Can I reference you to prove that another writer isn’t transphobic?

No. Sometimes I post or reblog quotes by feminists whose other work includes hatred of transsexual people. This includes but isn’t limited to the work of Janice Raymond, Mary Daly and Sheila Jeffreys. By posting their quotes on other subjects I don’t endorse their work on transsexuality or consent to be used as a token transsexual in discussions of their legitimacy. I post from them on other subjects because I often agree with them and think many of their important ideas have been covered-over in recent years. However, I know the harm their writing has done me and my sisters. That I reference them isn’t proof that I’ve “forgiven” them, that under radical transfeminist analysis their work is proven to be trans-inclusive, or that their other work balances it out. It’s more often because I can’t find their ideas anywhere else, and even then I feel deeply conflicted about it.

Can I reference you to prove that radical feminism isn’t transphobic?

No. In fact, I’ve read the following conversation so often that I’m implementing a new rule:

“Radical feminism is transphobic.”

“No it’s not. Look at Lisa Millbank. She’s even trans herself! (Gotcha…)”

Great, right? Well, the new rule is as follows: If I’m the only example you can think of that radical feminism isn’t transphobic, it doesn’t count. Now of course it says something that I describe myself as a radical feminist. But you can’t cite one woman as proof of anything. There is almost certainly at least one woman for every possible point of view. If you, in a discussion with someone else, want to prove to them – internet argument style – that radical feminism isn’t intrinsically transphobic, do the footwork. Make your own point.

If you like, you can cite me alongside at least two others as proof that, at least, a small group of people have a radical feminism which is not transphobic. Even that says nothing about radical feminism as a whole. You can reference my arguments as examples of ways in which radical feminist and transfeminist ideas can work together rather than clashing, and that might get you closer. But you should still be able to demonstrate that you are aware of and can discuss a body of thought, beyond just my work, that shows how this all ties together in practice. Otherwise, you’re just tokenising me and what I write.

Can I link your work to someone who wants to read radical feminist work that isn’t transphobic?

Yes. This is answering a request, not trying to prove a point.

If someone’s doing one of the things you criticise above, can I link them to this page?

Yes. Hi, person linked to this page. Your argument is automatically wrong. You lose.

I’m a journalist.

I don’t speak to journalists and I don’t want you having anything to do with my work.

I’m a trans/cis man.

My time and energy is not for you. Please don’t bother me.

I’m a cis woman wanting to reference or otherwise use your work in academia or an organised political campaign. Can I?

Please contact me (for example by leaving a comment here). In your message, explain how you want to use the work. Please also detail how this work (or other compensatory work you plan to take on) will benefit trans women.

Will you speak at my campus/conference/event?

I’m thinking about it! Please contact me and let me know what you have in mind – we can talk.

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