A note about terminology

On this site, we have sometimes used the word “transwoman”.

This is a contentious word, both among gender ideologues and on the gender-critical side. Gender ideologues tend to use “trans woman”, or sometimes just “woman”, or declare “she/her” and wait for you to work it out for yourself. (Some extreme ideologues claim to be female, too.)

Some gender-critical people object to “transwoman” because men can never be any kind of woman – though others point out that using this term does not necessarily imply that transwomen ARE women, just as, say, seahorses are not any kind of horse. Likewise, ladybirds aren’t any kind of bird. So it is worth explaining why it is left here.

A more accurate term might be “trans-identifying male” – except for the fact that the transgender umbrella is so wide that many people might be included in the meaning of “transwoman” who do not “identify as trans” (an obvious example would be most drag artists). However, many GC people use TiM to indicate “trans-identifying male” and TiF to indicate “trans-identifying female”.

In the absence of a perfect term, therefore, we have generally used “transwoman” in inverted commas, often with caveats around the way the term is defined or its use in particular contexts, and a reminder that a “transwoman” is a (trans) male.

The term “trans” itself defies definition – and this might be deliberate on the part of those who claim rights on account of their “trans-ness”.

It is no longer the case, for instance, that a “trans” person always has a diagnosis of gender dysphoria, nor does it necessarily mean that the person feels a strong sense that they should be or are the opposite sex – even though this is what most people probably think it means. Nor does it mean that the person has had surgery or even changed their presentation. Instead, it is often used to describe recreational cross-dressers, or even fetishists, who are quite secure in their “maleness” but gain something else – whether inner peace or a sense of sexual euphoria – from dressing in stereotypically women’s attire.

Moreover, the “trans” movement increasingly embraces a range of other paraphilias, including “pup players”, “furries”, and “adult baby diaper lovers” (as you will see whenever there is a Pride parade or a Trans Rights march; google at your own risk). These paraphilias do not attract public sympathy the way gender dysphoric people do, which is probably why they are trying to ride on the coattails of the more sympathetic group.

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