The privilege of apparently giving up privilege…

Along with the stuff about ‘men in dresses’ and the assertions that transgender women  transition to access ‘single sex  spaces’ for nefarious reasons, a common antagonistic statement  made towards  transgender women is that we somehow ‘retain male privilege’.

There is a degree in privilege in being able to transition, especially on a time frame of your own choosing, I were reliant on the NHS  Gender Identity Clinic(GIC) I’d still be waiting  to begin medical  transition , and  that’s even without covid-19  intervening…  and  contrary to the historical portrayals of  the care of those  early in transition, I’ve not been psychoanalysed or counselled. In the 32 months between asking my GP to refer me to the GIC I’ve had precisely 5 interactions with GIC professionals in their NHS roles, first an information session, the second  (January 2019) and third (November 2019) my assessment appointments, the 4th and 5th an assessment  and a planning session with their speech and language therapist.

The first expression of privilege is the fact in parallel to this wait I’ve been able to access the private practices of  NHS GIC clinicians and  with the aid of a pragmatic and responsible  NHS GP be some 27 months into my  medical transition, using  protocols and guidelines virtually identical  to that of the NHS GIC (as one might expect when the Endocrinologist you  are seeing privately  wrote the guidelines for at least one of the NHS GICs), this even with the NHS paying for my blood tests and prescriptions, has cost me several thousand pounds in  consultations and travel. 

Then there is the ability to build up a full wardrobe of feminine coded apparel prior to ‘social transition‘(and then promptly subvert it by still wearing Star Wars or Marvel t-shirts)

But this is not the privilege that the antagonists are talking about, the privilege they are speaking off the way in which cisgender men have an easier path through life - The male privilege checklist described By Julian Real based on Peggy McIntosh’s piece on white privilege.

Real’s point 98 is especially pertinent here “98. If I speak out regularly on behalf of my gender, about how the other sex systematically mistreats us, that is seen as valid, not a form of delusion or "hysteria".” 

The immediate reaction of  trans antagonists to the expression of anything that  doesn’t agree with their  view is to call the speaker whether a trans person or an ally  ‘delusional’ , ‘hysterical’ or ’brain washed’ and to dispute  their evidence base  yet it  seems  white men with  a platform or the  supposed ‘feminists’ , especially if they are white and associated with academia – even if  completely  unrelated to the topic, who echo the patriarchal  view  on this  is allowed to make claims  without basis even when like the ‘bathroom predator’ claims  they are proven to be without substance.

That’s a very peculiar expression of the retention of privilege. 


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