Week 10 Day 2 Discussion Question 3

Regarding Julia Serano’s work on transmisogyny, Elías Cosenza Krell writes:

Serano argues that the abjection of femininity in conjunction with transgenderism constitutes a particular form of oppression that trans women face. She calls this oppression “transmisogyny.” Serano’s scholarship has contributed greatly to the conversation on cis/sexism and the devaluation of femininity both in and outside feminist communities. However, her scholarship elides race and class and allows white middle-classness to stand in as a universal, greatly diminishing the capacity of transmisogyny to describe the oppression(s) that trans women of color, and Black women in particular, face. (Krell, 232)

Having read Serano’s work, do you agree with Krell’s critique?

One thought on “Week 10 Day 2 Discussion Question 3

  • April 12, 2022 at 4:19 pm

    I agree with Krell. I think Serano is often reductive in her generalization of the experiences of transfeminine people and her omission of how race, class, and gender expression cluster and interact in trans people’s experiences. During the feminist psychology conference, she details a transmasculine person described as “butch,” a qualifier that the room took seriously, and a transfeminine person described using belittling, feminine qualifiers, which preceded mockery. Serano attributes this mockery and prejudicial response to transmisogyny only, without regard to the subjects’ racialization or classicization (?). The assemblage of race, class, and gender presented by the subject might have in some varying degrees might have been confronted by prejudice on the basis of race, class, and (trans)gender. Yet, Serano reduces the mockery down to the varying intensity of prejudice that trans people face, the most intense of which feminine appearances bear the brunt. She vehemently claims that trans female/feminine individuals receive “the lion’s share of societal consternation, demonization, and sexualization of transgender people” but omits mention of white and wealth privileges that might insulate some transfeminine individuals from material repression and racism and confluences of the two. Serano occasionally mentions race and class as discrete identifiers that constitute “other forms of marginalization” and does not fully acknowledge how racial and socioeconomic and gender identities can co-conceive each other and the experiences of trans people of color.

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