responses from The Gender Book
Just saw your notes about me and the gender book… why don’t we talk about how to make it better?
I’m not (intentionally) a jerk any more than I am cissexist or racist or anything else. I know that’s not the same as never making mistakes. I’m open to admitting when I’m wrong. I’m open to being educated, and I’ve done all I can to educate myself, but if I’m missing parts, please feel free to correct me.
I certainly don’t intend to speak for women (or anyone else for that matter, that’s why we draw from community surveys to make quotes in the book) and if the book doesn’t work for you, tell me how to make it better and I will.
Ok. so a lot of what you are saying is very busted and privileged.
here’s from your reply to mine and beefblud’s earlier criticsms
"Is it necessary that your character be displayed on the right nearly nude?"
We made the choice to purposely share more than most folks would be comfortable sharing, in the hopes of making it clear (a) that sharing personal medical information is at least as vulnerable and private as sharing one’s underwear, and (b) by satisfying their curiosity upon a (somewhat) fictional person, they may be inspired to not ask such questions to the next trans person they meet. Further, the depiction of (c) our trans bodies as not strange or even noteworthy I think is important to be made in a culture that is often sensational and wants to either vilify or sexualize them. If a good number of people write me asking me to change it, I’ll happily redraw the page.
You said you are a “transmasculine person.” You are not a trans woman. Your friends/collaborators are not trans women—it is not a depiction of your body. Your justification is ridiculous. You have no right to satisfy cis/male curiosity about trans women’s bodies when there is overwhelming cultural negativity surrounding just such an act. It doesn’t sate cis people and it probably won’t prevent them being horrible to a trans women when they meet them and it just isn’t your call to make.
Finally, please forgive me if I sound defensive, I certainly don’t mean to.. It’s just my preference that folks approach critique with suggestions for improvement. Remember this is my art you’re talking about
this is very defensive and tone-policing. it being your art is irrelevant if it is playing into harmful tropes or you are speaking over/for people and representing them erroneously.
"Why is the page almost entirely about her body, period? "
Well, that’s kind of the only thing that distinguishes women of a trans experience from their cisgendered peers. If I didn’t talk about body parts, I’m not sure what I’d say, except that women are women, and there are as many ways to be a trans women as there are to be a cis woman. Which we say elsewhere in the book already… How would you suggest we change it?
So what is the premise of the book again? You say it’s for everyone. You call trans* people “gender variant” despite the very loaded history and meaning of that term. But you also say its for cis people? So they won’t “bother” trans people?
Trans women, apart from being a non homogeneous group, do tend to have drastically different experiences from cis women by the function of a culture which oppresses them. They also tend to have differing and unique perspectives on their gender and just about everything else.
To boil the difference down to just one of bodies 1) assumes that trans women all have the same bodies and that those bodies are categorically different from cis women, and 2) erases the aspects of being trans that exist apart from physical form. What would have been wrong, exactly, with simply saying “TRANS WOMEN ARE WOMEN END OF STORY” rather than writing what you wrote?
This goes for any “educational” resource that someone wants to create—if it includes a marginalized group then you must have information created by members of that group in the work, so they can represent themselves. you should have found at least one trans women who could have written that page (not that she could have spoken for everyone either but it’d be a lot better start!) you can’t just do it on your own. that’s not ok.