PSA post to my fellow feminists
trans*women can’t appropriate a woman’s identity
because they are women.
Maybe this needs repeating- but being a woman transcends your genitalia or your chromosomes. Being a woman is how you identify. That’s it. That’s all it takes to identify as a woman. If you know in your heart of hearts that you are a woman- that’s all it is.
So don’t be that douche bag that has the audacity to degrade a transwoman or demand her to prove her womanhood. She owes you no explanation.
Now if you really are a feminist, you will defend her existence to the death and ensure that she always has a safe space and voice with in the movement.
I am not a woman trapped in a man’s body. This body is no man’s; it is mine, it is me, and there is no man in that equation. And I am not trapped in it. There are a million and one ways out of this body, and I have clung to it, tooth and claw, despite an endless line of people and institutions who would rather I vacate the premises, and have sometimes been willing to make me bleed to convince me they’re right.
This body is mine, and I claim it and its bruises, and it is not a man’s, and I am not trapped here. I have looked leaving my body in the eye and I have said, in the end, hell no. There is too much to do, too much to love, too many who need one more of us to say hell no and help them say the same.”
little light, the seam of skin and scales (Taking Steps)
I just love this woman’s writing so much. Her blog was one of my first references when I started really thinking and educating myself about trans issues, and she has definitely influenced my thinking in a lot of ways. Personally, I think that anyone who is seriously invested in fighting transmisogyny and being a real ally to trans women should go read everything little light has ever written.
This. Little Light writes kickass, powerful and true words.
and the broadcaster says “…long before jennifer [aniston] became a household name, and cher’s girl decided to change her gender (emphasis, broadcaster) and shorten her name to Chaz.”
like, could you be ANY MORE OFFENSIVE OR HARMFUL, E!? do you think you could?
Here’s the video: “Jen Aniston and Chaz’s High School Pics” on Hulu.
This blog post outs several transwomen with both pseudonyms AND legal names, their photos, where they can be found at the festival, and in some cases their profession and employment. Being on this “hitlist” of transwomen was not consented to by any of them, and it associates them with accusations of volatile behavior that the author has absolutely no proof any of them participated in. The blogger refuses to use female pronouns and asserts that these women, who live in one of the most marginalized segments of our society, are “chest pounding” and trying to assert male privilege in invading a womens’ space – as if people who’ve survived gender dysphoria and live outside of our binary ideas of gender have any male privilege to speak of.
Here’s the original post in question (tw for transphobic and cis-sexist bullshit). This is absolutely ridiculous on so many levels. Regardless of how you feel about transpeople, you should absolutely be concerned that Wordpress is allowing defamatory, person-targeting practices like this to happen, despite a clear violation of their Terms of Service.
You can report GenderTrender to Wordpress for violating terms of service HERE.
Two specific clauses you can cite:
Personal attack blogs: Blogs with the primary purpose of attacking an individual or group of individuals are not welcome on WordPress.com. We have a particularly low tolerance for anonymous bloggers who make personal attacks without standing by their words with their real name.
By making Content available, you represent and warrant that…the Content does not contain threats or incite violence towards individuals or entities, and does not violate the privacy or publicity rights of any third party.
Please fill out the form, mention those clauses, and reblog.
In a bizarre lack of coincidence, one of the women they outted, the one that they link her legal name to her online name? just lost her job today.
I started this semester off by emailing each of my instructors stating:
“My name is Brian A. and I am in your class. My legal name is (insert name), but I go by Brian, I also use male pronouns. This is the only name that I go by and will not respond to anything else. Thank you for your respect.”
By the next day I had received an email back from each person stating that they would make the changes in the roster and that they were thankful that I had emailed them prior to the first day. Only one of my instructors had emailed again saying that he had to leave the roster going to the school as my legal name, but he would still call me Brian, etc.
Everything is perfect except for one class, my English Comp. class. The first day I went in, I was called Brian throughout the class…but then she used a pronoun. It wasn’t what I had told her. After the class I went up to her and asked if she had made a mistake. She apologized for saying “she” and then proceeded to tell me this huge lie of a story about how she went to the English Chairperson for permission on calling me the correct gender. Supposedly, this chairperson said that there was some ethical law stating that it would be favoritism so she couldn’t do it but she would try to use just my name, although that would be favoritism as well.
I brushed it off and thought to myself that it could only get better, but how wrong was I. The next couple of classes she kept using the wrong pronouns, and then she’d look at me with this “Oops!” face. She even came up to me after each class and apologized. The next class we had we discussed our new paper over problems and solutions, what a perfect opportunity for me to fix this mix-up. So I went up to her and asked if I could get the information on this law so that I could use it for my paper. She took me outside and started talking to me like we were homies from the corner. Her story only grew longer and more in-depth, by story I only mean the hole she dug for her grave. She continued to tell me that I was born a girl and that I was a girl and I wouldn’t be a “boy” until I had surgery. She also stated that in order for her to be able to use the pronouns he, his, him unless I had a doctor’s note stating that I had sex reassignment surgery. She then proceeded to keep talking to me like I was her best friend and asking me about DADT and the military and her “favorite” (yes, I just said favorite) student wanting to join but he was gay. How did this conversation turn from something so deep and offensive to this bullshit?
The next day I went and found the English Chairperson, nothing like my instructor had described her to be, which was a hard rock Baptist who was very conservative. This woman was the nicest older woman I think I’ve met in a while. She told me that there was no ethical law stating that I could not be called the correct gender, and that there was definitely nothing about a “doctor’s note”. She also said that if I ever felt discriminated or graded biased, ect. that I should come to her and let her know. As soon as I left her office I went into the classroom and told my instructor that I had talked to the chairperson and there was NOTHING saying that I couldn’t be called my correct gender. She then replied with, “I’ll look into, I’m not too sure where it was.” Seriously, are we going to dig to China with this story?
But wait, the best is yet to come. Last night I had class again with this woman. She used “she” and “her” limitless times, pointing to me, not even giving a crap about it. So again, I waited after class to talk to her. She looked at me with this sickening grin and asked me what she could help me with. I looked her straight in the eyes and told her that there was no rule, there was nothing saying that I needed a note or any other bullshit. She said that she was still looking into it. I mean, how many times does someone have to throw dirt in my face to understand the consequences of their actions. I told her, “No! I’m talking about in the classroom, not this paper. I know what I’m writing about for my paper, but there is nothing that states that you cannot call me he, him, his or anything male. It’s really offensive and it hurts me every time that you use the wrong one. I’m not a SHE, I’m a man. Yes, I was born with a vagina but I am a man, a male.” She then said, “What? I thought you were a woman living as a male but identifying as a lesbian.” WTF. What the actual fuck. How does one even come to that conclusion. She then said, “So you’re transgender? The T not the L.” Of course I’m the T, I’m a transgender man. She continued to find reasons to not use my proper pronouns, saying things like well what did I check in the box when I applied for college. Hello! Invasion of my fucking privacy. She then tells me that she can’t call me male because it would confuse the class. OMG. She’s the one confusing the class by using the wrong pronouns, everyone looks at her like she is crazy. She said that they would ask questions, I offered to explain, I told her that I would out myself to the entire class just so that I could be treated as a male. But she said no and it would interrupt her class.
She doesn’t understand how close minded she is, or how much she is hurting me, or how much she is putting me in danger by calling me she when I obviously present as male. I’m done with this, she has invaded my privacy, asked me what genitalia I had, and denied me the right to be who I am. I’m going to the chairperson again tomorrow and if she can’t do anything than I’m going to the President of the fucking college. It shouldn’t be like this. If you’re going to be an instructor, at least educate yourself for your students.
Go to the chair first, but if that doesn’t work get the school’s diversity officer involved & use the magic words “hostile learning environment” at the bare minimum the school will intercede to avoid a lawsuit.