Entitled to Sex? Says Who?

by Penny Robo

A spectacularly widespread claim is that of the aggressive trans woman demanding sex, lest the demandee be slapped with the label of “transphobic”.

When radical feminists parade this narrative, it’s presented as evidence of an inherent and unavoidable nature of trans women as coercive and rapey, as proof that trans women are, until price otherwise, manipulative perverts eager to play any card that gets us laid.

There’s just a slight problem: that doesn’t happen. People have asked, statistics on sex crimes with trans women as the perpetrator have been examined, and the deafening silence that’s found in the vacuum of evidence beyond the anecdotal is almost (almost) hilarious in contrast to the claims.

When radfems can be bothered to present an actual example of an actual trans woman saying something even remotely along those lines, the actual topic of conversation is pretty much always going along a very different path: that denying or ending a relationship because they’re trans is transphobic. Which… yeah, it is. Specifically excluding people from your dating pool because they’re trans makes you transphobic, the same way excluding Asians would make you a racist. It’s not that complicated a concept to grasp. But we’ve been so successfully othered that this simple assertion can be transformed out of context into an ultimatum.

“Have sex with me or you’re a bigot.”

Radfems don’t like labels they’re not the originators of. Much how they claim cis is a slur, or how white supremacists prefer the term alt-right, they wish to control the narrative through seemingly innocuous alternative labels. And thus, transphobic becomes gender critical. Because being an anything-phobe is bad and naughty and shame on you, but being critical? My, you’re just exercising your capacity for analysis and higher thinking, you ought to be applauded, good miss!

Saying that your rejection of trans people (on the singular basis of being trans) makes you “gender critical” sidesteps gut reactions… it doesn’t exactly strike people in the heart, which is the entire point. But a distinct problem arises from this avoidance of unsavory labeling, as the entire basis of the radfem argument is an appeal to emotion rather than reason (or directly observable evidence) and a sub-narrative is necessary to reinject that emotional resonance.

Because many have tried outright saying how they feel about us, and it makes a helluva lot of people feel icky about radfems. In refusing to accept the transphobic label to play better to the crowds, they must also skip around the reality of what these trans women have actually said.

The solution? Ignoring the argument entirely transforming it into coercive demands for sex. Rape. Digging up the deep stereotypes of trans women’s core identity being rooted in sexual deviance, they play into the same baseless fears as the conservative politicians they supposedly ideologically oppose whenever a new bathroom bill is introduced.

But, again, this isn’t happening. People are individuals and make individual choices, but as a group there’s no indication of any sort that this is the case. Zinnia has done the research, there’s no case for this argument of theirs.

Besides, think about it for just one second: Why would you or anyone else want to have sex with someone that thinks you’re disgusting?

In most cases, rape is used as an expression of power rather than sexual desire. Socially, men hold dominance over women, and cis people hold dominance over trans people. And despite what radfems love to spout, this dynamic does indeed hold true with transition, with trans women holding less social power than cis women. Indeed, we hold significantly less social power than basically any other group. This demonstrable power balance conflicts with their assertions of trans women wielding magical social capital over cis women. We’re men in their eyes, but our incredible levels of unemployment, poverty, and subjects of violence fly in the face of that supposed axiom. Their accusations of trans women as coercive rapists must therefore drop the usual motivation of being a power display, and instead take on the narrative of these actions as result of our being “sex crazed”.

That’s right, ladies, gents, and enbys, we’re going all the way back to the days of gay men prowling playgrounds and lesbians poisoning otherwise virtuous women. Yippy see, trans women are really just sex maniacs, desperate to pull whatever card we can to have sex with anyone we can. Especially, it seems, if it’s with someone that devalues the validity of our identity. That really gets our rocks off.

Let’s be real: trans women don’t want to fuck terfs. There’s no questioning that.

Instead, here’s my question to terfs: if someone like me, someone holding zero social capital over you, am willing to tell you to go fuck yourself, why are you so afraid to be labeled as transphobic? You have the power here, shouldn’t you be proud? If you hate us, why mince words?

Could it be, maybe, just maybe, that you recognize that people you want in your life would reject you if you stated your feelings that plainly? Are you scared that being open about yourself would drive away the ones you love and leave you floundering, your label floating over your head for the rest of your life? Terrified of the idea that stating your beliefs without the cover of innocuous-sounding alternative labels would result in ostracism?

In that way, I can see how the threat of such a label could be viewed as a powerful incentive to give in to your fears and cling to a false narrative, complete with snazzy codewords. It helps protect you from the repercussions of your dehumanizing beliefs. It doesn’t excuse that these scenarios of yours are pure fiction, but I understand it.

Because that’s what trans people experience. A reduction to a label, all the nuance and beauty and wonder of ourselves glossed over by those who only see “trans”.

But there’s a strange liberation in such harsh categorization. It lets you sift out those in your life that truly support you. Your crowd of friends may grow significantly smaller, but quality over quantity I say. So go ahead and say what you feel and who you are. Liberate yourself from that prison of clouded facts and muddied viewpoints and embrace the reality of your ideological ugliness. We’ll all be better off for it.

Just don’t expect applause.

About Zinnia Jones

My work focuses on insights to be found across transgender sociology, public health, psychiatry, history of medicine, cognitive science, the social processes of science, transgender feminism, and human rights, taking an analytic approach that intersects these many perspectives and is guided by the lived experiences of transgender people. I live in Orlando with my family, and work mainly in technical writing.

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One Response to Entitled to Sex? Says Who?

  1. Kat says:

    Excellent riposte and calling out of radfems and their semantic deviousness.

    This may come as a surprise, but I’d wager many TERFs actually don’t think you’re disgusting. They think *you’re* sexy as fuck. They think *they’re* disgusting, and they slut-shame trans women because they’re afraid of their own femininity and sexuality. They wish they could express their own so freely. The trans-woman-as-sex-maniac bogeywoman is nothing more than a denial and projection of their own libidinousness. Many of them may well have been damaged by patriarchy, but instead of blaming patriarchy, they find scapegoats (popular ones being trans women and sex workers) and project their own feelings of worthlessness onto you. They dignify this venom with the invisible cloak of ideology, but the rest of us can see the empress has no clothes and recognise this naked hatred for what it is. I hope that one day they will realise it, too, and be ashamed of who they used to be (I say this is as a former repressed TERF who feels that shame deeply). Blogs like this one play an important part in this endeavour. As Zinnia noted, TERFs always have the option of changing their minds.

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