Saturday, August 16, 2008

Yes, I'm "pro-trans." It's an integral part of my "gay agenda," get it?

i.e. Meanie Meanerton continued.

Sorry, I appreciate Debi taking the time to rebut the idea that

"women are being divided into two camps - pro trans and anti trans.

I can't really say more than Debi and the other commenters have said wrt "hello, trans women ARE women, duh shit they're concerned with "womens' issues," ring ring ring clue phone." So I'll just attempt to address my concern here one last time, in my usual tactful delicate way:

What the fuck do you MEAN, "pro trans and anti trans"?

And, who is "we," by the way? Because I may be a "woman born woman" by Jo22's definition (I am sure I've long since given up claim to the title 'feminist,' but she does say 'women,' here), but really, include me the hell out.

Know why? Because I -already- am alienated when you say:

Feminism should of course take all gender issues very seriously, and they do, but there are other things we are fighting for and against, too...At the moment, all I am seeing is women being divided. There are those who think that the suffering of men who believe/ed themselves to be in the wrong body, should be discussed over and above other feminist issues that some trans women do not seem as bothered by. Abortion rights for example....

I hate to break this to you, Jo, but not all cis women prioritize "abortion rights" as highly as you do either. For instance, you know what the next thing I was going to write about was, before this caught my bloodshot eye? The fuckheads trying to rescind gay marriage rights, AGAIN, on the California ballot. It's not an either/or, Jo: I'm gay, AND I'm a woman: this affects me as both. As it happens, I am more interested in this -personally- than I am in reproductive rights. I also write about "abortion rights" occasionally, possible reproductive rights, certainly bodily autonomy rights ("my body, my choice" means a lot of different things to some of us, see, but is all part of the same principle); but you know what, I'll be damned if someone tries to tell me that I excuse me "we" need to put that first because it's automatically understood to be all womens' first concern: it is not.

Particularly, not in the way I suspect you're thinking of it, and I don't have time at the moment to go hunt up all of bfp's and elle's and others' writings on how actually, no, "abortion rights" are NOT the be-all and end-all of -reproductive rights- when it comes to -all- women; race and class tends to alter that equation in a number of ways that I am not going to get into at the moment.

Point being: well, no, let's keep this simple. Know why online feminist discussions keep coming back to trans issues? Because some "feminists" are being GIANT fuckheads about, and -to-, actual trans women. To the point of being jaw dropping bigots and interfering in what in any other context would be, SHOULD be understood as basic fucking womens' rights. Human rights, even, in some cases. That's it. That's all. Start actually listening to actual trans women, including the ones that don't tell you what you want to hear, (hint, there's probably more of the latter than the former), and you might not be having this problem.

But I mean, I can bloody well guarantee you that if a significant number of "feminists" were being this jaw droppingly obtuse about gay and lesbian cis people, you'd be hearing about nothing else.

As it happens, the way lesbians are positioned in feminism is, well, complicated? and I'm well aware that there are some lesbians who are being obtuse right along with the het women who think it's all just rilly simple: Men vs. Women, and can't understand why -any- other woman doesn't see it that way. And gay men, well...gee, they're men, aren't they, and so clearly eh skip it that's another post.

But you know, I'm just gonna come out and say it. Reason I get so fucking pissed off about this? Because the line between transphobia and homophobia is really, really, REALLY damn thin. And every single ignorant-to-hateful argument that's being made by the "anti" camp is very VERY damn familiar to anyone who's been around professional homophobes for any length of time. Starting right off with "against politics, not people."Please. Listen, you don't put up entire websites questioning -other- peoples' entire subjective -existence- because it counters your -ideology- and then get to complain about how "divisive" -other- people are being, okay?

And now, try googling "pro-gay." Try combining it with "divisive." See what kind of stuff you pull up. Particularly try combining it with, I don't know, "the church." Read some of the sites "critical" of "pro-gay" in some detail. Take a good long look. I'm serious. Here's one:

(not hyperlinking the fuckers)

Still, you have to wonder: Is pro-gay theology really infecting the church at large? The evidence indicates that there is cause for concern...

oh, and look, Exodus has a whole section on "transgender" as well, what a surprise. I wonder what they say. I bet they're totally "pro-trans," because they're anti-gay and therefore...Oh. Oops.

Transgenderism is a mental disorder

Sunday, April 24, 2005 -

Surgical Sex by Dr. Paul McHugh
Paul McHugh is University Distinguished Service Professor of Psychiatry at Johns Hopkins University.

Copyright (c) 2004 First Things 147 (November 2004): 34-38.

When the practice of sex-change surgery first emerged back in the early 1970s, I would often remind its advocating psychiatrists that with other patients, alcoholics in particular, they would quote the Serenity Prayer, “God, give me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.” Where did they get the idea that our sexual identity (“gender” was the term they preferred) as men or women was in the category of things that could be changed?...

Homosexuality is tearing apart many denominations across the country. A growing number of conservative denominations have pro-gay groups that attempt to promote a theology that affirms their homosexual activities. Even some conservative Christians are faltering in their convictions as they discover homosexuality among family members and church friends..

..."Church people get into politics for various reasons," Heathman says. "Some are very loving and don't lose sight of the individual, but others are fighting the battle with the world's mindset rather than remembering the spiritual warfare involved."

Heathman says one of the biggest problems with some legislation intended to combat homosexual rights is that it isolates one particular sin. "If we're going to be balanced, we need to be talking about sexual sin in general, not just homosexuality."

...Forget the "church" and "sin" parts for a second. Notice the bit where they're really compassionate and "loving" toward the "individual?" How they're clearly NOT "homophobes" or hateful or picking on the poor struggling homosexuals, just trying to help? To, dare we say, -examine-?

Any of this ringing a bell for you? Because it sure is for me.

And then of course, on the not so kinder gentler note, we have the likes of Sally Kern, who I'd also meant to get to and didn't, at the time, and -still- would've put ahead of yet another post about oh I don't know, whether Obama really should've been endorsed by NARAL?

In previous posts, news about gay opposition to ex-gay meeting evidences the totalitarian nature of their political agenda. The same is the case with laws like ENDA, same-sex marriage, hate speech, and the like. Those kinds of laws give special rights to gays at the expense of all others. Those laws suppress First Amendment rights of any business owner who disagrees, anyone who is a moral critic of gays, or any previous moral or natural law. Special rights gay laws are totalitarian in nature...

Funny how -no one- ever thinks they're the ones in the wrong; here, too, we have people falling back on "help, help, we're being oppressed by those noisy upstarts and deviants." Noisy, and no doubt, MEAN.

No, really: -is- any of this getting through at all? To anyone, I mean -besides- the people who already get it? Anything? Bueller? I hope so; because if y'all don't like being called "transphobic," you're REALLY not gonna love "homophobic." Because, I mean, being -gay-, well, that's -totally different,- right? Everyone knows it's okay to be gay...I mean, well...everyone except The Patriarchy/right wing..which we're so totally not...just because we keep positioning hetero cis issues as automatically more important than anyone else's...if anyone else even really exists, which you'd often never really know...

p.s. and for the bloodieth time, most of the trans people being mean and yelling at you because you won't listen right now? are queer AND transgendered, -both-, so please, save the arguments about how reactionary transsexuals are because they're all just like Renee Richards which you know because you heard it from a friend of yours who reads Sheila Jeffreys and everybody knows that anyway.
Thanks. Appreciated.

and yeah, I'd like to move on as well. Stop being fuckheads** and maybe we all can, how's that?

**and, if you (To Whom This May Concern, I put it out as a gorram letter to the universe) are -not- a fuckhead, which of course you aren't, then howzabout call out the people who ARE being fuckheads? I mean, specifically, really jaw droppingly bigoted fuckheads? Because, you know, -they're there.-

ETA: and this.

2008-08-03 04:13 pm UTC (link)

i don't always do well with the conflation of different forms of oppression but i might as well put my big shiny useless liberal arts school degree in knowing shit about the feminist movement to say that a lot of the shit getting truthout-ed these days on the part of cisgendered feminists is almost EXACTLY the same kind of shit that was going down about homos in the feminist movement in the 70s and Black women in the feminist movement in the 60s. i know more than a bit about being a homo and my mom, who was excluded for being Black and then for being gay, can talk one's ear off about how all this looks the same, because it is all the same. the feminist movement is about ALL women, not just this pick-and-choose game. it doesn't magically change jack shit when the issue's one's gender identity, and i don't get why it's supposed to be okay when the bullshit excuses start flowing.

ETA again: Also? This.

Let me tell you a little something, when you are bruised, or battered, humiliated and treated like some kind of freakish 'other' it hurts. In a planet that is awash with womens blood, I shouldn't have to tell you that it is the same shade of red, or that it is diluted only by the tears of pain. That screaming that you hear are the collective death rattles of trans women who have met a violent end because of the same kind of ignorance and hatred that you regularly preach. This is not a simple matter of an ideological disagreement, this is life and death. Do you need to be splattered in their blood to take this seriously?

I wish I had the luxury of just dismissing your writings as nonsense. I wish that I could just turn my head and say live and let live to the shit that you regularly spew on the internet. As a WOC with a legacy of slavery, jim crow, beatings, lynchings, and rape I know that words like these[fuckhead mAndrea's, linked there] are exactly how hatred is perpetuated. When you turn someone's life into a comedic routine for your own amusement you are othering, and creating them as less than human. When you can look someone in the eye and decide that they are not your equal, it serves as justification to be violent towards them. Why should you care what happens to them if you cannot even recognize their shared humanity with you?

ETA again, again: Also also? This.

So let me, as a heterosexual ciswoman, someone you fuckheads might actually care about, explain in terms even you should understand, why trans women’s issues matter. I mean, sure there’s the whole “I have a soul” aspect, the whole “I have the capacity for empathy” aspect, the whole “my feminism makes some fucking sense” aspect, but clearly those aren’t playing a major part in the “anti-trans” mindset.

How about this: when you shit on transwomen,** you are giving the Hatred Patriarchy a feminist-approved target. When you say transwomen’s issues are not Our Issues, you are telling men, TV producers, porn producers, idiot boys on Internet forums, the whole lot, that this group is up for grabs. Demonize, stereotype, abuse and murder, it’s okay with “feminism”. And do you really, honestly think they’re making the same magical distinction as you? That they’re saying, “Muahaha, let’s oppress this group of people who think and act and appear to be women, completely abstract from our oppression of Real Women which takes place two doors down!”?

Because, um, they’re not. They’re abusing women. And you have said that’s okay.



Trinity said...

"well, no, let's keep this simple. Know why online feminist discussions keep coming back to trans issues? Because some "feminists" are being GIANT fuckheads about, and -to-, actual trans women."

"But we couldn't possibly be giant fuckheads! We just don't like THOSE PEOPLE and don't want to invite them into OUR CLUB. Now where were we: oh yes. How many REEL FEMINIZTZ can dance on the head of a pin?"

Trinity said...

also, wrt why feminist discussions OMG KEEP coming back to trans women, lately?

Angie Zapata? Kellie Telesford?

Maybe, just maybe, we're talking about their deaths because they y'know MATTER? and maybe just maybe it's y'know NOT US who are having the coffee klatch and commiseration session about the word cis? as in maybe it's y'know NOT US who are talking about frivolous nonsense and setting up sock websites?

Lisa Harney said...

And the way that they're blamed for their own deaths in the courtroom and the media, and that has everything to do with the slut shaming and victim blaming that's been aimed at all women who have been victims of rape, domestic violence, and murder.

And the way their trans status, as well as race, and occupation if sex worker, is used to discredit them as victims and let their killers go with a slap on the wrist - it's necessary to put these women forward as women.

I also like how Jo22 starts out by saying trans people lie about every aspect of being trans. That qualifies as a divisive or bigoted thing to say.

Elena said...

The calling people out on their fuckheadedness is so deeply important. I like to use the borrowed phrase of "Yeah, you know, I can't co-sign on that because when you say X about Y its racist/homophobic/misogynist/etc."

Its opened up some conversations. My difficulty is getting past my rightous indignation and desire to shake some sense into the offender. Of course, I have to be ready to take it, too...

belledame222 said...

I guess the bit I keep coming back to is:

I have a - really- hard time distinguishing this shit from homophobic cant from the right wing, I mean even harder than well all the other obvious comparisons.

and I feel like, you know, on the one hand, feminist circles, you
don't generally hear -this- level of gross ignorance wrt the lg folk as such, they know better by now even if they're garden variety clueless in the same way they might be about any number of other things.

on the other hand I'm damn sick of straight womens' concerns being

and that's even apart from the "hi there, could everyone
who's either gay or supposedly gay-friendly with a lick of sense
please join the clue train here if you haven't already? thanks."

you know. I mean, there's the level at which anyone with a lick of sense, PERIOD, could look at shit like this and dismiss it as the gross ignorance it is;

but on the other hand, the whole "blah blah feminism is being divided by focusing on the unimportant stuff; let's talk about the UNIVERSAL stuff, i.e. the stuff that we don't have to worry about any of those pesky intersections with, i.e. abortion; what? Doesn't every woman put abortion first?"

I mean, yeah, well, in the sense that everyone with a functioning set of reproductive girl bits could stand to know that abortion is safe and legal; but ffs,

a) it doesn't stop there, both in terms of reproductive rights (forced sterilization, anyone? custody battles, adoption rights and health insurance/medical coverage for women trying to conceive together? and so on) and in terms of fucking -bodily autonomy-, which, hi there! you'd think "my body, my choice" ought to be enough for any -feminist- to understand why transitioning is a feminist issue all by itself

b) not all of us are having intercourse with men, and thus, not all of us feel the abortion/contraception shit as -immediately- as others, even if yes, technically speaking, anything is possible: it's still a lot -likelier- that this is gonna be at the front of your mind if you're regularly having sex with male partners.

Anonymous said...

How many REEL FEMINIZTZ can dance on the head of a pin?

Oh, that's like one of those "how long is a piece of string?" questions.

The answer is, "it depends on how big-headed they are".


The pins! I meant how big-headed the pins are! (honest!)

Sarah J said...



Daomadan said...


shiva said...

"actually, no, "abortion rights" are NOT the be-all and end-all of -reproductive rights- when it comes to -all- women; race and class tends to alter that equation in a number of ways that I am not going to get into at the moment."

And disability (see here).

In total agreement with all else.

belledame222 said...

thanks, shiva, you're right.

Daisy said...

Excellent post, Belle.

Lisa Harney said...

I kind of prefer "reproductive justice."

Sabertoothed Screaming Lemur said...

Should I worry about identifying as "feminist", now? If feminists are gonna start excluding and marginalizing "them", when 'they' are US... what the hell is going to happen to ALL of us eventually?

Jasmine said...

Interesting post. This has always annoyed me a bit, but in reality, WE don't need THEM. I can fight for my rights as a woman without the help of the feminist establishment. Yeah that's right... we trannies are self-sufficient. It sure would be nice if people could just all get along, but I have more important things to do than try to convince people to consider me a natural woman... and they do have a point, I'm not a natural woman, and while I do care about things like abortion rights, it's reasonable for someone to think that it's maybe a little less important to me than it would be to someone who can actually get pregnant - and it is. I am much more concerned with equal rights in the workplace, protection from violence, marriage rights, and so on... you know, the things that actually affect me.

Anonymous said...