Those who position themselves against anti-trans bigotry will often refer to the violence and discrimination toward trans-women as misogyny. It makes sense: trans-women are women, and the label we have assigned to describe the violence and discrimination perpetuated against women is misogyny. The science is sound. This hypothesis that hate against trans-woman is equivalent to traditional misogyny thus fits snugly into the already established movement of female solidarity striking against longstanding and predictable brutality, cis-women boldly holding hands with trans-women.

Except the language used against trans-women by anti-trans bigots does not align in the slightest with typical misogynistic tropes. According to misogyny, women are meek and dainty, hyper-emotional, catty, prone to irrationality, unfit for laborious or technical vocations, and naturally submissive. No one seems to be telling trans-women to get back in the kitchen, is what I’m saying. If an ideology looks nothing like misogyny, is it really appropriate to be using that term? Now, I’m not so opposed to the evolution of language that I would literally die if society adopts a new lens with which to view the tropes of misogyny, but I don’t think that’s what’s happening here. For one, misogyny in the usages that I’ve provided is still alive and well in its application toward cis-women. And two, the language used to demonize trans-women is almost always centred on their sexual predation, a trope typically used to vilify men. While this may puzzle some, given that trans-women are women, it may help us to remember that those who hold anti-trans ideas tend to see trans-women as the gender they were assigned at birth; namely, as men.

I mean, maybe I’m wrong, but to me this doesn’t look like someone portraying a trans-woman as a woman

Consider Schrodinger’s Rapist, the proposition that any unknown man approaching a woman walking down the street both is and is not a rapist until he proves himself otherwise. This has been debunked as common racism when applied to black men, but if we remove the racial modifier to leave him only as a non-descript male, the assertion still applies a prejudicial view against a particular group of people. This same fear is being applied to trans-women. Let’s look at the clarifying example provided by my link from earlier in this paragraph:

In this Russian roulette scenario, you, Reader Who Would Never Rape Anyone, are an empty bullet chamber. But not all of the chambers are empty, and on a given turn, the people playing the game have no idea whether the chamber that’s lined up to fire is you or one with a bullet in it. Until the gun is fired, Schrodinger’s Bullet. This is analogous to the type of situation Schrodinger’s Rapist is describing.

You see, men, or in this case trans-women, are like a gun. While most men and trans-women may be empty chambers, to play Russian Roulette would be pointlessly deadly. This is why we need to ban trans-women from “women only” spaces: because any penis is a murderous weapon, and appropriate caution must be used whenever a cock is in play. We’re simply being prudent because men aren’t human beings, they are instruments of death! This is the position put forward by someone advocating why Schrodinger’s Rapist isn’t misandrist, keep in mind. Perhaps there will be the argument that trans-women, being women, are excluded from the generalization, forgetting that again, anti-trans bigots don’t see it that way. In fact, this amplifies the misandry because these “biological men” are seeking access to feminine spaces; their desire sustains the predatory conviction and “proves” the generalization: that men will stoop to any level in order to get their rape on, even if it means “pretending” to be a woman.

They’re onto us!!

While this radical feminism may be trans-exclusionary, it still utilizes the same fear-based prejudices. In fact, to be critical of women protecting the sacred spaces of other women from the murder penis is actually the real anti-feminist misogyny, equivalent to that of Andrew Tate, according to an opinion piece in the mainstream newspaper, The Guardian. This air of progressivism gives a woke legitimacy to what would otherwise be a simple policing of gender roles, allowing an unholy alliances between progressive feminists on the left and the religious right.

Bigotry against trans-women also plays into the misandry from the right that clutches its pearls in fear of the deviancy of male sexuality which, as discussed, is already in dubious repute. In this instance, it’s less about the predation of masculine heterosexuality, and more the dirty licentiousness of the queers. When a man strays from his role assigned by God or whatever, sin begins to unfold. This safeguarding of the proper way to be a man is strict: from not being able to wear a dress despite the commonplace nature of women in pants, to needing to tan your balls in order to have the appropriate amount of testosterone lest your masculinity slip. This policing of masculinity is an easy accomplice to the policing of men, and trans-women bear the brunt of both, their deviancy on full display.

In their defense, that is macho as fuck.

So, is it purely misandry that drives anti-trans bigotry? Of course not. Bigotry exists against trans people regardless of their assigned gender at birth, and for some, misandry barely enters into it. It is worth noting that morality is essentially driven by certain types of emotions, so anger drives our desire for justice, indignation our need for fairness, and so on. In this instance, disgust creates our moral desire for purity. Given this motivation, a lot of anti-trans bigotry comes from people just thinking that being transgender is gross, and the bigoted stories of misandry and gender policing are post-hoc justifications to provide some kind of rationale as to why those feelings of disgust ought to be taken seriously on a societal scale.

Anti-trans bigotry does not need misandry, but you have to wonder why you never hear stories about trans-men invading the men’s room, or trans-men in sports. The social unimportance of female sexuality and the pushback of mainstream feminism against overt policing of women’s gender roles creates a seeming apathy toward trans-men in this desert of coverage, yet somehow hating trans-women generates clicks – and it’s not being driven by misogyny! I do not believe that anti-trans bigotry would disappear if misandry was eliminated from our social discourse, but I do believe the bigots would have one fewer excuse if cis-men were allowed to wear a summer frock on a warm, breezy day without judgement or consequence, of if their heterosexual desire for women was not pathologized as intrinsically violent.