I have been sexually assaulted, treated as sexually available, humiliated sexually, by men using their strength and power to take what they want as if I were worthless. It is a common experience of women. From early puberty, men come on to them. In work, men stand too close or brush against them, or talk about their attractiveness in mixed groups. If women are brought up not to be self-assertive, or bossy, or to rock the boat, but to be accommodating; not given techniques to handle this, but taught shame; would they not be angry?
If a woman sees me as a man, might she find this a greater humiliation after previous humiliations? She is angry. She wants me out of the public loos and the changing rooms, and my assertion that I am hurt too is not enough, however badly I am hurt. What women share is that upbringing, and the reproductive system, which makes them targets, sometimes unable to fight men off.
She becomes focused on us. She collects stories of men in women’s clothes, assaulting women, and even though I am not that person she says she has no reason to trust me any more than him. She learns about the theory of autogynephilia, and then says that is the scientific fact, that is our motivation, we are perverts in the loos being sexually aroused and so even more of a sexual threat. We transition, one told me, because we get aroused by fooling people into imagining we are women. If I go in the loo they accuse me of male privilege and acting with male entitlement. They mock our femininity and ridicule our appearance.
Piss off, you’re a man, as Germaine Greer said.
And they talk of detransitioners, and doctors rushing people into transitioning, and no-one challenging transition or offering alternative ways forward. We would not listen, of course, we would talk of gatekeepers, and arguably once you change your name and live full time you should get hormones, hormone blockers, and surgery if you want it.
The tragedy here is that women who are irreversibly hostile to us are devoting their energies to campaigning against a weak and marginalised group, who do not fit the conditioning of childhood, who are desperate, who would transition however painful transition was because it is better than staying as assigned at birth. I am not playing oppression olympics here. I am not saying we suffer worse, that we suffer as much, or even that our suffering should matter at all; but that we are not the main enemy, and that attacking us does not achieve their ends.
Patriarchy, I am told, is the oppression of the class of females by the class of males. This class analysis leaves no room for individual differences. Male oppressing female is like white oppressing black. They will not like me telling them where best to direct their ire, or what strategy or tactics to use, so I am reduced to hoping that they will find some better enemy to fight, and saying it is a tragedy. Only the Patriarchy benefits from us fighting.