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Trans Activists Torpedo Film by Lesbian May 25, 2007

Posted by angryscientist in Bad Science, Feminism, Uncategorized.

Oh, those poor transgender folks, feeling oppressed by a film created by acclaimed lesbian filmmaker Catherine Crouch, because her film makes a point they don’t want to hear. This article from the Bay Area Reporter I found linked at Womensspace. Heart said she would be blogging about it shortly. Crouch says:

Things are getting very strange for women these days. More and more often we see young heterosexual women carving their bodies into porno Barbie dolls and lesbian women altering themselves into transmen. Our distorted cultural norms are making women feel compelled to use medical advances to change themselves, instead of working to change the world. This is one story, showing one possible scary future. I am hopeful that this story will foster discussion about female body modification and medical ethics.

Not if the transgender activists have their way! They say Crouch and her film are peddling transphobic stereotypes! That’s news to her. At least one of the outraged transmen is torn about the idea of censoring her, but such qualms didn’t stop more than 130 people from signing a petition denouncing her film and Frameline’s decision to screen it. I have to ask, who is oppressing whom here? She is worried about this trend of women who don’t fit the female stereotype feeling they have to change into men. Who sold them that bill of goods, I’d like to know. I’ve had more than a few women friends. None of them fit the female stereotype. What the hell does taking testosterone and going through such drastic surgery have to do with being a gender outlaw? Nothing. That’s just trading one stereotype for another, not to mention probable cancer or other major health problems to look forward to. I think it’s important to discuss the compromised medical ethics involved, but to these outraged transpeople, that’s just more of the same old transphobia!

Why would women do this to themselves? I think it has everything to do with the way culture indoctrinates everyone to see women as inferior to men. One would think women rebelling against stereotyping wouldn’t fall for this deceptive solution to their issues with how females are supposed to be. What does it buy them, a ticket to validate female inferiority from the other side? I don’t know, but it sounds like a hell of a way to rebel, becoming a man to prove to oneself one is not like a typical woman? There is no such thing as a typical woman anyway, at least not from my point of view.

Men are different in that respect, because we men are highly rewarded for conforming, and most men don’t have the balls to defy how men are supposed to be. In a sense, women are also rewarded for conforming, but that reward is more like hollow societal approval for accepting their place as inferior beings, which offers no protection from being harassed, raped, or battered. Typical men don’t have to deal with such threats. Transmen do, especially when discovered.

I’m not going to claim to understand why women do this to themselves. I have my suspicions, but no way of knowing. I can sort of comprehend the MTF phenomenon, because the male stereotype makes me want to distance myself, at least psychologically. As a man who respects and cares about women, I find it abhorrent and incredibly sad that women would feel this is a viable way to escape oppression. Maybe they feel changing the world is hopeless. I could certainly understand that pessimism, though I don’t share it. I’m not in their shoes, though I’m a gender outlaw myself, considering myself a straight androgynous man. I’m fascinated by women, but I have no desire to alter my biochemistry. I’m weird, and like it that way, despite the flak I catch for it.