I’m Post-Transsexual… I Don’t do Identity Politics

One of the really nicest things about being long time post-transsexual is not having to give a shit about the new WPATH Standards of Care.  I glanced at it, looked at a couple of pages and decided it was the same old, same old tired Transgender Borg Speak we have been hearing for over a decade.

My reaction was, “My how time flies when you are at war with a bunch of colonialist pigs.”

My second reaction was that I had better things to wade through than this pile of manure.

Maybe, I’d have a different take on it if I were working my way through the process of getting surgery, or had recently had surgery, but dear sweet Mother Gaia it’s been nearly forty freaking years.  Enough is enough..  Forty years means I don’t have to give a rat’s ass about WPATH and their Transgender-centric obsessive little trannie word games.

I’m post-transsexual.  That means I can opt out of the identity politics of the Transgender Borg.

Call me an elitist if you wish, bless your little heart.  But I’ve got other things I’m interested in instead of TG Borg word games and power trips.

Marriage equality, protecting Social Security/Medicare are way high on my list as are the anti-corprate fascism struggles and the environmental movements.

I’m more interested in what is happening with GMOs, and manufactured ersatz food, than I am with whether or not some strange transvestite is pathologized, or not, in some obscure document, that is mainly of interest to the people of the Transgender Borg Collective.

I mean, “What the fuck?”

What is “Cultural Feminism” and why are Transsexuals its Enemies?

I have to admit, I never understood why certain branches of feminism seemed pre-occupied with the vilification of transsexuals.

Particularly since transsexualism, as a cause, focused on people with transsexualism gaining access to medical care that centered on our needs, non-discrimination based on sex, and equality between the sexes as well as the agency to pursue our own dreams and our own happiness, which all seemed consistent with feminism.

I never expected assigned female at birth women to focus on the fine points of women born transsexual’s medical access issues as that wasn’t particularly an area of common ground, even though it might fall under the rubric of control over the reproductive aspects of one’s own body.

I have to admit that I saw some of the ideas of a common shared sisterhood of all women and the idea that women as a class, particularly white middle and upper class women were more oppressed by sexism than anything else, as being a bit absurd.

I came from the left.  I grew up poor.  Without doubt sexism and misogyny are factors of oppression.  So too are such matters of class, race, ableism, religion or lack of religion and even things like height and appearance.

This is not to ridicule the idea that women as a class are oppressed by sexism and misogyny, but rather to point out that not all are equally oppressed and that some/many carry the burden of additional factors of oppression.

I saw feminism on a personal level as striving for equality between the sexes.  Not just equal pay for equal work, but equal agency,  control over our bodies including the right to say yes to sex as well as no, and have both consent to sex and refusal to have sex taken seriously.

To me, feminism was about having the agency to say no to the corporate peddling of femininity, with all its high priced corrections for flaws, I would never have seen myself as having, were it not for them engaging in major advertising campaigns to convince me I had those flaws, and needed to correct them.

I saw access to birth control and abortion (for any reason and at any time prior to giving birth.) as being something that should be a woman’s right.  I saw my right to treat my transsexualism with Sex Reassignment Surgery as the same sort of issue, particularly since SRS includes sterilization as part of the process of changing one’s assigned sex.

In short I am in the political feminist camp.  I think many in this camp came originally from the left or at least the liberal Democratic Party wing. We tend to be the annoyingly inclusive sort who raises other issues and causes, co-mingling them together.  You will find this sort of feminist at the anti-corporate demonstrations currently happening on Wall Street.

Being anti-misogyny and anti-sexism isn’t the same as being a female supremacist.  Being anti-sexism permits one to see how sex roles/gender roles are used to control men as well as women, particularly when used as an element of oppression that also analyzes other elements of oppression such as race and class.

Cultural Feminism is different from political feminism F

Definition: Cultural feminism is a variety of feminism which emphasizes essential* differences between men and women, based on biological differences in reproductive capacity. Cultural feminism attributes to those differences distinctive and superior virtues in women. What women share, in this perspective, provides a basis for “sisterhood,” or unity, solidarity and shared identity.

* The phrase “essential differences” refers to the belief that gender differences are part of the essence of females or males, that the differences are not chosen but are part of the nature of woman or man.

(From About.com:  http://womenshistory.about.com/od/feminism/g/culturalfem.htm)

Other Kinds of Feminism

From Wikigender:  Feminist Perspectives

Liberal Feminism

Liberal Feminism has a perspective that is diametrically opposite to that of cultural feminism. They believe that the differences in male and female social behavior are not so much because of biology but because of how their environment conditions them to be. They believe that gender identity and behavior are cultural constructs, products of the discrepancies in the legal and social opportunities available to men and women, and of the differences in how gender norms for behavior, choices, expectations, etc are set by society for girls and boys, and men and women. The focus of liberal feminists therefore is on creating a completely level playing field for the genders in terms of legal and social systems, and gender norms and gender socializations for that is what they believe is the key to the gender equality.

Socialist (Marxist) Feminism

This theory recognizes that in addition to gender discrimination, there are many other social venues for discrimination, such as race, class, education, sexual orientation and economics. And they believe that each category of discrimination compounds a woman’s experience of gender discrimination. So for example a poor, uneducated black American woman would be three times more disadvantaged than a wealthy, educated white American woman. So the Socialist Feminist perspective is that for there to be total gender equity all forms of discrimination in society will have to be simultaneously addressed.

 Radical Feminism

It believes that a dominating patriarchy is the primary form of female oppression in society, regardless of class, color and economics. The control that men have had over women is largely through brute, physical force. The focus of Radical Feminists is largely on the violence that women suffer, and their social subjugation through violent behavior inflicted by men. And they believe that this is what keeps women oppressed whether they are rich or poor, black or white, educated or illiterate. The focus of Radical feminism is therefore on fighting gender related violence.

Womanism (Woman of Color Feminism)

This is the feminist movement of the women of color. It started in the U.S. and includes black, Hispanic and Asian-American women. Womanists believe that is it not men who are their primary oppressors but a white, racist society. And that men of color suffer from this racial and related class discrimination, just as much as they do as women. They do recognize the oppression of colored women by colored men, but they believe that this is a result of the indignity the colored man suffers. So the focus of the Womanist movement has been on joining hands with their colored brothers to fight for racial equality.

Anarcha-Feminism (Anarchist Feminism)

This theory believes that the domination of the patriarchy is the inadvertent result of a larger societal thinking that fosters a hierarchical set-up of society. So the focus of Anarcha-feminists is the fight against the state and the dismantling of a hierarchical governance, for that they believe is the only road to equality of genders and all other social stratas.

Cultural Feminism/Radical Feminism:  Reasons for incompatibility with transsexuals

Cultural and radical feminism is an ideology is based on women assigned female at birth being equally oppressed as a class. A proposition that classifies the Women’s Studies Ph.D. from one of the Ivy League/Seven sisters Universities and unwed, high school dropout, welfare mothers as equally oppressed by the patriarchy.

One does not had to be a serious Marxist to look at that basic concept and think it to be somewhat sketchy.

As I suggested last week certain elements of “cultural feminism” sprang from Jane Alpert’s “Mother Right

Alpert and Robin Morgan began proselytizing a theory that not only were women oppressed by the patriarchy but that women were innately and essentially different from men.

This in many ways represented a direct attack upon theories put forth by not only feminists such as Simone de Beauvoir but those of scientist studying the development of both Sex and Gender.  Many years before Anna Fausto-Sterling, Dr. Benjamin postulated that there were several different criteria for the determining of sex.  John Money and Anke A. Ehrhardt in Man and Woman, Boy and Girl – Differentiation and Dimorphism of Gender Identity from Conception to Maturity discussed variations in sexual development as well as the role of socialization and culture.

Cultural feminism move away from the other, more politically oriented forms of feminism.  Particularly after the publication of numerous books postulating , with very little archeological evidence and a great deal of wishful thinking an ancient matriarchal past located some place in the period of hunter gatherers and early agriculture.

I personally thought the alternative explanation offered by Friedrich Engels in The Origin of the Family, Private Property and the State  seemed far more realistic and supported by evidence.

But then Cultural feminism gradually became more and more like a fundamentalist religion.  Cultural Feminists are true believers and are extremely adverse to anything that questions or challenges their beliefs.

They seem to believe in just as rigid a set of sex differences as  the patriarchal pigs of the male dominated religions.  They are just as down with idea of “men are from Mars/women are from Venus” as any religious fanatic, who uses their religion to define women as inferior.  In many ways the only difference is female supremacist thinking although that gets strange too because ultimate victimhood and the essential feminine channel claiming the female supremacy into such areas as “moral authority”.

Post-transsexual women mess with their theories of essentialism, which doesn’t wish to acknowledge the vast overlapping of traits held by both male and female or how the dividing line is pretty sketchy at times

After all how can transsexualism be innate if one is not assigned female at birth due to having ovaries and two X chromosomes.  Or if it is innate where is that element that creates the essentialness of femaleness located?  Transsexualism tends to suggest more of a social construct to gender, however more like that postulated by de Beauvoir than by Judith Butler.

Mostly though cultural feminism’s view of transsexualism is so incoherent and contradictory as to reveal an inchoate rage directed at the entire concept along with an extremely deep and humor challenged hatred of males.

One should recall that some extremists in the Cultural Feminist/Radical Feminist/Lesbian Separatist factions of feminism went so far as to suggest women who had male infants should surrender custody and responsibility for those male children to their father.

Unfortunately Cultural feminism has been taken way too seriously and used to discredit political feminism.  It has found a career home in some gender studies/women’s studies programs as well as having certain elements picked up by the radical right.

People use the work of scholars such as Carol Gilligan to push for sex segregated schooling and the work of others like Andrea Dworkin and Catherine MacKinnon  to push anti-sex as well as anti-pornography campaigns that tend to promote anti-choice, anti-sex education and abstinence programs with a religious agenda.

To be continued…

Occupy Wall Street: ‘Pepper-spray’ officer named in Bush protest claim

From The Guardian UK: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/sep/27/occupy-wall-street-anthony-bologna

Anthony Bologna, NYPD officer named in pepper-spray incident, is accused of civil rights violations at the time of the 2004 Republican national convention protests


guardian.co.uk, Monday 26 September 2011

A senior New York police officer accused of pepper-spraying young women on the “Occupy Wall Street” demonstrations is the subject of a pending legal action over his conduct at another protest in the city.

The Guardian has learned that the officer, named by activists as deputy inspector Anthony Bologna, stands accused of false arrest and civil rights violations in a claim brought by a protester involved in the 2004 demonstrations at the Republican national convention.

Then, 1,800 people were arrested during protests against the Iraq war and the policies of president George W Bush.

Alan Levine, a civil rights lawyer representing Post A Posr, a protester at the 2004 event, told the Guardian that he filed an action against Bologna and another officer, Tulio Camejo, in 2007. The case, filed at the New York Southern District Court, is expected to be heard next year.

Levine said that when he heard about the pepper spray incident “a bunch of us were wondering if any of the same guys were involved”.

The lawyer said Posr was arrested on 31 August 2004, after he approached the driver of a Volkswagen festooned with anti-abortion slogans.

Continue reading at:  http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/sep/27/occupy-wall-street-anthony-bologna

#OccupyWallStreet bleeds and leads

From Waging Non-Violence: http://wagingnonviolence.org/2011/09/occupywallstreet-bleeds-and-leads/

by
September 25, 2011

A bit after 10 p.m. on Saturday night in occupied Liberty Plaza, there was a celebration around the media tables. Photocopied facsimiles of Sunday’s New York Daily News were being passed around and photographed. After having held the plaza with hundreds of protesters at any given time for a week, and having kept the blocks surrounding the Stock Exchange barricaded by police all the while, the protest was finally getting serious news coverage.

“The Daily News!” I heard someone say on the plaza. “It’s because this is a sustained occupation.”

Exclaimed one of those doing media relations, “We’ve already won!”

Just a few hours earlier, it seemed certain that a full-on police dispersal would come that night. Contingency plans were being discussed by the protesters’ General Assembly. But now the Daily News cover and the presence of TV vans seemed like guardian angels, ensuring that they’d make it until morning.

So what occasioned the media’s sudden interest? To what do these protesters, who purport to represent “the 99 percent” of Americans disenfranchised by a corrupt corporate and political elite, owe these headlines?

Police violence, of course.

Continue reading at:  http://wagingnonviolence.org/2011/09/occupywallstreet-bleeds-and-leads/

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Bolivian Minister Resigns as Protests Spread Over Crackdown

From Common Dreams: http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2011/09/26-5

Published on Monday, September 26, 2011 by Agence France Presse

LA PAZ — Protests over a planned highway through a Bolivian rainforest preserve spread Monday as the defense minister resigned in repudiation of a police crackdown on a protest march against the project.

Angry residents erected barricades and set them on fire on the runways of an airport in the northeastern Amazon region to free about 300 marchers who had been detained by police on Sunday and were to be flown home.

“Residents blocked the airport and prevented the detainees from being transferred,” the mayor of Rurrenabaque, Yerko Nunez, told the privately owned Panamerican radio, adding the police fled.

Riot police on Sunday fired tear gas to disperse a long march on La Paz by Indians from the Amazon to voice their opposition to government plans for a highway through the rainforest preserve.

Police rounded up hundreds of marchers and forced them onto buses in an operation that left several people injured.

Continue reading at:  http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2011/09/26-5

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Tar sands action: Why I will be risking arrest today

From Rabble: http://rabble.ca/blogs/bloggers/grahamsaul/2011/09/why-i-will-be-risking-arrest-tomorrow

By Hannah McKinnon
September 26, 2011

Today I am going to participate in an event that will likely result in my arrest. I will be joining hundreds of other Canadians in non-violent civil disobedience to protest the Harper government’s inaction on climate change and demand that they stop the expansion of the Alberta tar sands.

The reactions of family and friends have been interesting as I explain my motivations. Most people struggle to understand how breaking the law could possibly be a good thing. The reality is, I would prefer to avoid getting arrested and instead feel confident that my government was taking seriously one of the greatest challenges humanity has ever faced. Unfortunately they are not, so I will be risking arrest on Monday.

Here is why;  

The climate crisis is real and urgent but it is not too late

By now we know well that the devastating impact of climate change threatens the food we grow, the homes we live in and the water we drink. Climate change threatens peace and security and exacerbates ongoing conflicts throughout the world. If Canada continues to refuse to act, these devastating impacts will become catastrophic. Dangerous climate change is a preventable threat to the livelihoods of indigenous peoples, millions of species of plants and animals, vulnerable populations, and our children and grandchildren that will bear the ultimate consequences of our government’s indifference. The good news is that if governments like ours take serious action now, we can prevent the worst.

Solidarity and justice

Climate change is at its core an injustice. Those who suffer the most have done so little to contribute to this crisis, and they are the least prepared to deal with the impacts. Women and children in impoverished countries are especially vulnerable. As I risk arrest, others risk their lives for their most basic needs.

Continue reading at:  http://rabble.ca/blogs/bloggers/grahamsaul/2011/09/why-i-will-be-risking-arrest-tomorrow

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It’s Class Warfare, All Right

From Other Words:  http://www.otherwords.org/articles/its_class_warfare_all_right

The rich guys are winning–in a rout.

  By Donald Kaul
September 26, 2011

Republicans are accusing President Obama of waging class warfare, which is a little like the Japanese complaining about the time Pearl Harbor attacked them in 1941.

Still, that’s the Republican Party’s role in life. It’s the defender of the rich and powerful and a friend to those who can afford them. It’s a dirty job but someone’s got to do it, and George Will can’t be everywhere at once.

The Republican outburst on “class warfare” was prompted by Obama’s new, improved economic plan in which he proposed cutting government spending, trimming entitlement programs, and…if you’re a conservative with a weak heart you might want to stop reading right now…collecting more taxes from rich people.

The president went so far as to suggest a minimum tax on the incomes of those who make a million dollars a year or more.

“It is wrong that in the United States of America a teacher or a nurse or a construction worker who earns $50,000 should pay higher tax rates than somebody pulling in $50 million,” he said.

“It’s hard to argue against that.”

Continue reading at:  http://www.otherwords.org/articles/its_class_warfare_all_right

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