Three concepts. Each of them interrelated, yet each of them establishing something distinct.
Of the three, the most common is cis centrism. This is the placing of concerns of cis folk as normative and central. Easy enough — one would even say it is kinda expected, and startlingly common. If you were to ignore the fact around the whole 90% of the population thing. Not ignoring that fact means that you see it as not only the most common idea, but you start to realize that this is the thing that will sneak up on you over time and devour you whole.
Cis sexism is the thing that people often overlook. I see a lot of trans people engaging in this one against other trans people. It is especially prevalent in those disagreements between trans men and trans women. It is also one of the most frequently employed ways of knocking the trans community — and in particular, trans women, since they are, after all, women — in order to bring them into line, and it is used to enforce most of the usual shame and stigma based attack on trans people.
The last one is transphobia. This is the best known one, and the easiest one to hurl back, but it is so overused that if you are going to do it you need to not use the actual term any longer, and instead shift to the components of it so that you can illustrate it in action. This is why I use animus, anxiety, and aversion. Aside from the alliterative nicety, it allows a much more accurate demonstration of the nature of the statements so accused. It makes the whole much more visible, much more apparent.
And those three things are the basis of what makes life for trans people so damned horrible.
Yesterday I wrote a quick post. It was triggered by stumbling across one of Lyndon’s posts on Focus on the Rainbow. I happened across it because of the news service I subscribe to. Lyndon writes short pieces for the most part. Like myself, he is very good at the attack piece — then again, it is fairly easy to be good at the attack piece. both of us have jumped into the fray on the same side when it comes to Autumn once in a while.
We are miles apart, however, when it comes to Ashley Love, who I am not only not a fan of, but who is actively working against the very things that I work towards. And she does so by being, well, all those things above.
Part of the reason that Lyndon buys into what she says so much is the charge I leveled at him, again, in yesterday’s piece. He himself — like the overwhelming majority of the country — is transphobic. He is also cissexist. He is also ciscentric in his thinking.
None of those things are insulting. They may not be seen as socially commendable, but they are not, in and of themselves, insulting commentary — they are statements of commonality and fact.
A while ago, I posted trans stigma bingo. It is also filled with those things, and the point of it was to show people what it is that they have inside themselves, if they are trans people. I touched recently on the concept of the ciscentric bargain, as well, which is a manifestation of those things in practical, real world terms.
I have often said that everyone raised in America — and I should amend that to inculturated into American culture — is racist. This is because the culture, itself, is that way. It is changing, slowly (too slowly), but still there.
IT is part and parcel of the culture we are raised in, so all of it is going to internalize and stick around with one.
The best, at this point, we can hope for is to fight against it using individual efforts and adding in incentives not to do so — most people argue for both positive and negative reinforcement, and that seems to work, but there are studies that question that methodology.
However, there are levels to this. There are the outright, obvious problems — for example, Ashley’s horrible stuff. Or the statements that Lyndon made.
In his response to me, he says “game on”.
Which, of course, makes me smile, because I’m way too damned competitive for my own good. And I’m arrogant and egotistical as all hell, as well as way too pedantic for even congressional hearings. Get me in the right mood and I can even bore statisticians.
But that’s my personal problem and I don’t place great priority in overcoming it.
He also says some other things.
She even put’s me in the same company with Cathy Brennan, you all I presume know who she is. Well Dy that I’ll wear as a badge of honor.
Not so sure you want to hang your hat there, Lyndon. The Cockroach is unabashedly and proudly transphobic, and completely buys into the Daly/Raymond model of approach to trans people, which is even antipathetic to Ashley’s views. I realize you probably aren’t really keen on the whole nature of radical feminist thought from that era, but really, that’s some dirty shit that even holds you in contempt. Which is why it is such an effective attack.
You would have done better simply pointing out that it is a guilt by association fallacy. Then I’d have had to step away and apologize or backtrack, because Brennan is some kind of special bad. Saying you’ll wear being linked to her as a badge of honor is a lot like someone saying they’ll stand by Maggie from NOM as a close personal friend.
It is meant to draw a line and make you stand on a side for or against such — CB has become, in and of herself, a wedge issue, a litmus test. Which is pretty impressive, really. I’m in that kind of territory myself — standing with me means you sorta stand against Ashley and what she stands for.
Well you’re correct Dy, there are many things I and many others don’t completely understand about being T, and have written so in a multitude of postings over the past several years, if you were a regular reader and not just a “T alert” reader you would know that from as far back as when the original version of this blog was at Hearst Newspapers.
And I admit to not being a regular reader. Especially of late. I’m not a regular reader of anything. Bil would be upset, but I’m not even a regular reader there any longer. Hell, I don’t even have a bookmark for the Huffington post any longer. I generally read what comes up in my Zite app on my iPad, because, well, that works for me. Most of the time, I miss the rest of it since I’m sorta busy working. This is also why I don’t make many blog posts these days — two in a row is a pretty rare miracle for me.
But I will note that I did say that you do not understand what makes someone T.
And here you ar admitting it.
And the reason I gave for most of what I said was that you were talking about stuff that you don’t know anything about.
you don’t, Lyndon. Instead of writing an article about how it simply doesn’t make sense to you how Michelle could get surgery and how this other person isn’t trans and asking about such (of a community that overwhelmingly prefers anonymity still), you simply decided to focus on the most puerile aspects of both and fall for the most simplistic and uninformed stereotypes.
That’s bang your head on the desk stupid, Lyndon. Especially for an award-winning reporter.
However I do know posers when I see them, like the guy on Cooper’s show and that miscreant in prison.
Well, I’ll give you half right status.
Because, to be perfectly frank, you are right in one case above, and wrong in the other. That gives you a score of spot the trans person of zero.
Also, I’m not so sure that miscreant is the best term for Michelle. Personally, I tend to think of her as that murdering bastard. It makes the reality a lot simpler to grasp. Miscreants generally don’t kill spouses, stuff them into a trunk, and then leave them at a shopping mall.
That doesn’t’ quite fit the whole idea of miscreant to me. Just saying.
In any case, you missed the whole point. That murderer is already paying for the crime they committed. And the process they have had to go through in order to get that surgery makes the carefully screened client list of a certain person seem like an easy way to get the money to pay for their surgery.
They have, in other words, had to prove they ae trans against a hell of a lot more resistance than any that either Ashley or I have had to go through because they had to do it in a system that was bound and determined to prove they were not such, and they had to then establish this in courts, multiple times.
And you just ignored those factual points in favor of your personal preference and the dislike you already have present. For you this isn’t about whether or not these people are trans people, it is about whether or not they are good trans people.
Your confirmation bias is showing.
In regards to Ashley Love, if I have to chose between you and her which I’d prefer not to, I’ll side with Ashley and all those who identify as transsexual who are being discriminated against by your brethern and sisteren as the Almighty T’s try to swept them under the carpet and wants to assimilate them into one, and only one, T-dom for all.
Um, you do realize that the major difference between Ashley and I is that we are separate human beings, and she’s a fucking idiot, don’t you?
That is, when you say “almighty T’s” you are talking about people who identify as Transsexual. Also, as a note, I don’t care what someone identifies as. I don’t identify as transsexual, transgender, or even trans. I identify as who I am – identity is reducible in an ongoing cycle until it becomes a zero sum game.
So Ashley’s identity policing — and your attempt to police the identities of other people in your quote above — really is pretty fucking useless when it comes to me.
She doesn’t speak for Transsexuals. At best, she represents an extreme minority of people with extremely deep-set internalized stigma issues who seek to escape discrimination not by fighting against it, but by sidestepping it and burying themselves under a rock.
She is actively seeking to create a closet, Lyndon. To force trans people into that.
And I think you know that. I think you’ve been around at least long enough to know that, to have seen or remembered the dangers of the closet. From experience.
What she advocates is appeasement and ciscentric thinking. It places the ideas of those who oppress over those who are oppressed, and she does it with the idea of personal gain behind it.
And those are not what I support, because those are what allowed us to end up in a place where trans efforts are years behind others.
So you are saying that you would rather bow down and scrape and live in the big house, just like she does, because you can understand that a hell of a lot more than you can understand fighting against stuff.
and oh hell yeah I went there.