Socialization and Privilege: Not Optional

Refuting this poorly-written article, Still Think Trans Women Have Male Privilege? These 7 Points Prove They Don’t, is like shooting fish in a barrel, which is why I haven’t done it in the year and a half since it came out. But it came up again in one of my social media feeds, indicating that there are apparently people out there who think it has some merit. And that’s just annoying.

I’m baffled that Everyday Feminism consistently publishes dear-diary-quality ramblings by people who clearly haven’t attended a 101-level sociology course or heard of a basic logical fallacy. I’m not baffled that they publish misogynist tripe, because I understand that’s their schtick now, but can’t they find any halfway intelligent misogynists to write for them? Like the ones that write for Playboy? Maybe not?

And the hubris. I’m reminded of the trans activists who’ve recently tried to “critique” two people leagues greater than themselves, Margaret Atwood and Lou Reed. Embarrassing, really.

But here we go.

To begin, let’s look at what socialization is, as described by sociology.org. It’s not a college course, but it’s a start:

“…Socialization is not a politically, socially, or even spiritually neutral process. That is, the things you are a taught and the ways you are to behave are not random. When you are born and the socialization process begins, it is not just about you and your family, it is about the social and political order within which you are born into. In other words, socialization teaches you the social order. And note, it is not voluntary… Whatever society you are born into, whatever the sex of the body you happen to inhabit, you are given no choice about what you will learn. Immediately after you are born, and long before you have the intellectual capacity to understand what it is that is happening to you, the process of imposing the social order begins.”

The article starts with just a grab bag of trans ideology snippets that ramble on and have nothing to do with the alleged topic, which is not only poor writing but underscores the degree to which EF is really committed to its virtue-signaling agenda. So we’ll skip that and move on to the “seven” points.

1. Trans women are real women, therefore we cannot receive male privilege.

This is known as the Equivocation Fallacy. The entire point of this article is to discuss whether or not trans women are raised with a particular type of socialization, namely, the one intended for children assumed to have penises, typified by such experiences as being punished for playing with Barbie dolls. Without accepting that such socialization exists, there’s no point in an article dedicated to whether trans women experience it. Simply declaring that the commonly used name for this phenomenon — “male socialization” — is objectionable, says nothing about whether or not it is occurring.

2. Trans Women Are Not ‘Socialized as Men’

“Most trans feminine children experience being treated as male extremely differently from cisgender boys.”

This very sentence, ostensibly placed to argue that trans women aren’t socialized male, admits that trans women are socialized male. In order for a trans woman to “experience being treated as male differently,” the trans woman has to experience being treated as male. That’s male socialization.

3. Trans Women Experience Misogyny Before They Present as Women

“But every time I picked up or even looked at a Barbie, I was called ‘fag’ or ‘gaylord’ by the other boys, reprimanded by my teachers, and punished by my parents.”

This is not misogyny. Little girls are not punished for playing with Barbie. If you were being treated as a girl, a prerequisite for receiving misogyny, then your attempts to play with Barbie would have been well-received.

Punishment for playing with Barbie is reserved for males. The punishment you received for playing with Barbie is exactly the same punishment a “cis” boy would have received if he had played with Barbie. Kids don’t come out of the womb knowing if they’re supposed to play with Barbie or not; they’re taught. Girls are taught it’s ok. Boys are taught it’s not. You received the “boy” lesson, exactly as expected.

Not only did you receive male socialization, but you were in fact its specific target. Male socialization exists to punish boys who play with Barbie and reward boys who play baseball, in the hopes that when they grow up, they’ll play baseball instead of Barbie.

If, as you presume, there’s a baseball-loving “cis” boy out there who’s never picked up a Barbie, then he will need less of this socialization than you, not more. It is you who is targeted for “correction,” by design. Male socialization exists not to train boys to do what their “nature” was already going to direct them to do, but to train them to do what the social order requires of them.

The fact that socialization is painful proves that it’s happening, not that it’s not happening. Training is painful. Studying for a test is painful. Lifting weights is painful.

Saying that painful socialization isn’t socialization is like claiming that if you walk away with aching arms from a session with a personal trainer who forced you to do 50 push-ups, the push-ups must not have really happened.

And this socialization was, contrary to what you believe, highly successful. You so thoroughly internalized the message that boys don’t play with Barbie, that you changed your beliefs about your own nature to avoid challenging it. Instead of facing the inescapable fact that boys do in fact play with Barbie, as you knew first-hand, you redefined yourself as a girl so as not to contradict your training. Who knew that socialization could be so successful as to make people deny the information of their senses.

Also, point 3 is just a restatement of point 2. You don’t get to count it twice.

4. Trans Women Don’t Experience Less Violence or Discrimination Than Cis Women

This has nothing to do with male socialization or male privilege. Stay on topic.

Also, it’s not true.

5. Trans Women Who Aren’t Perceived as Femme Don’t Experience More Privilege Than Those Who Do

This is just incoherent.

First of all, it’s a “manufactroversy.” Secondly, it’s answered with wholly invented baseless assertions. Not even worth it.

6. Trans Women May Participate in Misogyny, But They Do So as Women

Ugh, train wreck. Let me count the ways:

  • Misogyny from women isn’t a thing, just as “reverse racism” isn’t a thing. It depends upon a power dynamic.
  • No, they don’t.
  • Has nothing to do with the claim in the article title.

7. It’s Not Up to Cis People to Define Trans Women’s Experiences

Again, this has nothing to do with the claim in the article title. Or is the author claiming the entire field of sociology is up for grabs to be redefined by whoever feels like it?

And this final nugget of wisdom:

“And isn’t self-determination, even in the midst of a complicated and violent world, the point of feminism?”

No. No, it is not.

Don’t be Afraid of Information

Don’t censor.

Don’t ban.

Don’t no-platform.

Don’t decide that a topic or group of people is untouchable.

Don’t protect yourself from material you think you’ll dislike.

Don’t try to shut down libraries.

Do this for you, not out of consideration for the people you consider enemies. 

Don’t be afraid of information.

You’ll only make yourself stupider.

Apparently I Have the Shining.

This is just weird. I was looking for an old email when I came across this one that I sent to a friend a full four months before my ex’s very first episode of cross-dressing.

I swear I have not changed a single word of this, except the redacted name.

“I had this wonderful dream that I was riding a broom. In my dream, riding a broom was something every woman (not men) could try, but not everyone could do it. You would get on the broom and it would twitch and pull you forward and you had to have some skill to control it and to get it to go upward.

Also, it gave you a bad name, maybe like being a rabid feminist. So like most women, I had always sort of decided maybe I shouldn’t. But then I decided to do it anyway, and I could fly! And it was amazing! I was weaving in and out of trees in the woods and it was very freeing. And I sometimes passed other women on brooms. And there was never any mention of being a witch nor did that really seem to be a real thing.

I told [my ex] and he said ‘That sounds pretty Freudian.'”