I was born female – I know, JAZZ HANDS! PRIVILEGE!
In any case, despite my sweet ass privilege, in my life I’ve been subject to a lot of creepy questions from males. All of them about my body or sexuality.
For as much as the trans community like “trigger warnings,” there should have been a trigger warning for the “interview” I recently saw where Janet Mock – in an effort to further the bullshit trans narrative of “more oppressed than anyone ever” – asks Fusion’s Alicia Menendez some creepy questions about her “cis-ness.”
(And before anyone has a stroke, yes, I realize Menendez wrote the questions – bear with me.)
Some of the questions Mock (a M2T) asks Menendez (a biological female):
When did you feel your breasts budding?
Did you use tampons?
Did you feel like a girl?
This is, I guess, supposed to be cute and funny and give us evil “cis-women” some perspective on the “terrible, horrible, no good difficulties” faced by transwomen – difficulties like, you know, being asked about your personal history as a male when you’re on tour pedaling a book all about how you used to be a dude.
While maybe the dominant culture will see this interview as an adorable way to “turn the tables,” I found it deeply disturbing.
First off, we still live in a world where actual women (biological females) are regularly asked deeply humiliating questions – not unlike Mock’s — by male dating prospects, employers, police, teachers, politicians, celebrity interviewers . . . need I go on? Have we forgotten this? Where is the outrage when this happens to biological females? Where are the “cute and funny” Buzzfeed videos about how this happens to actual women every single day?
Where is the outrage that women endure this line of questioning on a regular basis, not because they have written a juicy memoir about their super-special gender feelings, but because they exist?
And speaking of exist, I particularly loved the question, “Did you feel like a girl?”
Menendez, who has clearly drank the Kool-Aid, laughed in wonder at the impossibility of this question; she squirmed, giggled, and struggled to justify her existence to Mock who, whether he likes it or not, is male.
If ever there was an objective correlative for patriarchy, that moment was it.
And while mainstream culture might celebrate that three-minute video as a wonder of satire, what that exchange really portrays, in very stark terms, is what the trans agenda means for women: you do not really exist, you only think you do. Your experiences, your realities, are a figment of your silly little woman-brained imagination.
The implicit message of that clip was that it doesn’t matter if your “breasts budded” (which by the way is a creepy phraseology I’ve never heard an actual woman use), or if you menstruated, or if you had a girlhood, or if you were born with a vagina and female reproductive organs – these things mean nothing. What matters is that you recognize male persons as female if he says he is. What this says, implicitly, is shut up about your reality, because I have appropriated ‘woman’ and my appropriation takes precedence.
This behavior, on the part of males who insist so fervently they are female, is all so strikingly . . . male.
If trans people, like Mock, think they’re doing something novel with an interview like this one, they’re wrong – time immemorial has demanded that women explain who they are, that women argue for legitimacy, that women defend their existence. What the Mock interview accomplished was nothing if not sickeningly regressive.
I’m sorry trans-dudes, trans-ladies. I’m sorry patriarchy has so thoroughly convinced you gender is innate. I’m sorry you’ve been sold a bill of goods. Really, I’m sorry.
Call yourself a lady until the cows come home, but don’t shame biological females in the process. Put on a hat and call yourself Miss Ladyflower Daintyfoot, change your name from Mike to Myrtle and insist on being called “she,” but don’t fucking make women, actual women who were born female, with vaginas and all the sociological bullshit and suffering that comes along with that, justify their existence to you.
Despite how you’ve been socialized, your feelings aren’t women’s responsibility.
Maybe Mock could someday ask his probing questions to the hundreds of little girls who were recently kidnapped from their school in Nigeria? I mean, if the media ever covers this, maybe those kids, whose girlhood is but an invention, will be found and Janet Mock can ask them what it’s like to be “cis”?