This page was created with the input of Asteria Summers, or @empressillusions on Instagram.
WHAT IS FETISHIZATION?
Generally speaking, fetishization is sexual fascination with something not inherently sexual. Fetishization is not always negative, but when gender identity and/or history, race, sexuality, ability, or other (especially minority) identities are involved, it can quickly become oppression, subjugation, and dehumanization.
IT’S DEHUMANIZING “When cis men solicit sexual behavior without my consent and make disgusting advances, I feel dehumanized and like I’m not worthy because I don’t meet a ridiculous standard of theirs that was set by white people. Also kind of grossed out because my intellect, personality, my quirks, etc., don’t matter to them, all they cared about was making sure that I was a perfect doll in their eyes, that they could play with and then toss away when they get bored.”
IT’S NONCONSENSUAL “Fetishization is an invasion of my boundaries, because I used to and (still do occasionally) get spammed with nude photos of men despite my profile explicitly stating that men weren’t to send me nudes out of respect. It kind of brought home for me that trans women especially black and indigenous one like myself aren’t considered ‘marriage’ material, just mistresses to be hidden away.”
IT’S OBJECTIFICATION When cis men invite trans women into their bedrooms and fantasies, but kill trans women in broad day light, we have a problem. Structural power dynamics in society make nearly impossible for cis folks to “just prefer” or “not prefer” trans folks. Straight cis men’s obsession with trans women’s bodies and genitalia reduces trans women into glorified, dispensable sex toys. This must change. Read more directly from trans women about this at the link below.
“I also would want to add that whether or not someone has had (genital) surgery shouldn’t determine if you are attracted to them. That’s one defining thing that I noticed happening consistently, or men would assume that I’m pre-op, which they would be correct, but also at the same time they shouldn’t just assume.”