Special Topics: Women's Studies
Professor Soyoung Park
The Evolution of Transgender Treatment
In Leslie Feinberg's Transgender Liberation: A Movement Whose Time Has Come ze brings to note that the gender codes have never been stable. In fact, "they are changing social concepts" (Feinberg, 206). In essence, transgenders have been a part of society for centuries and were once prominent part of the social structure. The development of the patriarchy has created the illusion that it has been the sole dominating factor, and it has formed oppression toward those who are not white, male, heterosexual men.
Several examples of transgender are recorded in history. For example, Native Americans found transgender women to be among the most influential and powerful. "Perhaps the most notable of all berdache Native women was Barcheeampe, the Crow 'Woman Chief,' the most famous war leader in the history of the upper Missouri nations" (Fienberg, 209).
So why is it that trans people are treated with little to no respect and are supposedly subordinate to the binary gender division of today's society? The reason is simple: those with interest in power won important historical battles that ultimately altered the social structure of the gender code. The new gender code best meets the needs and interests of those who want security in important positions and the like.