Vanessa Urquhart @v_urq @SlateOutward @slate (USA)

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Vanessa Vitiello Urquhart is a queer feminist who recently penned this abusive op-ed with Parker Molloy, a Man who identifies as a lesbian. The op-ed relies on dishonesty in order to advance the trope that Lesbians who object to gender identity are hateful.

Here is an exchange I had with Urquhart after she published an earlier piece in Slate that rankled some transwomen. I sent her a friend request on Facebook because I was concerned she was getting abuse for expressing her opinion.

Some day, I hope we can have an honest conversation about gender identity without having to misrepresent people’s views.

  • Conversation started July 27, 2014
  • Cathy Brennan
    Cathy Brennan

    Thanks for accepting. I read your Slate piece and was concerned you might be getting hate mail. If I can be of assistance, let me know. Be well, Cathy

  • VR Urquhart
    VR Urquhart

    So far, the reception has been very positive- more so than I might have feared when I wrote it. Thanks a lot for caring, though, and I’m glad you liked it.

  • Cathy Brennan
    Cathy Brennan

    I’m glad it’s been positive.

  • July 28, 2014
  • Cathy Brennan
    Cathy Brennan

    The Dispute Between Radical Feminism and Transgenderism

    http://www.newyorker.com

    Michelle Goldberg on the dispute over what it means to be a woman. The transgender-rights movement has forced a rethinking of what sex and gender mean, and radical feminists now find themselves shunned as reactionaries on the wrong side of a sexual-rights issue.
  • VR Urquhart
    VR Urquhart

    Thanks for sharing that. Few things seem sadder to me than the TERF/Trans wars. Such a waste.

  • Cathy Brennan
    Cathy Brennan

    TERF is a slur.

  • VR Urquhart
    VR Urquhart

    Alright, I’ll just say the TERF/Tranny wars. Then I can slur everyone equally!

  • Cathy Brennan
    Cathy Brennan

    That’s ignorant.

    I know you are kidding.

  • VR Urquhart
    VR Urquhart

    I thought it was funny. heh

  • Cathy Brennan
    Cathy Brennan

    Lolololol

    Fair enough

  • VR Urquhart
    VR Urquhart

    but, the heart of my opinion on the whole thing is that it’s kinda lame any time you make a club around saying “no Xs allowed”. and it’s equally lame to have a hissy fit about being let into some lame club that doesn’t want you.

  • Cathy Brennan
    Cathy Brennan

    I disagree with your framing but you are entitled to your opinion.

  • VR Urquhart
    VR Urquhart

    not to mention the lameness of one small, oppressed minority picking on a smaller, more oppressed minority rather than the people oppressing them

    and, you’re welcome to pick which one you are, in that framing

  • Cathy Brennan
    Cathy Brennan

    Women aren’t a small minority.

  • VR Urquhart
    VR Urquhart

    yeah, but the ones who think that trans women matter enough to be worth excluding are

    or, matter enough to be oppressive

    if you prefer it that way

  • Cathy Brennan
    Cathy Brennan

    It’s actually not about exclusion

    It’s about women

  • VR Urquhart
    VR Urquhart

    well, my internalized sexism is a matter of public record, so I’m not someone to speak on “women”

  • Cathy Brennan
    Cathy Brennan

    Why not? You’re a woman.

    Lolololol

  • VR Urquhart
    VR Urquhart

    haha. by the skin of my teeth

  • Cathy Brennan
    Cathy Brennan

    All women have internalized misogyny

    Awwwwwwwww

    I hear that

  • VR Urquhart
    VR Urquhart

    agreed. I find the internalized misogyny of butch lesbians, genderqueers, and trans men significant because that’s, roughly, my community. But in a broader sense, I think the internalized misogyny of heterosexual cisgendered women is a bit more important

    the internalized misogyny of trans women, on the other hand, is of much less interest to me

  • Cathy Brennan
    Cathy Brennan

    Transwomen misogyny is pretty external

    In my experience

    Lolololol

  • VR Urquhart
    VR Urquhart

    external/internal things do seem to be at the heart of the issue

  • Cathy Brennan
    Cathy Brennan

    Yeah. I’d be happy if transwomen would stop telling women to die.

  • VR Urquhart
    VR Urquhart

    I’d be happy about that too!

  • VR Urquhart
    VR Urquhart

    and, between you and me, my essay was a little self censored, to avoid having the sky fall on my head. but I can’t be on board with the all trans women are men/all trans men are women attitude

    I know a couple trans men who just *are* men. I can’t explain how- they’re not necessarily super masculine- but there’s something about them that’s all the way legit

    and, in theory, I accept that some trans women must be like that also

    although I’ve never met one

  • Cathy Brennan
    Cathy Brennan

    I hear you

    I appreciated your piece and the context in which you wrote it

  • VR Urquhart
    VR Urquhart

    I’m glad. I do think sexism plays a role in how these identities are constructed, and we need to be able to say that.

  • Cathy Brennan
    7/28, 9:24am

    Cathy Brennan

    I agree

Seen Jul 28

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