Today I was reading something online and, in it, a particular woman of color mentioned the fact that her girlfriend often refers to butch women using male pronouns without intending to suggest that they are males. This made me think about the current transphobic wave sweeping the internets.
This is yet another example of how gender is a malleable concept. People If people feel it's perfectly acceptable to use labels that do not match the labels one is assigned at birth, then why do so many have a problem with it when someone requests to be identified contrary to their originally assigned labels?
We can use male pronouns to refer to a cisgendered woman and it's okay but if a transgendered woman requests that same treatment, suddenly they are responsible for the existence of gender binaries, misogyny, butchphobia, failed relationships, and global warming. I'm kidding with the last example but, all over this board, transgendered people have been charged with being responsible for these other societal problems.
The cisgendered/consonance/non-trans/WBW population can't even come to an agreement on how we should see ourselves or what we should call ourselves, so I don't understand why anyone would get upset by the fact that a transgendered person picks one term over the other. All of these labels are problematic and lacking in some way.
We go through the same thing in disability culture. Some want to be called "disabled people". Others prefer "handicapped". Others like "people with disabilities". Some wear terms like "gimp" or "crip" as a sort of badge of honor, a way of reclaiming words used to marginalize us.
Personally, I prefer terms like "gimp" or "crip" to be used by those who are a part of or show an understanding of disability culture. I usually call myself a "person with disabilities" when I'm communicating with those in the non-disabled world. Amongst my own (i.e. other people inside disability culture), I really like "gimp" because of its multiple meanings. Still, I don't have any problem with those outside of disability culture using one of the terms commonly accepted by other people with disabilities.
If someone wants me to use "crip", "person with disabilities", "handicapped", "male", "female", "woman", "man", "cisgendered", "transgendered","queer", "gay", "het", "straight", "lesbian", or "bi", then I think I owe it to them to do so, since I want to be referred to using those terms that I have decided describe me best.