March 28, 2014
Why aren’t we doing more about sexism? (self.asktransgender)
submitted by lolokreality36 F
I am lucky in that I was able to transition while employed, and everyone at that employer treated me very well (mostly). I left amicably and went to go work in a different town, where I knew nobody professionally, nobody personally, and I pass exceptionally well. I am out to two people, out of necessity (some benefits & legal stuff) at that company.
I have also just had what I consider to be my first incident of actual sexism (in the workplace; that happened long ago “on the street.”).
I am mid-career, and an engineer. I am very familiar with the way people interact with me, as an engineer, professionally. At my previous company, when I transitioned, nothing changed. With one (somewhat notable) exception, there was one date in which my name changed in email, and everyone switched to the new names and pronouns. Professionally I was treated almost exactly the same. In “not-quite-professional” situations, I was treated differently: people now held doors open and smiled more at me. They defaulted to driving on business trips (to the extent I didn’t even need to rent a car; my male coworkers more or less insisted). So those things changed, and I “noticed” them, but it didn’t bother me and I didn’t think much of it other than, “oh, that’s nice, they’re trying to make me feel comfortable/they like me/random vague positive thoughts.”
And I think what happened, as I look back, is I was able to retain some of the – I will say it – male privilege – I had before transitioning. This is to say, nobody doubted the veracity of anything I said because I was a woman, because to them, I was a man, and had thus been vetted and passed all the requirements (that is, maleness) for intelligence, authenticity, and honesty. Bear in mind I worked on two different teams, one of about 100 people that had maybe twenty women, and another of seventy people that had one woman – me (for those counting, that’s 12% or so women, or 1:8). Read the rest of this entry »
February 12, 2014
It’s amazing how much political and media traction one man’s penis can get if that man claims to feel “psychologically female”.
What does it mean to be psychologically male or psychologically female? For the transgender lobby it means that certain thoughts, emotions, preferences, and intellectual abilities are tied to one’s reproductive capacity. This is called “gender”. If an individual’s “gender” does not match one’s sex, the trans politic insists that this “incongruence” represents a life-threatening social, psychiatric, and medical disorder- an emergency whose only cure is disguising one’s body using various modifications into appearing like the other sex.
Transgender people have every right to believe in this. Feminists and most lesbians and gays would instead characterize this belief as extreme sexism and homophobia based on sex-stereotypes that expired decades ago.
One might think that Transgender Rights would revolve around the right to live unaccosted while freely exercising one’s personal beliefs, as with religion. Instead, the transgender movement lobbies for the right to compel non-believers to act as if they also believe in “psychological sex” stereotypes and to re-structure their own lives, and society, accordingly. This seems like an absurd and overreaching goal, one that Christianists and Islamists have been failing at for ages, but the trans lobby has made surprising inroads at installing public policies enforcing their “psychological sex” stereotypes into law.
Transgenderism has succeeded where religionists (who also subscribe to “psychological sex” beliefs, not incidentally) have failed because the Transgender Rights movement is a men’s sexual rights movement based on expanding the rights of males to sexually exploit and control women.
Patriarchal religions merely seek to uphold male domination over females, to maintain the conservative status quo, while the transgender movement expands on the ability of men to subordinate women. In this sense it is an evolution in men’s rights. This expansion and evolutionary quality accounts for its popularity and rapid adoption by male power structures such as government, medicine, law.
A story you may have seen in media headlines this week shows just how incredibly powerful one man’s penis can become under the social movement of “Transgender”.
“My penis is more powerful than the cocks of a million alpha males all put together. ” – Cocky, by Julia Serano
Avery Edison is a young man who believes in “psychological sex” and believes himself to be “psychologically female”. His activities include attempting to become a stand-up comedian and writing blog posts expressing his anger at women who refuse to let him insert his penis into them.
Avery went to Canada on a student visa to take a college program on stand-up comedy, an endeavor funded by the parents of one of his girlfriends. He overstayed his visa before eventually returning to the UK. This week, for unknown impulsive reasons (perhaps because he felt like it and possessed enough incredible white male privilege that he had the expectation that his every magical wish would be accommodated), Avery decided to try to get back into Canada without first going through proper channels, even though he knew it was unlikely he would be let in.
He flew into Toronto’s Pearson International Airport somehow hoping to persuade officials to bypass immigration laws and allow him, unannounced and on the spot, to enter the country and visit his girlfriend. Not surprisingly (to anyone but Avery), his desire to enter the country did not override Canadian immigration law and procedure. Much like his anger at women who enforce a boundary against Avery’s right to stick his dick into them against their will, being subjected to Canadian border regulations (like everyone else) made Avery angry. Avery is a very entitled young man who does not anticipate being told “no” under any circumstance.
Avery began to tweet messages from the airport to his fellow “psychologically female” mates, conveying his upset at having his desires thwarted by the expected border regulations. These mates had a shared experience of being frustrated by common social boundaries that others accept as a fact of life: they were fellow members of the transgender political movement.
Avery was told that he had to turn around and fly home. But he was so angry! And so close to meeting his goal of seeing his girlfriend! He realized that if he refused to leave he would be incarcerated, which would allow him to receive visitors, including his girlfriend. So his goal could be met after all. Which is what he chose to do. But he wasn’t going to let this go without kicking up a fuss. Which is what he did.
Avery started tweeting about how bystanders were refusing to act in accordance with his personal belief that he is “psychologically female” and instead were perceiving his sex objectively –as evidenced by his body- as male. He would be housed during his chosen incarceration with other male-bodied individuals, regardless of their psychology or beliefs. Equal treatment regardless of psychology or belief is considered an assault on one’s ego equivalent to physical battery, according to the transgender adherents. Referring to a “psychologically female” individual as a male-bodied person “is an act of violence”, stated keynote speaker Laverne Cox (himself a male by any objective measure) at last month’s Creating Change conference. NOW Avery’s twitter mates had something to sink their frustration into.
Within hours, a #FreeAvery twitter hashtag was created. Dozens of newspapers and websites worldwide ran headlines on the incident. Several Canadian MPs made public comment and pledged their support. Calls were made for Canadian legal reform: to allow any man who defines himself as “psychologically female” to be housed in female facilities (which are sex-segregated for the protection of women against the overwhelming tide of male sexual violence conducted by males who refuse to respect the boundaries and humanity of women). A public protest and rally was scheduled for this weekend to highlight the “unfairness” of all males being treated equally regardless of their personal psychology or belief. A fund was started for people to donate money to Avery. Pro bono legal representation was arranged.
All this, on the basis of one male’s “psychological sex” beliefs and his desire to bypass all the same rules that apply equally to everyone else. One heterosexual white man’s thwarted impulse. One man’s penis.
GLAAD celebrates Women’s Junior College Basketball player Gabrielle Ludwig: because He’s a 6 foot 8, 230 pound, 50 year-old Man.
December 6, 2012
GLAAD celebrates a new LGBT hero on their website today: a heterosexual 50 year-old, six-foot-eight, 230lb man embarking on his women’s junior college basketball career after having his California birth certificate changed to “female” on November 30.
Five days ago Robert Ludwig was just a man with a dream. Since Friday, he has “become female”. Five days ago Robert was a past-his-prime male athlete. Today he is a “female” athlete embarking on a new career.
GLAAD (Gay and LESBIAN Alliance Against Defamation) champions the rights of middle-aged men to compete against 18 year-old female athletes in women’s sports, as long as those men have declared strong internalized beliefs in sex-based stereotypes.
GLAAD strongly supports the rights of 50 year old heterosexual men to live out their fantasies parlaying male musculature into careers in women’s sports thirty years past their prime: but only if those men voluntarily adopt the sex-based stereotypes that are enforced without consent upon females. This is because GLAAD believes such sex-based stereotypes actually make women female. GLAAD does not support title IX rights for female persons, because GLAAD does not believe the female sex exists. Further, GLAAD does not believe in the worldwide reality of sex-based oppression of females, and actively lobbies against the rights of females to organize, meet, and compete based on sex. Instead, GLAAD believes in sex-roles. Blue is for boys, Pink is for girls.
Ludwig goes on in the same article to dismiss a female player’s complaint that it is unfair that he is eligible to compete against her. He states: “They have been in this world 18 measly years. This 18 year old has not the slightest clue what life is about. It’s when they grow up. If that comment came from someone like you [male reporter Eric Prisbell] , that would sting and I would need to find a home for that comment.“
The twice divorced father is an 8 year Navy and Desert Storm veteran now working as a Genetic Systems Engineer at Roche Molecular Diagnostics in Silicone Valley. Robert takes 12 credits of online community college coursework in order to qualify for the team. From the Mission College website: “We have excellent transfer programs and general education courses that will promote your journey to four year institutions and prepare you for higher level learning whether it is the California State System, the University System or a Private University. We also have exemplary signature programs that help to prepare you for the workforce in many areas: Nursing, Fire Technology, Hospitality Management, and many others. Mission can provide classes that will catch you up in math, English, ESL or other areas that provide foundational skills to serve you in any future courses.”
GLAAD’s hero Gabrielle/ Robert John Ludwig played men’s college basketball 33 years ago. California Community College Athletic Association’s bylaws limit undergraduate athletes to two years of competition, but Robert’s time spent competing as a man was erased because it applied only to his male athletic career, not his “female” one.
What does the team coach think? From the Sillicone Valley Mercury News:
November 18, 2012
Natalie Reed: 5 Ways Feminists can help build Male-Inclusivity and Intersectionality
1) Be willing to confront instances of malephobia, female sexism, female normativity, female-centrism, female privilege and other forms of destructive bias where you find them (especially when you find them within feminist, activist or queer spaces), not through “call outs” or other toxic, self-defeating or abusive strategies, but by taking the opportunity for genuine discourse.
2) Don’t take a purely passive, reactive approach. Rather than waiting for things like someone saying something overtly malesexist, or a male person bringing up a particular concern, be willing to proactively introduce male issues, or male-relevant aspects of broader issues, to feminist discourse. Likewise, proactively treat possible consequences, perspectives and concerns relevant to men and male experiences as being not only significant but essential to all feminist issues and conversations.
3) Don’t assume any given issue is strictly, or even primarily, relevant to women. All feminist concerns are also male concerns, and vice versa. There are no feminist dialogues in which male voices “don’t belong”, or to which male voices have “nothing to add”. There are no social issues related to gender that don’t have consequences for male people.
4) Proactively seek out male voices, perspectives and input on all issues, not simply what you regard as “male issues” or situations where the value of such perspectives is immediately obvious to you. Come to us, rather than waiting for us to come to you.
5) Don’t treat the larger social conflict of gender as being dialectic or binary in nature. Don’t assume a unidirectional model of gender-based oppression.
In closing: Remember that sexism isn’t just about men oppressing women. It’s mostly about human beings oppressing each other and themselves. It works in every possible direction.
[For sake of clarity I have replaced the word “trans” with “man/male”, and the word “cis” with “woman/female”. –GallusMag]
Read the original here, although I can’t imagine why you’d want to:
November 7, 2012
An excerpt from Christine Benvenuto’s forthcoming memoir on the experience of surviving a genderist spouse was published in TheGuardian this week. “Sex Changes: A Memoir Of Marriage, Gender And Moving On” will be published November 13 by St Martin’s Press. Recommended by “My Husband Betty” blogger Helen Boyd.
Her middle-aged autogynephillic husband of twenty years and father to three children is consumed with his male-privileged gender fantasies of what it means to be female and Christie records the results. Some quotes:
“Yet Tom was interested in my relationships with other women. Too interested. Whenever I began a friendship, he would edge suffocatingly close. One time he called a new friend in secret to ask for babysitter recommendations so he could take me out for my birthday. After that, he often found some pretext – it always felt like a pretext – of doing something nice, and got his hands on a friend’s phone number, calling for advice or information and asking her for secrecy. It felt creepy every time.”
“From his cheerleaders I learned that in the new political correctness, female solidarity is out. A man in a dress is in. Among women who consider themselves feminists, a man who declares himself a transsexual trumps another woman any day. One of Tom’s supporters would eventually sum up this perspective most explicitly: “He’s a transsexual. Anything he does is what he needs to do.”
These career women told Tom, and some would later tell me, that my wifely role was to support my man and to get my children on board with the project. My responsibility was to Tom. Tom’s responsibility was to Tom. In the Valley of the Politically Correct, being a transsexual means never having to say you’re sorry.”
“It is inescapable: for me there is something slightly creepy and more than slightly sad about a man in women’s clothes. Male legs in sheer stockings. The sight of Tom in an exact replica of a skirt that was once my favourite. It is creepy for one woman to copycat another, the stuff of thrillers. Creepier for a man to do the same. Creepier still if that man is your husband.
Looking back, I can say Tom was a wonderful husband, father, friend. Or I can say Tom was a fabrication. A fake, who didn’t want to be with me, he wanted to be me.”
Read more here:
ETA: This is “Tom”: http://www.metroweekly.com/arts_entertainment/events/?ak=7811
October 21, 2012
So, I’ve been reading this blog for a little while now, and I kind of wanted to ask the author (or anyone) for some advice. If I go to a therapist, or a support group, they’d all tell me it’s okay to be trans and they’d want me to just live as a man, but I feel like that would be betraying an aspect of my born body. I’m also sorta of the mind that one shouldn’t treat a mental condition with physical changes. I’ve brought this up at a few meetings I’ve been to on ‘gender norms’ and the leader of the group, who identified as a ‘lesbian transgender woman’ (ie. heterosexual male?) just seemed to shrug it off as nonsense.
Thing is, I still feel uncomfortable being labeled as a woman. It doesn’t happen to me very often nowadays, because for whatever reason without hormones or any interventions other than haircuts and clothing, I ‘pass’, but when it does happen, I kind of cringe. I don’t hold anything against women. I love women; I love masculine women, I love feminine women, I love women big and small. I just don’t enjoy being one. I’m uncomfortable in my female body, and I’m uncomfortable in groups of females. The gender role freaks me out to such a degree that I want no part of it. I feel like if I don’t grow my hair out, shave my legs, and dress a certain way, then I’m failing to be a normal woman, so therefore being a man is easier. Other women seem to fall so easily into being women, but I seem to be failing.
Essentially, I want to know how to overcome these feelings. Also, it should be mentioned that I enjoy both men and women, and I’m currently in a heterosexual relationship with a man who’s had relationships with both genders, so I don’t even fulfill the role as a dyke woman past a superficial definition. Honestly I think I would rather live in a world where genders didn’t have any pretenses, where everyone could use any bathroom, dress however they felt and nobody would cared what their partner’s genitals were or who made more money, but seeing as that’s not the world we live in, I’m having trouble coping with my implied societal failure as a woman. I’d rather not end up taking hormones just to fit in with a gender role only because I meet their criteria better. Also therapy for this seems to be nonexistent. Therapists seem more focused on getting me looking and acting and taking up roles as my preferred gender, but that’s not what I want.
I don’t want to pretend to be a man just because it’s easier, I want to know how to accept myself as a woman. Does anyone have any suggestions for this? Do I just need to hit a pinnacle of enlightenment and hope that eventually the self-loathing will end?
Sister you are not alone.
I don’t say that to comfort you, or to dismiss your genuine experience with a feel-good trope, or to make you feel “less alone”. I mean it literally. You are not alone. Your experiences are not personal or unique to you. This is an important thing to recognize in the process of “accepting yourself” personally. This is a really important point I think. What you are experiencing is not unique, and not personal.
When feminists said “the personal is political” they did not mean “our individual actions can impact the political sphere”, or “our speshul individual internal lives are important” (not implying that you, Syd are saying that here). They meant: the things we deal with personally, in isolation and silence, the things that feel like internal personal issues, are actually not. The war against woman is conducted against us individually. Daily. Personally. Picking us off one by one. Rooting us out with each misstep. With each transgression. Or for no transgression at all. She was raped because _____ (fill in the blank) specific individual singular particular personal speshul reason. Women are not raped because men are conducting sexual torture and war crimes against women en masse. She was raped because she neglected to lock her window. Because she met a guy from online three weeks before. Because she hadn’t heard news reports of a serial rapist in her neighborhood. Because she happened to live in that neighborhood. Because she was pretty/ugly black/white rich/poor old/young etc.
It is always personal. It is always singular. It is always unique. Speshul circumstance. And the system is designed to individualize, to single out, to personalize.
But you are not alone. And what you experience has nothing to do with you personally.
From your comments here I can tell you recognize that important truth on some level, intuitively if not consciously. This is a very important thing for women to realize and is the core of healing personally and individually from the mass assault against female humanity and liberation. A personal situation requires singular individualized INTERNALIZED and self-directed reflection and analysis of the personal specific singular factors involved. That is NOT what we are dealing with here. We are dealing with IMPERSONAL EXTERNALIZED FACTORS. We are dealing with a WAR against those humans born with (or assumed to be in possession of) the biological capacity of being impregnated, by those humans who lack that capacity.
Syd, my sister, what is informing your personal malaise with an impersonal war is the specifics of your experience of it. Let’s go there.
Like myself, you have tasted the forbidden fruit. When we “pass” as male, or are assumed to be male, we experience something most women will never experience: being treated as fully human. As humans, our fellow humans give our input due regard, our experience due respect, our overlord status as the ruling class due note. Both men and women defer, refer, and relate to us based on our expressed competence (as adjusted for our perceived racial and class status). Few women have ever experienced humanity. They experience the lack of it, and witness it vicariously, but they have never had the experience of humanity.
The experience of women like us is profound. Breathtaking. Like soaking in warm honey-tinged milk. My god.
Every woman on the planet would inject testosterone (or whatever the fuck) into their right eye to experience the day to day existence of being treated as a regular human that you and I have experienced conditionally, and fleetingly. What people call “male privilege” is actually the experience as being treated as a default human. A regular, normal, baseline human.
There is no male privilege. There is no white privilege. There is no class privilege. There is only the experience of being treated as fully human. Everyone should experience the “privilege” of being treated as simply themselves. As simply human. And what a wonderful experience that is for those of us consigned for a lifetime in the subhuman caste who can “pass” themselves into it. What a breath of fresh air. What liberation! What a delicious honey-tinged milk-bath of humanity. Where one is judged on one’s merits. Where what we say is taken to mean… exactly what we say. Yanno. Just normal fucking humanity.
You wonder why the elements (female biology) that impede your humanity cause your revulsion? Oh honey. You are sane, that is all. You hate the whole woman thing because you are burdened with sanity. You have personally experienced being treated as human. Something few women ever have.
You don’t have discomfort in groups of females. You have discomfort in groups of subhumans who have never experienced humanity. In a group of females who have tasted the forbidden fruit of normalcy you would feel quite normal and at ease I am sure.
Experiencing humanity is something reserved for males (and those who are assumed to be male). For now. Lets fight, and fight and fight and make that not so. Lets not individualize and internalize and personalize (and medicalize) the experience of those of us who have tasted the ambrosia of being treated as fully human. Reflect and work outward, not inward.
Transgender “Feministing” editor Jos Truitt on how females are wrong about Rape, Reproduction, and Homosexuality
April 23, 2012
“So apparently, I’m a Pretendbian. So in case you’ve been lucky enough not to hear, Pretendbian is this term radical feminist and transphobe Cathy Brennan came up with, for transwomen who are apparently “pretend” lesbians, trying to trick or force real lesbians into sleeping with them. She has put a list of pretendbians online and actually a couple of us are here tonight. This is all in response to the idea of the Cotton Ceiling, which Drew Deveaux termed for the ways transphobia and trans misogyny keep trans women from getting laid in the queer women’s communities. Read the rest of this entry »