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Men in dresses surprisingly popular among those who regularly attack trans women as men in dresses

By David Futrelle

It can be hard to date when your hate gets in the way — and even more so when the people you’re most attracted to turn out to be the very same people you spend your life hating the most.

Consider a recent thread in the so-called Gender Critical subreddit — Reddit’s main hub for TERFs — in which lesbians and straight women alike confessed their love for “gender benders” of all sorts, from “cute” enbys (non-binary people) to literal men in dresses. It’s almost as if they have some sort of — dare I say it? — fetish?

“It feels like half the lesbians i find cute identify as some flavor of trans,” laments a commenter called leifteim.

it’s so annoying because it’s hard enough to date as a lesbian as it is without nonsense politics eroding our community

Someone called mouse-and-mouse agrees:

Every time I see a cute girl on a dating app she ends up being an “enby”

“Same here,” agrees –backdrifter.

So many of the lesbians I find attractive in my age group turn out to have a “gender identity” or “they/them” pronouns. It’s definitely discouraging when our dating pool is already so small, like you’re saying. It feels like there’s just so much bullshit to wade through when trying to date now.

The world’s smallest violin strikes up a tune.

Meanwhile, assorted straight GenderCrit women confess their love and, perhaps more to the point, their lust for gender bending guys rocking “guyliner” and sometimes even dresses. Just so long as they identify as men. There are mentions of glammy musicians from David Bowie to Trent Reznor to the guys in Motley Crue. There are several mentions of Irish actor Robert Sheehan, of whom one commenter writes, “I want him to fuck me in eyeliner and a dress lmfao”

“My bf wears eyeliner, glitter, sparkly tank tops, and and colorful leggings to parties,” writes mouse_and_mouse,

and I think it’s super hot and awesome. And he … very much identifies as a man (he finds the whole trans thing too weird to even contemplate).

GCnewb feels the same way about her crossdressing Nigel:

I love it when my husband wears dresses and other clothes that are flattering on him. (We’re a couple of goths.) If he started wearing fake boobs, acting like a male stereotype of a “woman” or trying to get in women’s spaces I would be revolted.

“I’m bi,” writes crustdrunk.

and both sexes gender bending is a hard swoon from me, especially if they have the confidence required to do so without inventing magical genders. 

And so what if they do “invent a magical gender?” I mean, if you’re attracted to them, you’re attracted to them. What does it matter whether they call themselves male, female, or something else? What does it matter if their self-identification matches the gender they were assigned at birth or not? What difference does it make to you if a person you call a “man in a dress” calls themselves a man or a woman or neither?

What would be the problem if one of GenderCrit Reddit’s proud lesbians were to date one of those “cute girls” who identifies as nonbinary? Or if GCnewb’s dress-wearing hubby were to come out as trans?

Might it inspire some GenderCrits to reexamine their views of gender — and possibly even of their own sexuality? Or would they refuse this sort of self-examination, much like the (fictional) gentleman who wrote the famous Onion article “Why Do All These Homosexuals Keep Sucking My Cock?

For now, it looks like the GenderCrits are going to continue to traverse this second route. Shame.

H/T — r/GenderCynical

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Naglfar
Naglfar
5 months ago

From what I’ve seen, TERFs profess on paper to love GNC people, but in practice absolutely hate them. From their exclusion and harassment of butch women, to their mocking of effeminate men, they really are doing this for show.

I can also see shades of projection here. TERFs are always accusing trans* women of trying to trick them into sleeping with us, when AFAIK most people don’t want to fuck those who hate them. Yet here we are, TERFs waxing about how much they want to fuck people they hate.

What would be the problem if one of GenderCrit Reddit’s proud lesbians were to date one of those “cute girls” who identifies as nonbinary?

I hope they don’t. That enby doesn’t deserve to suffer through a date with a TERF.

it’s so annoying because it’s hard enough to date as a lesbian as it is without nonsense politics eroding our community

So close to self-awareness…the people breaking communities are always the bigots, not the marginalized.

It’s almost as if they have some sort of — dare I say it? — fetish?

I feel like there could be a fetish component to TERFism. I think at least some male transphobes are chasers, and maybe some of the lesbians are (is there a lesbian equivalent? I’ve only heard the term “chaser” applied to cishet men).

FWIW I like GNC people and I fully support people’s right to be gender non conforming. Most trans* people I know agree, and quite a few are GNC themselves.

Airis Damon
Airis Damon
5 months ago

What a time to be alive! So much going on in the world, but there are still some people who cannot help but act like the stereotypical bigot who is also secretly (or not so secretly as is the case) a chaser. Bless their bitter, worm-eaten hearts. Just today, I was trying to convince myself that the “gender critical” people were not actually pulling that tactic perverted bigots usually do when they are desperate for nooky. Oh, irony of ironies! I hope they continue to publicly showcase their sorry love lives. They are painfully funny.

Naglfar
Naglfar
5 months ago

This also comes right on the heels of Graham Linehan’s marriage falling through, so if any GC ladies want a middle-aged man who spends every waking hour of the day on Twitter yelling about trans* people, I hear he’s available. I also hear he makes carbonara. Maybe you could even get him to wear eyeliner, glitter, sparkly tank tops, and colorful leggings to parties (though I rather doubt he’d put up with it).

Snowberry
Snowberry
5 months ago

I don’t think that this is actually that weird. The TERFs/GCs who are *actually* radfems and not just appropriating feminism to justify transphobia (slowly shrinking minority that they are) do generally come from a strain of feminism which wants to break down gender roles and gender expression. They just consider AMAB people to be inherently socialized to inflict violence on AMAB people and this socialization can be weaponized by the patriarchy to colonize femininity/womanhood and undermine feminism, which is not actually how gender or socialization works, but it’s the philosophy which they’ve based their feminism around. So it’s hard to imagine them being all that turned off by it, at the very least. (And there are Radfems which work from similar premises but conclude that AMAB trans people don’t really socialize that way and count as women in every way that matters, so #notallradfems.)

As for the feminist-appropriating ones who are weirded out by their own attraction, will confirm that gender-bending men can be very appealing if done right and you’re at least a little bit bi or have a fetish for femme clothing regardless of who’s wearing it, so if you’re not already aware of that side of yourself you might want to check into that… and if you are already aware you might want to check into what that means to you and if that affects your personal views on other things, just saying.

Policy of Madness
Policy of Madness
5 months ago

They just consider AMAB people to be inherently socialized to inflict violence

Interestingly, there are “pink pill” and “black pill” radical feminists who believe that All Men Are Like That because men are biologically urged toward rape and murder. They are, of course, also a strain of TERF, but they have a lot in common with redpillers and blackpillers on the manosphere side, including a lot of evopsyche pseudoscience explanations for their belief system. They don’t ascribe anything to socialization, and therefore men are a lost cause; if it’s not bad socialization that makes them what they are, then no amount of positive socialization is going to fix them.

Naglfar
Naglfar
5 months ago

@PoM
I’ve noticed another similarity between TERFs and red pillers is their language. Red pillers refer to being “red pilled” in a very short imo alt way to how TERFs say they were “peak transed”, and both like to talk about how they want to red pill/peak trans others in very similar ways.

Snowberry
Snowberry
5 months ago

…AMAB people to be inherently socialized to inflict violence on AFAB people. I can’t believe I didn’t catch that error; I hope it didn’t make things incoherent.

Axecalibur: Middle Name Danger
Axecalibur: Middle Name Danger
5 months ago

Not surprising in the slightest. There is no expression of conservatism that isn’t deeply sexually perturbed. From ‘planters’ sneaking into slave quarters to MGTOWs absolutely refusing to GTOW, it’s all, if you’ll forgive the pun, fucked

Also, just speaking as a man (who is occasionally) in a dress, crossdress terfs can glitter and sparkle their way into the nearest sinkhole or sewer drain

Naglfar
Naglfar
5 months ago

@Axecalibur

crossdress terfs can glitter and sparkle their way into the nearest sinkhole or sewer drain

It looks like the number of TERF cross dressers is probably very small, I think TERFs as a whole are openly hostile enough to force most out. They probably just keep a few tokens around, like they do with trans* people, that will defend them and let them pretend to not be bigots

Talonknife
Talonknife
5 months ago

I’ve always wanted to get into aesthetic crossdressing, but the look just doesn’t quite work for me. I can’t reach a suitable level of androgyny to get it to go.

Naglfar
Naglfar
5 months ago

@Talonknife
You could always try it a few different ways and see if it works. There’s many different ways you could present, androgyny doesn’t have to be one specific style.

Lainy
Lainy
5 months ago

So terfs are just pervets that hate what gets them wet like mysongist men hate what get them hard. How unsurprising

NautaliaC
NautaliaC
5 months ago

They just consider AMAB people to be inherently socialized to inflict violence on AMAB people and this socialization can be weaponized by the patriarchy to colonize femininity/womanhood and undermine feminism, which is not actually how gender or socialization works, but it’s the philosophy which they’ve based their feminism around.

@Snowberry

This philosophy they’ve adopted conveniently forgets about other, more subversive methods that men use to harm women. Most of them are common such as how authoritarian fathers raise their daughters to be infantilized and dependent on male input in order to function. I mean, even then this is only one example, but my point is there are many ways the patriarchy works for those it benefits and conspiracies involving marginalized groups is a stretch especially when you consider the more obvious causes of strife.

So, yes. It’s almost like this is an obsession beyond just a hatred for trans* and GNC people. Is it a fetish for all TERFs? Probably not. But, the amount of time they devote to this obsession may have leaked into their psyche in ways they aren’t prepared to rationalize.

it’s so annoying because it’s hard enough to date as a lesbian as it is without nonsense politics eroding our community

Does this remind anyone else of the philosophy of scarcity that incels share about how ‘looksmatching’ prevents incels from finding appropriate women for them? It doesn’t seem like a big leap from “These women want chads and not me” to “These women will date people I hate and not me!

Mogwitch
Mogwitch
5 months ago

Actually I think this a reasonably common phenomenon and not connected to feminism or TERFism. Lots of straight women find androgynous-presenting men hot, but aren’t attracted to people who are women or presenting as women. Lots of homosexual women find androgynous-presenting women hot but aren’t attracted to people who are men.

Straight men who think women should be attracted to hypermasculinity have been complaining about women (or more particularly teenage girls) being attracted to effeminate looking men forever ( it’s even in Chaucer), because women fancying who they fancy and not who men think they should fancy has been considered wrong long before incels. My father used to say ( with an expression of disgust) that it was young women wanting someone safe, as if they should be attracted to middle-aged, ungroomed dangerously violent types but just couldn’t admit it. (Although of course, if they got into a relationship with such a guy it would have been because women are attracted to arseholes).

I don’t think it’s at all hypocritical or fetishistic, especially in a society where presenting as fully masculine has mostly meant being the subject rather than the object of desire, and not giving any care as to what you look like but judging women entirely on it.

Which is to say, a few TERFs confusing their bog-standard aesthetic preferences with their ideology is not a reason to shame other women for holding those bog-standard preferences. Especially when they get enough crap for fancying boys in eyeliner elsewhere.

EyeHeartSpiders
EyeHeartSpiders
5 months ago

My theory is that it’s because it undermines the fetish by making it less directly transgressive. I suspect the internal logic goes that a man in a dress seems naughty because he’s a man, and is probably doing it because of that naughty social connotation. An enby or trans woman in a dress is probably just in her/their everyday clothes.

I assume men like Eddie Izzard don’t fit into this because they treat traditionally fem apparel AS their everyday clothes. But then, he’s probably not pretty enough for the terfs with this fetish anyhow.

Axecalibur: Middle Name Danger
Axecalibur: Middle Name Danger
5 months ago

@Naglfar

It looks like the number of TERF cross dressers is probably very small, I think TERFs as a whole are openly hostile enough to force most out

Oh, definitely. It’s like nazi furries. A small number, but they exist and are incredibly annoying. Them too, into the drain with the rest of the grime

@Taloknife

I’ve always wanted to get into aesthetic crossdressing, but the look just doesn’t quite work for me. I can’t reach a suitable level of androgyny to get it to go

Hard same. You should keep trying tho if ya like! Not gonna speak to your experience, but, for me, finding a look that actually works is (at most) half the fun. Journeys vs destinations and whatnot

@Spiders

I assume men like Eddie Izzard don’t fit into this because they treat traditionally fem apparel AS their everyday clothes. But then, he’s probably not pretty enough for the terfs with this fetish anyhow

Eddie is both trans and totes pretty. So these terfs are prolly apoplectic about her

Naglfar
Naglfar
5 months ago

@NautaliaC

the amount of time they devote to this obsession may have leaked into their psyche in ways they aren’t prepared to rationalize.

Oh, definitely. I’ve heard the saying “Transphobia rots the brain,” and although the saying itself may have a slight ableism issue, I do think that bigotry can erode any remaining sense of reason that someone has. I think this is also why TERFs seem to fall down a rabbit hole into transparently cult-like stuff.

Right now, there’s a big wave of ex-TERFs who are coming forward with their experiences and not painting a pretty picture of what it was like. Their stories also make it seem like there’s a lot of projection going on. TERFs regularly accuse trans* people of being a cult, but it seems like TERFs themselves are often quite cult-like. Similarly, they accuse trans* people of grooming, yet it seems like there’s a lot of grooming going on amongst TERFs. Or how they keep predicting some wave of detransitioners, which never materializes, but instead there’s a wave of people leaving TERFism.

Another similarity between TERFs and incels are that they’re obsessed with pseudoscientific body tests (link tw transphobia and misogyny), though in the case of TERFs they like to do these tests on other people.

Re: Eddie Izzard
Eddie’s great, and TERFs absolutely hate him* and obsess over him (to the point of having profile pictures mocking him).

*I’m referring to Eddie with he/him pronouns because that’s what his website and Wikipedia page use.

Surplus to Requirements, Observer of the Vast Blight-Wing Enstupidation
Surplus to Requirements, Observer of the Vast Blight-Wing Enstupidation
5 months ago

Thought some here might find this article at Slate interesting:

https://slate.com/technology/2019/04/black-feminists-alt-right-twitter-gamergate.html

Viscaria
Viscaria
5 months ago

“My bf wears eyeliner, glitter, sparkly tank tops, and and colorful leggings to parties,” writes mouse_and_mouse, “and I think it’s super hot and awesome. And he … very much identifies as a man”

How exciting for you both. Please allow me to introduce you to the 7.6 billion people on this planet who are not your boyfriend. Some of those people are trans and/or nonbinary. They deserve your respect, even though they are not the same as your boyfriend, because being the same as your boyfriend is not actually something anyone other than your boyfriend has to do.

But, you know, hey, it’s great that one transphobic asshat who posts on a TERF subreddit was able to find another transphobic asshat who finds trans people just too weird to contemplate. Bigots in love-isn’t it romantic.

Naglfar
Naglfar
5 months ago

@Viscaria

But, you know, hey, it’s great that one transphobic asshat who posts on a TERF subreddit was able to find another transphobic asshat who finds trans people just too weird to contemplate. Bigots in love-isn’t it romantic.

Well, at the very least it means no trans* person will have the misfortune of accidentally going on a date with them.

Masse_Mysteria
Masse_Mysteria
5 months ago

I can’t see anything wrong with finding cis cross-dressers and gender nonconforming folks attractive (would also seem like a harmless fetish to have as long as you don’t force it on anyone). So I’m not actually surprised that TERFs have been working on ruining that.

So many of the lesbians I find attractive in my age group turn out to have a “gender identity”

How awful for you, who, being a TERF, have absolutely never ever been upfront about your gender identity, since a “gender identity” is apparently something only those people have.

Naglfar
Naglfar
5 months ago

@Masse_mysteria

since a “gender identity” is apparently something only those people have.

I’ve also heard TERFs claim that they don’t have pronouns because they think they don’t need them. It must be a pain to have to use their full name each time.

Jenora Feuer
Jenora Feuer
5 months ago

@Masse_Mysteria, Naglfar:
It’s like ‘Identity politics’ in general… or, really ‘politics’ in general when used in the sense of ‘I don’t want politics in my movies/books/TV/etc.’

To the people who say stuff like that:
No, you don’t have a problem with politics. You have a problem with any politics that aren’t the water you’re swimming in and thus you can ignore. You have a problem with people reminding you that your politics actively hurt them, and are then complaining about their politics mildly inconveniencing you by you having to be reminded that they exist.

Jenora Feuer
Jenora Feuer
5 months ago

@Surplus:
Yes, I remember some of that. David had an article about that back when it was happening, including an edited to add reference to the #Your SlipIsShowing tag:
https://wehuntedthemammoth.com/2014/06/15/endfathersday-trolls-being-trolls-or-black-propaganda-designed-to-tear-apart-feminism/

Allandrel
Allandrel
5 months ago

What I really love are the ones complaining that “politics have no place in Star Wars/Star Trek/Super heroes!”

Yes, franchises that started off as “a civil war between a fascist, militaristic empire and a rebellion trying to restore democracy,” and “a diverse, post-scarcity society teaches important lessons about how we should live” and “those with power have a moral obligation to use it to help those with less power” never EVER had politics in them until just now.

Surplus to Requirements, Observer of the Vast Blight-Wing Enstupidation
Surplus to Requirements, Observer of the Vast Blight-Wing Enstupidation
5 months ago

Not to mention many of the comic book heroes got their starts fighting fascists. Captain America and Wonder Woman, for starters.

Naglfar
Naglfar
5 months ago

Sorta O/T: In her new Netflix special, comedian Hannah Gadsby called Hermione from Harry Potter a TERF. Internet TERFs are very mad about this and wrote an open letter to Hannah (and are also not-very-subtly calling her a man).

I haven’t seen the special yet, but I’ve enjoyed Hannah’s other shows so I look forward to checking it out.

Victorious Parasol
Victorious Parasol
5 months ago

@Naglfar

Mr. Parasol and I watched that earlier this week. It’s enjoyable. Much less heavy than her Nanette show, and I geeked out over the structure.

Robert
Robert
5 months ago

I am still agog about TERFs insisting that trans* women are straight men who want to jump their irresistible lesbonic bones, while cisgender heterosexual men insist that they’re gay men who want to jump their irresistible manly-man bones.

It must be a trial and a tribulation being such an object of objectionable lust.

Airis Damon
Airis Damon
5 months ago

It must be a trial and a tribulation being such an object of objectionable lust.

@Robert

You have no idea….

Fenton
Fenton
5 months ago

There is a fraction of a good point buried in all that trash.

Various gender identities are defined largely in their relationship to the most common genders.

If people just forgot about all the social constructs and just “let it happen” people would just do what they do without over-analyzing or arguing about genre like a bunch of metalheads arguing over whether a song is Death Metal, Doom Metal or Sludge Metal.

Years ago, when I was a Yahoo Answers wiseass conservative trolls would post questions like “Hey Libtards, how many genders are there?”

I would answer, in wiseass fashion.

“There are two genders. We can refer to them as Gender A and Gender B.

Gender A can love, have sex with or have any number of possible relationships with Gender A or Gender B. Gender A can freely dress as, act like, imitate or attempt to become Gender B to the extent of their desires.

Meanwhile Gender B can love, have sex with or have any number of possible relationships with Gender A or Gender B. Gender B can freely dress as, act like, imitate or attempt to become Gender A to the extent of their desires.

How many genders do YOU think there are?”

Yes, the answer was engineered to screw with conservative trolls and bigots, but there is a certain efficient elegance in such a context.

Naglfar
Naglfar
5 months ago

@Fenton
I feel like that answer lacks the truth that many people aren’t either 100% A or B and are neither, both, or change between them. Instead of framing it as a fixed number of genders (which seems to be the fallacy of many conservatives) I would answer by saying gender is a complex interaction of social factors and ideas and people can identify and present in virtually unlimited ways. The precise number of genders is not important, any more than the precise number of colors or shapes.

Cyborgette
Cyborgette
5 months ago

Uh yeah, the idea of only two genders is almost as historically recent as the idea of transness. Multiple genders are prolific in human history and in modern cultures outside whiteness, and also importantly are not the same as “trans masc”, “trans fem”, “nonbinary”, “agender” etc.

Gender is even more variable and complicated than biological sex. Which is saying something.

Naglfar
Naglfar
5 months ago

@Cyborgette
Of note is that the idea of 2 immutable genders assigned at birth is very much a white European idea and its imposition on other cultures is an example of colonialism. This is why it especially rubs me the wrong way when white TERFs say that trans* women are “colonizing” womanhood: because a forced gender binary is a white supremacist colonialist idea.