Trans activism, in terms of getting protections in place for transgender people in the workplace, in terms of working to prevent and prosecute hate crimes against trans people, in terms of getting appropriate medical, social and legal services for transgender people–who are oppressed for their violations of gender norms in ways that elevate their rates of homelessness and poverty–is absolutely amazing work, and I salute people who are working in it. The kind of trans activism I’m going to be talking about is very specifically the kind confined to people whose time is spent in internet forums, chastising women for having discussions that are insufficiently inclusive.
I’m not going to talk about this issue much on this blog, except to say this:
The only thing you need to know about that kind of tumblr-style transactivism is that those same activists aren’t going into primarily men’s spaces and doing the textual equivalent of a disdainful throat clearing every time someone says “man up” or “grow a pair.” When men say “wow, he’s got big brass ones, don’t he?”, they’re not mobbed by several people saying that testes aren’t particularly manly, many women have testes and many men do not.
It’s abundantly clear that the strategy of these trans activists involves criticism that is confined to women, nearly exclusively. Women aren’t the ones who are committing violent acts against trans people. Perhaps men’s language and idioms and issues need trans activism a whole lot more than people who are already fundamentally sympathetic to the cause of ending all gender based oppression.