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Linked at the core
Harassment, corruption, violence, oppression of the rights of LGBTQ+ folk: they are connected by the toxic belief in a hierarchy of male supremacy.
Dear friends: As we struggle to process yet more stories of violence and corruption, I wonder about connections at the core of these stories.
Let’s start with the ongoing legal and rhetorical attacks on our trans friends, neighbors, and family members. The ACLU is tracking close to 500 bills at all levels of government that “target LGBTQ+ rights” (https://www.aclu.org/legislative-attacks-on-lgbtq-rights) as of early May. Many of these resurrect the awful false trope of predatory trans people, or predators who dress across genders in order to prey on others. None of this is based in fact, research, or knowledge. It is all fear-mongering.
But why are so many people so susceptible to fear-based messaging about trans folk? Why don’t we all simply laugh these attacks off as the blatantly ridiculous statements they are?
I wonder if it all circles back to male supremacy and misogyny. The notions that gender itself can be fluid, that there are no rigid boundaries around “male” and “female,” that gender can be experienced internally in contrast to external genitalia: recognizing these truths obliterates a hierarchy that puts a restricted version of “male” at the top.
Understanding the trans experience leads us to call for social structures that embrace fluidity and self-definition. For political structures that embrace true equity and equality under the law. For economic structures that prioritize care.
This is why LGBTQ+ rights are human rights. Why women’s rights are human rights. Why children’s rights are human rights. Any fight for rights beyond the stereotypical landed, wealthy white heterosexual male is a fight for acceptance of all fundamental human rights.
And by the way: I do not think it is a coincidence that a person who demonstrated a pattern of harassment of the women in his employ is now revealed as having been engaged in the appearance of significant corruption. How many times have we learned that those who harass and demean women go on to greater acts of violence and corruption? They are linked at the core: once the hierarchy of supremacy is embraced, more violence and corruption become easier and easier to justify.
On this lovely early May weekend, I hope you find a welcoming community around you, ready to embrace you for exactly who you are.
Be safe and well.
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