The Power of Memes and Framing

When my partner and I created WBT as a meme in 2001 we discussed how women born women was being used to beat us up on the boards at the Michigan Women’s Music Festival and WBT was a snappy comeback aimed at making people think.

It was also a way of incorporating a phrase going around the Usenet and mailing lists “woman of a transsexual history”.  WBT had the power of being a short acronym that was strictly for post-SRS women and unlike “transwoman” put woman first.

What had caused us to think of this was my hearing a MBT describe himself as T to Male.  Which makes sense if we look at what is coming out about transsexualism being a result of how our bodies process hormones.

The transgenders hated it.  Cursed us out as divisive.  Called us elitists.  They still do.

Our crime was not wanting to continue to let the men in dresses use us to legitimize their claim to being just like us only with penises and in the case of het transvestites straight male privilege.

HBS has stranger route to incorporation into our lexicon of memes.  It was first refered to as ” Benjamin Syndrome” by a transgender “from Spain” who feigned innocence when we pointed out that in English BS had a distinct and universally understood meaning.  “She” clained innocence and that in “her” language it was “Sindrome Benjamin”.

Anyhow others changed it to HBS and ran with it.

I am apathetic regarding its usage, although I will grant that Dr. Benjamin was pretty much on a gut level convinced it was something we were born with and if you were naturely physically very feminine even before hormones he saw that as evidence of an intersex condition.  That turned out in some ways a more accurate determinant than the crude XY bucal smear as diagnosis for ny intersex condition.

Someone recently said it seemed almost as though all the most active of the transgender spokespeople were disabled.  Disability, especially with a history of having served in the military is one of the last sources of “free money” that permits one to be a full time activist.

The others being paid spokespeople etc.

I do this on my days off and before or after work and am therefore limited in the scope of what I can do by myself.

I have only this to say about the bannings from various forums for dissenting from the transgender party line.  Sock puppets and WiFi posting sites.  They do it to us so let’s  get subversive on them in return.

7 Responses to “The Power of Memes and Framing”

  1. Zagria Says:

    You said:
    “Someone recently said it seemed almost as though all the most active of the transgender spokespeople were disabled. Disability, especially with a history of having served in the military is one of the last sources of “free money” that permits one to be a full time activist.”

    Actually it was Andrea James who pointed out that some of the prominent pro-autogynephilia advocates were living on disability or similar. Such autogynephilia persons are just as unpopular as HBS persons among the transgendered.

    And you are on very thin ice. The stereotyped living-on-disability, still pre-op post 50, several past wives and children, posting a lot on the net, have become HBS advocates.

    Perhaps it it the new fashion for such types, but they are now in your camp.

    Part of the reason for the unpopularity of HBS is that those of us who have transitioned, who pass etc, wonder why aging pre-ops who look so much like Blanchard’s autogynephile are claiming that they are ‘real transsexuals’ and that we are ‘blokes in dresses’. The fact that they think that dresses are central to being a woman says a lot.

  2. Suzan Says:

    Andrea James has pointed it out but isn’t unique in making that observation.

    There are a bunch of us who have been barred from posting in places by certain people.

    One of the serious nut jobs came here the first day and was banned by the second. I’ve been around and ran Women Born Transsexual as a mailing list for 8 years before shifting to the blog format.

    This particular person is mental case with a buddy who is also a mental case they both lasted a very short time on the mailing list.

    Some of the apathy towards HBS is general apathy toward the constant invention of new euphemisms and part is probably due to not seeing syndrome as a vast improvement over disorder.

  3. Karen A Says:

    BTW a mailing list is very different than a Blog. There I things I would not talk about on the open net that I would on a post-op only malling list.

    [quote]
    Part of the reason for the unpopularity of HBS is that those of us who have transitioned, who pass etc, wonder why aging pre-ops who look so much like Blanchard’s autogynephile are claiming that they are ‘real transsexuals’ and that we are ‘blokes in dresses’. The fact that they think that dresses are central to being a woman says a lot.
    [/quote]

    Well “man in a dress” is the standard TS put down used by T*s and radical feminists alike to attack and discredit T*s they disagree with, so I would not read too much into it. Everyone know that gets under a lot of ours skins because so many are insecure in that way.

    That, said I have no idea what you are talking about. In T-land the better one passes and the better looking as well, the higher status they are accorded, regardless of if they deserve it or not… kind of like society in general.

    Years ago I was very active in many of the major T fora but in recent years i primarily read and post only in one place … but i doubt things have changed THAT much.

    In any case looks don’t define a person or are any indication of being AGP. Biology is largely destiny when it comes to body size, responsiveness to HRT etc.

    Ideally what should matter is not how someone looks but who they are. Thats aid not look good tends produce problematic social interactions which doe affect attitude and make one insecure and defensive, And sometimes the best defense is seen as a good offense…

    – Karen

  4. Trans Rights / Human Rights « Women In Love Says:

    […] branding. Occasionally in the realm of activism memes are consciously created – eg. – women born transsexual. (note: the identification and study of memes is relatively new: Richard Dawkins in The Selfish […]

  5. Women In Love » Trans Rights / Human Rights Says:

    […] branding. Occasionally in the realm of activism memes are consciously created – eg. – women born transsexual. (note: the identification and study of memes is relatively new: Richard Dawkins in The Selfish […]

  6. Barney Frank & The Innocuous Memes – Hey, Is That A Good Name For A Band? « Women In Love Says:

    […] Ok, let’s finish with a trans reference so it seems to be cohesive (it isn’t really though is it?) WBT – The Power Of Memes And Framing. […]

  7. Barney Frank & The Innocuous Memes – Hey, Is That A Good Name For A Band? | Women In Love Says:

    […] Ok, let’s finish with a trans reference so it seems to be cohesive (it isn’t really though is it?) from over at Susan’s blogb (not Blackmore… but a whole ‘nother Susan): Women Born Transsexual – The Power Of Memes And Framing. […]


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