Why is J.K. Rowling supported in China: Trans Visibility and Transphobia in China 在骄傲月,正视跨性别群体

每年六月的“骄傲月(Pride Month)”最初是为纪念1969年同志平权运动“石墙暴乱”而发起的运动,在五十年后的今天已经成为了一系列全球性的关注LGBTQA+群体的活动。今年,尽管线下活动大多受到了新冠疫情影响,但人们并没有放弃在线上的庆祝与呼吁。然而,在社交媒体上,六月迄今为止与LGBTQA+相关的最引人关注的话题之一,却是J.K.罗琳所发表的关于跨性别群体的观点与随之引起的广泛讨论。在本文中,笔者试图以此为契机,就这个在LGBTQA+群体中被较多地误解与污名化的群体在国内互联网环境的际遇展开探讨。 Following the celebration of Pride Month 2020, the author, intrigued by the discussion aroused on Chinese social platforms following J.K. Rowling’s controversial speech concerning transgender people, tries to understand trans visibility and transphobia in China and beyond. The article is initially intended for Chinese readers and later translated into English, thus non-Chinese readers may find some examples and situations that feel alien or don’t apply to their society.

在阅读本文前应当了解的基本概念:

跨性别(transgender):认为自己的性别(gender)身份与自己生理性别(sex)不符。

顺性别(cisgender):认为上述两者相符。

MTF (male to female) :跨性别女性。

FTM(female to male):跨性别男性。

TERF(trans-exclusionary radical feminist):认为跨性别女性不属于女性的激进女权主义者。

恐跨性别(transphobia):对跨性别的恐惧、无知、误解、厌恶、排斥、暴力和歧视攻击,泛指社会运动和政治对跨性别者的歧视现象。

每年六月的“骄傲月(Pride Month)”最初是为纪念1969年同志平权运动“石墙暴乱”而发起的运动,在五十年后的今天已经成为了一系列全球性的关注LGBTQA+群体的活动。今年,尽管线下活动大多受到了新冠疫情影响,但人们并没有放弃在线上的庆祝与呼吁。然而,在社交媒体上,六月迄今为止与LGBTQA+相关的最引人关注的话题之一,却是J.K.罗琳所发表的关于跨性别群体的观点与随之引起的广泛讨论。

Pride Month, initially a memorial event for the 1969 Stonewall Riot, one of the first demonstrations of the gay community in the US, is now a series of events celebrating the LGBTQA+ community worldwide which take place in June. This year, despite the global pandemic, people still actively speak up on social media to raise the awareness for LGBTQA+ community. However, one of the most discussed topics concerning this issue this year is J.K. Rowling’s’ speech about the transgender community and the debate that follows.

在本文中,笔者作为一个顺性别女性,试图就这个在LGBTQA+群体中被较多地误解与污名化的群体展开讨论。尽管对于相关话题的背景知识进行了阅读,但笔者绝不会假定自己掌握了足够的专业知识,或是对这个话题有了足够的了解与发言权:在事实上,这仍约等于白种人讨论有色人种权益,是身为主流,享有特权的群体,在弱势群体缺位的情况下进行的讨论,并可能在无意冒犯任何人的情况下冒犯到所有人。笔者提前为此致歉,并欢迎讨论与批评。

Disclaimer: In this article, the author attempts to discuss the often misunderstood and stigmatized transgender community. Though having done background reading on this topic, as a cisgender woman, I am well aware that I am speaking from a privileged position and thus don’t really qualify for this topic. Despite the author’s best intentions, the article may still be offensive for some readers. I apologize in advance and am open to criticism and discussion.

国内某社交媒体上对于此事的报道与评论区的热门回复
Report on Chinese social media about J.K. Rowling’s speech and the most popular comments of Chinese netizens, which mostly support her view.

风波源于罗琳在推特上转发了一条使用“来月经的人(people who menstruate)”这一措辞的新闻,并表示“我记得过去是有个词用来形容这种人的吧?”(指“女人”)。这一表态被解读为恐跨性别的(transphobia),因为出生时生理性别为男的跨性别女性并没有月经,而尚未变性完成的跨性别男性则可能仍有月经。但罗琳的说法否认了这一观点:跨性别群体的性别应当取决于他们的心理性别,而非生理性别。在受到攻击后,她在个人网站上发表了一篇长文,主张“声援女性的单一性别空间”。她的发言再次被舆论所反对,其中数位知名的《哈利·波特》的演员都发声反对了罗琳,并表示自己对跨性别群体的支持。

Rowling retweeted a piece of news that used the term “people who menstruate”, (refering to “women”), which was immediately accused of being transphobic, as transgender women whose biological sex is male at birth do not menstruate, while it is possible for transgender men to still menstruate. Such speech goes against the belief that transgender people should be defined by their preferred gender instead of biological sex. Shortly after the dispute, Rowling posted an article on her personal website, claiming to defend those who wish to “retain their single sex spaces”, which faced backlash again on the Internet. Among those who spoke against her were celebrities in the Harry Potter franchise, such as Emma Watson, Daniel Radcliffe and Eddie Redmayne.

“小雀斑”艾迪·雷德梅恩为跨性别群体发声,他本人曾在《丹麦女孩》中出演过一名跨性别女性
Eddie Redmayne, who starred in Danish Girl, speaking for the transgender community
https://variety.com/2020/film/news/eddie-redmayne-jk-rowling-anti-trans-tweets-harry-potter-fantastic-beasts-1234630226/

与国际舆论不同,在中文社交媒体的相关报道下,大部分评论都支持罗琳的观点,而这些观点大部分来自女性。她们所持的论据大多是“我支持跨性别群体的权益,但如果自称为性别认同为女就可以自由出入女性空间(卫生间,公用浴室等),将会使女性感到冒犯,并为心怀不轨的男性提供可乘之机”。但事实上,这并不是罗琳原文所强调的重点,这更不应当成为指责跨性别群体的理由,比如,第三性别卫生间等配套措施就能够有效解决这样的担忧,而“心怀不轨的男性”并不需要跨性别者的身份才能对女性进行侵害。可能实施此类不法行为的是顺性别男性而非跨性别女性,矛头却被转移到了她们身上。这样的观点大行其道,本质上仍是出于顺性别异性恋的主流凝视。“同性恋男性进入男厕所,是否会使男性面对性骚扰的威胁?”,诸如此类的问题似乎并没有引起广泛讨论。大多数人都能看出“我不反对同性恋,但我认为他们不应该抛头露面”,“我不歧视有色人种,但他们先天条件就比其他人种低下”和“我不歧视女性,但她们理科确实不如男生”是明显的歧视性语句,可为什么当对象变为跨性别群体时,却无法意识到上述观点的谬误之处呢?

Different from the voices from abroad, when reading news on Chinese social media concerning the topic, one would find that most people in the comment section voiced their support for Rowling, and the majority of them actually come from women, even those who are more liberal and support feminism and gay rights. Most of the opinions were “I support the rights of transgender people, but if claiming to identify as woman alone allows a person to enter female spaces(toilet, public bath etc.), it will offend women and make it more convenient for certain men to voyeurise and more serious crime attempts.” In fact, it’s not what Rowling emphasized in her article, and surely not the reason to accuse transgender people of. Solutions like unisex toilet can easily solve the worries above, not to mention men don’t  need the identity of transgender women to cause harm to women. It is cisgender men who’ll possibly carry out the crime, but the conflict was directed to transgender women.”What made such opinions popular was still the mainstream cisgender heterosexual gaze: questions like “would straight men be sexually assaulted if gay men are allowed into a male toilet” rarely make it to public discussion. Most educated people understand that saying things like “I’m not homophobic, I just think they shouldn’t seek publicity”, “I’m not racist, but people of colour are not as advanced as other races” and “I don’t discriminate against women, but they’re biologically inferior to men” are obviously discriminating, but why do they become oblivious when the target becomes transgender people?

https://pixabay.com/vectors/unisex-toilet-unisex-bathroom-32058/

有些好笑的是,我尽管反对以上言论,但如果提到此类情况发生的可能性,同样会真实地让我恐惧。大部分女性都通过现实经历清楚地意识到自己身为父权社会中弱势群体的地位——面对走夜路、独自打车,被偷拍等情况时有着男性难以理解甚至斥为“受迫害妄想”的“过分谨慎”,在听闻“被男性合理闯进女卫生间”的表述时,也很难责怪我们产生本能的,膝跳反射式的恐慌情绪。

Given that I have stated myself very clearly in the previous paragraph how I don’t agree with the whole “faking transgender identity to take advantage” speech that’s so popular on Chinese internet, it’s kind of ironic that discussing the possibility of men violating spaces like women’s toilet still makes me shudder. Most women are clearly aware of their inferior status in a patriarchal society through experience, and men often do not understand and even scoff when it comes to a woman walking alone at night or hailing a taxi on her own. On hearing the description of “men entering women’s toilets by claiming to be transgender women”, it’s hard to blame us for the primitive fear that looms in our heart, which is almost like knee-jerk reflection. I am not stating that being transphobic is reasonable, but trying to explain the reason behind it.

但若理性地进行思考,这是否真的是跨性别群体的责任?这些反对是否像堂吉诃德大战风车那样,竖起了一个想象中的靶子?跨性别女性是什么样的群体?只是化浓妆穿裙子的变装皇后?是没有生育能力的,不完整的女人?仔细想想,在现实生活与社交媒体上你遇到过多少跨性别女性?男性呢?

On second thought, is it really transgender people who are to blame? Are the oppositions against an imaginary enemy, like the windmills Don Quixote battled? Who are transgender women? Drag queens who wear make-up? (Note: these are different concepts). ”Incomplete” women who are unable to bear children? Now think more carefully, how many transgender women have you come across in real life and on social media? What about transgender men?

说到这里,或许已经有人意识到了跨性别群体在公共空间,尤其是在国内环境下在公共讨论中的缺位——甚至比起同是LGBTQA+的同性恋/双性恋都远远不及,而这与社会的歧视与恐跨性别情绪息息相关。不少网友坚持认为实施了变性手术的跨性别群体才能够被称为“真正的”跨性别男性/女性,但在中国乃至世界,他们所面临的现状往往是:父母的反对,甚至被实施强行“治疗”等措施;日常生活的种种不便——日常出门都要仔细规划路线,才能解决卫生间的问题,甚至根本无法解决;找工作困难与来自工作单位和身边人的歧视……在这样的环境下,认识到并承认自己的跨性别身份本身就是件极度困难,甚至是充满痛苦与挣扎,对顺性别人群来说难以想象的事。公开发声的跨性别者稀少,并不代表他们的数量就像看上去那样稀少,而是歧视与恐跨性别言论使他们没有发声的空间和勇气,而由此造成的跨性别“存在感”的缺失又反过来导致了他们的生存空间被挤压。作为顺性别群体的一员,应当停止试图定义什么才是“好的”跨性别者,而是应当将话语权交给被噤声的他们。

By now some of the readers may have realized how transgender voices are absent from the public sphere, especially in domestic public conversations in China. Their voices are even less heard than those of gays, lesbians and bisexuals who are also from the LGBTQA+ community. Such situations are directly related to widespread discrimination and transphobia. Many people insist that only those who have performed gender reassignment surgeries are “real” transgender people, but it is not always feasible. In real life, transgender people in China (and sometimes the world) face the opposition of parents and are at times, even forced to be “treated.” There is also the inconvenience of daily life, where they have to plan carefully whenever going to unfamiliar places so as to solve the toilet problem. It is even harder to find a job, when they are discriminated against by employers and colleagues. In such an environment, it is already hard enough to recognize and admit their transgender identity, with stuggles and pains cisgender people find hard to imagine. The lack of publicity doesn’t mean they are as scarce as it seems, it only means discrimination and tranphobia deprive them of the chance and courage to speak out. The lack of transgender voices in turn deprives their living spaces further. As a member of the cisgender majority, it is time to stop defining “good” transgender people, but return  their own narrative to them.

至此,这篇文章所讨论的似乎主要是跨性别女性——在中文互联网环境中,你会发现类似的情况。这或许是因为这一话题与女权主义的息息相关,正如前文所说,许多女性认为跨性别女性侵犯了她们的单一性别空间。在当前女性和跨性别群体都并未得到保障的国情之下,将对方树立为假想敌无疑是忽视了房间里的大象。不管是TERF这个原本词义中立但逐渐被用来污名化女性的词语还是顺性别女性的恐跨性别言论,都忽视了对方同是弱势群体的事实。在异性恋主导的父权制社会下画地为牢,互相限制对方的发展空间并不是问题的解决方案,为所有人争取应得的权利才是。

So far the article mainly discusses transgender women, just like what can be found on Chinese social media. It is probably because of how the topic is closely related to feminism. As is mentioned above, many cisgender women hold the transphobic opinion that transgender women will violate their “single sex spaces”, while women are too easily labelled as TERF(trans-exclusionary radical feminist), a term that was originally neutral but gradually became stigmatizatizing. Under the current situation where  both communities are still seeking equal rights, setting each other as the imaginary enemy is ignoring the elephant in the room that both women and transgender people are vulnerable groups. In a patriarchal, heterosexual-dominated society, limiting the space of each other is not the solution, while striving for the rights everyone deserves is.

希望所有人都能抓住骄傲月的机会阅读,反思,理解。简单的站队与猎巫式地反对不同意见并不会改善跨性别人士的处境,仅仅依靠明星“跨性别男性是男性,跨性别女性是女性”的发声也并不能改变恐跨性别的观点,但“看见”跨性别者在社会中的亲身经历与阅读与性别相关的理论知识或许会带来新的认知。改变长久以来的思维模式并不容易,但无论结果如何,笔者希望这篇文章至少能为其读者带来几分钟的沉默与思考。

I sincerely hope that every cisgender person can take the chance to read, reflect on their own thinking and try to hear transgender voices that speak out for themselves. Changing one’s view on sex and gender is not easy, but it is hoped that the article can at least provoke a few minutes’ of thinking.

This article was written by Cecilia Sun based in Shanghai, China. Please send an email to xs1073@nyu.edu to get in touch.
Photo Credit: from Instagram

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