I have been swept along in the recent blogwars concerning MTF transgendered people. I haven't weighed in with my two penn'orth but I will now. Just here, on my own blog space I will dispense with caution and express the basics of what I feel about transgendered people and women-only space.
I support the rights of trans men and women. I use my pronouns correctly, according to the wishes of the person I am speaking to/about. Trans rights are important and should not be dismissed casually, regardless of one's understanding of gender/patriarchy/social conditioning etc. It's not as simple as arguing that gender is culturally and socially defined. However uncomfortable I am personally with the idea of MTF transgendering and the attendant RadFem theoretical problems surrounding gender and femininity/femaleness it points to, it's not yet the perfect world where gender only matters if we want it to...
Having said that, I absolutely can't feel comfortable accepting MTFs into women-only spaces. I cannot get behind the idea that excluding MTF trans people is bad for feminism. I can hope that MTFs understand and respect how women-born-women feel about this topic. I can ask for a peaceful discussion regarding the need for women-born-women spaces.
While I'm at it, I would like to clarify my stance on the Dead Men Don't Rape blog-wrangle... I support Bea's use of this dramatic and assertive title for her blog. I was stupefied by some people's response to it and did some really scientific research* of my own. I asked the men I love and trust (there are two of them) how they felt about the title and I was not surprised at the response that I got. They both were entirely unfazed by it. They were instantly able to see what the intention was and expressed interest in exploring the blog further. But these are sort of feminist men...they get it. I knew they would.
So that's my first post of 2007. I am sorry it wasn't a Happy Monday, but I really felt that I needed to be open about how I feel about these two issues.
* i.e. not at all scientific and a bit crappy really.