How Cis Women Objectify Trans Women



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In our patriarchal society, the relationship between men and women can historically be recognized as the dominant and the submissive. In Simone de Beavoir's terms, the relationship between men and women can be understood as the Absolute and the Other. Men have been respected and recognized in their role of the Absolute, their existence unquestioned and primarily served within society. Through the analysis of Martha Nussbaum's essay, "Objectification", I philosophize the "othering" of trans women, similarly to how the historical othering of cis women is written by Nussbaum and Beavoir. I argue that cis women specifically objectify trans women through denial of subjectivity, that is, trans women are treated as something whose experiences and feelings need not be taken into account. Often, cis women deny trans women’s identity and fail to recognize their transition. Although this denial of recognition comes from both men and cis women, I focus specifically on cis women because they experience, to a certain degree, the same objectification trans women face. The objectification cis and trans women both face from men may possibly be rooted in different factors, however due to the shared identity of presenting oneself as a woman in society, both groups are being othered by men.



Objectification, Feminist Philosophy, Political Philosophy, Gender Studies, Trans Theory