Can’t Menstruate and Get Pregnant; A Conflict Discourse in the Body of Transwomen

A transwoman is someone who wants to 'become a woman.' However, many people don't respect someone who wants to be a woman and make transwoman bodies a discourse of conflict

The body of waria or transwomen is always seen as a discourse of conflict. If women are seen by nature as people who can menstruate and get pregnant, but not with transwomen . In fact, the form of a transwoman’s body is constructed in plain view as a woman’s body. So this is where the transgender body is seen as a conflict discourse.

Women’s bodies have been seen as a discourse of conflict, this condition is not much different from transwomen. Even a friend said the conflict in viewing transwomen could be two times more complicated. Apart from that, many later wrote that transwomen’s bodies were considered as a nuisance, violating nature, and also not according to norms.

Re-examining the word ‘woman’ which is defined as a person who has the nature of menstruation, pregnancy, and breastfeeding, then this definition is not shared by transwomen. So transwomen are always seen as not genuine women and identities that must be ready to be challenged.

Although the new definition of woman in the Indonesian dictionary, in my opinion, has opened up the possibility for transgender women to be recognized as women, this must also continue to be fought for. The things that have always been an obstacle for transwomen are how they live side by side with society in general because of their bodies.

Apart from being a conflict discourse, the transgender body is also always considered provocative, being the subject of gossip, research material, to discourses on gender and sexuality. Transwoman bodies always invite people to label them with unnatural names, bodies that are often victims of social violence, economic violence, to the deepest layer, namely self-esteem as a human being tarnished. Of course, I include evidence of examples of events, real examples where transwomen’s bodies are still being hurt, so that their experiences as women are not validated.

The cases that have happened to transwomen so far have turned out to be related to their bodies, my body as transwomen. This means that the most latent problem for transwomen is their freedom of expression.

The lack of recognition of transwomen makes many transwomen then make a collage for their bodies. Collage means a way to redefenition and rebuilt the identity of their bodies. Some put make-up on their faces so they look like ‘girls’, go to salons to change their skin, embroider their eyebrows, dye their hair.

For me, that effort is an attempt by transwomen to be ‘reborn’ and seize the space that has always excluded transwomen. One of the efforts to seize this space is done by redefining the body. Collage becomes a medium of rebellion, similar to the efforts made by transwomen who seek equality in their lives to face social problems. So for transwomen, redefining the body is similar with redefining the life.

From here we know how difficult it is to be a transwoman because we always have a body that is hated, blasphemed, and excluded and we must always try to be the same as others. In Indonesia, when will this condition end?

(Foto/ ilustration:

Jessica Ayudya Lesmana

Penulis Waria Autodidak, Anggota Tim Cemeti dan Kontributor

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