Thursday, November 29, 2007

In which my brain makes connections that may or may not exist...

I'm coming to the table late, but for those who don't know, we're four days into the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence. I've been rather lax in blogging (which happens sometimes), but I'd be remiss if I didn't mention it, and point to a few of the really great articles out there you should be reading.

First of all, Cara has a really amazing post about promoting rape that you should be checking out.

Holly, guest blogging at feministe, has a really powerful story up about Transgender Day of Remembrance, and her feelings on it, as well as what happened this year. It's a really heartbreaking story, and it's hard to read it without getting angry but also severely saddened. Check it out.

Baby221 is royally pissed off about the Megan Meier case. It is, as she points out, some fucked up shit.

What do these stories have in common? They're just a few of the many faces that violence against women take. When we think of violence against women, it's almost always in two contexts: spousal/partner abuse, or rape. But, the reality is that violence against women takes dozens and dozens of forms. As Cara points out, those products promote violence against women- by minimizing and mocking the seriousness of rape, and by presenting it as something funny. Violence against transgendered women is still violence against women, and we ought to care about it more than one day a year. And yet, even as they're facing the threat of transphobic violence at the hands of the authorities and random people on the street, trans-women face violence from within the feminist community, too. The suicide, and the contributing factors leading up to it, of Megan Meier is a terrible tragedy. She was a young girl who was, by most accounts, facing a lot of social pressures and was really unhappy. An adult used her fears against her, and betrayed her trust.

And, of course, Holly's post and baby221's post aren't what we typically think of when we think of violence against women, and there are factors that were "more important" to the situations than their statuses as women, but it seems to me that there's overlap there. I think that their femaleness isn't irrelevent to the situations being described. Certainly, Heart's reaction to trans-women is very much about the status of women. And most of the stories I've read about the Meier case talk about the social factors that she was facing, which have been described in very gendered terms. If being a woman wasn't the primary factor in the actual violence, it was almost certainly a factor in the ways that people treated them, and in the events leading up to the violence.

Or maybe I'm over-analyzing and seeing connections where they don't exist? I suppose that's a possibility. Regardless, read the stories. They're important.

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