It's really telling that some of the people most undermining gender as a system of oppression are so shat on by TERFs as well as feminists. The strategy to separate us works.

Feminism _must_ keep a path open for men to exit both toxicity ... and being men. And it must allow people to become men without forcing them to adopt toxicity to fit in.

@aredridel I have to admit I struggle with understanding your main points. Are you trying to say that gender must be interpreted differently, so we don't get caught in old gender roles (even if we stop using the gender binary)?

Anyhow, I relate really much to what you said here: "non-binary so often means 'not like other girls' or 'not like other men' or 'my womanhood is so often questioned it hurts less to let it go'." Maybe it sounds weird, but... I'm so much in feminist spaces where men >>

@jellal Yeah. I think the modern trans discourse, centered on "your identity is valid", categorically, is a bad deconstruction of gender that only pushes the actual social forces at play underground where they're harder to critique.

@jellal As awful as the usual people advancing the "attack helicopter" meme are, they have a point. Identify-as is not a useful basis for understanding gender.

@aredridel How do you mean? I think identify-as is how we should understand gender, because it's so personal. I think the key is in recognizing that 'identifying as' means relating to your own personal, fluid concept of woman-/manhood in a certain way - and that you're NOT relating to a social, static concept of woman-/manhood.

@jellal I think it's a corruption of identify-with. How we construct who we are relies on recognizing likeness with others. While it's personal, I actively think it is not really individual.

I also think that has made it harder to see "I don't like how society treats me" and "I don't like how I relate to my body" and "I don't like how others relate to me and my body". I think identify-as actually leads toward static, as it doesn't really allow for discussing the social construction.

@aredridel So you think that, because "identifying as" discourse throws all feelings of "I don't like how society treats me" and "I don't like how I relate to my body" and "I don't like how others relate to me and my body" on one big pile and makes it hard to discuss the differences between those feelings and the related issues? Am I understanding you correctly?

If so, what do you think would be a better way to discuss being transgender that respects all those different feelings?

@jellal I mean, to some degree, I don't particularly respect them except in that they're a feeling people have. But I think that if people actually look deep and find the causes, the beliefs and behaviors that reinforce the feelings, there's something else there.

While there's huge room for coaxing people along their path and validation is a tool in that box, I don't see validation of feelings like that as a categorical good.

@jellal I think validation as an end goal is _deeply_ harmful to movement-building and one of the most easily coopted things ever.

@aredridel Agreed. I'm not against people transitioning medically, but sometimes I wonder whether the wish to transition medically doesn't come from the deep-seated belief that you need to have a certain body to be a certain gender "for real". I wonder whether, in the future, fewer trans people choose to transition medically because of changing views on gender.

@jellal Also, I wonder how many more might transition because it sounds like fun. Or like a change.

(To some degree, I did this. And I find it a deeply rare thing.)

@aredridel Yeah, I wonder. I've heard of it once before, but that was a story by a former sex addict... and he was pretty disparaging about LGBTQ people.

@jellal Ew!

But yeah, for my own personal transition, I've got some weird influences. Lesbian friends as a teen. Lots of identification-with them. Growing up in a culture of relatively rugged women (and men, but that is less distinct from the outer culture). And a lot of non-toxic men in my life, who I _didn't_ end up identifying with (but love just the same)

@aredridel May I ask, how do you think that played into your transition? I'm genuinely curious; I've always understood the choice to transition as a very personal thing, something not easily influenced by... idk, lesbian friends and rugged (wo)men.


@jellal At the same time, this was the 90s. There was a fence around womanhood, and the skinny gentle bookish boy with the long beard wasn't playing on that team. Allowed to hang out, but not on the team. Transition in a lot of ways felt like joining the team, and doing the training needed to do so.

@aredridel Ohhhh I see, that makes sense... ^^ thanks for answering

@jellal Absolutely!

If anything I've learned that telling my story is interesting because I was in fact brought up differently. Really differently.

@aredridel Yeah, absolutely. Especially different from a sheltered Christian kid like me, lol.

@jellal Heh, yeah. I'm trying to imagine how that looks where you are. It's so different!

Rural Colorado, USA vs Netherlands; Christian vs Athiest-humanist; Unschooler vs (I assume) normal school traditions there. I've enjoyed a lot of what you post because I can _see_ how different the frame is.

@aredridel Really? Dang, I didn't realize it was that apparent. '^^ Do you have any examples? I'm pretty curious to where my background shines through so clearly.

@jellal I mean, Christian has been mentioned specifically a couple times. Netherlands is in your profile; Unschooling is rare enough in general and especially in Europe as to be able to be assumed.

@aredridel Hm, all true. Hadn't even heard of unschooling before you mentioned it, hehe.

@jellal Unschooling specifically is super weird. It's such an open-ended, free way of learning; but in the 90s, in the US, the other people fighting for the right to self-educate were a fundamentalist Christian set. So I was pushed into close contact with evangelical Christianity (the American flavor) _by the radical schooling approach my family chose_.

@jellal Kinda?

It exposed me to a bunch of interesting concepts, and really gave me a sense of what solidarity despite differences looks like.

Also, I found some knowledge of Christianity useful, which set me up to get away from the toxic parts of the Atheist upbringing (stereotype and shallow understandings)

@aredridel Hmm, good point. As hurt as I am by Christianity, I can't deny there's good things about it too, and it can be helpful to know about it.

@jellal Yeah. It's such a fucked up thing. But so big, of course, that it's not homogenous. And learning that was a huge thing for me.

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