I am a non-binary trans*androgynous boi, and I really like your blog. I totally agree with you that cis men cannot be feminists, but I disagree when you say that trans men cannot be feminists because they are men, and feel like it erases a lot of their experiences and struggles.
I understand why you say that, because trans men are often still grouped in with women and seen as “men lite” because of their birth assigned gender. However, there are a lot of reasons why trans men totally have the right to call themselves feminists even though they are men.
First and foremost, there are a lot of trans men who don’t take hormones or have top surgery, either because they are not yet able to do so, or choose not to do so. This doesn’t make them any less of a man. However, because of their appearance they are most likely not going to benefit from male privilege and will still suffer the oppression of the patriarchy.
Secondly, even for trans men with male privilege, the majority of them still spent a good chunk of their lives suffering patriarchal oppression before they transitioned. Those experiences do not get erased just because the way they are read now matches their gender.
And the last point I want to make is that trans men still suffer under the patriarchy in ways that cis men do not, such issues with work conditions if they are outted, health insurance coverage, douchey doctors, etc. It certainly doesn’t make them any less of a man, but they often have to face situations and issues that are a direct result of the patriarchy that cis men do not have to deal with.
So I hope you take those points into consideration. You said yourself that feminism if for those who are directly oppressed by patriarchy,and said that non-binary folks can be feminists (even though they aren’t women either). For as long as transphobia exists, trans men will experience some of that oppression. Maybe not in the same way that women do, but in different, equally valid ways.
I dunno. I’m opening this up to my followers, what do you guys think?
It would be great to get the opinions of some trans and cis feminists on this.
I’m inclined to agree with Evan that trans* men definitely suffer from the patriarchy and even though they are men, they spent a good portion of their lives being seen and treated as girls/women and so they know the way the patriarchy oppresses women from personal experience just as much as a cis woman does. The fact that they are not actually women doesn’t mean that those experiences weren’t real.
I get really upset when people say that trans* men can’t be feminists. Like the part of your life where you were treated as a woman by society just goes away? Nope! Also lots of trans* men (anyone who has a vagina/uterus/etc) face the same reproductive/sexual opression that cis women do (sometimes worse). And they definitely understand the body policing struggle. Like how is this something we feel the need to question?
Because people don’t think
WAIT. Back it up. Cis men cannot be feminists? So…the very people you’re trying to get to stop oppressing women…they’re not allowed to be part of the movement to stop the oppression of women.
MY MIND IS FULL OF FUCK
It’s almost like some feminists are really, really bad at feminism! I’m assuming, of course. I haven’t had much experience with it.
Not-sarcasm: it always strikes me as condescending-as-fuck when people like that say trans men should totally be allowed in women-only spaces. The point, you are missing it.