The Cotton Ceiling This Week
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.