For my first entry, I would like to describe the orientation that I foresee for this blog. I envision the focus of my writings here will be left-leaning social critique and analysis from a trans perspective, and more specifically from a trans woman perspective (hence the handle ‘leftytgirl’).
Trans issues will be one focus of my writings, but not the only focus. My view is that all oppressions (racism, patriarchy, heterosexism, transphobia, imperialism, etc.) are interconnected, woven together in the larger fabric of our (self-created) human social structure. Hence from my perspective intersectionality is the rule rather than the exception, and I will aim to reflect that in my blog posts.
As an example, sex work and related issues occupy a particularly complex corner in the struggle against patriarchy as well as transphobia. When I say that the issue is ‘complex,’ I refer more so to the social associations that many people have made (i.e. created) with the issue, rather than the issue itself.
I hold that every woman (cis or trans) has absolute authority when it comes to her own body and that sex work is a valid occupation like any other. It should of course be understood that some women choose sex work as an occupation, while some women have few other choices whether due to poverty, family situation, or any complex interconnection of the oppressions that I have mentioned above. For example, many young trans women have little choice but to turn to sex work if they are pushed out of their home. Criminalization of sex work, however, only serves to reinforce social exclusion and further stigmatize trans identity.
Most importantly, all women deserve love and respect.
As an American, I also have an interest in U.S. foreign policy and will provide analysis from time to time on this and related issues. For example, I consider myself a supporter of the Arab Spring revolutions in Tunisia, Egypt and beyond. I was bitterly disappointed with Barack Obama’s administration in its decision to back Hosni Mubarak’s rule over Egypt until almost the very end.
Further, I have seen little in Obama’s foreign policy decisions to give much hope of a significantly new direction after the Bush years. The recent killing of an American citizen in Yemen— without the slightest pretense of due process— represents an outrageous extension of executive power and is obviously an affront to the fifth amendment of the U.S. Constitution.
Perhaps most important of all are the impending economic issues that we are all facing, whether as citizens of the U.S. or as citizens of the world. The economic crisis of the latter half of this decade has pushed middle class families into poverty and has intensified the already tremendous burdens of those just struggling to get by. Further, and this must never be forgotten, the crisis has propelled some of the rich into the stratosphere of the super-rich. It is with these developments in mind that we must challenge the extremist free-market ideologies that are presently proliferating around the globe under the guise of ‘neoliberalism.’
Under the guidelines for ‘writing a good blog’ I’ve come across online, one of the typical recommendations is to stick to a certain topic or narrative and not veer too much into other territory (or else risk losing readers). Nevertheless, I do hope to escape politics a bit at some point, and just write about some of the things I love in life. So for example eventually I’ll probably give an album or a concert review (most typically I listen to post-rock, avant-garde metal and metalcore, though lots of other things as well). Or who knows, maybe I’ll even discuss physics at some point… hopefully I won’t lose too many readers for that one lol!
So of course feel free to comment or respond to anything I write here, or offer suggestions if you think there is a topic I should look into. Although I probably can’t predict exactly where this blog will lead in the end, I do look forward to working on it and hopefully bringing a few of you along for the ride 🙂