|My drama for this week is...
||[Jun. 22nd, 2010|01:46 pm]
As I go further along the path of dealing with my gender issues, I'm amazed at just how conflict arises with other people not because I'm transgendered, but because of something else that most transgendered people unavoidably encounter. The people involved never quite feel that it's related to that (otherwise it'd be transphobia and they'd be bigots), but it's hard for me to feel differently seeing as there are many things I couldn't avoid unless I figured out my gender status at 4, acted upon it, had accepting parents and a GP/health system which would have made sure that I'd have been brought up as a girl, not a boy. Without that, there are all kinds of issues I just couldn't have escaped experiencing and which, I've gathered through talking to others, are common across the transgender experience.
Today's piece of upsetting drama in this vein is that I managed to offend yvi by existing and having gone through those experiences. Which is always useful... yvi asserted that people who believe that discussions on racism and other discriminations in fandom getting heated being "sadder and more dangerous than the stuff being debated in the first place" (quotes hers) have no place on her subscriptions page. Obviously, I have personal experience of the inverse and now we are not subscribed to each other (because we're so mature).
I've been present at plenty of debates where sex/gender has been handled in horribly politicised debates and in horrible ways by horrible people. There are people with whom I'd never debate that subject and with whom I consider the most positive result of the discussion would be if I attacked them straight away, as violence wouldn't be worse than the results and would be more honest. In those cases, not discussing it would have been better. Which is why I've come to believe that the people and the situations you debate such things in matter equally as the debate itself. You never know what personal issues people are going through and what political agendas they're bringing to the table. The people with personal issues hurt and lash out and the people with political agendas have goals to push for which others must be sacrificed, either for the greater good or to the ego or simply because they're in the way.
In my mind, it's better if the two are not mixed, because often those who are hurt need to go through positions that are politically distasteful. We do tend to know that, on average, human groups tend to be no worse or better than any other in a similar situation and we hold to this faith because the consequences involve very nasty consequences like slavery and genocide. However, with small numbers of people, it really is easy to end up being raked over by a group through circumstance, and it's healthy to get angry at that group, and useful to do things to prevent that group from hurting you again. Then political correctness just gets in the way. I could not recover from the scars of my childhood without that space or that freedom, which is why I find it so upsetting that I'm viewed as a bigot for wanting it, and for supporting others who want it.
Finally, I've always had great reservations combining political issues with social issues. I've noticed that politics is about power and its use. Obviously, those with it are granted, through power, the right to rule over those who have less. Looking back at history, it has always been thus. However, successful societies have always bound power successfully through social and moral issues, and it's in the social sphere that I view that issues like discrimination should lie, and where the strong tend the weak because we're all in this together. Looking back through history, it has always been thus also. So when discrimination ends up in a political discussion, I despair and think that it's time to get the debating equivalent of the rubber bullets, water cannon and tear gas and declare this demonstration over. Obviously, it's politically right to massacre anyone who gets in your way if they are inconvenient because you have the right to do so because you can. It's just not socially right.