so while we’re on the topic of double-binds, let’s talk for a bit about one of the more disturbing ones because it’s as often used inside the “trans community” as outside and it really ends up having some pretty fucked-up results: the bitch/man conundrum, as i call it.
see, when you’re an assumed-cis female and you have independent thoughts that differentiate you from a doormat, to paraphrase Rebecca West and remove the messed-up part of that quote that denigrates sex workers, you often find yourself getting called a “bitch.” and, well, i am disturbingly meek and shy in person until i get to know and trust someone (and then i’m neither meek nor shy at all), so it’s probably not the attitude i present with. i am far more of a baller on the internet, in other words.
the paradigm shifts a bit when you’ve disclosed being trans, you’re female, and you have independent thoughts that differentiate you from a doormat. see, this tends to shift things very rapidly from “bitch” to “man.” now, uh, listen, “man” is not an insult to someone who identifies as such, but at the same time, in case you missed the memo, i’m a trans woman, if you know me at all you know why it’s particularly laughable to call me a “man,” as even with some effort toward that goal i still can’t fake it as one for the life of me, at least in the eyes of others, but at the same time i know who is most likely to use that imprimatur: cis gays/lesbians who are deeply threatened by trans women, but most often, it’s used by other trans women.
alright, sometimes they use “it”, which is the more politically correct version of “man” in trans space. nevertheless, the reality is the same: statements which differentiate me from a doormat, which absent the knowledge that i’m trans, would merely get me called a “bitch”, instead magically transform me into a “man.”
i don’t like this conundrum, just in case you missed it. it’s binding, it’s frustrating, and it’s one of the tools in the toolbox of silencing that a lot of our “trans community” leaders seem to believe is reasonable to use. of course, you have to do it quietly, or use oblique angles of attack like that someone is “bitter and angry” and then in the next paragraph refer to how “men are bitter and angry”, but…it’s sort of like the social equivalent of what the little white children used to call “nigger-knocking.” you know, where you pound on the door of a Black person and run away. that’s all any of this is…it’s reminding someone that you find undesirable for a reason you can’t elucidate in polite company that they’re not supposed to be here because of that reason. naturally, you can’t actually say “nigger” to my face, but you sure can pound on the door, scream it, and run like hell.
we need to stop enabling the bitch/man thing within the “trans community” because it’s the only way we’re ever going to get cis people to stop doing it. we have to stand up and stop it all the time, every time. i don’t really care how much you don’t like someone, it’s never acceptable to call another trans woman “it” or refer to her as a man. ever. like, seriously, if we don’t knock it off, how can we ask the cis world to knock it off? i know that behind my back, it’s probably fun to mock my mental shortcomings and my weird features, but these are things you never would have paid attention to if you didn’t know i was trans, and the fact that you are paying attention to them once you know i am is pretty freakin’ reprehensible because it means you’re looking for markings, looking for differences which you can use to other someone and take away their gender identity…this is something that nobody does to cis people, but it’s pretty much a fact of daily life in the “trans community.”
now, of course, we’ve delved at length into the reasons why one is “undesirable” in the “trans community.” or, well, i’ve at least touched on the attempts at reason that the “trans community” provides, since i really don’t understand what part of dogma makes a legitimate case for the idea that you can’t be, say, a trans woman and disabled at the same time, but i don’t get the hater dogma to start with mostly because it’s primarily directed at anyone who doesn’t fit a specific narrow concept of what a “woman” is. at the risk of repeating myself, the definition of “woman” promulgated by the trans community has nothing to do with the definition of “woman” promulgated by Western society generally. because of this, the “trans community” enforces such a narrow standard that most cis women wouldn’t actually fit it, and if you can’t see why this is problematic, you’re probably one of the people who thinks it’s funny to call me a “man” or “it” and make sure that i’m not allowed in your treehouse.
to which i say: we’re adults, grow the fuck up and get over your treehouse.