Transmisogyny4 February, 2012
Vandalism is the wonted destruction or tainting of another person’s property done out of sheer maliciousness. There are few feelings worse than learning you have been attacked by someone in what should be a safe place. We go home each day seeking a refuge from the events and catastrophes of the outer world. Home is meant to be somewhere we can let our guard down and relax. A violation of that space leaves a person feeling alone and vulnerable.
Misogyny is a prevalent attitude in which a number of (not all) men reserve a special ire for women who carry, present, or stand-up for themselves in any way that infringes on their male ego or sense of patriarchy. To be female is to be lesser than the male bodied, to be de-valued and erased.
Transmisogyny is a coupling of misogynistic attitudes with the prevailing transphobia. It is a hatred of trans women for who they are and the changing understanding of gender and patriarchy in regards to the rules of power and privilege. It is a double shot of hatred dumped on a minority that has been systematically denied equal rights and protection under the law and are still pathologised by the medical and psychiatric communities.
This morning I discovered I was at the crossroads of these actions and attitudes. Last night my door was vandalised by person(s) unknown. Their opinion of who I am was expressed in the most horrific and derogatory slur you can hurl at a trans woman. The slur was a message: we don’t like what you are and we know where you live. It is a threat. It is a promise to escalate. It is a warning for me to leave and a warning for others to disassociate with me. It is a reminder of my status: sub-human. Transsexuals, specifically trans women, stand out and are a visual threat to the patriarchal system that places one gender (male) as the superior and one (female) as the inferior. Trans men, says the patriarchy, are less of a threat because they are “women” expressing a healthy desire to be better, to be more than they are, even though they will never achieve it. The threat that trans women represent by nature of their existence, however, threatens the whole system because it means someone of “superior” status is “electing” to become of “inferior” status. This possibility cannot be given credence in the patriarchal view and the easy way of invalidating it is to dehumanise and pathologise the offending party. This is the same reason pathological transvestism is only defined as a male wearing female clothing, the reverse is not considered pathological, but as normal and acceptable.
What was written on my door is a threat against my person, but it is, also, an attempt to discredit, defame, and de-humanise me so they can feel more comfortable living in their skin with their prejudices.