Sunday, June 10, 2007

Just a quick note of my own

addendum/response to piny's post here. And yeah, I'm not saying anything at all new here, I am sure, I don't know if this is going make the penny drop for anyone who didn't already "get it," much less regular readers here, but what the hell.

piny sez:

When I heard that an IBTP comments thread had erupted in Buffalo Bill comments, I knew exactly who was involved and exactly what was being said. I knew how it would play out, and which people would say which things. I could probably have made an educated guess about the topic that started the discussion–although in that case, I would have been wrong, because transphobia is always pertinent and interesting to these people. I had seen it happen virtually verbatim several times before, and will probably see it happen again many more times.

...I…get curious about people who hate me. I see what they write and I remember it without trying. I don’t know how normal that is and I don’t claim that it’s healthy, but a lot of other queers [emphasis mine] and transpeople seemed to react the same way. I’ve encountered the same frustration in response to what can only be the same insensitivity on my part, when other assholes have finished with preliminaries that only fooled me.

And, yes. That’s really been the bottom line for me, well one of them. Funny, you wouldn’t think, right? Hey, -I'm- not a transperson, what crawled up my crunchy granola skirt and died? I mean, BEFORE the stuff that pretty much anyone who wasn't a total bastard couldn't see was rank hatred, of course we all see the problem there. But that's just a few bad apples, right?

TF’s a lesbian, Heart’s a “political lesbian,” as are a whole shitload of that bunch (a bunch more are straight, though, separatists too, surprise), o sure they say hateful ignorant shit about transfolk and this or that alternative sexual practice, but c’mon, they’re on -your- side! How could they possibly be creating a homophobic atmosphere? If anything, they have a problem with HETEROSEXUALITY…oh, yeah, and your "corny lifestyle," but c'mon, that's not a SERIOUS ISSUE.

and, no, sorry, that’s not correct, as far as I’m concerned at least.

One doesn’t have to be on one’s knees before a male oppress0r or even particularly heterosexual to be thoroughly, annoyingly heteronormative. Some of us don’t -want- to rabbit on endlessly about the War Between the Sexes, because it’s like…’k, you’re from Venus, they’re from Mars, I…don’t speak your crazy moon language, either of you, any of you, so let’s call the whole thing off.

But that by itself wouldn’t have been enough to earn my rancor; i would’ve just drifted off.

No; it’s…well, you look at the latest shitstorm wrt transfolk, okay, i mean the last umpteen hundred comments or so, and you tell me. Suddenly, “radicals” are sounding eerily like…Focus on the Family. Sexual organs are for reproduction. Men are men and women are women (and okay maybe intersex are intersex mumble quick let’s move on, but) -and that can never, ever change.-

And, how disappointing and inexplicable that some lesbians side with those MEN in sheeps' clothing over -our kind-, says sister-girl.

Or, in a separate, but related case not very far away, a conventionally straight woman gloating over the errant dismissal of a woman (by yet another of this type, apparently) who was volunteering for a DV crisis centre, because she’s a stripper and porn performer and -it might frighten the horses I mean women.-

Rationalizations for the rankest bigotry, spin that would make Bill O’Reilly dizzy, approving links to the Daily Telegraph and people who use data from the Heritage Center, slut-shaming, arguing against gay marriage (albeit supposedly for “feminist” reasons), gender policing, sexuality policing, invoking the law to go after kinky folk, but most of all,

bunch of hatefully self-righteous people, many of whom being actually -straight- and/or celibate, running rampant all over those spaces, telling queer folk and other sexual “deviants” that they’re twisted or sick or selfish or at least hopelessly confused, poor dears, ruining it for everyone, a blot on society I mean the Movement, and THAT ISN’T EVEN QUESTIONED BY GOOD PROGRESSIVES AND FEMINISTS while all this other shit goes on…

…yeah. That just feels a little too familiar. And -not- in a good way.

So, I quit too. Whatever that is, even if I never really belonged, just for the record: I quit. I refuse to call it feminism, or at least THE feminism. I keep going through periods of -trying- to “live and let live.- But this just isn’t working out. At all. Because -they- aren’t doing that.

And yeah, okay, "fight the real enemy" (isn't this becoming a common theme these days?) But, when you sound like and even sometimes strange-bedfellow ally (in preference to the whores and trannies, mind) with the most reactionary, hateful--which includes, but is not limited to, homophobia and misogyny, structurally enforced, even--forces in the country...

well, with "friends" like this, who needs...any of this, really.


ArrogantWorm said...’re from Venus, they’re from Mars, I…don’t speak your crazy moon language, either of you, any of you, so let’s call the whole thing off.

I want that printed on business cards so they can be handed out at appropriate times. Business cards might be a bit small, though, come to think of it.

belledame222 said...

two-by-fours work for me.

Sabrina Star said...

I love Heart's list of women who have been "materially harmed." It has a few glaring omissions:

Sandy Stone -- woman who's been materially harmed.
Nancy Burkholder -- woman who's been materially harmed.
any galla ridiculed when seeking community among other lesbians -- women who have been materially harmed.

Ren -- woman who's been materially harmed. (Because you are absolutely right that there is a connection here.)

Do you think any of them, or even one of them, will someday wake up and realize that they've been harming women? And then gleefully bragging about it?

Times like these, i really wonder whether i can comfortably sit with the label "feminist." Since dyke seems to be more a term of affinity than identity these days, perhaps i am a "radical dyke." Or just plain "radical."

Anonymous said...

"you're from Venus, they're from Mars" surely, the next part should be, "So why are you speaking out of Uranus?"


Sassywho said...

belle, i couldn't agree more.

the term radical is hardly anything but when your main points and arguments are part of the judeo/christian machine.

i'm not down with the sex-positive amendment to my feminism as identifying nomenclature.... what is the opposite of radical?

Sassywho said...

and have i mentioned that you are my hero?

queerd dewd formerly known as () said...

resistance to joining the 'taking a break' from feminism ranks is futile!

while i'm here, please add to my list of queer theory/shame affirmative/sex positive/sex radical reading list. i'm going to be exploring my inner queer dewd in earnest.

my first foray, though, will be still on feminism: two books that explore the history, one of black radical feminism and the other froma white woman who thinks some of the crits have been unfair.

after that foray into what is called divergentist feminist thought, it's QUEERSHAMESEX ALL THE TIME! :) I have even found a great book on race/queerness and shame. it looks like great stuff.

email with your requests that i read something to bitch AT

i've got a list at the blog i started but i'm getting booted off line shortly.

i'm really spacing out on what books out there fit in the fluffy white sex pos feminism category -- suggestions?

KH said...

Hi Dewd. ¿Cómo estás?

nexy said...

fortunately, i never got my feminist membership card, so i don't have to quit. and that's been a lesson learned for me, especially based on my trans membership card experiences. it took a long time to hand that one back in, and you know, it keeps coming back to me despite my efforts. just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water.

and fwiw, i've always thought men are from mars, women are from venus, and us humans are from earth. so there :P

Thorne said...

Oh, sure!!! As I decide not to give in to the assholes, you quit!! LOL! Fuck that!! Neverrrrr Surrenderrrrrr!!

beansa said...

De-lurking to say thanks for posting this. I'd still been reading & marginally participating on certain blogs, despite knowing better, but this post was the wake-up smack that I've been needing. It was the carnival that you hosted that convinced me not to give up feminist blogs completely, and now you've made me aware that whatever benefit I got from those blogs is nullified by the harm that is being done.

Rootietoot said...

as someone who has never actually participated in the feminism game, all that rhetoric you've described has strengthened my resolve to *never* identify as a feminist. Not that they'd have me to begin with...

ArrogantWorm said...

I'll take a shot at the opposite of radical from synonyms and much more.

Definition: extreme, revolutionary in belief
Antonyms: conservative, moderate

Definition: fundamental, basic
Antonyms: extrinsic, minor, nonessential, superficial

Definition: person who holds revolutionary beliefs
Antonyms: conservative, moderate

The funny thing (well, I find it funny, but my sense of humor tends to be a bit off) is that the way people use radical as an adjetive or a noun completely jives with the definition, even amidst the opposing cries of 'No no no, it means what I say it means' from the irritating bunch in the corner.

But if ya really want an opposite word, moderate has less connotations that conservative, I think.

belledame222 said...

I'm stickin' with "liberal" as well as "feminist." And, I don't even care what people think of either term or whether I belong in 'em.

"Liberal:" tolerant, generous, openminded.

"Feminist:" concerned with the rights of women.

Y punto.

The rest is gravy.

QD, are you asking for us to recommend stuff to you, or vice versa? "fluffy," I dunno--but, you know Carol Queen, right? "Real Live Nude Girl?" Patrick Califia, I mean I'm being basic here, but I doubt I'm all that much more...

Oh, there's the new book from wossname, Katherine...something, on her life as a stripper. There's also Lily Burana's book on the same subject.

If yer interested in genderqueer/TG stuff, there're two books by Helen Boyd that are kind of interesting, "My Husband Betty" and "She's Not the Man I Married." Kate Bornstein, o' course. "Read My Lips," Riki Anne Wilchins. "Pomosexuals," ed. Carol Queen and Lawrence Schimel...

Sabrina: what fresh hell is this? I missed the "materially harmed" blather, apparently...

belledame222 said...

Oh, another recommendation: "Ferocious Romance," Donna Minkowitz. Inner Queer Dude: the only book on my shelf that immediately leaps out (ow!) is "The Crisis of Desire: AIDS and the Fate of Gay Brotherhood," by Robin Hardy and David Groff.

Beylita said...

Sigh. we all should have known from during the blowjob wars debacle, and that hideous post she followed it up with about the corndog shrimp.

I'm not sure if the transhate started before or after but the casual comments about collagen injections made it abundantly clear that I could never be an ally of theirs.

Jen in Ohio said...

I'm stickin' with "liberal" as well as "feminist." And, I don't even care what people think of either term or whether I belong in 'em.

My sentiments exactly. I won't ever be adding a sectarian qualifier to my feminism, either, as though it's a denomination of a religion. My brand of feminism is grounded in ethics and empiricism, which is why, whenever my feminist theories don't fit reality and/or cause harm to people, I change my theories. Seems simple enough, but it does require admitting that I'm wrong from time to time, and I'm coming to understand that a fuckload lot more people than I'd have guessed would rather go to war than admit that they've made a mistake.

Sassywho said...

jen in ohio:
I would call that logical feminism.

hmmmm, i like that one.

Sabrina Star said...


It's from a comment to her recent post.

belledame222 said...

and I'm coming to understand that a fuckload lot more people than I'd have guessed would rather go to war than admit that they've made a mistake.


Sabrina Star said...

'Cause, you know, women, excuse me, womyn, are the only ones who bleed when they're cut.

belledame222 said...

oh she's so fucking full of shit, it galls me. Heart. god! she sounds exactly, but EXACTLY like apologists for religious bigots. EXACTLY.

"it is WE who are the real victims," aren't "we" always. Aren't we just.

fuck off.

"Women"=!"a handful of radical feminists." Nice try, though.

Sabrina Star said...

Another resource mention: Julia Serrano apparently has a new book out called "Whipping Girl" which i can't directly recommend as i haven't read it, but a number of trans bloggers have weighed in with strong recommendations.

belledame222 said...

and thanks for delurking, beansa, welcome.

Alon Levy said...

I like that one, too... but the problem is that individuals are often consistent, but movements never are. The positions of a movement on any issue are going to be dictated by political alliances. The movement is then going to pretend to be ideologically coherent and natural - Lakoff's doing that now to the current US alignment - and bash everyone who veers from the party line.

So basing one's position on evidence is a huge faux pas. Evidence is messy, and has an annoying tendency to falsify theories more often than it corroborates them. The last thing you need is political allies who are pissed because you're ditching them for mere facts.

Tom Nolan said...

'Cause, you know, women, excuse me, womyn, are the only ones who bleed when they're cut. Sabrina Star

I can never visit the Margins or IBTP without hearing Alice Cooper's "Only Women Bleed" play like an anthem in my head:

Man's got his woman to take his seed
He's got the power - oh
She's got the need
She spends her life through pleasing up her man
She feeds him dinner or anything she can

She cries alone at night too often
He smokes and drinks and don't come home at all
Only women bleed
Only women bleed
Only women bleed

belledame222 said...

back to book recs: per "fluffy," I guess Tristan Taormino's oeuvre is pretty fluffy. quick read, anyway. not much on the theory, really, dunno if that's what you're looking for.

Shar Rednour's "The Femme's Guide to the Universe" is fun, too.

or--have you read much wrt kink and such? "Coming to Power" or "The Second Coming"? also look for books with the label "Greenery Press," and/or authors Dossie Easton and Catherine Lizst.

belledame222 said...

also a darkly fun little compendium edited by Califia and...someone else, "Bitch Goddess."

belledame222 said...

OH! and, but of course! Midori, "Wild Side Sex." It's mostly what you think it is, but she's smart and feministic and has a lot to say (can talk about "fetishism" from the Marxist perspective, for instance, dunno if she does here, but it's a lot more thoughtful than much of that ilk).

queen emily said...

I second Patrick Califa and Pomosexuals. My book recommendations are a bit more on the academic side:

Judith Halberstam - Female Masculinity

Marcella Althaus-Reid - Queer God

Awesome queer Liberation Theology. Trans-positive, talks about race, poverty, misogyny in the Church, a bisexual Jesus, Mary as Drag Queen :)

Riki Wilchins - Queer Theory, Gender Theory

This is a good basic primer on the evolution of queer theory in academia, has some good bits about trans theory, and links back to feminism and critical race theory too.

Sabrina Star said...

While we're mentioning resources, i should mention the Incite! Anthology which i picked up a couple of months ago. I think Incite! is one of the most exciting groups around and their anthology is a must read.

cicely said...

I like 'radical liberal feminist', I think. Feminists of Heart's ilk can be heard claiming that all the major works and achievements of feminism can be attributed to radical feminism. (She said so on her Carnival of Radical Feminists introduction.) If you agree with that it has to also be said that sex-positive feminists (though the 'need' for that term came later) had a very big hand in said works and achievements too. Radical in this case just means to me that you examine the sources, methods and functions of the power imbalance between men and women more deeply than others might. It doesn't mean to me though that the oppression of women is the original model - the root of all oppression. Hearts version of feminism is distinctly - even proudly - un-liberal, where-as I value liberal principles highly.

Why let the 'simply' radical feminists steal the whole wonderful movement, past, present and future? They don't own it and they never did.

Janet Halley definitely isn't suggesting we abandon feminism, is she Queer Dewd. Just that we step back and look critically at it - what it misses - what damage it can actually do to women - and to other groups in particular cases and manifestations.

Deoridhe said...

Yaknow, I'm straight and I don't want to rabbit on about the war between the sexes.

Sabrina Star said...

You know, it just occurred to me that when people like Heart describe what happened here at the Boston Dyke March (the last-minute cancellation of Bitch's performance) as "transpeople versus lesbians" that she is not just marginalizing us transfolk, she is also putting down the women-born-women who support us, by discounting that they have any good reason to be friends with, lovers with, or be generally supportive of transfolk in general -- or even, really that they have free will.

little light said...

Of course, Sabrina. They get counted in with the Not Real Women--anyone who allies with or loves us--or at least as Traitors, Antifeminists, and Enemies of the Cause. At best, they're brainwashed dupes we've tricked into marching with us so we can take over and divide the Movement, or self-hating backsliders.

You heard her. "Colonizing" the lesbian community. Forcing our way in. Taking over. Raping. Pillaging. Stealing. "Colonizing" means things, even if not what they think it means. And those who support or love us are un-queered, un-feministed, and un-womanned as traitors and spies and turncoats and victims and weaklings, because no reasonable, decent, sound-minded woman--especially a lesbian, or a feminist!--could love us. And neither they nor we have a right to participate in womanhood, let alone queerness, let alone feminism.

It's not even an undertone or a subtext.

belledame222 said...

Nope. "Thanks for making the subtext so ...texty."

oh yeah, I finally looked at the rest of that 600 post disaster at Maleficent's the other day, and noticed Heart wishes that my talking smack about her would "come to a severe end." She's such a TOP. Okay, Heart, but only if you bring the ruler and wear the blouse with the jabot.

Oh, wait, no, on second thought: you're a bigoted asshole, so: no. Stop running your mouth about people whose business isn't yours and maybe other people will do the same for you.

belledame222 said...

and yeah, woman's got some boundary issues, don't she? What is this "we" shit? And excuse me, but how exactly do you think calling the likes of me, effectively, a "_____ lover" helps your "radical" creds?

Oh never mind, go back to theorizing about how WoC are "morphing into the oppressor," for white ladies like yerself who -try- and -try- and look how you're repaid. It amounts to the same damn thing really.

belledame222 said...

oh, and I think "queerness," we/you can have; Heart disapproves of that too, if I recall correctly, as well as the LGBTUVWXYZ alphabet soup that's become of the Glorious Wimmins' Revolution, which she is -totally a part of- no matter what else she was doing during most of those years, so -stop saying otherwise.-

Cassandra Says said...

I've said it before and I'll say it again - that lot can have th word "feminist" when they rip it from my cold, dead fingers. And, frankly, I'm tougher than they are, so their chances aren't looking good.

Idiots, the lot of them.

belledame222 said...

ayup. except for they're gonna have to rip it from somewhere else, and it ain't cold or dead.

queen emily said...

>>>oh, and I think "queerness," we/you can have; Heart disapproves of that too, if I recall correctly, as well as the LGBTUVWXYZ alphabet soup that's become of the Glorious Wimmins' Revolution, which she is -totally a part of- no matter what else she was doing during most of those years, so -stop saying otherwise.-

well yeah. those queers are ruining everything. Wanting to have a say in their own communities, how dare they.

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