So here is the deal, my chickadees: you’re not pure, I’m not pure. None of us are outside of kyriarchy, none.
All that fucked up shit that’s been flung at you? That’s inside of you too, just waiting to come out, just waiting for you to reach out to grab it when you feel righteously angry enough. Because our culture teaches us to hate each other, and it gives us fucked-up tools to do so so effectively.
And sometimes, as with those radfems who are transphobic, you don’t even realise that you ARE using the same tools. Because you feel so, so right, so so justified.
And you are not alone; the history of human evil is not really of evil, but horrific and dehumanising things done in the name of good.
And we have this idea of complete innocence, ontological identity innocence, which is why we play this Oppression Olympics game so hard, jostling for the right *to* be righteously angry, to gain the only bit of power we can in a world which often robs of self-determination and the ability to thrive.
Almost every one has the power to hurt someone, in some fashion, whether it be by words, violence or pulling what societal levers you *can* access. There’s always someone to kick across, or down.
And so few of us are really willing to look in the mirror and say, yes I have that potential–let alone yes, I have done that or am doing that. True culpability is a hard thing, because it demands responsibility to one another. Even – especially! – those strange people who you don’t like or understand very much, who feel like they threaten your world, just by existing.
So yes. It’s liberating for marginalised people who’ve had to suppress their anger (cis and trans women alike), being righteous and angry. It is. Sometimes you have to scream out your anger, because if you can’t change a situation at least you can get your voice out.
But if you think that is *all* that I have had to say, here and elsewhere, then you are not really listening, anyway.
I hope that one day you will, though.
My friend, Emily Manuel, wrote an amazing poem about being a trans woman in the world, which she published at Tiger Beatdown. It discusses violence against her, emotional and physical distress/abuse against her, and how painful it is when people one would expect to be inclusive - namely, feminists - turn away or, worse, are actively transphobic.
The comments on the poem range from amazing to disgusting radfem transphobia.
If you want to fight for full reproductive rights, if you are truly interested in REPRODUCTIVE JUSTICE and BODILY AUTONOMY, you cannot be transphobic. You cannot actively exclude trans* people from the movement. You cannot deny their lived experiences, question their authenticity, or see them as less than.
As another of my Tiger Beatdown friends, Flavia Dzodan, has written: My feminism will be intersectional or it will be bullshit.
What Emmy writes in this quote is SO important. It’s not about perfection or always doing the right thing (there is no way that you will always do the right thing - ever). We are ALL mired in the shit of kyriachy, patriarchy, heteronormativity, cis-normativity, racism, sexism, etc. It’s about trying to fight against our inclinations. It’s about what you do when you realize that you have fucked up, that you have participated in the kyriarchy you are trying to take down.
As the comments on Emmy’s poem show and as Emmy makes clear in this comment:
BEING INCLUSIVE, THAT is what is TRULY RADICAL.