Valty's Notes

December 2019

Why trans discussions are one-sided

I was scrolling through reddit when I came across another thread from r/Libertarian on trans athletes. This is not the first time I've seen this discussion play out recently. It seems to be all the rage to try to justify discrimination against trans people by playing them off as aggressors against helpless cis women, either in the bathroom or on the track.

In these discussions, I see patterns of framing the discussion in one way only: focusing on those who are born as men. Men who transition to women dominating in their sports field; men who transition to women invading women's bathrooms.

What is missing is the discussion of the other side, F-to-M trans men. If you restrict bathrooms to sex assigned at birth, what about trans men who look very masculine using these bathrooms? If you restrict athletics to sex assigned at birth, what about trans men actively taking testosterone competing with cis women?

Of course there are nuanced debates that can be had about these sort of edge cases, but I find interesting about these discussions is the framing. In many of the arguments the focus is on the male, or assigned male at birth. You can see this also in the debates around homosexuality. Globally, homosexual men are disliked more than homosexual women.

I think the root cause of all of this is a visceral dislike that some men feel towards others who break masculine gender norms.

I believe this drives much of the discriminatory or homophobic behavior towards gay men and trans women, and is the reason why we get such one-sided debates around trans issues. F-to-M trans athletes competing against cis women is not something that comes up often because it doesn't touch at this root cause. M-to-F trans athletes is a hot issue because it does.