, 26 tweets, 4 min read Read on Twitter
I had absolutely no plans to comment on the Discourse™ surrounding Contrapoints' recent comments about pronoun go-arounds. at first, it was largely an in-community debate, and I saw lots of people sharing their various perspectives. so I didn't feel the need to add my voice...
...but today, I keep seeing variations of "OMG trans people cancelled Contrapoints!" and "yet another example of intolerance on the left!" – it's these latter claims that have compelled me to compose this THREAD...
1) we have been living through a several-year-long period in which pundits on the right, center, and left have collectively & relentlessly complained about and/or outright mocked trans people's preferred pronouns and any attempts by cis people to welcome or validate them...
...this is *literally* the issue that first made Jordan Peterson famous. and many other people have capitalized upon it beforehand & since...
...while some of these people deride all trans people's preferred pronouns (including those of binary trans people like Contrapoints & me), the lion's share of this demonization has been directed squarely at non-binary folks and gender-neutral pronouns (e.g., they/them)...
2) I no longer have the original comments to refer to, but it seemed to me that a) Contrapoints was sharing personal feelings about how, in situations where one is the only known trans person in a space, pronoun go-arounds can potentially make you feel singled out for being trans
...she is hardly the first person to express discomfort about being in that situation – to be honest, I've felt similarly myself on occasion...
...but of course, neither I nor Contrapoints are *actually* being singled out in such instances, *provided* that these same cis people also suggest doing pronoun go-arounds on all occasions, even when they are unaware of any trans people being present...
& btw, if you just so happen to be a cis person who *only* suggests sharing pronouns when you know a trans person is present, then i) you are completely missing the point of these exchanges, ii) you are being cissexist, and iii) Contrapoints was right, at least w/regard to you...
...this last scenario could have been a very useful conversation for all of us to have (i.e., about cissexist deployment of pronoun exchanges), but it has been largely overlooked because...
b) many interpreted Contrapoints' comments as going beyond critiquing potential cissexist misuses of pronoun go-arounds, and veering into the territory of "pronoun go-arounds are bad/merely performative/hurtful to binary trans people/etc."...
...to be clear, Contrapoints didn't outright say any of the latter (at least that I saw). but she also never clarified that that *wasn't* what she was saying. some trans people seemed to give her the benefit of the doubt. others didn't, in part...
...because of other things she has apparently said in the past that were perceived (by some) to be anti-non-binary. I am admittedly not familiar with this history, but it brings me to the most important point IMHO...
3) in a world where preferred pronouns are under constant attack from anti-trans/trans-skeptical people, and where the brunt of those attacks target non-binary ppl & gender neutral pronouns, it is perfectly understandable why many non-binary people would be distressed...
...if one of the more famous trans people (with a large cisgender audience) suggested (or at least left the impression) that pronoun go-arounds (which primarily support trans ppl who are non-binary and/or unlikely to be read as their identified gender) are bad/hurtful...
...seriously, if you added up the followers of all the non-binary folks who replied negatively to Contrapoints' tweets, it wouldn't surprise me if they were still far shy of the # of followers Contrapoints had. which leads me to...
4) every public trans person I know (including myself) has experienced a social media "pile on" (or 2 or 5 or 20) from other folks within the trans community in response to things we have written or said. sometimes these are due to misinterpretations or outright disagreements...
...I have 16K followers here – far less than Contrapoints, but far more than most trans ppl. as much as I (like all ppl) hate receiving negative feedback...
...in a culture where trans people's voices & perspectives are so rarely ever heard, I completely understand why some might protest & get angry if I make a trans-related comment that they feel undermines their personal needs & experiences...
...those comments are not personal attacks on me (although some may stoop to ad hominem), but rather they are a reflection of a world in which trans people (and marginalized groups more generally) are constantly undermined, their perspectives ignored, their needs unmet...
5) nobody "cancelled" Contrapoints. she wasn't fired or kicked off Twitter or YouTube. she seems to have shut down her Twitter account on her own accord. maybe she'll be back. maybe she (like many others before her) has decided to leave this platform once and for all...
...either way, that's her prerogative. I wish her the best. but for those cis people who have been griping over the last day or two about "trans ppl cancelling Contrapoints," I want to say this: FUCK YOU!
...you should be fucking grateful that you are not constantly under attack, and that any words you utter might (at any time, regardless of your intention) be used to undermine members of your own community...
...if you are more concerned about a YouTube artist that you've enjoyed (& I have as well) leaving Twitter than you are about trans people's identities & lives & yes pronouns being taken seriously, then FUCK YOU! FUCK YOU! FUCK YOU! FUCK YOU!
finally had a chance to read some replies. surprised to see so many ppl assuming this thread is either blatantly supporting what Contrapoints said or attacking her. it is neither. it is simply my personal take (as a longtime trans activist) on the discourse surround this debate
...if I had to write a TL;DR: 1) I understand the many different reactions Contrapoints' statements evoked within trans communities, 2) cis ppl who decry "OMG they cancelled Contrapoints" without giving serious consideration to legitimate critiques of her statements are cissexist
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