Anonymous asked: is genderqueer an appropriation of trans identity and experience?
for genderqueer to be an appropriation of trans experience, genderqueer people would have to be cis. so, short answer: no.
there is a larger issue here, and trans women talk about it with each other, but many of us are hesitant to speak publicly because we get shit on for standing up for ourselves. for faab people, adopting he/his pronouns can be an act of subversive gender performance - which is not how i feel about being a woman. there are plenty of faab people who adopt clothing, haircuts, and pronouns in limited capacities in their lives and who adopt trans as a description of themselves.
for me, i share being trans with trans dudes. i share being a woman with cis women. but i usually do not feel a sense of shared experience with faab genderqueer people, with a few exceptions. i feel that i have much more in common with cis women.
i am not in a position to say who is trans and who isn’t, and i absolutely don’t want to be in that position. however, i will say that when many genderqueer people describe their experience as transgender, they seem to mean something fundamentally different by the word ‘trans’ and the word ‘gender’. i think its fine and good that there are a variety of trans experiences. this is positive. i respect genderqueer folks’ genders.
however, because we mean fundamentally different things by ‘trans’ and ‘gender’, our political and community goals & needs are often very different and sometimes opposed. i believe that trans activism must center trans women of color or else it is fucked up. if white genderqueer faab people use their positions of relative privilege to direct trans activism away from the interests of trans women of color, of trans folks of color in general, away from trans women, away from systemic violence, ect - then i think these folks are doing something fucked up by appropriating the hard experiences of trans women of color who primarily face the transphobic violence of our society. this attitude and redirection of trans activism, the re-centering onto people who are not trans women is the major conflict that i have with faab genderqueer folks. i think many trans women are frustrated by this and that frustration is sometimes voiced as calling out genderqueer folks for this appropriation.
there’s another thing going on here as well: the near-complete capture of the term “genderqueer” by female-assigned folks (largely white and expensively educated) to mean a specific, extremely limited range of their gender and style expressions.
when “genderqueer” was first being used (as far as i know) in the mid-1990s, it was a very broad umbrella term covering the whole space that we’d now refer to as “nonbinary”, as well as to some extent non-trans genderdeviant folks and trans folks who don’t have conventional gender expressions (butch trans women, fem trans men, etc - a zone we still don’t have good language for, except maybe by taking serano’s distinction between cissexual and cisgender more seriously).
"genderqueer" was very consciously created as a political project like "transgender" or "queer", aiming at bringing together a very mixed group of people, not on the basis of ‘shared identity’ but on the basis of an analysis of structural power. in this case, an analysis of the enforcement of binary gender, as something that specifically targets women and other folks who are seen as imperfect men, and that affects in specific ways folks who aren’t easily read into a conventional masculine man/feminine woman box.
and it’s worth saying: a lot of the folks doing that creating were trans women. just like with “transgender” and with “queer”.
but within ten years, the meaning of “genderqueer” had been narrowed down to where it usually is today: a very limited microidentity for female-assigned folks. if i remember right, rocco bulldagger has a nice account of that shift in an issue of Bleached Blonde Bimbos from years ago…
the effect, of course, was to marginalize male-assigned trans and genderdeviant folks, further valorize conventional masculinity within dyke communities, make it easier for folks in dyke communities to maintain a double standard for trans men and trans women (as ‘not *really* men’ and ‘not *really* women’), and to actively depoliticize the term.
( parenthetically: i’d argue that this is at heart just a particularly blatant version of a general problem with a shift in the 00s from an expansive, strategic identity[-with…] politics (rooted in women of color feminist/womanist work and in the GLF/STAR/ACT UP lineage) to a boundary-policing, purist identity[-as…] politics (rooted in cultural nationalist movements, niche-marketing & liberation marketing, and TERF lineages). )
alongside that, though, i think the elimination of “genderqueer” as a usable umbrella term has encouraged more male-assigned nonbinary trans and genderdeviant folks (nonbinary trans dykes, in particular) to identify ourselves more actively with trans women, and to insist that the category of ‘trans women’ be expansive enough to include us.
thank you for the historical perspective on this, i appreciate your words here. it frustrates me that the group which has cornered ‘genderqueer’ is also seeking to corner ‘trans’ through a similar political strategy.
i think the distinction you make between political alliance politics and personal identity politics is important and instructive. this is what i’m also trying to say: on a personal level, i do not share identity with most faab genderqueer people. on a political level, i often find myself in conflict with them as they claim authority over trans experiences that they so clearly lack any experience or knowledge about. and again, i am speaking primarily of the “very limited microidentity for female-assigned folks.”
Cissexism through Biological Determination: On why it’s not okay to assume trans women experienced male privilege -
This is a helpful explanation about why it is not okay to frame all trans women as automatically having male privilege, however, it appears from the notes that it’s resulted a lot of people doing just that - although with a bunch of caveats such as “passing as male” privilege.
I’ve got a lot I could say about analyzing the details of this very complicated scenario around misogyny, patriarchy and power, but let me address this from a different angle: Why does it matter? What do you hope to gain from placing trans women under a microscope for such detailed analysis? If one trans woman experienced a moment of encouragement a midst a childhood of harassment, bullying, and assault, how does it help us to highlight that moment and call it a privilege? More often than not, the reason people do this is to shut trans women up.
Accusations of male privilege are common in the middle of anti-trans harassment campaigns. It’s been regularly cited as a justification for exclusion, public outing of trans women, letter writing campaigns to get trans women fired, or even stalking and exposing private information. If there’s some hypothetical benefit from understanding trans women’s experiences of male privilege, it’s far outweighed by this cost.
Finally, the reality is that any woman (cis or trans) who is put under such scrutiny can be explained to have some micron of male privilege. When you extend your search for “passing as male” privilege, temporary privilege, conditional privilege, and any moment of encouragement that isn’t immediately explained by other causes, there’s a lot. Does the cis woman raised with 5 brothers have male socialization? Does the cis woman who only has male friends, loves sports and is considered “just one of the guys” have male privilege? Does the tomboy who’s occasionally mistaken for male by strangers have male privilege? Does the cis woman CEO who “leans in,” wears pant suits and adopts the mannerisms of her male counterparts have male privilege?
Sometimes we have those conversations, but when we’re talking about cis women it is never framed as an issue of male privilege. That’s because it’s insulting to do so. If people started picking apart Hillary Clinton’s “male privilege,” there would be outrage. The only reason it’s considered acceptable to do so with trans women is because it’s considered acceptable to be insulting and speak down to trans women.
[[[ from my art blog - ellieheart.tumblr.com]]]
TW: Cissexism, being a young trans girl, body dysphoria
[accessibility: it is dark, probably in a cave. there are two girls, one much younger than other, sitting side by side. the older one, in a green dress, is hiding in fear. weak and hurt…
friendly reminder of the week: the reason so many trans women have so few friends isn’t because we are all arsonists who just can’t wait to burn a bridge as soon as we see one, it is because we are almost all treated like utter shit by most people
Jesus fucking christ are these people for real.
Yes, Cathy Brennan is very much real.
Also very much a social conservative and very much using anti gay resources to further her genocidal goals.
Oh, you mean like siding with the anti-gay “religious freedom” crowd?
Or actively taking sides against the Southern Poverty Law Center with anti-gay religious groups?
Or pretty much being the supportive mouthpiece for an anti-gay group that endorses gay conversion therapy in a nationwide witch hunt for a teenage trans girl in which TERFs and their supportive religious right allies harrassed her to the point of being on suicide watch:
(Source: mathbookair, via mad-lynn)
Pro tip: if people question your sexual identity, question their existence. Ask them to provide birth certificates, signed witness statements, or a passport until you will acknowledge their presence. How can you know they exist just because they tell you they do?
Anonymous asked: did you know that statistically only white women are pornstars/sex workers by choice
Yes, I did. I also know that statistically, the definition of choice employed by white scholars ignores intersectional factors that alter the degree of agency fundamentally available to women of color trans women, gay men, and men of color.
Did you know that statistically white women are engaged in the highest profit, most popular forms of porn?
Were you aware that the majority of porn produced in the United States is done by married couples in their own bedrooms?
Did you know that the average amount of revenue generated by trans porn is over a billion dollars each year?
Did you know that most of those trans girls get paid 500 bucks per film and have to cover their own travel expenses?
Just checking your knowledge since you are checking mine.
And yes, I expect a response.
How to spot an ignorant, prejudiced, incompetent, immoral, unethical person who hates trans people, aka transphobes. First off, if you think anyone who says any of the things numbered below is “cool”, understand that as a direct result of their saying these things and promoting these falsehoods, that they are not cool. What they are is
People who are trading on your need for belonging at any cost, and especially looking for those who have a low self esteem and are in crisis and thereby swayed readily by peer groups. They will rely on your need for validation and affirmation to draw you into their web of lies and deceit.You can spot them easily. They use arguments employing one or more of the following lies, in the form of “they might be a dick ”
1: If they think that cis has something to do with liking your body
2: If they think that cis has something to do with the clothes you wear or makeup
3: if they think that being trans has something to do with liking your body.
4: if they think that beings trans has something to do with the clothes you wear or make up
5: If they think that cis is a slur
6: If they think that gender is not composed of three to five distinct elements
7: If they think that being trans is a mental illness
8: If they think that being cis is a bad thing.
9: If they think that cis privilege has anything to do with someones’s sex or gender
10: If they think that biology says that trans women are male.
11: If they think that the points above are limited just to trans women, since we are talking about trans folk. Note that these are exemplars based on actual ideas held by people who hate trans people, and so the assertions are equally valid for all trans folk along the spectrum.
12: If they make an argument against trans women that features the idea of “male socialization”, yet never note the way this argument relies on racism because they don’t understand how it does so.
13: If they think calling a trans woman a man or male is not violence. Bonus: they are not only ignorant, they are also violent.
14: If they ever say ” it’s not like i ever go out of my way to message anyone ever and trigger them intentionally”, and pretend like their stuff doesn’t show up in tags or is reblogged or is said in public on tumblr since tumblr is a platform designed intentionally to make things visible to other people.
15: If they think that “gender abolition” is not a dog whistle for genocide of trans people.
16: If they think that bodily autonomy is great for women, but bad for for trans women by arguing that trans women have no place in the pro-choice movement.
17: If they are against sex work and never speak about how trans women of color are driven into it by the same forces that drive cis women of color into it and at the same ages.
18: If they think that trans women cannot be lesbians or that trans men cannot be gay men.
19: If they think that despite holding any of the items in this list they are an ally of the trans community.
20: If they argue that trans women represent a danger to cis women.
21: If they disagree with the term Cis.
22: If they think that Transness is a mental illness named gender dysphoria
23: If they argue that gender is a social construct but argue that sex is not a social construct.
24: If they argue against unisex restrooms because of risks associated with trans women.
25: If they argue for female only space instead of cis only space (these are two different things)
26: If they say they don’t hate trans people but use arguments that rely on seeing trans women as men, not only are they ignorant, they are also violent and hypocritical.
27: If they think that the treatment for trans children isn’t based on decades of research and study by experts in pediatric care.
28: if they think that Transness has always been a mental illness .
29: If they they think that trans women are just homophobic gay men.
30: If they say that trans women are not women because womanhood is not a feeling or identity
Any single one of those things is proof that the person involved has no idea what they are talking about and is actively engaged in worrying about the risks of, feeling disgusted or sickened by trans people or things around transness, fears being around trans people, or harbors an intense dislike of trans people.
All of which are forms of transphobia, an irrational mindset that affects their ability to accurately and honestly deal with the larger world around them.
People saying these 30 things are ignorant of trans lives, and so think that what they are saying has some sort of value critically. Since none of them are true, there is no critical value in the statements, since they are essentially making shit up as they go.
This is brought to you by:
Feel free to reblog very, very widely, as well as use in responding to attacks on you.(via tonidorsay)
non-Jewish people going on today about “reclaiming” Anne Frank as a “bi icon” or w/e make me really uncomfortable, because it has this ring of “all this time I thought she was just some Jewish kid, but now it turns out she’s one of us!!!!” like if you didn’t find Anne Frank’s story moving until you realized she shared some marker with you then maybe you should reconsider your whole approach to this whole “empathy” thing.
The following facts are supported by every major health organization in the US, as well as the world health organization, based on multidisciplinary scientific efforts over the last 60 years.
They are not points of debate. They are facts. If one starts from a position other than these points, you are starting from a position and place that has no factual basis.
Trans women are women. Trans men are men. The rest proceeds from there.
Biology does not determine what a person’s social sex is.
Gender is a complex system of inter-related parts that vary according to culture and social influence and is not a fixed system.
Gender Dysphoria is not a mental illness.
It is a core violation of human rights to deny trans people necessary medical care, regardless of their age. Agitating against that medical treatment is engaging in a willfully, intentional act of violence and trying to deny human rights to other people.
The degree of harassment and violence perpetrated against trans people is physically damaging to trans people, even when it seems as innocuous as misgendering. This is violence and harm, which is fundamentally an abridgment of human rights.
According to the SPLC, the actions and speech of Cathy Brennan constitute hate speech. Therefore, repeating the same lies she does makes that person also spreading hate speech. According to the World Health Organization, that classifies them as acts of violence.
Again, these are facts. Disagreeing with facts is a past time many people engage in, however it is still and always really fucking stupid.
Ignorance is not an excuse. It is not my responsibility to educate you on why these are facts, and should I choose to do so, even insultingly, then I am engaging in an act of kindness and service.
Critical Trans Theory is founded on fact. Critical Trans theory is not feminism. It is critical theory that examines the Structure of Cisness and Ciscentrism, and posits the central idea of critical theory, which underlies all radical efforts: that the lens through which such social constructs are created is not an informed one, and so the central tenets need to be re-examined.
Building on these facts and critical theory, it can be established that lesbian separatist radical feminists are engaging in an act of social genocide and advocating against the human rights of trans people from a basis that is founded in anxiety, aversion, and animus, with intense dislike being the central tenet.
Intense dislike of a class of persons is literal hate against human beings for what they are.
This has been a PSA for those people who say things like trans women are males. Note that as a matter of fact, saying such is an act of violence done against another person.
That said, if one finds the foundational arguments of human rights, and the notion that individual liberty is a dangerous and destructive concept (especially by action), then your arguments need to start there, but still adhere to facts.
It is not a fact that males have a penis. It is not a fact that women give birth. It is a fact that most males have such, and it is a fact that most women do so. The semantic difference between most men and men is tremendous, and an act of intellectual dishonesty to forget such.
Dishonesty is the fundamental tool of those who scapegoat trans women for the actions of cis het men. The argument, itself, is visibly dishonesty creating a false equivalency and doing so based on a fundamentally violent action of presuming trans women to be men.
Trans people are not cis people. You cannot apply cis standards to them without first examining those standards for inherent bias and prejudice.
When you complain about how crazy this author is, remember that this author is an award winning, nationally recognized expert on the topic.
Meaning that the problem isn’t her.
It’s you. — AED (via tonidorsay)
Social Sex is the more accurate term for the concept that most people just call Gender.
There is a reason to use it beyond accuracy, however: people readily and easily conflate sex and gender, and this is especially true when dealing with people who are ciscentric and hostile towards transcentric thought and ideas. By using the term social sex (which takes a few more letters and a space bar hit), it is possible to push the discourse into the proper view, and it also highlights the nature of the division between gender and sex in a way that laymen can grasp, as well as reducing the ambiguity of terminology that using the term gender brings.
Social Sex is not a singular thing. It is a mélange of elements and pieces and parts and it is deeply embedded into the culture it is part of. Social Sex varies from culture to culture, and there are no universal aspects of Social Sex.
Social Sex is tied not merely to language, but also to deep aspects that govern the way relationships are allowed to form in a culture — stuff from friendships to marriage, Social Sex affects it all. A phrase often used by many is that Family is the building block of society. It’s true, too. The building block of Family is kinship — marriage and the ties that create family; relationships developed between people and governed by social rules of interaction.
The building blocks of the rules that govern those relationships are grounded in a culture’s Social Sex. It lies at a part so deep in a culture that a change to it truly does change the culture itself in a markedly dramatic way.
That depth is why sexism is so hard to root out and so pervasive on our thoughts, and why language is tied into the concept, and it even affects the very *idea* of sexual orientation at a level that no one really saw when Kinsey was doing his report.
Most people experience Social Sex as a singularity because it can be difficult to see it otherwise unless you are, in some way, different in your way of dealing with Social Sex than is readily apparent in your culture.
Social Sex is always social. It is always a matter of how other people see you. This is because Social Sex is what you have when you do not see the flesh – sex is two naked bodies on a table, Social Sex is everything else. Social Sex is not about male or female, it is about man or woman, boy or girl.
These three factors all work together, depending on each other and enforcing each other, and its a very strong, very basic level of understanding. Our Social Sex Identity informs our ability to see the difference between what clothing is ours and which clothing goes to the opposite sex. Our Social Sex Expression informs which clothing we choose and how we show the world we are fertile or a good potential partner. Our Social Sex Role is reliant on the other two for our choices in cultural occupation and involvement according to the rules of our particular society.
Those rules can vary. What is masculine in one culture can be feminine in another. Those rules are often unspoken, but we learn them from the time we are born and begin to understand the world around us until we die — as just as a culture evolves and changes, so do the roles and the manners of expression.
Hence the idea that Social Sex is “not real” — it is an intangible thing that cannot be touched, cannot be seen. It’s like emotions — they are there, and now that we know the words for them, we can label them and identify them and describe them to others, but there’s nothing there — they are aether. Yet it is very real, and very much a presence in one’s every day life. You are using Social Sex every single time you talk about being a man or a woman or male or female or boy or girl— you cannot avoid using Social Sex when saying that, and each time you do so, you support and further the cultural process. It is, then, a recursive power structure.
Judith Butler called it performative, using a particular word that strikes people often as strange, but it has nothing to do with performing — there is no putting on a act, and that is not what the word meant when she used it. As anyone with a decent grounding in the social sciences will tell you, the terminology we use has to be specific, and it has to have a very specific meaning. Butler approached things from a basis of speech acts. What she means when she says performative is not an act of performance, like a person on a stage. She is referring to a Performative utterance (or performative) which are defined in the speech acts theory (part of the philosophy of language) as sentences which are not only passively describing a given reality, but they are changing the social reality they are describing. Now, if that’s a little hard for you to wrap your head around, that’s ok – just be aware and note that it has nothing to do with performing in the sense of an act of performance like a person on a stage, it has more to do with how what we say shapes the way it is perceived. One rather simple and weak example of this is the difference between “like a woman” and “am a woman”. They have two very different meanings, but people often colloquially interpret them the same without realizing the differences because of the metacontext that surrounds them (or people “get what you mean”).
All of these concepts are well known, thoroughly understood, and tested both in real world formats and in logical exercises. They are as much a theory as gravity or light are such. Each of them is a distinct part, and when speaking of Social Sex, it is important to remember that you cannot confuse or conflate them or you will inevitably reify Social Sex as a system within a culture.
One of the things people often do not realize is that Social Sex is not limited to a pair, to a binary. Nor is sex. In both cases, cultures have had many different Social Sexes — and many today can have as many as 9 different Social Sexes and 6 different sexes. In order to avoid racism and/or ethnocentrism, it is important to recognize that when one states a particular number of Social Sexes and/or sexes, you have to be clear about the cultural basis in which you are making that assertion. Otherwise, you may be presuming that western ideals of what are men and women are more valid or more real than other ideals — usually without any evidence and despite western science pointing out that there are more sexes and Social Sexes than just two consistently for well over 15 years now — in no small part because of greater understanding within these areas of things like ethnocentrism and the testing that has revealed such flaws.
Social Sex is based on assumptions and presumptions made about a person’s physical sex, and governs the ways in which a person’s socially determined physical sex is dealt with in society at large.
Social Sex Awareness
Then we have Social Sex Awareness, which is about how we inherently expect others to see us in relation to the roles and expression we have. It is more accurately referred to as your social sex self-awareness, and is a part of the idea that tells you that you exist — the ability you have to recognize that you exist as a physical being, to recognize yourself in a mirror, and so forth. It is different from Sex Identity in that it deals mostly in how we see ourselves as being seen by others, and this is why many people often think of trans people as being all about Social Sex roles (they aren’t, but when you try to explain a part of your self-awareness to others, it often tends to rely on such things). While there are studies that have to do with where this is located in the brain, the simple fact of the matter is that it is a function of mind, and it is inherent in all people. It can be tested, revealed, and those tests and revelations can be reliably duplicated and have been for well over 50 years. We also know that it is not a function of how one is raised or acculturated, again through decades of testing within the scientific method, including controls (some of them horrific).
Social Sex Roles
Social Sex Roles are what we call Femininity and Masculinity. They deal in how we expect persons of a particular sex to behave or act within our culture. The three billion ways to be a man, and the three billion ways to be a woman, and all the stuff related to sexism lies here. Social sex roles are a set of social and behavioral norms that are structurally designated as appropriate for either a man or a woman in a social or interpersonal relationship based on their social sex.
Social Sex Expressions
Social Sex Expression is how people present themselves to the wider world, not always in line with their Social Sex role. It has to do with primarily “superficial” stuff — dress and body decoration — that affect things like attraction and courtship. Expressions are the tools by which we convey to others, who cannot see our physical anatomy, that we fit into this particular box for a given physical sex.
Social Sex Behaviors
Social Sex Behaviors are all the little things that social sex influences that are outside the realm of the usual and the commonplace – the indirect effects, so to speak. Inheritance is part of this, kinship is part of this, lineage is part of this, even names are part of this. These behaviors are basic elements, often focused around interpersonal relationships and the interplay between Social Sex Roles and Social Sex Expressions. Male privilege is an excellent example of a Social Sex Behavior.
Internal Sex Awareness
This is the simple concept of knowing that you are male or female or both or none or some combination or variant therein. It is part of you knowing that you exist. This is what most people mean when they talk about “gender identity” – I am a woman or I am a man kind of stuff. It is your self-knowledge of yourself. It differs from social sex awareness by being how you think about you, as opposed to how other people are meant to think about you. It is how we see ourselves in terms of male or female. It is our personal understanding of that concept, void of any external influence. It is not something taught to us — people have had accidents that strip their bodies of any way to sex them, and they still know, even if that stripping happened at a point too soon for them have a knowledge of it. It is not founded in the flesh we can see, it is part of the sense of ourselves that we know.
For many trans people – in particular, the binary sorts – their internal sex awareness and social sex awareness are matched – that is, they are in sync with each other. For many others, however, these are are not in sync. —
For when people try to say what gender is, remind them that science shows it is many different things.(via tonidorsay)
…academic institutions don’t respond effectively to chronic and invisible disabilities. Folks in my department discouraged me from registering with the university’s disability-services program. They said outright that they couldn’t imagine what kinds of accommodations would actually be useful for me; they implied that registering could potentially stigmatize me. — On Depression, and the Toll Academia Exacts (via disabilityhistory)
"we’re all human!"
yeah except you never had to fight for your humanity
"we all bleed red!"
yeah except it’s not your blood running in the streets
"we should all be just nice to each other!"
yeah except you’re not holding up your end of the bargain