A reason why people haven’t listened to what’s on our minds since the day we were born

Glosswitch has some thoughts on women as empty space.

Writing for Glamour magazine, Juno Dawson defends the right of trans women not to have to talk about their genitals: “This isn’t a coquettish fan dance where I’m trying to tease and conceal, it’s just that by not talking about my genitals, you might have to listen to what’s on my mind.” Fair enough, although somewhat naïve when one considers that for female people, assumptions made on the basis of our genitals have been a reason why people haven’t listened to what’s on our minds since the day we were born. This isn’t just a case of mindless objectification; it’s a process of sex class categorisation, and it’s one we cannot avoid unless we can really, truly convince people that we are not members of the potential gestator class. For us, what is “in our pants” is not a subject of morbid curiosity; it is the void that makes us exploitable, expendable and less than human. And either way, it doesn’t really matter whether people can see what is in our pants as long as they can still see our tits.

I admire the understatement of “somewhat naïve” when really it’s breathtakingly so. Guess what it’s like for women! It’s like being seen as people with no minds at all. It’s endlessly bizarre watching people who didn’t grow up being seen as female explaining to the world that women have minds. We already know that. We’ve known it for a long time. We’ve been explaining it to the world for a long time. It’s too bad you weren’t paying attention – but then nobody does pay attention to women.

I cannot help but feel the rawest anger at all the new ways invented to make women hate their own flesh and feel as though they do not belong. We are told that the narrative of the female body must not be exclusive, but we then create one that leaves women with nowhere to go. Our bodies are the only homes we have and here we are, suffocating beneath meanings that we can only control with the help of the surgeon’s knife.

We have brilliant stories to tell, too. We shouldn’t have to peel off our own flesh to prove we’re not empty inside.

I guess I should count myself lucky, spending most of my adult life thinking the world was finally really listening to women. It was nice while it lasted.

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