Saturday, August 30, 2008

Sarah Palin is a woman. So are Ann Coulter, Anita Bryant, Phyllis Schlafly, the late Elena Ceausescu...

Oh, you know what else that list has in common? Not really known for being great for -other- women; including, but not limited to, reproductive rights.

Specifically, McCain's veep choice, well, let's see now:

In a gubernatorial debate, Palin stated emphatically that her opposition to abortion was so great, so total, that even if her teenage daughter was impregnated by a rapist, she would "choose life" -- meaning apparently that she would not permit her daughter to have an abortion.

Palin also had to withdraw her appointment of a top public safety commissioner who had been reprimanded for sexual harassment, although Palin had been warned about his background through letters by the sexual harassment complainant...

Oh yeah, some of her best friends are gay, you know, but with friends like these...

As Governor, Palin currently supports the efforts of radical activists to strip Alaska residents - specifically state workers - of the most basic domestic partner benefits.

- It was only when the Alaska Attorney General warned Palin that the Republican position of stripping domestic partnership benefits was unconstitutional (in light of a recent Alaska Supreme Court ruling) that Palin reluctantly vetoed legislation that would have defied the court ruling. Palin quickly moved on to support an alternate strategy to strip domestic partner benefits by placing an anti-equality amendment onto the state ballot.

- When Alaska had the opportunity to extend the freedom to marry to all Alaskan couples, Palin joined with radical efforts to scapegoat same-sex couples in order to scare voters on this issue. In 1998, Palin championed a constitutional amendment that deeply discriminated against same-sex couples in the Alaska constitution. The passage of this amendment, with the full support of Palin, kicked-off a wave of discrimination by encouraging Republicans and radical activists in other states to place similar measures on state ballots for the next decade to come.

- Palin is the friend of anti-LGBT special interests. At the Republican National Convention, Palin will be honored by anti-LGBT crusader Phyllis Schlafly [see?] at a reception for leading anti-LGBT advocates seeking to further influence the positions of the Republican Party. Palin will share the stage with Congresswoman Michelle Bachman (MN) who is known in the media for her frequent, anti-gay, blathering statements and tirades.


An Anti-Equality Advocate from Day One

- The FIRST piece of legislation signed by Governor Palin was done at the request of radical, anti-LGBT groups.

- Palin squandered over $1.2 million of taxpayer money to place an anti-LGBT "vanity" vote before voters at the request of radical anti-LGBT activists - including Focus on the Family, the Concerned Women of America and the Family Research Council. The ballot language asked voters if they supported Republican efforts to strip existing benefits for LGBT state employees. As a non-biding initiative, the measure had no influence on Alaska law. As the only question on the ballot, Palin willingly wasted over $1.2 million in state money to promote the talking points of anti-LGBT activists...

Oh, but she's a moderate, right? The way McCain is a maverick, a "moderate," and now, apparently, totally a friend to women. I mean, okay, conservative on "family values," but not really that -extreme,- as these things go, right?...Oh, wait.

There are quite a number of extremely troubling links between Sarah Palin and neopentecostal dominionists--enough that, in truth, she may be ultimately as much of a "dream candidate" for the dominionist movement as Mike Huckabee was. Even worse, she's running in a manner that has been frighteningly successful for dominionist groups since the early 80's--specifically, as a "stealth candidate".

Palin's Assemblies linkage

The first link in and of itself is a doozy--and one of the most damning indeed. No less than the official newsletter of the Assemblies of God of Alaska promotes her proudly as one of the denomination's own, and she was actually feted at an official function of the Assemblies' Alaska District as recently as this year:

The opening night banquet of the 2008 Alaska District Council was honored to have Governor Sarah Palin address the delegates and guests. Governor Palin spoke of her appreciation for the Assemblies of God and requested that the Council pray for both her and the State of Alaska. Superintendent Ted Boatsman, who was Palin’s junior high pastor at Wasilla Assembly of God, along with Pastor Mike Rose of Juneau Christian Center, where Palin presently attends church when in Juneau, laid hands on the Governor and led the Council in prayer.

...she and her husband, Todd, believe that every child is a gift of God, deserving of life, and that God was asking them to accept His will for their lives. The Alaska District Council believes that the State of Alaska is blessed to have a woman of faith and courage as Governor.

A look at the home website of Palin's church tends to be revealing. Among other things, a particular Assemblies buzzword associated frequently with Hillsong A/G and New Zealand Assemblies churches shows up ("Destiny", here, is a buzzword for "Joel's Army", and is being preferred even as the phrase "Joel's Army" is getting enough negative spin that even the Assemblies is now having to do some rather massive spin control); cell churches are promoted (of the same sort that are linked to short-term and longterm psychological damage and are among the most coercive tactics ever documented in spiritually abusive groups). The church, like a number of other large Assemblies churches, is the center of a dominionist broadcast TV center whose programming is carried across multiple channels in Alaska.

...As if the Assemblies links weren't enough (and between this diary and the stuff that has been reported re John Ashcroft--much less George W. Bush's consistent support for Assemblies frontgroups--that should be a pretty big damn danger sign right there!), there's still more to indicate Sarah Palin may have been put in as a "stealth dominionist".

Among other things, Palin explicitly promoted "teach the controversy" by calling for the misnamed "creation science" to be taught in public schools (as now well documented in Kitzmiller vs. Dover School District, it's known that "creation science" is nothing more and nothing less than a method of putting young-earth creationism in public schools).

The other thing about dominionist types, female ones, too: they tend not to be real big on preserving the environment. You know, "God said the Earth is yours. Take it, rape it..." They're not the only ones who aren't green, of course. Still, worth noting, whatever the reason, Palin's not a friend:

"Sarah Palin, whose husband works for BP (formerly British Petroleum), has repeatedly put special interests first when it comes to the environment. In her scant two years as governor, she has lobbied aggressively to open up the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to drilling, pushed for more drilling off of Alaska’s coasts, and put special interests above science. Ms. Palin has made it clear through her actions that she is unwilling to do even as much as the Bush administration to address the impacts of global warming. Her most recent effort has been to sue the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to remove the polar bear from the endangered species list, putting Big Oil before sound science. As unbelievable as this may sound, this actually puts her to the right of the Bush administration."

...[Palin] [s]ays the climate models are unreliable, and claims that there is no relationship between global warming and human activity or greenhouse-gas emissions.

But, wait, anyway, she IS a feminist, Palin, right? Feminists for Life, true...

FFL in fact engages in "cultural appropriation" of women's suffrage icons to promote a very woman-unfriendly agenda that--despite attempts to sound "not like those crazies in Operation Rescue"--would not only criminalise abortion but the IUD and hormonal birth control methods, and potentially everything outside the rhythm method (the term "abortifacient birth control" is a codephrase in the dominionist "pro-life" community for hormonal birth control--partly due to a unique urban legend claiming "the pill" and other hormonal birth control causes abortion and partly because of a unique definition of pregnancy beginning at conception rather than at implantation (the latter is what most mainstream OB/GYNs use) and thus making anything preventing implantation potentially "abortifacient").

FFL promotes such fun bogosities as "post-abortion syndrome" (the idea that having an abortion will inevitably lead to PTSD and insanity), and promotes mandatory waiting periods and misinformation guidelines that can be insurmountable for poor or rural women--even those forced to make the most heartbreaking choice because of a nonviable pregnancy. In fact, one of their biggest causes isn't feminist at all--they actively promote the idea that the best choice for women is to stay home as fulltime mothers, and it can be well argued that the only traditionally feminist viewpoint they really support is women's suffrage!

One of the big things FFL promotes is deceptive "pregnancy counseling centers"--where pregnant teens are forced to essentially listen to an altar call on how "abortionists want to murder their children" whilst a pee-stick test clears--and if she tests "yes", she gets a hard-sell to keep the child or to check herself into a dominionist-run "halfway house for teenage moms" where she will ultimately be forced to sign her kid over. (Yes, there is an entire private adoption industry in the dominionist community--mostly focusing on adopting out the infants of poor teenage mothers who have been forced to give their kids up and who have been either scared into it or checked into such facilities by their parents.)

Ironically, FFL itself is rather a "stealth" organisation in and of itself--yes, even the dominionists admit this. Interestingly, despite their claims of being more "moderate" than most anti-abortion groups, very few real solutions are offered on how they intend to fund such things...

Oh, well. Details, right? At the end of the day, I think Sylvia's right: Sarah Palin is Hillary Clinton. Is Maggie Thatcher is Rosa Luxemberg is Marie of Romania is Mother Jones is Mother Theresa is Mother Frickin' Hubbard. Symbolic gender solidarity uber alles, gyns! Go Republicans for breaking on through that glass ceiling, because it's not like there's ever been a female vice presidential candidate before either. That tear in my eye is a tear of joy, really.


Thursday, August 28, 2008


" he's all like, 'I'm a good person! I run an orphanage for children with AIDS in Africa!' And I'm all, 'that doesn't make you a good person, that makes you--'"

The counter guy glances over at me.

"I'll be with you in a second. I'm in the middle of a heated story."

"I know, I'm listening to the heated story," I smile.

The guy winds up with a flourish, and the three or four people he'd been declaiming to get up from the booth. Laughter and goodbye kisses all around. Counter guy finally comes over to me as they head out. I'm ready to order, but he's still in narrative mode:

"So I'm talking to this guy, right? We're having a normal conversation about politics, stuff like that. And so then I say, blah when I was at the gun show with my boyfriend, and he goes, 'You were at a -gun show-?' '...Yeah?' 'Why? Why?' 'Because we go hunting,' and he goes -nuts.- 'How can you -do- that? You get off on killing!' and I'm like, 'nnnooo, it's just something we do, I grew up in the country, me and my family used to go on hunting trips, we eat what we kill...' And then he's all, 'You're a bad person! I'm a better person than you!' --I think this is where you came in..."

"Where was this?" I interrupt.

"He was sitting literally right where you are. And then so he's all, 'if I had a gun I'd shoot you right now!'"

"...Oh, shit! This just happened?"

"--What? No, Monday night. So then I'm like, okay, you say you're a good person but you just threatened to kill me."

"Yyyyeah, wow, maybe 'do not engage' at that point...craziness."

"I swear, I was going to hit him. I wanted to hit him. I had to walk away at that point. --Are you ready to order?"

I give him what's already become my usual: creature of habit, me. Rare cheeseburger, no mayo, scoop of cottage cheese on the side, coke. As he's going to put in the order, I say, because I'm hooked too at this point:

"So, first of all, he's morally opposed to hunting for food, but he's in a diner..."

"Oh, yeah, he's going on and on about how he's a vegan, and I'm thinking, I didn't say it, those french fries you're eating? Were fried in the -same- oil as the scallops, the chicken...and I was like, haha, I win."

"And then of course there's the whole, 'I'm going to kill you.'"

"I know, right? You hate guns, but if you had a gun you'd shoot me. Okay!"


Someone else puts the juke on, or perhaps it goes on randomly. The Yeah Yeah Yeahs, 'Man.'

I got a man who makes me wanna kill
I got a man who makes me wanna kill
I got a man he makes me wanna UGH
I got a man who makes me wanna kill
There he is. There he is. There he is. There he is....

Simultaneously, a police siren wails in the distance. The synchronicity gods are happy today.

The guy brings me my burger.

"I swear, I'm a little guy? but when I get angry, I get really angry. I will kick your ass. I totally wanted to hit him. He's, like, got no neck, he's got those gym shoulders that go all the way up to his head? I had to walk away."

"Seems smart."

"My friend wrote a letter to the manager saying how well I handled it."

He turns to another counter person, one I haven't met yet, just starting his shift apparently.

"People are getting crazier. Yesterday, this woman says, 'I'm not gonna pay for this. I didn't finish eating it and he took it away.' And we're all, yes, but you said you were done, and when we asked if you wanted it to go, you said no.' 'I didn't eat it, so I'm not gonna pay."

I take a bite of my burger. Nice and red and juicy, just the way I like it.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Kyle Payne sentenced

From Iowa Independent:

Stating that a major violation of trust had occurred, District Court Judge Don Courtney sentenced Iowa blogger and self-proclaimed male feminist Kyle Payne to serve time in the Buena Vista County Jail for invasion of privacy.

Payne received 360 days, with 180 days suspended on each of two counts of invasion of privacy, a serious misdemeanor charge. He was also given one year of probation on each count. On the charge of 2nd degree attempted burglary, a felony, Payne received an indeterminate term of prison not to exceed five years, with incarceration suspended. He will placed on probation for three years.

In addition, under a new portion of Iowa law that involves sexually-related crimes, Payne was given a 10 year period of parole. That sentence begins at the end of his regular term of probation. Because of the nature of his crime, he will not be required to register as a sex offender in the state of Iowa.

...Judge Courtney, acknowledging his sentence as a compromise that would please no one, said he opted for county jail time instead of a prison term because of the both Payne’s age and the fact that he had no prior criminal record. One of the conditions of his probation will be to follow the directions of the correctional team, including continued therapy and counseling

So yeah, probation, suspension, and doesn't have to register as a sex offender, no great surprises; still, six months in county, and he's going to be monitored for a good long while there. Golden boy permanently tarnished, at the least.

No surprise here either really:

This is the type of thing that happens, but not to you,” said the victim as she read a pre-prepared impact statement in court today. “… You might be given jail time, but for me this is like a life sentence.”

She added that since she was unconscious, Payne is the only person who truly knows what happened that night and left the implication hanging that there might have been more to the event than him partially undressing her, touching her inappropriately and shooting photographs and video.

The fact that he's seeing any jail time at all is more of a surprise, frankly. I'm sure he'll be a model prisoner, you know. egh. At minimum hopefully this'll follow him so far he'll never have any credibility in any feminist circles ever again. It'd be nice to think that'd extend as far as "any position of trust ever again," but well, world's a big place, and I am cynical. Still and all.

The victim’s mother, who also provided an impact statement in court, said that the incident had “crushed the spirit of her daughter” and has fractured her ability to trust others.

“You are a sick young man,” the mother said. “I think you’ve done this before and will do it again. Our family does not accept your apology. We do not care about your self-inflicted suffering. You reap what you sow.”


ETA: partial list of links to more commentary here at Hoyden About Town.

Thursday, August 21, 2008


Erm, I meant to say, of course, THAT'S NOT FUNNY. frownie.

TRUE Lesbian Feminism, Part 1
Let me tell you about lesbianism.

We used to talk a lot about lesbianism as a political movement - back in the old days when lesbianism and feminism went together, and one heard the phrase "lesbian feminism."

Today, we hear more about lesbian sadomasochism, lesbians having babies, and everything lesbians need to know about sex - what has fashionably come to be called the "politics of desire."

In this series of entries, I want to talk about lesbianism as a political movement, but before doing that it is necessary to address lesbianism as a lifestyle - what has for many come to be a sexual preference without a feminist politics. That is what this particular entry will be about.

For one thing, this lesbian lifestyle is preoccupied with sex.

Current location: UMass Amherst, Massachussetts
Current mood: like a true, asexual lesbian
Current music: Bitch & Animal
Entry tags: bringing my politics to the bedroom, eat food not vagina!, fucking is patriarchal, jesus why won't u lesbos do what i say?, keep your theories on my body, lesbianism is a political statement, my lack of sex is so radical, political lesbianism, queerness is cutting-edge theory, real lesbians don't fuck, sex = most lethal tool of the patriarchy, straight "lesbians", stuffing my politics in yr vagina

Sunday, August 17, 2008

And speaking of my gay agenda: California's Proposition 8

to wit, "Let's you and me duke it out some more over whether your marriage is valid, even though mine is completely safe no matter what happens and the state Supreme Court already ruled in your favor: fair's fair."

No, okay, the basics:

A number of developments arose in the wake of Mayor Gavin Newsom's 2004 decision to perform same sex marriages in San Francisco. The marriages were soon annulled by the courts, but San Francisco began a legal challenge that was consolidated with other cases as In re Marriage Cases. On May 15, 2008 the California Supreme Court, by a vote of 4–3, ruled in that case to strike down Proposition 22 and all other prohibitions on same-sex marriage, as violating the state constitution, and ordered the state to begin processing same-sex marriages as of June 17, 2008.[5] The court subsequently refused to issue a stay of its order. [6]

While the case was under way, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger vetoed two legislative bills approving same-sex marriage. Anticipating that either the courts or the legislature might overturn Proposition 22, opponents of same-sex marriages introduced a number of unsuccessful attempts to place a constitutional amendment before voters that would prohibit same-sex marriages—and in some cases, domestic partnerships as well.[7] Prior to 2008, none had made it to the ballot.

In late 2007 and 2008, at least four different groups sponsored new ballot initiatives for a constitutional amendment prohibiting same-sex marriages. The one that did obtain enough signatures,[8] is the "California Marriage Protection Act"[9] (officially titled the "Limit on Marriage" Constitutional Amendment by the California Attorney General), sponsored by[10].

...If passed, the amendment would override the ruling in In re Marriage Cases that struck down both the 1977 law and Proposition 22.[14] The Constitution, as amended, would add a new section (Section 7.5) to Article I, placing it between the state Equal Protection clause and nondiscrimination in business and the professions. This new section would read:

Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California.


According to Joan Hollinger, a professor at the University of California, Berkeley, Boalt Hall School of Law, "Constitutional scholars agree that the amendment cannot be effective retroactively, so anyone married before November would be protected.

You can see how there'd be no bureaucratic headaches associated with trying to explain to various agencies how no really, YOUR same-sex marriage is valid, check the dates and the jurisdiction, etc. here, can't you? I mean, already it's clear as mud, the whole thing. You realize that because of the "state's rights" business, we're going to be going through this, if we haven't already, in every. single. state. over. and over. and over...

anyway, meanwhile, so, this one: well, you'd think it'd be a forgone conclusion that this prop's not gonna fly. Lot of people who won't go to the mat for gay folk as such aren't too jazzed about actually amending the constitution, even at the state level. The Gubernator, for instance:

] Republican California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger stated that although he has opposed and has vetoed legislative bills that would legalize same sex marriage in California, he is opposed to the initiative and other attempts to amend the state's constitution.[34] Schwarzenegger released the following statement on May 15, 2008 regarding the ruling:

I respect the Court's decision and as Governor, I will uphold its ruling. Also, as I have said in the past, I will not support an amendment to the constitution that would overturn this state Supreme Court ruling.[35]

and some other surprises (well, depending on your POV I suppose it mightn't be):

Republican political activist Ward Connerly, the author of Proposition 209 (California's ballot initiative to ban affirmative action), stated, "For anyone to say that this is an issue for people who are gay and that this isn't about civil rights is sadly mistaken. If you really believe in freedom and limited government, to be intellectually consistent and honest you have to oppose efforts of the majority to impose their will on people."

Three of the four judges who ruled in favor of striking down Prop 22, etc. were Republican appointees.

And the ballot that's going in front of the voters in November, thanks to Attorney General Jerry Brown, reads as follows:

ELIMINATES RIGHT OF SAME-SEX COUPLES TO MARRY. INITIATIVE CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT. Changes the California Constitution to eliminate the right of same-sex couples to marry in California. Provides that only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California. Fiscal Impact: Over next few years, potential revenue loss, mainly sales taxes, totaling in the several tens of millions of dollars, to state and local governments. In the long run, likely little fiscal impact on state and local governments.

Predictably enough,

Proposition 8 supporters immediately mounted a legal challenge to the changes, contending that Attorney General Brown had inserted "inflammatory" language that would "unduly prejudice voters against" Proposition 8.

That legal challenge was denied, and the proposition remains on the ballot as worded. Noting, of course, that challenges to the legitimacy of having the proposition on the ballot at all from the other side did not play either.

These are the poll numbers over the last few months, roughly:

Field Poll in both May and a later one in July has 51% "no," 42% "yes," and 7% "undecided."

There's also an L.A./KTLA poll with the majority in favor of the amendment, but that's from May.

Still, not exactly a done deal, here, particularly since apparently they only need a simple majority win to go ahead and amend the state Constitution.

Oh, btw, McCain's in favor.

"I support the efforts of the people of California to recognize marriage as a unique institution between a man and a woman, just as we did in my home state of Arizona. I do not believe judges should be making these decisions."

...and Obama's agin' it.

Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama, who previously said the issue of gay marriage should be left up to each state, has announced his opposition to a California ballot measure that would ban same-sex marriages.

In a letter to the Alice B. Toklas LGBT Democratic Club read Sunday at the group's annual Pride Breakfast in San Francisco, the Illinois senator said he supports extending "fully equal rights and benefits to same-sex couples under both state and federal law."

"And that is why I oppose the divisive and discriminatory efforts to amend the California Constitution, and similar efforts to amend the U.S. Constitution or those of other states," Obama wrote.

The explanation of -why- a bunch of people are fighting tooth and nail to make sure that longterm same sex relationships such as this one of 51 years are not recognized as -marriage-, if you want to know, goes something like--well, here's the official campaign headquarters for this round, "Protect Marriage:"

The Supreme Court’s decision to legalize same-sex marriage did not just overturn the will of California voters; it also redefined marriage for the rest of society, without ever asking the people themselves to accept this decision. This decision has far-reaching consequences. For example, because public schools are already required to teach the role of marriage in society as part of the curriculum, schools will now be required to teach students that gay marriage is the same as traditional marriage, starting with kindergarteners. By saying that a marriage is between “any two persons” rather than between a man and a woman, the Court decision has opened the door to any kind of “marriage.” This undermines the value of marriage altogether at a time when we should be restoring marriage, not undermining it.

...Proposition 8 is NOT an attack on gay couples and does not take away the rights that same-sex couples already have under California’s domestic partner law. California law already grants domestic partners all the rights that a state can grant to a married couple. Gays have a right to their private lives, but not to change the definition of marriage for everyone else.

So, briefly:

1) The "will of the voters" is required in order to decide whether to -include- more marriages as, well, marriages; it is a terrible affront to some people that other people think they can get married just like Some People, without even asking Some Peoples' permission or ANYTHING: this is what is known as "demanding special rights."

2) This is especially terrible because, even if Jill and Jane are now a respectable married couple instead of shady deviants lurking in the margins of society, kindergarteners deserve to be protected from the knowledge that this is so.

3) Anyway, you don't really -need- marriage, domestic partnership gives you all the same benefits. It's just the word we want. RLY SRSLY TRUFAX. At the same time, the word is REALLY REALLY IMPORTANT, enough so that we're going to spend zillions of dollars making sure you can't share it with us, because otherwise it'll mean the end of "traditional marriage" (which apparently has nothing to do with rights or legal recognition), and the state is going to crack off and fall into the sea, or something.

4) The Prop 8 authors are not haters so STOP SAYING THAT.

...and why o why does all this sound so strangely familiar...going to the mat over language while swearing it doesn't mean anything -really-...convoluted explanations of why certain borders must remain policed...we only want such a tiny small thing for ourselves, you militants are ruining everything... -think think- Eh, it'll come to me. -glances vaguely downward over the scope of the blog for the last while-

Oh, and by the way? Domestic partnership? Ain't the same, and not just because of the symbolism:

The law does not give same-sex couples any of the more than 1000 rights and benefits that the federal government gives to married couples, including:

the right to sponsor a partner for immigration purposes;
the right to family-related Social Security benefits;
the right to federal income and estate tax breaks; and
the right to purchase continued health coverage for a partner after the loss of a job.

Right now, the federal government wont let any state extend these federal benefits to same-sex couples, no matter what the relationship is called.

Even under California law, same-sex couples are not completely equal. Domestic Partners cannot file joint state income taxes and state employees are not entitled to the same benefits under the states long-term care benefits package. (This could be an advantage. See below.)

In addition, if you enter into a California domestic partnership, many of the protections will not exist if and when you are outside California. For instance, if you or your partner are injured in another state, you are [not, one assumes this is a typo] allowed hospital visitation or the right to make emergency medical decisions on behalf of your partner.

States' rights, see. Rarely a good thing.

More on this later.

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.


Friday, August 15, 2008

The Meanie Meanerton Post.

Just, first of all, read this, okay.

A teenager has been cleared of killing a transsexual woman found strangled in her south London home.

Shanniel Hyatt, 18, denied that he killed Kellie Telesford in a rage after discovering she was a pre-operative transgender female who was born a man.

Earlier in the trial, the defence barrister wanted us to believe that Kellie died while playing “kinky sex games” - so, what now? - on her own, after Hyatt had left, taking with him her cellphone and travelcard?

And did she strangle herself before or after she covered her body in the white blanket?...

Then read this, on how certain..."feminists"...are still adamant about keeping teh ev0l tranz out of their "safe spaces," in this instance, actual shelters, and the reality versus the myth:

One of the big problems that I’ve got with trans exclusion is that the kinds of things that you need in order to keep a shelter safe when you let trans people in and the implications that has for the so-called problem of “men masquerading as trans people in order to gain access to shelters and whatever” - not that that has ever happened once and people raise that anyway - that…should be no less terrifying than the idea of a lesbian batterer gaining access to a shelter by masquerading as a survivor, it should be. And, in fact, what it tells us is that we still don’t take seriously the idea that women are powerful! No one has …as a movement, we’ve not internalized that we are powerful; if we believed that we were powerful andthat we learned the lessons that lesbians can batter each other, we would be afraid of the power of a lesbian batterer gaining access to our shelter or our other programs, and we would take serious steps…

Both quotes are taken from interviews with women who worked in shelters at the time...

and Lisa's note here in the comments, particularly:

Tera, to many radical feminists, “woman” is defined as strictly oppression, and I think it’s threatening to find women who not only disagree (as many cis women do while still acknowledging the realities of the violence, sexism, and oppression that women face) but to find women who (to their eyes) chose to be women. Many have said this to me directly, one saying that the very idea that transsexualism could be real might be so triggering as to drive some cis women to suicide.

While I think she was exaggerating greatly, I also found this positioning of trans women as being so triggering just because we don’t find being female inherently oppressive as simply being another way to center trans concerns onto cis people (who we are and the bodies we have to live in are unimportant - all that matters is how we’re perceived by cis women).

And I believe that this positioning females as the most oppressed, as femininity as being nothing but oppression (as gender being oppression) is a simplistic view that not only ignores a large number of people and their relationships to gender and their own bodies (and I am not speaking strictly of trans women here), but also robs cis women of power and agency by positioning them as perpetual victims of the patriarchy.

And that, of course, absolves women of any responsibility for racism, classism, ableism, heterosexism, cissexism that they perpetuate, because they don’t really have the power to perpetuate those -isms. They just ignore intersections.

Then take a gander at all this, wherein, among other things, we learn in the comments that real lesbians worry excessively about being spied on in the shower by "male-born" people, and there are links to a number of ever so clever gambits like I'm eating blueberries, therefore I'm transphobic.

...oh, and lookie there, just noticed, a comment by "me," aren't you precious, Polly Styrene.

Then learn why a cisgendered sex worker finds more in common with said trans women than the "real" women like yourself, and has, once again, had enough of the bullshit from her own end.

So you go right on and demonize and whine and talk about how horrible "sex workers rights advocates" (teehee!) are. You go ahead and worship Saint Farley and call us the pro-pimp lobby or what the fuck else ever. You go ahead and chill in that fucking tower while the rest of us are actually working down here on the ground. You buy her books, write your own, whatever, you go ahead. How many of the whores that Farley interviewed did she actually help? What cut of the profits from her writings is she using to set up working programs to get them out? Answer? None. She's just profiting from it all and, woo, doing more research. So yeah, you are just as useful as she is, kid. I may masturbate to porn, but at least I then go out and actually do something. You wank your brain and pat yourself on the back and waggle those typing fingers…then do what? Nothing but fucking demonize the people doing the goddamn dirty work.

...Or does it work like this, Maggie? Are their good whores and bad whores? Good ones being those whose lives have been trashed and are barely making it but, gee, they have such great, touching, agenda feeding stories! And then those bad ones…well, they might as well be men! Those who do well and profit and don’t hate it…and those other women, what with their BDSM and watching porn and stuff…they aren’t women, right? They’re men with tits and cunts. They are out of the tribe that bleeds and part of the problem, right?

"Might as well be men"--yes, indeedy.

It's not like you can see that there's any connection between transphobia (oo, she said it again!) and sex worker bashing here, either,

Kudos are going to the organizers of this protest against transphobia and sex worker oppression.

Residents of a downtown Toronto neighbourhood have apparently bestowed themselves with the moral duty of “kicking out prostitutes” who they say have “disturbed the peace” in their otherwise magically perfect neighbourhood.

Instead of lobbying for anti-prostitution laws, worker safety, or advocating for the rights of sex trade workers so that we can all live more peacefully together, for the last three months these residents have been harassing sex workers, specifically transwomen, to the point of assault.

This Friday August 15th, supporters of human rights and dignity FOR ALL will be gathering at the corner of Homewood and Maitland at 11pm to demand an end to this injustice.

Check out the Facebook event and hopefully we’ll see you there!

...where you can also read charming comments like this:

Michael Says:

August 15, 2008 at 8:27 am
Shoving a person is assault.
Yelling at people is disturbing the peace.
Threats and stalking are criminal harassment

When I stand several feet away from a sex-worker with a sign that says “No Sex work on our street.” my actions are intended to discourage the John from stopping and to make her uncomfortable enough that she will take her business elsewhere. i’m sure it annoys her but no-one is harmed and no one’s rights have been violated.

If other street vendors are not allowed on Homewood why are prostitutes permitted to advertize and sell their wares? I’d rather buy a hot-dog than a BJ at 3:00AM.

And finally… I fail to believe that Trans-women can’t get jobs. MAC Cosmetics, to cite one example has LOTS of trans-women working their counters.

No, he's not a "radfem," that's right. I don't know where this one's "morality" comes from and don't much care. Sure is an asshole though, and... he's not the only one who sounds like that, see. Or is whining about "mob mentality;" poor little put-upon flower, HE'S not actually HURTING anyone, he refuses to believe it, see.


Oh, and will all those trans people and sex workers and y'know other women stop being so meeeeeeeeeeeeeen, I mean, be fair! Hey, he's just being reasonable and expressing his opinion, amirite? Free speech! Help, help, he's being oppressed...!

So, yes, you know, I've got a cold and I've just moved and I barely have the energy to get into all the -multiple- fucked uppednessnesses here, and frankly I think others have the right idea in just writing about the actual issues and trying to ignore your irrelevant asses, by and large. Or at least keep from centering you, -again,-

But meanwhile, you've been epic fuckwits again, and I'm in a Mood and so Attention Must Be Paid, so let's just cut it short, don't tell me: -you- did not murder Kellie Telesford or Angie Zapata, with your own dear little hands, therefore, you are not in any way, shape or form "transphobic." O.K.

But you, you still just can't understand why all these meanie meanertons who aren't among the Elect (anymore, anyway) keep picking on you, right? I mean, your "theories" are at least as important as the actual people you keep insisting on "deconstructing," "questioning," and generally ignoring anything they actually have to say for themselves if it makes you uncomfortable.

We’re the least liked of any subset of women. We already get shit from the entire world. I don’t know why other feminists won’t leave us the fuck alone.

Well, damn, I'm awfully sorry. Allow me to present you with a fucking cookie, then, even though it's against my principles o NOT AT ALL HATEFUL OR BIGOTED NO PRECIOUS Supra Feminists What Are Uber Marginalized But Still Somehow Going To Save Us All Whether We Like It Or Not, All By Yourselves, Apparently.

Blueberry, even.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Natalia Antanova on Russia/Georgia: "Darkness Falls"


at Global Comment:

What horrifies is me is not just the violence, as if it isn’t bad enough, but the fact that being ethnically half-Russian and half-Ukrainian, I grew knowing that the Georgians are our friends. I grew up in a household in love with Georgian culture. To my Russian mother, Georgia was “the most beautiful place in the world,” and she wasn’t alone in this by far.

The people baying for blood on both sides, have they honestly forgotten our common ties? If the forgetting is this easy, perhaps we really ought to be worried about the future of Russia and Ukraine. The unthinkable is already happening before us, and history has entered a gloomy and bewildering chapter. This is the sort of thing that happens when empires fail; it’s bloody and vile. It reeks of gunpowder and rot and the dried-up glue that used to hold together our old, red memorial wreaths.

...The absurdities of nationalism know no bounds.

The joy with which such people greet pictures of dead Georgians is diabolical. Their desire to see Russian soldiers fall due to some misguided notions regarding “glory” is equally diabolical. They do not value Georgian lives, but neither do they value the lives of their own troops or the lives of South Ossetians they are supposed to care about.

The loudest of the loud among us do not have sons serving in the Russian army, or so I have noticed.

This isn’t to say that I am a fan of Georgia’s President Saakashvili, however. I think it’s laughable that some writers are busy painting a picture of the genteel Saakashvili and uniformly bloodthirsty, fanged Russians. Have we learned nothing from Georgia’s squashed opposition? Do we really think that Saakashvili has the best interests of his people in mind? Or the best interests of the South Ossetians who are, predictably, almost invisible in this conflict?

Political elites benefit from grand-standing, regular people just lose their limbs in the process.

The West is no better in this regard...

read the rest.


Friday, August 08, 2008

Oh, cute: now Jon Justice is trying to get Isabel Garcia disbarred.

Update on this post, as reported by Woc PhD:

While Jon Justice continues to enjoy full privileges as a radio host after posting mock sexual assault videos in which he made racist comments about Latinas and immigrants while assaulting a piñata with public defender Isabel Garcia’s face pasted to it (see [PBW's] original post for more), his efforts to have Garcia dismissed from her job as a public defender in Arizona have gone forward. Garcia is currently under investigation by the AZ state bar for participating in a protest against a book signing for a book that supports active discrimination against immigrants and subversion of their rights. “Justice” and others, have misrepresented the events to say that Garcia’s “toting of a severed piñata head of a police officer” constitutes violation of the bar’s code of conduct. Garcia was actually picking up the head after protesters split the piñata open in traditional form. She and others actively protested the incitement of anti-immigrant sentiment and abuse of immigrants and the Latin@ community in AZ which they felt were being exacerbated by the event and the author. Should the review board decide that Garcia is guilty of violating codes of conduct, she could lose her license to practice law in the state of Arizona and would also lose her job as a public defender...

(read more)

...Anyone who is concerned about sexual violence, racism, and/or the place where these two things intersects needs to take action to support women’s rights in Arizona. You can make your voice heard by joining the write in campaign [PBW] mentioned in the previous post AND by doing the following:

1. Contact Pima County Administrator Chuck Huckleberry in support of Isabel Garcia. 520.740.8661 or e-mail:
2. Contact the Journal Broadcast Group, expressing your opinion of Jon Justice and the tactics of 104.1FM, and your concern that local KGUN 9 would be associated with an outlet that is so obviously NOT an objective media source. Contact Julie Brinks: 520.290.7600 or e-mail:
3. Contact the Board of Supervisors, voicing your support of Isabel Garcia, who has broken no rule or regulation as a Pima County employee.

Pima County Board of Supervisors
30 West Congress Street, 11th Floor
Tucson, Arizona 85701
Receptionist - (520) 740-8126
Fax - (520) 884-1152

Ann Day, District 1
(520) 740-2738

Ramón Valadez, District 2
(520) 740-8126

Sharon Bronson, District 3
(520) 740-8051

Ray Carroll, District 4
(520) 740-8094

Richard Elías, Chairman, District 5
(520) 740-8126

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

...actually, what Kyle Payne's apologia really makes me think of

Except for, he's not actually kidding, alas...

ETA: Darren Johnson shared this:

Darren Johnson on August 6, 2008 8:46 pm

I encourage everyone to write letters to the judge. I would also encourage everone to contact the Buena Vista County Attorney in Storm Lake, Iowa. He is the one that agreed to this ridiculous plea bargin. The County Attorney is the one that will be arguing for the State why Kyle Payne should go to prison, he is the one that has the duty to convince the Judge that Kyle Paynes act were so heinous that he should go to prison. If the County Attorney does not ask for PRISON the judge will not send Kyle Payne to Prison. So PLEASE PLEASE call, write or email the Buena Vista County Attorney
Dave Patton
County Attorney
606 Geneseo Street
Storm Lake, Iowa 50588
(712) 732-1933
(712) 732-2009 FAX

Monday, August 04, 2008

Only blankety shopping days till the next War on Christmas.

...but I thought I'd just get the jump for once.

See, SnowdropExplodes has a follow-up on the cartoon business from last week, trying to explain one last time why some people were having their "racism!" buttons pushed by it (hint, it's not always black and white, yeah?) by digging up some good ol' Der Sturmer cartoons.

Anyhoo, not to bash one's head against that particular brick wall any more, so meanwhile: I was at the source he got some of the images from, Caricatures from "Der Stuermer," 1928-1932, I saw this one at the top of the page and thought, well now, here's something that speaks to the Bill O'Reilly in us all, isn't there:

link (can't upload the photo, but you'll see what I mean)

Title: "German Christmas"

Caption: The German Christmas angel has her hands tied by the swindling world bank Jews. Meanwhile, the department store Jew, behind the mask of Christmas cheer, is doing a booming business. (December 1928)

Explanation: The angel is bound by bands named taxes, credit stops, Dawes tribute and Lugano. The Jew is selling beauty creams and pornographic books.

Note that last one. There's a lot of that theme there, too: porn as sinister corrupting force. Hey, who knows: maybe the "porno-iarchy" is really just one more part of the Zionist International Conspiracy after all; hell, most everything is, isn't it?

"We did it, signed, Morty"

--Lenny Bruce on the Crucifixion

Quote of the day: 8/4/08

It’s not a radical, politically oriented decision to *not* rape somebody or *not* punch them in the face. Politics schmolitics. That’s basic human decency. That’s kindergarten.


Saturday, August 02, 2008

The murder of Angie Zapata: why "it" matters.

Via Questioning Transphobia,: among others:

Basically, some walking shitstain called Alan Ray Andrade went out with Angie Zapata, had sex with her, and then, upon discovering that she did not have the genitalia he felt entitled to, killed her. Well. According to Andrade, she ceased to be "she" or even human once he discovered she was trans:

from Transgriot:

Andrade told police he grabbed Zapata in her genital area and felt a penis. He became angry and hit Zapata with his fist before grabbing a fire extinguisher and hitting her in the head twice, according to the affidavit.

Andrade explained to police that he thought he "killed it," referring to Zapata but when she made gurgling noises and started to sit up, he hit her with the extinguisher again.

Now, good old fashioned sexist misogyny already means that Andrade was all filled up with entitlement, and homophobia is an inextricable part of this too, sure thing. He's a man! Men have sex with women, which is what makes them men! He was OWED, man! AND: zomg, he touched someone else's penis: clearly this will immediately drain all the red blood cells from Andrade's worthless body unless he takes drastic measures to reassert his masculinity.

But there's also something else here, isn't there.

See, in the worldview of the transphobe, there are men, and there are women, and then there are -its.-

"Its" are not women, "its" are not men, even gay ones. "Its" are not human at all; they are monsters.

"They kill monsters, don't they?"

But surely, even if we acknowledge there's a LOT of hostility toward people who neither clearly fit into category "A" or "B," not everyone's actually going to go as far as murder. Andrade was a penny-ante criminal even before this; QED, the rest of us are all off the hook, then, right?


Trannies! Send backup!*

… was the call from a steward, at a gay pride parade, when transwomen got somewhat pissed off at being told they weren’t allowed to use the women’s toilets. A transwoman was later sexually assaulted because she was given no choice but to use the men’s toilets.

Ebony Whitaker, Sanesha Stewart and Angie Zapata are all transwomen who have been murdered this year because they were transwomen. The men accused of Sanesha and Angie’s deaths are, like far too many fuckers before them, using the good old trans panic defence - “Oh, but Your Honour, the shock of finding out that an attractive woman had boy-bits, which of course must have made my attraction to her gay and ergo wrong, just sent me into a violent killing rage which is a normal, acceptable, and understandable reaction, so please let me off.”

You may recognise this as a spin-off of the gay panic defence, “Oh, but Your Honour, having someone of the same gender express attraction to me is obviously such a gross and disgusting thing that I couldn’t help but fly into a homicidal rage, and am clearly the innocent victim in this case.”**

Worst thing about these “defences”? They work. Let’s face it, in a world where marshals at a FUCKING PRIDE PARADE are telling transwomen they don’t count***, or they’re obviously some kind of “threat” to ciswomen (which involves a train of thought starting at “transwomen are actually still men” station, passing through “and men automatically sexually desire women” junction, and arriving at “conclusion: transwomen are just evil rapists-in-waiting who go through one hell of a lot of shit just to be able to sneak into the ladies’ loos” central. Which, um, SO WRONG), there’s clearly some big old fucking assumptions still being made about sex, gender, the significance of naughty-bits … a whole lot of things that frankly, as a society, we need to get the fuck over.

Be sure to read the rest of what Queen of Thorns has to say wrt the whole fucking stupid-ass -tired- phenomenon of

but I’m a feminist who wants to end the gender binary, so doesn’t my thesis logically conclude that Transpeople Are Wrong? Because if Gender Is A Construct, then a person cannot actually Identify As a gender that Is Not Actually Real, right? So transpeople … are a) deluded because There Is No Gender, and b) Betraying The Cause by buying in to the concept of gender! ZOMG TRANSFOLK ARE THE ENEMY!!!!!!”

and if you are one of those feminists and have gotten as far as the part where, well gosh, maybe we should be -nicer- to Teh Tranz, but I still don't understand how transitioning isn't just shoring up those "male" and "female" boxes and isn't that bit all the trans peoples' in question idea anyway? Read this. Now.

*yes, they really said that, and the whole thing is totally fucked.

**or some other variation of "The ___ made me do it; I just don't know what came OVER me." Huh, why do I feel like we've just been having this conversation...?

***By the way, about that whole incredibly depressing and infuriating phenomenon wherein some of our gay cis brethren and cistern prove themselves to be capable of being just as fucking awful as anyone else, also: way to go again, Human Rights Champagne.

Catherine Cusic, a 63 year old lesbian from San Francisco, was forcibly evicted from this weekend's HRC dinner gala after she stood up during Joe Solmonese's keynote speech. According to witnesses and Ms. Cusic, while she had leaflets in her hand about HRC's ENDA debacle, she had not given any out before hired security grabbed her by the arms and literally dragged her from the room, down a flight of stairs and threw her onto the street. Ms. Cusic documented her injuries after not being allowed to regain her footing.

She wrote an account of her experiences for Bilerico Project and included photos of her injuries taken by a physician...

Be sure to read the rest of that account at Bilerico. Charming stuff.

Payne in the collective ass: redefining GALL OMFG

Via The Curvature: (yes, I got the same chutzpahriffic email)

So, yesterday I got an email actually from Kyle Payne telling me that he would be putting up a statement on his blog today regarding “recent events in [his] life.” It’s funny how for someone who claims he wants to hold himself “accountable” for his own actions, he repeatedly uses that word: “events.” I think that if we’re going to go with euphemisms here — and I’m absolutely no fan of euphemisms — “my actions” would be a much more accurate one than “recent events in my life.” See, events happen around you and to you. You are the one who sexually assaulted a woman and then pleaded guilty to secretly filming and photographing a woman’s breasts, Kyle. That didn’t happen to you — but it did happen to the woman who was assaulted. (BTW: I know that Kyle did not plead guilty to assault. Gotta love the plea bargains. But in my view, “secretly filming and photographing a woman’s breasts” is indeed sexual assault — particularly since he has admitted to exposing the woman himself.)

I also got an email on the same day from Lynda Waddington, the journalist from the Iowa Independent who has been instrumental in publicly exposing Payne and investigating his case. She wrote to inform me of the latest development — that a motion has been filed to postpone sentencing. This is so Kyle can continue undergoing his therapy, the results of which they are apparently going to present in court and undoubtedly use as reasoning to ask for lighter sentencing, and also to gather letters of support — coming from god only knows where.

So I get these two emails literally within two hours of each other. And inquisitive mind that I am, I had to ask myself: hmm, could these two things possibly be at all related to one another? I know, ridiculous thought...

Link to the Iowa Independent story embedded; I am not linking to that scumbag's self-serving rationalization/whatever this is supposed to be, you can go there directly from Cara's if you insist. I clicked over there but couldn't read all that shit; just skimming made me throw up in my mouth a little. Shorter Kyle Payne:

"I don't know what came over me, the Patriarchy made me do it. I am so very, very, humbly sorry. Please tell me how I can be a better ally from here on out."

no, sorry, these are his words:

I ask that any women reading this letter who wish to share their responses contact me via email at _____[no, asshole]. I welcome your questions, concerns,
feelings, and anything else you would like to share. And I would especially welcome your thoughts on how I might move forward in my life with respect and compassion toward women.

My response:

"a) serve your fucking jailtime, you coward, where there won't BE any women at least for a while; then move to a monastery where you won't have any power over anybody, preferably with a vow of silence b) barring that, howzabout die in a fire."

Seriously, WTF? Who is the genius legal counsel who thought this was a good idea? I can't even wrap my head around the REST of it. Just...die.

egh, never mind, sorry folks, better things to talk about here,

--oh yeah, you CAN still write a letter to the judge to request that he get a -harsher- sentence (presumably this little heartfelt plea was meant to inspire the opposite response, God knows how). Details at Eleanor's Trousers:

An “open sentencing” in the state of Iowa means that the public can attend, but not that the public can speak. While it always looks good to have people show up in support of the prosecution — and I’d personally really like to see some strong support in the courtroom — the fact is that not everyone is going to be able to speak.

For those who have a unique interest in the case… for instance, have served as advocates or can somehow speak with authority as to how horrible Payne’s actions were… get in touch with me.

If you want to share your (civil) thoughts about this incident prior to sentencing, your best bet is to write to the judge that will preside over the sentencing:

District Court Judge Don E. Courtney
Buena Vista County Courthouse
215 E Fifth St.
Storm Lake, IA 50588

As a final note, there has been some discussion about Payne being charged with child pornography. This is not a charge he faces from the state of Iowa.

- Lynda Waddington

"Going On"

thanks, fastlad. x

Friday, August 01, 2008

By the way, for whom it may concern:


I'm admittedly a half-assed pagan at best these days, much less actually Hindu (holy appropriation, Batgirl!) but I do know this much:

"Kali is not your personal army."


The Dark Mother, Devourer of Time, Destroyer of Worlds, bloody goddess of Chaos who tears away all illusions? Pretty much not a good idea to invoke unless you really know what you're asking for. Because, if you're the sort of person who wilts when someone you've been flaming on the Internets returns fire? I don't think you're quite ready for that kind of blowback.

Just saying.

Quote of the day, 8/1/08

from the comments of this post:

"critics of porn and sex work often bring to the table their own notions of what sex is and take that as normative."


I think you may have a point there. This was initially my problem at least. Then I saw pie porn and I figured that if a banana cream pie actually aroused people, then I have no useful frame for other people's sexual desires.

--Kristen, responding

"An open letter to cis feminists:" a guest post by Queen Emily.


Reposting in full with her permission, as originally posted at Sexual Ambiguities [with some more added hyperlinks]. Also see x-post at Questioning Transphobia with Lisa's commentary.

An open letter to cis feminists

Stop fucking up.*

I have complained numerous times that the feminist blogosphere, such as it is, has one main conversation about trans people, one that is returned to again and again and again - the political implications of our transitioning. Click here** if you want yet another example of pointless bloody "analysis."

I don't CARE about whatever horrible thing some feminist has said anymore. I care that these discussions centre on cis concerns, even (maybe especially) allies respond mostly to the slurs, but rarely address the real issues.

Now, if you want to have those conversations, here's an idea. Subject yourself to the same kind of analysis. Honestly interrogate if and how you might have more or less privilege than trans people. And no, for the millionth time, trans women are not the fucking Patriarchy.

Or how bout this for an idea. Spend some actual time and energy on trans issues. Here is one thing you are barely talking about - the continual violence against transgendered people for being transgendered.

Blog about Angie Zapata. Blog about Ebony Whitaker. Blog about Sanesha Stewart (to name just three trans women murdered this year).

Try subjecting all that torturous analysis to something actually useful - how violence against trans people occurs. Try thinking about the fact that it is overwhelming trans women of colour being murdered. Try thinking about the intersections between race, transness, misogyny and sex work.

Try writing about the way that institutions collude with this violence - that medical professionals may willingly leave you to die, that police may not prosecute, that lawyers use "trans panic" as a defence to justify the death, and then to add insult to injury, the media effectively blames the dead person for their own deaths AND misgenders them.

And for fuck's sake, don't blame the fucking victims.


* if this doesn't apply to you, then it doesn't apply to you.

posted by queen emily

**belledame again. Yeah, it WOULD be better to focus on other things beside what the latest drooling imbecile online said, wouldn't it. Unfortunately, they kind of tend to draw one's attention. Me, I clicked over there when making the hyperlink, got as far as the "no special rights" crap and saw red.

As it happens, I had been planning to write a "dear straight feminists" post myself for a while now. I have no idea what mAndrea's personal deal is and don't much care; but I've seen, like, maybe a handful (ew) of actual lesbian (cis) "feminist" women be able to read, even WRITE this kind of crap and somehow NOT immediately go,


I do not know what their damage is. I will never understand what the fucking disconnect is. One is now over there in the comments quoting Oscar Fucking Wilde. I can't deal with the stupid today, I really can't.

"People: the other white meat"


Mostly, though? The people who actually spout or endorse this kind of bullshit, as opposed to just sort of blipping it over because oo well not my table really? Even the ones who AREN'T total fucking wastes of space like this one? Straight women. (And some straight men, of course, which is, if possible, even more special-er, always). Burbling about: how they want to -do away with gender- (please); how political lesbianism, or whatever the catchphrase for "just avoid men and make sappy noises about how WONDERFUL women are without ever having to have icky sex with them" is these days, is something they humbly aspire to, meanwhile just having to make do with their very own Nigel whilst pointing righteous fingers at everyone else in the entire world; and how TERRIBLE "queer politics" are, this or that kind of sexual act or desire that guess what! is mostly going to affect people OTHER than their crunchy abstinent selves, the ones who are ALREADY being spat at and being called "perverts" and "degenerates" and their internal reality isn't legitimate anyway, much less acting out sexual desires...

Sorry. Got carried away. Where was I?

Anyway. But you know, besides that, yeah, there is another post somewhere here, about the curious place that gay (cis) people/issues and particularly lesbians have in mainstream (het) feminism. Certainly you don't catch this kind of bottom-feeder button-pushing bigotry, -within- feminism as such, just for being queer, usually. And, hell, well, lesbians, at least for some people, there's that dubious pedestal again...well, this is, I suspect, another post.

But yeah. There's really other shit to talk about, here, was the point, other -issues- that aren't all about centering straight women and their needs as well as (even more so, Emily is right) cis women and -our- needs; and I need to get on more of it myself.

I'll be coming back to this.