Before I lay out the main part of this post, I’d like to say that this “divide”, so to say, was pretty inevitable. Since the most recent wave of SGA discourse, there has been an increase on binary thinking among social justice activists: on the idea that you are either the oppressed or the oppressor; on the idea that if you aren’t faced with certain kinds of prejudice frequently, you are privileged and not really “LGBT”.
So, yeah, I always thought there would be a moment where a crowd with metaphorical torches and pitchforks would come to this blog, claiming the word and concept of “exorsexism” is implying both cis and binary trans people are our oppressors. Claiming I’m advocating for binary trans people to be hated just as much as cis people are hated for being oppressors.
Claiming I’m implying that binary trans people aren’t really oppressed, when, in truth, nonbinary people are the ones not really oppressed, after all.
Y’see, even within nonbinary people, there are people with widely varying experiences. Some nonbinary people have more “socially acceptable” genders, or at least ones that are less likely to be scrutinized by others. Some nonbinary people do transition. Some nonbinary people would identify as cis for their whole life if they had never known about other genders, while other nonbinary people would see themselves as binary trans people. Some nonbinary people are fine with whatever pronoun set, and some require specific ones that may not be very common.
There aren’t mathematical models as for how much each one experiences more oppression. Much less for each class, when a lot of people may have different experiences, and this goes for gay, bi, ace, and binary trans people as well.
And telling people to shut up about oppression because other people may be more oppressed is just… oppression olympics, and the LGBTQIAP+ movement should not create an hierarchy on which groups are allowed to have their own words. An hierarchy in which certain groups have to walk on eggshells to not accidentally imply someone who is bigoted is an oppressor, when we just want to say “this is a behavior with a certain pattern, which is bad and should be called out, and highlighting this behavior does not negate bad or worse things that have happened to you because of another kind of oppression”.
Anyways, here’s what happened.
I got a message from someone who I have never seen before. This person claimed to be the creator of the nonbinary flag (I’ll admit I didn’t check but I’ll believe it), saying they wanted me to remove this blog’s banner/avatar (which was previously said nonbinary flag), because they wished the nonbinary flag wasn’t used for transmisogyny, claiming having a word for “bigotry against nonbinary people” is transmisogynistic in nature, because I was somehow implying trans women have it better than us.
While I got quite hurt for being called a transmisogynist for having a safe space for nonbinary people, where we can vent about the bullshit we go through - which can also come from binary trans women, but that’s different than saying they are at fault, or solely at fault, while our cissexist society is at fault - the only problem I had changing my banner and avatar was because Tumblr is completely bugged and I had to try several times.
(The current flag on those is the queer flag, which is really underground and I have no idea of how much people can recognize this, but w/e.)
But I also contacted the person who pushed to have a term such as exorsexism in first place, @vergess, and this is what fae has to say:
Someone sent a friend of mine, the mod for @exorsexistbullshit , a request to remove the nonbinary flag from a blog discussing the concept of exorsexism, that is to say, the type of cissexism that primarily attack nonbinary people for their specific form of deviance from the “ideal gender norms.”
The reason this person did not like the nonbinary flag (which this person designed), is because of a belief that the term exorsexism, and any term which suggests nonbinary people experience unique forms of cissexism and transphobia, is inherently transmisogynistic for trying to claim that binary trans women are our oppressors.
First of all, that’s a hell of a reach. It’s also a very familiar reach. You may recognize the line of thought as being the same root that makes people think the words monosexism/monosexual and allosexism/allosexual are inherently homophobic. Obviously, the same problems clearly apply to trying to claim exorsexism (and binarism, though fortuitously, most making this complaints are white and have the good sense to fuckign not) are transmisogynistic.
Namely, the claim is that the term identifies a privilege dynamic, rather than labelling a specific type of oppressive behaviour. Not every form of oppressive behaviour comes complete with a privilege dynamic.
As is customary, I will now use the “allistic” example.
Allistic is a word that means, people who are not autistic. It includes a huge number of neurodivergent people, including people with psychosis, delusions, personality disorders, etc, etc. The kinds of people whose neurodivergence both puts then at huge risk in a saneist/ableist society, and strips them of any ability to oppress autistic people.
Similarly, exoersexism covers behaviours that target nonbinary people, but it does not suggest that anyone who is not nonbinary is automatically capable of oppressing us, or that anyone who does not experience exorsexism is somehow better off than we are.
Additionally, there are tons of trans women and transfeminine people and hell even non-feminine DMAB people, who can and do experience the unique manifestations of cissexism that are tied up in refusing to identify with a binary gender.
Claiming that these people do not exist so that you can talk about how everyone who says “nonbinary people experience their own forms of cissexism that overlap with but are not necessarily identical to the forms of cissexism that affect binary trans people” is kind of fucked up.
I will now provide you with several gajillion links by trans women, transfeminine people, and DMAB nonbinary people talking about this stuff as well, sometimes humourously, sometimes ventingly, sometimes in detail, because honestly while I am Tired™ that doesn’t mean I get to present myself as the be all and end all on this matter.
These posts cover a variety of things, but what they all have in common is the discussion of how there are specific issues that specifically come up in the specific context of nonbinary identities. Not all OPs or contributors are necessarily trans women, transfeminine, or dmab nonbinary, but rather, the blogs from which they are being sourced all belong to people in those categories and can be considered indicative of their voices.
With this in mind, this blog’s name/concept will stay the same, and our
non-existent schedule will be resumed.