Radical Feminists have a political understanding about sex roles, sex role stereotypes and sex role socialization (so-called “gender”) that makes it obvious that there are many problems with transactivist understandings of “gender” and “gender identity.” Radical feminists want to abolish “gender” because masculinity trains boys and men to be dominators. Likewise, when girls and women are pressured into femininity we are trained to submit. So long as masculinity and femininity exist no one can express themselves freely.
When people transition they are jumping from one constricting gender role to another and solidifying the gender straightjacket for everyone else. When transitioners take hormones or do surgery they are choosing to change their bodies instead of challenging the gender straightjacket. They are voting for the continuation of a gender system that trains boys and men to be dominators and girls and women to accept domination.
Transactivists are attempting to silence radical feminists because of the power of our understandings. Meanwhile many people troubled by the harm being done by the transgender movement are turning to radical feminist political perspectives for help. For example, GenderCriticalDad writes:
“I had to learn from feminism, it was the only discourse that made sense of a transcritical perspective, but also forced some hard questions about myself and how I live my life. Encounters with feminism on my journey as GenderCriticalDad have made me realize how deep sexism goes, how it leads me to be a misogynist sometimes and how this limits me. The Radical Feminism I found teaches me that I need to reject masculinity, not as a grand gesture to the world, but in life and actions with those I care about.”*
GenderCriticalDad sees radical feminism as offering hope to his teenage daughter who is transitioning:
“There are women who can offer a different vision of the future for young women like my daughter…Feminists offer her hope, real feminists – ‘the difficult kind’ not apologists trying to make feminism acceptable to men and inclusive to whatever men want to do.”*
Read Pelican Lee’s article “The Emperor’s Clothes: A Radical Feminist View of Gender and Transgender” to gain a deeper understanding of one radical feminist viewpoint and to see how damaging the transactivist movement is to women, lesbians and gay men, children and to many of the people who choose to become transgender.
* Quotes from GenderCriticalDad are taken from “I’m not a hideously bigoted parent who doesn’t ‘get’ it'” in Transgender Children and Young People: Born in Your Own Body edited by Heather Brunskell-Evans and Michele Moore.