“Trans. Frau. Sein. Aspekte geschlechtlicher Marginalisierung” (Being. Trans. Woman. Aspects of gendered marginalisation) by Felicia Ewert is the first book in ages for which I used post its because there were so many well written and intelligent parts that I want to revisit in the future.
This nonfiction book is a mixture between societal analysis and personal experience in which Ewert discusses several aspects around what it means to be trans. She addresses vocabulary, transmisogyny, representation, feminism and the legal situation in Germany (which is/was disturbing).
Ewert herself is not only trans gender but also studies political science with a focus on gender studies. So she is an expert when it comes to the topic. Her writing style is smart, sarcastic and polemic — a combination that I love!
She shows very clearly how Transfeindlichkeit* and cis sexism are manifesting themselves in society, culture, law and medicine. Even though I already knew a bit about the topic I was shocked to see how many things I did not know. The book definitely encouraged me to further question my internalized cis sexism.
The parts that were most interesting to me were the chapter in which Ewert addresses the relation of biologism and gender and the one in which she dismantles cissexist feminism that knowingly or unknowingly excludes and discriminates trans and enby folks. Both topics are not only incredibly interesting but also must-read texts for people who are interested in feminism.
The only downside to the book was that the publisher didn’t take the editing process very seriously. There were a few typos and paragraphs that didn’t make any sense (in the middle of a sentence?). I hope they’ll correct those in future editions.
Still it was an amazing book that I’ll revisit a lot in the future. I’d seriously recommend it to anyone who considers themselves a feminist. We need to do more about transmisogyny in our movement.
*Transfeindlichkeit is a German word that means hostility towards trans people. I use this word instead of transphobia because it highlights that animosity towards trans people is not a medical condition. It is not an anxiety disorder but an attitude of hate and discrimination. An English alternative to it could be ‘cis sexism’ which puts the focus on the the people who discriminate and also includes non binary people who are affected by marginalisation as well.