A strange conversation, or constellation of conversations, on Twitter this morning.

It started with a piece Alice Dreger wrote yesterday, How to Be An Ally to Cis-Women. She tweeted a link to it. Later she retweeted and commented on a reaction to her piece.

Alice Dreger ‏@AliceDreger 7h7 hours ago
Alice Dreger retweeted Zoé S.
I commit “structural violence” by asking we be allowed to talk/joke/write/sing about the bodies we were born with.

Zoé S. ‏@ztsamudzi
I’m so aghast at @AliceDreger’s list. But at this point, she and others are far too invested in structural violence to believe otherwise.

Too invested in structural violence? What can Zoé S mean by that? I wondered, so I looked at the whole long string of tweets about Alice Dreger’s piece. It’s full of that kind of thing.

Like this one:

Zoé S. ‏@ztsamudzi 7 hours ago
Trans women don’t need to be an ally to us cis women because it isn’t incumbent upon them to CODDLE VIOLENT OPPRESSORS.

What VIOLENT OPPRESSORS? Why is Zoé S claiming that cis women are VIOLENT OPPRESSORS? What can she possibly mean by saying that?

Why are so many people, including cis women, so enraged at cis women? Why are they claiming we are VIOLENT OPPRESSORS?

And this:

Zoé S. ‏@ztsamudzi 7 hours ago

Fellow cis women, be lucky that “TERF” is all you’re being called: violent patriarchal transmisogynistic abusive gatekeeper comes to mind.

And this:

Zoé S. ‏@ztsamudzi 7 hours ago

I don’t have any well-reasoned thing to say anymore. Just shut up with this violent understanding of sex & gender, leave trans women alone.

What is a “violent understanding of sex & gender”?

And this:

Zoé S. ‏@ztsamudzi 7 hours ago

We cis women owe our trans sisters OUR support because we are directly responsible for the state & interpersonal structures abusing them.

How? How are we directly responsible for that?

Maybe the answer is depressingly simple – we’re not, but it’s easy to rage and shout at cis women on Twitter while it’s much more difficult to do anything about state & interpersonal structures.

It’s easy, yes, but is it productive and useful? No, it’s not. It creates hostility where there doesn’t need to be any. Trans people need much better allies than this.

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