fighting over words
August 23, 2014
i find myself still fuming over that ridiculously privileged article i read by a (presumed) white trans woman1. and it isn”t only her, it is also the other trans women with big time platforms, esp. given the recent fighting amongst this crowd over who can use ‘tranny” and who can”t…
just a lot of ppl talking about how these are just arguments/disputes about ‘words”
i fucking hate this argument and how it is used to diminish the importance of certain strategies to reduce the violence that twoc experience. sure ‘words” may not be super high priority when considered in relation to things like incarceration, murder, homelessness, poverty, and so on…
but the problem with this is, as with much of white activism, is that it fails to understand how all of these things are connected. words are just ONE way that a transmisogynist culture expresses its dehumanization and violence against twoc. jsut. one. way. perhaps not the most serious and definitely not the most immediate (unless they are really preceding a more physical attack), but they can”t be separated from the knot of cultural that creates institutionalized transisogyny.
as a pilipina living in the diaspora and with a logn history of colonization, let me tell you:
language matters A LOT in institutional oppression
colonizers fucking made a point,in so many parts of the world, of forcing indigenous ppls to use their languages. of stripping and removing languages wherever they could.
i get deeply fuckign suspicious of any person who bemoans certain discourses and discussions bc they are ‘only about words” like words don”t matter.
i know better.