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Thu Feb 23, 2017, 05:38 PM

Tim Wise is bringing it.. [View all]

"Aside from the sheer spitefulness and bigotry the lay behind the Trump Administration's decision to rescind the Obama guidance for schools (which had required schools to allow students to use restrooms corresponding to their gender identity), there is something else I think we need to note and which is rarely discussed. Namely, that transphobia is, at its root, largely about fragile masculinity.

How do we know this? Simple: in all the uproar over which bathroom trans folks should use, the only example ever dredged up by transphobes is the "biological" (at birth) male, who dresses as a woman (note, transphobes often think trans people are basically just cross-dressers), and then molests little girls in the women’s room at Target or some such thing. Aside from the obvious responses — there are no examples of this ever happening, and men have never needed trans bathroom protections to molest little girls, nor have they felt the need to dress as women for the purpose — notice what the example signifies. These fears imply that all trans people are trans women (persons whose sex and gender assignment at birth were both male). But what of trans men?

If someone is born biologically a woman and assigned that identity at birth, but their true gender identity is male and they live as a male, present as male — and perhaps even have undergone gender confirmation surgery — do the transphobes really want that person to go to the women’s room? I doubt it. But that is what their preferred policy would dictate that person should do. Which means they aren’t thinking about such persons at all. Because if they were they would probably be freaked out that these masculine looking “women” (in their limited worldview) were going to be in such restrooms with their little precious Becky. The fact that they don’t think of trans men in the least suggests that their phobia is more about policing masculinity and punishing those “men” who do not meet their expectations of manhood or who fail to identity with it at all. It is as if they are so afraid of their own sexuality and identity that any consideration of a person born “male” but who is actually a woman confounds their very sense of self.

Transphobia, in short, is less about fear of the other and more about fear of the self: fear of one’s own often complex sexuality, fear that perhaps gender identity and sexual identity are fluid and not binary — and thus, are complicated and messy and not simple and easy to understand. Simple minded people like simple minded answers about the world. Complexity scares them. Indeed complexity and nuance and ambiguity are the first casualties of, and the greatest fears of, reactionary thinking.

Which is why when people suggest that trans folks are disordered they have it exactly backwards. It is they who are disordered. They operate on the basis of irrational fears and biases, and an irrational hostility to human complexity. If anyone needs counseling it is the transphobe, not the trans man or woman."


- Tim Wise

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Reply Tim Wise is bringing it.. [View all]
JHan Feb 2017 OP
tblue37 Feb 2017 #1
JHan Feb 2017 #7
tblue37 Feb 2017 #9
Quayblue Feb 2017 #16
Amaryllis Feb 2017 #2
keithbvadu2 Feb 2017 #14
MontanaMama Feb 2017 #17
Amaryllis Feb 2017 #23
Bernardo de La Paz Feb 2017 #3
erronis Feb 2017 #6
Bernardo de La Paz Feb 2017 #12
MrScorpio Feb 2017 #21
BadgerMom Feb 2017 #4
greymattermom Feb 2017 #5
JHan Feb 2017 #8
Cha Feb 2017 #10
Solly Mack Feb 2017 #11
keithbvadu2 Feb 2017 #13
3catwoman3 Feb 2017 #19
Delmette2.0 Feb 2017 #15
MontanaMama Feb 2017 #18
Delmette2.0 Feb 2017 #20
MontanaMama Feb 2017 #22