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Phryne the Second @nymphomachy
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@TankCPTNemo Okay, but see, "Chelsea Manning gets a pass on being a traitor because she's trans" is a problematic statement

Nobody gets a "pass" on anything because they're trans, they get to undergo a functionally worse iteration of whatever vicissitudes they'd be subjected to otherwise
@TankCPTNemo Chelsea Manning is a piece of shit but the fact that she is a piece of shit legitimately intersects with her trans womanhood in ways that informed people have a responsibility to unpack and discuss

And "Manning being a traitor" is actually the most worthless criticism of her
@TankCPTNemo I honestly have a problem with cisgender vets and service members predicating their entire animus towards Manning on the basis that she is a "traitor"

Because Chelsea Manning is not THEIR issue, but they take that angle to make it all about them and their hurt feelings
@TankCPTNemo (And, frankly, it's not even true.

Regardless of the impact it had, Manning pretty obviously saw herself as a whistleblower, not a traitor. Compare her to Jonathan Pollard or Ana Montes, who were deliberately selling the US out to Israel and Cuba, respectively. Big difference.)
@TankCPTNemo (There's also the whole can of worms of unpacking whether the actions of a severely emotionally abused person going through a serious, untreated mental health episode can even be legitimately REGARDED as "treason" or "whistleblowing".

And arguably she was also GROOMED for it)
@TankCPTNemo And to say Chelsea Manning "got a pass" is such a crock of shit in light of the fact that she underwent seven years of LITERAL TORTURE and was only released early because delivering her into the Trump Administration would have legitimately entailed murdering her
@TankCPTNemo To be clear here:

She was kept in solitary confinement in a men's prison, forced to present as male, and literally had lifesaving healthcare withheld from her

Trans people released from prison often commit suicide because the trauma of long-term solitary can do irreparable harm
@TankCPTNemo I can almost GUARANTEE you that Chelsea Manning's seven years in prison were a hundred times more traumatic than Jonathan Pollard's THIRTY years.

There's practically no question.

That's not a pass.
@TankCPTNemo Ppl aren't saying "don't criticize her because she's trans" though. That characterization is a caricature of what trans people are actually saying.

They're saying that an enormous amount of the antipathy towards her is rooted in transmisogyny. And it is

If you (and this is directed at everybody) as a veteran/service member are primarily outraged on behalf of your hurt professional pride rather than your trans brethren and sistren, you are having a tantrum and need to drink some juice.

I have so little patience to hear that shit
Where I'm concerned, there are two valid reasons to denounce Manning:

1) Through her actions she galvanized transphobia, both nationally on a small-scale and within the *single largest employer of trans people* on a large scale

Resulting in trans ppl being subjected to abuse
There is no doubt in my mind that Chelsea Manning SERIOUSLY jeopardized the livelihoods of members of one of the most poverty-prone demographics in the country.

That she put more bricks in that wall between trans people and access to necessary healthcare.
Personally, I endured transmisogynistic abuse, from ppl who I worked with, from wingmen who should have been my friends, as a result of Manning's actions.

And, no, that's not a respectability politics argument. Manning enabled the narrative to foment that transness is capricious

You are misreading, or at the very least you're seriously underselling the responsibility Manning had as a trans woman employed by the single-largest employer of trans people NOT to become famous for iniquities that would cast scrutiny on other trans ppl
Look, if tomorrow I walked into a Burger King with a sledgehammer and smashed in the brains of the kid working behind the counter, my transness would absolutely become central to that narrative.

My actions would be exploited to vindicate harm done against other trans people.
Is it fair that I have to worry about how my actions reflect on others? No. Is it fair that Manning had to? No.

Does it excuse the fact that she didn't? No.

And she clearly scored high enough on the ASVAB to score into a computer job. It was well within her ability to do so.
And the responsibility in 2009—before Laverne Cox was a thing, before Janet Mock was really on the map—was SIGNIFICANTLY GREATER than the responsibility would be today.

Manning served as a lot of people's first introduction to the trans community, and it was not a good one.
So as long as trans people have to worry about having a bed to sleep in, or putting food on the table, Manning will be at fault for providing ammunition against their livelihoods.

If this isn't one of the loci of your outrage, you're not a trans ally.
The other reason I mentioned to denounce Manning:

Because Julian Assange appeared on the Colbert Report on April 12, 2010. Before that, I'd never heard of him.

Chelsea Manning's actions aggrandized him. She made him a celebrity.
If you want to argue ABSOLUTELY NOTHING ELSE, the notoriety Manning provided Assange is the reason a rape victim is never going to even see her abuser go to trial.

But if you want to go ham with this—as I do—then Assange is the reason Donald Trump is currently the president.
And you can say that of a lot of people! Comey, as well, is the reason Donald is currently the president. Erase either man from the last four years of history and we get President Clinton.

But Assange had a much greater, more long-term impact.
Me, I'd argue that Manning created Assange, and Assange created the situation we are presently in.

So everything the Trump administration has done is a ripple effect of that action. The erosion of LGBT protections? Children being torn from their families? SCOTUS? Manning helped.
That is not to say she intended to do so! Her actions protesting the Trump Administration directly indicate she would regret her role in helping it exist, if she could be self-aware enough to understand the full breadth of the consequences her actions had!

But she isn't!
Chelsea Manning continues to frame her original actions as clear-minded, harmless and heroic, and she always will, and they were none of these things.

She wants to be a leader in the hashtag-resistance, but she precipitated the need a resistance of this scale to begin with.
So, yeah. That's a perfectly valid reason to dislike Manning. She's been punished—punished worse than I can possibly imagine—but she hasn't ATONED. She still fundamentally believes she didn't do anything wrong.

In the name of transness, she helped ruin the lives of trans people.
And THAT'S why shit like Chelsea Manning going to hang out with white supremacists, even if it was just an "information-gathering op" is such a bitter pill for me to swallow.

It does not feel good to see Manning schmoozing with the very fascists her actions indirectly empowered.
There's a lot to discuss there, but the main consideration is magnitudes.

E.g., when a cis woman in the military does something fucked, there's a hundred military women you can point to who are absolutely killing it.

That wasn't the case with Chelsea.

I would argue that cis women *in infantry*, since there's so few of them right now iirc, are probably having their actions subject to a level of scrutiny at least broadly comparable to trans women's in 2009.
Anyway, yeah, I think I've pretty much said everything I have to say on the subject.

If your animus towards Manning isn't predicated on the harm she did to trans people, or on her role in "making" Julian Assange, it's misguided and petty.
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