I -was- going to write this post mostly about how in fact this does work in what some of us laughingly know as the "real world." How I have attended a number of trans-inclusive women-only events, and miraculously, in fact, they have not devolved into anything-goes men-born-men-infested frat parties. That no, the handful of transwomen and/or transbois/men still ID'd with the community who wanted to be there (funnily enough, in my world, the latter has been a much bigger point of contention than the former) did not, in fact, harsh everyone else's mellow, steal anyone's precious bodily fluids, attack anyone in the bathroom...and that that's -even- been true for (zomg she goes to) sex/play parties, wherein the only stipulation was that organically grown phalli/nads not be displayed unclothed in the public areas. A line, drawn. Maybe not one to everyone's satisfaction, but a hell of a lot more generous one than "if you weren't born with a hoo hoo, yer not welcome, even if no one is going to be -showing- their hoohoos;" and, oddly enough, one just as easily respected and maintained as any other.
And then maybe something to the effect of, yes I am aware that there have been (for example) some extremely dodgy characters who've (for example) ignored MWMF's rules, gone in anyway, and/or also behaved abusively toward individuals. I am (online) passing familiar with at least one of these characters, and I would be one of the first to say, by all means, keep THIS person, this woman, sure, from coming into your festival, because she's a toxic individual. This is not, however, because she was born with male genitalia; this is because she is an abusive sociopath, which is in fact a trait that is not directly attached to one's genitalia or chromosomes. Nor is it automatically deducible that because one was born with a certain kind of genitalia , one has received a certain kind of "training" (one size fits all, M/F, respectively, right?), much less that said training or whatever automatically renders the person more or less "safe."
You know how I know that? Because, friends and neighbors, a lot of women-born-women so-called? Are plenty fucking abusive their own selves. Are not, by anyone's definition, -safe-; are -more- than capable of doing everything the above-mentioned individual did and much, much more. Have done. Are doing. Will do again. Sometimes right there within the hallowed boundaries of your "safe spaces."
And if you can't or won't see that, if your understanding of human nature is really so simplistic that you honestly believe that
And then, well, once again, I was going to talk a bit more about how relevant this Bernice Johnson Reagon piece is, ironically enough as it was written over 25 years ago and doesn't explicitly mention transpeople at all; and yet, still, same shit, more or less. What's a "safe space?" What's "women-only" really mean, and what is it you expect out of it? And so on.
All of that. And then, in the comments to this post, the following question was posed (by the author of the post inspiring the O.P. there, by the way, as well as this one, the following was posed.
“Do you believe every person who says they are a woman?
The only way this argument works is if *your* actual meaning of the word goes for everyone–that is, of course, unless anyone who claims womanhood gets it.
Can’t have both.”
And I thought: you know what, okay. Let's take that question at face value for just a second, even though we're clearly far, far afield from any sort of handwaving about the ev0ls of patriarchal surgery and so on and so forth.
"Do you believe every person who says they are a woman?"
Let's just say for the moment that the answer were "yes," putting aside the question of "there goes the
Because, the thing is, see, if you're simultaneously claiming you wish to "get rid of gender?" That, like, doesn't really work. Because, putting questions of genitalia and surgery aside, fact is, a society without gender? wouldn't CARE if a person called hirself a woman or not, no matter -what- hir genitalia or other physical features or manner of adornment were. That -is- what you're supposedly after, right? The end of Class Man and Class Woman, yes? That's what "gender" is all -about-, yes? These terrible -binary- divisions, with one "side" valued over the other; this is what Patriarchy -is-, this is what we want to do away with. Yes? No?
Because, see, -now-, I am thinking: this is maybe a bit like the way the CP still gives or gave lip service to the idea of the "withering away of the State." Oh, sure, that's the end goal, someday. Just not anytime -soon.- And no, we're not really the new boss, much less the same as the old boss, just because it -looks- like we're acting authoritarian; we're just, uhhh, doing this because it's a dirty job and someone has to? But, anyway, NO, we are NOTHING AT ALL like the Powers That Be, we -have- no power and -never will-, now -stop saying that,- or you'll be soooorrrreeeeeee....
Look: the truth is, if you're that wigged out about transpeople, or other transgressions against the -purity- of your single-gender space? Well, you're in plenty of company; what you -aren't- is "against the gender binary." To the contrary, you have a deeply vested interest in maintaining that binary. You have no intention of getting rid of Class Man/Class Woman; you've got too much invested in your identity as -radical revolutionary feminist- (isn't that what all this squawking is about? how you don't get no respect just because you know you have the One True Way of leading the world to salvation?) What're you gonna do if/when the "war" (as someone else just called it) is over? Finally enjoy all the forbidden fruits that can only be possible in a non-patriarchal society (x kinds of sex, visual erotica, play, fuck knows what else)? Take up canasta? Fuck no; if you were that sort of person, you'd be doing that -now-. This shit gives your life -meaning-; you have an -identity- now; take that away, and what do you have?
No wonder you fight so hard against people who say they want to change their bodies or names or clothing just so they can live relatively happily ever after; the very concept must be anathema to you.
I mean, it's -hard work-, this whatever-it-is, isn't that what one of y'all was rabbiting about? How terrible it is that people -want- feminism or whatever Movement to be "easy?" And "hard work," as this gentleman so eloquently explains, basically means privation and sacrifice and (implicitly) eschewing such frivolous/dangerous concepts as "the pursuit of happiness."
And you've given so, so much up. And all you want is this little, tiny circle-jill in the woods or some dank rented rec room with the right to exclude whoever you damn please. A little...lebensraum. That's all.
Because, at the end of the day, what else -is- there? Not -fun-, fuck knows, or play, or all these fraught kinds of sex or dressup or art or...
and why o why does this all feel so drearily familiar, again?