RadFem Fantasies and Follies

Radfems claim to speak for all women.  In reality they speak for almost no women.

Their claim to represent the interests of women is sort of akin to Aryan Nation’s claiming they represent the interests of white people. Radfems are to feminism what the Susan B Anthony Pregnancy Crisis Centers are to Planned Parenthood.

They are a bunch of anti-sex bigots who try to hide their bigoted woman hating agenda behind the label of Radical Feminism.

How can a hate group centered on pushing bigotry towards a minority group, especially a hate group that actively supports denying the minority group medical procedures needed to live in the same physical comfort enjoyed by the majority group, possibly be considered to be feminist?

How can a group which claims to represent lesbians, call for mandatory reparative therapy and the repression of another sex/gender minority group within the queer alphabet soup, possibly be considered feminist?

We didn’t have the Internet or Facebook in the 1970s.  We had small circles of friends and if one was both TS/TG and feminist you were quite often on your own.

Back then we just sort of took the beatings using the lessons learned during non-violent protests. Cover your face and head form a ball on the ground and let them kick and punch you until they get tired.

Those of us who weren’t targeted kept our mouths shut and kept on being the “token trannie” in the Lesbian Feminist Group.  The token who worked so hard to prove she wasn’t like those other “trannies”, shucking and jiving like Alan West does in the Republican Party.

We mistakenly believe that radfems were real feminists and that if we just showed we too were good dedicated feminists then transsexual and transgender people would be accepted

Agreeing or at least not saying how fucked we thought the radical feminist trip was, was a way to avoid being targeted.

But something happened in the thirty years since then.

Today there are probably more transsexual and transgender people than there are radical feminists and we are better organized.

We also have righteousness on our side.

LGBT/T people are saying to the Christo-Fascists.  “Your right to claim your religion condemns us does not give you the right to deny us our equal rights, or our human dignity.”  LGBT have both righteousness and the law on their side.

We let the radfems get away with their bullshit the last time around because we were few and pretty much invisible.

That left us isolated.  By 1982 the only lesbian Group in the Bay Area that welcomed us was the S/M group Samois and the other sex positive Outlaws.

It was really liberating to march topless down Market Street with the outlaws in 1982.

During the 1970s I watched as feminism was taken over by this small faction of totally insane people who used trashing to drive women out of the feminist movement.

If you stop for a second to think about it transsexual to female and transgender women kind of have a serious vested interest in supporting many feminist issues.  Our access to medical treatment may not be the same as access to abortion and contraception, but it is put under similar constraints such as no-government funding and limiting of access based on claims that those procedures and treatments are immoral.

Many if not most TS/TG people are completely dependent upon earning a living.  They have to deal with the same income level biasing as other women and then a good deal more in the form of anti-trans-bigotry.

While the change of social status from male to female isn’t a consciousness raising event for all of us it is for many of us and that makes us feminists.

In the face of that radfems invoke the same sort of slogans about god not making people transsexual or transgender that the religious right do.

If we are attracted to women they call us pretendbians.  But these are people who like the Christo-Fascists believe people can choose to be straight or gay/lesbian. Pretendbian.  I love that one when it comes from people who claim that being a lesbian isn’t really about being a woman who has sex with other women. Hence the ever opportunistic Robin Morgan who was long married to Kenneth Pitchford  gets to claim to be lesbian.

Oh well.  This is now and that was then.  Now there are a shit load of often quarrelsome factions of people who have had their lives impacted by trans-prefixed words .  Gone are the days when our lives were defined by doctors who studied us and books written by authorities.  Hell in those days half of our memoirs were ghost written.

In the years since those days we’ve discovered there are far more of us than we imagined and that we are far more talented than we imagined.

Artists, musicians, writers, doctors, lawyers, philosophers, and professors oh my…

Enough of us to constitute a whatchamacallit? Oh yes an offended discriminated against minority class…

Another funny thing happened during the intervening thirty-forty years.

Transsexual and transgender people lost that wounded sense of shame and guilt.

That doesn’t mean we all run around in Transsexual Menace t-shirts but it does mean we have stopped letting people beat up on us and have started fighting back.

Turns out that now we are no longer forced into dropping out of high school, now that we are even able to go to college we have the verbal weapons and the computer skills to defend ourselves.

The most empowering thing of all was realizing we no longer had to be turned into depressed suicidal wrecks by a bunch of bullying radfem thugs calling us the same sort of filthy names the Christo-Fascists and Nazis of Aryan Nation call us.

We gave that sort of abuse a name.  It is called transphobia and it is a close relative of racism, sexism and homophobia.

It is an ugly form of bigotry which makes the radfems who spew it identical to Aryan Nation and the Christo-Fascists.

We analyzed transphobia because we can use the same tools that every other oppressed minority have at their disposal.

All the radfems can spew is reprocessed hatred and bigotry of the type put forth by every bigot from Jan Raymond to the authors of The Protocols of the Elders of Zion.

We have exposed this bigotry for what it is and now the bigots are whining just like the Taliban Christers who are no longer able to claim their bigotry is God ordained and protected.

We didn’t set out to attack the radfems.  Hell we thought they were just a dark blot on the history of the development of both feminism and the LGBT/T movements.

The truth is radfems no more speak for women in general than Concerned Women for America or Phyllis Schlafly speaks for women in general.

The radfems represent a perversion of feminism of the order of the Susan B. Anthony Pregnancy Crisis Centers.

They are an anti-feminist fraud made up of jack booted thugs and bigots.

See Also:  http://transmeditations.wordpress.com/2012/06/06/blog-87-the-rad-fem-hate-brigade-chronicling-a-40-year-campaign-of-bigotry-and-intimidation-against-transsexualtransgender-women/

How We Met: Chrissie Hynde & Marie France

From The Independent UK: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/people/profiles/how-we-met-chrissie-hynde–marie-france-7804798.html

We lived in an apartment – no furniture, no TV, no phone, and everyone slept on the floor’

Sarah Makinson 
Sunday 03 June 2012

The lead singer, guitarist and songwriter for rock group the Pretenders, Hynde (left in picture) has also collaborated with several international stars through her career. She is a spokesperson for animal rights group Peta and lives in London.

About 35 years ago, I was living in London and met some guy on the street, who was French. A few months later, I got a call [from him] asking whether I’d sing in a band in Paris. I said I’d be right over, and I went. The other singer [in the band] was living in an apartment with a big cabaret star named Sabrina, and they let me stay with them.

The apartment was very exotic – no furniture, no TV, no phone, and everyone slept on the floor, but I thought it was the best thing that had happened to me, as I had nothing. We started a little band and through Sabrina I met all the people at Alcazar [a music hall in the Latin Quarter] – and Marie was there.

I was in Paris for six months, and it was a very colourful, amazing time for me, but then I left [in 1976] for London just before punk got started. I was absorbed back into the lifestyle there and never saw anyone from Paris again really.

It was in 2000 that I came back to Paris, as I wanted to find a little place to live. The estate agent took me to this little place and I walked in, and the woman there was a photographer, Louise Maisons, and she said, “I recognise you.” We started talking and when I was talking about my time in France, she said, “You must know Marie France.” I went, “Yeah but I haven’t seen her for 30 years.”

And, voilâ, we were reintroduced. Since then we’ve sung together and we see each other all the time. We like to sit in the streets and have coffee. We see guys in white vans, plumbers etc, and we’re like, ooh-la-la.

We’re also the only two vegetarians in France! We’re still waiting for things to change in Paris – and France – as it’s not really animal-rights-friendly here.

Marie’s been a huge influence on me. You’d never know it by looking at me, but in my mind I have a sense of glamour, which I would never have had without her, because I’m just from Ohio. I’m from a mall culture and I know I still dress that way – but being around Marie, I’ve got this other sense, of what’s glamorous. You can’t buy that in the shops.

Marie France, 66

Algerian-born France had a sex change when she arrived in Paris in the 1960s. She became famous as an iconic cabaret singer and gay-rights activist and also pursued an acting career in theatre and film. She was made a Knight of the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres last year. She lives in Paris.

I met Chrissie when we were in our twenties. We were living at a friend’s, Sabrina, who later became Sabrino, and I met Chrissie at his place. We were living in that flat like family.

Continue reading at:  http://www.independent.co.uk/news/people/profiles/how-we-met-chrissie-hynde–marie-france-7804798.html

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Miss USA crowned after announcing support for transgender women

From GLAAD: http://www.glaad.org/blog/miss-usa-crowned-after-announcing-support-transgender-women

by Seth Adam, GLAAD’s Senior Manager of Communications
Sunday, June 3, 2012

USA Today reports that Olivia Culpo of Rhode Island has been crowned Miss USA 2012. When asked “Would it be fair if a transgender woman won the Miss USA title,” Culpo responded, “I do think it would be fair…” because “there are so many people who have a need to change for a happier life. I do accept that because I believe it’s a free country.” The crowd erupted with cheers.

Earlier this year, GLAAD worked with the Miss Universe Organization — which operates the Miss USA pageant — on opening the competition to transgender women. Said Paula Shugart, president of the Miss Universe Organization: “We want to give credit where credit is due, and the decision to include transgender women in our beauty competitions is a result of our ongoing discussions with GLAAD…” Tonight’s crowning underlines the Miss Universe Organization’s commitment to accepting and including all women.

This year’s Miss USA judges’ panel included Rob Kardashian, who danced alongside transgender advocate and author Chaz Bono in season 13 of Dancing with the Stars, as well as openly gay celebrity chef Cat Cora among others.

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Senate Fails Women on Equal Pay

From NOW:  http://now.org/press/06-12/06-05.html

Statement of NOW President Terry O’Neill

June 5, 2012

The National Organization for Women is deeply disappointed that conservatives in the U.S. Senate this afternoon prevented the Paycheck Fairness Act from being brought up for a debate and receiving a vote. Today, this bill had 52 votes to move forward, and the support of the majority of the Senate. By blocking this commonsense law, right-wing legislators have expanded the War on Women. But women are paying attention, and will remember in November.

The Senate’s failure to agree to vote on the Paycheck Fairness Act is a direct blow to working women and their families. It is unacceptable that women are still paid, on average, 77 cents for every dollar paid to men. The Paycheck Fairness Act would close loopholes in the 1963 Equal Pay Act and prevent employers from retaliating against workers for sharing salary information. An important milestone in the long journey toward workplace equality, the act would ensure that women in this country aren’t bringing home smaller paychecks because of discrimination.

The people of this country, women and men alike, believe in fair pay. The politicians who voted against the Paycheck Fairness Act will pay a price at the polls — and NOW activists around the country are already organizing to see that that happens.

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Paycheck Fairness Act Fails Senate Vote

From Huffington Post:  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/06/05/paycheck-fairness-act-senate-vote_n_1571413.html


WASHINGTON — Senate Republicans on Tuesday blocked a bill that would have ensured women are paid the same amount as their male counterparts.

The Senate failed to secure the 60 votes needed to advance the Paycheck Fairness Act, which would have required employers to demonstrate that any salary differences between men and women doing the same work are not gender-related. The bill also would have prohibited employers from retaliating against employees who share salary information with their co-workers, and would have required the Labor Department to increase its outreach to employers to help eliminate pay disparities.

The final vote was 52-47, with all Republicans opposing the bill. That included female Sens. Kelly Ayotte (N.H.), Susan Collins (Maine), Kay Bailey Hutchison (Texas), Lisa Murkowski (Alaska) and Olympia Snowe (Maine).

President Barack Obama called it “incredibly disappointing” that Republicans would block a bill relating to equal pay for women.

“This afternoon, Senate Republicans refused to allow an up-or-down vote on the Paycheck Fairness Act, a commonsense piece of legislation that would strengthen the Equal Pay Act and give women more tools to fight pay discrimination,” Obama said in a statement. “It is incredibly disappointing that in this make-or-break moment for the middle class, Senate Republicans put partisan politics ahead of American women and their families.”

After the vote, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) used a procedural maneuver that gives him the ability to bring up the bill again on another day. He said he would leave the door open to taking it up again in another form.

Continue reading at:  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/06/05/paycheck-fairness-act-senate-vote_n_1571413.html

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Sen. Sanders on Wall Street Now: ‘Insane Gambling Casino’

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Turning Our Backs on Unions

From The New York Times:  http://www.nytimes.com/2012/06/05/opinion/nocera-turning-our-backs-on-unions.html

Published: June 4, 2012

The Great Divergence” by Timothy Noah is a book about income inequality, and if you’re thinking, “Do we really need another book about income inequality?” the answer is yes. We need this one.

It stands out in part because Noah, a columnist for The New Republic, is not content to simply shake his fists at the heavens in anger. He spends exactly one chapter on what he calls the “rise of the stinking rich” — that is, the explosion in executive pay and what he calls “the financialization of the economy,” which has enriched one small segment of society at the expense of everyone else.

Mostly, he grapples with the deep, hard-to-tickle-out reasons that the gap between the rich and the middle class in the United States has widened to such alarming proportions. How much have technological advances contributed to income inequality? Globalization and off-shoring? The necessity of having a college education to land a decent-paying job? The decline of labor unions?

That last one, I have to admit, caught me up short. My parents were both public high school teachers, who proudly walked picket lines when the need arose. My hometown, Providence, R.I., was about as pro-union a city as you could find outside the Rust Belt. But like many college-educated children of union parents, I have never been a member of a union, and I viewed them with mild disdain.

As Andy Stern, the former president of the Service Employees International Union, put it to me: “White-collar professionals tend to appreciate what unions did for their parents. But they don’t view today’s janitors or nurse’s aides in the same way.” Instead, they — or, rather, we — tend to focus on the many things that are wrong with unions, exemplified these days by the pensions of public service employees that are breaking the backs of so many cities and states. Unions seem like a spent force, and we tend not to lament their demise.

Noah includes himself as one of those liberals “who spent too much time beating up unions,” as he told me recently. (He and I are both members of the informal Washington Monthly alumni society.) His thinking began to change in the early 1990s when he read “Which Side Are You On?” It is a powerful meditation on the difficulties unions face, written by Thomas Geoghegan, a Chicago labor lawyer. Researching “The Great Divergence” reinforced Noah’s growing view that when liberals turned their backs on unions — when they put, in his words, “identity politics over economic justice” — they made a terrible mistake.

Continue reading at:  http://www.nytimes.com/2012/06/05/opinion/nocera-turning-our-backs-on-unions.html

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California’s Prop 8 heads for supreme court after pass by appeals court

From The Guardian UK:  http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/jun/05/prop-8-supreme-court-california-gay-marriage

Federal appeals court declines to hear arguments on California’s same-sex marriage ban as supporters dealt another blow

guardian.co.uk, Tuesday 5 June 2012

A Californian appeals court has cleared the way for the supreme court to hear a landmark case on same-sex marriage.

The ninth circuit US court of appeals on Tuesday declined to rehear arguments over Proposition 8, California‘s ban on gay marriage, which the court invalidated in February.

The move sets the stage for what looks sure to be a contentious supreme court hearing that could come as early as this year.

Three judges dissented from the opinion and cited president Barack Obama’s recent comments that he would like to see the debate over gay marriage continue “in a respectful way.” The dissenters wrote: “Our court has silenced any such respectful conversation.”

The decision comes less than a week after a federal appeals court in Boston ruled that the Defense of Marriage Act (Doma), a federal law declaring marriage to be solely between a man and a woman, was unconstitutional because it denies same-sex couples the same benefits afforded to heterosexual couples. That case too appears to be headed for the supreme court.

Gay marriage supporters cheered the decision. Evan Wolfson, founder and president of lobby group Freedom to Marry, said: “It’s now been three-and-a-half years since the freedom to marry was stripped from from loving and committed same-sex couples. It is long past time for this ‘gay exception’ to marriage in California to come to an end.”

Opponents said they were confident that the supreme court would uphold their view of traditional marriage. Brian Raum, senior council for Alliance Defense Fund, part of the Prop 8 legal defense team, said same sex marriage remained “unconstitutional”.

Continue reading at:  http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/jun/05/prop-8-supreme-court-california-gay-marriage

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Why the Pope Hates Nuns

From Alternet:  http://www.alternet.org/story/155696/why_the_pope_hates_nuns

It’s tempting to simply view the church hierarchy as a cult of misogyny. But at its heart, it’s a cult of power; misogyny is but one tool for securing that power.

By Adele M. Stan
June 1, 2012

In 1979, Sister Theresa Kane was given a very special task. As president of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, an umbrella group for most orders of U.S. Catholic nuns, Kane was asked to deliver four minutes of welcoming remarks, on behalf of American sisters, to the newly elected Pope John Paul II during his first papal visit to the United States. At a gathering inside the grand church in Washington, D.C., known as the Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, Kane offered the pope a warm greeting, and then launched into this:

As I share this privileged moment with you, Your Holiness, I urge you to be mindful of the intense suffering and pain which is part of the life of many women in these United States. I call upon you to listen with compassion and to hear the call of women…As women, we have heard the powerful messages of our church addressing the dignity [of] and reverence for all persons. As women, we have pondered these words. Our contemplation leads us to state that the church, in its struggle to be true to its call to reverence and dignity for all persons, must respond by providing the possibility of women as persons being included in all ministries of the church.”

All ministries — including, of course, the priesthood. Her meaning was not lost on the pope or, it seems, his henchmen in cassocks.

Chief among the new pope’s enforcers was Joseph Ratzinger, the bishop from Bavaria, whom, three years later, JPII would appoint to the position of prefect for the Congregation of the Doctrine the Faith, an entity once known as the Roman Inquisition. As prefect, Ratzinger soon had his Congregation all but living up to its historical inquisitive reputation as he conducted a jihad against liberal bishops, clerics and nuns in the U.S., and around the world. Today, the former prefect is known as Pope Benedict the XVI, still an enforcer, and one with a long memory.

Continue reading at:  http://www.alternet.org/story/155696/why_the_pope_hates_nuns

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Henry Rollins on Evolution

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Protests shine spotlight on skewed priorities

From Rabble Canada:  http://rabble.ca/blogs/bloggers/alex/2012/06/protests-shine-spotlight-skewed-priorities

By David Suzuki
June 5, 2012

When I heard about the student protests in Montreal, I swallowed the line that Quebec’s pampered youth pay lower fees than those in other parts of Canada but aren’t aware that education costs money. And then I went to Quebec. There, I heard a different story.

After weeks of demonstrations, clearly something more profound is going on. The protesters are forcing us to confront a crucial question: What is government for? Governing is about priorities. Students can’t help but notice they aren’t high on the list.

Governments all across Canada have no qualms about investing vast amounts of money to exploit “natural resources”, yet they all but ignore the most precious, our children. Young people will take charge long after current leaders are gone, and they’ll also be stuck with the ecological, social, and economic costs of the decisions we make today.

The increasing challenge of getting a postsecondary education isn’t the only issue motivating people to take to the streets of Montreal. On April 22, Earth Day, 300,000 went outside to celebrate nature. On May 22, tens of thousands spontaneously mobilized to oppose the draconian measures enacted to stop the student protests.

The Montreal protesters are drawing attention to a growing trend: governments often skew decisions in favour of short-term priorities, often for industrial interests. To promote those priorities, government, industry, and their supporters try to stifle discussion around the real issues and demonize those who press for change or question the status quo. So, because Al Gore lives in a big house (even though he’s worked at being “carbon-neutral”), he’s labelled a hypocrite, leading anti-environmentalists to make the illogical leap that we should therefore ignore or deny the science of climate change.

This advancement of logical fallacy reached new lows with a blunder by the Heartland Institute, a U.S. climate change denying organization. The Institute launched a billboard campaign implying that because the Unabomber, Fidel Castro, and Charles Manson believe in climate change, those who agree with the scientific evidence for global warming must also be tyrants, madmen, and murderers. One could as easily, and as wrongly, conclude the opposite on the basis that Anders Behring Breivik, who killed 77 people in Norway on July 22, is a climate change denier who referenced Heartland Institute “experts” in his manifesto!

Continue reading at:  http://rabble.ca/blogs/bloggers/alex/2012/06/protests-shine-spotlight-skewed-priorities

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Stronger: Fight for the Health Care Law

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Colin Powell: Another War Criminal Cashes In

From Common Dreams: http://www.commondreams.org/view/2012/06/05-7

by Medea Benjamin and Charles Davis
Published on Tuesday, June 5, 2012 by Common Dreams

One could be forgiven for thinking there’s anything honorable or honest about Colin Powell. For more than two decades now the Washington media has portrayed the former Secretary of State as something of a real life action hero, a reluctant warrior whose greatest fault – should they deign to mention any – was just being too darn loyal to a guy named George and his buddy Dick. What you might have missed is that Powell is a war criminal in his own right, one who in more than four decades of “public service” helped kill people from Vietnam to Panama to Iraq who never posed a threat to America. But don’t just take some anti-war activists’ word for it: Powell will proudly tell you as much, so long as he can make a buck from doing it in a book.

Powell’s latest $27.99 account of his legendary life is billed as a “powerful portrait of a leader who is reflective, self-effacing, and grateful for the contributions of everyone he works with.” But the title, It Worked for Me: In Life and Leadership, could very well refer to Powell’s own careerist ambitions: saying and doing whatever served the interests of power – as a young officer in Vietnam, as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff during the illegal invasion of Panama, as Secretary of State under George W. Bush  – has worked out tremendously well for the man, if not so much for those unfortunate enough to be on the receiving end of his public service.

Though billed as a self-effacing, humble leader prepared to admit mistakes, the real Colin Powell is not the one advertised by the P.R. department at HarperCollins. His book makes that clear enough when he discusses his now infamous 2003 presentation before the United Nations on Iraq’s alleged stockpiling of weapons of mass destruction. Nearly every line in that speech has since proven to be false – indeed, much of his presentation was known to be false at the time – but you won’t find Powell owning up to that.

“There is nothing worse than a leader believing he has accurate information when folks who know he doesn’t don’t tell him that he doesn’t,” Powell writes. “I found myself in trouble on more than one occasion because people kept silent when they should have spoken up. My infamous speech at the U.N. in 2003 about Iraqi WMD programs was not based on facts, though I thought it was.”

In other words, according to Powell, the fact that he lied to the American public as well as the international community on the eve of a disastrous war is not his fault – heavens no – but the fault of his anonymous underlings, the allegedly timid State Department staffers who lacked the courage to speak truth to their courageous boss. Like much of Powell’s anecdotes, it’s a tidy little story about leadership that’s about as truthful as his U.N. speech.

Continue reading at:  http://www.commondreams.org/view/2012/06/05-7

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