Internalized Transphobia: Butch Worship and the Misogyny of Femme Bashing

I’m not into automatic butch worship.

I don’t think butch women who act all masculine and dress in masculine clothing are necessarily any smarter or more competent at doing things than more feminine women are.

I think that treating butches like some sort of feminist icons is sort of misogynistic because it devalues feminine women and abilities.

It sort of seems like the sissy punching that treats feminine boys and girls as sub-human.

Isn’t the butch worship sort of a variation on the boys good/girls bad dialectic.

On page 5 of her book Full Frontal Feminism Jessica Valenti asks the question, “What is the worst thing you can call a girl/woman.”  She also asks what the worst thing you can call a boy/man. In both cases the answer is “girl”.

T to F kids are abused for acting like girls.  Girls and women are treated as inferior because we have socially constructed girls as being inferior to boys/men.

Mind you I’m not talking about the hyper pink stereotypes being pushed. More like the admiring of the butch woman who rides a Harley and works as a mechanic and casually  dissing the hippie woman with long hair who drives a Prius and runs an organic food store.

I get really tired of hearing TS/TG women tell me how they aren’t feminine.

I mean WTF?

Like I’m supposed to be impressed by your dissing femme TS/TG women.

I mean you have already blown off any male creds, no matter how sketchy those creds might have been by living as women and getting sex reassignment surgery or at least changing your secondary sex characteristics.

It doesn’t matter to the transphobes and homophobes whether you wear a skirt or jeans, they are going to consider you queer.

Doesn’t matter that you’ve never had sex with men.  You are still considered queer.

So you can give up the sissy punching, the bashing of femmes.

I always found it really gross and sexist when butches talked shit about femmes.  Especially when their femme was supporting them because they couldn’t find jobs.

They diss the brothers too and over the years I’ve found some T to Male people to be less misogynistic than most men.

Indeed I tend to think  TS/TG folks in general often have a greater awareness of sexism than the non-trans population.

Except among ourselves where we often seemed compelled to put down feminine sisters.  Which is a little weird considering how many sisters have FFS.

I suspect there is more of this among people who come out older and still haven replaced that inner censor with something I call my guardian fairy, Tinkerbell.  Tink is the one that says, Hey it’s okay for you to like that because you think its pretty, you’re a girl.  What the worst they can call you? A girl, well you already crossed that Rubicon.

Imagine a world where everyone acted surprised if the masculine person was capable of say building a computer from components.  Or capable of thinking logically.

Now I know that corporate media has created these huge stereotypes of what is masculine and what is feminine and sometimes it seems that to be feminine requires huge expenditures on basically worthless junk but that is al advertising.

Much of being feminine is about being nurturing and not spending most of your time trying to impress others with how tough you are.

I think a lot of TS/TG women have a hard time giving themselves permission to let go of the masculine.

I also don’t see feminism as being about emulating a caricature of masculinity.

We were in a car accident

Yesterday we went to the Kimbell Museum in Fort Worth to see the show “Impressionist Paintings from the Clark Collection.”

It was an incredible show of paintings by artists we both love strong on its works by Monet and Renoir but lacking Cezanne.

We thought it well worth the drive.

We were less than five miles from home when we stopped at the rear of a long line of traffic backed up by a stop light.

A Toyota Tacoma  plowed into us from behind driving us into a Ford Edge which was in turn driven into Toyota Four Runner.

Our little Volkswagen Jetta is pretty much totaled.  Crumpled both front and rear.

Every one had insurance.

Tina and I are stiff and sore but otherwise undamaged as the Volkswagen has a lot of safety features.  Surprisingly none of our many airbags went off.

We were pretty shaken up and are sore but not seriously injured.

Our car is a mess  and we aren’t able to just go out and replace it because the Republican Economic Policies that destroyed American Society have taken a serious toll on us.

Fortunately we have a small pick-up truck, which gets crappy mileage but is in otherwise good condition.

Too bad I hate the damned thing.

I have  a couple of pieces I’m working on and one I will have up later today.

Eating Our Way to a Better World? A Plea to Local, Fair-Trade, and Organic Food Enthusiasts

From Common Dreams:

by Andrea Brower
Published on Tuesday, June 12, 2012 by Common Dreams

My belly is full. It seems no matter how hard I try to “eat my way to a better world”, that world never materializes. The organic and fair-trade industries are booming, Farmers Markets are the new norm, the word “locavore” was added to the Oxford Dictionary, and Michelle Obama even planted a White House garden. But agribusiness continues to consolidate power and profit, small farmers worldwide are being dispossessed in an unprecedented global land grab, over a billion people are going hungry, and agriculture’s contributions to climate change are increasing. It’s not just that change is slow, but we actually seem to be moving in the opposite direction than alternative food movements are trying to take us.

What is going on? How are we to understand this apparent paradox, and the seeming failure of our food activism? While the answers are not clear or easy, we can start by considering the main form our political action is taking, and where it is (and isn’t) getting us.

The slogan “vote with your fork” has become the hallmark of food movements. From Michael Pollan and Food Inc. to the vast majority of non-profit materials circulating on the internet and in grocery stores, we are empowered by the belief that we can change the world every time we take a bite. This idea of “ethical consumption” stems from classical market fundamentalism, which tells us that the market is a democracy where every dollar gives the right to vote. According to this logic, the social makeup is a result of interactions between billions of individual decisions, where markets simply respond to consumer desires and consumption is the primary arena of citizenship. Thus, to consume is to be political — to be good, participatory citizens.

Yet, buying “ethical” food does nothing to address the basic political economic structures that underly the destructive global food system. It doesn’t challenge corporate power, just re-orients it towards new niche markets. It doesn’t address the trade and subsidy policies that create inequality and hunger, or the privitization of our common genetic wealth, or the massive wave of farmland enclosures. While it may be an attempt to opt-out of supporting that food system, our vote of no confidence doesn’t do much to actually change that system. To illustrate further — even if we tripled the purchase of organics overnight, we will have done nothing to address the industrialization and corporatization of organics, or the erosion of standards to allow for all sorts of ecologically destructive practices in what is supposed to be a sustainable form of agriculture. Further, the majority of farmworkers will still be exposed to agricultural chemicals that we know are sentencing them to cancer, as we all continue to drink those chemicals in our water.

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Time to Retire the Low-Carb Diet Fad

From The Atlantic:

A 25-year Swedish study suggests we refocus our dieting concerns on good, old-fashioned animal fat.

Ellen Ruppel Shell
Jun 11 2012

Steak, cream pies, hot fudge — those were thought to be unhealthy — precisely the opposite of what we now know to be true.

–Doctors in the year 2173 in Woody Allen’s Sleeper

A version of Woody Allen’s fantasy has in recent years been making the talk show circuit. Marbled steaks, bacon, greasy burgers dripping with cheese, we’re told, are not to blame for obesity and cardiovascular disease. Nope, it’s bananas, whole wheat toast, acorn squash, peas, pasta, rice and boiled potatoes that’s making us fat and sick. So feel free to double up on those pork chops and sausage patties!

Unfortunately, today’s long anticipated announcement of the results of a 25-year Swedish study pours rain on the porky parade. What apparently makes this report particularly potent is that it is the first nationally and regionally conducted long-term epidemiological study of low carbohydrate diets. And the results were categorical.

The study concludes that, over time, reducing animal fat intake decreased blood cholesterol levels, and that a high fat low carbohydrate diet increased blood cholesterol levels. On average, Swedes who switched from a lower fat diet to a higher fat/lower carbohydrate diet saw their blood cholesterol creep up — despite an increased use of cholesterol lowering medication.

Yes, many people have lost weight on a low carbohydrate diet, and an entire industry has sprouted up around that claim. But while complex carbohydrate consumption in the U.S. has declined significantly since the late 1990s, American obesity rates remain the highest on the planet.

Low carbohydrate evangelists will almost certainly attack today’s announcement–and perhaps this post — with biblical fury. They’ll make their usual claim: that this is yet another conspiracy of scientists who just don’t get it, scientists who don’t understand nutrition, scientists who somehow made it through their PhD’s and MD’s without knowing the first thing about how the human body works. But let’s face it — most of us know in our hearts that eschewing a breakfast of whole grains and fruit crowned with a dab of yogurt for a greasy pile of sausage, bacon, and eggs is not the road to health.

The study’s head researcher, Ingegerd Johansson, put it this way:

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Warning…End of the World as you Know it

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As Cries of “Religious Freedom” Grow Louder, It Is Clear Anti-Choicers Are Targeting Contraception

From RH Reality Check:

by Amanda Marcotte, RH Reality Check
June 11, 2012

The always-excellent Sarah Posner responded to this past weekend’s anti-contraception rallies (disguised as “religious freedom” rallies, but timed to coincide with the anniversary of the Supreme Court legalizing contraception) by writing articles profiling some of the anti-choice activists who have really been gaining in prominence because of their unadorned hatred of birth control. The unmistakable conclusion to which all of this points is that the anti-choice movement is feeling way more comfortable by the hour admitting what they’ve previously tried to keep from being understood by people outside of their movement, which is that they oppose contraception just as they do abortion. Which, of course, makes it clear that their concern isn’t “life,” but that “life” is just a code word for making sure that the amount of sex that occurs in this country is minimal both in frequency and pleasure, and geared strictly towards procreation.

On one hand, this new openness with the public about the anti-contraception views anti-choicers have previously shared mostly with each other could be a scary thing. It could mean they feel emboldened by victories that have made abortion more inaccessible even as it remains legal, and now think the public is ready to hear more obviously anti-sex messages that aren’t covered in crocodile tears shed for fertilized eggs. On the other hand, this might be the behavior of desperate people trying a new tactic because they realize that the sexual revolution is four generations in and quite likely to become permanent if drastic measures aren’t taken.  The faux concern about fetuses has not, as they hoped, resulted in a return to 19th century sexual mores, and so maybe they hope a more direct attack on contraception will do the trick.

Of course, that doesn’t mean the anti-choice movement is being honest yet. At this point, it’s easy to imagine that they don’t know how to make a straightforward argument expressing their actual values to the public at large. They don’t have any practice, after all. Instead, the strategy is to fling the phrase “religious freedom” around a lot, and use it as a pretense to get their anti-contraception messages into the conservative mainstream. No doubt the hope is they can get people more used to these ideas and eventually they’ll be taken seriously in the larger mainstream. After all, this strategy worked well with “free market” libertarian ideology, which used to rightly be seen as the rantings of cranks, but now is the governing philosophy of an entire political party.

Either way, it’s good for feminists and our non-misogynist allies to familiarize ourselves with the anti-sex (for women) arguments we’re dealing with here, because we’re going to be seeing a lot more of them, if the past two years have been any indication. The argument, to summarize, is that contraception has been bad for society and especially for women, because it takes women away from our “natural” and “God-given” duty to stay virgins until marriage, begrudgingly let our husbands relieve their blue balls into us once or twice a year until the flame finally flickers out, have as many children as this ends up creating, and then dying with the knowledge that while this life was relatively colorless and sad, the next one will be pretty good. (And absent all that dirty sex stuff, since there is no “horny” in heaven.) In the meantime, your own unmentionable sexual tension that finds no other outlet can be turned into bitter hatred for other women, which can then be useful to the church and the anti-choice movement because it gives you a reason to push for more anti-choice laws and rhetoric.

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Secretary Clinton Delivers a Video Message for Pride Month

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Lying Right Wing Republican Sen. Hatch: DOMA not motivated by ‘animus’ towards gays and lesbians

From Raw Story:

By Eric W. Dolan
Monday, June 11, 2012

Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) and ten other Senate Republicans on Monday urged the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to uphold the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA).

In a friend-of-the-court brief (PDF), Hatch and his colleagues asserted that Congress’s enactment of DOMA was not motivated by “animus” towards gay and lesbian individuals. Rather, the law was intended to prevent costly litigation against federal government.

“Congress sought to mitigate this national confusion by clarifying the definition of marriage for purposes of federal law, while preserving the authority of states to make determinations with regard to their own state laws,” they wrote. “Congress sought to preserve the status quo, not disrupt it.”

In February, Judge Jeffery White of the District Court for the Northern District of California ruled that Section 3 of DOMA violated the Constitution’s guarantee of equal protection under the law. Section 3 of the law defined marriage as a legal union between one man and one woman, and prohibited legally married same sex couples from receiving federal benefits.

In his ruling, White noted that a House report on DOMA described it as reflecting the legislators’ “moral disapproval of homosexuality, and a moral conviction that heterosexuality better comports with traditional (especially Judeo- Christian) morality.” Members of Congress also described homosexuality as “immoral,” “depraved,” “unnatural,” “based on perversion,” and “an attack upon God’s principles.”

But Hatch and his colleagues said it was wrong for the judge to make a ruling based on the motivations of individual legislators.

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Is Pleasure a Sin?

From The New York Times:

Published: June 5, 2012

It’s hard to say what is weirder:

A Sister of Mercy writing about the Kama Sutra, sexual desire and “our yearnings for pleasure.”

Or the Vatican getting so hot and bothered about the academic treatise on sexuality that the pope censures it, causing it to shoot from obscurity to the top tier of’s best-seller list six years after it was published.

Just the latest chapter in the Vatican’s thuggish crusade to push American nuns — and all Catholic women — back into moldy subservience.

Even for a church that moves glacially, this was classic. “Just Love: a Framework for Christian Sexual Ethics,” by Sister Margaret Farley — a 77-year-old professor emeritus at Yale’s Divinity School, a past president of the Catholic Theological Society of America and an award-winning scholar — came out in 2006.

The Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith, which seems as hostile to women as the Saudi Committee for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice, spent years pondering it, then censured it on March 30 but didn’t publicly release the statement until Monday.

The denunciation of Sister Farley’s book is based on the fact that she deals with the modern world as it is. She refuses to fall in line with a Vatican rigidly clinging to an inbred, illusory world where men rule with no backtalk from women, gays are deviants, the divorced can’t remarry, men and women can’t use contraception, masturbation is a grave disorder and celibacy is enshrined, even as a global pedophilia scandal rages.

In old-fashioned prose steeped in historical and global perspective, Sister Farley’s main argument is that justice needs to govern relationships. In the interest of justice to oneself, she contends that “self-pleasuring” needs “to be moved out of the realm of taboo morality.”

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