January 19, 2013
As some of you may know, my posting access to my GenderTrender wordpress.com blog was suspended at the end of the business day on Friday January 18. My last post, on Friday morning, was a collection of screen caps: a random sampling of the abusive and threatening tweets directed at Suzanne Moore following her “SEEING RED: THE POWER OF FEMALE ANGER” article re-publication.
December 3, 2012
I am sure that by now many of you know the name Jovan Belcher. If you didn’t know his name (as I didn’t) before this weekend, you know it now. He is the Kansas City Chiefs player who shot and killed his girlfriend before taking his own life on Saturday. Headlines and news stories have focused on the tragedy from the lens of the perpetrator (including speculation of potential brain trauma, his involvement, as an undergraduate, in a Male Athletes Against Violence initiative, and his standing as an allstar athlete), in some ways dismissing or overshadowing the lens of the victim, who in headlines is simply referred to as "(his) girlfriend."
November 27, 2012
In the last year, my lovely Lesbian niece, “L,” began a new relationship. She lives on the opposite coast from me, and so I hadn’t met the new flame until recently, at my family reunion. I had, though, become Facebook friends with her. While glancing through New Love’s FB Friends, I was astonished–and shocked–to see the name and photo of one of the more notorious M2Ts, a young pornographer and Pretendbian, who fancies himself not just a woman, but a butch Lesbian. And who perhaps coined the sick term “ladystick” for the dick he has proudly kept, and believes he is entitled to force actual Lesbians who are real women to submit to sexual assault with.
I fired off a message to New Love, asking her whether this was an actual friend of hers, or maybe just (I hoped) an error, or a friend of friends of friends, or a client, or just what. She answered that yes, Mr. Butch, an infiltrator and perpetrator who violates any women’s space he possibly can, is indeed a friend. And that she, N.L., considers herself an “ally.” And, by the way, as a hairdresser, is responsible for the mess on Mr. Butch’s head, which makes him look as if he’s been sleeping so soundly that pigeons have taken up residence in his hair.
I told her in a few sentences that this little prick is one of my most despised enemies, and that although he knows nothing about me, or even my name, I have made it my business to know all that I can about HIM.
“Well, this should be an interesting conversation,” she replied.
I summed up my horror at this boy’s actions, hatred of women, disrespect, etc., and all she had to say was, “Well, he prefers to be called ‘she.’”
“And I prefer to be called ‘Your Royal Majesty,’ but that doesn’t make me the Queen of England,” one of my snappier retorts to that delusionary mindset.
And so we met. N.L.is a big woman, with many facial piercings and many tattoos, and probably at least 30 years younger than I. She wears rather femmy clothes, loves to cook, and is very good to my niece. And that is what I know about her.
As the weekend wore on, N.L. and I managed to avoid one another for the most part. I began to question whether it would do either one of us any good to actually HAVE that conversation. I was having a lovely time with my sisters and one dear brother and their children. We made music together, went fishing, talked and talked and talked, and I gradually let go the idea that anything I had to say might make a difference to N.L. from the left coast.
It’s been my experience that if someone is schooled enough in Transspeak to call herself an “ally,” chances are that nothing I do or say would change her mind. The Koolaid had clearly been drunk, her mind most certainly made up. I was just an old auntie of her girlfriend, and Mr. Butch imposter was actually a friend of hers, after all.
And so I let it go.
Later on, N.L. asked me if I would be interested in coming out west to perform at a gathering she organizes, which she said was “for women only.”
“And what does that mean to you, for women only?” I asked. I got the answer I expected; women, transwomen, anyone who “identifies” as a woman.
“So if the man who raped you walked in and told you he identifies as a woman, you’d let him in?”
(Much clearing of throat and hesitation)
“That’s a different issue.”
I said, “What makes it different? He IDENTIFIES as a woman. What more evidence do you need?”
“That’s just ridiculous.”
“OK. You think it over, and tell me what makes this boy a woman. His hair? His voice? His ‘ladystick’? Or is it merely his statement to you?”
The weekend wore on, and N.L. never answered the question. She never brought it up again. I never brought it up again. I wanted her to feel comfortable with us, her family. I wanted my niece to know that I was not her enemy. Most of all, I didn’t want to spend the weekend lecturing. I wanted to enjoy the people I love the most in the world, and I wanted to let it alone for a few days. But I was never unaware of this political stance. I never stopped thinking about it. And it is, still, the first thing i think of when I think of N.L.
My niece, however, has been open to things I send her about this issue. She doesn’t say much, but she does, at least, read. And I think she has a fundamental understanding of just what it means to say that transgenderism is the antithesis of feminism. The two are mutually exclusive. And this MEANS something.
And Mr. Pretenbian? He’s still writing blogs, standing up for felons who want out of male prisons by claiming they are now ‘women.’ Still making porn. Still raising money for more porn. And still lecturing radical feminists about how horrible we are. This from a man who was raised by two Lesbians.
When N.L. gives me an answer to my question, I’ll let you know. But take my advice. Don’t hold your breath.
August 28, 2012
Our cabin is at the end of a narrow, dead-end gravel drive, that most people can’t find even when with directions. We’re on a ridge that makes a long point on one fork or another of the Chippewa River, one of the few designated a “wild river” by the State. There are no public landings on the little lake it flows into, or upstream for many miles, either. Now and then a kayak or two, or a group of canoeists paddle by, but not often, and our place is almost invisible from the water.
My girlfriend and I have been here, just the two of us, for almost a month this trip, as we often are. In the twenty years I’ve owned this place, I have called the sheriff perhaps three times, with complaints about kids on ATVs, or someone lighting fireworks out on the lake.We swim naked in the river, in a sheltered spot that no one can see unless they’re trying to. I’ve spent many nights here all alone, too, and I’ve never really worried about staying safe.
Now that my dog Ruby, the German Shepherd, is gone:
–We carry two-way radios when we are alone, so we can reach one another if we need to.
–We have a code word we use to call to one another if one of us is swimming or alone; it’s a derivative of the “Men on the Land” warning used at the Michigan Womyn’s Music Festival.
—We keep a loaded shotgun in the cabin to scare off any intruders. It is very effective.
Today, T was out in the water, clearing away a deadfall that had come with the last high water; I spotted four men walking upstream toward her from their fishing boats.
In all likelihood, we were perfectly safe. They probably had no idea that we were there, or that either of us was vulnerable. They most likely meant no harm.
Alix Dobkin’s song, “Some Boys,” came into my mind. And the lyrics told me a different story.
Maybe there’s no harm done
But more than two
Like as not they’re out to get you…
So I called to her with our code word, and she stopped what she was doing and came up the hill to the cabin.
Do men take these steps to protect themselves? Do they ever have to stop and consider the possible threat to their safety–to their very lives–that other men, unknown men, represent?
I don’t think so. And this freedom from fear that they enjoy, without thought, or care, or worry–this is what male privilege smells like.
June 21, 2012
A theme has come up recently from some radical feminists that gos something like this: “We respect transwomen as women, but not as females. We don’t use the term ‘woman-only space’ out of respect for transwomen. But they are not females.”
I use the term “M2T” or “F2T” because transpeople never really achieve their stated goal of changing their sex; even they themselves continue to refer to themselves as ‘trans’ people, acknowledging themselves that they are not the same as biological women. One might use the term “Male-to-constructed-female,” as did Mary Daly, but this is somewhat cumbersome. I prefer the M2T designation which leaves no doubt as to who is what.
I do not concede the word “woman.” It has a meaning for me that goes beyond biology; I am more than a female. As a lesbian, and a radical feminist, I am first and foremost a woman. I do not recognize transsexuals as anything but that–transsexuals. And regardless of what we call ourselves, sooner or later, the transactivists will stake a claim to that term as well. To tell them that they are, indeed “women,” but not female merely confuses the issue, and also caves in just that much more to the agenda of the trans* movement–the erasure of women.
I do not recognize trans* as women. I will not give up still another word to their post-modernist b.s., in which nothing has meaning, everything is everyone, no one is anyone, and we are all just exactly what we say we are. I prefer to live in the real world, the world in which men are at war with women, and in which trans* are the allies of men in that struggle. They are the new handmaidens of the misogynist right. I am a woman. They are at war with me, and I will fight back, conceding nothing.