Submitted by ThreadBot at August 24, 2018 at 5:00 AM in lobby
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I honestly don't feel like you personally disrespect or don't value me. You've always been at the very least polite around the forum and I don't really expect that much else from somebody but a basic level of dignity. You don't come off like you're fetishizing me, but sometimes I get frustrated when cis people take their experiences as the norm and assume they're essential to all people, even cis people from other places.
I've made some really awful mistakes growing up. Everyone does. I've hurt people I cared about, I've done stupid things that impacted myself and others and burdened them. That's part of growing up for anybody. The points I really wanted to get across are just that when we say things like 'male socialization' or 'female socialization', we miss the interconnected web of bizzare and insensible and occasionally traumatizing elements that make up an adult in the modern western world, and that trying to force people to be anything leads to a lot of pain for a lot of people.
Where you did things in adulthood like not speaking up for my folk when we needed the protection, I did things in childhood like kicking down at other femmes because it was the only way I'd get respect from anyone I wasn't playing nursemaid to. I learned quickly that my body and my ability at keeping them from eating eachother alive was the only real value I had to them, and jealously guarded that position. I'm not expecting an apology from you for making those mistakes before, because as far as I can tell from talking to you on here, you're working on them and trying to change from them. I'm still young enough to be trying to change from my childhood and have respect for myself and other femmes.
It's not wrong to call trans folk on that when we're still shedding that trauma, the problem comes in the argument TERFs make that we're stained with an original sin of 'maleness', that learned savagery is innate and not a part of an intensely broken and wounding binary that they zealously uphold to maintain their superiority over anyone who doesn't resemble them, including cis women of color or bi women or lesbians who are actually attracted to other women and don't just see them as political pawns.
I really value your input and your counsel on things, and I hope you don't feel like I'm angry at you or I don't like you. Grief's a really hard beast to wrestle with, and I hope you find closure with it someday, even if it's not soon. I trust you to get better and I hope you trust me to get better too. We're all stronger together than alone.
I absolutely do not think that you are angry at me. I greatly appreciate the time and emotional energy you invested in me and hope that you never regret it.
This has been so healing for me, even when it has been exhausting. I have also shed literal tears and found myself thinking of you at 3 AM, fondly and protectively as well as with regrets that I did not pad a few corners that would have been easy enough to pad and wishes that I had listened more and talked less.
All we can do is go on from here. I wish you well. You deserve better than you are likely to get and I can't fix that, all I can do is try to be a decent person and stand up for you and your people in the future even if all that means is:
"Well, we're just going to have to agree to disagree then. I guess I'm not a real feminist, but as I was saying...."
"Since I will never agree with the board about this particular issue, I would appreciate any recommendations for a different Feminism discussion board that is better suited to my own unique needs."