Tumblr becomes platform for bizarre social movement

Zoey Becker, Online Opinion Editor

Tumblr, which is a social networking website where users can make their own blogs and follow others’ blogs, has once again found itself in the midst of controversy. Tumblr is famous for being accepting of everyone and helping users overcome their personal struggles. It has become a huge platform for users to form movements and fight for social justice. People or groups oppressed in today’s society frequently take to the site to take a stance. However, recently some users have started to claim existence of a couple new groups- transethnicity, transfat, and transabled. These words sound made-up and do not seem to be related to any sort of oppressed group. Well, that’s because they aren’t. These terms are completely made up by people who claim to be a part of them. They mean, respectively, “identifying as a member of a  different ethnicity from the one he or she was born into”, “a valid identification for someone who knows their body to be larger than it is”, and transabled, to be blunt, means “someone who desires to be mentally or physically disabled”.

After searching for these tags on Tumblr and reading through the endless posts for a couple hours, I ended up with my jaw to the floor. It is shocking to me that people would not only be making up reasons to be perceived as oppressed and to appear to be struggling, but I believe that they are also seemingly taking away the legitimacy of some peoples actual struggles. Being transgender is a real thing that thousands of people around the world are struggling with. It is not a joke in any way or a casual thing- transgender people everywhere are constantly fighting for their rights. And while it is possible for a woman to be born into a man’s body and vice versa (gender and sex are two different things, people) ethnicity is nonnegotiable. You either are Asian, Hispanic, Caucasian, African American, etc., or you aren’t. Ethnicity relates to culture and the history of your family. For example, I was raised into a Caucasian American family. I cannot suddenly make the decision that I’m Japanese, because I was not raised by any sort of Japanese culture, and neither were my parents nor their parents. Even if I were to move to Japan and live there for the rest of my life, I would still be ethnically American. It’s like saying I have blue eyes, when I actually have brown eyes. My eye color is something that could never be changed about me, because my parents both have brown eyes, which is a dominant trait. I could wear blue contacts, but I would still never have blue eyes.

This trend is very frustrating to me because I can’t stand the fact that these made-up terms  are making a mockery out of oppression, which is something that countless people fight for every day. All throughout history groups of people have battled for rights as human beings, and not once has anyone ever been jealous of this fight, but it seems now that angsty Tumblr users are. I hope that eventually this whole fad of wanting to be oppressed will blow over soon, but for now, I’ll be logging out of Tumblr for a while.