April 17, 2014
Originally posted on Liberation Collective:
Janet Mock is a transwoman author who has strong opinions on gender and the sex industry shared in this memoir. Mock discusses many topics, but this review will cover five: essentialism, the term “cis”, the term “fish”, hormone blockers for children, and the sex industry.
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February 26, 2014
It is time for you to stop referring to women and girls as “fish”. We have asked you time and again to stop doing so. You have been told repeatedly how offensive this is to us. Yet you continue to “fight” to express your opinion that “fish” is a synonymous descriptor of girls and women.
We get that you grew up as a gay boy who was ushered into teenage prostitution by what you describe as an “underground railroad” of adult gay and transgender men. You characterize (even glamorize) your own childhood sexual exploitation by adult males as a positive and empowering experience for you and a desirable right of passage for gay male “transgender” children in general.
We get that your life experience has little in common with that of women. You grew up as a male whose primary frame of reference for “womanhood” is the gay male drag queen and transgender culture. Us women get that. “Transwomen” and women are fundamentally different. We get it!
What we don’t get is your toxic level of female-hatred (and pedophilia!).
Your stance on child prostitution has been ignored and un-addressed thus far in both the mainstream (male) and LGBT (male) media. No interviewer has yet asked you to explain why you believe teen boys having sex with adult males is a good thing. The adult male transgender community has an HIV infection rate 40 times that of the general public. The “Transgender Day of Remembrance” annually commemorates the violent murders of males (largely “sex workers” and largely men of color) at the hands of their violent male “customers”.
No interviewer has yet asked you to reconcile your framing of child-prostitution for males as an affirming experience of “sisterhood”. Let me ask you. Have you personally facilitated teenage males into this “sisterhood”? Are you a member of what you call the “underground railroad” that guides transgender-identifying youth into what you call the “freedom” and “agency” of child prostitution? These are the interview questions that women would like to see posed to you by the mainstream media.
We get that female life is many steps removed from what you, as an individual cultured almost entirely by fellow males, understand as “womanhood”. We would like you to know that, overwhelmingly, women do NOT view the grooming of youth into teenage prostitution as an expression of “sisterhood”, nor as an affirming or positive activity on any level. We believe those who sexually exploit minors are predators and criminals who should be incarcerated without exception. We believe the FBI should contact you about this child prostitution “underground railroad” that you speak of, and we find the media silence on the subject deeply troubling.
As for your insistence, Janet, on the use of the word “fish” as a synonym for girls and women: We demand that you cease this abusive practice. Girls and women are not synonyms for what men like yourself imagine as our “dirty smelly” reproductive systems. We are every bit as fully human as you. It is damn ironic that you express being a “female identified” male yet continue to abuse women by referring to us by a word that is a pejorative for the very thing that makes us female. It is beyond ironic, crossing over into the surreal, that you would object to media interviewers discussing reproductive organs in relation to sexual reassignment while you name women and girls “fish” based on your experience of females as stinky, dirty, and genitally foul smelling. You complain that Katie Couric asked about the nuts and bolts of “sex change” while at the same time you define her as a foul smelling vagina thing.
These are the issues women would like to see media questioning you about.
Males like you who call us “fish” are responsible for making girls and women feel ashamed of our bodies, marketing to us as unnatural and dirty and rank for the thing that makes us different from you, our reproductive systems, even as you claim to “identify as” female bodied, and try to approximate our bodies through medicine and surgery. We don’t need men claiming to embody us while defining us in the most degrading, ugly, grotesque terms imaginable.
We say NO. Women say NO to you Janet, and to the other men in your male “sisterhood”. Women are different than male transgenders, vastly different, but we will never be “those dirty stank vagina things” that transgender males define us as. Women and girls will never be “fish” no matter how much men like you would like us to be.