This article offers a critique of the claim made by trans-exclusionary radical feminists that transphobia is being misused as a way of silencing or censoring critical feminist speech. The article suggests that transphobia works as a rebuttal system, one that, in demanding trans people provide evidence of their existence, is experienced as a hammering, a constant chipping away at trans existence. The article suggests that transphobia within feminism needs to be understood in relation to cis privilege: not having to come into contact with this hammering. It offers a model of political hope resting on “an affinity of hammers”; that is, affinity can be acquired through the work of chipping away at the system.
By Sara Ahmed, 2016