Conservatives’ HPV vaccine dilemma: are they anti-cancer, or just anti-sex?

From The Guardian UK:  http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/oct/16/conservatives-hpv-vaccine-dilemma

Proof that vaccinating girls against the HPV virus does not cause promiscuity puts culture warriors in a spot


guardian.co.uk, Tuesday 16 October 2012

According to a recent study, giving children tetanus shots will not, in fact, encourage them to stab themselves with rusty nails or be less cautious when playing outdoors. Various political organizations have advocated against the tetanus vaccine, arguing that tetanus shots send the message that recreation is acceptable, and that if children know they’re protected from lockjaw, they will be less vigilant about avoiding the kinds of cuts and scrapes that can lead to deadly nervous system infections. Attempts to require tetanus vaccination have met extreme backlash from conservative groups who argue that mandating the vaccine is an assault on parental rights and family values.

Even bills that simply would have made the vaccine free for low-income children without mandating it were vetoed by Republican governors. Doctors hope that these study results, which show that tetanus-vaccinated children are no more likely to engage in unsafe recreational behavior than their unvaccinated peers, will increase the tetanus shot rate for children of parents who fear that tetanus shots encourage risk-taking.

At this point, you’re thinking, I hope:

“What in the world is this lady talking about? Everyone gives their kids tetanus shots! You’d be irresponsible not to inoculate your child against tetanus, and you’re nuts if you think that giving a kid a tetanus shot will make him be less careful about slicing his skin with filthy rusted metal. And there’s absolutely no political controversy around tetanus shots.”

You would be right. If only the same were true of the HPV vaccine.

According to a recent study, giving girls the HPV vaccine will not, in fact, encourage them to engage in sexual activity any earlier than their peers. Various political organizations have advocated against the HPV vaccine, arguing that the vaccine sends the message that sexual behavior is acceptable, and that if girls know they’re protected from HPV, they will be less vigilant about avoiding the kinds of risky sexual behaviors that can lead to pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections.

Continue reading at:  http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/oct/16/conservatives-hpv-vaccine-dilemma

Posted in Choice, Christo-Fascism, Feminist, Gender, Health Care, Male Privilege, Medical Studies, Medicine, Misogyny, Sexism. Comments Off on Conservatives’ HPV vaccine dilemma: are they anti-cancer, or just anti-sex?

Julia Serano has been Targeted for attacks by the RadFem SCUM

First of all embracing SCUM and Valerie Solanis kind of marks people off as nut jobs.

Prior to going on to becoming famous for shooting one of the 20th century’s most important gay male artists (nearly murdering him) Solanis wrote a screed titled The Scum Manifesto.

The RadFem hagiography would have people believe Valerie Solanis was a misunderstood genius with impeccable feminist credentials and not a zoned out homicidal maniac from Alphabet City.

I know there was a movie that tried to paint her as someone cruelty abused by Andy Warhol and the people of the “Factory”.

Reality: She was an abusive stalker.

While SCUM Manifesto has a few viciously funny observations in it it is mostly the blathering of a mentally disturbed person.

After Valerie Solanis was released from prison she wound up dying of exposure while sleeping on a roof top because none of the feminists who lauded her wanted to actually be within pistol range of her.

Oddly enough Solanis wasn’t all that anti-transsexual/transgender or I should say the movie, I shot Andy Warhol, portrays her as being not all that anti TS/TG as it shows her being a friend of the late Candy Darling.

Well, fast forward and the radfem bigots have blogs that invoke Valerie Solanis’s screed.

Like Valerie they are both truth and sanity challenged.

But this blog and others among the radfem and their dubiously claimed intersex male ally Nicky (Komododragon) have embraced Valerie as some sort of icon; they are using this blog and others to attack Julia Serano.

Well not just Julia Serano, but JOS  at Feministing too, as well as a whole range of  highly reputable TS/TG bloggers who have had the audacity to say that the misogyny faced by TS/TG women and transkids is the same misogyny faced by assigned female at birth women and girls.

Unless one is incredibly privileged access to abortion and birth control are not the only issues faced by women today.

This is obvious enough to women who aren’t partners in law offices that defend some of the scummiest corporations in America.

Otherwise the Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act wouldn’t be such a big deal.

If women weren’t being fucked over by those Wall Street Banks and Firms defended by the law offices of the above mentioned radfem, then women wouldn’t be out there as part of Occupy.

One has to wonder why the radfems, who sound identical to the Christo-Fascists and radical right, cropped up now to disrupt feminism which is engaged in fighting against the right wing/Christo-Fascist War on Women.  Especially since many TS/TG women are also feminists.  Some, like this Blog regularly keep people abreast of the right wing attacks on reproductive rights.

Julia Serano wrote a serious book that showed the intersectionality of transphobia and misogyny.  A lot of us read it and said, “Fuck Yeah!”

Everyone knows that according to radfems TS/TG women are nothing but mindless fembots controlling the fashion and cosmetic industry forcing women into a subservient position all .001% of us, sort of the same way the Jews supposedly control the world and are responsible for all the evils of the world.

Somehow Julia found time from her busy schedule of perpetuating the patriarchy to write this book that caused a lot of TS/TG sisters to come to the conclusion that transphobia was misogyny directed at a tiny minority group of people who are women in spite of not being assigned female at birth.

Of course the radfems whipped out the disingenuous charge that TS/TG women were some how raping women by taking hormones and having operations that allowed us to feel at home within our very own skins.

Never mind how feminism has chided those who use rape as a metaphor for actions other than actual rape.

Or that TS/TG people can and are often the victims of rape, assault and murder.

Radfem transphobic bigotry is identical to right wing racism and antisemitism, a whipping up of hatred and bigotry using exaggerated claims and  collective guilt.  The same sort of bigotry one finds behind Jim Crow and Apartheid laws.  The same sort of hatred and bigotry one found behind the Nürnberger Gesetze:

The Nuremberg Laws (German: Nürnberger Gesetze) of 1935 were antisemitic laws in Nazi Germany introduced at the annual Nuremberg Rally of the Nazi Party. After the takeover of power in 1933 by Hitler, Nazism became an official ideology incorporating antisemitism as a form of scientific racism. There was a rapid growth in German legislation directed at Jews and other groups, such as the Law for the Restoration of the Professional Civil Service which banned “non-Aryans” and political opponents of the Nazis, from the civil-service.

The lack of a clear legal method of defining who was Jewish had, however, allowed some Jews to escape some forms of discrimination aimed at them. The enactment of laws identifying who was Jewish made it easier for the Nazis to enforce legislation restricting the basic rights of German Jews.

The Nuremberg Laws classified people with four German grandparents as “German or kindred blood”, while people were classified as Jews if they descended from three or four Jewish grandparents. A person with one or two Jewish grandparents was a Mischling, a crossbreed, of “mixed blood”.[1] These laws deprived Jews of German citizenship and prohibited marriage between Jews and other Germans.[2]

The Nuremberg Laws also included a ban on sexual intercourse between people defined as “Jews” and non-Jewish Germans and prevented “Jews” from participating in German civic life. These laws were both an attempt to return the Jews of 20th-century Germany to the position that Jews had held before their emancipation in the 19th century; although in the 19th century Jews could have evaded restrictions by converting, this was no longer possible.

The laws were a legal embodiment of an already existing Nazi boycott of Jewish businesses.

Yes I am comparing the thinking of the radfems to Nazi antisemitism.

Not only are they attacking TS/TG women but any AFAB women who support us including those feminist bloggers.

Ironically I have reason to believe that several of the “radfems” are in fact self hating post-op transsexuals who also hold AFAB women in contempt.

We’re Not the Bad Guys, the Executives at Disney Are

From Huffington Post:   http://www.huffingtonpost.com/lori-day/disney-princess_b_1449718.html


with Michele Sinisgalli-Yulo of Princess Free Zone.
04/24/2012

In honor of this being the First Annual National Princess Week, we’ve got a few things to say!

So much has been written about Disney, girls and their love of all things princess, but it’s time to address the epidemic of inflamed comment threads we’re seeing that pit moms against each other over this topic in a rather unhelpful way. It has us a bit confused, and more than a little concerned. I suppose because we’re both in our mid-40’s, we can remember a different era than can be recalled by younger mothers today. Yes, we remember being children and reading Disney books, seeing Disney movies in the theater and pretending to be princesses.

But we also remember how relatively small a piece of girlhood real estate was owned back then by the Disney Corporation, before the year 2000’s marketing blitz that led to the creation of the four-billion-dollar “Princess franchise” and, ultimately, the onslaught of over 26,000 Disney princess items currently being sold in the children’s market. It is no secret that Disney’s highly profitable, widely accepted, corporate-created definition of what it is to be a girl has become the norm. Our concern is that this new princess culture offers a one-dimensional and very limiting representation of femininity.

Newspaper articles, books and blog posts about princess culture abound, but it is often the comments that drive the grittier narrative. Let’s look at some typical comments taken from recent blog posts:

“I do not understand the concept of not allowing little girls to believe in the princess story. Let kids be kids and believe in fairy tales. People complain that kids grow up too fast these days, well this is one of the reasons why. Forcing adult ideals on children. When they are young let them believe in happy endings and being rescued by prince charming. As they get older, then you can teach them to take care of themselves.”
“You are a sick human being if you are ‘fighting’ the pull for little girls to be girly. Every little girls WANTS to be a princess and/or beautiful. Do you want your daughter to be like a boy?!”
“Really?! Is it really that big of deal? I am a child from the 90s where everything was gender based. Don’t you have better things to do with your time? There are bigger problems in the world.”

Why such backlash to the idea that there might be something detrimental about such a narrow definition of what it is to be female? We are amazed at the number of parents who assertively contradict the facts of history — saying there is nothing new here when this is not how it has always been. The angry push-back to the notion that a little bit of princess is OK, but that complete immersion in all things princess might not be the healthiest thing for girls, is at times breathtaking in its knee-jerk defensiveness and, dare we say, intellectual laziness.

Continue reading at:  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/lori-day/disney-princess_b_1449718.html

Posted in Feminist, Gender, Sexism, Uncategorized. Comments Off on We’re Not the Bad Guys, the Executives at Disney Are

Investigating the Lesbian Klan: The Rise of Cultural Feminism

Not all lesbians are members of the anti-transsexual Klan.  Nor are all lesbian feminists or even many lesbian separatists.

There is nothing inherent in the left/liberal precepts of lesbian feminism that requires the systematic bigotry that a minority within the lesbian community have deployed towards transsexual and post-transsexual women.

In spite of their claiming the label “Radical Feminists” their over all policies share little or nothing with the original “Radical Feminists” who grew out of the left and had more in common with the women of Weatherman, and the Trotskyites than they do with with those who claim that label today.  In the early 1970s to be a Radical Feminist meant that one acted radically rather than sitting around theorizing and engaging in vicious word games.

As early as 1972 there was a divergence from that form of feminism, which tended to view women’s oppression within the context of the oppressions of race and class.  This meant erasing the contributions Marx and Engels made to analyzing the origins of the family.

One of the early demands of what Red Stockings came to describe as “cultural feminism” came in the form of Robin Morgan’s Good-bye to all that… *1

Women had played a major role in every aspect of left wing movements in the US since the days of  the Abolition Movement.  They were part of the Labor Movement (Mother Jones and Elizabeth Gurly Flynn) They were part of the Communist Party (Dorothy Ray Healy).  The Anarchist Movement (Emma Goldman Lucy Parsons) The Black Civil Rights Movement (Angela Davis, Elaine Brown)  The Anti-war Movement, the Environmental Movement ETC.

In “Good-bye to all that” Morgan demanded women leave movements where they had worked for years, movements they had committed their lives to working with all to join what was at the time a middle class white women’s movement.  She laid out all the crimes of the alternative hippie communities yet never much focused on the misogyny of the mainstream media or corporate America.

This actually kept me from fully committing to feminism as I was working class and saw how oppressions of class and race meant that while all women were oppressed by sexism, many women carried much heavier burdens of oppression than others.

You see I was part of the anti-war movement and the counter-culture being trashed by Morgan, a well to do, former child star.  We were trying to build a new society and dealing with sexism wasn’t the only issue.

A couple of years later Jane Alpert, an acolyte of Morgan wrote Mother Right:

Letter from the Underground:

Dear Sisters in the Weather Underground:

I am addressing this piece to you, in spite of the fact that my concern at this point is with a far broader spectrum of women than your tiny band of forgotten leftists, because it was our arguments of the past year that convinced me to publicize my conversion from the left to radical feminism. I realized after these arguments that for me to keep silence would only support the illusion that the “underground” is united around the male politics which you still espouse, and these politics and practices are too reprehensible to me as a feminist to protect them by silence. I know that seeing this letter, which you thought you would receive as a private communication, here in print will shock you and that you will regard much of its content as a breach of the tacit code of honor among political fugitives. Nevertheless, my own politics demand that I share with all women my knowledge of the sexual oppression of the left, if only to warn other sisters against the pain that has been inflicted on us. Perhaps you personally will never open up to feminism; yet the experiences I am going to relate may speak more effectively to women involved in other branches of the left, from McGovern organizers to Socialist Workers Party members. And I have some hope that the impact of a public statement may do what none of my private arguments have succeeded in doing: persuade you to leave the dying left in which you are floundering and begin to put your immense courage and unique skills to work for women-for yourselves.

This letter and Morgan’s overt support of both Jane Alpert and this position struck me and many other left wing feminists as a betrayal on the order last seen by those who named names at the HUAC and the McCarthy hearings during the Red scare of the 1950s.

But even more insidious was another part of “Mother Right” which renounced the truly radical thinking of Shulamith Firestone while furthering the separation from the Left and counter-culture that had been started by Morgan.

“Mother Right” argued against the idea of women as female people  endowed with same abilities as male people.  While earlier feminists asserted that differences were not biological but  rather the result of patriarchal conditioning “Mother Right” introduced the idea of biological essentialism, the concept that men and women were completely different and didn’t share a wide variety of overlapping traits and talents.

For centuries feminists have asserted that the essential difference between men and women does not lie in biology but rather in the roles that patriarchal societies ( men ) have required each sex to play. The motivation for this assertion is obvious: women’s biology has always been used to justify women’s oppression. As patriarchal reasoning went, since “God” or “nature” or “evolution” had made woman the bearer and nurser of the species, it logically followed that she should stay home with the children and perform as a matter of more-or-less ordained duty all the domestic chores involved in keeping and feeding a household. When women work outside the home, we have the most menial and lowest-paid tasks to perform, chiefly because any labor a woman performs outside the home is thought to be temporary and inessential to her, no matter how she herself might be inclined to regard it. Naturally, then, the first healthy impulse of feminism is to deny that simply because women have breasts and uteruses we are better suited to wash dishes, scrub floors, or change diapers. As newly roused feminists, we retorted to evidence that women might be intrinsically better suited to perform some roles than others by pointing out that men have been forcing these roles on us for at least five thousand years. After such time, conditioning and habit are so strong that they appear to be intrinsic and innate.

However, a flaw in this feminist argument has persisted: it contradicts our felt experience of the biological difference between the sexes as one of immense significance To begin with, it seems obvious that biology alone would, in primitive societies, have dictated different roles and different powers as appropriate to each sex. And biological scientists have indeed assumed, for the most part, that the physical passivity of the female mammal during intercourse and the demands of pregnancy, childbirth, and nursing clearly indicate a role of women as biologically determined, and inferior. In response to this, Shulamith Firestone, with the publication of The Dialectic of Sex in 1970, articulated the definitive feminist antithesis to this idea by denouncing biology as reactionary. Agreeing that biology had necessarily been an all-powerful determinant of social roles in the past, Firestone went on to argue that the advances of technology made this tyranny potentially obsolete. Women are still enslaved to their bodies not because of biology but because the patriarchy will not permit the use of technology to interfere with men’s power over women. However, in Firestone’s view, the dialectic of history, in which the sexual relationship underlies all other power relationships, indicates that A feminist revolution is inevitable. This revolution will put technology to work to literally free women from biology, from pregnancy, childbirth, and the rest, thereby eliminating the last difference of any importance between the sexes and ultimately causing the sexual difference itself to wither away, in the course of evolution, together with all forms of oppression.

I think that Firestone is visionary in perceiving the sexual relationship as the basis of all power relationships, and in predicting that feminist revolution will therefore result in the end of all oppression. However, the evidence of feminist culture, which has accumulated largely since the publication of her epochal book, suggests that her analysis of the role of biology was deficient and that a third possibility, which is indeed a new synthesis of the previous views, may well be correct. The unique consciousness or sensibility of women, the particular attributes that set feminist art apart, and a compelling line of research now being pursued lay feminist anthropologists all point to the idea that female biology is the basis of women’s powers. Biology is hence the source and not the enemy of feminist revolution.

The root of this idea lies perhaps in buried history. It has increasingly been acknowledged that the most ancient societies worshiped a female diety or deities, and that menstruation, conception, pregnancy, childbirth, and all other phenomena associated with female biology were surrounded with taboos. Furthermore, a number of these ancient societies were matrilineal: property and social identity were inherited through the mother rather than the father. Whether women had any secular power in these societies is a subject of dispute, and most archaeologists and anthropologists have felt that women didn’t have any power except over a few religious rites. But most archaeologists and anthropologists have been men, whose imaginations could not quite grasp a society in which women held real power, even a pretechnological society. (For example, the section on “Amazons” in the authoritative Oxford Classical Dictionary spends all of one sentence dismissing the notion the Amazon tribes ever existed–though these tribes were acknowledged by nearly every ancient historian who wrote about preclassical times.) Feminists in many branches of science and historical research have been reexamining the evidence for the existence of ancient gynocracies, or women-ruled societies. Among the more visionary and lyrically persuasive (if somewhat factually problematic) of these recent studies is The First Sex by Elizabeth Gould Davis. Davis hypothesizes that patriarchal society began only after barbarian male tribes violently overthrew the ancient, peaceful, and relatively advanced gynocracies, in which women were not only worshiped but were actually temporal rulers. These ancient gynocracies may have existed throughout Asia, northern Africa, the Arabian peninsula, and the Mediterranean area and persisted as late as 2,000 B.C. in some areas, such as Crete. Recent archaeological evidence suggests that Davis may be proved correct in the near future, and her thesis has been stated in a more tentative style than hers by several other highly respected scientists.

Those of us who considered ourselves radical feminists in the original sense of the term i.e. left wing Marxist-Leninist feminists felt utterly betrayed by the direction Morgan and others seemed to be moving in.

Eventually our branch of feminism became known as “Liberal Feminism”.  The branch that goes out and demonstrates for rights.  Some times in a manner that is reformist and sometimes in the case of those who fight globalization and the corporatocracy, radical.

Cultural Feminism, also referred to by some as “gender feminism” diverged from political feminism which was denounced as “reformist”. Something I always found strange given the reactionary positions masquerading as radical thought one found in in the writings of the cultural feminists.

As an atheist, I found it very difficult to get caught up in and devote much energy to the whole goddess worship movement that seemed to be an essential part of cultural feminism.  If the concept of a sky-god already seems absurd, it doesn’t much matter if that god is male or female.  Honestly I found some of the “research” on pre-historical matriarchies to be sketchy at best and requiring the same level of skepticism I used in reading Erich von Däniken’s “Chariots of the Gods”

Dancing naked around a fire with a bunch of other women was edifying in terms of fun and a fuck of a lot less work that working to elect a candidate that would support the ratification of the ERA. Except, it somehow seemed less relevant to smashing the patriarchy than doing the hard work of organizing.

Yet the cultural feminists started using their essentialism to dominate the political discourse.  They did this by claiming ultimate victimhood and wearing that ultimate victimhood as a badge of honor that gave them veto power over the political feminists and lesbians.  After all it was their goddess ordained, mother right, to have the voice of authority.

This essentialism along with ultimate victimhood became a tool of personal power and dominance.  A tool for shutting down the politicals and assuring the destruction of any sort of broad based feminism that worked on a wide scope of issues.

The attacks on transsexuals starting with Beth Elliott showed the basic elements of what became cultural feminism.  Particularly the essentialist elements.

There was a popular feminist button in 1969 that read, “Biology is not Destiny”.  I remember this button because I had one and wore it.  It was a statement of liberation that said one was not limited by their biology to specified roles.  In those days we talked about the sameness of men and women, the overlapping of talents, skills etc.  How male dominance was a product of social engineering.

Incidentally Dr. Benjamin and others who pioneered the treatment for transsexualism reinforced the idea of an over lapping of the sexes rather than a sharp dividing line.  Dr. Benjamin spoke of the many criteria of sex differentiation.

The essentialism of cultural feminism on the other hand was very much into the “Women are from Venus/Men are from Mars”  dialectic.  This like any other fundamentalist line of thinking  requires that ideology trump any possible form of contradictory evidence. Even when that contradiction is a living, breathing, thinking person standing there messing with your theory.

Transsexuals mess with Cultural Feminism’s Essentialist Theory

In later posts on this subject I will go into some of the contradictions the existence of transsexuals create for the Cultural Feminists prime theory of essentialism.  Like creationists they tie themselves in knots, presenting arguments not supported by evidence.  They will resort to lies, slander and false accusations to gain support for purging not only post-transsexual women from the ranks of lesbian feminism but anyone who supports post-transsexual women.

Who can blame them.  Transsexuals are the contradiction that devastates their ideologically self contained world.

1.  I confess to a love hate relationship with Robin Morgan.  Many of the books she compiled and edited are and have been a part of my essential feminist library since the early 1970s.  On the other hand I have felt that Morgan’s claiming to be a lesbian while in a heterosexual marriage and enjoying heterosexual privilege was an insult to actual lesbians.  While other women who wrote the works featured in many of Morgan’s anthologies were being trashed as seeking stardom for the mere act of putting their names on the writings they worked to produce, Morgan was never shy about putting her name on the anthologies she produced and edited.

Which Side Are You On?

The Transgender Borg and Transgender Inc put out a massive quantity of bullshit about identity and identifying as a woman, about how that identity trumps both physical reality and the perceptions of others. Based on the claims of some to be considered a woman all one has to do is claim to identify as such.

Being considered a woman doesn’t require being assigned female at birth.  Doesn’t require surgical sex reassignment from an initial birth assignment of male.  Doesn’t require the removal of testicles and definitely doesn’t require the surrender of one’s penis.  One isn’t required to live 24/7/365 in a socially accepted female sex role.  One doesn’t have to have electrolysis or even wear women’s clothing, according to Transgender Borg ideology to be considered a woman based on “identifying as a woman.”

Neither assigned female at birth nor later surgically reassigned as female women are permitted to have a say in this matter, but instead have to swallow the entire reactionary pile of crap regarding gender that we spent years fighting against.  Betty Friedan’s book The Feminine Mystique was all about how gender (sex) roles were used to trap women and limit their ability to function in the world as whole people with the agency to make their own decisions regarding the course of their lives.

For all of the Transgender Borg/Inc.’s  BS about deconstructing gender most of their philosophy seems deeply grounded in the reification of gender stereotypes as defining who is a man or who is a woman.

Indeed their ideology of “Transgender Umbrella” and “Transgender Community” seems intent upon stifling genuine attempts at breaking free from sex role/gender role stereotyping.  It is terribly oppressive to have your life colonized and be berated by the Borg/Inc for not embracing “Transgender as Umbrella” once they have decided you are part of a class that they have decided belongs under the “Transgender Umbrella.”

Speaking of “process”.  Isn’t there something incredibly phalliocentric happening when one group composed largely of penis people and their sycophants get to decide when some one is part of the “Transgender Community” or not, without the consent of the person or class of people being colonized?

I am well aware of Christan Williams attempts to write a form of revisionist history where  “Transgender” is a self chosen collective noun that was embraced as early as the late 1960s/early 1970s by women with transsexualism.

How does it feel, Christan, to be a sycophant toadie for a bunch of people who have advocated violence against feminist women, who had the courage to say no to the demands of phalliocentric transvestites and their demands to share the women’s room based on “identity”?  Identity with out actions that actually change your sex is meaningless, nothing more than a con game played by penis people who want to violate women’s privacy.

Don’t think I haven’t noticed the attempts at rehabilitating Angela Keyes Douglas, a psychopathic douche nozzle from the 1970s who hindered the integration of post-transsexual women into the feminist and lesbian communities with his androcentric “transgender superiority” and his calling  lesbian feminists  “ugly cunts” and “fish”.

BTW that word, “Fish”…  That’s the word that set the feminists off when it was used by Saint Sylvia during her drunken Pride Day Parade episode back in 1973.  Do you think that really gave post-transsexual women a big boost in the feminist community?  Or did it hurt us?

Many of us  look upon SRS as ending a chapter in our lives and with the end of that chapter come an end to membership in a shared class that has come to be called “The Transgender Community”.  At that point we face a life choice.  One road means we continue the process of becoming women, a process that can only happen if we drop the “Trans”.  That means dropping the “Transgender Community”.  It means embracing the bare unadorned label, “woman” with out the prefix “trans” much less the adjective “transgender”.

In spite of the TG Borg/Inc.’s protestations to the contrary one cannot identify as a woman and as transgender.  The two are mutually exclusive.  One might identify as a “trans-woman” or as a “transgender woman”, one might even identify as transsexual, although the term transsexual implies actual actions taken to permanently physically change one’s sex.  But as long as one either has to stick a prefix or adjective, or voluntarily sticks that prefix or adjective in front of the word woman then one is identifying with the modifying prefix or adjective and not with the noun being modified.

Being woman identified might have all sorts of readings and levels, take all sorts of forms from spiritual to political.

But one thing should seem obvious.  Living one’s life in transgender-centric surroundings is not conducive to taking the final step in the process of becoming part of the community of women.  It is continuing to live in the transgender ghetto.  One does not have to be hostile to genuine transgender people nor wish to deny genuine transgender people their rights.  But who is actually transgender?  This is a reasonable question. I had a hostile transvestite who goes by the on-line name of Carolyn-Ann come here a while back with his penis waving transvestite BS.  He got pissy when he found out I wasn’t about to be bullied by him and has periodically trashed me on his blog ever since.  Do I have to consider him a woman, or welcome him into women’s space?

Speaking of women’s space…  Many of us have been welcomed into women’s space based upon our work within the feminist and lesbian communities, our personalities.  Even the Michigan Women’s Music Festival quietly expanded its policies to permit women identified post-transsexual women into the festival.  Yet Camp Trans continues as many will not be satisfied until people with penises can invade any and all gatherings of women.

I have been accused of being a “genital surgery essentialist” by Autumn Sandeen.  Monica Roberts, who has advocated violence against Cathy Brennan and Elizabeth Hungerford, suggesting they should be pimp slapped and condoning a transvestite named Anthony Casebeer suggestion that these women be attacked with a baseball bat.  Monica Roberts, who often points out racial injustice is equally often given to hyperbole and regularly engages in phalliocentric dismissals of post-transsexual women, snidely implying that women born transsexual has racist connotations with her oh so cute”WWBT” and her disparaging of our bodies as having man-made vanilla scented neo-coochies.

Nice going Monica.  You have insured the heightening of the contradictions.

One can be woman identified or one can be part of the phalliocentric Transgender Borg Collective.  One cannot be both.

I consider the attacks upon Cathy Brennan and Elizabeth Hungerford to be unwarranted, nor do I see any real merit in the arguments coming fron the TG Borg/Inc.  The inclusiveness of the “Transgender as Umbrella” paradigm is its weakness not its strength.  They use post-transsexual women as a front when so many of them are men in their daily lives.  The refusal to limit Transgender to people who live 24/7/365 when writing legislation that grants entry to restrooms and other spaces where women expect a reasonable level of privacy, causes many women to be reasonably wary, to ask just what this means.

When post-transsexual women who have been around the scene and know what is going on because they have seen the reality take sides in this issue one may justifiably ask, “Do you stand with women, or do you stand with transvestites?”

I have been called a “radical feminist” by some in the TG Borg/Inc.  I guess I am, if that means I put the interests of women either assigned female at birth or surgically reassigned as female at a later time ahead of the interest of either transgender people or transvestites.

I put women without a prefix or adjective and their interests first, because that is what being woman identified requires.  Being woman identified isn’t an identity or make-up and clothing.  It is a commitment to women, both because you are a woman and because you put the interests of women first.

A Forgotten Fight for Suffrage

From The New York Time Op-Ed: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/08/25/opinion/25stansell.html?ref=opinion

By CHRISTINE STANSELL
Published: August 24, 2010

LOOKING back on the adoption of the 19th Amendment 90 years ago Thursday — the largest act of enfranchisement in our history — it can be hard to see what the fuss was about. We’re inclined to assume that the passage of women’s suffrage (even the term is old-fashioned) was inevitable, a change whose time had come. After all, voting is now business as usual for women. And although women are still poorly represented in Congress, there are influential female senators and representatives, and prominent women occupy governors’ and mayors’ offices and legislative seats in every part of the United States.

Yet entrenched opposition nationwide sidelined the suffrage movement for decades in the 19th century. By 1920, antagonism remained in the South, and was strong enough to come close to blocking ratification.

Proposals for giving women the vote had been around since the first convention for women’s rights in Seneca Falls, N.Y., in 1848. At the end of the Civil War, eager abolitionists urged Congress to enfranchise both the former slaves and women, black and white. The 14th Amendment opened the possibility, with its generous language about citizenship, equal protection and due process.

But, at that time, women’s suffrage was still unthinkable to anyone but radical abolitionists. Since the nation’s founding, Americans considered women to be, by nature, creatures of the home, under the care and authority of men. They had no need for the vote; their husbands represented them to the state and voted for them. So, in the 14th Amendment’s second section, Republicans inserted the word “male,” prohibiting the denial of voting rights to “any of the male inhabitants” of the states.

Continue reading at: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/08/25/opinion/25stansell.html?ref=opinion

Posted in Constitutional Rights, Feminist, Gender, History, Human Rights, Politics, Sexism, Social Justice, Unequal Treatment. Comments Off on A Forgotten Fight for Suffrage

Gender… Schmender #$%@&^*

The whole ideology of gender is purely sexist bullshit.

Gender is a pure social construct, a fiction that oppresses both men and women but more women than men.

When I hear “gender assigned at birth” I want to slap someone. I wasn’t assigned a gender at birth.  The doctor looked between my legs and said, “It’s a boy.”  I was assigned male by reason of having a penis there later in life I had an operation that reassigned me to female based on that same genital appearance factor.

When I came out in 1969, I came out as a feminist.  Women in the collective gave me clothes. While the guys claimed they respected me but they also started treating me in a way that told me they expected me to adhere to the sex roles both hippie and movement women were expected to adhere to.

When other movement women saw this they introduced me to feminism.  When SDS split into Weatherman and other factions I became Weather, largely because of Bernadine Dohrn.  You see there weren’t very many strong women’s voices in SDS and the Anti-War Movement.

Bernadine Dohrn gave great rants…  Maybe months later on reflection you went WTF but at the time…  Oh how I admired her audacity and how she inspired me to act courageously.

I also learned from other radical women. Putting women and the interests of women first yet never forgetting that sexism was only one axis of oppression. Consciousness raising and analysis gave me/us an understanding of what the world expects of women.

Many of us who were dealing with having been born with transsexualism owe far more to feminism and the feminist movement than we ever did to Stonewall and the Gay Liberation Movement. We weren’t gay men even if we had male lovers.  Especially if we had male lovers… being transsexual and having a male lover meant we were straight or more accurately heterosexual since straight also had other connotations.

We weren’t some “T” so recently grafted on to what was first a Gay Liberation Movement.  We were women in transition to female having to deal with the same sexism as natal female women had to deal with.  It didn’t much matter if we were radical feminist Weather Nation women or Cosmo “Sex and the Single Girl” women.  We had to deal with sexism and pay discrimination as well as sexist assumptions based on what are now called “gender” stereotypes.

Gender was something used to keep women oppressed.  It was the idea that women are weak and stupid; fit only to be sex objects or mothers. Daddy’s little princess until given to a man only to lose her last name and become his property.* Gender became a way of telling feminists that they were not real women since they questioned the marketing of very high profit items based on pandering to a sense of insecurity in one’s own womanhood or attractiveness.

When feminism challenged those who were dealing with transsexualism part of the challenge was due to the tendency of so many of us to embrace all the marketing of gender without insight or even a sense of irony.

But gender as it is so often used today is if anything a far more sneaky and loaded with subtextual readings semiotic. Gender has now replaced sex in so much of the common discourse that we look at the construct as reality and skip over the subtextual readings of the semiotic.

Whereas once upon a time the Cockettes Troupe in San Francisco deconstructed gender and showed it as performative through the usage of exaggerated costumes and the performing of equally over the top stereotypes taken from films of the 1930s and 40s I now have some people ask if these performers were transsexual or transgender. The answer is maybe some were.  One was in the Stanford program at the same time I was, others were gay men and some were natal females.

By breaking the rules of gender through Absurdist Theater they created both campy comedy and a critique of sex roles. One of the crucial mistakes in feminist criticism of more traditional drag is the assumption that women are the target when it often seems the aim is more a matter of ridiculing roles portrayed in movies.

But Second Wave Feminism went even further in delivering a devastating critique of sex roles as defining what the proper role of women was.  When women dared step beyond the stereotypes and enter male dominated career field they were told that doing so would un-sex both women and men.  Fashion magazines and all sorts of corporate interests dished up massive loads of propaganda aimed at undermining the confidence of women seeking equality of opportunity.

One of the critiques of transsexual to female people is that we have not been socialized as women. This is an assumption that is often times contradictorily both true and false. Transsexual to female people grow up as transkids and are influenced by the same sales pitches and indoctrination as natal women yet they are told it is something they must adhere to and we are told it is something to be ashamed of.

This makes it hard for us to have a critical eye regarding this propaganda when we first come out. We may acquire it with experience but it is equally possible for us to join the masses of women who march to the beat of Sex in the City rather than to NOW and more radical feminisms.

At some point sex became gender and roles acted replaced that which was written upon the body. The ironic labeling of sex as a definer of maleness or femaleness as essentialism has resulted in many people with a poor understanding of feminist theory using it as a careless accusation.

Dividing people into classes of male and female based on the appearances of genitalia would mean that heterosexual post-SRS women and men would be able to legally marry partners of the other sex.  No more Christie Lee Littletons, no more Nikki Araguzs.

But when the misogynistic reactionary forces of both religious fundamentalism and ultra right wing politics united to defeat feminism as well as LGBT/TQ liberation and the progressive movements of the 60s and 70s they seemed to unite with corporate interests in reasserting misogyny.  Trying to sell sex roles and their importance after 15 years of serious feminist critique was more of a struggle than repackaging sex roles as gender.

The Total Woman by Marabel Morgan was supposedly a self help book for women.  In reality this 1974 publication was grounded in the rising right wing Christo-Fascist backlash that also spawned the rise of the homophobic bigotry of Anita Bryant and crew.

Along with Phyllis Schlafly these genderists put forth an ideology that could have been penned by the late transvestite activist pioneer, Virginia Prince.  The ideology was one that kept women in their places by telling them that they weren’t real women unless they filled this total woman gender role.  The same gender role feminists had critiqued under the name of “sex roles.”

Now I view “gender” as a culturally defined social construct that varies a great deal according to culture and time (see Margaret Mead’s work.  BTW her “debunker” were right wing McCarthyites).

With western modernism the naturally occurring over lapping of sex traits and abilities lead to a lessening of rigid gender roles that are more often found these days in non-western cultures.

Defining people as real men or real women based on gender is a characteristic of conservative values often based in religiously fanatical cultures which is why I find the embrace of “gender” as definer by Transgender Inc. to be more reactionary than progressive.

I read a story on Bilrico about some creep beating an infant boy to death to make him act like a man. http://www.bilerico.com/2010/08/man_kills_17-month-old_boy_for_acting_like_a_girl.php This is the problem with putting so much emphasis on gender.

In the real world an Emo boy even with nail polish and a magenta streak in his long black hair is still a boy.  The rocker girl with facial piercings, tats and black leather motor cycle boots is still a girl.

Of course without the ideology of transgender Thomas Beatie is a masculine woman who dresses and acts like a man when she isn’t having children.  But c`est la vie.  And no I wouldn’t mis-gender him like that even though I am supremely irritated by the neo-quiver full thingie.

Gender is masculinity or femininity not maleness or femaleness.  We got suckered into discussing that core identity of male or female as being gender based on Stoller’s book (Sex and Gender) way back in the 1960s.  We didn’t have a whole lot of information to operate on and lacked a vocabulary to describe what we were feeling.  We should have used “core sex identity” for that sense of being female trapped in a male body.
Little did we realize that even then introducing “gender” in to the discourse was using poisoned seeds from the fruit of a poisonous tree.  The misogynistic world according to Virginia Prince became the bullshit crop of the transgender social construct of gender.

The way Transgender Inc. uses gender is not the least bit liberating.  It can’t be as it is based on a construct that defines membership in the sex class of female or the sex class of male not based on what one commonly uses.  Male and female are generally based on whether one has a penis or vagina.

Yet the simple reality of hole or pole unites both Transgender Inc and the religious fanatic/right wingers in finding ways to tell women born transsexual that their pussies do not really make them women.