Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Well, we have an update

on this situation. Guess Who has finally seen fit to weigh in.

I stopped reading this thread when it turned, for no apparent reason, into a referendum on Sheila Jeffreys’ views on transgenderism, which do not interest me. Since then, it has been suggested that my failure to have commented on this “trannies: good or bad?” issue implies my tacit agreement with one faction over another.

Incorrect. It merely implies my lack of interest in a clump of commenters telling each other to fuck off. Not that you should stop or anything. But I gotta be in the mood.

My views on gender, inclusive of the trans-, cis-, or whathaveyou- varieties, are as follows.

Gender will not survive the destruction of patriarchy.

OK, carry on.


*******

"Since then, it has been suggested that my failure to have commented on this 'homos: good or bad?' issue implies my tacit agreement with one faction over another.

Incorrect."

"Since then, it has been suggested that my failure to have commented on this 'colored folk:' good or bad?” issue implies my tacit agreement with one faction over another.

Incorrect."

"Since then, it has been suggested that my failure to have commented on this 'chicks: good or bad?' issue implies my tacit agreement with one faction over another.

Incorrect."

Incorrect.

Incorrect.

Incorrect.

Bzzzzzzzzzt.

Thanks for playing.

Are we quite finished, here?


These people are.


Gender will not survive the destruction of patriarchy.


Well, along with blowjobs, hetsex, orgasms, dressing up, any mention of any sort of problem with wealth inequity, any mention of goodwill toward any other individual human being, and any number of other things that don't involve mocking other women and stuffing your gob at a four-star restaurant, i guess that's one more thing that's gonna have to be put on indefinite hold: transfolk being able to use the bathroom in public. Yeah, I know it sucks, peeps, but you're just gonna have to hold it till after the Revolution, I'm afraid. True Pee Waits!

UPDATE:

Brownfemipower, of course, is right:

All I will say is how many times will the feminist blogosphere have to be whipped by filth and hate before it figures out where the filth and hate is coming from?

And to all those sick hate-filled commenters who seem to think they have “control” over what feminism is–on behalf of all the WOMEN who have been denied their femininity and their humanity by “feminists”– I send you a nice pretty middle finger and a hearty fuck you.


please go over and read the comments thread for that one as well.

Yeah; I wish to christ i could swap IBTP's reader & link numbers for bfp's. and then some. You want feminist? You want radical-revolutionary? You want serious? that's where it's at.

on further edit: and, of course, at Black Amazon's. Run, don't walk.

159 comments:

Rootietoot said...

Here is my question, based on a sheltered ignorance of anything remotely "alternative" and sexual:
Why does it matter if someone is so unhappy in their own body that they want to change it? It's not as is, (according to some people) that folks are doing gender reassignment as some sort of James Bond-esque intrigue to overthrow the Matriarchy. I mean, percentage-wise, how many folks are actually doing it? It's too expensive for mose people, and too extreme for nearly everyone else.

So why the fuss? What's wrong with letting people do anything they can to be happy? While gender reassignment is more involved than other medical body alterations, I don't see it as being so much different than havng your stomach stapled, liposuction, facelifts, etc. Of course, I realize those procedures are just another method the (predominantly male)medical establishment uses to keep us poor dumb women in line.

Anyway, if someone could please explain to me in a sane and rational manner why gender reassignemnt is so incredibly heinous, I would appreciate it.

Thanks

belledame222 said...

Because I'm cold and therefore you need to put on a sweater.

What do you mean, "you're not cold"? of COURSE you're cold. I'M cold. god, you're so SELFISH. can't you think of anyone but yourself?

lilcollegegirl said...

"True Pee Waits!" *snicker*

Word Verification: twavd. I don't even know.

FoolishOwl said...

I'm reminded of the title of Howard Zinn's autobiography: You Can't Be Neutral On A Moving Train.

Rootietoot said...

"Because I'm cold and therefore you need to put on a sweater."

Isn't it around the age of 4 or 5 that people are supposed to outgrow that kind of thinking? Where your self extends into other selves and the boundaries blur? I don't remember developmental psychology that well but isn't that somewhere in Maslows' 2nd tier that people think that way?

belledame222 said...

oh, i am so glad you bring that up, you've no idea. yes. or, well, i need to look up the exact age, but:

people are supposed to outgrow that kind of thinking?

Yes! They are! And yet, so many don't!

What's really disconcerting is when you run across people who are in -some- ways very smart and sophisticated...and yet, if you look closely, or are unfortunate enough to be on the receiving end of their...stuff, you will notice that in fact, in that way--emotionally, morally-- yes, they are still stuck at some shockingly arrested level.

JackGoff said...

Yeah, that comment did it for me. Not only does she not give a shit about the argument, she defers to some pseudoargument that acts like transgender people do not exist in the here and now. Equivocating inanity in the face of pure hate speech posted on her blog. She won't even call out people who flushed transgender people down the memory hole, and she sits idly by as it happens, twiddling her thumbs and dreaming of the end of the patriarchy.

As I said on my blog, the end of the patriarchy MUST coincide with the recognition that transphobia, homophobia, and misogyny are all the same bullshit that is consistently used to perpetuate the patriarchy.

WV: sugtbux

Hell yeah.

belledame222 said...

...it occurs to me that in fact that all the hubbub (bub) about sex and especially penetration is related to this. Because some people are already feeling quite shaky about where they end and someone else starts to begin with (for whatever combination of reasons; yes, actual rape or other trauma will do this to evolved human beings as well), anything suggestive of invasion, physically or psychologically, is going to be especially threatening.

Of course, the fact that one is terrified of -being- invaded doesn't mean one can't, oneself, be -invasive,- particularly if it's not in any readily identifiable (including to themselves), physical way. and in fact, if you -are- that shaky, chances are excellent that unless you wall off and become a hermit, you -will- find yourself merging, invading, and otherwise engaging in unhealthy relationships/dynamics. just ones that don't exactly resemble the ones you're fleeing from.

cults work on that principle rather nicely.

Rootietoot said...

so...kindergartners with a huge vocabulary...are still dangerous kindergartners. One does not allow them sharp scissors or credit cards.

Rootietoot said...

"Of course, the fact that one is terrified of -being- invaded doesn't mean one can't, oneself, be -invasive,- particularly if it's not in any readily identifiable (including to themselves), physical way."

Nor does it mean *everyone* should be terrified of being 'invaded'. But that's the boundaries thing again.

I know, I just don't get it, being a pawn 0'the patriarchy, and too stupid to truly understand the scope of the issue.

Think is, if a woman has suffered violence at the hand of a man, I can understand why they'd feel that way. What I *don't* understand , is why the apparent clinging to the trauma, like some sort of talisman, and using it as a weird lens to view the world, when there's therapy and all kinds of ways to help a person recover and carry on. Is it because it's easier to cling to a familiar (if flawed)worldview, than it is to admit it's flawed and change? Or am I thinking simplistically?

Enlighten me, O Sage o' th' Internets

belledame222 said...

ideally, anyway.

or, well, more important: responsibility for other human beings, be it parental, managerial, or governmental, or...more subtle forms.

and if such is the case that the witness cannot intervene with the person's position of leadership, one ought to do one's best to at least make those who are being victimized aware that there are other options, other places to go, other ways of doing things, other sources of strength and support, other ways of -being.- and to alert unwitting bystanders that yes, there is something wrong with this picture.

belledame222 said...

slip. i wish i knew. i'm sure it's different for everybody. and...it's complicated.

sorry, i do have more thoughts on that subject, but i gotta run out for a bit.

Veronica said...

"True Pee Waits."

HA!

Anyway, "Gender will not survive the destruction of patriarchy."

Plus her, "The Patriachy will never be destroyed."

Equals what, exactly?

"I don't care, but I enjoy watching folks telling each other to fuck off?"

Real 'radical' of her.

Rootietoot said...

"I don't care, but I enjoy watching folks telling each other to fuck off?"

Hahaaa! Well, I enjoy that too, as long as no one sees me watching.

That's what I love about the internets, one can lurk and be a voyeaur and snicker and No One Will Ever Know.

belledame222 said...

Equals what, exactly?

"Jam tomorrow, jam yesterday, but never jam today. Well -I- get jam, but I heartily disapprove of your attempting to get jam, unless it is in the flavors i deem worthy and on the bread of my choice. and, i don't really care if you're just hungry now, never mind if it's jam or not. I Don't Care."

Adorable Girlfriend said...

Jam? AG didn't see that one coming.

belledame222 said...

And while we're on the subject, those rosebushes need painting, and there's some rodent or something asleep in the teapot.

It will all make sense on NaDruBloDa. or when you follow the white bunny with the timepiece and the neurotic self-talk.

Zan said...

You know, I've been thinking. That particular blogger reminds me of a guy I knew in college. He was this big ass debater. Now, I'm pretty damned good at debating. I follow the rules, I apply logic, I define terms so everyone knows what I mean by what I say. I think that's only fair. Well, this guy did not adhere to this philosophy, but you couldn't tell that at first.

So, one night he and I were in this debate. I can't remember -- oh wait. Yeah, it was over whether someone could be reincarnated in their own lifetime. (Yeah, yeah. We were in college and full of ourselves.) So anyway, we'd been arguing for a bit when I stopped to ask him what he meant by 'reincarnated'. You know, to clarify the terms, make sure we were both arguing from the same point.

And you know what the fucker said? "Absolutely nothing at all," with this big shit-eating-HA-I-got-you grin on his face.

My SO had to physically restrain me from slapping him. Not because of his words, but that smug "I'm better than you are because I'm an asshole" grin.

Which is to say, I've come to the conclusion that 99 percent of what she posts is just to get a rise out of people. She doesn't believe any of it. She doesn't have to, she's not invested in a search for truth or education or even just good conversation. It's about getting the sharks to start gobbling the guppies.

As for this transphobia -- I don't get it either. Why does another person's feelings about their physical body affect me at all? They aren't trying to get me to become a man, are they? No? Alright then.

What I'm finding interesting is they generally only seem to be interested in MtF, not FtM. Which I find interesting. They aren't going after natural-born women for being traitors to their gender, but we can't let the 'boys' join the club because...why again?

belledame222 said...

because they are Traitors who sold out their sisters for Male Privilege (which comes along with the package, particularly if you don't or won't "pass"), or some goddam thing.

and yes, TF is mostly just utterly full of it; which as far as i'm concerned makes it -worse- not better. At least Heart seems to put her money where her mouth is, even if I do think she's also full of it, just in a somewhat different way.

but yeah; and interestingly enough, like you, the people she reminds me of most strongly are guys. A particular kind of guy: the cocky smartass guy who, under the surface snarky-ironic-cool nastiness, is actually -really- nasty, the kind that comes from deep-rooted insecurity; and deeply reactionary to boot, chock fulla Issues, you know; but people LUUURRRVE him, you know, because gosh darn it he's so CUTE and CLEVER and FUNNY, and he doesn't -really- mean it, it's just how he is...

blech.

belledame222 said...

and then, too, i also believe that with people like that--the consummate trolls of this world, the Andy Kaufmans, the Ann Coulters, say--at the same time that it's true they're mostly saying whatever they think will get them the attention they crave, they also believe every damn word of it.

(Do I contradict myself? Very well, I contradict myself...)

or, well, put it this way:

the contempt is real. the nihilism is real. the sadism is real. the solipsism is real.

the details, it's true, don't matter so much. unless you happen to be one of the people who they're using as the pivot babe du jour, of course.

kactus said...

not to mention the fact that she insulted everybody who commented in that thread by insinuating that her beautiful mind is just too much above all that mudslinging.

so twisty is disinterested. So what happens in that thread has nothing to do with her, even though it's her house and a fight has broken out, she's not even gonna play peacekeeper, she's just gonna sit back and see if the fighters break her china or not.

Interesting.

belledame222 said...

whoops, i misunderstood you there. well they do go after them, sometimes, is the thing; see the loathsome "questioning transgender" site for more of that, or just ask Jay or piny to expound on their adventures in Heartland for a while.

but mostly i think in this case

1) they really are essentialists, and hence are sort of bound by their logic: once a man, always a man, therefore once a woman, always a woman. and we're FOR women, sooooo....

2) as with Queen Victoria and the lesbians (wouldn't that be a great name for a band?) it is possible that some of them are not aware that FtM's really exist as such. there does seem to be an awful lot that is beyond pony's ken, for instance...

belledame222 said...

kactus: yes, because as we all know, twisty abhors conflict, and rarely declares an opinion.

kactus said...

"they really are essentialists, and hence are sort of bound by their logic: once a man, always a man, therefore once a woman, always a woman. and we're FOR women, sooooo...."

But what kind of essentialists believe that you can easily change your sexual orientation for political purposes? I'm gonna have to look it up, but a couple of months ago there was a discussion over there and political lesbianism came up, and even twisty chimed in on that one.

Ah shit, guess I'm gonna have to do delve into the twisty files. wish me luck.

belledame222 said...

look, i never said they made any damn sense.

and of course TF would be for political lesbianism; she...

well, never mind.

KH said...

Well, isn’t that the most pusillanimous greeting of the holiday season. Maybe we should organize a Captive Bloggers Week, to raise public awareness of the plight of tinpot leaders who’ve lost the capacity to disapprobate even their crudest followers’ bile.

Of course we all have reason to fear invasion, some more than others, but, even among equally situated women, there’s disagreement about how completely it’s reasonable to let fear govern our lives. Maybe the very most fearful among us are the only ones who’re rational, who really know the score. I’d be open to evidence, were there any. But it’s not just fear. It’s also, obviously, raw hatred. Sometimes, as a matter of etiology, fear breeds hatred, but that doesn’t make the hatred rational or right or the basis for a good life. And the causality goes in both directions, not just from fear to hatred; the world is swimming in hatred that is neither psychologically caused or epistemically warranted by any real injury or threat. Hatred conjures & amplifies fear, by way of libel & to the end of exclusion, & always in the name of emancipation. But it’s a lie: MTF transsexuals collectively pose no threat to women that rationally justifies the bile that’s being directed toward them collectively. None. Just to state the accusation is enough to see how mad & wicked it is. We’ve been a little slow to see what’s going on here, but it’s become impossible to evade. It’s time to take back the good name of women’s & human emancipation.

Alon Levy said...

But it’s a lie: MTF transsexuals collectively pose no threat to women that rationally justifies the bile that’s being directed toward them collectively. None. Just to state the accusation is enough to see how mad & wicked it is.

People who say "Happy holidays" collectively pose no threat to Christianity that rationally justifies the politicization of the phrase "Merry Christmas."

Since then, it has been suggested that my failure to have commented on this “trannies: good or bad?” issue implies my tacit agreement with one faction over another.

Incorrect. It merely implies my lack of interest in a clump of commenters telling each other to fuck off. Not that you should stop or anything. But I gotta be in the mood.


In most cases, there's a way out: "I reserve the right to choose which issues to blog about." I remember having blogged about trans equality exactly once, back in August when a court in New York ruled that the state's human rights law protected trans people from discrimination because it explicitly listed groups defined by "sex" and "sexual orientation" as protected classes. But, you know, I haven't repeatedly expressed admiration for an extremist a large portion of whose philosophy revolves around trans hating.

belledame222 said...

Sure, if it were just a question of choosing what to blog about, that'd be one thing.

but she has people in there basically calling transfolk "nutjobs" and insisting that they, the radfems in question, are more in danger of being assaulted by a transwoman using the ladies' room than a transwoman going into the mens' room is in danger of being attacked by men; or, it simply doesn't matter, or some goddam thing.

And Sheila Jeffreys, as noted, is a rabid transhater: it is not sufficient to say "that doesn't interest me" when you're lauding the woman from here to Christmas. How the fuck much does it cost you to say, "well, I'm not down with that part, but I still value her for blahblah"?

That is, -if- that is indeed the case.

It's not at all clear that it is, is it.

by the way, she's just done it again, apparently, this time with a post that's incited her loyal rabid frootbats to start talking about how men can't be raped, or sodomizing isn't rape, or it isn't important, or...

but she has -nothing to do with- what they say or do, of course.

belledame222 said...

Sometimes, as a matter of etiology, fear breeds hatred, but that doesn’t make the hatred rational or right or the basis for a good life. And the causality goes in both directions, not just from fear to hatred; the world is swimming in hatred that is neither psychologically caused or epistemically warranted by any real injury or threat. Hatred conjures & amplifies fear, by way of libel & to the end of exclusion, & always in the name of emancipation. But it’s a lie

WORD.

Woman, when are you gonna start a blog?

zuzu said...

Oh...my.

I'm wondering if some of the problem they all have with gender fluidity comes from their essentially essentialist stance. That is, accepting the idea of gender fluidity is threatening because, if one accepts it, one has to wonder what this whole patriarchy thing is all about after all?

I mean, if gender is really fluid, then maybe the patriarchy isn't quite so entrenched as we originally believed it to be, which leaves us ... where, exactly?

belledame222 said...

Hey, zuzu. Welcome. Yeah, exactly; well, the ones who actually know what "essentialist" even means. pony et al seem a tad uh confused.

Heart claims not to be an essentialist, or at least not a biological essentialist; her rationalizations as to why TG folk are somehow a threat/roadblock to the One Twoo Way of dissolving gender constructs and overthrowing Patriarchy, well, maybe they'll make more sense on NaDruBloDa.

btw, you have a namesake, or rather name-same, you know.

Alon Levy said...

There's definitely a connection between essentialism and radical feminism (using the conventional definition, i.e. the IBTP one, rather than the BFP one). But you don't have to be an essentialist to be a radfem; Violet Socks has no trouble believing gender trumps everything without being an essentialist.

Sly Civilian said...

"Gender will not survive the destruction of patriarchy."

You know, she's also said that people won't survive the destruction of patriarchy.

So that's kind of cold comfort.

belledame222 said...

damn. so, now if you're TG, you're gonna DIE before you can ever use the can? dude, that's cold.

seriously, though, as others have asked: what the -fuck- is the point of bitching about it, then, if you really truly believe It can never, ever change? Go enjoy yourself then, for fuck's sake. Go eat at your restaurants, do whatever the hell pleases you...

...oh. wait.


Ahem.


yeah. there it is, isn't it?

R. Mildred said...

Umm, could you please link to the offending articles when you talk about this stuff - it just makes it easier to reference them in my own posts you know and doesn't make me briefly wonder if you're jsut making stuff up when I do try to track down the actual comment.

Meh, now to track down the wiki page on female hyena cocks, ho hum...

I also want to see KH get a freaking blog already.

the queen V and lesbians thing didn't happen - Queen V was notoriously sex mad (which kinda led to ww1 bizarrely enough - proving that vaginas are fucking dangerous if you forget to put the safety catch on) even if her subjects were prone to hiding table legs in case they made ladies faint. She knew damn well what lesbians do in bed

belledame222 said...

sorry RM, I just really really don't wanna link to her anymore. you can follow the breadcrumb trail back from, here, i'll give you a link that has the link, via antiprincess

Click "this comment thread." Keep scrolling downward.

oh, wait, you insulted my honor, by doubting my veracity, however briefly. here, lean over: i must slap you with my glove.

nexy said...

well, for what it's worth, i think heart has come to terms with the whole trans thing. i've had some productive conversations with her thru message boards, email, and her blog. while she may have issues with the concept, i don't think she'd have a problem with me using the bathroom, at least before the world ends.

other than that, i don't think i can add anything that hasn't already been said.

belledame222 said...

i don't think she'd have a problem with me using the bathroom, at least before the world ends.

-biting tongue-

sorry, I...yeah. mm. I'm glad you're having productive conversations with her. I am.

well, whatever else i think of her, as i've said: Heart actually -does- shit besides compose elegantly snide elegies for civilization all wrapped up in an even more bogus ode to Revolution.

even a dubiously run matriarchy that still bears a suspicious resemblance to the extreme right wing Cult of True Womanhood is still probably better than no template for any society at all, i expect.

sophie said...

I don't know how much weight you put on religion, but in mine, transpeople can't really exist.
Because God created male and female and yanno, he did it right.

And so I've had to grow up with people telling me I'm female and will always be female.
(not that I'm trans or anything because as I just said above, they don't exist. Just happen to not identify much with my biological gender).
It's the same with gay people - the most positive acknowledgement of their existence I've ever seen within church is a nurse dropping ino a hushed voice (something about children born wrong, but she wasn't letting me hear).

So, trying to change one's gender is really trying to undo the work of that Supreme Being: I'd guess there's not a great many practising Christians among feminists - but even a minority with these views could begin a full-scale war - God against common sense, yanno...

It sure gets confusing trying to figure where common sense lies through all the ingrained doctrine.

little light said...

You know, Sophie, Christianity really isn't incompatible with trans-ness or queerness, and doesn't necessarily say we don't exist, to boot.
The people you have to deal with may hold to that interpretation, but there's actually some good literature about religious arguments for queer and trans liberation and acceptance, and many of them are explicitly Christian.
I'd be happy to chat with you about it and toss you some places to go looking, if it's of interest to you.

I don't know whether or not you hold the statement you made in your comment to be true (or true of Christianity) but anyone who says we're undoing God's work--or even declaring ourselves a mistake--has a lot of reading to do.

...god, maybe I should start a thread.

Unsane said...

Oh, you know, that part of TF is driven by the need to widen the circle of lesbians for the benefits of those who feel too alone. So, that is the logic behind it, and one shouldn't get too upset because the sex drive weilds its weapon -- perchance a tad unconsciously -- like this.

FUNKYBROWNCHICK said...

Okay, so, I sooooo missed the original thread, the follow-up comment, and everything that came thereafter. And, I don't read Brownfemipower (yet?), but I thought the "I send you a nice pretty middle finger and a hearty fuck you" was a pretty funny expression. I'm gonna use that some day.

I also really like, "here, lean over: let me slap you with my glove."

Love it! :-)

Rootietoot said...

Sophie, the thing is, we live in a fallen world, and things get fouled up. If it were a perfect world, we'd not have children with Down's Syndrome or osteogenesis imperfecta or cystic fybrosis. Why is it such a stretch to believe it possible that someone's gender got crossed? And if God gave us the brains to figure out how to correct genetic or congenital problems, why not use it? Having gender reassignment isn't exactly getting a tattoo removed, or having liposuction, it's expensive and complex and the person wanting it has to be committed to a lifetime of medical intervention and therapy.

I understand what you're saying, I'm a Christian and it saddens me to think somone would want to change the body God gave them in such a drastic way. But the truth is, I have congenital defects, and when the time comes, will gladly go through drastic measures(surgery, months of physical therapy) to correct them. The difference between mine and a transgender's are that mine are socially acceptable and theirs are not. And that's it.

In spite of BD's coherent explanations, I still don't understand why what one person does to themselves is such a threat to someone else.

Word Verification: Yowbah

little light said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
little light said...

I think, rootietoot, Sophie, that--while we may not agree on some points of theology and cosmology--there's a simple thing we, as religious feminists, can all agree on, something that makes the rest of it a lot less relevant:

However God, in whatever form, made us--whether or not it's a mistake that I am how I am, or part of a plan--we were made in such a way, and put in such a world, where we have to take care of each other to make it. We need each other, and we are compelled--by commandment or survival, by shared trouble or shared destiny, by the demands of a hard and unfair world or the demands of good and holy hearts--to find a way to go hand-in-hand, those who need more and those who can give more, in all our shapes and ways of moving, or pass from this earth.

That shape of things is more clear, more consistent, and more important than the shape of my body or of my brain or, for that matter, anyone else's. It's more important than whether or not this world is fallen, who's a woman and who isn't, even who's right and who's wrong.

And that's why our working together to help each other--details fading into the miniscule--could never be incompatible with your Christianity. What is more basic than knowing that people need, and loving them? What is the greatest commandment?

And that is why our working together, to shake off the chains of unequal societies and unjust oppressions--sharp outlines blurring into unities--can never be incompatible with our feminism. What does more honor to the core ideals of the movement than seeking out and protecting the stepped-on and the disadvantaged, and using one hand to hold off their attackers and the other to help them up--whoever they are?

Bitch | Lab said...

update: there's been a weigh in of sorts. It is Teh Smug.

as for the nature of radfem essentialism, it's what's called "cultural essentialism" which is adamantly not biological essentialism, but which advances the notion that the institutions of aptriarchy are so entrenched, so long-term, so harsh that no one escapes.

The is what Janet Halley called 'paranoid structuralism'. Everything turns toward the preservation of male domination.

So, why is political lesbianism an option? Why is it possible to overcome gender socialization in that manner? For some, it stems from the mother-daughter bonding of infancy where we can reach back to a time when we desired that closeness with another woman and seek to reproduce it in adult relationships. For others, it's simply that they believe that, once one engages in political practice with other women identified women, they can create a counter culture strong enough to fight the heavy burdens of patriarchal socialization. Because, it's there in the political practice of consciousness raising that new ways of knowing that put us in touch with women's ultimate need to liberate themselves from patriarchy will be forged. One can't simply will oneself to do this, as a lone individual, but does so in a womanspace (gynospace) with other women -- which is why separatism is so crucial.

now, this ain't much twisty's bag. she doesn't push the Heartland line so much. Instead, she impresses me as someone deeply shaped by a certain faction of the feminist environmentalism movement that takes an extraordinarily Darwinian view. Nature cares not for human beings. It has no plan or any morality. We are nothing more than the lowliest of amoeba. And, it would appear, our habits have grown so self-destructive there's simply no escape for we will destroy ourselves and our environment before we'll ever create the circumstances to overthrow patriarchy.

Change may happen, such as Figleaf's examples where women are, today, bosses in certain segments of the market. But this change is always in the service of patriarchy. In this case, women moving into management simply serves the engines of capitalism and capitalism isn't a separate system from patriarchy with its own imperatives, those imperatives are alway sin the service of patriarchy (gender first, gender primary, always gender in the final analysis)

yadda yadda. no more time, but there it is in all its stupendous glory.

one more thing: i've always seen the so-called pessimis as a rhetorical ploy. Like: pretend that there is no hope, so as not to come off as a secularized bible thumper of radfem. Instead, pretend that, it's hopeless because so few people actually care enough to engage in social change these days, that way it's a kind of reverse psychology. Well, damn you you pessimist radfems, you. We'll show you, we will get on board and fight in a way wouldn't have fought before because you are so wrong.

It's not terribly costly to play such a reverse psychology game -- if your goal is this sort of influence, yah? You don't tell people they suck because they aren't activist enough, because that would backfire. Instead, you engage in this rhetorical ploy.

And yeah: change of pace for moi, but I've pretty much had it with that crowd. They are pissing me off with the hatred toward trans, the ignorant statements and the incessant racializing bullshit. Like the latest crap. More Orientalism, thank you. We can't analyze our own culture at length and if we do, itmust always be in the form of a mechanistic, naive view of patriarchy's sexbots. Oh no, not our own cultural practices. Worse, we just trot out some "other" culture to ridicule and mock for its horride sexist practices, make some handwave about how romantic love and marriage in the west is no different, but not really examine that at any length. Nope. Let's ogle at an Other like they're animals at the zoo. Use that other culture as Levi Strauss used to, simply to hold up a mirror to you own. In any case, it's always erasing Others. Always.

Rootietoot said...

"What does more honor to the core ideals of the movement than seeking out and protecting the stepped-on and the disadvantaged, and using one hand to hold off their attackers and the other to help them up--whoever they are? "

Well...yeah. "Love your neighbor as yourself." Matthew 22.39

I'm just trying to understand *why* it is so difficult for people to grasp that concept. Hating, venom, persecution, being consistantly nasty to people requires so much energy, so I don't understand why someone would embrace those ideas.

I don't really understand why someone would wish to change their gender, either, but nor do I understand why anyone would want to be an accountant. Why is it so hard to accept what *is*, that is, someone wants to be identified as a woman, or an accountant, or a housewife, and move on? Why is it, by default, an insult to someone elses existance, if one person's existance is different from theirs?

If you want to be transgender, it doesn't diminish *me* that you wish this, nor does my desire to be a housewife infer that you are flawed for not being one. My desire for you is that you be the most complete person you can be, whatever path that takes.

I'm talking in circles. NaDruBloDa is just over the horizon, perhaps will will all become crystalline clear then. Or, if not clear, at least riotously funny.

belledame222 said...

I don't think TF's pessimism is a ploy; I think that's the realest thing about her. I understand what you mean, but in her case at least i think the ideology (bogus) comes from the nihilism (real), not the other way around.

and you know what: i don't know but that calling it a spiritual problem might not be so inaccurate, at that. it's not about her lack of formal religion though, obviously. it's something else.

"Only connect."

She exists in rather unsplendid isolation, it seems to me.

Rootietoot said...

you know, re: Radfems and Orientalism and all this Grand Scheme business...I was raised that you had to get your own house in order before you could tell others how to do their business. Perhaps that's why I am having such a hard time understanding this. I can't point a finger, because I have my own messes I'm dealing with ,and until those are cleaned up I've got no call to be pointing out messes elsewhere. I don't know these people, the Twistys and Ponys and so on, but they seem to make alot of noise, so much so it's as if they are trying to deflect attention away from themselves and their own shortcomings. I have trouble respecting people who do that.

Nanette said...

I'm never going to get any work done today... between this, the conversation at bfp's and now I've just skimmed thru another excellent post by black amazon that I need to go back and read carefully... sigh. So many things to learn, so many excellent thoughts to read, so little time!

I have a question, though, that I don't want to interrupt the conversation at bfp's to ask. So I'll interrupt this one, ;)

Is this anti-transfolk bigotry (or whatever one wants to call it) a basic tenet of rad feminism? I mean, not that all that speak on the subject do so in such vile, hateful words as some of the people on the twisty thread did, but if one is denying the basic humanity, the essence of a person and holding to ones self the right to determine who others are allowed to be, or what a persons "place" is in the overall scheme of things, no matter how nicely it's said it all boils down to the same thing, no?

But anyway, is this something that is part of the overall rad fem philosophy, along with anti porn and such?

Bitch | Lab said...

kh -- get a blog. or i can sign you up with full privileges to the Lab. I'm hoping to get a job that is so demanding with paid overtime and crap that I won't have time to blog.

Bitch | Lab said...

nanette

i don't think it's a tenet, but I think that, on the logic of some factions of radfem, it is an inevitable result. e.g., this insistence on the utter power of socialization and that their only vision of social change is that everyone must get on board with the radfem klew train for it to ever work.

part of the problem is that early radfem lifted the marxist framework and applied it to gender. in doing so, though, they never theorized or tried to understand how society changes. Marx had done this, showing on the internal logic of class society brought up the weapons of its own self destruction. Whether it was accurate or not is the source of much debate.

but radfems could never or never successfuly located the logic of patriarchy. they try to do it with logic of biological maleness as one that is drive to rape and possession, but that was quickly discarded as too biologistic for anyone's good sense.

what they have to turn to is the cultural structuralism.

plus, whereas Marx theorized that captialism would bring about its own crisis -- conflicts that drove wedges between owners such that some of them started coming over to the side of workers, radfem never envisioned this.

radfem never theorize class man as capable of being anything other than class man.

as a conseuqnce, there is only way way to change society: massive strikes where everyone stops participating in patriarchy in whatever way they can.

ideally, this would be separatism. in a climate where separatism is out of favor, then there are modified versionsi such as Heart and womanspace -- which I'm sure they hope will become so successful and attractive, everyone will want to join up and be paart of the gang, even if they have reservations otherwise. Cause all the kewl kidz do it.

and because it requires a massive strike like this to change anything at all, then there is a constant search for traitors in the midst.

transfolks are traitors, just as the sexbots are traitors, just as any male-identification is a sign of traitors. and hence, on my view, this insistence that there are infiltrators, sock puppets, etc.

i know that i spetn reams of typage on this a while back, obsessed with developing this argument -- which isn't just about radfem theory, but also about variations on a certain kind of identity politics.

belledame is right to quickly point out that not all radfems buy into this, since nothing is static. radfems have tried to build their movement, theories and practices to deal with these criticisms. and others through lived experiences are uncomfortable with the gender only approach and are certainly unhappy with search for traitors in the midst. which is great, since by examining their own theories they will then advance them and improve them.

i happen to think that they need look no further than socialist feminism because socialist feminism was what developed from the limitations of radfems. socialist femimnsm is its little sister, if you will.

but the big difference ultimately tends to be around rape and prostitution, which is why when folks want to stick with that framework, they generally reject socialist fem. and others reject it, of course, because they have bought into the anti-communist b.s. that most Westerners are raised with.

anyone i really do have to go and cannot develop this.

if it's all confusing, i supposed the archives/categories on the blog might be helpful. I think "NO More Ms. Nice Bitch" contains a lot of the rants on the topic.

---

so, to sum up, I think it is 1. telling that you don't ever find this kind of rejection of transfolk among other kinds of feminism. that is important, methinks.

so, you have to find out why this is, right? if you see no socialist feminist freaking out, even it is a faction (and I don't), then there's got to be a reason that goes beyond simple accident. well, my answer's above.

for radfems, transfolk are simply traitors. they defy everything some factions of radfem stand for.

1. transmen are quite obviously traitors.

2. transwomen are men who want to dominate the only thing women have which is women's culture -- women's space, gynospace.

3. Worse, they appear to defy the claim that gender is so fundamentally entrenched that there's no escape. It might become a fad and, worse, if a fad, then it might be very superficial. and once men realize they can invade womenspace, they might just ruin everthing. Because everything always works in favor of men, so this must be carefully watched and monitored and policed, because all this is so powerful that there will be this massive movement of transwomen who will, because they are really men, do nothing but try to destroy womenspace from inside.

4. if someone can desire to alter their body (and seemingly on a 'whim') and do so outside of womanspace -- that is, without the countercultural socialization of womenspace, then it shows that, indeed, womenspace may not be necessary here. that something else might be at work or that their theory of gendered socialization might be wrong.

all just speculation on my part, of course.

Bitch | Lab said...

yeah bd. i think i'm going beyond you in this. you've rubbed off on me. i've just always seen it as all a game. i think reading BA on Teh Smug made me think this the most. That it all seems Teh Funnee. Teh Entertaining. I just don't observe anything deep seated about it -- and so view it as a manipulative ploy, much like the "I'm just a lowly blogger" thing. It's so classically upper-middle-class that kind of posturing that I should think it comes quite easy.

Another thing someone pointed out years ago, in a debate with KAtha Pollit years ago, is that certain variants of feminism (and I think ID politics more generally) get very wrapped up in presenting everything as doom and gloom. In marxist circles, it's called depressive marxism. But there is this urgency to paint everything as so utterly dire, as progress never being made, that their is a rhetorical attachment to this approach to persuasion.

or maybe i've had too much coffee.

still, after watching the manipulative game playing and smugness that went on over burqagate, i'm quite inclined to see any of this as a passionate atttachment to feminism and more as opportunistic. but again, there IS the coffee sitch.

belledame222 said...

nanette: well, i know there are a few radfems (Burrow, Amananta, others) who hold to most of the other Dworkin-style tenets and are as appalled and disgusted by this transphobia as we are. (Amananta is partnered with a transwoman). so, it's not monolithic.

and TF you know i think is telling the truth: she simply doesn't give a shit. i'm not at all convinced she gives a shit about anything or anyone, to be perfectly honest. but then she's rather special that way.

i suppose ideologically that it's probably more related to what BL was calling "cultural feminism." Heart's probably the best example of that going online; she's wrestling with her faith, or something. If it's women first, then...

i will note once again that this particular devotion to "womens' culture, womens' experience" can also be found in slightly variant forms on the extreme right. which is where Heart comes from, originally, i will footnote.

with people like Pony and lucky, i think mostly "ignorant hateful frootbat motherfuckers" covers it.

belledame222 said...

and i agree with you that the posturing game is class-based--it's much easier to play with nihilism when you have a comfy bed and a full stomach--but, i also maintain, with her, it's something else as well.

Nanette said...

Thanks, B|L!

Your comment, as well as being helpful in understanding the current situation (somewhat), also gives me any number of great jumping off places to further my knowledge (some of which, of course, I'd not heard of much before). I'll also spend more time wandering around in your archives - I was doing that at one time, but sort of got sidetracked when you were having all your server issues.

belledame222 said...

At any rate, while I am not aware of any such, I suppose in theory one could use a particular interpretation of socialist feminism/socialism or anything else to justify transbigotry, if one worked at it. i'm not saying a very -orthodox- one, you know, but people are more than capable of--"the devil uses scripture for his purposes."

so, what, I don't know, playing advocate:

well, the sorts of people who throw hissy fits about teh Ev0l Medical Establishment (you know, the ones who swear that any and all psych meds are part of a Plot, and you're better off taking megadoses of vitamin C, or chanting yourself out of it, or just stop selfishly indulging your "depression" when political activism will snap you out of it, or some damnthing) could be against at least the physical transition bit on those grounds, I suppose. again, I haven't seen anything of this sort, and yse i am well aware that no one who was remotely serious would be spouting this line; i'm just saying i could see it happening that way.

Bitch | Lab said...

"and i agree with you that the posturing game is class-based--it's much easier to play with nihilism when you have a comfy bed and a full stomach--but, i also maintain, with her, it's something else as well.""

never thought of it that way. huh.

well, i guess the tendency to view things as a game comes, to me, from Protestantism -- it's secularized version - which is at the center of capitalism.

Weber summed it up by saying that the upper middle class comes to view everything as 'sport' because it no longer driven by an other wordly orientation toward something great than itself -- if even securalized as humanity as the thing to which it orients itself -- but the world is reduced to this coldly calculating place.

I wrote about this last week, mocking some freelancers who were doling out advice for "success"

To be successful, for them, was to treat every transaction as a way to get a gig. you aren't friends with anyone because you like them, but for what they might do for you. You volunteer, not because that is a good thing, but for what it can do for you. (Protestantism provided reasons for doing this that, at first, were beyond the individual. Shorn of any spirituality, though, it became a specter of itself)

longwinded bunch of hooha behind all that which i don't have time to develop, but when you are raised to view the world as nothing but a place to exercise utilitarian self interest, where the pinnacle of reason is instrumental reasons (how can I use this or her or him to get what I want) which is what capitalism is all about, then everything become sport.

it's all a game. and you never want to, as any good protestant knows, look like you are bigger than your britches, so you posture. just as Calvinist, not so sure if they were among the elect, decided that it was best to act as if you were humble and yet successful in life.

As Weber Said: "Specialists without spirit, sensualists without heart; this nullity imagines that. it has attained a level of civilization never before achieved".

If you and I were Christopher Lasch, we could reall develop that one in certain personality types that dominate the 21st c eh?

Nanette said...

Ah, belle, thanks. I don't know who identifies as what (sort of feminist) - I saw some of Amananta's comments, I think, and thought they were quite good push backs against the bigotry so obviously there are different views within the rad fem philosophy.

i will note once again that this particular devotion to "womens' culture, womens' experience" can also be found in slightly variant forms on the extreme right.

Good observation... something else to think about. And not only on the extreme right but the um... Junior Women's League type right or center, I guess one could say. I can see and almost grasp the connections there.

(heh... the word verification sounds like my brain working to process all this - qtgkuh)

belledame222 said...

oh yes, BL.

you know, i have been meaning to write that "All About Eve" post for a while now.

Stay tuned.

Rootietoot said...

"(you know, the ones who swear that any and all psych meds are part of a Plot, and you're better off taking megadoses of vitamin C, or chanting yourself out of it, or just stop selfishly indulging your "depression" when political activism will snap you out of it, or some damnthing)"

Heh...yeah...a handful of acerola cherries is all I need to keep me out of the Private Hospital. If ony it were that simple.

Thanks for all the explanations. The whole social theory thing is somewhat removed from my reality based in laundry and bill-paying, but I reckon it is a good thing someone is thinking about it, because that's how change happens.

It seems, however, that the "Us against Them" mentality would be counterproductive. Wouldn't it be more effective to facilitate an evolutionary change, rather than revolutionary? Or is that too slow?

Thanks for your patience

Bitch | Lab said...

::well, the sorts of people who throw hissy fits about teh Ev0l Medical Establishment (you know, the ones who swear that any and all psych meds are part of a Plot, and you're better off taking megadoses of vitamin C, or chanting yourself out of it, or just stop selfishly indulging your "depression" when political activism will snap you out of it, or some damnthing) could be against at least the physical transition bit on those grounds, I suppose. again, I haven't seen anything of this sort, and yse i am well aware that no one who was remotely serious would be spouting this line; i'm just saying i could see it happening that way.::


yep. i know these types and, you're right, the woman who articulates this the most -- she has been sending stuff here 'n' there about all the kids on meds -- has a real problem with transmen, as well as with boi culture.

but this stems not from her socialism, but from a certain variant of it. I call it the Old Man Socialism. Things were so much better in the old days when life was small and communities were tight knit and woe is us to have fallen to Big Huge Corporations.

Marx derided them as utopian socialist if I recall correctly. They were the people who reacted to the social change brought on by capitlism by wanting to go back to some golden age that never existed.

In that sense, they are often culturally conservative.

this women, by the way, those a marxist is also someone who spouts of the radfem line about everything. she says she isn't a radfem, but she's in SF Bay and has picked it up from the drinking water. She has utterly not sense of a socialist feminist analysis at all: it is always class men who are evil against class women.

on her view, men are biologically born that way and women have this special glow when they make love together. she's not bi or queer or lesbian mind, but she had sex with a woman once and women glow and men don't. so there. men suck in bed and they are evil awful selfish creatures. but she's not a lesbian so, that is her lot. men suck, but she's not a lesbian.

it is from observing that kind of feminism BD that I so fell in love with you and your critique of pinky sex because she has this notiong that this is what sex is between women. women don't sweat when they fuck, heaven forfend.

OK. I have tried toward off the anxiety by procrastinating. enough.

everyone must yell at me if I post here again.

belledame222 said...

AAAHHHHHHHHH!!! there, pre-emptive yell.

Bitch | Lab said...

i'm sorry: she says she isn't a feminist at all. she's always saying that so it grates on my nerves. but, again, every time gender issues come up, the analysis is directly from radfem, and a biologistic model of it at that. it's quite odd. but i chalk this up to the drinking water in SF Bay.

belledame222 said...

o god, "Old Man Socialism," that's great.

well you know where you can see that taken to an extreme level: google I think "anarcho-primitivism" sometime, or just plain "primitivism" (along with some political term so you don't get a bunch of Fauvist paintings first).

i suppose in some ways i can see why that's a lot more attractive than say y'know Large Edifice And Uniform Waring Communism; it's just well kind of not really very realistic.

also, there's a reason why a lot of people run the hell away from small towns and other enclosed communities...sooner or later one might get tired of having everyone know all your business all the time, particularly if for whatever reason you aren't a good "fit."

sophie said...

The religious thing:

With the people I have to deal with, it's an absolute.
I think it's a shame that I've had so many people insist to me - female, and you just have to lump it.
I think it's a shame that I have to listen to otherwise wellmeaning people teaching their children that gay people are wicked, or terribly deluded.
My comment above was to adress your question rootietoot: "Why does it matter if someone is so unhappy in their own body that they want to change it?"
From the extreme Christian perspective, it's 'undoing God's work'.
The doctrine I've been taught is that disabilities will be made perfect in the afterlife, but gender is absolute.

I know that's not true - high school biology is enough to tell me that. But there's no arguing with people who hold to extreme ideology.

My thoughts are that these ideas are being expressed by people who wouldn't necessarily say what they've said if they really stopped and applied common sense, rather than just repeating what their mother taught them as a kid, and what her mother had taught her, and so on.
There could well still be ideas from the 13th century floating about that have been passed down through the generations and never examined.

belledame222 said...

I think you're right about that, sophie.

It's just especially galling when such unconsciousness is coming from people who expressly exhort other people to examine their shit, this, that, whatever...you know, to be a good feminist.

...funny how the stuff that's wanted to be examined often tends to be the stuff that the exhorter already didn't care for in the first place.

Alon Levy said...

Marx derided them as utopian socialist if I recall correctly. They were the people who reacted to the social change brought on by capitlism by wanting to go back to some golden age that never existed.

No, that attitude he derided as reactionary socialism. I don't remember if he gives the Luddites as an example or if it was just me applying his definition.

Utopian socialism is the idea that socialism will be achieved by forming idyllic communes where everyone is equal.

In contrast, revolutionary socialism is about achieving equality via a violent proletarian revolution (while anarchism is about equality via sporadic violence, anarcho-syndicalism is about equality via a general strike, and social democracy is about equality via legitimate political action).

little light said...

I think I misunderstood a couple people earlier. Ah, well, it got me sermonizing.
I think you're pretty right on, Sophie. I'd add something I realized a while ago--that for people to whom categories and sharp lines form important foundations, things that look to disrupt those foundations, like people who're not-this-not-this, are unsettling the way a lot of people react to a spider--they can't put their finger on it, there's just an uncomfortableness, a creepy-ness, a pit of disgust in the stomach. They can't explain it and it's not rational, but they feel unsettled, they feel like just having to look at it is like the trees and rocks shouting at them or two moons rising at night--like the whole world is suddenly, nauseatingly, a little off-center. And that's scary. So's the self-examination it implies as necessary.

I've been working on a post that begins with the notion that "religion" comes, probably, from the Latin "religare," or, roughly, poetically, "ties that bind." I think religion comes, essentially, in two varieties--the kind that ties things down, and the kind that ties things together; the kind that ties people down, and the kind that ties them to each other.
Some people really, really need the world to be tied down. It has to be consistent, definite, with rules to follow so you don't have to live with making your own, They need things to be nailed to the floor so they're intelligible. That's an understandable impulse, of course, but it's the one that ends up with You Have To Be This Or This, And If You Say You're Not You're Lying, or Eating That Thing Is a Blasphemy, or I Must Erase This Aberration, sometimes.
I prefer the kind that ties us up in each other's fortunes and makes for unity and solidarity. There's the risk, there, of losing oneself in the collective, of setting identity adrift, but it leaves more room for all sorts of contradictory and ridiculous things to be true, and that makes more sense in what I see as a very messy reality.

Also, right fucking on, B|L, on the Orientalism stuff. You're on a roll, and this is all theory stuff I've been edgy about bringing into the discussion.

KH said...

These episodes complicate feminism’s preferred self-understanding. Everybody knows it’s a diverse movement: popular feminism(s), esp. the internet sort, differ from academic feminisms, which both vary in their relations with, inter alia, trans theory & politics. But what place do we make for the existence of rank bigotry within feminism itself? Can rank bigotry really be an entrenched part of a movement of the virtuous? The question arises when we begin to notice that people are pretty regularly saying things in popular feminist blogs that would discomfit the canonical narratives, were they ever acknowledged.

Should they be? Take the present case. There are elaborate, sometimes hot, debates within both feminism & trans theory & politics about how they should relate to each other. It’s all packaged in hornbooks & recited in 50-minute blocks, toward the end of the syllabus in introductory feminist theory classes, in 100s of colleges here & elsewhere. Advanced students can take whole courses. (BL mentioned Janet Halley; her Split Decisions contains an excellent discussion of feminism & trans theory & politics.) But this isn’t that. Does it add anything to remind ourselves (& students) that there’s another world of feminism that disdains to do the readings, isn’t invested in the later parts of the curriculum, & prefers instead to speak the baleful language of gutter bigotry? (I don’t insist on this last description, which the bigots would contest. They can call themselves what they want; it’s enough to quote their own words & let others rectify names as they see fit.)

The impulse is studiously to ignore, or discreetly indulge, crazy spinster aunts. Most movements, left, right, & center, do. Certainly the bigots themselves have every reason to stuff awkward eruptions of frankness down the memory hole, to relegate them, after a few beats, to the “semi-ossified” [TF – now deleted] past, with the usual hand-waving in the direction of the patriarch in the woodpile. (“… that was in another country, And besides, the pitiful, deluded, damaged trans boy is dead.")

There are non-apologist reasons to pass lightly over this stuff. These people plainly create nothing, understand nothing, grant nothing. They certainly have no contructive relationship to any larger, authentically emancipatory political project, or to serious debates, past or present, in feminism. Maybe they really are of no significance. (Here I disagree with the admirable bfp, who attributes a preponderance of power to such people. That need not be.) Maybe they have no wider influence among naïfs & ‘sensible’ centrists. May none of this goes deep. Maybe the bigotry doesn’t implicate, isn’t already present in nuce in, something I believe & need to rethink.

Maybe. But if the stables do need to be cleaned, is it possible to clean them without called the problem by its rightful name?

Halley gets 'paranoid structuralism' from Duncan Kennedy.

belledame222 said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
belledame222 said...

that for people to whom categories and sharp lines form important foundations, things that look to disrupt those foundations, like people who're not-this-not-this, are unsettling the way a lot of people react to a spider--they can't put their finger on it, there's just an uncomfortableness, a creepy-ness, a pit of disgust in the stomach. They can't explain it and it's not rational, but they feel unsettled, they feel like just having to look at it is like the trees and rocks shouting at them or two moons rising at night--like the whole world is suddenly, nauseatingly, a little off-center. And that's scary. So's the self-examination it implies as necessary.

oh. Oh, that is good.

Am looking forward to your post on religion. I've been meaning to tackle the subject myself one of these days, finally.

"Not this, not this,"--yeah.

i keep thinking of, when I was a kid:

I used to love to stay at my grandparents' in Sun City, a retirement community. i loved and fastened on really small shit, the way kids do: the library, the poster my grandma had of various foods and their calories count, my grandpa's electronic chess set, the five minutes before closing time at the public pool. my grandma's lingerie and makeup drawers.

so, but, over their bed, they had a fluorescent light that had two pull-cords. you could pull either one to turn it on, or turn it off again.

but if you pulled them both together, if you did it just right, it would produce a strange flickering greyish light. the suspension of that in-between place fascinated me, the improbability of it. what else was possible if you knew how to pull the right switch at the right time?

like that.

belledame222 said...

to the “semi-ossified” [TF – now deleted]

hm?

KH said...

The deleted text began:

Somewhere in the discussion of a semi-ossified post on lipstick (a discussion that somehow morphed into a referendum on transgenderism before it swelled up and went south), commenter Heart said she wanted to see “half as much attention drawn to the defense of girls and women who are targeted for hate speech, brutality, murder, rape, incest, who are prostituted, trafficked for sex, beaten by men if they don’t go to the back of the bus, cut up by their ‘boyfriends’ and stewed on the stove, raped, brutalized and burned up by soldiers, dragged a mile to their death by their ‘boyfriend’ and so on, as there is in calling radical feminists ‘bigots’.”

Your wish is my command! ...


What followed was a description of a patriarchy-related problem that an unnamed young woman currently is facing. Heart, I think, objected that the reference could lead to the woman's being tracked down & killed by men; TF replaced the entire post (& deleting some of the comments), including the opening reference to the trans thread.

belledame222 said...

gee, i'm sorry i missed it.

and Heart: it isn't a question of what people choose to highlight as world injustices; it's a question of how people react (or not) when people are being gratuitously hateful, -right there in front of them.-

When you can cite an instance of one of the nebulously defined group you're currently waving at tolerating -anything- like the kind of transhating crap sitting in the IBTP archive, directed toward non-trans women or anyone else, then we'll talk. till then: well, want must be your master.

"stewed on the stove." oh, Mary. well, you're talking about it, aren't you. for fuck's sake. quick, let's all play Atrocity Queen for a Day! I'll see your Duke rape case and raise you a Matthew Shepherd!

or, not.

belledame222 said...

-vicarious- Atrocity Queen for a Day, that is.

"How can you express concern for the hateful bullshit going on right here and which would only take a simple "that's not on" from the host to stop it, when there are penguins starving in Antarctica? Huh? Huh? Why do you hate women so much? Why do you hate America so much?"

i wonder if the war on Christmas was around when Heart was still fighting the Lord's fight instead of the Wimmins'. she's got the tone down cold.

sophie said...

that for people to whom categories and sharp lines form important foundations, things that look to disrupt those foundations, like people who're not-this-not-this, are unsettling the way a lot of people react to a spider--they can't put their finger on it, there's just an uncomfortableness, a creepy-ness, a pit of disgust in the stomach. They can't explain it and it's not rational, but they feel unsettled, they feel like just having to look at it is like the trees and rocks shouting at them or two moons rising at night--like the whole world is suddenly, nauseatingly, a little off-center. And that's scary.

That is so right.
That's exactly how I feel when something goes against the ingrained doctrine that I've learned since childhood (like watching a child draw on their hands - my mother would've gone mental if any of us had done that).
Sometimes I take it as a sign that I have to stop and examine why the reaction and is it rational. But other times it is too much - a situation I have to avoid until I'm ready to look past the bigotry.
It is bigotry. Eleven years ago I went to college with a girl who wore off-the-shoulder tops. I couldn't bear to look at her - she was flouting one of the most important rules I knew.
Of course she wasn't at fault. But at that time I wasn't ready to look past how uncomfortable her 'immodesty' made me.

KH said...

… things that look to disrupt those foundations, like people who're not-this-not-this, are unsettling the way a lot of people react to a spider--they can't put their finger on it, there's just an uncomfortableness ...

One point of genderfuck being precisely to evoke & confront all this. On the other hand, it’s worth noting that many transgender & transsexuals are themselves trying to realign something that’s gotten out of kilter, want nothing more than an ordinary life-with-categories, escape from being not-this-not-that.

belledame222 said...

or, more accurately: the anti-abortion crowd. i wonder how much time she put in waving pictures of fetii around, declaiming about the "Holocaust" in the "abortion mills" and so forth.

belledame222 said...

kh: oh, of course. but the point is they still don't fit into the categories as defined by Heart and her ilk, or any other gender essentialists, (if nothing else, if they're men to start with, are they not in fact giving up male privilege by transitioning? isn't that what we supposedly want?) and that is Very Upsetting.

KH said...

An elastic, childish technique of self-vindication: If I did X (here’s how I’d do it), at least I never invaded Poland, an invasion my critics are strangely quiet about when they’re criticizing me for doing X. Ergo, schmergo.

belledame222 said...

I wonder if Heart's ever even heard of "genderfuck." valiant political lesbian that she is. or what she'd make of the Scissor Sisters video, below.

R. Mildred said...

Utopian socialism is the idea that socialism will be achieved by forming idyllic communes where everyone is equal.

Actually Marx's writing about utopian bourgeois socialism was him eeryily predicting the formation of the state of israel.

That still weirds me out, a man writing in the mid 19th century manages to pre-emptively snark on socialist kibutzs (I need sleep) that wouldn't occur for about a hundred years.

I've been working on a post that begins with the notion that "religion" comes, probably, from the Latin "religare," or, roughly, poetically, "ties that bind." I think religion comes, essentially, in two varieties--the kind that ties things down, and the kind that ties things together; the kind that ties people down, and the kind that ties them to each other.

Well the route origin isn't particularly surprising - the romans were skilled masters of utilising religion as a political force.

As were the greeks, and northern europeans, and chinese, and africans, and middle easterns, and indians.

And basically everyone.

Which shouldn't be surprising I guess considering religion is fundamentally about the centering of communities around pointless ritualistic appeasements to our uncontrollable world.

Or voting as we americans call it.

R. Mildred said...

AND BOOZE! Religion is also fundamentally about getting fucked and social bonding.

Nanette said...

But what place do we make for the existence of rank bigotry within feminism itself? Can rank bigotry really be an entrenched part of a movement of the virtuous? The question arises when we begin to notice that people are pretty regularly saying things in popular feminist blogs that would discomfit the canonical narratives, were they ever acknowledged.

Could there be a place for it? What purpose would it serve? And if there was a place for it (safe spaces for bigots, so to speak, where it would be bad form to challenge them) within feminism, what would that mean to everyone else who faces bigotry of one sort or another? Would just anti-transfolk bigotry be accepted, and if so, wouldn't that be unfair to others who wanted their own pet bigotries protected?

All silly questions, I know, but still... I don't see a place for this sort, or any other bigotry, within my feminism (but then I am not a "feminist", exactly) and I'm not really sure how it could exist within mainstream feminism without something or other dying along the way.

R. Mildred said...

Well the bigotry in question was an exact replica of the crap spouted by transmurdering bastards with their "straight fright" defenses - you've got that bizarre fear of losing their status as cisgendered if a transwoman pees near them, and the rape fear that homophobic hets usually have towards homosexuals (Nubian mocked that with her Dear Heterosexual Female Friends... post).

And that's before we get involved with the slut shaming ,the sexualised insults and the propensity to not only erase the oppression of transwomen but to declare that transwomen are actually men, forever and always.

And the biological determinism.

And the gender essentialism.

There's not a trace of bigotry that doesn't need to be stomped on for the sake of feminism.

KH said...

Nanette,

Not silly questions at all. We really agree, I think, & I maybe just expressed myself badly. By “what place do we make,” I don’t mean, “Welcome, rank bigot, welcome to my humble chapeau.” I mean, when we give an account or history of feminism, do we acknowledge that, like any broadly defined movement, it can take reactionary, bigoted forms? I say yes, he do, we have an obligation to acknowledge that, being members of the human race, feminists can turn feminism’s emancipatory promise against itself & create reactionary, bigoted versions of feminism. I’m utterly against conciliation with these people, & my point is that it’s our moral responsibility no to push them under the carpet, to erase them from our story of what feminism is or can become, pretend they have no moral or practical significance for us, for feminism, or for the broader struggle for human emancipation. An account of feminism that accepts these baleful possibilities is more honest, truer to feminism’s original impulse, & much, much more likely to win the future.

little light said...

It makes perfect sense to me, Sophie. I wouldn't have been able to describe it right if I hadn't felt it myself.
I get that reaction some times. I get very twitchy, for instance, around drag queens. Do I have a problem with them? No. Do I think they're doing anything wrong? No. Do I get nervous about getting lumped in with them as the same? Yeah, probably. Did I spend my closeted years hiding from folk like them because it threatened to raise very scary questions in my head? Yeah, that too.
What it comes down to, though, is an irrational unsettledness. It's not their problem; it's mine. It's only their problem if I make myself their problem, because of my problem. I've been trying to work through it for some time now, with slow progress.

Our patterns run deep. My unsettling people whose patterns have no room for me is their problem, not mine, but we live in a world where people with that problem will make themselves my problem, if I'm not careful.

It comes down, as I pointed out once, to being a monster, in a very archaic sense of disruptive not-this-not-this: http://takingsteps.blogspot.com/2006/ 09/on-cartography-and-dissection.html

little light said...

KH, Bitch|Lab is right. If you had a blog, I'd damn well read it.
Anyhow, it's a good point about genderfuck. Anyone here ever seen the instant discomfort on most people's faces when someone's gender or sex isn't disclosed to them or obvious right away? When they aren't told the sex of a baby? When faced with really seamless androgyny?
There's that irrational unsettledness. I even catch myself getting it, sometimes, much as I don't like to admit it.

KH said...

Yes, it’s gender essentialism, but to call it that grants it a dignity, the dignity of any minimally considered argument, that I think it lacks. People have already mentioned the dogmatic commitment to a Procrustean male-female binary system: there’s no room for queergender, or intersex, or neither-nor, or “why do you ask?”, or in between, or “none of your beeswax”, or “it’s neither here nor there”, or “thanks, I’d rather not”, or “maybe this classification isn’t explanatory here.” All the enormous human variation in this area is abstracted away or dismissed as unreal, or froth on the surface of a system that discriminates only 2 kinds of people, each kind being homogeneous in itself. Which makes it difficult to explain the variant cases at hand. But second, there’s the assignment rules – who’s M & who’s F –, & here’s where most of the heavy lifting occurs. For these people, the rules have to be fixed so that MTF transgender/transsexuals are stipulated to be men. Some of these people explicitly do have biological determinism in mind: male brains pickled in testosterone, throbbing ovaries, etc. That at least is an argument. But some of them deny that they’re biological determinists, & roll out their rusty, half- (or more) forgotten constructionist arguments; & that raises more problems than it solves. I wonder whether they really think, au fond, that the constructedness goes all the way down. If a biologically male (in point of gross anatomy) child were raised (constructed) as a female, & had a fully feminine gender identity, could they ever accept her as a female, a woman with a penis? How could they not, without admitting that they weren’t so constructionist after all? In this sense, SRS is secondary or beside the point. Point being, the arguments are a thin scab of belief, precariously attached to the gore beneath.

About 40 years ago, Nathan Glazer, an old leftist who didn’t much like the New Left, wrote a (bad) book against it called Remembering the Answers. It referred to an old put-down: your questions are so silly, were so definitively disposed of so long ago, that I don’t even remember the answers anymore. I increasingly feel this way. Do we really need to take the time to go back & reconstruct all these old arguments, long since resolved or abandoned, just in order to refute a small bunch of troglodytes who won’t listen to, & anyway mostly couldn’t follow, reason in any case?

Nanette said...

kh, yes, sorry if it seemed like I thought you approved of such beliefs... I knew from your other postings (and even that one) that you didn't. That phrasing just struck me as odd... but I'm very glad you elaborated on it, because I think your explanation is wonderful, and definitely something I agree with.

I say yes, too, to acknowledging the reactionary and bigoted forms some feminism can take - I think that would go a long way, actually, towards drawing in others who might be hesitant to identify with feminism.

An account of feminism that accepts these baleful possibilities is more honest, truer to feminism’s original impulse, & much, much more likely to win the future.

Exactly. And I echo everyone else... you really should start a blog.

belledame222 said...

RM: don't forget the homophobia. ("You sound like a fag," "ANALogy")

belledame222 said...

but she had sex with a woman once and women glow and men don't.

ADDISON:...Brilliant, vivid,
something made of music and fire...

MARGO
How nice.

ADDISON
In time she'll be what you are.

MARGO
A mass of music and fire. That's
me. An old kazoo and some sparkles.

--"All About Eve"

Bitch | Lab said...

BD wrote:

but she had sex with a woman once and women glow and men don't.

ADDISON:...Brilliant, vivid,
something made of music and fire...

MARGO
How nice.

ADDISON
In time she'll be what you are.

MARGO
A mass of music and fire. That's
me. An old kazoo and some sparkles.

--"All About Eve"

----------------

effin brill! i'm going to giggle about this all night.

Bitch | Lab said...

For RMildred and alon:

we both got it wrong. it was the petty bourg socialists:

"This school of Socialism dissected with great acuteness the contradictions in the conditions of modern production. It laid bare the hypocritical apologies of economists. It proved, incontrovertibly, the disastrous effects of machinery and division of labour; the concentration of capital and land in a few hands; overproduction and crises; it pointed out the inevitable ruin of the petty bourgeois and peasant, the misery of the proletariat, the anarchy in production, the crying inequalities in the distribution of wealth, the industrial war of extermination between nations, the dissolution of old moral bonds, of the old family relations, of the old nationalities.

In its positive aims, however, this form of Socialism aspires either to restoring the old means of production and of exchange, and with them the old property relations, and the old society, or to cramping the modern means of production and of exchange, within the framework of the old property relations that have been, and were bound to be, exploded by those means. In either case, it is both reactionary and Utopian."


I always though this part was spot on in so far as M and E point out that the utopians end up like the reactionaries. and of course, he uses "new jerusalem":


The significance of Critical-Utopian Socialism and Communism bears an inverse relation to historical development. In proportion as the modern class struggle develops and takes definite shape, this fantastic standing apart from the contest, these fantastic attacks on it, lose all practical value and all theoretical justification. Therefore, although the originators of these systems were, in many respects, revolutionary, their disciples have, in every case, formed mere reactionary sects. They hold fast by the original views of their masters, in opposition to the progressive historical development of the proletariat. They, therefore, endeavor, and that consistently, to deaden the class struggle and to reconcile the class antagonisms. They still dream of experimental realization of their social Utopias, a founding isolated phalansteries, of establishing "Home Colonies," of setting up a "Little Icaria" -- duodecimo editions of the New Jerusalem -- and to realize all these castles in the air, they're compelled to appeal to the feelings and purses of the bourgeois. By degrees they sink into the category of the reactionary conservative Socialists depicted above, differing from these only by more systematic pedantry, and by their fanatical superstitious belief in the miraculous effects of their social science.

-------------------

"by the fanatical supersititious belief in the miraculous effects of their social science" (by which he must have meant the Saint Simonians.

Speaking of genderfucks, IIRC ( and not that Saint Simone was transgendered or into transvestism), but I think he tried to escape capture during an upheaval post Frech Revolution by dressing as a woman. I remember hearing the story as a bit of intellectual gossip academics tell one another, but never did look up the story.

and KH, thanks for corresting my sloppiness re Duncan Kennedy as originator of the term, Paranoid Structuralism.

Bitch | Lab said...

I'll have to find time to read what you've written more carefully, KH, but on a skim I laughed to recall that, back when the Ann Blartow crap when down again, Michael Berube wrote to say that it struck him as so odd both the radical feminism out there and the whole burqagate thing.

It was, to him, lik eno one ever got out of the 80s or early 90s. All this had been done, so WTF? These issues had been largely answered and everyone seemed to have moved on to something more productive. WTF?

Beats me, but that's the kind of disturbance I felt when I saw all this in BlogLandia and thought, WTF, everyone's fighting the same wars they fought nearly 20 years ago. Hello?

Repitition (in the Freudian sense) is a, uh, interesting thing. Makes everyone comfortable I guess.

bores me.

bless the word thinger. it's giving me words my eyes can read.

belledame222 said...

BL: have you not seen All About Eve? you MUST.

JackGoff said...

Anyone else desperately needing NaDruBloDa?

I'm alone until Saturday and I've been too depressed for words these past few days. One thing about the holidays when you're young: you're friends are ALWAYS gone and your SO's parents ALWAYS want special alone time to fuck over any togetherness one might wish for in the name of familial bonding. I don't really begrudge them, but damn if I'm not getting wasted too often for all the wrong reasons. NaDruBloDa will give me at least legitimacy.

belledame222 said...

aw, hell, JG, I'm sorry to hear that. what's up? why alone? ...d'oh, never mind, just read it again more carefully. well, goddam, that sucks. whyn't you come to NY for a spell?

R. Mildred said...

Repitition (in the Freudian sense) is a, uh, interesting thing. Makes everyone comfortable I guess.

bores me.


IF I were to put on my crazy-lucknkl-type hat for a second;

Observation 1: Radfems are always repeating things already done by radfems past.

Conclusion 1: Radfems are therefore EVIL GHOSTS! Cursed to walk the earth until they get over themselves or see me take a whizz (whichever comes first.

Action 1: Run away screaming from the toilet with your pants around your ankles!

piny said...

kh: oh, of course. but the point is they still don't fit into the categories as defined by Heart and her ilk, or any other gender essentialists, (if nothing else, if they're men to start with, are they not in fact giving up male privilege by transitioning? isn't that what we supposedly want?) and that is Very Upsetting.

The solution to that is to argue that some people are effectively disenfranchised--taught that they cannot be the gendered personae proper for their birth sex, and that they have better options if they transition. Transwomen cannot be men, they're just inept, but they can become women. I think it parallels the argument about class women: someone has to be the underclass, of course, and so certain people can be trained into it. While womanhood (and transsexuality) renders one an illegitimate human being, the conditions themselves are not only legitimate but necessary for the people so designated.

belledame222 said...

shrug. it seems to me though that the very concept of people voluntarily transitioning to female status suggests that either

1) they are showing solidarity by giving up privilege-classed status, which is usually what this particular brand of quasi-leftie-ism approves of, more or less

2) OR, OR, in fact...there is after all something -attractive- about female status. Which suggests that IN fact there ARE certain privileges or at least rewards for being female in this society...but ah, that concept is anathema to this particular brand of radical feminism, isn't it? There's nothing good about it, the trappings of socially constructed femininity, any of it: it's all a trap, the only "enjoyment" of it can come from brainwashing.

so if someone VOLUNTARILY signs up for it, well...uh, um, fum, fuh.

well, sputter, and especially if we've already painted ourselves into a corner by NOT claiming to be biological essentialists, so we can't even claim it's about they can never be women cause on account of no magical mystical womb and shit...

what to do, what to DO.

belledame222 said...

...o, i see what you mean. well that is traditionally the argument used in certain transphobic gay circles as well: this person would clearly be homosexual/lesbian if sie weren't brainwashed by the homophobic culture.

of course the existence of people who've transitioned and are bisexual or gay or pansexual in their new gender kind of tends to put paid to that theory;

and of course, it's pretty hard to argue butbutbut why can't so and so just identify as a woman/man anyway? why do you need the surgery? when you have not just the legal realities and the actual transfolk telling you till they're bright blue that hello it's about FEELING COMFORTABLE IN YER BODY (which is highly personal and subjective and no one has a right to tell anyone else how to go about it, goddamit, that IS feminism), but also lovely people in your own ranks, possibly including yourself, refusing to call transpeople by their chosen pronouns/identity even NOW.

and, you claim to abhor the trappings of "traditional" femininity, skirts, heels, etc., (even if garsh teehee you indulge in some of 'em yourself sometimes, on account of you just can't quite give it up -yet-), so you're hardly going to be going "drag queens, yay! transsexuals, boo!"

...so, all this means, what, exactly?

sounds to me roughly equivalent to:

"Sure, gay people have the same marriage rights as anyone else. They can marry someone of the opposite sex, just like anyone else."

R. Mildred said...

1) they are showing solidarity by giving up privilege-classed status, which is usually what this particular brand of quasi-leftie-ism approves of, more or less

No, remember that men can't be feminists and give up their privelage or in anyway do anything other than be oppressive towards women.

That's where they get transpiracies about Those Trannies trying to rape them in the toilets, you see they posit an idea of social conditioning that is so absolute that it might as well be evopsych's biological determinism - which is basically just gender essentionalism by other means.

With that in mind, you realise that trans rape fears are therefore mere extentions of the evopyscho idea that men rape because they're preprogrammed to - and therefore transwomen can't overcome their training to rape women if they get into situation where they have the opportunity to rape women.

It's a horrible view point that is contradicted by even the most basic observations of the world.

Really really horrible.

belledame222 said...

No, remember that men can't be feminists and give up their privelage or in anyway do anything other than be oppressive towards women.

Unless they, the menz that is, are anti-pr0n sermonizers; then we gather around his feet and coo adoringly.

Bitch | Lab said...

forgive. brain friend.

i don't think radfems believe there are privileges or soemthing desireable about being women so much as it all just fucks with their insistance that the very definition of woman reaches back to the experience of socialization.

by setting up socialization as the mover -- the institutions of socialization, patriarchal and all powerful as they -- then this is the source of womanness and manness. anyone man who says that he can undo all that socialization to become a woman is full of it, on their view.

you are a woman and socialized as such since birth. That's the def. of woman.

when transwomen asked to be IDd as women, they are asking radfems to alter or deny their explanatory framework for the possibility of woman culture, etc.

it's kind of like asking me to accept the society is like 7 layer bars model of social class.

nope. sorry. won't do it. i patronize folks who are wedded to it, and just ignore them, but that's in the interest of not wasting my time arguing with a stop sign.

little light said...

Best typo ever, B|L. Brain friend! Will you be my brain friend?

Veronica said...

7 layer bars model of social class.

Is that like 7 Layer Dip?

FoolishOwl said...

If I recall correctly, utopian socialist communes were especially common in the 19th century US South, and tended to deal with issues of race by the expedient of being whites-only, or by allowing members of the commune to own slaves. It seems to me that the commune model *depends* upon the assumptions of a settler state, that there's unsettled land waiting to be claimed, where you can create your pure, perfect society free of external taint. However, there's no place outside the arctic circle that doesn't already have people present, a fact that settler states and the founders of communes usually prefer to pretend isn't true. So, the idea of a utopian commune already has racist assumptions built into it, and it shouldn't be a surprise that kibbutz are a racist enterprise.

Any solution to a social problem has to start from what actually exists. I'm used to using "utopian" as a shorthand criticism of a position that starts by ignoring what actually exists.

Getting back to TF, radfems, etc., I'm thinking again of how TF posted how patriarchy cannot actually be overcome. TF's a nihilist; gynospace is utopian. Any solution to sexism is going to have to start off with the fact that women and men live and work together.

Another thing that bugs me is the amount of effort some radfems go to demonstrating that men are defined by domination, an idea I reject. It's pretty clear who's defined by domination. Middle class and ruling class people are defined by who they dominate. Who they control is printed on their business cards. It seems like a lot of effort is being gone to, to divert attention from the obvious source of the problem.

FoolishOwl said...

Sorry, that last paragraph smacks of reductionism. There are, of course, horribly complicated issues of domination and subordination involved in gender, race, etc., which need to be taken seriously. What I am getting at, though, is it seems very strange to me to insist that *all* domination is based on gender, when it clearly isn't, when gender identities appear to be independent of issues of power (appearances being deceiving), but class status is immediately, directly, obviously based on domination and subordination.

brownfemipower said...

when transwomen asked to be IDd as women, they are asking radfems to alter or deny their explanatory framework for the possibility of woman culture, etc.

couldn't agree more. absolutly.

belledame222 said...

brain friend!

little light beat me to it. hee!

KH said...

And yet, if trans women really, on whatever grounds, were men, you'd think trans men would be deemed really to be women. But I see few takers for that claim, either. Some people just can win for losing. I really don't think there's any coherent argument here.

belledame222 said...

i don't think radfems believe there are privileges or soemthing desireable about being women so much

No, i agree; i put it badly, i guess. I mean: precisely because they do -not- believe there are privileges about being a woman, or rather that is part of the ideology, i was wondering whether the existence of a man wanting to become one of the non-privileged might jog at that uneasily. because, how do you explain that? well, if you're lucky, "they're nutjobs." or, if you're someone else, "they really -aren't- giving up any privilege, it's some kind of stealth attack, somehow." or, if you're a bit more sophisticated, -mumble- -crickets- "some more refined version of either of the above two, but really we wish them well, it just has nothing to do with us anyway, we're oppressed, they're oppressed, let them get their own space, i'm sure they want their own space as much as we want ours..."

see what I'm saying?

belledame222 said...

I really don't think there's any coherent argument here

Well, that, too, yeah.

I think what we're trying to get at isn't the conscious, political explanation so much as what (I speculate) might be really going on, somewhere not quite articulated, you know. i mean, there's -always- a reason. it may not be a reason that makes any sense in the calm light of day, but it's still a reason...

belledame222 said...

utopian socialist communes were especially common in the 19th century US South, and tended to deal with issues of race by the expedient of being whites-only, or by allowing members of the commune to own slaves.

Wow! So much for the image(s) I always had of communes...

belledame222 said...

it seems very strange to me to insist that *all* domination is based on gender, when it clearly isn't

it makes a bit more sense coming from a woman who is the daughter of a "captain of industry," and for whom the closest she seems to have come to any sort of class examination is noting good restaurant service with approval and sneering at people who shop at Wal-mart.

Blackamazon said...

Belle I think that's the big thing about rad fem that SCARES the shit about me. A lot of the philosphy in practice ( not the philosphy in theory) especially on the blogosphere is grounded in teh bleief i that womanhood is a forever predated non powerful state of turmoil .

Which bugs me a lot . Especially in the trans argument

because I love being female . Love biologically to the core of my being and just the thought of feeling the way i did in a body that did not match it . I can't imagine NOT doing everything I could to give myself peace.

and they deny it in such a way that

1) makes me frightened for every transfolk who might ever come in contact with them

2)makes me think that the y honestly dont LIKE woman hood

little light said...

Belle, re your comment on trans women giving up privilege:
If you read the sheepdip over at the IBTP thread, they don't think trans women give up any privilege at all. They think we still benefit from male power, male money, patriarchal support. I'm not sure what world they're observing where this is so, but some of them flatly denied that trans women were in any danger from patriarchy, seeing as--according to their theories--trans women were agents of it, patriarchy-approved invaders and exploiters of womanhood. In their eyes we get to keep male privilege and take whatever we want from pretending to be female.

Incidentally, I noticed--as I frequently do--that their arguments rested not just on a stereotyped white trans woman, but on a white late transitioner. That is, they assume a trans person who has decided to transition later in life, with, presumably, a male's saved income to back up the process, an adult's social network (until it vanishes) and so on. The whole argument of "male socialization" rests on that, too--the assumption of a woman who's had decades of living as a man to socialize her into being one.

As a young transitioner, even were these assumptions correct, they ain't universal. If you're in any way dependent on your family--as especially young trans women of color are, and especially, also, trans women who're working class--it doesn't jive. If you have the money savings of a teenager or twentysomething, it's nonsense. And if you stopped male socialization, say, as a teenager? If you didn't have it hammered into you even before that? Their arguments crash and burn.

Young transitioners often have different issues across the board, from money to family to degrees of passing to generational attitudes to social support. We have our advantages and disadvantages; we have, in a generalized way, a lot of diffeing experiences, even if we've still got much in common. I've seen us assumed out of existence a lot, though.

kh said...

Sometimes there’s no reason, just a cause, like the cause of cancer. Here, have we rejected the idea that MtF trans are reviled not because there’s anything defective about what they seek, but because they’re immutably men?

little light said...

Do you mind clarifying your last a bit, KH?

belledame222 said...

Wait, we who? You mean, anyone -here?- or, that that's what the people at the sheep dip (HA) think?...or, uh, don't. goddam. NaDruBloDa hasn't even started yet, and i'm still confuzzled.

Sometimes there's no reason

I keep thinking of this passage from "Misery," it went roughly like,

when the protagonist is leafing through his crazy kidnapper's scrapbook and wondering why the hell she murdered her roommate, as is apparent, her "dry voice" at the back of his mind answers for him:

I did it because I didn't like the stupid name she gave the cat.

I did it because I got tired of watching her make out with her boyfriend on the couch, him with his hand shoved so far up her skirt he looked like he was prospecting for gold.

I did it because I caught her cheating.

I did it because -she- caught -me- cheating.

I did it because she was a cockadoodie brat and she needed to die; what else do you need to know?


Yeah, the Enlightenment has its drawbacks. Sweet sweet reason, as defined in Apollonian, rational self-interest terms anyway, don't explain everything, no. not by a -long- shot.

FoolishOwl said...

Belledame, I should admit that I don't know *in detail* the history of communes, in the US or elsewhere. I'm not certain how many integrated communes there may have been, for instance. Also, obviously, European settlers in general were displacing indigenous people, and something of the "city on a hill" attitude's present throughout US expansion. On the whole, I can't say 19th century utopian socialists were worse than the mainstream.

In support of utopians, Robert Owen always struck me as someone trying hard to be a decent human being. And I rather like some of Charles Fourier's ideas, particularly the bit about how jilted suitors would be led away by a corps of "fairies" who would soon cure them of their lovesickness.

KH said...

LL, sure. I take these people pretty much at face value, &, as in the IBTP thread, they strongly suggest, when the chips are down, that transwomen aren’t, can’t be, “real” women. And that seems to me to be a sufficient explanation for the hostility. No need to invoke alleged contempt for themselves as women. Why do they insist that transwomen aren’t women? Two possibilities: (1) biological determinism, or (2) constructionism. Few are bold enough to admit to full-throated vulgar, ‘common sense’ biologism, given the ideological history, but I’ve got more than lingering suspicions that that’s ultimately what’s behind it. In this they’re little different from plain vanilla ‘common sense’ transphobes. If the constructionist arguments really were the basis, they’d be able to give a more minimally competent rendering of them.

Maybe I expressed myself badly above, sorry.

little light said...

No, I think you've got a good point, KH. Whatever they think we are, they don't accept the notion that we're women, and they find the notion of anyone claiming we are to be insulting and an erasure of their own identity. The very claim that transwomen are in any way women is the first, and perhaps gravest, offense, as for as they're concerned.
Belle may be adding more to that, but I think you're pretty unavoidably right, on that point.

JackGoff said...

that sucks. whyn't you come to NY for a spell?

I've been catching up on reading today (The Road, so. damn. good.)

Awww, well, let's at least have a good NaDruBloDa.

WV: piterq

Uh-huh Uh-huh 'Cuz yo...

Bitch | Lab said...

kh:

Not silly questions at all. We really agree, I think, & I maybe just expressed myself badly. By “what place do we make,” I don’t mean, “Welcome, rank bigot, welcome to my humble chapeau.” I mean, when we give an account or history of feminism, do we acknowledge that, like any broadly defined movement, it can take reactionary, bigoted forms? I say yes, he do, we have an obligation to acknowledge that, being members of the human race, feminists can turn feminism’s emancipatory promise against itself & create reactionary, bigoted versions of feminism. I’m utterly against conciliation with these people, & my point is that it’s our moral responsibility no to push them under the carpet, to erase them from our story of what feminism is or can become, pretend they have no moral or practical significance for us, for feminism, or for the broader struggle for human emancipation. An account of feminism that accepts these baleful possibilities is more honest, truer to feminism’s original impulse, & much, much more likely to win the future.

*sigh*

*swoon*

i need to fuck your mind. wax your carrot. polish your shoes. etc.

Bitch | Lab said...

""But some of them deny that they’re biological determinists, & roll out their rusty, half- (or more) forgotten constructionist arguments; & that raises more problems than it solves. I wonder whether they really think, au fond, that the constructedness goes all the way down. If a biologically male (in point of gross anatomy) child were raised (constructed) as a female, & had a fully feminine gender identity, could they ever accept her as a female, a woman with a penis? How could they not, without admitting that they weren’t so constructionist after all? In this sense, SRS is secondary or beside the point. Point being, the arguments are a thin scab of belief, precariously attached to the gore beneath.""

KH, I think you are quite right about that. Take for, instance, something that comes out of Raymond.

This possibility of raising a boy to be a girl was a thought i had. since there was some discussion not too long ago about the issue, with young children wanting reassignment surgery. and then i thiought, well, like everything else, technology is making all of this quite possible so, what would they say.

and it occured to me that those wedded to this position would reject it. and there is ample work from radfems from which to defend the position. not surprisingly in janice raymond where there is a heated opposition to the use of any technology at all. eg., as lis riba once pointed out, radfems thing it is Teh Evil that she uses drug therapy for her low sex drive. Their antipathy toward reproductive technologies such as surrogacy, etc.

so, they'd draw on that claiming that, of course, the institution of medicine is the dark heat of patriarchy. blah blah and if any technique comes to the forefront, it is because it serves patriarchy.

blah blah.

don't mind me, just rambling.

but anyone i think you are quite right that it is all often elaborated in a really haphazard, lackadaisical way where the logical implications of the arguments are rarely examined.

and i like the analogy with the way women's studies courses tuck it all in at the end of the course in that Buddy Freddy Buffet Pedagogy people love: little this, little that, dollops of sauce here, ladle of gravy there. slap a hunk of cake and whipped cream on the hodge podge and call is "learnin'".

Bitch | Lab said...

little light -- lot more where that typho came from too! someday, i will compose in a space that my mind can deal with. these boxes bug me. it must be a learning disorder, but it's bigger. i have a real problem writing in certain surroundings. hard to explain.

considering how in lust with your mind i am (glad to learn of you!) you can be my brain friend any day!

belledame222 said...

polish your shoes.

Hm. and before you were polishing someone else's shoes. and puking on CM's.

i sense a theme here...

Bitch said...

i almost went with 7 layer dip V but then it occured to me that i liked the condensed mil as the upper class. cause it trickles down. har har. also, cause when you bake it, it changes character from its raw state, which illustrates the typical USers view of what class is. all the layers just sit side by side not really hurting each other and they work together in the end to create this groovy society.

7 layer dip just didn't quite work the analogy for me. but it was written when my caffeine system had to much blood circulating so who knows.

Bitch | Lab said...

BA wrote:

::especially on the blogosphere is grounded in teh bleief i that womanhood is a forever predated non powerful state of turmoil ::

not quite sure what you're saying, but if I understood right, then MacKinnon says this flat out.

Women are -- her, you, me -- patriarchal constructs. we don't know what it is like to be anything other than defined by men.

all. the. way. down. we are victims and she spends a good deal of time defending why this isn't a position to be automatically rejected.

we have no power. we have no agency of our own. we do not know what sex is in the absence of patriarchy, so we cannot, ever, know the diff. between sex and rape.

this is why socialization is so utterly crucial here.

transfolks can't exist.

Bitch | Lab said...

heh. you caught that huh?

was reading science blog carpenter freuqnets where the author explained where her line "i puke on your shoes" comes from. (Her threat tosome guy bugging her on public transit)

I didn't have time to deal with CM's crap re: blartow and everyone else was handing her her ass on every other topic anyway. but that shit don't rest. you wanna applaud blartow, then i puke on your shoes no matter what you have to say, especially when you start rabbiting on about whether someone is a man or not.

and there she is, a white women who rarely IDs as such in this conversations. How you can rabbit on and on about white supremacy without locating yourself as white is beyond me. but maybe i don't read her enough.

and no, i don't give a shit who she married or raised. nor did i give a shit who heart married or raised. you don't get out of white supremacy because of who you fuck.

i puke on her shoes.

Bitch | Lab said...

vagina hugs jack! i'll write with my phone number or something and you can call if you get lonesome.

are you doing anything new year's?

belledame222 said...

I didn't have time to deal with CM's crap

she: irks.

yeah, the great thing about believing that everyone's out to get you is that sooner or later it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.

little light said...

Yeah, I tried to be cuddly Good Cop over there, and you saw where it got me. I was exerting power-over! With the sinister use of terms of endearment!

"you don't get out of white supremacy because of who you fuck."

*swoon*, brain friend.

KH said...

B|L: polish your shoes. etc. You’ve got it backwards: I, you. I, regretfully, am – sob – unshod.

R. Mildred said...

we have no power. we have no agency of our own. we do not know what sex is in the absence of patriarchy, so we cannot, ever, know the diff. between sex and rape.

Which is the patriarchy as nuspeek model - WHICH MAKES NO SENSE!

If patriarchy is that powerful then we could not concieve freedom, could not comprehend its ubiquitousness to right nor write such statements - you cannot have 1984 translated into nuspeek.

It's nothing less than patriarchal fatalism, and is a classic appeal to power - like when kos or hamsher justify their idiocy with their "totally earned" popularity because might makes right and if the patriarchy says it's ubiquitous and super popular, who are we to go against the trend? - and what more requires the acceptance of oppression as the natural default of human society, which of course is the source of their absolute love of heirarchies, they're natural, says the confem, and therefore cannot be fought against but only harnessed to a benevolent end.

thus feminism becomes a battle between oppressors, and oh look, this new confem one says that she's benevolent as well, ho hum, here comes our new years revolvelution, Down with Patriarchy! Up with the society of the Honored Matres! Down with the honored matres! Up with Bene gesserits! Anyone for A kwizatch haderach?

Throw another mehssiah on the fire, it's getting chilly out here in the cold...

KH said...

Lemme temporarily stick this here, it's stick in moderation at feministe & I'm getting woozy:

68. KH Says: Your comment is awaiting moderation.
December 29th, 2006 at 1:15 am

What is hate speech?, asked Pilate. You can understand: if somebody shots me in the face, I may find it an odd moment for people to become absorbed the no-doubt interesting question of what really constitutes gunfire, as opposed to the vigorous exchange of opinions. Again, the obvious answer is to offer an ostensive definition: hate speech is what they did at IBTP. Or does anyone deny it?

Once we’re fully agreed – by which I mean fully, without any implicit or explicit apologetic yes, buts –, then we can address the problem of formulating an analytic definition – as we could have at any point before the instant example, & which, if we’re really interested, already has been pretty fully amplified in a vast academic literature – without anybody justly worrying that someone is hedging, equivocating, topic shifting, etc.

The idea that it’s “good to have spaces where people who have challenging opinions are there to debate” would be as true if we were talking about something from Der Stürmer rather than an episode of gut-bucket transphobia, but the likelihood of anyone saying it &, not unreasonably, people’s interpretation of the act of saying it, would differ. Even the most principled of us are more likely to respond to some outrages with anodyne praise for vigorous free expression than we are to others. Even (we) First Amendment absolutists sometimes, when things strike too close to home, skip the Constitution Day speeches & just call things by their rightful names.

It’s a mark of being a member of a despised class that whenever you’re attacked, you can be sure that a rousing defense of robust debate will follow, & it’s a mark that you’re gaining at least minimal space to live that, when you’re attacked again, people begin to talk less about the vigorous exchange of ideas & more about the rottenness of the “ideas” being “exchanged.” Trans people want, among other things, at least that space. Wouldn’t you?

belledame222 said...

-ovation-

the other thing, as i was trying to get at over there, is: y'know, the legal definition of "hate speech" or "libel" or whatnot isn't important here; this isn't about censorship (any one of these happy assholes can go start a blog of their own, after all, and fap to their putrid little heart's content), as we all know.

the point is: when do you as an individual say: you know what, person over there? ally, friend, stranger, acquaintance, enemy? you are being hateful and awful. i am calling you on it.

it's not that complicated, really.

little light said...

People get awfully shaky on the difference between "right" and "legal," I've noticed, Belle.

My comment's sitting in moderation, too.

KH said...

Yus. By all means, I'm content to let these people keep publicly morally humiliating themselves ever more comprehensively. But somehow when you respond, it's suddenly no longer the recently-praised vigorous expression of ideas, blah, blah, blah, it becomes power-overing, powering-over, etc. (To say nothing about my enormous penis.) We're truly among unintelligent & nasty people.

I may have hidden my contempt too completely. It's always so deadly predictable, the same people, the same stupid, stupid apologetics.

End of rant.

belledame222 said...

for whatever reason, i don't (usually) get as worked up over the obviously addlepated ones (with the exception of pony, who's just so fucking over the top -nasty-) as i do with the supposedly smart, sane, "reasonable" ones who still act like this when the chips are down. just in more socially acceptable ways.

it still is wearying, though. yes.

KH said...

Actually, by "unintelligent & nasty ... stupid, stupid," I kinda was referring to the supposedly smart, sane, "reasonable," socially acceptable ones, the reference to the power-over philosophy notwithstanding. Just a foul mood, will pass.

Veronica said...

and what more requires the acceptance of oppression as the natural default of human society, which of course is the source of their absolute love of heirarchies, they're natural, says the confem, and therefore cannot be fought against but only harnessed to a benevolent end.

thus feminism becomes a battle between oppressors, and oh look, this new confem one says that she's benevolent as well, ho hum, here comes our new years revolvelution, Down with Patriarchy!


That's pretty much what I was trying to express in a seperate clusterfuck (Dead Men Don't Rape) here recently. I dunno if the holidays are getting to people or what, but "kill 'em all" and "castrate all the menz to prevent rape" became not just acceptable, but an unquestionably viable final solution to that whole Patriarchy problem in some circles. Which, ya know... have they lost their fucking minds?

How is switching one fucked off system of violence-backed dominance for another fucked off system of violence-based dominance supposed to equate to an actual change?

And, that's completely ignoring the fact that actually revolting and setting up the Radical GynoSpace Matriarchy isn't really the goal, either. For one, if the Patriarchy goes, what would they do all day? They've put themselves in this spot where the only "outs" are Dick Shredding Genderpocalypse (which won't ever happen) or Perpetual Patriarchy, because when it comes down to it they know there's no money in the cure--the money is in the research and continual treatment. If patriarchy as they concieve it goes extinct, they won't be able to sit up on those special pedastles and tell each other how special they are for seeing through the veil. If patriarchy goes extinct and your whole identity as a person is "someone that opposes patriarchy," then who the fuck are YOU under all that mess? You can't be a superhero without a supervillian. Taking on that "nothing ever changes, the Patriarchy marches on" nihilism becomes identity-protection in the end.

Bitch | Lab said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Bitch | Lab said...

RM -- for the early MacKinnon, the answer was consciousness raising.

you are right, she ignores (AFAIAC) what might be called the 'epistemology' problem: how do we know? if patriarchy is that powerful, that all encompassing, then no one would ever notice it was a problem and try to change it right?

so, MacKinnon does not give me a satisfactory answer to that issue. She slips by it by talking about CR -- early on. (But at least she has a way out of patriarchy. In her later work, she does not even talk about CR)

And you can see why I keep pointing out how she basically lifted a Marxist framework, but then left out this crucial part. In Marx, you have an explanation where resistance comes from it. You have an explanation of how class society generates its own downfall, how the cracks and contradictions in the system are exposed because by its own internal logic.

but MacKinnon doesn't theorize this. She inspired others to try -- notably Heidi Hartmann. But most people have rarely heard of her or her brand of socialist feminism for a reason. Hartmann never got far with the project.

So, the answer the early MacKinnon says is to get together in consciousness raising groups where women, together, start making their own knowledge of the world. Until that happens, all the knowledge we have is from patriarchy.

If I ever get it together to have time for Janet Halley to come visit the blog and hold a seminar, i'll write more.

but this is one reason i was really disappointed on a long ago thread at pandagon.

everyone kept talking about consciousness raising and there was a debate over whether feminism was about enlightenment as self knowledge or was it a movement for social change.

i thought the "enlightenment" folks had it exactly backward as to what CR was meant to be. Obviously it has morphed. But it might be a great idea if we looked to what folks wrote before us to learn, perhaps, why. At least then we'll have some idea why we all end up using CR in very different ways. We'll have a better understanding of what worked and what didn't.

Alas, I think I was called a troll in that conversation. *g*

*I should also note that MacKinnon thinks that "womanspace" and "womens culture" is a joke, if women think they can find something powerful and positive, etc. in being a woman, even if being so is the ultimate expression of women's oppression.

She makes the analogy with black culture. she says it was and remains the product of slavery , Jim Crow and oppression. Therefore, we can't know what "black culture" is.

I've got the quote somewhere at the blog. too lazy to go look it up and paste here.

my point was that this is where the tension within radfem resides, an important one.

And its why -- I think -- you see the stark difference between Heart and Twisty. Some radfems took MacKinnon's early stuff and ran with it. She was articulating a very common view at the time, so it wasn't just MacK. Those radfems rans off to create separatist women only spaces with the idea that it would be through those spaces wed' create women's knowledge and raise our consciousness. And this would spread. There was a huge push for women's small businesses and, basically, a way to have the possibility of a women's only society -- thriving with commerce and all. At the time this was hardly far fetched. Many people were thinking this way.

Anyway, there's this split within Radfem where the cultural radfams like heart seem as fuzzy headed and idealistic about women's space. twisty is, to me, a product of classical radfem who kind of mocks' things like Michfest.Hardly seems interested in expanding on the virtues of women's culture, etc.

Bitch | Lab said...

heh. kh, I haven't worn shoes much for 8 years. I got a job telecommuting, got laid off, went into freelancing. shoes?

i used to try to use putting on shoes as a way to signal beginning/end of work. given that up lately. i broken my shin and, with no health insurance, had to fix it myself. so spent a lot of time unshod, my leg and foot too swollen for shoes. right after that, the dog scratched me and I didn't attend to it, so it was infected for a long time. still no shoes.

got used to it.

belledame222 said...

*nod* And you know, there are other radical feminists who also blame the patriarchy but do -not- put the sex business front and center, at least not like that; these are the people who focus on the deposed matriarchy, the once and future Goddess, much more. and yes, obviously, that has about as much to do with Twisty as the man on the moon. Heart comes closer, but she's still in dworkin/MacKinnon mode.

and/or, but. Per "patriarchy:" i mean, i have heard queer and whore-positive (new term! just typing it out loud to see how it sits with me) perspectives that also want Down With Patriarchy.

Lady Aster, you know, considers herself a radical feminst. so does or did my livejournal pal trin, (the first online friend i made out of the wreckage of an IBTp and so forth blowup) who's ID'd fairly heavily with the BDSM community, and very pro at least indie pr0n.

which general worldview (which i came in a lot closer to; i am now allergic to the word "patriarchy," as i've said, so it's a bit hard for me to focus, but eventually i'll settle down and look at it again) i think is still within the general notion of patriarchy=real and bad; but being queer and trans and any other way of not being orthodox-ly heteronormative are all ways of subverting or at least bucking the patriarchy, and a step in the direction in which we -want- to go, lived right now. sex work is not only potentially O.K. but -sacred,- based on the notion that back in the days before the Biblical patriarchs came along knocking over temples and destroying groves, that indeed it -was- sacred. and, you could look at Cybele (for example) as a great model for FemDom, with her cross-dressing devotees...

even among the less heterodox folks who are still on the radical feminist "lists," there are people who don't quite toe the line (and the strain is beginning to show). i saw something between hexy and (gah) stormcloud, wherein hexy was attempting to bring some nuance to the whole BDSM business; she also ID's as queer, I believe. and again, Amananta's partnered with a transwoman, and Burrow came down firmly on the TG-friendly side.

point being that as with just about anything else, even the most rigid canon (which radfem's as a whole is not) is forever open to interpretation.

belledame222 said...

oh yeah, and: it's not just a difference between "cultural feminism" and "class-based" (however corrupted the notion) radical feminism. It also marks whether you take Mary Daly or any other thealogical radical feminists (actually read or otherwise) seriously or not. (Z. Budapest, what have you). Religion, in other words. Twisty is a devout atheist, and a nihilist as well. Heart I don't know, but it looks like these days she makes at least gestures to a sort of generalized goddess-worship.

belledame222 said...

and if you really want to get wonky, i suppose:

for me, paganism at least has been about the notion of the Divine as immanent, not (just) transcendent.

-very- roughly, then, what that means for a goddess-centered anti-Patriarchy perspective in a -political- sense is, at least as far as i am concerned: we don't wait for Pie in the Sky, or the Revolution. we live, to the best of our abilities, as we would -want- to live. we accept that the mortal coil as it is now, regardless of what might or might not lie beyond it, is worth living in all by itself (that is also the humanistic perspective, obviously). we focus on "harm reduction;" we put people as they are before ideas of how they -should- be; and, sensual pleasure and abundance can and should be enjoyed -right now,- not after some hypothetic Revolution (which is just the secular version of "when we die and go to Heaven, which we can't imagine now, but sure, we can have the houris or whatever else that we can't have here on account of we've been Bad, and it's tainted by sin," or whatnot).

*no, i am not heavy into the idea that if we just bring back the Goddess, everything will be okay. for one thing i don't believe it was ever one uber-Goddess worshipping society, and i also believe that if there was such a thing as an ancient matriarch(ies), they didn't last for a reason; i don't believe in lost paradises. that does not mean that i don't think the -ideas- that we have of them aren't worth seriously considering as alternate models to what we call "patriarchy." or rather aspects of them--well, you know me, i'm not an orthodox anything, and i certainly draw from any number of other ideologies, and i'm not finished yet, and never intend to be.

belledame222 said...

and no, before you get too impressed (or not--shut up) with my abilities to post all this shit while loaded: NaDruBloDa or not, it is too early in the day for me, for a number of reasons. it's gonna have to be NaDruBloEve, i think.

JackGoff said...

vagina hugs jack!

8^D! Thanks, B|L.

are you doing anything new year's?

Good damn question. I have no clue as of yet, though I do know my sister is coming up to visit her fiance's parents in upstate NY tomorrow...we'll see.

piny said...

yeah, the great thing about believing that everyone's out to get you is that sooner or later it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Awesome.

Bitch | Lab said...

bd --wouldn't say that *any* rad fem i've ever read -- online or academics or popular tracts by those outside academia -- has a conception of class that is anything that distinquishes it from traditional US rah-rah notions of class. they speak in terms of hierarchy as the evil. that isn't the evil in a marxist conception of class.

so, calling such 'class analysis' would be a misnomer, a bastardization of the marxist terminology that is just confusing and an insult to people who've worked pretty hard to clarify for folks. e.g, B Ehrenreich who reaches a wide audience outside of academia.

I call TF a variant on classical radfem -- of the sort Alice Echols wanted to call radical feminism. She called the goddess-based and womenspace approach cultural feminism. Which irrirated them all. If I ever get a chance, I'll write about her argument as to why they really aren't in line with the early radicals.

As i've mentioned before, another offshoot was anarchist feminist thought. these women took refuge in the anarchist movement. It's why, though I tend to be aligned with anarchists in analyses of the state, I completely stay away from them. I hung out with some anarchists here and wanted to puke on a lot of shoes they annoyed me so much. And they did a lot of rah rah for biological bases, drawing on evo psych of a more radical kind, etc.

blah. TG I met, online, others who were more sophisticated, as I observe Lady Aster for instance.

belledame222 said...

yes, sorry, i was typing quickly; i meant the "Class Woman, Class Man" happytalk. i think i did say that "however bastardised." point being: it's just a different frame from the other variant(s) of currently known as "radfem," iow your point, basically.

and yes, anarcha-feminism is another way it went. a lot of the women & girls in my Dyke Drama Collective were probably anarcha-feminists. anti-colonial and capitalist, Black Bloc protests and Lesbian Avengers, join collectives, go to Toys in Babeland, probably play around with paddles and vegan pleather fetishwear, read Hothead Paisan, play in grrrl bands, piercings, tats, rocker chick eyeliner and shaved heads...and do keep "womens' space," over which the trans thing does come up but in a slightly different way.

at Dyke Drama, the question wasn't so much whether fulltime MTF's could be welcome, (although some did have a problem with this concept, but it was fairly hypothetical anyway, at least at the time), but what to do about all the butches and bois who were going into full transition, FTM. in other words, they were no longer women by their own lights, so do they still belong in a womens' space? is it still a womens' space?

i think after i left they had a referendum where first the answer was "no," and then so many other people walked out that they reversed it. that's second hand, though. i'm just amazed that it ever came to any sort of official vote at all; mostly their M.O. was to just process everything until it went away again.

belledame222 said...

...i should add that i do think a lot of the difference, whatever strain or style of feminism it's calling itself, often has very much to do with generation; there was definitely a big ol' split between the boomers and the younger women, especially the gen-Y or Net generation or whatever it is they're calling the whippersnappers that are officially younger than my Slacker self.

KH said...

The following is the beginning of Janet Halley’s discussion of trans theory in Split Decisions. It’s framed as a reading of Jay Prosser’s Second Skins: The Body Narratives of Transsexuality (Columbia UP 1998).

____________

The constituency “transsexuals” has been (as Prosser shows) a crucial figure in feminism & queer theory through the 1990s. The moralized mandate to converge has often accreted around it. We often hear that no feminist or queer theory is morally or conceptually adequate if it does not affirm & account for transsexuality. So efforts to build transsexuals into movements originating among women, gay men, lesbians, & “queers” have repeatedly produced substantial new breaks in the development of feminist, gay, & queer theory.

The pressure – both to converge & to break – grew as American sex politics saw an amazing insurgence of actual transsexuals & an emergence of explicitly transgender & transsexual politics. It wasn’t just female masculinity, butch lesbians, gay male transvestite camp theater, & genderfuck: over the course of the 1990s ever more people engaged in sustained, everyday (not theatrical) cross-dressing; they pursued hormone treatment & surgery to change their sex1 [i.e., their purportedly bodily maleness or femaleness, the supposedly irreducible fact of biological dimorphism]; the numbers grew large enough that small urban & collegiate enclaves of transsexuals emerged & became social forms. They asserted their social interests via minoritizing social-movement politics (modeled, once again, on the black civil rights movement & feminism, but also incorporating a critique of that modeling derived from the problems discovered in it at the gay/queer divide). At the same time emerged a distinct politics of intersexuality addressed to – better said, perhaps, attacking – the ubiquitous policy in U.S. hospitals of “assigning” infants born with gender-ambiguous genitals to one sex1 & gender or the other.

Though transsexuality, as we call it now, has been given historical roots dating well before these shifts of the 1990s, that decade saw the coincidence & mutual incitement of this insurgency of young, bold transsexuals within the queer ranks (& outside them), with the queer turn in feminism, the queer suspension of feminism, & the intensification of feminist politics of sexuality. Decisively emergent “trans” movements were increasingly able to put new pressure – theoretic, political, practical, moral – on left sexuality politics to comprehend & articulate its claims.

It was never going to be easy. Some of the questions that seemed hard to answer: [i] Would feminism advocate smoothly for the interests of pre-op m-to-f’s: women with penises? [ii] How would feminist resistance of misogyny deal with the yearnings of many female human beings to shed so many of their female attributes? [iii] How would the gay-affirmativity of left sexual politics deal with the evident fact that many transsexuals intended a heterosexual future for themselves, sometimes precisely to abandon the same-sex character of their relation to their preferred sexual object? [iv] What about their lovers, many of whom, in love & through desire, were also making a transition from homosexual to heterosexual? [v] And what about the high value that queer gender (feminist & non-) placed on the “constructedness” of sex1 & on mix-&-match identifications across sex1, gender, & sexual orientation? (Recall [Judith] Butler’s insistence on the fluidity of all the elements of gender & sexuality vis-à-vis one another; recall [Eve Kosofsky] Sedgwick’s exploded list.) Given this theoretic desire, how would queer gender cope with the strong desire of many transsexuals to embody one gender or the other, really, & to consolidate themselves & their lovers as m or f all the way down?

belledame222 said...

i really have to get that book.