all the way to pony island

Jul 10

On Trigger Warnings and the Myth of Community

labrujamorgan:

Recently, trans bro Jack Halberstam wrote an article called You Are Triggering me! The Neo-Liberal Rhetoric of Harm, Danger and Trauma. It is rife with crappy Monty Python references and historical inaccuracies. The main thrust of the article is that trigger warnings used by young people creates divisions within queer communities and keeps us from focusing on the real enemies. Jack goes on to say that trans women telling non-trans women to refrain from using the t-slur is censorship and play on politics of respectability and assimilation. That once upon a time in the 90s feminists and queers could take a joke and now one can’t do anything without being called out. The article reads like an adultist treatise that amounts to a glorified “kids these days”. 

All through out the article is the unspoken assumption of community. Jack operates from the presumption that we all exist in the same community. That we all have the same stake in triggers, in racist/transmisogynist language and actions. Jack assumes that we all have the same level of vulnerability or assume the same amount of risk when the t-slur is thrown around. He labors under the neo-liberal delusion that everyone’s trauma is equal. He says that trigger warnings erode community but we were never in the same community to begin with. 

I have only heard this line of reasoning from white cis queers, from white trans men and masculine folks. They want us to pipe down so that they can speak for us (us being trans women of color) and exploit our labor, our lives and our deaths so that they can justify their assimilation. Because if being a tenured professor isn’t assimilation, I don’t know what is. Folks like Jack don’t really care about community until someone tells them to stop and than suddenly they cry that we are all one community and why aren’t we talking about the real problems? Never mind the racist/transmisogynist behavior in the first place.  

But people like Jack are the problem. Language and ideas are the basis for violence, both structural and interpersonal. The t-slur is used to dehumanize trans women, specifically trans women in the sex trades, and is justification for our murder. The caricatures of trans women in the media dehumanize us and justify our murder. The way Jack frames the problem as trans women being divisive by telling non-trans women to stop using the t-slur shifts the focus off the people who are actually being oppressive, namely Jack. People in power are never seen as divisive, its those in the bottom who tell them no. 

Jack argues that trigger warnings put an overemphasis on individual safety and not systemic causes, but this isn’t a zero sum game. We can both be conscious of people’s needs for safety and be aware of systemic oppression. Trigger warnings also don’t stop the triggering material from existing. It gives a pause to mentally prepare oneself. And that warning can facilitate someone being able to have a deeper engagement with the material because they were prepared. Jack says that trigger warnings perpetrate this individualistic notion of trauma and leads to what is called “oppression Olympics”. But its only white queers who want to silence people of color and trans women who ever use this argument. 

In the end, people who complain about trigger warnings or about not being able to say certain words are selfish. They care more about themselves than building community or trying to dismantle systems of oppression. Because you can’t build community with people whose neck is under your boot. You can’t dismantle oppression by doing the same exact things that oppressors do. 

Jun 19
MOOLISA!!!

MOOLISA!!!

Jun 19
traaashhhhkat:

some chill positivity from a 1998 Sesame Street book about the letter F

traaashhhhkat:

some chill positivity from a 1998 Sesame Street book about the letter F

Jun 09
mtfbutches:

queensasha24:

This is the best

Every girl. Every woman. Regardless of parts… Is a daughter of Themyscira!

mtfbutches:

queensasha24:

This is the best

Every girl. Every woman. Regardless of parts… Is a daughter of Themyscira!

May 27

Anonymous said: Whilst I'm not exactly sure this is the appropriate place to ask, I just can't restrain my curiosity and I'm not sure where else I could ask- how could I get in touch with you as a hooker?

http://alexis-ts.com/

May 25

tomierevenge:

sick to death of trans men being considered magically exempt from criticisms of men as a whole as if they did not internalize the shit directed at men wrt how to see/treat women knowing that they are not women, but rather men. i know they did bc i was once one of them and had internalized such things and was also privy to the things trans men said around other men only and other trans men only. trans men are not a different breed of men wrt how they see/treat women, they are a different breed of men wrt how they are treated and seen as trans people. sick of pointing this out to people and being called transphobic, lmao

May 22

aza-min-mentsch:

quickweaves:

Legendary Meeka Prodigy FOUNDING mother of the House of Prodigy dissecting  transmisogyny and the lack of agency that trans women experience in the ball room scene. 

Lots of (white) queers who only know that scene from Paris Is Burning think it’s a magical accepting space for trans women but hardly any trans woman in the scene thinks so. Transmisogyny is everywhere!

May 22

WARNING: Dr Helen Hoey in Brisbane, Spring Hill →

spaceoutthere:

holydicksbatman:

transitioningdownunder:

Is a psych who deals in trans* matters. I’ve have reports of her telling trans women to sign a form for cheaper testosterone blocker. However signing the form it puts you down as a registered sex offender. Which means you…

May 22

Sunny Drake

femmebloc:

The other day we at Femme Bloc posted a link authored by Sunny Drake called “Femme Ally Conversation Starter.” We have since received feedback from several folks that Sunny Drake has been responsible for sexual assault and violence in queer communities themselves. So we are taking down that link and would like to inform people to be aware of that when reading or re-posting their articles.

May 21

rambleonamazon:

interpretivescreaming:

gayflames:

Report-back and photos from the march on Albany (March 14, 1971) for the loosening of laws against homosexuality and “impersonation.” Photos include Queens Liberation Front and Street Transvestite Action Revolutionaries.

There’s a “trans critical” book coming out next year that is premised on the gaslighting proposal that the trans rights movement started in the 90’s. Keep our history safe, ya’ll. There are those who would take it from us.

Another noteworthy moment in modern trans history.

And as a reminder, the word “transvestite” had very different meanings at different points in the past 100+ years, and for a large portion of the past century there hasn’t been a strong dividing line between cross dressers, fetishists, drag queens, and trans women. It’s a good object lesson on how quickly language can evolve, especially within a culture so young and still finding its feet (or at least re-discovering itself, as in the case of trans women. Which is why I prefer to give people the benefit of the doubt on linguistic missteps.