The trans woman student in NCKU’s female dormitory: The common point between the transgender rights movement and rape culture


(Originally posted on May 24, 2022)

The common point between the transgender rights movement and rape culture is: Women’s will and feelings are not important before male-to-female people’s need for validation and men’s “uncontrollable” sexual desire.

Days ago, the National Cheng Kung University (NCKU) was found to transfer a self-identified mtf student from a male dormitory to a female dormitory without gaining the female students’ informed consent. The transfer was asked by the mtf student. It has not been exposed instantly after the mtf student moved in because the floor is mainly used to quarantine female students. Once the quarantine period is over, every female student will go back to live at the other floors. Hence, the fact was not widely noticed till the mtf student revealed the fact while running for student representative.

According to the reporting, the NCKU carried out a survey on “gender-friendly (uni-sex) dormitories” at the beginning of this semester. 50% of female students cannot accept uni-sex dormitories on the condition that they have to share the same bathroom with a mtf student. When it comes to public bathrooms in uni-sex dormitories, 80% of female students say yes. After the mtf student in the female dormitory was exposed, some students criticized that “women’s spaces should not be sacrificed for gender friendliness” before students have a full discussion with the school.

Who decided to open the women’s space? NCKU student union: “The gender equality experts”

According to the student rights department of the NCKU student union, they clearly knew how the mtf student has been transferred to the female dormitory. They explained that the transferring “was fully evaluated by the experts of the gender equality committee”, “happened before the survey was given”, and “has nothing to do with the result of the survey”. They even claimed that the dormitory for graduates is rooms with independent bathrooms hence no single-sex space has been erased. Contrarily, the student rights department was almost telling that the school planned to transfer the mtf student without asking for any female corridor mates’ permission. Furthermore, if the dormitory for graduates is not single-sex, why would the mtf student ask for a transfer in the first place? The fact is that the dormitory for graduates is divided into two sections—it is composed of two single-sex buildings or one building of two single-sex floors. What the student rights department has tried to do is nothing more than terrible wordplay.

Pro trans or, be shamed

On the responses under news websites and comments on social networks, the words that transgender rights activists have used to shame female dissenters can be seen everywhere. Some said, “Rapists choose their victims.” Some claimed, “I am not buying that no female students help their boyfriends sneak into female dormitories.” The other mocked, “Penis=rape? Bet you are not a college student.” For these transgender rights activists, women’s will and feelings are not important. To them, women do not deserve to have a sense of security while using resting and living spaces. Also, they believed that women have no right to avoid biological men’s staring. However, women’s wish for single-sex spaces is a reasonable reaction to their reality that male predators should be blocked to protect their privacy and safety.

Women’s life experiences are gone in the transgender rights movement

Till now, the biggest problem in the narrative that foreign or Taiwanese transgender rights activists use for the issue of women’s spaces is: Women’s expression for sex segregation will be neglected for specific people’s convenience and emotional needs without any consideration of sex differences or protective measures of gender inequality. Rather, all the female dissenters will be gaslit by the accusation of patriarchal-legacy followers as well as uneducated bigots.

Nowadays, some women speak out loud to protect their right to single-sex spaces but face backlash from the people who speak for biological men. Those people have firmly insisted that biological men’s mood should be prioritized over women’s actual needs—in other words, women must stay with “masculine-looking” people in the same private space. What is more is that they even control the media, government, and justice system to stop women from speaking out.

The common point between the transgender rights movement and rape culture

The main point of rape culture is that a man’s feelings and benefits are more important than a women’s will and life experiences in a sexual assault. In the crime, a female victim’s personality and judgment are fiercely condemned by others. The “promising young man”, the 2016 rape incident that happened at Stanford University, is a typical example.

In the current transgender rights movement, most women’s worries about single-sex spaces are depreciated as “irrational and boundless fears” (according to the conference held by the lawyer of Taiwan’s biggest trans lobby, Taiwan Alliance to Promote Civil Partnership Rights (TAPCPR)); the opposition to trans women athletes’ participation in women’s sports is sophistically denounced by the words like “the purpose of sports is not about medals” and “unfairness has always been the issue of sports” (according to “Queerology”, the podcast of Taiwan’s famous critic of gender studies, Vivian Wu); lesbians’ sexual orientation is denied as “a transphobic preference” (according to the TAPCPR’s Facebook fan page post) or dissuaded from “having a narrow vision of dating” (according to “Basic Transgender Identity Terms”, the podcast program of the Taiwan Tongzhi Hotline Association (TTHA))

All these tactics utilized by transgender rights activists are exactly the same as the principles of rape culture: Women’s will and feelings are not important before male-to-female people’s need for validation and men’s “uncontrollable” sexual desire. For the women who refuse to stay silent, the transgender rights activists would smear their reputation with the accusations like “discrimination”, “TERF”, and “transphobe”. In that case, women have no choice but to keep their mouths shut due to their fears of becoming the target of public opinion.

See through the tactics of the transgender rights movement and seek substantive equality

The fact is that women can never be what they claim to be. Based upon their natural ability of fertility (or those who have an appearance like other fertile individuals), women gradually become a sex class regardless of their will. With mutual causes like culture, patrilineal inheritance, and population policy, female individuals are categorized into a group based on their female biology which attention and request follow after.

Understandably, male-to-female people may endure high pressure in men’s spaces for their dress style. However, this narrative has never been a good reason that women should be asked to ignore their dreadful feelings for masculine-looking people and be forced to share their spaces with men by the social system. It should be understood that women’s feelings are the same important as men’s. Under the current condition, it would be better for people who have different needs to see more gender-friendly (uni-sex) spaces be installed with existing single-sex spaces well maintained.

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