“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.