beyond the binaries

Posts tagged privilege

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Privacy is not an option.


“The ability to keep bodily matters private is a privilege some of us will never have. Just ask a poor person on welfare, a fat person, a visibly disabled person, a pregnant woman. Ask a person of color whose ethnic heritage isn’t seemingly apparent. Just ask a seriously ill person, a gender ambiguous person, a non-passing transman or trans woman. All these people experience public scrutiny, in one way or another, of their bodies. 

In this culture bodily difference attracts public attention. Privacy is not an option. Certainly as a disabled person, I never get a choice about privacy. Sometimes I can choose how to deal with gawking, how to correct the stereotypes and lies, how to live with my particular bodily history. But I don’t get to choose privacy, much less medical privacy. The first thing people want to know is what’s wrong with me. Sometimes they ask carefully about my disability, other times demand loudly about my defect. But either way they’re asking for a medical diagnosis. And if I choose not to tell, they’ll just pick one for me anyway and in the picking probably make a heap of offensive assumptions. The lack of privacy faced by poor people, fat people, disabled people, people of color, and visibly queer and gender variant people has many consequences connected to a variety of systems of oppression… 

And so when I hear the argument that being trans is a private matter, I want to ask: do you know that bodily privacy is a privilege regulated by systems of power and control? And if you have that privilege, how are you using it, even when it’s laced with ambivalence and stress?”

Clare, Eli. “Body Shame, Body Pride: Lessons from the Disability Rights Movement.”

(via transarterrified)

Filed under privilege body privacy

305 notes

Binary-Gender Privilege


Something I did about 6 months ago. Not exactly binarism, but a lot of people don’t think about that there actually is privilege in having a gender in the binary, even if you aren’t cis or “gender normative” or whatever else. Feel free to suggest your own.

You can reasonably expect that…

  • words to describe your gender not only exist in every natural language (and constructed languages not specifically made for a non-binary gendered race), but are commonplace
  • characters with your gender commonly appear in fiction as more than just a joke, and are often mentioned in serious non-fiction
  • everyone is aware that people of your gender exist and have met people with your gender
  • words exist to describe your sexuality and to describe people attracted to those of your gender, and most people have heard those words
  • there is a way to pass as your gender, and roles/clothing/actions associated with that gender that you can use if you wish to be read correctly, and resources on this are easy enough to find
  • people will not have to “get used” to using your pronouns, as they use them for people on a daily basis, and will not tell you that your pronouns are “too hard” or treat them as some sort of novelty
  • no one will say that humans can not have your gender, or treat the words and pronouns you use to describe your gender as an insult
  • you can expect to find safe spaces for people of your gender
  • in gender-based safe spaces, it is obvious if people of your gender are welcomed/allowed or not (from the One With No Name)
  • it will be obvious which bathrooms, locker rooms, and facilities to try on clothes people of your gender are allowed to use (from the One With No Name)
  • you will not have a hard time finding a partner who has heard of your gender, much less one who understands and accepts your gender and pronouns
  • you will not have to educate people about what your gender is to have any hope of having that gender respected, because they have grown up around people who have that gender
  • when you see a therapist, including gender therapists, zie has dealt with people of your gender and will treat you with respect
  • if your body is not “normal” for your gender, surgeries and treatments exist to help fix it and there are ways set up for you to access them
  • you do not have to create an entirely new legal sex to be legally acknowledged as your gender
  • if parents raise a child as your gender, people will not consider this abuse
  • from a young age, you are  aware that people with your gender actually exist and will not have to go looking for or invent definitions that fit you. -(from AlextheSane)
  • Your gender is not considered a mental illness in and of itself  (Theo)
  • Your behaviour (good or bad) is not taken to be representative of all people of your gender because most people have met many people of your gender  (Theo)
  • Telling someone your gender is unlikely to result in them asking you what your genitals look like or asking you whether or not you were “born that way”  (KitBeard)
  • Forms that ask for gender show your gender  (Theo)
  • Representations of your gender exist in all cultures  (Theo)
  • Your gender is not taken to indicate your religious, philosophical or political beliefs  (Theo)
  • It is clear whether or not you can legally be married to your partner   (Theo)

Submitted by themself. Thank you!

Filed under binary privilege non-binary

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Whipping Girl FAQ on cissexual, cisgender, and cis privilege



Excerpts of Julia’s answer as to why the term ‘cis’ is used:

“I began writing Whipping Girl in 2005, before I had heard of the “cis” terminology. A major focus of the book was to debunk many of the myths and misconceptions people have about transsexuals. Initially, I was kind of scattershot in my approach: In one chapter, I would critique the way the term “passing” is used in reference to transsexuals. In another chapter I would critique the use of the terms “bio boy” and “genetic girl” to describe non-trans men and women. In yet another chapter, I would critique the way that transsexuals are always depicted as imitating or impersonating “real” (read: non-trans) women and men. And so on. After a while, it became obvious to me that all of these phenomena were stemming from the same presumption: that transsexual gender identities and sex embodiments are inherently less natural and less legitimate than those of nontranssexual people. “

(read on)

Filed under cis cisgender cissexual ciscentrism privilege Julia Serano Whipping Girl