And then I thought...fuck that.
Lets hit the tarmac at speed! I may offend, I may insult, I may make casual passers-by uncomfortable but this is an opportunity for me to vent as well as reach out with experience, middling literary works or diatribes over perceived injustices that the world flings at groups and individuals..
I will caution, that this will most likely carry emotional volitility as well as my own subjective opinions. Reader discretion is advised.
Actually, apply that to most anything I ever post here. It's just gonna be easier that way.
Have you ever felt like strangers hated you? Have you ever read the comments section of a blog or other site in which are recorded the words of people who; even in the face of not having ANY experience interacting with you at all or any knowledge of your life, lash out with venom and unmasked hatred that would might make you fear being in an elevator with them? For most anyone the answer would be "at one time or another" at least, obviously.
That said, one doesn't have to like being smothered with the blanket of another person's diatribe without rebuttal. Nobody does. I especially don't appreciate having it done to me as an anonymous target ("All white/black/gay/trans/cartoon/undead people are like X") or in terms that are as careless and vicious as some can readily find regarding people of my persuasion...that of being a transgender woman. I also don't have to stay silent on the issue from my singular point-of-view, regardless of how shitty life has been to anyone else.
There is a portion of our world populace that sees people like me as something vile to be hated. Something that said social percentage views as laughing like the devil "himself" in the face of women's issues, equality, identity, and expression. That we operate from male privilege in our identities as trans-women. That our mere existence is yet another attempt to violate women. That we are a sick, fetishization of women that parody and immolate the sanctity of the female existence in a warped and mentally unbalanced shower of ludicrous fail, as was put forth by a few comments to a few articles that I came across this past week on GenderTrender as I was just sort of bouncing about the net. Might not be news to anyone, perhaps, but I got to the social media party late and as most are when late to a party, I felt like I was the only sober one in the room. I'd hoped this wouldn't perhaps be so easy to find anymore.
I am so sick of seeing these entitled grotesque men caricaturizing/fetishizing women. I am so sick of seeing their their faces and hearing their voices, arrogant, demanding, and female-hating. They are beyond repulsive….
I have seen this time and again where a male transgender thinks he has “successfully passed” or “been welcomed into” women’s space without realizing that I and every other female present has sensed the shift in energy and the elimination of women’s space. Only the women notice. The male is oblivious and will never know the difference.
Men who want access to women’s spaces don’t actually care if they destroy them. They may pine over the fact that there exists one tiny boundary that women keep from them. They may fantasize about prying their way in. They may claim that they value women’s space. But the truth is that such space is only of value to them if it serves them as men. They would happily destroy the last shred of every women’s refuge to insert themselves in it, even though in doing so it no longer exists. AND THEY NEVER KNOW THE DIFFERENCE-------------------------
Now, in the interest of full disclosure, the above quotes are taken from people commenting on articles revolving around medical coverage of treatment for trans-people by Medicare/Medicaid. I don't reproduce them here as comment on that specific subject. Rather, as a response to the very nature and presentation of the language, attitudes, and prejudice of the commentators as a sampling of how they serve to lessen the world at large. My response to such generalized and contemptible aggressive vocalization can only be the following...
Entitled? Objectively, nobody is entitled to anything in this existence. You aren't born with a iron clad guarantee of anything except perhaps equal access to breathable air as far as nature is concerned or to happiness and liberty as far as human volition is depending on the era. I've never asked for Medicaid to completely cover anything. Help would be nice, but I don't fight that particular battle. There are other things that are more fundamental and needed by more people that I'd prefer them act on, but again, not my battlefield.
Caricaturizing? Fetishizing women? It's not clear to me how I'm doing that. While it may be true that a person such as myself might blur or outright change the more prevalent demarcation of the description of being a woman, I hold exaggeration or sexualization of a person (whomever that might be) to be as unwanted as any woman I've ever known and I'd like some others to understand that many of the issues that any cisgendered woman faces in this world are mine to face without even the support system western society seems to hold for those women. While we all face our trials alone in the moment, I don't have a mother, sister, or even a long time, close friend that can empathize or even take my mind from it for a minute's respite. They all either died or never existed because of the inherent isolation women like myself experience. A lot of states barely acknowledge we even exist and far fewer still provide the very same legal and social protections cisgendered women enjoy today, leaving us with none at all, most of the time. Not worse than, different. Perhaps that will help mollify any perceived slights? That regardless of any positives in my life there will always be pits in my life and spirit that you may never know the depth of and honestly, I wouldn't wish upon you. Not worse than anyone's specifically, but different in stark and fundamental ways.
It's also obvious that the definition of "successfully passed" used here is...well...dead wrong. Those not already on the march to Gender World War might understand that "passing" is, for the most part, doing one thing and one thing only. Simply being allowed to blend in like anyone else will in a group. Not with anyone specifically or with any dastardly motive in mind, but just being one of the passers-by. Not wanting nor requiring any more attention or interaction than most people have with most other people on a daily basis. In the cases where more is required, to go about it civilly and with the respect one would hope to be given themselves, regardless of situation or circumstance. Able to go about our lives without someone looking at us, thinking us something we're not, and thus perpetuating a public scene, or even more frighteningly, a public or private one that ends in our injury or worse.
Been welcomed into? I've never wanted to be welcomed into anything other than society as a fellow passenger and the hearts of those that I care for. I grew up being hyper-conscious of the people around me and how my words and body language impacted how they interacted with me. Interpersonal communication became a necessary survival instinct, not just a classroom lesson. It happens when you grow up in Rural Missouri in the 80s & 90s. I've seen that shift of energy spoken of above. It's not some subjective members only emotional connection. It's a social shift made by the volition of individuals. One that a person or group decides to invoke. You simply don't want me "there".
That's fine. Why would I want to be included in a social construct that maligns and serves to double the affliction of same onto a minority, anyway? God forbid that anyone be an individual for which your broad brush strokes may not cover. I suppose that because Y chromosomes contain 78-86 genes, and the X chromosome contains an estimated 2,000 genes means that the Y chromosome must be topped off with gender contempt and general asshattery, right? That any trans-woman is just this gender-centric Nazi commando prancing around as a cover or however you envision them, right? Male energy is bad energy and any feminine energy not sourced from a double X chromosome is the worst sort of male energy, right? Just like negative energy is dark energy, obviously! I mean, SCIENCE!
However, that doesn't mean you get to force me out into the storm callously when all I'm trying to do is to get by in a life I didn't ask for. In situations you, yourself, can not possibly understand and in pain you will never feel. Not worse, different. I don't ask anything of you but to allow me to try to get through another day without the extra weight of your derision and offense. You lose nothing, no ground conceded and I may just get to have a single day where my own identity isn't a pathway for sadistic reprisal from those I've never wronged.
I could care less about boundaries. I just wish to use a restroom for it's designed intent without fear of being molested or clothe myself with clothing that fits and that I like, or any of a myriad number of things women and people in general do in a day. There's no alternative motive. There's no nefarious design on the last bastions of womanhood. Come in, go out. Do business, leave. I don't rationally expect anyone to "accept" me...but you can ignore me with less effort than it takes to rage. If we're all so obvious, then any nefarious actions should be easily shown the light of day. If I'm such a sore thumb then you can see me coming and going. I have more than enough bruises and scars, enough emotional baggage of my own making and collection to be willing or wanting to work at generating new forms of the same from people I don't even know. I just want to live as the individual that is tapping these keys right now and move through however she will evolve in her life. In short, I just don't have the energy that being such a nemesis to the "real woman" would require. Most people like me, transwomen or men, honestly aren't interested in total strangers enough to be the big threat you try to paint us as. There are more important things for us to focus on.
Now, I do revel in my femininity. In being the woman that I am and I do so within my own life, not wanting to force myself onto anyone anymore than anyone is forced onto anyone else. People such as the commentators of the above quotes make more noise and draw more attention to people like myself than most of us can actively achieve just for trying to get from point A to point B without that simple act becoming a total shit-storm. We have and will be victimized. We have and will be marginalized. We have and will be disenfranchised and oppressed and utterly devalued. We have and will be fetishized by the media. We have and will be chastised and judged and rolled into broad groups of peoples that are considered lesser. We have and will be beaten, raped and murdered. We have and will be left to float in rivers, to die in parks and to bleed on the street. We have and will suffer this, more than many cisgender women in the modern world will ever experience in their white bread, picket-fence lives that we will never begrudge them. We don't take to take from others. We want our own lives and happiness, to make them ourselves, to tend them and to leave them with grace and peace. You don't have to like us. We don't need people like you to do so. All I would ask is simply stop trying to spread the suffering around. We all have enough of our own.
Pissed that we share a bathroom? How old are you, twelve? Upset that we dress similarly? Why do you care what I wear? Enraged that we fight for medical services others don't need or that are seen by you as ludicrous? Who the hell are you to delineate what is necessary, or even substantial and rational regarding my health, my health care and my body? Hypocrite much? I'm disabled because of my Myofascial Pain Disorder. I got the injury responsible for it protecting innocent people from a violent man. Have I not earned a little comfort in my own skin when I've never wanted to take anything from you and never asked you to do more than simply let me pass on by like you would any other person at the grocery store? Don't I deserve to be able to look into a mirror and be as content with what I see as well as how I try to be ethically and morally with anyone I interact with as you are? To feel like I'm no longer being forced simply by my physiology and the expectations that come with same in spite of my psychology and emotional foundations into a square hole that I simply just do not, and never have, fit?
Does a human being have to pay some nebulous figurative fee or sacrifice a damn goat or something just so they can avoid having to deal with the results of this vitriol and spite as well as that of the whispered, back-handed denigration? That's the truly insidious thing about people that speak and think like the commentators I quoted above. They don't care what their anger does or how it serves to do to other people precisely what they spend such energy and time raging that others do to them.
Isn't this entire thing the whole point of "No freedom without equality"? Harriet Tubman wouldn't approve. Nor would Emma Lazarus. Or Martin Luther King, for that matter. But I'll give you this, you of the self-aggrandized "real women" like my quotees. The mental gymnastics you achieve in the pursuit of your particular brand of persecution are simply mind-boggling. Brava!
I know this has been a long read and I thank anyone who has made it to this point, whether or not you agree with me. The discussion, the exchange of ideas continues to grow and if we don't partake in it...then we're denying and missing out on something uniquely human.
Our own ability to evolve as individuals in a world that we can shape through that evolution.
The next installment will be lighter. I promise.