Circumgender and trans activism: narcissism of small differences

by retzielcrimson

Twitter/tumblr trans activism mostly revolves around a circle jerk of mostly white males appropriating the language of intersectionality to call themselves oppressed due to being men and not fitting stereotypical femininity standards. That women struggle because they are pressured and punished for not meeting these impossible standards, however, does not mean these women are oppressed. They’re female: ‘cisgender privilege!’ They cry, ‘cissexist transphobes!’ They shout.

Women are not seen as people of equal worth in male-centred trans activism; note the dismissive way they treat female-to-trans people when they discuss the transphobia and misogyny they’re subjected to if their birth sex becomes known.

It’s been almost a week since the kerfuffle about circumgender. The reaction from MtTs was of course equal measure nasty and overwrought. The article exposed a lot of the nonsense of transactivism, and the hypocrisy on display by the trans activists both on tumblr and twitter bordered on, if not exemplified, self-parody. For a movement obsessed with making sure that no one questions their identifying as women, they threw quite a fit about a girl identifying as a transgirl.

For if woman means man who calls himself a woman, how is that different than transwoman meaning a woman who calls herself a transwoman? The essence of the arguments, from “you don’t want to be trans”, “you can’t pretend you were born this way”, to “you’re being appropriative; it’s offensive” (!) is the argument any sensible person has to the politics of modern trans activism.

The uncanny similarities between criticisms of trans activism and circumgender hasn’t been lost on all trans activists, some of whom have shown concern by questioning whether the author is 13 and asserting that it was a deliberate move to discredit the trans movement. Then again they say the same thing about otherkin. As more kids online imbibe this “you can call yourself whatever you want; it’s valid and no one can tell you otherwise” trans activists are up for an uphill battle, paradoxically exposing the fluff that is the core of their politics.