As the title suggests, everything on this blog concerns violence against trans women.
The Trans Women's Anti-Violence Project is a trans feminist project addressing issues of systematic, institutional and interpersonal violence and oppression experienced by trans women (those who were coercively assigned male at birth and identify or are identified as women/female) across multiple identities (e.g., race, class, dis/ability, citizen-status, nationality, sexuality, age, HIV status, and form, status, or age of transition, etc.)
Ida Hammer is a writer and social justice communicator. She organizes the Trans Women's Anti-Violence Project. She presents workshops and trainings on cis privilege and being a trans ally. She's also involved in organizing against sexualized violence. She's a proud dyke-identified trans woman and an organizer of the New York City Dyke March.
‘I had this darkly amusing link dropped into my IM chat box by a friend. Natalie Reed decided to turn the tables on the nonsense transgender folks get lumped with, imagining if cisgender people were treated the same way:’
- Stop calling me “trans”. I’m not “trans”, I’m just NORMAL.
- Oh, you’re cis? Nice to meet you! So, what’s your vagina like?
- Wow! You look great! I never would have gussed you were cis!
- But are you SURE you want to remain male? How do you know for sure this is right for you?
- But “cis” people might regret not transitioning! We need strict criteria for diagnosing cisgenderism to prevent that
- People with mental health disorders might think they’re cis when they’re really not. We can’t trust their choices
- It’s not my fault I’m not attracted to cis ppl. I just find your bodies icky. It’s just my sexual orientation!
- No, but what’s your REAL name? You know, the one you actually chose.
- Wait, so you think you’re a womon-born-womon? Isn’t that just equating sex with gender and buying into the patriarchy?
- Look son, I understand you identify as your birth sex, but why can’t you just transition to being a butch lesbian?
- Isn’t it a bit selfish to go around claiming you’re really your birth sex and expect us all to just go along with it?
- You may think you’re a woman because you’re XX, but I think of you as male, and you need to respect my beliefs.
- But if we let cis men use the men’s room, what’s to stop one of them from raping your children!?!?
- Son, you say that you’re a boy, but I think you’re a bit too young to be making that decision.
- Honey, I know you think you want to remain male, but are you sure this isn’t just a mid-life crisis?
- WOW! You’re so SHORT! Wish I was SHORT! Why do you want me to stop mentioning it? It’s a GOOD thing to be that SHORT!
- You must be SO BRAVE to go through menstruation every month. It must be so hard. I really admire your courage!!!
- You have gonads? And grow gametes inside your genitals? I’m sorry, but that’s just gross and unnatural.
- BREAKING NEWS: WOMAN GETS PREGNANT!!! “What’s this world coming to?”
- …Oh, it was just a CIS woman who got a pregnant. Not a real woman. Pssh. That’s not news.
By flipping the script we can see the “hidden” cissexism in common, taken for granted beliefs about trans people.
I run into this a lot. So let’s break down why it’s problematic, shall we?
There are a lot of cis people who really are sympathetic to trans women. It hits them at their core. They see the damage society does to us and their empathy kicks in, they really do care. They may not get it at all, but…
If you are a cis person you benefit from institutionalized cissexism and cis privilege. This means that you can’t be neutral—that is, “noncissexist.” But you can work to be anti-cissexist if you take an active role in challenging and dismantling cissexism. Or as Monica Maldonado says:
So, a cis person who is not actively removing someone else’s boot, actively doing their best to dismantle the system of cis privilege, actively doing their best to NOT receive all of the rewards (the ones that aren’t a natural given) given out with cis privilege are in fact complicit in these actions. By NOT actively assisting in these things a cis person is condoning them, and necessarily contributing to them because they gain from them.
I’ve been active in the sex positive and sex worker rights communities for a decade now. Spaces like this one are where I found my voice and began to stake my claim as a sex positive feminist. But things have changed a lot for me in the past several years, and I no longer consider myself a sex positive feminist.
To be clear, it’s not that I think there’s no need for feminist or sex positive ideals. However, I believe that there is quite a large gap between these ideals and the way they have played out in the world. Intent is not enough - it is vital that we examine impact.
For example, I know that sex positive feminists value inclusivity. And yet, this panel that we’re sitting on is, to my knowledge, made up entirely of white, cisgender women and men with advanced degrees.
It is not enough to say that all are welcome and all voices are respected. The reality of this community does not reflect that intent, and we must examine how we each contribute to that.
I no longer consider myself a sex positive feminist largely because people in my life, my collaborators and friends, have told me about the ways sex positive feminism doesn’t service - or worse - actively harms and excludes them. And though i have spent plenty of breath derailing conversations and being in denial about that while arguing the value of sex positive feminism, I think ultimately it is important to listen to the critiques of people who do not benefit from the sex positive feminist framework.
Now, of course, dropping a label isn’t the same thing as shifting ones worldview, and I still have plenty of work to do to make sure that I do not contribute to and uphold oppressive but well-meaning frameworks. I have fucked up plenty, and it pains me to admit that I probably have plenty of future fucking up to do. But to me it is vital that I find ways to question a sex positive feminism that is cis supremacist, white, and able bodied, with class and educational privilege. these are all privileges I have benefited from, which initially made them hard to see. But now I consider it my mission to challenge this framework and see how we can do better.
So let me share a bit about my current state of the sexual union and some things that represent the realities I’m working within and the people im working alongside. These days I am much less concerned about the pursuit of pleasure and more focused on the pursuit of rights, and promoting and protecting health and safety through awareness raising, advocacy, and policy change.
In my hometown of NYC at my org RedUP, I work to amplify the voices of people in the sex industry. This work includes media and advocacy training, a monthly storytelling event, a podcast, and support and collaboration with individuals in the sex trade who wish to tell their personal stories. For the last year, I’ve been working with a woman named ceyenne, who is writing a memoir/cookbook that we hope, with the help of a kick starter campaign we’ll launch in April, will be published this summer. Ceyenne is a black woman of transgender experience who scribbled down her recipes on scraps of paper while she was in solitary in a mens prison on a prostitution conviction. Her story, her resilience, and her sense of humor are just amazing, and her perspective is woefully underrepresented.
On the advocacy front, RedUP has been working in collaboration with harm reduction and health service groups in new York state to get our legislature to pass a bill that would make it illegal for condoms to be used as evidence of prostitution. This bill has been reintroduced annually over the past eight years, and hopefully we are getting close to getting it passed. It has stagnated largely because we need to energize people in the sex worker community to participate in our democracy, which unfortunately can mean outing ourselves. In April RedUP is doing advocacy trainings for sex workers and allies who havent previously had the chance and encouragement to speak to their elected officials. then we and our trainees will be getting on a bus -actually two buses, since so many people have showed interest in going- to Albany to lobby our elected reps, which is a pretty historic thing. Even if the bill doesn’t pass this year, this work is setting the precedent for bills that may be introduced in other states, as this is a widespread problem, and a human rights violation that defies logic and runs counter to public health initiatives.
And last but not least, to offer an international perspective. over the last four years I’ve been working with iwhc for sexual and reproductive rights and health of cisgender women in the global south. This week i returned home from two weeks in the central west african country of Cameroon, where I was providing support to our partner Swaac. Since 2003 they’ve been distributing FCs to rural women in Cameroon with great success. In particular, the women in rural areas insert FCs to protect themselves against pregnancy and STis when, not if, they get raped in the course of their days. Their conversations around this issue often don’t even use the word rape, instead they talk about being “messed with”.
In all of these situations, sex positive feminism does not quite resonate. This is not to say that pleasure and sex positivity should be an after thought, or that it is a final frontier reserved for people of privilege. However, to live up to the ideals of sex positivity, we must face the challenges of staring down ugly things and figuring out ways to support people whose experiences of sexuality run the gamut.
This is Part Twenty of Ms. Blog’s “Women’s History Month series celebrating organizations and ideas that represent the future of [cis] feminism.” I believe the linked article is a failure in terms of its representation of trans feminism. The cis author, Aviva Dove-Viebahn, uncritically links to some of the most hateful transmisogynist websites to support her expressed skepticism about trans feminism and what she calls “its potentially controversial nature” and “conundrums.”
It would require a post for each of the three issues listed in the article to unravel all the cissexist assumptions woven into Dove-Viebahn’s overview of what she calls the central issues and “conundrums” concerning trans feminism. As the post itself doesn’t actually analyze cissexism, and in fact casts doubt on the existence of cissexism and its basic concepts (like cis privilege), the list can’t even begin to tell us what issues are central to trans feminism.
While the Trans Women’s Anti-Violence Project is linked in the post (the only link written by a trans woman), Dove-Viebahn provides no real engagement with the systematic, institutional and interpersonal issues of violence and oppression that trans women experience. So how can we even begin to address how trans women’s issues converge/diverge from the issues of violence and oppression as they are experienced by cis women?
You can’t just start with a ciscentric conception of sexist oppression as it is institutionalized at birth and socially constructed through lived experience or even how we conceptualize equality and then just expect to plug trans women into that existing framework and see how well they fit. And if and when they don’t fit into the preconceived notions of sexism as it relates to cis women then dismiss trans women as not experiencing sexist violence and oppression.
The real conundrum, as I see it, is with how a cissexist (and racist/heterosexist/classist/ableist/etc) understanding of feminism continues to frame all women’s oppression as a single, universally experienced issue. As if all women are universally identical and interchangeable cogs who are all equally affected by the machinery of patriarchy in exactly the same way. This simply isn’t true. Different forms of oppression intersect and interact, altering and changing how different subgroup of women are made the targets of violence and oppression. What’s the future of feminism if feminism continues to marginalizes and dismiss the vast majority of women because they don’t fit the mainstream affluent, White, cis standards of the cult of true women’s oppression?
Transgendered [sic] Women & Sex Work - a video connecting feminist prostitution abolition positions, trans-hate, oppression and discrimination, trans-hate in radical feminism, and transwomen [sic] doing sex work.
All of you do it.
Not one of you, even the people I am following (minus the trans folk, obviously) have avoided messing up on this. It is subtle, it is small and every time you do it you hammer the nails into our feet a little deeper.
Every time you equate penis with sexism, erasing those women and nonbinaries with penises.
Every time you equate childbirth with motherhood and women, erasing those men and nonbinaries who give birth
Every time you evoke vaginal wording to describe sisterhood or womanhood, whether it’s “cunt power”, “sisterhood of the clit” whatever, you stab every woman who has no vagina, no cunt, no clit, no vulva, no uterus, no nothing of that sort in the back and toss us out of the sisterhood that we have as much right to as you.
Every time you wonder if society got rid of social gender, would trans people stop existing, you walk on our faces.
Every time you say transwoman and transman, as though we’re not really women or men but a merged concept, you erase our genders.
Every time you sum up gender as a binary, or even just a spectrum between poles, you erase every single person with a gender that doesn’t fit that zone (and there are many)
Every time you say women and trans women or women, men and transgender, you tell us that our genders are not valid, not as real as yours.
Every time you do these things, you don’t see it. You’re feminists. You’re anarchists. You’re vegans. You’re anti racists and anti Islamophobia advocates. You’re advocates of birthing rights and socialists, anti capitalists, multiculturalists. You’re disability advocates and womanists. Fat positive, anti body policing, anti rape, social activists and writers. You’re friends and family, lovers and colleagues.
And you all do it. Every cis person I know.
Every. Last. One.
You don’t see it. But we do. We feel the knife go in. We watch the painful hypocrisy of people who make it their career, their life’s work to fight privilege and make people see through its fog, to fight white supremacy, or sexism or ableism or fatphobia or millions of other horrific systems of supremacy and dominance and control exerted against people, exercising their cissupremacy, the boot firmly planted on our necks and they don’t even see it.
But we feel it.
Next time you talk about childbirth, remember not everyone who gives birth is a mother. Next time you talk about how many women are raped, remember that a significant group of those women, of us, don’t have vaginas. Next time you talk about sisterhood, try to remember that you have nonbinary siblings and brothers with the organs you use to label your sisterhood and sisters who lack them. Try to remember that penis is not the enemy because women have them too. Try to remember that theorizing about gender isn’t very helpful when you don’t know shit about the people who experience it most directly, most vividly, most painfully.
Try to remember to look past your cis privilege and maybe take that damn boot off our necks once in a while instead of looking into the distance and ignoring the choking.
Because I’d like to be able to breathe.
Just a bit.
Like, even from people that are fucking awesome about everything else.
It never seems to cross peoples minds to be inclusive towards trans women.
It never seems to cross peoples minds to acknowledge trans women.
It never seems to cross peoples minds that without inclusive and acknowledging statements, trans women need to assume that we aren’t wanted.
We NEED to do this because we are tired as fuck of assuming that we are being included.
We are tired of coming into women’s groups and being victimized and abused.
We are tired of going to rape crisis centers and being turned away because our existence is triggering.
We are tired of wanting a safe space and then being told WE are the rapists, the deceivers, the monsters, and the child molesters.
We are tired of being the punchline and the joke. The fetish object and “best of both worlds” so long as we’re gone by morning.
Never mind the fact that many of us are victims of rape.
That many of us have dealt with child abuse.
That many of us have been physically assaulted.
That all of us live and deal with the constant deceptive nature of cis people.
We NEED to assume we aren’t wanted. Because the whole wide world is telling us we’re trash and we can’t be arsed to assume that you actually meant to include us when you said fucking nothing.
We don’t have the fucking luxury to assume that we are being included.
Make it damn clear that you want us around.
Make it clear that you won’t put up with transmisogyny.
Make it clear that you view us as women. That you view us as fucking people.
I’d like to see some fucking solidarity, but I wonder if this will even be reblogged?
And if it is reblogged I wonder how many people that aren’t trans women will do so?
I’m honestly not betting much, so I guess we’ll see.
Issues like those discussed above are exactly why the Trans Women’s Anti-Violence Project exists.
Unfortunately, even those who claim to be “inclusive” and/or “allies” often fail trans women. You can’t just wake up one day and call yourself an “ally,” add “transgender” to a list of words for people you include, and simply claim to be against “transphobia.” Far too often I hear these things when it’s clear that those making these claims haven’t done the necessary work to address their own daily experience of cis privilege and internalized assumptions of cis supremacy.
The society we live in is cissexist to its core. So supporting trans women requires more than words and good intentions. It requires nothing less than a conscious and sustained effort to literally change the society we live in. If you are doing anything less than that you are not really supporting trans women.
So a cis-apologist article was posted, in all places, on Transadvocate today, titled It’s Bigger Than Your Womanhood. I wrote this response in the comments:
This isn’t about a “few scary women” misgendering us. This is about systemic violence. This is about capital-F feminists writing books on why trans women are an evil cell of the patriarchy trying to invade women’s spaces.
Did you just call trans men “male-identified females”? Did you really just say trans women need to sit down and take it when cissexism and transmisogyny poisons our interactions with cis women? Do you really think that brushing off attacks against trans women is somehow, despite its self-contradiction, a good way to support women? Do you think feminism benefits from leaving cissexism unquestioned? Do you think the rights of cis women and the rights of trans women are mutually exclusive? Do you not realize you’re supporting a hierarchy within womanhood, with cis women on top? Do you think that’s really what feminism is about?
Do you think only people born with vaginas experience misogyny? Do you not think trans women experience misogyny twofold, on account of being female and on account of being trans? Do you think it helps women when they’re excluded from rape shelters and women’s events? Do you think it helps women to have them categorically denied?
Do you think cis privilege is the only area feminism has failed women? Do you not see how racism, classism, ableism, and a host of other privilege overloads have turned other women off from feminism, not just (white, able-bodied, etc etc) trans women? Don’t you see the pattern? Or are you perfectly happy to kiss the feet of your cis overlords?
Cosigned. So tired of cis apologists for feminism that ignore the actual criticisms of feminism by trans people, especially trans women and other trans people subject to sexism and misogyny, and instead create strawpeople. Feh.
I “love” how some of the comments are like “BUT WE SHOULD ALL SUPPORT FEMINISM BECAUSE WE ARE ALL WOMEN”
Fuck that shit.
I’m so angry right now that I can barely even arse myself to care about proper caps and punctuation.
If people are telling you that your movement is hurting them, the thing NOT to do is to tell them to just shut up and take it “for the greater good”, or to tell them that NOT ALL FEMINISTS ARE LIKE THAT BAWWWWW WHY DON’T YOU LIKE US??
No. Fuck off. If your movement (and this is about the movement and not individuals) oppresses us, why shouldn’t we object to that? And don’t even start lecturing us about the “greater good”. More and more, I’m becoming convinced that that phrase, as used in actual practice, is code for “white cis abled people’s shit”.
Meh. Probably didn’t need to get myself all riled up so close to my bedtime.
Gonna be another one of my rants~ so we’ll see where this goes. Also note that this is all my personal experience, and if it’s similar to yours that’s great, but if not then that’s okay too.
Basically I’ve noticed how a bunch of people want to say CAMAB trans people have experienced male socialization and CAFAB trans people have experienced female socialization.
Usually when I see this it’s when cis people say how they can’t feel safe around CAMAB trans people due to our apparent male socialization. Most commonly with trans women in an effort to find some rational for keeping trans women out of women spaces. I’ll also see this same thing used as justification for trans men to be in women’s spaces because of their apparent female socialization and ‘shared girlhood’.
Now if you’re a CAMAB trans person who feels they have had male socialization that’s fine (same with CAFAB trans people vice versa). But I really don’t like this trend of implying that all trans people experience socialization in the same way.
So now to get to the meat of this post, I’ll be talking about how I personally view my own socialization.
As a trans woman looking at any part of my socialization as ‘male’ seems bizarre and completely wrong to me. I’m female so my socialization was female. However I also don’t buy into the whole ‘shared girlhood’ nonsense since everyone is raised so differently and in so many different circumstances.
Growing up I feel everyone is bombarded with different social expectations but whether or not we actually internalize any of that depends on our own personal identities. I saw things directed at girls and women and internalized what I felt should be directed at me. The thing about my socialization though is that I feel waaaaay too many people look at socialization through entirely a cis point of view.
Imagine from a trans point of view how conflicted a little girl would be when she’s told by society that she needs to be feminine, she needs to like ‘girly’ stuff, she needs to be softspoken, etc, etc. And internalizing all that. But then having the people around you telling you that you need to be more assertive, that you can’t be feminine, that we’ll hurt you with physical violence if you are any of those ‘girly’ things. And just not getting that at all.
My socialization was a society telling me how girls and women should act but then also threatening me with violence if I did so. And this isn’t male socialization at all. This is something completely different from male socialization. This is how I was socialized as a young trans girl.
I hate that we have to talk about our socialization in cis terms. I had female socialization because I’m female. But my experiences, and my continuing experiences are not the same as a cis woman’s. Much like how any marginalized (insert adjective - trans, neuroatypical, queer, fat, etc ) woman’s experiences are not the same as a skinny, hetero, cis, white woman’s experiences. And yet we hold that as some sort of standard to measure all others. What the hell.
Let’s stop buying into this cis narrative that we have to measure our worth and our experiences by what they’ve been through.
So yeah. I definitely had female socialization. But I also had trans socialization. And queer socialization. And a huge number of other internalized socialization all intersecting with each other and making my experiences my own.
The one thing I can say I didn’t have was male socialization.
—-ahhh this was really quickly written so bare with my rantings and lack of proof reading~ Feel free to comment or reblog, but again note that this is just how I view my own experiences and how I feel cis people are pushing their narratives onto trans people.
This is Richard Floyd, Tennessee State Representative and sponsor of the Bathroom Harassment Act, a bill that would fine transgender people $50 for using restrooms and dressing rooms.
True to his name, the man is a dick. Here’s a direct quote from this shining example of morality:
I believe if I was standing at a dressing room and my wife or one of my daughters was in the dressing room and a man tried to go in there — I don’t care if he thinks he’s a woman and tries on clothes with them in there — I’d just try to stomp a mudhole in him and then stomp him dry.
Don’t ask me to adjust to their perverted way of thinking and put my family at risk. We cannot continue to let these people dominate how society acts and reacts. Now if somebody thinks he’s a woman and he’s a man and wants to try on women’s clothes, let him take them into the men’s bathroom or dressing room.
Think Progress has a video of an interview with Dick Floyd, where he tries to state that the bill doesn’t “penalize anybody,” that it “protects everybody,” and that he could “care less” what transgender advocacy groups think.
Which begs the question, if this guy says that the bill doesn’t penalize anybody, does that mean he doesn’t think of transgender people as “anybody”?
Comments where someone openly describes, in explicit details, their cold-blooded fantasy about murdering a trans woman for using women’s sex-segregated public accommodations are not at all uncommon. You are likely to hear statements like Tennessee state Rep. Richard Floyd’s wherever issues concerning trans people’s rights to access public accommodations are being discussed.
The imagined scenario is almost always the same: A trans woman who attempts to use a women’s restroom or dressing room, in which a cis female is present, is killed in the most brutal way the speaker can imagine. It usually involves literally beating that trans woman into a bloody pulp. The person always describes their imagined self as acting out of the heat of the moment to protect a cis female, often a daughter or granddaughter.
I don’t know of any of these stories ever actually describing the trans woman doing anything to the cis female — the trans woman’s presence alone in the same restroom is all that is required. And the fact that these are pre-imagined scenarios betrays any sugestion that it is done in the heat of the moment.
Every time I hear these types of murder fantasies I immediately think of lynchings. Jim Crow and the lynchings and other forms of violence that bolstered this system of White supremacy used very similar arguments where all Black men were treated as sexual predators and threats to White women. And it should be noted that the majority of trans women killed in the U.S. each year are Black and Latina. While all trans women are threatened by these hateful, bloodthirsty fantasies, it’s Latina and Black trans women who are most vulnerable.
I also see how these sexual predator myths are increasingly being applied to very young trans girls. People like Floyd put these young trans girls at risk when they use restrooms and changing rooms or join female youth organizations like the Girl Scouts, and it scares me. Where does a person like Richard Floyd draw the line? Would he kill a 14 or 11 year old trans girl? What about an eight or five year old girl?
The lie of Rep. Richard Floyd’s bill is that it does exactly the opposite of what it claims to do. Rather than protecting women and children, it promotes violence against women and children. Only, as he tells us himself through his own murderous fantasy, Floyd and people like him don’t think the lives of trans women and children are worth anything.
A transgender woman has filed a human-rights complaint against a Sudbury women’s shelter.
Jessica Larabee — who is transitioning to female from male — claims the YWCA asked her personal sexual questions and then turned her away.
When Larabee, 23, visited her hometown of Sudbury last July, she said she had problems with her partner and called the YWCA shelter for help. After she told shelter staff she was born male, she said, she was asked a series of questions about her genitals.
"The only people who should really know what I have or what I don’t have or what it looks like — the only people who should know — are me, my partner and I guess the doctors,” Larabee said.
"They asked me if I have a penis or a vagina, if I pee standing up, sitting down — very sexual questions that if you asked someone who is not trans, I believe would be considered sexual harassment."
Spent the night in a park
Larabee said she was then directed to a men-only shelter, but instead spent the night in the city’s downtown Memorial Park, before going home to Toronto.
YWCA executive director Marlene Gorman said she can’t comment on individual cases. But she said transgender women are not allowed in the shelter.
"Someone who identifies as a transgendered woman would be referred to another safe space,” she said.
Gorman said that policy is currently being reviewed “in terms of how we can best support transgendered women leaving violent situations.”
The Ontario Human Right Tribunal will decide in the coming months whether it will hear Larabee’s complaint.
Violence and discrimination that specifically targets and/or singles out trans female people is trans-misogyny. It’s often the case that cis supremacists will use trans-misogyny as a wedge to attack the larger trans community. In this way, sexism within the trans community that is directed at trans women can be an effective tool for maintaining cis supremacy.
For instance, opposition to state and federal anti-discrimination protections for trans people often focus on attacking trans women. The Christian Right calls this sort of legislation “Bathroom Bills,” specifically targeting trans women’s use of women’s restrooms. These cis supremacists play on hateful stereotypes of “men in women’s dresses” to scare up fear of “men” entering women’s restrooms.
Last month, Massachusetts Governor, Deval Patrick, signed the Transgender Equal Rights Bill into law, but due to trans-misogyny the bill lacked protections for public accommodations. In this way, a defeat based on trans-misogyny is a defeat for all trans people.
WHOA LOOK OUT PEOPLE
WE GOT THE BEST OF BOTH WORLDS GOING ON HERE
- so the feelings of trans men who don’t want to be around other men are more important than the feelings of women who don’t want to be around men?
- birth assignment is a form of cultural cissexist abuse. by celebrating that abuse you are perpetuating it and perpetuating cis supremacy and actively making life harder for every other trans person
- there’s a difference between being proud of being trans (which I am) and being proud of a particular aspect of cissexism.
- you’re such a transmisogynist douchebag. what you’re really proud of isn’t the fact that you were wrongly accused of being a woman at birth. you’re proud of the fact that you have the privilege of not facing transmisogyny and you’re proud that you can use your CAFAB card to get free access to the queer community and women’s spaces. you are the pinnacle of trans male entitlement and an enormously patriarchal douche bag.
I honestly don’t understand these kinds of arguments.
Wow, the four numbered points below are perfect examples of four of the main arguments used to defend FAAB as an identity. I’ll try to explain just why each is trans-misogynist and how they supports cis supremacy.
1. Why can’t there be women-identifed spaces AND woman-and/or-FAAB spaces (someone help me phrase this, I mean no-cis-men, yes everyone else). Existing separately, so that there are safe spaces away from men (trans and cis) AND away from just cis men. OR, hey, let’s look at the problem of crisis centers not really having ways to address same/similar-sex violence? A women-identified space still might not be safe to someone who was abused by another woman.
First off, this completely erases the existence of nonbinary people who were coercively assigned male at birth. There are serious problems with “women and trans” spaces policing the genders of women and nonbinary people who were coercively assigned male gender at birth that are rooted in trans-misogyny. This has to do with the fact that women’s spaces don’t add “trans” to include women and nonbinary people who were CAMAB. For one thing, trans women should have already have been included as women. All “women-and/or-FAAB” does is make it more obvious that trans women and nonbinary people who were CAMAB weren’t meant to be included.
The problem with crisis centers is not going to be fixed by making sure males who were CAFAB have special access to women’s spaces and services. Rather than attacking the integrity of women’s spaces, how about asking why their aren’t these sorts of services available to people who don’t identify as men, whether they were CAFAB or CAMAB.
Because, guess what, trans people shouldn’t have to hide our genders in order to receive vital services. Trans men and nonbinary people who were CAFAB shouldn’t have to undergo the violation of having their gender dismissed and being forced to deny themselves in order to receive services. This is an example of hwo trans-misogyny reinforces cis supremacy against all trans people.
The fact is, FAAB/FAB is quickly replacing WBW as the identity of choice for attacking the womanhood of trans women and excluding them from women’s spaces and services.
Also, I can’t ignore that fact that FAAB is constantly tagged onto things like survivor spaces and play parties as a way of treating trans women, including trans women survivors, as a threat to cis women. Trans women experience disproportionately high rates of sexual assualt when compared to cis women, as well as men and nonbinary people who were CAFAB. Yet FAAB is used over and over again to treat trans women as perpetrators, when in reality they are much more likely to be survivors. Not to mention how FAAB safe spaces treats all people who were CAFAB as if they are incapable of committing sexual assault or triggering survivors, which is completely false.
It’s a massive mistake to use the systemic and institutionalized coercive assigning of gender at birth as the basis of defining spaces and services for survivors.
2. Arguments like this are born out of the idea that we are only our identities, but many people don’t experience their gender as a role, but rather as a body, and to deny them the ability to identify in that way is damaging and harmful to them.
Bodies? Oh, I know what this is about: PENIS, PENIS, PENIS, PENIS, PENIS, PENIS, PENIS, PENIS, PENIS, PENIS, PENIS, PENIS. Which adds another layer onto the FAAB survivor spaces as code for “penis-free” spaces. This is what FAAB is being used as code for. You know what’s really harmful? Reducing a group of people to a single body part and then using that to deny their gender identity and life experience.
If trans men want to be proud of their vaginae, that’s great! Conflating FAAB with pride in one’s body is messed up. The State doesn’t assign gender at birth as a way of affirming our bodies, but as a means of restricting and controlling them. Especially in a society where coercive assignment of a gender at birth still means coercive surgical intervention for many. Assuming FAAB implies a certain body type is itself messed up.
3. I don’t understand being proud of being trans but not being proud of another oppressed class. FAAB folks are oppressed. Until recently when someone might be born into a family who accepts them and allows them to transition before being socialized as a girl, being FAAB meant being socialized as a girl and then having to transition out of that. And even now, you have to be born into certain circumstances to be allowed to transition and thus not conditioned in the way the girls and women are. So to be FAAB is to still be on the receiving end of a good deal of misogyny, and anyone who can actively fight against that has a right to be proud of being resistant to the oppression they face.
The old socialization argument, really? Denying that trans women have girlhoods or that they have to deal with internalized female socialization is trans-misogyny. Not all trans people who were CAFAB would agree that they had the same experience. Plus, it’s just messed up in general to assume that everyone shares a universal socialization based on an assigned gender at birth.
If you want to be proud of your childhood and how you were raised, more power to you. But that is not the same thing as being proud of being FAAB — that is, proud the State and medical professionals are forcing institutionalized gender onto people from the moment of birth on.
4. This is completely oxymoronic. How can someone who is proud of being FAAB not be proud of being FAAB? Why does that automatically translate into being “proud” of not facing transmisogyny (I can’t even type this out correctly it makes so little sense)? Yes, to be FAAB and transitioning means that you are privileged instead of oppressed in the realm of transmisogyny. But to be unashamed of being FAAB and unashamed of breaking the prescribed roles is just not as related as you’re making it sound.
Pride in FAAB exists, but lets just admit that it’s pride in cis supremacy and trans-misogyny. Every single example of FAAB as an identity above is based on and perpetuates trans-misogyny and cis supremacy.
TL;DR summary of above points: