Ok so here’s how to make all women hate themselves in just a few easy steps:
1) Set up one group of women as completely undeserving of respect. Make them into the butt of jokes, ignore violence against them, etc. It’s best if all women know that being recognized as part of this group of women, or even mistaken for one, will likely lead to ridicule and possibly serious violence.
2) Make a fucking *game* out of trying to tell whether any given woman is in the “bad” group. Bonus points if you reduce women to disjointed collections of body parts in the process.
3)Remember to use the most dehumanizing slurs you can think of when classifying women into the “bad” group, just to remind EVERYONE what the stakes are!
3) Make sure that the game is *hard*. This may seem counterintuitive since you’d think that mistaking women in the “good” group for women in the “bad” group would only serve to help remind people how arbitrary and nonsensical these groups are. After all, bodies come in a range of shapes and sizes and that’s fine, right?
WRONG! Your goal is to make EVERYONE feel insecure and vulnerable! Just setting up a single tiny group for shame and ridicule doesn’t help much, unless you simultaneously remind everyone else that they could get MISTAKEN for, or even COMPARED to, a member of that group. Remember, the goal is to make ALL women realize that they’re just a collection of body parts and that they should feel really REALLY bad if their body parts aren’t “feminine” enough!
Ru Paul, who hates women so much that he’s made a nationally syndicated TV show dedicated to making fun of them, has got this DOWN. I’m talking about his recent show in which he had contestants look at pictures of disembodied body parts of both cis women and drag queens (who in turn were conflated with trans women) and have the contestants determine whether the body part they were looking at belonged to a “female” or “sh****e”. And to make it interesting, he made sure that the cis women included people who had “masculine” features like larger muscles and broader frames than average. THIS SERIOUSLY ACTUALLY HAPPENED.
So first off I have to say that if ANYONE did this sort of thing to any of my trans friends, I would probably be breaking things right now. I just… I just can’t.
But it’s a good example of how transmisogyny is actually a part of overall misogyny. The “funny” part wasn’t when people correctly identified someone as a man in drag (which was then conflated with being trans), it was when someone *mistook a cis woman* for a “man.” Because if being a “man dressed like a woman” is the worst thing to be, then the best way to insult someone is to *call them a man in drag*!
Hey ladies, are you thinking of lifting weights so that you can avoid osteoporosis and maybe even have some capacity for self-defense? Thinking of pursuing a career in professional athletics? Thinking about rocking a natural look instead of fretting about your eyebrows? FORGET ABOUT IT! Because if you do, someone might call you a “sh****e” and you wouldn’t want that!
It is super disappointing to me that tons of feminists aren’t going to complain about this, because it “only” goes after trans women. As if trans women weren’t important enough to care about. As if this doesn’t degrade ALL women and police ALL of our bodies. I am ANGRY.