Wow, quite a HEATED response from Aum, which I'll get to in a second.
Monk, I do agree that no one is going to throw all of their dirty laundry out there on the first date, but the inherent objection to disclosure in the discussion I've had with trans is a fear of reprisal for BEING trans. That seems to indicate an awareness of a deal-breaker that they might expect a non-trans potential partner to have. To take the online-dating example, if a person has dwarfism, they would likely disclose that ahead of time rather than "surprise" their blind-date with that fact. Not because they have anything to be ashamed of, but because it would not be unexpected for their date to react negatively to the situation.
In the same way, being aware that being trans is not a popular trait in a sex partner for a non-trans person SEEMS to make disclosure a reasonable idea. It's objectively different from having liposuction, or a tummy tuck, and it's outside of the norm enough that culturally we haven't developed any etiquette around it. To put it another way, if you were to line-up 100 non-trans people in a room and were to ask them if they would like to know if their partner was trans before becoming intimate with them... how many would you reasonably guess would say yes? Unless the answer is in the 50% range, being trans is not the same as your average deal-breaker. It isn't worse mind you, but the onus for finding out doesn't belong on the ignorant party.
And Sonic - absolutely not I don't gloss over them - at least not in my conversations with trans folk. As I believe I said (too lazy to look back, and apologies if I didn't make this clear), but most of my discussion revolved around issues like 1 night stands, which have the potential to evolve into long-term relationships. I won't for a second say that their concerns for personal safety come secondary, but when the counter point is, "I don't see why I have to disclose ever, why should anyone care" - that seems to be a fairly inconsiderate position to take as well. Sex should be taken seriously, and being casual to the point of being inconsiderate of how a potential partner might react to discovering they have become intimate with someone they would have ordinarily never become intimate with... that seems wrong. I don't want to be unfair to trans people, but that doesn't mean there isn't a middle ground. Disclosure prior to intimacy (sex or foreplay) seems reasonable.
They can keep their privacy, but when you're going to bring someone into your bedroom, I think you have a responsibility not to do it under false pretenses. And yes, if someone thinks you are a cis man or woman, and you are not, that is a false pretense, and it is disingenuous to say otherwise. Maybe it's not important to some straight people, and maybe that can change when we start acknowledging that gender is a spectrum and not a binary concept, but we have to deal with today. I hold myself to this standard because honesty to me is a fundamental cornerstone for civilized society.
The KKK and Westboro Baptist Church ARE radicals... and many would argue that feminism is also a radical group because feminists seek to make fundamental changes to society."The term "radical" was applied to the groups because they sought to make fundamental (hence "radical") changes in institutions and remove from political life persons and institutions that threatened their values or economic interests."http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Radical_right
So yes.... I'm for "fucking" real.
Your post is the classic example of the "no-true scottsman" fallacy, and it also completely ignores most of my main points.
1) Public perception by NON-feminists OF so-called "straw feminists" is that your "straw feminists" ARE feminists. Public perception is that they represent YOU and YOUR views. Right or wrong, if that's what their perception is, it is important for feminists who are concerned with actually sending a message to realize that fact. Why? Because their perceptions is a part of your reputation, and if you care about your message, you care not only about delivering that message, but you also care about how that message is assimilated to the people you are communicating it to.
2) "People like me." I love this line... its a classic tell of someone who is so prejudiced against anyone outside of their group that they have already made many apriori assumptions about who that person is because that person is not a part of their group. "People like me" get excluded from conversations and their thoughts and opinions are marginalized - not because of the content of those ideas but because "people like me" bother question what you assert is fact.
3) "I can't count the number of times that the popular mainstream has portrayed feminists as men hating bitches. Let alone the fact that feminists are not just women."
I'm sure feminists have been portrayed as man hating bitches many times - the whole point of this thread I think was to point out WHY. As someone who partially identifies with atheism, I can relate a similar dissatisfaction with how atheists are portrayed by the mainstream media. However, because I identify as part of that group, I have to also take responsibility for MY part in how the group I belong to is perceived. When you identify as part of a group, you act as a representative for that group, whether you want to be or not. The MRA's seem to understand this, which is why in spite of all the negative press that feminists get, MRA's get noticeably less. Contrary to popular belief, negative press IS bad.
4) "Stop trying to make me fucking responsible for everything that other feminists do. It's not my problem. They are free humans who can do what they want. I don't control them and they don't control me. The only integrity I wish to maintain is that feminism isn't some secret society where we are all in agreement, and banded together under one common message. Feminists disagree all the time."
By all means, the feminist message is totally not your problem, even though you self-identify as a feminist. Why should how a group you claim membership to agree on anything (including core issues), or be unified in a common goal. Oh wait. You do care. You care whether or not people think feminism is a secret society - and so you care about the overall message. No one (including me) is saying that all feminists must agree 100% of the time. But, if you are a part of the club, and someone uses your club name to endorse ideas that you don't agree with and that you feel perverts the very nature of the club you belong to, you lose the right to complain about the media's portrayal of your group. After all, if there was an atheist out there saying that we should kill all muslim babies, in order to make sure the atheist message didn't become synonymous with baby-killing, atheists would have to speak out. This is not unreasonable, so I don't understand why you are so passionate about it if you don't care about the message or feminism.
5) My problem is when people take a radical feminist and say, "this is all of feminism". - I have to point this out here. I did not say that. I didn't even imply it. I'm sure if I did I would have gotten a ton of angry responses from everyone on this forum. What I said was, "I honestly think that radical feminism (as it is so often characterized) is needlessly divisive and hateful. I wonder though, are radical feminists merely more vocal and news worthy, or are they the majority? I certainly hope for the former, and wonder what feminists and equalists can do to marginalize that group should that be the case."
I specified radical feminism, and I asked a question about which group was in the majority, later agreeing that the majority is likely the non-radicals. Yet somehow, "people like me" evidently think that all feminists are radicals.