Rose McGowan seeks to bask in the glow of a compassion only reserved for white women whilst the footprints of her Doc Martens are pressed into our backs.I employ what one could call a ‘survivor’s leniency’. As a complex PTSD sufferer because of multiple sexual assaults, and the recipient of intense therapeutic support which led me away from drug-induced psychosis and back, into a now thriving recovery, I know well the long-term impact of sexual violence on those of us who have been preyed upon by abusive people. Thus, I have not shouted my dislike from any rooftops what bugs me about Rose McGowan. It started when I heard her on Rupaul and Michelle Visage’s podcast “What’s the Tee?”. They’re consummate professionals who are professionally flattering, well-researched and usually deliver content seamlessly. Yet, they couldn’t hide how clunkily awkward it was when Rose McGowan was their guest. One of the lowest moments in this car crash of a podcast was her misguidedly using the terms trans women and drag queens interchangeably. Her statements about trans women and her racist, TERF and queerphobic ways aren't new, but the cherry on top was a ridiculous anecdote about their lack of interest in her menstrual cycle. “Don’t you think it’s funny that you guys never ask me about my period?” Maybe it’s too much to expect cisgender people to wonder how insidious gender dysphoria might be? That there may be trans girls who mentally spiral downwards in thoughts about not having wombs and not having children? That to this trans girl it would be really disrespectful and insensitive to brazenly ask for details of someone’s menstrual cycle out of the blue? That the idea of asking someone about their genitalia and how they work and how they feel about them is conversational territory that I am not entitled to? #mindblown
Being trans is not at all determined by our bodies. Our genders are not determined by our bodies or body parts.Even as knowledge on trans identities and trans folks becomes more widespread and accessible, a perilous hyperfixation on trans people’s bodies remains. We are vilified and harassed everyday in our homes, our schools, or in our places of work for how we might look or present. Trans folks are consistently shamed, marginalized, and oppressed under cisheteropatriarchy and through its actors for failing to adhere to colonized, cisgender binaries and gender roles and expectations, especially with regards to our presentation and our bodies. Trans people are misunderstood and pathologized as having some “deviance” of the body. Even among folks who claim to be trans allies, trans people remain fetishized and objectified as body-objects and nothing more. Trans women and femmes especially are graded and received only through how conforming our bodies are to respectable, colonial, and cis standards of beauty. We are told even by those who claim to be our friends how they would “never have been able guess/tell”. We are told that our presentations “look so good for a trans girl” or that we are “surprisingly” skillful at navigating and crafting our presentation. As well, armful, overgeneralized assumptions continue regarding trans folks and our bodies, in particular our genitalia or other physical characteristics. And this contributes to the transmisogynistic demonization of trans women and femmes in particular regarding social access, like to public bathrooms. This also maintains a predatory “chaser” culture in which interested potential partners fetishize trans folks on the mere assumption of what body parts we may have. But in truth, we are more than our bodies. Our genders are more than bodies. In fact, being trans is not at all determined by our bodies. Our genders are not determined by our bodies or body parts. And our trans identity does not determine what body parts we may have. This pathologized, colonial misunderstanding of gender is simply not true. Regardless of where our genitals or other physical/bodily characteristics fall on the spectrum of human variation, we are peoples of many different genders.
Related: DON’T BE A TERF: TRANSMISOGYNY 101
May white feminism stay and die in 2017. They have really outdone themselves. My newsfeed curation is constantly being managed by my trigger-happy fingers that have turned ‘unfollow’ into a reflex reaction. Yet, I can be laughing uproariously at some delicious
Categories determine our lives. As marginalized folk, we work towards determinacy in a white supremacist society that tells us what we are, what we are not, and what we will never be. By Leila Zainab It’s Friday night. 7:30pm. In one
The attacks on Berkeley by white supremacists are just one part of a larger trend in which fascism is gradually gaining a foothold into many of our institutions.
Berkeley is primed for another wave of white supremacist attacks next week with the inception of a series of talks euphemistically referred to as “Free Speech Week,” which will feature a full line-up of talks and presentations by alt-right media pundits (including Milo Yiannopoulos and Steve Bannon, among others).
Partly in retaliation for the dramatic shut-down of Milo Yiannopoulos’s scheduled talk there last January by anti-fascist protestors—in which Yiannopoulos had planned to exercise his “free speech” rights to publicly reveal the names of undocumented students at UC Berkeley—the Berkeley College Republicans, with the financial backing of wealthy conservatives tied to the state of Israel, has invited a plethora of reactionary speakers to openly present their bigoted views on campus.
Although the content of these talks (which will include explicitly anti-Black, anti-immigrant, anti-trans hate speech targeted at vulnerable student populations) clearly violates the rights of students to work and study in an environment free of harassment (also known as Title IX), the university administration refuses to cancel these talks. This is because, according to them, they are a public university and are thus legally bound to uphold the First Amendment rights of all students (including those students who espouse extreme right-wing views) to invite speakers of their choice to campus.