2009-06-25 03:20 pm

Hey, guess what, trans men are men!

I'm a little late to the party on this one, but I think it's important enough that I'll comment on it. Because it pissed me off, and it hurt me, me personally.

The butch blogger, Sinclair Sexsmith, decided to do something about the fact that all lists of Top X Hot Women focused on women who tended to the dominant cultural feminine definition of "hot". So sie created the Top 100 Hot Butches*. Now, this is a project that I wholeheartedly appreciate, and certainly I enjoyed some of the eye candy (ahem, Rachel Maddow!).

But.

The initial inclusion of trans men on that list was inappropriate and wrong. Flat-out wrong. It denies trans men our reality and furthers the idea that we're "just" butch women. And it denies butch women their ability to be recognized as women, not as "wannabe" men.

I won't deny that the boundaries between butches and trans men isn't blurry. Many, but certainly not all/majority, come in through the lesbian community as butches or related identities, self-included. And some small fraction of trans men hold on to "butch" as a remembrance of that community. (Icky, to me, but not over my line into unacceptable.) This blurriness is ok, and I'm even mostly ok with including trans men that include butch as one of their identities.

But it is incredibly disrespectful to include men who do not have a claim on butch simply because they are trans.

Fortunately, Sinclair has apologized and removed the trans men from the list. And this is one of the main reasons I wanted to post about this, because I feel that this is a really good example of someone on the internet fucking up, realizing sie fucked up, apologizing, and taking action. The apology feels genuine, and explicates how the realization of being wrong came about. Furthermore, the apology is accompanied with action to rectify the mistake. The only thing left on the checklist "not doing it again", and I think it's a little soon to evaluate that one.

So, in short, I'm really disappointed in the original list, as it really felt like a "this? again?" moment, but I'm impressed with the moves to fix the mistake.

*I do also have problems with this nomenclature in that not all "butchish" women identify as butch, but "Top 100 Hot Female People of Non-Feminine Gender Presentation" doesn't have much snap.