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Shaming men with transphobia and misogyny


I've seen this countless times in my life, I can't even tell you how often any more. It's been a constant presence in my life as far as I can remember: the notion that you can shame men using imagery of them as a women and girls.

I have written, and talked, about how the subtle and frequent transphobia and misogyny in society really served as a barrier to being myself. However, I think it bears repeating...

First, the notion that a boy might actually like feminine things was, and still is, portrayed as a massive weakness. That they are a sissy, they are weak, that they are not real men. As a trans kid, who not only liked feminine things, but saw themselves as a girl, the messages that bombarded me told me that I was irretrievably broken because of this. So I fought so hard to "repair" myself in response and ultimately retreated to alcohol because I could not.

Second, the continued misogyny in so much media, even today, sends the message that women and girls are lesser beings, not as good as men. We're bombarded with these images almost everywhere we turn and, as a young trans girl, I was being told that I shouldn't be a girl because being a boy was better. So, I tried. I tried real hard and yet I never really fit, I was always a bit outside because I was a girl. I didn't fit in the boy's club at all and I didn't really want to.

That leads me to this:

So, I get it, a lot of people don't like Trudeau. Such is life as a politician, it is inevitable that some portion will hate you and your policies. So be it, there is plenty to criticise him for and people should do so. This ain't it, though. When we Photoshop a man or boy into an image of a girl for the purpose of making fun of them, we are sending the very messages I described to every young boy or girl that happens to see it, regardless of whether they are cis or trans.

I'm sure, at this point, some reading are "jeeze, get a sense of humour!" and here's what I have to say: this is not humour, it's harm. It teaches every girl that they are weak, it teaches every boy that girls are weak, and it teaches every trans kid that they are a joke. What's funny about that?

I'll ask you a second question, do you really think Greta Thunberg is weak? She has more spine, more fire and courage, than most of humanity and has demonstrated it time and again. This picture is designed to lessen both of them and that says far more about the quality of those that would find this image funny. Something to think about.

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