Thursday, June 24, 2004

The Transmale Nation

An article with the same name in a recent issue of the Village Voice discusses the new generation of female-to-male transgendered individuals, now with much more variation in their gender identity labels:

" masculine-identified dykes, bois, and trans guys"

It seems that the transmen are now seeking wider recognition and publicity. Which is all good. Or is it? A very old message seems to be lodged within this new revolution:

Whatever their sexual orientation, most transmales remain in queer women's spaces because they feel safe there. Acceptance is growing in this community, but there still are dykes who gripe that all butch women are turning into boys, and feminists who label transmen misogynists out to gain male privilege. It's true that some transmen ridicule women, but no more than "real" men do—and there are feminists and lesbians who ridicule femininity. So what's the difference?

What's the difference indeed? Well, for one thing ridiculing women and ridiculing femininity are not exactly the same thing. For another, it's not that clear to me that just because we already have many misogynistic men we should not care about adding to their numbers. And perhaps most importantly, I get this eerie feeling from the article that it is now fine to look down on women because any woman who doesn't like it can go and get a sex change. Sort of joining the enemy you can't beat?

Not that this article necessarily reflects the true sentiments of transmales in general or even the sentiments of those interviewed for it. But they surely reflect the sentiments of somebody, most probably the author. And these particular sentiments are not wholesome. Just saying.

Thanks to Mrs. Jones for the link.