Trans Activist Riki Wilchins fires “opening shot” in “conflict” with 6 year olds who won’t pretend he is female
December 18, 2012
Transexual Menace [sic] founder Riki Anne Wilchins feels bullied by six year old classmates of his daughter, a few of whom have expressed doubt that he is actually female. Wilchins, a 60 year-old man and father, says that he “feels like” what he imagines females “feel like”, and accuses the children of bullying and transphobia in an Op-ed on LGBT news site The Advocate.
Can Wilchins force other people’s children to pretend that reproductive biology does not exist? What about other parents whose beliefs run in opposition to science- creationists for example. When six year old children claim that their toy dinosaurs are creatures that existed prior to the ice age, are those children expressing bigotry against Creationists?
The activist writes eloquently of the anger he felt when a six-year old child rolled their eyes at Wilchin’s fictional claim that he gestated and birthed his daughter, and he isn’t about to let that kid get away with failing to play along. In Wilchin’s view, other folk’s kids must pretend to agree that men like him are “female”, and he relates with dismay that his usual activist tactic: picketing the six year olds outside their elementary school for their “blatant display of transphobia” – may not be well received.
“In fact all the in-your-face tricks I learned to counter intolerance fail me now. What to do when you’re a Transsexual Menace faced with a pint-sized harasser who barely comes up to your navel?” Wichins posits. “What to do when gender bigotry is aimed as much at your little daughter as you? Menace-ing a 6-year-old just doesn’t seem right somehow.
Especially since he’s not really asking a question, as making a statement, to wit: I’ve heard you’re trying to pass yourself off as a girl and Dylan’s mom and I want to confirm it firsthand so I can tell you that you’re not really a girl or a mother.
These are questions I never had to address. It strikes me now that being a parent dramatically enlarges your zone of vulnerability, while at the same time shrinking your range of response. And to be frank, at the moment I just feel humiliated and vaguely ridiculous here on the playground.”
Wilchins, who is neither a girl, nor a female, nor a woman, nor a mother, isn’t going to let another parent’s child- “this little twerp” get away with reflecting the reality of his maleness back at him. Oh hell no. What sort of Transgender Menace would he be if he can’t bully a six year old into playing along with his sex-role fantasies?
Wilchins, who refers to his daughter as “my little RG” – RG standing for “real girl”- isn’t going to brush this one off. No sir he is not. He fires off the following complaint in what he is “quite sure” is the “opening shot in a what will be a much longer conflict” with the six year olds. He writes:
But not this time. Not this morning. As soon as I get home, I write the following and send it to the entire school diversity administration. I’m quite sure this is the opening shot in a what will be a much longer conflict. Perhaps I’m finally figuring out a way to be a trans activist parent after all: This morning the fourth or fifth child in one of Dylan’s classes in the last couple years has asked me if I was a really a boy or a girl. I think honest questions, even ones which may be awkward or personal, should always be welcomed from a child. But this is seldom asked to obtain information, or clarify a point about which a child – to be frank — might reasonably be expected to be confused.
Whatever the answer, I’m informed that I really do look like a boy, or that I can’t really be Dylan’s mom. Often this is right in front of Dyl. The “really” is instructive; the point is not information but to police gender lines and particularly to stigmatize gender difference. This usually leaves Dyl in a bad space, trying to decide whether to defend me as her mom or else let it go among kids she will, after all, have to coexist with in class every day.
In a couple cases, this scenario has played out in my absence directly with Dylan, with pretty much the same result. In a sense, it’s not too much different from asking the child of two moms or two dads which one is “really” their parent.
Although given my interaction with the schools I should know by now, I confess I’m still a bit unclear how much or how little of the DCPS current anti-bullying curriculum addresses issues of gender and at what age it does so.
In any case, gender constancy – the conception that gender is fixed and that bodies are rigidly defined between male and female – begins to take hold right around age 5 or 6. It is also around this time that harassment against kids who are gender non-conforming or even (more rarely) cross-gender, begins to take root in earnest. Based on my own experience, it might make sense to begin addressing gender intolerance in their diversity and anti-bullying lessons in greater depth at this age, since whatever they are currently getting, if any, is clearly not enough.
No DCPS parent should have to be repeatedly mocked in front of their own child — and certainly no DCPS child should have to stand by and watch their parent be ridiculed — simply because he or she is gender different and children have the idea that that this sort of prejudice, unlike those based on race, sexual orientation, or religion, is a socially acceptable basis for intolerance, teasing or ridicule.
GenderTrender will be following developments in Wilchins transactivist pediatric “conflict” with interest. As Wilchins is a founding member of “Camp Trans”, an encampment set up outside the Michigan Women’s Music Festival to harass women and lesbians for “discriminating against” men who claim to “feel like” lesbians inside, GenderTrender suggests Wilchins adopt a similar tact against the children. Perhaps set up an encampment in the parking lot of the elementary school. Set up some loudspeakers and show those kids what’s what. Demand those first-graders pretend that your personal feelings about yourself override objective reality. Don’t discount a possible lawsuit against the school district- or what about the parents of the kids? Aren’t they liable? Even better: Hunger Strike! Set up a cot next to the playground so those children can see what they are making you do!