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11 Responses

  1. Andie
    Andie July 1, 2014 at 4:04 pm | | Reply

    Odd question here for tigtog: is your Twitter handle a Monty Python reference by any chance?

    1. tigtog
      tigtog July 1, 2014 at 4:44 pm | | Reply *

      My twitter handle is @vivsmythe, do you mean my blogging handle? It’s not a Python reference, it’s a Cold Comfort Farm reference. My childhood nickname was Wild Marsh Tigget, because Dad used to read the book aloud when Mum was pregnant with me and they thought toddler me was rather like Elfine – “wild as a marsh-tigget in May”. Tigget -> Tiggy -> tiggytogs -> tigtog

      1. Andie
        Andie July 2, 2014 at 12:23 pm | | Reply

        No, I meant the twitter handle.. there was a character in a Monty Python sketch named Vivian Smith-Smythe-Smith.. I thought there was a small chance it might be a reference.

        1. tigtog
          tigtog July 2, 2014 at 5:54 pm | *

          Ah, I see! Nope, Viv Smythe is my given name. I vaguely remember that Python sketch now, I got a few teases about it at school.

        2. tigtog
          tigtog July 3, 2014 at 6:44 pm | *

          BTW, a long time ago I wrote a potted history of the sort of hyphenated family names mocked in that Python sketch at my blog: Hyphenating: who goes first?

        3. Andie
          Andie July 3, 2014 at 10:49 pm |

          Hope I didn’t dredge up any bad memories :\

        4. tigtog
          tigtog July 3, 2014 at 11:04 pm | *

          Not at all, Andie! It was very mild teasing for a week or so after the program was broadcast, then everyone forgot about it (other than the usual occasional teasing I got for having a “posh” surname, which I simply shrugged off because I was indeed the walking encyclopaedia I was called so often (my brother calls me Vivipedia these days), and I knew they were historically inaccurate about it being a posh name (unhyphenated Smyth(e) is just a dialectical variation of common-as-muck Smith), and I was the sort of kid who couldn’t see the point of and therefore was never hurt by factually incorrect disparagements (I realise how fortunate that is in retrospect, because I’m very aware now of how myths/lies have hurt/excluded other people)). By the time I was at uni The Young Ones was on TV so I had people thinking it was *hilarious* to squawk “Vyvyan!” at me, which was *much* more annoying because it was so raucous.

  2. Ally S
    Ally S July 11, 2014 at 6:34 pm | | Reply

    @lisaw in this comment regarding Serano’s theory of transphobia:

    Basically the idea I got was that transphobia, like homophobia, is a form of oppression that is intersectional with but not caused by or a subset of sexism. Some feminist writers, some of whom are trans women, argue that homophobia/transphobia/other oppressions are outgrowths of, and therefore less central, than sexism. Just speaking for myself, I know I’ve read some feminist writing about how all kinds of forms of oppression really all come back to misogyny, which is the most important/critical/meaningful/’original’ oppression. I get why that type of argument is offensive to a lot of people, and I’ve been told Serano is one such writer.

    Serano doesn’t argue that all forms of oppression boil down to misogyny. She simply argues that transmisogyny, the form of misogyny that oppresses trans women, is rooted in what she calls “femmephobia”, the hatred/fear of femininity caused by patriarchy.
    As for trans men’s oppression, she argues that it is essentially caused by cissexism, the oppression of trans people by cis people. Serano therefore does the exact opposite of erasing trans men’s oppression.

    (I personally find her theories to be extremely flawed, though. I think that all transphobia is in fact transmisogyny and that trans men have male privilege over trans women.)

    1. lisaw
      lisaw July 11, 2014 at 8:11 pm | | Reply

      Thanks for taking the time to explain! I really appreciate it.

      I think that all transphobia is in fact transmisogyny and that trans men have male privilege over trans women.)

      I guess I have a hard time with the first part, though again I’m definitely aware that this is an area I’m not educated enough in.

      1) If a trans* man in misgendered as a cis woman, they could be harassed/discriminated against/oppressed on the basis of their perceived womanhood. That to me seems like it would be properly classified as misogyny, even though it’s targeted a man.

      2) If a trans* man is properly gendered as a man, then I’d agree it makes sense to say they receive male privilege in that situation.

      3) If a trans* man is perceived as trans*, but is harassed/discriminated against/oppressed on the basis that they are trans*- which likely also involved misgendering them as not ‘really’ a man- that to me seems to be an example of transphobia, but not misogyny, and it also seems like the act of misgendering them as not a ‘real’ man would prevent said trans* person from accruing male privilege in that context.

      I realize this is probably poorly-expressed and maybe poorly though-out, but my personal conception of privilege is contextual (to take a totally different example, as a WOC, I have racial privilege in my parent’s country, but am oppressed on the basis of race in my home country).

      I really am sorry if I’m being ignorant or offensive, if I should just stop talking about these things and go read a lot I’m totally open to that. But it seems to me that it erases the oppression of trans* men to say transphobia isn’t real aside from transmisogyny, and that you only have male privilege if society actually reads you as male.

      1. Ally S
        Ally S July 11, 2014 at 9:04 pm | | Reply

        Please note that my views aren’t exactly popular among even fellow trans women, but this is what I think:

        Oppression doesn’t only exist within social perception. While it’s true that how one is perceived determines to some degree how one is treated by society, oppression originates from social relations. For instance, I am a WOC as well, and some people perceive me as white. Yet I don’t have the white entitlement that comes with being white, and I have internalized racism, which white people don’t have. I’m also a lesbian, and while I’m not out to most people as a lesbian, I am still oppressed by lesbophobia by virtue of being a lesbian.

        Going back to trans men, we can say that, while a trans man may be attacked on the basis of being perceived as a woman, he still isn’t oppressed by misogyny. Privilege isn’t situationally granted or revoked on a basis of perception. It is determined by power relations. And so trans men have male privilege by virtue of being male.

        But it seems to me that it erases the oppression of trans* men to say transphobia isn’t real aside from transmisogyny

        There’s no doubt that trans men face discrimination for being trans. Saying that the way they are treated by society is a consequence of transmisogyny is simply a different way of understanding the social dynamics that hurt them.

    2. Donna L
      Donna L July 11, 2014 at 10:22 pm | | Reply

      Just a very quick comment, because I took a long nap this evening (I’ve done a lot of that since I quit my job!) and have to get to the supermarket before it closes at 11: I wanted to confirm what Ally said about Julia Serano not ascribing to the beliefs that “homophobia/transphobia/other oppressions are outgrowths of, and therefore less central, than sexism,” or that “all kinds of forms of oppression really all come back to misogyny, which is the most important/critical/meaningful/’original’ oppression.” Those beliefs are central to many forms of radical feminism (after all, the “radical” in radical feminism has nothing to do with the word’s usual meaning, but comes from the idea that “radical” = “the root”) — very much including transphobic radical feminism. I can assure you that Julia Serano is no radical feminist, transphobic or otherwise!

      As for what Ally said, I’ll have to read it more carefully before I comment.

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