Transphobic Tropes roundup

August 10, 2008

Over at Lisa’s blog, Queen Emily has just posted the fourth in an ongoing series of analyses of the common arguments used by non-trans people in their endless, wrong-headed attacks and attempts to deny the lived experiences and realities of trans people.

It should go without saying that I think these pieces are essential reading; what I find truly depressing is that these things even need to be explained.

But there we are: plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose.

It is apparently not possible to identify as a woman, to live as a woman, if you’re transgendered and meet the feminist standard of anti-humanist anti-essentialist social constructionism.

Because the double-bind here is, either you meet societal expectations of a feminine gender presentation, in order to pass on a day-to-day basis without the massive amounts of harassment from the general public a non-passing trans person. In which case you’re a misogynistic man just acting out the dictates of the Patriarchy onto the entire female gender. There we go, polluting the ontology again.

Or, you do not have a traditionally feminine gender presentation, or you’re too loud, too “aggressive,” in which case, well, evidence that you’re really a man. The defense rests, your Honour.

Now imagine, if you are in fact, a cis feminist, a woman whose gender presentation matches her documents, well, how radical is your departure from gender categories? How much are you reifying gender, every single day, without every realising it?

There’s never a Bingo card around when you want one…

Anyway, here are the links to the four pieces that Em has written so far; also, I have added a ‘Transphobic Tropes’ section to my blog sidebar:

My grateful thanks to Em and Lisa.

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