Is there such a thing as a Gender Critical discussion without resorting to name-calling and real life attacks?
I would sure like to try.
This started to be about Male to Female TransAthletes (because I have questions and thoughts below), but seems to have morphed into a post about how I have come to question MtF TransAthletes in the first place.
Of course, I feel I need to start with explanations that may sound like apologies in advance, but here goes anyway. I feel compelled to justify where I am coming from since you do not know me; background is crucial.
My Life with Transfolks
- My former partner is FtM transgender and I was with him for 28 years, 3 of which as he transitioned medically. He remains my Beloved.
- In my life in online Sex Work, I spend hours a day with people on the Trans Spectrum, always in a supportive capacity, helping to remove shame and self-hate and replace that with ways to understand society is the one that is weird or freaky, not them.
- I would never align myself with Trans-Exclusionary Radical Feminists/ run of the mill Gender Critical folks because I know transfolks are who they say they are. I know that. Believe it with all my heart.
- In not aligning with TERFs/GC people, I believe transwomen have a right to be in women’s prisons, homeless shelters, bathrooms and everywhere else women are wandering in and out of.
- I would never want a transperson discriminated for being trans (non-binary). They have every right to work, dress, live as the gender they know they are.
- I understand trans-hatred and weep at the violence, suicides and murders that transpeople suffer through every single day. The discrimination is abhorrent to me.
- I do not believe anyone has to pass in order to be the gender they know they are.
- While I do not understand it as much, I do not have any negative thoughts about being trans without gender dysphoria.
- And lastly, I freely admit my own cis-bias and that I do not have ALL the information in the world about this (I do not believe anyone else does, either). I do not consider myself a spokesperson for anyone but myself. These are my thoughts; no one has given them to me.
A Bit About My History
I came out in the Second Wave of Feminism in 1987 and the groups I attended were extremely Pro-Separatist. I knew a woman who gave her boy child up for adoption because she was a Lesbian Separatist. I was not permitted in some areas with my children because I had my son with me. I was not permitted in some spaces simply because I had a son, with me or not. I wrote about my experience with the San Diego Lesbian Press and their Separatist ideals that eventually folded the paper because they would not accept money from men.
I am much more aligned with the Third Wave of Feminism, but embrace the Fourth Wave‘s ideals as well.
So My Question Is…
…can’t someone like me also have questions? Where are the discussions… they all are so polarized. I would love to explore my thoughts and beliefs, but find if I step to the left I am in quicksand and if I step to the right I am bludgeoned. I know I am not alone and if I, a really pro-trans person can’t ask questions, how is the run-of-the-mill person supposed to learn? How can we shift perceptions if there is nothing but anger filling the air? And if the discussion moves to transphobia, how can there be honest interchange between people. The conversation has shifted from the focus to the picture’s whole when sometimes, looking right at the subject can be crucial for definition’s purposes.
Where do I fit in?
Now, the MtF TransAthletes
And then I get to Male to Female transwomen and I come to a halt. Mind you, I am confused about it all… will give you that much… but if a MtF transwoman has the same abilities as a ciswoman, why are they excelling in almost all sports where they compete together? And it happens when the transwoman begins in the sport immediately. It isn’t a gradual increase in speed or strength. It is as sudden as when they sign up for the competition.
I know many of the arguments about measuring testosterone, some requirements for hormone suppression or for requiring surgeries before they are permitted to compete. I know the International Olympic Committee is struggling to create a trans rule book because, it has “proved far more difficult than expected because this is such a tricky political and emotive issue.”
Not Convinced; Still Questioning
Yet, I am not convinced a MtF transwoman doesn’t have an advantage over a ciswoman.
And why aren’t there Female to Male transmen winning body building, wrestling or weight lifting competitions? Why is it that FtM transmen in sports are in weight restrictive sports like boxing, which involves speed as much as guts.
So, What I Want to Know…
Can someone explain to me, without resorting to “TRANSPHOBE” (because I am not), what I am not seeing? (And yes, I know it is my responsibility to learn, but there has to be a way for those seeking answers to find them beyond Googling. I prefer person to person connections… cis/transgender or otherwise.
Is there anyone willing to help? Is there anybody out there?