“Gender is not just a fun dress up game that individuals merely identify with in isolation from all contextual and historical meaning, but the most powerful tool of structural oppression ever created by humans”.
This article poses new questions on the use of terms like trans* and cis-gender. It looks critically at gender from a feminist perspective, questioning the usefulness of using these terms. As I understand it, the article points out that people don’t look at the power dynamics and complexities of gender enough, at its mutability and inherent ambiguity.
In relation to feminism:
Although at first glance a feminist stance towards topics such as gender, sexuality, politics and the like seems to some people to be overtly hostile and subjective, feminists have paved the way for us to even think in different ways and ‘on our own terms’. Without feminist ctitiques and observations, without feminists efforts to revolutionise inter-personal relationships and political structures, we as trans*-identified people would probably be at a loss for words and would probably receive all the contempt mainstream society has to offer.
A feminist perspective is vital in understanding where we as female-born individuals and also as male-born individuals originated from, which society we stem from and how it might have affected us in our further development. Even people who identify fully as male, whatever bodies they inhabit, may learn vital lessons from feminism.
I am pretty sure radical feminists hate me, if they even value me enough to send this strong emotion my way. I don’t present female, I’m not proud of having a female body, I don’t fight for explicitly female rights and I don’t encourage female love-making. I also consider myself rather trans*, eventhough that term is not able to quantify my complete human experience or all the dreams and desires that inhabit my soul. I have had many experiences that many females have, I have encountered oppression just as many females have, but alas, I am not part of the club, because I don’t identify as female.
Yet I admire many feminists and wish I was as brave as them in challenging hetero-normative views and the dynamics of oppression. Women’s liberation is of critical importance in human progress and the liberation of all opressed minorities. Feminism is about the right to be human, so it should affect us all, even those who don’t identify as females, or especially those people.