Thought for later

Capitalism fundamentally relies on the invisibility of female labour. The oppression and subjugation of women, is the invisible wheel capitalism thrives. Poor mothers make willing cheap labour the world over. The gender binary disappearing, and being rendered pointless by the acceptance not just of trans women but those whose sexuality falls outside an absurdly narrow norm, makes capitalism impossible.

I find it interesting that the media paint the disappearance of that gender binary as cis women vs trans women, when the end of that gender binary is the very end of patriarchy itself. It renders the gender subjugation capitalism requires, ultimately impossible.

Cis privilege continued.

I wrote a post the other day that got me accused of rampant transphobia. Not by a trans woman to be fair, in fact I had discussed the contents of that post with several women(trans women). Turns out I mixed up the little known academic terms Cis Privilege and Gender privilege. Something I was happy to remedy quickly, because I know I am wrong a lot.

The person who accused me of transphobia, consistently reinforced this misunderstanding, telling me ALL women were privileged over ALL trans people, and when I pointed out this was clearly not true or representative of the reality of womanhood on this planet, she laid into me.

The problem with this incident was, that my misunderstanding of this one little known academic term had actually upset someone I value a great deal, and I wanted to talk to her about it. And find out why, and apologise if necessary. I am an adult and consider this woman to be a voice I value, not because she is a trans woman and I want her as a badge to my right on collection, but because she is smart and intelligent and very kind. I was told by this privileged academic young feminist I was a raving transphobe and I was to leave my poor friend alone. She then went onto explain, that women who were born women ALL enjoyed privilege over trans woman. She was talking nonsense and she was also talking about gender privilege even if she was using the word ‘cis’. She accused me of making a differentiation between trans women and those who were born women, when the distinction was hers and the birth is just a fact.

My misunderstanding of the word Cis Privilege, came from the fact this word is not an accusation, it is not a perjorative, it is not even an assumption that cis privilege manifests itself in any way or a minimisation of the reality for women on this planet, a misunderstanding gained entirely by seeing it used to bully and give the fringes of our online radical political culture an excuse to shout at women,.  The reality is that basic choice and even ownership of their own genitals does not exist for all or most women in our society, globally or nationally. Her misunderstanding was that all Cis women enjoy the privilege she does, mine was of an academic term she learned presumably in the course of HER education. The privilege she enjoys is not even enjoyed by the majority of women, and wont even be enjoyed by her peers once they procreate, unless they are independently wealthy.

Transphobia, homophobia, is not a misunderstanding of an academic term.  These are not academic things. No-one is looking for another vanguard of young, blinkered, academic bullies to fight for equality on our behalf. Feminism failed because elitism, often academic, took it out of the hands of women and women’s lives. Trans women. or not. And made it an academic pursuit dominated by the views of women who think choice is the norm. The constant whining of privilege is grating, the only purpose for this term is address your own or to address someone elses that affects you. It is not a weapon for snot nosed post grads to abuse people at will.

That is not feminism or fighting transphobia, it’s a using privilege you hold to dictate what other people should think and say and using your academic advantage to excuse your bullying. Transphobia is not about an academic term  it is about the reality of living in a country where you can’t even guarantee your doctor will speak to you like a human being, and where the risk of violence is the norm. And it is not the privilege of women born that way, that created transphobia. That’s patriarchy.

We live in a country where you cannot even assume the woman you are speaking to has choice in her own life and autonomy over her own decisions, and no feminism that will ever succeed will involved shouting at those women demanding they recognise a privilege they do not hold.

PS as I generally do when I want to guage whether a twitterstorm has substance I asked people in real life. Noone had heard the term Cis. Even the person I asked that really would have the right to accuse me of transphobia.

PSS I apologise for the delay but I don’t have the privilege of devoting my time to this at the mo. Gender shit.

Cis Privilege

Cis women’s privilege is a nonsense. That is not a comment on the unique and very specific issues that trans women face every day, for basic acceptance in society, for a life free from violence and condemnation. But that is not a problem of Cis women’s privilege. The very notion of womanhood on this planet, born, or made, bringing privilege is one that is quite interesting. As is the ease with which the privilege women are born with, is adopted as received wisdom by our left media culture and its so called radical hangers/numpties on the internet.

Only on the internet, has the main result of the fight for acceptance of trans women, been the coining of a phrase which assumes privilege is held by born women and that is the problem. Gender and violence go hand in hand, and while one should discuss the very specific violence that trans women suffer, when shouting ‘cis privilege’ to a woman in this society, there is significant likelihood she will also have suffered patriarchal violence in this society. The question here is not about minimising the issues trans women face, it is the assumption of privilege where there is none.

If the gender where that privilege is assumed is one where choice and autonomy cannot actually  be assumed, even in developed and declining countries then it is abuse. The ‘Cis women’s privilege’ discussed is not privilege held because those women were born women, it is because they are already privileged to be free of violence and oppression and in the millions of the ways most women aren’t. These are women for whom choice is the norm. Choice is not the norm for born women and before I shout that someone has privilege I want to know they do.

White privilege I can assume. class privilege I can assume, male privilege I can assume. Cis women’s privilege I cannot and if all you can do to assist trans women in fighting for acceptance is use that as an excuse to further subjugate born women, then you are an idiot.

Fluid transition through gender requires equality to have been achieved, the numpties on the internet shouting Cis women’s privilege show a fundamental misunderstanding of what it is to be a woman on earth in 2013 for most women. In a society where control over women is held by patriarchal violence, there will be women who find it difficult to recognise and immediately accept someone who to them has made a choice but who was a man, This is not the fault of any trans woman, but then it is not a problem of ‘Cis privilege’ either.

PS Cis as a word sounds like a cleaning product and has never been heard by most. It means the privilege of being born with the gender you are, it is shouted by those privileged to have the ability to assert their gender and sexuality outside patriarchal control at all. Shouting it as an insult is just a way to assert your own privilege, the privilege of the knowledge you hold,. and unless you are a trans woman it makes you sound like an arse.