Transgender Sex Dolls are Not a Sign of Empowerment

Transgender Sex Dolls are Not a Sign of Empowerment

Instead of showing women empowerment, trans sex dolls tell a message that the bodies of trans women are nothing but sexual playgrounds. 

Realbotix, an American company that produces sex robots announced in January 2018 its plan to produce transgender dolls. These transgender dolls are a variation of the company’s female dolls along with an entirely functional phallic attachment. According to Realbotix, the dolls will provide its users with the most enjoyable interaction and conversation that a machine can give. In the same year, DS Doll Company, another sex doll manufacturer and distributor that is based in China, started selling its very own transgender sex dolls. Roughly two years later, shemale and tranny sex dolls and toys are already available in the market. Transgender sex dolls now even top the list of best sex toys in marketing sites.

There has been an increasing demand for the industry of female sex dolls. A number of so-called “dollhouses” are now operating in Canada and other regions of the world, with a promise of satisfaction for people who want to rent them. In Toronto, a sex doll brothel was established despite the opposition from several local politicians as well as business owners. According to them, the sex doll brothel goes against the municipal bylaws which restrict adult entertainment parlors from operating. The said sex doll brothel was secretly set up at an undisclosed location in the outskirts of the city– either in Richmond Hill or Mississauga, said its secretive webpage. 

The transgender sex dolls seem like a natural extension of the business in question. And as far as popularity is concerned, trans pornography shows incredible fame. Moreover, the demand for transgender sexual media is almost endless, providing that these trans models have pensile breasts and massive erections.

Some people think that sex dolls are harmless toys that even carry robust educational potential. However, others think that these dolls are the reason for someone’s violent sexual fantasies. While to others, is the reason why society sees women as sexual objects. True enough, sex dolls are not humans. Yet, the are not just mere dolls, too. A sex doll is not as simple as a dildo. But the mere fact that there exists a market for people to practice sex or even sexual violence to something that resembles a woman, is something that must not be looked past into. 

Furthermore, the anthropomorphic look of these dolls contributes to why they are a problematic sexual object. While a real and living woman is criminalized when hey become sex workers, these sex dolls are produced and sold largely to men who are looking for a replacement to real human sex workers, a community of women who are constantly seen as disposable and less than human individuals.  

Sex workers face a significant amount of mistreatment and dehumanization from both the civilians and the law, who all think that people involved in sex works are nothing but less than human individuals who live outside moral life. The immoral image of sex workers to the minds of people allows those who are not involved in sex works to feel moral and clean. Trans women sex workers are in some way similar to this. People who are not employed in any sex work have a mindset where they compare their lives to other people in order to feel better. The same mindset is applied to trans sex workers. People are easy to judge them as not quite human individuals who do not have inner lives. For this reason, trans women are dehumanized, given importance only to the body parts that they can use to give physical sensations. 

Going back to the company Realbotix. During its announcement regarding their plan of producing trans sex dolls, the company described the effort as a way of empowerment to the people in the LGBT community. According to the company, trans sex dolls can serve as a way of society to experiment with other genders as well as explore their sexuality. However, the idea that trans women can be used for sexual experimentation is quite jarring to hear. 

According to journalist Harron Walker, the world sees trans womanhood as a problem, a risk, and a liability. Given the fact that being known as a trans woman comes with a social cost, the idea of trans woman sex dolls as a source of empowerment, while being enjoyed as a twisted way of erotic fulfillment of people who can afford it, seems to be a shame and warped way of marketing, rather than empowering. 

Empowerment through sexual objectification is not empowerment at all. Empowerment of trans women must be something that shows support to them, not something that makes them feel dehumanized and objectified. 

A writer named Gwen Benaway, who is also a trans activist herself, pointed out that the bodies of trans women are often seen as nothing but an assembly of parts, something a person could play with, and an experiment with gender and sexuality. And still, trans women are still seen as individuals who should never be loved in public. 

Moreover, Kai Cheng Thom publicized his thoughts about this phenomenon in a tweet, saying that a person’s desire to hide his trans woman partner is brought about by the fear of losing his societal privilege. Being associated with a trans woman is taught to endanger a person’s privileged status that being a cisgender brings. To many, being “normal” is a form of privilege, so the mere proximity to a trans woman can threaten or stain this state of being “normal.”

Transgender Sex Dolls are Not a Sign of Empowerment

In an episode of Nymphowars, Theda Hammel asked her co-host, Macy Rodman, whether chasers are really human beings. Describing chasers as creepy dudes who are attracted to those with identical genitals, Hammel came to the conclusion that chases must be members of laboratory creation or alien species. 

Considering the said description, it can be seen that the community defines trans womanhood in terms of their body parts and what they can do for whoever wants to use these body parts. This taught alone is already dehumanizing and not empowering. So, what’s more if trans woman sex dolls with interchangeable body parts can be accessed by the public by their own sexual pleasures and fantasies? Wouldn’t this further reduce trans women as bare anatomies?

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