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open discussion, queer identity

Trans* Men & Misogyny

Via Twitter, a reader commented on my blog post, I Want to Open Conversation about Queer Diversity, Queer Identity and the Bigotry within the Queer Community:

@CommKr8veWriter Great piece. Curious about what u thk abt trans men & w/tran or cis & the misogyny that is coming from that. In ano piece.

I wasn’t clear on the question and originally understood it as, What are my thoughts on trans* men’s relationships and the misogyny coming from them? or Why are trans* men misogynistic in their relationships?

Trans* men being misogynistic in their relationships would have to be analyzed on an individual level. It would be untrue to say that all trans* men are misogynists. Misogyny derives from our patriarchal culture, and if someone held those beliefs and acted on them within their relationships, there would likely be a lot of factors contributing to that. One, our culture, two, their upbringing, three, how they interpreted their experiences growing up and four, how well they were able to deal with negative experiences. If someone grew up watching their father cheat on or beat their mom, or verbally assault and degrade women, then experiences like that could be embedded into how they then would view and treat women.

The fact that someone is a trans* man has no bearing on whether or not they will be misogynistic within their relationships. Are there trans* men that are misogynists? Sure. Are all trans* men misogynists? No.

So what do I think about the misogyny coming from trans* men’s relationships? I don’t think too much about it. What do I think about misogyny in any person’s relationship or the existence of misogyny in general? I don’t like it.

Because I was unclear about this question and didn’t feel like I had the knowledge to adequately answer it, I emailed one of my friends and connected with one of her friends who is a trans* man. I had some great conversations with him about this question and what it could mean, and I learned about an anti-trans* sentiment that exists that the question could have been alluding to.

The anti-trans* belief that I learned about exists among radical feminists who believe that trans* men are weak and confused women who are so misogynistic that they loathe themselves for being a woman, and from that self-hatred of their womanhood and that deeply embedded misogyny, they mutilate their bodies to become men.

So if the question were asking what are my thoughts on this belief, my thoughts are that I don’t believe in it.

I think it is a belief that isn’t open to the diversity of the human identity or gender identity. It is also a very degrading and devaluing belief towards trans* men.

I do not believe that trans* men identify as trans* men because they hate and devalue women. They identify as trans* or as men because that is who they are. Their identity is their own unique experience. Identifying as trans* or as a man is their authentic selves. Their identity is not co-dependent or even related to hating women. Gender is not black and white. There is more to gender outside of the male/female binary.

I was born a female and I identify as a woman, but I do not feel comfortable being extraordinarily feminine. It’s just not me. My gender expression is more androgynous. Expressing myself in a more gender neutral way is being true to my authentic self. I’m allowing myself to be me and to feel comfortable in my own skin. But that does not mean that I hate women.

Identifying with an androgynous gender expression does not mean that I am ashamed of being a woman. That does not mean that because I do not wear dresses, or because I wear men’s clothes, men’s styled clothes or more gender neutral clothes that I want to be or act like a man.

I love being a woman. I went to a woman’s college, Randolph-Macon Woman’s College, and while I was there they transitioned into a co-ed school. I protested. I didn’t want my school to go co-ed. I believe strongly in women’s education and in a woman’s space being a sacred space. I believe strongly in the power of sisterhood.

My gender expression does not take away from my womanhood. It does not make me any less of a woman. It does not mean that I hate and disrespect women. I am a feminist. I fight for women’s rights. I promote women’s empowerment.

Gender and sex are so diverse, and we are not taught that or shown that when we grow up as kids. We are not shown that in media.

Just because someone is a trans* man, it does not mean that they hate and disrespect women. A person’s identity is uniquely their own, and it’s valid.


Third Gender

Here’s a recent article in Curve Magazine by Kim Hoffman, Fund This!: A New Film About Third Gender. This film doesn’t explore the whole spectrum of gender identity, but it does explore a gender identity outside of the male/female binary.

I recommend reading the article and checking out and supporting their Kickstarter campaign to help fund this film to life. Checkout the documentary’s website, as well, along with their Twitter account.

Other Great Resources:

@genderfork on Twitter, Genderqueer: Beyond the Binaries Tumblr blog and What is Genderqueer? by Jiz Lee (also read the great discussion that came from the comments).

If you know of any other great resources and reads, especially relating to trans* men, leave a comment below and share them. 🙂


Future Guest Post by Allison Moon on the Intersection of Trans* and Feminism

Check back in the next couple of days for a guest post from queer feminist author, Allison Moon, on the intersection of trans* and feminism, inspired by the questions from one of the panels she spoke on at the recent WisCon 2012 Conference.

In Allison Moon’s upcoming guest post, she’ll discuss:

  • How can the feminist community be more informed on and inclusive of our trans* members and partners?
  • Where do these two movements/identities intersect?
  • How are the feminist and trans* movements similar?
  • In what ways are they different?
  • Why is it important to recognize and acknowledge these differences and similarities as we learn how to work together?
  • How can feminists be better allies?

I emailed one of my friend’s this post and in response to:

I love being a woman. I went to a woman’s college, Randolph-Macon Woman’s College, and while I was there they transitioned into a co-ed school. I protested. I didn’t want my school to go co-ed. I believe strongly in women’s education and in a woman’s space being a sacred space. I believe strongly in the power of sisterhood.

She wrote:

Should trans* men be allowed to transition during their time at a women’s college? If they choose to become a man, should they then be excluded from those sacred spaces for women? And what about trans* women? Are they any less of a woman than a cis woman? Why don’t we see trans* women in women’s colleges?

Those are great questions. I started writing a longer response in my email to her, so I decided to turn that into a follow up blog post that I’ll publish within this upcoming week.

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About emelinaminero

I'm passionate about people, community, self-love and the diversity in the human experience.

Discussion

7 thoughts on “Trans* Men & Misogyny

  1. I am the person who wrote the tweet. Here is what I really meant. I see in the lgbtq community trans men who date or are in relationships with trans or cis men. It seems such a close masculine community that is reveling in their masculinity, which is wonderful since it is newly founded for them. But I have seen in the last two years a pushing away of anything or anyone feminine. And this is not about femme invisiblity or they not being attracted to femmes, it’s about a feeling of exclusion from their spaces, of not being wanted around at all. I have over heard misogynist comments towards femmes in queer spaces or events. Or they moving to another part of the room and with all their body language saying…this is bois only. It is a feeling that I get over and over and this is only in the last couple years. It’s new to me. And this is not to say that I haven’t also met some lovely trans men who are kind and friendly. But it is not the norm for me. I do see how you took my tweet in another way. I remember writing it late at night and see I did not make the best use of my 140.

    Posted by Krista | June 28, 2012, 7:14 pm
    • Hey Krista! Thank you so much for commenting and clarifying your question.

      I still feel pretty new to the queer community and culture. Just this past year I’ve been really starting to explore queer culture in-person and going out on my own as an “adult”, so it’s really nice for me to have this blog and to get feedback from people about experiences outside of myself.

      That’s a really great question that can open up some great conversation. I wonder if there has been some kind of shift in queer culture or trans* men culture in the past two years, since this is something you’ve been noticing for the past two years.

      I’ll think about your question, do some research, talk to some people and write something in response to it or see if I can get some guest posts in response to it.

      If anyone reading this has personal experience with this question, especially a trans* man or a cis man in a relationship with a trans* man, I’d love for you to comment, to email me or to write a guest post in response to this.

      Thank you Krista for sharing your experiences and questions with me and this blog. 🙂

      Posted by emelinaminero | June 28, 2012, 7:36 pm
      • Emelina, thank you for giving this topic space on your blog. I also wanted to comment that this blog had some great points and allows for some discussion from all angles. I would also like to hear from others what their experience has been within the community.

        Posted by Krista | June 28, 2012, 8:39 pm
      • You’re welcome. It’s my pleasure. Thank you for asking questions and engaging with this blog. That’s what makes the content rich.

        If I hadn’t received your question, this post wouldn’t exist, conversations I had about issues pertaining to the trans* community wouldn’t have happend and I would have still been in the dark about those issues.

        I love how one question can lead to so many more and open up so much dialogue. I think dialogue is needed within the queer community to help bridge understanding, to help inform people about others’ experiences, pertinent issues and concerns, to help lessen the bigotry within our own queer community and to help bring us together.

        I would also love to hear from others and what their experiences have been within the community. That’s my goal – to have this blog be a safe place for open, respectful and intelligent dialogue about our experiences, our concerns, our joys and our questions, as well as a space to explore the diversity within the queer community.

        Thank you for being a part of it and for making it a rich experience for me, as well.

        Posted by emelinaminero | June 28, 2012, 9:19 pm
  2. It is sometimes unbelievable how deep-rooted and intricate our patriarchal society has inter-webbed itself into all facets of life (media, literature, film, etc) and how its effects are so negative. I look forward to reading the guest posts and learning more!

    Posted by claudettecjones | July 3, 2012, 10:32 pm
    • It is crazy how deep-rooted our patriarchal society has weaved itself into our culture in not the most positive ways. I wonder what other factors contribute to a lot of the ignorance and negativity in our society.

      I’m stoked to read (and research/write) the next few posts around these subjects, as well as the subjects that haven’t been brought up yet. It’s crazy how much information and experience is out there relating to the queer spectrum, and I’m excited to expand my knowledge on all of us as people, and our experiences, as more and more people ask new questions. 🙂

      Posted by emelinaminero | July 5, 2012, 4:55 pm

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