The Gender Ternary: Understanding Transmisogyny

Summary

A common understanding among gender activists is that most people think of gender as a binary, and that most institutions are built around a fixed concept of two genders.

I suggest that mainstream society actually uses a threefold ‘ternary-gender’ model of gender, dividing people into ‘women’, ‘men’ and ‘freaks’. I use this model to discuss a common area of disagreement between gender activists: male privilege as experienced by transsexual women.

This article also discusses the concepts of transgendering (gendering somebody as trans*) and unpacking ‘male privilege’ into internalised, social and power-over privileges. Continue reading

Alone in the Crowd: Alienation and Distancing

Two Experiences, One Effect

In this article I’d like to explore two other experiences; one interpersonal and one social. I’ve given these experiences the tentative names of ‘Interpersonal Distancing’ and ‘Affect Alienation’ respectively.

I’m grateful to my friend Meg Barker for suggesting the latter phrase and for directing me for further reading to Sara Ahmed’s The Promise Of Happiness, which I’ve begun but not finished reading. I hope that Ahmed will forgive me for lifting the language directly from her book!

I am beginning to believe that these experiences function together to create differences between the experience of some marginalised people and those of wider society in ways which are not fully acknowledged by existing theories of interpersonal/institutional/microaggressive discrimination. Continue reading