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.