What do radical feminists and most people involved in trans activism agree on?
I used to have a post up on my Facebook page that tried to summarise what radical feminist theory and queer politics have in common. Most extremists will find something to be offended by the second bullet point but I trust that most of my friends will hear me out. Here’s my 2.0 version:
- First, we agree that every human is entitled to full human rights.
- We agree there is a commonly held idea that male people should grow up to be masculine and dominant over female people, and that female people should grow up to be feminine and subordinate to those males.
I’m going to call that idea ‘gender roles’ from now on (you might call it ‘sex-role stereotypes’).
- In New Zealand, this system of male dominance over female people was introduced or exacerbated with colonisation. Some Indigenous cultures have more than two gender roles.
- Gender roles are heterosexual (you might use the term ‘heteronormative’).
- We wish to challenge and end the idea of gender roles.
- When people do not conform to the expectations of presentation, sexuality, behaviour or disposition of their sex they are at risk of punishment.
- This punishment can be non-physical (e.g. you may be called names or ostracised) or physical.
- When the punishment for not conforming to sex-stereotypes is physical it is often male violence.
- When that physical punishment for not conforming to sex-stereotypes is male violence against females, it is often sexual violence.
- We agree that this punishment should not occur. We want it to stop.
- We acknowledge there is a pattern of male people killing female people, and a pattern of male people killing other male people. There is not a similar pattern of female people killing male people. Male violence is a problem.
- Some people are homosexual or bisexual (they want relationships with people the same sex as themselves). They should not be punished for that. Attempting to change homosexual or bisexual orientation is harmful.*
- Of the males who identify as transsexual/transgender and are killed, many are killed while they are in prostitution (you may call this ‘sex work’) in the global south. They are killed by male people.
- Male people are responsible for their actions. Male people should stop killing other male people and female people.
You can head here to validate me for writing this. Cheers.
*this is a point some (many) queer activists take issue with but I really want to think the best of my friends so I’m leaving it in here.