Feministing Year in Review: Vanessa’s top picks

transgender symbolWay too many favorites of incredible content this past year, but thought I’d highlight these. Jos Truitt really encompasses what it means to be a “thought leader” to me — one of many examples was in, “I am not your tragic trans narrative”:

Here’s the thing: we’ve all got our own experiences, but in mine being trans is not tragic. It’s incredible. In fact, I’m fucking amazing. And my transness has a lot to do with that. I’ve broken one of the most absolute rules handed down by our culture, and that gives me a vision that goes beyond what seems possible to what’s needed and desired. Coming out may have felt like a necessity, but it’s given me incredible strength, the ability to take big leaps of faith, make exciting mistakes, and find liberating new possibilities. I’ve become a more caring, compassionate friend in a real way, because I also take care of myself. And it’s given me an extraordinary community if trans and gender non-conforming folks and allies who are honest, direct, incredibly loving, and fucking hilarious. And hot. So damn hot.

What’s tragic is a culture that thinks trans folks are so wrong it wants us dead, or that insists we must conform to a tragic narrative to excuse our existence. That’s the problem, not being trans. Which I happen to think is pretty fucking awesome.

And Lori’s fresh perspective gets me every time. In “Rape Cops, DSK, Casey Anthony, And Accepting Justice As Imperfect”:

Justice is a lot of things, but it’s first and foremost a concept. Sure, it has real-life, tangible implications: a parking ticket, a middle school detention slip, a prison sentence, a financial reward. Sometimes, people are killed in the name of justice. And there are all different kinds: vigilante, state-sanctioned, interpersonal.

But justice itself is abstract by definition. You can’t hold it in your hand, or give it to someone as a gift. And this is something we often forget: for something that doesn’t actually physically exist, we sure expect a lot out of it.

We as a community look to justice to “make things right”: to heal our pain (or at least make sense of it), vindicate us, make up for the loss of our loved ones. In many ways, it’s doomed to fail because of the expectations we’ve placed upon it.

In fact, there are very few other concepts from which we expect as much as we do from justice. We don’t have entire government systems devoted to upholding things like peace, love, or happiness (although maybe we’d be better off if we did!), nor do we have people appointed to pursuing them, or accountable for achieving them, as we do for justice.

As 2011 ends, I must say I’m pretty damn thankful to be part of this brilliant crew of bloggers. Happy holidays and new year, all.

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One Comment

  1. Posted December 29, 2011 at 2:45 pm | Permalink

    I don’t know how I missed Lori’s piece the first time around, but it”s definitely forcing me to look at my own prejudices. I harbor quite a lot of roiling ugly feelings toward the US justice system, some of which (I just realized) are centered around an emotional reaction to the idea of justice. The system is flawed, but even if it wasn’t, it would still be only a tool. “Justice ” is a hazy concept at best, and it was naive to expect a tool used by humans to uphold it to the satisfaction of all involved. I was wasting a lot of energy on that anger.

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