"When you’re a trans woman you are made to walk this very fine line, where if you act feminine you are accused of being a parody and if you act masculine, it is seen as a sign of your true male identity. And if you act sweet and demure, you’re accused of reinforcing patriarchal ideas of female passivity, but if you stand up for your own rights and make your voice heard, then you are dismissed as wielding male privilege and entitlement. We trans women are made to teeter on this tightrope, not because we are transsexuals, but because we are women. This is the same double bind that forces teenage girls to negotiate their way between virgin and whore, that forces female politicians and business women to be aggressive without being seen as a bitch, and to be feminine enough not to emasculate their alpha male colleagues, without being so girly as to undermine their own authority."
— Julia Serano, Excluded: Making Feminist and Queer Movements More Inclusive, p 28-9 (via bisexual-books)
"We must challenge all those who insist that women who act or dress in a feminine manner take on a submissive or passive posture. For many of us, dressing or acting feminine is something we do for ourselves, not for others. Its our way of reclaiming our own bodies and fearlessly expressing our own personalities and sexualities. Its not us who are guilty of trying to reduce our bodies to mere playthings, but rather those who foolishly assume that our feminine style is a signal that we sexually subjugate ourselves to men."
— Julia Serano, Whipping Girl: A transsexual woman on sexism and the scapegoating of femininity (via girl-farts)
(Source: juliaserano.com, via herdirtylittleheart)
"In Whipping Girl, I took on the ‘nature versus nurture debate’ because I feel that trans people are marginalized by both biological determinist perspectives (which assume that we are ‘defects’ or have ‘disorders’) and hard-line social constructionist perspectives (which ignore trans people’s self accounts and view us as ‘reinforcing’ the patriarchy, or heteronormativity, or what have you). Also, social constructionist claims that gender is just a construct, or merely a performance, inadvertently marginalize trans people because our genders are already seen as ‘fake’ and ‘inauthentic’ (whereas cis people’s genders are seen as natural).
These days, I describe my view of sex, gender, and sexuality as being ‘holistic.’ Holistic refers to the fact that clearly both biological and social forces influence how we are gendered and sexual. This gets beyond the very narrow idea that it must be one or the other, but not both. Also, biology and culture are not monolithic, but rather provide lots of variation. Each person is biologically unique, and also uniquely socially situated. I think this helps to explain trends that exist in gender and sexuality, but also explains why many of us are exceptional, falling outside of both social and biological norms."
— Julia Serano, in an interview with Persephone Magazine (via mikroblogolas)