I was debating halal slaughter, and someone said, “If anything it’s an attack on Islam, NOT Muslims! you do see difference?” Yes; though I might not if I were Muslim. In the same way, when a TERF says “We have nothing against trans women and no radical feminist ever wrongs a trans woman” they are asserting a difference between the people and our understanding of reality. Here I don’t see the difference, and unless a Muslim can become apostate as easily as
a trans woman detransitioning a Manchester City supporter becoming a Manchester United supporter oh, I don’t know, no matter of identity is easily sloughed off- I don’t see the difference for Muslims either. And, that man really does not see the problem: he thinks Muslims should just stop being wrong. He wants their good, and their freedom from delusion. They don’t see it that way.
TERFs believe they don’t wrong us. It is simple. Women are oppressed; women need women’s space; a trans woman is not a woman; therefore trans women should not enter women’s space. Trans women do, so should be excluded. Trans women attack TERFs, who should defend themselves.
It is a class analysis. Women are the oppressed class, they say. All men, however unsuccessful, benefit from being male, as do we. All women have been oppressed. One does not stop being part of the problem by meaning well, but by acting against the class structure. That is why they have to insist that transition is conservative and supports the class structure: I am feminine, therefore I must be a woman, posits that women are or should be feminine. But conservatives disagree. They say I am a man, so should not transition. They think I attack their values, and their judgment should count.
Fortunately most people are swayed by individual stories, suffering and transcending. They can see us as individuals. The class analysis is unattractive. And social structures are cultural. It is not a matter of strict logic, that I have a Y chromosome therefore should use a man’s toilet, but society can make allowances and turn a blind eye. I am generally tolerated. The law gives me gender recognition. We are a mostly harmless anomaly, a tiny number of people.
TERFs debate on line whether they should recognise our pronouns out of courtesy, or call me “he” self-righteously, like conservatives do. They protest that their critique has a completely different basis to conservative hostility, but much of what they say, threaten and do echoes conservatism.
Their stance becomes an identity, just as ours is, the Manchester United supporter or the Muslim. They will not be converted. So we need to be peaceful, and refuse to rise to their provocations. They want to sway the general population against us, and try to accomplish that by making us look bad.
The tragedy is that we subvert the patriarchy, which they claim is their goal, and they divert their energy against us rather than the common enemy.