Guest post: The only true women

Originally a comment by Your Name’s not Bruce? on The bottom rung of the ladder.

Felker-Martin’s work is highly disturbing for reasons that go much further than the characters and plot, which centres on two transgender women hunting down and killing ‘TERFs’ in a battle for survival.

N.B. Much, if not most, of the following, is speculative, as I have not read Manhunt and have no intention of doing so. I have no qualms about trashing or maligning it sight unseen. I have no qualms about taking feminist critiques of it at face value. I have not been given any reason whatsoever to doubt their presentation of the facts of the matter in this conflict. The trans activist side has sacrificed the presumption of innocence and good faith so many times over that I’m done with giving it the benefit of the doubt. Ever. Am I “piling on?” Maybe. If that makes me a “hateful bigot” I can live with that. I am not demanding that the authour and his supporters be hounded and harassed, and that the publisher withdraw his book from circulation. If someone wants to buy it and read it, go ahead. I’m not going to feign neutrality. I’m not going to be “nice.” In the words of Magdalen Berns, “I’d rather be rude than a fucking liar.”

In an earlier thread about this novel, someone here on B&W had commented on the misandry at play in the portrayal of men. Perhaps, but from what I’ve heard about the book, as far as males turning into murderous beasts, they can’t help it. It’s a consequence of the malady used to create the dystopian arena in which the surviving “human” characters play out the story. What is this other than “boys will be boys” turned up to 11? By turning them into mindless killers, the author has effectively removed men as men from the calculus of moral responsibility. As thoughtless drones, they might even be objects of pity, best put out of their misery. They are made as blameless as a virus. To be stamped out and killed, to be sure, but it’s nothing personal. The real enemies, it would seem, are TERFs. TERFs are the true opponents of the story’s trans heroes. Can you really hold a man who has become a mindless zombie to the same level of guilt and responsibility as a cold-blooded, calculating cis-woman bent on harming trans identified males for the hell of it?

Is this not just an extrapolation of the current state of trans activist belief? TERFs bear the entire moral responsibility for the murder of trans identified males (let’s face it, they’re the only trans people that TAs really gve a shit about), despite the fact that it’s males who do the actual killing. Men might be the ones engaging in violence, but they can’t help it. It’s the feminists who are planning trans genocide who are to blame. How exactly critiques of Judith Butler and the vigourous defence of women’s words and single sex spaces becomes the motivation for males killing trans identified males is never explained, but SHUT UP TRANSPHOBE! The appropriation of the murders of Brazilian prostitutes and the ignoring of the complicating factors of race, sex”work” and drug use is also SHUT UP TRANSPHOBed away. In the trans activist imagination, cis “privilege” gives TERFs a degree of power and influence that feminists can only dream of. That believing that this is how our world actually works requires a greater suspension of disbelief than the apocalyptic revenge-fantasy scenario conjured up by this novel really says something about the level of delusion and dishonesty within which trans activism operates. That trans activist delusions of feminists plotting trans genocide is a pure projection of their own subconcious (and not so subconcious) desires is truly frightening.

It’s only natural that the TA fantasy of TERF power in the real world would get carried over into the fantasy world of this novel. Other aspects of our world do, however, have a more hauntingly familiar echo in the novel. In our world, the entire onus of acceptance of TiMs is on women. It is up to women to give up their spaces for the protection of men who claim to be women, against the violence of males. TiMs claim to be “widening the bandwidth” of what it means to be a woman, rather than demanding changes in what it means to be a man. This would be more honest, but much harder to do. Better to find an easier target, one that doesn’t demand changes in patriarchal rules and expectations.

Though it is male violence that TiMs are seeking to escape by violating women’s single sex spaces, the violence of men is somehow women’s fault. Women are, as ever, expected to accept and accommodate the demands of men. Rather than fighting patriarchy, trans activism uses it. It’s just more male entitlement. Somehow patriarchy is not the enemy, feminism is. Patriarchy is just the way things are, the way things will always be. Boys will be boys. But if some boys want to be women, then it’s women’s respnsibility alone to accommodate them. In the novel, men have become murderous beasts. There is no arguing or changing them; boys will be boys. They are absolved and bear no responsibility. Trans safety now depends on taking that which women will not share. But our trans heroes are the bearers and inheritors of male entitlment and violence. The violence must be excused and justified. It must be seen as righteous. So, the trans heroes must prove themselves against the real villains of the piece, not the poor, mindless males who can’t help themselves and can’t be argued with, but the evil TERFs keeping them out of the clubhouse of womanhood. Seeking a trans-safe place of their own is out of the question. Defeating the TERFs is the true path to salvation and validation. Taking away women’s power and space is just punishment and the only true victory, the only way for the trans heroes to show that they are the better “women” and are the rightful owners of the name, the only true women.

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