what Andrej Pejic says in the link above:
"A lot of my close friends say ‘she’. But a lot of people say ‘he’ too and I am not offended by that; when you are in this position, living this life inbetween genders, you can’t be too offended by anything. Either way is fine, but I prefer ‘she’."
it rubs me a little bit the wrong way to simplify this. this kind of simplification of pronoun preferences seems to encourage us to move towards a way of looking at things that is not sensitive to the everyday work of living “inbetween” as Pejic puts it. I don’t know what better way there is, though, or at least I don’t know how to talk about it, just how to live it out. what do you think?
I think your theorizing on a trans womans life and not understanding how the pressure to not be offended manifests for trans women specifically. “I prefer she but I’m not offended by X” is another way of saying “i have no choice”
The oversimplification is a blessing, if anything.
I think what I was actually thinking about here has relatively little to do with Andrej Pejic, I’m sorry. I’m going to make another post about the stuff this summoned up in me, rather than clogging this post up more with my reblogs. I do worry about calling Andrej Pejic a woman, though? She seems to be pretty emphatic in her public presentation about being neither a woman nor a man, and I just did quite a bit of googling around the subject, but it looks like maybe you found a source I haven’t seen.
I have yet to come across a source where Andrej calls herself a trans woman. She seems to see herself as somewhere in-between genders, and rather than second-guess her motives and theorize about what she “really” is, I find it more respectful to take her words at face value. If she is a trans woman, it is her call to adopt that label. However she defines herself publicly, we should respect it.
Anonymous asked: my dad thinks 15 is too early for me to be sure that i'm trans. is he right? :/
If you’re sure, then you’re sure. What in the world does your age have to do with it?
Anyone who says it’s too early to be sure you’re trans is more invested in you NOT being trans than in you being yourself.
When I was three, I wasn’t sure I was trans. Mainly because I was sure I was a girl, no qualifiers present. I didn’t learn about being trans until later. In the coming years as a little kid, others forced me to be something I’m not. I spent several years in confusion, because what I was told (“you’re a boy”) didn’t match with what I had always known (“I’m a girl”). At the age of 17, I wrote a poem where I invented the word “transgender” on my own without having had any exposure to it, just the root words. Then, at the age of 19, I found out via the internet that “transgender” was actually a thing, and it all fell into place.
If you know, you know. If you don’t, that’s ok too, and you should be allowed space to figure it out and experiment.
Autogynophilia pathologizes normal female behavior
When I was first coming out as trans, I had a lot of internalized transmisogyny. I knew how negative society’s images of trans women were and I was convinced that I was somehow different. I was terrified of being seen as a man in a dress, so I just never wore dresses. In that respect it was rather convenient that I’m butch. I was not going to be - as another trans woman put it to me - “a masturbating freak in panties.” I internalized a list of norms and behaviors that I had to avoid in order to be taken seriously and seen as a real woman. This list of “don’t”s is more or less the autogynophilia diagnostic citeria.
Years later, after I had begun writing on transmisogyny I still had a lot of these messages internalized. I had a wake up moment when I was traveling and visiting a girlfriend. Her roommate came home after a difficult day and mentioned that she had gone clothes shopping to cheer herself up, and quickly showed off her new underwear and dresses, in particular one slinky sequined number. There was much oohing and aahing and her mood significantly improved.
About an hour later she came back out of her room and said that she was having a hard time doing her work for the evening because she was still depressed. My girlfriend sat her down and gave her some sage advice. ”Just put you nice new dress on, as well as your fancy new underwear. It will make you feel sexy and you’ll feel better.” ”Then what, just work while wearing it?” “Yeah.”
Warnings had been popping into head the whole time but now alarm bells were going off. I so desperately wanted to warn them “Don’t do that! You’re directly admitting a connection between feminine clothing and sexual arousal and using that almost as if you’re self medicating! No one will take you seriously as a real woman, you’ll just be seen as some fetishist!” But I didn’t say that of course. Not only because it would have been very rude, but because they were cis women. No one is going to take away their womanhood for feeling sexy about lingerie and slinky dresses. This seems to be something cis women, particularly femmes, do all the time.
The bottom line is that the behavior classified as autogynophilia is normal female behavior. Charles Moser did a small study where he tried applying the criteria for it to cis women and found that 93% of cis women qualify as autogynophiles. So why are trans women subjected to this standard and often stigmatized, punished, or denied access to healthcare if they fit this criteria? And why is there no similar criteria for trans men?
It seems to me this is primarily about exerting the control doctors have over trans people to maintain male control over the sexuality of women. It encourages us to be sexually available to men and discourages us from having a sense of sexuality focused in ourselves or in other women. It sets up a pass/fail system so we are beholden to gatekeepers and must prove that we are the good kind of trans woman and not the bad kind. And it pits us against each other as enforcers of this system and keeps us divide so we cannot challenge the psychologists who create the rules of who can and cannot access transition. It’s no accident that one of the main proponents of using autogynophelia as a diagnosis was caught having sex with his patients, not informing them he was using their experiences in his research, and manipulating their testimony by granting/denying medical care based on whether or not they said they fit his model.
Is it just me or
Does anyone else feel really iffy on the whole “Trans people have the brain structure of the gender they ID as” argument?
I mean, sure there are those scientific studies or whatever the hell, and I wouldn’t doubt some sort of correlation or whatever, but::
What about people who don’t ID along the gender binary?
What about people who have multiple genders? Surely brain structure doesn’t flop back and forth (well I mean different pathways could be activated or whatever but ya know what I mean)…
And what about people who are binary identified, but who would have the wrong sort of “brain type” according to this argument? It’s kinda setting stuff up for brain scans and gatekeeper arguments that they “aren’t really the gender they claim to be” depending on the result, which is essentialist nonsense and not cool at all O:
(I also feel similarly about the “being gay isn’t a choice” argument, I mean yeah for the majority it certainly isn’t, but why the heck does it matter? and what about people who feel it was a choice? yay erasure!)
I mean, I guess 101 arguments like the above can be useful for tossing at privileged people… but I dunno, it’d be nice to have a more nuanced discussion about these things (I don’t mean here tumblr! y’all are great, I’ve been surfing the webosphere again O:)
The entire post is good, but the bolded part made me yell “oh my god YES” at the screen. I think that there’s a point at which 101 arguments like the one Zoe mentioned (and I know exactly which one she’s talking about) can do more harm than good — or, at the very least, mislead people.
Earlier I thought of this analogy: When we’re kids, we’re taught that gravity is the principle that “what goes up must come down”. This is fine for a little kid’s level of understanding, and one could argue that it’s also sufficient for the majority of situations that the majority of people will ever find themselves in. But that still doesn’t mean it’s useful in all situations. What about at places other than Earth, or other situations outside of what we consider our norm? If you assume that moon gravity is just like Earth gravity, or that things that go up on the space shuttle must come down, you’ll end up drawing a lot of false conclusions — not to mention, well, erasing a lot of real things in the universe. That’s not to say that the entire concept of gravity is invalid; it’s to say that our theory has to go far beyond the initial childlike understanding in order to account for all the different things that can happen.
It’s the same way with social justice theories — only the erasure is worse, because you’re erasing people.
I hope I’m making sense.
Brains are complex things, that don’t deal in binaries. Those studies seem to show that some regions of the brain are related to one’s sense of gendered self, but what exactly does that mean? The results are very fuzzy and, at most, say “more research is required”. Most research is about figuring out better questions to ask, not giving a definitive answer.
There actually is a lot of nuance here, but in everyday discussions that nuance gets lost. Much like how scientists will publish a small exploratory study with a tiny sample size, that says “X seems likely to be true given assumptions Y and Z. Our results may have shortcomings due to U and V.” Yet news will report on it saying “BREAKTHROUGH! X PROVEN TO BE TRUE!”
There are a lot of unchecked assumptions in science regarding sexuality and gender, but the actual process itself is nothing like how people report on it or talk about it.
Man you ever get that thing where you’re damn sure you didn’t miss any hormone doses, yet your scent still seems off? Ugh. You haven’t experienced weird until you’ve been turned on by your own hormone flux-induced scent, up until you realize it’s coming from YOU!