Butterfly Cauldron

Monday, November 26, 2007

Once more: women are not the enemy

(This may ramble, sorry 'bout that. It's not my most thought-out post and I'm kinda flu-ish at the moment.)

I cannot imagine being anything other than female. I have always known that I am a woman, even though there have been times in my life when I wasn't very 'girly'. Actually, lack of 'girliness' has pretty much been my constant state. But I have always known that I am a woman. No one had to tell me that, I always knew. Luckily, I got corresponding woman parts, but even if I hadn't, it wouldn't change the fact that I, me, whatever it is that makes me Zan, would be female.

If I have always known I was a woman, why would I doubt anyone else if they told me they were too? Don't they know themselves the same way I know myself? If they were born with a body that does not match what they know about themselves to be true, should they deny that self-knowledge? Should they force themselves to conform to socially expected ideals? Who benefits from that? And do we want to support those that do benefit?

The fact is, trans people do me no harm. They don't take anything away from me. Their existence does not endanger me in any way. The world is big enough and wide enough and wonderful enough for us all to share and have what we need. If I care about the abuse transpeople suffer, that doesn't mean I care less about the abuse cisgendered women suffer. It doesn't mean I care less about the abuse PoC suffer. It doesn't mean I care less about genocide in other countries, about the effect our pre-emptive war in Iraq is having on that country and our own, about global warming, about widespread drought, about medical research. My heart is big enough to care passionately about all of those things -- with room left over for more.

In the end, I don't see how it matters that a woman was born in a male body or a man was born in a female body. That person is as deserving of respect and rights and a decent, safe life as I am. To distill their entire existence down to one aspect, while neglecting all the other things that make them who they are, is an insult to their humanity. And it is an insult to my humanity and to your own humanity. None of us can be understood or truely known by any one single aspect of ourselves. If I tell you I have green eyes -- what do you know about me know? That I have green eyes. And nothing else. If I tell you that I didn't have my first kiss until I was 18, what does that tell you about me? Or that my parents are still married after 35 years? Or that I'm allergic to grass? That I majored in rhetoric and composition? Put enough of those little details together and yes, you'll get a picture of who I am. But each of them on their own? Doesn't tell you who I am. I tell you I'm a woman, that I'm tall, that I have a chronic illness. All true, but not the whole picture. So, if I don't want myself reduced to any one aspect, why would I support doing that to anyone else?

I left the Southern Baptist Church and organized Christianity in general a very long time ago, but some things made sense, so I kept them. That bit about treating other people the way you want to be treated? That I kept. So don't try to tell me I should be threatened by transwomen. I'm just not, okay?

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posted by Zan at 6:57 PM

2 Comments:

I've never understood this zero sum mentality. I suspect it comes from not receiving enough love as a child. My mother used to say that when they (children who didn't get enough love when they were a child) grow up, they never feel safe loving others because they're constantly afraid that giving any away will leave them with none for themselves. However, children who were loved enough are able to give love to others because they understand that it isn't going to leave them empty.

How true that is, I don't know. I do know that there is something very unbalanced about the mentality of these people who hate transgendered people simply because of who they are. Hey, if you want to hate someone because they're an asshole, I support you a hundred percent. But hating someone because they are? That's irrational and pointless; they're not going to stop being who they are just because you don't like it.

4:40 PM  

Hear, hear!!!!

If anything, transwomen make me feel grateful that I was born into a body that more or less matches my mind.

9:58 AM  

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