Tuesday, 25 July 2017

Parents and Detransitioners: Mutilation and Delusion, and a Transogenic Society

I talk with a lot with other parents and like them others I follow the writing and videos of de-transitioners. 

Many are incredibly insightful, articulate and passionate. The produce great stuff like this From GuideOnRagingStars:

Obviously they give us hope. Those kids got out, our kids could too. We invest huge hope in them and end up projecting our hopes, our feelings onto them.

And that is dodgy as hell, really dodgy. 

Me and the parents (well, mainly mums) I talk with all, to some extent see trans as something our kids have done. We feel its an action they take, an action that betrays the feminism we believed in, the love we try to raise them with.

We see, we feel, that what they want to do is mutilation. It seems fucking obvious, lopping your tits off, or constructing a Gregs Dildo out of spare forearm skin. Inverting your cock and carving out a fleshlight. Your child and the liberal establishment, push it forward as a solution to the unease and distress that young people feel. Then shit gets a bit primal. We panic. It sounds like mutilation to us.

We hear what they say and it sounds batshit mad. "I am a boy, I have  always been a boy, I have always been a boy trapped in a girls body, but I only realised when I read about it on tumblr and Caitlin Jenner came out". "I thought I was a Lesbian, but I went to pride and Mermaids explained it to me". Yeah that sounds fucking crazy, delusional, call me judgemental.

Even an insensitive clot like me knows that saying that is hurtful, does not open up a mutually respectful conversation. We recognise that those thoughts come from a painful place,They run through our heads, but only come out with partners, close friends or therapists or when we talk to other parents. We bury them. We blame trans activists trying to justify and legitimise their kink. We blame fluffy headed liberals who go along with trans dogma because the story of brave kids finding their true selves sounds attractive.  We blame greedy doctors and munchausen parents of celebrity trans kids. Theres some truth in all of that, but its not the whole truth.

Detransitioners see it differently

They don't see themselves as fools that were conned by an evil cult. They see themselves people who made choices. Choices that at the time, in the situation they were in, with the information they had, made sense to them. Now they have gained more insight, found new information, have built themselves a better situation. Now they have made different choices. They want to support each other. They want to bring their insight, their new information to other people who are like them. They want to make their better situation reachable. So that those other people may make their own choices.

Purple sage wrote a really good post "Mutilation" about a vid that Carey Callahan posted No, people who medically transitioned are not "mutilated"

What they say is summed up in the first couple of paragraphs

Last year I made a decision not to use the words “mutilation” or “delusional” when talking about trans people. That’s because detransitioners have been patiently explaining why these words are harmful. On a rare occasion I might call someone’s worldview “delusional” if they are being particularly ridiculous in the things they say, but I don’t make blanket statements that to be transgender is always a “delusion.” Gender dysphoria is clearly a real condition, and there are real feelings involved that are hard to explain, and people might not always make sense when trying to explain how they feel but it’s normal for feelings not to make sense. My feelings don’t always make sense either. (I do, however, expect people to make sense when they are laying out their political position.)
There are still lots of radfems and other trans critical folks who call people delusional and name their surgeries as mutilation. Here is an angry rant by Carey Callahan about it:
So I have used those words like mutilation and delusion and I meant them. They expressed how I feel, but I have to agree with Purple Sage and Carey that in many ways they are not helpful.

This inconsistency is, in a lot of ways,  something that expresses a lot about being a parent of a child that declares themselves transgender. I have no easy answers. Our feelings are real, the words express those feeling, but the words do not help our kids.

I reached out:

To  Reddit/GenderCritical, to see what the many rad fems there, who's opinions I value

To Twitter.

Your right, & Purple Sage  https://purplesagefem.wordpress.com/2017/07/21/mutilation …. I have used those words, when its your kids, shit gets v primal, but thanks to you>
and others, I understand more & hope I know better.
Lily Maynard replied
Replying to @dad_gc @catt_bear
It's very hard - on the one hand I don't want to hurt individuals just trying to get by - on the other, those are very relevant words. :-(
More if you Click here
To sum up my feelings I'm just going to paste in what I said on twitter,
One of the things the DT blogs have taught me is that for ppl concerned, with the information they have, in the milieu they are in. surrounded by trans dogma and porn, horrifyingly it does make sense.
That make me feel I have failed as a father, but I have to face it. I could not protect her from that. I failed to make her world one where she could grow into the splendid, glorious woman she can be.
When I shouted at her about mutilation and delusion and betraying woman, that was, in part, me denying my feelings of failure. With better understanding I see it in terms of an abusive cult like system. 'My' failure is a failure of society, 'her' mistakes are the actions of a child trying to live in the world set up by society.
We (parents) need to deal with this. Because we need to deal with it with our own kids and because we need to understand what detransitioners can tell us. We need to support them, they are some of the few people offering an alternative to the trans narrative and alternative ways of dealing with dysphoria.

To deal with this we have to face some uncomfortable things about our own relationships with our kids.

  • All teenagers are arseholes to their parents at times, its part of growing up, Trans turbo charges that. It makes being an arse to your parents a political act, it justifies and glamourizes every temper tantrum and strop into an act of rebellious transgression. That’s not easy for parents to cope with. But we have to cope. We have to remain (mostly) calm. Even when we set boundaries and express the hurt, we hold back.
  • We don’t always manage to cope, to stay calm. Sometimes we break and we act like arseholes. We’re human.
  • Kids don’t talk to their parents about stuff. It’s all part of building your own sense of self, you autonomy. This is not a feel good movie, a reality show or a family therapy session with a patronising presenter/therapist on hand to tell us all how we should do it.
  • Have you seen the face of a teenager if their parents show open verbal or physical affection? Especially if the kid is a bit introverted and shy, what is now labelled as a bit spectrum. Kids don’t want their parents being all lovey dovey over them like a rash.
  • You have to step back and let your kids into the world. You can’t be holding their hands all the time. You have to trust them. To let them make their own mistakes and their own recoveries.
  • Kids don’t listen to their parents. Whether it’s how to cut an onion, drive a car or the wisdom of mastectomy, their parents are dinosaurs who haven’t learnt anything for 30 years.
The pressures on young women from fashion, pop, tv, liberal feminism, porn,  all add up to make our society and culture transogenic. A society and culture that makes girls and young women vulnerable to trans. And trans is eagerly waiting for them.

Yes I have made mistakes, but it's not parents that have changed in the past 10 years. It’s the internet, porn and mainstream culture. The defanging of feminism into liberal feminism has left young women without a voice.

Thanks to the second wave of feminism, and in my case the women of punk, my generation had Spare Rib, Germaine Greer, Shire Hite and Scum, Poly Styrene and the Slits. We assumed our future would be feminist, that relationships were about negotiating a mutually fulfilling, respecting and pleasureable partnership.

Now they have Everyday Feminism and Teen Vogue, Miley Cyrus and Taylor Swift. Their future has sex the stereotypes of the 30's with the male entitlement of the sixties. Modern liberal feminism teaches them how to endure anal, accept porn addiction as normal and see sexual boundaries only in terms of BDSM and something to be worked on.

So when young women find the prospect of being a collection fuck holes unappealing. When they desire more connection than being a prop in their boyfriends porn karaoke. When being a lesbian is just a category on YouPorn, or is problematic and old fashioned in a world where everyone (but especially women) should be pansexual.

When young men do not want to see them self as dominators of women: When they abhor violence: When they seek a connection and sensuality in sex: When they want time and space to explore a lovers body, discover the strange world of women's real sexuality.

This can feel painful, this can feel like you are wrong, you are broken and no one can love you,

Then trans is there to tell you that all this means you have gender dysphoria. You are not really a woman or a man, you are transgender.Then you are celebrated as the brave new world.

Transogenic Society

The trans scene pulls, it has money, establishment support and glamour, but the straight world,  our world pushes. Every copy of Fifty Shades of Grey, every dating show, each, every porn site our kids can get on their mobile phones and every little petty bit of sexism and sexist expectations. All push the same old Man/Woman Top/Bottom line.

Crash writes about this way better than I can in her tweet feed, blog and on you tube. This is a good start - https://twitter.com/CrashChaosCats

We were massively side stepped by the internet and LGB orgs. We expected them to be supportive of our kids be Lesbian or gay, or just normally weird,  gender non-conforming kids. We really didn’t expect the very organisations and cultures that should have supported our kids to be recruiting them into some sort of open source, distributed cult, for the glorification of a few activists, some creepy young men, some rather sad old blokes and the enrichment of a shed load of doctors, quacks and professional activists.

I read young radical feminists and they inspire me, but they are outnumbered by young women who apologise for wanting a word to describe an adult human female.

My kids at Uni now, we get on better than ever. She has no clue about GCD. It will be years before we talk about trans. I will wait for her to bring it up and I will wait until she has seen thru it for herself. Until that happens anything I say to her about trans will make things worse. All I can do is keep our relationship together, show my love by actions, show my acceptance of her as the wonderful woman she is.

Carey Callahan posted a follow up in a vid, in this section, she's welling up and I was when I watched it. She recalls her dad saying

Its Hard, you see your kid wanting to be a new person and you think "Why do you want to be a new person, I like you" 
She says how the moment is weird, her father has never said anything like that before, it only took 35 years.

That's so real. I wish I had said that to my daughter. There never seemed the right moment. Looking back there were so many good moments. Now with trans in the picture, it can't be said. it would be heard as trying to manipulate her. I can only try to live it in the time we spend together.

1 comment:

  1. I do not have twitter and didn’t know how to contact you directly, but I definitely think you should share around and on your Twitter that Rhode Island College is launching a course called ‘Transracial Bodies, Transracial Selves’ in accordance and same logic of the entire transgender premises: this is the logical conclusion and equivalency of the entire transgender brain melting, big pharma and nature rejecting nonsense. It is astounding how the transgender community can possibly say that it is any different, not simply with Julia Serrano endorsing it, and the sense used in Rebecca Tuvel’s work, but there is now even a bloody college course for it, even Michael Jackson in the picture.
    Here is the course description from it’s website, scroll down and click the course title (http://www.risd.edu/academics/literary-arts-studies/courses/) :

    ”Thanks to the work and lives of transgender people, we now have room to understand our bodies in radically unbounded ways. Technological advances in surgery, hormonal therapy, psychiatry, cultural warfare, are catching up to the transgender presence: the gendered body is not necessarily that with which we were born, but one that can be crafted to match the real body of our psyche, our dreams. However, one’s racial self remains tethered to biology. Blackness, Whiteness, Asianness, Latinness, the whole rainbow of racial identification, is still construed as biologically inescapable and inevitable. To speak of “transracialism” is to evoke self-delusion and community betrayal. But this cultural reaction is contrary to the everyday experience that actually finds racial identification as a process that is always transracial: declaring ourselves racially, we all cross restricted zones in becoming ourselves. In this course, we will use the discourse of transgenderism to build an alternate vocabulary of race.”

    Goodness Christ… In all ironies, race is so much less biologically based and supported than gender: the basic anchoring of our existence and reproduction of our species.

    More media attention to it:


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