“I saw the breasts and I saw the long hair and I thought, like, that’s what I wanted.” – Jait Jr., former transgender teen now a gay man trying to undo the damage to his body done by hormones and silicone.
“I’m always walking around with a secret”.
MTV “True Life” runs a segment on transgender teens- one male, one female, now forced to undo the damage as they grow up and change their mind about believing they should medically alter their bodies into looking like the opposite sex. “I’m questioning my gender again”- Full episode here:
The incredible sexism of their home environments (“Boys who play with Barbie must be girls”) is astounding and illuminates some of the cultural forces driving the “transgender children” trend. Both of these former trans teens were fully supported into transitioning by their families, and both families cautioned the (now young adult) transgenders against switching back.
“This is what I was afraid of. They don’t get it. They feel like I’m not being true to myself. I don’t know… I just feel like they think that I’m making a mistake.”- Jait Jr on his family’s lack of support for his de-transition.
“Right now I just want to shave off all my hair and be a man so that’s what I’m going to do”- Jait Jr, formerly “Daniella”.
“Detransitioning is what is going to make me happy”- Jait Jr.
“Growing up, I never really felt super-girly and I couldn’t put my finger on why.” -Amanda, former teen transgender “Anthony” now quitting testosterone and undergoing electrolysis to remove her beard.
“I guess my biggest fear is that right now I’ve got it all figured out but that I’m going to get confused again and not know what I’m doing or who I am. Forever.”- Amanda
“I just hope that this is the last transition I make. I don’t want to keep doing this”. -Amanda
“I hope I’m done with gender related surgeries for good this time”.- Jait Jr.
“I guess I kind of feel reborn”.- Jait Jr.
“I haven’t felt this comfortable in a while”. -Jait Jr.
“I think I prefer make-up to shaving because it’s easier and a lot more fun”- Amanda, still a strong believer in gender roles.
March 17, 2013
It’s been a year since I first spotted a small listing for a Planned Parenthood male-only seminar curiously titled “The Cotton Ceiling”. If you’ve never heard of it you can read about it here: https://gendertrender.wordpress.com/tag/the-cotton-ceiling/
A lot of lesbians were sort of shocked by the Cotton Ceiling- a series of closed-to-females seminars designed for transgender males to tackle the “problem” of lesbian refusal to have sex with males. Lesbians were shocked, but not surprised. Dykes had long been aware of the male takeover of lesbian spaces- it’s been going on for years. Every public womon-space, from book groups to dances to music festivals to record companies to bars has witnessed the “transition” of the same creepy straight dudes who imposed themselves and haunted, sentry-like, the corners of our spaces, into “transwomen” who now claimed they “were” lesbians.
In 1981 Victoria Brownsworth described the emergent phenomenon of transgender males who demanded entry into dyke spaces, followed by demands that such spaces should revolve around them and their “male lesbian” wants and needs: “ When we talk about the role of male-to-female transsexuals in the women’s movement as a whole and the lesbian movement in particular I feel we are talking about the ultimate in male power-tripping.”
It happened incrementally. First some male would show up in women’s space woefully in his earrings and afghan, speaking in his soft falsetto. Lesbians, like most women socialized to be care-taking and non-confrontational, did not have the heart to kick him out. The air in the room changed with his presence. Women did not talk and joke in their usual relaxed manner. He didn’t know the difference. But the women did. They hoped he would not return. But he always did. Of course he did.
Gradually women’s meetings and groups stopped being advertised. They were moved to private homes. Public dances became private house parties. Women’s bars, record companies, spas, festivals, book stores closed. Lesbian websites were taken over until they were all run by “male lesbians”. Inch by inch, yard by yard, real lesbian culture went underground, private, smaller. Cultural pundits speculated this happened because we were integrating into the larger society where homosexuality was no longer taboo. Integrate! Integrate! Integrate! Who needs womon-space anyway? It will always be there if we want it. But inch by inch, yard by yard, men took over. Until it actually wasn’t there if we wanted it. Until we actually weren’t allowed to have lesbian space: women’s space. Males protested lesbian space, often physically.
They tried to shut down Michfest Womyn’s Music Festival by setting up an occupation where men (“male lesbians”) slashed tires, cut water lines, terrorized women by stalking the perimeter with illegal weapons, and blanketed the festival with pictures of their dicks inscribed with the phrase “A hot load from my monstrous tranny-cock embodies womanhood more than the pieces of menstral [sic] art your transphobic cunts could ever hope to create”. Transgender “male lesbians” tried to shut down rape crisis services. They tried to shut down the Take Back The Night marches. Male transgender “lesbians”, ten years ahead of the curve of real women in internet access and organizing, formed attack groups against lesbian and feminist websites and news outlets long before most real women even knew how to get online. They attacked lesbians at Dyke Marches carrying banners stating that homosexuality is “wrong”.
A male transgender named Ida (formerly Daniel) Hammer forced his way onto the organizing committee of NYC DykeMarch even though he was partnered with another male. He then proceeded to organize a posse of other men and non-lesbians to surround and threaten lesbian feminists who were targeted for their history of advocating for lesbian gatherings and events without men. Hetero male trans successfully had lesbian films removed from film festivals (before they had even viewed them). They wrote to book publishers calling for censorship of lesbian feminist books that had not yet been published- or written. They joined forces with the same anti-woman“Men’s Rights” groups that Anders Behring Breivik was a member of to shut down feminist seminars. They stalked and harassed any women who performed or attended lesbian or women’s festivals or conferences and tried to get them blacklisted from other venues. They tried to destroy vendors servicing lesbian events. And the rape and death threats. Holy shit. The death threats, the stalking.
My first post here at GenderTrender never even mentioned trans but I had my first death threat from a “male lesbian” within 5 minutes of posting. Any post, any gathering, any group, any seminar, for lesbians or from a lesbian or female perspective will be assaulted immediately by heterosexual males that fancy themselves as “lesbian”. The lesbian community is ground zero for the men’s movement we call transgenderism because the number one goal and priority of the gender movement is the elimination of lesbian voices and culture.
Riki Wilchins and Denise Morris, the hetero white male “lesbians” who founded the Transexual [sic] Menace proudly claim the male attacks on the Michigan Womyn’s Music Festival as the galvinizing moment for the gender movement, and also the single largest organized pro-gender political action in history.
So. The Cotton Ceiling shocked lesbians but it did not surprise them. What was shocking was the dropping of all pretense. All the bullshit about hetero male transgenders being sad sacks born in the wrong body. All the suicide threats and appeals for female care-taking. All the complaints about sex-exclusive meetings (lesbian-reparative Cotton Ceiling seminars were male-only). Just as every male-incursive inch turned into a mile in the lesbian community- as these men destroyed the very thing they claimed to want access to (and never knew the difference), so the “male lesbians” blatantly stepped forward to organize for the rights of their base agenda- the male “human right” of their penises to penetrate the ceiling of the human beings whose minds and bodies were getting in the way of their “male lesbian” fantasies: dick-noncompliant Actual Lesbians.
What shocked lesbians about The Cotton Ceiling was the honesty. What shocked lesbians is that the men we’ve been dealing with since forevahhhh saw no need to bother disguising their corrective-rape agenda any more. Every nagging feeling in our gut since that first hetero male lurker sat in the corner of the dyke bar staring: confirmed. No more double talk. No more queer theory. No more manipulation. Just plain old fucking corrective lesbian rape.
Shocked but not surprised.
The Cotton Ceiling was the shot heard round the world in the lesbian community, even among the integrated “who needs lesbian culture anyway” wimmin. Yet (like the clueless male in the lesbian book group who has no idea how his presence eliminates the space he wishes to occupy) the autogynephillic male “lesbians” have failed to ascertain this reality. Which brings us to: The Cotton Ceiling This Week.
Two of the premiere leaders of the white hetero male transgender penis rights movement which represents the “T” in LGBT have, in their rapetastic male arrogance, gifted us with new missives outlining corrective measures for the pesky “L”.
The first, from the middle-aged hetero white male physicist calling himself Savannah/Lefty T-Girl who is best known in the transgender activist community for coining the term “Lady-Stick” for his beloved cock.
T-Girl wants lesbians to know that the term “Sausage Fest” is offensive to the lady-sticks of male lesbians. Some lesbians have sausage too: The male ones! Lesbians should refrain from verbally disparaging the sausage! Because: Male lesbians have dicks and lesbians should STFU about not liking them. Also, not liking dicks is bigotry against dicks. He very generously advises that he will not use force to make us service his dick, but admonishes us that failing to do so is against our own best interests because:
Female humans are groomed and socialized from birth that we are to be raped, murdered, enslaved by men en masse worldwide due to our reproductive ability to bear labor-producing offspring.
By failing to pretend his sperm ejaculating ladystick (penis) is female we support our own oppression and create the reality that females are to be defined by our reproductive status and we enable and cause our own oppression as females. Because if we would only support his assertion that sperm ejaculating peni are “female” we will erase reproductive slavery because we will reject biological reality. And it is reproductive biology that men use to enslave women.
How incredibly offensive is this to women?
Supportive male comments in thread:
- there is no such thing as female humans, reproduction does not exist
- acknowledging biological sex in humans means there is no defining feature to humanity except for biological sex
- there is no such thing as human sexual dimorphism
- homosexuality is oppressive
- lesbians oppress males by rejecting them sexually
- Etc etc ad nausea
The second “Cotton Ceiling This Week” missive offered by a white male autogynephillic “T” leader is from Julia Serano. Serano is considered the premiere authority on transgender rights and authored the book “Whipping Girl” which asserted that sex-based oppression against females does not exist and that feminists oppress men when we claim that “femininity” and “masculinity” are terms culturally assigned to submissive and dominating behaviors and enforced according to sex in order to codify male dominance over females.
Serano’s “Cotton Ceiling This Week” piece goes way beyond T-Girl’s claim that lesbians cause our own oppression when we decline a male transgender’s dick. Serano claims that the “mentality” of females in general is the cause of male oppression and the “ugly head” of female reality must be stopped. Not kidding. Wish I was. From his post titled “Faab Mentality”: “…one can see FAAB-mentality rear its ugly head in radical-feminist blogs, butch/femme settings, and trans events. I’ve even seen queer folks wearing T-shirts emblazoned with the word FAABulous.”
Faab is short for “female assigned at birth”- terminology created by individuals with disorders of sexual development/intersex (usually children who had congenital anomalies or “birth defects” that caused them to have atypical reproductive characteristics). This terminology of “assigned sex” described the experience of intersex children who were medically “assigned” a sex absent of- or in spite of- diagnostic testing. Sometimes surgeries were (and are) performed on these children in attempt to make their atypical reproductive anatomy conform. To “normalize” them. This practice is unethical and now considered a form of medical “torture” under new UN guidelines. Transgender activists have politically colonized the intersex language of “sex assignment” because in the transgender belief system reproductive biology does not actually exist. Trans activists believe that all individuals – even those who are reproductively normal- have been medically “assigned” a sex arbitrarily at birth because they believe that human reproduction is a subjective mental- not objectively physical- state regardless of actual objective reproductive function.
So what is male trans leader Serano’s issue with females and what he describes as our “Faab Mentality”?
-Serano complains that because he believes that reproductive biology does not exist and that human sex is wrongly assigned based on the objective reproductive anatomy we are born with, it follows that our “assignment” is an infantile experience. Following from this premise, any discussion or acknowledgment of our sex-specific human experiences – either physical or cultural- is also infantile.
-He proposes that all female-specific discourse (I say female-specific and not sex-specific because he directs his critique solely at females) is therefore infantile “Baby Talk”: a play on words likening the voices of women to pre-verbal gibberish.
-Serano proposes that female discourse around sex-based experience be dismissed -and shamed- by the transgender movement as infantile pre-verbal gibberish. By doing so, he hopes to erase or at least silence females who organize politically or socially around female sex-specific oppression. His reasoning is that such feminist organizing undermines the absurd transgender platform that human reproduction is non-biologic. (It is interesting that biology-denying Serano reports that he has undergone a radical plastic surgery procedure to modify his penis and testicles into something that attempts to visually approximate the appearance of biologically female reproductive structures.)
-He expresses dismay that even homosexual females who have been successfully indoctrinated into genderist jargon and theory continue to partner with females. Not only that, but lesbians who have been successfully trained to echo transgender discourse have subverted the trans colonization of “sex assignment” and converted said discourse into a new form of female power and pride. From his essay:
“I read blogs. And an unfortunate consequence of reading blogs is that sometimes you stumble upon statements that make you upset. Lately, I’ve been dwelling over one single sentence from a blog postthat I read a few months ago. The author was a femme-identified cis woman who described her identity this way:
“I only say I’m queer to steer clear of sex acts with cisgender men whilst simultaneously accommodating my devout lesbianism and propensity towards dating trans men when the butch pool feels too shallow.”
I have become preoccupied with this quote, not because it is unusual or extraordinary – on the contrary, these are very commonplace sentiments among queer women these days. Rather, my interest in this quote stems from how perfectly it illustrates the subtle ways in which exclusion transpires in today’s queer women’s communities.
First, she defines “queer” in terms of her “devout lesbianism” and “steering clear of cisgender men.” Given her definition, a bisexual [male] woman (such as me), who sometimes does have sex with cis men, must automatically be *not* queer—aka, straight. Ah, the decades old lesbian tradition of erasing the B out of LGBT.
Second, she describes trans men as though they are not *really* men, but just another variety of butch woman. Indeed, trans male acceptance and desirability in queer women’s spaces often hinges on this assumption, which is partly why so many FTM-spectrum folks who are on “T,” prefer the pronoun “he,” and move through the world as men, nevertheless disavow any male-identification.
But from my perspective, the most poignant aspect of this quote is that there is absolutely no mention of trans women. We are absent, irrelevant, just as we are in most queer women’s spaces. I suppose that this isn’t surprising. If, like the author, most cis queer women believe that trans men are really butch women, then trans women must really be men. And, given this, if they believe that dating men disqualifies them from being queer, then trans women aren’t even going to be on their radar.
Lately, I’ve begun calling this mindset the FAAB-mentality. FAAB is an acronym for female-assigned-at-birth. Both FAAB and its counterpart MAAB (male-assigned-at-birth) were originally coined by trans activists in order to challenge invalidating concepts such as “birth sex,” “bio boys” and “genetic girls,” and to stress that our gender identities are far more relevant than how the straight world nonconsensually categorized us when we were babies. Yet somehow, over the last few years, FAAB has been appropriated by many cis queer women who wish to convey their affiliation with trans men, and to distance themselves trans women as well as cis men.
For instance, the musician Bitch recently wrote an “open letter” explaining why her support of trans woman-excluding women’s spaces is not “transphobic.” She begins her letter by dismissing cis/trans terminology, then she reframes the issue in terms of FAABs versus MAABs. Again, this is not an isolated incident—one can see FAAB-mentality rear its ugly head in radical-feminist blogs, butch/femme settings, and trans events. I’ve even seen queer folks wearing T-shirts emblazoned with the word FAABulous.”
-As the above quote illustates Serano (like all trans activists) believes that male “gender identities are far more relevant” than sex-based oppression against women.
That all women are raped, assaulted, beaten, threatened, impregnated like livestock, child-brided, female genital mutilated, sex-selected aborted, acid-attacked, honor-killed, “domestic” violenced, face-painted, prostituted, whored, slut-walked, forced to show our teeth, corrective raped, underpaid, unpaid, silenced, censored, harassed, stalked, crimes against us unprosecuted and even unrecorded, dismissed, ignored, uneducated, shamed, shunned, humiliated, discounted, infantalized, Etcetera because of our reproductive biology is irrelevant compared to the “rights” of transgender male fantasists to access lesbian bodies.
This is the Transgender Rights Movement and this is The Cotton Ceiling This Week.
February 7, 2013
I don’t have a ton of time for this, but I am so disturbed by the recent bashing and erasure of butch lesbians (and lesbians in general) in the radical feminist “community” that I feel compelled to respond to the nastiness posted yesterday by Allecto on the Liberation Collective website. Apparently there was “coincidentally” an identical post put up on Brennan’s blog today with an unfortunate photo of bisexual dominitrix Pat Califia as an illustration of a “butch lesbian” (wtf?). Coincidences aside, I’m going to address the original post at Liberation Collective. My comment was censored there so I am posting here. Males are not welcome to comment on lesbian community dynamics here.
My response to:
“Gender by any Name Always Stinks” by Allecto [My comments in bold-GM]
Having been educated into radical feminist analysis by a group of incredible Australian lesbian feminists who collectively have a very clear view that the butch/femme hierarchy in the lesbian community as one that is unhealthy to lesbian relations,
[Lesbian relations are non-hierarchical based on sex. There is no butch femme “hierarchy”, because there is no sex-based power imbalance between women. Jendur coded personality characteristics are not privileged among women. There are power imbalances in lesbian relations due to race and class and (dis)ability and conditional power based on ability to “pass” as heterosexual. There is no “hierarchy”, no patriarchal authority which grants power to a lesbian who disconforms to femininity over a lesbian whose presentation is socially coded as femininity conforming. Lesbians partnered with women who have seemingly opposite personality traits (you're bookish, I'm pop-cultureish) are not “unhealthy”. In fact, when calling lesbian relations “unhealthy” I'd be DAMN sure what the hell you are talking about considering the monstrous degree of oppression rained down on homosexual females . Lesbian relations are NOT unhealthy, even between women who have seemingly opposite personality traits that are erroneously coded as “masculine” and “feminine” in a sex hierarchy.] it surprised me to discover, both online and in real life, a push to incorporate butch/femme ideologies into lesbian feminist practice and theory.
[Ideologies? Lesbian feminist practice and theory? What sort of classist fuckery is this? Lesbians, including those working class lesbians historically termed butch or femme don't need to be “incorporated” into lesbian feminism. We fucking invented it! And we did it without a women's studies degree- or any fucking degree. We were the lesbians having bottles thrown at us while you were deciding how to let your parents know you liked sticking your mouth into vagina. Holy shit. You can have your practice and theory. We'll be doing the lesbianism and feminism- without any practice! Feminist “theory” was built on the backs of lesbian lives, especially lesbians targeted and ostracized for being walking billboards for the existence of female homosexuality.]
The push seems to be from a strong concern that women classified as ‘butch’ are a class of women who are specially oppressed under male supremacy and that they are being transitioned out of existence. [No shit. Being a walking billboard for lesbianism and female non-compliance tends to single one out for oppression. Fancy that! I'm reading your whole tone here as snide dismissal of corrective rape, murder, abuse of working class lesbians – and lesbians of any culture- who are “clocked”. And women like you who “other” us and seek to invisibilize us are stomping on our graves! Women like you who try to shame lesbians who fail to perform femininity and who you frame as somehow receiving hierarchical POWER for doing so. Women like you who frame us as “pseudo males”. It is YOU that inform the transification of butch lesbians, which you actually frame as a “strong concern” rather than an undeniable genocidal FACT that the rest of us have been witnessing for the last fifteen years. ]
So what is ‘butch’? There seems to me to be two different definitions of what constitutes a ‘butch’ woman within some rad fem circles. One definition is that a ‘butch’ woman is a woman who has never engaged in behaviours that are considered feminine; ie wearing a dress, or being fucked by a man.
[I have never heard a single butch lesbian in my entire life define herself as a woman who has never engaged in any behavior that is sexistly coded “feminine”. EVER. And let's get real here: neither have you. EVER. How ridiculous. This is total bullshit. Pure, butch-bashing bullshit. And what misogynistic homophobic bullshit. Gay men fuck each other all the time. There is nothing “feminine” about a man fucking you. This is some crazy tranz gendery bullshit that you are spewing at butch lesbians. Trans-parent! As for the dress: a butch lesbian is clockable in a dress and lipstick for christsake. Still readable as a bulldyke!]
According to the women who use this definition, ‘butch’ is not relational to ‘femme’. A ‘butch’ woman theoretically exists outside of male supremacy and ‘butch’ women prefer to socialise with and have relationships with other ‘butch’ women.
[Wha?? What butch claims to exist outside of patriarchy? Answer: None. Ever. In the history of the world. And LMAO about butches prefering to socialize with and relate to other butch lesbians. Why on earth would we find solace and comradery with similar women and avoid marginalizing transifying misogynist homophobe contact with women like YOU?]
However, in practice, ‘butch’ is relational to women classified as not-’butch’, that is, women who do engage in behaviour that is considered feminine. ‘Femmes’ become necessary in order for ‘butches’ to differentiate themselves from, and hold themselves above.
[EWWWWWWWW. Just fucking ewwwwwwwwwww. How dare those uppity bulldaggers acknowledge a distinct experience, different from women who can mainstream themselves. They must think they are “above” other women by being walking targets. Let's fuck them uppity bitchez up. UGH. Disgusting, horrific lesbian-bashing here. Same EXACT rhetoric of corrective rapists worldwide.]
I find this definition of ‘butch’ problematic for many reasons. Firstly, there is no such thing as a woman (or man) who has never engaged in behaviours considered feminine. Under this definition, no woman on earth is ‘butch’, as no woman can exist without engaging in behaviours falsely categorised as feminine. Pretty certain that every butch woman has cried at some point in their life, or held another being tenderly etc.
[Strawman argument. No butch lesbian has ever claimed any such thing. EVER. In the history of the world. Pure, butch lesbian-bashing bullshit here. Actually bizarre assertion. No butch lesbian has ever asserted such a thing. EVER.]
Universal human behaviour has been falsely split into masculinity and femininity. To paraphrase Mary Daly, a person who has been socialised into masculinity is a person who has lost half of themselves. As feminists we seek to destroy the hierarchical gendered categorisation of human behaviour so that behaviours classified as feminine are not devalued or lesser than… but part of normal human behaviour, not relational to gender.
[On what planet have you seen any woman, ever, socialized into traits coded as masculine? Answer: None. Not even on StarTrek. Also, horrible bastardization of Mary Daly- in use to bash lesbians, no less. Horrible.]
If the radical feminist idea of gender is that it is universal human characteristics that have been falsely categorised and placed into a hierarchy of masculine over feminine is true, then a practice which seeks to eradicate behaviours that are perceived by society to be feminine would potentially render a woman masculinised, therefore a woman who has lost half of herself, not a true woman in the sense of free from male supremacist thought and action.
[OMG. Again, just ewww. Disgusting conflation AGAIN of butch lesbians with MALES. Butches are working class lesbians who don't “pass”. All humans have various characteristics. Butch lesbians have characteristics which are falsely categorized as masculine. We have fought, figuratively and literally, not to have these characteristics beaten out of us. Yet sexist genderist homophobes like you claim we are LESS THAN HUMAN. You claim we are ONLY HALF HUMAN, having “lost half of ourselves”. FUCKKKKKKKKKKKK YOUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU. Seriously, fuck you and every butch-stabbing hating nasty-ass fucker who ever stomped on a dyke.]
Though in theory these women claim to exist outside of relation to women they see as conforming to femininity, [LIAR!] I often notice self-labelled ‘butch’ women talking about ‘other’ women in a disparaging and very superior manner. To me, it seems obvious that these women see ‘butch’ as better than other women who are not perceived as ‘butch’ essentially keeping the false categories and hierarchy firmly in place.
[RIGGHHHTTTT. Bulldaggers OPPRESS WOMEN. Butch Pride HURTS women. Because= POWER! MAGICK BULLDAGGER POWER! Fucking disgusting lesbian bashing here. ]
The second definition of ‘butch’ is in relation to ‘femme’ within the context of lesbian relationships and the wider lesbian community. These feminists believe that gender is damaging only within a heterosexual/heterorelational context. [IE: SEX-BASED OPPRESSION. HELLO?] They put forward the notion that gender is not only safe within the lesbian community, but necessary, and an intrinsic part of every lesbian relationship.
[ WHOA. Wait. You just conflated TWO things. SEX-BASED OPPRESSION (which is a HUGE, actual thing) with an entirely invented, ficticious, demonization of butch lesbians claiming we think Jendur: sex-based hierarchy- is good. And Needed. And INTRINSIC. WHAT A REVERSAL. What a transparently false association you have created out of thin air to try to back up your bashing of butch lesbians. What a horrible misrepresentation of lesbians you have constructed here. It is so fucking distgusting that you would tack this shit onto butch dykes. You say this is the “second definition of butch” : what is that definition? You never say. Outlining the difference between sex-based oppression and inter-female relationships doesn't offer a “second definition” of butch lesbians. Just stringing total crap together to shit on working class daggers. Nice. Lesbians who have characteristics coded under patriarchy as masculine are shit because whut?? JUST BECAUSE, apparently.]
From a brief discussion with a proponent of gender role playing/identity within lesbian relationships it seems like a very convoluted way of tacking gender onto lesbians with little rhyme or reason.
[Butch lesbians aren't playing a role. But you had a brief discussion with someone who likes roleplaying? WHAT?? You shit on bulldykes because Whut???]
From what I could gather, the butch/femme thing in this definition is largely about appearance. A woman who wears a dress is ‘femme’, a woman in pants/short hair is ‘butch’. [You are not a lesbian if you think this. You just aren't. This reminds me of a “political lesbian” (straight woman) who recently claimed assembling an IKEA table was a butch act.] I don’t really understand how categorising women into gendered identities because of clothing choices is in anyway meaningful or necessary for lesbians seeking liberation. Also, surely any relationship forged upon, and beholden to, the aesthetic appearance of the women involved is an incredibly shallow way of relating. [Do you think lesbians are retarded? Butch lesbians are clockable regardless of what they wear or don't wear. This is disgusting homophobia and misogyny.]
It seems that within this community a lot of attention is paid to ‘loving the butch’ and women classified into ‘femme’ will often exclaim about how much they love ‘butches’. I find this quite disconcerting as it reads like the worship of the cult of masculinity, which is surely something that we, as lesbian feminists, are trying to escape. And this again shows up the hierarchy involved as it is less often that I see ‘butch’ women exclaiming about how much they love ‘femmes’. When this occurs, I find it disturbing for similar reasons. We should not be worshipping the cult of femininity either, as it is a building block upon which women’s oppression is founded.
[Women's oppression is NOT based upon naturally occurring variations of female characteristics. Women's oppression is based on biological sex. Women whose personal characteristics are coded “feminine” or “masculine” under a sex-based hierarchy DO NOT OPPRESS OTHER WOMEN DUE TO THEIR PERSONAL CHARACTERISTICS. HOW FUCKING OBVIOUS IS THIS. Women-hating, lesbian-hating women like you and Cathy Brennan CANNOT MAKE IT SO. ]
As I was writing this article, a young woman wrote the following post in a feminist facebook group. I feel like this exemplifies the problems caused by engaging with gender, even within the lesbian community.
i had a run-in with a lesbian who was butch/”trans” … and very condescending and abusive towards feminine women. she liked to walk around with a strap-on under her pants, admitting she liked to feel “above” women because of it, and practically used it as a weapon against her girlfriend. i also recently got out of a relationship with another butch who was very abusive in a similar way. i was bullied by her for my previous experiences with men, but she had the same experiences as me. i felt like i was shamed for being feminine as well.
what the hell is this? self-hate? they both seemed to kiss their male friends’ asses too, all while blatantly emotionally abusing their female friends. i love butches, don’t get me wrong, but i’m a little apprehensive now. both of these women said they were feminists, albeit the first one subscribing to queer/trans BS. the one with the strap-on dealio actually graduated with a women’s studies degree (tho that doesn’t account for much), but she was also involved with radical politics so i don’t know how the hell she thought this shit was ok. she loved BDSM and literally beating the shit out of women, especially drunk women who found themselves at her place. i had to take a woman she was sleeping with home once, who was way too drunk, who she tied up and did God knows what else to. after that i refused to be anywhere near the abuser. my ex, though, seemed more put off by feminine images or “beauty”, whereas the first one seemed put off by body or sex.
i feel a little traumatized from what i’ve been through with these two. to make matters worse, they lived together at one point and the strap-on chick liked to hit on me and touch me without my consent. i was scared to defend myself because of her anger and passive aggressive attitude, so to not cause any trouble i just kept my mouth shut and asked my girlfriend to say something to her. considering my past experiences with men and how they guilted me, shamed me, buillied me into shit i didn’t wanna do, i kinda attributed that to this person because she was so aggressive and obsessed with her strap-on or whatever. but my ex didn’t care to do anything to make her stop touching me. she would literally say “i don’t want to mess up my living arrangement”. so you’re practically offering me to your friend?!
[HAHAHA! What a disgusting bizzare butch-bashing quote conflating us with trans, pseudo-males, and demonizing us. Dear lord. Oh GOOD GOLLY! Some women are all “yay porn”, “yay trans” SO WHAT??? FUCK YOU for you butch lesbian-bashing and FUCK every commenter in support of your post. Women-bashers and Lesbian-bashers like you and Brennan ARE A DIME A DOZEN.]
I want lesbian feminism to be a safe place for lesbians, like the young woman above, who have been harmed by gender within the lesbian community. We need to be providing young lesbians with the tools to be able to sort through the damage that queer and pomo ideas have had on lesbianism. The idea of ‘butch’ will not protect women from transitioning, but a vibrant, healthy, loving anddiverse lesbian community will. There are as many genders as there are people which renders gender completely meaningless to lesbians, feminists and women in general. As lesbian feminists we want to make gender meaningless to the world and we will start with our communities. True sisterhood is loving women, without recourse to ‘butch’ and ‘femme’. Not ‘butch’, not ‘femme’: WE ARE WOMEN!!!
“There are as many genders as there are people” WHAT???? Shitting on, demonizing, bashing and seeking to invisibilize butch dykes is NOT a progressive idea. Just ask South Africa! Or Iran! “Recourse” to butch? FUCK YOU!
Here’s the definition of a Butch Lesbian:
Butches (and Studs!) are the dykes you will NEVER SEE on the L-Word or any other fucking TV show.
Is there any dyke ever on television that vaguely reminds you of yourself? YOU are NOT a butch lesbian.
We are the dykes that FTMs call “failed to launch”
We are the dykes being put on puberty-blockers and sterilized
We are the dykes that “political lesbian” straight women and bisexuals call pseudo-males
We are the dykes that rich white college women’s studies majors call distasteful due to femininity=fail
We are the dykes bashed by “radfem leaders” because: working class
We are the dykes our community refuses to call by female pronouns
We are the dykes conflated with males and FTMs by women who call themselves feminists
We are the dykes who will continue, unflinchingly, in the face of all your marginalization and hate, to champion the rights of all females, everywhere, through ACTION every minute of every day, using ourselves as a weapon against female-hating BULLSHIT.
Also, FUCK YOU. (if that wasn’t clear).
December 31, 2012
from a F2T transgender forum:
Before I properly realised I was trans I knew I liked girls, yet the term lesbian didn’t seem right. I couldn’t stand the word. Read the rest of this entry »
December 12, 2012
November 21, 2012
“I’m trying to just get off of it at this point. And my reason for that is because I am not wanting any more changes than I’ve already had. I think the changes that I did have snuck up on me pretty quickly and I hadn’t really thought about what it meant to pass at that point. And now I do pass. And I’m still at a crossroads with that in terms of it being something that I am comfortable with, and it being something that sort of negates an old identity that I am comfortable with that I still feel like I am. Like I still very much feel like a dyke. And so it’s hard being read as a straight white male. It’s got its privileges but it’s also- it’s been hard for me to relate to people just because – I look a little different now. And I think a lot of that was because I had insecurity about being butch enough in the queer scene and also I feel like a lot of people were taking T and I was- I wanted to fit in, so I took T too.”
October 23, 2012
October 5, 2012
[This post was written in response to the issues of Lesbian Exclusion, Lesbian Invisibility, Lesbians being pushed to the side by “the GBT”, Sexism and objectification of Lesbians by non-lesbians, and male mobs surrounding and terrorizing Lesbians at this year’s event. For those who haven’t been following this story the NYC Dyke March 2012 incidents can be read about by following the links and threads in THIS PREVIOUS POST. –GM]
Guest Post by NYC Dyke
If I accept Danny as a woman, which the Dyke March committee does, that means that a straight woman has been welcomed with open arms by the NYC Dyke March committee as a participant and now, as a leader. Because lesbians NEED straight women to lead us and tell us what to do?
If I don’t see Hammer as a woman, as a lot of regular Jane participants in the community don’t, that means that yet another man has been chosen by women to be in a position of leadership at an event that was started to highlight *lesbian invisibility* at Pride ™ events and in the world in general. The fact that he’s a gay man who has hormone treatments and pigtails doesn’t change that either. What about the men?!
Which means that the current organizing committee is failing dykes and the mission statement of the march. (In addition to the Coral Short group who took DMs original chant of “we’re here, we’re queer, we’re fabulous, don’t fuck with us,” and drowned it out this year with their porno version inviting men to “come fuck with us” because we’re just holes after all).
The last few years I’ve seen Danny boy go from volunteer from leader. We also saw more and more men walking in the march – cross dressers as well as gay men having a good time with their straight female friends screaming at marshals who asked them to stand on the side. This year there were more c/d marshals than in the past. Thankfully there *was* unhappiness about people with male pattern baldness in dresses marshaling and participating a march that is supposed to be the FEW HOURS one day a year where LESBIAN WOMEN demand to be heard.
Hopefully, after all this, after members of the organizing committee and the lesbian community in NY chip in to pay Danny’s deductible (while not talking about how many DYKES don’t even have health care), Danny’ll move on to something else. He’s thoroughly trampled over so many lesbian and women’s actions and activities in NY. He’s helped make NY Dyke March an unsafe space for LESBIAN WOMEN who don’t conform. Maybe he’ll find greener pastures somewhere else.
And maybe the young lesbian leadership of NYC Dyke March will wake up to what a lot of the volunteers have started noticing and take this march back and make it not about what fabulous queer man loving holes we are but strong fierce women loving women who demand to be seen and heard in the noise of house music and consumerism of (l)GBTQIAAWTFLOLSMH Inc.
September 29, 2012
Is this the coolest dyke ever? She is hilarious.
August 17, 2012
Today The Advocate published – uncritically- a glowing excerpt from a book written by a woman who diagnosed her daughter as transgender at the age of eighteen months. The author and parent, Tracie Stratton, describes being disturbed by her tiny infants lack of conformity to socially proscribed sexist feminine gender behaviors for infants.
She diagnosed her daughter as “boyish” and “different” at one year of age.
Hey guess what folks. People should not be examining one year olds for sex role compliance. No matter your politics, your religion, your horrific sexism, your munchausen’s syndrome by proxy, no one should be monitoring a one year old child for sex-role compliance.
But Stratton did. So much though that she claims that before two years of age her daughter was already parotting back to mom: “Me a boy, mama”.
“By eighteen months I knew that this child, my fourth daughter, was different from the first three. In particular, she was very boyish, a characteristic which I had never thought about much before.” Stratton says.
Hey guess what folks. Eighteen month olds do not even know what that means. HUGE red flags. Stratton claims that she “consulted with her pediatrician” about her infant daughter’s troubling “boyishness”. She does not report the result of that consultation. But the fact that she reports it occurred insinuates the deep, profound extent of her parental malaise with her infants non-compliance to infant sex-roles. WHAT? Infant sex-roles?!?! HUGE red flags. One can only speculate that the pediatrician must have been either horrified -or quickly disregarded such concerns as the random mutterings of a possibly somewhat quirky parent. Since Stratton declines to report the outcome of her infant sex-role stereotype “consultation” we can only guess. Whatever the outcome, Stratton remained deeply disturbed about her child at home for two more years before “reconsulting” her physician about her perception that her child was failing at performing toddler femininity. This time she requested a psychiatric intervention to “fix” her daughter’s failure to perform femininity at the level mom required.
It isn’t as unusual as feminists might wish for a parent who is committed to strict sex-role fundamentalism to become disturbed when they perceive their infant child to resist the gender roles the caregiver has tried to inculcate in them. We even saw a toddler in recent years get beaten to death for not complying with socially mandated toddler sex-role behavior.
Stratton did not beat her child to death, but she was extremely disturbed by her infants “gender behavior”, and attempted to correct the infant. After three years the child had (according to the author) already been taught that she was “doing something wrong”. Stratton was determined to correct this “wrongness” in pediatric sex-role behavior and requested and received a psychiatric consult for her child at the age of five.
Stratton does not go into depth about the psychiatric process she subjected her daughter to except to state that the psychiatrist did not see any problem and encouraged mom to let the child be- even if the child turned out to be a dreaded lesbian. Stratton’s reporting of this is interesting. She quotes the psychiatrist “who came with great credentials and was the head of the pediatric psych association here in Oregon” as stating “For God’s sake, just let her be a lesbian.” Fear of lesbianism was clearly on the consult agenda. Stratton found this offensive because for unstated reasons she rejects all of the rigorous recorded scientific evidence that lesbian and gay children tend to be less compliant with sex-role programming at an early age. Perhaps, as seems most likely, she just chaffed at the idea that her daughter was non-compliant and also had a higher than average chance of maturing into a flamingly lesbian adult.
After Stratton’s initial profound distress at her one year old infant’s lack of femininity, and multiple pediatric and psychiatric consultations that all assured her that her daughter was healthy and well, Stratton continued to be so disturbed by her daughter’s perceived “difference” that she rejected all professional advice and her malaise continued to fester on the child, day by day. “I was upset that there was so little help for children like mine, nor did I know of any other children like mine.”
Undaunted in her disregard of the advice of multiple highly regarded pediatric medical and psychiatric professionals (advice to just leave her daughter alone) Stratton states:
‘I then went to an endocrinologist, who drew some blood from Izzy for lab work. When discussing the results, we found that my child had been making both sets of hormones, estrogen and testosterone, in equal parts. We learned that in a child so young, however, hormones can ebb and flow, and that this was not conclusive to anything. So what could we think?”
Oh noez! Still not something “wrong” with her child!
Finally (!) she “consulted the Internet and found a gender therapist, who in turn recommended a child specialist. This specialist, [“super kink/queer friendly”] Cat Pivetti, has been and continues to be our lifesaver, helping us navigate life with an intersexed, transgender child.”
Some of the horror:
“So, I started letting Izzy be a boy at home, wearing what- ever clothes he wanted, and playing with whatever toys he chose. Most of these things had previously been removed from our home after some really bad advice from ill-informed “experts.” We had been trying for a while to have everything be “female” around the house, and we even created a special “girls’ club.””
It’s so incredibly sick that anyone would do this to a child. Just let the kid do what she wants! Just leave her alone! How hard is that???
“One day my husband, Izzy’s stepdad Buzz, was having a hard time getting Izzy ready for school. He decided to just let Izzy wear the boys’ shirt with the car on it that day. His message on my phone went something like, “Honey don’t be mad, I know we said not to let Izzy wear boys’ clothes out of the house, but I had to get the kid to school.”
WHY are cars things for sperm producing humans???? WHAT?
Hai. Guess what folks. Cars are not only for people born with testicles and penis! Females like cars TOO! And fluctuating testosterone levels in female children is NOT an intersex condition! If Stratton’s child had an actual intersex condition, she, or her endocrinologist would have named it, instead of stating that things were normal and fine and a-okay! Hello? AND childhood hormonal imbalances (which Stratton’s child apparently does NOT have) are easily correctable, and such conditions have NAMES and demonstrable PATHOLOGIES and are represented in MEDICAL LITERATURE! This child has NO such condition, and even if she did, such a condition has NOTHING to do with socialized sex-role stereotypes at any age MUCH LESS AT ONE YEAR OLD. If Stratton’s child has an endocrinolgical disorder or intersex condition, let her name it! Stratton is deliberately misrepresenting the lived realities and medical challenges of children born with endocrine and reproductive disorders and trying to re-frame sex-stereotype-noncompliance with medical PATHOLOGY. This is an insidious tactic we’ve seen many times before: in the widespread pathologization, medicalization, (including institutionalization, lobotomy and electro-shock “treatments”) of homosexuality.
The transgender lobby, which trans activist Autumn Sandeen has stated succinctly, NEEDS to create “transgender children” to “take the sex out of” the public face of the transgender movement. And the trans lobby is willing to eugenically sterilize children- most of whom would otherwise grow up to be gay and lesbian- to do so.
Gay and lesbian children do NOT have a disorder!
Why is The Advocate providing an uncritical platform to an agenda of pathologizing and medicalizing the behaviors of young children that in majority grow up to be well-adjusted homosexuals? Why is the Advocate uncritically providing a platform for the pre-mature sterilization (via maturity blockers followed by sterilizing cross-sex hormones) of lesbian and gay children? This is the ultimate in pediatric reparative “treatment” of homosexuality, using the methods of the eugenics movement. Lesbians and Gays should be fighting this with every voice, every resource of the gay rights movement.
Here are the proposed diagnosis requirements for pediatric sterilization of lesbian and gay youth as outlined by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of the Americam Psychiatric Association. Children – including infants- who match six of the following eight criteria for a duration of six months will be treated medically as pathological and in need of treatment:
1. a strong desire to be of the other gender or an insistence that he or she is the other gender (or some alternative gender different from one’s assigned gender)
2. in boys, a strong preference for cross-dressing or simulating female attire; in girls, a strong preference for wearing only typical masculine clothing and a strong resistance to the wearing of typical feminine clothing
3. a strong preference for cross-gender roles in make-believe or fantasy play
4. a strong preference for the toys, games, or activities typical of the other gender
5. a strong preference for playmates of the other gender
6. in boys, a strong rejection of typically masculine toys, games, and activities and a strong avoidance of rough-and-tumble play; in girls, a strong rejection of typically feminine toys, games, and activities
7. a strong dislike of one’s sexual anatomy
8. a strong desire for the primary and/or secondary sex characteristics that match one’s experienced gender
Who does this describe? This describes Lesbian and Gay children! And “tomboys”. And kids that just reject sexist stereotypes! And kids going through a phase of sex-role experimentation! And kids that have internalized the grave discomfort of sex-role fundamentalist adults that equate behavior with roles assigned according to biological reproduction!
SPEAK OUT NOW. Stop this new eugenics trend. Support children who defy traditional sex-role stereotypes. Say NO to gender! And say it widely and loudly and NOW. This “transgender children” epoch will be written in history as a criminal medical human rights epidemic based on sexism and homophobia.
The title of Stratton’s book excerpt is “Mother of Transgender Toddler Gets Lesson In Love”. Word up: Conformity to sex role stereotypes is NOT LOVE! Medically implanting pharmaceutical MATURITY BLOCKERS in non-compliant children is NOT LOVE! Placing infants on a pathology tract towards corrective sterilization to promote stereotype conformity IS NOT LOVE!
What is love? LOVE IS SAYING NO TO GENDER.