I am a FAAB, femme-presenting genderqueer person. This means that I rarely, if ever, pass as anything other than female. And since I am almost always read as female by strangers, they treat me as if I were a woman.
This means that I, too, get catcalls and wolf whistles.
I, too, cannot walk down the street by myself without someone beeping their horn or yelling out their window at me.
I, too, have to be ever aware of my surroundings.
I, too, have to walk to my car with my keys in my hand.
I, too, cannot go out alone at night.
I, too, am affected by misogyny, patriarchy, and rape culture. I, too, see my body distorted, objectified, and idealized in the media. I, too, am constantly made to feel ashamed of my body. I, too, have to fight the notion that my body is inherently sexual and not my property. I, too, have to hear almost daily about how my body or genitalia is bad, weak, wrong, undesirable, or disgusting. I, too, have my opinion belittled or dismissed. I, too, am made to feel ashamed for my intelligence.
I’m tired of trying to make myself fit in the feminist movement. I love feminism, I love the movement, and I think it has a lot of important criticisms of our society. For so long, I have been trying to find my place in feminism. I am not a woman, and yet feminism speaks for issues that I have battled my entire life. I do not benefit from male privilege, but I am not a woman either. I want what feminism has to offer. I want the strength, the empowerment, the support. Feminism stands up for me in so many ways that the LGBT movement does not, and I want to feel like I actually am a part of it. I want to be recognized. I want feminists to acknowledge that patriarchy, misogyny, and rape culture affect other people the exact same waythey affect women.
So I am writing this letter to all feminists, of all gender identities, to begin reconsidering how they talk about feminist issues. To realize that not only women are affected in the way that they are by misogyny. I want the feminist movement to be a place where I feel safe, represented, and visible. I want to have a voice to fight the oppression I face, the same oppression that women face.
Please help me by reblogging this so we can begin a discussion about this. I am but one voice and I cannot speak for anyone’s experiences but my own. Spread the word, share your story, show this to your genderqueer friends - let’s start a discussion.
DUDES, MEN, MALES, FELLAS, GUYS: I can not say this enough, it is YOUR responsibility to educate yourself on rape. It is YOUR responsibility to educate your friends on rape. It is your responsibility, just for accessing your privilege, to use it the best way you can.
If you believe in women’s rights. If you believe in feminism. If you believe women and men should be equal. Then I dare you to doubt yourself, I dare you to strip yourself of all your safety, I dare you to wear clothes that society will scrutinize you for. Wear something that will get you attacked. THEN recognize that there is nothing a woman can wear that WON’T get her attacked.
This is a truly amazing speech, I only wish that I could have been there to hear it. Just reading it I had the urge to cry, as someone that lived both as a man and woman, it’s definitely stunning to realize everything he brought to light about rape. Embarrassingly enough other than Jenny’s suggestion to Mark in The L Word. I’ve never heard a anyone express just how a man should act to fully understand how women are mistreated in so many ways.
I’ve read some pieces pro-SlutWalk online and in several, I find I’m being erased. There is talk of sexual assault survivors and their families—“mothers, husbands, boyfriends, siblings”—but find that queer visibility is exactly none. You make it very clear to me when you use such words that your movement is really only for heterosexuals.
Additionally, the movement is catered to individuals who are considered “attractive” by society’s standards; for example, if a group of fat individuals were to march in a SlutWalk, more than likely, the response would be something like “but you can’t be sluts; no one wants to have sex with you.” Fitting into the narrative of what being a “slut” means is difficult for those who are not able-bodied, cisgender, and white. Specifically for certain non-white individuals, their bodies are automatically coded as “sexual” and sometimes, no matter what they wear makes them a “slut.” Reclaiming the word “slut” only works if you have had the term applied to you, if you’re considered attractive enough by society’s standards to sleep with, and can get lots of people to sleep with you. (And, really, let’s be honest—they’re not talking about people here. They’re talking about cisgender, heterosexual men.)
Others have spoken about how the word “slut” does not transcend cultural boundaries, but few have talked about the privilege that sometimes exists when a word is reclaimed.
I agree whole-heartedly with all the problems that this person brought up with SlutWalk and Take Back The Night. Honestly, some people cannot grasp the full ideas of rape culture. Unless they are spoon-fed why it’s wrong point by point. It’s not that a woman even has to dress sexual OR look sexually enticing. I have seen some horrific cases of men brutally raping disabled women, and elderly women.
And sometimes it’s not even a sexual thing for the rapist, it’s a power thing, they just want to be able to over-power the woman. And make her feel worthless and weak. I mean, I could in all honestly type up a huge piece on my opinions on the matter, but this person states a lot of my opinions very well.