September 5, 2015
Blood and Visions: Womyn Reconciling With Being Female by Autotomous Womyn’s Press.
An anthology of writing and artwork by 10 womyn who stopped their female to male (ftm) transitions. Personal stories, political analysis, practical advice, and resources for womyn who struggle with dis-identification from their female reality.
Excerpt: “This process lacks the intoxication of transition, goes back into friction that rubs us raw and makes us feel what we’ve spent years trying to get away from. From this we learn power you can’t pick up at a pharmacy, that’s not made in labs, not made by men. Power that comes from being a womyn, being a dyke, power we’re not supposed to know about; many womyn have been killed or defamed for being wise to it. Power they tried to kill in us or trick us into calling male. We find it in ourselves and each other; in our friendships we find the strength to continue, to think and feel what we were taught was forbidden.”
Glossary of terms:
Autotomous: Describes the ability of an animal (or metaphorically, a womon) to release a part of her body/self and abandon it in order that she may survive attack or injury. Examples of autotomous animals are lizards (autotomous because of their tails), sea cucumbers (their ability to divide), and starfish (their arms). Some autotomous creatures regenerate the parts of themselves they have sacrificed, to some extent. The creature is never wholly the same but in most cases, she does survive.
Detransition: Ceasing transition, abandoning trans identity, and no longer trying to “live as” the opposite sex. This can include actions such as going off hormones, changing one’s name back to one’s birth name, no longer binding, no longer packing, etc. Detransition does not have to include any attempts to change one’s clothing choice, hair, behavior, or other things perceived as gender-markers, nor does it necessarily include plastic surgery or electrolysis to “reverse” the steps taken during medicalized transition. Detransition means stopping transition and beginning the work of reconciling with the reality of having a female body and having survived girlhood. Often used by those who no longer understand “gender” in terms of “identity,” but in terms of patriarchally-imposed sex roles.
Deeply moving and informative for all women concerned about the wholeness of our womanhood — and our sisterhood.
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Dear Folk Singer Mya Byrne: Masturbating in your sister’s underwear makes you a predator, not a woman.
September 4, 2015
The following is a comment left on folk singer Mya Adriene Byrne’s public facebook page by a woman who is disturbed by the 40 year old male’s loving depiction of repeatedly masturbating into his sister’s underwear as a teen, a recollection published last month in a transgender zine.
Mya Byrne was until last year known as Jeremiah Byrne. Mya now conducts feminist seminars for men, calling on a “New Feminism” that centers male concerns.
Mya also writes songs for “transgender children” and was featured on the recent “Rainbow Train” children’s album released by Chana Rothman. Chana Rothman and Mya Byrne perform children’s concerts together, promoting the idea of gender. The album was funded in part with a grant from the Leeway Foundation. Chana Rothman, a heterosexual woman, has publicly stated that Lesbian Feminists who critique gender are “So full of confusion and hatred”.
Here is the letter to folk artist Mya Adriene Byrne from a young woman and former fan:
I listened to you as a younger teen, back in 2007, 2008. I’ve always loved good folk. I appreciate your work for that.
Unfortunately, however, I am not sure I can any longer separate the work from the artist. I have something disturbing I need voiced, and your facebook artist page is the only route of opening up this wound. I do this on facebook trusting that I will not have a barrage of hate and activists sending me threats due to your response- to which, I personally do not want one. I want nothing to do with this beyond publicizing that this is the current state of your “feminism” as a public figure.
How could you write the poem “Garments”? Or, rather, why is there a poem called “Garments” credited to your full name on page 15 in this zine, writing about you as a twelve year old-almost a teenager- masturbating in your sister’s underwear, and why is it credited to just this recent June? And how could you excuse the misogyny in this work, in this group? Why are you featured in a zine that has others excusing and fetishizing child abuse and sexual harassment against women, with your poem directly followed by someone’s account of longtime violent gore and tentacle porn use?
I hesitated in this because of your sister. I want no harm to the women in your life stemming from this, but since you felt it was appropriate so recently to write such a piece…I don’t know anymore.
Had anyone else been that boy, as an older sibling, what would you have done? Please don’t do this to the LGBT community. Don’t do this to us.
This is absolutely not something the rest of the LGBT community should be saddled with explaining away.
It’s not so much the fact that you did this habitually in your youth, which is beyond troubling, it is the fact that you, even as a well-realized adult approaching 40, felt it was appropriate to revisit, to fondly reminisce on, to allow this published in a zine that is frequently shared among the trans community and younger mtfs. Do you condone young boys doing this? Do you condone, encourage, support adult men stealing the underwear of their mothers, sisters, of their daughters, just for the sake of sexual gratification? This is violence. This is abuse. Feminists do not sexualize their then vulnerable, younger sister’s undergarments routinely as a teen, and indulge in it as an adult. Feminists do not condone this behavior in others.
I am honestly afraid, because of the likely backlash I may face as airing this horror of a work, and appalled, and repulsed. I am also in deep sympathy to your family following this being made common knowledge outside of a niche community hidden deeply on the net. I have the most sympathy for your younger sister, and I hope that she has siblings besides yourself that she can trust as a female in a sexist world. I hope that she is okay.
You were one of my heroes.