That first part is from lady of shalot, my fav poem. Hope you’re happy anon! :)
That first part is from lady of shalot, my fav poem. Hope you’re happy anon! :)
We were talking about assuming how big people’s peeps are (penis) and I was like well look at me people wouldn’t assume I have a big peep.
And it took me a second… People don’t assume I have a peep at all
Transgender is an adjective. For instance, I am a white (adj.) transgender (adj.) smart (adj.) woman (noun).
Transgendered would be a verb, because of the suffix -ed. Except you can not make an adjective into a verb. Adjectives are adjectives and verbs are verbs. Two separate things.
Transgender is a word. Transgendered is not.
You would not say someone is blacked. But you could say they blacked out. The difference is, blacked in that sentence is a verb meaning fainted or passed out.
You would not say someone is transgendered. And nobody has or can transgendered, because it’s not something that happens. Transition would be the correct word. Transition from the gender society thought someone was, to the gender they really are. They transitioned. They did not transgendered, they are not transgendered, and we need to stop saying transgendered.
Can we please reblog this or at least remember this and educate people? The only reason this isn’t already known is because nobody cares enough to educate people about transgender people, because we should just do everyone a favor and not exist.
I’m starting to doubt whether the “trans women have experienced/haven’t experienced male privilege” question (which is only ever used to bully trans women, whether by non-trans-women or by their collaborators) can be engaged with on any useful grounds, quite honestly.
This isn’t giving up. This is saying that we need to challenge that the question is being asked in the first place. Because it feels to me that this question is predicated on a fundamentally liberal, individualist logic (this struck me when I was contemplating the irony of someone defending her accusation by accusing everyone claiming otherwise of being liberal individualists and not seeing how her own side was founded on the same liberal individualist assumptions she saw her targets)
I’m thinking about this particularly in the context of the confession dynamic described by Andrea Smith in The Problem with “Privilege”. This confession dynamic is inherently upholding of the structures of power even while granting a form of social capital to the oppressed, which she examines in depth for whiteness and specifically settlement in the post. If you haven’t read it already, go read it. If you’ve only read the quote that people were passing around describing the confession dynamic, or the other one criticizing the concept of safe space, go read it.
Interpreted in terms of this confession dynamic, what the statement that trans women have experienced male privilege (or the more extreme version that trans women have “residual” male privilege) amounts to is a demand for trans women to participate in this confession dynamic as men.
This is a very different dynamic than people who are actually members of oppressor classes confessing (or even of white trans women confessing white privilege. I know b8l has written about how transmisogyny intensifies the harm that dynamic does to TWoC).
Making confession a requirement for trans women obviously benefits non-trans-women; it allows cis women and trans men and sometimes even cis men to situate themselves as judges, as the hearer of the confession. It prevents acknowledgement of transmisogyny, upholding the benefits that accrue from that and maintaining the comfort that comes with not acknowledging it. It allows trans men to deflect any mention of the benefits they receive from patriarchy. It gives anyone whatever thrill they get out of bullying trans women (a thrill too many people love, and violence everyone else turns a blind eye to).
Conversely, this focus on trans women’s (sometimes imagined) past hurts trans women, for a lot of the same reasons. When it doesn’t silence any talk about trans women’s (or any individual trans woman’s) present situation, and about parts of trans women’s pasts that don’t fit the narrative it’s trying to push, it requires that a trans woman speak about that from a position where she’s/they’re being judged by whomever she is speaking to and where her/their issues are less urgent than they actually are. More banally, it demands necessary, often limited, energy be given to this confession as a continual drain.
Even the way it allows collaborator trans women to situate themselves as hearers of the confession the way cis women and trans men often are, and as the “good trans woman” who checks her “male privilege” is harmful to trans women as a whole for these reasons.
Cis men aren’t targeted in the same way as trans women, aren’t bullied into confession processes, because they are actual oppressors, for three reasons. First, as Smith makes clear, oppressed people do not actually benefit from hearing these confessions. Second, because it is phenomenally hard to bully someone who holds actual oppressive power over you, and feminist social-justice-oriented spaces often go out of their way to try to hold on to male “allies”; trans women are targeted precisely because we are vulnerable, precisely because we need feminism. Third, because confession offers men the benefit of being seen as redeemed, as good men, as feminist men, as men who have grown (without, necessarily, having to undergo any actual growth or change of habits, as Smith describes), which is not offered to trans women.
Outside of the framework of “privilege”, things can be said more clearly. Anyone trying to tell trans women that their quality of life while closeted was improved because they lived in a patriarchy (a patriarchy which actively tried to destroy them and remake them in its image), for instance, is making a sick and violent joke.
In the end, the accusation of having male privilege made against trans women only functions in the context of a liberal, individualist, white-supremacy-reproducing, heteropatriarchy-reproducing, capitalism-reproducing confession dynamic, and within that dynamic serves as a form of bullying. Arguing that trans women don’t hold male privilege, engaging with that statement on its own level, also functions in that dynamic and implicitly agrees to most of the terms the bully sets.
Thank you, this is very well written. :)
One thing that grinds my gears about TERF social constructionism, is that they think everybody (except for themselves of course, since they’re sooo ~enlightened~) is some docile socialization magnet, and that socialization will have the exact same effect on everybody, and that their inherent differences and tendency to accept or reject that socialization, having no effect at all. Which is fuckin’ BULLSHIT. Somebody who strongly rejects male socialization (ie. a closeted trans woman) will be treated MUCH differently than someone who accepts it. That’s like gender 101 right there.
This confession dynamic that you speak of, I believe, is a result of entitlement from cis people to define our experiences for us, while silencing us. TERFs go on endlessly about entitlement, despite displaying that trait themselves. They believe they have the authority to define what every trans women goes through, as if they have trans woman’s whole life on tape or some shit like that. They make ridiculous and outlandish claims like trans women transition only because they like to prance around in dresses and that trans women believe that womanhood is about dresses and nothing else, and they expect us to “confess” for things that are based off their version of our lived experiences that they constructed for us. That, is pure entitlement. Especially how you mentioned they only do this to trans women, and not cis men, because of the power differential, is very spot on and really shows just how entitled they are.
For Halloween I’m going as a transtrender. I think it’s only fair to dress up as non-existant things.
I’m working on an essay regarding my specific definition of privilege, why I feel it’s important to be strict in our definitions of privilege, and “privilege decoys” - things that we refer to as privileges that aren’t really privileges. In that essay I go into a lot of detail about this kind of stuff, including “passing privilege”.
But as a very very very short answer: cis privilege is real, “passing privilege” isn’t, as the latter is simply a CONDITIONAL access to the former, that can (and will) be revoked the second the “passing” ceases to occur.
"Passability" is not an actual TRAIT any given individual possesses. It’s a matter of how people see us, which can shift ENORMOUSLY from context to context or person to person, and a given trans person has very little control over that. One of the reasons "passing" is such a vile term is that it implies it’s somehow in our power to control it, rather than it being a VERY complex, incomprehensible, and mercurial matter of how someone ELSE is reading our gender. Many of the things we do that make us feel "more passable" are just magical thinking, and most "passing advice" is absolutely bunk, having nothing to do with the reality of how and why people read us the way they do. It’s not an uncommon trans experience for someone to be stunned and disbelieving upon disclosure on the same day that someone else claims it was "obvious". And personally, during my "boy mode" early transition I’d have days where I’d get consistently read as female, and days where I’d get consistently read as male, where all I did was change from a v-neck t-shirt to a crew-neck t-shirt.
Even someone who IS consistently read as cis… all the privilege being offered to them WILL be revoked as soon as they soon as they find themselves in a position where they need to disclose… say, a doctor’s office, or disclosing to someone they’re flirting with. This will often be met with statements about how it was “obvious” afterwards.
But EVEN IF “passing” were some kind of consistent quality or trait of a person, it’s still not that “Passable Trans People” are privileged and “Unpassable Trans People” are not. It’s FUCKING CIS PEOPLE who are privileged, and all that’s happenings is a tiny, conditional fragment of cis privilege being accidentally offered to a trans person. The privilege/oppression dynamic at play is Cis Vs. Trans, not One Kind Of Trans Vs. Another Kind Of Trans.
These distinctions are VERY important. If we misunderstand the nature of privilege such that we start treating our siblings in oppression as though they’re the oppressors, and accuse them of being the bearers of privilege that ALL of us are denied, it only serves to pit oppressed against oppressed, when we should REALLY be focusing our attention on our mutual OPPRESSOR.
How we use the term “privilege” is extremely important. And way too often I see it misused to describe simple differences in oppression, or contextually-dependent advantages. THAT’S how our oppressors win… by distracting us from where the power actually lies, and what systems are unequally distributing it.
This is incredibly accurate
People are willing to admit that people have mental illnesses stemming from chemical imbalances and differences in the brain. People are willing to accept that people are born with physical disabilities. People are willing to accept even, that people are born with ambiguous genitals, that do not lend readily to male or female.
But if you say that you’re trans, you’re lying to look at girls in the bathroom or because you’re just secretly a lesbian.
Yeah, that makes sense.
Alright lovelies, listen up and settle down, time for some myth busting!
Often I hear people make the blanket statement “I’m just not attracted to trans women.”, usually a sh*tstorm ensues. Trans women feel devalued again, cis people feel like they’re being forced into liking something they dislike, bad feels all around. I’d like to try to help shed some light on this, and please remember that I’m not trying to make you feel like you’re a bad person. You’re probably not, but oppression is not caused by a few hyper-evil superbads, but rather from a lack of introspection by the average person.
Now, the following problematic things often surface in this discussion:
1. People assuming that a trans woman is gonna have a penis. This is a false assumption, there’s this thing called SRS/GRS which has progressed to a state where even a gynecologist can’t tell the difference.
2. People saying they are not attracted to trans women, when they very well unknowingly might be because there is no 100% fool-proof way to tell apart trans and cis women. When a woman suddenly becomes unattractive to you solely because of informing you of her trans status, you are repulsed by the culturally-indoctrinated idea of trans women in your mind, not by the actual woman in front of you. She didn’t change, you did. She’s still as attractive as before.
Now hold the rotten tomatoes: If the person doesn’t have the parts you want, fair beans. Same way you might not want to date someone because you find them too tall, or too short, or you don’t like the way they smell, whatever. Personally I’m not too fussy about the package someone comes in, though I do have a slight preference for deodorant users.
But when some say for example “I am not attracted to trans women”, they make a blanket statement based on the assumption that they can tell them apart before attraction occurs, guess what: you can’t. Then usually the “I don’t like penis" argument comes along, but guess what: not all trans women have one. Then follows the argument about how magical cis vaginas are and what an abomination trans women’s vaginas are, nearly always from a person who doesn’t have proper knowledge or experience with them. Then a last-ditch attempt of "but I wanna have my own children" is thrown into the mix, but that is hardly trans specific as there’s plenty of infertile cis women, and some trans women get their genetic material frozen before they transition. All of this is just an ego trying to wriggle itself out of admitting that just maybe, it’s culture has taught it to be repulsed by trans women.
Truth is, society tells you to hate us, that we are fake, that we are icky, that any attraction to us is at best a shameful fetish to be kept behind closed doors. We like to think our preferences are beyond scrutiny, but our preferences are heavily influenced by the culture we grow up in, be aware. Self aware.
(Newsflash: asking people to be introspective about their preferences is not the same as forcing people into sex they don’t want. The first is an attempt to get past stigma and stereotypes. The latter is rape. Bit of a difference, no?)
Because I can’t stress this enough.
If people want to separate bathrooms by chromosomes or birth sex, well here you go.
I’m always curious as to when walking outside topless became illegal for me.
Shout out to every trans person who transitions or can’t transition or is trying to transition even though they have husbands or wives and/or kids I can’t even imagine how much extra shit that entails. You all are amazing and so strong, even when you don’t think so.