With World War T turning into a rout, Michelle Goldberg in The New Yorker profiles one last pocket of resistance: radical lesbian-feminists who have been trying for 40 years to stop men in dresses from showing up at the Michigan Womyn’s Music Festival and hitting on the poor lesbians who just want to camp in the dirt and enjoy the earnest folk stylings of the Indigo Girls. But today even the Indigo Girls are threatening to boycott the Festival unless the aging lesbians submit to the all-conquering Trans Power:
The dispute between radical feminism and transgenderism
An old school lesbian-feminist named Sheila Jeffreys has pointed out that a large fraction of the most aggressive trans activists are not pitiful intersex individuals, but highly masculine guys who have a private agenda they keep secret:
But, if that’s true, why would men demote themselves to womanhood? For reasons of sexual fetishism, Jeffreys says. She substantiates her argument with the highly controversial theories of Ray Blanchard, a retired professor of psychiatry at the University of Toronto, and the related work of J. Michael Bailey, a psychology professor at Northwestern University. Contrary to widespread belief, Blanchard says, the majority of trans women in the West start off not as effeminate gay men but as straight or bisexual men, and they are initially motivated by erotic compulsion rather than by any conceived female identity. … To describe the syndrome, Blanchard coined the term “autogynephilia,” meaning sexual arousal at the thought of oneself as female.
Blanchard is far from a radical feminist. He believes that gender-reassignment surgery can relieve psychological suffering; he has even counselled people who undergo it. He also accepts the commonly held view that male brains differ from female brains in ways that affect behavior. Nevertheless, Jeffreys believes that the work of Blanchard and Bailey shows that when trans women ask to be accepted as women they’re seeking to have an erotic fixation indulged.
But the spirit of the age is against the old lesbians:
The members of the board of the New York Abortion Access Fund, an all-volunteer group that helps to pay for abortions for those who can’t afford them, are mostly young women; Alison Turkos, the group’s co-chair, is twenty-six. In May, they voted unanimously to stop using the word “women” when talking about people who get pregnant, so as not to exclude trans men.
(Cue Theodore Dalrymple on how the purpose of politically correct propaganda is not “to persuade or convince, not to inform, but to humiliate; and therefore, the less it corresponded to reality the better.”)
There’s a certain historic irony and inevitability to lesbian feminists being routed by the only people claiming to be women who are even more ferociously masculine than themselves: individuals with actual Y-chromosomes.
The unstated but obvious engine of feminism was the anger and of the most masculine women that their leadership urges weren’t satisfactorily reciprocated by more attractive women’s followership urges. Instead, feminine women tend to like masculine men and find lesbians to be an inadequate substitute.
This led to feminism traditionally having plenty of chiefs but never enough Indians, as I pointed out in Why Lesbians Aren’t Gay in 1994. For decades, the leaders of the National Organization for Women bestrode the national media stage like colossi, even though the actual number of dues-paying members was surprisingly small.
But now the XX lesbian feminists are being out-aggressed by individuals with Y-chromosomes.
Of course, in the long run the lesbian activists and the trans activists will hammer out an accord in which it is announced that everything is the fault of cisgendered straight white men.