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common goals of GC feminists and pro-trans folk

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There have been a few threads where GC feminists and pro trans people have butted heads about rights and definitions of words as such things. While these debates are intellectually stimulating, they are probably not all that productive in actually improving anyone's life. So, in this thread I'd like to explore where our common interests lie, what are out common goals and how can we work together to achieve them. 

This is what I wrote in another thread:

We need to find a way that transpeople and feminists can be true alies, without either side dictating the terms. To do this we need to acknowledge that we don't agree on everything, and that is ok. It is ok that GC feminists believe that sex based categories are real and important, and it is ok if transpeople believe that gender is innate and central to their identity. If we can just accept that we don't agree on these points then perhaps we can move towards finding things we do agree on, and more importantly, finding solutions that accommodate all our needs for safety and respect. A movement like this would take the wind out of the TRA sails, and would allow us to work together instead of fighting over crumbs.

So, that is what this thread is about. 

Some things that come to my mind are:

 -safety for sex workers. Transwomen are over represented in the sex trade and are therefore at a high level of risk from violence. How to we address factors that lead both natal women and transwomen involuntarily into sex work.

-the increase in gender coding for children, eg 'girls' and 'boys' clothes/toys/behaviour etc.  This surely makes the transition for trans kids so much harder and more public than it needs to be. If we had less coding trans kids could adopt their new gender identity much more easily. 

I'd be interested to hear about other issues that might be common to both causes and what we could do about them.

So, this isn't a thread for debating whether gender id is real or not, and it not really a place for discussing various political theories. I just wondered if we could discuss some real, on the ground ways that we can work together to ensure safety and dignity for all.

 

 

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jojonbeanie
7 hours ago, People said:

-the increase in gender coding for children, eg 'girls' and 'boys' clothes/toys/behaviour etc.  This surely makes the transition for trans kids so much harder and more public than it needs to be. If we had less coding trans kids could adopt their new gender identity much more easily. 

Is there an increase in gender coding for children? Since when? I would have thought there was far less gender coding in clothing/toys/expected behaviour for boys and girls than in previous generations. I'm not saying we don't need to improve in this area. Lord knows, I've fought my own battles with society frowning on my sons' choices of dolls and  pink sparkly bikes. I'm still constantly searching for gender neutral boy's clothing. But I recognise it's much easier to do in 2020 than it was in 1980.

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Kallie88

^^ I'd say there's more parents that are on board but not sure that the media or advertising or market has improved much. Just parents "cross lines" more and get stuff from either section.

Eta: my experience has been that in my area there is still a lot of resistance to boys wearing dresses and the common "concerns" are that it'll make them gay or trans, so i think this is an area that both sides could come together on as those sorts of arguments are ridiculous and insulting to everyone imo

Edited by Kallie88
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Lucrezia Bauble
2 minutes ago, jojonbeanie said:

Is there an increase in gender coding for children? Since when? I would have thought there was far less gender coding in clothing/toys/expected behaviour for boys and girls than in previous generations. I'm not saying we don't need to improve in this area. Lord knows, I've fought my own battles with society frowning on my sons' choices of dolls and  pink sparkly bikes. I'm still constantly searching for gender neutral boy's clothing. But I recognise it's much easier to do in 2020 than it was in 1980.

i think there has been an increase - it’s weird. I remember seeing an add for lego in the late 70’s maybe early ‘80’s and it was a picture of a girl in overalls playing with the equivalent now of lego technic or similar - nowadays - “lego friends” and “Elsa” themes are heavily marketed to girls alone - to be clear - there is nothing wrong with Elsa themes or lego friends as opposed to, say, lego city - but i think the advertising is pretty loaded along sex (boy/girl) lines. Just my observation - and i think it should be done away with. 

 

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kadoodle
11 minutes ago, Lucrezia Bauble said:

i think there has been an increase - it’s weird. I remember seeing an add for lego in the late 70’s maybe early ‘80’s and it was a picture of a girl in overalls playing with the equivalent now of lego technic or similar - nowadays - “lego friends” and “Elsa” themes are heavily marketed to girls alone - to be clear - there is nothing wrong with Elsa themes or lego friends as opposed to, say, lego city - but i think the advertising is pretty loaded along sex (boy/girl) lines. Just my observation - and i think it should be done away with. 

 

I think that’s to do with the broader move into licensed products that started when LEGO got into financial strife in the 1980s. 
 

Less gender extremist (boys have skulls and black, whereas girls have pink and sparkly) stuff would be great. It’s hard (not as hard as it was for my mum in the 80s) to find non-gendered clothes for kids once they’ve grown out of wondersuits.

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ainira

I think the uptake of wooden toys and nature based play makes it easier to be gender neutral in the early years. Primary school age onwards seems to be more along gender lines, including STEM toys. 

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.Jerry.

Personally I would love to see the end to "Gender reveals".  Not only are they naff, but they are pointless and further pigeonhole people, just what we are trying to avoid.

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Lucrezia Bauble
1 minute ago, .Jerry. said:

Personally I would love to see the end to "Gender reveals".  Not only are they naff, but they are pointless and further pigeonhole people, just what we are trying to avoid.

yes! and they cause wildfires in America. And - stop conflating sex and gender. If you must have them, it’s the baby’s sex you are revealing.

 

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Kallie88

Lol bet a lot less people would do them if they were called sex reveals 😂

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BadCat

I call them genital reveals.

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a letter to Elise.
3 hours ago, Lucrezia Bauble said:

i think there has been an increase - it’s weird. I remember seeing an add for lego in the late 70’s maybe early ‘80’s and it was a picture of a girl in overalls playing with the equivalent now of lego technic or similar - nowadays - “lego friends” and “Elsa” themes are heavily marketed to girls alone - to be clear - there is nothing wrong with Elsa themes or lego friends as opposed to, say, lego city - but i think the advertising is pretty loaded along sex (boy/girl) lines. Just my observation - and i think it should be done away with. 

 

I agree there’s been an increase.

ive noticed a difference in the way fisher price toys are marketed since I had my first child 11 years ago. Back then, the singing puppy toy he had, the vacuum cleaner etc were all in bright, gender neutral colours. Now they also sell pink “girl versions”. I think it’s to encourage people to buy more - you couldn’t possibly give your little boy a pink hand me down from his sister (well I did, but plenty wouldn’t. 
 

as for Lego friends, most of it isn’t Disney related. It’s clearly “girl Lego”. 

There’s a lot more acceptance of girls doing “boy things” then there is of boys doing “girl things”. Both my boys were big fans of glittery handbags. Every time we went somewhere, a random person made a negative comment about it. The rules about acceptable “boy interests” are very constrained 

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MadMarchMasterchef
3 hours ago, jojonbeanie said:

Is there an increase in gender coding for children? Since when? I would have thought there was far less gender coding in clothing/toys/expected behaviour for boys and girls than in previous generations. I'm not saying we don't need to improve in this area. Lord knows, I've fought my own battles with society frowning on my sons' choices of dolls and  pink sparkly bikes. I'm still constantly searching for gender neutral boy's clothing. But I recognise it's much easier to do in 2020 than it was in 1980.

Ive read a lot about more and more toys and other things being unnecessarily 'genderised' for marketing and I would believe it.  (have a think about how many things are available in 'pink' or 'blue' only.  Its often things like bike helmets and bubble wands, drink bottles, torches  where there is only those 2 colour choices. 

 

9 minutes ago, a letter to Elise. said:

There’s a lot more acceptance of girls doing “boy things” then there is of boys doing “girl things”. Both my boys were big fans of glittery handbags. Every time we went somewhere, a random person made a negative comment about it. The rules about acceptable “boy interests” are very constrained 

I hope this is changing, I do know a couple of DD's male friends at school like unicorns and fairies but they are in year 2 and I suspect there would be a lot more negative pressure around year 5/6 if they 'still' like fairies then. 

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seayork2002

I have noticed 95% pink with 5% purple for girls and every colour under the rainbow for boys not just blue

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ALittleBitter
4 minutes ago, MadMarchMasterchef said:

Ive read a lot about more and more toys and other things being unnecessarily 'genderised' for marketing and I would believe it.  (have a think about how many things are available in 'pink' or 'blue' only.  Its often things like bike helmets and bubble wands, drink bottles, torches  where there is only those 2 colour choices. 

 

I hope this is changing, I do know a couple of DD's male friends at school like unicorns and fairies but they are in year 2 and I suspect there would be a lot more negative pressure around year 5/6 if they 'still' like fairies then. 

My 4 year old son likes typically ‘girly’ things like painted nails and dolls, and even his kinder teachers have made him feel uncomfortable about it. 

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jojonbeanie
2 minutes ago, MadMarchMasterchef said:

Ive read a lot about more and more toys and other things being unnecessarily 'genderised' for marketing and I would believe it.  (have a think about how many things are available in 'pink' or 'blue' only.  Its often things like bike helmets and bubble wands, drink bottles, torches  where there is only those 2 colour choices. 

 

I wonder if it's also got to do with the fact that there are a lot more 'things' to buy for kids thee days and so the marketers need a lot more ways to differentiate their products and to encourage multiple purchases. If you have a pink bike it makes it less acceptable to hand down to your kid brother so a new one has to be purchased. 

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kadoodle
19 minutes ago, a letter to Elise. said:

I agree there’s been an increase.

ive noticed a difference in the way fisher price toys are marketed since I had my first child 11 years ago. Back then, the singing puppy toy he had, the vacuum cleaner etc were all in bright, gender neutral colours. Now they also sell pink “girl versions”. I think it’s to encourage people to buy more - you couldn’t possibly give your little boy a pink hand me down from his sister (well I did, but plenty wouldn’t. 
 

as for Lego friends, most of it isn’t Disney related. It’s clearly “girl Lego”. 

There’s a lot more acceptance of girls doing “boy things” then there is of boys doing “girl things”. Both my boys were big fans of glittery handbags. Every time we went somewhere, a random person made a negative comment about it. The rules about acceptable “boy interests” are very constrained 

Girls “acting like” boys is seen as trading up, whereas boys being girly is seen as lowering themselves. 
I once got accosted by a very offended elderly gentleman when I let DS1 (aged about 12 months old) choose a pink strawberry icecream at the seaside at Blackpool. I thought he was going to do himself a mischief.

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Prancer is coming

I don’t think we have made much progress with gender coding.  With the LEGO, my big w has a lego aisle for all the LEGO city, technic, Star Wars, minecraft, creator ect, then puts the ‘girl lego’ is a seperate aisle with other girl toys.  So a boy and girl LEGO aisle.

 

My boys have long hair.  Both around the age of 8 have gone to school proudly wearing a hair clip or braids.  My eldest barely lasted minutes before he removed his hair clip and never used it again.  The younger one is a bit out there and persisted with pretty hair, but got given a hard time.  And his Billie b brown lunch sack has resulted in lots of drama.  And I often feel people think I am some sort of crazy parent wanting my kids to push gender boundaries when I am just letting them express themselves the way they want to.  I find myself trying to talk them out of braids so there is no teasing, which is not what I want to do neither.

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MadMarchMasterchef
6 minutes ago, kadoodle said:

Girls “acting like” boys is seen as trading up, whereas boys being girly is seen as lowering themselves. 
I once got accosted by a very offended elderly gentleman when I let DS1 (aged about 12 months old) choose a pink strawberry icecream at the seaside at Blackpool. I thought he was going to do himself a mischief.

Good point,  a lot of 'girly' interests are seen as frivolous,  and a lot of intellectual pursuits  like science and computers are still stereotyped as being 'boy things'.   

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ainira

I'm uncomfortable with the idea that the colour pink is seen as "lesser". It seems that the gender neutral option is generally the "boy option" or "not pink".

I bought most of my kids clothes as second hand bundles. DD1 wore out all the red/ blue clothes, so when DD2 came along, her wardrobe was predominantly pink. But it's just a colour. DD2 may dress herself head to toe in pink with a tiara but it doesn't stop her from climbing trees, hanging out on the monkey bars, commando crawling around the tan bark and coming home from daycare/ school covered in dirt.

Absolutely agree that boys aren't encouraged to show interests in "girly" things. 

I think the discourse on science being a boy thing is changing though. DD2's favourite book for instance is Marie Curie from the Little People, Big Dreams series. 

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Lady Sybil Vimes
11 hours ago, People said:

 -safety for sex workers. Transwomen are over represented in the sex trade and are therefore at a high level of risk from violence. How to we address factors that lead both natal women and transwomen involuntarily into sex work

I think this would be a sticking point.

Gender critical doesn't always mean radical feminist, but it often does. Radical feminists tend to favour the Nordic Model which completely decriminalises prostitution, makes buying sex illegal, strengthens penalties for pimping/trafficking, addresses the economic reasons for entering prostitution and includes public health campaigns.

I don't get the impression this model is favoured amongst trans activists.

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kadoodle
3 minutes ago, MadMarchMasterchef said:

Good point,  a lot of 'girly' interests are seen as frivolous,  and a lot of intellectual pursuits  like science and computers are still stereotyped as being 'boy things'.   

Exactly. Cross stitch is just as difficult as building a model airplane, but one is seen as much more frivolous than the other.

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kadoodle
4 minutes ago, Lady Sybil Vimes said:

I think this would be a sticking point.

Gender critical doesn't always mean radical feminist, but it often does. Radical feminists tend to favour the Nordic Model which completely decriminalises prostitution, makes buying sex illegal, strengthens penalties for pimping/trafficking, addresses the economic reasons for entering prostitution and includes public health campaigns.

I don't get the impression this model is favoured amongst trans activists.

SWERFs exist.

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Lady Sybil Vimes
1 minute ago, kadoodle said:

SWERFs exist.

What do you mean?

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seayork2002
3 minutes ago, ainira said:

I'm uncomfortable with the idea that the colour pink is seen as "lesser". It seems that the gender neutral option is generally the "boy option" or "not pink".

I bought most of my kids clothes as second hand bundles. DD1 wore out all the red/ blue clothes, so when DD2 came along, her wardrobe was predominantly pink. But it's just a colour. DD2 may dress herself head to toe in pink with a tiara but it doesn't stop her from climbing trees, hanging out on the monkey bars, commando crawling around the tan bark and coming home from daycare/ school covered in dirt.

Absolutely agree that boys aren't encouraged to show interests in "girly" things. 

I think the discourse on science being a boy thing is changing though. DD2's favourite book for instance is Marie Curie from the Little People, Big Dreams series. 

My son had lots of different colours  with toys growing up  including pink where with girls all i notice is diffent shades of pink (a little purple) so baby pink, hot pink etc. where ds had red, yellow, blue, green, orange etc.

For baby girl clothes again various pink where boys lots of different colours although i have noticed a slight change and more so with older kids

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Fennel Salad

I'm hardly a sophisticated thinker on this topic and previous threads certainly got me thinking .

Having had kids it's been quite a shock at how genderised society actually is and how faithful smart inner city urban professionals, are to the  gender status quo.

I have heard mums recoiling at the thought of their son wearing pink. Yes really in inner west Sydney ("cool hipster" gentrified area for the non sydney members). It's impossible to find anything pink or purple in the "boys" clothing section, ever, anywhere. That said, shops won't stock what wont sell. Pink and Rainbows used to be my kids' favourite colours, and surprise, surprise it now no longer is. Why? My guess is peer pressure where the maccho messaging starts at home.

Last year our school had a school disco with a glitter theme and many boys didnt attend because their parents didnt want their sons dressing up in sparkly things and complained that the theme wasnt inclusive (eyeroll) ... ftr DH made the kid's costumes and spent the previous night bedazzling like a champ.

I have an inkling, it starts with men ... the idea that we need to be flexible, inclusive and kind to people even if they are very different to you, as people are people.
 

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