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Is War Machine, the mixed martial arts fighter accused of brutally beating his ex, a Men's Rights Activist?

The "hero" the Men's Rights movement deserves?
The “hero” the Men’s Rights movement deserves?

If the Men’s Rights movement is looking for a celebrity endorser, I think I’ve found just the guy for them: the mixed martial arts fighter, and erstwhile porn actor, War Machine, currently sitting in jail on charges of brutally beating and attempting to kill his ex-girlfriend, porn star Christy Mack.

Men’s Rights activists should be able to look past these criminal charges; after all, as they remind us all the time, women are forever falsely accusing innocent men of all sorts of terrible things.

And in so many ways War Machine is perfect for them. An MMA fighter, he’s already only one letter away from being an MRA. A misogynistic asshole with rage issues, he’ll have no trouble fitting in with the Men’s Rights crowd. And, especialy important for a movement that has a lot of trouble getting any good PR, he’s a bit more comfortable on camera than the Paul Elams and Dean Esmays of the world, with experience on television  (on the reality show The Ultimate Fighter: Team Hughes vs. Team Serra), and in seven films (albeit pornographic ones).

Best of all: he’ll need no ideological education from what A Voice for Men likes to call Fuck Shit Up University. War Machine – real name Jonathan Koppenhaver – is already an outspoken proponent of many of the Men’s Rights Movement’s core beliefs.

Consider these selections from a little Men’s Rights manifesto War Machine wrote a few years ago during a previous stint behind bars, serving time for felony assault after two bloody bar fights. His rant, which a friend posted to the internet, would fit right in with the sort of stuff we’ve seen regularly posted on the Men’s Rights subreddit, or The Spearhead, or A Voice for Men. I’ve bolded some of the Men’s Rightsiest bits:

The oppression of MEN is worse than oppression of Jews in Nazi germany, worse than the slavery of Blacks in early America…

There has always been the oppressor and always the oppressed. Before, it was blatant … NOW the oppressor has learned to disguise his evil. You can see man, but you can not see MEN. How easy it is to oppress a minority that is invisible to the eye! How genius of the oppressor! And what a better target too! …

Men challenge injustice from Government, MEN fight for their Constitutional rights, that are slowly being taken away every year. …

And they don’t just oppress us by making more laws and taking away more freedom, they are far more clever than that! Ask yourself what your REAL dream was?? If you gave up on this dream, why? Because of the brainwashing of the Government, that’s why! They taught you to “play it safe.” They told us a responsible man has ONE wife, a house, good credit, good job, and kids. How are you supposed to chase your dreams while maintaining all of that!?

Men are supposed to take risks and be aggressive! What accomplishments have ever come of a man scared to risk it all!? None!? Where would the world be? Still ‘flat!’ Still ‘Earth at the center of the universe!’

If any of you have your Men’s Rights Bingo cards out, I’m guessing you might already be close to scoring a bingo. We’ve got a comparison to slavery that could have come straight from the pages of A Voice for Men, a marriage-is-death-to-male-dreams rant that could have been borrowed from any MGTOW forum, and an evo-psych-esque argument that men are the true risk-takers and the world’s real innovators.

And I don’t think War Machine would have much trouble with Paul Elam’s “Bash a Violent Bitch Month,” either.

[I]t’s Christmas day and I’m laying in my bunk wondering “Why in the hell do American men get married!?” … If your wife is being a bitch you can’t slap her, if your wife is yelling at you, God forbid you yell back … Next thing you know it will be illegal to fuck your wife! LMAO! Maybe then, MEN in this country will get the fucking hint and MOVE! This country forces you to be a bitch!

In another online posting, War Machine touched on another Men’s Rights hobbyhorse, the notion that the justice system is stacked against men:

[L]ook at the prisons, they are FULL of MEN, not women. Are men “evil” and women not? Or do the laws target and attempt to restrict NATURAL MEN’S BEHAVIOR? How many of the HEROES in American history would avoid prison if they lived today? Davey Crockett? Thomas Jefferson? David Bowie? General Grant & General Lee? Shit, George Washington. … Laws target MEN and men’s behavior. Women want to bitch and cry about their rights and equality… LMAO! MEN are the ones locked away like animals, while women run free!

Someone might have to explain to War Machine that David Bowie is not actually a famous American HERO but a famously androgynous British musician who once recorded an album called “Heroes.” (Mr. Machine may be thinking of James Bowie, a well-known 19th century American frontiersman and slave trader, and the guy the Bowie Knife is named after.)

But other than that, he seems ready to go.

There is, of course, that whole attempted murder charge to deal with.

It’s true the Men’s Rights Movement has had few problems in the past rallying behind men with histories of violence. But War Machine might be a harder sell as a Men’s Rights hero. His alleged attack on Mack left her with a cracked rib, a ruptured liver, numerous broken bones, missing teeth and her eyes swollen shut.  (See here for photos of her injuries; obviously this link is NSFW and could be triggering.)

While Mr. Machine denies attacking Mack, he joked to a TV host last year that if she were to leave him “I would just kill her” and get a tattoo saying “Rest In Peace” above the tattoo of her name he has on his neck.

And several hours after allegedly trying to murder her, War Machine tweeted this lovely message about his ex:

https://twitter.com/WarMachine170/statuses/497663075831787521

War Machine does seem to be at a low point in his life. Even aside from the charges he faces, and the time he seems likely to serve, his career in porn is almost certainly over. The “Alpha Male” clothing line he helped start wants nothing to do with him. Nobody but the prison system seems to want this guy.

In other words: Men’s Rights activists, this is your chance! War Machine may not be the, er, hero you want. But he’s certainly the hero you deserve.

 

 

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katz
6 years ago

Yay, peaceful resolution of disagreements! *throws confetti*

cassandrakitty
cassandrakitty
6 years ago

Going by Tumblr standards about 75% of the people posting in this thread would be considered TERFs by now (objecting to the “examine your preferences” thing is usually enough to earn that label), which is also something to keep in mind – some of the pushback against the term is about how widely it’s now being applied, often in the same sort of ways Ally was applying the term “transmisogynistic” here. Granted that Tumblr isn’t exactly known for its fine grasp of political nuance, but still, that kind of thing happens far more often than it should.

pallygirl
pallygirl
6 years ago

*throws glitter*

Thanks for the links, I read the post and it was very helpful. It’s nice to have a short term to use.

brooked
6 years ago

I was quoting someone else who called TERF a slur, I actually don’t think it qualifies as a slur, but I did call it a “burn the witch” kill shot. It’s become disconnected from it’s historical meaning and is flung around social media with abandon, often without any explanation or even thought, so much so that it’s becoming both meaningless and a silencing technique.

Exactly. We’re allowed to call gay or working class racists racists, we’re allowed to call black homophobes homophobes and so on. Calling a lesbian a TERF is no different.

How about calling transphobic people transphobic? I think criticizing the hell out the arguements of Janice Raymond is a great idea, but I’ve seen women (always women) denounced as TERFs, despite them not voicing any support for the anti-trans arguements of Raymond and her ilk. Often, they aren’t even radical feminists.

I’ve seen non-trans, and a few trans, MRAs denounce feminism entirely because it’s apparently beyond redemption because TERFs. Hell, MRAs on reddit love to bring it up to show how evil feminists are and almost all of them sure as shit don’t care about LGBTQ rights and struggles.

It takes focus away from combating the non-feminists, men and people in power who are responsibible for, support and/or ignore anti-trans violence and discrimination. It takes focus away from combating institutional transphobia by making gender critical Tumblr bloggers the main, most hated villains in the world.

I’ve seen trans women, especially older ones, denounced as TERF sockpuppets if they criticize any of this. Often, radical feminists has become vilified as a group. Also, I’ve seen lesbians mentioned way too fucking much, as if we are the major producers of transphobia worldwide.

I’m not denouncing everyone who uses or has used the term, I just think I have a right to say I think that term has proved to be detrimental recently. YMMV.

brooked
6 years ago

How about saying the fight over reproductive rights effects both women and trans men, rather than “people with wombs”? It’s hard to rally support and passion if you take the human element out of social movements and I just don’t see people identifying as an uterus containers.

brooked
6 years ago

@Kitteh & @Dvarg

I’m not seeing this conversation being more productive; if anything, it’s heading back to the stuff we’ve gone over already in this thread, at length. Dvarg, there are elements of the issue I don’t want to go into in public, because there really are some very nasty people out there, far worse than MRA trolls, and I’ve been advised to be careful about even saying this stuff. I think we’re going to have to know we’re not likely to agree on everything about it.

I read this after my two posts, sorry if I’m stirring the pot in a unhelpful or disruptive way. I hope a wasn’t too combative, since I do like how things have cooled down here. I’ll knock of the speechifying, I probably gotten carried away there. I need to be a little more Zen on this thread in general.

brooked
6 years ago

Also, I’m very aware there are people who are using this debate to be total assholes who harass and talk trash about trans people endlessly. I totally get why insulted trans people get understandably enraged at those assholes and see the need to call those assholes out. There are plenty of sensible, articulate people doing that and it’s not like I passionately feel they must avoid the term TERF if they think it’s suitable.

I just think jackasses have hijacked the term to a degree and that annoys me.

I’ll shush up now.

Argenti Aertheri
Argenti Aertheri
6 years ago

“Why is it transmisogynistic to talk about pregnancy or birth control, things that affect trans men, but not trans women?”

And the following conversation —

I would think a group called, say, a pregnancy support group, or birth control 101 or what have you, would work fine. It’s like MRAs trying to define father’s groups as men only — what’s the point? Not like cis women are going to want to be there anyways (and if they do, they’re probably there to support a father in their life). Not comparing anyone here to MRAs, just saying that the idea of having to outright state these sorts of groups are for people with X anatomy seems silly since why would people with not-X anatomy want to be there anyways.

I hope I’m not pouring gasoline on any fires, just my two cents.

And, in things costing more than two cents, IT’S AXOLOTL DAY!! (Katz, I really am terribly sorry, if you ever move out of Cali I’ll get you an axolotl pronto, but, uh, seems some in state pet stores do carry them, just don’t get caught)

emilygoddess - MOD
emilygoddess - MOD
6 years ago

I don’t care where on the political spectrum people are, or whether I’m generally in agreement with them or not – if you’re issuing death threats over political disagreements (or, even worse, disagreements about what terminology is more correct) then you have jumped the damn shark and are in need of a “look at your life, look at your choices” moment.

Same with rape threats.

(I’m not going to ask people to stop talking about Ally, because we need to share how we feel, but it would have been better if we could have talked about these things with Ally so that we could have gotten it all sorted and avoided a fight.)

Seconded. It’s one thing if we’re still discussing why this blowup happened and the atmosphere that led to it, but if it starts turning into a list of times she annoyed us it’s going to make me pretty uncomfortable. At the very least, maybe we could keep it backchannel in case she’s still reading?

Argenti Aertheri
Argenti Aertheri
6 years ago

Just a random thought on TERfs while doing all my last minute checks for axolotl day — the bug likes to scream about how trans women are women BUT YOU’RE NOT FEMALE!!

And faced with the likes of her, literally screaming in people’s faces, saying that, I can see how anything implying trans women aren’t female gets lumped with her. Except that’s complete nonsense. Afaik, nobody here has ever said you have to be AFAB to be a lesbian, which is her argument, if it can be called that.

Idk, I was checking if the CO2 was working or I was gonna have to futz with it (not like the plants I got particularly need it, but DIY CO2 = science!), and musing the bug thing from the other thread when my brain went all the bug screaming BUT YOU’RE NOT FEMALE!!

She really does need to grow the fuck up.

emilygoddess - MOD
emilygoddess - MOD
6 years ago

but it is a problem if cis lesbians say they want a cis lesbian space only with no trans lesbians in it

You know, I actually don’t have a problem with cis-women-only or AFAB-only spaces in theory, because I think we do have some experiences (mainly to do with our bodies) that trans women don’t share. IMO the problem arises when your reason for excluding trans women is that “they’re not women”.

I was quoting someone else who called TERF a slur, I actually don’t think it qualifies as a slur, but I did call it a “burn the witch” kill shot.

I like the term “snarl word“. It a word that’s clearly intended to be disparaging, even though it’s not inherently a slur or even considered negative by the recipient. Other examples include “teabagger”, “socialist”, “feminazi”, etc.

That said, I do think it’s being applies well beyond its original meaning. I have no problem with it being used to describe people like Cathy Brennan, but (for example) I saw it used to describe a blogger – who has done IRL activism for trans women and who does not deny that they’re women – labeled a “TERF” because she’s not sold on sex as a social construct. “Transphobic” may or may not apply, but she’s not a TERF.

It takes focus away from combating the non-feminists, men and people in power who are responsibible for, support and/or ignore anti-trans violence and discrimination. It takes focus away from combating institutional transphobia by making gender critical Tumblr bloggers the main, most hated villains in the world.

And not to belabor the Tumblr hate, but I’ve been really uncomfortable with the way Tumblr SoJust has decided that enemy #1, the people who deserve constant rape threats and violent fantasies and doxxing, are not the MRAs or the literal Nazis (both of which are common on the site), but a group comprised entirely of women. I’m not saying TERF ideas don’t deserve to be criticized, aggressively even, but I can’t help wondering if there’s an element of “easy targets” in there too.

Re axolotls: I’m surprised to hear that they’re illegal in CA, because we recently hired a vet tech from CA who mentioned having worked with them.

maistrechat
6 years ago

Yay Axolotls! My video game time is pretty much entirely consumed by Animal crossing : new leaf at the moment. The nightclub owner/stand-up comedian in the game is an axolotl. Now every time I play it I think of WHTM.

Lemme say, regarding the disagreement issue, that one of the things I really like about this community is how good it is with handling disagreements between members in the first place. It’s (obviously) not perfect and there’s room for improvement, but the quickest way (barring racism, sexual violence, or racist sexual violence) to sour me on a community is when it becomes “everyone needs to agree”.

That’s probably my own bias – I tend to avoid the radical left, despite being firmly in that part of the political spectrum, because there’s such an emphasis on “solidarity” to the point where it becomes “I know what’s best”. I have an instinctive distrust of people who agree with each other about everything, since in my mind that tends to signal either a lack of critical thinking skills or a dangerous cult-of-personality style power dynamic.

Auntie Alias
Auntie Alias
6 years ago

@brooked

I’m cool with using the word transphobic instead of TERF.

maistrechat
6 years ago

@emilygoddess

I’m curious, what’s your perspective on the Pantheacon/Z Budapest debacle from a couple of years ago? I was tangentially involved in the fallout and definitely took the perspective at the time that transwomen were being excluded “because they aren’t women” but I could see it going the other way as well depending on one’s beliefs.

pecunium
6 years ago

I’m late to the party (between travel, and the lack of time, and the way it was blowing up, I bowed out early, since I wasn’t going to be able to contribute much, and nothing of nuance).

I’ll try to catch up, and see if there is anything I can contribute.

Argenti Aertheri
Argenti Aertheri
6 years ago

“Re axolotls: I’m surprised to hear that they’re illegal in CA, because we recently hired a vet tech from CA who mentioned having worked with them.”

Well, she(?) could’ve worked out of state, but, more likely, it seems there are plenty in the state, their owners just try to fly under the radar. And there seems some confusion whether axolotls are illegal, or just a related species, or the entire family. But it’s a federal offense to ship illegal critters into CA, and I don’t need to have the feds poking at me. To err is human, to refuse to pay for movies is pirate.

emilygoddess - MOD
emilygoddess - MOD
6 years ago

I’m curious, what’s your perspective on the Pantheacon/Z Budapest debacle from a couple of years ago? I was tangentially involved in the fallout and definitely took the perspective at the time that transwomen were being excluded “because they aren’t women” but I could see it going the other way as well depending on one’s beliefs.

Oh, wow, can of worms there! So Goddess spirituality has never really been my thing, in part because of the emphasis on reproductive parts as the essence of womanhood – even before I was aware of trans people, that made me uncomfortable, because my feminism has always been “I am more than my ability to make babies”. But I can totally see how, especially for women of Budapest’s generation, that sort of notion was empowering and liberating and I don’t begrudge them that (the cultural appropriation, OTOH…).

There’s just so much to unpack with this one. On paper I don’t object to Pagan groups having reproductive-capacity-focused rites, because a big chunk of Paganism is based on Wicca, and Wicca is literally a fertility cult. Budapest might not have even considered that calling it a “women’s rite” would fail to convey her meaning. But then she seems to have gone the “but you’re not a woman” route in response to the criticism, so no sympathy from me on that point. That’s straight-up transphobic and I hope Pantheacon will be careful about who runs rituals for them in the future. OTOH, I have to wonder why a trans woman would want to attend a women’s rite led by an old-guard Dianic like Budapest, because I could have told you without even looking at the program that it wasn’t going to be very trans-positive. And I don’t mean “why would you go where you’re not wanted?”, I mean “why would you do that to yourself?”. Ultimately I hope Pantheacon will try to offer more inclusive rites in the future, and I hope that woman who was excluded doesn’t think the whole Pagan community agrees with the way she was treated.

I’ve seen a similar come up on a traditional Wiccan mailing list, what with Wicca being based on a polarity of male and female. Thankfully, the general consensus seemed to be that the Lady doesn’t object to her priestesses being trans – everyone who’d been in a circle with a trans priestess said She will speak through trans women as readily as through cis women. I’m sure there are transphobic Wiccans out there, but at least there are also some who aren’t, which is nice to know if I do decide to join a Trad coven.

Alex
6 years ago

@Dvarg,

Well, yes, we do call racists racist, regardless of whether they’re also feminists, but like I said earlier, we don’t have a specific label for racist white feminists. We don’t call them POCEFs (people of colour exclusionary feminists), so why the specific label of transphobic feminists? Why not just call them transphobes if that’s what they are?

Argenti Aertheri
Argenti Aertheri
6 years ago

Just tossing this out there, but is the difference that hating trans people is part of their definition of feminism? Whereas racist feminists are racists who happen to be feminists, not feminists who actively exclude PoC? Am I making sense?

Puddleglum
6 years ago

Well, yes, we do call racists racist, regardless of whether they’re also feminists, but like I said earlier, we don’t have a specific label for racist white feminists. We don’t call them POCEFs (people of colour exclusionary feminists), so why the specific label of transphobic feminists? Why not just call them transphobes if that’s what they are?

I hate posting at work, but I’ll do my best.

This was what I meant. I have no problem with calling someone out for being transphobic, it’s incredibly important to point that out!, but I do have a problem with a word like TERF because the people who it mostly gets applied to are a minority group and they get to decide what they’re called. Lots of others here have already pointed out how TERF gets used to silence people and to dismiss them. It’s becoming a weaponized word, because it takes a group of women with terrible ideas and turns them into The Enemy. I am totally against dehumanizing anyone, even MRAs, never mind transphobic radfems.

Another problem with the term is that TERF lumps in transphobia with radical feminism, and I think that’s had a negative impact on non-transphobic radical feminists. It’s also very frustrating, because it suggests that only radfems can be transphobic, which just isn’t the case.

Well, I guess I felt more strongly about that than I thought! To recap, I’m not suggesting I want to ignore transphobia, I just think using transphobe is a far better choice.

brooked
6 years ago

@Argenti

Denying the realities of transexual lives was certainly part of Janice Raymond’s feminist theory, since she wrote a whole terrible book about it in 1979. I just think TERF, if used, should only discuss specific dated arguments made by her and echoed by others peddling her “theories” that says transsexuals have mental disorder that does not require medical treatment, transitioning doesn’t improve people’s lives, SRS is butchery, women calling themselves trans men are all victims of misogynist self-hatred, trans women are all a pervy mockeries of real women and misgendering of all of trans people is the right thing to do.

I’m just sick of people calling someone a TERF because they dare disagree with them about certain aspects of gender theory. Or even worse, calling them a TERF because someone else did, without bothering to find out why.

I don’t think TERF is the equivalent to “feminazi”, it’s has a historical basis because of Raymond and her ilk. I do however agree that it has turned into a “snarl word” (a useful term, BTW) because pissy ill-informed people love senselessly denouncing strangers on the internet with vehemence.

As I said before, there are trolling assholes harassing trans people, so I get why very pissed, insulted trans people rail about TERFS. (No excuses for harassment and threats obviously.) Those piling on, particularly non-trans youngsters, due to mob mentality don’t have that excuse IMHO.

It’s complicated.

katz
6 years ago

Argenti: You won’t ship me an axolotl?

What if I get someone to fence it?

katz
6 years ago

Grr, WordPress is eating my comments.

Puddleglum
6 years ago

I think I may be sounding like I’m trying to police the word TERF. That’s not my actual intent. Someone asked how individuals felt about the word, and I gave my response about how I actually do feel. I dislike it and won’t use it. I’m not trying to ban it or anything, if someone else insists on using it, I’m not going get all worked up about it.

Argenti Aertheri
Argenti Aertheri
6 years ago

Katz — email me. This is not the place for this convo. You have my email right? My nym at gmail.

Puddleglum
6 years ago

@emilygoddess – thanks for the perspective on the Budapest thing. I remember reading about that and thinking ‘holy crap, seriously?’

maistrechat
6 years ago

OTOH, I have to wonder why a trans woman would want to attend a women’s rite led by an old-guard Dianic like Budapest, because I could have told you without even looking at the program that it wasn’t going to be very trans-positive.

The way it was presented to me was that there was some on-site promotion going on that, intentionally or unintentionally, failed to make it clear who was actually running the ritual.

I wasn’t there personally to know one way or the other (I don’t attend anything in person that’s not being run by people I don’t know personally), but that was how it was related to me by someone who was there and bowed out once it became clear what was going on.

The worst part to me was instead of approaching it from a “there’s been a misunderstanding” angle, Budapest went out of her way to emphasize that she didn’t consider transwomen to be “real” women. I’m willing to give her the benefit of the doubt that she didn’t even consider that this was an issue that might come up, but she certainly did her best to fan the flames afterwards.

cassandrakitty
cassandrakitty
6 years ago

Adding to the current conversation, one of the things that’s been making me really uncomfortable about the whole “she’s a TERF, let’s go get her!” thing is the way that leftist dudes have jumped on it as a way to call feminists evil bitches in often quite blatantly misogynistic ways without getting called out on it by other progressive peeps. It’s because of the “she’s a witch!” thing that Brooked was describing, I think, and also because some of those guys just really really want an excuse to be able to say misogynistic things about women in progressive spaces. With the guys I mostly see them using it as an excuse to pull old chestnuts from the album of anti-feminist greatest hits (old, ugly lesbians who can’t get a man, you just hate sex, charming things like that) and to indulge in chest-beating aggressive behavior towards women in a way that normally wouldn’t be tolerated, and I think that as feminists we ought not to be letting those dudes get away with that.

marinerachel
6 years ago

It would have been great if we could have shared our feelings with Ally but she wouldn’t have allowed it nor would several of those around her and she still would have stropped off, saying urndrustrations were the result of our transphobia, if we’d pushed the issue.

Shiraz
Shiraz
6 years ago

Yeah, the whole, “She’s a witch! Let’s burn her!” vibe, is apparent to me. Makes me cringe.
There are sites on Reddit where dudes brags about their transphobia. Are they bombed with this kind of thing? I mean, it’s right there for everyone to see.
But it’s easier to scream at women because they’re less intimdating? Seriously, go visit Reddit.

cassandrakitty
cassandrakitty
6 years ago

Sometimes I feel like Tumblr is Reddit for teenagers.

marinerachel
6 years ago

I thought Reddit was Reddit for teenagers.

cassandrakitty
cassandrakitty
6 years ago

Though actually, since I’ve been so mean about it, I finally thought of a good thing about Tumblr! The way it’s designed makes it really easy to avoid mansplaining dudebros, if you want to. I mean, they’re on there, but depending on what tags you choose to read you may hardly ever have to witness them doing what Edward is doing in the Sarkeesian thread, which is nice.

Shiraz
Shiraz
6 years ago

Edward doesn’t even know what he’s mansplaining about. But he feels compelled to do it anyway.

thebewilderness
thebewilderness
6 years ago

There’s that silver lining we were looking for.

cassandrakitty
cassandrakitty
6 years ago

Also there are cats, lots and lots of cats.

kittehserf
6 years ago

I read this after my two posts, sorry if I’m stirring the pot in a unhelpful or disruptive way. I hope a wasn’t too combative, since I do like how things have cooled down here. I’ll knock of the speechifying, I probably gotten carried away there. I need to be a little more Zen on this thread in general.

brooked, no need for apologies as far as I’m concerned! You said things I want to very well: I just haven’t the energy to get into it again and I know I’d get angry about it, for the very reasons you described. Your posts were terrific! You were a darnsight more Zen about it than I was.

It’s also that I don’t know how much detail I can safely go into in public.

AbsintheDexterous
AbsintheDexterous
6 years ago

“TERF” vs “transphobic” – I honestly think it doesn’t matter who you are, transphobia is transphobia, and it doesn’t matter if it’s a cis lesbian or an MRA – it’s still awful, either way, regardless of the identity of the person involved. I don’t understand why there would be a need to designate that it’s from a radfem or someone else. All groups, no matter how small, will have assholes in it, and I think it’s better to address the fact that they are an asshole without bringing anything else into it.

“examine your privilege” – I want to throw an honest question out you guys: Has saying this phrase ever worked to get someone to re-examine their thought processes in an honest manner? I think just throwing it out there like that makes people defensive. The assholes who won’t will double down and have a fit at being questioned and otherwise clueless people who didn’t realize that it’s wrong will probably feel humiliated, thereby insuring that they won’t either. I mean, highlighting a comment and saying that it’s example of privilege or just talking about it and how it affects our lives is totally different than just saying those words at someone, as if the words are a magic spell to instantly change a person’s thoughts. My feeling is that someone who does examine their privilege will have an internal journey rather than having someone shout it at them.

And I think that some things aren’t inherently transphobic, like cis lesbians not wanting to have sex with trans lesbians. I’m not homophobic but I’m not having sex with women because I’m not bi or gay. I can’t magically change that and no amount “examining your privilege” will change it either. The only language that matters is the “yes” or “no”. I am completely confused as to why that’s hard to understand. FWIW, I don’t necessarily think that it’s the socialization of someone who was born male, because I’ve gotten pressure from a few lesbians to be a lesbian (otherwise I’m homophobic, according to them), I just think it’s the socialization of entitled asshats who think this way. It’s almost like the “why don’t pretty women have sex with me” thing that MGTOW trot out. Bottom line, NO ONE is entitled to sex, no matter who you are or what your identity is. Being an entitled asshat is an equal opportunity disease and I hope through education and mockery we can hope to one day eliminate it.

Alex
6 years ago

^Yeah, pretty much all that.

Lea
Lea
6 years ago

Has saying this phrase ever worked to get someone to re-examine their thought processes in an honest manner?

It worked on me.

Lea
Lea
6 years ago

Maybe tranphobia is more often policed among allies because friendly fire hurts more and allies and people who wish to be allies inhabit the same places trans folks do.

Kinda like homophobia and misogyny are called out in spaces where we expect our allies to be, you know, allies.

And I think that some things aren’t inherently transphobic, like cis lesbians not wanting to have sex with trans lesbians

Then it’s a good thing no one here ever claimed otherwise.

Dvärghundspossen
6 years ago

Yeah, well, I guess it might actually be better to skip TERF and just call transphobes transphobes for a variety of reasons. Not the least that some people seem to believe that all radical feminists are transphobes because they’ve heard so much about TERF:s, and that’s simply false. So it might, for that reason, be better to just go “that feminist group is transphobic” rather than “they are TERF:s”.

However, the argument “marginalized groups get to decide what they’re called” is a bad one against using TERF. TERF isn’t a nasty term for woman or for lesbian (and many TERF:s are, for that matter, straight) – it’s a term that points out that someone is being transphobic. Therefore it’s radically different from, say, calling a lesbian a “dyke” and then she goes “I don’t wanna be called that, because I consider it a slur”. Women get to decide what terms we use for “woman” and lesbians get to decide what terms we use for “lesbian”, but transphobes don’t get to decide what terms we use for “transphobe”.

Still, as I said above, people probably have a point that there are other good reasons for switching from talk about TERF to talk about transphobes, even if said transphobes in some cases have a particular kind of feminist theory.

Dvärghundspossen
6 years ago

Maybe tranphobia is more often policed among allies because friendly fire hurts more and allies and people who wish to be allies inhabit the same places trans folks do.

Kinda like homophobia and misogyny are called out in spaces where we expect our allies to be, you know, allies.

Exactly.

Alex
6 years ago

Then it’s a good thing no one here ever claimed otherwise.

Well, clearly you don’t see how it was claimed, and we can’t make you. But a lot of people saw exactly that being claimed, and backpedaled, and claimed again through different wording after different wording. If you disagree, that’s fine, but I for one don’t appreciate discounting the voices of people we know are here in good faith.

emilygoddess - MOD
emilygoddess - MOD
6 years ago

Just tossing this out there, but is the difference that hating trans people is part of their definition of feminism? Whereas racist feminists are racists who happen to be feminists, not feminists who actively exclude PoC? Am I making sense?

Yeah, you’re making sense. TERFiness isn’t just about feminism + transphobia…their whole understanding of gender and patriarchy precludes trans women actually being women, and in their worldview accepting trans women as women will undermine women’s liberation.

pallygirl
pallygirl
6 years ago

Popping back in to support Alex’s comment.

Argenti Aertheri
Argenti Aertheri
6 years ago

Emilygoddess — Ok, good, my sense of if I’m making sense is all off (meta!).

(General comment) But what I said before is why I, personally, am going to stick with TERf (little f cuz they call themselves feminists, but the trans hatred seems to outweigh the feminism) — they AREN’T transphobic feminists, they’re feminist who see the very existence of trans people as anti-feminism. In my brain it’s Trans Eliminative Radical Feminist, trans exclusionary. Because they don’t just want trans people out of their spaces, they think any of not embracing our bio gender are like, gender traitors, delusional, freaks, horror shows, rapists, etc. As for when to use the term, no, I don’t think it’s appropriate to use on any feminist who may be expressing something transphobic, I think it should be reserved for those who’re vocal about trans people being delusional, rapists, evil, etc.

Lea, you where here for the blow up, you saw how many people read it that way. But idk, it rubbed me wrong but maybe you didn’t mean any sarcasm and we’re just having an internet = unable to hear tone failure?

thebewilderness
thebewilderness
6 years ago

It is great that you think that but that is not what is happening. What is happening is that it is used as a silencing and exclusion tactic by authoritarians. Saying you don’t think it should happen won’t make it stop happening.

pecunium
6 years ago

I think TERF could be useful, but usage has corrupted it. I’m not likely to be using it in writing hence. In part because I have stopped being able to trust references to it meaning something I can agree is a valid use of the term.

gillyrosebee
gillyrosebee
6 years ago

Lea, I agree wholeheartedly with your point that asshattery cuts deeper and wounds more when it comes from what you understood to be your protected flank. But, yeah, everything Alex wrote.