Anatomy of Transphobia in Feminism

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Late 20th century third-wave feminism splintered into multiple branches as feminism synthesized with almost every male ideology as created by men for men. What is known as “radical feminism” was inspired by Marxist feminism and tends to be politically confrontational yet unfortunately also often embracing deplorable male behavioral patterns in masculinist manner rejecting female-culture virtues which rather than becoming rejected ought instead become embraced by persons of all genders.

Radical feminism is divided into two branches, one which is truly feminist in basing itself in gender science while the other branch is essentially a hate movement which embraces sexism, including but not only hatred against all persons with male anatomy (including many transmales) as well as hateful exclusion of transgender females. The second branch of radical feminism are hateful extremists and ought not be recognized as neither feminists nor radical feminists.

A case in point is Sweden’s Feminist major political party (Feministiskt Initiativ or F!) which is the world’s largest feminist political party. I very recently had an opportunity to speak with the party chairperson Gudrun Schyman. She behaved in an extremely transphobic manner against me in making clear that she did not consider transgender women as females and that transgender women are certainly not welcome in her political party. When I asked her whether she knew many transgender people in her political party did she admit that she was not aware of one single transgender person in her political party. The burning hatred against transgender females was extremely apparent as she deployed an aggressively masculinist (structurally oppressive anti-feminine) social role towards this queer theorist and very feminine transgender femme (feminine lesbian).

The party chairperson furthermore “joked” about animals as “a steak for Sunday”. When I asked her whether non-human persons surely ought not be included in Intersectionality (i.e. intersectional feminism) did she implausibly “explain” herself by stating that her political party “has an Animal Rights policy”, something which she herself was apparently personally very much unconcerned with.

I introduced myself as a Queer and feminist theorist and she responded by mentioning a small sectorial LGBTQI group within what is unfortunately a political party dominated by cisnormativity and heteronormativity as the party leader herself admitted to not being aware of one single transgender female within the party.

When applying for membership are new potential members asked to indicate in the online form whether they identify as woman, man or “other”. This is akin of course to registering color of skin; it does exclude legal minors of all genders and persons without gender identities as well as literally engaging in “othering” of persons with non-binary gender identities.

Feministiskt Initiativ (F!) has become notorious among Swedish feminists for its ethnocratic hostility against post-Muslim Swedish feminists in especially accusing Kurdish-Swedish feminists of being “racists” and bizarrely claiming that it is “racist” to specifically criticize Mideastern sexism as now hegemonically pervasive in Swedish neighborhoods abandoned by the xenophobic Swedish police to Jihadist vigilantes.

Many Swedish feminists of Jewish and other Middle Eastern backgrounds feel highly uncomfortable with F!’s open embrace of Muslim Brotherhood Islamism and totalitarian-inspired hostility against liberal-democratic Israel, the only internationally recognized independent state in the Middle East where feminism is part of the mainstream political consensus while ignoring the successful feminist social revolution in Rojava (West Kurdistan & North Syria) and the successful armed establishment there of the first feminist state in world history.

F! instead reinforces the male monopoly on violence by advocating “pacifism” and therefore declines to support Rojava, the world’s first feminist state and the successful armed feminist revolution there in its struggle against the ultra-patriarchal Jihadism. When the predominantly Kurdish Yezidis were subjected to genocide in 2014 by the Islamic State Caliphate did Feministiskt Initiativ (F!) cynically chose to instead accuse Israel of genocide against Muslim Brotherhood Hamas in Gaza while not mentioning the Jihadist 73rd Yezidi genocide with a single word. When Gudrun Schyman was asked by a journalist why her party did not officially condemn the Islamic State Caliphate did she implausibly respond: “How would that help?”

While outwardly intersectional did Feministiskt Initiativ (F!) become hijacked by extremists whose agenda is tragically hatred. How can a leader of the world’s largest feminist political party claim to be an intersectional feminist while at the same time condoning meat-eating and systematically excluding transgender females? I pointed out to her that sexists mistreat human females and non-human persons alike as “pieces of meat”; yet this did not prompt her to retract her offensive sexist/speciesist “joke” which was highly offensive and exclusionary against vegan feminists who face dual structural oppression as females and as vegans. It was clear that this former chairperson of the Swedish Communist party leader was a strictly cynical political actor as primarily interested in personally and politically dominating others and who could not care less about Intersectionality.

Does this mean that we should reject the world’s largest and in terms of scale most-developed feminist political party? It certainly ought not, but we ought be cognizant that feminism needs to cleanse itself from extremists whose hatred serves to discredit feminism among most citizens and residents who are unfortunately unaware of the tremendous political and cultural diversity in contemporary feminism worldwide.

Feminism needs feminist etiquette without masculinist derogation of female-culture virtues and this needs become implemented within feminism first and only subsequently introduced in surrounding society. Participation in feminism therefore must not be based on bodily features but rather on inclusive feminist etiquette. While it is important that the public becomes aware of the tremendous cultural and political diversity within feminism need we at the same time move to fully delegitimize extremists within feminism by publicly correctly describing the extremists as non-feminists.

When we as serious feminists generally and as serious radical feminists in particular as politically basing ourselves in democratic values and gender science fail to distance ourselves from and denounce the reprehensible identity politics of extremists usurping the feminist political brand does this profoundly harm our entire movement and cause. Transphobia, heteronormativity/cisnormativity, speciesism/racism, ethnocratic attacks against Kurdish feminists, hostility against feminist Israel, ignoring feminist Rojava, uncritical inclusion of Communists and collaboration with Swedish front organizations for the Islamist Muslim Brotherhood (MB), including expressing public support for MB/Hamas-ruled Gaza and hating Kurds and apparently so on behalf of MB/AKP (as F! is allied with the Islamist Muslim Brotherhood) ought clearly have no place whatsoever in any feminist context.

As radical and serious feminists need we draw a clear line against extreme bigots and collaborators with totalitarianism alike in making sure that we do not in any manner whatsoever socially and/or discursively include extremist bigots in feminism. In fact should we for the sake of feminism itself loudly denounce them as precisely the non-feminists whom they surely are. As for Feministiskt Initiativ (F!) needs it become reappropriated and transformed into a wider polymorphous movement against structural oppression generally whether economic, social or statist indeed.

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