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Re: An appeal to empathy on actual hurt caused by this thread

From: Taylan Kammer
Subject: Re: An appeal to empathy on actual hurt caused by this thread
Date: Mon, 28 Feb 2022 23:24:35 +0100
User-agent: Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 10.0; Win64; x64; rv:91.0) Gecko/20100101 Thunderbird/91.6.1

Hi Christine & co.,

This will be my last mail on this topic.  It's addressed to everyone.

Thank you for putting so much time into your response.  I'm responding
late because I had too much anxiety to open my mail client, and it looks
like my gut feeling was not wrong.

I'm sad to say that I have to disagree with many aspects of your message,
and it seems we will simply have to leave it at disagreement.  If I were
to start enumerating all the things that I disagree with, we would be
right back at square one, and nobody wants that.

At the same time, I must provide some reasoning as to why I'm responding
in such a way after we've both put an enormous amount of effort into
building up empathy.  Of course, I will continue to have respect and
empathy for you as a person; it's just our perspectives on the matter at
hand that seem impossible to reconcile, and I will try to express why
I've come to that conclusion.


The way I've experienced this whole situation is as follows.

Despite my repeated attempts to focus on the principle of mutual respect
for different world-views, others seem mainly interested in trying to
explain why the world-view around sex-based discrimination is somehow
wrong and bad, and should not be respected.

At the same time, it was made very clear that, had I attempted to argue
against the notion that said view is wrong and bad, it would have been
seen as proof that I'm trying to argue for a wrong and bad view and
thereby hurt people in the community.

In essence, it comes down to "it's wrong, and it's not up for debate,
because it's wrong."


Let me clarify again that I understand and acknowledge that a debate on
the views themselves would be deeply hurtful.  That's why I've tried so
hard to avoid that, and asked what part of my mails gave the wrongful
impression that I even had any such intention.

And frankly, I find your answer to that somewhat convoluted.

Yes, I've mentioned in passing that I agree with radfem views.  That was
for the sake of transparency, as pretending to be a neutral third party
would have been manipulative.

I can see that I shouldn't have used the phrase "male-born people."
Something like "people who don't know what it's like being born with a
female body" might have been more appropriate, but I doubt that changing
that one part of that one email would have made that much a difference.
(There's also a point to be made about brevity but anyway.)

All in all, I've gotten the impression that the issue with my mails was
less that I've said something to invalidate trans experiences, and more
that I've dared to suggest that a view based on different experiences
should be respected equally.

Of course, if you look closer into said views based on other experiences,
you won't take long before finding claims that invalidate yours, but that
goes both ways.  Such are conflicting philosophies.  It's not different
with views on religion or politics.  Such is a pluralistic society.


Now one might ask, why am I so "fixated" on this topic, when clearly the
view I've offered is considered hostile.  If people feel *so* strongly
about those views being hurtful, why not just drop it?  It's very easy
to just paint me as "this weird guy obsessed with controversial views."

Well, I've tried to explain, but now that I think about it I might not
have been clear, as I was trying to avoid debate and keep my messages

I will touch on one specific thing, to serve as an example.

Morgan introduced the term "Trans Exclusionary Radical Feminist" (TERF)
and you've used it throughout your message...

By the way, Morgan, I'm sorry for not addressing you directly earlier,
it's just that I was trying to avoid debate on the subject matter itself
and your message seemed mainly like a debate starter.  Responding to
Christine, on the other hand, seemed urgently necessary.

But now I want to use the term "TERF" as a demonstration as to why I feel
so strongly about mutual respect for both views in this whole debacle,
insofar we want the Guix community to be inclusive to everyone who wants
to improve Guix.


I know feminists who, as part of being labeled as "TERF" and subsequent
treatment by "pro-trans" (in name only IMO) activists, have:

- Been forced out of their job (firing, or forced resignation)
- Had torrents of physical (and sexualized) threats sent their way
- Had their meetings disrupted by mobs of masked individuals
- Been straight up physically assaulted (resulting in charges)
- Had said assault be publicly celebrated on social media
- Have been followed by people shouting "I hope you get r*ped"

And more.  Vancouver Rape Relief and Women's Shelter had the words "Kill
TERFs" written on the windows of a building they used, and the carcass
of a rodent nailed on the door frame.  Vancouver Women's Library was met
with a group of vandals upon their opening, who wrote similar things on
their door and damaged books.

(I'm too tired for citation-collecting but feel free to ask me in private
and I'll provide you with everything.  Yes, all of this has happened.)

I also know, by the way, a female free software activist who has written
for the GNU Bulletin and spoken at LibrePlanet, who's a staunch supporter
of sex-based rights and has been hounded off some communities for these
views.  If she wanted to contribute to Guix, would she be welcome?

There was also a GNOME developer and lesbian rights activist who, after
dedicating herself to arguing this position in a no holds barred way (one
might say, the parallel to Liliana here), garnered so much hatred that
her death from brain cancer was celebrated in some circles.  Would she
have been welcomed in the Guix community?

The types of treatment described above are, plainly, dehumanization.  And
the usage of "TERF" often plays a role in it.  The first step is to make
sure that the people in question (women, mostly) are painted as people
whose views are not worth respecting, and from there it escalates towards
painting them as evil aggressors, all the way towards comparisons with
fascists, which is then used, in cruel irony, as justification for using
violence against them.

And of course, when the women in question become angry and sarcastic, or
even just have a single slip of judgment regarding their choice of words,
it's immediately seen as proof that they are indeed hateful.

I've avoided talking about these phenomena up so far, because they are
likely to be met with rationalizations, deflections, and so on, and
severely inflame debate.  Like I said, this is my last mail on the
subject, and I won't argue back; happy to elaborate off-list.

(I won't even read responses to the thread, respond off-list if you
want me to see it.)

So that's why I'm so "obsessed" with equal respect to the competing
views on sex and gender.  It's not clear at all to me that one side is
merely defending the reality of their lived experience, and the other
side trying to invalidate them; there's a *lot* more going on.


I won't bring up this topic again, but my overall opinion is unchanged.

This is not an inclusive or "safe for all" community by any measure if
words like "TERF" are going to be thrown around, and merely asking for
equal respect for conflicting views is met with such resistance.

Kindly, but also disappointed,

- Taylan

On 26.02.2022 20:07, Christine Lemmer-Webber wrote:
> Okay.  Now a longer reply.  I am taking a substantial portion of my day
> to do this.  I think there is a lot more going on here than even appears
> at the surface.  So I have re-read everything that has been said so far
> and am doing my best to take care in what I write here.  I hope it's of
> some greater help and contribution for the health and well being of this
> community, which I cherish.
> Taylan Kammer <> writes:
>> Hi Christine,
>> Thank you for opening up.  It was definitely not apparent to me that you
>> had such a reaction to the thread.  As we know, text doesn't convey the
>> nuances of human communication very well, and I had read your initial
>> emails as rather relaxed, or at worst mildly annoyed.  Had I realized
>> that they were coming from such a stressful position, I would have
>> responded differently.
> For whatever it's worth, at the point that I composed the email, I was
> anxious.
>> My heartfelt apologies in that regard.
> Apology (personally) accepted.  I can't speak for others of course, but
> it is my hope that we as a community can find healing and understanding
> and move forward.  And I believe you when you say this was not your
> intent.
> I also appreciate you being open and thoughtful throughout the rest of
> this email.  Know that this, and the previous, emails were not easy for
> me to write.  I wrote them from a position of disclosure and
> vulnerability.
> But not writing them would be worse.  I am glad I did write it, because
> (and obviously, I won't talk about the specifics), I received replies
> from some folks in private saying they felt their experiences mirrored
> and it may have affected their participation in Guix, and had already
> affected their feeling of safety and self-identity.  Not to mention my
> own felings.
>> For us to be able to build up better mutual understanding and empathy in
>> the future, perhaps it would be good for me to open up about some things
>> as well.
> Certainly not a thing requied to do, but I appreciate it.
>> Frankly, I think we're more similar than anyone taking a glance at the
>> thread might ever think.  I've had experiences with gender dysphoria as
>> well, and my dis-identification with male peers has certainly played an
>> important role in the development of my severe chronic depression.
>> I'm a rather reserved person when it comes to personal matters, not as
>> open about my feelings as you are (and good on you -- it's not doing me
>> much good to be the way I am in that regard), so I don't want to go into
>> too much detail, but let's just say I've had multiple near-death moments
>> throughout the years in relation to my condition, and the latest bout of
>> severe suicidal thoughts was just a few months ago.
> I'm sorry to hear it.
>> The partly hostile responses (from others, not you!) I've received in
>> the thread have been anything but pleasant, to say the least, but have
>> not led to a major breakdown, perhaps thanks to the medication I'm on,
>> which might be why I was able to respond a few more times...
> I am sorry, again, to hear about your dealing with depression, or that
> you have had to undergo any breakdowns at all.
> As for "partly hostile responses", I'd like to respond to this more
> later, at the end of this thread.
>> I've packaged higan for Guix, back in 2015.  Near (then byuu) helped me
>> revitalize some of my fondest childhood memories with the emulator he's
>> built.  After taking some interest in the program's workings, I was also
>> briefly active on his web forum, and had positive interactions with him.
>> We weren't close personally, but I had built up a *lot* of fondness and
>> respect for him.  The news of his suicide was absolutely awful to me.
>> Moreover, a certain web forum that shall not be named which was behind
>> the bullying campaign against Near/byuu (and countless others) also has
>> a "profile" of sorts written up on me in one of their threads, as a
>> potential future bullying target or something.  So far I've been spared,
>> but they do have my home address, and my employer's details are a web
>> search away.
>> All of which is to say, I *deeply* empathize with your position, and at
>> no point would I ever wish to inflict this type of pain on anyone.
> I'm truly sorry you had to experience that.  Nobody deserves that.
> Though (and not to undo the previous two sentences) I will say, the
> choice of "he" for Near gave me most pause in this email, given the
> thread's existing context of gender consierations, and that Near
> identified as nonbinary as far as I understand, and that this and their
> autism were partly why they were bullied into suicide...
>> I would like to sincerely reassure you that the sole purpose in sending
>> the patch, and subsequent messages, was to pledge for another view to be
>> respected on equal regard to the one that's already correctly respected.
>> The reason I've felt strongly about that, pressing me to reiterate the
>> position in the subsequent thread by Zimoun, was of course not some
>> twisted wish to cause hurt.  Rather, it was because that perspective is
>> based on the experiences of countless AFAB people who have been hurt in
>> countless ways, just like the perspective that is currently rightfully
>> encoded in the CoC is based on the experiences of trans people.  (I've
>> also found the sex-based perspective to have strong explanatory power
>> w.r.t. my personal problems, although I've come to see that as almost
>> irrelevant in the face of everything else I've learned.)
>> ---
>> There's one thing I've not been able to understand.  I don't know if you
>> wish to respond any further, but if so, please note that the following
>> is a completely genuine inquiry, and not meant in any confrontational
>> manner at all, just like the rest of this email.  I think it would be
>> very helpful for the future if you could help me with this:
>> The key reason the thread / my mails have caused hurt seems to be that
>> they've come across as an attempt to debate transgender experiences.
>> What I've not been able to understand is how that happened, since I
>> actually tried very hard from the beginning to make it as clear as
>> possible that I had no such intention.
>> For example, I had said things like:
>>   "I can assure you that I'm 100% fine with the CoC mentioning gender
>>   identity and, for example, if someone were to make inflammatory
>>   remarks towards the worldview of transgender people in this community,
>>   I wouldn't hesitate opposing that."
>> And in the summary:
>>   "I sincerely have no issue with the CoC protecting people based on
>>   gender identity or other transgender status, and am equally
>>   disinterested as others in having debates about that topic."
>> Yet something seems to have gone wrong.
>> There was one email, my response to Liliana, in which I've touched on
>> the debate itself, but that was even before your emails so I don't
>> think it was that...
>> Reading over my mails, I just don't understand why they might have been
>> misunderstood so badly.  If you could shed some light on that, I would be
>> very grateful!  It would certainly help me avoid mistakes in the future,
>> if I were to talk about these matters in a different place.
> Thanks.  I am taking you at your word: you asked me to explain, and so I
> am spending most of my day writing this email.  I hope that ends up
> being productive.  I am doing my best to fulfill your request and make
> it so.
>> I hope this message reaches you in the empathetic way it's meant.  I've
>> decided to sacrifice about half a night's sleep to write it, because it
>> was certainly important enough for that.  Well, I probably wouldn't have
>> been able to sleep anyway. :-)
> It reached me in an empathetic way.  And I appreciate that.  It was also
> my hope, in leaving myself vulnerable in my previous message, that we
> could have a discussion, find common ground, and perhaps healing.
> But now I do want to express something in particular, in response to a
> previous part of your email:
>> The partly hostile responses (from others, not you!) I've received in
>> the thread have been anything but pleasant, to say the least
> There may have been multiple people who have been perceived as hostile
> or partly hostile, but the only person who was explicitly reprimanded
> for it by another person on list was Liliana (who was reprimanded by
> multiple people).  Note, this is also the only other person who has
> openly identified as being affected by issues of addressing transgender
> identity on list, and also the person who spent the most time explaining
> the other issues.
> Presumably, this is because of the point at which they said the
> following (using a different quoting style to distinguish):
>   On the topic of sex characteristics, while the term is somewhat badly
>   chosen thanks biology being super-not-political, I do think the
>   addition would be significantly less problematic than simply adding
>   "sex".  It is nowadays understood that these characteristics don't
>   define "sex", whatever that might be, and only the name has remained
>   because naming is hard.  As a nice side-effect, adding it would give us
>   two reasons to ban Taylan; first for discriminating against trans
>   people based on their sex characteristics and second based on their
>   gender identity or expression.
>   [...]
>   I agree that the guidelines themselves don't sound bad, but given the
>   maintainer to audience ratio, I understand that Guix would want to go
>   its own way in this regard.  As far as public apologies are concerned,
>   however, I don't think these elicit a proper amount of self-criticism
>   in most cases – we all know the kind of actors who will publicly
>   apologize only to continue with (pardon my French) shitty behaviour,
>   rinse and repeat.
> One person in particular called it "beyond the pale".  Was it?
> It's certainly a dramatically different tact than I took.  But before we
> play "good trans, bad trans" (actually let's never play that), I want to
> point out a few things:
>  - I think Liliana is a more direct speaker than I am in general.  I
>    don't think this is bad.  A lot of Liliana's messages cut straight to
>    the point in a way common for many hackers, whereas I spend a lot of
>    time buffering.  But Liliana is hands down one of Guix's most
>    productive contributors.  Her analysis tends to be sharp but almost
>    always strikingly insightful when I've seen it.  I did a search
>    across my mail: in the six month interval between July of 2021 and
>    January of 2022, Liliana is reponsible for 2.75% of guix-patches
>    traffic and 2.8% of bug-guix traffic.  Considering that most of her
>    posts are review (which we sorely need), and that many of the replies
>    are single email responses to multiple email patch series, those
>    numbers are actually probably deflated from what it should be.  So
>    I'm saying that Liliana speaks directly is probably partly how she
>    manages to get so much done.  I find myself consistently glad that
>    we have Liliana in our community.  All that while being, depending on
>    how you slice it, visibly a minority or double minority in our group.
>    More expansion on this below.
>  - In fact, regarding Liliana's first email, I sent her a thank-you
>    message after sending my first message.  Because I had the same
>    feelings the moment I saw it, but I didn't feel courageous enough to
>    say anything.  So I was grateful for Liliana for speaking up.
>  - Liliana had, at this point, been writing fairly patiently for a few
>    days.  Detailed writings explaining common trans experiences and how
>    this was likely to affect transfolk.
>  - By the time Liliana appeared to lose her patience in the above quoted
>    section, it had been days with these conversations happening despite
>    the very first things Liliana and I both raised was that we were
>    worried about whether or not this would be used as a vector to debate
>    trans experiences, and then that continued to happen.  For days!
>    So I don't blame Liliana for losing patience, or assuming bad faith
>    by this point.
>  - I did try very hard to be thoughtful.  But that takes energy and is
>    actually something I've received active training on, speaking in
>    I-narratives and de-escalating and etc.  Not everyone has that
>    training, and it's a lot of intentional energy and work to do it.
>    Especially when it's an issue that affects you directly.
>  - Regardless, sometimes it feels like, what does being kind get you?
>    It sucked that, while you called my first email kind, you then
>    proceeded to do exactly the thing I asked not to have happen on this
>    list: further debate the experiences of transfolk (after saying you
>    didn't want to!).
> I appreciate that you expressed regret for me being upset, and I made
> that clear by putting myself in a vulnerable state.  I'm glad it
> connected, but wish I didn't have to do it.  But it also didn't only
> hurt me... I'm just the one who expressed myself in a vulnerable way
> that connected.  Liliana didn't direct attention to herself, but she did
> express the ways in which these things are hurtful for people who have
> experiences like hers, so it shouldn't be hard to draw the connection.
> (I don't want to speak for you Liliana, but I'd be surprised if you
> weren't hurt.)  Not to mention that speaking up makes you a target.
> And for those who didn't, suffering in silence is still suffering.
> Earlier I said that I admired Liliana's productivity despite, depending
> on how you cut it, being either a minority or double-minority.  Here's
> what I mean: being a woman on the internet sucks.  Being a trans on the
> internet sucks.  Part of the experience of being a *trans* *woman* is
> that when people don't know you're trans, they treat you shittily in one
> invalidating way, and then when they do, they treat you shittily in
> another invalidating way.  Everywhere, but *especially* in tech.
> This doesn't mean that women who are cisgender don't tend to have their
> own challenges.  I actually think that's quite true, and serious.
> Personally, I suffered a lot by being *perceived as* masculine when I
> was younger (particularly because I failed under basically every metric
> of being masculine, not to meniton being teased for intersex
> characteristics by those who identified them), but I benefited in
> regards to my career as a tech person, in that when I was very young and
> I began to express an interest in computers, the pattern matching
> mechanisms around those people around me identified "yup, seems like
> something that would be befitting you" in a way that likely wouldn't
> have been true if I was perceived female, and I was encouraged to do so.
> And when I walked into FOSS conferences, people assumed I belonged.  I
> didn't transition until after my career was already established.  And
> it's something I do acknowledge (but I also don't think it's something I
> think or ask for the burden of others acknowledging in general, because
> it really does trigger imposter syndrome issues even to discuss this and
> can be used as a mechanism to force outing people).  And I've been
> taught to speak in a louder voice, and that my voice is welcome, and so
> I do that.  (But on the other hand, I co-host a podcast, and every time
> I hear my own voice disconnected from my image, it's incredibly
> dysphoric and it hurts.  I know plenty of transwomen whose voices have
> been lost from narratives, because they are, quite literally, afraid to
> speak up.)
> On the other hand, transitioning later in life sucks in other ways.  I
> have a long career where I've been fairly fortunate to do interesting
> things, but this means my past outs me in ways that I can't cover up.
> And every time someone sees a commit by my old name or an article or
> video with my old appearance, I know it's encoding information that
> makes it harder for them to see me as a woman.  And that sucks.  A lot.
> But the above experience isn't true for all transwomen.  I have friends
> who are transwomen who transitioned at much younger ages.  Most of
> society didn't know.  Their lived experiences match those of most
> cisgender women, with the primary differnce being that they have a
> secret they have to guard closely.
> And that's just for *transwomen*.  It's well known that the experiences
> of *transmen* largely get dropped out of the larger narrative.  And I'm
> not one, so I can't speak for them really, only relay.  But my friends
> who are transmasculine, yeah they tell me it's invalidating in totally
> different ways: they didn't get the benefit of society assuming them
> male when growing up, and so have been held back from opportunities that
> their perceived-as-male colleagues got back then.  And then they enter
> into a world where, if they sufficiently pass, they suddenly get these
> benefits that society bestows upon men, and that's both kinda validating
> and also incredibly shitty feeling, and they tell me their past for
> *not* having access haunts them, especially for the many who ended up
> following more traditionally feminine career paths because that's the
> direction they were encouraged to go.  And there are all sorts of
> different ways to be invalidated, not to mention TERF/radfem (and yes,
> let's get to those terms soon) narratives of pity where "aww it's so
> sad, because they're not *really* men", or a weird sense of
> anger/betrayal for moving to the dark side, etc.
> And it *is* true that there are a lot of transwomen in tech, and
> especially in FOSS, and much of this has to do with
> being-perceived-as-male status at a formative time.  But also, speaking
> for myself and many friends I've spoken to, there's an added layer.
> Let's say you're growing up, you're experiencing severe gender
> dysphoria.  The world is mean, the world sucks.  But
> computers... they're a refuge.  You learn to use them, they respond to
> you poking at them and entering commands, and there's all these
> interesting things you can do.  And you can do it quietly, by yourself,
> without the computer judging you, while the world outside is harsh and
> mean and full of people who are bullying you.  And people on the
> internet, well, many of them don't even have to know you for anything
> else.  You can be yourself.  In a world that's killing you, it's a place
> you can be alive.
> So for a variety of reasons it's true that, relative to the general
> population, it seems like there are more transwomen in tech than in
> other fields (and even more transmen in tech than most of the
> population... basically, if you're transfeminine *or* transmasculine,
> for whatever reason, you're more likely to be in tech).  And given the
> prestige that being in computing *now* has it's no wonder there's
> scrutiny about that.  (Aside: given that I started to take interest in
> computers around 1995 and my classmates mostly just made fun of me for
> it because being interested in computers was mostly uncool then,
> prestiege, in my experience, is not the primary drive.  It wasn't until
> being in computing was associated with *making a lot of money*, which
> happened towards the end of the 90s, where that started to change.
> Yeah okay, I've dated myself.)
> And this can be correctly pointed to as being *partly* (but as I've
> outlined above, not *entirely*) part of a common tendency (but again,
> not a universal one) where many transwomen have still benefitted from
> male privilege from the way they were perceived prior to transitioning.
> So here's the problem.  There's a kernel of truth there, and one even
> worth addressing.
> But if you're trans, you've seen this before.  The seed that's planted
> is used to grow something much more vicious.
> So when I saw:
>   Subject: [minor patch] Amend CoC
> Before I even opened it, I began wondering what kind of change it was
> going to be, and if anything "minor patch" made me think it was probably
> the opposite.  And when I saw "sex" added, I thought "Oh, was that
> missing?  I thought I remembered that being there."  And then I
> immediately thought "I just hope this isn't an entry point or backdoor
> for debating trans experiences."  But my mind says, "adding another
> thing doesn't seem so bad."
> And then even in that own email it says:
>   This is a really tiny thing.  A recent thread on the ML prompted me to
>   look at our CoC and I noticed it doesn't include 'sex' in the list of
>   things based on which one might be discriminated against, so attached
>   is a patch that adds that one word.
>   Note: The upstream Contributor Covenant wouldn't want to include it
>   because the author seems to have a peculiar world-view where they don't
>   acknowledge that humans actually have a sex.  I hope the Guix maintainers
>   are more reasonable than that. :-)
> and my stomach just *dropped* at that, since I know the lead developer
> is a transwoman.  So, that's like, a really bad sign.
> I think to myself: I've seen where this goes before.  I just hope it
> doesn't go there.  Something like, "I need to make this space safe for
> people who basically don't think the trans narrative is real to feel
> safe saying so."
> Regardless of your intention, pretty much everything that followed
> seemed to confirm that.  And you asked me to explain, so here's what I
> saw from there (possibly not exactly in order):
>  - Liliana expressed exactly the same fears I already was holding.
>  - In reply, you said "I really feel the need to point out that what you
>    seem to consider a transphobic talking point is seen as a fundamental
>    principle of feminism by many others, and that long predates the
>    contemporary transgender movement."
>  - You later pointed out that exactly the opposite thing was said
>    by Coraline, and that's true, but the bigger point was really "let's
>    please not open this up in a way where trans experiences are debated"
>    then *boy howdy* did that happen.
>  - You linked to the exchange where you and Coraline had the debate,
>    so I'll re-link it:
>    In a certain sense the "gender (sex)" felt like it was really a clear
>    version of what I was anxious about, that this would be being passed
>    off as a way to *broaden* the scope, but really would be a
>    *constraint*.
>  - Or, I thought, maybe this would be an entry point to say "well we
>    have to open up the space for people who want to debate whether or
>    not to treat trans people as the gender they're expressing to feel
>    safe" (or to just intentionally dismiss treating trans people
>    respectfully)
>  - And then it proceeded to feel like exactly that, with two women
>    trying to explain why they didn't want this to happen and some guy
>    talking over them telling them that they're wrong, in the name of
>    *feminism* no less.
> In direct reply to the email where I said I was nervous about this being
> an entry point for that kind of thing and asked that we not debate trans
> experiences on list, I received a thanks for being kind in my reply and
> then got the following whammo of a comment:
>   Not to hide anything: personally, I ascribe to views (broadly, radical
>   feminism) which contradict some key aspects of the transgender movement.
>   However, that's irrelevant in this context.
> As Morgan pointed out, it's *hardly* irrelevant.  And actually, this
> lead me to look up the history.  The term "radical feminism" predates
> the term "trans-exclusionary radical feminism" by quite some time.  In
> fact the person who's the first person known to use the term "TERF" was
> a ciswoman who said:
>   implicitly aligning *all* radfems with the trans-exclusionary radfem
>   (TERF) activists, which I resent
> and was, in her post, defending transwomen.  The article is fairly
> interesting:
> Terms shift, and there thus may be some irony to the above shift, as
> quoted.  But the term "radical feminist"'s primary use within the last
> decade plus is describe people dismissive of the experiences of
> transfolk, and in your sentence was *directly* followed up with "which
> contradict some key aspects of the transgender movement" so I have to
> say, if this isn't what you meant, you did an extremely good job of
> painting yourself as saying "btw, I'm a TERF kthx" here.
> Well, you asked for me to explain things.  I'm explaining it.
> Now frame again, in your mind, that this is happening in the context of
> two women who are transgender on list asking "please don't let this be a
> TERF entry point" and then read the following thing you wrote:
>   As it stands, if a person with a classical feminist consciousness
>   about sex discrimination were to ask me whether the Guix community
>   would show respect towards her experiences and take her issues
>   seriously, I would not be able to reassure her.
>   Rather, it seems that any such woman who enters the community and is
>   open about her views is going to risk being vilified and lectured
>   about her own lived experiences.  By a group of male-born people, no
>   less.
> So anyway, I mean, if you really didn't mean to align this with TERF
> talking points, I have to say you did a bang-up job of doing so on
> accident.  (The last sentence particularly stings, for reasons I hope
> are obvious.)  And here and elsewhere, there's been what's felt like a
> weird savior complex (as Morgan addressed in her emails) that both
> erased the cisgender women who have contributed or been part of Guix
> (and wholeheartedly agree on one point: there haven't been enough) and
> felt like it dismissed the transwomen who were speaking up as not really
> being women.
> I don't know what caused this, I'm trying to take it in good faith.  You
> mentioned experiencing gender dysphoria.  I don't know your experience,
> but I do know people who have experienced gender dysphoria and through
> some internalized transphobia fell into the trap of spreading that stuff
> around, especially if they have an enormous amount of guilt.
> But I really don't know what happened.  And I'm not interested in blame.
> And the goal, as stated, of increasing the scope of people feeling
> protected, why heck that's a really good goal.  But it ended up coupled
> with all this other stuff, with a group of people who already have seen
> an extremely similar narrative play out in ways to write out their
> experiences and *said so*, and then that narrative played out anyway.
> So, it was the stuff it was coupled to that was the problem.
> Anyway.  I spent pretty much my whole day on this.  But you asked, and
> so I answered.  As said, I appreciate your work.  And I want to take
> you in good faith.
> Anyway.  I don't know if this was helpful, or of any good.  But let me
> close with something else: I think code of conduct documents are
> important, but they're not licenses, they aren't held up in a court of
> law.  I don't think that's the point, or the goal.  They're always going
> to be loose, and imperfect.  The goal is to express the kind of
> community someone can expect, the kind of way we hope to see behaved.
> To that end, I think that Guix, historically, has been one of the
> brightest stars in the sky in terms of having a nice and promising
> community, but a lot of that promise has yet to be fully actualized.
> Having the community be a safe space for transwomen, transmen, nonbinary
> folk, cisgender women, and people of all minority groups, should be a
> priority.  That's active effort, and it's important.
> A code of conduct document sends a signal, and it provides guidance.
> But we succeed in how we act to one each other.  This has been a
> difficult experience, but I hope, in some ways, we can heal and be
> stronger for who we become.

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