Ovarit and transphobia

“Ovarit” is a forum set up to hate on trans people. It has very strong rules: the “gendercritical” circle is the place for hating trans people, the “women’s liberation” circle is for feminist topics, and the “Activism” circle for calls to action. There is a stern warning about the things which belong in other “circles”. There are also rules about abuse:

We also do not allow slurs used against trans-identified people such as “tranny” and “troon.” Additionally, we do not permit the use of dehumanizing language used against any group of people, such as “pigs in wigs,” “frankenwomen,” or calling groups of people subhuman. Truly degrading descriptions of people’s bodies or body parts, such as “axe wound,” are not allowed.

They do not allow racism or ableism, but have to specify particular types of transphobia they oppose. For them, insisting that trans women are men, or trans women should not be in women’s spaces, is not transphobic. They object to slurs. I had to look up “troon”- it mixes the words “tranny” and “goon”, used to mean violent man. If haters are tempted to use it, soon every trans woman who ever expressed mild irritation will be labelled a troon. They object to dehumanising language, and that’s a mercy, because it leads to violence.

Descriptions of bodies- this is “It’s not you, it’s me”. Someone may be disgusted by the long curving scars after chest surgery, but the disgust is in them, not caused by the trans man.

However they are happy with “trans-identified males” as a term for trans women, unlike Mumsnet which banned it as a slur.

“Trans identified males”, or “TIMs”, is as much a slur as “tranny”, because it denies our very selves. The Ovarit rulemakers have a deficient ontology, or understanding of what is. They think their being as females, because they have ovaries, is more real than my being as a trans woman. But I am as much a woman as they are. Their womanhood comes from their genes, gonads and genitals (3G)- or if they have variation of sexual development, from their desire and societal acceptance. My womanhood comes from my being a trans woman.

If I were not trans, I would not exist. It would be a different human being in my place. Transness is no more excisable from me than womanhood from them. I could no more be a “normal man” than I could be Miles Davis. The proof of this is our desperation to appear to be normal men, and our long interactions with doctors. Until very recently, the name the psychiatrists used was “gender identity disorder”, seeing our gender as a medical problem. They would cure us of it, if they could, and would have found out how, by now, after decades of interactions with us. I remember a sense of intense weariness in my psychiatrist when he told me I was “not psychotic”- for if I were deluded in a psychotic way, I could be cured or managed by anti-psychotics. My weight might balloon, and I might lose all energy and motivation, but at least I would not think I was a woman.

Because my womanhood is as much a part of me as any trans-excluder’s is of her, it is transphobic to make a distinction in order to treat me differently.

Trans women are in women’s spaces already, but trans excluders pretend that we are not, that there is some change foreboded when we might gain access to women’s spaces. It’s just a lie, which they insist on out of transphobia. It may be a blind-spot, they are not conscious of lying, they look blank and disbelieving when you point out the truth- and that again shows their irrational fear.

They want it to be normal that women are upset and offended when there is a trans woman in women’s space, or even the theoretical possibility that one might be. That is, they want to normalise transphobia.

So it is good that they don’t want to dehumanise us, but the language rules they have made are not enough.

What about their claimed “right to organise as a sex class”? A group of 3G women are happy to include intersex women, but not trans women. Why ever would they organise without trans women? Because they want to exclude trans women permanently. As well claim a right of whites to organise as a race-class. They might conceivably hire a hall and admit only 3G women, but should not make a law of it for others.


Ovarit started a thread about this post. T-Central linked to it too. If you come from either, Welcome. Please comment. My comment policy is “don’t bore me”- don’t go on too long or be too repetitive. Don’t abuse other commenters. If you want to be abusive at me, try to be witty with it.

“As soon as I read the first line I thought liar, idiot, or both.” Is Ovarit set up to hate on trans people? I read about it on The Atlantic. It started when a “Gender Critical” (anti-trans) Reddit was banned. The three latest posts as I type are about objecting to “cis”, JK Rowling, and GC folks passing their beliefs to their children, and several others on that first page are about trans, from their headlines. Yes, Ovarit deals with feminist topics as well, but there are lots of spaces where you can discuss feminism. Ask yourself why feminists disapprove of your trans exclusion. It can’t just be they are all idiots.

“This blogger-I’ve-never-heard-of’s opinion doesn’t matter to me.” Absolutely fine. You can read these arguments in all sorts of places, and need not spend too much time with them. Reading too much just gets depressing. “zzzzzz oh sorry” says someone, and I said “zzzz” on facebook yesterday when a trans woman linked to yet another hate screed.

“3G women- is that the people who identify with old cellphones?” I got the term from Cordelia Fine, Testosterone Rex. It means people who are by genes, gonads and genitals women.

“No poop in my soup.” It’s an analogy for no trans women in women’s spaces. That’s about as dehumanising as you can get. Avoiding particular dehumanising words is a good start, but not enough, because the start of dehumanising is contempt. There’s contempt in “this guy” or calling me “bro”.

“You deserve to be treated with respect and dignity… but you are not female.” That’s a bare denial that my argument above has any weight. She needs women’s spaces, and I need women’s spaces too, so arguments from “need” can’t be used to exclude me.

“TIM prostitutes [are] the only part of the demographic in any danger.” We suffer hate crimes.

One quoted this post and said “This blog is unhinged”. I would not have thought it difficult for this audience to find something they objected to.

One asks, how they can tell me apart from someone who claims to feel like a woman in order to enter women’s spaces, but doesn’t really. I don’t think that’s the main threat from violent men. If a woman dodges into a women’s loo, a violent man can just push the door open, he does not need to go to the trouble of getting a gender recognition certificate.

23 July: I noticed a small flurry of views from Ovarit, which had started another thread about this post. They can’t get enough of me. Then they made an archive of my post so they could look at it instead, and I wouldn’t know. Then they deleted the post. They claim they can’t discuss their experiences on facebook. Given the hate facebook lets through, this shows their extremism and their sense of martyrdom.

36 thoughts on “Ovarit and transphobia

  1. I hope you are okay after wading into that world. While slur words may be (mostly) off the table, the bigotry seems alive and flourishing, only with the charming faux smile of respectability. It makes me think of the homophobic nonsense and racism I’d hear from more senior relatives. That was wrong then and this isn’t right either.

    As pointed out, trans folk – including part timers (waves hello) – have been using various facilities for some time and without incident.

    At least we know the sort of thing they are likely to say.


    • Welcome, Emanuele. Thank you for commenting, even without reading.

      Perhaps that is putting it a bit strongly. However, Ovarit was set up when the “Gender Critical” reddit was banned, for- how would you put it? At its best, promoting women’s rights by arguing that trans women are men. And a lot of what Ovarit does is arguing just that. The gender critical circle is a major circle there. A lot of the radfemmery jokes are about trans. The thread there about my blog post was on the “hot” list of threads, for a few days.

      To me, when trans women are in women’s spaces, and number about 0.1% of the population, behaving as if “single-sex” spaces (excluding trans women) are the most important feminist issue is pretty close to hating trans people.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Our rape centres are being defunded. Women are losing their jobs for disagreeing with self-id, and when they disclose their own history of male violence/rape (i.e. with a penis) as a reason for needing penis free space that too is used against them. That’s why it’s our issue. For years there hasn’t been an issue with sharing some spaces, because the violent campaign to destroy every boundary around all women’s spaces wasn’t underway.


        • If you’re in Britain, rape centres and women’s refuges are defunded because of Tories. Mere disagreement is not sufficient to lose your job. There was always some opposition to transition, but it took off after Rupert Murdoch’s organs started encouraging it, after Theresa May’s speech to the Pink News Awards in 2017. Let us unite against the Tories. The Greens should not be spending their time on trans inclusion. They voted for it, but have an obsessive minority who would derail their environmental campaigning.

          Liked by 1 person

            • I hope Allison Bailey loses her claim against her chambers, which never employed her. If she succeeds, she will defund Stonewall, the biggest lesbian-run charity working for lesbian rights in the UK. Fortunately, other actions to defund Stonewall, such as the action against the Crown Prosecution Service, have failed. Bailey’s alternative, LGB All Liars, is basically a series of twitter accounts, so similar as to resemble bots, which act as if the only problem lesbians ever have is trans women saying we’re lesbians.

              Tell me about RISE.

              Liked by 1 person

      • “You’re wrong” does not mean “I hate you.” People are not infallible judges of themselves.You resent being told that you are wrong,but correction is not an attack just because you’d rather not hear it.


  2. So you approve of the hounding of a black lesbian survivor of childhood sexual abuse for wanting to be able to define her sexual boundaries. That’s your side. Great work.


    • One problem between us is that we are both on the side of victims. You see a black lesbian survivor being hounded. I see a barrister. Barristers, in my opinion, are highly intelligent, expert at analytic thought, and not easily cowed. Bailey remains a member of her chambers, so she has not lost her job. You see a “violent campaign to destroy every boundary”, I see individual trans folk and our allies, mostly peacefully working for greater understanding so we can live our lives with less fear and abuse. Yes there is violence, and the individual perpetrators are responsible, and that does not characterise most trans people’s occasional activism. JK Rowling has an extremely powerful voice, and she insinuated horrible things about trans people to make others fear us. That feels violent, to me. It is an incitement to violence. Violent people will use it as their excuse.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I don’t want to be a jerk or hurtful or derogatory. If I am, I will apologize right now. However, I would like to give you the feelings from the other side, and maybe help give an understanding of where the members of Ovarit are coming from. (Not to prove who is right or wrong. Just to increase understanding).

        1.) A lot of women, terf or not, feminist or not, hate the dehumanizing language that has been placed on us. The terms menstruator, birther, cervix haver, is very dehumanizing, because by labeling us with these terms were are just becoming a function and not a person. Person with period, pregnant person, is maybe somewhat OK (that’s my personal opinion), at leas the word person is in there. Maybe the compromise should women, men, and nonbinaries and spelling out all three. I don’t know the solution. However, when you bring up how TIM, TIF, TRAs is offensive. We as women also feel those terms I expressed above are offensive. Yet no one is taking us seriously. No one is listening. It makes many Terfs (I’d also say cis women), including myself, angry that no one is taking this seriously. It feels dehumanizing and humiliating to be called by these terms. However, it feels (I’m not saying it’s true, just that it feels like) we all have to accommodate for these words (menstruators, etc)—when we weren’t even asked if were ok with it, in order to appease the feelings of small minority of people. When women are talking, maybe let women say the word women in reference to their female identities, experiences, reproductive organs, etc. Like why are women not allowed to say the word women in Facebook groups, Reddit forums that are in PCOS groups, Endometreosis groups, Period groups, oriented etc. or outside of health issues, in like lesbian groups, witches groups, etc. women should be able to say the word women or sisters and not get yelled, shut down, blocked for not saying people who mentrauate, cervix havers, or whatever. Just let women use the word women, or sister, and have faith that they will do their best to include everyone. Often times, it feels like our language and our ability to express ourselves is being policed. If our language is being policed, we are are going to feel uncomfortable and eventually resentful. Also in these groups, if women do mess up or make a mistake with pronouns or not being 100% inclusive with their words, be more forgiving and compassionate. Again, I’m not saying it’s right, but it comes across as our needs are insignificant and everything must cater to not hurting the feelings of trans women, trans men, and non binary people. What about our feelings?

        2.) Back to offensive words, being mocked, insulted. I understand you say Terfs do it. Ok, true, I’ll give you that. However, the trans community and their allies are not innocent. And have also been offensive, and on the Terf side of things, it also feels violent. Constantly calling Terfs Nazis, equating Terfs to Nazis, saying that Terfs are worse than Nazis, etc. is extremely offensive, hurtful, and violent. Especially because Terfs are actually not Nazis. Terfs have not been physically violent towards you and in general are not violent. If the trans community wants Terfs to back off, then maybe the Nazi calling needs to stop. Maybe saying things like “Kill a Terf”, “Punch a Terf”, “Die Terf Die”, “Suck my lady dick” should also stop. These are physical threats. They feel disturbing and violent. You might say that it that it’s not real. Ok. But still coming from the other side, it’s is not comfortable to hear, it does feels threatening, in our opinion it is also violent. Moreover, it feels like the trans community does not hold men accountable. Men are the ones who murder, kill, and physically assault trans people. Not women, and not Terfs. There are also online spaces where men have said horrible things about trans people, and yet it seems like trans people and their allies barely seem to acknowledge it. Often times there is that tension with female, biological sex, etc, but men are also guilty of using biological sex, bioessentalism, etc. And are never called out or pressured to change their language. So when you trans people and their allies are constantly saying Terfs are the worst, are worse then Hitler, etc., then it does not make Terfs feel any more inclined to not misgender or say offensive things back.

        3.) Two wrongs don’t make a right. JKR expressed something hurtful and in your opinion violent beliefs targeted towards you and the trans community. Yet she has received constant, nonstop death threats, threat of violence, and threats of rape from primarily transgender people and allies. This is wrong. Yet I very rarely heard from that this needs to stop from the trans community and their allies. You felt like her words felt violent, but she is getting violent threats that will effect her physical safety.

        4.) The same goes for other “Terfs”. Many vocal Terfs get violent threats and death threats (it’s all over social media) sent to them on a constant basis. A terf will get banned for misgnedering; however, very rarely do these individual who are sending these violent threats get banned, let alone get their posts shut down. I can understand how misgendering feels hurtful and can feel violent. However, it’s not actually threatening your physical safety. Yet “Terfs” are actually getting threats that threaten their physical safety. I haver never see this addressed within the transgender community. Without admitting to this poor behavior, many trans people look like professional victims.

        5.) Just recently (7/22/2021), an incel in Ohio, was recently caught before going off on a mass shooting spree. He wanted to kill 3,000 people. His target was women. That is a very scary violent death threat. So when trans people say things like being misgendered is violent. It can be really frustrating. It can feel like the word violence is being minimized and diluted. When women (when I say women it’s inclusive to all) have fears and concerns, they are often not take seriously. We”re being over dramatic, emotional, too hormonal, too sensitive, too crazy, we deserved it, etc. Domestic violence continues to remain a significant problem with women, and a lot of times police officers, court systems, do not take women’s concerns seriously, and as a result a very high percentage of women and their children physically hurt and killed by their husbands/dads; despite repeated warnings. So when trans people are say things like terfs’ words and misgendering is violent, can you see how it might piss some women off? It seems like they are on two very different levels.

        Lol, that’s a lot. I hope you take what I wrote in good faith. Again, I apologize if I come off hurtful or rude. I just wanted to offer a different perspective and offer some context behind the feelings of Ovarit users, Terfs, cis women, etc. Ultimately, I can’t speak for everyone!!! These are just some reflections.

        (I apologize for my poor grammar!).


        • 6.) I also wanted to add that Reddit has an entire forum, R/GenderCynical that is meant to mock, deride, and insult women (Terfs). You call out Ovarit, yet there is Gender Cynical being offensive towards women (Terfs). Let’s be honest, there are some pretty mean spirited things on GenderCynical. —– But it was Gender Critical that got banned. In GenderCynical, I never hear any criticism geared towards men. It is only towards women (Terfs). I think that’s problematic. Men have actually been violent towards transgender people. And there are definitely spaces on online where they also are not saying positive things abut the transgender community. However, it’s the women (Terfs) that are the devil incarnate and are equated to Hitler. I mean, that’s appalling. And it’s considered acceptable to say these things to women (Terfs). No one gets banned or shut down for saying these type of things to women (Terfs) on social media and various online platforms. However, if Terfs do misgenders or says/writes something that feels violent to a trans person, that woman (Terf) is immediately banned and shut down.

          I intentionally wrote women (Terfs), because when Terf is used chronically in this manner, it takes the human element away from this subset of women.


          • Dear Sylvia,

            Thank you for your long and thoughtful comments.

            There is a huge amount of pain and hurt, among the gender critical and among trans people. For what it’s worth, I decided to stop using the word terf, which many find offensive, only last month. I agree “Punch a TERF” is revolting, and wrong.

            I would hope trans men could feel included on an endometriosis group. Inclusive language for trans men is my issue only as an ally. It is quite new. I remember the 1980s when inclusive language for women was a battleground. I still have Robert Burchfield’s “Modern English Usage” which refers to “shrill” “feministic” arguments and inclusive alternatives showing “a tin ear”. In 1996, he did not think it would catch on. Inclusive language still includes men, just not only men. Some inclusive language for trans men, such as “chest-feeding”, was only designed to be used by midwives and health visitors actually talking to trans men, not generally.

            There is a lot of ghastliness on social media, and that does no-one any good but the social media data-gatherers and advertisers. I wish JK Rowling well. Amy Dyess, who ceased to be an anti-trans campaigner, wrote, “We were constantly triggered”. That does no-one any good.


  3. I see a black lesbian survivor who has a job as a barrister. Of course one doesn’t cancel out the other. Just as JK Rowling’s success doesn’t cancel out her right to talk about her own experience of abusive violence as a woman at the hands of a man. I see an institutional attack on Allison’s job made because of her advocating for herself and others with similar experiences and identities – the idea that this shouldn’t count somehow because it hasn’t yet succeeded is bollocks. I think you know that really. And if you want to talk incitement to violence then have a look at the hate shown to survivors of prostitution in Paris by supposed ‘trans rights activists’ on IWD. That is violence, driven by a violent campaign. Lots of other examples. Funny how all the feminist ‘incitement’ hasn’t led to similar violence by a load of older left wing women eh.


    • Well, speaking as a woman who has experienced actual sex-based violence as a woman, I understand violence is bad even if it is directed against trans people. Rowling’s experience with her husband does not justify her inciting violence against all trans women, just because we are trans women.

      Bailey is not advocating for lesbians. Bailey is comparing trans women to sex predators. Bailey is inciting fear of trans women, which produces violence. That is why the lesbian-run charity Stonewall objects to her actions. Stonewall knows that if the campaign against trans women succeeds, lesbians are next in the firing line.

      One problem I have is your language assumes the rightness of your position. On International Women’s Day, did some trans people oppose the Norway model? Where? I don’t know enough to have a position between decriminalisation of sex work and criminalising the users of sex workers. Can you give a link?

      Liked by 1 person

  4. So we’re not even allowed a word for the use of a larger penis-endowed body to violently damage a smaller and weaker vagina-endowed body because it’s more important for you to rid the word ‘sex’ of useful meaning than to ‘allow’ the use of a concept for discussing rape, FGM and femicide. You have not experienced that violence, how dare you not only claim it but justify the hounding of people who have for wanting the words to describe it. Bailey wants the right to say that she does not want to have sex with people with male bodies and/or penises. She was raped as a child. She is a lesbian. It is absurd that your position has any support, and I think it’s because up until recently people didn’t really understand what that position was. Thank god they are starting to.


    • I tell you I have experienced sexual assault and you say that does not matter. Or that I have not. Or that the difference between your experience of sexual assault and mine is such that anyone is entitled to incite fear of people like me.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Allison Bailey wanting the right to female only space, as in penis free space, as the survivor of violence done with a penis to her female body, and the right to define her sexuality in terms that exclude penises, is something you should empathise with if you are a fellow survivor of sexual violence. Sexual violence against women born and raised as women is part of global systems of oppression that see us earning less, having fewer rights, being subject to different and greater levels of violence within families and relationships. It is not the prerogative of someone born in a body that does not place them in that category to tell us that we may not fight for our own rights, in our own language. Like many feminists I am a natural ally of others who face violence and oppression, and I think it’s a shame that you will not respect our right to autonomy so that we could challenge patriarchy and transphobia together. Instead of you attacking us instead of violent men. I will not be responding further.


  6. This is why trans extremists have no credibility. They want to stifle legitimate debate with claims that it is “hateful”, transphobic and so forth. Biological women have very good reasons for not wanting transwomen, particularly those who have not had bottom surgery, in spaces such as prisons, rape shelters, etc. There are very good, valid arguments that transwomen and transgirls should not compete in female-only sports events. The more trans extremists push on these issues, the more they are going to lose the narrative and the support of the general public.


    • I am not sure what you mean by “extremist” or “legitimate debate”. I know trans people exist, and always have. It is unhealthy to “debate” the truth. I know that trans women are welcomed and accepted in women’s spaces, mostly. I know that some people want to exclude us: calling their position “legitimate debate” does not make it any less extremist.

      I know that nonbinary people exist, and stretch the boundaries of gender, demolishing stereotypes and making everyone more free. This advances feminist causes.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I applaud your efforts to reason with these people. They clearly came here in bad faith, not at all surprising for TERFs, and promptly left when they realized their fragile beliefs were being challenged. She even dared invalidate your experience with sexual assault -then she calls herself a feminist, laughable-, none should have to put up with this. Even though I find this largely pointless, I want to thank you.


          • That has been largely my experience online and I have been fortunate enough thus far to not encounter one offline. I used to frequent the transphobic subreddits prior to their ban and have since visited ovarit a few times and it is evident these people’s interactions with the trans community have been limited and prejudiced. They do not want to understand, such is the nature of cults after all. They contain themselves in their echo chambers regurgitating their “peak trans” stories -many of which are obviously made up- to fuel their hatred for an, ultimately, insignificant minority that for decades existed without harming anyone.

            Liked by 1 person

  7. Then stop vandalizing rape shelters and forcing self iD men into women’s prisons. Fucking creeps masturbating in women’s washrooms. How come so many of you claim to be petrified little women but have no fucking issue jerking that little dick off that you claim causes you so much self hatred for even possessing? You can hate me all you want. Say I’m in a cult, call me a transphobic pile of shit. That means nothing to me because I have a real uterus. I don’t need to play an offensive charade of dress up and pay doctors thousands of dollars to lop off my healthy body parts just to create an open wound that never heals. Cope and dialate tranny. You’ll never be a real woman and at most you’ll be an offensive, laughable stereotype of what you believe a woman to be. You can’t create yourself into a woman. Everyone knows this and they’re just playing along so the physo 6’7″ dude in a dress and a raging boner won’t machete them for calling them “he”.


    • Hello. So, you hate a whole group of people, probably not knowing any of them, because of some bizarre caricature you got off social media, and now you’re going on social media to spread that caricature further.

      Does ranting like that make you feel better? Does the feeling last, or do you need to rant even more each time?


  8. Awesome article, Ms. Flourish. 🙂 I learned about this blog today, after discovering Ovarit. I hope I can someday match your strength of will in dealing with such ignorant people. Reading through these comments shows how admirable you are.

    Stay strong, stay safe,
    Dani. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

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