not her real name, but who knows), a self-professed “S&M feminist,” a contradiction in terms. In this entry, she intends to address the anti-BDSM argument that “BDSM legitimizes abuse” (despite labeling the entry #1, it seems she wrote no more, perhaps weary of the cognitive dissonance she was triggering in her own head).

I want to make clear, first of all, that BDSM does not only “legitimize abuse,” it is abuse. BDSM is a cult-like framework and, like all other such frameworks, it is highly concerned with reframing language and concepts (“consent,” “sex,” “play,” “toys,” “power,” “dominance,” etc). The peculiarity of this ideology, however, is that it has managed to get its reframing accepted by society at large. It has gone on to the point that now we see BDSM sexual abuse as “edgy” and “sexy.”

BDSM is not only an ideology of abuse which twists language, it also concerns itself with the constant reproduction of abuse, all the way from spanking and caning to “rapeplay,” “breathplay,” “knifeplay,” and all the gamut of so-called “play.” Based on the sexual charge people can get out of them, they have reframed these forms of abuse as “sex.”

Thorn presents the anti-BDSM argument we’re discussing as such:

1) When two consenting people do a BDSM scene together, it can look like abuse to outsiders who are not aware that the scene was worked out ahead of time and that the bottom can opt out at any time. That is, outsiders can’t know the difference between BDSM and abuse by looking at it.

It does “look like abuse,” because it is abuse. The fact that the abuse was “worked out ahead of time” and that one can “opt out” does not make it any less abusive.

Much of the reframing in BDSM has to do with “consent.” I’ve already discussed the problems they have with consent. Within the cult mentality, they believe that purely symbolic gestures like signing contracts or establishing “safe words” turns an act of abuse into a sexual act. Not only that, but they call it consent, as if consent is established by contracts or magic words.

2) If the outside world becomes more accepting of BDSM, then outsiders who see signs of violence will become more likely to assume that it is BDSM and not abuse. Therefore, they will be less likely to interfere with a violent situation, or help a victim.

Yes, obviously it is a huge problem when abusers use BDSM as a tool to portray themselves as innocent of any wrongdoing. Not just because outsiders may be fooled into confusing the sexual abuse brought about by BDSM with “normal” sexuality, but because it means our concept of sexuality has been hijacked by a dangerous and abusive cult mentality. The problem is BDSM itself, the belief that codified abuse can be a healthy sexuality, not just its consequences.

3) Thus: legitimizing BDSM puts people in danger. It means that abusers will be more likely to abuse, because they will think that they can get away with it. Or, alternatively: it means that abusers will be more likely to abuse because they don’t learn the difference between abuse and consent. It also means that people who are actually being abused will have a harder time getting help.

I completely agree with this point. It does mean all that. It also means a lot, lot more, but at least we have a good starting point. So what does Thorn reply to all this?

The argument assumes that people cannot learn to tell the difference between abuse and consent… I can say that, in my experience, there is very high pressure in the BDSM subculture to ensure that all partners consent.

Here we see the doublespeak inherent in the BDSM cult mentality: getting people to submit to abuse means “ensuring that all partners consent.” It also aims to project the image that the BDSM community is ethical and non-violent despite the abusive actions done in BDSM, and even though 30% of people in American BDSM communities have had their “consensual” limits violated and 64% of people in Dutch BDSM communities have reported the same. A community that is so violent that it engenders in its victims a PTSD-like state euphemistically called “sub drop.”

Despite their constant protests and attempts at reassuring the gullible that they follow strict standard of ethics, any community that not only legitimizes these practices but encourages them cannot be an ethical community.

Anti-BDSM people argue what they do precisely because they understand the difference between abuse and consent. And, unwarped by the BDSM mentality, most people can generally make the difference between abuse and consent as well. They can tell that a person is getting roughed up, beaten up, or tortured. And that’s a big problem for the BDSM community, even though they make a good show of sneering at the “vanilla” peons who just can’t understand how “edgy” and “cool” they are. A cult must always have enemies, and that’s what feminists are for (Thorn calls herself a “feminist,” but we know it’s a lie).

If BDSM is legitimized — if it “comes out of the closet” — then the community’s attitudes towards consent will come out of the closet with it. It’s not like legitimizing BDSM means that everyone will start thinking it’s a great idea to beat other people without their consent.

But that is precisely what everyone is thinking: that by using some official, symbolic mumbo-jumbo, you can beat other people with their “non-consensual consent.”

Arguing that accepting BDSM will lead to accepting abuse is analogous to arguing that accepting human sexuality will lead to accepting rape. In other words — telling me that I encourage men to abuse women by having consensual BDSM sex is like telling me that I encourage men to rape women by having consensual vanilla sex.

Even if you repeat it twice, this is still a horrible analogy that Thorn should be ashamed of writing. The core of the argument is that BDSM is a system of thought which legitimizes abuse because it is itself abuse. “Vanilla sex” in itself is not a system of thought. So there’s no comparison to be done here.

But if we interpret “vanilla sex” as a larger heteronormative context, then Thorn’s analogy is, ironically, a fairly good one: BDSM legitimizes abuse like heteronormativity legitimizes rape. It’s not a perfect analogy, but it’s closer to the truth than anything Thorn can muster.

As for our “S&M feminist,” her blog is inactive, but she still operates as a mouthpiece for BDSM. At any rate, she is no feminist: feminists cannot be pro-BDSM for the same reason that they cannot be pro-VAW, pro-rape or pro-sexual abuse. People like her portray opponents of BDSM as uninformed and their criticism as superficial, as she does in her entry. Systemic criticism must be silenced or dismissed as the nattering of “bitter apostates” so it never penetrates the cultist shield.

But it’s hard not to laugh at Thorn portraying her opponents as naive and uninformed when her understanding of feminism is so trivial and silly, given that she seems to believe feminists oppose BDSM because they are somehow confused by the difference between abuse and consent (as if that was a hard thing to figure out). Silly befuddled feminists, they just don’t “get” it, so you see this is all very reasonable!

If any of my readers, or BDSM trolls, have another entry like this for me to look into, I would welcome it. But I don’t expect much.

The projections of FETAs (Female-Excluding Trans Activists).

I’ve discussed in the past how advocates of irrational ideologies have no material to attack their opponents with, so their attacks are heavily laced with projections, if not exclusively projections.

A FETA called Miriam Dobson wrote an entry called “Truly radical environmentalism must have anti-oppression at its heart.” This is basically an anti-DGR (Deep Green Resistance) screed, which I find despicable in itself, but I’ve chosen this entry specifically because virtually every single criticism raised by Dobson is actually a projection of what FETAs are doing. It provides us with a wide overview of all that’s wrong with trans genderism.

Just so it’s clear, let me restate what I mean by trans genderism: I mean by that an ideology which uses transgender people as an argument to rationalize the existence of gender. Trans genderists (FETAs) believe that individuals whose “gender identity” (a nonsense concept) clashes with their assigned gender are transgender and must be “reassigned.” Traditional genderists, in contrast, believe that everyone must be forced to conform to their assigned gender.

My aim here is not to defend DGR (they are certainly able to do that themselves), but to look at these projections and what they reveal. So here are all the projections that I could find in this entry.

The dismantling of oppressive power structures should be a key tenet of any group wanting to move towards an equitable and sustainable future society.

I completely agree with that statement. In fact, I couldn’t write it better if I tried. But coming from a FETA, this is a profoundly hypocritical statement which heralds what is to come. Gender is not only an oppressive power structure, it’s the origin of all oppressive power structures. Genderism is not only oppression, it’s the origin of all oppressions. To cloak it as a form of tolerance for the theetie-wheetie crowd does not make it any less oppressive.

Unfortunately the landscapes these (white, male) writers advocated erased the often-violent colonial histories of the places they wished to preserve. This thus erases human voices of societies who were oppressed or even destroyed by the colonisers…

I have nothing against this attack in itself (indeed, I think it raises a very good point), but the accusation of colonialism is very ironic given that many people have called trans genderism colonialist for equating all “third genders” in the world within their rigid, Western-based “trans” umbrella. It is offensive, insensitive, and culturally ignorant.

Fundamentally, all genderists are colonialists, because they seek to impose their Western-centric conception of gender on other societies. The only position which is not guilty of colonialism is anti-genderism, that is to say, people who believe that the individual cannot, and must not, be reduced to a set of criteria dictated by Western societies.

More importantly, gender roles are an erasure not only of voices in oppressed societies, but of voices in our societies as well: a massive erasure of the voices of gender rebels and homosexuals, for which trans genderists advocate an untested and brutal chemical “treatment.”

And equally importantly, trans genderism, through intimidation, death threats and sexual bigotry, pushes one giant act of erasure: they seek to destroy all women-only spaces, which means erasing any possibility of feminist advancement.

Any blithe statement of trans genderists’ voices being erased must be measured with these heavy facts in mind. Like Christian fundamentalists, they complain of being silenced when they are made unable to bully their victims.

Therefore, gender binaries are falsely constructed. Erasing transgender voices reinforces the idea that gender is binary and unchangeable.

I agree that gender is not a binary. But it is bizarre to see FETAs say it, since gender being a binary is the core premise of trans genderism: either one is “cis,” meaning that one conforms to one’s assigned gender, or one is “trans” and wishes to conform to the opposite gender. There is no place for even a gender spectrum in this black-and-white theory: you’re either cis or trans, man or woman, in the right body or in the wrong body. Gender rebels must be converted to the “right” gender (i.e. opposite to the one they were assigned).

As for “unchangeable,” FETAs believe in a “gender identity” construct which somehow springs forth in every individual and does not depend on anything else physical or psychological. So what exactly is the mechanism by which this “gender identity” changes? Indeed, many transgender people believe their “gender identity” is absolutely fixed and innate.

So it seems to me that it’s FETA voices that reinforce the idea that gender is binary and unchangeable, because… they believe that gender is binary and unchangeable. And that seems to me like a pretty good reason (although not a sufficient reason) to erase FETA voices.

This policy refers to people “born male”, elevating somebody’s sex organs to a greater position of importance than their own knowledge of themselves. And if somebody’s sex organs determine their gender forever and ever, surely the same organisation that believes this cannot argue that gender is an oppressive construct that should be abolished. Their own policies judge people based on gender. Conflating gender with sex organs implies that there is only one way to be a man, only one way to be a woman.

There’s a lot to unpack here, so let me take this step by step:

“This policy refers to people “born male”, elevating somebody’s sex organs to a greater position of importance than their own knowledge of themselves.”

This is a straw man used by FETAs to trivialize biological sex. But it is not true that the existence of biological sex “elevates sex organs to a position of importance.” Biology is biology, we can’t do anything about it, but that doesn’t mean it must be important. Right now the distinction between males and females happens to be important because it is used as the justification for misogyny and violence against women. In an egalitarian society, the nature of one’s sex organs should not have any importance, but that’s not the kind of society we live with.

Like any other social construct, gender is important to the extent that it permeates discourse. But simply referring to biological sex does not mean that one is supporting the importance of gender. And likewise, as FETAs demonstrate, one can still believe gender is of primordial importance while rejecting the existence of biological sex altogether.

“And if somebody’s sex organs determine their gender forever and ever, surely the same organisation that believes this cannot argue that gender is an oppressive construct that should be abolished.”

The only people who believe that sex organs determine your gender “forever and ever” are traditional genderists. Radical feminists like the DGR people do not believe that sex organs determine anything except the way they are treated by society. Sex organs certainly determine gender in the eyes of the State, but not in the eyes of radical feminists.

So the conclusion is false. Radical feminists believe gender is an oppressive construct and that gender is only connected to sex organs through an arbitrary system of classification which they do not support.

“Their own policies judge people based on gender.”

That’s an interesting statement. It’s also false. Women-only spaces judge people not based on gender (which for FETAs means: “whatever they say their gender is”), but on socialization. Children who are raised as men are indoctrinated into male sexual entitlement. Children who are raised as women are not. If radical feminists judged people based on what FETAs call gender, then they should be against transmen: but they are not, because transmen were socialized as women.

Now compare this to the FETA attitude, whose policies condemn and wish death on “cis” people based on their “gender identity.” Is this not “judging people based on gender”?

“Conflating gender with sex organs implies that there is only one way to be a man, only one way to be a woman.”

A true statement but, again, one which only applies to traditional genderists. Like many other anti-feminists, Dobson is eager to paint feminists with the same color as religious fundamentalists, to attack them by association. But this is a childish tactic: there can be no association between people who seek to end the oppression of women (radical feminists) and those who seek to protect and strengthen it (traditional genderists).

For those who do believe in gender, there can only be “one way to be a man, only one way to be a woman.” To have a gender means to be judged on the basis of a rigidly define role which one must perform. So this is not really an issue of “conflating gender with sex organs,” but of believing in gender, period.

Deep Green Resistance erases their voices, too, and thus stands on the side of industrial white-supremacist capitalist patriarchal society, against oppressed communities, by implying that some people do not deserve recognition or a voice.

The “their voices” referred to here are the voices of “people who do not fit in either [gender] category.” This is a supremely ironic projection, since FETAs spend much of their time reducing everyone to man or woman through their framework of cis/trans. There is no greater proponent of erasing gender rebels’ voices than FETAs! Does that mean FETAs stand “on the side of industrial white-supremacist capitalist patriarchal society”? There is certainly a case for them being colonialists, as I’ve already pointed out.

As far as I know, the only people who are consistently against capitalism, colonialism and Patriarchy are radical feminists (Anarchists get 2 out of 3, mainstream liberals get at most 1).

I also note some mild irony in calling white-supremacist a movement (radical feminism) that contains both bell hooks and Audre Lorde as major thought leaders, although I don’t know if DGR would consider them thought leaders as well.

Deep Green Resistance may wish for a society without gender. But treating everyone as if we already live in this society is wishful – and harmful – thinking.

Another statement which radical feminists would heartily agree with, and which correlates with the behavior of trans genderists. The only way to make sense of the complete refusal of FETAs to acknowledge socialization is if we already live in a society without gender: after all, only in a society without gender could a man decide to become a woman without being a threat to other women. As has been made clear by the behavior of transwomen, they are at least a potential threat to feminist women.

Dismantling oppression and elevating the voices of those previously denied a voice should be the very core of building an equitable, just, and indeed sustainable society.

Again, not a statement which would meet with much disagreement amongst radical feminists. But FETAs hate feminism and must fight against any attempt to eradicate gender, which make such a statement dubious at best. The main objective of FETAs is to elevate gender to the status of untouchable personal choice and to downgrade biological sex to the status of make-believe, so they can have the rights they believe they deserve. But by this maneuver they can only further harm those who are already harmed by gender. There is no way around it: trans genderism, like all other forms of genderism, is pure evil.

FETA and its attack on women: “gender rights.”

The so-called “International Bill of Gender Rights,” not recognized by the UN despite its grandiose name, is a good starting point to discuss the fact that the ideology pushed by FETAs (Female-Erasing Trans Activists) is profoundly genderist and anti-feminist in nature. Not surprisingly, it was written by two individuals who were socialized as men (one of the two, JoAnn Roberts, was a crossdresser).

Gender Identity Watch states that the goals of the IBGR are threefold:

(1) elevate a Man’s “Gender Identity” over a Woman’s Sex and Sexual Boundaries

(2) destroy Women-only space

(3) eradicate the Category of Sex.

So let’s begin:

#1: The Right To Define Gender Identity

We already start with a problematic term, “gender identity.” As I’ve already discussed, trans activists treat “gender identity” as an innate preference which causes gender expression, but how we think of ourselves is the result of our gender expression and how society reacts to it, not the cause.

As such, the emphasis by trans advocates on “gender identity,” instead of talking about gender as a social construct, is a deliberate part of trans genderism. It aims at reducing all gender issues to individual issues, and therefore to negate prejudice against women. The term “cis privilege” fulfills that function as well, in positing that female women have privilege over male women by virtue of being female. But this is false: being identified as female means you are subject to more violence, abuse, repressive laws and ideological attacks around the world.

At any rate, let’s examine this first “right”:

#1: The Right To Define Gender Identity

All human beings carry within themselves an ever-unfolding idea of who they are and what they are capable of achieving. The individual’s sense of self is not determined by chromosomal sex, genitalia, assigned birth sex, or initial gender role. Thus, the individual’s identity and capabilities cannot be circumscribed by what society deems to be masculine or feminine behavior. It is fundamental that individuals have the right to define, and to redefine as their lives unfold, their own gender identities, without regard to chromosomal sex, genitalia, assigned birth sex, or initial gender role.

I must point out again that this is absolutely backwards. Somehow we’re supposed to believe that not only our “gender identity” but our entire sense of self is “not determined by chromosomal sex, genitalia, assigned birth sex, or initial gender role”? That is incredibly silly. Of course all of these things have a profound influence on our sense of self and cannot be dissociated from it.

More importantly, there appears to be no connection whatsoever between this statement and the rest of the point, despite the use of the word “thus.” How does a deep connection between the sense of self and one’s sex mean that we should circumscribe every individual into “masculine” or “feminine” gender boxes?

Keep in mind that this document was created and revised over a period of years, so it’s reasonable to assume that nothing written here is accidental. Feminists emphasize the importance of sex as a real biological feature and the constructed nature of gender. This goes counter to the interest of FETAs, so they downplay sex as a way to reinforce the importance of gender. Their aim is to erase the existence of biological prejudice because, again, they want to make us believe that female women are not punished for their femaleness.

Can one’s “gender identity” be changed as much as one desires? Sure, but how is that a human right? This obviously has nothing to do with individuals, and all about pushing a specific genderist view.

#2: The Right to Free Expression of Gender Identity

Given the right to define one’s own gender identity, all human beings have the corresponding right to free expression of their self-defined gender identity.

Therefore, all human beings have the right to free expression of their self-defined gender identity; and further, no individual shall be denied Human or Civil Rights by virtue of the expression of a self-defined gender identity.

At the risk of repeating myself, I have to point out the reversal again: it is assumed that “gender identity” becomes “gender expression” when it is, well, expressed, but this is backwards. Any “right to free expression” is pointless if the way we feel about ourselves was conditioned by other people’s approval or disapproval.

But as long as gender exists, we will be conditioned to see ourselves through that lens. FETAs will not, and cannot, acknowledge that fact. Therefore they must evade it as much as they can.

Children should have the right to not be subjected to gender. That would be a real right. FETAs are not going to fight for that, because it would mean the end of their ideology (see point 5).

#3: The Right to Secure and Retain Employment and to Receive Just Compensation

Given the economic structure of modern society, all human beings have a right to train for and to pursue an occupation or profession as a means of providing shelter, sustenance, and the necessities and bounty of life, for themselves and for those dependent upon them; further, all human beings have the right to secure and retain employment and to receive just compensation for their labor regardless of gender identity, chromosomal sex, genitalia, assigned birth sex, or initial gender role.

There is nothing objectionable about this particular point, so I will not belabor it. It is the first point in this “bill of rights” that actually addresses an issue of importance to individuals, instead of making an ideological polemic.

But don’t assume it’s all going to be this helpful from this point forward. In fact, the next point is the big one:

#4: The Right of Access to Gendered Space and Participation in Gendered Activity

Given the right to define one’s own gender identity and the corresponding right to free expression of a self-defined gender identity, no individual should be denied access to a space or denied participation in an activity by virtue of a self-defined gender identity which is not in accord with chromosomal sex, genitalia, assigned birth sex, or initial gender role.

Therefore, no individual shall be denied access to a space or denied participation in an activity by virtue of a self-defined gender identity which is not in accord with chromosomal sex, genitalia, assigned birth sex, or initial gender role.

This is the most direct and eloquent statement demonstrating that FETA is anti-feminism. Historically, feminism has only been able to flourish when women-only spaces were available. If FETAs win, and women-only spaces are abolished by law, then any possibility of furthering women’s rights will be legally eradicated.

That being said, the point is also a misrepresentation of the feminist argument for women-only spaces. They do not seek to deny transwomen access to women-only spaces on the basis of “self-defined gender identity.” They couldn’t care less what your “self-defined gender identity” is. They object because transwomen were socialized as men, and therefore continue to behave as men.

They try to make the issue of women-only spaces as an issue of bigotry. But there is no bigotry there: transwomen are free to associate with each other, and they are free to associate with women in public as long as those women allow them to do so, like anyone else. But people socialized as men feel entitled to be in any space they want. Transwomen were socialized as men and act like men. They make threats, they intimidate, and they crowd everyone else out.

Everyone should have the right to associate with whoever they want in their personal lives (not talking about serving customers in a business or professional setting, which is a wholly different matter). The “right” to bully people into accepting them is not a right.

#5: The Right to Control and Change One’s Own Body

All human beings have the right to control their bodies, which includes the right to change their bodies cosmetically, chemically, or surgically, so as to express a self-defined gender identity.

Therefore, individuals shall not be denied the right to change their bodies as a means of expressing a self-defined gender identity; and further, individuals shall not be denied Human or Civil Rights on the basis that they have changed their bodies cosmetically, chemically, or surgically, or desire to do so as a means of expressing a self-defined gender identity.

Taken as it is, this seems to be a good solid point which can be applied universally, like point 3. But we know what FETAs are referring to here: they are referring to the coercive practice of gender reassignment in little children, including the use of untested chemicals in order to block puberty and surgery to “change gender.”

In short, this “right” is really there to defend the “right” to abuse one’s children because they exhibit signs of gender rebellion. This highly unethical, quack practice based on a failed treatment (we can say this with certainty given the percentage of transgender people who commit suicide or detransition/desire detransition) should be illegal and met with public resistance.

The next point concerns medical treatments and is an extension of this one: therefore the same objection applies. So I will continue on:

#7: The Right to Freedom From Involuntary Psychiatric Diagnosis and Treatment

Given the right to define one’s own gender identity, individuals should not be subject to involuntary psychiatric diagnosis or treatment.

Therefore, individuals shall not be subject to involuntary psychiatric diagnosis or treatment as mentally disordered, dysphoric, or diseased, on the basis of a self-defined gender identity or the expression thereof.

There is a huge bait and switch here. If you don’t pay attention, this point seems like a pretty obvious statement that people shouldn’t be coercively committed, something no one would disagree with. But there are two specific words that telegraph what the objective of this point is: “diagnosis” and “dysphoric.”

Some transgender people see themselves as dysphoric (that they are in the “wrong body”) and are diagnosed as such, other transgender people become such because they fetishize gender (and in the case of transwomen, they fetishize women’s oppression, as most men do). I mentioned in the beginning that JoAnn Roberts was a crossdresser. I did not mention this out of spite, but to demonstrate that the objective of these people is not to help dysphoric people who genuinely need medical help but to turn gender into a fetish (which is what crossdressing is), to trivialize the objectification and subjection of women and turn it into their personal masquerade. This is not only callous but also obviously anti-feminist.

What is asked of us here is to refuse to diagnose transgender people, which means to treat gender fetishists on the same plane as dysphoric individuals and to grant them the same access to medical services. This is profoundly wrong.

#8: The Right to Sexual Expression

Given the right to a self-defined gender identity, every consenting adult has a corresponding right to free sexual expression.

Therefore, no individual’s Human or Civil Rights shall be denied on the basis of sexual orientation; and further, no individual shall be denied Human or Civil Rights for expression of a self-defined gender identity through private sexual acts between consenting adults.

The first sentence has two parts which, again, do not follow. How does the “right” to gender identity entail the right to sexual expression? You can’t translate a right to a thought to a right to an action. It would have been simpler to skip the first half of the sentence and assert the right to free sexual expression.

But either way, it simply has no place in a “bill of gender rights.” Connecting gender to sexual expression is simply offensive. People can be of any sexual orientation regardless of gender, and gender should have nothing to do with it (unfortunately, since gender roles include sexual roles, it has plenty to do with it).

#9: The Right to Form Committed, Loving Relationships and Enter Into Marital Contracts

Given that all human beings have the right to free expression of self-defined gender identities, and the right to sexual expression as a form of gender expression, all human beings have a corresponding right to form committed, loving relationships with one another, and to enter into marital contracts, regardless of their own or their partner’s chromosomal sex, genitalia, assigned birth sex, or initial gender role.

Therefore, individuals shall not be denied the right to form committed, loving relationships with one another or to enter into marital contracts by virtue of their own or their partner’s chromosomal sex, genitalia, assigned birth sex, or initial gender role, or on the basis of their expression of a self-defined gender identity.

There is no such thing as a “right to marriage” because marriage is the creation of new members of a privileged class. There can be no more “right to marriage” than there can be a right to punch people in the face. But marriage has a powerful propaganda effect, which is why it’s so important for minority groups. I do not blame such groups for such propaganda actions. But let’s not fool each other and call it a right.

I have nothing against the point that’s specific to FETAs. In pursuing marriage as a high and noble goal, they are no different than other genderists.

#10: The Right to Conceive, Bear, or Adopt Children; The Right to Nurture and Have Custody of Children and to Exercise Parental Capacity

Given the right to form a committed, loving relationship with another, and to enter into marital contracts, together with the right to express a self-defined gender identity and the right to sexual expression, individuals have a corresponding right to conceive and bear children, to adopt children, to nurture children, to have custody of children, and to exercise parental capacity with respect to children, natural or adopted, without regard to chromosomal sex, genitalia, assigned birth sex, or initial gender role, or by virtue of a self-defined gender identity or the expression thereof.

Apart from the clusterfuck of misrepresentations and errors summarized in the first half of the sentence, and the fact that I am an antinatalist and therefore absolutely and categorically reject any notion of “right to conceive children,” I find nothing else that’s wrong with this point. So this is at least half decent. If only the rest was at least this good…


What in the hell do having children or employment have to do with “gender rights”? If the intent of this “bill of gender rights” was to list human rights and to tack on “regardless of gender identity,” then it is, at best, a rehashing of existing human rights declarations. The reality is, this document is a mix of (mostly dubious) rights with “gender identity” tacked on and FETA propaganda poorly disguised as rights.

Let’s agree at least that the document is badly named. This is not about “gender rights” and cannot have anything to do with “gender rights.” The notion itself is absurd: gender is not a freedom, it is a duty imposed. Gender does not have rights, it has obligations. The concept of a “gender right” is a contradiction in terms.

Gender is a hierarchy and, as for all other hierarchies, the only right we should have is to be free of it. Anyone who tells you otherwise is a depraved fool.

The assumption that sex is about power.

I know the principle that rape is about power is not totally accurate, but I would definitely say that sex based on power is rape.

There is an assumption, probably helped by the evolutionary psychology mythos propagating in the general population, that relationships and sex are a power struggle.

Everything in the world is about sex except sex. Sex is about power.

This quote (supposedly by Oscar Wilde, but everything’s attributed to Oscar Wilde) is perhaps unwittingly the most elegant statement about genderism ever written. Two basic premises of genderism are that humans, men especially, are solely driven by reproductive advantage (including our highest pursuits), and that our sexuality is always a power play between men (who want to spread their genes) and women (who want a faithful partner to raise children). Everything is about sex, but sex is about power.

From a feminist perspective, this is absolutely and completely incorrect: sex that is “about power” is not sex, it’s rape. In fact it has become a bromide that rape is about power, but yet people fail to recognize this in most instances because we are trained to believe that power is desirable and commands respect, or is at least “superior” and justified in its sexual abuse.

Now, if you take hierarchy and if you take sex and if you understand that hierarchy is very sexy, then what you have is a situation in which people are exploited systematically; and they are exploited in such a way that everyone thinks it’s normal.
Andrea Dworkin

Given what’s already been covered, I think our first stop should be traditional genderism. Marriage was framed in the West as a form of sexual ownership of women. Nowadays this unilateralism is frowned upon, and we’ve made it a form of mutual sexual ownership. This, of course, is considered progress.

But whether it’s unilateral or mutual, the fact remains that under traditional genderism women are under obligation to satisfy their husbands by providing sexual services, and that their sexuality are under the purview of the husband. The fact remains that we live in a heteronormative system where heterosexual sex is the only “real” form of sex that exists, and that all women should, in theory, be available for men to exploit. The fact also remains that women are generally in more precarious financial situations than men and that they often financially depend on their husbands. While spousal rape is now illegal in Western countries, it had been legal up to the latter part of the 20th century.

This is what feminists (and when I say feminists, I mean radical feminists) are talking about when they discuss the ethicality of intercourse, not simple-minded propositions like “all heterosexual sex is rape” (or its preposterous liberal reverse, that no pseudo-consensual sex can possibly be rape), which no feminist has ever said anyway. The problem with heterosexual sex is its hierarchical nature, the fact that it involves a superior and an inferior on the gender hierarchy, unlike homosexual sex. But homosexual sex often apes the hierarchical elements of heterosexuality because those are seen as normal in a heteronormative society.

Instead of remaining in generalities, we can look at more specific cases. Pornography, prostitution and BDSM are cases where the abuse of power is very clear. In all three cases we have a clear imbalance of power (between corporation and employee, between johns/pimps and prostituted women, and between doms and subs) which form the basis for sexual activity.

In prostitution and pornography (which is, after all, organized prostitution), the imbalance is, at least on the surface, financial in nature; johns and porn directors trade money for sex, either with themselves or other people (and for those who object that pornography cannot be prostitution because porn directors don’t make actresses have sex with them, some johns have prostituted women have sex with each other too). Prostituted women and porn actresses are often coerced into unwanted sexual acts so they can get the money they need, and are exposed to high risks of sexually transmitted diseases, extremely high death rates, and extremely high percentages of PTSD (equal or higher to that of war veterans).

As has been pointed out by feminists, making women have sex with you by giving them money means they wouldn’t want to have sex with you in the first place. They’re doing it because they need the money, which makes it non-consensual. Furthermore, if consent is granted beforehand, and cannot be given or revoked for specific sexual acts as they happen, then it’s not consensual either, simply because it’s then very easy for a john or a porn director to decide to add new sexual acts and force the woman to do them under the threat of not getting paid.

And all of that is predicated on a capitalist society which makes work contracts and organized prostitution possible, as well as normalize the position that everything is potential property, including people’s sexuality.

But the more profound power imbalance, I think, is psychological: psychologically healthy men who have no qualms exploiting women who have been abused in childhood and devalue their own sexuality, or otherwise have bought into their “womanly” duty.

I can already hear the pro-prostitution advocates hissing like the snakes that they are, “see, you do hate sex workers!” I don’t hate prostituted women, I listen to the voices of ex-prostituted women who speak up about their experiences and who tell us that it was their devaluation of their own sexuality that led them to accept prostitution as a way of life. Pro-prostitution advocates tell us to listen to the voices of prostituted women, but they want you only to listen to the privileged white women who got what they wanted out of prostitution and then joined pimp-led advocacy groups. Of course such women have a vested interest in hiding the truth.

But to pro-prostitution advocates, anyone who disagrees must hate “sex workers.” To pro-pornography advocates, anyone who disagrees must hate porn actresses. As if hating an industry means hating the people who work at the lower echelons! Hating capitalism has never meant hating the workers, it means hating the institutions that exploit the workers. I hate prostitution and pornography and the people who defend those institutions, not the women whose sexuality is exploited by them. The power is generated by those institutions, not by a woman taking her clothes off.

Unlike prostitution and pornography, BDSM is not a commercial hierarchy but a relational one. There is a dom and a sub, and the sub not only “consents” to coercive acts but is said to be the one with the real power in the relationship. The imbalance is not based on any pre-existing form of power but is completely manufactured by the two participants.

As for pornography and prostitution, the use of power in sex in BDSM is considered edgy and liberatory, in this case because the acts committed are transgressive (and cross not only one gray area, but a whole forty of them). Likewise, BDSMers have complained that radfems are against BDSM because of the transgressive nature of the sexual acts in BDSM.

But this is a straw womyn. Transgression is not the issue, the pseudo-consent to sexual abuse and violence is the issue. There is nothing particularly edgy about rape, violence and abuse against women: women are subject to these things every day. Likewise, reproducing rape, violence and abuse against women is not edgy either, it’s fairly commonplace in the mass media.

Again the same story repeats: the inferior is supposedly the one with the power because they control the sexual act. This is tied with the notion of women as gatekeepers for sex. Obviously not all subs are women, but, according to studies done on the largest samples of women, women in BDSM are three to four times more likely to be sub than to be dom, while men have a roughly equal ratio. This is not a coincidence. Take away the premise of women as gatekeepers and the whole concept of the inferior having the “real” power dissipates.

Orgasm is one of the most powerful conditioning devices that exist. Associate your orgasms with a hierarchical relationship and you will come to not only see that relationship as normal, but you will defend it with all your strength. How could you not defend your capacity to get orgasms? This is what gives BDSM subs such vigor in defending their own exploitation, and pornography and prostitution users their relentless drive to attack radical feminism. Any debate no these topics cannot take place unless the addict is detoxified first: otherwise you might as well “debate” with a heroin addict whether ey should get more heroin.

I want to end on the instances of power used in sex, that is to say rape, against children: pedophilia (esp. parental incest), spanking and genital mutilation (although the latter is not sex as such, but an attack against sex organs).

The parental relation is the prototype of power relations. This is not by far a novel insight: it’s been made many times, many ways about the relation between God and man, the State and its citizens, husbands and wives. It is only because we are all raised on brain-warping pedagogy (as Alice Miller would say, all pedagogy is bad pedagogy) that we are susceptible to fall prey to these other forms of power relations. It is perhaps in this context that we can agree with Theophile de Giraud (in his antinatalist book L’Art de Guillotiner Les Procréateurs) that parenting is a form of sado-masochism.

The less damaged people are from pedagogy, the more difficult it is for them to invest themselves into becoming inferiors and superiors. Voluntarily joining BDSM, pornography, prostitution, or becoming a child abuser are not hallmarks of healthy minds. Conditioning, indoctrination and brainwashing (or if you prefer, thought control) are necessary to turn a baby into this sort of person, or indeed any sort of slavish follower.

People may balk at me calling spanking children a form of rape. And yet spanking does bring sexual pleasure. It is a sexual act. So when it’s done as punishment to a child, how can it not be rape? I see no way to defeat this argument.

Although people do try to deny it quite strenuously, in Western societies we accept that the parents of a child have near-total ownership of that child (only specific, “really real” kinds of rape, serious physical abuse and murder are frowned upon). This is predicated on the notion that children are not full human beings and therefore do not deserve human rights (a bizarre notion, but no more bizarre than the notion that women, POC, “immigrants” or “criminals” are not full human beings).

The reason why I point to parental incest and spanking specifically is because they both emerge from the familial hierarchy. Parents can (legally) use a wide array of intensive manipulation techniques against the child, including physical and mental isolation, conditioning, indoctrination and brainwashing (as previously mentioned), verbal and physical violence, deprivation of property, emotional and material blackmail, and so on.

There is no point in listing them all because everyone has been through many or most of them and knows what they are very well. There is a strong similarity between being a child and being a cult member (with the exception that the child is dependent upon its parents to a degree that no cult leader has ever been able to emulate).

Pedophiles have tried to position themselves lately as another “edgy” sexual orientation, insisting on a demarcation between ephebophiles (the good guys) who want to fuck teenagers and the really real pedophiles (boo hiss) who want to fuck little children, and arguing that ephebophiles have a long hallowed historical tradition. Well sure, we already know that men as a class are pedophilic, this is not exactly news, but how does that make it edgy and cutting edge? All these forms of rape have a long hallowed historical tradition going back to ancient civilization and so on, a history long enough to bore anyone to tears. So what?


As I’ve started to use the term FETA (Female-Excluding Trans Activists) to replace trans genderism (which is perhaps too confusing), I think I should probably explain fully why this term should be used.

The term is intended to mirror the slur term TERF (Trans-Excluding Radical Feminists). Both terms are structured the same and intend to single out certain specific people: radical feminists who “exclude transgender people,” and trans activists who “exclude women.”

What is not clear, in the case of TERF, is where the exclusion is taking place. Where are transgender people being excluded? Not from the public square, since more and more legislation is being passed to accommodate transgender people. Not from the LGBT community, where they are rising to prominent positions. Not from women’s spaces, since transgender people who were socialized women are still allowed to attend.

The term TERF is not just a slur, it’s a piece of rhetoric which serves a political purpose: to marginalize and destroy the credibility of radical feminists.

We know very clearly what females are being excluded from by trans activists. They are being excluded from owning their own spaces. They are being increasingly excluded from feminist discourse and, as lesbians, they are being increasingly excluded from LGBT discourse and demeaned for being lesbians. Finally, their identification as females is being attacked by a FETA ideology which argues that sex is a social construct and has no political relevance.

To talk over female voices, to make them irrelevant, to silence them: this has always been men’s objective in reaction to feminist movements, and this is the objective of the transwomen who fight against feminism.

The term FETA makes clear not just who they are (genderists), but also what their objective is (to exclude females).

Who is a FETA? Any trans activist who argues any of the following:

* Feminism should take men’s interests and men’s issues into account.
* Sex is a social construct. Genitals have no connection with sex.
* Men should be allowed to enter women’s spaces.
* Lesbians should sleep with men.

Transgender people aren’t the enemy. By and large, any group of people just wants to be free to live their lives without getting hurt. It is only those people who openly advocate the exclusion of females that we have a problem with.


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