Friday, November 18, 2016

Transphobia and Masculinity in the Bathroom

Warning: discussion of transphobia

In Miriam Ableson's study "Negotiating Vulnerability and Fear," she asserts that "outward judgement of what we assume about one another's sex and gender [are] what most of our actions and interactions are based on..." (400). These outward judgements often tie into what we consider acceptable for people with certain bodies to look and act like. When one is assigned a gender at birth, it is more often than not an issue of genitals. Issues such as those presented in the North Carolina bathroom bill highlight this principle. The Washington article linked below describes an upcoming Supreme Court case which addresses the constitutionality of who can use what bathroom in the United States.

Trans misogynistic fears of "men in dresses" harassing or assaulting women in the bathroom often illicits an angry knee jerk reaction from proponents of keeping bathrooms separate. This same reaction also tends to subliminally acknowledge that men are the primary perpetrators of sexual violence against women. This is again exposed in the case presented in the article, only in this instance a trans boy is presented with the conflict.The article asserts that the problem, at least in part, has to do with Christian ideology, where one's gender is gifted by god. Regardless of how one might personally feel about the subject, the fact remains that transgender people, especially those in the midst or having completed transitioning, still have no access to a bathroom without harassment.

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