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Transmisogyny (sometimes trans-misogyny) is the intersection of transphobia and misogyny.[1] Transmisogyny includes misogyny, sexism, transphobia, and cissexism toward trans women and transfeminine people that may not be experienced by cisgender women or trans men.[2]

The term was coined by Julia Serano in her 2007 book Whipping Girl. According to Serano, transmisogyny is an intersectional[citation needed] form of sexism, based on the interaction between oppositional and traditional sexism. She explained that traditional sexism is "the belief that maleness and masculinity are superior to femaleness and femininity", and oppositional sexism is "the belief that female and male are rigid, mutually exclusive categories".[3][4]

Transmisogyny is a central concept in transfeminism and is commonly referenced in intersectional feminist theory. That trans women's femaleness (rather than only their femininity) is a source of transmisogyny is denied by certain radical feminists, who argue that trans women are not female.[5]


In Whipping Girl, Julia Serano writes that the existence of trans women is seen as a threat to a "male-centered gender hierarchy, where it is assumed that men are better than women and that masculinity is superior to femininity."[6] Gender theorist Judith Butler echoes this assumption, stating that the murder of transgender women is a move to assert "dominance".[7]

Trans women are also viewed as threatening the heterosexuality of cisgender men. In media, "deceivers" such as Dil, a transgender woman from the 1992 film The Crying Game, have been observed to evoke outrage and male homophobia in an audience when it is revealed that they are transgender.[8]


United States[edit]

Transgender women face harsher levels of discrimination than other transgender people. A study on workplace experiences after people receive sex changes found that trans women, on average, lose almost one third of their salary, are respected less, and receive more harassment. At the same time, trans men often experience salary raises and greater authority in the workplace.[9]

According to Laura Kacere (2014), trans people experience a disproportionately large number of hate crimes, with trans women experiencing the majority of these crimes.[10] The National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs (2012) found that police violence is three times higher against transgender people than it is against cisgender people.[11] In fact, over half of all anti-LGBTQIA+ homicides were perpetrated against transgender women.[10] In the United States, the majority transmisogyny is directed at trans women of color. The Human Rights Campaign Foundation (2018) reports significant overlaps between the gender identity and race of anti-trans violence victims: of the known homicides of transgender people from 2013 to 2018, approximately 92% were trans women, and approximately 70% were black.[12] Kacere (2014) also states that 21% of transgender women and 47% of black transgender women have experienced incarceration, rates that are much higher than those for the overall U.S. population.[10]


A study on discrimination of lesbian, bisexual, transsexual, transgender and intersex women in Ecuador found that transgender women "lack protection against discrimination in both law and practice." As a result, trans women have faced violence, sexual abuse, and discrimination in educational, health and workforce institutions.[13]


Julia Serano in Whipping Girl pointed out that transvestic fetishism, a disorder listed in the DSM-IV, only mentions cross dressing by men.[6] Similarly, autogynephilia was a recognised disorder in the DSM-IV, but autoandrophilia was not. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders was revised in 2013, and transvestic fetishism and gender identity disorder were removed; transvestic disorder and gender dysphoria were the product of the revisions. The other addition to DSM-V regarding gender is transvestic disorder, in which a heterosexual male feels dissociation from his assigned gender because he derives pleasure from dressing in women's apparel.[citation needed]

Sexualisation and harassment[edit]

Julia Serano has stated that many trans women experience an additional layer of misogyny in the form of fetishization.[14] She notes that, despite transitioning, trans women are still commonly perceived as male; however, they are rarely sexualized as such. In the porn industry, whose target audience is primarily heterosexual men, trans women are largely presented as sexual objects rather than "predatory".[6] Serano observes that when she is in a social environment where she is known to be transsexual, for example places where she performs spoken word poetry, she receives many more blatantly sexual comments than when in a similar setting where she is assumed to be cissexual.[citation needed]

According to Serano, the sexualisation of trans women is not solely because transgender women, by nature of their relative rarity, are viewed as "exotic": she notes that trans women are sexualized particularly much even compared to other types of "rare" women.[6] In Whipping Girl, Serano writes on what she calls a "predator–prey dichotomy". where "men are invariably viewed as predators and women as prey." Because of this view, trans women are perceived to be luring men by transitioning and "turning [themselves] into sexual objects that no red-blooded man can resist."[6]

Relation to transphobia[edit]

Transmisogyny is a distinct category of transphobia in that transmisogyny mainly focuses on trans women and other transgender individuals who demonstrate femininity, whereas transphobia is a more general term, covering a broader spectrum of prejudice and discrimination towards transsexual and transgender individuals. Julia Serano states in Whipping Girl that "[w]hen the majority of jokes made at the expense of trans people center on 'men wearing dresses' or 'men who want their penises cut off' that is not transphobia – it is transmisogyny. When the majority of violence and sexual assaults committed against trans people is directed at trans women, that is not transphobia – it is transmisogyny."[6]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Arayasirikul, Sean; Wilson, Erin C. (2018). "Spilling the T on Trans-Misogyny and Microaggressions: An Intersectional Oppression and Social Process Among Trans Women". Journal of Homosexuality. 66 (10): 1415–1438. doi:10.1080/00918369.2018.1542203. ISSN 0091-8369.
  2. ^ Kevin L. Nadal (2017). The SAGE Encyclopedia of Psychology and Gender. SAGE Publications. pp. 1728–1731. ISBN 978-1-5063-5324-1.
  3. ^ Serano, Julia. "Transmisogyny primer" (PDF). Retrieved 10 September 2014.
  4. ^ Harrison, Kelby (2013). Sexual deceit: the ethics of passing. Lexington Books. p. 12. ISBN 978-0-7391-7706-8.
  5. ^ Jeffreys, Sheila (2014) Gender Hurts, Routledge, ISBN 978-0-415-53939-5, page 8.
  6. ^ a b c d e f Serano, Julia (2007). Whipping girl ([Online-Ausg.]. ed.). Berkeley: Seal Press. ISBN 978-1580051545.
  7. ^ "Why Do Men Kill Trans Women? Gender Theorist Judith Butler Explains". Broadly. 16 December 2015. Retrieved 24 December 2015.
  8. ^ Serano, Julia (2007). Whipping girl ([Online-Ausg.]. ed.). Berkeley: Seal Press. ISBN 978-1580051545.
  9. ^ Schilt, Kristen; Wiswall, Matthew (2008). "Before and after: Gender transitions, human capital, and workplace experiences". B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis and Policy. 8 (1): 1–28. doi:10.2202/1935-1682.1862. Retrieved 28 November 2020.
  10. ^ a b c Kacere, Laura (27 January 2014). "Transmisogyny 101: What It Is and What Can We Do About It". Everyday Feminism. Retrieved 21 April 2017.
  11. ^ National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs (2013). "A Report from the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs (NCAVP): Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, and HIV-Affected Hate Violence in 2012" (PDF). National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs. Retrieved 17 September 2020.
  12. ^ Human Rights Campaign Foundation (2018). "A National Epidemic: Anti-Transgender Violence in America in 2018" (PDF). Human Rights Campaign Foundation, Public Education & Research Program. Retrieved 17 September 2020.
  13. ^ Almeida, Aline Britto de; Vásquez, Elizabeth; Rodríguez, Mónica; Klein, Guayaquil Dayane; Cordero, Tatiana Mendieta; Varea, Soledad (2008). "Ecuador: Discrimination of Lesbian, Bisexual, Transsexual, Transgender and Intersex Women" (PDF).
  14. ^ Bianco, Marcie (September–October 2016). "A manifesto for all: Bisexual trans activist and author Julia Serano wants to make feminism inclusive" (PDF). Curve. Vol. 26 no. 5. pp. 28–29.

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