Tag Archive for social justice

30 Days of Social Justice 26: Racism #30daysofsocialjustice #amwriting #blacklivesmatter

I could have written about racism here, but I think it’s important to hear the lived experiences of those who are directly effected by racism. I have had the honor and privilege to interview many People of Color (and others) about racism, religion, and intersectionality. They have blessed my podcast, and me, by sharing their […]

#30daysofsocialjustice 25: Patriarchy

CONTENT WARNING: LABELS, SPEAKING TRUTH to POWER

For some, “patriarchy” is just another feminist alarmist buzzword.
But as a person who has transitioned from male to female and watched my
male privilege vanish, I can attest to the reality of the patriarchy.

There were so many subtle ways in which being perceived as a man,
especially a cisgender heterosexual man, makes life easier. Even in
something like entertainment media, cis-het males can be found (it
seems) in most lead roles (heroes and villains alike). Do you know what
it’s like be a fan fiction writer who tries to show social justice
themes while writing Middle-earth fan fiction? The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings trilogy, and The Simarillion
don’t even come remotely close to being able to pass the Bechdel Test
(not to mention issues of race). Sure, we can talk about J.R.R. Tolkien
simply being a man of his time and leave it at that. I’d almost agree.
But let a female, queer, or trans fan fic author write Middle-earth fan
fiction when characters are gender swapped and there is “a great weeping
and gnashing of teeth.” Actually, that’s a mild description for the
harassment and threats that some will get for their efforts. The message
is clear: leave men in roles of power.

Speaking of the Bechdel Test, does Leia Organa even talk with Mon Mothma in Return of the Jedi? Oh! Right. That was from the 1980s and I shouldn’t hold it to today’s standards. And let’s be grateful for those, otherwise Mad Max: Fury Road
never would’ve happened. And, those are only examples of patriarchy in
entertainment media. Furthermore, those examples are a fraction of a
fraction of a fraction of the examples that could be given.

The erroneous statistic that women make up 50% of the world’s
population is thrown around quite often. Yes, it’s erroneous and helps
bolster the patriarchy by denying the validity of trans, intersex, and
gender expansive persons. But even if that statistic were true, why
don’t we see more women in leadership roles? Is it really just
coincidence that? Is it really just that more women aren’t vying for
these roles? And why are women’s hormonal cycles often discussed when
talking about how a female commander-in-chief would be a bad idea? (I’ve
heard women say this, too.)

It’s nearly October. Look at Hallowe’en costumes for women and girls
and then compare them to costumes for men and boys. Which group is more
likely to be sexualized, even the children’s costumes?

I could go on, but like misogyny, this topic is so vast it could be its own 30-day series.

And don’t let my transition fool you. I’ve been aware of these issues
for quite some time. It’s just that I’m experiencing them differently
now that I’m no longer perceived to be part of the dominant culture.

30 Days of Social Justice 25: Patriarchy #30daysofsocialjustice #amwriting

Going back to good old Merriam-Webster, patriarchy is defined as follows: social organization marked by the supremacy of the father in the clan or family, the legal dependence of wives and children, and the reckoning of descent and inheritance in the male line; broadly : control by men of a disproportionately large share of power […]

#30daysofsocialjustice 24: Hate Crime

CONTENT WARNING: LABLES, SPEAKING TRUTH to POWER

Simply put, a hate crime is a form of harassment or assault
perpetrated because the perpetrator doesn’t approve of or flat-out
despises the victim or how the victim could be “labeled.”
The International Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDoR) is a very stark
reminder of just one type of hate crime that affects just one type of
community.

People have tried to insist that the protesting and arrest of Kim
Davis were anti-Christian hate crimes. This is simply not true, and I
say this as a Christian. She was protested and arrested for failing to
do her job and, as government official, she was violating federal law.
Genuine religious hate crimes would include such things as the shooting at the Overland Park Jewish Community Center
or the number of anti-Muslim attacks in the US in the aftermath of the
September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. These things were done due to
hatred for the religions of the victims. The shooting at the Emanuel AME Church was a hate crime motivated by race more than religion.

I can accept the idea that some hate crimes are crimes of passion,
without much in the way of thought before hand. These are very intense
forms of marginalization, oppression, and classism. Cissexism,
as evidenced by the aforementioned TDoR, can lead to hate crimes, some
of which might indeed be committed with malice aforethought. However,
often hate crimes are carefully planned out and are designed to strike
fear into the communities of the victims. That is, the intent of the
crimes is to terrorize. Therefore, the phrase “hate crime” is too mild
and antiseptic a term.

Hate criems should be called what they are: acts of terrorism.

30 Days of Social Justice 24: Hate Crime #30daysofsocialjustice #amwriting

The FBI defines hate crime as the following: A hate crime is a traditional offense like murder, arson, or vandalism with an added element of bias. For the purposes of collecting statistics, Congress has defined a hate crime as a “criminal offense against a person or property motivated in whole or in part by an […]

#30daysofsocialjustice 23: Misogyny

CONTENT WARNING: LABELS, SPEAKING TRUTH to POWER

There are those who have challenged my right to speak about and
against misogyny, based on the allegation that I’m too recently come to
the world of womanhood. That, of course, is transmisogyny, a special
subset of misogyny aimed at trans women. And, yes, cis women, DFAB
(designated female at birth) women, bio-women, genetic women/females,
women born women/womyn born womyn, and wombyn can all engage in
transmisogyny.

But, this post is about misogyny in general and, therefore, will automatically include transmisogyny.

Misogyny is something that primarily harms women. Yes, I said
“primarily.” This is because many of the ways in which men are
criticized happen by comparing men to women with women, of course, being
the lesser sex. So, it could be argued that misogyny harms everyone
even as women are the primary targets.

And in keeping with other forms of oppression and marginalization,
it’s not always intentional. This is a way in which having undergone
gender transition has really served me well, as it’s allowed me to see
this first-hand. Condoms are often given out free, whereas menstrual
supplies are generally available for sale in public restrooms. It
seems to be that both condoms and menstrual supplies can be used to
help safeguard public health. Yet, it could be argued that condoms are
not necessary as regularly as menstrual supplies. Asexual and otherwise
sex-aversed (or penis-aversed) persons will not need condoms but if they
have a uterus, they’ll likely need pads and tampons. And, this is just
ONE example of (possibly) unintentional misogyny.

I’ve often heard, often but not always from men, that the studies
saying women are paid less is a flawed concept because the difference in
the job titles isn’t take into consideration. After all, a receptionist
should need to make the same as the software engineer. This, of course,
is nonsense because while the receptionist might not have a computer
science degree, she might have a family and the software engineer might
not. And then, there are the studies showing that men in traditionally
women-dominated jobs (nurses, teachers) often make more than their
female peers. And the issue of pay is only ONE of the ways in which
misogyny manifests in the workplace.

In fact, this topic is so vast that it could almost warrant its own 30 day blog series.

30 Days of Social Justice 23: Misogyny #30daysofsocialjustice #amwriting

Oh, misogyny. Misogyny is so ubiquitous, so common, that you can Google information about it pretty easily. You can also find prime examples of misogyny in just a few clicks on Facebook. I also live in Silicon Valley which is pretty much ground zero for the DudeBro culture and most likely home to a good […]

#30daysofsocialjustice 22: Calling Out

CONTENT WARNING: LABELS, SPEAKING TRUTH to POWER

It could be argued that I’ve been engaging in calling out not only in this particular blog series but in a lot of what I post in my various blogs, on Facebook, and via Twitter.
Calling out is point out when a party or parties engages in various
problematic behaviors. The “Your Fave is Problematic” meme is one
example of calling out. Calling out, however, should be done with
caution.

I’ve read various stories on social media of mixed-race persons being called out for cultural appropriation
because they looked as if they were white. I’m not refering to those
stories of white persons who allege they have “some Cherokee” in their
blood, but of persons who can “pass for white.” They get called out
because they don’t look the “part” and then have to defend themselves
for embracing the culture of their families.

According to calling out culture, I should have openly challenged the
chaplain at the Gender Spectrum conference in 2012 who was white,
bigender (designated male at birth), and claiming the title “two
spirit,” a gender identity normally reserved for indigenous persons.
But, this person had been adopted into the Navajo nation and consecrated
as a medicine person. And if my phrasing here, “adopted” and
“consecrated,” are incorrect please call me out on it and let me know
what the proper terms should be.

There are times when calling out is an excellent idea; it can be a
way to teach and learn. But as with many things, caution should be used
when calling someone out. Is that person really a cisgender,
heterosexual man? Or, are they actually a gender-fluid, bisexual who
passes for cis and straight? Before calling someone out, it’s good to
know their story.

#30daysofsocialjustice 21: Transgender and Cissexism (Transphobia)

CONTENT WARNING: LABELS, SPEAKING TRUTH to POWER

I have written so much about being a transgender person in a
cissexist society that I feel it would be highly redundant for me to
make such a post for this series. After all, the more you run over a
dead cat the flatter it gets.

The fact is that the bulk of cissexism that I’ve encountered has been
accidental. Kaiser Permanente has a fantastic transgender clinic here
in the East Bay and the staff there recognizes persons with non-binary
gender identities or no gender identity (agender). But, their forms and
medical records still only acknowledge two sexes: female and male. This
becomes a problem for those men to need to be screen for things like
ovarian and cervical cancer as well as women who need to be screen for
both prostate and breast cancer. The intention isn’t to deny us
coverage, but it takes extra steps to secure these tests, procedures,
and treatments. This is cissexism, even if it isn’t intentional.

More intentional acts of cissexism included so-called transgender
bathroom bills and laws. Those are designed to exclude persons like
myself. And even in locales where such laws aren’t valid, there is
enough of a media circus that I am very uncomfortable in
gender-segregated facilities in spite of my identification stating quite
clearly that I’m female.

Some will turn to the Bible as a means of denying the validity of the
trans and gender expansive experiences, saying that God created only
male and female. Yet my bible clearly makes mention of eunuchs. That
would have been the word of the time for persons like me.

I could go on, ad nauseum, ad infinitum, but I’ll stop here. For now.

#We Are Legion
#We Are Rebellion
#We Are Trans