The Dangerous & Unproven Information Spread by TERFs
Today, not for the first time, I was accused of spreading dangerous and unproven information… a crime for which I am, repeatedly, labeled a bigot (or terf). There’s only one problem…
I’m not the one spreading “dangerous and unproven” information… it’s the trans advocates and their allies who are doing that. I’d like to take a look at some points of contention, and discuss some claims I see made by the trans community and its allies, but to avoid the overwhelming task of collecting all the claims I’d like to address and putting them in one Medium piece, I’m going to start with one.
Claim: Women are oppressed on the basis of gender, therefore trans women’s oppression is equal to the oppression of natal women.
Many (if not most) in the trans community fundamentally disagree that the basis of women’s oppression is sex-based. This isn’t a dissertation on Radical Feminist Theory, so let’s just take a high-level look at this. Now, because the material oppression of women reaches all areas of our lives, I could spend all night comparing statistics… but let’s just look at sexual assault.
The relevance of whether or not women are oppressed due to sex or gender-identity cannot be separated from the controversy over sex-segregated spaces (and consequently who belongs in theses spaces). It’s fairly simple… if women are oppressed due to presentation or gender identity, then trans women are oppressed in the same way(s) and for the same reason(s) as natal women. The assertion that trans women and natal women experience oppression by society in the same ways and for the same reasons would lead to the logical conclusion that this would mean trans and natal women experience violent or sex-based crimes at similar rates, thus both groups would benefit equally from being in woman-only spaces (especially bathrooms, locker rooms, and shelters). Likewise, trans and natal women having the same or similar experiences as women might also suggest similar rates of offending, as well. There’s only one problem with this… if you have made either of those assumptions, you would be wrong.
A long-term study of transsexuals conducted in Sweden showed that the hazard risk (that is, the likelihood to commit a crime) in MTF transsexuals (expressed in the below table as MTT, or male-to-trans) is slightly lower than men, but significantly higher than the hazard risk in women.
The hazard risk in the above table is expressed in likelihood to commit a crime when compared to the male vs female control groups, and is adjusted for mental health issues. Hazard risk expressed as 1.0 means the risk is the same as the control group, no more and no less likely, and it may be helpful to view this number as a multiplier. Clearly illustrated above is that the trans community’s assertion that transsexual women do not offend as often as men is accurate, with the drop in crime rate the same for violent and non-violent crimes… however, it also shows that patterns of offending for MTF transsexuals are not actually anything like the female control group. While you may be able to (accurately) say that MTF transsexuals commit at lower rates than their non-MTF male counterparts, it’s intentional misrepresentation to leave out the fact that the prevalence of MTF offenses is still much, much closer to that of the male control group than to the female, with MTF transsexuals committing violent crimes at eighteen times the rate of natal women.
But what about the rate at which trans women are the victims of violent crime? The following table was pulled from the 2015 U.S. Transgender Survey, and charts the rate of lifetime sexual assault among various subgroups of the trans community. Even though I am talking specifically about trans women, since my claim is that women’s oppression is sex-based, I feel that this best illustrates this point.
If we look at the rates for non-binary people, you can see that there is a 17-point increase in sexual assault between female and male people, 58% and 41%, respectively. The same trend is seen between trans men (females) and trans women (males), with a 14-point difference (51% vs 37%). Because we know that natal women are much more likely to experience sexual assault in their lifetime than natal men, it becomes easy to conclude that the likelihood of being a victim of sexual assault is linked to sex and not to gender identity, despite claims by the trans community to the contrary.
As promised, this isn’t a dissertation… But I can’t pass up pointing out that female infants are less desirable in many cultures, are the only sex to experience genital mutilation that regularly results in complete loss of sensation, infections, and death… Females are the only sex forced to incubate and birth children, even at the risk of their own health and safety… Females are the only sex regularly sold into marriage as children… I could go on, but I don’t need to.
The idea that oppression of women is based in femininity, thus making trans women’s oppression equal to that of natal women’s, is complete nonsense; it’s crystal clear that no one has ever waited for a child to declare that she’s a girl before imposing female oppression on her… And even if oppression could be opted into or out of, trans identified females are still at a greater risk of assault, and trans identified males are still more likely to commit these assaults. Women are oppressed for being female, trans women are oppressed for being effeminate males, and trans men cannot escape their oppression as long as they are female… even if they manage to successfully hide from it for awhile.
Have you heard claims made by the trans community that you’d like to hear addressed? Maybe you know that they’re false but you can’t quite put it into words, or maybe you’re fence sitting (or even someone who would call me a terf) and are curious to hear how I’ll address it. Feel free to drop them in the responses!