Are trans women monsters?


Anatomy and physiology matter. Wombs, their functions and malfunctions, menstuation pregnancy and childbirth, all matter. Sexual attraction always has something to do with anatomy, however demisexual romantic you are, and a penis is not a vagina. Sexual autonomy matters- you have a right to choose a partner, and a right to reject whole classes of partner, such as anyone with a penis.

None of this means that my understanding of myself, my expression or my choices are illegitimate, and it certainly does not mean I should never enter a women’s loo.

I have a twitter account, but have only tweeted once in the past year. I prefer to google someone and look at their tweets than to follow, and I rarely even look at my feed. I am not familiar with twitter. 140 characters is not enough to construct an argument. You can make a bald generalisation, but twitter is better for encouraging your own side than arguing constructively or persuading. It only really works when people make allowances and try to see the good in each other- otherwise, it promotes misunderstanding.

I don’t know why someone would erase a date or the number of replies, retweets and likes from a screen capture. A date would make these tweets easier to find. I got these images from a transphobic blog, and the Tweeters may have laid themselves open to transphobic use.

Transphobia and transmisogyny. Well, no, I don’t think so. I want to be seen as a whole person, but sex involves genitals and some people don’t want sex with a penis. That a lesbian would not have sex with her does not invalidate the trans woman’s life experiences, choices, or self-understanding, but the lesbian is entitled to the choice, and to state it is not necessarily an expression of hatred or fear of the trans woman.

If a lesbian tries to use her dislike of penises to make a point about trans women, invalidating us, that is different. There is no need to harp on about groups you don’t find attractive. Most people would not have sex with me- they feel a need to be faithful, they find me too young or too old, any number of reasons which we have no need to enumerate in civilised society. “I would never have sex with you” could be an insult, an attack on my general attractiveness. It is unpleasant, and Rachel’s riposte invalidates such attacks. I feel Rachel goes too far, though.

Um. Some people were brought up to be ashamed of periods, never told what to expect so shocked when they started to bleed, and this is not OK. I did not experience that, I was surprised, unhappy and ashamed about wet dreams. Periods are not a trump card, excluding me from women’s loos, or women with Turner’s Syndrome would be not real women. A little consideration for other people, which can’t be shown by one tweet taken out of context, would accept that women are entitled to talk about anything to do with periods from menarche to menopause. Yes it is wearying if they judge me by my inability to menstruate, or say that means I am not a woman.

The way we encourage each other on Twitter can be taken out of context. I am female. My experiences and choices are valid. Periods are not a trump card. Yet these tweets have been taken and quoted to prove to the blogger’s satisfaction that trans women are monstrous and possibly threatening. It does no-one any good.

I don’t know if the only @ThurMonster I found by searching is a different person. Some of those tweets are witty. I found none trans-related, but did not scroll far. The profile picture on the screenshot appears on this TasteKid page, where the facial hair is more visible. I am happy to call myself lesbian. Some people would object. The tweet seems to be an ally defending us against the idea that only “women born women” or whatever can be lesbian. I don’t feel that the tweet by itself is particularly objectionable.

It’s wordpress for nuance, twitter for twitterspats. Let us encourage each other. People will take our reassurances of each other out of context to use to portray us as monstrous, and that’s unavoidable. Possibly sometimes the reassurance goes a bit too far, and lays you open to transphobic people. Try not to put off potential allies, or give ammunition to those who would.

Thanks to Violet for introducing me to that post.

7 thoughts on “Are trans women monsters?

  1. I’m sorry for giving the post more exposure than it deserved. Having seen what some of the anti-trans lobby write, you can easily say how these things escalate. Some of the comments though are obviously completely out of order. That last one, as you say, isn’t offensive (apart from the swear word) and it’s inclusion indicates the mindset of the person who trawled Twitter to find offensive posts.


  2. i understand where those kind of thoughts come from, but that doesn’t mean i agree or think it’s an excuse to bully other people.

    a part of our society don’t understand gender roles (and that there’s more to it than the dichotomy of male/female) and they often have a limited vision on sexuality. so it all gets confused in their minds).

    the point is, everyone is different, everyone is unique and everyone should choose what to do with their lives without judgement. labels, in the end, are just labels.

    thank you for this post, it is people like you that bring some light to this world. ❤


  3. oh, and also: after reading a post about non-binary sexuality i started to wonder what does it mean to be a woman. i even started to write a post about it. but it is so difficult to answer that question or to pick a few generalist points and say: this is what means to be a woman for every women. maybe it’s an impossible task, what do you think?


    • Welcome. Thank you for reading and commenting. It is lovely to have you here.

      I don’t know what it means to be a woman. It felt right for me to transition, and express myself as a woman. Possibly this arose from my exposure to very definite ideas of what it was to be a man or a woman, and not fitting that concept of “man”. I don’t feel the physiological differences invalidate my choices, but the choice to transition was a step on the way to self-actualising, not the final goal. It was the road I had to take to discover your root. your source. what makes yourself you. and to love all that you are. It might not be the road others have to take. I feel that trying to fit a box, labelled “man”, deformed me and I untwist myself as best I may. Then, labels can be liberating- when I called myself “transsexual” it permitted me to express parts of myself I had not expressed before. I might not see parts of myself if I could not name them. Following the Tao, flowing like water, might be preferable but I have my past, and labels to liberate- “I am X, so I can Y”- are useful for me. I want more such labels!

      For me, the main differences between men and women are the reproductive role, and the culturally acceptable ways of behaving. I find what is acceptable or unacceptable oppressive. I think you are younger than I am. It may be that the cultural oppressions which affected us are different, and you may be more able to be yourself. Fashions matter- we judge each other by our style. Some trans women are beautiful, confident and hot, some of us less so, and some of us are intensely self-conscious rather than natural. You might see my lack of self-confidence, and find it less inspiring than the hot trans woman you saw. Or, you might take time to gain my trust so that I took off my masks and layers and we could play with our masks and layers together. And, yes, everyone has both masculine and feminine traits. As for sexuality, I am still exploring the range and depth of mine, and hope to discover more.

      Let us encourage each other!

      It is delightful to meet you.

      Liked by 1 person

      • claire, you are already inspiring to me because you have a voice and you decided to share your experience with others.
        i can’t say i’m a confident woman, or sexy, because i’m clumsy and it’s just the way i am. (;
        i agree when you say that labels help you find parts of yourself that you wouldn’t otherwise see, or that it makes you understand better who you are. i felt the same when i discovered when i was an introvert rather than an awkward teenager. but those labels do limit us when they are used against us or they are trying to put us on a box. because we are much more than that label. we are a multitude of labels and paradoxes and contradictions! at least, i am. it’s how language works, though.
        i understand what you mean by self-conscious and not feeling natural {i am self-conscious myself and even have nightmares about stupid little stuff like using old socks to a gym when i shouldn’t: i can blame my parents for that}, but i do believe that if you let go of those thoughts and let yourself be yourself, you’ll feel it’s natural. it takes practice, and time, and it’s painful, but it’s worth it.
        i’m also still discovering what it means to be a woman, and a mother, and myself, and trying to be the best i can {and i’ve been a girl, more like a tom-boy, all my life!}. so, yes, let’s support each other. we’re all human being searching for our place in this world.
        it’s great to meet you too, claire. and i hope to read you many, many times. ❤

        Liked by 1 person

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