TERFism: the MAAB/FAAB binary

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Anti-trans RadFems, AKA Trans Exclusionary RadFems (TERFs) – not to be confused with non-hate radical feminism (AKA, feminism) – claim that gender is a fallacy. As an ironic (though the irony is completely lost on them) substitute, they’ve invented a binary system they call FAAB and MAAB. Once someone is Male Assigned At Birth (MAAB), they are endowed with a privilege that can never be removed, degraded or overcome. A homeless monolingual undocumented transwoman escaping her country of origin due to anti-trans violence has more privilege as a MAAB than a rich, white Female Assigned At Birth (FAAB) corporate banking attorney. The transwoman proves this by demanding access to the same homeless shelter space as non-transgender women. If the transwoman uses the same restroom as the FAAB corporate banking attorney might, the rich attorney is being oppressed by MAABness. Also, if the transwoman gets frustrated by the FAAB corporate attorney taking the transwoman’s picture and putting it on her blog to “warn” FAABs of a MAAB who’s gaining access to women’s spaces, the transwomen has just proven her MAABness through “male rage.”

See? Gender is an illusion and we’d all be better if we could understand this. FAAB/MAABness is real, omnipresent and can’t ever be changed and we’d all be better if we could put our everlasting faith into the inerrancy of the MAAB/FAAB doctrine. Whatever a FAAB needs to do to free herself from MAAB oppression, is morally correct: she’s fighting against male violence. Male violence looks like transwomen exhibiting any of the behavior FAAB TERFs exhibit because that proves that she’s MAAB.

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Cristan Williams is a trans historian and activist. She started one of the first trans homeless shelters and co-founded the first federally funded trans-only homeless program, pioneered affordable healthcare for trans people in the Houston area, won the right for trans people to change their gender on Texas ID prior to surgery, started numerous trans social service programs and founded the Transgender Center as well as the Transgender Archives. Cristan is the editor at the social justice site TransAdvocate.com, is a long-term member and previous chair of the City of Houston HIV Prevention Planning Group, is the jurisdictional representative to the Urban Coalition for HIV/AIDS Prevention Services (UCHAPS), serves on the national steering body for UCHAPS and is the Executive Director of the Transgender Foundation of America.

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