Body Shaming as Transphobia

Body Shaming as Transphobia

[TW body shaming, fat shaming, transphobia, cissexism]

Oh my, this is another heavy one. I’m not sorry in the slightest.

This one has reared its ugly head again because Trump has been officially elected as President, and so I need to have it out with this topic.

We need to stop body shaming people.

That on its own should be enough, but as this is my trans blog, I’m going to talk about it through the lens of transphobia. Because yes, Trump may be a cis man, but there are things said about him that are used as violence against trans folx.

Remember those naked Trump statues that were going about? Everyone thought they were hilarious, how clever to strip a leader of all his pomp and circumstance and show the world who he really is.

Except that’s not what happened. They were used as an excuse to point and laugh at all the things “wrong” with Trump’s body, and to point out all the ways in which he wasn’t “man” enough.

“He has tiny hands, like a woman? Guess we won’t need to worry about him pushing those nuclear buttons then.”

“He has a micropenis? God, what does Melania see in him?”

This post from The Establishment and this post by Jim will explain a lot of what is wrong with the statues, and I highly recommend reading both of them.

This post is about it through a trans lens, so let’s unpick this.

Tiny hands being feminine? I’m a trans guy, and I have tiny hands. My friends like to gently tease me about it (as you will see at the beginning and end of that video. The middle is worth watching too), but other people? It’s used to tell me I’m not a man, to deny me my identity, and to generally be awful.

And that’s before we get to the micropenis thing. Because hands up anyone writing this blog who doesn’t have a penis at all, but is entirely a man? Yeah, that would be me.

This undermining of identity and refusal to accept me as I am because of stereotypes of masculinity is just vile. And I don’t even have it that bad, because I’m a white, middle class trans guy, and we really don’t get it bad.

Trans women get it bad. Trans women get murdered on a daily basis over this shit.

We enforce ridiculous beauty standards on cis women, and treat them like trash when they don’t conform. We then use these same beauty standards to justify violence against trans women.

How many times have we seen pieces in the gutter rags commenting on women’s cleavages, butts, cellulite, or their daring to go out without make up? Now think of that being applied to a trans woman. Trans women are told they can’t pass if they don’t have top surgery, if they’re not in top shape, if they don’t wear make-up 24/7. And it’s disgusting.

Passing, for those unfamiliar, is this.

So yeah, please just take a moment and think before you point and laugh at people. Because intentionally or not, without you knowing, you could be showing people around you that you believe trans people can’t really be their gender, and that can do a lot of harm to young and hidden trans folx.

Be decent to each other. It’s really very little to ask for.


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