Innocent Trans Women
One reason that so many people claim to value protecting trans women, but won’t go to bat when it comes time to follow through, is that they’re actually only interested in protecting hypothetical, innocent trans women. What these people fail to acknowledge is that, by definition, innocent trans women do not exist. Under patriarchy, “trans woman” and “innocent” are opposing concepts - we are defined as wellsprings of male violence even though, and because, we are some of its primary targets. Trans womanhood is a kind of alchemy that transforms violence committed against us into violence committed by us.
Nine year old trans girls forced to use men’s restrooms at school, homeless trans women forced to stay in men’s housing at shelters, activist trans women driven from “queer” or “women’s” community spaces, incarcerated trans women in men’s lockup or solitary, that isolated trans woman in your area who you’ve heard of but avoid because you’ve heard rumors that she’s “fucked up,” “predatory,” or “crazy” - these articulations of transmisogyny share in common a (partial) basis of defining trans women and our bodies as inherently violent, effectively displacing the blame for male violence onto its victims. This has two consequences. First, by defining trans women as perpetrators of male violence, it also defines us as worthy targets for it. Second, the actual perpetrators and beneficiaries of male violence, men (in this case, especially trans men), are freed from scrutiny (as an aside, this is part of how there are so many aggressively heterosexual TWEFs - you know who you are, lol).
To be a trans woman is to be called rapist as you are raped, batterer as you are beaten, and abuser as you are abused. It is the paradox of being utterly destroyed by the very violence that you are said to embody.