Individual feminism, that of women like Ivanka Trump and Kellyanne Conway, is the belief that if you work really hard, and if you’re rich, white, and blonde enough, you can ignore sexism and achieve “empowerment.”
This type of “feminism” is aptly named, because it gives no fucks about other women. It’s an extremely self-centered “feminism.” It caters to already rich and powerful (white) women, the ones in the least need of actual feminism, over women whose experiences with sexism intersect with racism, homophobia, transphobia, ableism, etc. It challenges nothing, and it accomplishes nothing.
I am not buying this faux feminism that they are selling. If your feminism is all about yourself, not about lifting up other women – all women, it is fake and pointless.
Men get pegged as shallow a lot, but in my real life experience, women are more shallow than men.
A lot of the men I’ve talked to don’t care if a woman has some extra weight, or is taller than them, or doesn’t have flawless skin. And even more men prefer women who don’t wear a lot of make up. (Not that I’m saying make up is bad, I love make up.)
I’ve noticed a lot of women, on the other hand, won’t date guys who are shorter than them (that’s a really popular one), or they have some other physical standard they expect.
Yet we ostracize men who have standards and applaud women who do. Those men are shallow while those women are strong independent “don’t need no man” types.
The hypocrisy is pretty amusing, to say the least.
Please acknowledge that not all men have male privilege, not all men are seen as male, not all men are “manly enough” to have male privilege. And some men have life experience as a woman. And some people you assume are male aren’t.
~just a friendly reminder from your neighborhood transgender folk.
Privileges are not random advantages. An advantage that a group has only qualifies as a privilege if they’re the group in charge that created and enforce that advantage.
The problems that women face just for being women are caused by men trying to keep them in their place. The problems that people of color face just for being people of color are caused by white people trying to keep them in their place. The problems that LGBT people face just for being LGBT are caused by cishet people trying to keep them in their place.
The problems that men face just for being men (which do exist) are not caused by women trying to keep men in their place. They’re caused by the side effects of the male gender role, which was created by men to maintain male superiority.
The belief that men are violent was created by men as an excuse for men to normalize the violence they commit, and is enforced every time a woman is blamed for being a victim of violence committed by a man. When the belief that men are violent causes men to be distrusted or to be given longer prison sentences for the same crimes, it’s a side effect.
The belief that men are stronger than women was created by men to enforce women’s submissiveness. Every time a man complains about being “emasculated” when a woman is stronger than him or beats him in any sport or game, he’s enforcing that. When it’s assumed that men can’t be victims of rape or physical abuse by a woman, it’s a side effect.
The belief that women are better caregivers was created by men to enforce the belief that men belong in the workforce, and women belong at home cooking, taking care of the children, and being obedient to her husband. When women are more likely to get custody of children, it’s a side effect.
The belief that certain jobs are for men was created by men, and causes women to be raised to believe that they can’t handle those jobs and should instead look for jobs that are made for women. When men are more likely to get injured or die at work, or when men are expected to pay for dates, it’s a side effect.
The belief that women don’t belong in the military was created by men who believe that women are too weak for the military. When men are forced to risk their lives to defend their country but women are not, it’s a side effect.
The belief that men have a duty to protect women was created by men’s own hero complex, and is enforced every time a man tries to protect a woman who never said that she needs protection. When men are assumed to be disposable, it’s a side effect.
Also, every single one of those examples of “female privilege” existed long before the women’s rights movement. So how the hell is the women’s rights movement responsible for men’s “oppression”?
A lot of men’s issues are real issues. They’re caused by the male gender role, which feminists are actively against. If you simply didn’t like the male gender role, and you wanted to show other men how the patriarchy also hurts men, feminists would not have any problem with you. However, by referring to the male gender role as “female privilege”, you’re blaming women, and that’s why feminists say that you’re misogynists.
Controversial opinion but I’m actually starting to think there is such a thing as binary privilege within the trans community, I just don’t think it exists in the ways that most people have ignorantly speculated about it.
I definitely don’t think that you can lump in binary cis women cis men trans women and trans men as a cohesive group and any presumption to do so is totally off base. I also don’t think that transgender women experience materially impactful “binary privilege” over CAFAB nonbinary people.
But I do think that, nonbinary identity being a form of gender-nonconformity (most nonbinary people presenting or wishing to present in a way that is visibly gender-variant, and vocalizing a nonbinary identity in itself being an act of gender-nonconformity with material consequences) that within certain groups (for the sake of simplicity I’ll just discuss this in terms of CAFAB and CAMAB) binary identities are prioritized over non-binary identities.
As a CAFAB nonbinary person who is vocal about their identity I definitely do not have access to the same privilege a trans man does. Not only do both cis people and many binary trans people view my identity as being more insolent than that of a trans man and inherently less worthy of accomodation (see: The entire situation surrounding Jordan Peterson at the University of Toronto and people now boycotting the entire federal trans rights bill in Canada on the basis of not wanting to use “they” pronouns) but I have experienced barriers to health care that doctors have expressly told me I would not have experienced if I was a trans man. I have also been subjected to trans men explicitly using my identity as something to attack and dismiss in order to establish more social capital for themselves, and while briefly working for an LGBT organization, had my supervisors take my opinions on trans issues less seriously than those of binary trans people, even if those opinions were on nonbinary issues specifically, as well as being subjected to invalidating micro-aggressions from both my cis coworkers and other trans people and saw similar things happen to my CAMAB nonbinary coworkers.
And while I do not feel that trans women hold some sort of gender-related privilege over me as a CAFAB person by virtue of a binary identity since transmisogyny is a significantly more materially impactful issue, I definitely have heard and seen, and had CAMAB people express to me similar experiences to what I’ve described be experienced by CAMAB nonbinary/GNC transfeminine people from binary trans women (see: Blair White and Theryn Meyer attacking nonbinary transfeminine people to increase their social capital and being given authority to speak over CAMAB nonbinary people on nonbinary-specific issues).
There’s also the issue of binary favoritism from cis people. Nonbinary people experience unique forms of conversion therapy even from therapists and doctors who claim not to practice conversion therapy, where doctors attempt to convince nonbinary people they need to “really figure out” their gender, gaslighting their patients about the validity of nonbinary identity and subjecting them to additional barriers to care should they refuse to adopt a binary identity. There is extensive medical documentation in both literature on the medicalization of trans people and on the medicalization of intersex people that the medical industrial complex has a vested interest in persuading GNC people towards binary identities, even if those identities are transgender, rather than allowing a person to embody an explicitly nonbinary gender identity and presentation, and that it is willing to carry out this agenda through means of institutional violence and bodily harm via either pressuring nonbinary people into forms of transition they do not want, or restricting access to forms of transition they do want.
Through the research I’ve done this year into the medicalization of intersex people I’ve discovered a frightening overlap in ideological motivation between the medicalization and abuse of intersex people and the medicalization and abuse of nonbinary people. And while I do not think that it’s the place of dyadic nonbinary people to speak on this, at this point I (edit: as an intersex person) do not think that is it possible to neatly separate nonbinary issues from intersex issues from an institutional perspective in a way that isn’t completely ahistorical.
So yeah TL;DR to a certain extent I do think that nonbinary people experience forms of oppression that are unique to people of nonbinary identities, I just think the way it’s been previously discussed has been extremely fallacious, that it cannot be discussed in a way that equates cis and trans women and men as a cohesive group, and that it cannot be discussed in a way that draws false equivalency between CAMAB and CAFAB experiences or doesn’t account for transmisogyny.
I know this is a really controversial topic and if you think I’m off-base I’d really appreciate feedback or criticism esp from CAMAB ppl bc I’m still developing my thoughts on this!
Edit: I hope I clarified this enough within the original post but I just wanted to state more clearly that if this topic is going to be discussed it needs to be done so with the understanding that the people who stand to benefit to most from nonbinaryphobia (for lack of a better term) within the trans community are trans men. Trans women have significantly less benefit from this and while they can still stand to harm CAMAB nonbinary people in this way, it is difficult for trans women to enact anti-nonbinary violence on CAFAB people given that CAFAB people are always capable of wielding transmisogyny in response (and do, frequently). In order to discuss this topic fairly, male privilege and female oppression need to be understood as an inexorable part of that discussion.
👉Trans women are male. They were born male and they’ll die male. We will all decompose in the ground and centuries later archaeologists will find our skeletons and be able to tell if we were of the sex that produces sperm or ovum. Is that not the definition of a trans woman? someone born male who ‘identifies’ with being a woman?
👉Acknowledging the reality of the sex you obviously are is not violence. It may hurt your feelings, but it is not violence. Being critical of gender and males defining womanhood does not make someone transphobic.
👉Lesbians are female homosexuals. You can’t come up with your own definitions for words and get pissed when people don’t use your definition.
👉Homosexuals are people attracted to the same sex that they are.
👉Sexuality is about attraction to primary and secondary sex characteristics, not an elusive sparkly ‘feminine’ feeling that you display with sexist stereotypes, presentations, and roles. No one is sexually attracted to gender identity.
👉Saying women have vaginas is not the same this as saying women ARE vaginas. it’s a classification. If i say dogs have fur, am i ‘reducing’ them to their fur? No, i’m just pointing out one of their defining features.
👉Defining woman as anything other than female is sexist garbage.
👉Lesbians don’t have to date, have sex with, or be attracted to trans women. To berate and harass them for the natural preferences that come with their sexuality is misogynistic rape-apologism.
👉‘Cis’ women are not privileged over trans women. An equivalent sentence is 'females are not privileged over males’
👉Sex is not a social construct. Social constructs exist only in the context of human culture and are variable. Sex is a biological reality manifested by gonads, reproductive organs, skeletal structure, secondary sex characteristics, chromosomes, etc. Humans are sexually dimorphic with .05% being intersex.
👉Socialization based on birth sex is real. It manifests as differential treatment throughout life based on sex. Socialization starts the second the doctor says 'it’s a girl!’ and the mother gets showered in bows, dresses, Disney princess, toy kitchens and cleaning equipment, all in sparkles and shades of pink while the father is simultaneously disappointed he won’t get to play catch with his offspring and worried about boys victimizing and harassing his daughter, knowing firsthand how that plays out.
👉Gender is socially constructed. It is the roles assigned to males and females. It is 'women wear dresses, aren’t good at math and science, have to shave and wear makeup, don’t do sports, are fragile and sensitive, are overly emotional and totally nurturing, should not be assertive or in positions of power, should have a goal to get married have kids and take their husbands name’
👉There is no such thing as brain sex. When trans women see an article saying trans women have a similar sized hippocampus as ‘cis’ women and they’ll say to themselves ’SEE!This means my made up gender identity is valid and genetic!’ when in reality the discussion section will mention that even for cis women it is a spectrum/distribution and that the results do not automatically imply that those differences are not due to brain plasticity, experience-dependent development, and socialization (half the time they’re not even studying causal factors). So you may be thinking, ‘well what ARE those differences present from birth?’. Experiments studying male and female differences from birth as displayed in children and infants show that the only cognitive differences are few and minuscule, such as higher visuospatial ability in males.
And these articles never even mention some correlation to ‘gender identity’. Thats left for psychologists and social theorists, because there’s no way to empirically study the bullshit gender identity in your head when you can’t even come up with a definitive, operationally sound definition for ‘woman’
👉Bathrooms are separated by sex, not gender identity. Males do not belong in female only safe spaces, bathrooms, lockerooms, rape shelters, etc.