Is violence structural to transfeminism?
Paola Pieri, from the MaternaMente group, talks about the violence she suffered in Florence at the hands of trans activists

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Text by Paola Pieri, of the group MaternaMente.

Last Thursday, March 23, I went to the front at the Careggi hospital, here in Florence, where a small demonstration called by "Resistances to the nanoworld", present Silvia Guerini, author of the book “From the neutral body to the posthuman cyborg, critical reflections on gender ideology”. Garrison called in this place because it is where dozens of minors and non-minors with "gender dysphoria" are managed in the endocrinology department, treated with puberty blockers, hormones and other provisions of the current medical protocol. A protocol that has also been discussed recently in some television reports, among others, the most recent by Nicola Porro, Quarta Repubblica, with trained and expert guests.

In brief: I arrive at the garrison and a girl welcomes me holding some leaflets, which I obviously take and read. An instant later Silvia arrives, whom I had never yet met in person and therefore did not recognize. The girl's attitude immediately changes. “Deployment” mode. I am immediately pigeonholed/identified as "the enemy". In front of the hospital there were, in short, four people, three men and a woman, with a banner that said “no to the medicalization of children and puberty blockers” who were trying to deliver a flyer. And about twenty people, who contested them.

So far nothing serious. It's a shame that the latter (the protesters), despite having obtained permission from the police station for the demonstration and leafleting (the contested ones), had ripped the leaflets from the hands of passers-by to whom they had been delivered and had stolen/stolen others to prevent them from being delivered. It's a shame that with their banners they hid that of the first ones. Among other things, I wonder if there was a permit from the Florence police station for them too, given that we as women are asked to move from "transfeminist" places. Finally, it's a shame I myself was attacked in an absolutely violent way, verbally, by one of them in particular. After an hour on the clock we were talking, or trying to.

Suddenly, due to a misunderstanding, again and again and again I have been defined in this order: fascist, pro-life, transphobic, violent, ugly, disgusting shit and other epithets in a crescendo of aggression, certainly subject to reporting. In short, they had neither listened to nor understood anything about me. It's a shame that I had also asked for their contact details to be able to exchange materials and reflections outside the context of the square but was denied, for a change. My attitude, however, as anyone who knows me knows, was peaceful to say the least. I spent two and a half hours talking and discussing. First with the violent trans, then with another very kind trans guy (FtoM).

Of course, let's be clear, it's the last time. The next attack will be reported as it deserves. As a woman, I would also be tired of suffering violence from those who set themselves up as champions of rights (and getting to say this is a huge defeat for me, because Reporting to a system that re-victimizes women is risky as well as a contradiction).

But what was perhaps even more serious was the behavior of the medical staff present. Some nurses and/or doctors passing through or not, in fact, resented the simple fact that a colleague was named on the flyer delivered (quote from public source), while others they took part in the attack I was suffering, reiterating to me that I was the violent one, “because there are many ways to be violent” and giving support and confirmation to the trans girl (MtoF) who was really about to put her hands on me. Basically I was the violent one for the simple fact that that's how I was defined. Not because I had engaged in violent behavior. I was violently accused of not thinking like them. As if this were a crime in itself. This is.

I consider this very serious. I would say unacceptable. And I believe that a discussion on this is necessary, also with the management of the hospital company.

In those two and a half hours, I attempted to respond and explain. To listen and understand.

I have to say it was painful. But also important. Eye contact. Meet. And I believe it is absolutely necessary and urgent, we need and must at least try to get away from the system narrative. This is a very dangerous mechanism of descending from above and pre-packaging dividing ideas. On which to build deployments. Ideas but also practices that are often not relevant to reality nor democratically discussed on a large scale. Which they want to make into laws. Theories are not scientific or at least not shared by much of the scientific world. Things are moving fast these days. And mostly on a propaganda basis. Value and substance are lost. It simplifies and limits itself. Instead of staying in complexity and reflection. Even politics. But these are issues that concern us all, in our daily lives, on a practical, ethical, legislative, political, historical and social level.
Furthermore, I say it calmly, up until a certain age, I myself wanted to be a boy. I didn't want my breasts to grow. I know what they're talking about. And I thank my parents for this because they welcomed me without defining me. And without forcing myself in any sense, letting myself express myself until I slowly took my path, which continues in a continuous definition and redefinition of myself... free and fruitful.

This is why I went to the garrison. Physically.

And because on March 8th, some women co-authors of the book "Sex work is not work", including Guerini herself, had suffered, at the International Women's House in Rome, another heavy attack and censorship (cancellation of the presentation of the book following mailbombing of sex work supporters) I wanted to be there, to give solidarity and female-human and feminist support. To say no to censorship and aggression. To testify to a practice of confrontation and acceptance of healthy and civil conflict. But also because I do not accept that regardless of the different positions, such methods are used, where even the squares of March 8th have become off-limits for women not strictly aligned with transfeminist thought.

In short, I went because I believe we must end this mechanism of ghettoization and alignments one day. Wanted by a policy/market, which only has to control and sell pre-established products/thoughts that do not disturb the system too much and which actually confirm and reinforce it. This is undemocratic and unconstitutional from my point of view. I went because I don't accept being defined by pigeonholing me again and again, erasing me, as a woman and mother. An imposed language, decided upon at the table, which erases and criminalizes women and those who do not align themselves by taking sides, for a change (it is the same mechanism of pas). Furthermore, all of this is very serious. A dangerous drift: a complex topic that cannot be expected to be tackled with an axe. On the same skin as LGBT boys and girls.

Finally because I'm tired of the polarization where as women and mothers we are defined as fascist by the "left" mainstream and Nazi-feminist by the right. Only to be canceled and commodified by one and the other in various and different ways.

Furthermore, we probably have different approaches and elaborations with Guerini herself, who was the first time I met her, although in general we share the criticism and reflection on the interventionist approach of puberty blockers for children. But this fact does not prevent me from sharing and contributing to the reflection that belongs to everyone and bringing solidarity to them in the face of violence, threats, censorship and at the same time, listen, listen, be against the discrimination that some still suffer areas, LGBTQ people.

As long as it doesn't become the opposite, that is, we women, for a change, are the ones discriminated against. I'm thinking of Anglo-Saxon countries where you risk death threats and dismissal if you don't fall in line. I think about the Ley Trans Spanish, where if we had been there for the garrison I would have been reported for transphobia without even being transphobic, because it has become a crime, and the evidence is against the accused-o.

For some time now, together with women and mothers in a national network, I have been dealing with the issue of misogynistic violence against mothers and children and the institutional violence we suffer due to patriarchal laws which are heavily harmful to our fundamental rights. Specifically, the law 54/2006 and practices defined by the Supreme Court as "Nazi", linked to pas (parental alienation syndrome, now called in many ways: of the malevolent, adhesive, obstructive, excluding mother, etc.).
A debate is open on this among women, historical and non-historical feminists, young women and mothers of all political, cultural and social backgrounds. Law 54 wanted by the pseudo-left/equal rights and pas wanted by the right. But we can't talk about this either, we don't receive solidarity, we are censored by the system as well as by transfeminism, it's inconvenient where they want our bodies to be objects and our children to be postal parcels to be reset here and sorted on convenient brochures there.

In summary what it seems to me is what far from making a revolution that liberates and destroys the causes of violence and discrimination (starting from the age-old misogynistic violence) we are moving from the frying pan to the grill. From one exploitation to another. From one censorship to another. From one sentence to another. From one control structure to another. But in the end, if you look closely, the system is always the same. The patriarchal, commodifying and objectifying one.

We're throwing the baby out with the bathwater. I would like to argue and expose the many contradictions that transfeminism has in itself from my point of view. As long as possible. One for all: be for women's rights and against violence and feminicides except promoting sex work or rented wombs. New frontiers of the commodification of women and objectification of children. Erasure of history and the feminist path. Human. But also the new definition of eco-transfeminism. Which frankly is a bit like saying that I am for eco-transgenic agriculture. But on the other hand, reflection is seen as an enemy. And reasoning is taboo. And you become a violent criminal just because you believe that a developed nine-year-old girl is and remains a child or if you say that as a woman and mother you feel discriminated against and erased by a language and laws that empower the so-called "neutral masculine" .

This is authoritarianism nice and good. AND obscurantism in reverse. People are afraid to express themselves. Of saying. To ask questions and doubts. To ask and argue. Our children find themselves stuck on social media between a porno and a Tik Tok video. But I was told that there is no transfeminist propaganda. No, of course.

In the meantime, we mothers have our children taken away from us, we are killed, raped, sold, tortured, married as children, erased from books and from history and from medicine on a male basis; and no, I don't think that with transfeminism our rights are acquiring value. On the contrary. Starting from our word.

I honestly think that the transfeminism is the fruit of centuries of patriarchy and unbridled capitalism. A language and a system that I would define, in the words of Genevieve Vaughan, a further parasitic form of the original "maternal" system. With all that that implies. And that it is not serving the true interests of LGBT people.

Paola Pieri.

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