babble home
rabble.ca - news for the rest of us
today's active topics


Post New Topic  Post A Reply
FAQ | Forum Home
  next oldest topic   next newest topic
» babble   » rabble content   » babble book lounge   » Exploring trans identity in Trans/forming Feminisms: Trans-Feminist Voices Speak Out

Email this thread to someone!    
Author Topic: Exploring trans identity in Trans/forming Feminisms: Trans-Feminist Voices Speak Out
M.Gregus
babble intern
Babbler # 13402

posted 01 February 2007 03:25 PM      Profile for M.Gregus     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
The book Trans/forming Feminisms: Trans-Feminist Voices Speak Out is reviewed in rabble's book lounge and looks to be a much needed addition to feminist work on gender identity.

An example of the personal narratives making up the book is provided in an excerpt from "Where's the beef?" which (from the introduction) "addresses the accusation that female-to-male (FTM) transsexuals are in part seeking to escape their oppression as women and access male privilege."

From the excerpt written by Kyle Scanlon:

quote:
In my opinion, there isn’t an FTM in the world who could spend a whole life in a female body, experience oppression because of it, proceed through transition and suddenly begin to experience a few moments of privilege without any question at all. We’re outright stunned, in fact. And many of us do not accept the privileges when offered. But even more fundamentally, how much male privilege does a trans man actually have if he is forced to burn his old pictures, avoid old friends and make up a new history to avoid anyone discovering the truth about him?

The complete review:

http://www.rabble.ca/reviews/review.shtml?x=56948


From: capital region | Registered: Oct 2006  |  IP: Logged
Babbling_Jenn
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 10944

posted 01 February 2007 10:15 PM      Profile for Babbling_Jenn     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Before I respond to the excerpt, I have to say something.

Sumach, please get a new design for your book covers. Bright gradients, '80s style font and layered rectangles is just nasty.

Now, to the excerpt

The author brings up some great points. Getting kicked out of a women's shelter or lesbian group because you were born with certain anatomy exposes what the author calls "biocentrism" in our society and in our feminist movement.

It is time that we feminists do some re-thinking of our groups and our values to come closer to our goals of equality and self-determination.

Even calling something "women's" can be excluding -- because a trans person could never know whether women's means it is open to her or not. I personally like the current trend to replacing "women's" with "gender" in titles or organizations.

That said, I'm not a huge fan of the end of the excerpt:

quote:
Instead of focusing on how much privilege comes with being accepted as a man in society, female-born feminists and lesbians could instead be critically considering their own privilege and power as women-born- / women-identified women in a world of binary gender systems.

I hate oppression contests.

Is the author so insecure that he must tell feminists to stop focusing on their oppression to look at that of others? Why not both?

Do we have to make a hierarchy out of everything?

I think it's great to see this critical view of feminism and the oppressive role it can play against trans people. But, don't devalue the experiences of patriarchy by women just to get your point across.


From: Rural Ontario | Registered: Nov 2005  |  IP: Logged
bigcitygal
Volunteer Moderator
Babbler # 8938

posted 10 February 2007 05:12 PM      Profile for bigcitygal     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Babbling_Jenn, great comment about Sumach's covers, although I have to say I find it sweet and a bit of a "branding" even though I'm not sure they intended that.

Re. "male privilege" and transmen. Last year I took Trans 101, with the Trans Inclusion project at the 519. (Great training, btw, incredibly educational) and "male privilege" is a common assumption made by those of us who have not had issues with our gender identity. I count myself among those. Without having read Kyle's entire piece, the point that I get from his quoted words is that women who have never questioned our gender identity have community, have a sense of who we are that is reflected in the mainstream. Even though most feminists reject the "beauty ideal" etc in the media, a notion of (complex) female identity is out there for us to access. Not so for FTMs or MTFs. I think that's all he was trying to say, not that transmen have it worse than women.


From: It's difficult to work in a group when you're omnipotent - Q | Registered: Apr 2005  |  IP: Logged
jas
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 9529

posted 10 February 2007 08:44 PM      Profile for jas     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:

Before I respond to the excerpt, I have to say something.

Sumach, please get a new design for your book covers. Bright gradients, '80s style font and layered rectangles is just nasty.


heh.


From: the world we want | Registered: Jun 2005  |  IP: Logged

All times are Pacific Time  

Post New Topic  Post A Reply Close Topic    Move Topic    Delete Topic next oldest topic   next newest topic
Hop To:

Contact Us | rabble.ca | Policy Statement

Copyright 2001-2008 rabble.ca