Sunday, January 1, 2017

Confession: I've Been a TERF

I just finished this page-turner. Reading it, I felt like I was in college again, but college was cooler (and easier).

The most disconcerting revelation: I've been a TERF, a trans-exclusionary radical feminist, or at least, I held one belief in common with them.

"Janice Raymond and Sheila Jeffreys have argued that trans surgeries are a form of mutilation, carried out for political reasons because of the way gender is constructed in male-dominated society."

I wouldn't have used mutilation. But I had to admit: I'd had similar thoughts, and thought myself completely original for having them. Did gender reassignment surgery serve the patriarchy by confirming a false dichotomy?

My question also came from a new-age belief that we're born into this world with circumstances and challenges to learn lessons. I thought it followed that the gender we're born with had something to do with our destiny on earth.

Of course, it does. But that doesn't negate trans experiences, or anyone's choice to have gender confirmation surgery.

I dropped my skepticism about the necessity of surgery after I met trans people who seemed truly happy and -- dare I say it? -- "well-adjusted" after surgery.

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