so lately ive been really obsessed with political cartoons for some reason
BUT LOOK AT THESE
IT IS AMAZING HOW SOMETHING SO SIMPLE CAN HOLD SO MUCH MEANING AND TRUTH
it’s funny how if you’re not straight, the assumption is always that you like men
bisexual male: YOU’RE SECRETLY JUST GAY AND WANT TO HAVE SEX WITH MEN
bisexual female: YOU’RE JUST FAKING IT FOR MALE ATTENTION
gay male: YOU’RE ONLY GAY BECAUSE YOU DIDN’T HAVE A GOOD MALE ROLE MODEL IN YOUR LIFE
gay female: YOU’RE ONLY A LESBIAN BECAUSE YOU WERE HURT BY MEN IN THE PAST AND NOW YOU HATE THEM
like did it occur to you at any point that it’s not always about men
I honestly think people forget that the church and state are supposed to be separate. Give me one non-religious reason against same sex marriage. One non-religious reason against stem cell research. One non-religious reason against safe abortions. Go ahead.
I’ve been saying this for YEARS.
First thing first: I HATE THIS BLOG POST.
Now that that is out of the way, I’ll explain why….
1. She is speaking over a community she doesn’t understand.
The first piece of evidence is in her us of the word “cisgendered.” I automatically can’t take her seriously. I do my best not to spend too much time in my academic ivory tower, and I do feel a tinge of pretension at having to call this linguistic issue out…but, in the same breath, I’m not sure it is too much to ask that a person be well-read on a subject matter that they are taking such a stark stand against. (Also, she drops a “genderqueers” in there and that is a big No No.) All that aside, the author of this post makes it painfully clear that she does not have a good understanding of nonbinary/genderqueer identities and how these terms operate for the people who use them when she repeatedly conflates masculinity/femininity and gender roles/stereotypes with the use of these identifiers. There are AFAB people who identify as both masculine and female. There are AFAB people who identify as NB/GQ and masculine. There are also plenty of AFAB people who identify as NB/GQ and feminine. Or a mix of both. Or neither. It is far too simplistic to infer that masculine women just stop being women because they are also masculine. Actually, it doesn’t even make sense. Also, there are plenty of AMAB people who are male and effeminate and then those who identify as trans feminine. NB/GQ identities have nothing to do with stereotypes surrounding masculinity and femininity. Or gender roles. When a cis woman to declares that her favorite hobby is weightlifting, she doesn’t know how to cook, and she has no desire to carry a child she is not forced out of her cisness or her relationship with womanhood. She is merely breaking some silly stereotypes constructed around what it means to be a “good” woman. However, if she wakes up one day and says to herself, “Self…I’m not convinced the gender binary is for me anymore,” well, then….WELCOME TO THE CLUB! I would also like to note that this in no way precludes this person from identifying with womanhood (**cough cough** like me **cough cough**). There are a lot of challenges facing cis women and even more facing trans women. Finding yourself more comfortable with a NB/GQ doesn’t mean you have to remove yourself from a sisterhood if you still find that it speaks for you. I also find that this line of thinking only furthers gender policing in all of its many forms….which in this case just calls to mind the cis gatekeeping of the trans community. The worst part of her argument are the essentialist terms she uses to defend her evidence. It’s toxic to rely on these ideas and only skews your own perception of people around you. She simultaneously claims that essential “woman” stereotypes don’t fit her, while suggesting that masculine women are going to be gay. STOP ASSERTING THAT THERE IS ANY RIGHT OR WRONG WAY TO BE ANY ONE THING. STOP IT.
2. She is waiting for someone else to do the hard part.
"Perhaps one day the gender binary will be dismantled totally, and we’ll all stop limiting our children by bringing them up as either males or females."
Yup. Yeah. This is great. Want to know how we can get started on that? Stop writing essentialist bullshit blog posts about how you are ACTIVELY REJECTING A NONBINARY IDENTITY. If you truly believe in a future without the gender binary…you should maybe not talk to people about how important you think it it is. Maybe…just maybe….if nonbinary and genderqueer children had, I dunno…nonbinary and genderqueer people to look up to they could grow up with less depression and more self esteem. Maybe they could rip apart the binary for you. But, no…let’s spend more time focusing on the cisgender experience. Here is this wacky notion I have…cisgender kids could maybe find themselves looking up to trans people? Yeah? Yeah. They definitely could. What is this separate but equal role model nonsense?
3. She is perpetuating the myth that trans/nb/gq visibility can be reduced to a “trend.”
Trans and nonbinary identities are nothing if not ancient. Anytime I hear a person (accidentally, or otherwise) glorify the gender binary, my first thought is, “You’re a racist with a limited understanding of Western white supremacy.” Nonbinary identities are not new. Allow me to reiterate: NONBINARY IDENTITIES ARE NOT NEW. The relationship we (white people, as I am white), in 2014 living in the USA, have with gender is not indicative of what gender looked like prior to our arrival here. The binary is not what gender looked like in the nations of the people we enslaved, either. Transgender and nonbinary people have always been and will always be. Please don’t claim that you are “square” for choosing not to co opt something you have no intention of respecting. Please don’t encourage cis people to view trans identities as a trendy phase that has an end. Please don’t invalidate people’s lives.
I have to admit that I have walked this line myself. When I first started to look inward and realize the possibility that there was more to my relationship with my gender than the binary could offer me, I struggled a lot. I would ask myself, “What’s so wrong with being both masculine and female?” or “Am I turning my back on my female community?” I’m not mad at myself for asking these questions. It was a part of my process. And asking myself these questions helped me learn that genderqueer and womanhood don’t have to be mutually exclusive. As masculine as I am, I am interpreted as a cis female when I leave the house. That’s a part of my experience that I can not remove myself from. It is my reality and discussing it/fighting against it/identifying with it does not make me any less genderqueer. In fact, it gives me insight into two lived experiences at once. That duality can be confusing and stressful, but it can also be incredibly enlightening and, I feel, makes for a complex and richly lived life.
As someone who is both AFAB and uses the term “lesbian”, I see a problem with others in my communities and the way we approach NB/GQ people. Let’s stop treating AFAB people outside of the binary like traitors. AFAB people notoriously take up too much space within trans/NB/GQ spaces. Our visibility is more accessible and our blatant discrimination less vicious than our trans sisters. I urge us within the community and cis women alike to appreciate that privilege (and to also push back against it, but that’s another blog post). I say appreciate, because with the safety afforded us we should not be shaming the people in our community against coming out. Ever notice that these sentiments are only ever coming from cis women? Cis men don’t typically feel betrayed by trans women or trans feminine people. And they aren’t known for being the first people to rally around them and offer them support. Perhaps some of the energy being spent on shaming or discouraging or invalidating AFAB nonbinary/genderqueer people could be redirected into support and visibility and safe places for trans women and trans feminine people.
If a nonbinary/genderqueer identity is not for you…that’s cool. No one wants you to use words for yourself that you don’t find helpful. What this boils down to is: there is no good to be done by going out of your way to defend your cis-ness. I suggest you recognize the privilege you have by not having to live with the added pressure that can come with a non-cis identity. I especially suggest that you, in turn, offer more support to the trans/nonbinary/genderqueer people around you.
Written by mod John(na)
You are 12. You’re at the library looking for some generic young adult fiction novel about a girl who falls for her best friend. Your dad makes a disgusted face. “This is about lesbians,” he says. The word falls out of his mouth as though it pains him. You check out a different book and cry when you get home, but you aren’t sure why. You learn that this is not a story about you, and if it is, you are disgusting.
You are 15. Your relatives are fawning over your cousin’s new boyfriend. “When will you have a boyfriend?” they ask. You shrug. “Maybe she’s one of those lesbians,” your grandpa says. You don’t say anything. You learn that to find love and acceptance from your family, you need a boyfriend who thinks you are worthy of love and acceptance.
You are 18. Your first boyfriend demands to know why you never want to have sex with him. He tells you that sex is normal and healthy. You learn that something is wrong with you.
You are 13. You’re at a pool party with a relative’s friend’s daughter. “There’s this lesbian in my gym class. It’s so gross,” she says. “Ugh, that’s disgusting,” another girl adds. They ask you, “do you have any lesbians at your school?” You tell them no and they say you are lucky. You learn to stay away from other girls.
You are 20. You have coffee with a girl and you can’t stop thinking about her for days afterwards. You learn the difference between a new friendship and new feelings for a person.
You are 13. Your mom is watching a movie. You see two girls kiss on screen. You feel butterflies and this sense that you identify with the girls on the screen. Your mom gets up and covers the screen. You learn that if you are like those girls, no one wants to see it.
You are 20. You and your friends are drunk and your ex-boyfriend dares you to make out with your friend. You both agree. You touch her face. It feels soft and warm. Her lips are small and her hands feel soft on your back. You learn the difference between being attracted to someone and recognizing that someone you care about is attractive.
You are 16. You find lesbian porn online. Their eyes look dead and their bodies are positioned in a way that you had never imagined. You learn that liking girls is acceptable if straight men can decide the terms.
You are 20. You are lying next to a beautiful girl and talking about everything. You tell her things that you don’t usually tell anyone. You learn how it feels not to want to go to sleep because you don’t want to miss out on any time with someone.
You are 18. You are in intro to women’s and gender studies. “Not all feminists are lesbians- I love my husband! Most of the feminists on our leadership team are straight! It’s just a stereotype,” the professor exclaims. You learn that lesbianism is something to separate yourself from.
You are 15. Your parents are talking about a celebrity. Your dad has a grin on his face and says, “her girlfriend says that she’s having the best sex of her life with her!” You learn that being a lesbian is about the kind of sex you have and not how you love.
You are 21 and you are kissing a beautiful girl and she’s your girlfriend and you understand why people write songs and make movies and stupid facebook statuses about this and time around you just seems to stop and you could spend forever like this and you learn that there is nothing wrong with you and you are falling in love.
You are 21. And you are okay.”
a thing I wrote after arguing with an insensitive dude on facebook all day or Things Other People Taught me about Liking Girls (via thesefirstfewdesperatehours)118261