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  • Writer's pictureStar Williams

It Isn't the Fist That Attacks

A person stands with their back to us, hands behind their back, one hand grabbing the opposite arm.
Image free from, with thanks.

Content: In defending trans and non-normative people, this post contains reference to intimate body parts (always brief), sexual violation, misogyny, transphobia, and other kinds of attack.

It isn't the fist that attacks. It might seem like it is, when you're being hit. The fist, after all, is being used as a weapon. But to say those with fists can't be trusted not to punch people's lights out doesn't make sense.

Well, it's the same with genitals.

As someone who was sexually assaulted when I was young, by the woman I trusted most in this world, I can tell you absolutely that it's the brain that assaults, not the genitals. It doesn't matter what body parts you have. Rape and assault are about the mind. Even if you don't have fists, you can kick someone until they bleed.

Rape is not about having a penis. Rape is about having a very sick mind.

This is not to excuse the massive percentages of cisgender men who have raped and abused a whole host of innocent people. There is no excuse. But these men use their minds to attack others. Their minds refuse to tell what's in their pants to stay where it is and keep others safe. So, their attacks can't be blamed on what lies between their legs.

If they could, those like myself, who have been sexually assaulted by cisgender women, would not exist.

But invisible though society makes people like me when it says rape has a gender, we do exist, we are here, we are proof that rape is not about the penis. The brilliant Hannah Gadsby is right when she says that cisgender men must be held accountable. But she's wrong when she says that rape has a gender.

Rape is rape, no matter who does it.

So, if you are the person who has trans folks and non-normative people thrown out of—or attacked within—the women's restroom, here's what you need to understand:

Trans women are women. Trans men are men. Non-binary and gender non-conforming people aren't men—they're non-binary and gender non-conforming people. I could say a lot of things about trans bodies, if I wasn't so sensitive, but I'm not going to comment on what trans people may or may not possess. The last person who is going to rape or assault someone is the person who receives, on a daily basis, the attacks you level at trans people and other non-normative folks. And by the way, there often isn't a restroom for non-normative people, so you're going to have to let us choose which restroom is right for us.

Let's start looking at the truth.

Nobody's body parts or gender are responsible for assault, no matter what the statistics. Rape is caused by the mind and its intention, regardless of which genitals—or instruments—are involved.

And when people attack trans people and non-normative folks who are peacefully using a gendered restroom or other space, that attack is caused by their own mind.

Attacks are caused by the people who commit them.

The fist is a tool. It does not have a brain.


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