Guest post: More dishonest overgeneralizing

John Horstman posted this comment at the vacated blog over there yesterday, and I wouldn’t want it to be overlooked here.

From Stephanie Zvan:

Because the answers I’m hearing are that you just shut up for the sake of harmony at your blog network and watch as trans people are once again erroneously painted as bullies targeting heroic feminists who just have questions about gender, a trope used against them any time they advocate for themselves.

Emphasis added. This is more dishonest overgeneralizing. How, exactly, does critique of a particular model of gender identity, one not shared by all trans people, and denunciation of a very specific group of people, trans and not, who are lashing out at one individual over that critique, come to equal labeling all trans people as bullies whenever they advocate for themselves?What of the trans people who agree with Ophelia and disagree with Zvan? Why do supposed allies (and sometimes members) of an oppressed group so often do the same racist/sexist/heterosexist/cissexst/etc. homogenizing of the group in question that they decry as racist/sexist/heterosexist/cissexst/etc. when others do it, resulting in one subset of the group in question being presumed to speak for the entire group?

I really, REALLY wish all of these folks would pick up a copy of David Valentine’s Imagining Transgender: An Ethnography of a Category. With its myriad of self-conceptions of people who consider themselves transgender, not-cisgender, genderqueer, contextually gendered, “gay” (in the sense that I might use “queer”), etc., I think it would do so much to disabuse them of what I’m reading as their homogenizing notions concerning both trans people and sex/gender/sexuality generally.

11 Responses to “Guest post: More dishonest overgeneralizing”