tim: "System Status: Degraded" (degraded)
Tim Chevalier ([personal profile] tim) wrote2013-12-28 10:31 pm
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for future reference

Writing this down mostly because it took me a long time to find all these links...

Zinnia Jones is a popular Internet commentator who was mentioned lately due to her past misgendering of Chelsea Manning (despite having said the two of them were online "friends").

Here's a screenshot from reddit of rmuser (Zinnia Jones' Reddit username -- the two names are already publicly linked, by the way) using the phrase "outright denial of transphobia". The deleted comments make it hard to tell what she's talking about, but she is referring to this thread on SRSGSM. The "outright denial of transphobia" she is referring to amounts to a trans person of color pointing out that "die cis scum" is a slogan for white trans people. So according to her, it's "outright denial of transphobia" for a trans person who isn't white to speak at all.

SRSGSM, by the way, is a subreddit that was started as an offshoot of ShitRedditSays (SRS). ShitRedditSays started out as a way to make fun of the people in Reddit's main demographic (white cis heterosexual men in their twenties who want only two things out of life: legalized pot, and a way to rationalize raping 13-year-old girls), but it eventually got to be sort of an ableist and transphobic trainwreck itself. In the meantime, people in gender and sexual minorities who were also in the SRS community (the similarity to the acronym for "sex reassignment surgery" is accidental) started SRSGSM specifically to have a more progressive space for discussion than the main LGBT subreddit (/r/lgbt, of which rmuser is one of the moderators).

rmuser and SilentAgony (SilentAgony is a co-moderator of /r/lgbt as well as being rmuser's significant other) were banned from SRSGSM for being racist on this thread; purely in retaliation for that, they banned Erika_Mustermann (one of the mods of SRSGSM) from /r/lgbt.

Here's the entire thread that the screenshot is from.

This may seem like petty drama, not to mention being oldmeme, to people who make good life decisions and therefore have never read Reddit. I think it matters because Jones (and the brand of anti-intersectional white trans feminism she represents) still has plenty of Internet popularity and she is currently denying ever having said the things she said above. (Which also means she hasn't apologized for saying them or indicated that she's learned something in the past year since making those comments, since you can't apologize for something you never said!)

Also, for a bit more context: I'm white, and I thought the "die cis scum" slogan was great at first. I thought that it was perfectly okay for trans people to express anger about transphobic violence, given that in practice, it's cis people who kill trans people, not the other way around. Talking about killing people, especially when it's people in a powerful group and not specific ones, is not as bad as killing people; I hope we can all agree on that. But thanks to the thread on SRSGSM, I realized that I was wrong -- because of my privilege, I was overlooking the fact that viewing cis/trans as the only or main axis of oppression along which one is oppressed is a luxury that only white people have. The slogan implicitly denies how violence against trans people affects trans women and trans people of color disproportionately. It posits affluent white trans men like me as being "on the same side" as trans women of color living in poverty, when, in fact, my good fortune is at their expense even though we're both trans. Once I read that discussion, I understood this. I let go of a meme I considered useful because I saw that it was racist and I hadn't examined my privilege. That really wasn't so hard for me, yet some white trans people are still hanging onto it.

Edit: On Twitter, [twitter.com profile] LoriAdorable pointed out that Jones also misgendered [tumblr.com profile] jobhaver, a trans woman who does sex work, repeatedly because (apparently) the existence of sex workers makes her uncomfortable: 1, 2, 3. Since she continued misgendering [tumblr.com profile] jobhaver after being asked to stop, it does appear that Jones uses misgendering as a punishment for disagreeing with her.
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[personal profile] sasha_feather 2013-12-29 03:07 pm (UTC)(link)
Thanks for this.
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[personal profile] lindseykuper 2013-12-30 05:35 am (UTC)(link)
Thanks, Tim, I appreciated reading this as well.