I Hate When I’m Right *updated*
Addendum: I’ve heard tell that that there were some assertions Chally was white on twitter, apparently in a convo with me (wtf?). I didn’t catch this (nor can I seem to find the damn tweets regarding it) so I really gotta wonder what the fuck people are smoking to think I was involved in that. It was hella wrong, definitely and had I seen it, I would have dropped a call out bomb on the bullshit claim. Ironically, it’s a little ableist to expect me to see every goddamn thing that happens on Twitter, Quixotess, especially when I don’t follow the person in question. I hope you’re at least a little aware of that.
There was also a conversation on twitter where some disability policing was going on. I responded with the fact that time needs to be given to correct this mistake for the sake of spoons and that I hope that this isn’t just excusing shit. Clearly I was not heavy enough that disability policing is not okay. So I apologize for that. Also, I’ve been referring to the situation as cisfail because of the original post, however, because some trans folks were involved in the apologism in the subsequent comments, people have understandably thought I was degendering them. I apologize for my bad wording.
Especially about this kind of shit:
Goddamn, who the fuck is next? Will I get to see a giant transphobic meltdown at FWD in two months? I’m running out of sites worth reading.
Guess what happened the next fucking day? (Read down to the bolded note at the bottom of the post before the comments, I have screen shots if they take it down)
FWD’s note (bold and italics theirs, not mine):
There are lots of blogarounds and drop it like it’s hots and self promotion threads about the femiblogosphere. Up till now, we haven’t had a “drop your link here” thread. I’m going to experiment with making this a space for linkdropping. So, for the rec reading, for now, here’s the rule on using the comments to drop links:
There must be substantive disability rights content, with a feminist lens; AND: the only links that can be dropped are those written by writers who self-identify as PWD and who aren’t cis men.
As always, you’re also more than welcome to talk about the topics raised in the post, instead of (or as well as) dropping links.
The comments involve folk pointing out that hey, erasure of trans guys isn’t fucking cool. First from sqrrl, then Drakyn (who also fucked up on thinking gq describes all nonbinary folk.), then sqrrl again, and again and finally Julian as some examples.
(Note: Several of these comments are in response to the FWD contributors making indirect assertions regarding gender nonconformity and trans men and regarding whether transphobia is a feminism issue under an umbrella term of “gender oppression”. So they may seem slightly out of out of order, that’s because FWD responses are interlaced with them timewise)
Sqrrl’s 2nd comment
You have the idea that cisgender transsexual men are less likely to engage in male based privilege and oppression than cisgender cissexual men. It sounds as if it’s coming about here due to a conflation of two types of gender oppression under a uniform ‘gender’ marker: the oppression of trans people by cis people and the oppression of not male people by male people (as well as possibly touching on the oppression of non binary people by binary people). These are two (three) separate things. The problematic part comes with the fact that to get from this conflation to the earlier assertion, it is necessary to go through the idea that genders of cisgender trans men are somehow different from the genders of cisgender cissexual men. Whether you realize that this is entailed in the assumptions you’ve made or not, it’s still busted.
i honestly can’t see this move as anything but transphobic and based in the assumption that trans men aren’t real men (or are men-lite, as someone else mentioned).
i’m not sure how trans men are automatically “gender non-conforming” any more than cis men are.
i understand the concept of woman-centered (and support it — as has been said, women’s voices are often drowned out in a sea of dudes), but i didn’t realize this was an exclusively-woman space. it’s difficult to come to a feminist perspective when one is not a woman, but it is possible.
the whole thing just makes me really squicky. :-/
The responses from FWD’s folks? Not so encouraging (links are above the quotes and names, if that causes accessibility problems I can easily edit it.).
sqrrel: What I’ve written has nothing to do with who I think are “real” men and who aren’t, and everything to do with what I personally fear being (and don’t wish to be) deluged with on these threads. If I start drowning in links from disabled trans men bloggers throwing their unexamined male privilege around while writing about disability rights and claiming a feminist lens, and I’m not happy with it, I’ll revisit the wording. […]
Apparently as long as Lauredhel hasn’t seen trans guys throwing around male privilege, it hasn’t happened. Fuck, I guess that means I have no grasp on reality, considering I’ve been dealing with a lot of male privilege mongering trans guys lately. And of course, the wording is only problematic if a bunch of trans guys act like assholes, not for the fact that it erases trans guys. Huh.
A failtastic slip that doesn’t seem much like a slip anymore or at least a fitting slip and the erasing combination of sexism and transphobia as being umbrella gender oppression (guess which one gets erased when feminists combine sexism and transphobia into one umbrella word?)
(As a note: I don’t oppose cutting the voices of cis guys out of link set ups like that. They do have the entire internet to play in. The way it is said and put needs to change though to stop erasing trans guys and transphobia in general. I go into this in more depth below)
The concern which Lauredhel was trying to address here was that cis men have an entire Internet to play in. This is a space which centres the voices of disabled women [This was a misstatement, and I am editing this to correct it, since it has considerably clouded the discussion—what I meant, and should have said was that this site centers the voices of people who live at the intersection of disability and gender oppression. This is not and never has been a women-only space and includes people of all genders.], and thus, we are primarily interested in links to content written by people who live in bodies at the intersection of disability and gender oppression, with voices which are often shouted down and ignored in other spaces. […]
More erasure as transphobia continues to be squished into “gender oppression” and then some lovely dodge and derail of the call out as well as conflating trans men with being gender nonconforming by definition (hint: as you’ve seen above, not all trans guys are gender nonconforming)
[…]She wanted to stress the fact that women and gender nonconforming people with disabilities are often excluded, marginalised, and silenced.
This is being turned into a discussion about whether or not there was embedded gender essentialism in Lauredhel’s wording which is also ignoring an important aspect of Lauredhel’s request: That links also be written by people with disabilities. In effect, people with disabilities are being erased in a discussion about gender identification on a disability-centred website.[…]
Cuz yanno, a call out about erasing trans people on a feminist disability website is totally off topic, amirite? We can’t have that! It might distract from the real issues, which are certainly never trans erasure! Bitterness, I have you.
It gets worse. A long ass comment laden with excuses, apologism for the mistake above, conflating transphobia and sexism, and then basically trying to claim that trans men face the gender oppression that women face.
amandaw (part 1: Emphasis the original author’s, not mine.):
We want to raise the profile of the people who are directly affected by both of these two oppressions (the axes of ability and sex/gender).
Disabled trans men are often granted male privilege (privilege, remember, is a thing granted by the outside, not a thing intrinsic to the inside). Disabled trans men, however, can still face a great amount of gender-based oppression. They can face it during their lives before transition. They can face it during the transition itself, and they can face it even after the transition, in those assumptions of a cisgender default, and if they have the misfortune of encountering a person who perceives them as not “passing” and attempts to enforce their binary-cissexist understanding of gender on them. And they can face it if they don’t transition at all. Throughout their lives, trans men with disabilities can experience gender-based oppression because they live in bodies that are hotly contested by the society they live in, and by the medical and psychiatric systems with which they are forced to deal.[…]
More erasing combination of transphobia and sexism as being under one category and look at that shit. Apparently trans guys face women oppression (notice how cissexism is held up as sexism by implying it is opposite to having male privilege? That’s either the shittiest wording I have ever seen in my entire life or someone is playing a game of “I didn’t say you aren’t really the gender you are, but I sure think you aren’t, at least socially”). Does this sound familiar at all? Like say feminists asserting that trans women have male privilege? Why yes, yes it does sound familiar.
The best part is at the end, where what appears to be an apology (it’s hard to tell with all the excusing and justifying going on above) is appended as a “all that being said” footnote (my favorite kind of minimizing footnote!):
amandaw (part 2, emphasis, once again, not mine)
[…]All of that said: the initial wording of the proposed feature clearly conveyed to many people the idea that trans men are not men, that trans men are either “really women” and/or some sort of third gender. We are working to correct this: the wording clearly needs to be changed to more accurately reflect the focus on marginalized voices that we wanted to encourage and not risk perpetuating harmful conceptions of gender.
We do hope that this experiment will turn out well in the end: that people will reflect on the attention they pay to different voices and notice the way certain voices always seem to gain a higher profile than others.
So, okay, apparently it was totally okay to say what what was said and that it’s completely justified based on a bunch of trans erasing bullshit (transphobia and sexism combine to make
Voltron er um I mean gender oppression, trans guys apparently face sexism in the way women do cuz cissexism is actually Voltron er um I mean gender oppression and therefore is totally all feminist lens, apparently and um hey guise stop talking about this cuz disability is on topic)… except that it’s sorta not okay and they’re all really sorry everyone was fucked over by it? Oh and it was a grand experiment that hopefully we all learned from!
This thread is being closed at the request of 5 FWD contributors. Due to the availability issues discussed in our comments policy, it wasn’t possible to wait for everyone’s consensus before responding.
Thank you to everyone who participated in this vigorous and thoughtful discussion. It is very clear to us that while our intent was to center the voices of feminism and of people with disabilities, the way it was expressed hurt and angered people. We regret and apologize for that. These discussions have made it clear to us that it is impossible to have these discussions with language created by the kyriarchy. We are also aware that there are an equal number of issues to explore around defining “voices of people with disabilities,” as we wish to include voices of people with or without engagement with or belief in the medical system or any of the myriad of models of disability, and we look forward to continuing to explore those issues in the future. Thanks again to everyone for their enthusiasm and commitment to helping us ensure it is a safe space.
Now, the apology itself in there isn’t terrible. But the original post remains intact, no edits, no adjustments and the apology still conflates the issues of trans folk as being explicitly a feminist issue, continuing the trend done with the Voltron powers of gender oppression, which apparently includes both transphobia and sexism (do these people think that the word transmisogyny is redundant or some shit?)
The text of my comment, which also didn’t go through, (unfortunately, I neglected to take a screenshot because I’m fucking naive and thought that FWD couldn’t possibly go this route LESS THAN A WEEK after Shakesfail) goes into why this kind of shit is not okay. I was more gentle than normal. I regret this as no one ever listens to you when you’re gentle anyways and lo and behold, it happened here. Again. In the same fucking week. Awesome.
Some words on how to properly achieve what you wanted in the above post without trans erasure:
Cis folk claiming or even accidentally implying that transphobia and/or cissexism is sexism isn’t gonna work. Transphobia is transphobia. Cissexism is cissexism. Neither are sexism. Anything less than that explicit statement is erasure of trans folk. Ultimately what has been conflated as “the axis of gender” is actually two axes, the axis of transphobia and the axis of sexism. Transgender/transsexual are not genders in and of themselves, but descriptive words for genders. Words that describe an aspect related to the gender of the person.
The only time you ought to say a trans person is facing sexism (or gender oppression) is when they’ve just told you they’re facing sexism (or gender oppression). I can not even express how enraging it is to have some feminists tell me to my face that the transmisogyny and transphobia I face as a trans woman is just sexism. What you’re doing here is not equivalent to that but it certainly enables such attitudes. You’re all abundantly aware that the post was misgendering and erasing in its wording but are you all don’t seem aware that the basis used behind that wording is also misgendering and erasing.
I talked with Shiyiya about this on twitter. Combining transphobia with sexism into a conglomerate umbrella category called “gender oppression” (even if you recognize that transphobia is not, under any circumstances, sexism) is dangerous. Trans folk face erasure even with our own developing language to describe our situations, from feminism just as much as from mainstream society. A feminist blog using such an umbrella term (even without intent to erase or misgender) is asking for it to happen. Tempting fate and enabling erasure of trans lives and exp’s of transphobia.
If you want to exclude a certain zone on the basis of avoiding those who are privileged on both the cissexism and sexism axes at the same time (which is what I assume was the aim), then you really gotta say so. Explicitly. It’s the only way to avoid the pitfall that was fallen into with that post and the subsequent comments (most of which came off as apologism, just letting you know). At least, it’s the only way that I’m aware of. Luckily it’s a pretty simple way to avoid it.
Guess not fucking simple enough, huh?
Seriously, fuck feminism for transforming me into an oracle that can predict fuckery that well. That’s the worst damn oracle to be. Couldn’t give me two damn weeks huh? That was too much before y’all had to fuck up and add to the brewing shitstorm, huh?
And of course, because I needed a break from the shitstorm and I know what it’s like to be short on spoons, I let myself get played by these people and didn’t come down on them as hard and as fast as I should have. That always feels really good, getting taken advantage of like that.
Yeah, I hate it when I’m right. FWD’s on the shitlist now.
Filed under: rant | 64 Comments
Tags: cissexism, feminism, fuck this fuckery, kyriarchy, linguistics, privilege, rage, transgender