So, to start this post off, I am going to give a small history lesson. I will disclaimer that I am talking as a Native American individual, and I cannot speak for Black/African Diasporic people or of people from other continents outside of North and South America. However, while what I am saying is clearly not universal, but there are threads of similarity in regards to trans*
America is not without it’s own Eugenic history. In fact, it started prior to even Nazi Germany implementing anything. Like Nazi Germany, America initially focused on people with disabilities. Then, by in large, the eugenic procedures of sterilization, and even non-eugenic procedures such as human experimentation, were used against people of color. In reading material one,
In reading material one, I want to emphasize one paragraph:
It is not very comforting to African-Americans since that the very agencies assigned with protecting their health are guilt of human experimentation. - Paragraph 3
So we can see here, that, science has in fact played a large factor in the colonization of all People of Color, but specifically here in Americas very much so. Cathy Brennan claims that she uses science, common sense, and “known fact” in her defense that female = vagina and male = penis. She believes gender is a socialization, therefore science is the answer to respond against socialization.
Here’s the thing, though, that Cathy Brennan and many of her followers seem to forget. What we, people of color who are Black or American Indian, had that Western society could in fact call “our sciences”, included the concept of there being a gender and/or sex that was not male or female (using Cathy Brennan’s terminology). In fact, evidence found all over theworld showed that many peoples had this idea. It wasn’t until the introduction of Christianity, colonization, and Eugenic Science [see: science practiced by Europe/England and later America], that this shift away from it changed.
I think Cathy Brennan and I can agree that colonization harmed communities of Color. What she fails to see or respond to is the fact that her precious science, the very thing she basis her theory and claims off of, was also used in conjunction of colonization to harm and discredit us. In fact, the idea that we had homosexuality, two-spirit peoples, etc. was used to justify the cause of assimilation or killing because we were savage.
Her and her followers counter-claim to my accusation of racism is the fact that I use Western/Euro-centric words such as transgender, etc.
Well, let me paint a picture for you.
If your people were so pushed down, wiped from records, forced to be on records, those records could be manipulated by White individuals, your people had to follow the mold of what a Good White Citizen would be [Christian, capitalist, boot-straps], your languages forgotten and purposefully attacked to try and get it off the planet, moved from your principal lands, had a mythical border between you and other people of your tribe [Mexican-US border] what resources would be left for you?
I do not like the fact that I have to rely on White, Western, Euro-centric words to describe my experience. In fact, insulting me for the fact that I have to use it, is also racist. You are rubbing salt in the wound that is colonization, and it’s deep, and I am actively trying to resist it and counter the colonist endeavors against me.
So here’s the thing, Cathy. You claim that you are using science, but you are also using a tool that was used against my people, and other People of Color. While yes, you are largely targeting White and mixed trans* women, you are doing so to try and avoid the reality that you are using racist methodology. If you appear to only be attacking white trans* women, or white looking trans* people, therefore you cannot be called racist [so you think].
But it’s really not quite that simple, Cathy. Just because you have a few people of color on your side, doesn’t make you right. In fact, I don’t care about if they agree with you or not. I do think, deep down, they need some prayer because they are following you, a White middle class woman. But I respect that they have an inherit choice in wither they should or shouldn’t believe radical feminism is for them. And it’s hard to make a true choice when your socialization, as a person of color, tells you that you are supposed to be just like the White Man, or in this case, the White Woman.
I too have the choice to believe or not believe in tradition or Modern Western values. I clearly don’t choose the latter. However, you do not get to choose to say that I am wrong, because what you are inherintly doing is again colonizing people.
Cathy Brennan, you are a colonizer, but you will never admit it. You employ typical White Ally problems; I have such and such Black friend, I voted for this such and such cause, You don’t know your own people, etc.
So here and now I have cleanly outlined what is problematic, and it is your responsibility to decide if you can actually formulate an argument that does not employ racist tactics. It’s your move, Cathy.
Moon on Waters