Thursday, 27 October 2011

Privileged

    It was encouraging the other day to read something from a natal female feminist outraged that her feminist group was debating whether to allow trans people to attend. Lots of talk about male privilege it seems, usual thinly disguised man-hater stuff. The group had settled on inaction, they'd cross that bridge when a trans woman came along. Presumably meaning at that point they'd decide to boot out a trans woman.  One wonders what they think a trans person looks like, and whether they understand that they could have trans women among them without their realising it. They Walk Among Us y'know!
    This touches on a difference I've observed between male culture and female culture. Women's groups are often exclusive, groups patronised by men aren't. Feminists and other womens groups exclude men without question, in four decades as a bloke I've never seen the reverse outside dinosaurs such as men-only golf clubs that I have nothing to do with anyway. In the real world the only bloke-only space I've patronised has been the men's loo. Even QwesT FtM, a support group for trans men and a very sound organisation, have FtM-only meetings. I've *never* encountered an MtF support space that has MtF-only events and would not be extremely pleased to see any FtMs who might attend so I was rather shocked to see that. Then again if exclusivity is a female thing perhaps we could learn from them...
    (Edit) Nutty radical feminists are all too ready to bang on about male privilege. My wicked sense of humour finds it funny that they do so in the same breath as voicing the self-evident right-on opinion that nobody should be targeted for abuse over anything they are born with and can't help. It is interesting though to think what it means from a detached on-the-fence insider's perspective. I can only see it from my own position after all.
    As someone who's spent decades as a scruffy bloke, I have had male privilege in bucket loads. It's true, especially as a large scruffy bloke I can swagger if I choose to. The world is my oyster. But do the man-haters honestly believe that people like me don't understand that? And that someone able to reap the apparent benefits of all that might willingly give it up? Does that not make them stop and think for a minute?
    Of course not. At the root of the man-haters hate is envy, for something they could never have.

    Shame, I'd give 'em the whole bloody lot if I could. It really ain't all it's cracked up to be.

5 comments:

  1. I'm not entirely comfortable with your claim here: "At the root of the man-haters hate is envy, for something they could never have..."

    ...not just with the justice of the claim, but with the apparent conflation of feminism with man-hating, which is presumably not intentional; just how it reads to me here.

    The local feminist network here seems to be inclusive, though sadly I feel too engaged elsewhere to get involved.

    Yes, being given privilege when it's really the last thing you want is toxic, isn't it? Sorry

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  2. Very true. It doesn't read quite as it should. "Nutty radical feminists..." is a better description of my meaning. I guess I've met too many thinly-disguised man-haters over the years, it's a subject I've touched on before.

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  3. Women's groups are often exclusive, groups patronised by men aren't.

    Maybe not explicitly, but there are many subtle (and not-so-subtle) ways in which women are not welcomed in male-dominated spaces (including being patronised, sexually harassed and ignored - all of which I experienced as a woman). Likewise, while trans women's groups might not be explicitly exclusive, it's hard to feel included when members are all "girls" and discussion focuses exclusively on MtF transition...

    I guess I'm just not entirely sure what the point of your post is!

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  4. Don't worry, there are times when I wonder what my point is too. Pay me no mind.

    It's probably unfair of me to single out QWest, they are no worse than the trans support group near Bristol who in their haste to exclude 'admirers' block access to any male-at-birth dressed as male - including people like me when I came out of the closet, or the normal heterosexual bloke husband of a transwoman friend of mine.

    Trans groups do tend to be all wrapped up in MtF stuff, don't they. It's almost a cliche, the Womens Institute without such nice cakes. I find that sad, because it's self-perpetuating.

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  5. (There should totally be a trans group based predominantly on baked goods!)

    Also, I meant to say re: the exclusion issue that I'm sure similar goes for predominantly trans male groups and trans women (i.e. it's all about FtM transition stuff) and predominantly FtM/MtF groups and genderqueer/bigender/etc people.

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