Although society has come a long way from the days of segregation and the hatred of gay marriage, there are still obvious signs of old beliefs in the new age, which is seen particularly strongly among the LGBTQ community. As Laverne Cox informs us in a video where she explains the intersection of transphobia, misogyny and racism, transwomen (MTFs) experience 54% of all violence within the community (Cox). They will receive further hatred and violence if they do not conform to the ‘societal norm’s that come with being a women in today’s society. It is automatically believed that women must behave in a certain way in order to be accepted. Women are portrayed in advertisements as thin, sexual objects, and often times due to the brainwashing of media, if one does not conform to these beliefs their womenhood is degraded.
After the male-to-female transition a transwomen experiences, they are often treated with contempt. There have been cases in the United States where transwomen have been walking down the street and have been beaten or stabbed to death simply due to the fact that they are transgender (Cox). It is an unfortunate reality that even in our present society, transwomen experience gender harassment simply because that is who they truly are. Gender harassment is something that majority of transwomen suffer from due to the fact that they are no longer receiving the privileges one does from simply being a man. It can be argued that this is because men feel intimidated and unnerved by MTFs because that do not understand the meaning or reasoning of transitioning, and many of them refuse to even try to understand what MTFs feel.
Another thing that transwomen may experience after their transition is quite the same as to what women who are born as women experience through the act of misogyny. Misogyny is similar to contempt in the way that they are both aggressive forms of hatred towards an individual group, however misogyny is directly inflicted upon women. The fact that women are portrayed in such a poor light in media is only furthering the allowance of misogynistic remarks and unrealistic expectations towards women.
Laverne Cox is a MTF black woman. Being black and transgender is an ultimate form of intersectionality, and one that is most difficult for some people among society to understand. Black people are constantly discriminated against by the power structure that cisgender white men seem to have over black transwomen, and that white transwomen do not experience the same levels of violence as black transwomen (Cox). Laverne Cox provides us with an excellent example. One day when she was walking down the street, a Latino man and a black man were catcalling her, the Latino called her ‘momma’ and the black man tried to correct him by saying that she was an N-word. Cox had the two struggles among today’s society of being black and a transwomen, neither of which affects who she is as a person. It is unfortunate, again, that these women are exposed such degrading behavior just for being who they really are.
It is extremely important for all members of society to move past their fears of all members of the LGBTQ community in today’s society. There is no way violence and aggression towards members of the community; MTFs in particular, will come to an end until there is all around acceptance of the differences of others. All members of society need to be aware that just because someone is different than you are, does not mean they are a bad person, nonetheless do they deserve to be beaten or stabbed to death. The known violence towards the LGBTQ community often results in them being too afraid to be open about their preferred sexualities and gender which can result in an unintentional segregation between members of our society. If members of our society were more open about everyone’s sexual and gender preferences, it would create a more accepting society where all people could feel comfortable in their own skin. To further one’s education about the dangers the MTFs experience in their day-to-day lives, I would recommend everyone to watch Laverne Cox’s speech about transgender awareness. If more people were to educate themselves on this issue, it could very possibly lead to a more positive society for all.
Cox, Laverne. “Laverne Cox Explains the Intersection of Transphobia, Racism, and Misogyny (And What to Do About It).” Everyday Feminism. N.p., 07 Dec. 2014. Web. 07 Mar. 2015.