What a piece of worke is a man! how Noble in
Reason! how infinite in faculty! in form and moving
how express and admirable! in Action, how like an Angel!
in apprehension, how like a God? the beauty of the
world, the paragon of animals; and yet to me, what is
this quintessence of dust! Man delights not me; no,
nor Woman neither; though by your smiling you seeme
to say so—The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark (Act II, Scene ii)
Precedent Bone Spurs Pussy Grabber in charge now, having just completed his first year in office (may the gods grant it is his only year, please!), and the second Women’s March has recently taken place.
Among the hilarious and thought-provoking signs spotted in the various marches: a child with the sign reading “I’m not allowed to act like the President”, many inclusive and support signs on issues that are intersection with all people, not only women (yet I don’t recall seeing even a single “Not All Men” type among them, though undoubtedly there was at least one, perhaps on the sidelines, in protest), but the one that has hit me the hardest is actually not inclusive, which was the intent of it in the first place. Many call it transphobic.
Pinknews has an article about it with the sign, here. There’s been a lot of reaction to the sign, and the intent of it, much of which is summed up in Penknews’ article.
Aside from the signs, there’s another aspect of the Women’s March that upsets some people: “Not My Pussy Hat: Why I Didn’t Participate in the Women’s March This Year” A lot of gender non-conforming/non-binary folks feel much the same way.
Many of these same issues were raised last year, at which time I wrote the following:
I didn’t attend any marches or planning meetings. I was somewhat confused by some of the comments on social media as to why some transfolx didn’t participate, as nothing I was seeing indicated any deliberate exclusions.
Several of the posts I saw by those expressing exclusionary feelings were from non-binary people. I can sort of understand why they might feel that, especially if the only people they were seeing wearing the hats were women (and for the most part, I don’t distinguish between cis and trans women or men, unless it’s actually relevant to something, and I don’t see this issue that way.)
However, as a non-bearer of a uterus whose birth certificate states I am female, I’m not going to say they should have joined in or stayed away, because their perceptions and feelings of safety and inclusiveness are theirs, not mine, no matter how well or poorly I may be able to relate to them.
Me, personally? Had I been physically capable to attend any of the rallies or marches, I would have. The physical emblems are not nearly as important as the underlying issues (which in my world includes racial equality as well as all of the other issues others have mentioned.)
However, as someone else mentioned to me, “exclusion doesn’t have to be deliberate in order to be real.”
But there’s something about that anti-trans sign with which I agree: “Woman is not a ‘feeling,’ a costume, or a performance of a stereotype!”.
No, it isn’t. Nor is it a “state of mind”, or a “life choice”, any more than having a nervous system is a life choice or state of mind. It’s not something that we put on and later take off, and if transgender people are stereotypes, it’s largely because the Gatekeepers have demanded it of them.
Yesterday, I was interviewed for about two hours as part of a survey and study on transgender veterans and their mental health care. Among the many things the interviewer and I discussed, was the topic of how we identify. Given my preferences, I identify as female. Not trans-female, not MTF. If it’s relevant to why it’s being asked, I can add “transgender (although, as I explained, I still prefer the older and now-more obsolete term “transsexual”.)
I’ve always been female. I pretended, badly, to be male for many years, and failed miserably. I was miserable, the people around me were miserable, and I hated the pretense – for nearly 60 years. I was depressed for most of those years – suicidally so. I have no idea how many attempts I made, from the first hanging attempt (before school-age) to the knife through my wrist and beyond.