General Discussions > Gender Studies

Binary privilege.

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Dread_Faery:
I am currently putting a lot of thought into the idea of binary privilege... I think it exists, it certainly explains a lot of the tension between the binary and non-binary parts of the trans community. I believe it exists because we live in a world that places more worth on identities that fit the narrowly enforced narratives of binary identities, we see it when women benefit from benevolent sexism and when men are punished for not fitting a standard narrative of masculinity. Now this privilege works regardless of whether you're cis or trans - if you fit within the existing narrative you are less likely to be punished by kairarchial cistems of control.

Obviously being trans is something that goes against the cistem... But, because we all know at some level that fitting in makes you less of a target, we now have an assimilation narrative that permeates the trans world where blending and fitting in is not just seen as a good outcome, but the desired one. How often do you here chatter where people are actively being judged on their ability to fit in to the cistem?

Yeah, it happens all the damn time.

Trouble is, if you are non-binary and/or gender non conforming, you don't fit any of those narratives. Trying to navigate a community infused with a binary assimilation narrative is actually quite toxic if you don't fit neatly, I've noticed countless little micro-aggressions that make it very easy for non-binaries to appear defensive. I've also noticed binary identified individuals who appear to feel threatened by people who don't fit those narrow binary definitions that seem to be held in esteem (obvs the true trans and HBS mob are an extremely militant version of that way of thinking).

Thoughts?

Jessica Merriman:
Sure, let's throw up another term or definition to divide us.  ::)

Dread_Faery:
Conflict between binary and non-binary has already been flagged as a problem, all I'm doing is applying some radical feminist critique as to the reasons why it might be. I'm not claiming it's right, or telling people how to think, I'm trying to build a discussion about something that is an issue.

Dee Marshall:
I'm not sure if you're right or wrong but I see what you're saying. I feel you need to be careful how you apply it. You bring it up in quite a few threads and it sometimes seems more divisive than explicative, almost like you're throwing up your hands. Can you apply it to propose solutions? If not, is it doing any good?

I remember the Beatles writing in a similar context, "if you go 'round carryin' pictures of Chairman Mao, you ain't gonna make it with anyone anyhow."

If you're sure of your theory, then now is the time for education, not criticism or blame.

I truly hope you'll take this as an attempt to help and not as mere criticism.

stephaniec:
I define myself as  a pre-op bisexual  MTF transgender 90% want-a-be binary little red book carrying 60's radical hippi Jesus freak who's not going to make it with anyone any how,, so where do I fit  in  the cistem. I say hey Jude just let it be all you need is LOVE

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