Radical Feminist Attacks on Transsexual/Transgender People: Cui Bono (Who Benefits?)

Right now we have the Christo-Fascists and the Ultra Right Wing waging an outrageous “War on Women” attacking their access to both abortion and contraception.  Indeed even attacking women’s right to vote.

We have this same band of Neo-Nazi/KKK types attacking the rights of LGBT/T people.

Lets leave aside all the racism and anti working people stuff.

Why has this dormant band of radical feminist thugs arisen like long undead vampires, coming out of their coffins to attack transsexual and transgender people?

Even when we are all uncomfortably lumped together in an ill defined group we are at best this tiny minority that is so fucking powerless that seeing a post-transsexual sister win legal arguments and get allowed in a beauty pageant feels like a victory to us.

How the fuck did we manage to become the world’s biggest problem/threat to feminism and women  when nearly half of us are unemployed or under employed?

Lumped together or even taking just post-op women and men, the groups arguably most accepted by the straights we still fall into the category Thurgood Marshall described as the “despised and dispossessed.”  Even if they put us together in a sort of ill defined class and view us as a whole, we are still pretty damned powerless.

So why are we suddenly the targets of this group of self proclaimed radical feminists?

Cui bono?  Who Benefits?

Isn’t it amazing how the last time these so called radical feminists went on a rampage attacking both transsexuals and sex positive women was during the late 1970s, when the right wing was waging another war on women?

For those of you too young to remember Phyllis Schlafly raised the specter of unisex bathrooms  “having men in the women’s rest room” as one reason to kill the Equal Rights Amendment.  The right wing used this sort of crap to rally women behind Reagan.

As a result Jimmy Carter, one of the most honest and decent men to ever serve as President, was defeated by that scumbag Reagan, whose policies have brought us to the point where we are in economic chaos.  Republican policies that totally ignored the looming disasters of Climate Change, Peak Oil and the end to growth.

What is happening now?

Who in their right mind would vote for any Republican unless they are part of the one percent?

Bigots will, racists will.

But the tide has shifted on marriage equality.  Hell, Obama became the first President or Presidential candidate to openly proclaim his support for marriage equality.

Many of these LGBT/T issues seem to just be a matter of time.  DADT is gone. Marriage Equality and an inclusive ENDA seem in line to follow.  None of this means an  end to struggle or an end to being a despised minority group but we are gaining the tools to fight discrimination.

One of the things that is forgotten about transsexuals in the Second Wave Feminist Movement is we were there.  Otherwise we wouldn’t have been targeted for attacks.

Just as there were sex positive Second Wave Feminists.

Cui bono?

Why now?

In spite of the endless game of “World of Transwarcraft” transsexuals and transgenders are actually getting along half way decently in both the LGBT movements and the feminist movements.  Hell, people are even learning that some of us prefer the transsexual label or variation on that theme and some prefer the transgender label.  That’s in the real world where people tend to show more respect for each other than they do while playing “World of Transwarcraft.”

Cui bono?

Who benefits from feminists being distracted from the Republican War on Women and the importance to all women to avoid having Republicans who will take away their reproductive rights take over the government.

Who benefits if women get sidetracked in to fighting over the imaginary threat of this small despised minority group having rights?

Stop me if you see a pattern.

Cui bono?

When Black people get suckered into voting for racists who use the N-word when they describe Obama, because it is more important to prevent gays and lesbians form marrying, than it is to prevent racists from taking over the government…

When working people and the poor are convinced by the one percent that the migrant worker who makes less than minimum wage is a bigger threat than the one percent who have raped the working people of this country and reduced them to virtual slavery…

Cui bono.

Who is behind this?

This is a fair question, not one that should cause the knee jerk accusation of paranoia.

Turns out there are all these ersatz grass roots groups out there taking funding from the ultra rich right wing.  They are organizing to disrupt progressive organizations as well as sucker people into voting against their best interests.

So I think it is a fair question to ask.

Who and what is behind this resurrection of  this so called radical feminism, whose main tenet seems to be anti-transsexual/anti-transgender bigotry?

Why are they using material and rhetoric that sounds as though it came from the American Family association, Focus on the Family and Concerned Women of America?  All of those groups are ultra right wing extremist organizations.  at least two of them are listed on the Southern Poverty Law Center’s Hate Watch Lists.

Cui bono?

These so called radical feminists need to be investigated to see just who it is that is financing their efforts and who is behind them.

Public Relations: My Experience as a Sex Worker in Love

Sex work isn’t something proper TS/TG folks like to talk about even though many of us have had to do sex work at one point in our lives or another.

Many of those TS/TG people who appear on that yearly butcher’s bill we call The Day of Remembrance were sex workers.

Sex Workers aren’t always  individuals who are being “sex trafficked”

Sex Workers are just another group of human beings whose work exploits them in exchange for money. No different from many if not most jobs in this fucked up capitalist system.

If anything the hatred of sex workers comes from the realization that they have put a dollar value on a service women are expected to give away for nothing.

But sex work is just another slave gig, better paying than many and taking less time out of people’s lives than most other slave gigs.

Sex Workers are ordinary people with lives beyond their jobs.

From Huffington Post:  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/kitty-stryker/public-relations-my-exper_b_1520144.html?ref=gay-voices

Sex worker, activist with SWOP, blogger and general rabble-rouser

“So what do you do?” is a question I used to get asked a lot at the pub in London. Generally, I sized the person up and decided how far up the exposure scale I wanted to go. (If you’re curious, my answers, from least to most intimate, are blogger, sex blogger, sex therapist, dominatrix/escort, and kinky queer interactive sex therapist.) Usually I’d go all the way and say that I did hands-on sex therapy with an emphasis on kink and exploring sexual arousal, while offering a GFE; and they’d look at me blankly, so I’d laugh and say, “I’m a queer dominatrix-slash-hooker with a psychology degree.”

Then I’d get the “o” of surprise, often closely followed by them sobbing into their pint and telling me that their girlfriend never orgasms anymore. They’re a tightly wound bunch, the Brits. Thankfully, I rarely got the “oh, that’s terrible you have to do that!” or the rescuer-type scenario.

In San Francisco it’s a little bit different. I know a lot of people who are sex workers, so it’s not terribly rare for my being a prostitute to warrant simply a nod. But a lack of variety in the sex workers seen in the media can also lead to me being treated suddenly like a rare species: “Oh!” some well-meaning partygoer might say, waving a friend over. “This girl is…” — and her voice drops to a stage whisper — “a prostitute!” I sometimes feel like the novelty friend, the one invited so that the others have something to talk about. I’m generally asked to comment on trafficking (by which they almost always mean sex trafficking, to the detriment of any other kind). Maybe I get another few questions, like, “What’s the weirdest thing you’ve ever done?”

It’s not long till I drop the ultimate bombshell: that I have a fiancé, Mike.

That’s when things really pick up, almost always starting with the incredulous question, “And he lets you do this kind of work?” After patiently explaining that, given that I am a woman in 2012, no one “lets” me do anything, I find myself often answering the same questions, over and over again, about my queerness, about my work, about his feelings on it. At first it really surprised me; was the idea of being a prostitute with a life partner really such a novelty?

Continue reading at:  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/kitty-stryker/public-relations-my-exper_b_1520144.html?ref=gay-voices

Time To End the Winner/Loser Binary

Some years back Nike, was one of the Olympics’ sponsors.  They ran an ad campaign that had as it catch phrase “You don’t win a Silver, You lose a Gold!”

Can you imagine any line of thinking much more ridiculous?

It’s an honor to be good enough in your sport to make it to the Olympic trials.

It is an honor to be good enough to compete.

Yet Nike says coming in second best in the world at that competition make someone a loser.

Even without the sweat shop labor and their pouring their money into image creation instead of quality shoe production ad campaigns like that should be enough to cause socially conscious consumers to opt for a different shoe brand like Asics or New Balance who opt out of the celebrity jock endorsements bullshit.

No wonder we celebrate the one percent even as they reduce us to virtual slavery.  We buy into the bullshit that they are winners and everyone else is an undeserving loser.

Last night Jenna Talackova finished among  the top 12 in a beauty pageant she had to fight to be allowed to compete in.  One of the headlines read “Transgender Miss Universe Canada contestant loses”.

Well she isn’t transgender and if anything she is post-transsexual but the press has always gone for the cheap shot. Besides the organizations that love the word transgender, because it is too hard for them to say transsexual and transgender, were the ones who secured her right to compete.

Jenna Talackova wasn’t a loser.  She was among the finalist.  More important, as trivial as beauty pageants are, she established the principle that at least post-transsexual women have the right to compete.

Now most transsexual or transgender women are no more likely to compete in such contests than they are to compete in the Olympics, another right post-transsexual folks have, but these are the sort of odd bars that the bigots set up.

The one that used to go “Well you aren’t a real woman, you can’t compete in the Olympics sort of imaginary barrier.

Some times being a winner is just surviving with your soul intact.  Being a winner is getting up again when the bigots have knocked you down.

Being a winner is staying true to yourself and your ideals no matter the barriers.

Maybe it is time to  get rid of this winner/loser dialectic and realize we are all part of the same tragic global circumstances that were created by the hierarchical structure that creates a handful of winners and reduces the 99% to loser status.

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Transsexual contestant Jenna Talackova cracks top 12 at Miss Universe Canada pageant

Actually post-transsexual but why quibble.

While it is nice to win, she already won by winning the right to compete.

From The Toronto Star:  http://www.thestar.com/news/article/1181401–transgendered-contestant-jenna-talackova-cracks-top-12-at-miss-universe-canada-pageant

Emily Jackson
May 20, 2012

Jenna Talackova stole the show at the Miss Universe Canada competition.

The transgendered contestant strutted her way into beauty pageant history Saturday — and the top 12 — wearing sparkling high heels and a white bikini in front of a fawning 850-person audience. She did not advance to the top five after the evening gown segment.

That Talackova, 23, got to compete at all represents a major policy change at the Miss Universe Organization, which opened the pageant to transgendered women for the first time.

Talackova’s story made headlines around the world when a blogger revealed she had competed in a transsexual beauty pageant in Thailand.

Continue reading at:  http://www.thestar.com/news/article/1181401–transgendered-contestant-jenna-talackova-cracks-top-12-at-miss-universe-canada-pageant

Rad Fem 2012 or Trans Hate 2012?

Joelle has a lot more about this hate fest in the UK than I have so go check out her recent posts.

Particularly this one:

From Trans Meditations:   http://transmeditations.wordpress.com/2012/05/17/rad-fem-2012-or-trans-hate-2012/

on May 17, 2012

In perusing the Internet, I recently came across a site for an upcoming feminist conference.  The conference takes place in London in July and is called “Rad Fem 2012.”  You can visit the website here: http://www.radfem2012.com/index.html

In their page on participants, it states:

“RadFem 2012 is women only. We respect that discussion spaces are needed free from oppression and dis-empowerment, and we assert our right as women to organise a women only space.  As Radical Feminists we recognise that patriarchy dominates personal and political spaces across the globe. In turn we ask that RadFem 2012 be respected as a space where women born women living as women are able to meet and share information in a peaceful and safe environment.  If you cannot participate but wish to support RadFem 2012, we encourage you to assist us in enabling a womens space. Support a woman you know to attend by sponsoring her registration fee, or you are also welcome to make a donation.All girls are welcome to attend, and boys up to the age of 11.”

As a trans-feminist, I am appalled at the way in which anti-trans venom is spreading throughout the “rad fem” global networks.  It is important to me that they are using the term “rad fem.”  As many trans folks and our allies have observed, “rad fem” (as OPPOSED to radical feminism) is increasingly a term that has been totally usurped by rabidly anti-trans, transphobic and trans-hating ideologues.   This conference, which purports to be for all women and girls, is consciously excluding one important group of women and girls, those who have a transgender/transsexual history.

Continue reading at:  http://transmeditations.wordpress.com/2012/05/17/rad-fem-2012-or-trans-hate-2012/


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America in Transition

I swear that I can not really tell from reading blind copy if I’m reading transphobic bullshit from one of the Christo-Fascists who get written up by Right wing Watch/Southern Poverty Law Center or the latest spew from BevJo aka Gallus Mag at Gender Trender or Cathy Brennan at Rad Fem Hub.

It’s the identical form of of hate and bigotry. Hell half the time I think they have the same copy writers.

But how, may you ask could that possibly be?

How could it be possible that radical feminists sound identical to the rabid right and religious fanatics?

Aren’t they feminists?

Well how come going to a Susan B. Anthony Crisis Pregnancy Center means you will have to listen to a lot of anti-abortion crap?

I mean doesn’t naming yourself after Susan B. Anthony mean anything?

Just because bigots call themselves radical feminists doesn’t mean they are feminist.

For the record The American Prospect is a radical right wing rag.

From The American Prospect:  http://spectator.org/archives/2012/05/18/america-in-transition

By from the May 2012 issue

You get to be the sex you think you are (and everybody else has to acknowledge it).

I am used to surprises from the New York Times—a newspaper so far from me culturally and politically it might as well be a daily bulletin about life in a parallel universe—but last August I read a personal essay in the “Modern Love” space of the “Styles” section that really brought me up short. “My Husband is Now My Wife” (quite a tabloidy title for this genteel newspaper) was about the deeply ambivalent day the author escorted her husband to a hospital for surgery in which he would “take his first surgical step into womanhood.”

Continue reading at:  http://spectator.org/archives/2012/05/18/america-in-transition

There’s nothing radical about transphobia

Apparently a bunch of self proclaimed “radical feminists” who seem neither radical nor particularly feminist are getting together to hold a hate fest in the UK where they will discuss how the biggest problem facing women is neither the religious crazies nor the radical right who want to undo the last three hundred years of women’s progress as well as taking away women’s access to contraception and abortion.

No the War on women being waged by the religious fanatics and the right wing isn’t the big problem as far as these so called radical feminists are concerned.

The number one is transsexual and transgender people invading the feminist movement and convincing third wave feminists that we too might be human beings and that TS/TG women are women as well as human beings and entitled to the same sorts of human decency all people should be entitled to.

As I said this time around we fortunately have quite a few third wave feminists who agree

From The F-Word:  http://www.thefword.org.uk/blog/2012/05/theres_nothing

by Laura Woodhouse
17 May 2012

Like many of you who have been discussing the issue on Twitter and Facebook today, I was angered to learn that a new UK conference for radical feminists, RadFem2012, is not only playing host to a well-known transphobe, but is actively excluding trans women from attending.

The conference is open only to “women born women living as women”. Now, I personally support and fully appreciate the value of women-only space, but that space has to be open to all self-defining women. Excluding trans women from an event that aims to build an “anti-oppressive movement for the liberation of all women from patriarchal oppression” is bitterly ironic.

Trans women suffer horrifying levels of violence, abuse and discrimination, fuelled not only by the fact that they are women, but by the refusal of the vast majority of the cis population to acknowledge and respect their identities. The organisers of RadFem2012 have actively chosen to align themselves with this majority, and in so doing are complicit in trans women’s oppression. Radical? Feminism? I think not.

Then there’s Sheila Jeffreys, who thinks that “transgenderism” is:

…a practice in which persons who do not adhere to the correctly gendered practices that have been placed upon the biological sex are considered to have something called Gender Identity Disorder and they’re expected to cross over into the other sex. Not criticize the gendered system as it exists, because that’s unthinkable but to make some kind of “journey” by mutilating their bodies and taking dangerous drugs for the rest of their lives in order to supposedly represent the opposite sex.

The same Sheila Jeffreys who has been invited to speak at a conference where discussion will be “rooted in the realities of women’s lives”. Are we sure this isn’t Irony2012? Because if Jeffreys and the conference organisers could bring themselves to listen to trans people’s stories, to try and understand or empathise with the realities of their lives, they would realise quite how ridiculously facile and patronising the above argument is.

Continue reading at:  http://www.thefword.org.uk/blog/2012/05/theres_nothing

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