Trans women are assumed to be men. When we’re feminine, we’re not feminine women (which the gender binary approves of), we’re feminine men. And being held to the position of maleness, at the top of the hierarchy, with the most gender capital, when we associate ourselves with the bottom of the hierarchy, when we give up our gender capital, when we’re women, it’s degrading. Or, especially amongst feminists, our presentation upholds sexist stereotypes. And of course it’s only our presentation that needs to be critically analyzed. The focus becomes on our presentation, because we apparently influence society so much, and not on the media’s portrayal of femininity, or on feminine cis women, or cis women who internalize misogyny.
The situation functions in the opposite way when we’re masculine. When we’re masculine - or anything that isn’t the Perfect Victorian Patriarchal Archetype of Femininity - our femaleness is gauged by our presentation. And being that we aren’t this Perfect Victorian Patriarchal Archetype of Femininity, we’re gauged as not “trying” hard enough to be women. Of course cis women are never judged this way.
Trans women don’t have a safe space in presenting in any way. CAFAB trans people can use “Schrodinger’s Gender” in a way where they can tiptoe back and forth between genders and the queer community generally celebrates that as this grand empowerment, and strives to make only those people visible. But the queer community uses Schrodinger’s Gender in a different way on us. It’s not performed by us, Schrodinger’s Gender is imposed on us. Our gender exists to be manipulated by others to the point where it functions to debase us, no matter what our identity is, or what our presentation is.
Always reblogging Autumn’s wisdom.