Over the past years, there has been an ever-growing focus on transgender people in the media. Although it has made those who consider themselves to be transgender, or transsexual, feel validated and accepted, where they once felt invisible. The mainstreaming of transgenderism in social consciousness has also resulted in women’s concerns about transgender policies, which allows for access to all female facilities (bathrooms, changing rooms, showers, domestic abuse shelters, and prisons) on the basis of a self-declared “gender identity,” to be dismissed, mocked, called paranoid, hateful, or otherwise ignored by proponents on the left. Parents who are rightfully concerned for their children going through serious procedures, puberty blockers, and sterilization, because of a belief that someone can be born in the wrong body or are protective of their girls being forced to share intimate spaces or compete with the opposite sex in sports, are also mocked and ignored by those who claim to be progressive. It has become clear that any questioning and critical thinking of transgender ideology, populated on internet forums in recent years, is discouraged if not shut down.
Even when there are legitimate privacy and safety concerns for women and girls in spaces that can be easily accessed on the basis of “gender identity,” we are told only trans people are entitled to concern and a right to safety and privacy. We are told that biology is a social construct, but gender identity is legitimate, when there is little, to no scientific evidence to back this up. And because trans awareness has been so popularized by the media and private interest groups, as the new oppressed group that is fighting for equal rights, women, homosexuals, and racial minorities, are believed to have already been granted such equal rights. Therefore, are no longer considered oppressed groups in need of legal protection anymore. This also allows for feminist voices on the issue to be silenced as bigotry.
The current push for transgender bathroom policies and bills is set up as an LGBT issue, many lesbians, gays, and bisexuals, including myself, disagree profoundly. There are males who experience gender dysphoria, who grew up socialized as male, are primarily sexually attracted to females, and who also desire to gain access to female private facilities for sexual pleasure or to abuse women and girls. So, to accuse anyone who disagrees with that and finds this to be a privacy violation, of being homophobic, is simply inaccurate. And it actually denies homosexuality by telling gays and lesbians not wanting sexual relations with the opposite sex is transphobic, as evidenced by the term cotton ceiling and many exchanges between gender critical lesbians and transactivists online. Accusations of transphobia are commonly made when someone disagrees with transgender ideological ideas which deny biological material reality altogether, even though many people who have gone through transition do acknowledge their biological sex. These accusations are merely being used as a political card to silence dissidents.
The main concern for most women is about protecting our right to compete and live safely away from male-bodied people, male violence, harassment, and sexual assault, that we are largely victims of, it is not about subscribing to a hateful ideology. However, these tactics against women’s rights does not mean actual homophobic opponents to transgender policies aren’t using women and children’s safety as a means to promote their conservative agenda and justifying discrimination against gender non-conformity, which our society has yet to come to terms with. Trans-identified people deserve human rights and respect just as everyone else, those who have chosen to transition also don’t deserve hate. My problem is with people who disallow any disagreement or critical analyses on the left that goes against transgender ideas and ignoring legitimate arguments about women and girls’ privacy and sense of security, as simply being based on the discrimination of trans people, even when these sex-segregated protections were fought for by women so we can fully participate in a patriarchal society. How is this fair to half of the population? It tells us that we, as a sex class, cannot speak about our own oppression and rights, that we don’t matter in politics. Female victims of trauma like me, feel as though their experiences and legitimate fears are being invalidated and washed over. Let alone the statistics and the vast number of reports about transwomen’s violence and sex offenses toward women and girls, which are being widely covered up, and instead called crimes perpetrated by women.
I am one of these, child sexual abuse, rape, and domestic abuse survivors being called a bigot for believing women have a right to protect our sex-segregated spaces. Whatever people may think about me, I know deep down that this is wrong and is actually rooted in society’s deep-rooted, collective misogyny. Here I will make my case that transgender policies are dangerous and when forcibly mandated, could be compared to condoning institutionalized sexual abuse.
I struggle with C-PTSD every day because of multiple traumatic events in my life, most centered on the fact I was born female in a misogynistic culture. It started out with me being sexually abused by my older brother as a child growing up. He coerced me into silence by using emotional blackmail against me and grooming me when my parents were away. He used my sexuality against me when I was very young and forced me to do things I didn’t want to do with bullying. As a shy, reserved child with social anxiety, I feared “my dirty little secret” getting out, reducing my social standing to a “whore” or pervert. We were not a highly religious family, yet I still feared this judgment. I did not want to be blamed for participating in being abused. He continued to threaten to tell people “my little secret” whenever I refused to do what he wanted until I hit puberty at about 13. His sexual abuse mostly consisted of rubbing against me with his penis through clothing, forcing me to strip in front of him, using pornography, and masturbating in front of me. A few times, it was more serious, he tried to penetrate me at one point.
One time when I was getting ready to shower, I noticed something shiny at the bottom of the bathroom door, when I opened it, I found my brother there trying to peep on me undressing and taking a shower by using a knife to see me in the reflection. I was furious at him, screaming at him to leave me alone, but that was not my life. My life consisted of a male having control over my body, refusing me boundaries, privacy, and bodily integrity; by having my most intimate parts violated. I felt as though I was powerless to stop it. This was normal life for me as a girl, my consent did not matter, it was not even considered. It was all about me being a sexual object for him, along with large amounts of sexually objectifying media surrounding me. This was how I was taught females were supposed to behave and be treated. I was targeted for abuse because I was a biological female. I knew that if I were a boy society would be set up for the benefit of me, that I would not be viewed as an inferior sex object. It actually sounded good to me as a bisexual, gender rejecter to be a boy, in this way I can understand how trauma leads to people identifying out of their sex.
I caught him spying on me on a few more occasions after that, and one time I remember him forcing me to shower in front of him while he watched. From then on, whenever I took a shower, I feared that he was spying on me. To me, it was just common sense that horny boys were desperate to spy on unknowing women and girls undressing and would find any means to do it and to get away with it. In a society that disbelieves and blames women and girls when they come forward about sexual abuse and says “boys will be boys” many do get away with it. Transgender ideology tries to erase this lived experience of being female in a patriarchal society. It instead focuses on gender being an innate experience, instead of being an oppressive, social role that has been forced on females for centuries, and so, therefore, males who believe that their gender is female, also experience life as females. If this were the case, they would be more sympathetic and understanding about their female peers in schools who are going through puberty, or are traumatized, and feel uncomfortable changing and showering in front of a male body in the same space. But even when trans-identified males are accommodated with single, unisex rooms, they turn them down claiming it makes them feel ‘othered’ and discriminated against, even when the school puts in the effort to recognize their gender identity, uses their preferred pronouns, and includes them as girls in extracurricular activities.
This example shows that forced validation is more important to them than actual security. Whereas our concerns are about the safety and privacy of women and girls. There have not been any cases that prove they are at a significantly higher risk of danger in male bathrooms or changing rooms, but all the demands for the burden of proof are on violations committed by transwomen or girls preying on women and girls, of which there are believed to be none, or very rare, exaggerated instances. But even when male trans attacks are brought up, they claim the offenders must not be ‘truly trans’. Girls are told that if something does happen to them, it is already illegal, so then why can’t the same argument be applied to transgender identifying males within male spaces? If there are problems with abuse and harassment, it should absolutely be addressed, without having to force women or girls to sacrifice their sense of security for a tiny minority. It only takes one boy to abuse gender identity policy and scar the lives of multiple female students. Title IX was created to protect young women and girl’s right to safety and privacy by setting up sex-segregated facilities and athletic activities, so women and girls can achieve academic equality. Gender identity policies will make it easier for predators to prey on vulnerable women and girls and out-compete them in achievements intended for females, this will only set us back.
I know for a fact there are trans-identified males who prey on females because I was in a relationship with one. Growing into a teenager, at age 15 I met a boy online that I became infatuated with. I wanted a boyfriend, but I had crippling anxiety when it came to talking to boys. Because of my trauma, I was desperate to feel loved and receive attention from a boy. This unusual, online relationship quickly became an abusive situation for me because an abnormal situation was already normalized in my life. He cheated on me and was interested in multiple girls, he and my best friend were even talking behind my back. But he would always defend himself by saying that he loved me the most, and that these girls that he met before were just good friends, and that he liked having girls as friends more than boys, though he grew up with a group of close guy friends. Of course, these were mostly just excuses to cover up his many lies and deceit.
Having my best friend since childhood, and a boy who I thought was my soulmate hurt me in that way was soul-crushing. I became severely depressed, self-harmed, and wanted to kill myself. I then decided to open up to him that I was sexually abused by my brother as a child and that I felt as though I was treated like worthless trash by the people closest to me when all I wanted was their love. His first reaction was thinking that I was just lying to get sympathy; his other reactions were that of disgust for me, jealousy, and anger at my brother.
Fighting was always bad with him, he became increasingly verbally and emotionally abusive. Calling me ugly, stupid, using my insecurities against me, insulting parts of my body, and saying other horribly misogynistic and violent things. It became worse when I stopped interacting with him during these bad arguments, usually to escape his anger and abuse. He did this as a way to punish me and get me to give in, then later claiming he did not mean the things that he said. Later on, he decided to use what I told him against me, mocking my sexual abuse, saying that I liked it, and threatening to call my mom and tell her about it. Other than the abuse, which I excused as normal fighting, he was one of my only friends and would act madly in love with me; we played games together, shared mutual goals about our future and living together. It is hard to explain how our relationship lasted for so long, because of the contradicting dynamic, switching between extremes of love and hatred. Still, I was convinced he was my soulmate and didn’t understand the extent of his abuse until too late.
Throughout our relationship, he became very aggressive and hostile when angry, or distant, depressed, hypersensitive, and moody. He knew he had mental health issues and said that he might have bipolar disorder. He and his mother fought frequently, and he believed she had bipolar disorder too. Gender dysphoria is found as a comorbid personality disorder in people with borderline personality disorder, narcissism, bipolar disorder, PTSD, psychotic disorder, or people on the autistic spectrum. Whatever the case, from my experience with him, he had problems with his mood and with disordered thinking. He expressed mostly macho, dominating behavior and interests. Nothing ever indicated to me that he was all that different from other men out there, besides the fact that he was a unique, creative person, with an odd personality.
After forgiving him for past “mistakes,” I moved in with him at his mom’s house in North Carolina at the age of 20, far away from my small town in Minnesota. Here I was physically abused by him. I sometimes reacted in anger to his verbal abuse by pushing or hitting him on the shoulder as a trauma reaction. One time I pushed him away when he aggressively got up close to my face, he did this to intimate me, to try and make me submit to his domination when he felt he couldn’t control me. Every time he yelled at me when I tried to escape in the bathroom, I was left speechless and motionless, fearing his terrifying rage, but that only made him angrier.
When he was cornering me, the only thing I felt that I could do was to push him away from me. He reacted by shoving me down hard onto the floor or into something that was behind me. When I wanted to get away from him during an argument, I went into the bathroom next to his room. One time he barged in aggressively pushing me down into the tub, holding me down, smacking and screaming at me, all because I wanted to go in the other room away from him. Another time he started shouting out loud that I “sucked my brother’s dick,” this made me freak out because I felt powerless to make him stop psychologically torturing me, eventually laying there crying on the floor, he then went into a rage and kicked me while I was laying down in the fetal position, sobbing. A few times he would cry but he was still cold and unempathetic. One time he threatened to kill me, chop me up, and bury me in his yard if I would not stop trying to escape from him in the bathroom and crying because I found out he was using pornography behind my back. Sexually, he rarely ever pleasured me, it was mostly about me pleasuring him, and thankfully no penetration. Online he would pressure me to show myself in sexual positions on webcam.
After I moved back home from living with him for almost a year, I was in a traumatized state. Because I was not thinking straight, I still had hope that we could fix our issues together. It was difficult for me to let him go because I had dedicated so much of my life to him, but everything started coming back to me, I started struggling with flashbacks and insomnia. I started demanding apologies and explanations from him. After more fighting, we split up because he acted like I was in the wrong for being upset at him for his abuse, which he would deny. I told him how it made me feel that he had used my sexual abuse as a child against me and he used the excuse that he thought I was lying. This made me feel even worse and I expressed to him how that feels like as a female who’s been oppressed all her life. His response was to turn the attention onto himself, saying it has been a struggle for him hiding that he sometimes feels like a woman. He told me he believes he is transgender, that he is both a man and a woman on the inside, and that is why he was so depressed when I was with him. This was his excuse for his misogynistic abuse of me. He then acted like I was in the wrong for not sympathizing with him. When I asked him, what makes him feel like a ‘woman’, one example he gave to me, is that he was good at finding nice-looking women’s clothing for me. Another was that he isn’t disgusted by transwomen as he is with men and gets off to penetrating himself. When I was living with him I found women’s panties in his room and he said it was his mom’s, I believe he wore these to act out an autogynephilic fantasy. After this conversation, I believe I was left in a more traumatized state than I was before. I even went to go cry next to where my brother was who I was stuck living with at my mom’s house because I had nowhere else to live, which is one of the reasons I wanted to move away. This was my reward for staying loyal to him for up to 7 years.
My experience after my relationship with him was that of mental/emotional torment and annihilation like he was trying to destroy every good part left of me. It felt like the erasure of my experience as a woman because he didn’t even allow me to express my experience as a female. There is no way he could be partly female since there is no way he could understand the female experience. He severely abused me after my brother did, and I was treated as a sex object again by multiple men after him. He was a misogynist, and I was fooled into thinking I was his equal counterpart. I would never feel safe around any man who treats women like this, whatever they identify as. I get a totally different experience of feeling safe and understood when relating to other females.
To then be told by transgender ideology and defenders, or the Biden Administration, that my ex-boyfriend is actually innately female, or otherwise, non-male, because he has experienced gender dysphoria before, is psychological and emotional abuse all over again. Some opponents I have talked to have also said he is not really transgender because he was abusive, as they say with trans-identified males who commit crimes against women and girls. Through my research and observations, it happens all the time. There are many female abuse victims of transvestites or trans identified males, who displayed the same type of male supremacist and entitled, fetishistic behavior in their relationships, look up trans widows. Even if my ex-boyfriend did act more “feminine,” or wanted to be a woman, that should not mean he is any more of a woman compared to other men. That is a stereotypical, regressive way of thinking in a highly gendered society. A man having a delusion of being a woman does not make them anymore like a woman, especially when they associate moods, personality traits, stereotypical feminine traits, and the presentation of a woman, with being an actual woman.
A person who identifies as a transwoman, who grew up and was socialized as a boy by patriarchal culture in a male body, could not know what growing up as a female is like, and in many instances is not something to be desired. To go from one misogynistic man to the next, being blamed for any type of harassment or assault, for what you were wearing or what you were doing, living in a culture where violent depictions against women are sexualized, having men and boys harass you for developing breasts early, to being raped for having a vagina at parties, in college, or by their own boyfriend or husband. Misogynistic abuse and sexist attitudes are so commonplace in our pornified culture, the list can go on. Transphobic crimes are committed by the same types of male perpetrators, but they are usually done for homophobic reasons, they were being prostituted, or were in an abusive relationship, not for the sole reason that they’re being perceived as women. That is why the term ‘transmisogyny’ does not add up. Especially if they are born into privileged classes of being light-skinned, heterosexual, or wealthy. Their issues are totally alien from homosexual issues too, which does not make transgender rights a fight for civil rights or the lesbian, gay, and bisexual community. Otherwise, it is saying rights for heterosexual, white people are a part of homosexual and minority rights.
As a liberal-minded person, I used to think no predatory, heterosexual man would go through the lengths of humiliating himself by wearing a dress and wig and calling himself a woman to access women and girls’ spaces to prey on them, but after my experience, my perspective has totally switched. And I know as a child abuse survivor that it is wrong to disregard women and girls’ boundaries. Anyone who identifies as transgender or transsexual is not automatically predatory, and that shouldn’t automatically be assumed, but many of those fighting for trans rights do not care about women or girls’ boundaries and could be granted the power under the law and by institutions to do so. It took abusive situations for me to realize this, and I fear it will take many more until we are finally believed. There are men out there who obsess over women like a fetish, and who live to prey on women, look up autogynephilia. Not all transgender-identified males become transexual, or even desire to transition. Again, my message is not suggesting all transwomen are like this based on my personal experience, but their record definitely is not as clean as their side proclaims it to be. Males make up around 90-99% of sexual and violent offenders, and the statistics do not change with transgender identifying males or transsexual women.
People experience gender dysphoria in different ways, for some, it is more extreme, where they are convinced the only way they can feel comfortable in their own skin is to go through full transitional surgery. Whereas for others, it is only experienced mildly or occasionally, which can be compared to anyone who grows up not fitting into society’s gender norms and expectations. Even when you take a look at transgender ideology’s “gender identity spectrum,” you see many different vaguely defined genders listed that could fit anyone who doesn’t fit into gender stereotypes. How does it make any sense for women and girls to be forced to share their spaces with males claiming to be non-binary, genderless, genderfluid? How are women and young girls supposed to be expected to know whether a person they perceive as male is truly transgender or not a threat? Would it be considered discriminatory if women are uncomfortable around transwomen even if they look like men because they claim to have an inner experience of being female? And why are women and girls not allowed to question their presence or kick them out if they feel threatened under a transgender policy? Why don’t more people consider those with a history of abuse and or rape of women and girls being allowed in? And what about predators who try to hide their past crimes against women and girls with a new identity? Many of these things are not even considered by those who think of themselves as compassionate people.
I have been taught all my life that I must always put others before myself, that I come last. Part of female gender socialization is to teach girls that becoming a good woman requires caring for others’ wants and needs and being polite. This results in other people’s priorities, thoughts, and feelings being treated with more importance than our own. Mothers are left doing most of the caretaking, men then grow up relying on women to cater to their desires, because they are not socialized in the same way, allowing them to put more interest into themselves, besides when it is necessary to support and protect those closest to their hearts. Because of these high expectations placed on women and girls, and not men, our needs are often neglected, and we are left without female solidarity. It also makes it difficult for us to feel like we can say ‘no’ or to fight for better treatment. Many live in a constant hypervigilant state because of male violence and abuse and struggle finding spaces where we can feel secure. Then, when we finally stand up for ourselves, we are considered crazy, even evil. Outside of our Western culture wars, women and girls across the globe are still fighting for safer, female-only spaces.
We are told since we are very young how to stay safe from predatory men, that men are naturally violent, but then are told our fears around male-bodied people are unfounded and irrational. We are told men intruding on women and girls’ safe spaces is not enough of a problem to worry about. We are told even if a male has a history of rape, abuse, and other sex offenses against females, or makes women and girls feel afraid or harassed, we still have no right to question their identity or compare them to the male abusers and misogyny experienced in our own lives. We are told transwomen are women, end of discussion. It does not matter that most do not go through full transitional surgery to remove their penis, or that sexual dimorphism still makes them larger and physically stronger than females. It is also interesting to note, and should not come as a surprise, that trans policy has been implemented without question, where the most vulnerable women and girls reside, in domestic abuse shelters, feminist organizations, women’s support groups, and prisons. Why are the rights, dignity, and feelings of the most vulnerable women of society not even acknowledged, while the validation of dangerous predator’s gender identity is? Since male prisons in the U.S. are overcrowded, the prison industry is more than willing to accommodate high-risk prisoners by letting them be housed with females. Instead of stomping down on sexual assaults that frequently occur in their prisons, the problem is left with a large population of victims of sexual abuse. And since our society lacks safe shelters for men, women’s shelters are being sacrificed when it’s women who are in most demand for services, especially during a pandemic.
Dysphoria means discomfort and unhappiness with one’s self or situation. In our society, it is no wonder that many girls and young lesbians grow up wanting to be male. We are treated as sub-human, subservient, less than our male counterparts, lesbians are treated as freaks for their sexuality, and taught it is wrong to step outside of socialized gender and heteronormative expectations. It is common for girls to experience body dysmorphia during puberty and after because of the messages we get about the female body. On the contrary, the male perspective is given more focus than a female one, and boys are taught to be logical, scientific, political, and dominant. This is not to say young males do not go through any struggles with self-image, merely that their value in social groups doesn’t revolve around their image. Transgender ideology does not serve solutions to fix these problems, it makes them even worse in many instances.
Biden’s executive orders and the Equality Act, which replaces biological sex with gender identity, are completing what the Obama Administration tried to achieve in 2016 when Obama used his federal powers to force all public-school districts to adopt a transgender policy in bathrooms and locker rooms. A complete reversal of what Title IX was created for.
This is just another instance of people in positions of power using their authority to rule over women and girls’ lives, equating sex with gender, without a clear definition of gender identity. Obscuring the definition of ‘woman’ and ‘girl’, who are the actual victims of the most common forms of misogynistic abuse. This makes us feel powerless all over again and invisible in society. Our voices and experiences as girls are silenced like we do not matter compared to boys with gender dysphoria. The whole debate is set up as a partisan issue; leaving the issue of women and girls’ safety, and the right to say no, on the back burner, and turned into a defense for homophobia, or abortion, by the right-wing. What is happening is female erasure, which is already present in male-dominated politics.
The only allyship feminists can find in the Conservative and religious right, particularly on this issue, is with other women on feminist specific issues. Which despite what trans dogma says, an allyship between party lines can and does exist. Please take the time to read the examples below, these are other testimonies of sexual assault survivors against transgender bathroom policies, their religious or political views are irrelevant to the issues they speak about.
These policies, which are not based on science and lack definition, are being introduced and forced onto school-aged girls by our representatives and senators when the normalization of sexual violations like what happened to me, are so commonplace.