Is violence structural to transfeminism?

Paola Pieri, from the group MaternaMente, recounts the violence she suffered in Florence from trans activists
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Text by Paola Pieri, from the group MaternaMente.

La violenza è strutturale al transfemminismo?

Last Thursday, 23 March, I go in front of at the Careggi hospitalhere in Florence, where a small presidium was being held by "Nanoworld resistance"present Silvia Gueriniauthor of the book 'From the neutral body to the posthuman cyborg, critical reflections on gender ideology". Presidium convened there because it is where dozens of minors and others with 'gender dysphoria' are managed in the endocrinology department, treated with puberty blockers, hormones and other things provided for in the current medical protocol. A protocol that has also been discussed recently, in a number of television reports, including the most recent one by Nicola Porro, Quarta Repubblica, with knowledgeable and expert guests.

In a nutshell: I arrive at the presidium and am greeted by a girl holding some leaflets, which I obviously take and read. A moment later Silvia arrives, whom I had not yet met in person and therefore did not recognise. Immediately the girl's attitude changes. Deployment' mode. I am immediately cast/identified as 'the enemy'. In front of the hospital there were, in brief, four people, three men and a woman, with a banner saying 'no to the medicalisation of children and puberty blockers' who were trying to deliver a flyer. And about 20 people, who were contesting them.

So far, nothing serious. Too bad that the latter (the protesters) had obtained permission from the police headquarters for the garrison and leafleting, had snatched the leaflets from the hands of passers-by to whom they had been handed over and had stolen/stolen others to prevent them from being handed over. Too bad, with their banners, they concealed that of the former. Among other things, I wonder if there was a permit from the Questura di Firenze for them too, since we as women are asked to move from 'trans-feminist' places. Finally, it is a pity that myself, I was attacked in an absolutely violent manner, verbally, by one of them in particular. After an hour's watch we were talking, or trying to.

Suddenly, due to a misunderstanding, again and again I was in order called: fascist, pro-life, transphobic, violent, ugly shit and other epithets in a crescendo of aggression, certainly liable to be denounced. In short, they had neither listened nor understood anything about me. It was a pity that I had even asked for their contact details so that we could exchange material and thoughts outside the context of the square, but I was denied for a change. My attitude on the other hand, those who know me know, was peaceful to say the least. I spent two and a half hours talking and debating. First with the violent transwoman then with another kindly trans guy (FtoM).

Of course, this is the last time. The next attack, it will be denounced as it deserves. As a woman, I am also tired of being subjected to violence by those who set themselves up as champions of rights (and to go so far as to say this is a huge defeat for me, because denouncing a system that re-victimises women is risky as well as nonsensical).

But what was perhaps even more serious was the behaviour of the medical staff present. Some passing and non-passing nurses and/or doctors resented the mere fact that a colleague was named on the leaflet handed out (quotation from public source), while others took part in the aggression I was suffering, telling 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 going to lay hands on me. In essence, I was the violent one simply because that was how I was defined. Not because I had behaved violently. I was violently accused of not thinking like them. As if that 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 hospital management.

In those two and a half hours, I tried to answer and explain. To listen and understand.

I must say that it was painful. But also important. Looking into each other's eyes. Meet. And I think it is absolutely necessary and urgent, we need and must at least try to get out of the systemic narrative. It is a very dangerous mechanism this of descending from above and pre-packaging divisive ideas. On which to build deployments. Ideas but also practices that are often neither relevant to reality nor democratically discussed on a large scale. Which one wants to make into laws. Theories that are not scientific or at least not shared by much of the scientific world. Things go fast today. And mostly on a propaganda basis. Value and substance are lost. One simplifies and limits. Instead of being in complexity and reflection. Also political. But these are issues that affect us all, in our daily lives, on a practical, ethical, legislative, political, historical and social level.
Besides I say it quietly, I myself, up to a certain age, wanted to be a boy. I didn't want my breasts to grow. I know what you're talking about. And I thank my parents on this because they took me in without defining me. And without forcing me in any sense, letting me express myself until slowly I took my own path, which continues in a continuous defining and redefining myself... free and fruitful.

That is why I went to the presidium. Physically.

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

I went in short because I think we have to get out of this mechanism of ghettoisation and deployment. Wanted by a politics/market, which only has to control and sell pre-constituted products/thoughts that do not disturb the system too much and rather confirm and reinforce it. This is undemocratic and unconstitutional from my point of view. I went because I do not accept being defined, again and again, erasing me, as a woman and mother. An imposed language, decided at a desk, that erases and criminalises women and those who do not align themselves by taking sides, for a change (it is the same mechanism as the pas). This is extremely serious. A dangerous drifta complex issue that cannot be expected to be dealt with with a hatchet. In the skin of lgbtq boys and girls.

Finally, because I am tired of the polarisation where as women and mothers we are defined as fascist by the 'left' mainstream and nazi-feminist by the right-wing. Only to be erased and commodified by one and the other in various and different ways.

Moreover, we probably have different approaches and elaborations with Guerini herself, whom I met for the first time, although I generally share her criticism and reflexivity to the interventionist approach of puberty blockers for children. But this note, does not prevent me from sharing and contributing to the reflection that is everyone's and bringing solidarity in the face of violence, threats, censorship and at the same time, hear hear, being against the discrimination that lgbtq people still suffer in some areas.

Provided, however, that it does not become the other way round, namely that it is we women, for a change, who are discriminated against. I think of Anglo-Saxon countries where you risk death threats and dismissal if you don't fall in line. I think of the Spanish Trans Leywhere if we had been there for the presidium I would have been sued for transphobia without even being transphobicbecause it has become a crime, and the evidence is against the accused-or.

For a long time, I have been dealing, together with women and mothers in a national network, with the issue of misogynistic violence against mothers and children and the institutional violence that we suffer due to patriarchal laws that are heavily detrimental to our fundamental rights. Specifically, the law 54/2006 and practices described by the cassation as 'Nazi', linked to the pas (parental alienation syndrome, now called in many ways: malevolent, adhesive, hostile, exclusionary mother, etc.).
A debate is open on this among and of women, historical and non- historical feminists, young women and mothers from all political, cultural and social backgrounds. Law 54 wanted by the pseudo-sinisters/paritarists and pas wanted by the right-wingers. But we can't talk about this either, we receive no solidarity, we are censored by the system as by transfeminism, it is inconvenient there where they want our bodies to be objects and our children postal parcels to be reset here and ordered on convenient brochures there.

In summary what it seems to me is that Far from making a revolution that liberates and deconstructs the causes of violence and discrimination (starting with millenarian misogynistic violence) is going from the frying pan into the fire. From one exploitation to another. From one censure to another. From one condemnation to another. From one control structure to another. But in the end, on closer inspection, it is always one and the same system. The patriarchal, commodifying and objectifying one.

We are throwing the baby out with the bathwater. I would like to argue and expose the many contradictions that transfeminism has in it from my point of view. As long as it is possible. One for all: to be for women's rights and against violence and feminicide unless promoting sex work or womb renting. 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 I'm for eco-transgenic agriculture. But on the other hand, reflection is seen as an enemy. And reasoning a taboo. And you become a violent criminal just because you believe that a nine-year-old girl, developed, is and remains a child, or if you say that as a woman and mother you feel discriminated against and erased by language and laws that empower the so-called 'neutral male'.

This is authoritarianism beautiful and good. È obscurantism on the contrary. People are afraid to express themselves. To say. Of asking questions and doubts. Of asking and arguing. Our children find themselves bottled up on social media between porn and tik tok videos. But I was told that there is no transfeminist propaganda. No, of course.

In the meantime, we mothers have our children ripped away from us, we are murdered, raped, sold, tortured, married off as children, erased from books and history and male-based medicine; and no, I do not believe that with transfeminism our rights are gaining value. On the contrary. Starting with 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 call, in the words of Genevieve Vaughan, a further parasitic form of the original 'maternal' system. With all that that implies. And that he is not doing the real interests of lgbtq people.

Paola Pieri.

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