Wildly Parenthetical recently posted Disciplining Sex: Economies Etched in Intersexed Flesh. It’s an excellent piece of writing, but I want to quote something WP said in comments.
‘A lot of the time when we perceive someone as of a particular identity, that’s not about recognition of who they are; it’s about assuming and even requiring that they adhere to our expectation of what that identity is. For example, most POC are unconvinced by white people’s understanding of who they are, as POC, because they’re not convinced (justifiably) that white people have any clue what they’re on about, so the category of identity that they are assuming never allows individual POCs to challenge that identity category. Similarly, I am a woman, but if someone treats me *as a woman*, rather than as *me*, I find that incredibly offensive, because they’re assuming to know who I am, instead of engaging with me, and allowing who I am to alter their understanding of that category. Trans people also complain (rightly) about ‘tranny-chasers’ doing precisely this. No one wants to be reduced to someone else’s conception of who they ought to be. It’s unethical. In other words, I actually think that a lot of supposed ‘recognition’ of identity categories is about failing to engage with the uniqueness of individuals, and their unique playing out of an identity category. And that’s in order to keep identity categories under *our* control: refusing to allow the world to show us anything that would challenge what we already think we know.’