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Let’s talk about institutional trans-misogyny.

Notes: I use trans-feminine to refer to trans women and non-binary camab trans folx I use trans-masculine to refer to trans men and non-binary cafab folx. They aren’t perfect terms, but they’re what I’ve got to work with.

Time to Kick the Hornet’s Nest

Oh HAI there. It’s been a while since I wrote an explicitly political post. Since some people seem to think that trans-misogyny is just trans women being upset about fucked up queer space dynamics (that some folx don’t even believe exist) I thought I’d go on and tell you a little of how trans-misogyny fucks over trans-feminine folx in favour of trans-masculine folx.

for decades, all the big women’s colleges accepted trans masculine folx, but not trans-feminine ones. Most still have exclusionary practices. And some of the few that actually accept trans-women have policies in place to make it extremely hard for trans women to be accepted. One of the least horrible about it has wording requiring trans women to present full time and be accepted as women in their daily lives. Yes, they will be judging us by our femininity, and while they accept non-binary cafab folx without reservations, they don’t allow non-binary camab folx. These schools employed Janice Raymond.

If access to education isn’t bad enough, let’s talk about Planned Parenthood and access to lifesaving healthcare. Many Planned parenthoods all across the southeast US will prescribe testosterone but not anti-androgens and estrogen for trans feminine folx.

Now let’s talk about crisis centers and women’s shelters that allow trans-masculine folx while trans feminine folx sleep on the street. Yeah. Trans women have died in the fucking cold because of this.

I’m not saying trans masculine folx shouldn’t get services. I’m saying trans-misogyny specifically is real on an institutional level and costs lives.

So don’t anyone ever come to me saying I’m whining about dating circles and queer cliquishness when I talk about trans misogyny and the ways in which trans masculine folx are privileged over trans women and CAMAB trans folx.

A response to Transgenderism and the Delicacy of Sexual Identities

Link

“I am a strong proponent of the idea that the T should be knocked off the LGBT acronym mainly because inclusion of the T promotes the idea among cis/straight lay peeps that sexual orientation and sexual identity are related.”

Lay people don’t think that because of an acronym. They think that because the psychological community used to say that trans women were really just super gay men, or had a paraphilia sexualizing themselves as women in order to explain lesbian trans women. It’s institutional, not because of an acronym. To the bigots, we’re all just queers anyway, so we might as well stick together. Especially since the origins of the gay rights movement were riots started mainly by qtpoc and trans women. Even if it has been subverted by the most privileged amongst us since then.

“I also feel that within the LGB community … wait no. The LG community …there is very little wiggle room when it comes to sexuality.”

We live in a cissexist and transmisogynist society. Why should that not affect them, just because they are queer? That’s a continuing battle that we have to fight all the time.

“Maintaining the “born this way” lifetime rigidity of a gay or lesbian sexuality is extremely important for lesbian and gay individuals to combat prejudice and bigotry. Drawing a parallel between the “innate” sexuality of a straight person and their own “innate” sexualities is also an important point of negotiation and education when it comes to having conversations with more closed-minded straight people.”

Born this way is a flawed argument anyway and should be discarded. It isn’t useful, and it doesn’t convince anyone. It isn’t an important point of negotiation. It’s lazy activism and useless sloganeering. It appeals to the naturalistic fallacy instead of arguing based on the merits of the fact that it isn’t actually wrong to be queer and that if someone thinks it is, then they have to show what harm it causes to non-queer people.

“As I happen upon more and more casual conversations where I hear lesbian and gay individuals deny the fluidity of sexuality, I see that in many ways the sexualities of bisexual and transgender people can be extremely challenging and even threatening to the lesbian and gay rights movement. If a bisexual can “change” from liking women to liking men, then can a gay person be changed? Can a lesbian? Are re-education camps onto something?”

As a bisexual/pansexual woman, I don’t change from liking women to men, I like them both. I might be fluid as to how attracted I am to differently gendered traits on any given day, but that isn’t any different from saying I would prefer scotch to beer or wine tonight, but that doesn’t mean that I don’t like them all. And queers don’t need to be reeducated because we aren’t doing anything wrong. The born this way argument is the argument of “please don’t hurt us, we can’t help it. We’re bad but we didn’t choose to be bad.”

“I understand the fear that people with more fluid sexualities will undermine the gay rights movement. I really do.”
Why? If the gay rights movement is that fragile, it needs to be destroyed and rebuilt.

“But I think it would behoove anyone to open their mind to the possible fluidity of their own sexuality.”

Why is this in contradiction to gay rights? It should be an argument for them. Yes, you too, Mx. heterosexual, might one day be attracted to someone who it isn’t “proper” to be attracted to.

“. Transgender MEN who might still identify as lesbian:
i once witnessed a lesbian tear into a trans*man for “kind of” still being a lesbian and for dating homosexual women. I know in my useful terms area i define lesbian as “a woman, trans or not, who is attracted to other women.” A trans* man, by definition, is not a woman. So is it okay for trans* men to date self-identified lesbians or bisexual women? To seek partners in lesbian spaces? Does this make him less trans?

In my opinion, that is the prerogative of the man in question. If he is okay with his girlfriend liking his vagina and identifying predominantly as lesbian while acknowledging room to be attracted to transmen as masculine entities, then that is his business. in many ways it is easier to find women who will want to have sex with you among communities where women are guaranteed to like vagina.”

Yeah, if someone sees herself as a lesbian and dates trans men, she doesn’t see her partner fully as a man. If a trans man is willing to put up with that cissexism, that is his prerogative, and doesn’t make him less trans. And non-monosexuals of any gender would be willing to date men and women, and some will date non-binary people as well. How is that in any way a contradiction. Oh, and plenty of lesbians date just women, trans and not, and don’t give a fuck what’s in your pants.

“maybe if cisgender lesbian and gay people would make that distinction between homo/hetero and straight/queer, those lesbians that feel comfortable dating transMEN MEN MEN as MEN not as WOMEN might feel more free to define themselves as homosexual women who have straight inclinations without being ostracized by other lesbians.”

This is taking that bullshit cissexist differentiation of sex and gender, which are both social constructs, and defending it instead of rejecting it, playing into the cissexist, heterosexist, transmisogynist tropes instead of working to destroy them and make society better. My body is not male. My sex is not male. I do not have male genitals. I am a woman. I have a penis (though I don’t usually call it that) but my arousal doesn’t work like a man’s. My body has changed through hormones, and my sexual responses are completely different from when I had testosterone running through my veins. My nipples and back are more responsive than my genitals. My orgasms are totally different. I have higher estrogen levels than cis women, and lower testosterone levels. I have tits. I have typical female fat distribution. My skin has changed. My scent has even changed. So exactly what percent of me is male again? How is my cis girlfriend who exclusively likes women, both trans and cis, in any way bisexual? Why are you calling me male? I’m a woman. My body is a woman’s body. My girlfriend is attracted to women. She isn’t bi. And implicit in your categorization of sexuality is the idea that trans people even want to use their genitals.

That being said, I do take issue with most sexuality identity labels. They are useful inasmuch as they help organize around issues of privilege and marginalization, less so in describing who you are actually attracted too. I have very specific likes and dislikes. The pool of people I’d consider dating is smaller than most people’s. But because I will date and fuck people of many different genders I’m considered pansexual, and most people think that this means I will have a larger amount of people I’m attracted to.

“My partner still identifies as straight, which does bother me sometimes – because in my head straight men date women, and i am not a woman. If there were room for cisgender people to, again, make that distinction, perhaps he would feel less like his sexuality was being undermined by my transition.”

The problem here is a misogynist, heterosexist, cissexist society, not that his sexuality is being undermined. Get rid of the toxic bullshit in society, and the issue goes away, instead of catering to the society to appease them. What you are willing to deal with in regards to your partner is no one’s business but your own, but please stop asking us to cater to the bigoted majority.

“4. Hormones change things. i’ve actually known a lot of people whose sexual identity changed during HRT. Most of the time it is transmen who were attracted EXCLUSIVELY to women pre-T and who, after starting HRT, have slept with/formed relationships with cis men.”

Yeah, sexuality can be very fluid. I know trans women who used to be bi who are now exclusively attracted to men. I also know trans women who used to consider themselves exclusively androphillic, who are now pansexual.

“While the mainstream “LGBT” rights movement is inundated with “accept yourself” messages that are absolutely valuable and important and necessary for young cisgender queer people, this does not ring true for transgender people.”

I disagree. We have to do a shitton to accept ourselves as trans in this cissexist transmisogynist society. We can’t just go along with society and hate ourselves for being transgender.

“When I came out to my family my father, a very non-normative man and a lifelong example to me of the many faces of masculinity, wrote me a letter about how great girls are and how i should accept myself for being female even if I’m not a “typical girl.” My dad, who I have seen cry more than my mom, who i an emotional man, who loves the ballet and hockey and has to lie to his coworkers about seeing the football game when he was really crying at King Lear with my mom, is able to accept himself as a man because he is cis.”

Ummmm, the reason you can’t accept yourself as a girl is because you aren’t one. If you tried to be a girl, that would be the opposite of accepting yourself. Stop playing into cissexist narratives.

“Just because our personal identies and journies involve more conscious decision and active change does not make our identies less legitimate.”

Quoted for Truth

“This is getting long so I’m going to crop it here. I am totally fine with cis- LGB people having their own rights movement,”

I’m not. I want all my movements to be intersectional. And a lot of trans people are LG and B.

“but they do not speak for transgender people. They barely understand us.”

Which is why they should listen to us, and let us speak for ourselves within their movements, instead of ignoring us.

“And for that reason, in the interest of respecting the cis- LGB experience,”

Stop catering to the cis majority.

“We can still advocate for our queer, yet cis-, allies while advocating for ourselves and making a sharp distinction between our needs and theirs.”

Which is why we need inclusive movements instead of to split off.

I’ve lost the night.

I miss the night. I’ve lost all access to night spaces. The first time was temporary. When I ended my friendship with one of my abusers, he threatened me with a metal pole. After that, I didn’t think I was safe going outside at night while I still lived near him. Then I moved.

But when I moved, I started living as the woman that I am full time. I’ve experienced a fuckton of harassment, transphobia, and trans-misogyny. The other night I was propositioned while walking alone with a plate of food in my hands.

The night no longer belongs to me. It belongs to them. The ones with the power to harm me or not as they so choose. I used to wander and take long walks at night. I no longer can. I’ve lost the night.

Bullshit—> “transphobic feminists are a tiny minority of feminism”

So, I’ve been hearing this lately, “Transphobic feminists are a tiny minority of feminism,” mostly from liberal cis feminists. Bullshit. And if you’re cis and you say this, Fuck you that isn’t for you to decide.

  1. When 10000 cis women are attending Michigan womyn’s fest, don’t tell me that transphobic feminists are a tiny minority. [source]
  2. Most cis people are transphobic, why should we expect the subset of Feminists to be any different. Just because most of them don’t make it their main talking point, doesn’t mean that they aren’t transphobic.
  3. I will accept that only a tiny minority are actively making it their business to attack trans women, but I do not accept that only a tiny minority are transphobic.

 

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Why intersectionality is necessary.

Because this isn’t an academic exercise.

Because this isn’t a game.

Because these issues affect real people, and if you don’t know how different oppressions interact, you can’t help.

Take feminism for example, if you’re a feminist, you want to make life better for women and others who are marginalized for gender, how can you do that if you don’t understand the way that race, class, sexuality, cis/trans status, ability/disability, and other axes of oppression modify the experience of gender based oppression?

Easy intersectionality fails to be aware of

Ok, let’s talk.

If you’re going to say x marginalized group is oppressing  y marginalized group, you are being prejudiced towards x marginalized group.

Example: if you say, “Black culture is homophobic.” You are being racist. The entire culture that we live in is heterosexist. Why would you single out black people other than racial prejudice?

However if you are a member of marginalized group a, and you say that your community needs to deal with it’s problems oppressing marginalized group b, then you are not being prejudiced towards group a. You are trying to fix problems within your community.

Example: If I say, as a trans woman, “we need to deal with the racism in the trans community.” I am not saying that all trans women are perpetuating racism, I am saying that we’ve got problems that need fixing. If someone who isn’t a trans woman says, “trans women are racist.” they are being transmisogynistic. The entire culture is racist. Why are they singling out trans women other than prejudice?

I may expand on these ideas later, but that’s all for now.

Influences

So, I wanted to make this explicit. Any time I talk about social justice issues, I’m relying on the work of thousands of people who came before me. Hundreds that I’ve read recently. None of my work in that area is completely original. I put my spin on it, or talk about my personal experiences with it, but when it comes right down to it, if it wasn’t for others I wouldn’t be able to articulate it. So with that in mind, I will soon be making an influences page. I don’t have the  time/energy right now, and I’ll probably forget more than one person, but yeah, it needs to be done. And please don’t take that page as recommendations. I strongly disagree with some of the people I’ve been influenced by.

 

clarification: all my art/poetry/recipes are my own

She

She’s not a prize to be won
She’s not a goal to be achieved
She’s not an object for your desire
Nor a treasure in need of your protection

She’s a Person
With thoughts and dreams of her own
She’s a Woman
With her own needs and desires
She’s a Lady.

And She DEMANDS  your respect.

feminism, we need to talk.

Ok feminism, we need to talk. You’re hurting me, and you’re hurting my friends. I was willing to deal with that, while I thought that you were still doing good in the world. But I just found out what mainstream U. S. Feminism is about.

ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME???

Not bodily autonomy.

Not making life better for women.

It’s an argument about whether a woman should focus more on family life or career. This is downright obscene in a country where most women don’t have that choice.

When feminism is only serving the needs of upper class white cis heterosexual women, I want no part of it.

When feminism is actively hurting trans folks, I want no part of it.

When feminism hurts sex workers, I want no part of it.

When feminism ignores people of color, I want no part of it.

When feminism ignores the reality of class, and the way that affects people, I want no part of it.

When feminism upholds the same capitalist structures that keeps people unequal, I want no part of it.

When feminism upholds the kyriarchy, I want no part of it.

 

I don’t know how much longer I can keep using the term feminism to describe my views  when all it does is hurt people, and ignores the lived reality of women.

Institutionalized Oppositional Sexism at the workplace

I won’t be able to get my ears pierced any time soon. My job has a policy that “males” can’t wear earrings. Yup.

For some reason, it is perfectly fine for women to wear earrings but not anyone else. And I sure can’t claim to be a women there. And you have to keep your earrings in when they are first pierced or the wounds will close up.

In other words. Fuck this oppressive system, and fuck my job.