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Introduction

Hello world

This is the writer, the person behind BdUnicorn.

Bd are my initials and unicorns are my favorite animal.

I am from Pennsylvania, USA.

I believe in equality, liberty, progress, and socialism.

I use she/her pronouns. I am a transgender nonbinary femme, genderfae: queer and bisexual.

I studied at Susquehanna University and earned a degree in history and German.

This blog will be the home of my free content, and eventually will boost videos I make. BdUnicorn is my attempt to find structure, I want this to be my life, and you the reader can help make this possible. I will also make more in depth projects that will be available for purchase from Amazon Kindle and eventually Patreon exclusive content.

I will write about history, philosophy, LGBTQ issues, politics, culture, and my special interests, such as automobiles or fashion.

Some of this in the air, tell me what you want to see and more. Vote with your shares on Twitter, Facebook, Reddit, or whatever medium you choose to share this.

Thank you and stay tuned

Miss Bde.

Unswallow the Red Pill: A feminist rebuttal to MRA arguments

Trigger Warning for Suicide mention and self-harm. If reading about that will make you uncomfortable, look away. And this article may seem a little binary, I apologize for that, but that’s the fault of research being so binary until very recently.

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Hello everyone,

In this essay I will talk about men’s rights, look I know, save the hot takes for the comments or the quote tweets. In my spare time, I have been gotten embroiled in online discussions of feminism and what stuck out to me was men’s issues and MRAs and the notion of a men’s movement.

I thought of calling this “feminist takes the red pill” but the red pill was premarin, which is what trans women used to take in the 1990s for feminizing HRT, it’s a pill that is red and contained estrogen from horse piss! So, in a sense, I am “Red-Pilled” and the red pill is estradiol. The blue pill is either antidepressants or viagra? IDK, but like The Matrix was a trans allegory, the Wachowski sisters made it before they came out and Lana was probably entertaining transition. So, boys take the red pill today and become beautiful confident women!

In feminism, you know, the hivemind of a social movement, the idea of a men’s movement seems kinda counterproductive, after all men hold all the power and privilege right? Well, yes, but (oof) what about the men? My worldview has had influence from feminism, especially intersectional feminism, transfeminism, Marxist/socialist/anarcha feminism.

It can be a bit more complicated and the truth has a nasty habit of resisting simplicity, especially with things like gender and society. 

We live in a dumpster fire!

Anyway, I wanted to give my hot takes and two bits on this issue, especially before i have to put some grumpy little anon boys to bed, like the feminist mommy that I am.

  “Men get longer sentences and convicted more often based on being men.  The effect is six times as strong as the effect of being black, and no one denies the effects of being black in the justice system.”

Bias does play a role in jury sentencing. 

However, what is it about men that would make a jury be seemingly harsher to men? In implicit bias studies, it seems that in many contexts, one sees men as more agentic, a word meaning of or relating to an agent or agency. Male agency is a core of many gender roles between men and women. So, this appears to be an example of male agency applying in a negative sense. A sort of malevolent privilege if you will, as an inverse of benevolent sexism.


Men are over 3/4 of the homeless.

I can bring up whataboutisms too!

Besides, homelessness has other factors in it, this statement is reductionist. Plenty of people experiencing homelessness are Black and POC, and also LGBTQIA+ especially homeless youth. There are many factors too, like veteran status and mental health. There are many facets that many MRAs fail to see, or rather minimize because it undermines their agenda, even though they are technically correct, it is often presented without much context. Homelessness is not a gendered issue. It is much more complex.

“They have shorter lifespan and lower satisfaction with life. They have less access to medical care.”

In my experience men tend do not see the doctor and do more riskier activities. However, why? Why would men be in those situations. 

Toxic masculinity is the common explanation us feminatz- I mean feminists have. We critique an attitude pervasive among men upholding patriarchal value systems. Toxic masculinity is the result of gendered social policing, A core tenant of toxic masculinity is the appearance and projection of strength, power, virility, dominance and discipline over one’s weaknesses,  and of course, the rejection of the feminine, however it may be defined as. Unpacking toxic masculinty and expanding healthcare for men go hand and hand.

Healthcare and especially mental health care should be made adequate and accessible for people of all genders, men, women, non-binary people etc. 

 TW: Suicide

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“Men are the vast majority of suicides.”

MRAs constantly bring this up, usually in bad faith to shut down arguments and discourse. However, the things is that men tend to be better at suicide, i.e use more violent and lethal means like gunshots, and women tend to use poisoning which has a higher chance of survival, and furthermore there are some data that shows women are 2-3 more likely to attempt suicide. This is also a mental health problem, and that is partially rooted in male weakness not being taken seriously, which is a sign of toxic masculinity. These factors are important to know and so, can be taken into account when talking about mental health and suicide. Another factor to consider is the socioeconomic backgrounds of the individuals and society they live in, while so called developed countries have higher male deaths by suicide, quite a few countries in Africa, South America, Asia, and Oceania have reported equal rates or higher rates of female deaths by suicide. This is also leads to discussions of cultural norms around death and suicide. Traditional gender roles in China, for example, are the reason why women in China are more likely to commit suicide, and again most of the suicide rates like most countries, in China are still male. 

There’s still more to cover, especially once we get into LGBTQIA+ individuals. Gay, queer, bisexual, and pansexual men are more at risk of suicide, self harm, and than heterosexual men. Overall, lgbtqia+ people are more vulnerable for mental health issues, especially suicide, than cisgender straight populations. We must not discount this important factor from consideration. A lot of things overlap, after all.

They’re discriminated against in school, both in a disciplinary and educational fashion with harsher punishments and lower grades.

Schools are socialization. Gendered socialization is a complicated topic that requires a fuckton of nuance. Harshness is part of the desensitization of a lot of male gendered role induction, so to speak. Boys don’t cry, as we are told whether directly or indirectly. Nobody has to state it, but children get that idea quickly, children’s minds can be quite receptive to some subtle messaging. School is an integral part of the development of children, mentally, physically, emotionally, psychologically, and even spiritually, dare I say. There are data that shows in both schools and work, boys/men still do talk over girls/women. There’s still that misogynist attitude. Sexism is not a one way street after all, it has multiple lanes, especially with a lot of impaired participants all smashing into each other.


“They are literally unprotected by the law when it comes to sexual violence in many societies, and de facto unprotected in most of the rest.” They make up about half the domestic violence victims, and get almost NO support for it.

Again, society not taking male victims of sexual assault and domestic violence is a consequence of gender roles and toxic masculinity. A woman may distrust men often because she has been hurt. That does resonate with me, especially as a trans woman. Usually, men not trusting women comes from a more bigoted attitude. Though, men do not have monopolies on creepiness, assault, and violence. Patriarchal norms have idealized and even overstate their power, in which the masculine is deemed to be power, prestige, and mighty resilience.


They are more likely to be friendless and lonely, and when they become married typically get cut off from their circle of friends in a way women are not.

Now, as you may know, I am not a man, I’m a non-binary trans woman, so I wouldn’t relate however, I am a woman that used to live as man (trans women are not men; let me remind you all!) and the male social style and female social style are a bit different. I prefer the way women make friends and interact with friends. I remember feeling jealous of girls, how often they would hug. I almost never got hugged except by my mother or grandmother, and not my father either, when I was a little girl pretending to be a boy. It does sadden me on how underfed boys are with emotion. Their parents tell them to man up, but like they’re children, just like their sisters, your daughters. Men do not treat me like their equals. I never really fit in with boys, but not really with girls, I was left on my own. Of course I’m also genderqueer and the non-binary community helped, but the whole transgender community was my lifeline. And soon I found more acceptance from cis women. And going back to men, I know that I am not one, but like, I kinda can sympathize with them in a way but also not really? I just stopped pretending to be a man, rejecting what was socially expected of me, because of some roles imposed me with the symbolic mistake of the gender marker on the original birth certificate printed almost 24 years ago. It’s just that I don’t need to put forward a new healthier, less toxic model of manhood and masculinity. That’s not my job. Though, I’m sure the trans male and transmasculine community has a lot to say about it


The government spends far more on women than men on purpose. Women make up a majority of the vote, have far more lobbying power, and as a result have the majority of practical political power.

This seems absurd, I could probably dismiss it already; but, I won’t. Government spending more on women than men? I should look in this more at a later point if I make another response to this.

Still, women have had organized in common causes, especially with feminism as a general framework influencing said movements, because of shared experiences of marginalization. Men, as a class, haven’t really needed to that, if they do, a lot of the men’s issues here are related to women’s issues and therefore can be addressed under feminism. So, they should work together. The bad things about gender hurt, and gender hurts men too.


In spite of this, in many places they have to work longer and receive lesser retirement benefits.

What happens when patriarchal gender roles essentialize men into breadwinners? This. On the contrary, women face benevolent sexism, which also backfires on men. Men have undue burden place on them by patriarchal norms, and so I think this gives them reason to see, even if it seems a bit selfish, to oppose gender roles and patriarchy, and to rebuild manhood and masculinity in a positive, healthy, and even more productive and egalitarian way. There are a lot of problems with gender, and the menfolk are feeling it so much. 

In conclusion. A lot of men’s rights activist talking points may seem to have merit, and they do have their grains of truth, but they are often simplified at best or are brought up in bad faith meant to stifle discussion. Honestly, next time I get baited into an argument, I will just eat a bowl of thumbtacks than to waste my time with 3 hours of crafting a feminist rebuttal. This article took way longer to read and write for it. I’ve done my homework for this. I may have just wasted my time, but I hope reading this was not a waste of your time, dear reader. 

Thank you for reading!

-Brittany

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Bibliography:

An overview of suicide research in China

CDC guide of queer men’s mental health 

Data on suicide rates in the world

Prevent Male Mental Illness in Post-war Britain

Sex differences: Summarizing more than a century of research 

Study on gender differences with suicide methods

The social construction of gender and its influence on suicide 

Oh, but what about the feminization of poverty? 

Source of data

For reference: Why are there more homeless men than women?

The Sixth of January 2021 US Politics

 A short statement and editorial from BDunicorn by Brittany Diana


Today my fellow Americans, is a day of shame and infamy,
This is a coup and domestic terrorism. Make no mistake about it. Yet peaceful protests are condemned as riots, but the police agitated them. However the “Save America march protesters” are attacking the police and storming Congress. This is sedition to support treacherous subversion of democracy. No one can say this is like Black Lives Matter movements or Women’s March, these aren’t people marching for their rights to be respected they are marching to disrespect democracy and liberty, to uphold arbitrary authority and fascism over freedom. The Republican Party or GOP has lost all legitimacy in the republic by entertaining these terrorists. Citizens have the right to protest how they see fit you say but this is not the true voice of the people, this is the fringe eroding on a country trying to free itself from reactionary right. The Right will lose, but they won’t go down easily. They only trust democracy if it only goes their way. This is a reactionary movement that is about power and inequality. This should not be a partisan issue. Even if you are not marginalized you may know someone who is. 
Furthermore the fact that federal law enforcement officers have been more lenient and less forceful today shows a deep rot in many institutions. This is America, and there’s no more hiding it. Let this not despair you but encourage you to step up and stand for liberation from the deep rot inherent to the system.The threat is internal and domestic. Not foreign.  Things aren’t perfect sure but solidarity with your fellow person is the start of new freer society, to liberty, equality, and solidarity; Out of many one. I have voted for Joe Biden and Kamala Harris, the legally and duly elected President-elect and Vice President Elect of these United States. And I am glad they won and that the Democratic Party will hold, albeit narrowly, the US Senate and House of Representatives in Congress, and that I am disappointed that the PA Republicans still hold both houses of the General Assembly. That being said I would be disappointed if Trump were reelected, it was not likely, especially by popular vote, but if he did have both mandates, electoral and popular, it would be fair to say he won. Many conspiracy theorists that are masquerading as public servants and journalists are claiming that he won and that the election was stolen. But if that were the case, the democrats would have easily taken Georgia’s senate races on November 3rd and not on January 3rd, they’d increase a super majority. Are the democrats competent enough to hide a landslide reelection result but not to keep congress? Basic logic defeats them, however, these people do not listen to any logic. I think all Americans should know that. They are out of touch and hypocritical but they do not care. They only care for power. Power is irrational and power corrupts absolutely. 
And so, I hope that this political tantrum from the far right will blow over. Though once that is settled, we will see a democratic trifecta in the executive and legislative branches of the US Government. The last time this existed was during the first term of the Obama administration between 2009 and 2011, so ten years ago. In some way, 2021 and 2009 have some parallel events, a bad economy in crisis, a pandemic, and an outgoing republican president. Except this is so much worse 2020 was worse than 2008 in a few ways, like the Swine Flu was already a thing and COVID19 is brand spanking new. Bush Jr was term limited and did easily conceded, though Bush Jr was a scumbag and dare I say, just as bad as Trump, so he did not entertain electoral fraud and conspiracies. McCain, an imperialist warmongering scumbag, did not either. Cheney did not either. The Republicans let Obama takeover, however, the Tea Party movement, which was a proto-MAGA movement, did push the Republicans hard far right and set the 2010s in motion, and thus we saw a white backlash. Though the 2016 is a huge can of worms that still isn’t fully opened nor unpacked. So I believe Joe Biden should not give any ground to Republicans going forward. They lost and they lost all respect. They are increasingly unhinged. This reactionary undercurrent has always been a part of American history, and I think we should look to the past.
Civil war has been on people’s mind. There seems to be some parallels between the US Civil War of 1861-1865 and current events. But the war isn’t the lesson here, it is Reconstruction. MAGA is like the first Klan. And the takeaway from Reconstruction is that it did not go far enough. The old south had some power that needed to be broken. We should have crushed them. Plantation power held on through the prison industrial complex. The wounds of past still carry to the present, and hopefully be left behind and healed in the future. The Confederates were not rebels, and neither is the Tea Party and MAGA movement. They represent old power that was first established by colonizers and their violence and brutality against enslaved people on land stolen from the indigenous peoples. My home is Pennsylvania which was, and still is, and always be Lenni Lenape and Susquehannock land. My ancestors immigrated to a colony and integrated with the settlers that have just made the United States of America.

Though, now, my ideals go beyond the Nation as a concept and I advocate for power going to the people. Until we can reach a more horizontal and egalitarian society, we have to deal with the nation-state. The liberal power is much much more tolerable to live in than the conservative and reactionary power. Power concentrated will always result in oppression. We must break it up. The Republicans are full of corruption and treachery. Even a liberal capitalist can see it. The Democrats could and should investigate their gross abuses of power. But, cooling down hotheads and throwing away dangerous demagogues is not the end but the start. The end goal is liberation, the end goal is equity, the end goal is fair abundance for all, the end goal is a just society without any unjust authority or hierarchy. The goal is self-actualization and righting historical wrongs. Let us not settle in doom and complacency, but let us think and do better. Do something, do something right. Resist and persist. Support our antifa troops. Donate to mutual aid. And lastly take care, stay safe, I hope you will all have a good evening.-BDE
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Am I Valid? Reflections on the internet and spaces

This may be continued for later.

That is the question am I valid?

I don’t feel valid.

I get so many constant validations, but there is a little seed of doubt that refuses to believe. This is commonly known as imposter syndrome. I think I have felt this because of an almost constant sense of alienation: I knew I was different.

People who know me in real life or more personal if still on the internet only, tell me that I am beautiful, attractive, and yet I cannot shake the anxiety of authenticity. Among trans spaces, this is at best ironically and at worst pejoratively called The Hugbox and it is very bad for a lot of reasons, not only because of its origins from ableism against autistic people, but implies that affirmations are fake, and the truth is negative. One is receptive to such an attitude when they believe that the truth hurts– it can hurt, sometimes, but truth can be healing, positive, and affirming, and lies can be negative and hurtful.

The Hug-box sounds good, I mean, who wouldn’t want some affection, especially in these days of social distancing, which have been at the background whilst I was writing this essay. I want to support and be supported.

However, my transition has changed my own relationships with other people, often for the better. If there is one good thing about being transgender, it is having a community, while not perfect, has some sort of solidarity. The girlfriends that I have in my polyamorous relationship are also trans or also non-binary. We relate to others’ problems, like gender dysphoria and self-esteem. The common bonds through suffering are often attractive, as goes to the aphorism that “misery loves company” and there is that trope of transsexual suffering. Defining an identity by suffering seems very fallacious and reductive, but that’s a story for another time.

The central thesis is this vague concept validity. Am I valid? I don’t know, that’s for you, the audience, my judge, jury, and executioner, to decide. I ask because of mental health, this was a long project because I don’t want to start my career with a super vulnerable moment. Valid, feels like a meaningless word to me. I know validity is important to establish to early-transition trans people who may not be secure in their identity yet, but for me, what if I want to be invalid? (sarcasm)

I strongly believe in good faith self identification. One thing about valid that gets to me is the state of internet discourse. It is so absurd that there is so much of it. It is a waste of time, because one all sexual orientations and genders are valid, they just are– this should not be a debate! Yet, certain elements have made it a hot button issue, for what? Was it the TERFs or are the political lesbians just big ol’ meanies?! A little from column A, a little from column B. The discourse online has taught me a few things about myself however. It has shown me that I do crave and seek attention, which is valid and not inherently bad, but not all attention is good or positive. I also do not want to be a person that upsets others. So sometimes I worry about losing a friend or access to someone I look up to. I know my gender and sexual orientation are real and legitimate, and I do not let exclusion bother, because I strongly believe in my claim of gender and sexuality. Identity and the language around it is up to you. You cannot force a change on how your sexual orientation and gender is, but they can change and evolve.

Overall, why is there discourse over identity especially such things as messy and complex as gender and/or sexuality? Why are people running over the hills and tripping on their swords over their over hot twitter takes that were originally posted to Tumblr 5 years ago? Why? Because boredom and also to scratch an itch, to answer why and how– the justification of who they are. Why are you gay? Why are you trans? These are things one may be asked, or rather demanded to answer to. Cisnormative and heterenormative society does not accept you as valid, so why are you taking on their roles by asking the same among your peers? 

I often hear that the community needs protection. Protection against what? Invaders? Space invaders? It just sounds like people are falling for false problems or just want to play they oppressors when they have a taste of normal. I never really fit in, though I have carved out on my corner of community in this universe.

Navigation of spaces, both online and offline, is another theme of this personal thesis. I have a complex gender and sexual identity. I know I am queer and tend to find a corner in most LGBTQ+ spaces, like a GSA at a university, or a support group for queer or transgender people, and especially using my identity as a core aspect of my social media brand image. BDunicorn is my brand. It is literally my name turned into a marque to publish and promote my writing in any form I feel is best to use.

To sum up, valid is overused, but it is not wrong, and my issue is feeling kinda underwhelmed and feeling very coddled. I am not a baby tran anymore. It is important for those who need it. You are valid, should you need to hear that. But also, if you don’t care for that word, you are more than that. You are real and legitimate, you are power and amazing. But also, be sure to take your own path in life. Other people can help and you can be independent and strong and brave and fierce. Take pride in yourself. I’m thankful for my fans and avid readers.

Thank you and have a good evening, or morning. 

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September Poems (Mature)

 Poems by Brittany

Tw//Cw: reclaimed homophobic slurs, sexual themes, swears, and drug references. 

The Ballad of Pathology: Queering therapy

Pansexuals take pot

Bisexuals take bikes

Lesbians take dykes

Gay men take bots

Asexuals take the cake

Aromantics take the bow

These are my people

I wish I were queer

So I can fuck your butt

I need to get laid ASAP

Because my therapist never loved me at all

Parasocial delusions

Will be the death of me and you all!

The Lady’s Prayer

Goddess of the Moon,

Goddess of the Void

Please forgive me

For I have not sinned

Let me be not forsaken

Let me be a dark evil

A blight, on this planet 

Pray for me Saint Sappho 

For I want a woman–

To be in my life, forever

And also, let me be one,

For I am a girl of beauty.

Bless this pink pill of E

Bless my breasts and butt

Let it grow to be beloved. 

The Sanctuary: Body Sacredness

My body is a temple

What does it resemble?

To these parts I assemble

Will become a win of a gamble

I will grow to all of my goals

I wanted to be like the little foals

Though I am the unicorn of the herd

The horses run to hear my own word

Poetry and yearning fuel me up

So I can be warm like a tea cup.

And then I kiss and feel so loved

Finally the mind and body beloved

It is now a holy site of one’s desire

To my own adoration, light my fire

My body is now even grander

Like a cathedral of splendor.

What is your gender?

My boy is now a girl.

My girl is now a boy

No wait, that is not it,

It is more, why these two

They are all non-binary now

What even is a man, Plato?

What is a woman, Socrates?

Is he a dog, is he waffles?

Is she a cat or spaghetti?

Non-binary people are secrets

Gender is a whole a fuck

But girl stuff is really neat!

I am a bio-girl, sorry boys.

Your enby-girl is a total lez.

Gay for lesbians and enbies.

I wish I were Queer

I am Queer to get some chicks!

But any of them like dicks? 

To desire a woman who is cis

Maybe she will give me a kiss?

Perhaps, we will do a bit more

Any kind of fucking, like a whore!

Yes, I think all women are queens 

Even if they are beyond my means.

My lyrics and poems are truly sapphic

Although I can be even more graphic.

Imagine taking your little female cock

And then putting it in her meat sock!

Though vagina is quite hard to rhyme

Maybe I will get it right next time!

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Yearning unprecedentedly

Yearning

A poem by Brittany

Imagine wanting something, or rather someone you love and cherish so much

Do shoppers and lovers dream of quarantine memes?

Once in the near reaches of Pennsylvania, in the dying monuments of consumerism,

There was I, and my soulmate, and my other girlfriends, going to see what we miss.

First, we were on an adventure, through the side suburban streets and country roads.

All the signs lead to the malls, shops, and stores, you must buy, sell, and do business.

We then take some things– games, food, products, and services, but why do we all pay?

It is soulless– we find our soul in the soulless condition, lest our mind and bones decay.

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Why Feminism should be trans inclusive: An analysis of transfeminism, rights, and metaphysics.

A short essay by Brittany Diana Eakin (Originally written in April and May 2019)

Chapter I: Introduction

Feminism is the general term for a social, political, philosophical movement that seeks to bring equality and challenge existing gender dynamics. It wants to bring women to equal status with men. There are many schools of thought under the umbrella label of feminism, such as Liberal Feminism, Radical Feminism, Socialist Feminism, and Black Feminism. Both have similar and different responses and critiques of each other and of their overall goal as feminists. Feminists have widely differing opinions. One example of that is how they approach the concept of gender, especially the sex-gender system. One subfield within feminism that really takes on the sex-gender system and deals with identity is applying a feminist approach to the transgender community. Feminists of all schools of thought should take on a more inclusive framework of gender and recognize the existence of all transgender people as one of their key platforms for organization and ending the oppressive dynamics of gender.

Chapter II: Terminology and definitions

To fully engage with the topic, it is important to have a working knowledge with basic terms. Transgender is an identity that means a person is not their assigned gender at birth. Cisgender, however is the opposite, it is not offensive, and it means that someone is their assigned gender at birth. For example, a woman is transgender if her assigned gender at birth was male, and a woman is cisgender, if her assigned gender at birth was female. 

There are many facets to the transgender experience, such as transitioning. Assigning gender at birth is the key characteristic of the sex-gender system. The sex-gender system is something to escape and liberate oneself from oppression.

Sex and gender are not the same. Sex in humans refers to physiological traits such as gonads, genitalia, reproductive organs, karyotypes, hormones, and anatomy. Gender is primarily identity. Under the sex gender system, the assignment of gender to a child often just takes genitalia appearance into account and if the child appears to have a penis then, the parent says “it’s a boy” or if it has a vulva then the parent says “it’s a girl”. This is where the concepts of being cisgender and transgender come from– the sex-gender system and its extrapolation of gender roles and identity from sex traits. I was assigned male at birth. There could be a chance of being karyotypically intersex, but have no way of knowing. I am not male, therefore I am transgender. That was the personal side of the thesis and research.

Chapter III: The Case Studies of Radical Libertarian Feminism and Radical Cultural Feminism.

Out of the most prominent schools of feminist thought, it is Radical Feminism that has the most theory and schisms on transgender topics. Radical feminists posit that the sex-gender system is the root of women’s oppression. Radical feminism is a well-known branch of feminism, and it has two main subfields: libertarian feminism and cultural feminism. Libertarian feminism espouses tolerance, androgyny, sexual empowerment. Cultural feminism espouses a female essence as the basis of woman. Cultural feminists believe in gender essentialism. Radical feminism in general was an offshoot of liberal feminism or first wave of feminism. During the 19th century, feminists worked on legal equality. Radical feminists do not doubt the importance of equality before the law, but do not stop. Understanding the philosophy of these groups and branches of feminist movements is key to really understand what is really at stake with transgender issues in regards to feminism. 

Radical libertarian and radical cultural feminists split on transgender issues when they ask who is and is not a woman. Radical libertarian feminists argue that anyone who says they are a woman is a woman, regardless of their assigned sex, socialization, or any other circumstance related to their gender. However, radical cultural feminists believe that a woman has to have an essential quality. In many cases, the cultural feminist belief has led to a very controversial brand, whose adherents are Transgender Exclusionary Radical Feminists, or TERFs for short, and they take the position that a woman has to be assigned female at birth and that transgender people, especially trans women are not who they say they are. Not all cultural feminists are necessarily TERFs, for example, Catherine McKinnon, a prominent radical cultural feminist, does not exclude trans women from her definition of womanhood and her feminism. Germaine Greer, however, another radical cultural feminist and self proclaimed liberation feminist, has wrote on gender in opposition to the inclusion of trans women and trans people in feminism. There are many quotes from her affirming the TERF position and demeaning and misgendering trans women she has encountered as a cultural feminist. The whole reason is that anti-trans feminists defined woman as a social class whose oppression comes from biology, and thus exclude trans women from womanhood because they do not have the biological nature, for which cisgender women experience patriarchal oppression. Because of this emphasis on biology and their assertion that it is the root of women’s oppression as a social class, a cultural feminist has turned it around and used cis women’s biological anatomy as the basis of motherhood as the peak expression of being a woman, but divorcing it in a way from male control. The central thesis of radical cultural feminism, especially anti-trans versions, is that women were a biological class and any oppression they experienced was due to their status as mothers and roles as birthers to sustain the human population. They often tie this to sexuality, especially criticize sexual intercourse with men.

The problem with the arguments of transphobic or “gender critical” radical cultural feminists is that they deny a material reality that transphobia comes from sexism and these forms of oppression often mix together as transmisogyny. A lot of transphobic discourse focuses more towards transfeminine people and transgender women in particular, because of how patriarchal over values of the masculine and undervalues the feminine. Neither anti-trans feminists nor regular transphobic anti-feminists see trans people as themselves, so they will see a trans woman as a man pretending to be a woman, and their mind expresses the patriarchal double standards between men and women, and transphobic disgust is the channel of that sexist attitude. In that way, anti-trans feminists do the patriarchy’s work and yet claim that it helps women. One example is the proposed hypothesis of autogynephilia, and it intersects with psychology and medicine. Both anti-trans radical cultural feminists and regular transphobes support it because it confirms their bias against trans women and transfeminine people. The issue of medicine and care have been a thorny issue for both feminism and transgender rights. Psychological research has both pro and anti trans perspectives.

Autogynephilia posits that trans women are men living a sexual fantasy. Dr Richard Blanchard, the inventor of this narrative, says there are two types of Autogynephilia. Going back to Radical Cultural Feminism, one thing a cultural feminist believes is that sexuality can be damaging and oppressive to women, and have rallied against rape culture and pornography, and conflated those two, and that hypothesis has seemingly validated the connections of feminists that both exclude transgender people and sex workers from their feminist liberation movements, as they believe both are patriarchal agents that reinforce women’s biological oppression. 

With that in mind, even Dr Blanchard’s typology could apply to cisgender women if they tested them against his standards for diagnoses of autogynephilia. Curiously, there is no big discourse around a theoretical autoandrophilia, trans men and transmasculine people have been relatively stealth, but they do have no real sympathy from anti-trans feminists who denounce transgender men as “treacherous” or “misguided” and trying to escape their biological oppression by becoming men. There is also another development with trans-exclusionary radical feminism, some of them will not say patently wrong statements and call trans women men and trans men women, but rather say phrases like “trans identified males” or “trans identified females”, and this also is still misgendering them. One case from Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, in an interview said that “trans women are trans women” when asked if trans women are women. She affirmed their status as trans women, but still separated them from cis women. This again reinforces transphobic notions, while not an overt or outright rejection of trans women’s claims. However, the separation and distinction are wedges within feminist discourse over personal claims to gender, both in identity and in expression. It is also an epistemological debate. Adichie claims women, both transgender and cisgender, need to have an experience to know their gender and claim womanhood.

These TERFs and other transphobes, regardless of their position on feminism, are all wrong simply because they are denying reality. Trans people have existed and even other cultures have not had only the western binary of only male or female. This is the rejection and schism among radical feminists. Material and ideal forms of oppression based on both sex and gender at any rate stifle gender diversity.

Radical libertarian feminists accept transgender people for the basis of freedom, recognizing that transphobia is an oppression that stems from the patriarchy and the sex-gender system. Their belief in androgyny for both men and women can be a boon of relief for trans people in feminist spaces. Gender identity and gender expression and sex are all not the same, however these are social constructs. Libertarian feminists look at gender and wonder how they can maximize liberty with it. Their position is to undermine and divorce masculinity and femininity from sex and gender. They also accepted gender diversity. This mindset is naturally trans inclusive because it undermines the negative and hierarchical nature of the sex-gender system.

Chapter IV: Deconstructing the Sex-Gender System

First, we must look what the sex-gender system to understand the core of transgender issues. Stated in the definition chapter, it is the belief sex and gender can be extrapolated from each other. One popular phrase in trans discourse is “sex and gender are not the same thing” I understand that well, however there is one thing in common, both are social constructs. I do not deny the existence of physiological traits that make up sex, but the idea that certain traits are inherently male or female is absurd and shows why the sex-gender system must be deconstructed, analyzed, and then abolished. Ending the sex-gender system is one of many goals that trans-feminism espouses. I have also have a personal goal against the sex-gender system, as a transgender non-binary person, for it would have made transitioning easier if it were not people sticking other people, and myself included, to sex-gender system and prescribing masculine gender roles and presentation for people that were assigned male at birth, and prescribing feminine gender roles and presentation for people that were assigned female at birth. Intersex people, however, have a different relation, they too suffer from coercion in surgeries. Overall, the sex-gender system proves to be an extremely inaccurate construction of gender, as sex is not a reliable predictor of it and one cannot predict and prescribe sexual and romantic orientation from gender.

Chapter V: How to take down transphobia: Metaphysics of gender

From the perspective of philosophy, I see transphobia in feminism as a metaphysical issue. For example, homophobia and biphobia are ethical issues, since proponents somehow believe that same-gender relationships and homosexuality or bisexuality and any associated sex acts are morally inferior to heterosexuality. The philosophy of transphobia is an argument of both epistemology and metaphysics. An anti-trans feminist or someone who doubts a transgender person’s claim of identity ask the question, especially myself  “how do you know?”. That question comes from the analysis of transphobia from the Abigail Thorn’s video essay on transphobia, in which he breaks down the arguments and philosophy driving most transphobic attitudes and beliefs. She also likens homophobia to an ethical issue as a parallel between the construction and attitudes of sexuality and gender. Abigail Thorn suggested that even the most seemingly tolerant people can hold that attitude, which implies transgender people are playing some game of dress up, but should have tolerance under the guise of a free society, yet, she says, that there is a small seed of transphobia, it is covert, not as overt as anti-queer transphobes or even TERFs.

Chapter VI: The Personal Philosophy

 The personal is political. This is a common phrase in many feminist circles. To say that means that one cannot separate their privilege in political and social movements. In the case of transfeminism it is an intersection of sexism and transphobia, and even transmisogyny. Cisgender  people, whether men or women, have a certain privilege in the issue of transgender rights in feminism. The debate of rights impacts those with less privilege, simply because they cannot escape from it and all of its consequences.

This topic is rather personal to me. As I am a transfeminine non-binary person with In my personal research, for my different reasons. I see a lot of parallels between gender and sexuality. For example there are similar social norms and taboos between bisexuality and non-binary genders, as I have observed a binary between heterosexuality and homosexuality, collectively, I call them monosexuality, as to distinguish them from multisexual attractions like bisexual and pansexual. People construct both sexuality and gender as binaries. Binaries are too simplistic for human social identities. Monosexual and binary people have different and layered experiences compared bisexual or pansexual and non-binary people. One can have on or the either. But, erasure is one facet of the debate on transgender topics that I have worked to overcome personally. Because of that I see and think of the implications.

Chapter VII: Conclusion

Feminists should care about transgender people because of the material oppression and denial to spaces, resources, and rights that cisgender people have no problem with, in comparison. Even Adichie defines feminism as “Any[one] who sees a problem with gender”. However, she did say man or woman, and that I wrote like a misspelling, because feminism is for everyone, not just men and women, since upholding the gender goes against feminism, especially transfeminism. The sex-gender system have created oppression for transgender people. And, the sex-gender system oppresses cisgender people, both men and women alike. Cisgender women have privilege because they are cisgender, but still experience patriarchal misogyny that even impacts transgender people. Gender policing creates a toxic environment for transgender and gender-non-conforming people alike. It starts with bullying but it then manifests itself as sexism, which then leads to more specific forms like homophobia and transphobia. Gender historically has a racist and colonialist past. Erases traditional identities with the western, Eurocentric binary. Feminists of all factions can and should care about transgender people. I am disappointed with feminists and brands of feminism that either deliberately exclude trans people or ignore them through either single issue myopia or respectability politics. All women will be free with trans-inclusivity. Thus, all feminists should strive to become the perfect ally to trans people and show solidarity.

Thanks for reading, be sure to share, like, and reblog!

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Bibliography, inspiration, and sources.

Adichie, Chimamanda Ngozi. 2015. We Should All Be Feminists. New York: Anchor Books.

Bettcher, Talia, “Feminist Perspectives on Trans Issues”, The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Spring 2014 Edition), Edward N. Zalta (ed.), URL = <https://plato.stanford.edu/archives/spr2014/entries/feminism-trans/&gt;.

Brubaker, Rogers. “Categories in Flux.” In Trans: Gender and Race in an Age of Unsettled Identities, 40-68. Princeton; Oxford: Princeton University Press, 2016. doi:10.2307/j.ctt1wf4ckd.7.

https://www.jstor.org/stable/j.ctt1wf4ckd.7

Brubaker, Rogers. “The Trans of Beyond.” In Trans: Gender and Race in an Age of Unsettled Identities, 113-30. Princeton; Oxford: Princeton University Press, 2016. doi:10.2307/j.ctt1wf4ckd.10. 

https://www.jstor.org/stable/j.ctt1wf4ckd.10

Fallon, Claire, and Claire Fallon. “Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie Says The American Left ‘Is Creating Its Own Decline’.” HuffPost. October 09, 2017. Accessed April 14, 2019. https://www.huffpost.com/entry/chimamanda-ngozi-adichie-says-the-american-left-is-creating-its-own-decline_n_59db6dbae4b072637c454c4d.

Hines, Sally. “Gender Identities and Feminism.” In TransForming Gender: Transgender Practices of Identity, Intimacy and Care, 85-102. Bristol: Bristol University Press, 2007. http://www.jstor.org/stable/j.ctt9qgpqw.8

Scott-Dixon, Krista. “Public Health, Private Parts: A Feminist Public-Health Approach to Trans Issues.” Hypatia 24, no. 3 (2009): 33-55. http://www.jstor.org/stable/20618163.

Thorn, Abigail. “Transphobia: An Analysis” YouTube, YouTube, 23:33 12 October 2018 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yCxqdhZkxCo

Tong, Rosemarie, and Tina Fernandes. Botts. 2014. Feminist Thought: a More Comprehensive Introduction. 4th ed. Boulder, CO: Westview Press.

Weinberg, Justin. 2019. “‘When Tables Speak’: On the Existence of Trans Philosophy (Guest Post by Talia Mae Bettcher).” Daily Nous. Daily Nous. February 25, 2019. https://dailynous.com/2018/05/30/tables-speak-existence-trans-philosophy-guest-talia-mae-bettcher/.

Withers, Deborah M. “Transgender and Feminist Alliances in Contemporary U.K. Feminist Politics.” Feminist Studies 36, no. 3 (2010): 691-97. http://www.jstor.org/stable/27919129.

Wynn, Natalie. “Gender Critical” YouTube, Youtube, 33:48, 30 March 2019 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1pTPuoGjQsI

An ode to depression

I am dull, I am numb, I am only a person that will stare

I feel null, and it was something that is no longer there

I see that nothing is my life, I see the gray skies above

I hear the soft buzzing noises of the white lights above

The senses are dull, the senses have numbed, for I am null

The self is yearning for pleasure that heals the soul.

The boredom reigns sovereign supreme above all

The joy and merriment of my life is fleeting, for I am null.

Where is the joy and how does one live life to pleasure?

Who is my significant other, who will be my treasure?

When will my life improve, will there be something?

What will come next, what shall we do today, nothing?

https://www.patreon.com/bdunicorn

What is order, What is chaos?

A poem by Brittany

Through order, there is chaos; through chaos, there is order.

For if you enforce the order upon the nature of our universe   

It will be as if you have stricken the sea with a metal mallet.

You will only have made splashes against the sand and air

And when you let the sea flow in its chaotic order of discordance

A symphony and orgy of waves and storms that turn to stillness

You will see the eye of the storm and be amazed to see its bliss

If beauty is in the eye of the beholder, then this eye beholds you– 

In all of its cosmic discordant harmony, that is the sea, air, land.

The mountains stand tall, but are themselves slippery but slow.

The order from chaos is both the sublime and the most beautiful.

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Autism and Gender: The intersection of divergence and variance.

CW/TW gender dysphoria, functioning labels, ableism, stereotypes, sexism.

Hello everyone.

It is still Autism acceptance month and will be my last entry for that month.

In this blog, I will discuss these the findings from the articles and then give my personal opinions connecting both of my personal and anecdotal experiences as ways to ignite a conversation about both transgender and autistic people.

I want to explore why some people are both autistic and transgender. I myself am both. In my previous blog about autism fashion, I stated that I was diagnosed at age 4 with the outdated diagnosis label of Asperger’s Syndrome. Instead, I call my condition autism, coming from the current standards of diagnosis.

Autism spectrum disorder and being transgender are two different things, though they are misunderstood, they have seen massively more awareness and even some acceptance, albeit to lesser degrees. However, being trans is not a mental disorder. The only thing in the DSM-V related to being trans is Gender Dysphoria, which exists independently and is not a prerequisite for one’s validity as a transgender individual, you do not need dysphoria to be transgender, though that’s a story for another time. Anyway, I have official diagnoses for both autism and gender dysphoria, that being said self-diagnosis is real and valid. Disclaimers aside, I considered both dysphoria and autism to be neurodivergence for me, along with my depression, ADHD, and anxiety disorders.

A lot of people I know are both autistic and trans, like me, friends, partners, and even some public figures online, have come out as both at varying times in their lives. The articles collectively discuss and answer questions on if autism and gender variance or being transgender are connected, they each cite various articles that suggest a strong co-occurrence between autism and trans or gender-variance.

Despite a lot of research taking gender into account, the coincidences of autism and gender dysphoria and transgender identity are among the new frontiers of autism and trans research. As I said before being transgender does not require gender dysphoria. This is very fascinating because of what questions does it pose. Is it there a link? Like I said, many other studies seem to support a higher rate of being trans or gender-nonconforming among autistic people, though some dissent. This could also be important in understanding medical bias in both of the autistic and transgender communities, especially when individuals have both identities. And many articles have expressed some doubts about the studies I have read in their sources and on my own between the links of transgender identity and autism. One critique has brought up gendered stereotyping in diagnoses of autism, even both children and adults. A lot of people seem to treat autism as if it is mostly male, and while yes AMAB children tend to have an easier time getting diagnosed than AFAB children, it is not a boy’s thing. I am autistic and not a boy, despite an early diagnosis. The gender differences are cultural, and a consequence of medical bias, in both diagnosis and treatment. As I mentioned in my previous blog, the criteria are slightly different in detecting autism.

Some context of the connections. When researchers of either autism or transgender people try to understand how and why people are autistic and/or trans, they try to look at biological reasons and especially neurological reasons as well. In the case of autism, there gendered stereotypes and biases. The Atlantic article I reported that a lot of research like Simon Cohen in 2006 hypothesized that autism was a result of an “extremely male brain” and the article added further context around this by talking about the history of autism portral among laypeople and researches and scientists alike. Autism has the stereotype of being for boys and that of a savant man. This in turn has downplayed autistic people who are not men, cis women, trans women, non-binary people, and afab children regardless if they are men, women, or non-binary before they transition. One source the Atlantic article uses is called Lost Girls, and it is about how for a lot of girls, usually afab or cis girls, their autism gets ignored, erased, or misdiagnosed as something else, thus denying and neglecting them with proper support and care. Though I am not a man, but a non-binary woman, I at least was glad I had my diagnosis taken seriously and grew up. Though some said girls were more likely to be high-functioning or have Asperger’s Syndrome, that is just conjecture I remember growing up as an autistic child who had unrealized issues about her own gender identity. And, often a lot of autistic trans people worry they might be denied transition care because of their autism or even autism support because they are transgender.

Mind you, as my partner said to me once in conversation. The baseline is assigned gender roles are an artificial social construct, which, by definition, many autistic people struggle with grasping or behaving within. In the slate article, there is a soundbite that says that 

It’s possible that autism is overrepresented among trans youth because autistic people are less likely to bow to social pressures that keep other trans people from coming out.

This quote reminds me of masking as an autistic phenomenon. Masking is something I have done. It has been considered both a female and high functioning trait to some. The articles mention it as a high functioning characteristic. Though I must interject a standard disclaimer on functioning labels because a lot of autistic people can be considered either high or low functioning at varying points and moods. Often, classifying one as one or the other is a basis for either denying support or agency. 

Masking and gender roles work together in a way; because what is conforming for transgender and gender non-conforming youth but another form of social masking. A lot of autistic trans people said that they have down a lot of social masking and felt that loosening enforcement of gender roles and even screening autistic kids for juvenile gender dysphoria would be beneficial for them. I wonder what would have happened to me if that were the case. 

Lastly, I would like to explore one more facet of the intersections between autism and gender: Autigender. What is that? Autigender is a neologism meaning that one’s gender can only be understood through one’s own autism or that it greatly affects their identity. So, with this identity, there is a small community of people who see their experiences of autism and gender as inseperable and even mutually dependent. While gender has more sociological components, there is some overlap with one’s own neurological condition with these especially since both are expressed through self identification, having taken some influence from clinical psychology. So with the exploration of neologisms to explore concepts of gender and neurodivergence, especially with things like transsexuality, non-binary identities, and autism, it is no wonder why something with autigender exists in contemporary currency among a lot of trans and non-binary autistics.

There is something about gender that resonates with most people, it is socialized in everyone, albeit in a limited binary capacity, and autistic people often see themselves differently or have many different perspective, while a generalization, it is mostly true for me, as an autistic and transgender person. Overall, I think that these can be a start of a much greater conversation about more specific themes. Let me know what you want in the comments and be share to like and share this article. Thank you so much for being an avid reader! 

-Brittany

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Bibliography

Autigender

Evaluation of Asperger Syndrome in Youth Presenting to a Gender Dysphoria Clinic

Gender Dysphoria and Autism Spectrum Disorder: Is the link real?

Gender variance and autism link?

Increased Gender Variance in ASD and ADHD

Initial Clinical Guidelines for Co-Occurring Autism Spectrum Disorder and Gender Dysphoria or Incongruence in Adolescents

Extremely Male Brain of Autism

The link between autism and trans-identity

The Lost Girls

Why are a disproportionate number of autistic youth transgender?

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