R.I.P. John Berger

January 4, 2017

John Berger passed away yesterday at the age of 90.

Over the years when various people have asked me if there is any particular thing they could share with their female teen or young adult when she announced that she is “transgender” and isn’t open to being directly challenged, I always suggested this program for shared viewing: John Berger’s ‘Ways of Seeing’. Particularly Part 2: The Female Nude, but really all four segments in order.

It is art criticism with some Second Wave Radical Feminist analysis thrown in (uncredited!) and is a good introduction to awareness of gender and the male gaze as well as critical thinking and cultural competency in general. Really every teen should be forced to watch this program. It also has some fun anachronism and 70’s kitsch for a bonus.

Selling points?

First: it has nothing directly to do with transgender.

Second, you can insist it is a necessary part of their art education (and it is!) and view it together.

Third, it’s a great entry and conversation starter on the degraded status of the female caste that pervades all aspects of culture now and throughout history.

But most importantly, it teaches young people to see beyond the surface how representation itself works.

Kind of pathetic to recommend a 45-year-old program by a male (who steals feminist ideas) for such a purpose, no?  But there it is.

These days, thank god, there are some desperately needed materials being produced- particularly by dysphoric women and detransitioners- that are likely more directly helpful. Blogs, YouTubes, and some upcoming books! But I’m still not aware of any sort of “family movie night” program like this directed at teaching teenaged young women and girls to recognize the male gaze that has been inflicted upon them and all females throughout time, and that does so gently in the guise of edu-tainment. One made by women! Perhaps I’ve missed it. Leave comments with suggestions if I have. I think it is very desperately needed.

To media makers looking to make a difference for young women and girls struggling with gender, please consider making such a program that teaches youth not by instruction, but by giving them the tools to see.

Rest in peace John.

Full article: http://review.antiochcollege.org/sacred-androgen-transgender-debate-daniel-harris Daniel Harris’s essay will be reposted on GenderTrender in full if it is censored.

The Antioch Review Blog

It has come to our attention that an article published in the Winter 2016 issue of The Antioch Review is stirring debate in our campus and alumni communities and within the broader transgender community. Daniel Harris’ views are his own, and based on the response of some readers, are deeply offensive to many transgender individuals and supporters. Antioch College does not condone or always agree with the ideas and viewpoints expressed in the Review. We do, however, have confidence in the Review’s editor and editorial process, and support a key Antiochian value—the free expression of ideas and opinions, even when they run counter to our own. As a college, we encourage our students, faculty, and the broader community to engage in critical thought and dialogue around important issues, including this one. We believe commitments to the ideals of free expression and support for LGBTQ human and civil rights are not…

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blackface stonewall

“Trans Woman of Color”?

A gaggle of deranged caucasian Tumblerites (or as I like to call them, Brooklyn Genderqueers) has painted ghastly blackface on statues commemorating the historic gay riot at the Stonewall Inn, turning the figures into the most offensive lawn jockeys* imaginable. They were protesting a film that has not yet been released, and that they have not seen: the upcoming Hollywood drama “Stonewall”. Based on movie trailers, Transgender activists complain that they anticipate the film’s depiction of events that occurred at the predominantly gay white male establishment might be too gay and too white.

The 1969 Stonewall Riot occurred in New York’s Greenwich Village when gay patrons spontaneously refused to submit to a routine police raid of the venue. Lesbian and Gay public establishments were illegal back then and those caught in them were arrested, prosecuted for “indecency”, and their names published in the newspaper, “outing” them to employers as criminal sexual degenerates. Police routinely battered the gay men and raped the gay women.

That night, June 28, two years after the hippie “Summer of Love”, one year after 150 feminists set siege to the Miss America pageant, setting off stink-bombs in the hall and throwing curlers, tweezers, stockings and high-heeled shoes (and yes, bras) into a trash can as they crowned a live sheep Miss America, at the height of the Black Power movement, and the Vietnam War protests, something changed. Gay people refused to get into the paddy wagons*. Not one or two but all of them. They fought police and the whole neighborhood came out to join them. Riot!!!

The second night a spontaneous street celebration and makeshift parade took place. Reports state that it was faaabulous. Gay Pride! It was the birth of Gay Pride and we commemorate this uprising of fierce, fierce, pride in every city, town and hamlet worth its sequined thong every year, in June or July, whenever we get around to it.

The so-called “Stonewall Monument” is a work of art by pop artist George Segal named ‘Gay Liberation’. It was commissioned in 1979 by arts patron Peter Putnam and consists of four life-sized bronze figures, not sculpted, but cast in plaster bandages. They are painted white to replicate the plaster Putnam used for casting. The people used to make the casts were each a real gay male and gay female couple who were friends of the artist. The two couples are touching each other intimately (but not sexually). All four of the models are believed to have been white. One of the gay men modeled in the piece shared his reflections in a 2009 article here: http://www.glreview.org/article/article-526/ .

Segal was not the first choice for the commission but he was the first that accepted the (then socially unpopular) task. He had just finished his piece commemorating the Kent State shootings. The instructions for the work were that the piece “had to be loving and caring, and show the affection that is the hallmark of gay people … and it had to have equal representation of men and women.” The work was considered very controversial and “explicit” at the time and was installed in Greenwich Village in 1992 after the initial 1984 installation at Stanford University was vandalized over 40 times by anti-gay individuals, including battery by hammer. Since its installation in small Christopher Park across the street from the Stonewall Inn the work has come to be known as the “Stonewall Monument”.

gay_liberation_sheridan_squ

The latest vandalization is unique in that the gay men were painted in a way that portrays “blackface” with giant red lips, and afro and brown wigs. Bras were also adhered to the gay men’s chests. No word on why beards and penises where not affixed to the lesbian figures.

blackface stonewall 2

The transgender activists perpetrating the Stonewall Blackface Incident were apparently inspired by the words of “Miss Major”, a seventy three year old male who amazingly claims to have participated in both the Stonewall Riots and the riots at the Attica maximum security penitentiary. “Miss Major” made the following comment about the “Stonewall Monument” as posted on Autostraddle last week:

“Two fags, two lesbians and some random person looking like they were walking into the Park are the statues that are there. Someone should smash those motherfuckers up and turn them into the white dust that they are and put a couple of statues of people of color and at least make one of them an overly obnoxious transgender woman 6’5″, three inch heels, blond/red hair, lashes, beads, feathers and put one of those fine white boys next to her, now that I can handle! [laughter] And let’s have two lesbians at the end with luggage because they’re moving in together! [laughter]” [sic]

In comments at Autostraddle one of the white female trans vandals states:

“Unfortunately, we don’t have the skills or funds to cast sculptures of our own. We also couldn’t paint the entire statues brown because Christopher Park is a highly busy and visible area and we were worried about being arrested. It sucks that some people are correlating it to Black face (and we see why), but that’s decontextualizing what we did. Anyway, we hope that this gets the ball rolling and that we’ll soon see sculptures representing the people of color who led the riots.”

This event nicely caps off a long summer of transgender protests against Gay Pride events for being too gay. From Glasgow’s Pride event, which banned drag queens as offensive to heterosexual male transgenders, to the heckler disrupting president Obama’s White House Pride reception, to the forced signing of a gender loyalty pledge required of participants at Vancouver Pride, to the trans activists that sat down in the street and forced Boston’s Pride parade to come to a screeching halt, to Auckland’s Pride where they did the same thing and resisted arrest. San Diego Pride tried to thwart the inevitable by naming “the entire transgender community” as their Grand Marshal, but was still marred by “die-ins” by trans activists who wanted to draw attention to transgender despair and the fact that 14 out of the 12,000 people murdered annually in the US. are transgender victims.

Is Transgender the Last Wave of Anti-Gay Activism?

 

image from the article

(image from the article)

Very interesting article on the impact of “transgender” undermining the parity campaign of women playwrights whose works are underrepresented because of their sex. Do female artists deserve equal opportunities to have their plays produced, or can women’s voices be replaced by males who believe they “feel” female?

 

From the article :

 

“Several weeks ago at a gathering of Washington DC theater critics and artistic directors called “the Summit” a furor was started over the lack of work by women playwrights at major American theaters.  Asked to explain the reason for this well established low representation of plays by women, one artist director explained that there just aren’t enough talented women playwrights in the pipeline, and that it will take at least a decade to fix the problem.

Outrage ensued, and rightfully so.  It was an inane explanation, and one that is insulting to thousands of women playwrights who face real, institutional barriers to having their work produced.

 As a result of the kerfuffle several theater artists around the country began compiling lists of accomplished women playwrights.  One blogger ironically called it a binder full of women for theater companies looking for gender diversity.  What has emerged from these efforts is an open source google document called “We Exist” listing over 1,200 playwrights, and its still growing.  But somehow, this list of women playwrights has transformed into a list of “female and/or trans* playwrights.” The asterisk after trans is not a footnote its a…well, I don’t understand exactly what it is, but it has replaced “trans” without an apostrophe as the appropriate nomenclature.  If your following the terms as they go by.

No doubt the addition of trans* playwrights to the list was an attempt at inclusion by a group who themselves feel excluded, and as such is perhaps laudable.  But in another sense this confusing broadening of the definition of women undermines the effort for which the list was created in the first place.  The inclusion of trans* writers suggests that a theater company can fulfill its commitment to gender parity without actually producing any plays written by people born as women.  And in a more fundamental way it reduces the meaning of the word woman to whatever a man thinks it means since at any point a man can decide he is a woman and expect to be considered one.”

Read the article in full here:

http://thefederalist.com/2014/04/04/the-new-definition-of-women-writers/

[bolding by me-GM]

 

Graphic from campaign

Graphic from campaign

quill-pen-and-ink-well-with-paper-scroll_art

Transgender activist and self-described “post-transsexual woman” Jillian Page, offers a cautionary tale in a series of columns addressing potential outcomes of sex-role noncompliant male teens using the same restrooms as other male teens. Page starts off warning parents that their sons may become homosexual:

 “Let’s say, for the sake of discussion, that MtF trans kids are prevented from using the girls’ facilities. Back-slapping victory for the anti-trans side, yes? Hmm . . . maybe not. You see, the trans kids still need to use the washroom. They’re certainly not going to pee and defecate in the school yard, right? They have to go somewhere. So, how will the anti-trans parents feel when their sons are sharing bathroom space with an MtF kid — a trans girl — who looks smashing in her short skirt, heels and blouse? (You see, just because the referendumites stopped the trans kids from using girls’ facilities doesn’t mean they will stop presenting in the clothing that matches their gender identity.) How will the parents feel if their sons fall for said trans girls? Yup. It’s bound to happen . . . right there in the school bathroom: a modern-day version of Romeo and Juliette with a transgender twist (see update at the top of this post). Not that there is anything wrong with a teenage boy falling for a teenage trans girl.

What probably wouldn’t happen, though, is the sons of those anti-trans parents committing acts of violence against the trans girls in the bathrooms, because school authorities would be very vigilant about that sort of thing. But the authorities certainly couldn’t — and wouldn’t — stop love in bloom . . .

Oh, the games people play . . .

Maybe the anti-trans folks should just let it be. They can’t stop transgenderism. Better to let the few trans kids out there use the facilities that match their gender identity.”

Jillian Page’s multi-post reverie culminates in his authoring a ONE ACT PLAY [this is not a joke!] titled:

 “California Dreamin: Love, Transgender Style”

fam

Characters: “a mother and father, 15-year-old son named Joseph and 14-year-old daughter named Jessica”

Setting: “It is set in the dining room of a modest, middle-class bungalow in Los Angeles, California. As the scene opens, mother, father and son are sitting at the dinner table, while daughter is standing by the china cabinet. A radio is playing oldies music in the background, at this moment, California Dreamin’ . . .)

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