Friday, September 28, 2012

Gloria Steinem-Transphobe

You long time TransGriot readers know I'm not a feminist and I cringe when I hear Black women even say the term because of its history of marginalizing women of color to the point they left the movement.

And don't even get me started on its outright hostility to trans women, which is why I identify as a womanist.

And yes, it's time to unmask another one of the feminist icons, Gloria Steinem as a transphobe. 

She not only wrote some foul stuff centered on Renee Richards in 1977 when hating on transwomen was par for the feminist course, but in the 1983 book Outrageous Acts and Everyday Rebellions that was recently republished.

But before I get to the transphobic 1983 scribblings, here's what she said then about Renee Richards and transpeople in general.  It was also in reaction at the time to comments that characterized the Richards saga as "a frightening instance of what feminism could lead to" or as "living proof that feminism isn't necessary."  

Steinem wrote at the time, "At a minimum, it was a diversion from the widespread problems of sexual inequality." She writes that, while she supports the right of individuals to identify as they choose, she claims that, in many cases, transsexuals "surgically mutilate their own bodies" in order to conform to a gender role that is inexorably tied to physical body parts. She concludes that "feminists are right to feel uncomfortable about the need for and uses of transsexualism."

She then concluded the transphobic article with the quote: "If the shoe doesn't fit, must we change the foot?

Moving on to the Outrageous Acts and Everyday Rebellions in which pages 224-228 of it contains a five page essay on trans identities in which she cited Janice Raymond and her odious 1979 waste of trees The Transsexual Empire in it several times. 

Let's start with these transphobic gems.   On page 226 of the book:

Was it fair for women to face someone trained physically and culturally for forty years as a man?
On page 227 Steinem pulls out the 'mutilation' card:
In other words, transsexuals are paying an extreme tribute to the power of sex roles. In order to set their real human personalities free, they surgically mutilate their own bodies...
And ho hum, here we go again with the tired 'waste of medical resources' meme as she gives a shout out to Janice Raymond:
Instead of serving more lifesaving but often less lucrative needs for their surgical and hormone-therapy skills, some physicians are aiding individuals who are desperately trying to conform to an unjust society. It’s a small group of successful physicians she [Janice Raymond] names ‘the transsexual empire’.
So if you wonder why I have such a low regard for feminism no matter what wave it is in or have eye roll inducing suspicion of trans feminism, it's because of transphobic scribblings like this from a long list of white feminists and trans feminists like Chelsea Sayre who spend more time apologizing for the TERF's than calling them out for their nekulturny behavior.   

Discovering feminist icon Gloria Steinem shared those anti-trans sentiments, combined with feminism's appalling silence over the fact that their poison pens and the anti-trans sentiments they stoked have caused deleterious real world effects in the lives of trans women only adds to my distaste of feminism.

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