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Trans women who get breast implants are “erasing flat-chested women,” Gender Critical Redditor charges

I don’t think it’s trans women who are making small-breasted cis women feel bad about their boobs

By David Futrelle

So-called “Gender Critical feminists” — aka. TERFs — are constantly coming up with new excuses to be mad at trans women. The most ingenious effort I’ve seen of late comes from a Gender Crit Redditor who has managed to convince herself that she’s being oppressed — and “erased” — by trans women getting breast implants.

“Top surgery erases women with small breasts,” Brrrontosaurus declares in a rant recently posted to the Gender Crit subreddit that so far has gotten well over 200 upvotes.

If you’re having trouble parsing that declaration — as I did at first —
Brrrontosaurus explains, sort of, what she meant:

[T]he idea that if you “identify as a woman” you need breasts in order for your body to align with that feeling implies that flat chested women are somehow less valid [as] women.

Well, not really, not any more than any cis woman getting breast implants or reconstructive surgery does. Are women — cis or trans — who grow their hair long “erasing” short-haired women? Are women who wear heels and makeup thereby declaring that women who wear neither are really men?

Somehow Brrrontosaurus never gets around to asking these sorts of questions, nor does she stop to wonder why it’s only trans women who get her “so pissed off” (as she puts it) for getting implants.

Female beauty standards are a large and complicated issue, but they weren’t created by trans women — and generally speaking it doesn’t seem terribly feminist to rage at women (cis or trans) for conforming in various ways to conventional ideas of femininity (or, in many cases, twisting them around into something empowering).

Gender critical women know this, of course, and will defend their own use of lipstick and other accoutrements of femininity — even if they often feel uneasy about it. But when it comes to trans women getting implants — or wearing lipstick, for that matter — they have no sympathy.

Trans women didn’t invent the idea that small breasts are somehow inferior or unfeminine; they’re subject to the same pressures to conform to beauty standards as cis women, thought for them the stakes are higher.

And of course the Gender Crits know this as well. The thread inspired by Brrrontosaurus is full of stories from small-breasted women describing how they were teased and bullied over their “mosquito bites” when they were teenagers.

“I was crying a lot when all of my friends in middle school were developing breasts,” reports someone called popttartopine.

I felt so disgusting and unlovable because I learned early that boys liked breasts and that you had to look a certain way to be a woman, it was horrible, I wanted to kill myself because I wasn’t like the other girls and students were talking about me and laughing, calling my breast”raisin” or “mosquito bites”.

Carmine-Warrior also had issues with bullies:

[W]hen I was growing up, I was consistently bullied by boys and girls about my small size. It started at 11 when the boys would walk up to me and ask, “Why is your chest as flat as your back??” I definitely had thoughts over the years about if augmentation would make my life easier even though I am accepting and satisfied now.

Terf_fret had a similar story:

I had no breast growth as a teen and it distressed me so much. I would literally dream of growing breasts. I spent so much effort trying to find the perfect padded bra that wouldn’t show through my clothes because I didn’t want to be harassed. Isn’t it crazy?? My distress came 100% from patriarchal messages.

None of those telling these stories report ever being bullied about their small breasts by trans women; the culprits are school bullies and the occasional rude lingerie saleswoman. But the Gender Crits take the rage they clearly and justifiably still feel about the bullying they endured (and the patriarchy itself) and direct it at trans women instead. And so the bullied become the bullies, attacking trans women regardless of whether they’re trying to live up to beauty standards or defying them.

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weirwoodtreehugger: chief manatee

Ah yes, defend hate and then play the victim when you get called out for it. Yawn.

Lainy
Lainy
2 years ago

Amy

Leave, you aren’t welcome. There are trans gender people here who you’ve hurt. Get your “oh your so mean i’m the victim” lying ass out of here.

Naglfar
Naglfar
2 years ago

@Amy

Where is the room for anyone to actually converse about this if it gets heated so quickly?

Maybe because you’re a part of a movement that constantly gaslights and abuses trans* women (and cis women)? This is heated because human rights shouldn’t be up for debate. “Gender critical” (or whatever you call yourselves these days) people don’t want a good faith discussion, they want to get rid of us.

I’m actually a pretty sensitive person who cares about social causes and about other people, even trans women, regardless of whether or not I think they are biological women.

You clearly don’t care about us. If you did, you would stop trying to downplay the transphobia in the world and stop claiming that we’re the real misogynists.

So I guess I wont be coming back here. Sorry to disrupt your comments section, David.

Don’t let the door hit you on the way out.

Policy of Madness
Policy of Madness
2 years ago

other people, even trans women

So gracious of you to grant that “even” trans women deserve the bare basics of empathy. Empathy which you actually seem to lack despite your protestations:

biological women

Again, if they’re not “biological women” are they robots? Non-biological life forms? Or is this a not-very-clever way to say that you think they are actually men without using that exact phrasing?

I also don’t need hate towards me, especially from left-wingers who, up until now I felt safe around.

Boo hoo, poor you, spreading hate but unable to take even the slightest criticism against your position.

So I guess I wont be coming back here.

We’re not interested in TERFs here, so please feel free to never return.

Moogue
Moogue
2 years ago

@Amy

In the off chance that you’re being genuine in your confusion, (and are still here), I’m not sure that you realize just how passive aggressive you sound. I mean

“Thank you for taking this into consideration and not as an attack.”

Yikes.

Moving on!

“The term is often used to harass and intimidate women or to threaten them with violence to shut them up essentially.”

But why *should* there be a “debate”?

If there should be a “debate”, why not have a “debate” on how TERFs GC feminists are assholes then? Why is that bad, I thought "debates" were good?

Seems to me that everyone thinks that "debating" is all the rage until they become the subject of the "debate".

Does this mean that there's no discussions to be had? No, some trans folks are shitty people. Some trans folks use their victim status as a shield for entitled behavior. It happens in every group. I just don't think that the GC crowd would ever be capable of putting their transphobia* aside long enough so that they could have that nuanced of a discussion. It'd be like expecting the manosohere to have a nuanced debate about women.

‘The clash between radical feminism and trans activism has a lot to do with the destruction of language and the redefinition of the word “woman.” ‘

Worried about losing your cis privilege if “woman” gets defined in a way that excludes you?

I wonder who fault this is. Who could possibly benefit by dividing cis and trans women in their mutual experiences? ?

*Just because you think that you’re not a transphobe doesn’t mean that you don’t have transphobic attitudes.

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