Monday, February 11, 2008

read it and weep.

scream, vomit, go numb...

has the story.

Basically: Sanesha Stewart, a young trans woman of color, was stabbed to death on Saturday. An alleged sex worker, which, if true, would of course would mean she had it coming even more than she already did. And really, what else could she possibly be anyway? Either way: not human, certainly. As m_j puts it:

naturally it's her fault; after all, she was a "man who dressed like a woman" who "was known to wear stylish, provocative outfits with towering high heels," "was a ... flirty presence," and "had surgery to 'give him [sic] larger breasts and other female characteristics'" even though "it was clear Stewart was still a man." I mean she was just asking for it, amirite?

I mean "the suspect was apparently surprised by the victim's true sex" so it's perfectly acceptable to expect that he would respond the appropriate way and stab her to death in a fit of rage.

See, anyone who *wants* (frivolous, sexualized, appearance-oriented) female characteristics like artificially enhanced larger breasts for hirself, or *chooses* to "wear stylish, provocative outfits with towering high heels" is clearly catering to men, who in turn want nothing but sex, whether or not they are, in fact, entitled to it, that's all they WANT, this is axiomatic;

and even (or especially!) a man is entitled to at least not be -surprised- by finding unexpected body parts and/or Secret Pasts on a person he fancies or even shares any sort of public space with, certainly wimmin are so entitled to that much at least, even if they would never go so far as to physically hurt or -kill- a trans person because wimmin don't do such things, ever. As for denying transfolk access to such things as rape crisis centers: that's merely self-defense. Which is totally different from what we're talking about, here. Certainly no such excuse has been or will be employed when it comes to actual -murder- of a trans person, will it? Self defense. Oh, wait.

Because there's nothing worse than finding out you are sexually attracted to, hell, even had fond feelings about, is there? a person whose gender and/or sex is not the gender and/or sex you are SUPPOSED to be attracted to, according to God or your parents or the lads or the Sisterhood or the feverish little rabbit running your brain. Who doesn't understand -that-? the raw revulsion, the terror, the PANIC leading even unto VIOLENCE that such momentary existential cage-rattlings provides. It's only human.

and in fact, it is the very inherent or-might-as-well-be-it's-so-firmly-entrenched-by-now baseness of Man that creates such situations in the first place, is it not? Clearly only some debauched sick sexual desire would lead any -man- to take on the appearance or identity of a woman, much less sell his body to strange men, who in turn are only behaving in the way that is to be expected, animals that they are.

It is up to women to lead men to their better natures; any woman who doesn't do so but instead "chooses" to do sex work for a living, not just because she has to but actually -flaunting- her patent lack of victim status, or even wear towering high heels and stylish, provocative outfits and PLASTIC TITS is clearly a) falling down on the job b) a male-identified Enemy of Women c) a danger to herself, other women, other womens' husbands, and society, not necessarily in that order d) deserves whatever she gets. Not, you understand, that we would ever say such a thing in so many words. Except when we're forced to.

As for -men- who flaunt stylish plastic tits and towering lack-of-victim-status, even for a -second-, well, first of all, men are men and women are women and therefore a man who pretends he (never she; it is a terrible imposition to have to call a person what she wanted to be called, even in death) can be a woman -also- deserves whatever he gets, even more so, whether that's because he's betraying his Sacred Manhood or violating Sacred Wimminz Country or both at once.

Not that we would ever say such a thing. Unless we have to.

Oh, and the fact that Ms. Stewart was a woman of color? Totally irrelevant. Except when it's not. We will be the ones to decide when it is and when it's not, thank you very much. Why can't we all stick together? Why must you constantly derail from the important issues with your own trifling problems? Don't you know that ____ are ____ in ____? Fuck you anyway, you selfish [redacted], for trying to make me feel guilty when clearly I have it worse than ANYONE. There's only so much empathy to go around, you know, and I need all of it. I mean, "we." yes. "We." Whoever "we" is THIS time.

Did I leave anything out?

/rectal divination

15 comments: said...

OMG. The poor baby.


This shit'll never fucking end. God dammit!

Daisy said...

I just commented at Lisa's--I actually did weep. I can't believe journalists would disrespect someone in death so much, talking about high heels!?! I have never once read a news story about a murder in which there were random comments inserted about what kind of shoes the victim preferred. Infuriating!!!!

This certainly has been a consciousness-raising event for me. Obviously, this bullshit is standard in news coverage of transphobic violence, but I just never noticed it before... or I didn't really see it for what it was.

CrackerLilo said...

This is horrible. We need to barrage those journalists for violating Sanesha all over again.

It's not just trans-phobic, either. It's the same old hatred of the feminine that makes mullahs cut off a hand whose nails have been polished and calls a presidential candidate to task for wearing a pink blouse that shows an inch of cleavage.

I have heard of attempts to disallow the "gay panic defense" in court. I hope that movement becomes widespread. I hope Sanesha Stewart and those who loved her get the justice they deserve.

We fight a large octopus with tentacles splayed *all* over...

andi said...

Call me stupid. but I.just.don't.get why anyone needs to know or care what body parts one has either to love them, or to care enough to know this violence and murder is wrong.
People are people and worthy of respect no matter what parts are underneath their clothes.
My thoughts and prayers are with this woman and her loved ones.

Renegade Evolution said...

Vile situation, vile stuff, perfect example of why there are so many humans just not worthy of the air they are using.

Excellent post.

Anthony Kennerson said...

There is just one bottom line for me, an ordinary bio-male:

Sanesha Stewart was a human being.

Maybe a different, special, eccentric sort of human being, but no less human than you and me.

For her to be violated doubly in this way; first by her attackers and murderers, and then by the jackasses in the media who mocked her suffering and her actions merely because she was a Black transsexual....that is beyond pathetic. That is simply beneath the lowest of contempt.

I am so reminded of Gwen Arroyo's murderers who got away with their crime by pretty much the same fashion of claiming that Gwen had supposedly seduced them then lied about her "secret"; so they were justified in killing her.

Just another instance of sex-hate (and racism) claiming another life before her time.

And it will only end when WE decide we are angry enough to put an end to it ourselves.

Presente, Samesha.


Demirep said...

Thank you for the post. It can't articulate anything that hasn't already been said.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

I wish you hadn't equated disapproving of the choices of sex workers with thinking they "deserved what they got." I disapprove of the choices of sex workers and simultaneously wish shit like this would never happen.

I feel so awful for this woman... For the fact that she was killed and for the fact that the newspapers made it all about her fucking clothing choices. I am also proud to work for a rape crisis center that goes out of its way to be accessible to trans people- and to make sure that the doctor, nurse, or ER admin who has something obnoxious to say to a trans survivor will STFU.

belledame222 said...

Serafina, "disapproving of [someone else's] choices" really isn't the point here, you know? How much more -disapproval- do you think someone like Sanesha Stewart needs? For that matter, how much do any of us?

belledame222 said...

welcome, new commenters.

GallingGalla said...


I disapprove of the choices of sex workers and simultaneously wish shit like this would never happen.

First of all, there's no evidence that Sanesha Taylor was a sex worker. That is the assumption of the police and especially the NY Daily News "reporters", and that is a slander that is used against all trans women of color.

Even more importantly, though, when someone is (1) black, (2) poor, (3) a woman, (4) trans - the multiple oppressions crushing them down are so great, that they MUST do sex work to survive. You don't approve of their "choices", but they often DON'T HAVE A CHOICE. It's walk the streets or die (and, often, like Erica Keel - who I knew socially - they die anyway). What would you have them do to gain your approval? Starve? Your statement comes awfully close to victim-blaming.

belledame222 said...

welcome, gg.

and, what you said.

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