Roz Kaveney (rozk) wrote,
Roz Kaveney

Palmstrike Redux

A couple of people on Questioning Transphobia didn't get the point in my earlier post about the extent to which transphobia on the part of some cis-gendered feminists wastes our time. I am always prepared to accept that I am not the clearest writer or thinker on the block - so here's what I said over there.

One of the standard complaints of feminism, quite rightly, is that men demand access to women’s time. They demand that women clean up after them, bring them cups of coffee, do the xeroxing and so on. In more patriarchal societies, women are supposed to take responsibility for men’s uncontrollable sexuality through various sorts of ‘modesty’; in less patriarchal, but still sexist ones, women are supposed to decorate themselves for men, rather than for themselves. Straight men have privilege and one of the ways that they exercise it is by making uncompensated demands on women’s time.

(One of the mistakes of a particular kind of feminism was to assume that pleasing men and placating sexism was the only reason why a woman might wear cosmetics - certainly, though, I have known women who were perfectly prepared to wear slap to go out clubbing but who objected to being expected to wear it at work.)

My point is that the demand that transpeople constantly justify ourselves, constantly live with other people’s issues, is a similar exercise of privilege, in this case cis-gendered privilege, They are claiming the right to make us spend time we often don’t have on going over and over the same arguments time after time.

And time spent on this, is wasted.
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