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Is Transfeminism a Parasite?

lack of depth and dimension in supposedly "transfeminist" writings

Forum: Forum
Date: 07/27/2000

Since I started accepting contributions for the upcoming anthology on transfeminism, I have read many writings by people who identify both as trans or intersex and as feminist. Maybe it's because I've been reading too many of them at the same time, but I'm starting to feel that so much of stuff I've been reading are pretty narrow and one-dimentional.

By narrow, I mean this: They write, "According to one of the basic principles of feminism, we should be able to [insert your favorite simplified pseudo-feminist position]. Well, then I have the right to [same as above] too!" and call it transfeminism. I'm not denying that it's a feminist argument, but it is only borrowing something useful from feminism without contributing any new analysis of point of view.

By one-dimentional, I'm talking about how these "transfeminist" writings mainly focus on the relationship between transsexual women and women's communities and don't address how broader issues such as racism, classism, ableism, heterosexism or even sexism intersect with lives of intersex and trans people. I know it's a big issue for many people, but I'm bored of the same old argument about Michigan.

Is your "transfeminism" merely about using feminist principles to get your way as a trans person? If that is the definition of "transfeminism" we are going by, it's a very very sad thing. Personally, I feel that my feminism has been informed and influenced by the lived experiences of intersex and trans people I've come in contact with, and my feminist thinking has advanced as a result of learning about intersex and trans people. Hasn't this happened to anyone else? Or, is transfeminism merely a parasite?

emi k. - putting "Emi" back in Feminism since 1975