monthofthemultitasker  asked:

I was talking to my (male) friend about Caitlyn's transition because of how big of a step it is for the LGBT community. (He and I both identify within the community.) He made some comment about her "already being hotter than her ex-wife", and when I told him that was objectification, he said men comparing her to Kris was a sign of rapid acceptance and that it was better than misgendering her. Um, no? How do I make the point that transmisogyny is terrible? She's an accomplished Olympic athlete???

Hi there! This requires a longer answer but here are some quick notes. 

When people focus on transpeople’s looks, like  “they’re so hot! They’re hotter than me! They’re hotter than ___”, that’s a big problem for a few reasons.

1. Focusing the conversation on looks can be triggering for other people with gender dysphoria because they are reminded of the gap between what they would like to look like, vs. what they do look like. Before transitioning, Caitlyn was attractive and fit. These days she has money and access to cosmetic surgeries, hair and makeup artists, and Annie Liebovitz to light and shoot her! Many transwomen don’t have these advantages.

2. What if Caitlyn wasn’t “hot”? Should she get one molecule less respect or different treatment? Objecification and “a woman’s attractiveness = her worth” IS a real issue, and it’s ESPECIALLY an issue for transwomen who are often harassed and abused for even a minor non-conforming aspect of their appearance. Maintaining the standard doesn’t help anybody. Just wait until a picture of Caitlyn in sweats getting a coffee comes around. The praise for matching gender expectations gets paired with the shaming for not matching them - it’s the same coin.

3. Last but not least, it’s the “other”-ing. To say, “wow, she’s beautiful!” is to imply that transwomen aren’t beautiful normally and that this is a surprising exception. It’s like telling a person of color how educated they are. You may be trying to compliment but it’s backhanded because your default assumption was prejudiced.

Hope that helps!