Tags : :
I’m sick of this bullshit view that trans women have or have all had male privilege in the past. As a trans feminine person, I can testify and assure you that I NEVER had male privilege and I was six-years-old when I was first called a ‘fag’ or a ‘sissy’. I was continuously put down for being very effeminate and gender non conforming for the most part. It is only in the last few years that my gender expression conforms in certain ways. Claiming that trans women have not faced misogyny for most part of their lives is simply a generalisation that is not realistic to make. For my entire life I have been treated badly because of my femininity.
I have experienced a lot of "male privelege". I am sure I have benefited from the economically. Even in Norway men earn more than women. I am sure my male persona has cause some to take me more seriously, even if I have worked in areas where women are just as visible as men. That is the nature of most societies. Women are considered "less" than men, even by those who know better.
But that is also why my "male privelege" has caused me more harm than benefits. I feel alienated from the role of the outgoing and career-driven alpha male. No, I do not feel inferior to other men. I have proven myself. But the idea that I should spend all my time trying to reach some social top position that will only give me grief, has never made sense to me. And the fact that so many people expect me to feel that way, has always bewildered me.
I was taunted and harassed as a kid as I did not manage to live up to the ideals of the "boys will be boys" society. I hated all of it, and the bullies caught on. One of their favorite taunts was "girl". What irony. I am still stuggling with the wounds that bullying caused me.
Your “male privilege” means little, if it stops you from being who you truly are. It actually becomes a chain around your neck. But since being a man is considered the best possible fate by all parties, male chauvinist as well as many feminists, male to female transgender people of all shades and colors meet misogyny and transphobia from both camps. Sam Riedel writes over at The Establishment:
As is commonly used in feminist vernacular, “privilege” refers to unearned advantages — things that one doesn’t pay for, but acquires through circumstance. What cis feminists call trans women’s “male privilege,” I would instead characterize as “fringe benefits,” because make no mistake: I paid for them...At my core, there’s a deeply held belief that my relationship with gender makes me a fucked-up person. When you understand that, you’ll see that my transition isn’t just a physical one: It’s the process of unlearning toxic ideas I absorbed from cisnormative culture and drummed into myself over 20-odd years. I had to trade a significant chunk of my mental health to get the fringe benefits of “male privilege” — which is why that concept is fundamentally flawed with regards to trans identity.
I do undertand the concept of hierarchies of marginalization. But I am afraid some of the zealots simplify too much. If you do not buy the ideal of the white, powerful, alpha male, that ideal is of no help to you, even if others think you fit the bill. And this applies to tall male to female transgender people, also those that need not or do not transition.