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“Gender Critical” Redditors attack a trans woman for the crime of wanting to be pretty

Presumably the TERFs will be picketing this store next

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By David Futrelle

Over on the “Gender Critical” subreddit — the most popular hangout for Reddit’s Trans-Excluding Radical Feminists (TERFs) — the regulars are getting good and mad at an unnamed trans women because she said in a video that she wanted to look pretty.

“I just watched a video of a TIM explaining his reasons for facial feminization surgery,” wrote tihozitje, using the TERFy term TIM (Trans-Identified Male) for the trans woman in question

It all boils down to him wanting to look/feel “beautiful”.

The horror. A human being wanting to look attractive. Who ever heard of such an affront to reason and decency?

He said that he was always jealous of the fact that “girls got to look pretty” and that the possibilty of an insurance covering his ffs made him pursue transitioning.

No one transitions because their insurance covers it; they transition because they’re trans — though insurance coverage can determine what surgeries they can and cannot afford.

This man is objectively very unattractive as a man or as a “woman”.

So the crux of the argument is that ugly people should remain ugly, at least if they’re trans? That’s not a “critical” stance; it’s just sort of mean.

It just bothers me so much that these TIMs see womenhood as looking beautiful.

Someone wanting to look good after their transition does not mean that they “see womanhood as looking beautiful”

An “ugly” woman is as much of a woman as any other. I’m tired of having women’s value be determined by their looks.

Well, take that up with society; don’t take your resentment out on a trans woman who’s honestly just hoping to look a little more feminine.

All of this shows how TIMs are truly the biggest sexists.

Well, no. But it does show how petty and spiteful some TERFs can get when faced with a trans woman simply trying to live her best life.

Tihozitje’s post got nearly 250 upvotes and inspired dozens of comments, nearly all of them in agreement with her stance.

“TIMs are the ultimate misogynists,” wrote OmnibusToken..

“They reduce women to makeup and dresses and a ‘feeling,'” added feministdreamer. “We’re not human beings to them at all. It’s sickening.”

Another commenter suggested that trans women just accept that they’re really men — and improve their appearances by hitting the gym and maybe buying themselves a toupee.

Why don’t these stupid idiots work out, wear a toupee, take care of their skin, get some nice clothes and cologne, etc. if they want to look nice?

Still others took a certain pleasure in the notion that nothing this allegedly ugly trans woman could do would actually make her pretty in the end.

“[T]hese men will never be ‘pretty girls,”” wrote wehurrytoourdeaths.

Never. Ugly men in a dress are still ugly men. They will never pass.

Added Arie_r:

These men think that because they don’t look like the top 5% men that they’ll have better luck as women. In reality, if they do transition, they’ll be at the bottom of the barrel of women when it comes to dating because very few people are interested in dating trans people, let alone a non-passing TiM. They might more easily find sex from other males but they will not find a committed loving relationship with someone of their choosing.

Outside of the manosphere itself, I don’t think I’ve ever seen a movement so motivated by spite as “Gender Critical” feminism.

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Rhuu - apparently an illiterati
Rhuu - apparently an illiterati
2 years ago

That’s fair Naglfar! It’s tough to figure these things out in this kind of a format.

English is such a flexible language, and yet we still manage to find situations where it just doesn’t quiiiite make sense, haha.

kupo
kupo
2 years ago

@Rhuu
Joining the love fest. ❤ I’ve always enjoyed reading your posts, especially when they’re to the Marks and MRALs. Even if they’ll never listen to you, you help me understand things I didn’t before and sometimes put words to what bothers me about something.

@Naglfar
Past me, who was an editor, says your grammar and use if tense is just fine. 🙂

Edit: my spelling, however, leaves something to be desired. ?

Lyzzy
Lyzzy
2 years ago

@ Naglfar

Asexuality is as valid a gender
Asexuality isn’t a gender, it’s a sexuality. Did you mean agender?

Argh, my bad. Of course I did, thanks.

I was not implying that you are a transmedicalist

Ok, you did not. @Rhuu expressed some sort of understanding for me even though I am using problematic terms like transsexual while you bashed truescum in general. I took this to mean that somewhere in talking to both of you, there was the idea that I was too much of a transmedicalist.

If what I said seemed like I was implying that, I’m sorry. What I was saying was condemning something I found problematic that was similar to something Rhuu brought up.

I can take harsh criticism and soft concern. Together they are quite painful especially if there are misunderstandings and the difference in technology, timezone, culture and intensity etc. makes writing here quite hard. I would still like to write if that is ok and would be honored to receive honest and direct criticism instead of appeals to emotion and conformity in so far as that is acceptable. I know I make a lot of rookie mistakes again as I am still stressed out from losing my a lot of people and finding a new profession and the need to translate between cultures makes reflection on the things I learned quite hard.

I’m not sure what the price or safety of estrogen has to do with what genders can exist.

Well it sort of limits what genders can be lived in practice if one wants to live their gender topless (e.g. sunbathing, sauna, love).

Can’t we have a world in which people can have any gender identity and have doctors help people with HRT? For many health decisions, I talk to doctors who know more than I do about medical things. That’s not the same as insisting that to be trans* one has to fit certain requirements.

Medical professionals do insists on a certain way of doing things in regard to gender that they think is good for a combination of the patient, the patient-world-interaction or their own bottom line. In Germany , the sort that do not follow some sort of mercenary code (gender works as I say and you pay me, then you get whatever you want) seem to either be a bit on the authoritarian side (live with a secret and be a proper girl then you can become a woman) or trust their patient a lot (you are an adult and seem qualified, here is your medical data, here is my opinion, I have other patients, what do you want to talk about?). There are practical limits to the level of care a doctor can provide and delegating a medical decision to them means an interaction with their standards. Thus, as far as I understand it, whether you trust a medical professional who insists on a more transmedical standard in order to provide cheaper and safe care, conform to a transmedical standard, so they do not have to or pay your way to success in transition is largely a personal choice with consequences that are sometimes obvious. I for one would love a world where gender expression is very free and works in harmony with the rest of human needs. I am skeptical of a world where it works in harmony for those who can afford it and is painful for those who cannot. I am concerned when I look at the struggle of other people on the same way, being as insensitive to risk as I once was and nearly as good at ignoring advice. Also, I do tend to be angry at obvious attempts of abusing the trust inherent in this system — like the asshole I talked about, like the periodic attempts of channers to finally legitimize their latest concotion of sort of pedophile-accepting-gender (a minor variaton on the LGBTIQ*+P-theme), like people at my university turning to me of all people for opinion on the latest variation of ROGD. I think that some civility is helpful to me in dealing with this things and am trying to make an argument for it as a way of life.

Lyzzy
Lyzzy
2 years ago

A ‘plea to be more civil’ says that we are being uncivil, which would be a tone argument.

In an actual argument (which I tried and failed to avoid) it is and I am sorry.

Basically, i’m reading this as “if only all the minorities were more civil! We’d get more allies!!!”

Well, I try to say “look friends, here is another way of life that might be interesting to you, how about it?” to avoid the reductio-ad-hitler as punishment for anything that feels like dissent.

I would say tone policing applies, here.

Ok then. Please tell me when you want to stop talking.

Also, if someone’s allyship is dependant on them being treated woth kod gloves and receiving ‘best ally’ cookies, they are not an ally.

Yeah, we tend to do that and my standards for allies are strict, my standards for romantic partners who are allies are more strict and sometimes hurtful for all involved. It’s an ideology that is easy to have and hard to live honestly.

Well, I tried making a 4-point model of gender to argue why asexuality is as valid a gender as being trans*

Asexuality is NOT a gender. In no way, shape, or form. It’s a way to express one of the ends of the sexual attraction spectrum, nothing to do with gender.

I know and I do not have a lot of data on agender people. I’ve read some blogs, talked to a small number (n=~3) of them and tried to understand them well enough to be an ally when needed. Of course the orientation towards a gender should be a primary focus and I admit that I confused things when trying to remember the facts. Thanks for the correction. This is something I want to learn more about but I still can not believe that gender and sexuality have nothing whatsoever to do with another.

I’m glad you’re exploring gender in a way that allows people with different knowledge to join in the discussion. Good luck with that!

Thanks.

Naglfar referenced someone (unless you are Blaire White?) As truscum, and Jes added her feelings on that subject.

I am not Blaire White but would love to read her some day as soon as my mind is ready for another round of resistance training in book worlds. I usually love reading books and am trying to build a better library on trans topics. Sadly it’s hard to find good German books and its much easier to get to know our critics then people who accept us. I recently had to recommend Anne L Boedecker: The Transgender Guidebook: Keys to a Successful Transition (ASIN: B008RLYG4A) to a german nerd friend on recommendations of the internet because there seems to be no up-to-date literature and our support structure is … sometimes deficient in a I-get-paranoid-when-friends-stop-using-accounts sort of way.

(Content warning for violent transphobia)

i mean like… Being allowed to Use the proper washroom.

Not needing to worry that if someman thinks a trans woman is cute, only to attack after finding out she’s trans, and then get off from being punished because of the gay panic defense.

Being evicted for being trans. Losing your job.

I can sort of relate to trouble in dating and finding or keeping a job or place to live while being honest about my trans status. I did not have that much physical altercations. Average men tend to be too scared of the level of aggression I am able to display and the pain I could potentially cause thanks to early adrenaline-conditioning in the role of a boy who was effiminate enough to get punches and rocks thrown at and found the few that happened quite calming. The whole world suddenly becomes so easy as there is only a goal, maybe some innocent bystanders and an opponent who is legally and morally wrong and has picked a fight instead of a myriad of expectations. It’s much better compared to trouble with the police for being too weird (and trans) in public when daring to look angry at an official without a clear uniform who was neither aware he was about the thousands guy staring at me nor of the feelings that caused. The good news is that this is a great skill to have when working in high-stress situations like being an EMT in general — if only the communication with the team works.

But yeah, other than that it’s the same old and sad story of them vs. us even though it’s cruel and without any real necessity.

Dying in the emergency room from a refusal of care because a trans person happened to be trans in the wrong spot.

That is bad. The closest thing I came was a blood loss of about 500ml and elevated stress due to misunderstandings (I tend to be too cool under pressure as a result of being used to having to fight). I hope the patient in your example at least had proper analgetics etc. so their death wasn’t that painful. Stil, it’s horrible when there isn’t more that is done. Also, yes, the world is cruel (dunno if it was the same person as the one who dated that violent transphobe but it sounds like it could be — same old sad story).

Being unable to go through the ‘proper procedures’ to get an HRT prescription. Being unable to fill the prescription. Having the pharmacist mess up your medication (probably on purpose) because it’s for something that they don’t approve of.

Horrible things and I could share a few stories of this sort without hurting to hurt patient confidentiality or trust from friends. The things that happen when there are no proper procedures or when people do not fit said procedures are painful and spectacular.

All of these things wouldn’t happen to your average (cis, the dominant ethnicity, speaking the dominant language) person. They happen to a *trans* person, because a trans person *isn’t a person*. They are an ‘other’.

I understand the sentiment and would have shared it even though the cultural divide makes it a half-truth up until maybe two years ago when I realized more of the potential trans* people have and how many ways there are for us to improve the world instead of just living in its margins — and also in how many ways I have hurt others in my transition. As I like to listen as well as talk, I often got to see just how thin the veil for “average” is, how painful it is underneah and I think it’the specific way in which minorities getting played out against one another or the “average” person to keep them from attacking those that hurt them is largely dependent on our models for explaining the world. Or a bit shorter: The average joe and jane is likely not the source of the problem even if they sometimes engage in gestures, speech etc. that is hurtful. Neither are people who get mad and try to hurt us directly (which necessitates resistance of some kind, not hatred), neither are people whose model of the world remained unchanged for a long time and now starts to hurt people. We are all humans and playing cruel tricks with the concept of personhood is sadly a common tactic.

I realize that this probably sounds callous to someone outside of Germany, but: Being the other or feeling that one is not quite normal enough is a cultural norm everywhere for everyone. Sure, not everyone gets hit by the othering with the same intensity or pain level but freedoms clashing against freedoms, people expanding their freedoms and hurting others, and some people playing the victim — I really hope this statement does not hurt anyone here — is pretty much a social given. Shopenhauer put it in the hedgehogs dilemma

Next to everyone complains about other groups wrongdoing and I try to be openminded and listen. As a species we have expanded to levels that are hard to sustain, are bothering each other constantly in our fight for our individual rights and should, in my opinion, try to find ways to decelerate this process so that there are, eventually, less humans, less energy consumption, less violence. Going into the space exploration aera would also be nice, but it does not seem that feasible yet. Of course, it’s quite hard to say this things when being a German in 2019 and especially when talking to people who are currently under pressure to function or die from the likes of Trump.

And i’m not debating you on the idea of debating TERFs. You can, but i think it gives them a platform to stand on that they don’t deserve.

So far I have only talked with some older german feminist who generally nice but quite irritated that their beloved Binnen-I (two genders in texts by a stylistic convention conveniently including trans*) was seen as not modern enough and have some concerns about their tendency to show solidarity for other women being used yet again to shoulder the burden for — well, you can imagine the rest. I have also talked to some younger feminist who where quite comfy with the radicals even though their ideas might seem a bit too radical. And yes, seeing it as naively-abstract (or cynical) as this is precisely what gave me a chance to talk much calmer with them in the first place. I know that proper activism would be to stay, win their trust and eventually convince them, but so far I have been more of a wanderer. I have, in living with personal tragedies and in some sort of Helfersyndrom, overdone this mode of thinking to the point I became quite cynical and there were not that much feelings involved on my part and I am — yet again — trying to get back. Still I think that this mode of thinking has some value if done right.

I am, however, a terrible judge of that quality! I will often spend time on people who aren’t here for a discussion, but just to waste people’s time.

The short version would be to become the sort of person who does not waste their time with those obnoxious people.

For an explanation or a slightly longer version (My best try to help an unfamiliar internet person in a semipublic forum even though I have a few mental issues and only a faint idea what you need):

A bit more cynicism could help you and as gender is largely a social construct in which there are lots of freedoms for those brave enough to take them, I would recommend a bold exploration of the male point of view. It probably hurts (it did for me) but sometimes the very things we try very hard to avoid can be helpful. I know from experience that the very style of thinking and arguing in a metaphysical way (there is objective truth, I happen to be good at finding it, others probably need convincing) that I gladly renounced as overly male and cynic when I finally got my estrogen was what saved me from possible further psycho trauma in a developing situation in which a man eventually had difficulty parsing such words as “no” or “Please do not do that $name” because I too had trouble with fawning and had learned that I should only use about 20-30% of my strength to be considered cute. I eventually bit him in the nose as he was trying to kiss me which drove home my point enough to end the threat but the decision I made in my mind would have allowed me a lot more violence than that. I found my own version of civility in trying to live with that fact and it improved my life a lot. If you are interested in this way of live, I would urge you to know better than me when it’s time to stop fighting because you have become so adept at it that seeking trouble with your whole enviroment has become a bad habit.

Honestly though, I know i’ll never change the mind of the person i’m having a discussion with, but i might share something that someone else resonates with.

I think you are mistaken. A lot of people decide deep in their mind that something convinces them and only tell you years after the fact because they are used to be manipulated all the time and everwhere from the time the turn on the TV to cultural artifacts in parks that used to be nature to people turning whatever is left of nature to culture in an attempt to convince other people. It just takes time and quiet (no stress, few problems with elementary needs). But yeah, it probably won’t happen soon enough or be worth the price if you pour out your life in a TERF echo chamber and hope for tolerance. I still think they are good (if cruel) teachers.

Or maybe i’ll put my foot in my mouth, and someone here will correct me, and i will learn a thing!

Heh, I hope for the same thing.

Lyzzy
Lyzzy
2 years ago

So far I have only talked with some older german feminist who generally nice but quite irritated that their beloved Binnen-I (two genders in texts by a stylistic convention conveniently including trans*)

conveniently not including trans*.

Sorry.

opposablethumbs
opposablethumbs
2 years ago

London judge rules that being a terf or similar is “not a protected characteristic”.

https://www.theguardian.com/society/2019/dec/18/judge-rules-against-charity-worker-who-lost-job-over-transgender-tweets

Rhuu - apparently an illiterati
Rhuu - apparently an illiterati
2 years ago

Aw, crapbuckets. My reply is gooone!!

Okay, shorter, befofe i get ready for work – i see where the transmedicalist confusion came from, now. I was trying to express sympathy if you had been forced to run through a medical gatekeeping gauntlet to access care, not say that you believed in that ideology.

I know that before ‘informed consent’ became a thing, people had to do a lot to access care, things they might not have personally wanted to do, such as make up, very feminine clothing, etc. If they didn’t, they were seen as Not Really Trans by the medical establishment, and would be denied care.

I only wanted to say that if you had needed to do that, it is 100% bullshit, and that i was sorry for it.

(I’m Canadian, eh, i think we express sympathy by saying ‘sorry’ and having it mean ‘i’m so sad that you needed to go through that, that is bullshit, you have my sympathy’. Cultural shorthand, haha)

Re – debate – ahhhh. I was never talking about meatspace debate, i was talking about this
comment image

That’s Steven Crowder, a conservative podcaster. Link goes to wiki.

Because, in an online space, ‘debate me!’ And (falsely) crying about how the Left won’t even debate after being blocked or banned for being a shitheel is suuuuuuper common. Like, suuuuuuuper common.

Here is a longread article (which i shamefully don’t have time to FINISH reading before linking, i don’t want to lose this response as well!!) That talks about debate, and the part it plays in legitimising the far right.

In Canada, we have hate speech laws, so this “all speech is protected!” Attitude from americans is SUPER annoying. Hate speech isn’t protected.

I don’t know how it works in Germany, but i suspect you also have hate speech laws, so this all emcompassing protection of speech is strange to you as well.

Unfortunately, many tech things are built by americans (in the english internet), so we have to deal with their bullshit. Twitter won’t ban nazis, facebook won’t vet politician’s ads, etc.

So i think the word you’ll find more useful is maybe ‘discussion’, rather than debate.

Lyzzy
Lyzzy
2 years ago

@Rhuu

Thanks for the long reply and especialy the effort to do it twice – I know how frustrating that is. I agree that discussion is a very good word and would like some time to sort my thoughts and talk to some other trans people. I just damaged another car, annoyed my partner and set the bathroom underwater to rush to a party that didn’t happen and my friends for the next party are late.So I hope to read you later and thanks for the help so far.

Rhuu - apparently an illiterati
Rhuu - apparently an illiterati
2 years ago

I hope your day is going better now!

Good luck sorting out your thoughts, and discussing things with other people.

Lyzzy
Lyzzy
2 years ago

I think I mostly agree with Laurie Penny on her criticism of Bannon, bigots in general and the problems of well-meaning liberals in stopping them.

I also agree that the economy of throwing out ideas helps intense and nasty discussion (especially on the internet where one can talk to thousands of people far too cheap because commercialized war-and-apocalypse-technology works a lot more like Gibson’s’ cyberspace than a magical desk to talk to thousands of people)

Reading this piece was an incredibly weird experience. I think I have read it before. I filtered out whole paragraphs, stopped in the middle and had weird misconceptions regarding names, places, attribution of text etc. My best explanation for this is that I have trained myself to generate stress for my social environment in an attempt to fail my studies in education, so I could at the least provide a basic level of end-of-life care for my late mother since I could not save her as my grandmother wanted. It was ugly, but she managed to die with a joke, my hero to the end. It’s an uncommon twist in a real-life-story to have the boy who hears too many stories and tries very hard to become a good man without ever really believing it eventually turn into some sort of special girl who still tries to save everyone and gets to watch a lot of people suffer and die. It’s also an overly cynical way of telling a story because it leaves out the best and worst of what is life – I hope I get a chance to catch up on her (and everyone else’s) real story soon.

I’m currently not that good at noticing my feelings, so I can only conclude that Laura Penny probably has a good reason for her choices because I assume winning a debate by appeals to pity is painful to most honest actors whether they win or loose.

Ok, now that I have collected my thoughts somewhat, I think the point I was trying to make was that I am sad that trans (and queer, and likely a lot of marginalized) people so often are only portrayed as tragic figures. It’s painful how many of us are either victims of the right or heroes in the usual sense of the word (killing for your country, sacrificing yourself etc.). I like the fact that marginalized people who are neither are able to support each other and in just living their life in a strange new world manage to help others relate to one another and us.

This is also what gives me hope for a younger trans girl in Germany who somehow managed to misunderstand me so completely that she somehow managed to tell stories about herself that are even more glaringly weird than mine.

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