Thursday, March 20, 2008

Yes, I Will Condescend! (with emoticons even)

If a white person says they don't want me to call them white, that white is an insult to them and they're colorblind, colorless, the master race, etc--I'm gonna call them white anyway.
If a white person says or does something racist I'm gonna call them a racist.

If a straight person tells me not to call them straight or heterosexual because they're really just normal and calling them straight is an insult to their religion--I still call them straight or het.
And if they say or do something homophobic or heterosexist I call them on it.

I'm gonna call someone who makes a few million dollars a year rich; even if they see themselves as being middle class or normal.
And, you can say it with me now, if someone says or does something classist I'm gonna call them on it, even if they think it's an insult.

Now, guess what?
If someone is not trans*, in any way shape or form, I'm going to call them cissexual, cisgendered, or a cis*person even if they think it's an insult (though it's not).
If someone, who is or is not trans*, does or says something transphobic or cissexist I'm going to call them a transphobe, a cissexist, and/or a bigot even if they think that's an insult (which it may or may not be, context is important).

There is this whole idea that there are, surprisingly enough, multiple ways of identifying and multiple ways of being privileged/oppressed!
No really! You can be both black and rich, a man and trans*, disabled and straight, and all sorts of other combinations! You can even be straight, a woman, and rich. Isn't that special? =^.^=
This means, children, that you can be both oppressed and privileged.
They don't cancel out either! They intersect--can you say intersectionality? (Since some folks are so fond of it, I did link to Wiki, even if it isn't very great generally.)
Therefore, you can have racial privilege even while being oppressed because you are queer and trans*. Like me! ^.~
You can also be oppressed because you're a woman while gaining privilege (remember, privileged folks generally don't see their own privilege even when it's pointed out!) because you are not trans*; this would be either or both cissexual or cisgender privilege--yes, I use both those words and they have different meanings! ^.^
And ya know, you can also be cisgendered and a woman and a female. You see, none of those cancel each other out or overlay the others. Just like how you can be both straight and a woman. ;)

ETA: I agree with Lisa.
If cis*folks, all of them whether they're radical feminists or not, stop calling us by the wrong sex and/or gender labels, labeling us as freaks or deviants or perverts or monsters or “most self-destructive embodiment of the patriarchy” or anything else we don't choose for ourselves... If cis* privilege goes away, never to return... If we were no longer oppressed because we are trans*...
...Cissexual, cisgender, etc would not have to be used and it wouldn't be privileged to tell us not to use it.
So, since I doubt cissexism will go away until all the other oppressions also go away (and they won't go away until cissexism is also dealt with), why don't you stop telling us why we do what we do and why we are who we are, stop misgendering us in your words and thoughts, stop kicking us out of rape and DV shelters, etc so we can all go back to work?
Because until you stop attacking us and being cissexist, we won't stop calling you on it.


Monday, March 17, 2008

Skewed Words

Bigots often take the words those they hate use to define themselves and skew their meanings to make their 'opponents' look ridiculous and make them defend against a straw-argument.
This is true, we see it all the time with right-wing assholes saying they aren't homophobic because they aren't afraid of queer folk.
I used to argue against this conservative woman who refused to call "homosexuals" gay because gay meant happy and very few "homosexuals" were truly happy (and they were going to hell).
If anything, bigots who twist words like this remind me of a heterosexist twelve-year old on that same forum who kept getting mad and offended because she refused to look at my definitions for things and instead 'clarified' my posts with AskJeeves.

So, what's up with some radfems doing this crap?
Sure, things like Lucky's comment and maybe the "radfemophobia" post are jokes. In some ways I don't mind them as much because we all do stuff like that; yet at the same time I sometimes mind them more because posts like Men in Ewes Clothes and Polly's don't have the option of hiding behind "It was just a joke!".
Personally, I try not to use transphobic and homophobic because, in part, how people will choose to misinterpret them; I try to use heterosexist and cissexist instead.
but you know, straw-arguments don't win people over, they don't prove any real point, and they don't show much integrity.
And honestly, if you ask most of the folks who use 'cisgender' they'll say it means "non-trans*"; if they go into more depth they'll say something to the effect of "someone who is comfortable in the sex/gender they were born/assigned as" (and by gender they won't mean masculine/feminine, they'll mean woman/man/girl/boy).

Off topic: Sorry for not posting much recently, I work from 5ish-12ish and it's an hour walk to work (luckily I can usually get a ride back) and I'm trying to keep myself from withdrawing from people.