A large portion of the arguments against trans rights are composed solely of Gish Galloping and blatant hypocrisy. This isn’t surprising, as no argument against human rights ever has any rationality to it. But right now, I want to focus on the sheer irony of some of the more common complaints cis people have with people transitioning.
You should love your body the way God made it!
Mhm. I wonder how many Christian women love the hair god put on their armpits. I wonder how many Christian men love the hair god put on women’s vaginas, for that matter. How many men love their body enough to not take protein shakes? How many women are happy with their natural eyebrows? How many people love the natural scent god endowed us with during puberty?
Any time you shave, get a hair cut, brush your teeth, paint your nails, put on makeup, get a spray tan, clip your nails, take “male enhancement pills,” or put on perfume/cologne, you are changing something natural about your body.
Do women who get spray tans hate themselves? It’s not likely. Do men who shave their beards lack self-respect? Probably not. Do either of these categories of people inherently hate god and deserve to burn in hell for those actions? Let me guess, most people would probably say “no.” And they’re right. And trans people who chose to physically transition are no different.
We get into a bit of a different tone when it comes to matters of plastic surgery. Because while trans people are often under scrutiny for altering their bodies via surgery, many cis people are as well (though to a lesser extent). Society still clings to an arbitrary notion of “realness” and women with butt implants or lip injections are often deemed “fake.” Still, this isn’t exactly the same line of criticism against trans people who undergo surgery (who are considered “fake” in another sense), because these people are more frequently seen as perverted people who do so for sexual gratification or due to dangerous delusions. If anything, cis people (namely women) who undergo plastic surgery are pitied as having been pressured into their choices by a society with rigid beauty standards.
But needless to say, there are many cis people who get plastic surgery of their own volition who pay no regard to beauty standards. This is especially, but not only, true of people like María José Cristerna and others with an alternative aesthetic.
Things like nose jobs or liposuction might still carry a bit of stigma, but overall: These things make people happier and typically, (also hypocritically) society enjoys seeing the results. It’s essentially a win-win, or would be, if we weren’t so attached to this fake sense of authenticity. People who get nose jobs or lipo are no less themselves than they were before.
Let me repeat that: Those who alter their physical appearance by any means (be it cosmetics, surgery, push-up bras, dieting, bodybuilding, etc) are still themselves. And any implication otherwise relies on this toxic and shallow assertion that the reality of someone is inherently tied to their appearance.
That’s right. Those who get breast implants or whatever aren’t the “fake” or shallow ones, it’s those who think your “real self” is ultimately just however someone looks. So next time you’re feeling sanctimonious because you still have your “real” eyebrows and a “real” butt, maybe learn that no one gives a shit about how “real” you body is….your “real” self should lie in your personality, and by being a decent human being. Afterall, who would you rather be friends with: A “real” person who is deceptive, judgemental and manipulating, or someone who had work done but is sweet and cares about you?
Transitioning is mutilation though!
The above is another transphobic sentiment related to the first one, and much like the first one, it is filled with irony. Really dark irony.
The same people who accuse trans people who decide to undergo surgery of “genital mutilation” often circumcise their sons. Or are circumcised. And how many of these people chose to get the procedure? Did they have to go through countless therapists and consultations to get circumcised? Did they have to have multiple professionals give them a letter of permission to be circumcised? No. And neither did the parents who did it to them.
Circumcision literally is, by all accounts, actual genital mutilation that is no less reprehensible than female infant circumcision sometimes practiced in other nations. And almost all of the amab people who are circumcised didn’t have a say in the procedure (unlike transitioning).
But what about men who are happy with their circumcisions, the men who prefer life without foreskin? Almost every single “I’m grateful” story I’ve heard from circumcised men rationalizes it with either a) “But women prefer this!” or b) “But now I don’t have to clean it!”
Oh, right, okay. We can cut skin off of a baby’s penis because it’ll be easier for him to get laid in the future (because isn’t that the first thing we all think of when we see are newborns? “Aww, welcome to the world. Now how can I make you more fuckable?”), or because he’s too damn lazy to practice hygiene (I mean, we all have to wipe our asses after we shit…we don’t try to remove them because wiping is too much of a hassle.) And this totally makes sense, apparently, but undergoing transitional surgery because it is literally actively painful and excruciating to have the wrong body is “mutilation.”
And for that matter, who decides where the line at “mutilation” is drawn? What about tattoos, piercings, or haircuts? Or is it only mutilation when it offends you?
Whether or not something is considered mutilation should be determined logically, not with some knee-jerk reaction. So logically, we should ask:
- Was it consensual?
- Was it life-threatening?
- How does the person feel about it?
On that note, we shouldn’t consider a mother cutting her toddlers hair mutilation (even if the child may have fussed about it). Why? It isn’t actually dangerous, and the kid probably doesn’t actually care much. Should we consider it mutilation if a father forced his toddler to get a tattoo? Yes, we probably should…hence why this is illegal. Why? A child cannot consent to this, it may become infected, and the child may not have wanted this but is now practically stuck with it permanently.
But using these guidelines, we can see that any trans person who undergoes surgery is not being mutilated because they consent to the operation, it isn’t any more risky than other surgeries, and generally, it saves a person from a life of debilitating discomfort.
HOWEVER, the topic of mutilation gets even more…interesting…when we take intersex infants into account. Intersex newborns go through forced sex-reassignment surgeries regularly. But where is all the protest for this? Are we again going to tolerate legitimate genital mutilation (even it it is sex-reassignment) on the basis of future potential for sexual attraction? The mutilation of intersex children is often justified with “but no one will want to sleep with a h************e!” So? Shouldn’t we instead be teaching society to value these people, instead of telling everyone it makes sense to be disgusted by intersex people? But even so, one of the most common (if not the most) reasoning behind forced surgeries for intersex newborns is so that mothers are able to bond better. Imagine that. Imagine having to go through sex-reassignment surgery when you’re an infant just for your mother to properly love you.*
So to conclude, unless you’re an intactivist, intersex-right’s activist who looks like this:
You’re being hypocritical any time you judge a trans person for altering their body (in a way that literally doesn’t affect you any way), because you damn well aren’t in a natural pristine condition either.
*Click here to read more that I’ve written on intersex people