(Gendermagick:) TRIGGER WARNING: RAPE
Over the last 24 hours I’ve been shocked, disappointed, and saddened to learn about the sexual assault of members of the tumblr LGBTQ community by trans* men. Specifically, I’m talking about the situation with the queer activist Ira Gray, but I’ve also heard people talk about sexual assault by other high-profile members of the trans* male community such as Asher Bauer of Tranarchism. The post I am reblogging by Mygayshoes is a concise survey of posts related to the stories of the survivors of sexual abuse by Ira. Just for the purposes of clarifying my positionality, I’m a White Euro-American genderqueer trans male (FAAB).
I stand in solidarity with queerandpheasantstranger, bloodmouthprince in particular, and all survivors of rape, sexual assault, and emotional manipulation by a sexual partner, in general. Sexual predators need to be held accountable, and survivors need to be respected, listened to, and valued as teachers in our community. They need our support, not our doubt, confusion, or questioning.
What continually baffles me with the behavior of sexual predators is that often what they think of as seduction is in fact RAPE. The pick-up artist community with its obsession with Neuro-Linguistic Programming is a great example of a systematization of this mindset.
Trans* men, CAFAB individuals, please take note of the following points:
The fact that you were female assigned at birth, were perceived as female for part of your life, or are even perceived as female now, does not automatically make you a feminist, give you warrant to speak for women, or allow you to transgress boundaries of consent. It seems like a lot of people have a hard time understanding what CONSENT is. Moreover, being a feminist also does not allow you to re-create the rules of consent with fancy rhetoric. Actually, you don’t need to be fucking educated in queer or feminist theory to understand consent.
Consent is either 100% or it’s NOT. This means that when behaving sexually or romantically toward/with someone, anything and everything that they express that is ambivalent, unsure, tired, not in the mood, anxious… basically not 100% CONSENT, is “no”. It is effectively “no” and you should never put pressure on someone to be sexual with you.
This sounds elementary. But a lot of sexual predators like to pretend that “pressure” is never something they engage in. The way that they do this is they invent categories for types of “pressure” that they consider to be associated with rape/sexual assault. Conveniently, the types of pressure they engage in themselves never falls into this category. Thus pressure can often be subtle, as in emotional manipulation, shaming, and/or using your mental health “being triggered” as a way to further put sexual/emotional pressure on your partner.
Also, this is important: If someone claims you raped them or sexually violated them, You never, ever, have the right to decide whether you did, indeed, rape them. Rape is not a democratic, mutual agreement that two people come to. You’re thinking of consent.
I HIGHLY RECOMMEND THAT ALL MEN READ THE MACHO PARADOX BY JACKSON KATZ.
Some essential points for men, including cafab/faab men/trans* men that are adopted from this list by Jackson Katz,: (his list is not directed at trans* men but it all still applies)
Don’t remain silent when you see sexism, rape apologism, justification of sexism, misogyny, male chauvinism, or the like going on in the male community. You, and ALL MEN, are not just “passive bystanders” who are absolved by doing nothing. You can do something. You can speak to a brother.
Please, please, please, have the humility to notice if you automatically take a defensive position with regard to the male community. Trans* men, we need to be very careful about this because as transgender individuals we experience certain kinds of oppression that create high levels of solidarity. DON’T LET THIS TURN INTO TRIBALISM. Don’t give in to groupthink.
Be an ally to women, as well as all survivors of sexual abuse and rape (not all of whom are women). If you have ever perpetrated sexual violence/abuse, seek professional help immediately.
Katz says “Do not buy into sexism”. This means that consuming media or perpetuating cultural representations that portray women in sexually degrading situations does not have to be part of your “male” identity. It is not okay to engage in “casual chauvinism” as a rite of passage just because you are affirming a male identity. It’s okay to be happy to affirm your gender identity… it never, ever should include being an asshole. And I don’t care how many lists of “passing tips” on the internet tell you that in order to “pass”, you should be less friendly or respectful, or more entitled. Find other ways to pass.
YOUR TRANSITION SHOULD NEVER INCLUDE ENTITLEMENT TO WOMEN, SEX, ATTENTION, OR SEXIST/CHAUVINIST ATTITUDES OR AESTHETICS.
-Educate yourself on how to be an ally to women and survivors.
-Never expect to be thanked.
-Don’t be self-congratulatory
-Don’t do what the perpetrator in the current situation as outlined in the reblogged post does/did.
[Trigger warning for rape, rape denial, sexual abuse, Transmisogyny, Victim Erasure, rape apologism, misgendering and abuse.]
I think it should be pretty fucking obvious by now, that the CAFAB Trans* community needs to change.
With the bullshit coming from Ira Gray (A contributor to The…