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imagine it is the past, during the horrid institution of slavery. would it seem right by any measure for the ‘house’ slaves to demand their liberation and equality while simultaneously denying same to the slaves toiling in the fields?
imagine a child rightly identifying schoolyard bullying as wrong, who turns around and bullies a younger sibling.
these instances and many others seem appropriate analogies to the problem of cis-gender women who wail against injustice and demand an end to the pervasive inequities of the patriarchal paradigm while excluding transgender women.
privilege speaks to privilege.
can it be argued that cis-gender women are not a part of privilege?
while inequities exist certainly that mark us as 2nd class citizens within the male-dominated society and culture, there can be no doubt that we enjoy rights to which our transgender siblings are denied. so when cis-women stand at the door like bouncers to reject those whom they consider “not-real-women” they are playing the role of gate-keeper in determining who is to be granted membership to their club; they are taking on the attributes of the same oppressive system against which they rail; they are become the oppressor and are enemy to their own cause.
when in their ignorance they marginalise the experience and existence of these ‘others’ whom they would exclude from consideration in their struggles by demeaning them, holding them to stricter standards for inclusion, they repeat the same sort of crime of which they are victims. for doesn’t male-dominated society also seek to define for these cis-women what they must be? is it not this same sin they commit against transgender women? seeking to define them? to confine them? and in so doing exclude them from access? why then can they not see themselves as bigots and oppressors as they seek also to define what is woman?
more and more research has come to light which supports the fact that transgender women aren’t just confused males. the functional mri of the brain of a transgender woman far more closely mirrors that of ‘natal’ women. the structures within the brain of a transgender woman differ from those of cis-men and again more closely approximate the size and shape of the same structures in the brains of women. so who’s to say that the external body can define a woman? clearly we are more than the sum of our parts. but even did no such evidence exist that tends to validate the ‘claims’ of transgender women that they are not men, does not everyone have the right to self-definition? isn’t this what the article by susan moore was trying to proclaim? the fact that male-dominated society’s measures and ideals for women are wrong and rob us of personhood? why then do some of these same oppressed people use similar means against others?
privilege speaks to privilege.
that is the only explanation for those who simultaneously make demands that support personhood as defined by the person for themselves, then deny the same to others. it is because one is small minded, ignorant and bigoted, or even just not well informed that one feels entitled to perpetrate the same inequity and employ the same techniques against which they stuggle.
my daughter is transgender. she was born with a body that has never been in sync with whom she knows herself to be. whether or not there is ever any evidence to support her experience, i do! she has the right to define herself for herself. and i will vehemently confront anyone who would deny her, or any other transgender person the right to say who they are!
as to the ‘just because they mutilate themselves (gender reassignment surgery) doesn’t mean they’re women’ crowd, besides revealing themselves the ignorant asshats that they are, i would argue that if one is closed-minded enough they can find an infinite number of ways to split hairs…the racists did, and still do; the nazis did, and still do…just don’t pretend that you have the high ground. because it is still just a matter of
privilege speaking to privilege.