I don’t know that much about Meghan Murphy and so while I’m not comfortable kicking her out of the feminist clubhouse or hurling hate at her, I do think that some of the comments she recently shared on her blog, Feminist Current, need to be taken to task.
I haven’t read much of her blog prior to last night, but it was hard to avoid her writing on Twitter when a massive amount of people were taking her to task on a recent post about Laverne Cox’s decision to take part in the annual Allure “naked celebs” issue.
Some argued that Murphy’s stance on Cox’s decision to pose for the magazine — which I’m going to link here with a heavy trigger warning for transphobia and transmisogyny — was par for the course for a writer who seems to come from a predominantly white, middle-class, and privileged position. I can’t speak to that directly because of my limited experience, but I can say that regardless of whatever she’s done in the past, I was deeply disappointed with Murphy’s comments about Cox — most of which seemed to rob her of her agency, her voice, and even her identity.
There are few things that scream “white feminist” harder than a privileged woman telling a WOC how to feel about her own body. But when you’re also attacking “surgical enhancements,” and calling them cartoonish or porn-like it’s very difficult not to also see it as transmisogyny and -phobia.
While the whole article seems woefully misguided, here is perhaps the worst of it, again with a heavy trigger warning:
Is it really a sign that we “love everything about ourselves” [...] if we alter our bodies through surgery and hormones? It seems clear that “radical self-acceptance” is not at all what Cox is experiencing or conveying to her audience.
If women or transwomen were truly allowed to love themselves, I doubt they’d be spending thousands and thousands of dollars sculpting their bodies in order to look like some cartoonish version of “woman,” as defined by the porn industry and pop culture.
I feel like I don’t even know how to start approaching this. How does she get to determine that Cox’s body is “cartoonish” or “porn-y”? What size implants does Laverne need to get to be “appropriate” in her mind? How does this not strike the author as the worst kind of body-shaming?
Anyone want to take the lead?