I ask this question based on several reasons.
- I am seeing the exact same wording from the “Radical Feminists” that I am seeing from the Christo-Fascist Organizations that have words like Family and Concerned in their title.
- I’ve seen this before back during the right wing Schlafly et.al. campaign against ERA, which passed itself off as a grassroots organizing effort, when it was actually a well financed campaign.
- ALEC and the Tea Party.
- The hijacking of “Susan B. Anthony” a feminist icon by the rabid anti-abortion/anti-contraception right wing religious fanatics.
- The hijacking of abolitionist, Frederick Douglass for the same sort of usage as well. Ultra right wingers are turning him into someone they can use to promote an anti-African American agenda.
- The hijacking of “Pandagon.net” in order to use the brand to mask “Radical Feminist” anti transsexual/transgender bigotry.
- It appears as though the owner of the hijacked and rebranded domain is actually a male.
- One of the “Radical Feminists” leading the attacks on transsexual/transgender people is a partner in a law firm that represents Wall Street, while she has been an advocate for the Payday Loan Sharking Industry.
Could “Radical Feminist” itself have been hijacked. As a brand I thought it had pretty much died out in the 1980s after having played a major role in killing Second Wave Feminism.
Let’s face it Radical Feminism is pretty much a caricature of feminism. It is as though some one took Rush Limbaugh’s term “Feminazi” and created a packaged movement that embodied that label. This movement doesn’t appear to support women’s rights. Doesn’t appear to campaign for reproductive rights. Indeed the the much derided “Equity Feminists” seem to have much more focus on both the rights of women and gender equality than do the “Radical Feminists”.
Biology is Destiny
In the early days of Second Wave Feminism there was a button that read: “Biology is not Destiny!” I know. I had one.
Like many highly condensed memes, it was a catch phrase that could be unpacked in numerous ways and could be subjected to a multitude of subtextual readings.
Fast forward a bit and you have the so called “Radical Feminist” pretty much proclaiming biology is destiny with chromosomes and assignment at birth trumping all else. this is at the core of biological essentialism.
Radical Feminists are absolute essentialists. For them biology is destiny. They may disguise their essentialism in blitherings about socialization but at the core their “womyn born womyn” ideology is essentialist. Their idea of “socialization’ is about as based upon the actual process of socialization as “creation science” is based upon science.
They have a laser like aptitude for focusing on one particular definition of either the word sex or the word gender when both words have numerous dictionary approved definitions and/or readings.
The War on Women: Where are the “Radical Feminists”?
Women are currently undergoing a massive assault on their reproductive rights, they are having to fight the war against rape all over again and where are the so called “Radical Feminists”?
They are spending an inordinate amount of time attacking TS/TG people, a tiny minority group that is somehow undermining all womankind along with the foundations of society.
On the one hand TS/TG people are accused of destroying the differences between genders and on the other of being the main foundation of a binary gender structure that oppresses women.
The logical question would be, “How can TS/TG people be both the foundation and the destruction of some supposed gender binary that is itself somewhat of a social construct?”
Ahh… Janice Raymond, former Catholic nun and “Radical Feminist” put forth that basic dialectic nearly forty years ago when feminine trans-women were the supposed pillars of traditional sex roles, fembots being created to replace women who were becoming the feminist army. While trans-women who were part of the feminist and often times lesbian feminist movements were spawns of Satan sent by the male overlords as a Fifth Column to destroy the feminist movement.
Attributing evil to a minority group and making scapegoats out of those who are relatively powerless is an old fascist trick. Some of the other forms are racism, antisemitism, homophobia and yes misogyny.
In the mean time send messages of support to Amanda Marcotte. She is good people and has a long history of standing against trans-hating bigotry.
August 20, 2013 at 10:06 pm
Interesting, Pandagon.net isn’t just registered to a male name, but a male name with a Texas address. That’s the North American equivalent of the kingdom of Mordor! 🙂
August 20, 2013 at 10:10 pm
I live in Texas and it isn’t Mordor. In fact I like living in Dallas better than I liked living in that hell hole called San Francisco.
That said. Any bets on the Radical Feminists being financed by the Kochs or some other right wing billionaire?
August 20, 2013 at 10:18 pm
BTW Amanda Marcotte is from Texas and is a former Austinite. Pandagon was a Texas blog.
August 20, 2013 at 11:09 pm
One of the problems many from the Northeast and the West coasts have is that they dismiss places like Texas. As a former New Yorker I saw Texas as some mythic far away place, somewhat less civilized than New Jersey.
It’s not. It is a huge, wildly diverse place. Ranging from very urban, urbane, and cultured, to rather “wild west” and “country”. You would be rather surprised by the number of folks who have their own, private, shooting ranges. You would also be surprised by the number of folks who really do not understand why we have things like social security, welfare, food stamps, etc.
I see Texas as a strange amalgam of west and south. There’s still a lot of “live and let live” — as long as you’re a “good neighbor”. Yet, the radical-right-wing-kkkristian-theocrats seem to be gaining in influence. Texas has huge hi-tech businesses, a whole lot of oil money, and a bunch of folks who are very slick sorta-con-men gamblers/businessmen.
It would be a huge mistake to dismiss all these very powerful folks. It would also be a mistake to act as if they have no influence in our affairs.
Texas still has a very strong populist base. There are also a whole lot of dedicated progressives here. Calling it “Mordor”, even in jest tells me you know little about it.
August 22, 2013 at 7:59 am
I go by what I read about the loose gun laws there, the redistricting scandal where they had the FAA searching for an airplane full of legislators, the fact that they put Tom Delay into office, the way the Texas Board of Education uses the state’s textbook-buying clout to have textbook publishers remove references to evolution, Humanist and Deist founding fathers, the origins of the Constitutional separation of Church and State, and most references to African American historical contributions. And thanks for Ted Cruz, bless your heart!
August 22, 2013 at 12:10 pm
We also elected a lesbian the mayor of Houston. Here in Dallas we have a lesbian Latina who has repeatedly won election as head of the Sheriff’s department. Dallas has an trans-inclusive LGBT anti-discrimination law as does Austin, Houston and San Antonio.
I love Texas gun laws. They mean I have the right to own a gun to protect myself. Considering how the police have a piss poor record when it comes to protecting the health and safety of trans-folks I consider that a good thing.
Having lived in both New York and California I much prefer our gun laws thank you. BTW gun control folks lie about the numbers. Counting suicides as gun deaths rather than simply as suicides is totally fucked.
No one forces other states to buy those text books. Oh yes they doo because even the most liberal states have about the same 50/50 balance.
Further liberal are as bad as conservatives when it comes to supporting a police state where the NSA reads every thing.
August 21, 2013 at 6:22 am
I think the problem of TE”RF”s is beyond geography. We have some pretty awful ones in the UK, ranging from London to Scotland, and some of the worst seem to be on the Eastern coast of the US as well as Australia.
August 21, 2013 at 12:07 pm
According to the RadFems…
1) Biology is not destiny;
2) Socialization determines your consciousness;
3) Socialization always proceeds in accordance with one’s assigned gender as male or female;
4) Socialization never, ever, not ever, fails. Never.
5) Thus, biology is destiny.
I guess that about sums it up, as far as I can make out. It makes no sense to me at all, if only because my socialization failed in ways that were always pretty obvious?
They make up for their incoherence with vehemence, which unfortunately works to influence a lot of people; it’s easy to demonize minorities such as trans folk by taking extreme examples of misbehavior by individuals and attributing it to the entire group (leveraging the seductive logical error known as “The Fallacy of Composition”).
Naturally, being a little on the paranoid side myself, I wonder, with respect to the “RadFem Cult”…
“Is this a case of ‘They’re Just Plain Crazy?’ Or is the correct question… ‘Who do they work for?'”
We’re talking about an extraordinarily uniform and rabid ultra-minority in the RadFems, after all; the same talking points are repeated endlessly (e.g., citing the Paul McHugh article in “First Things” opposing transsexualism as a “delusion”, which obviously no genuine medical journal would publish)… a friend of mine who is expert in such matters estimated that it only requires 5 to 10 hirelings to execute an anonymous smear campaign online, such as the one we see associated with the freshly-hyped RadFem “Cause”.
.5 LOL, and thanks, Suzan,
– bonzie anne
August 21, 2013 at 12:28 pm
The Radical Feminists have an extremely fucked up concept of what socialization is.
It is said that the Inuit have 40 different words for snow. We have one word, “gender” that is now expected to cover 40 different concepts related to sex, gender, individuals and society.
Even the concept of “gender identity” is inadequate. Are we talking about one’s sense of self being male, female, neither, both? Or are we talking about one’s sense of being masculine or feminine.
Socialization isn’t indoctrination or rather it is but isn’t just indoctrination.
It is like the air we breath. We do not live in walled of worlds; one male, one female.
Transkids and adult TS/TG people are not the products of failed socialization. We get our sense of what our society considers appropriate gender behavior and presentation the same way cis-gender people do.
August 25, 2013 at 12:34 am
“Transkids and adult TS/TG people are not the products of failed socialization.”
Absolutely… what failed in my case was the effort put in to trying to socialize me as a man, to the extent that I believed I was asocial?
Truth is, I’m prosocial… but not in that style; paradoxically, transitioning has led me to degrees and kinds of self-assertion that I had mostly avoided…
– bonzie anne
August 25, 2013 at 6:43 pm
I beg to differ. Transkids get their socialization in gender the same way cis-gender people do. Your socialization didn’t fail. Their expectations of the direction your socialization would take differed fro the direction that socialization took.
The Radical Feminists are simply wrong about what socialization is. They see it as being all one sided as though it were some thing dictated, a mold from which we emerged rather than an interactive process a dance so to speak that we learn from our environment in accord with that sense of oneself being male or female, masculine or feminine.
Gender is a Swiss Army knife of a term that has to fill more functions than it should and as a result doesn’t fill any very well.
August 25, 2013 at 9:55 pm
I agree with you on the broadening to the term “gender” into a condition of utter uselessness… kind of parallel to the loose construction of the “transgender umbrella”, which has developed to the point that I no longer care to identify myself as “transgendered” as I used to, but just say “I’m transsexual” to try to avoid confusion?
The conflation of “sex” and “gender” into one category intended ordinarily to indicate the structure of one’s reproductive organs is dumb… but I don’t expect cis-gendered persons to do much better than that without widespread education on the matter: they’re like fish in water, not amphibians.
On the other hand… while the RadFems could hardly be more wrong, on just about everything… I would still say efforts to socialize me in the mold desired under advanced commodity capitalism, that being conformist atomistic individualism, failed abysmally; I conform, but to a much older slate of values that appear to be have been forced into a Death March these days?
King James Version (KJV)
22 Lying lips are abomination to the Lord: but they that deal truly are his delight.
I don’t adhere to any of the Abrahamic religions, but there are some wonderful articulations of values to be found even in the older parts of the Bible.
By the way, Suzan, I wasn’t a transkid; I did not realize I was actually “transsexual” until the age of 40?
I typically presented in a somewhat androgynous way from adolescence on, and have now given up on trying to “conform” at all to the expectations that I should present as a “masculine person”, even in this lesser degree… or in the manner of “normal women” in Ithaca, who mostly present like down-home lesbians?
Now I tend to just be myself, at all times, which generally works pretty well, since this is a fairly cosmopolitan town, and I happen to like people? (I identify as an Arkansan-American, transplanted to Upstate New York… which explains a lot about me? In some ways, my socialization really did take!)
– bonzie anne
August 25, 2013 at 10:25 pm
I was a transkid born in a small town in the Adirondacks. Just outside the line that defines the Park. the biggest town I lived in as a kid was Potsdam up by the Canadian border, yet I knew and was learning the social dance even as a child of the mountains, woods and country.
Socialization from Wikipedia: Socialization (or socialisation) is a term used by sociologists, social psychologists, anthropologists, political scientists and educationalists to refer to the lifelong process of inheriting and disseminating norms, customs and ideologies, providing an individual with the skills and habits necessary for participating within his or her own society. Socialization is thus ‘the means by which social and cultural continuity are attained’.
I know the stories of those who come out later in life. I know of all the pressures not to come out and yet how inevitable it becomes as an affirmation of life.
There is an Anais Nin quote that seems appropriate: “And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.”
I was obvious, it was written on my body and my being, impossible to conceal. For others this is not the case, many serve in the military yet I was rejected by the Draft boards way back in 1968 when they were taking everyone. A year before I came out and yet I was sent to go through the physical with obvious queens, TS/TG people also caught up in the draft.
Gendered behavior is related to the culture and to the time in history, even in our own culture. For example a girl born in to the upper class of today learns a different form of gender behavior than that same girl would have learned a hundred years ago.
This is why I compare gender to a dance where the sexes have different steps expected of them or a play wherein the roles assigned are different.
Yet we learn these steps these roles because that is what is expected of us.
August 25, 2013 at 10:30 pm
August 26, 2013 at 1:37 am
The idea of “community” should be based on shared problems, political interests, needs etc. Being trans is something people are born with. It isn’t a religion requiring a shared ideology, proper narrative or even marching in lock step to SRS. Some come out young, some in middle or even old age. Again that Nin quote seems appropriate.
At the same time shared narratives are comfortable for both providers and other TS/TG folks. A writing teacher once said all “coming out stories are the same only the details are different. It is sort of like Joseph Campbell’s Hero with a Thousand Faced. A heroic journey in which one confronts fear and overcomes it.
When someone says “But I am completely different, that bond of shared common but different narrative is lost.
August 21, 2013 at 3:05 pm
They say sex and gender are not the same but then put them into the same box. Really bizarre. Also, their brand of feminism is actually incompatible with most women on earth. No losing battle there!!
August 21, 2013 at 3:24 pm
One thing I didn’t realize until I made the giant mistake of reading Bev Jo’s website is that radical feminists of that ilk are not just transphobic. Yes, they’re unbelievably transphobic, but it’s the tip of the iceberg, as far as they’re concerned! Apparently, not only are MtF lesbians not real lesbians, feminine-presenting lesbians are also despicable; the list goes on to include lesbians who have been with men, even once (as having been irretrievably tainted by the patriarchy!), bisexuals, “queers” in general, and basically a list of offenses probably as long as the Westboro Baptist Church’s. This is why everybody, regardless of gender, should recognize how dangerous and toxic these women are- because a bigot to one group is a bigot to all.
August 22, 2013 at 3:05 am
If these women were men they would be treated very differently by the rest of the feminist community, everything from trans hate, race hate, body policing, dictating, shaming and outing of young lbgt youth, stalking, hate campaigns directed at trans people and allies, the list goes on and on, they ARE the westboro baptist church of feminism, and i do not believe with any fibre of my being what they are doing is feminist in any way shape or form. They are behaving like the worst of men, minus the physical violence, but then doxxing lgbt youth puts them at risk of violence, most probably from men.
August 22, 2013 at 1:58 pm
The vast majority of feminist don’t even know this hateful little clique even exists. It isn’t just TS/TG people who experience their wrath. Any feminists who stand up for TS/TG people are subject to attack hence the attack on Amanda Marcotte’s brand, Pandagon.
August 22, 2013 at 3:00 pm
Perhaps the Radical Feminists hiding behind aliases need to be Doxxed.