Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Sister Mary Cisgender Explains It All For You

A couple of people, having read the long and Byzantine and eye-gouging thread alluded to in this post, have been, I note, expressing some confusion as to What It All Means, Dear. Thinking they might need a refresher course in...well, something...it seems, well, complicated, and possibly Deep.

If I may.

First of all, per the "gender is a social construct" business:

Well, part of the reason it doesn't make sense when people like Heart and frigging delphyne and Mary Sunshine and Louisa May Alcott and Mar Iguana and lucky and puffin and binkie and Moxie and Dipsy and Wombyn HerbalTwee and whoever the fuck else and so on talk about it, is because they are talking out of both sides of their asses.

What I've always understood it to mean is, "gender," unlike "sex" (which is the physical stuff, the naughty bits, the tits, the beard, the hormones, the internal bits, etc.) is about behavior, expression, performance, and how you're perceived.

IOW, nurture, as opposed to nature. Which, to most people, also implies it's at least somewhat under our individual control to change, more so collectively. It's also something that--according to the "social construct" theory, anyway--doesn't have any permanent, fixed meaning. What's "feminine" in one context might be "masculine" in another.

Pretty much -all- feminists, radical and otherwise, assert that they believe that much at least, that gender isn't fixed and fated, and shouldn't be automatically attached to any particular set of naughty bits. Being nurturing, changing the oil, moving gracefully, being good at sports, long hair, short hair, pink, blue, yadda yadda--shouldn't have to be tied to what "sex" you're born with. Neither, for that matter, should your sexual orientation (which naughty bits and so forth attract you).

So far so good, right?

Okay.

Now, the basic and to my mind most innocuous misunderstanding wrt the trans thing is, people assuming that it's -only- ever about gender performance and/or sexual orientation. Why can't people just be comfortable in their own skin. Why cut themselves up just to conform to some preconceived notion of gender.

Actually -listening- to a transperson who explains that in fact, no, it's more complicated than that, sie simply doesn't feel -physically- comfortable, and in fact is now a rather femmey gay FtM (for example) and is perfectly fine with that--and in fact there was one person saying -exactly that- in the above referenced thread--not to mention the various possibilities being opened up by the people talking about intersex, how in fact sex itself may not be as simple and -binary- (there are men and there are women and that's that) as y'all think, that maybe that is a construct too to some extent, in some cases more than others...


ought to be enough to at least get the average feminist to at least reconsider, and eventually to accept that okay, there's stuff about this I don't know, and in any case, I'm not in your skin (this is key), I don't really understand it, I still have some doubts about the institution/medical procedures/whatever, but you do what you've got to do, sister/brother, I support you.

That would be, you know, the -feminist- thing to do. Also, coincidentally, the human thing to do.

Now, the fact that some people not only do -not- do this but practically turn themselves inside out in order to avoid doing this, requires a bit more explanation.

The simplest one would be, "these people are dogmatic assholes, and they don't listen, because they don't want to."

Maybe that's really all you need.

If you care about the actual nature of the dogma, though, as far as I can tell, it goes something like this:

Not only is "gender" a construct, but "we" want to do away with it completely. Which does -not- mean we will refuse to use female-gendered pronouns to identify ourselves, use the ladies' bathroom, in some cases wear long hair or long flowing skirts or other accoutrements of the "cultural feminist," or feel free to label all sorts of -behavioral- characteristics deemed undesirable as "male," i.e. "masculine."

What it means is, uhhhh...well, reply hazy, ask again later. Probably it means getting rid of all things "sexbot" or "sparkle pony," that's what "feminine" means today, okay. And, we're fairly certain that most MtF's want to drag us right back into those degrading pink and slutty stereotypes with them, because lalalalala can't hear you anyway. That's -one- thing.

The -other- thing is, -sex- (say some people) -cannot- be changed. Nope nope NOPE. This is -very important,- all of a sudden. Having a womb is very important, unless of course you had a hysterectomy of course we don't mean -you-, sister. But, you know. In -principle.- And a vajayajay. You have to be born with one. There is no such thing as a surgically constructed vajajay; it's like Star Bellied Sneetches, it's no good if just -anyone- can have one.

Um...not that we think (reply hazy ask again later) that it's the vajayajay ITSELF that has the magical mystical quality. No, it's because Patriarchy (you know, it's solid and walks and talks just like a person) -made- it so. That is, to be born with a vajayjay is to be oppressed, in this Patriarchal society, and don't you -ever- forget it. We certainly haven't. That can never, ever change...uh, until the Revolution. Which we -totally want.-

But to be born with the vajayjay means that you are a member of Class Woman, something no man can ever, ever be: the tribe that bleeds, the People that gives birth in suffering, is penetrated, is (insert long catalogue of gender I mean sex specific woes like mutilation and slavery and forced prostitution, because that never ever happens to penis-born people), is and has been Oppressed since time immemorial, and if you boyos think you're going to take THAT away from us, you're crazy!

So, in sum, biology IS destiny, at least in this instance; and yes, Virginia, in fact your vagina DOES contain a magical wellspring of political solidarity. Which is why we're so very, very concerned with what you do with it, when we're finished being concerned with boyos trying to steal one for themselvesss.

Questions? Comments? I'll be over here demonstrating getting-hit-on-the-head lessons if you need more help.

208 comments:

1 – 200 of 208   Newer›   Newest»
ilyka said...

Preach on, Sister Mary. Well explained.

and in any case, I'm not in your skin (this is key)

Yes, and it's always the key parts that go missing in those threads, seems like. There's a horrible joke to be made there, but I'm too tired to put it together.

queen emily said...

The thing is, there's basically no safe ground for trans* people in these kinds of discussions..

In the end, that thing Janice Raymond says about how transsexuality should be "morally mandated out of existence" probably sums up a great deal of rad-fem thought.

And I think a lot of it begins with a homo/trans phobic disgust at people transgressing boundaries which is after-the-fact put into a theoretical context. Cos tbh there's no really much of a regard for the whole spectrum of queer identities in that corner of the world anyway..

Revolution! EXCEPT when people transgress gender boundaries, at very real risk to their safety, job security, personal relationships.. Not *that* kind of revolution..

But you know, they can keep turning allies into enemies, whatever.

belledame222 said...

oh now. they're not -homophobic.- that is TOTALLY DIFFERENT. and anyway they're some of 'em lesbians, hell, any woman can be a lesbian and should be, I thought we already explained this, p.s. lesbian means "no sex with mens."

because mens are what's IMPORTANT.

that is feminism.

and we define all sexuality via the presence or absence of a penis.

that is lesbianism.

and men are men, and women are women, (and okay intersex are intersex mumble quick let's move on), and that is that.

that is revolutionary.

why must you keep getting in the way with your reactionary patriarchal tendencies?

belledame222 said...

for that matter, they're not -transphobic- either, and find it really insulting that they get labelled with that just because they question some things;

which is entirely unlike rightwingers getting all miffed at the term -homophobic-, they're not -afraid- of anyone and they don't hate, they just -don't approve of that lifestyle and you can't make them!- stop oppressing them, you oppressive homos and trannies! get your foot off these poor peoples' necks! can't you see who the REAL victims are??

Chris said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
sly civilian said...

lmao.

does your order have a convent?

SnowdropExplodes said...

The radfem problem with TS/TG seems to boil down to the fact that they have all the theory of gender and the Patriarchy all worked out already, and "we don't need any new ideas, thank-you-very-much". Unfortunately, their magical one-size-fits-all theories don't fit the facts of transsexualism or transgenderism. So they need to find a way to *make* TS/TG fit their theory (because the theory is perfect and doesn't need any new ideas, t-y-v-m). Hence absurd ideas such as, "it's all a Patriarchal plot to bring down Class Woman from the inside!"

People in general do get very attached to their theories of life - they don't like it when they get challenged by some new and inconvenient facts (cf. the Vatican and the moons of Jupiter - by silencing Galileo, they hoped to make those pesky moons that disproved the heliocentric theory, go away). Plus ça change and all that...

It's no different from racial purists (of any kind). Particularly in the UK, racial purity is a myth anyway in terms of genotype; phenotype is all we see. Socially, when it comes to sex and gender, sex is the genotype, gender is the phenotype (in that gender is all that we see) - unless the radfems are going to check everybody's genetic structure at the door, for all they know there could be TS's at every meeting, contributing to the cause!

Sassywho said...

Um, nope, it seems the weather has not made you slow at all... in fact you've been on fire!

Donna pointed something out in the other thread about WoC Rad-fems not buying into the biological determinism and transphobia..... and I've noticed that.

It's been my experience that a lot of WoC radical feminists don't seem to subscribe to twisty/heart brand of rad-fem.... anyone care to weigh in on that?

nexy said...

while i used to believe that the trans and radfem groups could come to some sort of understanding, i'm now convinced otherwise. perhaps it has to do with my seemingly uncanny ability to set off people's "manometers". because even though "man" is a social construct, certain magical people can detect my chromosomes.

despite my alleged mutant power to trip manometer detection circuits, i seem to only have the ability to do this through the internet. out in the real world, at work, at the grocery store, at the gym, and in the womans bathroom, people seemed to be fooled into thinking i'm just a normal woman, manometer flashing lights notwithstanding.

though i'm sure real women are socialized into detecting surgically constructed vaginas from the real ones. that must be one of the girl classes i missed in school, cause they always put me with the boys.

not that i'm complaining mind you. i like menz. especially my husband. but that's another rant, probably not suitable for feminist discussions. because apparently, real feminists are only allowed to talk about the bad things the menz do.

like have sex change operations to infiltrate radical feminist gatherings. i must have missed that class too, though. i was just trying to get through this life in my own skin.

silly rabbit, trix are for kidz.

cicely said...

I'm quite happy to be referred to as cisgender but I've wondered if it wouldn't be more accurate to use the term cisexual since transmen and transwomen, like anyone, can feel and perform gender in many, many ways. What objection could those who object to 'cisgender' have to 'cisexual' given that it's saying there is no internal conflict about the body you inhabit in terms of what sex it is physically. I guess (answering myself) the rad/fem ideologues would say there's no such thing as said internal conflict, it's all externally imposed by patriarchy. That is - it doesn't fit our theory so it (other people's experience) doesn't actually exist. And: "We are women - unmodified - don't call us anything else."

Anyway-what do you think about the term 'cisexual'?

And, yes, well summarised.

Rootietoot said...

yeah, ok...what you said.

Rootietoot said...

every other part of humanity is fluid, why not gender?

Mat said...

Cicely: I was under the impression that 'cisgendered' was generally used as it's an opposition to the entire lovely spectrum of 'transgendered' behaviour, more like 'straight' to 'queer' than 'heterosexual' to 'homosexual', sounds of the terms notwithstanding.

'Cissexual' runs you into a whole list of problems as befits what it's in opposition to, like that. I'd be willing to see it as an addition to 'cisgendered', but not as a replacement, if that makes sense?

(As an example, a genderqueer person who was born male, identified at least somewhat as female, but lived as male in his day to day life would be cissexual but not cisgendered? Does that make sense? Asking as much for me as anyone else, because I'm trying to feel out the edges of this idea, not as a 'get it?' thing.)

Mat said...

...Though my attempt to play with the definition of words now leaves open the question of a theoretical totally-non-transgendered-transwoman, and if she'd be cisgendered but not cissexual.

I'm far too undercaffeinated for this. [/blogjacking]

belledame222 said...


It's been my experience that a lot of WoC radical feminists don't seem to subscribe to twisty/heart brand of rad-fem.... anyone care to weigh in on that?


I'll wait for a radical WoC to elaborate, but briefly, as far as I know, once you already get the deal wrt intersections--i.e. it's not so damn simple as Class Man/Class Woman, there's other shit going on for a lot of people--you tend to be more likely to get it. Not always, of course, but more likely. I don't know many bi or kinky (particularly that) or disability'd feminists who have that particular animosity either.

also, WoC I think are a lot less likely to buy into the feminist "separatist" thing, as a lot of people take a look at what appear to be the options, i.e. going off with an overwhelmingly white-dominated wimmins' group or staying in touch with their community of origin, including yup mens, who may well provide more substenance and support than the self-declared "sisters," and well there you are.

that's my view from here though; anyone, please feel free to come in and correct me.

belledame222 said...

and yeah, mat, that does make sense.

and i realize that this whole little sermon was an oversimplification, barely dealing as it did with the wider spectrum of "transgender" as opposed to "transsexual;" but then it was riffing off rather simple people i mean arguments, yes arguments.

belledame222 said...

nexy: you've had the patience of a saint, I've no idea how you took it for so long.

Heart is -such an asshole.-

belledame222 said...

because apparently, real feminists are only allowed to talk about the bad things the menz do.

o CHRIST, that.

honestly, i get it from a structural perspective, but it never is that, not really or not exclusively; far too often to me it sounds like a bunch of embittered straight women having a vent session and i just. don't. care. "political lesbian" be damned--

you know, and it seems to me if you ARE straight, if you DO keep men in your life, then sure, you might wanna talk about them;

but goddam, if it's THAT awful (for some people), well? christ, it's like they're locked into some eternal hateflirt with the MRA's or something...

belledame222 said...

SDE: yah, defensive vanity seems to be a part of it with some people.
"We are the Most Radical Of All! there is NOT a problem with the Theory, YOU have the problem, lalalalalala..."

Andygrrl said...

I have nothing constructive to add, except for a loud "HELL YEAH!"

And snowdrop: rock. on. Rad fems used to be radical, and now they're just fundamentalists.

Sassywho said...

belle,

that was what has been going through my mind but i did not want to make assumptions.

it may serve white rad-fems, but when it comes to race/class issues that would seem counter-intuitive.

sex-pos is often painted to be neglecting WoC by supposedly ignoring the racism in some porn, and while that certainly is true... it doesn't seem that porn is the primary concern for feminism of WoC....

i can't speak for anyone, but it seems that radical feminism has the same luxury of focusing on porn being evil and the sparkle ponies are the ones kicking other women down. seems a little classist to me.

belledame222 said...

I think there's class shit from both ends. but yeah, it's a bit rich to be lectured about selfish classist focus on one's own moist pussy (tm Samantha) when they're the ones showing all the dirty pictures, doc.

seems to me if yer gonna be selfish and myopic and trifling then at least frigging enjoy yourself...

SnowdropExplodes said...

To be honest, I don't like the prefix "cis-" at all in this context, because my understanding is that it means "the same as" as in "on the same side as".

So when I see a woman describing a person as "cisgendered" it means to me that the person thus described, is female. Likewise, a man using the terms is saying that another person is male.

After a quick discussion with my father (who's even better at language than I am) it looks as tough a more closely fitting prefix is "stato-" meaning "standing" (as in, not moving). Thus, "statogendered", "statosexual"

While I was thinking of prefixes that could be applied to gender, I came up with "syn-" meaning "together" (as in "combined", like "synthesis", etc). Thus, a person with a "syngendered" identity would be someone who has created their own gender identity by fusing elements of the tradition binary genders into something that is neither one nor the other.

cicely said...

I see what you mean, Mat, and why cisexual (one 's' or two?) couldn't be a replacement for cisgender. It's complicated. I think there are times though when cisexual feels more accurate to me. If I take myself as an example, I'd probably consider cisexual more true than cisgender as a descriptor. I'm a butchy femme lesbian who wears pants, jackets, shirts and boots, never dresses or make-up but usually has longish or long hair and I 'know' there are people on the periphery of my life who think I should, or at least might like to see me make more of an effort, so to speak, to look more like their idea of a woman. Does this make me even slightly transgendered? Or not? Not that I need another label, or to steal something that doesn't belong to me - I'm just curious about these terms.

Kim said...

"I'm not in your skin (this is key), I don't really understand it ... but you do what you've got to do, sister/brother, I support you."

END of story.
Well said.
Clap clap clap.

SnowdropExplodes said...

cicely, I think you're probably someone I would describe as "syngender" (see my earlier response)

But, like you said, if you don't feel a need to label it, then don't!

Alon Levy said...

I think cis- is pretty accurate, insofar as it's the diametric opposite of trans-, kind of like ex- is the opposite of in-. People who are trans are trans in the sense that they've moved across gender boundaries since birth, not in the sense they're on the other side of gender as some reference person.

KH said...

I think the objection is that cis-/trans- sustains the notion of sides, usually two of them. It implies more than movement or change. Some people might want something more fluid, less directional or ordered.

KH said...

Is this a fair summary of the complaint?:

Transsexuality is wrong because it’s biologically inauthentic. There’s a lot about uteri & chromosomes, but they’re red herrings. The objection is to brain matter, which retains the taint of its origins. (But if gender resides in the flesh, what happens to constructionism?)

Assume that medical progress renders all this moot, that post-GRS female bodies can be made physically indistinguishable from other female bodies. Even then, MTFs would be morally inferior (in the way cisgendered women raised as men would be), because they’re tainted by their former exercise of dominion over women. (Put aside the question of how rockin’ that privilege actually is for, say, the average trans high school kid.) Opinion is divided on whether lustration is possible.

Assume it is. Transsexuality still should be morally mandated out of existence, because it sustains gender. It’s an open question whether transsexuals are more highly traditionally gendered than other people, whether MTFs do femininity any more than the vast majority of other actually existing women. If not, why single them out? (And even if so, why single them out more than other highly feminine females?) Here’s where I lose track of the argument. I can think of two possibilities, neither of them amy good. First, it’s somehow worse because it’s somehow more optional for them. They chose to be feminine in a way that other women somehow can’t. Second, GRS reconverges sex with gender; they’d previously been dissociated. Never mind that someone born with a male body may need to have a female one, & have a right to seek her own wellbeing. The objection is that she’s presumed to exhibit feminine gender traits, & even if male femininity is OK, female femininity is unfeminist. Etc.

I think I’m missing something.

belledame222 said...

Male femininity isn't okay, -no- femininity is okay, it's only okay when dangled as an alternative to surgical transition. just listen to them talk about drag queens or even "you sound like a fag" (cf pony) sometime.

the latest bit of brilliance from Heartland, apparently: "sex is in the cells."

she must've been -killer- at the anti-abortion/pro-creationist debates.

gah.

belledame222 said...

i think, you know, part of the paranoia is that the male-created male-feminine "sexbots" will simply phase out the need for women altogether, or will be seen as superior to actual women (cites of "Tootsie" and various famous female impersonators seem to make this up), something.

you know, it's the ol' femininity=artifice, as opposed to rugged, natural, uhhhhhh...well, -not- masculinity in this case, and we're positing men as the author of artifice, but that's still the posit, i think. that is more cultural feminism than anything else. it's also a load of aul bollocks, but whatever.

Hedonistic said...

Right on on the talking-out-of-both-sides-of-their-asses thing; it's something I've brought up frequently at that Other Site, but I bring it up with her "I want to have it both ways" commenters, not with the host herself.

But pardon moi - did someone upthread refer to "the Twisty/Heart brand of RadFem" as if they were the same or at least similar? Granted I'm in no position to speak for either of them but I read both of their blogs and I'm just NOT seein it at ALL.

Just sayin.

Mandos said...

I think that the argument is more that in a non-oppressive world, no one would be uncomfortable in their own skins, and there would be nothing to transition to.

Mandos said...

Yeah, Twisty is a very firm materialist and believes that this is all about measurable resource/labour theft between sex classes. There is nothing special about reproduction in her world: anything that causes difficulty among humans is merely a matter of property and/is theft.

Heart has a far more...spiritual take on things.

belledame222 said...

There are certain similarities. There are also certain differences. What they share is the belief that male (sexual) oppression of women is the primary or "root" one.

meanwhile, having gone back for a looksee, I think we have a winner:

Mar Iguana Jun 6th, 2007 at 7:14 am

De nada, LouisaMayAlcott.

Yeny, thanks for the info. That’s what I get for using the Google machine in too much of a hurry. I should have known when I read the part saying women get a heroine-like rush from talking. Amazing. What do you think about the Psychology Today article?

It is a piss-off how assholes can take just about anything that might hint that women may not be inferior in every way and reinforce the stereotypes, delphyne. But, ignoring the spin the patriarchs give EVERYthing, the boys don’t seem to come out as superior in much besides reading maps (doubtful), lifting bales and towing barges.

I can see why feminists resist focusing on the differences between the sexes when those differences have always in the past served to illustrate our inferiority. But, why the resistance when studies show women may be, dare I say it, superior?

The only equality I’ve ever been interested in is equal opportunity. Otherwise, equality with men doesn’t make sense to me since they are such faulty units in my opinion.


Let's give her a hand, ladies and germs! If she didn't exist the MRA's would have to invent her.

personally I think femdom is just swell too, but I don't think their version is much fun.

belledame222 said...

anyway yeah, though, Heart is more of a cultural feminist, which as far as I can tell Twisty isn't at all. and yes, Heart has a kind of (icky imnsho) Christian-infused nebulous Goddess spirituality going on, whereas TF is a firm atheist and has no truck with any such stuff.

when i'm more cynical i think it's just a style difference though.

belledame222 said...

...i gotta say, really stupid people can be a gift like that (i.e. bong-girl): they have this way of just blurting out what smarter people can fancy up and obfuscate and blow up until you can barely recognize what's really driving it anymore.

KH said...

“Sex is in the cells.” Well, all kinds of things are in the cells, but why should it matter to her what’s in them if she didn’t think, at some level, in contradiction to her announced dogma, that male domination & female subordination are in the cells? And again, if gender is in the cells, what happens to constructionism? (Thus certain people’s underlying pessimism & preoccupation w/ eccentric sci-fi fantasies - the only way to escape what's in the flesh - in lieu of any serious politics.)

Dw3t-Hthr said...

I think one of the reasons that I have a hell of a hard time making sense of a lot of the debating on that sort of thing is that I am cis-sexed and genderqueer. (I actually had a long conversation with Little Light a while back about whether or not it was some way inappropriate for me to consider myself genderqueer despite a complete lack of sex dysphoria.)

So all of the sex-and-gender conflation mostly leaves me with a sense that there's a profound rupture between what some people are trying to argue about and the reality that is clear and experiential to me. These things aren't the same thing; saying "You're reinforcing the gender binary!" is on the other side of this comprehension chasm that I can't even begin to understand how to cross.

I'll be the first to admit that I don't have a good emotional understanding of what it is to be trans, specifically because I am cis-sexed. But I do have a good emotional understanding of sex-and-gender,-different-things.

But because I have the emotional grip on one thing and not on the other, I recognise how difficult it is translate emotional understanding. I wish there were more people who would say, "Okay, I don't get it, but I recognise that it matters to you and that that's your experience", because while that doesn't fix the rupture, it's at least a bridge.

Ravenmn said...

"Sex is in the cells"

And all I can think is, we're talking about sex on a lesbian's blog and ALREADY we're talking women in prison movies?

ta-dum-dum

BD, is this more stuff from the 400+ thread I refuse to read or is there another dwama?

baby221 said...

That's part of the reason I don't like rad-fem thought so much. They just seem so ... rigid.

(Phallic reference definitely intended.)

Mandos said...

Same thread. My banned self is cheering it on, hoping for it to reach 500.

JackGoff said...

perhaps it has to do with my seemingly uncanny ability to set off people's "manometers".

Your gauge pressure is obviously off-the-charts. She should switch to a mercury column manometer instead. ;-P

SnowdropExplodes said...

alon levy

I think cis- is pretty accurate, insofar as it's the diametric opposite of trans-, kind of like ex- is the opposite of in-. People who are trans are trans in the sense that they've moved across gender boundaries since birth, not in the sense they're on the other side of gender as some reference person.

But, the meaning of "cis-" is specifically "on this side". "cis-" is a term that places something relative to something else.

For example, "cispontine" means "on this side of the bridge" (as opposed to "transpontine", "across the bridge")

What is more, traditionally, "cis-" has taken the presumed "superior" side as the term of reference (thus, in London, "cispontine" traditionally meant "North of the River Thames" - where the posh people lived).

That's why I don't like the combination of "cis" and "gender". It can carry an implication that there is a right gender to be (in the context of feminism, "cisgender" would appear to refer to "female"), and it carries an explicit statement that the gender is relative to someone else.

If people want to debate the linguistics, though, I have a post on my on blog to deal with it: http://afemanistview.blogspot.com/2007/06/opposite-of-trans.html

Alex said...

Thanks for this, Belle. It is a fantastic post.

Mandos said...

Since we're using quotes from over there, it seems,



That the experience of being female (or black, for that matter) is biologically impossible to re-create, as well as morally and politically suspect to presume an innate knowledge of, was really just an afterthought. I find it interesting, after all the talk of the political and moral implications of transsexual GRS, that when it comes down to it, what we’re talking about isn’t even really physically possible. Transsexuals are willing to live lives in direct opposition to feminist goals, all in the name of a fantasy. At least when men shill for the patriarchy, they get real, tangible (though unethical) rewards out of it (like wives and daughters to molest and abuse, and virtually male-only competition for construction jobs and the like).

But, frankly, I have to say, even after the revolution, I don’t imagine I’ll want tall people telling me what it’s really like to be short, or silken-haired blondes telling me what it’s really like to have nappy hair, or spry joggers telling me what it’s really like to have a genetic joint disease. And I’m still not going to want male people telling me what it’s really like to be female. I hope that the revolution will cure people of this urge to project their feelings and experiences onto others.


justicewalks (the author), by the way, is one of those who believes that males are biologically primed to oppress by virtue of having a penis.

FloreneSRA said...

Thank you for this explanation--I really appreciate it. I have been "away" from feminism for awhile, a long while, and find everything has been mightily rearranged since I've been gone.

You have an excellent way with words.

JackGoff said...

Another chestnut from justicewalks:

In short, males’ walking around hoping to trick people into accepting them as biologically female is patently anti-feminist in a world in which the lives and experiences of females are devalued and de-prioritized

Wow, erase the experiences of other people much? Talk about silencing.

Once again, par for this particular course.

JackGoff said...

Oh, and:

*HEADDESK* *HEADDESK* *HEADDESK*

queen emily said...

>>>Transsexuals are willing to live lives in direct opposition to feminist goals, all in the name of a fantasy.

Why are they antifeminist? Because they're transsexuals. WHY are they transsexuals? Because they're anti-feminist..

and around we go..

Tom Nolan said...

Re: cis and trans.

Why does everybody have get so Latiny about these things? Here's what you need in plain English.

Somebody who sexually transitions is thithersexual and somebody who doesn't is hithersexual.

And somebody who isn't quite sure whether they want to go or stay is whithersexual.

Better?

RachelPhilPa said...

Hi, occasional visitor, first time commenter, and trans woman here...

This post nails on the head one of my big frustrations with radical feminism. The other one being...if y'all are all about destroying gender, then why the need for women-only spaces? Why are you so staunchly defending the need for Michfest? Are you afraid to practice what you preach? After all, if you want to destroy gender, then, g-ddess damn it, start destroying gender!

(To make it clear, I'm not in favor of totally destroying gender - it's more about acknowedging the the existence of many genders and removing gender as the basis for oppression.)

All that being said, I do agree with *some* tenents of radical feminism - such as the pervasiveness of the rape culture. And, yes, I do believe that the vast majority of men have an awful lot of work to do regarding their sexism and misogyny, which I am the target of more often than I care to think. I recently argued with a couple of (trans) men who stated that women are manipulative by nature, and that women don't know how to be direct and to the point.

A young, white, radical feminist that I know, is trying to get Michfest to open up to trans women. Her head almost literally explodes when she talks about the issue. She is currently working on a film documentary about the recent murders (with police complicity) of two transwomen of color here in Philadelphia.

And I will be participating in the Philadelphia Dyke March this weekend, which is run by radical feminists; there literature is welcoming of all trans* folk, including FTM and MTF folk. I guess I will find out how genuine this inclusiveness is.

So not all radfems are transphobic. But even the ones who are not do still subscribe to a simplistic social-constructionist view of gender.

Ok, this comment is getting long, but I just want to thank you, belledame, for your fierce defence of transpeople against the likes of Heart and her ilk.

queen emily said...

Oh, and can I say, there's something very - straight - about the almost complete focus on transwomen in rad-fem thought.

I would think, given that a lot of transmen come from the lesbian community, there would be more anxiety showing up online (about "losing" all the butches or whatever). But no. Practically nothing.

It's like they're only come across MTF transsexuals on talk shows or movies and Things Sheila Jeffreys Has Written, and that's the start and end of their trans* knowledge..

Alon Levy said...

Tom, "sex" is Latinate. The Germanic word for it is "Geschlecht," which in English should be, I think, "sleight."

Rachel, welcome to commenting.

Cassandra Says said...

Agreed with hedonist that Twisty and Heart are different animals altogether. Heart has this sort of hippy/trippy essentialist thing that Twisty doesn't seem to have. I think she really believes in the whole mystical power of the sacred yoni crap, which doesn't seem to be Twisty's thing at all. They both believe in Class Woman and Class Man and an inherant opposition between those classes, but for quite different reasons, IMO.

That Mar Iguana person is quite the character, isn't she? That's the reason I started avoiding IBTP - the sort of MRA-in-reverse thing just wasn't working for me.

Ravenmn said...

Label this post "IBTBD". Fuck me. I read the entire thread. So I'm blaming you, BD, for my actions. And for that last four hours.

There. I feel better now.

And I just want to make a shout out here to Nexy. She tried. They ignored. The shit went on.

But still. Awesome stuff there.

Also note: KH, good to see you posting. I missed you.

nexy said...

" nexy: you've had the patience of a saint, I've no idea how you took it for so long.

Heart is -such an asshole.-
"

i honestly thought i was building bridges between our respective communities.

then some members of both communities stabbed me in the back. i'm still pulling out the knives.

perhaps that's why my manometer may be malfunctioning.

anyway, i have become quite disillusioned with the whole thing. marti's right, it's like a religion to many of them, and they have their prophets, and no facts, studies, or lived experiences will sway their beliefs.

it's like trying to discuss "the sanctity of marriage" with fundamentalists.

Mandos said...

I am presently enjoying a delicious can of Tom Kha soup. In addition to the galangal, mushrooms, etc in the can, I added a green chili (it was already hot but not enough for me), and some beef mortadella sausage and some sliced turkey (ie, whatever I had in the fridge).

Delicious. I feel warm inside. I could have added another chili.

belledame222 said...

hey, welcome florenesra and rachelphilpa.

yeah, justicewalks...

"you keep using those words. I do not think they mean what you think they mean. In fact, I have no fucking idea what you're talking about."

from now on i'm just gonna filter all that crap through the Borkinator, mentally at least.

back to cis and so forth:

here's a suggestion, if rather cumbersome: something like gender congruent.

someone who was not transsexual but genderqueer...well, hey, genderqueer works, no? "non-trans, genderqueer."

shrug.

some damn thing. i dunno.

belledame222 said...

mandos, i am trying to imagine how tom kha would work with turkey and sausage in it, and failing. particularly the turkey.

i have however gotten good results from straining a can of tom kha (as in, just the coconut milk broth, no veggies or errant lemongrass), pouring it over chicken, then baking. makes a nice tangy marinade.

belledame222 said...

I also have no idea why you introduced that subject at this particular juncture, but hey, I'm hungry, so I can go with it for a bit.

what if gender came in a can?

(OO ER MISSUS, yeah, yeah, shut up, that's not what i meant, never mind)

belledame222 said...

and yeah, ditto, kh, stick around, willya?

Mandos said...

It is thinly sliced processed turkey bought at our local evil giant big-box chain store. It absorbs the flavour of the soup very well, almost like tofu, only actually meat.

The beef-pistachio mortadella sausage didn't quite work but it wasn't bad.

I do make these surprisingly tasty "ad hoc" creations involving random selections from my fridge and cupboards. I should have boiled some of the remaining whole wheat penne...

belledame222 said...

I don’t imagine I’ll want tall people telling me what it’s really like to be short,

this is possibly the stupidest thing i have read in a long time. i mean, WHAT?

someone needs to pick up a copy of "Gulliver's Travels." maybe better stay away from "Modest Proposal" though; i've a feeling the next thing we'd see is an earnest protest, or something.

belledame222 said...

whole wheat pasta is nasty. there, I said it.

Mandos said...

I had no reason to bring up food, but I was reading this thread and eating my Tom Kha, so I thought, "Let's talk randomly about food."

These are just my wild, thread-hijacky ways.

Mandos said...

Normally, I'd agree with you about the whole wheat pasta, but this particular brand is not bad. I think it is possible to do it right, now.

Anyway, I finished the meal with a dessert of plain whole milk yogurt topped with pina colada smoothie mix from a bottle.

belledame222 said...

I See.

Oh, and can I say, there's something very - straight - about the almost complete focus on transwomen in rad-fem thought.

I would think, given that a lot of transmen come from the lesbian community, there would be more anxiety showing up online (about "losing" all the butches or whatever). But no. Practically nothing.

It's like they're only come across MTF transsexuals on talk shows or movies and Things Sheila Jeffreys Has Written, and that's the start and end of their trans* knowledge..


ayup. meh, maybe some of it is a generational thing as well, in some cases at least, but...

yea, as I've mentioned before, while there were many similarities in the subjects and styles of angst between the Dyke Drama Collective (varying ideologies and sexualities, but tending toward earnest-neo-radical/anarchist among the younger set at least), the Big Wankfest Subjects that seem to dominate in the online radosphere--didn't really blip, as far as I knew. Not kink, not sex work, and--trans yes, but only insofar as whether or not we should let 'em in...

and yes, by far the subject and -experience- of FtM's (including members transitioning since having joined) was more prevalent. Hypothetically I think more people were comfortable with MtF's, but at last count (when I was there) there weren't any, so it was mostly an academic question.

yeah, i get the strong impression Heart's interactions have been limited to the wangstfests related to MichFest, and a lot of second and thirdhand storytelling and theorizin'. who the hell knows, though.

belledame222 said...

no, no, wait, wait, THIS wins the stupid prize:

I hope that the revolution will cure people of this urge to project their feelings and experiences onto others

*ahem*

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!!!

...oh, god. oh, shit. fuck, i hope so too. that or a -really good enema.- one of the two.

belledame222 said...

...what exactly do these people imagine "the revolution" to be, I wonder?? is it like all those willfully avoided, oppressive orgasms rolled into one? do we all click our birk'd heels together three times simultaneously and POOF! the world is transformed? into? will there be pie? "i was informed that there was to be punch and pah."

Mandos said...

There will be soup. Soup elevates humanity. Like Tom Kha.

Holly said...

Oh, what a great post. I could definitely not have said it all better, what a summation of everything that's HEADDESK about these kinds of viewpoints. Biological essentialism not in vogue anymore? Too many feminists you know pointing out that women shouldn't be reduced to body parts? There's a HANDY DANDY solution! Find something else and insist that it can never ever be changed, no way: how about socialization? Everyone's got one, and it's RUN BY THE MAN. If someone points out that you're granting the patriarchal system total and unchanging control over our thoughts, ideas, feelings, and behaviors, just tell them they're trivializing the very real of billions of women who are constantly being raped, abused, and tortured, in some cases by wearing high heels. Works every time!

Now I have to continue my (and maybe piny's) favorite trend of late... supporting quote from Julia Serano!!

"The fact that socialization is a specious argument became obvious to me during an exchange I had with a trans-woman-exclusionist who insisted that my being raised male was the sole reason in her mind for me to be disqualified from entering women-only spaces. So I asked her if she was open to allowing trans women who are anatomically male but who have been socialized female--something that's not all that uncommon for MTF children these days. She admitted to having concerns about their attending. Then, I asked how she would feel about a person who was born female yet raised against male against her will, and who, after a lifetime of pretending to be male in order to survive, finally reclaimed her female identity upon reaching adulthood. After being confronted with this scenario, the woman conceded that she would be inclined to let this person enter women-only space, thus demonstrating that her argument about male socialization was really an argument about biology after all. In fact, after being pressed a bit further, she admitted that the scenario of a young girl who was forced against her will into boyhood made her realize how traumatic and dehumanizing male socialization could be for someone woh was female-identified. This, of course, is exactly how many trans women experience their own childhoods."

Basic summary: as we all know, popping out of your momma's womb with certain body parts means you generally get assigned male, and are granted male privilege (although the experiences of trans & gender-variant people show that not everyone is equipped or inclined to fully or even partly assume the mantle of these privileges.) Many fundamentalist feminists absolutely believe this (except not of course the parts in parentheses) and they also believe the absolute obverse: having certain body parts gives you a passport to a legitimate claim on female identity, as in Serano's second story, that others simply can't have, and hmm hmm, not sure about intersex people. It doesn't get more clearly essentialist and binary than that, really.

Of course, I am shocked and horrified that Julia Serano had an argument with a WBW and, in her own words, "confronted" and even "pressed" her. It doesn't say how Serano "pressed" this poor woman but it probably involved holding her at gunpoint, crotch-grabbing, and grunting like a feral ape, because Julia Serano is a trans woman and trans women are all linebackers seething with male energy, of course.

cicely said...

I would think, given that a lot of transmen come from the lesbian community, there would be more anxiety showing up online (about "losing" all the butches or whatever). But no. Practically nothing.

This can be found on the michfest discussion board, queen emily. The rad/fem, les/fem community that for the longest time greeted butch lesbians with folded arms is now lamenting their loss to the ranks of transmen and urging them to be their butch selves and stay female. Butch lesbians are seen to be the victims, never of r/f or l/f politics in more than the briefist wave of an arm (that was then, this is now), but of the 'trans agenda' (as well as the patriarchally enforced gender binary) amid claims that they are being and feeling pressured to transition. And there is certainly concern being expressed at the (apparently?) diminishing pool of available butches.

Thorne said...

Oh, my! Excellent explanation! And no, I didn't read the thread that started this. I just couldn't face it after doing the whole WitchyWoo, Stormy/ER debacle yesterday. (I know, but that's when I found it. I think somebody is helping me not go ballistic in comments (I save that for my blog) I hang out sometimes at http://www.butch-femme.com, and I heard last year about them doing a "panties check" at a womencentric concert event, because of not wanting to allow FTM's in a woman only space. I totally support people's right to express whatever gender they feel, but I have to admit that this one gave me pause. I mean, if a transperson identifies as male, how can he be a lesbian, or want to go to a woman only event? Is this propagandist BS, or does anyone know? And what's the deal with whether he's strappin' or packin' or surgically altered? Wouldn't shouldn't an MTF feel more a part of and be welcomed? Please don't axe me... Eee gads. I'm just a crazy "queer lesbian stone femme feminist witch". What do I know?

queen emily said...

>>>I mean, if a transperson identifies as male, how can he be a lesbian, or want to go to a woman only event?

I do know some transmen identify as lesbians but not women. I think it's very difficult to disentangle some of the on-going psychic investments transpeople have in our previous identities and communities (or at least some aspects). Going to a women-only event could be about maintaining some kind of continuity (not to mention cruising familiar haunts), yeah?

In any case whether you agree with that or not, I think it's totally disgusting to do invasive checks on people's genitals.

>>>Wouldn't shouldn't an MTF feel more a part of and be welcomed?

Depends on who you ask I guess. I personally don't go to women only events, because imo it's just not worth the drama. That is, if they even let me in :(

queen emily said...

>>>The rad/fem, les/fem community that for the longest time greeted butch lesbians with folded arms is now lamenting their loss to the ranks of transmen and urging them to be their butch selves and stay female.

Ok, I'm not surprised. I've just seen a lot more angst offline than on.. Though I have a hazy memory of reading Sheila Jeffreys saying something ludicrously disingenous about it somewhere..

Tom Nolan said...

Tom, "sex" is Latinate. The Germanic word for it is "Geschlecht," which in English should be, I think, "sleight." - AL

So "sleight of hand" means...?

belledame222 said...

The Michfest people are possibly not all the same as the political 'sphere regulars, anyway.

I just couldn't face it after doing the whole WitchyWoo, Stormy/ER debacle yesterday

oh god, now what? Or were you reading that shitstorm from a couple months ago or so?

belledame222 said...

and I heard last year about them doing a "panties check" at a womencentric concert event, because of not wanting to allow FTM's in a woman only space.

You know, if someone isn't checking my panties with the explicit intention of getting me off, I really don't see why I would subject myself to that to go to a fucking concert. How invasive! Is that really true, REALLY? Would people put up with that from anyone else? What, because it's Big Sister instead of Big Brother, it's totally fine? Please!

belledame222 said...

also:

"Don't be who you are or do what makes you more comfortable, because you're ruining my dating pool" is presumptuous in several ways at once.

1) put my erotic preferences over your well-being (gee, where have we heard -that- before?)

2) well of COURSE you'd want to date me, I'm so attractive (where have we heard THAT before?...)

JackGoff said...

I have GOT to stop going back over there. GAH!

belledame222 said...

it's still going? or you mean the whole stupid site? yeah i agree, but it's damn tricky when -other- people keep going back and talking about it. and yes, now -i'm- the asshole this time, noogies and asskickings duly accepted.

Mandos said...

The thread is still going and is getting closer to that magical number, 500!

Someone called Artemisian posted a sarcastic questionnaire asking things like "Please cite specific instances where transsexuals have cheapened you experience of womanhood..."

Mar Iguana tells us that despite her agreement that evpsych research has been designed to backup patriarchal stereotypes, it still shows that the "male brain" has "drawbacks." Then to Artemisian, LALALALALALA I CAN'T HEAR YOU.

Delphyne tells the reader that the existence of an intersexual minority does not in itself negate sexual dualism. (BTW, I too am also inclined to be impatient with the Argument From Exception, but this is liberally used on IBTP as well.)

JackGoff said...

Well, more that the thread is still going, and more...something... is being springing forth. Whatever, I can ignore it, though I feel real goddamn privileged to be able to ignore all of this, and I begin to hate myself even more.

Mandos said...

more...something... is being springing forth.

You mean in a "what great beast, slouching towards Bethlehem" sort of way?

JackGoff said...

is being springing forth.

Jeebus on a cracker...

P-R-O-O-F-R-E-A-D

JackGoff said...

"what great beast, slouching towards Bethlehem" sort of way?

More in an Aliens sort of way.

And I blame Veronica for make me use that image repeatedly over the past week or so.

belledame222 said...

Are you saying the stoopid hatefulness is reaching critical mass?

belledame222 said...

delphyne, delphyne. thanks again for sharing your great wisdom, o straight feminist what is -radical.- jesus wept. but also, such style. does she actually take lessons in unpleasant?

as a friend put it,

"There are two things you can see from space: the Great Wall of China and that delphyne is horrible. And you can't see the Great Wall anyway."

belledame222 said...

Jack, why hate yourself because other people are fuckwits?

JackGoff said...

Jack, why hate yourself because other people are fuckwits?

Well, it's what I do at times. Also, I feel like not speaking up when people are negating other peoples' existence is...I don't know. Honestly I don't. I just feel wretched, y'know? I know there's nothing I could really do, but it's frustrating.

KH said...

...I heard last year about them doing a "panties check" ...

Sounds like Army medical exams to root out sodomites. Or antisemitic paranoia about Jews changing their names, trying to trick people into accepting them.

Mandos: It's not just an argument from exception. These cases help elucidate the criteria that underlie broader exclusions.

The meaning of the words "man" & "woman" is a matter of lexicography, convention, & it changes. Intersex was unknown until recently. "Woman" had nothing to do with chromosomes until little over 100 years ago; the notion that the concept is self-evidently a matter of genetics is just unhistorical. In the not too distant past, there have been serious arguments - serious in the sense of having been taken seriously by authoritative people - whether homosexual men & women really are "men" & "women" in the sense we now accept. Likewise, transsexuality was unthought of until recently, after the words "man" & "woman" received their currently conventional meaning. Transsexuality, like the emergence of genetics (& biology generally) & changing ideas about homosexuality, will inevitably change usage of the words, notwithstanding the political resistance of a reactionary remnant. The real political & moral arguments over the exclusion of sexual minorities can't be settled by appeal to this or that dictionary, or by stipulation.

bint alshamsa said...

Having read this entire thread and all of the links attached to it, I have but one thing to say:

ALL wheat pasta tastes like wet cardboard.

*bint drops the microphone and heads off stage*

belledame222 said...

"she's right you know."

Ravenmn said...

My favorite:

"postmodernists and the transsexual empire decided to undermine the whole concept of “woman” by allowing any man who felt like it to lay claim to being one. "

Apparently these days men are falling all over themselves to become women.

"Do I dare to eat wheat pasta? No, I shant! I shall become a woman today!"

KH said...

Heart has 'herstorically determined' that gender must be abolished. How sophersticated of her.

belledame222 said...

quackquackquack.

who said that just now? "the transsexual empire," yes, Janice Raymond was a fucking -prophet.- jesus.

belledame222 said...

slip. that's nice. god, can she just hurry up and get to her next Revelation already? Hare Krishna, say?

belledame222 said...

and, that's swell. tell her to pick a less femmey name and cut her goddam hair, for a start. and stop using "her" for hysself for that matter. moon june spoon womb my ass.

Thorne said...

>>>>>I do know some transmen identify as lesbians but not women. I think it's very difficult to disentangle some of the on-going psychic investments transpeople have in our previous identities and communities (or at least some aspects).

That makes perfect sense to me. I read an article in the Gay Times (?? I think??) about how difficult it is for many lesbian couples to renegotiate their lives after one has transitioned. It is very hard for both partners to change their identities. I read that many lesbians in one couple's community turned on the non-ftm partner asking if she was straight now? How insensitive can people be?? It's soooo fucked up!

>>>>>>>I think it's totally disgusting to do invasive checks on people's genitals.

It's absolute bull!!! It's nobody's business what's in anybody's pants unless they wanna show it off!!! Not to mention that if we are sincere about questioning gender definitions and redefining the current bi-gender system we need to understand that a person's sexual organs have nothing to do with their gender!!!

>>>>>oh god, now what? Or were you reading that shitstorm from a couple months ago or so?

Yeah. April sometime. Been wandering around trying to find some other like minded feminists... ie; who have space in their hearts to realize that feminism isn't dogma.

>>>>>>>Well, it's what I do at times. Also, I feel like not speaking up when people are negating other peoples' existence is...

I hear you. I'm having a hard time with that, too. I would never stand in silence while someone spewed that kind of hate crap in my physical presence. There is so much of it here though, and we have such easy access to it it's easy to get overwhelmed.

belledame222 said...

okay, having looked (what the -shit- is Heart babbling about now? everyone -else- is confused, is it? and now it's -womanhood- that's a patriarchal construct, it's all about oppression, NOT cells, repeat, oppression NOT cells, check), i see that -delphyne- has uttered the transsexual empire blah--

okay, if anyone knows different feel free to correct, but i'm fairly certain that THIS WOMAN. IS. STRAIGHT.

not that it's any better when a lesbian separatist makes such Proclamations, but really, how fucking dare she?

Thorne said...

Harrrmmmmphhht!
Well, I caved in to my own baser nature. After following a couple of good links above and reading even more about the idiocy going on over there, my dander was up and I was ready to throw caution to the winds and jump in with some vitriol of my own.

Alas, the Goddess has decreed that I don't make myself sick over idiots again today. I clicked and:

Please contact this site's webmaster.

Wait a few minutes and use your browser's "Back" button or click here to try again.

If you are the webmaster, your account may have exceeded for one or more of the following reasons:

* Your site has used more than 20% of the cpu.
* Your account has too many processes running at the same time.
* Your site was consuming too many resources. This happens on occassion to very busy sites that have inefficient scripts running.


So be it!

Tom Nolan said...

You mean in a "what great beast, slouching towards Bethlehem" sort of way? - Mandos

"What rough beast etc."

SnowdropExplodes said...

Your site was consuming too many resources. This happens on occassion to very busy sites that have inefficient scripts running.

Sounds like a rather over-polite description of that thread!

Holly said...

Whatever, I can ignore it, though I feel real goddamn privileged to be able to ignore all of this, and I begin to hate myself even more.

Oh, don't worry too much about that. The discussion is actually about people like me, and I feel like it's very important for me to completely ignore it! In fact, it's probably better for my health and most other trans people's if we do.

I read that many lesbians in one couple's community turned on the non-ftm partner asking if she was straight now? How insensitive can people be?? It's soooo fucked up!

Not saying that there isn't a lot of insensitive, fucked up bullshit around stories like those, but they often end up involving a lot of pretty complicated stuff around who identifies as straight, who they do and don't date / are attracted to, what that means for their partners, who is getting heterosexual privilege, etc...

KH said...

It'd sorta be an abuse of lesbians to suggest she'd be any less special if she were one.

KH said...

This really is a kind of nativism. We, the natural-born members of the group, are being usurped by aliens, who aren't & can never become authentically part of it. Somebody call Tancredo.

Mandos said...

I'd argue that it's a particular form of standard-issue nationalism, adapted to the gender context.

Ravenmn said...

The need for either/or is a bit frightening. Do they not realize that in every conflict there are human beings who don't fit into one side or the other? Is there any battle that has NOT involved people passing, crossing over, crossing back, etc.?

How is it that the war against sexism can have only two sides? I'm actually asking this seriously because there is so much energy being put into defining who belongs and who doesn't.

I suspect, but may be wrong, that it's like all that talk about Michigan and women-only space. I love and defend women-only space. But at the same time I realize that it's part fantasy:

I can pretend that I'm not being objectified in ways that I feel I am when I'm in co-ed situations. But women can and do objectify each other, even if we're heterosexual.

I can pretend that I'm safe from the random rapist or molestor, but women can molest and rape each other even in the middle of a music festival.

I can pretend that I'm creating a newer, better more perfect world, but that world appears and disappears in one week.

I've been to Michigan. Other than the bacterial infection, I had a great time. But it isn't my day to day life, nor anyone else's.

In this world, I see many levels of allies and enemies. Contradictions abound! It's what makes life and the struggle interesting and passionate and real. Who couldn't love that?

KH said...

I think nativism, which is much more specific than generic nationalism, captures these people's concerns & rhetoric better. They'd ride a civic nationalist out of town on a rail.

Mandos said...

Whatever it is, they're afraid of identity erasure. Quebec civic nationalists talk a good game, and they're right about some things, but ultimately, there's a core of identity erasure-panic. It's the same here.

Deoridhe said...

Belle (from ages above):

here's a suggestion, if rather cumbersome: something like gender congruent.

I dunno, I'm getting a bit enamored with thithersleight, hithersleight, and whithersleight. They're nicely syllbant and attractive sounding, all three. Cisgendered always makes me think of huge pots of water.


And may I express my deep love and appreciation for Bint despite her inability to appreciate the subtle aroma and healthful benefits of whole wheat pasta.

We need to build bridges, people! Bridges! Don't cook the pasta too long, or it'll wilt when we walk on it!

Mandos said...

youknowwhoelse says:

This again is why it’s important to distinguish between “male” and “man.” A man who is subordinated for being not manly enough is not a male woman and we should say so. He’s still a man and still male. He is actually participating in the deconstruction of manhood and masculinity, to the degree that he continues to acknowledge he is part of the category “male.” If he is recognized as a woman, then patriarchy has had its way. It has subordinated the unmasculine and made the unmasculine “women” just as it subordinates female persons and makes us women. For that to change, we have to *be* women/female and man/male and reject gender.

Emphasis mine.

belledame222 said...

...

I'm sorry; is that actually English? I can't seem to make myself process that.

...oh, okay. yeah. that. uh huh.

"we"

well, that sure does sound radical all right. convincing, too. in the sort of, clonked-on-the-head-until-it-makes-sense sort of way. ...*wha?* *k. whatever, i want my breakfast.*

she must've been -killer- back in the day. man, the ex-gay movement as well as the pro-life movement must be sorry they don't have her (or *do* they?) on their team these days.

belledame222 said...

and, recall, she's the one who was pissing vinegar over the ev0l postmoderns and "academentics" and their sophistry, you know, so divorced from on the ground, real activism, unlike the radical feminist of which she has been proud to have been one for what is it now? six years? seven? five?

belledame222 said...

i shouldn't even bother, but:

first, it's important to distinguish between "male" and "man."

which would kinda tend to suggest that "male" means "gender," even if we accept that "man"...doesn't.

and then, "we" must be man slash male or women slash female AND "reject gender."

...

then again, this is a woman that thinks chasingmoksha is making important new theory about race relations.

obfuscation really is an -excellent- tool.

i guess if i could come up with an equally convoluted way to say, "you're tacky and I hate you," i'd probably get away with more. but--i can't be bothered.

belledame222 said...

kh: if you're referring to delphyne, no, but there is just something particularly galling to me about a straight radical feminist who thinks she can police other peoples' seuxality and gender as -too patriarchal.- no, it shouldn't be any more so than a lesbian feminist pulling that shit, but i am as g-d-s made me.

and radical feminist mens are my very favoritest of all!

KH said...

My reaction actually was exactly the same as yours. There is something especially strange about the type. I'm just thinking against my intuition, as usual.

KH said...

Heart is just talking about the sex-gender distinction. Feminine men deconstruct gender, but if they change their sex, which they can't really do, they become feminine women, except that they're not really women, & it's win-win-win for The Patriarchy. I assume masculine MTFs would likewise deconstruct gender, with the same expections.

Her last sentence is beyond me.

belledame222 said...

well, i'm still a little slaphappy, so this was the best i could make of it:

belledame222 said...

...more seriously, no WAIT dammit, yeah i get that she's doing sex/gender, but -first- she says it's important to distinguish between "male" and "man" and then she says it's important to be BOTH, as though they were THE SAME. so?

KH said...

So, you're not the only one who's slaphappy. That's the way a lot of comments are. They blandly contradict themselves from sentence to sentence, & it's hopeless to try to get them to resolve the confusion. And this isn't marginal to their so-called theory. I think we all recognize that these aren't really the kind of people you'd bring home to your parents. ("Mom, met Delphyne. Ask her about men.") Not Reasonable. The best you can do is elicit their themes, attitudes, & vivid invective.

KH said...

In re Heart, have you read Harry Frankfurt's little essay "On Bullshit"?

Mandos said...

It makes perfect sense to me.

What she's saying is that patriarchy separates the two and makes one an act. Patriarchy is what makes people, particularly females, be things that they would not otherwise have wanted to be. The end of patriarchy is the point where the separation between act and being is ended.

belledame222 said...

...um...that didn't help.

well, i already tried the Babelfish. it must be something else.

belledame222 said...

kh: i've heard of it. this is not to be confused with the Penn & Teller show, right?

am I simple? maybe I'm simple.

hey, Tom? got any pudding? like, a summer pudding?

Ravenmn said...

Actually, that last post from Heart makes sense if you use her assumptions.

First assumption: gender is a fantasy story we are conned into by men. Before and after patriarchy, all humans are completely happy with whatever body we are born in.

The ONLY reason anyone is uncomfortable with their biological circumstances is because the EVIL menz are running this scam on us.

That ONLY is the key: no other explanation is possible.

Just like all the other "only" explanations about high heels, blow jobs, pron et al.

The only allowable explanation is that you are insane and a dupe. How sad for you. One day, if you're lucky, you can be as marvelous as me!

(In case anyone is an idiot, let me add that last part was, indeed, sarcasm.)

belledame222 said...

anyway, just wandered over to ilyka's and apparently there's a GIANT shitstorm over something -really- stupid involving about eighteen different people, something about some horrible worthless shitstain mocking Steve Gilliard in death (the way you do, classy) and someone else noting it in a deadpan way, and Jesus' General not getting the irony and going ballistic, eventually calling for and getting the progressive blogger in question's job; and now it's over at Tiny Cat Pants, and it's like over two hundred comments' worth of food fight, and i -was- going to say something (i think JG is being a pill, anyway) but on second thought just blurted "y'all look like the aftermath of the Donner Party" and skeddadled.

belledame222 said...

okay, YES, i understand the gist, only because she's said such shit before;

but here, okay: -how- exactly is she distinguishing "male" and "man," and why does she first say they're different and then apparently say they have to go together? Huh? Huh? Huh?

anyway she's ALSO said that "gender" is all the ways in which men oppress women, y'know, rape torture footbinding burqas.

belledame222 said...

you know how i feel? i feel like i used to when i was taking trig or chemistry or some damn thing and my father kept trying to explain how this or that formula worked,

and i'd be all, but, it just -doesn't make any fucking sense.- i GET the principle (sort of), it just doesn't -mean- anything to me, it's...-stupid.-

at least with chemistry if you did it right you might blow something up. in theory.

come to think of it...

KH said...

Another gloss: Heart assumes that people who’re born with male bodies but seek female ones do so because they perform feminine gender, & that their desire to change their bodies stems from and legitimates a patriarchal idea that all & only people with feminine gender should have female bodies. The fact that one feminine man transitions implies that they all should do it. MTFs are just a subset of feminine men, different from nontranssexual feminine men only in the extent to which they follow patriarchal ideology to its logical conclusion, gung-ho, balls to the wall. This is, of course, an unsupported theory of the etiology of transsexuality. The idea that an MTF could perform masculine gender is also left unaccounted for. The idea that feminine MTFs & masculine FTMs increase social pressure on others to perform traditional gender, or adversely affect them in any way, is an empirical question, & highly dubious.

The difference with chemistry is that chemistry has a coherent conceptual scheme & can be understood by people of normal intelligence, & is true. No one will ever win a Nobel Prize for discoveries in the field of nitwit transphobia.

belledame222 said...

well, my high school chem teacher was a nitwit. does that count?

KH said...

No prize for him.

Tom Nolan said...

hey, Tom? got any pudding? like, a summer pudding?

(Tom, dressed up as Jeeves, appears in the conservatory and places a covered plate on the wrought-iron table at which BD sits expectantly. He lifts the cloche to reveal a darkly-moulded compote of raspberries, blackberries, apples and quinces)

"Shall I pour some cream on that for Moddom?"

And hey, I just printed off my Thomas Mann dissertation! Woo-hoo! That's me done for this academic year!

Alex said...

KH: *blink* So if one guy becomes an MTF, all metrosexuals must now sign up for gender reassignment surgery?

Or would if they were more, ahem, ballsy?

My eyes, they are spinning.

KH said...

Evidently, The Patriarchy™ is best served if millions of men undergo GRS.

JackGoff said...

I think the Non Sequitor of the Week Award can easily be given to one Mar Iguana with this delightful tweaking:

Peddle your piddle “in the wider, hugely transsexual-friendly world.”

Okay, then! Thanks for showing little or no grounding in reality, for the umpteenth time! I am curious where she's been hanging out though, that is so completely and unmistakably "transsexual-friendly", as I'm uncertain Gwen Araujo, were she still here instead of murdered, would agree with that wonderful and completely sane assessment.

KH said...

I didn't even begin to understand Mar Iguana's point. Anyone?

queen emily said...

>>>I am curious where she's been hanging out though, that is so completely and unmistakably "transsexual-friendly"

If she could just give me directions, I'd be ever so grateful.. ^_^

KH said...

Interesting early MacKinnon gloss on the subject; it seems to come from a remote era. Exhibits the idea that transsexuals desire to change their bodies only in order to enable them to better conform to a preferred gender role, not because a changed body is an good in itself. She refers, seemingly with approbation, to a claim that transsexual women are women:

“What hermaphrodism does to the concept of biological gender, transsexuality does to the concept of sex roles. The rigid exclusivity of each sex of the other is undercut in the clear presence of some of both. Transsexuals experience a sense of sex identity cruelly trapped in a nonconforming body. Whatever the cause in this sense, it cannot be biological gender, since sex identity stands opposed to the body; nor can it be sex role conditioning alone, since sex identity is also opposed to that. The source of such a thorough rejection of standard sex role conditioning as well as physiology is obscure. But it is testimony to the power of the social correlation of sexual identity with physiology that, in order to pursue the desired behavior patterns fully, transsexuals consider it necessary to alter their bodies to accord with their gender identity. A final observation captures both meanings: first, gender identification may be better understood as a social definition of biology than as a biological definition of society, and, second, the power of that definition. Commenting upon the justice of proposed chromosome test for determining the femaleness of the transsexual tennis player Dr. Renee Richards, one woman observed: ‘I think nature is not always correct. She looks like a woman, plays like a woman. She is a woman. Chromosomes make things scientific, but nature is not always a hundred percent correct.’34”

Catharine A MacKinnon, Sexual Harassment of Working Women: A Case of Sex Discrimination (Yale UP, 1978), pp. 154-155

The footnoted quote is from New York Times, August 22, 1976, (Sports Section) at 3. The 1983 Minneapolis Antipornography Civil Rights Ordinance seems to take a different view, distinguishing transsexuals from women. She also discusses the subject in other places.

KH said...

Mar Iguana's quoting my phrase, “in the wider, hugely transsexual-friendly world,” which was bitter sarcasm. (These people speak as if MTFs stand astride the world like Colossi, & are given all honor by The Patriarchy.™ I'm dubious.) I have no idea whether she understood my drift; she's not always sensitive to irony.

KH said...

And when I say she's not always sensitive to irony, I mean she's a hideous, stupid little bloodclot. She shouldn't call me boy.

Mandos said...

This is normal. You have been discovered!

KH said...

Maybe she thinks I'm MTF? Something about a boy & a Victoria's Secret slip. I resist the temptation to goad her to say more.

Mandos said...

Please don't resist the temptation. Thread is not at 500 yet. And yes, that's exactly what she means by the Victoria's Secret reference.

belledame222 said...

thanks, Tom! you do good food chat. and, congratulations!

kh, QE, etc.: well you know calling someone a "man" (or male-identified) as an attempt to discredit is pretty much boilerplate in that part of Virtual Strangetown. most heretics have gotten it at one point or another. did they attempt to argue with Canon with certain people.

and if it's not that, yer selfish selfish and all you care about is pleasing teh Menz. witchy-woo told me that, onc't, and i was ever so grateful to her for letting me know. i guess it's true in a way; while i'm not as shall we say -intimately familiar- with mens as she is, otoh i never did offer up my son for (literal) sacrifice to the Cause, should the Sisterhood demand it. i mean, i'm sure i would do, if i had a son. and if i had a brother, he'd like herring, and if my aunt--

never mind.

o i love arguing with crazy people...

belledame222 said...

you know, Mar Iguana's little ode to female supremacy (but totally egalitarian, totally) would piss me off if i took her remotely seriously; excuse -me-, you wretched little nose goblin, but what is this -we-? We are -not- in the same league just because we happen to have roughly the same sort of nay-nays; besides i don't much care for the idea of Cylon-like solidarity, you're fucking stupid and repulsive; find your own damn way to justify your existence. gah.

now i have a little bit of an idea how sane men might feel when MRA's start the whole "and we can pee standing up! GO MEN!" crapola.

belledame222 said...

instead of worrying about wossname's thread, how about getting this one to two hundred?

do you think the problem is early pudding deprivation?

queen emily said...

I could do with some pudding. Chocolate or butterscotch. Oh yeah.

Sometime Americans seem to call this runny gelatinous crap pudding and that is DEAD wrong. That, my friends, is pudding experts technically called "rubbish."

KH said...

instead of worrying about wossname's thread, how about getting this one to two hundred?

What say we start insulting each other. That seems to grow 'em.

belledame222 said...

PUDDINHEAD!

oh wait, that's a compliment.

your mother was a My Little Pony, and your father smelt of synthetic elderberry pudding!

KH said...

Name the author. ( Starts with 'H, ends with 't,' with an 'ear' in the middle.)

"I mean, when a LESBIAN can’t perform at a Dyke march because male-born people are pissed because she plays at Michfest? That is male supremacy happening right there. That is patriarchy, right there."

There's a certain word I'm gonna be typing in CAPITAL letters from now on.

She just slienced me over there. What an eraser!!

KH said...

Oh yeah, you're also an eraser. And a dishfaced ibex.

Mandos said...

I want it to reach 500 so that I can (if I catch it in time) send one of my minions to claim the 500th post for me. That was basically the point of my tenure at IBTP, to drive up the thread count to 500 and claim that pinnacle. But I always missed it.

"Father" is a patriarchal word. You have just polluted your blog, you know.

BTW where did that son-sacrifice thing happen anyway? You do know that witchy-woo's son is a pretty funny blogger and regular on her blog, or so I understand. Or maybe I'm mistaken.

queen emily said...

well I *did* make scurilous accusations about a certain country's pudding. To arms, Americans. It's what you do best etc ;)

Mandos said...

Not an i-Bex? Someone should invent an ungulate tracking device called an i-Bex.

belledame222 said...

oh, where the hell was it, on Laura's blog, I think.

here.

and yes, I know her son's a regular blogger, which is what made the whole thing even more do-my-head-in.

Mandos said...

Oh, that was interesting. She didn't return and respond, oh well.

belledame222 said...

She does(n't do) that a lot.

I've had it with her, frankly, but yeah, we've had some -interesting- conversations.

Deoridhe said...

Queen Emily

Sometime Americans seem to call this runny gelatinous crap pudding and that is DEAD wrong. That, my friends, is pudding experts technically called "rubbish.

No, what's "rubbish" is that all that tasty pudding and chocolate is over THERE and not over HERE.

I excpect rectification sort of now-ish. *taps foot*

Selfish Brits.

and if it's not that, yer selfish selfish and all you care about is pleasing teh Menz

Okay, here's my thing with that.

Sometimes I (*gasp*) want to please the menz. I like pleasing my friends, some of my friends are menz, QED.

But ALL?

I mean...

C'mon. Hardly that.

Sabrina Star said...

"Heart assumes that people who’re born with male bodies but seek female ones do so because they perform feminine gender, & that their desire to change their bodies stems from and legitimates a patriarchal idea that all & only people with feminine gender should have female bodies."

Great googly moogly... anything, anything, no matter how tortured the logic, to "prove" that transsexualism is somehow approved and annointed by the patriarchy.

Anything to deny transsexual experience as valid.

So where are all the benefits that that come from doing the patriarchy's bidding? I must not have filled out all the forms properly. I must take this up with the Head Man's office.

JackGoff said...

Heart: KH– what you are writing here is irrelevant to us, as women, as females, as that category of human beings oppressed under male supremacy

"And believe us when we say we speak for all women. Because we do. Woo. Woo."

Ravenmn said...

"So where are all the benefits that that come from doing the patriarchy's bidding? I must not have filled out all the forms properly. I must take this up with the Head Man's office."

Sabrina, have you got pudding for brains? Doncha get it? The fact that you don't see your own privilege is evidence of your privilege! Now get back over on your side of teh LINZ.

Cuntensquirten has my undying love for this contribution:

"...where as going ON and ON about how penises are more immutable than the gorram atman and will always exist in a hyper-abstract-spiritual-psychological form if you happen to have been born with one, undoubtably haunting you and appearing at the end of your bed making “wooooo!” noises and rattling chains should you become a post-op M2F transwoman...."

Even since I read that, I've had dreams of penii floating about my bed, not in a scary way but in a drag queen way, wearing long gold chains and shouting "woo-hoo" as in "You rock, Honey!"

:)

Mandos said...

I'm sorry but "penii" is not the plural of "penis." It wouldn't even be that if it were "penus", which it isn't.

Just like "octopi." That's not the plural of "octopus"!

belledame222 said...

KH– what you are writing here is irrelevant to us, as women

oh my GAWWWWWWWWD

okay, another vote to keep going, KH. maybe you can get her to totally decompensate, it's bound to be pretty fucking spectacular.

belledame222 said...

and, i don't CARE. penii penii penii!! it sounds so much better, and: double ii!

belledame222 said...

oh--ha, KH, apparently Heart thinks you're a MAY-UN.

and Louisa May Thingie sez she no longer considers herself a lesbian separatist, just a separatist, and can i just say

THANK FUCK.

KH said...

Okay, we have an update. In our last installment, we had:

Heart: I mean, when a LESBIAN can’t perform at a Dyke march because male-born people are pissed because she plays at Michfest? That is male supremacy happening right there. That is patriarchy, right there.

Pretty good, right, LESBIANS & others? But small beer compared to the response it evokes:

Louisa May Alcott: Yup. And with “lesbians” as the eager handmaidens. Bitterness. This is why I no longer consider myself a “lesbian” separatist, just a separatist.

Let it end here, God, 19 short of 500. The undead author of Little Women abandons LESBIANISM because some LESBIANS won't hate transsexuals. I guess this makes her a non-cuddly post-LESBIAN.

KH said...

OK, the ibex beat me to it. And yes, Heart is evidently relying on Mar Iguana's preternatural intuition that I'm an MTF boy who wears fancy women's underwear. My shameful secret is revealed.

belledame222 said...

so, what are your thoughts on pudding?

Mandos said...

No! No! Not 19 short! We're just SO CLOSE!

KH said...

Apropos of your gall at Delphyne, I had so stop myself from calling Heart BREEDER over there. But I shall not stoop.

You know, I think she may know perfectly well that I'm not a man, from a previous exchange. So this is just routine part of the silencing erasing cancelling besmirching, along with saying (lyingly), "I refuse to engage what you say, & it's troubling that you refuse" - I do engage, laboriously - "to engage with what you say."

I have enormous, spherical testicles between my mannish legs, why should you ask me about pudding?

KH said...

Sorry, that should read:

"I refuse to engage what you say, & it's troubling that you refuse to engage with what people say."

And they irony is dead.

KH said...

Say, they say irony is dead. That is all.

belledame222 said...

"breeder," right. eleven children, she had. (something like that).

and don't forget, she COULD'VE spawned with some handsome Aryan that Mummy and Daddy would've approved of, but she DIDN'T, she is a RACE TRAITOR as well as a RADICAL POLITICAL LESBIAN, and WHERE IS HER COOKIE, HUH?

Veronica said...

Hey... she was issued a certificate of achievement...

KH said...

... in stupid?

belledame222 said...

Why, no.

Missed this one, did you?

I mean, you knew she was special, but did you know in -just how many ways- she's special.

KH said...

Veronica's was really, really painful to read. Just ghastly. Those poor children.

I wonder about her sublime assurance that she somehow speaks with the authority of TF's blog. That can't be right.

belledame222 said...

wait, how do you mean that last bit? that who speaks w/the authority of IBTP?

KH said...

Maybe I'm overinterpreting. It's just that her whole 'we don't want you here, you're unwelcome' schtick suggests that she thinks somebody died & made her boss.

I don't really know what Twisty Faster thinks in her secret recesses, but my sense is that it's not the Mar Iguana line.

Mandos said...

If you read her on That Thread, she sometimes sounds like she's making blanket judgements of what is and isn't trolling or appropriate on TF's blog, in support of a proposition that TF herself hasn't endorsed. (Which is another story.)

belledame222 said...

yes well, some people also think that the magical mystical hoohoo as well as the title "radical feminist" gives them co-ownership of:

Robin Morgan's "poetry"

every good deed ever done by any radical feminist ever

every good deed done by any -woman- ever

every bit of oppression any woman anywhere has ever suffered that can be cashed in on for sympathy points

goddess studies

"feminism"

"womanhood"

oh yeah, and the experience of being "colonized."

did i miss anything?

KH said...

If I'm gonna say things that may be obnoxious to the owner of a joint, I'd best not presume to judge who's welcome & unwelcome in it, that's all.

belledame222 said...

oh yes, how could i forget: "Alas a Blog," and the running thereof. so, sure, IBTP too, why not.

"we MADE you, and we can BREAK you just as easily!!"

belledame222 said...

well and considering that i -thought- the Monged One was one of several who were "banned" after the -last- trans-bashing fest at IBTP...guess not, eh?

belledame222 said...

then again, TF seems to have abandoned hostly duties once again, so i suppose the inmates may well be running the joint.

Mandos said...

I went away in the period between MI and lucky's bannings and their return so I don't know how exactly that worked.

I do think that TF is serious when she says that she feels she might not be the right person for the job of running a community like this. And, frankly, she was even more entertaining when she didn't have to wear this heavy mantle.

KH said...

Evidently. Then again, sometimes I'm not so perfect about cleaning the cats' litter box.

belledame222 said...

starts to try to go with that analogy, fails.

hey, look, only eleven more posts. c'mon! break on through!

Ravenmn said...

Very interestink , Mandos. I spelled lots of words wrong in that post, but you had to focus in on penii! What do you think that means? Raven strokes her non-existence beard...

Here's an odd thought I'd like feedback on. A lot of women grow up hating our bodies, then become politically conscious, maybe do the vagina gaze in a mirror, and come to an understanding that our bodies are just fine, thank you.

Do you think radfems just take that whole thing too far? Do they think that transgendered people are the exact same thing as those girls we used to be, and all transgender people need is a good political lesson to get over their discomfort?

Or worse, do they think that getting over being uncomfortable in one's body is a huge political struggle that they've succeeded at and that transgender people are therefore just lazy to do the political work necessary to overcome that "weakness"?

I'm just trying to figure out how anyone would talk themselves into believing that no one is truly uncomfortable in their body ever.

Also, I'm trying to push this thread over 200.

belledame222 said...

(and I bless you for it)

well--yeah, i think there's something to that. i also think it's plain ol' mainstream transignorance and bigotry poured into a newish bottle.

but yeah, some people seem to be of the belief that it's all ONLY sociopolitical, and only within a very, very narrow ideological frame. (which goes oddly with all this weird biological essentialism boiling to the fore, but never mind). also see: eating disorders, kink & all other forms of "patriarchal" sexuality, hell, even how one feels in a skirt as opposed to a pair of pants.

actually, do you know, i get a strong sense that the people writing like that are pretty well divorced from their bodies -now.- they seem to want to live in this sort of Platonic ideal of wimmins' utopia where the realities of the body don't exist...

it's like they bought the whole mind-body split as well as the idea that womens' bodies are -earthy-, you know, the curse of menstruation and childbearing and yadda, and simply tried to stand it on its head.

Mandos said...

actually, do you know, i get a strong sense that the people writing like that are pretty well divorced from their bodies -now.- they seem to want to live in this sort of Platonic ideal of wimmins' utopia where the realities of the body don't exist...

So, if you strip out the spirituality and the essentialism, that's Twisty's utopia. The floating brain-cloud contemplating the allness.

it's like they bought the whole mind-body split as well as the idea that womens' bodies are -earthy-, you know, the curse of menstruation and childbearing and yadda, and simply tried to stand it on its head.

But if you put back the essentialism, you very much get this. I mean, from the Heart end of things, you get people saying exactly this: that women's bodies are more in tune with the divine, because the divine is the Earth and life-giving, and male bodies are barren and adjunct. And males, rather than accept their subsidiary, adjunct role (which is true equality since it is the State of Nature), attempt to usurp the earth-power of the female body.

Much flows from there, and perhaps not all of it stupid.

Mandos said...

Take a look at one of Heart's newer blogfriends:

http://akkarri.wordpress.com/2007/04/17/radio-sutra-1-kurukulla-explains-a-few-things/

I do note that this person mashes a large number of cultures together, meaning that some of them are very likely to have been appropriated. But because she is a Woman (she always capitalizes Woman) she is at the top of the oppression-lattice and everything can be lattice-joined to her without changing anything (to get geeky and mathematical :) ).

Mandos said...

URL not paste right.

here

belledame222 said...

holy crap! it IS turtles all the way down!!!

hee! at least she seems more benign than chasingtoxic, even if she's probably considered less sane.

that's some little entourage Heart's collecting for herself...

Rebecca said...

Ah, great takedown (very belatedly).

Much of this latest stuff seems to me to amount to "gender is the stuff I don't like, sex is the stuff I do like". It seems to me that it's really just garden-variety essentialism of the Friedan era - with oppression simply renamed as "gender".

belledame222 said...

Yep, pretty much. In fact, thingie pretty explicitly says "gender" is a laundry list of oppressions, elsewhere:

As to gender– well, in this instance, we are dealing with feminist females who want to see an end to gender, in that they — we, because this is my view — view gender as inherently and unavoidably subordinating and subjugating. In our view, it’s not a good thing for people to “perform gender” or to be really good at gender performances of any kind — gender is something which needs to be eliminated in order for all of us to be free.

As Veronica put it, succinctly,

Now, perhaps I’ve got radically different views of how gender should or shouldn’t be eliminated, but I’m thinking that using biologic essentialism to lecture the unwashed masses on how gender should be eliminated is more than just a little ineffective.

...but so then girlfriend goes on to explain that

[womanhood] has meant footbinding. It means veiling. It means knowing you are the class of persons born to objectification. It means relegation to subordinated status to the boys in the family and the boys and men throughout the world. And many other things.

No male-born person experiences this. None. Male-born persons do not experience FGM, or footbinding, or relegation to subordinated status, or anything similar.


and

The experience females have as females, who grow up girl and into woman, is an experience of subordination and subjugation. It is not an “identity.” It is an experience of oppression. This experience of oppression and subordination at the hands of males includes, but is not limited to:

* female genital mutilation
* foot binding
* breast ironing
* being Trokosi
* being a “concubine”
* being forced into female ritual servitude
* being a “comfort woman”
* the Ashley treatment
* being prostituted
* being trafficked
* being paid less money than men for the same work
* being battered by husbands
* being owned as chattel and the ongoing consequences of that up through today
* being denied an education and the right to work, vote, own property, drive, and the consequences of that up through today
* being forced to marry, sometimes as young as 6 or 7 years old
* being sold as a wife to a man, sometimes as young as 6 or 7 years old
* being forced to marry a man when you are a lesbian
* being forced to marry a man, period
* compulsory motherhood
* compulsory child-bearing
* being discriminated against because you are pregnant or a mother
* being raped for genocide
* being forcibly impregnated for genocide
* being prostituted
* being objectified in pornography
* being forced to work land you can never own
* being forced to wear certain clothing under penalty of beatings, imprisonment or death
* being punished for loving women
* being subjected to clitoridectomies and hysterectomies to “cure” “hysteria,” depression, “nympomania”, and lesbianism
* being brutalized during pregnancy and childbirth
* being kept from forming strong attachments with other women
* being restricted to your home

This list is what gender is. This list. This list is what it is to be born female into the world. Those of us born female and made to be women know that this is our fate from our earliest moments, even when we didn’t or don’t have language for what we know.


-Brilliant,- isn't it? So, 1) no male-born person ever knows or knew what it was to work land he could ever own, good to know 2)"gender," yep, means "oppression."

So, I figured it out, maybe:

“we want to get rid of suffering; gender=suffering (as described like so); transgendered people want to KEEP gender; therefore, transgendered people want to perpetuate womens’ suffering. QED.”

It’s all falling into place! Of course, that place would be somewhere on the outer fringes of Bizarro Alpha Centauri or thereabouts.

But no, on second thought, I think Veronica has it, again:

And, there you have it. To be a woman is to be a victim. And, always the victim. Even when you’re being an asshole—you’re still the victim. Even when you’re being racist—you’re still the victim. Even when you’re being hateful, when you’re silencing, ignoring, turning a blind eye, appropriating the experiences of other women for your own purposes, and yes, discriminating—you’re still the victim.

In fact, I’m thinking that Heart should totally put together a Menarche Gift Basket with that list engraved on a plaque, which can then be nailed to every girl’s wall. So, she knows her place in the world, right?

Wouldn’t want any of those girls getting the idea that there’s any power in the feminine. Wouldn’t want any of those girls to decide that their vaginas didn’t wholly define them as “that which is to be beat and fucked, then worked like a mule.”

‘Cause if gender isn’t entirely defined by being a Victim with a Vagina, then those dirty, dirty transsexuals might actually make it clear to people that gender actually is a construct.

And, that’s Heart’s job, dammit!


(c'mon, c'mon, only two more to go...)

belledame222 said...

...so, Rebecca, what do YOU think of pudding?

belledame222 said...

FRIST!!!1ONE! i mean TWO HUNDWEDTH!! w00t.

i suppose i could just post another 100 in a row now, i've probably come close before...

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