A world where gender no longer exists, or at least where the rigidity of gender is no longer used to exert violence and power, is a feature for our liberatory dream. Post-genderism has been explored as a political goal, in various guises, including by the xenofeminists of laboriacuboniks.net, by feminists, transfeminists and queer theorists alike. It would certainly be a horrific mistake, though, to mobilise a desire for such a world as a stick to beat trans people with, when they are faced with the pressure to fall into a binary. Not only is such policing simply bad politics – maybe an equivalent would be shouting at a picket line for preserving the factory, or reproducing the capital-labour relation – it’s also rarely practiced on those who see themselves as cisgender.
It is not merely, for a start, that many trans people would prefer not to pass, were it not for the violence. It’s that passing involves failing, as Mattilda explains above. There is a trade-off involved: of securing yourself safe passage home, whilst another is battered. But this isn’t simply a question of how brave individual trans people feel – it’s a question of how society uses gender to discipline and punish bodies. It’s a question that every body has an interest in, because the policing of bodies, by state or by vigilante, is violent, destructive and undermines all of our agency.
v good analysis. referencing the section's opening quote (Matt Bernstein Sycamore, Nobody Passes)
‘In a pass/fail situation, standards for acceptance may vary, but somebody always gets trampled on.’