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Is Tumblr Staining the Trans Image?

Discussion in 'Chit Chat' started by Tai, Mar 25, 2015.

  1. Tai

    Tai
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    I am subscribed to a page on Facebook that is called "The Best of Tumblr," and it posts lots of funny screenshots of conversations from there. I don't use Tumblr myself but I liked the page because some of the posts are hilarious. Sometimes posts related to homosexuality are screenshotted and put on Facebook by the page, and people seem to find them funny and don't mind. But I see so much hate on any screenshots relating to transgendered people.

    Tumblr seems to have created a hateful trans community. Well... Trans, as in a mix of trans people and their allies.

    People in Facebook comments accuse this community within Tumblr of:
    • Posting their views of wishes for equality, while telling "cis white straight males" to "check their privilege" and saying hateful things towards anyone whom they consider privileged
    • Taking feminism to the extreme and completely switching the current situation around by worshipping women and also being misandronistic
    • Being a bunch of white, straight, cis girls berating white, straight, cis men
    • Taking labels way too far and creating gender/sexuality labels that shouldn't even exist
    • Not really being transgendered, but wanting to be special and have their own little label

    (Only the first, fourth, and fifth really relate to trans people, my reason for the thread, but I felt like sharing the other things they are accused of.)

    And, in response to these pictures that the page is posting, the majority of the people point out the things they accuse the Tumblr trans community of doing and also say invalidating things about trans people, such as "There is no difference between sex and gender," and "Being transgender isn't real." The problem is, these pictures are most likely the only exposure to trans-anything that the ignorant folk in the comments ever get; and their first impression of the trans community of the real world is this group on a social media site that seems to want to do good and raise awareness for the minorities or the oppressed, but is instead is going for the extreme rather than the balance. And because of this, a lot of people are seeing the REAL trans community as such a negative thing: a bunch of close-minded, overly defensive people that say they want equality but instead go to the extreme.

    There's probably a lot more on the subject I could add but I can't think of anything else right now. What do you think? Is Tumblr staining the trans image?
     
  2. Aeolia

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    I'd say that no, Tumblr isn't. People are.

    I mean, Tumblr is a social media, like Twitter... And above anything else, it's full of trolls and people saying shit without knowing or even people opposing a movement (like the ones making it look like feminism means women becoming all mighty). It's up to people to know what to take into account and what to put aside as being shit.

    (Btw, I apologize to the whole trans community, I used to think that gender and sex were the same and that if you wanted to change your gender you had to change your sex too)
     
  3. Aussie792

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    Some of those claims are unclear. Which terms ought not to exist, and why?

    Also, the idea that proponents of justice are the reason it fails is quite unhealthy. They can be stupid, overzealous or misguided, yet the blame ultimately lies on those who refuse to take oppressed groups seriously and neglect to respect them. Those on Tumblr who invalidate trans people are not misguided proponents of equality; they are actively harming trans people by refusing to recognise them. Those who go too far (more realistically, do not address the issues effectively) are not responsible for the derision and violence trans people face; those who are dismissive and brutal to trans people are.

    Oppose them if you like; Tumblr has no enormous impact on the issue. But we shouldn't risk letting transphobia go unchallenged because we're concerned about silly advocates for trans issues communicating things badly.
     
  4. Daydreamer1

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    Not all of Tumblr is like that, but some of the people there are bad. My self-esteem has shot down a lot over the comments, and my partner says he's aware of how toxic tumblr can be at times. It sucks, but we can change things.
     
  5. NingyoBroken

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    Yes, people on Tumblr are making it seem like being trans is some sort of teenage phase.
     
  6. Gen

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    I've seen perspectives such as this relating to Tumblr and I have always had issues with them.

    First, Tumblr was created for the purpose of being a public forum. It is a social media site with the purpose of spreading personal art, projects, concepts, and ideas. It isn't comparable to Facebook or Twitter because those are sites meant to surround people with the voices of loved ones, friends, and acquaintance. Obviously, there are going to be positive and negativity people, educated and uneducated people, considerate and hateful people, etc. That is the reality of all media. That is the reality of this site more often than not. Tumblr is simply more controversial because it is the number one media environment to pose social questions.

    ~~~​

    Secondly, this idea of social justice warriors v.s. anti social justice warriors on social media is purely an excuse for the ignorant to stay ignorant. It is never the people who are adamant about working against prejudice and inequality that spend all day ranting about how much they hate "those militant types". This idea of supporting true equality and acceptance, but feeling unable to cope with the radicals that exist in social movements is absolutely bullshit. If the only time that you part your lips to speak on the topic of injustice and inequality is challenge and criticize the radical minority, then you are not supporting a cause. You are not fighting an evil. You are distracting a discussion. You are using the existence of misguided views to alleviate your responsibility to speak out against intolerance, injustice, and inequality.

    Flawed mindsets exist on every subject, in every environment, in every type of person; regardless of whether they are spoken or not. I am so sick of hearing the voices of people standing on the sidelines complaining about how certain members of marginalized groups are coping or fighting against oppression when they themselves are doing absolutely nothing to correct these issues. "They didn't remind me of my privilege nicely enough" is not an excuse. "Some racial/gender minorities people are aggressive, hateful, or problematic themselves" is not an excuse. They are not hindering social movement or increased awareness. They are a reality of diverse society. It is this idea that every flawed minority is used by others to justify the state of intolerance that plagues the whole that is the issue.
     
  7. Acm

    Acm Guest

    I don't know if they're staining the whole trans image or not but I really think the whole trans community on there is pretty bad. First of all, they do make it seem like a teenage phase you can go through (some people actually say that anyone can "choose to be trans" if they want to), and secondly they can be very nasty to people. I remember at one point a lot of people started intentionally trying to trigger dysphoria in trans guys, because they weren't "oppressed enough" so people started bullying them. I do use tumblr, but I unfollowed everyone who posted stuff like that, I just can't be involved in the community there. That was part of why I joined EC.

    Obviously not everyone there is bad, but I think it's a bad place to learn about trans issues because people are so negative and there's so much misinformation out.
     
  8. tulipinacup

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    I think it really matters on who you follow on Tumblr. Yes, there are these people who go to the extreme, the ones who are against these extreme and the ones who carefully take note on the flaws while stating things and carefully sourcing out. I get that tumblr shouldn't be something to rely on when it comes to LGBT issues but I will admit that it has at least given me a lot of insights when it comes to Trans issues. Before I had a Tumblr account, I never knew anything about Trans issues because no one has talked about it, not in my school, not my family or anyone at all and I really do think Tumblr was this "guide" and has helped research more about it.

    It's not even Trans issues but for own issues as well. Tumblr HAS helped me realise that my skin is not to be ashamed of. Did you know that I was putting powder all over my body when I was younger because I wanted to look whiter? I'm not saying Tumblr is this spiritual bible or anything but it has helped me in some way and if there is something that questions you about a certain post or article, then it is your responsibility to research on it and continue being open-minded. I think it takes common sense whether or not you believe in it.
     
  9. kem

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    I use Tumblr for art and I'm blissfully unaware of all the batshit crazy shit going on. I'm sure a lot of people use it the same way. So, no. tumblr isn't staining the trans image.
     
  10. Fallingdown7

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    I honestly hate the trans community on Tumblr for the most part (same with the bi community). We have a lot of transphobia and biphobia in our community so I assume these people go to Tumblr to vent out their anger (which IS understandable) but a lot of the time it goes too far.

    The trans community on Tumblr is also very lesbophobic so It's hard to feel safe there. Lesbians are always attacked by trans people, called transphobes, and outright violently harassed if they don't want to date a pre-op trans women (or even if they would date one but are uncomfortable with 'traditional' sex). What I don't understand is why It's just us....plenty of people won't date trans men and many gay guys call vaginas gross but this is ignored by the trans community. Straight men are even worse as many have raped and killed their trans girlfriends for 'tricking' them, yet this problem is rarely addressed.

    To me it seems more like they want excuses to bully an easy target to take their anger out on. Oh, and this goes for trans men too....many are bashed by trans women's allies and stated they have 'male privilege', they get intentionally triggered, etc.

    I don't know if I'd say ruining the entire trans community, but I have seen many open-minded cis people become ex-trans allies due to the harassment and hatred they get on Tumblr.

    It hasn't changed my mindset though, as I'm aware immature people flock everywhere. Personally, I'm not one to fight hate with hate. Straight people piss me off all the time but I'm not going to harass them or make death threats because we disagree; I'm not going to endorse rape culture against straight women who don't want to sleep with me.

    We should still fight transphobia though; it just shouldn't be done in a radical way.
     
  11. Tai

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    I meant the trans community within Tumblr when I asked "Is Tumblr Staining the trans image." I thought that was clear but I guess not. I know not to analyze the rest of the Tumblr users who have nothing to do with the trans issue.

    The labels? I remember a time where Tumblr trans users were creating a "moon gender." I don't know what the specifics were, but they also made up labels that had to do with objects and such. They were making transgender labels look like any label someone could slap on themselves.
     
  12. Ryuichi

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    The only thing I've seen Tumblr doing that is harmful to transpeople is mixing otherkin and transgender labels, and treating them as though they are one and the same, or that they are interchangeable.

    The people on Tumblr do have their reasons for their frustration, and it's not because it's blind hatred.

    This is because most people in that group have never been taught what privilege is. They've been told all their lives that everybody is equal, when that couldn't be further from the truth. So, if they wish to interact well with many of the women they encounter, understanding what privilege is will help them understand what women go through every day. This also applies to many friends they might wish to have.

    Privilege is a thing, whether you like it or not. I don't mean to say that to be condescending, I really do mean it exists whether you like it, and even if you don't. For example, I am white. Because of this, I never had any cop talks with my parents other than "be respectful to cops". The reason for this is that I have a much higher chance of surviving than someone who is black. I don't like this, but that doesn't mean it isn't true. I could probably commit the worst crime ever, and only get arrested for it. Had I been black, I'd have likely been beheaded.
    The world is biased against women, and there's bountiful evidence to prove it. Demanding that women cater, or constantly be respectful to the same men who can't be respectful to them proves this even more. Tumblr is the only place in which women can have this kind of frustration, notice that they are not alone, and actually be human beings, instead of what the world constantly wants of women. Hence why you see more of the female population there, and as such, this kind of frustration.

    This one is most likely because women understand the concept of privilege easier, for aforementioned reasons.

    Such as..?

    Humans are more diverse than you think. Humans are more diverse than anybody thinks, and that's a really cool thing. Putting a label on oneself after they have figured themselves out does create a sort of comfort, for some people.

    Unless this is otherkin genders and pronouns?

    These people will end up regretting this kind of thing later in life, and because they're not really transgender, they won't be identifying as such as they mature and go through life with a better grasp and understanding of what it means to be transgender.

    I don't really think Tumblr has been hurting the trans movement. If anything, it's helped. More people understand what it actually means, non-binary people have a lot more say and are noticed more there (and I think that's wonderful), and from what I've seen, the trans community there isn't entirely saying "cis people need to die" or anything like that. You also have to remember that there are actual humans using Tumblr and posting things about being transgender. And in the way Tumblr works, it goes around and it spreads, creating more visibility. And then in turn, outside of Tumblr, action happens because there is better understanding.

    For example, the college I go to is very trans friendly. Or at least the staff and cops are. Most students couldn't care less, and most of the ones that do are supportive. And so I was able to wear a skirt the entire day late last week. I announced to my group of friends that I'm planning on switching to female rooms, as another student has recently done that and has told me that it's better for non-binary people.

    The power of the people is a very magnificent thing, and it's very often underestimated.
     
  13. Kaiser

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    Depends on what you focus on.

    But the fact there exists people who claim trans includes characters and objects, is something to take note of. I cannot get over the fact somebody identifies as a plant, and gets pissed if you don't use their preferred pronoun: sprout.

    The most vulgar and outrageous tend to get the most attention, and so everybody clings to that. But it's always been like that. As the saying goes, the squeaky wheel gets the oil.
     
  14. TENNYSON

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    Tumblr is staining everyone's image. It doesn't matter if they have "reasons for their frustration", that doesn't justify them being bigoted assholes and saying things like "die cis scum" or the feminists hating on all men. I've also seen the reverse on Tumblr too, you know. Like how FtM trans people are "internal misogynists". So I bet they "have their reasons" too.

    If you were mugged by a black person, that doesn't give you the right to go online and complain about how all black people are violent animals, even if that would essentially be a "reason for your frustration". There's being frustrated and there's taking it too far. And people on Tumblr often do the latter.
     
  15. BradThePug

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    I don't think that this is a problem that is just limited to tumblr. We see radical views everywhere. It just so happens that right now they are using tumblr to share those views with others. Once they are chased off of there, they will find another platform to use.

    There are some good trans related content on tumblr. Sadly though, it does not get as much attention as the negative stuff does.
     
  16. CJliving

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    I've only been on Tumblr like...4 days. So I am a tad ignorant of it still but so far I haven't come across what you've mentioned, except one page this morning.

    I searched for the tag 'transmen' and there was one page that, I guess, did a Q&A thing. It was a 'radical feminist' and was pretty disheartening. It went from this woman saying that transmen need to check their privilage because they live as men to saying that she would always fight for transmen because they are her "sisters" (citing vaginas validation of sisterhood; which is ridiculous! D: ). This is the first time I've ever seen this kind of bs and I was kinda shocked! I sincerely hope to never again see that level of willful ignorance.

    But of course, Tumblr is merely the outlet, it's the people that cause the problems. :/ And those people can be found everywhere unfortunately. We the affected have but 3 choices; be affected by it, ignore it, or start a fight. Personally, I like ignoring it and only starting fights I know I can win.
     
  17. AlexTheGrey

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    The fastest way to help put an end to this? Stop giving them attention and help fix the underlying issues. Extremism in any form is an offshoot of an underlying problem. Address the problem, and there will be fewer people driven to the extremes in the first place.

    Honestly, to me it doesn't matter that the behavior is too far. Even if I believe it is, and I do. I believe in leading by example, and being the better person. But it doesn't mean that I should be spending too much time giving them a bigger platform. Push the high road, and people will follow. If you get sucked into their mud slinging, you lose.

    Except, there's a balance between censorship and being respectful. While the amount of anger flying in all directions is very unhelpful, to shout it down or anything isn't any better. You don't shut down the KKK by outlawing the group but by removing their ability to hold sway over people. And you do that by changing attitudes in society to deny them new members, and by not looking the other way when they break the law.

    Speak out against hate, sure, but it is a slippery slope to claim that they don't have the right to say it. Plus, the last thing you really want is to drive bigotry into hiding and make it that much harder to confront.

    Brad is right though. None of this stuff is new. Tumblr is just interesting because it allows for long-form content, social interaction, and no requirement to be tech savvy or have money to host a blog and maintain it. It is attractive to those who feel like they don't have a voice, and those who overvalue their opinion but otherwise wouldn't spend money to broadcast it.
     
  18. TENNYSON

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    I agree. And usually I don't try to get sucked into it, but sometimes it does make me pretty angry and it's hard to ignore. And I hate the fact that my non-LGBT mainstream friends think that Tumblr represents trans people and feminists. One of my friends was like "feminists are all idiots--look at Tumblr!" Of course Tumblr doesn't represent all feminists or trans people, but it is where some people get their images. And that's unfortunate because of some of the negative stuff that's on there.

    But even if you attack the problem, there will always be extremists and bigots. You can never fully get rid of them.

    Alright, I meant "have no right" the way people say "You have no right to be angry!" I wasn't actually advocating government censorship. I meant it in principle. It isn't valid to judge all of a group of people based on the actions of a few bad ones. That applies in all directions, including judging people because of Tumblr (which I'm not advocating either).
     
  19. PlantSoul

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    The majority, if not all. I try to stay away from all of that anti-cisgender stuff. Actually, it's not just with the Trans community on there, there are political communities on there with just as crazy and negative members.

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=ZLEd5e8-LaE

    This is a video by That Guy T, he's responding to this unreasonable Trans male who had ties to tumblr. He has a good argument. I use tumblr and I like to use this video as a 'how not to act' when it comes to gender issues.
     
  20. anonym

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    Personally, I stay away from Tumblr and all social media. I have only ever had a facebook account for a short time and that was because I was forced into joining by so called friends who kept pestering me and in the end, signed me up themselves.

    I am not saying social media is a bad thing but...

    ...firstly, I think the internet gives people means to say things to others that they would never dare to say in real life. Sometimes, this can be a really good thing. Take this forum for example. People can post their feelings here, anonymously if they wish and get useful and supportive advice on matters which they wouldn't feel comfortable sharing in real life, or maybe they have no one to share them with. On the flip side, this can easily be abused. Hiding safely behind their computer screens (whether it's their phone, tablet, whatever), people are far more daring and it seems they don't think twice before posting hateful words. Just look at the comments sections on many youtube videos.

    Secondly, I think social media creates too much competition or comparison between people, creating a sense of disappointment or dissatisfaction with life. It's ok to share achievements, but during my time as a facebook member I found there were those who did so far too often, to the point where I even questioned if some of the status updates were actually fabricated stories to make other panic and feel more inferior. I'm thinking specifically of my year as a finalist undergrad when one person on the course would constantly update how far they had got with their coursework and thesis, knowing that those posts would be read by a whole bunch of students stressing about workload and deadlines.