Telling the Maniacs to Bugger Off

From ENDA Blog:  http://endablog2.files.wordpress.com/2012/07/20120716-01-bindel.jpg?w=460&h=303

Every group attracts the maniacs.

Transsexuals have the HBS/Classic Transsexuals who tried to take over the label Women Born Transsexual, but were rebuffed from that action back when the meme represented a mailing list and not a blog.  They managed to pollute the meme because some people insisted on associating WBT with the HBS/Classic Transsexuals set, even though we opposed the transphobia and homophobia as well as the right wing rhetoric that is the stock and trade of the HBS/CT set.

When I started this blog I was denounced for being supported by Andrea James by people Andrea James had exposed as trolls and frauds.  I was denounced for supporting the efforts of Andrea James and Calpernia Addams.

I made it clear from the start that I did not like the HBS movement, particularly since it was originally and quite appropriately  titled the “BS Movement.”

When Tina and I started WBT, it really had nothing to do with transgender at all.  It was a way of saying we thought the ideas presented by Bailey, Blanchard et. al. were a pile of BS and that we were born this way.  BTW Lady Gaga has a song based on that idea.

Of course there are dogmatic maniacs among transgender folks as well.  Ever on the alert for any deviation from the party line.  I called them the Transgender Borg and while they were offended very few transgender activists friends from Facebook defriended me.

I can’t for the life of me see why my being (identifying as) transsexual or post-transsexual should be a problem for someone who is (identifies as) transgender.  I don’t feel compelled to get in that person’s face and argue that they can’t use the label transgender to describe themselves.  One would think it not too much to expect the same courtesy in return.

Yet the maniacs that make up the Borg element found in the transgender communities are like the HBS people i.e. politically correct trip pushing assholes.

Even though I am in total agreement with Monica Roberts about there being a lot of racism in and among the entire range of communities represented by the queer alphabet I blew up over the disparaging of post-op women’s cunts. Vanilla scented Cootchies…  WTF? First of all not all post-ops are white or rich.

Now as an old left wing hippie chick, I am pained to admit we have our own share of maniacs.  Lately they are suggesting we sit the election out and refuse to vote for Obama.  But even though he disappoints me on a regular basis I love Obama.  Some have pointed out that I show highly questionable judgement when it comes to loving men, going for smart men with good taste in music.

But I remember 1968 and how fucked sitting out the election turned out and any Democrat who isn’t a blue dog is better than any Republican.  Hell even a lot of the blue dogs are better than Republicans as long as they aren’t Dixiecrats.

I’m a feminist.

Just not that kind of feminist.

I was beat up and bullied a lot when I was a transkid.  When I came out I was treated a whole lot better, particularly when I passed as a normborn female.

But that didn’t blind me to  the fact that being treated like a woman instead of an obvious transkid was still being treated like a second class citizen.

I remember the first time I got pictures back from the lab and they weren’t snapshots but photographs that said something.  The first photograph I took in almost no light and captured  a portrait that was mostly shadow with just a sliver of light showing my friend, Stephanie’s face.

I remember having to deal with the sexism and people who couldn’t understand why I would rather be behind the camera than in front of it.  I even had to deal with friends who didn’t understand that when it came to expensive presents I’d rather be given a camera body or lens than an expensive piece of jewelry.

I could see how hard it was to get taken seriously as a woman in other fields to.  Like computers.

I was a natural feminist because I love the idea of equality.  Because I am deeply offended by injustice and unfairness.

Yet I had to listen to certain feminists tell me how I couldn’t be a feminist for all sorts of bullshit reasons.

Then it seemed a bunch of them slipped over into the realm of radfem insanity.

As a WBT I took their bullshit seriously.  It felt directed towards not only me but my other transsexual sisters.

I could see that their bigotry was based on lies and fiction.

I saw how they turned their wrath upon other feminists and lesbians who supported us.  Even going so far as to damage the feminist movement in pushing their bigotry

What kind of feminist tells another feminist she can’t be a feminist because of something she was born?  Who says the transsexual or transgender feminist is the enemy no matter how pro-woman and pro-feminist her politics are?

What kind of feminist ostracizes other feminists and viciously attacks them for having the audacity to say TS/TG women aren’t a bunch of monsters?

It doesn’t matter to the maniacs of RadFem Hub and GenderTrender how good a feminist you are all that matters to them is the level of transphobic bigotry one is willing to display.
As for me…

I’m tired of maniacs.  We are in the midst of so many crises I can barely keep track of them.

Every single group of people I hold dear are under attack by the forces of the right wing and the religious fanatics.

I think it is time to reflect on the old Black Panther Party Slogan…

If you aren’t part of the solution then you are part of the problem.

The maniacs are not part of the solution, they are part of the problem.

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Andrea Dworkin on Transgender

This is an oldie but goody from my friend, Daisy Deadhead.

From Daisys Deadair:    http://daisysdeadair.blogspot.com/2009/08/andrea-dworkin-on-transgender.html

By Daisy Deadhead
Thursday, August 20, 2009

Reposted with permission

Andrea Dworkin on Transgender

Photo from The Boston Phoenix.

There has been a lot of heated discussion among Second-Wave radical feminists, concerning when transphobic theory “took over” the discourse. Women who claim to be of the hard-core Andrea Dworkin school of radical feminism, steadfastly adhere to the concept that trans people are not the gender they say they are and will not use preferred pronouns; some go so far as to edit comments on their blogs and change the pronouns, for example. Many of these Second-Wavers believe it is reactionary to “endorse” (for lack of a better word) the gender identities of trans folks. Much talk about the “gender binary” (male/female, historically constructed as mirror images, opposites, yin and yang) and how transgenderism “upholds” this binary, etc etc etc.

For many of these feminists, the late Andrea Dworkin is something of a patron saint. One well-known radfem uses a quote from Dworkin on her blog, to let it be known she is a “take no prisoners” sorta gal. I have read many, many quotes by Dworkin on Second-Wave radical feminist blogs.

But it is telling that they carefully leave out the quote(s) below, even though they claim to have all of her books.

In conversations with trans feminists, I have continually assured them that many Second-Wave radical feminists were NOT transphobic, and actually empathetic to trans people. However, I’ve had trouble finding any proof, other than my own memory and a few trans friends of Kate Millett’s. Depressingly, the more I searched, I found much more proof that radical feminists were mean and vicious (i.e. Robin Morgan’s lynch-mob rhetoric concerning trans women in her book titled Going Too Far). The Janice Raymond/Robin Morgan/Mary Daly faction seems to have “won” the transgender round of radical feminist theory, by default.

And so, it brings me great pleasure, after a very long search, to finally have the following quote IN MY HAND, not just from memory. Thank God for Amazon.com and the used books option, since this is long out of print.

The book is WOMAN HATING, copyright 1974, EP Dutton, New York City, ISBN 0-525-47423-4. The book jacket contains approving blurbs from: Phyllis Chesler, Ellen Frankfort, Florynce Kennedy, Audre Lorde, Kate Millett and Gloria Steinem.

I find it interesting that Morgan did not provide a blurb, since she and Dworkin were good friends. (Was this passage the reason?)

Note: In the 70s, at the time of this writing, the accepted terms were “transsexual” (instead of transgender) and “hermaphrodite” (instead of intersex)–and these are the terms Dworkin uses.

~*~

First, Dworkin believed that the human race is multi-sexual, and to maintain patriarchy, these multiple genders must be “contained” within the two-gender binary. Transgendered people, then, are the people who have fallen through the cracks, so to speak, who do not fit into this rigid system.

These excerpts are all from the suitably Dworkinesque-titled chapter Androgyny: Androgyny, Fucking and Community:

Hormone and chromosome research, attempts to develop new means of human reproduction (life created in, or considerably supported by, the scientist’s laboratory), work with transsexuals, and studies of formation of gender identity in children provide basic information which challenges the notion that there are two discrete biological sexes. That information threatens to transform the traditional biology of sex difference into the radical biology of sex similarity. That is not to say there is one sex, but that there are many. The evidence which is germane here is simple. The words “male” and “female,” “man” and “woman,” are used only because as yet there are no others.

She discusses the facts that there are intersexed people, hairy women, feminine men, indistinct genitalia, etc.

We can presume then that there is a great deal about human sexuality to be discovered, and that our notion of two discrete biological sexes cannot remain intact. (Note: The following sentence is underlined repeatedly in my used copy.) We can presume then that we will discover cross-sexed phenomena in proportion to our ability to see them.

In addition, we can account for the relative rarity of hermaphrodites in the general population, for the consistency of male-female somatotypes that we do find, and for the relative rarity of cross-sexed characteristics in the general population (though they occur with more frequency than we are now willing to imagine) by recognizing that there is a process of cultural selection which, for people, supersedes natural selection in importance. Cultural selection, as opposed to natural selection, does not necessarily serve to improve the species or to ensure survival. It does necessarily serve to uphold cultural norms and to ensure that deviant somatotypes and cross-sexed characteristics are systematically bred out of the population.

Later in this section, she makes a statement in italics, for emphasis:

We are, clearly, a multi-sexed species which has its sexuality spread along a vast fluid continuum where the elements called male and female are not discrete.

And then, we get to the section titled Transsexuality, which she starts off by quoting “a transsexual friend”:

How can I really care if we win “the Revolution”? Either way, any way, there will be no place for me.

Keeping in mind there were far fewer uncloseted transgendered people in the 70s, I find the following paragraphs to be pretty radical and trans-positive stuff:

Transsexuality is currently considered a gender disorder, that is, a person learns a gender role which contradicts his/her visible sex. It is a “disease” with a cure: a sex-change operation will change the person’s visible sex and make it consonant with the person’s felt identity.

Since we know very little about sex identity, and since psychiatrists are committed to the propagation of the cultural structure as it is, it would be premature and not very intelligent to accept the psychiatric judgement that transsexuality is caused by a faulty socialization. More probably, transsexuality is caused by a faulty society. Transsexuality can be defined as one particular formation of our general multisexuality which is unable to achieve its natural development because of extremely adverse social conditions.

There is no doubt that in the culture of male-female discreteness, transsexuality is a disaster for the individual transsexual. Every transsexual, white, black, man, woman, rich, poor, is in a state of primary emergency as a transsexual. There are 3 crucial points here.

One, every transsexual has the right to survival on his/her own terms. That means every transsexual is entitled to a sex-change operation, and it should be provided by the community as one of its functions. This is an emergency measure for an emergency condition.

Two, by changing our premises about men and women, role-playing and polarity, the social situation of transsexuals will be transformed, and transsexuals will be integrated into community, no longer persecuted and despised.

Three, community built on androgynous identity will mean the end of transsexuality as we know it. Either the transsexual will be able to expand his/her sexuality into a fluid androgyny, or, as roles disppear, the phenomenon of transsexuality will disappear and that energy will be transformed into new modes of sexual identity and behavior.

~*~

I have noticed that many radical feminists latch on to her third point, overlooking the first two. Further, they make the third point prescriptive, rather than descriptive. Dworkin obviously meant that transgenderism will “disappear” after her androgynous feminist revolution, not that we should make actual trans people disappear RIGHT NOW. I think she is very clear on that.

When trans feminists initially read these words in the 70s, it is understandable that they felt welcome in the feminist movement. When they attempted to take their place among us Second-Wavers, they were rejected, trashed, outed, and accused of being “rapists” simply for being trans persons. Feminists who loved what Andrea wrote about pornography (including her legal activism), seemed to overlook what she said about trans people, and/or assume she had the views of Morgan, Daly, Sheila Jeffreys, et. al.

No.

Let the record show, once and for all, that she did not.

~*~

Everyone is welcome to discuss this post, regardless of your views. But the ground rules are: RESPECT FOR EVERYONE, including preferred pronouns. No trans-baiting and yes, YOU KNOW WHAT I MEAN.

Make Andrea proud, and show some empathy for those people in a primary emergency within patriarchy.

Thank you.

My Transition: Finally Living Right by My Soul

From Huffington Post:  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dennis-croft/my-transition-finally-living-right-by-my-soul_b_1676342.html


07/16/2012

I have written an extensive history of my life, yet I have not written solely concerning my transition. So let’s do that here.

My story really is a sub-story within our little world. I am one thread of the spider’s work that built Small Town Security, and it is a huge, elaborate, beautiful web.

I grew up in a military family. My dad was a flyer in the U.S. Air Force, my mom a proper British girl. I was raised with dresses and pink, dolls and lady-like manners. I have an older brother who did all the cool stuff. I was dubbed the “sissy” because I was a girl. When asked what I wanted to be when I grew up and I said “an astronaut,” my mom insisted that I should want to be a nurse or something girls would do. I made wooden guns and swords and played Cops and Robbers, jumped bikes, and played football at recess. I wore dresses until I could get away with pants, then I just wore dresses on special occasion.

I trained for the military through JROTC and C.A.P. and felt like I was treated equally and not as a girl. I went to university and studied psychology to find out why I did not feel right in the world. I went into the service and found the politics to be too much for me and left. I got married and had kids, trying to live as a woman. I always had to defend myself to others, without provocation, due to how I felt I was perceived. I tried to convince myself I was normal and a woman: “See? I have kids and a husband.” Then I woke up… I knew who I was, but I was afraid of it. Who would accept me? Would I be able to accept myself?

The process of realization and acceptance… I surrendered my life to me, just me, no one else, not God, not society, but me. Right or wrong, it is what it is, so live it! Honest and real, no fakery or falsehood, just me living as me. (Others think otherwise, that the body rules, and that you should live as what the physical is). I say you are your soul, and regardless of the physical wrapping, live your soul. Soul is ultimate truth.

Continue reading at:  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dennis-croft/my-transition-finally-living-right-by-my-soul_b_1676342.html

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NOM’s Puppets: Black Pastors Blast NAACP For Endorsing Same-Sex Marriage

Inside the Investigation of Leading Republican Money Man Sheldon Adelson

From Pro Publica:  http://www.propublica.org/article/inside-the-investigation-of-leading-republican-money-man-sheldon-adelson

by Matt Isaacs, Lowell Bergman and Stephen Engelberg
July 16, 2012

This story was co-published with PBS’ “Frontline.”

A decade ago gambling magnate and leading Republican donor Sheldon Adelson looked at a desolate spit of land in Macau and imagined a glittering strip of casinos, hotels and malls.

Where competitors saw obstacles, including Macau’s hostility to outsiders and historic links to Chinese organized crime, Adelson envisaged a chance to make billions.

Adelson pushed his chips to the center of the table, keeping his nerve even as his company teetered on the brink of bankruptcy in late 2008.

The Macau bet paid off, propelling Adelson into the ranks of the mega-rich and underwriting his role as the largest Republican donor in the 2012 campaign, providing tens of millions of dollars to Newt Gingrich, Mitt Romney and other GOP causes.

Now, some of the methods Adelson used in Macau to save his company and help build a personal fortune estimated at $25 billion have come under expanding scrutiny by federal and Nevada investigators, according to people familiar with both inquiries.

Internal email and company documents, disclosed here for the first time, show that Adelson instructed a top executive to pay about $700,000 in legal fees to Leonel Alves, a Macau legislator whose firm was serving as an outside counsel to Las Vegas Sands.

Continue reading at:   http://www.propublica.org/article/inside-the-investigation-of-leading-republican-money-man-sheldon-adelson

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The New Totalitarianism: How American Corporations Have Made America Like the Soviet Union

From Alternet:  http://www.alternet.org/visions/156311/the_new_totalitarianism%3A_how_american_corporations_have_made_america_like_the_soviet_union/

Free-market capitalism was supposed to save us from the tyranny of faceless apparatchiks. But that’s not what happened.

By Sara Robinson
July 15, 2012

The great power struggle of the 20th century was the competition between Soviet-style communism and “free-market” corporatism for domination of the world’s resources. In America, it’s taken for granted that Soviet communism lost (though China’s more capitalist variant seems to be doing well), and the superiority of neo-liberal economics — as epitomized by the great multinational corporations — was thus affirmed for all time and eternity.

There’s a small problem with this, though. An old bit of wisdom says: choose your enemies carefully, because over time, you will tend to become the very thing you most strongly resist. One of the most striking things about our victorious corporations now is the degree to which they’ve taken on some of the most noxious and Kafkaesque attributes of the Soviet system — too often leaving their employees, customers, and other stakeholders just as powerless over their own fates as the unhappy citizens of those old centrally planned economies of the USSR were back in the day.

It’s not just that the corporations have taken control over our government (though that’s awful enough). It’s also that they’ve taken control over — and put serious limits on — our choices regarding what we buy, where we work, how we live, and what rights we have. Our futures are increasingly no longer our own: more and more decisions, large and small, that determine the quality of our lives are being made by Politburo apparatchiks at a Supreme Corporate Soviet somewhere far distant from us. Only now, those apparatchiks are PR and marketing executives, titans of corporate finance, lobbyists for multinationals, and bean-counting managers trying to increase profits at the expense of our freedom.

With tongue only somewhat in cheek, here are a few ways in which Americans are now becoming a new lumpen proletariat, subject to the whims and diktats of our new Soviet-style corporate overlords.

Reduced Choice and Big-Box Censorship

We see it most evidently when we go to the store. Back in the 1970s, the American retail landscape was still mostly dominated by mom-and-pop stores, which in turn carried merchandise also made by small manufacturers (many of them right here in the US). Not only did this complex economy sustain tens of millions of comfortable middle-class jobs; it also produced a dazzling variety of retail choices. Every store on Main Street carried somewhat different merchandise, bought from a different group of preferred suppliers. A shoe store might carry 20 different brands. The shoe store down the street might differentiate itself by carrying 10 of the same brands, and 10 different ones. The result was a very wide range of consumer choices — though you did have to go from store to store to find it — and a rich variety of stores that competed aggressively for their customers’ attention. And if you visited a different part of the country, the selection might be very different from what you’d get back home.

Now, every Macy’s in America carries the same dozen or so lines of bland, middle-of-the-road women’s clothing. You’ll find exactly the same stuff on the racks in Long Island as you do in Long Beach. If you’re looking for something that hasn’t been dumbed down to the lowest common denominator, you probably won’t find it at the mall.

Continue reading at:  http://www.alternet.org/visions/156311/the_new_totalitarianism%3A_how_american_corporations_have_made_america_like_the_soviet_union/

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Occupy protesters take on Bohemian Grove

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