Day 9 - Janet Mock

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On Day 9 of our #12FeministsofChristmas, Doris Murphy writes about Janet Mock. This is a time of year where we like to think we are more open and welcoming to old and new acquaintances. Mock's work has made visible many people on the margins of society. 

 

Janet Mock is a trans woman of colour, a former sex worker, and a writer, editor, actor, producer, and director. She has been a pioneer of creating trans and queer characters for television, and uses her platform to tell queer stories. Janet has spoken at length about her life, and often discusses the societal obsession with her body, and specifically her genitalia. “The things that I've had to do medically to my body don't define me. They're the least interesting things about me.” This attitude needs to be taught across society, as this patriarchal, essentialised view of people as gendered bodies or mere “adult human females” is reductionist for all involved. She demands a more inclusive feminism: “How I identify has nothing to do with you, and how you identify has nothing to do with me. Right? So live your life and let me live mine.”

 

Janet has been an outspoken advocate for sex workers, and their inclusion within the feminist movement, most notably for the 2017 Women’s March (against Trump). She made a powerful statement: “We will not be free until those most marginalized, most policed, most ridiculed, pushed out and judged are centered. There are no throwaway people.” She has consistently stood by the sex work community, and spoken about how sex work paid for her hormones when she was a teenager, and how it helped her to survive as a young trans woman. Janet has written two best-selling memoirs, “Redefining Realness” and “Surpassing Certainty”. She is on the writing team for “Pose”, a trans drama on Netflix. She also worked on “The Politician” and “Hollywood” on Netflix. She will direct her first film “Scandalous!” this year, and she became the first openly trans woman to develop, write and produce her own series for Netflix. She is a pioneer, and a positive news story for trans women of colour, who are oftentimes only news fodder when they are murdered. She is changing the narrative, one show at a time.

Image sourced from National Women's History Museum, https://www.womenshistory.org/education-resources/biographies/janet-mock