I’ve had so many lovely messages from the Mumsnet TERF Mafia over the past couple of days – I really have! Naturally, modesty prevents me from publishing most of them. But one thing struck me yesterday – and that’s the question surrounding transgender children. What does a TERF do when little Jimmy tells Mummy “he’s” really a girl?
Or vice versa, of course. Ask any trans person how long they’ve known they’ve been trans and they’ll all tell you since they were very young.
For me, I was about six or seven (though I knew there was something different long before that). For others, it’s much younger. You don’t suddenly realise you’re transgender in adulthood, like Lili in the Danish Girl movie.
Last night, I had several attacks on me from TERF mums on Twitter – they’re all blocked now. I was accused of being mysogynistic (utter rubbish) and a liar (ditto), and they constantly misgendered me as “he/him”. How very grown up!
So I asked some of them how they’d feel and what they’d do if one of their children announced to them that they were transgender. And for a long time, nobody answered.
In fact, most just ignored the question altogether – because they have no answer to it. The only replies I got were these:
So everyone completely in denial that their little boy or girl could be trans. This is like the anti-gay attitudes of yesteryear which are now, thankfully, subsiding as people become more educated.
I have news for you, ladies. Your kids have the same chance of being trans – or gay, or lesbian, or bisexual – as anyone else on this planet. You didn’t bring them up wrong – it’s just that some people are LGBT. Deal with it – if you have a problem with transgender people, it’s your problem, not theirs. Stop living in the Dark Ages.
Which brings me on to feminism and kids more widely. You hear so many complaints from parents (mums, mainly) about toys being labelled as girls’ and boys’. What they really mean is: why shouldn’t little Jasmine be allowed to play with the model cars and Action Men figures?
Same with interests – why shouldn’t Jasmine be allowed to join the Scouts (well, she can now) or play football (she can now) or go rock climbing or white-water rafting (you get the idea)?
And clothes? Why can’t darling Jasmine wear jeans and T-shirts if she wants to? She’s a tomboy, that’s all.
And I agree with them completely. Go Jasmine! You play with your cars, you scale that rock face and go and play football in your muddy jeans and trainers.
Nothing wrong with being a tomboy – or a girl doing anything that boys can do. Girls are just as good as boys – if not better, let’s be honest. They’re way smarter.
Feminism – at least to me – is all about everyone – female, male or non-binary, cis or trans – being treated equally and being given the same opportunities. You know where this is going, right?!
So how come little boys aren’t allowed to express their feminine side? If little Jimmy wore a pretty dress or a pink skirt to school, he’d be laughed out of the playground – shortly before being beaten up.
If he wanted to join the Girl Guides, he couldn’t (unless actually transgender – and even then the rules have only just changed). He could do ballet, but he’d be in a tiny minority of boys who do.
And as for playing with Barbie dolls and dressing up as a princess, he’d just be labelled a sissy. How come “tomboy” is acceptable and yet “sissy” is not? Where’s the equality?
It contains dozens of images of boys sticking their fingers up (metaphorically) to the feminists who don’t believe they should get in touch with their feminine sides. I suggest you take a look at it.
There’s a boy with cute ribbons in his hair, others doing tap and ballet dancing, another one baking and another wearing a red cape and a pink tutu. That ones’s for you, Dissy Rose.
There’s a boy holding a baby doll, another wearing a pretty dress and a bonnet, another with a pink Minnie Mouse bow in his hair and another trying out makeup – blusher and nail varnish.
And they all look so happy, because they’re being allowed to do what they want to do. I’m sure their mums and dads are feminists who want REAL equality – or they wouldn’t have submitted the pictures. Isn’t it a crying shame that trans-exclusionary radical feminists can’t see kids from their point of view?
Now, whether or not any of these lads evolve into lasses, I don’t know. I don’t care. If they do, great. If they don’t, great! So long as they’re happy and they’re accepted for who they are.
Just one final word of warning to the TERFs: coming out to your parents is one of the hardest things a kid who’s LGBT can ever do. If they know your views on transgender people, they’ll never, ever come out to you. Which means you won’t know your son or daughter for who they really are.
And that’s impossibly sad.
PS Edit: This is the painting referred to by Jen in the comments below. It’s called Portrait of an Unknown Child and was painted in the 1630s.