Let’s talk about Fisheye (content warning for misgendering, transmisogyny and sexual assault)

crunchbuttsteak:

Please note: The following post is about the sailor moon anime ONLY.  I am very well aware of the Dreams arc of the Manga, and I have not yet seen any of the musicals (but they are on my to-watch list)  So again, this post is 100% ONLY about the subbed anime.

Okay let me get this out of the way, Super S is my LEAST FAVORITE sailor moon season, and the Amazon Trio arc is the worst of the worst for me.

Fisheye, as a character, makes me deeply uncomfortable as a trans woman.  I see a lot of people using her as an example of positive LGBT and trans representation.  This is something that I very strongly do NOT agree with.

I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that Fisheye is about as positive a representation of trans and queer people as Lois Einhorn from Ace Venture: Pet Detective is.  That is to say, it isn’t a positive representation at ALL.

I’m using Ace Ventura here for a specific reason here.

Let’s get started, shall we?  The Amazon Trio arc of Super S has the trio of Tigers Eye, Hawk Eye and Fish Eye searching people’s dreams to find the Pegasus.  The modus operandi of the Trio is to attempt to seduce the victim in order to reveal their seasonal macguffin of the dream mirror.  The entire process is very DEEPLY meant to convey that the victims are being sexually assaulted.  And adventuresofcomicbookgirl has written about that in more detail here.

Word of god is that Fisheye is a cisgendered gay man who crossdresses very frequently.  Of course, many MANY people have interpreted fisheye as being a trans woman.  An interpretation that is responded to with “but he’s really a MAN!”

Here’s the thing though.  Trans women in media fall under two distinctive stereotypes:

  • The “Predatory” transsexual: A trans woman who looks identical to a cis woman, and “”“deceives”“” people into having sex with her and then it’s “”“revealed”“” that the character is trans, and thus “”“really a man”“” making the character who was deceived “really actually gay” for having slept with a trans woman.  These characters are usually cast as cis women to heighten the “deceptive” aspect of the character.  (see: The Crying Game, Ace Ventura, etc)
  • The “Pathetic” trans woman:  This is a character to be laughed at and pitied.  Transition and being treated with respect is seen as an impossible dream, and the trans woman is seen as a fool for even attempting it.  These characters are usually played by cis men and are meant to either revile the audience or make them pity the characters. (see: Dallas Buyers Club, Hit & Miss, Normal, Transamerica, etc)

Another common stereotype that gets thrown around about trans women is that we are all pedophiles and/or inherently rapists.

In the anime, Fisheye’s modus operandi is to seduce a male victim by dressing as a girl (except in one instance where she went after a gay fashion designer and presented as male).  Once she has her victim, she forcibly binds them to a table, pulls their dream mirror out of their chest and forces her way in.  This whole sequence is uncomfortably reminiscent of somebody being sexually assaulted, and ends up playing into the stereotype of trans women as inherently being rapists.

The other big issue that I have with fisheye as a character is that her MO of being stated by the other AT members as male, but dressing as a woman to seduce a male victim for a purpose, plays DIRECTLY into that stereotype of the predatory trans woman.  Sending the message that transgender women are “”“really men”“” out to trick impressionable heterosexual boys into having boners.

Which, obviously is in no way accurate.

Even her redemption arc and ultimate death is played as her chasing after some impossible dream, thought given that this is Sailor Moon, her impossible dream DOES become possible, again, showing echoes of the “pathetic transsexual” stereotype.

So overall, I would say that Fisheye is a deeply NEGATIVE portrayal of trans women and AMAB gender variance, stepped in stereotypes and really unfortunate implications.

reblogging from my personal blog

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kleenex4breakfast-deactivated20 asked: I love your posts!! I think I might have to show your blog to some ignorant cis people in my life who have a LOT of learning to do about respect. I'm so sorry you had a negative experience with Christianity. I hope you're really happy in whatever kind of spirituality you're practicing and/or not practicing :) thanks for this blog!

awwwww thank you!!!! /)u(\

and for the record, i’m still christian and i am a member of a united church of christ congregation

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The Double Standard of Slut-Shaming, my story.

I remember in my high-school health class 10 years ago being told only about how abstinence was the only form of sex-ed and that condoms didn’t work because HIV and other viruses could pass right through them.

I still remember the slut-shaming “thought exercise” where they had a guy and girl stand up and talk about how when you sleep with somebody you sleep with everybody they’ve ever had sex with.

I remember being asked to stand up and feeling awful inside because it made me feel like a slut in this hypothetical scenario, and the dissonance by the other males in the class cheering me on as a “player.”

I couldn’t understand why I personally felt so awful at the idea of being a slut who slept around a lot, with the fact that my everybody around me encouraged me to try and ‘get laid.’

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The fight for bodily autonomy is on multiple fronts!

"You should have consulted with us." It’s a sentence that no one wants to hear when they makes their own medical decisions. As a trans woman, I deal with people scrutinizing my personal history with a fine-toothed comb looking for reasons to keep me from making my own medical decisions. It can seem like the slightest imperfection, the smallest mistake in choosing a non-sympathetic medical practitioner or a deceptive organization that says they want to help, but only want to talk you out of transitioning.

It’s actions like this which have put me in further solidarity with the pro-choice movement. While on the surface, the right to medically transition, and the right to terminate a pregnancy can seem very different, the real fight beneath those is the same. We are both fighting for our freedom on the most basic level: bodily autonomy.

The scare tactics used against us are almost identical. The same is true with the lies and myths propagated about us, as is the goal: denial of our freedom to control our own destiny.

Let’s look at these lies and myths:

"You do it because you’re selfish." "You’re doing it for frivolous reasons!" I’m sure that all trans people are just itching to deal with humiliating medical practices, having to come out to our friends and family and putting ourselves through a living hell to get the medical assistance we need. What we see is others defending their selfish desire not to deal with our freedom.

Likewise, I’m sure that the people seeking abortions are just DYING to deal with similarly humiliating and invasive medical practices to terminate their pregnancies, mandatory trans-vaginal ultrasounds anyone?

"Most people who do it end up regretting it!" Again, another myth. The number of transgender people who regret transitioning is so low as to be statistically insignificant. Not to say that it doesn’t happen, because there ARE people, no matter how few, who regret transitioning. However, if the people repeating this myth had ever actually talked to someone who regretted their transition, they would learn very quickly that those regrets were because of how people around them treated them for daring to undergo transition, not because transition is wrong for everyone.

And of course, those who seek to deny reproductive freedom talk about people regretting abortion, and again it’s a myth. Most of those who terminate pregnancies experience relief afterwards, and there is no medical evidence of any kind of “post-abortion syndrome.”

The fight against reproductive freedom and the force women into pregnancy is fundamentally about the right to control people’s bodies, whether they’re cisgender women, transgender men or otherwise. And as a transgender woman, I’ve had to fight for the same right to make medical decision about my body.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard people tell me that they should have a say in whether or not I go through with medical transition, or that they should have a say in a specific medical procedure, or ask me to listen to ignorant unadulterated hate in order to hear “both sides of the issue.” My friends who’ve elected to terminate a pregnancy have had the same things said to them, it didn’t stop them…

It’s time that we stood together in solidarity and said “our bodies, our choice!” While the details may be different, the fight is the same.

Trans* women, we have more in common with the pro-choice movement than we think. It’s time to fight for the liberation of ALL women, to support freedom to do with our bodies what we will. A man’s body is understood to be his own, but a woman’s body is treated as if it belongs to the community. This is an outdated and offensive notion which I profoundly, and proudly, reject. Freedom is for every body…whatever its shape.

Only we have the right to decide what’s best for our bodies.

killinnocentsandwiches asked: Excellent post regarding that whole "transtrenders" nonsense.

Awww thanks… I’m just posting my observations as an outsider really. Since as a trans women, it’s not really my fight. However, I do see similarities to my community’s struggle to fight back against the HBSers who think that anybody who isn’t a straight white stepford wife isn’t a “True Transsexual” and merely have “Transvestic Fetishism” and shouldn’t be allowed to pursue transition because of let “THOSE PEOPLE” transition, there wouldn’t be enough horse pee left for the “true transsexuals.”

So while our struggles are not the same, and I acknowledge that, I do see similarities from my own experiences.

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“Trans-trenders” Misogyny and Victim Blaming

In the past few months there have been shortages of both testosterone and estradiol, the most common products used in hormone replacement therapy.  And yet in the rush to assign blame for these on people who had really nothing to do with the problems.  Only one group of people took the brunt of the blame, and surprisingly enough, it wasn’t use trans women, but trans men.

(As an aside, both shortages were caused by one drug maker having manufacturing issues and the rest being unable to pick up the demand)

But yes, trans women were NOT blamed for the estradiol shortage, but trans men, and specifically “trans-trenders” were squarely blamed for causing the testosterone shortage because they were using up the testosterone that they real trans men needed.  As odd as that sounds, it was the general attitude I encountered within some parts of the trans community.

You see “trans-trenders” are trans men or any other DFAB trans person who have been deemed insufficiently masculine to really be trans.  Hence these people are just jumping on the latest trend and aren’t trans enough to really be transgender, they’re just trying to participate in some form of queer rebellion.

Notice that I’m only talking about trans guys and DFAB non-binary folks here.  That’s because, while there is a metric fuckton of people in trans communities policing trans women’s identities and gender expressions, they rarely sink to the level of declaring a trans woman as not really being transgender.

So where does this all lead?  We live in an androcentric society, one that declares maleness and masculinity to be superior to being female or feminine.  Thus trans men are more readily accepted because they are seen as moving up the social ladder.  They leave behind the ‘inferior’ female role and take on the ‘superior’ role.  In this model, trans women and other AMAB non-binary folk are looked down on for wanting to descend this social ladder, and trans men / DFAB non-binaries who act masculine enough are praised for ascending it.

Which brings me back to the shortages.  Testosterone and estradiol are both seen as keys to transitioning from one gender perception to the other, and when those keys are seemingly taken away, people look to assign blame.  Thus the people considered “trans-trenders” are seen as using up a finite resource and depriving the “real men” of their testosterone.  Anybody not seen as “trans enough” is viewed with deeper suspicion because of this zero-sum outlook.

Except that in their trans-centered myopia, they don’t realize that trans people are not the only people who take these drugs.

Hormone replacement therapy is fairly common for post-menopausal cis women, estradiol is commonly found in many forms of birth control, used to prevent cervical cancer in cis women, and so on.  Perhaps it is the litany of “legitimate” uses for estradiol, and how common the knowledge of those uses was that kept trans women from being blamed for the estradiol shortage, we may never know.  However, people often forget that there is a large market for testosterone outside of trans communities.

The one that most people would be familiar with are bodybuilders athletes take forms of testosterone to boost performance.  However, that doesn’t compare to the massive industry propped up on convincing aging cis men that they aren’t manly enough, and that they have low testosterone. (which is probably true, but because of a natural function of age).

Here in the United States where prescription drugs are routinely advertised on national TV, I have seen plenty of ads for a testosterone gel that helps aging men restore their manliness from their naturally declining testosterone levels.  In fact, on the website for this product, there is not one single mention of it being used for trans men, or even any mention of transgender at all.  Now, plenty of men take it for transitioning, and more power to them, but the manufacturer in no way markets it as being for trans dudes, or even acknowledges its use as such.

So trans dudes, as far as people needed to boost their testosterone levels go, y’all aren’t even the biggest market.

So dudes, instead of shitting on people who aren’t ‘manly enough,’ take the time to figure out what’s really causing a problem, instead of blaming your usual scapegoats.

-Liz

The Problem of Socialization

As a trans woman, one of the most common excuses I hear for the exclusion of trans women from feminist spaces is that we somehow retain our “male privilege” or that we were “socialized” as boys, and thus have no place in feminism because we didn’t have the right childhood experience to be allowed to contribute to feminist discussions. 

The number one problem with this argument is that it assumes a universal transgender experience.  From my own experience, there is no universal transgender narrative.  Some women I know transitioned very late in life and have decades of experience of what being perceived as male is like, and others transitioned so early in life that they never knew what it was like to be treated like a man.

When people make the argument that trans women aren’t as authentic as cis women, it erases a lot of trans women’s experience by assuming that all trans experiences fall under a single easily definable narrative.

This argument ALSO assumes that all cis women had a universal upbringing and subsequently erases the experience of women who aren’t white first-worlders.  By stating that this white middle-class first-world experience is the only way to be a woman, TERFs exclude the experiences of other cis women.

When people say that because we’ve experienced this nebulous nonspecific “male socialization” their argument boils down to this idea that all trans women have this inherent maleness that cannot be washed off or escaped from.  In essence, we are not authentic women, and because we weren’t born women and seen as female from day one, our gender is not as legitimate as a cis woman’s gender, and that as trans women we can never truly be women, because a trans identity is inherently inferior to a cis identity. 

But when pressed to define what specifics constitute this “male socialization,” there is never a clear answer beyond being seen as male.  This of course, ignores the fact that every culture defines masculinity in a different way, thus ignoring these cultural differences in favor of this narrative about a “universal malehood.”

There is no universal concept of this nebulous “male socialization,” and to assert that it exists as a way to segregate trans women as being inauthentic and somehow undeserving of the right to call ourselves women, and quite frankly, I don’t buy that.

- Liz

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The Femininity Trap.

What does it mean to be female? To be femme? Feminine? A girl, a woman, a mother. Women are straddled with social expectations and social roles about what it means to be a proper woman. Often these messages are contradictory if not downright harmful.

As trans women we are often expected to be paragons of femininity and define ourselves according to these dangerous and harmful messages. If we don’t embrace these social constructions of what it means to be a woman, we aren’t committed to being trans and “passing” (can I just say how much I hate that word? Actually hate isn’t strong enough, I LOATHE that word and the expectation that trans women must be indistinguishable from cis women to be worthy of basic decency). As trans women, anything remotely masculine must be stamped out an eliminated. We get this message from media portrayals of trans women, from gatekeepers in the medical establishment, and from other trans women who have internalized the message that to be considered women, we must embrace the social construction of femininity to be accepted as “real women.”

This form of gender policing most often comes in the form of unsolicited “passing” tips. Other women telling us we need to do this or that to be seen as women, and the stinging backside of this advice is that that we aren’t “real” women of we don’t do these things. Even if it’s something that a cisgendered woman can do and not have her gender identity called into question. I am not less of a women because I wear jeans and a tank top, I am not less of a woman because I speak up if these is a problem and I don’t act submissive and demure like patriarchy tells me to.

It’s a favored tactic of TERF’s, to force us into the femininity trap. If we act submissive and demure, ie we “know our place,” then we are simply agents of patriarchy trying to enforce gender norms by reducing womanhood to gender roles. By speaking up and making our voices heard, we aren’t “real” women because by speaking up, we’re still exercising our supposed male privilege by asking to have our voices heard.

Trans women are gender policed from all sides, and it needs to stop.

-Liz

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Growing up Evangelical.

This is a bit more of a personal post for me. I thought I’d share a bit f my personal history of growing up in the Evangelical Baptist culture.

Looking back, the number one thing I noticed about that culture is the sheer pervasiveness of it. It is not simply enough to attend church on Sunday morning. It expands outward from there, from AWANA on Sunday nights, to youth group meetings on weeknights and events, camps, and retreats to inundate me with Christian culture.

I never really felt this oppressive pervasiveness growing up, mainly because I had learned to treat it as normal. But the sheltering effect, of keeping “worldly” things away from me because they weren’t “Honoring God,” had a major effect of keeping me socially stunted in other areas. After all, Evangelical Culture celebrated the naive ignorance of childhood, I SHOULDN’T want to learn about the world as that only exposes me to sin. I shouldn’t want to engage in the same things as my peers because I’m a Christian and I’m better than that.

Of course, the fact that I was struggling with ADD and Severe Anxiety didn’t help, and my fears that I was going to burn in Hell for being a sinner weren’t exactly assuaged by the messages I got from the church.

Even though the message of the church was intended to be a positive one, a message of salvation and forgiveness, the overwhelming negatively that surrounded the narrative that I was inherently evil instilled a sense of shame that was compounded by my own anxiety. I was an elementary school kid convinced that she was so irredeemably evil that nobody would ever love me except God. This guilt and shame pushed me further towards church, the only place where I had a remotely function social group outside of family.

By the time I entered sixth grade, my parents decided to homeschool me because of my ADD and anxiety. At first it wasn’t that bad because we used the same materials and textbooks that the kids in the public schools used. I even attended a study group for other homeschool kids set up by our city’s school district. The education I got here, was exactly the same as I would have gotten at the public schools, but at a pace that I could manage and by a teacher who I trusted and understood my educational needs.

How this would change was so slow and subtle I almost didn’t notice it. For science and math, my Mom tried to do her best at teaching me, but her own lack of experience in this made it somewhat difficult for her. She enrolled me a program for other home schooled kids set up by a nearby Christian university. One day a week I would go there for classes in math and science, taught by people who understood the material better than she did.

However, our textbooks were from the textbook publishing arm of the VERY conservative Pensacola Christian College, A Beka Books.

My science education soon consisted of facts like the earth being 6000 years old and that dinosaurs walked the earth at the same time as man and they were even mentioned in the bible. The latter half he class ended up being a from of health class about the life choices available to us an why we should choose abstinence and that abortions cause breast cancer. I believed all of this without question because it had fit with what I had been taught all my life leading up to this.

I was still the same shy, nervous and anxious christian girl in high school, insecure about everything, and convinced that I would never be a good enough christian because I wasn’t as evangelical as all the other christians I knew who were ministering and witnessing 24/7. I kept my church life and my personal life separate, and I felt immense amounts of shame for it.

I was defying what I had always been taught, christianity must be in EVERY aspect of your life, and that compartmentalizing it was wrong. I compartmentalized my faith in order to function normally, and that copy strategy was inherently wrong.

It wasn’t until after I graduated from high school and I went t college that my religious and political beliefs began to unravel.

And I couldn’t be happier.

-Liz

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xxx-swagonite420-xxx-deactivate asked: every time i see a post of yours on my dash it makes me think of the time i saw someone using "transgender" as a verb

how does that even work wow.

thanks for reading my blog! 

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