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No, you can’t just ‘tell’ someone is trans by looking at them.
Men are obsessed with figuring out whether famous women are trans, be it Ann Coulter or Michelle Obama. Now, one MGTOW supporter claims he has the perfect formula to prove Keira Knightley is transgender. And it involves her “Adonis belt,” apparently.
According to Twitter user @EmergentReality, Knightley has a “male torso,” a tell-tale “Adonis belt” (or the outer grooves leading from the hips to the pelvis), a “slope back forehead,” a “large angular jaw,” and “wide shoulders.” Clearly, her thin, nimble frame means she must be a “male to female transgendered entity,” as he calls trans women.
“And look at that six pack,” he argued. “Gross.”
It didn’t take long for users to point out that EmergentReality has no idea about the various shapes, sizes, and anatomical variations that both trans and cis women experience.
“The Great Transvestigation strikes again, folks,” Twitter user @indigowhiskey wrote. “It’s been over 3 hours and I still don’t know what an Adonis belt is.” Her tweet received over 350 retweets and 1,900 likes in less than 24 hours.
The Great Transvestigation strikes again, folks pic.twitter.com/w6Y3wDx8Xw— Alexandria, Big Zam Appreciator™ (@indigowhiskey) December 13, 2018
Wide shoulders and six packs? So basically the majority of women athletes then?— lutherblissett (@lutherb91898797) December 14, 2018
Did you ask for some new calipers for Xmas?
read an anatomy book for god's sake— blank (@artboypolitico) December 14, 2018
Imagine being so blinded by transphobia that you accidentally throw cis women under the bus in favour of transpiracy theories.— ✨ It's Nate, Bitch ✨ (@goshdangnate) December 14, 2018
holy shit, this is some next level transphobia— tired (@captjamestkink) December 14, 2018
Uh huh. Usually anti trans go off the deep end by saying stuff like "attack helicopter" or the like...— Kate sanchez, princess of meh. (@Kexta89) December 14, 2018
You are a new level of crazy pic.twitter.com/ZHbgM4TqSG
While it’s common for cisgender people to insist that trans women have certain tell-tale signs that they are transgender, this isn’t true.
For one, cisgender women’s bodies come in various sizes, shapes, and configurations naturally, which is why some cis women have wide hips while others have narrow and boyish frames. To the same extent, trans women’s bodies also vary widely from one to another. Some trans women do have broad shoulders, while others don’t. Some trans girls have narrow hips, while others have hourglass curves. Various factors play into how trans women’s bodies look—including genetics and exposure to feminization hormones.
When transphobes argue that trans women all have features similar to cisgender men’s bodies, they’re essentially arguing that trans women are cis men. In reality, bodies are much more complicated than separating people into two categories, like a “male” body or “female” body. In other words, @EmergentReality is just working off a bunch of transphobic stereotypes to insist trans women aren’t as valid as cisgender women.
Not to mention, by asserting an incredibly high standard for women’s bodies, these same bigots target cis girls with nonconforming bodies, including muscular, buff, or masculine-presenting girls. In short, nothing about the Keira-Knightley-is-trans theory makes sense—unless you think all women, cis and trans alike, should fit into an incredibly narrow beauty standard.
this guy looked at a cis woman that in the 00s was deemed one of the most beautiful in the world and he said she looks trans— Mark Snowfers Laherty (@MarkLoafers) December 14, 2018
maybe, actually, a lot of trans women look like cis women and vice versa
"We can always tell!"— Toni (@ToniQueene) December 14, 2018
Ma'am this is a shopping center. That's a mannequin. Please, buy something or leave...
This is the most gourmet hot take I’ve ever seen, I’m nauseous I need a break omfg— catholic school survivor (@comradekaitlyn) December 14, 2018
[Keira Knightly]— aran (@arancaytar) December 14, 2018
"This is the ideal male body. You may not like it, but this is what peak performance looks like."
I love that their Twitter handle has “reality” in it when they are very clearly divorced from it.— Reudolph the Gamer (@reuthegamer) December 14, 2018
In short, cis men need to stop looking for “signs” that a woman is trans. It makes no sense… unless you fundamentally fear trans women’s bodies, that is.
Keira Knightly is cisgender, and beautiful. If she was transgender, she'd still be just as attractive. If your opinion of someone is soley based on whether they're trans, that's a form of bigotry ("but for" legal test)— Brynn Tannehill (@BrynnTannehill) December 14, 2018
Ana Valens is a reporter specializing in online queer communities, marginalized identities, and adult content creation. She is Daily Dot's Trans/Sex columnist. Her work has appeared at Vice, Vox, Truthout, Bitch Media, Kill Screen, Rolling Stone, and the Toast. She lives in Brooklyn, New York, and spends her free time developing queer adult games.