The Fallacy of Cis-Privilege November 16, 2009Posted by FCM in feminisms, self-identified feminist men, thats mean, trans.
Tags: fun fems, privilege, trans
for those who dont know, cis- (meaning “on the same side as”) has been used by transactivists to describe people who “arent trans.” according to them, people who arent trans possess special powers, called “privileges,” parallel to the unearned privileges possessed by whites and men, who socially, politically and relationally oppress women, and people of color.
but when transfolk and transactivists use “privilege” in this context, i do not think it means what they think it means. specifically, their concept of “privilege” does not match up with my definition, or with any accepted definition of the word.
when a transwoman laments to a born woman, for example:
I wish I could understand where you are coming from, but I don’t think I ever will. I never had the privilege of growing up as a girl, with people automatically calling me she, her, girl, woman, etc. without having to think about it. I never had the privilege of being 5 years old and not having your mother beat the living shit out of you because you were trying on her makeup. I say this will [sic] all respect that is due to you: from where I sit, you are the one with the privilege.
what she has revealed is that her idea of anyones particular social or political privilege is “i have something you want.” in the case of born-men thinking that girls and women had it easy or preferable in that they grew up being recognized as female, it would be more accurate to say their idea of privilege is further diluted to mean “i have something you *think* you want” because theres no way a born-male could really know if he wanted to grow up like a girl, because as a boy/man, he doesnt, and indeed *couldnt* know what it was like.
to take a little tangent here, but to illustrate and underscore that point, i was assaulted by 4 neighborhood boys when i was 5, because i was a girl, and they wanted to look into my underpants. so, they trapped me in a camping tent that was set up in the backyard and wouldnt let me leave, and they said i could either give each one of them a kiss, or they were going to look inside my underwear. does this sound like fun to you, transwomen? frankly i would take a beating from my mother on any day of the week, rather than ever be trapped inside a closed space by a bunch of sexually predatory boys who gave me such a disgusting “choice.” i kissed them all and they let me leave. luckily.
but heres the problem with “i have something you want” = “i have privilege”. if i had a candy bar, and you wanted it, i would not have “candy-bar privilege”. if i had a nice dog and you wanted a nice dog like mine, i would not have “dog privilege.” you cant just say that any old goddamn thing i have that you want is a privilege. privilege means that there is *power* there, and girls and women dont possess any kind of gender-based power. exactly the opposite.
Reflections on the Kennedy Memorial (It’s Not Too Soon, Is It?) August 30, 2009Posted by FCM in liberal dickwads, politics, pop culture, thats random.
Tags: camelot, catholic, funeral, kennedy, nantucket bay, politics, privilege, rich, sailing
we have been watching the teddy kennedy memorial on and off all day, and i had a few thoughts. its not too soon, is it?
first of all, i am far from a kennedy historian, and i know you can look that stuff up if you want to. someone else can analyze the problems of william kennedy smith and mary jo kopechne, etc., etc. i have just a few things to say about the memorial itself.
now, it was striking to me that the kennedy family is not just rich, but have successfully amassed elitist wealth. not that profound an observation, i know, but it was striking nontheless. the memorial service was moving, as it was meant to be, but i wonder whether the family realized how they looked, to an ordinary, educated, working american democrat who was an absolute outsider, and not a part of the american aristocracy?
case in point. if they had mentioned the beloved family pastime of sailing in nantucket bay one. more. time. do they not know how fucking elitist that sounds? that they considered it so endearing that teddy’s favorite hobby was…something only a rich, white man has access to, and a virtue that he was so privileged, and had so much leisure time that he could just drop everything without any consequence, and go sailing to satisfy his elitist craving for the sea – was repugnant, on many levels. i was shocked that they kept referring to it, and how insensitive it sounded.