There are a lot of must-read pieces this week on the Wednesday reading list. Fallon Fox discusses ignorance and bigotry faced by trans athletes at TransGriot, Rebecca Juro and Roz Kaveney contribute pieces to The Advocate, Julia Serano talks Halberstam, and Jenny Boylan pops up over at Huffington Post and the New York Times.
Fallon Fox – Fallon’s Fun With Flawed TERF Sports Thinking
[blockquote source=”TransGriot”]”I learned a mindset within the martial art of jiu jitsu a long time ago. The thought process is, it is highly beneficial for one to sometimes use the energy and momentum of the attacks against oneself as momentum for ones own attack. This concept can be used in many situations. So that’s part of the reason why, when I look at the forest before the trees, those articles that caused me to lose sleep in the past when I first came out as a transgender athlete are now the articles that cause me to sleep more soundly.
There’s a shift that’s been happening, a momentum for widespread understanding of transgender people and their bodies that has taken off within the last year. There is no doubt opposition to the shift. But the more the opposition flails, the more they fight, the more they sink into the quicksand of their own hatred and bigotry.”[/blockquote]
Jenny Finney Boylan – 5 Things Not to Say to a Transgender Person (and 3 Things You Should)
[blockquote source=”Huffington Post”]”1. ‘Hey, you! Have you had ‘the surgery’?’
This is kind of like someone coming up to you and asking about your vagina or penis. No, wait, it’s exactly like that. While there are some trans folks who are eager to start blabbering away about their nether regions, most of us consider our private parts, you know, private. Go figure.”[/blockquote]
Jenny Finney Boylan – I Had a Boyhood, Once
[blockquote source=”The New York Times”]”I’m not sure I would have traded my boyhood for a girlhood, if given the chance. I know I would have been grateful to have been spared the misery of adolescence, of course, and the wearisome transition that came after, but on the whole I give thanks for those July days I spent staring up at the blue sky. That boy lives inside me, even now. His dreams are still mine.”[/blockquote]
Julia Serano – Regarding ‘Generation Wars’: some reflections upon reading the recent Jack Halberstam essay
[blockquote source=”Whipping Girl”]”I generally do not respond to every essay that I disagree with on the Internet (as that would be a full time job!). But I wanted to add a few thoughts to this discussion because, while the essay in question is uniquely “Halberstamian” in its style and themes, the overarching narrative that holds the piece together is remarkably similar to the one recently forwarded by Andrea James, and resembles recent comments made by RuPaul. Indeed, it seems as if queer and trans folks who came of age around the 1990’s (ostensibly my generation, give or take a few years) are increasingly invoking this as the “go-to” narrative to explain why a younger generation of queer and trans activists behave the way that they do. And I think that the assumptions that prop up this narrative are in dire need of unpacking.”[/blockquote]
Rebecca Juro – Working While Trans
[blockquote source=”The Advocate”]”Friends suggested I consider de-transitioning just long enough to put some money in the bank and use it to pay for hormones and eventually surgery. I toyed with the idea for a while, but in the end I just couldn’t bear the idea of going back to living as male, even for a little while. I was either going to live as the woman I am or I wasn’t going to live at all.
It took me six years of applications and interviews that went nowhere before I finally landed my first job as a woman. By then I’d legally changed my name to Rebecca and appeared passably female to casual inspection.”[/blockquote]
Roz Kaveney – Woman Enough
[blockquote source=”The Advocate”]”The attack by self-identified radical feminists on trans people’s participation in feminism and the LGBT movement has never been a response to any bad behavior by trans women or trans men. Some of its highest-profile targets have been people who have worked hard for feminist and LGBT causes. Part of the paradox of trans-exclusionary radical feminism has always been that it is based so totally on applying a theoretical framework to lived experience; it is based on an idea, and yet manifests as extremely personal vindictiveness and vendettas.
The acronym TERF was devised by other radical feminists to distinguish their own politics from the antitrans variety; the claim that it was devised by trans people as a slur is untrue. It does sound kind of nasty, though, which is probably why it caught on. The TERF idea is that sex is entirely binary, that the oppression of women is entirely based on that binary difference; that gender is a malign fiction created by a patriarchy that exists wholly and solely to oppress women as a class. “[/blockquote]
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