Thursday, December 21, 2006

What's this whole anti-transgendered thing all about, anyway?

Although I'm really trying to avoid the defensive, reactive posting habits I mentioned several days ago, I do find this comment thread swirling around the Twistyverse to be worth examining.

But I'm not alone, at least. A couple of other folks did to, like Shouty Lucy and the refreshed and rejuvenated Andrea (back from hiatus, much to my delight), and also Amananta.

There was this comment on Twisty's thread that really brought it all into focus for me:

But in this case, they dominate women by co-opting our identity and insisting we recognize that they are what we are, effectively erasing our very identity and existence as women. The stakes are too high.

Now that's a very scary thing, feeling erased. Phrased in those terms, I understand what puts the "phobia" in "transphobia". I get it now.

However, I'm not sympathetic. Not even a little bit. in fact, I'm less sympathetic now than I was before I understood what it was all about.

First of all, what's "our identity"? there's enough diversity among women, at least to my mind, to make any definition of "women's identity" wildly inaccurate at best. Women are not the same. I wouldn't be surprised if under some people's definition of "women's identity", I don't even make the cut, XX chromosomes and menstrual cramps notwithstanding.

it's probably worth mentioning that it was not so very long ago that the late Betty Friedan feared that lesbians (eek!) would infilitrate the Women's Movement and destroy it from within, co-opting feminism and perverting it to their own destructive purposes.

The Lavender Menace, so to speak.

Similarly, making gender-dysphoric people out to be mole agents for the Patriarchy in the War Between The Sexes just doesn't make sense to me.

This idea that men are just lining up in front of Dr. Hackenslash's Lady-in-a-Minit Surgi-teria and Dry Cleaning, rubbing their giant man-hands in delicious anticipation, ready to do their part for the Vast Patriarchal Conspiracy? Not realistic, or fair to those undergoing transition through years - YEARS - a lifetime-- of pain. As far as I know, the process of transition is years-long, and the screening process is rigorous, to weed out just such fellows as may think they're somehow erasing womankind by aping its mannerisms.

As I write this, I realize there's a lot I don't know yet about the subject, so for the moment I'll pause, pending further reading and conversing. But please, feel free to add comments as the spirit moves you.

It's so completely and profoundly ridiculous to me that anyone with half a brain could think MtF folks are trying to "infiltrate" women's spaces in the name of the patriarchy.

I mean, I'm trying not to use so many blog cliches anymore, but that right there really DOES threaten to make my head explode.

it's like... it's just... WHAT???

You are right, AP, that the process of transitioning is long, protracted, dangerous, expensive, and there are vigorous screening methods in place. It's called the Benjamin Standards of Care.

I don't think it's even worth bothering with folks who hold such an absurd notion. That's just flat-out stupidity, is all that is - oh, and maybe a little hallucination thrown in for good measure. There's no use trying to sugar-coat it.
well, maybe I missed her point, or misunderstood her in some way.

It's easy to see, though, where the flaw in their logical diamond occurs. nobody wants to be erased.

but I think that fear eclipses reason, to no good effect.
thanks for that link, BTW.
"Similarly, making gender-dysphoric people out to be mole agents for the Patriarchy in the War Between The Sexes just doesn't make sense to me."

Yeah... that's where it all breaks down for me. I can understand, "Hey! Maybe women-born-women and MtF's have different experiences!" Sure. Duh, even. But, the whole "transsexual predators going undercover and attacking womyn in GYNOSPACE!" is a little bit... fucking stupid. Especially given that you're a whole hell of a lot more likely to have Penis-Obsessed Menz kick your ass, and succeed in killing you as a transsexual.

am I a total tool of the patriarchy if I find that word a little, um, snicker-worthy?
Well, it kind of makes me want to grab my crotch and sneer, "I got yer gynospace right here!"
Isn't imitation the finest form of flattery? Or are Real Feminists opposed to flattery?
Well, hell. Now I wish there was a blog out there named "GynoSpace."
I see you actually commented on that thread Antip - you're braver than me. The level of hatred expressed is physically sickening. Yes dears, of course there's a Great Trans Conspiracy to Opress teh Women - because transpeople have so much power and influence in society, they *must* be part of the patriarchy.

Also, it strikes me that these women's philosophy (if you can call it that) is pretty inconsistent. You can choose to be a lesbian, because sexuality is in no way fixed, but woe betide you unless you conform to rigid gender categories? WTF?
Also, where do transmen fit into this? They don't seem to have a place in this parallel universe where all transpeople are Evil Drag Queens lying in wait in women's bathrooms waiting to opress them.
Transmen? Oh come now, Lucy; you must know. They live in the same place as male sex workers, lesbians who like penetration, and stray socks from the dryer.
i will not link it, but google "questioning transgender"

It's fucking sick, but there is a cottage industry of sustained transphobia in the radical fem movement.

Transmen are betrayers, turncoat lesbians, and Transwomen are infiltrators...

I couldn't even read the whole thread. I hit luckynkl's shining contribution and puked in my mouth.
This is the very issue that led me to realize that radfems, at least those of Twisty's sort, were reactionary sectarian bigots.

If you can't see that people who have to face unemployment, poverty, and violent abuse in order to live as they feel they must, are oppressed people fighting for their freedom who deserve our solidarity, than you're clearly not interested in human freedom at all, and your capacity for compassion is in question.

Twisty's said more than once that she is actually opposed to freedom, anyway.
this paranoia that has them so spooled up over everything from thong panties to transgender folk must be really, really exhausting.

Once I get over the amusement and irritation they elicit, I can only feel tremendous pity.

Why do they find oppressors under every rock? They are precisely like the Christians who find demons in every song lyric. Are they aware of how much they have in common with fundamentalist Christians? It's truly remarkable.
"Dr. Hackenslash's Lady-in-a-Minit Surgi-teria and Dry Cleaning, rubbing their giant man-hands in delicious anticipation, ready to do their part for the Vast Patriarchal Conspiracy."

Heh -- that's what I was thinking but you said it far more cleverly.

Oh oh -- Armchair Psychology Time!
But the psych seems all wrong: Big old het men donning dresses and strapping down their big ol cocks just to get a peek at a girl taking a piss in a woman's room.

Like you, AP, I am pretty ignorant on the whole issue. But for now, I say transpeople? I have ZERO problems with them.
"Well, it kind of makes me want to grab my crotch and sneer, "I got yer gynospace right here!"


(Grabbing my crotch in solidarity with Amber!)
FO: Exactly. And as for compassion: you have to look no further than what happened, or rather didn't, with Spinning Liz. TF can't be arsed to say a single word directly to her. Some fuckhead tells her she clearly is bitter because people aren't holding a fundraiser for her (!!!!!) when hello, she's BITTER because she's got motherfucking stage IV CANCER, no insurance, and has to sell her house; who fucking wouldn't be -bitter;- unlike some people, she's able to extrapolate it to the overall fucked up situation wrt health insurance in this country and cry for someone -else,- even in the midst of her own tsuris.

and a couple of people from there wish her well on her own site; a couple more take the fuckhead to task; but it's all just in passing, as it were, wrt the far more pressing and fascinating subject of, well what was it now? the evils of stripping? some goddam thing.

Twisty's said more than once that she is actually opposed to freedom, anyway

Seriously? In what context? well, it doesn't surprise me.

"I blame the Patriarchy, except for my captain-of-industry Father. I long for Revolution..."

which last meant, what? she's bored, and it'd be fun to watch the Walmart-shopping peasantry shooting each other? flamewars and online gangbanging she's started will have to do in the meantime, i expect.

rootietoot: not only do they sound quite a bit like fundamentalists, not just in authoritarianism but in actual positions, but in many cases i do believe they are coming from fundamentalist backgrounds. not TF (although the dour Puritanism she's made quite clear), but: well, Heart. Dim/Dubhe, i'm pretty sure. I wonder how many others?

and most of the rest i'd be willing to bet have harsh authoritarians of one stripe or another in the background.

Dictatorship, or democracy, begins at home.

which is why, as someone was saying elsewhere, ideology as therapy is a really bad idea.

anyway, wrt fundamentalist Christianity vs radical feminism: the process seems very similar as well: radfem for these people is like a conversion experience; one day the scales fell off their eyes, and now they see how truly depraved the things they once thought were just fine are. and, there will be a great Battle (Revolution/Armageddon) in the vaguely defined future, and after that will be an even more vaguely imagined Paradise of some sort, where all the Patriarchs/Demons are banished to the Pit or something; but in the meantime those things which could maybe be enjoyed in the Paradise are Bad and will lure you back into Sin/the Patriarchy's clutches.

Also in the meantime, we must work on purifying ourselves, spreading the Good News, battling the representatives of Evil/the Patriarchy, and shunning any sort of temptation to backslide by becoming as insular as possible.

Even the mythology is basically just standing the other form of fundamentalism on its head: as Angela West was talking about. Now Eve's off the hook, but Adam's guilty as fuck. and the idea of the Original Sin and the lost paradise are still there; the form of the paradise may be slightly differently envisioned but the structure is exactly the frigging same.

and, oddly enough, the Original Sin -still- seems to revolve all around S-E-X.

oh yeah, and: the way in which to get other people to see the light is to alternately express sympathy for their blinded state ("I once was like you, but not am Saved") and hector them mercilessly to get with the program already, even attempt to lay some sort of "punishment" or shaming on them. and, if that doesn't seem to be working, clearly it's only because you're not doing it hard enough.
Now Eve's off the hook, but Adam's guilty as fuck. and the idea of the Original Sin and the lost paradise are still there; the form of the paradise may be slightly differently envisioned but the structure is exactly the frigging same.

That makes an awful lot of sense.
let's just run through some of what these "co-opting" transwomen go through in order to live as their target gender:

- some spend thousands of dollars in order to get genitalia that jives, in order to get facial features that read as female, in order to remove the adam's apple
- some spend hundreds or thousands of dollars on hormones
- some get black-market hormones because they don't have health insurance
- those who can afford to get surgery are classified as mentally ill
- some lose family members due to transphobia
- some lose marriages
- some lose jobs
- some lose friends
- all face the possibility of physical and sexual assault, and often murder for just leaving the house or dating

and these commenters at Twisty's think that transwomen go through some or all of this in order to OPPRESS WOMEN?!

if that's the goal, it seems rather inefficient, don't you think? how exactly is this great grand trans conspiracy working out for trans folks?

how incredibly...ignorant and self-absorbed of those commenters. how cruel.
"and, oddly enough, the Original Sin -still- seems to revolve all around S-E-X. "

For THEM, I guess. For most Christians original sin is disobedient pride, thinking ones ownself is God.

Which seems to be rawther what the People Over There are doing.

Tsk...(shakes head and returns to baking snacks for Patriarch)
You know, I really truly don't understand where their venom and paranoia come from. I don't.. I mean, I was raised by a very domineering father and a submissive mother, with rigid expectations for my behavior. I was raised that girls aren't as smart or as capable as boys. I was beaten with a belt when I stepped out of line, and I was told that under no circumstances would I be sexually active before marriage. I was told that I would dress a certain way, and that I would account for my time and location whenever I was not at home.

And yet, I like men, I even like my father. So what is different about me from them? What causes one woman to despise men and anything remotely attached to men, and another one to shrug off the past and find great joy in the company of men?

Sometimes I feel like I'm the one who's flawed because I *ought* to hate men, given my past. Yet, I am glad I don't, because even with the way I was raised, women are alot harder to live with than men. At least men are predictable.

I'm not trying to be Goody two shoes about it, I really,really don't understand.
well, I've always wondered how our personal patriarchies (our relationships with our fathers, such as may exist) affect our conception of the capital-P-Patriarchy, such as may exist.

I think that big fear comes from the feeling of being erased, made irrelevant, made vestigal (like an appendix).
For THEM, I guess. For most Christians original sin is disobedient pride, thinking ones ownself is God.

Which seems to be rawther what the People Over There are doing.

Well, right; and for most feminists the original "sin" is domination/exploitation, primarily if not exclusively (the more sophisticated people understand the interconnections) that of men over women. For radical feminists (at least many or most so defining these days), even more specifically: the original "sin" is rape. Again, though, people who aren't i guess feminist fundamentalists tend to be a lot clearer about the nuances: the problem isn't sex, the problem isn't men, the problem is the violation, the act of unwanted domination as expressed -through- rape.

But, as with their Christian fundamentalist parallels, some people tend to be more literalist about certain interpretations than others.
Why is that fear there? By our very physical natures we are not vestigial. We are necessary for the perpetuation of the species, as are men, only not as many men are as necessary, given their ability to fertilize lotsa women in a short time. So it seems to me, given sperm banks and turkey basters, men ought to be the worried ones.

Is it that a certain personality type requires to be RECOGNIZED and ACKNOWLEDGED, at all costs? (Perhaps that's what I am having trouble comprehending, being the "behind the scenes' type.)That required recognition has taken on the shape of radical feminism, as opposed to, say, professional athletics or entertainer.

It just seems to me that these Twisty/Pony types feel around for the most RADICAL!! and SHOCKING!!! thing they can say, to garner the attention of all those yea-sayers at their sites.

I'm all for affirmation from others, and perhaps this is the only way anyone will pay attention to them, but it comes across to me as pathetic.
yeah, well i do believe that the "personal is the political," in that yes i think our individual experiences shape our belief systems. I do think it's more complicated than meets the eye.

For instance, rt, when you say,

because even with the way I was raised, women are alot harder to live with than men. At least men are predictable.

...i take it that comes out of a personal experience as well. And I expect that the women who really and truly don't trust men, any men, have good personal reasons for having come to that conclusion.

Hell, I'm willing to go one more step and suggest that the women-hating MRA folk have their own personal shit fuelling them as well. (One I noted in passing talked about an alcoholic, abusive/neglectful presumably single mother. Hand that rocks the cradle; people tend to forget that there's power there, yes).

In my family, Mom is definitely the rager, and yes unpredictable (although i think she gets a lot of it from her highly unpredictable--at least while she was growing up, i gather, i always had a good relationship with him--father) person. Dad is kind and gentle and tends to sort of disappear whenever there's any sort of fight. at the same time, i've also been a lot closer to my mother; or, well, the relationship's a lot more complex. I mean, -really- complex. Dad, well...I love him, but there's a part of him that's just kind of not there.

but yes; i certainly don't see the cartoonishly violent rapist that a lot of those radfems seem to see in me own da. i mean, i expect he might be capable at some level, but no more so than anyone(of any gender) is capable of you know, pulling the lever and shocking the pleading victim on the other side of the glass, or doing pretty much any other damn thing given the right circumstances

otoh i did go to school, and yes, i had my experiences with my peers (the little dears); that's shaped my views and so on as well, no doubt.
TF certainly seems to be going for the troll; she likes the attention.

pony, i just have no clue what the fuck her problem is, but whatever it is, my patience with her ran out long since.
anyway, i've thought for a long while that TF is yer classic narcissist. malignant, that is.

political/religious/whatever ideologies are a great excuse for cults of personality, and it is true that the content of some ideologies probably tend to attract little Jim Joneses and their would-be followers more than others; but ultimately, the ideology doesn't matter. It could be--and often is--literally anything.

And sometimes it might have been a less "radical" ideology to start with, but the personality of the person using it as a vehicle ehm "twists" it to suit hir needs.

Other times the ideology in question might've been founded by people who were more authoritarian to begin with, so yeah, it makes sense that the successors would lean increasingly in that direction.

It doesn't mean that there aren't or weren't any good ideas anywhere in the ideology; -it isn't about the ideology.-

It's about the difference between a healthy organization/community and a cult.
They're good points, midwesterntransport, but for the record, your numbers are off. My hormones cost just about a hundred a month, and that's for the rest of my life. Thousands is much more like it. And those surgical procedures, for those of us who go for them, are in the tens of thousands.
This is leaving out the medical appointments and the mandatory counseling because jesus, we must all be crazy.

The rest of it, though, yeah. Sure, this is all about a sexual fetish--that's why I'm risking never having an orgasm again. And it's clearly all about the high heels--except it'd have been a hell of a lot easier to just be a cross-dresser. Or, er, about the oppression of the Wimmins--that's why I'm voluntarily entering a demographic with a fifty percent sexual assault rate.

I keep wanting to make jokes about these people. I keep wanting to crack something clever about coming form the ceiling on the zipline as a Sekrit Patriarchy Agent, but I just can't. It's just too exhausting, and it hurts too much.
After slogging through those comments chez the Twister:

1. I feel like I need to bleach my brain after seeing all that hate.

2. "My uterus makes me speschul, and how DARE those MEN come in and try to take away my speschulness!"* seems to be the main argument.

I mean, considering how much some of those women seem fixated on how much their uterus makes them so-totally-awesome-and-connected-to-every-other-ciswoman (not that they'd ever use the term "ciswoman" or even "woman-born-woman")... did it ever occur to any of them that some transwomen might ALSO like to have uterii for similar reasons?

It's one thing to say that you feel more of a connection with cisgendered women than with transgendered women due to shared biological experiences. It's another thing to be a giant asshole. And for that, I both blame the patriarchy AND shame the matriarchy.

*Which bears an interesting resemblance to the "My abilty to vote (based on my penis) makes me speschul, and how DARE those WOMEN come in and make my ability to vote (and thus my penis) meaningless!" script. Huh.
"My uterus makes me speschul, and how DARE those MEN come in and try to take away my speschulness!"* seems to be the main argument.

yup, pretty much.

which sort of especially interesting considering that the host of that site has, due to illness, has had a complete hysterectomy as well as a double mastectomy. i guess once you've had the bits you are forever imbued with their Essence, though, or something.

i wonder what they'd make of an acquaintance that due to a rare condition was born without a uterus or a vagina?

then again, it may well be some of these same womb-worshippers that sneer at "breeders."

anyway, logic, you know, is so -male.- so, away with it! woo hoo HOO hoo HOO hoo HOO!

but, they are all 100% sane! oh yes!
The thing they'd probably hate the most is my pity, yet I can't summon up any other feelings for them. Twisty&Co., that is.
astute observation, maureen.
Twisty's said more than once that she is actually opposed to freedom, anyway.

Seriously? In what context? well, it doesn't surprise me.

I've tried more than once to find the quotes. I'm pretty sure they were in her comments to one of her blog posts, not the blog posts themselves, and her blog's search engine doesn't search those.

I can't recall the context, but I've only looked at her blog a few times since the blowjob war, so most likely it was some post related to that.

Anyway, what I recall her saying was that she rejected the idea, which she identified with post-modernism, that human freedom is the highest goal. There were a few other times at which she scoffed at the idea of freedom, as such.

Anyway, reading that thread on TF reinforces a thought I had the other day: that the reason I accepted the ideas of Andrea Dworkin when I was in my early twenties was because they were the very same reactionary sexist stereotypes I'd grown up, with a thin coating of gloss to make it seem progressive.

Looking through TF's blog again, I'm finding rigid gender stereotypes, disdain for anyone who transgresses rigid gender stereotypes, disdain for honest enjoyment of sexuality, mocking of unusual sexual practices, and in general, attitudes towards gender and sexuality perfectly familiar to me from my memories of the locker room in my first year of high school.

Twisty even denies that "patriarchy" can be challenged or overcome -- EVER.

Once you get past the acknowledgement that women are oppressed, there is no progressive content to be found at all.
Jesus, it's gotten exponentially worse there since I last checked, and that's saying domething. Fine, Luckynkl doesn't want to see transgender people as anything other than crazy people, and saying that MTF people are women takes away women's prescious essence.

Meanwhile, back at the informed ranch...
When did radical feminism turn into such woo-woo?

The 'tribe that bleeds'?

The 'ineffability of women'?

Jeeze, that's so corny it's like Eve Ensler wrote it.
"Ineffability of women??" i missed that one. at this point i'm relying on y'all for the highlights.

like, if you're a woman, you're all floaty and you can walk through walls and stuff? damn. why do i always miss the memo on these things?
the idea, which she identified with post-modernism, that human freedom is the highest goal.

post-modernism?? uh, no; that would pretty much be the Enlightenment, and even older influences, as far as I know.

remind me why people think this person is so smart, now? Because, it doesn't seem like she actually reads anyone besides frigging Sheila Jeffreys; and, it seems like she gets most of her information about the world from the headlines (of reactionary papers and tabloids, yet, as often as not) and the teevee.

Use it or lose it, honey.
or, well, at least existentialism. but then Simone de Beauvoir might be tougher sledding than fucking Jeffreys.
"I think that big fear comes from the feeling of being erased, made irrelevant, made vestigal (like an appendix)."

Oddly enough, this is my theory for why men fear feminism, especially the Nice Guy phenomenon. ie, males guarantee their social relevance by dominating women, thus avoid superfluousness and social peripherality, etc.
Ooo, missed this chestnut:

Gay people? Oh, you mean really, really happy people?

Besides the fact that your ANALogy is at best, bizarre, I oppose ALL marriage, happy or not. Marriage is a barbaric institution...which grants men legal ownership of women...One doesn’t dismantle the house by adding another room onto the house, silly.

Even marriage between two men or two women? 'Cause that was, uh, the point, silly. Oh, that's right, LGBT people who want to marry don't really exist, they're constructs of the patriarchy. Duh.
oh my aching christ. who wrote that one? well, there's some confirmation of the "anti BJ and anal sex=homophobia" theory, isn't it.

yeah, fuck you, asshole; I have friends who've been in love and living together for -eight years- and, because one is a foreign national and we don't recognize their relationship as a real marriage, have to either break up or somehow find a way to pull up their whole lives and make a go of it in Canada, assuming it'll even work out after all the red tape and heartache. How about we make it legal and -then- people have the option of rejecting it on account of Damn the Man.

and no, i don't know whether they have anal sex; i never asked. Freak.

word verification: twitpuc
I had a look.

Someone get sandanista out of there before it's too late, will you?

I love how -everything-, racism, gay rights, oh, and class issues, too, i guess--is a distraction from the ral goal by those wily patriarchy-fuckers.

one wonders exactly what would make them happy.

Transphobia is as rubbish as any other oppressive force. Makes no sense. I consider myself a radical feminist and I think transphobes are anything but egalitarians. I'm currently in an epic debate with people who are advocating the ingorance of any good man's feelings. It's a relief to come over here and feel less mad.

Yeah, poor Sandinista's trying to hold down the fort, but. Well, I'm sure the poor dear would be welcome at any of our places, with all that reasonableness, patience and sincerity.

As to what would make 'em happy, BD--come on their best cite for an example of The Transsexual Menace! In Bathrooms! Listening To You Pee and Possibly Killing You! Or Using The Last Square of Toilet Paper! Real Womyn's Toilet Paper! was a years-old unsolved case to do with women having their legs slashed in bathroom stalls, where someone hypothesized that it might not have been solved because the attacker might have been a male who might have been passing as female and therefore might have had access, hypothetically.
If we did manage to build an egalitarian society free of gender oppression, you know for sure they'd still be ragging on the same people--they'd just come up with new reasons. It's just like the War on Christmas. Christians haven't been an oppressed minority since Constantine, but some folk have to keep up the martyr shtick somehow, up to claiming that the public existence of anyone who disagrees is oppressive. Instead of, y'know, paying attention to the important parts. Like caring for the unfortunate. Or, uh, peace on Earth and goodwill unto men.
per freedom--sure enough, lucky, who is -quite- the um character, is now fapping something or other about the Statue of Liberty and Robespierre and whatever it is, not good enough for Twoo Feminism. because of course feminism as most of us understand it does not come out of Enlightenment principles; it...oh, what's the bloody use.

also citing "Frankenstein" as support for her thinking about transsexuals. well, that one comes straight out of Janice Raymond (of course she's an enthusiastic fan), i believe.

hey, lucky: I channelled the spirit of Wollstonecraft just the other day. She says to tell you they all think you're a toolbag, too.
It's a relief to come over here and feel less mad.

yeah...that will pass in time... ;)

welcome, euny. but don't look to us as some sort of oasis of sanity...seeeeeeeeeriously.
someone (it might have been Edith?) brought up the idea that the concept of transgender reinforces the concept of gender, and so, if one is anti-gender, it would stand to reason that one would also be anti-trans.

does the concept of transgender reinforce or destroy the concept of gender? or both? or neither?
I mean, you can't really cross a boundary that isn't really there.

and on paper that looks fine, I guess.

and if people were paper, that would be okay.

but for one thing, the loudest anti-trans folks are not saying "gender does not exist", but just the opposite. they're saying "boys are boys and girls are girls."

and for another thing, people just ain't paper.
I don't think transgender as a concept inherently destroys or reinforces gender as a concept. Not any more than transfolk are inherent feminist or antifeminist or nonfeminist. It's way more complicated than that.

For some people, a life-path subsumed theoretically under "transgender" is a way to move from one established gender role to another. They have no interest in changing the gender landscape past decoupling it from biology enough to allow them room to change their position in it. The group of old-school transsexuals who bristle at being included in "queer," "transgender," or "LGBTQ," for instance, though they're still far from the sinister Patriarchal Paratrooper strawtrannies Some Folk want them to be.

For others, it's way to try to occupy/create/pioneer a new gender role that doesn't fit in any of the number (roughly two, in America, though it's arguable) presented by the culture surrounding as acceptable. I think bois, for instance, go here, along with a lot of varieties of American and European genderqueers.

For still others, an identity or life-path we might call "transgender" is a matter of belonging to/manifesting/performing a gender role established in their society but not accepted in, well, ours. Kathoey, Two-Spirits, bantut, and mahu wahine, for instance, aren't giving the finger to the binary because their cultures' list of gender roles isn't binary in the first place, though colonizers have tried hard, and mostly succeeded, in making it so. Brazilian travestis are filling a gender role within their culture's binary, it's just that their binary isn't the same as the American or mainstream binary.

For yet others, transgender becomes a political statement advocating the decoupling of gender from sex; gender or sex from binary constraints; or the demolishing of gender as an identifier or characteristic more important than fingernail length, eye color, race, or dental health.

And then there's all the folks we toss under the "transgender" label because, well, it's convenient for labeling purposes.

Either way, some of us have class privilege, or race privilege, or religious privilege, or whatever. Some of us have some degree of male privilege. Some of us care to do something about privilege and oppression, and some of us just want to save our own skins, and some of us don't care. Just like the whole "LGBTQI" alphabet soup, the only thing really linking the lot of us together is similar shared oppression and similar confusion to anthropologists.

I think that's what TF's gang misses: we're individuals, of many kinds and types even when you group us, and we're messy and hard to pin down, like anyone else.

That and, well, anything resembling civility.

...this got long. Maybe I should make a post of it.
"does the concept of transgender reinforce or destroy the concept of gender? or both? or neither?"

"It's way more complicated than that."

exactly. and the complexity is based on the wide diversity of "the concept of transgender", if there is such a thing. because the concept of transgender engenders (sorry, i couldn't resist) so many types of lifestyles, bodies, politics, identities, and people, it is impossible to pigeonhole the entire concept in an "either/or" scenario.

even if only one subset of transgender is examined, such as transsexuality, the diversity within that subset is also quite broad. transsexuals transition - that is, change the gender through which they function in society - for so many different reasons, and in so many different ways.

many of us are just trying to find a way to live in the world that doesn't hurt. or that hurts less than the way we were.

"how exactly is this great grand trans conspiracy working out for trans folks?"

ah, teh evil trans agenda. you know, it's just like teh homosexual agenda. or teh feminist agenda. all of us transgressors have teh agenda. or something.

anyway, for those of us who seem to be able to integrate back into society - you know, that is to "trick" all the rest of yous into thinking we're just normal people - it works pretty well in that we can pee in a public restroom. that works well for me especially when i'm at the mall, or at work, cause, you know, after a few hours and a cup of coffee or two, well, i just can't hold it in anymore.

for those of us who are unable to integrate, well, we just get the crap kicked out of us when we try to pee in a public accomodation. or get ourselves arrested.

perhaps after we get teh "peeing agenda" straightened out, then we can start working on teh erasing agenda. assuming we can actually get a job and pay our rent, assuming we can find a place to rent before the slum lord figures out we're just tricking him into thinking we're human.

somebody stop me...
many of us are just trying to find a way to live in the world that doesn't hurt. or that hurts less than the way we were.

I wish more people understood that.
You know what I love? How often it's the same people who don't get that who are the first to start fapping about how SELFISH -you- are if'n you question their Pronouncements.

that's actually become a reliable early warning system red flag for me, not that one exactly needs a flag with the likes of lucky & co there, of course. but there have been less glaringly obvious instances.

The word of the day is "projection," kids.
I wish more people understood that.

I think they would prefer that we die.

We cannot confer what it feels like, to them, and as far as they are concerned, our very existence hurts them. Coincidentally, it also does some kind of intangible harm to what amount to our common enemies. On that point they can finally agree: Hurting is what we've got coming to us, and a beating-to-death is just, well, what we're asking for.

They're all missing what you allies have: empathy.
i think part of the conflict arises from the "more oppressed than thou" thing. using the "just trying not to hurt so much" expanation will sometimes elict the "but being a woman (born woman) hurts more" response. unfortunately, both being trans and being a woman (born woman) hurts, but for me, being trans hurt to the point that it dictated immediate action on my part. now that my immediate action is pretty much over with, i can start to address the "being a woman hurts" part. even if i'm not a woman in some people's eyes. but you know, it's a lot more effective if woman (born women) would work along side me, instead of accusing me of erasing, coopting, or infiltrating them. really, i'm not trying to do any of that. and if i could stop defending myself for a minute, and instead focus on the things that would make a difference, well, we might be able to make some headway.
opps, "elict" should read "elicit".
TF just weighed in, p.s.

I stopped reading this thread when it turned, for no apparent reason, into a referendum on Sheila Jeffreys’ views on transgenderism, which do not interest me. Since then, it has been suggested that my failure to have commented on this “trannies: good or bad?” issue implies my tacit agreement with one faction over another.

Incorrect. It merely implies my lack of interest in a clump of commenters telling each other to fuck off. Not that you should stop or anything. But I gotta be in the mood.

My views on gender, inclusive of the trans-, cis-, or whathaveyou- varieties, are as follows.

Gender will not survive the destruction of patriarchy.

OK, carry on.

I wonder if the transfolk are supposed to just hold it in till after the fall of the Patriarchy as well. True Pee Waits!
"Since then, it has been suggested that my failure to have commented on this 'homos: good or bad?' issue implies my tacit agreement with one faction over the other."

"Since then, it has been suggested that my failure to have commented on this 'colored people: good or bad?' issue implies my tacit agreement with one faction over the other."

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Thanks for playing.

Are we quite finished, here?
There's a new bit, BD--hope we're not spamming you, antiprincess, er--just added, to the effect of "Golly, wait, I hear there's hate speech up in here that people are mad about. Knock it off, kiddos, until things cool off." ...That is, until someone who's big enough to matter joins in holding her accountable. No 'you, you, and you are using hate speech! Knock it off, commenter!' or 'People who use hate speech here will be warned and/or banned' or anything like that. Just 'I'm going to shut down this discussion if you keep it up, you scamps.'

Just 'I don't care, okay? It doesn't matter, don't assume I have a position. ...but, uh, tone down the wording of the sentiments I agree with, okay? You might wake someone up with the noise.'
And then it'll be a wide-eyed, hands-spread 'Look, I moderated, I told them hate speech wasn't okay. What more do you people want? Why are you oppressing me? Why do you hate Amer--I mean, women so much?
little light - you are fine, I don't feel spammed at all.
Oh Christ, she's so fucking full of shit. Ain't I cute, winky winky. Every. Single. Time.

"my spies have informed me." Because you can't see it for yourself, is that it? What a fucking surprise.
"I forgot to Blog Against Racism! Now I'm going to hell."

--culled from somewhere in her archives.

nudge nudge, wink wink.
ok...I asked the same thing on Belldame's site, but I'm going to ask it here as well.

Does trangender business *have* to be all about politics of sexuality? What about the right and desire of the individual who is so miserable in his/her own body that reassignment seems the most logical solution? I mean, it seems like a huge investment of time and resources just for a "cause". Why can't it be for an individual?

No, I've never known anyone who went through the process, but I had a friend who was saving up for it. She wasn't thinking about any great global purpose, she just wanted to be happy in her body, and be recognized as the person she knew herself to be inside.

Transgendered people aren't going to reshape the way the entire world operates, they aren't going to eliminate standard heterosexual practices, or undermine the feminist agenda. There just aren't that many of them. So let them be who they want to be. Give them a body they can be comfortable in, and treat them the way you'd like to be treated. If everyone operated that way this world would run alot smoother.
(yes mother. thank you mother. go away now mother)
It's of a piece with this lot not really seeming to grok any sort of sensation or emotion that isn't directly connected to Theory. this sex act, that article of clothing: it's all symbolic, and it all symbolizes exactly the same thing to everybody. it can't possible symbolize different things to different people; and as for, well, something just. plain. feels. good. (or not): does not compute, or does not signify, or something.

there's a profound disconnect, there.
How incredibly sad, to have to apply Deep Meaning to every single thing. It must be exhausting for them.
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
oh, well, it shortens the process considerably if you take into account that anything that you REALLY can't stand to give up, like making fun of people or putting wet blankets on everything anyone else enjoys that you don't, or yer gross class snobbery, or (by not-so-benign neglect at -least-) yer racism, transphobia, and so forth, does not need to be Examined. only the things you or at least some very authoritative sounding person already don't/doesn't like need to be examined, particularly when other people are doing it and don't seem to understand that because you and/or Fearless Leader don't like it, it is Bad.

if you're still confused as to how it all works, you can always try again on NaDruBloDa; i have a feeling much more of what goes on there will make a lot more sense, particularly if one gets into the rubbing alcohol.
i love you little light. :)
Eek! I've been a fan of yours for some time now, Bitch.
...that sounds kind of funny, aloud.
Anyhow, pleased to be pleasing. I'm all blushy now.

It's funny, though, I finally call in some attention when I get really cranky, seems like. It's probably telling that my most popular post was the one that ended in the phrase "suck my delicate feminine cock."
The Internet is weird.
"suck my delicate feminine cock."

loves it! i was using "suck my tampon," but i like that better.
little light wins the internets!
It's especially fun to say out loud, well-enunciated, potentially with gestures. I was a phrase I blurted out a couple of years ago in a heated conversation and used a couple of times casually before putting it in this post: 05/shoutout-to-edward-said.html
I wonder if the transfolk are supposed to just hold it in till after the fall of the Patriarchy as well.

Well, they'll be holding it for a while in that case, since TF believes patriarchy cannot be toppled. (As she has stated in multiple occasions on her blog.)

Should we all buy stock in catheters?
One thing I noticed in that thread was a bizarre obsession with using lesbians to illustrate some point. Especially fat lesbians. And some really bizarre assumptions about lesbians came up as well, which seems common in some feminist circles. I don't think a penis is gross, dirty, or disgusting. It's just someone's genitals. I actually quite like dicks, I just romantically prefer women so I make do with strap ons, unless she already has a penis. And I do give girls blow jobs when they've strapped it on. So please, straight feminists, STOP assuming what lesbians do, feel, want, or are. And quit using fat lesbians to illustrate your openmindedness, we don't want to be your token.
well, as i told her, when she said the voices of "fat white lesbians are important, very important:"

"Oh good. Because I'm one. So I take it you'll listen to me carefully when I tell you what I'm about to tell you:" (basically that once again, she was being fucked-up about the TG thing, and unnecessarily, and knock it off).

strangely enough, she never replied.
"Your kind of nice.
Too bad you're attached to it."

--Edie, the lesbian performance artist in "Six Feet Under"
btw, you know, she, Heart, identifies as a "political lesbian." what this means in practical terms i do not know, nor much care to, really, i suppose. it is pretty clear that she buys the notion that rejecting men is what it's all about. and giving women nebulous "energy." possibly this includes giving head; like i say, .....
hello Thirza! it's nice to see you.
I know I'm coming to the game late...

but as a M2F transsexual...


*plants flag* (of course it's a flag with a secret penis outline)

My work here is done.
little light. i just read thirza's bio. do you mind if i crush on thirza too? :)
aw, marti, if only you'd consulted your secret map, you'd see that we're already a secret outpost.

but your flag is lovely, very decorative.

it's great to see you, Marti. I totally dig your blog.
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Ideas on How to fulfill Ladies at the Local mall

If you happen to be a single guy and aren't the very best at choosing quite a bit less meeting ladies and are questioning where by you would possibly go to locate and fulfill a young lady, then these ten reasonable suggestions on how to fulfill a young girl with the local mall, will need to appear in mighty handy.

1 - Go on the foods court. Believe it or not, the foods court would be the absolute most important position in the shopping mall to fulfill a lady. Here's what you do. Choose a food location and get in line for your meal. While you’re in line, seem to be all-around the region the place everyone is seated and eating. Glance to get a lady seated alone, and even two women seated together. When you may have your meal in hand, walk over to in which she or they are really sitting and request if you're able to join them. If you are sincere and straightforward with them, your probabilities are pretty excellent.

2- Do some considering. Ahead of you even consider proceeding to your shopping mall to satisfy a chick, sit yourself down and do some significant contemplating. Consider how you could possibly encounter a woman and what you could possibly say to her if that you're thriving. Think of which components of this shopping mall you'd probably stop by. Also, you're likely to have to purchase anything whilst there, what do you'll need? In conclusion, keep in mind what meeting a gal in the public position entails. Certainly you can have a need to start looking for any wedding ring earlier than speaking with a woman, and you can would need to contemplate if it is wiser to speak to some lady alone or a person who is with others. Finally, you'll have to get realistic about your personal age along with the ages for the chick you would like to satisfy. As in, you are likely to really have to tell all by yourself to get practical and don't look at to satisfy women which might be a lot younger or older than you will be, or that look out of the league.

3 - Request assistance. After you should be as a final point for the mall, an individual for this tactics to fulfill girls is by asking them for aid. Ladies know that guys have no approach what they're carrying out when they are buying, so asking for help won't seem this kind of a ridiculous concept. Ask for guidance in picking out a jacket for yourself for instance. Performing so let's the woman know which you are single. If she agrees to help you, question her other queries as you grab varied jackets to you could try on.

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Playing bingo needs more than luck or skills and techniques, contrary to what most believe. Bingo, just like any game of chance, comes with rules and regulations that players should observe. Being a player comes with responsibilities and etiquette.

Winning the Game

The moment you figured out you won, you must immediately yell BINGO, and it should be loud enough for the floor walker to hear. The pot money shall be given to the winner once their winning card is confirmed. Well, in winning or once you know you just won, the most important thing is that you shout the winning word BEFORE the time elapses. If the game proceeds and the next number is mentioned and you failed to shout "Bingo", your winning card is disqualified. Therefore, this is the rule you must know.

There may be cases when there are two winners, and in this case the pot money shall be divided equally among the winners. Supposing there are two winning cards, the two winners will share half the prize money.

Bingo Game Rules

Bingo rules are basically the same no matter in which Online Bingo hall you play. But still it's good if you know these rules by heart. If it is your first try, then ask for handouts and inquire from pros regarding the game rules. Nonetheless, the ideal thing to do if you have questions is to ask the floor walker and not the person seated beside you. You should clarify things and doubts before the game starts because asking too many questions as the game proceeds could well distract you. This guideline also applies to those who are newcomers at casinos, those who play roulette for the first time.

Bingo halls demand an age limit of 18 years old. If you are below this age, you are prohibited to play. Some bingo houses ban alcohol inside, so players aren't supposed to take liquor nor drink it inside the venue. Smoking may also be restricted inside the venue, as there are designated smoking sections.

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