Tuesday, December 6

Treating a woman masculine

Until the Spanish extreme right came to the institutions, there was a certain harmony between public representatives so that, in their interventions and documents, they would use the female gender when addressing both public officials and other representatives and professionals. Deputy, senator, president, secretary of state, director, councilor, judge, etc. it was a formula that was used in those institutional spheres without abrupt resistance being raised, much less an ideological battle being made of it. It simply was, and is, a grammatically valid and correct way of speaking that served to incorporate gender-inclusive language naturally in a particularly masculinized environment. However, Abascal’s party began to call the presidents of the Senate and Congress ‘president’, and there the alert went off about how the authoritarian ideology (his) was going to use language, once again, to mark hierarchies and oppressions. In one of these scuffles, the response of the then president of the Senate (and current Minister of Justice) to a Vox senator who addressed her in the generic masculine is known. Pilar Llop addressed him in feminine: “Thank you, senator”

Vox’s motions are known, and frequent, both at the municipal, regional and state levels (where it agreed on an initiative with Pablo Casado’s PP that was ultimately rejected in Congress) to eliminate the inclusive language from official documents. “It represents an obstructive phenomenon in favor of an ideological trend that hinders” is the weighty argument. No one is surprised by this head-on battle against the use of gender-inclusive language and that they call it “imposition of gender ideology.” He is consistent with an ultra-conservative and far-right political force that champions its fight against women’s rights, rights that have been recognized since the mid-20th century. They would prefer to return to the Napoleonic Code of the 19th century, exactly as the dictator Franco did when he came to power after his coup against the Republic.

Nor was it surprising, despite the outrageousness, that intervention by the Vox deputy in a Commission of the Madrid Assembly, Mariano Calabuig, when he addressed another deputy, Carla Antonelli, using the masculine generic, revealing not only his machismo but his transphobia.

However, it does surprise, irritate and hurt that there is a sector within the feminist movement that in its strategy of opposing the Trans Law (and Irene Montero’s Ministry of Equality) targets trans people, and especially when they are women and non-binary people, masculine and in a derogatory tone. They do it knowing the burden of violence that this entails against these people at an individual and collective level. An example – unfortunately only one of the thousands that run social networks or are observed in anti-trans rights meetings – took place in the month of July when a renowned feminist philosopher, who is part of the Council of State, He called Carla Antonelli a β€œ60-year-old guy who dresses as a woman”, the same politician and activist who had to assert her status as a female deputy before a representative of the extreme right. But she is not the only trans woman who, occupying a place in public life or visibility on social networks, faces this treatment as a man. Another common transphobic target is one of the most interesting and intelligent intellectuals out there today, Elizabeth Duval, who faces the epithet β€œsir” day in and day out. He is unfair and he is cruel.

This premeditated use of the masculine gender towards trans women represents, without a doubt, harassment, an act of verbal violence against them that is no coincidence as it is used as a throwing weapon to attack their dignity and value as people, but also to contribute to their social disrepute and to a transphobic conception of the gender identity of trans people.

Observe from the defense of human rights, and specifically from feminism and LGTBI + activism, how this unfair use of gender language against trans women and non-binary people is normalized, in the name of the women’s emancipation movement, possibly one of the darkest pages in the history of the feminist movement in Spain. Because in addition to ignoring or ignoring the legal recognition that the trans person already has in our country since 2007 (when the law regulating the registration rectification of the mention related to the sex of the people promoted by the PSOE was approved), it reproduces the ideological and communicative strategies of the extreme right: to question diversity to the point of erasing it, although for this it is necessary to conspire and question even the Universal Charter of Human Rights.