One of the hardest things to do for me as a writer is hold the creators of beautiful work accountable for the things they have put into the political discourse. While many people are mourning the passing of the poet Adrienne Rich, it is important to realize that many of her views helped further marginalize trans women, and to hold her accountable for this brand of misogyny.
(Trigger warning for transmisogyny, transphobia.)
I have complicated feelings about Adrienne Rich’s passing: respect for everyone I know who was deeply impacted by her work, and disappointment at her contribution to pervasive transphobia. This piece is mostly an attempt to compile insights from others. Because as I witness my friends and community members mourn her, I also witness friends and community members who are outraged by the lack of conversation around her transmisogyny. I think this is a conversation we need to have. And for those of us who aren’t trans women, it’s an opportunity to check ourselves.
What’s transmisogyny? “The intersection of transphobia and misogyny that specifically targets trans women,” Tobi Hill-Meyer further articulates in this incredible piece on Bilerico (seriously, please read it).
So what’s this got to do with Adrienne Rich? From Wikipedia:
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