EXCLUSIVE PREVIEW: “Gender Hurts” by Sheila Jeffreys

April 4, 2014

gender hurts book cover

The following is an excerpt from the forthcoming book “Gender Hurts: A feminist analysis of the politics of transgenderism” by Sheila Jeffreys.

 

Gender and women’s equality

Transgenderism cannot exist without a notion of essential ‘gender’. Feminist critics argue that the concept of ‘gender identity’ is founded upon stereotypes of gender, and, in international law, gender stereotypes are recognised as being in contradiction to the interests of women (Raymond, 1994; Hausman, 1995; Jeffreys, 2005). The United Nations Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (1979) was drawn up before the language of gender and the idea of ‘gender identity’ came to dominate international law discourse and to stand in for women as a sex category. It spoke instead of ‘stereotyped roles’ and recognised these stereotypes as the basis for discrimination against women. Article 5 says that States Parties should take ‘all appropriate measures’ to ‘modify the social and cultural patterns of conduct of men and women, with a view to achieving the elimination of prejudice and customary and all other practices which are based on the idea of the inferiority or the superiority of either of the sexes or on stereotyped roles for men and women’ (CEDAW, 1979: Article 5). The idea of ‘gender identity’ relies on stereotypes for its meaning and is in conflict with the understanding in CEDAW that such stereotypes are profoundly harmful to women.

The term ‘gender’ itself is problematic. It was first used in a sense that was not simply about grammar, by sexologists, the scientists of sex, such as John Money, in the 1950s and 60s, who were involved in normalising intersex infants. They used the term to mean the behavioural characteristics they considered most appropriate for persons of one or other biological sex. They applied the concept of gender when deciding upon the sex category into which those infants who did not have clear physical indications of one biological sex or another, should be placed (Hausman, 1995). Their purpose was not progressive. These were conservative men who believed that there should be clear differences between the sexes and sought to create distinct sex categories through their projects of social engineering. Unfortunately, the term was adopted by some feminist theorists in the 1970s, and by the late 1970s was commonly used in academic feminism to indicate the difference between biological sex and those characteristics that derived from politics and not biology, which they called ‘gender’ (Haig, 2004).

Before the term ‘gender’ was adopted, the term more usually used to describe these socially constructed characteristics was ‘sex roles’. The word ‘role’ connotes a social construction and was not susceptible to the degeneration that has afflicted the term ‘gender’ and enabled it to be wielded so effectively by transgender activists. As the term ‘gender’ was adopted more extensively by feminists, its meaning was transformed to mean not just the socially constructed behaviour associated with biological sex, but the system of male power and women’s subordination itself, which became known as the ‘gender hierarchy’ or ‘gender order’ (Mackinnon, 1989; Connell, 2005). Gradually, older terms to describe this system, such as male domination, sex class and sex caste went out of fashion, with the effect that direct identification of the agents responsible for the subordination of women, men, could no longer be named. Gender, as a euphemism, disappeared men as agents in male violence against women, which is now commonly referred to as ‘gender violence’. Increasingly, the term ‘gender’ is used, in official forms and legislation, for instance, to stand in for the term ‘sex’ as if ‘gender’ itself is biological, and this usage has overwhelmed the feminist understanding of gender.

Sex caste

In this book I have chosen to use the term ‘sex caste’ to describe the political system in which women are subordinated to men on the basis of their biology. Feminists have disagreed over whether women’s condition of subordination is best referred to in terms of ‘caste’ or ‘class’. Those who use the concept of women as a ‘sex class’, such as Kate Millett, are referencing their experience in leftwing politics and see the idea of ‘class’ as offering the possibility of revolution (Millett, 1972). Millett did, however, use the term caste as well, speaking of women’s ‘sexual caste system’ (Millett, 1972: 275). If women are in a subordinate class in relation to men, as the working class is in relation to the bourgeoisie, then women’s revolution can be conceptualised as overthrowing the power of men in such a way that sex class ceases to have meaning and will disappear as a meaningful category (Wittig, 1992). It also implies, as in left theory, that women’s revolution requires the recognition by women of their ‘sex’ class status as the basis for political action. Nonetheless, the term sex class can be problematic because it implies that women could move out of their ‘class’, in the same way that individual working class people could change their class position by becoming embourgeoised. The term ‘caste’, on the other hand, is useful for this book because it encapsulates the way in which women are placed into a subordinate caste status for their lifetime (see Burris, 1973). Women may change their economic class status with upward mobility, but they remain women unless they elect to transgender and claim membership in the superior sex caste. Both of these terms can be useful in articulating the condition of women, but the term ‘caste’ offers a particular advantage in relation to studying transgenderism. The very existence of transgenderism on the part of women demonstrates the stickiness of caste subordination. The marks of caste remain attached to females unless they claim that they are really ‘men’, and only a very significant social transformation will enable change in this respect.

Postmodern and queer theorists share with transgender theorists the idea that ‘gender’ is a moveable feast that can be moved into and out of, swapped and so forth. Gender, used in this sense, disappears the fixedness of sex, the biological basis that underlies the relegation of females to their sex caste. Female infants are identified by biology at birth and placed into a female sex caste which apportions them lifelong inferior status. The preference for biologically male children and the femicide of female infants, for instance, which has created a great inequality in the sex ratio in India and other countries, is based on sex and not ‘gender’. Female foetuses are aborted and female infants are killed because of sex, not ‘gender’ discrimination (Pande, 2006). Foetuses do not have ‘gender’ or ‘gender identity’, because the forces of a womanhating culture have not had a chance to affect the way they understand themselves. The inferior sex caste status of women is assigned with reference to their biology, and it is through their biology that their subordination is enforced and maintained through rape, impregnation, and forced childrearing. Women do not pass in and out of wearing ‘women’s’ clothing, as cross-dressers may do, indeed they may reject such clothing as inferiorising, but still suffer violence and discrimination as women. Though individual women may be successful in roles more usually arrogated to men, they are likely to be treated as interlopers and receive sexual harassment, as happened to the Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard (Summers, 2013). Her caste status was continually thrown in her face by hostile male commentators, politicians and cartoonists. Women do not decide at some time in adulthood that they would like other people to understand them to be women, because being a woman is not an ‘identity’. Women’s experience does not resemble that of men who adopt the ‘gender identity’ of being female or being women in any respect. The idea of ‘gender identity’ disappears biology and all the experiences that those with female biology have of being reared in a caste system based on sex. Only one book-length critique of transgenderism was written in second wave feminism, Janice Raymond’s deservedly well-known tour de force, The Trannsexual Empire (1994, 1st published 1979). She usefully sums up the difference between feminist understandings of women and that of men who transgender thus:

We know that we are women who are born with female chromosomes and anatomy, and that whether or not we were socialized to be so-called normal women, patriarchy has treated and will treat us like women. Transsexuals have not had this same history. No man can have the history of being born and located in this culture as a woman. He can have the history of wishing to be a woman and of acting like a woman, but this gender experience is that of a transsexual, not of a woman. Surgery may confer the artifacts of outward and inward female organs but it cannot confer the history of being born a woman in this society. (Raymond, 1994:114)

——————————————

“Gender Hurts” will be released on April 17. Order your copy here:

http://www.amazon.com/Gender-Hurts-Feminist-Analysis-Transgenderism/dp/0415539404

65 Responses to “EXCLUSIVE PREVIEW: “Gender Hurts” by Sheila Jeffreys”

  1. GallusMag Says:

    I think it’s really time for anyone with even a glancing interest in supporting women’s liberation to stop using the words “woman”, and female pronouns “she” and “her” when referring to males- even those males who disguise their bodies using technology or smoke and mirrors to appear female. Every time we call a man “woman” or use the pronouns “she” or “her”, we actively promote male supremacy and the subhuman unnamable status of women.

    No feminist wants to be rude, disrespectful, or gods forbid “traumatize” men in the course of our liberation. Gosh no. Especially men who claim that female noncompliance is a violent act against them. (A framing that contains and justifies the threat of actual bodily male violence against women that so “dishonor” them). So it’s totally cool if you want/need to avoid male violence -or in better case scenario simply drama. Simply call males who transgender “they” “them” etc, if you need to for your own safety. But do stop calling them women or using female honorifics.

    Calling men “women” “she” “her” in deference to their gender beliefs (that you do not share) is an act of acquiesce to your own subordination as a woman, and unnecessary.

    • GallusMag Says:

      Incidentally Jeffreys uses sex-based identifiers and pronouns throughout the book, instead of identifiers based on social sex roles of female subordination. APPLAUSE.

    • BadDyke Says:

      I also CAN’T WAIT, and have had this on pre-order since the calls to either ban it outright, or ensure strict pronoun control……………

      Any idea what happened Re Lorene Gottshalk, because in the original ‘ban the book’ nonsense, she was referred to as a co-author? I hope that was a mistake, rather than any indication that Lorene perhaps avoided it due to the trans threats?

      I won’t feel realy happy until the book actually APPEARS, cos all I keep getting is messages about the release being delayed………………

    • Bev Jo Says:

      I agree completely. This is the basis of the beginning of when women’s minds glaze over in obedience to the trans cult. It doesn’t feel quite right, or they know it’s terribly wrong, but women usually don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings and they they are shamed when other women yell female pronouns at them for daring to call men “he” and “him.” It’s a struggle when “bigot” is screamed in your face and a roomful turns to see who the bigot is.

      But we HAVE to be firm on this, or the entire struggle for women’s rights against oppression is lost. If we submit, we have lost since how do we keep “women” out of women’s space.

      If we say no, the reality just follows because how can anyone argue that he and him is a man, and he has no business identifying as a woman or Lesbian, erasing our history, invading our spaces, etc. If we say no, then all women who aren’t part of the cult will join us, since, after all, it’s simply the truth that men can never be women.

      Nothing more needs to be said other than your brilliant “Every time we call a man “woman” or use the pronouns ‘she’ or ‘her’, we actively promote male supremacy and the subhuman unnamable status of women.” Thank you, our champion, Gallus Mag.

      • liberalsareinsane Says:

        “but women usually don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings”

        No. They don’t want to hurt menz fefes. They couldn’t care less about other women! Any woman who screeches at another woman over her crime of rightly calling a man a man is a handmaiden of epic proportions. She is also a barely functioning imbecile. They’re so concerned about being “evolved”. There is nothing evolved about them. They’re losers who crave menz approval. Which is embarrassing for them.

      • Choco Says:

        Yes to all of this liberalsareinsane! These women hate everything female, and will apply the most idiotic reversals to make the men know that they are the “good women.” There seems to be 2 kinds of liberal feminist handmaiden:
        White handmaiden: Radical lesbian feminists hate women who are feminine and heterosexual. They’re also transphobic racist bigots. Radical feminists are responsible for the deaths of sex workers and transwomen by wanting to take away woman’s choices.
        Woc handmaiden: Radical lesbian feminists are racist because they don’t understand that marriage empowers black women. It’s a colonist mentality to say men can’t be women. All radical feminists are rich white women, and they are more oppressive than white men.

        I refuse to ally with any woman who so blatantly believes in the gender hierarchy and fails to see that they are the ones who are doing the silencing.

    • Gertrude Carlyle Says:

      some of us would get fired Gallus. we learned to do this out of self preservation only. i know if i don’t do this online i will slip up & call them the wrong words at work, and that would be the end of me. and “they” isn’t the word they crave.

      at my company the trans men who have transitioned have no status at all, they are cooks and janitors. the trans women are all in STEM and have already had long, successful careers. they have status & position & will be glad to use it against a low-level nobody like me, who already has the reputation of being a feminist.

      i am very careful of my pronouns for a reason. mccarthyism is here when it comes to our trans overlords. not overladies, overlords.

      a trans woman got offended & snitched when she wasn’t invited to a baby shower. this was not a company thing but a private party we planned for our friend. the tranny bitched to mgmt that they were not invited. they couldn’t force us to invite this person (that we hardly knew and had rarely even spoken to) but we did get labeled “transphobic” for “excluding” this person.

      they’ve never let it go since, and that was last summer. they still go around talking about this as a “transphobic incident” like we slashed her tires or something.

      • liberalsareinsane Says:

        “the trans men who have transitioned have no status at all, they are cooks and janitors.”

        *snort*

        So much for “getting better pay and more chicks”. All they got is a flat chest, a bad attitude and male pattern baldness.

      • Bev Jo Says:

        Even more important for those “feminists” and other women who are not at risk for losing their job like you are to stop catering to the men and refuse to call them anything but men. Gertrude, you really put it into horrific perspective, making it even clearer that no woman can afford to placate such a vicious male enemy when they won’t be paying the price with their own survival. We saw this all start in the Seventies, but no one I knew ever thought it would get this Invasion of the Bodies Snatchers bad. It really is like the parasites who force their victims to them do their bidding to ensnare more victims.

      • Adrian Says:

        This. I’ve had people transition at my workplace (one M2T, one F2T) and we all got the mail from HR, the person takes a week off and comes back with new names and pronouns.

        Legal name change is legal name change. No different from someone getting married or just changing their name for any other reason (including the free name change opportunity you get if you naturalize to be a US citizen – had that happen here too).

        Pronoun change, it’s on the papers and it’s dictated from HR. So, people comply.

        Thing is though, it doesn’t change what anyone’s feelings are about the actual question which is “is born in the wrong body and the ‘laydee brain’ a real thing?” Most people say no. Most people say, okay that guy decides for whatever sincere reasons (on his part) he really really really wants to be a woman, so he gets plastic surgeries, and then pursues legal document changes, okay, but to anyone who knows the history, that’s all it is. People maintain that distinction in their head, people know.

        We all have histories for better or for worse and that person’s history is “was a man, had a ‘sex change’ at 46” so it is what it is, y’know?

        I’m a regular born woman in STEM. I will not deny I do feel resentment when people who were born boys and had all the usual encouragement that a boy gets, going into STEM, later transition to “women” and then start talking about how they should be counted as “women in STEM!” because it’s not remotely the same thing.

        I will also add there’s plenty of regular-born women in STEM even at my age (middle age) but interestingly enough not so many women born and schooled in the US, I think that is saying something and it makes clear that it’s NOTHING inborn with biology. It’s all cultural and by that I mean poison patriarchal culture that says “girls aren’t good at math or abstract relationships, girls are good at social skills!” which is more common in the US than elsewhere, even while the US likes to point fingers at other countries that they say are more oppressive to women.


  2. Cannot wait for this book! I agree with not using she/her for men, no matter how they dress. I do think we should start pushing for a set of neutral pronouns for everyone though. After all, patriarchy is engrained in language and if we change the language we take away a big tool of oppression.

    • Bev Jo Says:

      No, neutral pronouns play right into the trans cult and their desire to have all women’s restrooms and every other last bit of women’s and girls’ space be open to them. We are not the same as males. Pretending we are will end nothing but instead will obscure the oppression of women and girls. More women will not get out of poverty or begin to get equal status to men. It will just be more hidden. It was horribying to hear on our local “radical” radio a woman referring to “people raping people in the Occupy movement.”

      We must give up nothing of what we have left.

      • Donkey Skin Says:

        I agree 100 per cent with Bev Jo. In a world lived under male supremacy, gender-neutral language just makes it easier for men to hide their crimes and harder for women to expose them.

      • GallusMag Says:

        Completely agree. However, many libfems and gender critical feminists, particularly those with large platforms, are using fake pronouns and calling men “women” under duress- from threats of actual bodily male violence, harassment, no-platforming. I’m suggesting at this point AT THE VERY LEAST, these women should desist at actively using the female pronouns for men.

      • river Says:

        Refer to them by their names, not pronouns. Stilted speech is preferable to becoming an enabler to our demise.


      • I am not suggesting we should eliminate pronouns that indicate the sex of the person. I am suggesting to ADD a set of neutral pronouns. Of course if the majority (or all) of the people in a group are male they would still be man/he/his. As in “men raping women”. Having a set of neutral pronouns for ‘person’ will make it so we can start using a neutral pronoun when in a discussion it does not matter what the sex of the person is- for example: “there is a smart kid that lives next door: ‘they’ built an app that reconstructs the objects in a pictures as CAD models”. A set of gender neutral pronoun would make it easier to push for genderless marketing and the like, because there would be a shift in thinking about women/men (now seen as completely separate entities) to recognize us all as humans. If we keep using only gendered pronouns, the men will keep the status of being default human- that does not help us.

      • branjor Says:

        There already is a gender neutral pronoun – it. Unfortunately, it is widely perceived to be dehumanizing, but in fact it just denotes neuter gender.

      • branjor Says:

        I have a suggestion for another gender neutral pronoun. From Marge Piercy’s Woman On the Edge of Time – “per” (as in person.)

      • lin Says:

        Nobody thinks it’s dehumanizing to say “It’s a girl!” or “It’s a boy!” when a baby is born. If someone gets neutered, they can be their original sex, or it, but not the opposite sex.


  3. wait.. there is no ebook??? why??? @GallusMag do you know if the ebook will be available after April 17?


  4. Powerful stuff.

    I hope that it is released in eBook, more environmental.

    At any rate, I’m going to pre-order as soon as my pay comes in for the week.

    Noticed that Meryl dude from twitter has set up a discussion page called “TERF’s”. All the comments have been removed.

    They really cannot bear to hear a woman talk.
    They are the worst kind of man. Eugh!

    Just look at this dood:

    His attempt at a ‘come-hither’ look makes my ovaries recoil.

    So creepy.

  5. born free & female Says:

    I have had this on order at Amazon forever – I’ve lost count of how many updates I’ve received saying “We still can’t ship this.” Trans lobbyists worked hard to keep this book away from us.

  6. KittyBarber Says:

    Thank you, GM, for the preview. Maybe this will be the watershed moment, when the liberals feel that slap on the face and hear the voice that says “Wake UP! What’s wrong with you? That is a MAN, in a dress! Knock it off!”

    • Chapeau Says:

      Doubtful, it will be immediately comdemned and Jeffreys will join the ranks of Cathy Brennan, Mary Daly, Janice Raymond and Elizabeth Hungerford.
      As Bitch mag lengthily explained : these women are the reason feminism is failing trans women. 4-5 lesbians. Feminism must literally be emptied of any woman not supporting trans people, and they must be silenced. Any “missed” woman is feminism failing as a whole.

  7. Dar Guerra Says:

    Congratulations to Professor Jeffreys on this long-awaited book publication. I understand from Amazon that my pre-order from last year will not be shipped until about the first week of May. I’ve read other of her books and have been very impressed with her incisive writing, the depth of her knowledge, and the strength of her analyses. I know there will be a backlash to this book and can only urge women to buy it, read it, and comment on it from a feminist perspective online, because this book took courage to write and publish and we should show the same courage.

  8. hearthrising Says:

    I thoroughly agree that we need to move the conversation away from “gender” and talk about women’s oppression in terms of sex. Gender is used as a tool of oppression under patriarchy, but the problem is not gender, the problem is male domination. I think feminists at one time thought that moving away from naming the source/agent in favor of a more neutral term like gender would diffuse defensiveness from both men and women and make more people invested in ending the systemic abuse. We now know how disastrous it is to move away from naming the source of the oppression.

    This short piece was edifying for me in understanding how muddled that word “gender” is. I have noticed for some time that when that word is used, even among feminists, we are often talking about entirely different things. But the history and usage of that word is murkier than I even thought. If there’s one thing we need right now in this pomo age, it’s some precision of language. I’ll have to think about the term “sex caste” and discuss it with other women before deciding whether to take it up, but it sounds like this book will stimulate some useful discussion.

  9. Tobysgirl Says:

    Please reconsider purchasing from Amazon. They treat their workers horribly, having figured out that it was cheaper to have ambulances on standby for carting people to hospitals (dropping from heat exhaustion and stroke) than to air-condition their warehouses. A woman on the radio spoke of not being able to use the toilet, of being constantly hounded to go faster, of generally being treated as slaves. They now have a $600 million contract with the CIA, possibly to help target people for assassination. I would like to read this book, but will not contribute one cent to Amazon.

  10. Gertrude Carlyle Says:

    lisa questions is lisa harney, founder of questioning transphobia:

    http://lisaquestions.tumblr.com/post/74562929165/yeastbaeddel-projectz975-projectz975

    this is their reply. they just repeat it over and over: they were not socialized as men, but as women. they repeat it so much, it is starting to get accepted as real, just like the rest of their agenda and their deception.

    yeast baeddel even calls itself “female bodied, female socialized” on its tumblr page. and then **on the same page** admits it would never have learned it was trans if not for the internet. how could it be socialized as female if it didn’t know it was trans? this shit is crazy.

    jeffreys is dealing with outright psychosis & i don’t think logical arguments will make a dent in the lies they tell themselves & everyone else.


    • If I could reach through the computer screen, I may have enacted violence against the individual who purported that transgender get raped more than “cis”.

      The statistics he linked do not mention assault against cis people at all.

      Just another FALSE statistic coming from these disgusting liars that will be repeated all over the internet without any proof until it becomes “fact” for their movement.

      Exactly like the suicide statistics that I linked here that showed that AFAB (so females) had the highest rate of suicide attempts. Which corresponds to the “cis” statistics as well (females are more likely to attempt suicide, males are more likely to complete it)

      http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1446468/pdf/11392934.pdf

      The statistics show that:

      – Forced sex or rape was reported by MtT, 231 people (59%)

      – Almost one third (31%) of the female-
      to-male participants had a history of sex work or survival sex, and 59% reported forced sex or rape.

      -Only 7% of the male-to-female transgender persons had had
      vaginal construction surgery, so unprotected receptive
      vaginal sex with male or transgender persons was rarely reported (2%).

      -Slightly fewer than one third of both male-to-female and female-to-male participants had attempted suicide, and about one fifth of each group had been hospitalized for a mental health condition. Almost two thirds of the male to-female and 55% of the female-to-male participants were classified as depressed

      But nothing about transwomen being raped more than women.

      Fucking lying arseholes.

      • Bev Jo Says:

        I would NEVER say a woman lies about being raped, but after seeing these men lie about every imaginable thing, including that they know what it feels like to be female, and that they felt female from childhood (not one I have ever talked with said anything remotely sounding like they knew what it meant to be a girl), I simply do not believe them about claiming to be attacked — especially when they know they will add to the statistics of how oppressed they are. How many have we caught lying about so much already?

      • Choco Says:

        I agree wholeheartedly, BevJo. I remember that MtT commenter who left 100 comments on the Leeds post (“I have a cervix and I’m able to nurse babies”), his supposed sexual assault sounded like something from a porno. They can only see rape victims through the eyes of porn, b/c porn teaches that women crying in pain are sexy and that all women secretly really want to be raped. Rape victims are seen as both sexy wounded animals and conniving powerful opportunists. Either way, the woman is still an object thought to be putting on a performance.

    • Unperson Says:

      “If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State.”

      J, Goebbels

  11. Margie Says:

    I apologize for this somewhat OT post, but I wanted to tip Gallus to a horrific example of trans rape culture now on display in the widely read Savage Love sex advice column by Dan Savage. In the latest column, a young woman recounts how a “transman” passed himself off as a male and lied repeatedly in order to procure access to the woman’s body. Eventually, the “transman” admitted his trans status. The woman says she is no longer attracted to the “transman” and wants to know if this makes her a bigot. Savage, who at times can be an intelligent, insightful person, this time fails to tell the woman to call the police. Instead, perhaps cowed by several years of trans activist stalking, he turns for input to a trans activist called “M. Dru Levasseur” who is affiliated with the “Jim Collins Foundation.” You can read for yourselves what follows, but I would advise you to put away all sharp or breakable objects when you do.

    http://www.thestranger.com/seattle/SavageLove?oid=19185449&cb=87c554da5fbc5ac0a3b840f91bd2f3af&layoutId=PostComment&view=comments#comment-19209994

    • morag99 Says:

      I could only skim it, Margie, because I don’t want to get too close to words that feel like an assault.

      So, this woman is creeped-out that she had sex with an impostor, with a liar. But, her feelings don’t count. Her feelings, in fact, are wrong. Trans count; women don’t.

      And sex positive ideology–which this “expert” reply is chock full of– has nothing to do with liberating women sexually, but exists to ensure that we never, ever say no to fucking. As long as women show no resistance, it’s not rape, right? It’s insidious.

      • belindieG Says:

        I’m horrified that she’s supposed to keep her mouth shut because the transman wants to keep accepting the supposed male priviledge that goes along with becoming a man. I don’t understand why we’re supposed to support the system of male superiority.

    • survivorthriver Says:

      Thanks for posting this link from my home town. I have observed that Mr. Savage has a double standard. If it is male asking about an uptight female partner he will chide the female into capitulating to “explore” that side with her male to please him and possibly overcome her hang ups.

      I shared this link to my personal network. I was glad to read most of the comments supported the female who was deceived by the trans partner.

      On the whole, that is what trans does: mass deception of their sex.

      I’m joining the brigade and refusing to use “she” for it or him. I’ve been castigated for that before in public forums. It galls me that an XY with penis lies to the whole world and co-opts my sex. Why not just be Trans and proud? Why do they ride on the coat tails of the civil and gay rights when they go on to silence and oppress women with their self-identification?

      I’m so grateful for this book, and, think we should start a national reading group club for this book. Thanks again for the Savage link, he’s sexist.

    • liberalsareinsane Says:

      “and wants to know if this makes her a bigot”.

      (1) Cops should be called on the woman pretending to be a dude.

      (2) Ugh why is she asking asshole Savage for advice?

      (3) How low is this woman’s self esteem if she feels that she is a bigot for wanting this creepo lying tranny out of her life.

    • a cat Says:

      “To the Marcuses of the world who will read NCA’s letter and think, ‘Oh no, who will love me, who will want me?’ and see it as just another message of rejection to add to a daily list of transphobia, body shame, and internalized self-loathing that fuels the staggering trans suicide attempt rate: Don’t go there. Trans men are hot and deserve to be loved for the amazing men they are. They did not have their masculinity handed to them. They earned it—often through journeys that take unbelievable resilience and courage. An intentional man. The full package. And we deserve not to settle for someone who doesn’t appreciate our bodies or our histories. Find someone who wants the full you.”

      In other words: “Writer, you are a pathetic individual who can’t accept the fantastic hot sexxxay reality of trans men. We’re going to pay lip service to your delusional idea that you don’t want to have sex with one of these individuals, but it’s because you’re a deluded bigot who has hurt legions of trans men with your questions. Who will now ALL COMMIT SUICIDE and it will be YOUR FAULT”.

      Isn’t it funny how it’s always women who should be accepting of anyone who wants to have sex with them ever?

      • Loup-loup garou Says:

        Can you believe this statement of Levasseur’s?

        “Does NCA not see Marcus as a man now? Is she sure he doesn’t have a penis? Trans guys have amazing dicks that are different from cis guys’ dicks (surgery or no surgery)—how does she know she won’t like it or even prefer it?”

        Where have we heard this before? Every woman who has ever lived, lesbian, straight, or bi, has been lectured at some point about the amazing and different dick that she’d totally be into if she just gave it a chance. The fact that this time, a straight woman is being badgered to give another woman’s cosmetic approximation of a dick a chance doesn’t change the basic scenario, or make it somehow more progressive.

        Also, that idea of “earning masculinity” — where to even begin with that? Men do not “have their masculinity handed to them,” boys go through puberty and develop the secondary sex characteristics that identify them as adult males. That’s not a prize or a reward, it’s just biology. What’s handed to men is a particular social role, which in most respects is more advantageous than the one pushed on women.

      • a cat Says:

        Exactly loup-loup. (I can’t reply to your comment directly, wordpress is weird). Trans men have clitorises or surgically constructed penises which don’t really function correctly. For straight women, that’s not automatically an awesome choice.

        I don’t get why any woman should *have* to have sex with anyone that she doesn’t want to. Straight women like the male version of genitalia, lesbian women don’t want to deal with the dick. This is Reality 101. A woman is not bigoted, hateful or anything else if she has preferences about the genitals of the sexual partners she has.

        I await the day when straight men are told they’re bigots for not taking it up the arse at every opportunity…oops! That’ll never happen.

        As for “earning masculinity” that is because it’s a fabulous prize far above the reach of us lowly fem-things. Trans men have “earned” masculinity, like Olympians earn gold medals, and should be respected accordingly.

      • morag99 Says:

        “I await the day when straight men are told they’re bigots for not taking it up the arse at every opportunity…oops! That’ll never happen.”

        Exactly! And, yet, this is precisely the kind of advice that was given to the woman who wrote to Savage. She was urged to be more open (non-bigoted) and give trans “dick” a try. There is no difference between this and telling a straight man that he should really try having sex with another man, because how does he know he “won’t like it or even prefer it?”

        The difference, of course, is that men are imparted full humanity and bodily integrity. A man’s preferences and boundaries are respected. A woman’s boundaries are like a rickety old fence, desperately held together with glue and duct tape. Tell her she’s wrong, bad, mistaken or unkind, and there’s a pretty good chance that the fence will just fall down.

        Dan Savage, with assistance from the trans cult, is propping up rape culture. He’s been accused of transphobia himself, but he’s obviously seeking redemption. And, what better way to prove himself worthy than by actively promoting the breaching of female bodies?

    • kesher Says:

      Savage made it clear that he thinks transpeople are obligated to disclose their status (I think that goes double/triple/quadruple for anyone who hasn’t had a full sex change), but he did invite a particularly deluded transactivist to chime in.

      Considering what has often happened to transwomen who try to pass by having sex with cismen (even when the transwoman still has a penis), I honestly don’t understand the stance taken by people like Levasseur. You’d think basic survival instincts and fear of male violence would factor in.

    • Randie Says:

      Young radical feminist Terri Strange has a youtube video about similar horrible woman-hating ”advice” Dan Savage gave to a woman who said that her boy friend or husband I don’t remember right now likes to hurt her and f*ck her so violently that she bleeds and she hates it and doesn’t want this of course,but Dan goes on to legitimize this to her!

      I wrote this to some feminist anti-pornography anti-violence educators back in 2010.

      #1 Sex columnist in America Dan Savage( who is an obvious woman-hater) says to a woman who’s husband is pressuring her to have anal sex,and she tried it and doesn’t like it,that he’s not going to let off the anal hook just yet.He does say that if she really doesn’t like it her husband should accept that but that she has to let him grieve for the as* he’s not getting and if he’s monogamous he’s never going to have.

      A poster thewholetruth said there’s this common myth that straight women like anal ever since porn shifted to mostly anal.Porn women get paid to have anal.Real life women do anal for two reasons:

      1. their guy thinks they have a loose p*ssy

      2.they think if they don’t do it he’ll dump them.

      The anus/rectum is for excreting waste.If it was pleasurable everyone would be getting off every time they had a bowel movement.

      And a doctor posted as Dr.Doctor as # 153 said he’s done many rectal surgeries said he’s made quite a bit off money off of people due to their anal sex habits. First it was gay men.And then the internet came into being and then all of the sudden more and more straight people were doing anal because porn became more anal focused in the 1990’s and it has stayed that way for some reason.And he said and all the talk of anal on the net as well.

      A gastroenterologist also posted that out of his patients who have done the prep to have colonscopy 25% still have liquid or solid feces in their rectums!

      So after this quite a few posters said that it’s very obvious that the anus and rectum was made for our feces to come out and is not a place to have sex or erotic at all,one of the posters quoted what this gastroenterologist said.

      Poster # 102 echizen_kurage said,Sheesh Dan,we get it already.You think female genitals are icky. POINT TAKEN. Now if you could stop making those sly little digs at vaginas(and by extension,at those of us who have them) that would be awesome.This same poster posts as # 106 to another poster some_d00d saying to him,that Dan Savage frequently expresses distaste for the female genitals,so when he implies that the vagina is hygienically equivalent to the rectum,I think it’s safe to assume there’s a certain amount of anti-vagina sentiment involved.She said that Dan often calls the vagina butt menses.

      Below is what I posted in response.

      It’s really something that as much as most men worship their penises,(most heterosexual men are gay,they hate women for no rational reasons,they exclude women from everything,the whole male dominated sexist, artificially gender dived,gender stereotyped ,woman-hating society is one big male club,they prefer men in everything except f*cking women,and they discriminate against women for 1,000’s of years)they want to stick it in the most germ contaminated place in the human body!

      Most men would probably f*ck a mini toilet with sh*t in it if it served their penis pleasure. Actually every time they have sh*thole sex they are f*cking a mini toilet!

      Also a poster on here said that Dan Savage often puts down women’s genitals so he is a common woman-hating heterosexual guy who worships his penis and just likes to use women’s vaginas to serve and please his penis that he worships.

      Also Pulitzer prize winning Science writer Natalie Angier explained in her best selling book,Woman An Intimate Geography that gynecologist Sharon Hillier says that even though there is a common unfortunate myth in our society that women’s vaginas are “dirty” in fact a normal healthy vagina is the cleanest space in the body and it’s much cleaner than the mouth and much much cleaner than the rectum.The vagina,unless it has an infection,has healthy bacteria in it,called lactobacilli the same healthy bacteria that is in yogurt.

      Dr.Hillier says that a healthy vagina is as clean and pure as a carton of yogurt.We don’t sh*t out of our vaginas! And babies including men(which it’s so incomprehensible and crazy,that men hate and dehumanize etc the very same group of people they are born and nurtured from) are born out of women’s vaginas not sh*tholes!

      Also in 1994 there was a major sex survey from around the country and people could answer amorously and only about 1% of straight people said sh*thole sex was something they wanted to do or did and liked doing.Most surveys,studies and testimonies from women say they don’t like sh*thole sex,and many say it’s uncomfortable at the least and painful at the most.

      But there are also many women who have said that after their boyfriends or husbands saw women portrayed in pornography as if they want and enjoy it,and normalized and sexualized in it,and they kept pressuring them or forced them to do it and they hated it and it was painful.

  12. as Says:

    I wish was more in the $20 range. *le sigh* Maybe my library system will catch on quick? I hope.🙂

  13. SheilaG Says:

    a cat says: “Isn’t it funny how it’s always women who should be accepting of anyone who wants to have sex with them ever?”

    And that’s the bottom line. Women are supposed to have sex with everyone. A liar and a fake is not condemned outright. I believe making a false claim about your sex to have sex is a crime in many states. It’s called rape. Savage is an idiot, I’d never listen to what a man says about the rights of a woman not to be coerced into having sex with an imposter. I’d be horrified at such a situation.

    • kesher Says:

      I don’t think it necessarily is illegal. I’ve even seen cases where a twin had sex with his brother’s wife while obscuring the fact that he wasn’t who she believed him to be and couldn’t be charged with rape since the rape wasn’t forcible. That’s still largely the law throughout the country. Any sexual assault that wasn’t forced by extreme violence, credible threats of death, or total incapacity of the victim (such as intentional drugging) doesn’t count as rape.

      That said, the fact that we’re not even “allowed” to socially shame transpeople who lie to their partners by omission, making their partners feel violated, is really disgusting. Regardless of what transpeople want, most cispeople, regardless if they’re accepting of trans rights or not, don’t see transwomen or transmen as fully women and men. Given that, a transperson having sex with someone without disclosure is a violation.

  14. GallusMag Says:

    The United Nations Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (1979) was drawn up before the language of gender and the idea of ‘gender identity’ came to dominate international law discourse and to stand in for women as a sex category. It spoke instead of ‘stereotyped roles’ and recognised these stereotypes as the basis for discrimination against women. Article 5 says that States Parties should take ‘all appropriate measures’ to ‘modify the social and cultural patterns of conduct of men and women, with a view to achieving the elimination of prejudice and customary and all other practices which are based on the idea of the inferiority or the superiority of either of the sexes or on stereotyped roles for men and women’ (CEDAW, 1979: Article 5). The idea of ‘gender identity’ relies on stereotypes for its meaning and is in conflict with the understanding in CEDAW that such stereotypes are profoundly harmful to women.
    The term ‘gender’ itself is problematic. It was first used in a sense that was not simply about grammar, by sexologists, the scientists of sex, such as John Money, in the 1950s and 60s, who were involved in normalising intersex infants. They used the term to mean the behavioural characteristics they considered most appropriate for persons of one or other biological sex.

    Some thoughts about this, and the replacing of “sex roles” with “gender” terminology, resulting in the erasure of sex-based hierarchy and the existence of a female sex caste in public discourse.

    I agree that we should alternate “sex-roles” with “gender” in public discourse at every opportunity. I suspect the best long-term strategy -and only solution- is to reestablish the word “gender” as synonymous with “hierarchical sex-roles” in the public mind by continuing to make room for, and to personally participate, in public discourse on the issue of gender. This has the unfortunate effect for genderists of their being associated with a socially distasteful, retrograde, and conservative sexism. Too bad for them. The “plus” side for us is that the overt sexism of the transgender movement can be used to address sex-roles in the starkest terms- making the work of feminists ultimately much easier- and ushering in a new era of freedom for women from violently enforced behaviors of female subordination including femininity, beauty mandates, etc.

    I see an opportunity for women to use the popular cultural meme of the transgender movement as a weapon to broadly reduce or eliminate degrading cultural sex-roles for women in the “polite” realms of cultural, civic, and economic life, thus opening up a platform to take realistic measures to reduce or eliminate male violence and reproductive/sexual slavery of women. Sex roles (gender) have prohibited women from taking an equal place in every sphere of male-defined cultural life. Without equal participation we have been unable to secure freedom from male control of our reproductive biology, enforced by both male violence (rape, battery, ownership/marriage) and the male state (restrictions on access to medical birth control and prevention, absence of censure and control measures for male violence against women).

    OK. So in some instances feminists have a huge opportunity to easily return in the popular mind the now-obscured “gender” to its base meaning “sex roles”, and we can do so with minimal time or energy investment by countering instances when sexism is being put forward as “gender identity” online or in real life by simply taking the time to comment and mention it. An example, from a post on Jezebel titled “I am Genderfluid”: http://groupthink.jezebel.com/i-am-genderfluid-1558789334/all

    From the post:

    I am genderfluid, though I was assigned female at birth, use female pronouns (though mostly out of a lack of acceptable alternative), and “pass” as female 99% of the time (this is not a situation I am happy with). What does this mean? For me, it means that sometimes I am a woman, sometimes I am a man, and sometimes I am androgynous. I do not mean that sometimes I feel manly; in every internal sense, I am a man in those moments. My partner noticed that I hold myself differently, walk differently, speak differently, even interact with people differently depending on my gender identification. This isn’t the same as being transgender, as I do not feel that I am always one gender. There are many times where I experience very acute gender dysphoria (female pronouns, looking very female, etc. when I am male or androgynous), but, when I am female, I don’t. Genderfluidity is often included under the banner of genderqueer, which includes most non-binary gender identities. (The purple, white, and green colors are the genderqueer flag!)

    So far, I have never met anyone else like me, seen any genderfluid narratives on TV or in movies, nor have I ever spoken with anyone (except my partner) about this. It is very difficult because I have a rather feminine appearance. I can never pass for male, which causes me a lot of anxiety and confusion when I am male. I tried, for a short while, to crossdress, but I got ridiculed and made fun of by family and friends. Besides, I never passed, people kept using female pronouns/acting as if I were female, and instead I got a lot of unwanted negative attention for being a “woman” dressed in men’s clothing. Also, I grew up being treated as a woman, and with that comes a certain expectation about how you are supposed to act and dress. When I don’t abide by those, I can tell how people treat me differently. When I present as appropriately female (makeup, female clothing, female behavior), I get very positive responses. Men treat me kindly, often flirt, I feel beautiful and “normal”, and people are generally approving. When I present as inappropriately female (aka as male as I can), I get stares, men disregard me, people treat me strangely, and I feel ugly, weird, and wrong. As such, I always present as female, even if this causes me quite a bit of gender dysphoria, which often gives me depression/anxiety.
    Quite frankly, there isn’t an easy solution. I can’t “transition” necessarily because I am not a single gender. It makes me incredibly sad that I think the only way I could be truly happy is if it were possible to shapeshift. I was really touched when a particular GTer texted me, asking which pronouns I would prefer. No one has ever given me a choice before. (Note: female pronouns are fine, if only because we don’t have any gender neutral ones and they/them sets off my grammar red flags).

    One last note: the whole, tangled issue of my gender identity is further compounded by the fact that my interests are predominantly/conventionally male, my career is an overwhelmingly male field (especially if I choose to go into engineering later), and I make friends most easily with men. The kinds of social situations that are borne from these environments are not always the most…conducive….to genderfluidity.
    Have any questions? Any narratives? I’d really like to hear feedback, questions, and stories since this is my first time sharing this, apart from my partner.”

    —————————
    Now, this post has over 90 replies and not a single one mentions the giant hideous sex stereotyping and offensive anti-woman sex-roles informing this post: “Feeling manly”, “Male interests”, the Mystification about not being treated with respect when recognized as female, etc. etc. etc. To radical feminists OR ANY FEMINISTS the post almost seems like a sex-role genderist parody (sadly it isn’t).

    A few comments here from empathetic feminists pointing out the noxious sex roles could have a huge effect here, both for this woman and the dozens of commenters and readers. It wouldn’t be too hard to start various online networking groups solely dedicated to posting links to such articles so that women who are able to take a few minutes each day to change the public discourse of “gender” can comment on them. It would make a huge difference. I recommend that women start such action-oriented networks where women can donate ten minutes of time out of their busy days into doing direct pushback against such articles.

    But maybe women did comment, and their comments were censored! This brings us to the second portion of this conundrum: instances where it is NOT easy to highlight the sex-role basis of “gender”.

    Transgenderists, at core, perform a politic of dishonesty, for various reasons. Censorship and silencing of discourse is at the heart of the transgender politic. Feminist sites such as this one regularly feature unedited perspectives from transgender authors for discussion. The same is never, ever true of transgender sites. They never, ever post and discuss our unedited thoughts. Instead, they seek to censor us. No feminist has ever sought to censor the voices of transgenderists. Instead, we read, post, and discuss their perspectives openly.

    Much of this blog is comprised of representing and critiquing unedited viewpoints of transgenderists in their own words. I can not think of a single example where transgenderists reciprocated this representation and respect. To the contrary, Transgenders seek to (and do!) censor and no-platform the voices of women and feminists. Rather than parsing our words and responding, as we do here, transgenders depend on censorship and silencing of women and never ever post our works for discussion as we do for them on feminist sites such as this one. I have presented countless transgender voices here, unedited. Never, ever will you see feminist words aired and critiqued by the transgender lobby.

    Remember that Jeffreys’ book was targeted for censorship – completely UNREAD- by WPATH President Jamison Green and Dallas Denny.

    Feminist, Lebian, and Gay male commentary on sex-roles (“gender”) is roundly censored by transgenderists who use harassment, terrorism, violence and bomb threats to silence us, with tacit approval of the leadership of the transgender movement. Roz Kaveney said that the response to his pro-gender letter calling for silencing of feminist criticism of sex-roles by lesbian feminist Elizabeth Hungerford wasn’t even read by him, much less responded to, because she is female and lesbian, and thus not worth reading. Today, Cecilia Chung of the San Francisco Transgender Law Center shut down a twitter discussion rather than censure another male “transwoman” who recommended silencing lesbian feminists via the violent application of a baseball bat to our skulls.

    So.

    I believe attempts to dialogue with violent censorious transgenderists are fruitless. We have tried to do so for years and our efforts are wasted energy. Reciprocity and good faith has never occurred. These efforts should be abandoned. The anti-woman, anti-feminist and homophobic results of the transgender politic are not accidental, and not an unplanned or unforeseen byproduct of the transgender cultural movement.

    From Riki Wilchen’s 2002 essay “Deconstructing Trans”:

    “Genderqueerness would seem to be a natural avenue for feminism to contest Woman’s equation with nurturance, femininity, and reproduction: in short to trouble the project of Man. Yet feminists have been loath to take that avenue, in no small part because queering Woman threatens the very category on which feminism depends.”

    • river Says:

      Yes, We need to get out there. Fine to discuss it here (and that should not stop) but if it dies here, we haven’t moved forward. We need to be where we are heard by more than just the choir. Several have done that in past months and years, and burned out with lack of support from the ranks who don’t seem willing to step out of the comfort zone.

      “A few comments here from empathetic feminists pointing out the noxious sex roles could have a huge effect here, both for this woman and the dozens of commenters and readers.”

    • Pegasus Olsen Says:

      Alena Neumann (@numeratrix) sued the University of Minnesota over trans “healthcare” coverage, btw.

      http://www.mndaily.com/news/campus/2014/03/12/trans-students-grapple-insurance

      • BadDyke Says:

        Gender CONFIRMATION surgery! When did that little gem appear?

        Delusion confirmation surgery more like……………….Can we now call other cosmetic surgery procedures beauty confirmation surgery? Just throw in (multiple) suicide attempts if refused and depression, and you’re well away with conning the cash out of the health insurance system, which OBVIOUSLY has nothing better to spend money on…………….

    • AreUSayingWhatUThink Says:

      GallusMag – I’ve started doing this. TODAY. And I’m going to lose support from other feminists, will be branded “essentialist,” “retrograde,” “out of date,” etc. “A relic,” “a fossil.” Bigoted, transphobic. Will it cost me grants that I may apply for in the future? Cost me getting published, when they look online and see what I have to say on trans issue? Will I not get interviewed for a job, because they google me, and this stuff comes up?

      On another note, my women’s group “in real life” is coming together. 🙂 Since I’m gonna be shit outta luck online.

      • GallusMag Says:

        @AUSWUT- I think there’s ways of doing this that don’t involve “throwing yourself on the pike”. For example, one could comment on the article quoted above simply saying “Isn’t it a matter of sex-role stereotyping to assign personality traits according to sex”? Or something like that. Pretty simple. Women don’t need to take the time to explain feminist theory on gender, or even state their own beliefs. It may be enough to simply plant seeds there. And there. And there. And everywhere.

        “Shouldn’t we be moving away from assigning hobbies and activities according to sex?”

        “What makes a certain mood or feeling male? Isn’t that sexism?”

        etc.

      • AreUSayingWhatUThink Says:

        I see, the calm and measured approach🙂 Will give it a go, see what happens.

    • a cat Says:

      GallusMag, I am not brave enough yet. This is what I would say to the “presenting as female but sometimes male” person who posted.

      First of all, being a woman who doesn’t present as a woman isn’t the same as not being a woman. I haven’t been bothered with looking feminine since I hit puberty and before. I even, strangely, have been called “sir” (you’d be amazed by that if you met me). It’s not a big huge complex thing – loads of women are just women on their own terms.

      Second,you speak of having “masculine” swaggering days or androgynous days when you don’t feel that you are one or the other. I have those too. It’s tempting to be a man when you feel tough, androgynous when you haven’t got a good sense of yourself and female when you’re more shy or retiring, Listen, you are female all the time, women have shifting moods and attitudes. Sometimes tough and swaggering is how we have to be🙂 or androgynous, or shy, or anything. All of human experience is here.

      Third, gender dysphoria. It’s not caused by your gender suddenly changing day by day, it’s because of how you feel being completely disregarded by people around you. Example: you’re upset. Men say “Aaaw, so sweeeet! Oh, is she a wee bittie upset then?” or in someway ignore your actual feelings because WIMMEN AMIRITE. You might get patted on the hand. Women will say “OMG hormones? You feeling OK, sweetheart? Once it starts you’ll feel sooo much better!” All of these ignore your real emotions and how you feel. I would guess, if it’s not precisely the same,you get similar reactions.

      I wouldn’t pass as a man in a million years (very short and very babyfaced) and nowadays I wouldn’t want to be one. I’m happy being an unconventional woman and I hope you will be too. As for your interests they aren’t automatically “manly”. Mine are so “masculine” as to actually unnerve some men, and there are women here who are scientists with an interest in forensic science.

      Basically I would say try not to worry that you aren’t “womanly” and try to remember that your “non-womanly” feelings are going to be part of you as a female. I know it’s bloody tough, it’s only in the past year or so that I realised I am a woman, properly, and that my concern had made a mess of quite a few human relationships. I would hate that to happen to you.

      I wish I can talk to you face to face. I didn’t realise quite what I was tempted into until I avoided it, which was a huge relief (not all women have to be the same, you know). I hope you are OK. I am sure no matter what path you choose, you will be.

      Yours sincerely

      a cat

  15. liberalsareinsane Says:

    “I believe attempts to dialogue with violent censorious transgenderists are fruitless”.

    Of course. They’re men, crazy asshole men, you don’t dialogue or negotiate with them. And women shouldn’t have to negotiate any of this nonsense.

    They’re guys in dresses who shove used tampons up their ass. They’re just nuts. Men cannot be women or lesbians and any man who says that he is a woman/lesbian needs to be carted off to the psych ward. There is no such thing as “transgender”; “I was born in the wrong body”; “I got lady brain” nonsense. It’s all bullshit and “negotiating” with mental cases is a waste of time. Women always want to negotiate rather than drawing a line in the sand and saying NOOOO. That would involve sticking together so that’s out for many women. They can take their “evolved” man loving liberal horseshit and choke on it.

  16. Katrina Says:

    An echo chamber for paranoid malcontents.


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