Reblogged from : https://wwomenwwarriors.wordpress.com/2013/03/26/this-is-abuse/
As a survivor of sociopathic and narcissistic abuse, it has become a default requirement for my own healing to become adept in the ways of the abuser so that I can spot abusers early on and avoid more of the same traumas that such relationships cause.
I’m not a psychologist. But in some ways, I know the inner workings of an abusive cycle from having been subject to many of them and then needing to become expert at spotting the cycle in order to escape them.
When I first began interacting with radical feminists and reading radical feminist literature, the word trans came up a lot. I didn’t know much of anything about trans people or their ideology—or that there even was one—other than that these were people who lived their lives identifying as the opposite sex to which they were born. I had no strong opinions about this notion, although the concept of gender came under the microscope frequently as an important concept to evaluate in understanding the nature of women’s status in society—under patriarchy and male domination. Since transgendered people are, as the word suggests, relating to gender, it is inevitable that the topic should come up.
But this wasn’t even my formal introduction to transgenderism. Before I’d even had a conversation with a trans person, I had already been attacked for hate speech against them. I had written a blog post about my experience discovering radical feminism and how it had impacted my relationship with my former fiancé. The hate speech in this article, as I was told, was the absence of discussion about transgendered people. This seemed immediately strange to me, since the post was about something unrelated to transgenderism. It hadn’t even remotely crossed my mind that I should cover the topic within a blog post about something else entirely. Omission was hate speech, or so I was informed, and I was a bad feminist for participating in hate speech and causing the murder of transgendered people. Speaking, it appeared, about anything without including transgender representation in the discussion, was not allowed. It struck me immediately as an unrealistic expectation: that I should be sure to mention trans people whenever I wanted to speak about anything feminist.
I wrote it off as a one-off situation, an oddball that I was likely not to encounter again. So I refocused on women’s rights and put it behind me.
This is also not allowed.
Since that introduction, I made an effort to understand trans theory, but was overwhelmed with how much there was to know. I knew there was a history that I hadn’t learned yet, a history between radical feminists and the trans movement, and something about it made me uneasy. I heard about threats of violence rather soon. I hadn’t seen any yet with my own eyes. That was bound to happen eventually, as gender was also under the microscope in my analysis of women’s oppression, and so it was only a matter of time before the full induction to the situation became clear.
And more clear by the day.
More interactions than I can even count now, just in my first few months engaging with the feminist movement, have illuminated the subject in a way that I feel needs to be put to words.
It all came together piece by piece, and then the pieces, as I moved them around on the table in my head, displayed a picture I know too well.
Though I am quite honestly intimidated by what I’ve experienced so far, I know that there are other women looking to put a name—a concept—to what they are experiencing.
It’s abuse. Daring to call it abuse is also taboo, but such is the case with abusers. It’s not so much that I am terrifically bothered on a personal level that some individuals live their lives as the opposite sex. However, I do not find the political or social implications of changing gender to be conducive to women’s liberation. In examining the structural and systemic nature of women’s oppression, trans ideology and practice seems opposed to an effort towards a more healthy social environment for women and men alike. For holding this view, myself and many other women have been at the brunt of a backlash to be reckoned with. The way this backlash manifests has a list of elements characteristic of classic abuser behavior. Let’s have a look at them.
Name calling: Women who critique the use of gender are routinely and quite quickly called transphobic, scum, vile, dangerous, Nazis, and evil—among other slurs. We are cursed at, verbally attacked, and berated for expressing any view short of total and complete adherence to the views of transgender theorists and activists. This happens regardless of how diplomatically we attempt to engage in discussion and, so far, without any verbal attacks or name calling in response.
Threats of violence: Radical feminist women are routinely threatened with physical violence, including beatings, rape, stabbing, and even death.
Harassment and stalking: Radical feminists have been stalked privately and publicly. Trans activists have shown up to radical feminist events, sometimes in very large numbers, to harass, threaten, and verbal assault the women attending, sometimes singling out a single woman they particularly dislike. Online, some radical feminist women are sent constant emails and private messages containing threats of violence or verbal assault.
Rallying supporters and enablers: Trans activists enlist the help of women to side with them and assist in the the above mentioned activities. Women’s empathy is exploited to advance the goals of trans activists, even if the goals are achieved through abusing women who hold any opinion they dislike. Nearly all 3rd wave feminists support, protect, and help trans individuals to further their abuse.
Reversals: The word ‘cis’ has been coined and applied to women who do not identify as trans, and from this a theory of cis women oppressing transgendered people is formed. Underneath this analogy, women are accused of oppressing men, because the men claim to now be women. Since we do not claim to be anything, being that we simply are human females no matter how we identify, we are reframed as the oppressor for not taking on an identity that assumes the position of the ultimately oppressed. This completely side-steps the material reality that we live in a male-dominated, patriarchal culture in which human females are oppressed on a global scale by men who wield power and privilege over us. No matter how we might identify, if we chose to, would this reality significantly change. The entire situation has been flipped upside down by simply adding a few words to the English language and developing a theory around the vocabulary. It is true that transgendered people face unique challenges when living their lives presenting as the opposite sex. It is not the case that women are now oppressing them.
Projection: Radical feminists are accused of hate, fear, and a desire to violate the human rights of transgendered people. Considering the behavior outlined in this list, I contend that this is projection.
Gas-lighting: We are routinely told that the threats of violence aren’t really happening, that we are just making this all up, that we are just hateful bigots or uneducated. It is demanded that everything be fully documented or else its existence is denied.
Erasure/Minimizing: For example, the word « female » is considered offensive and any conversation about menstruation or motherhood is called transphobic and/or hate speech.
Attempts to control, change, or distort reality: This is also related to gas-lighting, as mentioned above. For example, insisting that men who identify as women have vaginas, that there is no such thing as a female human being, or insisting that a penis is female, etc. are all forms of reality distortion.
Isolation: Because trans activists have an interest in the feminist movement, a split in the movement can be found along the lines of the trans position. In feminist circles, if a woman expresses any critique or sometimes even a question about the nature of gender and transgenderism, she is immediately ostracized, banned from the group, and rejected by her sisters. The only groups where this doesn’t happen is among other radical feminists. We are isolated for not conforming to an ideology that we have objections to, not for abuse or hate speech, but for disagreeing. Name calling, cussing, and verbal attacks are perfectly tolerated when directed at a feminist by a trans person. Disagreement with a trans person, however diplomatic and authentic the attempt to have a respectful discourse, is grounds for banning.
Sabotage: When radical feminists organize an event, it is often fervently protested, like clockwork, and sometimes successfully destroyed. Women’s reputations are targeted in a similar fashion the way a classic abuser tells the whole town and all the woman’s employers that she is a crazy bitch. The goal is to further isolate her and intimidate her into returning to the abuser or punish her for leaving.
Attention: We cannot focus on ourselves. As mentioned with my own experience, I was criticized for not mentioning transgenderism in my article about something completely unrelated. This stands true across the board. Any focus squarely on the rights of biological women is attacked. Discussion about women and girls, or anything that only effects women who were born as women, is attacked for not including transgendered people.
Constant, and I mean CONSTANT, drama: Sure to keep our heads spinning, no sooner do we announce a meeting than we have to work overtime to make sure that it’s not closed due to trans activist saboteur. No sooner do we start a discussion about, say, maternity rights than we have to address an onslaught of accusations that we are transphobic bigots. In fact, just saying, “I’m a radical feminist,” in a mixed feminist group can be cause for immediate upheaval of solidarity and drama all around the topic of transgenderism and nothing else. It can last all afternoon, all day, all week, all month—hell, we understand at this point that it will never end. We don’t have a second to breathe and reassess what is going on or focus on our own needs. Blogs are getting pulled, women are being email bombed, events are being crashed, groups are splitting in half, etc—ad nauseam. I am walking on eggshells, because I fear there’s a problem lurking around every corner when I try to do anything to improve the status of women.
No respect for boundaries: Women-born-women space is infiltrated regularly. Discussion takes place ridiculing lesbians for not being sexually attracted to male to transgendered people. Any establishment of a boundary by a woman that is tested by a trans person must be removed, or else the woman is in for the above list of actions. This is an especially sore spot for women, because we are not raised feeling like we have a right to set boundaries and are taught that having boundaries is abuse of the person who wants to cross them.
Threats of suicide and self-harm: Radical feminists are constantly told that we are killing trans people, although there is absolutely no record of an actual murder taking place in which a radical feminist killed a trans person. We are accused of causing violence against trans people, of causing trans people to hurt themselves, and being responsible for their suicides. This reminds me of when my ex, a narcissistic sociopath, faked his own suicide when I finally got away from him and didn’t go back. He got his own mother to call me and accuse me of killing her son. I found out later that he had never been in a coma, but had somehow convinced her that she needed to say that to make me talk to him—which I didn’t. He was abusive and I knew this was a trap. Another ex, also abusive, once punched through a glass door that I locked when fearing his attack and when he came in the house, he showed me his bloody hand and said, “Look what you made me do.” This is psychological manipulation. I do not ever want anyone to be so tormented that they take their own life, but it is abusive and coercive to attempt to make a person agree with you or else threaten suicide or blame them for the suicide of others.
In conclusion, based on this list of behaviors, I find much of the trans movement to be employing abusive tactics against radical feminists. I know at least one woman who has even taken out a restraining order to protect herself from physical violence after being vehemently stalked. I know multiple women who readily fear speaking at all because of this sort of violent backlash taking place. I’ve experienced enough of it myself to be absolutely fed up and ready to say: no more.
Regardless of how we disagree with one another, this is absolutely unacceptable behavior. It is intolerable. Assembling an army, a movement, which targets a group of women and then hailstorms them with abuse is not okay.
I am sure what will come of this article from trans activists is an assertion that we caused this, that we were asking for it in some way. Where have we heard this argument before?
Links to more info:
Some background on the trans to radfem abuse: http://gendertrender.wordpress.com/2013/03/17/the-cotton-ceiling-this-week/
More analysis of why identity politics is damaging to minorities: http://www.facebook.com/l.php?u=http%3A%2F%2Fsisterhoodispowerful.wordpress.com%2F2013%2F03%2F19%2Fidentity-politics-paper-sisters-stone-and-radfem2013-2%2F&h=GAQGiwvXt