Transphobia: The Root of Radical Feminists’ Problem with Trans Women

The journey towards emancipation and equality guided by a transgender woman (DALL-E)
The journey towards emancipation and equality, guided by a transgender woman (DALL-E)

The German old-school feminist and leading figure Alice Schwarzer is known for her controversial public broadsides against transgender individuals. Under the guise of a “Trans Trend” or a “Trans Ideology” and the dangers she perceives in them, she covers transgender people with all sorts of unflattering public confrontations.

English Tip: In English usage, Alice Schwarzer would actually be the epitome of a ‘vixen’ in the sense of a quarrelsome woman.

Courted by shady figures from the circle of so-called “Putin sympathizers,” such as the notoriously short-sighted Swiss right-wing populist and publicist Roger Köppel with his entourage, Alice Schwarzer has well-connected right-wing platforms to spread her broadsides: “A person remains biologically female or male for life, even if they take hormones, even if a woman has her breasts amputated, the genitals mutilated…,” she is quoted by Köppel’s “Weltwoche” (in the article “End of Woman and Man: Basel-Stadt Wants to Remove Gender Definition” from April 15, 2023, by Thomas Renggli).

Joanne Rowling: No Menstruation, No Woman

The British author and leading figure Joanne Rowling (J.K. Rowling) has also publicly expressed disdain, particularly towards trans women. This disdain manifested in the debate she unworthily sparked about menstruation as a hallmark of true femininity. Thus, trans women must lack this due to the absence of menstruation.

The fact that there are medical situations where cisgender women (referred to as “bio-women” for the target audience of this article) do not have (and sometimes never had) menstruation seems to have escaped Rowling. That there are bio-women who do not have a uterus also seems to be absent from her awareness (no wonder: Rowling is a fantasy artist, not a doctor). But what the heck, in the end, they all just point to the chromosomal determination of gender, right?

Oh well? With her insinuating comment on menstruation, Rowling not only denies all trans women their femininity but also all other women who either do not have uterus or for other reasons do not have or have irregular menstruation. That’s that.

Origin of Radical Feminist Scorn Against Trans Women

Where does this scorn against transgender individuals, especially against trans women, come from? Generally, these kind of things often stem from a lack of sexual satisfaction. Sigmund Freud also located a “penis envy” in women. What the case may be with ROWling and the vixen Schwarzer, however, remains to be seen. More likely, it is envy of the abilities of trans women and wounded pride that so incite radical feminists against trans women.

Interestingly, it is precisely the radical feminists who are most likely to deny trans women their womanhood. These are the feminists who would also be expected to emancipate themselves most vehemently to achieve as much independence from men as possible. In terms of this goal of every radical feminist, many trans women – as much as they are stuck in unwanted masculinity due to their chromosomes – have a psychological advantage, due to their attempted male socialization under the influence of testosterone.

Male socialization includes fighting, asserting oneself, being heard, to “make” (instead of to “bake”), and not least, to lead. These are skills that might go against the grain for some (trans) women or at least might not be intuitively available. At the same time, these are the foundations of emancipation from men.

The Envy of Radical Feminists as a No-Brainer

Trans women, who have been socialized as men under the influence of testosterone and, essentially, on a trial basis, have inevitably acquired completely different conflict behavior patterns, completely different strategies for getting through life than bio-women, many of whom learn from an early age in a patriarchally tinted society to be subordinate to men, to duck down, and to serve obediently. The emancipation, and perhaps also the struggle against patriarchy, comes for bio-women later in life, at a point when trans women, due to their earlier male socialization, already possess many strategies as a basis for emancipation: That here the envy of radical feminists must break through, is – a no-brainer.

It is the bio-woman who must emancipate herself from her patriarchy after years of being systematically made subordinate to men through her socialization as a woman. This can indeed make some feel a bit envious towards trans women… Envy and, given their own powerlessness in the face of the advantage of trans women, also wounded pride are thus plausible explanations for the scorn from the corner of radical feminists.

The statement by certain radical feminists that trans women are not women but men is incorrect. Surely, the observation that trans women are not bio-women is accurate. That’s why they are called transgender women and not cisgender. Another no-brainer.