Recently we have been discussing the concepts of globalization of trans individuals, and how they take on roles in other countries in which those women have dispersed and implemented themselves into the working world. We discussed a book, which I had the pleasure of reading over Thanksgiving Break called Global Woman: Nannies, Maids, and Sex Workers in the New Economy by Barbara Ehrenreich and Arlie Russell Hochschild. This book describes a concept in which they define as female migration “making up the difference”, how fewer families can rely solely on the male breadwinner, therefore women in the home must seek out work, and migrant woman take their place in the home, or the less fortunate women end up in sex work. The picture of trans individuals in migrant sex work appears to be a common one, and very dangerous. The article I came across describes just how much trans individuals are at risk.
In an article by Laura Woodhouse, with the title “Violence against Trans Women in Venezuela and Across the Globe” she goes over a transphobic violence report from Venezuela where over 20 trans people have been murdered in this year alone.
Helen G who runs a similar wordpress blog has documented instances of transphobic hate crimes the following quote is from her Venezuelan research:
“Many attacks against transsexual or transgender people-especially against transsexual prostitutes go unreported. The police aren’t interested in investigating them properly. They just define them as crimes of passion, file them away, and leave it all that.”
Helen furthers her comments upon her research by saying
“This is, I’m sorry to say, an all-too-common experience for too many trans women across the world. We are systemically excluded from legal protections, we are demonized, marginalized and invisibilized to the point that for many sex work is the only realistic option to raise the money, not only to pay the rent and grocery bills, but also to pay for the various medical services we need. Although it’s something of a truism that many of us transition, not as a “lifestyle choice” but as a matter of survival, the corollary for too many of us is that it’s a case of “out of the frying pan and into the fire”
This quick article just reminded me of the migration of trans workers that we have seen in the films we have watched. In Paper Dolls we are introduced to a group of trans Philippine individuals who have traveled to Israel to find work, and be in an atmosphere that is more accepting of their lifestyle. The jobs that they are able to secure are homecare of elderly people. Again I was reminded of the book Global Woman and the replacement of women within the home due to the need for more than the male head of the household to be the breadwinner. Caring for the elderly is stereotypically a nurturing, mothering role that these trans migrant workers are filling. Overall it was an interesting and insightful article.
Here are some other links to help with the article: