the performative disappearance of trans women
February 26, 2015
I find myself still troubled and irritated by this series of tweets on Canada’s (failed) Bill C279.
The first tweet says that the bill would ‘protect trans folks from hate crimes’ which is… a lie. Laws will not protect trans women from anything, but especially not from hate crimes. At best, this law would apply only after a crime has been committed against a trans woman and the Crown decides to designate it a hate crime. This? Isn’t all that useful when we live in a violently transmisogynist culture. Morover, looking for laws and the state to protect any marginalized person from violence when it is the state that is often a source of violence itself is rather futile.
Canada is a illegitimate white supremacist settler state. It does not care about marginalized women. Look at how unfeeling the state is towards the MASSIVE problem with missing and murdered Indigenous women. While, yes, there is a clear disanalogy here since Canada must participate in the genocide of Indigenous peoples in order to sustain itself, it demonstrates that expecting protection from a state whose existence is grounded in genocide is rather… misguided.
Anyway, not that I’d have expected either of the two people whose tweets are quoted in the post to comment on this.
Of interest is the ways that both of them participate in transmisogyny by erasing the specific targets of senator plett. BOTH OF THEM keep saying things like ‘trans folks’, ‘trans people’, and so on. While BOTH also quote or paraphrase plett by noting how many of his examples of the possible harms that the bill would bring are all focused on trans women.
Trans women in bathrooms. Trans women in change rooms. Trans women in rape crisis centres1. Trans women in public. Trans women alive. Trans women breathing.
But in these tweets and in most of the commentary around this bill, trans women are erased and generalized into ‘trans ppl’. But this is about trans/misogyny (not transphobia). Literally all of the rhetoric used to block this bill has been focused on trans women.
This is what fake allyship looks like. You aren’t helping. This doesn’t help.