* Note to the males who like to frequent this blog: I am not Cathy Brennan. I don’t even really know Cathy Brennan. What I do know is that she’s an activist whom I admire, and she’s a fellow female, a fellow dyke and I will always speak out in solidarity with women who don’t drink the “gender Kool-Aid misogynist bullshit” our culture forces down women’s throats every single day.

Now that we’ve got that out of the way, I want to talk about yet another image created by an MRA “trans activist,” in which Brennan is targeted. On principle, I have to talk about this because THIS is evidence of the bullshit women have to constantly endure. This is a visual representation of the rhetoric handed to women, lesbians in particular, when they are critical of men:


Let’s start with the conceit of the piece: if the mean lesbian was nice to everyone, then everything would be fine. To quote the graphic, “The beauty of womanhood is the ability to love.”  (As an aside: that is seriously the most asinine string of words I’ve ever seen strung together.) Given that this was created by a male who worships gender, I’m not entirely surprised that he has embraced the notion that women should “be nice to everybody.” Indeed oppressive gender constructs mandate that women/girls be groomed from day one to “be nice to everybody,” to “be nice and love” – love your abuser, your oppressor, your own oppression.

Women who aren’t “nice to everybody” are punished. This is gender in action. Guess what? Women don’t fucking have to be nice to everyone. Women don’t have to love everyone. Women don’t owe their kindness, their affinity to anyone, contrary to what gender worshippers (males, trans, most heterosexuals) will have you believe. Women don’t have to protect your feelings and FEMINISM (which this dude seems to know SO MUCH ABOUT) has nothing to do with protecting the fragile male ego. (I know this fact inconveniences a great many males.)

Secondly, being critical of oppressive constructs is not “being mean.” A woman using her intellect to see past the smoke screens of “ladybrain,” “woman as a feeling,” and “innate gender” is not a woman being “mean.” Will a woman’s critical thinking skills sometimes hurt male feelings? You bet. Males don’t want women to think critically. MtT’s especially don’t want women to think critically because when we do, it becomes blatantly obvious to us that their insistence that they are female and deserve access to female bodies and female designated space is not part of an innate identity, but a fetish-fueled compulsion rooted in gender stereotypes (i.e. “women should always be nice,” “women should love everyone”).

Secondly, and perhaps most reprehensibly, this graphic preys upon Brennan’s reproductive health problems – problems that she has publically spoken of on her blog. The violence and woman-hating at the core of this rendering is palpable and frightening.  And maybe this is what really galls me about this graphic – that a male, who has never known the agony of female health issues, “mocks” the pain in order to further regressive gender stereotypes so that his fetish, his misogyny may live on, unquestioned. As a woman first, as a female cancer survivor second, I am outraged that a male would have the audacity to use another woman’s acute suffering as a means of parody.

But you know what? I really shouldn’t be surprised. Men do this all the time. Men trivialize women’s suffering – they trivialize our fear, they trivialize our lived experience, they parody us and insist that we alter our behavior to support their parody, they feel entitled to use our health issues as “comic” relief (though this “artist” – I’m using that word rather liberally – is decidedly unfunny; I mean, a thirteen-year-old boy might get a kick out of his humor? I guess?).

Trans activists, like the author of this graphic, claim to want dialogue, to want civility, but sisters, let their actions, their renderings disabuse all women of these false claims – they do not want dialogue; they want women to shut up and accept males as females, they want women to turn off their brains and play make-believe along with their fetish. Any woman who refuses to play along is going to be vilified, shouted down, mocked.

This ain’t nothing new, sisters. This ain’t our first time at this rodeo.

We will not be bullied into submission. Not this time, fellas.

All Men

During a recent conversation about the shooting in California, a friend despaired, “What do I tell my daughter? How do I teach her not to get raped? Beaten? Murdered?”

This is the question our culture often asks when it comes to women’s safety, and it is flawed. Teaching women how “not to” get raped/beaten/killed takes responsibility off the perpetrator of such violence: men. Why don’t we teach men how not to kill/beat/rape instead of teaching women and girls how to “avoid it”? Why don’t we hold men accountable for their reprehensible crimes the same way we hold women accountable for their victimization?

Today, online, a bunch of dudes – including actor/director Seth Rogan – got all bent out of shape when women named misogyny. “Not all men” they cried. Or, in Rogan’s case, “How dare you . . .”

You know what, dudes? Your egos and entitlement ARE the problem. Every single one of you. I know that’s hard to hear, I know that must make you very uncomfortable, but it’s true.

In my line of work, I spend the majority of my time with people who are African American. As a result, I’ve been confronted with a lot of hard truths about my whiteness, about my deeply internalized racism. It never feels good. And on an almost daily basis I’m forced to confront the ways in which I perpetuate racism. On an almost daily basis, I’m forced to confront the ways in which I contribute to racist constructs.

It’s definitely not Disney World.

While our impetus is to reject that which is uncomfortable, to refuse looking inward and addressing our racism, homophobia, misogyny, these moments of discomfort can be profoundly transformative.

When George Zimmerman was acquitted, I stood in front of a roomful of African American men and said, “You know what? I don’t even have a clue what this means for you. Let’s talk about it.” And then I listened – I listened to their experiences, even when it made me feel sad, even when it made me feel culpable, I listened. Never once did I interject, crying “not all white people,” because that fact was irrelevant. The conversation wasn’t about me, it was about young black men in a white, patriarchal society.

If I could have that conversation, as a white woman, with my African American (predominantly male) students, why can’t men have that conversation with women? Why can’t men listen? Why can’t men say, “I have no clue what this means for you. Let’s talk about it.”

Instead, men say, “Not all men!” Instead, men say, “He was depressed.” Instead, men say, “You’re just trying to sell newspapers!” (The latter is a Seth Rogan paraphrase. Note: Seth Rogan is silent every single fucking day when newspapers are being sold at the expense of women’s objectification – he only lobs the “YOU’RE TRYING TO SELL NEWSPAPERS” accusation at women who are upset about women being murdered.)

Women are silenced at every turn. We’re told to see Elliot Rogers’ massacre as a matter of mental health. We’re told rape is subjective, a matter of perspective. We’re told men are women if they say so. We are baited, bamboozled, battered and conditioned to love every moment of our suffering.

Accustomed to life lived outwardly, comfortably, men, especially, are adverse to listening, to having their tender feelings bruised. Men do not want to be made to feel uncomfortable. When women speak out, they silence us by saying “not all men” or by pointing out that the misogynist-boy also killed men, as though that negates his clearly defined aims (he wanted to kill women for not having sex with him, he made that quite clear in his written and videotaped manifestos). If you rush to this man’s defense, you are a misogynist. If you excuse this man, you are a misogynist.

If you are, in fact, a misogynist (and if you’re a dude/were born a dude, you probably are), you can correct that by listening to women, by looking inward and really interrogating yourself, by facing your super-uncomfortable presumptions, by challenging your own reality. Trust me, brother, you can be reformed. 

On pronouns

“You taught me language; and my profit on’t
Is, I know how to curse.” – Shakespeare, The Tempest

I was nineteen the first time someone “misgendered” me. I was looking for a recording of Anne Sexton’s rock band (yes, she had a rock band and it was . . . not very good) and the reference librarian called me “sir.” She continued to call me “sir” and “young man” as I followed her through the stacks seeking the dead poet’s recording. I was skinnier then. I had short hair. I was wearing blue jeans and a flannel shirt (as one was wont in 1995). According to our culture’s norms, I probably looked a bit like a boy.

I wasn’t offended; on the contrary, I was kind of amused.

At the time, I was an undergrad minoring in Women’s Studies. (This was back before queer theory had diluted/polluted/unnecessarily complicated the discipline.) I already understood that gender was nothing more than a construct, so that this librarian thought I was a “sir” was no more an affront to my identity than . . . than . . . than cats are an affront to my dog’s sense of self.

As a woman, I’ve learned to both use language and to live “outside language.” I can’t live within it because, under patriarchal control, nearly every word is designed to diminish me – particularly pronouns: sHE, HEr. (I’ll not go into the etymology of pronouns, but I can assure you they were not crafted with women’s “feelings” in mind.)

Today, men who think they’re women, deem it a great atrocity, on par with acts of violence, when women with eyes and ears and minds call them by the pronouns their male ancestors created to name themselves: male, he, him.

Pronouns have become a political cause of utmost importance. Pronouns are now a thing we must take very seriously. And why? Because men’s egos get bruised when women don’t collude with their make-believe. And if you ever question my assertion that men control language, you need look no further than recent attacks on other radical feminists for calling males men, or . . . uh . . . RuPaul, for that matter. (Men also attack gay men of color when they misuse the language they’ve created.)

As a woman, I’ve never had the privilege of controlling language. Straight males who feel like women get to say “dyke” at will (after all, they DID create that term). Men, in general, whether or not they feel like ladies, are free to use the terms “bitch” and “cunt.” No one is stopping them. Why, just the other day, a charming young man called me a “fucking bitch” for attempting to cross the street when his motorcycle was in the middle of the intersection (though I’m a lady, according to law, I still have the right-of-way as a pedestrian in a crosswalk). There was no news outlet for me to call. It was just another day.

But misuse of pronouns is not an act of violence. Guess what, fellas? We women have learned to use the words you created for us!

Nor is it an “act of violence” when a man who “feels like a lady” makes cartoons depicting lesbians as predatory, calling gender nonconforming women “fat” and “ugly.” This is just a symptom of the patriarchal culture all women inhabit – men with a great deal of plastic surgery and silicone breasts get to call women who disagree with them, “ugly/scary/predatory butch lesbians”– and it’s packaged as activism. As women, we’ve learned how to process this, if not accept it.

On Friday, a rabid, admitted misogynist shot a bunch of women (and, yes, men). People are dead. THAT is an actual act of violence.

Today, the news is excusing his behavior by saying the male murderer was “sad” and “mentally ill.” Our sick, misogynistic culture will do everything and anything it can to redefine, repackage misogyny – we will not name it.

And when you tell women, when you tell society that a misogynistic sociopath was not a misogynist, but rather a “poor, depressed dude,” you are committing an act of psychological violence. We should not be made to pity that man.

I certainly don’t pity that man. I do, however, pity his victims. I do, however, pity women who have had to suffer men’s violence, men’s language, men’s definitions of their existence – and this includes men who “feel like women.”

I will not obey. I will not collude with men. I will name you as you have named me.

And in the words of the late George Harrison, “Wah-Wah”:



I’ll bet you think this blog is about you

* This is a decidedly lighter post, because it’s a holiday weekend, and I did something horribly unladylike last night and got very drunk. I am tired, and by tired I mean hungover.*

So a lot of guys (males) wanted to weigh-in on my last post because it hurt their feelings or something. As the kids say, “Sorrynotsorry.”

My last post was in response to a really moronic, lesbophobic, woman-hating drawing by some dude who bothers women on the internet. He reserves most of his vitriol for activist Cathy Brennan who is, according to this guy, omnipresent. However, it’s quite clear from his online behavior that he and his followers basically hate all women who do not cater to his ladycharade or support his delusions.

I recently was apprised of the fact that this dude wrote a “rebuttal” to a section of my last post. His response is really poorly written and lacks even a modicum of  intellectual rigor, but here is my favorite part.


“All cultures had gender stereotypes” — so? What’s his fucking point? Because all cultures had them they’re “good”? Because all cultures had them they’re “just”? Guess what, Einstein, no one claims that the trans community “invented” gender stereotypes. Many women, however, claim that gender stereotypes (that the trans community, heterosexuals, and misogynists worship) are harmful to women and must be eradicated if women are to have a fighting chance at true liberation. And though I’m not as well versed in the nuances of feminist theory as he, and most other men, I’m preeeety sure that women didn’t invent patriarchy.

“You do not represent the lesbian community, the feminist community, blah blah blah ad nauseum.” I like the all caps. Really drives his point home. All great writers employ this technique. Anyway, I appreciate him telling me that I “haven’t suffered.” I’m relieved to hear this. Those who know and love me will also be relieved to hear this. Can’t wait to call my ma and let her know.

Also, I wonder if he knows that “you haven’t suffered” is a trope men have used for centuries to convince women that they actually love their oppression.

Furthermore, I had no idea that I was Cathy Brennan, because I’m NOT.

I’m sure it’s very distressing for this man to know that more than one woman disagrees with his bullshit, transparent ideology.  It must be comforting to believe that all dissent is created and manufactured by one woman.I mean, I know I would much rather believe that this dude/wordsmith is the only misogynist, obnoxious male on the planet, but whenever possible, I tend to ascribe to reality.

After crafting that exhaustingly belligerent “send up” of my post about abuse of women, brother took a moment to muse on why women like me blog under pseudonyms:


(Quick grammar FYI: “it’s” is the word you’re looking for; “its” is possessive.)

I know this may crumble his delusions, but most of us “remain hidden” because men do abhorrent things to women who disagree with them. I mean, this guy with his male rage and sexist language seems like a great, likeable, trustworthy fellow, just like this guy who likes his posts:


So why do we stay hidden? ^^ Hmmm. Take a fucking guess, genius!

Here’s a suggestion to my dudebro admirer:  how about you direct some of that seething hatred of lesbians toward people who actually harm trans folks — you know, MEN. Start an organization. Hold coffee clatches. Have tea parties. Do ladies things and address the real problems your community faces. Or, you could start a blog of your very own where you rationally, and calmly respond to your detractors.

And by the way, I’d like to just say that this blog is not for or about trans folks. This is a blog for and about women; this is a blog  about deconstructing ideology that is harmful to women. I’m not seeking male approval. I’m not inflicting violence, or threatening to inflict violence — I’m a woman, articulating her informed perspective. In a patriarchal world, the latter, I realize, is quite threatening.

Carry on, then.









When I was seven, a relative, a man my mother and father trusted, abused me while my parents attended a funeral; this should not shock anyone as females who escape girlhood without being violated by men are but a lucky few.

When I was an adolescent, I was whistled at by grown men in cars while riding my bike home from the park. This is to say nothing of the bra snapping, leering of my male peers.

At sixteen, drunk on the screwdrivers he poured me, I had to fight off the sexual advances of a friend’s brother. Later, that same year, I was decked and beaten by a twenty-year-old man after he discovered I was sleeping with his sister.

In my early twenties, I cut my hair short and started dressing the way I preferred. Then, I had to fight the sneers and sniggers of men who called me a “dyke.” Then, I had to fight men in the workplace who saw me as some sort of “threat.” And no matter how many degrees I earned, no matter how high I climbed, no matter how I dressed, there was always some man ready to openly stare at my chest, comment on my sexuality, or undermine my perspective because I was a woman.

Oh, and, I’m not talking about “yesteryear.” I’m not very old – I’m still in my thirties. This is the shit that happens to white, middle-class American women. (I shudder to think about the experiences of my sisters of color, my sisters who are impoverished.)  

And I’m not trying to merely catalogue atrocities. Rather, I want to underscore the fact that, just like all my female sisters, I’ve had to fight men all my life; all my life, I’ve had to endure men – their bodies, their vitriol, their precious egos.

And then I’m called a bigot because, “transwomen ARE women.”

“Transwomen ARE women” — this is the cry of the dominant culture.

Well, today was a red letter day for that argument.

Today, a “comic” made its rounds on the Facebook/Twittersphere. In this “comic,” a caricature of activist Cathy Brennan is depicted talking to what appears to be a penis, and arguing about whether or not her father is male . . . ?

Though this is supposed to be a piece of satire, it makes no fucking sense.

(Rhetoric tip to transactivists: satire must be rooted in a modicum of intelligence – have your best and brightest create all future pieces.)

And beyond being lazy, anti-intellectual “satire,” the image is rife with lesbophobia and misogyny.

Brennan is depicted as a bellowing, uber-masculine, man-hating woman with daddy issues. The artist has sought to be insulting by emphasizing masculine characteristics in Brennan (it’s very telling that a M2T would default to insulting a woman based on her refusal to conform to “pretty lady” gender stereotypes).

The comic could easily have been crafted by uber-asshole, ultra-male Rush Limbaugh, but it wasn’t. It was crafted by a man who likes to think he’s a woman.

In the rendering of Brennan, I saw all the vicious antagonizing from men that I, a gender non-conforming lesbian, have had to endure my whole life. In the non sequitur reference to “daddy issues,” I saw the infuriating, brutally misogynistic theory that has, for centuries, been used by men to dismiss the suffering of women and the existence of lesbians.

You vilify women who disagree with you. You use your male privilege to shout down all dissent. You threaten suicide and “PTSD” (brother, let me tell you about PTSD). You perpetuate harmful gender stereotypes in order to uphold the existence of your fetish. You bully, you trivialize rape in order to further your aims, you make disgusting (not to mention moronic) renderings of lesbians, actual women who have suffered more than you could ever fathom.

And you want us to accept you into the fold? Never.


Where is my lady brain?

An asshole I once worked with once said, during a meeting, “In the good old days, men controlled three things: language, currency, and women.” The other white men in the room (everyone in the room was white, only I was female) enjoyed a hearty chuckle – this was HIGHBROW misogyny, as we were discussing The Odyssey, so it was permissible – at least, that’s what I was implicitly led to believe. And, at the end of the day, this is what being a woman is about – sitting in a room full of men and shutting the fuck up because your job/your reputation/your value is contingent upon whether or not they approve of you. I was very young, and had I called the old boys out on their sexist bullshit, I likely would have been told that I was overreacting, or that I took it “the wrong way.”

Oh, how I enjoy my cisprivilege!

In any case, what strikes me now about this memory is that there’s nothing “good old days” about men’s control over language, currency and women. This is not a thing of the past. Men still control currency. Men still control women. Men still control language — Transwomen are WOMEN. Men are the arbiters of what woman is, what woman means. Anyone who refuses to play their semantic games is rendered a bigot.  And if you’re reading this blog, you’re probably a woman who already knows all this, so I won’t belabor the point.

One concept that drives transideology, that I find both hilarious and horrifying, is the notion of “lady brain.” I have had people posit, with a straight fucking face, that “sex is not what’s between your legs, it’s what’s between your ears.”

Um, okay.

So I wanted to get all academic up in this blog and find a bunch of quotes about men theorizing on “women’s brains” – and my god, they are legion – from Aristotle to Freud to Chad Molloy (my apologies to Aristotle and Freud). But instead of being scholarly, I consulted the great oracle (Google) typed in “lady brain” and early results brought me to this image (which, by the way, is not from a CAT scan):


I guess this is supposed to be funny.  And while incredibly stupid, it’s pretty on par with the trans movement’s ideas about “brain sex.” Ladies like chocolate. Ladies are bad drivers. Ladies can’t park. (That was a new one to me, but given that we can’t drive, I guess it stands to reason that we also can’t park.) Ladies love to shop – innately! (How convenient for capitalism, by the way.) Yes, this graphic is moronic and unfunny, but it is also a strangely perfect illustration of what people want women to accept when they say things like “sex is between your ears” or “I feel like a woman because I have womanly thoughts.” Sometimes, I wish the trans activists would just be fucking honest and instead of trying to po-mo ‘splain, instead of trying to theorize, just admit that THIS is what they believe about females. That THIS is what they mean when they say, “I feel like a woman.” They believe in lady brains.

Nothing affiliated with ladybrain is ever good – I mean, for ladies. Lady brain is great for dudes, because it ensures that we will remain servile and “nice,” not because we’ve been conditioned to do so, but because that’s how our lady brain is programmed to operate.  Men LOVE talking about lady brains. They always have. Men love to believe in lady brain because the concept itself creates a “scientific precedent” for them to be our overlords. (I’m sorry though – there’s no scientific evidence to support the lady brain theory. It’s simply a misogynistic tool – fetishized by men, used to oppress actual women.)

Lady brain suggests women are stupid and petty by nature. Lady brain dismisses the necessity of feminist thought – I mean, if your penchant for “shiny things” and “love of gossip” is biologically coded into your DNA, then there ain’t no fixing it, and there’s no reason to critique that which is innate, and so you might as well submit.

I find the ladybrain idea baffling because it illustrates a fundamental contradiction in translogic. They want women to accept penis as female. They want women to accept that woman is an idea – “Whatever anyone wants it to be!” And then they want women to believe in ladybrain as the one, essential, only biological reality. So basically, what we’re being told is, “Don’t notice my dick, but acknowledge and respect my ladybrain.”

Seriously, women. Seriously. THIS is what the dominant culture has come to accept, to push upon us – ladybrains. (And they’re also pushing the idea of gentlemenbrains, but that’s for another post.) And we’re supposed to be too dumb and accommodating to question it (because Lady Brain).

Just today, on Twitter, a man asked a woman “So you reject the point of view that some people do not have their brains wired in a way that matches their genitals?” Uh, fuck YES we reject that. As women, we’d be working against ourselves to embrace that pathetically stupid, and profoundly dangerous idea.

“Brains wired to match genitals” –  what does that even mean? Vaginabrain? Penisbrain? Seriously? Are you HIGH? Is the whole fucking culture high? What does that even mean? I’m sorry if I sound delirious with incredulity, but I am delirious with incredulity. My lady brain can’t take anymore of the asinine, woman-hating bullshit that surrounds this issue.

Quick aside for a little context: this question was raised as part of a larger conversation about how very mean ladies have expressed concern about being raped in bathrooms. Seriously, guys. Lay off women’s space – we don’t have much of it, and I can guarantee you a trip to the ladies room with your lady brain won’t make you feel any more “womanly.” Then again, what the fuck do I know? I’m just a woman with a lady brain.

And on that note, I’m off to go shopping for pink sparkly things, while eating copious amounts of chocolate. Of course, I’ll probably have to do all my shopping online, since I can’t drive. Or park.  Fucking hell — how does the internet work? Hopefully there’s a dude around who can explain it to me.

Oh how my lady brain renders me helpless.








Can we have a week, fellas? Can we?

Recently Chad “Parker” Molloy wrote a piece of shit article for the Advocate, a publication that used to be about the gay and lesbian community, in which he derided the Michigan Womyn’s Festival as being “exclusionary” because it does not cater to the demands of men who feel like women. In the article, as he is wont, he conflates sex and gender, arguing there really is no difference between dudes who “feel like ladies” and women who were born as females (affording us all that fancy “cisprivilege”).

Naturally the comments that followed were largely written by men (by men, I mean “all men,” including those who feel like women). in support of Malloy’s stance. Naturally the comments that followed were peppered with contempt for women/women’s spaces.

Some folks called Molloy on his bullshit, which sent him into a Twitter meltdown about being harassed/upset/having the sads because mean feminists took offense to his attack on the one fucking week out of the motherfucking year when we get to have some space away from men/male feelings/fragile male egos.

Mean feminists calling him out on his bullshit made him very “dysphoric” and “depressed.”

Well you know what makes me feel “depressed and dysphoric”? Lemme give you a short list:

1)      When dudes claim that being a woman is a feeling.

2)      When dudes say that women can’t have a week to themselves.

3)      When straight dudes call themselves lesbians.

4)      When dudes say that feminists are “doing feminism wrong.”

5)      When dudes expect females to take time out of their busy fucking day to nursemaid your feelings, to humor your lady-charade.

These things make me feel depressed, dysphoric, and I haven’t even included the day-to-day bullshit that every single actual woman on the fucking planet deals with by virtue of being born female.

Mr. Molloy is not a victim. Mr. Molloy is a male with opinions, with entitlements who gets upset when women take issue with what he’s selling (misogyny, lesbophobia). Mr. Molloy is upset that women have sacred space to which they have denied his entry. In this respect, Mr. Molloy is no different than any man – when women say “no,” he has a nervous breakdown, whines, cries, stomps his feet, says we are being hateful.

Some have consoled Mr. Molloy by assuring him those of us who speak out against him and his ilk are but a “small minority,” but I can assure you, women who refuse what Molloy is selling are no small minority, and we are growing in our ranks.

Women talk. I talk. And every time I share my perspective about the trans agenda/ideology with women, they say, “You’re right. That actually makes sense.” And then they start talking, they voice their concerns, their objections. These conversations are taking place more frequently than would make most M2T’s comfortable.

It goes without saying (but must be said because someone will accuse me of this), I believe people should be able to live their lives however they wish. If it makes a male more comfortable to take estrogen, to wear skirts and tube tops – go for it. I happen to feel more comfortable in what we call “men’s clothes.” I keep my hair short. I generally don’t cross my legs nor skip nor deliver my statements as interrogatives.

Do what you like, and like what you do, but don’t hurt anyone in the process. That’s kind of my philosophy, and I suppose many trans folks share that with me. But guess what? When you’re a man insisting entry into female spaces, you ARE hurting people – you’re hurting actual women. This isn’t about anyone policing your right to express yourself – express away. This is about acknowledging that biology is real and women need time away from males. This is about respecting reality – just as my blazers, neckties and estrogen blockers (cancer related) don’t make me male, your heels and fake tits don’t make you female. Can we just accept this and move on?

Start trans only spaces, women will respect that. Start trans only healthcare  facilities and shelters, women will respect that. Demand your rights to a full and equal life as trans people, and I guarantee you that women will respect that, too. But when you encroach upon the little bit of space women have eked out for themselves, we’re going to push back. When you attempt to colonize that which, for females, is sacrosanct, we’re going to get nasty.

I’m sorry if that hurts the feelings of transwomen, but the only feelings I’m responsible for are my own.

Feminism is not “for everyone”

*Trigger Warning: Female with unpopular ideas & penchant for long-winded-ness.   

I know this might seem strange, given that we live a world where we are encouraged to trample over women’s bodies/needs/ambitions/thoughts/spaces, where it is perfectly fine to colonize women’s experience, but the meaning of Feminism (a movement by and for women) is not “whatever you want it to be.”

Nor is feminism “for everyone.”

There’s a popular myth (and a particularly misogynistic one, at that) that “real feminism” incorporates everything: whatever your fetish, whatever your hang up, your quirk, your kink, your personal philosophy — according to mainstream culture, feminism is supposed to embrace you, protect you, and be ABOUT you.

This line of thinking reminds me of the Lewinsky-Clinton scandal of the late 1990s (one that has conveniently resurfaced again, but that’s for another blog). Back when the scandal broke, the Right often mused, with a sneer, “Well! Where are the feminists? Why are they not standing up for Ms. Lewinsky?”

Suddenly, there was this presumption that feminism was “about” supporting every act – no matter how sad or unscrupulous – that involved a woman. By this logic, feminists should have come out in support of Imelda Marcos or, more recently, Sarah Palin (and indeed, people in the media have, at times, asked why “the feminists” don’t support her, or help her, or something . . . ).

This may come as a surprise, but Feminism is not about “loudly celebrating every fucking single thing a woman does, no matter what.” (That, rather, would be called “madness.”)

Feminism is not one big “whatever floats your boat.” Feminism has a rich history, a solid philosophy, and it is about women; more specifically, it is about women’s liberation from patriarchy. (*Trigger warning part deux: I will repeat this phrase, because it bears repeating.)

The “feminism belongs to everyone/is for everyone” trope furthers the (erroneous) assumption that women are everyone’s mommas, that our purpose as women (biological females) is to indulge your special feelings, embrace you, coddle you, console you, to be selfless at all costs – this, of course, is a misogynistic conceit promoted in damn near every corner of patriarchy, and one that women have paid the price for dearly. (We need look no further than the recent firing of Jill Abramson to confirm this; prior to her dismissal she was accused of — and I’m liberally, but not inaccurately, paraphrasing — “lacking in the ‘warm-and-fuzzy’ department.”)

Secondly, and perhaps even more insidiously, this absurd notion that “feminism belongs to everyone” waters down, obscures, pollutes and destroys the true aim of feminism – women’s liberation from patriarchy.

When feminism is “for” the pornographers, the transgendered, the BDSM crowd, the fragile feelings of men, when it is about upholding and celebrating gender roles designed to subjugate women, then it is no longer about women. And when it is no longer about women, it is no longer feminism, but something else entirely – Queer Anarchist Theory, maybe? Whateverian Studies? Fuck if I know.

The hard fought and few gains women have made – economically, socially – are the result, expressly, of the feminist movement – particularly the Second Wave, which many self-professed “real feminists” (read: feminists who don’t know what that word actually means) are all too keen to deride.

Women that I know often lament the fact that women’s progress, women’s gains seem to be unraveling – Machiavellian reproductive rights laws, profound pay inequity, brutal exploitation, deeply sexist representations in the media . . .  And mouths agape, we wonder, “What the fuck is going on?”

Indeed, the rights of women have begun to erode. (I’m talking about the US here –obviously, there are many, many places across the globe where women’s rights are absent altogether). And this, I would argue, is because feminism – at the hands of those who have bought into the ridiculous notion that “feminism belongs to everyone” have diluted, and damn near destroyed the movement. “Feminism for everyone” has no common goal. “Feminism for everyone” debases (and has debased) this essential and urgently needed socio-political movement.

“Feminism for everyone” is lazy activism, and we cannot afford to be lazy.

And is it any wonder many young women are reticent to assert that they are feminist? They don’t even know what it means anymore, for fuck’s sake. Feminism has been misrepresented, redefined, twisted and hijacked by just about every “special interest” group under the sun. What does it mean to say you’re a “Feminist” if feminism is “about everything”? I mean, many misogynists and even and even some virulently anti-women women on the far Conservative Right have claimed the term for their own. (I was going to go hunting for some quotes, which I could easily find, to prove this point, but that’s just far too depressing for a Saturday night.)

B-b-but what about men? You might be thinking. Can’t men be feminists, too?

Sure. Anyone can be a feminist, but that doesn’t mean feminism is for everyone and everything.

First we need to get clear, get back to basics and remember that Feminism is a movement FOR women, designed to improve the lives of women – not men who decide they are women, but women who were born into the female sex caste. We need to remember that Feminism works to end, not support, patriarchy. We need to remember as women, as feminists, that the movement is not about delicately handling the fragile feelings of others (usually men). We need to remember, as women, as feminists, that we are not obligated to welcome everyone who demands entry into the ranks of our movement.

We need to remember that those who claim to be “feminist,” must put in the work – the work of standing up for women, the work of ensuring the safety of women and girls, the work of decrying any and all cultural outposts that degrade the personalities of women and girls. Feminists must prioritize women – and I’m talking about biological women here, I’m not talking about those who have conflated sex and gender. Let the latter start their own movement, create their own safe spaces, let the latter figure their shit out on their own, let the latter fight their own battles – the way actual women have had to for centuries – do not let fetishists, manipulators, and men twist and snarl the meaningful, the hard won word, “feminist” to suit their own interests.

We are under no obligation to be accommodating.

We must remember that it is okay to be seen as strident, unpopular. We must remember that it is okay if others take offense to the work we are doing to ensure women’s liberation from oppressive constructs and ideologies, and they will. They will take offense. They will tell us to “get fucked,” they will wish us “slow deaths.” They will liken our gatherings to KKK rallies. They will call us “ignorant bitches.” They will attack our looks. They will use every tool in the “patriarchy playbook” to dissuade us from speaking out, acting out – but these objections, however terrifying and ugly, should only serve to remind us why our solidarity as females, as feminists, as a movement is more necessary now than ever.

Have fun, boys

Born in the wrong body” reads Jezebel’s synopsis of Boys Don’t Cry.

And so Teena Brandon, a gender non-conforming lesbian, has been claimed by the Transactivists.

Nowhere in Teena Brandon’s history did she identify as “trans” or as “in the wrong body.” Medical professionals and trans activists are all too eager to claim her as trans/wrong bodied. It fits their narrative nicely.

I’m sorry to inform y’all, but there is no “wrong body.” You are born into the body you are born into – male or female, no matter. Your body is perfectly fine. Your male body, your female body is beautiful. Your body is not a theory or a construct. Your body is not an abstraction. Your body is a biologically determined, finite, bit of flesh – enjoy that shit – you’re gonna be dead soon.

If your male body wants to wear glittery capes and eyeliner, that’s awesome! If your female body wants to wear suits and neckties, that’s fucking awesome, too! Let your boy children play with Barbies. Let your girl children play with trucks.

Fuck gender!

And if you can’t “fuck gender,” then at least be smart enough to acknowledge that as a male (and, yes, I’m addressing this to M2Ts) “gender identity” does not make you .female. You are not entitled to women’s spaces. You are not entitled to our restrooms. You are not entitled to any of our sacred spaces because you are not female. Female is not a feeling, rather it is a reality.

I’m sorry if this hurts the feelings of men who like the idea of being a woman. You can go on being girls, boys. Ain’t nobody gonna stop you. But just know, while you parody womanhood, you are NOT women. What you are doing is mimicking misogynist concepts of womanhood, what you are doing is re-enforcing patriarchy.

Your “feeling like a woman” is based on oppressive notions of gender/women.

And this will fall on deaf ears because it’ s written by a woman.

Have fun.



Blog as evidence of female oppression

Tonight, as I sat down to write this blog, I realized how very female my “blogging situation” is. I mean, obviously, Augustus Carmichael isn’t my actual name (it’s the name of a character in Woolf’s To the Lighthouse). But what’s distinctly female about this is that I have to assume a pseudonym in order to articulate my reality.

I am not safe to discuss feminist concerns/biological female reality/the reality of my female experience without assuming a false identity.

Is there really anything more female than that? I mean, what is this? The 18fucking40s. I feel like George motherfucking Eliot.

This blog is, in and of itself, evidence of oppression.

I can’t object to the disgusting appropriation of my sex, and all the suffering therein, but meanwhile, men who “feel like” women, because they like lace and pink and twirling (or whatever “women” supposedly like) are free to define feminism and womanhood. Meanwhile, men are free to dress up and take hormones and tell women they’re “doing womanhood wrong.”

And yet I, an actual woman, have to “blog underground.” I have to assume a false identity because men, who think they are women, will harass me into obscurity if I dare voice my objection to the colonization of MY SEX.

And it is MY SEX. I was born into it. I, and my mothers, sisters, and ancestors before me, suffered as a result of it – sociologically, biologically.

The female sex, womanhood, belongs to ME and my sisters. I will be damned if any theory, any man with his eyeshadow, lipstick, estrogen pills and tutu is going to co-opt that experience and claim it for his own.

Alas, as an actual female, I have to say all these things under a pseudonym, and if that’s not subjugation, if that’s not patriarchy, I don’t know what is.

This is what it is to be a female: we are silenced by men who claim our sex, we have to assert ourselves under pseudonyms for fear of the backlash by men who claim they are women.

Feminism has been hijacked by the myth that pornography is liberatory (this thinking benefits men) and by the idea that gender worship is healthy (again, this benefits men). Wake up.

Women, wake up. Your experiences are being colonized by fetishists. Our work is not over – not by a long shot. Reject trans-ideology. Reject queer theory. Reject gender.