Gender Neutral isn’t necessarily ideal, but I don’t know what is

Pregnancy, birth, breastfeeding, parenthood- those are all highly gendered things to most people. I’ve been reading about it a lot, and it’s spoken of in highly gendered terms. Even people who are aware of trans people speak of birth with highly gendered terms.

This isn’t really okay, because it furthers ignorance about trans people and makes it difficult for trans people to get access to support and care due to that ignorance. (before you say “but it’s just ignorance”- read that link) I can understand people who are just unaware doing it, but even people who are fully aware of trans people and that we can and do get pregnant and give birth and breastfeed and raise babies?

But at the same time, I understand it. The “well if men menstruated/got pregnant/gave birth…” needs to stop (at least without the clarifier ‘cis men’), because trans men do and I’ve seen zero indication that trans men are treated better than cis women in these regards. Trans men being more open about this has not made the medical community leap to its feet to change its ways. But at the same time, I can understand where that line comes from.

Bodies that are coded as “female” are not privileged in our society. It doesn’t matter the gender of the person whose body it is. There’s a long history of them being treated as inferior, dirty, bad. Their lives are less important than  political agendas. I don’t feel like getting far into proving this- other people have done far better jobs. (sadly, don’t have any links on hand, although the one I just provided is a good starter)

This includes the bodies of trans women, which is something a lot of people forget. And I will admit that is a complicated conversation, again, others have done a better job with it than I have.  This includes the bodies of trans men. This includes the bodies of non-binary trans people (although, again, this can be complicated when they’re assigned male).

The treatment of female-coded bodies needs to be acknowledged. Speaking of menstruation and pregnancy and breastfeeding in highly gendered terms is not done solely to decry trans people (but be aware that, for some people, this IS part of the reasoning behind it)- it’s done because it needs to be acknowledged. Because the problems related to them are a result of putting cis men’s bodies and needs above everyone else’s. Because using gender neutral terms glosses over that fact.

Using gender neutral terminology is not the ideal solution when talking about issues that are so steeped in sexism and misogyny.

Using gendered terms, the way gender terms are now, is not an ideal solution because it erases trans people and furthers the othering and ignorance that hurts us deeply.

I don’t have a solution. I just know that this is a problem.

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One Response to Gender Neutral isn’t necessarily ideal, but I don’t know what is

  1. Pingback: “Traumatic Birth” | Life with my Sapling

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