I can just feel my cotton panties riding further and further up my bum-crack, with this latest offering from M2T Jos
Truitt Twitt, writer at Feministing. It is the typical twanzplainin’ bullshit, but at its core is “dear gawd, what about sleeping with the twanzwomenz!”.
Reading this in whole will anaesthetise your brain, so we will take it in bite-sized chunks. Gawd knows, I was only able to stomach it in bits.
I think the post is written towards young lesbians who actually are already onboard with trans, and when they say “I sleep with women and transmen” it could well include transwomen, because they are “pro-trans” and believe the line that transwomen are women too. Which is kind of ironic that Twitt is all “dear gawd, what about the transwomenz”. It could also mean that the young lesbians know that most of these “transmen” have female bodies (some without breasts), and that’s still a goer as far as the sexual attraction towards female bodies – yanno, the core element of being a lesbian, the attraction to female bodies and not male bodies. Regardless, Jos Twitt feels compelled to give these young lesbians some good ol’ twanzplaining and lecturing on the matter. Of course, this isn’t Jos’ first time twanzplaining.
In this post, he can’t call them ‘twanzphobic’ (because they have stated they will sleep with ‘transmen’) so he settles for ‘cis sexist’ instead. He must have been up all night trying to get around that one.
“I date women and trans men” is the definition of cissexism. It’s basing your frame for sexuality on the gender coercively assigned to a person by their doctor at birth, not on that person’s actual identity. In this case, we’re talking about folks who were assigned female. Of course, “women” means cis women – trans women totally drop off the map.
Transplaination: You bad bad lesbians, you are basing your attractions on bodies (sexual characteristics) and not our sparkly unicorn jenduh! And dear gawd, what about fucking twanzwomenz??? You didn’t mention the twanzwomenz – that’s twanzphobic, oh wait, I can’t say that coz you included twanzmenz. <comes back after six hours> oh yeah, it’s cis sexist! Basing it body types! Not our sparkly unicorn jendah!
My critique of this frame isn’t about everyone on the trans masculine spectrum, where there’s a ton of complex gender and sexuality diversity (though there is an important conversation to have about the privileging of masculinity here as well). I’m talking about how this approach to sexuality addresses people who were assigned female at birth but are men.
Transplaination: Blah blah blah, some current jargon to explain away why most of us still look like dudes in dresses, that most desperate het women wouldn’t fuck in a million years, so tah-dah, I am a twanzwomanz lesbian now – pleeeease fuck me.
It’s incredibly undermining to frame sexuality in a way that lumps these men in with all female assigned folks instead of with cis men. It’s a failure, in the realm of sexuality, to recognize that trans men’s male identities are just as legitimate as cis men’s. If you’re going to base sexuality on gender, better base it on people’s actual genders.
Transplaination: You stoopid cis-lesbians, how the fuck dare you to recognise female body types??? [Jos Twitt now pretends to give a damn about twanzmenz, but he doesn't because they are rilly female-born]. Dammit you cis-sexist lesbians, if you are going to sleep with twanzmenz, then you had better sleep with cismenz too. Oh, and because you now have to sleep with cismenz, I have a cock too, so how about sleeping with twanzwomenz while you are at it?!
I get why a lot of female assigned folks exist in this frame for reasons that aren’t overtly about undermining trans identities. There’s a ton of gender based trauma out there, and I understand that folks associate this with cis men, and not with trans men. But that’s not a reality-based approach to gender. A lot of that trauma gets easily linked to genitals, but this isn’t about bodies, it’s about patriarchy. I think this sexuality frame is a big part of why so many trans men get away with (and are sometimes even encouraged to practice) unchecked misogyny and male privilege (remember, power is complicated. You can experience both male privilege and cissexist oppression). Real talk: being trans doesn’t prevent you from perpetrating hurt and violence in the realm of sexuality.
Transplaination: No I actually don’t believe any of this faux-feminism bullshit, but I know that appealing to females’ sense of guilt and helpfulness is a winner, so: “Trauma blah blah blah, genitals blah blah blah” [as an aside, I nearly spat out my coffee upon "But that’s not a reality-based approach to gender." Jos had to throw the 'trauma of genitals' in there to groom you to feel sorry for his penis, laydeewang, whatever.] Dammit you stoopid lesbians, I will get you to like cock one way or another!
My trans brothers deserve better than sex in a frame that undermines their identities. This doesn’t mean queer cis women and gender non-conforming female assigned folks can’t fuck trans men, but then they owe it to these guys to reframe their sexuality in a way that’s not undermining – to recognize that they sleep with men, and to question why they’re OK with sleeping with trans men and not cis men.
Transplaination: [LOL at Jos Twitt pretending to give a damn about twanzmenz again]. You stoopid lesbians, you should NOT be sleeping with twanzmenz because of their sparkly unicorn jenduh identitahs – this is about jenduh identitahs, not bodies/genitals, get with the programme, dump the twanzmenz, sleep with meeee!
I just don’t think it’s OK to process your sexual trauma in a delegitimizing way through the bodies of folks who’ve often faced tons of trauma at the intersection of gender and sexuality.
Transplaination: Look you stoopid lesbians, I just know you are lesbians only because you have been raped, but that’s no reason to hate peen, I have a lovely lesbian peen, here, let me show it to you! Oh and trauma, I haz faux-trauma about my lesbian peen, so please refer to it as a “trans clit”. Feel sorry for me, sleep with MEEEE!!!
The problem isn’t one sided: trans guys owe it to themselves to not accept a misgendering sexuality frame just because it makes it easier to get laid, but that shit’s complicated in a cissexist world. It’s unfair to place all the responsibility for fixing this problem at the feet of the people who’s identities are being undermined. I want to encourage trans guys to stand up for what they deserve, but a lot of the responsibility for fixing this shit belongs to the people doing the undermining.
Transplaination: I’m going to blame twanzmenz for sleeping with you stoopid lesbians, no wait, I’m not, I have to pretend it’s all your responsibility because you are cis-lesbians, ah good, I am back on track now. I almost fucked up by blaming twanzmenz because they are female born, but I am obliged to call those bitchez my ‘twanz brothers’ now. [Ten points right there for the over-use of 'undermining' Jos]
I do put a little more responsibility on trans men for letting this frame push their trans sisters out. This approach to sexuality totally erases trans women by excluding us from the group of sexually existing queer women.
Transplaination: Yes I do blame those
dumb bitchez my twanzbrothers for this, those bitchez are getting more lezzo action than me. I am more man than you dumb bitchez, I have a cock.
Yes, it’s also incredibly undermining of trans women’s identities by moving us out of the category “women” when it comes to sexuality. Ultimately, this frame goes back to the gender coercively assigned at birth for trans women as well. It’s a way for transmisogyny to advance unchecked, because trans women totally drop out of the conversation.
Transplaination: I got a good run out of ‘undermining’, mmm, needs moar. You twanzbrotherz are just bitchez, don’t you know we suffer moar?? Twanzmisogyny!! See how we suffer moar? And you cisscum females have to keep mentioning twanzwomenz specifically, because even though we claim to want to be regarded exactly the same as cis-women, we also wantz to be mentioned all the time individually as twanzwomenz – see, you can’t win, either you regard us as the same as cis-women and therefore include us under ‘women’ and we call you out for being cis-sexist, or you mention us as twanzwomenz and we get really pissy because you haven’t included us in the group of cis-womenz!
It’s part of the broader problem of privileging masculinity over femininity, and specifically of privileging masculinity in female assigned folks and hating on and marginalizing femininity in male assigned folks. The problem goes beyond gender theory about masculinity and femininity – this is about really specific, really real transmisogyny. Even when some femininity is accepted, it’s in female assigned folks. Trans women (even the butch ones) get left out in the cold. (I think it’s time for everybody to re-read Julia Serano’s groundbreaking book Whipping Girl with their sex brains on.)
dumb bitchez twanzbros, you are PRIVILEGED you hear me?? You haz man privilege, I never had it, still don’t have it, but you haz it now. We poor widdle twanzwomenz haz to SUFFER twanzmisogyny, you get beer and cigars, and ALL the lesbians, no fair no fair! I don’t pass very well, so I have to claim I am a “butch lesbian”. My tranz clit is getting hard just thinking about all the hawt pretendbian sex I should be getting. I wants, I wants.
There’s a lot of resistance to thinking about the politics of sexuality in this way, which I totally get. Our sexualities are our own, they’re personal, and in such a puritanical world any critique of sexuality can seem messed up. But our desires are absolutely influenced by our cultural context.
Transplaination: I hope no one notices that although somewhere in my warped bwain I recognise sexuality as a personal preference thing, that won’t stop me telling the stupid lesbians that they should be fucking me for the genderqueer and twanzgender cause, just like all the lefty revolutionary dudes before me, I *demand* that women fuck menz for The Cause™. Get the fuck over your stoopid personal attractions already!
When you really look at the way patterns of desire map onto what bodies are privileged and what bodies are marginalized, it becomes obvious that our desires are political. I am absolutely not about critiquing the way one person falls for another. The problem is with a community trend. When we leave sexuality trends unexamined, sex becomes a space where privilege and oppression run amuck.
Transplaination: Kewl, nice spin. See what I did there? Managed to gloss over stoopid personal preferences and hammer home the point that stupid women should be fucking cock for The Cause™, it’s political! Yay! Gawd I am clever and sexay, why won’t lesbians fuck meeeee?
It’s well past time to say enough. If queer community wants to be about a gender and sexuality revolution it’s got to take these questions seriously. Its got to address the ways cissexism overdetermines community approaches to sexuality. This is an ongoing process involving lots of thought, critique, and, well, processing. We’ve got to be able to move from the broad and systemic to seeing how cissexism plays out in our personal lives, including in relation to who and how we fuck.
Transplaination: Yep, not only stoopid lesbians, but all you genderqueer bitchez as well, you had better be fucking cock for The Revolution™, and don’t forget about our tranz clits too! You stoopid bitchez just aren’t politically savvy enough if you aren’t fucking some kind of cock for The Cause™. Twanzphobic and cis-sexist bitchez. Fuck me! I didn’t go to all* the trouble of my laydee guise for nothin’, I wantz me some hawt pretendbian sex! Gimme, now! Or I call you cis-sexist bitchez who don’t care about The Cause™.
*Note the shitload of effort:
Yeah yeah yeah Jos, your *new and improved* version of trying to get women to sleep with you for The Revolution™ kinda looks a lot like the very old and tired version that lefty dudes and revolutionary dudes have been using for centuries. It actually does work very well in grooming young women without much life experience into thinking what they are doing is “revolutionary” and “for The Cause™”. Except it is always about the male-born sexually accessing the female-born, usually by guilt-tripping them. And if they don’t sleep with you, you will call them names (the new and improved version of “frigid” is “cis-sexist” or twanzphobic). Same shit, different day. They don’t bother guilt-tripping dudes in this way.
Jos Twitt, you are a male sexual predator, enabling your male predator brethren. Which is why you and all your Cotton Ceiling buddies creep me the fuck out.
Young lesbians, and young female (bisexual) ‘genderqueers’ – wake the hell up and smell the sexual predation and male entitlement in this bullshit. These dudes in dresses are trying to guilt-trip you into sleeping with them, and name-calling you if you don’t. There is nothing wrong with not liking penises or male bodies, and preferring female bodies. To say otherwise is lesbianphobic. Twitt is actually lesbianphobic, with his crack about ‘sexual trauma’ as being the (only) reason for lesbianism – he also doesn’t give a fuck if you do have trauma after sexual assault or rape, he just told you so above. He doesn’t give a fuck what bodies you are attracted to either, he is using the cover of political activism/awareness to make you sleep with him and his kind. Don’t fall for it.
I seriously hope another five radfems are born after Twitt’s bullshit.
Dollars to doughnuts, that is a Lazy Tranny Name, probably “Joshua”? huh? huh? amirite? amirite?
Edited to add:
Thanks to whomever, sums it up very well. Also very quick!