Nothing personal, just politics.

Here we go again. The trans- ‘debate’ has been tripping across several blogs in recent times. IBTP banning dude comments was announced, but was subsequently explained as still including trans-males. Last I saw, bloggers were free enough, for the most part, to define their comment inclusion/exclusion criteria any way they – personally – see fit. It’s a personal thing after all. I have no problem with others setting personal boundaries with exclusion/inclusion rules – what gets up my nose, is when they try to claim it as some sort of political policy statement. Get your words right, if you are including trans-males in your personal inclusions definitions in your personal space, then say so up front, and stop trying to pretend its radical feminist. It is not, never has been.

Feminism, in the political sense, has factions. Liberal-feminism, or ‘equality’-feminism, socialist-feminism etc – all these groups include trans-males, and often men too – and which is by far the hugest majority of feminism(s). Radical feminism does not agree with this view on political grounds. Never has.

Nothing Personal, just Politics.

Take as an analogy, the political “factions” of left-wing political schools-of-thought of communism and socialism. Similar aims, plenty of overlap, but some significant differences, one aims to overthrow capitalism/class/economic structures, the other works through social evolution, adaptation and modification to replace capitalism/class/economic structures with more egalitarian social and economic structures. To such left-wing political “factions”, capitalism is still their common enemy/oppressor structure, even if their methods of struggle differ. Similarly, in various politicised racial and ethnic movements, (eg Martin Luther King Jnr in contrast to the Black Panthers). Different “factions” with different methods of struggle, but a common enemy.

Nothing personal, just politics.

When Russia, China and others, worked for communist revolts among their exploited classes/groups, eg working-classes and peasants, there were enormous differences of privilege and status within those groups. That didn’t stop them from ultimately coming to believe that, despite their enormous differences of privilege/status, they still had a common enemy/oppressor class over all of them. Racial oppression can be extensively mitigated by wealth and socio-economic class, a rich Black man has a very different experience to a poor one when it comes to racism. Doesn’t stop them both identifying white supremacy as a common enemy.

Amongst feminist ‘factions’ there is little recognition of a common enemy. In radical feminist politics, what makes females, or FAABs, a specific socio-political class in our own right, is a common mechanism of social and political oppression as a class, and a great deal of that mechanism of female-class oppression is enacted on, and through, uniquely female-sexed specific biology. Gender, is not just a social construction, but also a political tool, to keep females under control as an exploited labour class by males.

On the other hand, Liberal/socialist feminist politics does not agree with a common mechanism of female-oppression, but sees females as simply feminised-looking males, (castrated males, or as Germaine Greer termed it: ‘The Female Eunuch’) and see no inconsistency of logic with including feminised trans-males. So women are seen as the Women’s Auxiliary of other socialist-left-wing styled politics, which comes down to notions of ‘equality’, and “freedom of personal choices” for women. Like the cis- crap – it automatically assumes political equality between cis-male, and cis-female…. and completely, totally, wiping off the human consciousness map, all the social and political mechanisms of female-class specific oppression. Does not exist, in the liberal po-mo world-view.

I have no problem with their “freedom” and personal “choice” to act out fantasies of self-harm or self-mutilation, sexual or otherwise, with or without a partner(s), with or without a “label” like BDSM, or BIDD, GID and so on, but I do have a huge problem when they then go one step further, and say that this is a “feminist” political policy position, (let alone a radical-feminist position). because that is extending the label to a much wider social group, across women-as-a-class, and making a very generalised socio-political statement about all women-as-a-class. If they had said such lifestyle choices are part of black people’s struggle against racism, or part of Zionism or Marxism or environmentalism, or whatever (the list goes on), I suspect most other blacks or Zionists or whoever, identifying with that particular socio-political group, (especially if they were political activists), would complain about having been included in such a statement defining their social/political group “identity”. But females are not allowed to complain about such co-optation.

Just because someone embraces slavery, celebratory self-harm and self-mutilation as a personal lifestyle “choice”, doesn’t make it a socio-political act – For example, Black people who embraced their slavery in colonial times, then going on to say they were really “anti-slavery” or “abolitionist” or “anti-racist” or that slavery was “empowering” for all slaves etc would be totally inconsistent . It would be like someone who really gets off on bestiality as a ‘sexual lifestyle choice’, then saying they were really animal-rights activists. Does not compute. Logic fail.

Nothing Personal, just Politics.


5 thoughts on “Nothing personal, just politics.

  1. ‘Gender, is not just a social construction, but also a political tool, to keep females under control as an exploited labour class by males.’

    Yes and yes. Not just work outside the home, but as sex and reproduction tools and as Virginia Woolf said a reflecting mirror. Coming to radical feminist consciousness is both painful and exhilarating. It hurts, but also is very liberating as one realizes what one has bought into and just how one complied out of sheer ignorance, and not to mention fear. Confusion and deception are the names of the game. Thank goddess, there are women who name it clearly.

    • @northernsea : Juliet Mitchell in her thesis ‘Woman’s Estate’ named four domains, or ‘estates’ that exploit women-as-a-class. All females are shoved into one or more domains throughout their lives, sometimes more than one at the same time.

      – REPRODUCTION: Females have to birth the ankle-biters
      – SEXUALITY: Females grouped into public or private ownership as fucktoys. Particularly for low-status males, keeps them quiet so they aren’t thinking about overthrowing higher-status males.
      – PRODUCTION: All the low-paid, or not-paid, low-status but usually necessary shit-work. Necessary for life work – like Food, clothing, shelter etc – agriculture, food-production, preparation, textiles etc. or “pink ghettos”, or second income for the male-headed family unit.
      – CARING SECTOR: Somebody has to look after the helpless young, the old, the sick, the injured, the disabled etc. Do the nursing, teaching, child care, social work, meals-on-wheels, charity etc, both inside and outside of the nuclear family.

      And the “wife” is the all-purpose, multi-tasking model 🙂

  2. That didn’t stop them from ultimately coming to believe that, despite their enormous differences of privilege/status, they still had a common enemy/oppressor class over all of them.

    This is a brilliant analogy with regards to the pomo stance of trying to cause divisiveness because every woman has special snowflake experiences under patriarchy. It’s a keeper.

    • Yes FAB Libber, that is exactly their political motive, and also its converse, that cis-male = cis-female, as trans-man = trans-woman, lesbian = gay male. None of those are true.

      I remember the first time I ever saw ‘cis-privilege’ and my first question was “Since when did cis-females have equality with cis-males? Did the male-female equality bus come along and I miss it or what?”

      Even with trans, how come F2m’s get rejected from gay male clubs? but M2f’s have the law on their side in getting access to female health services? Even when pre-op, or just the “toppers” (leaving genitals intact) or are not ever having an op and are just cross-dressers?

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