August 17, 2015
August 1, 2015
[photos and captions added by GenderTrender]
JULY 31, 2015
Gender, Patriarchy, and All That Jazz by MARY LOU SINGLETON
Like many Americans, I have been paying attention to the current marketing of gender, the unquestionable system that tells us what constitutes male vs. female in our capitalist patriarchy. With morbid fascination, I am witnessing our culture move away from the old women’s liberation values that told young people they could participate in any activity they enjoyed, wear any clothing they liked, play with whatever toys they wanted, and think any thoughts they thought without these behaviors and beliefs being labeled male or female by forces then known as sexism. Not only have the categories of “boy’s toys” and “girl’s toys” returned with a vengeful backlash, now children and the rest of us are being told that an affinity for “girl’s toys” and dresses and make-up actually defines the true essence of girlhood. If a child really, really likes what is being sold by the capitalist patriarchy as female, that child IS female. And vice versa for children who reject female toys and stereotypical female interests. Even if they have two X chromosomes and a vulva, these children are now obviously boys. These children are especially to be considered boys if they hate their female physiology and despise their female bodies. Through the miracle of capitalist cooptation, we have progressed from the women’s liberation war cry of “Start a Revolution, Stop Hating Your Body” to hating the body being framed as revolutionary.
With particular interest, I have been watching and reading about Jazz Jennings, the biological male who from the time of toddlerhood strongly preferred the toys, clothes and mannerisms marketed as female. Because Jazz rejected the products and behaviors sold and enforced as male, and because Jazz never had opportunities to see males who identify as males playing with “girl things” and wearing “girl clothes” and “acting like girls,” and because Jazz had no interest in the products marketed as “boy things” (the guns, the robots, the buzz cuts, the army men), Jazz began identifying as the kind of person who likes “girl things.” Jazz’s parents agreed that if Jazz shopped and talked and threw like a girl, obviously Jazz was a girl. Happily for them (if money can buy happiness), Jazz was born at the perfect time in our post-feminist, post-modern, bread-and-circuses phase of late stage capitalism. Jazz’s family landed paid appearances on talk shows, paid interviews, and now a reality TV show, all promoting the idea that sex-role stereotypes (aka gender) are the only definition of male and female that matter. Jazz Jennings has become the literal poster child for Gender Incorporated, telling and selling us all what it really means to be female in a capitalist patriarchy.
Like Honey Boo Boo and Miley Cyrus, and Michael Jackson before them, Jazz appears as a happy, fun-loving child with a caring, supportive family. Jazz continually smiles while doing the things girls do: posing in a mermaid suit, cheerleading, being pretty. In several articles and appearances, however, Jazz has hinted at sadness, worrying about finding a boyfriend, stating that many biological boys Jazz encounters do not view Jazz as a girl. Jazz reports plenty of female friends, though. While I’m sure Jazz’s life will have its difficulties (life-long hormone replacement, plastic surgery, and childhood fame all carry significant risks), the majority of biological females Jazz encounters will offer comfort and kindness to Jazz, as they have been socialized through gender to do. Gender after all normalizes female self-sacrifice. Most adult females, even those who identify as feminists, exhibit an unexamined acceptance of gender. Women reflexively label every creature they see as male (unless said creature is portrayed with breasts or fake eyelashes and lipstick). They fear more than anything not being liked and they work hard to never, ever commit the sin of hurting someone’s feelings. They have been enculturated to accept their own erasure and to serve the interests of biological males. Jazz’s life will have problems, but these will be buffered and mitigated by female caretaking.
Jazz will inevitably encounter people who refuse to accept the belief system that asserts gender as fact and biology (i.e. the living, material world) as a mere social construct or inconvenience to be fixed with chemicals and technology. Some of these people will be females who resent being told that femaleness can be reduced to performance of “femininity” while they themselves do not appreciate the patriarchal gender system that defines female this way. Others will be males and conservative females who support and revere the patriarchy, but want to maintain a social order like the good old days when men were men and women were women. Because Jazz and the rest of us are being strongly indoctrinated to view “misgendering” as violence, Jazz will have many tales of such violence to report through the gender-promoting media. Those who have participated in the crime of misgendering will be appropriately shamed for refusing to capitulate to the new rules of gender (they may also lose their jobs or speaking gigs at universities or be sued for discrimination).
Because Jazz was born into a violent patriarchy, Jazz may also encounter physical violence, almost certainly at the hands of males. Should it occur, and I sincerely hope it doesn’t, this violence will be labeled a hate crime, a crime more worthy of social outrage and attention than the rapes, murders, torture and beatings suffered by biological females at the hands of males. Unlike biological females, Jazz legally belongs to a protected class, and violence toward this protected class of people is taken more seriously by the media and liberal activists (and sometimes even the legal system) than the routine, all day, every day male violence against biological females.
I do not predict an easy or peaceful future for Jazz. I, however, am even more concerned about what the future holds for Jazz’s sister and all of the girls she represents: the less special kind of female, the kind who doesn’t automatically get awards of bravery for declaring herself a woman and devoting herself to the performance of her assigned gender role. The kind of female conditioned to take up as little space as possible, even if this means starving herself. The kind of female whose body is not legally her own. The kind of female who is viewed as a state regulated incubator, worthy of public debates in mainstream media venues about whether or not she should be allowed to end an unwanted pregnancy or give birth at home. (Such debates about what women should and shouldn’t be allowed to do with their bodies currently receive less social criticism and outrage than the crime of misgendering, by the way. When it comes to forced pregnancy and birth, “good people can disagree.”)
A recent article in Cosmopolitan (a magazine designed to enforce the rules of gender to the female population; a magazine which recently ran a cover story promoting torture porn and telling women that we should learn to enjoy being tied up, beaten, choked, and having men ejaculate on our faces), featured Jazz Jennings talking about his sister. Jazz tells the interviewer and the world that he views his sister’s body as something that can be used to serve his reproductive desires. Like so many gender non-conforming children today who would have once grown up to be happy gay people with intact bodies, Jazz is being sterilized through the process of transitioning into a cultural stereotype of femininity. The medical industry will remove his testicles, if they haven’t already done so, and through plastic surgery create a simulation of a vagina for Jazz. Jazz wants very much to be a parent. Lucky for him he lives in a world where women’s bodies are for sale and rent. In the Cosmo interview, Jazz brags that he is “convincing” his sister to serve him as incubator so he can fulfill his dream of being a mother. Jazz, speaking of his sister’s vagina (which he calls her “vag”), says, “We’ll take my hubby’s sperm and throw it in there and fertilize it.”
[Read the rest of this post here: http://www.counterpunch.org/2015/07/31/gender-patriarchy-and-all-that-jazz/ ]
Mountain Bike ‘Groundhog Day’ as male rider Sylvia Castaneda sweeps Women’s division of Vittoria Eastern States Cup
July 12, 2015
In a story that will sound like ‘Groundhog Day’ to those familiar with the Michelle Dumaresq saga, a male competitor named Sylvia Castaneda was given the green light by mountain bike racing sponsor Vittoria Tires to compete in the prestigious Eastern States Women’s Cup on the basis that he claims to feel that he is mentally female, or has an internal female essence.
Like Dumaresq, who became the male Canadian National Women’s Champion of Downhill Mountain Bike Racing for three years under a similar policy until his retirement, Castaneda ran his first race in the novice female rank and swept the entire division, and just like Dumaresq, beat the top time of the entire elite female professional category by more than two seconds.
“Sylvia Castaneda of Boston, racing in her very first downhill event, was easily the biggest shock of the weekend. The fast and fearless Castaneda not only won the female beginner class by a whopping 41-seconds, she was also the fastest female on the day, beating the women’s pro division winner by more than two seconds. Talk about starting off with a bang,” reported PinkBike, who opted not to mention the fact that Sylvia is in fact a male competitor. A fairness complaint, left as a comment on their post by an event attendee was also not responded to. Castaneda would have placed 2nd in the male novice category for the 19-29 year old age group in the June 14 Pats Peak New Hampshire event. He would not have placed at all in the professional male category.
Sylvia Castaneda is a man named James “Jamie” Hargreaves, with a history of competing (and not placing) in male races, sources report to GenderTrender. He works as a bike mechanic for a large shop in Boston’s west end. He has also used the alias “Jamie Liddell”, adopting the surname of his apparent life-partner, another transgender male.
Boston’s Community Bicycle Supply, “Sylvia’s” official sponsor, opted not to mention or celebrate their sponsored rider’s “shocking” winning sweep on either their main business or their several times daily updated facebook site. Not a whisper for their triumphant “female” champion.
Like Michelle Dumaresq before him, Castaneda/Hargreaves does not believe that his male physiology, bone structure, musculature, and history/socialization as a male athlete advantages him over the females he is competing against, says a source who knows him (and who wants it stated that they are a strong supporter of LGBT people with many beloved friends and family members falling into that category). Sylvia/James truly believes that he has a “female mind” and that this mind-set makes him unquestionably female biologically. He believes that males who are predisposed to “femininity” are not physically male because femininity is the definition of womanhood and the mind overrides corporeality. Or something.
Perhaps like many transgender male athletes he views himself as a “disadvantaged” due to the social stigma he receives as a male who embraces “femininity”, and dominating in competition against female athletes is an entitlement that “equalizes” that “disadvantage”. Or perhaps, like Dumaresq, his narcissism is so great that he believes his male biology has disappeared under his command (and some hormone pills!), and his sudden fabulous win streak in athletics is based on the fact that he is simply one very, very special lady.
Vittoria Tire, sponsors of the Eastern States Cup, agrees with this definition of “female athlete”: any man can be one. Rather than support women’s sports and the kick-ass female mountain bike division, they opted to prioritize the rights of any men who “identify” as “male-bodied females”.
After ignoring women’s fairness concerns following the male rider’s sweep of the women’s division, Vittoria responded by licensing James/Sylvia for his second race in the women’s division for round two of the New England Cup on July 4, in Killington, VT, this time in the top rated amateur women’s category. To no one’s surprise, he again swept the women’s division, besting all actual female amateur competitors and also all of the women’s professional category, except the #1 elite top women’s rider Mary Elges, who bested him by over three seconds. James/Sylvia would have failed to place at all in his top male amateur category at this event, much less the pro male category. Funny how PinkBike didn’t even mention “Sylvia” this time in their report of his second event.
What is striking beyond the extraordinary “Groundhog Day” synchronicities of the previous Michelle Dumaresq and the current Sylvia Castaneda incursion into women’s downhill mountain bike racing, (both sweeping the entire female division on their first novice race, both exhibiting utter entitlement to do so as men who feel “disadvantaged” by the existence of female sporting events), is the larger “Groundhog Day” of the male sporting authorities, media and sponsors shitting on women’s sports in general: Male sponsors like Vittoria Tire blatantly tokenizing and disrespecting elite women athletes. Male sponsors like Boston’s Community Bicycle Supply robbing female athletes of their right to compete fairly against other women. Male licensing boards prioritizing male feelings over basic female rights to licensed women’s athletic competition. Male sports media ignoring and censoring coverage of women’s sports. “Transgender” policies adopted by male sports authorities which solely benefit male competitors, to the sole detriment of female athletes. Rinse and repeat. Endlessly. Groundhog Day.
July 4, 2015
Declaration of War
by Vee Elessar
. I am a Woman. I will not be re-classified by men who “feel like” women. I will not tolerate being called CIS-woman, biological-woman, genetic-woman, woman-born-woman or female-woman. I will not tolerate being accused of having CIS privilege, obtained illegitimately at the moment of my birth. I will not tolerate being accused of wielding this privilege over men. I will fight back against this misogynistic attack that only seeks to silence me and make me invisible.
. I am a lesbian. I will not be re-classified by men who “feel like” women. I will not call men who “feel like” women, lesbians. I will call them what they are: heterosexual men. I will not put up with being accused of having “mono-sexual privilege” that I wield over men. I will not be shamed and bullied into having sex with men who say they are lesbians and I will call those who try what they are: sexual predators. I will never sign up, line up or shut up about the genocidal assimilation of my lesbian sisters into your transgender cult. I will gather with my sisters wherever and whenever I please and I will not grant you access no matter what woman hating law I am breaking. I will fight back against this misogynistic/homophobic attack that only seeks to silence me and make me invisible.
. I am a woman. I will not stand for the ridiculous premise that I am trans-misogynist. It is my birthright to speak out loud about any idea or practice that harms women. I will continue to speak out loud about male privilege, male entitlement and male pattern violence. I will continue to expose the real hatred that men direct at women, wether those men happen to “feel like a woman” at the time or not. I will fight back against this misogynistic attack that only seeks to silence me and make me invisible.
. I am a woman. I reject all notions that there is such a thing as ‘Gender Dysphoria’, female brain, woman feelings, or any other gender based idea, theory or practice. I reject your gender binary straight jacket. I reject your pornographic version of woman and the sexual slavery you promote. I will fight back against this misogynistic attack that only seeks to silence me and make me invisible
. I am a woman. That word belongs to me. I get to say what that word means. I will not use the word woman or she to include one man. I will not use the word woman or she to describe one man. I will not ally myself with any man who uses woman and she to describe himself no matter how much of a “good guy” he says he is. I will protect the word woman, and in protecting the word woman, I protect my ability to speak about myself, my experience, my future, my past and the entire history of women. You will not rob me of my ability to know my sisters through language. I will fight back against this misogynistic attack that only seeks to silence me and make me invisible.
. I am a woman. It is my birthright to speak about my body, my experience, my life using my own words. My vagina is not a front hole any more that your penis is a front tail. I will continue to talk about my period, watch the Vagina Monologues, hear Germaine Greer and all my beloved feminists speak, and call other women my sisters wether you “feel” excluded or not. I will gather with my sisters wherever and whenever I please and I will not grant you access no matter what woman hating law I am breaking. I am not afraid of you. Calling me names will not stop me. Threatening me will not stop me. I will fight back against this misogynistic attack that only seeks to silence me and make me invisible.
I am a woman
and I will defend myself !
[images added by me-GM]