Caitlyn Jenner is the most prominent trans woman anywhere, a big target to hostiles, not particularly a good role model, but a way to get us noticed. If people know about us, we are less threatening. Should we defend her? A comment here:
Bruce was born male and raised male—and he was a jock…The males in my family were jocks—and while their life experience was that of being treated like young princes—my experience as a female was that of being treated like a servant. While they were at some sports field tossing a ball while people eagerly watched and cheered, I was doing their laundry…
Bruce’s life has been one of extreme MALE privilege. He has been fawned over and catered to as are all male jocks.
So fast forward, and Bruce announces at age 65 he’s “always felt [he] was a woman”… his having this dream life of extreme male privilege not afforded to ANY woman, especially back when in was in his 20s and women were bared from holding certain jobs, like being a cop.
Not entirely a dream life- she lived with gender dysphoria.
Bruce doesn’t have a clue what it is to be a woman, because all his experiences have been as a fawned over male.
Some women resent successful men, because patriarchy kept women from such success. I sympathise. But also, some women reject transgender when they don’t feel the “gender” “feminine” applies to them. Female sexuality, but not “femininity”. Females’ experiences, not a set of feelings peculiar to females.
This is why some women take issue with male to female transgenders.
She applies it to us. All of us. To me, she says, I totally support you doing whatever you need to in order to feel comfortable in your own skin yet she “understands” the women who “take issue”. We are a class. As Stewart Lee says, mocking Islamophobes, “I hate all Muslims- except the few I have met who are all all right”. She says about Caitlyn what others say of all of us.
Just to be clear, I have no objection to anyone wanting to change their name, their gender, their body, whatever. It’s their business. I don’t care if Bruce wants to present as a woman, that’s his personal choice, BUT I do have a problem with him claiming he’s been a woman all along. It’s total B. fucking S.
It doesn’t matter what he “felt” inside. The reality is, he wasn’t ostracized or marginalized. … For him to now claim he’s “always been” a woman—after he has reaped the rewards as a male—is an insult.
Unfortunately, “claiming to be a woman” is what we do. We pretend to be Manly to cover up how we feel inside, then we transition. Caitlyn made her money as an athlete, some of us barely muddle through. Caitlyn appears on a magazine cover, glammed up by the best make-up artists and photographers, and that is what celebrities do, not just her. Notice- she has to do that, to get what she wants. She has to behave as a woman of her class, now.
Women have been kept from particular roles and shoe-horned into others. I have been unable to be myself for thirty years, and only when I transition can I find and value myself. “I have been a woman all the time I presented male” means this is not a whim, but liberation of my real self: feminine, but arguably not female.
Caitlyn’s struggle is my struggle. Her privilege is that of the rich. Attack the privilege of rich celebrities by all means, but if you pick on the trans woman as trans, you pick on me too. So we have to defend her. Our arguments fail completely if they fail in her case. And if others divide us into “suffering trans” who get sympathy and “privileged trans” who do not, who can be attacked, all of us will be called “privileged” eventually.
I wrote that, then she commented again: Transgender women want to go into female dressing rooms and bathrooms. Some women don’t feel comfortable with that. And that’s okay. It’s their right to not have someone they view as male enter their private area. All that sympathy for my victims, and I get erased.
Mmm. What alternative do you propose? And how important is it, considering the number of trans women?