Monday, June 10, 2013

The importance of pronouns

Part of transitioning is patiently enduring the world around you fumbling between he and she. It takes time for people to form the habit of referring to me as a woman instead of as a male. The important thing is that people try, and correct themselves when they get it wrong. Soon, memory of the old fades, and nothing remains but she she she.

Well, that's the plan at least. It doesn't always work out that way. I went to a Tim Horton's last night and despite showing a ridiculous amount of cleavage, having long hair, and looking as I do, the young man at the counter decided to say "Here is your coffee *sir*". He decided to be a bigot. 



This is when pronouns become a weapon for transphobia and bigotry. The individual obviously clocked me as transsexual, decided he didn't believe transsexuals were who they say they are, and opted to out me by specifically going against that all signs pointed to me being a woman. He made that choice and he is a shitty person for it.

We internalize this sometimes. I read a conversation on Fetlife about this subject. If you've got an account, check it out here: https://fetlife.com/groups/9005/group_posts/3979059



There was a lot of fucked up behaviour just in the original post, sure, but the point is that several transwomen decided to mock another, who didn't pass as well. I'm pretty sure misgendering is the punchline of that mockery.

So we do it to ourselves, yeah. It sucks. What I find more upsetting is when self-proclaimed allies do it to us. Why? Because allies are, generally, cisgender. When a cisgender person decides to take up trans* causes, there is an expectation that they won't partake in transphobia, at least not any more often than we ourselves do. 

Enter everythingbutharleyquinn. Here's her tumblr: http://everythingbutharleyquinn.tumblr.com/ but the "creepers" are protected from following it.

I was pointed towards a tumblr post with this little privilege princess. She was blasting a genderqueer individual with all her righteous trans-ally authority. That's ridiculous enough, no cisgender person should open their mouths and lecture a differently gendered person about gender issues. It gets worse.


Everythingbutharleyquinn, or ebhq for short maybe, purposely misgendered the genderqueer individual, referring to them as dudebro. The intention was to harm. This is a self-proclaimed ally, misgendering someone she purports to support!

So I replied. 

In addition to being a transphobic bigot, everythingbutharleyquinn is also a coward. Instead of addressing me directly, she reblogged a response on her own blog, which I cannot see. Only when a friend pointed me towards a tumblr response defending me did I receive the insult she intended for me in the first place. 

She misgendered me.

She purposely referred to me as they in an attempt to convince others that I was a man who was oppressing her. 

I'm not exactly known for social justice, and I'm hardly enough of a smartypants to use the Brainiac equivalent of purple prose to endlessly debate the theories of social justice. All I can do is continue living the reality of it.

Since I'm not going to win any debates about why some cowardly white cisgirl living in Austrlia of all racist places shouldn't be bullying trans* people, I will instead use the attention being a fuck slut gives me to get everythingbutharleyquinn more attention than her pathetic little social justice circle is used to seeing. 

3 comments:

  1. It's nothing to do with cowardice, babe, and EVERYTHING to do with the fact I've had a stalker for eight years harassing me, actually. So get off that train. I love how you little fighters for freedom and justice conveniently ignore this STATED FACT IN THE DISCUSSION to pretend I'm just scared of ya'll. Not so.

    HOWEVER, to get to the crux of the issue here:
    I used 'they' because I wasn't sure of your pronoun. I don't recall seeing you identify your preferred pronouns in the post, which doesn't mean you didn't, just that I missed it. I could list a thousand excuses for why, I suppose, but it's beside the point really.

    I AM sorry for misgendering you. Truly, I am.

    I used they as neutral in that instance, BECAUSE I wasn't sure (and couldn't be fucked going to check, tbh, this entire "fight" is outrageous). It was not my intent to misgender you, but big deal, I know, intent doesn't matter. I am sorry.

    But a lot of this is just total bullshit. I was advised by trans women behind the scenes to just let you lot keep digging the hole and not bother engaging with you. That's why I made a separate post rather than reply to yours directly and why I have ignored further butthurt hysteria from the CAFAB people involved. I'm only replying here because I am truly sorry that I misgendered you, another woman, particularly a trans woman who has to deal with a vast intensity of misgendering.

    But your claims of cowardice are bogus, as are most of the other claims in all this crap.

    I have NEVER "self-proclaimed" myself an ally, for a start off so you and your friends can quit blathering on with that hysterical retort. The issues at the center of this whole debacle have been spelled out plainly and clearly several times and yet the CAFAB people in this discussion continue to ignore them. Clearly you have your reasons for siding with them, I'm not going to interrogate that. But making this about ME (in much the same way they made the critique of FAAB culture about THEM) just permits the continued disregard of the issues at the heart of this matter (TRANSMISOGYNY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!) . Fact is: I'm GLAD to be their cisgirl sacrifical cow rather than see the CAFAB people involved in this make it all about the big mean bullying trans women who are the people articulating the concerns I spoke up about. I volunteered to do that and be that. We all knew it would become solely about my cis status rather than the actual issues being brought up, in the same way when other trans* people bring it up, CAFAB just arse cover by crying they're being policed. Like your pal mirkwood screaming a blue fit about how noone can call them CAFAB, EVER. Even though the fact they were CAFAB IS RELEVANT TO THE POWER DYNAMICS INVOLVED BETWEEN CAFAB PEOPLE AND GENDERQUEERS.

    But whatever. I know you must be aware of these issues. Like I said, you have your reasons for backing them and I'm not going to bother interrogating them. But don't go misrepresenting shit yourself.



    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. * made a typo, sorry:

      Even though the fact they were CAFAB IS RELEVANT TO THE POWER DYNAMICS INVOLVED BETWEEN CAFAB PEOPLE AND GENDERQUEERS.

      should read:

      Even though the fact they were CAFAB IS RELEVANT TO THE POWER DYNAMICS INVOLVED BETWEEN CAFAB PEOPLE AND TRANS WOMEN.

      Delete
  2. I'm glad you commented, thanks for doing that. I edited my post to remove any call out to muster the rohirim or something and swat at you. Thank you for apologizing.

    I want you to apologize to Mirkwood now for misgendering.

    I lol'd at the notion of me as a "little fighter for freedom and justice." I'm not. I didn't understand/pay attention to half of the original conversation and I really have no idea what the original topic was. I saw you misgender Murkwood, and that's about all I need from someone arguing trans* issues.

    Also the little part is funny, considering your entire social justice circle of angry friends combined doesn't come anywhere near my number of followers or viewers.

    You wouldn't have bumped into my blog because you don't have very good taste in sex. ^_^

    Don't use FAAB. The term is men or transmen. Recognize who they are, its rude to define trans people by their origin. I doubt you would use MAAB.

    I don't care if you are being stalked. I get death threats regularly. Cry me a river. If you aren't going to make your blog public, maybe you should be mind your own business. If you don't, its delightfully easy to eclipse your efforts with whatever we want people to think about you. Food for thought.

    ReplyDelete

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