i dream of being possible

teaser from my critical commentary on whipping

A running theme throughout the book is that transgender people who are defined as being separate from female and male necessarily challenge our Western assumptions that the male/female binary gender system is “natural.” Transsexuals complicate this issue by virtue of the fact that we are gender-variant yet typically identify within the binary. By dismissing us as a medical invention that “upholds the status quo of the binary sex/gender system,” Nanda seems to be establishing a gender binary of her own, one in which “third gender,” androgynous, and visibly queer people who blur distinctions between female and male are considered radical and natural, while those who identify as or appear to be clearly female or male are considered conservative and contrived.(Whipping Girl 146)

Notice how Serano frames this… The existence of white transsexuals complicates the issue of iaopoc gender systems showing that the binary is not natural, thus the binary is natural (which is exactly what Serano says earlier).

This is some pretty interesting rhetorical contortions to push forward her white trans/gender mythology.

Serano literally finishes off this paragraph with the implicit claim that iaopoc genders (and the systems in which they exist) by demonstrating that the gender binary is a false, colonial construction, thereby come to oppress/marginalize binary transsexuals like Serano herself.

So the fact that I exist, thus destabilizing the white supremacist gender binary literally created to oppress my ancestors, entails that I help marginalize a white binary transsexual like Serano by making it appear like her identity is artificial…

Note, the ‘artifice’ of trans identities and/or femininity is a key point in where she locates the marginalization of trans women within cissexism/transmisogyny/gender-based oppression.