Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Oh, right: THIS is why.

(in answer to the rhetorical question posted here, sort of)

Meanwhile, not very far away:

exhibit #2

I love Twisty, I really do. Nobody can rip apart the patriarchy like Twisty when she decides to give it a bigger rectal reaming then Goatse’s best efforts after a five-gallon enema. So I offer a humble apology for not letting her get away with upholding that which she claims to despise. Unless I am mistaken, she likes transgendered folk for the same reason that most feminists seem to like them — they prove gender is fluid. Unfortunately, feminists stop right at the edge of their brain, believing that there is no more to think through. Those kind of mental stop signs do not apply to me, though, because I’m evil. And so we arrive thusly at our next introductory paragraph.

When transgendered folks get through the final stage of transitioning and reach “the end”, all that gender fluidity goes right out the window and solidifies into the crusty crud on the bottom of my boots. They have merely succeeded in upholding the gender binary — the very same binary which has held women down for the last 10,000 years...


Yes, friends, it actually gets dumber and more offensive from there. And that's -without- the comments, which quel surprise has Lucky "tell the truth and shame the devil, human partheogenesis is a FACT and men will soon be extinct, no I do not have springs coming out my head, why do you ask?" Uncle making a cameo or six; and Satsuma, she of the clear-eyed lesbian gaze, solemnly informing us that

I believe they still have male voyeuristic minds, and they seem to fixate (or get their fix) on bringing up sex topics in these groups. The creeped out young lesbians then have to deal with the mental rapists coming right into their space, and this is of course allowed in LGBT places (read lesbian feminism not allowed, or lesbian only as some how excluding the poor transitioned MTFs).

The truth is, I rarely see MTFs being actually able to be like real woman I know. They are something else — a human being that is something beyond the life experiences of women.

All it ends up doing is giving that male porno mind access to women’s spaces.


You see? It IS all connected. Men are men and women are women; men have filthy exploitive minds and women do not; anyone who says otherwise OR is trying to cross from one to the other is either brainwashed or trying to fool you or both. Class Woman must remain pure. QED.

...Why even bother going through all this AGAIN, you ask? Other than sheer morbid fascination at the spectacle of it all, because in -some- ways, when you get to -this- level of WTF, it's like making fun of Time Cube Guy. And yet...

Well, for one thing, this whole "she likes transgendered folk" thing did sort of leap out at me, because it's not entirely unlike, well, sentiments I've been hearing all week over what you -might- think are entirely unrelated spectacles, i.e. the Racism? What Racism? ...oh, shit, right, okay, THAT racism, finally, uh, well, erm, maybe? ongoing saga, and/or Ew Icky Scary Mean Sex Worker Cooties No Um I Mean It's Just Totally Unfair, That's All, among others.

To wit:--oh well, look here, here's a perfect example, actually, right from that same thread wherein the brilliance wrt trans folk shines, in the comments:

I personally love it. I feel this is what “all feminists secretly think but are afraid to say our loud”.


...and there it is, kids. Of -course- you feel this; and you feel this because, well, it must be true; and it must be true because you feel this.

Oh, you can't possibly MEAN what you're saying. You're not really interested in -this-, are you? You're just putting it on. You're acting out of -guilt.- You're not one of THEM. You're one of US. You're just trying to be trendy, aren't you? Cool. More Radical Than Thou. Looking for "cookies" from, uhhhh, whoever's giving them out this week. Anything and everything but YOU MIGHT ACTUALLY MEAN WHAT YOU'RE ACTUALLY SAYING. And, further, you can't possibly LIKE -those people-, not -really.- They aren't actually -people-...no, sorry! I mean THEY are in fact -really people-, which is a -really- radical idea and I still can't quite get my head entirely 'round it but I'm -really- trying; it helps if I maintain that THEY are just like me (only not quite as Advanced).

As opposed to, garsh, I don't know, I like -some- of "these people" as PEOPLE, and therefore, by listening to them and getting to know them, I give a fuck when they say "ouch, this hurts," even if it doesn't seem to directly affect me (at first). Because

a) actually, as it turns out, most of the time if I look a step or a half-step ahead, why yes in fact I AM quite possibly next for the chop, say hello Pastor Niemuller,

b) besides, HELLO, how on earth do you expect people to be interested in YOUR righteous cause if you never return the fucking favor? Because you're Universal and they're a sideline and they should just wait patiently for you to get your rightful piece of the pie and THEN they might get a crumb? Because you think you're the only game in town? Wrong on both counts, and it's high time you got a clue.

c) those are my FRIENDS and LOVED ones you're talking about, you fucking zits. And/or at minimum, people I respect and like and want to hear what they have to say for -themselves-. PEOPLE.

Is it really that hard to understand? Really? Really.

But BESIDES that.

Just, for those tuning in from AmandaEtcGate, you should know, if you didn't already, that in fact there have been other reasons for feminist (or at minimum, sub-denominations thereof) and/or the feminist blogosphere expatriate-hood, and other women, leaving in frustration and anger, or at least feeling profoundly alienated from what should be and/or used to be for some, y'know, The Feminist Movement; all this shit would be the reason(s). Loosely, transphobia and the so-called "sex wars," the latter including, but not limited to, the ubiquitous "pornstitution" business (i.e. you're either fer it or agin it, according to some people anyway), Kink Is Bad, femme-bashing, heteronormativity up the wazoo, and just good ol' fashioned sex panic and/or "stone the sluts." Mostly, though, well, personally? Once more, with feeling: I Blame The Assholes.

That may not be all that helpful here, though, of itself.

Because actually, there -is- another connection here, and it is this: that IN fact, an awful lot of early Anglo-American feminism IS all tangled up with the Victorian (and yeah, Christian by default, a particular branch of Protestantism to be precise) idea of woman as moralizing agent, for better or for worse, depending on your perspective. The Temperance and then Prohibition movements, for instance. And yes, early on, Abolition.

Trouble is, though, even then, and echoing right on through today, there are -reasons- why "feminism" is considered a movement for "nice white ladies." And yeah, while obviously it's more complicated than this, there are, in fact, direct parallels between "oh of course we'd have -included- you if you'd only -behaved-, you rude, scary, vulgar ingrates! We know what's best for you and everyone!" genteel racism and "hold still while we SAVE you, dammit, you rude, scary, vulgar ingrates! We know what's best for you and everyone!" in other contexts.

The common denominator in all this, and something raggedly approaching a point, thank you, Patient Readers:

There IS, in fact, power in being the Nice White Lady. Has been for quite a while. Not as -much- as in being the Good White Guy, all other things being equal, no. But, power nonetheless. The missionary, the one who's pitted against the jungle, all full of bestial sexuality and savage aggression, which are of course dark and/or male; and, incidentally, might do okay for herself along the way.

And with power, of course, comes responsibility.

Starting with: you have to -admit- you have any power here; and way too many Nice White Lady Feminists, of both radical and liberal vintages, do not.

And/or, I suppose: okay, we -may- have -some- power, but it doesn't really -count-, the buck doesn't stop with us; and garsh, we certainly don't LIKE the feeling of power or anything: we're the good guys. Um, gals. Really, we're only doing this for your own good. No, really! Trust us!

All of which effectively boils down to, basically, we're not responsible.

I've talked about some of this before.

And...at the end of all this: still circling the airport, isn't it.

But getting closer, maybe.

Ech.

It's...all this is, I want to say, also, maybe the feminist iteration of a larger let's say struggle going on. You could call it Jihad vs. McWorld, I suppose. Less confusingly and more apropos: fundamentalism versus hyper-individualism in an advanced corporate context. In the feminist context, roughly, that would be:

On your more erm -radical- side, you gotcher regressive/reactionary cultfems (that's "cultural feminist"), with the increasingly insular and, dare I say, tinfoilesque purview, the romanticization of a time when Things Were Better For Wimmin And So Shall It Be Again, whether that Golden Age is some unspecified pre-hyrstorical Goddess-oriented Matriarchy, about fifteen minutes during the early 1970's, or both. And, by a complete coincidence no doubt, all too often sounds like the Garden of Eden stood on its head, with many of the original tropes that go along with it firmly intact.

Still, it -sounds- nice, with the whole back to nature, let's-purify-ourselves-and-then-the-world, deep sisterly bonds, gazing at each other with the Deep Clear Gaze Of Political Lesbian Goodness; even a, well? religious overtone to the whole thing, with or without the Goddessy bits. Until, well, you're excommunicated, and/or realize that you were never part of the Elect to begin with, for narrow is the way and strait is the gate to Wimmins' Country.

On your more -mainstream- side, you've got, well, umm, hate to say it, but what's already been dubbed as "Marcotteism," although frankly Hillaryism or even Thatcherism would work much better. This is the woman warrior, not so much the missionary; she's not really there to clutch her poor underprivileged (step)sisters to her bounteous nurturing (and certainly All Natural) bosom; she's there to kick ass and take names. She'll come home from the hunt carrying the golden fleece; and, once it's been thoroughly processed and sold for a nice profit, then everyone else who's been waiting around patiently can have a share, and it'll all work out splendidly, now hush. And, by a complete coincidence, "meet the New Boss, same as the Old Boss" is playing on the radio; it's a kickass cover by this grrreat band with a female lead singer, and she's making a mint, and why can't you be happy for her, dammit? She's being subversive! She's gonna rock the system! In the meantime, you can live vicariously through her, living her dream! What else matters?

AND, by a COMPLETE and total coincidence, it just so happens that, well, the overwhelming majority of voices on both sides of this--not all, but I think the word dominant is fair--are, um, ermmm, uh...well? White. There, pant, I said it. And--say-hey! so am I, by cracky!

So, all things considered, I can't imagine why so many WoC, (not even to mention queer women who don't really -fit-, women with disabilities, women who don't feel feminism addressed class inequalities sufficiently, women who just plain think the whole thing sucks, and say! what ABOUT the men? and so on and so on and...) are fleeing from both the word and the movement(s) like something that really, really should be fled from as fast as possible.

Which kind of smarts.

Because, I know I said feminism was just a word, and that's not even really the point anyway? I still mostly mean it;

on the other hand, well, this is just the most recently read in a long string of posts that's making me think: dude, if it's becoming THAT poisonous to THAT many people I'd -so- rather be on the side of than so many of the people waving it around like a gorram flag, that it's become a badge of automatic distrust...

*

eh, fuck it, just call me Myrtle.

The Great Work Continues, or some goddam thing.

and, uh...

*

I'm goin' to bed. Maybe it'll make more sense in the morning.

ETA: and just to sort of wrap things up in one noxious little bow, some kind of award for this one:

stormcloud said...

They hate me because I have a habit of pointing out their lies. Like "I am a woman of tint". I would say, well, yeah, if alabaster-white is classed as a 'tint'. FFS. Those highly-bronzed pictures that RenEv used to pretend were her? Complete fantasy.

There is a lot of projection going on. I could not expose anything about RenEv that hadn't been put on the internet by her very own, supposedly manicured, fingers.

33 comments:

Brown Shoes Don't Make It said...

It's so sad that Victorians still get to spew their bile to anyone and everyone and claim some kind of 'moral authority'. Maybe there's a church that beckons to them somewhere?

Unless I'm mistaken due to my lack of advanced status, I always assumed that transgendered people are, yes, people.

Claire said...

Sorry, brown shoes. Mindless automaton, here, in service of the patriarchy. Terrible shame you had to find out this way.

Alon Levy said...

Gevalt.

If it's any consolation, these people are so marginal even Amanda Marcotte and Jessica Valenti ignore them. Unless you're personally into Michfest, you can poke fun at them till the end of time and there's nothing they can do about it.

Lisa Harney said...

Ms. Andrea's primary evidence that trans people are categorically wrong is that whenever she comes up to one of us and demands that we justify our own existence, we refuse to do so.

Of course, she refuses to acknowledge the privilege and entitlement that justifies the idea you can ask anyone that question.

ArrogantWorm said...

I don't think the spew is gonna look any clearer in the mornin', Belle.

nexy said...

"I feel this is what “all feminists secretly think but are afraid to say our loud”."

thank goodness i am not a feminist. so pardon me while i engage my male voyeuristic mind, and bring up sex topics, because everyone knows, that only the menz talk about sex.

well, i'm off to trying to be like real women...

Lisa Harney said...

Belle didn't quote one of the best parts - where Satsuma said that trans women don't know our proper place as women and aren't quiet and submissive enough.

belledame222 said...

where is it again, exactly? MEGO with the Citric One.

queen emily said...

Ah yes Lisa, but then when we are, we're a grotesque parody of excessive femininity.

Damned either way innit.

YAY! WE'RE DOOMED!

db11 said...

Since it didn't seem appropriate at Feministe, I stopped by here – though still not wanting to derail a discussion as a white, male lurker on a feminist site. So, sorry if this is OT here, but don't know where else to post it.

From the Jill apology thread:
"we’ve established we think I’m a two-bit obnoxious bully who co-opts WoC outrage, contributes nothing, and you wish for me to be banned. Duly noted. Next?"

I wanted to register my opinion: If I'm ever in a war, I want you for an ally! Admittedly, you can be a bit of a flame-thrower, but man are you fierce in defending your friends and the people you love/admire!

I fell on BFP and BA literally the day the seal press thing first blew up (a few days before BFP nuked her blog) and I was blown away by both of them. I found myself strangely affected by their writing - it's honesty, insight and passion... and subsequently by all the bullshit that followed.

It's only today (after a week offline), from reading over 800 comments at Feministe alone, that I learned from you that BA has now left as well. I'm bummed and I don't even know her. I can't imagine how it felt to you and other friends/allies.

Sorry for the OT comment, and realize it might mean nothing from someone you've never heard of or from, but my respect for your vigorous and passionate defense of your friends and the injustice they suffered.

Helen G said...

O ferfuxake...

Y'know, considering that these people seem so insistent that trans women like me don't in fact exist, because of, y'know, that 'once-a-man-always-a-man' thing, it's amazing how they can get so cross about us, mere figments of their fevered imaginations.

*helen clicks her fingers and - boof! - disappears in a cloud of smoke*

*that would be pink smoke, btw, because it's such a pwitty colour*

db11 said...

Sorry, but in comment above should probably say: "...but woman, are you fierce in defending your friends..." :)

belledame222 said...

hey, thanks db11, and welcome.

helen: hee!

Alon Levy said...

If I could disappear at will like that, I'd transition, too.

db11 said...

Thanks for the welcome.

Can I admit to a certain cluelessness about transgender issues? (even the proper terminology) But hate is hate, and that stuff MA spouted was seriously ugly.

Would appreciate directions to 'transgender 101' site or posts if such exist. Had read Piny's original posts on trans issues a while back, some random other posts in between, and stopped over at Lisa's tonight to read her profile and a few posts... but that's the limits of my education.

Would be helpful to me as one of my tennis partners is a trans woman. Aside from trying to be as natural as possible in treating her as any other person, I have no clue whether she would or wouldn't want me to acknowledge her transgendered identity, nor do I understand what she must live with in territory that is so relentlessly cis.

I have seen her othered in our community - never to her face (that I have witnessed), but lots of comments behind her back that I have overheard.

All I can think is that it must take a lot of courage to walk her path, and that it must have taken her through miles of pain. I'd like to think that I haven't added any to that, but maybe I need to know more to be sure.

Renegade Evolution said...

Some Feminists (&Women) are more equal than others...

and stormy? pfttt. There is no sun in her world.

Sarah J said...

Have I mentioned that you're awesome?

Seriously...there's a book in here about equality feminism vs. special protections feminism and the ton of Victorian prudish exclusionary crap that's involved with the latter?

and of course, the problems that we stumble into with the former when we become concerned only with putting a (white) woman into the seat of male power.

but as always, you're on target and I can't even imagine how long it took you to dig up all those links.

GallingGalla said...

On your more -mainstream- side, you've got, well, umm, hate to say it, but what's already been dubbed as "Marcotteism,"

How about "Valentism"? Rolls off the tongue real nice.

Only mentioning that b/c I'm now reading her book "He's a Stud, She's a Slut", which I pre-ordered before AmandaSealGate. Gawd, it's like she went from talking to 13-yo girls in FFF to talking to 9-yo girls. White, of course. "But look at all these (three that I cherry-picked out of the mailbag) nice WoC who sent me letters praising FFF! Love me!"

Belle didn't quote one of the best parts - where Satsuma said that trans women don't know our proper place as women and aren't quiet and submissive enough.

Nah, those cultfems aren't sexist. Nah.

Wait. *trans women* are the ones displaying "male energy"?

Even Dworkin could not stand the cultfems (note, you'll need to wade through a paragraph of anti-porn stuff; just grit your teeth...)

Celia said...

I'm pretty sure Satsuma has had many unkind words to say about women. And by "women" I particularly mean those that are not "radical lesbians" such as herself (all bundled under an umbrella labelled "straight women"). Which is pretty much everyone apart from her. Then again, I've seen some things she's said ("I don't like humor") that make me think she's a troll, fol-de-rol.

Anyway, my opinion is that if real feminism (and the matriarchal revolution in over nine thousand years time) necessarily involves hate, bitterness and closed minds, led by possible trolls and probable morons, then I'm much happier to side myself with the patriarchal robot sheep. Apart from anything else, how can these people stand to live like that, to be so full of bitterness and hatred? It must be dreadful, and to what ends? All they're achieving is a pissed-off audience.

belledame222 said...

yeah, many have speculated that she's a troll. i'm just...not even sure that would be any less disturbing. i mean, that's a -lot of effort- for a troll. that'd be, like, Andy Kaufman levels of "troll."

"fol de rol"

you're a Gaiman fan?

/geek

belledame222 said...

db11, my pal drakyn has a section in his sidebar called Trans*101/201, it's a good starting place:

http://drakyn.blogspot.com/

db11 said...

Just spent the last couple of hours reading up at Drakyn's and Lisa's, and an older Ampersand post which gave some deep background on the topic of your post... Wow, no idea there was so much history! And not much wonder I wasn't sure of the terminology...

Anyhow, good starting point as you said, so thanks.

Daisy said...

Great reading, Belle...

And yes, religion is the word. No coincidence Heart was a missionary for the fundies, now fancies herself a missionary to the downtrodden gals of the world. She barely missed a beat in changing her focus. But that explains why it all sounds so distant and help-oriented, rather than dealing with women as equals. (That's why they feel okay deleting other women's comments like crazy, since it's about MISSIONARY WORK!)

Celia said...

Of course I am a Gaiman fan :D /likewise geek.

Anyway, I think you could be right that it's a lot of work to go into for a troll (and that would probably mean Satsuma was barking anyway to dedicate so much of her life to nonsense) but she still might be. I don't know - it's worrying when I can't tell the difference :(

Alma Cork said...

Gah. I just tried to post a comment, but I think it failed.

Still, on the matter of the first quote,

*headdesk*

I don't mean this to sound particularly edgy towards certain cisfolk, but I do just adore it when they talk about the sexuality of trans-people like they have some deep understanding of the issue that the transfolk themselves do not.

I mean, desexualised much?

Although, naturally, we should be, because sexuality is such an icky horrible thing. After all, you'd never catch a *real* woman having one, would you?

Lisa Harney said...

Sorry I'm late getting back, but:

Satsuma's quote:

Men who "transition" to women still, in my opinion, dominate discussions just like annoying men do. If If only these transitioned men really would ACT like women; that is not be dominators, not be feminist clueless, and not fall right into sex role stereotyping with all the make-up, high heels and nonsense.

This of course coming from someone who makes it clear she dominates conversations as much as possible. Plus her misogynist bashing of straight women.

belledame222 said...

db11: no problem, glad to be of service.

LH: yeah, Satsuma calling anyone -else- dominating, much less -annoying-, kind of made me choke.

i mean it'd be equally rich coming from me, but i'm not the one saying "Holding forth at great length is a male trait, let me tell you it! In a monologue the length of an Icelandic saga!"

belledame222 said...

oh, -score-. h/t GEL, srsly, thanks:

http://solofemininity.blogs.com/posts/2008/04/women-against-p.html


"Radical Womanhood
Because being a biblical woman in a modern world is a radical act"

Opposition to pornography was the link between two groups that typically had little else in common: the Christian Right and feminist activists. For a brief period in 1980s, they found themselves on the same page.

***********************************************************************************************

I've embedded a segment of that video conversation between James Dobson and Ted Bundy. It's direct, but not graphic. During this interview, Bundy talks about how you can find stuff on cable TV that you couldn't even see in X-rated theaters years ago. And this was 1989 -- nearly 20 years ago! Now we have Law & Order: SVU depicting sexual violence each week on broadcast TV. If ever I'm flipping through channels and come across this show even briefly, I am horrified at what they portray.

It's a significant conversation. Unfortunately, sin is nowhere mentioned. That would have made a stronger video, in my opinion. Bundy was a master manipulator, so his motives for granting this interview are questionable. But even if he was looking to clean up his reputation by shifting blame to the influence of pornography, I think he still raised some valid points about the mainstreaming of porn and sexual violence. And all this was said before the rise of the Internet and third-wave feminism's "porn-positive" ideals.

Marti said...

the energy coming from posts like that make me feel dirty. I've just gotten to a point where I do what I do, and try to make the world a better place. People like that criticize others they have NO concept of. I'm tired of even giving it space in my life. I don't think those that buy it can be converted online. It takes someone actually being trans in their life before they finally get it. They want the word lesbian, its theirs. They want to call us evil doers? Let em. I am who I am, and I've never felt like a more productive person in my life. I don't need to go to a music festival or get a seal of approval from Heart. I'm doing good work, and that's what I'm going to continue to do.

belledame222 said...

Fair enough.

Btw, changing the subject, Marti, am i crazy or were you at one point managing the Carnival of Bent Attractions? is that still going on?

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