Yesterday was International Down With Cis Day, a good time for reflection on one’s relationship with the kyriarchy. A while ago I brought some discourse into an AFAB NB person’s casa that resulted in a burned bridge, but also left me unsatisfied. All around, a bad time, and my fault. Wrong place and time to wax socratic.
What I wanted was an answer to a doubt. A position one holds in life is strongest when one has considered and accounted for ways in which that position can be attacked – especially from within.
Transfeminine people have long been smeared with the idea their gender expression is just a sexual fetish – “autogynephilia” theory and such. This doubt is external in terms of systemic medical discrimination and internal in that it turns a transwoman’s natural sexual feelings into a source for wondering “am I just a pervert?” and delaying treatment for dysphoria.
To my thinking the transmasculine version of this doubt is this: In a world that is drenched in misogyny, “woman” is an insult. If you are AFAB but feel insulted or uncomfortable when people treat you as a woman, how can you tell if that’s actually gender dysphoria, nonbinary or agender feels, or if it’s just a natural result of living with misogyny?
On a DWC discussion with somebody, we came to an answer that pretty well satisfies me. This question has been kicking around the back of my head for about five years now and I’m glad to be more or less done with it. The answer lies in gender anarchy.
Basically, you shouldn’t be required to have a set reason for your gender expression. Consequently, any reason is valid, and that includes a reaction to misogynistic abuse. So what if you only disidentify with womanhood because the world is a misogynist hellhole? It’s like being asexual because of sexual abuse rather than a biological imperative: still valid.
The line of thinking that led to the question in the first place had a baked-in assumption that there are correct and incorrect reasons to be trans. What foolishness. Gender anarchy now!