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[personal profile] jewelfox

(Content note: TERFs, transmisogyny, xenophobia directed at otherkin and other invisible minority groups.)

I wrote, awhile back, about some social justice warriors on Tumblr, who take a break from smashing the kyriarchy to enforce it on minorities they don't like.

Not all people who profess a concern for social justice, or identity as SJWs are like this. The ones who are, though, use a skill that I called "mind-reading," but is really more like "depersonalizing someone by claiming their identity is not genuine and is just an extension of their privilege."

When TERFs (trans-exclusionary radical feminists) do this, it consists of assigning male privilege to trans women, and telling a story about how teh menz are now stealing their womanhood. I've seen other groups do this to people identifying as therian, otherkin, transethnic, and otherwise dysmorphic, by accusing them of being white straight cis boys and men who are play-acting on the internet.

(Don't get me started on the people who police others' disabilities.)

There are two common threads to these accusations. The first is that intersectionality doesn't exist, and therefore other people's lived experiences are impossible. The second is that, because their targets' lived experiences are impossible, they don't have to find out what they're like.

In the case of TERFs, they seem to think that if a man finds out he was dating a trans woman, or a male employer finds out that he hired one, he will give "him" a high-five and congratulate "him" for successfully performing femininity. The reality, which is that trans women face enormous amounts of workplace, housing, and social discrimination -- especially transfemale POCs -- can not exist for TERFs. Because they know it would be wrong for them to hate on people the patriarchy does not just oppress, but casts aside as rejects.

In the other cases I mentioned, the lack of awareness that intersectionality is a thing has led misguided SJWs to make embarrassing accusations. Like that an otherkin who is also a trans woman is appropriating the transgender experience, which I've seen happen so many times I'm surprised that no one has caught on yet.

(You'd think that transgender otherkin questioning their identity in one area had led them to question it in another, or something.)

The "play-acting white straight cis men" narrative erases prominent otherkin voices. Like Swanblood, who used to be active on Tumblr and is a visible POC. It claims that otherkin identity is an artifact of privilege, not a source of distress and dysphoria; that being mis-specied can't possibly hurt at all, that seeing human-exclusive language doesn't make otherkin feel alienated, and that seeing a human face in the mirror couldn't possibly hurt an otherkin the way seeing a man's face hurts a trans woman.

It simply refuses to consider the possibility of transethnicity, or the existence of transethnic people who are visibly POCs. If it knows what fictives are, it holds them up as archetypal otherkin in order to ridicule them as a group. Plural systems, meanwhile, just "need to get help."

It sees oppression as appropriation, makes lived experiences out to be lies, argues semantics when understanding is needed, and basically enshrines personal incredulity as the height of social justice discourse. Because it's not one of the master's tools, it's never been directed at "real" visible and oppressed minorities, and there's no way it could possibly lead them astray or hurt somebody they cared about.

I don't know why I'm writing about this today.

It's been awhile since anyone's accused me of appropriation, called me a special snowflake, or invalidated my identities (besides being trans). I guess I just still have their voices in my head. And it doesn't help that I came from a place (Mormonism) where being pan, poly, or trans was unspeakable, out into a place where those things were okay but other things that I was were abhorrent.

Seeing social justice terms used to depersonalize me and people I care about may have permanently soured me on the phrase and the movement.

Date: 2015-01-31 01:36 am (UTC)
fascination: Orange flowers waving in the wind. (Orange flowers.)
From: [personal profile] fascination
Firstly, apologies for the random comment - I know we haven't met before! I've seen some of your 'otherkin introduction entries' linked to on Tumblr and I've been reading some of your entries.

I think that people can still be hurt, marginalised or alienated by that sort of behaviour even if it's not a form of traditional oppression. I don't know if I feel comfortable putting it on the same level but that doesn't mean that there are not real people being hurt by all the harassment and bullying. I think there are difficulties inherent to being a cross-ethnic system-member, or being otherkin. I don't know if I feel right treating them as though they're identical to a classic form of oppression like racism and misogyny, but they are what have been called 'hateable' categories by [tumblr.com profile] withasmoothroundstone.

I know we've been rather annoyed at the 'all otherkin/plurals/etc are white, cis etc people play-acting' stereotype; I'm a member of a plural system and our front-body isn't white and we're not cis (we've been physically transitioning etc). Most of us would be called 'cross-ethnic' in some way, though we see it as being different to being transgender. But it is very silly that they're trying to make out that people in communities like ours are trying to appropriate the struggles of... other communities that we belong to. (How would I, for example, be trying to gain more oppression points when I'm personally white?)

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