Originally posted at New Narratives 2014: Reframing the conversation
I have participated in online discourse in trans spaces for probably 10 years now, and I’ve witnessed a growing and worrying pattern of suppressing any dissent or probing questioning. This no doubt feeds the spiral of silence. Topics devolve quickly into heated flame wars. Eventually, people learn to just not mention these topics. Sometimes people are out-right banned from online communities for discussing them.
Speech that is silenced in trans communities
- Acknowledging male privilege, male socialization, and it’s effect on behavior. Verboten. Evidence of self-hate. It is interesting to note that on the recent 350+ signatories of the Zinnia petition, approximately 120 out of 390, or 31%, listed a STEM occupation. And yet we are to ignore the forces of sex-based oppression that keep females disproportionately absent from STEM fields, and privileges males.
- Siding with females on safe space issues?
Treason of the highest order. Evidence of self hate.
- The realities of passing, and challenging self-identification as proof of gender? Elitism, dismissed as appealing to society as one of the ‘good ones’.
- Calling for rational engagement and an end to online violent and bullying behavior?
“Stop tone policing me! I’m just venting!”
- Identifying and expressing concern over the fetishization of female objectification and submission prevalent in trans behavior?
This is actually frequently discussed as a source of shame. Rarely, however, is fetishization and autogynephilic behavior discussed as arising out of misogyny and male socialization. Instead, it is ‘normalized’ as a symptom of being trans (“you do that too? what a relief!”), and is not unpacked and unlearned.