DarkMatter is a poetry and performance duo made up of two trans South Asian artists, Alok Vaid-Menon and Janani Balasubramanian. They perform pieces about colonialism, racism, gender violence, and trans and non-binary identity. I'd love to introduce you to some of the work they have produced recently that has affected me, and how Grease Rag is attempting to make better spaces for trans and non-binary folks.
Janani, The Laura Flanders Show:
"Dark matter and dark energy together comprise 96% of the universe but are only understood in their effects."
Trans inclusive feminism is a cis construct
Alok writes about "trans inclusive" feminism as a cis construct, because it centers around "including" trans people in presumably "cis" feminism on their blog, Return the Gayze.
Trans inclusive feminism does not just look like cisgender women gatekeeping who is allowed to speak about gender violence. Trans inclusive feminism does not look like only incorporating binary trans women who fit normative conventions of what a woman should look, act, speak, and experience violence like. Trans inclusive feminism does not look like requiring trans and gender non-conforming people to narrate our experiences and identities through the rubric of “woman,” or else just dismissing us as “men.” Trans inclusive feminism does not look like reinforcing the gender binary by maintaining that all women are victims and all men are perpetrators. It does not look like reducing gender to our bodies, it does not look like making assumptions about people’s histories based off of what they look like, in fact it does not look like requiring someone to look like anything at all.
"Including" transgender people in feminism is like "diversifying" white spaces by inviting people of color to a table that does not truly welcome us.
Trans feminism looks like recognizing that gendering people without their consent is a form of gender violence. Trans feminism looks like recognizing that you don’t have to be a woman to be a feminist because you don’t have to be a woman to experience sexism and trans/misogyny. Trans feminism looks like decoupling “femininity” from “womanhood,” and holding space for a vast spectrum of femininities that grace many bodies who do not identify as women. Trans feminism looks like recognizing that we will never win if we continue to fight patriarchy with the gender binary because patriarchy is the systematic policing and regulation of the gender binary. Trans feminism looks like holding space and accountability for all of the ways that all of us (regardless of our gender) are capable of enacting patriarchal violence on one another.
Darkmatter on Facebook, "TGIF- Thank goddess I'm femme"