I have been spending some time researching the things the cult of Radical Feminism hate and it is small comfort to know they hate a lot of things besides transsexual and transgender people.
Among other things they hate the idea that people might be born lesbian, gay, bisexual, transsexual or transgender. Just like the Christo-Fascists and rabid right wingers they think it is a matter of choice.
They hate porn and before you say, “That’s okay I too think it is exploitative and disgusting” You should ask a very important question: “Just what do they consider porn?”
You might be surprised to discover they tend to be a serious bunch of book burners and censors who consider fashion magazines porn.
Most of my adult life I’ve worn my hair shoulder length and straight, I have multiple ear piercings.
I have weight issues that moved in after I evicted the drinking issue.
I read magazines like Shape and Women’s Health. Sometimes I even thumb through fashion magazines even though fashion is rarely for the poor, old, over weight or basically hippie woman.
When I first came out it was so neat to be able to dress the way I wanted to dress even though the first few months I had some pretty abysmal fashion failures.
But I learned and I loved being pretty even if my taste in clothes ran more to hippie chick than catwalk chic.
I was always pretty feminine, even as a transkid. Not flamboyant femme gay boy feminine, more the quiet moody bookish feminine.
I liked being feminine. It was who I was and I refused to let the bullies and bigots beat it out of me.
Because failure to resist, not resisting the attempts to masculinize me would have been death, a death of who I was.
I was a transkid and people tried to extinguish that innate part of me that said, “I’m a girl no matter what you claim those things between my legs make me, no matter how much you try to punish away my being feminine and wanting to be pretty, besides they have an operation that can change those parts between my legs into girl parts.
When I came out I discovered I had this vast palate, this huge wardrobe of clothes, cosmetics, jewelry that I could use to express my sense of self.
What? I was supposed to be ashamed?
I lost my sense of shame when I started admitting I wanted to have a sex change operation. I did that for the first time when I was fifteen.
Coming out was a process of shedding guilt and shame. Moments like realizing I was really attracted to certain boys and would suck their cocks or let them fuck me. Coming out was starting to have sex with guys.
Coming out was working up the courage to tell friends I wanted to change sex and become a woman.
Coming out was following through on what I said.
I didn’t realize I still had a lot of guilt and shame until I met Gina and Parrish. They taught me that it was perfectly okay for me to dress provocatively and wear all sorts of make-up if I wanted to.
They gave me permission to drop the guilt and shame about liking pretty sexy clothes and enjoying how men made fools out of themselves when they were around me.
I really didn’t see being sexy, feminine or pretty as somehow being a contradiction to being feminist and wanting equality.
I had read my Emma Goldman and a lot of time Red Emma made a whole lot more sense about a lot of things than Robin Morgan ever did.
I mean sexual freedom and the right to say yes to sex is every bit as important as the right to say no.
Either one without the other isn’t much like freedom at all.
Just as the right to dress in flannel shirts and blue jeans with short cropped hair and no make-up isn’t really about freedom unless you have an equal right to wear a tight shiny dress, heels sparkly jewelry and make up with out being sexual assaulted or slut shamed.
A lot of radical feminists seem every bit as inclined to engage in slut shaming as the most Christo-Fascist of the right wing preachers.
Slut shaming is a serious form of misogyny that denies all women the right to be sexual without being told all sex is rape. Or even all heterosexual sex.
The taboo against being pretty or feminine and exploiting it by working in the sex industry instead of hiding being pretty and sexual working an extremely exploitative straight job that pays minimum wage, presumes that the women who make those choices, haven’t weighed their options and decided to go with the making more money while being exploited.
Either way the radical feminists objectifying women who opt to do sex work rather than a lower paying but equally exploitative job as being pure victims (unless they are TS/TG, then they are the perpetrators of the exploitation) is a form of misogyny.
I may choose to wear Birkenstocks and wonder what some women see in wearing heels. But it is their choice to make and freedom means they can choose to make that choice. I know I had some pretty outrageous shoes when I was young.
Too many TS/TG and post-transsexual women who come out in middle age missed the experience of being young pretty and engaging in hormone driven lust.
The censuring of the young, sexy and sometimes slutty behavior of the kids is forgetting the joys of youth mixed perhaps with a touch of jealousy.
Taking on the mantle of a censuring form of feminism is all to easy and smacks of guilt, shame and perhaps jealousy of not having enjoyed that period.
Third Wave Feminism has been a whole lot better at not shaming and bashing pretty and feminine. I don’t think it accidental that third wave feminism is far more accepting of TS/TG people than second wave, which really wasn’t all that liberating and was kind of meet the new boss, same as the old boss. In fact the more radical Seventies Era feminism got the more Stalinistic it became. The more Stalinistic it became the fewer women were interested in taking part.
Oddly enough femininity and pretty isn’t really about the patriarchy, just as machismo isn’t really about impressing women. Both femininity and machismo are ways of impressing and bonding with members of your sex.
Women don’t go out with men to buy underwear and men don’t play sports like football to impress women.
Being transsexual means having a whole bunch of insecurities about things. Especially if some authority has written some place that enjoying this that and the other makes you not really transsexual but really means you are a gay guy or a transvestite.
I had enough sister who had boyfriends to know that my having sex with my boy friend before surgery didn’t mean I was a gay guy.
Yet I had pangs of concern regarding how some clothes, mostly sexy stuff I bought to wear to concerts and the like really turned me on.
Then one day a girl friend who was married to a doctor called me up and asked if I’d like to go out shopping and to lunch with her. She was pregnant and suddenly found herself an overflowing C cup instead of her usual small breasted self. We went to Fredrick’s of Hollywood and she told me she was so turned on trying on bras and looking at herself she wanted to masturbate right then and there. I acted as look out and she jilled off.
Later I told her that I felt ashamed when I was turned on by certain clothes because some of the books I had read about transsexualism said only transvestites and fetishists were turned on by clothes.
She thought that was the stupidest thing anyone had ever said. She told me men buy those things for us because they want us to be turned on so we will let them fuck us.
Like Gina and Parrish she talked about the self empowerment of choosing to be sexy.
Being pretty or sexy is one of the most democratic forms of privilege, accidentally bestowed upon rich or poor and individuals of any color or nationality. It can be cultivated.
Very often the cultivating of beauty and femininity is a form of female bonding a sharing of the secrets of femininity.
Sometimes that is also taboo because it is some what suspect for a woman to think another woman is pretty or to admire her femininity as though that admiration is sexual and not part part of feminine culture.
It is almost as though being pretty or feminine is being blamed for women being oppressed and controlled. Which if you think about it is sort of like blaming any other trait for which some groups are oppressed as being the real reason for that group’s oppression rather than blaming the oppressor.