Trans women and Male Privilege

Foreword: So, I’ve been reading the back-and-forth debates between some radfems and some trans women.  It’s gotten pretty nasty at times.  (The rape threat(s) directed at AROOO comes to mind.)  I’m afraid to weigh in on this, partially because of my personal experience with a trans man, but I’m going to try and get out some of the thoughts I’ve had anyway.  Much of this is really just restates what FCM and Miska have said, far earlier, more often and clearly than I.  All credit should go to them.  But I feel like I should still say something, because its not like this viewpoint is common, so it needs to be restated.   Several times.   From several different people in several different ways.  Because there are so, so many holes in the arguments I’ve heard from trans activists.  Maybe if they were just wrong or stupid I wouldn’t take as much issue with them, I would probably just lol, but they also erase the very foundations of feminism, women’s studies, and even sociology. 

Men have been raised to hate women.  To punish us, to batter us, to rape us, to objectify us, to give us their so-called “love” for our bodies.  Undoubtedly, this has an effect on every.  single.  man.  There is no exception.  If you were bullied as a man-for being nerdy, gay, smart, ugly, fat, “effeminate”–that does not stop people from treating you as a man.   None of these things stop you from receiving male privilege.  This is feminism and sociology 101 here.

When a biological male transitions to a woman (MTF), their pay will drop.  This is a known fact for feminists and trans* alike.  Yet, some people still deny they had male privilege all along?  When up until they begin transition, they still receive the benefit of higher pay?  Why would this not apply to every other privilege men receive?  Simple: It does, and gender is indoctrinated from birth, so no matter what you identify as, there will still be bits of that indoctrination left.

It starts young.  *Useful anecdote time* My lover was playing a video game that had a fat female character on screen, and his little brother came into the room to bug him.  (That’s what he does.  I feel bad sayin’ this about the kid, but he’s an asshole.)

Brother: “That’s a guy, right?”
Lover: “A girl.”
Brother: “But girls are supposed to be pretty, she’s FAT.”
Lover: “GTFO.”

His brother is only 8-years-old.  Yet, already he hates women.  Male privilege has already influenced him and made him feel like GIRLS should be pretty-even though he’s fat himself, even though he got beat up by a girl.  (Haha!)  He insists on his male “rights” because of how he has been socialized into his gender, which is assigned based on his genitals at birth.

Yet, we’re supposed to believe that a lifetime-probably at least 20 years-of male conditioning had no effect on trans women?  That’s fucking crazy.  Being afraid of people, who have been trained and conditioned for any portion of their lives to hate and hurt us is more than just sane, it’s completely reasonable.  Not wanting to sleep with someone who is a former member of the class raised and cultivated to hate you is not crazy either.  These reactions to trans women are far from hysterical, as they are treated by most.

Refusing to acknowledge your FORMER privilege is just as bigoted as not acknowledging that which you have.  I acknowledge that your male privilege is lost after transition and passing, but that doesn’t mean all traits and remnants a male personality will be erased.  It also does not mean that you didn’t benefit from being born male.  In fact, there are several things that trans women will not experience that significantly burden women (such as pregnancy, having to risk stroke to avoid pregnancy because nigel is too fucking stupid to wear a condom, obstetric fistula, etc).  But it does mean that while people saw you as a man, you earned more money for the same work, got more prestige, and had a much smaller risk of being raped than a woman would have at that age.

I think that trans women should be a little more understanding of women’s fear of people who were raised to be members of the gender class that has been raping and killing us for thousands of years. If someone was raised as a man but was biologically intersex or female, I would take the same stance that I do with trans women.

This is not essentialist.  Saying it is means you don’t understand the argument at all.  The fact is that your born sex determines what gender you’re assigned.  I don’t believe in binary sexes, and I don’t believe in gender, but that doesn’t mean I can ignore that being born female means you’re raised as a woman.  That’s how the system works.   I will always act, think, and talk in womanly ways due to conditioning, no matter how much I try to overcome it.   It’s not radical feminist’s fault that biological males are raised and treated as men, no matter how much they feel like they’re in the wrong body.  But that’s what happens.  And that, personally, is why I do not equate trans women with nontrans* women, especially when it comes to separatist spaces.  Maybe it’s not fair, but that’s how the social constructions that fuck up our lives are assigned.  It’s all about socialization.

*I’m not using “cis” because from what I’ve read, the term comes from “cisgender,” and I think gender is a social construction; so, since trans seems mostly about discomfort with the body, I use the term “transsexual,” since sex it specifically refers to the body.  Not to mention the people I’ve seen who say cis women are privileged say we aren’t raped for being biologically female.

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48 responses to “Trans women and Male Privilege

  1. i agree that these things need to be expressed repeatedly, in as many different voices and ways as possible. yes, yes, yes.

    the only thing i would add is that i dont think transwomen lose their male privilege after they transition. not all of it anyway. because part of male privilege is not *feeling* like a woman. and no matter how much these assholes insist that they do feel like “women,” part of feeling womanly feeling afraid. its feeling less than. its feeling like your wishes and desires and talents and personality dont matter, at all. these things in themselves create barriers to women, because we arent “assertive” and we arent “confident” or whatever bullshit male-socialized attributes are believed to constitute a “successful” or functional human. and these things were instilled/not instilled in us from birth, because we are women. because we were raised female, we feel this way. men dont, and if they do, its not “because” they are men. maybe they are just “insecure” or effeminate or mentally ill or whatever. but its never BECAUSE they are men. just like there are a few truly confident and assertive women. some women just have personalities that are at odds to some degree with their socialization (although we can escape it entirely).

    what all born-men are instilled with, because they were raised male, is a sense of entitlement. a lack of awareness or concern for anyone else, or what anyone else thinks, except themselves. thats why i think they are so vocal about their alleged “oppression.” only a fucking man (or at the very least, someone who doesnt “feel” paticularly womanly) would ever even think what they think or feel was worth talking about. even so, IT DOESNT MAKE IT REAL.

  2. Thanks Ms. Citrus for this very clearly written post. We do have to say this repeatedly and in different ways to get the point across. The truth is, transwomen are never going to get any of this, because they were raised as men. Men don’t care about anyone other than themselves, and when they become trans it seems to make them even more naricissitic and “men centered” than they were before.

    Just the domineering entitlement, the know it all attitude, the idea that they have the right of access to all biofemale spaces is somewhat of a complete outrage. TO BE A WOMAN, is to really BE a second class citizen. That is what female is really about. So transwomen have to learn to act like SECOND CLASS CITIZENS, they have to shut up, the have to smile, they have to agree with the dominant culture.

    By invading women’s territories, they are STILL acting like men. No matter what they say, the invasive entitlement is MALE. SO they have not “transitioned” because they are still acting male. Their brains have not been transplanted, they do not possess authentic female organs of any kind. So maybe they should really learn to “act” like the category of women for once. Then I would be convinced maybe. Their threats of rape to black women, their obscene language of rape— THAT IS MALE.

    Thanks for this writing Ms. Citrus, and FCM and Miska. It feels like there is a group of women who are not going to stand by and let this new version of male supremacy ruin the feminism we fought so hard for. I dare one damn transwoman to understand anything at all in these posts. They can’t, they’ll dominate, they’ll threaten rape, because THEY STILL ACT LIKE MEN!!!!

  3. Ms C., first I would like to apologize for my failure to comment on your blog. For some reason, it has not been on my beloved blog surfer, though I erroneously believed that it was. Problem CORRECTED. And thank GODDESS! Because I absolutely ADORE your writing. You are incredibly insightful and articulate. And you are so, so courageous! You inspire me.

    And THIS entry is what you mentioned on my “you can’t ERASE your brain, dumbasses!” post. A-HA!

    Refusing to acknowledge your FORMER privilege is just as bigoted as not acknowledging that which you have. I acknowledge that your male privilege is lost after transition and passing, but that doesn’t mean all traits and remnants a male personality will be erased. It also does not mean that you didn’t benefit from being born male. In fact, there are several things that trans women will not experience that significantly burden women (such as pregnancy, having to risk stroke to avoid pregnancy because nigel is too fucking stupid to wear a condom, obstetric fistula, etc).

    I mean, THAT, is just beautiful. If trans women would simply STOP insisting that they are the SAME as born-women, I’d be a LOT happier. I still wouldn’t love I-dentity politics, as it’s a dead end, but at least I wouldn’t feel so OFFENDED by the whole thing. UGH.

  4. Aw UP, no need to apologize. It’s a privilege-not the male kind- to have you comment. And thank you for all the complements. I don’t think I’m that courageous but thanks! 😀

    Yeah, I really do care that trans women are protected and even feel that SRS surgeries should be funded by the state (although I think the method of “diagnosis” needs to be changed entirely, because it conflates gender performance with feelings of body dysphoria.) It’s the erasure of girlhood and the privilege of having boyhood that offends me so much. Otherwise I’d just be bored.

  5. I’ve probably got a couple of strikes against me alread (I’m coming in late, I found you via Hugo Schwyzer, I disagree with this post), but I wonder if you would be willing to have a conversation with me anyhow. If not, I will go away.

    Who are you speaking to, and what do you want from them? One of my closest friends is trans (MTF, or somewhere along that spectrum), and she’s basically a person who wants to live her life. She’s not an evil spy who’s trying to infiltrate women-only spaces. She doesn’t even go to women-only spaces. It sounds like you want my friend to admit that she’s somehow not genuinely female, and I just don’t see the point of that.

    I’ve spent so much of my own time worrying about whether I’m a good enough woman. Am I too butch? Too femme? Too assertive? Too much of a doormat? I think trans women are encouraged to develop that insecurity, but turned up to eleven, because not only do they have to prove that they’re good women, they have to prove that they’re women in the first place. And what use is it? The time you spend being insecure about your gender is time you could have spent painting, or studying mathematics, or volunteering at the local homeless shelter.

    I think I would like to end with an anecdote of my own. When my friend had just started presenting as a woman in public, she came to visit me in my hometown. Up til then, I thought I got a huge amount of sexual harassment. Men (in various degrees of scary and persistent) would follow me around with sexual solicitations, attempts to get my phone number, and that kind of thing. But when I went out walking with my friend, the amount and tone of the harassment changed dramatically for the worse. Instead of wanting sex (I mean, not really consensual sex, but you know the kind of messed up sexual come-on I’m talking about), suddenly, the harassers wanted to see us die. Some of them told us so. People threw things at us out of car windows. My friend dressed as a man for the rest of the visit to avoid being in serious danger of bodily harm. (This is not an overreaction. A trans woman was recently killed in my hometown for being trans.)

    Being able to pass as a man was a sort of privilege for her. But “only” getting creepy sexual attention as opposed to being terrified for my life was a sort of privilege for me. Those privileges are both sort of icky and double-edged in different ways, but I guess that’s the price you pay for living in an unjust world.

  6. My biggest thing is : how is your comment at all addressed to my main point? My main point being that socialization makes women born female very different from trans women both politically and socially.

    It seems as though the “privilege” you are saying you have relative to your friends is perhaps due to your adherence to beauty standards? I’m not going to assume that you’re white, thin, able-bodied, etc, but considering you’re coming from Hugo’s blog that’s a fair guess. Because from what I’ve heard, fat women are also threatened with bodily harm and told to go die et cetera. Same with women who look “masculine,” “butch,” or otherwise dyke-ish. I’m not sure how they could distinguish that your friend is trans without genital contact (and even then it’s not 100%) either? So it seems to me you’re conflating “nontrans” privilege with “gender conformity privilege.” That is, if a man simply wore women’s clothing while not being trans, I imagine he would be treated similarly.

    You also ignored that I’m suggesting the issue is not “gender”-feeling as if you’re in the wrong body (which from what I understand is the experience) has jackshit to do with gender, because sex refers to the body. I believe people are mixing up the terms, because gender refers to the non-physical, so its assumed that it with feelings and identity. I disagree entirely and believe trans appropriates and the word incorrectly from how it was originally used in women’s studies and sociology.

    Saying two groups of women are different politically and socially doesn’t imply that either one of these is “not woman enough.” I also never said “trans womenz are out to invade our spaces”-although women are given shit and accused of discrimination for not allowing trans into rape shelters, Michfest, etc. Trans women will never be “genuinely” female, because 1) female is a biological state that cannot be achieved artificially, and 2) even that biological state is a social construction. This is something that should be admitted-along with the fact that your friend will never have to worry about pregnancy, birthcontrol, etc, or endure female socialization and the increased risk of rape and abuse that comes from being a female child.

  7. I’d be more inclined to believe some people think some really wrong and incorrect ideas about people who aren’t in their categorie(s) than a “all men are raised to hate women”. We’re raised in an environment where we are forced in mass-socialization through large schools where every difference someone has with you is a reason to pick on them and where identity-politics seem to form spontaneously, often based on feeling insecure about membership in the ‘good’ categories (as perceived by others). Being a guy is not necessarily a good category as per others.

    I think the little brother thing is that he has just idealized girls and women, to an extent that women can’t be “not pretty”, that’s what guys are. Guys are ugly, women are pretty. That’s what he’s understood. He doesn’t hate women, he just doesn’t understand why he can’t pedestalize her like the others.

    It’s like seeing a small race of dog for the first time, after having only seen “noble, tall and strong” dogs before, it screws what “dog” meant to you, because now it includes “small yapping dogs”. Rather than acknowledge “small yapping dogs”, he’ll lash out, cause rethinking stuff you thought was certain is painful.

    Think how Neo reacted in the first Matrix movie, being told everything he ever thought was real, was all fake. He freaked out and lashed out. And Cypher turned traitor because he couldn’t handle it, he wanted to forget he ever knew.

    The good news is that re-appraisal of categories comes easier with doing it. But also harder as you age and think you’ve seen it all (it’s harder to admit your knowledge and experience is insufficient). One would have to keep a humble “I know nothing” view to be open to reconsidering categories when you’ve got so much more knowledge and experience than as a child.

    • I’d be more inclined to believe some people think some really wrong and incorrect ideas about people who aren’t in their categorie(s) than a “all men are raised to hate women”.

      Firstly: why? Secondly: surely he has seen girls in his life who are fat. If men aren’t raised to hate women, why do the majority of them support and excuse rape? FYI, this same boy will tell his mom “woman, go make me sammich.” So yes, he does hate women.

      Being a guy is not necessarily a good category as per others.

      Um, what? Am I reading this wrong, or are you seriously saying men don’t “necessarily” have it better than others? Because it’s call male privilege. Earning more money, being at little to no risk of sexual violence after childhood, not having to conform to beauty standards, etc. This is so basic, I dunno what to do if you dun get it.

      I think the little brother thing is that he has just idealized girls and women, to an extent that women can’t be “not pretty”, that’s what guys are. Guys are ugly, women are pretty. That’s what he’s understood. He doesn’t hate women, he just doesn’t understand why he can’t pedestalize her like the others.

      He never said guys are ugly, nor did she call him a guy. Where are you getting the idea that he automatically categorizes guys into “ugly”? He’s obviously invoking the idea that women who don’t meet the beauty standard (who are fat, ugly, too-nonwhite, etc) are not real women/girls. Furthermore, the training in schools to pick on people often involves misogyny: calling girls sluts, stuck-up, fat, flat-chested, etc. Or if they pick on a boy, the insult is often that he “throws like a girl,” does x like a girl, is a “sissy” or a “momma’s boy.”

      A normal human being who knows they aren’t omniscient would simply take in the new information or act surprised, not deny the very existence of something. Unless, you know, they’re an arrogant bastard. Funny your examples all are men. And seriously, fuck the Matrix. I dunno why men love that movie so goddamn much.

      Thanks for the mansplanation of why he’s not really a misogynist though.

  8. He could become misogynist in later times, and if he really asks people to “make him a sandwich” based on being female, he does have pretty f**ked up ideas about sex relations.

    A normal human being who knows they aren’t omniscient would simply take in the new information or act surprised, not deny the very existence of something.

    I’d say a *healthy* human being. But far from everyone is healthy. We (all humans) certainly aren’t raised to be.

    He never said guys are ugly, nor did she call him a guy. Where are you getting the idea that he automatically categorizes guys into “ugly”?

    Well, videogame characters, male or female, rarely speak to people playing the game, except maybe for tutorials and then it could’ve been done better when they need to break the fourth wall. So I doubt female videogame characters call guys ugly.

    Men seeing themselves as ugly and being seen as ugly by women, unless they embody near-perfection of the male form according to beauty standards, is regular occurrence. Seen many guys besides Brad Pitt being fawned over for their physical beauty? They’re either very very good looking, or invisible.

    Funny your examples all are men. And seriously, fuck the Matrix.

    Blame the Wachowsky brother and sister for casting men in the roles that have “OMG this is too much for my psyche” moments. I’m not responsible for that.

    And I find the Matrix movies interesting mainly for the “are we in a simulation?” mathematical postulate, which has no definitive answer by the way.

    Firstly: why? Secondly: surely he has seen girls in his life who are fat.

    At his age, in the early 1990s, I had not seen many fat 10 years old or younger, all being boys, all being shunned. I kept an open mind, but I was always kept on the side and my way of thinking was either rare or universally shunned. I saw fat girls of my age when I was older (high school), but then, I also had better categories which didn’t depend on girls being pretty to be girls. It helps that I had no attraction whatsoever.

    Um, what? Am I reading this wrong, or are you seriously saying men don’t “necessarily” have it better than others?

    I mean that primary school children don’t assign a higher value to males than to females. Some adults do, children don’t inherently do so. They barely even want to be with the other sex, let alone desire the other sex. People generally assign a higher value to their friends – in majority people of the same sex. I had no friends, so this is second-hand to me.

    Earning more money, being at little to no risk of sexual violence after childhood, not having to conform to beauty standards, etc.

    I do believe in female privilege in the west, as well as male privilege. But this isn’t the topic here. Yeah I’m not a radical feminist, and because I think female privilege exists at all, I’m not even considered feminist. But I am for equality and against all injustices (I don’t think that female privilege renders feminism moot or useless), so I am not your enemy either.

  9. This post makes me quite sad. I don’t understand why marginalized groups don’t simply work together on the issues that affect both of them…in this case, sexism. If you don’t understand that sexism has a terrible impact for women of all upbringings, I don’t know what to say to you.

    This kind of thing holds kind, intelligent discussion and social change back. Why don’t we all just admit that there are many types of privilege and oppression out there, we’re all on the receiving end of some of it, and move on from there? You /do/ receive cisgender privilege. You have the ability to deny an entire sect of women, who are also at serious risk for physical and sexual assault and low-wage jobs, a place to feel validated in their identities as women and /safe/, on a totally basic level. This doesn’t erase the fact that male privilege exists, that trans women may have received it at one point, and that some of them will have to, and probably have had to their entire lives, find which messages they’ve received in their upbringings are hurtful and wrong and which are not. They have an advantage over cisgender men in that regard in that /those messages have been saying negative things about them, too/. You think a young trans girl hears her brother talking shit about women and doesn’t understand that when he says girls are weak and stupid, he means her too? That she’s sick and wrong for identifying as a girl?

    • I don’t understand why marginalized groups don’t simply work together on the issues that affect both of them…in this case, sexism. If you don’t understand that sexism has a terrible impact for women of all upbringings, I don’t know what to say to you.

      I do think misogyny impacts women of all kinds-I never said anything to contrary. I am also not opposed to working with trans women towards fighting it, at all. My politics exclude most trans women “feminists” I’ve seen, however, because they aren’t totally against pornography and the sex industry, and I won’t compromise on that.

      I also don’t see how noting that we have different experiences, and that girlhood is a VERY significant factor, holds back “intelligent discussion” and “social change”? While the groups might be similar in some respects, after trans women transition, the fact is that they will still differ significantly.

      You have the ability to deny an entire sect of women, who are also at serious risk for physical and sexual assault and low-wage jobs, a place to feel validated in their identities as women and /safe/, on a totally basic level.

      I’m not denying that they’re women. I’m simply denying that they are the same as women who were assigned female at birth and raised through girlhood. I’ve seen many express that male privilege is never given to trans women-and that I strongly disagree with.

      All women are at risk of poverty and violence, yes-and I fully support government funding for trans women exclusive shelters. But I just don’t think they should be integrated into shelters for women who were assigned female at birth, for a multitude of reasons. I simply don’t think that “safe” space necessarily has to mean the SAME space as FAAB space. It reeks of the expectation that women are supposed to take care of everyone, even if it would be a detriment to them. And it would be bad for FAAB space, especially when it comes to DV shelters.

      They have an advantage over cisgender men in that regard in that /those messages have been saying negative things about them, too/.

      I honestly have no idea what you mean by this at all. Could you rephrase it?

      You /do/ receive cisgender privilege.

      I don’t refuse to acknowledge that trans persons experience discrimination I might not. However, I strongly disagree with the concept of “cis”–that someone who doesn’t feel like they’re the opposite gender is “comfortable” with their gender. I have never been comfortable with my gender role. I never wanted to be a “woman” with everything that implies-I still don’t. The whole concept of “cis” assumes that women easily accept the submissiveness assigned to them by society, because that’s “natural” for people biologically female. I find it essentialist and misogynist, to be completely honest.

      I also disagree with calling it gender-I think queer theory simply appropriated a word from women’s studies and sociology without understanding what it means, and I’m going to elaborate on this in another post at some point.

      • Thank you for this: “I strongly disagree with the concept of “cis”–that someone who doesn’t feel like they’re the opposite gender is “comfortable” with their gender. I have never been comfortable with my gender role. I never wanted to be a “woman” with everything that implies-I still don’t. The whole concept of “cis” assumes that women easily accept the submissiveness assigned to them by society, because that’s “natural” for people biologically female. I find it essentialist and misogynist, to be completely honest.”

        Brilliantly said. I absolutely hate the term “cis” – it’s so obviously a tactic to put FAB women in their place. And who would do such a thing, but someone who was used to blindly asserting their privilege and re-establishing their dominant position.

  10. I was born male but raised female from age 6 when my parents allowed me to transition. I am 18 now. Does this mean I should be allowed into nontrans spaces because I wasn’t socialised as a man?

    • I can’t speak for other radfems, but I would personally say yes. Though if your parents knew of you being bio male, I’m also not sure that it would be the same socialization a bio female would receive, if that makes sense?
      Obviously not all socialization comes through parents, but quite a large bit of it does…and from what I understand, much of personality is shaped before age 6. So I’m not entirely sure how I feel about it, especially since I dunno how much of those kinda developmental theories I agree with. A lot of it might just come down to individual cases then, and how comfortable the community feels with that woman. I don’t think most people transition at such a young age, and such early transitions make this stuff a ton more complicated imo.

      • Considering that whether or not such a transition were to take place that the child would identify with the females around them and not the males, they’d effectively learn that the people that they identify with are made to feel subservient, they’d feel that upon their self too, even from an age earlier than 6. It’s similar to a Jewish laborer being raised in the pharaoh’s palace. Despite their Jewish identity and the sympathy toward Jewish, they’re raised as an Egyptian. Ironically that’s how Moses was raised… And once he found out he was Jewish…

  11. Raised as a girl, from age 6 on? Wtf does that even mean? Not only does it sound like this dood still has his dick, but also that his parents catered to his every whim too. In other words, they treated him very much like a boy. Duh.

  12. The whole concept of “cis” assumes that women easily accept the submissiveness assigned to them by society, because that’s “natural” for people biologically female. I find it essentialist and misogynist, to be completely honest.

    This would be cisgender. Cisgender assumes someone who is not transgender (which is NOT equivalent to transsexual) is comfortable with their gender. It’s usually more of a “my drive to be myself genuinely is not strong enough or different enough from the norm to affront the (possibly) extreme consequences of defying my role”.

    A guy who feels feminine and wants to wear dresses…will probably refrain from doing so, out of personal safety concerns if only that. If they do it anyway, they judge the consequences of doing such to be less of a concern than those of not doing it (repressing that drive).

    Cissexual is something else though. Now we’re talking about wether one is transsexual, or isn’t. Pretty binary. You either are or are not. And it doesn’t imply being comfortable with a role. It implies that your body configuration is either satisfactory, or equally satisfactory than would be if you transitioned (given the various costs of transitioning, status quo is better there – not transitioning if you could be equally at ease with a male or a female body). It could also imply a sort of anti-body-modification stance for yourself, keeping unhappy because of that principle, possibly religious (God made me that way) or ideological (Body mods are the patriarchy).

    • Cisgender assumes someone who is not transgender (which is NOT equivalent to transsexual) is comfortable with their gender. It’s usually more of a “my drive to be myself genuinely is not strong enough or different enough from the norm to affront the (possibly) extreme consequences of defying my role”.

      Firstly, you just repeated what I said in defining cisgender. And secondly, I’ve heard it claimed several times that trans existence defies the gender binary or some such nonsense. I disagree with this for obvious reasons-acting in a way that fits your role isn’t rebellious at all.

      Cissexual is something else though. Etcetcetc

      Yes, I get that. I have no problem with the term cissexual. However, when people use “cis,” they usually are referring to “cisgender.” And so was the poster who I was replying to, so it was also used in that context. You don’t need to mansplain things like this. I get that sex is body, and gender is feelings/identity (in trans theory).

  13. Why are you arguing people? Do you believe a “Barely legal white girl gone radical” holds all the answers about men and male privilege? I mean come on. She says. “Men have been raised to hate women. To punish us, to batter us, to rape us, to objectify us, to give us their so-called “love” for our bodies.” and yet she has a male lover? This is just a big us vs them article removed of any intellectual substance.

    “As a middle class white person, she would possess privileges that a black lower class person would not have.” See how quick it was to put people into boxes? To wrap this up, the world is not black or white, yin or yang. The world is filled with a multitude of people with different privileges and lifestyles. Not all men are conditioned to hate and hurt women. If that was the case, I would tell you to leave your lover immediately. Not all women are men hatting feminist. Not all trans female people are trying to infiltrate and destroy your womanhood. As for being a trans person myself, other mission objectives and operations against feminist is strictly CLASSIFIED. 🙂

    • Not all men are conditioned to hate and hurt women. If that was the case, I would tell you to leave your lover immediately.

      All men are conditioned to hate and hurt women: that’s the entire purpose of masculinity. However, not all men get so defensive of masculinity that to analyze is considered “man hating.” The ones who recognize its a social construct and actively seek to dismantle the misogyny they were taught are redeemable, in my book, though always suspect in ways women aren’t to me. My lover, to be frank, doesn’t give a shit about masculinity or what “bros” think. He has been raised to hurt me, though-that’s for certain. For example, his parents constantly try and get him to be more “dominant” with me, and men who know of us consider him pussy-whipped because I won’t suck his dick/let him fuck me. Any man who doesn’t actively attempt to dominate or objectify women is labelled a faggot or assumed to be gay, which are insults that imply he isn’t really a “man.” Obviously this demonstrates that women hating/hurting is expected of males.

      “As a middle class white person, she would possess privileges that a black lower class person would not have.” See how quick it was to put people into boxes?

      Um, are you trying to use this as an example of being too “judgmental” or a stupid statement? Because I agree with it wholly (I assume your’e referring to me int hat comment). I do possess privileges that a black lower class person does not have.

      And where are you getting that I said all trans women are trying to “infiltrate and destroy my womanhood”? I didn’t say anything of the sort-I simply said they have experienced privilege that FAAB women have not, and that this is significant. Like most, you aren’t arguing against what I actually said, but with what you stereotype “man hating feminists” to think.

  14. Fair post mscitrus.
    I would like to apologize on behalf of some of the other trans-girls who have been posting here in recent days. This was linked in a community that consists of much younger trans-people, so its perhaps understandable that their full grasp of whats being said here is a tad limited.
    I also seriously contest the whole “men are bred to hate women, no exceptions” part, but I’ll resist the temptation to get into that and just address the overall point of the post.

    As a trans-woman, I fully agree with your point and wish MTFs wouldn’t get so fucking defensive when the phrase “male privilege” gets brought up. However, I think part of the cause of some anger in discussions between radfems and trans-women (and I might be wrong here) is the lack of a labeling distinction between “the receipt of privilege” and the assumptions spawned by this receipt.

    Consider someone who presents as male and receives all the privilege therein, and a MTF transsexual who may have once received privilege and retains the psychological assumptions of the privilege but is no longer actually a recipient. It has been my understanding that feminism labels them as both having male privilege.
    If this is true, I’m sure you can see how such a discussion can easily devolve into anger.
    If I’m totally wrong, and these distinctions ARE clearly made in such discussions, disregard this, i suck cocks

    • MTF transsexual who may have once received privilege and retains the psychological assumptions of the privilege but is no longer actually a recipient. It has been my understanding that feminism labels them as both having male privilege.

      I think this is a privilege in a way? It’s hard to explain. I think most radfems would also call it privilege-but its different from the full-on male privilege expressed by dudes who aren’t trans. I don’t think most feminists wouldn’t call this a privilege, but I think that’s simply because they don’t focus much on how women’s personalities are shaped by patriarchy. Although I would agree after transition an MTF doesn’t receive the privilege anymore-tho I wonder if its possible to receive if from people who know the woman is bio male? It seems unlikely but I dunno enough about stuff to say. I guess the difference might be between having privilege and receiving it?
      Most radfems, I think, focus on acting upon male privilege, which is still possible even after you stop receiving it. I can’t speak for all radfems, of course, but I think after transition as an MTF you won’t be regarded with male privilege or get the benefits that come from others behavior.

      The best way I can explain how I feel is by applying it to class, since mobility is possible there (tho infrequent). I’d still consider someone raised filthy rich who becomes poor to have class privilege to some extent-since their socialization has probablly given them cultural capital, education, personal connections and stuff that a poor person would never have. They obviously aren’t the same as someone who still IS filthy rich, however. I wouldn’t be surprised if people are getting angry has to do with confusion on what privilege means in cases like this.

      Thanks for your thoughts and willingness to discuss stuff. I hope some of my comment made sense. :X

      • I see what you are saying about how the internalization of male socialization can be a male privilege. Merely the sense of self-worth that compels some to pursue what they want regardless of discouragement, prior failure, or self-doubt can be the cause of success in one’s field of interest; and of course men in general are given this sense of self.
        (I suspect this is actually part of the reason there are drastically more recorded MTFs than there are FTMs; because males are more socialized to disregard external pressures and doubts to pursue what they desire or need.)

        It also seems that a lot of MTFs think that male privilege is wholly external to oneself; and to be honest, it isn’t really fair to expect that all people be introspective enough to identify its internalizations.
        Hell, I don’t even know any women in my real life social circles who express an understanding of male privilege or the differences of male and female socialization; and many in fact react pretty negatively when presented with feminist ideas in general.

        All that said, I still think some feminist terminology is outdated and limited, and that has been the cause of MTF butthurt in feminist discussions. The “sense of privilege,” and the personality developed from that, needs to be distinguished from the material granting of privilege by others.

      • (I suspect this is actually part of the reason there are drastically more recorded MTFs than there are FTMs; because males are more socialized to disregard external pressures and doubts to pursue what they desire or need.)

        Wow, this is a really interesting and plausible sounding explanation. Do you have a blog or anything? D: I like the way you think.

        Hell, I don’t even know any women in my real life social circles who express an understanding of male privilege or the differences of male and female socialization; and many in fact react pretty negatively when presented with feminist ideas in general.

        Truuuuth. I don’t know any women IRL like this either. 😦

        I don’t either-even from most self-identified feminists.

        All that said, I still think some feminist terminology is outdated and limited, and that has been the cause of MTF butthurt in feminist discussions. The “sense of privilege,” and the personality developed from that, needs to be distinguished from the material granting of privilege by others.

        I definitely agree with what you’re saying here, tho I can’t say if it’s because the terminology is outdated. It’s certainly limited and I hope to expand on it. The term cultural capital actually seems like it might work. Though it’s already used in reference to class, it seems as though the definition might also apply here: specifically it sounds like “embodied” gendered cultural capital or a the gendered parts of habitus, though that’s quite a mouthful. I’m not sure how well wiki is getting his ideas, of course, so I need to get read some Bourdieu before I go trying to make names. I’ve been meaning to read his stuff for a while, so I might try and expand upon if I get the chance to.

      • Sorry, I don’t have any blogs.
        I don’t think I would really have much original material to say either. Just reactionary and obsessively consensus-driving ideas.
        And really, I’ve just recently started seriously researching feminism of the radical flavour, after having heard from others in my community that it is vociferously anti-trans. Its always helpful to know where those that hate you on philosophical and political grounds come from.

        The description of prior privilege as “capital” sounds like a good approach to explaining part of the male privilege enjoyed by MTFs, though it may still be prone to misunderstandings. A late-transitioning transwoman who has lived most of her professional life as a man definitely has a leg up, financially, socially, and educationally, from born-women her age. And yet, after transitioning, a good deal of that can be rapidly lost, and they are forced to completely rebuild their lives after coming out.
        There is still the personality component that needs distinguishing as well. While “male entitlement” might be an accurate descriptor, it has insulting connotations. (Really, who will willingly admit to feeling “entitled?”)

        The reason I suggested the terminology was outdated is because I get an impression that a lot of the ideas were formed with the strict assumption that it is impossible to migrate between the man and woman classes. Again, while I acknowledge that there are residual effects of gender socialization in trans-persons, the almost deliberate exclusion of their reality deals a blow to feminist theory.
        There is also the distinct problem that, as it seems to me, a lot of radical feminists operate with the extremely old-fashioned and derogatory (and honestly patriarchal) assumption that MTFs are just strange perverted creatures acting out their personal fetishes or delusional misunderstandings of womanhood in public. Trans-women are a far cry from transvestic fetishists and “autogynepheliacs”, and the continued insistence that they are so pretty much ignores a good deal of data on the subject.
        A major reason that it is such a struggle for MTFs to come to terms with their feelings, and the high rate of suicide amongst them, is the degrading assumptions society makes about them. To the patriarchal society, as to most radfem bloggers I’ve read, all trans-women are disgusting, masochistic, submissive freaks with a vast array of grotesque paraphilias. They are, in many ways, viewed as lesser humans than born-women.
        No one wants to be viewed like that, and yet transwomen are told from both sides, the patriarchy and the radical feminists, that is the only way the world will perceive them if they transition. Yes, there is a safe spot in the middle of the ideological spectrum, but it is so very difficult to ignore the hatred from the extremes, especially since those who are socialized as males also tend to very much internalize the patriarchal perspective and hatred.

        Anyway, getting back to my original point, the identification of “male privilege” is outdated as it was formed with a very crude and derisive understanding of transsexualism, with many new developments in the field uprooting those old beliefs.

  15. If you accept that trans women believe they are female, and that they are conditioned to hate women, you also have to accept that they are conditioned to hate themselves. Understanding that this conditioning is exists to propagate male privileges leads them to reject the idea that they have benefited from it. This does not seem so unreasonable when you weigh the social/financial benefits of presenting as male against the internalised anguish and misery caused by their conditioning.

    “This is something that should be admitted-along with the fact that your [FTM] friend will never have to worry about … the increased risk of rape and abuse that comes from being a female child.

    You are right. However, they do have to worry about the higher risk of being raped for being trans gendered. Most studies agree that approximately 60% of trans women have been raped and that roughly the same amount have been subject to physical abuse and violence in their own homes. There is also the issue that trans women are 650 times more likely to try to commit suicide.

    I find it hard to agree with you about trans women politically and socially distancing themselves from non-trans women for the simple reason that the route cause of their problems are the same. They are both suffering under this problem of male privileges.

  16. The “sense of privilege,” and the personality developed from that, needs to be distinguished from the material granting of privilege by others.

    Oh yes. This is prime material for my privilege discussion. Thank you!

    And @ MsC

    I wouldn’t be surprised if people are getting angry has to do with confusion on what privilege means in cases like this.

    BINGO.

  17. Transwomen understand what it is to be born without a uterus. They understand what it feels like to be barren. They understand what it feels like to never have a first period like all the other girls. They understand what it’s like to be afraid of violent male acts. They’re often forced by family and friends at an early age to conform to the male role, with all the privilege that entails, or end up enduring various forms of hate-crime, usually including their own family. Most people wouldn’t be able to deal with this, which is why their suicide rate is so high. My thought is that transwomen would rather give up male privilege and be born female given the above. At least then they’d have a chance to have their first period, or at the very least not have a “nagging feeling that something is wrong, like feeling that you left a stove on at home.” Irony is the reference to stoves, part of a male upbringing that cannot be escaped.

    Of course if they were born women instead, they’d have a sliver of a chance to be born without a uterus into a lower income family and community that beats and abuses them, perhaps eventually killing themselves. Wouldn’t you be afraid to willingly submit yourself to that without having had male privilege?

    As with all rhetoric, there is a point that there is no point. Outside of their own personality, being raised in any specific way does not change how such conditions would be handled when thrust upon the person. I’m not saying that both situations are the exact same, but they are in effect similar.

    It also makes me wonder what a male would become if he were raised like Paris Hilton. Probably a CEO.

    • I’m not sure I understand-are you trying to say that having a uterus and having a first period is a good thing or an advantage? Because I’d strongly, strongly disagree with both of those.

      They’re often forced by family and friends at an early age to conform to the male role, with all the privilege that entails, or end up enduring various forms of hate-crime, usually including their own family.

      I’d also say that men being punished for not fulfilling their expected role isn’t necessarily due to a hatred of trans people-it seems to be gender role policing, more than anything else. For example, a “feminine” boys are often beat up or harassed for being “fags” or liking “gayyyy” girly stuff.

      Most child sexual abuse comes from the family or close friends of them, and is perpetrated by males on females. Being sexually abused as a child is a major risk factor for being raped again later in life, too.

      It also makes me wonder what a male would become if he were raised like Paris Hilton. Probably a CEO.

      Lol, this is probably true.

      • To be capable of mothering a child is something that transwomen will never have. Of course being able to bear child is a good thing. If women could get pregnant without the need for men, then men would likely have been wiped out before the Catholic church began its hate campaign on women which caused our current social position. Women were once the healers and leaders, and are now forced to see things the way males want them to, perpetuating itself over the generations.

        Societal distaste for gender fluidity has been shown to be such, but more for transgenderism in that society can’t understand why someone would go to such length to change themselves physically, and fear of the unknown kicks into overdrive, compelling a greater form of homophobia most often referred to as transphobia. Testosterone then creates the usual aggressive male response based upon the degree of phobia that person has. Basically, transwomen are treated as an extreme form of feminine homosexuality regardless of their sexuality.

        So basically any male that even attempts to be feminine has a greater chance of being molested, and later raped, alongside all the homophobic aggression. Such is likely the reason why transgendered children bottle up when they’re younger when they meet any sort of resistance, put up a facade of masculinity, and grow to hate themselves even more, all for survival. Men push their masculinity for male privilege, not for survival.

      • Being able to bear children is hardly a positive thing in a patriarchy, especially since intercourse is mandatory and unwanted pregnancy is so common. And this is even speaking just for the Global North-this obviously is 1000x worse and more dangerous for the Global South.

        Societal distaste for gender fluidity has been shown to be such, but more for transgenderism in that society can’t understand why someone would go to such length to change themselves physically,

        THIS IS MY PROBLEM. Why is it called transgenderism when we’re discussing physical change? The physical/biological is sex; the social is gender. They have nothing to do with each other; except that gender is assigned based on sex. By calling it “transgenderism,” it makes it sound like non-trans females become the gender they are biologically, not due to socialization. Which is essentialist.

        So basically any male that even attempts to be feminine has a greater chance of being molested, and later raped, alongside all the homophobic aggression.

        A greater chance of being molested than other males, yes, probably so. But greater than females? I highly doubt it.

      • “THIS IS MY PROBLEM. Why is it called transgenderism when we’re discussing physical change? The physical/biological is sex; the social is gender. They have nothing to do with each other; except that gender is assigned based on sex. By calling it “transgenderism,” it makes it sound like non-trans females become the gender they are biologically, not due to socialization. Which is essentialist.”

        You are so very right.
        The problem resides in the fact that these terms have different definitions in the feminist and trans* contexts.

        I’m not a medical scholar, but it is my understanding that originally the term “transsexual” was adopted as the catch-all term for trans inclinations. However, this term was eventually absorbed into the medical and psychiatric fields with a very rigid definition. This definition being that a “transsexual” or “true transsexual” is the classic case of “woman in a man’s body” or “man in a woman’s body,” the treatment of which necessitates a full and complete body conversion including genital reconstruction. Someone who does not wish to go “all the way” is not considered a “transsexual,” and may be denied the treatment by gatekeepers. (trans-slang definition: Gatekeeper: a medical professional who operates under anti-trans assumptions and ignorance, or operates under very rigid and stereotypical ideas of transsexualism, and may frequently deny their patient treatment for not fulfilling certain arbitrary expectations)
        This of course highlights some of the essentialist assumptions that pervade the psychiatric and medical fields. In fact, the psychiatric field (vis a vis Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders) has been absorbing even these terms. Hopefully they get shit right (they won’t).

        In reaction to this rigid definition of the condition, transactivists and thinkers decided that a better blanket term for the condition would be “trans-gendered,” operating with the idea of “gender” being a synonym for biological sex. Sadly, it does not appear that they were really too familiar with the feminist definition of the term.
        Also unfortunate is the great number of transpersons who are unaware of the differing definitions of the terms in these different contexts, and come off as idiots attempting to try and bridge the gap. Feminism is very misunderstood and misrepresented all over the place, so it is no wonder that there is a great of conflict between people who have devoted a great deal of time and research into the topic, and those who suddenly realize how important it really is and try to contribute, though end up coming off as boors and ignoramuses.


      • Basically this is the most important thing here. I say transgender in the sense of departing from the idea that it has something to do with the act of sex, as per a fetish or term of similar nature created by an oppressive Patriarchal medical system, and more toward gender identity, which is how I now use the word gender. Gender identity is part of a person, who they identify as. It’s not societally constructed. How a person goes about living as their identity is societal. That’s the whole male-privilege Patriarchal stereotypical-woman look and feel that you seem to crash headlong into, and I personally despise how society as a whole forces many trans to assume they have to be as stereotypical as possible in order to get even the most basic acceptance of their identity.

        I should mention physical changes produce psychological effect; wouldn’t you freak if you were suddenly in a male body, even for just a day? The reason for the physical aspect to change the body is to emulate a full change that can never be had. There is no true trans that doesn’t want to be reborn as the opposite sex, regardless of what position that would force them into.

        Also, what you’re saying about societal norms isn’t really gender identity either. It’s gender stereotyping. Some societies of Africa have reversed gender stereotyping where males do the things Westerners commonly attribute to females, so there’s simply a need to remove the Christian-induced Patriarchy that plagues the feminist ideal. Such a sweeping change would be near impossible given current circumstance. Personally I’d rather that all need for men were removed and that women were the only sex and gender alive from then forth. Men are hateful, assuming, aggressive, domineering, angry things as a result of society and testosterone. At least one of those things is easily fixed.

  18. One of the most powerful arguments about this is to compare someone who was raised with great wealth, who might become poor later in life. We have to account for education, the confidense of getting your own way and having huge access.
    Part of the conflict between radfems and MTFs is this sense of entitlement; the very idea that they can barge in the way men do. Since no men are very uncomfortable being told no by women– men consider it the beginning of a negotiation, women consider the word “no” exactly what it means.
    You can’t undo privilege; you are born and raised with varieties of it. Once you’ve had it, no one can take it away from you. No one can take away self-confidense being raised white and being white in America. No one can talk away career development. I met an MTF many years ago who was once a US Marine and a firechief at a big city fire department before he transitioned. Having this training without being sexually harassed as a bio-woman made him who he was. Transitioning did not take away his retirement savings, his property, his military pension, his city pension plan. He had all of this in place before transition, and kept it after transition.
    No many men I know really do know how to communicate well within an all female environment, and haven’t learned the social skills to be able to do this.
    So if we can’t take away a Harvard education and an executive career, how do transwomen argue that they are not a hinderance to women’s liberation on women’s own terms? It can’t be done, and they don’t want to admit this, just as biomen won’t admit that patriarchy itself harms women. They are not going to do it EVER. That’s why male supremacy persists for thousands of years. Men aren’t going to give in, just as transwomen are going to invade women’s spaces, thus proving they are men.

  19. I suspect this is actually part of the reason there are drastically more recorded MTFs than there are FTMs; because males are more socialized to disregard external pressures and doubts to pursue what they desire or need

    I assume you’re talking about the 1/30,000 MtFs and 1/100,000 FtMs. That’s surgery ratios, in the US, in the 1970s, when admitting you were trans was literally social death (some people probably shied away from it more than now, I would think).

    FTM surgery has long been known to not be satisfactory, and that being a route most trans men don’t take, for financial (100,000$+), cosmetic (doesn’t look like the real deal), functional (can’t get erections) or other reasons. For sure the 3 for 1 ratio of the 70s shouldn’t be taken as an indication of the ratio within the population.

    You can’t undo privilege; you are born and raised with varieties of it. Once you’ve had it, no one can take it away from you.

    Yeah, give a person of color white privilege for a month and they have it forever. Norah Vincent is thus forever a male, according to that logic.

  20. Interesting discussion, but I do wonder what you think of women who have been raised as boys. Like in Afghanistan for example, where young girls are raised as boys so that they can have an eduction, and other male privileges in a country where women are barely treated as human.

    Article about the practice: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/21/world/asia/21gender.html?_r=3&hp=&pagewanted=all

    Would it be argued so, that these women are tainted by male privilege?

  21. Hi again. CULTURAL CAPITAL is genius! Thank you for referencing that, with the link to wikipedia regarding embodied vs. institutional cultural capital. I so NEED these concepts for further discussing privilege.

    Also,

    Why is it called transgenderism when we’re discussing physical change?

    Seriously! I’ve been told that trans activists prefer to let the individual decide what they consider themselves, but in order to converse effectively, I always insist on using transSEXUAL for surgically or pharmaceutical changes to the physical body. And transGENDER for, like, butch lesbians or anyone else who transGRESSES gender boundaries/roles/mandates.

  22. @Undercover Punk

    There has been resistance by certain subcultures to taking the term for themselves, so the jargon ended up going from ‘transgender’ to ‘gender-variant’ and eventually back again to ‘transgender identified’. Because many a feminine men or masculine women want nothing to do with the term, for a reason or another.

    The trans communities and activists I hear about make certain to put into light the difference between transgender and transsexual when it has importance. But let’s say for ENDA, it englobed all people who were *considered by someone else* to be gender-variant, much like someone who’s assumed to be gay should be covered by anti-homophobia laws.

    So.. for ENDA, feminine men and masculine women are protected, regardless of their being transgender-identified or not, under the term gender identity and expression (at least, they should be in theory – maybe judges will do semantic gymnastics to make it not so).

  23. Hi casey,
    I guess that would depend on how much male privilege you think is involved in living in daily fear of discovery.

  24. I imagine a lot of the transfolk that you have read comments from on this issue have been on the nasty side. This doesn’t exactly foster friendly and constructive dialogue, but I can very easily understand how these arguments can be construed as attacks on the community. Simply put, it’s going to get people agitated. The trans community doesn’t have a lot of advocates. Gay Inc. is in many cases uncaring and willing to leave them behind. A lot of men are completely intolerant towards transfolk, and the ones who aren’t mainly view them as fetish material for them to use (they are termed “chasers” and a lot of them resort to methods that can cross the line into stalking territory) though I think women are quite familiar with being viewed as nothing but sexual objects by men. Transfolk can get defensive because nobody else is defending them when they come under attack.

    The topic of pornography and prostitution is interesting here. For one, a lot of transgirls have serious self-esteem issues, which seems to be consistent with a lot of the girls in the general sex trade. Second, for many transgirls, it’s one of the only options available to them if they don’t want to take a minimum wage job. Transitioning is expensive! Hormone Replacement Therapy, lots of regular visits to the doctor and gender therapist, permanent hair removal on the face, replacing an entire wardrobe, and in some cases plastic surgery to reduce masculine features (such as a Trachea shave to reduce the Adam’s Apple, in many cases a dead giveaway!) This isn’t even including the Sexual Reassignment Surgery, which can cost $15,000 or more!

    For transgirls, until they have had the SRS, they are still legally considered male. That big, glaring ‘M’ on all of their ID makes finding jobs interesting, especially with no legal protections for them. Many employers would never consider them for a job. So, what to do when one needs such a significant sum of money, along with paying for things like food and rent? The sex trade offers an easy answer. Now, I am going to interject here that I don’t think this is a good choice, it is only contributing to them being viewed as sex objects. However, there is some background behind it, and money is a huge issue even in places where health care is covered, because HRT, SRS, etc. are typically not covered. In some situations, they feel it is their only viable option to have a realistic timeline for transitioning.

    Personally, I think that people will define themselves through their actions, their intentions, their achievements, and the obstacles they have overcome. These are the criteria I use to judge someone. It seems like a lot of people from all categories are using a completely different system.

  25. but I can very easily understand how these arguments can be construed as attacks on the community. Simply put, it’s going to get people agitated. The trans community doesn’t have a lot of advocates. Gay Inc. is in many cases uncaring and willing to leave them behind. A lot of men are completely intolerant towards transfolk, and the ones who aren’t mainly view them as fetish material for them to use (they are termed “chasers” and a lot of them resort to methods that can cross the line into stalking territory) though I think women are quite familiar with being viewed as nothing but sexual objects by men. Transfolk can get defensive because nobody else is defending them when they come under attack.

    Yeah, I really don’t mean to attack any group. I just mean to explain why I think it’s perfectly rational for women to want certain spaces/groups to remain FAAB only. I don’t think this FAAB only spaces and shelters for trans women are mutually exclusive. I’m not much bothered by defensiveness here compared to how I am by defensiveness from males on porn and stuff, since trans people in general are a more marginalized group.

    Now, I am going to interject here that I don’t think this is a good choice, it is only contributing to them being viewed as sex objects. However, there is some background behind it, and money is a huge issue even in places where health care is covered, because HRT, SRS, etc. are typically not covered. In some situations, they feel it is their only viable option to have a realistic timeline for transitioning.

    Yes, I have thought about this before and am actually working on a post about it. Trans people, like others who need money for whatever reason, are going to be particularly vulnerable to the sex industry. So, if anything, I thought being supportive of trans rights and stuff would make one MORE likely to see the sex industry as exploitative, especially since transitioning (which costs lotsa $$$) is framed as a life or death matter. I just don’t understand how someone could support an industry that takes advantage of that! Especially since, as you say, men fetishize trans women.

  26. “I just don’t understand how someone could support an industry that takes advantage of that! Especially since, as you say, men fetishize trans women.”

    Well, it’s very simple: when you need money you do what you must to get money, that is unfortunately the way the world works. As explained earlier, transitioning is very expensive and many employers are very leery of hiring a transsexual. As with any situation involving a marginalized segment of the populace and an overwhelming need for money, people will turn to some questionable means to get what they need. The sex industry also has the factor of being very profitable on top of that.

    It’s an unfortunate situation, but as it stands, this is reality and we make do as we must.

  27. I would personally suggest you consult with some of the friendlier and informative members of the transgender community before you make any more posts on the topic. I don’t think your intention is to be hurtful and offensive, but a lot of people really aren’t educated about transfolk and can end up saying and doing things that have a negative impact.

  28. Thank you! You’ve said it far better than I could. I myself am a trans woman, and I am constantly baffled by those that deny ever having male privilege. They often make ridiculous excuses and show such a lack of insight and ignorance… as well as male privilege. Heh.

    I’ll say it. I’ve had male privilege. I’ve been influenced by it. It has affected my life in such a way, that for me to claim my experience is the same as a FAAB or anything like one is absolutely ridiculous, and straight out denial. Why do so many trans women fail to see this or accept it? I guess one just has to ask themselves why so many men fail to see it. Perhaps they’re worried that admitting their privilege will somehow undermine their legitimacy as a woman. Well, sorry to say this, but trans woman are just not on the same level as a natal woman. Two completely different experiences, sorry to say!

    I’m still new to this, but this blog post made me very happy, thanks again for it!

    • Thank you! I dun really know what to say in response except that your comment is appreciated and I’m glad you liked my post, it made me happy to hear that. Yay we agree? 😀

  29. (this is all trans women experience, and trans men probably have it the other direction)

    Trans women had a few of the pieces of “male privelege,” but they didn’t have all the pieces. Soo….calling it “male privelege” is a misnomer, and confusing. I call it the pre-transition role, or PT for short.

    Some elements of PT are great.. for instance, walking to the store at 2am, alone, not scared, is lovely. Teachers calling on you and taking your questions seriously is lovely. No one staring at you is good, people assuming you’re smart is good, getting to play sports and games is good.

    Some elements of PT are neutral… Like getting paid more pre-transition… Okay, if I transition at age 20, it means I got paid more for 4 years as a teenager working in a pizza place. Considering their isn’t really a gender pay discrepency when you’re working for minimum wage at age 16…. whatever, that’s kind of useless.

    Some elements of PT are downright painful.. Like getting physically assaulted for “walking feminine,” when you had NO idea you were doing it. Like watching television and advertisements and internalizing sexism and believing that your body is ugly and hideous. Having to go into the “boys locker room” and listen to their stupid misogynistic comments when you KNOW you’re a woman, and their comments frighten and scare you. Listening to other people constantly force you into a gender role you hate and despise (Okay class, boys on one side, girls on the other!)

    Bleeeeech. It’s a sticky issue, and its not really “privelege” as much as “a role society forces on you”. But pre-transition, there are a few pieces of genuinely awesome privelege that trans women don’t even recognize they have

    ….But transition is a rude wake up call, and they learn to recognize what privelege they HAD when its snatched away from them.

    Trans women can’t go anywhere at night. And if we want to go somewhere during the day, its safer to go with a friend or partner. Having a security escort your entire life for every task is quite tiresome. 99% of trans women reported being physically assaulted. within the last year.

    Consensual sex is a fantasy for us. We can either be open about our pasts and drive all potential mates away, or we can keep our past a secret and run the risk of being murdered. And that’s just CONSENSUAL sex! Imagine how bad non-consensual sex is for us.

    For transgender individuals, the unemployment rate is about 8 times higher and the poverty rate is about 5 times higher.

    Okay, you can call me out on my privelege. I don’t mind. BUT. Lets focus on POST-TRANSITION privelege, if such a thing exists.

    Also, finally, stop talking about the priveleges that little cissexual boys hold and saying trans girls hold it too. Pre-transitioned trans girls DO NOT and NEVER act the same as cissexual boys. You simply cannot equate them. Don’t blame US for THEIR crimes. There are similiarities in the training we are given from society, but there are differences in how we accept and recieve that training. Show a cissexual boy a sexualized advertisement and he’ll say something like “wow, women are so hot I want to have a wife like that!”. Show a pre-transitioned trans girl a sexualized advertisement and she’ll probably say something like “oh my god I’m so fat and ugly and tall, I’ll never be that pretty.” and start crying. Trans girls are not oppressing you. Cissexual boys are. They oppressed us too.

  30. Pingback: Male Privilege – You Have It. | fuckyeahtransrights

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