Thursday, 7 February 2013
Why socialisation matters:
Trans woman often argue that having transitioned, the male privilege they had while being seen as a man has no effect on their now lives. They are seemingly baffled as to why those of us with Uteruses, whether we're cis or not disagree. Well here is why I think male privilege does have an impact.
You can always tell a trans woman who came out later from one who had an accepting family and who grew up as a woman. Why?
Because in my experience a closeted for a long time trans woman's misogyny when directed at people with a uterus tends to be externalised misogyny not internalised misogyny.
I'm not saying that Trans women who come out later can't have internalised misogyny. But I always get the distinct impression that many trans woman of earlier generations or more repressive families have two misogyny based compartments for a woman/someone who is seen as female by society based on what is between her legs, and the one in which anyone with a uterus falls into is startlingly similar in some ways to cis male misogyny which is externalised misogyny.
With many trans women now, they are the ones who didn't have accepting families and remained seen as boys, often for multiple decades. The result is:
When a trans woman slut shames, it is almost always directed at people with uteri, not at other trans women.
When a trans woman makes body shaming comments, it is often applied exclusively to people with Uteri, such as the recent claims one trans activist made that vaginas are disgusting unless surgically created.
When a trans woman is anti-choice, their comments are often based on sneering at anyone who has a uterus for needing reproductive rights and ignoring that trans women need health care as well.
There's a distinct impression that I get from many late to come out trans women that they in some ways think like a cis man when it comes to someone who has a uterus. That they have absorbed the idea that anyone who has a period is lesser, and that they think of themselves as better by default. Not necessarily consciously but certainly unconsciously.
In short, part of having any privilege, is that society indoctrinates you to think yourself better and others lesser. There's no escaping that, and many trans woman do seem to have retained that indoctrination just like anyone who has privilege and loses it.