December 12, 2012
August 31, 2012
July 20, 2012
June 10, 2012
“My son, Aaron, is a seventeen-year-old transboy. Looking back, I realize that Aaron has never truly changed. Aaron has always been a boy – a boy that was dressed in girls’ clothes, given girls’ toys, and held to the social expectations of a girl. When Aaron was three, I registered him for an art camp for four- and five-year-olds. Aaron demonstrated exceptional artistic talent at a very young age, and I assumed that she would be able to blend in with the group of older children since her artistic talent far surpassed that of most young children. Upon arriving to pick up Aaron at the end of the first day of camp, the teacher approached me and said that he “needed to have a word with me.” Being a teacher, I knew exactly what that meant. Read the rest of this entry »
May 29, 2012
A female child whose normal reproductive maturity was halted chemically at the age of thirteen, started cosmetic cross-hormone treatments at fifteen, had her breasts surgically removed at the age of sixteen, reflects one year later in this video on the nature of “gender” and the hypocrisy of transition.
She is one of the children featured in yesterday’s NewYork Magazine article on the medicalization of gender in children:
May 11, 2012
It deserves to be widely read and warrants its own post. From Lesley213:
I am a radical feminist and a lesbian. I hate the Trans project and how men invade women and lesbian space because they are “really women” or “really lesbians”. I hate the inherent misogyny in the Trans position.
And yet at an individual level I understand the desire of women to transition. My dirty secret is that I have felt it too.
I was not the typical tomboy as a child that many lesbians profess to be. I played with dolls, played happily with other girls and embarassingly for my mother with her feminist ideas, refused to wear trousers as I found skirts more comfortable. This all changed when I hit puberty. Although I was happy to get my periods and see my body become that of a woman, I found the social aspects of puberty very hard.
Suddenly all the girls seemed to only be talking about hair, makeup, clothes and how to get a boyfriend. I had no interest in any of this and felt like a real outsider. I began from 12 to hang around with boys and had a boyfriend from 12 and boys who were friends. I felt like I could fit in more with boys. There was no talk of make up, clothes or getting boyfriends. I look physically at this time, what would have been characterised as a “nerd”. Sensible haircut, jeans (skirts were no longer appealing when I was supposed to wear uncomfortable court shoes and shave my legs), t shirts and jumpers.
It is also at this time I developed my alter ego – Stuart. In all my daydreams I was Stuart. He grew up with me and I day dreamed about my life as a teenage boy and then a man. Of course like all daydreams, Stuart was more popular and better looking than my real female self, but he didn’t always have an easy time in my daydreams. However, crucially he didn’t experience any of the everyday sexism that I found so hard to take as a young teenage women. Every woman reading this will know what I mean by this. Stuart was a big part of my life until literally a year ago when he just vanished from my day dreams. At the time I didn’t understand why, but I think now that I was beginning to understand a year ago at some level that Stuart was a device to deal with my anger around everyday sexism – a sort of, what if daydream.
I have never talked about any of this in real life as I am deeply ashamed of this, so apologies if all of this seems really disjointed and poorly thought out. Its hard to put something into words for the first time.
But the truth is I think if in my early teenage years I had been presented with the discourse of Trans to explain my feelings, I could have easily transitioned.
I have read radical feminists talking about FtoT hating their female bodies and hating their female themselves. Of course at a fundamental level, undergoing cosmetic surgery is a self hating procedure to undergo. But I never hated my female body, beyond the usual insecurities of any teenage girl and young woman. I don’t know if those who actually transition feel differently, but I have always liked having breasts and a female body. But the things that did make me think I would rather be a man were simply that life would have been easier. I wouldn’t have had to deal with all the everyday sexism that as a teenage girl made me so angry. I wouldn’t have had to deal with on an everyday basis
- sexist teachers who treated girls and boys differently
- my parents who in spite of what they professed did treat my brother better. Yes we both had equal chores for example, but whereas he rarely did them, I was made to do mine
- judgements and pressures from other girls that I largely ignored, to wear make up, prettify myself, etc
- pressure to behave in a certain way now that I was a teenage girl, rather than just behave as myself
- casual judgements from men on whether I was attractive or not
I could go on and on, but you all know what I mean. I basically wanted to go back to being treated as an individual and not be faced with being treated as a lesser being with all the pressure to conform to being an acceptable teenage girl and then women.
So what stopped me framing these feelings as “really being a man inside”.
1. I think first of all the Trans project was pretty much in its infancy when I was young and at my most vulnerable. And certainly FtoT was largely unheard of, everyone in the media was MtoT. I was born in 1969 to give this context. As I was a younger adult, anything I read on FtoT made it clear that the surgical solutions around creating a penis were pretty rudimentary as well – and basically I didn’t want to be a freak – someone who in the surface looked like a man but had no penis or a pretty poor substitute for one.
2. I knew I wasn’t a man and that it was not really possible to become a man. If it had been, I would have been much more tempted.
3. Feminism – although I have only come to radical feminism in the last few years along with an understanding of the Trans project, I did have enough of an understanding of feminism as a teenager to recognise that my feelings were really about, as I would have expressed it then, the sexist society I was growing up in, rather than about my own individual feelings and “gender identity”.
4. I have the intelligence and self awareness to analyse and challenge my own internal feelings. Many women, including those who might be much more academically intelligent than myself, often have what I would see as quite a low understanding of their own feelings and behaviour. I generally do understand why am I doing something, even if it is for shameful reasons.
I do think I might have been influenced to go down the transition route if I had been surrounded both by the discourse and by individuals who were telling me that my feelings were really because I was a man underneath and that it was perfectly possible to change my body to that of a man’s.
I also do understand FtoT who then access lesbian space. I have had so much support, good times, a feeling of being accepted and generally nurtured in lesbian space. By nurtured and accepted I don’t mean in a support group type of way. I simply mean being allowed to be myself and accepted for that – a simple thing, but it has felt very powerful. If I had transitioned I suspect I would be wanting to access lesbian only space. it is literally about trying to get the best of both worlds.
I am not butch and so the lesbian discourse around being butch rather than being trans has never appealed to me. All I have ever wanted was to be myself. It terrifies me how the Trans discourse is now being sold to teenage girls and women as a solution to internal and societal conflicts. And it angers me that feminists are silencing objections to the Trans discourse as Transphobia.
March 19, 2012
February 28, 2012
FEMALE COMMENTS ONLY TO THIS POST.
POST UPDATED 02/29/2012 :
February 9, 2012
For females, being transgender means:
February 4, 2012
This weekend’s national Butch Voices conference, being held in Oakland, has finally reached critical mass for the “othering” of women and Lesbians that has been a part of the organization since its inception in 2008. The organizers have split over the complete erasure this year of Women and Lesbians from the conference platform. The words “Butch” and “Women” have been replaced in the BV platform by the term “Masculine of Center”.
Masculine of Center , or MOC women (“mock women”) is the latest terminology forced onto Butch Lesbians by the transgender F2Ts and hetero “queer” women who have colonized and taken over Lesbian Butch/Femme spaces and meeting places. Previously they tried to force Butch lesbians to define themselves in opposition to trans “Butches” by inflicting the term “Female Identified Butch” , or FIB women – often shortened mockingly to “Fibbers” according to the trans philosophy that all femininity non-performing women and Butch Lesbians are “Transmen in denial” (because if we were “real” women we’d be performing femininity, doncha know).
The removal of Butch Women and Lesbian from the population served by the Butch Voices organization, and the adoption of the incredibly offensive “Mock Women” terminology is the biggest “Fuck You” imaginable to Butch Lesbians. And it was done willingly and knowingly because according to ButchVoices own website, programming committee member Jeanne Cordova has been protesting the change for the last 18 months. Their response according to Sasha Goldberg, an F2T2F Butch Voices organizer, was to schedule the annual board member retreat during the one week of the year that Cordova would be unable to attend due to a scheduled surgery.
This is not the first time Butch Lesbian voices have been silenced by the Butch Voices organization. At the last national conference in 2009, every single proposed Butch Lesbian presentation was rejected by organizers, most of whom refer to themselves as “ex-females” and “ex-Lesbians”.
Butch Voices President and Conference Co-chair Krys Freeman has previously stated “I don’t even like to call myself a lesbian because I feel like it’s politicized. Well, I could be. Some people think I’m a lesbian. It’s a fair assumption. I like women. ”
And “ex-Lesbian ex-female” Butch Voices founder Joe LeBlanc defended the removal of Women and Lesbians from the Butch Voices platform and the need for Butch Women to be identified by the MOC terminology, apparently because eliminating Lesbians and adopting the Transman/MOC-female language will decrease Butch Lesbian visibility and erase the fact that Butch/Femme spaces were created by Lesbians.
The only misogyny Joe is concerned with, according to his PR release responding to the split, is the so-called “misogyny” of females protesting total erasure of women from a national Butch conference.
“ It is misogyny when people dictate what pronouns we can use for ourselves, the identities we can hold, and what spaces we are welcome to uphold,” Joe responds.
If representation of women is what ex-Lesbians Joe LeBlanc and Krys Freeman consider “misogyny”, the institutional silence that organizers Jeanne Cordova and Sasha Goldberg met for the last 18 months begins to make more sense.
The following is an excerpt from a post by Sasha T. Goldberg that shows her months of correspondence- her UNANSWERED correspondence on the issue to other ButchVoices organizers. (Click on the link to read the correspondence in its entirety).
“JUNE 14TH, 2010
Joe, thanks for your well thought out essay. I appreciated reading your thoughts. I also want to second some of Jeanne’s thoughts, here. Jeanne offers many of my deepest sentiments, but there are some things I’d like to say, as well.
In the spirit of an injury to one is an injury to all, here is what I think is important to add:
All of you know me now, to one degree or another. You know how committed I am to Butch Voices, to what we do, and to our mission. I know these things about you all, too. And perhaps you also know that I commit my time, energy, and resources to run a monthly Bulldagger group. And maybe you know, or maybe you don’t, that I had to fight very hard for us, Butch Voices, in that group, hours spent trying to convince people (many of whom had even been to the conference) that Butch Voices is about Butch women. That there is room (insult to injury, really) for Butch women at a Butch conference. In this way, I have defended Butch Voices to so many Butch Women that I’ve lost count–and now we’ve gone and changed our motto to “Masculine of Center people.” What shall I tell us Butch women now?
Because here is the truth: If I myself just happened to stumble across a conference that was for “masculine of center people,” it would never occur to me to attend. I am not a masculine “of center” person. I am a Butch. I am a woman. I am female. That has been the history–and the persistent present–for so many of us Butches. Additionally, I am not even sure where this supposed “center” is “supposed” to be. I am sure, however, that this world keeps erasing Butch women–from history, from literature, from film, from television, from our streets, from our families, churches, employment markets, housing, and with continued, persistent pressure to be men–and now we, Butch Voices, we have gone and erased Butch women from the first sentence of our mission statement. Now that is just something that I don’t have the heart to defend, friends.
I know you all, just like you know me, so I know and trust your intent and I hope that you know and trust mine. But again and again I say: We are not the same, us Butches who are women and use female pronouns and folks who live on a ‘transmasculine spectrum’; we are not the same, and though we can support one another in a thousand ways, I absolutely refuse to have my Butch identity and history blended in, watered down, or erased. And if this sounds like a political platform, you know, maybe it is–I have been fantasizing about a keynote on solidarity at BV for some of these exact reasons. But as we all know, the political is the personal and this is what is true for me, and for so many other Butches:
Without protecting and defending the space that Butch women have carved out, created, survived and built in addition to trans-spectrum folks, we are not doing justice. We are not doing me right, we are not doing Jeanne right, and we are not doing many, many other Butches right. We are not doing right by our past, we are not doing right by our present, and we are surely not doing right towards ensuring our future.
For all of the above reasons, I strongly ask that you to re-consider the current language. I also strongly second Jeanne’s suggestion of “butch women and all trans-masculine folks.” We simply cannot stand in solidarity without making a stand alone space, literally, metaphorically, and linguistically, for Butch women.
With continued dedication,
Goldberg, Cordova, and at least two other Butch Voices organizers have left the organization in July over this issue and are founding a group for Butch Women called BUTCH NATION. Butch Nation organizers are holding unauthorized scheduled sessions for Butch Women in various hotel rooms throughout the conference venue, since they have been denied a platform to speak.
On Wednesday night Butch Voices posted a message on their Facebook page that a “Town Meeting” was being scheduled for both groups to speak: at 12 noon on Friday before the conference start. None of the Butch Nation women were notified or invited, and Butch Women complained that they had no time to schedule a day off from work at such short 36 hour notice to attend. It seems the “Town Meeting” was scheduled in such a way that very few women could attend.
I hope to receive updates and reports here from readers who are now attending the conference.