May 2, 2020

This is why true diversity, and the acceptance of queer and transgender people, is the best way of addressing human suffering


The quest for finding safety in normalcy is a hopeless one. It is better to embrace the diversity of humanity, and let people be who they were meant to be. This also applies to queer and transgender people.


Korviday's brilliant queer analysis of Shrek


Why is it that so many people fear transgender and queer people, or any people that do not follow the norms, for that matter? Why do they want everyone to be like themselves... No, strike that. They do not want them to be like themselves, given that they are all imperfect beings... No, they want them to be like the idealized versions of themselves. The perfect man. The perfect woman. Why is that?

In the  video embedded below korivday uses the two first Shrek movies to discuss what causes this pressure towards “normalcy”.

It is not that these movies present Shrek as queer. They don’t. But they do give us a very good idea about what it means to be an outsider who does not fit the norm.

Korivday is using the interaction between Shrek and the powers that be (Lord Farquaad and the Fairy Godmother) to describe the way society forces queer people back into the closet.

It is a brilliant analysis, and I recommend that you watch it!





The toxic feedback loop of insiders excluding outsiders


Based on my own life experience, I have come to believe that much of the oppression of queer, trans and nonbinary people is based on the following toxic feedback loop:

1. Life is hard under the best of times, and as human beings we try to control our surroundings in order to reduce the anxiety. That is to be expected.

2. However, one way of controlling the environment is, unfortunately, creating an idealized narrative of what a perfect life would be. If only everyone behaved like this (or that), the gods would not be angry with us. If only all of us thought and behaved like me, there would be no conflict, and therefore no aggression and no war.

3. Given that what nature really loves is diversity, these anxious people have to reduce that diversity until it fits the narrow confines of their own minds. They therefore start to punish people who cannot or are not willing to obey.

4. This social conditioning uses fear and shame to make people live up to the norms. Those that are not willing to accept the regime or who are not able to, are labelled as deviants and outsiders.

5. Given that we are  social animals, who seek comfort and safety in social groups, the threat of social exclusion is the most effective weapon of them all, so this marginalization reinforced the pressure towards conformity.

6. Moreover, the outsiders are depicted as the very reason for why people are afraid. They are the ones that cause the anxiety and the fear of life, in the first place, the oppressors say, and not the real culprits, the oppressors themselves. This is not true, obviously, but it is a narrative that is easy to understand.

The Jews are behind all the bad things in the world, or the Muslims or black people or queer and trans people.

They are not like us! They are dangerous! Scapegoats like these gives fearful people someone to hate, which is emotionally liberating. It also gives them a sense of purpose and control.

7. This again causes some of the outsiders to try so hard to become insiders that they become oppressors themselves. We have our share in the trans and queer communities too.

8. Ruthless and evil politicians  and power brokers understand these mechanism, at least on a gut level, and exploit them for their own unsavory purposes. This applies to people on both sides of the political spectrum.

The only way to liberate humankind from such oppressive and totalitarian cultures and regimes is for the outsiders to stand together and rebel.

Because the fact is that no one is able to live up to these impossible ideals. Ultimately everyone becomes a prisoner under such regimes.

The trick is to get people to move beyond the fear and understand that happiness is not the end result of denying your true self.

Happiness is about accepting, loving and expressing your true self. A healthy society embraces diversity.

18 comments:

  1. no version of being is different is easy in this life. We are thankfully getting closer to understanding that the diversity and malleability of the human species is a gift rather than a hindrance to our survival and success.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Yes. Diversity gives our species resilience in changing environments. It also makes life so much more interesting.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Diversity is not the goal in nature. It's a means to and end to create things that have utility. Of course the process of diversity has created a lot of useful things in nature but also created a lot of useless things. A lot of times these useless things stay around because they're not a detriment enough for nature to select them out. The rule of thumb is basically this: Whatever works stays and what's useless but not harmfull enough also stays. On another note, I always find it so funny and baffling that people always say that they want to live in a world that doesn't care about race, gender and sexual orientation. They always say that they wanna live in a world that doesn't judge people on the basis of people's race, gender and sexual orientation. Yet, somehow, these same people believe that the world should make an exeption for them. I mean, for example, if you don't judge people on the basis of their gender doesn't that mean that equal representation of the genders is therefore by it's very nature irrelevant? I mean just think about it. Why would there ever be a need for equal representation or more diversity on the basis of the very things you don't want people to be judged by? So, make up your mind. Instead of focusing on the things you you don't want to be judged by, focus on the things you do want to be judged by. Your character. You're not just your gender. You're not just your race. You're not just your sexual orientation. You give me one opinion about anything and i'll show you ten people part of your demographic who disagree with it. Don't focus on things that devides people. Because the simple and obvious truth is this: You are always going to be better off with a man that is for you than a woman who is not. You are always going to be better off with a white person that is for you than a black person who is not. You are always going to be better off with a heterosexual that is for you than a homosexual who is not. you are always going to be better off with a person that is for you REGARDLESS of what they are.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. //I mean, for example, if you don't judge people on the basis of their gender doesn't that mean that equal representation of the genders is therefore by it's very nature irrelevant?//

      Nope. You are making a common mistake: You are arguing as if this is a rational world where tolerance and equality already is the norm. It is not. The day all people see beyond gender, sexuality and ethnicity, we may stop fighting for equality, respect and understanding, but we are not there yet. Right now both right wing and left wing fanatics and fundamentalist are using all their power to force gay an trans people back into the closed and oppress people of color and those who do not share their religion. So yes, as long as that kind of evil persist, I am going to focus on what divides us as much as that we have in common.

      Delete
    2. I am not arguing as if this is a rational world where tolerance and equality already is the norm. The point I try to make here is that you cannot fight the problem with the problem. The problem is preferential treatment on the basis of gender and I don't care if a man benefit from that or a woman or a trans person. It's all wrong. Seriously, what sense does it make to try to fight preferential treatment on the basis of gender by doing more of it?

      Delete
    3. The civil right's struggle, the fight for gender equality, the acceptance of gay and lesbian people and transgender rights is not about preferential treatment. It is about being accepted and respected as citizens in the same way as anyone else. But that is not where we are right now. In order to achieve equality you have to fight for it, and in order to win that struggle you have to make people aware of the oppression of those marginalized. So yeah, during that process you have to talk about the differences. One point of clarification: I am not trying to abolish the concept of gender. For me the transgender struggle is about being allowed to live as the gender you truly are, whether this is male, female or some shade of non-binary.

      Delete
    4. To be accepted and respected as citizens or not because of your gender is a matter of preferential treatment on the basis of gender. To do so is to prefer someone over the other because of that person's gender. why would you discriminate people because of their gender if you don't prefer people of one gender over the other? Here's how it works. If you give someone preferential treatment on the basis that person's gender you are automatically are not giving the same treatment to people of a different gender because of theirs. For example: As soon as you give a job, an opportunity, help or a position to a woman BECAUSE she's a woman (something that should never be part of the equation in the first place because we don't want to judge a book by it's cover, do we?) Well, then you're not giving THAT job, you're not giving THAT opportunity, help or a position to a man because that man is simply, not a woman. (This is of course equally true if you switch the genders in this example.) This is so incredibly wrong because the idea that you can tell what kind of person you're dealing with simply by looking at that person's gender, race or sexual orientation is NEVER TRUE. But this is what happens when you apply a different set of rules to people because of their gender. This is what happens when you apply a different set of rules to people for no other reason but the sheer coincidence of their birth. That is fundamentaly unfair.

      Delete
    5. The idea that women should be given preferential treatment during a certain period of times, as in quotas, to compensate for cultural and political oppression is an interesting one, but not one I was addressing in this post.

      To point out that someone is oppressed is not to give them a preferential treatment. It is rather to point out that the oppressors are given preferential treatment. So white men are preferred over white women, white women over black women, and cis women of trans women.

      You say that you cannot tell what "kind of person you're dealing with simply by looking at that person's gender, race or sexual orientation". This is true, but unfortunately a lot of people be do not agree with you. Many judge people on the basis of looks, gender, ethnic and religious background as well as sexuality, to the point of banning some people from specific jobs (as in the US military transgender ban) or from public spaces (as in bathroom bills). THAT is fundamentally unfair.

      You are trying ignoring the real situation on the ground, and reduce the argument to some legalistic, ahistorical, set of rules. That does not work when trans people are persecuted, harassed and excluded all around the world on a regular basis. Your logic requires that there already is equality and respect. There isn't.

      Delete
    6. "Many judge people on the basis of looks, gender, ethnic and religious background as well as sexuality" You are doing the same thing right here: "So white men are preferred over white women, white women over black women, and cis women of trans women." What a gross oversimplification. This is exactly what I mean when I say that you shouldn't judge a book by it's cover. Do you really think that a white man can ONLY receive preferential treatment BECAUSE he's a white man? Why the hell would you automatically make that assumption? There are literally an infinite amount of reasons that people can have in order to interact with each other in the way they do and race, gender and sexual orientation are only THREE of those reasons so what do you think the actual odds are that those are the reasons? Why do you automatically make the assumption that people care as much about race, gender and sexual orientation as you do? There are a hell of a lot more motivations out there then just those three. You only have to look at a white man whose life is worse than yours to know that because he has a certain race, gender or sexual orientation does not mean that therefore society prefers HIM. Life is circumstantial and waaaaay too complex for you to reduce it to: "So white men are preferred over white women, white women over black women, and cis women of trans women." Because there are so many more reasons why society could not prefer a person. You don't wanna be judged on the basis of your race, gender and sexual orientation? Then don't do it to others. Yes even if they're white men. No, to say this is NOT bigoted. This is what I mean when I say you're fighting the problem with the problem. You're try to fight the problem of people making gross assumptions about trans people by making gross assumptions about people. You give them no reason to listen to you. "Your logic requires that there already is equality and respect. There isn't." You should listen to yourself. What is the rationale of this? The world treats people unequally, therefore I can allow myself to treat people unequally too? Therefore I should be allowed to give preferential treatment to one demographic over another? What? It's wrong when the world does it but somehow when you do it we should make a exception for you? When you are discriminating in favour of a demographic you are still discriminating. Or are you saying that discriminating in favour of a demographic is okay? Because bigots love to hear that. Yes, it's wrong that world treats people unequally. YOU ARE PART OF THE WORLD! This is a responsibility we all have. It is ALL our responsibility to not discriminate people on the basis of race, gender and sexual orientation and because they're plenty of people out there who are ignoring that responsibility does not mean that you are therefore IN ANY WAY exempted from that responsibility. As long as you treat people unequally too then you are part of the problem. This is why you should never be divisive on the basis of people's race, gender and sexual orientation. To give preferential treatment to one demographic over another is divisive. I guarantee you, if you do that you will lose! Walk the talk. If you don't then the transgender cause will be better off without you.

      Delete
    7. Well, it seems to me you're not going to give a response to any of the points I made in my previous comment so I'm just gonna assume that you take all of these points as correct.

      Delete
  4. Love the right wing fanatics they are what currently give my life vigor and purpose

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am a lefty and I voted Bernie. Don't judge a book by it's cover. I would never assume what kind of person you are because I know your gender. I would never do that to anyone.

      Delete
    2. I am such a lefty that I believe that if you are diagnosed with gender dysphoria, the state should pay for your transition!

      Delete
  5. Diversity is not about intention it simply is. It exists in every part of our existence and at every level. To deny it through blind fanaticism or attempt to repair it such as through reparative therapy not only reaks of elitism, it is downright dangerous and smells an awful lot like what the Nazis attempted to do with their supreme white being experiments. You cannot eliminate variants which naturally occur but embracing them or rejecting them is up to you.i prefer to love rather than hate what is different.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've never implied that nature itself has an intention. Nature IS blind. I just said how it functions. And b.t.w. How is saying that we shouldn't judge people on the basis of their gender right wing?

      Delete
  6. I've been thinking a lot about Jack's post and the comment thread, considering my response. My initial idea was to put transphobia into the bucket of racism, misogyny, and other bigotry, which I *was* going to assert is due to our amygdala's automatic hijacking. But even as I sat down yesterday to write that I held back and now I think I have a better comment.

    In his classic three-volume work of 1841, “Memoirs of Extraordinary Popular Delusions,” Charles Mackay observed, “Men, it has been well said, think in herds; it will be seen that they go mad in herds, while they only recover their senses slowly, and one by one.”

    I think the above says what I believe, that as gays, lesbians, blacks, farm workers, Asians, and so many others were humanized one by one — by getting to know them — those bigoted feelings were slowly eroded. Sure, some of those feelings die too darned slowly but, I believe, good triumphs over bad.

    The key, then, is to push ourselves out of our comfort zones and as best we can, be seen, heard, and present.

    ReplyDelete
  7. This is a great article thanks for sharing this informative information. I will visit your blog regularly for some latest post. I will visit your blog regularly for Some latest post. World Peace

    ReplyDelete

Click here for this blog's Code of Conduct!

Discuss crossdreamer and transgender issues!