The Pursuit of Oppression

My ex’s life is sucking right now, if the things he’s doing and saying and the sadness and anger in his social media posts is is any indication. Despite the fact that hundreds of online trans friends and hipsters rally around him constantly with tales of how brave and beautiful he is, he has somehow decided that his life suckage is the result of oppression, and not the result of his spending every ounce of his time and energy hating himself and his body and pretending his sex organs are something other than what they are.

Oppression. It struck me recently that white MtFs who like women have managed to convince themselves not only that they’re a member of an oppressed class, but a member of three oppressed classes: women, queers, and transgender people.

They grew up in identical circumstances to those experienced by non-female, non-queer, non-transgender people, but fancy themselves victims of three class struggles. They’ve always liked women as much as the other straight guys they know, but suddenly identify with the struggle of homosexuals. Straight white guys, the most privileged group of people on the planet, have managed to convince themselves that they are three kinds of oppressed.

It should be noted that oppression, which is defined as the relationship in which a dominant class systematically abuses and exploits a subordinate class for its own benefit, is not the same as simple mistreatment. If one white guy beats up another white guy in a bar for flirting with his girlfriend, that’s not oppression. That’s mistreatment. That’s bad luck. Some might even argue that’s reaping what you sow. I’m not sure; I’ll stop short of claiming that. But it’s not oppression.

If a white cop beats up a poor black kid, however, that’s oppression. That’s a member of a dominant class exercising an age-old entitlement-fueled power over the people he perceives as lower class and materially limiting their safety and livelihood because of it.

Oppression depends upon class status. Class status depends upon being recognizable, on sight, as a member of a class. Women are a class. Women are oppressed based on our perceived reproductive capacity. To be plain: it’s because we look like women. African-Americans are a class. They are oppressed based on the color of their skin.

As a short aside, saying that women are oppressed based on gender, instead of sex, is every bit as offensive as saying that black people are oppressed based on behavior instead of skin color. Lipstick is a choice, being born with a uterus is not. Conservatives love this trick too: that black kid wasn’t beaten because of the color of his skin, it was because of his baggy pants, his use of slang, his sideways ball cap, his attitude. In both cases, the implication is that the victim could have avoided the mistreatment by changing their behavior; thus, in a way, they invited it. The former is sexism, just as the latter is racism.

This is also why there can be no such thing as “transmisogyny.” A MtF must fail to pass to be the victim of mistreatment based on transgender status (the “trans” part of the word). But if a MtF fails to pass, he is read as male and is punished as a gender non-conforming male, not as a woman. Misogyny is by definition directed at females; he cannot experience it. If he passes, on the other hand, he may experience misogyny (accidentally, as it was never intended for him) but not punishment for his unreadable transgender status. It’s quite simply one or the other.

The “oppression” of transgender people who don’t pass, such as it is, can be cast off with a change of clothes. This is not analogous to the situation of women or people of color, who know all too well that one does not simply outrun oppression.

You can be sure that if I could flip a switch and look like a man as I walked home at midnight through the streets of my city, I would. That’s because I don’t get any kind of kick out of oppression. By contrast, transgender people don’t exercise this option because they wouldn’t be expressing their true authentic selves.

Putting aside for a moment the extraordinarily disgusting claim that the true authentic selves of women consist of copious amounts of sex-stereotypical make-up and clothing, this attitude reveals the incredible privilege enjoyed by those who can make this choice. I don’t need to express myself when I walk home at night — indeed, I’d rather not draw any attention to myself at all — because the possibility of being harassed, stalked, beaten, raped or killed is real to me, having lived with such threats my entire life. Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, and whatnot. I don’t need for you to appreciate my fashion sense, or even know the most sincerely held values of my heart. I need for you to not kill me.

Anyone who can entertain the idea of toying with that hierarchy enjoys an astonishing ignorance of the lived realities of the people whose oppression they appropriate.

The endless lists of things “cis” people aren’t allowed to do and say and think reveal the incredible appetite some MtFs have for seeking out and finding oppression in the most innocuous acts. Using the wrong pronouns, speaking of someone’s past, talking about birth control, making the wrong cupcakes, gathering for a book club, wearing a body-positive t-shirt — these have all been claimed as oppressive acts against transwomen. Calling them brave and beautiful is wrong, not calling them brave and beautiful is wrong, refusing to date them makes you a bigot, wanting to date them makes you a chaser. No treatment is ever really good enough.

Then there’s the appropriation, by rich white straight guys, of a “transgender murder rate” that upon close inspection seems to affect mostly poor black gay guys (often in the context of prostitution or domestic violence). This is a problem, to be sure, and it always was a problem. But the people affected by it aren’t the same ones filling their social media feeds with posts about it. The people affected by this problem are too busy trying to survive. Where were the random middle-class white men rising up against the murder of black prostitutes before they thought of themselves as having something in common with them?

Idle time, the kind you have a lot of when you’re not actually fighting for your life, is the devil’s playground.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

20 thoughts on “The Pursuit of Oppression

  1. Funny how you described oppression of women and black people, while conveniently forgetting that of gay people. A gay person can avoid being oppressed simply by pretending to be straight in public. They do not even have to have straight sex – just hide all “gay things” and gay relationships. So, just like the transgender person, the gay person can “cast off oppression” with a change of behaviour.

    So are you saying that oppression of gay people is somehow not real?

    And if it is real, so is oppression of trans people, simply because it is one and the same oppression. The same perpetrators, the same motives.

    Like

    • I haven’t “conveniently forgotten” anything; I’m not required to cover your pet topics in any particular post, whoever you are.

      It’s true that the mistreatment experienced by gay people is properly called discrimination, not class oppression. There are similarities between the discrimination experienced by transgender people and that experienced by gay people. But there are also differences.

      The gay agenda is to be left alone. To partner and marry and raise children, to participate in societal benefits like insurance and inheritance as others do, to not get beaten up or denied employment. These are reasonable expectations for any member of society (including transgender people).

      But one group’s rights must always be balanced against another group’s rights. So a religious person shouldn’t be allowed to fire a gay person, but should be allowed to exclude her from his church or refuse to perform her wedding.

      By contrast, the transgender agenda is to coerce the behavior and even opinions of others. Transgender activists have succeeded in some contexts in banning the speech (i.e. pronoun use) of those who hold the opinion that sex is determined by chromosomes rather than feelings (an “opinion” that is thousands of years old, aligns with science, and is used for all sex-differentiated species of animals in the world except humans). They intend to force people to share vulnerable spaces with them (locker rooms, rape shelters) who aren’t comfortable (nor historically safe) doing so. They would like birth certificates and other legal records changed to support their subjective feelings about themselves, which can obscure historical facts. If the transgender agenda was simply to be left alone, what that would look like would be people wearing what they want to wear and not experiencing adverse effects (like being fired) for doing so.

      Their discomfort with their sex is neither oppression nor discrimination and thus it does not call for legislating agreement from other groups or subsuming the rights of others to their cause.

      Luckily for you, I typed this post before noticing that you are the same commentor who has left a number of tiresome, poorly researched, MRA-rhetoric laden comments in the past. You’re out of your league, and boring as well. You should find another hobby.

      Liked by 17 people

    • As a lesbian who doesn’t at all pass as a straight woman, I would have to disagree with your assertion that I can pass for straight by just changing my clothing. It isn’t just clothing; it’s the way I move and speak. I’ve never been able to hide it. If I could have blended in, it would have saved me a lot of grief.

      I didn’t feel that my oppression was dismissed by this article. Not every article about the oppression of women needs to mention lesbians.And the oppression of trans people is not the same as the oppression of Lesbians. In fact, heterosexual white males with “female feelings” are more destructive to the lesbian community than the straight community has been. At least when we were illegal we were allowed the right to gather together in safety; that’s gone now thanks to the trans community.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Additionally, even those gay men and lesbians who can “pass” as straight in public will still ultimately be outed by the romantic relationships they enter into. Gay people hiding who they are to get by in society relies on denying them relationships that are pretty fundamental to human happiness. While I don’t support employment or housing discrimination against gender non-conforming people (regardless if they identify as trans or not), expressing your personality and creativity through clothes and mannerisms is not the same thing as having to hide your life partner from your boss or landlord.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Reblogged this on things I've read or intend to and commented:
    When the backlash against transgenderism gets too real (which will also be directed at feminism and gay and lesbian rights since the trans Borg has co-opted those movements), when these men find that oppression ain’t so sexxxay, there’s is going to be a tidal wave of ex-trans males picking up their manhood again with great haste. And watch, these fuckers are going to save face by blaming their misadventures in transness on feminists, it will be feminists that forced them into wearing those frilly knickers by making them feel so bad about being a man. Our media will still be dominated by these anti feminist, male supremacist men, they will just be calling themselves men again and once again blaming women for their problems cause women are always to blame.

    Liked by 8 people

    • I’m honestly really surprised that I haven’t seen more extreme right-wing sources (such as Breitbart or Alex Jones) trying to make a connection between feminism and sterilization/castration of red-blooded American men. They haven’t been shy about going there in the past, claiming that feminists are out to destroy men.

      Maybe part of it is that they assume the vast majority of MTFs are gay (and so therefore don’t have a problem with castrating gay men). Or maybe the issue hews a little too close to libertarianism and the male prerogative to do whatever it is they want to do. Most right-wing criticism of transgenderism talks about religion and the affect on girls and women, but never seems to say that MTFs shouldn’t be allowed to modify their bodies if that’s what they feel like doing.

      Liked by 1 person

      • “trying to make a connection between feminism and sterilization/castration of red-blooded American men”

        I did have one troll commenter here who did that.

        “but never seems to say that MTFs shouldn’t be allowed to modify their bodies”

        I do think this one infringes on libertarianism.

        Like

    • There’s never been anything but backlash against feminism, and transgenderism is just the most recent face of it and a great way for misogynists such as Obama to hide their hatred of women. But I totally agree that there will be a backlash against gay rights, especially when the Equality[state] organizations are so closely aligning themselves with trans. I fully support the financial/employment/marriage/plus rights of lesbians and gay men, and even transgendered individuals, but I will no longer sign Equality[state]’s petitions.

      Like

  3. Bravo!! I am soooo sick and tired of oppression fetishists and their attempts to shout over those that are actually born in a class of oppression while mocking us, putting us down, calling for violence against us.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Thank you so much for this. I am passing it along as it articulates so very well what is happening.
    People are starting to wake up to the trans cult and their bullshit. We need articles like this so people being battered by the trans whactivists don’t feel alone or go into hiding because we can’t speak about reality openly without being attacked as bigots.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s