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The miniature moral panic over “transmaxxing” and the “incel to transwoman pipeline”

Transmaxxing meme

“Why are incels turning themselves into girls?” asks a headline on Unherd.com. A blog post on Pirate Wires posits a veritable “Incel-To-Transwoman Pipeline.” Finally, an article on Breitbart, illustrated with a stock photo of a mustachioed man wearing lipstick and nail polish, declares that “a look into a sizable online community reveals the shocking motive behind some men’s desire to identify as women: involuntary celibacy.”

The supposed trend under discussion? Something called “transmaxxing” — the belief, apparently birthed in the incel world, that lonely young men can dramatically improve their lives by “becoming” women. The idea has floated around incel message boards for years, with depressed young incels idly fantasizing that they could make their lives easier and get themselves laid in a hurry if they could magically transform themselves from undesirable losers into hot young Stacies. Now some steeped in incel ideology — who may or may not self-identify as incels — are trying to turn this fantasy into reality.

It’s not clear how much of a trend this really is, how many incels and incel–lites have gone beyond the fantasy to actually transition. But the number is more than zero. And those who have transitioned are making a lot of noise about it. The movement, such as it is, has its own Discord server with 1200 members and comes with its own 76-page manifesto, an exceedingly strange document that features undigested incel complaints alongside glowing “testimonials” on the joys of transitioning that sometimes border on the pornographic.

The central, er, logic of transmaxxing is frankly misogynistic, based on the notion, popular in incel and manosphere circles, that life is simply much easier for women. A list of “potential benefits from transitioning from male to female” that starts off the manifesto includes “being able to extract resources from males,” “people will treat you better if they think you are female,” and “cheaper car insurance.”

Much of the appeal is frankly fetishistic, with the manifesto writer emphasizing the supposed sexual benefits of transitioning–from multiple full-body orgasms to “sexual excitement from having a feminine body.” These benefits are said to accrue regardless of one’s sexuality; the manifesto teases the possibilities of “access to the transbian dating pool,” “being able to attract cis lesbians (if you become attractive enough),” and “being able to attract high-quality males for sex.”

Much of the manifesto reads like cut-and-pasted complaints from an incel message board. “Since females have the upper hand on the dating market, transitioning from male to female will usually improve your options when it comes to getting sex,” the manifesto explains. “Trans-women will benefit from the increasing female privilege.” The manifesto adopts some of the jargon of the Men’s Rights crowd as well, referring to “hypergamy” and “gynocentrism.”

There is, as is always the case with incels, an unhealthy dollop of self-loathing as well. Widespread transmaxxing would be good for society because fewer “incels trying to force females to waste themselves on losers is a good thing,” the manifesto asserts.

Transmaxxers seem to think you can convince yourself to be trans. “If you do not currently feel like living as a female, you might have to work on fixing that,” the manifesto suggests. “Identifying as male or being emotionally attached to a male body is bad for you if being male results in you living a bad life.” The manifesto suggests watching lots of anime with trans content or resorting to “sissy hypno porn” with the supposed power to convert cis straight men into gender-bending “sissies” or trans women. (Transmaxxing is all about trans women; trans men are denigrated or ignored.)

To transmaxxing’s critics on the right, the supposed trend is an example of confused and unhappy young men being seduced into the trans lifestyle. These young men, Breitbart warns, are now “resorting to self-destructive gender transition attempts” so they can “cease being a man altogether.” Apparently agreeing with the transmaxxers that men can hypnotize themselves into becoming women, Breitbart suggests that the existence of the trend “seemingly, if inadvertently, discredit[s] leftist arguments that gender dysphoria cannot be induced, successfully encouraged, or groomed into.”

Over on Mumsnet, an online forum popular with TERFs, some are suggesting that transmaxxing proves that some men are trying to “become women” for frivolous and self-aggrandizing reasons. Transmaxxing, to one commenter there, is

a phenomenon in which young men transition because they can, not because they have dysphoria but in some vague hope of having sex with sympathetic women.

It’s reminded me of Ollie London, who assumed that just because you can do something (in his case have surgery to make him look Korean) it’s okay. No ideological awareness, no ethics, just a why not? kind of attitude.

Another suggested that transitioning had become “just another lifestyle choice like buying a new car or trainers.”

Still another wrote:

Unattractive but entitled young men have every incentive to make themselves seem more interesting and more open to the sympathetic attention of young women who feel sorry for them by pretending to be “trans”.

Unfortunately, the broadly toxic transmaxxing ideology reinforces myths and stereotypes that might convince some to conclude just that. It seems to confirm so many half-baked right-wing and TERFy critiques of so-called transgenderism that it might as well have been invented for that purpose. But no, it appears to be real, another unfortunate product of incel ideology.

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Love is All We Need
Love is All We Need
23 days ago

That happened recently when a (in)famous transition specialist doc noticed the reverse aging effect on his trans fem client’s faces,and tried to DIY his own (extremely low dose) estrogen facial cream.

I’m wondering if using soybean oil on the face would be have a similar youthful effect since soybeans are high in plant estrogens.

Surplus to Requirements
Surplus to Requirements
23 days ago

@Anonymous:

@vintologi

And we should care about your maddened rambling why?

@David Futrelle, feel free to indulge him in what he thinks is a debate. Or not. Honestly, anyone who uses the term “cuckservative” has nothing worth saying if you ask me but it’s up to you.

What on Earth are you talking about? There’s no “vintologi” anywhere in this thread, nor mentioned or quoted in the OP.

Cyborgette
Cyborgette
23 days ago

@Love is All We Need

Probably not. Isoflavones are pretty weak – the reason soy was suspected for a while of reducing breast cancer risk, is that the isoflavones may compete with stronger endogenous estrogens for receptor sites. (And IDK if that hypothesis ever panned out.)

Also the reverse aging thing is very temporary. I spent a year or so early in transition looking like I was 20, but now a few years later my face looks my age.

Edit: wait, soybean oil? No, but it would probably cause zits like nobody’s business.

Last edited 23 days ago by Cyborgette
Crip Dyke
23 days ago

Just want to chime in to support Cyborgette.

While I think this is probably a hoax, I also think that’s largely irrelevant. Even if you’re a full blown Nazi you’re not magically immune to being trans, and there are enough full blown Nazis in the world that statistically there much be some trans Nazis.

Even those trans Nazis deserve trans related health care, etc. Things aren’t rights if they’re conditional upon other people thinking you’re a likeable person.

So I’m not interested in policing who is really trans. As Cyborgette says, that always hands power to the worst people. But also there’s no reason to give this any credibility. And that’s not even because I’m judging them as not trans. Read what they said. They’re judging themselves as not trans:

The manifesto suggests watching lots of anime with trans content or resorting to “sissy hypno porn” with the supposed power to convert cis straight men into gender-bending “sissies” or trans women. 

The whole idea is that people aren’t trans, but maybe conversion therapy works and for practical reasons unrelated to being trans, people should try that conversion therapy.

This is yet another reason to support trans-led efforts to ban conversion therapy. Then the TERF’s fear just goes away.

Of course the TERFs want to keep conversion therapy legal, which makes no sense whatsoever if conversion therapy is a source of the evil they decry, but that’s TERFs for you.

Cyborgette
Cyborgette
23 days ago

@Crip Dyke

Thank you. Seriously.

I guess it probably seems weird to cis folks to see a bunch of trans women arguing that yes trans people can be awful, but this kind of issue isn’t unknown elsewhere. Thinking of e.g. cis feminists asking for better and more diverse female villains, or of those found early 2010s “everyone is a scumbag” media liberating because it didn’t require victims to be perfect. Or for that matter, men whose sexism involves putting women on a pedestal.

Acknowledging a minority’s humanity requires acknowledging all of it, including the capacity for evil.

Last edited 23 days ago by Cyborgette
Elaine the witch
Elaine the witch
23 days ago

@Cyborgette

I’m sorry. I didn’t know. I hope I didn’t make you relive any trauma. I was just idealizing I suppose. In a perfect world a trans woman wouldn’t need to be feminine or beautiful to be seen and accepted as a trans woman.

Battering Lamb
Battering Lamb
23 days ago

@Cyborgette: Exactly. Much like cis people we can be practical saints, monstrous villains and everything in between. It has been very educational for my colleagues that a trans colleague and I, aside from being trans women with visual impairments, have very little in common (they have been incredibly accepting and supportive, if a bit innocently ignorant at times).

The thing with the beauty standards was one thing that kept me from accepting my transness. I saw all these trans influencers owning their hyperfeminine presentantions and thought 1) I can’t do that, and 2) I’m not sure that is even something I want. When I wear a skirt at work, I know most of our visitors see a man in a skirt and army boots (I also know that most really don’t seem to care, which is pretty great). And I’m okay with that. What I’m not okay with is what I see in the mirror and hear when I speak. But I do know I have less difficulty seeing myself in the mirror now that I’ve accepted who I am. It’s a work in progress, and if at the end of it I’m a broad shouldered woman with a fair amount of muscle I am more than okay with that.

Most of us have a pretty messed up relationship with beauty and beauty standards. I’m sure I haven’t figured it out completely. And as has been stated: If you weren’t attractive before, it is unlikely that you’ll suddenly become so. Though I do have to say that the joy and happiness radiating from the trans people who started their transition can definitely be magnetic and attractive. Doubt that’ll work for someone who is cis and tries it, though.

Elaine the witch
Elaine the witch
23 days ago

My good friend who is cis male but leans more into the gender queer Territory. Would like me to point out to any incels. You do not have to transition or be a woman to dress in fun girly things. If you want to transition just because you want to wear a skirt, you don’t have to. You can just be a guy who likes a skirt or make up or lacey things. People can be assholes and your safety is important. But as long as it is legal in your country, you can find a safe group or community where you can express yourself.

And it’s also okay to not know and figure yourself out. He does. He’s pretty cool with anyone using whatever pronouns on him. He ends that with “I feel as though I’m a man, but one day that may change. Most people assume I’m a girl and that’s okay.”

Love is All We Need
Love is All We Need
23 days ago

“I feel as though I’m a man, but one day that may change. Most people assume I’m a girl and that’s okay.”

  1. I feel as though I’m a man, but one day that may change. Most people assume I’m a woman and that’s okay. OR
  2. I feel as though I’m a boy, but one day that may change. Most people assume I’m a girl and that’s okay.
Elaine the witch
Elaine the witch
23 days ago

@love is all we need

Sorry. They assume that cause he’s 5’4 and very slim and androgynous looking. So when people see him dressed feminine they assume he’s a minor girl. Not an adult woman. Even when he’s dressed masc people think he’s a tomboy girl or something. He’s got a very young feminine looking features.

I should have been more clear about that

Elaine the witch
Elaine the witch
23 days ago

@battering lamb

I wish to apologize. I didn’t think about how beauty standards would impact trans people so much. I didn’t think of the correlation between meeting beauty standards and being accepted as a woman or man. I’m sorry if my ignorance caused any pain.

Cyborgette
Cyborgette
23 days ago

@Elaine

It’s fine, srsly. I’m sorry, I hope I didn’t like… come off as too angry, let alone at you. It’s completely okay to not know stuff that’s outside your experience. You didn’t make me relive any trauma, it’s more just IDK… the polarized idealization/distaste is ambient outside trans spaces (and to some extent inside), so people fall into it without realizing.

Again I think it’s related to similar false dichotomies towards women in general, but… IDK I’m not a scholar on this stuff.

GSS ex-noob
GSS ex-noob
23 days ago

@Cyborgette: I want to know more about the guy with the facial cream! What exactly were his bad reactions? I wanna laugh at him.

Battering Lamb
Battering Lamb
22 days ago

@Elaine: No worries on my behalf. I shared what I did in the hopes of giving some insight into trans experiences. We all live in this patriarchy/kyriarchy and it affects everyone in different ways. If someone offends/hurts me, I’ll let them know. 🙂

Mish of the Catlady Ascendancy

@Surplus, page one of the comments; vintologi posted this:

I responded to your article

https://vintologi.com/threads/new-clickbait-articles-about-transmaxxing.1272/#post-7374

I’m assuming that’s what @Anonymous is referring to.

Vilena
Vilena
22 days ago

Arent i a veritable box of controversy. I was an incel who became trans. That hypersexual stuff it really goes away and im glad. The process of me becoming trans saw me leaving the manosphere behind and denouncing it. I found out that i was asexual and i had been pretending all that time in a very exaggerated way, when i was a man. That hypersexuality goes away about 4 yrs after starting transition, i mean you really check out and move on from everything to do with the manosphere. 2/3rds probability of really losing interest in sex and prefer not to talk about it, you really pick up manners in those 4 yrs. And then you are truly prepared to become a gal pal, platonic relationships with women. Deep relationships and communication. You could lose all of that cunning and blindness you had as an incel. And then youll grow old as a woman, youll suffer hot flashes and youll learn what an MRA looks like from the womans perspective, and how threatening they are. And youll have to get mamograms and worry about your looks. You signed up to face the risk of breast cancer and to face danger. These gals that did trannymaxxing, they may not be so gung ho for sex once they realize that there are real rapists out there and people that want them dead. They may want to be taken by a man and dominated, but they dont understand how utterly gross it is to be slobbered on and ravaged. There is real life after incelism

Last edited 22 days ago by Vilena
Cyborgette
Cyborgette
22 days ago

Yeaaahhhhh IDK @Mish, I find myself distrustful of anyone who talks about “cuckservatives”. Never heard of the Vintologi forums.

Love is All We Need
Love is All We Need
22 days ago

The admin on that Vintalogi forum is the one being interviewed in the Youtube video I posted on page 1 of this thread. He’s a hoaxer as far as I can make out.

Autogynephilia actually a normal aspect of female sexuality and not a “fetish”.

See?

We also need to help trans people access HRT when the government tries to take that away from them. This is something we do in the transmaxxing community including for minors.

He’s baiting anti-trans right wingers and those who scream “groomer!!!” at everybody.

It’s a “quickening” campaign. An attempt at “hastening the decline”. It’s a tactic.

Cyborgette
Cyborgette
22 days ago

@Love is All We Need

Ah, sorry I missed that! And good catch. What a creep.

Autogynephilia actually a normal aspect of female sexuality and not a “fetish”.

^^^ This is not entirely untrue though, although it’s very badly and edgily worded. Part of the disproof of the autogynephilia hypthosesis was evidence that a lot of cis women have similar fantasies – though IMO it probably has more to do with straight cis men not thinking about their own bodies for fear of being gay.

Depressingly, this fuck actually seems to have done his research.

Love is All We Need
Love is All We Need
22 days ago

Cyborgette I get the feeling he’s doing it for a “gotcha” moment. Trying to trip up transfolk and trans allies. We know there’s a section of people who think transwomen are autogynephiliacs. So he’s out here making a case that it’s a valid path to transition. And while that could be debated, what he’s aiming for is for “the left” to voice resistance and he can then turn around and call them “anti-trans bigots”. This is a political move. He’s not sincere about creating a movement where incels can transition. He said in the youtube interview that they won’t and don’t want to. He wants both the left and the right to get mad over this. He’s trying to start something to hasten the decline of LGBTQ+ social and political progress.

Last edited 22 days ago by Love is All We Need
Sphinx of Black Quartz
Sphinx of Black Quartz
22 days ago

@Love is All We Need:

Just so. It’s the exact same gosh-I’m-clever “logic” seen in 4chan ops and alt-right social media disinformation campaigns. “You feminists say ‘my body my choice,’ AND YET you want to force people to be vaccinated! I am very smart.”

It’s a bad faith argument. The writer knows it’s bad faith, and his audience knows it’s bad faith. But it gives them a thin pretense to claim moral and intellectual superiority over the people they hate.

Love is All We Need
Love is All We Need
22 days ago

CUENCA, Ecuador (TND) — A transgender rights group is up in arms after an Ecuadorian man changed his gender to help him win a custody battle for his kids.

René Salinas Ramos, 47, told Ecuadorian news outlet La Voz del Tomebamba that the laws in his country favor mothers over fathers when it comes to custody battles. Therefore, he decided to legally change his gender, which he showed proof of by displaying his ID that now lists Salinas’s new gender identity: “FEMENINO.”

The rest of his points are Manosphere talking points as well;

https://abcnews4.com/news/nation-world/man-changes-gender-to-win-custody-battle-infuriating-trans-rights-group-ecuadorian-ecuador-ren-salinas-ramos-transgender-divorce-marriage-fight-femenino-diane-rodrguez

Cyborgette
Cyborgette
22 days ago

Ugh. I hate this timeline so much.

Mish of the Catlady Ascendancy

@Cyborgette, oh absolutely – it’s awful. I was just clarifying for Surplus that there was indeed a “vintologi” in the thread.

I’ve really appreciated your recent comments on beauty standards/politics and how they impact trans women, btw. Extremely informative!

Serge
Serge
20 days ago

So odd. It’s the right providing evidence for their anti-trans libel by willing themselves to become that evidence. Can’t tell if this is a prank, a type of fetish play, a deep need, or something else, which is very close to the kind of anxious beffudlement they sew over trans people in general. It’s like antisemites preaching Jewish conversion because they believe it will help them gain money and power, while other antisemite amplify their bizarre affection. My head hurts.

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